Monday, December 21, 2015

Meet Your Dodgers Minor League Managers - Some Fantasy BB Cards

In what should be expected to be a slow news week, the Dodgers unveiled who will be skippering their fast rising prospects throughout the minor leagues.  As you'll recall, this past Thursday they shared who would be coaching the big club in Los Angeles (see my post here about this).
  • Bill Haselman at Triple-A Oklahoma City Dodgers
  • Ryan Garko at Double-A Tulsa Drillers
  • Drew Saylor at Single-A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes
  • Gil Velazquez at Single-A Great Lakes Loons
  • Shaun Larkin at Rookie-advanced Ogden Raptors
  • John Shoemaker at the Rookie-level Arizona League Dodgers
As I am want to do, I made several fantasy Baseball cards for the new coach's.  Check them out below.  BTW, I paired the fantasy cards with a brief biography provided by the Dodgers PR group.

All of these fellows will be managing their teams for the first time.  Garko, Saylor and Larkin are brand new to the organization.  So, as a die-hard Dodger fan I'd like to welcome them all to the Dodger Blue family.

Bill Haselman continues his ascent up the Dodgers’ organization ladder as manager of Triple-A Oklahoma City after leading Single-A Rancho Cucamonga to a California League title in 2015. The 49-year-old enters his third year in the Dodger organization and his sixth season as a minor league skipper after leading Single-A Great Lakes in 2014, the Angels’ Single-A Inland Empire in 2012-13 and the Rangers’ Single-A Bakersfield in 2010. The UCLA product was a first-round draft pick of the Rangers in 1987 and went on to play 13 big league seasons with the Rangers (1990, 1998, 2000-02), Mariners (1992-94), Red Sox (1995-97, 2003) and Tigers (1998).  Via a story written by Michelle Gardner at the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin in June:
“He has got so much baseball knowledge, more than we’ll probably ever have,” said outfielder Brian Wolfe, who also had Haselman as a coach for a brief time while he was at the University of Washington. “He really lets you just be yourself.”
Ryan Garko, 34, will take over as Double-A Tulsa manager after 10 professional seasons as an outfielder, catcher and first baseman, including six big league seasons with the Indians (2005-09), Giants (2009) and Rangers (2010). Garko entered the coaching ranks in 2014 as an assistant coach at Stanford University, where he played college ball prior to being selected by Cleveland in the third round of the 2003 First-Year Player Draft. Born in Pennsylvania, Garko grew up in Orange County and graduated from Servite High School in Anaheim.  Via Eric Stephen at True Blue LA:
"I'm very excited to join the Dodgers organization and to come to Tulsa," said Garko. "No city or affiliate has a better reputation than Tulsa, and I look forward to bringing my family there."
Drew Saylor, 31, joins the Dodger organization as Single-A Rancho Cucamonga manager after four years in the Rockies’ system as hitting coach for Rookie-advanced Grand Junction (2012) and Single-A Modesto (2015),  and manager for Single-A Tri-City (2013-14), where his club compiled a 67-85 record (.441) over two seasons. Prior to his time in the Colorado organization, Saylor served as an assistant coach at the University of Akron (2011) and Cleveland State University (2009) following the conclusion of a five-year professional career in the Astros and Marlins minor league systems. He was originally selected by the Marlins in the 13th round of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft out of Kent State University.  You can follow Shaun on twitter here: @drewsaylor19.  Via a tweet by Saylor:
Excited to be a part of the Los Angeles Dodgers! Thanks to the Rockies for 4 great years!
Gil Velazquez assumes a manager’s role for the first time in his career with Single-A Great Lakes following his coaching debut last season as the fourth coach for the Rookie-level AZL Dodgers. The 36-year-old enjoyed a 17-year professional career as an infielder, including five big league seasons with the Red Sox (2008-09), Angels (2011) and Marlins (2012-13) after being selected by the Mets in the 14th round of the 1998 First-Year Player Draft.

Shaun Larkin, 36, joins the Dodger organization as Ogden’s skipper following three seasons coaching in the Indians organization, including his managerial debut last year with Single-A Lake County (71-66, .518). Prior to his time in the Cleveland organization, which included stints as hitting coach at Single-A Mahoning Valley (2013) and Lake County (2014), Larkin served as an assistant coach at several schools in his native Southern California, at his alma mater, Cal State Northridge, from 2011-12, Orange Coast College in 2010 and Newport Harbor High School in 2009. Selected by the Indians in the ninth round of the 2002 First-Year Player Draft, Larkin played six professional seasons as an infielder in the Cleveland organization from 2002-07.  You can follow Shaun on twitter here: @SLarkin04.  Via a tweet from him:
Pumped to have the opportunity to also manage this year!
John Shoemaker.  After serving as Ogden’s manager in 2015, Shoemaker will lead the AZL Dodgers as he embarks on his 40th season in the Los Angeles organization and 23rd season as a minor league manager. Drafted by the Dodgers in the 35th round of the 1977 draft, Shoemaker has been with the club ever since, as a player (1977-80), manager, coach and coordinator, and, last season, he was appointed as the Dodgers’ “Captain” of Player Development. He was also recognized by Minor League Baseball as the 2015 recipient of the Mike Coolbaugh Award, which is presented annually to an individual who has shown outstanding baseball work ethic, knowledge of the game and skill in mentoring young players on the field.  Via a story in September by JP Hoornstra at the LA Daily News:
“Often-times you get into coaching and your objective is, ‘I want to manage in the big leagues.’ I feel like that is so far removed from me right now,” (Shoemaker) said. “I just enjoy what I’m doing in the minor leagues and I happen to have an important job.

“I know that hard work and dedication and loyalty, understanding that the boss is the boss, and you do what the boss says, and you follow the rules and you’re able to adapt.”

* Please follow on twitter @ernestreyes *
* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

Blog Kiosk: 12/21/2015 - Dodger Links - Ryu, Maddux and Don Newcombe

Although it's a bit too late to make a bid I just had to point this item out.  The Rancho Cucamonga Quakes held an auction recently in benefit of the San Bernardino United Relief Fund that included the above team signed jersey.  As you can see, it features specially made Star Wars jerseys that were worn for a game on May 24, 2014.  Signers include Dodger prospects like Corey Seager, Chris Anderson, Jharel Cotton and Kyle Farmer.  It sold for $305.  Of special note:
The jersey was purchased at the game’s silent auction and generously donated back to the Quakes by the 501st Legion – Southern California Garrison ( and Cory Leeper (IG: @coryvader).
Below are more links to check out:
"I have no reason to believe I won't be ready for Spring Training," Ryu said.

"Other than throwing off a mound and going all out, I pretty much can do everything I want to do. I'm on a great program and everything is going great. No discomfort, absolutely nothing."
 Greg Maddux is expected to join a West Coast team — likely the Dodgers — as a part-time special assistant. Maddux said he doesn’t want a full-time coaching career. His son, Chase, is a freshman pitcher at UNLV and Maddux wants to spend time watching his games. He also enjoys traveling with his family.

“I enjoy working with pitchers,” Greg Maddux said. “If there’s something I can do to help a young guy think about the game more and what he’s throwing and why he’s throwing it, I can help like that.”
“It was a lot fun. It’s obvious they love baseball,” commented the Dodgers' ace, who took part in all the events during the three-day tour. “They asked me to name an ideal U.S. lineup, and I mentioned a few players, but they kept telling me the Cuban team would crush them. I missed quite a few, so now I’ve really got to think about that lineup.”
  • Even with a lack of significant trades or free agent signings the Dodgers are still considered to have one of the Top-Five rotations in Baseball, via Paul Casella at
  • Via Bill Plaschke at the LA Times, "Don Newcombe, a link to Dodgers' greatness, wants to see more of it."
"Look at me when I talk to you," he says. "The Dodgers are the greatest team in history of baseball, and the Dodgers will be world champions again before I leave this earth."

* Please follow on twitter @ernestreyes *
* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *