Carlos Frias threw five shutout innings in the Dodgers’ 4-0 win over the Chicago Cubs on Thursday. (Associated Press photo)
CHICAGO — I found it impossible not to connect Carlos Frias’ five shutout innings Thursday to Andrew Friedman’s comments Wednesday about the Dodgers’ pursuit of starting pitching as the trade deadline approaches.
Friedman can say what he wants about the primary impetus for a trade being the fear of an injury to Frias, Mike Bolsinger, Brett Anderson, Zack Greinke or Clayton Kershaw (which he did). The president is thinking both long-term and short-term, as he always does. If he and another team can agree on the framework of a trade for a good pitcher — a Johnny Cueto, a Cole Hamels, a Jeff Samardzija — will Friedman back away simply because his starting five (and Brandon Beachy) are healthy today?
Maybe that’s the question we need to be asking in the four-plus weeks between now and the July 31 deadline. You figure that the current in-house starters have some power to push Friedman closer to answering “no” or “yes.” That’s especially the case for Bolsinger, Frias and Beachy, who are less proven commodities than Kershaw, Greinke and Anderson. So this might have been a big game for Frias.
The box score from today’s game is here.
The purpose of an organization’s farm system is to develop quality major league players, not win a bunch of games. But the Dodgers’ farm teams are winning a bunch of games, and that’s a change from last year.
Juan Gonzalez and Kyle Farmer (right) will represent the Dodgers at the upcoming Futures Game in Cincinnati. The annual game featuring minor league prospects will be played July 12, two days before the All-Star Game.
Gonzalez, 25, has made 22 relief appearances for Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A Oklahoma City this year. It’s his second year in the Dodgers organization after starting his career with the Colorado Rockies, who let him go as a minor league free agent.
Farmer, 24, leads all Dodgers full-season minor league position players with his .900 OPS for Tulsa and Single-A Rancho Cucamonga. The catcher/third baseman was chosen in the eighth round of the 2013 draft out of the University of Georgia.
[RELATED: Getting to know the Quakes’ Kyle Farmer]
Update (3:25 p.m.): I asked Dodgers farm director Gabe Kapler about what Gonzalez and Farmer have done to earn their respective selections.
“Juan has really opened some eyes with his consistency, his velocity and some deceptiveness in his delivery,” Kapler said via text message. “We’re thrilled to see a valuable member of our organization be recognized for the leap forward he’s taken in 2015.”
“With Kyle, this is a swing that will play at the major league level,” Kapler said. “He has made a concerted effort to hunt specific pitches to drive and it has shown up in his domination of two separate levels. Kyle has made strides behind the plate and has proven to be a strong defender for us at third base. Remember, this guy was a shortstop [in college]. He’s a true athlete.”
Here’s more on the game from an MLB press release:
CHICAGO — For the second straight year, the Starbucks across the street from Wrigley Field got a visit from a uniformed Dodgers rookie.
Joc Pederson, Mike Bolsinger and Adam Liberatore sojourned boldly into the air-conditioned confines this morning, absorbing the smells of espresso into their road-gray polyester threads. (You figure that Carlos Frias was excused because he is starting today against the Cubs.)
Pederson made a full-uniform run last September too. Call it a new tradition.
Of course, the moment isn’t quite embarrassing enough unless it’s shared on social media: