What Do We Know? It Turns Out: Not a Damn Thing!

  • Many Dodger fans (including me) think Joc Pederson should be in Siberia or Tulsa or OKC.  But he started the scoring with a home run off of Stephen Strasburg. Joc was 2-4 last night.
  • Many Dodgers fans have wanted Kike Hernandez banished, – especially because he can’t hit RHP.  But he hit another home run off Strasburg last night… and the last I checked Strasburg was RH. Imagine that!
  • Many Dodgers fans (me included) thought the Silver Fox was washed up. His .325 BA with .a .429 OB% says we didn’t know a damn thing.
  • Many Dodger fans thought Ryu was washed up.  So, he out-pitched Stephen Strasburg last night and is 3-0 with a 1.99 ERA and 27 strikeouts in 22 innings. Do you still not want him?
  • Yasmani Grandal – we already discussed that one.
  • Chris Taylor is now scalding the ball.

So many fans get furious with Dave Roberts based upon his lineups… and you can debate that all you want, but don;t forget: He’s the guy who managed the team to 104 wins and 1 game short of winning the World Series AND if his Ace and Closer had held up their end of the bargain,  The Curse would have been over.

Dave Roberts knows what he is doing.  He has access to information we don’t, including personal contact and knowledge of each player.  You can criticize all you want, but just realize: You don’t know Jack S____ … and neither do I. But we will keep pretending! Won’t we?  Why do the Dodgers keep Font, Pederson, Forsythe, Muncy and Kike?  Maybe, just maybe, they know something we don’t!

Alex Wood is due for a good game today and the Dodger bats might just wake up completely… or not.  What do I know? In case you haven’t noticed, baseball is a funny, confusing, unpredictable, wonderful game.  Anything can happen… and probably will!

OK, hopefully it is a quick win for the Dodgers this afternoon because the Pacers and Cavs play at 8:30 EDT (5:30 PDT) and I have to be there!

 

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 43 Comments

  1. A quick win won’t help you Mark. Dodgers play tonight on Sunday Night Baseball. But you’re definitely right about baseball. It’s everything you said it is.

    And I continue to have confidence in our leadership on the field and in the F.O. And yes, they definitely know stuff that we don’t. My glass remains half full.

  2. “Why do the Dodgers keep Font, Pederson, Forsythe, Muncy and Kike?”
    What’s the saying? Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while.
    So Joc hit a home run last night. Good for him. But he still shouldn’t be batting behind Bellinger. Why kind of protection is that?
    *
    Joc homered. Keekay homered. Their trade value is at an all-time high. Work your magic FAZ.

      1. Bum,
        You need to stop taking anything written about Joc so damn personally.
        *
        I don’t feel Joc should be batting behind Bellinger in the lineup. It’s not his fault he’s slotted in there. That goes on Doc, who I have lost confidence in in regards to his handling of the bullpen and his making out a sensible lineup. But you seem to feel batting Joc behind Bellinger is OK. And there we disagree. If Joc is put in the lineup it should be in the 8-hole until he can proof that he is better than his .211 lifetime average indicates him to be.

        1. Yes, no other spot in the lineup but 8th for Joc, at least that makes sense if you are going to play him. His good eye forces the pitcher to throw strikes, and that can get the lineup past the pitcher.

  3. “AND if his Ace and Closer had held up their end of the bargain, The Curse would have been over” … That really isn’t fair to Kersh and Kenley (sounds like a comedy act). The reason the front office got Yu ‘can’t’ Darvish (sorry) is because it had already been proven that the boys in blue couldn’t get there without a small bit of help. Plainly stated, Darvish sucked big ones!!! Most painfully, if Doc had pulled his destructive ass out in the first inning of game seven we would have been down 2 to zip and it would have been an entirely different game. Yes, K & K were bad but Yu was just horrible. IMO, the 2017 WS loss is on Doc and Darv (2nd act… I can’t stop☺) more than K & K (especially since Kersh was awesome as relief in game 7).

  4. Wonder why Clayton doesn’t develop an effective change up. And why he doesn’t throw more 1st pitch curveballs. A lot more. His fastball is above average(still, a little) but if you know it’s coming on the 1st strike you’re gonna be waiting on it. Other very good pitchers use the change up a lot. I can’t imagine that Clayton physically can’t throw a changeup. So why? Scratching my head on this. I just imagine Kersh throwing changeups and the hitters flailing, hanging their heads and sitting back down.

  5. I said twice before to move Taylor to second. I said it because I wanted Toles or Verdugo or both moved up. So Joc got two hits last night. It does not change my thinking at all. He had three years to prove himself. I will look at his total body of work. Kike is a super utility player and that is it. I have always said Ryu was going to have a good year. I will continue to say Hill worries me. Forsythe is a bust. Right now I would trade Joc, Font, Forsythe and Hill in a heart beat if I could get something reasonable for them.

    We have good young players who need a chance to show what they can do. Beuhler is 24 years old. Why are they babysitting him? Toles had the starting LF job won last year. Why Is he not up? Ok, may be Verdugo can use maybe a little more time at AAA. But he does need a chance to play this year.

  6. KLD let us not forget game#5… We hold a lead (or was that two), it’s over…
    Rudy: Forsythe, becuz he’s on his contract year, he provides damn good D up the middle and at the end of the year he’ll be a +…
    Muncy, becuz he’s trying to hold down 3B till JT comes back…
    Kike, valuable utility guy who will find his stroke.
    Joc and Font, don’t have a clue…

  7. Ryu is most encouraging. He was one of the best pitchers in the league prior to his injury and he can handle the postseason. As Mark said I guess we don’t know s… but I know I would rather have him on the postseason roster any day than McCarthy. I like joc and I think he is a major league talent but just don’t think he should bat 5th and I don’t think he will ever hit for a high average. His obp is usually good but I think he needs to be able to hit 260-70 to play for the Dodgers. I think Kiké can definitely hit he just needs to play against righties and lefties. Taylor is a solid if not spectacular player but that needs to be cemented this year. Grandal is one of the best catchers overall in the league. He will help most in a full season but in a short series it will be hard to have him, joc, and Bellinger in the lineup at the same time with their strikeouts. Of course right now Taylor is striking out way too much Seager could more more selective. Turner helps the lineup so much because he is such a good hitter average wise, obp, slugging, and clutch. But like mark said what the h… do we know. The dodgers are just one of my great passions so I get really frustrated when they are bad.

  8. Buehler Monday… How sweet it is, although I’ll be sweating bullets for the kid… As I said last post could this be a Fernando moment!?!? A fan can hope n dream.

  9. Kershaw is the best pitcher on the planet. And he’s always adjusting. Walks cause immense damage and the standard formula is for pitchers to get ahead in the count-duh! While that standard makes for some predictability it’s what brought us to the dance. Jansen is the best closer. I’ve been saying that before he became the closer back when Brandon League was the closer. Joc gets stage fright, you can see it when he purses his lips and his cheeks puff as he exhales while he’s at bat. He’ll be very good if and when he can get his confidence level up. I’ve argued with some who thought Turner wasn’t good enough to be an everyday starter. I’ve also eaten crow for for slammin Juan Uribe. I don’t care what the stat sheets read until they can only confirm what the eye test say. Ryu is a delight as long as he’s pitching in atmospheric pressure. It’s easy for me to forget the ones I’ve misjudged but usually my eyes can see the truth and it’s pretty clear we fans are a fickle bunch.

    1. Stage fright? Joc hit a home run in game 5 against Scherzer in the 2016 divional series which started the Dodgers comeback and hit 3 home runs in last year’s WS. Does Joc have issues yes but stage bright isn’t one of them.

  10. Mark
    You are absolutely right, I have no understanding of what is going on with the players and what management sees in each player. I have my thoughts based on what I see and what I read which is far from the knowledge that FAZ and Roberts process.
    In my very limited opinion, Pederson is the same player he was last year and needs to be sent down.
    Font, I guess the Dodgers see the upside and at this time they don’t want to lose him to be claimed by another team which I understand but in the meantime, he is getting his confidence shattered.
    Forsythe is not hitting but his defense is solid, the Dodgers so far this year have shown they can’t afford the luxury of getting very little offense from second base.
    Another thought on second base is with Forsythe injured instead of using Hernandez and Utley, why not bring up Locastro and give him a chance to show that he can or can’t be an everyday player, also come August don’t count on Utley to hit like he is now because he will be worn down to nothing.

  11. Check the espn website, and article on Darvish and his struggles. Sounds like it’s between his ears again. I think the Cubs are starting to get a little frustrated. Hasn’t made it past the 4th inning yet, I believe. FAZ got that one right.

  12. Anyone else think they are giving Joc more playing time in order to showcase him for a trade?

    1. I think that is half the equation. The other half is that he is capable of 40-50 HR if he can get “fixed.” Guys who are capable of that get a longer leash. I have never thought he would be any better than a 4th or 5th outfielder, but I’ll root for him.

  13. Everybody loves Joc and wishes him success. The problem is, barring a miracle, the overall season numbers projected between Joc and Kemp will be heavily weighted towards Kemp. Does anyone doubt that? Look at the last 3 years. Of course, Joc will have some successes, especially if they are arrogant enough to groove him a fastball.

  14. career vs Career vs J. Hellickson

    J. Pederson 0-5 0 0 4 K’s .000

    Matt Kemp LA 22 7 .318 1 1 1 hr 6 1 6 1 0 .591 slg .333 .924

    What the heck?

    1. He is not a 95+ guy. It’s too hard on his body. He now operates at 89-91… and that’s OK. He was OK tonight, not bad, not great. Just OK.

  15. Well, at least one of my teams won tonight…

    I was hoping for the Pacers too, but I’ll be back at the Fieldhouse on Friday.

  16. Kenley hangs on, way to gut it out. Also, we came back from 3-0. Gonna throw it out there, cant’ wait for Turner to come back. Will he be rusty, of course! But he will restore order in the lineup, Puig can go back to #7 or 8, Kemp becomes more dangerous, we are not so damn stressed offensively. Turner is not a savior, but he is a huge spoke to the wheel. We will be a different team when he comes back, mark my words.Half of the stuff we are all blogging about will go away.

  17. In the 1st inning, Hellickson totally pitched around Bellinger with Corey on 3rd and 2 outs. Only 1 pitch in the strike zone, a curve that stayed up (mistake?). All other pitches were well away or in, or curves way low (one was swung at). He definitely was going to use Joc to get out of the inning (which he did). I hate to beat a dead horse, but Joc is not a functional 5th-up hitter right now, and the opposition is well aware of that and is taking full advantage of that strategic error. Now Kemp appears to have cooled off, while Doc tries to “get Joc going”.

  18. I don’t think Joc hitting 1 home run negates the argument that he should not be batting 5th on this team (let alone even be on the roster). the home run was great, but he’s failed countless more times than he’s succeeded, and this pattern has gone on since the 2nd half of his rookie year . Now granted he hit a massive home run vs. Scherzer in game 5 2016, and was amazing in the World Series. But in the regular season, he’s very below average and both the stats and the eye test prove that.

    1 home run does not disprove any of this. Thanks for everything, Joc, but it’s time for you to go to AAA

    More importantly, I’m very excited to see Walker Buehler make his MLB starting debut vs basically a AAAA team. Perfect opportunity for him tonight.

  19. I thought the top of our line up had really good at bats, almost the entire game yesterday.

    Especially Corey, Grandal, and Cody had some very good at bats, toward the end of the game last night.

    Corey had that big sac fly, and Grandal and Cody, got two big hits, to get us even.

    That part of the batting order really worked well with each other, on offense last night, and that was really good to see.

    Right now, I think Turner Ward should devote most of his time, to help Puig get going, because he was a very good asset to the team last year, especially at the back of the line up.

    I would love to see him get hot, and get more consistent hits, so he can smile more, and enjoy the game.

    Because that is when Puig, is at his best.

    It will be interesting to see how Buehler pitches tonight, after getting his feet wet last year.

    The strike zone at the major league level, seems to me, to be the hardest thing a young pitcher needs to learn, when first coming up from AAA, because the umpires don’t make it very easy on young pitchers, when they first come up.

    Hopefully Buehler will adjust fine, so he can keep his pitch count, to a minimum tonight.

    And if he does pitch well, maybe they will find a way to keep him on the major league team, because the innings on his arm, in AAA and in the majors, may not be quite the same, but I rather see him in the majors, learning to pitch, because AAA is not going to really teach him, how to pitch in the majors.

    That only will happen with more major league experience.

  20. AC if you’re out there – What’s your feelings on Buehler tonight??? What will you be looking for out of him?? Watching him in his 3 games at OKC, there’s little to improve on…

    1. Peter, as impressive as Buehler has been, he has not been the most dominant AAA pitcher, even in the PCL. As good as AAA hitters may appear, they are not as good as those at the ML level are. The “mistake” AAA pitchers make is that they think they can throw the same pitch to ML hitters that they get AAA hitters out on. That inch on the outside part of the plate may be an out in AAA but it can be a double at the ML level. Command is the last thing that comes together to be a complete pitcher at the ML level. One other factor is that AAA umpires are also at that level because they are not as talented as those at MLB. Pitches that may be considered strikes at AAA, may be actually off the plate and will be balls at the ML level. That will force the pitcher to try to get more of the plate at the ML level, and that is where they get in trouble. Julio Urias went through this when he first came up. He would get the call at AAA but not at ML, and then he would get too much of the plate trying to make the adjustment.
      .
      Buehler has 4 pitches, three that are plus (a couple that could be plus plus), but his one “negative” is command. That takes consistency and experience. He does not have a lot of experience as a professional to be consistent. He is a talented talented pitcher who could become an Ace.
      .
      What do I expect? IMO his 1st start against the Marlins is perfect. There is no Trea Turner, Bryce Harper, Paul Goldschmidt, Buster Posey, etc on the Marlins. So hopefully his mistakes will not cost him, and he will make mistakes. They will still have him close to a 75 pitch limit, and that may not take him through the 5th. I do not think they will allow him a 3rd time through the order unless the Dodgers are way up and there is room for error. There will be nerves that will also influence his command. All that said, I think he will have a solid outing and go 5 innings and at least keep the Dodgers in the game, This will also be on Grandal to keep him under control. He will get another start on Saturday at AT&T against the Giants.

  21. AAA – In an early afternoon game, Manny Banuelos pitched a great 4 innings, allowing only 2 base runners; one via BB, and one HBP. Banuelos struck out 9. But it took him 77 pitches (47 for strikes) to get through 4 innings, and was done for the day. Joe Broussard entered in the 5th and with 1 out, walked a batter. The next man up was out on a fielder’s choice as the runner moved up to 2nd base and came home on a double. CC lee allowed a 2 run HR in the 6th to account for the 2nd and 3rd Baby Cakes’ runs. Yimi Garcia is working to close to getting the call with another solid inning, allowing only a 1-out single. Pat Venditte finished up with a 2 hit/2 K inning.
    .
    The only scoring for OKC until the 9th was an Alex Verdugo sole HR (#4). In the 9th Rocky Gale and Breyvic Valera each had a single to start the inning. Locastro struck out and Donovan Solano flew out to CF for two outs. Things then got interesting as both Verdugo and Ramos were walked forcing in Rocky Gale and leaving the bases loaded for Rob Segedin to become the hero. Unfortunately, Rob flew out to the RF to end the game. Donovan Solano had the sole multi hit game with 2.
    .
    OKC has a day off tomorrow, and Brock Stewart will get the start against the Iowa Cubs on Wednesday.
    .
    AA – Before I get glued to Walker Buehler’s start tonight, I will be watching the Tulsa Drillers game on MiLB.TV. Dennis Santana will be facing off against Chase De Jong for the Northwest Arkansas Travelers (Royals).
    .
    A+ – As Rudy indicated above, with a 2 HR game yesterday, Connor Wong now has 8 on the season. He is now leading the California League with HR’s, and Rylan Bannon is tied for #2 with 5. Wong is also leading the California League with 17 RBI’s, leading SLG with .979, leading OPS with 1.442, and #3 in AVG with .396. Sure it is the hitting haven know as the Cal League, but those numbers are impressive in any league nonetheless. RC does not have a game tonight.
    .
    A – Edwin Uceta gets another start for the Great Lakes Loons to try and stop a 3 games losing skid.

    1. Good minor league recap, thank you. Few other things
      .
      MILB dot com has a piece of Gavin Lux, who is trying to regain momentum as a prospect:
      Lux also added muscle. Dodgers director of player development Brandon Gomes told MiLB.com that the youngster has become “much more physical,” in part because of an offseason weightlifting routine that, according to Lux, “wasn’t so much about how big I could get but what I could do to stay healthy,” and focused especially on leg strength and explosiveness. Those changes coupled with his other adjustments suggest that Lux could be in for a special season. But one of the most important lessons he learned last year was to take things as they come.
      .
      Heyman takes an early look at next year’s FA crop.
      https://www.fanragsports.com/mlb/inside-baseball-ranking-upcoming-stacked-fa-class/
      Dodgers mentioned for Harper (I can only hope) and he writes everyone (not sure of context) thinks Kershaw stays.
      .

  22. Bumsrap, that video was classic. Surprized Doc doesn’t wear his Dodger cap when he’s cooking. But it was a good one.

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