May 2015

Juan Uribe Trade To Braves Now A Yes

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Apr 28, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Juan Uribe (5) looks up for a foul ball in the first inning against the San Francisco Giants at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

(Original piece from Fansided, L.A. Sports Hub, May, 2015)

By Dan Gudino

Dodgers third baseman Juan Uribe, after 407 games in Dodger blue will now walk across to the visiting locker room and suit up as an Atlanta Brave.

The Braves finish up a three game series Wednesday at Dodgers Stadium.

Atlanta will send left-hander Eric Stults, who returns to the Dodgers, who drafted him in 2002 and played as a middle reliever the majority of the four seasons in Los Angeles.

Since Andrew Friedman became President of Baseball Operations and Farhan Zaidi became the General Manager of the Dodgers they can’t get enough pitchers into the house.

The Dodgers will get another another Braves lefty in Ian Thomas and right-hander Juan Jaime along third baseman Alberto Callaspo, barring another change of mind, like the commissioner’s office saying no, since the MLB office has the final say.

Callaspo signed with the Braves as a free agent during the off-season and was the one who initially rejected the trade since he had vetoing rights before June 15 per the collective bargaining agreement.

Prior to Tuesday night’s game at Dodgers Stadium between L.A. and Atlanta, reports of the six-man trade that involved both third basemen Uribe and Callaspo was shut down.

Refusing to go was Callaspo, who later gave it deep thought, eventually deciding it was best for him to switch locker rooms.

The Dodgers seem to have the better outcome in the trade, right-hander Chris Withrow, who is recovering from Tommy John’s surgery and is already being said will be sat out till 2016.

Questions of why the Dodgers and Braves would agree to such a deal, where both sides receive aging, hurt, struggling and minor leaguers within the mix bag will rise now.

Juan Uribe lost his starting role to Justin Turner and Alex Guerrero.

Uribe played off the bench as the third man at third base in the depth chart. Stults the once again Dodgers pitcher, lost his spot in the rotation earlier this year with Braves.

Then there’s Juan Jaime, who struggled with ball control and was first demoted to Triple-A, then again demoted to Double-A. So as weird as this trade has been from the beginning, six men have to go.

The choice in players was also hard to understand.

The man in the center of attention, Callaspo, was going to get released possibly later this week anyway, because third baseman Chris Johnson who is recovering from an ankle injury is coming back for his starting job next week.

Callaspo finally got the point that the Braves have parted ways, after second baseman of the Braves, Jace Peterson became the official every-day starter and being scratched from the lineup card Monday and Tuesday.

Callaspo on the Dodgers looks like this — one home run, one for 18 in his last at bats against lefties, and batting a mere .206 with three extra-base hits.

An instant third man on third base, if it even gets to that.

The upcoming days will show whether Callaspo even will get a role in Los Angeles, most likely landing in Rancho Cucamonga, the minor league affiliate of the Dodgers.

Reasons why the Dodgers and Braves created this trade are many but the main reason lies between Dodgers’ current co-owner and team president Stan Kasten and his past relationships with the Braves as their President, between a long 1987 through 2003.

Making favors for old friends could of played a role to Dodgers bidding adios to “Papi” Uribe, or even locker room issues from older veteran players like Callaspo and Uribe would cause for instant change too.

Reasons must remain positive for the Dodgers as they continue their minor league stockpiling of pitchers, as Dodgers GM Zaidi, continues his Moneyball ways, knowing Los Angeles will need pitchers in later innings and hopefully to the Zaidi plan, later in September and deep in October.

 

 

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UCLA Is A No. 1 Seed In NCAA Baseball


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Shane Zelle congratulates pitcher David Berg after UCLA defeated UNC 4-1. (Photo: Bruce Thorson, USA TODAY Sports)

(Original piece from Fansided, L.A. Sports Hub, May, 2015)

By Dan Gudino 

The way UCLA (42-14) finished on top in 2013 as national champions, the Bruins on Memorial Day, were named the top team team in the College World Series tournament.

The NCAA placed No. 1 UCLA in front of  the six time national champion, No. 2 LSU (48-10), ahead of No.3 Louisville (43-16) and No. 4 Miami (Florida) (44-14).

UCLA starts its run to win its second national championship in Omaha, by taking on Cal State Bakersfield (36-22-1), May 29, in a double elimination first round Los Angeles Regional, at 8 p.m. at Jackie Robinson Stadium.

If all goes well for the Bruins they would be on a collision course to with rival USC (37-19), in a best of three series in the Super Regionals. USC currently holds 12 baseball titles, the most by any school, this will also be the Trojans’ first appearance into the tournament since 2005

Look for local product David Berg from Bishop Amat in La Puente, CA, to show off his sidearm throw to the plate. Displaying the third best earned run average in the country at 0.73.

He is also the single season record holder for most saves in a season with 24 making him the UCLA all-time saves leader with 48 saves.

Berg is the perfect weapon going into late innings with the lead, in their 2013 national title run, going into the final series with Mississippi State, the Bruins were involved in four straight one-run games. Berg was involved in all four games and closed out the final game 8-0, giving UCLA its historic 109th athletic national title.

Historic numbers and accomplishments continue with the Bruins this season, finishing the season with a 22-8 PAC-12 record, the most conference victories in school history.

For Coach John Savage his success has come quickly and often, UCLA has reached the the postseason in 8 of the 11 seasons Savage has been at the helm.

His most successful season, in 2013 during their title run, the Bruins finished on a 11-game winning streak and went undefeated in the tournament, (10-0) and if they plan the same outcome they will have to rely on the rest of the pitching staff.

James Kaprielian in 15 starts has top prospect numbers, like his 107 strikeouts which are top 25 in the country, his mere 1.94 ERA and only walking 31 all season long.

This is the type of dominance the Bruins will need to erase last years disappointing season, finishing ninth-place in the PAC-12, not even making it into the tournament.

UCLA hopes for continued success for the PAC-12, the “Road to Omaha” has been swayed in favor of the west coast, winning four of the last nine titles.