Saturday, July 06, 2013

Welcome to the Blue, Ricky Nolasco!


In a move to bolster our starting pitching staff, the Dodgers pick up Miami Marlins veteran starter Ricky Nolasco. 

In exchange for Nolasco we give up AAA reliever Steven Ames, AAA reliever Josh Wall and Single A pitching prospect Angel Sanchez.  Both Ames and Wall figure on being serviceable pieces to a Major League bullpen in the future, while Sanchez may turn out to be a decent starter.  In fact, earlier this year Sanchez flirted with a no-hitter while with the Great Lakes Loons, via Eric Stephen at True Blue LA, and is ranked #8 by MLB.com and #25 by Baseball America in the Dodgers farm system.  On the other hand, Sanchez is not considered one of our best high-echelon starting pitching prospects and is 23 years old in Single A.

So, we basically give up 2 middle relievers and a potential starting pitcher for the best pitcher on the Marlins.  Not too bad, eh?  I think Colletti deserves a big round-of-applause for this one.  We didn't give up too much in order to get a solid arm in our quest for a pennant.  Heck, Nolasco should slot in as our #4 starter, so I think he'll fit in quite nicely.

Furthermore, the Dodgers also get some International Singing monies.  They receive bonus slot #96 valued at $197,000.00.  So, the Dodgers can go ahead and sign another kid to add to our stable of teenage prospects.  This is becoming a bigger win than I originally imagined.

In celebration of Colletti's brilliant move to bring a solid arm to our starting staff, I made the above fantasy card of Rocky Nolasco.  See it above.  It uses a 1968 Topps card design, and I grabbed the pic from 2012 media day: Marc Serota/Getty

Below are Nolasco's Major League stats, per Baseball Reference.


Per a Dodgers press release:
The Los Angeles Dodgers today acquired right-handed pitcher Ricky Nolasco from the Miami Marlins in exchange for minor league right-handed pitchers Steven Ames, Josh Wall and Angel Sanchez. The Dodgers also acquired international signing bonus slot No. 96 valued at $197,000 from the Marlins as part of the deal.

Nolasco has gone 81-72 with a 4.44 ERA in 213 games (197 starts) in eight Major League seasons from 2006-2013 with the Marlins. He’s posted double-digit wins and a sub-4.00 ERA in five consecutive seasons since 2008, ranking among the NL leaders in wins (69, 5th), strikeouts (891, 6th), complete games (9, T-7th), shutouts (4, T-9th) and innings pitched (1064.1, 6th) in that span. Nolasco is the Marlins’ all-time wins leader with 81 wins and also holds franchise records with 1,001 strikeouts and 1,225.2 innings pitched in 213 career games with the club. In addition, Nolasco owns the Marlins’ franchise single-game strikeouts record with 16 on Sept. 19, 2009 at Atlanta.

The 30-year-old has made 18 starts for Miami this year, going 5-8 with a 3.85 ERA and 10 quality starts. He last pitched on Wednesday at Atlanta, allowing just two runs on six hits with seven strikeouts in 7.0 innings and picked up the victory in the Marlins’ 6-3 win.

The Corona, CA, native, who attended Rialto High School, was acquired by the Marlins from the Cubs in 2005 after he was originally selected by Chicago in the fourth round of the 2001 First-Year Player Draft.
Wall, 26, went 0-1 with an 18.00 ERA in six relief appearances with the Dodgers this season and is 1-1 with a 12.08 ERA in 13 career big league appearances in 2012-13. The Louisiana native was 1-2 with a 5.60 ERA in 25 games this season with Triple-A Albuquerque and has a 40-47 record in 252 games (115 starts) in nine minor league seasons. Wall was originally selected by Los Angeles in the second round of the 2005 First-Year Player Draft.

Ames, 25, has gone 2-2 with a 3.67 ERA in 30 appearances this season with Triple-A Albuquerque. The Washington native has gone 8-10 with a 2.22 ERA in 170 career relief appearances at the minor league level during his five professional seasons. Ames was added to the Dodgers’ 40-man roster on Nov. 20, 2012 and was originally selected by the Dodgers in the 17th round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft.

Sanchez, 23, has gone a combined 2-7 with a 4.67 ERA in 16 games (15 starts) this season with Single-A Great Lakes and Single-A Rancho Cucamonga. The native of the Dominican Republic has a 16-23 career record in 63 career games (54 starts) in three minor league seasons after signing with the Dodgers as a non-drafted free agent on July 12, 2010.

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Adrian Gonzalez and Yasiel Puig are All-Star Game Final Vote Candidates


I'm torn.

I firmly believe that Adrian Gonzalez has done enough to earn a spot on the National League All-Star team, but at the same time I think it would be great for the Cuban sensation Yasiel Puig to go to New York, as well. 

What should I do?

As you probably already know, Clayton Kershaw was selected to join his 3rd consecutive All-Star game, but there was one glaring omission.  Our consistently great 1st baseman Adrian Gonzalez was left off.  As a way of rectifying this, he was made a National League Final Vote candidate

Five players from each league are on a special fan ballot.  The player with the most votes in each league is given the final roster spot for the All-Star game.

Unfortunately, another Dodger is also on the Final Vote roster.  Our Cuban savior, Yasiel Puig, is also a candidate.  So, the Dodgers have 2 players in the All-Star fan election, and only one person can go.  Considering the burgeoning popularity of Puig, I think it's safe to say he'll outpace AGon.  Still, I wish both of them could go.  Hopefully, this dual candidacy doesn't effectively split the Dodger fan vote and cause one of the other 3 candidates to get an All-Star berth.

Go here to vote, and be sure to vote often

From a Dodgers press release:
Gonzalez and Puig were among the five players selected for the final vote and fans can vote an unlimited number of times between now and 1:00 p.m. PT on Thursday, July 11 online at Dodgers.com or mlb.com/vote and on mobile devices. To vote via mobile device, fans can text N3 to 89269 to vote for Adrian Gonzalez and text N5 to 89269 to vote for Yasiel Puig. The other candidates are Washington’s Ian Desmond, Atlanta’s Freddie Freeman and San Francisco’s Hunter Pence.
The Dodgers have had three previous players selected for the final vote with Nomar Garciaparra (2006), Matt Kemp (2009) and Andre Ethier (2011). Garciaparra earned the 2006 All-Star selection via the final vote, while Ethier eventually earned the All-Star nod as an injury replacement.

Here is a Final Vote video introducing both Adrian Gonzalez and Yasiel Puig.

Video Link:

This is a must see.  Here is a great MLB video explaining why you should vote for Puig.  It's hilarious.

Video Link:

Pic at very top via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2013

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Clayton "The Claw" Kershaw Earns his 3rd Consecutive All-Star Berth


To the surprise of no one, Clayton Kershaw has just been named to the 2013 National League All-Star game.  Congrats, big guy!

I was surprised to find out that Adrian Gonzalez was not chosen, as well.  He has been our most consistent Dodger all season long, and is by my estimation the only reason we are even still in the race for the NL West.  If not for him, we would've been much further away from the top when our winning ways came back.  But, I digress.

Per a Dodgers press release:
Kershaw, who was selected as an All-Star last year by Manager Tony La Russa and in 2011 via player balloting, is the first Dodger to be selected to three consecutive All-Star teams since Eric Gagne (2002-04). Kershaw tossed a scoreless inning of relief in both of his previous All-Star appearances.

The 25-year-old has gone 7-5 with a 1.93 ERA through 18 starts this season, leading the Majors in ERA and opponents’ batting average (.189) and ranking among the NL’s best in innings pitched (130.1, 3rd), strikeouts (126, 2nd), shutouts (2, T-1st) and WHIP (0.93, 2nd). Kershaw has tossed 7.0 or more innings in 14 of his 18 starts, while allowing one or fewer runs in nine outings this season.

Kershaw was selected as the National League’s Player of the Week during the season’s opening week, when he went 2-0 with 16 strikeouts in 16.0 scoreless innings in two starts. Kershaw earned the win in his first decision of the 2013 campaign with an Opening Day performance for the record books, tossing a shutout and clubbing a game-winning homer in a 4-0 victory over the visiting San Francisco Giants. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Texas-native became just the second pitcher in Major League history to hit a home run and throw a shutout in his team’s season opener, joining Cleveland Indians hurler Bob Lemon, who homered in his Opening Day one-hitter against the White Sox on April 14, 1953. In addition to hitting an eighth-inning blast that broke a scoreless tie, Kershaw held San Francisco batters to four hits while fanning seven and not issuing a walk. The shutout extended Kershaw’s streak of three consecutive Opening Day starts without allowing a run (also: April 5, 2012 at San Diego and March 31, 2011 vs. San Francisco).

Kershaw has posted a 68-42 record in 169 games (167 starts) in six Major League seasons and leads the big leagues with a 2.69 ERA and .212 opponents’ batting average since the start of the 2008 season.


Pic above via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2013

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Even More Yasiel Puig Leaf Promo Cards for The National


How big is Yasiel Puig to the card hobby?

Well, at the upcoming National Sports Collectors Convention in Chicago he will not only be one of the more sought after VIP promotional giveaways for visitors, but he will also have his own redemption card set made by Leaf Trading Cards.

Via Susan Lulgjuraj at Beckett.com, fans wanting to open up packs of Leaf products at the Leaf booth will receive Leaf Bucks good for any number of different exclusive redemption items; including a 6-card Yasiel Puig set.  Check out Susan's story for more info about other items available and what products qualify.  Below are 5 of the cards from the 6-card Puig redemption set.  Above is the VIP Puig promo card that will be given to all VIP attendees.

As you can see, there is no Dodger logo on the card (Leaf does not have a MLB license) and they have his wrong uniform number.
UPDATE:  I've just discovered why Puig is wearing #57 instead of #66.  He has worn #66 as a Dodger since at least Spring Training this year, but wore #57 in 2012.  Check out this video of him during his professional debut as a member of the Arizona League Dodgers (rookie league) wearing #57.
BTW, the convention is from July 31st to August 4th, and the Dodgers will be in town playing the Cubs at that time.  So, if you're going to the show you can watch the Dodgers play by getting tickets from the Cubs, here


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Blog Kiosk: 7/6/2013 - Dodgers Links - Uribe's Big day and Kemp's Sore Shoulder


Both Joe Torre and Kareem Abdul Jabbar took in the Dodgers vs. Giants game last night.  Pic via twitter @Dodgers.
"It sounds like it's good. The fact that it's the AC joint was a lot better than it could have been, on the other side of that," Mattingly told reporters after the Dodgers' 10-2 win over the Giants, as shown on the Prime Ticket broadcast. "It was instant and he got relief. The last time we did this it was only a couple of days and he should be ready to roll."
"I felt something weird in my shoulder and it kind of scared me a little bit," said Kemp. "But others say it's pretty normal for labrum surgery, I heard from other players. The cortisone shot calmed it down. It was very scary. I never felt anything like that. Worse than running into the wall."
  • Mark's Ephemera shares a bunch of vintage newspaper advertisements for the sale of Baseball cards from the late 50's.  If only I could back in time.


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