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:
Noah Syndergaard's ERA through 12 starts is 7.16. Among pitchers in franchise history, it's the third-worst start to a season of any Dodgers pitcher ever.
Worst ERA, first 12 starts of a season (LAD):
Hideo Nomo – 7.26 (2004)
Carlos Pérez – 7.25 (1999)
Syndergaard – 7.16 (2023)
— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) June 8, 2023
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.
OKC's William Cuevas is returning to Korea to join the KT Wiz, the team he spent most of the last 4 seasons with.
Mike Montgomery takes his spot on the roster and is scheduled to start tomorrow. https://t.co/HubRMOYKan
— Alex Freedman (@azfreedman) June 9, 2023
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
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
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.
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.