Weekend Observations

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.

Posted by Always Compete

This article has 27 Comments

  1. Welcome back AC.

    Good observations on what we have seen so far.
    I too like Font, he should make the 25.
    We have too many Outfielders, especially with Kemp making a case, but I think it’s Trayce that gets cut loose.

    1. AC, Great observations. I was afraid you had been abducted by aliens.

      I think Font makes the team unless he screws it up. His stuff should play up out of the pen. What he did last year when he was called up means nothing. This guy could be a weapon…

      Muncy is sure turning some heads. His Big League clock is ticking as he is 29 years old. If he can’t stick with the Dodgers, I’d like to see some team pick him up. It’s too bad Utley has him blocked. I think Chase is the kind of guy who could see a player like Muncy being blocked by him and saying “I’m done – give him my spot.” I really do believe that!

      The depth on this team is amazing! The Dodgers may have guys at AA who would be on other teams MLB squad!

      P.S. I do not think there is a battle for LF. It’s Kemp’s to lose!

  2. Very early in spring training, but I agree, Thompson won’t make the team, but I do hope he can be used in a trade. Font, since he is out of options I think will make the team out of spring training, after that it’s up to him.

  3. Do we have a podiatrist out there to solve the Toles dilemna???
    AC as always insightful and hopefully a calming influence…
    As M.T. pointed out our depth is scary… Player cuts this spring will be painful.
    Dodgerfan, 1946, Manhattan Beach, Ca. before the Mercedes, Beamers and pro athletes.. High school, Serra, Gardena… My idol was a senior named Dave Nelson…
    I was playing with the brothers for years… Millington Tenn. in 1965 was a shock to say the least.
    Campy, happy you and yours are having ‘re having a great time….

  4. Kemp and Puig used to feud…

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    Pedro Moura of the Athletic has a great piece on Kemp:

    Fanfare aside, it’s becoming increasingly clear that Kemp can make this team’s Opening Day roster. His December acquisition was purely a means to a money-saving end, but the secondary circumstances are lining up in his favor. The Dodgers have still been unable to trade him. He is behaving. And no other outfielder represents an obvious pairing in left field with Joc Pederson’s left-handed swing.

    “He’s very aware that this is a very good ballclub with a lot of good players,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “But we brought him in for a reason.”

    His tool is power, pretty much. His speed has vanished with age, and, along with it, his defensive acumen. But he still has power.

    “His offensive numbers the past few years are still pretty special,” Justin Turner said. “So, you throw that bat in the middle of the lineup, that run production is pretty impressive. It will be nice to have another right-handed bat in the lineup. Obviously, today you see the impact he can have in a game.”


    QUESTION: Could the Dodgers get 50 HR out of LF?

    1. the other thing kemp has going for him is seager’s elbow. assuming kiké mans SS more than usual (possibly taylor too), that opens up even more opportunities for tradional outfielders to make starts. right now i see space for both kemp and kiké, as well as one of joc and toles. trayce has basically no shot and verdugo will be in AAA to begin the year. still early but happy with how our OF looks today. diaz, peters, heredia, kendall are longer-term options.

      1. LF will definitely be a platoon. the question is who is hurt the most by Kemp’s making theteam. i’d say toles, even though they are different players. trayce barely had a shot to begin with (trade is most likely outcome). i don’t see joc having ebough trade value to move him. toles might have to hope we eventually carry a true 5th OF so can win that job. (strangely, i still see toles as the most likely LF by the end of the season.)

  5. AC

    As you probably know, the Dodgers are being very careful with the innings their pitchers pitch, in spring training, because the team played as deep into the post season, a team can play.

    1. additionally, it may seem funny/desparate/premature for us to be annointing font the 13th pitcher on the staff based on A SINGLE PERFORMANCE in literally the first game of the spring; but, we need arms for the long season. we can’t get caught short. we will absolutely have a “deep postseason run in 2017” hangover and we need all the legit arms we can stockpile. font’s lack of an option is a huge plus for him as he attempts to make the team.

    1. Tordondo was a start for several MLB players then I played (sucked) LL in Apple Valley with Jason Thompson. Didn’t play even softball here in Barstow but Aaron Sanchez current RP for Blue Jays. Met a girl that showed me Sanchez’ ‘T-ball’ card. Bet that card is rare.

      1. Bobby – is that Birmingham Alabama or Birmingham England?

        Got to be honest mate, but the Brummie accent is probably the worst in the UK, so you want to hope she doesn’t talk too much…

        If you’ve never watched Peaky Blinders, then check it out on Netflix – that will give you an idea of what you are getting into !!!

      1. Answer: Farmer is not really a catcher!

        But, maybe he stole it on the pitcher who believed that a guy whose 40 yard dash is timed with a sundial was no threat to steal. 😉

  6. Some personal observations after four games…..
    .
    As many of you have said, Thompson will not make the squad.
    .
    Utley shouldn’t make the squad but still might. He can’t hit anymore, he takes too many strikes and gets behind, then has no chance. He has yet to hit the ball out of the infield in a small sample of games, but looks frustrated walking back to the dougout.
    .
    Grandal looks lost at the plate right now. Hope he works out of it soon.
    .
    Seager and Barnes have yet to play defense, and I haven’t seen them make a single throw. Someone please tell me their arms are OK.
    .
    Puig is the last one out of the dougout to his position and the last one into the dougout after an inning, and it isn’t even close. Someone tell me what that means.
    .
    It would be fun to see Vanditte make the squad and pitch with both hands, but he wont. His fastball tops out at 86 and many of his pitches are in the mid 70s.
    .
    Farmer is hitting ok but his arm isn’t as accurate as the other catchers. Grandals is the best to second. Of course I haven’t seen Barnes this year.
    .
    Back to CA tomorrow. I’m out of money.

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