Right-hander Gerardo Carrillo was signed by the Dodgers as an international free agent on July 5, 2016. The native of Guadalajara, Mexico received a signing bonus of $75,000. He has already climbed into the Dodgers MLB Pipeline prospect list ranking No. 27.
He played in the Dominican Summer League during the 2017 season recording a 2.79 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP in 14 appearances, 10 of them starts. He struck out 32 over 48.1 innings while walking 14.
The 19-year-old Carrillo came stateside for the current campaign and after four appearances in the Arizona League was promoted to the Great Lakes Loons of the Midwest League and immediately moved into a starting role. To date he has made eight starts with the Loons posting 1.43 ERA and a WHIP of 1.00. He has struck out 32 in 44.1 innings pitched and walked 12.
One of the most noticeable things about Carrillo is his composure on the mound pitching to batters often a few years older than him. He does not seem to get rattled under pressure and pitches with a confidence that belies his age and experience. Pitching coach Bobby Cuellar has been impressed.
“Right now, his delivery is not as good as he wants it, but the tenacity he has, the feel for the gamethat he has and the stubbornness sometimes that he has that, ‘I’m going to throw this pitch and I know it’s going to work,'” Cuellar said. “Even to do that, you have to have a feel and a trust for your ability to do things. This young man has a lot of trust in himself and a lot of trust in his ability and has a knowledge that I probably can’t teach, that ‘I can throw a pitch and it will work.'”
Another has been his ability to work later into games than some of his teammates who are on pitch or innings count. In his last three starts he has logged 19 innings while giving up no earned runs. He has not been prolific at striking out batters recording 12 over those 19 innings. He has walked seven, often missing low as he has been able to keep the ball down consistently.
Thirdly, Carrillo is noticeable as he is 6’0” tall while weighing only 154 pounds yet he consistently throws in the low 90’s and can touch as high as 97 mph. Again, pitching coach Bobby Cuellar is impressed but is unable to explain how Carrillo generates his velocity.
“If you’ve been around baseball long enough, you know that I don’t have that answer for you,” Cuellar said about how a smaller pitcher can generate that kind of velocity. “I’ve been around some guys that are not very big and throw pretty hard themselves. I was fortunate enough to be a pitching coach with Pedro Martinez [with the Expos] and he wasn’t a very big guy, either. I really can’t tell you — his arm works a certain way, his extension works a certain way and then the ball comes out of his hand. I’m sure that I can’t exactly tell you what he does, but it works.”
Additionally he has a changeup that works well, often over-matching hitters, as a strikeout pitch or a first pitch to a batter in his intended pitch sequence. Loons play-by-play broadcaster speaks of Carrillo often pitching backwards. That is, starting off with an off speed pitch – his curveball or changeup – and then following with a fast ball that looks even faster to the hitter than the actual velocity. His changeup was particular good in his last outing and this time pitching coach Cuellar had an explanation for its effectiveness.
“It’s an arm speed thing,” the coach said of the pitch’s effectiveness. “But here’s this little guy who hits up to 94 [mph] on you, and all of sudden it’s pretty close hand speed and toward the end of the night, the last two or three innings, the hand speed on the fastball and the changeup were really, really close together. He threw a lot more changeups toward the end and, in fact, the last guy he struck out was a changeup.”
As mentioned, Carrillo keeps the ball down and works very well with Loons catchers Gersel Pitre and Hunter Fedducia, both of whom handle pitches in the dirt equally well. On Saturday evening he pitched the Loons to a 1-0 win over the West Michigan WhiteCaps with whom Great Lakes is battling for a play-off berth. He pitched seven innings, was rewarded with the win on a Pitre little league home run, and struck out seven while walking only one. He gave up six hits, only one for extra bases – a double – while throwing 88 pitches, 57 for strikes.
Carrillo’s win was sandwiched in between two other Loons victories over the WhiteCaps, an 8-0 win on Friday evening and a 4-2 win on Sunday afternoon. The Loons are now 3.5 games ahead of both the Whitecaps and the Fort Wayne TinCaps in their play-off run with seven games remaining in the regular season schedule.
Photo Credit: Freek Bouw/Phrake Photography
What’s Up, Doc? by Mark Timmons
I do not believe the batting order or the lineup was the reason that the Dodgers lost last night. You know that I was in favor of firing Dave Roberts, and still am, but I do not blame his lineup for the loss. That said, I still do blame him for the loss. It seems to me that there is a certain malaise or lack of urgency befalls the entire team. That the team hits as a team or doesn’t hit… period, has to fall upon Dave Roberts as the manager. I don’t think the lineup mattered last night. It’s almost like they take certain games off… mentally!
Roberts had an All-RH Hitting lineup last night, and arguably, you can point to the fact that players like Max Muncy hit lefties better than righties and was not in the lineup. CT3 and Puig were in the lineup, but hit .214 and .212 respectively, against LHP. Bellinger hits LHP better than that! I know why Dave sends Matt Kemp out there – he think’s he is due to break out of his slump, but it’s much more than a slump. Before the All-Star Game, Kemp’s OPS was .874 (that’s All-Star Level and he was). Since the All-Star Game, his OPS is .617 (that’s toilet bowl level). Kemp has went from Beast Mode to Least Mode, but he did get two hits last night. In fact, the Dodgers got 8 hits total… certainly enough to score a few runs.
Chris Taylor is hitting .215 since the All-Star Game with a .637 OPS. Brian Dozier has had his moments, but is hitting just .225 since the All-Star Game. If you think that is bad, Austin Barnes is hitting .147! How is he still on the team? Of course, Grandal can’t catch every game, thus the need for Barnes last night. Kike Hernandez is hitting .244 since the All-Star Game and is hitting .357 the last 15 games.
Have you noticed that Matt Kemp has put on a few pounds since the start of the season? I read in The Athletic that Kemp weighed 282 when he started working out last winter. For Matt Kemp to be successful next year, he needs to be around 220. I think he’s at least 20 over that right now.
I do blame Doc for the team’s approach and not picking each other up. As a former player, he gives players a lot of slack in breaking out of a slump. I am for accountability – you don’t hit, you don’t play! Simple! On the positive side, the Bullpen has been very good and el Gasolino’s name is changed (at least for now) to el Excelente. Sorry Rick, that was a good name.
The Dodgers need to callup Verdugo and Toles September 1st and go ahead and decimate OKC… but hey. This would be my lineup Saturday:
- Verdugo RF
- Turner 3B
- Machado SS
- Muncy 1B
- Bellinger CF
- Grandal C
- Toles LF
- Hernandez 2B