Oct 05

Remembering 2011: Juan Castro


Jesse Johnson/US PresswireJuan Castro

The setup: The long-respected defender played in exactly one game for the Dodgers in 2010, his third separate stint with the team. Nonetheless, in December, Los Angeles re-signed him as a minor-league free agent. He almost retired in March after not making the Opening Day roster, but ended up heading to the minors — where he promptly missed a month with an oblique injury. Still, once he was back on the field, was there any doubt he’d find his way back to Dodger Stadium? On May 13, almost exactly 20 years after the Dodgers signed him as an amateur free agent at age 19, the Dodgers brought Castro up from Albuquerque, sending Ivan De Jesus Jr. down to play in Triple-A regularly.

The closeup: Castro helped the Dodgers to two extra-inning wins, on May 20 against the White Sox and on June 4 in Cincinnati, where he had a leadoff single in Los Angeles’ four-run 11th inning. But two days later, when the Dodgers decided to launch the Dee Gordon era in the wake of another Rafael Furcal injury, Castro was designated for assignment. On June 10, he retired from baseball, finishing his season with a career-high .286 batting average (4 for 14) and his playing career with a.595 OPS in 1,103 games over 17 seasons. Rarely charged with errors, Castro also has the 15th-highest fielding percentage for shortstops in MLB history. His retirement arguably paved the way for Eugenio Velez to become a Dodger a month later.

Coming attractions: It was initially reported that Castro would be a special assistant to Ned Colletti, but he is actually serving as a minor-league roving instructor for the Dodgers.

Jul 10

Castro retires, joins Dodger front office


Jake Roth/US PresswireJuan Castro

Juan Castro has officially retired from baseball and taken a position as a special assistant to Dodger general manager Ned Colletti. He will spend time in player development and evaluation. You can see the full list of Dodger special assistants here.

“It was time for me to make the decision to end my playing career,” said Castro. “I’m honored that Ned thought of bringing me back to the organization where I first signed as a young kid more than 20 years ago. I’m very excited to once again work for the Dodgers in a new and challenging role.”

Amusingly, Castro had the highest batting average of his career in his final season, hitting .286 (4 for 14) for the Dodgers. Overall, Castro had a .229 batting average, .268 on-base percentage and .395 slugging percentage.

The Dodgers signed Castro on June 18, 1991, two days before his 19th birthday. Twenty years later, the defensive specialist retires with 17 seasons in the big leagues, 1,103 career games and 601 career hits. He also started the first triple play in Los Angeles Dodger history with a running, over-his-shoulder catch in 1996 in Atlanta.

According to the Dodgers, Castro fifth among Mexican-born players in games (1,103), at-bats (2,627) and doubles (123) while finishing seventh in home runs (36), runs (253), hits (601) and RBI (234).

* * *

The Dodgers’ homerless streak has now reached 384 plate appearances. According to the Dodger press notes, the Dodgers’ 10 straight games without a home run is the longest skein since July 6-12, 1992, a stretch that included the three post-riot doubleheaders against Montreal.

On the flip side, Ted Lilly will try to keep the Dodgers’ scoreless pitching streak going. Los Angeles has thrown 27 consecutive scoreless innings, 11 shy of the team record of 38 from September 9-12, 1966.

Lilly, by the way, has been slotted third in the Dodger rotation after the All-Star Break, ahead of Chad Billingsley. That puts Lilly in a day game at Arizona a week from today, instead of a night game in San Francisco if he had gone fourth.

Johannes Eisele/Getty Images

* * *

Congrats to the U.S. women’s soccer team for its remarkable comeback victory over Brazil today. I only saw the extra time and penalty kicks, but wow.

Jun 06

Dee-Day: Whirlwind of roster changes ends with Gordon callup


Norm Hall/Getty ImagesUnderneath that helmet is newest Dodger major-leaguer Dee Gordon.

Jerry Sands getting an early promotion to the bigs didn’t surprise me much. Nor did Rubby De La Rosa.

But Dee Gordon getting the call — now that’s a commitment to youth.

With Rafael Furcal once again relegated to the disabled list for weeks, the Dodgers have called up the 23-year-old Gordon from Albuquerque, where he had a .361 on-base percentage and 22 steals in 25 attempts, but also only 14 walks and nine extra-base hits (.370 slugging) in 50 games. (Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com has the news story.)

Gordon has also had many questions about his fielding, particularly his ability to make the ordinary play (as opposed to the extraordinary one). On the bright side, his surge of errors in April has slowed considerably.

Additionally, it’s worth noting that while everyone has always raved about Gordon’s blinding speed, that .880 stolen-base percentage is a new bright spot. No one’s expecting power from Gordon, so if he can just get on base and stay out of his own way defensively, he could be a thrill to watch.

Gordon is not in tonight’s starting lineup, but unlike with someone such as Ivan De Jesus, Jr., you don’t call someone like Gordon up to ride the bench. Cynics might wonder if Gordon is being showcased for a trade, but I’ve never gotten the sense he’s someone the Dodgers want to part with.

To make room for Gordon and Marcus Thames, who was activated from the disabled list, the Dodgers designated Juan Castro and Jay Gibbons for assignment. This is also something of a surprise, given the Dodgers’ proclivity to protect depth — and by 2011 Dodger standards, the .668 OPS for Gibbons and .619 OPS for Castro aren’t the worst you could imagine. Sands could easily have been sent to the minors. But clearly, general manager Ned Colletti buys into the reality that they’re not going to miss much by losing Castro and Gibbons. (There’s also the not-slim possibility that the pair could end up back in Albuquerque if they clear waivers.)

Perhaps the way the young Dodger bullpen replacements have risen to the occasion has influenced Colletti.

Finally, the Dodgers optioned John Ely and De Jesus to make room for the return of Blake Hawksworth and Juan Uribe from the DL.

On the current 25-man active roster, 15 are below the age of 30.

* * *

Three years ago, I transcribed a Vin Scully excerpt on the anniversary of D-Day. This rubbed some people the wrong way, and a long discussion ensued in the comments of that thread. Just want to link to it to say I hadn’t forgotten what Scully said, nor the response that followed. It was a learning experience for me.

May 20

Dodgers keep knocking, White Sox let them in


Jerry Lai/US PresswireRuss Mitchell

Banging against the door.

White Sox 3, Dodgers 2. None out, top of the eighth, bases loaded.

Banging against the door, like they were down 5-2 in the eighth Wednesday.

Banging against the door, like they were down 3-1 in the ninth Thursday.

Banging against the door, and no one will let them in.

Wednesday, tie the game then lose.

Thursday, hit a line drive with the bases loaded and lose.

Tonight, strand the bases loaded and …win?

Lose another starter, Juan Uribe, to injury and … win?

Two out, bottom of the ninth, bases empty and …  win?

Russ Mitchell, 1 for 14 on the season, 7 for 56 in his career and … win?

Sergio Santos, 20 2/3 innings pitched on the season, 0.00 ERA and … win?

Bang that door down.

Mitchell, whose seven career hits included two home runs, drove a 2-1 fastball just inside the left-field foul pole to tie the game at 3.

Then in the 10th, after Jamey Carroll’s fourth hit of the game and Matt Kemp’s second, Juan Castro, who had wasted bases-loaded opportunities in his two previous at-bats this week, looped one over a leaping Paul Konerko for a 150-foot single, driving in Carroll. James Loney, who had been 0 for 4, doubled to right for a 5-3 lead. Then, after an intentional walk to Dioner Navarro (you got me), Jay Gibbons singled home the third run of the extra inning.

Was that enough? It would have to be, after Mitchell grounded into a double play. It would have to be, even as Matt Guerrier gave up leadoff singles to 77-year-old Omar Juan Vizquel Pierre.

Mitchell’s heroics weren’t done, as it turned out. The third baseman dove to his left to corral Alexei Ramirez’s grounder for the first out of the inning.

Then Don Mattingly started playing percentages. He brought in Scott Elbert – who head-butted all kinds of doors last year – to retire Adam Dunn on a groundout to Loney for a meaningless RBI. And then Mattingly brought in Mike MacDougal, who faced Konerko.

Konerko hit it to Castro, who bobbled it but had plenty of time to pick it up and throw the final batter out.

And so finally, the script had changed.  A first-inning home run by Kemp wouldn’t go to waste. A three-run second inning off Ted Lilly wouldn’t spell doom. The sight of Jerry Sands in center field next to Jay Gibbons in left in the late-night fog wouldn’t lead to a comedy of errors. A final-inning rally would actually succeed.

On to the next door …

* * *

To recap the last five Dodger victories:

May 20: Dodgers 6, White Sox 4 (10) – Juan Uribe left hip flexor
May 17 – Dodgers 3, Brewers 0 – Vicente Padilla unavailable
May 13 – Dodgers 4, Diamondbacks 3 – Zach Lee MRI revealed
May 11 – Dodgers 2, Pirates 0 – Hong-Chih Kuo to the disabled list
May 10 – Dodgers 10, Pirates 3 – Blake Hawksworth hurts groin

Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com has a length update on all the injured Dodgers.

May 13

Dodgers Juan up themselves again with Castro

Juan Castro is healthy again, and Aaron Miles has firmly beaten out Ivan DeJesus Jr. for starts at second base while Casey Blake and Rafael Furcal are both injured. So though it’s not a decision for fans of a youth movement, it makes sense for the Dodgers to bring up Castro from Albuquerque and send DeJesus down.

Hector Gimenez was moved to the 60-day disabled list to make room for Castro, who was 11 for 24 with two walks in Triple-A, on the 40-man roster.

When Furcal returns, Russ Mitchell will almost certainly go back to the Isotopes.

Apr 14

Injuries hammer Isotopes

That wasn’t the injury bug in Albuquerque on Wednesday – those were injury locusts.  From Christopher Jackson of Albuquerque Baseball Examiner:

The Albuquerque Isotopes’ 10-7 victory over the Iowa Cubs on Wednesday night may go down as the costliest win in team history.

In the span of four innings, three Isotopes were injured, suddenly leaving the club down to only seven healthy position players.

“I’ve been in this game a long time and we talked about there’s not too many ‘nevers’ in baseball,” manager Lorenzo Bundy said. “To have guys get hurt and have to come out of the game the way it happened tonight, to end up with a pitcher in right field … it was a strange night.”

Second baseman Justin Sellers was hit by a pitch on his right hand in the fourth inning, forcing him to leave the game.

Three batters later, Juan Castro fouled off the first pitch from Austin Bibens-Dirkx, only to suddenly double over in pain, clutching his left side. He had to leave the game as well.

In the seventh inning, J.D. Closser, who had moved from catcher to third base to replace Castro, stumbled while trying to field a grounder. The ball bounced up and struck Closser under his left eye, leaving him with a visible bruise and forcing him out.

At that point, Jerry Sands had to move from right field to third, and with no position players available on the bench, pitcher Tim Redding trotted out to right field. …

Thanks to Dodger Thoughts commenter Mike Tink for the head’s up …

Apr 11

Broken thumb will send Rafael Furcal to disabled list


Jed Jacobsohn/Getty ImagesRafael Furcal hurt his thumb on this fifth-inning slide.

As noted below and reported by Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com, Rafael Furcal hurt his thumb tonight sliding hand-first into third base. Following the game, it was revealed that the thumb is broken, and that Furcal will be out a minimum of four weeks and as many as six.

Dylan Hernandez of the Times said that Furcal was despondent enough to be “pondering retirement,” though we’ll assume for the time being that the depression was talking then. Here’s what Jackson wrote:

Furcal actually hinted at retirement, but that seemed to be nothing more than an emotional reaction to having received the bad news.

“I’m thinking about retiring if I can’t get back to being healthy,” said Furcal, who has a history of back injuries and missed a month each last season with injuries to his lower back and right thigh. “I was feeling so good with my back, and now I break my finger.”

With Furcal out for a lengthy period, Jamey Carroll would see the most time at shortstop, though the Dodgers have to be careful with the 37-year-old. With Casey Blake also ailing, that also means more playing time for Aaron Miles. An infielder will no doubt be called up if Furcal goes on the disabled list, but I’d guess Ivan De Jesus Jr. (who is on the 40-man roster). As alternatives, Justin Sellers or Juan Castro would get the call before the still-green Dee Gordon would. (Tonight, as Jerry Sands homered for the third-straight game and Jay Gibbons had three hits and a game-winning RBI, Gordon stole his fourth base of the season but also made his fourth error and struck out four times.)

Mar 16

State of the Opening Day roster: Update


Jake Roth/US PresswireDespite a 7.23 ERA last year with St. Louis, Mike MacDougal has taken advantage of Dodger injuries to carve out a chance at a roster spot.

On the last off day before the start of the season, this seems like a good time to check in on how the Dodger 25-man Opening Day roster is shaping up.

On track (18):

Starting pitchers (4): Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, Hiroki Kuroda, Ted Lilly

Relief pitchers (5): Jonathan Broxton, Hong-Chih Kuo, Matt Guerrier, Blake Hawksworth, Kenley Jansen

Catchers (1): Rod Barajas

Infielders (4): James Loney, Juan Uribe, Rafael Furcal, Jamey Carroll

Outfielders (4): Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp, Tony Gwynn Jr., Marcus Thames

Likely (3):

1) Casey Blake, 3B: The latest news on Blake sounds about as good as one might have expected – inflammation with no evidence of a muscle strain.  So while anything could happen, we won’t assume that he’ll be on the disabled list March 31.

2) Mike MacDougal, RP: A 0.00 spring ERA, veteran’s moxie and all the positive things people are saying about him in the press make MacDougal this year’s most likely prize off the scrap heap.

3) Dioner Navarro, C: A.J. Ellis can still be optioned to the minors, so we’ll put him aside. Though Hector Gimenez presents an alternative, Navarro seems safe.

Roster spot battles (4):

Norm Hall/Getty ImagesAn .847 spring OPS has helped make Hector Gimenez a longshot as opposed to a no-shot.

1) Jay Gibbons vs. Xavier Paul vs. Trent Oeltjen, OF, vs. Hector Gimenez, C/1B: Gibbons’ spring has been a nightmare, to the extent that Tony Gwynn Jr. might already have passed him in the pecking order for playing time. Xavier Paul, seemingly healthy and performing better as the month goes on, is now adding to the pressure while the eyesight-plagued Gibbons tries to solve his vision problems. A third-party candidate is Trent Oeltjen, who has been hitting all spring – and we’ll even leave open the possibility that Gimenez could take this spot instead of a sixth outfielder.  Chances: Gibbons 45%, Paul 35%, Oeltjen 10%, Gimenez 10%.

2) Aaron Miles vs. Ivan De Jesus Jr. vs. Justin Sellers vs. Juan Castro, IF: A veteran has the automatic edge when you’re talking backup infielder, so it seems safe to knock out De Jesus and Sellers, neither of whom have seized the day. Miles has had a better spring than Castro and is also centuries younger. Castro has that Brad Ausmus-like zen quality that Ned Colletti admires, but Miles has sufficient experience to fill the role. Chances: Miles 80%, Castro 10%, De Jesus 5%, Sellers 5%.

3) + 4) Ron Mahay vs. Scott Elbert vs. Ramon Troncoso vs. Lance Cormier, RP, vs. John Ely vs. Tim Redding, SP, vs. position player: These two final spots seem very much up for grabs at this point, compounded by the uncertainty over whether the Dodgers will start the year with four or five starting pitchers, and whether they’ll start with 11 pitchers overall or 12.

If they keep a fifth starter, it’s still an open battle. Both Redding and Ely can be sent to the minors, though the difference is if Redding is placed on the major-league roster, he would then have to clear waivers before he could go to Albuquerque (once, say, Vicente Padilla or Jon Garland was healthy). The Dodgers can yank Ely up and down this year at will.

Both Ely and Redding started the spring excellently, then faltered (like every other Dodger starter in the past week). Ely is on the upside of his career but with something to prove; Redding is on the downside of his career with something to prove. My guess is that even if Ely wins the job, the Dodgers won’t want him to lose his rhythm by pitching in long relief during the opening days of the season – meaning he would start the season in the minors and then come up April 12 when he is needed. I’m not sure they’d have those reservations with Redding.

Among the lefthanders, Mahay finally had a decent inning Tuesday, though the four batters he faced had 19 career major-league homers. Still, it’s hard to imagine that, short of a 180-degree turnaround, the Dodgers are ready to rely on Elbert, who has walked nine of 20 batters he has faced this spring.

Troncoso has outpitched both lefties, though I’m not sure the Dodgers are convinced he’s all the way back from his 2010 struggles. If he were, he and MacDougal would exchange places. Lance Cormier has gotten little attention while throwing four innings and allowing seven hits while striking out one, but he remains in the running.

And then there’s the chance the Dodgers go with an 11-man staff and keep six guys on the bench. Gimenez, anyone?

If the Dodgers were making their final cuts today, I’d predict they keep two relievers at the outset and fly Ely to San Francisco on April 12. Chances: Troncoso 45%, Mahay 45%, Cormier 30%, Ely 30%, Redding 25%, position player 20%, Elbert 5%.

Mar 02

Treble was I ere I saw Elbert

Royals 11, Dodgers 5

Highlights:

  • Tim Redding pitched three shutout innings, giving him five for the spring with three strikeouts.
  • James Loney went 2 for 2.
  • Relievers Ramon Troncoso and Carlos Monasterios pitched shutout ball.
  • Jamie Hoffmann (1 for 2) is now, like Loney, 4 for 8 this spring.
  • Juan Castro hit a three-run home run.

Lowlights:

  • Scott Elbert had a nightmare outing, walking four of the five batters he faced. From Eric Stephen of True Blue L.A.:

    … With assistant GM of player development DeJon Watson in the broadcast booth with Charley Steiner, Elbert was missing the strike zone every which way. Elbert came in the game in relief of Jon Link in the fifth inning, then pitched into the sixth. Watson spoke of how Elbert got more consistent in his delivery over the winter, and was able to show two dominant pitches in the Arizona Fall League, but as those words were being spoken Elbert was missing the strike zone quite often. Elbert faced five batters, and walked four of them. He threw 21 pitches, only five of them for strikes.

    On the broadcast, one could hear Watson rooting for Elbert, the Dodgers’ 2009 minor league pitcher of the year, even as he was struggling. Watson said Elbert has great stuff that is “electric through the strike zone,” and Watson seemed to take Elbert’s outing in stride. “He’s having a tough outing today, but I think you’ll see better outings from Mr. Elbert in the future,” Watson said. Elbert better hope so; he has faced 10 batters this spring, and walked six of them. He did strike out two, and the other two batters didn’t hit the ball out of the infield, but Elbert needs to show some control before he even sniffs the 25-man roster. …

  • Jon Link was charged with three runs while getting two outs; Luis Vasquez was charged with four runs while getting three outs.
  • Aaron Miles had a double but made his second error of the spring.
  • Xavier Paul struck out twice, dropping to 1 for 8 this exhibition season.
  • Juan Castro hit a three-run home run.

Sidelights:

  • Clayton Kershaw, not yet eligible for arbitration, signed his one-year 2011 contract for the expected figure of $500,000. Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com has details.  In fact, every man on the 40-man roster has now been signed for 2011, with Ronald Belisario having his contract renewed and then getting placed on the restricted list.
  • The adventures of Dee Gordon, again courtesy of Mr. Stephen:

    There was a funny moment in the fifth inning, when Mike Moustakas lofted a foul pop near the photography well adjacent to the back of the Dodger dugout. Aaron Miles was in pursuit of the ball, but Dee Gordon, who was not in the game and sitting on the steps of the dugout, tried to evade Miles by moving out of the dugout. Instead, Gordon got the way of Miles, who was unable to make the catch. Watson, who was in the booth with Charley Steiner, could be heard saying something like, “Jesus criminey” or something to that effect.

  • Remarkable: Larry Granillo researched “Peanuts” comic strips for Baseball Prospectus and found Duke Snider was mentioned twice (once with Willie Mays, once with a host of players), compared to three mentions for Mickey Mantle and Mays combined, once for Mantle alone and four times for Mays alone (including the famous spelling bee episode).
  • James Loney fares a bit below average in David Pinto’s defensive statistical rankings of first basemen from 2006-10 at Baseball Musings.
  • Ernest Reyes of Blue Heaven posted photos of the new grass being installed at Dodger Stadium.
  • Charlie Sheen meets Ron Swanson x John Wooden: The Sheen Pyramid of Greatness.
  • Juan Castro hit a three-run home run. From Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:

    When he left the game after five innings and returned to the clubhouse, this note was posted on the bulletin board:

    “Juan Castro: Please report to [Dodgers trainer] Stan Conte after the game for a mandatory steroid test.”

Update: Jackson writes about Castro and Elbert.

Aug 12

Pat Burrell signing boosted Giants’ playoff chances


AP PhotoBrooklyn Dodgers outfielder Gene Hermanski, shown in April 1948, has passed away. Hermanski was one of Jackie Robinson’s original supporters and had a .385 on-base percentage in 506 games with the Dodgers.

Before Scott Podsednik and Jay Gibbons dotted the Dodgers’ major-league shores, the Giants picked up left fielder Pat Burrell from the scrap heap. All Burrell has done is provide a .905 OPS in 179 plate appearances (almost as many as Manny Ramirez has had with the Dodgers in 2010). On July 31, he hit a game-winning eighth-inning homer against the Dodgers, and Wednesday he repeated the feat against the Cubs.

He’s almost been like 2006 Marlon Anderson and 2009 Ronnie Belliard combined. Joe Pawlikowski of Fangraphs has more about Burrell’s turnabout.

Other notes while we wait for the daily Dodger starting lineup storm front to settle in …

  • Farewell, Gene Hermanski. A great name from the Dodgers’ past in Brooklyn, Hermanski passed away at the age of 90 according to New York Baseball History Examiner (link via Vin Scully Is My Homeboy).
  • The Dodgers will honor photography genius Jon SooHoo for 25 years of service in a pregame ceremony September 3, according to Inside the Dodgers, which also notes that SooHoo was Randy Johnson’s photography mentor while the two were at the Daily Trojan.
  • From the Dodger press notes: “After some crack research by MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick and the Dodgers’ PR staff, it has been determined that (Juan) Castro is the only player in franchise history to serve three separate stints in the organization after departing and playing for another Major League team each time. Several players logged three different stints with the club, but remained in the organization. In the case of pitcher Giovanni Carrera (2001-02, 2004-05, 2006), he never made the big leagues after leaving the club in 2005 or prior to returning midway through 2006.”
  • Also via the press notes:

    Four Dodgers drew mention in Baseball America’s annual Best Tools issue. Major League managers voted Rafael Furcal as having the National League’s best infield arm and as the third-best bunter, Clayton Kershaw as having the Senior Circuit’s No. 3 pickoff move and Jonathan Broxton as the third-best reliever. In the minor league section, Kenley Jansen was also picked as the best reliever in the Southern League after dominating the circuit with a 4-0 record with eight saves and a 1.67 ERA in 22 games with Double-A Chattanooga.

    Several Dodger prospects earned mentions as well, as Ivan DeJesus was voted as the Triple-A Pacific Coast League’s best defensive second baseman; Dee Gordon drew praise as the best baserunner, fastest baserunner and most exciting player in the Double-A Southern League; Matt Wallach was selected as the best defensive catcher and Pedro Baez was voted as having the best defensive arm in the Single-A California League; and though both have since been promoted to Double-A Chattanooga, Jerry Sands was named the best power-hitting prospect and best defensive first baseman and right-hander Rubby De La Rosa was praised for having the Single-A Midwest League’s best fastball.”

Jul 27

Juan’s a Dodger, always a Dodger

The Dodgers can’t quit Juan Castro. The team once again signed him to a minor-league contract, setting him up for a critical sacrifice bunt in September. Castro had a .237 on-base percentage and .238 slugging percentage with Philadelphia this season — including one sacrifice.

* * *

That August 6 Clayton Kershaw-Steven Strasburg showdown may have fallen by the wayside with the news that Strasburg was scratched tonight from what would have been his 10th major-league start.

Kershaw told David Lassen of the Press-Enterprise that he decided to drop the appeal of his suspension because of the scheduling of the hearing Thursday.

“In the event that I did lose the appeal,” he said, “… I’d have four days rest, and then the appeal would come, and then I’d have five more games.” That would mean he wouldn’t be able to pitch again before August 4, truly missing a turn rather than just having a start pushed back a day.

* * *

Joe Torre confirmed to reporters today that Carlos Monasterios will start Friday. Torre hasn’t officially named a Saturday starter.

Torre also said that the Dodgers have underachieved, but that he isn’t worried, and that he senses Ned Colletti will make a move.

* * *

From the Dodger press notes:

Rookie-advanced Ogden clinched a playoff berth last night by winning the first-half Southern Division title and improved to 22-13 with an 11-2 win over the Missoula. Jake Lemmerman, the club’s fifth-round selection in the 2010 draft, leads the Pioneer League with a .380 batting average and the Dodgers’ third-round selection Leon Landry ranks third with a .372 average.

On Sunday, right-handed pitchers Daniel Tamares (5-2, 1.69) and Abdiel Velasquez (2.66) combined to throw a no-hitter in the Rookie-level Dominican Summer League Dodgers’ 3-0 win over the Mets. Tamares, who was named to the league’s All-Star team, struck out six over his 6.0 innings and has not allowed a run over his last 20.0 innings.

Single-A Great Lakes outfielder Brian Cavazos-Galvez homered twice last night to extend his Loons franchise-record hitting streak to 24 games.