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Quick Thoughts

June 23, 2023, will mark the 50th anniversary of the first game that the LAD legendary infield started their first game as a unit.  Steve Garvey at 1B, Davey Lopes at 2B, Bill Russell at SS, and Ron Cey at 3B.  The group stayed together as an intact unit from that time through the final game of the 1981 World Series, marked as 8 ½ years.

On June 23, 1973, the Dodgers played Cincinnati in a DH.  Bill Buckner played 1B in the first game, but Garvey started at 1B in the 2nd game and that is when history started.  No infield has played longer as a unit before or after.

The Dodgers will honor this quartet in pregame ceremonies on June 23 before a home game against the Houston Cheaters.  Garvey, Cey, and Russell will attend and will throw out ceremonial 1st pitches.  There will also be a tribute video memorializing the years together.

As a group, in those 8 ½ years, the team reached the World Series 4 times, 1974, 1977, 1978, and 1981.  1981 was the only World Series Championship.  The quartet made 21 All Star Appearances.

  • Garvey – 8 years – 1974-1981
  • Cey – 6 years – 1974 – 1979
  • Lopes – 4 years – 1978-1981
  • Russell – 3 years – 1973, 1976, 1980

 

 

 

 

Below is a very telling tweet from Fabian Ardaya on the first 13 starts of Noah Syndergaard when compared to the very worst season starts by a starting pitcher:

 

The question becomes, will Syndergaard ever pitch for the Dodgers again?  IMO, Syndergaard believed that the Dodgers could get him back to 100 (or very close).  They could not, and Syndergaard had lost his persona.  Hopefully when his blisters heal (wink wink) he will have come to understand that he is no longer a 100 MPH pitcher and never will be again.  Will he learn how to pitch with at 92-94?  That will determine if he will ever be an effective pitcher again. Yes, my hope is that he will come to realize this, and will work for the next several weeks to make himself into another pitcher.

To answer my question, I say yes.  I think he gets another start to see if the reset has worked.

 

 

 

As you may or may not be aware, Zach Plesac has been Designated For Assignment on June 4 by Cleveland. Nobody has picked him up off waivers.  There are still a couple of days for Cleveland to trade Plesac, presumably for a lottery ticket.  If Plesac is not traded he will be outrighted to AAA.  Since he has three years MLB service, he can refuse the outright assignment.  However, he would have to sacrifice the remainder of his $2.95MM salary.  Not likely.

If the Dodgers had any interest, that is when they would consider Plesac…as a MiLB pitcher.  He is not a difference maker, but he was a decent MLB pitcher in 2019 and 2020.  He is a lot like Andrew Heaney and Tyler Anderson.  Can the Dodger pitching developers turn him around?

My guess is that if Cleveland cannot turn Plesac around, I am not sure the Dodgers can.  Cleveland has one of the best pitching development programs in MLB.  But if the cost is not much, and he does not have to take a spot on the 40 man, what would be the harm?  I am not advocating it, but it is a consideration for a long term play.

 

 

 

Rancho Cucamonga has a couple of pitchers to keep an eye on.  They are on the broad spectrum of age.  19 year old Payton Martin was a 17th round pick in 2022 from West Forsyth, Clemmons, NC.  He did not pitch at all last year, and has skipped ACL and moved directly into full season A Ball.  He has been in 9 games this year, starting 8.  He has 23.2 IP, 26 strikeouts and 13 walks (too many).  He has a 1.90 ERA.

The other RC pitcher, 22 year old Jared Karros.  He was a 16th round draft pick out of the same 2022 draft.  He played for UCLA.  He has moved into the starting rotation after three relief outings.  He has 5 starts and 29.0 IP.  His 40 strikeouts against 9 walks is a good metric to build on.  He has a 1.86 ERA and 0.90 WHIP.  He was the California League Pitcher of the Month in May.

16th and 17th round draft pick low A pitchers cannot be considered high level prospects.  But they can develop into one.  These two should be considered for your prospect watch.

 

 

 

It is mock draft season time.  Bleacher Report has mocked a 6’6″ 220 pound RHP/SS from Round Rock High School, Texas, Travis Sykora.  He has hit 100 MPH multiple times and has an emerging and improving slider and change.  Seems like a logical selection.  Power arm pitcher.

 

 

 

OKC starter, William Cuevas has left the organization to join his former Korea team, KT Wiz.  Recently signed Mike Montgomery will be assigned to replace Cuevas on the roster,  In the rotation?  We will need to wait and see.

 

 

 

06-09-2023  MiLB Summary Report

 

OKC Dodgers 14 – El Paso Chihuahuas (San Diego) 10 

In a game that OKC had 4 different leads that El Paso caught 4 times, OKC scored 4 in the 9th that El Paso could not match, and OKC held on for a 14-10 victory.

Gavin Stone started for OKC but could not get out of the 5th inning.  In 4.1 IP, he threw 99 pitches, allowing 6 runs (all earned) on 10 hits (including 2 solo HRs), 1 BB, and 3 Ks.

Keegan Curtis allowed the other 4 runs in the 8th inning on 4 singles, a stolen base, and 2 sacrifice flies.

Gus Varland was the most effective pitcher.  He allowed 1 double in 1.2 IP, and generated 3 Ks.

Offensively OKC had 17 hits, including 6 XBH.  They scored in 6 of the 9 innings.  With the score tied 10-10 going into the 9th, Ryan Ward and Devin Mann led off with solo HRs.  Those were followed by singles from Hunter Feduccia and Bryson Brigman.  Justin Yurchak doubled (4) them both home and a 4-run inning and lead.

Michael Busch is heating up.  He had back to back 3-hit games with HRs.  homered in back to back games. Since his return from his unexplained absence from the lineup, he is 9-17, 2 doubles, 1 triple, and 2 HRs, 5 runs and 6 RBIs.

Jake Reed pitched a scoreless 9th to seal the victory.

  • Michael Busch – 3-5, 2 runs, 1 RBI, HR (5)
  • David Freitas – 2-5, 2 runs, 1 RBI
  • Ryan Ward – 3-4, 3 runs, 1 RBI, 1 BB, double (14), HR (9)
  • Devin Mann – 3-4, 3 runs, 4 RBIs, 2 HR(7)
  • Bryson Brigman – 4-5, 1 run, 3 RBI

 

Box Score

 

 

Tulsa Drillers 5 – Arkansas Travelers (Seattle) 4 

Emmet Sheehan was not his usual dominating self.  He did complete 4.0 innings.  He surrendered 2 runs on 4 hits.  He had 5 Ks, but he also had 4 walks.  Braydon Fisher followed up his last disaster with an outstanding 2.0 IP.  She allowed 1 hit, and struck out 5 Travelers.

John Rooney, Jordan Leasure, and Antonio Knowles finished the final 3.0 innings, but it was not without drama.  They allowed 2 runs, on 4 hits and 2 BB.  They also combined with 4 Ks.  The Drillers had 14 Ks on the night.

The big hit for Tulsa was a 2-run HR from José Ramos, his 11th.  Ramos also had a run scoring double in the 7th that would prove to be the eventual game winner.

  • Austin Gauthier – 2-4
  • Jorbit Vivas – 2-4, 1 run, 1 RBI
  • José Ramos – 2-3, double, HR, 1 BB, 3 RBI

 

Box Score

 

Great Lakes Loons 5 – Lake County Captains (Cleveland) 0

Yon Castro pitched the 1st 3.2 innings on no hits, 2 BB, and 3K.  Five other Loons pitchers completed the shutout.  They combined allowed 4 hits, 4 walks, and 4 strikeouts.

24 year old Castro now has a 2.14 ERA and  0.90 WHIP.

Luis Yanel Diaz hit a 3-run HR (3) and Chris Newell hit a solo HR (3).  In addition to the HR, Diaz also had a double (8).  Diaz was the only Loon to have a 2 hit game.  The Loons had a total of 6 hits.

 

Box Score

 

 

Modesto Nuts (Seattle) 6 – Rancho Cucamonga Quakes 4

The Quakes failed to pull off a second straight ninth-inning rally, as they fell short in Modesto on Friday, suffering a 6-4 loss.

Dayton Dooney cracked his first homer as a Quake in the eighth, a two-run shot to put Rancho on the board. They scored two in the ninth, but left the tying run at the plate, as their comeback bid fell shy, leaving them with three losses in four games in this series.

Modesto starter Marcelo Perez (1-0) was brilliant in just his fourth professional start, allowing one hit and one walk through six scoreless frames, as the Rancho offense sputtered throughout most of Friday’s loss.

Quakes’ starter Jared Karros (1-1) struggled for the first time this year, as he surrendered three runs in three innings, including back-to-back homers from Modesto’s Freuddy Batista (5) and Miguel Perez (1) in the second inning.

 

Box Score

 

 

 

 

 

 

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OhioDodger

I agree with you that Syndergaard will get at least one more start. Probably more. Kersh has learned how to be an effective pitcher with decreased velocity but the transition takes time.
Also, why is Davey Lopes not going to be in attendence on June 23rd for the ceremonies?
What in the heck is going on with our freaking bullpen?

Badger

Misplayed grounder. Just didn’t execute. One bad pitch to a really good hitter.

A few points made in the Times this morning.

Yeah, and game after game of these has put the team 2 1/2 games back.

Searching the box scores of those MiLB games looking for pitching help, don’t see it, and realize – they are already here.

Yonny Hernandez stole home. How did that happen?

That Dodger infield group is a representation of something we won’t see again in MLB, right up there with 27 complete games, a hitter chasing .400 all year, 250 let alone 300 innings pitched, the hit and run, the squeeze, and even with the new advantages they have we won’t see 100 steals again. It’s definitely a different looking game. I wonder how attendance is doing these days. I’ll have to check.

Last edited 10 months ago by Badger
Sam Oyed

I seem to recall Joe Davis saying recently that attendance is up this year.

Badger

Just checked. Yeah it is. A little. It has been trending down, but looks better so far this year.

I did see a few references to numbers suggesting fewer teenagers are playing baseball. Don’t know what that might mean, but it isn’t good. Also read that the age 50 and over audience is dwindling. That makes sense. The “get off my infield” crowd doesn’t much care for the changes in the game.

Bumsrap

Win 111 games and attendence generally goes up the following year. Small sample size though.

Stone working on a new grip? He needs to get one. Maybe a mental one.

Thor’s blisters are on his rear. He’s been spanked.

Ferguson is good until he wasn’t.

Padres hitters say they are now going the oppo route and accepting singles resulting in more runs and wins. Hopefully Muncy, Taylor, Rojas, Barnes, take note.

Muncy robbed twice yesterday from being a .200 hitter.

Badger

In reading on attendance this morning I came across a point made that I found relevant. There is a correlation between stars on field and butts in seats. More so than winning. Oakland won, nobody went to games. Tampa is winning, nobody is showing up. The reason? No stars, just good ball players. San Diego was boring until they started paying stars. Now people are showing up.

Both Muncy and Taylor will earn their money. Neither will ever be stars but they will be positive WAR contributors.

I just watched the Arnold series on Netflix. It was more interesting than I thought it would be. When he decided to move on from body building to movies, when talking to a movie exec he was quoted saying this: “I don’t want to be an actor, I want to be a star”. He knew the difference. There are stars and everyone else is the supporting cast. People don’t pay to see the supporting cast.

I used to go to games just to see the best players in the world play baseball. I’d show up early for infield and batting practice. Tickets were considerably cheaper then. I don’t go to games anymore but if I did, I would buy a ticket to see Kershaw in LA and Ohtani in Anaheim. And players coming to town? Judge.

Last edited 10 months ago by Badger
Bumsrap

I’d pay to watch Muncy.

Farhan Friedman

You’re on a roll Fred.

Bobby

Interesting topic, so I’ll throw my 2 cents in.

I’m a season ticket holder, and have been sine 2017. I rarely ever go to games until October. So obviously to make my money back, I sell every other game on Stubhub.

Since 2017, I have never lost money having Dodger season tickets. Obviously 2020 didn’t count, and part of 2021 was skewed until full attendance was allowed. I assumed having Dodger season tickets would be a money making loser, assuming it’d be hard to get rid of tickets on a Tuesday vs the Marlins.

But thanks to bobblehead days and other promotions, and thanks to our team being so good since 2017, and thanks to having so many “star” players, and thanks to the Dodgers having tons of fans in LA, which make my supply of tickets in high demand, I have always come out ahead after the 82-83 home games (they include the Angel preseason games as part of the season ticket package). Playoffs, obviously, are an even bigger money maker.

The Dodgers have raised the prices of season tickets several times since 2017, but it has not hurt my bottom line, as resale prices are just a bit higher now as well, especially in Reserve 1, where my tickets are.

I don’t see this train slowing down anytime soon, and I’m quite sure our smart folks know that LA is a star driven town, so they will add to the stars we currently have (Ohtani, Soto, etc will be on our radar coming up).

Bumsrap

Good info Bobby. Location wise, I wonder where boundery line is for breaking even.

What do you think about rumors of james being traded to Golden State? I would like to see him play with Curry.

Last edited 10 months ago by Bumsrap
Badger

“Has anyone stopped to think that maybe this is who they truly are?”

I wondered the same thing when I read those quotes this morning. I also wondered if, after making the post season so many years in row only to fizzle in October, these guys are sleep walking through the first half of the season and intend to finish strong. After a few moments of thinking about it…. nope, at the moment, this is who they are.

The team that the Dodgers are paying isn’t the same team that’s on the field playing. A healthy starting rotation of Buehler, Urias, May, Kershaw and Gonsolin would not likely be in second place. Not the way this team is scoring. And, one has to wonder what the lineup would look like if Lux was in it. There also remain a few relievers injured that would help. If that starting rotation was healthy, Miller could be here as a late inning reliever.

I believe this team will look better in the second half.

Last edited 10 months ago by Badger
Badger

A lot of leaves being issued this year. Like the others, this one doesn’t help.

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