You Are What Your Record Says You Are

The Dodgers are currently 12-16 and have a losing record at home and on the road.  There record says they are a sub .500 team and their record is accurate.  It’s a new month and they better develop a sense of urgency, or the wheels may fall off this thing and they could become sellers at the trade deadline.  Personally, I believe that that have too much talent and depth, but there are some very disconcerning things at work:

  • Clayton Kershaw– His velocity is down and he looks very mortal with his 2.84 ERA to go with his 9 walks and 5 bombs given up. He’s still a very good pitcher, but not an Ace – He has to get his mojo back or it’s a long season.  Is this just a hicup… or a downward trend?
  • Kenley Jansen–  He gave up 5 HR all of last year in 68 IP and walked but 7. This year he has allowed 3 in 9 IP and walked 4.  His 5.59 ERA tells the tale.  If he can’t get the magic back, the Dodgers are doomed.
  • Pedro Baez– He has no idea where the ball is going.  He can’t be trusted.  This needs to change, immediately, if not sooner. He needs to be with Alexander working on his control.
  • Kenta Maeda– Would you just hurry-up and move him to the pen already?  Quit messing around.
  • Tony Cingrani– Will the real Tony stand up?
  • Alex Wood– Same as Cingrani.  Who is he? He needs to be better than he has been.
  • Logan Forsythe– He has to return and have a solid year… maybe a career year! He has not been close to that … yet!
  • Yasiel Puig– He has to replicate last year… or even be better.  He’s still a head case and just needs to hit lower in the order to take off the pressure. Last year he hit .213 at cleanup and .193 at #5.  At #6, #7 and #8 he hit .309, .294 and .284 respectively.  20 of his 28 HR came at the #6 – #8 spots.  His psyche can’t handle the top of the order.
  • Matt Kemp– Needs to go into “Beast Mode.”  He’s still capable of carrying the team.
  • Chris Taylor– He needs to get it going.  He looks undecided as times.  Persaonlly, I would like to see Alex Verdugo at leadoff.
  • Alex Verdugo– He is capable of being the NL ROY.  He needs to just do it! I love him at leadoff.
  • Joc Pederson– He has shown flashes that he might be “getting it.”  Let’s hope it continues.  He can play CF… just not as good as Taylor, but he’s the next best option.
  • Andrew Toles– He’s the Wild Card.  If one of the oiutfielders faulter, he has to step it up… and he’s capable.
  • Austin Barnes– Needs to get his mojo back.  PERIOD!
  • Justin Turner– He needs to come back and carry this team.
  • Cody Bellinger– He has been “OK” but needs to be great.  I think Doc is trying to light a fire under him.
  • Kike Hernandez– It would be nice if he could realize his great potential.
  • Striker Buehler– Just needs to keep on building on what he is doing.  I think he will.

If 75% of thise things happen, the Dodgers will be OK, but right about now, they are what their records says they are.  It all starts tonight with Clayton Kershaw.  This is the most important game of the year and will set the tone.  If he faulters, the wheels could fall off this team.  No pressure, Clayton!

Dodger Chatter:Loons Relief Corps Rounding into Shape

Thus far the Great Lakes Loons of the Midwest League have had a less than memorable start. They are currently 7-14 and standing on the bottom rung of the Eastern Division of the league. However, there are signs of life after a wet, cold spring as the Loons have won four of their last six games and finally showing some offense.

The starting pitching is beginning  to look like starting pitching and the relief pitching seems to be definitely rounding into shape.

Right-hander Aneurys Zabala is still trying to find the strike zone more consistently and left-hander Leo Crawford has made but two three-inning relief appearances perhaps in preparation for a return to a starting role. Beyond those two roles the relief pitching is starting to resemble the 2016  Loons fire brigade.

How well as the relief corps been performing? In their last 22 appearances over 40.1 innings six relievers have posted a 1.12 ERA along with a 0.82 WHIP and 50 strikeouts while walking 14. They have allowed but 19 hits while giving up only one home run.

Zach Pop:

Right-hander Zach Pop was picked by the Dodgers in the seventh round of the 2017 June draft out of the University of Kentucky.

At that time MLB Pipeline described Pop’s pitching arsenal:

“He has one of the most powerful arms in the Southeastern Conference, though his inability to consistently harness it has led the Wildcats to keep him in the bullpen for most of the last three years. In short stints, Pop works in the upper 90s and can reach 99 mph with nice sink on his fastball. The Canadian pitcher routinely reached the upper 90’s with his fastball, which paired with a late-breaking and hard slider made him difficult to hit. He lowered his ERA more than a run and a half from 2016 to 2017 as he was matched up nicely out of the bullpen.”

The 6’4”/220-pound native of Brampton, Ontario in Canada pitched only five innings during his first professional season with the Arizona League Dodgers. He gave up two hits while striking out five and allowing no runs.

With the Great Lakes Loons during the current campaign the 21-year-old Pop has posted a 3.48 ERA over 10.1 innings while striking out 12 and walking three. In his last 7.2 innings he has allowed no runs while striking out 10 and walking the three he has allowed on the season. He has allowed but three hits.

Marshall Kasowski:

Kasowski is a 6’3”/215-pound hard throwing right-hander who was selected by the Dodgers in the 13th round of the 2017 First-Year Player Draft out of West Texas A&M University.

The now 23-year-old Kasowski led the college nation in strikeouts in 2017 breaking the school and Lone Star Conference  record for strikeouts in a season with 165 in 93 innings pitched as the Buffaloes won the Conference Baseball Tournament Championship. His strikeout ratio of 15.91 per nine innings also lead the nation. He walked 50 and gave up 50 hits. Opposing batters hit just .156 against him as he appeared in 17 games with 15 starts, registering two shutouts and one save. He also led the nation in fewest hits allowed per nine innings at just 4.82.

During the 2017 season Kasowski  had a 3.18 ERA over 11.1 innings pitched with the AZL Dodgers and the Great Lakes Loons.

During the current season he has recorded a 2.53 ERA and 1.22 WHIP while giving up only two hits in 10.2 innings pitched. He has struck out 21 but also walked 11 with only two of those coming in his last 7.2  innings. He has struck out eight in his last four innings.

Logan Salow:

The 23-year-old Salow is a native of Ashland Kentucky and graduated from Blazer High School in his hometown. Following graduation he continued his education at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Kentucky.

Salow was then selected by the Oakland Athletics in the 6th round  of the 2017 First-Year Player Draft making him the 171st overall pick.

In his first professional season last summer, the left-handed Salow pitched 24.1 innings in 16 games and had a 1.50 ERA. He also struck out 29 batters and walked 15.

Last week he was acquired by the Dodgers in exchange for right-hander Wilmer Font. To that point in the 2018 season he had made four appearances in the Class-A Midwest League with the Beloit Snappers (Cubs). Over 5.2 innings he has allowed one hit, struck out eight and walked two while posting a 1.59 ERA and a 0.53 WHIP.

MLB Pipeline offered the following scouting report.

“One of the top college senior prospects in the 2017 Draft, Salow could go in the top five rounds – and not just because his reduced leverage will mean he comes at a discount,” a writer wrote. “After battling his control and going undrafted in 2016, he emerged as one of the best relievers in the Southeastern Conference this spring. He allowed just one run in his first 29 innings, retiring 24 consecutive batters at one point, before getting hit a bit harder down the stretch.”

Salow made his debut with the Loons on April 29th striking out three in his inning pitched while walking one and allowing one hit.

Devin Hemmerick:

Hemmerick was picked by the Dodgers in the 26th round of the 2017 Amateur Draft out of Norfolk State University.

The 22-year-old left hander was chosen as a third-team All-American by Collegiate Baseball News in 2017. He enjoyed a historic 2017 season by posting  a 10-2 record and 1.97 earned-run average. His 118 strikeouts in 105.1 innings were a school record and helped him earn Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference  Pitcher of the Year honors. He walked but 16 with a WHIP of 0.86.

His Norfolk head coach described his 6’1”/195-pound pitcher in terms that would any Dodger Fan would appreciate.

“I like to think of Devin as a bulldog,” said Norfolk State head coach Claudell Clark.

The native of Norfolk was naturally pleased with individual awards and achievements but  looked beyond those to close out a successful season.

“MEAC Championship,” said Hemmerich. “That’s what we want. All the personal things I get, they’re special, everyone’s happy for me, but there’s one ultimate goal the whole team can share as a brotherhood.”

He did not get a championship at Norfolk but did get one with the Ogden Raptors during the 2017 season. He played an integral part in the championship season posting a 2.61 ERA over 19 appearances with 41 strikeouts and 12 walks over 31 innings pitched.

During the 2018 season he has a 3.00 ERA over 12 innings pitched while striking out eight and walking five. In his last five outings he has allowed two earned runs in 10.1 innings pitched while striking out six and walking three.

Dan Jagiello:

Right-hander Dan Jagiello was picked by the Dodgers in the 34th round of the 2017 First-Year Player Draft out of Long Island University Post.

He finished the 2017 with the Pioneers with a 1.93 ERA and 12 saves in 23.1 innings pitched. He impressed scouts with his repertoire of pitches. “Dan’s best pitch is his fastball. It was electric,” Pioneers catcher Anthony Vaglica said. “Jagiello also possesses a changeup and a slider which makes him a very effective relief pitcher.”

“I am just so happy for Dan and his family. No one deserves it more than he does,” Head Baseball Coach Mike Gaffney said. “He has been rewarded for putting in a tireless work ethic and overcoming adversity. I think the best has yet to come for him in baseball. He has got what it takes to have a long career in the game.”

The 6’3”/200-pound native of West Islip, NY, signed immediately after being drafted and had a successful first year as a professional  going 2-1 with a 3.91 ERA and 31 strikeouts in 25.1 innings. pitched. He has registered three saves in his first four attempts splitting time first with the Arizona League Dodgers and then the Loons.

During the current season Jagiello has posted a 3.18 ERA in 11.1 innings pitches with 12 strikeouts and nine walks. In his last three appearances  over 7.1 innings he has given up two earned runs on four hits along with nine strikeouts and three walks.

Andre Scrubb:

Right-hander Andre Scrubb was selected by the Dodgers in the eighth round of the 2016 First-Year player draft out of High Point University in North Carolina.

High Point coach Craig Cozart said Scrubb had worked hard to improve during his college career.

“He’s got plenty of fastball, but his breaking ball is absolutely special,” Cozart said. “It’s virtually unhittable and it’s a legit swing-and-miss pitch. So, when you have that and you get into trouble, like he did in the first inning, and you can eliminate scoring situations by missing bats, you have a pretty special guy.”

The 6’4”/265-pound native of Woodridge, Virginia has posted a 1.84 ERA over his first three seasons in 73.1 innings pitched along with 80 strikeouts  and 45 walks. He has allowed only 50 hits but his WHIP spikes to 1.30 because of the 45 free passes he has issued. Opponents have hit only .192 against him.

In his last five appearances with the Loons over 8.1 innings the 23-year-old has allowed six hits and no runs while striking out six and walking three.

This article has 42 Comments

  1. I posted this in the last thread, and we started a new thread right away, so I”ll repost:
    As far as surgery for Seager, the best course of action was exactly what the Dodgers did. From a timeline perspective, even if Seager had the surgery right after 2017 game 7, he would have missed all of 2018 (maybe he could’ve DH’d during a potential 2018 world series, but that’s it). By not having the surgery and trying to rehab it, Seager at least had a chance at playing in 2018.

    Now, he’ll have the surgery May 4, 2018, and he’ll miss 2018. So nothing really lost there. If recovery from TJ surgery is 10 months, it means Seager will be ready to go March 2019. Most likely, 2018 was going to be a lost year for him anyway, so it was prudent to see if rest/rehab would have done the trick

  2. Hoard the prospects
    Play the youngsters
    Trade the pending free agents
    Develop the core
    Believe in the manager
    Trust the front office
    Don’t punt the season
    Build toward the future
    Appreciate Kershaw
    Support each other

      1. assuming we are talking about potentially trading grandal, forsythe, ryu, & Kershaw, let’s look at them one by one.
        grandal–obviously trading him weakens us but it might be tempting as the deadline approaches. even if we are in contention (which is completely possible given our overall talent level in relation to the rest of the league), trading a productive starting catcher could result in a tidy net for a team always looking to improve. barnes would go back to being the starter, farmer could settle in as the true back-up, and we’d probably have to add another transition piece before the wave of insane homegrown catching talent hits L.A. overall: perhaps our best trade asset.
        forsythe–he’s basically a luxury for a contending team, bringing experience, versatility, & good clubhouse presence to any club he joins. someone else could man 2b, Utley could remain guru of the dugout, and forsythe could bolster some other team’s playoff run. overall: expect little in return.
        ryu–tough one. if we are in contention, it’s likely due to our starting rotation keeping us in the mix. so how then could we trade one of our [hypothetically] productive starters? well, I don’t know. it’s hard to project urias into the rotation though that’s a possibility. Could we have a Kershaw/Wood/Hill/Buehler/Urias rotation in place to enable us to trade ryu? no clue, but assuming he’s healthy and we have a back-up, I guess he’s tradable. overall: seems unlikely he’d be healthy AND sparable.
        Kershaw–I simply don’t see him being traded. walking as a FA, maybe, but not traded. 45 year olds like me are still having trouble getting over the piazza trade. not gonna happen.
        Puig & Hill?–FAs after 2019. don’t see much surplus value unless they turn it on. trades unlikely. maybe puig is finally unloaded in the offseason but his value is at a fairly low point now, competition or not.

  3. I think this DBack series is the most critical series since the Giants series in September of 2016. The DBacks are too good to play .500 ball against. If they do not win the next three games, it will be very hard to climb back into this. Not impossible. There should be no quit, but their backs will be against the wall, and July will be just around the corner, and decisions will need to be made. Today, Kershaw needs to put the team on his back and carry them to a win. One game at a time.
    In your very valid points above, one thing not mentioned was, will Doc put the team in the best position to win, or continue to be stubborn (my words)? How long does he keep CT3 in the leadoff role? Will Baez be an option in the next high leverage relief situation? Will Verdugo get a legit shot in a full time role? Will Buehler stay in the rotation? Yes he was Manager of the Year in 2016, and last year everything he touched turned to gold until the WS. This year has not gone as well, and just like the players need to adjust, so does the manager.
    One game I am looking forward to is Friday’s game between the Astros and DBacks, It is going to be Gerrit Cole against Robbie Ray in the desert. That should be fun to watch.
    By the way, has anybody else noticed what Curtis Granderson is doing in Toronto? Slash line of .306/.434/.548/.983. 3 HR’s and 13 RBI. Mostly in the leadoff position. Good things happen to good people.

      1. He may be. I was not aware. I saw a preview of him against Cole this past weekend, and I circled that game. I like to pick an non-Dodger game per week to watch so I can see other players live. Now this game does not matter as much.

    1. I have no answer to why but …
      Granderson playing well with the Jays.
      Reddick played well with the Astros
      Both didn’t do as well as hoped as late season acquisitions with the Dodgers.

  4. I think FAZ was considering this year an in between year and more than anything they were looking to get under the lux tax. I don’t think they were expecting all the injuries and sub par performances that the Dodgers are showing. I do think they will stay with their plan for this year which is save money and gather the forces for 2018. So it’s up to the players we have to “play”. Kershaw should use this year to transition his game from power to a control and multiple pitch game. Work on the change up, throw it for strikes. Use the curve in 1st strike situations. That left arm isn’t what it used to be. Time doesn’t run backwards unfortunately. I hope FAZ is looking hard at getting the pitching Dodgers need to give them a chance to win. Hope they take their time and do a good job. 1 season is not important enough to make bad decisions for the next 5 or 7 years. I’m in this thing for the long run. I want a dynasty not a 1 season wonder.

  5. I would like to trade for Machado.
    Alvarez, Grandal, Puig, Baez would be the guys I am ready to live without. Grandal is at the height of his value and will tire in the second half anyway.
    How bad is Taylor’s OBP? In his poorest year, Pederson’s OBP was only .023 behind Chris Taylor in Taylor’s best year.
    Taylor’s career year has ended as abruptly as it started. Is he a one and done player? A one hit wonder? GO GET MACHADO.

    1. Even if Taylor’s best year was 2017 (which frankly is to be expected–he was nearly our team MVP), he’s still a very nice and valuable player. Even if he’s a super-utility/4th OF-type on a championship-level team he’s no disappointment. I love Chris Taylor and am not giving up on him. There is a middle ground, you know, between amazing and terrible.

    2. Bum,

      Why would a team in full rebuild want or take Grandal or Puig or Baez? Alvarez would get their interest and you would have to include Buehler and Ruiz… aty the very least! That might not get ot done. If not Buehler, they might want May and Santana. There are teams that would want Grandal and Puig, but not Baltimore.

      1. Wait, Bum wants to get rid of Puig and let Joc bat 3rd for the next 10 years??? Shocking!!!

        I’d trade Grandal as well, but only because I doubt we resign him in the offseason to a large contract that he’d want with Barnes, Smith, Ruiz, and Wong coming up. If things do go south for us over the next month or so, then do what the Yanks did. Get rid of some vets and really stack up our farm even more with blue chippers.

        1. Bobby, I don’t look at this blog much anymore. It is because I am as tired of you, MJ, and Rudy Byrd as you guys are with me. Bite me.

      2. Mark, I really don’t have any idea who to trade for Machado. I just listed players I wouldn’t miss if they were included in a trade. If there is a third team needed that is one of FAZ’ strengths.
        Grandal has improved his quickness as a catcher and he has improved his hitting. But he is a free agent after this year and has disappeared in the second half before. Trade high.
        For now I am happy with Taylor at SS and if the Dodgers got Machado, I would be happy with him at second. I would like to see an outfield of Kemp, Pederson, and Toles.

        1. i’m messing with you dude, don’t get so sensitive. I know you don’t like Puig. it’s ok. I know you like Joc. It’s ok. Both of us would love if both Puig and Joc led us to a world series; it’s all that matters.

          I also 100% agree with you on trading Grandal now for prospects. Sell high. We all know some teams’ catchers will either get injured, or suck. Grandal will be a nice trade target for them, and we can sell high.

          1. I run hot and cold with Puig and it is his kamikaze style of play that pushes me more toward cold. He will bang against a wall like he did to put him on the DL or he will bang into the CFer. A wild horse for sure.
            I can’t warm up to Verdugo either but he can hit. I think he lacks maturity still.

  6. I really get a kick out of people who say tonight’s game is huge so Kershaw step up. How many times have you been really excited for the biggest game and Kershaw does what? As a dodger fan I couldn’t tell you how many times a guy being paid 35 million has disappointed. I could list the games but how about the last one at home against one of the worst teams in the league and throw 100 and some pitches in 5 innings punctuated with his usual home run. Trade him at the deadline if we are out of it. I want to give credit where credit is due Pederson is playing well. Grandal another trade candidate at deadline because we will not sign. Keep Buehler, urias, seager, bellinger and be open to trade anybody that will make us better.

    1. Other than donating money to Kershaw’s charity, I let him walk if he opts out.

    2. Clayton has not fared well in the post-season, but if you take his regular season record, no one in baseball history, has ever disappointed less. In the live ball era, Clayton Kershaw’s career ERA is beaten only by NOBODY! He has disappointed in the playoffs, but in the regular season, no one has ever been better… and against the Giants he is 22-10 with a 1.60 ERA.

      How soon people forget!


    – The Los Angeles Dodgers today recalled left-handed reliever Edward Paredes from Triple-A Oklahoma City and optioned right-handed pitcher Brock Stewart to OKC.

    Paredes, 31, has made nine relief appearances with the OKC Dodgers this season going 1-2 with one save and posting a 1.86 ERA (2 ER/9.2 IP), while limiting the opposition to a .229 average. The southpaw from the Dominican Republic saw his first career big league action last season with the Dodgers, going 1-0 with a 3.24 ERA (3 ER/8.1 IP) and striking out 11 batters without issuing a walk in 10 relief appearances over two stints with the club. Paredes, who is in his second season with the Dodger organization and his 10th overall professional campaign, was originally signed as a non-drafted free agent by the Seattle Mariners on May 12, 2005.

    Stewart, 26, made his 2018 debut last night against the Diamondbacks, allowing one run (a home run) on three hits in 1.2 innings of relief with three strikeouts.

  8. On Grandal: Last he he slumped in the second half due to his wife’s difficult pregnancy.

    The year before, he was hurt in the second half.

    I don’t see a pattern.

  9. I agree that the season may be on the line tonight again for #22. I expect him to pitch well and win. He’d better. He’s running out of chances to be the next Koufax.

  10. A Rookie (Verdugo) and a Journeyman (Muncy) showed the team how to make productive outs and score a runner. Taker note, Dodgers.

  11. I’m going rogue tonight. The D-bags better make hay while they can, and MLB and ESPN have already got the shovels out to bury our ass,With that said, let’s not forget how many studs we have on the DL as I watch the Grey Fox once again score a run in the 4th with his baserunning. Get it while you can people, because we are still the Dodgers, and I detect a defiant pulse from these guys. We will still be there at the end of the season, even without Seager. Trash Doc and his decisions all you want, but he is STILL the best manager for this team. The man is a grinder and he will refuse to give up on this season. This will be his biggest challenge as a manager this year and he will prove himself, mark my words. Even at half strength, we are still a threat, and the other teams know it, We just need to toe the line at around .500 until our guys get healthy. We WILL see this through, it’s just gonna be a little tougher than last year.

  12. That’s what I’m talking about Mark, way to go! We have pretty much half a team on the DL, and they WILL be back.Don’t bury us just yet. I got a feelin”.

    1. Oh, i’m with you. I”m 100% confident I’ll be at Dodger Stadium come October. Too many guys are struggling right now that we expect to produce. Once a couple of them wake up, we’ll be ok.

      In the meantime, is it just me, or does Joc look a LOT BETTER at the plate lately????

  13. Lot of ground to make up, but it is only May 1st.

    Chargois looked good.

    Lot of Baseball to be played…

  14. Upward and onward, let’s go Dodgers. This team will keep on pushing and driving right down the line.

  15. Per TrueBlueLA: “Tuesday marked the fourth time in the last nine games that the Dodgers bullpen has surrendered a lead in the seventh inning or later. Los Angeles relievers now have a 4.77 ERA on the season, and in the last eight games the carnage has been even worse:

    23⅓ innings, 34 hits, 25 runs, 22 earned, 16 walks, 31 strikeouts, 8.49 ERA, 2.143 WHIP”

    A dumpster fire.

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