Hernandez, Grandal, Hudson and Puig

That sounds like a law firm, like Dewey, Cheatem and Howe…. but it’s not.

Kike Hernandez

I suggested this over the Winter and I am going to suggest it again: It’s time to play Enrique Hernandez everyday!  Yes, I know he has a history of not hitting RH pitching, but he also has a history of hitting some pretty big home runs off RH pitchers.  This year, he has 91 at-bats against RH pitchers and 90 against LH pitchers.  As expected he is hitting .220 against righties and .244 against lefties.  Of his 12 HR in just 181 AB’s (that’s a HR every 15 AB’s), 7 are against lefties and 5 against righties.  His energy is contagious and his power is prodigious.  He deserves a shot at a full time job.  It doesn’t have to be in the same position – it can be 2B, SS, 3B or CF and I think he could start at any of those positions if needed.  He is defensively gifted… I don’t care what his detractors say.

I say “Just give him a chance.”  Doc should say “Kike, you are playing everyday unless you are tired or injured.” That should take some of the pressure off and allow him to relax. It’s time we quit looking at Kike as a utilityman and as a starter.  If he plays the rest of the season, he will hit 30 HR… maybe he will have a .240 BA or maybe he will elevate that BA with regular play.  Over the past 30 games, he is averaging .269 with a .345 OB% and has 7 HR in that span.  Let him play everyday, Doc! He would join a pretty elite group of hitters who suddenly came into their own after age 26 (Turner, Martinez, Gennett, et al).

Yasmani Grandal

I have been a big fan of Yasmani since before the trade that brought him to the Dodgers, but he has never lived up to the potential I saw in him.  It appears that this is who he is:

  1. An elite pitch framer;
  2. A great game caller;
  3. A very good catch and thrower;
  4. A deadly hot or deathly cold hitter; and
  5. A catcher who has trouble with some sliders in the dirt.

He is one of the Top 10 Catchers in baseball, but I was hoping for more.  I guess there’s a lot of season left to redeem himself, but I would trade him IF the Dodgers could get Realmuto.  Yes, the Dodgers are deep in catchers, but I would trade Grandal and their best catching prospect (Ruiz) for Realmuto because JT may be the best catcher in baseball and he is only 27.  It is very unlikely, but if it could happen, I would do it.

Daniel Hudson

I admit that he was pretty bad early on, but he has a great arm and FAZ stuck with him. After posting a 14.73 ERA in April, he reduced that to 4.05 in May and now it is 0.00 in June.  His ERA on the year is down to 3.81 and he pitched 2 strong innings on Sunday to get the win.  I think he will pitch in a lot of high-leverage situations the rest of the way.  He might even replace Brandon Morrow (as long as he leaves his pants on – some of you won’t get that).  Players evolve and Hudson is evolving. I think he has accepted his role and he is a very positive, can-do type of guy! He has overcame a lot of adversity and I root for him. AC stuck up for him on Sunday and rightfully so.

Yasiel Puig

After his first season, I said that the Dodgers should trade him… but they didn’t.  His talent is tantalizing and his actions are frustrating.  I sense a growing level of resentment among his teammates.  I don’t know how much value he has (maybe very little), but I would cash out on him yesterday and play Toles or Verdugo.  Just my opinion… he is a good player, but he is an underachiever.  For me, he is maddening.  If I were FAZ, I would be shopping him.


This article has 33 Comments

  1. As you know I agree on Kiké. Just put him in the lineup somewhere….everyday. I also agree on grandal streaky, streaky, streaky but overall just not a good hitter. Throw him or Utley a change up and get an automatic out. If we could get a real(muto) catcher it would be huge. We would pay a heavy price but it would be worth it for now and in the future. Miami could have ruiz and barnes and we could trade grandal to the nationals or somebody and bring up smith. Unlikely, but grandal, ruiz, Santana, would be a good start on a trade. As far as Hudson I hope you are right but his command is shaky. Currently, he is trending better than Garcia, Baez, Goeddel etc. against lefties I have as much confidence in Paredes as anybody. Puig is a solid player but replaceable. Maybe the reds would take him for gennett. You could then move kemp to right, Kiké cf, joc lf, or bring toles or Verdugo into the picture.

  2. Mark, today I agree with you 100%. He thinks his best position is SS. I agree. I would put him in RF and let him back up SS.
    Grandal and Ruiz and Puig for Realmuto and Barraclough.
    Muncy and ? to Reds for Scooter Gennett.

  3. From MLB Trade Rumors:

    The Dodgers will be looking for relief help but otherwise don’t have any really obvious areas of need on their roster, Ken Rosenthal notes in a FOXSports.com video report. This will allow the Dodgers to pursue the best players available on the trade market and “be picky” if they don’t like the asking price for a big-name rental player (i.e. Manny Machado).

    The Dodgers will continue to monitor Manny Machado’s availability, as L.A. still has interest in the star shortstop. Machado and the Dodgers have been linked in trade rumors ever since Corey Seager was lost for the season, and with Los Angeles getting back into the postseason hunt after an early-season slump, Machado continues to look like a logical trade candidate.

    Of course, those are just what the sites’ name implies: RUMORS!

    1. I watched that video by Rosenthal, and found nothing that has not been discussed since Seager went out. Of course the Dodgers will stay in contact with Baltimore about Machado. What is the downside of staying in contact? There are some ML execs who believe the asking price for Machado will come down . IMO, not nearly enough for FAZ.
      The Dodgers will be in on relievers. Zach Britton, Kyle Barraclough, Raisel Iglesias, and Brad Hand, are the popular names that will be discussed not only by the Dodgers but also by Houston, Cleveland, Red Sox… One reliever that may be on Andrew Friedman’s check in list is 26/27 year old RHRP Ryne Stanek. Stanek was a 2013 1st round choice of Friedman and the Tampa Bay Rays.
      In 2018, Stanek has pitched in 19 games and 22.2 IP. His big pitch is a 98.2 MPH 4 seamer. He has a 1.99 ERA and 0.93 WHIP, 11 BB and 25 K. In those 19 games, Stanek has held the team scoreless in 16 of those games. In the month of June, he has pitched in 10 games and 13 IP, and allowed zero runs on 4 hits and 5 walks. In June, Stanek has faced the Mariners (3), NYY (3), Houston (2), Nationals (1), and Toronto (1). So he did not simply hold the meek offensive teams scoreless. He has been a starter in 5 games when the Rays have a bullpen game. He has gone back to back against NYY the last two games. He has allowed 2 HR’s on the season, and none in his last 15 games (19 IP). He is not a rental and is team controlled to 2024, so it will not be 2 lottery tickets in exchange. But he just might be worth what some want to pay for Barraclough.
      Raisel Iglesias’ price tag will be too high, but maybe look in on RHRP Jared Hughes. Hughes is 32 and signed a 2 year $4.5M contract for 2018-2019 with a 2020 team option. In 2018, he has pitched in 34 games with 39.2 IP. He has been scored on in 6 of the 34 games and has converted 5 of 6 save opportunities. He has a 1.36 ERA and 1.034 WHIP.
      Zach Britton and Brad Brach are the popular O’s relievers, but maybe FAZ is focused on 31 year old LHRP, Richard Bleier. He is not the bridge to Jansen, but he has been effective. In 31 games (32.2 IP) he has compiled a 1.93 ERA, 1.224 WHIP, and 2.65 FIP. He has been scored on in 4 games with one very bad game and one relatively bad game. Otherwise he has been extremely effective.
      One player that I have always liked from his Dirt Bag Cal State Long Beach days is 3B Matt Duffy who can also play 2B. He is team controlled through 2020.
      Ryne Stanek, Jared Hughes, Richard Bleier, and Matt Duffy. Some other names to consider.

  4. Trading Grandal before he becomes an FA and getting something in return for him has been my hope since the end of last season.

    Yasial Puig is a player that needs to move on. Time for the Dodgers to bring up Verdugo and let him play RF everyday. The Dodgers don’t need another power hitter as much as they need a leadoff hitter and a contact hitter, Verdugo will provide both.

    I keep reading Forsythe is starting to hit, don’t think so, he is hitting .225 with 2 homers and 11 RBI’s. He has hit .259 so far in June with 1 HR and 5 RBI’s, but the Dodgers need much more than that from second base. He is a disappointment and I doubt he brings any trade help with his 9M contract, bench him and move on.

    I disagree that the Dodger rotation is fine and doesn’t need help if the Dodgers can get
    deGrom they should make the trade, he will help the team more then Machado will at SS.

    1. DeGrom is 3 months younger than Kershaw. The Dodgers have their own late bloomer: Stripling. The Mets will want a king’s ransom and rightly so, don’t think Faz will pull the trigger.

  5. Really agree with you B1439.
    Verdugo should play everyday at Lead Off IMO. Need to get some bodies on base if we are gonna rely on the HR.
    Maybe Muncy hitting second. He knows how to have a decent Atbat and is happy to work a walk.

    Funny enough, the guy who started against the Dodgers yesterday, Jerry Blevins, seems like a FAZ signing to me.

  6. There is no denying Kike’s power. Speaking of power, Bellinger tied Russell Martin yesterday with HR #54. He’s 216 dingers behind Karros for all-time in LA history and 335 behind The Duke. If he stays healthy and his game matures he will own them both.

  7. Just reading the comments here the last few days. I had never really thought of jt realmuto before. Seems to me trading arguably our best prospect (ruiz) to improve a position we are already strong at is not that smart an idea. Now for Machado however
    . . .

  8. Don’t see any big moves just yet, this homestand will tell a lot. They get the Cubs at a good time and a 1st time starter today then the Rocks and Bucs without a day off. The rotation is set but Caleb gets another start somewhere. The Snakes and Dodgers are playing well and getting separation from Giants and Rocks and creeping up on the wild card. Buehler is ready if they need him but no need to rush him. I like Kike, I like Grandal, I like Hudson and Puig. It’s not either or it’s all hands on deck. Teams will want prospects, not rejects at the deadline. Hard to complain about 7 solo HR’s when they had grand slams each of the previous 2 days.

  9. I find a Realmuto deal unlikely. The Dodgers need to let Barnes play more and give Grandal the rest he needs. That includes stop pinch hitting for him.

    1. We also have pitchers coming back in waves. Our offense is powerful if not consistent. The bullpen will always fluctuate but it’s been solid recently. Overworked though. Would like to see what toles/verdugo could do if given a chance. Think we can sit still until 7/31 then look for low-hanging fruit. The league is lackluster.

  10. I saw that the Dodgers have only signed 14 of their 40 picks while the Midgets have signed 32 of their 40 draft picks. And I think they have signed all of their first sixteen picks. What’s up with that? What’s the hold up? Any body know what’s going on?

    1. Actually the Dodgers have signed 27 out of the 40. They have not signed their 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 10th draft choice. Their 10th pick, Deacon Liput, is a senior form University of Florida who were just eliminated from the College World Series. The Dodgers could not sign him while he was still playing in the NCAA tournament.
      The Dodgers had the smallest bonus pool of any MLB team so they are disadvantaged somewhat from what they can offer. Total Bonus Pool for the Dodgers – $5,288,200
      5% Overage Allowance without Penalty – $264,410
      Any draftee 11-40 signed in excess of $125,000 must be deducted – JC OF Aldrich De Jongh signed $25,000 over the limit.
      Approximate bonus remaining for picks 1-3 and 10 = $4,130,000
      Eight 1st round draft picks signed for more than $4,100,000 alone and several others still to sign will exceed what the Dodgers have left for 4 picks.
      Liput will probably sign for $7,500 which is the amount McLain (9th pick) signed for this year, and 9 & 10 signed for last year. This is a strategy the Dodgers employ.
      They have generally gone right up to the deadline (this year July 6) before signing their top pick(s). They need to see the bonus requirement for picks 4-10 to see what they can offer picks 1-3. They are now negotiating.
      1st – J. T. Ginn – HS – Scholarship commitment to Mississippi State – $2,275,800 bonus pool.
      2nd – Michael Grove – West Virginia – $917,000 bonus pool. Did not pitch in 2018, and may choose to go back to West Virginia to try and move up to 1st round next year.
      3rd – John Rooney – Hofstra – $538,800 bonus pool. He should sign. I have no idea if he is considered an above or below bonus slot pick.
      The remaining unsigned players are 14th – 40th and include 4 high school picks, and 5 junior college picks, so they could, and most will, go back to school to play to improve their draft slot.

    2. I’m only guessing as I’m very unaware of ANY signings in the amount what Giants or Dodgers offered their draftees,but Giants ranking in the 20’s of 30 meant they needed to be more vigorous to better their farm. They still failed if that is the case though, going from 21 to 25. We all know AC has the most logical answer to your question, but there’s my over rated two cents.

  11. I agree with Rosenthal’s assessment. The Braintrust will add relievers but don’t expect any big salaries or big splashes at the break this year.

    2019 offseason will be far more interesting. Ryu’s contract is up. Kershaw may or may not opt out. They will have a better idea whether Seager will be able to continue at SS. Forsythe’s contract is up. Grandal will be a free agent. They will have been under the cap for a year so if they want to exceed it the pain won’t be as severe

    On the other hand, there will be no gigantic contracts (other than maybe Kershaw) handed out. Forget the likes of Machado, Harper et al in Dodger blue.

    1. When you back and look at FAZ’s history, you will conclude that they will not pony up the big bux for Machado or Harper… and they may not, but you have to consider that after this year, their bad contract are mostly gone. Like Rick said, you also have to consider that they re-set the clock on the Luxury Tax, so if you conclude they will not spend money based upon the past, you are not considering all the facts now in evidence.

      Fully 70% of all Long-Term Large Contracts are BAD DEALS, so there is also a 70% chance that when you sign a free agent, you are getting screwed! I think whoever signs Harper will regret it, but Machado could be another story. AC like DJ LeMahieu who would fill a need.

      I also think Grandal gets the QO. They could live with him for another year if he takes it, but I don’t think he will. This team could look a lot different next year with trades and all. Can Seager go back to SS? I am not so sure… Very few SS have had TJ. I think Zack Cozart is the only one still playing. It would seem possible he can come back, but it is not a given.

  12. Against righties ytd 2018
    Pederson .294 .381 .614 .995
    Taylor .259 .332 .452 .784
    Question: When Seager returns to short next year does Taylor go back to being the full time CF? Or, does he platoon with Joc?
    Question: When Seager returns to short next year, does Taylor move to second base full time?
    If Kike’ and Joc platoon in CF, where does Muncy play if he can’t do well enough defensively? If he can’t, should the Dodgers include him in a trade for Gennett?
    If the Dodgers traded for Machado, does Taylor move to second and if so, where does Muncy play?

    1. Gennett plays in a bandbox and has played for bad teams his entire career. So, I’m a bit skeptical about making him our big trade deadline move. No doubt he’s having a great season and would be better defensively than Funky Muncy. However, Muncy has a better .OBP and .ISO. As for next season, Muncy, Taylor, or free-agent options can fill Second Base. If Joc doesn’t go into a nosedive this season and Seager can return to SS then I would expect to mix and match at 2nd Base and Centerfield.

    2. Only thought on Machado (even though he is as longshot) is if he could somehow fall into our lap like another manny a decade ago.
      He’s so talented you find space for him. Hell, give Turner a lf glove if need be. We have some prime prospects and if Baltimore likes one or two of them enough
      . . .
      He be beyond big here. I’m not dismissing it as a possibility.

  13. If at all possible I believe we need to pick up realmuto this year. I realize it would take a lot but he is a tremendously athletic and productive catcher. He can hit good pitching and is very good defensively. This would then leave us with an offensive hole at second but that would be the only hole. Furthermore if you don’t want Barnes to be the starter next year you have to do something. This would give Ruiz and smith one more year to develop if they are not part of the trade.

    1. He did but while everybody else had a productive at bat of course Grandal let’s him off the hook. Throw him a change up and I could get him out. He wasn’t the only one to make an out but the kid threw 40 plus pitches make him throw some more. Do you leave a pitcher out there for 50 pitches in one inning? 40 plus is unbelievable. If he is still in there for the second inning I would take some pitches. But what do I know Grandal is hitting 230 or better so he knows what he is doing.

  14. After watching Muncy turn the double play in the top of the 8th, my best guess is that Forsythe will replace Muncy at 2B in the top of the 9th.

    1. Agreed. Not sure moving Bellinger to CF and Joc to left justified leaving Muncy at 1B.

  15. Very good win. Maeda pitched very well, but Kenley still doesn’t look right.

    1. How is everything my friend across the pond? It’s been quite awhile since Janson has blown a save though. There’s none I can trust other to close in the game.

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