Howie Kendrick and Yordan Alvarez
While it might seem that everything the Dodger front office turns to gold, it isn’t true.
Last year at this time I was noting how Howie Kendrick could not drive in a run as a starting left fielder. Eventually, Howie got that figured out and was basically the de-facto starting left fielder until Andrew Toles showed up. Even then Dave Roberts went to Howie more often than not in Sept. It wasn’t until October that it seemed that Roberts had figured out that Andrew Toles was a better left fielder than Howie.
Headed into 2017, Howie didn’t like what he saw for himself and the Dodgers and asked to be traded. They obliged and sent him to the Phillies where he was supposed to be their starting LF. Amazing in baseball how things don’t work out as planned. Howie did indeed start out as the Phillies LF and was hitting the hell out of the ball when he got hurt on April 15th.
Enter Aaron Altherr. Aaron took over in LF while Howie was on the DL, and he’s not giving the starting job back. Aaron has a wRC+ of 133 and so when Howie came back they moved Aaron to RF.
Howie came back On May 29th and started ten games in LF and continued to pound the ball. On June 11th the starting 2nd baseman for the Phillies, Cesar Hernandez was hurt and is not due back until late July. No problem, Howie took over at 2nd base and if you happened to be watching MLB network last night you got to see Howie make an amazing play as a 2nd baseman diving to his right on the grass in CF and throw out the runner. This year Howie has a TSL of .330 / .393 / .485.
Logan Forsythe, not so much.
In time they might pass each other headed up and down but maybe not. A year ago in the spring of 2016 you wouldn’t have traded Howie for Logan straight up would you? Logan had one successful season to his name, Howie had a career. They were both 2nd baseman. The older one stayed healthy in 2016, the younger one did not. Winter of 2017, one was given away, while one was acquired for a talented young pitcher. It was probably the right move and time could easily prove the Dodgers correct.
I just think the Dodgers should rethink this policy of trading veterans who ask for a trade. To much can change and the same reason you signed Howie Kendrick in the spring of 2016 still applied in the winter of 2016.
Last summer the Dodgers made a deal acquiring Josh Fields from the Houston Astros. The price was Yordan Alvarez who had yet to play on the mainland. The Dodgers had given him a $2,000,000 bonus so they must have liked something about him given the cost was $4,000,000 with the tax included.
Just before this year’s international signing period closed in June, the Dodgers landed Alvarez for $2 million (plus a $2 million tax for exceeding their allotted spending pool). Now, without playing a single game for the Dodgers, he’s on the move to Houston. He’s around 6-foot-5 and 220 pounds and earns high marks from scouts for his smooth lefthanded swing. He also has average or better power from the left side, though he needs to work on getting more leverage in his swing to tap into that power more often. He’s going to have to improve his defense at first base, but he is an offensive prospect first and foremost.
Read more at http://www.baseballamerica.com/majors/dodgers-acquire-josh-fields-fresh-cuban-signee/#hRw4a1Octcj8Ubsg.99
At the time of the deal, I was happy to get Josh Fields and didn’t give much thought to the price being a kid who had never played on the mainland. I probably should have given it more thought.
That price is looking mighty high right now. The 6’5 19-year-old Yordan Alvarez is making a name for himself.
Chad Moriyama didn’t seem to think it was a big deal since they had basically just traded 4 Million for Josh Fields. And if money was just the deal that would have been correct. But it wasn’t. Yordan Alveraz was the deal, and it is very possible he’s the real deal. It is the rare 19-year-old who carves up the Midwest league.
Per the Baseball America Hot Sheet on June 2nd.
4. Yordan Alvarez, 1b, Astros (19)
Low Class A Quad Cities (Midwest)
Alvarez is moving beyond just an interesting back story. The 6-foot-5, 225-pound Cuban has feel to hit—he’s one of the best hitters in the Midwest League’s Western Division, a scout said—and now he’s pairing it with tremendous in-game power (.280 isolated slugging).
Read more at http://www.baseballamerica.com/minors/prospect-hot-sheet-june-9/#3Ku8KdhxVxVqI0bs.99
That was two weeks ago. Since that time he’s continued to hit and leads the MWL in OPS at 1.1326
Josh Fields did help out the Dodger bullpen in 2016 and did pitch in the 2016 postseason. Was he a difference maker? No. He was also one of the best bullpen options early in 2017, but after watching him give up key home run after key home run in June, I can’t help but wonder if Dodger fans won’t be looking yonder toward Yordan in the future.