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The Craig Kimbrel Dilemma and the prospect flying under the radar

Ben Harris is thriving in High-A

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Los Angeles Dodgers v Milwaukee Brewers Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Fangraphs has a pair of articles related to the Dodgers on their front page at the moment. One has to do with an under-the-radar pitching prospect and the other relates to the guy struggling to close games.

Ben Harris has turned into a solid pitcher in the organization even if he isn’t ranked on anyone’s list. The lefty has struck out 91 batters in 47 innings and has only allowed two runs in 15 appearances (19.1 IP) since being promoted to High-A Great Lakes. Harris pitched a scoreless inning for the Loons Friday night as an opener to run his scoreless streak to 15 13 innings over 12 games.

David Laurila writes that the fastball is unique in it’s deception and spoke to Harris about his success.

“I don’t throw super-hard,” said Harris, whose heater sits 92–94 mph and tops out at 95, and whose repertoire currently comprises roughly 70% fastballs and 30% sliders. “Luckily, there’s something with the way I throw. It’s a little bit tucked behind — I throw from behind my head — so it’s a little more hidden than normal. I’ve never faced off against myself, but that’s what I’ve been told. I believe [the effectiveness] comes from a combination of a few different metrics, as well.”

Justin Choi takes on the task of Craig Kimbrel and tries to answer the question of what to do with a closer who appears only marginally worse than before but has yet to rebound?

The piece dives into the comments by Dave Roberts this week in Milwaukee about Kimbrel pitching well despite blowing another save. Can he be trusted in save situations? The numbers say the stuff is good but not the eye test.


  • Freddie Freeman has pledged $500,000 to his alma mater El Modena High School in Orange to pay for a new clubhouse for the baseball team. Orange County Register has the story here.
  • Fabian Ardaya over at The Athletic outlined the adjustments Max Muncy had to make in order to save his season, leading to better results on the field.
  • One more update thanks to Craig Minami in the comments, Mike Petriello has some good Dodgers content about the team being on a historically good run in recent years.