Today by 1:00PM (PST), the Dodgers will learn if Tyler Anderson has accepted the LAD QO.
Today, no later than 3:00, the 40 man rosters need to be submitted. Right now, the Dodgers have 33 on the 40 man. Clayton Kershaw has supposedly agreed to a one year deal, and he will need a spot on the roster. I do not understand the delay in announcing the deal.
If Tyler Anderson accepts the QO, then he will need to be added. With Kershaw and TA, the 40 man goes to 35. I do not expect the Trevor Bauer arbitration to be resolved by the 40 man roster set deadline. As of right now, he is not on the 40 man. He is suspended, and will remain so until the arbitration panel makes their ruling known.
So I am assuming that Tyler Anderson will accept the QO and Kershaw will get a 40 man spot. That will bring the total to 35. I am also assuming that there will not be any additions to the 40 man via trade or FA signing before the submittal.
Here is my projection for the 5 remaining spots on the 40 man. The first four are pretty much consensus choices:
- Diego Cartaya – C – Age today – 21.2
- Michael Busch – 2B/LF – Age today – 25.0
- Andy Pages – OF – Age today – 21.9 – Big AFL Season
- José Ramos – OF – Age today – 21.9 – Big AFL Season
My final prediction is RHP, Carlos Duran, over OF Jonny DeLuca. I do not see the Dodgers protecting 3 OF. I like DeLuca, but I think there is more of a risk that Duran would be drafted more than DeLuca. I also think age is an issue.
- Carlos Duran – RHP – Age today – 21.3
Players who are more likely to be possibly drafted. Players listed by age:
- Jonny DeLuca – OF – Age today – 24.3
- Ryan Ward – OF – Age today – 24.7
- Hunter Feduccia – C – Age today – 25.4
- Drew Avans – OF – Age today – 26.4
- Ryan Noda – 1B – Age today – 26.6
Each of the five above will be protected on the AAA roster, but will remain eligible for the MLB portion of the Rule 5 draft.
I think Hunter Feduccia is an outside candidate to be protected. Hunter is one of the very best fastball hitters in MiLB. Per Prospects Live:
“There is nobody in the entirety of professional baseball who saw as many fastballs, and matched Feduccia in both contact rate and wOBAcon. He also showed no cracks based on location, speed, or movement.”
He also plays a position that is devoid of much quality at the highest levels. My thinking here is that perhaps the Dodgers can protect Hunter, and can then include Feduccia in a trade package to a team than needs catching. He could be a good backup catcher and could conceivably get starts against a good fastball pitcher.
While Carlos Duran is still considered a SP, he is still a 2-pitch pitcher. He has a plus fastball and a double plus slider. But that is it. His 3rd pitch is a well below average changeup. If not protected, he is a huge possibility to land and stick as a back end reliever. While the Dodgers are not apt to push their prospects, most other teams have no qualms. Atlanta just produced a 21 year old ROY (CF Michael Harris II), and a 23 year old #2 ROY (RHSP Spencer Strider). I do not think they would be opposed to reach for a 21 year old with a 60 fastball and a 70 slider for a high leverage late inning reliever. He is a clear cut potential to be a MLB closer. That is why I would want to protect him. I believe he will be drafted and stick at the MLB level.
I cannot see Ryan Noda being protected, but IMO he is an excellent candidate to be drafted. He could be a good LH bat coming off the bench and a spot starter at 1B. He can also play some corner OF. It would be hard to ignore a AAA player batting .259/.395/.474/.869. He had 25 HRs and 90 RBIs. He may not be a GG 1B, but he is a solid defensive 1B. He made 5 errors in 802 chances (891.1 innings). Could he become another Christian Walker, who was a poor defensive 1B when he first replaced Paul Goldschmidt, as a 28 year old? He is now a slugging GG 1B.
Jonny DeLuca had a fantastic season, but he got injured in early August and was out for the season after August 6. For the season, DeLuca batted:
- AA – .298/.359/.606/.965 – 104 AB – 7 HR
- A+ – .245/.343/.516/.859 – 277 AB – 18 HR
- Overall – .260/.347/.541/.888 – 381 AB – 25 HR – 73 K, 45 BB – 17% K rate
Did he have a good enough season to get drafted and remain on a MLB roster?
I do not believe there is much risk in Drew Avans or Ryan Ward being drafted in the MLB phase. But they would be picked up in the MiLB phase if not protected at AAA, which I suspect they will be.
The Rule 5 draft will be held on the final day of the 2022 Winter Meetings, Wednesday December 7.
What say you on those I have tabbed for protection? Anyone else see any sleepers to be protected?
I’m going to re-post a link to a rundown on pitchers with excellent breaking balls which I posted to your last article (apparently just before you posted this one) and which included a fair amount of info on Duran. Based on what you have said, Jeff, and what this article contains, I would be surprised not to see Duran added to the 40-man.
You say you don’t expect any additions before the deadline, but there could be subtractions via trade or dfa. Bickford and Bruihl strike me as two who may be on the bubble. And, of course, if they have decided not to tender Bellinger a contract, they might as well do that today in order to protect an extra player.
It’s going to be a very busy day in Rosterland.
I am still not convinced that AF/BG will non-tender Belli. There are no other real options out there for CF. I think that there is a good chance that Belli redefines his swing and can put up better than average OPS+ numbers. At least I think the Dodgers want to find out if he can. If he falters thru May, he gets moved to the bench and Outman takes over. However, Outman is still more of a corner OF than a true CF. He can play CF just as Trayce Thompson can, CT3 can, and Joey Gallo can. They are capable, but not for 140 games.
If he does falter, the Dodgers can then try to unload Belli at the Deadline for spare parts. But what if he can be resurrected from the dead? It is an $18MM gamble that the Dodgers can afford. He is home grown. I know it is the smart business move, but is it the smart baseball move?
I also do not believe that the Dodgers will DFA Bruihl or Bickford before the roster is set this afternoon.
Now it is also possible that Kershaw has not been formally announced as signed so that he is not on the 40 man, and the Dodgers can protect one other player, giving them time to move one or more already on the 40 man, rather than just DFA him/them.
Even if he can resurrect himself this year, the Dodgers and Scott Boras will find it virtually impossible to agree on any long-term contract going forward. Bellinger has proven himself to be uncoachable. I’m fed up with his lazy, me-first attitude.
I agree Belli is not the long term answer, but the Dodgers’ win now window is closing. I know there are those out there who swear that the Dodgers farm system is second to none. And that may be true when you are counting players making it to MLB. But how many will have a significant impact? I do not believe many will. So while Kershaw still has a back, and Urias still has a contract (one more year), and Freddie and Mookie have not hit JT syndrome, the team needs to find the right pieces for this year. If the Dodgers can somehow come up with a true CF, I am all in. Maybe they can coax Harrison Bader out of NYY or Dylan Carlson out of St. Louis. Or one of the 4 out of Arizona. If Belli falls on his face for the first two months, they should still be good enough to win the NL West or at least be in the Wild Card, and Outman can take over.
If Belli is non-tendered, I will be okay with it. It is a solid business plan. And with the baseball plan fuzzy, go with the business plan?
Well Fred, you are the only one who thinks he is lazy and uncoachable. I have read several reports that Bellinger has a great work ethic. That his that way is your opinion. Not the opinion of those who matter and make the decisions. They can always trade him during the season if he is making progress.
Maybe if Cody becomes the difference between staying below the CBT and its accompanying reset, the Dodgers could non-tender him.
That is why I said from a business standpoint he should be non tendered. I just do not know if it is the right baseball move.
Yes, but most of that business standpoint goes away if they go over the CBT without Cody. At that point, what’s a few million more?
Could they use that $18MM elsewhere? Say Trea Turner? Say Justin Verlander?
Once they are over the CBT, open the checkbook and try again next year to get under the CBT. I assume Verlander would be a 1 year contract.
He is looking for 3. The Dodgers will probably go to 2. He may get three from Houston. But if Houston says no to 3, the Dodgers do have a chance.
deGrom is looking for 4, but will probably get 3 with an opt out.
Martín Pérez became the first of an expected three players to accept the QO. It is widely expected that both Joc and Tyler Anderson will accept as well.
While Matt Carpenter was with St. Louis, he had his three worst years offensively while Jeff Albert was the Cardinals hitting coach. Carpenter signed with Texas after 2021 as a FA. He was released by Texas on May 19, and signed with NYY on May 26. He then proceeded to have a phenomenal rest of the 2022 season: .305/.412/.727/1.138, 15 HRs in 154 PA. He has always been a Max Muncy type with a good eye. He walked 12.3%, and cut his strikeout rate to 22.7%
The three years with Jeff Albert as hitting coach, were horrible. In 6 of the previous 7 seasons, Carpenter had an OPS > .800. For the three years with Jeff Albert as the hitting coach, his OPS was .726, .640, .581.
However, Carpenter did not blame Albert for his struggles in his latter years with the Cardinals, but said, “I just never bought into (analytics) like I should have.”
Might this be a similar situation for Belli? RVS came to LAD for his 2019 season, but maybe it was Turner Ward’s influence that Belli latched on to for the first part of his MVP season. Belli started to slip the second half of 2019 after RVS arrived. His next three years have been disastrous. Maybe RVS has not been a positive influence on Belli, and a change could work for him on another team.
Sometimes it is not the player, but the coach not being able to communicate with the player. We know that RVS loves to increase pitch count, and Belli would often find himself in strike one and strike two counts. We know that Mookie was also working the count when Freddie and Trea told Mookie to become more aggressive. Can you imagine if Rickey Henderson was told he needed to take a strike?
Sometimes a change is needed.
I do think a change is needed.
But if Belli, like Carpenter, is not listening to the hitting coach here what hope does he have if he doesn’t listen elsewhere?
Sometimes coaches let the players adjust their approach to their game. We heard from Jake McGee and Tyler Anderson that one of the key positives with LAD pitching coaches is that the coach lets the pitcher decide what works best for him. Jake McGee was allowed to throw his fastball almost exclusively with the Dodgers. Tyler Anderson went back to his previous changeup grip and Prior let him work with that. They let Andrew Heaney work on a new slider. They did not dictate to him what he must throw. There are a lot of teams that do that.
Sometimes there is a communication issue and it is not the fault of the coach or player. Maybe it is the way a different coach phrases something that kicks in. I have no idea if Belli is not listening to his coach. Maybe he is listening too much and is befuddled at the plate not knowing what to do. Maybe he should just shut everything out and react.
I am not an RVS fan. But I also have no basis that Belli is not listening to him. Everything points to Belli working hard with the coaches. Maybe these coaches cannot get through to him like Turner Ward could.
The harder he works the straighter he stands.
Curious where you red that on Heaney?
FanGraphs seemed to imply the Dodgers pitching dev team was much more involved.
“In short order, the Dodgers have worked with Heaney to rebuild his mechanics, adjusting his arm slot, correcting his tendency to become too rotational, and placing him in the middle of the rubber instead of moving from side to side in search of a fleeting advantage. Their biggest move, however, was to junk Heaney’s curveball, which had below-average horizontal and vertical movement, in favor of a sweeper, a popular new variant of the slider that gets more horizontal movement. According to Sarris, on the Dodgers’ staff alone, seven pitchers including Buehler, Julio Urías, Blake Treinen, and Evan Phillips added a sweeper or adjusted their breaking balls to become one last year (Urías calls his version a slurve). Wrote Sarris in October. “[F]or most Dodgers sliders, the difference between the spin axis the batter sees, and the movement he expects from that spin axis — a phenomenon known as seam-shifted wake — is significant. That unexpected movement is up and out, so these sliders generally have less drop and more sweep than they appear they will as they spin out of the hand.”
All of that is true, but with those changes, the results were not there until HE made the change in the Colorado bullpen with his slider, and was told go ahead and use that pitch. He was a different pitcher.
I do believe that the Dodger pitching gurus are better than the hitting gurus. I like Cleveland and Houston’s pitching gurus more than the Dodgers. But that is just me.
You bring up the pitchers where mechanics were changed with positive results. What about all of the pitchers that did not succeed in their system. How many of the mechanics changes attributed to arm injuries? I do not know the answer, but the Dodgers have had their fair share of injuries.
It isn’t just the Dodgers. I ran into a friend of my son in Lake Tahoe last summer. He was pitching in the Tampa Bay MiLB system and doing very well. He had a developmental pitching coach change his delivery, and he ended up with TJ surgery and never made it back.
I do not have the answers and I do not know all of the questions. But a lot of what Matt Carpenter went thru with Jeff Albert and the Cards, why cannot the same issue be with Belli?
If Belli leaves, someone will pick him up. I will watch how he performs for that team. Maybe he should go to NYY.
Really appreciate the response.
I have no real clue how to appraise hitting or pitching coaches. Where the club’s begins and where the individual’s coach’s end.
Pitching injuries! A mere mention of this allows me to bring up Passan’s great book.
Sometimes people don’t listen until they hear what they want to hear. Then they listen very carefully.
If Bellinger (or anyone for that matter) were to hit .350 or better against first pitch get me over fastballs the coaches would shut up about it.
Anderson signs a multiyear deal with the Angels per Jeff Passan.
A three-year deal for $39M, foregoing a one-year deal of $19.65M. I’m not a CPA but how does this make any sense?
I wonder if the fact that the shift is being eliminated and Anderson is basically a ground ball pitcher had anything to do with the fact that Andrew didn’t try to match the Angels offer.
Maybe this means we’re going big game hunting (deGrom, Verlander, Rodon)
Or giving the kids a chance (Pepiot, Stone, Miller, Grove)
Or going to the retread pile (Cueto, Quintana, Clevinger)
Per Rosenthal: Dodgers consider themselves deep in major league talent. May only pursue high-end short term deals.
And I quote, apologies if already quoted:
If you’re the Dodgers…why would you carry $280mm payroll when you can reach the postseason at a lower amount and stand perhaps the same chance of winning the WS if the team gets hot at the right time?
He did NOT say crapshoot anywhere in the article.
He also mentions that Verlander may see the Dodgers as an option and that Adames is unlikely to move.
I don’t see any way that Andrew goes into the season with just Urias, May, Gonsolin, Kershaw and the young guys.
Gonsolin and Kershaw both have recent injury history so certainly can’t be depended upon for a full season worth of starts.
Pepiot and Grove haven’t really proven themselves at the MLB level yet and Stone and Miller haven’t even been promoted yet.
It seems to me that throwing some large $ at Verlander or deGrom for a short deal would bring an ace to share those duties with Urias and let the youngsters slowly work their way into the rotation over the next couple of years since there’s always room for at least 8 starters during the course of a season.
I think you have nailed it with one of those options.
I believe I said something very similar last week, except I said $300MM and I did say crapshoot. But I say crapshoot with tongue in cheek because I do not believe it is a crapshoot. I believe you make your own luck. I believe you adjust in the playoffs. I believe when you are supposedly the best offensive team in MLB, that going 0-20 WRISP is not because of one team getting hot, or because the playoffs are a crapshoot. A simple change in strategy especially with 2 strikes, and a Freddie Freeman approach to put the ball in play is what was called for. Only Freddie did it. I also do not believe I would have had my catcher batting 4th who was up all night with the birth of his first child and then needing to be helicoptered to San Diego in time for the game was the right call. But that is just me.
I believe that once in the playoffs the Dodgers chances at winning the World Series were somewhere near 33%, Houston’s odds were at or near 16%. What are the odds at a craps table? I think I read 22%. A roll of the dice fits as far as I am concerned.
I agree with your take on the two strike approach. I also am a firm believer in the Dead Red approach on strike one. Jump on it and you are more likely to get ahead in the count the rest of the night. I hate strikeouts too, but we scored more runs than anybody else. That in itself is a strong argument to not change anything.
List is out, just four players protected:
No Ramos, no Duran.
Maybe AF feels nobody would roster Ramos for a full year so he wouldn’t be taken in the draft.
I think someone would take a chance on Duran, so maybe he’s part of a trade we haven’t heard about yet.
Unofficially, Diego Cartaya, Michael Busch, Andy Pages, and Jonny DeLuca have been added to the 40 man. I do not know if that is all right now. Neither Jose Ramos nor Carlos Duran were mentioned in the report I saw. I will continue to peruse the feeds.
Official – From The Dodgers:.