Doc Can’t Play Joc

If there ever was any doubt, Chris Taylor erased it yesterday by doing the kind of thing that legends do:  Hitting  a Grand Slam in the 9th inning, with your team down two runs, to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat!  Of course, it was a team effort to come back from a four run deficit – Puig had two hits, but almost everyone (except Grandal) contributed.

Chris Taylor is now hitting .328/.425 OB%/.985 OPS with 7 HR, 23 RBI, 39 K and 21 Walks in 125 AB’s.  Doc can’t play Joc Pederson over Chris Taylor… at least not right now.  Chris Taylor is second in batting average on the team, behind Justin Turner.  One could argue he has been Justin Turner and his career path is much like Justin as he has evolved into an All-Star Caliber Player.  Chris is 5th in RBI and 3rd in HR on the team, despite having fewer AB’s than the team leaders.

Of course, you want to hedge your bets, but I’m not sure there is too much to hedge. With talk that Miami is about to blow their team up, maybe it is time to acquire a right-handed power hitter who can play  CF in a pinch.  No, it is time… time to trade forMarcell Ozuna.  He’s a LF’er in my opinion be can also play CF in a pinch.  The Marlins may take Joc, but they would most certainly also want Alex Verdugo and a pitcher.  I would offer Trevor Oaks, but they may insist on Alvarez and I WOULD DO IT!  Ozuna would change the whole Dynamic.  The Joc Pederson era is over in LA.

It’s also time for A-Gon and Utley to become the team mascots and pinch hitters extraordinaire! Cody Bellinger is a better 1B and perfect as a cleanup hitter. If A-Gon accepts his role, even embraces his role, this is a championship team! I want A-Gon and Chase on the team and so do the other players.  Both are accomplished at getting that big hit when they need to.  This is a potent lineup:

  1. Taylor  CF

  2. Seager  SS

  3. Turner  3B

  4. Bellinger 1B

  5. Ozuna  LF

  6. Grandal  C

  7. Forsythe  2B

  8. Puig  RF

Miami will not take any salary, so while Puig may make sense for them they will not want the cost. Besides, with Ozuna and Taylor in the outfield, Puig can be the best #8 hitter in baseball while being the best RF in baseball.  That lineup has excellent L-R balance and on occasion, Bellinger can play outfield and A-Gon can play 1B – against certain RH pitchers when you want more lefties in the lineup.

It’s time for Chris Taylor to become the everyday Centerfielder and time for Cody Bellinger (who may be the best defensive 1B I have ever seen) to take over at 1B. The torch needs to be passed.  To have A-Gon and Chase on the bench is a huge win for the Dodgers.

Yes, it’s bittersweet, but it’s time!

Rants and Raves

  • Unless Rich Hill’s blister comes back, I am not the least worried about him.  He just throws so many different curveballs for so many different angles, it takes him time to get the feel.  Rich hill is not a guy who has a career 4.10 ERA (even though that’s what it is).  He’s a guy who re-invented himself as a 2.00 ERA guy who is just figuring out how to prevent the blisters.  Watch and see.  He’s one of several Number Two’s that the Dodgers have. He’s also well liked and respected by his teammates, which makes it easier to come back from a deficit.
  • AC called it with Brandon Morrow.  2 Wins and 4 IP/0 BB/6 K’s.  He has been a nice pickup.
  • Kenta Maeda needs to do something different today in the first inning. Figure it out!
  • If Alex Wood is healthy, maybe Julio Urias comes up as the LH equivalent of Ross Stripling and then unleash him next year?
  • Seven stolen bases?  How did that happen?
  • Kenley has 40 K’s and no BB?  Hitters are looking for strikes and still can’t hit it.

 

This article has 41 Comments

  1. Yeah Mark, sadly I agree about Joc. One of my favorite players over the last few years but for some reason he just can’t find a comfortable swing that he can get in a groove with. It would be one thing if his average sucked but he was hitting Cody like homers with lots of RBI’s, but that’s not happening. Love the guy but the results just aren’t there. You know Roberts will give him every chance in the world to get going when Joc comes off the DL, but the clock is ticking big time.

  2. Yes, I agree with you on Joc. Right now Taylor is in centerfield. Puig looks to me like he is starting to find his groove. It has been a long time in coming. I do not know what the locker room atmosphere is like, but I can only imagine it is pretty good. Utley, Agon, Turner and Kershaw have to be the leaders. Those four are just solid human beings. They play the game the correct way.

    Utley will go back to a role player but I am not sure about Agon. I am not sure I would want to upset the Apple cart. I like the trade for Ozuna. Yes, Bellinger is a better defensive player at first.

    I think there are three players on the team right now that will not be there at the end of the year. They are Gutierrez, Romo, and Hatcher. You just cannot trust Romo and Hatcher. I did not like the Gutierrez signing from day one. I understand why they wanted him. Taylor has made him expendable.

  3. Yes, I agree with you on Joc. Right now Taylor is in centerfield. Puig looks to me like he is starting to find his groove. It has been a long time in coming. I do not know what the locker room atmosphere is like, but I can only imagine it is pretty good. Utley, Agon, Turner and Kershaw have to be the leaders. Those four are just solid human beings. They play the game the correct way.

    Utley will go back to a role player but I am not sure about Agon. I am not sure I would want to upset the Apple cart. I like the trade for Ozuna. Yes, Bellinger is a better defensive player at first.

    I think there are three players on the team right now that will not be there at the end of the year. They are Gutierrez, Romo, and Hatcher. You just cannot trust Romo and Hatcher. I did not like the Gutierrez signing from day one. I understand why they wanted him. Taylor has made him expendable.

    1. Idahoal

      I think Puig had two solid hits yesterday, but the two hits he had in the game before, had exit velocities of 60 and 44, so I am not sure, he is hitting any better.

      And the fact that he continues to pull everything, doesn’t make me believe, that he is changing his approach, but hopefully he can still help the team.

      He does hustle and plays good defense, but he will have to do more then that, to continue to start every game, for this team.

      1. If you’re going to count exit velocity on hits you must do it on outs then.

        1. Hawkeye

          This is more about his approach.

          Almost everything he hits, is pulled to the right side.

          And one of those low velocity hits, was a ball that didn’t go beyond the pitcher, much.

          And because of that, Puig was able to beat it out, with his speed.

          And the other two hits he had, in the next game, he also rolled over, on those pitches, but he did hit them harder.

          He did hit one more toward up the middle, but it was still a grounder more to the right side.

          I just don’t see a different approach, from him.

          And most of his outs are grounders, to the right side.

          I will be interested to see what he does with four at bats, against the Nat’s pitching.

          Have you seen anything, different?

  4. Mark

    The problem is that Logan isn’t producing very well, either.

    And Taylor can play second better, so I think it will depend on what Joc and Logan do, more then anything else.

    But I guess we do need Logan’s bat against lefties, because Puig is basically a platoon player, and Logan has done a pretty good job, against lefties.

    And because of that, there are some difference ways, that Roberts can make up the line up, to have the best line up out there, from game to game.

    And because of that, I don’t think Puig should automatically start against lefties, all the time.

    And even though I love Cody, Agone is getting hits, and hitting in runs, like he always has, except when it comes to power.

    And he can hit in a tough RBI, against good pitching, better then most of the team, and that includes Cody.

    Cody is just learning how to make the proper adjustments, to hit major league pitching.

    And he is still fighting that right now.

    And because Cody has been going through this, he has not been hitting consistently, lately.

    So I think it is smart to have a knowledgeable hitter, in our line up, to pick up for Cody, while he is still adjusting, and not hitting consistently.

    I just think we are a better team, with both Agone and Cody in the line up.

    And we will be an even better team, once Turner returns to the line up too.

    Didn’t Logan just have this same tightness, not to long ago, that caused Roberts to just give him a day off, like Roberts did yesterday?

    I could be wrong about this, but doesn’t it seem like Logan has had to go out, or take a lot of days off, for the short time , he has been with the team?

  5. While I think that Puig would be a natural in Miami, I am not sure that Joc will be a good fit only because of Mattingly. Maybe there is going to be a tear down in Miami. It’s hard to say because of the potential sale partners, and what they may want. But I do believe Puig makes perfect sense in Miami because he would bring fans to the stadium. I also believe that Alveraz would make perfect sense. Puig and Alveraz cannot make the fans forget Jose Fernandez, but it could help to heal. I am sorry but Cubans love their baseball heroes. Puig should help attendance enough to offset the the salary disparity. Although, there really would not be that much disparity for the next two years. Ozuna is at $3M+ this year, but is arbitration eligible for the next two years. Puig is signed for $7.5M in 2018 and arbitration for 2019. Both are FA eligible for 2020. It is possible that Ozuna could closely approximate Puig’s $7.5M next year, and would at least equal Puig in 2019. Who is going to put more fans in the stands; Marcel Ozuna who Loria cannot stand, or Yasiel Puig? My bet is Puig. If Puig goes to Miami and takes off, he becomes a natural for extension. I do not have an Ivy League school education, but even I could make that sell economically. Yeah, Rudy, USC taught me high finance and economics.
    .
    Miami needs pitching…badly. Both starting and relieving. I might think that Puig, Hatcher, Oaks, and Alveraz could get Ozuna. The Dodgers will probably also get Tom Koehler in the deal. Miami wants to get rid of him badly, and the Dodgers like him. None of the 4 are critical for the Dodgers. Miami would end up with an OF of Stanton, Yelich, and Puig. Oaks could go into the rotation this year with no pressure. If they keep Hatcher away from multiple inning situations, and do not expect him to close or be a lock down setup, he should be good for them. Maybe Kyle Barraclough can return to 2015/2016 form, and they could control innings 6 & 7. I think Urena is going to be the setup for now, and closer very soon. Besides how much worse can he be compared to AJ Ramos this year. Alveraz could be in the rotation in 2019 when they could be in a position to contend again.

    1. “Yeah, Rudy, USC taught me high finance and economics.” Of course it did. It helped you to understand the high tuition rates :0)
      Back to the matter at hand, I think your trade idea for Ozuna is solid. He would add a lot to the line-up, but who would take Puig’s spot in right?

  6. No Urias yesterday. Fabio Castillo was lights out again. He should be the next call up as a starter. No Urias today, either, apparently.

    1. I was wondering the same about Urias. Maybe McCarthy is heading for a visit to the 10-day spa?

  7. What a great comeback yesterday. The one aspect of the game that totally left me dumbfounded was our running game with SEVEN stolen bases. We should do that more often. It certainly puts more pressure on the opposing team know we will run on them. Our stolen base rate is now about 78%.
    As far as Taylor is concerned he is our CF period. Perhaps his routes are not the best but he is still learning the position and I believe he has a stronger arm than Joc. I would try to trade Joc as Taylor also hits RHP(over .300) better than Joc.
    I’m very satisfied with our W/L % and when JT comes back it will be even better.

    1. I haven’t been around much for the past 7 weeks as the love of my life died on April 10th. I’ve been very depressed but have followed the Dodgers on this site and others without getting involved in expressing my thoughts on various subjects.
      The process of healing will be very long for me but I know in my heart of hearts she would not want me to continue this way.

      1. Hang in there Richie and remember the good times…good to have you back!

        Spot on Idahoal, totally agree with your take.

        I was really upset with Joc when he had 2 collisions in the same game with both Cody and Puig, balls that were both caught by the other player, because the CF should be in charge and you never want a collision with a guy built like Puig. But it has been a blessing in disguise as it gave Taylor the regular AB’s and is making the decision easier when Joc returns. Joc is just not improving as he should as a 3rd year player, his .200 average, 33 K’s and only 2 HR’s and 11 RBI’s don’t cut it and his defense is not all that.

        JT has been brittle and has trouble holding up as an everyday player. He also gets hit by a lot of pitches with his stance at the plate. As important as his bat is he needs frequent days off. So does Forsythe as he gets tight rolling out of bed in the morning, Gutierrez even worse and Kike and Taylor make him a PH only. Roberts will be mixing and matching lineups and match ups and I could see Joc platooning with Puig some.

        Barnes needs to play more against LHP. He has 11 BB to 13 K’s vs Grandal’s 16 BB and 44 K’s leads in BA .283 to .274 and OPS .928 to .799. He also has more speed and is good defensively. Barnes OPS is 3rd on the team behind JT and Taylor and ahead of Bellinger and Seager.

      2. Richie,

        Not everyone can understand who you are going through, but I can. Let me assure you: It gets better. Yes, if she was the ‘love of your life,” she would want you to move on, but it is hard. 22 years ago, my wife died when my son was 9. I was able to get over it, but I am not sure my son ever did, although he is OK.

        It turns out, I met the love of my life after that and next month we celebrate our 20th anniversary. You never forget, never compare and life goes on. Some of it’s magic and some of it’s tragic, but it’s a good life all the way.

        E-mail me if you need an ear… I have two!

    2. Richie

      I thought about you when we were playing the Brewers, this weekend.

      That Brewer player that you liked so much, isn’t doing as well, as last year.

      I bet you are glad we didn’t trade for him, after all.

  8. Sorry for your loss, Richie. I’ve always found baseball and my guitar to be good friends in bad times. Hang in there.

    1. Thanks everyone for your concern over my loss. My eyes still fill up with tears about the good times that are gone but I also smile because it happened(us being together) Thanks again.

      1. Richie

        I am so sorry about your loss!

        It has been such a short time ago.

        And I know that isn’t easy.

        I am just sorry, that you are having to go through this.

        Please take care!

  9. OKC had a 4-0 rain shortened shutout victory over Colorado Springs (Brewers). Fabio Castillo and Justin Marks combined for the 2 hit shutout. Offensively, O’Koyea Dickson and SVS had 2 hits each. Dickson hit his 15th HR and 11th double, while both of SVS’ hits were doubles. Today, the Dodgers square off against the #1 LHP prospect, Josh Hader. While Hader is not having a special year, that should be a good game.
    .
    Tulsa Drillers lost to the Corpus Christi Hooks (Astros) 5-3 yesterday. Walker Buehler pitched 5 innings and allowed only two hits. Unfortunately both of those hits were HRs. The Drillers could never quite catch up, and Walker took the loss. Ralston Cash, Jeremy Bleich and Corey Copping each allowed in run in relief. Offensively Tim Locastro had two hits, including his 13th double, and Johan Mieses hit his 9th HR. Locastro is quietly having a good season at AA. He is another in the long line of valuable and versatile utility players FAZ covets. Tim played both SS and CF yesterday.
    .
    RC Quakes were 6-4 winners over the Visalia Rawhide (DBacks). Dean Kremer started for the Quakes and allowed 4 runs over 4 innings. Alex Hermeling, Michael Boyle, and Parker Curry combined to pitch 5 two hit shutout innings to complete the victory. Boyle got the win, and Curry got his 2nd save. There was plenty of offense with 14 hits. Zach McKinstry and DJ Peters had three hits each, and Luke Raley, Yusniel Diaz, and Omar Estevez had two each. Peters and Diaz provided the power each with a HR and double. Diaz hit his 3rd HR, while Peters hit his 9th.
    .
    The Great Lake Loons were victims of a 6-0 shutout by the Bowling Green Hot Reds (Rays). Jordan Sheffield started his 10th game for the Loons allowing 4 hits, 4 runs, 2 walks, and 4 strikeouts over his 4 innings (73 pitches). 6’4” Andre Scrub had another good 2.1 innings allowing 0 runs and hits. He had two walks and 1 strikeout and lowered his ERA to 2.19. Keibert Ruiz had two hits and Brandon Davis got his 11th double on the season to provide the offense for the Loons.
    .
    After a very good 5/24 start where he pitched 6 shut out innings, Sheffield returned to his pattern of mediocre starts this year. I am certain he will continue to get his starts, however he is looking more and more like what many baseball pundits consider his ceiling…a good high leverage reliever.
    .
    One opposing player to watch in the Midwest League is SS Lucius Fox. The 19 year old SS is batting .303/.380/.370/.749 for the Rays single A team. If the name sounds familiar, he was the highly regarded SS that was dealt to the Rays with Matt Duffy for Matt Moore in one of SF’s deadline trades last year.

      1. He is being held out just in case McCarthy cannot go on Tuesday, And he has been ill.

  10. Sorry for your loss Richie. I cannot comprehend what it is like to lose your partner. Thanks AC for the information on the farm teams. Odgen should be starting soon. Vegas, Barnes is playing today at second. What connection do you have with Roberts? I do not care where Bellinger plays, he just looks good defensively.

  11. A long time before the trading deadline.

    Hopefully Pederson comes around to where he was last year.

    Then it’s just a RFer and Pitching help.

  12. For those of you saying that Puig in Miami would make sense, I agree, but you are forgetting that DM and Puig can’t stand each other.

    I think Puig has done what the FO has wanted all along – increase his trade value a bit. I truly believe he will get traded in a package for a stud pitcher or prospects to flip in another trade.
    Maybe Joc, Verdugo, Stewart, Calhoun, Sheffield, Oaks, Diaz and the prospects received from Puig being dealt go to Miami for Ozuna, Stanton and 11 million per year for the duration of Stanton deal. That’s one established MLBer and 7 solid prospects with decent ceilings for two very good players.

    After Taylor hit the grand slam yesterday I thought of you Mark when you mentioned that Faz liked to get a guy before he was the guy. Taylor looks to have become a very solid MLBer and has earned the shot to play everyday.

    1. Damn, Gonzo, we miss your takes. Don’t be a stranger.

      I like your ideas… even when you disagree with me. 😉

    2. Gonzo. That’s almost as improbable a trade (that means would never, ever happen) as Timmons’ typical inanity.

      Why would the Dodgers ever do that. Why would the Marlins?

  13. It’s 6-8 weeks until the trading deadline kicks in. I do not believe the Dodgers will go for a #2 SP. I do not think they need one, but more importantly, I do not believe FAZ thinks they do. The Rays would have to really want to trade Archer to the Dodgers at a fair market value rather than to the Yankees or Astros or Cubs at above market rate. The market for Gerrit Cole seems to be taking a bit of a hit, so I think the Pirates might keep him and maybe trade him in the Winter. I think the same is true for the ChiSox and Quintana. Right now, the three teams that are believed to be really looking at a #2 are the Cubs, Yankees, and Astros. The Rockies might be tempted. Depending on the health of David Price and Edwin Rodriguez, Boston may be interested. I can see Boston perhaps going for Quintana to reunite him with Sale. With their offense and Sale, Price, Quintana, Rodriguez, and Porcello they will contend. That would allow the BoSox to put Pomerantz in the bullpen where he belongs. Carson Smith is tentatively scheduled to get back to the 25 man no later than June 23. Tyler Thornburg might also be back relatively soon. With Kimbrel and Smith/Thornburg/Kelly/Barnes/Abad/Hembree/& Robbie Scott as a true loogie, their bullpen will be formidable. They still have plenty of prospects if needed.
    .
    I am sure FAZ will kick the tires on Ozuna, and Archer, and probably Sonny Gray. But where I really think they want to go is SD and LHRP Brad Hand. Toronto’s Aaron Loup, Detroit’s Justin Wilson, and KC’s Mike Minor are three other LHRP that might draw some interest. If they just want a loogie, maybe they look at Seattle’s Marc Rzepcznski.

  14. Mark, I’d like to post more, but my daughters 8 and 5 have ballet twice a week as well as playing teeball and softball. So I’m ballet/sports dad. Also, my wife and I got a little unexpected surprise 19 months ago and he is a handful and always out there throwing the ball with his sisters when he’s not climbing stuff or chasing them with a booger on his finger.

    School is out for the summer so I will be a little more active.

    1. Gonzo,

      You have all your priorities in the right place. Mine don’t need hourly tending. It’s a different dynamic. Keep it up. You are a role model and you need to be there. What you are doing is God’s work. Congrats! You are blessed!

  15. For those of the what have you done lately mentality, here are stats for the last 7 games for a few of your favorites?
    .
    Average, OBP, SLG, OPS
    .
    Grandal, Y .179 .179 .286 .464
    Bellinger, C .172 .250 .414 .664
    Hernandez, E .167 .238 .222 .460
    Forsythe, L .150 .292 .300 .592
    Seager, C .150 .346 .150 .496

  16. The last 30 games for Bellinger:
    .219 .303 .495 .798
    .
    The last 30 games for Forsythe:
    .114 .262 .229 .490

    1. Baseball is a game of good streaks and bad streaks.

      What is incredible is that the Dodgers have a winning record during that time….

    2. Bums, it’s a little hard to compare what has occurred the last seven days to a few slumping players when you do not include the one player that is currently replacing Joc…Chris Taylor. For the last 7 days Chris has hit .333/.429/.500/.929. In all honesty, how do you take Chris out of the lineup. Play him at 2nd? Okay. But Joc’s numbers for the year are .200/.309/.314/.623. Taylor has almost as many RBI’s in two swings that Joc has had all year 8 vs. 11).
      .
      Let’s take a look at the Player Value for those same players for the year:
      Joc -.9 WAA (Wins Against Average)
      -.5 WAR
      0 oWAR
      -.4 dWAR
      70 OPS+
      .

      Corey .8 WAA
      1.5 WAR
      1.8 oWAR
      0 dWAR
      124 OPS+
      .

      Cody .9 WAA
      1.4 WAR
      1.9 oWAR
      .2 dWAR
      136 OPS+
      .

      Yas 1.2 WAA
      1.8 WAR
      1.1 oWAR
      .9 dWAR
      113 OPS+
      .

      Kike’ .4 WAA
      .8 WAR
      1.1oWAR
      .9dWAR
      117 OPS+
      .

      Logan 0 WAA
      .3 WAR
      .3 oWAR
      .1 dWAR
      83 OPS+
      .

      Joc’s value is his power, and he is just not producing this year. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s the continual change in his swing. Maybe he is pulling off the ball too much with his swing so he can get that exit velo up. I do not have access to film of his swings to make any determination. I am also not a professional hitting coach, so my knowledge is zero in that regard. But whatever the problem is, it is not going to go away because you want to point out how bad certain players are slumping over the last 7 days. I have stated all along, I am indifferent to Joc. I want him to play, because I like his power potential, and he is the only legit full time CF in the organization. I pointed out how well he did the 2nd 1/2 last year in one of my posts yesterday. But he has to produce this year. You have to admit that .200/.309/.314/.623 with 2 HR and 11 RBI in the 1st week of June is not acceptable for a ML CF. Forget everyone else. Just look at Joc and tell us what he has he done this year to stay in the lineup. Not Corey/Cody/Yas/Kike’/Logan. I am pulling for Joc, but so far he has not done it on the field.

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