The Rented Mule Society

The Dodger starting pitchers were beat like a rented mule by the D-Bags this week. Kenta Maeda, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Rich Hill were all pounded without mercy.. and yet (Drummmmmmm Roooooolllllllllll), the Dodgers are still #1 in all of baseball in Team ERA (3.38)and Team WHIP (1.16). The Nationals are second and the Bags are third!   By the way, the bullpen is even better and is also #1 in all of baseball with a 2.90 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP.  That is totally sick! Forget about what hapened in Arizona.  Never speak of this again.  Turn the page.  Move it.  There’s nothing to see here folks.

Right about now, a new winning streak should start with CK on the hill tonight.  Alex Verdugo will likely see some time in LF as well.  Against RH pitching, Verdugo, Ethier or Granderson will get playing time with Taylor filling in at SS for Sore Arm Seager. The thing that bothers me about Corey’s injury is that Roberts describes it as “a cute pain.” I don’t think any pain is “cute.”  Oh, sorry “acute,” who knew?  Right about now, Kike Hernandez could jump out of a boat and not hit water, so he plays only against LHP.

With the rosters expanding, I am certain we will see the following players:

  • Alex Verdugo
  • Andre Ethier
  • Alex Wood
  • Clayton Kershaw
  • Walker Buehler
  • Wilmer Font (he’s coming!)
  • Kyle Farmer
  • Brandon McCarthy
  • Adam (not Mike, thamks DDM) Liberatore
  • Brock Stewart (I have lots of confidence with him as a reliever, but he needs another pitch to be a starter – until then he should be in the pen)

With Farmer back on the roster, maybe we will see Barnes more at 2B.  It’s his for the taking.  There are lots of roster decisions to be made.  May the best men win!

Here we go… the September Stretch Run!

 

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 16 Comments

  1. There are two positions up for grab. They are LF and 2nd base. I would move Barnes to second. Forsythe had all year to win it and he has not done it. Time to move on. LF should be between Granderson, Verdugo and Either. My obvious choice is Either. I’m am not sure Father Time has passed him up.

    It was ok for us to get smacked in the mouth. I think we needed something like what happened in Arizona. What the Dodgers were doing was almost unreal. Sometimes you have to learn that just throwing your jock strap on the field will not get it done.

    I almost wish we would see Font throw one of the games in the doubleheader on Saturday. I think Stewart is going to throw. Right now Stewart is not a starter.

    1. I, too, would love to see what Font can do. I know very little of what his pitches are except he throws his FB in the mid 90’s. I’d love to know how his pitches are rated in the 20-80 scale.
      I’m sure AC can help us out with that!!

      1. Richie,
        .
        Font has a full arsenal with curve, slider, a nasty swing and miss splitter, and a devastating fastball.
        .
        Since he is not truly a prospect, I am not sure how the publications rate him on the 20-80 scale. However, per OKC pitching coach, Matt Herges, has been asked if he is ready for the Big League. Herges believes he is ready. If not as a starter, then definitely as a middle innings reliever. Asked if he could become a one inning high leverage reliever, per Herges “That’s something that I think about, I mean he could sit on 99, he’s got that in him, I mean he’s touching 97 multiple times a game.” Herges added, “That’s why I think it would work in any role, the ability to land a curveball, the ability to control both sides of the plate with his slider and the split-finger is rarely thrown for a strike and with the elite elevation, there’s not a role he can’t do in my mind.”

  2. AZ threw there top three pitchers at home vs the Dodgers 4-6. You could see this coming. The only one of those pitchers that really concerns me is Ray. The Dodgers were hitting the ball hard right at people vs Greinke early.

  3. The Dodgers will be throwing the same three pitchers next week against the DBacks. Taijuan Walker will probably pitch the third game, following Ray and Greinke for AZ.
    .
    With RHP Dinelson Lamet scheduled to pitch against the Dodgers, I would expect Alex Verdugo to make his MLB debut tonight in San Diego. Regardless of the number of AB’s he gets, Verdugo will get a great education as to how to prepare, play, and behave at the ML level. It should be fun to watch him develop on the Big league stage.
    .
    I also think this speaks volumes where the FO believes Joc fits in. I am guessing that he will be back in the clubhouse on Tuesday, but the fact that FAZ is bringing up a 21 year old non-roster OF before Joc is very telling. Now it is time to see how Joc responds. It was not a good start since he went 0-4 last night. He has four games to put his big boy pants on and make the best of a bad situation. Last year Yasiel handled the adversity, but thus far Joc has not.
    .
    I would expect to see Austin Barnes get more play at 2B, but just as much to get Farmer behind the plate to see how he can handle the Dodgers pitchers. Kyle has played 1 inning at 3B defensively for the LAD. We all remember how an excellent defensive former AS catcher (Chooch Ruiz) was unable to handle Kenley Jansen last year. Maybe he gets a chance to start with Alex Wood, his former college teammate, on the mound. If not Alex, then maybe Ryu/Maeda.
    .
    Regarding the Astros trading for Justin Verlander, not only did they pay a very steep price, but it might also lead to questions as to how healthy Dallas Kuechel and Lance McCullers are. The three players the Tigers received are now their #1 pitching prospect, #1 OF prospect, and #1 catcher prospect (#8 MiLB catcher prospect per mlb.com). All three are top 8 Tiger prospects, and the Tigers have 5 top 100 prospects.
    .
    The prize is young Venezuelan pitcher, 19 year old Franklin Perez. Perez is already at AA and appears to be on a fast track. He could be a 2018 September callup candidate as a 20 year old. Jake Rogers is already considered one of the very best defensive catchers in baseball. As a college junior, he threw out 63% of would be base stealers, and is already considered one of the best receivers. He is a 22 year old at high A, but with his defensive ability, he will likely move quickly. He is better defensively than Will Smith, and is now starting to hit. Defensively he is ML ready. His ETA is 2019. The third prospect is 20 year old true CF Daz Cameron (son of Mike Cameron). Like his father, Daz is defensively gifted with natural CF instincts. Something kicked in the 2nd half of 2017 and he has started to hit in the pitcher friendly Midwest League. Since July, Cameron is batting .345/.420/.550/.970 over 53 games and 231 PA. The Tigers went up the middle with a catcher, pitcher, CF. This was a great trade for the Tigers.

  4. It will be much better watching these same pitchers, pitching at Dodger Stadium, this time around, not only because Dodger Stadium is a pitchers park, but our pitcher’s off speed pitches, will play at Dodger stadium, much better.

    But Hill is going to have to find a way, to pitch better in Arizona, just in case, we have to face them in the post season there, unless the Dodgers can get around from pitching Hill, in Arizona.

    I have just put my mind on reset, for our next game tonight, just like our players did, right after that last game.

    It seems appropriate that Kershaw is on the mound tonight, since we do need to snap a losing streak, and Kershaw is always game to do that, for the team.

    It is going to be fun to see what some of our young players do, at the major league level, especially Verdugo, and Buehler, when he comes up.

    And I am glad the Dodgers brought Font up to, I always like to see a player, get that second chance, and second look, since we know baseball, is a very hard game to play, at the major league level.

    At this point, I don’t even think the Dodgers have all of the answers, who should be on this team, in the post season, or in the line up in general, so I think we may have to wait, up until the end of September, before we find out these answers, because we have another month to go, in the regular season.

    And really it was mainly the starting pitching that let us down in this last series, and these same pitchers, will be even more motivated, to take the Dbacks down, next week at Dodger Stadium!

  5. I thought Corey Seager was ready a year earlier than he was brought up.

    I thought Cody was ready this year.

    I am on the fence more with Alex, but every time he has jumped up a level, he has done very well. I think he will be given a big chance to play everyday. If it were me, I would have him hit leadoff tonight.

    1. I think it will be interesting to see how Verdugo does, because offensively he is just the opposite, of Joc.

      He not only hits for a really good average, he makes consistent contact, and he actually has two more walks, then strike outs, and his OPS is 825, against lefties!

  6. DODGERS ANNOUNCE ROSTER MOVES

    LOS ANGELES
    – The Los Angeles Dodgers today reinstated left-handed pitcher Clayton Kershaw from the 10-day disabled list, recalled infielder/outfielder Rob Segedin from Triple-A Oklahoma City, selected the contracts of outfielder Alex Verdugo (#61) and infielder/outfielder O’Koyea Dickson (#67) from OKC and reinstated outfielder Andre Ethier from the 60-day disabled list.

    Kershaw has been on the disabled list since July 24 with a low back strain and last pitched on July 23 against the Braves. The seven-time All-Star made one rehab start with OKC on Saturday, tossing 5.0 innings and giving up one run and two hits while striking out eight without issuing a walk. Prior to the injury, Kershaw boasted a 15-2 record with a 2.04 ERA (141.1 IP/ 32 ER) and 168 strikeouts against just 24 walks while holding opponents to a .197 average. Kershaw will take the mound for his 22nd start of the season this evening in San Diego.

    Segedin has appeared in three games with the Dodgers this season, with his last appearance on Aug. 16 against the Chicago White Sox. With Triple-A OKC this season, the 28-year-old has hit .320 with a .352 OBP and a .510 slugging percentage. Over the past two seasons, he has appeared in 43 games as a Dodger, combining for a .225 batting average along with two home runs and 12 RBI.

    Verdugo, 21, is set to make his Major League debut for the Dodgers after completing the season for the OKC Dodgers hitting .314 with six homers, four triples, 27 doubles and 62 RBI in 117 games. The Tucson, Arizona native posted a .389 on-base percentage this season while walking more times than he struck out (52, 50) and was named a Pacific Coast League Midseason All-Star and participated in the MLB All-Star Futures Game. In 421 career minor league games over four seasons, Verdugo has a .305 average and an on-base percentage of .362. The 21-year-old has been a postseason all-star for three consecutive seasons (14-16) prior to 2017 and was a mid-season all-star this year and last year. Verdugo was originally selected by the Dodgers in the second round (62nd overall) of the 2014 First-Year Player draft.

    Dickson, 27, is also being called up to the Majors for the first time in his career after hitting .246 with 70 runs, 22 doubles, one triple, 24 homers and 76 RBI in 116 games with Oklahoma City this season. He appeared in left field the majority of the season (59 games), but has also seen time in right field (23 games) and first base (seven games), posting a combined .990 fielding percentage. The San Francisco native was drafted by the Dodgers in the 12th round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft out of Sonoma State and spent seven seasons in the minors (2011-17), slashing .279/.349/.491 with 182 doubles, 12 triples, 117 homers and 437 RBI in 736 career games. Dickson has received multiple honors during his seven-year career, including two Player of the Week honors (2014 and 2016), two-time mid-season all-star (2012 and 2014) and the MiLB.com Organization All-Star in 2014.

    Ethier will be making his 2017 debut after spending the entire season on the 60-day disabled list due to a lumbar disc herniation. He appeared in 10 rehab games with Triple-A OKC, Double-A Tulsa and Single-A Rancho Cucamonga, hitting .219 (7-for-32) with two doubles and six RBI. The veteran outfielder appeared in 16 games for Los Angeles last season, hitting .208 (5-for-24) with one double, one home run and two RBI.

    To create room on the 40-man roster, Los Angeles placed left-handed pitcher Grant Dayton on the 60-day DL following Tommy John surgery on Tuesday and designated outfielder Brett Eibner and left-handed pitcher Luis Ysla for assignment.

  7. Dickson got the call! That was extremely nice of FAZ to do so. He’s a good, hardworking dude who deserves it.

  8. As far as I know, Walker Buehler has not yet been called up, and I wonder if he will be, given that he’s not on the 40-man, and there’s little reason get his clock started now if he’s not going to be used in the playoffs. In fact, for the same reason, I wonder why they brought up Verdugo. It could be that they want to get him some exposure to the big leagues with an eye on next year. Not sure how important that is, for either Verdugo or Buehler. It certainly wasn’t for Bellinger.


    Certainly the recent slide can’t bring any comfort, but it also isn’t any reason for panic. More than likely it’s just part of the normal ebb and flow of a baseball season. I can only hope that the Dodgers will be at the top of their game come October. And there’s no way to guarantee that no matter how they’re playing now.


    Fans always would like their team to be at the top of its game going into the playoffs. A lot of good that did the Dodgers of 2006, and the Rockies of 2007.


    The 2006 Dodgers entered the NLDS against the Mets having won their final 7 games of the regular season, only to find getting themselves swept in that series.


    The 2007 Rockies won 14 of their final 15 games of the regular season, including a one game playoff vs. the Padres, to reach the playoffs. They then swept the Phillies 3-0 in the NLDS, and the D-Backs 4-0 in the NLCS. In total, they won 21 of 22 games going into the WS, where they were then summarily swept by the Red Sox.

    Doesn’t matter how you’re playing going into the playoffs; this is baseball, where prognostications are irrelevant. All that matters is that come October the Dodgers need to outplay all of their opponents, resulting in 11 postseason victories. Nothing else matters.

  9. Lineup:

    1. Taylor SS
    2. Granderson LF
    3. Turner 3B
    4. Bellinger 1B
    5. Grandal C
    6. Puig RF
    7. Utley 2B
    8. Verdugo CF

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