Rant and Rave Sunday

  • Last night’s game?  Forgetaboutit! Move on – nothing to see here folks.
  • The team is still on pace to win 115 games.  To break the record they will have to have a .717 winning percentage. With the resting of players and looking at roles for the playoffs, it seems unlikely that they will go the requisite 25-9 the rest of the way in order to beat the record.  The record might mean something, but the World Series Championship means EVERYTHING.  That’s the focus other than everyday it is “just win THIS game”.
  • Brook Smith of Dodger’s Way suggests that the Front Office should trade Chris Taylor in the offseason in the interests of “selling high” and likens it to the Dee Gordon trade.  The same thing was suggested about Justin Turner after his first good year with the Dodgers. He bases this on the fact that Chris Taylor has never been this good before, but neglects to mention that he has re-made his whole swing much like Justin Turner.  I read it with interest but then I got to this part, where I realized he didn’t have all his facts correct:  “[Darnell] Sweeney projects to be a big part of the major league team in a few years.”  Of course, Sweeney now plays for the Reds after being released by the Dodgers.  Oh, and the Dodgers aren’t trading Taylor in the offseason. I personally do not think this is his career year. He shows me the ability to make adjustments on the fly, much like Turner, Bellinger and Seager and I really see him as the CF of now and in the future.
  • Kershaw will allegedly start next weekend against San Diego leaving him 5 or 6 more starts.  He needs 21 innings to qualify for the ERA title and I see him getting that easily.  Among qualifiers, he still leads in Wins, ERA and WHIP.  If he can finish strong, he could have another Cy Young.
  • There is a lot to be decided this season.  Will Wood be able to throw 95+ after he gets back from the DL?  If not, will Ryu or Maeda take his place in the rotation?  Will Brandon McCarthy come back and can he pitch out of the pen?  Will Mike Liberatore be a factor? Will the Tony’s (Cingrani and Watson) get their act together for the playoffs? Will everyone stay healthy?
  • Andre Ethier looks a long way away to me…
  • Yu-San goes to the mound for the Dodgers today and Stripling or Ravin will go back to AAA for a few days.
  • Yadier Alvarez got lit up pretty good again at AA last night.  This is really shaping up as a lost year for him.
  • Craig Minami has a good Minor League Report at TrueBlueLA.  No need to re-invent the wheel.
  • Hey, didn’t you use to be Joc Pederson?

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 36 Comments

  1. Just as I speculated last week, Dustin May was promoted to Rancho making him eligible to pitch in the playoffs. What I did not speculate was that Chris Mathewson would also get a promotion.
    He is also very deserving.
    This is not only a lost year for Yadier Alvarez, but also good Jordan Sheffield. Neither pitcher distinguished themselves in any positive way. It is proof that a pitcher pitches as much with his head & heart as much as with his arm. Dustin May, Caleb Ferguson, or Scott Barlow may not have the gifted arm of Alvarez or Sheffield, but they may be passing Alvarez and Sheffield. Dennis Santana has two pitches and yet he finds a way to pitch deep into games with just those two. You need some bulldog to succeed. Sborz and Sopko learned that after poor starts, Alvarez and Sheffield did not.

  2. I certainly agree with you on Taylor. In fact, I consider Taylor, JT, Forsythe, Barnes, Hill, Wood and Jansen to be “junkyard dogs”. They all had a lot of failures a long the way. They had to remake themselves into good players. These are the kinda guys that will not quit. Great club house guys. These are the guys we need in the play offs.

    1. I think Corey and Cody are also junkyard dogs. Especially Cody. He remade his swing three years ago and continues to adapt… every game.

      1. It is an even bigger thing that both Cody, and Corey, have that mentality.

        Because most players with their talent, don’t often have the same desire and discipline, that these other players have to have, to even get in the line up, on a team like the Dodgers!

        That is why Cody and Corey, make a great example, to the other young players, on the team.

        And I think that is part of the reason that Puig got his act together, this year.

        Cody and Corey lead by example, everyday, on and off the field!

        And who is under more pressure to succeed, then those two players.

        1. Both have high baseball IQs. Probably from fathers and brothers in the game at high levels. Both strike me as pretty much plain old smart.

  3. Not looking real good for Joc finding a position when he comes back. Grandy has been a steal, and Taylor looks solid in center. Love Joc, but I think the constant tinkering with his swing, and whether or not he has taken Turner Wards advice seriously like Puig has, might have cost him a spot on the play-off roster. Dodgers are all in, win now, let’s do this mode, and Joc’ s bat just aint cutting it. Picked a helluva time to start slumping.

  4. I could personally care less if we reach 116 wins. The prize is winning the WS. Seattle’s record of 116 wins means nothing as it was attained during 162 game schedule. More impressive was the 1954 Indians with 111 wins in 8 less games and they got swept by the Giants in the WS.
    We all know the PS is a crap shoot with the hottest team (not the best team during the season) having the best chance for the trophy.

    1. I agree Roger. Joc isn’t cutting it. We need the BEST players for the PS no matter who they are and if their pride is hurt, so be it. Maybe they’ll be wearing different uniforms next year.

  5. I read the Taylor article yesterday. Damn dumbest piece I read all year. Got blasted pretty good by the readers.

    I had to watch the Milwaukee feed last night. The Brewers announcers aren’t bad. They had no problem pointing out the bad calls by the home plate ump going the Brewers way. Did those calls look bad on the Dodgers feed too? What is the difference between Kershaw throwing 5 inninings in LA vs OKC? Either way it still a bullpen game just not as many with Stripling only throwing 3. Looked like a spring
    training game. Bummer about Alvarez considering he had just had his best outing.

    Watched the fight last night. The announcers sounded like they were still trying to sell the fight by acting like every tiny thing McGregor did was a big deal. A good ref would have deducted points from McGregor. Mayweather spent the first three rounds doing nothing other than finding out what Conner had as a boxer which was nothing. At that point Floyd went on the offensive and took him apart. The ropes kept him up in the 9th and 10th. I wish the ref would have let him drop but that’s modern day boxing.

    1. Hawkeye

      Yes all of those outside pitches, were far off the plate, and out of the strike zone, and the strike zone on the TV, verified these bad calls too.

      1. The reason I asked about Dodgers feed was it seemed like two nights in a row the umps were calling pitches well off the plate toward the 1st base side of home.

    2. I agree, McGregor kept pounding him on the head with the back of his glove where there is no padding and bear hugging him. He got warned twice for doing that and both warned once for pushing but no points deducted. Floyd schooled him once he went on the offensive. McGregor seemed to have no answer for the straight right. I give both credit for not dancing around, they stayed in front of each other and threw punches, it was an entertaining fight.

      1. Much more entertaining than Mayweather-Pacquiou. Of course Mayweather didn’t have as much to worry about last night.

  6. 1-Taylor…..CF

    Roberts said Puig gets a rest day, could come in later. I like the lineup and they are playing to win the series today. I predict a bounce back but Nelson has pitched well for them. Darvish will pitch better.

    1. I look forward to seeing lineups with Puig and Cody again. I miss seeing a true cleanup hitter. My lineup would be:

  7. When is the right time to start coasting? I think we’re in it now. We must finish strong so maybe for a week or two, coasting is ok. I would rather go balls to the wall the whole way, but I don’t think that will happen. The starting pitchers should have that mentality because they go once a week. But I fear the coast is on.

  8. I think they will go for it against the Snakes and Rockies coming up soon just to test themselves against quality opponents. They also play the Nats on the road soon. Getting Cody and Kershaw back fits with this scenario. Wood will be back only when he is ready and Sept call ups are around the corner. They can rest key players occasionally and still put out a competitive lineup.

    Down 3 runs already and once through the lineup they have 0 hits. Let’s go! Waking up the bats right about now would be nice.

    1. Vegas
      Thanks for posting the information about the Trade Waiver Deadline.
      Very informative. Very kind.
      Now – if only our bats could warm up!

    2. Definitely looking forward to Cody’s return. I don’t need to watch Kike hitting against RH pitchers. If a righty doesn’t put it inner half and between his thigh and numbers he doesn’t have a chance.

  9. The front office did all they could to get darvish, Watson, cingrani, and granderson. I really like granderson instead of Pederson. The rest give us depth and options with darvish a better option than McCarthy. However, I hope we don’t sign darvish and I don’t think we will. I still think in the playoffs it will be kershaw, hill, darvish, and maybe ryu. Wood is hurt too much and would be huge in the bullpen. Maeda has been much better this year in the second half. With a month to go a lot can change but darvish is very inconsistent but we don’t really have much choice with right hand options. At least the front office provided better options than Anderson (awful) and maeda who was awful. Maeda might be different this year but hopefully we don’t have to find out. If healthy I would not be afraid to go with Ryu.

    1. Darvish looks like every other pitcher they rotated on and off the DL for an “injury” this year. Not sharp his first game back with little command. Wood may have been decent his first game off the DL not sure. I recall Maeda, Ryu, and MCCarthy all with less command their first game back.

  10. Offense has stalled in August. Pitchers can’t always throw shutout.

    Team offense:
    April – .250/.333/.410/.743 – 112 runs
    May – .265/.346/.445/.791 – 159 runs
    June – .250/.343/.477/.821 – 157 runs
    July – .279/.353/..488/.840 – 107 runs
    August – .242/.332/.425/.756 – 102 runs

    Some Dodgers aren’t hitting. Here are August numbers:
    Barnes – .367/.486/.467/.953 – 0 HR
    Seager – .344/.386/.409/.795 – 1 HR
    Bellinger – .316/.391/.684/1.075 – 6 HR
    Taylor – .292/.382/.551/.933 – 5 HR
    Puig – .282/.433/.535/.969 – 4 HR
    Forsythe – .259/.423/.389/.811 – 1 HR
    Turner – .238/.250/.488/.783 – 6 HR
    Utley – .214/.231/.333/.583 – 1 HR
    Gonzalez – .194/.231/.333/.564 – 1 HR
    Hernandez – .184/.262/.316/.578 – 1 HR
    Grandal – .183/.279/.450/.729 – 4 HR
    Granderson – .148/.324/.481/.805 – 3 HR

    A few observations – 1 – Utley, Gonzalez, Hernandez aren’t doing anything at the plate and shouldn’t be getting AB
    2 – The Dodgers miss Bellinger!
    3 – They have to figure a way to get Barnes more AB
    4 – Seager has stopped hitting for any kind of power
    5 – Puig has stepped up his game

    1. And Granderson’s numbers are very Joc like. Those numbers validate my batting order. Seager and Turner will start barreling up balls again.

  11. I’m from Brooklyn, where it’s “fuhgeddaboudit”, NOT forgetaboutit.


    Like anyone, I’d like to see the bats come alive. But frankly, I only care if they’re alive in October. I still remember 2006 when the Dodgers ended the season on a seven game winning streak, and then got swept in the NLDS by the Mets, and in my case the hated Mets.

    Maybe Alvarez will never make it, or else like a lot of very young players the light may suddenly go on. In fact, with a lot of young players, adversity is the spark that spurs them onto greater heights. And I haven’t given up on Joc. If he’s not traded, then let’s see if he finally puts it together next year. I haven’t given up on him in much the same way I never gave up on Puig.

    From what I see of Chris Taylor, he’s a keeper. Unless the Dodgers could get incredible value in return, no way I trade him. And if the Dodgers wanted to trade him because they thought he was having a never to be repeated career year, then what do you think other teams would think? And what would the Dodgers get?

    And one final random thought. He may not be showing it now, but over the long term I love the thought of Cingrani coming out of the Dodgers pen. Really good stuff. We just have to hope he finds command.

    1. Good points Brooklyn! Let’s summarize: after losing two games in a row and a series for the first time since June the Dodgers lead the west by 19 games and have the best record in baseball by 12.5! They just got bullpen of the week in all of MLB and had two 1 hitters! The final position slot for the playoffs may be between AGon, Ethier and Joc, isn’t that a nice problem to have? They are about to activate Kershaw, Cody, Wood and McCarthy from the DL and call up Verdugo, Buehler and others from the minors, how is that for reinforcements? They have so many arms that 2 starters may go to the playoff bullpen and other deserving arms will be left out of the bullpen. They have some of the best coaches and probably the best manager in the game. They have showed the ability to win with the lead and come from behind when they don’t. I for one am not worried one bit about this team or the little slump the bats are in.

  12. Maeda and Ryu have looked pretty darn good. They are our 5th and 6th starters. My guess is McCarthy will be traded this week or winter. If a contending club needs a pitcher, they have to have them on their roster by September 1st.

    I agree with you guys there is no place for Joc this year. I would not even bring him up. He needs to find his swing. He has to do it at OKC. Bring up Verdugo, Beuhler, and Font. I can see the starters going 5-6 innings each start in September. Let the bull pen finish the games. Everybody needs to stay sharp, but still need some rest.

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