Dodgers Sign Pitcher Zach Neal to Minor League Deal

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MESA, AZ - FEBRUARY 22: Pitcher Zach Neal
MESA, AZ - FEBRUARY 22: Pitcher Zach Neal /
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Los Angeles Dodgers have reached a Minor League agreement with free agent right-handed pitcher Zach Neal. The move adds even more cushion to Dodgers’ vaunted Depth.

Free agent Zach Neal was added to the Dodgers organization on a minor league contract this weekend according to @Ken_Rosenthal. Neal comes to LA from the Oakland Athletics on a minor league contract. This is great news for the team, as it means that a spot does not need to be opened up on the now full Dodgers 40-Man roster for the newcomer.

Dodgers
MESA, AZ – FEBRUARY 22: Pitcher Zach Neal /

Drafted in the 17th round of the 2010 MLB first-year player draft by the Florida Marlins, Zach Neal has put out solid career numbers in the minors. He has 56 wins and 56 losses in 174 minor league games. Of those 174 appearances, 154 were games in which he started. He is not a flame-throwing power pitcher, as evidenced by only 594 strikeouts in 923.2 innings pitched in the minor leagues, so far. Zach’s is more of a finesse game. He uses his sinker to pitch to contact. More often than not he is forcing hitters to hit the ball on the ground and hopefully into a groundout, or better yet, double play.

Neal has a 3.84 minor league ERA compared to his 4.89 career average in the majors. He got a nice cup of coffee in 2016 when he threw 70.0 major league innings for the A’s to the tune of a 4.24 ERA with a 1.11 WHIP. The stats weren’t too shabby, but with only 27 strikeouts, he was pitching to a lot of contact.

More from Dodgers Prospects

Zach Neal joins left-hander Henry Owens and righty Dylan Baker as the newest members of the famous Dodgers Depth club. The other two pitchers recently acquired are on major league contracts, but all three represent exactly the type of pitcher the Dodgers have targeted. They are all affordable, controllable, flexible enough to start or relieve, and can be stashed in the minor leagues until needed. And you can’t go wrong with a “Zach”.

Next: Stripling Should Start

Last year maybe was a learning year for 29-year-old. In 2017, things went sour for the sinkerballer, both in the major leagues and the minors. However, one season prior to that he had put together a solid season pitching for the A’s. The Dodgers are hoping Zach Neal gets back on track for them in 2018.

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