Friday, April 12, 2024
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Dodgers Sign Brandon Hicks, Extend Spring Invite

The Dodgers have brought another light hitting infielder into the mix, although one with some pop. Per Eric Stephen the Dodgers have reportedly signed infielder Brandon Hicks to a minor league contract with an invite to spring training. Yes it’s the same infielder that played for the Giants in 2014.

The 30-year old right handed bat has played in parts of four major league seasons for the Braves, A’s, and Giants from 2010-2014. Brandon Hicks was originally drafted by the Braves in the third round of the 2007 amateur draft. He made his MLB debut for Atlanta in 2010, and played parts of two seasons for the Braves. He played in 22 MLB games in 2012 after being claimed off of waivers by Oakland. Hicks batted .172 (11 for 64) with three home runs in 70 plate appearances.

Dodgers Sign Infielder Brandon Hicks
Dodgers Sign Brandon Hicks

Hicks appeared in 95 games for the PCL Las Vegas starts in 2013 after being signed by the New York Mets. He batted .283 for the Stars while blasting 11 home runs and posting a .348 OBP in 354 plate appearances. The Mets released him and he went back to the bay area in 2014 when he signed with the evil Giants. Hicks split time between the major league club and the triple-A Fresno Grizzlies.

While in Fresno Hicks played in 41 games and batted .218 with six home runs and 17 runs batted in. With the MLB Giants he showed some power hitting 8 home runs and driving in 22 runs in 242 plate appearances. However he posted a .172 average and struck out 77 times in 71 games.

Hicks did not see any MLB action in 2015 and spent the entire season with the triple-A Sacramento River Cats. He batted .220 with 2 home runs in 145 plate appearances and played in just 45 games. Overall Hicks has posted an MLB career slash line of .153/.258/.310 with 11 big league home runs in 340 plate appearances. Hicks is a .244 career minor league hitter with 99 home runs across six seasons.

As a defender, Hicks is rated as a little above average. As a minor leaguer Hicks has experience at all four infield positions, but played the majority of his time at shortstop. He played 539 games at shortstop in the minors and 122 games at second base. In the majors, Hicks has primarily played at second base (63 games) but has also seen some time at shortstop (24 games) and third base (9 games). He’s rated very highly at second base with a +8 total zone fielding runs above average and 11 defensive runs saved.

With the addition of Hicks the Dodgers now have 21 non-roster invites ready to arrive at spring camp.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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Scott Andes
Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

52 thoughts on “Dodgers Sign Brandon Hicks, Extend Spring Invite

  1. Sliding
    It seems like all players now slide well past any bag. I don’t like it. I think one should slide into a bag and not over, through, and past it. For instance, when a third baseman catches a throw from a catcher on a steal attempt and makes a blind tag to the front of the base they are now likely to get a knee or foot to the skull or be bowled over from a head first slide where the slider winds up in the coaching box and a toe on the base.

    My rule is the slider must keep at least half of their body in front of the base and be able to keep a foot on the base if sliding feet first and a hand on the base if sliding head first. The middle infielders still can’t step directly toward first base to make a double play throw unless they want to plant their foot in the path of the slider who is sliding “into the bag”.

    Balls and Strikes
    The strike zone is too inconsistent during a game and from game to game, umpire to umpire. Now there is some discussion to raising the bottom of the strike zone a few inches which would take quite a while for umpires and hitters to adjust.

    It is time to start calling balls and strikes electronically. The umpire would still stay behind the plate to do everything they do now other than call balls and strikes.

    By electronically calling balls and strikes an official record could be made of where a pitcher throws the ball that could be used to discipline pitchers that too often throw high and in. Concussions are something that needs to be taken out of sports and penalizing pitchers that throw high and in is one way to reduce the risk of concussions. I suggest electronically shrinking the strike zone for pitchers that tend to more often throw near the head.

    The Dodgers still need another 1.5 (that’s somewhere between an ace and a #2) pitcher in the rotation. I like the aspect of Barnes speed for a catcher and would keep him ahead of Grandal. When Grandal proves he is healthy, I would package him with whatever is needed to get that 1.5 pitcher.

    I think that Maddux will make the existing assortment of relievers now on the 40 man roster into a very good set of relievers. The Dodgers do not need to trade for a set-up reliever.

    Ethier and Utley
    The Dodgers could use a right handed power bat. If San Diego wants to rid themselves of Kemp’s contract, I would trade Ethier and Utley for Kemp. Kemp would play left field.

    Pederson, Puig, Seager, Kemp, Turner, Agon, Kendrick, Barnes/Ellis,

    1. Why do you think that Maddux is going to be some type of back up pitching coach? He is a front office guy who will probably do some work with the pitchers but Honeycutt will remain the pitching coach. I don’t think that Maddux will magically make the bullpen better. We have the same questions in the ‘pen as last year – except of course for the wonderful signing of Joe Blanton – he will be the one to fix all the team’s bullpen problems – NOT.

      Agree we need to upgrade our #2 starter.

      Don’t know how Grandal will be this year. If he recovers physically he is a better offensive catcher than anyone else on the roster and the Braintrust loves him because of the magic of pitch framing.

      1. Maddux has enough money and is tired of traveling with the team. He will help FAZ find pitching nuggets that will be that guy before they are that guy. He will also work with pitchers and hitters in Spring Training and at Dodger Stadium. He just isn’t going to travel with the team.

        He will also help catchers and coaches and pitchers with game plans. He could do that on Skype. How do I know this? Because that is the best way to use him.

      2. Both Maddux and Ibanez “defined” roles are for scouting and player development. Honeycutt does not develop. Kershaw loves Honey because he leaves him alone. Honey does not intercede unless he is asked. That is fine for a ML pitcher named Kershaw and Greinke, but not those named Wood, Baez, Lee, etc. Maddux’s role will be player development. That to me sounds like he will be asked to intercede in the younger players’ pitching. He is not there to help the starting rotation, except maybe to help Maeda with setting up MLB hitters. He should be hugely beneficial in helping develop the 174 ML ready pitchers the Dodgers have.

    2. I see many runners slide at the last minute and almost break their ankles. It’s terrible!

      As far as balls and strikes I prefer the human element.

  2. Bold moves Pete.

    Agree about the strike zone. Interpreted too subjectively now. Won’t happen. It’s about the last thing umps control. Take that away and you only need three umps – 2 on the field and one in the booth. Heck, with the omniscient eye in New York, you don’t even need the guy in the booth. But you need one extra in case of injury, so go with a 3 man rotation. I umped a Semi-Pro game by myself once. That was interesting. I digress. The union would go ape. They want more, but more isn’t necessary with replay.

  3. Oh boy, another Heisey! Maybe we can trade him to Miami where Donnie will platoon him with Dee. Seriously, if our farm system is so good why do they sign all these palookas?

    1. I hope it is a little bit of a bigger move and involves others as well. I would like to see Zach Lee get a shot somewhere.

        1. Well he’s been in the minors for 5 years now and has only appeared in one major league game. So things haven’t been working out for him. He is still pretty young though.

        2. I think Zack signed a $5M, 5 year contract and is now free to go to college and be that quarterback. I guess he could play a couple of years and if he did well, have a chance to get concussions in the NFL.

          I think Zack can be a better than average #5 pitcher this year. A package of Guerrero and Lee would gather up a couple of players that were not given a good opportunity to demonstrate what they could do or not do in the Majors and let them try elsewhere.

          Unless Ethier winds up in a platoon in RF and Crawford in a platoon for LF, one or the other is totally redundant and will not be given much of a chance to play much. One of them would fit in the Guerrero and Lee group and all three should be traded.

  4. So what? Another 2B. Just more OCD by Neddy Jr.

    Greg Maddux needs to spend 1 hour per day with Zach Lee during spring training, which may be the last chance to “DEVELOP” him into a SP.

  5. This makes about as much sense as the Chin-hui Tsao signing. Innings taken by either player during ST will be innings that players who can help the team will not get. Could Micah Johnson use a few extra ML innings at 2B? How about Kike’ at SS and 2B and 3B? How about Herrera? Sure Kendrick and Utley will not need innings at 2B, but what about 3B, and Seager innings at SS? If you need someone else, what about Calhoun and Davis for late inning mop up. ML experience would certainly help their development.

    Who doesn’t get an inning when Tsao is on the mound? Ravin, Liberatore, Lee, Thomas, Rhame, De Jong, Holmes, Sierra, Montas, C. Anderson, Cotton? How about mop up with Matt West and the boatload of AAA organizational relievers.

    Neither Tsao or Hicks are going to make the ML 25 man. There are a lot of small decisions that need to be made; primarily reserves and bullpen. Throwing Tsao and Hicks into the equation, IMO does not help, but hinders.

  6. White Sox may be interested in Guerrero? They also need an OF or two? Could use some help in backend of rotation and also some farm help?

    Guerrero, Ethier, Wood, Frias, Lee for: Fill in the blank(s).

    1. The White Sox already have a DH, and a third baseman. Also Guerrero had only played leftfield about 6 times in AAA, and last year, during spring training, and the begining of the year.

  7. Hicks and Taso will likely never see the major league roster, so don’t get you panties in a bunch. They are called “organizational depth” and are there in case a trade comes up that A2Z can’t refuse.

    Just an observation from the “delusional authority” who told you over a year ago the payroll would have to come down in 2016, that Mattingly needed to go, that the the farm system was dysfunctional, that the Dodgers would not sign players to dope-fiend contracts and that 2016 would be a very good year.

    I guess I like being a delusional authority rather than a ____________ (you fill in the blank). 😉

    1. Throw enough spaghetti against a wall and some of it will stick and then talk about the spaghetti that stuck.

      You were not the only one that said the Dodgers needed to reduce payroll or the only one that said good riddance to Greinke’s 6th year.

        1. I didn’t like the TRADE or the Ethier contract as both were done to appease fans that were about ready to walk away from McCourt’s Dodgers. They were not competitively strategic. Greinke’s 5th and 6th year of his new contract could really be ugly and the Dodgers have too many options beginning in 2017 to be saddled with that contract. I have also said that I prefer the Dodgers win a WS without appearing to buy it with a huuuge payroll.

          I just don’t see any reason to repeatedly try to say that I am wiser than others here because I have these views. They’re just my views.

      1. Bum Joc said that Crawford was there for him last year, throughout the season, and especially when he was struggling. I was going to write you better stop trying to trade Crawford, but I notice you gave up on that, because lately you have been trading Ethier.

        1. My thing is Crawford and Ethier are totally redundant. Each has their strengths but aren’t going to be on the field at the same time and with their contracts, the Dodgers don’t get any bang for their buck.

    2. Very good year? hopefully but Vegas doesn’t think so. Atlantis Sports Book has the Giants at 90 wins and the Dodgers at 87.

  8. Who would play SS if the kid Seager had to sit for while. Would it be Kike? Can he handle SS for an extended period of time? Not Turner. Maybe this Brandon? Can that Johnson kid play SS?

  9. Clicked on Brandon Hicks stats. Interesting that in his last years in the majors, with S.F. — he had 204 ABs — and in those 204 ABs he struck out 77 times.

    The time before, he was with Oakland — with 64 ABs and a total of 31 strikeouts.

    Gee, if he played a full season with 500 ABs, he might have 250 Ks.

  10. As I recall, as soon as the 2014 season was over Mark said payroll would go down “next year”. It went up to nearly $300 million. Last year, 2015, everyone said it would go down from that. And of course it will. Where does it settle in? Hard to know. $250 million maybe? If it ain’t working in mid July, it could get blowed up.

    Signing guys like Hicks to a minor league contract is meaningless. He had better not see the ML roster. If he does, it means something went terribly wrong.

    Vegas at 87 wins? All I know is I still got the under on 92. I think somebody said 96 at Dodgertalk. I’m thinking 90 would get us in the post season. 87 probably won’t.

    1. Badger about the labrum, I think if it is either torn or not, and since Grandals wasn’t torn, that is why the doctor did nothing to it. And with the AC joint, they just clean the AC joint by just cutting out the bad tissue, and once all the inflammation and swelling goes down, a player can start swinging a bat. I hope they can find a team for Guerrero, where he gets a chance. Hopefully in a city, that has a lot of different ethnicities, so he can find his way better. That would be best for Guerrero and the Dodgers. I watched that Dodger show, and I guess there new hitting coach ward is suppose to be good. I guess Goldy and AJ Pollock were upset that Ward got away.

      1. MJ, from a Palo Alto Medical report:

        Depending on the type of labral tear and length of symptoms, you may need surgery. Most tears do not require surgery, but patients who have persistent symptoms despite more conservative treatments may need surgery.

        Is there damage?

        I too hope Guerrero gets out of here.

    2. “As I recall, as soon as the 2014 season was over Mark said payroll would go down “next year”.

      Badger, you asked me that once before when I wrote it whether I meant 2015 ands I said “No, 2016.”

      You are a damn liar and we both know it!

      What a little B__________ you are!

      1. Ok. I think I do recall, after calling you on it a few times, you backing off your “next year” prediction. I never know with you because some of your predictions, maybe most, are so far off the wall it’s laughable.

        Nice blank. I’ll fill it in with….. Brainiac. And thank you for the compliment.

    3. The Giants were top of the NL at 90 wins – Cubs at 89. Very weird sports book. However, the thing to note is that the book has the Giants 3 games up and the Dodgers finishing 5 games back of last year. They certainly aren’t infallible or all-knowing, but it does appear that they recognize that the team made few changes and not enough to make up for the loss of Greinke.

      You can’t sign 3 or 4 mediocre guys and expect to replace an ace. The team could be better than last year if guys like Puig do better this year than last but with so few substantive changes it is hard to see.

    1. Last year it sucked after K&G. Only a few thought that rotation would actually work. You know who you are. That is why a few of us were, and still are, asking for improvement. Last year they added McCarthy and Anderson. This year they add Kazmir and Maeda. And Blanton to improve the pen. Might work. Might be a repeat of “of crap”. We’ll see. I’m thinking the coming deadline could be a repeat of the last one. I sure hope the coaching changes make the difference. Interesting way to go about improving play.

      1. Last year, when the “crap” that they added didn’t work, they added more of it – Wood, Johnson and Latos. Kazmir, Maeda and Blanton (for Lord’s sake) look to be this year’s “crap”, but we’ll see.

        1. They could all have career years rick.


          Will 3.7 milyun show up to watch this group? If Puig, Pederson and Seager are lighting it up, yeah, maybe. Those are the guys, along with Kershaw, people will pay to see. I doubt anyone buys a ticket to see Kazmir pitch, or Kendrick… do whatever he will do. Not exactly a lot of star power for a Los Angeles team. When Urias comes up, if it’s in LA, 50,000 will show. Unless this team catches fire, there may not be many 50,000 in attendance figures. Again, we’ll just have to wait and see.

          1. Lets all pray that Kazmir has a great full season. It will help the Dodgers this season, and help Kazmir opt out next year.

        2. I’ll take Kazmir and Maeda over McCarthy and Anderson, but won’t forgive them if they fail to fix the pen for the third year running. Maybe they got AA to run the show while FAZ were off garage-sailing, or in some cases dumpster-diving.

          1. I think what everyone is forgeting about the Cubbies, is that the Cubbies don’t have a good bullpen. So I think they will have trouble winning it all, without a good bullpen. And I think everyone is under estimating the Cardinals. The Cardinals had a lot of injuries last year, especially with there starting rotation, late in the season. I don’t like the Cardinals, but I don’t under estimate there system. I don’t think they will miss Heyward, because they had a couple of young players come up, and did a good job. These teams in the central division, are going to get more wins, because they have two teams in there division, that are rebuilding. And the Braves and the Phillies, will help the Met’s and the National’s, get some wins also. This kind of puts the teams in the west, to a disadvantage, because this west division is more balanced with the Dbacks, getting the pitching pieces they got in the off season.

          2. I feel pretty certain McCarthy will be much better than nearly everybody here and elsewhere thinks once he’s all the way back. I sure hope all is well with Ryu opening day, well, his opening day that is. I know the offense is gonna be better than last year. The 2015 offense was far better than they showed us, at least they were better than what Mattingly and McGwire showed us they were. At any rate, I just gonna let myself enjoy whatever we get and keep it in perspective. The championship ain’t the most important thing this season, celebrating with Vin in appreciation of his complete life’s work dedicated to the Dodgers and I’m gonna savor every word he shares with us. Sure it’d be great having both, knock on wood.

  11. It looks like we can add another RHP to the staff with the signing of Yaisel Sierra… Hope they can cross the T’s and dot the i’s in time for ST, so I can sneak a peek at him on the back fields…

      1. Vegas has the Giants winning the most games, in baseball. I don’t see that, especially with these teams rebuilding in the central and east divisions. We will know how good the Giants are, when June comes. And I know the Giants have swoon and still won it all, but the best team in baseball, doesn’t always win it all, because of the system.

    1. Bum if the Dodgers make it to the World Series this year, Fox better let Vin be the guy in the booth! Did you see that Joc was on Dodger Talk yesterday? If you didn’t hear it, I’m sure you can find the podcast.

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