Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Dodgers promote RHP Ross Stripling to Double-A, plus other MiLB news

The Dodgers on Tuesday promoted right-handed pitcher Ross Stripling to Double-A Chattanooga from High-A Rancho Cucamonga. The 2012 fifth-round draft pick has been on a nearly meteoric rise since the Dodgers popped him last season.

Stripling, 23, posted some impressive numbers in the California League early this season. He struck out 34 batters in 33 2/3 innings, walked 11 batters and allowed just one home run. Those are numbers for anyone to hang his hat on, let alone a guy in his first full season in a hitter's haven.

I saw him in person on Tuesday against the Stockton Ports and, while he wasn't his sharpest (4 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 BB), he showed me some good things.

Stripling's velocity sat in the low-90s and he touched 94 a few times. He used his curveball and changeup pretty liberally. Both flashed good potential at times.

This move was presumably made for a couple reasons:
  1. He's 23 and the most advanced starting pitcher the Dodgers have in the low minors
  2. Onelki Garcia was placed on the disabled list
Dodgers' assistant general manager, player development, DeJon Watson was in attendance for Stripling's start. Despite not pitching that well, Watson was apparently impressed enough to recommend the promotion. Stripling bounced back on Sunday against the San Jose Giants by throwing eight innings of one-run ball -- that probably factored into the decision as well.

It'll be interesting to see how he handles Double-A pitching. As of now, he should be skyrocketing up Dodger prospect lists. He was No. 11 for me when the season started. He's easily in the top eight now, and probably even higher than that.

Thomas also promoted to Double-A

Quakes' closer and left-hander Michael Thomas was promoted along with Stripling on Tuesday to Double-A. The 24-year-old, a 35th-round pick in 2011, had a 1.46 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, 5.8 H/9, 2.2 BB/9, 12.4 K/9 and a 2.23 FIP in 12 1/3 innings.

He won't close for the Lookouts, but he should get a lot of work against some advanced hitting.

Pedro Baez will take over as the Quakes' closer.

Left-handed pitcher Eric Eadington (11.42 ERA, 9.3 BB/9) and right-handed pitcher Ryan Acosta (13.11 ERA, 16.2 H/9) both struggled mightily in Double-A and were demoted to Rancho Cucamonga to make room for Stripling and Thomas.

Outfielder Bobby Coyle was also demoted to Rancho Cucamonga.

Herrera back in the bigs

Elian Herrera was recalled to the Dodgers to replace Jerry Hairston, who hit the disabled list Tuesday with a strained groin.

Don Mattingly had said he wanted someone who could play both corner outfield spots, so naturally, the Yasiel Puig speculation began. Alas, it was Herrera who got the call.

Herrera wasn't doing much with the bat at Triple-A Albuquerque, hitting just .250. His versatility is nice, but I wouldn't expect much out of Herrera this time around.

Lee good, again

Zach Lee posted another "ho-hum" performance on Tuesday night in Chattanooga:

6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K, 91 pitches, 59 strikes

Like I said, ho-hum for Lee these days. The kid is having a fantastic season thus far (2.15 ERA) and is proving his worth with every passing start.

Puig is exciting

This is not breaking news, but Puig is an exciting player. In fact, he's the most exciting prospect the Dodgers have ever had.

From my most recent article on Yahoo! Sports:
"Much is made about prospects. As Jason Parks of Baseball Prospectus says, they'll break your heart. But they'll also - one day - be the cornerstone of a franchise.
Enter Los Angeles Dodgers' uber outfield prospect Yasiel Puig. Puig, 22, is the most exciting prospect the Dodgers have ever had. But he could still break the collective heart of Dodger fans.
 With his immense power potential and great, but not quite Bo Jackson-like athleticism (because there's only one "Bo"), he has scouts and fans alike drooling just thinking about the potential."
His time is coming, folks. It probably won't be until 2014, but we can wait 11 months. It'll be worth it.

Photo credits: Dustin Nosler, Feelin' Kinda Blue


  1. I saw Puig play last year for the Quakes and yes, he's obviously a great athlete and very exciting to watch (those TREMENDOUS leads off first...)

    He's hitting .293 after 20 games in AA. BUT... one month ago today, after 4 games, he was hitting .538 (7 H, 13 AB). In the last month (16 games) he has hit .241 (15 H, 62 AB). And in the last 10 games, .205 (8 H, 39 AB). Don't know what's going on there; maybe the pitchers figured him out. Let's hope he learns how to hit in AA before he gets called up.

  2. I just wish he was less of a douchebag so I can actually like him. I honestly hope he gets traded for someone good so I don't have to root for him.