Dodger Thoughts

Jon Weisman's outlet for dealing psychologically with the Los Angeles Dodgers, baseball and life

Zach Lee makes successful Double-A debut

Dodger pitching prospect Zach Lee, who turns 21 in September, pitched six innings of one-run ball Wednesday in his Double-A debut, allowing eight baserunners and striking out seven. He threw 81 pitches.

Elsewhere …

  • Buster Olney offers a selection of potential Dodger trade targets at Mostly, I see a list of players you really wouldn’t want or that just might require too much in return, but I’ve never been good at constructing hypothetical trades.
  • In one for the “You can never have enough pitching” Marching and Chowder Society, the Yankees lost C.C. Sabathia and Andy Pettitte to injury inside of 24 hours. Jay Jaffe has more at’s Hit and Run.
  • Former UCLA star Trevor Bauer makes his major-league debut tonight, looking to give Arizona a fuel injection in their pursuit of the Giants and Dodgers.
  • Tal’s Hill in center field of Minute Maid Park in Houston might be leveled, according to Zach Levine of the Houston Chronicle (via Hardball Talk). It probably has no place in a major-league park, but I kind of liked it, as it kindled childhood memories of playing ball even when the field was less than ideal.
  • The latest from Josh Wilker.


Report: Dodgers sign Cuban outfielder Puig in $40 million deal


Dodgers recall Van Slyke … but option De Jesus


  1. Anonymous

    Dave Roberts catch of a Lance Berkman drive on top of Tal’s Hill to save an Eric Gagne save is a great memory.

  2. Excited about Lee’s AA debut. Considering he was pitching in a hitter’s league (Cal) and still doing pretty well, this starts to feel like a better indication of how talented he is. A projected # starter would be fine with me, but his ceiling shows he could be a # 2 starter, even, whatever that’s worth. At any rate, hold on to him, Dodgers… (Speaking of mediocre trade possibilities you link to above)

  3. Old Crosley Field in Cincinnati had the same type of hill from the left field foul pole to center, and Fenway Park had a hill in front of the Green Monster for many years, called Duffy’s Cliff, after then-left fielder Duffy Lewis, who was gifted at playing the slope. The top of the left field wall was only 25 feet above the top of the slope. When the park was remodeled in the early ’30’s, the hill was flattened, accounting for the 37 foo height of the wall today. The base of the wall is several feet below the street level outside. I like the hill in Houston…and I see no compelling reason to flatten it.

    • i can remember listening to Vin on the Transistor radio doing something like: it’s hit way back, three-dog up the terrace, against the fence and he’s got it. whada catch.

      • the terrace being that rise in the outfield.

        • I remember Len Gabrielson of the Giants going up the hill in Cincy in a Saturday Game of the Week. The ball hit the wall and caromed back over his head. He then turned back toward the field and promptly tumbled head over heels back to level ground.

          • wasn’t he part of an actual dodger/giant trade?

          • He was actually acquired from the Angels for the immortal Jon Werhas in 1967. The Angels had acquired him from the Giants for the equally immortal Norm Siebern…then played him in only 11 games before offloading him to the Blue. Those were the Dodger Dark Ages…1967 & 1968…I was 10 years old in 1967, and I thought we’d never win again…

    • Anonymous

      Seems like a great way to get someone seriously hurt to me

  4. foul tip

    Old friend Brent Leach showing up in opposing boxscore of Lee’s game.  Scoreless, hitless single inning, 2Ks.

    Apparently only 3 IP for Mississippi.  ERA of 6.  SSS, but underwhelming, as earlier this year for ABQ.

  5. I hate being the Ned apologist because, well, i just hate to.

    but let’s look at the ethier trade real quickly. It’s vastly too much money and too many years for a guy who isn’t a great player. he’s certainly going to bite the hand that feeds him before it’s over. the contract is going to look horrendous in a couple years. he’ll be in a snit at various times. he’s also likely to get hurt. and in a perfect world Kasten wouldn’t do it.

    BUT: THE DODGERS MANAGMENT HAD TO DO IT. the perfect storm if you will. the marketplace, could be shut out in the fa market and then wouldn’t you all be mad, no obvious choices at all from the minor leagues, a team with problems right now that can’t be solved, PR, ticket sales, whatever. a major league baseball team is not a small business undertaking. you have to do what the market dictates. if some of the factors that are true weren’t true well maybe you don’t have to do it. The dodgers had no choice.

    and as much as we all like to bash Ned. A key factor is the lack of great outfield prospects. three years of one of the lowest draft budgets in major league baseball, no international signings and yet according to everyone’s favorite little website fangraphs the dodgers have the 13th best prospect list in baseball. y’all you need to find something else to complain about for awhile other than Ned. global warming isn’t ned’s fault either.

    • Another factor was the McCourts evisceration of the Dodgers Latin American operation. When you consider the skeleton crew the team had down there, all it takes is a couple of years of whiffing in the domestic draft before you are stripped bare of position players.

      I don’t believe Ned is a bad GM, necessarily, but I certainly don’t believe he has been a good one. I guess my basic opinion is that the Dodgers owe Ned nothing, and should be looking to bring in the best baseball mind they can, one who incorporates solid on the ground scouting and big league player evaluation in combination with the latest analytics, all unified with a binding philosophy that the entire organization buys into. I don’t believe that Ned is the guy who can bring all of this about.

      • but it’s so easy to bash ned instead of like thinking and looking at the entire situation. no i do not think ned is a good gm.

      • foul tip

         A lot of DT commenters who’ve been around the site for years have about the same opinion–

        Ned’s performance has been thoroughly mediocre. 

        I do believe he has grown in the job.  There certainly was and is ample room for growth.

    • foul tip

      However the Ethier signing plays out, there’s a good chance the Dodgers did his deal in part to send a message–and consider it a good investment from that perspective

      Message: the Dodgers are now and will be a player for talent;, they will reward their own; and it may not happen right away, but the Dodgers are back.  Good message all around.

      Along with deciding chances for a good on-field return were quite acceptable.

  6. John Ely, PCL All-Star! Congrats to him.  Seems like he’s at least now a decent option if Dodgers need a spot start from someone other than Eovaldi this season.

  7. This just in from Matt Kemp’s Twitter feed: My @dodgers fans stop worrying so much! Have faith! Rehab is going good. Trust me, I’ll b back stronger than eva. Still a long season left.

  8. foul tip

    This is from last thread. I think it represents a tendency by some to believe and repeat somewhat less than factual things. Yet these things seem to take root somehow–

    “…31 yr old Ethier who can’t run, throw or hit for power – and who has been a whiner for the better part of two seasons! And did I mention his durability issues?!”

    Granted, he’s not likely to win many races with Gordon.  Who is?  If Ethier can’t throw, who made those really good ones from RF recently?

    He hit 31 HR in 2009, bookended by 23 in 2010 and 20 in 2008–beating out future HOFer Juan Pierre  [very high sarcasm alert] for the LF job. He tagged 11 HR during an extraordinary start last season.  Those numbers don’t lie.  All refute the claim he can’t hit for power. He hits in DS and the NL West, on top of the numbers.  He has been streaky, given.  But the numbers show what’s in there somewhere.  Not to mention his walk-off hits and AS selections.

    I think he’d be better overall and a bit less streaky if he weren’t so hard on himself.  The very best at this game fail 7 times out of 10, and athletes can have expectations of themselves so high that they don’t do failure very well emotionally.  Sometimes–like with him–it can carry over to next AB, next game, next series.

    People  can resent his contract and say it overpays him.  That’s opinion, FWIW.  For me and I suspect most, most all MLB players are massively overpaid.  We may be right.  But we have to respect market realities.

    As for the whining, he hasn’t always been circumspect in what he’s said publicly.  No doubt part of it was dissatisfaction with ownership and the future as it appeared, especially given his contract situation. I doubt he’ll have much more to say.

    Injuries are part of the game.  A player can hope to avoid them, but are they his fault?  Aren’t injuries plain old bad luck, worse for some than others? Should a player be blamed for getting hurt?

    At any rate, the things quoted above about Ethier the player are simply preposterous.

  9. Casey Barker

    I saw Trevor Bauer’s debut in Visalia.  He is very impressive!

    • Casey Barker

      In addition to the stunning final year he had at UCLA.

  10. Anonymous

    Pros and cons on Puig:
    CON: That sure is a long, loopy swing.  Pitch him sliders away, right?
    PRO: Nice to see they still shoot Hi8 somewhere.

  11. foul tip

    Edited from Craigslist.  Ideal for Dodger fans who just must have scapegoats. 

    “FREE FAINTING GOATS (Ashland City)
    Date: 2012-06-28, 2:56PM CDT

    “I have a flock of 18 fainting goats for sale.  I’m moving and need them gone asap.  First come first serve. I will help you hog tie if needed.”

    Dude seems confused over whether he wants to sell or give away.  Anyway, these delight onlookers as they fall over and faint when startled, then get up and go again after a few minutes.

    For some reason I have a vision of Juan Uribe chasing them around DS…and getting injured doing it.

  12. i can’t get my like button to work. have i been banned again?

    •  No, and what do you mean “again?”

      • oh i’ve been banned before. not here. yet. although that guy with with Dee Gordon rampage could set me over the edge any second now. j/k. just wondering. hmm it just worked. operator error i guess. 

  13. Anonymous

    From the previous post:

    >> and post a .222 ISO as a 26-year-old 

    What does ISO stand for?

  14. Anonymous

    I know some people have been a little down on Zach Lee lately (no potential to be a #1 starter), I think his command is going to be a great asset and lower walk totals generally correlate with good outings even in pitchers who don’t have super live arms.  So I think he is definitely underrated and is a keeper.  As for the new Cuban, 4 million a year for a 21 year old with power and speed is not bad investment and you have to get creative when you have very few position players in the minors who will make any sort of splash (apologies to Sands, AVS and Gordon).  Kasten’s baseball knowledge is incredible and he knows he needs to take some chances with the lack of hitting talent on the farm.  I heard an interview with him yesterday and he just sounds like he knows what he’s doing, has a clear plan and knows how to execute.  He seemed excited to be in a bit of a different environment than Washington, which was a win in the future and from within attitude, to win now with agressive moves on all fronts with the Dodgers.

    • no worries Noah. at this time nobody has any real idea how lee will turn out. only when and if he makes it to the majors will anybody really know. everything else is just so much yapping.

  15. The Dodgers recalled Van Slyke, but they also optioned Ivan DeJesus. So there’s still a move to make at some point. 

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