Dodger Chatter: Gerardo Carrillo Leading the Loons

Right-hander Gerardo Carrillo was signed by the Dodgers as an international free agent on July 5, 2016. The native of Guadalajara, Mexico received a signing bonus of $75,000. He has already climbed into the Dodgers MLB Pipeline prospect list ranking No. 27.

He played in the Dominican Summer League during the 2017 season recording a 2.79 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP in 14 appearances, 10 of them starts. He struck out 32 over 48.1 innings while walking 14.

The 19-year-old Carrillo came stateside for the current campaign and after four appearances in the Arizona League was promoted to the Great Lakes Loons of the Midwest League and immediately moved  into a starting role. To date he has made eight starts with the Loons posting 1.43 ERA and a WHIP of 1.00. He has struck out 32 in 44.1 innings pitched and walked 12.

One of the most noticeable things about Carrillo is his composure on the mound pitching to batters often a few years older than him. He does not seem to get rattled under pressure and pitches with a confidence that belies his age and experience.  Pitching coach Bobby Cuellar has been impressed.

“Right now, his delivery is not as good as he wants it, but the tenacity he has, the feel for the gamethat he has and the stubbornness sometimes that he has that, ‘I’m going to throw this pitch and I know it’s going to work,'” Cuellar said. “Even to do that, you have to have a feel and a trust for your ability to do things. This young man has a lot of trust in himself and a lot of trust in his ability and has a knowledge that I probably can’t teach, that ‘I can throw a pitch and it will work.'”

Another has been his ability to work later into games than some of his teammates who are on pitch or innings count. In his last three starts he has logged 19 innings while giving up no earned runs. He has not been  prolific at striking out batters recording 12 over those 19 innings. He has walked seven, often missing low as he has been able to keep the ball down consistently.

Thirdly, Carrillo is noticeable as he is 6’0” tall while weighing only 154 pounds yet he consistently throws in the low 90’s and can touch as high as 97 mph. Again, pitching coach Bobby Cuellar is impressed but is unable to explain how Carrillo generates his velocity.

“If you’ve been around baseball long enough, you know that I don’t have that answer for you,” Cuellar said about how a smaller pitcher can generate that kind of velocity. “I’ve been around some guys that are not very big and throw pretty hard themselves. I was fortunate enough to be a pitching coach with Pedro Martinez [with the Expos] and he wasn’t a very big guy, either. I really can’t tell you — his arm works a certain way, his extension works a certain way and then the ball comes out of his hand. I’m sure that I can’t exactly tell you what he does, but it works.”

Additionally he has a changeup that works well, often over-matching hitters, as a strikeout pitch or a first pitch to a batter in his intended pitch sequence. Loons play-by-play broadcaster speaks of Carrillo often pitching backwards. That is, starting off with an off speed pitch – his curveball or changeup – and then following with a fast ball that looks even faster to the hitter than the actual velocity. His changeup was particular good in his last outing and this time pitching coach Cuellar had an explanation for its effectiveness.

“It’s an arm speed thing,” the coach said of the pitch’s effectiveness. “But here’s this little guy who hits up to 94 [mph] on you, and all of sudden it’s pretty close hand speed and toward the end of the night, the last two or three innings, the hand speed on the fastball and the changeup were really, really close together. He threw a lot more changeups toward the end and, in fact, the last guy he struck out was a changeup.”

As mentioned, Carrillo keeps the ball down and works very well with Loons catchers Gersel Pitre and Hunter Fedducia, both of whom handle pitches in the dirt equally well. On Saturday evening he pitched the Loons to a 1-0 win over the West Michigan WhiteCaps with whom Great Lakes is battling for a play-off berth. He pitched seven innings, was rewarded with the win on a Pitre little league home run, and struck out seven while walking only one. He gave up six hits, only one for extra bases – a double – while throwing 88 pitches, 57 for strikes.

Carrillo’s win was sandwiched in between two other Loons victories over the WhiteCaps, an 8-0 win on Friday evening and a 4-2 win on Sunday afternoon. The Loons are now 3.5 games ahead of both the Whitecaps and the Fort Wayne TinCaps in their play-off run with seven games remaining in the regular season schedule.

Photo Credit: Freek Bouw/Phrake Photography

What’s Up, Doc? byMark Timmons

I do not believe the batting order or the lineup was the reason that the Dodgers lost last night.  You know that I was in favor of firing Dave Roberts, and still am, but I do not blame his lineup for the loss.  That said, I still do blame him for the loss.  It seems to me that there is a certain malaise or lack of urgency befalls the entire team.  That the team hits as a team or doesn’t hit… period, has to fall upon Dave Roberts as the manager.  I don’t think the lineup mattered last night. It’s almost like they take certain games off… mentally!

Roberts had an All-RH Hitting lineup last night, and arguably, you can point to the fact that players like Max Muncy hit lefties better than righties and was not in the lineup.  CT3 and Puig were in the lineup, but hit .214 and .212 respectively, against LHP. Bellinger hits LHP better than that! I know why Dave sends Matt Kemp out there – he think’s he is due to break out of his slump, but it’s much more than a slump. Before the All-Star Game, Kemp’s OPS was .874 (that’s All-Star Level and he was).  Since the All-Star Game, his OPS is .617 (that’s toilet bowl level). Kemp has went from Beast Mode to Least Mode, but he did get two hits last night.  In fact, the Dodgers got 8 hits total… certainly enough to score a few runs.

Chris Taylor is hitting .215 since the All-Star Game with a .637 OPS. Brian Dozier has had his moments, but is hitting just .225 since the All-Star Game. If you think that is bad, Austin Barnes is hitting .147!  How is he still on the team? Of course, Grandal can’t catch every game, thus the need for Barnes last night. Kike Hernandez is hitting .244 since the All-Star Game and is hitting .357 the last 15 games.  

Have you noticed that Matt Kemp has put on a few pounds since the start of the season?  I read in The Athletic that Kemp weighed 282 when he started working out last winter.  For Matt Kemp to be successful next year, he needs to be around 220.  I think he’s at least 20 over that right now.

I do blame Doc for the team’s approach and not picking each other up.  As a former player, he gives players a lot of slack in breaking out of a slump. I am for accountability – you don’t hit, you don’t play!  Simple! On the positive side, the Bullpen has been very good and el Gasolino’s name is changed (at least for now) to el Excelente.  Sorry Rick, that was a good name.

The Dodgers need to callup Verdugo and Toles September 1st and go ahead and decimate OKC… but hey.  This would be my lineup Saturday:

  1. Verdugo  RF
  2. Turner  3B
  3. Machado  SS
  4. Muncy  1B
  5. Bellinger  CF
  6. Grandal  C
  7. Toles  LF
  8. Hernandez  2B


This article has 95 Comments

  1. Well today’s Greinke vs Ryu. On paper, it looks good for AZ. Games 3 and 4 we throw Kersh and Buehler, so that looks good for us. Therefore, tonight is a huge opportunity for us!

    We also know that Doc is quite predictable with that lineup, so here’s my guess for tonight:


  2. I like Greinke but I also love it when the Dodgers abuse him. I especially like that the couple of Dodger players he said were easy outs for him have not been easy outs for him. Tonight’s game could be really fun to watch.

  3. yeah, a little disappointed bellinger wasn’t in the starting lineup in such an important game. that might’ve been the maddest i’ve ever seen him after that line drive out. on the bright side, baez looks good these days. that high fastball, when properly located, is a knockout pitch. let’s win this one.

    1. Right now, I would STRONGLY look at AJ Ellis as the backup catcher. He would certainly be worth a lottery ticket, and whatever is remaining on his $1.25MM contract can easily be absorbed.

  4. I blame the loss on the predictability that seems to be certainly included in opposing scouting reports that this team is going to keep following. It’s getting old seeing a failing formula of always zigging when zagging couldn’t be worse. At this point that could be the advantage to suddenly throw a left hook or right hook different than what is the ordinary. As some have pointed out Roberts is making it too simple for opposing pitchers with an all right handed lineup. Can’t be certain it would be better to mix things up but it could be refreshing, or not.

  5. Watching last night’s game was painful. The Dodgers need to be putting their best out there every night during the stretch. They don’t – instead they insist on platooning every night.

    Over the past 30 games, the Dodgers have struck out 3rd most in MLB (249 out of 906 AB – 27.5%) The worst violators? Muncy (26/56 – 46%), Taylor (33/81 – 41%), Grandal (25/70 – 36%), Kemp (20/70 – 29%).

    Worst hitters over last 30 (OPS under .700)
    Barnes – .143 BA/.357 OBP/.190 SLG/.548 OPS, 0 HR
    Kemp – .214/.291/.286/.577, 1 HR
    Taylor – .185/.272/.321/.593, 2HR
    Pederson – .169/.242/.441/.683, 5HR

    Best hitters over last 30 (OPS over .800)
    Turner – .394/.482/.691/1.173, 5 HR, 17 EBH!
    Muncy – .268/.349/.661/1.010, 6 HR
    Bellinger – .360/.420/.551/.971, 4 HR
    Hernandez – .340/.403/.509/.913, 1 HR
    Machado – .276/.330/.524/.854, 7 HR

    Who is knocking in runs? (last 30 days)
    Turner – 19 (94 AB)
    Bellinger – 19 (89 AB)
    Machado – 18 (104 AB)
    Dozier – 15 (94 AB)
    Muncy – 11 (56 AB)

    Who isn’t?
    Barnes – 1 (21 AB)
    Taylor – 4 (81 AB)
    Kemp – 5 (70 AB)

    Kemp, Taylor and Barnes shouldn’t be playing at all right now. Roberts has to stop the strict platooning. Last season the Dodgers had a right/left/right batting order making it impossible for opposing teams to line up their pitching and it worked. I would platoon in LF and CF and otherwise play the same lineup as often as possible.

  6. question: i noticed in last night’s box score that puig’s baserunning gaffe wasn’t scored as a single. when a player is tagged out at 2b trying to stretch a single it counts as a hit. why wasn’t puig’s? he made it to 1b successfully. is it a judgment call?

      1. I thought it should’ve been a single as he beat that throw. And I’m not even complaining about him getting tagged out on that play as it’s 95% certain we wouldn’t have gotten a hit to score him anyway!

        1. yeah, that hit was kind of in no man’s land. surprised it was ruled an error. if anything, the positioning of the 1b was bad, but once it was hit it was clear it was a footrace to the bag.

        2. I agree with Bobby that mistake, wasn’t that big of a deal.

          I would be more concerned with where Puig has been throwing the ball, then that quick mental error.

      2. aha, thanks. so if it were ruled a hit, the left turn wouldn’t have changed that. sorry for the other day, btw. cheers.

  7. DC, great article on Carrillo. I have mentioned on several occasions that guys in the DSL, AZL, Pioneer League and to some extent the Midwest League are names. Put that name in the back of your head and start to monitor. That is where I was last year with Carrillo. Two years ago, Edwin Uceta and Alfredo Tavarez were just names, and now they are prospects. Last year it was Gerardo Carrillo, Robinson Ortiz, Elio Serrano, and Juan Morillo who were names and two of those are now in the top 30 (Carrillo and Ortiz). I am working on a set of names from this year. This was not a banner year for the Dodgers in the DSL, but there are guys to keep an eye on.
    You mentioned a name that I have been wanting to talk to you about and I hope there is enough time still with Great Lakes that you can do an article on yet ANOTHER POTENTIAL CATCHER find, Hunter Feduccia, out of LSU. He started very slowly but he got hot and is now consistent. He is solely a catcher and at 21 (June 5) in full season A ball he looks like he could be a keeper. He looks to be solid behind the plate with 0 passed ball and 29% CS rate. And the pitching certainly got a LOT better once Feduccia was assigned to Great Lakes, so I would think he might have a great relationship with his pitchers.
    Do you think you can do a write up on Feduccia before the season is out? I think he might be able to change some prospect plans.

    1. Yup. I liken him to Stevie Berman whom also like very much but Fedducia has much higher ceiling as they say. Berman, to me, has “coach” written all over him although it is too soon to opt out of his playing career.

  8. OKC is just about done anyway. They need to win 4 out of 5 against the Colorado Springs Sky Sox this weekend to win their division. The games are Away, so the likelihood of winning 4 out of 5 is bordering on not happening. OKC just does not have the pitching to get it done. So yes, Verdugo and Toles should be in LA on Saturday ready to play. Locastro is mired in a pretty bad slump, but he is showing signs of coming out with 2 hits last night. By the way, not only did Daniel Corcino pitch a good game last night (6.0 IP, 1 run, 3 hits, 2 walks and 8 K’s), but he went 3-3. He is now batting .385 on the season with a .808 OPS.
    I do think it is absolute nonsense that the Dodgers put out a full RHH lineup. The DBacks had two switch hitters and one left handed bat (Peralta). It was the LH bat that beat the Dodgers with a 3 run HR. But the absolute mistake (IMO) last night was to take out Kike’ who has been hitting very well lately and hits RHP as well as (slightly better) LHP. I had no objection to Belli coming in (he should never be out of the lineup), but I would have saved him for Taylor, the next batter. Let Kike’ hit. You take out Kike’ but leave in Taylor? Are you kidding me? This is smart game management?
    I said before the game I would have had Muncy and Belli in the lineup and Kemp and Taylor on the bench. Yes Kemp had 2 hits, but not at the right time. And Taylor 4 K’s? And while I cannot prove that my lineup would have been better, I can say it could not have been worse.
    Let’s see if the good guys can go on another streak starting tonight.

    1. Corcino’s numbers are not only impressive for a pitcher, they are impressive especially with the few at bats, Corcino must get!

      And Toles was responsible for most of the runs in yesterday’s game, because he not only hit a HR, and hit in another run too, with a sac fly.

    2. AC

      I think you got Mark, when you said your line up, could not have done, any worse.

      And like I already said, I agreed with all your thoughts on this line up last night, and I still do, today.

      But I just had to agree with Mark for that minute last night, because sometimes as much as we have complained about these line ups, things have turned out much differently then we thought.

      I was also surprised Kiké was the first one taken out, too.

      Because I know even though Kiké is not one to get keys hits when runners are in scoring position, he had been good against Ray in the past, and he has been hitting lately.

      I was also surprised that Roberts wasted Muncy’s bat, so early in that game yesterday, also.

    1. maybe we could save some money by giving him hudsons jersey and just spraypainting over the first two letters

    1. 1:06pm: The Dodgers are sending minor league right-hander Andrew Istler to the Nationals in return, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports (via Twitter).
      I have been an Andrew Istler fan from the start. He was one of the first Dodgers minor leaguer in the Driveline Program.

      1. Istler is kind of high price for one month of Madson. But if Madson can get his old stuff for one month, it might be worth it. It is worth the gamble.

        1. 23rd rounder from duke. having success as a reliever in tulsa. just read your old write-up of him [or DC’s]. i can live with it. i wish him well.

        2. I always think the price is high when Dodger minor league players are traded. However, I also always think that perhaps they have been given another route to MLB and perhaps a bit more quickly. I thought he should have been given a longer shot with OKC this year but I expect he was just part of the shuffle of the AAA roster when he made his two appearances with OKC. I certainly wish him well and although I definitely am not a Nationals’ fan, I will follow Andrew.

  9. geez, madson is finishing up a 3y/22m contract. mama, teach your boys to be relief pitchers

  10. Would be amazing if Madson and the dude we got who broke his fibula can regain their stuff and help us down the stretch

  11. There s not one outfielder on our team worth a dam. Saturday Toles, Bellinger and Verdugo better be starting. I just hope it is not too late. Joc, Taylor, and Puig need to be traded this winter. That is a lot of pressure to put on these two young kids. They can both run and they can put the bat on the ball. Let’s see if Doc will play the best 8 players in the month of September. I doubt it. He will try to keep everyone happy. Thai is a losing formula.

  12. It’s not going to be just Istler for Madson, but somebody is going to either go on the 60 day DL or DFA to make room on the 40 man. I believe that has to happen today, so who is it going to be? Segedin was already designated when Fields came off the 60 day. I am going with Axford on the 60 day or Venditte DFA.

    1. Yeah, I originally thought Liberatore, but I changed my mind to Venditte. Liberatore can be controlled longer and is more likely to get claimed.

      1. i think i actually watched venditte for the first time the other day. i was legitimately impressed. not the best stuff in the world but boy does he have command. amazing story too.

    1. Maybe I am partial to Madson because he and my son were minor league teammates with the Phillies. But he has pitched in 46 post season games and pitched 47.1 innings with a 2.85 ERA. And he has a WS ring with the Phillies (same one as Chase Utley). This year has been a roller coaster ride with him. He has mostly been good. He has been in 49 games and during those games he has allowed 26 earned runs. However 14 of those runs were in 3 games making his ERA sky rocket. He is not the closer the Dodgers need, but he has been to battle in pennant crunch multiple times. I think he is worth a shot instead of throwing out the untried in pennant crunch time. I doubt that anyone here is a bigger Caleb Ferguson fan, but even I think he is showing signs of stress. He is a 22 year old who was in A ball last year. The same is true with Floro, Shaggy, Alexander. None of them have the experience to get through a pennant crunch.

      1. I agree. I see Jansen. Maeda, and stripling handling late-inning assignments (7th on) with Alexander used very judiciously. Meaning a walk gets him removed. One more reliable option (at least) is needed for October. The problem is we can’t afford to hold auditions now.

  13. Here’s the thing: With relief pitchers, future prospects are not predictive from past results:

    Jim Johnson – 2015
    With Atlanta – 2.25 ERA
    With LA – 10.13 ERA

    Kelvin Hererra – 2108
    With KC – 1.05 ERA
    With Washington – 4.34 ERA

    Keone Kela – 2018
    With TEXAS – 3.44 ERA
    With Pittsburgh – 0.69 ERA

    Cody Allen
    2017 – 2.94 ERA
    2018 – 4.61 ERA

    Bud Norris – Closer for the Cards
    2.85 ERA with 28 saves – Yikes.

    You NEVER, ALMOST NEVER know what you will get with a reliever.

    Look at AXFORD – His first outing with the Dodgers was a disaster, then he was lights out and hitting 99 MPH on the gun until he broke his leg.

    1. Herrera’s peripherals showed he wasn’t throwing as well as his ERA in KC and I believe his velo was down. Kela should have been had.

  14. I agree with AC. At this point in the season, to even get Madsen is alot better than what we have. Doesn’t matter to me how up and down his season is, we all know what can happen when some of these veteran pitchers go to a team like the Dodgers in the middle of a pennant race. Alot of them reach back for one more gear and can be lights out. Or not….I will take my chances on Madsen, I figure he has a one month audition. What the hell, let’s give it a shot. Might be a late season Morrow like pick up.

  15. I was going to say that last night after the first inning, it showed that having our players working the counts, and getting in deep counts, is not always such a good thing.

    Because after that first inning yesterday, Ray’s slider was working really well, and he had pretty good command, of his fastball.

    And because of that, it wasn’t a good thing that our players got in deep counts with Ray, because these deep counts, usually favor a pitcher.

    And it is not good to get down with two strikes, when Ray has his fastball command, and his slider working, and that is why so many players were striking out against Ray, last night.

    Sometimes it is best to go after one of the first few pitches, because those early pitches are usually the best pitches a hitter might get, especially if a pitcher has their good command.

    1. Ray has a history of being wild. It’s appropriate to try to work counts and try to drive up pitch counts. Kemp’s impatience after a successful start to their plan was frustrating. Despite giving up very few hits Ray exited immediately after the finger because they drove up his pitch count.

      1. Hawkeye

        Ray had a history of having trouble with his command, but he wasn’t having command problems yesterday, so players have to adjust, in that case.

        And he was in that game longer then Hill, and this team’s hitters are not good enough to be down with two strikes, that often.

        Most of these hitters are not hitting much over 250, or even lower, so they are not particularly that good, to always be down with two strikes.

        And that didn’t change after Ray went out either.


  17. A couple of interesting twitter comments. The first three are from David Hood who does a good job with the Dodger prospects.
    “Twice Gavin Lux has gone with pitch away with two strikes to hit liner to opposite field. Lux shows a mature approach and plays with a lot of confidence.”
    Regarding Lux’s defense – “I’ve only seen a few attempts this week and nothing too strenuous. Accurate arm, moves well for his size, he’s really matured physically.”
    Regarding Ruiz – Pretty poor behind the plate this week, showing bad habits on balls in the dirt, some laziness. Tough for pitchers to have confidence burying pitches right now.
    The next one is from Jacob Rudner
    Both Dennis Santana and Tony Cingrani threw today. Santana threw to live hitters and Cingrani threw a pen. Both looked good. Santana throws again on Thursday. Not sure when Cingrani throws next.

  18. Donaldson to Indians. I was thinking cards. I wouldnt bet against Kluber and co. Maybe the only team I could stand winning it all other than us. Brewers second. A’s third.

  19. I’ve read that there is doubt about Ruiz staying at C. Also read that the Dodgers may be higher on Smith at that position.

    What are your thoughts? And what have you heard?

    1. Smith has played a lot of 3B this year at both AA and AAA. Ruiz has caught all year and a lot. He could be running out of gas.

  20. Dodgers 1 for 6 RISP. Leadoff double by Cody – no one knocks him in. Turner only guy to get it done.

  21. Dodgers are hitting a lot of rockets for outs. Grandal doing his usual season ending tailspin in the middle of the batting order for some reason.

  22. The good news is ryu is looking like a playoff starter. The bad news is we may not qualify.
    (FWIW I believe)

  23. Good for Kiké, I always like when he takes the ball the other way.

    Because good things happen, when Kiké does that!

    Ryu deserved to not leave this game, with a loss.

    I bet Greinke is not to happy right now, though.

    1. Kike has been trying to go the other way lately. He’s had a few near misses down the RF line just foul. If he ever wants to be a consistent hitter he has stay on the ball longer like that and not be a one-trick pony in the batters box. I share your feelings about Ryu.

  24. Damn all these solo home runs!!!!

    But on a serious note, I am as nervous as all F about Kenley coming in with the heart of their order coming up.

  25. Mark–i hope you want Arizona’s manager fired too because that was a garbage decision to keep Greinke in.

        1. Both Ryu and Kenley!

          If we can hang in here, we have a pretty good number three pitcher, with post season experience, that we didn’t have, last year.

  26. Kenley looked much much better! Floro pitched well and Ryu was dominant. Great game actually

    Now we send up Kersh and Buehler. I like it

      1. Curdy – you were spot on saying we needed a 1B/3B RH bat.

        Are you really Andrew Friedman?

  27. Woke up in the middle of the night & we were 2-0 down.

    Woke up this morning to find that we won 3-2 with a KJ Save.

    Then I read that we picked up David Freese.
    24 hrs is a long time in Dodger Baseball.

    2 big games now over the weekend.

  28. Maybe I better add Kike to my list of Dodger heroes of Kershaw, Turner and Jansen that are taking this team to the trophy. Don’t start with the Kershaw doesn’t have it in the post season shit. He’ll show better than ever……..if we get there. I just hope Dodgers all can smell the blood and that triggers the killer instinct like it did with Kike, I knew Turner and Jansen had it. Seal the deal Dodgers! CHEERS!!!!!

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