This Could Be The Start of Something Good

Someone asked yesterday if I questioned some of the trades or methods of FAZ (Andrew Friedman and company) and I must admit that from the get go, I have been on the same page as they have.  I knew they were not going to sign any big name free agents to long term deals. It just did not make sense and it has never made sense.  I have been totally on board with that philosophy.  I did criticize Ned a lot – he started on the wrong foot by going after Jason Schmidt.  Then there was Fatty Jones and a few others.  Ned did some good things however – Urias, Jansen, Kershaw, Turner, Seager, Puig and Bellinger are all from Ned’s tenure.

I can’t argue with his decision to sign Matt Kemp to a big deal, other than everyone knew he was a clubhouse cancer, but signing Ethier was felony stupid as was The Trade.  I feel bad for A-Gon – everyone wants to go out like Big Poppy, but it appears that he will serve out his tenure as an expensive pinch hitter and clubhouse presence.  I do think he can be a Lenny Harris-esque pinch hitter.  At least there is that.

Carl Crawfish comes off the books at the end of the year as does Andre Ethier and Adrian comes off at the end of 2018.  However, this year the Dodgers are paying Crawfish, Gonzo and Ethier nearly $65 million for just about ZERO production.  Not many teams can withstand that! At the end of 2018, Bryce Harper and Manny Machado become free agents.  I believe the Dodgers have ZERO interest in Harper.  Machado is an entirely different story.    Manny is a Hall-of-Famer in waiting and I believe the Dodgers have their sights on him.  He will be 26 when he is a free agent and can likely expect to get a 8 to 10 year deal in the vicinity of $35 million a year.  The Dodgers and Yankees are the teams who can afford it.

Bryce Harper is LH and on a team that is heavily LH, he is out of the running.  Machado can play 3B or maybe move to 2B.  I have no doubt he would be excellent at 2B as well and Turner would have two more years.  Looking forward, I see Toles as the CF – I just do not see continual growth in Joc Pederson.

2019 Lineup?

  1. Toles  CF
  2. Seager  SS
  3. Machado  2B
  4. Bellinger  1B
  5. Turner  3B
  6. Puig  RF
  7. Verdugo  LF
  8. Smith  C

The Cubs and the Dodgers both have 16 wins, but if you think the Dodgers hitters suck, look at the Cubs (other than Bryant at .322):

  • Schwarber – .193
  • Rizzo – .235
  • Zobrist – .233
  • Russell – .241
  • Heyward – .253 (and that’s good for him)
  • Contreras – .225
  • Baez – .250

Kyle Hendricks has a 3.51 ERA.  Jake Arrieta has a 4.63 ERA and diminished velocity.  John Lackey has a 5.14 ERA and Jon Lester is at 3.67 and lest I forget, Brett Anderson is sitting pretty at 6.23… and yet some of you still think the Dodger’s starting pitching depth is fiction.  The Dodgers are #1 in the league in pitching, so just give it a rest already!  What FAZ has done is create massive depth and IT HAS WORKED! You are barking up the wrong tree!  The Cubs are going to have to trade some prospects for more pitching… and they have several really good ones.

I know that Roberts thinks hitting Grandal at Cleanup will help him get going, but Cody needs to slide into the #4 spot.  He is undaunted by it and Yasmani needs to hit 8th for a while.  I took a lot of flack by saying Bellinger was ready now, but I just knew it – like I knew it with Corey. One thing I disagreed with FAZ about was trading for Jimmy Rollins.  I believe Corey would have been just fine at SS instead of Rollins.  That was a mistake…

This Bellinger kid is absolutely the real deal.  Yes, the league will adjust and so will he… just like Corey!  Maybe this will help Yasiel.

Minor League Highlight (and Lowlights)

  • Trayce Thompson finally broke out with a triple while going 3-4.  That’s good to see.
  • Tim Shibuya was promoted to AAA and promptly gave up 14 hits in 2.2 innings (how do you even do that?), while allowing 13 ER.  Yikes!
  • Willie Calhoun hit his 3rd jack.
  • Josh Sborz went 5 and allowed just 1 hit in AA.
  • Dennis Santana went 5 and allowed 4 hits and 1 run at RC.  His ERA sits at 1.26.  He will be in Tulsa soon.
  • Spitzbarth got his 6th save – 0.66 ERA – he’s headed the same place.
  • Gavin Lux is struggling at GL – hitting .133.
  • Dustin May isn’t – 5 IP, 3 H, 5 K’s.


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 65 Comments

  1. I am with you on Bellinger, Mark. Just his body language and the way he carries himself reminds me totally of Seager when he came up. Yes, the league will get a book on him and force him to adjust, but damn, did you see the bunt the kid laid down on the shift a couple of games ago?!? Textbook! Also that triple he had in the left field corner, going the other way after he fouled one deep into the right field seats. I have always had a soft spot for Joc, but he should have been doing this a couple of years ago. Joc seems like he is still stuck in power mode instead of taking what the pitcher gives him, going the other way, or laying down a killer bunt on the shift. I do think the clock might be ticking on him a bit to get going, because Toles and Bellinger dont seem to be afraid of the moment, and one of these days Trace Thompson is going to figure his swing out and start pushing to be called up.

    1. For now, Toles is the best LFer on the team devoid of LFers that are doing anything.

  2. Great take Roger… Not much to add… Cody had a rough ST, but went down to AAA and as his stats showed, he adjusted and terrorized… Loopy swing!!! I’ll take it…
    Toles is one of my favorite surprises, from Kroegers Market bagging groceries to starting in the bigs for LAD … The stuff movies are made from…

  3. The Dodgers are in a really good place having won 4 straight division titles, fielding a competitive team this year and loading the farm for the future. They are also about to be out of luxury tax range and will have payroll flexibility. What a great time to be a Dodger Fan!

    I am going out on a small limb here and say Cody Bellinger is Better (potentially) than Cory Seager. Why? The tools: power is off the charts; speed is better than Cory; arm is better than Cory; versatility to play 4 spots on the field; and the same special sauce that some players just have and you know it when you see it. He can be another Rookie of the Year-remember the Karros, Piazza, Mondesi, Nomo and Hollandsworth string of 5 in a row? Next year could be a pitcher like Buehler. Did I mention great time to be a Dodgers Fan?

    I am going to leave the lineups, roster moves and bullpen choices alone for awhile and just watch this team gel, because they will. They are about to go on a run and never look back, this could be the Year.

  4. Bellinger’s heroics were on display once again, and he is showing that he absolutely belongs. He will undoubtedly hit a rough spot, and he needs to stay up to work it out at the ML level. He understands that the game requires adjustments, and like Corey he seems to be able to make them. The biggest contribution that AGon can give to LAD right now is for him to be Bellinger’s mentor as Utley was to Seager last year, and be a PH in clutch situations. But once again, it was Andrew Toles who was clutch. Down 2-1 in the 7th with 2 runners on, and Toles comes up with a clutch double to score two, and give the Dodgers the lead that they kept this time. This kid needs to play every day.
    There is also zero reason for Chris Taylor (another 2 hit night) to sit with Chase starting. It’s time to recognize that the kids are ready to lead. When Forsythe comes back, Taylor becomes the utility player and Kike’ goes to OKC to work on whatever is not working. I thought it might be interesting to see some comps for the last 10 games played by Toles/Puig/Taylor/Kike’.
    Toles – 37AB/12H/3Dbls/2HR/8RBI/7K/0BB/1GDP/….324/.342/.568/.910
    Puig – 40AB/10H/0Dbls/1HR/6RBI/11K/2BB/4GDP/…..250/.286/.325/.611
    Taylor – 23AB/7H/0Dbls/1HR/5RBI/9K/5BB/0GDP/….304/.429/.435/.863
    Kike’ – 25AB/4H/2Dbls/0HR/2RBI/5K/1BB/0GDP/….160/.185/.240/.425 with a .190 BAbip
    At the beginning of the year, I said that Buehler/White/Alveraz would be the talk at RC, but to watch Dennis Santana. Santana, 21 year old RHP, is a converted SS out of San Pedro de Macoris DR, who converted to pitcher after 1 year as a professional. He was the lone AS for Great Lakes last year, and is continuing to excel this year at RC: 28.2IP/29K/5BB/1.26 ERA and 1.08 WHIP in the hitter friendly California League. He is projected as a power pitcher with good sink. Gets a lot of ground balls. Most baseball pundits see him as a potential late inning high leverage reliever. If he continues to start, I have read comparisons of him to Yordana Ventura as a mid-rotation type.
    Hopefully Josh Sborz has learned a very valuable lesson…Don’t come in to camp and try to impress by throwing a ball through a brick wall. He is looking more like he is the pitcher that ended 2016. Some question as to why there may be more pitching injuries now. I cannot remember which HOF pitcher said it, (maybe Smoltz), but when he was asked, he said that kids at a very young age are taught to go full pedal to the metal from the first pitch and go as long as they can. They dominate at early ages, get noticed, and never really learn how to pitch. But boy can they throw hard. I am not a doctor, and I am not a researcher like Jeff Passan, but just as an observation from a fan, that early training and development seem to be hindered by youth and high school coaches who have no idea how to develop pitchers, but just want to win. The harder they throw at an early age the more dominant they are. But their arms just are not ready to throw that hard, all of the time, all year round.

    1. Agree on Sborz and Santana.
      AC, what do you think or what have you seen in AJ Alexy and Caleb Ferguson?

      1. AJ Alexy is young, but both he and Dustin May are competing at full year A Ball, rather than waiting for Ogden’s season, so I am encouraged. The Dodgers will probably be very cautious with him because as a senior in HS he was subjected to one of those crazy HS coaches who seem to put winning above a young pitcher’s arm… “The 6’4 right-hander was the subject of national news in May (2016) when he threw 164 pitches in a nine-inning win for Twin Valley High School in Everson, Penn. .This prompted a Keith Law tweet…

        keithlaw ✔ @keithlaw
        Today in pitcher abuse: the @TVRAIDERS sent 18-yo starter AJ Alexy out for 9 innings and 164 pitches last night. Scouts there were appalled.
        Caleb Ferguson is a favorite of mine. I started to follow the Great Lakes Loons where Santana was the only star to begin the year there. But Caleb Ferguson was assigned to GL on July 16. He started 10 games, had 50.1 IP, 41 K and only 3 BB. He had a 1.03 WHIP, and proved to be a very good ground ball pitcher with a GO/AO of 1.58. He is not a swing and miss type pitcher, so I did not expect the same type of numbers this year at RC, but he is still pitching okay. His K/BB and GO/AO have regressed, but he has not given up a HR in the Cal League. He is a grinder, and as a 38th round draft pick was never expected to be an Ace. He is worth watching for me. I do not see him moving past RC this year. My hope is that he can become a Trevor Oaks type workhorse.

    2. AC

      I agree Toles needs to start, and play everyday.

      That was his second big hit, against a leftie, in the only a week.

      Puig did make some really good defensive plays last night, but I still don’t understand, why some people think, he was the player of that game, last night.

      He had two scribers for hits last night.

      And a decent throw by the Padre’s catcher, would have gotten Puig, at second.

      I think Bellinger was the player of the game, and I think Toles, had the biggest hit, in last night’s game too.

  5. So old ‘bloody sock’ was saying on tape that the racial slurs against PacMan Jones was all B.S. ?!?
    Oh!! It was on Breitbart and he is a contributor… It all makes sense now!!! There’s aot of old and young farts in Boston who were never able to let go the Splendid Splinter/Yaz eras … Just ask Reggie Smith…

  6. A little nitpicking: Maeda was so-so last night. Lots of balls, walks. Roberts had him on a sort leash with score 1-2. That was the pivotal part of the game, as it turned out. Good guess by Roberts, except the guys that followed in the inning weren’t that good either. Good win. Come from behind. Best part of the day: giants get hosed again. Reds are playing ok right now. I’m glad we play the Pads. Kershaw tonight because McCarthy has a tender left shoulder. Catching the ball must take a lot out of him.

  7. You have to have serious doubts about Machado coming here to play 2B. Why would he? He can get his price to play the position he wants.

    Harper’s the white whale for me. He crushes lefties, crushes righties. Plays CF, which Pederson may not for long.

    It’s a really good fit bat-wise and position wise.

    1. I would be shocked if the Dodgers signed either Machado or Harper. IMO Harper is destined to NYY. With that short RF porch, Harper could put up Bonds type numbers. With Harper /Judge/Sanchez they will certainly be able to outscore anyone even if they cannot get pitching.
      Machado could also end up in NY but as a Met. David Wright is done as a star 3B, and could be out of baseball in 2019. Harvey will be gone, but Syndergaard and de Grom would still be under team control, and maybe Matz and Wheeler will improve their health to be a good #3/#4. They will have a 2-3 year window with that pitching.
      Machado is not going to Boston after this week’s series with the O’s. He has made his feelings about Boston (team and city) quite clear. The Yankees will not sign both Machado and Harper. The Mets can afford him. Without Harper, the Nats may be able to afford him. The Phillies could if they think he can make them a winner. It will depend on how their pitching progresses. Herrera and Hernandez are good to build with. The Dodgers can afford him, and could use a hitter and defender like Machado (who couldn’t). JT can move to 2B. Logan becomes a FA, and the Dodgers do not have any infielders ready to make the move to the ML level. I just do not know if they have the appetite for a $350M – $400M contract. They may also have to spend to keep Clayton after 2018 as well. I think it takes FAZ out of their comfort zone. I could understand why they might be tempted, but will they?

      1. By 19, Ryu, Kazmir, McCarthy, Ethier, Gonzo and Crawfish are off the books. If the pipeline of pitchers continue, they will not have to overpay for pitching and can afford Machado. He would give the Dodgers 3 superstars in the lineup.

        1. Bluto

          Harper would have more injury problems, if he played. Center, on a regular basis.

          He hasn’t ever played centerfield on a regular basis, in the majors.

          And playing center, is much harder on players.

          I don’t ever see him, playing center, on a regular basis.

    2. I though Machado would prefer SS. He can play SS so he should be able to play 2b and move to 3B in the last 7 years of his 10 year contract 😉

  8. I would rather see Maeda nibble a bit than throw a fat one down main street. He and McCarthy are key, otherwise the rotation has 4 LHP. Baez and Field get a bit of flak but hard to argue when both have ERA’s below 1. Taylor and Bellinger both are OPSing over 1.000, I think it became evident to Roberts during the game when Utley came out: 0 for 2 vs. 2 for 2 and better defense. Gutierrez is at .979, granted all 3 are small sample sizes. JT is at .979 with an unreal .379 BA, no one else is above .900. Until Forsythe is ready Utley and Kike get some more chances but it is obvious one has to go eventually and it should not be Taylor.

    To me Bellinger is already having an effect on Toles and Puig. Yasiel can win games with his glove alone. If it rubs off on Joc then Seager and JT finally have the help they have needed. This team is on the verge of something special and is the class of this division, despite the early play of Col and AZ. The organizational depth is impressive.

  9. Let’s see if Roberts has learned anything. Does Grandal bat 4th again today? Does he bat 8th? Does he sit for a day for Barnes? Hell, let Sergio Romo hit for Grandal every time

  10. Come on Bluto, look at M.T.’s projected lineup… I’m all in on Machado… Get out of the A.L. – Living in L.A. – Crazy $$$ – A stone cold superhero in our lineup… He’ll change positions or J.T. will say come on over and I’ll move… There would not a member of the team that would balk at the move..
    This kid is not Scheff or Manny or etc… Bona-fide Star…
    Harper Really???

  11. If we win, I am fine with Grandal at Cleanup. Shoot, if we win, lead him off.

    But… tonight, do not sit Toles. He deserves to play. He is 2nd on the team in RBI, so leave him alone. Sit Joc.

    Roberts, you better do this:

    1. Toles CF
    2. Taylor 2B
    3. Seager SS
    4. Turner 3B
    5. Bellinger 1B
    6. Gutierrez LF
    7. Puig RF
    8. Barnes C

    1. Mark

      Toles could have had four RBIs in that game last night.

      He hit the ball hard, the other time he came up, with runners on base, but it was a little to close, to one of the outfielders.

    2. The Dodgers have 7 regulars whether Roberts and FAZ know it or not and an ability to give rest to their catcher platoon. The 7? Toles, Pederson, Puig, Bellinger, Taylor, Seager, Turner. They also have two good pinch hitters in Agon and Gutierrez. Forsythe best serves the Dodgers by staying on the DL for another couple of weeks.

      1. Joc hit .125 against LH pitching last year. He has too few AB’s this year to see if he has improved.

        But why you you include Joc as an everyday player and not Yasmani?

        2016 verses RH pitching – Joc .269/Yasmani – .229

        2016 verses LH pitching – Joc .125/Yasmani – .224

        If anyone is a platoon players, it is JOC. He has consistently been unable to hit LH pitching – for his career he is .185. Now if you talk OB%, Yasmani blows him away! Joc is a classic platoon player.

        1. Unless a catcher is a Mike Piazza, Bench, Campanella, etc. I prefer them to be mostly defensive catchers that don’t suck offensively. I like having two catchers that share the job to give them rest and nurse their bruises.
          I am okay with a 60 40 sharing of innings caught between Barnes and Grandal.
          Unlike others, I like what I see with Joc’s swings against lefties. I think he will have a very good year this year. I like a set lineup that rarely uses platoons.

  12. How about a dose of cold water here? Just as most who post here caution against too much anxiety after a loss, I suggest that too much euphoria after a win isn’t called for yet either. The team sits at 16 – 14, 2 games over .500. They are 2 – 6 in 1 run games and are below .500 thus far against the Cubs, D-Backs, Rockies and Giants and over .500 only against SD and Philly.

    I am glad to see Bellinger play well and hope that he permanently supplants Gonzalez as the regular 1B, but I’m not ready to count my chickens yet. MLB pitchers WILL adjust and Belly will struggle. It’s how he does after the league has seen him that will tell the tale.

    Notwithstanding the giddiness about the pitching, I am concerned about it. Too many 5 inning starts, too much stress on the ‘pen, too much Romo and Hatcher, etc. I look at the rotation and the only confidence that I have right now are Kershaw and McCarthfy (!).

    The same with the offense. Is anyone here confident in any hitters other than Seager or Turner? I’m not.

    They still have time to turn it around but giddiness is not called for.

    1. Yawn, at a former site, there was a guy who shot down every single prospect, including Kershaw, Seager and Urias. When they had a good game, he would say the league will catch up to them and when they had a bad game he would say that proved his point. I’m sure he ‘s still saying the same about Bellinger. The league catches up to most players, but some learn how to adjust. Seager did, Kershaw did. Cody will too.

      The Dodgers are #1 in pitching, no matter how you spin it. You can worry, but the depth is incredible! The hitting will come around. Maybe even Utley?

      1. My concern with the pitching is, come playoff time, how will our staff match up against other staffs? I would still like a #2 (no constipation jokes, please) to make me feel more confident. I’m holding out hope for an Archer or someone of that caliber.

        1. I can tell you for a certainty that the Dodgers will not pay TB what they are asking for Archer.

          The fact of the matter is that Urias or Hill will be that guy.. maybe both. Mid-Season, Urias will be DL’ed too but he will be ready for the playoffs. I think the Dodgers will build Hill up slowly and we will hear a lot of people bitch about him, but come playoff time…

      2. I never said that he wouldn’t adjust – I said that he would need to. Am i wrong?

        OK – which of the walking wounded pitching brigade, other than Kershaw or McCarthy are you currently confident in? And what is that confidence based on?

        1. Not Kazmir. I think Ryu will be fine. Hill? It’s just a blister. They will figure it out. Urias will be a stud. Maeda? #5! Then there are Stewart and Oaks, Jurrjens and Masterson. I think Buehler can miss bats this year too.

          1. And what hitter do you currently have confidence in other than Seager and Turner?

            You have more confidence in Maeda, Ryu, Masterson, Jurrjens and Hill than I do. Stewart hasn’t shown anything yet; nor have Oaks or Buehler. I would like to have confidence in them but until they prove that they can do it in MLB, I will withhold my confidence.

          2. Dodgerrick, at what point do you gain confidence in players? When they become All-Stars? If you were a Cubs fan, would you have had confidence in Kris Bryant after his 1st 10 games? I will go back to my Andrew Miller example. Would you have had the same confidence in Miller that Francona had? Sure hindsight says yes, but I doubt you would have had confidence in him at the time the Marlins DFA’d him; a team that has had 7 consecutive sub .500 records after that. The 6 years before Miller became a full-time reliever his yearly ERA’s from 2006 were 6.10/5.63/5.87/4.84/8.54/5.54. If you say you would have had confidence, why not give the same confidence for Justin Masterson with a career 4.31 ERA and Jair Jurrjens and his career 3.72 ERA? As an aside, it is because of those ERA’s that I feel that I can compare Alex Wood to Andrew Miller BEFORE he became an elite reliever. Who knew? If you did, you should become a GM for a ML team, because no GM thought he did (including Theo). It was Francona who convinced Miller and Theo to become a member of the Red Sox.
            I believe Toles has shown that he can be trusted to come up with a key hit (or two or three). For the last 10 games, Taylor has been solid. Yes, small sample size. Yes, there are some that just are not cutting it right now offensively…Utley/Grandal/Hernandez/AGon/Pederson. But I have faith (if not confidence) that one or all will take off at some point. Maybe with 4 consecutive games against RHSP starting tomorrow, Pederson and/or Grandal take off.
            I know you do not like 5 inning pitchers, but it has not been a problem this year or last year. Is it ideal…no, but it is not a problem. Other than a handful of games, the overall pitching has been very good this year. As you point out, the Dodgers inability to hit WRISP was not good last year, and yet they won 91 games. With that lack of hitting, I would say that the pitching had better been good or they would not have won 91 games. I know you like to point to the long littany of 200 IP pitchers, but do not seem to give the same scrutiny of relief pitchers and their IP when compared to prior years. As an example…Mike Marshall who had 6 years with more than 100 IP and 2 other with 99. I have not read Jeff Passan’s book, but why wouldn’t the same evidence to support 200 + IP , also support 90-110 IP relief pitchers? Last year the number 1 innings pitched reliever for the Dodgers was Blanton at 80, followed by Baez (74), J.P.. Howell (50), Louis Coleman (48) and Liberatore (42). Is that too many innings pitched? I hardly think they were overworked.
            Before you ask, you absolutely have the right to question the philosophy or strategy of the management (field and front office); just as much as others believe that this team will turn around offensively as they did last year, or that FAZ will do something that will improve their chances.

  13. Does Roberts continue to roll out Utley until Forsythe gets back “respectively” or give Taylor his well deserved shot until Forsythe gets back?
    Utley 5/50, .100
    Taylor 12/32, .375
    Mark, agree with the lineup above, let us see TAYLOR!
    Toles should play every single game at lead off.
    The only platoon I see on this team is Joc/Gutierrez.

    1. maybe a little longer, but it’s can’t go on much longer… unless Utley starts to hit!

  14. I agree Joc is the only platoon player on the team right now. When we see a lefty, move Toles to center, Gutierrez in left , and sit Joc.

    Remember when Turner came to the Dodgers he was a bench player. It did not take long for him to be a regular and a good one. I see the same thing thing happening to Taylor. Taylor got bigger and stronger this winter and he changed his swing. He just does not make many mistakes.

    I would love to have Machado, but we need a right handed hitting outfielder. Joc is not cutting it. Our infield is solid with Bellinger, Turner, Seager and Taylor or Forsythe. We have Toles and Puig in the outfield. Is there a good right handed hitting left fielder in free agency next year?

      1. What impact does a Braun trade this year have on a Machado or Harper signing next year?

        1. Braun makes like $15 mil a year. They can afford both. The question is whether or not Braun goes into a Crawfish or Gonzo decline…

    1. Idahoal

      I think the way that Logan doesn’t stay on the field, will open his spot, for Taylor.

      Along with the fact, that Taylor keeps, producing.

      I hope Roberts will play Taylor full time at second, because it is going to be harder for Taylor to keep this up, if he isn’t getting enough consistent, at bats.

  15. Part of me is really rooting for the Silver Fox to start hitting again. So many guys in the clubhouse love and respect the guy, and I am sure alot of them are concerned about his hitting, they don’t want to see him get cut, but unfortunately this is a results oriented business, no matter how long you hang on to the past. Just hate to see another A.J. Ellis thing, where out of the blue he get’s moved. That really set us back for a bit. C’mon Chasey, hit the damn ball! Reach back in that tank and pull out another year! You can do this!

    1. Yes Truth, I hear you. Taylor is deserving, is it all about performance. Just feel for Utley, you know he’s dying inside.

  16. Dave Roberts:

    I hope you are not stupid and post this lineup:

    1. Taylor 2B
    2. Seager SS
    3. Turner 3B
    4. Gutierrez LF
    5. Bellinger 1B
    6. Hernandez CF
    7. Puig RF
    8. Barnes C
    9. Kershaw P

    Kike is hitting .188 against LH pitching. Toles is hitting .400. THIS IS STUPID! STUPID! Stop the insanity!

  17. The difference this year started with the health of McCarthy and Ryu. So far there have only been 7 starters used and that is with Hill on the DL twice and Ryu once. They had Wood as a swing man ready to step in and Urias held back just waiting for an opportunity. That has been huge and the rotation has been effective so far. There are 3 more healthy and waiting at OKC plus Stewart.

    Puig and Toles have made the most of their chances with regular playing time. Toles has surprised me with his defense and is starting to hit. Puig had a hot start at the plate and still has a better approach than in the past. He can also help with his defense and speed on the bases.

    Lastly the spark plugs: Bellinger and Taylor have really given the team a shot in the arm after early call ups due to injuries. Management has noticed their effect and is giving them both playing time. More than in past years the vets are being pushed aside due to performance of the kids.

    16-14 may not seem like much to hang your hat on but like a horse race they are stalking the field and when they make their move will not be caught. The Rockies may hang tough but just don’t have the depth of the Dodgers. Even with Joc, Grandal, AGon and Forsythe yet to hit their stride the team is already dangerous. Utley, Gutierrez, Kike, Avilan, Hatcher are on the roster fringe and are expendable but valuable.

    I still see a deadline deal or two, perhaps a blockbuster but first they will see what they have, where they are and what they need. It’s just a gut feeling that this could be the year they put it all together in October.

  18. Well, Joc would not have thrown out Margot at 3B like Kike “The Cannon” Hernandez did!

    1. He couldn’t come within a foot of a pitch like that in his first 10 at bats so even more impressive that he has already figured that out.

  19. We have two players who are not producing. They are Utley and Agon. Of course Agon is on the DL. The Dodgers will keep both and I am ok with the decision. Loyalty is a factor in their decision. Baseball is a team sport and they will both contribute in other ways. Before the season started I did not like the decision to sign Utley. A lot of the Dodger players campaigned for his signing. They players know what Utley and Agon contribute.

  20. The defensive play Seager made last night was unbelievable. Then Bellinger dug out the throw. Great play on both ends. Even Kershaw was happy with the play.
    The Dodgers beat a left hander. This is happening a little more often.

  21. Well, I apologize to Dave Roberts for calling him stupid. The platoon worked last night!

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