For Whom the Bell Toles

Ernest Hemingway published a book in in 1940 which was about a young man named Andrew Toles, who once was a top major league prospect that dropped out of baseball due to an anxiety disorder.  This book was certainly a work of fiction because young Toles wound up working the early shift (4 AM) at a Kroger Grocery Store in the frozen food department. That may sound like a cool JOB (pun intended)  but it only paid $7.50 and hour. Andrew knew he could do better!

After a few weeks, Andrew contacted Gabe Kapler of the Dodgers who called his boss, Andrew Friedman (who had drafted Toles in 2012) and without much hesitation, they signed Andrew to a minor league deal.  Here’s where it really becomes fictional – Toles started at Rancho Cucamonga (A Ball) and slashed .370/.414/.914, then he moved to AA Tulsa where he slashed .314/.363/.877 followed by a stop at Oklahoma City in AAA where his slash line was .321/.339/.857/  Then he was called up to the Show where he slashed .314/.365/.870.

That Ernest Hemingway really has a crazy imagination – like something similar to that could ever happen? PLEASE!  Great fiction!  I read the book long ago, but somehow I don’t remember it like that – Maybe I’ll pick up a new copy of For Whom the Bell Tolesit Toles for Andrew – that much I know.  There is a typo on the cover of the book – “Tolls”  Old Ernest can’t even spell right!

Seriously, I am an Andrew Toles fan and it’s not just because he has beat his anxiety disorder with a combination of medication and counseling.  I am a fan because he is as cool as the other side of the pillow and looks to be having great fun. He is fast, can play all three outfield spots and if paired with Pederson and Puig, would form one of the best defensive outfields in baseball.  He also has and excellent arm.  Did I mention that he fast and in fact, saves a lot of runs?

Andrew still has Rookie status and I look for him to make a run at Rookie of the Year.  If he comes out of the chute playing at a high level and Andre Ethier does the same, I would look for the Dodgers to have a talk with Andre Ethier that goes something like this:

“Andre, we know you can still play and we thank you for being a good soldier but we have Andrew Toles who has tools you don’t.  We would like to give you the opportunity to play everyday for a new contract so we will pay half your salary to allow you to go somewhere to play for your last contract.  Just sign this paper waiving the “no trade clause” because we know you don’t want to sit on the bench.”

SIGN ZE PAPER, ANDRE!  If he is healthy, someone will take him for $9 million and youth will be served.  Of course, I am assuming that Andrew Toles is for real, but you don’t do what he did in 2016 – A, AA, AAA and MLB without some amazing talent and huge determination.  He might not hot .300 this year, but he won’t hit .250 either.  In my opinion, he’s the real deal!  He could leadoff against RH pitchers, but for now that job belongs to Logan Forsythe.

Photo Credit: Gary A. Vasquez/USA Today Sports, via Reuters

What if Ned Were Still GM?

The Dodgers Rotation would be Kershaw, Greinke, Price, Cueto and Hamels.  Urias, De Leon and Seager would be playing for Philly, Kenley Jansen would be in Miami and Justin Turner would be in St. Louis.  The Dodger outfield would be Kemp, Pederson and Ethier and AJ Ellis would be the catcher.  Dee Gordon would be at 2B and who the hell knows who would be at 3B and SS?  The Dodgers would be the first team with a $275 million payroll to not make the playoffs!

 

Posted by Mark Timmons

I started LA Dodger Talk in 2001. I took a year off in 2016 and now I am back. This site is about giving another perspective outside of the average day-to-day reporting. I don't do game recaps or in-depth sabermetric analysis. I value sabermetrics, but leave that to people smarter than me... which is only 98% of the population. This is where you start your day as a Dodger Fan. Welcome!

This article has 37 Comments

  1. Toles, Verdugo, Bellinger, Seager, Pederson, Calhoun = an outstanding young core but all are lefty hitters. If they all play, where would Puig play?

    1. Bum

      I don’t think the Dodgers are as high on Verdugo as before, because he doesn’t have much power, and he doesn’t have the speed, that Toles has.

      And I have heard stuff about his make up, but I don’t like to label anyone, especially when they are that young.

      We hadn’t had a player that plays left as well, as Toles did last year, in a long time.

      He had eight defensive runs saved, in about 110 innings in left, and he also has a good arm.

      That one ball he cut off in left, in that one post season game against the Nationals, might have allowed us, to win that game.

      Remember when Worth was thrown out at home, from the relay from Toles, and Corey.

      And if Corey would have made better tags on some of Toles throws from rightfield, Toles would have had three assists, in the few times, he played in right field, last year.

      We need some speed on this team, and we also need some more contact hitters, to get on base, and to hit some runs in, and keep the offense, moving.

      Because we have plenty of guys in our line up, that can pop one out, almost any time.

      Toles is going to have to prove himself again this year, and if he does, an outfield of Toles, Joc, and Puig, will be a very good outfield, like Mark said.

      And you said you wanted Dee back, but I would say that Dee, has more of a problem with his make up, then Toles does.

      Look at what he did, to get that multi year contract.

      1. Toles has tools. It would be a great story if he excels in the outfield for the Dodgers. I also like Thompson. He has the power righty bat the Dodgers need. Both are ready to play in 2017. Luckily, Verdugo and Calhoun probably need another year in AAA ball.
        .
        If Kike’ mostly plays infield and SVS mostly platoons with Agon there may be enough room on the 25 for Ethier, Puig, Thompson, Pederson, and Toles.
        .
        Urias, McCarthy, Ryu and maybe Kazmir probably need to keep their pitch count between 160 and 180 so the Dodgers really don’t have to make a trade.
        .
        While I would rather have Gordon in lieu of the players the Dodgers got in exchange, I also like Barnes as the backup catcher and still have some hope for Hatcher.

        1. Bum

          I guess we will see what we have with Barnes this year, but it may not tell us, that Barnes can hit major league hitting.

          Because he probably won’t get enough consistent at bats.

  2. Assuming Puig reaches his potential (and that is a big assumption) he is a RH power bat. I see Toles as a Inciarte- type player… with more power. I think he can hit .290+ with .340+ OB% while stealing 20+ bases and hitting 10-14 HR. Bellinger goes to 1B. Seager, obviously is a fixture. Beyond that, Verdugo and Calhoun are trade-bait for a big RH bat. At least, that’s the way I see it.

    1B – Bellinger L
    2B – Forsythe R
    SS – Seager L
    3B – Turner R
    LF – Toles l
    CF – Pederson L
    RF – Puig R
    C – Grandal L/R

    Maybe they can trade Calhoun and Verdugo for Ian Happ who is a switch hitter.

    1. I like your thinking. I have been on a campaign for Ian Happ for awhile now. The Cubs have Zobrist and Baez, so Happ is somewhat blocked. Verdugo has always been in any package I could design. I do not believe the Cubs are sold on Almora, and I believe Jay is only signed for one year; so Verdugo makes sense. But my packages always stalled because what the Cubs really need is pitching, and pitching ready for 2018. They lose Lackey and maybe Arrieta after this year. Montgomery and Anderson are #5 and #6. They are going to need another team controllable lefty for the rotation, and one for the pen. I never gave Calhoun much thought, but it just might work. Contrary to what many think, Maddon does like to platoon and flexibility. Why not platoon Calhoun with Schwarber?
      .
      My thinking is, because the Cubs can use lefties in the rotation and pen, I would start the package with Wood and Avilan, abd include Verdugo, and Calhoun for Ian Happ and Carl Edwards Jr. That currently is an overpay so I would have to scour the Cubs farm system to get a third and maybe fourth prospect. Or maybe just pull back Calhoun and try him in the OKC OF.
      .
      The Cubs get team controllable lefties in the rotation and pen and a potential long-term CF, and the Dodgers get their potential long-term 2B, and their RH set-up. The Cubs will not miss Edwards, as they still have Pedro Strop, and Happ is currently blocked unless they move Baez. Moving both Wood and Avilan loosens the logjam with the pitching, and while losing Verdugo will hurt, but the hurt will be softened by the addition of Ian Happ. Seager and Happ will make everyone forget about Trammel and Whitaker. Okay, Russell and Lopes for those who only think Dodgers.

  3. Wasn’t familiar with either Happ or Edwards. Interesting ideas. Edwards stats indicate he must be a hard throwing swing and miss guy, but, wild. True? Amazing amount of strikeouts/walks to innings pitched. Do you think he needs to take another step up before being the set-up guy? If not, don’t you think Cubs will need him?

    I have been saying it and I know you have been saying it for about a year now. FAZ needs a couple quantity for quality trades to “loosen the logjam”. The guy I am really pulling for this spring is Wood. If he looks good, he could be a huge asset or trade piece.

    1. Boxout

      I think Edwards was the Cubs set up guy, by the end of the season, last year.

      You must have seen him pitch last year, in the post season.

      He actually pitched against the Dodgers, in that series against the Cubs, at Dodger stadium, in the regular season.

      He is really slim, and all arms and legs.

  4. Box, yes CJ Edwards is the hard throwing swing & miss guy. He hits 100. And I do agree he is not the 2017 set-up guy, but I do like his future. Match him with Romo and RH batters should get all tied up. I like him much better than both Baez and Hatcher. Ravin may get there, but I still would prefer CJ.
    .
    Pedro Strop is the set-up guy for Davis right now, and that will not change if Edwards is there or not.
    .
    With respect to Alex Wood, I have been one of his biggest supporters since he came to LA (and caught a lot of grief for it). I am a huge Alex Wood fan, and would love it if he made the rotation. But I do not see it happening. Kershaw/Hill/Kazmir are the LHSP with Urias ready. If everything works out, Ryu will also be in the pipeline. They do not need another lefty in the starting rotation. I think he would be a terrific long-reliever spot starter, but again do they need another lefty?
    .
    I was just trying to put a respectable package together to get Ian Happ. The Cubs need team controlled left hand pitching (both starting and relieving), that will be there for 2018. Verdugo and Calhoun may be expendable, but IMO just the two of them does not pique the interest of the Jed Hoyer and Theo. Alex Wood and Luis Avilan just might. If the Cubs would take Wood and Avilan for Happ, I would jump all over it. But that is not going to get it done. Happ is the Cubs #1 prospect, and he is the MLB #2 second base behind Moncada. The Cubs have admitted that they do not have any strong pitching candidates in the upper minors, but do have at A ball moving up to AA. That is 2019 at the earliest. If the Cubs ask for Buehler or Alveraz in return, then FAZ will be hoping that Calhoun will learn to play 2B.

    1. Of course, you never know, but I think Happ will be a very good hitter with high OB% and 20 HR power. His defense is better than Calhoun’s but not great. I think Calhoun ends up in the AL. The Cubs could use Verdugo, Wood and maybe Kazmir or McCarthy or Ryu (pick a healthy one). This could be an end of Spring Training deal. Happ needs a year at AAA. Let’s say KAZ is healthy – How about Kazmir, Wood and Verdugo for Happ?

    2. AC

      I think that Maddon kind of loss faith in Strop last year, and he was using Edwards quite a bit, because of that.

    3. It appears the Dodgers will attack lefties this year with Thompson,SVS, Puig, and Forsythe and maybe Turner if he hits them again. That is only two platoons and I could live with that.
      .
      To best use the young core of Seager, Pederson, Toles, Bellinger, and who knows, Calhoun.the Dodgers could use a couple of complimentary young solid righty bats. Puig could be one. Might the other young righty bat be Gary Sánchez, the Yankees young catcher?
      .
      Grandal, Wood, Kazmir/McCarthy…something like that for Gary Sánchez?

      1. I can’t see the re-building Yankees even looking at that.

        If you want Sanchez, I think it would take more than the Twins were asking for Dozier.

        In other words: Calhoun, Buehler, Barnes and Alvarez!

        1. I agree but to me it looks like catcher is the best place to put a solid young righty bat in the lineup. For me, Grandal is not that guy.

      2. Bum

        Good idea but you have to find the guy, before he is the guy, remember?

        Did you see UCLA won last night, after being down by 19 points at one time, against Oregon?

        Maybe this will help them turn the corner, and start playing better, consistently.

        I saw that they are doing the top ten centerfielders, on the MLB Channel, this Sunday.

        And I have heard Brian Kenny, Mr saber metric, mention Joc twice, this week, when he has promoted, this show.

        1. UCLA can score and so can the teams they play. Where’s that Wooden full court press? Bleacher Report had Joc as the 5th best center fielder in the MLB. Second through 5 were close but Trout was a clear #1.

          1. Bum

            Trout’s defense isn’t that good by saber metrics, but defensive saber metrics, I don’t think is as accurate, as some think.

            Puig doesn’t have good saber metrics, on rountine plays, and the coach thinks, it is because Puig doesn’t stay in games, well.

            UCLA did do better on defense last night, but I guess we will have to wait, for the press.

            Pauley pavilion was loud last night.

  5. You say Andrew. I say Andre. Let’s call the whole thing off. Oh. That’s a song. Sorry. I love the idea of Toles playing LF all the time. I’m not a platoon guy, but this team has a lot of capable players right now, so probably a platoon is what is will happen. At least in LF. I agree to get through the entire minor league in one year only happens to those guys who are REALLY GOOD. I hope Toles is in that category. The weather is heating up in Arizona. I think Braun will just complicate our roster for a few years. Let’s let the free flow of players continue and focus on pitching and defense. Aren’t we projected to score a bunch of runs next year? Without Braun. I know. Projections aren’t good anymore. I’ll buy into them for now.

  6. Brock Stewart is another guy who zipped through the minors. Story about him in True Blue. Illinois State grad. Played 3B in college. Good, midwest, solid guy. Hope to see him in Glendale.

    1. Bobbie17

      I like Stewart a lot too.

      Stewart has only been a starting pitcher for about two years, so he doesn’t have a lot of miles, on his arm.

      Another good thing about Stewart, is that he has a pretty good spin rate, on his pitches.

      His delivery, and the way he throws, reminds me of some of the pitchers, that pitched, in the 70s, and the 80s.

      And anytime a pitcher or a player, can pitch well enough, or play well enough throughout a season, and make the climb that both Stewart and Toles did, that does say a lot about a pitcher, or a player, and how often, does that really happen?

  7. For those who don’t know, Anxiety can be totally debilitating. I’m happy that Toles has found how to live with/overcome it. I’m rooting for him.

    A young talented outfield of Toles, Joc, and Puig all realizing their potential would be awesome. I’m in favor of trading Gonzalez and Ethier for anything they can get and let the young guys play.

  8. 2019 rotation if Kershaw stays

    1. Kershaw
    2. Urias
    3. Buehler
    4. Alvarez
    5. Stewart

    If he goes:

    1. Urias
    2. Buehler
    3. Alvarez
    4. Stewart
    5. Sheffield

    It’s fun to dream…

    1. If Kershaw looks line he will opt out hopefully he will be traded before that happens. Who does Texas have that we want?

    2. I would think that FAZ should push for an extension now before he has the opportunity to opt out. He should be a life-long Dodger. I did not expect Clayton to sign his current contract, as I thought that he might want to explore the Rangers when he was first due to become a FA. I have read comments that he made to Jake Arrieta that he should sign where he is happy even if it is not for the most money…if he was happy being with Chicago, he should stay. I hope he uses that logic when he is able to opt out. I know he is a Dallas native, and loves Dallas, but I know he loves pitching in LA, and he is a big community guy in LA. He can retire in Dallas.
      .
      Interesting rotation. Urias/Buehler/Stewart will be there, but I think it is unlikely that Alveraz and Sheffield will be ready will be ready at the beginning of the 2019 season. They will probably both start at Great Lakes this year and move up to Rancho. That would put them inTulsa in 2018, and will start 2019 in OKC. I see them getting to LA in September 2019. Mitchell White and Imani Abdullah might also be looking at 2019 call-ups. Looking at the current players, I think it is more likely that De Jong/Oaks/Sborz (if he remains a starting pitcher), fill in as the #5. If they do not re-sign Kersh, I would expect FAZ will have to sign someone for top of the rotation. They should be well under the luxury tax, especially if Kershaw opts out. And while their health may not allow them to pitch in 2019, both Hill and Maeda are under contract for 2019.
      .
      There are several other pitchers at the lower levels that may also join that group, including Dustin May. Regardless, the Dodger farm is loaded with pitching. They will not be able to keep and pitch them all, so they should be in a good position to make moves as they arise. You are right…it is fun to dream.

  9. On the top navigation bar, I just added a new Page called 2017 Spring Training.
    It has just about everything you need to know about Spring Training @ Camelback Ranch.

    1. I see him as only insurance in case SVS, Thompson, and Ethier can’t bounce back from injuries/surgeries. If those three are healthy, I would bet Gutierrez doesn’t make the 40.
      .
      I don’t know whose job was lost to get Utley on the 25. Forsythe can sub in at shortstop briefly to give Seager a day off and give the team time to bring up somebody if Seager needs multiple days off. That could cost Kike’ a spot on the 25 since the outfiled is so crowded.

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