Hurlers for hire
You can’t seem to check in on daily baseball transactions without being hit by an ex-Dodger hurler being signed. Either these pitchers were bonafide free agents, or were simply released by their previous team. There are so many I couldn’t decide if I should list them alphabetically or chronological.
Several former number one picks on this list, Zach Lee, Chris Withrow and Bryan Morris. along with two number two picks, Blake Smith and Josh Lindblom.
Still looking for homes are Shawn Tolleson, Rubby De La Rosa, Chris Withrow, Nathan Eovaldi, and Ethan Martin.
People would be re-writing history if at one time they did not have high hopes for Ethan Martin, Chris Withrow, Rubby De La Rosa, Allen Webster, and Nathan Eovaldi.
This isn’t quite TINSTAAPP but it does give me pause when I worry about trading JDL and other arms for our future second baseman.
|12/15/2016|||||Blake Smith|||||White Sox|
|FA|||||Rubby De La Rosa||||
I already wrote about Rubby/Withrow/Eovaldi but here is a quick snapshot of the whatnots about the others.
For a time, Webster and Rubby were joined at the hip. Both top prospects in the Dodger system at the same time, they were both traded to the Red Sox and also the Diamondbacks in the same trades. Much like Jose De Leon, Webster had been drafted very late (18th round) but had put himself on the prospect map ranking as high as the 69th top prospect. When traded to the Red Sox in the big gamble, Webster was considered a good prospect. Very quickly he opened eyes for the Red Sox and at one time was compared to Kevin Brown, but those expectations were never met. Webster has bounced around and seems likely to have little chance of having an impactful, or any type of major league career.
Bonilla was only in the system last year as a minor league free agent and never saw time with the Dodgers.
Dustin McGowan was signed in Feb of 2015 and released in March of 2015. The Dodgers were one year to early on McGowan who finally recovered from his multiple arm injuries to put up a nice 2016 season with the Marlins. He was free to sign with whoever he wanted but ended up back with the Marlins.
Jordan Schafer was signed as a minor league free agent in 2016. The one-time major league centerfielder was trying to make a comeback as a left-handed pitcher. At times he did well in AA but never enough to put him in the Dodgers plans. I was really hoping to see them do a double switch with Schafer sometime in Sept where he pitched to one batter, played CF, and then pitched to another batter. Maybe he can do this trick with the Cardinals.
Blake Smith was the LAD 2nd round pick of the 2009 draft. They tried him first as a slugging outfielder but that went nowhere and he turned back to pitching. He had a cup of tea in the majors last year with the White Sox. They released him, and then re-signed him.
Zach Lee was the highest-profile draft signing of the Dodgers during the McCourt era. The number one pick in 2010 for the LAD, he started one game for the Dodgers. He was traded last year for Chris Taylor, and released this past winter. The Padres picked him up, not unsurprising since Logan White drafted him.
Josh Lindblom was the Dodgers second round pick in 2008. At one time he looked like he could be a solid late inning relief pitcher but that never materialized. Josh was traded to the Phillies along with former number one pick Ethan Martin for Shane Victorino in 2012. That traded didn’t work out for anyone, but it was kind of a damning indictment of the Dodger drafts that they traded a number one and number two pick for 235 crappy at bats from Shane Victorino. Lindblom has bounced around pitching in the majors from 2011 – 2014 but has not pitched in the majors since 2014. Ethan Martin who had one of the great monthly debuts for a McCourt era draft pick was released by the Braves last spring and does not have a contract. The former number one pick looks to have his MLB end with a total of 44 major league innings.
Javy Guerra once amassed 21 saves for the Dodgers in 2011. He appeared to be a late bloomer as he had been drafted way back in 2004. That was his rookie season, but sadly for Javy that would be as good as it gets. He has pitched at least one game in the majors every year since 2011 but just barely.
Bryan Morris was the second number one pick of the Dodgers in the 2006 draft. The first was Clayton Kershaw. Logan White was very excited about drafting Morris and declared that they would have drafted Morris at the Kershaw spot if Kershaw had not been available. I always hoped that was a bullshit comment but it left me wary of Logan White once I heard it. Morris would never do much for the Dodgers, and ended up on the Pirates in the infamous three-way trade that brought Manny to the Dodgers. So in a way, Morris did help out the Dodgers tremendously, as did Andy LaRoche in the same deal. Morris unlike most pitchers on the list has had a successful career, and to date has posted a 133 ERA+.