Who in the World Is Kieran Lovegrove?

lovegrove

While the Dodgers have certainly had their fare share of under-the-radar acquisitions this winter, none may be as interesting as the recent signing of pitcher Kieran Lovegrove.

Our friend Connor Byrne at MLBTR was among the first to report the news. Los Angeles apparently made the move on Thursday.

Lovegrove was snagged as a minor league free agent and will provide even more bullpen depth on the Dodgers’ farm. Based on the progression of his career, it’s probably safe to say the 25-year-old righty will begin his 2020 campaign somewhere around the High-A or Double-A level.

If his last name sounds a bit peculiar, it’s because he was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. He played cricket at an extremely young age, which his perhaps when his love for a ball and a bat began.

Lovegrove and his family moved to the United States when he was five years old, settling in Orange County near Mission Viejo. As a youngster, he was a member of the Saddleback Coyotes little league team that won the 2005 National Cooperstown Tournament of Champions in New York, where he also won the shortstop skills competition.

While in high school, he started with his family a non-profit charity, Going To Bat, as a way to get baseball equipment to poorer countries like his native South Africa.

He was selected by the Indians right out of high school in the third round of the 2012 MLB draft, making him the 111th overall pick.

Over the course of his eight-year, minor league career, the 6-foot-4, 185-pound Lovegrove has posted an 18-29 record with a 4.99 ERA alongside 308 punchouts and 196 walks over 354-1/3 innings of work. He has appeared in 181 total games, 138 of which were in relief.

Last year, he threw in the Giants’ minor league system, advancing as high as Double-A Richmond in the Eastern League. Over the entirety of his 2019 campaign, he made 20 relief appearances and tallied a not-so-impressive 9.00 ERA with a whopping 24 walks and  27 strikeouts over 26 full innings.

Perhaps his best minor league season came in 2018 when he recorded a 2.73 ERA with 66 strikeouts over 41 relief appearances and 59-1/3 frames across three levels of the Cleveland farm. He represented the World Team in the 2018 Futures Game.

As far as Lovegrove’s repertoire goes, he is best known for his heater, which sits right around 96 MPH while frequently approaching triple digits.

“My fastball is a four-seam, but something about the way I pronate makes it two-seam at times,” explained Lovegrove back in 2018. “When it’s down, it registers as a sinker at around 2,500 RPM. I wish I knew why it does what it does, but it’s working for me right now, and that’s what matters.”

In related news, the Dodgers officially traded outfielder Kyle Garlick to the Phillies on Saturday in exchange for minor league lefty Tyler Gilbert.

Los Angeles designated Garlick for assignment on Tuesday to create roster space after the Mookie Betts trade with the Red Sox.

Gilbert is a 26-year-old bullpen piece who was selected by the Phillies in the sixth round of the 2015 MLB draft. He spent all of last season at the Triple-A level, tallying a 2.83 ERA and 46 strikeouts over 47-2/3 innings.

Gilbert’s fastball tops out at around 93 MPH, but he added a cutter last year which continues to develop nicely. He is solid against lefty hitters, but the cutter has given him a weapon against right-handers as well. Scouts don’t see him as a high leverage reliever anytime soon, but he may prove to be valuable as middle relief depth in the interim.

Gilbert has all three minor league options remaining on his contract.

 

59 thoughts on “Who in the World Is Kieran Lovegrove?

  1. Lovegrove – 24 walks in 26 innings, eh? Nothing that our friends at Driveline can’t fix.
    Gilbert – his numbers look decent.
    If we keep getting these no-name relievers, we’ll strike it rich at some point. After all not every Max Muncy, Chris Taylor or Justin Turner has to be a position player.

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  2. Sounds like this guy needs to eat two or three cheeseburgers and chocolate malts per day, 6’4″ 185 pounds that boy would probably gain some velocity and some strength with some weight added. 25 years old and still in AA ball has me a little concerned as well as his walks per inning. Maybe AF knows some hidden info on this guy but I don’t see it from this distance. Maybe someone going to ST can give us a report on what they see of him.

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  3. My daughter showed me an article, ex Dodger mike Bolsinger is suing the Astros. Seems he was with the blue jays, and got released, right after he gave up four runs on 29 pitches, in 1/3 of an inning, against the Astros. That is the last time he pitched in the mlb.

    His law suit calls for personal damages, and for the 31 million the Astros received for playoff pay to be donated to charity.

    Between the lack luster ST opening day apologies, Carlos Correa shooting off his mouth, and now the law suit, Manfred is having a tough week.

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  4. “When it’s down, it registers as a sinker at around 2,500 RPM. I wish I knew why it does what it does.”

    It’s physics. Magnus effect. Don’t think too much about it Kieran. Just keep spinning it at 2500 rpm 96 mph and aim it thigh high right over the middle of the plate.

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  5. Well Manfred the Moron stuck his foot in his mouth again. He told reporters he did not make the Astros vacate the title because all the trophy is is a piece of metal…….wow….what an idiot. You really want to say crap like that? How about vacating the title, taking away the jewelry they got for winning the title and making them pay the money they made to a charity???? This guy is starting to sound like a real weak sister. The news about Bolsinger’s law suit came out over a week ago. He is asking for 30 mil because it negatively impacted his career. I think his career was more impacted by really mediocre stuff.

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      1. He always struck me as being a thoughtful guy when he was here, so I’m guessing he would agree with you. Probably just his way of saying “Damnit, you shouldn’t be allowed to get away with this.”

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I think that would be a pretty good guess Jefe. Graterol throws his first BP session tomorrow. May and a couple other pitchers have been dealing with tightness in the groin. Striplings new change up is impressing the coaches.

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      3. I can already see it coming. Strip leads the league in wins. Graterol is fireman of the year. Joc leads the league in homers. Andy Pages (3 or 4 years from now) is Rookie of the Year. All guys we weren’t supposed to have.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Would be a perfect ending for sure. Manfred is getting murdered. The reaction to his reason’s for not stripping the title is pretty much negative across the board. He is really disturbed by the players statements that have emerged. And he met with some managers and said hitting Houston players intentionally will not be tolerated..hell, it is not tolerated with any player, so that is kind of dumb.

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  6. This whole Astro scandal seems to be growing legs, I think Manfred thought it would go away with the fine and the suspensions, of Luhnow, and Hinch, boy he sure missed the boat on that one. In hindsight, he should have stripped them of the title, then opposing players, and fans would have been satisfied with a fair punishment.
    You shouldn’t be able to cheat to get something, then be able to keep it after getting caught.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Totally agree Keith. They completely underestimated player response to this. And once the players voice their opinions the fans get even more riled up.
      Wood pointed out that some pitcher will take things into his own hands, throw at an Astro, and get suspended for doing it, which will mean his punishment will be more than the cheaters got for committing the offense in the first place. I agree with Mike Petriello, you can’t have guys throwing at people as retribution. Someone could get badly hurt and although they did something that deserved a bigger penalty than what they received, it still doesn’t warrant a cracked skull.

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  7. I’d be a lot more excited if Kersh also developed a change up over the offseason!That’s what made Kobe so great. Every off season he worked on something new to add to his arsenal!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You can bet Kersh has been working on stuff. He has done so almost every year he has been in the majors. When he came up, he did not have that devastating back foot slider. He has it now, and it is one of his best pitches. What Kersh needs to do, and if he does this one little thing he will be better, is quit giving up so many homers. For years he was close to leading the league in fewest homers allowed. Not so the last couple of years. Keep the ball out of the happy zone, and the ERA will dip.

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  8. Kersh said he has lost about 8 pounds this winter. Changed some habits and his offseason routine. Also said he has been throwing regularly all winter. He took a week off and since then has been playing catch 2-3 times a week to keep his arm limber. Also said he feels better going into this spring than he has in years. Already thrown two BP sessions. Last year he threw none at this point and missed the first 3 weeks of the season. Sounds promising. MLB package up to 122.00 for the year. Getting too pricey for me. If you get it by the month I think it is 25.00. No thanks.

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    1. The home run problem for Kersh also correlates with his fastball declining from 95 to 89-90. He needs to develop a change up to throw to righties and pitch more off the plate like Ryu does. Then he could become elite again

      Liked by 1 person

      1. He sat around 91 on the heater most of the year. But the lack of velocity does not mean he cannot still be very good. Hell, he won 16 games and missed the first 3 weeks of the season. Only Fried and Strasburg won more. I think CK is pretty damn good at this point in his career.

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  9. Hey Dennis, couldn’t you have found a photo of this guy in a different jersey???? Showing SF colors on here could be considered littering.

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    1. San Felipe Zephyrs. Carranza Limón. Mexican Minors affiliate.

      The Manfred Masquerade isn’t working. The next move by MLB may be to blame him for lack of leadership. Fire him and it goes away? Not likely. Strip the title and fans sue MLB not only for FCI refunds for a full year, or two, but for injury. The pain and suffering is incalculable. What a mess.

      Here’s a good one. Anybody know how much MLB pays the factory workers for baseballs? Hint: they are not made in the USA. Another hint: it’s about a 12 pack of Old Milwaukee away from minimum wage.

      I believe I am now officially a curmudgeon. Papers are in the mail. There were early signs, beginning over a decade ago. Ordered my guides last week – “The Curmudgeon Argues“ and subscribed to “The Amused Curmudgeon”. My people. This world is completely f’n nuts. It’s not just here in the U.S., and it’s not just me – the entire planet is bonkers.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Back when I was living in Arizona, and was around my grand kids a lot, they used to call me a curmudgeon. I was in my 50’s then. So one time I took them all to the Arizona State Fair there in Phoenix. I went to a custom T-shirt shop and got a T-shirt that read, Ye Olde, Curmudgeon. Kids loved it. I had it for quite a few years. It finally just shredded from all the washing it had gone thru. I have mostly T-shirts now, some western dress shirts and about 10 baseball jerseys. Bellinger, Gonzalez, Kershaw, Seager, Gibson, Koufax. An old wool Brooklyn jersey, and a Boston Ted Williams. Most of my t-shirts have some sort of message on them. One of my John Wayne T’s says gun control is a steady aim. I also have a Snoopy shirt that says my level of sarcasm depends on your level of stupidity. Love those T shirts.

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      2. You got that right Scoop. It’s time to start all over. I’m negotiating for Noah’s ark and I’m taking applications. Two of every animal and two of every baseball fan (except Giants and Astros).
        The world is in the same condition as Bear’s shredded t-shirt. It was great while it lasted but it’s now time to throw it out and get a new one.

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      3. I got a t-shirt idea for you:

        “His Mom Called Him Marion”

        There comes a time in a man’s life, woman’s life too (considerably sooner) where enough is enough dammit. Just stop it already. But not only does the beat go on it gets louder.

        I don’t know how this Asshat Scandal is gonna end but I’m quite certain there is an algorithm for it. Here’s an idea: boycott Houston. Astros are in town? Don’t go. If you do go carry a picket sign. Throwing at them won’t work. They’ll just wear football helmets flak jackets, Bonds size elbow pads and take the base. Here’s another idea, every fan outside Texas should write Governor Abbott and say not one dollar of our money is going to Texas until they abrogate the championship, fine and suspend every player and accept a 3 year ban from post season participation. And while you’re at it get rid of John Cornyn. Enough is enough!

        Ok, I’ve vented. Time for my morning muffin.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. My favorite T-shirt I got a couple of years ago. It say’s, I did not serve my country so a bunch of pussies could tell me I have to be politically correct….On day’s I am a little peeved at the system, I break out the big gun…

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    1. Morning Curmudgeon think:

      Boston is found to have cheated in ‘18 and all starters on that team will be suspended for 80 games. Mookie re-signs with Boston for 10 and $350 million, teams with Verdugo, Wong and Downs for World Championships in back to back seasons.

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  10. Some interesting tweets you posted below, Dennis.
    So it looks like not only are the Astros going to get away with cheating, but now the commissioner is going to protect the cheaters from any player retaliation.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m not condoning anybody getting hit in the head with a fastball, but a few pitches in the backside are the best way to let the opposing players get over this and let them move on.

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    1. Unless it’s to the ribs and takes a guy out for several weeks putting somebody on base isn’t payback, it’s unproductive and stupid baseball. Houston will be ready for that. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them trying out some new gear this Spring. Larger helmets, Kevlar rib wraps, lightweight hip pads, like I already mentioned a size XXXL elbow guard. You wanna hit this, go for it. You’ll be pitching out of a stretch the rest of the inning and we’re gonna score. I say hit them where it will leave bruises – in their wallet and in their ego. Treat them like the bums they are. Write letters, boycott parks. In fact, let’s right here right now organize The Million Fan March. Show up everywhere they do and let ‘em have it.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Astros players should get the same treatment that the scabs got in those strike years. Make them pariah in the league, take it to the level that the astros players are literally begging for the MLB to punish them. Peer pressure can be a great motivator. This thing wont go away, probably will cost manfred his job ultimately, and it should.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Andy McCullough has a new interview out with JT in the Athletic. He doesn’t hold back and you can just see the smoke coming out of his ears. Manfred’s comment about the trophy just being a piece of metal really set him off. This is why Turner is considered the de facto leader of the team. This thing is really escalating just when MLB was hoping in would slink away and be forgotten.
    With regard to Manfred being fired, I can’t believe he didn’t discuss the punishment with some of the owners before he came out with it so he may, in fact, just be speaking for the owners. I always thought it very ironic that baseball is often times a war, the owners vs the players, yet the owners get to pick the referee. Clark (or his successor) should demand a say in the hiring of the next commissioner when they negotiate the upcoming CBA renewal.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. JT was slinging it! Irate as all get out. Gotta love the guy. I say Roberts should name him captain. A tradition that has been gone for too long.

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  14. Hey scoop, did you see that the little league of California are not allowing any teams to use the Astros as a little league team. It seems like that may not be that big of a deal, but if that starts going National, it starts to make a statement. Good for the kids, and the parents that run the leagues.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Good for JT for calling out the commissioner, this just keeps getting worse and worse for Manfred. He has lost control of this thing. It’s going to cost him his job also if this doesn’t go away.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Trout unloaded on Manfred too, and there is an article on yahoo on how he has admitted there is no way for the commissioners office to stop the scandals. Hey, put in place some death penalty’s like banned for life for the really bad offenses, and maybe players will think twice. Part of the problem with the electronic surveillance to steal signs ban was that the commissioner’s office did not place a strong emphasis on how big a no no it was. Enforcement was weak. They managed to get some of the PED stuff under control with strict penalties for using the stuff. They have a list of banned substances. So why not come down hard on those who cheat also? Manfred is really coming off as a no power commish. Landis dropped the hammer on 8 players on the Sox. And most of them were integral parts on a very strong team. So there is a precedent. One of his excuses for not vacating the title was that this is the first time this kind of thing was used. Okay, first time, drop the hammer, make the hard decision and do what is right. GM and manager get suspended, and not one player? Moronic. Of course all of this is going to be argued about all year even though Manfred and MLB would just love for it to go away. Had he been stronger in the punishment he would have given them nothing to bitch about. He has made a mess of things, and the Red Sox have not heard what their punishment is yet. He did say today that we would know about that in 2 weeks. Joe Torre has silently slipped into the sunset. He is no longer in charge of doling out punishment in MLB>

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  16. I had not, up until Sunday morning, listened to sports talk on LA radio in probably a decade.

    But my podcast list was up, so I put it on.

    Is SportTalk LA the 570 station?

    If so, it may be the worst radio experience I have ever heard in my life. The two hosts had nothing to add. Just talked, and talked. They had no interesting guests. They had no guests period! They took no calls. They just talked their way from one block of ads to the next.

    What the fuck is going on in Los Angeles? There are so many good reporters available. So many good talkers who can add value and insight.

    It was brutal to the nth.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am not sure which station it is, but 570 is the Dodgers broadcast station. They have not had decent hosts on that station in years. I have not lived in LA for a long time, but I used to listen when Vic the Brick was on there. I think the two morons doing it now are Petros and Money. Or whatever they call themselves. Dodgers signed Terrence Gore, and outfielder to a minor league deal.

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  17. Please let me know if you’re looking for a article author for your site. You have some really good articles and I think I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d really like to write some articles for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine. Please blast me an email if interested. Thank you!

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  18. Nuanlqft, Dennis and Andy have had guest writers on occasion, in the past, even our own shlemming president Jeff wrote a ST article a couple years ago. Hope you get a shot.

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    1. Thanks for remembering Keith. Even I had forgotten that one, although it did get me honorable mention in the Pulitzer voting that year. 🙂

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    2. Hey, I wrote one too. I am not sure I remember exactly when, but I do remember it was about being a Dodger fan in the time of Andrew Friedman. I have though of subjects for others, and Dennis told me to submit the idea when I come up with one again. I would like to do one eventually on the Hall of Fame. Because I feel there are a couple of glaring omissions from the HOF rolls. And maybe one on collecting memorabilia. Of course Dennis is a card collector as am I. Roger Craig just turned 90. Makes me feel a lot older because I remember seeing him pitch a couple of times. Master of the split finger fastball.

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  19. Astros pitcher gets suspended for the 2020 season for PED use. Second offense. Guess the 80 games the first time was not enough to convince him to quit. Tyler White out righted to AAA. He is in camp as a non roster player. He got through waivers and was not claimed. Astro pitcher is Francis Martes.

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  20. Bear’s all-time favorite Dodger, Tyler White, went unclaimed and has been outrighted by the Dodgers and re-invited to camp as a non roster player.
    Rick Honeycutt has arrived in camp and will be working mostly on the minor league side. Glad he’s still providing pitching knowledge for the organization but also very happy with the guys who will be taking over for him on the major league side.

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