Too Little, Too Late?

Can the Dodgers Win The World Series?

Well, stranger things have happened but to me it seems highly unlikely.  In fact, I think it’s close to impossible. So, do the Dodgers just play as hard as they can and go as far as they can? That sounds easy, but when your stated goal isWorld Series or Bustbefore the season, it might be pretty hard to really get yourself prepared to play at a high level every day… especially if you are human! If you are a machine, it should be no problem. That attitude may give us some insight into what is wrong with the Dodgers.

Justin Turner has not played this season and Corey Seager barely played and while he played, mostly he did not play well. I’m sure his teammates knew his TJ Surgery was a big possibility.  People who criticize FAZ for not having the “depth” to replace their two best players are just delusional.  What kind of depth can you replace either one with?  As AC pointed out, losing your #2 and #3 hitter is a big blow, in and of itself… to say nothing of what that absence does to the guys in front and behind them. Do you think CT3 and Belly would see better pitches with JT and Corey around them?  I’m sure of it.

I’ll go a step further: If Kershaw, Ryu and Hill had not spent time on the DL and the offense was functioning at a high level, the bullpen may not have been fully exposed.  Here’s what I can say for a certainty:  The Dodgers will not lose on Monday.  I guarantee it! Barring any last-minute setbacks, it appears that Justin Turner and Logan Forsythe will be back.  This is likely Forsythe’s last, best chance to get a decent deal as a free agent… if he plays like his hair is on fire.

Getting Forsythe and Turner back on Tuesday could not be a moment too soon for the floundering Dodgers.It could be “too little, too late” or it could be the charge of the cavalry!I think it’s important to get back to as normal as possible, so I would move CT3 back to leadoff and have JT hit in Corey’s old spot. Here’s how I see the rest of the lineup:

  1. Taylor  SS
  2. Turner  3B
  3. Kemp  LF
  4. Bellinger  1B
  5. Grandal  C
  6. Pederson/Hernandez  CF
  7. Forsythe/Utley  2B
  8. Puig RF

It may not be over.  This could be the jolt this team needs! Adding Turner back to the lineup could be huge – he may not even hit in the beginning, but he will make everyone else better.  He makes them better when he is in the dugout and especially when he is in the lineup.  I’d say he is the team leader and when he is there, I think Matt Kemp will be one as well.  BTW, Turner and Forsythe were a combined 0-6 on Sunday.

Dodger Notes

  • The Cody Bellinger Bunting Debacle was over with Dave Roberts when Cody came into his office after the game, said he was wrong and apologized.  That was the right move by Doc.  Close the issue.  Turn the page.  He’s a kid, but a damn good one!
  • Where would the Dodgers be without Yasmani Grandal?  He is #1 or #2 on the team in BA, HR, 2B, 3B, RBI, OPS and Slugging… and he has only 2 PB’s. All the Yasmani Bashers:  You got nothing! It’s time to zip it!  I told you so!
  • It appears that Kenley Jansen is now himself again.  If he anchors the backend, it’s a little easier to fill in the middle. Alexander looks to be coming around but there’s still work to be done.
  • I wonder if the Dodgers will dip into the Drillers and take Santana and/or Ferguson… if only for the pen.
  • When do they try Ariel Hernandez?
  • When do they convert Yadier Alvarez to a reliever?

I Have To Address This

It has been brought up repeatedly recently about the contracts FAZ signed with Brett Anderson, Brandon McCarthy, Scott Kazmir and Rich Hill as somwhow being an indictment of how bad FAZ is.  I am going to submit to that if you think that, you may not be dumb, but you have difficulty when it come to thinking.

Between Anderson, B-Mac, Kaz and McCarthy, the Dodgers paid them a combined $172 million… and Hill has one more year to run on his deal.  For that $172 million, the Dodgers got 48 wins.  The D-Bag paid Zack Greinke $206 million and they have 3 more years to run, but so far, they have gotten 32 wins.  I’ll bet the D-Bags would go back and trade Greinke for the four the Dodgers signed in a heartbeat as Greinke ain’t Greinke anymore.  The Red Sox paid David Price $200 million and he has 26 win in 3 years and his arm is holding on by a string.

I don’t consider Hill, Kaz, B-Mac or BA great signings, but they didn’t have to be.  They were just “placeholders” and what you think is an indictment of FAZ really provesd how good they have been to avoid those bad deals.  Remember, nearly 70% of Free Agent deals suck.  Those may suck as well… but they suck less!

 

MINOR LEAGUE UPDATE by Always Compete

OKC – 4-3 Loss Colorado Springs Sky Sox (Brewers)

Guillermo Moscoso was the starting pitcher and completed 6 innings. He allowed 3 runs (2 earned) on 6 hits, 1 walk, and struck out 5. Yimi Garcia pitched the final two innings and allowed 1 run on a HR which proved to be the game winner.  Offensively 8 individual hitters each had one hit.  Rocky Gale (double), Alex Verdugo (double), and Travis Taijeron (triple) were the three XBH.  Both Rocky Gale and Kyle Garlick had 2-out RBI’s.  OKC was 1-7 with RISP.

 

OKC still leads the PCL American North Division by 1.5 games with a PCL best record of 24-11. Just in case anyone missed it, on Friday, Justin DeFratus pitched a 4 hit complete game shutout against the Memphis Redbirds.  He issued 0 walks and had 3 strikeouts on 89 total pitches.

 

Tulsa – 11-8 Loss NW Arkansas Naturals (Royals)

Devin Smeltzer started and just got spanked. He went 3.1 innings allowing 10 runs on 12 hits, 0 walks, and totaled 3 strikeouts.  He gave up 3 HR’s in those 12 hits, including 2 by former Dodger farm hand  Erick Mejia.  Michael Johnson and recently acquired 27 year old LHRP Chad Girodo restored order in their 4.2 innings of work.

 

Offensively, the Drillers got 12 hits, led by LF Zach Reks (3-4 with a double), and 2B Angelo Mora (3-4 with 2ndHR).  1B Peter O’Brien slugged his 4thHR for the Drillers.  The Drillers (18-17) find themselves tied for 2ndplace in the Texas League North 1.0 game behind the Springfield Cardinals.

 

RC – 3-2 Win over Visalia Rawhide (DBacks)

After surrendering a 1-0 lead in the 8th, Logan Landon hit a game winning walk off 2 run HR in the 9thfor the Quakes win.  Christian Santana led off the inning with a single before Landon’s dramatics.  Andrew Sopko started and went 7.0 shutout IP (88 pitches).  He allowed 5 hits, 2 walks, and registered 5 strikeouts.  Logan Salow came out in the 8thand faced 4 batters, each getting a hit, with 2 of them scoring.  Sven Schuller and Parker Curry finished for the Quakes with Parker Curry getting his 4thwin.

 

The Quakes totaled 8 hits with Christian Santana (double), Logan Landon, and Cody Thomas (triple) each with 2. Gavin Lux and Connor Wong had the other two.  Leadoff hitter Lux also had 2 walks getting on base 3 out of 4 PA.  He is now hitting .344/.449/.451/.900.  He is #3 in the Cal League in OBP and #8 in OPS.  He also has 17 RBI’s from the leadoff spot.  The Quakes now have 3 out of the top 10 RBI’s in the Cal League…#2 Christian Santana (28), #6 Rylan Bannon (25), and #10 Connor Wong (23).  They also have 2 tied for 2ndin the Cal League HR with 9; Rylan Bannon and Connor Wong.

 

The sellout crowd came to see ML players Logan Forsythe and Justin Turner, who both went hitless.

 

In not so surprising news, Jordan Sheffield was placed on the 7 Day DL with right forearm tightness. It is never good when you hear forearm tightness for a pitcher.

 

Starting Pitchers

OKC – Manny Banuelos

Tulsa – TBD

RC – Dustin May

GL – TBD

 

This article has 55 Comments

  1. Blister Boy is back? Hill lifted because his blister has resurfaced. They are hopeful that he will be able to pitch against the Nats next week. With an ERA over 6, do we want him to pitch?

  2. The next 6 games will tell me what may happen the rest of the year. Win both series and we may have some life. Lose both and 2018 may be history. They have to start taking one series at a time and win that series. It is disappointing because I expected so much this year.

    I was not happy last year when we were winning in not being able to do the little things to win ball games. We could not move players over from second, steal bases, bunt, hit and run, and sac. fly. I believe every player can learn to do these things, but they must be taught. My question is, is this being taught at all anywhere? If not, then we will never be a complete team. This should be a philosophy that is taught throughout the minor league system. I just did not like the answer I heard from Doc and FAZ that this team was built on the long ball and walks. That is putting all of your eggs in one basket.

  3. Grandal is playing at a higher level than in previous seasons. Barnes will get it going sooner than later and when he does he will be able to keep Grandal fresh. Grandal plays best with rest.
    .
    Good lineup Mark but if Taylor can’t raise his OBP, he will need to be moved down in the lineup. Few players can play SS and CF as well as he does so hopefully he will get his bat going again. He is a great asset as is Kike’ who can also play both SS and CF.
    .
    Now add Machado to that lineup, move Taylor to second, and trade Forsythe to get the salary relief for Machado’s contract.

  4. According to ESPN.com, Dodgers’ bullpen has given up a league high 23 HR (tied with Minnesota).

  5. If Yasmani continues to play at current levels the whole season, especially if the team in August and September
    finds itself realistically in a race, then you can crow – at least about his bats.

    He still hasn’t answered yes to my two questions when he came here: can he play a full year healthy, and can
    he produce with the pressure of a big-market pennant race.

    And he’s still turning a fair number of pitches into wild ones – pitches that many other catchers would
    handle routinely. The passed ball stats are deceptive.

    1. Some people just can help themselves when it comes to Yasmani. He is tied for 16th in MLB for the fewest WP.I call BS!Every catcher has some WP, but his are very low. Here’s the list:

      Cervelli 24
      Sanchez 22
      Lucroy 21
      Joseph 13
      McCann 12
      Narvaez 12
      Rivera 12
      Avila 11
      Contreras 11
      Ianetta 11
      Maldonado 11
      Yadier Molina 11
      Sisco 11
      Vazquez 11
      Alfaro 10
      Castillo 10
      Grandal 10

      … and Grandal has caught more innings than any of those guys!

  6. Using the same line of thinking many of you use with CT3, why not send Paul Goldschmidt back to the minors? He’s hitting .210 with 4 HR and 12 RBI. What a bum and they keep hitting him #3. Why? He will figure it out. Baseball is a funny game.

    1. Always a pet peeve from the Baseball Bible of Dumb Strategies, re: Goldschmidt.

      He looks utterly lost, and is killin’ the D-backs in the 3-hole. If you insist on playing him,
      at least get him lower in the order, with fewer key at bats until he shows signs of emerging from
      the funk.

    2. Big difference – Goldy has a multi-year track record. This year is an aberration. Taylor has had 1 good year – it may have been the aberration.

  7. On Cody B: there were essentially two camps on his non-hustle benching: Dave was right, or Cody was
    smart.

    But Cody loses this one. The time to make the decision about goin’ for third is when you’re approaching second –
    not when you’ve already decided to coast to first because of a bad step or two. You keep bustin’ it to the max
    because you have no way to predict what the outfielder does with the ball near the wall, or how good his throw
    to the relay man will be, or whether (and here you should have done some pre-game homework at the major
    league level) the relay man has a rifle of an arm or a shotgun. Those calcs have to be made AFTER you’ve put yourself in the best possible position to have options. Cody killed options by doggin’ to first.

    Not a big Dave fan, but he was on the money on this one.

  8. There is no reason to blame Roberts for not playing small ball because this team is built for power, and that means a lot of strikeouts and not much contact. It is not the fault of Roberts that the Dodgers have been hit with so many injuries or the poor performances of key players so far this season. That said I think Roberts for all of his strengths is a very poor game manager. He makes decisions and then stops in the middle of the decision and changes to something else. He will go forever with players who continue to give poor performances, his main responsibility is to have the Dodgers ready to play and give them the best chance to win, which he certainly does not do.
    His teams lack fire, maybe because the manager shows none at all. The Dodgers get bullied by some teams because they know no response will come from Roberts. I want teams to know when they play the Dodgers, win or lose they are in for a fight. I don’t think any team sees the Dodgers playing that way, they see a team that you can pitch close with no fear of retaliation, a team you can bully and get away with it because that is how Roberts manages.
    Win or lose I want the Dodgers to play with pride and commitment. Roberts did not put this team together and he is not responsible for the injuries but he most certainly is responsible for the way the Dodgers play without commitment, and he is responsible for the way he manages a game.

    1. Walter Alston didn’t show “fire” he was a pretty good manager as I recall.

      1. Walter Alston managed for 23 years and finished first 7 times. His career winning % is .558.

        Dave Roberts has managed a “horribly constructed” Dodger team and finished first both times and has a winning percentage of .581. Fire the bum!

      2. In support of what you say…”In 1962 he (Alston) presided over a Dodger collapse that saw Los Angeles get caught and tied for first place by the Giants, and then lose the pennant to San Francisco in a playoff, blowing a 4-2 ninth inning league in the third and deciding game. It was here the Alston’s patient, by the book, loyalty to his players managerial style was put to the extreme test, as calls went out for his dismissal, and even players questioned his leadership, saying the Dodgers may not have lost the 1962 pennant had they been guided by someone more fiery, such as former Dodger and Giant manager, and current LA coach Leo Durocher.
        .
        Alston’s response was predictable, and he wasn’t going to change. “Look at misfortune the same way you look at success…Don’t panic! Do your best and forget the consequences”, he said prior to the start of the 1963 season.
        .
        Roberts has his faults, and they all have been dissected here and other blogs. He will probably never manage the way Sparky Anderson or Tom Lasorda or Billy Martin did. But they did not win every year either. Every manager gets too much blame and too much credit. While Roberts has made his mistakes, it is the players that need to look in the mirror. Most agree that Roberts pulled Strip at the wrong time. But if Chargois had fielded the ground ball cleanly and got the DP, we would not be having this discussion. So was it Roberts who was at fault or Chargois? I say both, but it was Chargois who was on the field. FAZ also deserves some fault here, as it wasn’t Roberts that put this bullpen together. This is an organizational collapse.

        1. But if Chargois had fielded the ground ball cleanly and got the DP, we would not be having this discussion.

          Winner – Winner – Chicken Dinner!

          1. If the offense scores 10 runs like they did last season, Roberts looks like genius as well.

          2. Chargois fielding the ground ball is not the issue, the issue is when Roberts elected to let Stripling bat with 2 men on and two outs and the Dodgers up 3-1 he was telling Stripling and the team he had confidence in Stripling. Stripling then strikes out Votto and gives up a hit to Suarez and that is when Roberts says no more for Stripling because he has now thrown 79 pitches. Roberts knew Stripling was going to make the 79 pitches or more before Stripling went out for the 6th. I’m saying
            1 If Stripling’s pitch count was going to be the issue than pinch hit for him in the bottom of the 5th and maybe get another run or two.
            2 Roberts made the decision to let Stripling pitch the 6th and was well aware of Stripling’s pitch count.
            3 I think Stripling should have been given the chance to face at least one more batter, an out, a double play, a hit, even an HR, but Roberts was second-guessing his 5th inning decision.
            Mark, you are right, Roberts has no control over how the Dodgers play and that’s why the Chargois decision is not an issue.
            I said it before I think the biggest issue with Roberts is his game management. Can he improve, let’s wait and see.

      3. The manager is only as good as the players. They shouldn’t get the credit or the blame.

    2. Baseball 1439

      Are we more like the A’s, or the Cubs, the Astros, or the Red Sox’s?

      All of those teams besides the A’s use small ball, when it is needed.

      And that is why the Astros won game seven.

      Hitters with all or nothing swings, are easy outs.

      That approach is obviously not working, so just like our hitters much adjust, so does Roberts and our coaches.

      Remember baseball is more a game about adjusting, to what is happening.

      After all, Roberts is best known for his part in small ball, when he stole that base.

  9. When the team gets into their juice cycle the home runs will come.
    There’s a pattern to all this.
    Players rather have their status quo numbers than rusk getting caught.

  10. Darn Mark can’t you let the Yasmani angst go away??? Alot of people have mentioned him in trades but I haven’t read many bad mouthing him!??!
    Steve Yeager is responsible for his improvement in blocking balls in the dirt. Like many catchers he must get a blow occasionally, especially in the upcoming dog-days..
    MVP…MVP…MVP…

  11. whoever predicted that we would completely suck the first quarter of 2018, congrats on the amazing prediction.
    *
    roster construction, malaise, poor managing decisions, injuries, and regression have led us to this point.
    *
    when things are going well, every decision looks like a winner. when we are losing everything gets scrutinized.
    *
    there is no place to go but up. this season is not over by a longshot. the goal is be one of the last ten teams standing.
    *
    we are going to win one of these years. until we are eliminated I will support the team. rebuilding talk in May is premature, even if it feels therapeutic.
    *
    just think how interesting this trade deadline could be!

    1. This is all my fault. At our peak last year, I tried a negotiation with the baseball gods. I asked myself if I would be accepting of our not winning it all but then winning in 2019. I said, No, thinking that last year was so convincingly the year that I wasn’t willing to accept defeat. Well, I was wrong. I should’ve taken the [imaginary] offer. We insist the universe works in these ways when in fact it doesn’t. It hardly even knows we’re here.

  12. No one can predict what will happen this season. No one really knows whether this is the real Dodgers or if it’s just a bad start for quite a few players playing well under expectations.. Guess as the season plods on we shall become more able to make an informed prediction,or decision, on the true talent of the players now under performing. Zaidi expressing confidence that the Dodgers have 5 pitchers in the rotation who can give the Dodgers a chance to win seems at this point just bravura. And the BP is just as bad or worse. Hard to be lucky with bad pitching. Pitching should be addressed 1st in my opinion. But I’m a pitching guy. Through the years great teams have always had great or at least very very good pitching. Have things changed in baseball that much. Maybe. Last years WS was as poor a pitchers series as I can remember. Dominated by the hitters and no lead seemed enough to get the win. Has the game really changed so much. Guess we’ll have to wait a while to make that decision too.

    1. On one hand, I respect him for not answering a forced “Yes-or-No” question. On the other hand, he really dodged the hell out of that one! Not the most inspiring words to hear. Reeks of “standing pat.”

      1. Of course, they are standing pat.

        They aren’t going to take on money. Nor will they “start the clock” on any player just to placate a minority of fans.

  13. Keep the faith Dionysis… I’m with you…
    Watford, I’ve been watching a little soccer and all of a sudden I realize I’m watching the Blue!!! No damn scoring…
    I’m looking for good dart channel to make me happy… A passion of mine years ago, but a little hard on the liver…

  14. Thx for posting the Friedman interview Rudy, wow that guy is a tremendous politician. The interview was at least honest and told us we will tow the line and hope our players stop regressing and they are better then what they have shown. I am sure there are hard mandates from Kasten and ownership that we will never know about. I just want some urgency from some where as we are still in this but the next month is very crucial. Roster should be evaluated daily and weekly.

    1. I’m as frustrated as the next guy but where exactly are the upgrades to be had? When healthy, our infield is set, with Taylor taking over SS & Utley a serviceable platoon partner with the much-maligned Forsythe. I mean, I guess we could trade for a 2B and move Forsythe into a utility role but that doesn’t seem likely to me, especially considering Forsythe’s solid play in last year’s postseason.

      The outfield is imperfect but with Kemp, Puig, Joc/Hernandez, & Toles/Verdugo in the wings we are not that far off.

      The rotation is shaky, I will admit, largely due to its almost complete and total lack of an innings-eater. That’s one area our lack of sufficient funds this offseason hamstrung us. We could’ve used a dependable 200 IP arm just to help the bullpen out.

      Which bring us to our biggest problem (outside the anemic offense): the bullpen. I think we could see a near-total overhaul over the next couple of months as we slowly turn jobs over to [hopefully] more productive arms. I wish we could keep Stripling in the pen and not have to employ him in the rotation. That really hampers our bullpen depth.

      I have no issue with Roberts or FAZ. They operate within the constraints they are given. We basically did nothing this offseason aside from a couple lateral moves and the bomb of a Tom Koehler signing. I trust they have some creative moves up their sleeves and we’ll see them once we know we are in fact in this.

      Right now, it’s looking like another wasted year (and possibly the end of the Kershaw era).

  15. I think most of us could answer the question as to whether or not the Dodgers would consider going over $197 million this year. The answer is absolutely NO!!!!!!!!!!!!! And I agree. The whole idea of getting under the luxury tax is long term flexibility. They might well go after someone like Machado after this season, especially given that the farm system is maturing, and there is the expectation in the next few years of gradually filtering in our younger prospects.

    As for Kershaw, I have no idea what the Dodgers will do. But I can certainly see this as being his last year in Dodger Blue, be it by trade or an opt out. And it might well be the best for everyone.

    I’m not getting any younger, as is the case with others on this sight. However, while FAZ is getting older like the rest of us, they are relatively young at this time, and therefore much more likely to plan for a long term perennial winner.

  16. I like your lineup… but I’d make a few adjustments.

    1. Taylor CF
    2. Forsythe/Utley 2B
    3. Turner 3B
    4. Kemp LF
    5. Grandal C
    6. Bellinger 1B
    7. Puig RF
    8. Hernandez SS

    I think Taylor is still our best option (at the moment) for the leadoff spot. He’s had a rough start to the season… but I think he’s slowly starting to get a better feel at the plate. It looks like he’s seeing pitches better and he’s been grinding out at bats the last few games like he did last year.

    I also think it’s best to keep Taylor in CF until Toles is fully recovered and Verdugo is ready to come back up again. Once that happens, you’ll need more available spots in the outfield and you can move Chris to SS. It appears as though Kike is more locked in when he’s playing at shortstop (vs. the outfield) and I think that can bleed over to his at bats.

    Plus I don’t care what the numbers say… I don’t want to see Joc in the lineup. His walks are up this year, but he continues to look over matched and uncomfortable at the plate.

    Even though Turner will be just coming back from his injury… I think you still need to put your best (most professional) hitter in the number 3 spot.

    I think Kemp in the 4 spot protects Turner and Grandal in the 5 spot protects Kemp.

    And Bellinger needs to move down in the lineup until he can prove he can adjust. I don’t care if he closes his eyes and swings for the fences on one swing per at bat if it makes him happy. But if he doesn’t connect on that swing… he has to learn to protect the plate, choke up, cut down on his swing, go the other way, keep his shoulder in, eye on the ball, etc. etc. etc.

    I know that Puig thrived in the 8 spot last year when Dave put him there… but his confidence is shaky right now and the opposing pitchers just seem to be throwing some of their best pitches during his at bats. (and the umps are also being a little too generous with the strike zone) Anyway, I think moving him up to the 7 spot gives him at least some protection vs. having the pitcher hitting behind him.

  17. Odds and ends:
    No announcement yet on roster moves but my guess is LoCastro and Farmer are sent down when JT and Logan are activated but it could be Muncy. When a LHP starts the JT and Logan should be in there that’s why I would keep Muncy up, he has started to hit and JT will need some days off.

    Hill has a conundrum: he needs to throw a lot of curveballs to keep hitters from sitting on his fastball. When he throws a lot of curves he puts pressure on his middle finger and it’s prone to blisters. I would shut him down so it heals and put Stewart in the rotation and leave him there until Hill or Kershaw are ready. Indications are he will keep pitching which could lead to further irritation or short outings taxing an already overworked bullpen.

    Terrible series with the Reds but a few good signs: Buehler, Stewart and Wood pitched ok, so did Jansen. Cody, Puig, Muncy and Grandal went deep, maybe they can start to break out a bit more. JT and Logan will be rusty but their veteran presence may calm down Taylor, Puig and Cody who have been pressing. Barnes needs to do better and play more or Grandal will wear down.

  18. I’m surprised about the confidence shown in Forsythe by some here.
    His numbers before the DL this year: .174/.224/.283/.503
    2017: .224/.351/.327/.628
    I don’t think his return fixes anything.

    1. 2016 – .264/.333/.444/.778

      2015 – .281/.359/.444/.804

      His return depends upon which player shows up – the one from 2015-2016 was very good!

      The one from 2017 and 2018 was good at times, but not overall.

      1. haha in fact I”ll be in Vegas tomorrow. I am looking forward to seeing what the updated over under for the Dodgers is. I”ll post the number when I find out

  19. I’m the guy who’s been critical of FAZ and some of the FA signings and I appreciate your attempt to try to rationalize that the signings of Kazmir, McCarthy and Anderson weren’t so bad when you compare it to those of Grienke and David Price. That might be true, but FAZ did pay Anderson a QO of nearly $16 million for 11.1 innings pitched, Kazmir got $32 million (although the Dodgers didn’t have to pay all of it because of the Braves trade) for not even pitching for two years of that contract and McCarthy got $12 million a year and didn’t pitch for one full year and was ineffective for the vast majority of the rest of the contract.

    Any way you look at it the signings were bad and did indeed “hamstring” the FO making moves this year and severely limit the flexibility they so sorely need now.

    1. Defending those signings by saying it could have been worse tells us how hard it is to defend them.

  20. To try and picture those bad signings any other way is like putting lipstick on a pig. They have made good moves, just not those ones.

  21. Of course they weren’t good moves. I never said they were.

    They were just “less bad” than Greinke, Price and others. They tried to not be saddled with long, bad deals… and they achieved that goal. However, the fact of the matter is that they spent less and got more.

    Let’s not forget that all this happened while they were paying A-Gon and CC $43 million a year.

    But that doesn’t have a lot to do with what is happening THIS year.

  22. Aside from injuries, and those are not the whole story, this year to date is somewhat a mystery. Multiple failures have occurred.

    1. Idaho Al said the next six games might tell the tale…

      He might be right. This is a very crazy year. This has been a series of unfortunate events, but it is what it is.

      If it could go wrong, it did!

  23. It has been a strange and yes unfortunate year. That being said the NL is a bunch of average to slightly above average teams. All of them have weaknesses, more of crapshoot then ever.

    Therefore we are not completely done but the climb must commence immediately. It begins 4:05 p.m. at the house Of the Fish.

    I do hope FAZ will make a move as soon as they can, for nothing more then to provide a Jolt and show they the league we can do what we want to do. That we are not Tampa West but rather the big blue Machine; where prospects can come and go without much recourse. Go Blue!!

  24. On a side note, watched some of the Drillers game this evening. Not a great outing for Santana at all, I am sure AC will have more details on his line, but man I agree he could be a 6th or 7th inning guy this year; a huge hole right now.

    I was curious about Zach Reks, our pick out of Kentucky. He has so far hit since his arrival in our organization. I was wondering was his ceiling is and does the bat play? I imagine it is too early too tell, but I was hoping to get AC,, DC or Mark take on him? And could Peters be in play for a September call up this year or is September 2019 more realistic?

    1. I had a little write up on Zach last year. He reminded me somewhat of someone I have known all his life. Zach Reks is a good story. He was a 5th year senior at University of Kentucky and found himself drafted in the 10th round by the Dodgers. As a 5th year senior he had zero leverage and signed for $1,500. The Dodgers look for these kinds of guys to draft and sign in the 9th and 10th rounds so they can take those bonus slot amounts and allocate them for higher slots in the upper rounds, or save enough to offer an 11th round pick to sign out of their college commitment. Last year that was SS Jacob Amaya.
      .
      After high school, Reks enrolled in the Air Force Academy in 2012. After the baseball coach said that he was not progressing enough, he left the school and went to University of Kentucky to try out. He was told by an Assistant Coach that he was too small. Reks was a Mechanical Engineering major and decided to leave school to work for Toyota Manufacturing in Georgetown, Kentucky to earn enough to pay for his education. He kept the job for summers and worked part time during the school year. He also decided to work out to get bigger.
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      In summer 2015, he and a friend got onto the Kentucky outfield grass to play catch, and he was noticed by a new U of K Assistant Coach, Rick Eckstein. Eckstein asked why he did not try out, and Reks told him he did a couple years back but was told he was too small. Eckstein told him to try again. He continued to work hard and was encouraged by Eckstein who told Reks that the team needed a LH hitter. Reks made the team and Eckstein worked to change his swing from a ground ball/slap hitter and using his speed to driving the ball. The right field fence was 295 feet at the foul pole, and he thought maybe he could hit a couple of HR’s, something he never thougth of. He was a regular on the Wildcat team for two years, slashing .352/.461/.471/.932 in his senior year.
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      All Reks has done since being drafted is hit. His minor league career numbers are .349/.418/.450/.868. He got a late start to the season but after a brief and successful stint at RC, he has earned the promotion to AA and does not seem overwhelmed. The obstacle for Zach is that he is a corner OF with no pop. It is interesting to note that he did play a game at 2B at Great Lakes last year. Could a position switch be a possibility?
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      With the way that he can put bat to the ball Zach has a chance to be a situational hitter and reserve OF. His skill set does not bode well as a corner OF. However, you will note that none of the measured skills are for heart and drive. With all that he has overcome in his baseball life, I am not going to bet against him.
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      As far as Peters getting a September call up, I do not see that as a possibility. The team has too many OF’s they can call without starting the clock on Peters.

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