My thoughts on the recent performance of the OKC Dodgers

 

Oklahoma’s strong run

As June is underway, I’m liking what I have been seeing from the Oklahoma City Dodgers baseball team. OKC is continuing to stay strong atop the Pacific Coast League’s American Northern standings. The team is coming off a recent loss but will be looking to regroup as they’ve gone 6-4 over their past 10 games. They’ve also had some recent roster moves including Pedro Baez arriving from their major league club, the L.A. Dodgers, albeit for a brief stint. Still, I’m impressed with what I’ve seen from the talented outfielders who have been keeping them atop their division.

Pedro Baez sent down for a short stay

This past week, the Los Angeles Times reported that the L.A. Dodgers were sending reliever Pedro Baez to the triple-A club. That happened on Wednesday, June 8th, and about 18 hours later, he was recalled by the major league team as they needed Baez due to reliever Tony Gingrani going to the 10-day disabled list. Baez has a 3-3 record this season with a 3.23 ERA, 36 strikeouts, and a 1.50 WHIP for the MLB team.

After Baez’s moves, I think he was a bit frustrated over how he was being treated on the MLB team’s roster. It was mentioned that Baez wouldn’t speak with reporters about the moves his team made but that he was “unhappy with the initial decision,” per Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. In addition to the move involving Baez, the Dodgers also optioned pitcher Caleb Ferguson to OKC. Relief pitcher Edward Paredes was also promoted. I don’t believe the Baez move is going to hurt the minor league club that much as

Recent game results

On Sunday, June 10, the Dodgers fell 12-8 to the Fresno Grizzlies who belted out five home runs in the baseball game. Two of those homers were hit back-to-back by the opponents. The latest game saw the Grizzlies jump out to an early 1-0 lead before adding another seven runs through the fourth inning.

I thought it was encouraging to watch as the Dodgers tried to fight their way back with a five-run rally in the seventh inning to make it 11-7. Edwin Rios’ grand slam was instrumental in that rally. Unfortunately, they couldn’t keep things going beyond that at the Sunday night game in Chukchansi Park. Starting pitcher Guillermo Moscoso received the loss to go 2-4 for the season while Rogelio Armenteros (4-0) picked up the win for the opponents.

In the game prior to the loss, the Dodgers came up with a 4-2 win over Fresno thanks to a go-ahead two-run homer from Angelo Mora. His shot over the right-field fence with Trent Thornton on base in the seventh was able to power OKC past the Grizzlies. Mora would finish the game with three hits for the team, easily making him the star of the win. Pitcher Jason Richman (1-0) picked up the win in his debut for the Dodgers.

The team has gone 3-3 over their six games on the road trip thus far and was scheduled for the final game of the stretch on Monday (June 11) against the Grizzlies. I think once they close this out and return home, they’ll continue their winning ways to lead the division.

Team stats leaders

I’ve been impressed with how the outfielder trio of Henry Ramos, Tim Locastro, and Kyle Garlick is currently dominating the offensive stats for the Oklahoma City Dodgers. Right fielder Ramos continues to lead the team in batting average (.288) and RBI (30), while centerfielder Locastro has led the team with 33 runs and 10 stolen bases. Left fielder Garlick has hit eight home runs so far this season to lead the team in that category. All three players, as well as their fellow outfielder Alex Verdugo, are amongst the players being considered for the 2018 Triple-A All-Star Game.

Verdugo has been on a recent hot stretch since getting sent back to the team. The No. 28 overall prospect had a brief call-up with the big league club back in April and ended up with 37 appearances at the plate. Once the Dodgers got Yasiel Puig back from the disabled list in early May, Verdugo was sent back down to OKC. However, since his return on May 12, he’s hit five doubles and seven RBIs along with a .381 average.

In terms of pitching, I think it’s hard for anyone to argue against Manny Bañuelos as the team’s best player in the bullpen. He’s recorded six wins so far this season with a 3.45 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, and 71 strikeouts. Brian Sclitter was leading the team with nine saves ahead of Monday’s matchup.

Current injuries

As of right now, the Oklahoma City Dodgers have a few players on the seven-day disabled list. That includes the first baseman Alex Burg, second baseman Jake Peter, and shortstop Donovan Solano. Locastro is also on the seven-day DL right now. Among pitchers, only Jesen Therrien is sidelined and is on the team’s 60-day DL. Right now, I think with the roster looking healthy and barring any new injuries, they’re going to continue to be a force within the MILB.

Record & standings update

As of mid-June, I really think the team is still looking good as they lead their division, per the MILB standings. The OKC Dodgers are currently 36-23 with a stellar 23-6 record at home. Like many teams, I know they’ve had a losing record on the road, going just 13-17. However, the team holds a five-game lead over the Colorado Springs Sky Sox, as of right now.

They’ll certainly be looking forward to their return to Chickasaw Bricktown Stadium based on the winning ways they’ve seen there so far this season. They’ll host Salt Lake there on Thursday, June 14th for the first of a three-game home series with the Bees. I’m looking forward to see how the team performs for the remainder of the June schedule and which of their talented players lands on the All-Star team.