Results tagged ‘ Paco Rodriguez ’

Young Dodgers in the 21st century

Clayton Kershaw makes his MLB debut on May 25, 2008.

Clayton Kershaw makes his MLB debut on May 25, 2008.

Dodgers at White Sox, 1:05 p.m.
Kiké Hernandez, SS
Howie Kendrick, 3B
Scott Van Slyke, 1B
Alex Guerrero, DH
A.J. Ellis, C
Austin Barnes, 2B
Trayce Thompson, CF
Elian Herrera, LF
Rico Noel, RF
(Clayton Kershaw, P)

By Jon Weisman

Clayton Kershaw is somehow 28 years old today, which is only slightly more believable than my youngest son turning 8 years old Sunday. My guess is that Kershaw isn’t renting a game truck this morning, though what do I know?

Anyway, just for fun, here are the youngest Dodgers to make their MLB debuts in the 2000s, with their ages at the time.

  • Edwin Jackson (September 9, 2003): 20 years, 0 days
  • Clayton Kershaw (May 25, 2008): 20 years, 67 days
  • *Adrian Beltre (April 3, 2000): 20 years, 362 days
  • Jonathan Broxton (July 29, 2005): 21 years, 43 days
  • Jose Peraza (August 10, 2015): 21 years, 102 days
  • Corey Seager (September 3, 2015): 21 years, 129 days
  • Paco Rodriguez (September 9, 2012): 21 years, 146 days
  • **Dioner Navarro (July 29, 2005): 21 years, 170 days
  • Nathan Eovaldi (August 6, 2011): 21 years, 174 days
  • Joel Guzman (June 1, 2006): 21 years, 189 days

*First game of the 2000s — actually debuted June 24, 1998, at 19 years, 78 days
**Made MLB debut September 7, 2004 with Yankees, at 20 years, 211 days

Julio Urias, who was optioned to the minor leagues Thursday, turns 20 on August 12 this year. If he gets his big-league callup before then, he will move ahead of Jackson.

On second thought, Yimi Garcia was very, very good in 2015

Screen Shot 2015-11-27 at 5.35.06 PM

By Cary Osborne

Maybe it’s a song or a movie or something else. You’re in the moment and it sort of comes and goes. And then it comes around again, for one reason or another, and you realize that maybe you missed something special the first time around.

It’s not too late to appreciate the kind of season Yimi Garcia had. Would you be surprised if I told you he was arguably one of the 30 best relief pitchers in Major League Baseball in 2015? Certainly it’s at the tail of the top 30, but Garcia’s numbers make for a reasonable argument.

Garcia ranked in the top 30 among relief pitchers in the following categories:

(more…)

Moving day brings major additions to Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

It’s a massive move that puts five established pitchers in the Dodger starting rotation from now through October.

It’s a win-now, win-later maneuver that deepens the franchise for years to come.

In a three-team deal with Atlanta and Miami, the Dodgers have acquired left-handed pitchers Alex Wood and Luis Avilan, right-handers Mat Latos, Jim Johnson and Bronson Arroyo, second baseman-shortstop Jose Peraza and outfielder-first baseman Michael Morse.

(more…)

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.

Surgery to sideline Paco Rodriguez for two more months

Los Angeles Dodgers workoutBy Jon Weisman

Although Paco Rodriguez was seeing some progress in rehab, it was not enough.

The 24-year-old left was examined Thursday by Dr. Neal ElAttrache, who recommended an arthroscopy to remove loose bodies in the back of Rodriguez’s elbow. Surgery will be performed July 2, with Rodriguez expected to be sidelined for 8-10 weeks. That figures to put Rodriguez out of action at least until rosters expand in September.

A Dodger second-round draft pick in 2012, Rodriguez became the first from that entire draft to reach the Major Leagues, and from in 61 innings (87 games) 2012-13, he had a 2.21 ERA, 0.92 WHIP and 10.2 strikeouts per nine innings.

Rodriguez has thrown 24 1/3 big-league innings since, with a 3.33 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and 8.9 K/9. He most recently pitched for the Dodgers on May 29.

After 22 months, Brandon Beachy returns to action in rehab start

By Jon Weisman

Making his first appearance in a professional game since August 20, 2013, right-handed pitcher Brandon Beachy faced six batters tonight in a rehab start with Single-A Rancho Cucamonga.

Beachy allowed two groundouts and two lineouts while walking one and striking out one.

The 27-year-old has a 3.23 ERA in 267 2/3 career innings with 275 strikeouts, including a 4.50 ERA in 30 innings with 23 strikeouts in 2013, between his first and second Tommy John surgeries.

Another Brandon, last name of League, faced four batters in his rehab inning during the same game, with one hit allowed and one strikeout.

Earlier, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reported that the Dodgers planned to activate Scott Van Slyke from the disabled list on Wednesday, and that relievers Paco Rodriguez, Joel Peralta and Pedro Baez were continuing to progress toward their returns as well.

Big crowd on Dodger injury rehab train

SVS 051115js291

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

By Jon Weisman

Scott Van Slyke and Joel Peralta began their rehab assignments Saturday, as Ken Gurnick of MLB.com notes.

The timing of Van Slyke’s return is noteworthy in part because the Dodgers will use a designated hitter for the first time this season when they play Monday and Tuesday at Texas. Alex Guerrero seems like an obvious choice, but Van Slyke could also figure in the mix as he works his way back into active duty.

(Update: Don Mattingly told reporters today that the Dodgers planned to have Van Slyke play left field for Single-A Rancho Cucamonga today and first base Monday, then take Tuesday off and be activated in Los Angeles on Wednesday if all goes well.)

The Dodgers are scheduled to face righties Yovani Gallardo and Chi Chi Gonzalez in Arlington. The 23-year-old Gonzalez has a 0.42 ERA after three career Major League starts, totaling 21 2/3 innings, though with only eight strikeouts.

Here’s an excerpt from Gurnick’s update:

Van Slyke, healing from a strained mid-back muscle, went 1-for-4 with a double and strikeout as a designated hitter against Stockton in his first rehab game.

Peralta, healing from a pinched nerve in his neck, reached his pitch limit after two-thirds of an inning, charged with one run on two hits in his second rehab appearance.

The list of Dodgers lined up for injury rehab assignments with Rancho Cucamonga in the next few days includes Paco Rodriguez (elbow spur), who shows up there Monday, Brandon Beachy (Tommy John surgery) on Tuesday, and Brandon League (right shoulder impingement), who goes back to back both of those days.

Peralta, out since April 23, has allowed no runs or inherited runners to score in his 5 2/3 innings this season, scattering two singles and three walks while striking out four.

An activation of League from the disabled list is expected around June 24, according to J.P. Hoornstra of the Daily News, who separately notes that Beachy is expected to use the full 30 days available to him for his rehab assignment, which would place his arrival in the Dodger rotation no sooner than July 17, the first day after the All-Star Break.  No doubt, the sequence of the Dodger rotation will depend on the use of Zack Greinke and/or Clayton Kershaw at the Midsummer Classic.

In addition, Pedro Baez has been throwing bullpen sessions at Camelback Ranch “but is probably still a week away from starting a rehab assignment,” according to Bill Plunkett of the Register.

Adam Liberatore and Josh Ravin are the two current Dodger relievers who have spent time in the minors this season, but if the Dodgers want to make room in the bullpen for Peralta, Rodriguez, League and Baez, they’d have to carve out more space.

If Van Slyke, Peralta, League, Beachy, Rodriguez and Baez are all activated over the next month, that would turn over nearly 25 percent of the active roster. And that doesn’t factor in Carl Crawford, in Arizona recovering from his oblique injury, and Hector Olivera, whose MLB debut is still expected in the coming weeks.

* * *

Josh Sborz, drafted 74th overall by the Dodgers last week, was profiled by Cash Kruth at MLB.com after striking out five in three shutout innings for Virginia at the College World Series on Saturday.

“He throws strikes. He attacks you. That slider is, what, 84 to sometimes up to 87, 88 mph. It’s a pretty darned good pitch,” Virginia coach Brian O’Connor said. “So you have a lot of confidence in him that he’s going to go at them and give his best. And he’s been pretty darned near as good as you can be all year long for us.”

Aside from his fastball and slider, the 6-foot-3, 225-pound Sborz also shows solid feel for a changeup that he really doesn’t need as a reliever. Last season, Sborz posted a 2.92 ERA in 15 games (13 starts) while mostly working out of the rotation, and the Dodgers have said they plan to begin developing him as a starter.

Dodgers place Paco Rodriguez on disabled list, call up Matt West

Dodgers at Cardinals, 11:15 a.m.
Joc Pederson, CF
Alberto Callaspo, 3B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Andre Ethier, RF
Yasmani Grandal, C
Alex Guerrero, LF
Jimmy Rollins, SS
Brett Anderson, P

By Jon Weisman

Paco Rodriguez has had trouble finishing pitches, manager Don Mattingly told reporters this morning, so he has been placed on the disabled list and is heading to Los Angeles for examination on his left elbow.

Rodriguez’s velocity has been on the decline, as noted in the Daily News by J.P. Hoornstra, despite not having been used frequently. Friday’s 18-pitch outing was his first in five days, and he has pitched on consecutive days only once in the past six weeks.

Here’s a small excerpt from Hoornstra’s piece:

… What’s interesting is that Rodriguez said he had no idea his velocity has been steadily dropping. He’s never relied primarily on speed to be effective, rather deception and location. Because of that, he said, he’s never paid close attention to radar-gun readings.

The decrease in speed is partially by design. Rodriguez said he was hoping to slow down his curveball this year by tightening his grip on the ball, “just so the fastball looks that much harder.” Rodriguez allowed for the possibility that he’s tightened the grip on all his pitches inadvertently. …

So far in 2015, Rodriguez has a 2.61 ERA and 1.26 WHIP in 10 1/3 innings with eight strikeouts, stranding 17 of 22 inherited runners.

To take Rodriguez’s place on the active roster, the Dodgers have called up Matt West, the righty they cashed out of Toronto on May 4, from Triple-A Oklahoma City. In the organization this year, West has had 10 strikeouts and a 0.68 WHIP in 10 1/3 innings for Double-A Tulsa, along with four baserunners in two innings with one strikeout for Oklahoma City.

West’s MLB career consists of four innings with the Rangers last season, in which he allowed three runs on seven baserunners while striking out three.

If and when he appears in a game, West will be the first in Dodger history to wear No. 76. However, he will only be the second Dodger ever from Houston’s Bellaire High, after the inimitable Kelly Wunsch.

Dodger relievers: The low-walks patrol

Los Angeles Dodgers vs Colorado Rockies

By Cary Osborne

One of the Dodger bullpen’s biggest woes in 2014 was its command. Offseason moves made by the Dodgers showed how much they wanted to address this issue.

After 13 games, we’re starting to see a change. Here’s an overall picture of just how much better the Dodger relievers are in comparison to the same point last season (with walk numbers in bold):

  • 2014: 48 innings, 59 strikeouts, 23 walks, 2.57 K/BB ratio, 3.38 ERA, 1.27 WHIP
  • 2015: 41 1/3 innings, 55 strikeouts, 13 walks, 4.23 K/BB ratio, 2.40 ERA, 1.04 WHIP

Dodger relievers currently rank fourth in baseball in strikeouts-to-walks ratio.

Los Angeles Dodgers vs San Francisco GiantsBetween Yimi Garcia, Joel Peralta, Chris Hatcher, Paco Rodriguez and Adam Liberatore (who has been optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City to allow the Dodgers to call up outfielder Chris Heisey for tonight’s game against Giants lefty Madison Bumgarner), their combined strikeouts-to-walks ratio is an outstanding 7.75. Garcia is leading that charge with 12 strikeouts and one walk in seven innings.

It’s early, although in 2014, Dodger relievers finished close to how they started.

  • 2014 (final): 489 2/3 innings, 464 strikeouts, 206 walks, 2.25 K/BB ratio, 3.80 ERA, 1.31 WHIP.

The 2014 Dodgers ranked 25th in baseball in K/BB ratio.

Chris Hatcher had a 5.0 K/BB in 2014 with Miami and Joel Peralta was at 4.93 with Tampa Bay last season. And we haven’t even seen Kenley Jansen yet. He had a 5.32 K/BB last season.

Now, if there’s a place where the 2014 relievers started ahead of the 2015 group, it’s in not allowing inherited runners to score. Through the first 13 games of 2014, they allowed two of 21 inherited runners to score. This Dodger group has allowed 5 of 19.

For more on the revamped Dodger bullpen, read Dave Cameron’s piece today at Fox Sports’ Just a Bit Outside.

Dodgers make difficult cuts to set 25-man roster

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim vs Los Angeles Dodgers

For more photos from Saturday, visit LA Photog Blog.

By Jon Weisman

Here it is: the Dodgers’ Opening Day 25-man roster …

Starting pitchers (4): Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Brandon McCarthy, Brett Anderson

Relief pitchers (7): Pedro Baez, Yimi Garcia, Chris Hatcher, J.P. Howell, Juan Nicasio, Joel Peralta, Paco Rodriguez

Catchers (2): A.J. Ellis, Yasmani Grandal

Infielders (7): Adrian Gonzalez, Howie Kendrick, Jimmy Rollins, Juan Uribe, Darwin Barney, Alex Guerrero, Justin Turner

Outfielders (5): Carl Crawford, Joc Pederson, Yasiel Puig, Andre Ethier, Scott Van Slyke

Disabled list (4): Brandon Beachy, Kenley Jansen, Brandon League, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Chris Withrow

As evidenced by the ninth-inning homer that Kiké Hernandez hit tonight, giving the Dodgers an unreal eighth tie of Spring Training, the Dodgers are sending a lot of talent back to the minors. Hernandez alone hit six home runs during Spring Training.

Chris Heisey, David Aardsma, David Huff, Adam Liberatore and Sergio Santos were also among the last cuts.

“We feel very strongly we sent down some Major League players,” Dodger president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman told reporters after the game. “To have that depth is key.”

In the bullpen, the Dodgers kept three relievers who had options remaining — Baez, Garcia and Rodriguez — at the expense of others with more big-league experience, giving them five relievers age 30 or under. Though they released Dustin McGowan earlier this week, the Dodgers lost no other talent at the roster deadline, so their stockpile of relievers remains — and that’s with Jansen, League and Withrow potentially returning at various times later this year.

Liberatore, who struck out nine in 10 1/3 scoreless innings this spring while allowing seven baserunners, was a particularly close call, but as with so many of these players, he’ll likely have his chance. That the 27-year-old hasn’t made his MLB debut yet worked against him for Opening Day, said Friedman, who valued the younger Rodriguez’s experience for the start of the season.

Rodriguez not only matched Liberatore’s scoreless spring, he struck out 13 in 10 2/3 innings. But as the Dodgers have maintained all along, it’s about more than just numbers.

“Paco probably generated some of the worst swings out of hitters this camp,” said Friedman.  “Lib will get his chance.”

Mike Adams, who appears to be contemplating retirement, is technically reassigned to minor-league camp, according to Friedman.

Left unsaid for now is who will be the Dodgers’ fifth starter come April 14. Because that date comes less than 10 days after the start of the season — and the start of his option this year to the minors — Joe Wieland could fill that role only if he replaces a player who goes on the disabled list. A player not currently on the 40-man roster, such as Huff, could have his contract purchased for a spot start if the Dodgers make room for him.

Also delayed: Paring the Dodger bench. The Dodgers will begin the season with 11 pitchers and 14 position players, but by mid-April, the Dodgers figure to go with a 12-man pitching staff. Barney, who has done nothing but impress since becoming a Dodger last year, nevertheless stands as a player who could spend time in the minors, however briefly, if no other moves are made.

In my 14 seasons blogging about the Dodgers (I’m staring at that “14” in disbelief), this is the deepest team they have brought to Opening Day. Not every question has been answered, but no team has ever been bulletproof.  The bench and farm system are as rich as they’ve been since, well, the 1900s. Even starting the season with their No. 3 starter and No. 1 reliever on the disabled list, it’s striking how much talent the 2015 Dodgers have to draw from up and down the line.