Thomas (shoulder) was released by the Dodgers on Sunday, MLB.com reports. Thomas was already deemed expendable after getting designated for assignment Thursday, but now the team will elect to part ways entirely. Look for the lefty to seek a fresh start with a minor league deal elsewhere. He'll need to first prove his current shoulder ailment isn't anything serious.
Thomas was designated for assignment Thursday. With the Dodgers acquisition of Bud Norris on Thursday, they needed to clear room on the 40-man roster to insert him into the rotation. Thomas drew the last straw and will now enter a waiver period where he'll be eligible to be claimed by another club. The 29-year-old, who's currently dealing with a minor shoulder injury, has sparkled in relief for Triple-A Oklahoma City, allowing only three earned runs over 19 innings (1.42 ERA) while striking out 22 batters.
Thomas has a 1.59 ERA and .179 opponent batting average through 11.1 innings at Triple-A Oklahoma City this season. After four games, Thomas is showing he has the attributes to be a dominant force on the mound. His 0.88 WHIP, 11 strikeouts, and .179 AVG all show that he can effectively keep the opposition off base. Before the 2016 season started, he was on the bubble of making the 25 man roster in Los Angeles, but ended up at Triple-A Oklahoma City. If he continues making the most of his opportunities with Oklahoma City, it's likely that he'll end up in the show sometime this season. His arrival will only be accelerated if Luis Avilan, one of Los Angeles's current lefty relievers, continues to struggle.
Thomas was optioned to minor league camp Thursday. The southpaw enjoyed some success down the stretch last year, allowing three runs with a 10:3 K:BB in eight September innings. He carried that over to the spring with one hit allowed over three scoreless Cactus League frames, but there simply was not room for Thomas in the Dodgers' bullpen. Luis Avilan and Adam Liberatore remain as lefty relief options for Los Angeles.
As expected, the Dodgers recalled Zach Lee from Triple-A to start Saturday's game. To make room for Lee on the roster, the team optioned pitcher Ian Thomas to Triple-A Oklahoma City. Thomas was 1-1 in three games, one start, for the Dodgers.
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