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Nick Robertson’s Coming Out Party (Trying To Stay Positive Here)

It would be so easy to come here and be negative on the latest debacle from the Dodgers.  But I am going to start this one with something that I have been waiting on since 2021.  The Dodgers newest bullpen member, Nick Robertson.  Nick is a 6’6” 265 pound RHRP from Virginia.  He was a 7th round draft pick (221 overall) in the 2019 draft out of James Madison University.  He has been a reliever since college.

 

His first batter in his MLB debut was Elly De La Cruz who had previously hit a 458 foot HR, 114.8 MPH, in the 1st inning.  He crushed a triple in the 3rd.  In the 5th, Robertson struck out De La Cruz on three called strikes.  Nick pitched 2.0 perfect innings with 3 Ks.  It was a grand debut.  Outings will not always go this well, but on this night, he was the best LAD pitcher of the night, and I do not think it was close.

 

Now to the yucky stuff.  I am sorry, but the Dodgers just cannot keep throwing Noah Syndergaard out there.  For this make or break game, he broke.  3.0 IP, 6 runs, 7 hits including two triples and two HRs.  I am a fan, nothing more.  I have no idea what the Dodgers are thinking of.  I doubt very seriously that AF and the owners are going to let the balance of Noah’s contract be a factor.  Maybe AF/Doc decide to see what he can do in the pen before they make the ultimate decision.  That decision has been made for many pitchers in the past, with success.

Bobby Miller is not leaving the rotation, and if Grove pitches anywhere like he did against NYY, then he should be #5 when Urías returns.  If not Syndergaard, Matt Andriese could be the long man out of the pen.  I would also like to see what Gavin Stone could do in relief.  Concentrate on his two best pitches, fastball and change.  Tommy Kahnle is making millions, and all he effectively throws is a change 77% of the time, with fastball at 23%.  Stone can re-engage as a starter in the winter to build back up in ST.

Syndergaard is by far the easiest pitcher in MLB to steal a base from.  He allowed 4 more SB in 4 tries.  With Kevin Newman on 1st, the TV box for runner location had him on 2nd two pitches before he actually stole the base.  Good anticipation by the TV illustrator knowing what happens when any runner reaches 1st off Syndergaard.

David Bell kept Brandon Williamson in after 3 rough innings, and he was rewarded.  With runners on 2nd and 3rd with one out in the 3rd, Williamson got the next two batters.  Over the next 6.0 innings, Williamson and the Reds relievers retired 18 of the next 19 batters.  Only a 6th inning Jonny DeLuca walk kept it from being a perfect 6.0 innings.

Prior to Wednesday’s game, for the previous 17 games the bullpen had an ERA of 6.46 and gave up 14 relief home runs.

The Dodgers have now blown a 5-run lead and a 4-run lead in back to back walk off wins for Cincinnati.  The Dodgers are now 2.0 games behind Arizona, the Giants are only 3.5 games behind the Dodgers, and San Diego is 6.0 games behind.

 

 

More on Elly De La Cruz. He now has the fastest home to third time on a triple in MLB this year.

 

 

It has been a bad two nights for AA pitchers.

Tuesday night.

  • Nick Frasso – 2.0 IP, 3 hits, 2 runs (earned), 2 BB, 4 K
  • Kyle Hurt – 3.0 IP, 3 hits, 4 runs (3 earned), 2 BB, 2 K

Wednesday night.

  • Nick Nastrini – 4.1 IP, 4 hits, 5 runs (4 earned), 4 BB, 4 K, 2 HR
  • Ben Casparius – 2.2 IP, 3 hits, 2 runs (earned), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR
  • Braydon Fisher – 1.0 IP, 4 hits, 7 runs (6 earned), 2 BB, 1 K, 3 HR

 

 

I have been an advocate for Matt McLain for over a year.  Now it is going to be next to impossible to get him out of Cincinnati. Not that there was much of a chance to begin with.  1st round picks for a rebuilding team are not getting traded.   But never fear.  The Dodgers have their own McLain.  Sean McLain, a #5 draft pick last year out of Arizona State.  And yes, he is the brother of Matt.  He is one of the 27 SS on the Dodgers ACL roster.

 

 

Yesterday I commented on how poorly Carlos Torres was behind the plate.  Look at his latest scorecard.

 

 

20 incorrect call for an 89.8%  accuracy scorecard.  That is pathetic.

 

 

Baseball America has updated their Top 100 prospects after several graduations.  Of the Top 21 pre-season Top 100, six have graduated:

  • Gunnar Henderson #1 – Orioles SS
  • Corbin Carroll #2 – DBacks OF
  • Gabriel Moreno #12 – DBacks catcher
  • Anthony Volpe #14 – NYY SS
  • Kodai Senga #16 – NYM Pitcher
  • Ezequiel Tovar #17 – Colorado SS

As I stated yesterday, the eight Dodgers in the Top 100:

  • Bobby Miller #10
  • Diego Cartaya #21
  • Michael Busch #51
  • Ryan Pepiot #52
  • Gavin Stone #53
  • Dalton Rushing #60
  • Emmet Sheehan #65
  • Nick Frasso #69

Only one player passed Bobby Miller, Rangers OF Evan Carter, who moved from #26 to #9.  Miller passed 6 players up to #10.

  • Andrew Painter from #5 to #12 – Phillies RHP
  • Grayson Rodriguez from #6 to #17 – Orioles RHP
  • Jordan Lawler from #13 to #15 – DBacks SS
  • Diego Cartaya from #18 to #21 – Dodgers catcher
  • Daniel Espino from #19 to #82 – Guardians RHP
  • Gavin Williams from #20 to #11 – Guardians RHP

OTOH, Diego Cartaya did not pass any player on the list, but was passed by 9 other players.  There is still only one catcher north of Cartaya on the list, although Endy Rodriguez (Pittsburgh) and Logan O’Hoppe (LAA) are quickly rising.  23 year old O’Hoppe would have graduated if not for his torn labrum injury.  Before the injury, with 59 PA, O’Hoppe was hitting .283/.339/.547/.886.

For LAD, Miguel Vargas (#30) graduated, James Outman was never on the BA Top 100.  New on the list:

  • Dalton Rushing #60
  • Emmet Sheehan #65
  • Nick Frasso #69

 

 

The Dodgers in need of pitchers and OF, just signed a couple to MiLB contracts.

Long relief specialist LHP Mike Montgomery, has signed a MiLB contract with LAD.  He was a first round pick in 2008 (36th overall) by KC out of Hart High School (Santa Clarita Valley). He was a teammate of Trevor Bauer, and may have been a sophomore when Robert Von Scoyoc was a senior.  For those with a good memory might remember that Montgomery was the pitcher on the mound recording the final out of the 2016 World Series.  He was also involved in a trade by KC to Tampa Bay for another Hart High School alum, James Shields.

The Dodgers also signed LH hitting OF Kole Calhoun.  With Jonny DeLuca called up, Luke Williams with the Braves, Bradley Zimmer, Ben DeLuzio, and Michael Reed released, and Andy Pages out for the year after shoulder surgery, OKC had three OF remaining on the roster…Drew Avans, Steven Duggar, and Ryan Ward.  They needed another OF.  They chose not to promote Tulsa’s José Ramos. Or Yusniel Díaz.  But that would have left Tulsa with only 3 OFs.  That sort of shows how bereft the organization is of OFs.  Calhoun started for OKC, but went 0-5.

 

06-07-2023 MiLB Game Summary Report

 

OKC Dodgers 8, El Paso Chihuahuas (San Diego) 6 – 10 innings

The Dodgers outscored the Chihuahuas in 10.  Three OKC infielders continued to stay hot.

  • Jahmai Jones – 4-5, triple, 3 runs, 3 RBI – batting .313 with an OPS of 1.039
  • Yonny Hernandez – 2-5, double, 2 runs, 2 RBI – batting .302 with an OPS of .880
  • Devin Mann – 3-5, double – batting .297 with an OPS of .919

Mark Washington pitched a perfect 10th for the save.

 

Box Score

 

 

Arkansas Travelers (Seattle) 15 – Tulsa Drillers 9 – 11 innings

In the top of the eleventh inning, Jonatan Clase and Logan Warmoth hit back-to-back home runs on consecutive pitches to produce three runs. Later in the eleventh, a run-scoring single and a three-run homer from Matt Scheffler capped a seven-run inning that produced a 15-9 win for the Travelers over the Drillers.

Arkansas has now won the first two games of the six-game series between the two teams and has pulled to within one game of the first-place Drillers. There are 16 games remaining in the first half of the season.

Only 14 hours after Tuesday night’s 15-0 loss for Tulsa, Wednesday afternoon’s game had very similar beginning with Arkansas again scoring three times in the top of the first inning. The game began with a four-pitch walk, followed by a two-run homer from Warmoth. The next batter reached on an error and eventually scored to give the Travelers a quick 3-0 lead.

Unlike the previous game, the Drillers delivered an immediate response. In the bottom of the first, leadoff batter Austin Gauthier walked, and Jorbit Vivas followed with a base hit. Vivas was picked off first base before Jose Ramos singled to put runners at first and third. After a strikeout, Yusniel Diaz came through when he doubled off the glove of Clase in deep centerfield, scoring both runners. Carson Taylor followed with a ground-rule double that tied the game at 3-3.

Pitching settled in before the Drillers took their first lead in the bottom of the fourth inning. After Taylor led off with a base hit, Eddys Leonard hit what looked to be a double-play grounder, but shortstop Warmoth threw wildly past second, giving the Drillers runners at the corners. Brandon Lewis followed with another infield grounder that did turn into a double play, but Taylor trotted home with the go-ahead run.

Arkansas promptly erased the lead with another three-run outburst in the fifth. Warmoth walked in front of a home run from Robbie Tenerowicz that accounted for the first two runs. One batter later, Isiah Gilliam belted a blast over the right field fence and on to Elgin Avenue for another homer that gave the Travs a 6-4 lead.

Just like the first inning, the Drillers had a quick response. Gauthier led off the bottom half of the fifth with his first Double-A home run. A walk to Vivas and a base hit by Ramos set up an RBI single from Imanol Vargas that tied the game. Another double-play grounder allowed Ramos to score and give Tulsa a 7-6 lead.

The scoring continued when Scheffler led off the Travelers’ seventh inning with a single to center. He stole second base and scored on Warmoth’s double that tied the game again at 7-7.

Both teams scored the placed runner in the tenth inning to set up the seven-run outburst from the Travelers in the eleventh.

An infield single from Vivas in the bottom of the eleventh scored a consolation run for the Drillers.

At the beginning of the series, the Drillers pitching staff led Minor League Baseball with a 2.80 ERA. After Wednesday’s game, the team ERA is at 3.17.

Entering this series, the Drillers had given up 71 runs this season in 27 home games. They have given up 30, or nearly half that total, in just two games against the Travelers. Entering Wednesday night’s game, Arkansas is tied with Midland for the most offensive runs in the Texas League.

Vivas led Tulsa offensively with three hits, including a double, while Ramos, Diaz and Taylor finished with two each, with Taylor getting a double. Diaz also drove home three runs.  Austin Gauthier hit his first AA HR.

 

Box Score

 

 

Great Lakes Loons 10 – Lake County Captains (Cleveland) 1

Great Lakes jumped on the board for three in the bottom of the second. A five-pitch walk by Griffin Lockwood-Powell began the inning. Damon Keith then hit an RBI double. Keith moved to third on a wild pitch and was plated on a sacrifice fly from Frank Rodriguez.

Next-up, Luis Diaz, tripled scoring Chris Alleyne who reached on a base on balls. Three of the 12 RBI for Diaz in 2023 have come off of triples.

Justin Wrobleski, with the run-support completed five innings for the fourth time in his 11th start. The left-hander had just four batters reach base. The Dodgers No. 30 prospect struck out three Captains.

Lake County’s Aaron Davenport worked around two walks spinning a scoreless third and fourth. The Captains bullpen faltered with the Loons tacking on seven runs in their final three innings of offense.

Frank Rodriguez doubled home Damon Keith in the bottom of the sixth. In the seventh, Great Lakes struck for four runs on four hits. Keith and Chris Alleyne added a RBI single. A Rodriguez double down the right-field line assisted Alleyne across the plate.

Yeiner Fernandez and Chris Newell both walked with one-out in the eighth, Damon Keith cleared the bases with a two-run double, capping the Captains chances and a four-RBI day.

Four Loons relievers pitched the final four innings. Michael Hobbs, adjusted after a leadoff single in the sixth, gaining two strikeouts with a Alex Freeland highlight play ending the inning. Christian Suarez struck out the side in the seventh and Jack Dreyer needed just eight pitches to close the eighth.

Aldry Acosta entered in the ninth. After allowing the first two batters to reach and a Christian Cairo RBI double, the right-hander struck out the next two to end the day. Great Lakes pitching punched out 11 Captains.

  • Damon Keith – 3-4, 3 runs, 4 RBI, double
  • Frank Rodriguez – 2-2, 3 RBI, 2 doubles
  • Luis Yanel Diaz – triple

 

Box Score

 

Modesto Nuts (Seattle) 2 – Rancho Cucamonga Quakes 1

A well-pitched game by both teams was decided by an error, as Curtis Washington’s ground ball to first baseman Jorge Puerta was mishandled, sending Rancho to their season-worst fourth straight loss.

Rancho broke a scoreless tie in the eighth, as Juan Alonso reached on an error to open the inning against Modesto starter Shaddon Peavyhouse. Peavyhouse, who threw 102 pitches, was left in the game with two outs to face Thayron Liranzo, who doubled home Alonso, giving the Quakes a 1-0 lead.

That lead lasted until the last of the ninth, as Madison Jeffrey came out of the bullpen and struggled. Modesto’s Gabe Moncada opened the inning with a hit, then moved to second on a wild pitch. Freuddy Batista then walked and the two base-runners moved up on a passed ball by catcher Jesus Galiz. Jeffrey recovered to strike out Tatem Levins, but fired another wild pitch, scoring Moncada to tie the game at 1-1. Jeffrey (0-2) then walked back-to-back hitters to load the bases. Washington ended it with a grounder to Puerta that was mishandled, as Batista scored to give Modesto their second straight win to open the series.

Gabe Emmett started and worked deeper than any Rancho starter this year, as he allowed just two hits over 5.2 scoreless innings.

Modesto reliever Darren Bowen (1-0) retired all four hitters he faced to notch the win.

  • Thayron Liranzo – 2-3, 1 RBI, 2 doubles

 

Box Score

 

 

 

 

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Oldbear48

If Roberts post-game comments are to be believed Thor is headed to the IL with blister and fingernail problems. He is also due a re-set. I do not doubt his desire to pitch better, but you cannot leave pitches up in the zone to any hitter, be he minor or major league. Way too many pitches right in the hitter’s wheelhouse. Nice job by Robertson. I think he is going to be a welcome addition to the pen. Hudson threw a perfect inning in re-hab. He could be back soon. Kersh today and then they head to Philly. Noticed an oddity in the schedule, after they play the Angels on the 8th of July, which is a Saturday, they are off five days because of the All-Star break. They then embark on a 9-game road trip to face the Mets, Orioles and Rangers. The then come home at the end of July for a 9-game homestand, which just coincides with the trade deadline. This team has flaws, but no other team in the division is considered a powerhouse. The Diamondbacks are playing well, but with all those kids on their roster, you cannot expect them to keep up that pace. Silently the Giants are now only 3.5 games back of the Dodgers. Busch back in the lineup at OKC, 1-5 with 3 K’s and a run scored. Calhoun 0-5 in his OKC debut.

Last edited 10 months ago by Oldbear48
Jeff

Let’s see. Who do we blame for Syndergaard’s continued appearance, the FO, or Doc? As I’ve said before, the Dodgers are very slow to react to the poor play of several batters and pitchers. Is there no other alternative to Syndergaard on the roster? Even an unproven Milb player couldn’t be worse. Dead man walking……….sorry Thor, you just don’t belong here. Our BP is bullshit. We are in full nose dive and it’s about time someone does something about it. I can’t believe no one saw this coming.

Dionysus

Young homegrown relievers. What a concept. If we developed a few more over the years maybe we win some actual rings.

Badger

I wonder if the veteran hitters on this club are feeling the frustration fans are. They keep working to score enough runs to win and the staff keeps giving up enough runs to lose.

DeLuca appears to be a keeper. Looks like Cey, only faster. Quadzilla. 205 pounds with bat to ball skills and sprinter speed.

Calhoun?

De La Cruz. Wish he was ours.

As Bear mentioned Thor is leaving for a while. Urias is coming back so a rotation of Urias, Gonsolin, Kershaw, Miller and Grove might work.

I believe the bullpen is better than this. It’s currently a collective olive swallowing down there. I have no idea what the answer is, but no doubt conversations are being had.

Tee it up again early today. I look for a turnaround.

tedraymond

Badger, I watched Syndergaard’s stride to home plate. You had commented on it a few days ago about his short striding (?) on his delivery. And, you definitely have a point. I have no ability to breakdown the mechanics of a pitcher. I thought a longer stride to home can help increase arm speed and give the batter the illusion that the pitch is traveling faster than it is because the pitcher is closer to the plate. It seems Syndergaard is intentionally shortening his stride to home plate.
Despite that flaw he still can’t “pitch” worth a damn. He can’t throw the ball where it needs to be thrown and has too many fat pitches. And, velocity has nothing to do with that.
Anyway, good observation on your part.

Last edited 10 months ago by tedraymond
Badger

Thanks ted. I was going to mention it again, but, nobody commented before.

I’m not all that schooled on modern pitching mechanics. I grew up with windups, load, step and deliver. Keep it simple. I was big on developing grip strength, with several exercises, and overall arm strength with pull-ups and weighted balls. I used a junior high shot put, 8 pounds as well. I was made aware of spin very early, my grandfather taught me about it. So helping pitchers with it was something I can do. Grip strength. It’s not talked about much, but it’s incredibly important, in pitching and in hitting. Young kids hated doing it (grab the high bar and just hang there until I tell you to let go, or squeeze the rubber ball 100 times) but boy did it pay off.

One thing I remember from pitching in Pony League, 12-14 year olds, if you’re high with the pitch, lengthen your stride, if you’re low, shorten it. I’m sure that is still true today. Thor has been up in the zone, and middle of it too, all year. His delivery is what I would call quiet. It looks like he’s playing catch or maybe throwing a runner out from second base. If it were me I’d try to change all that. Push off the rubber harder and lengthen your step. Your Thor dammit, throw like it.

But he’s not doing it and now he’s out of the rotation. Who knows, maybe he can get pissed while on the IL, learn to throw with everything he’s got for one inning, and come back as a reliever.

tedraymond

It sounds like the kids you coached were fortunate to have someone who could actually help them be a better player. As a kid I can’t remember any of my coaches providing any real “coaching” to help me improve. All training methods and tools you used were fairly basic, yet effective. I’m sure some of your players have looked back and regret not embracing your coaching as much as they should have.

Badger

Maybe. Who knows. People get wrapped up in their own dramas. I ran into a couple a few years later and both were married with children.

I wonder if Syndergaard is worried about hurting his arm by throwing too hard.

Bumsrap

De La Cruz and O’neill Cruz on the left side of infield would be entertaining.

tedraymond

Damn that was hard to watch…again. Two bright spots though. Robertson looked very good. He came in and attacked the hitters, threw strikes, and had two solid innings. DeLuca looks like the real deal. Orel mentioned that his stance reminded him of Ron Cey. That was my first thought when he stepped to the plate. He made solid contact his first two ABs, but right at a fielder. Nice start for him.

I still can’t believe I’m watching a Dodger pitching staff. Even Evan Phillips has joined the ranks of this ineffective BP. This has reached a code red situation. Hopefully, Robertson can bring some reliability back to the BP along with Hudson soon to help. Dumping Syndergaard and getting Urias back should help stabilize the starting staff along with Kershaw, Grove, Gonsolin, and Miller. Let’s hope they can all stay healthy for a while. They need some length out of their starters to help reduce the BP exposure. They haven’t been consistently doing that lately.

It seems like every time the Red hitters made contact it was a hard hit rocket. What a nice group of young hitters. And, hitting in that ballpark watch out!
Carry on.

OhioDodger

Well, one thing is for certain. Some things need to change. Syndergarbage is toast and needs to go away. Perhaps getting some healthy pitchers back from the IL will alleviate some of the pitching problems.

Bluto

Yup

Oldbear48

Placed on IL just like I said he would be.

Oldbear48

Kersh rights the ship. Just enough offense so far, Barnes has even contributed.

tedraymond

Well, that is more like it. Nice contribution from Peralta, Taylor, and Barnes (finally). Huge outing from Kershaw. When healthy he continues to be clutch for the team. Good showing from the bullpen including Taylor Scott. He’s not overpowering, but he’s not afraid to attack the hitters with strikes and look like strikes.

DeLaCruz came back to earth today.

Bumsrap

Kersh brought him back to earth.

OhioDodger

I would imagine he will go thru the same growing pains as Outman and Vargas are. He looks like he could be really good.

OhioDodger

Kersh wins #205. Now at 2899 SO. Awesome performance today.

Badger

That’s the kind of pitching we’ve come to expect from the Dodgers over the years.

Now, on to Philly where the air may be too thick to play.

Oldbear48

They played today against the Tigers, so it should be ok,.

Badger

Philly has won 5 straight. 5-5 in their last 10. If they’ve figured it out they will tough.

Badger

Just checked the smoke maps. Moderate in Pennsylvania.

nonicnamebumfan

Badger mentioned earlier in the comments about Syndergaard pitching mechanics, and how it looks like he’s just playing catch-up there. I noticed that also and when it was mentioned here, I decided to look up some video on the way he pitched before he had Tommy John it’s amazing that not, but a few seconds into the video, they mention how short his stride is.Here’s a link to that video

I am no expert, but even I know that a longer stride and dropping and driving and using the power of your legs more will give you more velocity.
Who knows maybe he tried that and couldn’t command the baseball. It seems now though that he hast to do something to salvage his career.

Last edited 10 months ago by nonicnamebumfan

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