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Dodgers notes: Andrew Heaney, Miguel Vargas, MLB pinch-hitting

Cleveland Guardians v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

While waiting for the Dodgers to score their first run at Coors Field in this series against the Rockies, please enjoy these morning links and notes.

Andrew Heaney, who has a shoulder strain and flew to Los Angeles after getting placed on the injured list Friday, hasn’t yet resumed throwing. Juan Toribio at has more.

Miguel Vargas played two games in left field last week for Triple-A Oklahoma City, his first professional games in the outfield moving the top prospect one step closer to seeing time in the majors. The third baseman has also seen time at first and second base in the minors. General manager Brandon Gomes told Bill Plunkett of the Range County Register, “The more positions they can play, the better it is for them, the better it is for us if and when we have openings.”

Patrick Dubuque studied the declining glory of the pinch-hitter at Baseball Prospectus. “Pinch-hitting still happens, but it’s no longer a job—just something the utility guys do on the days they’re not utilizing, like how teachers have to buy their own classroom materials,” he wrote. The Dodgers this year have only used a pinch-hitter 35 times — less than half a plate appearance per game — the eighth-lowest frequency in MLB. LA’s pinch-hitters are 7-for-33 with a home run, a double, and two walks, hitting .212/.257/.333.

Around MLB

  • Angels manager Phil Nevin got suspended 10 games for his role in the Angels-Mariners brawl on Sunday. One of the whopping twelve people suspended for the melee was Angels interpreter Manny Del Campo, who got two games. The Associated Press has more.
  • Speaking of the Mariners, pitcher David Akin recorded the final 10 outs of Seattle’s win on Monday. Akin entered with an 8-1 lead, but because of the length of his outing (at least three innings) he earned his first major league save.
  • Former Dodgers minor leaguer Carlos Santana was traded by the Royals to the Mariners. Dave Skretta at the Associated Press has details on the deal. Technically this is the second time Santana, now 36, is a Mariner, though the last time lasted only 10 days in December 2018, in between getting traded from the Phillies then eventually to Cleveland.
  • Peacock has exclusive television/streaming rights through 10:30 a.m. PT on Sunday, and they’ve been running one game per week. The usual setup is Jason Benetti calling play-by-play, flanked by two analysts, each one with ties to one of the teams playing the game. But this Sunday, Peacock is trying something new for July 4 weekend, with nobody in the booth this Sunday for Royals at Tigers: “We’re going to be fans of the game, taking you to different parts of the ballpark and engaging in a way that fans watch the game in the stadium.”