February 25, 2016 by Shannon Michael Smith
“You can never have too much pitching,” said everyone in the world, when asked about bullpen depth. The Dodgers have apparently taken this to heart and are stockpiling more arms than Reagan and Gorby did in the ‘80s.
No Greinke? Screw it, we’ll just out depth the division, say The Dodgers. The signings just keep coming; Sierra, Coleman, even old man (41) Jamey Wright made the scene with a minor league deal inked a few days ago. He’ll have to jockey for position with set up men J.P Howell, Blanton, and Avilan. Not to mention Baez, Garcia, Frias, Liberatore, Ravin, Thomas, Coleman…that’s a lot of bulls kicking up dirt in the proverbial pen. There’s a couple of guys named Julio Urias and Jose De Leon waiting in the wings that are supposed to be pretty damn good too (Baseball America’s #4 and #23 top prospects for 2016).
Most of you know the inning moppers from last year, so I won’t bother breaking down Jansen, Baez, Garcia, Frias, Liberatore, and Howell. Let’s look at Cuban sensation Yaisel Sierra, and ex-Royal right hander, Louis Coleman.
According to The Havana Times, The Dodgers just paid thirty million dollars to a player “who had only a mediocre five years playing in Cuba.” Hmmm, okay. The paper goes on to state that “During his seasons in Cuba, Sierra compiled a 4.23 ERA pitching mostly as a reliever.” Last year, Sierra was selected as the number 13 player on Baseball America’s Top 20 Cuban Players list. Control, not velocity (he’s reached 97) is apparently the issue with Sierra. Dodgers pitching coaches are banking on a more consistent arm delivery to tame the occasional wildness. We’ll throw the old “rascalsoftheravine” peepers on him at Camelback in a couple of weeks and give you our take.
Louisiana native Louis Coleman didn’t see much action in the show with The Royals last year, appearing in only four games. In 2014 the right hander appeared in 31 games, and posted a chubby 5.56 ERA (no Bueno). The Dodgers must have liked his Triple-A numbers (64 innings, 1.69 ERA) and the fact that he’s a righty. It also cost the team under a million bucks to sign him after Kansas City said bye-bye on February 3rd. Dodger TV took the opportunity to reference one of the great holiday comedies of all time, “Trading Places”. The channel threw the headline “Feeling Good, Louis” (Eddie Murphy to Dan Ackroyd at the end of the film) over Coleman’s image and stats when he signed a deal with the team on February 18th. We’ll see how good Louis feels in a ‘pen more jammed than a Tokyo subway.
“It’s Getting Mighty Crowded” as Elvis Costello would say, but that’s what Spring Training’s for, and you can bet your bottom dollar that this baseball bug will be there front and center! That’s right dear readers, the rascalsoftheravine will be headed to Camelback to check out The Dodgers’ packed ‘pen and other question marks heading into the season. Check for posts about the desert adventure starting on March 16th!