Showing posts with label Cory Sullivan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cory Sullivan. Show all posts

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Dodgers' roster news as Spring Training comes closer to conclusion

The Dodgers have made a few roster moves this week as the season is set to open on Thursday in San Diego.

Cuts

Josh Bard and Cory Sullivan were released by the Dodgers. Bard was never going to make the team ahead of starter A.J. Ellis and million-dollar man Matt Treanor. There was a tweet during the contract he signed was guaranteed, but that was obviously not the case. Bard was 2-for-18 this spring.

Sullivan, notorious Dodger killer, had a decent spring, but he was a longshot to make the team anyway. I thought he'd end up in Albuquerque, but it isn't exactly a huge blow to a team with some of the most outfield depth in the minor leagues. Sullivan posted a .289/.333/.395 triple slash with one home run, seven RBI and three walks. He'll probably land a minor-league deal elsewhere. Here's hoping he never plays against the Dodgers again, though.

Disabled list

Ted Lilly was placed on the 15-day disabled list due to a stiff neck. Eric Stephen of True Blue L.A. reported if Lilly remains on track, he could make his season debut on April 14 against the Padres.

The move allows the Dodgers to carry one extra bullpen arm because of the team's April 9 off day. It seems it will go with a four-man rotation until Lilly returns. Stephen notes Josh Lindblom and Scott Rice are in the mix. Nathan Eovaldi might get some consideration, but since he doesn't have a rotation spot, he's best suited to begin the season in the minors. If the Dodgers go with Lindblom or Rice, I have a feeling it'll be the latter. Scott Elbert is the team's only left-hander out of the 'pen and they gave John Grabow his release earlier this week.

Adam Kennedy is also a DL candidate after suffering a pulled groin. If the Dodgers do place him on the disabled list, it could be retroactive to March 26, which means, unfortunately, he'd only miss the first series of the season.

Luis Cruz, Josh Fields and Justin Sellers are fighting for reserve roles. The fact Cruz is even being considered reeks of Hector Gimenez last spring. Having said that, he's almost a lock to make it if Kennedy begins on the DL.

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I'm starting a new weekly feature with Jared Massey of L.A. Dugout (formerly of L.A. Dodger Report and L.A. Dodger Talk). We're recording a podcast, "Dugout Blues," that is tentatively scheduled to go up every Monday. We'll talk about everything Dodgers while focusing on the minor league system a bit more than the Major League team.

I'll post links here and we'll Linkget it on iTunes as soon as possible.

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Tango Tiger needs some input on how many games Dodger players will appear in this season in its annual "Community Forecast" feature. It's pretty simple and quick. There are only 18 entries thus far. I submitted mine on Friday.

Mike Petriello made his debut at FanGraphs on Friday, writing about Andre Ethier and how he's primed for a big season. If Ethier's spring is any indication, Petriello is going to look damn good with this article.

Petriello also thinks the Dodgers shouldn't give Ned Colletti his walking papers just yet. I'm inclined to agree. However, keeping him around longer increases his chances of remaining with the team (which are microscopic at this point).

Chad Moriyama links to ESPN LA's Ramona Shelburne and the L.A. Times' Bill Shaikin stating how Frank McCourt won't get any revenue from the parking lots at Dodger Stadium.
"So go back to the stadium and stop whining.

Thanks."

Scott Andes of Lasorda's Lair is counting down the 10 best moments in Dodger Stadium history. The most recent entry, No. 6, is something of which I have fond memories -- and I'm betting most Dodger fans do.

Zach Lee's signature could use some work, writes Greg Zakwin of Plashcke Thy Sweater is Argyle.

And this might be one of my favorite photos of all-time.

Photo credits: brendan-c on Flickr

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Wrapping up the first week of Dodgers' Spring Training

The Dodgers finished their first week of Spring Training with a 5-1-2 record, which obviously means they're going to the World Series.

Seriously, though, they had a solid week. Some players had solid weeks as well.

Hitters

Andre Ethier has five hits in eight at-bats, including three extra base hits (double, triple, home run) and only one strikeout. He missed Saturday's game against the Mariners with back tightness, but it doesn't sound too serious.

Matt Kemp hit his first home run of the spring on Friday against the Mariners. He's 4-for-12, but also has six strikeouts. But there's no need to panic.

A surprise performer so far has been Josh Fields, who is 7-for-12 with two doubles, a triple and two RBI. Fields began his career as a member of the White Sox and spent 2010 with the Royals and 2011 with the Rockies' Triple-A team and Yomiuri Giants of the Japanese League. He's battling for a bench spot, but I don't think he's a legitimate option unless there is a rash of injuries.

Former Rockie Cory Sullivan also had himself a week, going 6-for-12 with a double, a home run (a grand slam against the White Sox on Saturday) and a team-leading six RBI. Like Fields, I don't expect Sullivan to make the squad, but he's playing well so far.

Alex Castellanos and Juan Rivera are tied with the team lead in home runs with two.

Pitchers

Chris Capuano had the best debut, pitching two scoreless innings, allowing two hits and striking out three.

Todd Coffey also appeared for two innings (in two outings) and like Capuano, struck out three hitters.

The bullpen trio of Scott Elbert, Javy Guerra and Kenley Jansen has pitched six innings, given up five hits, three walks, struck out seven and, most importantly, have yet to allow a run.

It'll be interesting to see how some guys continue to perform before the first round of cuts is made.

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The Dodgers signed Jarrad Page to a minor-league deal. If that name sounds familiar, you're probably a UCLA, Chief, Patriot, Eagle or Viking fan. He is the free safety who attended UCLA and was drafted in the seventh round by Kansas City in the 2006 NFL Draft.

He participated in the Dodgers' open tryout on March 1, a tryout that also resulted in the signing of former Dodger prospect Blake Johnson and former Blue Jay draft pick Brandon Mims.

Page was signed as an outfielder and was drafted three times before he decided to pursue football. He's 27 and getting a late start, so I wouldn't hold my breath hoping for him to be something. He's more likely to be picked up to play safety again than he is to pick up a bat in a Major League game.

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Prospective Dodger owners are touring Camelback Ranch this week prior to the new owner being selected in less than a month.

Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times has the lowdown:
"(Steve) Cohen is widely considered one of three favorites to buy the team, along with St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke and a group led by Magic Johnson and veteran baseball executive Stan Kasten.

Cohen has an estimated net worth of $8.3 billion and Kroenke an estimated net worth of $3.2 billion, according to Forbes.

The other candidates include Stanley Gold and the family of the late Roy Disney; a group led by New York media investor Leo Hindery and Southern California billionaire Tom Barrack; a group led by Memphis Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley and Los Angeles investor Tony Ressler; and Beverly Hills real estate developer Alan Casden."
So, it seems we're down to seven groups again. My money (and heart) is still on the Magic-Kasten group, but anything can happen right now.

I mean, Magic wouldn't have sold his minority stake in one of the most lucrative professional sports teams in the Lakers if he didn't feel he'd have a great shot of being part owner of the Dodgers, would he?

This whole saga should be determined in the next three weeks. It's been a long time coming for Dodger fans and it'll be nice to finally move on from the Frank McCourt era. Hopefully that means we'll get to move on from the Ned Colletti era, too.

Photo credits: SD Dirk, Flickr (Kemp), Rafael Amado Deras, Flickr (Johnson)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Young bullpen guns make spring debuts

Despite Ned Colletti's infatuation with over-the-hill middle relievers, the Dodgers are relying on quite a few youngsters in the bullpen -- namely Kenley Jansen, Javy Guerra and Scott Elbert.

The trio made their season debuts today and it went pretty well.

Jansen threw fifth inning, striking out only one. I say only because he averaged 16.1 K/9 last season -- an MLB record for a pitcher with at least 50 IP. He isn't going to match that number by striking out just one hitter. /sarcasm

Elbert followed him in the sixth and gave up a hit, a walk and struck out one. Guerra pitched the seventh and also threw a scoreless inning, but he walked two in the process and struck out one.

We know the Achilles' Heel for the youngsters is going to be control, and while Elbert and Guerra didn't give up any runs, they had to pitch out of trouble.

I know, they aren't going to be perfect every game. It's just something to keep in the back of one's mind this season.

Of the trio, Guerra is most likely to regress the most because of his Minor League track record. Still, it's nice to see the young guys getting a chance.

With Jansen anchoring the bullpen (even if he's not the closer), it could be a strength for the team this season.

Other notes from today's game:

- Prospect Chris Withrow made his debut and pitching two innings. He gave up one hit, allowed one run, walked one and struck out one. He also hit a batter and threw two wild pitches. For his first appearance with the big league club, it wasn't terrible.

- Tony Gwynn drew two walks against Atheltics' pitching. He also stole his second base of the spring.

- Cory Sullivan, famed Dodger killer, picked up three of the Dodgers' four hits today. He collected a double and the game-tying RBI.

Coming up

The Dodgers face the A's again on Thursday and Jarrod Parker, former Diamondback top prospect whom they acquired for Trevor Cahill, will take the hill. Chris Capuano will make his Dodger debut. The only prospect (using this loosely) of note for the Dodgers scheduled to pitch tomorrow is Stephen Fife, who was acquired from Boston in the Trayvon Robinson deal on July 31.

Photo credit: SD Dirk (Flickr)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Dodgers' news - Loney stays, Coco Crisp, non-roster invitees

The Dodgers tendered James Loney a contract on Monday, to no surprise. The light-hitting first baseman is scheduled to make somewhere in the neighborhood of $6 to $7 million.

I had a thought the team might consider non-tendering him, allowing Juan Rivera and Jerry Sands to take over first base duties. The Dodgers signed Tony Gwynn on Monday, so the possibility was there. However, the team would likely have needed another outfielder, despite a bevy of youngsters in the minors. Alas, it didn't happen, but it wouldn't have been the worst move ever made.

It will be nice to see Loney digging throws out of the dirt, though. He's one of the best in the league at doing so.

This leads us to the Dodgers' apparent interest in Coco Crisp.

Why?

Why is this team interested in another light-hitting outfielder? He's basically a more expensive version of Gwynn who's had some past success. Crisp did lead the American League in stolen bases last season with 49 (caught nine times). That's impressive. But coming off a $5.75 million contract, he appears to be out of the Dodgers' price range.

A team could pony up $4 to $5 million for his services.

The Dodgers also invited 15 players to Spring Training as non-roster players:

Jose Ascanio, Jeff Baisley, Josh Bard, Alberto Castillo, Matt Chico, Luis Cruz, Angel Guzman, Wil Ledezma, Shane Lindsay, Fernando Nieve, Scott Rice, Will Savage, Cory Sullivan, Ryan Tucker and Lance Zawadzki.

Some of these names might sound familiar. Rice and Savage both pitched for Double-A Chattanooga last season.

Bard was reported to have a $750,000 contract with the Dodgers during the Winter Meetings, only to find out it was a minor-league deal. Still, it hadn't been confirmed until now.

Guzman, 30, was a former top prospect in the Cubs' organization. He's thrown 157 Major-League innings, compiling a 4.82 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, 4.2 BB/9, 8.6 K/9 and 1.96 K/BB. Not impressive, but there is potential with the nice K/9 rate. But he hasn't pitched in the Majors since 2009.

Ledezma signed earlier this off-season.

Nieve, 29, was a spot-starter/long reliever in his rookie season, but never got on track with the Astros. He last pitched in the Majors in 2010 with the Mets, and it wasn't pretty: 6.00 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 2.1 HR/9, 4.7 BB/9.

Tucker is a local kid who was a former Marlins' top prospect. He threw five bullpen innings for the American League Champion Texas Rangers last season and didn't do well. At just 25, though, there's still time to see if he can figure things out. I wouldn't hold my breath, though.

This leads me to my favorite signing: Sullivan.

Some of you might remember Sullivan for his days as a Rockie, or Dodger killer.

Literally. His slash numbers against the Dodgers in his career are as follows:

.357/.420/.529

The .357 average is one of the highest against the Dodgers among active players. And if you think those numbers are inflated because of Coors Field, guess again:

.306/.370/.486 -- in 28 career games in Dodger Stadium.

He's also hit three of his 10 career home runs against the Blue -- all in the confines of Chavez Ravine.

Sullivan is the classic scrub who always seems to get his rocks (no pun intended) off against the Dodgers (Brad Hawpe, anyone on the Padres, etc.). It's nice the Dodgers don't have to worry about this guy hurting them -- well, at least from the opposing dugout...

Just kidding. He probably won't see Los Angeles anytime this season. If he does, something terrible has happened in Dodgerland.