Dodger Thoughts

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

Tag: Yimi Garcia (Page 2 of 3)

Corey Seager has arrived

Corey Seager has OPSed .891 in his minor-league career (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

Corey Seager has OPSed .891 in his minor-league career (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

Dodgers at Padres, 7:10 p.m.
Joc Pederson, CF
Chase Utley, 2B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Justin Turner, 3B
Carl Crawford, LF
Yasmani Grandal, C
Scott Van Slyke, RF
Corey Seager, SS
Mat Latos, P

By Jon Weisman

The most anticipated minor-league prospect in baseball, Corey Seager, is coming to the Major Leagues.

Three years and three months after being taken 18th overall in the 2012 draft, the 21-year-old Seager has been added to the Dodgers’ 40-man roster from Triple-A Oklahoma City and is joining the team in San Diego. Seager will wear uniform No. 5.

The Dodgers have also recalled reliever Yimi Garcia, who has a 0.99 WHIP with 11.4 strikeouts per nine innings. Garcia last pitched for the big-league team August 21. To make room for Seager on the 40-man roster, the Dodgers designated Oklahoma City infielder Andy Wilkins (18 homers, .779 OPS) for assignment.

Though fans have clamored for him for months, it’s still a fast track for Seager, who began last season at Single-A Rancho Cucamonga. He reached Double-A Chattanooga by July 2014, then moved from Double-A Tulsa — where his OPS was 1.082 — to Triple-A Oklahoma City on May 1.

The  Dodgers’ 2014 co-Minor League Player of the Year didn’t overwhelm the Pacific Coast League, delivering a .331 on-base percentage and .450 slugging percentage, but he had a strong finishing kick. In his final 12 games, he went 16 for 53 with six doubles, a triple and three home runs, for a .351 on-base percentage and .623 slugging percentage.

Seager is three days older than Jose Peraza, the youngest Dodger position player since Adrian Beltre.

In the minors this season, Seager has started 103 games at shortstop and 19 games at third base, so he can provide depth at two positions where the Dodgers could use it, as well as another left-handed bat off the bench, something that is always an issue for the Dodgers now that Andre Ethier and Carl Crawford are both starting against righties.

Seager is the No. 2 prospect in baseball, according to MLB Pipeline, behind Twins outfielder Byron Buxton, who was called up in June. The Dodgers could arrange for him to be put on a postseason roster if they so choose, by virtue of being in the organization on August 31.

When he takes the field in the starting lineup tonight, Seager will also be the 54th player the Dodgers have used this season, breaking a franchise record set in 1944 and matched in 1998.

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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As Nicasio nears return, Dodgers option Garcia

Yimi Juan

By Jon Weisman

The Dodgers optioned Yimi Garcia to Triple-A Oklahoma City, with the expectation of activating Juan Nicasio from the disabled list before their next game Tuesday in Cincinnati.

Nicasio has struck out 10.0 batters per nine innings this year while allowing 62 baserunners in 47 innings. In August, he allowed a hit in each of his four appearances before going on the DL with a left abdominal strain, though none of those hits led to a run.

Garcia has allowed one run in 8 1/3 innings for the Dodgers since the All-Star Break, but it was a killer: the 10th-inning run scored by Oakland on August 18, Garcia’s 25th birthday. For the year, Garcia has allowed 46 baserunners in 45 2/3 innings while striking out 58.

Though rosters expand September 1, the right-hander can’t be recalled for 10 days unless he is replacing another player going on the DL.

Dodgers recall Yimi Garcia, place Joel Peralta on disabled list

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

By Jon Weisman

Yimi Garcia has returned to the Dodgers from Triple-A Oklahoma City, with Joel Peralta going on the disabled list with a right neck strain.

In his past six games — five in the minors, one July 28 with the Dodgers — Garcia hasn’t allowed a run in 7 1/3 innings, scattering six baserunners while striking out six. With the Dodgers this year, Garcia — who turns 25 a week from today — has a 3.99 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and 12.7 strikeouts per nine innings.

Peralta, who has been having trouble finishing pitches, has allowed 12 runs in 14 1/3 innings since coming off the disabled list in June. Before that, in April, he pitched 5 1/3 scoreless innings.

The Dodger bullpen has allowed runs in nine of its past 10 games, but don’t blame Pedro Baez. He has a streak of 11 consecutive scoreless innings with 13 strikeouts against eight baserunners. Forced into action Monday after others were used Sunday, Baez and Kenley Jansen combined to strike out seven of the nine batters they faced, using 35 pitches.

Mat Latos ready for Dodger debut, as Yimi Garcia is optioned

Los Angeles Dodgers vs Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Angels at Dodgers, 1:10 p.m.
Jimmy Rollins, SS
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Andre Ethier, RF
Yasmani Grandal, C
Carl Crawford, LF
Alberto Callaspo, 3B
Joc Pederson, CF
Mat Latos, P

By Jon Weisman

For the first two days of August, none of the players acquired by the Dodgers at the non-waiver trade deadline have been used. That changes today, when Mat Latos makes his first start for Los Angeles.

Latos is pitching on six days’ rest. In his final start for Miami, on July 26, he allowed three runs in six innings of a 3-2 loss at San Diego.

One thing I spotted with Latos — and honestly, I hadn’t noticed anything like this before — is that he has thrown four consecutive quality starts without exceeding 90 pitches. If he does it again, he will tie an MLB record, held by Bob Tewksbury, Marvin Freeman and Greg Maddux.

In his past five starts, Latos has averaged 6.5 innings per start and 13.2 pitches per inning. He has struck out 26 and walked five in that time.

To make room for Latos on the active roster, the Dodgers optioned Yimi Garcia to Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Garcia, who has a 3.99 ERA and 1.07 WHIP in 38 1/3 innings for the Dodgers this year, returned July 26 from a mid-July trip to Oklahoma City and pitched a shutout inning against Oakland on Tuesday. With 12.7 strikeouts per nine innings this season, Garcia still has great promise.

The revamped Dodger bullpen now features Kenley Jansen, Jim Johnson, Pedro Baez, Juan Nicasio and Joel Peralta from the right side, and J.P. Howell and Luis Avilan from the left. Jansen, who has allowed runs in his past three outings, has been battling a virus for the past week, as Steve Bourbon of notes.

If a save situation were to arise today, Jansen would likely get the day off after throwing 50 pitches over the past two games. Conceivably, the Dodgers could use all newcomers on the mound, with Latos, Avilan and Johnson. (Neither Johnson nor Avilan have pitched since Monday.)

By the time Alex Wood starts for the Dodgers on Tuesday, he could be the Dodgers’ 50th player of the season. The team record is 53, set in 1944 and 1998.

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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Dodgers will take it inning by inning with Garcia, Surkamp

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Phillies at Dodgers, 7:10 p.m.
Joc Pederson, CF
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Justin Turner, 3B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Yasmani Grandal, C
Yasiel Puig, RF
Andre Ethier, RF
Yimi Garcia, P
Jimmy Rollins, SS

By Jon Weisman

Flexibility is the name of the game tonight for the Dodgers and their move to start reliever Yimi Garcia tonight, with the plan to bring minor-league starter Eric Surkamp in partway through the game.

“We just thought this was going to give us the best chance (and) the most options to win,” Don Mattingly said, adding that the decision came through conversations with the front office.

Mattingly didn’t say exactly when Surkamp would enter the game, but he joked that Garcia isn’t batting in the No. 8 spot of the order “for his bat.” This is the first time that the Dodgers have a starting pitcher batting eighth since 2009, when it happened eight times, according to (On each of those occasions, Juan Pierre batted ninth.)

The Dodgers went 4-4 with their starting pitcher batting eighth. Randy Wolf and Chad Billingsley each had one single.

For his part, Surkamp said today he was told to “be ready for whatever.” He said he would preserve as much of his starting routine as he could.

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Eric Surkamp brought up by Dodgers, but Yimi Garcia will start tonight

Eric Surkamp (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Eric Surkamp has a 3.77 ERA in Triple-A this season. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

By Jon Weisman

Eric Surkamp, whom the Dodgers acquired May 23 from the White Sox for minor-leaguer Blake Smith, has been brought up from Triple-A Oklahoma City for tonight’s game for Los Angeles in place of the injured Carlos Frias.

Surkamp will not start, however. Instead, relief pitcher Yimi Garcia will make his first official MLB start, with the Dodgers possibly then playing a platoon switcheroo and bringing Surkamp in for early long relief. It’s possible the Dodgers could even go through tonight’s game without having the pitcher bat, giving them a psuedo-designated hitter.

Garcia has pitched a career-high two innings four times, most recently June 15 against Texas. His career high in pitches for one game is 33, set September 14 against San Diego. His last professional start came in 2011 with Rookie League Ogden.

The 24-year-old hasn’t pitched since July 1, except for a five-pitch outing Saturday. From June 7-27, he had a 0.79 ERA with 12 strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings, while stranding all five inherited runners. But in three outings since then, Garcia has allowed four runs on five hits in two innings.

Daniel Coulombe has been optioned to Oklahoma City for the sixth time this year, and Paco Rodriguez has moved from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day to make room for Surkamp on the 40-man roster.

For a variety of health and scheduling reasons, Scott Baker, Brandon Beachy, Zach Lee, Ian Thomas and Joe Wieland were among the other minor-league starting pitchers unavailable to make today’s start.

In 53 2/3 career MLB innings, Surkamp — who turns 28 in 10 days — has a 6.20 ERA with 33 strikeouts against 98 baserunners. He pitched 35 big-league games in relief in 2013, and his last MLB start was July 23, 2013. He has never pitched in Dodger Stadium.

His best Major League outing was his first, when he allowed one run in six innings on August 27, 2011 for the Giants against Houston, striking out four.

Over his past five starts with Oklahoma City, all in June, the lefty has had a 2.89 ERA with 22 strikeouts in 28 innings.

Surkamp pitched for the White Sox against the Dodgers on Opening Day of Cactus League play this year, allowing a run in two innings on two hits, including a Joc Pederson double.

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Jansen, Puig and more under-the-radar developments

Arizona Diamondbacks vs Los Angeles Dodgers

For more images from Tuesday, visit LA Photog Blog.

By Jon Weisman

Howie Kendrick’s home run and two-run single in the Dodgers’ 3-1 victory Tuesday over Arizona practically speak for themselves, so here are some thoughts on some other Dodgers …

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Shelter from storm gave way for Dodgers

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A sole Dodger fan shows his support during the rain delay. Jill Weisleder/LA DodgersBy Jon Weisman

For the third time in four days, the Dodger bullpen surrendered a lead, and for the second consecutive night, the offense couldn’t bail them out.

Thursday’s 5-4 loss to Colorado left a soggy sting, coming after the 85-minute rain delay and Brett Anderson’s second consecutive triumph over the elements.  After pitching the five-inning rain-shortened complete game in Denver last week, Anderson struck out a season-high eight at unusually wet Dodger Stadium.

Los Angeles Dodgers vs Colorado RockiesFor the month of May, Anderson has a 1.10 ERA and 13 strikeouts against 19 baserunners in 16 1/3 innings. Opponents have a .645 OPS against him.

“My breaking ball was the most consistent it has been,” Anderson said, according to Eric Stephen of True Blue L.A. “My slider was the best its been all season. I was able to throw it back foot to righties more consistently and get some swings and misses.”

While Juan Nicasio shined after the rain delay with four strikeouts in 1 2/3 innings and Chris Hatcher found quick redemption from a rough Wednesday outing with a perfect eighth, Yimi Garcia, nearly flawless in 2015 before this week, gave up his second ninth-inning homer in as many appearances — this time on a 2-1 fastball that, as Don Mattingly said, just missed its spot.

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“I thought his stuff was good again,” Mattingly said. “Threw the ball in the wrong area. If we throw the ball where we want, I feel like we get him there.”

It was a shame that the Dodger fans who braved the entire night of rainball weren’t rewarded, but all part of the ebb and flow of the season.

One piece of trivia: Joc Pederson, who went 0 for 5, has started 35 games this season. Thursday’s game was only the second time he didn’t have a walk, home run or strikeout, and the first since April 10.

Dodgers’ finishing kick boots Rockies

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By Jon Weisman

Clayton Kershaw had a snakebit fourth inning today and couldn’t get out of the sixth, but the Dodgers again asserted their late-inning strength to come away with a 9-5 victory at Colorado.

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  • After Kershaw allowed five runs in the fourth, Adrian Gonzalez’s bases-loaded double tied the game in the top of the fifth. Gonzalez had two doubles against lefty Rockies starter Jorge De La Rosa.
  • Replacing Kershaw with the bases loaded and two out in the bottom of the sixth, Pedro Baez struck out Rockies star Troy Tulowitzki. In his past seven outings, Baez has a 0.00 ERA and stranded all eight inherited runners, allowing three hits and a walk while striking out nine in 7 1/3 innings.
  • Reserve utilityman Kiké Hernandez started the eighth inning with a single, and after an A.J. Ellis sacrifice, super-reserve utilityman Justin Turner (batting for Baez) hit his fifth homer in 52 at-bats this season. That started a four-run inning that was capped by Gonzalez’s sacrifice fly to short.
  • Rookie lefty Adam Liberatore retired all four batters he faced. Incredibly, Liberatore has now faced 27 batters in his MLB career and retired 26 of them.
  • Yimi Garcia finished things up by striking out the last two batters of the game. Garcia (0.63 ERA) has faced 52 batters this season, allowing four singles and four walks while striking out 23.

Joc Pederson had three of the Dodgers’ 10 walks, while Jimmy Rollins (who scored on the sac fly to short), Howie Kendrick and Chris Heisey also reached base three times apiece. With 14 doubles and 29 RBI, Gonzalez is tied for the National League lead in both categories.

The Dodgers (20-10) extended their NL West lead to a season-high 4 1/2 games.

Quotebook: Yimi Garcia targeted for ‘toughest part of the order’

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Hitters faced by Yimi Garcia in the eighth inning Monday (with their spot in the batting order and the result): Angel Pagan (3, strikeout), Buster Posey (4, single), Justin Maxwell (5, strikeout), Andrew Susac (6, flyout)

– Jon Weisman

In case you missed it: Andre Ethier keeps on truckin’

Los Angeles Dodgers vs San Diego Padres

For more images from Friday, visit LA Photog Blog — here and here.

Dodgers at Padres, 5:40 p.m.
Jimmy Rollins, SS
Andre Ethier, RF
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Yasmani Grandal, C
Carl Crawford, LF
Juan Uribe, 3B
Joc Pederson, CF
Brandon McCarthy, P

By Jon Weisman

So-called reserve outfielder Andre Ethier hasn’t exactly been a wallflower this season.

With Yasiel Puig’s left hamstring again ailing, Ethier is making his eighth start this season. He is also appearing in his 16th game out of the Dodgers’ first 17, more than every other Dodger except Adrian Gonzalez, Howie Kendrick, Jimmy Rollins and Joc Pederson.

So far in 2015, Ethier is 9 for 30 with four walks, two hit-by-pitches and an extra-base hit of each kind, giving the 33-year-old a .405 on-base percentage and .900 slugging percentage. All but five of his plate appearances have come against right-handed pitchers, which is what he’s facing tonight in San Diego’s Ian Kennedy.

Here are some other pregame notes:

  • Both Puig and reliever Joel Peralta are candidates to go on the disabled list, Don Mattingly toward reporters today, but no decision has been made. Peralta told Ken Gurnick of that he has no pain but also no strength in his right arm.
  • Right-handed pitcher Scott Baker has arrived in San Diego with the intent of making the start Sunday for the Dodgers. Baker, who came within one strike of a seven-inning perfect game for Triple-A Oklahoma City on Monday, allowed two runs on 10 hits with one walk while striking out 16 in his three minor-league starts. The 33-year-old had a 5.47 ERA with 55 strikeouts in 80 2/3 innings for Texas last season.
  • Hyun-Jin Ryu is going to throw a bullpen session, possibly as soon as Sunday, Mattingly said.
  • Defensive positioning paid off in two big ways for the Dodgers in Friday’s 3-0 victory over San Diego. In the second inning, Howie Kendrick was standing almost directly behind second base when he caught Wil Myers’ line drive, completing Zack Greinke’s escape from a bases-loaded, none-out jam. And shortstop Jimmy Rollins ended up on the other side of second base when he threw out Yonder Alonso with two on and two out in the bottom of the eight.
  • Rollins went 0 for 4 to lower his on-base percentage to .282, but he really saved the Dodgers in that eighth inning, throwing out Wil Myers from the grass in left field for the first out, then later knocking down a Justin Upton shot to keep Matt Kemp from scoring from second base.
  • With his seven shutout innings, Zack Greinke lowered his ERA to 1.35, fourth in the National League.
  • Yimi Garcia’s perfect ninth inning, leading to his first Major League save, means that he has faced 36 batters this season and allowed only three singles and three walks while striking out 16.
  • Carl Crawford, who hit his first homer of 2015 Friday, did not hit between .200 and .300 in any given month last season. His batting averages the last three months of 2014: .163, .313, .448. Crawford is currently batting .244 with a .262 on-base percentage and .390 slugging percentage.
  • When Yasmani Grandal had to settle for a double after nearly hitting a home run in the second inning Friday, it set the stage for Juan Uribe’s first RBI of the 2015 season. Uribe hasn’t had more steals than homers since 2002, but for now, he’s one up in the stolen-base department.
  • First-base coach Davey Lopes, who turns 70 May 3, “is the oldest person in uniform with a big league team this season,” according to Tracy Ringolsby of

Storytime theater ends happily for Dodgers

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By Jon Weisman

Opening Day at Dodger Stadium usually makes for a good story. But it’s hard to remember one when there was so much story.

Game 1 of 162 wasn’t merely a contest between the two top contenders in the National League West, it was a full-throated battle for narrative.

Matt Kemp took the early lead in the bid for headlines, Clayton Kershaw threatened to sneak his way back in, and Adrian Gonzalez, Howie Kendrick and the Padres’ defense all had their moments in the sun (literally and figuratively). For good measure, you had Hanley Ramirez threatening to show up the Dodgers, hitting two home runs out in a far-off time zone.

But standing large-font triumphant at the end of the day were Jimmy Rollins, the Dodger bullpen and ultimately, the Dodgers themselves.

Los Angeles did its fans the big favor of sending them home with a 6-3 victory over San Diego — and plenty of tales to tell.

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In case you missed it: Able was Ethier ere he saw elbow

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By Jon Weisman

Andre Ethier, who found a groove at the plate during Spring Training, appears to have avoided serious injury after being hit by a Carlos Rodon pitch in the second inning of the Dodgers’ 2-1 loss to the White Sox today.

X-rays on Ethier’s right elbow were negative, and he is day to day, as Ken Gurnick writes at

Coincidentally, a player who is fighting for an outfield roster spot, Chris Heisey, took over for Ethier and hit his second home run of Spring Training in his next at-bat, off Rodon.

Elsewhere in and around today’s action …

  • The Dodgers set a Camelback Ranch attendance record by averaging 9,804 fans per game, for total attendance of 147,066. By comparison, in their last non-Australia Spring Training, the Dodgers drew 127,876 fans in 16 games (7,992 per game).
  • Los Angeles led the National League in financial pledges to the Baseball Assistance Team (B.A.T.) during the organization’s 13th annual Spring Training fundraising tour to raise money for members of the baseball family in need, “including former Major League players, managers, coaches, scouts, umpires, athletic trainers, Major & Minor League front office personnel as well as Minor League players, Negro League players, players from the Women’s Professional Baseball League and widows, spouses and children, ages 23 and under.”
  • After getting thrown out in seven of his first 14 stolen-base attempts in 2014 — including three in a four-game stretch from June 12-15 — Yasiel Puig didn’t make another steal attempt for more than two months. He was successful on his final four tries last season, and in his first of Cactus League play this year, he was safe as well, thanks to a fancy slide.
  • Puig also made the White Sox’ Conor Gillaspie look silly for trying to go from first to third on a single to right in the fourth inning today, throwing him out with ease.
  • Joe Wieland allowed two runs in five innings, facing 22 batters. He allowed six singles and three doubles, striking out one and walking none.
  • Jose Abreu went 4 for 4 today, making him 10 for 12 against the Dodgers this month. That’s right: 10 for 12. In Cactus League play, Abreu is 27 for 52 (.519).
  • Dodger relievers David Aardsma, Juan Nicasio, Yimi Garcia and Sergio Santos each pitched a shutout inning. Garcia struck out all three batters he faced: Alexei Ramirez, Avisail Garcia and Micah Johnson.
  • Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles has a rich bit of family history on Santos.
  • How Yasmani Grandal and A.J. Ellis are working together is the subject of Dylan Hernandez’s latest piece for the Times. “Much like how Grandal is attempting to learn from Ellis on how to manage a pitching staff, Ellis is trying to pick up Grandal’s pitch-framing techniques — the subtle art of turning borderline pitches into called strikes,” Hernandez writes.
  • Sean Dolinar at Fangraphs posted an interactive graphic comparison of MLB pitching staffs, with the Dodgers second behind the Nationals.

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