Flavor of the Week

Injury News

  • Julio Urias, who has only been throwing off a mound for a few days, hit 88 MPH on the gun yesterday.  He is set to thow a couple more bullpen sessions this week and hopes to pitch soon.  The Dodgers are very encouraged.  I would expect to see him pitching out of the pen this year.  After hitting 88 so quickly, I would think he can find another 5 or 6 MPH as his arm gets stronger.
  • Walker Buehler is allegedly pain-free after throwing a bullpen session on Sunday.  It sounds like he is about a week away.
  • Tony Cingrani is set to throw a bullpen session later this week.
  • Ryu still has tightness in his injured groin, but it is not deemed serious.  He is just taking it slow.

Other Stuff

  • With some pitchers getting healthy (Kershaw, Hill, Buehler, Urias, Cingrani) and others just geeting it right (Alexander, Hudson), things are looking up.  In a week, the Dodgers may have Kershaw, Buehler, Wood, Maeda, Stripling and Hill for the rotation with Ryu and Urias not far off.  A year ago, many fans wanted Brad Brach, now there are other flavors of the week. What we should wantis not  to trade for the guy who was hot, but rather to trade for the guy who will be hot!
  • I have a feeling the Home Runs are going to keep coming and the hitting is going to get incrementally better.  These guys are going to be tough to beat.
  • Matt Kemp – All-Star Starter!  What a story! From the outhouse to the penthouse!
  • Max Muncy makes us pine for the DH.  I think it will come to the NL next season.  That’s his perefect position.

This article has 38 Comments

  1. It’s my hopes Dodger Stadium will never host a DH game in the future. It wasn’t built for it either and it’s fun forcing AL teams to put their pitchers in the lineup.

  2. Maeda pitched a great game last night.
    Jansen is not the pitcher he was last year, but so far, good enough.
    Tonight, Stripling vs Lester should be another good game.

  3. I still believe that you build the team through your organization; through the draft, through international signings, and through trades for those low level prospects that can be further developed. That being said, I am not opposed to trading for the player that is hot to push the team across the line in the current year, or as a bridge to one of those stars lower in the system.
    The initial factor of the hot player pushing the team across the finish line, was the impetus for the Rich Hill/Josh Reddick trade in 2016 and the Yu Darvish trade in 2017. They were all rentals, and IMO the cost was worth the risk. They did not work to the ultimate goal, but FAZ did their job to give the team a better chance than what they would have had.
    The second factor of a bridge to the stars was IMO the impetus for the Kazmir, McCarthy, and Anderson FA signings. I am not going to blow smoke and try to sell that they were good as Dodgers, and I do not want to re-debate their value, but they served a purpose…a bridge to 2018-2019. There is no way to look at the results and draw anything positive out of those signings, and yet the team was in contention while pitchers like Walker Buehler, Dennis Santana, Caleb Ferguson, Ross Stripling, Julio Urias, and to a degree Brock Stewart were busy getting ready to take the reins. Could there have been a better bridge? Perhaps. Yes FAZ could have re-signed Zach Greinke, but then they would not have been able to sign Kenley Jansen, Justin Turner, and Rich Hill. Maybe one of them, but not all three.
    The hot players that might help this year are Manny Machado, Scooter Gennett, Brad Hand, Kelvin Herrera, JA Happ…Others mentioned Corey Dickerson, Adam Jones, and Josh Harrison. Herrera was already dealt to the Nats. FAZ will not spend the prospects for Machado even if the DBacks are willing to (and apparently they are). The Cubs spent their farm for their one WS win, and I am sure most of their fans are happy even if they start to decline. They now have the worst farm system in MLB, and seem to be going backwards. The Machado trade would basically destroy whatever is left of the DBacks farm system, and they would have to re-sign him next year (and the next ten) for it to make sense. There would be little chance they could re-sign Patrick Corbin and AJ Pollock next year. The Pads are not going to trade Hand to the Dodgers. Scooter Gennett and Josh Harrison are the two players who play a position of need (this year) that can help, and neither would be horribly expensive. FAZ does not believe they need another starting pitcher, but I still believe that Jacob deGrom is a game changer, knowing that it is fantasy, but JA Happ is not.
    I would trade for Scooter Gennett as long as the cost was reasonable. I trust FAZ with determining that value much more than me. I am also a big fan of the Rays’ Matt Duffy who can play 2B. Gennett is the hot hand, but Duffy could be the better choice. Right now I am passing on Britton and any other reliever not named Ryne Stanek. Stanek is a former Friedman 1st round draft pick as a starting pitcher. Like former 1st round starting pitcher picks Andrew Miller and Brandon Morrow, Stanek seems to have found a home in the bullpen. He is 25, throws a 98+ four-seam fastball, and is team controlled through 2023. I have no idea if Tampa wants to trade him or if they would consider it, but he could very well fill that Brandon Morrow role. I would pass on any waiver wire relievers or any similar quality that can be found in trades.
    Hawkeye has correctly pointed out that Max Muncy has a greater OPS than Scooter. Why not have both in the lineup rather than Logan Forsythe? The Dodgers would be in a better position to get to the playoffs with Scooter Gennett/Matt Duffy and Ryne Stanek, and if their pitching is there, be favored to get to the WS.

    1. I wonder if a fielding guru could help Muncy become a 2B? A big problem is his footwork. Maybe taking ballet is the ticket. He is really bad around 2B.

    2. Duffy has played for the giants so he knows what it is like to play in this division. While at 27 he is young enough he would come with considerable risk. He came out of nowhere seemingly for the giants but played mostly 3rd base. He hasn’t had much play at second so there is that. He has mostly been on the dl since he has been with Tampa. A Achilles heel surgery is pretty serious stuff plus he has had hamstring problems. The last thing we need is a dL candidate. As far as stanek I am sure Tampa is equally aware of his potential in the relief role which might be why Coloma was tradeable in part. Controllable players are what they live for. 2 guys who probably are unlikely. The former faz free agent signings kind of reminded me of some of the McCourt moves.(I am ducking for the hit) he would overpay for a mediocre player to eliminate the bidding. Some is because of high taxes in la I concede. While they may have served a purpose no one was going to sign Kazmir, McCarthy, Anderson, etc at the price we did. How about the 63 international signings? Any steals in that group? I know they won’t but I would like to see them go for Realmuto or degrom.

      1. I do not expect the Dodgers to get anybody of significant value. I threw Duffy’s name out there because I always liked him as a Long Beach State Dirt Bag and SF Giant. He wasn’t necessarily the best player on the field, but he always competed. I was trying to come up with names from sellers that might be potential pickups in the FAZ mold. I previously tried to tie Whit Merrifield in with Kelvin Herrera. Merrified fits the FAZ multi-positional mold. Everybody likes to latch on to Machado, or Realmuto, or deGrom, or Hand, when none of them are realistic. Barraclough is closer to possibly but unlikely. I look at Stanek as an Andrew Friedman former first round draft pick. He is not the Rays closer, and only has 22 IP this year. I have never read anywhere any rumor of any kind that Stanek is available. I just thought that I would throw his name out there as he is just as likely or unlikely as Brad Hand. I think of Stanek the same as FAZ thought of and traded for Scott Alexander. What trade rumor publication had Alexander to the Dodgers.
        I bring up Gennett because I like him. But I know that FAZ is going to stick with Forsythe. FAZ will worry about next year after the season.
        I agree with Mark that the Dodgers are going to keep Grandal and give him a qualifying offer. If he accepts then the Dodgers have another year of development for Smith and Ruiz. If he doesn’t, they get supplementary 1st round pick next year. I brought up Realmuto last weekend because of Mark’s challenge to get creative. The only team tied to Realmuto in any trade rumors is Washington.
        As far as International signings, everybody considered Yadi Alvarez gold. He may not be top of the rotation anymore, but he still has a very high ceiling, especially as a high leverage reliever. Yusniel Diaz will be a very fine ML OF for somebody (if not the Dodgers). Keibert Ruiz is the number two rated catching prospect. Oneil Cruz was instrumental in the Dodgers getting Tony Watson. Yordan Alvarez netted Josh Fields. I know I am in the minority here, but I like Josh Fields. Hector Olivera got the Dodgers Alex Wood, Luis Avilan, and Jose Peraza. This year it looks like the #1 international prospect is another catcher from Venezuela, Diego Cartaya, who is strongly rumored to be signing with LAD next month.
        I have stated a number of times that I do not expect FAZ to trade for anyone of any significance. The only likelihood are relievers with ERA’s north of 3.50 or 4.00 that they think they can fix (i.e. Tony Cingrani). But what fun is it projecting those type of relievers?

    3. If we were to trade for Gennett (I think the Reds will want too much) that would mean the following: 1) Muncy moves to first 2) Bellinger moves to CF 3) Taylor/Kike split time at short. Is that defensive alignment better than Taylor/Kike at SS/CF, Bellinger at 1B and Muncy at 2B? I don’t know. Gennett would most likely see a drop in power playing in LA.

    1. Yes, I do. Manfred wants to implement some more “pace of play” rules, but the MLBPA will resist unless he compromises: NL DH and Roster Expansion will pacify the MLBPA.

  4. “Max Muncy makes us pine for the DH.” And “us” is correct. I’m sure that thought has come across a lot of minds on this site. I think of it a lot, and always when I see him play 2B. In fact, I’ve begun to think that I prefer the lefthanded throwing Bellinger to remain at 1B, although I understand why Doc uses Muncy at 1B with Bellinger in CF.

    I too suspect that the DH may be coming to the NL. But why to you think next year?

    1. Manfred has several things he wants to implement net year, but he will have to appease the union. The DH in the NL and an additional 1 or 2 spots on the roster should do the job.

    2. Muncy plays first and third and the Dodgers have Bellinger and Turner filling those positions. If Seager returns next year, Taylor probably slides to second. Muncy doesn’t have a position. You say DH and I say Kemp. Muncy needs to play second this year or should be traded for a player that does play second, preferably a rental otherwise Taylor goes to the crowded outfield.

  5. Would that save more than 2 minutes? I’m unable to understand how that could be the case. I’m not in favor of making the game favor hitter friendly ballparks like I don’t understand how the NBA overlooks traveling. Same as it is clear your son plays a harder football game than is currently played in NFL. It’s not supposed to be easier.

    1. That was an insightful and enjoyable article. The life of a minor league player isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.

  6. 1 – Max Muncy has never been a good defender. He OPS’d over .900 in consecutive seasons at Baylor – I have read that the reason that he lasted into the 5th round was his defense. No matter what you do, he will never be a good defender. Forget trying to make him a competent 2B.

    2 – NO to Matt Duffy please. He was a SS in the Giants’ system who learned 3B out of necessity. He was better than expected there but has been injured for the past 2 seasons and has done nothing for Tampa. I do like Josh Harrison though.

    3 – I would love DeGrom but it’s not happening. No to Happ. No to Scooter Gennett – he mostly hasn’t been very good.

    4 – What they really need is relievers – someone to pitch the 7th or 8th.

    5 – NO TO THE DH!!!

  7. I didn’t realize we got a vote but NO to the DH. And NO to computer called Balls and Strikes. No to Umpires who aren’t consistent behind the plate.

  8. Matt Duffy hates the Dodgers. He loathes the Dodgers. They would be crazy to trade for him.

    1. When I spoke with Duffy (while he was with the Giants), I never got the impression that he hated the Dodgers. Maybe it was because we talked a lot about Cal State Long Beach. But if you know him personally or know of someone who knows him personally and says Duffy hates the Dodgers then I agree. I just never got that impression.

  9. A little of topic(maybe?) but awhile back someone, I don’t know who, mentioned we were terrible vs LHP. Since we are facing on of the top LHP tonite, I thought I’d find out how bad we are vs LHP.
    Fact of the matter is we are 18-9 vs LHP which is 2nd best in the majors behind the NYY who are 18-5. Just FYI

  10. Some minor leaguers in the news.
    On ESPN.com the Dodgers breakout minor leaguer is…
    SS Gavin Lux. Lux was drafted as a light-hitting shortstop and was tracking as such throughout his first two pro seasons. But this year, he’s slugging a whopping .515, up from .362 in 2017. Some of that is driven by the California League’s hitting environment, but note that Lux’s ground ball rate has dropped from 52 percent to 38 percent, so he’s also hitting the ball in the air more, a sign that he’s made a swing change, too.
    Jon Sickels takes a looks at Caleb Ferguson and somehow overlooks his change:
    He’s certainly woken up, posting a 1.53 ERA in 10 starts between Double-A and Triple-A this season with a 52/17 K/BB in 47 innings. Now he’s in the majors and has a 12/2 K/BB in his last nine innings.
    You run down a young pitcher checklist and Ferguson checks all the boxes. Prototype size at 6-3, 215. Low-90s fastball which seems to play up, with occasional higher velocity spikes. A swing-and-miss curveball and a viable change-up. Simple, repeatable mechanics. Good mound presence. Sabermetrically the high strikeout rate is a big positive.
    The only thing missing here is consistently plus command. His ability to locate his secondaries can vary, not surprising given his age and small amount of experience. Command isn’t exactly a weakness, as it has been quite good in some outings, it just needs to be more consistent.

      1. He is day-to-day and could be back as soon as tonight… yep, there he is. He is back!

  11. I am glad the dodgers get on the board first 1-0 but 2 days in a row we are swinging 3-0 and just ruining momentum. This has got to be a Dodger analytical move. The dodgers swing 3-0 continuously. It used to be the other team would guess on 3-0 but it is just a given that the dodgers are swinging. It is such a downer when it doesn’t work like just now. Since it is no surprise the dodgers are swinging they don’t get the center cut fastball. 3-1 count is just as good of a pitch but I bet the analytical department would prove that wrong.

  12. Dang, one of those nights where the bullpen gets taken to the woodshed. Bummer, but we can’t expect zeros every night from them. Offense can’t seem to solve Lester.

  13. Well, that slam’s on you, Doc. I sure hope there is a good reason why Stripling was removed in the first place.

  14. Agree, half our own out there tonight, I hope all four thst were are not there by september, I trust that will be the case.

    I am curious to hear Roberts explanation on pulling stripling early when the pen is taxed. And Paredes to face a righty, horrible move even if the pen is taxed and we’re playing one short down there with the Ferguson/kershaw starting pitching duo.

    Hate the cubs!!

  15. Puig has made an out on the bases 4 times in the last 5 games. I didn’t see his error last night but he again is making that casual ho hum style catch that will bite him every so often. Did it last night?
    Forsythe is a late inning defensive replacement for Muncy at second base much like Joc is a late inning replacement for Kemp when Joc doesn’t start. I heard that Forsythe joined a couple of teammates on a fishing outing. Apparently he fell out of the boat and didn’t hit water.

    1. Mark, is that you. :0)
      I couldn’t tell if Puig lost the ball in the lights or just f’ed up. His base running has been awful. I see him moving closer and closer out the Dodger door.

      1. I am probably Puig’s biggest fan on this board but that was one of the worst games I have seen him play. He let the umpire get in his head (he was brutal all night) cut in front of Cody as he was catching a ball that was his, lost a ball in RF that opened the floodgates (he did own it) and made another base running blunder. He needs a couple days off to get his head right because it is all mental.

        Other than Strip and Cody no one really came through all night and Lester pitched well. Muncy and Kike were still scrapping to the end and Barnes had an RBI and played well behind the plate. Other than that a very poorly played game and Doc’s use of the pen and pulling Strip after 5 were head scratchers.

  16. I have no doubt repeated myself too often but where I have said the Dodgers should have traded Grandal and Puig when they were doing well I have no misgivings. I never wanted the Dodgers to take the option on Forsythe.
    I am ready for Kike’ to be the regular right fielder, Muncy the regular second baseman, and Pederson to be the regular center fielder for the rest of 2018.

    1. Time to see if Joc can hit LHP and Kike can hit RHP consistently? Muncy has proven he can.

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