Ex-Cats

Dodgers add former UK pitcher Joe Blanton to their bullpen

Pirates relief pitcher Joe Blanton delivered during the third inning against the Cubs on Aug. 3, 2015.
Pirates relief pitcher Joe Blanton delivered during the third inning against the Cubs on Aug. 3, 2015. Associated Press

Joe Blanton is returning to the Dodgers, this time as a reliever.

Blanton, now 35, agreed to a one-year, $4-million contract to be a long reliever with the Dodgers.

The former Franklin-Simpson and University of Kentucky star pitched for the Dodgers in 2012, when they acquired him in a trade with the Philadelphia Phillies. Blanton made 10 starts for them that season and was 2-4 with a 4.99 earned-run average.

He pitched the next season with the Angels and went 2-14 with a 6.04 ERA.

Blanton retired from baseball early in the 2014 season, but came back last year as a reliever with the Kansas City Royals. He was designated for assignment by the Royals in July, then traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Blanton was 5-0 with a 1.57 ERA in 21 relief appearances for the Pirates.

For the entire season, he posted a 7-2 record with a 2.84 ERA in 76 innings.

Blanton limited right-handed hitters to a .203 average last season, which the Dodgers believe will be a plus, considering how many left-handers they have in their starting rotation.

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