I Just Dropped In to See What Condition My Condition Was In

So, the Dodgers currently own the best record in baseball at 61-29, which is a .678 winning percentage.  With 72 games left, they could go 30-42 and still likely make the playoffs with 91 wins.  If they just play .500 ball the rest of the way, they will end up with 97 wins which would be absurd (playing .500 ball and winning 97 games).  If they keep up their current pace, they will win 110 games, which is more than the 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers won.  I remember that well… actually, not so much.  I was born right after that season was over.

I think it’s a foregone conclusion they will win 100 games – how many more depends upon when they clinch the division.  The Dodgers could have easily won 95 or 96 games last year, but they tanked the last week after clinching early.

Right about now, it’s good for the team to get a mental break and Clayton to get a full week off.  I think that the week after the All-Star Game will be eventful.  It is my opinion that the Dodgers should call up Alex Verdugo right after the Break to see if he can handle MLB pitching right now.  If he can, is there a need to trade prospects for a hitter we may already have?

True, he’s not a power hitter, but that would enable him to hit leadoff where, if successful, he could set the table for Seager, Turner, Bellinger and Taylor.   Against tough LH pitchers, Taylor goes back to LF and Forsythe to 2B.  It’s tough messing with the chemistry of a team doing so well, but I think it’s more dangerous to trade for a hitter.  Of course, they are still looking for a LH pitcher in the pen, but so is everyone.  FAZ will likely get one… but who?

Let’s look at how the Dodgers rank around MLB:

  • Team BA: 14th
  • Team OB%:  4th
  • Team OPS: 4th
  • Runs Scored: 4th (to those of you who like higher BA’s, ponder this one and the two above it)
  • Stolen Bases:  16th
  • Team ERA: #1
  • Team WHIP: #1
  • Batting Average Against – #1
  • Starter ERA: #1
  • Bullpen ERA: #2
  • Bullpen Innings Pitched: #16
  • Starter Innings Pitched: #8
  • Passed Balls: #6 (the team we just swept has only one – it means ZERO)

The Dodgers almost assuredly will be in the playoffs and likely FAZ is planning a long run, so they need to be very wise in what they do.  This team is pretty well set. It is solid and they don’t have to make any moves, but they should and will.

Predictions:

  • Gutierrez will retire as his AS is flaring up more often.
  • A-Gon and Andre won’t be back.
  • Romo and Hatch will also be gone.
  • That leaves some opportunities for major moves.
  • Oaks, Buehler and Verdugo are possibilities, as is Farmer.

Stay tuned – it should be fun!  I’m looking forward to six Dodgers being introduced at the All-Star Game and Cody and his dad putting on a show.  He doesn’t hit the longest home runs, but he does hit more HR per swing than anyone is baseball.  That’s bodes well for the Bellingers.

Rants & Raves

  • Neither Yadier Alvarez nor Alex Verdugo showed much in the Futures Game yesterday.  With other pitchers topping out at 101, Yadier’s 97 seemed bland.
  • Could Scott Kazmir or Hyun-Jin Ryu be that “lefty in the pen?”
  • Should they check ID’s in this pic?

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 105 Comments

  1. Rotation: Kershaw, Stewart, Wood, Hill, and Maeda and McCarthy taking turns as #5
    .
    Bullpen: Jansen, Ryu, Baez, Stripling, Maeda, Buehler/Morrow,
    .
    Romo, Fields, Hatcher, Avilan, Dayton, Liberatore, Morrow = trade candidates
    .
    No to McCutchen

    1. I am very high on Brock Stewart but I believe he will fail as a starter THIS year. Here’s why:

      1. His fastball is nice but not explosive, so rather than an “out pitch” it is more of a “setup” pitch.
      2. To be effective he needs a couple of other plus pitches and he has one – his change-up, which is excellent.
      3. His slider is average at best, but he has only been pitching for 3 years, so it will get better.
      4. What he really needs is a curve. Clayton had a fastball and a curve when he came up and look how he did. Clayton has just developed his slider and his change is a work in progress.
      5. Give Brock another off season to work on his curve and he might just be the #3 we are looking for…. but not this year. He will be a huge asset in the pen.

      If Brock can develop the curve, I see him as a RH Clayton Kershaw… which is much higher than others see him.

  2. Like making excuses for Alvarez or Verdugo, but what was the average age of the other players in that game?
    .
    Our two guys are very young. First time in the limelight. Just wondering.

    1. Forgot to say, Very nice picture!!! Is that how they travel these days? Or just to the A.S. game?

    2. Our two players are both of legal drinking age – there are 15 or more players on the teams who are not, so they are not that young.

  3. My wife’s family is from Kansas City, and are huge Royals fans. Her nephew called me after yesterdays’s game and said how impressed he was with the Dodger “team”. No one specific aspect, just the team. And that was his point…the team. He said it reminded him of the 2014 & 2015 Royals. I told him it reminded me of the 2004 Boston Red Sox team. Both teams just found a way to win. I made the same point to him about finishing up .500 and still winning 97 games. To put it in more perspective, if the Dodgers go .500 the rest of the way, then the DBacks have to play at a .603 rate, Rockies have to play at a .634 rate, and the Cubs (the next closest Wild Card team) has to play at a .730 rate just to tie the Dodgers. None of the Dodgers .500, DBacks .603, Rockies .634, or Cubs .730 are likely to play at those rates. The Dodgers will play better, and the other three not as well. You would think that FAZ Bashers would wait until June before they start to bury the Dodgers.
    .
    An observation that may upset some people. I watched two Dodgers play over the weekend; Kershaw and Puig. Kershaw knew that if he pitched Sunday, he would not be able to pitch in the All Star Game, and miss out on potentially starting an ASG yet again. Yet he believed it was more important for him to pitch for the Dodgers than for himself. There was also an ancillary benefit by pitching Sunday…Alex Wood would be named to the ASG. Totally unselfish. Then you have Puig who throws a tantrum and pouts because he gets pulled on a double switch, a move deemed necessary to give the Dodgers a better chance at winning. When is it time to quit giving Puig yet another excuse? If there is a way of moving Puig in a JD Martinez trade, I am in favor of doing it in a New York minute. I also would have no problem with putting Verdugo out in RF and letting him prove whether he could hit at the ML level. While Puig’s arm is outstanding, Verdugo’s is considered one of the very best in all of minor league baseball.
    .
    I think Ryu could possibly be a bullpen candidate. But I would rather have someone who has a history of relieving successfully. I would prefer Brad Hand, or Justin Wilson, or Sean Doolittle or my wish… Zach Britton. The Cubs and Indians made one significant trade last year, and they were both for high leverage left handed relievers, Chapman and Miller. The Cubs made an additional trade for another reliever, Mike Montgomery. Could Zach Britton become the Dodgers Chapman and/or Miller? I know I am hallucinating.
    .
    Was it the real Josh Sborz that pitched yesterday for Tulsa…6.2 innings of 2 hit shutout baseball? If Sborz has a solid final two months, I believe he becomes a legit prospect again. I am more and more concerned with Jordan Sheffield, and Gavin Lux for that matter.

    1. I did not like Lux before the draft and was disappointed that the Dodgers took him. I do hope I am wrong. I don’t have an opinion about Sheffield.

      Puig? I could live with him at #8 – he’s just a knucklehead. Always will be. If he could be moved in a deal for Martinez, I’m in. Preferably, Martinez and Wilson.

      Try this:
      1. Verdugo RF
      2. Seager SS
      3. Turner 3B
      4. Bellinger 1B
      5. Martinez LF
      6. Grandal C
      7. Forsythe 2B
      8. Pederson CF

    2. I can’t see FAZ trading young controllable Puig for a rental, Martinez. I can see FAZ doing a Puig, Gonzalez, Kazmir for Stanton deal. Potential win/win situation. Miami sets itself up for a franchise sale, Dodgers reduce 2018 payroll by about $20M and get out of luxury tax. Stanton for the next ten years at about $240M might be a good deal when compared to Harper.

      1. The Dodgers need to breakup the string of years of payroll penalty. The penalty increases each year of consecutive payrolls that exceed the limit. Stanton will take one of the outfield positions away from prospects like Verdugo, Toles, Diaz, Kendall, Peters, and non-prospects such as Thompson and Pederson, and Hernandez. While that might be a minus, the plus is that it offers more trade options.
        .
        Forsythe is hitting his stride which makes him valuable as a player for the Dodgers or as a trade piece.
        .
        I would leave Verdugo in OK until September unless Puig is traded for a LRP.

      2. Young and controllable is not an end-all-be-all(using Mark’s term). Does Corey Seager throw a tantrum if he is double switched in that spot, or Cody Bellinger, or Joc Pederson? None of them would. And they are all younger. Or how about an older one like JT or Grandal or Forsythe? They never have. The double switch is as common as any strategical move there is in baseball. If any player has a reason to bitch it is Joc Pederson who has never been given the opportunity that Yasiel Puig has, and he is younger and controllable for a longer period of time. And I am not a Joc Pederson apologist.
        .
        FAZ is successful because they have built a team, not accumulated a bunch of individuals. Puig is an individual on a team. Some say he is so talented that some of this immaturity can be overlooked. I am not convinced that he is as talented as some believe, and regardless the team is always more important than the individual. Puig may say the words, but I am not certain that he actually believes them. There have been way too many people in that dugout who have said otherwise. When do you stop making excuses?
        .
        There is not one negative word that I have ever read or heard about JD Martinez. Everything that I have read or heard has indicated that he is the consummate team player. The Dodgers are 61-29 right now, so would I trade two and a half years of Puig for one half a year for JD? I would if I thought that JD would give the Dodgers a better opportunity to win this year, and IMO he would. If you need someone to hit at the bottom of the order, Joc has done well in that role.
        .
        There is no guarantee about 2018 or 2019. Just ask the Cubs. Or the 2015 Cardinals (100-62). The 2016 Cubs went for Chapman and Montgomery because that was their best chance to win in 2016. The 2016 Indians went for Andrew Miller because he gave them the best chance to win in 2016. The 2015 Mets traded for Cespedes and the 2015 Royals traded for Cueto and Zobrist, because that was their best chance to win. Admittedly not all work. Just ask the 2014 A’s and Jon Lester, or the 2015 Blue Jays and David Price/Troy Tulowitzki. Maybe the lesson is that trading for high leverage relief and a good RH OF bat are more important than a second Ace. If the Dodgers could acquire JD Martinez and Justin Wilson for Puig and a couple (or three) top 30 prospects not named Verdugo/Buehler/Peters/Diaz/Stewart I would do it, and not look back or ever second guess.
        .
        J. D. Martinez 215 PA 14 HR/12 Doubles/32 RBI .299/.381/.610/.991 vs
        Yasiel Puig 324 PA 16 HR/10 Doubles/43 RBI .251/.324/.453/.777
        .
        One is younger and controllable for 2 more years, and one is just better, and would not throw a tantrum if he were double switched. I would be concerned if FAZ would not trade Puig for JD Martinez.

        1. AC, I agree on most things you talk about but not on Puig. I believe he has made an effort this year from ST on to be more of a team player. The tantrum you refer to was overblown by the TV coverage in the moment. He stayed on the bench, was cheering his teammates and was out on the field celebrating afterwards. You show JD’s offensive stats as a comparison but what about defense? Puig’s is elite, Martinez not so much. He also will scare no one on the bases. He also has an injury history that has held him back. If the plan is to resign him longer term ok, I see it. If it’s as a 2 month rental no way, Puig is worth more than that, IMO. The Dodgers have no problem winning with Puig, I’m not so sure he is a chemistry problem. I know his behavior sometimes infuriates the 50 plus year old crowd who are more baseball purists but he electrifies the 20 and 30 somethings that are the sports future.

          1. Vegas

            I not sure about your thoughts about the older crowd, concerning Puig.

            There were plenty of people on here, that came to Puig’s defense, when Joc and Puig, collided.

            And I know other older people that just like to watch anything that Puig does, whether it is bad or good, behavior.

            I don’t really feel strongly either way, because we might still be able to win, even if Puig can’t provide any offense, in the post season.

            And because it was so painful to watch Reddick play last year, when he came to the team.

            I don’t think Martinez is the same type of player, but I am afraid of trading for players, from the American League, because of the difference in pitchers, from league to league.

            I know a really good hitter, should hit pitching, from either league.

            But I can also see AC’s point, and I don’t think AC feels like that, because he is older, and I don’t think AC is a day over 39.

            But I also don’t understand why some people treat Puig like he is a mere rookie, when this is his fifth year, in majors.

            And you kind of made AC’s point, when you pointed out that Puig tried to be a team player, from the begining on spring training this year.

            That says a lot, after five years, on this team.

            And I think that is where AC ‘s thoughts, are more, coming from.

          2. Vegas, I know that there are a lot of Puig supporters on this site. And I knew that I would catch some flak for my position on Puig. I have zero problem eating a lot of crow if Puig is the difference maker. I am not sure that it is a generational thing, but maybe it is. I always preached to my kids to “act like you have been there before”. I use examples of my son more than I probably should, but in his second year in professional ball, he hit a monster home run and ran around the bases without emotion. The next time up he was drilled intentionally. Everybody knew it. The catcher jumped up in front of him, just in case. My son dropped the bat and ran to first. No exchange or look towards the pitcher. The next batter hit a ground ball to 2nd base and my son destroyed the SS on the double play attempt. Very clean slide, but the SS was out for 2 months. Ed Wade was the GM for the Phillies and was at that game. He told the scouts (and manager after the game), that was the way a player should handle being drilled.
            .
            There is no argument that Puig is a better defensive OF than JD. But their overall WAR numbers for the last three years favor JD. Martinez, 5.0, 1.8, 1.3. Puig 1.1, 1.4, 1.1. JD’s 1.8 for 2016 was because of his horrid defense. He is better this year, but he is certainly not considered a good defensive OF. But for every great play that Puig makes, he seems to make as many bone head plays to offset the good ones. After throwing the runner out at third recently, he tried again a couple of nights later, and was not close, allowing the batter to go to second on the throw. Even Davis/Hershiser commented that Puig probably wishes he had that one back. In their estimation, Puig thinks he can make the play every time. Sometimes he does (great for him and the Dodgers), but too often he does not. I do not think he is a bad person (quite the contrary). But I do think he cares more for the name on the back of the jersey than the name on the front.

        2. Oh course Martinez would be nice. My point is, young and controllable is the FAZ way. MULTIPLE, young, controllable and cheap options.
          .
          You would be concerned if FAZ would not trade Puig for JD Martinez? I think then you should be concerned. I would think if Detroit had that trade offer on the table they would have jumped at it. Detroit isn’t going anywhere this year and say what you want about Puig, he puts butts in the seats. Like Vegas Dodger observed a couple days ago, Puig jerseys were second only to Kershaw jerseys at the Dodger game he attended. I don’t think Puig is going anywhere this year, unless it’s for another controllable player. I never bought the Puig for Braun trade rumors either, I think Milwaukee would have jumped on that trade, same reasons.
          .
          You might be right about FAZ going for it this year, but as you noted “admittedly not all moves work”. If FAZ has shown us anything, its they are thinking EVERY year, not just this year. We have seen they don’t like paying the HIGH prices at the deadline. In any event, it’s going to be interesting!

          1. Boxout

            I don’t think the Tigers would trade for Puig, because they had Cespedes on their team, and he provided much more offense, then Puig has provided lately, and the Tigers let him go.

          2. Not sure why you are saying that MJ.
            .
            Detroit traded Cepedes when he was about to hit free-agency (like Martinez) and expensive. They got a couple prospects, not sure how good of prospects. Puig is controllable for two more seasons and relatively cheap. Also some posters may think he’s a bum or knucklehead and has reached his peak, but the truth is, all organizations, in all sports, love to trade for young POTENTIAL. Puig at 26 still is probably viewed as having the potential to get better. I just think MOST organizations would jump at young potential for a soon to be free-agent (Martinez) or old expensive player (Braun).

          3. Do you mean multiple young controllable cheap options like Jharel Cotton/Frankie Montas/Grant Holmes for rentals Rich Hill/Josh Reddick? Or JDL for Logan Forsythe?
            .
            I still would have to liked to have seen Rich Hill succeed or fail in NLCS Game 7.

        3. AC

          I think the best way to make your case, is what J.D. Martinez’s is doing against lefties.

          500/575/1100 plus/ 1400 plus

          Puig 161/235/250/ and just under 500

          1. For his career, Puig has always hit lefties, this season seems to be an anomaly. Perhaps the changes to his stance which help him against righties by laying off the outside slider have forced him to relearn hitting lefties. Last year after his demotion he played only against LHP and this year they use him mostly against RHP. Say what you will but Faz and Roberts pay attention to what is happening.

          1. Boxout

            Cespedes was traded from the Red Sox, to the Tigers, for Porcello.

            And Cespedes was really productive for the Tigers, that year.

            I am surprised that the Tigers didn’t try, to resign him.

            The point I was making, is that maybe the Tigers were afraid to sign another, Cuban player.

          2. Vegas

            Firstly, I said I don’t feel strongly either way, but you can’t deny Puig has bad numbers, against lefties!

            And Puig has not mostly played against righties, this year!

            That is just not true!

            In fact , Puig has probably had more at bats against lefties, then most everyday players, have had, this year, on other teams.

            And that is because almost every team we faced early in the season, would throw any leftie at us, that they had.

            And teams did this, because of our bad stats, against lefties, last year!

            And Puig was playing everyday, and he still plays, almost everyday.

            Puig hasn’t been platooned, like you said, that is just not true either.

            And why do you think Roberts continued to play Puig, to see if he would hit lefties, eventually.

            But Puig has not done that yet, according to the numbers.

            And you can say what you say, but the numbers say, something different.

            And like I said from the begining, I don’t feel strongly either way, but AC does have a point, and the numbers do speak for themselves.

            And the defensive metrics do come into play like you said, but so do all the different, factors.

    3. “Throwing a tantrum” might be a little judgmental based on what we were able to see of Puig on TV, and I believe I have seen Kershaw pout a little bit (if not snarl) on being pulled from a game. Puig was out there on the field celebrating and congratulating after the game.

      1. Thank You. If people can’t see the difference this year then they just don’t want to.

  4. Long time viewer, first time post. I just don’t see the FO making a huge trade for a position player. Why mess with success and team chemistry? I do believe they will acquire a RH OF that can come off the bench and who has some pop, but not a player who will automatically be inserted into the starting lineup. Someone who can take the RH pinch hitting and platoon starts that Guiterrez was getting. I could be wrong, but it will be fun to watch and see what the FO does.

    I do believe the Dodgers will certainly look to bolster the BP. Once in the playoffs they will need someone who can pitch lock down innings in high leverage situations. I love what Baez is doing but I have to bite my nails when he pitches. Some nights he is “lights out” and others he gets behind hitters in bad pitch counts and gives up the long ball. The FO will certainly look to improve the BP and it will cost some huge assets. “Go big or go home” and I want to see a WS parade in LA. The trade deadline is going to be exciting.

    PS-love the website Mark. Great job!

  5. From Joe Davis (upon whom I allegedly have a mancrush):

    Clayton Kershaw and Alex Wood are a combined 23-2, which makes them the #1 pre-ASG duo in terms of winning % EVER

  6. I agree with what AC said about the Dodgers being a team. I posted the same thing during the 10 game winning streak. Every day someone is coming up clutch. It’s what the Royals, Red Sox, Cardinals and even Giants did when they were winning their world series. I would be ok with trading Puig depending on what we get in return. I read an article about the differences between this year’s Giants team and the ones that won the World Series. It said that one of the chemistry things they had was a team-wide disdain for Angel Pagan. Could Puig be that for us?

    1. The only thing I worry about besides a leftie for the pen, is that we have to do better, with getting hits, with runners in scoring position.

      We won’t be able to hit many out, against good pitching.

      Our team batting average ranks 16 like Mark posted, and that is one stat, that we rank low at, compared, to our other stats.

      And that stat is a little deceiving, with the fact, that Turner’s batting average is so high, so that stat is skewed, a little.

      And I think batting average plays a big part in getting hits, when runners are in scoring position.

      And because over all, we don’t have those type of hitters on this team, we needs to be more productive on offense, in the second half as a team, to be ready for the post season, if we go.

      We are having good at bats, but we need to take the offense, to another level, because there won’t be a lot of pitchers, that will give us walk after walk, in the post season.

      The Astros are the other team in baseball, that we are close with, but I believe they have a much better team batting average, but they still have the power, that we have too.

      But I do think our starting pitching, is better then the Astros.

      But in the past in the post season, we have had trouble getting hits, when runners are in scoring position, and that is important thing to be able to do, against good pitching.

      1. While what you say is largely true, the Dodgers have the largest run differential over opponents in the Major Leagues.

  7. Who is the hottest Dodger going into AS week??? According to Cary Osborne of “Dodger Insider”—–


    “On June 17 in Cincinnati, Logan Forsythe grounded out in the seventh inning. He was 0-for-4 at that point — his batting average sinking to .183.
    Since June 18, Forsythe is hitting .349/.447/.524. Since June 28, he is fifth in the Majors with a .452 average, second with a .553 on-base percentage and 11th with a 1.198 OPS.”

  8. I agree with all here who have posted the HUGE gains that the Dodgers have made as a TEAM. Notwithstanding their reputation as a bunch of SABRphiles, the Braintrust has made huge efforts to weed the malcontents from the roster and build a team. As much as I love seeing Matt Kemp in Blue, as guys like Kemp, Hanley Ramirez, et al have been sent packing and guys like Puig have been held accountable (remember his demotion last year?) the team has played better and better as a team.

    Of course, a certain amount of chemistry comes from winning, but I expect that this bunch has been pretty cohesive all year. The Braintrust’s decision to bring Turner and Jansen back proved that it believed in the team and I think that this was huge.

    Although I am skeptical of some of the new age methods employed by the Braintrust, the management has gotten everyone on board. Even guys like Kershaw have been willing to go along with some of their methods (coming out of games early, for example), so now that everyone has bought in, they are all pulling in the same direction.

    I expect that there will be hard times to come but have more confidence in this bunch than at any time since the late 70’s. This is a great time to be a Dodger fan.

  9. I agree with you AC on Puig? We all saw the exchange in the dugout. Puig made the last out and was the one who should of been replaced in the double move. I would trade Puig in a heartbeat. Besides, he will run over anyone if he thinks he can get to the ball. I had to laugh the other day. Utley had a pop fly to short right field. Utley was waving both arms and yelling that it was his ball. He was not going to let Puig run him over. I am not much of a fan of Joc either. Both look like they have figured it out. Then a day or two later, they look awful. I do believe Joc is a better team player.

    1. There are times that Joc’s body language at the plate tells me he is going to hit the ball hard and there are times that his body language tells me he won’t. Weird, I know.

    2. Idahoal

      You crack me up, because you say exactly what is on your mind, and probably what is on a lot of fan’s mind, from time to time.

  10. I recognize Puig’s value to the Dodgers and I enjoy watching him nonchalantly catch a ball but I would be fine if he were traded. If it were for a LRP then Bellinger, Hernandez, Thompson, Verdugo could take care of RF and Utley, Gonzales, Hernandez, and Bellinger could take care of 1st base.

    1. Puig is a valuable asset to the TEAM. Stellar defense in right field, strong arm slowing down other team’s running game and great offense from a #8 hitter.
      .
      Is he perfect? No. Does he go off the rails at times? Sure. Is he playing to his potential? It seems like there is a lot more to be had and we hope he finds it…as a Dodger. He can be a difference maker and his contract is reasonable for what he delivers.
      .
      Just because he pitched a fit the other day again, isn’t reason to get rid of him. You take the whole package into account. Mark used to pitch a fit all the time in the recent past. But we still loved him because he was a good person and we took the whole package into account and what he was railing against. Only those who were short-sighted wanted to get rid of Mark. But, he was an asset to the TEAM, and look how glad we are that he is still here.
      .
      Yes, Puig is a knucklehead and remains a work in progress but he is making progress. I hope that progress continues as a Dodger. Someday it will be time to let Puig move on, but not today.

      1. I think, in what could only be called a “precise surgical strike,” I was just called a knucklehead in a covert, backhanded manner that can never bee proven. Nicely done!

        I got rid of the stuff that made me pitch a fit too!

  11. Funny thing is, sometimes I can’t tell who is talking…Joe or Oral. I take the crush thing back, you’re to big to irritate.

  12. With me optimism dies hard. Maybe that’s why I like Joe’s and Orel’s positive spin (without being total “homers”). My optimism says that this is the first year that Yasiel has taken coaching and instruction seriously . In that sense, he is something of a rookie, and he might actually get better as the season goes on.

    And I like Joe and Orel. Joe does his homework like Vince did, and I am amazed at how much thought Orel has given to every aspect of the game. I have MLB TV and get all the games since I am out of everybody’s market area, and I usually once or twice in every series listen to the opposition’s broadcasters for and inning or two, and I feel we are very lucky to have the team we have. And to quote somebody else here, Heck, I even like Charlie Steiner.

  13. Here’s a thought. If the Dodgers added a Ozuna and Stanton the team would have enough strength against lefties to eliminate platoons.
    .
    2B Taylor
    SS Seager
    3B Turner
    1B Bellinger
    RF Stanton
    CF Pederson
    LF Ozuna
    C Barnes/Farmer
    .
    Grandal, Gonzales, McCarthy, Kazmir, Toles, Puig, Dias, Stripling to Miami

    1. Bum

      It would be easier to give Toles the chance to hit lefties, and see if Puig would hit lefties better, next year.

      Because your trade still doesn’t change the fact, that Joc can’t hit lefties..

      1. The point you missed MJ was that Joc could be below league average against lefties with that lineup.

        1. Bum

          I got that point, but you went over board, on that one.

          You blew up the whole team!

          Sometimes we all act like someone here, can really make these trades.

          The truth is everyone is safe on the Dodgers, until we know differently.

  14. Harlan – Heck I even like Coach Kennedy…
    Idaho – Great bit on our Destruction Derby OF… I mentioned the pouting by Puig and got the possible cold shoulder… His contract is sweet for now…After???

  15. As Dodger fans, we have been blessed with young stars, Pederson, Seager, and Bellinger the last three years. But with Gary Sanchez and Aaron Judge, the Yankees are serving notice that they also have superstar youngsters. Aaron Judge was an absolute beast in the HR Derby. I do not generally watch the HR Derbies, but I wanted to see this one, and I am glad I did. Next year the ASG is in Washington DC, and Harper says if asked he will be in the HR Derby. I would pay to see Judge/Harper/Stanton go at it. I can count the number of Yankees that I have liked on one finger. I think Judge just might double that. He is fun to watch.

    1. AC

      The best thing about Judge, is that he is from our home state, like most major leaguers are.

      I thought the Yankees made that turnover with their team, pretty fast!

      1. Judge is a Bulldog alum, so I root for him.

        Who’s the only school to produce an all star in each of the 3 major sports in 2017? Fresno State! Paul George, Derek Carr, Aaron Judge

          1. The next Dodger might be another Fresno St alum, Justin Wilson of the Tigers. I watched him pitch yesterday at Cleveland, and he came in and got a 5 out save.

            He’d be pretty nice to have along with Baez in front of Kenley

  16. AlwaysCompete: “Do you mean multiple young controllable cheap options like Jharel Cotton/Frankie Montas/Grant Holmes for rentals Rich Hill/Josh Reddick? Or JDL for Logan Forsythe?
    .
    I still would have to liked to have seen Rich Hill succeed or fail in NLCS Game 7.”
    .
    I don’t see any “young controllable cheap options” who were already playing ML baseball on that list of players traded. To me, “young controllable cheap options” is a lot of the players on our current MLB roster. I would also include in that definition TOP prospects, future possible # 1s and a Verdugo type position players.
    .
    I had no problem with the Hill/Reddick trade. Hill was/is unique, he is viewed as a #2 or even better and relatively cheap. Premium starting pitching always costs a lot, but it looks like FAZ knew which prospects to trade. Reddick was a rental, but cheap, I think most of the prospect cost was for Hill.
    .
    The Forsythe trade, I wouldn’t do it again. The Forsythe trade is a good example of why I wouldn’t trade Puig for Martinez. FAZ had already stockpiled options at second base, Taylor, Utley, Culberson, Barnes, Calhoun. Turns out we really didn’t need Forsythe, although JDL at this point doesn’t look like any big loss. Trading two and half years of Puig for a few months of Martinez just isn’t worth the POTENTIAL upgrade to me. As pointed out Puig is much better in the field and do we know if Martinez can even stay healthy.
    .
    Let me ask you this, would you trade two years of Alex Wood for a few months of a healthy Dallas Keuchel? It’s even more equal, Dodgers have two more years of control for Wood, Houston one more year of control on Keuchel. Would you do it? I view a Puig for Martinez trade as similar to this.
    .
    Lastly, I am not saying you never trade “young controllable cheap options”, but the return has to be very high.

    1. Box, you did not define “young controllable cheap options” as ML players or future #1s or Verdugo type position players. So now there is a qualifier. I can accept that, but it does not change my position. I see nothing special about Puig. .250 hitters are very common. Scott Schebler has a better batting line than Puig, and I see nothing special about Schebler.
      .
      Puig – .251/.324/.453/.777 — 1.1 WAR; .5 oWAR; .3 dWAR
      Schebler – .251/.327/.529/.856 — 1.5 WAR; 1.1 oWAR; .1 dWAR
      .
      Schebler is the same age with longer control. Steven Souza has better numbers than Puig (.271/.369/.500/.869). He is 1.5 years older than Puig, but the Rays have longer control, and he is getting better every year. Souza is predominantly the #5 hitter, with leadoff being the only other spot where he has started any significant part of the year. That is where a RF should bat, not #8.
      .
      Cheap (?) – Puig has a guaranteed $7.5M in 2018, and 1 year arbitration for 2019 (based on a prior contract amount of $7.5M.) Schebler is at ML minimum ($540K) and is under team control for two years before 3 years of arbitration. Souza is $546,700 contract with year 1 arbitration starting in 2018. So Puig is $7M more with less results. I think that is replaceable.
      .
      The point is, Puig is doing nothing special and is not a difference maker, and hasn’t been since 2014. If the Dodgers can make a move to improve their chances this year, and not make any significant difference for 2018 then why not. I see Verdugo as a potential replacement for Puig next year. But if not Verdugo, I trust FAZ can find a .251/.324/.453/.777 #8 hitter. You value Puig much more than I do, and that is just a difference of opinion on one player.
      .
      Your Alex Wood comparison makes no sense to me at all. Alex Wood is 10-0 with a sub 1.7 ERA. He is a difference maker this year. Not Puig. Young and controllable are important, but not as important as being a difference maker.

      1. I would be more inclined to trade Puig for Schebler or Souza than Martinez for the reasons you stated. I think so would FAZ.
        .
        However, I don’t know if Schebler is aided by the park he plays in significantly. Happily, I don’t have to make those calls. Again my point is, I don’t think FAZ is interested in trading ” young, controllable RELATIVELY cheap” Puig or any other like player for a rental. While the team can always be improved (even though we both know, not all trades to improve work out) Dodgers are on a over 100 victory pace this year with an excellent chance to win it all. I don’t see them sacrificing the future to improve, even more, this year (with a short-term move) unless they think its really a bargain.
        .
        I think my Wood for Keuchel trade is similar because while Wood has been excellent so has Keuchel. Keuchel is 9-0 with a sub 1.67 ERA also. I would probably feel more comfortable that a healthy Keuchel would shine in the playoffs than Wood. But I wouldn’t make the trade based on the years of control alone, not considering the salary difference.
        .
        Puig has been very good in the role he has been asked to play this year. It appears he is working hard with Turner Ward. At 26, I still see the possibility of him becoming the 2013 version again, maybe I am blinded by that body and a sucker for “potential”. I also see him as a candidate for a “reasonable” extension. That is why Martinez is not enough for Puig to me and I don’t think for FAZ.

      2. Your details are excellent AC and by the numbers and your implication you are saying that you would trade Puig straight up for Schebler and the Dodgers would have an equal or better player in Schebler?
        .
        That is not a trade I would make and even though you make the case for it, I would be surprised if you would actually make that trade as well?

        1. I would not make that trade. My point is neither Puig or Schebler are difference makers. Nor is Souza. To me they are all the same player; interchangeable ML RF. Puig can be replaced, and IMO relatively easily. If the Dodgers can get a difference maker in RF for 2017, I would feel very comfortable going into 2018 with Verdugo or Toles in RF.
          .
          To trade a ML player, you need a difference maker current year (if buyer), or future years (if seller). I would not advocate just trading Puig for no value in return. I just do not value him as highly as many do, and apparently as FAZ does.
          .
          To trade at the deadline, there is going to be an overpay, whether it be for a LHRP or RF or Starting Pitcher. If you do not want to overpay, then do not make a trade, and be content to go into the playoffs with what got you there. That is an option, and not necessarily a bad one. Certainly one I can live with.
          But if the Nats go get a closer and additional relief (and overpay), then with their SP and offense, they become at least co-favorites. I would feel more confident/comfortable with another RH Power Bat and a Justin Wilson or Brad Hand in the bullpen.

      3. AC

        I think part of the draw is the way that Oral and Joe have built Puig up, from the begining of the season, but I don’t see them doing that, as much lately, for some reason.

        But it will be interesting to see what happens with the rest of the season.

        And I still don’t understand why some don’t expect more, after five years.

        But it is just good to see everyone contributing, in their own way.

        1. I don’t have TV or radio so I’m not aware of or influenced by what Joe or Orel might have to say about Puig.
          .
          I also try not to have expectations because that only leads to cloudy thinking but it is easy to think that Puig should be doing more than he does. And if one has those expectations then it is easy to be disappointed with Puig. He does seem to be gifted beyond his actual performance.
          .
          That leaves me to think that at this time it would not be so easy to replace Puig’s current performace level easily and his potential remains substantial. Accordingly, I’m willing to continue being patient since he has made some progress this year.

          1. DD

            I don’t feel strongly either way!

            I know last year after Reddick came to this team, I rather have had, Toles or Puig playing, instead of Reddick.

            But I understand where AC is coming from.

            Because rightfield is suppose to be an offensive, position.

            And I know what the numbers say, and I know an OPS of 777, is not above average stat.

            If you don’t have a TV, how do you know what AC and everyone else, saw on TV that day?

            And how do you know how Puig is playing, if you don’t have a radio or TV?

            And I am not the only one that has brought that up, so I know, it isn’t just me.

            But I am sorry, you don’t have a TV or a radio, I hope that is by choice!

  17. “Lastly, I am not saying you never trade “young controllable cheap options”, but the return has to be very high.”
    .
    Exactly Boxout7

  18. On Logan Forsythe:

    When Theo Epstein traded for Kyle Hendricks, he had no idea how good he might be. FAZ traded for Forsythe because they had no idea how good Taylor would become.

    Logan Forsythe is a very valuable piece… either to the Dodgers or someone else. JDL can’t seem to stay on the field.

    Cotton, Montas and Holmes have failed to show the promise they displayed as Dodgers. and then there was Zach Lee for Chris Taylor. My guess is that some GM’s are hesitant to trade for prospects with FAZ right about now.

  19. The HR Derby was Awesome.

    Cody acquitted himself very well. He’s just a scrawny kid right now. Give him a year or two and he will be a beast!

    1. Agree, Cody acquitted himself very well in the HR Derby.
      .
      At 6′-7″ and 282 lbs. the 25 year old Judge is already a beast. HR Derby should be fun to see over the next few years.

      1. Judge is a freak.

        Cody will ultimately be built more like Stanton… just not as big.

          1. Yeah, I expect Cody to be 6′ 4″ and 225 or 230 in a couple of years. He’ll never be the freak Judge is.

  20. PuigMania marches on… I finally get to review todays posts and well at least no more xlnt framing cause PB’s… This is good though!!! In 14 years of wearing the tools of ignorance I maybe had 2 PB!!!
    I know he’s not on the 40 man and we’d have to use the magical 10 day DL, but I’d love to see Willie C. up and see if he could truly hit MLB pitching…Great audition possibly for an AL trade piece…

  21. The whole prospect thing is maybe the toughest puzzle that a front office has to solve. How do you know who will be good and who will wash out? When the Braintrust traded Montas, Cotton and Holmes last year for 2 months each of Reddick and Hill, they: 1- traded from surplus (lots of RHP in the system); 2 – projected that most or all of them wouldn’t turn out to be as good as once thought; 3 – calculated that Hill and Reddick would give the big league team the push that they needed for the post-season. So far (after only 1 season) the gamble looks like a pretty good one. Reddick didn’t work out, and Hill didn’t pitch too much last year but when he did he was really good.

    Same with DeLeon for Forsythe. 2B was thought to be a position of need and it was going to cost a good prospect to pry a major league 2B loose. The Braintrust was again trading from a position of depth and I suspect that it never thought as much of DeLeon as some did. So far, DeLeon hasn’t done anything and Forsythe has only recently started hitting. I’m not going to second guess that deal. Few expected Taylor to turn out the way that he has and in any event, he has played more OF than INF this season so far.

    As for the Dodgers’ needs down the stretch, I am certain that the Braintrust will make a move or 2 and that some prospects will be involved. Thus far they have been pretty canny with their trades – they haven’t traded prospects that have made an impact elsewhere except for Scott Schebler. (And Schebler is yet another lefty hitting OF so it was a case of trading where you have a surplus.)

    While some have linked the Dodgers with starting pitching at the deadline, I really don’t see anyone out there that I want for the Dodgers who won’t cost a fortune (the exception being Garrit Cole maybe). Lefty reliever and RH power bat for the OF is what I want.

  22. Debating about Puig can be a polarizing thing, he generates a response both pro and con. I think the pros see the flaws and the cons see the talent. My point is not to get upset and trade him over one incident (in some minds a series of incidents) Remember Ethier screaming in the dugout in the playoffs Mattingley’s last year here? Much worse display. I say let Robert’s handle the players on the field and Faz handle the roster, I think they know a little better. And if Puig gets traded (face it, part of the business) some will rejoice and some will be a little sad. Just do it for the right reasons at the right time and get some value in return. Or stay the course, sit him down and talk to him and move on. They might want to trade him to the AL as well as he will probably haunt the Dodgers if they don’t. Packaged with future DH Calhoun they might bring back a nice haul. But there will be a lot of 66 Jerseys in fans closets after the deal is done. That’s why I don’t buy jerseys anymore but I still have Piazza 31 who I thought would never be traded and he goes into the HOF as a Met.

    1. I have a Kershaw 22 jersey. If I ever have to put that one in storage in my closet, I will need to schedule some therapy.

      1. I agree, Kershaw 22 should be retired when he goes into the HOF as a Dodger. Not given out to a guy like Joc as Piazza’s 31 was. If Kershaw goes in as a Ranger or Astro some future phenom will be wearing 22.

      2. I currently have 5 Dodger jerseys; Kershaw, Ethier, Wood, Seager, Bellinger (in order of purchase). Kershaw/Ethier/Seager – white, and Wood/Bellinger – blue. I have probably had 50 jerseys over the years with my first one being Junior Gilliam. When a Dodger is traded, I generally donate it to a children’s charity that I was involved with and they auction it off. Somebody always buys them. I love wearing my jerseys, but I also feel good if the donation helps some child in any way possible.

        1. Your thoughts on Danny Thomas please. Mine of him is ‘almost’ unsung hero. Unselfish hero works.

    2. Well stated. I agree that Puig is polarizing and that he may or may not be dealt. But the one thing I am sure of is that FAZ will decide how to move forward without the emotion we fans have. There will be a baseball basis for whatever decision they make on any player.

        1. I loved the deal. Ruiz was a better player than AJ and the clubhouse seems better than ever.

          1. Hawkeye

            That deal really worked out, if you think about the offense that Ruiz provided, in the post season!

            It wasn’t his fault, that we didn’t win that one game, after he hit that ball out!

    3. Vegas

      When that happened with Ethier, Mattingly wasn’t even talking to Puig, because he was so sick of Puig’s antics!

      And Mattingly treated Ethier badly, so I had no problem with what Ethier did that night.

      I don’t think this is about only one incident.

      Remember, Puig was sent down to AAA last year, for not doing what he was suppose to do.

      I don’t think they will trade for another bat, but they may regret it, if Puig and Joc, don’t step up!

      Hopefully everyone will step up, and play as a team, like they have.

      1. This is a time to be happy and appreciate the team, we have now!

        And hopefully, the team will only get better!

        This is going to be a fun ride this year!

      2. That’s why Puig will never be traded to Miami even though he makes a lot of sense with their fan base, as long as Mattingly is there. Mattingly mishandled both the Puig and Ethier situations that year and was finally gone. One thing that Roberts did was let Puig know early where he stood and then follow through on his promise. I think the message finally got through. You don’t know and I don’t know how Puig or Joc or even Kike as I just saw you arguing with a poster on another site might do the rest of the season. That’s why I’m glad Faz and Roberts are making the decisions as we argue over who is better than you or me.

        1. Vegas

          I am so glad that Mattingly is gone!

          And I am so glad that Roberts is our manager!

          I was really disappointed last year, when I found out Puig was not taking Roberts direction, because I thought Roberts would bring out the best,in Puig.

          Let’s hope that that happened, this year!

        2. Vegas

          I was just standing up for someone, that poster, had just put down, for their post.

          That poster talks down to people at times, and he has plenty to say, about players, he just doesn’t like.

          But he doesn’t like when others, feel differently, about his favorite players.

          That is all that was about!

  23. Can you expand on Mattingly “treated Dre badly” ??? In Dre’s defense (I like him too) I believe he was frustrated… Puig, well it’s an IQ thing!!! But after the spanish players console him and splain the double switch again… It’s “O Si”… But a helluva 8 hole hitter with a cannon and a sweet contract…
    Yep that was my first HR contest in years becuz of the Judge and Cody B… I have no idea where the ceiling is on Judge ( AC a lil help) but I’d like some stock…
    The game tonite??? That might be a maybe so…

    1. Peter

      I just thought Mattingly treated Ethier badly, and I think your exactly right about Ethier being frustrated.

    2. Not mistreated, mishandled between the two players. That was Ethier’s last healthy season and Puig was battling hamstring injuries and missed a lot of time. Ethier was not happy 10 2015 about playing 51 games in LF and 80 in RF for one thing, not all of them starts. He stated in ST no more CF after playing there 68 times in 2014 to 16 in LF and 15 in RF (plus 1 at 1B) that he was better in the corners but he really wanted to play RF and Puig was the better fielder there. When both were healthy they shared RF or Ethier went to LF so there was tension all year that Mattingly did not handle well IMO. Joc was a rookie that year and got in Mattingly’s doghouse too and it was hard to get out of his doghouse. When Faz came in they were told they had to keep Donnie Baseball for a season and they missed out on Maddon, but by the end of the year he was upset with their lineup input and they were ready to move on too. The silver lining was hiring Roberts to take the reins.

      Judge was just other worldly, he was hitting to all fields and even slightly mishit balls were carrying out. We will never know what he could have done, he only had a tough target once when Bour hit 22 and he calmly blasted 23 with time to spare. Going last he was done with time on the clock and bonus time unused twice.

      1. Some of his home runs looked like infield pop ups from the field camera. But then…Boom…they were gone into the night. Impressive stuff.

    3. Peter, he absolutely looks legit. He handles the NY pressure cooker extremely well. I think he surpasses the last good NYY RF (Paul O’Neill). It would be unfair to label him another Reggie Jackson, but I would not be afraid to at least think it (maybe just not out loud). It is a little unfair to compare him to a HOF after only three months, but the point is that his ceiling is very high. I am not a huge Rob Manfred fan, but he has already put it out in the universe that Judge could become the next face of MLB.
      .
      http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/yankees/aaron-judge-absolutely-phenomenal-gushes-mlb-commish-article-1.3317985
      .
      I think that is more of a NY thing. As good as he appears to be, I do not think that Mike Trout is going away. Consider all that Trout has accomplished thus far, and remember he is only 9 months older than Aaron Judge. And Kershaw can retire tomorrow and go into the HOF. So Judge has a ways to go, but he is certainly moving in the right direction.

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