I told a buddy of mine yesterday that Scott Kazmir’s hip tightness was probably going to keep him out all season. He said “That’s negative – you have to think positive.” So, let me try to get over this negativity: “I am Positive that Scott Kazmir’s hip tightness is probably going to keep him out all season.” How’s that?
This is the same problem he had last year which led to other problems and ultimately shut him down for the season. He allegedly embarked on an intensive off-season conditioning program… and the problem is either back or lingering. This sounds season-ending to me. And, I’m generally a positive person. OK, scratch Kazmir, next up are McCarthy, Wood and Ryu. I believe that a couple of those will be healthy… the big question is who? I won’t hazard a guess.
I would think that the Dodgers will be really cautious with Ryu. He might pitch an inning this week, two next week, but he has been out two years and it seems to me that he will have to be on a minor league rehab assignment to build arms strength when the season opens. That leaves Wood and McCarthy as the #4 and #5 starters to open the season. They also pitched some meaningful innings last year. Ryu hasn’t.
Before you get too nervous, they also have Urias, Stewart and Stripling. I also think Trevor Oaks can hold down the #5 spot, but he’s not on the 40-man roster, so if Kazmir is indeed out for the year and I say he is, there are still six pitchers battling for two spots. If there is one pitcher who could be traded easily, it’s Alex Wood. He is 27-30 as a major leaguer with a 3.35 ERA and is 26 years old with 77 career starts. He is under control until 2020 and makes the MLB minimum. If he shows hew is healthy, the O’s could use another starter as could Boston, Houston, St. Louis and the Yanks. My choice would be to trade him for Brad Brach. I like the pen now. I would really like it then.
- Seager and Ethier both have sore backs. Make of it what you will…
- There is speculation that since Gutierrez is playing awful that he will not make the team. I think that is preposterous. He already has made the team (barring injury) and the Dodgers are going to take it slow with Trayce Thompson, so it’s almost a guarantee he will start at OKC. Now, if Franklin continues to struggle into the season, that will be an issue. There’s no free lunch forever, but there is a free lunch for him making the team out of Spring Training.
- This from Dodger’s Nation (cursed by Plaschke – he’s almost always wrong):
The Dodgers are projected to again be one of the best teams in the NL. The Los Angeles Times‘ most famous columnist envisions something more.
Plaschke said in three decades, he’s never called a team making a World Series run this early. He stopped short of doing that this time, but said if L.A. stays healthy, the 29-year streak of no World Series appearances could reach its end.
These Dodgers of March have real shot at late October http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-dodgers-plaschke-20170304-story.html …
You heard it here first: The Dodgers have a real shot at going to the World Series
You can see it in the Dodgers’ Camelback Ranch clubhouse, where cliques have been transformed into a congregation.
Plaschke quoted several players about the attitude. The team has adopted a “World Series or bust” mindset, it seems. He said the overall mentality of the team is the difference. It’s a group with the togetherness that can propel it further than previous years.
“The momentum began last fall, when all the craziness of the summer roster moves and rotation turns began to finally make sense,” Plaschke writes. “By the time the Dodgers began the playoffs, the plate appearances had become unselfish, the relief pitchers didn’t care about their roles, and everyone — witness Charlie Culberson — truly believed he could be the hero.”
He’s right. There was a clear shift mentally last year. Credit Dave Roberts, veteran leadership, the front office; it doesn’t matter, it happened. The Dodgers kept the team together, with a couple players taking less money to continue being a part of the franchise.
Logan Forsythe, Los Angeles’ top offseason acquistion, fits the culture to a tee. He is another veteran leader who was extremely well-respected in Tampa Bay. Sergio Romo is a similar case. He won three championships with the Giants and stayed with an organization that is the model of consistency – staff, player and performance-wise.
The Cubs are still the odds-on favorites, but the Dodgers are coming back with a vengeance. As Plaschke noted, health is the most important factor. But none of us should be surprised if the boys in blue finally break through.