Dodger Thoughts

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

Tag: Brandon Beachy (Page 2 of 2)

Zach Lee enters Saturday conversation

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Phillies at Dodgers, 7:10 p.m.
Joc Pederson, CF
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Yasmani Grandal, C
Andre Ethier, LF
Yasiel Puig, RF
Jimmy Rollins, SS
Alberto Callaspo, 3B
Zack Greinke, P

By Jon Weisman

I feel badly spending time on speculation, because we’ll know soon enough which pitcher will start Saturday for the Dodgers.

But I figured I might as well pass along the news that a) Brandon Beachy is going to make another rehab start this weekend for Triple-A Oklahoma City, and b) 2010 first-round draft choice Zach Lee has been mentioned as a possibility to make his Major League debut.

Don’t run any farther with it than that: Lee, after all, has only pitched in two games since being sidelined for more than a month with a circulation problem in his right middle finger, and neither of those starts were even at Triple-A. He pitched five innings in each, however, making it possible that he could come up and take some innings in the Dodgers’ second-to-last game before they take five days off.

Before his June intermission, Lee had a 2.38 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 7.0 strikeouts per nine innings in 10 starts for Oklahoma City.

Brandon Beachy might start Saturday for Dodgers

Arizona Diamondbacks vs Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

A day after Brandon Beachy threw 92 pitches in six innings of his fifth rehab start from his second Tommy John surgery, Don Mattingly did not rule out the 28-year-old right-hander as a possible starter for the Dodgers against the Brewers on Saturday.

While cautioning that the Dodgers weren’t near a decision and were considering a number of candidates, Mattingly conveyed an upbeat report on Beachy, saying he touched 93 mph Monday, though he did allow 12 baserunners in those six innings while striking out five.

“He’s throwing the ball well,” Mattingly said. “We haven’t really gotten to the candidates for this weekend. We know he’s feeling good. … In fact, his velocity was kind of back to where he was in the past.

“One of the things we’ve talked about a lot with Brandon, was to give him the time not only be physically be ready but mentally be at the point where he’s ready to compete. … He could be a guy that we use.”

Beachy’s last MLB start was August 20, 2013 with Atlanta. He has a 3.23 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and 9.2 strikeouts per nine innings in his 46-game, 267 2/3-inning big-league career.

Dodgers stop Phillies, time in 10-7 triumph

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By Jon Weisman

I’m not sure I can do justice to the surreal quality of tonight’s long and crazy, crazy and long Dodger game, won by the home team, 10-7, in well under five hours, so just take these notes and know that I did not feel rushed to write them.

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Dodger minor league report No. 12: Scott Schebler’s turn and Zach Lee’s return

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By Cary Osborne

In the June edition of Dodger Insider magazine, we profiled outfield prospect Scott Schebler. The theme of the story was how Schebler was a notoriously slow starter who takes off once the summer months hit.

When the story was written, Schebler’s numbers were subpar. The No. 8 prospect in the system, added in the offseason to the Dodgers’ 40-man roster, was hitting .208/.299/.377 for Triple-A Oklahoma City entering June with six doubles, one triple, six home runs and 14 RBI.

Then June arrived, and true to form, Schebler turned it on. The 24-year-old was one of the best hitters in the Dodger chain last month. He batted .321/.389/.595 with four doubles, five triples, three home runs and 17 RBI.

A year after leading the Double-A Southern League in triples and home runs, Schebler ranks tied for second in the Pacific Coast League in triples. He is mere percentage points from Corey Seager’s OPS in OKC (.780 to Seager’s .783).

We talked to Dodger director of player development Gabe Kapler about Schebler this week, who said, in reality, Schebler’s early swoon was less that met the eye.

“Scheb all along was performing well. He just wasn’t having a lot of luck,” Kapler said. “He was striking the ball with real authority. He was doing a good job from a number of perspectives. He just wasn’t showing the results in the traditional counting numbers. Now you’re starting to see that. A lot of that is completely out of your control. Scheb’s actually been doing a good job all the way through.”

Here’s more from the past week in minor-league action …

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Starting rotation likely to shift in second half

Los Angeles Dodgers vs Arizona Diamondbacks

Dodgers at Diamondbacks, 6:40 p.m.
Kiké Hernandez, CF
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Justin Turner, 3B
Yasiel Puig, RF
Scott Van Slyke, 1B
Alex Guerrero, LF
Jimmy Rollins, SS
A.J. Ellis, C
Brett Anderson, P

By Jon Weisman

With neither Mike Bolsinger nor Carlos Frias having reached six innings in a game since June 8-9, the Dodgers are prepared to separate them in the starting rotation so that the innings don’t pile up on the bullpen, Don Mattingly told reporters today.

The split wouldn’t happen until after the All-Star Break, Mattingly said, adding that Frias, who was reportedly suffering from back tightness during his 98-pitch, five-inning outing Tuesday, is expected to make his next start. Either Frias or Bolsinger would go in between Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke.

After the All-Star Break is also when the Dodgers could be close to bringing Brandon Beachy into the starting rotation. Beachy, who is taking the mound for Oklahoma City in a rehab start as I write this, could have his rehab process complete by then. Entering tonight’s game, he had allowed one run on three hits and four walks in six Triple-A innings, with five strikeouts.

Each Dodger starting pitcher after tonight has two starts left before the break. That would set up Kershaw to take the first start of the second half (July 17 at Washington). Moving the No. 4 or 5 starter after Kershaw would put Greinke in the July 19 game. Of course, with Greinke a lock to get an All-Star invite and Kershaw a strong candidate, the Midsummer Classic would factor into any planning.

Relief pitcher Brandon League has completed his rehab and will come to Los Angeles, where a decision will be made on how he fits in, according to Mattingly.

In case you missed it: The Yellowship of the Ring

By Jon Weisman

Kiké Hernandez and his minions took it to the next level Sunday on the flight to Chicago after the Dodgers’ 10-2 victory over San Francisco. Can Bananarama singing the national anthem at Dodger Stadium be far behind?

After all, on the day of the solstice, the Dodgers started out what they hope will be a cruel, cruel summer for the Giants with a 10-2 victory that increased Los Angeles’ lead in the National League West to 1 1/2 games.

Here are some notes from the weekend …

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After 22 months, Brandon Beachy returns to action in rehab start

By Jon Weisman

Making his first appearance in a professional game since August 20, 2013, right-handed pitcher Brandon Beachy faced six batters tonight in a rehab start with Single-A Rancho Cucamonga.

Beachy allowed two groundouts and two lineouts while walking one and striking out one.

The 27-year-old has a 3.23 ERA in 267 2/3 career innings with 275 strikeouts, including a 4.50 ERA in 30 innings with 23 strikeouts in 2013, between his first and second Tommy John surgeries.

Another Brandon, last name of League, faced four batters in his rehab inning during the same game, with one hit allowed and one strikeout.

Earlier, Ken Gurnick of reported that the Dodgers planned to activate Scott Van Slyke from the disabled list on Wednesday, and that relievers Paco Rodriguez, Joel Peralta and Pedro Baez were continuing to progress toward their returns as well.

Big crowd on Dodger injury rehab train

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Dodgers at Padres, 1:10 p.m.
Joc Pederson, CF
Yasiel Puig, RF
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Yasmani Grandal, C
Andre Ethier, LF
Jimmy Rollins, SS
Alberto Callaspo, 3B
Mike Bolsinger, P

By Jon Weisman

Scott Van Slyke and Joel Peralta began their rehab assignments Saturday, as Ken Gurnick of notes.

The timing of Van Slyke’s return is noteworthy in part because the Dodgers will use a designated hitter for the first time this season when they play Monday and Tuesday at Texas. Alex Guerrero seems like an obvious choice, but Van Slyke could also figure in the mix as he works his way back into active duty.

(Update: Don Mattingly told reporters today that the Dodgers planned to have Van Slyke play left field for Single-A Rancho Cucamonga today and first base Monday, then take Tuesday off and be activated in Los Angeles on Wednesday if all goes well.)

The Dodgers are scheduled to face righties Yovani Gallardo and Chi Chi Gonzalez in Arlington. The 23-year-old Gonzalez has a 0.42 ERA after three career Major League starts, totaling 21 2/3 innings, though with only eight strikeouts.

Here’s an excerpt from Gurnick’s update:

Van Slyke, healing from a strained mid-back muscle, went 1-for-4 with a double and strikeout as a designated hitter against Stockton in his first rehab game.

Peralta, healing from a pinched nerve in his neck, reached his pitch limit after two-thirds of an inning, charged with one run on two hits in his second rehab appearance.

The list of Dodgers lined up for injury rehab assignments with Rancho Cucamonga in the next few days includes Paco Rodriguez (elbow spur), who shows up there Monday, Brandon Beachy (Tommy John surgery) on Tuesday, and Brandon League (right shoulder impingement), who goes back to back both of those days.

Peralta, out since April 23, has allowed no runs or inherited runners to score in his 5 2/3 innings this season, scattering two singles and three walks while striking out four.

An activation of League from the disabled list is expected around June 24, according to J.P. Hoornstra of the Daily News, who separately notes that Beachy is expected to use the full 30 days available to him for his rehab assignment, which would place his arrival in the Dodger rotation no sooner than July 17, the first day after the All-Star Break.  No doubt, the sequence of the Dodger rotation will depend on the use of Zack Greinke and/or Clayton Kershaw at the Midsummer Classic.

In addition, Pedro Baez has been throwing bullpen sessions at Camelback Ranch “but is probably still a week away from starting a rehab assignment,” according to Bill Plunkett of the Register.

Adam Liberatore and Josh Ravin are the two current Dodger relievers who have spent time in the minors this season, but if the Dodgers want to make room in the bullpen for Peralta, Rodriguez, League and Baez, they’d have to carve out more space.

If Van Slyke, Peralta, League, Beachy, Rodriguez and Baez are all activated over the next month, that would turn over nearly 25 percent of the active roster. And that doesn’t factor in Carl Crawford, in Arizona recovering from his oblique injury, and Hector Olivera, whose MLB debut is still expected in the coming weeks.

* * *

Josh Sborz, drafted 74th overall by the Dodgers last week, was profiled by Cash Kruth at after striking out five in three shutout innings for Virginia at the College World Series on Saturday.

“He throws strikes. He attacks you. That slider is, what, 84 to sometimes up to 87, 88 mph. It’s a pretty darned good pitch,” Virginia coach Brian O’Connor said. “So you have a lot of confidence in him that he’s going to go at them and give his best. And he’s been pretty darned near as good as you can be all year long for us.”

Aside from his fastball and slider, the 6-foot-3, 225-pound Sborz also shows solid feel for a changeup that he really doesn’t need as a reliever. Last season, Sborz posted a 2.92 ERA in 15 games (13 starts) while mostly working out of the rotation, and the Dodgers have said they plan to begin developing him as a starter.

Unpacking the Uribe-Withrow-Callaspo-Thomas-Jaime-Stults trade (see, that’s a lot to unpack right there)

For photos from Tuesday, visit LA Photog Blog.

Braves at Dodgers, 7:10 p.m.
Joc Pederson, CF
Jimmy Rollins, SS
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Justin Turner, 3B
Alex Guerrero, LF
Chris Heisey, RF
A.J. Ellis, C
Zack Greinke, P

By Jon Weisman

As unusual as the past 36 hours have been, nothing quite brought it home more sharply than seeing Juan Uribe in Atlanta Braves gear at Dodger Stadium, so soon after he had worn Dodger whites for the final time.

Gazing upon Matt Kemp as a Padre on Opening Day took an adjustment and a half, but at least we had most of an offseason to prepare.

But baseball, the game without a clock, ticks on — and everyone moves forward, ready or not. Here is a bullet-point summary of this late afternoon’s news.

  • According to Don Mattingly, Uribe had initiated discussions about his decreased playing time, and Andrew Friedman said that Uribe’s agent told him that Uribe would welcome a trade to a team that would offer more playing time. It wasn’t a literal trade demand, but more an indication of where Uribe’s mind was at.
  • Similarly, Alberto Callaspo balked at the trade at first because he was concerned that his at-bats would go down, according to Friedman, but his concerns were assuaged. It has been reported elsewhere that the Braves paid Callaspo an additional sum to agree to the trade.
  • Friedman thinks the switch-hitting Callaspo can help the Dodgers as a left-handed bat off the bench (with Andre Ethier starting, the Dodgers often don’t have a lefty position player in reserve at all). Callaspo’s positional versatility is also a better fit for the Dodger bench than Uribe would offer, according to Friedman.
  • Chris Withrow was admired enough by Friedman to be a trade target while Friedman was with the Rays, but hopes of what Withrow might provide in 2016 were sacrificed in order to add pitching depth for this year.
  • Left-handed Ian Thomas will be stretched out at Oklahoma City to see if he might become a starter (not coincidentally, a recent Dodger acquisition, Eric Surkamp, is getting the same treatment as a starter for Oklahoma City tonight.) Relief pitching is a fallback for Thomas.
  • Righty reliever Juan Jaime “misses bats,” Friedman said, and so the Dodgers will attack his control problems at in extended Spring Training at Camelback Ranch to see what develops.
  • Chris Heisey was called up in no small part because two Dodger outfielders, Scott Van Slyke and Kiké Hernandez, are not 100 percent healthy.
  • The Dodgers hope that the two pitchers designated for assignment today, Sergio Santos and Eric Stults, will clear waivers and remain in the organization, but whether they clear remains to be seen.
  • Brandon Beachy threw three simulated innings today, ahead of his next steps — first games at Camelback, and hopefully the start of a minor-league rehab assignment in June.
  • For their doubleheader Tuesday at Colorado, the Dodgers get a 26th-man roster exemption. Joe Wieland is lined up in the Triple-A rotation if the Dodgers want him, but they have not announced how they will use the extra spot.

In case you missed it: Catch a falling star

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For photos from Sunday, visit LA Photog Blog.

Braves at Dodgers, 5:10 p.m.
Joc Pederson, CF
Jimmy Rollins, SS
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Justin Turner, 3B
Andre Ethier, RF
Scott Van Slyke, LF
A.J. Ellis, C
Brett Anderson, P

By Jon Weisman

Boy, that Bobby Crosby is something. He is more coordinated with a baseball flying at blazing speed toward him than I am at … anything.

See above for his latest cameraball feat, and see the bottom of this post for our May 2014 Dodger Insider magazine profile on him.

  • Carlos Frias matched the worst start in Dodger history Sunday by allowing 10 runs, but it’s not even the worst start in the Majors this weekend. Today, Kansas City righty Jeremy Guthrie allowed 11 runs while getting only three batters out.
  • Frias’ game score of -4 was the worst in Los Angeles Dodger history and the worst in the franchise since Johnny Babich’s record -21, when he gave up 13 runs on 16 hits and two walks with one strikeout almost exactly 80 years ago, on June 23, 1935.
  • In his 61-inning MLB career, Frias has allowed 39 runs — 18 of those runs in the 4 2/3 combined innings of his starts Sunday against San Diego and September 17 in Colorado. In his remaining 56 1/3 innings, Frias has allowed 21 runs.
  • Brett Anderson has not only been rained on in three straight starts, he has drawn a base on balls while batting as well, notes Eric Stephen of True Blue L.A.
  • Yasmani Grandal will play designated hitter for Triple-A Oklahoma City this week, ahead of his expected reactivation by the Dodgers on Saturday.
  • Brandons Beachy and League are headed for Camelback Ranch later this week for the next step of their respective journeys back to action, with minor-league rehabilitation assignments apparently on the horizon for June.
  • Erik Bedard took the mound in a game for the first time since Spring Training, starting for single-A Rancho Cucamonga.


In case you missed it: Dodgers make a trade

San Diego Padres vs Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

Today, the Dodgers acquired a Rule 4 competitive balance round B draft pick (No. 74 overall this June), right-handed reliever Ryan Webb and minor league catcher Brian Ward from the Orioles in exchange for catcher Chris O’Brien and pitcher Ben Rowen.

Ken Gurnick of has more on the deal. The 29-year-old Webb had a 2.95 FIP with Baltimore last year and 37 strikeouts in 49 1/3 innings against 63 baserunners. Ward had a .641 OPS in a season spent mostly at Triple-A Norfolk.

And now, to fill the rest of your off day, more notes …

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In case you missed it: Blowin’ in the wind

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Cubs at Dodgers, 1:05 p.m.
Jimmy Rollins, SS
Carl Crawford, LF
Yasiel Puig, RF
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Andre Ethier, DH
Juan Uribe, 3B
Joc Pederson, CF
A.J. Ellis, C
(Brandon McCarthy, P)

By Jon Weisman

How many steps must a man run down
Before he realizes he’s not going to catch that home run by Howie Kendrick?

The answer, my friend, is 11. That’s about how many footprints Rangers center fielder Leonys Martin made before he watched forlornly as Kendrick’s homer sailed about a first down or two beyond the outfield fence.

Here is some postgame reaction, from Pedro Moura of the Register:

It was 11 a.m. Tuesday, two hours before the Dodgers were to play the Texas Rangers here, 20 minutes away from their spring-training home, and Howie Kendrick and Jimmy Rollins had made plans to carpool.

Kendrick was dressed and ready to go; Rollins was still in his workout gear, needing to shower. They chided each other in the clubhouse, Rollins telling Kendrick to slow down, Kendrick telling Rollins to speed up. That’s the relationship the two men have developed in three weeks as teammates after almost a decade of mutual, cross-league admiration.

So, after Kendrick smashed perhaps the longest homer of his pro career Tuesday, at least 440 feet to dead center off Rangers left-hander Joe Beimel, no one in the Dodgers clubhouse was better suited than Rollins to provide perspective.

“Actually, I kind of thought I missed it a little bit,” Kendrick tried to say. “I guess the wind was blowing today.”

Rollins interjected: “In other words, I’ve never hit one that well.” …

Click here to read the entire article.
And now, here are some more morning links …

  • Baseball Prospectus gives the Dodgers an 89.7 percent chance of making the playoffs and 17.6 percent for winning the World Series, significantly higher than the other 29 teams. Will Leitch writes about the playoff odds today at Sports on Earth.
  • offers a sortable Milestone Tracker (link via Openers), putting the spotlight on future achievements great and small. Here are the lists for Dodger hitters and for Dodger pitchers. Now you know when Jimmy Rollins will enter MLB’s all-time top 50 in steals.
  • J.P. Howell warmed up too long during the Dodgers’ seven-run fifth inning, the pitcher and Don Mattingly told Ken Gurnick of On the bright side, Howell a) learned his lesson and b) doesn’t figure to make many appearances after the Dodgers score seven runs in an inning.
  • Hyun-Jin Ryu’s fluctuating velocity (well, the fluctuating velocity of Ryu’s pitches, not Ryu himself) is the subject of this piece by Eric Stephen at True Blue L.A.
  • Andrew Friedman on meeting Sandy Koufax, via J.P. Hoornstra of the Daily News:

    “It’s very rare in life where you have incredibly high expectations for someone and they actually exceed them,” Friedman said. “It’s really all encompassing — the type of person he is, the way he articulates his points, the knowledge he has, the way he’s able to question things in a very thoughtful way. I had so many different conversations over the span of that week that were incredibly thought-provoking and got me thinking.”

  • Today is the 60th anniversary of Koufax’s first game at Spring Training in Vero Beach, we were told by Historic Dodgertown in a press release. At age 19, he faced seven batters, walking two and striking out five. In the same game, 18-year-old Don Drysdale pitched four innings and struck out eight.
  • Brandon Beachy threw off a mound Tuesday for the first time since his second Tommy John operation, reports Gurnick, who adds that Beachy was both excited but keeping his enthusiasm in check.
  • Director of player development Gabe Kapler is a big booster of social media for athletes. At his blog Kaplifestyle, he explains why.
  • No more hanging chads at the ballpark: All-Star Game balloting is going all digital, notes Mike Oz at Big League Stew. End of an era …
  • Finally, we’re looking ahead to today’s biggest contest …


More from Hoornstra here.

In case you missed it: Juan Uribe in the house

Los Angeles Dodgers workout

For more images from today, visit LA Photog Blog

By Jon Weisman

Well, now that Uribear is here, the party can really start …

  • Zack Greinke had a planned lubricating injection in his right elbow. Greinke, who has already thrown five bullpen sessions, had the procedure done as a precaution, as Ken Gurnick of reports.
  • Today’s health log also includes new reliever Joel Peralta, who had right shoulder discomfort in a bullpen session two weeks ago, Gurnick notes, but was checked out by a doctor plans to resume playing catch Sunday.
  • In addition, Don Mattingly said today that non-roster submariner Ben Rowen, recovering from thoracic surgery, is on a reduced workload.
  • Brandon Beachy and Farhan Zaidi spoke to reporters today about the latter signing the former. Eric Stephen of True Blue L.A. has quotes, including this:

    “We’re going to be conservative with it because it’s his second one and we have an investment in him not just for 2015 but 2016 as well,” Zaidi said. “We’re hoping he’ll be ready to go midseason, All-Star break, in that range, but that’s just a guess. His timeline will be determined by how well he progresses.”

  • Mattingly told reporters today that he doesn’t expect to see Julio Urias pitch for the Major League club in 2015.
  • The Dodgers have the No. 1 lineup in baseball, according to Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post, and the No. 3 pitching staff.
  • Brandon McCarthy and Brett Anderson both review analytics but exploit them in different ways, writes J.P. Hoornstra of the Daily News.
  • It’s Spring Training, but McCarthy is in midseason Twitter form.

Dodgers sign Brandon Beachy to one-year deal

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By Jon Weisman

The Dodgers have added some established pitching depth for down the road by signing former Braves righty Brandon Beachy to a one-year contract with a club option for 2016.

Beachy, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery, won’t be active when the season starts — just like Chris Withrow, who has been moved to the 60-day disabled list to make room for Beachy on the 40-man roster. But at age 28, Beachy is a strong comeback candidate, having posted a 3.23 ERA, 3.34 FIP, 1.13 WHIP and 9.2 strikeouts per nine innings in his 267 2/3-inning MLB career.

In 2011, Beachy had 10.7 strikeouts per nine innings, the fourth-best mark ever for a rookie starting pitcher.

Beachy had Tommy John surgery on June 21, 2012 and after five starts in 2013 (the last four in August), repeated the procedure on March 21, 2014. He’ll wear No. 37 with the Dodgers.

Beachy joins Joe Wieland, Mike Bolsinger, Carlos Frias, Erik Bedard, Zach Lee, Chris Anderson and Chris Reed among those who could take a turn in the Dodger starting rotation sometime this season.

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