A Pitching Department Is Born For Dodgers
—The Dodgers’ forward-thinking front office is not necessarily trying to re-invent the way things are done—but they’re open to it. "We view part of our responsibility running baseball operations is to evaluate how the game and the industry has changed and adapt our own organization...to how the game has changed,” general manager Farhan Zaidi said of the decision to restructure the organization’s player development side to include a ‘Pitching Department.’ Following last season, minor league pitching coordinator Rick Knapp left for a job with Major League Baseball. Rather than hire a replacement for Knapp, the Dodgers hired former Rays reliever Brandon Gomes and former Angels scout and Ball State pitching coach Chris Fetter. They joined four others to form the Dodgers’ pitching department, dividing up the various duties a single pitching coordinator often handles. "Particularly with pitching, there’s so much more information out there, so many more tools at our disposal that the traditional developmental pitching model of having one pitching coordinator who is in charge of everything didn’t make sense for bandwidth usage and really getting the most out of our players,” Zaidi said. "I mean, if every organization was scrapped and started from scratch in building it up, I think you’d see bigger pitching departments than exist today.” Under the new structure, for example, Gomes’ expertise will be put to use in analyzing data and analytics available on young pitchers and using it to provide better developmental plans for those pitchers. "Just think about all the pitchers a pitching department is in charge of in the organization,” Zaidi said. "All the factors that they’re in charge of—their development, what’s their arsenal, how many pitches are they throwing, what pitches are they throwing well, what is their pitching mechanics—it’s just hard to imagine it’s a job for one guy.” L.A. CONFIDENTIAL • The Dodgers acquired RHP Ryan Moseley from the Orioles in a trade for LHP Vidal Nuno. Moseley, 22, was an eighth-round pick out of Texas Tech last year. • The Dodgers’ assistant hitting coach last year, Tim Hyers, will serve as a roving instructor in their minor-league system this year.
— Bill Plunkett covers the Dodgers for the Orange County Register