Next Man Up!

… and the next men are Trevor Oaks, Brock Stewart and Walker Buehler.  Oaks is a back-of-the-rotation starter who is likely ready now while Buehler is a top-of-the-rotation guy who might be ready in 2018, but won’t ever be a workhorse (welcome to the new MLB).  Stewart could be a a middle-to-back of the rotation guy or an elite reliever.  Time will tell. Mitch White and Yadier Alvarez are due up in 2019 too but both are harder for me to project.  Some pitchers will step up at the next level over the next two year: Sheffield, Abdullah, Sborz, May, Santana, Sopko, Alexy, Barlow and Rhame.  At least one or two of those guys will be very good.

It’s a shame the Julio Urias is likely going to miss the rest of 2017 and maybe the entire 2018 seasons.  When (if) he comes back he will be a 22 or 23 year-old looking to revive his career.  He will still be very young, but what he will have insofar as pitching ability, is anyone’s guess. I have no opinion, no expectations, but can only be hopeful!  I guess we should have trade him and De leon for Hamel (that’s a joke).  In MLB, you never know.  Only the good die young.  Julio was very, very good – let’s hope his career is not over.  It’s way too early to speculate.  So sorry for you, Julio – we barely knew you!  May the Big Dodger in the Sky bless you and keep you!

MLB Trade Rumors said this about the injury:

“Though the procedure is a scary one for any pitcher, there are some mitigating factors here. Friedman says that Urias suffered the injury in an acute manner and is not dealing with any other injuries in his shoulder. That makes for a relatively more constrained problem than many prior pitchers have dealt with.”

Also, Julio’s agent, Scott Boras summed it all up:

“All the standards were in place for the last three or four years in the management of Julio,” Boras said. “With his precocious talent and the execution of that talent with just a 20-year-old body, it is possible, if not probable, that with the amount of physical skill and arm speed, there’s a higher level of potential for an injury like this.”

This is precisely why the Dodgers were limiting his innings and Boras was on board with the plan.  Now, it’s on to Plan B. You can read all about the surgery HERE.  Thank the Big Dodger in the Sky for Depth!

2.5 Games ahead of the Rockies and A-Bags feels about right.  The Dodgers should add to that lead before the weekend is over.

Rants and Raves

  • The Dodger starting pitchers are #2 in MLB in ERA, .02 points behind Arizona.  They are 11th in IP, but you need to realize that it averages out to be less than a 1/2 inning a game.  To me, with the Dodger’s depth – that’s like crying because when you won the lottery, they paid you in small bills.  It’s no big deal whatsoever.  By the way, the Giants are the leaders in starter innings pitched with a 4.93 ERA.  What would rather have?  Starters who average of 6.0 innings a game with a 4.93 ERA or starters who pitch and average of 5.57 innings a game and have a 3.53 ERA?  If you have to even think about that, there’s no hope!
  • If Seager miss any time with his hamstring, it’s good to have two shortstops on the roster.
  • Chris Hatcher to the DL – hopefully he has a 20-day rehab assignment after that… and Ross is back!  Romo looks like he has remembered how to pitch and It’s all good.  “Thoracic inflammation” sounds like a long-term solution.
  • Alex Wood – All-Star?

Minor Leagues

  • Willie Calhoun and Alex Verdugo continue to impress at AAA as does Oaks who pitched 6.1 Innings and allowed 1 run.
  • Josh Sborz went 7 for Tulsa for Tulsa and allowed just two runs.  He’s starting to get it together.
  • Speaking of starting to put it together, Yusniel Diaz went 4-6 last night for Rancho and has moved his BA up to .287/.563 OB%.  He is a real prospect. TrueBlueLA has more.
  • Cody Thomas hit 2 HR for GL – he now has 12.


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 24 Comments

  1. Next man up! perfect analogy Mark. That’s why FAZ has won me over the last few years. They have constructed the Dodgers so that one major starter going down to injury won’t sink us. Not too many teams out there that can absorb the injuries we have already had (Turner for a bit, A-gon, Joc for a bit, now Urias) and keep winning. And you know they already have done the homework to get the guys they want at the deadline. Still holding on to my preseason prediction of fleecing the Rangers for Yu Darvish, but if not, we are still in great hands with FAZ.

    1. I am not sure this team needs anything. Buy low, sell high. I think FAZ will see if someone wants something we have an overpay. Otherwise, unless we can make a great deal… forget it!

  2. “What would you rather have? Starters who average of 6.0 innings a game with a 4.93 ERA or starters who pitch and average of 5.57 innings a game and have a 3.53 ERA? If you have to even think about that, there’s no hope!”
    “If you have to even think about that, there’s no hope!” No truer words ever spoken!
    The above statement and the Urias injury pretty much prove that the “DEPTH” model is the new way! The Midgets put a whole lot of their eggs into their high-priced starters basket. Now they are stuck with Cueto, Samardzija and Moore for a few more years, even if they totally suck!
    It hurts to think about a young kid like Urias going down. I hate to see all our high hopes for him dashed, maybe forever, but thankfully we have many other options. Seager is suddenly a big question mark, but a nice dilemma is who should start at short in his absence, Kiki or Taylor?
    Those who argued that FAZ was a bunch of small town yokels, who didn’t understand that they were now in big city LA look mighty silly right now. The FAZ boys look like pioneers to me forging a new path. Turns out the FAZ boys knew they had a multi-billion dollar enterprise to safeguard. An enterprise that would thrive if they were able to compete every year and they took steps to ensure that no single injury or an unexpected player suckage would derail their journey to the post season.
    Most of us old-timers think back fondly, to the eight steady position starters and the same four man rotations for a whole season, but those days are now gone and if you think about it good riddance. The line between MLB player success and failure is so thin, I would rather have 40 man depth than putting all my eggs into a 12 man basket. Like Mark said in the last thread, “The times are a ‘changing”. Like it or not we might as well jump aboard. Think about this, I believe some posters referred to Taylor and Wood as AAAA players earlier this season. Not so much anymore. In fact, they look like NEW stars to cheer for! Who knew? FAZ!

  3. I said this on the last thread. It has to be comforting for the manager to know he has two guys on his team that can probably play seven different positions and play them well. Kike and Taylor are just good athletes. I would use Taylor at SS. I believe Kike has a better arm for the outfield. The throw the other night was great.

    Verdugo needs to be brought up. He needs to be rewarded for what he is doing in AAA. Calhoun needs to be also rewarded. However he needs to be traded to the Amarican League. There is no opening for Calhoun on the Dodger roster.

  4. I was in the middle of my draft on the same topic, and Mark beat me to it. Here is what I was drafting.
    How do we get past the horrible news regarding Julio Urias?  We look to the future.  We all know the names – Brock Stewart, Trevor Oaks, Walker Buehler, Mitchell White, Yadier Alveraz…  They have been bandied about for a little more than a year now.  In April 2016, all we heard about was Julio Urias, JDL, and Grant Holmes.  The Dodgers pitching future was in their capable hands.  Nobody spoke of Brock Stewart or Trevor Oaks.  Why would they?  They were pitchers starting at Rancho where the talk was all on Grant Holmes.  Yadier Alveraz was this high priced Cuban that very few talked about his potential, only the cost. Walker Buehler was recovering from TJ surgery (just another injury prone pitcher that FAZ seems enamored with).  And Mitchell White was pitching for Santa Clara.  This ignores two other young pitchers – LHP Alex Wood (25 in April 2016) and RHP Ross Stripling (26 in April 2016).  Stripling was known by some but forgotten because he too was recovering from his own TJ surgery.  All Stripling does is go out and pitch a near no-hitter against the hated Giants in his first ML start.  Alex Wood was remembered and vilified more for the horrible Game 3 of the 2015 NLDS against the Mets, than what he actually is…a good LH starting pitcher.
    What a difference 16 months make.  Urias is out 12-14 months due to shoulder surgery where nobody has yet to fully recover from.  Hopefully Dr. Neal ElAttrache will perform a surgical miracle that will revolutionize all future anterior capsule surgeries.  Maybe this will come to be known as Julio Urias (JU) surgery.  JDL still has questionable health, but is now doing it for Tampa Bay.  His prospect status is taking a huge hit this year, as he has dropped 40 spots in the latest Top 100.  Grant Holmes is mired in AA (Midland – Texas League) in the Oakland A’s organization where he is 5-7 after 16 games (12GS), 72IP, 5.00 ERA, 1.597 WHIP.  Holmes is no longer listed in the latest Top 100 MLB prospects.
    Brock Stewart rose from A+ Rancho to a MLB starting pitcher in 2016.  He is now in the LAD bullpen where he will be counted on as the long reliever and perhaps spot starter for 2017.  He will have every opportunity to be in the LAD rotation full time in 2018.  Trevor Oaks also rose from A+ Rancho to AAA last year, where he remains. He will soon get his chance.  Walker Buehler is becoming a near untouchable for LAD (especially now with Urias).  Some say he may end up in the Dodger bullpen this year, and most believe he will be in the LAD rotation at some point in 2018 (if not April).  Mitchell White is currently on the DL, but he seems to be on the fast track to a rotation spot (probably 2019).  Yadier Alveraz has a multi-millionaire dollar arm, but perhaps a questionable head and heart. Time, patience, and maturity will tell whether he is an Ace or a bust.
    Alex Wood is certainly staring at an All-Star bid with an 8-0 start…67.2 IP, 1.86 ERA, 2.12 FIP, 0.916 WHIP, 10.5 K/9, 4.65 K/BB.  With 15-16 more starts he should bypass 160 IP maybe approaching 170.  He undoubtedly could have gone another inning Friday night, but Dodger management does not value a high IP count as some do.  The Colorado rookie LHP Kyle Freeland threw 12 more pitches than Wood.  Will those pitches start to really add up in August and September?  Freeland is not the same pitcher in June as he was in April.
    Ross Stripling is back from AAA, probably as a high leverage reliever.  Do the Dodgers need to trade for a high leverage RHRP, or do they already have one?
    Even with the loss of young Julio, the future with Alex Wood, Brock Stewart, Trevor Oaks, Walker Buehler, Mitchell White, and Yadier Alveraz could be very very good.  This does not consider the potential of Dustin May, A J Alexy, Devin Smeltzer, Dennis Santana, Josh Sborz, Andrew Sopko, Caleb Ferguson, and now Scott Barlow.  And of course there is still the best pitcher on the planet…Clayton Kershaw who has not yet turned 30.
    Andrew Sopko and Josh Sborz are starting to get untracked after a very slow start this year at AA.  But the 2017 Tulsa story is Scott Barlow, the 24 year old 6’3” 215 lbs. RHSP, 6th round draft choice (2011) out of Santa Clarita.  Barlow was having a monster 2017 season at AA, and was just rewarded with a promotion to AAA (June 23).  At Tulsa, he was 5-3 after 14 starts…75.2 IP, 2.02 ERA, .164 BAA, 0.95 WHIP, 87K, and 29BB.  Could he be the next Brock Stewart and Trevor Oaks?  Why not?

    1. AC

      I liked your nice thoughts that maybe some doctor will have, or create a surgery, that can fix Urias’ issue, and name the surgery after Urias, much like Jobes did, with Tommy John.

      You not only came up with nice thoughts, you also made a point just how serious Urias’ injury really is.

      I also agree with everything you said about Wood too.

      It was good to see Wood get himself out of that tough first inning, without allowing a run.

      Because he didn’t panic at all, he just took his time to make the right pitches, that he needed to make.

      And that game had to be the most important game we have had up to now, this year.

      Corey, Turner, and Bellinger, all had a very productive offense, amongst each other too, especially in the early innings, of the game.

      Bellinger really impressed me in his first two at bats.

      He came up in his first at bat with a runner on third, and he didn’t try to do to much, he just waited for a good pitch to drive, and he drove the ball to center, to get that run home, from third.

      I think a lot of young players, would have tried to do to much, in that instance, but Cody didn’t do that, even with the fact, he is on a HR tear, and that says a lot.

      Cody also had a very good second at bat too.

      He took a curve to the opposite field, and he hit it so hard, it made it to the wall, very quickly, and that hit in another run.

      Again that is something a major leaguer, would find not that easy to do, especially a major leaguer, with Cody’s power.

      The team played really well last night!

      And it was a joy to watch them!

  5. Let us hope Hatcher’s injury is long term. Like three months. The three relievers looked good last night. Maybe Romo will find it.

  6. Great post Mark

    Julio was very, very good – let’s hope his career is not over

    Urias is out 12-14 months due to shoulder surgery where nobody has yet to fully recover from

    So its that bad?!?

    1. Urias’ injury is different. He is very young with little wear and tear on his shoulder. Most of the other pitchers had many miles on that shoulder and were much older. This is a different story. If anyone recovers, it will be Julio. Like AC said this could be the JU Surgery!

        1. Prior was 26 when he had the surgery and had 658 Major League Innings on his arm, including 136 minor league innings. However, he also had 357 innings in college. That’s a total of 1,151 innings. noty counting high school which could have added a couple hundred innings.

          Here’s the difference – Urias is 6 years younger than Prior was and has 399 innings pitched – majors and minors. That’s nearly 1/4 the innings Prior threw, not counting High School.

          A year before his surgery, it was reported that Prior had a loose shoulder and his shoulder was structurally damaged.

          Most telling is that Dusty Baker (The Ultimate Pitcher Killer) was managing Prior’s innings.
          Urias case is very different!

  7. Great game last night as the Dodgers took care of business. The Rockies usually struggle 1st game away from home then adjust. Chatwood against CK and Anderson against BM are not good match ups for the visitors. I will say again the team has a very favorable schedule in July with 8 off days including the AS break and facing only 2 teams having a current winning record, the Snakes and the Twins, both series at home. KC is at .500 and they also play at Dodger Stadium. They also get the Marlins, Braves, White Sox, Padres and Giants so this is a chance to pull away.

    I’m not trying to be negative but when some bash Puig it prompts me to point out that several players have low averages to this point. Last night Utley and Pederson both pinch hit so 5 guys played with averages below .236. Forsythe should not be at leadoff (.205) and I understand Kike (.230) but Gutierrez (.236) should not have been in LF where he played a single into a double being late to cut the ball off. Everyone hopes their play improves and if not someone else takes their place.

    There are a lot of arms on the farm but even with the Urias injury all 6 current starters plus Kazmir are under contract for next year. Ryu, Kazmir, and McCarthy all have contracts up, but McCarthy has a very nice team option and should be kept. Kershaw has the opt out but I don’t see him leaving. Hill drops off the year after that. The contracts of Crawford, Ethier and Guerrero drop off after this season, freeing up over $41M and AGon the year after that. This will provide real payroll flexibility and get the Dodgers under the luxury tax and give them the chance to go after some of the free agents if they choose.

    The heavy lifting on offense has been done by Seager JT, Bellinger, Taylor and Puig plus the Grandal/Barnes duo. They get occasional contributions from the rest. The SVS experiment ended and injuries caused the Taylor and Cody call ups and their play forced the teams hands. I think the most obvious moves if they need offense would be a Verdugo or Calhoun promotion, or possibly Dickson since he bats RH. It’s a month to the trade deadline, they might want to see if what they already have is better than a trade.

    1. Vegas

      I don’t think you can compare those players to Puig.

      Because both Joc and Logan have been in and out of the line up, because of injuries.

      And Kike and Utley have not played as much as Puig, and because of that, they have not had close to the amount of at bats, that Puig has had.

      And they are not getting consistent at bats, like Puig is either.

      Puig has played mostly like an everyday player, even though he has not hit lefties well at all, this year.

      And I think Puig has been lucky to play as much as he has, with the numbers he has, against lefties.

      And I think Roberts has given Puig more then a chance to prove, he can hit lefties this year.

      It is much easier to hit, if a player is getting consistent at bats.

      Because consistent at bats, helps a hitter make the day to day adjustments, to be able to keep up on the adjustments, the pitchers are making, on them.

      And Logan and Joc are probably going to get some time, to see what they are going to do, before the front office, does anything.

      But after a while, they will be expected to produce, and they should, like you said.

      And although Logan has good numbers against lefties this year, I don’t think he should lead off either, right now.

      I agree with you Gutierrez didn’t look good at all, last night.

      Either his illness, has got the best of him, or Roberts, just can’t play him, in two games in a row.

      But when the front office signed Gutierrez, they didn’t know we were not going to need another bat, to hit lefties, and that is why he was signed.

      I didn’t see anyone talk about Puig’s average, except against lefties, but his over all numbers against lefties, are not good.

      But he did hit his first HR off a leftie last night, so maybe he is seeing lefties better now.

      He also didn’t rush his swing last night after he saw that hanger, and he really didn’t swing that hard, and that ball went far.

      Maybe Puig is realizing, he doesn’t have to swing that hard, with the muscle he has, to get one out.

  8. Ryu, Kazmir, McCarthy’s contracts up after 2018 and Kershaw has an opt out after 2018.

  9. Yes, 6 current starters plus Kazmir are under contract through next year. Additionally, we are lucky and it looks like multiple potential studs on the way. What should FAZ do?
    Seems to me we are potential sellers at the trade deadline. Alternatively, we have multiple trade chips for a Darvish/??? if FAZ sees an opportunity to “Buy Low/Sell High. Or stay the course.
    “Kershaw has the opt out but I don’t see him leaving”. What do you see him doing? Looks like post 2018 season will be very interesting. FAZ will finally have the payroll under control and hopefully out of luxury tax hell during 2018 season. Will they bite on a big time free agent? Kershaw (if he opts out)/Harper/Machado? Which would you sign if any?
    Kershaw (DOB 3/19/88)
    Machado (DOB 7/6/92)
    Harper (DOB 10/16/92)
    Starting 2019 season Kershaw will be 31 years old and signed for two more years for $65M, if he doesn’t opt out. Seems like FAZ needs to extend him or he will opt out. When should they do it and for how many additional years?

    1. Box, I believe that the Dodgers being a potential powerhouse for the next few years and the likelihood that Faz would want him to be a lifetime Dodger keep him here no matter the number. Sure they will be paying for some declining years of production but some $$ can be deferred and he can go out on his own terms. I would extend him for 3 years and add several million annually on top. That takes him to his age 36 season. I’d offer him a front office or coaching position too if he wanted it.
      I like Machado as the team has no real 3B prospects in the pipeline. He or Seager could be interchangeable at SS and 3B and JT can play 2B. I am not a Harper fan and it’s because of his attitude not his talent. He’s young and maybe he can change and his whole family would love to have him playing closer to home (he played at Bishop Gorman HS in Las Vegas.) I would not mind trading for Arenado but doubt the Rockies would let him torture them for years.

      BTW I do like Darvish, he would really complement the rotation, totally different look and would be very popular with the fans. His contract is only $11M, is up after this year and he will turn 31 August 16th. Without an extension he should not cost a ton as a rental, and Texas is going nowhere this year. He is going to get a pretty big contract in 2018, maybe Cueto numbers so not sure if that would fit into the team’s plans.

  10. The Urias injury does change things. It’s almost a certainty that Alvarez, Buehler, Stewart and While will not be traded and even Oaks, Barlow and some lower level prospects will stay. FAZ is going to continue to build strength with numbers.

    Alex Wood is under contract for 2018 and 2019 and a free agent in 2020. The Dodgers could buy out his final two years of arbitration and sign him to a 5 or 6 years deal, but will they? Should they? If they offered him 6 years at $90 million would he sign?

    1. Wood – I think the Dodgers should consider signing him for 5 years, but they won’t. There is no urgency and with his injury history, FAZ may just want to see how he pitches in 2018. However, I do not think they need to go to $90MM. Knowing his injury history, I think he would be agreeable to a 5 year $60M guaranteed; something like – 2018 ($6MM), 2019 ($10MM), 2020 ($12MM), 2021 ($14MM), 2022 ($16MM), 2023 ($16MM club option with $2M buyout). That is $60MM guaranteed for 5 years. That would take him to 31 or 32 and give him another shot at a big payday. He can be another Darren Dreifort and get re-injured and walk away with millions. Or he can be another Chris Archer, Chris Sale, Jose Quintana, and Madison Bumgarner signing well below their current market value. Pitchers are a gamble. Large market teams can take that chance. Wood would have to think long and hard from walking away from $60MM guaranteed, regardless of what he MIGHT make as a FA.
      Box asked the question as to whether the Dodgers should extend Kershaw’s contract. Purely for selfish reasons, I would say yes. Some players should spend their entire career with one team, like Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera…and Clayton Kershaw. Big market teams should have the cash to be able to take gambles on their home-grown future HOF. If they extend it another 4 years at $32.5MM per year, that will be $130MM additional guaranteed, or 6 years at $195M for a 31 year old through age 36. If they need to take it to $200MM, okay do it (it’s not my money). If he can still pitch at 36, go in 2 year increments after that.
      Seager and Bellinger have Scott Boras as their agent for one purpose…maximize their earning potential. Boras did get Strasburg to extend for 7 years and $175MM, but he has two opt out years. Boras does not expect Strasburg to finish the contract, but expects he will opt out instead. Per Boras’ logic, this will give Strasburg a chance to prove he can stay healthy, and then really get that big FA contract. I guess 7 year $175MM is not big enough. Do not expect Seager or Bellinger to sign away any FA years. LAD will have to pay the going rate when both player’s time comes.
      I am certain one other extension discussion is going to be made…Yasmani Grandal. Grandal can become a FA after 2018 as well. Whether anything comes of it, I have no clue. But there will be an extension negotiation.

    1. Mark

      There is good news about Corey his hammy was only a one grade strain , so he won’t be going on the DL and he is day to day.

      Roberts said he could come off the bench to hit tonight!

  11. Lineup (since everyone else is too lazy to post) 😉

    1. Utley 1B
    2. Pederson CF
    3. Turner 3B
    4. Bellinger LF
    5. Grandal C
    6. Forsythe 2B
    7. Puig RF
    8. Hernandez SS
    9. Kershaw P

    Leave Bellinger at 1B and rest Utley. That’s my two cents.

    1. Absolutely as of NOW!

      Wood and Kershaw form the best #1 and #2 in the NL right now.

      I also think the Dodgers staff has the most win in baseball: 35!

      Not bad for a bunch of bums.

  12. I have the mis-pleasure of living in Giants country and have heard all the crap that any man should ever have to tolerate these last 7 or so years. ’14 was such a fluke for the Giants and has been such a bane on my existence. Anyway, Dodgers are finally the best team in the NL if not the MLB and, the Giants, well,,,, they’re not. They suck balls and therefore all is right again in the world. (sorry, had to put that out there).

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