I Have a Bone to Pick With FAZ

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!

Dodger News

  • 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 3rdconsecutive 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 10thled 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 8thdouble and Henry Ramos his 14thdouble.

 

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 5thsave.  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 7thdouble.  Connor Joe hit his 16thdouble.

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, 8thround 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 – 9thround draft choice, North Carolina State (2018)

LF Jeremiah Vison – 2-4 – 36thround 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 1stround 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 2ndin 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.

 

 

This article has 37 Comments

  1. Stripling v Lester today. I haven’t fully jumped on the “I fully trust Strip” bandwagon yet. I expect an eventual implosion, but that’s me trying to accept the law of averages. But if Strip can go into Chicago, vs. Lester, and help us win this series, I will remove the rest of my doubt!

    Big start today, Strip. Go get it!

    1. Like any pitcher, Strip can have a bad outing, but his stuff is now too legit to quit!

      I am driving the Chicken Strip Bandwagon, just like I drove the Kershaw, Seager, Bellinger and Andy LaRoche Bandwagon! I still haven’t figured that last one out….

  2. MLB Pipeline had Verdugo up to #31 and Kaybear Ruiz at #39, saying he may be the best catching prospect in all of baseball.

      1. IMO, no. He is still 19, and has not yet fully developed his arm yet. He still needs a lot or work on transfer of ball from glove to throw which negates his CS %. I still see him with an ETA of 2020.

    1. Ruiz probably could be the #1 catching prospect, but Francisco Mejia is so gifted tools wise that he is the obvious #1 catching prospect. Mejia could stick with Cleveland before the year is out, and that would make Ruiz #1. But it is hard to transfer projected All Star status from the minors to the ML for catchers. Just ask Blake Swihart, Chance Cisco, and Carson Kelly, all former top catching prospects that just have not been able to achieve success at the ML level…yet.

      1. I’m hoping Will Smith inherits the catching job with the Dodgers just because I like speed everywhere. More accurately, I don’t want slowness anywhere. Pitching and defense wins. Smith and Kendell up the middle (I think I just discovered a campaign slogan for those two) would be very strong defensively.

  3. I probably agree with you on the relievers except for Stewart. Something has happened with him. His velocity is way down, I agree he needs to be a reliever. But, he has been a reliever and he has fallen short there as well. When he first came on the scene he was said to have a mid ninety fastball and be a strike thrower. At his best he was that pitcher but he has lost his velocity and command. If anything faz should have traded him when he had some value and now that boat has sailed. The rest seem to have command and stamina issues that could be corrected although there is no certainty. We are in a difficult part of the schedule right now but we need to hold on until we can get healthy. We absolutely need a healthy Justin turner. Move Taylor from the leadoff spot way too many strikeouts. Forsythe has shown some improvement but one or two games do not make a season. Last night I would have brought turner up to pinch hit instead of grandal. I know why he ph grandal to save a player but I just disagreed then and now.

    1. If Turner was the obvious choice to ph and he wasn’t selected, one has to consider that his wrist/forearm was hurting.

        1. Okay, two games were too much for me yesterday. I watched the first and didn’t check in but a couple of times for the second.

  4. Not sold on Stewart as a ML pitcher, relief or starter. Right now his pitches look straight and very hittable.

    Sent back down to OKC is all you need to know about what the FO thinks about Brock.

    When is Buehler coming back?

  5. Is it possible to have all these pitchers groomed as relievers in the minors? Would that limit our minor league rosters for starters? Wouldn’t they be more valuable if they worked out as starters? Kenta worked out great in the pen in the playoffs last year after starting most of the season. I see your point about helping the Major league roster but why is it so hard to convert from starters to relievers? Just curious

  6. Anybody watching? The inability to turn 2 seems to be a dodger problem. Maybe this is where we miss seater. We’re either groundouts double play balls?

  7. Strip is pitching fantastic today. To me it seems Lester understands the weather conditions, and the wind factor, so he’s letting our guys hit deep high fly balls that he knows will die at the warning track. We’re on Lester, but we may need to change the game plan to bunts and line drives.

  8. Strip was just OK today, but he will lose every game in which he gets zero support.

    The Cubs stole a lot of hits from us today, but that’s what you are supposed to do.

  9. I don’t think Stripling pitched that badly and I think Lester was lucky. We hit a lot of balls right on the screws.

    1. It was one of those days. Move along, there’s nothing to see here folks. Brandon Morrow should never take off his pants.

      1. yea, I was more frustrated at last night’s loss, with all of our blown chances. Today was one of those days where we did everything right but everything was hit at em.

        Whatever. Go win at least 2-3 in NY

  10. Funny how some people think FAZ is the greatest….and yet they think they know more or know better than FAZ. I don’t have that problem. I’m just another Dodger fan that is pretty sure they know what they’re doing. I wouldn’t know if they do or not, except for the win loss record, which isn’t bad.

  11. How do people feel about jed Lowrie? Switch-hitter can play 2b, 3b, ss. We have ties to Oakland. Seems like we could give them something useful.

    1. He’s not a particularly good defender, has cooled off since a hot April/early May, and is injury prone.

        1. Expand the deal. Have Oakland send us a reliever back and we’ll throw in a prospect too.

  12. The Athletic has two new and awesome articles on Ross Stripling and Jeren Kendall. It’s a great read and does not give me confidence in Kendall whatsoever. It could really be a bust draft pick. FAZ rolled the dice…

    1. “I know I can play this game,” Dansby Swanson said he thought in the fall of 2015. “But this kid, (Kendall) his physical tools are way better than mine. Athletically, the things that he can do are on another level. The way he runs, the power that he’s got, the arm, he’s definitely got a lot of tools, and he does it effortlessly.”

      1. “And still, one year after the Dodgers drafted him in the first round and gave him $2.9 million to sign, Kendall is carrying a .237 average and 81 strikeouts, the third-most in the low-level California League.”

        “Kendall’s eyes are fine, as multiple Nashville-area doctors confirmed. His hand-eye coordination is elite, and his hands are quick, honed by hockey. The cause of his lack of contact, then, appears traceable to a few things: (1) his head, (2) his bat path, and (3) his understanding of the strike zone.”

        “Among scouts who have seen Kendall this season, there is no consensus on what he will become. Some have him as a fourth outfielder, others as a starting center fielder who will defend enough to justify his contact rate.”

        I’m not impressed.

  13. I don’t sense any urgency ever with this front office, so deliberate and seem to act like they know it all. Maybe they do, but it seems like we have a lot of players due to possibly regress and a lot of unknowns. Kemp has to improve his walk rate, or he will be hitting .270 before we know it. Muncy seems like a .250 hitter that got hot. Turner seems to be still hurt. Taylor has regressed and his strikeout rate is alarming. Bellinger is in a prolonged slump that may not correct this year. Maeda seems still hurt. Stripling is good but likely will regress some. Puig is a wild card. Forsythe actually is trending up but he could not go much lower. Grandal is trending down and should start to lose playing time to Barnes soon, maybe that was the plan all along. Kershaw is an unknown,
    Likely just good if he is healthy. Hopefully Buehler can come back to his pre dL form and dominate for us, desperately need it. Wood is also likely hurt and is above average at best. Hill looked great last night and we are going to need him to stay healthy, which is probably asking too much. I feel Hernadez could do more with additional playing time, but again we will never know how muxh. Pederson has been a pleasant surprise, I don’t feel regression is coming for him.
    Ferguson will hopefully wind up in the pen or AAA soon, he may be ok in the pen, feels like he could be an upgrade over some guys who are currently there.

    The pen is also due for some regression. Goeddel was pitching over his FIP. Cingrani unfortunately is out for awhile as he would be a huge help. Fields has pitched well lately but I still don’t compeltely trust him, especially as the 8th inning guy. Liberatore, Hudson and Garcia are average at best, Paredes is an unknown commodity but likely an above average Loogy at best. Kenley is great but not quite as dominating as previous years, still one of the best there is though. I don’t believe in miracles that all seven of our starters are healthy by late July and Wood and Maeda become great relief options. And Urias becomes one as well. I would say at best one out of those three help us out of the pen at some point.

    Therefore with the above stated opinions I feel we are going to need help to win this division for a 6th year in a row, a solid bat and a lockdown reliever sometime in the next month. He sooner the better. Money prevented us from acquiring Herrera which was frustrating to say the least. Mark and AC, what are your thoughts, am I way off base, can we win this division and compete in the playoffs with what we have now? Are Toles or Verdugo just September call ups? Can Chargois or Hernandez help at all?

    On a side note I agree with you Mark, we need to shift a couple of those arms to the pen. What are they waiting for on Sheffield and why is Hernadez being extended to multiple innings. Stewart needs to go to the pen permanently as well, however he like the two above are likely not going to help much this year. I understand waiting on Alvarez but he is destined for the pen also, get it started now and maybe he can help us there late next year.

  14. Forgot to mention Scott Alexander, electric stuff, but can he harness it. I think if we can acquire a lockdown 8th inning guy, he and Fields can be an effective duo manning the 7th. The only lockdown 8th inning guy we can afford financially is Kyle Barraclough and he is going
    To cost with three years of control after this year. Worth it in my mind.

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