Trickle Down Isn’t Just Economic Policy

We now know who comprises the 25 man roster.  Is it what I would have chosen?  Probably not, but I do understand the reasons for the selections.  I was disappointed that Chris Taylor was not selected, but I understand why Kike’ was valued more as utility player.  I understand that Taylor is an infielder that needs to learn OF.  If Seager goes on the DL, it will not be Kike’ playing short…it will be Chris Taylor.  If Logan Forsythe goes on the DL, Chase Utley and Chris Taylor will become a 2B platoon.  That is who Chris Taylor is, and if I keep my emotions out of it, I agree with Hawkeye; Taylor is a AAAA player.


I was also somewhat surprised that Chris Hatcher was retained.  FAZ loves hard throwing relievers and are not convinced that Hatcher cannot replicate his 2014 season with the Fish.  56 IP with 60K and only 12BB.  He also only allowed 4 HR.  Maybe he is snake-bit as a Dodger.  FAZ will have a very short leash, and Baez will undoubtedly be ready to replace him if he falters again.  Although his pitching tonight against Trout/Pujols/Marte was encouraging.


I have no issue with Barnes making the team over Wilson.  Wilson was not going to continue the power, and Barnes gives the team much more flexibility.  The one I am still somewhat perplexed with is Franklin Gutierrez.  I know he mashes LHP.  Trayce Thompson and Brett Eibner provide more power and much better defense.  But at this stage of his career, Gutierrez knows he is a role player and Thompson and Eibner should play every day (or 4 out 5).  But like Hatcher, I think Franklin has a short leash.


With the options and outright assignments, the roster at OKC begins to overflow, and that has a trickle down impact.  Thompson, Eibner, and Holt could all be on multiple ML rosters and start for some teams.  As of now, Verdugo is assigned to OKC, and he belongs there.  But with Dickson, a proven AAA hitter, and with Bellinger, Segedin, and Taylor taking their turns in the OF, rumors have started that Verdugo could start the year in Tulsa.  IMO that would be a mistake (as if my opinion means anything).  Regardless of where Verdugo starts, there is no room for Kyle Garlick and Jacob Scavuzzo.  And it is going to get even more interesting when (if) Toles is moved down when Ethier comes off DL. Devin Ahart and Jordan Paroubek a couple of young A level OF were released.  It is going to be fun to place the OF onto their respective teams.


What happens if Bobby Wilson does accept the assignment in OKC.  One, I do not see why he would.  He signed with LA for a chance to be the backup C.  Is he now going to accept being a backup at OKC, or will Kyle Farmer be sent down to Tulsa.  Farmer needs to play every day somewhere.  What happens at 1B?  Bellinger will be the primary 1B, but Stetson Allie/Ike Davis/Rob Segedin are also listed at 1B.  Yes Segedin was the 3B last year, but that is where Charlie Culberson and Drew Maggi are scheduled to play.  Darnell Sweeney also played a lot of 3B in Spring, but he will undoubtedly somewhat share 2B duties with Calhoun.  I know he is really a utility player in the making, but there is no room now for Tim Locastro who deserves the promotion.  Does 22 year old Erick Mejia (who had a good AB tonight) get a justified promotion to AA with Drew Jackson and Tim Locastro no place to go?  I also do not think they can drop any 1B to AA because that is where Kapler probably wants to see Matt Beatty.  Edwin Rios is another one of those power hitters with no position will also get some time at 1B.  As an aside, one-time #1 catching prospect Julian Leon was released today as well.


Perhaps the biggest open question is the trickle down bullpen.  With Liberatore/Fields/Morrow (and Ravin when he comes off DL) with ML ability and aspirations joining Rhame/Broussard/Cash/Younginer/Schuster/Somsen/Grana and even Geltz and Paredes.  That is 13 relievers for 7 or 8 spots.  That is going to be a lot of relievers being released or moved.


The more OKC gets crowded the more it impacts Tulsa, and then Rancho/Great Lakes.  There will be players who played well at Great Lakes that will have to return because of the lack of open positions.  The Dodgers have players who could be traded, but they are going to need a trade partner, and one does not appear to be materializing.  I think I will go and try to set up rosters from OKC, to Tulsa, to Rancho, and to Great Lakes.  I hope I have enough paper (or computer memory).


One final comment, I am a fan of Alana Rizzo.

Posted by Always Compete

This article has 38 Comments

  1. Dave Roberts like vets on the bench – he was a older bench player when he helped win a World Series.

    It wasn’t all FAZ that caused Gutierrez, Utley, Hernandez and SVS to be our bench players. As much as anything, Doc likes experience … especially at the end of a game.

    That said, they have to produce. I would not be surprised if Utley and Gutierrez got less than 200 AB’s each… or not many more than that. I guess lots will depend upon injuries too.

  2. AC is doing a great job while I am gone.

    Bumsrap has a great post for tomorrow and I will be back Monday morning with a Season Kickoff Post.

    My Convention is over and this now feels like vacation.

    Yes, I am a Pirate:
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    Headed to the beach…

    1. I love that picture Mark. I woke up to 8 inches of snow and it is still snowing. I have been in New Hampshire for 9 years now and this is the first time I can remember snow in March much less April. It is hard to find a golf ball and even harder to hit one with snowshoes on.

  3. Very nice Always Compete. Wow, the Dodger organization is stacked! I hate seeing some of these guys released. What happened with Leon I wonder?

    You are right, Dodgers have players who can be traded. It would be really nice to see a “Hamels” situation pop up now. The organization appears like it could afford to trade six 1-A prospects for a Hamels now. Or how about this, FAZ acquires a second AAA team.

  4. You got us all thinking AC about challenge players have trying to make the major leagues as well as the complexities management has in getting the right players on the bus and in the right seats. See what I did there?
    I think it is important for players to play on winning teams in the minors and take that winning expectation with them into the majors. Ron Cey once said that he expected to beat the Giants because he and his fellow Dodger minor leaguers beat their Giant counterparts as they all moved up the ladder.
    Players like Dickson help Oklahoma win and that allows players like Bellinger to move up the ladder more quickly because Dickson and other AAAA players on the team put Oklahoma on their backs.
    I think if Taylor were to shorten his swing he could move from being a AAAA player to a major leaguer. He doesn’t have the power to take advantage of the big swing. If he could model his swing after Utley, make more consistent contact, I think he could be more than a utility player. Maybe he should start by choking up on the bat.
    I really like Barnes. There has never been a question for me who should make the team between Wilson or Barnes. Barnes is younger and I think he is a premier defensive catcher. I look forward to the day Smith and Barnes share the catching duties. I know, I have never been a Grandal fan, I admit it. I also look forward to an outfield of Peters, Thompson/Toles, and Pederson.
    I think the outfield logjam will loosen up soon. For me, Gutierez is merely an April player to give Thompson a month to groove his swing after missing most of last year and not being able to swing a bat during the off-season. Puig will soon be traded. Ethier will be Crawfordized before July.
    I am actually glad Hatcher made the team. He has shown both sides of a coin with one side a winner and the other side a loser. He is good for stretches and bad for stretcher. Trade high on him during a winning stretch.

    1. Keep an eye on Kelbert Ruiz this year. Will he be the next Leon or is he truly the prize catching jewel of the organization.

  5. AC,

    I’ll tell you a reason Wilson will accept assignment to OKC:

    Odds are Grandal or Barnes will see the DL at least once this year and he is next in line…
    He would not be the first backup catcher to catch lightning in a bottle and a World Series Ring! 😉

    1. Mark

      I could be wrong, but I thought I read that Wilson did accept his assignment, to AAA already.

        1. Mark

          They used a different term, to send Wilson down.

          I believe they said, he was reassigned, to AAA, because he was already considered, to be in AAA.

  6. Can’t believe tonight is the last practice game of the year!

    Hopefully Seager feels good after the game, as he’s supposed to start tonight

    1. Bobby

      I am excited to see Corey tonight too!

      But I will understand, if he isn’t, at the top of his game, yet.

  7. I just think that it isn’t good for the organization’s moral, to hand Hatcher the job.

    He hasn’t pitched well, for a long time, and the one time he did pitch well, it was for a very short time, and it was almost, two years ago.

    I just feel for the other pitchers, who have to pitch well, to keep there jobs, or to get the job.

    I think it just sets a bad example, for the other pitchers, and the young pitchers, to give the job to Hatcher two years in a row, without him, having to earn the job.

    Not to mention the fact that Hatcher, might affect our games, in a bad way, early in the season this year, like he did, last year..

    About Taylor, I know my buddy Hawkeye, said Taylor is only a AAAA player, but maybe Kike, is just a AAAA player too.

    Because Kike not only just had that one good year, this year, he didn’t have enough at bats, or face any real major league pitching, in the WBC, to take his stats from the WBC, seriously.

    But just like with Hatcher, is it good or fair, to give the job to Kike, when he didn’t really earn the job?

    The thing that made me look more at what Taylor did in spring training this year, was the fact that I found out that Taylor had an arm problem last year, when he joined the team.

    So I thought maybe we didn’t see the best from Taylor last year, because he wasn’t really 100 percent,
    healthy, last year.

    I know these two moves, are not written in stone, and those two guys, will have to produce, to keep there jobs, but it is just the point with me.

    And also it is how these moves, can affect the other players, who were sent down, to AAA, that played well enough, or pitched well enough, to have one of these two jobs, unlike these other two guys.

    1. Kike might be a AAAA player. He’s got to be on a short leash this year. Especially when you’ve got other guys who can hit lefties. I thought of you last night when Puig and Joc almost collided. If the CF is calling for it, is supposed to be his ball, but is was just me or was that ball caught practically in straight away RF.

      I disagreed with Orel last night when he said Hatcher took a job from people who were more deserving because he was out of options. Who was that person? It certainly wasn’t Morrow. Ravin stunk it up and is injured. Liberatore was meh, is coming off an injury, and would be the fourth lefty in the pen. Rhame did nothing to impress oor did anyone else for that matter. Hatcher finished camp with a couple of decent outings and benefited from Baez going on the DL. Now, if Baez comes off the DL and someone else gets sent down then I agree. Especially if we’re seeing the same old Hatcher. I’m hoping as much as the next guy that they upgrade Hatcher, but Orel didn’t provide any facts to back that statement up.

      Taylor impressed me enough with his defense in ST that I’m sure if Seager went down, I would rather see him than Kike at SS. The Dodgers play the Giants a lot early in the season. Hopefully, Kike will hammer Bumgrabber again. I think one thing that made me thing Taylor is a AAAA player(and it probably shouldn’t) is who was traded for him. It seemed like two organizations dumping guys who at one time had high expectations and just weren’t panning out.

      Franklin G is insurance. $2 million is chump change to this front office. If he mashes, he sticks around. If not Trayce Thompson will come up and make the TNT combo that Mark desire. OY!

      1. Hawkeye

        It was mainly the point to me, because Hatcher, has been given every chance, a pitcher or player could get, and he still, has not taken advantage, of those chances, and pitched well, beyond maybe, a couple of innngs.

        And about Libertore, without Libertore last year, who knows where this team, would have been.

        He was the best pitcher in the pen, in the first half, of last year.

        And he probably got hurt, from being over used, during that time.

        Because remember, both Blanton and Libertore, had to step up, and do Hatcher’s and Baez’s jobs, when these two guys, couldn’t be counted on, to get the job done.

        And Hatcher hasn’t been able to pitch the entire season, because of ineffectiveness, or injury, since he joined the team.

        But other then Libertore, I really didn’t have anyone else, in mind.

        I think you may be right about Taylor, and your reason, as always, makes really, good sense.

        I just thought Kike did get a big chance, all last year, and I just thought, why not, give Taylor a chance.

        I didn’t see the ball between Joc and Puig, last night.

        As you know, the centerfielder, is always the captain, in the outfield.

        I know you said the ball was hit to straight away rightfield, but where was Joc and Puig, positioned, before the ball was hit?

        That, along with, how high, and how hard, the ball was hit, would probaby make the difference.

        I think Toles is getting a little rattled, so I hope he can let it go, and just start playing, like he knows how to play.

        Orel mentioned that he was told he had to clean up his defense in left, and it was more about balls that are hit, on the ground.

        I haven’t got to see to many games in the spring, but has he been that bad, on balls, hit on the ground?

        I did see his misplay, on that ball, that hit along the fence, last night.

        And like always, I do value, your opinion!

    2. MJ, follow the words of Alfred E. Neuman, “What me Worry”!
      Don’t stress, it has been widely reported the Dodgers are the organization the players want to play for. We have seen both pitchers and position players get an opportunity to play in the BIGS long before they would have in another organization. The FAZ way is to challenge the players by moving them up as fast as possible. FAZ will be utilizing the whole 40 man roster again this year, just like last year. Most of us have seen interviews with players saying how much fun it is playing for the Dodger organization.
      A lot of us have probably been passed over for a job promotion, that’s life. Either you give up or set out to prove the decision makers wrong. The baseball player’s life is one of adversity, that is the life they have chosen. If someone can’t handle getting sent down, they probably weren’t going to be very successful anyways.
      FAZ’s job is maximize the organization’s assets. Part of that mandate is maximizing a player’s value, including showcasing various players for possible trades. Perhaps this is what is happening with Hatcher and Kiki.
      I may be the only one on this board, but I think Hatcher has absolutely filthy stuff. If he just trusted his stuff a little more and threw first ball strikes it could be a game changer, either as a Dodger player or trade asset. His outing last night shows he CAN succeed.

      1. Box, you are not the only one who thinks that about Hatcher. Many believe he can be the setup/bridge to Jansen. While his stuff is filthy, he absolutely loses concentration/confidence and puts his fastball out over the plate up in the zone for it to get crushed. If he can regain that 2014 Marlins form, he could be the bridge. He just has to master the command of his fastball. Hopefully this is the year.

    3. MJ, Hatcher made the team because right now he is the best RH reliever that was on the bubble. Hatcher is better than Fields/Morrow/Rhame/Younginer. If Baez was in ST, perhaps Hatcher does not make the team, or maybe Stripling goes to OKC. We will know more about Baez and about Hatcher in a couple of weeks. It seems ironic that Baez was criticized as much as Hatcher the last two years, and now many are just waiting for Baez to heal and push Hatcher out.
      There still may be a couple of moves to go. As I stated below, neither Chris Taylor or Trayce Thompson are on any roster. Maybe Trayce goes to extended ST to get ready, and maybe the Dodgers are waiting to see if Seager is healthy enough to start April 3. The Dodgers wanted their utility man to be able to play infield and outfield. Kike’ is the only one that can. Maybe Roberts put SVS in CF last night to see if he could handle CF occasionally. If they believe he can, maybe Kike’ does move down and Taylor stays just as a precaution to Seager. There is no question who the better SS is between Taylor and Kike’. There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes that none of us are privy to.

      1. AC, I think I have heard a couple of times that Morrow needs to pitch to strengthen his arm and with a strengthened arm, he might add 3 to 5 MPH to his fastball. He could be with the Dodgers by June. He is where he needs to be right now it would seem.

      2. AC


        It is mainly the point, with me.

        I know you, Hawkeye, and Boxout, are right.

        And I do feel a little bad for Taylor, because he came to spring training, ready to play.

  8. I sat right behind the plate last night in Anaheim, albeit high up. A few observations:

    MLB players are in better shape than ever.

    Rich Hill is unhittable when the curve is working. When it’s not he struggles but battles.

    Kenley is the most dominant reliever in MLB. Don’t worry about his spring ERA.

    It seemed to me a lot of Dodger batters stood closer to the plate than in the last. Turner Ward influence?

    Hatcher has heat and movement. If he has harness it he’d be a dominant 8th inning guy. Big if.

    The Angels are an enigma. Could win the division, could finish last.

    Dodgers have better backups and minor leaguers than I ever remember.

    1. Kenley does better when he pitches more. Rich Hill is getting closer. He’ll be fine if he can stay healthy. It’s good to see Puig and Turner Ward attached at the hip. Even when FG hit the gapper Puig looked to Ward with enthusiasm about how that ball was hit. I suspect because that’s where Ward is trying to get Puig to hit the ball. It was good to see Bellinger beat the shift last night.

      1. Kenley also has a laid back personality and he needs a crowd or situation to get his adrenaline pumping.

    2. Yes, MLB players are stronger than ever also. Could be a big reason we see more injuries, more torque, more injuries.

      Is it just me or does Kenley look slimmer?

  9. Well, the trickle down has begun. Mark posted a link to the season opening Dodgers minor league affiliates. Mark noted a couple of expected players not on a roster; Urias and Alveraz. These pitchers have innings watch, and the Dodgers are going to be patient with them at Extended Spring Training. According to the report, apparently Bobby Wilson will report to OKC. That moves Kyle Farmer down to Tulsa, and will keep Will Smith in Rancho and Keibert Ruiz in Great Lakes.
    A couple of other things stood out. Chris Taylor and Trayce Thompson are not currently on the OKC roster. Josh Sborz and Andrew Sopko are not on any roster. OF maybe deserving of a promotion not getting one include Kyle Garlick and Jacob Scavuzzo (Tulsa), Yusniel Diaz and Ariel Sandoval (Rancho), Gage Green, Saige Jenco, Darien Tubbs (Great Lakes), and Mitchell Hansen (Ogden). Three Great Lakes pitchers that might have been promoted but are staying; Imani Abdullah, Jordan Sheffield, and Leo Crawford. Gavin Lux is not scheduled to report to a full season team, so his season will start in Ogden. No reason to rush, and with Brendon Davis still at Great Lakes, and Erick Mejia/Drew Jackson on Rancho, there really is no place for him to play right now.
    Rancho is loaded. Starters headlining will be Walker Buehler and Mitchell White. Dennis Santana and Caleb Ferguson will be solid #3 and #4. Both Spitzbarth and Istler will be in the pen with Dean Kremer. Wes Helsabeck will probably be #5, but could also be in the pen. Ibandel Isabel at 1B (another slugger for you to watch Bums), infielders Omar Estevez, Brandon Montgomery, Erick Mejia, and Drew Jackson. DJ Peters, Yusniel Diaz, and Ariel Sandoval have a chance to be an outstanding offensive and defensive OF. Luke Raley and Logan Langdon should probably start at High A somewhere, but they will be reserve OF with this team. Drew Saylor is going to have a great team to mold.

    1. OKC’s roster shows Wilson, Farmer, and Murphy listed as their catchers. I wonder if they just haven’t updated it yet. They show Thompson, Taylor, Verdugo, and Urias too. I must have missed Mark’s link.

      Sborz, Rios, Garlick, and Scavuzzo listed on Tulsa’s but it looks like a lot of guys still need to be added. They have Hoenecke listed as a catcher now.

      1. Okay. I found the link. I wonder if that means Alvarez to the Loons about May 1st. Rancho definitely looks like the team to watch. Some good players with the Loons to that may or may not still be there when they come to Cedar Rapids this summer. I heard good things about O’neil Cruz this spring. I guess he has grown a lot since they signed him. Both the Loons and Quakes should have nice rotations. I don’t see much for immediate assistance to pen if needed. RH relief continues to be my biggest worry right now.

        1. With respect to RH relief, I just heard that the Dodgers are discussing a minor league deal with Eric Gagne. Why not? Mariano saved 44 as a 43 year old.

          1. I’m not opposed to that. Stick him in AAA and see if he can get batters out. He’s no Brach, but it can’t hurt to take a look. I’m sure he can get some batters out, but can his body and stuff hold up long-term through an entire season.

      2. Hawkeye, the rosters have not been updated. They are not official as posted via Mark’s link in the last thread. The link is from J.P. Hoornstra. How dialed in he is I am not certain. I have no reason to doubt his stuff, it has been reliable in the past. There will be changes. It will be as fluid as the 25 man will be this year. It was just interesting as it was originally posted.

  10. I was just reading ESPN Insider and KEITH LAW likes the Dodgers over the Indians in the World Series. He has the Cubs at 96 Wins and the Dodgers and Indians at97. He says that the Dodgers are so deep they can withstand a lot of mishaps.

  11. Trickle-on economics got former 1st rd draft pick Chris Anderson. Released by the Dodgers.

  12. According to JP Hoonstra – this is how the minor league teams will start out:

    Rancho California Quakes could be very fun to watch blog

  13. The Dodgers starting rotation will undoubtedly have pitchers go on the DL this year. Almost all teams do. But I keep hearing how the Mets starting rotation is so much better than LAD’s. Why do they get a pass on injuries but Dodger starters do not? Steven Matz has never been healthy and has had TJ surgery, and is out again to start the season. Zach Wheeler hasn’t pitched in two years. Robert Gsellman had less than 50 IP in 2016. Matt Harvey has had TJ surgery and Thoracic Outlet Syndrome and had less than 100 IP in 2016. Jacob deGrom has had TJ surgery, rotator cuff tendonitis, and forearm injury last year and less than 150 IP last year. Noah Syndergaard made it through but not without elbow soreness last year. He was the king of Mets IP with 183.2. Maybe they get through with Syndergaard, deGrom, Harvey, Gsellman, and Wheeler all year. But I cannot be convinced that while the Dodgers rotation may have injury concerns (legitimate) that the Mets do not have any.

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