Dodger Thoughts

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

Tag: Cody Bellinger (Page 2 of 2)

In case you missed it: Ex-Dodger moves forward from tragedy

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Reds at Dodgers, 1:05 p.m.
Carl Crawford, LF
Trayce Thompson, CF
Chase Utley, 3B
Scott Van Slyke, RF
A.J. Ellis, C
Rob Segedin, 1B
Austin Barnes, 2B
Charlie Culberson, SS
Kenta Maeda, P

By Jon Weisman

I hope you don’t have to read a tougher story than this today: Former Dodger reliever Javy Guerra spoke to J.P. Hoornstra of the Daily News about the twin horrors of losing his brother and sister in the past two years.

Here’s what’s happening around the Dodgers …

  • Zach Lee held serve in his challenge with Carlos Frias to start in the first week of the 2016 season. In the Dodgers’ 5-4 victory Saturday over the White Sox, Lee (pitching 4 2/3 innings) got two more outs than Frias, but allowed two more runs. Oddly, Lee had no walks or strikeouts.
  • Wrote Ken Gurnick of MLB.com: “Some will speculate that because Frias faced the Giants recently, Lee will get that first start, rather than have Frias face the same hitters again. San Francisco’s lineup Friday night included Buster Posey, Hunter Pence and Brandon Crawford.”
  • Under the radar, Kiké Hernandez (hit by a pitch near his oblique Sunday), Alex Guerrero (knee) and Yimi Garcia (knee) have gone days without playing as they try to let various sore spots heal.
  • However, Gurnick indicates that Corey Seager is nearing a return to Major League action after playing defense in a minor-league game Saturday.
  • Scott Kazmir’s abdominal issues weren’t abominable – it turns out, they were cramps.
  • Prospect watchers got a thrill when 20-year-old Cody Bellinger and 21-year-old Willie Calhoun hit back-to-back home runs in the sixth inning off MLB veteran Dan Jennings. Each player reached base twice in the game.
  • Justin Turner walked, doubled and singled in his three plate appearances, and now has a Cactus League on-base percentage in the .700 club.
  • Play-by-play announcer Joe Davis is not only spending his first season with the Dodgers in 2016, he and his wife Libby are having their first baby this summer. Congrats!
  • It was Dodger Pride night Saturday at Staples Center with the Kings.

In case you missed it: Maeda rolls after getting a bit rocked

Matthew Mesa/Los Angeles Dodgers

Matthew Mesa/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

It’s hard not to like what Kenta Maeda has brought to the U.S. so far.

Same with Justin Turner, even if the journey isn’t quite so far.

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In case you missed it: Lighting up the scoreboard

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By Jon Weisman

Today, when Dave Roberts had to make his first mid-inning visit to the mound as Dodger manager, to relieve starter Scott Kazmir with two out in the second inning against the Angels, maybe it seemed like a big deal.

It wasn’t.

Kazmir’s five runs allowed were matched by Jeff Weaver of the Angels, only the start of what became a 13-13 tie in Tempe — recapped at MLB.com.

“I honestly think I’m on the right path,” Kazmir said. “If you look at the game and not the box score, it tells a different story.”

But really, this was a day for the offense.

Joc Pederson, Austin Barnes (who had three hits) and Scott Van Slyke homered for the 4-1-2 Dodgers, who have increased their Spring Training OPS to a rather ridiculous .916.

The player who made the biggest impression today was 20-year-old first baseman Cody Bellinger, the theoretical heir to Adrian Gonzalez — if he can wait that long. Bellinger, who is also capable of playing outfield, went 3 for 3 and is impressing Roberts.

“The game doesn’t speed up on him,” Roberts told Ken Gurnick in this feature for MLB.com. “He looks comfortable out there. The more you see, the more you like.”

What else?

  • Encouraging news on the injury front from Gurnick: Howie Kendrick and Alex Guerrero participated in fielding and hitting drills, Hyun-Jin Ryu threw for the third consecutive day, Justin Turner again played in a minor-league game and Julio Urias had a light bullpen session ahead of his anticipated Cactus League debut Friday.
  • Brett Anderson spoke at length to Gurnick about beginning his latest rehab from surgery to repair a bulging disc.
  • Bill Plunkett of the Register looks at the different ways Roberts tries to connect with his players.
  • Kenta Maeda, who pitches Thursday for the Dodgers, talked to Doug Padilla of ESPN.com about what it would mean if he were able to face off against the Yankees’ Masahiro Tanaka when the Dodgers go to the Bronx in September.
  • Skip Schumaker, who had twin .332 on-base and slugging percentages for the Dodgers in 2014, has retired at age 36, ending an 11-year MLB career.

Seven Dodger prospects in ESPN’s top 100

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By Jon Weisman

ESPN prospect analyst Keith Law ranked the Dodger farm system second in MLB, thanks in no small part to the appearance of seven prospects in his top 100 list that was released today.

As has been their custom, Corey Seager and Julio Urias landed in Law’s top five, with Seager claiming the top spot previously held by Minnesota’s Byron Buxton. They are the only Dodgers in Law’s top 50. However, there are five in the next half-hundred: Alex Verdugo (51), Jose De Leon (60), Grant Holmes (71), Yusniel Diaz (79), the Cuban emigré whose signing hasn’t been officially announced by the Dodgers, and Cody Bellinger (92).

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Dodgers extend 16 non-roster invites to MLB camp for Spring Training

Julio Urias signs autographs at Spring Training in 2015. (Juan Ocampo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

Julio Urias signs autographs at Spring Training in 2015. (Juan Ocampo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

2016 non-roster invitations
Pitchers (6): Chris Anderson, Lisalverto Bonilla, Brooks Brown, Jose De Leon, Julio Urias, Matt West
Catchers (3): Kyle Farmer, Jack Murphy, Shawn Zarraga
Infielders (2): Charlie Culberson, Rob Segedin
Infielder-outfielders (2):
Cody Bellinger, Elian Herrera
Outfielders (3): Corey Brown, Alex Hassan, Rico Noel

By Jon Weisman

Minor-league pitching prospects Julio UriasJose DeLeon and Chris Anderson are among the 16 players not currently on the 40-man roster who have been invited to Major League camp for Spring Training.

The 19-year-old Urias is the No. 1 left-handed pitching prospect in baseball, according to MLB.com, while DeLeon, 23, is the No. 5 righty. The 23-year-old Anderson, the Dodgers’ first-round draft choice in the 2013 draft, had a 4.05 ERA and 7.0 strikeouts per nine innings for Double-A Tulsa in 2015.

The hottest non-roster invite on the hitting side is Cody Bellinger, who is ranked sixth among first-base prospects in the minors.

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New and familiar faces on Baseball America’s top 10 Dodger prospects for ’16

top 10

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

Baseball America’s annual ranking of Dodger prospects actually comes early this year — the 2015 rankings were published 10 months ago — and comes with five names that weren’t on the preseason 2015 list.

Joc Pederson graduated from prospect status, but Corey Seager remains a rookie despite his impressive September debut, allowing the Dodger infielder a second consecutive year in the No. 1 slot. Julio Urias moves up a spot accordingly to No. 2, while right-hadner Jose De Leon leapfrogs into the No. 3 spot.

The top newcomer on this year’s list is infielder Jose Peraza, acquired from Atlanta in the big July 30 deal. “Peraza lacks a high ceiling,” Baseball America’s Ben Badler writes, “but his bat-to-ball skills and wheels should make him a steady player in the middle of the diamond.” In the list of best tools in the Dodger minor leagues, Peraza is called the organization’s top athlete.

Making the biggest leap internally is first baseman-outfielder Cody Bellinger, who skipped Great Lakes after hitting three homers with Rookie League Ogden in 2014 and hit 30 for High-A Rancho Cucamonga in 2015. The 20-year-old is also labeled the best power hitter in the system.

“Bellinger used to gear his swing for line drives, but he made a mechanical adjustment in 2015 to put his body in a better position to create torque,” Badler wrote in his analysis. “Toward the end of 2015, he began to study heat maps to understand his own strengths and weaknesses, and he condensed his trigger slightly.”

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Dodger minor league report No. 17: Wieland dealing, Hatcher healing

Arizona Diamondbacks vs Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

We begin this week’s Minor League Report with an update on two pitchers you saw with the Dodgers earlier this year.

Joe Wieland had his best game of the season Tuesday, with seven strikeouts in seven shutout innings in a 9-0 Triple-A Oklahoma City victory at New Orleans. For Wieland, continuing a comeback from 2012 and 2014 surgeries, it came two starts after he allowed only one run in seven innings at Memphis. Since July 26, Wieland has a 2.92 ERA.

Also, relief pitcher Chris Hatcher, on the 60-day disabled list, could be activated by the Dodgers as soon as this weekend.

Hatcher, who has been out since June 14 with a left oblique strain, picked up the save for the Dodgers on Opening Day before struggling to a 6.38 ERA in 18 1/3 innings, despite 19 strikeouts. He pitched a shutout inning Tuesday, but has allowed four runs on seven baserunners in 4 1/3 innings with Oklahoma City.

And now, this week’s tour …

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