Holding out for a Hero

The Heroes of last nights win were many: Stripling, Kemp and Muncy have been playing hero with regularity, but it was good to see Cody and Joc get a couple of hits – this is a step in the right direction for getting them untracked.  Both players have been working very hard behind the scene on their swings. Joc may be a .350 OB% guy with that swing, but he won’t hit many HR’s… unless he just unloads now and then.  Maybe that’s the plan. Cody has obviously been pressing, trying to do too much.  I think it came very easy for him last year, but it has been more difficult this year.  He will grow threw it.  He still leads the team in HR.

I have seen Cody adjust at every level: A, AA, AAA and he is just different. One can spot elite level talent like Kershaw, Seager and Bellinger, but players can become great by playing up to their talent level with hard work and intelligence.  Ross Stripling is that kind of player: a very smart guy, who has learned another pitch and taken his game to the next level.  It could change today with the return of one Clayton Kershaw, but it would be hard to argue that Strip is not pitching like an Ace.

Ross stated that Andrew Friedman has always said he viewed him as a starter, but Strip was not sure it would evver happen with the Dodgers due to their depth.  Well, it’s happened and Stripling is staying in the rotation.

Rants & Raves

  • Evidently, Dennis  Santana is designated to start in Colorado.  I guess they think his repertoire of pitches is most conducive to pitch there due to his lack of a big hook.  I am anxious to see how he does… whereever he pitches, but I do think he will end up in the pen before the All-Star Break.
  • Pat Venditte is a nice story, but with his stuff, he has to be perfect and he’s not, thus the 7.36 ERA.  I do not see him as a viable solution… regrettably! Hopefully, the Dodgers will put Brock Stewart in the pen and have him take Venditte’s place soon.
  • Kyle Farmer pladed his old position last night at OKC:  SS. Speaking of shortstops, Russel Masrtin has been playing it for the Jays.
  • Alex Verdugo is heating up after recovering from an ankle sprain and went 3-5 last night (.321 BA). I still think he would be good at leadoff for the Dodgers.
  • Conner Wong player his 3rd game at 2B last night.  Move him up to AA and see what he does. He’s 22…

P.S.  AC was supposed to post about Single A Prospects today, but internet terrorists kidnapped his post and he has to re-construct it. So you are stuck with me today.

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 37 Comments

  1. As per a discussion yesterday:

    With RISP:
    Pederson this year through 25 games and 31 AB is slashing: .355/485/404 (BA/OBP/OPS)

    Bellinger this year through 39 games and 53 AB is slashing: .189/297/264

    1. Bluto

      First, Joc has played in 26 games alone in May, so I don’t know where you picked, and choose, those 25 games?

      Because this is his overall numbers in May, which is 26 games.
      224/ 293/343/637

      And this is his batting average, with runners in scoring position, in May, 231.

      So I don’t know where you are getting your numbers, because obviously when you look at his overall numbers in May, he can’t have those numbers, that you have put up, because his numbers in May, is his last 26 games.

      And it is obvious that you are not trying to do a fair comparison, or you would have compared both players, last 25 games, but you use Cody’s numbers, for his last 39 games.

      The truth is both Joc and Cody, have not had a good month of May, although they both had a good April.

          1. I am not taking sides, but the software held his posts in moderation and he probably though he lost it. I released it from moderation and there they were. Just sayin…

          2. Feel free Mark to delete my comments.

            Not only when they are duplicative, but also when I’m speaking gibberish!

        1. Bluto

          I thought we ended this yesterday, but apparently you got up early this morning, and had to put up some more, numbers.

          Your numbers are not correct or precise, if we are talking about the last 26 games, that Joc has played in May.

          I found my numbers on Fangraphs, his batting average, when runners are in scoring position in May, is 231.

          And when you are comparing two players, you should compare the exact same amount numbers, instead of taking one player’s numbers from 25 games, and another player’s
          numbers, from 39 games.

          And just that difference in numbers, when you made with this comparison, on both players, makes anyone with common sense, question your numbers, and your motives.

          1. MJ,
            `
            To say your point is inane would be an insult to inanity everywhere.
            `
            This might be too hard for you to comprehend, but I simply took his year-to-date statistics.
            `
            In my world, the more data the better.
            `
            Feel free to question my numbers:
            They are complete and accurate.
            `
            Feel free to question my motives:
            I have none.

  2. I would have no objection to Connor Wong converting to 2B, but I would prefer to see Gavin Lux promoted to AA to play 2B and let Wong get comfortable at 2B at Rancho.

    1. They may need a SS… if Corey’s arm doesn’t come back 100%. I am not sure Lux can ever be one though. What do you think?

      1. I am not sure that Lux can play SS at the ML level, He really hasn’t had a great (or good) defensive 1B who maybe could have prevented some of his errors. But he has a long way to go to show he can field the position at the ML level. Maybe he gets there. I think he has a better chance to make his mark as a 2B. Errol Robinson can, but I do not know if he will be able to hit well enough.
        .
        But let’s make an assumption that Seager’s arm will not let him play SS. Then maybe we need to move Lux to AA to play SS and move Errol to 2B now. Push the development. Colorado is not holding Brendan Rogers back, and Toronto is not holing Bichette back. Let’s see what Lux can do at the AA level, and that may help with a decision as to what FAZ may do with next year’s FA market. Rogers at 21 is playing extremely well in AA, and is fielding much better. He is also playing a lot of 2B and 3B, I am assuming in anticipation for the impending FA of LeMahieu and Arenado a year later.

  3. I would like to see Santana pitch today in LA rather than make his first major league start in Denver, but it will be Kershaw for the Dodgers today and a chance to go 3 and 1 against Philadelphia, nice.

  4. If Santana pitched in LA today, then Kershaw would be pushed forward to pitching in Coors. Given that he’s just coming back from injury, I don’t think that would be good idea. And as Mark says, if Santana’s repertoire W/O the big hook is conducive to pitching in Coors, then certainly Coors is not conducive to Kershaw pitching WITH the big hook.

  5. DODGERS REINSTATE CLAYTON KERSHAW

    LOS ANGELES
    – The Los Angeles Dodgers today reinstated left-handed pitcher Clayton Kershaw from the 10-day disabled list (left bicep tendonitis) and optioned ambidextrous pitcher Pat Venditte to Triple-A Oklahoma City.

    Kershaw, 30, who missed 21 games due to left bicep tendonitis, will make his eighth start of the season today against the Phillies and his first start since May 1. In seven starts this season, the Dodger ace has gone 1-4 with a 2.86 ERA (14 ER/44.0 IP) and has held hitters to a .234 average. The southpaw has also struck out 48 batters against just 10 walks in 44.0 innings, while posting a 1.14 WHIP. In the 21 games that Kershaw missed, the Dodgers went 11-10 during that span.

    Venditte, 32, was recalled prior to last night’s contest against the Phillies and made his fourth appearance of the season yesterday, allowing one run on two hits and striking out two in an inning of relief. In four games with the Dodgers, the switch-pitcher has posted a 7.36 ERA (3 ER/3.2 IP) and has punched out four batters without issuing a walk.

  6. This is a great article on Kershaw! https://www.si.com/mlb/2018/05/30/clayton-kershaw-los-angeles-dodgers?utm_campaign=si-extra&utm_source=si.com&utm_medium=email&utm_content=2018053112PM&eminfo={“EMAIL”:”QtyR4zwNs4Yq9OsTT2uYE6yTrkkPMrpS”,”BRAND”:”SI”,”CONTENT”:”Newsletter”,”UID”:”SI_EXT_4D0643F4-7415-40C9-A07D-0AB3584092F9″,”SUBID”:”98849258″,”JOBID”:”759932″,”NEWSLETTER”:”SI_EXTRA”,”ZIP”:””,”COUNTRY”:”CAN”}

  7. I’ve got questions.
    .
    1. Is Valara playing because he is the best option or because he is good enough to be desirable by other teams and could be packaged?
    .
    2. Is Muncy a viable second baseman?
    .
    3. Is Utley really hurt?
    .
    4. In the absence of a trade, is Taylor the multi-year shortstop if Seager can’t recover from TJ surgery and if so, is Bellinger the ongoing CFer and Seager the ongoing first baseman?
    .
    5. Will Puig or Verdugo be the primary RFer next year?
    .
    6. Does Joc play mostly LF because that is where FRAZ project him to be if he stays on the team and is Bellinger in CF to keep him away from LF and RF walls as much as he is the best CFer?
    .
    7. Do the Dodgers have everything they need in-house to win the WS and it is just a matter of getting the right players on the bus and in the right seats?
    .
    8. Is it true that Machado will be a Dodger by mid June?

    1. 1. embrace the power of the word ‘and’
      2. no, but what do I know
      3. define ‘hurt’
      4. could be, but see #8 (i see taylor as multiyear 2b answer)
      5. i’ll go with verdugo but puig wouldn’t surprise me
      6. lol
      7. no
      8. no, mid july maybe but more likely 2019 depending on seager’s progress

    2. 1. No. He has no value.

      2. Marginable

      3. Yes

      4. a. He could be; b. Maybe; 3. Maybe

      5. Flip a coin

      6. Next to CT3, Bellinger is the fastest Dodger and speed in CF is a very bing thing.

      7. No

      8. Do Chickens have lips?

  8. saw this tweet from Bill Shaikin.
    one way to ease Santana into “starting” in Coors a la TB


    @BillShaikin
    Dodgers could try LHP Scott Alexander or Tony Cingrani as “the opener” tomorrow in Colorado. Last time Rockies faced LA, 3 of the top 4 batters were LH: Blackmon, Dahl, Parra.

  9. Tough one tonight. How can a guy miss touching the plate by a foot and nobody sees it? When there is a play at the plate there is always a replay. That is just unacceptable. Kershaw will not opt out who would sign him with his health issues? I guess they keep saying Kiké can’t hit righthanders but he homered off Strasburg and an rbi tonight off Nola. I will keep saying give him regular at bats to find out. He can’t be any worse than most we have. We have got to find some pitching somewhere. We got Buehler, Stripling, Wood, and who Stewart? We don’t even have anybody to bring up. Hopefully Santana can help. Kershaw will probably end up out a month or two or more. It’s going to be really difficult from here.

  10. I guess those of us who want Kershaw to play his entire career with the Dodgers will get their wish. His reduced velocity and chronic back problems mean he would be a fool to walk away from over $60 million thinking he might get more on the open market. He’ll opt in and we will get him for at least the last two years of the contract.

    Kershaw seems to be a shell of his former self with a FB topping out at 90 MPH. I want to be wrong, but the skeptic in me says we’ll get a report tomorrow on sometime over the weekend where he’s back on the DL with a back strain at best, a disc problem at worst.

    This team offense is too sporadic….one night they get 7 runs and a dozen hits, the next night they get two hits and 1 run. Just no consistency. Trade Forsythe now if you can find a taker.

    1. After the game LHP Clayton Kershaw compared his back injury to one he had in 2017, which wasn’t as severe as herniated disk in 2016 but still sent him to DL.

        1. The kiss of death was to have Mattingly say the injury was minor and shouldn’t result in more than a couple of days off.

  11. You’re not cynical AC, you’re just being realistic… IMO not just Kersh, but many who play the game… Sorta like the old time rule, ” Don’t r rub the spot where he hit ya”…

  12. Let’s give Nola credit. He has been very good and not just against the Dodgers. The Phillies might not have scored had Puig not been blinded by the sun and Grandal holds on to the play at the plate.
    .
    Did Grandal block the plate without the ball? There was enough contact with the runner to make the runner miss home plate.

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