The Los Angeles Dodgers signed veteran starting pitcher Jonathan Sanchez to a minor-league contract, the team announced on Wednesday.
The southpaw will report to Triple-A Alburquerque and will start for the Isotopes. Sanchez can opt-out of the deal by July 1 if he is not called up to the major leagues.
This signing is born out of moderate desperation for the Dodgers, since Sanchez has pitched horrendously the past two seasons. The lefty made four starts for the Pittsburgh Pirates this season and one appearance out of the bullpen, struggling in both roles. Sanchez allowed 18 runs over 13.2 innings, surrendering 25 hits, including eight home runs. Sanchez did strike out 15 batters, but also walked eight.
The veteran made 15 starts for the Kansas City Royals and Colorado Rockies last season, posting an 8.07 ERA. Sanchez walked a high number of batters when he was an effective starting pitcher, but lost any semblance of control last year, issuing 53 free passes in 64.2 innings while recording 45 strikeouts.
Los Angeles hopes that Sanchez can regain some of his form that allowed him to pitch effectively for the San Francisco Giants. The Dodgers are also desperate for starting pitching depth, since Chad Billingsley is out of the season, while Josh Beckett and Ted Lilly are currently on the 15-day disabled list. The team did activate Zack Greinke off the DL on Wednesday to replace Beckett in the rotation.
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