Would You Like Fries With That?

I thought it might be time to play a little Ketchup… ‘er catch up!

  • I’ve said it before and I will say it again:  Make no mistake about it, Julio Urias is the real deal.  The Dodgers will continue to use him sparingly at OKC and likely call him up in early May – they are neither confirm nor deny that, but I am pretty sure that’s what will happen. I cannot remember anytime in past history when the Dodgers had four arms with Ace Potential in the Farm System, namely Urias, White, Alvarez and Buehler.  All four have Ace stuff!
  • I am going to continue to rave about Ross Stripling and Alex Wood in the bullpen.  That L-R duo is be very valuable this year for the Dodgers as they both can go multiple innings. Think Andrew Miller.
  • Who is Joe Gunkel?  Organizational depth! You just keep collecting arms and sometimes you get lucky. Think Blue LA has a nice piece on him.
  • No word as yet on the injuries to Justin Turner and Franklin Gutierrez…. and in case you missed it (and this may be the reason Romo pitched more than one inning):  Luis Avilan could not get loose in the pen Monday night!  Drumrollllllll……
  • Let’s hope Brandon McCarthy and the Dodgers crap all over the Cubs Ring Night Ceremony!  Maybe Puig can pee in their pool!
  • A Jew, a Muslim and a Christian went into a bar and I said “So Farhan and Andrew, are you ready for that interview?”  But seriously folks…. That will be a question I will ask if I ever get an interview with them.  I haven’t tried as yet!  For real, I think that is pretty cool. Can’t we all just get along?

There was no game yesterday, so I got a little curious and looked up some of the players traded recently by the Dodgers front office.  Here’s a quick report:

  • Rays prospect right-hander Jose De Leon dealt with “minor discomfort” in the flexor mass muscle in his forearm last week which has “since resolved with rest.” The Rays have been looking to limit De Leon’s innings, so the plan is to keep him in extended spring training before sending him to Triple-A. This is a guy who is 24, not 20, like Julio Urias.  He also had issues last Spring.  It’s too early to say, but it is beginning to look like Jose De Leon “ain’t all that.”
  • Jharel Cotton pitched seven shutout innings Monday in the Athletics’ 2-0 blanking of the Royals.  Cotton was terrific, holding the Royals to two hits and three walks while striking out six. He has a 2.66 ERA and 33/9 K/BB ratio over his first 40 2/3 innings (seven starts) at the major league level.  I like him as a reliever, but he pretty much is looking like a starter right about now.
  • Frankie Montas has been in two games and pitched 4 innings, striking out just one.  The A’s are not using him much for whatever reason.
  • Grant Holmes is at AA Midland and is being used as a reliever where he has pitched 3.2 inning, allowed 6 hits and a 4.91 ERA.
  • Jose Peraza is playing 2B and SS for the Reds and is hitting .259 with a .286 OB%.  His problem is that he does not walk.  He has no walks this year.  At that rate, he is doomed.
  • Scott Schebler is raking to the tune of .211 for the Reds.  He does walk, so he sports a.375 OB%.  I think he is at least a solid #4 outfielder.
  • Chase De Jong has just one appearance that lasted 2/3 of an inning – his ERA is 40.50. I think he will lower it!
  • The Padres pitching is so horrible that they recalled Zack Lee who has yet to pitch this year after putting up nearly a 7.00 ERA last year.  Yikes!

Minor League Report

  • OKC BOX – Lost 3-1 – Trevor Oaks pitched 5 innings and allowed 4 hits, with 7 K’s and 2 ER.  He was cruising through the first four innings before giving up two runs in the fifth. Bellinger went hitless while Segedin was 2-3 with his second HR.  Willie Calhoun also had a hit and that was it for OKC. The Dodgers had no chance to come back as the game was rained out after 6 innings.
  • TULSA BOX – Won 4-1 – They only had 4 hits but the turned them into 4 runs.  Barlow went 5  and allowed the only run and was followed by 2 innings each for Sierra and Broussard.Sierra struck out 3 and walked no one.
  • RC BOX – Lost 3-0 – Diaz, Peters and Wil Smith all had two hits but could not score.
  • GL BOX – Lost 6-4 – The Loons only got 4 hits but used smoke and mirrors to score 4 runs. It wasn’t to be.

UPDATE:

DODGERS PLACE FRANKLIN GUTIERREZ ON DL,

RECALL TRAYCE THOMPSON

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers today placed outfielder Franklin Gutierrez on the 10-day disabled list (retroactive to April 11) with a left hamstring strain and recalled outfielder Trayce Thompson from Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Thompson, 26, joins the big league club after going hitless in his first 10 at-bats with a run scored, an RBI and two walks with Triple-A OKC in four games. In 11 Spring Training contests, he hit .226 (7-for-31) with a home run and three RBI along with a .351 on-base percentage. In 2016, the Los Angeles native appeared in 80 games in his first season with the Dodgers, batting .225 with 13 homers and 32 RBI before having his season cut short due to two stress fractures in his back.

Gutierrez, 34, was injured after he was caught stealing second base in the second inning in Monday night’s game against the Cubs. In six games this season, Gutierrez has hit .231 (3-for-13) with two runs scored and two doubles.

Today’s Music

Posted by Mark Timmons

We started LA Dodger Talk in 2001. This site is about giving another perspective outside of the average day-to-day reporting. We don’t do game recaps or such things — lots of sites do that well. I value sabermetrics, but don’t think they are the “end-all-be-all.”. This is where you should start your day as a Dodger Fan. Welcome! We’d like to hear your voice.

This article has 29 Comments

  1. Mark: “I cannot remember anytime in past history when the Dodgers had four arms with Ace Potential in the Farm System, namely Urias, White, Alvarez and Buehler. All four have Ace stuff!”
    .
    I cannot remember anytime either. These four and Kershaw will determine if we have a dynasty or not. Hopefully, they ARE all that and the championships rain down like it did in CA/NV this year. Exciting times to be a Dodger fan! Note to the FAZophobes, three of the four were acquired by FAZ in the just over two years on the job.
    .
    I have seen Cotton pitch in Reno, looked tough to hit because he consistently kept the ball down at the knees, but the pitches looked kind of straight to me.

    1. I think that was the scouting report on him. Straight fastball, killer change-up. He would have been a reliever for the Dodgers. At least initially.

  2. Cotton seemed like he should have gotten a call-up while with the Dodgers but never did. If he winds up being the only player Oakland got that winds up with a decent MLB career then the ratio of three unproven but ranked prospects for a veteran at the top of their game, at least at the time of the trade, seems appropriate.
    .
    Will Hill have to change how he throws the curve ball to relieve some of the friction he puts on one or more of his fingers? If so, can he still be effective?
    .
    I have always said that I thought Stripling, while maybe not matching Miller’s ERA or WHIP, could be used like Miller is used and achieve similar results but I Wood is a pleasant surprise for me. I didn’t see that coming. I also still think Stewart will do well in the rotation. For me it has always been Stripling in the pen and Stewart in the rotation.

  3. Just because I like stirring the pot……

    Don’t you know that Cotton is the second coming of Tom Seaver? It was a terrible trade to give him and two other top pitching prospects up for a 37 year old career 4.08 pitcher with blisters.

  4. Not only is there a good write-up on Joe Gunkel at Think Blue, but there is also a very good write-up on 19 year old Carlos Rincon who is tearing up the Midwest League at Great Lakes. I was going to write about Carlos this weekend, but Harold does an a outstanding job of describing the young men who are not household names. Since my radar went up on Carlos Rincon, it is great to know that I am thinking along the lines of Harold Uhlman. That makes me feel that I am going in the right direction.

  5. Good info on traded Dodgers today! One that seemed ironic to me that you did not mention was Matt Kemp for Hector Olivera last year. The Padres immediately DFA’d Olivera then released him 10 days later and he is now out of baseball. Kemp has played ok for the Braves but is currently on the DL and was a salary dump for the Padres. I know it’s one trade removed for each but shows that Faz will try to trade early once they make a determination.

    I think there are younger players right now who can fill the roles of SVS or Gutierrez, and Dickson impressed all spring and has done everything asked at AAA. He and Segedin can hit but fell short in Roberts eyes with the glove. Eibner and Bellinger are there from the left side, to replace Toles and who knows if or when Ethier returns.

    I hope you are right about McCarthy today, and the Dodgers light up Lackey too! I hope Ryu shuts them down for 6 tomorrow as well and the bats go off for another 10 run game. ESPN looked foolish with their Cubbie Lovefest, they are a very strong team but talking dynasty? Please!

    1. Vegas

      I have been waiting for us to beat Lackey, like a drum, since that play off game, against the Cardinals.

      Remember Lackey started in that game for the Cardinals, when the umpire, gave the Cardinals, a much bigger strike zone.

      And it was Ryu and Lackey, who pitched in that game.

      Lackey is one pitcher, that gets on my nerves, because he is always complaining to the umpire, and he gets the strike zone he wants, by doing that.

      And you are right, thank God, the game is not a Nationally Broadcast game tonight!

      Because the love fest and Cub’s homering, was bad enough, last year.

      This is a new year, and the Cubs already have there championship, they are no longer the lovable losers, it is time, for these announcers, to break up with the Cubs, and to try to be professionals, when they are calling these games.

  6. Fun topic to discuss regarding the Dodger Aces in waiting. Urias is just building up his innings workload – we definitely beat that topic to death. White and Buehler came from college programs so they are old enough to play in the big leagues but also need to build up their innings workload over several seasons. Alvarez has electric stuff – hits triple digits on the gun with his fastball and reportedly has a wipeout slider. I’m not sure how to think about his ETA but I would trust others like AC. My impression overall is that it will take a couple seasons before the Dodgers have a steady rotation with all these guys. We will get to enjoy them in small doses before then – and maybe even in postseason. My other takeaway is that the bar for the Dodgers on declaring a pitching prospect untouchable is pretty high. They may be tempted but not even a Chris Sale or Cole Hammels might pry away certain pitching prospects. For all the others – just because the Dodgers trade them away for role players to round out their roster, it doesn’t mean these young pitchers won’t wind up as solid MLB players. Cotton, JDL, De Jong, etc. could all wind up being productive players and that’s OK. It’s OK because the Dodgers FO has set the bar a lot higher for prospects they are grooming for the rotation.

  7. Mitch pitches tonight. Oaks and Barlow pounded the zone well yesterday. Strike-ball ratios good. Especially Barlow. What’s the bigger question today? Dodgers beating the Cubs? Or White giving up his first professional run? Fodder for tomorrow.

  8. A couple other notes around the league.

    In a recent article, Keith Law reported that Yadier Alvarez reported to Spring Training overweight and under-performed. That article was a revised top 50, and the Dodgers placed 4 (four) prospects, with Bellinger at #3.

    The ridiculously talented Eric Longerhagen chatted the other day and mentioned a new (to me) Dodger prospect.

    1:25
    37: You mentioned last week that you were surprised by the assignment of Dodgers SS prospect, Oneil Cruz. Real talent there?
    1:26
    Eric A Longenhagen: Yes, watched him rip two well-struck opposite field fly balls last week. He’s a legit 6-foot-8 right now.

    Cruz I thought was a SS, I also thought he was only 6’4″

      1. He has played 4 games at SS and 3 at 3B and is now listed at 6′ 6″. He was 6′ 4″ at 16 when he signed. He many be 6′ 8″ and he is not fast, but at 6′ 8″ you don’t have to move to play SS. He is very raw and I suspect he won;t stay at SS, but has then even ben a 6′ 8″ 3B?

  9. This from DodgerBlue.com:

    Not since Clayton Kershaw have the Los Angeles Dodgers boasted such a promising pitching prospect. As such, the organization has gone to great lengths to protect Julio Urias while simultaneously developing the young left-hander.

    Urias was expected to make his Major League debut last season, but the manner with which that occurred was unconventional. He bounced to and from Triple-A Oklahoma City, and was used in the Dodgers rotation as well as their bullpen.

    All the while Urias was working on an inning limit. That remains in place, which is one explanation for the club’s decision to leave the 20-year-old in extended Spring Training at the beginning of the season.

    Kershaw, who didn’t share the identical journey to the Majors as Urias, understands the dilemma the Dodgers have faced with their young prodigy, via Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:

    To send me down, they didn’t need an excuse, because I was struggling. It was an easy decision for me to go down and work on things. Julio dominates up here, and that’s a tougher conversation, like, ‘Why are you sending me down?’ He’s having more success earlier than I did. That makes it harder to keep him back.”

    1. It ended with this:
      Dodgers manager Dave Roberts suggested it was plausible the 20-year-old joins the club for good by the end of April.

      1. I would be fine with that if they skip him a couple times during the season. Skipping him once per month would save 5 starts and save 25-30 innings during the season. I agree with what FAZ is trying to do in not pushing his innings too far this year so he’s not wore out by the playoffs. I think fatigue may have contributed to Seager dropping off during the playoffs.

      2. Mark

        Did you see Pedro Martinez tweet, about Cotton?

        It is in an article in Forbes, by that writer, that likes the Dodgers.

  10. UP DATE ABOVE

    DODGERS PLACE FRANKLIN GUTIERREZ ON DL,
    RECALL TRAYCE THOMPSON


    LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers today placed outfielder Franklin Gutierrez on the 10-day disabled list (retroactive to April 11) with a left hamstring strain and recalled outfielder Trayce Thompson from Triple-A Oklahoma City.

    Thompson, 26, joins the big league club after going hitless in his first 10 at-bats with a run scored, an RBI and two walks with Triple-A OKC in four games. In 11 Spring Training contests, he hit .226 (7-for-31) with a home run and three RBI along with a .351 on-base percentage. In 2016, the Los Angeles native appeared in 80 games in his first season with the Dodgers, batting .225 with 13 homers and 32 RBI before having his season cut short due to two stress fractures in his back.

    Gutierrez, 34, was injured after he was caught stealing second base in the second inning in Monday night’s game against the Cubs. In six games this season, Gutierrez has hit .231 (3-for-13) with two runs scored and two doubles.

  11. … and then there is this:

    http://dodgerblue.com/dodgers-news-andrew-friedman-believes-starting-pitching-overvalued/2017/04/12/

    Quote:
    “Starting pitching has become the most overvalued in the industry because, outside of the aces, they are pitching less innings, with less starts as more depth is needed,” Friedman said. “We have a tremendous amount of depth on the prospect side and at the major league end by design. Quantity is just as important as quality in today’s baseball.”

    1. This is something that I REALLY REALLY REALLY disagree with. This is sort of the point, isn’t it?

      Who cares about starting pitching (except for aces). Just run a couple of dozen mediocrities up there, hope that they can go 5 innings without giving up 4 or 5 runs, and use your 8 or 9 man bullpen to pitch the last 4 innings.

      I really dislike this kind of baseball and in my view it isn’t designed in most cases to win championships.

      1. From Dodger Insider:

        Manager Dave Roberts said he expects third baseman Justin Turner to return to the Dodger lineup Thursday.
        Turner left Monday’s game in the eighth inning with quad discomfort, and while he’s out of the lineup Wednesday, Roberts said Turner feels considerably better and could pinch hit in the right spot.
        Roberts said he wanted to be careful not to exacerbate any issues with the cold weather.

        Outfielder Franklin Gutierrez, who was placed on the 10-day disabled list, wasn’t as lucky. Gutierrez strained his hamstring in the second inning Monday trying to steal second base, and Roberts said the Grade 1 strain will keep Gutierrez out best case one week and worst case three weeks.

  12. Jharel Cotton was a good pitcher for the Dodgers, and he will probably be a good pitcher for the As. But there are only so many spots in the rotation, and Wood, Stripling, and Stewart were considered better starting pitchers at the time. I saw him pitch in Sacramento, and as Box and Hawkeye said above, Cotton was productive but not dominant. His money pitch that day, and throughout his career, is that changeup. There was not that much of a difference between his slider and fastball, but they were enough to make the change look good. I also believe that Cotton will end up in the bullpen, and with that change he could be a potential late inning high leverage reliever. As a starter, I think ML teams will make adjustments the second time they see him.
    .
    There is more than one reason for a trade. One is to get the player you are looking for (Hill and Reddick), but another is too move a player before their value diminishes as we saw with Zach Lee. I include Reddick because FAZ did want a LH OF due to lack of confidence that Ethier would be back, and an unknown in Andrew Toles. More RHP in the potential playoff teams, so a LH hitter was important. He just was awful for the Dodgers. Did not work out. No way of spinning it (even for me). Cotton was not going to be a starter with LAD, and he was not going into the bullpen that year, so they moved a player that in their perspective was going to provide better value in a trade at perhaps the zenith of his value, than as a Dodger pitcher.
    .
    Those 3.2 IP for Grant Holmes all came against the Tulsa Drillers. He probably knew more than a few of the Driller batters, but he sure did not look dominant. I read a lot of scouting reports on him last year, and the talk was that he was not developing like they thought he would. High A catches a lot of prospects, especially high school pitchers. He is young enough to turn it around and develop more for the As. The As have good instructors in their minor league system. The Dodgers just saw too many pitchers that had already passed him, and several more that he may have blocked had he stayed. Stewart, Oaks, Sborz, and Sopko were all with him at Rancho, and all were promoted. Montas is the one I think FAZ had a hard time letting go, but there were too many questions about his long term health.
    .
    You are probably right that Scott Schebler will be a good #4 OF, but that is probably Trayce Thompson’s ceiling as well. Micah Johnson was not the replacement for Peraza that some thought he would be. IMO Frankie Montas was the top prize of that trade, but health issues undid him as a Dodger. Brandon Dixon is at AAA this year for the Reds and his ceiling is as a utility infielder. IMO, the only game changer in that 6 player prospect trade was Montas, and I think his his health concerns swayed FAZ to include him in the Hill/Reddick trade.

  13. I thought Segedin was better than SVS. I also thought Taylor was better than Kike. I think both are on a short lease. Both are right handed batters. Toles does not look the same to me this year.

    It is so nice to see the loaded farm system. Urias, White, Beuhler and Alvarez look like they should be untouchable in trade talks. We also have some pretty good position players.

    I agree with you Mark on Stripling and Wood. They both need to be in the bull pen for long relief. If you bring up Baez, I do see how they can keep Hatcher. If you cannot put him in stressful situations, then what good is he?

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