I would like to take a different approach for this post. Sometimes we need a little levity. Bumsrap has been a strong fan/advocate for Joc Pederson, and Mark has been a huge fan/advocate for Yasmani Grandal. I am not the biggest fan of either (other than being a fan because they are Dodgers), but I am a big Alex Wood fan. I was also an unapologetic fan of Zach Lee. I know that Bums was also a big James Loney fan.
Discussions this past week got me to thinking that many of us grew up in different eras and became fans of different Dodgers through the years for different reasons. I know I followed the Dodgers in 1958, but I really do not remember much. My first real memory of the Dodgers was the 1959 WS and my first Dodger hero was Larry Sherry, which later made me a Ron Perranoski fan. My first jersey was #19 (Junior Gilliam). I had to have a Kenny McMullen glove. Then a Jimmy Lefebvre glove. But perhaps my all-time two favorite Dodgers are Billy Buckner and Bobby Valentine. Valentine was supposed to be the star running back after OJ at my alma mater (one year before me), but I am glad he decided to sign with the Dodgers. My one picture of Buckner on my wall is the WS ground ball hit by Mookie Wilson that Buckner missed which eventually led to a NY Met WS win and continued the Boston WS curse. I take the good with the bad. My two favorite non-Dodgers as a kid were Brooks Robinson and Roberto Clemente. Later they became Nolan Ryan and Cal Ripken, Jr.
Most Dodger fans loved Davey Lopes, not me. I was not a Davey Lopes fan because I loved Lee Lacy and I thought he deserved the 2B job over Lopes. Yes I was in a huge minority on this. But I was a fan of Lacy and not Lopes. My wife’s favoritist favorite is Ron Cey. She still has his #10 jersey. She got to meet him at a racquetball tournament run by him and Jerry Reuss at Mid Valley Racquetball Club in “The Valley”. We later reconnected with Cey because he was a scorekeeper at All Star tournaments where I managed, and their son Danny Cey was an opponent and later became one of my son’s closest friends. My closest friend’s wife was a huge fan of Shawn Green.
My wife used to like Eric Karros. My middle son saw him at a baseball camp and told him that he was his mother’s favorite. Karros responded with some unflattering comments (okay rude). My son called him a d*** and walked away. That 1B’s name is not spoken in our house. She then turned into a huge Piazza fan. I was not allowed to like Piazza because my wife and I had a pact not to like the same Dodger. At the time, I was already a fan of Brett Butler/Raul Mondesi/Dave Hansen/Ramon Martinez and later Billy Ashley and Todd Hollandsworth. We took that same pact to the River Cats where we were season ticket holders when they were the A’s AAA affiliate. That is where we both became fans of managers Tony Defrancesco and Bob Geren. They weren’t players so we could both like them. Actually I think the pact was broken with Eric Gagne.
As a slick fielding SS, my oldest son’s favorite player growing up was Ozzie, and he knew all of the Cardinals. He also became a big Garry Matthews fan. Garry Jr. lived behind us, and he would jump the back wall and come knocking on our back door all the time. Garry rewarded my son with a trip to his first ML dugout with the Cubs.
It’s easy to be a fan of Koufax/Drysdale/Sutton/Fernando/Orel/Kershaw/Seager/(and now Bellinger). But it’s the other players that we seem to gravitate to that are fun to follow, even though there are many more heartaches along the way. I know…how does one justify being a fan of Zach Lee and Billy Ashley? I know this was self-serving, but I would be interested in knowing some of your favorite Dodgers, and why.
Minor League Report
OKC – 6-2 winners over Round Rock (Texas) – Jair Jurrjens pushed his record to 3-0 with 6 IP (95 pitches). He gave up 2 runs on 9 hits, no walks, and 7 strikeouts. Charlie Culberson and Drew Maggi each had three hits. Culberson and Max Muncy each hit their 1st HR of the year. Maggi/SVS/Eibner each had doubles. Madison Younginer pitched a perfect three innings in relief (with 4 Ks) to record his 1st save.
Tulsa – Lost 4-1 to Springfield (Cardinals) – Isaac Anderson had another rough outing going 4 innings, giving up 3 runs (2 earned) on 6 hits, 3 walks, and 3 strike outs. Yaisel Sierra was the pitching standout also going 3 perfect innings with 4 Ks. Mike Ahmed and Edwin Rios had the only two hits for the Drillers, as Ahmed pushed across the only run with his 1st HR.
Great Lakes – 2-1 winners over Peoria (Cardinals) – AJ Alexy went a strong 5 shut-out innings allowing 1 hit and 1 walk, with 3 strike outs. This was Alexy’s longest outing for 2017. For the year, Alexy has 6 starts, 18.1 innings pitched, giving up 3 runs (all earned) on 7 hits, 5 walks, and 23 strikeouts. Alexy’s ERA is now down to 1.47. William Soto followed with 3 innings giving up 1 run on 4 hits, 2 walks, and 4 strike outs. Soto got both a blown save and the win. Sven Schuller pitched the 9th allowing 1 hit and nothing else for his 2nd save. The Loons got 4 hits from 4 different players, including Cody Thomas’ 5th HR. Keibert Ruiz is continuing his steady climb up the offensive ladder. On April 24, Ruiz was hitting .217 and his average is now up to .270.
RC Quakes – 6-0 Winners over Inland Empire (Angels) – Ryan Moseley started his 2nd game in the Dodgers organization. This one went much better than the first. Moseley, who was acquired from the Orioles for Vial Nuno, went 4 innings, giving up 2 hits and 1 walk, with 3 strike outs. Drew Istler threw the next three innings giving up 3 hits, no walks and 2 strike outs to get the win. Alex Hermeling finished up the shut out going 2 innings and allowing 1 walk, with one strike out. Luke Raley got three hits for the Quakes, while Logan Landon added two, including his 3rd HR. Ariel Sandoval also had two hits. Luke is now batting .330 for the year. Luke Raley is now batting .330 on the year.
Minor League Update
I wanted to provide an update on some of the better relievers in the organization.
Adam Liberatore should still be the next one up. He has appeared in 8 games at AAA, 9.1 innings pitched, 5 hits, 1 run, 1 walk, and 9 strike outs. He has a .930 ERA, 1.00 GO/AO, .152 BA against, and .62 WHIP.
Layne Somsen has pitched 9 games at AAA. 14.2 innings, 9 hits, no earned runs, 6 walks and 13 strike outs. He has a .000 ERA, 1.31 GA/AO, .176 BA against, and a 1.02 WHIP.
Joe Broussard has appeared in 8 games (4 at AA and 4 at AAA), and has yet to give up a run. 14 innings pitched with 6 hits, 5 walks, and 22 strike-outs. He hasa .000 ERA, 1.71 GO/AO, .128 BA against, and a .79 WHIP.
Yaisel Sierra has appeared in 10 games with 18.2 innings pitched, and has given up 4 runs (3 earned), 12 hits, 6 walks, 19 strike outs. He has a 1.45 ERA, 2.60 GO/AO, .179 BA against, and a .96 WHIP.
Shea Spitzbarth has appeared in 9 games at high A with 13.2 innings pitched, allowing 1 run (earned), 9 hits, 5 walks, and 21 strike outs. He has .660 ERA, 1.38 GO/AO, .184 BA against, and a 1.02 WHIP.