Ah, finally! Mondays With Torgy… on… a Monday!
Take it away, Torgy!
The draft has come and gone, now to the signings. Dodgers inked 23 players with the biggest name being fourth round pick, Angelo Songco. Kind of surprised we signed that many, this early. So far no big names like Miller, Wallach or Gould, but I will hope. Also approaching is July 2 when International players can be signed. We are not in on the big names like Miguel Sano, Gary Sanchez or Jurickson Profar, but it would appear that Logan White has been busy and it would be grand to see us become a real player in the International market again. Fantastic week on the farm as every team is winning and looking much better. Kudos to the AZL Dodgers and the beatdown they put on the Mariners in their inaugural game. Nick Akins and Mike Pericht both went yard in the 17-3 jollystomping. Danny Danielson took the win, striking out eight in four innings. As for the week that was, the ‘topes opened up their lead in the American South Division to 2.5 games over New Orleans and Oklahoma City. Even more astounding is that the ‘topes are at .500. Gotta say the pitching has been the difference. Even though James McDonald was sent back to the Blue, there has been no shortage of great pitching from unusual sources. First off, have to give some love to Erick Threets. I thought he was just another hard-thrower who couldn’t find the plate with a map, compass and native guide. That is why I am shocked that his walks are way down and his WHIP is a miniscule 1.17. As I always have a soft spot for hard throwing lefties, Threets is a kid I wouldn’t mind seeing him in the show, if the need be. Also throwing some “atta boys” to Hyang-Nam Choi, Charlie Haeger and Scott Strickland. Choi, 38, has been nearly untouchable. His k/bb ratio is nearly 6/1 and he has a WHIP of .86. Impressive numbers, no matter what league you are in. Still, he is a bit long in the tooth for the Blue.
The same can be said for Strickland, although he has taken to the closer job nicely. Over his last ten outings he over 2/1 on the bb/k and has put up an ERA of 2.8. Lastly, it would be remiss to mention 25yo knuckleballer Charlie Haeger. He has been beastlike over his past ten outings. He is 7-2 with a similar ERA to Strickland. What is even more impressive is that he is averaging over seven innings a game in that time frame. Might be someone to consider as counter to our hard throwers like Billz and Kershaw. Not much to report from the offensive side of the ball. Jason Repko has been rocking a few bombs as he is up to eleven. But, aside from Chen Lung Hu (.347) and John Ford Griffin (.452) starting to hit, the offense has been it’s usual ineffectual self, but good enough to win. Chattanooga has been equally hot, not that it helps much. Even though they have won seven of their last ten, they are still eight games back of the Huntsville Stars in the SL South division. They are also eight games under .500 at 31-39. The pitching has good, as usual. Scott Elbert has been plenty impressive. Hasn’t helped him much as he still is suffering through the Jeff Weaver Syndrome (one bad inning ruins a great game) and it shows in his W-L record. But the stats that do grab my notice is the 78 strikeouts in 54 innings and the 3/1 k/bb ratio. Jesus Castillo and Josh Lindblom have also pitched well with Castillo picking up wins in his last two starts and dropping his ERA below four. Lindblom has been having command issues (for him) with ten walks in this last five games while mostly pitching out of the pen to monitor his innings. The pen has been good with JD Durbin getting most of the closing work. The Lookout offense has been plenty mediocre with the exception of Justin Sellers (.372) and Eduardo Perez (.345) over the past week. Andrew Lambo has been showing some power but he is still struggling in the pitching-friendly Southern League. It doesn’t help that the best hitters on the team, Gaby Martinez and Lucas May are both still stuck on the DL. Tommy Giles and Adam Godwin have been showing some life, lately. But, to quote the fine folks at Baseball America, there isn’t much upper level talent in the Dodger system and these two franchises show that. The Sixers had the worst stretch of the Dodger farm teams, going 6-4 over their last ten. They are still eleven games behind High Desert at 32-38. Still, the offense is showing much life and the pitching has not been awful. Eric Milton made his first rehab start a good one as he went five plus shutout innings, giving up three hits and walking only one. Steve Johnson finished up the shutout by striking out six. Of late, Chris Withrow and Johnson have been very good, both lowering their ERA’s and improving on their WHIPs. Alberto Bastardo has struggled as he has given up eleven runs over his last thirteen innings. Tim Sexton finally got a win, upping his record to 2-8 to break a seven game personal losing streak.
With the stick, Pedro Baez has been impressive. He is hitting over .400 during his seven game hitting streak and has raised his ba to .293 and is second on the team with 44 rbis. It looks like Preston Mattingly has learned some patience as he has walked five times in the last four games and raised his obp to .335. Another hot stick is Steven Caseres, who has been ripping the ball, of late, with a nine game hitting streak that only ended as he was walked three times, last night. During the time frame, he was hitting .500 with three bombs and nine rbis. The best week belongs to the Loons, though. They have won nine of their last ten and are ten games over .500 at 40-30, but they are still five games behind Fort Wayne. The pitching, as usual for a Dodger farm team, has been exemplary. Geison Aguasviva has yet to allow an earned run this season and is 3-0 with a WHIP of .83. Last week, I disparaged Jon-Michael Redding because he was winning with less that stellar numbers, so he goes out and tosses eight shutout innings to win his ninth of the year. Maybe I should complain more. Nathan Eovaldi has been very good, also. He has only given up one earned run over his last five outings and has averaged over a strike out an inning during that run. Not so much good news from Ethan Martin as his command has been spotty at best and his ERA and WHIP are rising steadily. Out of the pen, Javy Guerra and Cole St. Clair are sharing the closing duties with St. Clair finally walking a batter, to screw up his bb/k ratio to 1/15. Guerra continues to dominate, earning his sixteenth save and making me wonder when he gets the call to warmer climes. The offense has been rolling. Dee Gordon is still stealing bases and is the middle of the very long hitting streak. His power numbers are still not awe-inspiring, but when he gets on first, it is not long before he is on second. Kyle Russell, Anthony Hatch, Nick Buss and Jaime Pedroza have all been ripping the ball and the only fly in the ointment would be the 38 errors made by the keystone combo. I have to wonder why Russell, Hatch and Pedroza are not moving up the ladder. All three of these guys are league old and it is not like the farm doesn’t need help at Chattanooga or Inland Empire. As I suspect that when we sign Miller and Wise, among others, they will be starting out at A levels and not waste much time at Ogden.
Thanks, Torgy! Until next week…