Dodger Thoughts

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

Tag: Zach Lee (Page 1 of 5)

What’s up, Dodger fans? Feats of strength and other notes …

Seventh-inning stretch at Dodger Stadium, Independence Day (click to enlarge)

When you’re out of the blogging groove but the ideas keep coming, the easy thing to do is just dish them off on Twitter. But tweets are like shooting stars, and sometimes you want a constellation. So here I am back at Dodger Thoughts to try to collect some thoughts.

Also, I’m convinced that tons of people bypass the intro to a column and to get straight at the meat, so let’s get right to it.

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Two seasons, 80 Dodgers


By Jon Weisman

Dodger Stadium is the land of opportunity. In a month shy of two seasons, the Dodgers have used the equivalent of two 40-man rosters.

On Friday, Carlos Ruiz became the 80th person to play for the Dodgers since Opening Day 2015.

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Zach Lee traded to Seattle for infielder Chris Taylor

Otto Greule Jr./Getty Images

Otto Greule Jr./Getty Images

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

Chris Taylor, a 25-year-old shortstop who has been OPSing .845 for Seattle’s Triple-A team in Tacoma, has been acquired by the Dodgers in exchange for pitcher Zach Lee.

Taylor has a .387 on-base percentage and .457 slugging percentage this season. In 256 career big-league plate appearances with the Mariners, he has twin .296 on-base and slugging percentages. The 2012 fifth-round draft pick out of Virginia has also played second and third.

Lee, the Dodgers No. 1 draft pick in 2010 and a two-time minor-league pitcher of the year for the organization, has a 1.49 WHIP and 4.89 ERA in 73 2/3 innings this season for Triple-A Oklahoma City, with 57 strikeouts.

The 24-year-old Lee made one start for Los Angeles, allowing seven runs on 11 hits in 4 2/3 innings against the Mets on July 25. He ended up pitching 725 innings in the organization, dating back to 2011.

Urías starts tonight, but for how much longer?

Los Angeles Dodgers vs San Francisco Giants

By Jon Weisman

Tonight’s starting pitcher, Julio Urías, has thrown 58 professional innings this season. Dave Roberts said Thursday that the plan was to give Urias two more starts, then evaluate.

Most interpreted this as Roberts saying that Urías would be shut down in the manner of Ross Stripling, who hasn’t pitched in a game since May. To be clear, though, that wasn’t stated explicitly by Roberts, who simply said, “we’ll go from there.”

Last year, Urías threw 80 1/3, and the year before, a career-high 87 2/3. Even in the unlikely event of two complete games, Urías would still be at 76 innings on the year. Two six-inning outings would put Urías at 70. Presumably, Urías can go incrementally above the 80-plus inning range that he has previously reached.

So the question would be whether it makes sense to use all those innings now, while the Dodgers wait for the return of Brandon McCarthy, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Alex Wood from the disabled list (and longer down the road, Brett Anderson). Or do they have Urías take the break, and the ramp him up again in the second half of the season, when the rotation might be more crowded — not that there couldn’t be other setbacks.

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Yimi Garcia heads to DL, Zach Lee recalled

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

Yimi Garcia has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with right biceps soreness by the Dodgers, who have recalled right-hander Zach Lee to take his roster spot.

Garcia, tied with Chris Hatcher for the team lead in games pitched with nine and innings with 8 1/3, has allowed 11 baserunners this season while striking out four. In his big-league career, Garcia has struck out 9.7 per nine innings with a 0.94 WHIP.

Lee has a 1.56 ERA in 17 1/3 innings (three starts) for Triple-A Oklahoma City, allowing 22 hits but walking only one while striking out 14. He was scheduled to start tonight in Iowa, but is with the Dodgers now as a long reliever.

Scott Kazmir said he doesn’t expect to miss his next start despite “minor discomfort where the thumb meets the wrist,” according to Ken Gurnick of Also, Louis Coleman returns from his bereavement leave Monday.

By the way, Dave Roberts told reporters Friday that Mike Bolsinger, whose bid for the Dodger starting rotation was thwarted by a strained oblique muscle a month ago, has begun throwing off a mound.

Justin Turner has a bruised toe but is available to pinch hit, according to Gurnick.

Pedro Baez, Yimi Garcia clinch spots on 25-man roster

Yimi Garcia and Pedro Baez in October 2015. (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

Yimi Garcia and Pedro Baez in October 2015. (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

Angels at Dodgers, 7:10 p.m.
Kiké Hernandez, 2B
Yasiel Puig, RF
Justin Turner, 3B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Carl Crawford, LF
A.J. Ellis, C
Joc Pederson, CF
Corey Seager, SS
Kenta Maeda, P

By Jon Weisman

Ross Stripling has been named the Dodgers’ No. 5 starter and will take the mound April 8 at San Francisco, Dave Roberts announced, adding that Carlos Frias will be optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City.

We’ll have more on Stripling shortly in a separate post. In the meantime, here are some more news and notes …

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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 “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.

Kazmir and Bolsinger under watchful eyes

Screen Shot 2016-03-19 at 5.14.43 PM

Padres at Dodgers, 1:05 p.m.
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Yasiel Puig, RF
Justin Turner, 3B
Kiké Hernandez, SS
A.J. Ellis C
Joc Pederson, CF
Corey Brown, LF
Cody Bellinger, 1B
Mike Bolsinger, P
Dodgers at Brewers, 1:05 p.m.
Carl Crawford, LF
Chase Utley, 2B
Yasmani Grandal, C
Alex Guerrero, 3B
Trayce Thompson, CF
Rob Segedin, 1B
Charlie Culberson, SS
Rico Noel, RF
Scott Kazmir, P

By Cary Osborne

Today marks Scott Kazmir’s first Cactus League outing since March 9, when he allowed six hits, two walks and five earned runs against the Angels.

Kazmir faces the Milwaukee Brewers at Maryvale Baseball Park.

He pitched in a B game against the White Sox at Camelback Ranch on March 14. A lot was made of Kazmir’s fastball velocity in the B game, reportedly in the mid- to high-80s, so Spring Training game or not, people will be eager to watch this one.

The same could be said about the matchup against the Padres at Camelback Ranch where Mike Bolsinger continues his campaign for the fifth-starter spot.

The right-hander threw four shutout innings against the Brewers on March 14, allowing two hits and walk, striking out two.

Here’s how the three fifth-starter candidates have done so far:

  • Bolsinger: 9 IP, 5 H, 3 BB, 6 SO, 2 ER
  • Zach Lee: 8 IP, 7 H, 2 BB, 4 SO, 4 ER
  • Brandon Beachy: 7 IP, 8 H, 7 BB, 2 SO, 6 ER

However, Ken Gurnick of reported on Saturday that Beachy was dealing with a sore arm and will rest for a few days while being evaluated. Beachy told Gurnick today that it’s mild tendinitis and he doesn’t believe it’s too serious.

Scott Van Slyke was originally in today’s lineup at first base against the Padres, but was scratched due to a sore right hip flexor. Gurnick reported on Twitter that Van Slyke will rest one or two days.

In case you missed it: Ethier leadoff experiment, step one

Matthew Mesa/Los Angeles Dodgers

Matthew Mesa/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

In discussing potential Dodger leadoff hitters last week, I hesitated to include Andre Ethier because he had never done so in a regular-season game – but I decided to do so anyway, because against right-handers, it makes sense.

Sure enough, Ethier grabbed a leadoff spot in today’s 7-3 Dodger victory over Colorado, walking and singling in his first two at-bats.

Dave Roberts told reporters today that Ethier could bat leadoff when the matchup is favorable.

What else can I tell you?

  • Hyun-Jin Ryu is not going to pitch in Cactus League play and is doubtful to return to Major League action before June, Dave Roberts said today.
  • Zach Lee retired the first eight batters he faced in a 3 1/3-inning performance, allowing a run on four baserunners with one strikeout.
  • Julio Urias gave up a run in his first inning of relief, but retired the final four batters in his two-inning outing.
  • In his second Cactus League game, Justin Turner went 1 for 3 with an error.
  • Elian Herrera and Trayce Thompson both scored on the same wild pitch in the eighth inning.
  • Some interesting data from Tony Blengino at Fangraphs supports a big 2016 season for Yasmani Grandal. In his first Cactus League game since March 9, Grandal singled and walked.
  • Outfield prospect Alex Verdugo did a Q&A with Jim Callis of
  • Dustin Nosler of Dodgers Digest rated Dodger minor leaguers according to best tools.
  • Frank Sinatra Jr., who sang the national anthem at Dodger Stadium several times, most recently in September as part of the centennial celebration of his father, has passed away at age 72. Tommy Lasorda expressed his sadness this evening. “Like his father, Frank Jr. brought us much joy with his unbelievable musical talent,” Lasorda said. “Last season, Frank Jr. sang the national anthem at Dodger Stadium on my birthday. What a voice! Frank Jr. was a great and lovely family man. He will be missed dearly.”
  • For a brief moment this morning, it looked like Dodger Stadium was going the Calvinball route …

In case you missed it: Young pitchers continue to excel


By Jon Weisman

Just like Jose De Leon and Chris Anderson on Saturday, homegrown Dodger pitching prospects Zach Lee and Ross Stripling each threw two shutout innings today.

Chase De Jong, acquired from Toronto in 2015, added two zeroes of his own in the Dodgers’ 5-2 road Cactus League victory over San Francisco, recapped by MLB com.

The first two Giant batters against Lee reached base on a single and an error, but the 24-year-old righty retired the remaining six batters he faced, striking out one and allowing only one more ball out of the infield.

Stripling, 26 and just about two years removed from Tommy John surgery, allowed three baserunners in his two innings, striking out one. De Jong did almost the same — just subtract one baserunner.

If you’re wondering where Julio Urias is in all this, Ken Gurnick of reports that he is about a week behind the rest of the staff because of a tight groin muscle. After three days off, Urias threw a bullpen session Friday and is expected to throw another before entering Cactus League play near the end of this week.

The Dodgers are 3-0-1 through four games, with a team ERA of 1.75.

Updates before the Dodgers’ first Cactus road game

Los Angeles Dodgers workout

Dodgers at Rangers, 12:05 p.m.
Carl Crawford, LF
Joc Pederson, CF
Chase Utley, 2B
Scott Van Slyke, 1B
Kiké Hernandez, SS
A.J. Ellis, C
Trayce Thompson, RF
Alex Guerrero, DH
Brandon Hicks, 3B
(Scott Kazmir, P)

By Jon Weisman

Adrian Gonzalez’s Cactus League debut has been delayed one more day, to allow him to make his first start in a home game.

“He wanted to be in there today,” Dave Roberts said, “but I just felt that as you come back from his neck, to drive 30 minutes and then have an hour or hour and a half off before you crank it back up to play a game, I’d rather take that extra day and err on the side of caution.”

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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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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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Turner placed on disabled list, Bolsinger and Lee optioned

Oakland Athletics vs Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

To make room on the 25-man roster for newly acquired pitchers Luis Avilan, Jim Johnson and Alex Wood, the Dodgers have optioned Mike Bolsinger and Zach Lee to Triple-A Oklahoma City and placed Justin Turner on the 15-day disabled list.

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Zach Lee to make MLB debut for Dodgers

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By Jon Weisman

One day after Ian Thomas made his first Major League start, an even more anticipated first will come for the Dodgers.

Zach Lee, who was taken in the first round of the 2010 MLB draft and signed four years and 49 weeks ago, will take the mound for the first time for Los Angeles.

Here’s the writeup on Lee from when he was drafted. Now 23, Lee has made the steady progression from Rookie ball to Triple-A, not without setbacks, including a month on the sidelines this year with a nerve irritation. But he carries a 2.36 ERA and 1.08 WHIP from Oklahoma City in his back pocket as he makes his debut against the Mets.

Lee signed with the Dodgers on the same day as 11th-round draft choice Joc Pederson: August 16, 2010.

The Dodgers will announce a corresponding roster move later today.

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