We Know What We Know and Don’t Know What We Don’t Know

Don’t think about that too long.  It might hurt your brain.  I know it did severe damage to mine… well, I’ll blame it on that anyway! Here we are – less than two weeks from OPENING DAY and we know a lot, but we don’t know what we don’t know, and that is the conundrum under which we currently operate.

What We Know We Know

  • OK, I’ll get this first one out of the way – Matt Kemp has made a statement and has made the team.  We know that he is the starting left fielder and will hit 5th.
  • We know that Wilmer Font will not make the team and that is sad for him, but he just is not getting the job done. Someone will pick him up, but the writer for Fangraphs who suggested he could be traded with Kemp was definitely smoking some illegal substance. I know Doc Roberts is saying he still has a shot, but I don’t see it. I have been wrong before…
  • We know that Joe (look it up) played 1B for the Dodgers yesterday.
  • We know that the Freak Show that is Pat Venditte may not, indeed be a Freak Show, and that he just might be a solid piece in the pen. WOW!  That is really cool.
  • We know that Daniel Corcino whose best pitch is slider and who can hit 97 MPH on the gun is looking good and could be a Darkhorse to make the team as a reliever.  He is a former starter who really could excel under Honeycutt and Prior.
  • We know that Mark Prior was hired to take over for Rick Honeycutt… maybe as early as next year… and by the way, this guy is really, really bright and respected… by friend and foe alike.
  • We know that the D-Bags now rue the day they signed Zack Greinke! If Greinke would have stayed with the Dodgers, he might be $50 million poorer, but have a World Series Ring… and IF chickens had lips, they might be people… or not!
  • We know that Ruiz, Verdugo, Peters, Peter, Smith and Buehler will be up to The Show as early as 2019!
  • We know Donovan Solano is probably better than Charlie Culberson, but also won’t make the team.
  • We know that Trayce Thompson will not make the team and that Joc Pederson might not either… in fact, I will say it, he won’t!
  • We know that Brian Moran could make the team in the bullpen.
  • We know that JT Cargois will make the team and could step into Brandon Morrow’s role.
  • We know that Rich Hill speaks him mind.  According to Eric Stephen, when asked about his last outing, Hill called his performance “horseshit” and “completely unacceptable” after an otherwise strong spring.
  • We know that Shohei Ohtani may start the season in the minors.  He is hitting .100 and has a 27.00 ERA.  YIKES! There was a time when some moron GM would have gave him $100 million!
  • I know that Phil Gurnee has a wonderful piece on the Late, Great Willie Davis.  It’s a worthy read.
  • Finally, we know that I will not call the Dodgers Rookie Pitcher by his real first name. A pitcher should never be called “Walker.”  It sets a bad precident.  Umpires may think he has a proclivity to live up to his name. Henceforth, I now anoint him STRIKER Buehler! By the way, he hit 99 on the gun yesterday!

What We Don’t Know That We Don’t Know

  • We don’t know if anyone will get hurt between now and Opening Day which could change a lot.
  • We don’t know if there are any trade talks… and don’t say the Dodgers could trade Font and Thompson, because they have very little value.  So does Joc – he needs to spend a great deal of time at OKC rebuilding his swing and psyche. Someone might take a flyer on him…
  • We don’t know a lot, but we think we do!

On a Personal Note

I am not going to be posting much for the next couple of weeks.  Hopefully AC/DC will keep you informed. Next week, my oldest son and I are flying to Haiti.  He is a cameraman who shoots major motion pictures and SNL, Blue Bloods and the like.  I am representing the GiftofWater.org on World Water Day in Port-au-Prince.

Some of you have contributed to the Gift of Water in the past and I want to thank you for that.  We are a non-profit that has no paid employees in the US. We will be in Port-au-Prince for a few days and then fly over to Cap Haitian, which our lovely President referred to as a S____hole (picture below).  Those are houses where people live – they have no way of getting clean water, so they drink that water. They also have no sewers or ways to get rid of trash. We are trying to help and my son is going to shoot a fundraising video for the Gift of Water that hopefully will be narrated by his famous friend (pictured below) so as to raise awareness and funds to help fix the mess in Haiti.

I get back March 26 and then have to fly to Denver for a week.  I’m not sure I will catch Opening Day.

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 20 Comments

  1. I like all of your comments. I said before I would take Vinditte over Baez. Baez needs to be sent down to work on his second pitch. Something he should of done over the winter. Baez and Joc are slow learners. They just will not make adjustments. The game of baseball is all about adjustments. The construction of the bull pen will be interesting.

    It will not surprise me if Barnes is on the DL to open the season. His arm does not look right. Farmer may be the back up catcher. Toles and Kike will be on the bench. Both will play a lot of baseball. Utley and Farmer could be the other two bench players. Peter may be our SB next year. I do not know how you can keep Beuhler at AAA. Interesting times.

  2. Pederson is a huge disappointment to me, it just seems to me he doesn’t work at getting better, it looks like he is happy just being on the team, also I don’t think a bench role would bother him.The Dodgers don’t need that type of player and I hope they trade him.

  3. This is a hard spring to speculate on the opening day roster but one thing we know is the team that breaks camp won’t be the same team that finishes the season. If decisions are based on performance then Toles and Kike should make it with team dad Utley and either Barnes or Farmer rounding out the bench. The 5th starter is Ryu or Buehler with neither needed much the 1st month. That leaves the last couple of spots in the bullpen and I have no clue there. Maybe Font and Thompson pass through waivers or maybe they are traded for minor league prospects, or maybe one somehow survives final cuts. Not much space for Joc but maybe he is kept at the expense of Toles-agreed he does not have much trade value either. There are probably 30 qualified players for 25 spots but only 2 or 3 are really up for grabs. One thing for sure, someone will break out and perhaps someone we don’t expect. I do expect a better start this year and somewhere between 95 and 100 wins from this core group.

  4. Mark – will do what I can to pinch hit for you while you are away. That is a really worthy project. Thank you and your son , and the other guy.

    It won’t be as response generating – as you do – but might make some good bedtime reading.

    I posted these two links on another thread early this morning as bluto was interested in Rylan Bannon and Donovan Casey.

    http://www.thinkbluela.com/2017/08/raptors-casey-at-the-bat-repeats-four-hit-game/

    http://www.thinkbluela.com/2017/08/raptors-rylan-bannon-having-a-banner-year

  5. Wow Mark, I wonder if FAZ knew about Cotton when they dealt him. That’s two of our ex-prospects in the same year with TJ surgery. Weird…

    1. I don’t think they knew anything but I have heard that the Dodgers and some other teams use computer modeling or imaging to predict which pitchers put the most stress on their arms. So far, Cotton and De Leon!

  6. Ryu got rocked today. #5 belongs to Striker. It’s his time. Ryu goes to AAA until needed or traded.

  7. Ryu is working on a new curveball. While today’s outing did not inspire confidence, I think he gets a while longer to master the pitch… IF he masters the pitch.

    1. He is working on his curve because his fastball has lost velo and has flattened. He deserves to continue to try and accomplish the pitch, but those expecting the Ryu of 2013/2014 are going to be disappointed. He would be a #5 so he does not have to be as good as he was back then, but if Stripling and Buehler are better at this time, then they should get the shot.

      1. The funny this is that despite spin rate stats, I thought his curve was very effective last year. I had read that he was working on a two-seam fast ball to add to his pitches.

        1. As a vet Ryu deserves his shot but whenever he starts a long man should be ready to come in early just in case. Don’t let him pitch in Coors or at Chase Field either. The combination of reasonable salary and being in a walk year make him a good gamble but I can’t see him holding off Buehler if he is dominating at OKC. Maybe Maeda goes to the pen if both are pitching well but that still leaves 4 lefties in the rotation. Ryu is a pitcher who has a small margin for error with his command due to declining velocity.

          1. i see it similarly. ride ryu as long as you can ( half season we’d probably take) then replace him with buehler. still want rh starter to be ready when maeda moves back to pen. santana or white or koehler possibly stewart or stripling. a horse a horse my kingdom for a horse.

  8. Friday, Bluto asked about Rylan Bannon, Donovan Casey, Wills Montgomery, and Chris Mathewson. DC had two excellent articles on Bannon and Casey. Below is a synopsis for both Mathewson and Montgomery.

    Chris Mathewson – 6’1” 200 lb. – 19th round selection out of Long Beach St. Mathewson will turn 23 in May. After the draft Mathewson pitched 12 innings in his pro debut, and the results were not pretty. In 2017, Mathewson started with RC and pitched 2 games in relief. He was sent down to Great Lakes where he worked himself into the rotation. He pitched 21 games at Great Lakes with 12 starts, including 1 seven inning and 1 six inning complete game. In 101.1 IP he compiled a 3.11 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, .246 BAA, 102 K, 37 BB, allowed 7 HR. He got a late season promotion back to RC where he started 1 game.
    .
    Mathewson has two primary pitches; a fastball that goes between 88-92, and a slider that goes in the low 80’s but is his swing and miss pitch. He is working on a change that has not yet come together. Right now it is just a show me pitch.
    .
    Mathewson epitomizes his college team nickname…Dirtbag. He tore his meniscus before his freshman year started but went on to pitch a sub 2.00 ERA in the Big West. He was Big West Freshman of the Year, and All Conference as a freshman. His knee swelled up after every game, and Mathewson thought it was wear and tear. After the season it was determined he actually tore his ACL. He had surgery and swore that he would start his sophomore season. He started 16 games in his sophomore year, threw 104.1 innings, and compiled 107K and 43 walks with a 3.62 ERA. He does not possess a power arm or a strong pitch but somehow he finds a way to pitch and pitch well. He should start the year in the RC rotation.
    .
    William Scott (Wills) Montgomery is a 6’3” 220 lb RHRP. He will turn 23 in June. He was an Applied Resource Economics Major at UConn. He was the Dodgers 6th round draft pick in the 2017 draft (190th overall). In his Junior year at UConn, he pitched 89.1 IP, and compiled 116 K with a 3.73 ERA. The American Athletic Conference is not a collegiate baseball powerhouse but he was successful.
    .
    In his pro debut in the Arizona Rookie League he pitched 3 perfect innings in relief in 3 games. He tallied 6 K’s in those 3 innings. He was then promoted to Great Lakes where he also pitched in 3 games, totaling 3.2 IP. He allowed 3 runs (2 earned), 5 hits, 3 K, and 3 walks. His out pitch is a high spin fastball with a late break. While he was a starter in college, he looks to become a reliever as a professional. He should start the season at Great Lakes.
    .
    They are difficult to project, but both appear to be organizational depth with a ceiling of middle reliever.

  9. Kershaw looks ready for opening day, scattering 5 hits in 5 shutout innings with 8 K’s and no walks. He also added a 2B and is hitting .333. Joc had a couple hits including a 2B and no K’s. In the B game Banuelos got lit up for 6 ER, I doubt he gets claimed when sent down. Fields had a perfect inning and Rios went deep, his 3rd this spring. I think Toles should make the team but management will probably keep Joc and send Toles down. If they go with a 5 man bench to start then Toles (or Joc) and Farmer could be the last 2. Roberts has not decided on a 7 or 8 man bullpen. I’m starting to get a little concerned with Barnes-both his arm strength and his lack of hitting are giving Farmer a big chance. He looks like a different hitter this spring and can play both corner IF spots. I think Kike can handle SS in a limited role to keep Seager fresh.

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