Today could be the day the Dodgers formally switch Triple-A affiliates from Albuquerque to Oklahoma City. The Oklahoman reported the move in August. Yesterday, BaseballAmerica.com reported that 23 minor-league teams have a two-week window to secure new affiliations beginning today, and that Albuquerque and Oklahoma City are two of those teams.
When the move was first reported, I mentioned that former Albuquerque Isotopes manager Lorenzo Bundy (now the Dodgers’ third base coach) offered his scouting report on exactly what playing at 5,200 feet does to a developing baseball player.
Here is that scouting report. This isn’t to presume that elevation was the primary reason for the Dodgers moving their Triple-A affiliate — far from it. Rather, Bundy’s experience adds some nuance to our understanding of why playing at elevation might be more or less desirable from a player development standpoint. This might be a business move first and foremost; here’s the baseball end of it:
Carlos Frias shut out the Washington Nationals for six innings in his first major-league start on Sept. 3. (Michael Owen Baker/Staff photographer)
SAN FRANCISCO >> Glenn Dishman
, the pitching coach at Triple-A Albuquerque, is with the big-league club this week. I caught up with him for his thoughts about Carlos Frias
‘ evolution, and I’ll share what he said in a bit.
It’s not fair to compare Frias directly to Zach Lee, the former first-round draft pick who just finished the season at Albuquerque. They’re two different pitchers with two different repertoires. Lee turned 23 on Saturday. Frias is 24, but he’s been pitching in the Dodgers’ system since he was 17. Lee was a blue-chip high school quarterback recruit in Texas at the same age.
That said, only one of the two pitchers is here now. At the beginning of the season it wouldn’t have shocked anyone (at least, anyone who pays too much attention to the Dodgers’ farm system) if Lee were getting September starts. As it happened, Frias will probably start Wednesday at Coors Field — and maybe twice more, a lofty assignment for a rookie on a team chasing a playoff spot.
So what happened to Zach Lee?
The Chattanooga Lookouts, the Dodgers’ Double-A affiliate, lost game three of the Southern League Championship Series to the Jacksonville Suns, ending their season.
Shortstop prospect Corey Seager went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts.
Left-handed pitcher Onelki Garcia, who’s on the major-league 60-day disabled list, was charged with two runs in a relief appearance. He allowed two hits and walked a batter while recording two outs.
Dodgers prospect Corey Seager hit a home run in game one of the Southern League Championship Series on Wednesday. (Staff photo)
The Chattanooga Lookouts, the Dodgers’ Double-A affiliate, lost game one of the Southern League Championship Series to the Jacksonville Suns on Wednesday, 5-3.
Chattanooga was led by Dodgers prospect Corey Seager. The 20-year-old shortstop went 2 for 4 with a two-run home run against right-hander Jose Urena, the No. 9 prospect in the Marlins’ organization.
Onelki Garcia continued his longshot bid to join the Dodgers later this month by pitching a scoreless inning of relief. The left-hander allowed a single and struck out one batter in the third inning.
Dodgers prospect Julio Urias was named to Baseball America’s all-prospect team for the month of August. The 18-year-old pitcher had a 0.95 ERA at Single-A Rancho Cucamonga for the month.
Read the story here.
The Chattanooga Lookouts, the Dodgers’ Double-A affiliate, extended their season with a 7-6 win against Huntsville on Monday. They will face Jacksonville in the Southern League Finals, a best-of-5 series.
Jose Dominguez made his third rehab appearance since he was sidelined with inflammation in his right shoulder July 25. He faced three batters, walked one and allowed two singles. All three runners scored, which turned a lopsided 7-2 contest into a close game.
Dominguez also allowed one run in both of his rehab appearances with Rookie-advanced Ogden.
Dodgers shortstop prospect Corey Seager drove in one of the Lookouts’ runs with an RBI single and is batting .176 in the series.
With the Dodgers getting a rare September off-day today, I decided to look in on the club’s minor-league affiliates who are participating in the playoffs.
It was a quick look.
Three Dodgers affiliates found their way into their respective postseasons: The Arizona League Dodgers (who were eliminated Saturday), the Double-A Chattanooga Lookouts and the Rookie-level Ogden Raptors.
Chattanooga and Ogden are both in action tonight, against Huntsville and Idaho Falls, respectively. The Chattanooga game isn’t available via MiLB.TV, but the Ogden game is. Eighteen-year-old left-hander Victor Gonzalez is starting for Ogden in a game that begins at 6:15 p.m. PST.
Andres Santiago and Jharel Cotton are not generally ranked among the top 10 prospects in the Dodgers’ organization. Fact is, unless you’re a prospect wonk, or you’ve been to baseball games in Chattanooga or Rancho Cucamonga this season, you probably haven’t heard of them.
After reading this, you might not hear from either pitcher again.
But in 2014 Santiago and Cotton did something few minor-league pitchers do — or even get the chance to do.
The two ranked first and second on Baseball America’s list of the best minor-league starts of 2014. Both authored complete-game shutouts this season: Santiago tossed a no-hitter for Double-A Chatanooga seven days ago and Cotton threw a two-hit shutout for Single-A Rancho Cucamonga on July 29.
Santiago, 24, was a 16th-round draft pick out of Puerto Rico in 2007. Take away the no-hitter, and he had a 4.80 ERA (which is about a full run above the Southern League average ERA of 3.85).
Cotton, 22, was a 20th-round draft pick out of Eastern Carolina University in 2012. Take away the shutout, and he had a 4.36 ERA for the season (which is still below the California League average ERA of 4.62).
Here’s more from Matt Eddy’s piece:
Joc Pederson hit 33 home runs and stole 30 bases for Triple-A Albuquerque this season. (Getty Images)
Joc Pederson played his first comments on a major-league roster close to the vest.
How did he feel when he found out he was being called up from Triple-A?
Was he feeling anxious about being called up to the majors this season? No.
“All I can control is what I do,” he said. “That’s all out of my control.”
If nothing else, Pederson’s cliches are major-league ready.
Alex Guerrero hit four home runs in his final 10 games with Triple-A Albuquerque. (Associated Press photo)
Of all the transactions the Dodgers made Monday, when rosters were allowed to expand past the previous 25-man limit, only one could be considered a surprise.
Infielder Carlos Triunfel, whom the Dodgers claimed off waivers from the Seattle Mariners in April, was designated for assignment.
By removing Triunfel from the 40-man roster, the Dodgers were able to add Joc Pederson to their 40-man roster. Pederson was joined by infielder Alex Guerrero, catcher Tim Federowicz and pitcher Yimi Garcia on the Albuquerque-to-Los Angeles express Monday. Infielders Miguel Rojas and Erisbel Arruebarrena and pitcher Carlos Frias are expected to arrive in the Dodgers’ clubhouse tomorrow.
Pederson and Garcia will be making their major-league debuts.