The Definition of Insanity

We all know what it is – doing the same thing and thinking you will get different results.  The Dodgers bullpen did not lose the game last night.  The Dodgers lack of hitting is what doomed them. When you score only 4 runs in 11 innings against a pitcher who has an ERA of over 6.00, you should volunteer to go to the minor leagues.  Yasiel Puig is the best defensive RF in baseball – that I know, but he is still hitting .235.  That’s evidently who he is.  The Dodgers are getting nothing from Utley and Gonzalez.  Utley doesn’t move like an old man, but Gonzo does.  It was hard for him to get up when he dove for a tag last night.  Both need to be off the 25 man roster and either on the DL or somewhere else.   It’s the first week of May and neither one can cut the mustard.

As much as I like Kike, he is only hitting .212.  We have too many of those guys.  He has options and Chris Taylor is outperforming him in every metric.  Franklin Gutierrez is earning his keep and Toles is stepping up – QUIT PLATOONING HIM!  I have watched him closely the past few games in CF and I don’t see where the idea comes from that he can’t play CF.  Some of you believe that Joc is a Gold-Glove CF and that simply is not close to the truth.  Joc is a good (not great CF).  Currently, Andrew Toles has a higher Range Factor than Joc.  However, when Joc comes back on Friday (allegedly), he will go back to CF.

So far, Joc has 4 hits in 14 AB against LH pitching.  That is a .286 BA.  The problem is that he is hitting .194 against RH pitching… but it’s a small sampling,  Here’s what I purpose:

  • Utley to the DL
  • Gonzalez to  the DL
  • Kike goes to AAA when Forsythe is activated
  • Kazmir and Ethier to the 60-day DL
  • Call up Pederson and Dickson

Here’s my lineup:

  1. Toles  LF (L)
  2. Taylor  2B (R)
  3. Seager  SS (L)
  4. Turner  3B (R)
  5. Bellinger  1B (L)
  6. Grandal  C (L/R)
  7. Puig  RF (R)
  8. Pederson CF (L)

Bench: Kike (R)), F-Gut (R), Barnes  (R), Dickson (R)

Run with that for a while.  QUIT THE DAMN PLATOONING. Give spot starts to F-Gut, Barnes and Dickson.   You have to get this sorted out.  Chris Taylor’s bat looks “buggy-whip” quick! Lets’s see what he has.  Forsythe might be back soon… or not! The Dodgers have about 10 days to figure out if the need Braun or not!  Ryan Braun did a very bad thing and then did a despicable thing in trying to cover it up.  However, he is by all accounts, well liked by him teammates.

Look for Jacob Rhame in the bullpen someday soon – You can’t teach 100 MPH.  By the way, Mitch White pitched 4 innings at RC with 4 hits, 4 runs, 4’s were Wild.

In Julio Urias first 88 Major League innings he has a 3.08 ERA.  He has 89 strikeouts to go with 39 walks. That’s 2.3 Strikeouts per walk.  He just turned 20.  Most of that body of work was done when he was 19. Now, let’s compare the 19 year-old Clayton Kershaw:  Well you can’t because he never came to the majors until he was 20, but when he was 20, he pitched 108 innings and had a 4.26 ERA.  He also had 52 BB and 100 strikeouts.  That 1.9 strikeouts per walk.  Clayton Kershaw said it himself and I will repeat it:  “Julio Urias is better at age 20 than Clayton was.”  When I compare the two pitchers, I compare then at the same age, not now.  Of course, Clayton is the best pitcher in baseball, but since last year’s All-Star Game, Julio Urias has a better ERA .

In no way am I saying that Julio Urias is better than Clayton Kershaw NOW.  What I am saying is at the same stage of their development, Julio is better.  Julio has more pitches and better control (last night notwithstanding) than Clayton did when he was 20.  Clayton used to drive us crazy with his high pitch counts, but he certainly figured it out.  The question is: How much will Julio grow as a pitcher?  If he continues to grow he can be as good as Clayton, but that would be rare.  Still, they are of the same caliber in talent – the final question is Does the fire burn in Julio like it does in Clayton?  That is an intangible that means everything!

Insanity is a trademark of Beach Body Extreme Fitness Workout

 

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 55 Comments

  1. And the mantra goes on ad nausem… JCV and Daniel’s opening salvos yesterday said it all for me… That being said, Chase & AGon to the DL and let their peace in the kingdom for a lil while…
    P.S. And never a word about Grandal, or did I miss it???

    1. So, you all like to ignore the fact that if the Dodgers had not elected to pay Crawford and Gonzalez $43 million a year, they could have gotten two or three players? The players they traded were not the issue – the stupid contracts were. A-Gon’s contract was fine but anyone with a modicum of sense knew Crawfish’s deal was a dog. You may believe that without A-Gon and Crawfish, Dodgers Stadium would have been empty, but that’s just silly. Boston proved you don’t have to overpay to win as they won the World Series the next year after swindling the Dodgers.

      They traded for Hanley Ramirez and they also got Shave Victorino. I would have traded all the players they did… and more for A-Gon, but being forced to take Crawfish was unconscionable. Had they waited until the off season, they could have filled the spots piecemeal with players like MIke Napoli and/or Adam LaRoche and a bunch of others who were available in FA or by Trade.

      I did not mention Grandal because he has always been a slow starter and there are no other in-house options.

  2. Morning Pete – hope things good with you.
    Mark, I totally agree with your lineup.
    Run it out there for 7 days and tell the players that’s what happening to build some confidence.
    Let them find some form without so much pressure.

  3. Watford my Man – Congrats to Anthony Joshua with the Heavyweight belt I now see a Tyson Fury – Joshua UK Rumble in the Jungle coming…

    1. Pete – watched it in the boozer – unbelievably AJ is from Watford. Seems like everyone knows him now he’s famous! Fantastic atmosphere.
      What a fight! Like a Rocky Film.
      Everyone hoping he fights Wilder next in Vegas – could be a good trip as long as it’s between April & September…

  4. I’m in with your line up. Let them play for the next week! If Puig and/or Pederson don’t produce them I’m ok with including them in the Braun trade if that is where we go.

    Outfielders shouldn’t need to be buried in the 7 and 8 slots

  5. Mark said: “Some of you believe that Joc is a Gold-Glove CF and that simply is not close to the truth. Joc is a good (not great CF).”
    .
    Since when was the best fielder at a position, any position, the winner of the Gold Glove. Hitting has always influenced the Gold Glove award. Loney should have won a Gold Glove the year that Kemp and Ethier shouldn’t have won theirs. Joc is a very good CF. Let me remind everybody that Vin said Joc was better defensively than Duke Snider and that he thought that Joc was the best Dodger CF that he has seen. \
    .
    Now if anybody wants to talk about bad defense, lets talk about why the Dodgers didn’t win the game last night by a score of 1 – 0. That’s right. Grandal didn’t block a pitch and then couldn’t find where the ball bounced to that resulted in Pence going from 1st to third. He otherwise would not have scored. Grandal needs to sit and if he has value needs to be traded.
    .
    Tampa needs a catcher. Grandal, Calhoun, Verdugo to get the conversation going for Archer.
    .
    Toles can play CF. He should be the backup CFer and full time LFer. IF the Dodgers need a righty bat then maybe a Toles for Osuna trade can be worked out. Toles has lots of controllable years and Osuna has three which would be just enough for Peters to take his place when he is ready.
    .
    Gonzales looks like he could be a very good pinch hitter and Harris, Hanson, Mota have shown that pinch hitters are valuable. I hang in with Utley a little longer if there is only one spot for either Kike’ or Chase.

    1. Puig and Seager leading the team with 17 RBIs. Puig tied with Seager and Toles for home run lead with 5. Puig has a terrible BABIP–too many ground balls. He is hitting the ball. Great defender. WHAT THE HELL. He ain’t the problem.
      .
      Joc needs to let his bat do the talking. I just like him but I don’t forecast stats for him. If, If, If he hits 30 HR and hits .260, he can win a Gold Glove.

    2. Bum

      Vinny did say that, but he later , took that back, about what he said about Joc.

      And like AC said, Joc is a good
      centerfielder, but he isn’t an elite centerfielder, like Kiermaier, Bradley jr, Pillar, inciarte, and even Betts too, is an elite centerfielder, even though he plays right.

      And actually Betts had more defensive runs saved, then anyone last year, at any other position.

      And there are more then I mentioned.

      But I still think Joc is really good, especially sense he doesn’t have the speed, that some of these other players have.

  6. Ditto with the lineup agreement, I like it to Mark, I just flip Puig and Grandal, this platooning nonsense has been old for awhile, (considering our platoon options can’t hit a lick) it seems like our bunch is not the best to do it with.

    Taylor has earned starts
    Bellinger has earned starts
    Puig does things no one else can do- he and only a few make it to third baseball on that botched pop up- and that throw??? Unbelievable.

    Keep Grandal and Pederson as low in the lineup as possible until they start to hit, Pederson in the 8 slot show he hits the best there.

    Urias is growing, not sure he will be #2 status by October. We need a type of Brain and we need a Quintana of some kind to compete in October.

  7. Good takes Mark! Either Roberts is giving extended auditions to the guys on the bubble or is really loyal to his vets, I hope it’s the former. Recent comments by him indicate Bellinger and Taylor go down soon and get a few more games to show their stuff. Last nights lineup had Grandal at 4 and Agon at 6 with Puig at 7. That 3 base error on Puig might have been a 1 base if Agon had been on 1B. Agon has a herniated disc? Play him! Utley is stinking it up? Play him too! Grandal has been struggling? Bat him cleanup! I really think last night’s loss goes on Roberts but nobody else hit either. I have almost given up on predicting what Dave will do from game to game although I see signs of life and decisions are hopefully becoming clearer. Sending 2 spark plugs like Taylor and Bellinger down make no sense to me although keeping Cody from becoming a super 2 might play in to his decision.

    Urias needs to clean up his location and cut down his walks to go deeper into games. His stuff certainly plays well and he is just getting stretched out. Maeda, Ryu and Hill are question marks at this point, both in health and performance. Wood looked a bit like McCarthy his last start: 8 K’s but leaving a few pitches over the plate hurt him. Kershaw deserves an off game now and then, he will be fine. This rotation still gives a chance to win most nights but the offense needs to be more consistent. It’s hard to be consistent when the lineup is all over the place night after night.

    Off day today and a 3 game trip to San Diego before coming home for 3 against the struggling Pirates then 7 games in Coors and SF. They will play 17 straight days before an off day on the 22nd. This stretch should be relatively easy but they are not playing that way and time to get it together!

    1. Vegas

      I assume you know that Roberts doesn’t make the decisions, on who is going down.

      I didn’t see Puig make the three base error, but after reading what you said, it must have been on the grounder, that went under Agone’s, glove.

      Did Puig have trouble picking up that ball?

      1. Think he was referring to Puig’s pop up in short right that was dropped by Giant fielder. Puig ran hard out of the gate and didn’t stop until he was at 3rd.

        1. Grinch

          Thanks I read that wrong!

          Any player on the team with speed, would probably make it to third, on that play.

          And in a close game like last night’s game was, everyone would have been upset, if he was called out.

          I didn’t see the whole thing, but I saw him slide into third.

          And was this risk really worth it, when Puig can score easily from second?

  8. 6 hits: 3 by Toles and 2 by pinch hitters. Bad. And a loss to the hated giants makes in worse. I keep expecting the giants to go on a run, but with no #2 and shortstop, the chances become smaller. On Urias: he has learned nothing in the 2 years we have been watching him. Lots of walks, balls. Lots of pitching behind counts. The best thing he does is to get outs when behind the count. That’s not easy. But it’s the skill set of a relief pitcher, not a starter. He just might be best suited for the bullpen, as much as some of you may disagree. A 20 year old grinder. That would seem to be a waste, but that is exactly the way he pitches. He is no strikeout pitcher and probably never will be. Can he harness his control well enough to become an effective starter for the team? And when? And how long do you hang on to him while others might be knocking at the door? I would say he is on a steep learning curve right now. It is about time that he makes visible progress. This back and forth, extended ST, BS certainly does nothing for continuity and consistency. That might be hurting him right now. He is a victim of his age. If he were 24, he would probably stick at #5 and we would all suffer the consequences for a about 25-30 starts.

    1. Bobbie 17

      You must have been upset, when the Giants outfielder, that is hitting under 200, had the hit, to put the Giants ahead.

  9. Mark

    I have noticed the more Toles has played center, he looks more comfortable out there, just like you said, would happen.

    He did make a good diving catch, toward the end of the game last night too.

    And I am saying this, not necessarily because I want him to play center over Joc, it is just more to say, he isn’t lacking on defense, as much as some people, like to think.

    I also didn’t like when Puig ran in front of him, and picked up a grounder, that he was already behind, to scoop up.

    And when Puig does stuff like that, he turns me off.

    I do think the guppy did pitch a good game, because even our really good hitters, didn’t hit him.

    Corey hit a ball hard, but it was right at someone.

    I do think Turner needs a little more rest, because he is constantly getting hit from other teams, and I think he came back to soon, after he was hit hard on his hand and fingers.

    I don’t know how he was able to hold a bat, and hit a 90 fastball, that soon, after being hit like that, on his hand.

    And I hope that Agone will now go out, after he cost the team a run on defense last night, because he isn’t, 100 percent.

    He is hurting the team now, and his bat is not a difference maker, so he needs to do the right thing for the team, and his self, and go on the DL.

    And if Agone will go out and get healthy, his bat will be much more valuable to the team, because right now, he is hurting the team.

    That is important because even as good, as Bellinger is, he will have the normal struggles that every new major leaguer has, when they first come up.

    And a healthy Agone, and his bat, will be valuable to the team, if this happens, and even if, this doesn’t happen.

    And they will find a place for both Agone and Cody on the field, if they are both, producing.

    Because even in decline, a healthy Agone, has a better bat, then a lot of players, on this team.

    I know the relief pitchers didn’t lose this game, but Dayton has now gave up five runs, after just coming back, and he needs to turn that around.

    And although Fields didn’t give up a run last night, it seems like he is almost always, putting to many hitters on base, when he comes in, to pitch.

    He can’t continue to do that, because to much traffic on the bases, will almost always, come back to haute him..

  10. Mitch White stunk again last night. Looks like they might be trying to teach him something that he can’t do very well and might mess up the things he used to do well. Sopko tonight. Just a casual look at the minors: Mariners, Brewers, Padres have some good, young talent. It doesn’t stop. I don’t think the Dodgers have a lock on minor league talent.

    1. Yes, they do, but what makes the Dodgers different is that they built the farm while not tanking…

  11. You have Kike on the bench and in AAA at the same time. Which is it? I am fine with sending him down when Forsyth comes up and keeping Taylor up. He seems to have discovered a swing and his strike zone.

    OK with Gonzalez on the DL and seeing what Bellinger can do. Adrian can’t hit for power and can’t move. I don’t see the point to Utley on the DL – he’s not hurt, he’s old and the DL won’t cure that.

    I agree with Truth re: Puig – while he’s disappointing at times, he does things that no one else can do – going to 3rd on the botched pop-up or making the throws he makes. His BA isn’t good and he grounds out too much but he is tied for the team lead in HR and RBI. He’s not the problem. I agree with Bum here.

    You were strangely silent about Grandal. I know he’s a favorite of yours but he is hurting the team at the plate and is still awkward behind the dish. What do they do about C?

    Last night demonstrated the problem with a 5 inning starter. The ‘pen had to absorb 6 innings. The more innings they pitch the greater the chance for a conflagration like last night in the 11th.

  12. The Dodgers have played 29 games – 18% of their schedule. The good news is that only Washington, Arizona and Colorado are playing well in the early going. The Dodgers are still only 2 1/2 games back of the 1st place Rockies. (It’s soooo weird to write that.) The bad news is that two of the teams playing well in the early going are in the NL West.

  13. I remember being so frustrated with Kersh in 2008 and 2009, because he had such good stuff but threw too many pitches and walked too many guys.
    I see that same thing with Urias now. When they’re that young, that’s totally normal. Not many young pitchers come in and do what Jose Fernandez did in his first year. For ANYONE to get on Urias about how hasn’t learned anything is a joke.
    Urias has struggled in his 2 starts. Yeah, he’s given up 1 run in 11 innings and people are bitching. Ridiculous.

    1. And, lets not forget Koufax and his initial years of wildness. In his case, he learned he couldn’t throw strikes at 97 MPH and nobody could hit him when he pitched at 93 MPH.

  14. On Urias – he will likely be our #2 by end of the year. Hopefully #3 if Hill stays healthy.

    Clayton Kershaw had MORE WALKS than Urias at the same age and was ALWAYS behind in the count.

    On Grandal: Grandal has a bit more rope.

    I don’t know why Yasmani is so quickly vilified by some fans – every time there is a passed ball or wild pitch, they rage on him, but the fact of the matter is that he has been the primary catcher in 2015, 2016 and 2017 and EVERY YEAR the Dodgers have been in the TOP 5 in Pitching with Grandal Catching and he hit 27 HR last year. Yeah, he’s a bum alright! Geezz!

    Grandal is not nearly as bad as many make him out to be. A-Gon is obviously in physical decline, but Yasmani is in the best shape of his life and in his prime. He is slumping and two days ago, I urged them to sit him for a few games, so I have not left him off, but some of you just have an inordinate and illogical dislike of him.

    How is he awkward behind the dish? The Dodgers had 58 WP last year – The Cubs had 80! He had 10 PB last year in 115 games. Russ Martin had 9, Molina had 8. 2 more PB than the best catcher in the league and the Yasmani Haters lost their freaking minds. I’m not even going to waste any more time responding to silly stuff!

      1. Pederson will never be a Gold Glove CF. 😉

        The catcher is of huge importance to the pitching staff.

        TOP 5 in Pitching and the catcher is an integral part. I see Yasmani’s warts, but it’s not that big of a deal, IMHO!

    1. I can vouch that Mark did say something about Grandal, last week.

      He said let Barnes catch a few games, instead of Grandal, because Grandal, wasn’t hitting.

      And Grandal had three hits, in the next game.

      Mark did you read the article in the LA Times about Agone?

      It talks about his injury problems, and he doesn’t say he won’t go out.

  15. One last thing about THE TRADE.

    I have been consistent from the minute that it was made up until now in condemning it. Many thought I did not like Adrian Gonzalez which is untrue. I just knew that Crawfish would not ever be healthy and we would be paying a declining A-Gon $43 Million a year (his and Crawfish’s salary). Boston won the World Series after dumping those contracts. There were lots of other ways to put butts in seats and win games. A-Gon made the Dodgers good and until last year, he was a very good player even though he was in decline. The decline really became magnified last year and here were are… paying A-Gon 43 million for very little production. It’s not his fault. It’s Ned and Stan!

    It’s because of THE TRADE as well as the signing of Ethier to a contract larger than Ryan Braun that forced FAZ to trade Matt Kemp. Some people don’t like me to talk about it because, down deep, they know I am right.

  16. At least AGon only costs $22,357,142 next year! Ethier is due $17,500.00 with a $2,500,00 buyout. Crawford’s $21,857,142 finally goes away and Guerrero’s $5,000,000. Total savings $41,857,142 on 2018 cap.

    In 2019 McCarthy’s $11,500,000 goes away, there is a team option for $5,000,00 (reduced from $8M because he was on the DL more than 180 days) which they may excercise if he’s healthy. Kazmir’s contract is up too but he gets $8M deferred in each of the 2019,20 and 21 seasons. They basically paid him $8M a year for 6 years. Ryu’s $7,833,333 drops off also with no team option.

    Grandal gets a bad rap but I would not bat him 4th unless he’s on one of his hot streaks. Stripling bounced that ball in the dirt and it took a crazy hop, Pence was heads up all the way thinking of taking 2 bases. Why Roberts had the infield back on Posey’s subsequent ground ball is a mystery. Pence would not even have been on base if Agon fielded his ground ball, a play I think Bellinger makes. So plenty of blame all around for that tying run scoring.

    I get that a lot of people don’t like Puig but he is an exciting if aggravating player, I guess you either love him or hate him. When he is on he makes things happen.

    I feel a surprise coming before game time tomorrow when a roster move has to be made to activate Pederson. And not a Bellinger is going down surprise. Roberts does not make the calls but I’m sure has a lot of input on these decisions.

    1. Gonzalez will go to the DL and I really would not be surprised to see Chase Utley retire. Bellinger is about to Wally Pipp A-Gon!

      I really feel bad for A-Gon. He is a really nice guy and is just breaking down – it will get worse!

      I might like to see Verdugo too. I don’t hate Joc, but I like Toles in CF. I love Puig and hate myself that I do. 😉

    2. Vegas

      I don’t like when Puig will cut in front of another outfielder at the last minute, like he did last night, to Toles.

      He does this to Joc at times too, and I don’t like it when he does this to Joc either.

  17. It’s just like the first time I I uttered “I’m never looking at a horizontal mirror again”!!! But you see I couldn’t… The Trade is the is the Trade…
    Damn now it’s the importance of Grandal’s game calling!!! It seemed like we had some damn good staffs with A.J. behind the dish…
    Yeager has worked with Grandal for the last 2 years and he’s still Ray Charles behind the dish… Utley has aged, AGon is hurt or thru and Ray C. gets more rope!!! Thank God Obamacare is Almost repealed… Just kidding…

    1. The man had two more passed balls than Yadier Molina the best catcher in baseball. FREAKING TWO! You are fixated on nothing! The Dodgers had a lot fewer WP than most teams last year. Is that all you have? You have very weak argument.

  18. Also PB and WP have little to do with a teams record! Check it out.

    AJ was good too. In his last 5 years, the Dodgers were Top 5 except 2010 when they were 13th!

  19. When Yasmani breaks out I am going to jump on all you Yasmani bashers with both feet!

  20. For the record, I am not a Grandal basher. He is a SABRphile’s catcher – power and walks but not much batting average. I acknowledge his pitch framing skills. To my eye, he is awkward behind the plate. He looks stiff back there and his footwork isn’t smooth. While his WP and PB numbers may be good and improving, he isn’t Scoscia, Yeager, Roseboro or others behind the dish. He has been a plus most of the time in a Dodger uniform. He has been in a funk offensively thus far this season and while we are lambasting the likes of Gonzalez, Pederson, Puig and Utley, I have observed that some have given Grandal a pass. I only request consistency and intellectual honesty.

    1. I have called him out. As MJ said, I recommended he sit. I expected Yasmani to take a step forward offensively this year, but so far, there is no evidence of that. We don’t have many other options at C, so there’s not much to talk about.

  21. MJ, if there is a play on a throw I think Puig feels he has the better arm and therefore has a better chance to nail someone. He has gotten better at hitting the cutoff man too. He could hurt someone in a collision and needs to play nice. I can see how it is annoying but he has a cannon.

    Piazza was not great behind the plate, but the man could hit-no comparison there. That was the trade that broke my heart and I still have a lot of his gear. Going to Cooperstown as a Met stings and they won’t retire his #31. It wasn’t like a Delino for Pedro as Sheffield had 3 good years here but I thought Piazza would be a Dodger for life.

    1. Three big mistakes:
      1. Pedro
      2. Piazza
      3. Beltre

      All HOF worthy and gone due to idiots!

    2. Vegas

      When Puig does stuff like this, it has nothing to do with his arm.

      I was a Joe Ferguson fan when I was very young, and he had a throw like you were talking about, in the World Series.

      He went in front of Jimmy Wynn, to make a throw, like you mentioned, because he had a much better arm.

      And Toles doesn’t have Puig’s arm, but he has a very strong arm, himself.

    3. Vegas

      He is in his fifth year, he knew where to throw the ball, a long time ago.

      Sorry I don’t mean anything towards you, but Puig isn’t my favorite right now, after what I saw him do.

  22. I have mixed emotions about Yasiel.

    Sort of like seeing my mother-in-law drive over a cliff in my new Mercedes!

  23. I am not a Grandal or Pederson basher, but they are not my favorites. I like others that people love to bash, with the most prominent for me being Alex Wood. And while I have no reason to doubt what Vin Scully said about Joc, the Dodgers simply have not had that many quality defensive CF. Bums mentioned that Vin said that Joc was better than Duke Snider. In reviewing Duke’s defensive TZ numbers (predecessor to UZR), Duke was a below average defensive CF. In reviewing his value, Duke had a total offensive value of +403.7, and a total defensive value of -45.7. I never saw Duke Snider in his prime (Brooklyn years), but I did see Willie Davis (a lot), and there is no comparison of Joc to Davis. IMO, Willie Davis is far and away the best defensive CF the Dodgers have ever had. Davis was a highly valued offensive player, but he was even higher valued defensively.
    .
    After Davis and before Joc, the big CF roundup included Rick Monday, Ken Landreaux, John Shelby, Brett Butler, Dave Roberts, Matt Kemp, & Andre Ethier. Other than Matt Kemp (who won 2 GG – 2009 & 2011) there was no great defense, so Joc does not have to climb a very tall ladder to get to the top.
    .
    Now while I am not a Joc basher, I agree with Mark that Joc is a good defensive CF, not great. In 2015, the finalists for the CF GG were Billy Hamilton, Andrew McCutchen, and A.J. Pollock for the NL, and Kevin Pillar, Kevin Kiermaier, and Mike Trout for the AL. If the GG goes to the best offensive player, McCutchen and Trout would have won the GG, but it was Pollock and Kiermaier. In 2016, the finalists were Billy Hamilton, Odubel Herrera, and Ender Inciarte for the NL, and Kevin Pillar, Kevin Kiermaier, and Jackie Bradley Jr. for the AL. Enciarte whose offensive numbers were not as good as Joc’s won the GG in the NL, and Kiermaier won the GG in the AL. Kiermaier is not a good offensive player, but defensively, there is nobody close to him, and Billy Hamilton/Kevin Pillar as #2/#3 or #3/#2.
    .
    Fangraphs’ DRS (defensive runs saved) and UZR (Ultimate Zone Rating), are two of the most highly respected and discussed defensive metrics. I thought to compare Joc to the GG finalists to see where he rated.

    Kevin Kiermaier – 2015 DRS (42) UZR (12.3)
    2016 DRS (25) UZR (1.5)
    Kevin Pillar – 2015 DRS (24) UZR (8.8)
    2016 DRS (17) UZR (6.2)
    Ender Inciarte – 2016 DRS (13) UZR (11.6)
    A.J. Pollock – 2015 DRS (14) UZR (6.5)
    Billy Hamilton – 2015 DRS (8) UZR (14.5)
    2016 DRS (15) UZR (21.4)
    Joc Pederson – 2015 DRS (-3) UZR (-3.9)
    2016 DRS (1) UZR (1.5)

    Joc is considered to have decent range; -3 in 2015, and +4 in 2016. Joc is considered to have a minus arm in CF; -1 in 2015 and -2 in 2016. Joc makes all of the plays he can get to, and does not make many errors. But he is not a difference maker defensively. In a much smaller sample size, Toles has a 2 arm, same range as Joc, and DRS (5) and UZR (6.3). If you value Fangraphs defensive DSR and UZR, Joc is an average CF; no where close to being a GG. If any CF has a complaint, it would be Billy Hamilton.
    .
    Joc is still the best CF in the Dodgers organization, so when he does return, he should be the every day CF. Toles should be the every day LF, and Puig should be the every day RF. Cody Bellinger should be the 1B and Grandal the C, but Barnes should get more opportunities.

    1. That is a good analysis AC. Vin also said he thought Joc was a better CFer than Willie Davis as well though. Davis was the fastest CFer for sure. Not sure how well he charged a ground ball and threw accurately afterwards. Always enjoyed when he would advance two bases on someone else’s bunt. High fly balls into shallow CF in October were not his specialty.
      .
      For the record, I wasn’t saying the best offensive player at a position would win a Gold Glove. I was saying a defensive specialist that was weak offensively usually gets beat out of the Gold Glove by a player that fields and hits well.

  24. 1B – Bellinger
    2B – Forsythe
    SS – Seager
    3B – Turner
    LF – Toles
    CF- Pederson
    RF- Puig
    C – Grandal

    Bench: Gonzo, Barnes, Taylor, F-Gut, Dickson

    Make it so. Stop the platoons.

    1. Dickson might accept a bench role and fit in well with this team. At some point a player will realize that his best chance for the bigs is as a utility player but be ready for a bigger role.

      1. From TrueBlueLA:

        The box score will show Rich Hill retiring just two batters on strikeouts in his first rehab start for the Quakes on Thursday night at LoanMart Field. But despite giving up four runs, three hits, and one walk, Hill said the start was a success.

        “Shoulder feels great, finger held up well,” Hill said, “obviously it is disappointing in the fact that it was only two-thirds of an inning but from the other standpoint of getting the work in and everything that it was a success from the finger standpoint.”
        .
        Hill affirmed that he was taken out because he had thrown 29 pitches in the first inning and that he finished up throwing the remaining of his planned 60 pitches in the bullpen before heading to the clubhouse.
        .
        “We reached our pitch limit,” Hill said, “and then from there just the matter of finishing up in the bullpen and getting everything done out there.”
        .
        Hill was pleased on how he threw the ball, especially after the break between competitive action.
        .
        “Curveball was very sharp,” Hill said, “fastball came out the way I wanted it to, a little bit up in the zone but I think overall from the standpoint of the way the ball coming out of my hand 15 days or so of getting out there, getting back into competition, it felt great.”
        .
        Hill always knows if he has a blister issue during the game and that did not happen tonight. “I could feel when it would bubble up,” Hill said, “when it would get hot, and then within the next couple of pitches it would just be something that would come through.”
        .
        After his last start for the Dodgers, there were questions on what else the Dodgers and Hill could do to resolve his blister issue. But Hill said nothing was changed from what they had done before in getting ready for this rehab start.
        .
        “No, just kind of the same things we were doing last year,” Hill said, “there is not any magic solution or anything that you can do for blisters.” “I know everyone has their own solution, has great remedies to fix the blisters but really just time and being able to callous over by throwing, that’s biggest thing.”
        .
        “So the more times you can throw the baseball and and kind of callous it up as much possible,” Hill said, “the better off you are going to be in the end.” Hill also mentioned using rice to dry out his fingers has helped.
        .
        Hill doesn’t know what the team plans are for him but he’ll be prepared for anything.
        .
        “I don’t know, I have no idea, to be honest with you,” Hill said, “today was a good day as far as the right step in the right direction, just get out there and hopefully get some more up and downs instead of getting two-thirds of an inning.”
        .
        “Just get back into my routine,” Hill said, “and get ready for whatever the next step is.”

    1. I think we all got our shots in and agree that a couple of younger Dodgers need to get it going and a few of the older Dodgers need to sit more.

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