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The Bell is Tolling for Toles

On Aug. 31 Andrew Toles rose out of seemingly nowhere in Coors Field against the Colorado Rockies and hit a grand slam to put the Los Angeles Dodgers up 10-8, which led to a huge comeback victory to salvage a game in that series. The Dodgers bench erupted for the speedy outfielder. It had to be Toles biggest hit to date and could be a season altering type of hit for the Dodgers season.

It’s been a pretty amazing ride for Toles to be on the Dodgers and be a key contributor for a team chasing a World Series. The outfielder’s biggest asset is his speed and has proved he deserves more playing time and a spot on the postseason roster.

Toles was selected in the fourth round of the 2010 MLB Draft by the Florida Marlins and choose not to sign with them. He enrolled in the University of Tennessee and was dismissed from the baseball team in his freshman year.


Toles was then selected by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 2012 MLB draft under Dodgers President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman. In 2013 he was named the Rays Minor league player of the year. Toles career then took a weird turn and he was released prior to the 2015 season due to personal issues. A year ago he was out of baseball and working at a grocery store.

Friedman kept in touch and signed Toles after the 2015 season. Toles began this season at High-A Rancho Cucamonga and matriculated to Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A Oklahoma City, combining to hit a .330 average with 25 doubles and six home runs.

It has been documented that Toles has some baggage. He was working at a grocery store last year. It has been an amazing rise.

It seems as of this moment he has overcome them and is keeping his mind on baseball. His current stats with the Dodgers are a .371 average, 3HR, 13 RBI, and OPS of .437. He has proven that he is a keeper.

James Moya

Hi I’m James Moya. I am an avid Dodgers fan. I graduated Cal State Fullerton with a Bachelors in Communications. I used to freelance at the San Bernardino Sun. I’m excited about this opportunity to write for LA Dodger Report to gain experience. I’m a straight shooter on my opinions and I hope to get some good conversations going. My dream has always been to report on the Dodgers because Baseball is the National Past-time. I hope you enjoy the ride with me.

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James Moya
Hi I’m James Moya. I am an avid Dodgers fan. I graduated Cal State Fullerton with a Bachelors in Communications. I used to freelance at the San Bernardino Sun. I’m excited about this opportunity to write for LA Dodger Report to gain experience. I’m a straight shooter on my opinions and I hope to get some good conversations going. My dream has always been to report on the Dodgers because Baseball is the National Past-time. I hope you enjoy the ride with me.

55 thoughts on “The Bell is Tolling for Toles

  1. I think he has a nice future. He has risen from working at a grocery, to A Ball, AA Ball , AAA Ball to MLB starter in an amazing year. He has tools. Can he harness it? Puig did for a while, but can he keep it up?
    I want to see him play more, but he has to wait his turn… He has shown a readiness and seems very even keel – I like that a lot!

  2. I saw Toles play earlier this year at a game between Rancho and Elsinore Storm. He hit a couple of opposite field drives down the left field line one which was actually caught on a great play by the left fielder and the other a stand up double. Learned his story a little later and wasn’t terribly surprised by his hitting success and rapid promotion. His combo of gap power and speed make him a potent potential offensive weapon. Speed will keep his defense adequate. Seems to me to have a totally different personality and attitude than Puig along with a weaker arm. He was smart enough to realize the worst kind of baseball is better than the best kind of grocery bagging. Not sure Puig could make that kind of mental leap.

  3. Everyone, I am sorry to drag you through the mud, but I don’t back down… but it’s over and I have moved on. I could say a lot more but I don’t want to waste your time.

    It’s about the Dodgers – always has been.

    I’m not even going to dignify the other stuff with a reply.

    1. Thank God, now stick to it this time.

      I think we will all appreciate a new approach from you.

      Now back to the Dodgers.


      I like Toles a lot, he ignites this club. With his speed and arm, he would make a perfect left fielder.

      I like what I am seeing from Puig, with his speed, arm, and ability to go get the ball he is a perfect + right fielder.

      The potential for a top or the top outfield is a real possibility and I hope that the playoffs are a coming out party for this outfield.

      1. I appreciate that post. ….almost a semi-extended olive branch. I think we can all just take a step back or so and lighten up.

  4. Wow – a lot of vitriol over the past few days while I was away.

    1 – Dodgers are 5 up over the Giants! I didn’t foresee how bad they would hit and how bad their bullpen has been. The Dodgers are on pace to win 92 games, about the same as last year. I had them winning 88 – 89 so they are performing better than expected, especially given Kershaw’s prolonged absence.

    2 – The post-season rotation is shaping up nicely, assuming that Kershaw is Kershaw and Blister Boy’s index finger doesn’t fall off. Maeda makes a solid #3. Dodgers Digest had an interesting article wondering who the #4 will be – there is no right answer to that one. If Urias is shut down, McCarthy, Kazmir, Anderson are injured, that leave Stripling (close to being shut down himself), Stewart, and dare we say it, DeLeon? (Please, no Bud Norris.)

    3 – Interesting to speculate on post-season roster. 4 starters, 8 relievers, 8 starting players, 5 man bench.

    Starters: Kershaw, Hill Maeda, Urias?
    Relievers: Jansen, Blanton, Liebertore?, Dayton, Baez? Chavez, Coleman?, Stripling?
    Starting 8: Gonzalez, Utley, Seager, Turner, Grandal, Kendrick, Pederson, Puig?
    Bench: Ruiz, Hernandez?, Reddick, Toles?, Culberson?

    4 – Next year’s rotation: Kershaw, Maeda and then?

    Urias, DeLeon, Stripling? I would do that.

    No to Blister Boy.
    Trade Kazmir, McCarthy. Hold on to Wood for “depth”.

    I would still like to trade for a big time starter or (preferably) sign a free agent, but I would be OK with the 5 above.

    6 – I would extend Jansen and Turner. I don’t think that we will see either one of them in Blue after this season (unless they play for the Cubs or Royals).

  5. I would over pay for Turner on a 2 year contract.

    Several pitchers that would be great for the rotation are 150 to 190 inning guys so using all that depth, why not go with a 6 man rotation next year.

    Kershaw, Mieda, Stewart, De Leon, Stripling, Urias

    Bring back Jansen also.

  6. What big time free agents are there?

    I want Blister Boy.

    Is Urias ready to start for a full season next year, or will he be on an innings limit?

    Is JDL ready to start in the rotation out of Spring Training, or will he need some more time?

    You’re going to have to anticipate people getting injured.

  7. Here’s what I know:

    1. FAZ would like to have Turner back – would they pay $60 million/3 years? He’s worth that risk and he will get a QO!

    2. FAZ would like to have Jansen back – He will get a QO, but I think he will get a $60 to $70 million dollar deal. That would be dumb. NO! Take the pick.

    3. Anderson is gone.

    4. McCarthy will be back.

    5. Kazmir is tradeable.

    6. There is no reason to believe Chase Utley will be better next year. He won’t be back.

    7. What position players are trade candidates? Puig, Kendrick, Barnes, Gonzalez, Ethier, Van Slyke.

    Humor me. Let’s assume we can trade all of the above for prospects. Here’s the lineup:

    C – Grandal
    1B – Bellinger
    2B – Calhoun
    SS – Seager
    3B – Turner
    LF – Toles
    CF – Pderson
    RF – Thompson


    1. I could be happy with that lineup. Catcher Will Smith will sneak into the lineup faster than predicted. Smith at catcher and Bellinger at first gives the Dodgers lots of speed at positions that usually doesn’t have any.

    2. Calhoun’s suspect defense and pull happy power make him a long shot to be part of the club’s plans at second base. One report described him as an Alex Guerrero clone, which was last year, and he’s improved, but…no

      Bellinger will be a call up next year, but it’s still AGon’s position.

      Toles is a pretty small sample size. Not handing him the starting gig just yet. I almost hope Puig sticks around. If his trade value was actually good, he would have been gone by now.

      Thompson…same as Toles

      Kendrick is still a good value, proved he can play multiple positions and still hit after his miserable start. He’s slower on 2nd base defense. Realistically, you hope Kike learns to hit lefties again so it’s a platoon situation.

      The FO really has to sign Blister Boy. Cotton just had a solid start for the A’s, and Holmes was a top five prospect for the Dodgers…and Montas. For the prospects the team gave up, they better be getting two solid years of blister free Hill. Anything else would be a waste of prospects for a rental. I hate the concept of rentals, and in reading Friedman’s comments last year I was under the impression he wasn’t to fond of that type of risk taking, either. Then again, Mr. Moneyball Beane gave in and went all in a couple of years ago to trade for Lester…and it blew up in his face.


      1. Dodger patch
        This isn’t about the line up next year, but who do you think plays defense better at second Chase or Howie?

        1. Right now, Utley. He also has that professional approach to his craft. Not that Howie doesn’t, but Utley has that Tejada Effect.

          1. Dodger patch
            I agree with that, but with all of this shifting, it is hard to get an accurate read on defense.

            But Chase seems a little more mobil then Howie.

            And that sounds funny, because Howie is playing a good leftfield.

      2. Dodger patch

        Sometimes you might need a rental, but it is what you have to give up that makes a deal bad or good really.

        But you are right about the A’s because once they traded Cespedes, they went down hill quick.

        I guess Beane under estimated Cespedes value to the team.

        But I think Beane had to do something different because just making the play offs year after year, is just not enough.

        But it was the trade for Samarthzija that they lost there top shortstop, and you just never know.

  8. It may be one of Utley or Kendrick at second base. Or both in a platoon unless Utley really in fact wants to play everyday. Going deep into the playoffs will have major ramifications for them two vets.

    I think Jansen is gone and I’m don’t think the FAZ will sign Melancon or Chapman. They probably already have some under the radar bargain closers lined up in a nice spreadsheet, and they will sign them all, then hand the problem to Roberts and Honeycutt. I actually don’t mind this as my trust in Honeycutt has been restored. Just not McCarthy or Baez please. I think Dayton is worth a try actually, or they can sign someone from Japan or Korea.

    For the post season, I think it’s JDL. He can be the forth starter or a reliever when a strikeout is needed. Here’s what Vin Scully said after one of his swing strikes outs: “mmhmph”. We should call his change up the “silencer” as it made even Vin Scully speechless.

    1. Utley or Jansen? If it’s a choice, I take Kendrick.

      I don’t understand the fascination with Stripling. If Hill doesn’t melt down by the playoffs, he’s a solid starter that should be signed to a short term deal with an team option and bonuses on production. If he’s as solid as he seems, why look further.


      I am not in favor of a 6 man rotation. I think Wood could be retained as he is a border line starter. Stewart is too raw. Stripling in the bullpen. I couldn’t even begin to sort out the bullpen. I see some problems with everyone except Jansen. Blanton and Baez have breakdowns. Liberatore is used as a one or two batter option. Don’t like Fein, don’t know Dayton or Chavez well enough. Get rid of Howell. He’s hung on long enough. Cut the chord. They must have some long relievers on the farm that they could use. The bullpen needs refinement. Too many choices of mediocrity.

      Don’t like Timmons proposed look. We need some vets and Puig is missing. An oversight? Don’t think so. Prejudice against his precociousness. It’s Puig’s uniqueness. He doesn’t have to be cookie cut. Baseball is boring enough with a certain stoicism that managers often exhibit.

      And, btw, let’s have a revolution in uniform style. Maybe it will bring baseball into the 21st century. The most boring uniforms under the sun. It’s L.A. for heaven’s sake.

      1. I would love to see Puig on the team, but in many years of managing people, I have seen few change their spots. I don’t have any issues with partying and stuff like that, as long as it does not affect your on-the-field performance. I like Puig’s flamboyance and bat flips. I love it when he is having fun. I don’t want him to be stoic. We know he can light the team on fire and carry it on his back – he did it as a rookie.

        I do have a problem with habitual lateness, failure to take things seriously and lack of focus. That’s what the team does not like either. Russ Martin used to be the biggest party boy but it did not affect his performance in that he was always early and stayed late. Maybe Yasiel is changed. Maybe he can reach his potential… which is the Hall-Of-Fame. He’s that good. But to get there, you have to study film and work hard off the field before and after games. That’s where he falls way short.

        I am not Anti-Puig, even though I think he is a knucklehead.

        Again, maybe he is a changed man… it’s just that in my experience, stuff like that rarely happens. I hope he has flipped the switch. Time will tell….

          1. Jeff
            Are you kidding about the uniforms.

            They did a survey or a crituque on the best uniforms in baseball, and I believe the Dodgers ranked second.

            And this wasn’t from the fan base.

            There is something about the Dodgers hat, and the LA on them, that looks really good.

            And about Puig, he wasn’t stuck in AAA, because of his personality.

            He didn’t want to do the work, to make himself better.

            It is Puig’s personality that makes you want to root for him, but he needs to grow up.

            And his performance has been declining every year.

            So he obviously needs to do the work off the field too.

            Have you noticed since he has been back, that he stops himself, from running in front of Joc, to get a flyball, and he is throwing to the right base now.

            Either he just learned this in the last three weeks, or he has always known this but, he did what he wanted to do, instead of thinking about the team.

        1. Cheers to those that are capable of changing their spots.

          I believe that change is possible if it isn’t just a surface change, it has to come deep from within the individual. The deeper one goes in their reflection(s) as to what they do and say effects themself, effect others around them and effects their attitude (shithead or positive person), the better and deeper the changing of one spots goes.

          Striving to change ones spots is a worthy endeavor. Don’t grow weary, no one said it would be easy.

    2. YF
      I agree about Honeycutt.

      I wasn’t sure about him, but he has worked with all of these young pitchers, really well.

      And you can see improvement in almost every start they have.

  9. A lot of good points on all sides about next year’s team. I personally love Willie Calhoun, and I think he’s still improving. If he can play Jeff Kent type defense at 2b, his bat will be electric enough to keep him there. But who knows. That’s for winter ball 2016, spring training 2017, etc.

    For now, it’s great to have 4 of our minor league teams in the playoffs. Let’s see how far they can go!

    Giants take their turn vs the Dbacks, for 3 games in AZ this weekend. The fun time is now!

  10. I just wish Kershaw’s first start back, wasn’t this match up he is in tonight.

    Because this has already been built up, and will be built up all day today.

    And Kershaw puts enough pressure on himself, he doesn’t need all this extra pressure.

    If you remember Kershaw held the Marlins for about five innings last time, and then they got to him in the sixth inning I believe.

    It is to bad the Dodgers are not facing Cashner in this series, because Agone loves to hit against Cashner, as well as most of the Dodgers.

    We have to face Fernandez tonight, and I bet we face at least one leftie in this series too.

    The last time we faced the Marlins, they brought a leftie up, from AAA to pitch.

    And we didn’t hit him well.

    I wish Turner could figure out, why he is having trouble hitting lefties now, because he and Puig could make that difference, and Agone and Corey could help them too.

    A former player said that it was Turner’s batting stance, that was causing him to not see lefties well.

    If you look at Turner’s stance, he is almost turned around, and looking down the third baseline more.

        1. Thanks Wondering and Jeff.

          Look where Turner is looking, it kinds of looks, like he is only seeing a lefties arm slot, with mostly one eye, or the corner of his one eye.

  11. Please, let’s not assume the playoffs yet. I’m getting nervous. Tough game tonight. Kershaw to go 4? I read somewhere that the back still causes him problems. Marlins are in the fight for a wild card. Watch our for Yelich, one of the better young players in the game. After that the Yankees, who are hot and also are in a pennant race. I hope the Kershaw start doesn’t disappoint and everyone is let down. Like a reverse of what happened when he got hurt. He’s pitching today because they want him to pitch against the giants twice down the road. Nice idea. I hope it works out.

    1. Bobbie 17
      I agree with you, I don’t want to ever tempt fate, so I don’t act like it is over yet.

      And that is why I wish Kershaw was starting under a different circumstance.

      And I know the Yankees have been hot, but I much rather face a team that has been hot, then a team that has been on a losing streak.

  12. Nice start by Bawcom of OKC last night vs the AAA A’s, the best team in the PCL. He should be in the mix in spring training, unless he’s traded. Also Kyle Farmer, up from AA, played 3B in this elimination game. I think the suits like what they see in him, probably as a catcher, though.

  13. 1 – I don’t want Hill. He has pitched over 100 innings exactly 1 time (!) in a 12 year major league career. You aren’t any good to the team if you are on the DL no matter how well you pitch. Haven’t we learned that this year?
    2 – The Braintrust won’t sign any relief pitcher to a contract more than 3 years. So, no Jansen, Chapman or Melancon. Closer will be someone that we have never even thought about.
    3 – MLB Trade Rumors projects that Turner will get 4 years, comparing him to several infielders who got 4 years last off-season. Does anyone here think that the Braintrust will give him 4 years between $15MM and $20MM per year? The Dodgers will be looking for a new 3B and a new closer next off-season.
    4 – Calhoun is not a major league 2B from what I have read but I have never seen him play. You have to be able to field at 2B.
    5 – Puig is probably gone next year. So are Van Slyke, Anderson, and Barnes. Ethier has 10/5 rights and wouldn’t agree to a trade to anyone but the D-backs, so he returns in Blue for 1 more year. Gonzalez and Kendrick are back too. I think that the Dodgers would consider trading McCarthy and Kazmir but might not be able to find takers for McCarthy.
    6 – I agree that we will need more pitching “depth” next year, so I see Wood staying around. If they can’t get a taker for McCarthy he is also “depth”. They have a lot of kids who are ready or near ready – Urias, DeLeon, Stripling, Stewart, and others to come.
    7 – I weary of Puig’s bush league antics – bat flips and “flamboyance” are annoying and unprofessional. Vince Lombardi once famously said “When you get to the end zone, act like you’ve been there before”. Same is true for homers and other feats.

    1. I think Turner will sign a team friendly contract, so I think he will be back.

      He will be one of the best deals when it comes to thirdbase man, with his offense, and his glove.

      And this front office is more against, giving extra years then money, so I think they will offer him a three year contract, that is a better deal, then some four year contracts.

      Turner would much rather stay on the Dodgers, then go for a little extra money.

      1. I guess it will depend upon what other teams offer. I expected the Dodgers would re-sign Greinke at 5 years/$150 million but he got 6 years $207 million. I would not have done 5 and $150 let alone 6/$207. Maybe FAZ would have.

        I am afraid Turner will get a crazy deal from someone and he won’t be able to turn it down.

        If it’s a not a big difference, I think he will stay, but if It’s more than $4 or 5 million he will go. We lost Adrian Beltre for about that. STUPID! I still hate that!

    2. Puig’s bat flips aren’t even among the top ten most egregious or flamboyant, in my book. He basically gets good contact and lets the bat go in one motion.

  14. The rest of the schedule
    HOME (7 games): Sept. 19-21 vs. San Francisco, Sept. 22-25 vs. Colorado
    ROAD (16 games): Sept. 9-11 at Miami, Sept. 12-14 at New York Yankees, Sept. 15-18 at Arizona, Sept. 27-29 at San Diego, Sept. 30-Oct. 2 at San Francisco.

  15. Apparently Andre Ethier is flying to Miami right now. If he’s there in time, he could be activated in time for tonight’s game.

    Another option for LF

  16. Some posters here and many others from other Dodger websites lamented when Zack Lee was sent packing. Update: After 14 starts Zack Lee is 0-9 with a 7.39 ERA. Come to your own conclusions about trading some of our excess minor league pitchers. Lee not too long ago was our #1 prospect.

    1. Kazmir or Anderson will have to go to 60-day DL or someone will have to be released. They haven’t learned from their mistakes. Anderson was activated way too soon and now Ethier. He should be hitting AAA pitching instead of 11 games against single A. Comparing a pitcher like Anderson to a hitter like Ethier may be apples and oranges, but we all saw Howie struggle after being out so long and being activated too soon.

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