Hector Olivera Is (Officially) A Dodger

On Tuesday it was announced that Hector Olivera was officially with the Dodgers organisation in a press conference with the head of baseball operations, Andrew Friedman.

Olivera played in the Cuban league with the Santiago de Cuba team from when he was 17 up until 2012, at the age of 27. In his 10 seasons he hit for .323 batting average with 96 homeruns and 433 RBIs.

Although the 30 year old has signed a major league contract, worth 62.5 million dollars; including a 28 million signing bonus which he will receive on 5 days, Hector will start in Single A Rancho Cucamonga for “a few games” and then send him onto AAA Oklahoma and will stay there until he is MLB ready.

At this point it’s premature to speculate [when Olivera will be MLB-ready]. We’ve seen it with guys in the past, it’s hard to miss Spring Training and come out at hit the ground running, but everyone’s different and I don’t know the answer to that right now.

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Urias Out For A Month

Photo Day at Camelback Ranch
Photo Day at Camelback Ranch

The number one prospect in the whole of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ organisation is out for a month to have eye surgery.

Julio Urias has been lights out this year so far in AA, starting 7 games so far and, even with his 1-2 record, has posted a 3.00 ERA, not bad for an 18 year old in his first year of AA ball. This sits nicely along side his first two years of his career, with a 2.58 ERA in around 180 innings.

Urias had always had this eye tumor, he developed it as a kid but it has never been a problem. This week however Julio decided to get it removed, with surgery in Phoenix on the 28th, sidelining him for around 20 days after it, with the goal to be back by the end of June.

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Why Didn’t Adrian Gonzalez Bat in the 9th Inning

With Joc leading off, Jimmy batting 2 and Adrian batting in the clean up spot for the last week or so; there are definitely some things that need changing in the Dodger line up.

Joc could be a very good lead off man and I wrote about this exact thing yesterday but there is no way his current “hit home runs every at bat” mind set is going to do that for him. He has the speed and everything but the experience that is needed isn’t quite there. Read about that here.

As for who should lead the games off, that’s up for debate. Try moving Howie there for a few games and see what he can do or even Rollins just to see if the numbers increase. It can’t be Joc though just yet, he isn’t ready but again, he will be come next year or soon enough.

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How Joc Pederson Has Earned His Spot in the Starting Line Up

At the start of the year I was not Joc’s biggest fan, in fact I didn’t think he should have been starting on Opening Day or even at all for the first few weeks but now my view was completely swung. He has gone from being an automatic out into someone who I trust to hit the long ball and get the job done.

However, there is no way Joc is ready for the lead off spot just yet. There are some things lately that need to be pointed out such as his need to hit homeruns from the first pitch.

There is no doubt that Joc can hit a long ball. In fact his homerun today was an absolute bomb. The only problem was before that Joc was 0-3 with 3 K’s. In the first inning, batting lead off the count was 1-1 and Joc took an almighty off balance swing and missed it. Some will say that is good batting and he was trying to use his power but that isn’t what the lead off spot is about.

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Alex Guerrero, Juan Uribe or Justin Turner, Who Should be Starting?

Alex Guerrero has been dubbed by some as, “the hottest hitter in baseball right now”, or the everyday third baseman for LA. This is all rubbish.

There is no way in the world that this 28 year old rookie out of Cuba should be starting over the likes of Juan Uribe, when he’s healthy, or even Justin Turner, a man who had every shit at the role coming into the back end of last year’s season.

Yes Guerrero has been good and he probably should be getting more time than he is under Don Mattingly but he should not be starting.

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Dodgers Drop Game 2 via some Unneeded Help

Blanco runs into third base coach in the ninth inning
Blanco runs into third base coach in the ninth inning

Rule 7.09(g) of the Major League Baseball states,

It is interference by a batter or runner when … In the judgment of the umpire, the base coach at third base, or first base, by touching or holding the runner, physically assists him in returning to or leaving third base or first base [this results in an out]

In today’s Dodgers and Giants game, this exact thing happened.

With the runners on first and second, Brandon Belt hit a line drive through the short stop and third basemen’s hole for a single. Gregor Blanco rounded third and was held there by the base coach.

With no signs or warning, just his body.

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Brandon McCarthy Isn’t Terrible, He’s Actually Quite Amazing

Upon watching the first game of this regular season between the Chicago Cubs and the St. Louis Cardinals at the ever-stunning Wrigley Field, John Kruk, on ESPN, pointed out that the reason Adam Wainwright was so good that night was because all of his stuff fooled batters; made them swing at pitches out of the strike zone. Now, of course this is the case, not too many guys can get lucky on wild swings at pitches with their arms fully extended or when their knuckles are jarred up.

For Brandon McCarthy of the Dodgers though this was not the case for him in the opening game against the Mariners at Dodger Stadium on Monday.

McCarthy’s line of 7IP, 6H, 5ER and 10K’s can be taken in a number of ways. Firstly, the K’s, he struck out 10, that is a good effort on a number of levels. But the reason he struck out all those Mariners was because of his ability to drop the ball out of the zone with his sinker, which accounted for 8 of his strikeouts.

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