Hard-throwing reliever Reyes Moronta never quite looked right in a Los Angeles Dodgers uniform and that issue has been rectified. The former SF Giants reliever went from one division rival to another after being claimed by the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Former hard-throwing SF Giants reliever goes from one division rival to another
If he pitches for the Diamondbacks, he will officially be three-fifths of the way to a Steve Finley, which is awarded to those who played for all five National League (NL) West teams. He joins Tyler Anderson and Mark Melancon as a couple of recent players who have also played for three out of five NL West teams.
On a different note, longtime reliever Matt Herges is on a quest for his second Steve Finley. Similar to Finley, the left-handed hurler appeared for all five NL West teams during his 11-year career. However, he has also worked as an instructor or coach for the Giants, Diamondbacks, and Dodgers organizations. The Rockies and Padres need to pick up the slack!
Okay, there is no such thing as a Steve Finley award. He just happens to be the most notable player to appear for all five division rivals.
On the other hand, Moronta debuted with the Giants in 2017 and quickly became a fan-favorite. During some lean Giants seasons, Moronta emerged as one of the top relievers in the Giants bullpen and one of the more enjoyable players to watch.
In four seasons with San Francisco, the 29-year-old reliever registered a 2.65 ERA, 3.44 FIP, 1.17 WHIP, 11.0 K/9, and a 2.22 SO/W ratio. He suffered a scary injury at the end of the 2019 season when he collapsed on the mound immediately after releasing a pitch in a game against the Padres. He sustained a torn labrum in his right shoulder that required surgery and knocked him out for the entire 2020 season.
The right-handed hurler returned to the mound in 2021 where he allowed just one earned run in four innings with the Giants, but he saw a noticeable dip in velocity. He spent the bulk of the 2021 season with the Sacramento River Cats where struggled to the tune of a 11.00 ERA in 24 appearances.
In a mild surprise, Moronta was designated for assignment at the end of last season. He went unclaimed and became a free agent but he did not go far. The Dodgers reeled him in on a one-year, $1.5 million pact last winter.
The five-year veteran posted a 4.18 ERA with 27 strikeouts against 10 walks in 23.2 innings with the Dodgers before being placed on waivers. Similar to the Giants, the Diamondbacks have struggled, posting a 4.31 ERA as a unit in 2022. There is a good chance that Moronta gets another look down the stretch this season.