Here Come the Dodgers!

  • It’s taken over five weeks for this team to start hitting on all cylinders, but it’s finally starting to happen.  Yasmani Grandal is indeed waking up and that helps dramatically. Shoot, Chase Utley got a pinch-hit double last night.  The team still stranded a lot of runners which is troubling.  The Dodgers are 8th in MLB in team Batting Average and 7th in runs scored.  Surprisingly, they are 18th in HR. They are 10th in BA with RISP, so that has improved but needs to get better.
  • Where they really shine is pitching where they are #1 in all of baseball in ERA,  WHIP, Fewest Runs Scored and Strike outs. While we are at it, they are #8 in fielding.   Yes, I want to see the hitting improve… especially the situational hitting, but I see incremental growth from this bunch.
  • The Dodgers’ starting pitching is #1 in ERA in baseball and have a 3.36 ERA (the best in baseball).  The Giants starters have pitched 202 innings while the Dodgers’ starters have pitched 185 innings.  People like to bitch about that, but the Giants starters’ ERA is 5.04!  Do you really wish our starters would pitch deeper into games?  What difference does it make? The Dodgers are #1 in Starter ERA and Reliever ERA!
  • I am certain that Andrew Toles sprained his knee or at least hyperextended it.  The question is how bad is it?  He’s set for an MRI today – he was really starting to look comfortable.  I hope it’s minor. Andrew has adapted well at leadoff.  If a guy is a ballplayer, it doesn’t matter where they hit.  That’s Toles – he’s fine at leadoff.  I like him there.  If Toles goes down on the DL, will Dickson get the call or might it be Verdugo?  Ethier is far from ready…  Thompson needs a month or more to work out his kinks.
  • Yasiel Puig is still and always will be a head case.  If he can hit .260 with 20 HR and 80 RBI and play defense the way he does, he’s an asset, but he will always be maddening.  He has MVP talent but is our lovable knucklehead. I would just leave him at #8.
  • Julio Urias throws too many pitches.”  Of course, he does!  So did Clayton.  If you can’t see the greatness written all over him, you must certainly be blind.  You will see him improve in that respect all season.  If he is not our #2 by year-end, it’s only because Rich Hill has been outstanding.
  • Now, that’s the Austin Barnes I was expecting!  Nice walk-off double as he sits at .265 BA and .888 OPS.  BTW, Grandal has his bat all the way up to .245.  I am hoping he keeps it above that mark.  BTW:  AJ Ellis is hitting .14 and Carlos Ruiz is hitting .111 for all you FAZ-bashers.
  • If Pedro Baez didn’t give up Home Runs, no one would get a hit off him.
  • Maeda needs to keep getting better.  He rolls out there tonight and Ryu goes on Thursday.

A Look Around The Minors

  • I really only report about players I think are legitimate prospects.
  • OKC – Not much happened good there last night. Ravin and Rhame each pitched a scoreless inning as OKC lost 3-1.
  • Tulsa – Lost 1-0 as Sopko went 4 and allowed 2 hits, one a HR.
  • RC – Won 8-1 as Mitch White went 4 and struck out 8.  Drew Jackson was 3-5.
  • GL –  Won 4-1 as Crawford went 6 and allowed 4 hits, with no walks while striking out 5.  He’s been pitching well of late.

 

 

Posted by Mark Timmons

I started LA Dodger Talk in 2001. I took a year off in 2016 and now I am back. This site is about giving another perspective outside of the average day-to-day reporting. I don't do game recaps or in-depth sabermetric analysis. I value sabermetrics, but leave that to people smarter than me... which is only 98% of the population. This is where you start your day as a Dodger Fan. Welcome!

This article has 41 Comments

  1. I also hope Toles is not hurt. He is playing well and needs to keep going.
    Hatcher and Romo are not helping the team. Roberts still has confidence in Romo but not Hatcher. I have no confidence in them.
    Roberts had the same line up two days in a row. What is happening? That is his best line up.
    Something is happening with Joc. What is it? Has he finally made a decision to change his approach to hitting? Ward, the hitting coach needs to be praised.
    Honeycutt, also needs to be praised, and I have bashed him before.

    1. Idahoal

      I think the combination of Toles hitting, and Bellinger coming up and doing so well, might have finally made Joc change his approach, instead of trying to hit everything, out.

      I hope Toles is ok too, and he only did what Mark mentioned, in his write up.

      He was able to walk on his own so maybe it scared him, more then anything.

      He has been a clutch hitter for the team, and it would be a shame if he isn’t able to play, after the way he has performed, so well.

      He has earned his keep, and more, on this team.

      And he is another guy, that is just easy, to root for.

      It was good to see Grandal pick up some more hits last night, and to see him hit that ball out.

      He is also throwing well this year too, because he threw another runner out, last night.

      It was also good to see Barnes get that game winning, hit, and see Grandal to be one of the first guys out there, to congratulate Barnes.

      Our catchers really got it done last night, because Grandal also helped Urias pitch, a good game.

      Nothing that Urias does, surprises me, he almost always looks like he is only toying with the hitters, most of the time, he is out there.

      But when is Baez going to learn how to pitch to hitters, that are only up at the plate, , to only do one thing?

      He just gave up a game changing HR, not to long ago.

      At times, Baez isn’t much better then Hatcher.

      Our players work really hard to get the lead, and Baez comes in, and gives up the lead, in seconds.

      I still wish we would have picked up the pitcher that is the Rockies closer now, to be our set up guy.

      He really didn’t cost that much, and he was really good for the Royals, in their run for the World Series.

      1. I agree Holland would have been a much better pickup than Romo. Not sure if he wanted a closers job or would have been happy setting up Jansen. But going to Colorado must have been a hard decision for him to make. Joc roped the ball on his first two at bats yesterday. I didn’t get to see the rest of them. He’s finally getting it, I think the homerun derby went to his head. I like the Hatcher / Baez comparison. I still feel a little safer with Baez pitching. I also hope that Toles is OK, we need him. Great stuff in here today.

        1. Holland would not have signed with a team who already had a set closer. Holland earns $6MM in salary and there is a $1MM buyout of his 2018 option. If Holland either pitches in 50 games or finishes 30 games this season, the option vests into a $15MM player option for 2018 that Holland can either accept or reject in search of a larger multi-year deal on the open market. If the option doesn’t vest, it turns into a $10MM mutual option for 2018 that contains another $8MM in incentives.

          The Dodgers got Romo for $3 Million, but Boras would not have even talked to the Dodgers about Holland after they signed Jansen. Holland was a “fall-back”option before Kenley re-signed. I would not write Romo off… and last night was not his fault!

        2. Bill

          Joc’s average was in the low 200s before the Allstar break, even started.

          But hopefully, he stays with what he is doing.

          He doesn’t need to swing that hard, because he is a strong guy.

  2. Hopefully Toles is ok, no room on the 40 man with Marks being added and Ethier to the 60 day DL (and is a long ways off.) I suppose they could do the same with Kazmir but more likely they call up SVS, Segedin or Eibner who are all on the 40 man and all bat RH, only Eibner can play some CF. Gutierrez is trying to avoid another DL stint hence the short bench already.

    Great comeback win shows some grit! Urias has had tough luck so far but is very tough to hit and will be special this season. The Dodgers gained on the entire Division last night which was huge. Honeycutt must be doing something right based on the pitching stats. I think even Joc and Grandal respond to some competition-Kike I am not so sure but when everyone is healthy Taylor is the better player.

    1. Hawkeye

      I don’t know much about knee injuries, because I have never had a major problem with my knees, but from what I have read, it isn’t easy to walk on your own, if you have a ACL tear.

      What do you think?

      1. I’ve seen football players walk of the field after tearing an ACL. You never know.

        1. Hawkeye

          Thanks!

          My former trainer said, that football players were the biggest babies, he treats.

  3. That doesn’t sound good Hawkeye.
    Shame as he was hitting form.

    Is Braun still available?

  4. Great come back win last night. The team is starting to play up to it’s full potential. Urias looked great, can’t wait for the kid gloves to come off.

  5. Interesting comments by Roberts on Urias: He has shown he can make a pitch when he has to. But, to go deeper into games, he needs to learn to throw early strikes. Last night was Mexican Heritage Night at the yard, and Roberts said he was VERY reluctant to pull Urias during a no hitter. He though the crowd would go nuts. He had in his mind, a 115 pitch limit. Roberts gave Grandal great credit for getting Urias back in the strike zone early in the game, when his control was off. The Pirates are pretty bad right now, especially since one of their stars has been suspended for PEDs. Starting tomorrow, the real work starts and continues for a couple of months. Very cold in Denver.

  6. Correction on prospective pitch limit for Urias last night: 110. Mitch White had a good line, but very average strike-ball ratio. Sopko at Tulsa was pounding the zone well.

  7. Puig needs to practice his breaking-the-bat-over-the-knee at home. God bless him. He reminds me of me sometime.

  8. Now comes the news that Toles has a torn ACL which will likely keep him out for the remainer of the season. DAMN.

  9. I feel for Toles, because of this injury.

    He was just getting started, in his first major league season.

    And this means we will have to depend on offense, from Puig and Joc.

    He must have a high pain threshold, because he didn’t act like he was in that much pain.

  10. The funny thing is if he had just laid out for the ball, he wouldn’t have gotten injured. He tried stopping quicker than he needed to. Verdugo? Eventually it will be Bellinger in LF with Gonzo returning to 1st.

    1. If Taylor keeps hitting, Forsythe can go to LF.

      Bad news, but it’s next man up!

    2. Hawkeye

      I hope that happens, because we need some more offense in the outfield.

      The bummer is that Toles didn’t seem bothered, in clutch situations.

  11. I hated to speculate, but I knew as soon as I read that the meniscus was fine, but they were running a MRI, I thought the ACL was torn. I have had 3 knee surgeries; 2 meniscus and 1 ACL. On the ACL, the doctors worked my knee and determined that the meniscus was intact, but there was something that was not right and ordered the MRI. They found the tear and I was scheduled for surgery later that week. I feel very badly for Andrew. His career was just starting to take off. He’s very young, and if he works hard in rehab, he could make it back for ST. Because he is left handed, he should be okay with the bat, but it will be his base running and OF tracking that will be of some initial concern. It is also a big psychological issue, not wanting to re-injure the knee. He is just going to have to work through that and trust his doctors.
    .
    Good luck to you, Andrew.

  12. As I feared. Grandal has a couple good games and he’s inserted back in the 5 hole. The only guy he should be hitting ahead of is Utley. Tonight’s lineup:
    Joc
    Seager
    Turner
    Bellinger
    Grandal
    Taylor
    Utley
    Puig
    Maeda

    Seems to me Taylor should be hitting leadoff right now.

    1. Hawkeye

      If Taylor is in the lead off position, he might not get that many RBI chances.

      And we need more players, that can hit in some clutch runs.

      We know that Joc knows how to get a walk.

      1. It’s what Baez does. I was more irritated by Kike than Baez last night. When you go O for 9 with RISP and lose a ball in the lights to blow a lead, I kind of expected to see Baez give up a dinger. Taylor has drawn a lot of walks and he can steal some bases. Joc also looks at a lot of K’s. I want to see guys on base ahead of Seager, Turner, and Bellinger.

        MJ, I think you and I pushed for Toles in the off-season as much if not more than anyone, but now it’s going to take Ethier or Gonzo to get healthy and produce. The other alternatives are Verdugo or a trade.

        1. Hawkeye

          It looks like we know what we see, most of the time.

          We called this one, last year.

          I was thinking the same about Agone, and Ethier too.

          Mark has also always liked Toles too.

          He was the first one that knew Toles, was coming to the team, and that he started in A ball.

          And we know Friedman will always give him, a chance.

          1. Last summer, I don’t remember exactly when, but I had a business trip to LA. I met with Scott Andes in Thousand Oaks and told him the next call up would be Andrew Toles… and he said who? He was at OKC then. I like Toles a lot.

  13. Loved Toles man, I feel for him getting laid out for the season, he was just starting to belong in left field. Gonna miss him, but we do have the depth. Time for someone else to step up. Be interesting to have Cody and Agon in the same lineup once he comes back completely healthy. How is the Trace Thompson sighting going? Is he starting to heat up? Lets not forget him if he comes back playing like early last year. Dude was a beast,.

    1. Mark

      I think I heard that from you, while you were at a game, in Rancho.

      And in his first at bat, he hit a pitch for a double.

      I am glad I can root for Bellinger now, too.

      And you were right, about him!

  14. DODGERS PLACE ANDREW TOLES AND ADAM LIBERATORE ON DISABLED LIST
    JOSH RAVIN REINSTATED AND OPTIONED TO TRIPLE-A OKC


    LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers today placed both outfielder Andrew Toles (torn right ACL) and left-handed pitcher Adam Liberatore (left groin strain) on the 10-day disabled list, while recalling infielder/outfielder Scott Van Slyke and outfielder Brett Eibner from Triple-A Oklahoma City.

    Van Slyke, 30, returns to the big league club after going 3-for-15 (.200) with a double and one RBI in four games with Triple-A OKC. Prior to being optioned to OKC on May 2, Van Slyke hit .129 (4-for-31) with five runs, one double, one home run and two RBI in 21 games for the Dodgers this season. He has appeared in seven games (four starts) at first base, nine games (two starts) in left field and one game in center field for Los Angeles this year.

    Eibner, 28, will make his third stint with the Dodgers this season and has gone 1-for-5 (.200) in three games with the big league club. In 21 games with the OKC Dodgers, Eibner has hit .258 (17-for-66) with 11 runs, two doubles, a triple, three home runs and 10 RBI. The San Diego, California native, who was acquired by the Dodgers on January 25 from the Oakland Athletics, saw his first big-league action in 2016 with Kansas City and Oakland, combining to hit .193 (36-for-187) with six homers and 22 RBI.

    Toles left last night’s game against the Pirates in the top of the seventh inning with the right knee injury after chasing down a fly ball in left field. The Dodger leadoff hitter has appeared in 31 games for the club this season, hitting .271 with 17 runs, three doubles, five home runs and 15 RBI.

    Liberatore last pitched for the Dodgers on Monday against the Pirates, striking out one in a perfect ninth inning. In two relief appearances for Los Angeles this season, he has allowed one run in 1.1 innings (6.75 ERA) and has held batters to a .200 average (1-for-5).
    _
    Right-handed pitcher Josh Ravin was also reinstated from the disabled list today and has been optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City. Ravin, who started the season on the DL with a right groin strain, appeared in four rehab games with Single-A Rancho Cucamonga and the OKC Dodgers, allowing one run in a combined 4.0 innings, while striking out eight and not issuing a walk.

    1. With today’s roster moves, the OKC roster is now comprised of 15 pitchers, 2 catchers, 5 infielders, and 3 outfielders (Dickson/Thompson/Verdugo). Today is an open date for OKC, so I would hazard a guess that before tomorrow’s game, at least one of the pitchers will be moved to DL or Tulsa, and an OF added either through waiver wire or Tulsa. Does Kyle Garlick get a promotion? Or does Ty Holt get moved back to OKC? Luke Raley can get a promotion from RC to Tulsa (he is deserving). Maybe this is a good opportunity to see what Calhoun can do out in LF.

  15. Really tough news, for Toles and for his fans, he will be missed. Now instead of a Forsythe or Agon back we get SVS who gets another chance to swing the bat properly and Utley trying on a 1B glove. There is enough other offense to plug away but we may see some ugly lineups for a few days.

    Meanwhile Colorado already beat the Cubs today, taking 2 out of 3 in Coors. Dodgers need to sweep to keep pace and go up north and at least split or take 3 of the 4. No time to feel sorry for themselves, the other teams sure don’t!

    Roberts said Joc will lead off until Forsythe returns next week. Taylor probably gets the call against LHP but have to wait and see. Hope Grandal is heating up or he clogs things up hitting 5th. If I am a pitcher with 2 outs and have a place to put Bellinger I pitch around him and go after Grandal.

  16. Nice to see Grandal and Utley with hits their first 2 times up and Chase driving in runs both times. Cody going deep should not be a surprise, Maeda pitching well through 4. Roberts has a way of getting the most out of his players.

  17. Kenta saved our bullpen so much today, going into a 4 game series at Colorado. That may be a big big blessing !

  18. Gutted for Toles but good win tonight, especially with so many hitters warming up.
    I give Verdugo a go – let the youth have its head.

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