Rant and Rave Saturday

  • Kenta Maeda appears close to mastering a changeup, which could help him pitch deeper into games.  We will see.
  • Kenley Jansen did not make his appearance yesterday due to a tight hamstring.  Hopefully it’s just tight and not pulled.
  • The Dodgers have 18 players OPS’ing 1.000 or more.  That’s sick!  Kyle Farmer leads the way at 1.579.
  • Toles and Verdugo have shown they belong although Verdugo wil likely go to OKC to play every day.
  • Trayce Thomposn and Joc Pederson will be playing for new teams by April.
  • Daniel Colome would look nice in Blue.  Could we pry him loose with Rios, Pederson, Thompson and Dustin May or would we have to throw in Santana or Alvarez? Could the Rays be interested in Matt Beaty? Would Will Smith get the job done?  It is not like FAZ to trade for a reliever like that, however.
  • JT Chargois could be that 8th inning guy… if he stays healthy.  That was the book on Morrow too.
  • The team may break camp without Ryu or Buehler.  They might be able to go with 4 starters in April due to 5 off days.  Ryu and Buehler could stay in extended spring training.  Ryu is working on a new curve and Buehler is just being brought along slowly.
  • Solono looks like a capable backup.
  • Is Tony Cingrani still evolving into a lockdown reliever?
  • Ross Stripling is quietly haveing a very solid, if not spectacular spring.
  • Can Pat Vinditte really make the team?  It’s starting to look like he is a viable option and not a “freakshow.”
  • Liberatore has looked good, save one bad pitch.
  • Brian and Moran and Corey Copping are in the running for a roster spot…. so is Justin DeFractus.  These last 2-1/2 weeks are going to be interesting.
  • The one thing that could change a whole season is if The Bison returns to lead the heard.  Yeah, it may not be likely… but it’s possible.  That’s why they are keeping him (that, and no one else wants him – and he knows that which is string motivation) and that’s why they play the games.

Posted by DodgerChatter

I have been a Dodger fan longer than many of you have been alive. I picked the name Dodger Chatter so that you can call me DC. That way, LA Dodger Talk can be the home of AC/DC! I particularly enjoy following the minor leaguers.

This article has 33 Comments

  1. As I was up at 430am to watch this ManU Liverpool match, I had to watch the replay of Cingrani’s inning. I felt at the end of last year, and especially after Morrow left, that Cingrani would be th guy to take the 8th inning spot. He has fantastic stuff, and naturally Honeycutt helped harness his talents.

    Trayce looks way better this spring. It is too bad we won’t be able to keep him, but we have several guys that will open the year in the minors that are better than him as it is. Hopefully he doesn’t go to an NL West team!

    1. Bobby -didn’t know you were a soccer fan?

      Surely you’re gonna follow Watford!!!

      1. I follow Watford only because of you, my man!

        What a great match this am. Glad I woke myself up to watch it

  2. Rant
    Trades for Wood and Taylor will go into history books under armed robbery.
    Trades involving Kemp have been awesome (for the Dodgers).
    Putting Toles in FAZ’ grocery cart will give Dodgers awesome entrees.
    When the Dodgers’ #2 pitcher starts, he will be the only wood that has contact with the ball.
    The Dodgers’ catching this year will have an agricultural theme when Grandal leaves.
    It wouldn’t be the worst thing to use player options to let Trace start the season on the Dodgers.
    Mr. Curve Ball will finally pitch down hill.

  3. With Kemp, Toles, and Verdugo all playing well and as opening day draws closer it looks like Kemp will be the starter in left field with Toles on the bench and Verdugo at OKC. I don’t like it, but it is what it is.
    Pederson going back to OKC won’t help him and will take playing time from a player needing to play every day. Time to move Pederson.
    I enjoy watching Utley play the game, but it might be time ( especially if the Dodgers only have a 4 man bench ) for him to just be a coach, and let Jake Peter take the backup position.

  4. Wasn’t aware of the 5 off days in April, but the suggestion of opening with 4 in the rotation makes sense. Joc and Verdugo are certainly destined for OKC, Toles has made the opening day roster, they might find a way to start the season with Trayce on the roster until a DL move or trade is engineered and Farmer has to make the opening day roster as well.

    Chase…..love your grit your professionalism but father time has indeed caught up to him and it’s time to move along.

  5. Joc and Trace will be traded. I feel bad for Trace. Injuries have hurt him. I am still worried that Seager cannot go on opening day. They have a contingency ready. It will be Taylor. He has taken grounders every day in ST. That would move Toles to CF and Verdugo would make the team. Verdugo has to play if he stays. I could see the three starters being rested one day a week. This will keep them all fresh and give Verdugo playing time. Same with Kike. I can see him giving each infielder a rest each week. Competition is good for everybody.

  6. Eric Stephen and Eric Nosler at TrueBlue looked at Rios as a prospect.
    In Summary: Bullish on the bat and pitch recognition. Bearish on the glove anywhere but 1st. So, I wonder if he’s another Calhoun to be traded?
    Also, Jeff Sullivan had this interesting tidbit on Font in a chat:
    Jeff Sullivan: Lots of teams have been trying to trade for Font. The Dodgers like him and will keep him as a long man so that he can be available for when their starters visit the DL
    Makes me wonder who the Dodgers are trying to package with Kemp if not a player like Font.

    1. IMO, teams that like Font probably like Thompson as they are lower cost, longer control players. Those are the teams that want to dump payroll.

    2. Lots of teams? I wonder if that’s true. The Dodgers would still have Stripling, Buehler, and Stewart who could make spot starts. You would think among players like Font, Thompson, Joc, Stewart, Smith, Rios, Stripling, and Beatty something could be worked out for a Colome. The Rays are in need of depth and especially could use a 5th starter.
      Seems like Verdugo is doing most of his damage against the backups/minor leaguers. I could be wrong though. He does look in better shape.
      Vinditte? I was wondering how he gets both arms loose to pitch yesterday. Didn’t he give up a HR the other day when he switched to left-handed from right-handed? I don’t agree that some of those guys that Mark mentioned are truly up for a roster spot, but I may be missing something. I do agree the next 2 1/2 weeks will shine more of a light on the bullpen and LF battle as well as trade options. I do like how the afro & braid wearing Kemp looks, but Toles is my guy out there. I don’t feel as good about the pen as some. A forgotten man seems to be Liberatore. It would do a lot if he could pitch the way he was two years ago.

      1. Venditte did give up a HR to Lindor who is a switch hitter. Venditte chose to pitch to Lindor as a RH hitter. But he has had a decent ST. Not one that will get him on the 25 man, but may get him up and down the OKC shuttle a few times during the season. He is not on the 40 man, but if he is pitching well, that will not be a problem.

        1. I just wonder how the heck he gets both arms lose with only 8 pitches between innings or how he keeps both arms lose to throw after a couple of hitters.

          1. I know that before Lindor stepped in the box, he made a throw left handed to Bellinger as a warm up. I do not know if that is allowed, but he did do it.

  7. Justin Turner and Matt Kemp outfitted some rookies for a Cowboy nite out:
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    Here’s who I think they are from L to R:

    Jake Peter
    Walker Buehler
    Keibert Ruiz
    Yusneil Diaz
    Wilmer Font
    Will Smith is pretty in pink
    Edwin Rios (not 100% sure)
    DJ Peters (100% sure)

    1. If I run into any of those guys in a dark ally I will run but I will run faster if it’s Peters.

      1. DJ is a BIG man. He looks more like a biker than a cowboy. Funny, but of those shown, the two catchers are the small guys. Will Smith looks like a high school kid in that picture. What makes Buehler think he is dressing up as a cowboy? How did Verdugo get out of this?

  8. The fact that Matt Kemp is involved in this rookie hazing thing means he’s on the team (and starting vs Bum).

    This “too much talent” problem we have is amazing!!!

    1. Nobody wants Matt Kemp. He knows that.

      He’s in great shape and 40 pounds lighter.

      Many players have won an MVP at age 33 or 34.

      Luck is where preparation meets opportunity and it never hurts to have a chip on your shoulder.

      Do the stars align? Do the dots connect?

      I’m not saying they will… but I’m also not saying they won’t.

  9. This is interesting. According to Bill Plunkett of the OC Register:


    Pitcher Colt Hynes, whom the Dodgers released in February after a season split between Double- and Triple-A, has retired to take a position in the Dodgers’ player development department. He will be will the new minor league rehabilitation coordinator.

    Hynes, 32, appeared in 27 games in his major league career, all with the San Diego Padres and Toronto Blue Jays. The left-hander pitched 23 games (four starts) for Double-A Tulsa in 2017, going 6-1 with a 3.70 earned-run average. He also made three appearances for Triple-A Oklahoma City, allowing five runs in 6⅓ innings.

  10. There are five off days in April, but the first one does not come until after Game 7 (4/5/18). The rotation looks like it is going to go Kershaw/Wood/Maeda/Hill/#5. Game 5 is against the DBacks in AZ. I agree that Ryu is going to probably start the season on the DL and go to extended ST in AZ to get more work. Stripling, Font, or Stewart will get the ball on Game 5.
    The Dodgers can stay with a 4 man after that until April 18, when they will need a #5 against the Pads, and again on April 24 against the Fish. There is 28 games in April, and if there are no changes in the rotation, Kershaw starts 7 games, Wood/Maeda/Hill start 6, and #5 starts 3. And the way the off days are set up in May, the #5 starter would come up on May 4 (at SD), May 19 (at Nats), May 29 (at Phil).
    Moran and Copping are certainly getting noticed and will join Broussard and Paredes at OKC, and probably De Fratus and Venditte. Maybe Spitzbarth, but he could also be headed back to Tulsa to close. There will be a lot of high numbered prospect starting pitchers to save for at Tulsa.
    The Dodgers will break camp with 8 relievers because their first off day is after the 4 game series with the Giants, and 3 game series against the DBacks. Font should make the 25 man initially and either he or Stripling will be the #5 in Game 5. IMO, Chargois has pitched himself onto the 25 man, and so has Liberatore. My 8 man pen would be
    Jansen/Chargois/Cingrani/Baez/Alexander/Stripling/Font/Liberatore. 5 RHRP and 3 LHRP.
    DC, you asked what I thought of Morgan Cooper. Anytime I see a 6′ 5″ pitcher from Texas who throws downhill, I am a fan. He was the Ace of a Texas Longhorn team in a conference with the highest RPI. He pitched 89 innings (2 years removed from TJ surgery), and had a K/BB ratio of 110/33. He allowed 66 hits, which gives a little over a 1.1 WHIP in 15 starts.
    I think he gets the exact same treatment to start 2018 as Buehler got for 2017. FAZ is not going to want to see Cooper in cold weather, so he will start in Extended Spring Training and move to RC. He will move up as Buehler did as long as his numbers allow. He will probably get 90-100 IP in 2018, and then 150 in 2019. He could be a candidate for the rotation by 2020.
    The scouts that I have read give him a plus curve that he can drop for a strike. He has a fastball that will touch 96 that he can cut, and he is developing a good change. Scouts say he has 4 pitches, but he needs to master three and show a 4th. Right now he lacks stamina. His velo drops the later the game goes, which is why some scouts say that his floor is as a high leverage reliever. He is going to get every chance to start, and I do believe we could see him in the rotation by 2020.

    1. My thoughts exactly. Extended ST and then perhaps to GL when it warms up or as you suggest, right on the RC. I really like guys with a good SO/BB ratio.

  11. DJ Peters has some long hair… but he has nothing on my youngest son:

    Rear View:
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    Front View:
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    1. I try to stay positive with all of the Dodger players, but Baez makes it so darn difficult. After his 2nd half last year how can he possibly be anointed as a lock for the bullpen? Doc just has blinders on when it comes to Baez. I would rather be giving Baez’s spots to Yimi Garcia and see what he can do. I will be extremely disappointed if Baez is on the 25 man, but Chargois and Liberatore are not. He should be fighting for a spot just just like Joc/Toles/Verdugo were. That fight should be over as well. Toles should be declared the winner with Joc and Alex heading to OKC, if Joc is not traded before hand. Toles and Kemp should get the remaining 2+ weeks of AB’s and playing LF.
      Chargois another good inning in relief. That’s 4 games, 4 IP, 0 runs, 2 baserunners. Also another good outing for Brian Schlitter (my other dark horse candidate). Inherits runners on 2nd and 3rd, and he gets Addison Russell to foul out to Belly. That’s pretty high leverage pitching right there.

  12. Sorry Mark, AC/DC, who knows way more than I could ever fathom about the Dodgers, but Baez is TERRIBLE!! Don’t care about the stats, sabermetrics, etc. This guy is a young Brandon League, he will bring us down in the high leverage situations late in the season when we need an out the most. Please, PLEASE, find somebody else, this guy scares the crap out of me!!!

  13. Welcome to ST, Mr. Buehler…
    You may going to OKC, but don’t get too comfortable…
    Watford my man, be safe and hold a Guineess to the sky for me this coming Saturday…

  14. Buehler looked great yesterday.
    Kike’ went long against a righty–pretty cool.
    Baez looks bad faster now that speed of game is all the talk.
    Garcia is better than Baez.
    Stripling could be the fifth starter.
    Some here are too eager to make conclusions on early spring training games. Patience grass hoppers.

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