The Good News
While the Dodgers couldn’t jump out of a boat and hit water last night, the good news was that Rich Hill is rounding into form and becoming the type of starter the Dodgers thought the were getting until he turned into the Poster Child of Blisters. Thanks to Laser Technology, Rich Hill now has a bionic finger (I just made that last part up because it sounded good) and can superspin that baseball. Rich Hill is looking good, Clayton Kershaw is loooking good, Kenta Maeda is looking good, Ross Stripling is looking good and Alex Wood is looking OK. Walker Buehler is set for a rehab start in Rancho Cucamonga next week and hopefully will be back by next weekend. That’s six (count ’em 6) starters and Doc has indicated he will likely go with six for a while… if all six are healthy.
Clayton’s velocity was better than it has been all year – he touched 93 MPH and it shouild increase as he stretches out his innings. As long as he is in that 92-92 range, he can be very effective. At some point Ryu is due back, probably mid-to-late July as is young Julio who has thrown two bullpen sessions this week. I would think that Julio would pitch out of the pen, while Ryu should slot into the rotation. Let’s not forget how good he was before he was injured. When Buehler and Ryu get back, Wood and Maeda could be forced to the bullpen. That may saound all well and good, but neither one will be happy about it. How they respond to it will likely determine the success of the team.
The Badder News
Besides Kenley Jansen, here’s the complete list of reliable relievers that the Dodgers can count on:
Josh Fields is having a nice season, but is on the DL, so is el Gasolino, who was pitching well in June, but insipres no confidence. Yimi Garcia’s slider isn’t sliding and Scott Alexander’s sinker isn’t always sinking. Maeda and Wood could both be 8th inning guys, but here’s the deal: I don’t think the team can wait that long (it may be a month). They need a pitcher to be that “Bridge to the River Kenley”… Like NOW! Daniel Hudson has shown flashes and he is certainly willing, but I don’t trust him yet! That could change.
There are relievers out there on teams going nowhere who can fix the Dodgers bullpen bleeding and by the playoffs, the bullpen could be a huge asset with Wood, Maeda and Urias in it, BUT THEY HAVE TO GET THERE FIRST! … and that’s the biggest problem right about now.
The other problems are Utley, Forsythe and Barnes – If your OPS is below .630, you have no business on a MLB roster. I don’t know what happened to Logan Forsythe and Austin Barnes, but the team needs to quit trying to figure it out. Chase Utley is just old – that’s easy to figure. The Dodgers can’t afford to carry two of those players… let alone three! They just need to end the Logan Forsythe Era… YESTERDAY! Release him… and I like him! I believe Austin Barnes has an option left – send him to AAA to play everyday to figure it out and offer Chase Utley a front-office or coaching position. It’s time.
Call up Will Smith, Alex Verdugo and Andrew Toles. They can’t do any worse. Most likely they will do much better. Send Alexander and Garcia back to AAA to work on their pitching. Call up Corcino and Liberatore. Do something… even if it is wrong!
One final piece of Good News: JT is almost back!