One aspect Los Angeles Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman has stressed since taking over the team after the 2014 season is he never truly feels comfortable with the pitching depth in the organization.
Los Angeles experienced that first hand in 2015 with Brandon McCarthy and Hyun-Jin Ryu undergoing season-ending surgeries, which left the club scrambling to fill the vacancies. In effort to prevent the same issue from occurring, the Dodgers bolstered their staff during the offseason.
Zack Greinke departed for Arizona, but Brett Anderson, Brandon Beachy, Scott Kazmir and Kenta Maeda were among the starting pitchers signed. The Dodgers also added relief pitchers Joe Blanton and Louis Coleman.
Per usual in the Friedman-led front office, the Dodgers have left no stone unturned as they seek to establish and maintain depth throughout the organization’s Minor League affiliates.
According to Triple-A Oklahoma City director of media relations and broadcasting Alex Freedman, the Dodgers signed veteran reliever Sam LeCure to a Minor League contract:
Dodgers have signed veteran reliever Sam LeCure to a minor league deal. He'll join @okc_dodgers today in Nashville.
— Alex Freedman (@azfreedman) April 7, 2016
While LeCure reported to Oklahoma City, he did not appear in the club’s Opening Night shutout victory against the Nashville Sounds on Thursday. LeCure, who will turn 32 years old next month, signed a Minor League contract with the Diamondbacks and participated in Spring Training.
However, he was released in late spring after giving up a combined seven runs in eight innings of work. The right-hander pitched for the Cincinnati Reds from 2010-15. In those six seasons, LeCure had a respectable 3.51 ERA, averaged 8.4 strikeouts per nine innings, and owned a 46 percent ground-ball rate.
The Dodgers also recently signed former San Diego Padres reliever Dale Thayer to a Minor League contract as well. It’s not beyond reason to expect LeCure or Thayer to join the Dodgers at some point this season.