Subtle changes at AAA
Jose Miguel Fernandez was promoted to AAA and played his first game last night. This is significant because Willie Calhoun was the AAA 2nd baseman and the Dodgers were trying to get his glove to at least be passable so they could use the bat. Have they finally given up the idea of Willie Calhoun as a 2nd baseman?
Last night Willie Calhoun was playing LF and while it was the 6th time he’s played LF this year, with the addition of Jose Miguel Fernandez I can’t help but think this is more of a permanent move. Ever since Willie came into the Dodger system two things seemed to be in play. His bat would play in the major leagues, his glove at 2nd base would not. He’s too short for 1st, and that is already covered for the next decade anyway. His arm/feet/hands won’t play at 3rd. That has always left LF as his last possible position in the NL.
I don’t know how this will turn out, it doesn’t take much time to learn LF compared to the complexities of 2nd base so I can understand how the Dodgers waited until now to give it a switch. I hope it works out, but Willie Calhoun as an LF is not as interesting as Willie Calhoun as a 2nd baseman. The bat has to play bigger for him to be an asset as an LF.
Jose Miguel Fernandez forced his way to AAA with an outstanding June in AA. Jose put up a .957 OPS in June and while that is impressive, it is not so impressive for a 29-year-old. But it is impressive for someone who had rust to shake off since he hadn’t played professionally in several years. Does he have a Dodger future? I don’t know, but at least he’s moving in the right direction.
The other subtle note is that Scott Barlow made his AAA debut. Barlow had been the best pitcher at AA even if Walker Buehler is the best prospect. In his last AA start, Barlow had struck out ten in just five innings, giving up only two hits and zero runs. His first AAA start went well, he got 19 outs, gave up only four hits, zero earned runs, walked two and struck out five. You can now add his arm to the Dodger AAA depth.
Brock Stewart – just recalled to the Dodgers for long man work
Trevor Oaks – biding his time
Justin Masterson – doing everything they asked as he also waits for his time
Wilmer Font – what does a pitcher have to do to get noticed
Scott Barlow – now on the radar
At the very least, Barlow has increased his trade value substantially from the beginning of the year till now.