On June 30th the Atlanta Braves traded veteran right-hander Bud Norris and minor league outfielder Dian Toscano to the Los Angeles Dodgers for minor league pitching prospects Caleb Dirks and Phil Pfeifer. We neglected to file a report about this trade at the time so let's remedy that oversight right now.
Caleb Dirks, RHP: Dirks is very familiar to the Braves: they originally drafted him in the 15th round in 2014 from California Baptist University, but traded him to the Dodgers last summer for international bonus slot money. He's been very effective this year, posting a 1.44 ERA in 31.1 innings for Double-A Tulsa with a 35/7 K/BB. He's thrown two shutout relief innings for Double-A Mississippi since the trade. His career numbers are likewise excellent: 1.39 ERA in 117 innings with a 139/44 K/BB.
Dirks is a 6-3, 225 pounder born June 9th, 1993. He can get his fastball up to 93-95 MPH and has a workable slider and change-up. His strikeout rates are quite high and he's been very tough on right-handed hitters to this point in his career. Overall he profiles as a middle reliever and could be ready for a trial within the next year.
Phil Pfeifer, LHP: The Dodgers drafted Pfeifer in the third round in 2015 out of Vanderbilt University. Pitching this year for Rancho Cucamonga in the High-A California League, he posted a 3.33 ERA in 24 innings with a 33/17 K/BB. He has moved into the bullpen at High-A Carolina and has thrown two shutout innings since the trade.
Pfeifer is a 6-0, 195 pound lefty born July 15, 1992. He has a live arm for a lefty with a fastball in the 90-93 MPH range, along with a breaking ball that is effective against left-handers. He needs to sharpen his control. Like Dirks, he projects as a middle reliever.
Dian Toscano, OF: Toscano was signed by the Braves out of Cuba last fall to a four-year contract. He was not hitting well in Double-A, just .226/.310/.271 in 177 at-bats. The Dodgers have sent him to Low-A where he is 3-for-15 in his first four games.
Toscano is a left-handed hitter and thrower, born March 9, 1989. Listed at 5-11, 200, he was reputed to be a solid athlete with gap power, on-base ability, and a good throwing arm. He's hit poorly so far and at age 27 his chances to improve seem remote, however Toscano hasn't played regularly since 2012 and such a long layoff was obviously detrimental to his skills. He's a long shot but seeing what he can do at such a low level may be interesting.