Should We Just Take Leave of Our Senses?

Fans, which is short for fanatics, tend to take leave of their senses when their team wins, in that they are overly elated… and they also do the opposite thing when their team loses.  They become overly downtrodden and only see gloom and doom.  After 14 games, the Dodgers are at .500.  They are 5-2 against RH pitching and 2-5 against LH pitching.  Many fans think it’s time to panic and while I do think the Dodgers should be exploring possible trades because the makeup of the big league club as well as the minor league teams leans dramatically to the left (I don’t mean politically), there is no need to panic.  Let me tell you why.

Yes, the Dodgers are 2-5 against lefties.  Yes, they are hitting .218 against lefties, which by the way, is not even close to the bottom – they are 19th in batting average against LH pitching.  There are 11 teams worse than they are including the D-Backs who are hitting .196 against LH pitching.  The Royals are at .170 – Yikes.  But there are 148 games to go!  It’s very early.  I might be prone to panic IF 

  • I thought Yasiel Puig would continue to hit .108 against LH pitching (he is hitting .444 against RH pitching;
  • I though Logan Forsythe would not play again (he did not play last night, but is hitting .429 against LH pitching); and
  • I thought lefty-killer, Franklin Gutierrez would be out the rest of the year.

In 2016, the Dodgers were dead last in baseball in batting average against LH pitching and they were 26th in runs scored against LH pitching. At some point, Gutierrez will return, Puig has demonstrated that he is working the count and getting better at bats and I believe there si no reason he will not hit better against LH pitching,  and obviously, Forsythe will be back.  Maybe we can use Braun, but you aren’t geing to get him with players you don’t want.  Allegedly, Milwaukee wanted Bellinger and Alvarez the last I heard.  Toles and Kazmir? Ha!  Trade Puig? Not at this point – he could be just reaching his potential.  You can’t chance that now.

On paper, the Dodgers improved against LH pitching with the additions of Forsythe and Gutierrez.  Yes, they don’t play the games on paper, but they don’t also end the season after 14 games, do they? Baltimore is on track to win 119 games and Cincinnati is on track to win 99.  I’ll bet neither makes the playoffs.  It’s a long season and  it’s silly to panic after 14 games.  That said – I would be kicking the tires on a RH bat.  It’s going to be hard to find a better fit in LF than Braun.  His batting average is currently up to .289 and he’s still a .300 hitter.  I think that as his 5/10 rights get close to vesting the Brewers will be motivated and it is going to cost the Dodgers to get him.  If the Dodgers took 100% of his salary, it would be less.  I’m not sure they are inclined to do so, but you never know.

How about Toles, Thompson and Calhoun for Braun? It’s a lot to give, but it could bring a pennant… or two!

Rants and Raves

  • Yadier Alvarez was beat like a rented mule Monday night.  It was very ugly! Maybe that’s a wakeup call for him to keep in shape and not stick so much food down his piehole!
  • Cody Bellinger will be on the Big Team before the end of May.  Where will he play – 1B, LF or CF?  That is the only question.

UPDATE

Press Release

DODGERS PLACE GRANT DAYTON ON DL,

RECALL JOSH FIELDS

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers today placed left-handed pitcher Grant Dayton on the 10-day disabled list with a left intercostal strain and recalled right-handed pitcher Josh Fields from Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Fields, 31, made four relief appearances for the Dodgers in his first stint with the big league club, tossing three scoreless innings and striking out six batters, while allowing only two baserunners to reach base via a walk and a hit. Fields, who was optioned on April 14 to Triple-A OKC, was acquired by the Dodgers on Aug. 1, 2016 from the Astros in exchange for minor league infielder Yordan Alvarez and went 1-0 with a 2.79 ERA in 22 games with Los Angeles last year.

Dayton, 29, pitched in last night’s contest against the Diamondbacks tossing a scoreless inning of relief and issuing one walk. In seven relief appearances this season, Dayton has tossed 6.1 scoreless innings and has limited the opposition to a .095 batting average (2-for-21). This will be Dayton’s first stint on the disabled list in the Major Leagues.

Tonight’s Lineup:

Pos Rockies Pos Dodgers
CF Blackmon (L) 2B Forsythe
2B LeMahieu SS Seager (L)
3B Arenado 3B Turner
RF Gonzalez (L) RF Puig
1B Reynolds LF Hernandez
SS Story 1B Gonzalez (L)
LF Cardullo C Barnes
C Garneau CF Pederson (L)
P Freeland (L) P Ryu (L)

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 21 Comments

  1. It was last offseason that I wrote this team off, last year at this time I had REALLY written this team off.

    Somehow, in September, I found myself sitting in Washington witnessing a team beat the Washington Nationals in the playoffs and come within 2 games of the World Series.

    I learned my lesson, are there things that scare me about this team, absolutely. But did we overcome them last year? Yes.

    I am going to let this one play out, Mark is correct, it is way to early.

    RH bat and another legit starter, I hope are on the shopping list this year. If we get Braun, it makes everyone better, if Puig continues to gain confidence, it will be a force.

    Starting pitching, we need a innings eater STUD to compliment Kershaw and hopefully Urias.

    Long way to go, keep the faith my fellow fans.

  2. The Cubs are 6-7, and have lost 4 in a row. Certainly not the start they had in 2016. I am not in Chicago, but my guess is that while the fans are not cocky this year, they are comfortable that they will get back to the playoffs.
    .
    If all it would take is Toles, Thompson, and Calhoun to get Braun, then get it done. If they need to include Dennis Santana and have the Brewers absorb some cash, especially this year, that would be fine as well. But I think it will take more. It is the more that scares me. If the more is Verdugo or Buehler or White, walk away.
    .
    I still like the idea of Lorenzo Cain. I would put him in left, but it might also put a fire under Joc, because Cain is a good CF. He is a career .289/.340/.416/.756 with less than a 20% K rate. It looks like his 2017 year is starting out to look like is 2014/2015 years rather than his injury riddled 2016. I do not think it would cost as much as Braun because this is his walk year. Somebody also suggested Melky Cabrera, and while not a GG in the field, he can hit. Right now Toles is not the surest LF in the league, so I would not be worried about Cabrera. It is Melky’s walk year as well. Both Cain and Cabrera are playing for one more big payday, so both are primed to impress.
    .
    Josh Sborz made his Tulsa debut last night as well, and it was worse than Alveraz. Sborz pitched 3.2 innings, 5 H,
    5 R (all earned), 2 BB, and 2 K. I am not worried about either. Both are on innings watch and probably for the year.
    Alveraz needs to be better disciplined during the off-season, and Sborz needs to understand you do not get to the ML by over-throwing bullpen sessions in the first days of ST. Lessons learned…hopefully.

    1. AC

      Check out Toles defensive metrics from last year, at the major league level, he is better then you think.

  3. While it is too early to “panic”, the reason for my concern about the Dodgers’ inability to hit lefties, to hit with RISP or in late and close situations is that these are the same problems that the Dodgers had last year. If you include last year with most of the same guys on the roster as this year, the sample size doesn’t look so small.

    In 2016 Dodgers hit .209/ .296/ .357/ .653 in late and close situations. They were 30th in BA, 27th in OPS and 20th in runs. They still don’t know how to play “small ball” in the late innings if they need to, or don’t want to do it.

    I am concerned too about the 4.7 IP/game by all non-Kershaw starters. This puts too much of a load on the bullpen and you end up with no relievers left, like last night, when Hatcher was stuck trying to make it through 3 innings when Roberts had to pull McCarthy after 5. I have no confidence that Ryu has the arm strength at this point to allow him to throw more than the 4+ innings that he has been throwing every 5 games ( and none too well, either).

  4. The good news is that Ryu threw that pitch to Arenado at 90 MPH.

    The bad new is that Nolan hit is out at 105 MPH!

  5. A lot of Braun talk again. I know plenty of posters on this site and others are fanatically against Braun becoming a Dodger because of his age(33 yo); salary and past problem(bio-genisis?).
    If we could just put that aside for the moment and look at what he has done BETWEEN the lines:
    2017- 5HR; 11RBI; .407 OBP; 1.074 OPS

    Lifetime Splits VS LHP:
    At Bats – 1292
    Average -.337
    OBP -.405
    OPS -1.031
    RISP -.314
    men on -311

    Dodger Stadium- BA – .346 OPS- 1.063
    AT & T Park BA – .308 OPS- 1.014

    1. I think he is the perfect answer to the RH bat we need to overcome our lackluster hitting vs LHP. Who do we give up for him? IDK but it seems to me we have so many P and OF in our very deep system we could afford the loss of some of them and still have a great farm system. JMO

  6. I predicted less than 5 ip from Ryu and a loss of over 2 runs before the game started. The Blue not off to a good start

    1. Rick,

      You remind me of my lawyer:

      Me: “So I have this idea that will save the world and it goes like this…………….”

      Lawyer: “It could also kill someone if they ingested it and their estate would sue you and you would lose everything.”

      Me: “But they would have to disassemble the device and eat it. How stupid is that?”

      Lawyer: “And you will pay me to defend you too….”

      Me: “Yeah, that would break me!”

      You damn lawyers ruin all my fun! 😉

          1. Where’s that new article?

            Are you too busy suing people to write it?

            😉

            All this writing is killing me – I need help!

            Send a psychiatrist!

  7. OK, Colorado has hit Turner and Forsythe.

    It’s time to make them realize you can’t do that to us.

    You have to drill someone the next inning… just so that understand that we will get two of yours if you get two of ours!

    DO IT!

      1. You are right.

        For his career he is hitting .307 at Coors and .266 on the road.

        At Dodger Stadium he averages .238… but not last night.

        What he did last night is what people will remember… not his poor BA.

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