Dodger Thoughts

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

Tag: Darwin Barney (Page 1 of 2)

Dodgers call up one minor-leaguer, acquire another

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By Jon Weisman

Two more transactions were made by the Dodgers before today’s game: calling up infielder Ronald Torreyes from Triple-A Oklahoma City and acquiring minor-league catcher Jack Murphy from Toronto to provide a fast resolution to the Darwin Barney trade.

Torreyes, who turned 23 on September 2, made his MLB debut in the fifth inning of today’s game, replacing Jose Peraza at second base. He had a .340 on-base percentage and .388 slugging percentage in 13 games with Oklahoma City, along with a .348 OBP and .410 slugging with Double-A Tulsa.

Los Angeles designated Barney for assignment June 12 to make room for Torreyes on the 40-man roster upon his acquisition.

The 27-year-old Murphy, drafted out of Princeton by the Blue Jays in 2009, is not on the 40-man roster. He had a .309 OBP and .315 slugging for Double-A New Hampshire in 2015.

Don Mattingly also told reporters today that Carlos Frias is traveling back to Los Angeles with the team and could be activated from the disabled list this week.

Update: Torreyes doubled in his first Major League at-bat, joining Jose Peraza, Corey Seager, Scott Schebler, Austin Barnes and Carlos Frias as Dodgers who got their first hits in 2015.

Dodgers trade Darwin Barney to Blue Jays


By Jon Weisman

Darwin Barney has been traded by the Dodgers to the Blue Jays for a player to be named later or cash considerations.

Barney has a .293 on-base percentage in his MLB career but with the Dodgers, it was .429 in 49 plate appearances, all but four of them in 2014. He began 2015 on the Opening Day roster, but was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City April 14 and unlike others, never made a return trip.

The Dodgers designated him for assignment June 12 after acquiring Ronald Torreyes, though Barney cleared waivers and remained  for the remainder of the season in Oklahoma City, where he had a .325 OBP and .380 slugging percentage.

Dodger minor league report No. 19: Peeking at September

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By Jon Weisman

We got a jump on this week’s minor league report Tuesday by highlighting the performances of Julio Urias, Jharel Cotton and Corey Seager. And with a morning Dodger game at Cincinnati on Thursday — the last Dodger game east of the Rockies in the 2015 regular season — we’re going to get to the farm report itself a day early.

Already, conversation is hot and heavy about whom the Dodgers might call up when rosters expand September 1. The Dodgers have said they won’t call up players willy-nilly without a specific purpose, but that’s not to say this team doesn’t have several specific purposes to address.

Here are the candidates from the 40-man roster:

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Bear and grin it: The line between too much and too little encouragement


By Jon Weisman

How far should you go to light a fire under someone?

After seeing the Oscar-nominated movie “Whiplash” last winter, with its internal debate between tough love and abuse, I was curious what the reaction would be in the sports world. So earlier this season, I talked to Scott Van Slyke, A.J. Ellis, Kiké Hernandez, J.P. Howell and Darwin Barney about it for the July issue of Dodger Insider magazine. Click each page below to enlarge.

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Dodger minor league report No. 18: Winning time for Julio Urias

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By Jon Weisman

Because of the careful way the Dodgers have controlled his innings at a young age, 19-year-old Julio Urias only had five wins in his first 50 career starts. Thankfully, no one judged him on that.

For the record, Urias has picked up career victories No. 6 and No. 7 in the past two weeks, most recently with six innings of one-run ball in Double-A Tulsa’s 2-1 victory Wednesday over Frisco.

Urias struck out eight and allowed six baserunners in a slender 81 pitches. In August, Urias has a 2.53 ERA and 1.17 WHIP with 22 strikeouts in 21 1/3 innings, and he hasn’t allowed a home run. For the season in Double-A, Urias has a 3.03 ERA and 1.03 WHIP with 71 strikeouts in 62 1/3 innings.

For comparison, at age 19 with Double-A San Antonio, Fernando Valenzuela had a 3.10 ERA and 1.30 WHIP with 162 strikeouts in 174 innings. In a much different era, Valenzuela completed 11 of his 25 starts in 1980 before his callup to the Dodgers, for whom he pitched 17 2/3 innings in relief without allowing an earned run, striking out 16.

Now, let’s take our tour of the system …

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Dodger minor league report No. 16: Mike Bolsinger, Carlos Frias, Jose Peraza and more

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By Jon Weisman

Mike Bolsinger and Carlos Frias, the two Dodger starting pitchers displaced by Mat Latos and Alex Wood, each had early exits from their first starts back with Triple-A Oklahoma City this week.

Bolsinger was hit in the forearm Tuesday by a batted ball and departed after three-plus innings, after allowing three runs on six hits. Don Mattingly relayed to reporters Wednesday that Bolsinger isn’t expected to miss his next scheduled start.

Frias, who was officially optioned to Triple-A on Sunday, started Wednesday for Oklahoma City, pitched one shutout inning and then took his leave. Mattingly told reporters after the Dodgers’ victory in Philadelphia last night that Frias “felt something” and was removed as a precaution, then added today that Frias was undergoing further tests.

Joe Wieland ended up pitching five innings in relief, allowing five earned runs on 10 hits and a walk while striking out five.

Two other recent Dodger starting pitchers have resumed work for Oklahoma City. Zach Lee allowed one earned run in seven innings (striking out three) August 2, and Brandon Beachy — who was accepted an assignment to Triple-A after clearing waivers — allowed five earned runs in six innings August 3.

Now, on with our tour of the Dodger minor leagues …

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Coulombe climbs back to Los Angeles, Heisey heads down to Oklahoma City

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

For more images from Wednesday, visit LA Photog Blog.

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

By Jon Weisman

Moving back to a seven-man bullpen, the Dodgers have called up lefty reliever Daniel Coulombe from Triple-A Oklahoma City (for the fourth time since May 4) and optioned outfielder Chris Heisey.

With the Dodgers in 2015, Heisey has managed to draw eight walks to boost his OBP to .353 in 34 plate appearances, despite going 4 for 26.

In other roster news, Darwin Barney (who was designated for assignment June 12) has been outrighted to Oklahoma City.

Dodgers have sight for Torreyes, designate Barney for assignment

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TorreyesBy Jon Weisman

Ronald Torreyes, a 22-year-old minor-league infielder, has been acquired from Toronto in exchange for cash considerations by the Dodgers, who also designated infielder Darwin Barney for assignment.

A native of Venezuela, Torreyes was orginally signed by the Reds as a 17-year-old in early 2010. He has a career .353 on-base percentage and .410 slugging percentage in 537 minor-league games, though he has only gone 7 for 50 with two doubles and four walks in his most recent stint, for Double-A New Hampshire.

Torreyes has played the majority of his career at second base while also dabbling at shortstop, third base and the outfield. He played for Triple-A Oklahoma City last year when it was an Astros affiliate, but is being optioned to Double-A Tulsa by the Dodgers.

The 29-year-old Barney was on the Dodgers’ Opening Day roster this year but played only two games, going 0 for 4. After being acquired by the Cubs on July 28 last year, the 2012 Gold Glove winner had a .467 on-base percentage in 45 plate appearances, lifting his career OBP to .294.

With Triple-A Oklahoma City, Barney had a .273 OBP in 121 plate appearances.

Thrills, spills and chills in the outfield

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For images from Friday, visit LA Photog Blog.

Los Angeles Dodgers at the Los Angeles Angels of AnaheimBy Jon Weisman

While Thursday’s game for the Dodgers, a 3-2 loss to the Angels, was meant to be about the bullpen, the outfielder kept drawing our eyes away.

First, there was Joc Pederson’s tumbling, volleyballing catch in center, where he bumped and set the ball in the air before nearly spiking it, instead hanging on for the out.

Then, there was the collision between Howie Kendrick and Yasiel Puig in short right field, which threatened to be the worst jolt to a Dodger throat since a shard of Bill Russell’s broken bat impaled Steve Yeager in the on-deck circle nearly 40 years ago.

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Los Angeles Dodgers at the Los Angeles Angels of AnaheimPuig remained horizontal on his frontside for a couple minutes before returning to his feet and walking off the field on his own power. He was examined (his chin apparently taking part of the blow) and found to be fine, his removal from the game simply to take advantage of the few remaining ticks of exhibition season to let him begin decompressing early. He’s expected back as soon as tonight, though again, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the Dodgers allowed him 24 more hours convalescence.

The collision, weirdly enough, came in Kendrick’s first game in Anaheim as a visiting player.

“There hasn’t been any trouble out there all spring,” Don Mattingly said after the game, as Clay Fowler of the Daily News reported. “It was just one of those things. I don’t know if Yasiel didn’t think he could call it early enough. I mean you can’t call for it until you know you’ve got it, so everybody keeps coming until the end. And obviously with him calling it late, Howie’s going to keep going and he’s going to have trouble stopping. … That’s when it gets dangerous.”

As for the pitching, the Dodgers were good to their word, using eight pitchers for exactly one inning each (though minor-leaguer Josh Ravin faced one batter in the fifth inning – Mike Trout, who hit the ball to Puig and Kendrick that ended up being ruled an infield triple. Sergio Santos went first for the Dodgers, allowing a one-out homer to that man Trout, who can apparently play a little ball.

Los Angeles Dodgers at the Los Angeles Angels of AnaheimAdam Liberatore (pictured) and Paco Rodriguez each added a shutout inning to their ERAly perfect springs, continuing to make it difficult for the Dodgers to option them even in the short term, while J.P. Howell and Chris Hatcher continued their comebacks from uneven Marches with shutout innings of their own. Righties Pedro Baez and Joel Peralta also pitched shutout innings.

Hatcher, who might see some ninth-inning action in the absence of Kenley Jansen, has been in nine games this spring, pitching shutout ball in seven of them and allowing three runs in each of the other two.

Among the position players, Darwin Barney extended his effort to stave off demotion by doubling off the bench. In his past five games, the stalwart defender is 6 for 9 with three doubles and a triple. Pederson had the Dodgers’ only extra-base hit against Angels starter Matt Shoemaker, an RBI double, as part of a 1-for-3 night.

In case you missed it: Starting off with sparkle

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For photos from Tuesday, visit LA Photog Blog.

Dodgers at Cubs, 1:05 p.m.
Jimmy Rollins, SS
Chris Heisey, RF
Yasiel Puig, CF
Yasmani Grandal, C
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Scott Van Slyke, 1B
Justin Turner, DH
Joc Pederson, LF
Kike Hernandez, 3B
(Zack Greinke, P)

By Jon Weisman

Relive Darwin Barney’s dazzler from Tuesday in the video above, then move right into today’s news and notes …

  • Clayton Kershaw gave up a third-inning home run to Nick Hundley on a hanging curveball in Tuesday’s 2-2 tie with Colorado, but he seemed more annoyed by his 10-pitch walk to Jeremy Barfield in the previous inning, writes Ken Gurnick at Kershaw threw 14 pitches in the bullpen after his three-inning outing.
  • Don Mattingly told reporters that Yasmani Grandal will catch Kershaw in his next outing. Eric Stephen of True Blue L.A. has more.
  • Dodger relievers Joe Wieland, David Aardsma, Paco Rodriguez and Pedro Baez combined to retire the final 16 Rockies. Wieland was perfect over two innings with four groundouts and a strikeout. Rodriguez struck out all three batters he faced. (Here’s video of the last one.)
  • Julio Urias is scheduled for his second Spring Training outing today and Joc Pederson is OPSing 1.091, but Corey Seager is turning as many heads as anyone. Dylan Hernandez of the Times has more in this feature.
  • Pederson, Grandal, Yasiel Puig, Justin Turner and Adrian Gonzalez are scheduled to make the two-day trip to San Antonio for split-squad games against the Rangers at the Alamodome’s Big League Weekend, March 20-21. Tim Wallach will manage. More details about the event here.
  • This story on Grandal from Bill Plunkett of the Register is worth it if only to read Don Mattingly say of Grandal, “He’s a dangerous cat.”
  • Joel Peralta had a successful bullpen session Tuesday and is scheduled for his Cactus League debut Friday, reports Gurnick.
  • MLB Network spent Tuesday at Camelback Ranch, so there’s a lot of Dodger-related content up at
  • Vin Scully talked to Jill Painter Lopez of Fox Sports about his preparation for Year 66 with the Dodgers.
  • The Dodgers have the fourth-easiest schedule in the National League for the first quarter of the season, writes ESPN Insider’s Buster Olney, who adds this tidbit: “The Dodgers will have the bulk of their NL West games completed by the All-Star break. They will play 13 of their 19 games against Colorado by June 3, 12 of their 19 games against the Padres by June 14, and 12 of their 19 games against the Giants by June 20.”
  • Peter Gammons explains at Gammons Daily why he thinks the Dodgers won the offseason.
  • Will Ferrell plans to play in all eight Cactus League games Thursday, traveling to each via helicopter. By the time he’s done, according to the Associated Press, he’ll have played all nine positions. It’s true because it’s crazy. (The Dodgers play the Padres that night, so you can expect many “Anchorman” references that day.)
  • Fielding-independent pitching is ready to be informed by much more context, writes Jonathan Judge at the Hardball Times.
  • Matthew Mesa preserved this Twitter conversation for posterity:

Tangibles are telling for A.J. Ellis with Dodgers


A.J. Ellis has long established himself as one of the most likeable players on the Dodgers — just ask Clayton Kershaw. But the Dodgers didn’t decide to tender Ellis a contract for 2015 based solely on personality.

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Dodgers sign Barney, retain rights to other arbitration-eligible players

By Jon Weisman

As the 9 p.m. deadline approached tonight to retain the rights to the players eligible for salary arbitration or cut bait, the Dodgers had eight players on the docket — including outfielder Chris Heisey, acquired hours earlier.

Shortly after the deadline, the Dodgers announced they were keeping all eight on board, signing Darwin Barney to a one-year deal and tendering contracts to catchers A.J. Ellis and Drew Butera, infielders Dee Gordon and Justin Turner, pitchers Kenley Jansen and Juan Nicasio, and Heisey.

In theory, all of the players besides Barney could go to salary arbitration, though few if any will.

Bottom’s up for the Dodgers

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By Jon Weisman

They call it the back of the Dodger starting rotation, Retread City, but look what it’s done lately.

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That’s some good stuff there. Dan Haren turned in his second straight solid performance in tonight’s 4-2 victory over Atlanta, the Dodgers’ seventh straight over the Braves dating back to Game 3 of the 2013 National League Championship Series.

Haren and the Dodgers got some great defensive help from Darwin Barney in his first start with the team. Barney also singled in a run and scored another. Carl Crawford, in his first leadoff start of the season against a left-hander, had three hits and is now 8 for his last 12 at the plate.

Hanley Ramirez placed on disabled list, Darwin Barney recalled

Dodgers at Brewers, 11:10 a.m.
Kershaw CCI: The Kershawering Inferno
Dee Gordon, 2B
Carl Crawford, LF
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Matt Kemp, RF
Andre Ethier, CF
Juan Uribe, 3B
A.J. Ellis, C
Miguel Rojas, SS
Clayton Kershaw, P

By Jon Weisman

Reality asserted itself upon Hanley Ramirez, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list (retroactive to Saturday) with a right oblique strain.

Darwin Barney, recently acquired from the Cubs, was brought up from Triple-A Albuquerque to take Ramirez’s roster spot.

Ramirez is the eighth Dodger currently on the 15- or 60-day disabled lists, but the only non-pitcher after Josh Beckett, Chad Billingsley, Onelki Garcia, Paul Maholm, Chris Perez, Paco Rodriguez and Chris Withrow.

Barney was 9 for 35 with three walks and a double with the Isotopes.

The Dodgers also designated relief pitcher Colt Hynes for assignment. Acquired from the Indians in April, Hynes had a 4.08 ERA and 46 strikeouts in 53 innings with Albuquerque.

Meanwhile, Yasiel Puig gets a rest after starting 15 consecutive games. Puig has a .381 on-base percentage and .586 slugging percentage in that period, but is 0 for 8 with a walk in the two previous Milwaukee games.

Update: A note from Don Mattingly’s media session today was that newly acquired Kevin Correia could start for the Dodgers as soon as Monday in Atlanta, to give an extra day of rest to rest of the rotation.

Dodgers option Darwin Barney to Albuquerque, send Jonathan Martinez to Chicago

The Dodgers have optioned newly acquired Darwin Barney to Triple-A Albuquerque and completed their trade for the infielder by sending Single-A Great Lakes right-hander Jonathan Martinez to the Cubs.

The 20-year-old Martinez has a 3.47 ERA in 19 starts this year, with 91 strikeouts in 106 1/3 innings against 129 baserunners.

— Jon Weisman

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