Open Thread #7

Update: Ernie Banks passed away today. The Hall of Famer and former Cub was 83 years old.

Baseball America has a recap of the Dodgers’ offseason moves, with some attention paid to the minor leaguers.

Aside from the Cubs, the Dodgers’ top three prospects are as strong as any other organization’s in baseball. Corey Seager, a shortstop for now who likely moves to third base, is one of the most talented hitters in the minors. Center fielder Joc Pederson is a 2015 Rookie of the Year frontrunner, while teenage lefthander Julio Urias has the makings of a future ace, combining plus stuff with feel for pitching beyond his years.

After the vaunted trio, the Dodgers farm system is in a better place than it was a year ago because of the emergence of depth beyond them. Their top 2014 draft picks—first-round righthander Grant Holmes and outfielder Alex Verdugo — both had strong debuts and look like potential impact talents.

We’re less than a month away from pitchers and catchers reporting. They do that on Feb. 19 and have their first workout Feb. 20. Position players report Feb. 24 and have their first workout Feb. 25.

70 thoughts on “Open Thread #7

    • We should be able to cover the 100% tax, but I believe that there is another penalty that wouldn’t allow the Dodgers to bid over $300,000 for any international player over the next several years, when there may be an influx of additional Cuban players on the market.

      • There is only a 2 year penalty. That is rolling the dice but I believe it is worth it. What you have said is probably going to happen as King Andrew doesn’t want franchise players.

        • There’s no evidence for that. He may be mistaken in specific cases, but sometimes you have to surrender value to get value.

          • Well, he let Hanley walk and traded Matt for a dopehead. Both could have been considered franchise players. He currently has Clayton and Zach. Zach could easily walk away after this year and who knows when the King will do away with Clayton?

          • I liked Hanley, but he was a poor defensive SS. I liked Kemp too, and don’t like Grandal’s PED links, but his acquisition addresses a team weakness – you can’t count on an aging, injury-prone A.J. to play anywhere close to full-time. Grandal has some pop, but he’s also got a lot to prove.

          • Don’t you think there were a lot of other catchers that could have been retained? This give to get theory is bologna as Grandal couldn’t carry Matt’s jock plus another 30 mil. Gimme a break!

          • What catchers could the Dodgers have retained? Butera appears to have been the only option there.

          • OK, but there wasn’t much else available. The Dodgers had an OF surplus, but they weren’t going to get Grandal for Ethier.

  1. I see Elian Herrera was DFAed. Plays all infield and outfield positions, league average hitter. I’d say he was worth at least a Spring Training Invite, so they probably won’t sign him…

    • Define “average”. Last year in 140 PA with the Brewers he put up an OPS+ of 75 at age 29. I remember him fondly. Could be AAA fodder given versatility, but would save my criticism of the FO if he were not be invited to ST. That spot on the 40 man seems to be occupied by Enrique Hernandez, who we got in the Miami trade and who hit OPS+ 107 in 134 PA in the Bigs last year. A younger versatile type like him is Darnell Sweeney, who was at AA last year and seems to have more potential at age 24 than Elian.

  2. mlb.com is now circulating a Ken Gurnick article about the Dodgers not bidding on Yoan Moncada because of money and penalties. Sounds to me like Friedman is getting ready to get out and is easing the fans into it. Too much asked from a man who wants to make more happen with less or ego. If you want to play you gottta pay!

    • Hmm – if that’s true then that would be quite disappointing. It’s one thing to put in a bid and get beat, but if the Dodgers don’t really try to go after Moncada at all – that’s whole different matter.

    • If you really like a player, don’t mention his name. If the FO thinks the player might be a fan favorite, no way in ____ do they sign him.

  3. Who had the best arm, Furillo or Snider? I know Furillo started out as a pitcher and threw out more than one runner at first base who had lined a ball off the Ebbets Field wall. And I remember Snider hurt his arm trying to throw a ball out of the L A Coliseum but I don’t remember if he was successful or not.

    • He isn’t the only one! I think this was one of several changes the club made that was not necessarily an improvement but Only to remove personnel signed by the previous GM and replace them with new people signed by this GM. This policy may well come back to burn them. I’m with 206 on this aspect.

      • He is not saying that Haren is better, but is questioning whether the deal was too sweet for the return.

      • John, I think you had it right on the last thread. The Dodgers are trying to win without many if any exciting players. Let’s face it, losing Hanley, Matt, and Dee were all very exciting players. Rollins and Kendrick are OK but not as exciting IMO, and Grandal is unknown for all practical purposes. The Dodgers are becoming very vanilla.

        • If the Dodgers win/won with guys like Kemp, Kershaw, Greinke and other big names, the players get the credit. If they win with players nobody remembers, management gets the credit…

          • That has been my thought throughout the last couple of months. Friedman is on an ego trip.

  4. From the Star Trek dept: The second DD link I posted refers to a changeup called a Vulcan.

    Trekkies would expect the grip for that to be ball in the middle of the hand with two fingers split to either side. They would be right. I’d never heard of it.

    No word if it has helped many pitchers live long and prosper. ;-])

    This link has a description of the pitch and maybe a video.

    http://www.yougoprobaseball.com/how-to-grip-and-throw-the-vulcan.html

  5. Some interesting posts at Dodger Digest and TBLA last couple days about the signing of submariner reliever Ben Rowen–all worth the read, IMO. Rowen likely slots in somewhere in the minors, but several things are intriguing about him and his “stuff,” or lack of.

    Factoid about Dan Quisinberry, with whom Rowen has been compared, via Eric Stephen:

    Quisenberry struck out 379 batters in his career , four fewer than Nolan Ryan in 1973.

    Ryan’s 383 Ks in ’73 is the all-time single season modern-era record, topping guess who’s 382? Koufax, of course.

    Rowen post links: http://dodgersdigest.com/2015/01/27/ben-rowen-and-the-unprecedented/

    http://dodgersdigest.com/2015/01/24/dodgers-sign-submariner-ben-rowen/

    http://www.truebluela.com/2015/1/26/7901935/ben-rowen-dodgers-submariner

    • Quiz was great, but of all the submariners I can think of, I think I liked Tekulve better. He looked like Ichabod Crane with that Adam’s apple of his leading the rest of his body, wearing that boxy Pirates cap of the time.

  6. Vinnie, Sandy and Bob Hendley (not OUR Bob Hendley, the real one!) were awarded the Baseball Writers Association Willie Mickey and the Duke award for their work on September 9, 1965, when Sandy pitched his perfect game against Hendley, who gave up only one hit himself. Vinnie’s broadcast of the ninth inning is a classic too.

      • At least your namesake acquitted himself well, verbally Saturday and on the mound back then.

        “Hendley, who joined Koufax in accepting the award, noted that Saturday
        was the first time he had actually met Koufax. He also charmingly
        pointed out that five days after the perfect game, he outdueled Koufax
        with a four-hitter in a 2-1 victory, meaning that in the two games combined, each pitcher allowed exactly two runs on five hits.”

        Couldn’t be many pitchers who ever dueled at-his-peak Koufax evenly, even if for just 2 games.

        However, with that win over Koufax Hendley evened his record at 3-3. That slacker Koufax fell off to 22-8.

        From Jon’s blog about the event: http://dodgers.mlblogs.com/tag/bob-hendley/

        • Bob Hendley leapt for joy when the Dodgers trade Hondo to the AL. In 41 AB, Howard hit 8 homers off him and had an OPS of 1.471.

  7. Ernie Banks was the type of player every kid could look up to. Let’s play 2, Mr. Cub. RIP

    • More than any other player ever, Ernie Banks epitomizes what baseball was all about. Hail and farewell…

  8. Enjoy fantasizing about prospects. Even better when someone outside the organization thinks that they are good.

  9. Hopefully the young pitchers develop quickly. With the potential loss of Greinke the staff will be downgraded unless another star free agent is picked up.

    • Forget it, this FO doesn;t sign free agent stars. The Dodgers of the future are going to be plain wrapper types. If we had a scoreboard to sell, Pic-N-Save would buy it.

      • I have a small hope that the FO will not completely abandon Top Tier free agents. I agree with you however that the possibility is slim.

      • Certainly more emphasis on the farm and having home-grown types, but this doesn’t equate with plan wrapper.

    • Clayton had 100 innings at A level and 91 innings at AA before he made his debut at 20. Urias has 142 innings at A level under his belt, so a season at AA should bring him to Kershaw’s numbers. Urias might need a slot (at least fifth) in 2016.

      • Do you think the Dodgers should sign a top tier pitcher like Price, Hamels, or resign Greinke or some other #1 or #2 sooner rather than later and do you think it fits the FO plan? Or do you think they will go to plan B and start bring up the kids or a lesser pitcher?

        • I like Greinke and feel that he has the sort of stuff that should carryover through his early 30’s. Not sure who would be available in 2016 as a FO for plan B. Nicasio can give us some starts this year, if we end up having to go to a sixth, and hopefully Zach Lee and/or Reed bounces back and might warrant some starts as well. and this fellow Wieland we got from the Pads might work out.