The Curious Cases of Logan Forsythe and Austin Barnes

The Dodgers have lost two in a row, but the sky is not falling. They will stay the course and they will win the NL West.  Nobody is dead. This too shall pass!  Must I keep reminding you? Of greater concern to me at this juncture is…WHAT IN THE HELL HAPPENED TO LOGAN FORSYTHE AND AUSTIN BARNES? 

I must say that it irks me when people who have never played the game of baseball, criticize, demean and totally denigrate a player who they don’t like, despise or who is simply doing very poorly… like Logan Forsythe and Austin Barnes. These guys work so long and so hard to try and get to the majors and many fans attitudes are so cavalier towards them.  It is curious that both are doing very poorly at the bat this year but what is the most curious is that no one asks that Barnes be cut while almost everyone asks that Forsythe be executed… or worse!  Maybe it’s because of the fact that Forsythe makes about $8.5 million more than Barnes.  The facts are that both players are very bad according to Bill James OPS classifications:

CategoryClassificationOPS Range
AGreat.9000 and Higher
BVery Good.8334 to .8999
CAbove Average.7667 to .8333
DAverage.7000 to .7666
EBelow Average.6334 to .6999
FPoor.5667 to .6333
GVery Poor.5666 and Lower

Barnes has a .585 OPS while Forsythe have  .577 OPS… both are rated as “Poor.”

I am sure that it is just a matter of time until Logan Forsythe is released.  He can’t be traded – there is no market for him, however, I understand why the Dodgers acquired him and even re-signed him.  He is much better than he has shown.  I can speculate why he is not flourishing, but it is what it is.  He is a great teammate, hard worker and student of the game, who just has not had any success in LA.

Austin Barnes seems to slip by without much criticism because he hit well last year.  In 2017, he hit .289 with a .408 OB% and a .895 OPS, which is almost “great.” He has fallen off the face of the earth and maybe needs a few weeks at OKC of playing everyday to get his stroke back.  Yasmani Grandal has been extremely hot of late, and Barnes can’t get in a groove on this team, right about now.

Kyle Farmer cannot be a catcher… maybe an emergency catcher, so what about Will Smith?  He’s not on the 40-man roster, but that’s easy enough.  I think where there’s a Will, there’s a way. Why not call him up?  Austin Barnes is a fine catcher – his catcher ERA  (CERA) is 3.45, just about the same as Yasmani Grandal (3.48).  BTW, Kyle Farmer’s CERA is 13.50… just sayin….  They could call up Rocky Gale, but can he hit any better than Barnes?  I doubt it. I still like AB a lot, he just needs reps to get his stroke.

Rants & Raves

  • The Dodgers are now tied for 2nd with the Yankees for Team ERA.  The Stros’ are #1.
  • El Gasolino is back – this is his last chance!  Book it!
  • Striker Buehler will be fine.  This knocks the rust off and in a game or two he will flourish!
  • Let Alex Verdugo play – hit him #1!
  • Tom Koehler never threw a pitch as a Dodger… and maybe he never will unless he re-signs on a minor league deal, but I still like the idea.  It just didn’t work – low risk, no reward!
  • I wonder if  Marshall Kasowski’s stuff could play in MLB right now?  I think it might…
  • Rich takes the Hill tonight.
  • Puig will likely be back tonight… barring any setbacks.  Who goes?  Logan?
  • It has occurred to me that Chase Utley may step away after his trip to Philly…
  • The Dodgers have been linked toShawn Greeneof the Tigers.  He might be in their price range.
  • Has any team ever had such a huge stable of relievers at their beck and call than the 2018 Dodgers?
  • Has Brock Stewart been abducted by aliens?  Man, has his stock dropped.


This article has 40 Comments

  1. As you know Marshall Kasowski is one of my favorites although I have to check the spelling on his name every time i look up his stats.
    I expect his stuff may play at the MLB level but I would be a bit concerned about his control and more importantly his command at this point. His strange delivery would no doubt be a bit of a quandary for major leaguers also and his control has improved four fold as the season progressed but I expect he still needs to refine his command. It is huge jump from RC to LA.
    A good sign – last night he walked the first two hitters he faced in his Tulsa debut and then proceeded to induce a double play GB and a weak infield out.

  2. The Dodgers have always been built on better than good defense. Therefore I was okay (???) or somewhat okay with Logan at 2nd. For me, the lost offense should have been offset by CT3, Seager, JT. Bellinger…, but was not, making Logan’s lack of offense more pronounced. But the problem for me is that Forsythe is regressing where his strength is…defense. He already has more errors at 2B and 3B this year than in all of 2017, and in significantly less chances. Right now, Logan is not helping the team, and is probably hurting it.
    Barnes should stay as a backup catcher and the Dodgers should ride Grandal as far as they can. Smith is cooling off considerably. In his last 10 games he is batting .211/.285/.395/.680 at AA. I do not see him improving moving up to MLB and in a backup position. That is not helping the team in the long run. Gale could make the jump and provide the same offense that Barnes does, but Gale is not on the 40 man. Plus, Barnes knows the pitchers which is far more important. This is one where patience is going to need to prevail. Let Smith continue to develop, and Barnes is what he is…a backup catcher.
    Verdugo should be allowed to play everyday, but will he? What happens to him when Puig comes back?
    Machado was having his career year in 2018 when he moved to SS. He started out on fire with LAD while playing SS. When he went to 3B to replace JT, his offense has suffered. I am generally not a conspiracy theorist, but any correlation????
    Brock Stewart needs a change in environment. He last pitched on 07/21 and pitched 5.0 innings allowing 1 run on 7 hits and 1 walk, with 5 K’s to get the win. His ERA is 3.04 in the PCL, which is not bad. But he will never be a significant contributor to LAD so they might as well move him (if they can). Otherwise he is emergency depth.
    I have no desire for Shane Greene. He has 43 IP and compiled a 4.19 ERA, 3.97 FIP, and 1.279 WHIP for 2018. He also has 11 BB and 46K, so he does have good control. With 7 HRs in 43 IP, may too good control? In July he has 6.0 IP, allowed 3 runs on 8 hits, 0 walks, and 4 K.
    There is no denying that the Dodgers have a boatload of relievers to call on. However with a declining closer, and absolutely nobody who can be called a lockdown 8th inning setup bridge to that declining closer, the lack of quality late inning high leverage pitchers is not good. There are far better options available than Greene. Yes, Barraclough, Kela, Leclerc all had bad games this past week, but all three are better options than Greene. Adam Conley is a better choice. His 2018 ERA is 2.63 in 27.1 IP. However that includes one horrific game where he allowed 5 runs (4 earned) in 0.2 IP. If you eliminate that game his ERA is 1.35 in 26.2 IP (4 runs).
    Another option is to trade for a starting pitcher and move Stripling and or Maeda to the bullpen. That has to be under consideration.
    Therealten made a comment yesterday, “You can’t pitch people 5 innings all year and then leave them in for seven.”
    I was thinking the exact same thing. Stripling goes a strong 4+ before he bottoms out; Maeda goes a great 6 before he bottoms out; Kershaw 5 strong before a bad 6th. If you do not allow the pitch count to grow over the season, how can you expect them to pitch deep in the games. And if the starting pitching cannot go deep in the games, then you better have a great bullpen. Maybe that is why NYY went after Britton rather than a starting pitcher which they need. That is what the Royals did in the 2015 WS. Starters have not been able to bail themselves out of a jam all year long, why change now? Is it because Doc is not comfortable with the bullpen as it is? Right now the best reliever is Caleb Ferguson.

  3. Forsythe, hasn’t been good or even average since he arrived in LAbut his defense last year was very good and the Dodgers could get by without his offense, but that is not the case this year, and I think Forsythe, is trying even harder this year, but for some reason he is not of any value to the team this year.
    Barnes is a backup and that is all, last year he overperformed, not so this year.

  4. Hopefully a change of scenery will help Forsythe get back on the right track because watching him bat is nearly as painful as watching Baez pitch.
    I hope I am wrong but, as it stands today, we are not a championship-caliber team.
    I would like us to resign Machado because he is still young and will continue to be a stud for many more years to come.

  5. Dodgers picking a bad time of year to have issues. Need to be firing on all cylinders. 1 for 7 with runners in scoring position and allowing 7 runs isn’t gonna cut it. I think if the Dodgers do not get in the WS this year they will not keep Machado. Just a gut feeling. They need to save their money for pitching anyway.

  6. John Rooney started his 2nd game for AZL, and went three innings. He has not been scored upon in 5.0 IP, with 2 hits and 1 walk, and 1 K. He should get bumped to Ogden soon.
    Gavin Lux went 2-5 last night, and is now slashing.327/.402/.524/.925. He is leading the California League in batting average and OBP. He is #2 in OPS behind former teammate Rylan Bannon. Bannon has already accumulated enough PA to qualify for league awards in OBP, SLG, and OPS. Gavin has 45 BB and only 64 K. As well as Lux is playing, it was Zach McKinstry who was promoted to AA and not Lux.
    Thinking about Bannon, I looked up what the former Dodger prospects have done since they were dealt (extremely small sample size).
    Rylan Bannon – .182/.250/.455/.705 – 2 hits in 11 AB’s 1 HR
    Yusniel Diaz – .100/.217/.100/.317 – 2 hits in 20 AB’s – No extra base hits
    Breyvic Valera – .200/.250/.267/.517 – 3 hits in 15 AB’s with 1 double
    Dean Kremer – 1 GS – 6.0 IP, 1 run, 4 hits, 3 BB, 6 K
    Zach Pop – went 2.0 IP his last game, no baserunners and 3 K. His first game was absolutely horrendous.
    For comparative purposes the Eastern League is much more considered a pitcher’s league, while the Texas League is much more of a hitter’s league.
    I like Marshall Kasowski, but I was very high on Zach Pop.
    Rylan Bannon is going to be blocked by the O’s #2 prospect and MLB #7 3B prospect Ryan Moundcastle (#72 overall).

  7. 1 – I am still outraged by the huge brain fart suffered by Dave Roberts on the 24th. To go 15 innings only to put in a utility infielder to pitch the 16th, when you are calling up an extra starter to pitch on the 25th and Rich Hill was warmed up and ready to go? Roberts’ rationale: he was saving Hill for a save opportunity. Great.
    2 – I think that the mismanagement of that game carried over to last night’s game. Dodgers were flat.
    3 – To say the bullpen is unreliable is an understatement. El Gasolino of course gave up a run in his return last night.
    4 – I couldn’t agree more with Therealten and AC’s statement about leaving starters in when they haven’t had pitch counts built up and then giving up lots of runs. The games pitched by Maeda, Kershaw and Stripling, not to mention last night’s start by Buehler demonstrate the problem.
    5 – The problem with Forsythe is that he has underperformed for the duration of his tenure with the Dodgers. They have better options at 2B with Taylor or Kike and he’s relatively expensive. I thought that the Braintrust made a good move when they acquired him and it just hasn’t worked out. Barnes has been bad too, but I agree that he should be given the chance to get some repetitions at AAA to get his swing back before we give up on him. I would dump Forsythe when Puig comes back.
    6- AC mentioned the Dodgers’ defense. It is still an issue. Every time that Muncy puts on a glove he is a risk defensively. Dodgers were 1st in defensive efficiency in MLB last year – this year they are 14th, which is an improvement over where they were but is about league average.

  8. I wonder if their is a correlation between the position a player plays and his comfort level at the plate. Bellinger seems to hit better when he plays at first. Machado hit better when he was at SS.

  9. I mentioned here or someplace else that Machado quit hitting as soon as he was moved to third. Forsythe hurt his arm at third, Taylor and Kike’ haven’t done well at third defensively, Muncy has been even worse. Still, put Machado at short and keep him there.
    Joc and Muncy have done well hitting #1 and #2. Though both are lefties, I would keep them there and move Machado to #3.
    Will Smith having a bad 10 days is too small of a sample size to say he is cooling off. Kemp had a 45 AB funk just a week ago. He may be cooling off or he had a short funk. Few players in the history of baseball have not had multiple funks during a season.
    I would put both Belli and Barnes on the 10 day DL and let them work out in AZ to get their heads and swings right and then I would send Taylor there for 10 days. Muncy can play first during those 10 days and Verdugo can get 10m more days in CF for the Dodgers. Give Smith a cup of coffee in the Show and yes, start his clock.
    Maeda only had 80 pitches through 7 innings and was cruising. Just saying.
    Joc has been exceptional of late in the lead off spot and now is not the time to put Verdugo there. Let Verdugo ease into the lineup with lower pressure lineup locations.
    If the Dodgers sign Machado I would slide Seager over to third, put Machado at short and Turner at first. That leaves either Taylor or Muncy for second. Belli or Taylor in center. Belli can move back to first after Turner’s contract ends.
    Hopefully the NL will have the DH and Muncy can be the DH. If the Dodgers are going to excel on defense they are going to have to keep Muncy and Kemp off the field. Only one can be the the DH.

  10. OK, tonight:
    1. Verdugo RF
    2. Manny SS
    3. Kemp LF
    4. Muncy 2B
    5. Bellinger 1B
    6. Taylor CF
    7. Grand Mal C
    8. Kee-Kay 3B

    1. well if Machado and Belly go off tonight, we’ll know that they’re better hitters when playing at their preferred positions.
      And if that is the case, keep them there and stop over thinking crap!

    2. Thursday 7/26 7:35pm
      Rich Hill (L)
      @ Braves – Anibal Sanchez (R)
      1. Joc Pederson (L) LF
      2. Manny Machado (R) 3B
      3. Max Muncy (L) 2B
      4. Yasmani Grandal (S) C
      5. Matt Kemp (R) RF
      6. Cody Bellinger (L) 1B
      7. Chris Taylor (R) SS
      8. Alex Verdugo (L) CF
      9. Rich Hill (L) P

  11. Nationals could be sellers by the end of this weekend. If so, relievers Herrera and Madison (along with Bryce Harper/Daniel Murphy) could be available.

  12. Good news: AZ was up 6-2 at Chicago, and up 6-4 going to bottom of 9. Some Cub dude hit a 2 run shot to tie it, and then Rizzo went back to back to win it.

  13. Yeah but Arizona plays against San Diego while we face some tougher squads. So these games really do count with only a one game lead. It’s time for Dodgers to go into their customary annual winning streak that we’ve grown so used to. It’s gonna happen and I’d sure feel more comfortable the sooner the better.

  14. I really like Logan… I wish him the best, but he should not be in the lineup on even a semi-regular basis right now. I never understood why they felt they needed for him to make that trip with JT to Miami after their short stint at Rancho. JT is at a different level… he didn’t need as many reps to get his timing back… even with his bad wrist. Logan could have benefited from another week or two in the minors getting his timing back.

    And I like Austin even more… but he needs to play regularly for a few weeks (preferably at AAA) and get his timing back as well. You can bring Kyle back up for a week or two… I think it would be good for both players and the team as a whole.

  15. Big difference and expectations for Barnes and Forsythe. One is an established veteran getting $9 million to produce, the other is a back-up catcher getting near league minimum. Every FO has to decide where to put their money when establishing a roster and expected return on investment. Much was expected from Forsythe for the amount they’re paying but far less was expected from Barnes.

    I’ve been critical of Forsythe all year both because of his offensive woes but also the expense it’s costing the Dodgers to get such poor results. The FO should have never offered the option last year putting that $ 9 million somewhere else and on someone who could have produced more.

  16. So do the Dodgers roll with getting Ryu back and with Buehler back move some SP to the BP i.e. Wood and Maeda or do they make a trade next week? Hudson and Baez are terrible and they need a lot more, but who’s available?

    1. My lord, if Hudson and Baez came into a playoff game I’d have to turn the tv off as my blood pressure would skyrocket.

      1. I hope that Hudson and Baez stick around for the playoff run. Just as long as they buy tickets and sit in the stands with the rest of us.

  17. Cole Hamels to Cubs. He hasn’t been good lately – Cubs starters are a mess right now. Will he help?

  18. I do not believe that FAZ will trade any significant prospect for a reliever. The Marlins were looking at Yadier Alvarez so maybe there is some interest there. I do not know what it would take for Barraclough, but he should be their #1 choice. I am sure that Drew Steckenrider was scouted last weekend when multiple Dodger scouts were scouting Marlins and Rays relievers. Adam Conley may be their most sought reliever from the Fish.
    Mike Petriello has “predicted” that the Dodgers would be trading for Adam Pressly.
    Per Petriello, “Pressly has one win and zero saves. He’s one of a slew of anonymous relievers who are gathering interest in the market, as he’s upped his strikeout rate from sixth worst in 2014 to top 20 in ’18. In addition to the fastest slider outside of Queens, Pressly has elite spin on both his fastball and his curve, and if that sounds to you like a good fit for an analytically progressive team that currently has Erik Goeddel, Zac Rosscup, Dylan Floro and Caleb Ferguson in its bullpen, it does to us, too.
    Prediction: Dodgers”
    Keone Kela and Jose Leclerc are still available. The Pirates are rumored to have high interest in Kela. Several teams have checked in on Leclerc.
    Do the Dodgers take a gamble on Ken Giles? That could be for the infamous PTBNL.
    The Reds Jared Hughes and David Hernandez?
    Angels Blake Parker?
    The A’s are not letting go of Trivino.
    The Nats may have several pitchers available after the weekend. They are rumored to be pushing to be sellers. Herrera and Madson could be available. Maybe Gio.
    Any other non rental starters…Jake Odorizzi (Twins), Kyle Gibson (Twins), Zach Wheeler (Mets)?
    There are about 30 other relievers that the Dodgers will be checking in on.

  19. Monthly minimum salaries for most youngsters in rookie ball and Class A is $1,100, at double A, it’s $1,500, while triple A players could make as little as $2,150 a month. They receive a $ 25 per diem on the road and dinner at the ballpark following games.

    The minimum salary for a major leaguer this year is $545,000 and next season it will be $555,000.

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