Let’s Remember Some Dodgers: Dave Mlicki, Greg McMichael, Brian Bohanon, Aaron Sele

Having looked through the list of pitchers who lasted right around 100 career innings with the Dodgers since the early 90s, three of the following showed up, while the fourth has an odd connection to two of the others. All of them allowed me to revisit some significant moments, between the disastrous 1998 season and the 4+1 game.


Dave Mlicki, Greg McMichael, Brian Bohanon

A few months after the O’Malley’s sold the Dodgers to Fox Entertainment Group, the organization made the first of four trades with the New York Mets in the span of six months.

Having opened the season with Chan Ho Park, Ismael Valdez, Darren Dreifort, Ramon Martinez and Hideo Nomo as the starting rotation, the Dodgers still found themselves 7.5 games back of the Padres 20 days after making the Mike Piazza trade (when they were 8 games back of the Padres on the day of the trade). With Nomo struggling in his 67 2/3 innings, holding a 5.05 ERA and a 4.34 FIP, the Dodgers designated Nomo for assignment and then sent him to New York for Mlicki and McMichael on June 4.

Mlicki, a 30-year-old who had pitched for Cleveland and New York, arrived with a 5.68 ERA and 5.17 FIP in 57 innings across 10 starts, while McMichael, a 31-year-old right-handed reliever, held a 3.97 ERA and a 3.76 FIP in his 22 2/3 innings out of the bullpen.

Jumping ahead 17 days later, and now 12.5 games behind the Padres as well as 7 games back of the Wild Card, the Dodgers fired manager Bill Russell and general manager Fred Claire was replaced by Tommy Lasorda. Mlicki’s first three starts as a Dodger had actually gone well, with Los Angeles winning all three as he struck out 11 to three walks in 20 innings with a 2.70 ERA. Meanwhile, McMichael had earned a save in one of those victories for Mlicki. However, after striking out 7 in 4 1/3 innings across his first four appearances, McMichael allowed 15 hits and five walks to just four strikeouts in his next 10 innings across eight appearances.

McMichael’s tenure as a Dodger would last just a little more than 30 days, as general manager Lasorda sent him back to the Mets for Bohanon. A 29-year-old lefty who bounced from the Rangers to the Tigers to the Blue Jays to the Mets between 1994 and 1997, Bohanon held a 3.15 ERA and 4.15 FIP in 54 1/3 innings before the trade on July 10. With Martinez going down for the year in mid-June, Dennys Reyes had filled in the open rotation spot before the move for Bohanon. Prior to McMichael going back to the Mets, Lasorda had already sent 22-year-old Paul Konerko and the 21-year-old Reyes to the Reds for 32-year-old Jeff Shaw a week prior as the Dodgers desperately tried to rebuild their pitching staff in the middle of the season.

Bohanon started 14 games for the Dodgers, finishing with a 2.40 ERA and 4.13 FIP in 97 1/3 innings. He actually produced the best K% of his career in 1998 (17.7%), finishing his brief run in Los Angeles at a 18.2 K%. Mlicki’s 20 starts for the Dodgers in 1998 wasn’t quite as good, with a 4.05 ERA and 4.42 FIP in 124 1/3 innings, but Los Angeles managed to win 12 of those games. Meanwhile, another trade at the deadline for Carlos Perez, Mark Grudzielanek and Hiram Bocachica sent Wilton Guerrero, Ted Lilly, Peter Bergeron and Jonathan Tucker to Montreal. While the Padres were on the way to reaching the World Series and led the Dodgers by 14 games in the NL West on July 31, the 4.5 game deficit in the Wild Card was still enough of a reason to chase a playoff spot.

Bohanan’s Dodgers career ended that fall as he signed a three-year deal with the Rockies, while Mlicki (along with Mel Rojas, who also came from the Mets for Bobby Bonilla in November 1998) was sent to Detroit just 11 days into the 1999 season. Pitching out of the bullpen, Mlicki had allowed four runs and 10 hits in 7 1/3 innings before the trade. Apostol Garcia, Richard Roberts and Robinson Checo came back to Los Angeles in the deal, with the first two never reaching the majors and Checo pitching in nine games for the Dodgers in 1999 with a 10.34 ERA.

As we all know, the Dodgers wouldn’t make the playoffs again until 2004 and didn’t win a playoff series until 2008. All these were mostly just random trades in 1998, with the former Mets pitchers a useful example, as they combined for 236 innings in 1998 and 7 1/3 in 1999. The final trade between the Dodgers and Mets in 1998 was the only one with any lasting impact, with Todd Hundley (and Arnold Gooch?) coming to Los Angeles for Roger Cedeno and Charles Johnson.


Aaron Sele

Entering his 14th year in the majors to begin the 2006 season, Sele signed a minor-league contract with an invitation to Spring Training about a month before the team reported to Vero Beach.

Coming off a return to Seattle, Sele finished his 2005 in the majors with a 5.66 ERA and a 5.31 FIP in 116 innings across 21 starts before being cut and temporarily landing in Triple-A with Texas before being cut again after two starts. With Derek Lowe and Brad Penny at the top of the rotation, the Dodgers planned to fill out the rest of the rotation with a 33-year-old Brett Tomko, Odalis Perez and Jae Weong Seo (who lasted as a Dodger for all of 19 appearances), while Sele was mostly just a depth addition for the minors.

Aside from Lowe and Penny, the rotation didn’t work as planned, and Chad Billingsley eventually made his major league debut in June, as did Eric Stults in September, and trades for Mark Hendrickson (with Seo going to Tampa Bay) and Greg Maddux went down at the end of July. However, tying for the fourth-most starts behind Lowe (34), Penny (33) and Billingsley (16) was ultimately Sele’s 15.

Opening the season in Las Vegas, Sele spent April in Triple-A, where he had a 2.43 ERA in 29 2/3 innings through five starts. Striking out 28 batters to five walks for the 51s, and agreeing to cut his pay from $900,000 to $500,000, Sele moved up to the majors after the Dodgers initially agreed to release him after his successful stretch in Las Vegas. Sele debuted for the Dodgers on May 7 with a 6 2/3 innings against the Brewers to earn his first victory in the majors since June 15, 2005. Meanwhile, a 4 1/3 inning outing with 7 runs allowed against Arizona on May 2 ended Perez’s regular spot in the rotation, with Ned Colletti‘s book The Big Chair actually breaking down the deterioration of the team’s relationship with the pitcher the night before that start. Perez’s move to the bullpen before his eventual departure in late July kept Sele in the rotation to the trade deadline.

Through his first 12 appearances, which included 11 starts, Sele held a 2.91 ERA and a 3.75 FIP in 65 innings with the Dodgers 7-4 in those starts. However, the most notable moment in his 28 games and 103 1/3 innings for the Dodgers came on Sept. 18. Entering in the 10th inning of a 9-9 tie thanks to those home runs by Jeff Kent, J.D. Drew, Russell Martin and Marlon Anderson, Sele surrendered a go-ahead run on a RBI single by Josh Bard, the current Dodgers bullpen coach.

Working out of the inning with the bases loaded, Sele remained the pitcher of record as Kenny Lofton drew a leadoff walk against former and future Dodger Rudy Seanez, before Nomar Garciaparra walked off for the 11-10 victory to temporarily take over first place in the NL West. The final start of Sele’s career came a few weeks earlier when he allowed 6 runs in 4 1/3 innings to the Rockies.

Finishing with a 4.53 ERA and 4.36 FIP with the Dodgers, Sele landed one last minor-league contract as he signed with the Mets and spent 2007 working in relief. After retiring, Sele spent time with the Dodgers as a minor league pitching instructor, a special assistant for player personnel and as a scout from 2009 to 2017.

About Cody Bashore

Cody Bashore is a lifelong Dodger fan originally from Carpinteria, California (about 80 miles north of Dodger Stadium along the coast). He left California to attend Northern Arizona University in 2011, and has lived in Arizona full-time since he graduated in 2014 with a journalism degree.