Heading into a double-header with the Giants and having the bullpen implode is going to give rise to some roster changes today. Before I get into that, you should consider what Vegas Dodger said, so eloquently:
Guys you need to relax….even though after the Rams 1 pick tonight I went out to the casino, choosing not to watch the game, sensing a negative outcome. Doc Roberts is getting frustrated with the lack of performance and I humbly guarantee some internal moves will be made and fairly soon. The team has too much talent to play like this. Having said that no one wins a pennant in April. There is plenty of time to right the ship and Kemp and Cingrani should both head to the DL if they are feeling strained quads and a dead arm. Plenty of reinforcements chomping at the bit to show what they can do.
The sky is not falling, the training is not a runaway, the ship is not sinking. The Dodgers just suck right about now. That said, I sense a few changes are coming. I think FAZ will send Kemp and Cingrani to the 10-day DL as a precaution and possibly Ryu, just to give him a short breather. Maeda might go to the pen today. Shoot, Clayton Kershaw could benefit from the 10-day DL as could Corey Seager with his hip flexor. Max Muncy is likely gone as well.
I think the Dodgers will call up Verdugo and Locastro to boost the sagging offense. Ramos deserves a shot, but he is not on the 40-man roster, so that seems unlikely. Brock Stewart will likely get the call (unless he has a tweak, after his last short outing). Yimi Garcia is not quite ready and Venditte is also not on the 40-man. Edward Parades is on the 40-man, so he is a possibility, but Henry Owens (who has not pitched this year and Ariel Hernandez, who is working on smoothing out his delivery are occupying valuable roster space.
I don’t know if the Dodgers would be inclined, but Dennis Santana is on the 40-man and has not pitched in a few days. I have always believed his arm will play up at this level. We do know, Striker Buehler is coming up today and a 7-inning outing would be wonderful… and probably too much to ask.
At any rate, I think there will be some moves today. I would try Verdugo or Locastro at leadoff. Locastro is a classic “burner” while Verdugo has less speed, but is potentially a .400+ OB% guy! Pickem! It sounds like Corey needs a 10-day rest. When the going gets tough… the tough get going! Today’s moves will be interesting.
One or Two Voices?
Do the Dodgers have two voices coming from the pitching coaches? Rick Honeycutt is the longtime master, but Mark Prior is held in high esteem. Is this creating a conflict? Do the pitchers need one voice? I have no inside info on this, but in a season where Kenley is off and Alex and Clayton’s velocity is down, one can’t help but wonder if too many cooks spoil the stew? Is the plan for Honey to go to the front office… or go home? When? Is Mark Prior the Anointed One? Is this an issue or is it all in my head? I try and look at every angle.
Dodger Chatter: Logan Salow Assigned to Great Lakes Loons
On Wednesday, April 25 AC reported that left-hander Logan Salow had been acquired by the Dodgers in a trade with Oakland that sent right-hander Wilmer Font to the Athletics. It was a good move by the Dodgers picking up another young pitcher rather than simply losing Font on waivers with no return. It may also be a good move for Font and hopefully he will find success at the MLB level. He has paid his dues.
The 23-year-old Salow is a native of Ashland Kentucky and graduated from Blazer High School in his hometown. Following graduation he continued his education at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Kentucky.
With the Wildcats Salow pitched almost exclusively in relief and in his senior year in 2017 he posted a 1.95 ERA over 31 relief appearances along with a 0.98 WHIP. In 55 innings he gave up but 37 hits while striking out 73 and walking 17. His 12 saves tied for the most in a season at UK and the 31 appearances are the second most in a single season. At one point in the season he retired 30 consecutive hitters, 19 via the strikeout. He capped off his season with a selection to the Southeastern Conference All-Conference Team.
Salow was then selected by the Oakland Athletics in the 6th round of the 2017 First-Year Player Draft making him the 171st overall pick. He now joins fellow Kentucky Wildcats right-hand pitcher Zach Pop who was elected in the seventh round by the Dodgers in 2017 and outfielder Zach Reks picked in the 10th round. Pop is currently pitching in relief with the Great Lakes Loons and Reks recently made his 2018 debut with the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes.
In his first professional season last summer, Salow pitched 24.1 innings in 16 games and had a 1.50 ERA. He also struck out 29 batters and walked 15. He pitched all but 1.2 innings during the 2017 season with the Vermont Lake Monsters of the rookie level New York-Penn League.
Thus far during the current campaign Salow had made four appearances in the Class-A Midwest League with the Beloit Snappers. Over 5.2 innings he has allowed one hit, struck out eight and walked two while posting a 1.59 ERA and a 0.53 WHIP.
Previous to the 2017 June Draft Baseball America ranked him No. 275. MLB Pipeline offered the following scouting report.
“One of the top college senior prospects in the 2017 Draft, Salow could go in the top five rounds – and not just because his reduced leverage will mean he comes at a discount,” a MLBPipeline.com writer wrote. “After battling his control and going undrafted in 2016, he emerged as one of the best relievers in the Southeastern Conference this spring. He allowed just one run in his first 29 innings, retiring 24 consecutive batters at one point, before getting hit a bit harder down the stretch.”
Salow previously threw in the upper-80s, but his fastball has sat from 90 to 93 mph this season. He also throws an above-average slider in the mid-80s and an average change-up. Salow locates all his pitches well, featuring above average command.
“Salow’s bread and butter is a slider that sits in the mid-80s and reaches 87 mph,” MLBPipeline.com reported. “It can eat up left-handers and he can bury it on the back foot of right-handers. His fastball usually ranges from 90-93 mph and he also can mix in a changeup.”
Salow’s draft prospects took an up tick during his senior year at Kentucky as did his velocity. His stock was boosted even more by his control and command. He could not only throw strikes but significantly improved his ability to throw a pitch where he wanted it within the strike zone.
D1BASEBALL.com on May 3, 2017 suggested that he was a definite sleeper coming into the draft.
“The numbers Logan Salow has compiled this spring certainly warrant a double take – they are that staggering. He’s posted a 0.46 ERA and struck out 58 batters while walking only seven over 39.1 innings of work. A closer who can do that in SEC, especially one that’s lefthanded, is going to get a lot of attention. The 6-foot-1, 185 pound senior southpaw has eight saves on the spring, and has shown off a combination of sneaky stuff and superb command. He’s topped at 93 mph, living mostly at 88-91 and has shown a highly advanced feel for his secondary offerings. Don’t be surprised to see him sneak into the top four rounds this June.”
What does the immediate future hold for the 23-year-old Salow within the Dodgers organization? First, although he pitched quite well as a starter with the St. Cloud Rox of the Northwoods League during the summer of 2015, he seems better suited to a relief role, perhaps continuing to close. His experience in the Northwoods League in fact helped him get his career on a different track. He is a competitor.
Salow decided to re-discover his aggressiveness during a stint in the summer wood bat Northwoods League and pitch rather than try to just miss bats. Rather than decide a track – starter or reliever – he worked on his approach to the game regardless of the role to which it might lead him.
“I had to get back into an attacking-type mode where I was going to fill up the strike-zone and throw my best pitches and compete with competitive pitches in the ‘zone.”
Salow reiterated that attacking the strike-zone early was the key to his big senior season at Kentucky:
“That helped me take off. Getting ahead in the count and then being able to expand the ‘zone down-and-up, that’s really where my strengths came from,” Salow said.
Secondly, he currently is perhaps a bit old for the Midwest League – turning 24 this September – even though he is only beginning his second year of professional baseball. An assignment to the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes may well be not too far in the offing. Continued success might see him get a turn in Tulsa Blue during 2018.
The 6’1”/185-pound Salow has gone from Kentucky Blue to Dodger Blue. He tweeted:
“Incredibly excited to be a part of such a great organization! Forever grateful to Oakland and all they have done for me in my short time. On to the next chapter. Back in blue!! #GoDodgers #GoCats”