Thursday, June 12, 2014

Here are May's Dodger Pride Award Winners - Minor League Players of the Month for May

The Dodgers just announced their April Dodger Pride Award Winners.  This award celebrates the franchises best performers in the Minor Leagues for the month of May.  

Check them out below.
Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes

Pitcher – RHP Yimi Garcia posted a 1.50 ERA (2 ER/12.0 IP) in May, striking out 13 batters against a single walk in 10 games for the Isotopes. The right-handed reliever held opposing batters to a .217 batting average (10-for-46), without allowing a home run. On the season, the Dominican Republic native is 3-1 with a 3.94 ERA (13 ER/29.2 IP), has struck out 32 and walked five, and has held right-handed batters to a .214 batting average (15-for-70). The 23-year-old signed with the Dodgers in 2009 as a non-drafted free agent and was added to the 40-man roster on November 20, 2013.

Player – INF/OF Jamie Romak batted .303 (27-for-89) with a PCL-leading 10 homers, six doubles and 18 RBI in 25 May games before his contract was selected by the Dodgers on May 28. Overall at Albuquerque this season, Romak was batting .272 with 13 homers and 30 RBI in 48 games for the Isotopes, appearing in 27 games at third base, 10 at first base and eight in the outfield. Romak made his Major League debut on May 28 vs. Cincinnati and collected his first hit and RBI on June 8 at Colorado. The 28-year-old was signed by the Dodgers on November 19, 2013 and was originally selected by the Braves in the fourth round of the 2003 First-Year Player Draft.

Double-A Chattanooga Lookouts

Player – LHP Chris Reed led all Southern League pitchers with 38 strikeouts in May, posting a 3.97 ERA (15 ER/ 34.0 IP) in six starts for the Lookouts. In the month, the Southern California native limited opponents to a .203 batting average (26-for-128) and on the year, he has posted a 3-4 record with a 3.01 ERA (26 ER/ 77.2 IP). The left-hander’s performance in the first two-plus months of the season has earned him a spot on the 2014 Southern League Mid-Season All-Star team. The 24-year-old was selected by Los Angeles in the first round (16th overall) of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft. 

Player - INF Darnell Sweeney posted a .325 (37-for-114) batting average in May, powering 13 extra-base hits, while knocking in 18 RBI in 30 games for the Lookouts, tying for the third-most doubles (10) among the Southern League hitters. On the season, the 23-year-old has a .301 batting average (72-for-239) along with four home runs, 18 doubles, a triple and 26 RBI in 64 games. Sweeney was selected by the Dodgers in the 13th round of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Central Florida.

Single-A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes

Pitcher – RHP Blake Smith went 1-1 with five saves in six chances, posting a 3.77 ERA (6 ER/ 14.1 IP), while striking out 13 and walking four in 11 May games. On the season, the Northern California native is 1-3 with nine saves and a 3.54 ERA (11 ER/ 28.0 IP), limiting opposing hitters to a .221 batting average (23-for- 104).  The former University of California, Berkeley pitcher was promoted to the Double-A Chattanooga Lookouts on June 7 and was selected by the Dodgers in the second round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft.

Player – INF Corey Seager led the California League in batting average (.400), doubles (15), on-base percentage (.455), slugging percentage (.700) and ranked among league leaders with 44 hits (T-4th), six home runs (T-4th) and 24 RBI (T-5th) in 27 May games. The 20-year-old is batting .345 on the season (82-for-238), with 12 homers, two triples, 24 doubles and 49 RBI, and has come up clutch with runners on base by posting a .400 (46-for-115) clip with runners on and a .364 (16-for-44) average with runners on and two outs. Seager was named California League Player of the Week for the period ending May 26 and was selected as a California League Mid-Season All-Star. The North Carolina native was selected in the first round (18th overall) in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft.

Single-A Great Lakes Loons

(pic via
Player - RHP Mark Pope went a perfect 5-for-5 in save opportunities and did not allow a run in 10 games (11.0 IP) in May, allowing only seven hits in the month. On the season, the former Georgia Tech star strung together a scoreless innings streak of 20.1 innings and has posted a 0.69 ERA (2 ER/ 26.0 IP) in 21 appearances on his way to a Midwest League Mid-Season All-Star selection. Pope was originally drafted by San Diego in the fifth round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft and was signed by the Dodgers as a free agent on January 16, 2014.

Player – C Kyle Farmer posted a .288 batting average (23-for-80) in 22 May games, powering a homer, a triple, seven doubles and nine RBI. The former University of Georgia shortstop is hitting .308 (65-for-211) on the season with two homers, three triples, 16 doubles and 34 RBI and has eight three-hit performances for Great Lakes, earning him a spot on the Midwest League Mid-Season All-Star team. The 23-year-old was selected by Los Angeles in the eighth round of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft.

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Burt Shotton's 1947 Brooklyn Dodgers Championship Ring

As the story goes...

The Dodgers were about to change the Baseball landscape.  Branch Rickey had formulated a plan to integrate his ballclub, and there was nothing the league could do about it.  He searched and scouted ballfields throughout North America and settled on a Southern California former 4-sport collegiate athlete named Jackie Robinson.  By the Spring of 1947, he was ready to change the nation.

Unfortunately, the league put up plenty of roadblocks along the way.  One of which included suspending Dodgers manager Leo Durocher before the season.  Officially, it was for "association with known gamblers" and "conduct detrimental to baseball," but some think those were just red herring excuses. 

Branch Rickey was dismayed.  Who could better handle the Dodgers during this time of change than the man they call The Lip?  He had showed his mettle for the job when he told his players that Spring that he would not tolerate any dissent from those who opposed Jackie Robinson.  Now, he would need to find someone to replace him.

That replacement, after being rebuffed by respected retired Yankees skipper Joe McCarthy, would be Dodger scout and long-time friend of Rickey, Burt Shotton. 

Shotton was a mild mannered man with a calm demeanor, and soon his quiet leadership would prove to be exactly what the Dodgers needed.  He steered the club through rocky waters and won the National League Pennant; outclassing St. Louis by 5 games.  Unfortunately, they would lose the subsequent World Series to the Yankees that Fall.

Worthridge Auctions currently has Burt Shotten's 1947 Brooklyn Dodgers National League Championship ring up for auction.  Check out photos of it below.  Considering what it represents, I hope it finds itself in a place where all fans alike can have an opportunity to check it out in person.  It's a testament to a challenging time in our history; both as Dodger fans and as Americans. For once, the good guys won... And, heck... They even won a pennant as a reward.
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Blog Kiosk: 6/12/2014 - Dodger Links - Snakes on Puig, More Draftees Sign and Billingsley Shut Down

Yasiel Puig visited the Cincinnati Zoo yesterday and made a new friend, pic via the Cincinnati Zoo on instagram.
The Dodgers halted Chad Billingsley's minor league rehabilitation assignment and sent him for medical evaluation after he complained of weakness in his surgically repaired right elbow.
  • Via Manny Randhawa at, "Hanley a late scratch with shoulder irritation."  Will the injuries ever stop?
  • From yesterday's game against the Reds, Brandon Phillips shows Puig some respect on the basepaths, gif via Dodgers on tumblr.
  • Troy from West Virginia has been arrested in Cincinnati for criminal trespass and obstructing official business.  He had previously been banned from going to that stadium, via Kimball Perry at  Yeah, he's a troubled guy.

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