Monday, February 15, 2016

Welcome to the Blue, Oscar Arzaga!

Here's a new Dodger signing that I first noticed due to a Reddit post by r/mevans93308 (first mentioned by @MiLBMoves on twitter).  The Dodgers apparently signed 16-year old right-handed Mexican pitching prospect Oscar Alejandro Arzaga a couple weeks ago.

From what I understand, he did some training at the Gonzalez Sports Academy in Chula Vista that is operated by the father of Adrian Gonzalez and his brother.  He stands 6'5" tall and is 210 lbs, so he's certainly a big kid.  Also, Arzaga was reported to have been throwing in the mid-90's last year.  Perfect Game gave him a prospect grade of 10 out of 10.  Per a scouting report posted by Jason Shetler at Bucco Nation on 2/2/2015 when he was 15-years old:
Arzaga is a tall right-hander who stands 6’5. Along with the fastball, he throws a curveball, changeup and slider. His slider is already being considered a good pitch. Given his huge upside, Arzaga will likely be the most sought after Latin amateur player once the International signing period begins July 2nd.
Of course, at only 16-years of age you shouldn't expect the world from him.  He's got a long way to go before he really shows up on anybody's radar screens.  Still, this signing has got to make Dodgers fans feel good.  We continue to solidify an already great minor league system with players who could potentially be on everybody's lips in four to five years.  

BTW, there is no word yet on what his signing bonus was, but it was reported by Más Béisbol Dorados de Chihuahua on Facebook that he received an higher offer from the Cardinals.  His dream, though, was to be a Dodger.  FanGraphs projected his bonus would be at about $350,000.00.

Per Más Béisbol Dorados de Chihuahua on Facebook:
Via a poor online translation:  "I'm very happy for this step so big, ' cause I worked to get this triumph, but best of all, I know that I love what I do and I'm proud to be an example to all, because if you propose a goal nothing more is Issue of desire and love what you do, give thanks to God for this opportunity so big and I would like to say to all my fellow countrymen of Chihuahua, every dream can be achieved just got to have discipline, enjoy and trust in what you do and never give Up, as hard as this is the way. That makes you stronger. Give thanks to my angels guardiánes, Adrian Gonzalez, Edgar Gonzalez and Mr. David Gonzalez."
On another note, the teenager already has a Baseball card available on the market.  It's a part of the 2014 Leaf Perfect Game set.  Arzaga has a base and autograph card available.  Check them both out below:
 #238 Oscar Arzaga                                #AOA2 Oscar Arzaga

In celebration of his signing with the Dodgers I made the above  (at the very top) fantasy Baseball card of him using a photo grabbed at Más Béisbol Dorados de Chihuahua on Facebook and the 1982 Topps Baseball card design.

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

2015 Panini National Treasures College - The Dodgers Base Cards - Jackie Robinson at UCLA

Panini does this every year, and it's annoying.  A couple weeks ago they released their collegiate version of National Treasures, and decided to continue calling it a 2015 set.  Why? We're already well into the new year.

Anyway, this product is notable for including college athletes, both past and present, on an high-end brand, and it includes several notable Dodgers.  Go here for a complete checklist.

One name of note is former UCLA four-sport legend Jackie Robinson.  As you know, he lettered in baseball, basketball, football, and track, so seeing him in this set is fantastic.  When Panini originally announced their college sports licenses several months back I wondered if we would see anything featuring Robinson.  Fortunately, that answer is yes.  He has two base cards in the set, but neither show him in a Baseball uniform.  Check them out below.

#25 Chase Utley

Blog Kiosk: 2/16/2016 - Dodgers Links - Buehler, Montas and Dave Roberts

You know Spring Training is around the corner when the Dodgers trucks are packed up and shipped to Arizona.   Via a pic by the @Dodgers on twitter, they filled them with cargo and arrived safely in Glendale on Saturday.  Via Ken Gurnick at
Each truck holds 20 tons of gear, which includes computers and front-office supplies and even a 1,500-pound bobblehead of Hall of Fame manager Tom Lasorda, which normally resides at the Lasorda Italian Restaurant behind the right field pavilion at Dodger Stadium.
In other developments, the Dodgers ground crew have been hard at work transforming the field at Dodger Stadium into game-ready shape.  Check out the process in all of its time-lapsed glory in the tweet below:
Below are more links to check out:
Outside, the No. 42 that once emblazoned Robinson’s Dodgers jersey hangs below the outfield’s pavilion roofing, the sacred number peeled right from a Brooklyn-era jersey that Dave Roberts wears today as a storied franchise’s first minority manager.

“I asked him about that just before he was hired,” Waymon Roberts acknowledged while standing off to the corner following his son’s official introduction. “It initially didn’t register that it was such a big deal.”
"The No. 1 goal ... is for us ... to create an unbreakable bond within the group," Roberts said over breakfast at a cafe in Carlsbad. "Where no distractions ... get us away from staying together ... or getting our focus off track."
"Good things come to those who wait," as the old adage goes, so I elected not to ding Buehler for the surgery because the value when healthy is just too significant to downgrade. Buehler is the last prospect ranked before the elite tiers, and has the highest floor and ceiling of pitching prospects rated thus far. Though this review will likely look the same at this time next season, be patient, because Buehler could be battling for the position of top pitching prospect in the system at some point in 2017.
Rookie right-hander Frankie Montas, the centerpiece for the Dodgers in a December three-team trade, will miss two to four months after undergoing rib resection surgery on Friday, it was announced.

According to the club, Montas had a stress reaction in his rib, and the procedure was performed by Dr. Greg Pearl in Dallas. Pearl performed a similar operation for thoracic outlet syndrome on Josh Beckett two years ago when the veteran right-hander experienced numbness in his pitching hand. Beckett returned to action, threw a no-hitter, then retired at the end of the 2014 season.
This is a Valentine's Day tale about the hopeless romantic who spends his summers scouring the Los Angeles sports landscape looking for love. His cuddly nickname is "Panda," he's been married 21 years to a woman with whom he's had four wedding ceremonies, and he has a job where every day is sprinkled with tiny candy hearts.

Valdivia directs the Dodger Stadium Kiss Cam.

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