- Ross Stripling was not sharp last night, but he battled and did a credible job, however Baez owns him (he should never pitch to Baez again – just put him on); and I thought Ross was tiring, so I had no issues with Roberts taking him out. He might have done better… or it could have been worse. Yasiel Puig took the blame for the loss… and rightfully so. He just loses concentration at times. I think that happened on the fly ball too. You can second guess all you want and you will never be wrong, because second guessers never are. Well, dumb second-guessers are sometimes wrong! 😉
- It was just a sloppy, bad game… move on, there’s nothing to see here folks.
- Logan Forsythe has been a disaster – offensively and defensively, but there is still a lot of the season left. He could turn it around. They are not trading him unless he is just a balancing piece in a big deal… which is not likely.
- What I don’t comprehend is suggesting that Cody Bellinger should be sent to the minors, Grandal traded and then replacing Grandal with Austin Barnes… who has hit like a little sister of the poor so far this year. That one made no sense. Not only are the Dodgers not trading Grandal, but he will likely get a qualifying offer when he hits free agency. Hopefully he has another hot streak coming up.
- It looks like the Dodgers will go with a 6-man rotation when Striker Buehler comes back next week, barring any other injuries.
- When are the Dodgers going to quit rolling Brock Stewart out there as a starter? Stop it already!!!
- Bradford Dolittle of ESPN.com has a piece on Matt Kemp being the comeback player of the year. This is a very lengthy article, but here’s a few highlights. It’s a good read:
“We were candid with Matt that we made the trade for financial reasons,” Zaidi, the team’s general manager, told me during spring training. “But what he told us was that all he wanted was an opportunity. He loved being with the Dodgers before and he just wanted a chance to earn a spot on the team and earn playing time.”
Kemp took the offer seriously and, to their credit, the Dodgers gave him a bonafide chance at playing time during spring training. It didn’t hurt that he showed up 40 pounds lighter than he was last season in Atlanta, where after a fast start he battled hamstring issues, the latest in a string of injuries that gnawed away at his former MVP-level play.
It’s a cliché to make fun of that thing in spring training, when players show up and declare themselves to be in the best shape of their lives. For one thing, even when it’s true — and Kemp was so much leaner when he arrived at Camelback Ranch that it was eye-popping — being in better shape doesn’t necessarily translate to better production. It doesn’t hurt, but the problem is, often when a player makes such a concentrated effort to reform his nutrition and workout habits, it’s because his skills are on the wane. It’s a matter of desperation. At 33, it seemed likely that would be the case for Kemp.
“I was motivated no matter what the situation was, wherever I had landed,” Kemp said. “But of course I wanted to stay with the Dodgers when I found out I got traded again. But you never knew what was going to happen. Just worked out, got ready. I knew I had to come into spring training and show them what I could do. I felt like I did that and they liked what they saw, so they kept me on the team.”
Then again, these are the Dodgers, who have been as good as any organization in baseball when it comes to taking other teams’ lemons and turning them into sweet lemonade. Kemp isn’t even the best example of that on this year’s roster. That would be infielder Max Muncy who, before this season, had a career average of .195 with five home runs. This year, he has put up a .987 OPS, 15 homers and a WAR pace of 4.6. Tell me you saw that one coming.
The point is: The part of Kemp’s return that we were all overlooking was if there was one team’s culture and processes that could revive his career, it was probably that of the Dodgers.
“That goes to scouting and the front office, finding guys on the come,” Roberts said. “[Chris] Taylor last year did it for us, and you mentioned Muncy this year, guys getting opportunities. But I also think that it’s an environment. One where guys come in here, including young players like Cody Bellinger last year, come in and feel comfortable and have an opportunity to flourish. That speaks to the guys in the clubhouse and the coaches.”
When asked what it is about the Dodgers that leads to so many of these kinds of out-of-nowhere stories, Kemp said it’s less about analytics or technical tweaks, and more about attitude.
“It’s the culture of the clubhouse, knowing guys and getting to know guys,” Kemp said. “I don’t think they’d be willing to bring in anybody that didn’t want to be part of the culture or what we want to succeed by. That’s a winning culture and winning attitude. It’s all about playing together. We’ve had a lot of injuries so far, but we’ve had guys who’ve that have stepped up and put us in position to be successful.”
MINOR LEAGUE REPORT by AlwaysCompete
OKC – 5-4 Loss to Nashville Sounds (A’s)
Brock Stewart was breezing through 4 and then gets tagged hard in the 5th. Sound familiar? In the 5th Stewart allowed a double, triple, and single to score 2. JT Chargois with 1 out in the 5th came in to relieve Stewart and promptly allowed a triple for run 3, and the runner later scored the 4th run on a ground out. Ariel Hernandez surrendered a lone single in his 1 inning, but Pat Venditte allowed a single and triple in the 9th for the deciding run.
Offensively, Kyle Garlick went 2-4 with a double (10). Edwin Rios hit his 8th double and Henry Ramos hit his 5th HR for the other offensive highlights.
Rancho Cucamonga – 6-0 Win over Lake Elsinore Storm (Padres)
The story for this game was that while he did not do much, Gavin Lux returned. For the game, Isaac Anderson started and pitched 5 solid innings allowing 3 hits with 4 K’s. Ryan Moseley, Nolan Long, and Jason Richman pitched the final 4 innings to complete the shutout.
The Quakes got 4 home runs led by Cristian Santana’s 2 HR (12), Logan Landon (8), and Cody Thomas (8 – 5th in 6 days). Thomas went 2-4, Santana 2-5, and Zach McKinstry 2-2 for the game’s multi-hits.
Dustin May gets the start today.
Great Lakes – 4-3 Loss to Dayton Dragons (Reds)
After getting a run scoring double by C Darrell Miller (2) in the top of the 10th to take a 3-2 lead, Yeison Cespedes gave up a pair of unearned runs in the bottom of the 10th to lose in a walk off. 2018 8th round draft choice 3B Luke Heyer went 2-5, Miller went 2-4, SS Moises Perez went 2-4 with his 11th double, and LF Brayan Morales went 2-4. Josh McLain hit his 4th double, and Carlos Rincon hit his 6th HR.
20 year old 6’ 5” 190 pound RHSP Alfredo Tavarez from Santo Domingo, DR, started and was not scored on in 5.2 innings. He was relieved by Connor Strain with a runner on and 2 outs in the 6th who gave up a triple to score the tieing run and blowing the save. He did allow another run in the 7th giving the Dragons the lead, which was quickly erased by Carlos Rincon’s 6th HR in the 8th. Sven Schuller pitched a solid 2 innings in relief. That is two outstanding back to back starts for Tavarez who just might be getting comfortable and confidant. He is a big boy with plenty of room fill out and get stronger.
Ogden – 6-5 Win over Orem Owlz (Angels)
Ogden entered the bottom of the 9th behind 5-2. After two walks and a single, the Raptors loaded the bases. With 2 outs, 2B Jeremy Arocho banged a two run double, followed by another 2 run double CF Chris Roller for the walk off win. Austin Hamilton pitched the final three innings without allowing a run to register the win. The lone multi-hit game for the Raptors belonged to LF Daniel Robinson (2018 29th round draft choice from Central Michigan).
DSL Dodgers Guerrero – 7-1 Win over DSL Rays 2
18 year old Carlos Montilla went 5 innings allowing 1 unearned run on 4 hits and 4 K’s. Reinaldo DePaula and Maykel Rabsatt pitched 2 scoreless innings each to preserve the win.
C Andres Noriega – 2-3
RF Andy Pages – double (3)
SS Jesus Valdez – double (6)
Edwin Mateo – triple (2)
DSL Dodgers (Robinson) – 6-1 Loss to DSL Royals 12
The lone run was provided by SS Yhostin Chirinos’ 1st HR. The rest of the offense was 2 singles.
17 year old Jose Rodulfo took the loss but continues to show he might be someone to follow once he gets to the States. In 5 games started, the Anaco, Venezuela native has 23.0 IP, a 1.17 ERA, 0.70 WHIP, .150 BAA, 19 K’s and 4 BB’s.