The Dodgers are letting go more players than signing new contracts so far this offseason. In a bit of a shocking turn of events, the Dodgers let one-time top prospect Shawn Tolleson go via way of the waiver line to Texas on Wednesday.
The 25-year old right-hander pitched in only one game with the Dodgers this past season. He walked two batters in the appearance, and he didn’t record an out. In 2012, Tolleson pitched in 40 games for the Dodgers, and he looked as though he had a promising future in the Dodgers bullpen. He went 3-1 with a 4.30 ERA and 39 strikeouts with 20 walks in 37 2/3 innings of work.
June 10, 2012; Seattle, WA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Shawn Tolleson (38) pitches to the Seattle Mariners during the 9th inning at Safeco Field. Los Angeles defeated Seattle 8-2. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports
Tolleson underwent Tommy John Surgery in high school, and he missed most of his senior season. The Dodgers drafted Tolleson out of Baylor University in Texas in the 2010 draft. He pitched well in the Dodgers minor league system and was the primary closer for his minor league teams. He was promoted to the Dodgers in June of 2012.
After his brief 2013 appearance with the Dodgers, Shawn Tolleson succumbed to back surgery on April 25, 2013 to repair a herniated disc. After a return to the mound in August, he subsequently injured his hip during a minor league rehab assignment and was shut down for the remainder of the season.
Shawn Tolleson and Clayton Kershaw are friends, and they both were Dallas-area high school baseball stars.
"“He was probably the best high school pitcher in Texas, bar none,” Kershaw said."
Kershaw was drafted out of high school, but Tolleson had to go on and play college ball while rehabbing from Tommy John Surgery. Kershaw even convinced Logan White to give Tolleson a chance even though there were concerns about his injury.
While it’s sort of sad to see Tolleson go (Elian Herrera‘s departure was a bit surprising for me as well), his medical issues must have been something that worried the Dodgers causing them to place him on waivers in anticipation of the upcoming Rule 5 Draft.
Here’s to Tolleson finding health and success with Texas!
The Dodgers now have 31 players on their 40-man roster.