Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Welcome to the Blue, Dylan Floro!

Here's a little bit of news that escaped my attention over the weekend. On Friday the Dodgers announced that they had claimed right-handed reliever Dylan Floro from the Chicago Cubs. They immediately shipped him to Triple-A Oklahoma City in hopes that they found another diamond. As you know, the team likes to chase after ballplayers that have unrealized skills, and Floro appears to have something to offer. Per a brief report by John Sickels on Floro at Minor League Ball in 2016:
As you may anticipate from his background, he doesn't have a blazing fastball, working with heat in the 80s. He'll mix in a variety of breaking balls and change-ups and his delivery has some funky deception. He succeeded in college and the lower minors because he is allergic to walks and generally possess pinpoint location. Triple-A hitters exposed his thin margin for error when he started last year, but he's been more successful in shorter stretches coming out of the bullpen.
Unfortunately for Floro his first gig in the Majors (Tampa Bay Rays in 2016) did not yield desirable results. He had gotten into 12 games for Tampa -- allowing 23 hits, seven earned runs and a opponent batting average of .348. Then the Cubs claimed him the following January and the results got worse. He got into three games for the Cubs -- allowing 15 hits, seven earned runs and an even higher opponent batting average of .357.

Still, there must be something there that caught the eye of the Dodgers, and thankfully Harold Uhlman at Think Blue LA hits the mark:
On January 19, 2017 Floro was claimed off waiver by the Chicago Cubs and has spent the better part of the current season with the AAA Iowa Cubs of the Pacific Coast League. In 25 appearances with the (Iowa) Cubs he posted a 3.88 ERA over 48.2 innings along with 26 strikeouts and eight walks. His ground ball rate at Iowa was an eye catching 61.6%.
Floro gets a bunch of ground balls, and for a team that has a good defense it's a skill worth hanging your hat on. Given some tutelage, the Dodger hope his ground ball rate translates to Major League play. Needless to say, Dylan Floro is a bit of a project, and hopefully our coaching staff can right the ship.

Per a Dodgers press release:
Floro, 26, appeared in three games with the Cubs this season allowing seven runs in 9.2 innings of relief (6.52 ERA) and struck out six batters against two walks. He spent the majority of the season with Chicago’s Triple-A Iowa, going 3-2 with one save and posted a 3.88 ERA (21 ER/48.2 IP), while striking out 26 batters against eight walks in 25 games (two starts).

The Merced, California native has gone 0-1 with a 5.11 ERA and has struck out 20 batters against seven walks in 15 career big league games with Tampa Bay (2016) and Chicago (2017). Over six minor league seasons, he has gone 39-32 with 10 saves and has posted a 3.35 ERA in 151 career games (75 starts) with the Rays (2012-16) and Cubs (2017) organizations. Floro, who was designated for assignment on July 31, was originally drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 13th round of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft out of California State University, Fullerton.
I should note that Floro has already pitched a game for Triple-A Oklahoma City, and the results were not kind. Per Eric Butler at the Salt Lake Tribune:
When Oklahoma City starting pitcher Wilmer Font exited after six innings, the Bees only led 2-1. But Salt Lake couldn’t miss in the seventh against reliever Dylan Floro. Nolan Fontana, Tony Sanchez, Michael Hermosillo and Cesar Puello all hit solid singles and Dustin Ackley powered a double into the left corner as the Bees scored three runs in the frame.
Obviously, the Dodgers and Dylan Floro have a ways to go.

In celebration of Floro's addition to the club I made the above fantasy Baseball card of him. I used the 1985 Topps Baseball card design and a pic grabbed from Nick Wosika/ICON Sportswire.

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