Friday, April 01, 2016

Welcome to the Majors, Ross Stripling!

This has got to be an exciting time for the kid. 

You may have heard that the Dodgers were interviewing for an opening on the starting rotation.  Circumstances as they were, the #5 spot was available and numerous pitchers got a good long look.  Now, with the start of the season on the horizon, the Dodgers have just announced a victor.  The #5 starter for the Dodgers is 26-year old rookie right-hander Ross Stripling.  Via Alanna Rizzo on twitter:
Congrats, kiddo!

Four years after being drafted out of Texas A&M and only one year removed from Tommy John Surgery, Ross Stripling can now call himself a Major League pitcher.  Heck, I think he's more surprised than anyone at the distinction.  Having never pitched above AA ball, he came into Spring not expecting to end up in Los Angeles.  Per Bill Shaikin at the LA Times:
"I didn’t honestly think I had much of a chance," he said. "My goal was just to prove I could pitch."

Stripling pitched 11 innings this spring, posting a 4.09 earned-run average. Manager Dave Roberts admitted the Dodgers had opened camp thinking that, if all went well for Stripling, the right-hander would make his major league debut in September.
Dave Roberts also said this of Stripling a couple days ago, via Doug Padilla at ESPN:
“You have to look at the stuff that plays at the major-league level, and his stuff plays,” Roberts said. “He has good stuff, but certainly (having not pitched above Double-A) weighs into our discussion.”
I guess all those prior concerns are in the past.  BTW, you can follow Ross on twitter here: @RossStripling.  

In celebration of his making the big club I made the above fantasy card of him.  The photograph is taken by Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2016 this Spring and I used the 1982 Topps Baseball card design. 

UPDATE:  You should definitely read Jon Weisman's story at Dodger Insider about Stripling and his experience of being told of the promotion.  (Link Here

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

Dodgers Notes from Spring Training: Spring Game 32/Home Game 17

Throughout Spring Training the Dodgers PR department sends out helpful daily notes from Camelback Ranch, and I am happy to pass them along.  See what they've written below.
L.A. Angels (16-8-6) vs. LOS ANGELES DODGERS (13-15-3)
Friday, April 1, 2016 – 7:10 p.m. PT | Dodger Stadium
LHP Hector Santiago (1-0, 3.52) vs. RHP Kenta Maeda (1-1, 1.89)

(Maeda bows with LLWS Champs from Japan, pic via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2016)

KONNICHIWA!: The Dodgers continue their three-game Freeway Series against the Angels tonight at Dodger Stadium, before heading to Anaheim for a 6:05 p.m. game Saturday (LHP Alex Wood vs. RHP Nick Tropeano) to conclude Spring Training. Tonight’s starter, Kenta Maeda, will make his first Dodger Stadium appearance in his final tune-up before the start of the season, after signing with the club during the offseason from Japan. After an off-day Sunday, the Dodgers kick off the regular season Monday against the Padres at PETCO Park.

The Don Drysdale Collection at SCP - Part I - The Prep and Minor League Years

The 2016 Baseball auction season is about to start with a bang.  Officially opening up this coming Wednesday, April 6th is SCP's Spring Premier Auction, and as I mentioned in a post yesterday it includes over 160 different lots from the estate of Don Drysdale.  Everything you can imagine is there to look at.  In fact, there is so much stuff I'm planning on writing several different post to share my favorites.  Per a press release provided by SCP this morning:
According to Ann Meyers-Drysdale, Don’s widow, a portion of the proceeds from the auction will go to various Drysdale-supported charities. “We thought this through as a family and decided it was time to share Don’s most prestigious awards and memorabilia with the fans and the collecting community,” she said. “Plus, it provides us with a great opportunity to give back to many of the causes that were near and dear to Don’s heart.”
To start things off here are some items from his prep and minor league years.

(Auction Link)
As you may know, Don Drysdale was a Southern California kid.  He graduated from Van Nuys High School and recorded a 6-1 record as a senior.  At right is his Senior Letterman Sweater from Van Nuys High School.  (See the auction link here) By many accounts, Drysdale was a known commodity and highly scouted.  Branch Rickey, who was working for the Pittsburgh Pirates at the time, knew all about the tall right-hander.  In a scouting report filed in June of 1954 he wrote:
A lot of artistry about this boy.  Way above average fastball.  It is really good.  Direction of the spin and the speed of rotation the same on all fastball pitches, - angle of delivery the same, stride is wide, and his body is in all pitches.  Fine pitching hand, and placement on fast and curve ball needs no coaching.  Let him along on all his fingering.  He is good.

Steve Toole - A Dodger Before they Joined the National League

I though I'd end the week with another short biography on a former Dodger who is certainly unknown to you.  Featured above is an 1887 Old Judge tobacco card of an former Grays/Dodgers hurler named Stephen "Steve" John Toole.  It was recently for sale at Bagger's Auctions, and closed at $220.00. 

Born in New Orleans but reared in Pittsburgh, Steve Toole did as most lads were wont to do.  He played games with the neighborhood kids and worked a job folding newspapers in order to contribute to the family coffers.  Always the civic minded chap, he longed to cast his first vote and get involved in the community.  He once said (via an 1904 article in The Pittsburgh Press),
"I thought I could do a lot for my friends if I ever had the chance, and because I hoped that I could do something to better the conditions of my neighbors and the part of town in which I lived."
Soon enough he would fulfill that desire, but before getting into the wild world of politics he played some professional Base Ball.  At the age of 27, Steve Toole would come to Brooklyn.

Blog Kiosk: 4/1/2016 - Dodgers Links - Jackie Gets an Apology from Philadelphia

Dodgers hurler Kenta Maeda met with some special guest before yesterdays game.  The kids from the Tokyo Kitasuna team from Japan, as seen in the photo above shared by Dodgers photographed Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2016, greeted the MLB rookie with giant smiles.  As you likely know, they won the 2015 Little League World Series.  Check out more pics from Jon from yesterday here.

Below are more links to check out:
"Be it resolved by the Council of the City of Philadelphia," reads the resolution unanimously passed Thursday, "that City Council hereby recognize, honor and celebrate April 15, 2016 as a day honoring the lifetime achievements and lasting influence of Jackie Robinson, and apologizing for the racism he faced as a player while visiting Philadelphia."