Tomorrow They Rest!

I spent all day Wednesday atIRCEin Chicago today.  I left at 4 AM and got back at 8 PM while walking about 6 miles.  It was fun and always informative, but I really enjoyed the opening speaker, Barabara Corocran… she is riveting. She once sued  Donald Trump for $6 million and won!

It was a long day, but I watched most of the game on MLB.TV in my truck on the way back.  What a game!  The Nats are on a hot streak and the Dodgers bats are as cold as ice, but they sucked it up and won behind Clayton today.

  • On taking Clayton out after he batted in the bottom of the 7th:  It was an afternoon game.  It was hot.  Clayton threw 95 pitches and was not extremely sharp (he had 3 walks).  Doc had a conversation with him after the AB and took him out.  No one has a clue what was said, so how in the hell can you second guess taking him out?  Life is not lived in a vacuum, but maybe Clayton said “Yeah, maybe Pedro should come in.”  Now, I don’t think he would say that, but no one knows all the factors.  If Baez had blown the game, second-guessers would have had a field day.  For the most part, I find it an exercise in futility to second guess…  By the way, here’s what Clayton said:  “I didn’t have much today in the tank…”  So,  there is that!
  • Pedro Baez has stepped up his game:  Young players should show growth, year-over-year.  That is exactly what has happened with Pedro Baez.  He has improved his slider and changeup, speeded up his delivery and is now the Dodger’s 8th inning guy!
  • Joc Pederson has not shown growth (IMHO): He is the same guy he has always been and MLB pitchers know lots of ways to get him out.
  • Franklin Gutierrez is a lot sicker than we know: Ankylosing spondylitis is a degenerative disease that seems to be progressing in Gutierrez.  It’s likely he will be put back on the DL.  Ankylosing spondylitis is a type of arthritis affecting the spine, which causes persistent pain and stiffness in the back, buttocks and hips. People with this condition also experience bony fusion, which results from the abnormal merging of bones due to bone overgrowth. Moreover, they suffer painful ligaments and tendons, fatigue, fever and eye inflammation. He may be done.  Too bad – he could have been a huge factor.  To me that necessitates a trade for Ozuna.
  • The Dodgers are trying to trade Kenta Maeda and Joc Pederson: I can’t tell you how I know, but I have it on very good authority that both are being aggressively shopped.  Maeda is going to the pen, but I cannot see him being successful there.  The Yankees are a possibility for Pederson and Maeda.  I have heard that the Yanks might also be interested in Forsythe.  I have no clue what the trade could be…
  • Wood is back in the rotation: Alex will allegedly start Saturday.  The rotation looks solid with SIX, count ’em 6:  Kershaw, Hill, McCarthy, Wood, Ryu and Urias… oh wait, Urias is at AAA.

This article has 79 Comments

  1. By Clayton’s expressions when talking with Doc he did not seem at all pleased with being removed. And I still don’t know why they let him bat.
    Maeda has trouble in the early going so having him come in to relieve doesn’t make much since.
    Maeda, Joc, and Forsythe for ??? Interesting to speculate.

  2. I would trade those three to the Yankees for a package that included Chasen Shreve and others. It would lighten the Dodger load of excess players significantly.

    Still need to have another reliable bat in the lineup. It would be so nice to add a player like Trea Turner. Speed can add a fun element to each game. I wish players like him grew on trees.

      1. I don’t think that is going to get it done. Maybe add Jacob Rhame. That would be a #1, #5, and #29. A starter, reliever, and OF.

  3. We do need to make a trade for an outfielder. Maeda, Joc and some farm kid should be enough. Joc just hasn’t got better in three years. There should be some improvement each year and we are not seeing it with Joc. I am not really happy with Puig either. However, he is better than Joc. Forsythe is really struggling. We just simplify are not hitting right now. It will come. They are taking a look at Eibner as a pitcher. They say he looks pretty good. It is the only way he will make in the majors. Jansen and Baez are converted position players.

    1. The Dodgers need a RH bat. Ozuna is the best one I can find.

      What if:

      1. Taylor CF
      2. Seager SS
      3. Turner 3B
      4. Bellinger LF
      5. Ozuna LF
      6. Grandal C
      7. Gonzo 1B
      8. Calhoun 2B

      What if….

  4. Mark, I’m calling total bull.
    Why would the Dodgers even think to trade Maeda and Pederson when both values have cratered and are at a low. It’s the total antithesis of how the Front Office maximizes value.
    If you are going to make stuff up, have it based in reality.

    1. OK. I don’t care.

      I can’t prove it, so I understand.

      Not made up. Reported to me by a solid source.

      1. Seriously?
        Come on. It makes no sense whatsoever.
        Maeda was just yanked from the rotation. Add that to his lingering health question/his inability to pitch regularly on 5 days rest and what possible value does he have above the lowest possible.
        Similarly, Pederson is injured. Was injured before. And in between the two injuries struggled in a major way. His value is also at a historic low.
        It flies directly in the face of every move the team has done. Even Zach Lee showed some signs of potential/rebound when he was shipped off.

        1. Bluto, I am not sure I understand where you are coming from on this one. Are you saying that Maeda, Pederson, and Forsythe are so low in value that the Dodgers are not getting anything in return? Or are you saying that you do not believe the Yankees would give up two top prospects for those three at their lowest value. I would never have thought that Clint Frazier would be a consideration. He may not help this year, but he is the RH Power Bat OF the Dodgers are looking for. Would I rather have Lewis Brinson? Yeah, but I like Clint Frazier’s projection quite a bit. Chance Adams is a hard throwing (94-96) RHSP who started at AA this year and is now at AAA (Scranton Wilkes-Barre – International League). He has three plus pitches with plus control, and just keeps getting better. Both are currently 22. I do not know how the trade makes the Dodgers better this year, but potential wise, the Dodgers make out pretty good. I just do not see the Yankees wanting (needing) Joc.

          1. Of course they could get something. As you allude to Pederson has power and a good contract. Maeda has a great contract and is a starting pitcher.

            I have very little clue about other prospects, definitely not at your level.

            That’s not my point at all.

            I don’t see this front office trading players at the nadir of their value, if they do not believe that is their true value. This is definitely the case with Pederson. I guess there’s a sliver of a chance the team could look to trade Maeda. This is a front office that is filled with people who look for maximizing value. Finding undervalued assets, maximizing the return on others.

            Who is talking about trading Forsythe? That’s even more laughable (which is hard to say, given how ludicrous the other possibilities are.)

            To me?

            ZERO chance they are thinking about trading Pederson right now
            5% with Maeda.
            Negative 25% for Forsythe.

          2. I gotta agree with Bluto on this one, FAZ is all about maximizing value!
            I asked a few threads ago if anyone would trade Wood. I have been loving Wood, but his trade value could be off the charts right now (if he shows he is OK physically). Seems like more of a FAZ move to get maximum value for a Wood/McCarthy while you can vs. trading someone who’s value is currently down. Oh course, if FAZ believes Wood will continue to pitch like he has, they will ride him right into the World Series.

        2. You’re making the mistaken assumption the current value of the those players is at an all time low. Pederson is playing terribly in this first third of the season, but is coming off a second half of last season where he played well. What happens when he continues to play poorly for the rest of the year? Then what happens to his trade value? Same with Maeda. He had a good year last year and is off to a poor start. His value is attributable to his his most recent successful year, but if he continues to play inconsistently and word gets out that he’s no longer the effective pitcher he was, then his trade drops further. Their trade value might be at it’s highest RIGHT NOW because it comes on the heels of some recent success. If they continue to crater, then the Dodgers are stuck with assets they can’t move.

          1. dodgerpatch, I would agree with you completely if you said, “You COULD be making the mistaken assumption the current value of those players is at an all time low”. It all comes down to what FAZ and the other teams think the future will bring.

          2. I am admittedly a little perplexed on this one. I do not disagree with Box or Bluto that FAZ wants to maximize value. That is where they shine. But to minimize the return in Clint Frazier and Chance is Adams is very short-sighted which is definitely not a trait of FAZ. (And before anyone says anything, I am not trying to imply that either are minimizing Frazier and Adams). Clint Frazier and Justus Sheffield were the the key returns in the Andrew Miller trade. The Indians did not want to lose Frazier at all, but they would never have acquired Miller without him in the trade. He is the RH Power bat the Dodgers do not have above Rancho. DJ Peters may be good, but he is not at Clint Frazier’s level (at least not yet). Chance Adams is rated at the Justus Sheffield level. He is a MLB Top 100 prospect. He is a 22 year old RHSP with 3 plus pitches, who is moving up the prospect list.
            Where I am confused is that while I am in the category that the Dodgers would be receiving good value in retun, that value is in the future; 2018 at the earliest. IMO if Joc and/or Maeda are to be traded, I would expect to have someone who can help the team this year in their quest for a WS. That is why this trade by itself would not make much sense for the 2017 Dodgers. But FAZ is always thinking multiple steps ahead. Maybe Clint Frazier and Chance Adams are to be moved again for that player(s). I would guess that they would go a long way in acquiring one of Chris Archer/Gerritt Cole/Marcel Ozuna. I would think an interesting question would be, would you trade Joc and Maeda for Andrew Miller, the obvious equivalent to Frazier and Adams in the eyes of the Yankees. To win this year I think I would. This year both Joc and Maeda can be replaced, but there is no obvious pitcher at the level of Andrew Miller. It’s not that I do not value Joc or Maeda. They are two truly marketable players with high upside and low contract requirements. If Clint Frazier and Chance Adams are that bridge to a 2017 difference maker, I would make the trade. If it is strictly for 2018 and beyond, I am not as enthusiastic. I like the potential, but at some point you have to say we are going for it. I would like to see the Dodgers go for it this year. The Astros, Yankees, Nats, and probably Cubs will certainly be going all in.
            I would hope for a big RH bat (preferably Ozuna), and a top high leverage late inning LH reliever. Brad Hand would be my preference. Chasen Shreve would also be on my short list. Even though I know he is available, I am not nearly as comfortable with Tony Watson. I would not worry about another starter until after seeing where Wood, Hill, Urias, and Ryu are later this month and early July. McCarthy went toe to toe with Scherzer, and against a much better offense than the one Scherzer faced. Kershaw did beat Strasburg. Wood did beat Arrieta head to head. So if those three continue to pitch well, and if Hill and/or Urias can improve on their starts, that COULD be 5 quality starters come October. But I guess the same “what if” statements can be made of all pitching staffs.

          3. I see what you’re saying, and that was really my point. Bluto was assuming that the value of those players was at an all time low NOW, and therefore selling those assets is foolish because it nets a poor return. He’s assuming that somehow they might play better and increase their value. It’s not certain that will happen.

            With Kemp and Dee Gordon, they sold at the perfect time. They were coming off productive stretches, but they recognized weaknesses in their games which made their own internal forecasts less optimistic than another team’s assessment. What happens, though, if you want to sell an asset at its highest point, but the player is performing poorly? That players value only drops further if he has a longer track record of poor play, so if the Dodgers sit on Pederson and Maeda and they continue to play poorly, they’ll have even less value at a later date….potentially.

          4. The flipside to maximizing value is the idea of even trading for Ozuna as a power bat in the outfield. He’s started the year on a hot streak – or perhaps a breakout. However, his BABIP and career history suggests he’s hitting above his long term projections – and value. Going after an Ozuna would mean the Dodgers are pursuing an asset that is overvalued. Although FAZ has shown a willingness to go after players if they will help the their playoff chances in that current year. Ozuna could do that this year. Rich Hill did it last year. I’m not entirely convinced that Ozuna is going to be a difference maker. Archer is going to be expensive and Gerrit Cole is becoming Matt Harvey in my mind. No Yadier Alvarez in any trade scenario. No way.

            I agree that I’m not sure what a trade with the Yankees does for the Dodgers, both this year and in the future. Frazier seems like another potential bat that has to be a corner outfielder. The Dodgers have plenty of those. The Dodgers system has Verdugo and all the plus bats and poor defensive prospects whose only position is left. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to get a Frazier.

          5. Dodgerpatch.
            Having value at an all time low, and having it potentially go lower are not mutually exclusive.
            One is based on the present, the other based on the future.
            That said, there is NO CHANCE that either’s value is at a highest point. This is because it has been higher in the past, and could be higher in the future.

          6. Always Compete.
            I really have no idea what you are talking about.
            I am not, and haven’t been talking about any return in trade (Clint Frazier and Adams.) Because I think the whole premise is flawed.
            If we want to discuss whether or not we think the Dodgers need OF and P help this year, I think the answer is probably yes.
            The rest of your post which meanders into Andrew Miller (I’d trade for) and Chasen Shreve (I am clueless about) is really confusing for my poor brain. If you want to have a conversation about it, can I ask you to simplify it?

          7. The front office doesn’t have the benefit of a time machine.
            From here on out a player can either play better or continue to play poorly. Trade value either rises or it declines.
            Based on that I’d say the chances are about 50/50 of those two players having maximum trade value RIGHT NOW…which is all that matters.

          8. DodgerPatch:
            I cannot for the life of me can make sense of what you are saying.
            Pederson’s value was higher at many times, perhaps most famously before the HR Derby. Thus, he cannot be at maximum value now if his value was higher then.
            BUT, I think you are looking at it in a totally different way, because the following sentence makes no sense to me:
            >>Based on that I’d say the chances are about 50/50 of those two players >>having maximum trade value RIGHT NOW…which is all that matters.
            What does the phrase “maximum trade value right now” mean? I guess one could say that the present trade value is constantly that player’s maximum and minimum, because you can’t make trades in the past nor in the future. That’s a very cynical take, and does minimize the role of scouting/player evaluation and external market forces.

          9. I think we’re overthinking the logical precision here.
            Yes, Joc’s trade value was obviously higher when he was a highly touted rookie before the Home Run Derby…maybe at it’s highest. It was higher at the end of last year when he had a good second half of the season. It is lower now.
            If Joc Pederson continues his poor play, his value will continue to diminish and his past good performances will have less influence. If this happens, then his current value – RIGHT NOW – relative to the future is at it’s highest level.
            * In other words, the Dodgers might not get a lot for him in a trade, but they better ship him before he drops even further.

        3. You’re making the mistaken assumption the current value of the those players is at an all time low. Pederson is playing terribly in this first third of the season, but is coming off a second half of last season where he played well. What happens when he continues to play poorly for the rest of the year? Then what happens to his trade value? Same with Maeda. He had a good year last year and is off to a poor start. His value is attributable to his his most recent successful year, but if he continues to play inconsistently and word gets out that he’s no longer the effective pitcher he was, then his trade drops further. Their trade value might be at it’s highest RIGHT NOW because it comes on the heels of some recent success. If they continue to crater, then the Dodgers are stuck with assets they can’t move.

          1. Bluto likes Joc and he thinks he was the third best hitter on the team last year, based on what Joc did in the second half, of the season.

            But it is obvious that the Dodgers don’t feel, the same way.

            If they thought Joc was the third best hitter on the team last year.

            Why would they hit him at the back of the line up, most of the time.

            And why would they platoon Joc most of the time?

            Wouldn’t a team want to give their third best hitter, more at bats, and play them, everyday?

            It is very obvious that the Dodgers value Bellinger more.

            Because Bellinger is not being platooned, like Joc has.

            And Bellinger has already hit in the meat of the order, after only being up in the majors, for a little over a month.

            And like Idahoal, I am not convinced, that Puig should be playing everyday, either.

            But I understand why he is playing everyday.

            Because we have three outfielders that are out on the DL right now, and the front office probably wanted to see what Puig would do.

            And they probably hoped, he could bring his value up..

            But I think Puig is being exposed, right now.

            Because this the first year in a few years, that Puig has been able to stay healthy this long, so he has not played everyday, for a few years.

            Because of this, I do think the Dodgers need to look at another outfielder.

            Because I think Puig has been given, more then a chance.

            And he is not producing that well, offensively.

            I still don’t understand why some people treat Puig like a rookie, when this is his fifth year, either.

            And I also believe Joc has been given a lot of chances, too.

            After Joc had a very bad first year, Roberts assured Joc before even the 2016 season started, that centerfield was his.

            How many players would get that chance, on a team like the Dodgers, after having such a bad year?

            But I think we should wait and see what Joc does, up until, close to the trade deadline.

            If it is possible, as long as, we won’t lose out to another team, on a player, we need.

            But that will only happen, if the team gives up on Logan.

            Because Taylor is going to play, as long as he continues to hit, like he has.

            And I don’t understand why the contracts are being brought up.

            It isn’t like Ozuna is making big, money!

            And right now, he seems to be performing up to his contract, just fine.

            And Joc and Maeda, are not doing the same right now.

            And the Dodgers are a big market team, but I don’t think that there is a big gap in these contracts, especially with the way, that Ozuna is playing.

            But I still like AC’s idea, of getting a player, that will only be a rental for one year.

            Because that will cost less, and that would be a smaller, commitment.

            And I think Dodger patch, also makes a good point.

            We don’t know that Joc or Maeda will bring their value up for sure, so there is a possibility, that their value will go down, even farther..

          2. MJ,
            This is the third time very recently you have completely made up my position on player and made up the reasoning for that mistaken position.
            Please stop.

        4. Bluto

          Ozuna is not making big money either, and that difference is, Ozuna is performing well, unlike Joc and Maeda.

  5. I can understand why the Dodgers would shop Joc. He is a 25 year old power hitting CF, with 3 arbitration years before he becomes a FA. From all indications he is a very good teammate. He would bang out 30-35 HRs with that short RF porch at Yankee Stadium. But I have no idea why he would appeal to the Yankees, unless Brett Gardner is being moved as part of a 3 team deal. Gardner is LH, so he would not make much sense for LAD. If not, that would be Gardner in LF, Ellsbury in CF, and Judge in RF. Hicks is the #4 OF. Ellsbury is out right now with concussion protocol. He went out 1 day after Joc. But he should be back before any trade is consummated, unless they have a neurological report indicating that he has more damage. It would only make sense if the Yankees believe that Ellsbury is going to be out for an extended period of time. With $68M+ guaranteed for three years ($63.5M for 2018-2020; $5 buyout for 2021), that will be a very tough contract to move.
    Maeda and Forsythe make more sense. The Yankees need another starter, and Forsythe could play 3rd for the Yankees. The Yankees have never been enamored with Chase Headley at 3rd. The Yanks also have Ronald Torreyes as their utility infielder.
    What the Yankees really need is a 1B. Heck, SVS would be better than Chris Carter.
    Maybe the Dodgers could put some package together to get Chasen Shreve and Jorge Mateo. It might be interesting to see if either the Yankees or Dodgers were to include a Sheffield, so that Justus and Jordan can be in the same organization.

  6. Congratulation to Keibert Ruiz (C), and RHSP Dustin May, just named to the Midwest League All-Star team.

    Press Release:

    “MIDLAND, Mich. – The Great Lakes Loons will be represented by two members of this year’s team in the 2017 Midwest League All-Star Game to be held at Dow Diamond on June 19-20. Catcher Keibert Ruiz and pitcher Dustin May will be on the Eastern Division Roster for the two-day event.

    Ruiz, 18, is the No. 20 prospect in the Los Angeles Dodgers farm system according to Baseball America and has been a mainstay in the Loons lineup hitting .291 with nine doubles and 14 RBI. The teenager has received rave reviews regarding is defensive prowess behind the dish, but Ruiz has heated up at the plate over the last month now ranking second among MWL catchers in batting average.

    Drafted in the 3rd round by the Dodgers last summer, May has enjoyed a successful start to his affiliated professional career making 11 starts for the Loons going 3-2 with a 3.93 ERA. Tabbed as the Dodgers’ No. 11 prospect by Baseball America, the right-hander has an impressive strikeout-to-walk ratio with 54 K and just eight walks.”

  7. Maeda has a very team friendly contract and could appeal to a team like the Mariners who have had lots of injuries in their rotation. Put Joc and a high pitching prospect in the deal and try and pry away Mitch Haniger, RH OF slugger and former 1st round pick of the Brewers who got off to a hot start and is currently on the DL. If they are deadline sellers maybe go for Kyle Seager who can play all the infield positions and would make Cory happy.

    This offensive funk will pass, the roster will sort itself out and some dead wood will be pruned away. The team scuffled through a tough part of their schedule and have favorable inter league match ups ahead with the Indians and Angels plus the Reds twice, the Mets at home for 4 and the Rockies at home for 3. Rest up boys then time to make a move!

  8. I make up plenty of trades. The Alvarez/Ozuna one being of that ilk. The info about Maeda and Pederson is not BS, but that doesn’t mean it will happen either. Puig and McCarthy for Braun was talked about, but never happened. I’d say Puig’s value was pretty low at the time, but GM’s like to “fix” guys. I personally think Pederson and Madea have a lot of value. Pederson is young and controllable and starters with team-friendly contracts don;t grow on trees. Maeda pitched 8.1 innings a few weeks, so if he passes a physical, I think a lot of teams would be interested.

    However, I have a friend who is very well connected in baseball. I don’t talk to him a lot during the season because he is traveling, but I called him yesterday and talked for about 30 seconds before he had to take another call.

    All he said was “They are shopping Pederson and Maeda and the Yankees have interest in Logan.” Over the years, he has given me a lot of transactions that never occurred, but it doesn’t mean that there wasn’t substance to them. You can believe it or not.

    1. Logan would be good for them and at the same time could be the odd man out in LA due to Taylor.

      1. I totally agree with this. I do not think that either I or Mark advocated trading Forsythe. Mark indicated that the Yankees were interested in Forsythe. I opined that I can see why they would be. Logan can play 3B, where the Yankees are not comfortable at all with Chase Headley. I like Logan Forsythe, but just as I believe that Joc should be held accountable, so should Forsythe. If Taylor continues to outplay him, then Logan goes to the bench and becomes a utility player. If the Yankees want to overpay to get Logan (and I am not saying they would) why not? But to say the FO would never trade Forsythe is not necessarily true.

  9. If they could pry Haniger away from Seattle, that would be great. They do need pitching. I just do not see Seattle ever letting Seager go. It would take too many prospects to get Seager. Haniger is another story.

  10. Willie Calhoun has played 240 games in the minor leagues. 239 of those were at 2B. Last night, marks the first time he played another position; LF!

    Why now? Is this the beginning of his transition?

    I also see that Mitch White may miss 6 weeks with a broken toe.

    1. Willie Calhoun is not gifted defensively, but he is a very good offensive threat. I often refer back to Greg Luzinski when thinking about good hit, not so good defensive (being kind with Luzinski) LF. Teams would find a way to hide these types of players. Manny Ramirez, Hanley Ramirez, and Jose Canseco (okay he was in RF) were not good defensively, but they could hit. Why would you not want to find a place for any of them. Does Willie Calhoun fit into that scenario? Time will tell. But he has an intriguing enough bat that it is very much worth the experiment.
      But an even more interesting dilemma is developing in Tulsa. After last night’s game, Edwin Rios is leading the Texas League in slugging percentage (.577) and RBI’s (45). He is #2 in the league in HRs (12), and OPS (.943). And he is #3 in batting average at .332. It would be very hard to find a better offensive threat in all of AA baseball. But where do you put him defensively. He is listed as a 3B, but in 64 chances this year, Rios has made 9 errors. That is hard to hide. Do they move him out to LF as well? He moves with glacier like speed, so a move to the OF is unlikely. It is more widely projected that he will end up at 1B, certainly not a position of need for LAD. Regardless, his bat is potent enough to have at least earned him a promotion to AAA. In all honsesty, he is a DH in waiting. Think Dan Vogelbach. So unless the NL moves to a DH, Rios is a prime trade target to an AL team.

      1. AC

        I agree with you about Calhoun

        If a player can hit, and hit well, a team will find a place or position for them.

        Look what the Cubs did with Schwarber.

        The thing I like about Calhoun, is that he not only hits with power, he doesn’t strike out a lot.

        And that is a sign of a pretty good hitter.

      2. Good points. Do we have Gary Maddux in CF to cover for his deficiencies. Right now we have a second baseman learning to play CF. Manny wasn’t as bad defensively as people made him out to be. Once Hanley got so ripped that he couldn’t cover any ground, it was all over for him defensively.

        I do agree with your point though. Calhoun and Rios will hit their way onto a roster. I just don’t think it will be with the Dodgers. Rios is destined for 1B/DH and Calhoun is destined for utility/DH unless he’s so good like Murphy that you can pretend he’s a Second Baseman.

    2. Mark

      I have to give you credit for acknowledging, Calhoun.

      It sounds like you were a bit surprised, that Miss Corcoran, impressed you so much.

      You just never know..

  11. Given the Braintrust’s proclivity to sign the old and infirm as starting pitchers, the only way that it works is to have lots of them. For that reason, I for one would be surprised to see Maeda traded. I hav.e less trouble believing either Forsythe or Pederson going, but with a caveat or 2.

    It makes sense to lose Forsythe if Taylor moves to 2B permanently. It makes sense to lose Joc if they also trade for a RH outfield bat.

    Incidentally, Dylan Hernandez of the Times wrote this this morning:

    I have found him to be pretty accurate in the past and I wonder if he has some insight into Kershaw’s mindset that we don’t know about.

    1. I think Doc is looking at the big picture. I am sure he is doing it because he wants Clayton fresh in the playoffs. If it works and the Dodgers win, Clayton won’t remember yesterday.

      Dave Roberts is a very good manager. He was manager of the year last year. He’s closer to the situation than you or me… or Hernandez. I trust his judgement more than anyone. He says he did what he felt was responsible to the team.

      I would hope Clayton would be upset!

    2. And this article touches upon an issue that I’ve brought up before and has been discussed before: that his hypercompetitive nature and relative importance to the team makes making managerial choices with him difficult. There have been at least two games with Kershaw already this year where he has been left in too long, the decision possibly influenced by the potential of Kershaw’s rage.

      He needs to stop. Managerial decisions are the manager’s purview, not his. One the one hand it’s admirable that he want to stay in, but at some point it just hurts the team. This the danger when a single player is so good and so competitive, and his relative importance to the team is so high that it creates a power struggle.

      1. Come on – throughout baseball history, managers have wanted starting pitchers who wanted to stay in and could do so. Baseball has honored the pitchers who completed games and pushed through to win. Kershaw is that guy. I doubt seriously that if he pitched the 8th that things would have gone worse than the leadoff triple that Baez the slow gave up to Turner. The Dodgers got lucky yesterday.

        I don’t think that Kershaw’s competitiveness hurts the team. That’s one of the strangest statements that I have read on this blog.

        1. No. Kershaw needs to shut up and just throw the ball like a robot, and when he’s removed he needs to say, “yessir.” He’s merely a cog, a worker bee, in the great baseball machine that the Great and Almighty FAZ has assembled.
          Kershaw lost a win in that game against the Phillies be because he was left in too long. This isn’t baseball history. This is today, and the game has changed. Although it’s an admirable trait to have a pitcher who can and wants to “push through” and get the win even though he’s fatiguing and his pitches are less effective, a manager has to weigh what the best option is in that particular circumstance. Maybe in that instance, Kershaw is still locating his spots with good velocity. Then it’s best to leave him in. In a close game, when he’s going the order for the fourth time and his stuff is less effective – and you have a crack closer who’s fresh and ready – maybe in that situation going with the reliever is better. When you have a Kershaw who not only protests in the moment but fumes after the game and beyond, it makes it more likely that Roberts leaves him in too long in the next game, which the Dodgers lose.
          The whole gist of the article you cited is that the Dodgers somehow risk alienating their superstar if they don’t do what he wants. You can’t let someone’s ego dictate how you run a baseball team. Does anyone remember that Twilight Zone episode, where this kid had these super powers and could do anything…and the whole town was terrified of him? “You’re a bad man!”

  12. Here’s the real kicker on Joc verses Cody. Joc has 200 AB’s against LH pitching and is hitting .178 in those AB’s. Cody has 35 AB’s against Lefties and is hitting .278.

    Joc can’t hit LH pitching. He’s a platoon player. Cody evidently can although the sample is small.

  13. I didn’t second guess. I said it at the time it happened. No way I pull Kershaw until after Harper has hit. He has owned Harper and ;the Dodgers have two off days coming up. Kershaw can get an extra day of rest. It looked like Kershaw forced his way into the batter’s box and it took both Honey and Doc to get him out of the game. While I agree Baez has been better this year(I have to explain that to my son every time he comes in), he was lucky yesterday. Gave up a double that Taylor played into a triple and the ball he snagged at the mound was a smash too.

    I tend to agree with you on Joc, but he hasn’t exactly had a lot of AB’s. I had a hard time believing the step back drill against live pitchers was going to work when I saw it in Spring Training. I can see them trying to move Joc and Maeda. Joc may need to re-establish some value. Maeda has 7 years left at only $3million a year guaranteed. When someone mentioned trading Ryu a couple of weeks back, it seemed to me that Maeda would be more coveted in a deal with a small market team or cheap owner.

    It’s certainly not looking good for FG. He also hasn’t had very many AB’s, but with the emergence of Taylor, I could see Forsythe sliding into Franklin’s spot against lefties until a deal is made.

    1. Unless there is another injury in the OF it makes sense to give Joc a good 7 to 10 days at Rancho and then OKC to get his timing and confidence back. He can be a useful player, his problem is between the ears.

      FG I agree is about done, and his spot is taken by Taylor and Bellinger. Eibner is not much better, and Puig has not been lights out. The OF is the most obvious place to upgrade and a productive Joc would help. Even a healthy Ethier returning would be a big help at this point.

      Kershaw has certainly seemed a lot more emotional this year, but maybe he just really wants to win. I would have left him in after letting him hit but Roberts had his reasons and they won let those 2 work it out.

  14. I agree with Mark and Dodger patch!

    Kershaw has been allowed to stay in games a few times past the seventh inning, and he has given up at least one run in those last two innings, more often then not, this year.

    And we actually don’t know that Kershaw would have made it through the eighth inning yesterday, without giving up a run, either.

    Kershaw has already given up 13 HRs this year, and he has only given up 15 HRs in a season, in his career, up to now.

    So Kershaw is giving up HRs, at a faster rate this year.

    The truth is that Kershaw hasn’t been that good, past the seventh this year, or in the post season, either.

    And because this, maybe Kershaw needs to do something different this year, to take care of himself, so he will be stronger, in the post season this year, if we go.

    But it is obvious that Kershaw is not ready to take care of himself, so Roberts is making sure that Kershaw takes care of himself, and keeping the team in mind, at the same time.

    And maybe all of this will be better for Kershaw in the post season, as well, as for the team in the long run.

    There has been to many times in the post season, that Kershaw has been allowed to continue to pitch.

    And we either got lucky, and won, or we lost, because Kershaw, was allowed to stay in the game to long.

    The team and the win, is what is important, not Kershaw’s ego or allowing Kershaw, to get that monkey off his back, in the post season.

    And maybe by taking Kershaw out of that game yesterday, Roberts won’t hesitate, to take Kershaw out, when he sees fit, the rest of the season, to protect Kershaw, and the team.

    And this may help Roberts make better decisions in the post season, and help Kershaw do better in the post season, too.

    And if Kershaw has a good post season, the team will probably have a pretty good post season.

    Because Kershaw has been part of the problem, in the post season.

    1. The stats don’t agree with your assessment. Here is Kershaw’s ERA in each inning over the course of his career:
      1st – 2.54
      2nd – 2.09
      3rd – 2.24
      4th – 2.96
      5th – 1.34
      6th – 3.16
      7th – 2.23
      8th – 2.28
      9th – 2.36
      Here is his batting average against per inning, for his career
      1 – .196
      2 – .185
      3 – .213
      4 – .243
      5 – .164
      6 – .235
      7 – .207
      8 – .165
      9 – .225
      There is no evidence that Kershaw is not as good a pitcher after the 7th inning over the course of his career. It has to be a game by game analysis. If he isn’t pitching well then pull him. There was no reason to pull him yesterday.

      1. Rick

        I was talking about what Kershaw has done this year, and in the post season.

        And that is why I listed that he has given up 13 HRs already this year.

        And he has never given up more then 15 HRs in a season, in his career.

        And we are still early in the season.

        The other thing I said, was that Kershaw has given up a run, more often then not this year, when he has been allowed to pitch further, into games.

        So how many times this year, has Kershaw allowed at least one run, after the seventh inning?

        And that is important in this last game, because it was a one run game.

        And what is Kershaw’s post season era, when he has pitched from the seventh inning, on?

      2. Rick

        I wasn’t watching Kershaw pitch as closely as I normally do, but I was impressed that he pitched so well, against the Nats.

        So I could be wrong about that game.

        I do trust your judgement.

        But over all, I think it is a good idea for Roberts to take care of Kershaw, because he won’t do that himself.

        I do think it is a good idea to limit some of his extra innings, if we have a pretty good lead, to keep him fresh for the post season.

        And I also like that Kershaw is a gamer.

    1. Kershaw has given up 20 1st pitch HR – more than any other count. Per Baseball Reference, here’s how it plays out :
      1st pitch – 20
      1 – 0 – 13
      2 – 0 – 4
      3 – 0 – 0
      0 – 1 – 8
      0 – 2 – 4
      1 – 1 – 14
      2 – 1 – 13
      3 – 1 – 6
      2 – 2 – 9

      Trying to steal a quick strike doesn’t always work.

    2. Mark

      Where would I find out how many times Kershaw has given up a run this year, after the seventh inning?

      1. MJ, Baseball Reference will give you all of that information once you select splits and the year for Kershaw.

      2. For 2017, Kershaw has pitched into the 8th three times this year.
        2.1 IP 1R 2H 1HR 2BB 4K
        Kershaw has pitched into the 9th twice this year.
        1.1 IP 2R 3H 0HR 0BB 1K
        Innings 1-3 39.0 IP 10R 30H 5HR 2.08 ERA
        Innings 4-6 37.1 IP 9R 27H 4HR 1.93 ERA
        Innings 7-9 13.2 IP 5R 10H 3HR 3.29 ERA
        Those are the statistics. Everybody can draw their own conclusions.

        1. AC

          I guess it would also be smart to find out how many runners that Kershaw left on, when he went out,

          I bet your excited to see Wood pitch ,on Saturday.

          I hope they found out what caused him to get sore in that area, so he doesn’t have to deal with that anymore.

          I was hoping he got a chance to be in the Allstar game, because he deserved it, and he has never went.

  15. Bluto, this is in response to you from above. I do tend to get wordy and sometimes my thoughts do not come across as I want them to…….Mark had indicated that he had it on good authority that both Maeda and Pederson were being targeted by the Yankees, and that there was discussion that the Dodgers could receive Clint Frazier and Chance Adams in return. You responded, “Why would the Dodgers even think to trade Maeda and Pederson when both values have cratered and are at a low. It’s the total antithesis of how the Front Office maximizes value.”
    I obviously was not clear in my response to your statement. I was trying to understand whether you were making a determination that there is no way that Maeda or Pederson’s maximum value could be determined at this time, and that any trade talk should be tempered until their on-field performance improved… or whether you thought that the value being returned is not commensurate with what your estimation of the true value of Maeda and Joc is. I still do not know.
    If your statement was due to the former, okay. Maybe Pederson’s 2nd half 2017 emulates his second half of 2016, and that his value increases greatly. But what if his second half emulates his first half 2017, and his May to September 2015. Clint Frazier then becomes a pipe dream. Will Maeda emulate his April & June 2016 months, or his May, July-September 2016 and 2017 to date? Apparently you believe that both Pederson and Maeda’s on the field performance will improve. Okay by me. I was chastised for making similar statements about Alex Wood. Determining the point of optimum value is not a science. It’s also a feel. As you said, “Why would the Dodgers even think to trade Maeda and Pederson when both values have cratered and are at a low. It’s the total antithesis of how the Front Office maximizes value.” Maybe the FO does think that they would be getting maximum value with Frazier and Adams. You may not agree with that, but you seem to agree that the FO does have a basis for determining optimum value. You just would not agree with the FO’s determination if this trade were made.
    If you were basing your comment on the return, then I am not sure that you are correct about not getting at least fair value. Clint Frazier and Chance Adams are top level prospects in a top level farm system. How an Andrew Miller comment got inserted, was because Clint Frazier and Justus Sheffield were the return to the Yankees for Andrew Miller. Therefore, it seems to reason (albeit to me) that if the Yankees were willing to move Frazier (the key player), and Chance Adams (comparable to Justus Sheffield), they would want comparable ML value to what they had with Andrew Miller. Andrew Miller was nothing more than a base line for value for Frazier and Adams.
    I have never stated that I am in favor of trading Joc or Maeda, nor have I said that I would be against it. I have stated all along that to me the only untouchables on the ML roster were Kershaw, Seager, Bellinger, Jansen, and probably JT. IMO, Walker Buehler is the only untouchable prospect at this time. Everybody else is tradeable as long as the return is fair. The only reason that the Yankees would even be discussing Frazier and Adams, is if they value Pederson and Maeda more than what you think others are valuing them at, because Frazier and Adams are not cratered value.
    I also stated that if this trade was by itself the only trade to be made, I would be against it. I want to win this year, and if Joc and Maeda can be traded individually or part of a package, I would want players that help them get to the WS this year. Frazier and Adams cannot do that, unless they were also traded for a player(s) that can get them there.
    As far as Logan Forsythe, Mark mentioned that the Yankees were interested. All I was trying to say was that the Yankees interest seems understandable. The Yankees have never been comfortable with Headley at 3rd. To them Forsythe seems to be an upgrade. I did not just pull Forsythe’s name out thin air.

    1. I noticed Urias was not on your untouchables list. Neither was Alvarez. What are your thoughts on those two?
      I’m thinking more into the future. Don’t we need a steady stream of top SPs? At some point the Dodgers even need to think of a world after Kershaw. I’m not comfortable using those guys as trade bait. Alvarez came to camp out of shape, but I think he just has too much potential to package in a trade for an Ozuna, who I think is a little overvalued right now.

      Frazier doesn’t impress me as a prospect. Not that he’s necessarily bad. I just don’t think the organization needs another .260/15 HR player who can only play left and who’s not that fast. And to your point, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to trade players now for prospects when the the current team has needs that need to be addressed if it wants to compete in the post season. It only makes sense if it’s a three way deal where the prospects get flipped to a third team.

      1. Patch, I did miss Urias, but not Alveraz. Urias is too close. Alveraz not as much. He is five months older than Urias, and he is not dominating A Ball. He has a great arm with an easy delivery (potential Ace), but average at best control. Control can be taught, not so much the arm. So if they do trade Alveraz, they need to get a ML level player in return.
        I want to win this year. If Alveraz can help to get a difference maker for 2017, I would not hesitate to trade him. Marcel Ozuna is a potential difference maker for 2017. I do not know if he will continue his hot start, but I cannot be convinced that he won’t.
        Maybe Ozuna is overvalued. All sellers are going to overvalue their players at the trade deadline, because through the bidding process the value is escalated. Ozuna will potentially be the best offensive player available for trade, and there will be a handful of teams that would like to have him in their lineup down the stretch. Sellers always get more than fair market value at the deadline. This year will be no different.
        For 2017, in 248 PA Ozuna is batting .323/.327/.570/.957. He has 15 HR and 41 RBI. With 2 outs and RISP (30 PA), he is batting .391/.533/.652/1.186. With the game late and close (35 PA), he is batting .323/.400/.355/.755. He hits both RHP and LHP. Against RHP he is .310/.363/.587/.950. Against LHP he is .385/.489/.487/.977. Much smaller sample size because there are not as many LHP in the NL East, but he looks like he can handle LHP. His OPS+ against league average is 157. His BA is greater than .300 in every inning except the 6th (.241) and 9th (.143). The 9th makes sense, since the Marlins are losing, and are facing a lot of closers. His BAbip for 2017 is .363; with 0 outs it is .315, with 1 out .429, and with 2 out .352. Bottom line, there are not too many holes in his 2017 production. How many of those close low scoring games might he have made a difference?
        I think a bat like Ozuna is worth the risk of an A+ level prospect to help out this year, even one with the potential of Yadier Alveraz. IMO, the earliest that Alveraz will be able to help LAD will be 2020. Ozuna is 26 and should get better, and he has 2 years after 2017 before he reaches FA status. If you are not willing to risk an A level player for a hitter like Ozuna, I think you are just hoping that the current roster will get it done.

      2. Patch, you stated that “Frazier doesn’t impress me as a prospect. Not that he’s necessarily bad. I just don’t think the organization needs another .260/15 HR player who can only play left and who’s not that fast.” None of that is what the baseball pundits/scouts say about Frazier. Frazier is 22, and is leading the International League in doubles and is 9th in HR. The International League has far more pitcher friendly fields than the PCL. Three of the top 8 HR hitters in the International League play for Lehigh Valley, the most hitter friendly park in the International League. Frazier plays at Scranton Wilkes-Barre, absolutely one of the toughest parks for hitters. I have seen games at every International League ball park, and I can attest as to how difficult they are for hitters. Hitters would far prefer to hit in Reno/Las Vegas/Albuquerque/Colorado Springs rather than Scranton/Syracuse/Pawtucket. The International League has 8 players with double digit HRs while the PCL has 15. You cannot compare power numbers within the two leagues.
        For his first three years in professional baseball, Frazier played primarily CF. He is not just a corner OF, just like Verdugo is not just a corner OF. He grades out at a 60 power, 55 run, 55 arm, and 55 field. He is the #2 Yankees prospect, and #18 MLB prospect. I am partial to scouting reports because Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo are providing the reports, and they are two of the most highly respected baseball analysts when it comes to amateur and minor league prospects. Here is what was said about Clint Frazier:
        “The first high school position player selected and the No. 5 overall choice in the 2013 Draft, Frazier received a franchise-record $3.5 million bonus from the Indians. Cleveland counted on him to be a big part of its future until last July, when it used him as the key prospect in a four-player package that yielded Andrew Miller from the Yankees. Frazier suffered from some self-imposed pressure immediately after the deal, though he did make his Triple-A debut and contributed to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre’s International League title.
        Few prospects can match Frazier’s lightning bat speed and raw power. He has toned down his once ultra-aggressive approach and improved his pitch recognition, though he still strikes out a lot because his right-handed swing can get long and he has some difficulties with breaking pitches. Nevertheless, he’s still just 22 and has time to make further adjustments that could help him hit for a solid average with 30 homers per season.
        After playing center field for most of his first three pro seasons, Frazier spent the majority of 2016 on the outfield corners. His above-average speed and arm strength make him an asset in left or right. He’s also helpful on the bases, where he shows good instincts.”
        I am not advocating that the Dodgers should do what they can to get Frazier. But he is the RH Power OF bat the Dodgers do not have in their system. DJ Peters would be the closest, but he is not Clint Frazier. You stated “Frazier seems like another potential bat that has to be a corner outfielder. The Dodgers have plenty of those. The Dodgers system has Verdugo and all the plus bats and poor defensive prospects whose only position is left.” Verdugo is LH corner OF with limited power. There is no comparison between Frazier and Trayce Thompson. Rios cannot play the OF, and nobody knows whether Calhoun will be able to. What other power hitting OF do the Dodgers have in their system? Kyle Garlick who is three years older than Frazier and is still at AA is a maybe. He should at least get a shot at AAA. I will go through the minor league rosters, but I do not know of any other possibility as a power hitting OF. If Clint Frazier were in the Dodger organization, everybody would be wondering why he wasn’t being called up instead of Eibner or SVS or Thompson. No, the Dodgers have nobody at the level of Clint Frazier in their organization. I would love to have him, but the Yankees are not going to give him away.

    2. Yeah, with all due respect to Mark (and I quite enjoy the discourse here at his blog) I don’t buy that Maeda AND Pederson are being shopped. And it’s laughable that Forsythe may be.
      I hope the following answers the rest of your reply (which I appreciate.)
      I 100% agree with your penultimate paragraph. I think the goals of any trades should be different from Frazier/Adams/Sheffield. The team doesn’t need sub-major OF talent, in my opinion. The team needs a RHB that can play in OF. I’m not on board with Puig. I’m not even on board, given recent performance, with Joc. So a replacement for one of them (Ozuna, JD Martinez, Mike Trout (ha)) already proven in MLB is the main goal.
      Evaluating the value of Minor League Players is so far from my skill wheelhouse it is not even funny. It’s why Friedman has his job, and I have mine.

      1. I did not say that I was told Forsythe was being shopped. I was told the Yanks were interested in him and I can understand that. Not sure the Dodgers would trade him.

        The person who told me this about Maeda and Pederson also me about Manny Ramirez long before it happened and he told me about Ryan Braun which never happened.

        I can’t understand why you can’t believe they are being shopped. These GM’s talk all the time and maybe his info is not always right, but the way it works is that his team gives him a list of players who may be available. That’s all I can say. I believe he thinks they are being shopped.

        1. Because no smart person would ever trade assets when their value is at a low.
          Especially the smart people in the Dodgers front office. It makes no sense whatsoever.

  16. Image and video hosting by TinyPic,

    … AND JUST TO BE CLEAR, my friend said that the Dodgers were shopping Joc and Kenta and that the Yanks were interested in Forsythe. Let’s just say that the Yanks were interested in all three. What if they traded prospects and Gardner and the Dodgers flipped the prospects for Ozuna? This is merely conjecture…

    By the way, those are Blue Toes!

  17. So most are ready to give up on Joc and simultaneously make Bellinger the cleanup hitter. I am not ready to do either.

    1. Bums, I do not believe that most are ready to give up on Joc. I certainly have not given up on him. Most do not share your belief that he will be the player he was the 2nd half of last year. All I have read is that many want Joc to stay back at OKC and work on getting his stroke back. To me that is not giving up on him. They want him to do better without the pressure of having to do it against ML pitchers. Once he regains his stroke, all will welcome him back.
      What I object to is that you are trying to build up Joc at the expense of Cody, and I do not understand that. You think that Cody should go back to OKC even though he leads the team in most power and run producing situations. When Joc was a rookie, were you calling for him to go back to AAA when his batting went from bad to worse after May? In May of his rookie year, Joc hit .236, followed by .222 in June, .169 in July, .120 in August, and .203 in September. If Cody hits .169 in July, I will join you in wanting him to go back to OKC to work on what he needs to do to get back, because he would not be helping the team.
      For 2017, in 168 PA, one player has 12 HRs and 31 RBIs. He is batting .247/.321/.547/.868. His OPS+ is 128, and his WAR is 1.2. In 123 PA, the second player has 2 HRs and 11 RBIs. He is batting .200/.309/.314/.623. His OPS+ is 69, and his WAR is -.5. If you were being objective, who would you rather have in your lineup?
      During Joc’s rookie season, he had 585 PA and had 26 HR and 54 RBI. That is one HR for every 22.5 PA, and one RBI for every 10.83 PA. Thus far in Cody’s rookie season, he has one HR for every 14 AB, and one RBI for every 5.42 PA. If he were to finish at that rate (and I would never expect him to), he would have 41 HRs and 107 RBIs. To just equal what Joc produced, Cody would need to only hit a HR every 29.79 PA, and generate an RBI every 18.13 PA. I would expect him to at least do that. You want to send Cody down while he is currently out-producing Joc. At what point do you hold Joc accountable?

      1. AC,
        I think there are a few that hope Joc snaps out of his funk but what I see here and in other comments elsewhere, most people have given up on Joc. You, Patch, Bluto, Box, Hawk and myself worry about Joc more than have given up on him.
        My intent with Cody comments are to say to those that keep praising Cody while beating up on Joc are ignoring Joc’s success in 2016 and only looking at what Cody did in his first 20 games. Most have mocked Joc’s strike out rate and ignored the fact that Cody is near a 50% strikeout rate in his last 20 or so games and that his ave has been barely above the Mendoza line.
        Joc and Cody are young players and I hope they will thrive together for years with the Dodgers. I am a fan of both. Joc plays a premium defensive position and is the best CF on the team. He is in the top 3 of all time Dodger center fielders and now that he is struggling with the bat people are downplaying his defense. If I mention that Vin said he thought Joc was the best Dodger CF you come back that you think Willie Davis is. Why?

  18. 1. Cody Leads the team in HR. He has 50 AB’s less than the person in 2nd place.

    2. Cody leads the team in RBI, tied with a person who has 50 more AB’s.

    3. Cody leads the team in Slugging %

    4. Cody is 3rd in OPS.

    So, who better on the team to hit cleanup?

    I like Joc as a person, but I predicted he was a 4th or 5th outfielder when he was a prospect. He fooled me for a while, but …

  19. I’m not shy about my opinions.

    Urias: Ace at best, #2 at worst!

    Alvarez: Ace at best, Pedro Baez at worst!

    I would not trade Urias, but I would trade Alvarez in the right deal. He’s too far away.

    I would not trade Mitch White or Walker Buehler either.

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