Last Place Phillies Coming to Town

April 21, 2014

kurodavictorino

Hit me here, not there.  Hit me here, not there.  Hit me in the ribs, don’t go for the head.

Oh, those were the days.  The Phillies were a good team.  Now they are languishing.

 

Meanwhile, the outfield conundrum continues.  I assume that Cliff Lee will be facing three right-handed outfielders, by name of Kemp, Puig, and Van Slyke.  Scott Van Slyke has really raked against lefties, leaving little chance that either Ethier nor Crawford will be starting tonight.

Kershaw and Ellis are on the mend, but still won’t be back for a little bit.  So the Dodgers’ job this series is to take two or three from the Phillies, while the Giants and Rockies battle it out for second place.  San Diego visits the red-hot Brewers.  The Diamondbacks are already eight games down.

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Home Opener: The State of the Dodgers

April 3, 2014

president_reagan_gives_the_state_of_the_union_address_to_congress_1988  dodgerslogo

giantslogo

 

I had a few thoughts about the state of the Dodgers going into the home opener against the Giants. This will be partly a regurgitation of what we already know, but also partly a rant.

The Kershawless Pitching Rotation

Without Kershaw, Greinke and Ryu slip from #2/#3 to #1/#2, even though it doesn’t look that way in terms of the days they pitch. Rather, it looks like Ryu has moved into the #1 position, as he is about to start his third game in the sixth game for the Dodgers. But that’s really because Greinke was held back from going to Australia. Now whether he was held back by his calf injury or whether he held himself back and had a phantom injury, I will leave that for you to contemplate.

The rest of the rotation is slowly coming together. Haren looked great last night, so he slips into the #3 position. That leaves us with who can do a credible job at #4 and who can do at least semi-decent at #5 when that need arises. Maholm is slated to be the #4 man at this time, and we’ll get our first look at his abilities or inabilities to fill this role on Saturday against the hated ones. It will be some time before we need a #5 starter. With that extra time, Beckett may be available, but I for one have a nagging feeling that he may not be ready. In that case, we will likely use Fife as an emergency spot starter. Zach Lee would not likely be used until the team needs a #5 starter on a more permanent basis. By then, Billingsley may also be ready.

Bullpen

Well, Brian Wilson pretty much said that he didn’t have enough time in Spring Training to get in all the work he needed. That’s what precipitated him having to move to the DL. He’ll be back, hopefully in fifteen days. In the meantime, we need to find a new set up man for the eighth inning. The answer to that need is not immediately obvious. If it was me making the decision, I would use Paco. He was lights out last year until he got tired late in the season.

Impact of the Australia Trip

This reminds me of last year, when Hanley broke his thumb during the World Baseball Congress. Don’t mess around during Spring Training. It’s called Spring Training for a reason. This is the time to get the team ready for high level, professional, major league baseball.

The Return of Matt Kemp

The four outfielder conundrum returns. Who will be shipped off? Probably SVS, rather than Baxter. Why? (1) Options (2) Baxter is the left hander off the bench. Why does that matter if Crawford or Ethier will be on the bench? Keep Scott Van Slyke on the MLB roster. His bat is the bat we need off the bench. No more Michael Young, no more Sweeney. Get rid of Baxter, he hasn’t done a thing.

Coaching

Somebody is getting into Mattingly’s head and moving the baserunners. Look at the surprise bunt by Puig to move Crawford to third base. Look at Ethier and Hanley stealing bases. I think this is the impact of Wallach as bench coach and it is a great impact. I’d like to see more of it. This will keep the opposing pitchers off balance when we’ve got guys on base. This is the National League, you don’t sit around and wait for home runs.

Yasiel Puig

Puig is here to stay and will continue to be a force both offensively and defensively. Does he still have rough edges? You bet. How many? Well, let’s see there’s (1) baserunning mistakes, (2) doesn’t always hit the cutoff man, (3) missed a sign while batting last night. I’m sure there’s more than that. He is still a work in progress. He needs to take advice from both the coaches and his teammates. He’s getting there, but don’t expect him to be a veteran player by the end of this season. Meanwhile, right now he’s one of the most interesting hitters to watch. The others being Hanley and Matt.


Philadelphia Game 1 Chat

June 4, 2012

The Dodgers, who are 3-7 in their last ten games, came down from the mile high city of Denver to the near sea level of the city of brotherly love.  Perhaps the extra oxygen will help their bats come to life again.  The Dodgers and Phillies are tied with 232 runs scored.  The Phillies have allowed 26 more runs scored than the Dodgers, 225 to 199.

The Phillies, while 6-4 in their last ten games, have a two game losing streak.  They are 12-15 at home at Citizens Bank Park.  The Dodgers have split their 24 road games.

Juan Rivera has been returned to the active roster while Scott Van Slyke  was optioned to the Triple-A Isotopes following yesterday’s game.

Clayton Kershaw hopes to bounce back from two straight losses as he takes the mound tonight with a record of 4-3 with a 2.92 ERA.  In his last outing, against the Brewers on Wednesday, Kershaw allowed a season-worst five runs on eight hits with four walks in just 5 2/3 innings.  Right-hander Vance Worley (3-2, 3.07), who is returning from a stay on the disabled list, will be pitching for Philadelphia.

Shawn Tolleson was called up and will make his major league debut sometime during the series.  Javy Guerra was placed on the 15-day DL with right knee inflammation and Matt Guerrier was transferred to the 60-day DL.

 


Rockin’ the Rockies!

May 11, 2012

Tattoo is back on the 25 man roster, due to Jerry Hairston being placed on the DL.  Hairston had a great run with some key hits and some incredible defensive gems at third base.  Too bad he had to go down with a hamstring injury.  I guess Uribe is just too fat to run fast enough to get a hamstring injury.

The following Dodgers will be in the starting lineup tonight against the aging (or ageless?) 49 year old Jamie Moyer.  Once again, if Kemp and Ethier don’t get it done, there’s not much likelihood we will see anything but a black hole from the bottom of the order.  I’m trying not to read too much into the fact that Treanor is starting instead of AJ Ellis.

The biggest question is – why do you bring up Scott Van Slyke, but start both left-handers Abreu and Loney against the lefty Moyer?  Give the kid – if 25 years old is still a kid – the at bats he needs.

Gordon SS

M Ellis 2B

Kemp CF

Ethier RF

Abreu LF

Uribe 3B

Loney 1B

Treanor C

Capuano P


When Will Our Next ROTY Come?

September 10, 2011

It’s obviously a weird subject to touch upon, but in all seriousness, when will our next ROTY come?

It’s been almost 15 years since the last Dodger rookie put it upon himself to rise above the competition and play at a level worth rewarding.

These 16 players below have not only represented the Los Angeles Dodgers within my lifetime, but have also done so throughout the Brooklyn and golden years of this team.

1. Todd Hollandsworth

2. Raul Mondesi

3. Mike Piazza

4. Hideo Nomo

5. Eric Karros

6. Rick Sutcliffe

7. Steve Howe

8. Fernando Valenzuela

9. Steve Sax

10. Ted Sizemore

11. Jim Lefebvre

12. Frank Howard

13. Jim Gilliam

14. Joe Black

15. Don Newcombe

16. Jackie Robinson

These players have represented this franchise, and even when there was no Dodger player named as ROTY, there was always one player in consideration who wore Dodgers across his chest. But what happened.? Obviously, those days are gone, but why.?

I do so believe that the lack of minor league recruiting talent has diminished to the sense that we’ve underspent on signing Draft picks whom could make a difference. Think about this?

Since 2004, the first season that Frank McCourt was officially entrusted as the brain-trust of this team, this team has drafted notables such as:

-Blake Dewitt

-Scott Elbert

-Jamie Hoffman

-Javy Guerra

-Luke Hochevar

-Ivan DeJesus

-Josh Bell

-Jonathan Meloan

-Brent Leach

-Trayvon Robinson

-Scott Van Slyke

-Chase D’Arnaud

-Clayton Kershaw

-Bryan Morris

-Preston Mattingly

-Chris Withrow

-James Adkins

-Andrew Lambo

-Ethan Martin

-Josh Lindblom

-Kyle Russell

-Dee Gordon

-Cole St. Clair

-Nate Eovaldi

-Allen Webster

-Aaron Miller

-Garrett Gould

-Brett Wallach

-J.T. Wise

-Austin King

-Zach Lee

-Shawn Tolleson

-Devon Ethier

-Cody Martin

-Chris Reed

-Alex Santana

-Ryan O’Sullivan

Out of all these drafts, only six players are currently in the majors with this team, while most have yet to break through due to their slow development. Many have been traded, such as I count 10 who are no longer with this organization.

At what point are we going to stop signing pitchers whom furthermore have yet to produce more than Clayton Kershaw, who was rushed and made to learn on the fly. When are we going to sign talent whom we could use now and in the future. When are we going to tap into the Asian, Latin, and African continent for players.

I do not speak for many, but for the lack of money, we have diminished the talent level in the minors, and thus, what once in a while ago was deemed as a common thing, is now foreign to us. Who will finally break through and capture this now unattainable trophy. We have a probable Cy Young and MVP within our ranks today, and to think that we could someday have a 3rd piece of hardware to add to that in a ROTY, it would signal the overturn of an organization that as of now is in turmoil, and will continue to be in turmoil while this ownership group, and to reiterate this brain-trust is finally put out to pasture and shot down in the spirit of all that is decent and holy. Sorta to put it outta it’s misery.

This Day In Los Angeles Baseball History

September 10, 2008 – With a 4-2 victory over the visiting Yankees, the Angels clinch the division flag on the earliest date in the history of the American League West. The Halos, the first club this season to secure a post-season spot, have finished in first place four times in the past five seasons.

(If you know anything of interest that happened in Dodgers history, go ahead and post a comment.)