Yes, the same Joe Blanton who posted a 4.99 earned-run average for them in 2012.
And, yes, the same Joe Blanton who was even worse with the
The once-ineffective starter is now a reliever, one who pitched well enough in the final months of last season to convince the Dodgers to sign him Tuesday to a one-year, $4-million contract.
Blanton, 35, pitched 76 innings last season for the
The right-hander was particularly sharp with the Pirates, who picked him up in a trade-deadline deal after the Royals designated him for assignment. In 21 relief appearances for the Pirates, he was 5-0 with a 1.57 ERA.
Blanton limited right-handed hitters to a .203 average last season, and the Dodgers are hopeful he can provide balance to a pitching staff that could have an entirely left-handed starting rotation.
Blanton is the only significant addition the Dodgers have made to a bullpen that had a 3.91 ERA, fifth-worst in the
Blanton's resurgence last season followed a one-year absence from the game.
Released by Angels in the spring of 2014, Blanton signed a minor-league contract with the
His career was spiraling at that point.
The Dodgers acquired him in 2012 from the
Nonetheless, Blanton landed a two-year, $15-million contract that winter with the Angels.
The next season, he gave up 29 home runs in 132 2/3 innings, an average of one every 4.6 innings. By late July, he was in the Angels bullpen.
When Blanton was released the next spring with $8.5 million remaining on his contract, then-Angels general manager Jerry DiPoto called his decision to sign the right-hander "regrettable" and "a mistake on my part."
Over his 11-year major league career, Blanton has a record of 92-91 with a 4.44 ERA. He won a World Series in 2008 with the Phillies, earning a victory and hitting a home run in Game 4 of the series against the Tampa Bay Rays.