Some Weekend Observations:
Wilmer Font was extremely efficient and effective. He had excellent command of both his 4 seamer and 2 seamer. He threw his breaking pitch just enough to show it and it was never left out over the plate. If he continues along this path, it will be very hard for the Dodgers to not keep him on the 25 man.
On January 2, I posted an article on Max Muncy and why he should be considered for the 25 man. He has done nothing to dispel that belief for me. He has barreled up the ball extremely well with a single, 2 doubles, and a triple in 6 AB’s. He also made a tremendous play at 1B. He is not a 1B so he was not that confident on a popup with the wind, and seemed to not want to get in Chase Utley’s way. The more he plays at 1B the more comfortable he will become. He can play 1B, 2B, 3B, and the corner OF positions. I do not know if he will make the roster, but he certainly is giving it everything he has.
Matt Kemp is attacking the ball, and is at least not embarrassing himself out in LF. He is either putting on a great showcase for an AL team that needs a DH, or he is making a good case to be the Dodgers starting LF on opening day against MadBum.
Alex Verdugo is an outstanding athlete. His maturity level is not at the same level as Corey and Cody were, but he shows why he is a talent. He seems to be looking to lift the ball more, but still is not quite a patient hitter. His throw from LF to the plate was not a great throw even though Orel and Joe thought that it was, but his throw from RF to cutoff Solano was an absolute pea. That was the throw that got him the label as the best OF arm in the PCL. He should go back to OKC to start the year, but he could be back sooner than September, and he will not go back to AAA in 2019. I did not like the way he pouted after his throw from LF, but that is his lack of maturity.
Ross Stripling had a very good 1st inning against the Giants. Striking out Belt and Parker after the Blanco triple and then getting Sanchez was excellent. I like Stripling, and I hope he continues to start even if it is back at OKC, because I think he should get a good look as the 2nd RHSP.
Kershaw’s curve was mid-season form. His fastball command was excellent. But what is going to determine the kind of year that Kershaw has will be that slider. I would have liked to see him go 2 innings today, but the Dodgers do not like to push their starting pitchers too early.
It will be interesting to see how many innings Wood gets to go against the Rangers on Monday.
After Friday’s game, 2 out RBIs were somewhat rare. For the four games, Kemp (3), Forsythe (2), Turner, Bellinger, Peters, and Mieses. Left in scoring position with 2 out were way too many to list. There were at least three occasions with a runner on third and less than 2 outs and they could not get the run in. I know the current thing is to barrel up and lift the ball with a hard swing every time, but now is the time to work on getting that run home from 3rd with less than 2 out.
Peters continues to draw comparisons to Jayson Werth. If he has the career that Werth had, he will be a very good player and very wealthy. With his RH power, he should continue to get pushed, even with the strikeouts.
Donovan Solano may not strike fear as an offensive player, but he is very smooth at SS. I can see him in a backup role if anything happens to Seager or Kike’. Tim Locastro is going to run every chance he gets. They will be fun to watch this year at OKC (if Solano is not claimed).
The Dodgers have said they will be playing with 8 relievers for most if not all of the season. That will be 4 bench players. That should be Chase/one of the catchers/Kike’/Joc. I do not see how Trayce Thompson makes the team. With Puig/CT3/Kemp/Kike there are enough RH bats for the OF. I hope that FAZ can make a trade with Thompson and not have to DFA him. The first one up should be Muncy or Toles.
With Jansen not scheduled to pitch until March 9 that leaves a lot of opportunities for relievers to be noticed. Edward Paredes stood out bigtime. Of the non-roster invitees I liked Jankowski, Schlitter, Lowe, DeFratus and Venditte. They all have ML experience and should continue to get a look.
Regardless of the scores, there were a lot of good things to see this past weekend.