Saturday, November 22, 2014

Another Dodger Trade - Welcome to the Blue, Mike Bolsinger!

Following on the heals of the Joel Peralta trade, the Dodger add another arm to the club by picking up Diamondbacks prospect Mike Bolsinger for cash.  He is a 26-year old right-handed starting pitcher drafted in the 15th round of the 2010 Draft out of the University of Arkansas.  Bolsinger got his first taste of Major League play last season.  Via a Dodgers press release:
Bolsinger, 26, appeared in 10 games (nine starts) for the Diamondbacks last season, going 1-6. He made his Major League debut on April 14 vs. the New York Mets, tossing 3.0 innings of relief and then made his first big league start on April 19 at Dodger Stadium. The 6'2 hurler recorded his first-career win in his next outing on April 24 at Wrigley Field, tossing 6.1 innings and limiting the Cubs to just one unearned run. He was 8-3 with a 3.93 ERA in 17 games (16 starts) for the Triple-A Reno Aces in 2014, striking out 88 batters in 91.2 innings pitched.
Regarding his start against the Dodgers last year., via Jon Weisman at Dodger Insider:
You might remember against the Dodgers on April 19, Bolsinger took a 4-0 lead into the fourth inning before allowing a three-run homer to Andre Ethier and eventually getting the loss in an 8-6 Dodger victory.
Bolsinger was also tangentially involved in a nasty bench-clearing brawl last year in AAA against the Isotopes that resulted in 10 ejections.  Via a report by Chad Moriyama at Dodgers Digest about the incident:
Now fast forward to yesterday during Arruebarrena’s first plate appearance. (Reno) Aces pitcher Mike Bolsinger clearly wanted to send a message and threw at Erisbel with the first pitch, but the plate appearance continued on relatively normally after that. Eventually, Arruebarrena struck out, and while he stood there to argue the strike three call, catcher Blake Lalli seemed to brush by him with a purpose.
So, is Bolsinger worth a spot on the Dodger 40-man roster?  Well, I'll refer you to a story written by Jared Kwart at MoxyBall at the close of the season:
Moving over to the National League, Mike Bolsinger jumps off the page as someone who has had a lot of bad luck in 2014 as well. He has a steady base of skills from a K (8.25 K/9) and BB (2.92 BB/9) perspective. With a 3.31 xFIP compared to a 5.50 ERA, we don’t have to look much further than a .355 BABIP to see we can expect better things from Bolsinger once positive regression kicks in.

While he’ll never be an ace in a major league rotation, he’s shown the ability to get batters out at the highest professional level and should have a nice career. He’s back in AAA for the time being, but should get a look in 2015 to help the Diamondbacks at the major league level over the course of the season. Deep league owners and NL-only players should keep this name filed away for when he surfaces on the big league roster as a potential back-end starter option to eat innings and chip in a few Ks.
So, I guess taking Bolsinger is a gamble, but a worthwhile one.  When you consider that all it cost us was some cash instead of a player, you certainly have to like the bet the Dodger front office is making.  Bolsinger has some positive attributes; such as his strike out and walk rate, and at the very least provides some minor league depth should the Dodgers need an arm to start a game.  Who knows, maybe they can convert him into a long guy out of the pen.

In celebration of Bolsinger's arrival to the Dodgers I made the above fantasy card for him.  I used a photograph grabbed from a photo from Zimbio (Norm Hall/Getty Images North America) and the 1970 Topps Baseball card design.

Below are the career stats for Joel Peralta, via Baseball-Reference:

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