Even with only one game, Tuesday was busy in the Dodgers minors, with a slugfest in Las Vegas plus opening day rosters revealed by Double-A Tulsa and Low-A Rancho Cucamonga.
Player of the day
To the best of my knowledge, the new minor league collective bargaining agreement does not include any bonuses for winning the True Blue LA player of the day award, but Jahmai Jones might wish it had. He’s in the sweet spot, with Oklahoma City the only Dodgers affiliate playing until Thursday, and with the second baseman absolutely blistering the ball to open his season.
Jones delivered a walk-off single to win Saturday’s game against Tacoma, then homered to walk-off Tacoma again on Sunday. But Tuesday was his best game yet.
In Las Vegas to face the A’s Triple-A affiliate, Jones hit a two-run home run off left-hander Hogan Harris in the second inning, then hit a solo shot off righty Bryce Conley in the fourth. Dating back to Saturday, that was three straight at-bats with a home run for Jones. He broke the string in the sixth, settling for a two-run double down the left field line off southpaw Jake Fishman.
Jones drove in five runs on Tuesday and has multiple hits in all three games played this season, with eight hits in 13 at-bats.
Triple-A Oklahoma City
Jones had three of Oklahoma City’s five hits and drove in five of their seven runs to beat the Las Vegas Aviators (A’s).
Justin Bruihl and Tayler Scott each pitched scoreless baseball for a combined seven outs to prevent the game from getting wonky. Bruihl entered a two-run game with two outs and a runner on in the sixth inning, but escaped without further damage, then followed with a scoreless seventh to earn the win.
The Drillers don’t open the season until Thursday, but they did announce their roster on Tuesday, led by top prospect Diego Cartaya, one of five Dodgers on the 40-man roster opening the year in Tulsa.
Barry Lewis at Tulsa World talked with one of those 40-man roster players, outfielder Jonny DeLuca, who was called “electric” by Tulsa manager Scott Hennessey. DeLuca played 25 games in Double-A last year after getting promoted, but an oblique injury wiped out the final six weeks of the season.
“There’s a lot of ups and down, I definitely wasn’t as consistent as I wanted to be but ended on a good note,” DeLuca told Lewis. “Very fortunate to have the coaches and guys to communicate with to help me. I took advantage of my resources and ended up having a pretty good year.”
Low-A Rancho Cucamonga
The Quakes also open their season on Thursday. They unveiled their roster on Tuesday as well, which includes pitcher Maddux Bruns, the Dodgers’ first-round draft pick in 2021; 19-year-old shortstop Rayne Doncon, who was rated among the top-15 Dodgers prospects by FanGraphs, MLB Pipeline, and ESPN; and pitcher Juan Morillo, who only pitched 1⅔ innings in 2021-22 combined but is back healthy now and hit triple digits during spring training.
Triple-A: Outfielder Ben DeLuzio, who was in spring training with the Cubs and played for Italy in the World Baseball Classic, was released by Chicago at the end of spring training. DeLuzio, who played 22 games in the majors with the Cardinals last season, signed a minor league deal with the Dodgers, and joined Oklahoma City on Tuesday. DeLuzio walked three times, stole a base, and scored twice in his first game.
Corner infielder Justin Yurchak was placed on the developmental list.
7:05 p.m. PT: Oklahoma City (Gavin Stone) at Las Vegas (Colton Eastman)