Dodgers filling out spring roster: Eugenio Velez, Juan Castro and J.D. Closser all signed
It’s a run on Giants!
Or maybe it’s a run on sub-.200 hitters.
Either way, the Dodgers have signed Eugenio Velez, a utility player who got in 55 at-bats for the Giants last season, hitting .164.
The Giants were so impressed they non-tendered him even though he still wasn’t arbitration eligible.
Velez was signed to a minor-league contract Monday with an invitation to the major-league camp, along with the constantly recycled Juan Castro and catcher J.D. Closser.
Velez, 28, can play the outfield and second base. He’s spent parts of the past four seasons with the Giants, with a career .256 batting average, .300 on-base percentage and .388 slugging percentage in 626 at-bats.
Fear not, it’s not like he’s being brought in to earn the right-handed hitting platoon spot in right. A switch-hitter, the natural right-hander has only a .264 career batting average against lefties.
He’s backup, potential emergency fill-in material. Another veteran brought to camp, one with no real guarantee of sticking anywhere in the organization.
Castro, 38, will be making his fourth stint with Dodgers. Has to be a fatal attraction to the infielder. Mike Petriello of MikeSciosciasTragicIllness.com calls the anemic-hitting Castro possible the least valuable player in baseball (career .228 batting average, .268 on-base percentage).
Closser, 30, was also invited to camp by the Dodgers last season, ending up at triple-A Albuquerque where he hit .268, with a .332 on-base percentage and a dismal .339 slugging percentage.
Catchers, of course, are currently a bit of a problem throughout the Dodgers organization.
-- Steve Dilbeck