Lineup Prognostication

April 24, 2014

1963WSG1

Here it comes. The Dodgers are facing a right-handed pitcher tonight. But last night, both Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig raked. Kemp had a breakout night with two doubles and a run scored. Puig had two RBI hits, including an amazing triple that might have been an inside the park home run, if only he would run immediately after hitting the ball. Meanwhile, all Andre Ethier put up were goose eggs, including an 0-2 with RISP.

So which players will be in Don Mattingly’s lineup tonight? The Phillies are starting right hander Kyle Kendrick against the Dodgers. His career statistics against lefties compared to righties are as follows (BAA/OBPA/SLGA/OPSA):

Lefties            .284/.351/.420/.737

Righties          .272/.313/.381/.669

 

As we can see, left handers on average have had a mild advantage. But let’s look in depth, as Donnie probably will, at the specific batters’ career numbers against Kendrick: (BA/OBP/SLG/OPS in PA(plate appearances):

Kemp              .400/.400/.400/.800 in 15 PA’s (six singles)

Puig                .833/.833/1.333/2.167 in 6 PA’s (double, triple)

Ethier             .273/.360/.636/.996 in 25 PA’s (with 2 homers)

Crawford        .333/.333/.333/.667 in 3 PA’s

Van Slyke        never faced him

 

Just for fun, here is the rest of the team:

Ramirez          .257/.278/.429/.706 in 36 PA’s (with 1 homer)

Gonzalez        .333/.500/.444/.944 in 12 PA’s

Uribe              .400/.400/.600/1.000 in 5 PA’s

Gordon           .000/.333/.000/.333 in 3 PA’s

In the outfield, Puig rakes, while Ethier and Kemp are very good against Kendrick. Carl Crawford hasn’t seen a lot of time against him. I’m guessing that Donnie will look at these numbers, not see any extra base hits from Kemp, and decide that it’s Kemp’s turn to ride the pine.

 

My Projection of Donnie’s Lineup:

Gordon 2b

Crawford lf

Ramirez ss

Gonzalez 1b

Puig rf

Ethier cf

Uribe 3b

Federowicz c

Haren p

 

My preferred lineup (okay, I stole it from Kahliforni):

Gordon 2b

Puig rf

Ramirez ss

Gonzalez 1b

Kemp cf

Ethier lf

Uribe 3b

Butera c (though we could say FedEx)

Haren p

 

The real meat of this lineup is 1-5, with Gordon setting the table and confusing the pitcher and catcher. Then Puig, Ramirez, Gonzalez, and Kemp just drive the ball like crazy. Ethier and Uribe chip in the best they can, then the 8-9 spots are basically just place-holders until we get back to the top of the lineup.

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Welcome back Sandy!

January 22, 2013

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(Click on photo to view full size.)

The Dodgers announced that Sandy Koufax has joined the Dodgers as a special advisor to team chairman Mark Walter.  The former Dodger superstar will be on hand for the entire spring training to offer his expertise to Dodger pitchers.  He then will be available during the season, as needed.  In an official Dodgers press release, Koufax offered the following quote:

“I’m delighted to be back with the Dodgers. I’m looking forward to spending time with the team during spring training and to contributing in any way I can  to help make the team a success for the fans of Los Angeles. Some of my most cherished memories came at Dodger Stadium.”

“The Dodgers are thrilled to have Sandy back with the organization,” Dodgers’ President and CEO Stan Kasten said. “Sandy’s experience and perspective will be invaluable as we endeavor to do everything in our power to bring the city of Los Angeles a World Series champion.”

In other news, the Dodgers and Time Warner reached an agreement for cable TV coverage of Dodger games beginning in 2014.  The agreement is to create a new channel controlled by the Guggenheim Partners.


Freeway Series Starts Tonight

June 11, 2012

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The Dodgers host the Angels in the first Freeway Series of 2012.  The Angels will make the 31 mile trek to Los Angeles in hopes of extending their winning streak of two games.  Out of the 86 regular season games between the two clubs, the Angels have won 50 for a winning percentage of .581, a continuing thorn in the side for the Dodgers.

Juan Rivera and Bobby Abreu are just two of a long list of players who have been a member of both teams.  That list includes Hall of Famers Don Sutton, Hoyt Wilhelm, Frank Robinson, Eddie Murray and Rickey Henderson.  In addition to Dodger fan favorite Mike Scioscia, former Dodgers Gene Mauch, Dick Williams, and Norm Sherry have managed the Angels.

Dodger team wins leader Chris Capuano will take the mound tonight.  Juan Uribe was returned to the team today and IF/OF Alex Castellanos was optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque.

Sandy Koufax and Nolan Ryan

Sandy Koufax and Nolan Ryan

Dodgers Monday Lineup

  1. Gordon SS
  2. Herrera 3B
  3. Ethier RF
  4. Abreu LF
  5. Hairston 2B
  6. Loney 1B
  7. AJ Ellis C
  8. Gwynn CF
  9. Capuano P

Looking through blue colored glasses

October 22, 2011

Until the last couple of years due to the McCourt meltdown, we Dodger fans have always tended to look at our team as one of the premiere teams in MLB history.  Despite the fact that a Dodger almost never appeared on one of the daily recap shows depicting the best plays of the day, we seemed to think our players were somehow more gifted than those of other teams.  And overall, there may have been some merit to that type of thinking.  But in the past few years, we looked at our young core as something really special.  This year, it turns out that Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw actually delivered on that promise.  But the others really have not risen above the rest of the MLB pack.

That brings me to the concern that Oldbrooklynfan has about the St. Louis Cardinals winning the World Series.  A few years back, I remember Vin Scully remarking that over the entire history of both teams, they were actually tied in wins against each other.  I don’t know how much that has changed since and I am not anal enough to spend the time to look it up.  The point is, as Mr. Pierre has pointed out, is that both the Cards and Dodgers have won 22 pennants but the Cardinals have won 10 championships to the Dodgers 6.

Our heroes include Zack Wheat, Dazzy Vance,  Pee Wee Reese, Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella, Duke Snider, Don Drysdale, Sandy Koufax, Don Sutton and many others.  Currently, Kemp and Kershaw are star players for LA.

If we bled Cardinal red instead of Dodger blue, we could point out that history has not ignored the St. Louis team with players such as
Rogers Hornsby, Jim Bottomley, Dizzy Dean, Stan Musial, Enos Slaughter, Red Schoendienst, Bob Gibson, Lou Brock, Bruce Sutter, Ozzie Smith, among others.  Now days, they have Albert Pujols, Matt Holliday, Lance Berkman providing the power.

Both of these teams have a long and glorious history in the National League.  As Dodger fans, we look to the farm teams and hope that our prospects will pan out.  But in many years, our minor leagues have only provided a few pitchers.  I can’t remember that last power hitter other than Kemp that has made a big splash.  We Dodger fans like to think with our heart and not our head.  Looking around the league, many teams have brought up premiere hitters who are now performing well in the MLB and are featured on the web gems on a regular basis.

Maybe thinking with our hearts is not a bad thing.  Like Danny Kaye sang, “They may be bums but they’re my bums.”


Utterly Embarrasing

October 7, 2011

It has been painful to  read some of the stories about Frank McCourt vs MLB.  Headlines like “Dodgers ask bankruptcy judge to reconsider limits on arguments” make me cringe.  Other headlines and sentences from recent articles include: “MLB calls Dodgers’ document demands ‘totally irrelevant'”, “The Dodgers also alleged that discovery “has been one-sided in favor of MLB” because Gross denied the Dodgers‘ previous requests…”, “Dodgers‘ argument fails to move bankruptcy judge”, “The Dodgers failed again on Wednesday to persuade U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Gross that they needed documents about other Major League Baseball teams”…

These stories make the Dodgers sound like a whiny, pathetic organization.  This is the organization of “The Boys of Summer”, Jackie Robinson, Sandy Koufax, Fernando Valenzuela, Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw.  It is not “the Dodgers” making all of these desperate legal ploys, it is Frank McCourt!  I for one, cannot wait until this weasel is long gone from Los Angeles and the Dodgers can begin the long journey of rebuilding the legacy that we have come to know and love.

Attention headline writers and reporters: Stop writing Dodgers and write that McCourt is the one responsible for the legal maneuvering.

Brewers advance to NLCS

The Milwaukee Brewers just defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks in extra innings.  In the other game five action, the Cardinals are leading the Phillies going into the bottom of the 2nd inning.

Colletti talks about the off-season

Ned Colletti talked to ESPN’s Jim Bowden about the 2011 performances of some players and his thoughts for next year at http://espn.go.com/los-angeles/mlb/story/_/id/7071525/los-angeles-dodgers-gm-ned-colletti-assesses-team-personnel-season-come

Jon Weisman remembers 2011

The Dodger Thoughts blogger has been busy in the last week taking a look at various Dodger players including Justin Sellers, John Ely, Eugeni0-for-ever, Nathan Eovaldi, Casey Blake, Juan Castro, Aaron Miles and Javy Guerra.  See http://espn.go.com/blog/los-angeles/dodger-thoughts/archive/_/month/october-2011

Dodgers signal they won’t bring back Rod Barajas

Wallach on Red Sox’ list of manager candidates


Another Winning Season

September 27, 2011

The Dodgers won their 81st game last night ensuring another winning season after spending most of the year far below the .500 mark.  The team’s surge during the last two months has brought the Dodgers into the top half of all MLB teams, which may not be a good thing according to Josh Suchon of Dodger Talk: “…A team that signs a Type A free agent in the off-season -– you know, like Albert Pujols or Prince Fielder –- has to forfeit a first-round draft pick.  But if that teams finishes in the second half of all Major League Baseball teams, then it falls to a second-round pick. So if you finish with one of the top 15 records and sign a Type A, there goes your first-round pick…”

Matt Kemp’s 38th home run sparked a 4-2 win over the D’backs and brought Kemp within two of the 40/40 club with two games to play.  His quest for the lead in the batting average is all but over as he is now down by 10 points.  He still has a strong chance for the MVP award despite not winning the triple crown.  With three more RBIs, Kemp will be in second place behind Tommy Davis for the most RBIs by a Los Angeles Dodger.  With 123, he trails Mike Piazza and Shawn Green who have 124 and 125 RBIs respectively.

Tonight could be the end of the line in Los Angeles for Dodgers veteran Hiroki Kuroda.  Kuroda, who pitched in Japan for 11 seasons before coming to the Dodgers, has yet to decide whether he’ll return to Los Angeles or pitch in Japan next season.   “At this moment, I really don’t know,” Kuroda said. “I might stay here, I might go to Japan. It’s 50-50.”

This Day in Dodgers History

September 27, 1961 – Sandy Koufax breaks the National League mark for strikeouts in a season, surpassing Christy Mathewson’s mark of 267 established in 1903. Unlike the turmoil caused by commissioner Ford Frick’s edict of having to hit 61 homers by the 154th game in the extended 162-game schedule to break Babe Ruth’s single season home run record, little is made that Dodgers southpaw’s 268th punch-out occurs in the 151st game of the season, compared to the 142-game sked played early in the century.

Sandy Koufax breaks the National League mark for strikeouts in a season, surpassing Christy Mathewson’s mark of 267 established in 1903. Unlike the turmoil caused by commissioner Ford Frick’s edict of having to hit 61 homers by the 154th game in the extended 162-game schedule to break Babe Ruth’s single season home run record, little is made that Dodgers southpaw’s 268th punch-out occurs in the 151st game of the season, compared to the 142-game sked played early in the century.

From K to shining K

September 20, 2011

50 years ago today, Sandy Koufax pitched in the last regular season game played at the LA Coliseum.  You could call it a quality start.  He went 13 innings to get the complete game win.  Today, a quality start is considered six innings.  Back then, pitchers regularly pitched complete games.  Today’s pitchers pitch 25% less innings that their 1950’s and 60’s counterparts notes Fred Poulin in dobberbaseball.com.  I was thinking that the amount of innings that Koufax pitched might have aggravated his arthritic arm and led to his early retirement.  Fred’s article suggests that the opposite may be true and today’s pitchers may not be throwing enough innings to prevent injury.

Today’s K – Kershaw will try for his 20th win today in his 4th matchup with Tim Lincecum.  In games against Lincecum this year, Kershaw is 3-0 with no earned runs allowed in 23 innings, racking up 30 strikeouts against just three walks.  I hope he makes it 30 scoreless innings tonight.  If that happens, he will take another step toward the Cy Young award.

Dylan Hernandez has an article comparing Sandy Koufax and Clayton Kershaw on the LA Times web site.

This Day in Dodgers History

September 20, 1961 – In a 13-inning contest, Sandy Koufax goes the distance beating the Cubs, 3-2, in the last regular season game to be played at the LA Memorial Coliseum, which was originally built for the 1932 Olympics. The Dodgers are leaving the only home they have known since moving from Brooklyn four seasons ago to play in a brand new stadium in Chavez Ravine, located a few miles from downtown Los Angeles.