Dodgers 2020 Cactus League Play: Who’s Hot & Who’s Not at the Halfway Point

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(Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports)

For the Dodgers, Saturday’s 7-1 victory over the Rockies marked the exact halfway point of the 2020 Cactus League season. While some folks don’t put an overwhelming amount of importance on either individual or team performances during spring games, others still like to peek at the overall stats just to get an idea where the numbers are trending.

Before Sunday’s contest against the Rangers, the Dodgers were sitting with an 8-6-1 record. There have been impressive and poor numbers both offensively and pitching-wise so far, and there have also been a few surprises along the way.

Heading into Sunday’s game, one of the most popular topics of conversation was the bat of 25-year-old outfield prospect Cody Thomas. He was hitting just .278, but his four long balls and one triple have allowed him to produce a 1.318 OPS over  his first 18 AB.

On Sunday, he belted his fifth homer of the spring to put him in front of all Cactus League players. He’s also the team leader in RBI with 10.

As far as batting average goes, Justin Turner is leading the way with a .429/.556/.714 slash line among all Los Angeles players with at least 10 AB. Following Turner in suit are a trio of youngsters—Cristian Santana at .368, Zach McKinstry at .364 and Zach Reks at .353.

Reks is tied with Tyler White for the team lead with three doubles, and McKinstry was leading the entire team with eight base hits before Sunday’s affair.

Among the veterans also hitting over .300 are Chris Taylor at .364 and Austin Barnes at .333.

Super-utility man Enrique Hernandez trails Thomas by one in the RBI category. Enrique notched his ninth of the spring on Sunday.

Among the most disappointing offensive players with at least 10 AB are infielder Jacob Amaya with a .077 average, outfielder DJ Peters at .118 and outfielder Jeren Kendall at .154.

On the pitching front, things have been very impressive for the majority of the staff. Prior to Sunday, youngsters Caleb Ferguson, Dennis Santana and Marshall Kasowski all made five relief appearances without allowing a run. What’s more, Ferguson has been perfect thus far over 4-1/3 innings of work while striking out three opposing batters.

Santana has allowed just three hits and a walk while striking out a whopping nine batters over an even five innings of work.

Pedro Baez, Kenley Jansen and Joe Kelly have all made four appearances without allowing a run. Kenley has surrendered just one hit over a full four innings of work.

Newly acquired reliever Brusdar Graterol has thrown three full innings over three appearances and has given up just one hit with no earned runs, no walks and three strikeouts.

On the starting front, Clayton Kershaw, Julio Urias and Tony Gonsolin have made two starts apiece without allowing a run. Kersh has thrown 4-2/3 innings and has struck out eight batters.

After a spotty first spring training start for the Dodgers, David Price had an impressive second outing to allow him to take over the team lead with 10 punchouts.

On Saturday against the Rockies, Price threw three hitless innings while giving up just one walk. He struck out seven.

Several of the biggest pitching disappointments so far have been Joe Broussard, Dylan Floro and Alex Wood.

 

35 thoughts on “Dodgers 2020 Cactus League Play: Who’s Hot & Who’s Not at the Halfway Point

    1. Since Jimmy Nelson will likely be starting the year on the IL, I’m gonna say Dennis Santana in the bullpen. Santana isn’t really THAT much of a surprise, but that’s as surprising as we’re gonna get, I reckon. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Here’s my guess if no trades are made before opening day:
    Starters: CK, Buehler, Price, Urias, Wood
    Bullpen: Kenley, Kelly, Treinen, Baez, Alexander, Fergie, Stripling, Graterol
    Starting 8: Smith, Muncy, Lux, Seager, JT, Pollock/Joc, Belli, Betts
    Bench: Barnes, Kike, CT3, Beaty, Joc/Pollock
    IL: Nelson, May
    Gonsolin wil go to OKC and be a starter
    Santana to OKC and be the closer

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Please do that for me. I don’t have his email.
        Also, I’ve noticed when I’m in the stands and yell advice to him, he tends to ignore me.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s time to admit it Rich. You’re actually Andrew Friedman.
      So what do you think of my roster above? Want to discuss any changes?
      This is the first time I’ve had a chance to communicate with a MLB executive. Very exciting!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, you’re Rich, so you’ve got that part going for you.

      I’m seeing who’s going to be re-assigned. Yesterday it was Kolorek, deGeus and Ramos. Santana may be earning a spot and some of that is certainly because others won’t be ready.

      That was a strange reaction by Calhoun. It’s rare to get hit square in the face. Looked almost like he didn’t see it. Hope he will be ok.

      OKC is going to have one helluva outfield. I do hope what we are seeing from those guys is sustainable for a full year.

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      1. I had the same reaction you did to Calhoun’s reaction on that pitch. Seemed like it took him a long time to react to it. I know, based on how he looked on the mound and his post game interview that Urias was really bothered by it. Yet he pitched two more innings of good ball. I think that says something about his makeup.
        As great as Thomas has looked this spring, I still have my doubts about both him and Peters. They both need to cut down on their strike outs. Hopefully they will.

        Like

    2. A good word for AF? Surely you jest. Hey he is what he is. I do not agree with a lot of his moves, but it seems to work, so I am just going to sit back and see if it keeps up. 7 players sent to the minors, including Kasowski, who has been very impressive, Sborz, who has not, and Christian Santana. 51 players left in camp. Some have suggested, and this might have some legs, that with the loss of Calhoun, who;s jaw is fractured, the Rangers may visit signing Puig. He is out there, and he fills a need, and he is acquainted with the manager. Lots of Latino’s in Texas, so it would be a win win for the Rangers. And he does bring excitement to the game.

      Like

      1. So Bear, I’d like to talk to you about Andrew Friedman……………………….oh never mind.
        Puig to the Rangers makes a lot of sense for all the points you raised. Hope he catches on someplace. The game is better when he’s on the field, just not necessarily in a Dodger uniform.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I liked the guy. I thought he brought a ton of excitement and energy to the game every single time he was on the field. Not necessarily the right kind all of the time, but excitement none the less. I do think he wasted a lot of his talent, and just think if he had listened to his coaches, how good he could have been. The best year to me was when he was hugging and kissing Turner Ward all of the time. It was must see TV. I also think that brilliant start he got off too made it seem to him like the game was easy. He never came close to repeating that.

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  2. For the most part, Jansen hit his spots yesterday. I’m encouraged so far with his ST, could be a good thing coming this season.

    Rangers get considerably fatter on the high Kolarek diet that was served them yesterday. I see that someone mentioned that Kolarek is being sent down, he picked a bad day to serve up the meatballs.

    After watching Urias mow down that Rangers player, I have to ask why isn’t every batter utilizing that jaw covering protective shield. Better to wear protective gear voluntary than to be forced to wear it, once your jaw is jacked.

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    1. High Kolarek. Good one.
      Kenley really looked good yesterday, for the most part. He threw one clunker but, after all, it is ST. Overall, the bullpen is looking very good………………………………..so far.

      Like

  3. Looked high and low,,,,there is absolutely no story anywhere that Kolarek has been sent down. 9 players in total have. None of them on the 40 man except Sborz. Granted he is on a very thin string.

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  4. Betts still out with a stomach problem, food poisoning. Have had that once. It is no fun. Seager says he has not felt this good since 2016. He is hitting .333 so far. Padres are the opponent today. Wil Myers is having a good spring.

    Like

  5. Belli playing first today. Gonsolin has a 5 pitch 5th inning. 2 swinging outs and a K of Tatis. Wood goes 3.1, 3 hits, 1 run, 4 K’s. Belli has a double and scored on Taylor’s sac fly.

    Like

  6. Gonsolin pitched 2.2 innings today. 2 hits, 1 walk and 3 K’s. No runs, and made 21 pitches. 17 strikes and 4 balls. Gore had a 3 run double, Rios drives in 3 ad does Taylor. Beaty is in danger of not making the roster. McKinstry is outplaying him by a bunch, and even Rios is starting to have a better spring. He raised his average to .293 today. 12- in the 8th.

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  7. Ruiz, Raley, McKinstry, Peters, deGeus, Amaya and Estevez to minor league camp. For those who thought they might keep ZachMac instead of Beaty, not happening. Now the only other possibility would be Rios instead of Beaty and I don’t expect that either.
    Bear, Friedman just asked me to pass this along to you – based on his exemplary performance today, Gore will be the starting left fielder. Joc has been traded to the White Sox and Pollock has been released. Andrew said he knew that would make you very happy.

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      1. You know as well as I do Jefe, that he is not going to release Pollock. Just not happening. Joc is not being traded at this particular moment and Gore is not even on the 40 man roster. No worries, I am too old to catch you.

        Like

      2. Geez, I can’t believe you didn’t go for that one.
        Just the thought of you chasing me (the whole thing would be in ultra slow motion for both of us) is pretty funny Bear. I think we should stick to the verbal jousting instead of the physical. But you’re a worthy opponent for sure.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Thank you El Jefe. My legs just are not what they once were, but I roll really well. Lots of arguments going on some other blogs as to the makeup of the final 26. I think if Joc plays in 10 games, he will be ready for the opener. I do not see Gore making the team, and some idiots who think they will just DFA Pollock with 3 years and 46 million owed are just plain loco.

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      4. I think the odds that Gore makes the roster are about 1% and the odds that Pollock would be dfa are non-existent. I wouldn’t be totally shocked to see Joc or Pollock traded (Pollock would be a lot harder to do), but even if they did that I don’t see Gore making the team.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. They would not get anything for Pollock unless they paid a huge portion of his salary. And what good would that do? Joc, I think he stays with the team all year because at the deadline the return on him, unless it is a package deal is not going to be much,. They had their chance and blew it. Hell I will say it, I do not even like Gore. Wasted signing. The only good thing is that he is not on the roster.

        Like

  8. Question. Do you have to be under the luxury tax line at the start of the season to avoid penalties or is it the end of the season? I would think it would be the beginning but I’m not sure.

    Like

    1. I’ve always wondered how that works also. Maybe they calculate some sort of seasonal average payroll? Hopefully someone here is an expert on the subject.

      Like

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