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.

48 thoughts on “Open Thread #7

  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. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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:

    • 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.

  5. 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:

        • 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.

      • I have NO interest in anyone’s post count, eleven was the total count on this blog in a 5 day period. Not Guilty!

        • Sorry, I was referring to myself! I check all the time for new posts to read, but hardly ever post myself. Okay, back to lurking I go…

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

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