After finishing the 2013 season strongly and becoming one of the more reliable arms in the bullpen, Chris Withrow figured to have himself a roster spot in 2014. However, that was before the Los Angeles Dodgers re-signed Brian Wilson and J.P. Howell, and added Chris Perez and Jamey Wright.
With the veteran depth in the bullpen, Withrow’s spot on the roster was put in doubt as he was seen as the odd man out. He ended making the Opening Day roster and appeared in 20 games to begin the season.
Withrow was beginning to regain his form as he held a 2.95 ERA with 28 strikeouts. The right-hander was optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque in May once Hyun-Jin Ryu was reinstated from the disabled list.
Unfortunately, it was discovered Withrow had a torn UCL before he was added to the Isotopes roster. As a result, he underwent Tommy John surgery in June and missed the remainder of the season.
Early in the season, the Dodgers were facing the Colorado Rockies when Withrow relieved Paul Maholm and found himself in a jam. After walking three batters, the bases were loaded with only one out.
The Rockies had two of their best hitters due up, but manager Don Mattingly decided to keep Withrow in. Two strikeouts of Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki got Withrow and the Dodgers out of the eighth inning with a 5-2 lead.
Yasiel Puig drove in an insurance run in the ninth, and Kenley Jansen closed the game and earned his ninth save of the year.
As a result of his injury and recovery time, Withrow is unlikely to make a return next season. Even if he were to begin throwing early into the 2015 season, he wouldn’t be expected to see time at the Major League level.
With the team changing Triple-A affiliates to Oklahoma City, Withrow will spend his season there if his recovery progresses quickly enough for him to see time.