Evidently Rich Hill doesn’t flourish in Spring Training, and while he was not in mid-season form last night, he was pretty good. Five innings was enough – let him go six his next start. You have to love this guy’s story, determination and never-say-die attitude. What are the odds that a guy finally figures it out at 36 year old and becomes a star? Probably about the same that he will make 30 starts. Sometimes you catch lightening in a bottle. He is in the best shape of his life and playing for a team he wants to play for. I’m not saying he will start 30 games, but it is possible… for Rich Hill! I love his enthusiasm and animation. It gives his teammates a charge too. By the way, he may have came out of the game early because he got hit on the wrist. It was x-rayed after the game and was negative.
Logan Forsythe is rapidly becoming one of the team leaders. Watch him in the dugout and around the field. Players know who the “players” are and he is right up there with Chase Utley. Sabermetric geeks don’t necessarily value character – I think Friedman, Zaidi, Byrnes, Kapler and Anthopoulos all value character, thus Utley, Gutierrez and Forsythe. Kershaw, Hill, A-Gon, Seager and a bunch of others are all of that High Character Ilk.
If this is what Alex Wood can do in the pen, then that changes everything! I was having Andrew Miller Flashbacks. He was dialing it up in the mid 90’s and he can pitch multiple innings. The Dodgers have plenty of starters so this may be Wood’s best spot. He’s a thin guy, so he’s not a workhorse starter, but he’s a guy who can pitch two or three innings at a time… or close and anything in-between. I like Alex Wood a lot! Throw in Dayton, Stripling, Avilan and Romo and someone will have to be chopped when Pedro Baez comes back… with a Hatchet! Then there is Liberatore… I can’t see where Chris Hatchet fits. I am not being mean to him… I just think he needs to go somewhere else with less pressure. Look at Jim Johnson in LA and then look at him in the ATL.
The Wild Horse is still the Wild Card. He needs to step up or he might step out. The Dodgers are putting him lower in the order to minimize the pressure and hopefully build his confidence. It would not surprise me if he hit 30 HR and batted .310… nor would it surprise me if he hit .249 with 12 HR. If he’s doing the later, he will be gone by the All-Star Break. I think the same is true with Kike Hernandez – he is getting a chance to play himself on or off the team. This is a process, after all. To me, if Kike does not make it, the next call up might be Thompson, not Taylor. Taylor is only a phone call away if Seager gets nicked. Logan Forsythe can play SS for a game if needed.
Don’t draw any conclusions from the Dodgers inability to hit LH Clayton Richard on Tuesday. Let it play out. Roberts thinks they will do better… but if they don’t, I guarantee they will go and get another RH bat to make it happen. These guys are on notice: Hit LH Pitching or we will get someone who will, like Braun or Martinez.
The Oakland A’s only allowed former Dodgers to pitch last night – Jharel Cotton, Frankie Montas and Daniel Coulombe. Coulombe and Montas looked very good. Cotton? Not so much. I like him, but only as a reliever.
Brandon McCarthy’s turn this afternoon in an early game.