Dodgers Notes: Valenzuela, Urias, Vargas, Muncy


Fernandomania will run wild once more at Dodger Stadium this summer season, because the Dodgers formally introduced that Fernando Valenzuela’s quantity #34 can be retired throughout the staff’s sequence with the Rockies on August 11-13.  Whereas the #34 jersey hasn’t been issued to a different Dodgers participant since Valenzuela departed following the 1990 season, the quantity hadn’t been ceremonially taken out of circulation because of the membership’s unofficial coverage of solely retiring the numbers of gamers who had been inducted into the Baseball Corridor of Fame.

Valenzuela’s 17-year Main League profession started with 11 seasons with Los Angeles from 1980-90, and he posted a 3.31 ERA over his 2348 2/3 innings in Dodger Blue.  After showing in 10 video games as a reliever in 1980, Valenzuela’s spectacular 1981 marketing campaign made him the one participant to ever win a Rookie of the 12 months Award and a Cy Younger Award in the identical season.  The Mexico native was a fan favourite in all places, however particularly turned a hero amongst the Mexican-American inhabitants in Southern California.  Valenzuela’s time in L.A. noticed him obtain three extra top-five finishes in NL Cy Younger voting, make six All-Star appearances, and win two World Collection titles in 1981 and 1988.

Extra from Chavez Ravine…

  • From one Mexican-born star pitcher to a different, as Julio Urias is “100% targeted on the sector” as he heads into his ultimate season earlier than free company.  Urias informed The Athletic’s Fabian Ardaya and different reporters that his “representatives and [the Dodgers] can have their likelihood to speak,” however for the time being, “we have the WBC after which we now have the season and so these are two issues I’m targeted on proper now.”  Between Urias’ observe document and age (he’ll be 27 on Opening Day 2024), he initiatives to be one of many prime free brokers in the marketplace subsequent winter, and in line for a big contract.  The Dodgers are not any strangers to paying huge for premium expertise, although shoppers of Urias’ agent Scott Boras typically find yourself testing the open market quite than signing extensions, so it stays to be seen whether or not or not the Dodgers can supply a large enough quantity to maintain Urias within the fold.
  • Most of Miguel Vargas’ expertise within the minor leagues has come as a 3rd baseman, however Los Angeles heads into the season planning to make use of Vargas principally at second base, with Max Muncy as an alternative manning the recent nook.  The brand new guidelines limiting defensive shifts factored into the Dodgers’ determination, and GM Brandon Gomes additionally cited Vargas athleticism as a purpose for his utilization at this comparatively (Vargas has performed 28 video games at second base within the minors) new place.  “Vargas is our second- or third-fastest man on the staff, which might be not appreciated in any respect,” Gomes informed’s Juan Toribio and different reporters.  “So he’s additionally athlete.  It’s extra about getting him reps and getting his really feel at second base.  I believe a mix of all of it is admittedly robust.”  The Dodgers’ penchant for defensive flexibility signifies that Vargas and Muncy would possibly change positions in some video games, however Toribio writes that the staff “rated Muncy very extremely” as a 3rd baseman final 12 months.  Public defensive metrics have historically been fairly cut up on Muncy’s work at both second or third base, although the brand new guidelines would possibly certainly make third base the extra logical spot for Muncy going ahead.

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