The Los Angeles Dodgers added to their outfield and organizational depth in January by completing a trade with the Oakland Athletics for Brett Eibner. He had some impressive flashes during Spring Training and went on to begin the year with Triple-A Oklahoma City.
He joined the Dodgers in April and again in May for a more extensive stretch that went into June. Eibner has exclusively played the outfield for Los Angeles, but in late May the organization began to work on refining his skills as a pitcher.
The thought was to potentially utilize Eibner in a game as a reliever. That project has hit a recent snag, however, as Eibner is dealing with a sore shoulder.
“We’ve backed off a little bit to try and let him regroup,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “We haven’t totally abandoned it, but we’re giving him a couple weeks to recover before we get him back on the mound.”
With Eibner on the shelf, the Dodgers appear to have begun another experiment with veteran first baseman Ike Davis. He recently threw a bullpen session, as conveyed by Oklahoma City Dodgers media relations director Alex Freedman:
I don’t know how serious this all is, but Ike Davis is currently throwing a bullpen and a lot of people are watching. #Dodgers
— Alex Freedman (@azfreedman) June 30, 2017
“Ike Davis the pitcher, Arizona State, good arm, high school star, two-way player, hasn’t pitched in a long time,” answered Roberts when asked for his evaluation of Davis. “I don’t know about him as a professional pitcher.
“If he can throw 90, throw strikes, strike the curve, I’m good with it. Ike’s a good athlete. If he’s open to it, he’s had a nice career as a position player. He can be the next Brooks Kieschnick.”
Davis and Eibner both pitched in the collegiate ranks. In addition, Davis threw two scoreless innings over as many relief appearances for the Athletics in 2005.