The Second Coming of ChrisT

When the Dodgers traded Zach Lee to the Mariners for Chris Taylor, my first reaction was:

He’s a backup SS – OK, but not great.

He’s a utility guy who is a junkyard dog.

Chris Taylor is a baseball rat! He’s an over-achieving utilityman.

That means I like him.

A couple of days later, I wrote:

The more I read about him the more I think Chris Taylor is EXACTLY what the Dodgers need; a True Backup Shortstop. Kike appears to be the odd-man out! Taylor also has a nice compact line-drive swing. He’s a utilityman, but those guys are valuable too.

I was on a year sabbatical from this site and posting on another site where certain people who have bad luck when it comes to thinking, were saying stuff like this about the trade:

 I agree that the trade of Lee for Taylor is insignificant – it is trading nothing for nothing.

Dodgerpatch put it this way:

I hope this move isn’t bitterly criticized, ….but it will be.

… and it was!  Over-and-over… ad nauseum!  What was the harm of the trade and why the vitriol?  Zach Lee had no future as a pitcher (I recognized it long before that) and it was a trade of two players who were rather insignificant, but knowing that Chris Taylor was a baseball rat and a junkyard dog, I felt good about the deal.  Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I had ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA CHRIS TAYLOR WOULD HAVE THIS STAT LINE ON JULY 22, 2017, AFTER 80 GAMES:

  • .310 BA/.920 OPS%
  • 12 HR
  • 43 RBI
  • 22 DOUBLES

Not quite a superstar, but pretty dang good.  Actually, very damn good!  The fact of the matter is that trading Zach Lee for Chris Taylor may be the best trade made by the Dodgers in a long, long time.  Of course, there are lots of good deals done by FAZ: Andrew Toles, Brandon Morrow, Austin Barnes, Kike Hernandez, Yasmani Grandal, Rich Hill. Alex Wood, et al.  Let’s not forget that it would have been easy to trade prospects inherited from the prior front office, but FAZ resisted and the pipeline is delivering Ned & Logan’s guys and Friedman’s guys are nearing ready too.

Chris Taylor looks to be a very solid player who has learned to adjust…. month-by-month, week-by-week, day-by-day, at-bat- by-at-bat. Another bat would be nice, but FAZ will make no dope-fiend moves.

Services Today Will be held at The Church of ChrisTaylor with the Rev. Truth Hurts officiating (he’s the guy with the harmonica).  He just loves to dance.

P.S. For the record, I am not irreverent – I’m just having fun with a play on words, so don’t do what happened at Charlie Hebdo.  It’s just in fun.

Dodger News

  • Andrew Friedman must have blackmailed the Rays into taking Sergio Romo.  I mean, how can you even get anything for him? Hatcher is next!
  • Where are the Rich Hill Critics now?
  • The Dodgers are 7th out of 30 teams in HR. First in BB. 3rd in OPS. 3rd in OB%. 5th in Runs and will likely finish higher.
  • It’s a long shot, but the Dodgers have a chance at having 8 players with 20 or more HR.  Bellinger, Puig, Seager and Grandal are within striking distance of 25-30 HR, while Taylor, Turner, Hernandez and Pederson all have 10+ HR right now.
  • Yasmani Grandal is hitting .273 in case you weren’t paying attention.
  • Trayce Thompson needs to go back to AAA and let’s see if Willie can hit or maybe Alex.
  • Something to think about:

Trade Logan Forsythe and Ryu to Boston (who needs a third-baseman and a starter) for C.J. Chatham and Rafael Devers.  Taylor goes to 2B and Calhoun or Verdugo goes to LF.  You can flip the prospects for a LHRP.

Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at a conversation between Andrew Friedman and Al Avilia who is VP of baseball operations for the Detroit Tigers:

Friedman: We would be interested trading for Justin Wilson.

Avilia:  We are open to that.  What were you thinking of offering?

Friedman:  How about Trevor Oaks, Jordan Sheffield and Edwin Rios?

Avilia:  Well, if you want Wilson you have to take Verlander.

Friedman:  How much of his salary will you pay?

Avilia:  We will pay the rest of this year’ salary and we want Buehler, Alvarez and Verdugo for the pair.

Friedman:  Coughing and choking sounds….

That pretty much sums up what is happening right now. It could change by the end of the month….

Minor League Notes

  • Alex Verdugo looks tired right about now.  I think he needs a 7-day DL.  He’s dragging!  He’s young and playing a lot.
  • Willie Calhoun jacked 21st HR last night as a pinch hitter.  It was the only run OKC scored.
  • Yasiel Sierra went 3 innings last night and did not allow a run, but did walk 3.  So far this year, he has pitched 59 innings, allowed 54 hits and struck out 71 while walking 22.  His ERA is 2.29, but his WHIP is a little high at 1.29.  He is 26 and I think he has to be part of the Dodgers plans NEXT year. He can be a workhorse out of the pen.
  • Shea Spitzbarth has to be considered next year too.  He has pitched 50 innings, allowed 40 hits and struck out 54 with 19 BB.  His ERA is 1.98 and his WHIP is 1.18.
  • ThinkBlueLA speculates that Wilmer Font might be a good candidate for the Dodgers Rotation.  I wonder how he would do in the pen? High 90’s with excellent control and he has 101 Inning this year which is 40 more than last year.  I’d consider him in the pen.


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 78 Comments

  1. I was OK with JT getting a breather, especially after Roberts said he was dealing with an upper respiratory infection, and Utley hit a HR last night with Forsythe sliding to 3B. I was scratching my head about sitting Taylor and putting Thompson in LF and so was Roberts after watching him K 3 times in 3 AB’s so when he pulled Hill with 1 out in the top of the 7th he sent Taylor out to LF. Baez did his part, getting the final 2 outs and doing it again in the 8th. Taylor led off the bottom of the 7th with a HR to Right Center and then to top it off comes up in the 8th and hits a 2 run 3B! Two takeaways from all of that: Taylor should be in there every day no matter the position, and Thompson is taking a spot away from a more deserving player. His .119 average and below .100 for July and pitiful performance last night are all signs (not lost on Roberts or Faz) Not sure what to do with his 40 man spot either, the best replacements like Calhoun, Verdugo and Dickson are not on the 40 man, maybe an extended DL stint is in order. That is the one trade Faz would probably like back, losing Schebler and Peraza (and Brandon Dickson) for Montas, Micah Johnson and Trace. None of the 3 did what the Dodgers were hoping for and both key players going to the Reds have done well. (Brandon Dickson was a throw in) Also last night Roberts got 2 PH singles from Barnes and Kike before Taylor’s 3B. 4 hits, 3 runs and 3 RBI’s from his bench! That’s making some lemonade! Hill pitched another strong game as well, and Kersh goes today looking for a series split.

  2. A lot of fans have lamented losing Peraza (.606 OPS) and Schebler (22 HR .241 BA). Peraza would not even be on the team (Kike’s OPS is 200 POINT HIGHER) as a utility player. In LA Schebler would not have as many HR and I see no place he would have played. Montas did help us get Hill, so to me, the FO moved pieces that they had no use for.

    1. But, but, FAZ should have traded Peraza for Hamels when they had the chance. Didn’t they cough up a hair ball on that one?
      Wait a minute, that was another poster on another board. Same guy that now wants to trade Rich Hill for Matt Moore. Forget I even mentioned it, the guy is a moron.

      1. red-ass:
        a person who is so intense in his/her competitive spirit that they are constantly on the verge of boiling over.
        Does this describe to whom you refer Box? He is actually mostly a nice guy but he does have this predicament at times.

    2. Agreed, and at the time they could have had Todd Frazier instead but already had JT, hence the 3 team trade. Montas was the main prize but was hurt almost the whole time here and had not one but 2 surgeries. Since Johnson was released and Trace has had trouble with his back I would wager they would like a do-over. As you say they keep moving forward and used Montas to help bring over Hill and ReD Dick.

    3. Peraza hasn’t done much, and is probably no more than a slappy utility guy.
      How in the world can you say Schebler not having as many HRs, unless you’re saying the team wouldn’t have played him. Which could be an indictment of the team’s roster, no?

      1. Peraza probably is more than a slappy utility guy but so far he hasn’t proved it. I was disappointed to see him go but thought Montas was a good piece back. And disappointed to see Montas go soon after. Neither has done too much thus far to warrant my disappontment in them not still being Dodgers.
        Schebler very likely wouldn’t have 22 HR if still on the Dodgers. It seems that where the Reds play is more prone to HR than where the Dodgers play. But more so, as another LH bat, Schebler would likely not be more than a 4th outfielder, at best, with the Dodgers. Therefore way less opportunity than he has had in Cincinnatti. Good for him, hope he keeps it up.

      2. Interesting that Schebler comes up on a a Chris Taylor post. Schebler is having an outstanding season, but do you really believe that anyone thought that he would play at this level? I am glad for him. After all he was a a 26th round draft choice (one of my favorites). Sometimes players just need to change teams to get that chance. The Dodgers have had so many of them, I am okay if one gets away. But realistically at the time of the trade, the Dodgers had Ethier and Pederson as LH hitters, and did not need a third. As it turns out Scott could have gotten a shot but nobody knew that at the time, and Frankie Montas was a prize. IMO he was the key player to get Hill.
        Many believe that Schebler would have less home runs because he plays his home games in a band box, AKA Great American Ballpark. But he has 15 HRs away and 7 at home.
        I do not believe any of the three teams are overly upset with the results of this trade. The Reds did well, but I do not think the Dodgers or ChiSox are losing any sleep. The Dodgers have Hill, who I do not believe they would have signed without the trade, and the ChiSox got a haul from the Yankees for which Frazier was a part of in trading away. This is one that all teams can look back and say, all did okay.

        1. I remember Kapler, I think it was him, telling Schebler that he shouldn’t worry so much about his average because the Dodgers were aware of other stats that showed that Schebler was hitting the ball hard. The Dodgers knew what they had in Schebler but teams rarely get back a good player if they only offer players that can’t seem to move forward like Zack Lee. 🙂

          1. I think your comment is correct Bums as moving Schebler was more so a case of not having a soon-to-be place for him on the big club as detailed by AC.

        2. Thanks for the added detail AC. I always appreciate your input. I didn’t reference the Reds home park because of the stats you posted, more of the smaller parks in the east and central thing with them playing less in the bigger west coast parks where the Dodgers play more of their games.

          1. I think that Ive told the story before about being in the batting cages next to Schebler’s uncle and cousins here in Iowa. His uncle told me at the time that Scott was hoping to be traded because he was blocked. Remember, CC was still a Dodger at the time of his trade.

            We could all see the power he had down the stretch of the 2015 season. With Ethier and CC on the roster and too many LH bats the trade made sense at the time. Most analysis of the trade had the Dodgers winning the deal. However TT got hurt as did Montas. I for one am not surprised by Schebler’s numbers.

  3. The FO may not do anything at the trade deadline or they may make a big splash. We’ll see. One thing I do know is Chris Taylor is in the starting line-up and will remain so. Could the Dodgers acquire OF help and move Taylor to the full-time 2B job? That is a real possibility as Forsythe has been underwhelming and I can see the Dodgers trying to add an OF piece. Is that piece Verdugo? Maybe!

    Next week will be fun.

  4. I just love the Taylor story. Just like I love the JT story. Teams that gave up on them and now they are Dodgers and playing very good baseball. I felt if Taylor would bat 275 that would be very good. He can hit both lefties and righties.

    We are going to have two veterans coming back. Agon and Either. Both are going to need some playing time if they are to help us in the playoffs.

    We have three good starting pitchers. We just need to figure out the 4 and 5 spots. Ryu, McCarthy and Maeda certainly have been given enough opportunities to nail down a position. I really think it is McCarthy and Maeda in the 4 and 5 spots with Ryu to the pen.

  5. Great post Mark, lol. Chris(T)aylor reminds me of Matt Carpenter, but better. And to think, for Zach Lee? Unbelievable

    I hope the DH comes soon so we can see Willie, that would only bolster this lineup in a couple years

    It will be really interesting to see what happens this week, a bullpen piece would be nice!

  6. Possibilities if Forsythe is traded
    1. Ethier winds up playing LF by late August.
    2. Agon returns and Bellinger moves to LF
    3. Kike’ becomes the regular LFer
    4. Taylor plays wherever he says he wants to play

    1. A couple of injury updates on the Dodgers, courtesy of J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group (Twitter links): First baseman Adrian Gonzalez should return before Sept. 1, but outfielder Andre Ethier likely won’t. Back problems have been ruinous to both veterans this year – Gonzalez has been out since early June, and Ethier hasn’t played at all.

  7. Mark

    I do agree, that Forsythe is the odd man out, because Kike’ is out producing Forsythe, and he isn’t getting consistent at bats, like Forsythe is.

    What I noticed the most about last night’s game, was that our offense was not to productive, without Turner, and Taylor in the line up.

    And Cody and Corey, are not part of this problem.

    We were lucky to even score that go ahead run last night, before Taylor came into the game.

    Because Puig hit a swinging bunt, and if Grandal doesn’t knock the ball out of the catchers mitt, that go ahead run, wouldn’t have scored.

    And here is my daily sermon, we will have to do better, and learn how to be more productive on offense, or we won’t be able to score to many runs, against good pitching.

    The only runs we scored up until Grandal knocked that ball out of the catcher’s mitt, were from two solo HRs.

    The other players need to learn to make the proper adjustments, so they don’t continue to hit their balls, into the shifts.

    And if they are going to hit into a out, they need to make it be a productive out..

    1. And I agree with everyone that Taylor should be in the line up, while he is hot.

      Another player will eventually step up, and then that would be a good time, to give Taylor his day off.

  8. Red Sox are not trading Devers, and definitely not for Ryu and Forsythe. Not sure how even the rosiest of glasses depict Forsythe as an adequate 3B for a team with World Series aspirations.

    1. It’s Mark, stimulating talking points and as the blogmaster he does that well. You’d do that trade if you were the Dodgers, right? You make succinct points and are an interesting poster so both of you make good reading.
      Who would have guessed how little JD Martinez could have been had for. No matter what happens with JD it seems like AZ got him cheaply enough and I wasn’t even a propoonent of him coming to the Dodgers. He’s a great hitter but his placement on the team would have disrupted at least Taylor if not more and his defense would have been a step down, let alone, I don’t think we get him nearly as cheaply as AZ did.

      1. Often times I do believe that other teams ask for more from the Dodgers than they get from others. The Tigers could have got more from the Dodgers from names on a dart board, but FAZ did not bite. Did they want too much from LA? Did FAZ not want to mess with the chemistry? Probably a little of both. There is no doubt JD Martinez would have helped, but at what cost in current year chemistry and/or future prospects.

    2. Some people seem to think that Logan Forsythe and his .363 OB% this year isn’t all that. They only look at his BA which is .239.

      I’ll tell you why Dave Dumbrowski would trade for Forsythe: He is all in with David Price’s arm hanging on by a tendon and the farm weakened by the trade for Sale. Dave is not afraid to pull the trigger and Logan Forsythe is a guy , who gets hot and can do a lot of damage for a month, and he’s a plus defender at 3B. Boston needs a solid 3B and there aren’t that many available. Plus he’s a leader and a dirtball!

      I like Logan Forsythe a lot – he can play for me any day. But Chris Taylor is better. FAZ built depth, not knowing what Taylor might be, but now Forsythe is expendable. The Dodgers have Gonzo and Ethier coming back at some point (allegedly… and maybe Gutierrez) and Calhoun and Verdugo appear to be close as well. Kike Hernandez is mashing lefties (and probably should not play against RH pitching) .

      The Red Sox could use another starter too…. whether it’s Ryu or Maeda. I think Boston would give it a thought, but here’s the biggest part of this: The Rays would love to have Forsythe back. That could put them ahead of the Red Sox. Friedman has a great relationship with their front office. If he wants to move Forsythe, either team might very well overpay. Sell when others have to buy!

      1. Mark

        I could see a team interested in trading for Forsythe, and hoping he would be the player he was, for the Rays.

        1. That would probably be a AL team. Like you have said MJ, it takes a while to adjust to a new league so going back to a league he is more familiar with could help him.

    1. Watford, I read that early this AM, and found it extremely interesting, informative, and eye opening. I know I have come to expect more from #22 in the post season, but I was not aware as to how he stacks up in post season FIP and xFIP compared to other HOF pitchers. For those that have not read it, I heartily recommend it.

      1. AC

        I don’t think that is a fair comparison, because those other pitchers, were pitching in an era, where most hitters, were aided by steroids.

        I would also like to know what Kershaw’s era is, in games, that decide a series.

        1. While not all, some of the pitchers apparently had some pharma assistance as well.

  9. Puig’s took an extra 45 minutes of batting practice yesterday with Ward and Mota. They were trying to get hm to hit the ball in the air more. Last night looked like it may have helped.

    Also Tayor did not like the way he was batting before the all star game. He studied a lot of film. Needless to say I think he has found his problem. Utley said Taylor has a quality at bat every tme he goes to the plate. Nice to hear from an old pro.

  10. I have watched Willie Calhoun several times in the past two weeks and he has a sweet, compact swing. At 22, he will get even better, but he cannot play 2B at all. He just misplayed a routine popup. Come on DH!

  11. It’s official – Lower back tightness.

    Here comes the DL!

    Now they really go after Darvish!

      1. Just a guess: Alvarez, Calhoun and Verdugo is what Texas will want.

        … not saying I would do it!

        1. Let’s hope that Kershaw knew about this early, so he won’t have to be out so long.

          Because last year, if Kershaw would have took it a little slower, he would have been back sooner.

          What is bad about this, is that teams will have the upper hand, when they are negotiating, against us.

  12. Forsythe’s defense is outstanding. Barnes is hitting really well. Would like to see more of Barnes at second to see how good he is there. Barnes could be the second baseman next year with Taylor staying in the outfield. I would prefer however for Barnes to start as soon as August 1 to evenly split catching duties with Grandal.

  13. Enter Mr. Buhler…Just a cup of coffee or two mind you and see what we have!!! I think someone said we have 40 man opening… We might find he’d be a find in the BP…
    Like someone said about Taylor, as long as he’s in the lineup were good…

        1. haha. That would be me. I”m glad that despite the blown save (which was overdue), we still got the W

  14. Taylor, JT, and Forsythe in the 10th. Three pretty good junkyard dogs. Bull pen did well. Jansen can be forgiven. Bring on a Minnesota.

    1. Peter, before FAZ brings Buehler up, let’s allow him to taste some success at AAA. His first game was not what I would call successful. I have no doubt that he will taste success and thrive at AAA, and probably his next start. He could quite possibly make it to Chavez this year, but I would not give him the ball at a ML game at this juncture. He is good…very good, with electric stuff, but he has all of 70 professional innings after TJ surgery. He is untouchable, but IMO just not ready for a ML start. Wilmer Font could very well get a start, or replace Stewart in the pen so he could start.
      I was wrong about Bellinger and the timing of his callup, so my record in that regard is not great. But I do not expect to see Buehler before September. The Dodgers are 10.5 games up on the Rockies, so the likelihood of dropping below the Rockies even with Kershaw out for awhile are not likely. No reason to rush Buehler.

  15. If Dodgers win tomorrow and then play just 50% for wins the rest of the way that’s 100 wins.

  16. Just before the season started I stated 105 wins more to express enthusiasm than really believing that Dodgers would win that many. I didn’t think that was a short sale. 105 wins is now the under! CHEERS!!!!!

    Dodgers losing the first two to the Braves reminded me of the crap-shoot factor that often plays into a championship. I see that factor is pretty small with the energy these Dodgers have. It can go wrong but just not very likely.

  17. According to Dave Roberts, Kershaw and McCarthy both heading to DL. That leaves 4 healthy starters. Any guesses who becomes #5 (after Wood, Hill, Maeda and Ryu)?

      1. The Dodgers have an off day on Thursday. They don’t have to decide until next weekend.

  18. Justin Masterson went 7 innings today in OKC. He struck out 6 and walked 0. He is now 9-4 with a 3.88 ERA.

    BTW, Calhoun Jacked #22… a 3-run shot! He now has 65 RBI.

  19. I know that we are all talking trades and performance, but I am going to change the subject. Todays game made me think of a “what if….” situation, so you rules guys please give me the answer. 8th inning, Dodgers lead 3-1, 2out and KJ comes on for a potential save. He gets the last out of the 8th, but in the bottom of the inning the Dodgers score 5 runs making it 8-1 going into the 9th. Jansen sets them down 1-2-3. Does he get a save?

    1. Yadier Alvarez was promoted to AA and went 4 today – not particularly great, but not horrible.

    2. Current Rule[edit]
      A relief pitcher is awarded a save when he meets all three of the following conditions:
      He is the finishing pitcher in a game won by his club; and
      He is not the winning pitcher; and
      He qualifies under one of the following conditions:
      He enters the game with a lead of no more than three runs and pitches for at least one inning; or
      He enters the game, regardless of the score, with the potential tying run either on base, at bat, or on deck; or
      He pitches for at least three innings. (The word “effectively” has been removed from the MLB rules.)
      Under the last condition, the official scorer has some discretion as to whether or not to award a save. This is rule 10.20 of the Major League Rules.
      No more than one save may be credited in each game.

  20. Can someone explain why the catcher sets up middle belt high? It happened a bunch of times with Jansen. Terrible. Also too many high pitches called. Can’t believe how our catchers set up. MIDDLE BELT HIGH. I need an explanation.

  21. Stripling and Stewart have not been stretched out. Masterson hasn’t been a good major league pitcher for a few seasons. Buehler only has one AAA start and it wasn’t successful. Maybe Oaks or Font? Maybe a trade for another non- Mat Latos type pitcher?

    1. Unless we want to gut the farm, we ride with one of thee.

      Morrow had a 7.43 ERA at OKC and is lights-out in MLB.

      I would give Masterson or Font a shot.

      1. I am going with Font. He is actually now considered a prospect. He is #30 on Dustin Nosler’s mid-year top #30. Another FAZ reclamation project find. He can move to the bullpen and Stewart can take a spot in the rotation. Or… Font can make a start.
        DR, Stripling went three today. Pitched well with the exception of one hanging breaking ball to Brandon Phillips. I do not think five is too much to be stretched out at this time. We know (although you may not like it) that the Dodgers are fine with a 5 inning start.
        As Hawkeye pointed out, the Dodgers have a day off on Thursday, so the earliest that there might be a problem will be Saturday. The Dodgers may have a different look on Saturday.

  22. People our best pitcher got hurt. Let’s not start not picking the catchers or our minor leaguers. I have complete FAITH in FAZ. I am happy we have some good options. We don’t. need to make a dope fiend move. Don’t hate!!!

  23. Mark pointed out Masterson’s game as well as Alvarez. I think Mark was being kind to Yadier and his outing today. Adam Bray had a complete game 1 hit shutout for Rancho.
    Dustin May pitched 6.2 innings allowing 5 hits, 2 runs, 2BB, and 6K for Great Lakes. Angel German pitched the final 2.1 picking up his 6th save.
    Kevin Malisheski, 5 IP, 3H, 1R, 0BB, 1 K, and Colby Nealy, 2 IP, 2H, 1R, 0BB, and 3K were the pitching stars for AZL Dodgers today.
    Keibert Ruiz had two hits including his 3rd HR at Rancho. He is now batting .389. Brendon Davis was just promoted to Rancho and went 2-4 in his Rancho debut.
    For OKC, Mike Freeman had 4 hits, while SVS, Kyle Farmer, and Justin Masterson had 2 each. With his 22nd HR,Calhoun is now tied for #2 in the PCL for HRs. With 21, O’Koyea Dickson is tied for #5.
    Tim Locastro had 3 hits today for Tulsa, while Matt Beaty had 2. Zach Reks had another multi-hit game for Great Lakes.
    Kevin LaChance and Romer Cuadrado had two hits each for Ogden Raptors.

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