Let’s Not Forget Henry Ramos

There’s not much to talk about for the 4-8 Dodgers who are struggling with the cobwebs between their ears, so I thought I would focus on a player that I happen to really like whose name is not Andrew Toles or Alex Verdugo.  Dodger fans assume that Toles and/or Verdugo will be the next callups for the Dodgers… and they may be, but the Dodgers have a player who does not show up on any Top 30 Proepect Lists who could be the next Justin Turner or Chris Taylor (yes, Andrew Toles gets mention here too).

Andrew Toles eveidently injured a hamstring last night, so he could be on the shelf for a while.  Toles is currently hitting .462 with a 1.231 OPS. However, if his injury is not serious, he’s ready for a callup.

But, as much as like Andrew Toles, I have to say that I like Henry Ramos as much… or more.  Henry just turned 25 and at 6′ 2″ and 220 pounds, he is an amazing athlete.  He has above average speed, excellent range, a plus arm and can play all three outfield positions.  It should not be lost on us that he is a switch-hitter.  A former 5th Round Draft Pick by the BoBox, has tremendous potential but has not realized it due to injury and just being unable to put it all together… until last year, when he hit .416 /1.117 OPS with Tulsa last year in 89 AB’s and followed that up with .295/.790 OPS at OKC is 105 AB’s.

He has only averaged less than 290 AB’s a year in his 8 minor league seasons due to injuries, many of which were cause by his over-agressiveness and plain bad luck. At one point in 2015, he was ranked as Boston’s #16 prospect. He would be a prefect backup outfielder, since he can play all three positions and is a switch-hitter.  This is a guy who could also become a starter if he adjusts that “launch angle” like Chris Taylor. At 25 years-old he is just coming into his own.  His physique is not unlike that of Yasiel Puig. He is a strong, powerful athletic specemin.

Last night, he played CF, with Toles in LF and Verdugo in RF.  Verdugo is off to a slow start hitting .250. Verdugo started the season playing CF at OKC, but for the past week it has been Locastro or Ramos. I don’t believe Toles has started a game in CF and eveidently the Dodgers do not see him as a CF’er.

This brings me to a question, I have to ask: Who would you rather see as the Dodgers 4th outfielder – Pederson or Ramos or Toles?  Ramos, with his swith-hitting is my choice, along with the fact he can play CF.  Matt Kemp is not giving up the LF spot.  Taylor is solid in CF and while Puig is only hitting .196, he has has some bad luck on balls he has hit solidly.

I do not think it is good for Puig to hit high in the order.  Leave him at 6 or 7 and he will be fine.  Forsythe and Hernandez need to step it up, but right about now, Joc’s spot should go to Toles or Ramos.  Joc is lost.  He just needs to go to OKC and plow through 2018.  It’s early, but Alexander and Font have not inspired confidence.  The Dodgers may have to trade a prospect for a reliever. Would you trade Alex Verdugo for Felipe Vazquez? I Would!

Never heard of him?  Maybe you knew him before he changed his name:  Felipe Rivero! Alex Verdugo is a lot to pay, but Vazquez is a lot to get.  He is signed through 2023 with and option for 2024.  I might even be willing to throw in another pitcher if the Pirates insisted.  Verdugo is a lot though, by himself.  Vazquez would change the whole bullpen dynamic.  Verdugo could be a star, but the Dodgers have plenty of outfielders.  Just get Felipe and it changes everything.

Rants and Raves

  • Memo to Dave Roberts:  Don’t pitch Maeda on 12 days rest between starts.
  • FAZ is certainly not prone to knee-jerk reactions – I guess they are giving Font at least one more chance.
  • When you score 7 runs, you should win. Greinke is pitching with duct tape and baleing wire, but he is gutting it out.  You have to respect that.
  • Cody Bellinger is starting to look comfortable.
  • This team just needs to get back in-sync!  ENOUGH ALREADY!  Play ball!

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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 32 Comments

  1. I just read from someone, that Toles’ hammy last night, didn’t look that bad, it could just be a cramp.

    Toles hit an oppo HR last night, and he was three for three last night, before he went out.

    And Toles was 6 for 10, in his last two games.

    Toles has already shown in two different seasons, he can hit major league pitching, unlike these other two guys, Verdugo and Ramos.

    And unlike Joc, Toles didn’t lose his job last year, because he wasn’t producing, so he deserves this chance, more then any of these, players.

    I just think they are being cautious with Toles, because he is coming back from a knee injury, and that is why he hasn’t played center, yet.

    Because they have been moving players around in the outfield in AAA, and there hasn’t been anyone player at AAA, playing just center, so I don’t think it means they don’t think Toles, can play center.

    Because Toles did a really good job in center last year, when Joc went out for a groin strain.

    Toles had good defensive numbers in center last year, check them out.

    Toles biggest issue on defense, is the fact he has only played one full season, in the last three years, so he just needs to get the reps in, in center.

    Most teams bat their best hitter number two in the line up.

    And it isn’t Verdugo or Ramos, hitting second in AAA, it is Toles, and that says a lot to me, along with Toles’ 464 batting average, and his production in AAA, up to now.

    And Toles missed most of the season last year, and he didn’t have consistent at bats, in the last 13 spring training games, like these other players did, including Joc.

    So I believe Toles deserves this chance, much more, then any of these players.

    1. You know I like Toles. I was preaching his vitures BEFORE he arrived.

      I am fine with Toles, but we also have Ramos.

      I also think the Dodgers need another Lock-down reliever… or it is going to be a long season. Verdugo is lot to pay, but that could put us over the hump.

      1. Toles deserves the first shot, not sure if the team is quite ready to send Joc down but I vote yes. Kike and Toles could play CF if Taylor needs a day off and Kemp or Kike can play RF if Puig needs one. Ramos is interesting with his switch hitting and ability to play all 3 OF spots.

        Vazquez would be a perfect addition to the bullpen but he will cost more than Verdugo IMO. The Pirates are not going to contend so Vazquez value is more limited for them, he also has a nice contract. With the Kemp and Puig situations not clear after this year they may want to keep Verdugo. On the other hand there is nowhere to play him now.

        They have a lot of options for 2B next year: Taylor, Peter, Muncy, Ruiz, Barnes, even Utley but I don’t think they bring Forsythe back.

        1. Vegas

          I agree with you.

          I don’t think the team, is ready to make a move, right now.

          And I do think it is better for Toles, to continue to play everyday, and get, consistent at bats.

          And it won’t hurt Toles to see more live pitching, and to get more innings in, in the outfield, on defense.

          But obviously, I do have mixed emotions, about this.

  2. That’s funny; I saw a couple of Pirates games, and while not closely paying attention, I was wondering if Felipe Rivero was injured or something!

  3. By the way, David Hood of TrueBlueLA ranks Keibert Ruiz as the #2 Dodger Prospect – I happen to agree with him being #2 or maybe even #1!

    Here’s the link: https://www.truebluela.com/2018/4/14/17237902/keibert-ruiz-2018-dodgers-prospects

    He concludes with this:

    I haven’t seen a player this young with this accomplished of an offensive resume yet in the Dodger system since I started covering it, so I do consider Ruiz a special prospect.

    I just wonder if he might be moved to 2B or 3B since the Dodgers have so many catchers.

  4. Start the Chant:

    Vazquez!
    Vazquez!
    Vazquez!
    Vazquez!
    Vazquez!
    Vazquez!
    Vazquez!
    Vazquez!

    1. The big difference between Toles, and Ramos, as compared to Verdugo, is that Tole’s has 5 extra base hits, which includes a HR, and Ramos has 2 extra base hits, that includes a HR.

      And Verdugo only has one extra base hit, but he makes better contact.

  5. Just stopped for lunch, Snowing with blizzard conditions and Dakota and I are snowmobiling, and having a blast.As soon as I finish this reply to Mark we are off again.
    If Toles can’t play every day then yes to Ramos and if you want to trade Verdugo ( I don’t ) I think I would want a lot more then Vazquez/Rivero.

  6. You may recall I suggested trading for Rivero at the Trade Deadline last season. We didn’t, and the Pitates extended him.

    I would do that trade in a heartbeat, but as Vegas opines, they will want more.

    1. Watford

      Your words did not go, for not!

      I do remember you suggesting Rivero, at the trade deadline.

  7. This is no news flash but several here, or maybe a few were fist bumping for Andrew Toles from day one. Apparently FAZ, Doc or someone thought he needed practice at AAA. My little noggin thinks he should be getting that practice in the big show. He should of been in LF on day one, and maybe we wouldn’t be in a ditch along side the Padres. Yes Kemp has been ok but Toles is better. And it’s hard to think that everybody doesn’t see that. (Yes, even Mr Charles).

  8. Some thoughts: Get the starters back on more normal rest, Maeda’s struggles seemed more command than anything. Sit guys more who are not hitting-I’m looking at you Logan and Kike and Joc. I make an exception for Puig because of his rate of hard contact and defense, but hitting lower in the order makes sense-just not behind Grandal who clogs the bases. Play Kemp, Utley, Barnes and Farmer a bit more, don’t force Kike in the lineup so much and please no more cleanup against LHP. The bullpen needs a jolt of something, especially with the innings they are asked to pitch. Yimi will need some more innings to be ready and Sborz has looked totally different as a closer type at AAA. Font to the DL with a Hatcher type injury and minor league rehab to open up a roster spot? It may be early but the team needs to avoid falling further behind the Snakes. Hill and Kersh need to set the tone Sat and Sun. Taylor, Cory and Cody seem to be coming around and giving Kemp and Grandal some help, and a breakout by Puig would be welcome at this point. Toles hammy tweak buys Joc another week or two to figure things out but he is not a good part time player or PH IMO and takes AB’s away from Kemp. If Toles continues his production he will force the issue.

    1. I agree. They totally mismanaged the rotation this week just like they mismanaged getting Kenley ready for the season. If you’re going to put Maeda in the pen for that period of time then you better use him enough to keep him relatively sharp. Don’t tell me Wood was still feeling the effects of food poisoning while Maeda is sitting in the pen getting more and more rusty. Grandal has no business hitting 4th or 5th ever. Not only is he a base clogger, he doesn’t hit it clutch situation. He should be hitting 6th or 7th where he extends a lineup. If you want to try to ride a hot hand and move Kemp up to 3rd for a bit, I’m fine with it, but it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense when Greinke has owned him and continued to own him last night. The difference between Kemp and Puig right now is Kemp has a had a few flares drop. I think the rest of the team is due for some too. It was nice to see the offense fight back last night until Taylor hit into the DP.
      ~
      What’s frustrating is that the Dodgers are throwing away ball games right now. Maeda walks the pitcher, throws away a dbl play ball, and then commits two wild pitches with runners on 3rd. Bellinger once again takes a ball that should go to the second baseman. Cingrani would have been out of the inning at that point. Although last night’s screw up was a bit more understandable than the one during Game 7 of the World Series, he still needs to learn when to stay home or when to let the second baseman make an easier throw. Twice already this season we’ve watched Taylor look at a 3-2 strike right down the middle in big situations with runner’s on base to end rallies.

  9. Three Dodgers affiliates played yesterday and all three came away with a win. Great Lakes was postponed due to inclement weather and are postponed again today.
    .
    OKC won for the 5th consecutive day with a 10-3 win over the New Orleans Baby Cakes (Marlins). The Dodgers scored 10 runs on 17 hits. Henry Ramos led the hit parade going 4-5 including a Grand Slam and 5 RBI’s. Toles went 3-3 including his first HR and is now 7-9 in his last two games. Donovan Solano and Rocky Gale each had 3 hits, including a double each, and Tim Locastro chipped in with 2 hits. Toles is now batting .462 and Solano is at .417.
    .
    Brock Stewart had another good start going 5.2 innings. With two outs in the 6th he gave up a 2 run HR on his 84th pitch. I was glad to see him get to 84. Maybe next time he gets to 84 there may be a different outcome. Maybe if they stretched out in ST like other teams do, they may be able to get to 100 by now like many other AAA pitchers. C.C. Lee, Joe Broussard, and Edward Paredes finished the final 3.1 innings unscored on, allowing 3 hits with 3 BB, and 5 K.
    .
    Tulsa was an 8-4 winner over the Frisco RoughRiders (Texas). Kyle Garlick led the offense going 4-5 with a double and his 3rd HR on the season, and 5 RBI’s. Peter O’Brien added his 2nd HR, and Michael Ahmed added a double. Justin DeFratus started and went 5.1 innings allowing 2 unearned runs on 4 hits and 2 walks and 5 K’s. Daniel Corcino followed and pitched 1.2 innings allowing 2 runs (1 earned) on 4 hits with 1 K. Karch Kowalczyk and Brian Moran finished the final two to preserve the victory.
    .
    The RC Quakes broke out last night with a 13 run, 10 hit, and 6 walk attack in their 13-6 victory over the Inland Empire 66ers (Angels). Tony Gonsolin started for the Quakes and went 3.1 innings allowing 1 run on 4 hits, 2 walks, and 4 k’s. Leo Crawford, Ryan Mosely, and Jason Richman followed Gonsolin. None of the relievers stood out, but Crawford did get the win in his 2.2 innings pitched. He allowed 2 runs on 5 hits. Connor Wong led the offense with a double and his 3rd HR, while Ryland Bannon added 2 hits. Gavin Lux, Connor Wong, Cristian Santana, and Saige Jenco all had a 2 RBI night.
    .
    Today’s starters are Alec Asher for OKC, Devin Smeltzer for Tulsa, and Imani Abdullah for Rancho.
    .
    Somebody mentioned Josh Sborz being the closer at AAA. He may get there this year, but right now he is the closer at AA. I am very pleased to see him apparently accept his new role, which is where he has the ability to succeed.

    1. AC, thx for correcting that Sborz is at Tulsa. He was drafted out of Virginia where he pitched mostly out of the bullpen but had some success as a starter. I always felt he should focus on the bullpen but he was used as a starter. He has a much better chance of advancing as a set up and closer type. I could see him moved up in mid season and perhaps further if he produces. So far in 3 games he has 4 IP, ERA of zero with 1 win and 1 save, 6 K’s and 0 BB. What is your opinion of Daniel Hudson? He was acquired from Tampa but they are paying the bulk of his contract, the Dodgers signed him to a minor league deal with an opt out similar to what Morrow had last year. If he is right he could be a vet addition to the major league bullpen, if he is not he costs $25 K per month while in the minors and could elect to become a free agent. He was held back in extended ST but was sent to OKC along with Garcia this week. I am curious your opinion of in house bullpen help that could make a difference.

      1. Daniel Hudson is a very average pitcher who has streaks where he is very good, and has streaks where he can also be very bad. Ray Searage was not able to get him to duplicate some of his early DBack prowess. But one of the good things about Hudson is that he does not give up a lot of homeruns. He gave up just one after June 21, and none after August 5. He allowed 7 HR’s in 71 games he appeared in. He was used as a setup man early last year. So there is potential. I just do not see him as a new Brandon Morrow, but he is capable.
        .
        OKC has pitchers like Hudson who have ML experience. C.C. Lee, Pat Venditte, Alec Asher, Zach Neal,and Layne Somsen (7 day DL). Yimi Garcia, Adam Liberatore, and Brock Stewart are the guys who could be good to very good in the pen. One pitcher on the 40 man who could make it to Dodger Stadium late summer is Dennis Santana. He is making every effort to be an effective starting pitcher, but I think he could be an outstanding late inning reliever. One OKC reliever I am just not sure about is Joe Broussard. He was not protected in the Rule 5 draft this past year and was not selected. He was a 14th round draft pick for the Dodgers in 2014 out of LSU, so I do pull for him. But I just do not see exceptional out of him.
        .
        Shea Spitzbarth, Corey Copping, and Josh Sborz are all at Tulsa and all look to be potentially good relievers, with Sborz looking to be a late inning quality reliever. Sborz wanted to be a starter, and spent most of 2015, 2016, and 2017 as a starter. This year he went to the pen, and has looked very good. I watched him pitch April 12 against Frisco, and he looked exceptional in his 2 innings. He looks very relaxed and comfortable in that role. He is good enough to be a reliever in AAA right now, but there has to be a spot. One other pitcher I like in AA is Justin DeFratus. He is starting at AA, but he would not start for the Dodgers. I think he could be a quality reliever.
        .
        One problem I see is that for many fans, the standard for a reliever is perfection. And not many can live up that bar. I have already heard negative rumblings about Ross Stripling and all he has done is pitch in 6 of the 12 games, pitch 8 innings in those 6 games, allow no runs, but 9 hits, and only 1 walk, 7 K’s. He has come in to pitch in the 6th, 10th, 7th, twice in the 8th, and 3rd. It is tough to get mentally prepared when you have no idea when you are coming in. He is the quintessential TEAM pitcher who will never make an All Star team or win a post season award.
        .
        Toles is officially on the Minor League 7 Day DL.

  10. Puig should remain near the top of the lineup. Hitting into tough luck is no reason to move him down.

    If Rivero/Vasquez is still the same lights out pitcher I saw last year, then trading Verdugo for him is a no brainer. Would the Pirates do it? I doubt it. They would want more, and could probably get it from another team.

  11. Sporz now in the bulllen? Do the suits really know what they are doing?He was a successful relief pitcher in college. He gets drafted and from day 1 they make him a starter. Now he’s in the pen. I bet he wishes he were somewhere else. This team needs starting pitchers. Bullpen guys are a dime a dozen. What a waste. Stupid. The way we protect coveted prospects is shameful. I doubt if we will see in the next 5 years a good starting pitcher from our minors. The team will continue to get free agents. Probably on the cheap. By the time Beuhler is any good, he will be 28 with little use on his arm. What’s his value at host point? He will have a 5 year career after all the fuss. BTW the team is suffering from world seriesitis. It’s as if it WON. The Astros don’t seem to have this problem. A BS spring training is part of the cause.

    1. Actually the suits do know what they are doing in this case. It was Sborz who wanted to start. After all that is where the $$$$ are. Sometimes the suits have to let the player make a decision and fail at it before they can see where they can best be utilized and what their best chance to make it to the ML is. It did not hurt Josh to start. But it did show him that he was not anything more than an average AA starting pitcher. This year, he was placed in the pen and he has excelled. Where is the harm? Josh now knows what his path to the ML is, and he was not forced to go to the pen when he did not want to. He should get to AAA soon enough, and actually could be a potential September call up if they can find a spot for him on the 40 man.

    2. I never understood why Sborz was a starter either. He could be a very good bullpen piece. He belongs in the pen. He could be in LA this year. I also agree that Dennis Santana could be a high leverage reliever. If he develops another pitch, he could also be a nice #3. It’s hard to know which way to go.

  12. Trade Toles for Vazquez and the Dodgers and Pirates will meet in the playoffs. Sarcasm intended.
    .
    Forsythe and Hernandez look like great bench pieces every winning team needs.
    .
    Stewart and Stripling have rotation written all over them.
    .
    Barnes and Farmer look like a good catcher platoon. The other one looks like a Met.

  13. I agree about Sborz. I thought he was one of those draftees that would shoot thru the minors in a year or so and come up and join the pen, since he was a relief pitcher at Virginia. Oh well, maybe he’s figured out what he is now, and maybe he’ll be up later this year.
    He did just get another save tonight for Tulsa

  14. Team is a complete crap show right about now. But hey we got under the luxury tax, got Koehler and Kemp in the off season. Do they give rings for that?

  15. Isn’t anyone totally fed up with this?

    It’s all going to be great – the Braintrust says it’s so.

    Hill – 2 bad starts out of 3. Maeda – 1 bad start out of 2. Ryu – one bad start out of 2. Wood – one bad start out of 3.

    The Dodgers’ offense:
    17th in R/G (4.18)
    25th in HR (11)
    25th in ExBH (30)
    24th in OPB (.299)
    21st in SLG (.351)
    21st in OPS (.659)

    Something has to change

    Oh – and the ‘pen has been bad too

    1. It is all beyond frustrating, DR. I found myself watching Seinfeld reruns instead of subjecting myself to any more of the game tonight. The team is in a tailspin and Doc and the front office are lost. it is embarrassing. I feel sorry for the loyal fans who pay good money to watch this crap.

  16. At 4-9 the Dodgers matched their worst 13-game start since moving to Los Angeles, matching 1964, 1976, 1986 and 1994.

  17. Yes the team is in the dulldrums right now. However, the Nats are also under .500 (with the Mets leading them by 5 games). Oh, and everyone’s savior Giancarlo Stanton is hitting around .220 with a ton of strikeouts. It’s early; and the schedule of play for the Dodgers has been erratic.

    I suspect the front office will wait until players like Joc get around 60 at bats before making some changes. As bad as the team is playing a pitch here or there or hard hit ball by Seager/Puig and we would have a few more wins.

  18. Maybe Rich Hill has begun to decline at age 38, maybe Chris Taylor was a one year wonder in 2017, maybe Cory Seager has much more serious health issues than we’re being told, and maybe, maybe, maybe, …. Or maybe the Dodgers are just off to a bad 4-9 start that looks a lot worse than it would if it was just a bad 4-9 stretch in the middle of an otherwise.good year.

    I generally keep my glass half full, and don’t panic when things go bad. This may turn out to be an epically bad year, or, or maybe we will remember this as the year in which the Dodgers won a championship after recovering from a few missteps out of the gate.

    I don’t have s crystal ball to tell me what’s coming next, but I do know that I still feel confident that the ship will set itself straight, and I certainly don’t think that FAZ and Doc have suddenly become lost.

    This could turn out to be a very bad year, or not. I’m just not ready to reach any conclusions after 13 games.

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