June 21st, 2023 Scoreboard
- Triple-A Oklahoma City 1, Las Vegas 0
- Double-A Tulsa 2, Northwest Arkansas 3
- High-A Great Lakes 8, West Michigan 3
- Single-A Rancho Cucamonga 4, Lake Elsinore 2
On Wednesday, for the second time in June, River Ryan tossed 5.0 no-hit frames for Tulsa:
As you can see in the video above, Ryan opened the contest going over his head with the windup, but every inning thereafter saw him ditch that in favor of a simpler motion, simply bringing hands up from his waist to a high chest position for his gather. This adjustment is on the heels of two of Ryan’s worst outings of the season, June 8th and June 15th, during which he combined to toss 7.1 IP, with 9 hits, 9 runs (8 earned), 6 walks, and 10 strikeouts. In both of these outings, he went over his head while working out of the windup for the duration.
The 24-year-old Charlotte, NC native possesses the athleticism that should lead to plus command, and paring down his delivery into something more easily repeated ought to speed that long. That said, it’s hard not to get excited about a guy hucking a fastball up to 100 at times, a slider in the high 80s/low 90s, a hammer curve in the low to mid-80s, and a solid average changeup. Really, you have to wonder what the heck AJ Preller was thinking when he swapped such a high ceiling pitcher for Matt Beaty.
Well, what he was thinking and if he’d be cool with doing it again. Thanks, stupid.
At any rate, with this outing Ryan reached 50.0 innings for the season, which is a new professional career high, surpassing his 2022 total of 47.2 IP. It puts him just 1.2 IP from matching his collegiate single season high of 51.2. This is front of mind because Ryan tossed just 52 pitches in this tremendous outing, and that was after tossing 61-76 pitches in his previous seven appearances. The Dodgers are typically cautious with year-over-year workload increases, and as it is just late June, it will be interesting to see how they approach the next three months in this respect since his arm is still young despite his upcoming 25th birthday on August 25th. Sort of like reverse dog years, I guess. I think.
Another Dodger prospect who has simplified his delivery in recent weeks is Ronan Kopp, who dropped his windup all together, working exclusively out of the stretch, and doing so to great effect on Wednesday:
Ronan Kopp tossed 4.0 scoreless for Great Lakes today, he allowed 2 hits, walked 2, and struck out 4, his ERA is down to 2.09 🧐 pic.twitter.com/oSClYf2GAA— Josh Thomas (@jokeylocomotive) June 22, 2023
The 20-year-old southpaw is 6’7, 250 lbs, and wrangling all those long limbs can be a bit of a challenge pitch to pitch, as his 17.7% walk rate coming into Wednesday’s action aptly displays. Despite the free passes, Kopp has limited the runs admirably, as batters struggle to do anything with his offerings — he has surrendered just one homer this season, and he is limiting the opposition to a .188 batting average. Time is on the Dodgers’ side here, and if they can get the Baldwin Park native to fill up the zone, look out.
The second half of Great Lakes’ 1-2 punch on Wednesday was 21-year-old Dominican Jerming Rosario, who strung together two effective in a row for the first time at the High-A level:
Across his last two outings, Rosario has tossed 8.0 IP with 4 hits, 1 run (earned), 1 BB, and 12 Ks. This is a far cry from his previous five outings with the Loons: 10.0 IP, 16 hits, 16 runs (all earned), 13 BBs, and 12 Ks.
Rosario is a bit of a mystery for me. I have wanted to call him a breakout candidate, and he has all the tools — a fastball up to 98, quality secondaries, the athleticism to repeat his delivery — yet outings slip from his grasp like a wet bar of soap. This is part of what made this particular appearance encouraging — though he gave up a dinger, and though he had runners on in all three of his innings, he kept things together, trusted his stuff in the zone when he fell behind, and cobbled together something decent where previously this may have gone sideways.
There might be as great of a boom/bust divide here as there is with any other arm in the system — from #3 starter upside to not even making it out of Double-A. And that’s from a guy in High-A, as is. Hopefully, he builds off this.
Here’s Thursday’s start times for the minor-league clubs (all times Pacific), along with the Dodger affiliate’s starting pitcher:
- Oklahoma City vs Las Vegas – 5:05 PM, Gavin Stone
- Tulsa vs Northwest Arkansas – 5:05 PM, Nick Frasso
- Great Lakes at West Michigan – 3:35 PM, Maddux Bruns
- Rancho Cucamonga vs Lake Elsinore – 6:30 PM, Chris Campos
- ACL Dodgers at ACL White Sox – 5:00 PM, TBD
- DSL Dodgers Bautista at DSL Dodgers Mega – 7:00 AM, TBD, TBD
Enjoy your Thursday, folks.