Ghost of De La Rosa Future

September 7, 2011

Yesterday the buzz throughout the MLB was the return of Stephen Strasburg.  I have to admit that I was curious to get my first look at this supposed phenom after all the publicity he had last year.  With all the press he got, I almost expected to see some type of super performance with fastballs clocked well over 100 mph like those of Cinncinati’s Aroldis Chapman who has thrown 105 mph.  Strasburg was good and had command of his fastballs that routinely hit 97 mpg and touched 99 mph.

Strasburg shut out the Dodgers over five innings with just 56 pitches thrown, four short of his 60 pitch limit.  Maybe he is not a supernatural freak, like the subject of a fantasy baseball movie or Twilight Zone episode, but he looked like he could be the Nats version of Clayton Kershaw some day.

All of this is great news for Rubby De La Rosa, who must have been watching with keen interest.  If Strasburg and several other pitchers could successfully pitch in a major league game just over a year from Tommy John surgery, the prospects for De La Rosa are bright indeed.  Of course each person reacts differently to the surgery and arduous rehab process.  But the chances suddenly look good that we may see a return of our 100 mph fireballer a year from now.

The Dodgers made a great comeback from a 3-0 deficit in the rain delayed game and finished on top 7-3 with some clutch hitting by Rod Barajas and Andre Ethier.

Hopefully today Mattingly will put Jerry Sands in the lineup either in a corner OF spot or at 1B.  Sands finished with 29 homers and 88 RBI in 370 at-bats at high altitude Albuquerque.  It will be interesting to see if he has home run power at sea level Washington, D.C.

This Day in Dodgers History

September 7, 1962 – With four steals in a 10-1 loss to the Pirates, Dodger Maury Wills breaks the modern National League record for stolen bases in a season with his 82nd swipe. Cincinnati’s Bob Bescher established the mark in 1911 playing left field with Cincinnati.


Welcome Nathan Eovaldi

August 6, 2011

It looks like Tony Jackson’s tweet from last Tuesday has come true… sort of.  Jackson predicted that Nate Eovaldi would start next Tuesday.  He will have his major league debut today instead.  More from Tony about Eovaldi on his blog, ESPN/LA.

I did not know much about Eovaldi until I read an introductory post about him on Mike Scioscia’s Tragic Illness.  MSTI relayed a scouting report by Mike Newman of Scouting the Sally that included these notes:

  • Excellent size; Eovaldi looked closer to 210 lbs. than his listed weight of 195
  • Well-proportioned frame; Size through the quads and shoulders; Athletic pitcher’s frame
  • Fluid delivery with good pacing; Generates easy velocity
  • High 3/4 arm slot; Limits movement on his fastball
  • 94-96 MPH 4-seam fastball
  • 4-seamer lacked movement; Worked pitch in-and-out effectively
  • Maintained velocity throughout the start; Still touching 95 MPH in the 5th
  • 91-92 MPH 2-seam fastball; Some arm side run
  • 84 MPH slider; Best breaking ball; Used as out pitch
  • Pitch featured late cut; Depth improved throughout the course of the game
  • 78 MPH curveball; Threw sparingly; One CB was thrown behind RHH to backstop; Below average offering
  • 83-84 MPH Changeup; Threw sparingly; Slowed arm action

From a velocity standpoint, Eovaldi nearly matched Rubby De La Rosa pitch-for-pitch. As impressive as that statement is, Eovaldi’s fastball lacked the movement to make the offering elite. Add to this a plethora of breaking pitches in need of further refinement, and Eovaldi is on his way, but not ready for Los Angeles yet. As one of the youngest pitchers in the Southern League, he has plenty of time to improve and become more than a fastball/slider pitcher.

Welcome to the show Nate.

This Day in Dodgers History

On August  6, 1981 –  The players approved a split-season format necessitated by seven-week strike. The Yankees, A’s, Phillies and Dodgers are declared the first-half champions and will be automatically qualified for the divisional series.


Rain, Rain, Go Away…

August 2, 2011

In a season that ranks among the worst in Dodger history, the news that Rubby De La Rosa has injured the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) of his pitching elbow has dumped a little more rain on the 2011 parade.  He will have Tommy John surgery which means that we may not see him pitch again until spring training or later in 2013.

     Courtesy Tumble Fish Studio at DeviantScrap.com

This adds another victim to the string of never-ending injuries that have plagued the Dodgers this year.  Couple that with the general inability to deliver with runners in scoring position on top of the pathetic attempts of Frank McCourt to stay in control.  It seems that the rain never goes away.

The stellar performances of Clayton Kershaw and Matt Kemp have provided the only glimpses of blue sky in an otherwise stormy season.

We can only hope that that the deluge will wash away McCourt and Ned Colletti.  Hopefully the rains of 2011 will provide nourishment for the flowers we hope will bloom in 2012.

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This Day in Dodgers History

On August 2, 1938  –  As an experiment, bright yellow baseballs are used in the first game of a doubleheader. The teams go back to the traditional white ball in the nightcap as the Dodgers swept the twin bill from the Cardinals, 6-2 and 9-3.


Ned Half Franked It!

August 1, 2011

No more playing games, no more talking through reps or speaking eloquently so as to mire the truth in lies. Ned messed up this Trade Deadline worse than any other deadline. In what other deadline have we seen this team become worse while trading something, gaining nothing and trading for nothing worthwhile in return. We were neither buyers nor sellers. We were spectators, and horrible at that. Not only did we leave it up to the players to decide the teams fate, but when that power was shifted to Ned, he gutted the farm of the one player that could make an impact on this team, for players that will fizz out before they turn 30. Can you say CAREER MINOR LEAGUER?

In one fell swoop, we lost our Top Minor Leaguer and showed the rest of the baseball world that we have stupidity pouring out of our “managements” ears.

1. Hiroki should have been traded, but due to the fact that he was given ridiculous amounts of money for mediocrity, even if bare assistance from the lineup resulted in much of his problems, he even received a No Trade clause. What the hell did Ned do besides give a trade chip the leverage to take advantage of the team for no reason at all?  Not only did he do so with right, but he did it with his damn pride intact, as if the team owed him anything. A lot of teams were looking at him as the Trade Jewel other than Ubaldo, but he didn’t want to seem as though he was being thrown out the door. As if his performance and age was not important in today’s game. As if? This one will hurt further, because his denial of a trade factored into the other trade, made out of desperation, and the lack of further trades.

2. Trayvon Robinson, former standout at Crenshaw High was traded to the Red Sox for a Catcher, RP, and a SP. What’s the problem here.? They’re all 24 and older, in AA ball, not very good offensively or refined in pitching mechanics or 2nd out pitches. The two pitchers figure to become relief pitchers in the long run, and the 24 yr old Catcher, whom is being touted as the next coming of David Ross, not much offense, but plenty defense, career backup type player, for a budding big leaguer who led the team in HR’s, RBI’s etc., is just that, not much. We needed offense, blue chip players, but instead we got the busted items from the 99 cent only store.

3. Raffy was traded for beans. Not literally, but you get the point. A former All-Star, one of the best in the league, reduced to being sold off as a deduction in what amounted to a career full of injuries, and lack of production. He will always be remembered for his cannon arm during his first contract with the team, but by the time the 2nd contract was signed, he was a shell of his former self. Now, he goes to a Cardinal team loaded to compete and make a run at the title. In return, we get a good AA ball player, in return for paying almost all of his contract. I mean, did I miss something? Did Frank suddenly strike oil or something? Unless he’s going to pay Raffy’s contract with Monopoly money, THIS IS A JOKE. Good for the future or not, Raffy was traded for a minor leaguer who will become a 4th OF, and not something we need.

4. With the need to ship out Hiroki, Carroll, Ethier, Lilly, Guerrier, Broxton, and anyone else old, slow, under-performing, etc., or anyone that deserves a chance to help a playoff ball club, ie. Carroll, for prospects to restock our farm, we didn’t do a thing. We stood pat, and we will regret it next season. You think this season was horrible. Imagine almost $45 million coming off the record books, and no obligation to actually use that money on major league talent. Imagine a team that has a rookie starting in as many as 6 positions next year, a starter, and like 2 bullpen spots. Imagine our Opening Day payroll at $65- $89 mil range. Imagine having Matt Kemp be the only hitter, with Ethier traded away for scraps or fringe major leaguers. What about the year after, when contracts of Bills, Lilly and others come off or something of the like of books. This team is mediocre at best right now, but with next season already looming on the horizon, I do feel sickened.

All in all, with the many holes needed to be filled and restocked, Ned chose to sell his talent short, and for that, I hope he loses his job, or worse off, dies choking on his own words in trying to find a way to spin today’s debacle. What’s next? We needed a catcher, 2nd Basemen, 3rd Basemen, 1st Basemen, etc.; position players, but all we got was more outfielders and pitchers. No need to forget the fact that Lucas May, Carlos Santana, etc. were traded last season and seasons past, but now we have been weakened with no end to this nightmare in sight.

WHAT’S NEXT

Well, the WAIVER Trade Deadline comes up next, and as we all know, Ned sure does know how to pick ’em round this time as well. Maybe this time will be Sands, Rubby, DeJesus or Dee’s time to be traded for more career minor leaguers. Heck, they’re just the way Frank likes ’em – young, cheap, and obedient.

Sad to say, I won’t be taking my daughter to a ball game anytime soon.

This Day in Dodgers History

On August 1, 1957 – In a 12-3 win over the Cubs,
Gil Hodges hits his 13th and last career grand slam in
Brooklyn Dodger history. The first baseman’s bases-
loaded shot off Dick Littlefield establishes a new
National League record previously shared by Rogers
Hornsby and Ralph Kiner.