Dodgers and Reds

August 14, 2015

8/13 – vs Reds. L 3-10
8/14 – vs Reds. W 5-3
8/15 – vs Reds. W 8-3
8/16 – vs Reds. W 2-1


Bad Bullpen Bites Bums

August 10, 2015

For those of us who though Joel Peralta was bad, meet Jim Johnson. Their statistics as Dodger relievers:

WHIP   ERA   FIP    IP     Name
1.600   5.40   5.60  20   Joel Peralta
3.818 29.45 10.19  3.2  Jim Johnson

Tale of Two Pitchers

August 7, 2015

Kershaw GreinkeOldHossSweeney

Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke combine to be one of the best starting pitcher duos ever.  Many people have referred to them as Ace #1 and Ace #1A.  Of course, another great pitching duo for the Dodgers was Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale.  How do Kershaw and Greinke compare to Koufax and Drysdale?  Are there other historical duos that have put up numbers similar or better than these Dodger Duos?

Look at the following statistics:  Won-Loss record, ERA, FIP (fielding independent pitching), WHIP (walks and hits per inning pitched), and total innings pitched for the season.  Kershaw and Greinke’s numbers are shown for the 2015 season so far, obviously less than a full season.  All other duos are shown for a full season.  I researched pitching duos that have low WHIP’s, in other words, both starting pitchers were very good at keeping runners off the base paths.

W-L   ERA   FIP   WHIP    IP     Year   Name                     Team

9-6    2.37  2.12  0.912  148   2015  Clayton Kershaw   Dodgers
11-2  1.71  2.62  0.853  152   2015  Zack Greinke         Dodgers

26-8  2.04  1.93  0.855  335  1965  Sandy Koufax        Dodgers
23-12 2.77  3.18  1.090  308  1965  Don Drysdale        Dodgers

17-8  2.40  2.60  1.027  232  2011  Cliff Lee                  Phillies
14-9  2.79  3.05  0.986  216  2011  Cole Hamels          Phillies

20-4  2.26  2.24  0.923  199  2002  Pedro Martinez      Red Sox
21-8  2.58  2.34  0.974  219  2002  Derek Lowe           Red Sox

18-9  2.22  2.81  0.980  251  1998  Greg Maddux         Braves
20-9  2.47  3.50  1.203  229  1998  Tom Glavine           Braves

22-9  1.12  1.77  0.853  304   1968  Bob Gibson           Cardinals
14-8  2.26  2.45  1.105  215   1968  Ray Washburn      Cardinals

31-6  1.96  2.53  0.905  336   1968  Denny McLain       Tigers
17-9  3.19  2.99  1.105  220   1968  Mickey Lolich         Tigers

29-9  1.47  1.87  0.842  312   1908  Mordecai Brown     Cubs
12-10 2.00  2.19 1.087  252   1908  Jack Pfiester           Cubs

39-24 1.74  2.10  0.918  595   1880  John Ward            Grays
13-8   1.38  2.21  0.837  196   1880  George Bradley    Grays

59-12 1.38  2.75  0.922  678  1884  Old Hoss Radbourn  Grays
17-8   1.55  2.59  0.824  221  1884  Charlie Sweeney      Grays


So, here are the rankings based on the straight average of each duo’s WHIP:

  1.  Radbourn/Sweeney 0.873
  2. Ward/Bradley  0.878
  3. Kershaw/Greinke 0.883
  4. Martinez/Lowe 0.948
  5. Brown/Pfiester 0.965
  6. Koufax/Drysdale 0.973
  7. Gibson/Washburn 0.979
  8. McLain/Lolich 1.005
  9. Lee/Hamels 1.007  [note:  Halladay was at 1.040]
  10. Maddux/Glavine 1.092


I may have missed some that should be in the top ten.  I don’t think that I missed any that would beat the top three, however.  Kershaw and Greinke, should they keep it up throughout the end of the season, will be in some rare company.

Story Time

Who were Old Hoss and Charlie?  Why did Charlie Sweeney have much fewer innings pitched than did Old Hoss Radbourn?  How in the world did Old Hoss amass a record of 59-12?  What happened to Charlie?

Not that I was there, but here’s the story.  Old Hoss was 29 years old in 1884 and had already been pitching for the Providence Grays since 1881, starting when he was an “old” 26 years of age.  In 1884, he would proclaim “Old Hoss is ready”, after he warmed up for each game.  Charlie Sweeney was just a 21 year old whippersnapper, and he had gotten his start with the Grays in the previous year, pitching in just 20 games.  Back in the 1880’s, professional baseball teams would usually have a starting rotation of just two pitchers, as teams would play anywhere from 80 to 110 games per season.

So Old Hoss and Charlie were the starting rotation for Providence.  Early in the 1884 season, Charlie was pitching better than Old Hoss.  In fact, on June 7, 1884, Charlie struck out nineteen batters, which set a major league record.  [That record would stand for 102 years until Roger Clemens struck out twenty batters in one game.]  Old Hoss was not a happy camper.

On July 21, 1884, Charlie got really drunk the night before one of his starts.  He showed up too late for practice, but in time to start his game.  The manager wanted to take him out after five innings.  Charlie refused to yield, then finally quit the team after the manager insisted on removing him after the seventh inning.

Old Hoss told the manager that he would take on Charlie’s duties for the remainder of the season, if he was paid both his salary and Charlie’s salary.  The manager agreed, Old Hoss wound up winning a major league record 59 games, and Providence won the pennant.  Old Hoss went on to pitch every inning of a three game exhibition series against the American Association pennant winner, New York Metropolitans.

What about Charlie?  Charlie moved to St Louis and the Union Association league, and finished the season with a 24-7 Win-Loss record for the Maroons.  What a Maroon!

Dodgers at Phillies

August 4, 2015

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 20: A sellout crowd watches the Boston Red Sox defeat the Philadelphia Phillies 5-1 in a MLB interleague baseball game on May 20, 2012 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

What to do with Joc Pederson?  His bat skills have fallen off a cliff.  We hear that the pitchers have adjusted to him, or they have found a hole in his swing.  He is trying to adjust back, aka fix the hole.  Whatever it is, he has had little success.  His hitting numbers (BA/OBP/SLG/OPS):

April  .298/.461/.596/1.057  out of this world

May  .236/.341/.519/.860  very good

June  .222/.379/.495/.874  still good because of the walks

July  .169/.229/.258/.488  awful

last 14 days  .182/.206/.333/.539

last 7 days  .000/.000/.000/.000

What about his defense?  Do the numbers show that he is a stellar center fielder?  Do we have anyone who has similar or better numbers in center field?  We’ll look at errors (fielding percentage), range (number of putouts and assists per nine innings played), and assists.  The career numbers shown below reflect only what each player has done as a center fielder in the major leagues.

Pederson  98.1% fielding pct, 2.04 range, 5 assists in 112 games

Ethier  98.9% fielding pct, 2.02 range, 5 assists in 144 games

Puig  97.6% fielding pct, 2.22 range, 8 assists in 63 games

Hernandez  96.7% fielding pct, 2.78 range, 0 assists in 24 games

Van Slyke  100.0% fielding pct, 2.07 range, 0 assists in 21 games

Tabata  96.0% fielding pct, 1.91 range, 0 assists in 16 games

If the Dodgers sent Pederson back to AAA for a month, who would cover center field?  Based on the above statistics, Yasiel Puig or Andre Ethier could do the job, with Enrique Hernandez filling in once in a while.  The outfield in August could look like:  Crawford/Van Slyke in left field, Puig in center field, and Ethier in right field.



Dodgers, Trades, Angels

July 31, 2015


Who’s In?  Who’s Out?

Most of the Dodgers trading activity at or near the deadline involved pitching.  Trade away the youngsters who are still in development.  Receive some seasoned staff who have already proven themselves in the major leagues.  Pay millions and millions for bad contracts on worn-out players who will never play for the Dodgers.  Note that “#Years” is number of contract years the players will be under control.

WHIP    FIP    Age    #Years    Level    Position     Name

1.267    3.17   24      4 years   MLB     St LHP       Alex Wood

1.175    3.40   27    2 months  MLB    St RHP        Mat Latos

1.309    3.67   32    2 months  MLB    RL RHP       Jim Johnson

1.165    3.43   25     4 years    MLB    RL LHP       Luis Avilan

.303/.344/.388  21    6+yrs     AAA     SS/2B       Jose Peraza  ++speed

.275/.336/377   27     1 yr       MLB     RF/LF     Jose Tabata  DFA’d–>AAA

really old  38     2 mo    MLB     was RHP   Bronson Arroyo won’t pitch


And those being sent away:

WHIP    FIP    Age   #Years   Level   Position    Name

.323/.407/.504  30    5 years  Cuba   3B          Hector Olivera

0.996   2.98     24     4 years  MLB    RL LHP   Paco Rodriquez

1.456   4.74era  20    6 yrs      A+       RHP       Zachary Bird

1.294   3.36era  20     6 yrs     A          RHP      Kevin Guzman

1.551   4.93era   23    6 yrs     A+        RHP      Jeff Brigham

1.187   4.30era   22    6 yrs     A+        RHP      Victor Araujo


No, the Dodgers did not get Cole Hamels AND David Price to lock down a Kershaw/Greinke/Hamels/Price rotation in the playoffs.  However, they did solidify their rotation by adding a solid #3 Alex Wood and a good #4 Mat Latos.  That will send “I can’t pitch into the sixth inning” Mike Bolsinger to AAA.  Also notice that Alex Wood is not a rental and will be a solid piece in the rotation up through 2019.

The bullpen is also improved with the addition of Jim Johnson and Luis Avilan.  I will miss Paco Rodriquez, however, he was out a lot of the past couple of years with injuries.  The addition of two starters also allows Carlos Frias to be used in the bullpen, where he is arguably more effective.

Meanwhile, we never got to see Hector Olivera perform as a Dodger.  Hopefully, Justin Turner will get healthy and stay healthy and the Dodgers won’t miss Hector.  Next year or later this year, Jose Peraza can be added to the infield and potentially be used as a true leadoff hitter.

Dodgers A’s Game Two

July 29, 2015


We don’t know who is pitching.  We don’t yet know the lineup.  We don’t even know who’s still on the team.  But we know one thing:  the comments on the last post are getting mixed around.

So here’s a new post.  Carry on.

Trade Deadline

July 27, 2015


The major league baseball trade deadline is 1pm Pacific Daylight Time on Friday July 31.  Two of the starting pitchers in whom the Dodgers reportedly had interest have already been traded.  On Thursday, July 23rd, the Oakland A’s traded Scott Kazmir to the Houston Astros.  Yesterday, the Cincinatti Reds traded Johnny Cueto to the Kansas City Royals.

So who are the Dodgers still thinking about?  Certainly Cole Hamels of the Philadelphia Phillies, although the price will be steep.  Hamels has a contract that could keep him from becoming a free agent until 2019.  David Price of the Detroit Tigers would be a huge prize pitcher.  He will be a free agent next year.  That would keep the trade price lower (in terms of quantity and quality of prospects).  Jeff Samardzija of the Chicago White Sox is another possibility.  Samardzija will be a free agent next year, also.  Yovani Gallardo of the Texas Rangers is another “rental” type pitcher (free agent in 2016).

Here’s how some of these guys line up in terms of career statistics in comparison to our current starting pitching staff.  I’ll throw in Carlos Frias into that comparison, if only to spare Zach Lee some unnecessary pain.  Just for laughs, let’s also look at Kevin Correa and Roberto Hernandez (aka Fausto Carmona).  WHIP stands for Walks plus Hits per Innings Pitched.  FIP stands for Fielding Independent Pitching.  FIP equals (13 x HR + 3 x (BB + HBP) – 2 x SO ) / IP, plus a constant to make the league FIP equal the league ERA.  The theory is that pitchers control home runs, walks, hit batsmen, and strikeouts, but have no control over what happens when the batter hits the ball into the field but not over the fence.

Please note that Clayton Kershaw is the current active leader in career FIP for all pitchers who have pitched more than 1,000 innings after the end of the dead ball era.  Kershaw’s FIP of 2.672 just barely edges out Sandy Koufax at 2.687.


WHIP     FIP        Pitcher

1.048     2.67     Clayton Kershaw

1.197     3.33     Zack Greinke

1.293     3.52     Brett Anderson

1.335     3.25     Mike Bolsinger

1.451     4.01     Carlo Frias


1.145     3.47     Cole Hamels

1.137     3.22     David Price

1.260     3.70     Jeff Samardzija

1.304     3.71     Yovani Gallardo


1.430     4.53     Kevin Correia

1.410     4.56     Roberto Hernandez