Andrew Friedman and Farhan Zaidi (“FAZ”) have built a pretty impressive organization… and while some of their moves are questioned by many, I have generally been in agreement with what that have done, even their failures, because I understood the rationale behind even failed decisions. You can’t be right all the time, and I understand that. However, I am in disagreement with one major thing and that involves starting pitchers. I just do not agree with letting someone start who obviously lacks the concentration or pitching repitoire requisite to such applications.
In particular, I have a problem with the handling of the following pitchers, and I will tell you why:
- Yadier Alvarez – Maybe he has ADHD. but to me it seems that he has tremendous difficulty with focus. Tell him to thow 1 inning and strike out the side and he can do it. He will routinely hit 100 MPH as a reliever. In my opinion, he does not have the makeup to be a starter. Then… there’s the issue of control…
- Brock Stewart – Brock Stewart will be no better than a AAAA starter, but if you look at his splits, you will see he is very good out of the pen. Again, don’t stretch him out – have him pitch one inning at a time and he will hit 96+ MPH with a lot of movement. I think he sees hinslef as a starter, so you have to change his mindset. Change your thinking – change your life.
- Ariel Hernandez – Another guy who routinely hits triple digits. but has control issues. They are trying to teach him a cutter – at least that’s what it looks like to me, but he gets in trouble when he pitches multiple innings. If he has a great inning, pull him – let him build on that success.
- Jordan Sheffield – You can probably duplicate what I wrote about Alvarez, Stewart and Hernandez. Sheffield is a guy who can also hit 100 when utilized out of the pen. His pitches don’t have a lot of movement but 100+ MPH for one inning is sometimes enough.
It is my opinion that all four of these pitchers can flourish in the pen, but are destined to fail as starters. Of course, Hernandez is not a starter anyway. These are four electric arms that could be outstanding in the bullpen. Have them focus on that!
- Kyle Farmer does have a flair for the dramatic, doesn’t he?
- It looks like The Laser fixed Rich Hill’s blister. Who knew? That is the Rich Hill the Dodgers expected. If he doesn’t have blisters, he will be outstanding the rest of the way. The “Blister” has always been the issue. A laser?
- So… Clayton will do a rehab start and then be ready next Thursday against the Cubs? That is the plan…
- According to Dave Roberts, Ryu is expected back around the All-Star Break.
- Logan Forsythe is starting to show what he can do… if he doesn’t get hurt again.
- Let’s take the series with Chicken Strip!
MINOR LEAGUE UPDATE by AlwaysCompete
There were multiple key stories for the Dodger affiliates in yesterday’s games, but if I were to pick one it would be the 3rd consecutive strong outing at AA Tulsa by Andrew Sopko. Hopefully the light has gone on for Andrew and this is who he really is. Dodger affiliates won 3 of four games played.
OKC – 3-2 Loss to Las Vegas 51’s (Mets)
Two unearned runs including the eventual game winner in the 10th led to the 3-2 defeat. Tyler Pill pitched well for 5.0 innings allowing a single run. Josh Sborz, Joe Broussard, Brian Schlitter, and Pat Venditte pitched the final 5.0 innings allowing 2 unearned runs on 5 hits and 1 walk. In total, Dodger pitchers struck out 9 Las Vegas batters. Offensively, Edwin Rios went 2-4, with Rocky Gale hitting his 8th double and Henry Ramos his 14th double.
Tulsa – 5-1 Win over Springfield Cardinals
Andrew Sopko was once again outstanding (if not dominant) for 6 innings for the Drillers. He allowed the sole Cardinals run on 6 hits and 1 walk, with 3 K’s. Stetson Allie made his AA pitching debut and Dylan Baker combined to pitch the final three scoreless innings, with Baker getting his 5th save. It was interesting that with the bevy of potential ML relievers at RC that it was 27 year old Stetson Allie that got the call. And then you read that he hit 100 on the gun, and then you hope that he can do more with that pitch.
Offensively it was Jacob Scavuzzo’s 3 run double (7) that was the game breaker. Luke Raley went 2-4 including his 7th double. Connor Joe hit his 16th double.
Ogden – 7-2 Win over Orem Owlz (Angels)
The Raptors scored 7 runs on 8 hits and 10 walks. There were no multi-hit games; however, 2B/SS Jacob Amaya was on base all 5 of his PA with a single and 4 walks. Amaya also had 2 RBIs. 3B Luke Heyer, 8th round 2018 draft choice out of Kentucky, also had 2 RBI’s. Rudy’s new favorite minor leaguer, former USC 1B Dillon Paulson, went 1-3 with a double. The team was 4-16 WRISP.
Joel Inoa started and pitched 4 innings allowing the 2 runs (1 earned), on 3 hits, 2 walks, and 2 K’s. Inoa was followed by Austin Hamilton, Luis Pasen, and Devin Hemmerich.
Dodgers #26 prospect, Ronny Brito (SS from San Pedro de Macoris, DR) found his way from the DSL to Ogden for his 2018 USA debut, ultimately going 0-3.
AZL Dodgers – 16-3 Win over AZL Rangers
The Dodgers scored 16 runs on 23 hits, led by SS Albert Suarez (another SS from San Pedro de Macoris, DR) went 4-4 with a walk, including a double and triple. Other multi-hit games:
CF Ismael Alcantara – 3-3, 3 RBI, HR (1) (3 run HR) – Santo Domingo, DR
C Marco Hernandez – 3-5 – Maracay, Venezuela
RF Rolando Lebron – 3-6, double, triple, 2 RBI’s – La Victoria, DR
DH Aldo Espinoza – 2-3, 2 doubles – Managua, Nicaragua
CF Josh McLain – 2-3, double – 9th round draft choice, North Carolina State (2018)
LF Jeremiah Vison – 2-4 – 36th round draft choice, Golden West College (2018)
There were 6 pitchers going for the Dodgers and registering 14K’s. The one I will be particularly following will be 19 year old Venezuelan Elio Serrano, who registered three K’s in his 1 inning. This was Elio’s first game in the USA after two fairly dominant seasons in the DSL. He is very slightly built at 5’ 11” and 160 pounds, but seems to pitch very well with a greater than 1 K per inning over this short 2+ year’s professional career.
4 of the 5 hits by the AZL Rangers were collected by 18 year old SS, Jayce Easley. Easley is the son of former 17 year ML infielder Damien Easley. The younger Easley was this year’s 5th round draft choice from Sandra Day O’Connor HS, Arizona. Easley was a HS teammate of this year’s Cardinals 1st round draft choice, 3B Nolan Gorman.
California League All-Star Game – North defeated the South 8-1
Quakes RF Logan Landon was the lone star for the South going 2-3 and supplying the only run with a HR. 3B Rylan Bannon and C Connor Wong each went hitless, and pitcher Dean Kremer was not particularly sharp in his .2 IP. Outside of the game itself, Rylan Bannon finished 2nd in the 2018 California League HR Derby, with 21. Lancaster JetHawks’ (Rockies) Roberto Ramos, 23 year old 1B, won the derby with 22. Ramos was a 2014 draft choice (16) out of College of the Canyons, Santa Clarita…10 minutes from my home town of Granada Hills.
Midwest League All-Star Game – East defeated West 3-2 in 10 innings
Loons 3B Jared Walker went 1-2 for the victorious East Division, including a HR. The other Loon All-Star, pitcher Andre Scrubb, retired the only batter he faced.