Dodgers sign former Orioles pitcher who just dominated in his Triple-A debut

Baltimore Orioles v New York Yankees
Baltimore Orioles v New York Yankees / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages
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The Dodgers are fond of bringing the baseball equivalent of wounded birds into their organization with the intention of fixing them up and sending them out to become stars. It doesn't always work, but it did with Max Muncy and Evan Phillips, who are two of the Dodgers' biggest assets on both sides of the ball. When it works, it's a credit to both the scouting department and player development teams LA has at their disposal.

Most of the candidates in the offseason — players signed to minor league deals with invitations to spring training — haven't worked out. Two pitchers who hadn't pitched professionally since 2022, Jesse Hahn and Stephen Gonsalves, are struggling in the minors and no longer in the organization, respectively. However, a few have looked great; Andre Lipcius, a former top prospect with the Tigers, has a .985 OPS and had an eight-game hitting streak going from mid- to late- May.

The Dodgers' most recent out-of-nowhere minor league pickup is a pitcher who took a fantastic first step toward becoming another one of those Dodgers success stories. Chris Vallimont, whose last appearance in an MLB organization was with the Guardians' Triple-A team last season, made his Oklahoma City debut on Wednesday and pitched six scoreless innings.

Dodgers minor-league signing Chris Vallimont pitched six scoreless innings in his Triple-A debut

After being drafted in 2018 by the Marlins, Vallimont's major league debut came just last year with the Orioles. He appeared in a single major league game throughout the season, used to get out of a three-run inning against the Yankees. He gave up a double, then got Anthony Volpe to strike out swinging to end the inning. He was DFA'ed just two days later and was traded to the Guardians for cash.

He elected free agency at the conclusion of the 2023 season. Vallimont then signed a deal with the York Revolution of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball, an independent league, in April of this year. He made five starts there, then agreed to a minor league deal with the Dodgers on May 28. They wasted no time putting him to work; he made his organization debut the very next day against the Albuquerque Isotopes, and pitched six innings. He only gave up four hits and no runs, walked one and struck out five.

He'll probably have to do something like that a few more times before he has a real argument to get back to the majors, but it's a perfect introduction to the Dodgers.

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