Get Ready for Some Change

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 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,” 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. 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”

This article has 57 Comments

  1. Another game another Dodger BP implosion. This team needs a bolt of energy and I think Mark is right Verdugo is on his way. Love what CT3 did last year but he looks like a “flash in the pan” and a lot like the CT3 that played for the Mariners. Way too many K’s and a horrible BA. Corey looks hurt….just saying.

    Dare I say WS hangover? Having said all that we can get right the ship but I’m worried the D-Backs are real and at 11 games over .500 they’re playing some good baseball right now.

    Got to win two of the next three in SF.

  2. What about Chase Leading Off?

    He has an OBP of .397!
    He takes lots of Walks & HBPs & can run the bases.

    Need 2 wins today.

  3. Trevor Oaks gets his 1st ML start today for the Royals in Game 1 of a DH against the ChiSox.

  4. Yes, ” don’t panic “, baseball is a humbling sport. But does it need to be so humiliating.
    The Lord works in mysterious ways, and apparently He’s not the only one.

  5. Pederson is not the problem or Taylor, or Forsythe, but together they bring up some why questions.
    Question, Why is Pederson getting so much playing time?
    Pederson has played in 20 games with 46 at-bats. Pederson has 10 hits, 2 doubles, 1 HR, 8 RBI’s, and is hitting .227. Kemp has played in 21 games with 64 at-bats. Kemp has 4 doubles, 4 HR, 11 RBI’s and is hitting.333. Roberts said yesterday “He’s a big part of what we’re trying to do. “The way that Matt has played early on, he’s earned those opportunities. I still want to be mindful of Joc, staying current and getting those at-bats, because we’re going to need him.” Really, for what? Are the Dodgers going to move Taylor back to second? I don’t think so. Are the Dodgers going to trade Puig and move Pederson or Kemp to right field? again, I don’t think so.Is Roberts trying to make Pederson a hitter like he tries to make Baez a high-pressure pitcher, I think so?
    When Forsythe first got injured why not bring up Locastro, play him at second and bat leadoff? When Turner got hurt why not move Barnes to third and leave Forsythe at second instead of all the moves that left third base so unproductive?
    Why not try?
    Locastro 2b
    Seager ss
    Kemp lf
    Bellinger 1b
    Grandal c
    Taylor cf
    Puig rf
    Barnes 3b
    I guess FAZ and Roberts see more or have other ideas.

  6. Staring into M.T.’s pool, maybe the F.O. is feeling ” Change is never painful, only the resistance to change is painful”…
    Someone said it awhile ago, maybe we need a good old bench/bullpen clearing mother of all melees (without major injuries)!!!

  7. I forgot to mention it in my post this AM, but I was at the Pacer-Cavs game last night in what had to be the greatest all-time electric atmospheres I have ever witnessed in sports. Game 4 was like that too, but last night was insane as the Pacers blew out the Cavs by 34 points. Cavs fans showed up en masse and were talking trash like you would not believe.

    Of course, I was giving it back to them and they were really upset. The loudest, rudest one said “Why don’t you just shut up?” To which I replied “Why don’t you just go back to Ohio – the game is over.” By the middle of the 4th quarter, they were all gone. I know it’s difficult to believe I would talk trash…

    Game 7 at Cleveland tomorrow. There is nothing more dangerous than 12 young guys who are all in with nothing to lose and no egos!

  8. The Dodgers only have 3 or 4 guys who are hitting (Kemp, Grandal, Kike Hernandez and Utley) and then not always. Kike looked awful against the Giants’ RHP with breaking balls last night. We know that at this stage Chase can’t hit LHP.

    The reason that Kemp doesn’t play every night is that he’s 33 but has the joints of a 50 year old. He strained his quad running the bases last night. He probably can’t play every night at this stage.

    Joc’s latest swing has him trying to lift the ball with his arms but he doesn’t get his body into his swing. Yeah, he doesn’t strike out like he used to but the thing that made him valuable (his power) is gone with this swing.

    Puig is lost and is doing dumb stuff again (like last night’s steal of 3B).

    Barnes and Farmer look like back-ups.

    Like I said last night, Baez has invented a new way to lose a baseball game. Really? Falling off the mound and balking the go ahead run in? And Alexander looks awful. And now Cingrani has a “dead arm”?

    If Ryu hadn’t knocked in 2 runs the Dodgers wouldn’t have needed El Gasolino to balk – they would have lost anyway.

    Taylor looks like Joc without the walks. He tries to hit a HR every time up.

    What’s wrong with the Dodgers is too pervasive to be cured by the return of one guy (Turner). I have no answers other than to jack the team up and move a bunch of guys around as Mark has suggested.

    1. Rick

      At least Puig made it to third safely, without being thrown out, unlike Joc, at second.

      Talking about being lost, and doing dumb stuff ?

  9. I said way back that Taylor is not proven and that remains true. Way too many strikeouts for a lead off hitter. He appears to have the skills to be a solid if not spectacular player but the league has adjusted and now it is Taylor’s turn. Verdugo is currently heading the wrong direction in Oklahoma in the hitting department. You would like to bring a guy up who is hot. Locastro might deserves a chance at leadoff to see what we have. I doubt there is any chance but just find a way to move on from forsyth, injured all the time and mediocre anyway although Utley is not the answer can’t trust his defense. I will say Forsyth had a fantastic playoff with stellar defense. Our bullpen blows with Baez, Alexander, and now cingrani with two consecutive bad outings. I really think our starting pitching could easily go in free fall, Kershaw a shadow of himself, hill average, Maeda average, ryu average, wood who knows but none strike fear in the opposition. If we are still playing poorly at the trade deadline I would blow it up. Trade Kershaw for some younger talent, ( could always sign him as free agent) I know blasphemy. Put Buehler and Urias in the rotation if he is ready. You could get a starting pitcher for Kershaw and more of course. I would be open to trading everybody but Seager, bellinger, Buehler, and urias while trying to sign Harper and machado in free agency. You could have a starting infield of Turner, machado, bellinger, seager, and barnes with Harper, Toles/ Taylor, kemp/Verdugo in the outfield. Rotation of Buehler, urias, Wood, Maeda, and hill or whoever they trade for. Oh well just dreaming. I think the ownership will probably just go the cheapest route while seeking more hidden nuggets like Alexander. Anderson, McCarthy, etc. they know that long term contracts usually don’t end well. Now might be a time that a long term contract could work as young as machado and Harper are.

  10. Don’t really see how a bench clearing brawl will help the Dodgers. Maybe a bench clearing with some replacements from AAA. Time some hungry lads who are ready to play get a shot at righting the ship.

  11. This is getting painful.
    Certainly no personnel changes for Game 1, and I have not heard anything about any pending personnel moves. Seager not going on DL. He gets another shot at batting 3rd today. I guess we will hear about Kemp and Cingrani later today.
    CT3 – 0-5
    Austin Barnes 0-2, 2 BB
    Kike’ Hernandez – 03, 1 BB
    That is 3 baserunners in 14 PA for the top of the order.
    CT3 now has an OBP of .257. Puig at .255, Forsythe, and Muncy are the only three offensive players with a lower OBP. He is one for his last 15. Also consider that CT3 leads the team in K’s with 29, with the next at 23 (Bellinger). And who is leading off today in Game 1? Yep…CT3. It may sound as if I am down on Chris, which I am not. Right now he is just not a leadoff hitter. Keep him in the lineup, but move him down.
    I am also not down on Doc. But he sure seems to have a stubborn streak. CT3 still leading off and Pedro Baez still pitching in high leverage situations. I appreciate loyalty, but I prefer to win. And in the end, he may be proven right. But if he doesn’t, then he needs to answer to some of these lineups and bullpen moves.
    Good luck to the Pacers to take down the Cavs.

  12. BoBo – You know baseball fights are a joke… Rarely does anyone get seriously injured!!! Sparring in the dark…
    OK if a brawl won’t work for you , how about Doc rearranging his office with Louisville Slugger???
    Machado + the Gifted One… Must be a Cali resident still celebrating 4-20 !??!
    Don’t bet the ranch M.T… I like Indy to pull it off with enough buckets from a book..
    Or are they favored??? My basketball season ended with March Madness + a couple Laker games here n there…

    1. Dreaming maybe but toking no. If you subtract Kershaw’s 35 million you got one of them. Another year with kemp, hill etc. off books there you go. Take Taylor out of leadoff spot for now and maybe revisit later based on performance.

  13. CT3 hit .296 in April last year, and followed that up with .322 in May. In June he hit .227, but followed that up with a .394 July. In August, he hit .296 and followed that up with a .214 September. In the post-season, he hit .254 but had a .380 OB%.

    I don’t think you pull him for one bad month, especially after knowing he has hit the ball hard AT SOMEONE on quite a few occasions. That said, I am in favor of anything that works.

    1. I don’t think he should be pulled from the lineup, just moved from the lead-off role for now.

  14. Peter J. 99 times out of 100 I would agree with you, no one typically gets hurt. But in this case are you really willing to take a chance. Guys tripping on grass, falling of the mound, heck we may end up with multiple guys on the DL. Hey wait a minute……. let’s get it on.

  15. Going to be a long day Buehler should have taken the day off. Dodgers just can’t seem to seize any opportunity!

  16. I watched Trevor Oaks today. I wasn’t so interested in his results (which were rather poor), but moreso in his “stuff”. I didn’t see any electric type stuff (like we’re seeing with Buehler). In my mind he’s a #5 starter at best, and no offense to him or his family, but we have plenty of guys who have higher upsides than him.

    Granted this is the first time I’ve seen him, and may be he was just nervous. Let’s see how he does next time out

      1. So was I. It was a doubleheader, so he should head back to AAA. He will get another chance.

  17. Good to see Joc having some good ABs.

    Beginning to look like a MASH Unit out there.

  18. By the way, Alex Verdugo is currently in SF. I think we had him fly out and be on that taxi squad, just in case Kemp needs to take his 10day vacation to the DL. Or, now that Puig has 2 booboo’s from today’s game, perhaps he needs 10 days off?

    Either way, let’s see if Verdugo actually gets added to the team

    1. They’ll probably option Buehler back to OKC after the game, no? And with Cingrani, Kemp, and Puig all looking iffy, we made need even more reinforcements sooner than later.

  19. Watford my man, Utley is raking now…
    Funny, this Gigante team is playing like the team we’ve been talking/complaining about all week…
    Baez doing what he does best… Send him down or DFA his ass…

  20. Gotta gotta send down Baez, he looks totally lost. Get some new blood in there. Love Doc, but IT IS TIME TO PUT THE FIRE OUT ON EL GASOLINO!!!!

  21. AC – I’m pleased with Buehler…He can go down, work on some stuff and await his next turn… Too many pitches, but only 1 walk… Throw in a WP and 94 pitches…
    A days work…

  22. FAZ has control of the players, Roberts decides who plays.

    Maybe he is showing FAZ that El Gasolino needs to be moved.

  23. Great win for the Dodgers. The bats came alive. Let’s hope this is not a one game deal. In Game 2 they face Cueto, who is pitching unbelievably thus far this year.
    Top 3 in the order had 12 baserunners in 18 PA. Big difference. That led to 7 RBI’s from Bellinger and Pederson (yeah that Pederson), who went 7-10 with 2 walks.
    Not looking to be a second-guesser, but just an observation. With all of the problems in the bullpen this season, I found it interesting that Jansen is making $16.0M, and the other 8 (counting Koehler) make a combined $10.22M. Two relievers I was hoping the Dodgers would re-sign were Brandon Morrow and Tony Watson. Morrow has pitched 10 games, 9 IP, 0.00 ERA, and 6 saves. Watson has pitched in 11 Games, 11.2 IP, and allowed 1 run. Watson’s hold last night was his 5th on the season. A reasonable assumption would be that those two would have replaced Alexander and Baez. Morrow makes $10.5M and Watson makes $3.0M. Alexander and Baez make $2.05M. That $11M difference keeps them still under the luxury tax, with some cash for the deadline. Again, just an observation. It may all work out in the end.
    Let’s beat Cueto and win the DH!!

    1. The fact of the matter is that if the Dodgers had Morrow and Watson right about now, they would be in a lot better position.

      Who knew Jansen would be a mess? The others are not so predictable: Koehler, Alexander and now Cingrani were no sure thing, but Chargois was a find. There are others who can step up, including Garcia and Koheler, or the Dodgers could look to the minors.

      The only question about Morrow is health. Watson? Hummm…

      When the team hits, Doc is a genius – when they don’t he’s an idiot!

    2. Excellent analysis. It’ early, but lets be honest…….FAZ did a horrible job constructing the BP. Alexander over Watson, Koehler over Morrow.? We’re the LA “Tampa Bay” Dodgers!

      Went to two games last weekend in LA. Parking has increased by $5.00 and the dynamic pricing difference between Friday and Saturday’s game was $29.00 more for the same seat (Fireworks Night and Bellinger Bobblehead Night). The Dodgers are making money hand over fist, but they have handled the roster construction, the player acquisition etc. like a small market team. A Dodger Dog and coke was $13.50.

      “The smartest guys in the room” have been an utter failure up to this point this season.

  24. Perhaps Turner’s influence is more than meets the eye, or perhaps not. But Dodgers would be greatly improved if he were playing. I just hope he’s his old self upon his return and that his influence kicks this team in gear. This ain’t even coasting when behind. There’s a missing ingredient to the formula at any rate.

  25. Per TrueBlueLA:
    “Taylor followed by getting called out on strikes with the tying run 90 feet away, Taylor’s MLB-leading 18th strikeout looking this season.”

    “In the first three games of this series alone Dodgers relievers have allowed 12 runs on 14 hits in 8⅓ innings, with nearly as many walks (eight) as strikeouts (nine).”

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