Thomas Paine wrote sixteen pamphlets entitled The American Crisis which summoned up the American revolution in the winter of 1778 as the Continental Army froze at Valley Forge:
“THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated”
Of course, that was a lot more than a game, like baseball is. However, this game of baseball is very trying to a fan’s soul. Sometimes we forget it’s just a game. That’s easy to do. If you are given to scanning to baseball stats like I am, you have to sometimes be amazed at what is happening to different players and different teams. One could field a “Former All-Star Team” composed of players hitting below .220 with many being below the “Mendoza Line” of .200. It’s May 16th and look at this:
- Marwin Gonzalez – .218
- Kris Davis – .218
- Paul Goldschmidt – .214
- Gary Sanchez – .211
- Ian Kinsler – .209
- Edwin Encarnacion – .205
- Anthony Rizzo – .202
- Carlos Santana – .196
- Michael Taylor – .186
- Jason Kipnis – .172
- Jackie Bradley, Jr.
- Chris Davis – .170
- Kole Calhoun – .162
- Dexter Fowler – .146
- Matt Carpenter – .140
Many of those players are are .280-.300 hitters. How can that happen? There can be lots of reasons, but the fact is IT’S BASEBALL – STUFF LIKE THIS HAPPENS! IT’S A GAME OF STREAKS!
How is it that Joc Pederson, Chris Taylor, Max Muncy, Kyle Farmer, Austin Barnes, Kike Hernandez, Yasiel Puig, Tim Locastro and Logan Forsythe are all hitting below .238? Well, at least four of those players are not proven major leaguers and with the other four, all I can say is IT’S BASEBALL – STUFF LIKE THIS HAPPENS! IT’S A GAME OF STREAKS!
The fact that the Dodgers have only been outscored by 3 runs tells you that it’s just been a lot of bad luck. How can stuff like that happen? IT’S BASEBALL – STUFF LIKE THIS HAPPENS! IT’S A GAME OF STREAKS!
The bullpen failures, the injuries to starters and the collective inability to hit leave the Dodgers 9 games below .500. If you think the team will continue playing like this, you must be new to the game. How can stuff like this happen? IT’S BASEBALL – STUFF LIKE THIS HAPPENS! IT’S A GAME OF STREAKS!
These are the times that try mens souls… but this too shall pass! Blame FAZ if it makes you feel better, but the team won 104 games last year. This team is that bad now, but they aren’t THAT bad! They will figure it and the fun will start. PLEASE, JUST HURRY UP!
From Always Compete on the last Thread
Right now there is not much relief help down on the farm. Sborz has moved to AAA, and is progressing, but I think he was stymied by his desire to start. He still needs time, but he is not a high leverage reliever at the ML level right now. Joe Broussard is not nearly ready. The team is waiting for Garcia and Paredes to continue to improve at AAA with more high leverage opportunities. 32 year old Brian Schlitter is getting most of the save opportunities, and he is doing well enough, but is not not much of an upgrade to what the Dodgers currently have. Garcia and Paredes are on the 40 man, while Sborz and Schlitter are not.
Dennis Santana is currently starting at AA, and I know Mark thinks he can relieve at the ML level now. I think very highly of Dennis Santana, and believe he can be an effective #3 – #5 SP, and a very effective late inning reliever, potential closer. But I do not think he can be a high leverage reliever right now. ML hitters are a lot better than AA. He should get his first ML opportunity in September. He is not a difference maker right now, and IMO FAZ should not start his clock yet.
Vegas mentioned Donovan Solano above, and that is a huge question in my mind. One of the key reasons for that signing was the unknown about Corey Seager. Solano was considered a plausible substitution for the injured Seager if he needed some DL time. He played very well at SS and hit well in ST, but thus far has not been considered. I do not understand why not. He has done nothing but perform at OKC. Ryu can be placed on the 60 day, and held out until August allowing the organization to move some from the 40 man. Also at some point, the team is going to need to see what they have in Henry Owens.
At OKC this year –
Offensively – .352/.407/.459/.866 – 11 BB, 19K, 135 PA, 4 SB, 0 CS.
Defensively – 3 errors in 90 chances, 12 DP at SS; 1 error in 40 chances, 4 DP at 2B
ML Offensively Career offensively – 1168 PA, .257/.306/.331/.636 – 16.8% K rate
MINOR LEAGUE REPORT by AlwaysCompete
OKC was rained out yesterday, and have an off day today.
Tulsa – 8-7 win over Springfield Cardinals
Caleb Ferguson started and pitched well for 5.1 innings. He did allow his first HR of the season in the 3rd. However it was the 6th that was the problem inning for Caleb. After getting the first out in the inning, he allowed a double and then a single that went off his glove hand. There was apparently no injury concern, and he was allowed to pitch to the next batter who hit a 3 run HR. Caleb left with the lead and was in a position to win his 4th game. Corey Copping got into the 9th, and after getting 2 quick outs, he allowed back to back singles, which was followed by a 3 run HR to tie the game.
In the home half of the 9th, PH Zach Reks reached 1st base on a fielding error. RF Luke Raley and CF DJ Peters followed with singles to load the bases for 3B Connor Joe. Joe promptly singled to score Reks for the walk off win. Raley and Joe each had 3 hit nights. Angelo Mora (3) and Raley (8) each slugged solo HR’s. Not to be outdone, C Keibert Ruiz extended his hitting streak to six games with a 3 run HR (his 4th). Ruiz Is 9-23 during this streak.
19 year old catcher Keibert Ruiz is slashing .284/.341/.422/.764 at Tulsa in 2018. He is also growing as a catcher defensively. He still needs to build up his arm strength, but is improving, throwing out 25% of would be base stealers in a small sample (20 attempts). Ruiz is currently rated the #2 catching prospect in MLB Pipeline and #48 overall prospect. He is only behind Indians 22 year old catcher prospect Francisco Mejia (#13 overall prospect). Ruiz should crack a few top 20 mid-season prospect lists this summer.
The Drillers are now 20-17 and reside alone at the top of the Texas League North Division.
Rancho Cucamonga – 5-4 loss to Stockton Ports (A’s)
Zach Pop relieved losing pitcher, Jason Richman (1-4), with one out in the 8th inning of a 3-3 tie. Richman left the bases loaded after a walk and 2 singles before Pop was summoned. Pop surrendered a run scoring infield single and sac fly to give the Ports a 5-3 lead going into the 9th. After a Connor Wong single and Omar Estevez double, the Quakes put runners on 2nd and 3rd with nobody out, but could only push 1 across and fell a run shy in their loss.
Tony Gonsolin started and went 4.2 IP (94 pitches), allowing 3 runs (2 earned), 3 hits, 2 BB, and 7K. Offensively Connor Wong and Omar Estevez had 2 hit games. Donovan Casey hit his 2nd HR, a solo shot in the 7th, temporarily tieing the score 3-3.
Great Lakes – 10-5 Win over Bowling Green Hot Rods (Rays)
Great Lakes won their 2nd consecutive game. They have split their last 10 games, and are showing some signs of life. 20 year old RHP Edwin Uceta started and went 3.0 IP, allowing 3 runs on 3 hits, with 1 walk, and 5 K’s. Andre Scrubb won the game, but allowed 2 runs on 3 hits, 1 walk in 1.1 IP. Dan Jagiello and Devin Hemmerich followed with 4.1 shutout innings to preserve the victory. A trio of Loon players had 2 hit nights; CF Brayan Morales, 3B Jared Walker, and 2B Eric Peterson. Carlos Rincon (3), Starling Heredia (3), and Jared walker (6) each hit a HR. Every batter except Mitchell Hansen had at least 1 hit.
Today’s Starting Pitchers
Tulsa – Logan Bawcom – Recently re-signed and making his first start of 2018.
RC – Dean Kremer
GL – Jesus Vargas