Is there something special about the LA Dodger uniform? Throwaways like Trayce Thompson, Joey Gallo, Andrew Heaney, Tyler Anderson, Evan Phillips, Yency Almonte, even Brusdar Graterol have some how put on a Dodger uni and become a fixture with the Dodgers. Look at every one of them and ask, where would the Dodgers be without them. That is probably less true with Gallo as he has been with the team less than a month. While not a throw away, Chris Martin is certainly showing a vast improvement from the first half of the year in a Cubs uni.
Trayce Thompson was released by San Diego, and Detroit really had no use for him. AF called Detroit needing a RH bat with some pop, and they knew Trayce. All it cost was cash considerations. If it weren’t for multiple broken bones in his back, he just maybe could have stuck with LAD his first time. But he did not.
This is Trayce’s 13th year in professional baseball. Before joining LAD for the second time, Trayce had accumulated all of 577 MLB ABs. Trayce was a 2nd round pick in the 2009 draft by CWS. He was traded to LAD in December 2015. Since his stint with the Dodgers the first time, Trayce has played with NYY, Oakland, CWS (2nd time), Cleveland, Arizona, Cubs, Padres, Detroit, LAD (2nd time).
Since joining LAD, Trayce has hit .298/.383/.548/.931 with 6 HRs, 11 doubles, and 25 RBIs. He has made several web gem plays in the OF. He is a valuable member of the Dodgers bench. He does strike out a lot, but that is not a concern for the people signing his check.
Joey Gallo was a 2012 compensation pick after the first round (#39 overall) by the Texas Rangers. Gallo was selected by Texas in June 2015. He was on the Rangers MLB team fulltime in 2017. Gallo was traded to NYY for 4 Top 30 prospects.
After the trade, Gallo hit .160/.303/.404/.707 for the remainder of 2021. For 2022 while with NYY Gallo hit .159/.282/.339/.621. Since the trade with LAD, in 42 PA with the Dodgers, Gallo is batting .257/.381/.629/1.010. He has also made a couple of sparkling defensive plays (and a bad one last night). He is enjoying playing for the Dodgers. With the number of LH bats on the roster, and those in MiLB, I doubt that AF will offer him a multiple year deal that Boras will insist on. Then again he is only 28 (for 2022), so who knows?
Chris Martin has been an absolute pleasant surprise. I know the Dodgers have been high on him for at least since he was with Texas in 2019. At the deadline, he ended up in Atlanta. Martin signed with Chicago Cubs as a FA this past March. For the Cubs, Martin had 31.1 IP, with an ERA of 4.31, a WHIP of 1.34, 5 HRs allowed, and a 40/4 K/BB ratio. It was that last metric that excited the Dodgers. The Dodgers acquired him for fan favorite utility man, Zach McKinstry.
Since the trade, C-Mart has been in 10 games, 9.2 IP, 1.86 ERA, 0.41 WHIP, 1 HR (His first game as a LAD), and a 12/0 K/BB ratio. He has allowed a base runner in only two of the 10 games he has pitched for LAD. The Dodgers are his 6th organization. He has a career 4.00 ERA and a 1.186 WHIP. The Dodgers have control of him through 2023.
Another reliever project has been the remarkable rise of RHSP Evan Phillips. Phillips was a 17th round selection of Atlanta in 2015. In 2018, he was traded by Atlanta in a package to Baltimore for RHSP Kevin Gausman and RHRP Darren O’Day. Phillips was released by Atlanta on August 2, 2021. On August 4, 2021, Tampa Bay signed Phillips to a MiLB contract. Tampa Bay recalled Phillips on August 12, designated him for assignment on August 14, and the Dodgers claimed him on August 16.
Prior to the claim, Phillips had 57.0 IP and 7.26 ERA. Since with the Dodgers he has compiled 60.0 IP with an ERA of 1.65. He has not allowed a run in August, and allowed 1 in July, and 1 unearned run in June. That is 32 games and 30.2 IP. Over that same period he has 35 Ks vs 7 BB. That is 5 to 1 K/BB ratio. The last HR he allowed was May 26. If he is not the best reliefer in MLB over the last 3 months, I do not know who is.
And yet another reliever that has turned it around since putting on the LAD uniform is Yency Almonte. Almonte was a 17th round selection in the 2012 draft by LAA. He was traded to CWS in February 2015 for Gordon Beckham, and turned around and traded to Colorado for Tommy Kahnle after the 2015 season. In November 2021, Almonte was granted FA and the Dodgers signed him in March 2022. In 114 games, 124 IP, Almonte had a 5.30 ERA. He had 113 Ks and 53 BBs (2.13/1).
For the Dodgers, he has pitched 29 games, 31.1 IP, 1.15 ERA, 0.894 WHIP, with 30Ks and 10 BBs (3/1).b Like the others, his career has turned around once he became a LAD.
And then there is Andrew Heaney. Heaney was a 1st round draft pick (#9 overall) by Miami. In December 2014, Heaney was part of a 7 player trade from Miami to LAD. Later the same day, Heaney was flipped to LAA for Howie Kendrick. Heaney pitched for LAA from 2015 to July 2021, when he was traded to NYY for RHP Janson Junk and RHP Elvis Peguero. NYY DFA’d him after the season, and LAD signed him to a one year deal in December 2021. His career has been marred with injuries. He had been on the 10/15 day IL 8 times and the 60 day twice. Through 2021, Heaney had a career ERA of 4.72. His biggest issue was HRs. In 634.1 IP, Heaney allowed 114 HRs. That is more than 1.6 for every 9 innings. He had a strikeout to walk ratio of 3.63/1.
With LAD, the injuries have not gone away. He has gone on the IL twice this year. But he has started 9 games and pitched 41.2 innings. He has a 1.94 ERA. The HR problem has reared its head the last two games with 4 in 10.2 IP. He has 5 for the season for a 1.1 HR/9. But he has turned up the strikeouts. His walks have been consistent, but the strikeouts have been a difference maker. He was averaging 9.0 K/9. This year he is at 13.4. Andrew Heaney is a different pitcher in 2022 with LAD.
MiLB Game Summaries
AAA – OKC Dodgers beat El Paso Chihuahuas (San Diego) 9-8
Ryan Pepiot had a rough outing. He went 5.0 IP and after 4.0 scoreless innings he allowed 4 runs in the 5th on 2 singles, a walk, and a grand slam HR. He allowed an unearned run in the 5th. Blake Treinen did inherit a runner on 3rd in the 6th from Pepiot. He gave up a sac fly, and got the final two outs without allowing a baserunner.
Tommy Kahnle and Carson Fulmer pitched scoreless innings. In the 9th, Daniel Zamora and Heath Hembree made it interesting. Zamora allowed a single and issued 2 walks to load the bases. Heath Hembree inherited 3 runners and gave up a single to score one. A fielders choice and error scored the final two of the inherited runners. Hembree got the final two outs to preserve the win.
In the second, with 2 outs, Jacob Amaya walked, Hunter Feduccia singled with Amaya moving to 3rd. A WP scored Amaya. Andy Burns walked and Devin Mann doubled (4) and scored 2.
In the 3rd, James Outman doubled (7) and scored on a 2-out Ryan Noda single.
Down 5-4, the Dodgers scored 5 in the 7th, with the last three coming off a 3-run HR by PH Miguel Vargas (16).
James Outman went 2-5 with 2 doubles, and Hunter Feduccia went 2-4.
AA – Tulsa Drillers shutout by Arkansas Travelers (Seattle) 2-0
Landon Knack had his best outing since May 20. He threw 4.0 shutout innings with 1 hit and 1 BB. He recorded 3 Ks. Alec Gamboa entered in the 5th. He gave up a single and BB to the first two batters. A ground out moved the runners to 2nd and 3rd. A sac fly and single plated the only two runs of the game. Gamboa followed with three scoreless innings.
The Drillers had five singles.. Kody Hoese had 2 of them.
A+ – Great Lakes Loons were shutout by Fort Wayne TinCaps (San Diego) 8-0
River Ryan started. He walked the first two batters, got two outs, and then the defense let him down. Imanol Vargas dropped a throw to first that should have been the last out. However, a run scored, and two runners were left on base. Ryan gave up the 3-run HR and was removed from the game. All 4 runs were unearned. Ryan had 30 pitches in 0.2 IP and the Dodgers do not like for their pitchers to throw more than 30 pitches in an inning.
Four Loons pitchers followed to pitch the final 8.1 innings. They allowed 4 runs on 7 hits and 9 walks. They did register 10 Ks combined.
The Loons had 1 hit in the game. A single by Luis Yanel Diaz with 2 outs in the 5th.
A – Rancho Cucamonga Quakes beat the Visalia Rawhide (Arizona) 12-4
- Chris Campos – 2.0 scoreless IP, 2 hits
- Hansel Robles – 4.0 IP, 2 runs, 6 hits, 1 BB, 3 K
- Madison Jeffrey – 1.0 scoreless inning, 3 BB, 2 K
- Yamil Castillo – 1.0 IP, 2 runs, 3 BB, 1 hit (2 run scoring double)
- Heisell Baro – 1.0 scoreless innings, 1 BB
- Taylor Young – 2-5, double (3)
- Dalton Rushing – 2-4, double (8)
- Luis Rodriguez – 2-4, 2 doubles (18), 5 RBIs
- Jake Vogel – 2-4, 2 RBIs
- Griffin Lockwood-Powell – 2-4
- Rayne Doncon – 2-5, HR (1), 2 RBIs