Secret Weapon #3

A lot of Dodger Fans have written this guy off for 2018 and have traded him away already… except that he is still with the Dodgers. There is perhaps no more polarizing Dodger than Yasmani Grandal.  He was acquired by the Andrew Friedman front office who traded the fan favorite (at the time), Matt Kemp for him.  I am certain that is part of the reason Yasmani is so vilified.  Well, that and the fact that he leads MLB in passed balls.

Of course, he led all of MLB in Total Chances, Put Outs, was 4th in Range Factor and Top 10 in fielding percentage, was a Top 3 Pitch Framer and, yes, he did lead baseball in Passed Balls.  Look, Yasmani had what I think was an off year with the bat.  His batting average went up while his OB% went down.  His strikeouts went up and his walks went down.  Austin Barnes took his job in the playoffs and a lot of fans are convinced he will keep it.  He won’t!

IN 2016, Yasmai Grandal was Top 3 in OPS for Catchers (.816) … finishing ahead of Buster Posey, but slipped to a .767 OPS in 2017.  Austin Barnes had a .895 OPS, but in over 200 fewer at-bats.  I like Austin Barnes, but Grandal had 438 At-Bats while Barnes had 218.  Barnes is still unproven over the long haul in many respects.  I also happen to think that Yasmani can play a huge part in this teams’ success.

Having a child during the World Series might have been an issue, maybe he was injured… who knows, but I do know this:  Yasmani is an elite catcher and can throw out runners.  I would like to see him reduce his passed balls, but Yasmani was #1 in all of baseball in Cather’s ERA (CERA) in 2017.  So, evidently, the passed balls didn’t hurt too much. Add in the fact that Yasmani has 35 HR potential to go with a .350 OB% and .850 OPS potential, and he has all the motivation in the world to do that as he is in his walk year. A great season means a big payday for him.

If Yasmani hits 35 big flys and puts up an .850 OPS to go with his elite catching ability, we have a secret weapon that could be a winner, winner, chicken dinner! Austin Barnes will get 300 AB’s while Yasmani will get 400 and I think the combination will be the best in baseball.

Write this down:  Yasmani Grandal is Secret Weapon #3!

Other Dodger News

  • As usual, JonSoo Hoo has some absolutely wonderful photos ofThursday’s Spring Training Sights. If you have ever been to Camelback Ranch, it takes you there in spirit
  • Tom Koehlerlooks to pull a Blanton or Morrow. I’d like to say he can be  Secret Weapon, but only time will tell.  FAZ and Honeycutt think he can.
  • It’s nice to see old friend Kirk Gibson and the Dodgers mend fences and he will throw out the first pitch on Opening Day while the Dodgers help him raise money for Parkinson’s Research.
  • Matt Kemp for Ryan Braun is an idea floatedHERE.Ideas like this demonstrate just how bad drugs are! The brain damage is evidently severe.
  • What ifAdam Liberatoreis healthy?

Man, I really miss Spring Training.  I was at Camelback Ranch the first 5 years and now I have missed 5 years.  March is a really busy month for me.  I have several conventions to attend: Denver, Nashville, Las Vegas and San Francisco.  Then, there is World Water Day (March 22) where I am going to Haiti with my two sons to shoot a video forThe Gift Of Water.  My oldest son is First Camera on many TV Shows (Saturday Night Live, Blue Bloods, etc.) and shoots major motion pictures.

He is currently shooting a motion picture in Philadelphia for M. Night Shyamalan, but a couple of years ago he shot the National Geographic “Story of God” with Morgan Freeman.  We are hoping that Morgan will narrate the of Gift of Water video….  to be continued!

This article has 34 Comments

  1. Here is what Mark wrote last year on this same subject:
    “Think what you want, but I believe 2017 will be Yasmani Grandal’s breakout season. Yeah, I know he hit 27 HR last year – he will hit more in 2017!

    Yasmani is working on his diet, strength and conditioning (detect a trend?) and has worked on re-tooling his RH swing all winter. He might blast 40 HR this year. He might even hit cleanup! I think he will an All-Star.”

    I’m sure that if we look to 2016 we will find a similar statement.

  2. First and foremost congrats on your son’s young and budding career!!
    Why is it we always espouse(?), defense up the middle???
    Villify is really harsh MT!! You really Iike Y and myself and others get that!!
    I also believe he will retake his job, becuz there’s nothing like having a 30+ HR guy wedged in your lineup…
    As usual you have shared a plethora of positive stats for Y, but alas a passed ball is a passed ball and a runner advancing etc. etc. I will be heading to Camelback in a couple weeks and I’m sure once again I’ll see Yeager working with Grandal on the passed ball. I’m sure also Y wont be joining Dancing with the Stars after his retirement…e
    P.S. I wonder why Kersh or other SP didn’t demand Y as their designated catcher i.e. A.J. Ellis ( who I really like, but hitting was well on the poor side)???
    With a 5 Mill contract and a child already at home are you really repeatedly trying to make us believe the birth of his second child would impact his performance??? Unless she was having a difficult delivery, maybe Y should pen pal with some military fathers stationed overseas..

  3. I gave my meds to the buzzard

    He rocks in the ballpark all day long
    Hoppin’ and a-boppin’ and throwin down signs
    All da blue girly jerseys, sporting number 15
    Love to see Ol Austin, spitting out seeds
    Austin Austin
    Barn-yards a Rockin
    Austin Austin
    Barn-yards a Rockin
    Go Austin Austin
    Chuck dem suckas out under the lights

    Every little wallow, he’s certain to see
    Barnyard SAMS fired from the knees
    A wise bold crowd, enjoying the show
    Flappin’ their wings singing go bird go

    Austin Austin
    Barn-yards a Rockin
    Austin Austin
    Barn-yards a Rockin
    Go Austin Austin
    Chuck dem suckas out under the lights

    Whoa-oh-oh…

    Middle of the game, following a great red bird stand
    Ol’ Barnyard did the base-bob and boy was it grand
    His flock remained steady and soon stole the show
    As an angry buzzard flew out of old Molinas soul

    He rocks in the ballpark all day long
    Hoppin’ and a-boppin’ and throwin down signs
    All da blue girly jerseys, sporting number 15
    Love to see Ol Austin, spitting out seeds
    Austin Austin
    Barnyards a Rockin
    Austin Austin
    Barnyards a Rockin
    Go Austin Austin
    Chuck dem suckas out under the lights

    Middle of the game, following a great red bird stand
    Ol’ Barnyard did the base-bob and boy was it grand
    His flock remained steady and soon stole the show
    As an angry buzzard flew out of old Molinas soul

    He rocks in the ballpark all day long
    Hoppin’ and a-boppin’ and throwin down signs
    All dem blue girly jerseys, sporting number 15
    Love to see Ol Austin, spitting out seeds
    Austin Austin
    Barnyards a Rockin
    Austin Austin
    Barnyards a Rockin
    Go Austin Austin
    Chuck dem suckas out under the lights

  4. Mark, that’s a nice story you posted about the family and I do hope Morgan agrees to assist you all. I also hope we don’t see you on the 10 day after all that traveling, be safe and enjoy. P.S. That kid carries all that camera gear sturdier than I do my fungo bat. Well, you know what I mean…Heads up out there!

  5. I agree that Grandal will be a secret weapon but not because of his stats but instead because of the player the Dodgers get back when he is traded.
    .
    I think the Dodgers will eventually trade for Chris Archer and he will be one of the Dodgers’ secret weapons.

      1. I wonder what the score is? I think we are tied in the number of ties we have suggested those trades. I’ll stop if you stop.

  6. I had Yasmani Grandal on my radar from long before the trade for Kemp. I have predicted big things for him, and the fact of the matter is that over the past three seasons he has easily been one of the TOP 7 or 8 Catchers in Baseball… maybe TOP 5!

    I thought he would take a big step forward last year…

    I still think he will…

    Maybe I’m just a year off.

    I am also a huge Austin Barnes fan, but I do not think he can catch too many innings.

  7. I liked Grandal when he played for San Diego. Grandal swung at a lot of bad pitches last year. When that happens you will never see a strike. If he stops swing at bad pitches, he will start to see some strikes. He could be very good this year. I also like Austin Barnes. Could be the best duo in the majors.

    1. I agree with your last statement. I think more and more teams will do with the catching position what nfl teams have done for the runningback positions; that they start platooning and rotating more guys in, to keep everyone fresh.

      Some teams do this by playing their C at 1b at times (Posey) but having 2 catchers play 3 and 4 games a week definitely keeps both fresh and still sharp. I don’t mind it one bit. The only downside is that neither guy may make an all star game (but that’s it)

  8. Interesting comments about the rotation by the guys at Dodgers’ Digest:
    “Good news, but it still underscores how fragile the rotation depth actually is at present.

    No Dodger starter logged more than 175 innings last season — by Kershaw, who missed five weeks with a back injury. That’s two years in a row for him, so keep an eye on that. Wood logged 152 1/3 innings, but his second half wasn’t nearly as impressive as his first half because of injury and declined velocity. Hill’s 135 2/3 innings were the second-most of his career and only the third time he’s logged more than 100 innings. There’s also the blister issue that, admittedly, wasn’t much of a concern after the first couple months of the season. Maeda’s second year (134 1/3 innings) in the majors wasn’t as good as his first and Ryu’s first year back from missing basically two years had mixed results and 126 2/3 innings.

    We cannot assume Kershaw is going to get to 200 innings in 2018 because he hasn’t reached that level in three of the last four seasons. Wood’s health and velocity will determine how much he pitches. Hill is 38 years old and it’s hard to count on a guy with a laundry list of health issues for 150 innings. Maeda has added weight since turning pro, but still has issues against left-handed hitters. Ryu is a wild card, but there’s no guarantee he’s going to be able to top last year’s workload.”

  9. Kemp for Braun rumor has to be one of the dumbest I’ve read all year. I’ll take two years of Kemp’s contract even if he doesn’t produce over 3 years of Braun’s contract.

  10. I like Grandal too, and he does have 35 HR power. But because he’s a catcher, his total HR production will be held down due to his being limited to 400 AB’s, give or take.

    And I’m hopeful that Buehler will also be a secret weapon, although I am still concerned by what I saw as a straight as an arrow fastball during his limited time with the Dodgers. And that was most recently confirmed in the 2018 Baseball America Prospect Handbook. While they have him as the Dodgers top prospect, and have a lot of really good things to say about him, they also write that “The one shortcoming of his fastball is it doesn’t have a lot of life, making it easier for hitters to square up when he misses his spot, a problem that was exposed during his September callup in the Dodgers bullpen.”

    1. I thought that Buehler’s fastball looked pretty straight to me too, but it seemed to be worse in situations where he had gotten himself into trouble (walks, etc.) and he started to overthrow.

  11. Grandal will be good for the long season but in a short series he must be able to keep the line moving. Can he do that I don’t know but if he can he will be our playoff guy. If not well he will just test free agency.

  12. Grandal a streaky hitter. When he’s on he’s really on. Grandal is also often injured and tired, due to his position. So there is that. It’s hard to see how many strikes he steals by his framing but I’m betting more than you’d think. And he does have an arm. So malign him all you want he’s a good catcher, and like I said, when he’s on and rested and healthy the guy can hit a ton.

    1. 2 years for $7 M?! What happened to the great Scott Boras? I think waiting so long hurt his value compared to other free agent relievers already signed. Good move for the Giants though.

  13. Grandal is a free agent after this season and for that reason, I’m hoping Barnes is the value I believe him to be and becomes the secret weapon, rather then Grandal. I’m hoping the Dodgers trade Grandal and get some value, rather than seeing him walk at the end of the season without any value in return. Maybe Grandal and some others for Jacob deGrom.

  14. Could you imagine Tim Lincecum in a Dodger uniform??? Sorta makes me spit up a little in the back of my throat…But what if he???
    He’ll want to stay in Cali and close to the cannabis outlets I’d assume with a friendly contract..

  15. Baltimore still needs and wants starting pitching. The Dodgers don’t need Machado and while he wants to play shortstop, he would probably have to play second base for the Dodgers. Ryu, Stripling, and Forsythe might interest Baltimore if the Dodgers added a good pitching prospect.
    .
    Here is a question: Could Machado agree to sign an extension as part of the trade with the extension designed to reduce his average annual cost but include an opt out to basically eliminate the extension?

    1. Orioles already stated there won’t be a window from them to bargain for a new contract for anyone trading for Machado.

    2. I am pretty certain that Machado would sign an extension for 10 years/$450 Million.

      … and the dodgers have three players that would get the job done: Ruiz, Buehler and Diaz. They aren’t going to take 3 journeymen for 1 year for Machado.

      1. what?? you don’t think Ryu Forsythe and Stripling could net us Manny Machado??

        I was hoping after we do that deal, we send Trayce, Brock Stewart and Maeda to Anaheim for Trout, and follow that up with Utley, Grandal, and Font for Jose Altuve.

  16. Honey’s the man, I joke

    Oh when the runs creep around, as Baez, serves taters high on the roof
    And your chaw starts to glop, you’re thinking, Ima get fired, betta get somebody up get ’em loose
    Under Old Honeycutt, pitches float in the breeze….
    CN-, drink it, this kid he’ll, be the end of me

    (Under Old Honeycutt) – Prepare your thumb
    (Under Old Honeycutt) – Shit, Doc, dems blisters in the sun
    (Under Old Honeycutt) – Da crispy shitlings done
    (Under Old Honeycutt) – throw another one in the tub
    Under Old Honeycutt- Honeycutt
    From the park you hear the crappy sound of a frisco seal
    Mmm, you can almost taste, the chaw glop, and your eyes begin to swell
    Under Old Honeycutt, pitches float in the breeze
    CN-, drink it, this kid he’ll, be the end of me

    (Under Old Honeycutt) – Prepare your thumb
    (Under Old Honeycutt) – Shit, Doc, dems blisters in the sun
    (Under Old Honeycutt) – Da crispy shitlings done
    (Under Old Honeycutt) – throw another one in the tub
    Under Old Honeycutt- Honeycutt

    Ooooooooh

    Under Old Honeycutt, pitches float in the breeze
    CN-, drink it, this kid he’ll, be the end of me

    (Under Old Honeycutt) – Prepare your thumb
    (Under Old Honeycutt) – Shit, Doc, dems blisters in the sun
    (Under Old Honeycutt) – Da crispy shitlings done
    (Under Old Honeycutt) – throw another one in the tub
    Under Old Honeycutt- Honeycutt

  17. Hosmer to the Madres… 8 years (OUCH) @ $144mm…
    @ 28y.o. I’m thinking it should work pretty till his opt out @ 5 years..
    What does the crew think???

  18. Hi Pete – hope life is good. I still find your posts very entertaining. I’m off to Dublin again for Paddies Day in a few weeks for a Guinness or two.

    Strange decision by the Padres to commit so much money for so long.

    Mark – thanks for the heads up about Dodger Insider – some great pics on there.
    Not sure I agree with you in CK’s physique – looks ok to me – but yesterday’s pics of Puig made me feel good about my own lack of conditioning. He is clearly overweight which is not a good sign.
    I wonder about him.

    Utley looks unbelievably well for a man of his age, and Corey looks like he’s been working out.

    Anyway, looking to the action starting.

  19. Watford my man!!! been a rough few months on the medical side, but I’ve dodged a few bullets and I too am looking forward to another entertaining season… Stay safe, stay fit and tip a guinness or two for me… No Bad Days…

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