Monday Rants & Raves

  • It’s not a sure thing that Adrian Gonzalez will be back this year.  Now, it’s looking like at least August.  How many teams can lose $40 million dollars of salary to the DL and survive?  Add in Kazmir and it’s $56 million and add Crawfish and it’s $77 million.  Can the pundits of “The Trade ” finally understand why it is felony stupid to give long-term deals to aging stars?  Nah, they still probably don’t get it!
  • I would think that the Dodgers need to call up Alex Verdugo right after the All-Star Game and see what he can do before making any trade for a LF’er like J.D. Martinez.  J.D. would settle in at #5 very well but he will be 30 soon and is not a great fielder at 29.  If Verdugo could leadoff, then Taylor can slide down to #5.
  • Willie Calhoun continues to hit, but his lack of foot speed and range will not allow him to play 2B at the MLB level… in my opinion. It still seems to me that he is trade material.
  • It seems to me that some blogs are just trying to be overly dramatic or critical or cynical or maybe just plain batshit crazy when it comes to reporting on the Dodgers.  Let’s read a few Headlines Across the Dodger Blogosphere – draw you own conclusions:

Dodgers comeback effort falls short in finale with Padres

Dodgers can’t pick up Maeda in San Diego

Dodgers comeback falls short at Petco

Padres 5, Dodgers 3: Early wasted chances come back to haunt Dodgers

Dodgers can’t overcome poor start by Kenta Maeda 

Dodgers unable to get out from early hole in 5-3 loss to Padres 

Kenta Maeda Horrendous, Bats Flaccid, Dodgers Drop Series Finale To Padres

  • Tim Locastro got the callup to OKC.
  • DJ Peters jacked three HR last night for RC as Mieses blasted two of his own.
  • Kazmir pitched 3 innings allowing 1 hit and 1 ER at RC.
  • Alex Wood and Justin Turner were both ripped off by not being on the All-Star Roster.  Hopefully Turner gets the final spot and Wood is named to take Clayton’s place.

 

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 62 Comments

  1. We Dodgers Ned to vote Turner in. Come on guys and gals, let’s make JT an all star. I do not know how many times you can vote. I have voted yesterday and today and will vote everyday.

    1. Al

      What is the easiest way to vote?

      I see on the ballot that you have to put all of your info in, to complete your vote.

      But is it better to just text in that number, to vote 35 times?

      Because it looks like on the ballot that you can only vote once, and you will have to put in your info, 35 times.

      1. After selecting JT and someone from the AL, you put in your info once, type in the numeric code and click SUBMIT. You get to keep clicking SUBMIT to vote again so long as you type in the new numeric code. I voted for JT 30x before I got board and surfed over to LADodgerTalk.com

  2. I totally agree about Turner. The problem is that with Arenado and Bryant, Turner flies under the radar. He is one of the major reasons we are where we are. We are at the point that we just expect him to get a couple of hits a night and make at least one highlight reel play at 3B. That’s ok, though, I will take a World Series berth over an All Star selection anyday. Turner to me is still one of the elite 3B men in the league.

  3. Mark: “It’s not a sure thing that Adrian Gonzalez will be back this year. Now, it’s looking like at least August. How many teams can lose $40 million dollars of salary to the DL and survive? Add in Kazmir and it’s $56 million and add Crawfish and it’s $77 million”.
    .
    I guess you forgot to mention Ethier in the above equation, but looks like you added in the money. In any event, Dodger payroll this year is about $250M. Subtract the $77M plus Guerrero’s $7.5M and they are down to about $165M. FAZ started this gig with one-hand tied behind their backs. Looking forward to seeing how they operate after the deadwood is gone.

  4. Any see that Kazmir had his second rehab start yesterday? 3 IP, 1 hit, 1 run, 2 walks, 1 strikeout.
    .
    Can we sell him at the deadline?

  5. Mark

    I don’t think those headlines were that bad at all.

    I think they described exactly what happened in that game.

    It was bad that Maeda didn’t bore down and make some good pitches, after we got that double play, because he could have kept the score, to just two runs.

    That is what good pitchers do, when they have runners on base.

    I know everyone has a bad day sometimes, but he didn’t pitch well at all, yesterday.

    And even Steve Garvey said before the game started, that good teams make sure they take that last game in the series, especially, against bad teams like the Padres.

    It isn’t terrible we lost that game, but it is a game we should have won.

    About the trade, I will give you credit for mentioning Kazmir, but it looks like the Dodgers had no trouble handling the cost, and it looks like it did for the team what the owners wanted it to do, when they took over the team.

    It brought back the interest in the Dodgers, and it put the Dodgers back into the spot light, again, and it did that, pretty fast.

    But in most cases I agree, that it is not a good idea to give big and long contracts, to players past their prime, but there are always exceptions to any rule, like with Turner.

    But I think the front office made a very good deal, with Turner,

    And I am glad they brought back both Turner and Kenley.

    And I am glad that Hill seems to be coming around too.

    I thought the signing of Hill made more sense, then the other free agent pitchers they signed, because Hill had a much higher upside, then those other pitchers.

    But I did have my doubts about Hill, until the last game he just pitched.

    It was good to finally see him have more command, of his pitches.

    I agree with Al, that we all should make it a point to vote for Turner!

    Because of Arrenando and Bryant, Turner won’t have many chances to make the Allstar team.

    We all know that Turner is a better defensive third basemen, then Bryant, and I think Turner is doing something special that other players are not doing this year, with his high batting average, this far into the season, so I think he deserves to make this team.

    Let’s help Turner do this!

  6. If the Dodgers need a right handed power bat, Verdugo, a lefty singles hitter won’t get the job done. Even if he is the next iteration of Tony Gwynn, that’s not necessarily what they need. By the way, Martinez had an off year defensively last year, but is better this year and has been an average defender in the past.

    1. I am not so sure that he would not help IF he can hit .300+ like at AAA. He is hitting .328 against LH pitching and has a .420 OB% against lefties. If he could leadoff, that would move the power bat of Chris Taylor to #5 behind Bellinger. That might work just as good.

      1. Martinez has a slash line of .307/.395/.650/1.045 with 14 HR in only 190 PA (he had a foot injury earlier in the season) at the major league level. Verdugo is slashing .345/.413/.455/.868 at AAA. That slugging average would be one of the lowest on the Dodgers, and you can’t assume he will hit .345 in the Majors. While I want to see what Verdugo can do at the big league level eventually, he’s not what the Dodgers need this year to push them over the top.

  7. To me Chris Taylor looks like the 2nd baseman of the future. I would deal Calhoun as a piece in a deal for Martinez. Kinsler will be gone soon. Calhoun can play 2B/DH there.

    1. I’d do that in a New York Minute, but I think Detroit wants at least two or three top prospects.

      Doesn’t mean they will get it, but they might wait until the deadline.

  8. Ethier is done. AGon may be done (for the year). He is still not doing any baseball activity, and those are the words that have been said about Ethier all year, as his return date has gone from June to July and now September. If we see AGon before September I will be pleasantly surprised.
    .
    Kazmir’s first two innings were very good….6 up and 6 down. He started to lose control in the third with two walks sandwiching a ground ball single, and then a wild pitch for the run. He threw 53 pitches, 30 for strikes. His velocity was in the low 90’s which is just about where he is when he is on. He is learning a new motion to help his hip…more up and down, and less twisting. It will take him a bit before he is comfortable enough to go for 5-6-7 innings. It is looking more and more likely that he will return. I do not see a starting spot for him this year. He may be destined to become the long LHRP for his final year and a couple months as a Dodger.
    .
    Tim Locastro has been with OKC about a week now and is getting more comfortable at the plate. He is now 4-13. Locastro turns 25 in a couple of weeks, and is a utility player in the mold of Kike’. Tim is a good ballplayer and could make a team as a good utility player, but probably not as a Dodger.
    .
    The more I watch Maeda, the more I am convinced that Brock Stewart should be the 5th starter.
    .
    Brandon Morrow is now up to 12.2 IP, 0 runs, 4 hits, 1 walk, and 15 strikeouts. It sure looks like I was right about him. Morrow to Baez to Jansen…not a bad 7-8-9. Unfortunately they are all RHRP. The Dodgers need a high leverage LHRP to get inserted into that bridge role as well.
    .
    Andy Sopko had another good (not outstanding) start for Tulsa yesterday. It looks like he is coming back around. Now Josh Sborz needs to get going.
    .
    How long before D.J. Peters and Yusniel Diaz get their much deserved promotion to Tulsa?
    .
    The only problem with bringing up Verdugo now is who is going to sit, Taylor or Forsythe? Verdugo has to play every day.
    .
    Yes, I am ticked that Wood was not picked as an All-Star. But with Maddon leaning to start Scherzer, it appears more likely that Kershaw pitches Sunday, and Wood gets added in his place. Both will be recognized as All-Stars. #57 deserves it. The Dodgers are just going to have to get into the WS this year so Doc can start Kershaw in next year’s ASG. I voted for JT yesterday, and will vote for him each day thru Thursday. #10 deserves the AS status as well.

    1. Brandon Morrow hit 100 on the gun yesterday. Since he is diabetic, I think the team just has to be judicious with his use, but he has been a real find. Good Call!

      I think Brock Stewart can be a very good MLB Starter… maybe a #3 or #4, but he needs to improve his curve ball. I would think Hill and Kershaw can help him, but he may be the answer in the pen this year. He can pitch 2 or 3 innings without much of a curve.

      I still think that Walker Buehler could finish the year in the pen this year with LA. He currently has 62 IP, by August 1st he will likely be around 85. What if he finishes in the pen? Stewart, Baez, Morrow and Buehler (sounds like a law firm) could be members of the 98 MPH Club!

      Here’s Buehlers line this year:

      IP: 61.1
      H: 41
      BB: 18
      K:84
      ERA:2.17
      WHIP: 0.95

      Let him throw 20 or 25 innings out of the pen. What say you?

      1. I agree that Stewart needs the curveball to become a mid rotation starting pitcher. But I am tired of watching Maeda put the ball down the middle of the plate. Did you see where the pitch was that Margot killed for his HR? Or the doubles to Pirela and Margot? That is not pitching. He wasn’t close. He cannot be an innings eater because he is 20 pitches an inning. I am generally a positive person, but some players I just do not get. I feel the same about Maeda as most here feel about Hatcher and Romo. Sure they will have a good outing once in awhile, but nowhere near the consistency they need. Enough of a rant on Maeda. I hope he makes me choke on my words next time out.
        .
        It is certainly possible that Buehler gets a call in September to help in the pen. He can be monitored very well with all of the staff in LA. He gets a taste, and will be more prepared for next year.
        .
        I also agree that the staff has to monitor Morrow’s diabetes. That is more of a reason to get the lock down lefty. He is everything the staff expected Hatcher to be.

    2. AC

      I still think Wood deserved to make the team, over Kershaw.

      I know Kershaw has pitched more innings, but other when Wood went out, it wasn’t in Woods hands, to pitch further into games, and we can’t say the same about Kershaw.

      Because Wood was pitching very well from the start of the season, but Roberts didn’t let him pitch further into games, even when Wood was pitching very well, earlier in the season.

      And Wood has been much more dominant then Kershaw has, this year.

      I think the last two games that Kershaw has pitched, has been his best starts of the season.

      But before that, Kershaw wasn’t pitching dominantly.

        1. Agree…both deserve it, and I think both will be in Miami next Tuesday. As long as there is no chance for Kersh to start the ASG, he is going to pitch Sunday in a more meaningful game, and then he cannot pitch Tuesday making room for Wood.
          .
          MJ, it was the NL players that voted Kersh as the Number One, followed by Scherzer. I cannot argue with them. I was just hoping that they would find a spot for Wood. I think that the snub came when Strasburg was picked over Wood. It is irrelevant if Strasburg has been at an elite level longer. It is who deserves it in 2017, and Wood has better overall numbers in 2017.

          1. AC

            They were voting on what Kershaw has done throughout the years, not really this year.

            I am not saying Kershaw has been bad, but he hasn’t been as dominate, as he has, in the past.

            But like I already said, he has pitched really well, in his last couple starts.

            After hearing about Strasburg, I feel a little differently about it.

            I am glad that Kershaw can’t pitch that day though.

            Because I don’t want Kershaw to over pitch in the regular season, so he will be stronger, in that post season, if we go.

          2. AC

            Strasburg has never really done well, for the whole season, for some time, because of injury issues.

          1. MJ,
            I think both are having excellent years so far and are deserving of being All-Stars. However, if I had to choose which one to start the seventh game of the World Series, it would be Kershaw, without a doubt.

  9. I voted over 200 times just now. I guess there is no cap on it. Vote Early. Vote Often. Get dead people to vote.

    Campy’s link works perfectly.

  10. Interesting comment re: Grandal and passed balls from last week:
    “I’m a big fan of Yasmani Grandal, but there’s one part of his game that needs definite work. During Wednesday’s 3-2 loss to the Angels, he had a key passed ball in the bottom of the ninth. That was his seventh passed ball of the season. Let’s look at the passed ball leaders since 2014:
    2014: Yasmani Grandal, 12
    2015: Derek Norris, San Diego, 13
    2016: Yasmani Grandal, 10
    2017: Yasmani Grandal, 7
    Grandal finished fourth in 2015 with eight.”

    As good as he is, he needs to improve pitch blocking.

    1. I agree. I do think that some of the PB comes from his “Framing” as he tries to pull the ball into the zone at the last minute. The latest one was allegedly a cross up by Baez, but it is something he needs to get better at.

      However, you also have to consider this:

      Yasmani Grandal has the #1 Cather’s ERA in Baseball at 3.08! The next nearest catcher is a half run behind him.

      You might say “Well, the Dodgers pitching is why.”

      OK, I’ll bite – Austin Barnes CERA is 3.61. With him catching the Dodgers give up a half run more a game.

      Also, Grandal throws out .405% of his baserunners while Barnes throws out .333% of his.

      Yes, Yasmani has more passed balls (7) but in 2016 , it was estimated that Grandal got 212 balls called strikes with his framing skills. So, there is that. He got 212 and missed 10 – I’ll take it.

      Pitchers love him because they get more strikes called.

      1. Mark

        I think that is part of Grandals problems,with pass balls too!

        I also think that led to Grandal getting hurt so much.

        Because he tries to keep his glove in the right position, long enough to get the call, and that makes it hard for him, to adjust as quickly as he should, whether it be to block the ball, or to protect himself better.

      2. I’m not criticizing Grandal’s overall performance. I understand his value as a pitchframer and as an offensive performer and admit his improvement throwing out runners this year. You have to take the good with the bad, and he has always looked awkward to me behind the plate (blocking pitches).

  11. Ike and Eibner. Works for me. Now can we move up Ramos and Lattimore to OKC so that Peters and Diaz can move up?

  12. I know most players want to participate in the ASG, but I don’t. I want them rested and healed for the second half.

  13. FanGraphs weighs in on Verdugo:
    Alex Verdugo, OF, Dodgers: While almost every hitter in affiliated baseball is enjoying the juiced ball with increased home run rates, Verdugo is moving down the spectrum. But that doesn’t mean he’s not having a great season. Just 21 and in triple-A, the young outfielder is hitting .347 through his first 73 games of the year and has struck out just 9.3% of the time. His walk rate of 10.6% ensures that he’s not solely reliant on his batting average to have value; his on-base percentage is a healthy .417. As long as Verdugo continues to have value in the field as a centerfielder, this profile will work. If he eventually slows down a step or two, though, and moves to right field, his value will diminish given the desire for pop on the corners. Or he could simply make some adjustments and tap into the average to above-average raw pop that he possesses – and sacrifice some of the contact. It will be interesting to watch how Verdugo continues to develop and he could be trade bait this summer as the Dodgers look to get deeper and better for a run to the World Series.
    ~
    The fact that his bat profiles differently than the other recent call-ups (Joc, Seager, Bellinger) makes me intrigued by keeping him, but there’s just very little opportunity.
    ~
    Toles’ value is depressed, right? Thompson’s needs rehabbing. Calhoun could be moved. Maybe Maeda because of his favorable contact, ditto Ryu….

      1. Yeah.
        ~
        I mean you can make the case, that even before he got hurt his value was more on projection and thus debate-able, but yes, he’s hurt that hurts (PUN) his value.
        ~
        All that said, if he were healthy and performing I guess he’d be a trade chip. But that would depend on how well he was performing. And now we’re in counter-factuals.

        1. Bluto

          That may be true, but I believe he will hit and hit for an average, but still have power, and speed.

          And I can’t say that about our other outfielders, except Puig has kept his average around 250 and hit with power.

          And that is because I have seen what Toles has done in two different seasons.

          1. Well….
            ~
            You are probably a tad rosy with those expectations.
            ~
            But it doesn’t matter, his value is diminished until he plays and performs again.

    1. That’s why I think Verdugo should come up soon. He could be another Bellinger with BA, and not HR’s. I do not think Verdugo can play CF in MLB. He is much slower than Joc. I see him in LF with Taylor at 2B and a platoon partner in LF.

      I think it’s silly to trade Toles. Let’s see what happens with him next year.

      1. Mark

        I think that is smart to see what Verdugo will do at the major league level.

        And the only drawback I see, is if Verdugo doesn’t do that well.

        I don’t know if that would ruin his value, if it wasn’t a big sample size.

        You should look at Joc’s defensive metrics this year.

        They are not that good, but maybe that is from him, going out on the DL twice this year.

      2. Bluto

        You are probably cloudy on your expectations!

        But I would say that I am one of many, who thinks the same thing.

        And Friedman just may be one of those people!

  14. Stripling took the loss at AAA. I fear that he is on the trading block. With Stewart surging, he is the odd man out. Too bad. I’m not sure he got a fair shake with the team. Never really committed for him to be a starter. Bullpen isn’t his game.

    1. Bobbie, it wasn’t really Ross’ fault. It was a 2 out throwing error from 3B Max Muncy that scored the walk off run. The Dodgers very much like Ross Stripling and are doing everything they can to keep him. He is not going to make the starting rotation for LAD, so why not try to convert him to a high leverage reliever. I hope he stays a Dodger, but I would not be surprised if he is moved in a trade.

  15. I am actually sorry to see that Bellinger made the ASG. Right now he is struggling a bit and I would rather see him in LA resting and working with the coaches making the adjustments necessary to get out of his slump and have a second half equal to his first half. Don’t want to see a repeat of Joc’s freshman year.

    MJ said, “…he (Grandall) tries to keep his glove in the right position, long enough to get the call, and that makes it hard for him, to adjust as quickly as he should, whether it be to block the ball, or to protect himself better.”
    When I was at spring training Scott Kazmar was on a back diamond working with Honeycutt. When they were finished the catcher (don’t remember who) walked over and talked with us. I asked him about the blue sleeve he was wearing and he told us it was a special sensor. It would tell the catcher if he was moving his hand properly to catch the pitch and if his glove was in the best position to catch the pitch or if he was late getting to that spot. Not sure how it works but they have so much information to help these players improve their game. Perhaps Grandall has spent time working on framing with this device. Does anyone know more about this sensor??

    1. Campy

      Steve Garvey said that he would have sat out Cody in that last game of the series, against the Padres.

      Garvey said he thought Cody needed a mental break, because of his at bats lately, and because he had to deal with so much stuff off the field too.

      Garvey said that Cody was haviing to give a lot of interviews from the press, and do other things, off the field.

      Garvey also said, to have Cody fresh for the Dbacks series.

  16. The unlimited voting thing is ridiculous. I didn’t vote 200 times, but I definitely voted a lot between this morning with my phone and this afternoon on my computer. And if I was someone without a life and nothing else to do, I guess I could devote the rest of this week to voting all day long from morning to night, everyday until the voting ends. And my best guess is that there are people out in the world who actually do that. And if anyone on this site, even somebody that has a life, has that kind of time this week, just get to it.

    If you have the choice of computer vs. phone, do your voting on a computer. Much easier and much FASTER.

    And I confess to be one of those “felony stupid” people who believe that the TRADE served its purpose of keeping the Dodgers competitive while at the same time re-building their farm system. That TRADE is the primary reason why the Dodgers won 4 consecutive division titles, and even made it to the NLCS on more than one occasion. That post-season revenue and the revenue from major league leading attendance over those years, along with increased concession and merchandise sales may well have paid for the inflated salaries.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t Drew Jackson, who the Dodgers acquired in March from Seattle for Chase De Jong, reportedly have a very strong arm? It appears he isn’t much of a hitter, so maybe the Dodgers should consider converting him to pitching.

    1. I was home sick today, so while I had better things to do, I didn’t care to do anything…. this the Turner votes.

  17. -Already voted for Turner 50 times today. Will do another 50 tomorrow.
    -I’m surprised they haven’t given Verdugo the call up yet. I thought with Bell at first he would be a perfect fit for left. If he could do half of what Bell has done, damn, what an offense that would be.

  18. In response to MJ from above discussion. With regards to Kershaw and Strasburg. Kershaw getting voted by the players #1 overall may be because of career excellence, but it is not like he is not dominant this year. Yes, he has given up more HRs than before. For those pitchers with enough innings to qualify, Kershaw is #2 to Scherzer so far this year in all stats except Wins, where he is #1. The players select the top 5 pitchers, and Kershaw #1 or #2 is there. The five pitchers voted by the players are deserving (Kershaw, Scherzer, Greinke, Ray, & Carlos Martinez). I am not sure why the players voted for Robbie Ray over Wood, but they did. My guess is that it is the 26 more innings pitched. It was not a fan snub like JT. Strasburg was added by the Commissioners Office. Those are the only starting pitchers. Every one of them is deserving. Wood is deserving, but without the number of innings pitched, he is going to take a back seat until someone is scratched (like Kershaw).
    .
    Strasburg may not be the most reliable pitcher in the league (healthwise), but he has been outstanding when he does pitch. And he is not always hurt. He has a 78-43 career W/L with over 1,000 IP. His career ERA is 3.21, career WHIP, 1.094, career FIP 2.87. He led the league in starts (34) and strikeouts (242) in 2014. For 2012-2016,he has had double digit wins each year except 2013 when he was 8-9. But he pitched 183 innings, 3.00 ERA, 3.21 FIP, and 1.049 WHIP, so it was not because of bad pitching that he did not get to 10 wins. I would have selected Alex Wood this year over Strasburg, but then again, I am admittedly and unapologetically biased. Strasburg is a very good pitcher. Has been for quite some time. Come Sunday, Wood will get added.

    1. AC

      I meant that Kershaw hasn’t been more dominate then Wood with my eyes, as well as the stats, except he and Kershaw, have the same whip.

      And I didn’t think Kershaw has been as dominant this year, as he seemed to be last year, before he hurt his back.

      But I looked at the pitching stats, and my expectations are probably to high for Kershaw, because he has been so good.

      But I stand corrected with Strasburg, thanks to you!

    2. AC

      About Kershaw giving up more HRs this year, that doesn’t stop him from being in the Cy Young conversation, since I believe that Max gave up more HRs then any pitcher in the National League last year, but I could be wrong, but he still won the Cy Young award, after giving up a lot of HRs last year.

  19. Did everyone see that Angel Hernandez is suing baseball, and baseball’ commissioner, for discrimination?

    This is about umpiring post season games!

    I guess Torre gave Angel his post season favor, and stuck it to the Dodgers too last year!

  20. Agree Rudy. Hernandez does not belong in post season. Is the discrimination because he is a Hispanic? No Angel, it is because you are not good.

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