Wednesday, July 09, 2014

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

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

Check them out below.

Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes

Pitcher – RHP Carlos Frias ranked ninth in the PCL with a 3.09 ERA (11 ER/32.0 IP) in June, striking out 29 (13th, PCL) and issuing six walks in five starts for the Isotopes. The Dominican Republic native was named the PCL Pitcher of the Week for the period ending June 23 after allowing only one run in 13.0 innings in two starts that week, while striking out 17. The 24-year-old signed with the Dodgers as a non-drafted free agent and was a Spring Training non-roster invitee for the club this season.

Player – INF Clint Robinson ranked ninth in the PCL with a .357 batting average (30-for-84), with six homers, five doubles and 21 RBI, while posting the fourth-highest PCL slugging percentage (.631) in 23 June games before his contract was selected by the Dodgers on June 25. Overall at Albuquerque this season, Robinson batted .309 with 14 homers and 56 RBI in 77 games for the Isotopes. The Missouri native made his Major League debut on June 27 vs. St. Louis and had his first hit and game-winning RBI on June 30 vs. Cleveland, and overall on the season is batting .333 (3-for-9). A non-roster invitee to the Dodgers’ 2014 Spring Training camp, Robinson was signed by the club on November 18, 2013 and was originally selected by the Royals in the 25th round of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft.

Double-A Chattanooga Lookouts

Pitcher – RHP Andres Santiago ranked fifth among Southern League leaders with a 2.18 ERA (5 ER/20.2 IP) and third with a .228 opponents’ batting average (18-for-79) among pitchers in five games (three starts) in June. The Puerto Rico native struck out 16 and walked four in five June games and on the season has struck out 64. The 24-year-old was selected by the Dodgers in the 16th round of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft.

Player – INF Daniel Mayora ranked seventh in the Southern League with a .350 batting average (36-for-103) in 26 June games, with one homer, four doubles and 19 RBI (6th, Southern League). On the season, the Venezuela native has a .283 batting average (91-for-321) and is tied for fifth in the Southern League with 47 RBI. Mayora has been a dependable situational hitter this season, batting .307(47-for-153) with runners on and .297 (27-for-91) with runners in scoring position. The 28-year-old was originally signed by the Rockies in 2003 as a non-drafted free agent and was signed by the Dodgers on November 8, 2013.

Single-A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes

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Pitcher – LHP Dan Coulombe went a perfect 3-for-3 in save opportunities in June, allowing one run in nine appearances and ranking among California League leaders in saves during the month (T-3rd). The 24-year-old posted a 0.97 ERA (1 ER/ 11.1 IP) while striking out 16 and holding opposing batters to a .111 (4-for-36) average. On the season, the Arizona native is 3-0 with four saves and a 3.19 ERA (15 ER/ 42.1 IP), limiting opposing hitters to a .204 batting average (31-for- 152) and is tied for third in the California League in holds (8). The former Texas Tech University standout was selected by the Dodgers in the 25th round of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft.

Player – OF Aaron Miller ranked among California League leaders with three triples (T-1st), a .658 slugging percentage (5th), 19 RBI (8th) and five home runs (T-11th) in 22 June games for the Quakes. The Texas native batted .316 (25-for-79) with five homers, three triples, six doubles and 19 RBI during the month and was named California League Player of the Week for the period ending June 9. On the season, the 26-year-old is batting .274 (59-for-215), with eight homers, four triples, 19 doubles and 40 RBI, and has come up clutch with the bases loaded, posting a .375 (3-for-8) clip and a .333 (14-for-42) batting average with runners on and two outs. The former Baylor University star was selected in the first round (36th overall) in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft.

Single-A Great Lakes Loons

Pitcher – RHP Victor Araujo went 2-0 and a perfect 2-for-2 in save opportunities in June, striking out 17 and walking three in 12 appearances. The Dominican Republic native posted a 1.45 ERA (3 ER/18.2 IP) and tossed 12.2 scoreless innings between June 10-27. On the season, the 21-year-old is 4-1 with four saves with a 1.15 ERA (6 ER/ 47.0 IP) and is limiting the opposition to a .140 (22-for-157) batting average. Araujo was signed by the Dodgers as a free agent on November 26, 2009.

Player – INF Jesmuel Valentin posted a .321 batting average (26-for-81) in 21 June games, powering three homers, two triples, four doubles and nine RBI. The Puerto Rico native is hitting .280 (82-for-293) on the season with five homers, seven triples, 15 doubles and 36 RBI and has three four-hit performances for Great Lakes. The 20-year-old was selected by Los Angeles in the first round of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft.

Rookie-level Ogden Raptors

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Pitcher – RHP Abdiel Velasquez struck out nine batters in three starts in June, posting a 3.12 ERA (6 ER/17.1 IP). Overall, the Panama native is 1-2 with a 2.86 ERA (9 ER/28.1 IP) and has allowed two earned runs or less with 5.0 or more innings in four of his five starts. The 21-year-old was signed by the Dodgers on July 2, 2009.

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Player – INF Justin Chigbogu ranked among Pioneer League leaders in June with 17 hits (T-6th) and eight RBI (T-9th) while posting a .293 batting average (17-for-58) in 15 games for the Raptors. The Missouri native strung together a 14-game hitting streak to open the campaign, batting .315 (17-for-54) during the streak. Chigbogu was drafted by the Dodgers in the fourth round of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft.

Rookie-level Arizona League Dodgers

Pitcher – RHP Yueri Gonzalez went 1-0 in two relief appearances in June, posting a 2.84 ERA (2 ER/6.1 IP). The Dominican Republic native limited opposing batters to a .240 batting average (6-for-25) and threw 3.1 scoreless innings in his first game, which was on June 22. On the season, the 21-year-old has gone 1-1 in four games with a 2.20 ERA (4 ER/16.1 IP), which is the13th-best mark in the Arizona League. Gonzalez was signed by the Dodgers on May 15 of this season after originally signing with Seattle on December 11, 2009.

Player - OF Deivy Castillo posted a .368 batting average (7-for-19) in six June games, with one homer, one triple and four RBI. Overall, Castillo has hit safely in eight of his 10 games with one home run, one triple, one double, six RBI and is tied for seventh in the Arizona League with six stolen bases. The 18-year-old is hitting well in clutch situations, posting a .429 (6-for-14) clip with runners on and a .400 (4-for-10) average with runners in scoring position. Castillo was signed by the Dodgers as a free agent on January 14, 2013.

Rookie-level Dominican Summer League Dodgers

Pitcher - RHP Miguel Urena went 2-2 in five starts in June, posting a 1.75 ERA (5 ER/25.2 IP) with 16 strikeouts against six walks, limiting opposing batters to a .187 batting average (17-for-91). On the season, the Dominican Republic native is 2-3 with a 2.12 ERA (7 ER/29.2 IP) in six starts and has limited left-handed hitters to a .162 batting average (6-for-137). The 19-year-old was signed by the Dodgers as a free agent on January 14, 2013.

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Player - C Hendrik Clementina batted .391 (25-for-64) in 17 June games, which was the fourth-best mark in the DSL, while powering two home runs, five doubles and seven RBI. The 17-year-old is hitting .322 (28-for-87) on the season and has seven multi-hit performances, including four games with three or more hits. The Dominican Republic native was signed by the Dodgers as a free agent on December 13, 2013.

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The Trial is Over - Bryan Stow Will Receive Some Financial Relief

This afternoon, an Los Angeles jury determined that the Dodgers are partially liable for the injuries sustained by Bryan Stow in a Dodger Stadium parking lot attack in 2011.  Furthermore, former team owner Frank McCourt escaped any responsibility.  He was absolved of any contributory negligence. 

And with that, the nearly 5 week long trial is over.  The team will be responsible for 25% of the $18Million verdict, or $4.5Million total.  Unfortunately, that is the most the victim is likely to ever receive.  It is highly doubtful that his two attackers have any money to pay for their collective 75% of financial responsibility.

I wish I could say that this closes one of the saddest chapters in the history of the Dodgers franchise, but that would be callous.  The truth is that this act of violence perpetrated on our home field is something that should haunt us.

We all should bear some responsibility.  After all, how many times have you looked the other way when a drunken bully acts out in an inappropriate way (beyond playful banter)?  Have you done enough to tell that stranger to cool it?  Would you do it today?  I get that it is scary to speak out, but at some point you just can't sit back.

Also, I think it's important to remember that this verdict is just the beginning for Bryan Stow.  He is the one who will have to endure it all.  I hope he is able to live as full a life as possible, and that these funds are enough to provide for his care.  Hopefully, this verdict provides some relief and help. 

KTLA 5 has a good story on the verdict here.

Pic at the very top via KTLA 5 on facebook.

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Watch Puig and AGon Meet Canelo

This weekend is a big junior middleweight boxing match between Mexican boxer Canelo Alvarez and Cuban pugilist Erislandy Lara in Las Vegas, so naturally they had to find a way to get a couple of Dodger players involved.  After all, what could be better than getting Adrian Gonzalez and Yasiel Puig arguing about who will win?  Heck, maybe they might capture some right hooks and left jabs in the process.

Of course, that didn't happen.  The Dodger clubhouse is an beacon of peace and tranquility right now, so there was no way a little national rivalry could hamper the love. 

During the Dodgers roadtrip south a couple of weeks ago, Canelo Alvarez visited the Dodger clubhouse to say hello to the fellows, and Showtime's cameras were there to capture it all.  Watch the exchange in the video below.  It was filmed for a Showtime PPV: All Access episode that airs tonight on Showtime at 9:00 PM.  The boxing fight happens this coming Saturday at MGM.

Video Link:

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Weekend Autograph Opportunities: Ethier, Butera and Former King Bernie Nicholls

Here are this weekends autograph opportunities and events throughout the Southland. As always, be sure to check the Blue Heaven Calendar for other events (a link can always be found on the tab at the top of this page, just left of center), and always confirm with the establishment. Everything is subject to change.  Please email me with any tips about upcoming events in Southern California.  As the rest of the week progresses I'll update this post with other events (if there are any) as I become aware of them.  Also, I don't always list every event below, so be sure to check my Calendar.  I always try to favor free signing events over paying events.  Click on any pic to embiggen.


Andre Ethier will be at Manuel's Original El Tepeyac Cafe in teh City of Industry to sign autographs for fans on Saturday, July 12th starting at 11:30 AM to completion.  Prices are: Balls, Flats, Bobbleheads & Figurines:  $45; All other items:  $60; Inscriptions:  $20. each; PSA/DNA Authentication:  $10. each.  Go here or here for information.
Manuel's Original El Tepeyac Cafe #2
13131 Crossroads Pkwy South
City of Industry, CA 91746

Dodgers catcher Drew Butera will be at the Sports Authority store on Pico in Los Angeles this coming Saturday, July 12th from 11:00 AM to 12:00PM.  (Hat Tip: Roberto at Vin Scully is My Homeboy)
Sports Authority 
4550 W. Pico Blvd. 
Los Angeles, CA 90019

LA Kings legend Bernie Nicholls will be at Dr. Alex Corbin Liu's optometry practice in Rowland Heights this coming Saturday, July 12th from 2:30 PM to 3:30 PM.  Go here for more information.
Dr. Alex Corbin Liu 
19735 East Colima Road, #4
Rowland Heights, CA

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Blog Kiosk: 7/9/2014 - Dodger Links - Bogus Commemorative Ticket, Dodgers All-Star Teacher and Finding Baseball Treasure in LA

Yasiel Puig is definitely ready to represent the Dodgers and the National League at the All-Star Game next week.  Check him out all decked-out in his All-Star gear - except, that's not the Dodger All-Star cap.  That atrocity has that horribly ugly grey in it.  Pic above via @Dodgers on twitter.
  • Are you frick'n kidding me!  This is the most laughable thing I've ever read.  The Dodgers idea of a commemorative ticket for Kershaw's no-hitter is another print-at-home paper ticket.  Goodness, there's not a single collector/fan in the upper-reaches of that organization.  They just don't understand what makes a lot of Baseball fans tick.  You must read Ron Cervenka at Think Blue LA's post, "Season ticket holders miffed over Kershaw no-hitter commemorative tickets" for a good... no, a sad and feeling unappreciated, laugh.  
  • Come on... Really?  The DL revolving door will not stop.  Via Jon Weisman at Dodger Insider, "Josh Beckett heading to disabled list."  Beckett has a left hip impingement - whatever that is.  In his place will be former infielder turned reliever Pedro Baez.  Per a Dodger press release:
Baez was previously recalled for one game earlier this year, May 5 at Washington, and allowed two runs on two hits in 1.0 inning of relief in his Major League debut. The converted infielder opened the year at Double-A Chattanooga and went 2-1 with six saves and a 2.79 ERA (6 ER/19.1 IP) in 17 games to earn a May 25 promotion to Albuquerque. The 26-year-old last pitched on Saturday, allowing three runs on two hits in 1.0 inning vs. Las Vegas, and has posted a 4.50 ERA (8 ER/16.0 IP) in 17 appearances with the Isotopes.
Isagani Celzo, a math instructor at the School of Social Justice in Huntington Park, has been selected by fans to represent the Dodgers in the "Target Presents PEOPLE All-Star Teachers" campaign, which celebrates current and retired teachers who make an impact on the lives of their students and communities.

Celzo earned an academic scholarship while working as a janitor and graduated magna cum laude with a degree in mathematics at age 20. A National Board certified math teacher, he is a founding member of the School of Social Justice, where he teaches geometry and AP calculus.
  • If you don't check out Jim Campanis' anecdotes that he writes on his facebook page then you are really missing out.  As you may know, he is the grandson of former Dodger GM Al Campanis and a former professional Baseball player himself.  He was drafted by Seattle in 1988, but never reached higher than AA ball.  As a member of a connected Baseball family he has plenty of stories about his experiences in the game, and he consistently shares them on facebook.  Yesterday, he wrote a great piece about the first manger he played for in pro-ball, Ralph Dick.  Check it out here.  He is worth a follow.  BTW, you can also follow him on twitter here: @JimCampanis.  Another favorite story I've read from him is about Bobby Castillo:
Bobby was immediately a clubhouse favorite. He was always very cool with me and used to do this Cheech Marin imitation…the guys would crack up. His laid back personality was a perfect compliment to some of the more intense personalities on the team and he helped break the tension on many occasions using his wit and humor.
  • Via David Seidman at Forbes, we find out about an woman who found some real treasure.  This lady came upon a Babe Ruth signed letter at an estate sale in Los Angeles for $1.00.  Why can't I find stuff like this?  Wow!
On her rounds she had paid a $1 for a scrapbook filled with letters which celebrities had written to an Elk Lodge Leader, presuming they were replicas.

In fact they were real and included a letter typed and signed by Babe Ruth from the film set of Pride of the Yankees in 1942 where he was working as a consultant. 

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