Dodger Chatter: Meet Loons Alfredo Tavarez

Meet Loons Alfredo Tavarez

Last Friday evening 20-year-old right-hander Alfredo Tavarez pitched his second scoreless seven-inning start for the Loons in his last three starts.

The native of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic  was signed as an international free agent by the Dodgers on December 21, 2015. He did not go unnoticed in the Dominican Summer League in 2016 posting a 1.53 ERA and a 0.74 WHIP in 53 innings pitched while splitting his time almost equally between the DSL Dodgers 1 and DSL Dodgers 2.

During the 2017 season Tavarez came stateside beginning the season with the AZL Dodgers where he posted a 3.52 ERA and a WHIP of 0.91 in 30.2 innings pitched over nine appearances.  In mid-August he was promoted to the Great Lakes Loons and returned to a starting role experiencing some growing pains at the Class-A level. In five starts over 20.1 innings he posted a 5.40 ERA while striking out 19 and walking 13.

The 6’5”/190-pound Tavarez began the 2018 with the Loons and experienced some additional growing pains. In two relief appearances he pitched 6.1 innings and gave up six earned runs while striking out seven and walking four. His last appearance was on April 19 and then he was sent back to extended spring training.

I expect we often wonder what happens within the Dodgers development program and especially extended spring training. With Alfredo Tavares something definitely happened.

He returned to the Loons on May  28 and in his first start he threw five hitless innings while walking three and striking out four.

What had be accomplished in his extended spring training ? According to Loons pitching coach Bobby Cuellar the work the 20-year-old put in at extended spring training in Arizona was evident. He saw what Tavarez had accomplished.

“Everything you need to become a pitcher,” Cuellar said. “And today, he showed it off.”

“Our pitcher came back in better shape with a better idea and a very aggressive attack,” Cuellar  said.

Cuellar indicated Tavarez  commanded his fastball while working in his changeup and mixing in a couple of  curveballs. The other aspect of his game he was charged with improving was to better control the running game. He did just that.

“When a young guy learns to handle himself on the mound, he can handle anything,” Cuellar said.  “If you learn it now, you never have to worry about it.” 

Cuellar paid tribute to both Tavarez and the Dodgers organization.

“The movement of the body, the throw, the circle of the arm was so fluid,” he said. “When you see somebody throw it [like that], you can see the ball jump out of his hand really well. Kudos to the young man and the organization.”

Since that first game at the end of May, Tavarez has made 12 starts and now owns a 2.65 ERA while striking out 52 in 71.1 innings and walking 32. He has not allowed a home run this season. In his last 35.1 innings pitched he has allowed two earned runs.

On Friday evening Tavarez gave up three hits in his seven innings, walked one and struck out four. He threw 90 pitches, 57 of them strikes. Unfortunately reliever Mark Washington gave up two runs in the the top of the ninth inning sending the Loons to a 2-0 loss.

 

 

 

 

This article has 75 Comments

  1. I think I’d have Baez starting in one of these next few games at Coors Field. It might just teach himself, and possibly us too, a thing of two. While kidding it makes sense to some degree thinking of that.
    .
    Coors Field did some damage to Kemp’s career. Remind him to not run into fences if he plays. Coors Field = NL boobytrap.

  2. We went on the road to a good team’s park and split 2. In the playoffs, if you start games 1 and 2 on the road, you’d love a split, so I’ll take the series in Oakland as a positive.

    Now, on to Colorado. 4 game set. At minimum, we need to split this series. 3 out of 4 would be fantastic.

  3. I have a non-baseball question if anyone knows – when players travel back and forth from OKC and LA do they fly commercial or on private jets?

  4. Last night the Great Lakes Loons went into the top of the ninth inning against the South Bend Cubs down 5-0. They came out of the ninth with the score tied 5-5. In their top of the inning they had two walks and a single and a bases clearing double by catcher Hunter Feduccia. Outfielder Josh McLain knocked in the tying runs with his first home run of the year.
    .
    In the top of the eleventh inning the Loons scored six runs. With Luke Heyer on second base to start the inning, they followed with five singles and a bases clearing triple by outfielder Drew Evans.
    .
    The Loons came away with an 11-5 win. Right-hander Stephen Kolek pitched the final three innings while collecting the win. He allowed no hits, one walk and recorded four strikeouts. With minor league extra innings rules in place, Kolek started both the tenth and eleventh innings with a runner on second base. Left-hander Austin Drury had pitched 2.2 scoreless innings before Kolek while allowing one hit and striking out two.
    .
    The Loons are now 2.5 games out of the second half wildcard spot.
    .
    In the Pioneer League/Northwest League All-Star Game, won 13-10 by by the Pioneer League, four Raptors got into the game.
    Jeremy Arocho (2B) – 2 AB, 1 hit, 1 run, 1 RBI
    Daniel Robinson (CF) – 2 AB, 2 hits 1 RBI
    Ronny Brito (SS) – 3 AB, 1 hit, 1 run
    Jose Chacin (P) – 1 IP, 3 hits, 1 ER
    .
    Arocho knocked in the tying run in the eighth inning.

  5. I see some are blaming Grandal for droping the ball from Machado. Go back and look at it. It was a bad throw and even if Grandal had caught the ball, the runner had scored. It was not a force play either. Geeeezzz!

  6. Here’s hoping the Dodgers hit the ball at Coors like they did in Oakland last night. If they do, there will be some balls flying out of the ballpark.

    There are some signs that Manny might be ready to break out a bit. Hope the same is true for JT too, and hopefully the Dodgers’ bats in general.

    Maybe just wishful thinking, maybe not.

  7. And hopefully the Dodgers pitching staff will come out of Coors in one piece after 4 days in that pitching he’ll-hole.

    Wish that I didn’t have to keep typing my name and email every time I post to this site. It’s getting to be bothersome.

      1. Make sure you are actually logged in to ladodgertalk.

        I had that problem earlier this week until I noticed my phone had logged out.

  8. How about 3 of 4 in the House of Horrors. It is time to gain some traction, especially on offense. We are going to need to hit until middle relief is solidified by a couple starters going to the pen. I imagine that will occur in September.

    Can Roberts ever divert from the numbers and manage on what he sees. Chargois should have been out of there after the Chapman liner in the 8th. Of course easy to say know, but I am right way too often when it comes to in game decisions Roberts fails to make. He should be outmanaging me all day, every day. For all that he does well, his management of pitcher’s in game is perplexing.

  9. The thing I’d like to see is just the consistent quality of the at-bats. At this level, you simply cannot give at-bats away. This is why joc has become such a positive force for us. His ABs have been extended and smart. I wish Robert’s would sit muncy but I guess hes waiting for the breakout. Scoring 2 runs against that pitcher was unacceptable. Next man up. I think it’s getting to urgent time: back to school and no playoff spot secured.

  10. The Dodgers are schizophrenic this year and have trouble sustaining a win streak. Partly I believe it is the automatic lineup shuffling due to leftie rightie match ups, but it is also switching positions and the batting order constantly as well. Some days the bats show up and some days they don’t but the pitching has consistently been pretty good. I go to a game and it’s a 1-0 loss, 2 days later it’s a 25-1 blowout with Kershaw probably thinking ‘save a few for next time’ and then a 14-0 thumping in between a 2-1 loss and a 3-2 win. Which team will show up today? Or any day the rest of the season? I’m starting to feel like Bobbie 17: this is a hard team to watch and a harder team to figure out. I still have hope they will figure it all out and get a run going. I would not make any plans on who to keep long term until this wacky season plays itself out.

    1. Interesting that Werth feels that way when you consider that it was DePodesta that was the first GM that showed faith in him. He was a sabermetrician’s dream back in 2004.

    2. Fun. Data is important but the “nerds” that are running things are squeezing the baseball out of baseball in favor of numbers. I suspect that Werth would include the Braintrust in with the nerds.

      I do think that baseball was more fun to watch and follow before the nerds took over. Do you agree?

  11. Jayson Werth made about $137 Million dollars because he was a good player and he also employeed the agent who was deeply into analytics.

    I am not a huge fan of just sabermetrics, but the pendelum has swung that way. The Dodgers, Cards, Astros, Cubs, Yankees, Red Sox and many other teams are deep into analytics. I suspect, the pendelum will swing back into the center. I think it’s fascinating to watch.

    Too much money can dampen a players hunger… not every player, but some.

  12. By the way, at this juncture of the season, some fans forget the minors leagues, but not DC. Today was a graet write up about Alfredo Tavarez, who is in the next wave of prospects. This is a kid whom I doubt will move quickly through the system, because his fast ball rarely gets over 90 MPH. He’s a back-of-the -rotation starter. I can see him in 2021.

    If he could just find an extra 2 MPH on his fastball…

    Thanks, DC for the info. I appreciate it very much.

  13. Tonight, they throw Chicken Strip to the wolves.

    Pitching in Coor Field after coming off the DL is like running a gauntlet of pitbulls wearing nothing but pork chop underwear!

    1. I’m usually optimistic but this could be a tough series. Lose 3 of 4 while Arizona plays cincy and we could dig ourselves a little hole. We need to come out sharp in all facets.

  14. I have a feeling he pitches like his spot in the rotation depends on it because it might! He probably can’t go much beyond 5 IP or 85 pitches though. Hopefully the bats wake up tonight!

  15. The Dodgers need a guy like arenado who delivers in the clutch. He seems to get the clutch hit against the Dodgers. He hit a 2 strike 2 out homer to beat the brewers a few days ago. We keep pitching to him I guess we think he can’t hit. Turner used to be that guy but not this year so far. I know Roberts doesn’t want to burn a pitcher after 4 innings at coors but I would have a quick hook tonight.

  16. One of the few times the Dodgers are not on the big screen.

    Reason: The Indianapolis Colts are playing tonight and have Luck on their side.

    The Dodgers and Loons are on the computer monitors.

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  17. Great job by stripling. He needed that break and pitched a very gutsy game. It would be huge if he repeat his early season form. Two pinch hit homers we will take it. Huge game tonight with gray and maeda matchup tomorrow.

  18. Strip was great, especially in that park. Maybe more guys need a 2 week vacation to get straight!!

    Now Baez. God help us all

  19. Dodgers 0 for 3 with RISP. 2 more solo HRs. Wash, rinse and repeat. Oh, and 7 K in 7 IP against mediocre pitching.

    1. And Rick, the one HR had an exit velocity of 97, so that would never go out, in any other stadium.

      Joc’s exit velocity at 97

      Muncy’s exit velocity at 102.

      But sabers don’t value getting hits, when runners are in scoring position, so no wonder these players are not that good,in those situations.

  20. FAZ has to take this out of Docs hand. Option/DFA/Outright release. I do not care. Doc will continue to put this guy in high leverage situations. The Dodgers will need to remember this game if they lose it by one game. Baez gave up the runs, but this one is on Roberts.

  21. How can Doc let that happen?

    The Rockies paid him off.

    This should be investigated.

  22. Agree. Doc should be fired for putting Baez into any game that is in doubt. This is so stupid.

  23. Roberts is dead to me!

    I am like the Marines:No greater friend. No worse enemy.

    Henceforth, this blog shall be devoted to getting Dave Roberts fired!

    Fire him NOW!

  24. That was a massive come from behind win. Huge huge momentum changer. The next time Baez pitches should be for OKC.

  25. El Gasolino needs to find another home. Dozier was a great addition and we need BP reinforcements quick. Doc has no confidence in anyone other than Floro, Alexander, KJ and to a lesser extent Chargois. Baez is terrible, Axford is terrible, Ferguson is really good but looks more like the long man and won’t pitch on back-to-back nights.

  26. No Daniel, Rock’s ballpark is the worst!!! Isn’t this a typical ‘E’ coupon ride at Coor’s Field…
    Baez wont have to hitchhike because Roberts can drive him per M.T. and AC!??!
    Oh well good W to separate Co. from us

  27. Ferguson showed a lot tonight. Dropping that hook in the Coors elevation is never easy and against a formidable lineup. I thought he grew up a lot with tonight’s win. Should do a lot for his confidence. The look on his face when Arenado just missed squaring up his fastball was priceless.

    Not sure what Pedro has on Roberts, but it’s got to be something because it makes no sense leaving him in there to just die. The frustrating thing with Baez is with an effort, they could have made the play at the plate after the cross up. Had he hustled, Arenado would have been out at the plate. No excuse for that, was asleep on the play and as a former position player, you’d think he would be more athletic out there.

  28. Jansen back to La with irregular heartbeat, out for series and likely to dL. He went on dL in 2011 and missed 15 days because he was put on blood thinners and too risky to play.

    Baez causes all us irregular heartbeats. Come on Roberts manage with urgency if it is within you, maybe there is a season. FAZ did not extend him.

  29. I was screaming at the screen to pull Baez with runners on 1st and 2nd before Arrenado went back to 3B to load the bases. Where was Doc with the hook? What was the PB all about? Pretty heated discussion on the mound afterwards, Grandal must have been crossed up. Then the 3 run bomb we all feared was coming. I get that they are trying to see who goes when starters shift to the pen but a close game with 1st place on the line is no time to experiment. Take both Baez and Roberts to the woodshed as they cost Stripling a win he earned. Nice comeback win though, give the guys their props. Is Jansen sick or just does not want to take the ball in Coors?

  30. I swear the last time that happened to Jansen they were in Coors Field. The effect is real!

  31. If Jansen goes on the dL, it is time to start the shift of a starter or two to the pen. Too much garbage in the pen to survive, Axford, Baez, Rosscup and Venditte cannot be counted on at all, a 4 man pen just does not work. I would shift at least one of Stripling, Wood or Maeda immediately and look to possibly shift one more if Ryu is able to come back and be effective.

  32. That would have been a fun game to attend. Great job by everyone not named Baez. I’m not sure how much more needs to be seen there. Kenley had problems in Denver in the past. Let’s hope getting him out of Denver is enough for his health and safety.

  33. Wow – the news on Jansen!

    So the Braintrust is big on depth. So riddle me this one, Batman – who do the Dodgers have that you would feel comfortable with the closer’s job other than Jansen? That’s the fly in the ointment. The Dodgers solution to their bullpen problem is the Axe and the Cup. Meanwhile, the A’s pick up Sean Kelly and now Fernando Rodney?

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