Today could be the day that Adrian Gonzalez goes on the DL and Cody Bellinger takes his place permanently! Evidently, A-Gon’s back issue is worse than his elbow. Ken Gurnick of Dodgers.com answered questions, mostly about the injury situations of Forsythe, Ethier, Kazmir and Gonzalez, where he says this about A-Gon:
Gonzalez said he’s not fighting a first visit to the DL, but he also doesn’t believe 10 days will resolve the flareup of a back disk issue he’s managed for years.
By all indications, Joc Pederson will come off the DL today and A-Gon or Chase Utley will be moved. It’s pretty obvious to me that A-Gon is really hurting. On the other hand, Chase Utley moves like a much younger man and appears pain-free. He just can’t jump out of a boat and hit water. Ultimately, this is a bottom-line business. In 48 at-bats, Chase has 6 hits, only one for extra bases, and he is hitting .104.
I thought it was a great move to bring him back, but now he is a boat anchor and something has to be done. The best thing would be for him to turn in his papers and retire. Sorry, Chase… but it’s time. Those who said you were done, were right!
I would say to play Barnes at C, but he is not doing any better than Yasmani. Options at Catcher are limited, but I expect Grandal to break out soon. That’s his M.O. Chris Taylor has earned the 2B job… period! I would put him in the #2 spot and move Seager and Turner down a spot. Andrew Toles has started to hit and I would leave him at leadoff for the time being. L or R on the mound, I would just stick with this:
- Toles LF
- Taylor 2B
- Seager SS
- Turner 3B
- Bellinger 1B
- Puig RF
- Pederson CF
- Grandal C
Chris Taylor has completely re-made his swing and could break-out at 2B. Give him time. The platoons have not worked. Let’s see if Joc and Andrew can hit lefties. F-Gut is a nice pinch hitter and so is A-Gon. A-Gon is a professional hitter who can get you a single when you need it. Maybe Chase Utley is the one who is send down or sent on his way. That would be sad, but what else to do? I like having F-Gut and A-Gon as R-L pinch hitters! O’Koyea Dickson deserves a shot too! Kike is also on the hot seat.
The Dodgers are currently 16th in BA, 13th in Runs Scored, 20th in HR and 10th in OB%. The offense needs and infusion whether it comes from within or without. The Braun rumors still swirl.
Finally, Bill Shaikin of The LA Times writes about have the Dodgers pitching depth has been successful.
The Dodgers have four starting pitchers on the disabled list. Rich Hill, intended to be Clayton Kershaw’s high-priced sidekick atop the rotation, has started two games and ended up on the disabled list after each one.
The Dodgers shrugged, tapping into unparalleled pitching depth made possible by lavish spending, revitalized player development and creative ways of building a staff and manipulating a roster. The result: The injury-riddled Dodgers have the best earned-run average in the National League.
It’s too bad many Dodger fans don’t understand the Dodgers pitching depth and mock what they don’t comprehend. Clayton Kershaw understands and can explain it rather easily:
“We have the highest payroll in baseball, right?” Kershaw said. “… That allows us to take risks on guys with injury issues that may have a big upside but also have the potential to be hurt, which we’ve seen. We can take risks that other teams might not be able to take.”
Shaikin goes on to say:
To the fans that ask why Dodgers starters always seem to get hurt, the not-so-flip answer: by design.
In the three winters in which Friedman has run the Dodgers, six starting pitchers have signed as free agents for more than $100 million, another six for between $50 million and $100 million. The Dodgers did not sign any of them.
Friedman instead signed McCarthy, Hill, Scott Kazmir, Brett Anderson, Kenta Maeda and Brandon Beachy. (McCarthy, Hill and Kazmir were each guaranteed $48 million.) All but Maeda had injury histories, and Maeda’s physical examination revealed what the player and team agreed to publicly call “irregularities” in his pitching arm.
Nothing predicts a future injury more accurately than a past injury. However, in an era in which just about half the starting pitchers in the major leagues get hurt in any given year, the Dodgers do not worry about injury. They worry about having too much money invested in too few arms.
“Risk mitigation,” McCarthy said. “If you have $40 million in one pitcher and that guy goes down, you’re really up [a smelly place]. Spread it out. It seems to make mathematical and logical sense to me.
“But not everybody can pull that off, and can spend money on veterans where you’re kind of expecting them to break down once or twice.”
So, it turns out that the mockers are the ones to be mocked?
Minor League Notes
- Alex Verdugo has seen his BA drop and in 90 AB’s he only has 6 extra base hits and ZERO HR. His OPS has dropped to .836. Remember, he is very young for AAA and showing it.
- Willie Calhoun is doing OK, but not lighting it up like Bellinger did.
- Trayce Thompson is at .050 which is really scary! He is in danger of becoming a huge flop!
- Leo Crawford went six and allowed 1 hit with 5 bK’s last night for GL. He’s a 20 year-old LH.