Cody Bellinger and the Next Wave

That was the title of today’s article and it evaporated.  I worked on it for about 20 minutes and now it just vanished!

I’m pisssed off because I lost it… and so you name the subject.

I’m done… for today!

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 79 Comments

  1. The NL West looks wide open.
    AZ & Colorado have started well, the Dodgers & the Giants haven’t, and SD are there to beat up on. Or are they?
    After what I’ve seen im quietly optimistic.
    When we start collectively hitting we will be fine. The rotation is deep, even without Hill, the Pen is strong, with good arms waiting in the wings, and the other teams don’t scare me.
    In fact I think it will be the Rockies who are our biggest challengers.
    The big question is whether to see if the LH problem sorts itself out, or whether surgery is needed.
    I’m guessing at the later.

    1. Miami wanted Jansen and offered more than the Dodgers did I think so after FAZ signed Jansen I doubt they were going to out bid Miami for Ziegler. I wonder if Ziegler was one of the back up plans if FAZ couldn’t sign Jansen.
      This would be a worrisome team if Turner and Jansen had not been re-signed.

      1. Bum

        Do you think the starting pitching is deep at the major league level, when we don’t even know what is going to happen with Hill, and with the way Maeda and Ryu, are pitching?

        Personally I think Ryu is pitching better then Maeda, and if he can get his good command back, he can pitch in this league.

        I know Urias will be up some time, but Stewart has had some arm problems, and these other pitchers in the minors, don’t seem to be close enough, to pitch in the major league rotation this year, and not at the level, of Hill.

        And we need top pitching, because we have plenty of number four, and five pitchers.

        But without knowing if Hill can pitch regularly in the rotation, I don’t see enough top pitching in our rotation, because Hill was suppose to be our number two, pitcher.

        And until Urias can work his way up, and pitch consistently at that high level, I don’t know where our top pitching is, after Kershaw.

        And I know we won without Kershaw last year, and with McCarthy, Anderson, and later Kazmir, not coming through, and being able to pitch.

        But what everyone forgets, is that our young pitchers stepped up last year, and pitched pretty well, and without them, we probably would have never got as far, as we did, so this is really no recipe, for success.

        1. Maeda gave up some cheap runs that weren’t his fault in SD. Then he had to pitch in Colorado. I take nothing that happens in Colorado seriously. Derek Lowe used to get shelled there every time he pitched no matter how well he was pitching heading into Colorado. Maeda pitched ok in Colorado. He struggled last start. Ryu has looked okay. He just can’t miss in the middle of the plate with an 89 mph fastball.

          1. Hawkeye

            I was probaby being harder on Maeda, because what Ryu is coming back, from.

            But I did want to ask you a question.

            Dodger Rick has said, that Ryu hasn’t built his arm up yet, and I am not questioning Rick, but do you think Ryu is going to gain anymore velocity, once his arm is built up stronger?

          2. In the past he gained velocity as the season went on. He’s touched 91. If he could settle there that would be great. I have no idea if he will or not though. In the past he has picked up Velo the second half the season. Will he make it that long to find out is the million dollar question.

        2. The Dodgers have depth but also have many that have innings limitations. McCarthy is strong now but probably will struggle to get past 180 innings due to his recent idleness and therefore should not be counted on for the post season.
          Ryu will not make it to the post season either.
          Hill should have plenty of innings left for the post season but who knows if he will be able to pitch.
          Wood didn’t pitch much last year and therefore he will probably stop at 180 innings if he is in the rotation and if so, won’t be available for the post season.
          Urias will only be available for the post season if he doesn’t have more than 145 innings leading into the post season.
          The rotation for the post season will not be the same rotation that pitches early in the season.
          My guess if the Dodgers do not make a trade is that the post season rotation will be Kershaw, Stewart, Maeda, Urias, Kasmir. I put that last name in for the fun of it but he will have innings left in his arm by the time his hip gives him the freedom to hit 90+ on his fastball, if it ever does.

    2. Ziegler is who I wanted the Dodgers to pick up. Ziegler, Dayton, and Kenley would have been ideal. I don’t trust Romo with more than 1 or 2 hitters.

  2. Open with a clean slate…Wow…
    Great takes Watford my man…
    NLW is extremely weak at this time, but we shall not be denied… I like the Rockies team alot but believe the launching pad they live in 81 games a year will take it’s toll…
    After all the dust settles I see a three horse race (LAD-AZ-SF) with the Blue pulling away in the final stretch…

    1. Isn’t pitching and not hitting that is getting it done so far for CO? They are going to start hitting and if their pitching can continue, look out.

  3. After reading the title Mark, Now I am pissed off. Bet it was a good read.
    Well “Cody Bellinger and the Next Wave”, I am EXCITED. Bellinger, Verdugo, Bueller, White, Dough Boy Alzarez and Urias (does he count). Signal good days ahead for Dodger fans.

  4. The Dodgers are better than their pedestrian record so far, but not as good as they have been hyped to be.
    The issues:
    Hitting LH pitching – a problem going back too long, and presently no improvement
    Hitting with RISP – same as above. The bandaid approach has not worked
    An outfield without a discerning difference – this collective group is as average as their record.
    Puig is showing signs of turning the corner
    Joc is still trying to figure his swing out, will he ever get there?
    LF – a game by game experiment or pick between less than stellar options
    AG – a man in decline in a young mans game, who has to be the slowest runner in baseball. When he is on base hope for a HR
    SP – seems like the Dodgers are reluctant to go with the youth to fill the holes.
    CK – happy he is a Dodger
    McCarthy – has looked good, he will get better
    Maeda – a big question mark based on his outings this year. What’s wrong?
    Ryu – a bigger question mark, how long does this go on?
    Wood & Stripling – both should be starting
    The Dodgers need a #2 SP, and that guy may be in the organization but presently he has not stepped forward, or has not been given the opportunity.
    The bench – past time to say adios to S V – is there a baseball pulse there,
    The LH pitching killer sits on the DL – didn’t do much when he wasn’t there either. Is he really the answer to a multiple season malady?
    Kiki – starting to look better but consistency would be great. At least the bananna is gone

  5. The Dodgers lead baseball in team ERA, and are among the leaders in pitching WAR
    The Dodgers are ranked 7th in batting WAR and are 8th in wRC+
    The Dodgers are second in all of baseball in run differential (the Yanks are #1)

    The Yankees are back. They’re second to the Dodgers in team pitching and are near the top in hitting and currently have the best run differential. I predict them as the American League favorites for the pennant. That was a quick rebuild for them.

    Eric Thames will win comeback player of the year. If he keeps up his current output, he could win the MVP. Who is he? I don’t know, either. He played one season for the Mariners in 2011 and then languished in the minor leagues until this year. He already has 8 home runs. He’s a lefty but is hitting .545 against lefties with 2 home runs. Maybe the Dodgers should go after him instead of Braun.

  6. Sometimes what seems like our best writing disappears the most. It might be in your computer somewhere. I have worked on a file that was zipped to me and I didn’t change the extension and it was lost. Sucks, I know.

  7. Mark, first of all let me say how much your generous spirit in giving us this forum to comment in is appreciated! I look forward to reading it first each day and you always keep it fresh! It is bigger and better and so are you. I also read all of the comments and enjoy the insights of your regular posters and encourage more to chime in. The knowledge and tone are refreshing and while sometimes critical it’s from a good place-wanting the Dodgers to win.

    The style from management is to let things play out, not panic, tinker around the edges and replenish from within. I see a bigger sense of urgency this year, as if they know this team can win it without big moves but will make one if it makes sense both for now and in the future. It is rare to see big trades before the deadline and this year the Dodgers have a lot of capital to spend if they choose to.

    McCarthy and Ryu pitched their way into the rotation and Kazmir pitched himself out of it for now. The conundrum of Hill’s blisters, Maeda’s slow start, Wood’s value in the BP and Urias being held back will sort itself out soon enough. There is depth at OKC to draw from if needed so it seems the rotation is in good shape.

    The injury bug has bitten and Utley is the guy I think steps up while Forsythe heals, 2 weeks seems optimistic. Joc and Grandal are about to go on hot streaks, hopefully together. AGon is streaky too and hopefully his power returns. Those 3 helping out the core of Turner, Seager and Puig are all they need to hit consistently with a long and deep lineup. I can handle a platoon in LF and 2B right now but just stop it in CF and C please!

  8. I agree with AC who said a few posts back that Bellinger will not start his arbitration clock this year. After something like June 10 he might be brought up and take a starting lineup spot for whomever is weakest in the outfield or first base.
    If Gonzales cannot be traded without the Dodgers paying most of his salary then it doesn’t make a difference cost wise if he is used as a pinch hitter or a regular. He could be used to pinch hit at critical RISP spots and still wind up with a good RBI total at the end of the season. Pederson right now might be the worst pinch hitter on the team and Gonzales the best.
    Utley is going to get a chance to turn around his 2017 while Forsythe is on the DL. Utley may or may not be on the team depending on what he does in the next 3 weeks.
    The Dodgers could have two good pinch hitters in Gonzales and Gutierez.
    The Rays still have a big need for a catcher. I know the Dodgers are not scoring as well as they need to but unless a catcher is a super offensive catcher, I prefer a nimble defensive catcher. I would trade Grandal and a controllable pitcher(s) to the Rays for Archer.
    Left Fielder

    1. Bum

      Sorry Joc and Puig are not ready, to hit at the top of the order.

      Puig seems to change his approach, almost every time Roberts, puts him near the top of the batting order, and he just isn’t the same hitter, there.

      But if he could keep his same approach, I could see him hitting second, but I don’t think he is ready, to hit towards the top of the order right now.

      And Joc isn’t even hitting above 150 against rightie pitchers right now.

      And the lefties he has faced, are pitchers that Roberts thinks, Joc might not have so much trouble against, because they are not tough, lefties.

      And Joc has had only ten at bats against lefties, and he does have four hits to his credit, but he also has four or five strike outs, in those ten at bats, against lefties too.

      And Joc’s over all batting average, is quite low right now.

      And really Joc doesn’t even have a really good OBA, and the OBA that he has, is based on hitting lower in the line up, not at the top, of the order.

      And it is a lot different, to hit seventh and eighth, then hitting above the meat, of the order.

      And about Grandal, Grandal is hitting righties pretty well right now, he is hitting about 290, against righties.

      And the only reason his over all average is not as high, is because he isn’t hitting lefties well, so I would try to give Grandal his days off, against lefties.

      And we can see if Barnes is able to hit better, against lefties.

      And actually it looks like Grandal is making better throws, so it looks like the off season changes he made, are paying off so far.

      But I do like the pitcher you are going after, because Archer is young, and he is about to put eveything together this year.

      And we do need some high quality starting pitching, with Hill, being questionable, so I think you have a good idea!

      1. Thanks for the heads up MJ on Pederson and Puig not being ready to hit at the top of the order.

          1. Puig could hit second. He’s done will there. Joc at the top? Hell no! Joc should be hitting 8th right behind Grandal.

  9. The Dodger brass have to be/ better be concerned with the starting pitching. After Clayton it’s all question marks. Certainly there is no intimidation factor for other teams playing us. We need two more top-line pitchers if we want a title.

    1. I’d love another “ace”. I also don’t know that we will get one.

      Hill can be very good when healthy. With his blister issue returning, I have come around to the idea of him being in the bullpen–at least initially. When he returns, pitch him an inning or so at a time out of the pen and hopefully build up some calluses. Maybe later in the year he would be able to stretch out for the playoffs.

      I think we can have a reasonable rotation (Kershaw, Urias, McCarthy, Ryu/Maeda, Wood/Stripling/Oaks). Stewart would be back of rotation innings eater if he can return. I do have concerns about long term viability of Ryu and Maeda in rotation. Pen is OK right now and if rotation allows Wood/Stripling/Hill addition to pen would be very good.

      My biggest concern is hitting. We aren’t getting it done. Concur with comments that Puig and Pederson are not top of the lineup hitters at this time. Gonzalez is streaky but suspect the power is starting to go. 5- 6 may be good spot for him now. I’ve always been concerned that our weakest hitters in last couple years have been the outfielders.

      Utility players are just that, valuable but utility players. With multiple utility players starting every day is worrisome to me for long term success.

      1. SCG,

        I agree with your take on the outfielders, and the utility players.

        And the fact that they are constantly changing most of the outfield line up, isn’t good for any of the players, that they are doing this too.

        Because no one, is getting consistent at bats.

        And how are these players suppose to hit, and hit well, when they are not getting consistent, at bats?

        I would go with the regular outfielders, and let them play and start everyday, and see what they can do.

        Because we have most of the same utility players, that they used for the platoon last year, on the team, this year.

        And they played them all last year, and they were last, in offense, in all of baseball.

        That is a big enough sample size for me, and if one of the outfielders, can’t deliver on offense, then think about, a possible platoon.

    2. Hawkeye

      I could see more Puig hitting second, because he would get Corey and Turner a lot of fastballs, and be a big distraction, to the pitchers.

  10. Bums, I would agree with your take on AGon if he were not so good defensively and there was actually an option besides SVS to platoon with. He also clogs up the bases big time whoever he hits in front of. If they won’t move Seager and Turner to the 3 and 4 spots they might as well bat AGon 4th, he still gets hits there to drive in runs. Puig seems to hit better lower in the lineup but his speed plays in the 2 hole as well and he is taking his walks. I love Archer but I think they would want a lot more than Grandal and I don’t think they would move Yasmani anyway with his production, age and salary. He is not bad defensively but really needs to work on blocking balls in the dirt. I think Barnes is no more than a backup catcher and I don’t see anyone else close in their system being a starter.

    1. Vegas, Bellinger might be better than Gonzales defensively but he won’t get a chance IMO before mid June.
      My lineup would not take place before mid June and anticipates improvement from both Joc and Puig by then.

    2. Great point Vegas about AGon being a base running liability. It was fine when he was batting in the middle of the lineup and driving in runs. However, for a 6 hitter with Joc and Puig behind him, it’s painful not to score when they finally get a hit with runners in scoring position. During Game 1 in LA vs the Rockies, I saw a stat that said the Dodgers were 2 for 6 with runners in scoring position. They only had scored 1 run at that point. I was puzzled about that until I remembered AGon was at 2nd base when Ryu hit a ground ball single to right and Adrian was held at third. So it was technically a hit with a runner in scoring position, but the runner never scored. To be fair, CARGO has a cannon arm, and maybe Ryu’s ball was field in shallow right – but it was still frustrating not to plate a run when there were 2 outs and a runner at second. The wound up losing by a run so that one play sticks out.

  11. I don’t believe any of the rumors of trades. The team is set, with subs coming from the minors. Braun is too expensive and would cause other roster problems. I disagree that the division is weak. The Rockies can hit with anyone, and it looks like the D’backs can too, if they stay healthy. The pitching of both is probably good enough to make a run at the playoffs, if the offense continues to score runs. Dodger starters are not what they expected. It’s almost like spring training never happened, and the first month is being used to get the knots out of the underwear. I’m not sure the team takes spring training seriously enough. I like seeing prospects, but the primary purpose should be to get into shape for the regular season. Hill’s blister should have happened in early March, not April. Too much “kid gloving” for me.

  12. We are less than 20 games into the season. Manny Machado is hitting .170. That’s where he will be all year, right?

    Darrin O’Day (whom lost of people pined for) has a 7.94 ERA. Jose Quintana. Joe Blanton, Trevor Bauer, Jeff Samardzija, Jordan Zimmerman, Justin Verlander, Jherel Cotton, Hisashi Iwakuma, Rick Porcello and Drew Pomeranz all have ERA’s between 5.30 and 6.90. Does that mean all of them will end up there?

    It’s absurd! It is what it is… for now! But, it will change and dramatically for some. I don;t get hung up on the averages as much as I do what I see. Joc Pederson worries me with his approach. So does Toles. I have a lot more confidence in Kike than some of you because of what I see. I think Gutierrez and Utley will be fine – in their respective roles. I like Puig’s approach a lot – he is much more patient and looking for better pitches, but does not hit as well in the top-of-the-order. I would let him hit at 6,7 or 9.

    I do believe that Toles should go down and they should let Bellinger play everyday in LF. So, start his clock early. I knew Seager was ready even when they brought in Rollins and so is Cody. Cody is a can’t miss. Just like Corey, he will play up to his competition. Let’s see how well he can hit LH pitching. He will 22 in 2 months and I think our hitting solution might be in our organization.

    1. I’ve seen people report that Verdugo is more ready for MLB pitching than Bellinger is.
      The data may support it:
      Fun to watch them both in OKC. Current lines:
      Bellinger: .348/.423/.630, 31% K, 9.6% BB
      Verdugo: .390/.409/.585, 16% K, 4.5% BB
      Here are their current lines when behind/ahead in the count:
      Bellinger ahead: .667/.765/1.167
      Bellinger behind: .150/.150/.300
      Verdugo ahead: .500/.563/.714
      Verdugo behind: .273/.273/.455
      Small sample size, but it mirrors their seasons in AA last year.
      Bellinger ahead: .280/.481/.520
      Bellinger behind: .143/.148/.190
      Verdugo ahead: .272/.465/.384
      Verdugo behind: .316/.313/.460
      A lot there, but we can generalize to when Bellinger is behind, he really struggles to make contact. Verdugo seems unfazed so far.

      1. The stats I am looking at show this:

        Bellinger: .358/.426/.703 – 1.120 OPS
        Verdugo: .354/.396/.521 – .917 OPS

        I am not discounting the other stats, but maybe Bellinger doesn’t get behind much. Do you have any info as to how big a sample size that is?

        Also, last year in the AFL, Verdugo hit .143 while Bellinger was .314. Vedugo is Tony Gwynn-esque in my opinion, but Cody is a slugger! I would not expect Bellinger to hit .300, but I could see Verdugo at .340… if it plays out!

        1. Mark

          That is the problem why Bellinger, isn’t going to be able to make the same transition as easily as Corey, because like you said, he is a slugger!

    2. Joc worries me as well but I like most of his swings. He is getting more fastballs up in the strike zone and he hasn’t adjusted yet. I think it is more of him not swinging at those that are out of the strike zone than his inability to hit the high fastball.

      1. Bum

        We will see when we face Walker, in this next series.

        Everyone on this team, let him beat them, by going after his high fastballs, that were not only out of the strike zone, they were to high, for most hitters, to hit well.

        Most of the hitters, I have seen, who can hit a high fastball, hold there bat high, and have their hands high, when they are up to bat.

        Like Kris Davis, on the A’s.

      2. Bum

        Joc is really hitting in lead off today, maybe Roberts is trying to get him, out of his slump.

    3. Mark

      The problem is Toles isn’t the problem, in fact, he is hitting better then a lot of hitters, in this line up.

      He is hitting in the lead off position, and if we can’t expect Puig or Joc, to be able to hit at the top of the line up, we shouldn’t put these same expectations, on Toles, who is in his first year.

      And with all of the lefties we have faced, Toles hasn’t got many consistent at bats, especially, lately.

      But he still comes up to bat, when he is asked, and has had good at bats, and he has hit the ball hard, in the last few times, Roberts, has had him hit, late in games.

      And he was one for four, in those opportunities, but he could have easily been, three for four, in those last four at bats.

      Because he had hit the ball hard in all, but one of those at bats.

      And I don’t believe for a minute, that you are worried, about Toles being able to hit!

      I think you desperately think this team, needs, another big bat, and you see that bat, in Bellinger, especially after you see his at bats, and boxscores, every night.

      But you just don’t think Bellinger can play centerfield everyday, so you want him to play in left, so you see Toles, as expendable.

      Even though you know Toles is hitting the ball a lot harder then Joc, and he is hitting much better then Joc, too!

      Because Joc is hitting close to the Mendoza line, and he has way to many strike outs, for a player, that is not hitting, with any power.

      And if Toles was allowed to start and play everyday, he would be hitting a lot better, too.

      Tole is second on this team in HRs, and he didn’t do that, hitting at the bottom of the order, like Puig and Joc have.

      And remember, Bellinger isn’t facing major league pitching.

      And it won’t be as easy for Bellinger, to make the jump up, like Toles did last year, from A ball, because Bellinger, isn’t a contact hitter.

      He has a swing much like Joc’s, and he is a leftie like Joc.

      And we don’t know that Bellinger can hit lefties, well, and we don’t know if he will hit major league pitching right away, with that big swing, he has.

      It might take some time for Bellinger, to hit major league pitching, he isn’t going to have an easy entrance, like Corey had.

      Because Corey hits the ball, where it is pitched.

      I just think your expectations, might be to high right now, but later in the season, may be different.

      Remember, he wasn’t hitting well toward the end of spring training, when we were facing more, major league pitching.

      And about Kike, he has only had two good games, sorry Toles has had more, then just two good games.

      In that last game, Kike, and the rest of the platoon line up, were facing a pitcher, that hasn’t pitch well, all year.

      And that is probably mostly why, our platoon team suddenly, looked good, in that last game.

      And most of the other teams that have faced that same pitcher this year, did much more damage, then Kike, and company did!

      And remember Kike, also had a couple good games early last year, but that rest of the year, he hit 190.

      And when was the last time, Toles was able to start and play, in three games in a row, just like Kike, just did?

      Also about Puig, I read an article that said Puig has had reverse splits, most of his career.

      And right now, Puig almost has as many at bats against lefties, as righties, at this point.

      And Puig is only hitting 080, against lefties.

      1. There’s a lot there to discuss, but I will address the Joc verse Cody swings. There is no comparison. Joc’s Strikeouts in the minors went up while Cody’s went down. In 2015, Cody had 150 K’s – then he advanced to AA and had 94 K’s. Joc has a violent out-of-control swing while Cody is smooth and cuts it down when he has to. Bellinger will never K as much as Joc. Joc has to strike out a lot, like Mark Reynolds, to generate Power. Cody is bigger, stronger and much more naturally powerful.

  13. The Dodgers’ decision to sign Gutierrez was to have him as a bench option or platoon LF given his history hitting lefties. We don’t know yet whether it will work, but I understand the plan.

    What is the plan behind Utley? He bats lefty and can’t hit lefties any more. He doesn’t play SS so the Dodgers need a 2nd utility IF. Yeah, he’s another coach on the field and all of that but I don’t see how he really fits on the Dodgers’ bench.

    Van Slyke made it as a reserve OF and he can play 1B and spell Gonzalez against a tough lefty. There have been several here who have noted that he hasn’t had a good season in a while and he has gotten off to a slow start. Should the Dodgers have Segedin as their OF/IB to spell Gonzalez and platoon in an OF corner if needed?

    I agree with Bobbie that it seems like April is taking the place of Spring Training – what, the starting pitchers are just now getting stretched out and aren’t able to go more than 5 innings yet? That’s what the Spring is supposed to be for.

    I agree with Grinch that I would love a 2nd “ace”. Hill was supposed to be that. Some here thought that he would be but in limited innings, others doubted that he would be, given his history and his likely unavailability. You can’t be an ace if you can’t pitch. Will Urias be the 2nd ace? Maybe – it’s hard to tell given that the Dodgers DON’T LET HIM PITCH.

    The ‘pen has been very good in early going but has pitched too many innings as Dodger starters struggle to even pitch 5. Stripling and Hatcher are both on pace to pitch nearly 100 innings in relief. Maeda is on pace to pitch 140 innings as a starter. (Hill is on pace to pitch 80 but he has already been on the DL twice. He made it to 110 last year – will he do it again?)

    The run differential numbers obscure the truth about the offense. The Dodgers are 3 – 0 in blowouts but 3 – 6 in runs decided by 2 runs or less. The reason for this is the Dodgers’ inability to hit with RISP or in games that are “late and close”. They lack the ability to manufacture a run if they need it – too much concern with walks and a 3 run HR and not enough guys who can simply make contact. They will struggle all year long in close games unless they change their approach late in close games.

  14. Everybody would love a 2nd ace. Every fan in America wants that 2nd ace for their favorite team. Unfortunately, Friedman told it like it is, starting pitching is overvalued. The price that must be paid in dollar and PROSPECTS make it prohibitive to acquire an Ace in most circumstances, better to grow your own. I saw Chris Archer’s name thrown out there above, look what was rumored the Rays turned down for him, and I am not even sure he qualifies as an “Ace”.

  15. Bumgrabber do the DL after a dirt bike accident. Couldn’t happen to a better redneck.. I guess I shouldn’t say that and since it isn’t too serious. I find it amusing.

    1. Hawkeye

      I just saw that

      I wonder who’s good idea it was, to have Bumgarner, get on a motorcycle?

      But I feel bad now, because they are saying, that Bumgarner will be out, from six to eight weeks.

      1. The perfect end to my week. I can’t stand that piece of garbage. Like Hawkeye said, “Couldn’t happen to a better redneck.”

      2. I’m thrilled. i hope it’s longer. There are a handful of guys I just despise and he’s one of them. I’m sure it was the redneck’s idea to dirt bike during the season. Reminds me of Jeff Kent’s deal when he got caught lying about it.

        1. Hawkeye

          My feelings about him, are mutual.

          He is just a punk, that someone needs to put, in his place.

  16. I thought I saw that Joc is batting leadoff for today’s game.
    I thought we laid that idea to rest on this blog – LOL. The comments here should be mandatory reading for the Dodgers coaching staff… :-p

  17. It’s not like I think Joc is a good lead off hitter but that he may be the best the Dodgers have right now given that everybody here seems to keep identifying about 4 players that should hit down in the lineup. Guess what, if the pitcher hits 9th and there are 5 players that are said should hit 7th or 8th, the guy that was in the 8th spot moves up to lead off.
    The Dodgers can’t have 5 players in the #8 spot.

    1. Bum

      I don’t think there are five maybe three, at the most, but Grandal is hitting 290, against righties right now.

  18. Joc Pederson is not unlike Carlos Santana who often leads off for the Indians. I think they do pretty good…

    1. Mark

      I think Forsythe would be best, but he is out.

      Because he is more experienced at doing that, and he hasn’t hit in, a lot of runs.

      1. But I do think Joc is better then having Toles lead off, because Toles is not as a patient hitter, as Joc is.

        Joc is better at having long at bats, and picking up walks.

        That is what experience can do, for a player.

  19. In what I believe is likely Julio Urias’ last appearance in AAA, he pitched 5-2/3 innings of two-hit, No Run Ball with 6 strikeouts. His next start will be in Alex Wood’s spot.

    1. Urias better be in this spot next time around. If he’s going to throw 90+ pitches then he should be doing it for the big club.

  20. Wood seems to pitch better out of the ‘pen. I would love to see Urias come up. But Ryu, Maeda and Wood (or Hill) are all weak spots in the rotation thus far.

  21. This game will go down as one of those where it’s a great team win, or a tough loss

    Happens all the time during the year. Regardless of what happens, I like how we went to Strip to start the 8th. I want to see if he can do it and become that guy

  22. Bluto, I saw your post above about Verdugo and Bellinger.

    From my research, eyes, and expertise (consisting of 3 years of little league 1983-1985), I think overall, Bellinger is a bit below Seager, but much above Joc, as far as talent/prospect go. I also think Verdugo is the real deal, and he should replace Joc in CF. We get as good defense, plus a fantastic hitter.

    I would trade Joc for an impact need (Archer?). I think the lefties Seager, Bellinger, Verdugo are our future big 3

    1. Thanks Bobby.

      I have zero expertise, bad eyes and I stole that research from someone else.

      All that said, I hope you are right.

      I’m most worried about Gonzalez though. Even against righties, he’s adding zero value.

      Just can’t hit the ball with any power.

  23. I am going to complain about FAZ. I like most of what they do. However, they sign guys that are old and just hanging on. Utley and Romo. They think they can get one more year out of them and it does not work. If the team they played for last year has given up on them, what makes FAZ think they can get another year out of them.

    Taylor is going to be another Justin Turner. He has changed his hitting. He has added weight and strength. He has pop in his bat. There is no position in the infield for him. Maybe left field. How about first base. Did you hear what the announcers had to say about Taylor. Agon looks to me like he is losing it due to age.

    Maybe lead off is where Joc belongs. He certainly looked good last night. Seager is playing like Seager.

    SVS, Romo and Utley do not belong on this team. You can almost add Agon to that list. Kike was on a short leash, but the leash just got a little longer.

    When ball players reach the age of 35, their skills start to diminish. Yes, there are a few who go beyond and do well, but not many.

    I think FAZ has to go a little longer with the team they have, but if it does not get better, changes need to be made. I am not talking about a trade. The parts are within the system.

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