Life Without Clayton Kershaw

Really, it’s not gloom and doom!

Last year, when Clayton had the herniated disk, everyone wondered what the team would do.  It turns out that Kershaw’s injury galvanized them and others stepped up to fill the void.  Not only did they not miss a beat, but they thrived.  I, for one, do not expect the same thing to happen this year, although I believe there is no reason to panic. This Dodger team has depth which give them options.  Let’s look ands see who might step up into the rotation.

Brock Stewart – Brock Stewart is certainly being groomed as a starter, but in order to succeed as one on this level, he needs a better curveball.  He has had great success out of the bullpen and I think the Dodgers will leave him there for a couple of reasons:  (1) Boost his confidence ; and (2) he is a real asset to the team in the pen – they need him and a few others to win it all.

Wilmer Font –  As AC mentioned, Font has re-established himself as a prospect with his pitching at OKC.  He has a fastball that goes up to the mid-90’s, has excellent control and Knows how to pitch.  In 101.1 innings at OKC he has given up 82 hits while striking out 137 and walking only 27.  His ERA is 3.82 and his WHIP is 1.13.  That is excellent for the PCL.  He certainly could start, but I’d like to see him in the pen, but that’s just me.  Font has only allowed 9 HR in the PCL!

Justin Masterson – As a former Top Prospect and MLB Pitcher, he has to get some consideration.  His ERA is 3.88 and his WHIP is 1.28.  He has pitched 109 innings, allowing 90 hits with 109 K’s and 50 BB.  The biggest difference between him and Font is that he has allowed just 6 HR.  So, there is that.  I have got to believe that Masterson could start for some MLB teams.  Just not the Dodgers.

Trevor Oaks – He has been injured and has regressed somewhat because of it.  I think he needs to pitch  some more at the AAA level, but I see him being converted to a reliever soon.

Walker Buehler – Buehler has “ACE” written all over him, but he will not start for the Dodgers this year.  I doubt we see him until September unless he suddenly is “Lights out” at AAA and there are more injuries.  Next year, he’s in the rotation.

Ross Stripling –  I think Ross is a huge asset to the bullpen, even though he has had a few hiccups.  His ERA of 3.55 is not what I would like it to be, but a few bad pitches have cost him this year.  The thing is: Ross sees himself as a starter, not a reliever, so much so that I think it messes with his head.  If I were the Dodgers, I would install Ross into the rotation – it’s likely he can go 4 or 5 innings in his first start or at least get there by his second. Thirteen times this year, he has pitched two or more innings. Ross is my pick to take Clayton’s spot – primarily because he wants it so bad!

So, Stripling is my choice with Font a close second to go into the rotation.  Here’s what it looks like:

  1. Wood
  2. Hill
  3. Maeda
  4. Ryu
  5. Stripling

That will strike fear into hitters, won’t it?  Next man up – that’s all you can say!  I do not really believe the Dodgers are in on Yu Darvish, no matter what the media says… unless Texas will give him away.  I think FAZ is just keeping everyone honest and the price up. Texas is going to want 3 top prospects for him and I say no… unless Clayton is going to be out an extended period.  It seems like a 10-day DL trip to me and may be a blessing in disguise.  Roberts said there was no shooting pain down his leg, so that bodes well.

Chris Taylor gets all the ink with his .312 BA and .382 OB%, but Logan Forsythe is right behind him with a .368 OB%.  No one works the pitchers better than Logan and he is wizard at 2B as we saw yesterday.

Austin Barnes is bad man!  This team is deep.  Watch and see how they overcome the loss of CK.

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 110 Comments

  1. I probably would of gone with Font. Stripling makes sense to me. He certainly has more experience than Font. If you bring up Font to replace Stripling in the pen, then I am wih you. If Stripling sees himself as a starter, that is even another reason to start him. Let him prove himself. That is the way Doc manages anyway. He gives everyone a chance to prove their worth. I love the way Doc manages baseball players. Just like Hatcher and Romo. Neither one of two can complain. They were given every chance to succeed. He stayed with them longer than I would.

  2. I hope you’re right about Kershaw and a short DL stint, but I’m less optimistic. If he has a recurrence of the herniated disc I would think he is a surgical candidate this time. I hope I’m wrong. If he indeed is destined for a long DL stint the FO almost has to certainly go get Gray, Verlander or Darvish.

    A 100 win season and the fifth straight NL West Division crowns= all in for the Fall Classic. I would hate to lose White, Alvarez, Calhoun or even Verdugo, but a 28 year drought from the WS with this team and now without the pitching staff ace means you have to make a move.

    Go for it FAZ!

  3. In my opinion the Dodgers have four guys that I consider junk yard dogs. I consider that a positive statement. They have not had it easy. They have worked their butts off to be good. They come every day to the park just to beat the other team. They are great teammates. They are JT, Taylor, Forsythe. And Barnes.

    Seager and Bellinger are in a different category. They have the ability to be good from day one and are good. They are also great teammates.

    Then you have Joc and Puig. Loaded with talent and have to be prodded every day to bring the best out in them. They look great one day and you certainly want to keep them. Next day they look bad and you want to trade them. These two may never reach their potential. That is why I get frustrated with these two. Good enough to keep, but so much more they could do.

      1. Utley is, and has always been a top prospect and top player.
        `
        I profess to have no idea what separates or associates any of the players on IdahoAl’s lists. Barnes has always been a well regarded prospect, While he and Bellinger share baseball lineage, he was an 8th round pick and Bellinger was a 4th round pick who was developed. Seager a first round pick always highly regarded.

        Chris Taylor was the top player in the PCL while in the Seattle system.

        Again, I don’t know what Junkyard Dog signifies, nor how any of the four players called thus are grouped together.

        1. A junkyard dog is a moniker of honor hung on a player who may not have the most talent, but is a dirtball, play-the-game hard, overachiever who never quits. You have “show dogs” who are just window dressing, but “junkyard dogs” get things done.

          1. Taylor has, and always has had, tons of talent.
            ~
            That was my point.
            ~
            Barnes as well.
            ~
            I feared we were about to get into the realm of calling players “gritty.”
            ~
            Thankfully we are not.

  4. Damn, I hate to be in position of ‘need’… We Blue fans know it and MLB too!!!
    I say go with who brought you to dance… This team is working on all cylinders and our depth in the minors is outstanding…
    I’m going to cease whining about Kersh and let the ‘Junk Yard Dogs’ take us to the promised land…

    1. I guess you could call it a “position of need”, but we are 68 and 31. We have a lot less needs than everybody else!!
      .
      I am SURE FAZ is looking at improving and fixing our “positions of need”, but there won’t be any dope fiend moves, at least I hope not. Buehler, Alvarez and Verdugo for Darvish? I don’t think so!! Not time to panic. Improve around the fringes, Thompson gone and a LHRP is all we really need.
      .
      There was never any guarantees in the post season. We overpay for Darvish, still no guarantees. We will love the approximately three weeks of playoff baseball if the Dodgers take it to the opposition. But in the meantime, I am enjoying the 6 months of the regular season. Right now looking forward to seeing if Ryu continues to improve, tonight, on his journey back from shoulder surgery two years ago. The old Ryu would be very helpful this fall. Options, options.
      ,
      I hope I am right, but I have a good feeling about Kershaw. Like probably most of us old timers here, I have had back problems. I know that tightness in the lower right side. It’s different than the sciatica or herniated disk, just the muscles tightening up and creating havoc. The fact the trainers let him finish the inning is huge. I little rest, muscle relaxers and some stretching and exercise, good as new. Sound Good??
      .
      In the interest of full disclosure, I have been accused of being the eternal optimist, right up to the bitter end a few times in my life.

      1. Boxout

        I hope that is true, but after you have already had a herniated disc, you just don’t know.

        But it might be exactly what you said.

        But the first thing that I remember bothering me when I had a herniated disc, was my back.

        And it was only a little later, that I had that pain and tingling, in my legs..

  5. I may not agree that the Dodgers do not want (or need) another SP, however I have no idea if they will trade for one, or if they do, at what level. But I do strongly believe that FAZ will not panic and will not overpay. If we have learned anything from the Cole Hamels non-trade in 2015, or the non-panic in June 2016 because of Kershaw’s herniated disc, the Dodgers do believe in what they are putting together. Remember, when Kershaw went down last year, the Dodgers did not have anyone anywhere close to stepping into the Ace slot, and yet they went out and acquired Bud Norris for Caleb Dirks and Phil Pfeifer. That does not speak panic to me. Dirks and Pfeifer are actually serviceable relievers now in the Braves minor league system. Most average fans do not know either pitcher, and those that do, do not beleive they will be high leverage relievers. Combined they have converted 5 of 12 save opportunities (Dirks 2 of 6 at AAA, and Pfeifer 3 of 6 at AA). The Dodgers have plenty of these type of relievers throughout their organization.
    .
    This year, while nobody can replace #22, Alex Wood and Rich Hill can both step into the #1 slot, and while the loss of Kershaw will hurt, they are in far better shape in 2017 than in 2016. Even with a longer than anticipated loss of Kershaw, the Dodgers are not in any danger of letting a 10.5 game lead slip away. If FAZ does go after a SP, it will be because that is what they were planning before considering Kershaw’s injury. The prospect cost will not go up because of the injury.

          1. I know he did a sim game last week and threw about 60 pitches if I recall correctly.

  6. Gray – Darvish or hold for the future. On one hand we have the best chance since 1988 of going to the WS. On the other hand our payroll is bloated and needs to be reduced not to mention no one wants to give up the top young talent in the minors. Why does most things always have a political feel to it? They must make the least worst decision. My job gets stressful at times but I would not want to make this decision. As a fan, I just want to win this year. 2017 World Champion Dodgers has a special ring to it………………………………

  7. We have a blueprint of how FAZ and Doc will respond to CK going down with an injury from last year. I expect to see a number of bullpen games and also MLB debuts from different Dodger pitching prospects. There will be the usual suspects that we follow on this blog (Brock Stewart, Trevor Oaks, Walker Buehler) + Justin Masterson + one or maybe even two guys that we were not expecting.
    .
    Meanwhile, CK gets extra rest so he can maximize (hopefully) his performance in October. I just hope it doesn’t cost him consideration for the Cy Young again like it did last year.

    1. Knight

      That is a good point that this may force Kershaw to get some extra rest, and maybe that will make him stronger for the post season, if we go.

      I wouldn’t be worried about him being eligible for the Cy Young, because this is about winning the World Series, and that has to be Kershaw’s ultimate goal.

  8. Mark at this time last year, said that the other players may step up when Kershaw went out, and that is exactly what happened.

    If this is the first time Kershaw has felt anything he might be back sooner, then we think.

    He was only out as long as he was last year, because he tried to rush back to soon, and he had a set back, and I think Kershaw has learned from that, so it might not be as bad, as it seems with Kershaw.

    But this will affect the opt out that Kershaw has, and that is why I don’t think Kershaw will do anything in the off season, to try to repair what is bothering him.

    1. Peter

      I don’t know what Kershaw is thinking concerning his opt out, but I would think most players, wouldn’t want to have something like this happen, a year before their contract year.

      Because teams don’t like to give multi year contracts, to players, with injury issues.

  9. Of course teams don’t!!!
    MJ’s last paragraph puzzles me… Not do anything and what then???
    I might add Kersh should be added to the Junk Yard Dog list… IMO that Kersh remains a Dodger beyond his current contract…
    A guy can hope!??!

    1. Peter

      I was talking about a surgery.

      And Kershaw’s injury issues, might give the Dodgers a little more power, in those negotiations.

  10. I am not panicking – but we have to take off the rose colored glasses. Yeah, the Dodgers did great last year without Kershaw, but really, if we expect that to happen again, we have to be a little nuts. If the Dodgers play better without him, then why have him anyway? In reality, the Dodgers aren’t really title contenders without him. They can and probably win the division without him at this point, but they need him in October.

    Face it – 15 – 2, 2.04, 144 IP (no one else has more than 91), 168K, .88 WHIP – no one will replace this level of pitching. So – do the Dodgers rely on Justin Masterson? His career is 64 – 74, 4.31 with a 1.39 WHIP. His last major league season was with Boston – 4 – 2, 5.61 with a 1.61 WHIP. The year before he was 7 – 9, 5.88 with a 1.68 WHIP with Cleveland and St. Louis. No thank you.

    Ross Stripling has thrown 3 innings 3 times in 2017. He has not been stretched out. He threw 53 pitches once on June 15. There is no reason to think that he is ready to throw 7 innings (or even 5 innings – per AC) right now. The same with Ross Stewart. Since he came up, he has thrown 3 innings once and his max pitch count in the majors has been 40. He only threw 8 minor league innings before being called up so it is safe to say that he has not been stretched out either.

    Font is 7 – 5, 3.82 with 101 IP and 138K – give him a try. AC said that Oaks hasn’t pitched as well since recovering from injury – OK – not him then. Buehler isn’t ready – 1 AAA start, 4 runs in 2 innings.

    What would it cost in terms of prospects for Yu Darvish or Sonny Gray?

    1. You choose to believe Stripling cannot go past 3 innings, I choose to believe he can. Last year in his ML debut on a cold SF night, he went 7.1 innings. He started 14 games last year and pitched at least 5 innings on 11 of those games. In those 14 starts he pitched 75.2 innings or 5.4 innings per start. He threw a total of 36 pitches yesterday…he was hardly tired. He threw one bad pitch to Brandon Phillips in the 1st inning he came in, and was throwing better in his third inning than he was in his first. It was not his decision to come out. Roberts was being careful. I have no doubt he could have gone another 1 or 2 innings. If the decision is for him to start in Kershaw’s spot next weekend, he will get in a starter prep work routine and be more than capable of going 5 innings. Whether he does or not, it will not be because he is not properly stretched out.
      .
      With respect to an absence of Kershaw, you wrote, “In reality, the Dodgers aren’t really title contenders without him. ” You certainly have a right to your opinion. I am sure if you were an Astros fan, you would say that the Astros do not have a realistic chance without Keuchel. They have been without Keuchel for nearly 2 months, were without Collin McHugh (#2 or #3) all year, and were without Charlie Morton for an extended period of time. And yet they seem to be thriving as well. One of the reasons is that Brad Peacock is pitching better than he ever has (someone stepped up). They were able to somehow patchwork Francis Martes, Joe Musgrove, and David Paulino as starters into the 2nd best record in MLB. I choose to believe, Stripling/Stewart/Font/Masterson/next one up, can fill in for the next 4-6 weeks while #22 recuperates.

      1. Stripling had only been a starter in the minors and had been stretched out as a starter during Spring Training last year before making his debut against SF when he threw his 7 innings. I am not saying that he cannot be stretched out, but he hasn’t been this year. If he is to stretch out, it will be at the big league level, meaning that he will have a 4 inning start and a 5 inning start before being ready to pitch more. It will take a couple of weeks, and remember, he wasn’t terribly successful as a starter last year. Here are his splits in 2016 as a starter vs. reliever:

        starting: 3 – 6, 4.52, 75 IP, 42 K, 1.32 WHIP
        relieving: 2 – 3, 2.22, 24 IP, 19 K, 1.07 WHIP

        1. I didn’t say that the Dodgers couldn’t win the division (like your hypothetical Astros are able to win a weak AL West without Keuchel or McHugh for a prolonged period) without Kershaw. I opined that they wouldn’t succeed in the postseason without him. You really want to face the Nats, ‘Stros or whomever with “Stripling/Stewart/Font/Masterson/next one up” and not Kid K?

          And what about Masterson’s recent history makes you think that he will be competitive at the big league level?

          1. If the bats produce, a playoff rotation of Wood, Hill, McCarthy and one of Ryu/Maeda/Stripling/Stewart/Font/Masterson could win. Don’t get me wrong, a rotation of Kershaw, Wood, Hill, McCarthy is MUCH better. They still need the bats to produce but I have more confidence in hitting this year than past.

          2. Masterson would not be expected to replace Kershaw. Nobody can replace Kershaw. But can he be a respectable #5? He would not be expected to be on the roster for the playoffs. We are only talking 4-6 weeks that Kershaw is expected to miss, not the season. He should be back around Labor Day.
            .
            Stripling’s 4.52 ERA was as a rookie, and is better than a lot of contenders #4 and #5 SP. The Yankees or Rays would take him in their rotation right now. With respect to the Nats, if Strasburg is out for any length of time, who will replace him? The Nats already do not have a #5. They really do not have a #4, thus the signing of Edwin Jackson (their version of Justin Masterson?). I think I would rather have Stripling than Edwin Jackson in my rotation. So if Stripling is a #4 or #5 for a short period of time, why is that a problem?
            .
            Nobody believes the Dodgers are better without Kershaw than with him. But you cannot deny that the Dodgers were 41-36 in 2nd place 8 games behind the Giants when Kershaw went out on June 26, 2016. When he returned on Sept 9, 2016, the Dodgers were 79-60, in 1st place, 4 games ahead of SF. That’s a 38-24 record and 12 games in the standings without Kershaw. That is a .613 winning percentage, so it was not all the Giants collapse. The team stepped up big time. That is what a championship caliber team does. Why can’t they duplicate that with a healthy Wood and healthy Hill, two pitchers they did not have last year (although, Hill did pitch 2 games in his absence)? I say they can, if they do, that is 106 wins, with Kershaw back for the playoffs. Even if they go 32-31 in their final 63 games, they win 100 games, and undoubtedly NL West champions.
            .
            Last year the Indians lost Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar for the playoffs (Salazar did pitch 3 innings in the WS). That is #2 and #3. They had to go thru the playoffs with three starters… Trevor Bauer and Mike Tomlin backing up Corey Kluber. Ryan Merritt did have 1 start and went 4 innings (Game 4 ALCS). Of course they had Andrew Miller and Cody Allen, but those are relievers and not starters. Can’t the Dodgers do the same? Hopefully we will not have to find out. Hopefully Kershaw comes back about the same time as he did last year, starts 5 games, and is ready to go for the playoffs. Kershaw/Wood/Hill vs. Kluber/Bauer/Tomlin. Who would you rather go into the playoffs with.

          3. I just don’t understand – “Nobody believes the Dodgers are better without Kershaw than with him.” – But… ” But you cannot deny that the Dodgers were 41-36 in 2nd place 8 games behind the Giants when Kershaw went out on June 26, 2016. When he returned on Sept 9, 2016, the Dodgers were 79-60, in 1st place, 4 games ahead of SF. That’s a 38-24 record and 12 games in the standings without Kershaw. That is a .613 winning percentage, so it was not all the Giants collapse.” So – which is it?

            So… why have Kershaw? It’s no problem – the team will just “step up”. But if that’s all it takes, then why have Kershaw and pay him $35MM/year at all? The team can just “step up”. For that matter, why aren’t they already playing better anyway? Why not just “step up” all of the time?

            The fact that the Dodgers had a better record last year without Kershaw means that they will do it again? Really?

            So the Nats have to go with Edwin Jackson and he’s horrible. That means that Justin Masterson is OK for the Dodgers? I don’t understand the logic. Because one title contender has to have a horrible 5th starter that means that the Dodgers should too?

            As to Stripling, what would make me think that a pitcher who has mostly thrown an inning or 2 at a time and only exceeded 50 pitches once is ready to start and give the Dodgers 5 innings or 75+ pitches every 5 days? Especially one who didn’t pitch particularly well in that capacity last year? A guy who was recently sent to the minors due to ineffectiveness? Maybe he’d be OK as a starter after being stretched out and giving the Dodgers 3 or 4 substandard and short starts?

          4. You said “I just don’t understand – “Nobody believes the Dodgers are better without Kershaw than with him.” – But… ” But you cannot deny that the Dodgers were 41-36 in 2nd place 8 games behind the Giants when Kershaw went out on June 26, 2016. When he returned on Sept 9, 2016, the Dodgers were 79-60, in 1st place, 4 games ahead of SF. That’s a 38-24 record and 12 games in the standings without Kershaw. That is a .613 winning percentage, so it was not all the Giants collapse.” So – which is it?”
            .
            How about both. I was not the one that said the Dodgers do not have a realistic chance in the playoffs without Kershaw…you did. No sensible Dodger fan thinks the Dodgers are better off with Kershaw on the DL. That’s what I said. But I also know that the TEAM is greater than the individual players and when one goes down, somebody steps up. Last year they happened to step up big. How is that in anyway shape or form implying that I believe the Dodgers should replace Kershaw and his $35M contract. I certainly did not say that or imply it.
            .
            You said “So the Nats have to go with Edwin Jackson and he’s horrible. That means that Justin Masterson is OK for the Dodgers? I don’t understand the logic. Because one title contender has to have a horrible 5th starter that means that the Dodgers should too?”
            .
            First of all, I do take offense when someone states that a ML player is horrible. No he is not. A pitcher that wins 94 games in the NL is not horrible. Second, I am not the one that touts how great the Nats starting pitching is, that’s you. I am responding to your continual dismissal of the Dodgers starting rotation compared to the Nats. They have Edwin Jackson in their rotation, but you totally dismiss Justin Masterson and Ross Stripling. Jackson has a career record of 94-114 and 4.64 ERA. Masterson is 64-74 and a 4.31 ERA. Not a lot of difference. We are talking about #4 and #5 pitchers, not Aces.
            .
            You said “The fact that the Dodgers had a better record last year without Kershaw means that they will do it again? Really?”
            .
            I posed a question why couldn’t the Dodgers duplicate a .613 winning percentage without Kershaw again, especially with a healthy Wood and Hill this year. Kershaw is projected to be out 6 weeks, which is about 37 games (up to Labor Day is 6 weeks). That would be a 23-14 record over those 37 games. So yeah really, I think they can do that. They are pretty good team. Are you saying they cannot?
            .
            You said “Stripling had only been a starter in the minors and had been stretched out as a starter during Spring Training last year before making his debut against SF when he threw his 7 innings.”
            .
            I just looked at the 2016 Spring Training pitching stats, and Ross Stripling did not pitch one game at the ML level during 2016 ST. Now if you know that he pitched a significant number of stretch out innings in 2016 ST on the back fields, I sure would appreciate you providing me with the source, because I cannot find it. You do not have confidence in Ross Stripling just like you didn’t in Alex Wood. I do. We just differ in opinion.
            .
            You have way too often dismissed the Dodgers starting rotation as old and injured (or something along those lines). For all of last year, you denigrated Alex Wood, and this year until just recently. You do not say anything positive about him, you just stopped being negative. You dismiss the rotation as Kershaw and ??? for the playoffs. I am assuming that Wood is one of the ???. Yet it was Kershaw that took the mound in Game 6 NLCS and did not come through. 5 innings, 4 earned runs including 2 home runs and 3 doubles. That is being hit pretty hard. He did not pitch like an Ace in that game. Certainly one of the ??? could have put up those numbers. You want to rip on Hill, however he should have at least had the opportunity to fail in Game 7 before you do. So the next time you refer to the Dodger starting pitchers as always being hurt, I hope you will include Kershaw in that description.
            .
            Now I want to be clear. I do not believe that Kershaw is always injured or will continue to be. No, I do not think that the Dodgers are better without Kershaw. No, I do not believe that Wood or Hill are better than Kershaw. But I am also tired of your dismissal of the other starting pitchers on this TEAM that has the best winning percentage in MLB. Yes I will have confidence in a rotation of Kershaw/Wood/Hill/and Maeda/Ryu/Stewart/Stripling/Font/Masterson for the playoffs. Yes I do think they would have a better rotation with Sonny Gray or Yu Darvish. And while I think Gray and Darvish would improve the rotation, I also believe they can win the WS with just Kershaw/Wood/Hill.
            .
            Finally, you and I just speak different languages. You can continue to be dismissive about the team (and specifically the starting pitchers) as much as you want, but this will be the last time I will respond.

  11. Let’s remember that Kershaw only pitches in less than 20% of games. If he is out for the next 60 games he would miss 12 starts. So, instead of the Dodgers being 12 – 0 in those 12 games, they will be 6 – 0. Stewart is at least that good if he is the one that replaces Kershaw.
    .
    Let’s hope he makes it back before the playoffs .

  12. OK, I have talked it over and I am willing to trade Alvarez, Calhoun, Oaks and Sborz for…..

    DRUMROLL

    Sonny Gray!

    Not Darvish!

    Gray had a tough time until June, when he was good and in July, he is great!

    1. If the price of a starter is going to be Alvarez and Calhoun. I would rather get 2 plus years of Gray than 2 months of Darvish.

    2. Worst case planning might include a projected 2019 rotation that did not include Kershaw.
      .
      Wood, Buehler, Alvarez, Urias???, Stewart, White
      .
      Surgery or an opt out could leave the Dodgers without Kershaw.
      .
      I think the Dodgers should hang on to Alvarez.

  13. Kershaw throw once every 5th day. He’s going to miss 5-9 starts. If the Dodgers play .500 ball they still win 99 or 100 games. The real question is the diagnosis on the conservative side or are they being less than truthful about the severity of his injury. From what I saw I tend to think they’re being cautious, but I’m not a doctor. With or without Kershaw, I am in the camp that the Dodgers need a RH starter that they can count on not named McCarthy or Maeda. I watched a lot of Darvish’s last outing. He was working between 95-98 all night long and was impressive. FAZ needs to go get him. I don’t like dealing Alvarez, but i could live with it in this type of deal a lot more than as a second piece for a guy like Forsythe or Dozier. The Dodgers would still have Buehler, White, and Stewart. Alvarez, Rios, and Farmer for Darvish.

    Remember when people wanted Wilson as the back up catcher?

    1. “Remember when people wanted Wilson as the back up catcher?’

      I think they were just off their meds that day!

      1. Alvarez, Rios, and another is actually a solid, fair offer for Darvish

        Let’s see, though, if Texas doesn’t just try to bend us over

  14. I got some info from my sources and I think this might explain, why Kershaw was having tightness, in his back yesterday.

    Kershaw was standing and working for a charity, on Saturday afternoon.

    And Kershaw was holding his daughter in his right arm, and he was picking up back packs with his left hand, and he was giving these back packs to children, on Saturday, the day before his start.

  15. My man Watford from across the pond and MJ … Good news, seems like a possibility…
    P.S. Watford – McGregor is in deep caca come next month…
    I’m turning bilingual I thinks…

  16. I love Dave Roberts as a manager. But, I wish he would just leave the medical diagnosis to the medical people. I just ge t worn out with these comments minimizing the injury then they are out for 6 months. We all knew Kershaw would go on the dl when he left the game. His comments about all the people we have on the dl makes him look uniformed and babbling. If we could get darvish cheap They would do it so you know it is not going to happen. Gray is hurt all the time we have enough of those. How about lance lynn? He is an innings eater and a solid pitcher who would be a rental. He is coming off tommy john so yeah he is right up our alley.

  17. McCarthy going to the DL would be retroactive and with an off day before and after the Giants series they only need 4 starters until Brandon comes back. Unless someone else goes down with another injury they still have 5 guys. It’s nice to have the depth and they may be needed. It’s nice to have trade capital and they may spend some. As has been pointed out by others the Nats and Astros have had even more issues with their starters this year. I think the team would be fine without a major move but if they make the playoffs and get bounced before the WS the calls for heads to roll will be loud so the pressure is real to do something now to improve the current team. The injuries to Strasberg and Kershaw on the same day just drove the price up for a good starter. I trust Faz to make the right decision way more than anyone on this or any other board. I would go for Darvish, with the intent to lock him up long term with a back loaded contract getting under the luxury tax next year; hold on to Maeda and then lock down Otani this off season, but that’s just me. I would insist they take McCarthy or Ryu back in the deal with Alvaraz and a lessor prospect. Of course the brain trust could care less what I think. I do think Ryu vs Colon is a comical match up about as lopsided as Mayweather vs McGregor.

    1. I’d ship Maeda to Baltimore in a deal for Britton. The O’s have bums like Miley, Jiminez, Bundy, and Gausman in their rotation. The very reason they should have been beating down the Dodgers door for Alex Wood during the off-season. If your plan is to lock up Darvish(Otani’s idle) then you don’t need Maeda around. Ryu just doesn’t have the value for other team that Maeda has, but to tell you the truth I trust Ryu in a big game/moment than Maeda.

  18. How about Morrow as a replacement? Has been a starter most of career. Looked great yesterday. I would still take Stripling because of his youth and his potential, but Morrow is a better pick than Masterson.

    1. Morrow is a reliever partly because he’s a failed starter. Also it would take a lot longer to stretch him out than a Stewart or Stripling. Masterson and or Font could make a spot start. Fabio Castillo is also currently on the 40-man roster. I’m sure there is dead weight on the roster that can be DFA’d or moved to the 60-day DL if room is needed to move one of them to the active roster. Freeman and O’Brien come to mind. FG and Gonzalez could be 60-day guys too. Guitierrez more likely than Gonzalez.

  19. What we still need is a LHRP. Keyshawn will be back for the play offs. We have the depth to still get to the play offs. We do not need a starting pitcher. Stripling will do just fine.

  20. I agree with you Idahoal, still need a LHRP, although Avilan is pretty good and Dayton has possibilities.
    .
    Let’s look at the big picture folks, Dodgers have Kershaw, Kazmir, Hill, McCarthy, Ryu, Maeda all under contract for 2018. They also have Wood controlled through 2019 and several up and coming potential studs pounding on the door. If you think FAZ is going to trade for, soon to be 31 yr old Darvish, with the intent of resigning him for $200M+ you just haven’t been paying attention, in my opinion.
    .
    These trade packages of Alvarez, Calhoun and Verdugo would be better spent on someone like Rivero than rental Darvish. Haven’t seen anyone mention the OUTSTANDING job the bullpen did yesterday, 8 innings of 2 hits and 1 run ball!!! Oh, I forgot, Jansen’s 3 runs in the ninth. Just the same, Great job Bullpen!! I would hate to give up six years of control on a potential stud, for 3-5 playoff starts from rental Darvish. No guarantees he doesn’t stink it up like Kenley yesterday. __IT Happens! Let’s beef up the bullpen, we have a pretty good 1-4 starting playoff rotation.
    .
    Some here sound like Clayton is already six feet under, pushing daisies. May he rest in peace, but only for 4 -6 weeks. Enjoy the ride!!

    1. Darvish would not cost Alvarez, Calhoun, and Verdugo. Rivero will not be on the table. I do agree that it is unlikely that they extend Darvish if the Dodgers are able to obtain him. I don’t plan on seeing Kazmir ever pitch for the Dodgers again, but they do have Kershaw, Hill, Wood, Ryu, Maeda, McCarthy, Stewart, Oaks, and Buehler all ready for the 2018 rotation. They can afford to make a deal for a rental.

      1. I agree Darvish wouldn’t cost Alvarez, Calhoun and Verdugo. FAZ would never do it. What do you think he would cost?
        .
        I also agree Dodgers can afford to make a deal for a rental. A rental like Pat Neshek.

        1. I think Alvarez, Rios, and a quality 3rd prospect like Alexy or Farmer. Depends how much quantity Texas wants. Could be Calhoun and Alvarez at the very most. After listening to DV talk about Calhoun’s inability to turn the DP well enough I just don’t see him as an NL player.

  21. Problem is guys, nobody out there really knocks my socks off as a must get starter. Verlander is old, Darvish, who I was hoping for us to get before the season started, is a rental with a history of arm problems, and Sonny Gray is a box of chocolates health wise. I got a sneaky suspicion FAZ is going to go the other way, the way Cleveland and KC did the last few years, and build it up from the back end. Get two more lockdown relievers and maybe a #3 or 4 starter, just to get us to the 6th. The market just doesn’t dictate giving all of our prospects away for a must have starter who isn’t even out there to be had right now. Just alot of lukewarm older guys about 2 or 3 years past their primes. FAZ always pulls something out of their butts that blow us away. I will wait and see what happens. One thing I have learned over the last few years, is Freidman never panics, even when all of us rats have left the ship. Very studious and meticulous guy, do not underestimate this cat.

  22. Roberts says tests show a lower back strain. Scan was much better than last year’s. MJ’s theory is very feasible. Trayce was optioned finally. Long overdue in my opinion and he shouldn’t be back before September. I’d rather see SVS and I’m not dying for that to happen. I think both need consistent AB’s. If Verdugo is untradeable, call him up and give him some PT in LF.

    1. Hawkeye

      If you think about it, Kershaw had his daughter in his right arm, and he was bending over and picking up backpacks, to give to kids, for quite a while.

      I have had back surgery for a herniated disc, and I think if I did what Kershaw was doing, that would probably aggravate my back, after a while.

      And Kershaw is way way taller then me, so he would have to bend down even farther then I would!

          1. Hawkeye

            That has to be what caused that!

            But that is good news!

            Kershaw is going to have to watch out for himself, better.

            I know when you are in your twenties you don’t worry about those things.

            But most people in their twenties don’t have the begining of a heriated disc show up on film either.

            And I bet your four year old, seems heavier, if you are holding her, in an awkward way, or she is squirming, and trying to get down.

  23. DODGERS ANNOUNCE ROSTER MOVES

    LOS ANGELES
    – The Los Angeles Dodgers today reinstated left-handed pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu from the 10-day disabled list, selected the contract of left-handed pitcher Edward Paredes (#58) from Triple-A Oklahoma City and recalled right-handed pitcher Josh Ravin from OKC.

    Ryu, who missed 17 games due to a left foot contusion, will make his 14th start of the season tonight against the Twins and last pitched on June 28 against the Angels, allowing two runs on seven hits in 5.2 innings with eight strikeouts. The southpaw has gone 3-6 with one save and has posted a 4.21 ERA (34 ER/72.2 IP), while striking out 69 batters against 22 walks in 14 games (13 starts) this season.

    Paredes, 30, will make his first career appearance on a Major League roster after going a combined 1-2 with one save and posting a 2.23 ERA (10 ER/40.1 IP) in 30 games with Triple-A OKC and Double-A Tulsa. He last pitched on Thursday for the OKC Dodgers, allowing just one hit and recording a strikeout in 1.1 innings of relief. In six games with Oklahoma City, the left-hander has gone 1-0 and has not allowed a run across 8.1 scoreless frames, while striking out 14 against just one walk.

    Paredes, who was selected in the minor league portion of the 2016 Rule 5 Draft by the Dodgers, has posted a 34-37 record with a 4.33 ERA in 283 career games (46 starts) over nine minor league seasons with the Mariners (2006-11), Indians (2013), Angels (2016) and Dodgers (2017) organizations. The Villa Arriva, Dominican Republic, native was signed as a non-drafted free agent by the Seattle Mariners in 2005.

    Ravin, who will make his third stint with the big league club this season, last pitched on Thursday for the OKC Dodgers allowing three runs (two earned) on three hits with four strikeouts in 1.2 innings of relief against Triple-A Memphis (Cardinals). In 24 games with Oklahoma City this season, Ravin has gone 3-0 with two saves while posting a 4.66 ERA (15 ER/29.0 IP). He has struck out 45 batters against 13 walks in 29.0 innings, while holding hitters to a .224 average. The West Hills native made his lone appearance for Los Angeles this season on June 17 at Cincinnati, allowing just one hit and striking out two in 2.0 scoreless innings of relief.

    To make room on the active roster, Los Angeles placed left-handed pitcher Clayton Kershaw (low back strain) and right-handed pitcher Brandon McCarthy (blister, right third finger; retroactive to July 21) on the 10-day disabled list, and optioned outfielder Trayce Thompson to Triple-A Oklahoma City.

    Kershaw, who made his 21st start of the season yesterday, struck out two against one walk in 2.0 innings before leaving the game with the injury against the Braves. He currently leads the big leagues in wins (15) and ERA (2.04), while ranking among the Major Leagues best in innings pitched (141.1 IP, T-1st), opponents’ batting average (.197, 3rd), strikeouts (168, 3rd) and opponents’ OPS (.572, 3rd).

    McCarthy has gone 6-4 with a 3.84 ERA in 16 starts this season with the Dodgers, while striking out 66 batters against 25 walks. He has allowed an average of just 0.52 home runs per nine innings this season (5 HR/86.2 IP), which is the third lowest mark in the Major Leagues.

    In 19 games with Los Angeles this season, Thompson batted .116 (5-for-43) with two doubles, one triple, one home run and two RBI.

  24. Ravin and Paredes could be back in OKC in a day or three.

    I am all for allowing Walker Buehler to pitch a few good games at AAA, but AAA is not always a good place to pitch. Maybe the Dodgers need to call up Buehler for the bullpen to limit his innings. We could have Stewart, Baez, Morrow, Buehler, Fields, Dayton and Avilan to go along with Jansen in the pen.

    Come the playoffs, I am pretty certain CK will be back and a rotation of Kershaw, Wood , Hill and either McCarthy, Stripling, Maeda or Ryu would be pretty good.

    Do we want to trade away two or three really good prospects for two months of Yu? That sounds like a dope-fiend move.

    1. Yeah, that would be a dope-fiend move. Especially when you consider we don’t need two months of Darvish, just a few playoff starts. Better to lengthen our lights out bullpen (and cheaper), just in case ANY starter falters.

  25. I just was watching the Verlander game. Overall he went 6ip, 3 runs (although 1 on a wild pitch) 8k. He looked solid.
    He still is definitely throwing hard

      1. Bobby

        Verlander should have won the Cy Young award last year in the American League!

        Take a look at his stats!

        He regained most of his velocity a year after coming back, from an oblique surgery.

  26. Here’s what may make the most sense:

    Trade Oaks, Sborz, Farmer and another lower level prospect for Wilson and Verlander. We take all the salary. They take back nothing. Very little lost… only dollars.

    1. Mark

      Verlander has been good in the post season.

      Maybe just this change in scenery would make him better, then people think.

      He should have won the Cy Young award last year, in the American League!

      There was some controversy when he didn’t win the award.

    2. Something like this makes the most sense if FAZ absolutely feels like they need a potential top end starter. Verlander is another guy with a no trade clause, who would probably like to come to LA. The added bonus of Wilson would be excellent, not to mention, the eye-candy girl friend doesn’t hurt anything either.

    1. HaHa. Idahoal don’t tell me you forgot,
      .
      Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie, girls and Chevrolet….
      They go together in the good ole USA!

  27. I don’t know our 2018 payroll situation enough to understand how that would impact a Verlander trade, especially how it relates to how much salary we’d need to take back, IF that impacted the luxury tax we’d be paying.

    Does anyone know for sure where we stand, and thus who we could/should acquire?

    1. JV would cost $28 million in both 2018 and 2019 plus he has a $22 million vesting option for 2020. There is no doubt that I would rather seem take the ball in a playoff game than Maeda and MCCarthy. However, the Dodgers would like to be under the $210 million luxury tax threshold where they are currently repeat offenders. The would like to reset it for one season so they aren’t paying not only the tax but the repeat offender penalty that now also affects free-agent compensation. 2019 is a big free-agent class that may or may not include Kershaw. Resetting would be virtually impossible if they take on JV’s 2018 salary. The more salary Detroit pays the higher the cost of prospects. Go get Darvish.

      1. Makes total sense. I can see us saying no to him for that reason.
        I can also see us taking Verlander provided Detroit pays a good chunk of his salary (and we give up some good kids)

        I can also see us taking Verlander (and maybe Wilson) and giving up lesser in prospects, and then worrying about shedding salary next season . Maybe we can pull a Magic Pelinka and send a stud kid with a large salaried vet to get us under the cap haha.

        1. That’s what would help. They would have to take Kazmir and/or MCCarthy because they aren’t taking Gonzalez with Miggy and Victor Martinez there. However, I think a bunch of Kazmir’s money is deferred so I’m not sure if he’s $8 million or $16 million in 2018.

  28. Based upon what I have heard today, I would bet that Kershaw will be back in 2 to 3 weeks.

    The disk is fine.

    It’s a muscle strain.

    3 weeks max!

  29. I wish they could have held on to the lead for Ryu. I liked the way he pitched. He got squeezed a couple of times. The only pitch I didn’t like was grooving a 3-2 fastball. I didn’t think he needed to give in when his breaking stuff was sharp.

  30. Ryu was hitting 92 on his fastball and was very good for the first few innings. I think he was fatigued at the end, but it was a very solid start. Something to build on. With Clayton on the DL, they can’t trade any starter.

    Nice win for the 30 year-old rookie!

  31. Bluto,

    Some show dogs are also Junkyard Dogs, like Clayton, Cody, JT and Corey. Joc Pederson is not a JYD, but Dave Roberts is.

  32. It may be asking too much but if Dodgers are able to win 8 of the next ten it’ll match the 42-8 run. I surely wouldn’t wager against them doing such a thing.

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