Not as Bad as we Heard

  • Yasiel Sierra: Of course, I did not see him pitch yesterday, but the announcers were impressed and so was Dave Roberts. They said he threw a “heavy ball.” His fastball is 97 and he has a heavy slider which he tended to use too much until the Dodgers told him he could not use it until he had two strikes.  His problem has always been command.  He was switched last season to the bullpen and may be in the running for a spot.  He certainly has the stuff… it’s just the control.I seemed to remember a guy who long ago suddenly discovered his control.  Yasiel will be 26 this summer – it’s not like he’s a newby! What was his name?  Koufax?  This may be one of about 7 or 8 reasons FAZ did not sign JB.
  • 14-3!  Yawn… Nothing to see here folks… move along! Just a bunch of guys getting ready!
  • Nothing I have seen or heard persuades me that Andrew Toles is not the real deal. He’s like Ender Inciarte with a little more power. Tell me I’m wrong!
  • Yasiel Puig is flying under the radar – I see that as a good thing. No waves!  No trouble!
  • Some Dodger fans hate Yasmani Grandal because he replaced their beloved Matt Kemp.  The same is true with Joe Davis – they hate him because he replace Vin.  Well, that’s actually impossible -p no one can replace the Greatest of all Time, but there’s s great piece in THE LA TIMES about Davis.  I happen to like him a lot!
  • Trayce Thompson is now allegedly 100% and medically cleared to play.  I would love to see this outfield:
    • Toles
    • Pederson
    • Thompson
    • Puig
    • Gutierrez
  • That means that Ethier and SVS would be traded.  Where?  Would Andre waive his no trade in order to play for a new deal? It seems logical to me.  Prospects are all the team needs. He looks healthy and so does SVS, but I would rather have Toles and Thompson – T N T – because they are dynamite!  Young, both can play all three OF positions and they are fast!
  • Willie Calhoun is allegedly working on his defense and conditioning, which is why he has not appeared in any games.
  • Brandon McCarthy starts Friday!
  • I do not like the No Pitch Intentional Base-on-Balls.  It’s stupid!  It saves nothing in the grand scheme of things.  It’s just political  posturing by Manfred Mann!
  • Compare their age 29 years, both with the Rays:
    • Ben Zobrist – .238 BA/10 HR/.699 OPS
    • Logan Forsythe – .264 BA/20 HR .778 OPS
    • Do you get my drift? Zobrist is now 35 and Forsythe is 29, but they are nearly the same guy.

Today’s Music

Posted by Mark Timmons

We started LA Dodger Talk in 2001. This site is about giving another perspective outside of the average day-to-day reporting. We don't do game recaps or such things -- lots of sites do that well. I value sabermetrics, but don't think they are the "end-all-be-all.". This is where you should start your day as a Dodger Fan. Welcome! We'd like to hear your voice.

This article has 23 Comments

  1. I am still in a wait-and-see mode with Sierra. Somebody saw something to offer 6yr/$30M. Yes, FAZ did sign many international players (mostly Dominican, not Cuban). Many blame FAZ for Alex Guerrero and Erisbel Arruebarrena, but those were signed under the prior regime. FAZ can rightfully be blamed for Olivera, but no one wants to give them credit for Yadier Alveraz/Yusniel Diaz/Omar Estevez/Starling Heredia/Ronnie Brito…each one a Top 20 Dodger prospect. Another Dominican, Oneal Cruz (SS/3B) may get his turn in the AZL this year at 18. He spent last summer in the DSL with a .294/.367/.444/.811 slash line.
    Maybe FAZ detractors do not think much of the international haul, but extremely well respected amateur scouts not employed by LAD think highly of them. Jim Callis, Executive Editor Baseball America, Ben Badler, international scouting guru for Baseball America, and Jonathan Mayo, draft and prospect expert (along with Jim Callis, probably chief architect of Top 30 lists for each ML team), all value those five in particular. The Baseball American and top 30 lists are the two most recognized sites for prospects, but there are others, and some even have Yaisel Sierra in their top 30. So I will wait and hope he pans out.
    I too have often compared Ben Zobrist and Logan Forsythe. Those two both embody your junkyard dog description. They are not the most gifted, but there is nothing that they will not do to give their team a chance to win. Ask Evan Longoria what he thinks of Logan Forsythe. Both Zobrist and Forsythe were acquired by the Rays via Friedman trades; Zobrist from the Astros for Aubrey Huff, and Forsythe (and Boxberger) from the Pads for Alex Torres and Jesse Hahn. At least Hahn is still playing with the A’s. The Rays will like JDL, but they will miss Forsythe…maybe as much as the DBacks missed Enciarte. Andrew does know minor league talent.
    While I am still not an advocate for jettisoning SVS for Gutierrez, it is not something that is going to keep me up at nights. And I do agree with your comment that there may in fact still be some residual ill feelings about what SVS’ father said about what players (Kershaw/Greinke) think about Puig. What is said in the dugout stays in the dugout. Players should not be talking to family/friends about these issues. SVS crossed that line by talking to his father. And Andy Van Slyke should have known better. If Gutierrez outplays SVS during ST, I would be okay with Gutierrez being the #5 OF.
    But I like Ethier on the 25. I think he could be a clutch hitter off the bench. I do not believe that TT or Toles can fill that bench role. They need to play every day. I am also not convinced that Ethier will agree to a trade, even if it means he will be a bench/role player looking for a future contract. I think he MIGHT agree to go to AZ, but I do not see the DBacks taking on much salary, and I would expect he would not get much more than a platoon role with Tomas, and Drury/Peralta as the other OF platoon. So if I am Ethier, I am going to stay where I am comfortable (with his family) and wait until next year to see where a good fit might be, probably as a LH OF/DH. Maybe I am partial to the #16. Or maybe it is because I first saw Ethier as a Sacramento River Cat and was ecstatic that LA got him for Milton Bradley. Regardless as to how this ends up Ethier will always be a Dodger to me.

    1. I think Gutierrez could make the team as a pinch hitter but a pure pinch hitter like Mota and Hansen were at the end of their careers is a luxury. If Utley also were to be primarily a pinch hitter as well then that would be a double luxury. But those two players probably would be the best fits for that role.
      If Ethier is not traded then having a pure pinch hitter will be hard to squeeze onto the 25. Grandal would most likely have to be the player that gives Gonzales the rest he needs and Barnes therefore would get more playing time. SVS’ advantage of being the player that plays first when Gonzales is resting goes away and SVS finds himself finding a spot on the 25 against Puig, Joc, Ethier, Thompson, and Toles. That makes 6 players fighting for 4 or 5 spots.
      The decision as to who makes the 25 could come down to a preference for a pure pinch hitter versus flexibility. SVS offers more flexibility than Gutierrez and Gutierrez is probably the best righty pinch hitter on the team. Toles needs to play but if he proves to be the best left fielder, how long can he stay at AAA just to make room for Ethier?


  3. Your right Dino! It is a beautiful day!

    I thought I read somewhere over the off-season that Kazmir wanted to be traded. Is there any truth to that? And if so why?

      1. Mark

        I read that article and I thought his complaint, of being taken out of games, was BS, on Kazmir’s part.

        Because he didn’t pitch well enough, often enough, to be left in, to pitch past the fifth,

        He gave up a lot of runs, before, and or in, the fifth inning, so naturally, he was taken out.

        I can only think of a few games, that he was pitching well, into the fifth inning.

        And he was allowed to pitch further into games, when he did, do that.

        I do remember that one game against the Cardinals, that Kazmir pitched, at Dodger stadium.

        Kazmir pitched well, through the eighth inning, and Roberts, sent in out there, for the bottom of the ninth.

        And I believe, he had a shut out going, and he gave up a HR in the bottom, of the ninth.

        And after the HR, Roberts went out to get him.

        I think he only pitched well, in about three games, last season, but he wasn’t pulled, if he was pitching well.

        He did make it through the fifth inning, maybe a few times, and the team was able to give him a win, even though, he really didn’t pitch well enough, to deserve a win.

  4. *I didn’t know Sierra threw 97. If he can find his command, then yeah – what a nice piece to add to the bullpen.
    * I agree with the new rule on IBB – I once saw Bill Russel slap an RBI single off a lazy intentional ball that was high but over the plate. I forgot which team that was against, but the catcher was really upset over it – to the point where he thought Russell violated another unwritten baseball rule.
    * I like that outfield – Toles, Pedersen, and Thompson with Guitierrez and Puig in the mix to platoon or backfill injury. On top of that you can always call up Bellinger to get PT in the outfield if you get thinned out with injuries. SVS and Ethier should be worth some prospects but realistically, how much talent can the Dodgers get in return?

    1. The Dodgers can’t get much for Ethier, unless a contending team really needs him in July. Maybe a TOP 20 prospect and a little salary relief.

    2. I agree about the intentional walk too!

      How often really, is a hitter, intentionally walked?

      Not very often, so this change, will not speed up the game.

      They want to make these changes, because they think young kids, think baseball, is just to slow.

      Most young people are constantly on there phones, and they can watch a baseball game, and still be able, to watch there phones.

      This is just a silly rule, that will not speed up the game.

      And it takes another part of the game out, without, doing what they want!

  5. Another decision may be whether they keep a utility infielder who can play short: Culberson, Taylor or Hernandez or go with Forsythe at short when Seager needs a day off. Taylor getting a look in CF shows they may want an upgrade as Hernandez CF play was not very good. The other outfielders besides Toles and Trace can’t handle CF either and Joc will sit against some lefties. I think Forsythe can handle it and the other guys are a quick flight away if Seager goes on the DL at any point. Are extra veteran pinch hitters better than a super sub who does not play much?

    1. Keith Law at ESPN did not consider Calhoun for his top 100 prospects, and was asked why on Twitter:
      Well below average runner. Zero chance he plays 2b for me.

  6. According to Matthew Morero of Dodger Blue, Ryu is battling “Adductor Soreness.” For the uninitiated, the adductor longus is a skeletal muscle located in the thigh. One of the adductor muscles of the hip, its main function is to adduct the thigh and it is innervated by the obturator nerve. It forms the medial wall of the femoral triangle.

    So, here we go…

  7. I’ve been predicting for a while that the Dodgers’ bench will include a back-up infielder and will also include Van Slyke because they will need a right-handed 1B to back up Gonzalez (and don’t say that Turner will be the guy – he won’t. He’s a 5’9″ guy who really can’t play 1B.)

    Reserve INF (Hernandez, Taylor or Culberson)
    Van Slyke

    This assumes a 5 man bench and a 7 man bullpen. If they have an 8 man pen then they have a problem.

    This is why the signing of Gutierrez and Utley don’t make any sense.

    1. Grandal can play 1B and is partially RH.
      Justin is listed at 5′ 11″.
      Of course, practically all the team begged for Utley, a nd I think in a utility role he will a lot more productive.
      Gutierrez is insurance that the team can hit lefties if no one else improves.
      If they didn’t sign a lefty killer, and they hit lefties like last year, you would likely blame them for that too. If others step up, Gutierrez may not be on the team later in the season, but they had to address the lefty problem and they did with him and Forsythe.
      SVS has had one good year and four that were not so good, so he can’t be counted upon. If he steps up, great, but Franklin has a long history of hitting LH pitching. He sucks against righties.

  8. Dodgers just traded Chase De Jong to the Mariners for two low minor leaguers. Clears up a spot on the 40 man for Culberson if needed.

    1. A bit of a strange deal. If they’re clearing a spot I sure hope it is for someone better than Culberson.

  9. This is a very fair deal. The Dodgers lack middle infielders, and now have a plus defensive SS with speed in Drew Jackson. He spent the year in the California League last year, so he may start the year in Tulsa. It will be interesting to see if he stays at SS or starts the conversion to 2B. His bat is going to need to improve if he is going to be considered a viable regular, or a utility infielder.
    Aneurys Zabala is a 20 year old RHP who spent time in the AZL as a 19 year old last year. He may get a shot at Ogden this year. He joins a long list of pitchers in the lower levels.
    De Jong is a good pitcher, and should become a back of the rotation starter for the M’s . But FAZ used a surplus to add a quality middle infielder ready for AA and still received another young Dominican RHP to hopefully develop.

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