Ryu is Officially Back!

With three straight outings of seven innings during which time he has only allowed 2 earned runs, Hyun-Jin Ryu is officially back to the guy we used to have.  His velocity is back, his curve is wicked and his control is pinpoint.  He now has pitched 91.2 innings and his ERA is down to 3.53… and falling.  His ERA is better than these starters:

  • Carlos Martinez
  • Alex Cobb
  • Chris Archer
  • Yu Darvish (WOW)
  • Jake Arrieta
  • Jon Lester
  • Dan Straily
  • Gerrit Cole
  • Justin Verlander
  • Johnny Cueto (4.59-yikes-Think he will opt out?)
  • … and a bunch of others

He has 89 strikeouts in that span and he is effectively our #6 starter!  Right about now, the Dodgers rotation is looking really, really good. The Dodgers team ERA is 3.07 – a half run ahead of the D-Bags.  However the Dodgers team WHIP is 1.11 and the Bags is 1.25 – they walk a lot more hitters.

Clayton Kershaw will be back soon – the Dodgers are just getting him some rest so as to keep him fresh.  He has 5 less innings pitched than Max Scherzer even after being out for an extended period of time.  There’s nothing wrong with Clayton, but the rest should do nothing but help him in the playoffs.

What to do with Brandon McCarthy?

I would assume he will be back shortly for the blister issue and knee problem. It’s easy to say he’s the odd man out, but he he has worked extremely hard to rehab over the past couple of years and he’s part of the team. If healthy, a team that needs starting pitching might take him off the Dodgers’ hands, but is that what they really want?  I’m sure FAZ will ask him what he wants:

Do you want to go to the pen and try and win a World Championship or do you want to start somewhere else?  That’s the long and the short of it.  Can he adjust to a bullpen role?  I am certain he can dial it up to 96-98 MPH out of the pen.

Rants and Raves

  • Tony Cingrani’s slider looked better than I have ever seen it and Tony Watson looks re-energized as a Dodger.  Those two pieces could be huge.
  • What else is there to say?  These guys just keep picking each other up.  However, they have to keep that hunger.  In 1988 the underdogs won easily over what was allegedly the best team.
  • Henry Ramos just keep mashing!  After being promoted to AAA, he is hitting .471 with a 1.382 OPS.  How is that even possible?  He was 2-4 last night with a HR and 3 runs scored. Edwin Rios also hit his 6th HR in AAA, but Ramos is off the charts.  At some point I would think they would have to see if he’s the new Chris Taylor.  Ramos in LF, Taylor in CF ands Puig in RF.
  • On Saturday, the Dodgers started grooming Walker Buehler to relieve and he did not do well.  It’s an adjustment and a different mindset.  They will most likely keep him on that path.
  • What do all of these guys have in common:  McCarthy, Morrow, Baez, Buehler, Cingrani, Watson, Fields and Jansen?  They all can hit mid-to-high 90’s!

 

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 58 Comments

  1. Wouldn’t at all be surprised to see B-Mac put on waivers and get claimed. The FO might try to get something in return or just let the claiming team have him for payroll relief alone. This FO is always several steps ahead and while they are mostly focused on the “here and now” I can see them looking to the future where they have to free up some roster space for the possibility of a Yu signing or in the least some roster room for the likes of Stewart, Oaks, Buehler, Kazmir etc.

    Another Dodger series sweep last night and it would be awesome to do the same in AZ. What a fun team to watch and even though I’ve been really hard on Forsythe his AB’s yesterday were excellent.

  2. This team is just merciless. I’ve been a rabid Dodger fan since 1949 and even appeared on Happy Felton’s Knothole Gang once on WOR Channel 9 but this team is beyond description. It doesnt need a rally banana or anything of the sort, just 3 words, ” Take no prisoners!!”

  3. These guys respond to adversity. From Bill Plunkett of the OC Register:

    A year ago, the Dodgers turned their season around without their ace, going 38-24 and gaining 13 games in the National League West standings while Kershaw spent 75 days on the DL with a back injury.

    Kershaw went on the DL again two weeks ago and the Dodgers have responded to this setback by … winning 11 of 12 games with their starters pitching even better in their ace’s absence.

    Clayton who?

  4. Good takes today Mark. McCarthy has been the weak link in the rotation for about a month now and the DL was the best place to put him. His arm is healthy and his contract has value. Maeda and Ryu have both stepped it up and stretched it out and when Kershaw returns a 6 man rotation keeps them all fresh, with Kersh getting enough starts to get 20 wins. No room for a 7th starter, sorry Mac and Stewart (and Buehler)

    With a big lead and Sept coming who gets the call up from the minors? Remember they have to be on the 40 man so either DL or DFA for some or limit the call ups. I think Verdugo and Buehler for sure and maybe Ramos and Farmer is already here. There are Thompson and Eibner and Dayton already on the 40 man and rehab candidates AGon, Ethier, Segedin, Liberatore and even Kazmir and Gutierrez, though the last 2 may just be shut down.

    As much as I love the team there are 2 positions that could be upgraded in the off season: 2B and CF. There is already a platoon going on with Kike and Joc and with Utley and Forsythe:
    Utley: .240, .332, .750
    Forsythe: .238, .365, .683
    Utley leads in all the power categories and RBI’s, Forsythe has more walks but also more K’s: 79 in only 239 AB’s
    Joc: .229, .346, .791
    Kike: .220, .315, .768
    Oddly enough, their power numbers, RBI’s, walks and K’s are almost identical.
    This is with all 4 players being mostly platooned to play the percentages. I am sure that although management does not want to disrupt chemistry and defense and leadership should be factored in, that upgrades will be made in the coming off season. I doubt Utley returns and Forsythe has a team option but can also play multiple positions like Kike. There is already an internal upgrade available for 2B in Taylor; I believe CF is the real question and if Verdugo can’t handle the position then Taylor is the internal upgrade there too until Kendall is ready. I think Joc becomes the most likely player to be moved if he does not respond to coaching. He still has youth, upside, defense, power and a nice contract (3 years arb) He could bring back a real nice piece or be packaged with AGon for a lessor piece. This team is good enough to carry 2 weak spots in the lineup and they do all contribute, don’t get me wrong, just not at league average levels.

    1. We also have Toles for CF. He will be back next season, and while he has not had a lot of time, he has delivered when he has played. In 200 AB’s he has hit .294 with a .341 OB% and .824 OPS. He needs work in CF, but he’s faster than Joc. He has a career BA of .263 against LH pitchers but it is a small sampling.

      I do not think Verdugo has the speed to play CF. Bellinger would be a better choice and he should not play there either. I believe Taylor is a better CF than Joc or Toles, but would also represent a huge upgrade at 2B. He could be an All-Star there.

      I would love this lineup next year:
      1. Verdugo LF
      2. Seager SS
      3. Turner 3B
      4. Bellinger 1B
      5. Taylor 2B
      6. Grandal C
      7. Toles CF
      8. Puig RF

      Bench:
      Kike, Logan, Farmer, A-Gon, Barnes

      1. I agree on Toles but he probably gets platooned. Maybe Forsythe at 2B against lefties with Taylor in CF and Toles in CF and Taylor at 2B against righties. Forsythe had a swing last night that I thought was Kike’s until they did a close up. They both put their front foot down towards LF and can’t reach a slider that starts out a strike and breaks outside. Neither should play against RHP until they correct their swings. At least Kike does not take a fastball down the middle for strike one. Kike should be the swiss army knife but not an everyday player which is his true role unless his bat improves.

        1. Vegas

          I think they should let Toles hit against lefties, and see what he will do.

          Some of his biggest hits this year, when he was building up his batting average, were clutch hits, against lefties.

          I think his defense would only get better, if he is playing almost everyday, because when he was called up last year, after starting and playing, and coming up from A ball, he was really good on defense in left, he had 6 or 8 defensive runs saved, in left last year.

          I think it might be only a confidence thing, and that goes away with most players, once they feel more comfortable.

          But I know he will have to learn not to favor his knee, when he comes back, but he is a worker, so I wouldn’t count him out.

          The best thing is that we have many options, that won’t hurt the payroll.

    2. I want them to give Puig a shot at CF. Roberts played that position, he will be a better judge than Mattingly.

  5. What I don’t get is why the people who rag on Forsythe aren’t doing the same with Joc? Offensively the only real difference I see is power. I looked at baseball reference and Forsythe has a WAR of 1.3 while Joc’s is 0.0. Joc’s lead in OPS+ 107-83. I don’t understand how WAR is calculated and wonder why two players with seemly similar stats (not talking just Joc and Forsythe) can have vastly different WAR number but I’m amazed that his WAR is ZERO point ZERO.

    Wood is having an awesome year with a WAR of 2.3 and ERA+ of 178. In comparison, Kershaw in an average year – 4.5 and 204…..

    Mark mentioning McCarthy as a bullpen option got me wondering about the pitching staff for the playoffs. By my count we have 15 pitchers for 13 spots. Locks: Kershaw, Darvish, Wood and Hill as starters with Jansen, Baez, Morrow, Watson, and Fields as relievers. That’s 9 with the following pitchers for the last 4 spots: Maeda, Ryu, Cingrani, Stripling, Avilon and McCarthy. I think either Maeda or Ryu will be paired with Hill in the playoffs and I can see both being on the roster. That would leave 2 spots for Stripling, Cingrani, Avilan or McCarthy. Unless there’s an injury I don’t really see McCarthy on the playoff roster. If he goes to the bullpen and turns into Morrow 2.0 that might change things.

    I read somewhere (I think Dodgers Digest) that if Morrow keeps pitching like he has he would/should be an option for the setup role. I would disagree. I think he should be our fireman. There has been talk about using your closer before the 9th in the ‘real’ closing situations and I think that is what we should use Morrow for. Plus you can use him for multiple innings. 2 on and 2 out in the 6th bring him in and let him pitch the 7th as well. I think Baez does better starting an inning.

  6. Good comments guys. Our weak link is Joc. He just has not changed. I believe he will be moved this winter. I like the lneup for next year Mark. I do think we need to find out what Ramos has to offer. He looks like a junkyard dog kinda player. I like a player who struggles and then something happens and they make it. They do not forget their struggles. JT, Taylor. Toles, and Ramos are all on that category.

    Bellinger is just an animal. You could hear the sound of the bat last night and just knew he crushed that ball.

    Cingrani looked good last night. His slider really broke. He has a good fast ball. Those pitchers must be helping each other along with Honeycutt. Cingrani was only supposed to have one pitch and it was the fast ball. If he can throw the slider like last night, he has two pitches. I have to eat some crow on Honeycutt. I was pretty hard on him when Mattingly was the manager. Boy, am I glad Mattingly is gone.

    One other point. Have any of you noticed how much Roberts talks to the players. The third batter up is usually in the dugout, on the steps, talking to Doc before they go to the on deck circle.

  7. I agree with you Mark, Ryu is back. He has good control of all his pitches. McCarthy will be gone. I think it is to late for the bull pen experiment. The Yankees will want him. I would not give hm to the Yankees. We may face them this fall.

    1. Idahoal

      I agree with you about McCarthy.

      I don’t think McCarthy has the mentality, to pitch in the bullpen.

      Roberts had McCarthy come out of the bullpen once last year, and it was a disaster.

      He couldn’t even get one out.

      I think Tuesday is an important game for Maeda.

      He has been pitching well lately, but even when Maeda was pitching well last year, it always seemed that the Dbacks, had Maeda’s number, so I am excited to see how Maeda, does tomorrow.

      You know both Ryu and Maeda, are going to try to do their best, now that Darvish is on this team, so let the competition begin!

      And it is Greinke on Wednesday, so that game will be fun too.

  8. 1 – Joc Pederson won’t likely be moved. He is cost-controlled and provides pop and good defense inexpensively. He will only be moved as part of a deal to get someone else the Dodgers want. There is no economic advantage to moving him.
    2 – If the Dodgers decide that they no longer need Forsythe, they will exercise his option and trade him. He’s too good to let take a walk and besides, they traded DeLeon for him and will want some kind of take-away in the trade.
    3 – Toles isn’t a CF, at least not right now. He takes bad routes to the ball. Maybe later? Who’s to say? Taylor is a better CF than Toles, as is Pederson.
    4 – I have to admit that I have no idea what the Dodgers will do with their rotation when everyone is healthy. I can foresee a postseason rotation of Kershaw, Darvish, Wood and Hill, but in the interim, when everyone is back, who is 5th starter and who goes to the ‘pen and/or develops a phantom injury that results in a rest on the 10 day DL? Ryu looked like he is back to his old form; Maeda has pitched well lately and McCarthy was very good the 1st half.
    5 – They discussed the Adrian Gonzalez situation last night. If Bellinger only hits .200 while playing OF, then keep him at 1B and bring Gonzalez off of the bench? All that I know is that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” and the current mix of players seems to be getting the job done. If Gonzalez goes to 1B then Bellinger to LF and Taylor to CF, or Bellinger to LF and Taylor to 2B?

      1. I don’t care about the metrics. My eyeballs tell me that Joc gets to everything and makes the plays and that Toles doesn’t yet know how to run a straight line to get to the ball. I don’t completely buy defensive metrics anyway. They are a pretty blunt instrument in my opinion.

        1. Rick

          Toles was out of baseball for a year.

          And if he was playing one outfield position everyday like Joc, that would make a big difference.

          And if Taylor just played centerfielder all the time, that would make a big difference too.

          And both Taylor and Toles, are much faster then Joc.

          And Taylor is also hitting consistently, and Toles has showed more with the bat too.

    1. Let AGon stay on the bench and keep Bellinger @ 1B. Again, Bellinger @ 1B:
      1B: AB – 202; HR- 23; RBI-57; BB-27; K’s-51; BA-.297; OBP-.378- OPS-1.081
      LF: AB – 121; HR- 7; RBI-13; BB-12; K’s-47; BA-.207; OBP-.276- OPS- .706

      It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that playing Bellinger out of his natural position has hurt him and the team in general. I’m not talking about defensively just offensively. Maybe mentally at 1B he doesn’t have to think exactly where to position himself correctly. He just does it automatically whereas in the OF there is a lot more positioning to think about.

      All that being said DR will probably still put him in LF when AGON gets activated. What do I know anyway, I just see it that way and that’s my opinion.

      1. If AGon has had his eyes open in the last 2 months, he has seen what needs to be done. Bellinger is the LAD 1st baseman. Rest Cody a couple days per week so he is fresh for the playoffs. Start Agon on those days and pinch hit/late inning sub the rest of the time. I would like to think this is what AGon will tell DR to do.

        I understand not losing your job to injury, but this is really losing it to being outplayed by the next generation. I’m a lot older then AGon and have seen the next generation take over. It was kind of cool when I got my ego out of the way and I could stay around for the ride a bit longer.

        Think you are right about what DR will do however.

        1. Made it Bluto’s comment with McCullough’s mailbag after posting reply. Encouraging comments on AGon’s return and usage

  9. New mailbag from McCullough:

    He opines on Gonzalez’ return, platoons in OF and behind the plate and how this and last year’s success may empower the Front Office with regard to resigning Darvish.

    http://www.latimes.com/sports/dodgers/la-sp-dodgers-mailbag-gonzalez-dl-20170807-story.html

    Also, the official Dodgers blog has a look at 15 key metrics which help explain the Dodgers success. Among them, giving up the fewest hard hits, making opposing batters chase the most pitches, best framing and this one, which features my favorite TTTOP:

    13.4 percent of batters faced third time through order, third-fewest in MLB
    Pitching strategy is changing, as teams become more wary of allowing starters to go deep into games. The numbers make it a clear choice, as pitchers very clearly fare worse the more times they turn a lineup over; for the Dodgers, their starters produce a .625 OPS the first time through, then .675 the second time and .670 the third. Meanwhile, their relievers are at .626, making a reliever a much better bet than a tiring starter. Only two teams force starters to face a lineup a third time through less often than Los Angeles does.

    Finally, Willie Calhoun continues to pound the ball. Last night he went 2-4 with 2 homers. I really hope we get a chance to see him in Texas this season!

    1. Final note, and qualify this one as a spaghetti against the wall, WTF one:

      Ike Davis, LHP, Los Angeles NL (Prospect Profile)
      Level: Rookie AZL
      Age: 30
      Org Rank: He’s 30 Top 100: It’s Ike Davis, guys.
      Line: 1 IP, 3 K, 0 H, 0 BB

      Notes
      He’s not a prospect, but Davis was 88-92 last night and struck out the side in a perfect inning. Davis was a two-way player in college at Arizona State and last pitched as a pro in 2015, during which he made two appearances for Oakland. The Dodgers have frequently tried reclamation projects like this. They moved Stetson Allie — who looks like the pizza-eating stoner son of the cop from Stranger Things — back to the mound this year (he’s only thrown two innings but was up to 99 in the one that I saw) and tried Jordan Schafer as a pinch-running LOOGY. Eventually, one of these laboratory experiments will work out, if only for a brief while.

    2. In reply to Bluto.
      I think Willie gets a September call. In the five games he has played, 4 have been in LF, and 1 at 2B. I would guess that Texas is looking at LF to be his home. They have a number of defensive minded middle infielders but none that has his offensive skills. They will find a place, and LF is the probable landing spot. Not to take anything away from his HRs with the Rough Riders, but the 4 HRs were all hit in Albuquerque which is an absolute launching pad. But 4 HRs are 4 HRs and he is the one that hit them. He is a tremendous hitter, and I would expect that he will continue to produce wherever he plays. As the Dodgers are slated to play the AL West next year, they will get to see Willie up close and personal.

      1. AC

        I hope the Rangers bring him up soon.

        He is a much better hitter, then Gallo.

        I want to see Calhoun’s first few major league at bats.

      2. I listened to an interview with their GM and it sounded like LF and DH were in his future for Texas.

          1. I am not so sure. Shin-Soo Choo is the DH, and he is signed thru 2020 at $20M, $21M, and $21M. While the Dodgers might be able to work around AGon’s contract for 1 more year, the Rangers are not going to be able to eat Choo’s contract or trade the 35 year old. Choo is LH and is also an OF.
            .
            Carlos Gomez is a FA and will undoubtedly not be offered to come back. DeShields (RH) will probably move to CF, and 22 year old Nomar Mazara (LH) will probably stay in RF. That opens up LF. The current competition is 27 year old Ryan Rua (RH), 26 year old Cesar Puello (RH), 25 year old Drew Robinson (LH) (more suited for utility), and 29 year old Travis Snyder (LH). I think Willie gets a legit shot. At least he is going to be given every opportunity.

          1. AC

            Thanks for that info!

            The last place I saw Gallo play was left field, but that was two years ago, so I wasn’t sure.

            And it isn’t like the Rangers have played well this year.

            But it will still be exciting to see what Calhoun does.

            He seems to have a lot of confidence, when it comes to his hitting, so he will probably do just fine.

          2. MJ,
            Gallo plays 3B, 1B, and LF. I doubt that Napoli’s $11M option will be picked up for 2018. His buyout is $2.5M. So Gallo’s defensive position will probably be 1B next year. He will probably play 3B when Beltre needs a break. But I do not see him in LF next year.

  10. The Dodgers are on a path to have the best record in the history of the MLB and some keep searching for something negative to say. Think about it.

    1. With things going this well, just enjoy it! They will not likely ever have a run like this again but then again, no team has in over 100 years.

    2. Valid point, however bad swings are bad swings and if I can see it so can opposing scouts and coaches. Hitting in the .220’s and .230’s could be perceived as not worthy of starting at the big league level. They were patient with Puig and perhaps they will be patient with Joc as well.

      1. Joc is an enigma. Many see the bad swings, the impatience, the inconsistency, and deduce that is all Joc is about. Yes, he currently is batting .229/.346/.445/.791 for the year. But since his return from the DL, he has appeared in 45 games. In 146 PA, he has 10 doubles, 9 HR, 19 RBI, 19 BB, and 25K. He is batting .254/.377/.557/.934. .900+ OPS is very good. And yet for the last 8 games he has 21 PA, and 0 hits, 3 BB, 4K. So which one is Joc Pederson?
        .
        Against RHP 220PA .235/.359/.475/.835
        Against LHP 49PA .205/.286/.318/.604
        WRISP 64PA .231/.359/.481/.840 21 RBI, 4 Doubles, 3 HR
        2 out WRISP 36PA .250/.417/.500/.917 12 RBI, 1 Double, 2 HR
        on 3rd LT 2 outs 12PA .300/.333/.700/1.033 12 RBI, 1 Double, 1 HR
        on 3rd 2 out 17PA .286/.412/.714/1.126 17 RBI, 0 Doubles, 2 HR
        .
        Based on OPS, Joc is good except against LHP. He has been very good WRISP (2 out), on 3rd with less than 2 outs, and on 3rd with 2 out. In the clutch situations, he is certainly not a problem. So which Joc are you going to focus on? Whether you agree or disagree, OPS is a key Metric for FAZ. Whether you agree or disagree, FAZ favors power. So far, things are working. At 44-7 he is not causing the Dodgers to lose, so I see no reason to make any change this year in how he is being used. Good ABs and bad ABs.

        1. Good points, and my original breakdown talked about possible off season upgrades to two positions, 2B and CF. They will do nothing to disrupt the chemistry and roll the team is on, but there will be Sept call ups. How Verdugo does will be interesting to watch, and I hope he gets a try in CF but is a more natural corner OF except for power. One thing I have noticed is Joc is not a very good pinch hitter. He tries to pull everything and pitchers know it, and pound the outer half with heat and get him to chase breaking balls. It is up to him to have a better approach at the plate and sometimes his frustration shows. I like him and keep waiting for him to make the obvious adjustments.

          1. I really want Joc to succeed and as such am pained when he doesn’t. He has not done well as a pinch hitter and hasn’t done well in late inning at bats in games he hasn’t started, or so it seems without looking at actual stats.
            .
            Joc has been streaky. When things are going so well for the Dodgers and with Joc getting the majority of playing time in CF, he is part of that success. Why put a microscope on Joc when he is in a cold streak.
            .
            Anybody that has participated in fantasy baseball leagues has tried to find a player that will have a breakout year and the best place to find that player is to look at the players that will turn 27 or 28 during the season. Joc is 25.
            .
            The Dodgers are winning and we have discussions about Cory and Joc being too slow for their respective positions. Some have had a long history of saying they don’t think defensive metrics are meaningful and then use them to rag on a player. A blind squirrel can find plenty of positive things to say about this Dodger team and yet some will skip past the steak and pick up the grub.
            .
            AC, I like your perspectives.

  11. I am not sure if it has been mentioned, but Jordan Sheffield was promoted from Great Lakes to Rancho Cucamonga.
    .
    Dustin May went on the 7 Day DL.
    .
    To take their place –
    RHP Marshall Kasowski (13th round draftee) – promoted from AZL Dodgers to Great Lakes.
    RHP Alfredo Tavaraz – 19 year old from Santo Domingo , DR, promoted from AZL Dodgers to Great Lakes.

    1. Bum

      Sorry Corey has very good defensive metrics, but I can’t say the same, about Joc’s defensive metrics, and Corey is also producing offensively, at a very high level too.

      Joc was given the centerfielder job, from what he did in AAA, and he hasn’t come close to playing up to the numbers, he had in AAA.

      And Joc has been given more then just a chance, on a team like the Dodgers, this is his third year, and not many players, on a team like the Dodgers, would even get three months, , to prove themselves, let alone, three years.

      Look what Turner, Taylor, and Toles had to do, to win their playing time, and their positions.

      And from what Orel has said on more then one occasion, Joc and Puig, didn’t start taking their at bats, and other things seriously, until Cody and Corey came up, and did just that, and out produced, both Joc and Puig.

      And Cody and Corey, are superstar players, yet they didn’t take anything for granted, like both Joc and Puig have.

      But Puig has stepped up this year, and has worked seriously on his hitting, with Turner Ward.

      And everyone sees the results with Puig, but Joc still hasn’t been very consistent, at all.

      And with Joc we haven’t heard the same, beyond those few games, he played in AAA, when he said, his former AAA coach, had helped him to hit better.

      And Joc seems to not stick with the things that have helped him hit better, at times in the past, and a player has to be able to hit more then just two months, out of an entire season.

      Even Grandal, who has tended to be streaky too, worked hard in the off season, to be a better player, and be a more consistent hitter, and he has.

      This is why some people expect more from Joc, especially when they see these other players, fighting to be on this team, or to be in this line up.

      1. And Bum why do you think I looked at Joc’s defensive metrics in the first place, because he looked slower and more challenged , out in the outfield, this year..

  12. I felt at the beginning of the season Ryu seemed to be drawing the tougher matchups than Maeda. I seem to recall two starts at Coors and one at Wrigley. Once Ryu seemed to be finding his stuff he got the phantom DL stint with a hip contusion. He knows how to pitch and he’s made his curve ball elite not just his change-up.

    Tough call between Ryu and Maeda. They may wind up getting piggy backed when Clayton returns. I’m not a MCCarthy fan but he’s pitched well enough to be in the middle of most rotations. He’s not a relief pitcher and needs to be moved. It’s just a matter of getting more value in the off-season vs an August trade. If Darvish deal had got done sooner I have to think Mac or Maeda was getting moved.

    1. It was also good to see Ryu get the W because he deserved one in both of his last two starts.

      1. Hawkeye

        I agree about Ryu.

        We all know the pitcher he was, and we all want him to be that same pitcher, and he is a pitcher, that really knows how to pitch.

        And he has shown that he can pitch, in his last few starts.

    2. I was told from a knowledgeable source that Texas continued to ask for Buehler and then Alvarez right up until the trade. He said Alvarez, Buehler, White, Verdugo and Ruiz are “untouchable.” Well, maybe not for Mike Trout!

      1. I am glad to see Ruiz in that class. He is a talent that I really want to see fully develop. He just turned 19 and is just mashing California League pitching. The reports on him defensively are also very positive. He sets up well, he receives the ball well, and like all Dodger catchers he is becoming an elite framer. His one discernible weakness is his arm. But he just turned 19, so that is going to come. He not only passed Will Smith as a Dodger prospect, but is now considered the #7 catcher prospect by MLB.com.

        1. AC, I like Wil Smith and hope he will hit enough to take advantage of his speed and quickness and arm strength. Between Smith and Ruiz, which might be able to move to third?

          1. Ruiz is not an infielder while Smith can play 3B. The position switch is certainly possible, but Smith is too good defensively not to pursue catcher fulltime. Competition has a way of sorting things out. It is possible that both will start out in Tulsa next year. Neither have anything to prove in A Ball.

      2. I can see that Verdugo has the tools but am not quite sold on him as a Dodger yet and would not be upset if he was used as a high-end asset in a trade for an upgrade to the team this winter.

  13. You know I don’t think enough has been said about hitting coaches Turner Ward and Tim Hyers… Personally I’ve never been that ‘big’ on hitting coaches, albeit I liked Big Mac… But there is something very positive going on with this roster… Working counts to favor the hitter is on the top of the list for me…
    AC I’ve seen Ruiz several times now and I’m a believer… Great feet… Glides back there for a big kid…

    1. Peter, I would love to see Keibert play. RC is playing in Modesto for the next three games, but I cannot get away to see him, and the Quakes will not be in Northern California anymore this year. In 78 AB (85 PA), he is crushing Cal League pitchers with .359/.400/.628/1.028. He should hit 100 AB by the end of the week, and 100 AB is generally a good sample to project. Better still is his 5 BB/7 K ratio. 7 K in 85 PA is less than 10% K ratio. Again, he turned 19 less than 3 weeks ago. That is 4.6 years younger than the average Cal League player.
      .
      If I were in charge, I would hire Steve Yeager to be his personal catcher coach for the winter. He has too many passed balls, and his CS ratio is about 20% (not bad, but should be better). He will get better naturally with experience and personal development, but someone with Yeager’s pedigree as a mentor would be fantastic.

  14. Kay Bear has a chance to be a special player – I’m talking Bellinger – Seager good. He’s not the power hitter like Bellinger but he’s definitely the Dodgers Catcher of the future. Being a switch hitter is a big thing too. He is hitting .120 points higher at RC than Smith did. Smith is an elite catcher, but his bat is the question. Kay Bear has the whole enchilada!

    Yasmani Grandal is controlled through 2019 and Ruiz could easily be ready then. Grandal will be 30 by then and Barnes is right behind him. Ruiz is on a fast track. Will Smith does not have the bat to play anywhere but C.

  15. BTW, Alex Verdugo is another player who could be special. I KNEW Seager and Bellinger were stars in the making and I THINK Verdugo could be too. I am just not as convinced as I was with Corey and Cody.

    1. Verdugo is in the early Eithier mold to me. I believe he has the potential to be better than Eithier, and to be an even bigger_______________ (add your own word) than Eithier was when he was younger.

      It’s this reason that I am not sold on Vedugo, yet, as a Dodger long term.

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