You all know the story… in 2014, at age 18, a Dodgers minor league first baseman hit .312 with 3 HR and 34 RBI. That same year, Adrian Gonzalez, the Dodgers 1B, hit .276 with 27 HR and 116 RBI. Three years later, that 18 year-old 1B who was 21 by then, hit 39 Home Runs because he seized the day. Adrian Gonzalez was injured and the Dodgers needed a 1B, so they called up Cody Bellinger and the rest is history.
No one anointed Cody Bellinger the Dodgers 1B (OK, maybe I did) – he was given an opportunity… and he delivered! That is usually what happens. As a rule, your minor league press clippings don’t buy much, not even respect. It’s what you do at the Show that counts. Yes, it appears that some Dodger players are “blocked” but are they really?
I will admit that it sometimes takes some luck, but I also believe that luck is where preparation meets opportunity. Andrew Toles is a ballplayer, Alex Verdugo is a ballplayer… they will get their chance. Maybe not until April or August, but it will come. Will they be ready? Will they deliver or will they cry about the fact that they are “blocked?”
Wally Pipp went down and Lou Gehrig was ready. That’s what happens in baseball. AC was right. There are several players that are “blocked” but things have a way of changing. Luck is involved: Preparation meets opportunity! What are the odds that the Dodgers TOP 5 starters start every game? I would say there are two chances: slim and none! Somewhere along the line, Ross Stripling, Walker Buehler or Julio Urias will get their chance. Will they be ready like Gehrig… that’s the question?
Corey Seager could go down, he has an elbow and back issue (maybe). Justin Turner could go down (he is getting up there and he has a knee issue). Others could go down. That’s when Verdugo and/or Toles gets their chance. Can they deliver? If they do, they are in. If they don’t, they are out! They have to Seize the Day!
Matt Kemp blocks the young guys too, but (1) he’s not getting traded (yet); and (2) can he last all season? We are probably going to find out. Depth is a great thing, but you have to wait your turn and you have to be ready.
- I love Brock Stewart in the pen. I think he’s special in that situation. As a starter, he’s AAAA…. maybe less! Both the Dodgers and Brock need to come to grips with that. Brock Stewart is special out of the pen. He’s not so special as a starter. Look up up his splits as a starter and a reliever. There’s no comparison. Put him in the pen, FAZ!
- By the way, yesterday’s photo was Chase DeJong, Trevor Oaks and Scott Barlow – all are prospects we loved and now all are gone!
- We may have a surprise for you. Another extremely knowledgeable and highly respected Dodger writer may be joining our blog… Stay Tuned.
- Hopefully, you don’t believe that W – L records mean anything in Spring. The Dodgers pitched one… maybe two pitchers who will be on the team this year. The W – L record means nothing. Manny Banuelos started the game and has a 12.17 ERA. James Robinson surrendered 3 runs and a 135.00 ERA – Yeah, he’s making the team! Not likely!
- Kay Bear Ruiz is ready. Yeah, he’s 20. He’s ready. I have not felt this way about many rookies. I like Walker Buehler, but I don’t feel he can’t miss. Ruiz can’t miss. I said Kershaw, Seager and Bellinger could not miss. Well, I also said Andy LaRoche could not miss… so there is that! Ruiz is ready to take the leap. Be prepared! BTW, Ruiz was 3-3 yesterday.