When Does a Small Sample Size Become Large?

April 27, 2015


Alex Guerrero has gotten off to a hot start in 2015. Is it real? Will it continue?

Compare him to Yasiel Puig in 2013. Puig had four home runs in his first week, but it took him another eight games to get to his fifth home run. Both the 2013 Puig and the 2015 Guerrero had great success during Spring Training. But the similarities end there. Puig spent a couple months in AA ball in 2013, while Guerrero did his minor league stint in 2014.  As part of that process, Alex lost half of one ear. Also, Guerrero had a dismal showing in the majors in 2014, getting just one hit in thirteen at bats.

But let’s take a look at his consistency this year with the Dodgers. We’ll go through all twenty-four of his plate appearances. Source of data is Baseball Reference.
1. April 11th: Ground out to the SS/3B hole
2. April 11th: Ground out up the middle
3. April 12th: Ground out to the SS/3B hole
4. April 12th: Line drive Single to RF
5. April 12th: Ground out to pitcher
6. April 12th: Ground ball Double to LF
7. April 12th: Line drive Home Run to Deep LF/CF
8. April 13th: Strikeout swinging
9. April 13th: Sacrifice fly to RF
10. April 13th: Ground out to 3B
11. April 13th: Ground out to SS
12. April 13th: Line drive Single to CF
13. April 14th: Pinch-hit Fly ball Home Run to Deep LF/CF
14. April 17th: Pinch-hit Fly ball out to Deep LF
15. April 19th: Pinch-hit Fly ball out to Deep CF
16. April 21st: Pinch-hit ground ball Double to LF
17. April 22nd: Pinch-hit Fly ball Home Run to Deep LF
18. April 23rd: Line drive Home Run to Deep LF/CF
19. April 23rd: Ground out to 1B
20. April 23rd: Line drive Single to RF
21. April 25th: Pinch-hit Walk
22. April 26th: Pop-fly Single to short LF/CF
23. April 26th: Line Drive Home Run to Deep LF/CF
24. April 26th: Ground out to SS

This guy straight out hits the ball. He doesn’t look at third strikes. He doesn’t off strike out at all (only once in 24 plate appearances). He’s not too interested in waiting around for a walk; why should he when he bats .500 with a 1.273 slugging percentage? He seems to hit to all fields, although his home runs are all to left field or left field/center field.

Will Guerrero’s torrential hitting pace last? Will the opposing pitchers figure him out? Well, we will never know if the Dodgers don’t put him in the lineup on a regular basis.


Dodgers vs. Padres Take Two (or Three)

April 24, 2015


Donnie’s Lineup Tonight

Rollins SS
Puig RF
Gonzalez 1B
Kendrick 2B
Grandal C
Crawford LF
Uribe 3B
Pederson CF
Greinke P

Alternative offense with more production:

Pederson CF
Puig RF
Kendrick 2B
Gonzalez 1B
Guerrero 3B
Van Slyke LF
Rollins SS
Grandal C
Greinke P


Dodgers Giants Series

April 21, 2015


The high-flying Dodgers bring their 9-3 record to the Ballpark by the Bay to meet the struggling Giants who have a 4-10 record.

The Dodgers are leaders in several offensive categories, a nice change from prior years.
Jon Weisman posted the following in Dodger Insider.

Below are the batting statistics for Dodger position players in 2015. Do these work for you?

437 plate appearances
383 at-bats
62 runs
115 hits
35 doubles
3 triples
17 home runs
61 RBI
48 walks

78 strikeouts
3 hit by pitch
4 sacrifice hits
3 sacrifice flies
.300 batting average
.380 on-base percentage
.540 slugging percentage
.920 OPS
162 OPS+
— leads National League.

Colorado Comes to California

April 17, 2015


The division leading Rockies are here for a weekend series.  The Dodgers,  who trail by one game, are expected to bring up pitcher Adam Liberatore to fill the roster position, vacated when Carlos Frias was optioned to OKC.

The Dodgers are looking to increase their four game winning streak against the hot Rockies, who have won their last three games.

Mariners Sail Into Town

April 13, 2015


The Seattle Mariners,  who some pick to be in the World Series, are at Dodger Stadium for a three game series.

The Dodgers will miss seeing the Seattle ace, Felix Hernandez, who was taken out of Sunday’s game against the A’s after five innings due to tightness in the quadriceps muscle in his right leg.  He is scheduled to pitch next Saturday against the Rangers.

Brandon McCarthy, who gets his second start for the Dodgers, is 2-6 with a 3.88 career ERA against Seattle.

Dodging Snakes

April 9, 2015


Our team is venturing back to the desert to play Arizona.  While rattlers of the serpent kind won’t strike unless they feel threatened,  it still is a good idea to dodge them.  Rattlers of the NL West kind will come after you whenever you enter their territory.   This generation of Diamondbacks is not as deadly as past generations, but still can cause some pain.  Hopefully the Dodgers bats will pound them back into the crevices from which they emerged.

Adrian Gonzalez had an opening series for the ages, setting a major league record for his five home runs in the first three games of a season.  At that rate, he will hit 270 this season.  He also did something very rare by getting at least three hits in the first three games.  Who cares about oddball statistics like these?  The only important one was that we won the series.

Next on the mound is Brett Anderson, who is said to have excellent stuff.  If he can throw 180 innings or more this year, he may be one of baseball’s best bargains.  In his last start, 15 of the 20 batters hit ground balls.  The new and improved Dodger infield and Brett should be a perfect match.

Day Off Musings

April 9, 2015



Just some random thoughts on a Dodgers day off.

  • Too bad Adrian has the day off – he’s hot!
  • Good thing the starting rotation has the day off – Kershaw pitches again on Saturday!
  • Donnie should use the day off to reconsider his overuse of the bullpen.  Do what you did on Monday – one inning, one reliever.
  • Going to Arizona, where not only do we own the D-Backs (we were 15-4 against them in 2014), we own their pool!
  • Uribe finally got a hit.  Now Puig needs to get going.
  • Crawford is this year’s Hanley – all hit, no glove.