Jul 30

Dodgers lose game but win League

Aaron Harang had a 2.60 ERA in 11 starts since May 28, but he went down hard tonight, surrendering a three-run first-inning home run to Paul Goldschmidt and a fifth-inning grand slam to Chris Johnson in the Dodgers’ 7-2 loss to Arizona.

The result allowed the Diamondbacks to creep within 3 1/2 games of Los Angeles and within four of San Francisco, which was in extra innings against the New York Mets as of this writing.

However, while dropping a game in the National League sweepstakes, the Dodgers picked up a win for those who cared about the Brandon League sweepstakes. Announced officially shortly after 10:30 p.m., Los Angeles acquired the Seattle Mariners righty reliever for minor-leaguers Leon Landry and Logan Bawcom.

League, 29, has a 3.69 career ERA and 3.63 ERA in 2012. After striking out as many as 9.2 batters per nine innings in 2009, League is down to 5.4 this season, while allowing 67 baserunners in 44 2/3 innings. He made a name for himself by saving 37 games in 2011, but that’s already a bit of ancient history. So while the Dodgers might have a little anxiety about how reliable Ronald Belisario, Javy Guerra, Josh Lindblom, Shawn Tolleson or even a recovering Matt Guerrier might be down the stretch (or about replacing any of them if they are traded), League offers another option – but not exactly offer a guaranteed solution.

The price was 2010 third-round pick Landry, a 22-year-old outfielder with a .358 on-base percentage and .559 slugging (including 26 doubles and 15 triples) in the happy-hitting California League, and Bawcom, a 23-year-old righty picked in the 17th round the same year, who has a 2.60 ERA and 9.3 strikeouts per nine innings for Double-A Chattanooga.

I’m not sure either prospect wasn’t expendable in a pennant drive or expected to be a significant contributor to the Dodgers in the future, and you never know when a guy is going to have a two-month hot streak like George Sherrill in 2009, so the question I would have is less about who won tonight’s deal and more about whether Landry or Bawcom might have had a role in a potentially bigger deal for the Dodgers Tuesday or down the road.

Jun 08

And the Dodgers’ second-round pick is …

… Ralston Cash, a 19-year-old, 6-foot-1, 197-pound right-handed pitcher from Lakeview Academy in Gainesville, Georgia. Here’s video on Cash from MLB.com. Cash will go to the University of Georgia if the Dodgers don’t sign him.

  • This article by Bill Murphy of the Gainesville Times describes the hardships in Cash’s life after a single-car accident took the life of his mother when he was 3 1/2 years old.
  • Andy Seiler of MLB Bonus Baby filed this long report on Cash in March.

    … My overall impression of Cash was quite positive. He displayed the solid natural stuff that I expected, though his command wasn’t what it was cracked up to be. He consistently left pitches up in the zone, though the Commerce hitters lacked the strength and bat speed to catch up to the ball. His curveball needs some work, and like I said above, I’d change him to a slider based on his arm speed and angle. The pitch even looked like a slider at times, so I wouldn’t see a tough transition. There’s a good bit of upside here, and I came away still seeing him as a solid 3rd-5th round prospect. He had a bad defense behind him, and every scout that evaluates him will have to completely ignore his final line and actual results on batted balls, but the approach is there for a pro pitcher. He’ll need to learn to adjust to having a competent defense behind him, and he’s going to be a flyball pitcher in the long run, but I’m glad I got to see Cash throw a pretty solid outing.

  • In 2010, Cash had a 2.68 ERA and 79 strikeouts, writes Murphy. In 2009, Cash had a 0.97 ERA and 83 strikeouts in 57.2 innings, according to Chip Towers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
  • Here’s a short writeup from BaseballScoutz.com.

* * *

In the third round, the Dodgers picked Leon Landry, a 20-year-old, 5-11, 195-pound outfielder from Louisiana State (the Dodgers are determined to get themselves someone from there.) Here’s the MLB.com video.

  • Keith Law of ESPN.com ranked Landry 82nd overall on his prospect list.
  • Here’s his official Louisiana State bio. Landry had a .418 on-base percentage and .513 slugging percentage this season, with 16 steals in 20 attempts.
  • Friend of Dodger Thoughts John Klima provides this detailed writeup on Landry at Baseball Beginnings.
  • Check out this catch Landry made in a 2008 postseson game: