Posts Tagged ‘Los Angeles Dodgers’

Average Distance From Majors To Affiliates: National League West

I’ve been playing around with some small projects in my spare time, including the one you see below.  The distance between a major league club and its affiliates has always interested me, even more so in the wake of some of the recent rehab assignments of stars like John Smoltz and Manny Ramirez.

Earlier this week, I stumbled upon this web site, with maps that provide a visual image for those distances.  Since I’m all about boring stuff, I decided to take a look at the raw distances, division by division.  The first division, the National League West, is presented below(billsportsmaps has created maps for most, not all, major league teams; Arizona and Colorado are missing from this installment).  They are ordered from shortest to longest average distance.

Colorado Rockies (average: 812 miles)
Denver to…
…Colorado Springs Sky Sox (AAA): 71 miles
…Tulsa Drillers (AA): 693 miles
…Modesto Nuts (A): 1,256 miles
…Asheville Tourists (A): 1,452 miles
…Tri-City Dust Devils (A): 1,119 miles
…Casper Ghosts (R): 278 miles

San Diego Padres (average: 1,000 miles)
San Diego to…
…Portland Beavers (AAA): 1,085 miles
…San Antonio Missions (AA): 1,277 miles
…Lake Elsinore Storm (A): 76 miles
…Fort Wayne TinCaps (A): 2,230 miles
…Eugene Emeralds (A): 978 miles
…Peoria Padres (R): 353 miles

Los Angeles Dodgers (average: 1,062 miles)
Los Angeles to…
…Albuquerque Isotopes (AAA): 788 miles
…Chattanooga Lookouts (AA): 2,138 miles
…Great Lakes Loons (A): 2,292 miles
…Inland Empire 66ers (A): 60 miles
…Ogden Raptors (R): 726 miles
…AZL Dodgers (R): 370 miles

Arizona Diamondbacks (average: 1,210 miles)
Phoenix to…
…Reno Aces (AAA): 736 miles
…Mobile Bay Bears (AA): 1,645 miles
…Visalia Rawhide (A): 564 miles
…South Bend Silverhawks (A): 1,828 miles
…Yakima Bears (A): 1,311 miles
…Missoula Osprey (R): 1,176 miles

San Francisco Giants (average: 1213 miles)
San Francisco to…
…Fresno Grizzlies (AAA): 193 miles
…Connecticut Defenders (AA): 3,049 miles
…San Jose Giants (A): 48 miles
…Augusta GreenJackets (A): 2,621 miles
…Salem-Keizer Volcanoes (A): 597 miles
…Arizona Giants (R): 769 miles

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Photos of the Elusive Minotaur

Bus Leagues correspondent Will G. took a pilgrimage from his home in Brooklyn last week in hopes of photographing the elusive Minotaur, also known as Clayton Kershaw. We are a blog with a minor league focus, but during the first season of a player’s call-up, we definitely like to follow them and see how things turn out.

Here’s Kershaw pitching against the New York Mets in Shea, with Will’s commentary:

On the DiamondVision. It was the second consecutive walk, to Castillo in the bottom of the third, that precipitated the visit. Pitching coaches hate that.

Bottom of the third. Reyes walked, Castillo walked, Wright walked. Reyes is about to score on Beltran’s sac fly to center. Could’ve been a lot worse; Beltran hit it pretty well.

Kershaw at rest.

Kershaw in action. Kind of like an ’82 Topps card.

Bottom of the fourth. Three straight singles, two fielder’s choices, and a walk, and that was all she wrote.

Chan Ho Park would get the final out, no further damage done. There was a small smattering of applause for the Minotaur.

Looks like a nice night out at the ballpark. Even though the Minotaur had a rough outing, it must have been nice to actually see how the legend compared to reality. Thanks again for the great pics, Will!

[Will’s flickr photo set]

The Minotaur and History

20-year-old Clayton Kershaw made his major league debut for the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday, limiting St. Louis to two runs on five hits in six innings.  He struck out seven Cardinals and walked just one.  In light of that impressive performance by one of baseball’s top prospects, I thought it might be interesting to look at some of the best pitchers of the past twenty or so years and see how they fared in three areas: first batter faced, first game, and first season.

For Kershaw, we know two of those pieces – the first batter he faced, Skip Schumaker, struck out, and the pitching line for his debut is above – but only time will tell on number three. 

Roger Clemens (21)
First Batter: Brett Butler (groundout to first, unassisted)
First Game: 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 11 H, 4 K, 3 BB
First Season: 9-4, 4.32 ERA, 126 K, 133.1 IP

Greg Maddux (20)
First Batter: Craig Reynolds (groundout to second)
First Game: 1 IP, 1 ER, 1 H, 1 K
First Season: 2-4, 5.52 ERA, 20 K, 31.0 IP

Okay, Maddux’s major league debut fascinates me because he didn’t make his first appearance as a pitcher.  Instead, he pinch-ran in the 17th inning of a 7-7 game against the Houston Astros – a game that had originally been started by Nolan Ryan and Jamie Moyer (did they supply the pitchers with water from the Fountain of Youth that day?).  Maddux took the mound for the first time the following inning, gave up a homerun to the second batter he faced, Billy Hatcher, and received the loss.  Five days later he made his first start, going the distance against Cincinnati (3 ER, 11 H, 4 K, 3 BB) for the win.  He also recorded two hits.

Is this common knowledge?  Am I the only one who didn’t know about this unusual set of circumstances surrounding Maddux’s first games in The Show?

Tom Glavine (21)
First Batter: Gerald Young (flyout to center)
First Game: 3.2 IP, 6 ER, 10 H, 1 K, 5 BB
First Season: 2-4, 5.54 ERA, 20 K, 50.1 IP

Randy Johnson (25)
First Batter: John Cangelosi (groundout to second)
First Game: 5 IP, 2 ER, 6 H, 5 K, 3 BB
First Season: 3-0, 2.42 ERA, 25 K, 26.0 IP

Pedro Martinez (20)
First Batter: Reggie Sanders (foulout to catcher)
First Game: 2 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 1 K, 1 BB
First Season: 0-1, 2.25 ERA, 8 K, 8 IP

Now Pitching For The Los Angeles Dodgers…

All season, the Los Angeles Dodgers organization has handled Clayton Kershaw, Baseball America’s 7th ranked prospect, with kid gloves, limiting the 20-year-old third-year pro to 43.1 innings in nine starts in order to keep him available for as long as possible.  Presumably, that meant keeping him in the minor leagues, at AA Jacksonville, until the Dodgers needed his golden left arm in their rotation.

Okay.  The Dodgers need his golden left arm in their rotation.

Los Angeles put the call in for Kershaw on Saturday, lining him up to make his major league debut on Sunday against the St. Louis Cardinals at Dodger Stadium.  He will become the youngest player in the major leagues this season and the first ever born in 1988.  I feel so old.

Kershaw pitched well for Jacksonville in 2008, going 0-3 with a 2.28 ERA and 47 strikeouts in the aforementioned 43.1 innings.  He has thrown only eleven innings since May 7.  Esteban Loaiza was DFA and Yhency Brazoban was sent to AAA Las Vegas to make room for Kershaw on the 40 and 25-man rosters, respectively.

Previous “Now Batting”: Evan Longoria (Rays); Jed Lowrie (Red Sox), Jeff Clement/Wladimir Balentien (Mariners)

Previous “Now Pitching”: Justin Masterson (Red Sox); Jeff Niemann (Rays); Luke Hochevar (Royals); Max Scherzer (Diamondbacks); Nick Adenhart (Angels)