Although the Los Angeles Dodgers already projected to have a surplus of outfielders heading into the 2015 season, they acquired Chris Heisey from the Cincinnati Reds.
Heisey began the year with Triple-A Oklahoma City, but was called up on multiple occasions — primarily when the Dodgers faced a left-handed starter.
His longest stints in the Majors last season came in June and September. Heisey otherwise was up for one game in April and a handful in May.
Appearing in 33 games, 17 of which were starts, 53 of Heisey’s 72 plate appearances came with a lefty on the mound. It wasn’t exactly a recipe for success however, as he hit .146/.302/.268 with one home run, two doubles, six RBIs and had 13 strikeouts to 10 walks against southpaw pitching.
Heisey was released by the Dodgers in August and signed with the Toronto Blue Jays on a Minor-League contract. He played in 17 games for the Blue Jays’ Triple-A affiliate.
The Dodgers re-acquired the versatile outfielder in a trade with the Blue Jays prior to the deadline for players to remain eligible for the postseason roster with their new club.
Heisey went on to appear in 16 of the final 28 regular-season games. He hit a two-run home run against the San Diego Padres in the regular-season finale and finished the year hitting .182/.347/.327 with two home runs, 10 RBIs, nine runs scored and 15 walks.
In a game remembered for Clayton Kershaw’s dugout tirade over being removed after just five innings of work on a hot afternoon at Dodger Stadium, one swing from Heisey put the Dodgers’ ace in position to earn a win.
With the bases loaded and the Dodgers trailing 3-2 in the fifth inning, Heisey’s grand slam gave them a lead that was never relinquished.
Rather than accept an outright assignment to Triple-A OKC, Heisey elected free agency. He soon after signed a Minor League contract with the Washington Nationals with an non-roster invite to Spring Training.
Heisey will look to rebound from an inconsistent year in terms of production and playing time. His ability to play all three outfield positions would make him a valuable commodity should be manage to have better results at the plate.