Blake DeWitt Makes His Case

Just as I was about to write a post saying that while I’m pleased with Blake DeWitt‘s play this year, sooner or later he’s going to have to show some power, he crushes a three-run shot deep into the night, setting in motion a much-needed offensive showing by the Dodgers in a 12-4 win.  DeWitt’s got an .801 OPS since May 1, along with an improving glove, but he hadn’t been able to leave the yard until last night.

What I really found interesting was this section from Tony Jackson’s recap, though:

“I finally had to call him in at one point and tell him, ‘No, you’re not going (to the minor leagues),”‘ Torre said. “And then I said, ‘We’re going to make another move this weekend, and it’s not going to be you then, either.”‘

If this sounds odd to you, it’s because when I wrote a post defending DeWitt a few weeks ago, when there were rumors he may get sent down rather than Nick Green, I said this:

Again: I don’t really think they’d actually do something that stupid, so this is probably a bit premature. Still, you’d have to think the fact that Torre even acknowledged there’s a possibility it could be DeWitt got back to Blake eventually, which is exactly what he doesn’t need.

Couldn’t a conversation saying “you won’t be sent down” have been avoided had Torre not initially put it out there that DeWitt may be sent down? Just sayin’.

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This is going to require a fuller post in a week or two, but it’s going to get interesting when Vicente Padilla returns. Carlos Monasterios was excellent again last night, earning his third win while somehow striking out zero. I know John Ely wasn’t great his last time out, but he put enough good starts in a row together that I think he’s earned his spot. Monasterios has been surprisingly good for a Rule 5 pick, but he’s also striking out less than 4 per 9 innings. While he’s worth his roster spot, that’s not a recipe for long-term success, so it seems clear to me that he heads back to the long man role when Padilla returns.

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Hey, even Steve Dilbeck thinks it’s time to give up on Garret Anderson!

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I don’t pretend to follow the draft all that closely, though I did have it on in the background as I worked last night. That was enough for me to hear Peter Gammons claim that Chase Utley had never been drafted out of high school (he was in fact drafted by the Dodgers, but chose to attend UCLA) and that “there’s some thought that Matt Wieters may have been retarded.” Sure, he meant “in his development” by various factors, but those are the words that came out of his mouth. High entertainment, and that doesn’t even count the “Bud Selig & Harold Reynolds Traveling Road Show”.

So when the Dodgers chose Texas high school righty Zach Lee, it was admittedly the first time I’d heard of him. Yet it didn’t take long for me to learn all I needed to know about him: that he’s a fantastically talented athletic pitcher who’s going to require a truckload of money to skip out on his commitment to play quarterback at LSU. Since the Dodgers aren’t exactly known for having “truckloads of money” right now, except to pay the McCourt children and divorce lawyers with, this seems like a bizarre choice.

Thoughts from people more invested in scouting than I back this up, with the most ominous thought at the bottom…

Fangraphs:

A top quarterback prospect from Texas, it will clearly take a lot ($$$) to sway Lee away from his commitment to Louisiana State University. A team drafting Lee in the first round will have to have a pretty good feel on his signability. Lee has a three pitch repertoire that includes a low-90s fastball, slider, and change-up. His arm slot tends to wander at times. Thanks to his focus on the football field, the right-hander is still raw but he does display solid control for his age. (Marc Hulet)

Tiger Bait Interview (via MOKM):

“At this point I’m leaning a lot more to toward college,” Lee said. “I think the opportunity to be able to go in and possibly compete for a starting job early in football and also to be able to compete and play for the baseball team – both elite programs – is pretty hard to pass up along with getting an education on top of it.”

Keith Law (emphasis mine):

The Los Angeles Dodgers took Zach Lee, described by one draft-room source of mine as “the most unsignable player in the draft,” and I’ve spoken to several other sources who speculated that they may have taken him knowing they couldn’t sign him with the intention of getting the compensatory pick next year when, they hope, they have more money to spend in the draft. Lee has spurned inquiries from several teams and indicated that he’d prefer to go to LSU to play football, although if he does sign, the Dodgers have perhaps the best athlete among pitchers in this draft, a right-hander with an excellent delivery and a chance for three above-average pitches.

Less than 24 hours after the draft, and we’re already speculating that the Dodgers simply decided to punt, thanks to the divorce. Hooray…?

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