Veteran Wright and Kid De Leon Make Their Debuts

Camelback Ranch

It was bad news when we learned Dodgers pitcher Brett Anderson was going to be lost for most of the season. Since then, just about every other story coming out of Spring Training has been positive – and those positive notes continued to play out in today’s Cactus League game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Former first-round draft pick Jamey Wright has pitched for nine different teams in both leagues over his twenty year career.  He’s double-dipped with several teams, including the Dodgers in 2012 and again in 2014, but he didn’t pitch for anyone last season after he failed to make the Texas Rangers out of Spring Training.  During the offseason he threw with Clayton Kershaw, and both he and Kershaw agreed there’s still some gas left in the ol’ tank. So Wright is back and attempting to triple-dip with the Dodgers in 2016.

Manager Dave Roberts sent Wright to the mound in the fifth inning of today’s game, and his return to the diamond did not disappoint. He sawed off the bat of the first Diamondback he faced, inducing a short fly out to center field. He struck out the second batter he faced, and to close out a perfect inning, he got a roller to short, which was quickly converted into the third out.  Three up, three down. No runs, no hits, and no walks.

The next inning saw the much-anticipated (at least by me) debut of young Jose De Leon. In his three seasons in the minor leagues the kid from Puerto Rico has established an astonishing 12.3 strike outs per nine innings and a 1.19 WHIP.

The Diamondbacks reminded us all the kid was human when the first batter he faced rocked him for a double. De Leon then advanced the runner to third when he threw the ball into center field on a botched pick off play. It was the second pick off error of the day for the Dodgers, as Chris Hatcher had done the same thing earlier.

So how did the kid react to a quick double, an error, and a man standing on third? He did nothing less than strike out the next three batters he faced. Rick Monday, in calling the game on the Dodgers’ mystery channel, commented that De Leon’s pitches had so much gas, the batters seemed to still be anticipating the arrival of the ball while it was hitting the catcher’s mitt.

Roberts sent De Leon out to the mound for the seventh inning and he once again gave up a hit to the first batter he faced. The second Diamondback struck out. De Leon then induced a grounder to short for a 6-4-3 double play to end his day.

Part of me wanted a third De Leon inning. I can’t wait to see the veteran and the kid on the mound again.

A personal note: I’m very happy to join the team here at ladodgersreport. I’m looking forward to a great season, and it will be my pleasure to cover it all for you out there. Go Blue!

 

 

Oscar Martinez

Oscar Martinez

I was born in the shadow of Dodger Stadium and immediately drenched in Dodger Blue. Chavez Ravine is my baseball cathedral, Vin Scully was the golden voice of summer all my life, and Tommy Lasorda remains the greatest Dodgers manager ever. My favorite things are coffee, beer, and the Dodgers beating the Giants. I also blog about my baseball card hobby at All Trade Bait, All the Time.

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75 thoughts on “Veteran Wright and Kid De Leon Make Their Debuts

  1. Great write up, Oasar!

    In the next couple of years you will have to change your opinion of managers, Tommy will soon be second… behind “Doc.”

    P.S. I’m not as bad as they told you (I’m worse)!

  2. I don’t always agree with Chad Moriyama, but he wrote a piece that was absolutely “spot on” about Brett Anderson:

    http://dodgersdigest.com/2016/03/05/brett-andersons-one-year-deal-for-2016-absolutely-made-sense/

    It’s a worthy read unless you are of the ilk who thinks it was crazy to make the QO to Anderson. Here’s what Chad has to say about those people:

    “….because reaching to paint Brett Anderson’s contract as the problem just makes the people who do it look desperate and foolish.

    See, I would have just called them morons. He is so much more eloquent!

    1. It’s not so much about the contract specifically. It’s about the strategy of signing pitchers who are always hurt that is the problem. I agree offering the Q.O. to Anderson was ok. Although I wouldn’t have done it. I would have just let him walk in F.A. and use the money towards some other pitcher who can stay healthy. However yes correct. the Q.O. is not the issue. It’s the philosophy of signing these pitchers with injury problems.

  3. This is just a “bridge” – it will totally change in a year or two.

    The march to LA is starting!

    😉

  4. I happen to be one of the ilk who think the qualifying offer was a calculated risk that backfired. They just wanted to pick up another draft pick on the cheap, but they did not foresee him taking the offer. Then they convinced themselves they’d made a shrewd pickup. Now maybe they’re congratulating each other on collecting the insurance…oh, wait, you did pay the premiums, right?

    Pitchers by their nature are prone to injuries but some more than others. You might take a chance on one or two a season, but stocking a rotation with them and calling it depth is not the way championship teams were built in my day.

    1. Great article, Bum. Thanks for posting. Agree with just about everything he said.
      Why is he leaving and not Plaschke?

  5. I don’t always get behind the best players on the Dodgers and don’t really know why I root for some players as much as I do. Duke Snider was the first Dodger that I really rooted for and probably have yet to root more for another player.
    .
    Over the years my favorite players were Lefebre, Fairly, Loney, Karros, Cey, Russel. I am now intrigued with Thompson and would like to see Pederson be an outstanding player. I am eager to be able to watch Bellinger.
    .
    I think the Dodger pitching is very good for the regular season and will need help for the playoffs if for no other reason that they will run out of innings that can be pitched with the collection of starters they now have. They have too many pitchers that can’t or shouldn’t pitch more than 150 to 180 innings.
    .
    My 8 position players that I would like to see get the bulk of the innings played are:
    Pederson, Thompson, Seager, Turner, Agon, Kike’, Puig, Grandal

  6. Welcome Oscar and good start…
    Gotta go back to the Maeda start… He’s rubbing up the ball, turns around and under his breath he says “WTH” … Well Mr. Maeda, I don’t like it either, but as with my cell phone, I better get used to it…Runner in scoring position and one guy to cover the left side… I’ll bet it doesn’t work out like that often with Grandal leading the Kid…
    41 yr. old Jamie Wright followed by 23 y.o. De Leon… Sorta crazy…

  7. As most of you already know, I’m a De Leon fan. I think he’s ready for 20 starts, or at least to be there until Ryu and McCarthy return, though nobody really knows when that will be. De Leon has great stuff, instruct him to throw strikes and put him on a pitch if you feel you must. He’s going to be 24 later in the season, he’s old enough to carry a load. He and Bolsinger should be enough.
    .
    What I saw yesterday was our depth out depthing the Dbacks depth.
    .
    Enjoyed Dilbec’s bullet points.
    .
    Anderson’s contract isn’t the problem. Contracts have NEVER been the problem for the Dodgers. They can afford whatever they want to do. The problem, which some in here do see (Rick) is not money, it’s performance. It’s like past performance, or better said, past lack of performance, means nothing. So what a player has a history of injury? So what a player will need surgery? It’s worth the risk because of latent talent. Heck we even draft guys who need surgery. You take risks like that and you may end up paying the price. We got lucky with Anderson last year, and the QO was probably the way to go (cut your losses) but not one f’n GM out there was fooled by Anderson’s ’15 numbers. Nobody wanted him. Just like nobody wanted Kendrick. The bluff was called. We get to keep both. Kendrick may work out, though I still prefer to go with youth there (Hernandez).
    .
    I have to admit I’m impressed with Thompson, though there currently is no room for him. I look forward to seeing all the young guys in person soon.

  8. I would like to think that the best players are going to win spots. That could mean that CC could be gone (I doubt he lasts until opening day without an injury anyway). There’s no market for him so the Dodgers will just have to DFA him. Bumsrap said it a while ago and it could happen.

    I would love to see this lineup:

    1. Johnson 2B
    2. Seager SS
    3. Turner 3B
    4. Puig RF
    5. Gonzo 1B
    6. Grandal C
    7. Thompson LF
    8. Pederson CF

    That’s tight defense, except for 2B. However, I can’t see Johnson winning the position even if he hits .700.

    1. Thompson could give us another bat, with right handed power. He didn’t look good in the field, in the first game. I just think he was trying to hard. I have read that he is suppose to be better, in center then Pederson, but he didn’t look it in that game, but that is what spring training is about. What did you think about Maeda?

      1. Maeda has upside. It’s too early to make a determination however.

        It’s funny to hear Bader say he’s a De Leon fan when he was all over trading him.

        1. You beat me to it Mark. Badger wanted to trade DeLeon for ANY rental. I agree with the BADger though, I think DeLeon could be ready for 20 starts.

          1. Some time pitching in 3A would not hurt either Jose or Julio. Both have very little time above 2A. Not saying it’s an absolute necessity though.

          2. Badger wanted Hamels and or price and realized he would have to offer a very good pitcher to get one of them. For him to now say he likes De Leon supports his contention that De Leon might be able to get another pitcher he likes, Hamels.

          3. Hamels isn’t a rental. He’s signed through ’18. He’d look pretty good pitching in that #2 spot. He would have also looked good in Game 3. But, De Leon is here, looks great and should be settled in by ’18.

          4. Yes, Hamels not a rental, but he was just one of the guys you wanted to trade DeLeon for. We have been over it all before, most feel it would have taken alot more to get Hamels than just DeLeon. In any event, I am glad we have DeLeon and he should be “settled in” by 2017, at the latest.

    2. Thats a nice lineup Mark, but, I haven’t given up on Kendrick. I would love to see Johnson TAKE 2nd, but if not, Kendrick still has it in my opinion.

      I will go out on a limb and say, if Kendrick is the everyday starter at 2nd in 2016, I’ll bet 100 pushups (yes, only a hundred) he has a greater OWAR than Gordon.

    3. Substitute Kike’ for Johnson and I like better.
      .
      Also, if Pederson winds up in one of the top 3 spots, it means he is doing well.

  9. Cheers for De Leon!
    .
    The “experts” those from the outside looking in say this team will win more than 90 games. The general consensus from those on the inside (the fans here) is that we are building toward the next two years with this year as a stepping stone. Quite a difference! Wonder who is right?
    .
    I agree with out former CEO not to count on Ryu, Anderson, and McC at all this year. That’s the smart approach.
    .
    Thanks for the article bum.
    .
    Cheers and welcome aboard Oscar. Go Dodgers!

  10. Guys, We get to see bellinger today at first base. Guerrero dealing with sore knee, and Turner not ready yet. And I get to finally watch a game! No work today woo hoo!

  11. Bellinger played yesterday I think he was 1-2 hit into a double play and a single to right. He did hit the ball hard both times up.

  12. Welcome Oscar!

    “Great coffee, cold beer, and the Dodgers beating the Giants”, your my kind of guy. But, who are the Giants? Do you mean the Midgets?

  13. Guess the other Anderson’s very strong 2 innings slipped your observation. His 2 innings were every bit as impressive as Jose’s. IMO.

  14. Yeah Richie, Joc best get it together in the next 3 weeks, or he might be in AAA learning to hit good pitching. Too bad, he is a great guy and I like him on the team.

  15. Joc’s struggles now shows how hard it would have been for him to make those adjustments last year mid-season. I expect him to spend most of his time in the batting cages and live batting practice. I am not going to start worrying about Joc now, mostly because I already have been worrying about him.

  16. Pederson certainly does not look good. He has a lot of work ahead of him. Thompson looks good and so does Bellinger. So far, all of our kids look pretty darn good.

  17. I would like to see the scouting grades for all players and not just prospects such as this one for Seager:
    Scouting grades: Hit: 70 | Power: 60 | Run: 40 | Arm: 60 | Field: 50 | Overall: 70
    .
    It would be nice to see a grade for routes taken, Instincts, knowledge of game, and a few others.
    .
    I don’t trust the defensive metrics that exist currently. There is one that shows Kike’ could be a better center fielder than Joc. Really? Joc’s defensive ratings might not be super great but he has passed my eye test as well as another person’s eye test that we all know. Vin Scully has said several times that Joc is the best defensive center fielder he has ever seen on a Dodger team and that includes Duke Snider.
    .
    That gets me to Micah Johnson. I don’t care what his defensive numbers are at second base. Everybody says he doesn’t have soft hands. Few have said he is going to be a very good defender. Peraza on the other hand is said to have soft hands and most scouts say he already is a great defensive second baseman.
    .
    The Dodgers don’t have good athleticism but that could change if Thompson, Puig, and Pederson, play regularly and will again be increased when Bellinger takes over at first.

    1. Bum Joc’s stance looks really awkward. I wonder how long he worked with his coach from AAA, before spring training begin. I know that Turner Ward had only worked with Joc a few times, before spring training, and he said that Joc already made a change, before Turner worked with him. Joc’s stance, kind of reminds me of Puig’s awkward stance, from the end of last year, but Puig is not doing that now. Joc must feel comfortable, to be able to hit. Someone is going to have to tell Joc, to go with a swing that he is comfortable with, and just maybe, clean it up a little. He also should swing at the first pitch, if it is a good pitch, so he doesn’t let the pitcher, get ahead on the count. Was he like this in his first game? I’m sorry, because I know you want Joc to succeed in your heart.

  18. Aw hell, get started on Crawfish Landrover or Mountainmover… It’s like an obscene phone… We don’t respond or panic and the caller doesn’t get off…
    P.S. CC in the 2 hole if he’s healthy

  19. Fun to read the gang’s all here. I am calling no jinx, and acknowledging we’re off to a good start. I enjoy reading about the kids I’ve never heard of making an impact. Feel bad for Joc but agree time in 3A if we keeps wiffing. Thrilled to hear about the kids getting into and out of trouble. Go Dodgers!

  20. Like I have said many times, I have never been a fan of Joc Pederson or Zach Lee (well I was a fan of Joc for a few games last year, I admit that), but I hope they both can do well. The cold hard facts however, are that Joc might very likely have to go back to AAA to work this thing out. Trayce Thompson could very well be the CF opening the season.

    1. Everyone did you guys read, that Roberts told Crawford that he will be backing Ethier on the bench. Crawford is being a team player, he said that he knows that Ethier earned it. Roberts did what Mattingly should have done, when he had to many outfielders. Then there would have been only one upset outfielder, then all. I like it! Way to go Roberts!

        1. Two left handed veteran bench players totaling about $28 million. One of them is backing up a left handed starter. Odd roster construction, don’t you think?

  21. Doc is going to be one fine manager. I could see Manager of the Year.

    I just talked to a friend who is in a scouting position for another team. He says that the Dodgers wanted Trayce Thompson to play CF because they feel that Joc will have to go to AAA to get his swing worked out. He said that had it not been for that, the Dodgers would have taken Frazier and moved him to LF. I asked if he heard that or just thinks that. He laughed, which means that he heard it and won’t divulge who or where.

    1. At least I like Thompson if that were to happen. My preference would be for Thompson to win LF and Pederson to make the adjustments needed to be the Dodger CF for the next 10 years.

  22. Always Compete, I’m not angry – not bitter. Just disappointed. Not looking for anyone to fail – just disappointed in an approach. Computers are a tool – not a replacement for analysis – and especially not a replacement for the human factor. Baseball is played by people. It isn’t a computer game..

    More name calling “bitter, angry” – I’m out.

    1. Rick,

      Bitter and angry is not a name, but rather a condition. I think you have the misconception that Friedman is just a computer stats geek and nothing could be further from the truth. Here’s his own words:

      Yeah, Friedman is a stats guy, but he’s also a swing guy, as he hustles between fields to watch the batting practice of an obscure camp catcher.

      “In this business, information is the most powerful thing, and it comes in all different ways and shapes and forms,” he says.

      Friedman loves his numbers, but he also loves his bullpen sessions, and he leans against a fence talking on his smartphone while watching anonymous relievers throw fastballs.

      I think your position, at least as presented in your last post is 180 degrees off.

    2. Angry and bitter is a natural condition considering the way Dodger fans have been treated for the past two decades. New owners keep coming in and making all sorts of promises but coming up short. A lot of the bitterness comes from the way the rotation and bullpen were constructed last year. Three starters who were injury risks with a bunch more rehabs at AAA and more has-beens in the pen was never a recipe for a World Series contender. And if you haven’t noticed, we’re getting the same runaround about Ryu’s shoulder we got last spring.

    3. Nobody is calling you names. You are very opinionated. Your opinions are very polarizing. You can’t act like a martyr or get defensive every time your provocative opinion gets challenged. Provocative opinions provoke. You should expect a response – even welcome it.

  23. I think everyone in baseball, who think the Dodgers can’t win this year, especially with this same line up, that didn’t score many runs, after the first month of the season. They don’t really understand, just having Mattingly gone, and having Roberts, and all these new coaches in charge, will make a big difference. A lot of people in the east think Mattingly was a good manager. They think the problem, was self serving players, that only cared about themselves. This Dodger team, should have scored many more runs, especially with the people they put on base. It was so bad, that there haven’t been a team score so poorly, with the people this team put on base, in baseball for a very long time. And this happened in the last three years, that Mattingly was in charge. I think I read this, in Fangraphs. Just look at that last playoff game. After Murphy hit that HR, everyone in the Dodger dugout, acted like the game was over, even though there was only a one run lead. They still had a couple of innings, to try to score at least the tying run. There was no real emotion going on, it was like the energy was drained from the entire team. I think Mattingly was way to accepting of defeat.

  24. Nice win vs the giants at scottsdale today. We have to beat them early and often. Up and down the system. Spring or Summer or Fall. Our players have TO THINK they can beat the prima donnas from sf. The only way to do that is to win every chance they get to play them. Good start today.

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