May 28th, 2022 Scoreboard
- Triple A Oklahoma City 9, Reno 2
- Double A Tulsa 4, Springfield 3
- High A Great Lakes 13, South Bend 10
- Low A Rancho Cucamonga 10, Visalia 1
Bobby Miller had the longest outing of his career (in a good way):
This is the first time that Miller has gotten outs in the sixth inning, as well as the first time he was on the hill in the 7th, and his fastball didn’t dip below 99 until that frame.
Prior to the 7th, it was an absolute gem of an outing, with Miller notching 6.0 scoreless, efficient, one hit innings. In that 7th inning, the first two batters of the inning reached against him, first via a ground ball single to left, and second via a hit by pitch. Miller was then pulled, and the runners both scored later on in the inning.
Miller used a pretty balanced fastball/offspeed attack, roughly half of his pitches were heaters. The curve was his most heavily used secondary, comprising about 25% of his pitch count, and at times he got it up to 85 mph, where it was a legit hammer. He was able to mostly throw it for strikes, though a couple of times he was a little around the pitch rather than on top, and he yanked it a bit. The changeup (15%) did a little bit of work as well:
It has been an up and down season for Miller, who has a sky-high ceiling, and the accompanying expectations. Watching when he’s locked in like he was for the first six innings of this outing, there’s clearly a lot to dream on.
Though Miller didn’t pick up the W tonight, the Drillers pulled it out in the 10th inning, with Kody Hoese doing the honors:
Hoese went 3/5, including a double off the top of the left field wall.
The last two and a half weeks are the best offensive stretch of Hoese’s career, and going into last night’s action, his wRC+ over that timeframe was 171. Having been written off by most prospect outlets, if Hoese does his best impersonation of the Undertaker sitting up in the casket dot gif, Dodger fans wouldn’t mind a bit. America loves a comeback story.
Diego Cartaya went deep for Rancho:
Cartaya went 2/4 with a walk, driving in four runs, bumping his team-leading total for the season to 31.
Cartaya needed the first eight games of the season to gain some traction, but he has been off to the races ever since, slashing .304/.453/.659 in his subsequent 24 games. Going into last night’s action, he had a wRC+ in that period of 173, with a walk rate of 14.3%, and a strikeout rate of 22.3%. He’s living up to his top billing, and he might be doing it with Great Lakes before long.
Edgardo Henriquez bounced back from a tough outing against Fresno with one of his very best of the season, tossing a season high 5.0 scoreless innings, allowing just two hits, both ground ball singles, walking one, and striking out a season high seven.
Still just 19, and capable of hitting 100 with his fastball, Henriquez hasn’t received a ton of hype just yet, with Baseball America ranking him 22nd in the system, and MLB Pipeline not listing him at all in their top 30. But, now that he complements his hundo with two distinct offspeed offerings:
Stuff this loud will get the chatter going.
Hoese might have some company among the redemption stories going on in the organization from Omar Estevez, who hit not just one three-run homer…
…but two, in consecutive innings, no less:
Estevez went 2/3, also drawing a walk.
Estevez got off to an absolutely abysmal start for Oklahoma City, slashing just .108/.175/.162 in April. The calendar flipped to May, and Estevez has ratcheted things up, with a line of .333/.385/.611. These are admittedly very small samples (11 games in April, 10 in May), as Estevez is no longer an everyday starter with Oklahoma City, which can make busting out of slump all the more challenging.
At one time, Estevez was thought to have among the better hit tools in the organization, with a likely future as a solid regular at 2B, but after a brutal 2021 campaign for Oklahoma City that saw him post a wRC+ of just 48, he has largely been a forgotten man.
Whether all of the recent things, from the early season slump, to the recent hot streak, are small sample blips, or something actually clicking, time will tell. For at least one game, he put on his backpack for OKC, and showed signs of what prompted the Dodgers to give him a signing bonus of $6 mil (along with paying a $6 mil penalty) back in their drunken sailor phase.
Lastly, there were four notable promotions within the Dodger minor league ranks.
Mark Washington, a righty reliever who has been a stalwart for Tulsa, leading the club in ERA in 2021, and posting an ERA in 2022 of 1.16, was bumped up to Oklahoma City. He debuted last night, and pitched a perfect 8th inning, picking up one K. Via Baseball Savant, he threw a fastball that averaged 95.1, topping out at 96.5, along with a changeup, and a slider. They also list him as throwing a cutter, but it’s the slider, just classified incorrectly. At 6’7, with a high 3/4 armslot, he’d bring a unique look to the big league pen, should this next chapter go well.
Jose Hernandez, a lefty reliever, who had been the closer for Great Lakes, will replace Washington in Tulsa’s bullpen. Hernandez’s fastball gets up to 99, and he also mixes in a slider and a changeup. With the Loons, he had an ERA of 2.14, and he was tied for the Midwest League lead in saves with eight.
2021 5th round pick Ben Casparius will be heading to Great Lakes from Rancho Cucamonga. Casparius proved to be a bit much for the Low A California League, and his last two outings were dominant — he allowed just two hits and two walks in 10.0 innings, while striking out 15. Casparius has one of the best sliders in the organization, and as is often the case with pitchers who are recently promoted, my expectation is for him to be able to lean on it heavily when he debuts, if he chooses to do so. After the first couple of outings, a focus on developing the changeup is likely.
Lastly, River Ryan is going from Camelback to Rancho Cucamonga, replacing Casparius on the pitching staff. Ryan was a two-way player in college, and was drafted by the San Diego Padres not even a year ago, who only played him as an infielder. The Dodgers scooped him up in the Matt Beaty trade, and converted him to pitching fulltime. The early reports are promising — a fastball up to 97, along with a harder curve that’s up to 84. If the Dodgers managed to get A Dude for Beaty, who had an OPS+ of 8 before he headed to the IL, well, I’m sure the discourse with the wild cards from down South will be civil.
Enjoy your Sunday, folks.