Gina Lollobrigida and Andrew Friedman

Gina Lollobrigida turned 90 yesterday.  Described in her prime as “the most beautiful woman in the world”, Lollobrigida, will  be receiving a long-overdue star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame next year. Hopefully, I am not the only one who remembers her.  What does that have to do with Andrew Friedman?  Absolutely nothing – except that Andrew Friedman and Company should be pretty dang beautiful in Dodger fans eyes right about now. OK, that was a big stretch, but the headline got ‘ya!  All us old guys remember Gina…

Step by step, Andrew Friedman has solved most of the Dodgers problems.  Last year they were dead last in batting average against LH pitching.  This year, the Dodgers have already hit more HR’s against LH pitchers in a half season than they did in all of last year.  They are second in runs scored against LH pitching this year while being 26th last year and if I keep hearing “these platoons don’t work,” I am going to call whoever says that a moron.  Certified!  The platoons obviously have worked and likely will get even better.   This team has the second widest run differential in baseball at this juncture since 1944.  These guys aren’t just winning, but they are winning decisively…. last night notwithstanding.
Friedman wouldn’t/couldn’t break the bank to get a stud starter so he got a whole bunch of them and are the deepest team in baseball insofar as starting pitching. They have continued to build the farm which is one of the best in baseball, and like one executive said:  “It’s not fair – the Dodgers have two entire teams.”  The fact of the matter is that these guys are playing as a well-oiled machine… a team.  A lot of that credit has to go to Doc Roberts who got these guys to buy into the whole platoon, next man up thing.  

Rants and Raves

  • Have you noticed that Kike communicates with the other outfielders better than Joc?  I’m just sayin’….
  • Logan Forsythe is showing why he is such an asset.  He has been hotter than blazes the past week. About the time everyone calls for his head, he goes off.
  • Someone said Clayton Kershaw wasn’t as dominant this year?  13-2/2.19 ERA/0.89 WHIP – that’s sick!
  • Here’s a stat – Justin Turner is leading the world in batting average, but he has 33 RBI in 216 AB while Yasmani Grandal has 33 in 247 AB’s hitting much lower in the order.  I’m just saying…
  • Chris Taylor is hitting .283 with a .370 OB% while OPS’ing .856.  He passes the eye test in my book – this guy is for real.
  • A-Gon has admitted that it might be September before he is back.  Essentially, the Dodgers have paid A-Gon $43 million and Andre Ethier $20 million this year for just about nothing…. and are still winning.
  • As AC mentioned last night, Trevor Oaks was announced as a starter for OKC last night and then pull back at gametime.  It’s likely something is up.  Is Maeda going to the pen?
  • There will be all sizes and shapes of players at this All-Star Game, as evidenced by the photo at the right (Judge and Altuve).  I wonder if Aaron Judge is related to former Dodger Mike Judd?

Minor League Highlights

  • The Dodgers have to call up Alex Verdugo and soon.  He raised his BA to .350 and his OB% to .420 last night.  It’s time to find out how that translates in the Show.
  • Rios played 3B at Tulsa last night and went 4-5 (showcasing?)
  • Devin Smeltzer pitched a solid 6 innings and allowed 4 hits and one run to go with no walks and 8 punch outs.  Istler pitched 2 shutout innings (6 K’s) to get his 8th save.
  • Keibert Ruiz is a beast.  His slash line is .321/.378/.428 at GL.  Remember, he is only 18 and is a switch hitter.  He may be passing Will Smith on the Catcher depth chart soon.
  • Cristian Santana is just getting his feet wet at GL, but went 3-5 with a HR in his 4th game.  He is hitting .467 after hitting .537 at Ogden in 10 games.  He is 20 and I think we are just getting started with this guy!

 

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 57 Comments

  1. Taylor is still learning to play left field. Kike’ did a good job of calling for a fly ball in left center last night and Taylor learned to listen and be aware of the CFer and stopped. Taylor still locks his eyes on the ball and doesn’t seem to take a quick glance away to see where the CFer is, but that is or will soon be changing as he gains more experience in LF. Puig, however wants to catch everything he can get to, much like a CFer does.

    1. Bum

      Puig might be a good centerfielder, now that he has slimed down, and is not to bulked up, anymore.

      But I agree that Puig gets over excited to catch some balls, and doesn’t like to yield to others, or he just doesn’t see others, at times.

      But Joc’s defensive metrics this year, are not good.

      I don’t know if that is because Joc has had to go out to much, or he has lost a step.

      It will probably be better, to see what Joc does on defense, in the second half of the season, to see if that is an outlier for Joc, because he got hurt.

        1. Bum

          I said that I don’t always trust the defensive metrics, but I also said let’s see what Joc does, in the second half, to be fair.

          And I was surprised, because I have always thought Joc was a pretty good, defensive centerfielder.

          The reason I first looked at Joc’s defensive metrics, was because I thought Joc looked a little slower this year.

  2. AC, please help me, but are these Verdugo stats accurate?
    Vs LHP .328 .420 .500 .920
    Vs RHP .354 .415 .456 .871
    If so, I think this guy is ready! Those are insane numbers

      1. Mark

        I wish Calhoun was better on defense , because he is the bat I would like to see at the major league level.

        Both Verdugo and Calhoun hits lefties, and that is what good hitters, should do!

        I am glad most of our young players seem to hit against both lefties, and righties, since we seem to have mostly leftie hitters, in our system.

    1. Bobby, yes, and he is ready…at least to get his feet wet. He is a corner OF who doesn’t have much power, so that may affect his overall impact. But as I said the last time this subject was discussed, who is going to sit…Chris Taylor or Logan Forsythe? I do not like that Joc is considered a platoon player, and I would not want to see Puig become one. Verdugo has to play every day. It would be a waste for him to come off the bench. I think FAZ will wait until after the trade deadline just to see who is still around. There is a reason why Trevor Oaks was announced as the OKC starting pitcher yesterday, and was pulled before he pitched. He is also not scheduled for Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday, and he is not on the DL. Curious.

        1. As long as they are winning, I throw the best 8 out there. Other than his rookie year, Joc has not really had a chance to play against all pitchers. It is hard to face a Jon Lester or Madison Bumgarner or even Pat Corbin (as Corey found out) unless you see them all the time. I go back to a Sean Casey and Jim Thome discussion on MLB Tonight where both said they were horrible against LHP at first, but they stayed in the lineup, and learned how to adjust. They both become very good at hitting LHP after being so bad at it (their words – I did not check). I give Joc a pass as a rookie who was obviously pressing. His sample size for the last two years is not nearly enough. I have said from 2017 Game 1 that Joc should stay in, and if he could not hit lefties enough by summer (trade deadline) move him. But he did not get that chance, and it does not look like he will. I am not as invested in Joc as Bums is. I am more indifferent. I am not going to complain about 56-29 either, so whatever Doc is doing, he is doing it well.

          1. AC

            Everything you said, and most everything you say, makes good sense!

            I am not a fan of platoons either, but they have worked this year, so I can’t say much.

            I just think after this year, if the production doesn’t change that much, the Dodgers can do better.

            I think both players, took for granted what they had, a little.

            Orel seemed to say that, about both players.

            But I am just going to wait and see, and hope for the best!

            I want us to win this year, but I have a feeling, it might be at the thirty year mark, for some reason.

  3. “This team has the widest run differential of any team in Baseball since 1944”
    That does tell the story – that is an incredible statistic.

  4. True Blue LA says that Trevor Oaks was held back last night because of “an injury to the midsection.” Do you smell smoke or is it a real injury?

    1. It was an injury to the midsection of the cerebral cortex… of Kenta Maeda. Bruised Ego!

  5. I am unable to find the run differential stat that you reference here. There isn’t a site that I have found that breaks out RD by season for a specific date earlier than 2002. Would you share the source of your data?

    In looking at a few numbers, the 1939 Yankees had a RD for the season of +411 in 154 games. (2.7 r/g) The Dodgers are at 1.8 r/g which is excellent and of course leads the league but isn’t close to the record. According to 1 website, there haven’t been many teams with an RD equal to or greater than 2.0:
    Here’s a look at these seven teams that had a season with a run differential of 2.0 runs per game or higher.
    •1939 New York Yankees, 2.7
    •1937 New York Yankees 2.0
    •1936 New York Yankees 2.2
    •1931 New York Yankees 2.0
    •1927 New York Yankees 2.4
    •1906 Chicago Cubs 2.1
    •1902 Pittsburgh Pirates 2.4
    The 2001 Mariners were at 1.9. So were the ’98 Yankees. Will the Dodgers equal these numbers? Don’t know – stay tuned.

    1. Joe Davis and Orel talked about on the game last night the 1949 Cardinals were first at 159 and now the Dodgers are tied with the 1976 Reds for second at 154. Don’t know where Davis got the stat.

    2. Maybe Davis was talking about only the National League, since he only brought up the Cardinals and the Reds.

      He mentioned the 1976 Reds, so it might be interesting to see what the 1977 Dodgers RD, was.

  6. The Dodgers just keep rolling along and I will roll in for the game tonight after a fun afternoon at Santa Anita closing day on the 4th. It’s nice to cool off a bit from the Vegas summer and enjoy an evening with fellow Dodger fans. Getting to see Alex Wood in person is a nice bonus, never heard of the poor sap about to be victimized who is taking the hill tonight for the snakes. I hope everyone had a Great 4th of July and are ready for some more Dodger Fireworks tonight!!

    1. Vegas – very jealous – no place I’d rather be on a warm July evening than Chavez Ravine – my absolute favourite place in the world!

      Bobby – are you making full use of your Season Tickets?

      1. To be honest, I haven’t gone to many games (work, don’t wana drive, etc), but lately, I am making some good money selling these things!

        Wat, if you’re ever in town, tickets are waiting for you!

  7. Rudy, I love your comments.

    Verdugo needs to be brought up. He has earned a call up to see what he can do. Taylor has made Gutierrez expendable. Romo is dead weight. Put him on the DL.

    Ryu and Maeda have played for half a season, they have not proved to me they are the answer to our 4 and 5 starter positions. They are not bad, but I just think we have better options. I am ready to look at Stewart, Stripling and Oaks. I know Stripling thinks he is a starter and maybe he should be given a chance to start again. I think FAZ and Doc are really good at giving players a chance to prove themselves. If they play well they stay in the line up. Just like Taylor and Bellinger. Let the competition decide.

    1. I agree with everything that you have posted. Gutierrez and Romo should be DFA’d. Ryu and Maeda – trade if possible. Bring up kids to try to start. With Kershaw, Wood, McCarthy and Hill the Dodgers only need 1 more starter to fill out the rotation. I doubt that there is anyone that they want available at the deadline that won’t cost a fortune in prospects.

          1. details, details, details…unless practically given away by the Dodgers it is unlikely that anyone will trade for either of them, in spite of their low cost contracts. That is where the “if possible” comes in to play.

            I still think they that either makes a very good #5, and if someone offers more than the proverbial “bag of balls”, then a trade is in order.

          2. How much do you risk pitching these 2, especially against tougher opponents? I suspect that Maeda will be reasonably easy to trade given his contract, even with the mediocre results he has posted thus far this year.

            One caveat here – given the fragility of the Dodgers’ rotation, do they keep these guys around on a “just in case” basis and stash them in the ‘pen or on the 10 day DL? I for one don’t expect all of the 3 guys after Kershaw to stay off the of the DL for the rest of the season. I would still rather see someone like Stewart get a shot at the rotation as the #5 guy even if they keep Ryu or Maeda as insurance. I suspect that Ryu will be hard to move given his medical history, but Maeda won’t be.

          3. Maeda is scheduled to pitch Friday against Jason Hammel and the KC Royals. I am sure the Dodgers are hoping for a solid game against another AL team. There are a lot of AL teams in the Wild Card and Divisional race that need starting pitching, and he is not a rental which should entice both Detroit and the ChiSox, along with Seattle, Minnesota, NYY, Boston, KC, Houston, and Baltimore all of who want a starting pitcher for the playoff run. Ryu was scheduled for Saturday, so somebody is going to have to start for LA.

      1. AC

        I hope Wood continues to pitch really well tonight, because the game is going to be on the MLB Channel tonight!

        And to win this game too.

        Because Wood isn’t getting much credit, for the way he has pitched this year.

        The Dbacks have had troubles with lefties this year, so I think Alex will pitch a good game as he has, all year.

  8. While we’re dreaming: Gina, Claudia Cardinale, and me. I don’t think anyone will want Ryu or Maeda unless they are part of a bigger package. Throw ins. We picked up a game on the giants last night. Keep it going to 30 games behind. Then 35 etc.

    1. Not yet. Kendall is probably paying hardball. Is he going to give up nearly $3M and go back to school, or accept what the 23rd selection bonus slot is? I cannot see walking away from $3M. 2 years ago Buehler, Rios, and Logan Crouse signed on the last day. Funkhouser did not, but that allowed the Dodgers to sign Crouse, who may end up better in the long run. There are really four unsigned that are holding (Kendall, Cooper, Wong, Amaya). Kendall will dictate what happens to the other three.

  9. My take on Jeren Kendall is that he is one of the highest ranked players the Dodgers have ever selected in recent memory . He would immediately become the #1 player in the Dodger organization.

    Before the 2017 season, some scouts projected him as the best player in the country. Even after the season he had which was somewhat disappointing, many had him in the Top 10 or Top 5. I did not see who his agent was, but if I were his agent, I would be telling the Dodgers I would love to sign, but that it will take my bonus ($2.7 million) plus Cooper’s and Wong’s bonuses ( $1.6 million) to get him to sign.

    Do the Dodgers value him enough to walk away from Cooper and Wong (or at least one of them)?

    Will the Dodgers blink?

    Will Kendall blink?

    Stay tuned….

    1. Kendall was indeed in many top ten lists. And he was rated by many as the best college hitter going into the season. But the fact is that he was continually passed over by 22 other teams and became the last of the consensus first round college hitters. If you get exasperated by Joc and Puig swinging at unhittable bad pitches, wait until you see Kendall. Can he learn? He didn’t his junior year, but I am sure he can if he wants to, with the help of Dodger hitting instructors. He is a plus defensive CF, and you cannot teach speed.
      .
      I can see them walking away from Wong. I just do not think they will from Cooper. They may be able to get Cooper for a below sl17ot value, plus they have about $250K below the overall bonus pool penalty. I think they can comfortably to to $3.4M and $1M for Cooper and call it a draft.

    2. Walking away fro Cooper and Wong doesn’t do any good in signing Kendall. If the others don’t sign, Dodgers cannot apply their signing amounts to Kendall. If they sign under-slot, then the differential can be applied to Kendall, but not the entire amount if they walk.

      1. Absolutely correct. Thank you. I had it wrong. In 2015, Funkhouser’s bonus slot was eliminated when he did not sign. Crouse and Abdullah were able to be signed by the underslot contracts for others (including the two Vandy pitchers Buehler and Pfeiffer).

  10. Hedy Lamarr was the finest looking actress ever, and smart too. Liz Taylor the 2nd best with those violet eyes. Chris Taylor passes the eye test but the test of time has yet to be taken. Kelbert Ruiz is really young and has great numbers. Put him in advanced A so I can go check him out. Verdugo obviously ready to play MLB somewhere, and soon.

    1. I agree. I am not ready to move Keibert past Will Smith until I can see what he does at Rancho. Move Smith to AA. Plus Keibert is strictly a catcher and Smith can play 3B and other positions. That seems to be a FAZ criterion for catchers.

  11. I am going on record that I do not like Utley at 1B when you put a gold glover in RF.

    I hate second-guessing so I am saying it before!

    1. agree completely. Last time it cost us a game because Utley didn’t come off the base to flag down Grandall’s bad throw.

  12. Mark, Long-time reader but first posting. Thanks for keeping me sane even while you were at the other site with the trolls. Since you have started this sight back the old one has a very rancid smell. You used to call them morons and rightfully so. That sight is dyeing and I think the guy who wrote Dodger Therapy committed Harry Cari (sp). That’s a joke because I don’t wish bad on anyone. You never backed down and that’s what I like. This is the first sight I go to every moring. I have been a Dodger fan since 1967 and am looking forward to another win this year. You told them so.

  13. Just a little bit interesting that Kike’ hit for and replaced Joc. More faith in Kike’ against a righthander than Joc and a lefthander. Not to mention Kike’ playing center at crunch time.

  14. Kershaw will be pitching Sunday, making him ineligible to pitch in the ASG. Well if tonight’s game does not get Wood an All Star invite in place of Kershaw, there better be an investigation.

  15. Bill Shaikin:
    “Not to say this is #Dodgers year, but their Cal League team just scored 8 runs (3 HR) in 1 inning vs Madison Bumgarner in his rehab start.”
    Sweet

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