What Happened In 2017: One of the more depressing happenings of 2017 was the cautionary tale of Brett Eibner, the outfielder who blew out his arm trying to convert to pitching.
Eibner kept his frequent flyer card handy during his time between Triple-A Oklahoma City and Los Angeles in 2017, and he was called up four different times during the season. Acquired from the Oakland A’s last January, Eibner provided outfield depth during his 17 games with the Dodgers.
The big right-hander’s strength and ability to hit the ball hard didn’t net the results the Dodgers were looking for, as he struck out a ton (17 strikeouts in 36 plate appearances). When he did connect, the ball went way back. On May 13, he hit the farthest home run of the year for the Dodgers. The 464-foot shot into the center field trees at Coors Field was one of two homers he hit with the team.
The Dodgers eventually attempted to make Eibner a two-way player, having him throw bullpen sessions both with L.A. and OKC. The plan didn’t pan out, and he ended up injuring his right elbow. He underwent Tommy John surgery on August 1, ending his season.
Eibner ended up being designated for assignment on September 1 and was released the next day.
2018 Status: Eibner signed a minor-league deal with the Texas Rangers, but he will miss most if not all of 2018 while rehabbing his elbow. The Rangers announced his signing as an outfielder, so his foray into relief pitching looks like it has been thankfully put on the kibosh.