Over at our Minor League site Seedlings to Stars Wally Fish has a great piece about prospects who made their Major League debut last week. Included in the article are Trayvon Robinson and Nathan Eovaldi. I realize that T Rob sadly made his MLB debut with the Mariners instead of the Dodgers, but Wally has a great quote about that so I will reference it.
Considering the main reason that Robinson was traded was the “Lack of Organizational Depth” at the catching position, it is curious that last night AAA Albuquerque actually had 3 catchers in the starting lineup. Thanks to Eric over at True Blue LA for pointing out:
In Wednesday’s game, the ‘Topes had 3 catchers in lineup at once thanks to injuries (Federowicz C, Espino 3B, Ellis 1B)
Hard to imagine a glaring lack of ‘organizational depth” that would force you to trade your top all around hitting prospect, while your starting 3 catchers at the same time. But hey I’m just a blogger hack who am I to question the baseball genius of Ned Colletti. After all just look at his laundry list of terrific moves and you will see that clearly I am the baseball idiot. How dare I scoff at the man who gave Andruw Jones arguably the worst free-agent contract in the history of baseball, fresh of the heels of his highly successful signing of Jason Schmidt.
But I digress let’s get back to the present and another one of Neddy’s baffling moves. Here’s how Wally summed up the MLB debut of Trayvon Robinson and the circumstances surrounding it.
Preseason Ranking: #10 in BA’s Dodgers Top-30
2011 Minor League Performance: 0.293/.375/.563, 26 HR, 8 SB, 45 BB and 122 SO in 368 AB (103 G) for the Albuquerque Isotopes (AAA) plus 3 games for the Tacoma Rainiers (AAA)
Debut Date: August 5th
This is the hardest player to write up this week because my head just keeps repeating what the hell were the Dodgers thinking? Robinson may not turn out to be anything truly special but there is a good chance he will become an everyday major leaguer and the Dodgers just gave him away at the deadline. The SO/BB rate is concerning but the tools are enticing.
He made his debut against the Angels and went 1-3. Through 5 games he’s hitting 0.133/.188/.133 with 7 SO and 1 BB, but he has hit his first major league HR.
Great question Wally, “What in the hell were the Dodgers thinking?” Well they really needed a catcher, they only had 3 they could start for their AAA team so why not give up a “toolsy” prospect from LA who dreamed of playing for the Dodgers since he was 17 and signed with them. Especially when you can get a career .250 hitting defensive catcher who if he maxes out his potential becomes a poor mans Russell Martin, who the Dodgers just let walk away this off-season. BTW Carlos Santana just took Justin Verlander deep for his 18th homer of the season, how’s Casey Blake doing these days?
As for the other Dodger mentioned in the article here’s what Wally had to say about Eovaldi:
Nathan Eovaldi (21) – Los Angeles Dodgers
Preseason Ranking: #17 in BA’s Dodgers Top-30
2011 Minor League Performance: 2.62 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 4.0 BB/9 and 8.7 SO/9 in 103.0 IP (20 G/19 GS) for the Chatanooga Lookouts (AA)
Debut Date: August 6th
Finally we get to the one pitcher to make his debut in the last week. That makes him different from the other guys on this list, but he’s also different because he skipped Triple-A. Again, I don’t get the fascination with skipping young starters from AA to the majors and would really like to see more organizations exercise a little more caution and patience with their young hurlers. There is, after all, a lot to learn in Triple-A. Nonetheless Eovaldi’s debut is what it is, and he will have to work on developing his control and his secondary pitches at the major league level for the time being. While some have hastily thrown the label of “future ace” around, in reality Nathan’s ceiling is that of a mid-rotation starter. With his fastball and the potential of his curveball but the absence of a quality 3rd pitch, he’s also not too far from settling in as a solid relief option.
His major league debut against the Diamondbacks went about as well as could be expected. Eovaldi started and went 5.0 IP with 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB and 7 SO while picking up the victory. Since he jumped from AA there probably isn’t much of a book on him so it will be interesting to see if he can continue to pitch at the level he showed in his first start.
I was actually impressed with Eovaldi’s poise and his stuff in his debut. He owned Justin Upton and I think Nathan has a better 3 pitch arsenal than Wally is giving him credit for, but we’ll chalk that up to him not having seen young Mr. Eovaldi pitch that much. Meanwhile Dodgers fans have the excitement of going to the ballpark to see if Eugenio Velez, another one of Ned’s ex-Giants castoffs, will ever get a hit this year. Oh boy, the excitement is truly too much to handle.