Monday, November 24, 2014

Welcome to the Blue, Juan Nicasio!

The Dodgers brass continues to build up some depth in the bullpen; thereby addressing holes in the roster that proved fatal last season.  Via a tweet from the Dodgers, they trade for Rockies RHP Juan Nicasio in exchange for cash or PTBNL.

Juan Nicasio had been a starter, but was converted to a reliever during the middle of the past season.  Via a Dodger press release:
Nicasio, 28, was 6-6 with a 5.38 ERA 33 games (14 starts) for the Rockies last season, his fourth in the big leagues. During the second half of the season, Nicasio appeared exclusively out of the bullpen and posted a 3.48 ERA in 19 games, including a stretch in September when he allowed just one run in nine games (9.2 IP).

The native of the Dominican Republic owns a career mark of 21-22 in 88 career games (69 starts), all with Colorado from 2011-14. In 2013, Nicasio established career highs in wins (9), starts (31), innings (157.2) and strikeouts (119). In his career at Dodger Stadium, the right-hander is 2-2 with a 3.63 ERA (14 ER/34.2 IP) and a .244 opponents' batting average in seven games (six starts).
Nicasio throws primarily a hard fastball and slider.  Since becoming a reliever batters have hit just .227 against him; while seeing his strike out rate, walk rate, WHIP and FIP improve.  Via Steve Adams at MLB Trade Rumors:
Nicasio has averaged about 93 mph on his heater throughout his career, and a look at his velocity chart (courtesy of Fangraphs) from 2014 shows that his fastball jumped to nearly 95 mph when pitching out of the ‘pen late in the season.
BTW, Juan Nicasio has had some bad luck with injuries.  In  2011 Nicasio was struck in the head with a batted ball that almost took his life.  While pitching against Nationals, Ian Desmond hit a line drive that went straight for Nicasio's head and caused him to fall awkwardly.  As a result of losing his balance, he fell on the ground and fractured a vertebrae in his neck.  Then the following year, he twisted his knee while fielding a groundball that resulted in arthroscopic surgery.  He has been healthy since then.  Below is a video of Nicasio getting hit with the ball.

Video Link:

In celebration of Nicasio's arrival to the Dodgers I made the above fantasy card for him.  I used a photograph grabbed from a photo from Zimbio (Doug Pensinger/Getty Images North America) and the 1987 Topps Baseball card design.

Below are the career stats for Juan Nicasio, via Baseball-Reference:

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

Campanella's Jacket and a Ladies 1955 WS Ring at Grey Flannel Auctions

Grey Flannel is currently running their most recent auction and it includes a couple of Dodger items I wanted to share.

This first item is for the ladies.  Featured below is a 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers Ladies Championship ring.  It originally was owned by executive secretary Ann Speranzo.  She worked for the Dodgers traveling secretary Harold Parrot. (UPDATE: This item has since been corrected by the auction house as being a 1947 Brooklyn Dodger Ladies NL Championship ring - not from 1955)
(Auction Link)

I love this next item.  Here is an 1950's era Brooklyn Dodger jacket worn by Hall or Famer Roy Campanella.  Via the auction description:
Accompanied by a LOA from when the jacket was originally obtained by our consignor in a 1986 charity auction held by the Dodgers 65 Roses Club and his winning invoice. We were told by our consignor that while bidding on this jacket in the 1986 charity auction, he was informed that it was consigned directly from the Campanella's and that it was worn in 1955 when the Dodgers won the World Series and Campanella won his third National League MVP award. Campanella is listed as an officer of the 65 Roses Club.
The 65 Roses Club is a charity that supports donations to Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.  It is named the 65 Roses Club because children stricken with the disease find it much easier for them to pronounce that then the name of the disease.  In the past, the Dodger group would make donations to the foundation based on the number of home runs they hit and held an annual Dodger Family Fashion Show to support the cause.  I am unsure how active the group is today.
(Auction Link)

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

Blog Kiosk: 11/24/2014 - Dodger Links - Hanley to Sign with Boston and the Fernando Triple Hits Card

The card featured above is fantastic.  This is the 2014 Topps Triple Threads - Triple Hits card of Fernando Valenzuela.  As you can see, it's an oversized card with an autograph, a game-used jersey piece and an actual handprint of the left-handed hurler (unfortunately a right-handed print).  Pic via JimmyMahan on twitterGo here to see a pic of Fernando making the handprints of this card that was shared by Topps on twitter.

Below are some links to check out:
We were honored to have Clayton, A.J., Brandon, and Brandon in for a visit to the Dominican Republic. From attending devotions to spending time with kids preparing for and recovering from surgery – as well as witnessing a surgery – to visiting the home of a child who had been healed at CURE, the group was able to see a wide range of what CURE does on a daily basis. It was encouraging for us to hear that throughout the course of the day, they saw the gospel being expressed through the work of CURE.
  • Via Roch Kubatko at MASN Sports, "Buck Britton signs with Dodgers."  He gets a Spring invite and has an opt-out clause in his new Dodger contract.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter liked Britton's versatility. He's played all four infield positions and left and right field, and he took the mound twice this season when Norfolk ran out of pitchers.
  • Mike Petriello at Dodger Digests throws in his two cents on Buck Britton, "A Reason To Maybe Be Interested in Buck Britton."
  • Traitor! Via Stacie Wheeler at Lasorda's Lair, "Carlos Triunfel Signs With Giants."
  • Via Michael O'Keefe at the Daily News, "Of photos and frauds! Probe that took down memorabilia giant Mastro now turns spotlight on Arkansas archivist John Rogers."  (Hat Tip: Rich Mueller at SCD)
  • Pat Quinn, the LA Kings coach of my youth, died on Sunday.  RIP, Pat Quinn.  Via Katie Strang at ESPN, "Longtime coach Pat Quinn dies at 71."
  • Good bye, Hanley.  Thanks for the memories.  (And just to clarify, we were only going to get a supplemental pick once he signs elswhere, so the fact that the Red Sox pick is protected doesn't change that.  All it changes is that the teams behind them do not move up one spot in the 1st round draft order, and the Sox lose their 2nd round pick)  Via a tweet by Ken Rosenthal:

UPDATE:  Contract is now believed to be much higher than what is stated above.  Via a recent Rosenthal tweet, it is expected to be 4 years at $88Mil with a vesting option for a 5th year at $22Mil.
* Please follow on twitter @ernestreyes *
* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *