Tuesday, May 31, 2016

New Dodger Bullpen Arm?

Montas should be making his debut soon.
The Dodger bullpen could soon be cutting off one beleaguered arm and replacing it with that of the team's hot #4 prospect. I'm talking about Frankie Montas, the 23-year-old flame-thrower the Dodgers acquired from the Chicago White Sox last winter.
Montas seems well-recovered from his February rib bisection surgery, and looks ready to make the jump from AAA Oklahoma City when he is eligible to come off the 60-day D.L. the first week of June. In nearly two weeks split between AA Tulsa and OKC, Montas has compiled a 0.88 WHIP, struck out 9, walked 1, and has throw some high 90s heat (even hitting triple digits a few times).

It has been a small sample-size of only 4 games and 5.2 innings, but with the way Chris Hatcher and Pedro Baez have been throwing this year, it wouldn't be surprising to see the Dodgers cut one of these guys and give Montas a shot at helping revive the struggling bullpen. Hatcher should be on the chopping block first with his constant inability to get outs and his head looking totally out of order, but Baez is likely to get the bad news since he still can be optioned to the minors and Hatcher would have to be cut altogether (really, would this be so bad?).

So long, Hatcher?
Montas looks ready to rumble.
The Dodgers are currently carrying 13 pitchers, but that will need to change with outfielder Scott Van Slyke nearly through with his rehab stint. They simply can't play with a short bench much longer, so this will mean yet another member of the bullpen must be moved if Montas is brought up. But will the Dodgers send both Baez and Hatcher packing? Newly acquired right-hander Casey Fien has been perfect in 2 innings of work, but he could be moved as well. My guess is Fien and Baez will be sent down with Montas taking most of Hatcher's innings, and if Hatcher can't put things back together, he will finally be cut with either Fien or Baez rejoining the roster.

Montas was the highlight of the trade with the White Sox that also brought outfielder Trayce Thompson (a wonderful surprise) and second baseman Micha Johnson (stuck in the minors), and he most likely would have made the opening day roster if he hadn't been forced under the knife. He's not perfect (his change-up is still "in development"), but his debut could bring the Dodgers some much-needed relief. At this point, since the Dodger brass seems unwilling to spend on a more established arm, what's the harm really?

1 comment:

  1. Great article as always! At this point, I'd rather have Carl Crawford in Hatcher's spot than let him near a batter again. Hatchetman needs a 12 run lead for any hope of keeping a game close when he comes in. Hope we get to see Montas soon!