Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Welcome to the Blue, Rob Segedin!

Regarded as a minor transaction, the Dodgers traded a couple of players they recently DFA'd.  So, they at least got something for some players who were going to get picked up by somebody.  Via a Dodgers press release:
The Los Angeles Dodgers today acquired minor league infielder/outfielder Rob Segedin and a player to be named or cash considerations from the Yankees in exchange for infielder Ronald Torreyes and left-handed pitcher Tyler Olson.

Segedin, 27, combined to hit .287 with seven home runs and 34 RBI in 71 games last year with the Yankees’ Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and Double-A Trenton and has a .272 career batting average in 458 games in six minor league seasons in the New York organization. The New Jersey native has primarily appeared at third base (265 games), but has also seen action in right field (66 games), first base (48 games) and left field (44 games). He was originally selected by the Yankees in the third round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft out of Tulane.

Los Angeles had previously designated Olson (Jan. 6) and Torreyes (Jan. 7) for assignment.
Not thought of as a top prospect today, he does bring some organization depth to the hot corner.  He has yet to get a cup of coffee, so hopefully he'll find his way to LA.  ON a side note, I just love seeing guys like this (players who've fought through the trenches) get their opportunity to show what they've got.  BTW, a couple of years ago he had hip surgery - FAI (Femoral Acetabular Impingement) - and appears to be doing fine.  Also, he had graduated from Tulane University before going pro with a double major in finance and management in 3 1/2 years.  Per an interview by Steve Popper at North Jersey.com in May 2015:
"Yeah, you’ve got to keep playing," Segedin said. "You can’t be looking forward to anything. You just have got to control what you can control here — put good at-bats together, play well in the field and, hopefully, if the big club needs you, that they’re looking for you and you put a good performance down here so you can get that call."
In celebration of Segedin's arrival to the Dodgers I made the above fantasy card for him.  I used a photograph grabbed from Pinstripe Pundits and the 1971 Topps Baseball card design.  Check out his career stats via Baseball-Reference below:

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Welcome to the Blue, Erick Mejia!

I guess the Dodgers feel it's time to get a little deeper in the infield.  It has just been announced that they have traded starting pitcher Joe Wieland to Seattle for infielder Erick Mejia.  The recent additions to the starting pitching staff and with several top prospects knocking at the door, the opportunity for Weiland to play a role on the Dodgers was quickly floating away.  So, they send him northward in exchange for a kid who plays on the diamond - an area currently shallow in depth.  That's not to say that Mejia is any sort of answer.  From the looks of it, he doesn't appear to be a rising star.  But there might to be some promise.

Via Steve Adams at MLB Trade Rumors:
Mejia, 21, saw action at four levels last year in his age-20 season, batting a combined .282/.346/.339 with 20 stolen bases. He’s shown virtually no power to this point in his pro career, homering just once in 528 plate appearances, though he’s also displayed a solid knowledge of the strike zone, walking at a 10.8 percent clip against a strikeout rate of just 14.8 percent. Mejia didn’t rank among the Mariners’ top 30 prospects according to either MLB.com, but Baseball America did rank him 21st among Seattle farmhands last offseason. In that same offseason, Fangraphs mentioned Mejia as a “player of note” even though he didn’t rank among Seattle’s best prospects, with former FG scribe Kiley McDaniel writing that Mejia was an average runner with “enough glove to stick at short and enough bat that it matters.”
Per a March 2015 report at Prospect Insider.com:
Mejia is a slick fielder with good plate skills and promising gap power. He was a bit old for the rookie league last summer, but now has posted two strong years with the bat. Mejia is an above-average runner, but is not a burner and has yet to learn to steal bases — he managed 26 on 35 attempts combined the past two summers. Mejia has a shot to start the year in Class-A Clinton.
Via Rick Randall at Scout.com in August 2015:
While he has played mostly second base for the AquaSox and has made nine errors in 61 chances during his time at short at Tacoma, Clintonm Everett and the AZL, Mejia has the defensive chops to play shortstop at a high level as he matures. The bat he's shown this season and last -- both in his ability to make contact and in his ability to hit the ball hard -- say that there is a chance for him to make some noise in the system even if he's ultimately moved off of short, though. Keep an eye on him.
Per a Dodgers press release:
The Los Angeles Dodgers today acquired minor league infielder Erick Mejia from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for right-handed pitcher Joe Wieland.

Mejia, 21, has a .273 career batting average with 49 stolen bases, a home run and 42 RBI in 133 minor league games in the Mariners organization after being signed as an amateur free agent on June 30, 2012 out of the Dominican Republic. In 2015, the switch-hitter combined to hit .282 in 51 games with Triple-A Tacoma, Single-A Clinton, Single-A Everett and the Rookie-level AZL Mariners, while successfully stealing 20 bases in 21 attempts. During the course of his minor league career, Mejia has posted a .908 fielding percentage in 78 games (72 starts) at shortstop and a .989 mark in 48 games (44 starts) at second base.

Wieland, 25, spent the majority of the 2015 season with Triple-A Oklahoma City (10-5 4.59 ERA in 22 G, 21 GS), but also made two starts for the Dodgers, going 0-1 with an 8.31 ERA. He was originally acquired by Los Angeles from San Diego on Dec. 18, 2014 in a five-player deal and has a 1-5 record with a 5.85 ERA in 11 career big league games (nine starts) with the Padres (2012, ’14) and Dodgers (2015).

The Dodgers now have 39 players on their 40-man roster.
In celebration of Mejia's arrival to the Dodgers I made the above fantasy card for him.  I used a photograph grabbed from Scout.com and the 1968 Topps Baseball card design.

Below are his career stats, via Baseball-Reference:

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* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

Welcome to the Blue, Alex Anthopoulos!

The Dodgers are not only signing all the prospects.  They are also signing all the front office executives.

Officially announced today, the Dodgers have hired former Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos.  He's the fellow who recently built Toronto into Baseball juggernaut.  BTW, he is the seventh Dodgers front office executive to have been or currently are an GM.

I hope we don't run into a situation where there are too many cooks in the kitchen.

Per a Dodger press release:
The Los Angeles Dodgers today announced the hiring of Alex Anthopoulos as Vice President, Baseball Operations.

“We are thrilled to be bringing Alex on board,” said Dodger President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman. “Farhan [Zaidi], Josh [Byrnes], and myself all have longstanding relationships with him and believe his experience and perspective will be a tremendous asset to our organization.”

Anthopoulos, 38, will assist in all aspects of Baseball Operations.

Anthopoulos spent the past six seasons as the Blue Jays’ General Manager, culminating with a selection as Sporting News’ MLB Executive of the Year in 2015, when his trade-deadline acquisitions helped spur the Blue Jays to an AL East title and their first postseason appearance in 22 years.

Anthopoulos joined Toronto following the 2003 season as a scouting coordinator and earned a promotion to Vice President, Baseball Operations & Assistant General Manager in 2006 before taking over as GM on Oct. 3, 2009. He began his baseball career with the Expos as a media relations intern in 2000 before transitioning to scouting for the club for the next three seasons.
In celebration of his arrival to the Dodgers I made the above fantasy card for him.  I used a photograph grabbed from the Star.com (Richard Lautens/Toronto Star) and the 1986 Topps Baseball card design.

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* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

More Dodger Goodies at Goldin Auctions - A Vintage Figurine and a Willard Mullin Drawing

Along with the game-used Jackie Robinson cap, Goldin Auctions also has a couple of great vintage memorabilia items of note.  For instance, check out the above figurine of a rather jovial and slightly rotund Dodger player.  It measures 11" x 14" and is thought to have been a counter-top "point-of-sale" display piece.  Check out the auction here.

Apparently, it doesn't have any distinctive markings to show who made it, so it may just be a folk-art piece.  I dunno.

What I do know is that I love it.

That big belly protruding through his uniform is how imagine Tommy Lasorda looked like when he laced them up for the Dodgers - even though I know he was nowhere near as large during his playing days.  That big wry smile is almost like a knowing laugh - fully aware they he's about to smoke the next batter up to the plate. 

Everything about this piece is wonderful.

Featured below is another Willard Mullin cartoon classic.  (Auction Link here)

Dated to the early part of the 1944 season, Mullin draws the affable Brooklyn Dodger "Bum" gambling with the Dodgers fortunes.  He notes that the National League played a record number of extra inning games the past season (80 of them), and that the Dodgers played in roughly one-quarter of those games (it was actually 19 of the 80 extra inning games played) - which is obviously a tough way to win.  Mullin then likens this to receiving an "inside straight" poker hand - which is also a hard way to win.  Nevertheless, the Dodgers still won half the time (actually going 10-9), remarking:
...And just exactly half the time they have filled... but that's a tough way to hang on to those chips!
Click on the pic below to embiggen.

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Blog Kiosk: 1/12/2016 - Dodger Links - Wills, Seager and Cuban Yaisel Sierra

Here's a fantastic pic of 26-year old minor league speedster Maury Wills in his Spokane Indians uniform from 1959.  After eight years of paying his dues, this season would prove to be his ticket to the big leagues.  He slashed .313/.387/.391/.778 and earned a call-up to Los Angeles by seasons end.  Wills would never return to Spokane, and quickly solidified a spot in the Dodgers roster.  This vintage Spokane Chronicle press photo is current available at RMY AuctionsGo here to check it out.

Below are more links to check out:
  • The Dodgers continue to look at young Cubans to fill our minor league ranks.  Via Jeff Passan on twitter, we are nearing a deal with 24-year old right-handed pitcher Yaisel Sierra:
Mike Axisa at River Ave Blues has some good information on him, here.
The left-handed Rautzhan, a third-round pick in the 1970 Draft out of Blue Mountain High School in Pottsville, Pa., made 80 relief appearances for the Dodgers and went 6-4 with a 3.73 ERA before being purchased by Milwaukee during the 1979 season.

Rautzhan was the winning pitcher in Game 3 of the 1977 National League Championship Series against the Phillies, a game in which the Dodgers rallied in the top of the ninth inning on pinch-hits by Vic Davalillo and Manny Mota.
Dodgers pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training on Friday, Feb. 19, with the first workout at Camelback Ranch-Glendale on Saturday, Feb. 20.

The report date for remaining Dodgers players is Wednesday, Feb. 24, with the first full-squad workout Thursday, Feb. 25.
  • ICYMI: Dodgers Spring Training single game tickets are now for sale.  Go here to purchase.
  • All eyes are on Dodger prospect Corey Seager.  Via AJ Cassavell at MLB.com, "5 hitters poised to break out in 2016."
Seager's time in the big leagues at the end of the 2015 season was brief, but he proved himself more than capable of handling big league pitching. He batted .337/.425/.561 in 27 games (113 plate appearances). Obviously, Seager isn't going to post numbers like those, as big league pitchers will eventually figure him out a bit. But his fluid-yet-compact left-handed swing doesn't seem to have many flaws.
Reader: Dear McCarthy, when you were in a cast, how did using the toilet go?  – Doe
BM: It went fine, weirdo.

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