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Michael Busch adds outfield to his bag of tricks

Dodgers prospect homered on Wednesday

GLENDALE, AZ - MARCH 22, 2022: Michael Busch #84 of the Los Angeles Dodgers bats during the fifth inning of an MLB spring training game against the Cincinnati Reds at Camelback Ranch on March 22, 2022 in Glendale, Arizona.
GLENDALE, AZ - MARCH 22, 2022: Michael Busch #84 of the Los Angeles Dodgers bats during the fifth inning of an MLB spring training game against the Cincinnati Reds at Camelback Ranch on March 22, 2022 in Glendale, Arizona.
Photo by David Durochik/Diamond Images via Getty Images

All four Dodgers affiliates won on Wednesday, allowing only four total runs.

Player of the day

Both first-round draft picks for the Dodgers in 2019 tried new positions on Wednesday. Michael Busch added left field to his professional bag of tricks for Double-A Tulsa, a position he played 35 games as a junior at North Carolina in 2019 before getting drafted. Busch had played exclusively second base (109 starts) and first base (10 starts) in the minors before Wednesday.

Busch’s bat will play just about anywhere, and he proved that with his eighth home run, including sixth long ball in his last seven games.

Kody Hoese played his first pro game at second base on Wednesday for the Drillers, and had two hits, including an RBI single. Eight-eight of Busch’s 89 minor league starts before yesterday came at third base, though he did play a full game at shortstop for Tulsa on April 14.

Triple-A Oklahoma City

Kevin Pillar hit a three-run home run, giving OKC all they would need to beat the Sugar Land Space Cowboys (Astros).

Pillar also stole a base and scored twice in the game. Jake Lamb, Jason Martin, and Tony Wolters each had two singles in the win.

Beau Burrows struck out seven in 5⅓ innings, allowing two runs. Carson Fulmer, a minor league Rule 5 Draft selection in December, struck out two in two scoreless innings. Fulmer has a 2.31 ERA with 12 strikeouts in 11⅔ innings for Oklahoma City this year. He also has eight walks, though he didn’t walk anyone on Wednesday.

Double-A Tulsa

Like Busch, Jacob Amaya also homered for the Drillers in a win over the Corpus Christi Hooks (Astros). It was the fourth homer in four games for Amaya, who also added a double, scored twice, and his hitting a robust .340/.431/.780. Amaya and Busch both played a full year at Double-A last year, and are making strong cases for a promotion to Triple-A.

Gus Varland walked four but allowed no hits in his five innings, and struck out seven for Tulsa. Max Gamboa got the win in relief with three scoreless innings of his own, with five strikeouts. Gamboa allowed one hit, a double, but did not walk anyone.

High-A Great Lakes

Timely offense and solid pitching led the Loons to a road win over the West Michigan Whitecaps (Tigers). Left fielder Edwin Mateo hit a two-run double, and center fielder Jonny DeLuca doubled and singled in the win. Great Lakes had nine hits and reached base 15 times on Wednesday, which stood out.

It’s been a rough year offensively for the Loons, but it’s difficult to know how much, if at all, the usually cold April weather in and around Michigan affects that. Great Lakes entered Wednesday hitting just .199/.314/.346 as a team, all below the Midwest League line of .227/.326/.370. The Loons have averaged 4.35 runs per game compared to 4.51 for the league.

Eddys Leonard started the season with just one hit in 25 at-bats, with 10 strikeouts. He didn’t have a multi-hit game until Sunday, and added another one Wednesday with three singles and an RBI. Since that slow start Leonard is 11 for 31 with five doubles, hitting .355/.462/.516, and has reached base in 12 straight games.

Low-A Rancho Cucamonga

The Quakes got home runs from first baseman Julio Carreon (a three-run shot) and Jose Ramos (two-run homer) to rout the Visalia Rawhide (D-backs).

Ben Casparius, the Dodgers’ fifth-round draft pick in 2021, struck out six of his 12 batters faced in three scoreless innings. Benony Robles, a 21-year-old right-hander, struck out 6 in 4⅔ scoreless innings, allowing only one hit.

Tommy Kahnle moved his rehab assignment to Southern California, which makes sense as the Dodgers return home this weekend. He only faced one batter on Wednesday, throwing three pitches and inducing a groundout in the fourth inning. The plan is for Kahnle to pitch in back-to-back games as a final box to check before he joins the Dodgers. Bill Plunkett at the Orange County Register had more on that plan Monday.


High-A: Kendall Williams, who had a 5.29 ERA with 20 strikeouts in 17 innings with Rancho Cucamonga, was promoted to Great Lakes.

Low-A: Pitcher Carlos De Los Santos was activated from the 7-day injured list.

Wednesday scores

Thursday schedule

  • 3:35 p.m. PT: Great Lakes (Lael Lockhart) at West Michigan (Ty Madden)
  • 5:05 p.m.: Oklahoma City (Yefry Ramirez) vs. Sugar Land (Brandon Bielak)
  • 5:05 p.m.: Tulsa (Clayton Beeter) vs. Corpus Christi (Julio Robaina)
  • 6:30 p.m.: Rancho Cucamonga (Maddux Bruns) vs. Visalia (Avery Short)