Opinion of Kingman's Performance

Monday, March 5, 2012

How Will These Guys Get Playing Time?

Dodger prospect Scott Van Slyke
Jerry Sands, Scott Van Slyke, Ivan DeJesus Jr., Nathan Eovaldi, and Justin Sellers have all one thing in common besides being in the Dodger organization.  They have veteran players on the downsides of their careers that are in front of them on the depth chart for the next two years that keep them from getting significant playing time at the major league level.
De Jesus has fallen out of favor with the organization.  There has to be an unknown reason why because he has performed well.  Ivan won major league roster spot out of last year’s spring training.  After being sent back to Albuquerque following Rafael Furcal’s return from the disabled list, he never returned.  De Jesus didn’t even sniff a September call up after his Albuquerque season had ended (where he batted .310, with a .389 OBP).  He tore up the Puerto Rican Winter League.  Check out his numbers: 125 AB, 13R, 41H, 8 2B, 4 3B, 0HR, 13 RBI, .388 OBP, .328 AVG, .844 OPS.  How is it possible that he has fallen so deep in the depth chart that Uribe, Kennedy, Hairston, Mark Ellis and Sellers would all have to go down with injuries for him to get a call up?
Scott Van Slyke, a late bloomer in his player development, has come into his own and is a legitimate prospect that should be sniffing the big league roster.  As the Minor League Offensive player of the year last year he put up impressive numbers in AA Chattanooga.: .348 AVG, .427 OBP, .595 SLG, 1.022 OPS, all over 529 plate appearances in the pitching friendly Southern League.  He was amongst the league leaders in nearly all important offensive categories.  Frankly I believe we should be excited about Van Slyke as a potential Dodger this year as we are about Jerry Sands, but those two need to supplant Juan Rivera, Jerry Hairston, Tony Gwynn and James Loney to gain a roster spot and playing time.
Needless to say, other outfielders such as Trent Oeltjen, Jamie Hoffman haven’t got a prayer and Oeltjen is out of options, so the 28 year old outfielder will be out of the organization after Spring Training most likely.
On the pitching front, I must admit that I agree with the tactic that Colletti has taken.  The two year deals to Aaron Harang and Chris Capuano have created a stop-gap that will keep the likes of Eovaldi, De La Rosa (when he returns from injury), John Ely, Chris Withrow, Allen Webster, Michael Antonini and perhaps even Zach Lee and Chris Reed from getting to the show before 2014.  I’m not as concerned about the stop gaps created in the pitching department, simply because some of these young guys haven’t put up the innings that a full 200+ inning major league season requires.  

Nathan Eovaldi
On June 29th last season, I predicted that De La Rosa would possibly face injury if the Dodgers didn’t cut his workload back.  LINKED HERE   I was pleased to see them cut back Eovaldi’s workload in September.  It is probably best to pull back on the reins on some of those young arms and allow them to build up their strength before tossing them into a major league rotation.  A pitcher like Chris Reed will need to put innings on his arm to see if he can convert to a starting pitcher role and endure the rigors of a 200 inning season.  De La Rosa will need a full year or more to return to his former self.  Zach Lee needs to develop stamina and arm strength.  Doing it on the Major League level isn't that wise.
So as Spring Training games get under way, I’ve got a mixed opinion on the major league vets that are in place keeping the kids at bay.  A thumbs up for the pitching deals and a thumbs down for the acquisition of vets to fill in spots in the infield and outfield.  Spring Training, as a result, is rather anticlimactic.  Even if Van Slyke tears the cover off the ball (as he did today), and puts up amazing ST numbers, he’s still destined for Albuquerque to start the year.

1 comment:

  1. Hopefully new ownership will get rid of Ned Colletti, the reason for all these problems.

    I don't understand why DeJesus has fallen so far. He's probably lower than Sellers on the depth chart yet much more talented. If he isn't going to play, he should be traded.

    Sands has done all he can at the minor league level. If he's going to remain in the organization, he should play everyday. There's no way for him to improve otherwise.