Well this comes out of nowhere. The Dodgers have traded starting pitcher John Ely to the Houston Astros for left handed starting pitching prospect Rob Rasmussen. Yes that’s Rasmussen with three S’s. Now if you’ve never heard of Rob Rasmussen before don’t feel bad, because I had never heard of him either. So I looked him up. Either way, the young pitcher is headed back to the team that originally drafted him.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) December 19, 2012
Now I know Ely had an option remaining, so the Dodgers didn’t have to trade him. However his time with the Dodgers had pretty much come to pass. He did have a great season with the Isotopes last year, and it’s more of a loss for the Topes than it is for the Dodgers. If you remember, Ely was acquired from the Chicago White Sox, along with Jon Link in the Juan Pierre trade back in 2010. Link is long gone now, and Ely was the last piece of that trade still with the club.
Ely is 26 years old, and from Florida. Ely (who looks like Mathew Mcconaughey) was forced into the rotation for the Dodgers back in 2010, and had one good month before the league figured him out, and he began to suck. Before that he was a gift. His manager and teammates praised him. This began a three week period in Dodger land called Elymania, in which the bushy haired right hander was trending on twitter, and everyone thought he was pretty good. Then he got lit up like a Christmas tree from then on. The right hander pitched in 18 games for the Dodgers in 2010, posting a 4-10 record, and an ERA of 5.49. he won all four games in that one good month of May, and then never won again. He still managed a decent 6.8 whiff per nine rate, and whiffed 76 and walked 40 that season. The following season in 2011, Ely only started one game for the Dodgers and pitched in only five before being optioned back down to Albuquerque, where he would stay for the rest of the year. In 2012, Ely only pitched in two games for the big club, but was the minor league pitcher of the year in the Pacific coast league. Ely won the pitching triple crown, and was an all-star for the Isotopes. As a major leaguer, Ely has a 4-13 record, 5.70 ERA, 7.2 K/9, and 4.0 BB/9, in 19 starts over parts of two plus seasons with the Dodgers.
Rasmussen is 23 years old, left handed, and played Baseball for USC. The local boy is originally from Pasadena, but is a native of Arcadia. And you might be interested to know he was drafted by the Dodgers, in 2007. Rasmussen chose to stay in school and attend UCLA instead. In 2010 he was drafted by the Marlins in the second round. Apparently Rasmussen was an elite high school prospect for Polytechnic school in Pasadena. He was a four year starter for the varsity team and posted a 38-2 record, 1.04 ERA, and 492 whiffs in 248 innings pitched. He posted a 17-0 record in the Babe Ruth League, and attracted the attention of many scouts, before the Dodgers drafted him. He eventually pitched in the college World Series for UCLA in 2010. In the College World Series he posted a 11-3 record, 2.72 ERA, and 128 whiffs. He was eventually traded to the Astros along with Matt Dominguez for Carlos Lee.
Rasmussen split the 2012 season between the Houston Astros double A affiliate Corpus Christi Hooks of the Texas league, and the single A Jupiter Hammerheads of the Florida State league. He was 8-11 with a 4.25 ERA, 119 whiffs and 54 walks. The young lefty has only been pitching professionally for two seasons. During his short minor league career, he has a 3.88 ERA, 7.2 K/9 rate, a 3.8 BB/9, and 1.394 WHIP. Rasmussen is 5’9 and 160 pounds according to reports. Supposedly he has four pitches, which he mixes well keeping hitters off balance. That’s all I could find on him.
I’m not sure there is much difference between Ely and Rasmussen, other than maybe Rasmussen is a few years younger, and has a tad more upside. We know Ely isn’t very good, but had a great season in Albuquerque. Rasmussen’s numbers don’t look all that great. And you have to wonder about any player traded away from the Astros, no matter how young they are. Ely I believe was on the 40 man roster, so that does open a spot. Maybe that was the reason for the move? I guess we’ll see.
Either way, it’s basically a non move for more minor league fodder. It’s kind of sad though looking back on it. I guess you could say the hourglass of time ran out on Elymania. I’ll always miss Elymania. Oh well, those three weeks were fun while they lasted.