That’s what “THEY” say. “THEY” always say stuff like that. Who is “THEY? They must make the big bucks…
Since Andrew Friedman and Farhan Zaidi (FAZ) took over the Dodgers, they have shown nothing if not patience. Depending upon the day, Dodger fans have wanted to demote, trade or get rid of Max Muncy, Logan Forsythe, Cody Bellinger, Chase Utley (well he is on the DL), Joc Pederson, Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig, Chris Taylor, El Gasolino and others, but FAZ has stayed the course, NO DOPE FIEND MOVES could be their mantra.
Currently, the Dodgers have Rich Hill, Clayton Kershaw, Tom Koehlor, Kenta Maeda, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Dennis Santana and Julio Urias on the Disabled List with Striker Buehler also unable to pitch due rib soreness. That’s eight (count ’em 8) starters injured at one time. Now, Koehler is technically not a starter, because the Dodgers plan to use him in the pen, but he has been a starter in the past, so for the purposes of this post, the Dodgers have a full staff and 3/5 of injured starting pitchers… and yet, here they are – the hottest team in the NL.
This has largely been accomplished with an offense that is becoming explosive, smoke and mirrors and junkyard dogs! The 1988 Dodgers have nothing on these stunt men. What a turnaround – to be 9 games out of first and run off a hot streak with an entire starting pitching staff (and more) on the DL. If this team is going to continue to win, it’s going to be because they hit their way out of it! They are morphing back into the Big Blue Wrecking Crew. They are one healthy Justin Turner and one Cody Bellinger (who is getting his groove back) away from being a monster offense.
The Dodgers are currently 3rd in runs scored in the NL – just 10 runs behind the Braves for the #1 spot. They are second in HR behind Milwaukee (just 1 behind). They are second in doubles, third in triples, 4th in walks (8 behind the leader Cubs) and #3 in OPS. If Cody starts hitting on all cylinders and JT gets healthy, the sky is the limit. I have a special shout-out to Joc Pederson who now sits at .275 with a .347 OB%. If he can hit like that, these guys are not to be denied.
The unquestioned leader of the offense right about now is none other than Matt Kemp, who just shows up, steps ups and shuts up. He is beloved by players and coaches both. What an offensive catalyst he has become… to say nothing of his defense. It’s not gold glove, but he gets after it and is not afraid to get his uniform dirty. I have a newfound respect for Old Man Kemp! It would be a great story if he won the MVP. He is currently in the discussion. His stats are of the superstar variety and his WAR sits at 1.9. Not bad for a guy who had “no value” 90 days ago. In fact, Max Muncy has a 2.0 WAR and Chris Taylor has a 1.6 WAR. The TOP THREE Dodger position players in WAR are “bone-pile pickups” and Yasmani Grandal is 4th at 1.4. You would think foolish people would quit mocking FAZ for these bonepile pickups… at some point!
Caleb Ferguson goes tonight. Maeda probably goes tomorrow and Rich Hill could start by the weekend. Ryu is ready to throw off a mound, as are Tom Koehler and Julio Urias…. and of course, Clayton Kershaw says he is fine and chomping at the bit! There’s no panic in these guys. It’as a long season, but these guys know they will be there at the end. You can feel the steely resolve because good things come to those who wait!
- Matt Beaty started his 3rd game of the year at 2B last night for OKC… just sayin’…
- Edwin Rios!
- Today in The LA Times, Andy McCullough writes a great piece about Adrian Beltre and why he left the Dodgers. I haved always maintained that it was the fault of Paul DePodesta, while certain tormenters of mine always blamed it on Beltre and McCourt. Scott Borass, refused to throw DePo under the bus (professional courtesy), but Adrian has no such loyality. Beltre said this:
Beltre had a slightly different take. “I think it was more the GM than anything,” he said. Beltre blamed himself for telegraphing that he didn’t want to leave. “It was a mistake on my part to show it too much, that I wanted to stay back then,” he said. “They wanted to use that against me in the negotiation.”
To me, losing Beltre was worse than losing Pedro or Piazza. When he was 19, I predicted Adrian Beltre would be a Hall-of-Famer and took lots of ridicule for it from “Haters.” Two things: (1) I am done with the haters – they have been banished; and (2) Vindication is sweet, but it would have been sweeter if Adrian goes into the Hall as a Dodger. Damn you Depo!