Edwin Uceta was in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization since being signed out of the Dominican Republic as part of the international signing period in 2016, but his time with the franchise came to an end during the final part of the 2021 season.
The 23-year-old was once regarded as one of the Dodgers’ better pitching prospects and was added to the 40-man roster in November 2020 to protect him from potentially being selected in the Rule 5 Draft.
Uceta didn’t make the roster out of Spring Training but was quickly recalled and made his MLB debut on April 30 against the Milwaukee Brewers. He started the game and pitched two innings while allowing two runs on four hits to go along with two strikeouts and one walk.
From there, Uceta earned a lot of frequent flyer points as he was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City and optioned back seven times.
During his six stints with the Dodgers, Uceta pitched 20.1 innings and struck out an impressive 11.07 hitters per nine innings. However, he also struggled to find the strike zone often, walking 5.31 batters per nine innings.
Uceta ended up appearing in 14 games (one start) while posting a 6.64 ERA and 4.40 FIP.
He also was also placed on the 10-day injured list twice, once for a left lumbar strain and another case for a right back strain. He additionally was placed on the seven-day IL with Oklahoma City in September.
Uceta finished with a 4.71 ERA and 1.40 WHIP in 28.2 innings across 10 games (three starts) for the Dodgers’ top Minor League affiliate.
On Oct. 21, the Dodgers designated Uceta for assignment to make room for Andy Burns on their National League Championship Series roster. Six days later he was claimed by the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Uceta’s 2021 highlight
Uceta’s best outings came during his final three appearances with the Dodgers on July 31, Aug. 11 and 15.
During those games, Uceta pitched a combined 3.2 scoreless innings and struck out seven batters. The Dodgers won all three games.
The right-hander has two option years remaining so he could play a similar role for the Diamondbacks that he did for the Dodgers, but Uceta should get a chance to compete for a more permanent spot on a roster that does not have much going right for them as they continue their rebuild.
Uceta could also end up making some starts for Arizona but it seems like his long-term role is destined for the bullpen unless he can control his walk issues.
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