Apr 24

Castellanos/Van Slyke/Sands postscript

Christopher Jackson, who covers the Dodgers’ Triple-A affiliate in Albuquerque for the Albuquerque Baseball Examiner, stopped by the Dodger Thoughts comments Monday and offered the following reaction to my post about Scott Van Slyke, Jerry Sands and Alex Castellanos.

Castellanos is not ready for the big leagues. He can chew up and spit out the lousy pitching in the PCL, but he is very prone to chasing stuff on the outside part of the plate. Big-league pitchers will eat him alive, a la Sands last year with the inside pitches. The good news is Castellanos knows he’s not ready. I asked him if he’d heard the rumors people were tossing about when Uribe was hurting, and he told me everyone’s getting ahead of themselves. He knows for his development that a full season (or at least close to a full season) at Triple-A is a must. And no, folks, he’s not going to solve the 3B dilemma. The Dodgers are focused on him playing 2B, period.

Van Slyke, besides being one of the funniest guys on the team (his stories about life in baseball as a kid are outstanding), is a solid hitter and someone I could see going up to the big leagues in the second half. He can hit to all fields, he will take pitches at the plate and defensively he seems fine in the outfield (first base, well, there’s a reason the Dodgers moved him off there this spring).

Sands and the Topes’ coaching staff are confident he can turn things around, but lordy, that boy seems stubborn. They tell him “lay off the first pitch” and he goes up and swings away from the start. In most games his early plate appearances are hard to watch, then he starts to settle down. I think if anything he’s trying too hard; he’s overthinking at the plate. It’s frustrating for everyone involved, and you want to root for the guy since he is a good kid. You just wonder that if he can’t turn things around in the next month or so what the Dodgers are going to do. They want him to succeed, they need him to succeed, but right now …

Oh, and best bet for first Tope to be called up: Scott Rice. The kid is legit as a lefty reliever. Might spare you all from MacDougal/Coffey sooner rather than later.

Jackson is on Twitter: @TopesWriter.

Mar 20

Another painful Spring Training for De Jesus

Very sorry to hear that Ivan De Jesus Jr. has a left-oblique tear, three years after the March broken leg that derailed his career.  Star-crossed kid.

  • Good tidbit on longshot bullpen contender and Royal High graduate Scott Rice, from Ken Gurnick of MLB.com. “He’s easy to find in the Dodgers’ clubhouse, and not just because he’s 6-foot-6,” Gurnick writes. “His locker is located in the section assigned to players that are generally the first to be cut. Sure enough, eight lockers to his right are now empty, as are five lockers to his left.”
  • Dee Gordon needed only a home run for the cycle today.
  • Andre Ethier: still on fire.
  • Grant Brisbee is as entertaining as usual in his look at the 2012 Dodgers for Baseball Nation.
  • Wednesday at 9 p.m., NBC premieres a new sitcom, Bent. The Peacock, as we say at Variety, is racing through the entire six-episode order in three weeks – putting the premiere against Modern Family, no less – so you might think the network is ashamed of it. But I think the show is worth watching and only grows on you. TV critics Brian Lowry at Variety and Alan Sepinwall at HitFix agree with me. So check it out.