Minor League Report – April 7

I started this on Friday, and was not able to make it through the Rancho Cucumonga Quakes Game 2, so I am a little tardy with this one.  Friday was just not a good day for Dodger baseball. The ML team still cannot hit lefties, and the 4 minor league teams also went down to defeat. Except Rancho (RC) came up big in Game 2 of their DH.

AAA – Bellinger got his 4th hit in the 1st inning but could not do anything after the 4th inning. Calhoun got a booming 2 run double, and Verdugo got a double and triple in 4 at bats, and ended the game with a very long out to CF. Eibner got a long HR tonight. Baez looked rusty, but got a 1-2-3 6th inning. If it were not for a botched run-down in the 1st inning, Wilmer Font might have gotten out of the inning unscathed, but he gave up a grand slam to the Iowa Cubs’ Jeimer Candelario. Jeimer Candelario and Ian Happ have true potential for the Cubs. Final score 7-5. Loss.

AA – In Game 2 against the Midland Rockhounds (As), Kyle Farmer had a three hit night, and Matt Beatty had two. One of the bright spots for the Drillers was that they scored 2 runs on 6 hits against Grant Holmes in 3.2 IP. Holmes came on in relief in the 6th. I do not know if Holmes has been moved to relief or if this was a onetime thing. OFs Jacob Scavuzzo and Kyle Garlick are looking for their 1st hit, and pitchers Isaac Anderson and Scott Barlow had rough starts to their season. Final score 5-2. Loss.

A – Great Lakes Loons (GL) dropped two to Lansing (Blue Jays) tonight. They had four hits in both games. Leo Crawford started Game 1, pitched 3.2 innings gave up 2 runs (1 earned) on 4 hits, with 2BB and 3K. Crawford was followed by Tony Gonsolin (2.2) and Nolan Long (1.0) who both gave up 2 EE.  Lenix Osuna, 21 year old RH out of Mexico started the second game. Sven Schuller and Parker Curry finally put up zeros in relief. Only Zach McKinstry (2B) and Brendon Davis (SS) had multiple hits on the evening; 2 hits apiece and Davis with 2 BB and McKinstry with 1. Final Scores – Game 1, 6-3 and Game 2, 2-0. Both Losses.

 

High A – Rancho also had a DH due to a rainout on Thursday. The Stockton Ports (As) led by Brett Graves and Joey Wagman thoroughly shut down the Quakes allowing only an Omar Estevez single in the 7th inning. Caleb Ferguson (2 IP) started and gave up 2 R on 4 H, 4 BB, and only 2 K. This was way out of character for Caleb. Last year in 66.1 IP, Ferguson had 63K and 5BB. So in one two inning stretch, Ferguson had one less BB than he threw all last year in 66 IP. We can expect far better pitching performances from Caleb Ferguson. Adam Bray finished the 7 inning Game 1 with 4 solid IP; 0 R, 0 H, 1 BB, 4 K.  Final Score – 2-0 Loss.

Game 2 finished far better than any of the previous evenings game. In another 7 inning game, Mitch White (4 IP) and Alex Hermeling (3 IP) combined on a no-hitter. White did give up 3 BB but had 5 K. Hermeling had 0 BB and 1K. Ibandel Isabel provided the run support with a pair of 2 run HR. I told you Bums to keep your eye on Isabel. DJ Peters got his first hit of the year with a single in the 3rd. Peters started his year with 3 K in 3 AB in game 1, and followed his single in Game 2 with another K. This should not be surprising as DJ bypassed Great Lakes with a promotion directly to Rancho after spending 2016 in short season Ogden. Catcher Garrett Kennedy also had a 2 hit Game 2 for the Quakes.  Final Score 4-0 WIN.
I am going to go through the rosters and identify some of the players to watch, that are not already readily known. But in the interim, there are some names that are not on the rosters that are interesting, and I do not know why.

 

Walker Buehler – Walker was originally supposed to report to Rancho, but is not on the roster as of now. This may have something to do with Urias being added to the Quakes, but not expected to pitch there. Julio is supposed to pitch in OKC on Monday which will open a roster spot with RC, and maybe Buehler gets the call at that time.

 

Yadier Alveraz – Some have speculated that Yadier will go directly to Tulsa. IMO it is more likely that either White or Buehler will get a quick promotion when Kapler and Company think it is time for Alveraz to start his season in RC.

 

Josh Sborz – The rumor was that Josh started throwing too hard too early, and had to be shut down. He will undoubtedly need to build his arm strength before he is allowed to pitch competitively, but he should start his year in Tulsa. Some pundits thought that he would go directly to OKC as a starter, but again only IMO, he will start at Tulsa and then proceed to OKC. Whether as a starter or reliever we will need to wait and see.

 

Andy Sopko (RHSP) and Mitch Hansen (LH OF) – are not on any roster, and I have not heard any rumblings about why. Sopko was 11-2 in Rancho and was promoted to and started 6 games for Tulsa as a 21/22 year old. I fully expected him to be a top of the rotation starter for Tulsa and be watched for another mid-year promotion to OKC. He had 135 IP in 2016. Hansen had a very good year at short season Ogden, and I was very surprised he did not get a spot at Great Lakes. I have not heard any explanation as to why. He is one of the Dodger top prospects. He was a mid-season All-Star at Ogden, and in 70 games put up .311/.356/.491/.847 line with 11 HR and 50 RBI. That projects to 22 HR and 100 RBI in a full season.

Posted by Always Compete

This article has 13 Comments

  1. Some more context on Mitchell White’s 3 BB’s. They all came in the same inning – his fourth inning of work. He walked the first two batters to start the inning and then got a double play and K to end the threat. I heard that White had only pitched 2 innings at a time prior to this season. Perhaps his walks were due to lack of stamina as he was getting stretched out to 4 innings. For the first 3 innings, he was pure dominance.

    1. That is correct about White and 2 innings. He was in 11 games last year, including 6 starts, and pitched two innings in each game. He has yet to give up an earned run (1 unearned) as a professional. He has been dominant when he has been on the mound. 22IP/7H/30K/6BB/.096 BA/.59 WHIP. He went 4 last night, and will undoubtedly stretch to 5-6 next game, and stretch out to 7 before too long. Like at the ML level, the Dodgers do not care about complete games. If you give them 7 quality innings, you have done your job. At RC, Shea Spitzbarth and Andrew Istler are ready to pick up after that. Tulsa will need SP before too long, so I see White getting a call maybe sometime in May, but no later than June.

  2. One more thing – as we all debate whether Puig has made genuine strides in improving his hitting, it’s interesting to see that he is currently tied for the team lead in walks. I wondered if after hitting 2 HR’s he would maintain his discipline wrt pitch recognition. It was very encouraging to see him walk and then steal a base. If he can maintain his discipline at the plate, then it will be up to Roberts and Puig’s teammates to get him some protection in the lineup.

      1. True enough. But my real point is more about Puig and plate discipline – not the value of the walks. So, especially in light of the lesser value, it is a measure of Puig making progress in an area where he had always really struggled.

        1. I agree with the better plate discipline. He is showing improvement. Why does it have to be qualified? He did get one walk in the cleanup role yesterday, and hit a missile that Arenado made a spectacular play on (probably routine for Arenado ). I smirk at the comments that dismiss Puig’s HRs because 2 were against Weaver, and the one he hit against Cahill, people were saying how badly the pitcher missed his spot, and if he had hit it, Puig would have looked foolish. I always thought that hitting the pitchers mistakes was what good hitters want to do. You may only see one a game, so make sure you hit that mistake. Why so much grief for someone hitting HRs against any pitcher? Nobody else went yard against Weaver or Cahill. There is no doubt that Puig will go chasing low and away sliders again. But why not give him credit for when he does well?

        2. Everyone has a zone that pitchers will attack for outs. Seager, for example, seems to K the most against low change ups. Puig had two zones. They would bust him in with a fastball and then of course low and away with off speed stuff. What was most concerning to me at times was his inability to hit a decent fastball even when he knew it was coming right down the middle of the plate. Puig actually became more of a guy who hit mistakes on breaking pitches in the zone.

          Anyways, back to my original point. When Puig came back up from AAA last year. He was no longer chasing the fastball inside that was a ball. Puig would stand so far off the plate (and dive in) pitches that were inside looked like strikes. His ability to lay off the inside fastball led to him being in less bad counts and I really only remember his chasing balls outside the zone for a K less than 3 times at the end of last year.

          Of course, we all saw some bad looking swings at times during ST. Watch if he’s laying off the inside fastball just as much as if he’s chasing outside the zone. Trying to emulate JT’s swing is going to take time. There will be good days and bad days. Hopefully, Puig is mature enough to handle the bad days and stick with it.

          1. Hawkeye

            Puig use to be great about not going for those, inside fastballs.

            I too, hope he can keep it up.

            He could make our line up, so much better, and help with the leftie problem too.

  3. No worries. At some point, AZ & CO will have to play each other and we will get to play SF. We will move up in the standings then.

  4. Mark: “In baseball, it is all about Peaks and Valleys. Peaks and Valleys – write that down!”
    .
    OK, I wrote that down! You didn’t tell us, that the Valleys would be like “Walking through the Valley of death”!!
    .
    Everybody wants to reach the peak, but there is no growth on the top of a mountain. It is in the valley that we slog through the lush grass and rich soil, learning and becoming what enables us to summit life’s next peak.” ~ Andy Andrews
    .
    OK Dodgers, show us you learned how to hit lefties while slogging through the valley!!

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