Eyes Wide Open

In the first 45 days of the season, the NL West could have buried the Dodgers, but they didn’t… and then the Dodgers went 15-5 in their last 20 games, so they are right back in it.  You can call them “lucky” for what they have done in the past 20 games… and you might be right, but they were about as unlucky as you can get before that.  This is baseball – it evens out.  The thing is: you need to have your eyes wide open and see what is happening as we speak.

  • Matt Kemp is a bonafide MVP Candidate and if you think he’s brittle, you would be wrong, although at age 33, Doc will give him plenty of rest.
  • Walker Buehler is a Rookie of the Year Candidate if he keeps it up… the problem is: he is the Dodgers Ace or #2 at worst.
  • Ross Stripling is good, but he ain’t THIS good (is he?)!  Well, he could be pretty good…
  • Cody Bellinger is starting to figure it out as is Joc.  I have all the confidence in the world in Cody and hope Joc can do it too… it’s just that he has had multiple, duplicate flops in the past.  Ancient history and hopefully never repeated.  If Joc gets locked in, this is a different team.
  • Justin Turner’s wrist still hurts and will for a while – it might be 30-60 days before he feels normal.
  • Chris Taylor is picking it up too.  He was not a one-year wonder.
  • Max Muncy is a nice hitter, but the glove is suspect anywhere
  • Yasiel Puig will do his thing if they keep the pressure off him (i.e., hit him 7th or 8th).
  • The team has to realize that Sandy Koufax was done at 30 and Clayton might be too.  At the very least, he will miss one of the next 2-1/2 seasons.  The back and arm ain’t what they used to be. I hope he doesn’t opt out, but if he does, they should let him walk.  The gig is over.  I love you Clayton!
  • Hill and Maeda will be back in the next two weeks.  Maybe Hill starts out in the pen, but he needs to be the horse FAZ thought he was down the stretch.
  • Ryu and Urias will be back the second half.  The Dodgers have Santana and Ferguson at the ready – there is no reason to make a dope-fiend move for a starter.  Here’s the list:
    • Kershaw
    • Hill
    • Maeda
    • Ryu
    • Stripling
    • Buehler
    • Urias
    • Santana
    • Ferguson
    • Wood – I list him last because he might be injured as well.  His velocity is WAY down.  Something is going on…
  • Rich Hill could be the wild card.  He is absolutely filthy when right.  Let’s hope he is! We can’t count on Clayton.
  • Tom Koehler will be back and what will he be?  I have no clue….
  • This team could use another bat at 2B, like Scooter Gennett, but what about Muncy?  Can he play 2B?  Not sure.
  • Andrew Toles?  Where does he fit?  Trade bait?
  • I am for trading Verdugo and others….
  • MLB Trade Rumors rates Yasmani Grandal as the #9 Free Agent!

The Dodgers could use a few pieces, Gennett and a power bullpen arm.  The starters?  I think they can put 5 on the mound within a couple of weeks.  No dope-fiend moves!

Dodgers Minor League Report by AlwaysCompete

Dodger affiliates recorded 5 wins against 1 loss.

OKC – 10-6 Win over Sacramento River Cats (Giants)

Tyler Pill started and went 6 innings allowing 3 runs on 10 hits, 2 walks, and 4 strikeouts.  I inning each for Chad Girodo, Logan Ondrusek (1stAAA game), and Joe Broussard.  Girodo and Ondrusek each allowed a solo HR, and Broussard recorded his 3rdsave with no base runners and 3 Ks.

Offensively, the Dodgers were paced by a couple of 4—5 nights by Travis Taijeron and Angelo Mora (2nd4 hit night in 3 days). Taijeron hit his 4thHR and 9thdouble, while Mora registered his 1sttriple.  Edwin Rios went 2-5 with a double (4), and pitcher Tyler Pill had a 2-3 night.  Andrew Toles and Henry Ramos each had 1 hit but made them count with a 3 RBI night for both.  Toles hit a double (5) and Ramos slugged his 4thHR.


Tulsa – 6-4 Win over Arkansas Travelers (Royals)

This was the second consecutive solid 5 inning start for Mitchell White.  It looks like he is getting comfortable and gaining confidence.  I expect a big 2ndhalf out of White.  Ariel Hernandez went 2 solid innings allowing a single walk.  However in the 8th, he walked 2 of the first three batters before he was pulled.  Shea Spitzbarth inherited 2 runners and one scored in his .2 innings allowing 1 hit, 1 walk, and 1 sac fly.  Corey Copping pitched the 9thbut gave up 2 runs to make the game closer.

The offense was led by Luke Raley who went 3-5, and is now 6-7 against former Dodger Chase De Jong.  Keibert Ruiz went 2-5 with a double (5), and DJ Peters finally found his HR stroke again.  He hit a 3 run HR in the 8thfor his 11thHR and 1stsince May 27.  Zach Reks hit his 6thdouble of the campaign.

A good pitching duel between Mitchell White and Chase De Jong going 1-1 into the 8th.  The Drillers score 4 in the 8thlargely due to DJ Peters HR, and 1 in the 9th.  The Travelers made in close with 1 in the 8thand 2 in the 9th.


Rancho – 4-2 Win over Lancaster JetHawks (Rockies)

The win kept the Quakes 1 game behind the Lake Elsinore Storm (Padres) in the 1sthalf with 10 games to go.  The Quakes have a 4 game series against the Storm starting next Monday.

The offense was supplied by OF Logan Landon who supplied all four RBIs with a 2-4 night including his 2ndtriple and 6thHR.  Logan was the 10thpick in Billy Gasparino’s inaugural draft (2015).  He is a 25 year old 6’ 2” 180 pound OF from Texas-Pan American.  A little older for the California League, but he is having a solid season.

Other than Raley, the stars were the pitchers.  Dean Kremer started and went 5 innings, surrendering 2 runs (1 earned) on 9 hits and 1 walk.  He registered 7 walks.  Kremer was followed by two dominating relievers who could find themselves in Tulsa before too long.  Both Zach Pop and Nolan Long pitched 2 innings allowing 1 hit with 3 strikeouts.

Pop was promoted from GL on 5/15 and has pitched 8 games with 13.0 IP, 6 hits, 1 run, 1 walk, and 15K.   He has a 0.69 ERA, 0.87 WHIP, and .167 batting average against.

After starting the season in Rancho, Nolan Long was promoted to Tulsa on 04/21 and returned to Rancho on 06/01.  Over his season at Rancho, Long has pitched in 9 games, 20.0 IP, allowing 2 runs on 10 hits and 8 walks and 27 K.  He has a 0.90 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, and .152 BAA.  Including Marshall Kasowski, the RC bullpen is solid helping with a lackluster starting rotation.


Great Lakes – 6-1 Loss to West Michigan Whitecaps (Tigers)

Marcus Chiu and Brandon Montgomery each has 2 hit nights with both hitting doubles; Chiu (7) and Montgomery (3).  Leo Crawford and Max Gamboa were the two pitchers who combined allowed the 6 runs on 16 hits 1 walk and 7 strikeouts in their 8 innings.  Brayan Morales stole his 27thbase.


DSL Dodgers Guerrero – 14-4 Win over DSL Indians/Braves

The Dodgers scored 14 runs on only 9 hits, but received 13 walks.  With the 11 walks the DSL Dodgers Robinson team received that was 24 walks in one day, which is unheard of in a free-swinging DSL.

Jenderson Jardines and Randy Rodriguez each had 2 hits including their 1stHR.  17 year old RHP Israiky Berroa started and went 4.0 scoreless innings allowing 3 hits and 1 walk, with 2 Ks.  I will continue to follow him for his next start.


DSL Dodgers Robinson – 8-6 win over DSL Braves

DH Luis Carlos Diaz had 2 this and 19 year old RHP Jersson Cabrera also pitched 4.0 scoreless innings allowing 4 hits and 0 walks, with 2 K’s.  He is a little older, but this is his 1stseason in the DSL so he merits a second look.


Promotion– Andrew Sopko was promoted to Tulsa.  Hopefully this time will be more successful than last year.  He should be pushed to see if he can succeed at AA to see if there is anything there.  He is worth a second look.  I wish him success.


Today’s pitchers:

The problems with the parent club pitching has far reaching effects in the farm.  Today there are two teams with the pitcher TBD (Tulsa and Great Lakes), and two questionable pitchers going for OKC (Daniel Corcino), and RC (Isaac Anderson).  Corcino is a reliever forced into starting, while Anderson seems to just be hanging on.  He did have a good outing last time, so hopefully that will continue.  While Pop and Long will not be available, I am sure that Marshall Kasowski will see action today.


This article has 59 Comments

  1. SP is terribly suspect right now. Buehler, Wood and then question marks and Wood’s last start was a 2 inning start. With Santana ailing, and a “not ready for primetime” Ferguson I wonder where the FO turns for another SP. Brock Stewart doesn’t look at all like big league SP, the BP is taxed and who knows what Maeda and Hill will be when they come back.

    A healthy Urias would be a plus but this team will need some bailing wire and duct tape to keep five ready SP in the game. Depth will be tested. 34 games to play until the AS break. If they can win 20 of those games and go into the break at 51-45 I like our chances, but then again two weeks ago I didn’t think we would be at .500 by now.

    1. Buehler and …Wood? Woody no Goody. There is this guy called Stripling who is actually about as good as anyone pitching in MLB these days. Got a decent curveball. Have you been watching any games at all.

  2. Mark: I, too, would love to have Scooter Gennett along with Iglesias. They would take care of our 2nd Base problem and havre a true setup man for the 8th inning. I would offer Forsythe(for salary relief);Verdugo, Alverez, Diaz,Stewart, and Baez. Maybe even Peters or Kendall to sweeten the pot.

  3. It’s been a long time since I’ve posted here(over a year) but I’ve been following our team and this blog on a daily basis. The tragic loss on April 10th of last year hit me a lot harder than I thought possible. I’m better now and stronger in mind and spirit.

  4. Scooter Gennett appears to be a good player, but I’m not totally sold. Looking at his career stats, it appears that his power began to spike up after going to the Reds, who we all know play half their games in the Great American Bandbox. Although he would hit for some power, I’m not convinced it would be enough when he began playing more than half of his games at Dodger Stadium, AT&T Park and Petco Park. In fact, his numbers in general spiked up after joining the Reds. He also strikes out a lot, and the Dodgers are more in need of another righthanded impact hitter, and Gennett hits from the left side.


    If the Dodgers are willing to part with several top prospects, then I think it would be wiser for the Dodgers to jump in with both feet, and go the rental route, and try to make a deal for Manny Machado, with the idea that they would have a decent chance of re-signing him to a long-term deal in the offseason. Machado would a true replacement for Corey Seager this year, and would enable Chris Taylor to take over at 2B. And if he could be re-signed, I’m sure the Dodgers would have no problem fitting him into their scheme for next year. I seriously doubt if there would be any problems figuring out where everyone would play at that time.

    1. Agreed. I’d send them Verdugo in a heartbeat. However the O’s have to get some pitching and the Dodgers entire staff is on the DL

  5. One other thing. I looked up Machado’s salary for this year after posting above. It’s $16M, so there is no doubt that the Dodgers would also have to move some salary in such a deal in order to remain under the luxury tax threshhold. Not sure if the Orioles would take on any salary, but there is nothing stopping the Dodgers from unloading some salary in separate deals or in a multiple team deal. I’ll leave the salary calculations to the Dodgers, who I am sure can do the math.

    1. IF the O’s liked the prospect haul enough I would think they would take on an expiring contract like Forsythe’s if It made the money work.

  6. Some incredible games on the Road Trip, with lots of positives.
    The resurgence of Joc, Taylor & Puig.
    The surprise package of Muncy, and the continued performance of Matt Kemp, who Doc is managing very well.

    The Pen, although lacking any real Stand Outs, is doing a job.

    The real problem is of course the Rotation.
    Wood is the only one of the original 5 Starters still going, but he’s running on fumes.
    I know you paint an optimistic picture Mark, about the returning Cavalry, but they are on the DL for a reason, and even if they get back, they will have to throw some innings to get back up to speed.
    It will take a huge effort to maintain this momentum with the reserve squad starting every game.

    1. Good takes Watford! Sometimes I scratch my head at Doc’s lineups and constant juggling but he has access to much more info than we do, and Houdini would have trouble with all the problems thrown at the Dodger’s manager this season. He seems to connect with the players and keeps almost everyone involved in the day to day focus of winning ballgames. 2 things emerged on this latest stretch of good baseball: the team found it’s ability to battle back in games with clutch hitting (small ball and big flies too) and the bullpen slammed the door allowing a comeback. When the team gets healthy they will be rolling, and they are the ones to fear in the Division.

        1. Agreed there on Grandal, he is going to get worn down as well with so much usage. He belongs in the 6 or 7 hole as the slowest regular. I also think Puig should be up closer to the top but others disagree. He and Taylor are the 2 who make things happen on the bases ahead of the power hitters.

          1. Grandal is a 6-8 guy. Now that Joc, Puig, and especially Cody have found their swings, all of them should be hitting ahead of Grandal. Grandal is an excellent catcher but he’s hitting 7th for me. Muncy is a nice story and should be filling in around the ball diamond, not the every day First baseman.
            I believe in Taylor but the amount of times that he has looked at strike 3 this year is maddening.

        2. Totally agree.I always thought the 3 hole was for your best hitter. Right now thats Kemp, hands down.

        3. Hawkeye

          I don’t get Grandal in the third position either.

          He hasn’t hit well in the last couple months, and although he has been better, about getting his bat on the ball, when the team has needed it, he should be hitting farther back, in the line up.

          And if Turner is not in the line up, Kemp should bat third.

          Because he is hitting both righties and lefties better then anyone, on this team.

          1. Either Turner or Kemp should bat 3rd. This Grandal thing has gone way past using it purpose. It was done out of necessity early in the season while trying to catch on to one of his hot streaks. He will probably have one more hot streak this season and then we hope he draws some walks and runs into a few dingers.
            He’s run out of gas all three seasons with the Dodgers and yes he had a good reason last year but it has been 3 seasons not 1. The need to use him more judiciously so he has something in the tank during August and September.

  7. Been reading with interest the comments about Verdugo and his attitude.
    I felt much the same about Puig when I first saw him, and was all for trading him. However, I’ve grown to like Puig over time.

    I think in sport that self belief is huge.
    Verdugo has probably always had a high opinions of himself, fuelled by his father’s ambition.
    The comparison to Harper is interesting. Harper was probably like Verdugo as a young player, full of self assurance. It’s probably what’s made him what he is.
    Many of the best sports stars of the world have a large amount of arrogance. It gives them the fearlessness to go out and perform.
    I like what I’ve seen of Verdugo at MLB level, and think he will be in the Team sooner rather than later.
    I wouldn’t worry too much about the peripheral stuff. Look how long it’s tsken Joc & Puig to work things out.

  8. Mark, I agree with most of your thoughts above although I am hoping Kershaw will opt out after the season and like you I would hope the Dodgers let him go, if he decides not to opt out I hope the Dodgers do not give him an extension.
    I don’t think Hill can be counted on to be anything more then what he has shown and that will not be enough.
    I think the Dodgers are looking at making some trades and I think second base and the rotation is where they are looking.

  9. Rudy: Off topic but what do you think of Justify and his chances in the Belmont tomorrow? The Triple Crown is an impressive guantlet of races and Bob Baffert has done it before with American Pharoah (who added the Breeders Cup Classic before retiring to stud.) Affirmed did it back in 1978 and during the 37 years between him and Pharaoh I believe 12 times a horse won the first 2 legs then failed in the Belmont (including Seattle Slew and Spectacular Bid.) It is quite a feat and I will be rooting for him but of course as the odds on favorite I would bet against him or try to find a pricey exacta and trifecta partner. I have never seen Baffert so confident in a horse he trains and I have watched him for many years.

    1. Vegas, the only concern I have is his post position but he should be able to overcome it. Mike Smith will lead him into the winner’s circle (hopefully). Reading that he is a bigger, stronger version of Secretariat amazes me. For me, it’s more of a watch-the-race-and-enjoy than a betting race. Thanks for asking.

      1. I haven’t checked but bigger and/or stronger than Secretariat seems near impossible. Back at that time Secretariat was much bigger and far more cut than any of his competition. If that’s the truth it’d be wise to put real $ on that race.

        1. “Justify’s Hall of Fame trainer, Bob Baffert, said earlier this week that Justify stands 16 hands, 3 inches tall and ‘weighs like 1,270 pounds.’ When Secretariat was a 3-year-old, he was meticulously measured on Oct. 22 by Dr. Manuel Gilman, the official veterinarian at that time for the New York Racing Assn. tracks. Secretariat’s height was 16 hands, 1/2-inch. He weighed 1,131 pounds.”

  10. If we’re talking 2b, I wonder if Brian Dozier would be an option again? He’ll be a free agent after this year, and undoubtedly be seeking a large deal. Minnesota isn’t all that great and I”m sure Dozier’s cost would be lower now than before last season, when Minny was asking for Bellinger for Dozier.

    He’s right handed. He has pop. He plays solid 2b. He isn’t off to the hottest start in the world, but batting 5 or 6 for us might be great for him?

  11. It is a lot easier to be lucky with good pitching and the Dodgers are gonna need more than 2 consistent starters if they’re gonna stay lucky.

  12. The Dodgers need more than luck to get through this next week. They should be okay for the weekend with Buehler vs McCarthy on Friday, Wood vs Sanchez on Saturday, and Stripling vs TBD on Sunday. It was originally reported that Sean Newcomb was to be Sunday’s starter, but now it is TBD. If Wood is truly injured, there is not much left to pull from. They get a break with an open date on Monday. If Santana does go on the DL as expected, then I would expect to see Caleb Ferguson get recalled to start Tuesday’s game. But what about Wednesday. It is scheduled to be Buehler, but with an open date on Thursday, I would expect this could be a good time to really monitor the innings for Buehler/Wood/Stripling giving them extra days’ rest before next weekend’s series vs SF. Wednesday could be another bullpen day or maybe the Dodgers purchase the contract of Manny Banuelos. Besides the issue of finding a spot on the 40 man, Banuelos would have to pass through waivers to get back to OKC. It is highly unlikely that Banuelos would pass through waivers and the Dodgers need him in OKC to stop the bleeding there and below. If Kershaw or Ryu cannot make it back, that is when Banuelos would be called, but I do not see FAZ losing Banuelos for one game against the Rangers. It is possible to start Stewart to see how far he can go and then make it a bullpen game from there.
    The offense has been bolstered with the recent power and improved results from Joc, Cody, CT3, Muncy, and Puig. While JT is not on the DL, he might as well be. He is going to have a tough year coming back from the broken wrist for a while. It may be healed, but it is not right. He is needed in the lineup, so he will stay off the DL until he cannot grip the bat.
    For those that want to see Daniel Hudson gone, I would not expect that. He has a rubber arm, and right now that is what they need.
    The Dodgers are only 1.5 games out of 1st. If they can stay close until they get some of the starters back, they will be a tough team to beat in the 2nd half.

    1. AC

      I hope Turner takes the chance to talk to Freddy Freeman in this next series, since he went out for the same thing.

      Although I don’t know if Freeman broke the exact same bone, I do think Freeman might have some pretty good insight for Turner, to aid Turner in his recovery.

    2. I hate to see Santana hit the DL but, I do believe Ferguson deserves to make another start. He was wild and hit 2 batters but that could be nerves in his first start. The walks I put more on the ump. There were 16 walks in that game, not all that pitchers were that wild.

      With Turner, the off days plus giving him the day off before or after the off days should help some and allows Roberts to keep Muncy in the lineup. I keep waiting to see Muncy make an appearance at 2nd base, not sure what he can do there.

      Could easily see the team starting Stewart, followed by Hudson and hoping to 5 or 6 innings out of them against Texas. Then turn it over to the bullpen.

      Still think Schoop and Brach could be targets for the pen and 2nd base.

    3. Maeda is eligible to come off the DL on the 9th I believe and I read he would not need a rehab start. He would be a welcome sight on Tues for all concerned even if he only goes 5 innings. I agree throwing Buehler on Wed might be pushing it a bit. Why not let Rich Hill have a go? Even 3 innings would be a good start to a bullpen game. It’s almost unfair to Ferguson to push him this fast but it is nice to have a look at the kids.

  13. I wanted Machado but maybe the Dodgers need Archer more. A package of Forsythe (Rays fans like him), Stewart, Verdugo could get the conversation started for Archer. FAZ can take it from there. I think Santana offers more for the bullpen than Fergusson offers for the rotation and if true, Fergusson might be the one included in that trade.

    1. I heard quite a diatribe on MLB.RADIO about Chris Archer and how he is a very bright, intelligent guy who overthinks things like Yu Darvish and who will wilt in the spotlight of NY or LA. They said “Run from Chris Archer.” I mean, these guys compared Archer to Reddick: “Some guys can’t play in LA or NY.”

      Honestly, looking at his stats, I would not want him. Be patient. Hill and Maeda will be back within a week. OTOH, maybe Honey can “fix” him.

      Personally, I think we are OK on starters. Just give it time.

  14. Az travels to Coors for 3 and the Giants are in DC, I know the Braves are tough but the Dodgers get them at home and have their 2 best pitchers lined up. This is a chance to make up some ground in a hurry. Wood needs to have his best command and go 5 against a quality lineup, if he can’t then shut him down and let him work through his issues.

    1. The Giants knocked Strasberg out after two innings today, and the Giants are two runs ahead right now, in the sixth inning.

  15. Some people expect the Mets should strongly consider trading either de Grom or Syndergard. If the Dodgers stay close, would you trade for either one and if so what would it take (it won’t come cheap, but it would allow the Dodgers to have some insurance against Kershaw either opting out or pitching at a less than stellar level).

    1. Both are awesome but it seems like deGrom spends time on the DL. With Kershaw doing his annual DL stint, the Dodgers need someone more like Archer.
      Mark, interesting info about Archer. He is more than just smart. He is a team leader that gets along with everybody and has a great since of humor. Those same guys that said he would wilt in LA might say the same thing about Kershaw in big games. I don’t say it but they might.

      1. deGrom has been on the DL for the end of 2016 because the Mets were out of it. He has was not on the DL in 2014, 2015, 2017 or 2018. Syndergaard has been on the DL for much of the last two years. If the Mets make deGrom available, the Dodgers ought to do whatever they can to try and put something together. The Mets are more likely to let Syndergaard go than deGrom.
        I would rather have Cole Hamels for the last run over Archer. Hamels has been there, Archer has not. I would be more inclined to make a play for Archer in the Winter so he can get comfortable with the Dodgers for a full season rather than in the middle of a pennant run. He is one of the best people in baseball, and he would be a huge plus for the organization, but not for a pennant run.

        1. All that sounds good AC. Maybe Hamels could teach Kershaw his change up. Hamels might be the better playoff choice but Archer would eat more innings and the Dodgers need that now.

  16. Will Kemp do to Atlanta what he did to San Diego?
    Turner out again. How sore is that forearm?

    1. just finish the game/season already so we can get to work bringing George and lebron to LA

      1. Lebron is the greatest player… maybe ever!

        Paul George is a punk a$$_itch!

        But ask me how I really feel!

        1. I think Lebron is the best ever. There’s no way Michael gets this Cav squad to the finals

          just end this misery now and let’s begin the LAbron recruitment

    1. I wonder if it is where he was hit by a line drive a few starts back. It looked like he was favoring that side of his body after his final pitch and he was not taking good swings earlier in the game. This is becoming a thing lately. Meanwhile there could be a 3 way tie for 2nd place 1.5 games back of the Snakes. The home run has returned in a big way.

    2. If Walker Buehler is injured enough, it will make seven Dodger starting pitchers on the DL. I don’t even think the Mets have pulled that off.

  17. So Dodgers now have the sexiest offense in the game. Ain’t life funny? Well, some parts are.

  18. I liked tonight’s batting order. Anyone know why Puig was pinch hit for.

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