Friday, April 24, 2015

Welcome to the Blue, Sergio Santos!

The Dodgers threw a bit of a curveball. 

With the recent trade for Xavier Cedeno the other day and word that he would meet the team in San Diego, I naturally assumed that he would be placed into the Dodgers bullpen today.  Considering the flurry of roster moves the club has made to shuffle players in-and-out of the team roster it seemed obvious.  Well... I shoulda realized that assuming anything only makes an ass out of me.

This afternoon the Dodger instead announced that Cedeno would be DFA'd and 31-year old veteran reliever Sergio Santos, only acquired by the Dodgers in early January, would join the team.

Via a Dodger press release:
The Los Angeles Dodgers today selected the contract of right-handed pitcher Sergio Santos, optioned right-handed pitcher Mike Bolsinger to Triple-A Oklahoma City and designated left-handed pitcher Xavier Cedeño for assignment.

Santos last pitched on Tuesday, with a scoreless inning of relief against Nashville (Athletics), and tossed scoreless relief in five of six appearances with Oklahoma City, posting a 3.86 ERA (2 ER/4.2 IP). The 31-year-old was a non-roster invitee at Spring Training and allowed seven runs (six earned) in 10.2 innings in 11 games (one start) with the Dodgers. The Los Angeles native was signed by the club as a free agent on Dec. 29, 2014 and has a 7-12 record with 39 saves and a 3.89 ERA in 180 games in five Major League seasons with the White Sox (2010-11) and Blue Jays (2012-14).
Bolsinger, the reigning Triple-A Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Week, allowed just one run on five hits in 5.2 innings in a no-decision as the Dodgers' spot starter yesterday at San Francisco.

Cedeño was acquired on Wednesday from Washington in exchange for cash considerations.
Via Eric Stephen at True Blue LA:
"Growing up in LA, I was a huge Dodgers fan. Ever since I got in baseball, I always hoped for an opportunity to be traded to them, or to become a free agent to be able to sign with them," Santos said during spring training. "It's a little surreal putting on the Dodgers hat and Dodgers uniform, especially because I've put it on for so long but never been a part of the team, so it's nice to be a part of that now."
In celebration of Santos' arrival to the Dodgers I made the above fantasy card for him.  I used a photograph grabbed from a photo taken by Dodger photoagrapher Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2015 and the 1962 Topps Baseball card design.

Below are his career stats, via Baseball-Reference:

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The Ugliest Sketch Card You'll Ever See

Holy Mackerel!  What is this abomination? 

Card manufacturers have been including artistically drawn sketch cards in many of their products over the years, and most of them (at least the ones made into actual subsets) are quite good.  When you commission with noted artist like Monty Sheldon and Brian Kong you know it'll be top notch. 

Unfortunately, it appears that Topps has over-stretched by casting too wide a net.  The above Clayton Kershaw sketch card (that originally came to my attention through an blog post by Corky at Pack War) can be found here on eBay.  It has the outrageous price of $499 attached to it, and for the life of me I cannot imagine anyone forking over that kind of dough.

Not that it's the fault of the seller.  This collector pulled a scarce and super-rare "1 of 1" card, and basically got screwed.  A card that could very well have been a showpiece in anyone's collection - should have been - is instead the butt of some terrible joke.  Yes, this card is a joke and Topps should never have allowed it to be distributed into their product.

Per Corky, the card appears to have been drawn by a "Elmo Perez," at least that's the best he can make out from the signature on the reverse.  Check it out for yourself below.

I shudder at the thought of finding one of these cards by "Elmo" in a pack.

Since this post is on the topic of sketch cards I figured I'd shared some pics of some of the better 2015 Museum sketch cards that have been unearthed so far.  After all, I gotta do something to wash out the stink from my eyes.  Also, go here to check out the sketch cards that made it into Museum's subset this year.

The below Clayton Kershaw card was drawn by Kevin-John.  You can check out the artist website here.
(eBay Auction Link)

And I'm very impressed by these next two cards drawn by Dan Bergren.

(eBay Auction Link)
(pic via Blowout Board)

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Blog Kiosk: 4/24/2015 - Dodger Links - Bolsinger Impresses in Dodger Debut

Accentuate the positive.

Yeah, it's tough to lose to the Giants and it's worse when it culminates into sweep, but there was plenty to like.  And gosh darn it, I'd rather start off my morning thinking about what positives we can take away from the series rather than fret about three games in an 162 game season.

For instance, Guerrero continues to mash the ball like a toddler who's discovered the joy of Play-Doh.  And Adrian Gonzalez came out of his recent funk to hit a deep homer to centerfield.  Best yet, we had the opportunity to witness one of the front office's earliest acquisitions impress on the field.

Mike Bolsinger was fantastic in his Dodger debut as a starter.  He went  5 2/3 innings against the Giants - knocking out five strike outs against two walks.  Bolsinger masterfully used a combination of his fastball and slider to keep batters on their toes before bringing his "Uncle Charlie" to leave them stammered.  No doubt, he'll be seen as a future candidate for spot starts throughout the season, and a possible competitor for a rotation position later on.  Via Alex Espinoza  at
"It's tough to say. In a way, yeah, I think I have [proved myself]," Bolsinger said. "Whatever happens, happens. I just want to put myself in the best possible situation so that if something comes up, they think of me."
Yes, you have shown us the daylight, and before the night is over I suspect you'll force us to keep you around.  The above photo of Mike Bolsinger was taken by Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2015Go here to check out more pics of his from yesterday's game.  Jon also shares some fantastic B&W photos from the day here.  Below are some more links to check out:
“Time Warner simply did a stupid deal,” Ganis said. “At some point, they’re going to have to bite the bullet, and it might as well be sooner rather than later so Dodger fans can watch the games.”
And the Dodgers, as a unit, are working higher than they did. Compared to last year, the Dodgers have increased their high-fastball rate by almost 11 percentage points.
"I see developing more important. The ultimate goal is to have the Dodgers win," (Bill Haselman) said. "And if we can win by doing that, great.  Everyone in this clubhouse including myself wants to win. But I want to make sure that these guys are ready to go up when they go up because when the Dodgers win, we all win."

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