So far the offense of the AAAA and AAA players taking over for the Dodgers in the WBC are not showing a lot of positivity. Starting lineup for Thursday:
- Jason Heyward
- Miguel Vargas
- Steven Duggar
- JD Martinez
- Michael Busch
- Luke Williams
- Yonny Hernandez
- Bradley Zimmer
- David Freitas
No Rojas, no Muncy, no CT3, no Outman. 5 of the 9 starters have no chance of making the roster out of Camp, and 2 figure to be starters. Not a lot of depth on the offensive side.
Steven Duggar, Luke Williams, Bradley Zimmer, and David Freitas are AAAA players that do not figure to get added to the roster at any point during the season. Michael Busch is making contact, just not for hits. 2 hits in 19 PA, both singles. He has 5 BBs against only 4 Ks. It looks like he is pressing right now. I am convinced that Busch can be a ML hitter, it just does not look as if it will be as a Dodger. He will start the year at OKC.
It was great to see Miguel Vargas slug the first pitch he saw today for a double…his first swing of the Spring.
Diego Cartaya looks overwhelmed at the plate. He does show decent plate discipline with 3 walks in 8 PA. Plate discipline is a positive trait that Cartaya has shown in his career. He strikes out more than his fair share, but he also draws a lot of walks. Just a quick observation that means absolutely nothing…Cartaya does not look as advanced or as polished as Keibert Ruiz at a younger age. Cartaya just does not have enough game experience due to the pandemic lost season and the number of injuries he has incurred. He will be at AA this season, and he is going to need to stay on the field and perform. This will be a big season for Cartaya.
So while the offensive depth is not apparent, the pitching has been outstanding for the most part. Both Michael Grove and Ryan Pepiot pitched a scoreless 3.0 innings. Pepiot has 9 Ks and 1 BB in his 6.0 IP, while Grove has 5 BBs and 0 walks.
Victor Gonzalez still shows signs of serious rust. He will obviously need to head back to OKC to find his command and control. If he can return to his 2020 version, VGon will be a good late season addition.
AAAA pitchers Scott Tayler and Wander Suero continued their good springs.
Evan Phillips and Caleb Ferguson had uncommon innings with multiple runner traffic, but both were able to get out of the threats unscathed.
Alex Vesia and Jimmy Nelson both had perfect innings in relief.
Phil Bickford had his second consecutive outing with a perfect inning while Adam Kolarek followed up a rough outing with a positive one.
It is clear that this is a different team without Mookie, Freddie, Smith, Rojas, Muncy, and CT3. Heyward has been playing most games, while Outman has not been getting regular playing time. Heyward has started the last three games. He is 0-8 with 1 walk and 4 strikeouts. OTOH, Outman has started one game. He is 0-2 with 1 walk and no strikeouts. Have the pitchers found holes in Heyward’s adjustments? With Betts and Thompson out with their respective teams in the WBC, it would seem that this would be a perfect opportunity for James Outman to prove whether or not he can succeed at the MLB level.
Outman played in 4 out of 5 games (03/01, 03/03, 03/04, and 03/05). During the 4 games he was 5-8 with 4 RBIs, a HR and triple, 2 walks and 1 K (questionable called third strike). His reward…he has played in one game since.
Virginia Zakas of Inside Injuries looked at injuries to Joe Musgrove, Tyler Glasnow, Yordan Álvarez, Gavin Lux, and Aaron Ashby. I only focused on Lux’s injury.
If this was an isolated ACL tear 9-12 months would be a realistic timeline to return. Because Lux is also dealing with additional damage his recovery is likely to bleed into the 2024 season. He could be available by Opening Day but won’t be 100%.
Last season Ronald Acuña Jr. returned about 10 months after tearing his ACL. At times he looked like his old self, but there were stretches where that knee was clearly bothering him. Acuña should now be back to normal as he approaches the two year mark. Expect Lux to have a longer timeline than Acuña due to the LCL damage.
Gavin Lux’s surgery “went well,” Dave Roberts said. In addition to the torn ACL, the surgery confirmed the damage to Lux’s LCL was “more than a sprain.”
— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) March 8, 2023
If Lux is not going to be ready for 2024, and with his lateral movements certainly in question, do the Dodgers make a serious effort to find a top shelf SS? That presents another problem. If Lux cannot play SS, would he move back to 2B? What if Vargas takes to 2B without a hitch? Move him back to 3B? Lux’s injury is going to be a concern for multiple years.
The 23rd player drafted in 2017, outfielder Jeren Kendall, informed the Dodgers last winter that he was retiring from baseball. Signed for a $2.9 million bonus, Kendall hit just .209 with a 34% strikeout rate in five minor league seasons. While 20 of the 22 players drafted ahead of him in 2017 have reached MLB, Kendall never advanced past Double-A.
We have not seen Bobby Miller yet this Spring, however based on discussions with director of player development Will Rhymes, the final stages of Miller’s development will come with refinement.
Rhymes told The Athletic this winter that Miller’s greatest strides at Triple A came down to how he attacked hitters. Game plans became more focused on allowing Miller’s pitches to play off one another, and with it, Miller gained a better understanding of what can work against certain hitters.
“I dove a lot more into the game-planning last year, so it was a big learning year for me,” Miller said.
Those strides were tempered a bit down the stretch when Miller said he started to feel a bit sluggish after muscling up to around 245 pounds. This spring, he’s at 230 and “moving a little quicker” and easier than a year ago.
This figures to be the year Bobby Miller makes his MLB debut.
Check out this Edwin Ríos HR:
Get out the tape measure, long gone!
💥 @Edwin_Rios30 pic.twitter.com/guWUYpbLFp
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) March 4, 2023
Justin Bruihl, who left the game on March 6 with back spasms, avoided a serious injury and should be fine with some rest.
The Marlins came to agreement with 2 players on MiLB contracts. Yuli Gurriel and José Iglesias both agreed to MiLB deals. They may need more time than the 3 weeks remaining in ST, but they should make the 26 man shortly thereafter.
AAAA players ARE supposed to make the roster at some pt, right?
At some point. But also, at some point they get sent down again.
Jeren Kendall was a huge mistake. Who did we pass up for that guy?
Edwin Rios is a player I was really interested in seeing hit often for the Dodgers. I had him in a platoon with Turner for what seemed like several years in a row. I wish him well, but not too well. Rios and Alvarez. And Kendall. Oh well.
Speaking of Kendall, Jake Vogel?
How come I didn’t know Duran had surgery? Did we talk about that here and I forgot? His K/9 last year was 12.5.
I still have Vargas at third. If he was there now, working as hard as he has been at second, he would look just as good.
Does anyone know where Lux will play next year? With that knee, would he be better off in the outfield?
Bruns: Scouting grades: Fastball: 60 | Curveball: 60 | Slider: 60 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 40 | Overall: 45
I guess control is that important.
Boring games lately.
Both Duran and Henriquez had TJ surgery at the end of last year.
Kendall was an absolute bust. 2017 was not a particularly strong draft year. There were some very good players taken early, but after Kendall, the pickings were slim. The two players that the Dodgers were reportedly considering before Kendall dropped were OF Bubba Thompson (Alabama HS OF) and Griffin Canning (UCLA RHSP). Thompson went three picks later to Texas, while Canning went in the 2nd round to LAA. While both have made it to MLB, neither one are established. Canning cannot stay healthy, and Thompson is a reserve OF with the Rangers. He was probably a better football player than baseball player, but Texas paid him $2.1MM.
Perhaps the five best players taken near the Dodgers 1st round were catcher MJ Melendez (KC – 2nd round), Pitcher Drew Rasmussen (Mil – 2nd round – after his 2nd TJ surgery), Pitcher Alex Lange (Cubs – 1st round – now Detroit’s closer), Pitcher Tanner Houck (Boston 1st round – now in Boston’s rotation), and Pitcher Nate Pearson (Toronto – 1st round – 6th man – a Mitch White pitcher)
Other Players who were available:
Cal Mitchell – OF
Luis Campusano – C
Drew Waters – OF
Jeter Downs – SS
Marty Lamb will not be bragging about signing Jeren Kendall, but he has so many others that have turned out extremely well, he can miss one now and again.
Kendall was not the biggest bust. Austin Beck who was the 6th overall pick by the A’s has not exceeded A+. Very telling for an organization that pushes their draft picks.
Jake Vogel – A smaller version of Jeren Kendall with no power. Vogel was a 3rd rounder, and the Dodgers went $1MM overslot to buy him out of his UCLA commitment. I so much wanted Vogel to make it, but at 21 he has ascended only to low A at Rancho, where he was not very good in a hitters league.
Okay we can say it – The Dodgers suck at drafting OF. Mitchell Hansen, DJ Peters, Luke Raley, Jeren Kendall, Jake Vogel. The one they did get was James Outman, and they do not seem to want to give him a competitive opportunity to win the CF job. Jonny DeLuca and Damon Keith are still out there, but they are reserves at best.
I have no idea where Lux will play next year, but OF seems more likely than SS.
I have never been a fan of Maddux Bruns. As a 20 year old he only pitched 44.1 innings at Low A, before getting assigned to Arizona Complex League (Rookie). More walks than IP is not good at any level. Career 52 walks in 49.1 IP. He has a long way to go to be considered marginal rather than abysmal. The Dodgers are still high on them, and they have way more knowledge than I do, so we can continue to hope for the best.
As Sandy stated, both Duran and Edgardo Henriquez two very promising RHP both had TJ surgery and are lost for the season. Both should be ready to go for 2024. We did mention it at the time.
I think Lux will play 2b and Vargas will move to 3b.
That’s where I had them with Rosario at short.
More random thoughts:
Tony Gonsolin will definitely miss at least one start during the regular season. Either Ryan Pepiot or Michael Grove will get Gonsolin’s start(s).
Clayton Kershaw is tentatively scheduled to go 4 innings today.
Yency Almonte is expected to make the opening day roster. Daniel Hudson?
Trayce Thompson has been assured of a roster spot on Opening Day, which is why he was given the “green light” to represent Great Britain in the WBC. He did not need to worry, he is one of the 26 man. With Doc saying that Jason Heyward is going to make the roster for Opening Day, that leaves little chance for Outman…who has options.
The Phillies are suffering with some pitching woes. Their top prospect (and arguably the best pitching prospect in MiLB), Andrew Painter has a UCL sprain and has been shut down for at least four weeks, when he will start a “light tossing progression.”
One of their established starters, Ranger Suarez, has returned from Venezuela’s WBC team with forearm tightness. Yes they have a fantastic 1-2 in Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler, but with Taijuan Walker as the #3 and a rookie at #4, the Phillies need help, especially if Painter and Suarez miss a lot of time.
NYY got more bad news on their injury front. CF Harrison Bader will start the season on the IL with a left oblique strain.
Jurickson Profar remains the highest rated FA still unsigned. He will need a $6.5MM contract to match what he would have received had he not opted out. It looks like he got some wonderful advice from Scott Boras. To the best of my knowledge 139 free agents have signed MLB deals. I am counting Yuli Gurriel and José Iglesias as I truly believe they will make the Marlins roster early during the season.
Others that remain unsigned: Gary Sanchez, Jonathan Villar, Zack Britton, Mike Moustakas, Miguel Sano, Jonathan Villar, Andrelton Simmons, Albert Almora Jr. and of course Trevor Bauer.
With all the pitching injuries, some team may sign Bauer. Phillies or Yankees.
Possibly. NYY has said they will not, but those lines can often times move.
If Clevinger has a place in the league, Bauer can still play.
Probably comes down to what the sponsors say.
…”Outman played in 4 out of 5 games (03/01, 03/03, 03/04, and 03/05). During the 4 games he was 5-8 with 4 RBIs, a HR and triple, 2 walks and 1 K (questionable called third strike). His reward…he has played in one game since.”
Roberts gets criticized a lot for benching hot hitters. It’s annoying.
Heyward is likeable but if he continues to flail he could flail himself off the 26. If so and Outman makes the 26 as a result, Heyward would be keeping the Dodgers from being veteran foolish.
I’ll go record and say I’d rather have Outman.
I really feel bad for Lux. He might wind up being a 2nd baseman afterall or maybe his bat will put him in left if his knee won’t let him play 2nd prior to 2025.
Yankees due to injuries need pitching and they have shortstops Also due to injury, they need a center fielder, at least for one or two months.
May and Heyward for Oswald Peraza.
May? Why not Busch? Peraza is the third rated Yankee prospect in the 12th ranked system. Busch is the 4th rated prospect in the second ranked system. Trade simulator says Yankees win that trade. And nobody wants Heyward.
I thought we weren’t supposed to make personal attacks on here but the suggestion to trade Heyward might be the stupidest idea I’ve ever read on a blog. (Unless it was that one time that one blogger suggested we might leave Muncy off the postseason roster.)
You like him that much do you Sandy? I don’t think it’s a bad idea. I’d trade him today if I thought somebody would give us a decent return. I don’t.
I am capable of making stupider ones. If Heyward were not going to put Outman back to AAA then I would like to have him a insurance or until he resembles his last few years.
I would love to make a Busch for Peraza trade. I worry about May staying healthy but I am sure Friedman will block that trade if May is an overpay.
I’m concerned too. But I see him as an important starter this year. Peraza appears to be the Yankee starting SS so I doubt they move him unless overwhelmed.
Peraza is their #3 prospect but Anthony Volpe is their #1 and is also a shortstop. They still have Gleyber as well. I would be happy with either Volpe or Peraza.
I would take either as well. Fangraphs has Peraza starting and batting 9th, with Volpe as an NRI. Peraza is a year older. They don’t need both of them.
I credit the Dodgers 6-5 victory to Jonny DeLuca. His 10-11 pitch AB in the 9th seemed to unnerve his former Oregon teammate, Kenyon Yovan, and he couldn’t find the strike zone after that. It was an excellent AB with a couple of good takes for DeLuca.
I credit two unearned runs for the victory.
Is anyone watching WBC? I’m not. Recorded the Panama game to see Ramos but never watched it.
I haven’t been. But maybe I should. These Dodger games have been snoozers.
Jeff, Moustakas signed a deal the other day with the Rockies. With Rogers going down, they are short on infielders.
Thanks. I need to update my Excel spreadsheet. Baseball Reference was not updated when I last checked.
Profar might be next
Rockies are looking at him also. And the Kiner-Falefa rumors still out there. Saying the Yankees have talked to the Dodgers about him. Makes little sense to me. No power, a little less defense than Rojas. Might hit for a higher average. But not enough of an upgrade to waste prospect capital on.
You nailed it Bear.