Life is Good!

  • It’s March 16th and Adrian Gonzalez will never play in the WBC again… so there is that.  He says Little League is ran better and he would be right – it’s mostly a joke!
  • Julio Urias is pissed he’s going to extended Spring Training… and the Dodgers have more good players than they have positions.  Life is good!  Just to be clear, Urias is not going to the pen or AAA – he’s going to sit out for a while… which is the only thing that makes any sense.
  • Brandon McCarthy was in mid-season form because he gave up 2 home runs on Wednesday, but the plan was for him to pound the strike zone.  All you need to know is this:
    • He threw 60 pitches (40 strikes); and
    • Unless he gets injured, he is a starter – write it down!
  • The other spot is between Ryu and Wood.  I think Ryu goes to AAA, but you never know.  My money is on Wood. Stewart is shut down for a few weeks.  Kazmir is on Social Security and Oaks is not on the 40-man. The starting pitching is doing just fine, thank you!
  • The bullpen is starting to become clear, assuming present state of health.  I think these guys will make up the seven-man pen: Jansen, Romo, Dayton, Avilan, Stripling, probably Morrow and Hatcher (just because he is outta’ options, but his leash is short).
  • Andre Ethier could start the season on the DL which would open the door for Andrew Toles.  After missing a year, Ethier is doing noting to show he can stay healthy… sometimes if you have a Toles, you just have to play him.  If he starts well, this could be the end for Andre.
  • Let’s hope Kenley Jansen has no issues pitching in the WBC.  Gonzo is going to box Kenley when he comes back.
  • Trayce Thompson will almost certainly start the season in AAA, so if Ethier is on the DL, the outfield is Toles, SVS, Pederson, Puig and Gutierrez.  Brett Eibner has showed he has value as well.  He could be a #5, but not now.
  • I think the only spot up for grabs is the utilityman:  Taylor or Kike?  Culberson is not on the 40-man – sorry Charlie!  Taylor is hitting .500 – that’s hard to argue with and he’s a true SS.  Kike may start at AAA and that may not be a bad deal.  Let him play everyday.
  • FYI: Jose De Leon is being treated very rudely by MLB hitters with a 17.18 ERA.  It’s way early to predict anything, but I think FAZ felt his star was tarnishing.

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 25 Comments

  1. Thanks for taking the time to write this post Mark. It is not easy to create a post everyday that has some spice and thought.
    .
    I don’t know if I am close to being right on this but I will suggest that any pitcher that has missed a year will be or should be limited to a max of 180 innings, maybe 150. A young pitcher that hasn’t pitched more than 130 innings in any year probably has the same limits.
    .
    McCarthy, Ryu, Urias, Stripling, Stewart, Wood therefore can’t start the season in the rotation and end it as well. I think I would like to start the season with Kershaw, Kazmir, McCarthy, Maeda, and Wood and end it with Kershaw, Maeda, Urias, Stewart, and maybe Buehler or Oaks. I like Stripling in the bullpen.
    .
    Thompson has time to win a spot in Spring Training. He is probably too rusty to do so however. I prefer Thompson over Gutierez.

    1. Thompson is easy to root for.

      He seems like a nice kid, and he seems to have a lot of patience, for a young guy.

      He doesn’t have to many bad at bats, especially for a guy that has been out, for a good while.

      1. I agree MJ. The another aspect to depth is the ability to keep and groom those that are good in the clubhouse and courteous with fans etc. and trade those that are not. Nice guys can still be ruthless.
        .
        I don’t like pitchers that try to use intimidation instead of stuff to get hitters out. I would get rid of them as well. One of the things I like about electronically called balls and strikes is that it can have as a byproduct, the ability to keep track of pitches that are up-and-in. Those pitches should count as two balls and with electronically called strikes there would not have to be subjective interpretation of an umpire.

        1. Bum

          Seager and Thompson, are the only roomies, left this year.

          Everyone else, is either engaged or already married, from last year’s roomies.

          Ryu is really easy to root for too.

          I still think of his last game, that he pitched, in the play offs.

          He was really good considering, what he was dealing with.

          They say the off speed pitches, are harder to throw when coming back from injury, and Ryu threw some really good off speed pitches, in his last start.

          The Cubs have non of the regular starters, in there line up today.

        2. So you would have gotten rid of Drysdale and Gibson. No wonder our kids are soft these days.

    2. I think Kaz will be on the DL.

      Thompson will go to AAA unless SVS is hurt, but Gutierrez had better be the lefty killer he used to be or Trayce will be back quickly.

      1. That is the bet I would put money on but not where my heart is. Gutierrez is better suited for the dugout and pinch hitting. Also, if Thompson starts in AAA and Taylor beats out Kike’, that would give Joc a month to hit against lefties without the temptation to platoon him with Kike’ or Thompson.

  2. I have a question and I need to be enlightened. It has to do with Urias and extended spring training. How long can that last beyond opening day? Will he be on the 25 man roster or in limbo?
    If he is on the 25 man opening roster and will not pitch, isn’t that a waste of a roster spot?

        1. To go to extended spring training the player either needs to be optioned, or go on the DL. If a player goes on the 60-day DL that would open a 40 man spot, but if on the 10 day DL or optioned, that player would remain on the 40 man. Urias has options so there is no problem optioning him and putting him in extended ST. Ryu does not have options so he would need to go on the DL. Quite conceivably, he could go on the 60 day on April 3, go to extended spring training to build strength and stamina, start a couple of late May minor league games, and rejoin LAD on June 2 in Milwaukee against the Brewers.
          .
          Extended ST lasts until the AZL Rookie League and short season A League (Ogden for LAD) starts in June.

        2. I don’t but that is an interesting question. How long might not be a contract issue or a union issue as much as would it set back a players progress if left there too long.

          1. From everything I’ve read Boras (Urias’ agent) and the Dodgers are on the same page with regard to pitch counts and a measured usage pattern.

  3. It is looking more and more like Alex Wood will be the #5 starter and will remain there until Urias and/or Kazmir and/or Ryu are ready to assume their spot in the rotation. Since I have been one of Wood’s biggest supporters since the 2015 trade, I like the outlook. Once Urias assumes his spot in the rotation, Wood will find his way into the bullpen. He would also be a good trade chit at the deadline. But with all of the question marks with the rotation, Wood needs to stay there until the questions begin to get answered. He can be a very good #5. What would it take to get Jose Quintana anyway?
    .
    I understand holding young Julio out early. I may not like it, but I understand it. FAZ believes they have something special, and need to protect it. He’s pissed…okay he’ll get over it. He’s young. I can see Urias staying in extended ST, and coming back May 18 to face the Fish at home. That would be 42 games out to start the season, and with a projected 10 game DL stint during the summer, Urias should start 22-23 games this year. That should put him slightly below 150 IP going into October, which is where FAZ wants him to be at.
    .
    There seems to be a lot of love for Eibner, but why not Ty Holt? He is a true CF and is out-hitting a lot of players. Both Holt and Taylor have been great surprises thus far. There are still 17 days to April 3, so a lot of time yet for separation. One spot I do not believe should be open for discussion is Taylor over Kike’. I am sure it remains undecided, but I believe that Taylor has gone out and earned the utility spot. You cannot say that there is open competition, and then when one player clearly out-plays another, that he has not earned that spot.
    .
    The Rays rotation right now is Archer/Odorizzi/Snell/Cobb/Andriese. Alex Cobb is the only one not club controlled for three years. Cobb can become a FA after this year. One of the pitchers would need to be moved before JDL gets his shot at the rotation. All except Snell have been trade rumors, so it is possible. The Rays are going to see where they are at when the deadline approaches to determine what their next approach should be (tweak or tear down).

    1. Thanks AC for your insight on Extended ST. I also agree with you on Taylor. The last time I checked today he was our only player with a hit and a walk in today’s game.

  4. Ryu pitching well.
    Just watched Taylor start a great DP.
    He gets my vote – although I really like Culberson.

  5. Puig ejected for arguing 3rd strike call.
    Had struck out looking in previous AB.
    Like to be positive about him like you guys, but still to be convinced.

    1. I don’t have much of a problem with it… occasionally. I have been a big proponent that Puig is a Knucklehead, but I have seen improvement and I am letting him show me. Showing emotion is not a bad thing, but here’s what he needs to do: Seek out the unp and apologize after the game so that he won’t punish you later.

  6. Taylor can also play CF and can spell Pederson when facing a tough leftie, same goes for spelling Seager early on. He has a better glove and more speed than Kike who set himself back going to the WBC. AGon was 1 for 18 in the WBC with 1 RBI on a sac fly. He needs to find his stroke fairly quickly and he may be spelled by SVS against some lefties. Looks like a lot of platoons early this year. Puig lost his cool today and got tossed after his 2nd K of the day. Ump may have had a quick hook but his average is down to .214. and he’s starting to press. Ryu looked good overall, 1 run and 3 K’s in 3 innings. I feel a DL stint and minor league rehab would benefit Baez to work with a pitch clock in AAA. There is still an open spot on the 40 man for a Morrow or Culberson or Oaks or even Holt to sneak in. The 40 man is important to be part of the shuttle between AAA and the big club.

  7. Late observations from Glendale: Something no one has mentioned is that the Cubs fielded the 2d and maybe some 3d teams against the Dodgers’ #1. The Cubs pitcher, Butler, looked like Cy Young. What would Arrieta, et al do? What I saw today was the same BS we have seen for years. Puig probably should not start, nor should Pederson. 2 pretty easy outs. The Pederson back foot shuffle looks like something you would see in Little League. He is now a veteran ball player and he is still doing this crap. I know it’s practice, but. . . . . . I would be ok with an outfield of Ethier/SVS; Toles; Guttierez/Thompson. Puig is the same guy he has always been, except maybe less animated. He is a chronic under performer. Pitchers don’t fear him at all; I think, down deep they kind of laugh when he comes to the plate. I agree about Taylor. He looks pretty solid. Maybe a little better than Culbertson. The only positives today were, in order of priority: Ryu looked very good; moving the ball around; a lot of swings and misses, a whole lot. He looked strong and confident. Dayton looked good. That’s it. Sierra got banged around by the Cubs 2d/3d team. Morrow’s line was good, but he gave up solid contact. He has always been hittable, and nothing has changed, apparently. A word for those who come to Arizona hoping to see major league players: I have seen the Cubs play twice and have yet to see the world series team on the field. If you come down here, come as late in the spring as you can. The last week before the season starts is the best. I’m a week too early, and the WBC makes matters worse.

  8. So in 24 hrs Gonzalez went from criticizing players for not participating in the WBC to saying he will never play in it again. He sounds like a big baby.

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