The trade deadline has everyone on hug watch, and anything that deviates from the norm can have folks on edge, especially in the minor leagues when most of the news isn’t as direct as, say, the majors.
So when scheduled starters in Triple-A (Ryan Pepiot), Double-A (Gavin Stone), and High-A (Ben Casparius) did not make their starts Sunday, it’s at least understandable that some thought was given that it might have been related to Tuesday’s 3 p.m. PT trade deadline.
But there was no cause for concern regarding roster status, with all three pitchers making their scheduled appearances, just entering a bit later in the game. Stone was the third Tulsa starter in the last few weeks to follow an opener, along with John Rooney and Kyle Hurt.
Drillers broadcaster Dennis Higgins during Sunday’s game relayed an explanation of the opener practice from Tulsa pitching coach Ryan Dennick, who said, “The Dodgers want these young guys — these starters — to experience what it’s like to be a reliever, because there’s a chance when they get to the big leagues they’ll be a reliever.”
No hug watches, at least not on Sunday.
Player of the day
The calendar said July, but Sunday was a big day for January. That’s Double-A Tulsa catcher Ryan January, who homered twice and doubled in the Drillers’ blowout win, driving in four runs.
When Hunter Feduccia got promoted to Triple-A at the end of June, the 25-year-old January moved up from High-A Great Lakes to Tulsa, where he backs up starting catcher Carson Taylor. Sunday was January’s ninth game played in July, and the second time in three games that he homered. During his brief time in Tulsa so far, January is hitting .294/.485/.708 in 33 plate appearances, with as many walks (8) as strikeouts (8).
Triple-A Oklahoma City
Pepiot did not start, but he did last seven innings for the second straight appearance to beat the Sugar Land Space Cowboys (Astros). Pepiot allowed two runs on five hits, including a solo home run by Pedro Leon. The right-hander also struck out four, and induced four double plays on the night.
Jason Martin and Ryan Noda each hit a two-run home run for Oklahoma City, and Noda stole a base, giving him 16 homers and 13 steals.
Carson Fulmer walked the bases loaded in a one-run game in the ninth, but also struck out two and got a game-ending groundout for his ninth save.
In addition to January, Andy Pages and Devin Mann also homered in the Drillers’ pasting of the Arkansas Travelers (Mariners). Carson Taylor, the regular catcher, started at designated hitter Sunday and scored three times with a double, single, and walk.
After opener Jose Hernandez retired all four batters face, Gavin Stone entered with one out in the second inning and proceeded to pitch 5⅓ innings. He walked four, struck out five, and allowed a pair of runs, both unearned.
High-A Great Lakes
Jorbit Vivas tripled, doubled, and walked in the Loons’ home win over the Lansing Lugnuts (A’s). Aldrich De Jongh and Luis Diaz hit back-to-back home runs in the fourth inning, for Diaz his first home run in six games since getting promoted to Great Lakes.
Ben Harris, the Dodgers’ eighth-round pick in 2021, was the opener in this one, striking out all three batters he faced in the first inning. Ben Casparius, the Dodgers’ fifth-rounder last year, followed with seven strikeouts in five innings, allowing only one run. Casparius matched his highs with Great Lakes for innings and strikeouts.
Diego Cartaya, the Dodgers’ top prospect, left the game in the fourth inning, walking off the field with a trainer after getting nicked by an errant pitch. It’s the second time in four weeks Cartaya left a game mid-at-bat with an injury.
Low-A Rancho Cucamonga
The Quakes allowed seven early runs to lose on the road to the San Jose Giants.
Of note though was Jerming Rosario, who struck out nine of his 14 batters faced, allowing only two hits over four scoreless innings in relief. It marked a tremendous turnaround for the 20-year-old right-hander, who got torched for 34 runs over just 20⅓ innings in his previous eight appearances. The nine strikeouts were a career high for Rosario, whom the Dodgers signed out of Peravia in the Dominican Republic in 2018.
Triple-A: Jake Reed was optioned to Oklahoma City. Pitcher Jose Adames was placed on the temporary inactive list, and pitcher Bobby Wahl was released.
Low-A: Rancho Cucamonga placed catcher Yeiner Fernandez on the temporary inactive list, and promoted 20-year-old Colombian catcher Jorge Puerta, who began the season in the Dominican Summer League before moving to the Arizona Complex League.
- Oklahoma City 5, Sugar Land 4
- Tulsa 16, Arkansas 3
- Great Lakes 4, Lansing 1
- San Jose 7, Rancho Cucamonga 2
- 4 p.m. PT: Great Lakes at Lake County (Guardians)
- 5:05 p.m.: Tulsa at Northwest Arkansas (Royals)
- 5:35 p.m.: Oklahoma City at Salt Lake (Angels)
- 6:30 p.m.: Rancho Cucamonga vs. Inland Empire (Angels)
All top four Dodgers affiliates are off Monday, so the next Los Angeles minor league game from Low-A through Triple-A will come after the trade deadline.