The Dodgers won their third straight game overall on Friday night, and won their third straight game against the Padres over the previous seven days.
After a day that saw the Dodgers get J.D. Martinez back off the injured list and Caleb Ferguson off the paternity list (to earn the win in the series opener), let’s start the weekend with some news and notes while we wait for the results of Noah Syndergaard’s bullpen session.
Julio Urías, who starts Saturday against the Padres at Dodger Stadium, will command a king’s ransom this offseason as a free agent entering his age-27 season, writes Ken Rosenthal at The Athletic.
Speaking of Urías, the Dodgers left-hander was identified by Eno Sarris at The Athletic as a pitcher due for better results due to his stuff. Urías currently has a 3.77 ERA through eight starts.
“The argument that Urías can do better to suppress balls in play in the future than he has so far this season is simple: he’s still got his elite curveball (third-best in the big leagues), he’s added a good cutter (105 Stuff+), and his fastball is trending up with its best velo since mid-2021 in his last start.”
Miguel Vargas has been hot at the plate for two weeks, with four home runs and nine extra-base hits in his last 13 games. Fabian Ardaya at The Athletic wrote about a mechanical tweak Vargas made with his swing: “Coaches looked to create more movement in his hands, slightly altering his setup during the club’s trip to Pittsburgh last month and again upon returning to Dodger Stadium at the beginning of May. The emphasis was on synchronizing Vargas’ hands with his lower half.”
Earlier this week, Ben Badler reviewed the Dodgers international class at Baseball America. Intriguing to me was Eduardo Quintero, a 17-year-old from Venezuela, who is now listed as a catcher and centerfielder. “At 6 feet, 175 pounds, Quintero has the ability to stick behind the plate, but he’s also at least a plus runner with 60-yard dash times cutting under 6.5 seconds at his best,” Badler wrote. “With that speed and athleticism, he has seen time in center field too, so while he could catch, he could move through the system faster as a center fielder with fewer defensive demands.”
Old friend Cody Bellinger is off to a good start with the Cubs, with Mike Petriello of MLB.com noting how he’s increased his contact rate despite not hitting the ball that hard, a new iteration for the centerfielder. “He’s a good hitter now; just a different one,” Petriello wrote.