Who is Luis Ysla?

It has long been rumored that the Dodgers have been looking for a left-handed lockdown reliever, so when they traded for Luis Ysala yesterday a lot of Dodger fans laid on the sarcasm “Yeah, that’s going to win it all for us.  What are they thinking?  They only want to deal off the bone pile.

I don’t care if it is the trade deadline – FAZ is always looking for undervalued assets – even at the trade deadline.  “But they got Ysla for CASH and he can’t be worth much if all he cost was CASH!”  Ysla is 25 years-old and is a lefthander, but his time with the Red Sox ended when the Red Sox acquired Eduardo Nunez from the Giants on Wednesday. The Red Sox subsequently designated Ysla for assignment to open up a spot for Nunez, leading to their trade with the Dodgers.

Luis Ysla (pronounced ESS-LAH) is from Carabobo, Venezuela.  He is 6-1 and 185 and just turned 25 years old in April. If you look at his stats, there is nothing that excites you.  Ysla pitched himself out of the Boston organization’s plans by putting up a 5.05 ERA, 8.5 K/9 and 6.2 BB/9 over 46 1/3 innings with Boston’s Double-A affiliate this season.  Yawn!  Next story.  There’s nothing to see here folks.  Move along.  HOLD ON!  Not so fast. The Red Sox got him from the Giants.  Here’s what Baseball America had to say about him before this season started:

In his first full season in the Red Sox organization, Ysla showed the power lefthanded arm that drew Boston to him in the August 2015 trade that sent Alejandro De Aza to the Giants. Ysla sits in the mid-90s with a two-plane fastball that misses bats. That pitch alone should play in the majors if he can throw it for strikes, though its value is mitigated by the fact that he hasn’t developed a consistent secondary pitch as a complement.

Given that Ysla’s fastball tends to cut to his glove side, he showed significant reverse splits while working as a reliever in 2016. Righthanded batters hit just .225 against him at Double-A Portland (plus one Triple-A appearance) while lefties mashed him at a .321/.404/.523 clip. Still, he struck out 30 percent of the lefties he faced.

If he improves his slider and uses it to attack the inner part of the plate, he could emerge as the primary lefthanded bullpen option on the farm, particularly now that the Red Sox have added him to the 40-man roster.

Ysla has been handicapped by having just one pitch.  If he can develop another – a slider, curve, change-up or cutter, he could be the lockdown reliever the Dodgers seek. It won’t be this year, but he will be a project for the Dodger’s organization.  He could flameout or he could be… Brad Hand!  This is a great transaction.  Maybe there is nothing to see here… or maybe, just maybe, this could be another Chris Taylor.  Either way, it’s worth the risk.  This is a classic case of FAZ trading for a guy BEFORE he is that guy!

Now back to your regularly scheduled trade deadline speculation.

Rants & Raves

  • If Ryu pitches well Sunday, he could be gone Monday!  I’m just sayin’
  • Rich Hill is now 8-4 with a 3.35 ERA and his pitching line is outstanding – 78 IP/59 Hits/90 K’s/1.18 WHIP – that’s all top-of-the rotation stuff, but in the last month, as he put the blisters in the rear view mirror, he has been unhittable:  In July, he’s 4-0 with a 1.45 ERA and 0.77 WHIP.  That’s the pitcher FAZ signed.
  • Yasiel Sierra has been lights out this year.  Just sayin’
  • Kay Bear Ruiz is the Dodgers #8 Prospect (Will Smith is #9),  By year end, Kay Bear may be top 3!  He should also be in AA soon and he’s only a teenanger!  The Dodgers are loaded with catchers. Some may be moved. Some of you want to trade Grandal, even though he is hitting .275 and handling the best pitching staff in baseball.  To say nothing about how much his teammates respect him.
  • MINOR LEAGUE REPORT – Info on Alvarez and Verdugo
  • Austin Barnes is a hot commodity – everyone wants him.
  • Not many big deals have went down yet because maybe other GM’s are realizing that overpaying for starting pitching is dumb!  Just maybe!
  • I hear Kershaw may be back by next weekend.
  • Ryu verses Mad Bum toinght ESPN.  Ryu is due for a good game and Bum is due for a beatdown!


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 58 Comments

  1. Mark – MadBum has been owed a beat down for quite a while now. It was a bold call by the Giants. They want Mad Bum to shut down the Dodgers so they can have some hope to cling onto for next year. But if the Dodgers light him up, it will have the opposite effect. A national audience will see that the Dodgers and Giants are two organizations going in opposite directions.

  2. Mark, this is an area where you and I are on exactly the same wavelength. It always stupefies me when fans criticize deals like this. What’s wrong with working around the edges and looking for potential bargains? Ysla may amount to nothing, or maybe the Dodgers have discovered a hidden gem. What’s there to complain about, since all it cost was some money, and it does nothing that would preclude other, larger deals. In fact, Ysla could become a piece in a larger package deal. Nothing lost in that deal, and perhaps something gained.

    1. Agreed! He was DFA’d by a good team and the Dodgers scouts saw something, enough to take a flyer. There is almost no downside to take a look, and maybe tweak something like adding a 2nd pitch like the piece mentioned. They did it a few days ago with Luke Farrell and it’s another way of looking at the deadline-there is a roster squeeze when one team receives an extra player.

  3. I’m looking forward to 1:00pm (PDT) Monday when all the wild trade speculations will be put to rest (however much fun it is to speculate :0)).

    1. I’m with you, trade or no trade it will be nice to put it all behind us. We are barely talking about the streak the team is on now which can outdo the 42-8 from a few years back with tonight’s game and the next 3 against the Braves.

      If the Yanks are the only competition for Darvish they appear to be out after picking up Garcia and are in heated discussions with Oakland. The Rangers may blink first.

      I think Puig’s eyes lit up when Mad Bum was moved up to face them on Sunday Night Baseball. Taylor, JT, Forsythe and Barnes probably liked it as well. I would savor a beat down and early shower for the wild one.

  4. I do believe we have great coaches on our minor league teams. What is wrong with trying to add a pitch for Ysla. A left hander who can throw in the mid 90’s is worth a look.

    I think YAZ will try to make a trade. They want to do it to show the fans and players that they care. However, there are players they will not trade. If they are asking for those players it will not happen and they are asking for those players. I am ok with a no trade. Many will not be. They think we need a SP and a LHRP. We do, but at what cost.

  5. Going to go out on a limb and predict that if FAZ doesn’t get the deal they want for Darvish or Gray, they go the other way and pull the trigger on Britton and another unknown lockdown reliever that will surprise us. They are starting Brock Stuart again to stretch him out, and we still have alot of starters hanging around that can go at least 5 innings. Morrow is just flat out filthy when he is on, what an addition off the scrap heap. If we throw a few more elite arms in the bullpen, it doesn’t matter if we get another starter. Game over after 5 innings. This might be the new model going forward. Get a couple of stud relievers that can go lights out for 2 innings a piece, then hand the baton off to your closer.

  6. Great snippet on why Texas will likely trade Yu:
    Another thing to remember regarding the Darvish market are the new Qualifying Offer rules that were set forth by the Collective Bargaining Agreement that was ratified during the offseason. Under the new QO rules, only teams that receive revenue sharing can receive a first-round compensation pick when a free agent rejects a QO to sign elsewhere.
    According to MLB.com’s Jon Paul Morosi, the Rangers are not on the list of 16 clubs that will receive revenue sharing, which isn’t surprising given the size of their market. As a result, the best they can do if Darvish rejects a qualifying offer and leaves is a comp pick before the third round (likely in the 70s). These new rules could incentivize a trade, as Darvish would certainly bring back a prospect package more valuable than a Draft pick in that range.

  7. There must be something to the pitching coaches and pitching system in the organization. Maybe Matt Herges is a better coach than he was a pitcher. Honeycutt looks like a fix-it genius. It looks like there is a real Dodgers ‘ System in place. Morrow is a perfect example. At San Diego last year as a middle relief guy he had a good era but gave up a lot of hits with few K’s. This year his K’s are up and hits are down. Somebody found something. Maybe confidence. Maybe playing for a good team. Who knows? He was a #5 overall pick by the Mariners out of Cal. This all supports what you guys have said about the recent acquisition. The coaching staff up and down may be building a reputation that those so-so guys want to be a part of.

  8. From Buster Olney:

    Bumgarner’s velocity has also been down to some of the lowest readings of his career. In his final outing before the accident, he averaged 92.1 mph with his fastball (April 19 vs. Royals). Here are his average readings in the three starts since he returned, per FanGraphs:

    July 15: 89.7 mph

    July 20: 90.4 mph

    July 25: 90.4 mph

    1. He never should have been allowed to leave. That was on DePodesta, not McCourt.

      I argued before he was a rookie that he was going to be a star, and I was ridiculed;
      When he was a rookie, I could see the greatness and I said he could be a HOF player, and I mocked;
      When he had the monster year his last season in LA, I was derided because he was “juiced” (never any evidence, except in a couple of morons’ minds);
      When he was traded, I was told it was on him and not DePo; and
      I said he would go into the HOF and again they laughed at me.

      He is going in, just like I predicted about 20 years ago.

      That must all be false, but the main person who told me all that has assured everyone, over and over that he is never wrong…. but I am.

      1. It was on DePo, as Beltre and his agent never got a serious offer from the Dodgers after a 49 HR season. His defense has always been stellar as well. He has had a nice career and 3000 hits virtually assures a call to Cooperstown. Hard to say who he picks as his team to go in as but probably Texas, possibly Seattle. 3B was a wasteland for many years in LA after he left the team.

        1. I was just checking: Beltre played 7 seasons in LA, 5 in Seattle, 1 in Boston, and now this is #7 in Texas. I would think he would go in as a Ranger

      1. Hand or Britton with Yu needs to get done. I’m not one to poo-poo a division championship like some. I think it’s a huge accomplishment but this is the year to push your chips in. The Dodgers have enough young talent to sustain no matter the outcome.

        1. I just heard the Dodgers are in on Britton, right now.

          If he is healthy, he and Kenley would really shorten the games.

          And Britton is good against both lefties, and righties!

          1. Britton or Hand would would fill the void Dayton has left this year. It’s an exciting time for us right now.

  9. Brooks Robinson was called the vacuum cleaner, Today we start calling Bellinger the vacuum cleaner of this new era .

  10. Unconfirmed reports have Dodgers getting Yu Darvish. No details on what the cost may have been. Anyone else hearing this?

  11. Anybody hearing a report that Verlander and Wilson to the dodgers for Verdugo and Calhoun not coming from a major source, just saying has anybody else heard this.

  12. I can’t say I get Fields over Morrow in that situation. Fields gives up way too many HR’s. Home plate ump is awful.

      1. If the Cubs pulled that off, it is a steal. I think Candelerio will be a bust. I am am not a fan.

        I think Rios will be better!

        1. Avila the first GM to ever trade his son. Sounds like it’s close to done. Candelerio is the Cubs #1 prospect but only 93 overall. Plus the Cubs #10 prospect and cash for Wilson and Avila.

          The Dodgers have 6 prospects rated higher than Candelerio. Plus more who may be better and a lot of pitching depth. Tells me the Dodgers are working on Hand or Britton. I prefer both to Wilson.

          1. Al Campanis traded his son Jim somewhere around 1968 o r 1969. Absolutely loved the looks of bewilderment on the giant’s faces after the game.

  13. I’m sure glad I didn’t hang myself the last time Dodgers lost a game between streaks. But I will next time they lose.

  14. Great at bats to tie the game from Utley and Puig in the 8th, and Cory, JT and Kyle BMF Farmer get it done in the 11th! Farmer’s OPS is 3.000!

  15. Let the Cubs get whoever. This is our year people. Let’s just enjoy the ride. I believe in FAZ, Dave Roberts and the team in the dugout

  16. Un.believable. Come from behind walk offs are not interesting enough anymore. Roberts has to call on a rookie making his debut to hit the walk off for the SWEEP over the hated ones.
    No way you could possibly script an outcome like this.

  17. The game convinced me more than ever they need a LHRP. I like Avilan but he’s better against righties.

  18. Bluto
    A good read for Dodger fans. Tough read for Giant fans. The part I liked best is the Giants are old and not good.

  19. Who is Paredes? I never heard of him until the Dodgers moved him up. I did not see him on any top 30 Dodger prospect list. He is a left hander and maybe good against left hand batters. Doc has used him twice in high leverage situations. Of course Doc can do no wrong right now.
    This is what I like about FAZ. Somebody saw something in this kid to bring him up to the majors.

    I hope we at least get a LHRP. Avilan just isn’t the one.

    Hatcher is sent out for rehab. That is scary. I hope he is still rehabing in October. Who knows. I guess he could come back and be very good. The way this year is going it could happen.

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