So, That’s What it Feels Like to Lose!

It’s been so long I had almost forgotten how it felt.  OK, I didn’t like it, so stop it now!  I am just going to ramble on today.

Ramblings

  • Brock Stewart is a mere mortal.  His ERA ballooned up to 0.87.  He will likely go down to AAA for 15 days – either him or Ross Stripling. I am looking forward to later this month and this lineup against RH pitching:
  1. Ethier  RF
  2. Seager  SS
  3. Turner  3B
  4. Bellinger  LF
  5. Grandal  C
  6. Gonzo  1B
  7. Pederson CF
  8. Utley  2B
  • From MLB.Com: 

Mitchell White faced two over the minimum en route to completing five scoreless frames in his best start for Double-A Tulsa. It was just the third Double-A start for the 22-year-old righty, who allowed one hit, struck out five and induced nine ground-ball outs. Overall, White has pitched to a 2.97 ERA in 57 2/3 innings (15 starts) across three levels this season. He’s given up just 34 hits and zero home runs in that span, all while compiling 65 strikeouts against 22 walks and posting an excellent ground-ball rate.

Do we have another Walker Buehler on our hands?

  • Corey Seager moving to 3B:  It could happen IF the Dodgers were to get a great defensive SS who could also hit, but in the eyes of Sabermetric-Types if you have a SS who is a MVP-Type Hitter and he’s a solid defensive SS (which Seager is), then you get another power bat at 3B because finding a SS with a big bat is much harder.  It weakens the team.  That said, Corey has improved his range and reduced his errors.  At Corey’s age, Cal Ripkin was putting up errors in the mid-20’s and so was Ozzie Smith. With the season two-thirds over, Corey only has 8 errors.  With Manny Machado coming up as a free agent after next year, I doubt FAZ would even give a sniff of 3B to Corey.  I see him at SS like Ripkin was at SS.  He is not a defensive problem – more of an asset.
  • Nolan Arenado will be a free agent 2020 and will be almost 30.   Strike 1!  Don’t believe FAZ will sign him to a $200 million dollar deal, but someone will.  Strike 2!  Look at his Career Splits:    He has 79 HR and 296 RBI at home and 56 HR and 175 RBI on the road.  He bats .313 at home and .267 on the road.  His OPS at home is .951 (MVP-esque) while .784 on the road (Kike-esque).  Strike 3!  I can’t see it happening.  Machado?  Yes!
  • I would like to see Alex Wood do good in the ATL tonight.  Let’s get back on track.
  • Will Cody Bellinger hit 40 HR this year?  I think so.  This is a guy who hit 6 HR three years ago, only to jump to 30 a year later.  That shows you how he adjusts.
  • Remember when Chris Taylor dropped to .279 and people said he was regressing?  He’s at .308 and he’s regressing?  When Cory goes up and down no one says he is regressing.  Chris may be a little tired but he will be fine.
  • How in the Holy Hell can Rich Hill be the NL Pitcher of the month?  At least, that is what you might think if you read what some Dodger fans say about him.  TAKE THAT!
  • While Chris Taylor technically is not a rookie, he is close to it.  So is Cody Bellinger and Austin Barnes – That’s three position players inserted into the lineup THIS year.  I believe FAZ thinks that is enough.  Verdugo will be up in September, but he will be the ROY next year. I could see Rios and Ramos making the team too.  I don’t know what to think about Henry Ramos – he could be another Chris Taylor.  He is hitting like a madman.  In 105 AB’s this year across AA and AAA he is hitting .441 with a 1.185 OPS.  He’s sick!
  • Wilmer Font deserves a starting opportunity on the MLB Level.

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 59 Comments

  1. I haven’t even thought of 35 yr old Ethier, who has only 30 MLB ABs more than all of us the last two years coming back to the Dodgers lineup, especially lead-off. Ethier only hit .208 in 24 regular season ABs last year, he did hit a home run in the playoffs, but that’s old news. Maybe he gets a call-up in September as a courtesy, but I say out with the old and in with the young, Verdugo.
    .
    I would love Machado, but what about Turner? Oh I guess Machado could play 2nd very nicely, but what do you think he will cost? I have kind of cooled on the idea of Machado.

  2. 1) That Melvin Jiminez guy that was basically introduced to most of us a few weeks ago had a great outing at Great Lakes last night too: 3ip, 1 hit, 2bb, 6k. He’s 17???
    2) Michell White is legit. Of course, there is one “scout” who may not agree……
    3) Wilmer Font needs to be tried out as a 1-2 inning relief guy up here who can blow hitters away. He may be what we’re hoping Fields could be
    4) Does Doc start Kyle Farmer today at catcher today??
    5) If we’re looking for a legit SS to come up and take over, maybe it’s our very own Gavin Lux in a few years. But for now, who the hell cares. We have an all star at SS and 3b

    1. Bobby

      I bet Wood would love that, but I don’t know what type of a framer, that Farmer is.

      I think Grandal will start because he is such a good asset with his framing, and he has been so consistent this year, with his bat.

  3. Mark

    I think the best thing about Cody is that he isn’t a all power guy!

    He not only adjusts and hits to the opposite side, he also hits tough runs in, in the clutch.

    And half of the HRs he has hit, have been in the seventh inning or later, and he is an asset on the bases, and a very good defensive player.

    Cody is the total package, much like Corey is!

    I too, want Wood to come back strong today, and shut the Braves out, so he can get this small monkey off his back.

    And Mark I know what you are doing with your line up.

  4. They could have started Wood on normal rest yesterday but chose to ‘stretch’ Stewart out a bit with Stripling at the ready. 1 game does not mean that much with a big lead, they are conserving their starters. I agree Stewart gets sent down to make room for Cingrani and he stretches out more at OKC. With Darvish going tomorrow they have 5 and Kershaw makes 6 and McCarthy 7 starters. Darvish will be only the 9th starter used all year by this team! Someone has to go to the pen, and I hope if McCarthy is put on waivers they make a good deal or pull him back.

    Today starts another win streak but the match up with DeGrom is a tough one Friday. The team has more road games this month but no one on the schedule for Aug is playing very well. This could get ridiculous going into Sept when the schedule is harder but the rosters expand and there will be many reinforcements at Roberts disposal.

    1. With all the pitchers wouldn’t you be willing to just let McCarthy go on an August claim for a salary dump? That would be quite a bit of salary savings over this and the next year.
      .
      If he is claimed I believe that I would try to extract an assest but would let him for the salary savings if unable to make a trade with the claiming team.

  5. Kike and Joc bother me a little when they bat. It seems to be all or nothing. They just do not adjust. Puig has made adjustment and looks a lot better batting. Bellinger seems to be adjusting on every pitch. Right now if there is any of the starters I would trade over the winter it would be Pederson. I just believe we can do better. Verdugo and Toles may force the issue.

    Taylor had a great July. He just looks tired to me. He has not hit a HR in quite some time. Fly balls that went out previously are now warning track outs. I just think he needs some rest. This is the most baseball he has ever played at this level.

    1. I have to agree with your opinion on Joc, and with his age, contract status (3 years arb) and upside could bring back a nice piece. My only concern is replacing his defense in CF. I have repeatedly watched him try to pull a pitch on the outer half which leads to pop ups, weak ground balls and K’s. I’m sure they have coached him to take those pitches or go the other way but he is unusually stubborn or can’t get the hang of it. He really has returned to an all or nothing approach on most at bats. Kike is ok against lefties for the most part but his stance leaves him wide open to sliders against RH pitchers. I would keep him around but his contract and versatility would appeal to other teams as well with 3 years of arb. They can’t trade Joc without a plan for CF, but Forsythe and Taylor offer some of the versatility that Kike does and are better hitters. Verdugo may force the issue in Sept and Toles will battle next spring as well but hard to say how Toles reacts to his surgery and Verdugo handles the jump. I see Verdugo as an early season call up next year after impressing in ST and being one of the final cuts. I don’t think he does much in Sept with limited at bats. I also agree Taylor needs a bit more rest and also Forsythe.

      1. Vegas

        I would look at both Forsythe’s and Kike’s splits.

        Kike actually has a higher OPS against lefties, then Forsythe does, and their numbers against righties, are very close.

        And Kike is not getting consistent at bats, every day like Forsythe, is mostly getting.

        And Forsythe has hit with much power at all, against both lefties or righties..

    2. Idahoal

      That is a good point about Taylor!

      Because a player, playing full time in the majors for the first time, can not only get tired physically, they can also get even more tired mentally, if they don’t get the days off, that they need.

      But I do think Roberts is very good about giving the players, a day off, when it is needed.

      I do think you have to look at Joc and Kike in different ways, because Kike is on the bad side of a platoon, because there are many more rightie pitchers in baseball, so Joc is going to get more consistent at bats, then Kike will get.

      I think the umpire didn’t help Kike in his at bat yesterday, because he called a high strike on Kike, and that called strike, put Kike even more behind, in that at bat.

      And actually I think Joc had a pretty good at bat for him, in yesterday’s game, because he was able to make contact and get the runner home from third.

      And Joc has not always been very good, at putting the ball in play, when it was needed.

      But I do think you are right about these two, over swinging, at times.

  6. Mark, that is one of the worst lineups I’ve seen all year for the Dodgers. Slow and unathletic. Don’t be so sure on Arenado. 1- He’s the best defender in baseball including Machado. 2. He hit .277 on the road last year and is hitting .294 on the road this year. 3. A lot of big money contacts will be gone including Gonzalez, Ethier, Crawfish, Turner, Hill, Kazmir, MCCarthy, and other current dead money.

        1. And Arenado and Machado are probably 1A and 1B defensively in the league in no particular order. Both could play SS.

    1. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Right now he has one pitch. It takes two to be a decent reliever.

  7. 6 BB yesterday. Very uncharacteristic. By everyone. Raised Stewart’s pitch count. Otherwise he would have stayed in there a while longer.

  8. I prefer Puig to Ethier in RF. He has reverse splits and is better against RHP. He is a much better defender than Ethier. Ethier has hardly played in 2 years.

    I’m glad for Rich Hill’s success. I unfortunately don’t have confidence in his ability to take the ball every 5th day. He’s already had 2 DL stints (as has McCarthy).

    Wood needs this one against his old team. I’m sure he’ll be fired up tonight.

    Seager stays at SS. It’s easier to find a good-hitting 3B who can field than a SS who can do the same.

    1. Good riddance! Just keep her the hell away from the Dodgers!!! He should have made her ambassador to SF.

  9. I am not sure I understand the reason for the discussion of moving Seager to 3B. Forget the fact that he is not a problem defensively. He may not be a GG, but he is not a problem at SS. But the Dodgers have a legit MVP caliber 3B in JT. He still has 3 years on his current contract. JT may not be Nolan Arenado with the glove, but he is an outstanding defensive 3B in his own right..
    .
    I am also not in favor of going after Machado or Arenado when they become FA. Machado is throwing $300M to $400M feelers out there, and he will undoubtedly get it. As Mark consistently says, I want Machado and Arenado before they become Machado and Arenado. The Dodgers may have a solid 3B candidate for when JT’s contract is up in 20 year old Cristian Santana. I mentioned him at the beginning of the year for people to watch. He has grown from relative obscurity to become the #27 prospect. Below is the MLB.com scouting report.
    .
    “A Dominican, Santana joined the Dodgers toward the end of the 2013-14 international signing period. He made his U.S. debut in 2016, tying for the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League lead with eight home runs. He has continued to bash in 2017, beginning the summer in the Rookie-level Pioneer League and earning a promotion to low Class A after going 22-for-41 (.537) with five homers in 10 games.
    .
    Santana has a lot going on in his right-handed stroke, though his impressive bat speed has allowed him to feast on lower-level pitching. He’ll have to quiet his approach and develop some plate discipline to tap into some of the best raw power in the system. Though he tends to swing at everything, he still manages to make a lot of hard contact.
    .
    Santana has some defensive value as well. He has seen action at third base, first base and second base this year, and projects to become at least an average defender at the hot corner. He has decent speed and quickness along with a strong arm, though his throwing accuracy needs to improve.”
    .
    Or maybe it will be this year’s #6 draftee, Rylan Bannon. If not Santana or Bannon, I have every confidence that FAZ will uncover a 3B in some other organization that might become available.

    1. AC

      I would rather have Arenado, besides, Manny has had two knee surgeries, on each knee, and I love Arenado’s personality, and what kind of teammate, he seems to be!

  10. Here’s where I stand: “We have an All-Star Shortstop… maybe the #1 SS in baseball and we want to move him to 3B? Are we freakin’ crazy?”

    1. Not our decision anyway. But for a top notch defensive SS (Simmons like) with offensive skills, I’d give it serious thought.

  11. Just saw Mr. Truthsayer intends to appoint Jamie McCourt as ambassador to France and Monaco. That is a wicked slap in the face to those counties. LOL.

    1. Wicked slap in the face to those countries?? Who cares?
      .
      Raise your right hand if you like the French … raise both hands if you are French.

        1. Boxout 7 has a tendency to show both his ignorance and his prejudices when not discussing baseball.

          1. “I would rather have a German division in front of me than a French one behind me.” General George S. Patton.

            .

            “Going to war without France is like going deer hunting without your accordion.” Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

            .

            “We can stand here like the French, or we can do something about it.” Marge Simpson

            .

            “As far as I’m concerned, war always means failure” Jacques Chirac, President of France

            .

            “The only time France wants us to go to war is when the German Army is sitting in Paris sipping coffee.” Regis Philbin.

            .

            “You know, the French remind me a little bit of an aging actress of the 1940s who was still trying to dine out on her looks but doesn’t have the face for it.” John McCain, U.S. Senator from Arizona.

            .

            “You know why the French don’t want to bomb Saddam Hussein? Because he hates America, he loves mistresses and wears a beret. He is French, people.” Conan O’Brien

            .

            “I don’t know why people are surprised that France won’t help us get Saddam out of Iraq. After all, France wouldn’t help us get Hitler out of France either” Jay Leno.

            .
            “The last time the French asked for ‘more proof’ it came marching into Paris under a German flag.” David Letterman

            .

            War without France would be like … uh … World War II.

            .

            “The favorite bumper sticker in Washington D.C. right now is one that says ‘First Iraq, then France.” Tom Brokaw.

            .

            “What do you expect from a culture and a nation that exerted more of its national will fighting against Disney World and Big Macs than the Nazis?” Dennis Miller.

            .

            “It is important to remember that the French have always been there when they needed us.” Alan Kent

  12. DODGERS ACTIVATE TONY CINGRANI

    LOS ANGELES
    – The Los Angeles Dodgers today activated left-handed pitcher Tony Cingrani (#54), who was acquired on Monday from the Cincinnati Reds. To create room on the active roster, the Dodgers optioned right-handed pitcher Brock Stewart to Triple-A Oklahoma City.

    Cingrani, 28, has an 11-20 career record with 17 saves (all in 2016) and a 4.03 ERA in 164 games (30 starts) in six big league seasons with the Reds. Since his debut in 2012, he’s limited the opposition to a career batting average of .231, including a .219 average against left-handed hitters.

    Prior to the All-Star break, Cingrani posted a 2.70 ERA (5 ER/16.2 IP) with a .213 opponents’ batting average and a 1.02 WHIP in 18 games, before allowing nine runs in 6.2 innings in seven games after the Midsummer Classic. Overall, the Evergreen Park, Illinois, native owns a 5.40 ERA (14 ER/23.1 IP) and has struck out 24 against six walks (4.00 strikeout-to-walk ratio) in 23.1 innings this season.

    Stewart made his second start of the season last night against the Braves, allowing two runs on three hits in 4.0 innings and did not factor in the decision. In eight games (two starts) this year with the big league club, Stewart recorded one save and posted a 0.87 ERA (2 ER/20.2 IP), while holding hitters to a .181 average.

    1. Or Barnes, or the Dodgers newest C/Inf, 3rd round draftee Connor Wong. That’s the thing about depth, you have options. Options that do not cost $300M.

  13. Mark and AC I agree with you on Seager. He is a very good SS. One of the best. Seager is not flashy. He just does the job. JT is going to be with us 3 more years. Another all star and very good defensively. From now on we just need to grow our own. The way FAZ does thing they will have at least two third basemans in the minors ready to go when JT contract runs out. These guys know what they are doing.

  14. DR should have let Wood pitch one more inning. He was at 87 pitches and ahead 6-1 when he was pinch hit for. Some posters are annoyed that our SP don’t go 7/8 innings. A lot of times I think they could but DR is the boss.

    1. He has a great fastball. And, he has a fastball. He’s got a fastball. Did I mention he has a fastball?

      They are at Target right now… buying him another pitch.

      1. Apparently he has a fast-fastball…maybe not a great fastball based on the results. Lets hope he can learn to make some adjustments and maybe another pitch as well.

  15. Coming into this game Cingrani’s ERA was 5.40 and his FIP 7.00, meaning that he pitched worse than his ERA. I assumed that he would be a project – not that he would be pitching in August on a playoff-bound team. Send him to AAA to work out his troubles and bring him up in September if he’s improved.

  16. You guys are picking on me. I loved Taylor’s HR, and 3 hits. I will say it again, Taylor looks like he is getting tired to me. Maybe he will hit another HR tonight.

  17. I have coached for many years. I still coach basketball in the winter. I love guys like Taylor, JT, Forsythe, and Barnes. They have made themselves into a ball player. They just work hard and will themselves into being good. These are the kinda guys I want on the team when the chips are down. They will not give up. Of course it is nice to have players like Seager and Bellinger on the team.

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