Ricky “Freakin” Nolasco? Really?

We all knew that at some point the Dodgers would lose a game or two, but going into last night’s game the Dodgers were hitting against Ricky Nolasco, career journeyman who was 2-9 on the year with an ERA over 5.00. Ricky “Freakin” Nolasco!  Nolasco pitched 6.1 strong innings and made the Dodgers look like chumps.  OK, it’s baseball and on any given day… but Ricky Nolasco?  OK, I’m over it.  Nothing to see here’ folks… move along!

Seriously?  Ricky Nolasco?  I’m talking about Ricky Nolasco…

Well, the good news is that Rich Hill was really Rich Hill.  He pitched 7 strong innings with 7 K’s and was close to dominant.  He gave up one extra base hit and 3 singles to go with 2 BB and 7 K’s.  He was just very unlucky but he wasn’t getting hit hard.  OK, that’s one less thing for FAZ-BASHERS to bitch about.  Move on to something else. “Olivera – yeah, that’s the ticket.  That was a really bad signing!”  Blah, Blah, Blah!

With Hill Wood and Kershaw at the top of the rotation and Brandon McCarthy pitching well… except for his last outing, this rotation is solid and Oaks and Barlow are ready at AAA.  So, I am sure we do not know the extent of McCarthy’s knee problems.  I am sure the Dodgers aren’t saying, but is it chronic or just a tweak or a lingering injury?  We don’t know, but I do know that this is the second time we have heard about it.  I am betting he could miss some time… especially if he has to get it scoped. That’s the blessing of depth.

What Andrew Friedman is doing with depth is the envy of other teams who invested heavily in inning-eating “studs” who, a year later, turned out to be duds (no names will be mentioned to protect the innocent).  Friedman invested in depth and it has and is paying off.  When you have depth, it doesn’t make much difference if a pitcher pitches 5, 6 or 7 innings – just fire up that OKC shuttle!

Sergio Romo reverted back to being Sergio Romo and gave up a bomb last night.  Yawn!  Yasiel Puig and Chris Taylor came to play last night, the rest of the guys (except Hill) were resting… I’m joking!  Puig threw a 96 MPH laser to nail Calhoun last night… off flat ground.  I’m thinking he could hit 102 off a mound!  Hummmmm……

  • Puig – 7th
  • Baez -8th
  • Jansen – 9th

All are converted position players.  I’ll bet no hitter would feel safe with the Knucklehead on the mound!  Maybe I’m onto something… no more likely, I’m on something!

Quick – who leads the Dodgers in Doubles?  Corey Seager with 19.  Who is second?  Kike Hernandez with 18… in 100 less AB’s

Minor League Report

  • Scott Barlow and 2B Jose Miguel Fernandez were both promoted to AAA OKC and promptly paid dividends.  Barlow went 6.1 and allowed 0 ER while getting his 1st AAA win and Fernandez went 2-2 with a BB.
  • That moved Willie Calhoun to LF… most likely forever (or not).
  • Dickson hit his 17th HR
  • At RC, Scott Kazmir went 3, allowed 4 hits and 1 ER wile walking and striking out ZERO.  He allegedly touched 90 MPH once.
  • Yadier Alvarez had his best outing of the season, going 6 innings while striking out 7 and walking one.  He gave up 3 ER.

How About Some Tunes?





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 46 Comments

  1. Nolasco was good for us for half a season a few years ago, & don’t forget he is a lifetime Dodger fan.
    Sergio Ohno needs to go.
    We played ok last night, just didn’t get the breaks. Hopefully normal service will be resumed tonight.

  2. Well Ricky always did pitch well at Dodger Stadium. He was able to land a four year $49M contract after his brief stint pitching for the Dodgers in 2013. Happily, Ned didn’t give him that contract.
    Mark: “Puig threw a 96 MPH laser to nail Calhoun last night… off flat ground. I’m thinking he could hit 102 off a mound! Hummmmm…… I’ll bet no hitter would feel safe with the Knucklehead on the mound!”
    First you criticize me for considering Puig in center because he could kill someone. Now you want to put him on the mound? I know what you’re thinking, at least he would kill someone on the other team if he was pitching. Homicide is homicide! Maybe you need a session at “Dodger Therapy”.
    All kidding aside, Puig is a stud. FAZ should extend him NOW at a “reasonable”amount!

  3. Bleacher Report just ranked the TOP 30 MLB Catchers. Just one rated better than Yasmani Grandal – Buster Posey!


    They wrote:

    Yasmani Grandal leads all catchers in DEF (9.5) and ranks second only to Tyler Flowers in pitch-framing (10.4) and Tucker Barnhart in DRS (7), while also throwing out runners at a 39 percent clip.

    Even if he was hitting .200 with no power production, he’d still be challenging for a spot inside the top 15 on the strength of his defense alone.

    We’re talking about a guy who hit 27 home runs with an .816 OPS a year ago, though, and he’s made plenty of noise at the plate once again this season.

    Yasmani Grandal is an All-Star and still some fans don’t like him. I don’t get it!

    I really don’t!

    1. Mark

      Grandal has brought up his batting average this year, and he has kept it above 250, so I don’t get that either.

      He has also improved on his throwing this year. too.

      And there is no way that he was going to throw out the runners last night, when Hill was pitching.

      He worked hard in the off season to improve his game, and it looks like it is paying off!

  4. I surfed some other blogs and of course, some Dodger fans are back to blasting Roberts and FAZ for calling up Freeman and playing Freeman and that L – R thing. They lose one out of the last 11 games and the moron gene takes over. YIKES!

    1. I agree. You have to look at the big picture. The Dodgers were not going to win all of the rest of the games all season long – so Nolasco stopped them for 1 night. That’s why they play the games.

      I could still do without all of the “everyone who disagrees with me (and the Dodgers’ front office) are idiots hyperbole. We are all fans here – I am thrilled that the Dodgers are winning and winning big. We have some differences of opinion . Like on Grandal – he is a big plus for the Dodgers. I think that he looks awkward behind the dish and no one will ever confuse him for Steve Yeager, Mike Scioscia, Johnny Roseboro or many other of the Dodgers’ catchers, especially when it comes to blocking balls in the dirt. He has improved his throwing this year and when a player works hard to improve, and sees results, it’s a real plus. He is a factor on offense too – he’s really streaky, but a big contributer.

      I am happy to see Hill pitch more than the 4.4 innings that he had averaged before last night’s start, but again, keep the big picture in mind. It was just one start, and his control was hardly pristine (he did walk the pitcher early, leading to a run). Let’s see if he can replicate his performance a time or 2 before we become too ecstatic,

      I worry about the rotation – OK, so sue me! The Dodgers have had 3 steadily outstanding performers in the rotation – and the 3 aren’t Maeda, Ryu or Hill. McCarthy isn’t known for his durability (and he’s on the DL for the 2nd time this season). I don’t believe that there is necessarily anyone better available on the open market at the deadline, and I know that Mark was hoping that Urias would be the “deadline deal” from within the organization who could put the team over the top. You aren’t going to win in the postseason with Kershaw and whomever else happens to be healthy in October.

      So – if Puig and Pederson really have turned a corner, the Dodgers have no weaknesses in their lineup anywhere – except maybe Logan Forsythe/Chase Utley at 2B. I still think there’s room for a right handed thumper to play LF and move Taylor fulltime to 2B. Bring in a top set-up guy and I see the possibility of a ring this year.

      1. Rick

        I have to agree with you, about Hill.

        I don’t know if he is effective because he is effectively wild, or because he has developed that new, pitch.

        But I do hope it is the later!

        1. Mark

          Since the platoons have been mostly successful this year, I can see that.

          But I thought maybe Roberts used him, to see what he can do.

          And maybe the front office wants to make a decision, about this guy’s status with the Dodgers.

          I don’t know if they would do that in a real game, but how else would they find out.

          They brought this up in Dodger’s Digest too today.

  5. I wasn’t surprised that they didn’t hit Ricky last night, because he is a junk throwing pitcher.

    And most of our hitters, are better at hitting fastballs, then soft stuff.

    I thought Turner and Puig would hit him, because Turner is one of the best off speed hitters, in baseball.

    And Puig hits off speed pitches well, if they are around the plate, but not just off the plate..

    And you have to factor in that Ricky probably wanted to win this game badly, with his roots with the Dodgers, and being a Southern California kid.

    And that was there 14 straight game the team has played, so they may be a little tired too.

    But I do expect them to hit Jesse Chavez tonight, much better.

  6. The current FAZ-Basher agenda:

    1) McCarthy’s hurt again/ FAZ never should have signed him.
    2) Why did Robert’s play Freeman, he’s stupid.
    3) FAZ ruined Urias.

  7. The Dodgers over celebrated after the Colorado sweep. They came out flat yesterday, you see it all the time in sports. They will bounce back tonight. I didn’t like Freeman hitting in a pressure situation however, I didn’t like the winning lineup for Sundays game. I’m not going to bash FAZ/Roberts for providing the games second best record in the majors in 2017. Go Blue……………………

  8. The Dodgers were due for a loss at some point, not surprised Hill was on the mound even though he pitched well enough to win. 2 key moments in the game were not just the Freeman/Utley K’s but also the 1st inning bases loaded 2 out AB by Pederson where he swung from the heels on breaking balls and quickly struck out. His fly ball to right later in the game that was caught at the wall was an easy swing. Bases loaded dictates make contact not try for a grand slam.

    McCarthy to the DL is a smart move, his arm has been fine and it lets Maeda back into the rotation for now. Let his knee calm down and get treatment and book a couple sessions with a sports pyschologist. The upcoming schedule in July has a lot of off days to mix and match and rest pitchers for the second half.

    1. Vegas, I agree with you on McCarthy and his move to the DL. His knee may very well be tender and could use some rest. But I think this is more timing and letting Maeda into the rotation. Showcase, maybe??? If this were September, I do not think McCarthy goes on the DL. I think he would work through it. Now if it is the yips, I do not beleive that is fixable with 10 days on the DL.
      Let’s assume that McCarthy is not a candidate for a long term stay on the DL. LAD currently have 6 pitchers capable of starting and going 5-6-7 innings. It is possible that Maeda is being courted and the Dodgers need to showcase him to maximize his value. Maeda can’t maximize his contract out of the bullpen; not enough starts and not enough innings. The Dodgers do not need 6 named starting pitchers. A trade seems logical, but FAZ will not give him away. If Maeda is traded, Brock Stewart is the long man and spot starter, followed by Trevor Oaks and then Scott Barlow. Masterson and Font are also capable if necessary, but highly unlikely.
      Scott Barlow is the 2017 version of Brock Stewart and Trevor Oaks; a relative unknown to knocking on the door within a few months. I do not remember seeing Barlow on any pre-season top 30 lists. I did see Sborz and Sopko (also pitchers at the AA level).
      Is Jose Miguel Fernandez another FAZ find that was originally ridiculed? Could he be the 2nd base of the future? He is certainly making a case that he could be playing at the ML level.

      1. AC

        Good point about Maeda!

        I forgot how incentive laded Maeda’s contract, was.

        And about Fernandez, I thought his defense was not up to par, for the bigs.

        And isn’t he on the older side, for a prospect?

        I don’t know, that is why I am asking.

        I do know he was quite reasonably, by what baseball players are paid, today.

        1. MJ,

          He;s 29 and not fast. He won’t cover a lot of ground but BA said he could be a bargain. He is a professional hitter with not a lot of power but great bat control.

          Maeda’s agent won’t allow him to not be in the rotation – the Dodgers will be forced to start him or trade him.

          1. Mark

            Thanks I thought I read that, about Fernandez.

            Like I told AC, I didn’t even think about Maeda’s contract.

            And I didn’t know about his agent, either.

      2. AC,
        What have you heard about:
        Melvin Jimenez @ DSL last year with a 0.964 WHIP/2.9 BB/9/10.8 K/9

  9. Jimenez dominated DSL as a 16/17 year old. Good live fastball that seems to have some sink and produce a lot of ground balls. He is strike out pitcher. He seems to keep the ball out of the zone so the batter cannot extend. Zero HR in 55 innings at DSL.
    He is still a baby at 6’0″ 170lbs. so he is probably not done developing physically. He is fairly young to be in the US, but the Dodgers obviously feel that he can handle being away from his culture at this age. It appears that the Dodgers want to see him move quickly by playing in him the US so young. Brito and Heredia are 4 and 5 months older, and we know they are being pushed. There are a lot of Dominicans on the AZL roster, so he has plenty of country mates to help him adjust.
    He was used exclusively as a starter in the DSL. His first taste in the AZL was as a reliever (yesterday). 2 innings 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, and 3 K. Good positive start.
    Dodgers have had some success in signing and developing young pitchers from the D.R. With John Shoemaker as his AZL manager, he will be monitored very well. John Shoemaker is the perfect manager to help mold all of the young talent in the AZL.

    1. Any idea about his secondary stuff? Command? Poise?
      I’m sure there’s very limited access to him, so I’m just hoping….

      1. He had 66/18 K/BB ratio in 55 IP last year, but that’s all I could find on him. I’ve never laid eyes on him…

      2. I have not seen film on him, or a full scouting report. With his ability for strikeouts, a good K/BB ratio, and no HR’s in 55 innings pitched, I would surmise that his command is pretty good. The fact that he is 17 and on a US Rookie League team, IMO speaks volumes about what Minor League Player Development personnel think about his poise and composure both on the hill, and as a young man. He is the youngest player on the AZL Dodgers roster, and there are only 6 younger pitchers out of 41 on the two DSL Dodger teams. Strictly for comparative only purposes, Melvin is the same age as Ramon Martinez in his first US stop, and if he gets to Ogden next year, he will get to the Pioneer League at the same age as Pedro Martinez. Without speaking to any Minor League Player Development personnel, as quickly as he appears to be advancing, I would think that his poise/composure/maturity are considered advanced as well.
        I will continue to reach out and try to learn some more about his secondary pitches.

  10. I think Puig tweaked his hammy a bit legging out an infield single last night. With both him and Seager gimpy the bench is a little short but both could probably PH or play in an emergency. It will be nice to see Thompson again, I hope he does well and he can play all the OF spots.

    I am not sure who has more trade value, Maeda or Ryu but Maeda has that great contract. Either might look good to a team like the Orioles or the Mariners. Not sure how those teams line up to give the Dodgers what they are looking for. Ryu has a nice contract too like 7M for next year then he is a free agent. Maeda’s has 6 more years to go. Depending on how Kazmir does and if he will go to the bullpen it will get even more crowded. Kazmir will be almost impossible to move this year.

  11. More on Jiminez:

    Dodgers- Jimenez was most remarkable for his consistency in 2016. Despite most of his starts coming while he was still just 16, he never gave up more than 2 ER or 3 BB in any one outing. He also never posted fewer than 4 K. With a 66/18 K/BB ratio in 55 IP and a FIP of 1.97, Jimenez looks like another in that long line of good Dodger pitching prospects.

  12. From Dodgers site:

    Puig dealing with knee flareup
    After being bothered by a tight hamstring in recent games, Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig now is having knee troubles, Roberts said. Puig hurt his knee during the Dodgers’ 4-0 loss to the Angels on Monday and Roberts decided to give him a day off on Tuesday, but he was available to pinch-hit.

  13. Play of the Year by Kike Hernandez!

    … the bum who can’t play SS. I guarantee Chris Taylor would never make that play!

    1. Supposedly, short is his best position. I think he said that he likes to play short the most. Taylor might be a better shortstop but I like that Doc is keeping him at second because that is where his biggest opportunity is. Kike’ is the team’s utility player and it is he that should move around the most.
      I heard somewhere Puig has a great knuckle change and a good move to first.

  14. 2 of the cheapest doubles you will ever see: Eric Young losing Taylor’s fly ball (good hustle to take 2B) and a hard ground ball eating up Utley, bouncing off his leg into short RF behind 1B (maybe a tricky hop?) In between a great play by Kike to snag a ball and throw out the runner from his knees (nice scoop by Bellinger) and Chavez pitching around Bellinger to get to Barnes for the 2nd time and striking him out for the 3rd out (horrible strike zone by the plate umpire) The extra rest seems to have helped Maeda, he looks sharp. Thompson misses a HR by a few feet. Who leads the majors this year with most at bats without a K? Kenta Maeda with 23.

  15. Great swing by Joc! He stayed back on a curve ball, took a nice easy swing and it just cleared Young’s glove for a 3 run bomb to straightaway CF, and off a leftie!


  17. Dino, I completely agree with you. On another site, most of the comments were about Mike Freeman. Bashing the front office for having him on the team, and Roberts for using him as a pinch hitter. Win 10 and lose one and the negativity comes out after the one loss.

  18. Since Seager is about ready to play I wonder if he will DH in Anaheim? I like how they are taking advantage of the 10-day DL to cycle pitchers in and out of the rotation. As long as he doesn’t have the yips or damage to his knee McCarthy will be back in 10 games and Ryu or Maeda will go on with something soreness.

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