The Colorado Rockies may be 5th in the NL West standings, but they are a quality offensive team. They are 2nd in the ML and 1st in the NL in batting average with .261. They are 6th in the NL and 4th in the AL in OBP at .325. So it is no easy task to stifle their bats. But that is exactly what Ryan Pepiot did on Tuesday night.
What made this game different for Pepiot? He attacked the batters. Ryan was not always efficient, but he stayed away from the walks. 15 of 19 first pitch strikes. He issued one walk, and recorded six strikeouts. He allowed four hits, three on his 4-seamer and one on his cutter. He had 4 hits considered hard hit (95+ MPH).
Below is his pitch chart for Tuesday night.
He has a hellacious changeup. It doesn’t fool as many ML batters as MiLB batters, but it fooled enough of them and did so timely. He got 7 swings (33%) on the change, and 5 whiffs. He had 9 whiffs overall on 40 swings (23%).
What was also impressive for me was the number of cutters he threw. 15% of his pitches were the cutter. His third pitch used to be a slider, but he made an adjustment, and now it acts like a cutter. 10 of the 15 cutters were strikes, with 4 being called.
His command of his 4-seamer was better on this night. He did not get as many swings and misses, but he also did not miss the plate as many times. He got 10 called strikes from the 45 four-seamers he threw. What I liked to hear from him in his post game interview, was that while he was happy about the win, he acknowledged that his job as a starter is to pitch deeper in the game to save the pen. I look for his control & command to improve even more.
Overall, Ryan Pepiot pitched a whale of a game for his first ML win. His reward? He will be put on a flight back to OKC. He has now earned the right to be considered a viable spot starter for 2022, and a true opportunity to be in the rotation discussion for 2023. Depending as to who may be retained from this year, it could be a crowded field.
Phil Bickford certainly did not dominate, but he did enough to keep the Dodgers in the lead. Evan Phillips did dominate, and has effectively moved into that max high leverage reliever role of Blake Treinen/Daniel Hudson. Like with Pepiot in the starting role, it is next man up.
Max Muncy and Justin Turner had good nights. Max with a big no doubter HR and a double, plus two walks. He scored three runs. Mookie also went deep for #18. It was fantastic to see Max go after the first pitch he saw for the HR and double. I like the high OBP, but I would rather see the XBH. JT is really getting hot. For July, he is slashing .471/.500/.647/1.147. Max has now hit 3 HRs and 2 doubles in the last 7 games. If both of those guys start to hit, the offense should be very good in the second half of the season.
Those of you who hate the running on contact with a runner on 3rd strategy, can give everyone the “I Told You So” speech. Gavin Lux hits a big triple. Mookie K’d, but Trea Turner bounced back to the pitcher and Lux broke and was caught in a rundown. The Dodgers were 2 for 6 WRISP. One of those was an oppo single by Trayce Thompson in the 8th to bring home Muncy for an insurance run.
Brusdar Graterol comes in the 9th to close it out, and he does just that. He gave up a single to Ryan McMahon that Cody Bellinger might have been thinking about his 3 Ks on the line drive. Cody Bellinger will tell you that he should have caught that line drive. He has made waaaaaaaay tougher plays. But Graterol got José Iglesias to chase a slider for strike 3 and got Yonathan Daza to bounce out 3-1 on the next pitch for out #3. If Bazooka can get that slider working, his fastball will be more lethal. Brusdar got his 2nd save in the last 10 games. Can he keep it up?
With the win and the Padres and Giants losses, the Dodgers now have a 5.5 game lead over the Padres and 10.5 over the Giants. The Giants are 2.0 games behind the final WC team (Phillies).
Tomorrow night Mitch White will start for LAD and José Ureña draws the start for Colorado. While with Miami, Ureña has pitched well against the Dodgers in the past. But he has fallen on rough times of late.
Congratulations to Ryan Pepiot for his first ML win. It will be the first of many.
Loved how Pepiot attacked the strike zone. He still has a weird tendency to have his fastballs fade away from lefties (way out of the zone), almost like he is afraid he is going to hit the batter; but what we saw last night was orders of magnitude better than his nervous first couple of starts. Love to see homegrown talent work its way onto the roster.
There was only one game last night in MiLB. So I thought that I would include it in the comment section.
Las Vegas Aviators (A’s) 8 – OKC Dodgers 3
The OKC Dodgers were running out of starting pitching. Ryan Pepiot was summoned to LA for a spot start, Michael Grove is on the IL, and Andre Jackson was placed on the Development List to see if the pitching gurus can figure out what is ailing him. That leaves Beau Burrows, Robbie Erlin, Sam Gaviglio, and Jon Duplantier as the OKC Dodger rotation. That is what is left of the LAD starting pitching depth.
Last night it was Jon Duplantier’s turn on the bump. Duplantier did not pitch poorly. He allowed 2 runs on 4 hits and 1 walk with 7 strikeouts. Mark Washington came into the game with a spotless 0.00 ERA (6 games 5.2 IP) and left with a 3.86 ERA in 1.1 IP. In the 6th, he left with runners on 2nd and 3rd with one out, and Justin Bruihl coming in. Bruihl immediately surrendered a 2-run scoring single, both runs charged to Washington. Bruihl went on to pitch 1.2 innings with no runs, so his ERA was intact. But did he do his job?
In the 8th, the duo of Bobby Wahl and Yadier Alvarez performed the same situation with the same results. Wahl allowed a double and 3 walks to force in a run before Alvarez came in to relieve. He immediately allowed a 2-run scoring single, both charged to Wahl. Yadi would finish the 8th with no further runs scored, and a scoreless 9th.
Thus, relief pitching with no offense and Duplantier’s effort was rewarded with a loss.
The offense was largely from a 9th inning 1-out 2 run HR from Zach McKinstry. Miguel Vargas continued to show a hot bat with a pair of hits, with an RBI. McKinstry and Vargas both had two hits on the night.
One other note, Pedro Baez is on a rehab assignment in the ACL.
For Bum, STB, or anyone else who is into trade comparison: What would be a decent return for a package of Bellinger and Ferguson?
I am not ready to move on from Bellinger or Fergusson. Although I think the Dodgers need a backup plan for Bellinger if he refuses to alter his stance and swing to make more contact. He could be a 1962 Tommy Davis. https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/d/davisto02.shtml
And Fergusson could be a Steve Howe, without the booze and drug problems.
Numbers from the Trade Simulator:
Based on the Simulator the answer is not much.
Here are a bunch of trade proposals for Dodgers people have submitted that the Trade Simulator says is fair. My thoughts are that 90% are hell no.
Fun stuff. Thanks Bum.
Simulator is wrong. Bellinger has put up 1.3 WAR in less than half a season. Montas has 1.5. Castillo 2.1. Kelenic -0.2. I wouldn’t do Bellinger straight up for Mahle. I still believe in him.
That said, those trades are an interesting read. I don’t see any of them happening, but, fun read.
The discount on Belli’s value is the cost. He is $17MM. WAR may justify the cost, but most teams will not pay him $17MM. But I would not trade Belli straight up for Mahle either.
Yeah cost. So for those teams with money the value would be different?
Wins is what GMs value. For teams like the Reds or Pirates the wins don’t have to be this year, or even next year. A couple A or AA players might generate multiple wins for years with them. And their trade simulator might see, for example, Bruns with enough future team controlled WAR to justify trading a pitcher that’s going to take them nowhere before he leaves as a free agent.
Somebody will likely overpay for Castillo, Montas or Lopez. I don’t think it will be Friedman. That’s just a guess of course. I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up taking flyers on a guy like Bumgarner or Hendricks.
There were actually a couple of them that I liked, and if they were ever offered, I would snap up.
Nick Nastrini for Dillon Tate – Orioles (3 years of arbitration control)
Andre Jackson and Jake Vogel for Martin Perez (Texas) – Why would Texas even consider this. The answer…they wouldn’t. But as a Dodger fan, I like.
Jacob Amaya, Landon Knack, Jose Ramos, Ryan Ward for Ian Happ and David Robertson (Cubs) – I actually think this would be a fair deal, but I cannot see what the Dodgers would do with Ian Happ. I would cut it down and just see what the cost for David Robertson is. Ryan Ward and Jake Vogel would get it done in the trade simulator. Would Chicago do it? NO!
Robertson is a ML pitcher with closer experience having a good bounce back year, for two guys that will never be regular ML players, if they get there at all. Their ceiling is as AAAA players. Ward = Luke Raley, Kyle Garlick. Vogel could be a good defensive CF, but he does not show that he can be a ML hitter. Albeit, he is a better hitting prospect than Jeren Kendall.
I wouldn’t mind Robertson at all.
How about Scott Effross? To be honest, I hadn’t even thought about him until today, but he wouldn’t be a bad addition either.
Scott Effross is a good choice, but he really is not a late inning high leverage type reliever. I also do not think the Cubs will move him. He is controlled thru 2027. He is the type of reliever they will want to have when they feel they can contend again. He has a 4.89 SO/W ratio, and a 50/50 GO/AO ratio.
This is why smart organizations wait until after the All Star Break to get into serious negotiations on trades.
The price for Luis Castillo just got higher. The cost for Jose Quintana and Martin Perez also just got higher.
And to remind everyone that Luis Castillo was out the first month due to shoulder issues as well.
And yet another with shoulder issues:
11:30am: The Cubs have placed right-hander Kyle Hendricks on the 15-day injured list due to a shoulder strain,
With Pepiot and White both performing admirably I think AF may just stick to the reliever market and get his starter reinforcements internally. That’s what I would do at this point.
May should be back within a month or so and he could form a tandem with someone to fill one of the 5 spots. Price could also be stretched out to go 4-5 innings. Why give up really good prospects and overbid on the few decent starters who won’t yet be injured?
That backups my reluctance to make a trade. I do like Drury though. Hoese and maybe Knack?
I think it’s going to take more for Drury. Hoese hasn’t shown enough to be worth anything, trade-wise, and Knack was just put on the IL at Tulsa.
Maybe he isn’t the answer.
We score 5 a game. We need a steady, reliable 4.0 ERA starter. We may already have him.
MLB.com just updated their Top 100 Prospect list. We have 6 of the 100, as follows:
Cartaya – 15
Miller – 28
Busch – 44
Pages – 49
Vargas – 73
Pepiot – 78
I’m a bit surprised that Busch and Pages are as high as they are and Vargas is so low.
I am very surprised that Pages is that high. I do not find Vargas’ defense any worse than Busch’s. It seems clear that power drives up the prospect ranking. That may be why Pages is so highly valued. He is also a more than adequate defensive OF. Busch has more power than Vargas, but strikes out a ton more. Vargas has sufficient power, but not enough for a corner infielder for these evaluators. FanGraphs is not a fan of Vargas’. Pepiot 50 slots behind Miller????? Bobby Miller has a high ceiling, but a very low floor. His risk is considered extreme by many.
I guess MLB does not value diminutive RHP’s that throw strikes. Gavin Stone is dominating at AA while Miller is holding course. One good game, one bad game.
STB commented that AF might be best to concentrate on relief help. What might LAD fans expect. Let’s look at prior trade deadline relievers acquired at trade deadline:
2015 – Luis Avilan and Jim Johnson
2016 – Josh Fields and Jesse Chavez
2017 – Tony Watson, Tony Cingrani, and Luke Farrell
2019 – Adam Kolarek
2021 – Danny Duffy
The two Tony’s were having down years. There have been a lot of relievers that have been moved over the many deadlines, but AF seems to not want to spend prospect capital on any of the high leverage relievers.
What does that mean for potential trade targets in relievers.
Andrew Chafin (Tigers)
Michael Fulmer (Tigers)
Anthony Bass (Marlins)
Steve Cishek (Nationals)
David Robertson (Cubs)
Mychal Givens (Cubs)
Matt Moore (Rangers)
One year Arbitration Remaining
Amir Garrett (KC)
Chris Martin (Cubs)
I would not expect any lock down closers or high leverage setup relievers.
CT3 on IL. Zach McKinstry activated off IL to replace him. Ryan Pepiot optioned to OKC. Caleb Ferguson activated off IL to replace him.