Do You Remember…

… when the Dodgers could have traded for Cole Hamels for SVS and JDL?  (Neither do I, but some insist it is true.)

… when every Dodger fan wanted Sonny Gray?

… when Dodger fans wanted David Price?

… when Dodgers fans were upset that Zack Greinke was not resigned by the Dodgers?

I remember…

…when FAZ signed Anderson, McCarthy and Kazmir?

… when FAZ got Barnes, Hernandez, Grandal, Taylor, Muncy and Kemp (re-cycled).

All the Dodgers have done is just win the division every year and go one step farther every year.  Anderson, McCartney and Kaz were bad signings, but the three combined don’t equal how bad many other single free-agent signings were. FAZ has stuck to the script.   I think they will do much the same this year.  Another lockdown reliever would be nice, but right now the asking prices are at the sellers price.  If the prices become more realistic, the Dodgers will likely make a move.  If not, they will ride with what they have and it’s not nearly as bad as some think.

A bunch of injured pitchers are due back in the next week, two weeks and three weeks:  Buehler, Baez. Cingrani, Fields, Ryu, Urias.  There area some difference-makers there. The cavalry is coming… let’s hope they can hold off the bandits until they arrive. Who here doesn’t think a healthy Buehler, Ryu, Fields, Urias and Cingrani can’t help immensely?  Notice I left off el Gasolino?  There is plenty of doubt about him…

In the last 15 games, check out the ERA and WHIP of Alexander and Hudson:

  • Alexander – 2.20 ERA /1.04 WHIP
  • Hudson – 0.50 ERA / 1.06 WHIP

Also, Caleb Ferguson has pitched 9 innings out of the pen and has a 1.00 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP.

I can’t see how there can be any talk about Jacob deGrom when the Dodgers have a glut of starting pitchers and deGrom is going to start declining at 30 years old.  The Dodger starters now lead the NL in ER and are 2nd only to the Astros in all of MLB baseball.  Why does anyone think they need another starting pitcher? That is a real strength of the team.  Let it alone. Check this rotation out:

  1. Buehler
  2. Wood
  3. Hill
  4. Stripling
  5. Kershaw
  6. Ryu
  7. Maeda
  8. Urias (I doubt that he will start this year)

Then, there are Ferguson, Santana and many others up and coming. The Dodgers should not trade for a pitcher who is only 90 days younger than Clayton.  Who goes to the pen if all are healthy is a great problem to have. Ryu is the only one who likely will not be with the Dodgers in 2019. What I am saying is “NO dope-fiend moves!” Let the process work.

Rants and Raves

  • Kike Hernandez does Sooooooo Many things well!
  • One of the moron announcers on FOX yesterday said “When the Dodger starters all get healthy and Stripling goes back to the pen, he will be a nice weapon.” Hello… Chicken Strip is not going back to the pen!
  • Edward Paredes is good for one… maybe two LH batters – don’t push your luck, Doc!
  • I am getting a feeling that Yasiel Puig is about to go off on the baseballs… sending them out of park at an obscene rate!
  • News on international signings:
  • Andrew Toles has started the past few games in CF – he now has 8 games in CF!
  • Will Smith should be in AAA. Of course, he is a good catcher, but he’s OPS’ing .946!
  • Dustin May had another 7 inning start with just 2 runs allowed.  After a horrid start, his ERA is down to 3.13.  He should move up too, as should Bannon and Lux who combined for 6 hits yesterday.


Minor League Report by AlwaysCompete


OKC – 6-5 Win over Round Rock Express (Rangers)


OKC entered the bottom of the 8thdown 5-2.  After a strikeout, Andrew Toles singled and was followed by a walk to Connor Joe.  Kyle Garlick then loaded the bases with a single.   Edwin Rios forced in one run with a bases loaded walk.  After another strikeout, Travis Taijeron also walked forcing in run #2.  Angelo Mora then followed with a 2 run scoring single to take a 6-5 lead going into the 9th.

Manny Banuelos was reinstated from the DL, started and went 5.0 innings.  He allowed 4 runs on 9 hits and 4 walks with 7 K’s.  Zach Neal pitched the next three innings allowing a single run (HR) on 2 hits and 1 walk, with 4 K’s for the win.  Brian Schlitter pitched the ninth for his 11thsave.

Kyle Garlick went 3-4 and Connor Joe went 2-3 with Kyle Farmer slugging his 4thHR.


Tulsa – 7-6 Win over Frisco RoughRiders (Rangers)


Will Smith (13) and Drew Jackson (8) were the offensive stars each hitting solo HRs.  Both Smith and Jackson along with Errol Robinson each collected 2 hits for the Drillers.

Andrew Sopko and 4 relievers pitched the team to a victory with Stetson Allie getting the win and Dylan Baker getting the save.


Rancho Cucamonga – 14-6 Win over San Jose (Giants)


Behind yet another steller outing by Dustin May and an 18 hit attack, the Quakes won for the 12thstraight game.  May had a 7.0 IP start, surrendering 2 runs on 6 hits and 1 walk, with 5 Ks.  Orlandy Navarro was just promoted from AZL to RC (quite a jump), and survived, pitching the final two innings and surrendering 4 runs on 3 hits and 1 walk, and 2 Ks.  It may not look pretty, but for a 19 year old from Maracaibo, Venezuela in the US for the first time, he made the jump and survived.  They let him pitch, and I hope they continue to give him chances.  He could be a good one.

Offensively, the Quakes were led by Gavin Lux 3-4, Rylan Bannon 3-7, Omar Estevez 2-5, Cristian Santana 2-6, and Zach McKinstry 2-5.


Great Lakes – 7-1 Win over Dayton Dragons (Reds)


Max Gamboa started and went 5.0 innings for the win.  Melvin Jimenez had another outstanding effort allowing 1 hit in 3.0 IP with 4 Ks.  After what was considered a very poor start to the season, Melvin has come on strong once he came off the DL.  I look forward to more great pitching out of Melvin Jimenez.

SS Deacon Liput had another 2-4 day including a double and RBI. He also had his 1st SB and error.  2B Brandon Montgomery had a 3 run HR (6) and a sac fly.  DH Brock Carpenter and 1B Eric Peterson each hit solo HRs.


Ogden Raptors – 5-4 Loss to Grand Junction Rockies


20thround draftee, Caleb Sampen, had a tough outing after his first two solid efforts.  He allowed 4 runs on 5 hits in 2.1 IP.  18 year old Cuban 3B Miguel Vargas continued his strong hitting going 2-4.  18thround draftee, RF Nico Hulsizer had his 4thconsecutive 2 hit game, 5 out of his last 6 games, and has now hit in 7 consecutive games.  Brandon Montgomery provided most of the offense needed with a 3 run HR, his 6thon the season.


AZL Dodgers – 10-3 Win over AZL DBacks


19 year old RHP from Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, Gerardo Carrillo started his 1stgame in the US (4thappearance) and pitched 3.0 innings, allowing only 1 hit with 5 Ks.  For the season at AZL, he now has pitched 11.0 innings surrendering 1 run on 6 hits, 1 HBP, 1 BB, and 14 Ks.  He has compiled 0.82 ERA, 0.73 WHIP, and a .154 BAA.

19 year old RHP from Maracaibo, Venezuela, Juan Morillo pitched the final three innings to get the save,  allowing 2 walks with 4 Ks.

DH Frank Sanchez went 3-4, while 3B Kenneth Betancourt went 2-4 with a triple (3).


This article has 102 Comments

  1. I hear you on stripling but if he becomes Brian holton circa 1988 we might could use that.

  2. If FAZ can find one GM that shares your prediction on Puig, a Puig trade could be made by the All Star break. Maybe he could get an aging pitcher like deGrom.

    1. If the Mets get rid of deGrom, they will want prospects… lots of prospects… prospects with names like Verdugo, May, Ruiz and Peters. Puig would not interest them in the least!

      I hear that the Dodgers have the best offer (so far) for Manny Machado and it does not include Verdugo or Alvarez.

      1. But who does it include? I would rather trade Alvarez than Dustin May. Verdugo is not going anywhere. The last time a team was fleeced a team for a rental it was NTY fleecing the Cubs who wanted Chapman. A more likely return is a slight increase in the lukewarm return the Tigers got from the DBacks for JDM. Good teams are learning that you do not trade good controllable prospects (especially top 100) for rentals.

          1. I think Toles is better for now but he is 26 and Verdugo is 21 plus Verdugo has mostly been injury free.

          2. Then Toles and Verdugo will have the same value on the market, well Verdugo probably still worth more given his age….

      2. The Dodgers are loaded with outfielders and if they want to keep their prospects then it makes sense that they would try to move the one that is the least controllable long term and that is Puig and Kemp. They will keep Kemp this year but I think they would move Puig in a heartbeat.
        The prospects that I want to keep as they pop into my head are Lux, Bannon, Will Smith, May, Ferguson. I would not trade Verdugo orToles without really getting good and maybe good and controllable. Same with Urias.
        Something not said too often is the importance of having good MiLB teams for the best prospects to play on as they work their way up. Competition is always good and winning builds a winning attitude. Also, got to have pitchers that can keep the other team in the field. Can’t gut the quantity out of our farm system.

  3. Machado may be better defensively than his metrics show, but moving the teams best CF to 2B, the best 1B to CF and Muncy to 1B would really water down the infield defense. I still think the Dodgers are playing poker with the D-Bags and trying to get them to overpay for Machado. I do not think the Dodgers need Machado or deGrom.

  4. When you say Puig is going to send baseballs out of the park at an obscene level, is that with his arm or his bat?

  5. I am a big Puig supporter, and certainly believe he’s capable of a 2nd half burst of power. But it’s not something I’m counting on.

    And given his TJ history, there is some risk in a deGrom trade. But, whereas 30 is starting to get old enough to question a long term contract, it’s not old enough to question the worth of a player who is under control for the next couple of years, is having a good year, and has a history that supports his current production and bodes well for the next couple of years.

    I would love to have deGrom, Manny Machado, and any number of the bullpen arms who may be on the market. However, in the end it all depends upon the cost, be it from out farmhands or players on the current 25-man roster.

    Whatever the case, I have confidence in FAZ to figure it all, and act accordingly. In the end I think decisions will be based on the long term evaluation of every facet of the Dodger organization. FAZ under no circumstances will gut the farm system, but they will trade valuable pieces if they deem what they’re getting in return is at the very least just as valuable.

    1. There was a time in 2013 and 14 I thought Puig was going to be the Dodgers Mike Trout, but those days are gone. He’s a streak hitter with unbelievable physical tools, but there is just something missing. Whether he’ll ever be a solid complete player who plays with consistency is a question that remains unanswered. Right now he is a solid .250 average hitter and a physically talented but sometimes mentally challenged fielder.

  6. If true Cole Hamels would have been nice but who knew? Good no move on price, Gray, Greinke. The signings of Anderson etc was quantity over quality to get us to where we are although it made us pretenders not contenders in the playoffs. Very good trades for kike, Grandal,Taylor, etc. in my opinion Hernandez should start everyday somewhere I repeat. Strip is an all star and without a total meltdown he is in the rotation. Loogy Paredes until Cingrani is back, Puig needs to be a threat against lefties or not play, hope this international group is better than the last, Toles is quality depth and maybe more. Will Smith should make a solid pro, Bannon, lux, and may are rising milb stars. I don’t really think the Dodgers need to make any moves provided they get healthy. A healthy starting rotation will make for some very difficult decisions. Maeda is pitching better than ever as a sp. if all are healthy and at their best la has very good options. They got Floro so he can give innings and keep the ball in the park until reinforcements are ready. Ac how much international money did we get? We could if healthy have a better rotation and bp than last year. Finally, I would not go for machado, Britton etc. to compromise the farm but if not too expensive my choice would be Gennett.

    1. The Dodgers get $4,983,500 plus whatever they get from the Reds in the Dylan Floro-James Marinan trade (still unknown to me). They have allocated $3.6M to three players; C Diego Cartaya, RHP Jerming Rosario, and 3B Alex De Jesus. Cuban OF Victor Mesa is the last real prize and he has not yet been declared a free agent yet.

      1. I have looked several times and I cannot find how much the Dodgers get from the Reds either.

  7. Let me play a little devil’s advocate. At what point do you say, I am tired of contending and coming up short? And let’s win it this year. I am just about at that point. The Dodgers are not closer to the Astros or NYY or Boston than they were last year. Right now they are on a pace to win 88 games with what they have.
    Kershaw has not been the same Kershaw for over a year now. Hill is a blister or awkward slide from the DL. Buehler is still on an innings count this year, and he is going to need to show that he can get back to where he was. Ryu has not been healthy for 3 years. What is he going to tweak next? You may say nothing, but history says otherwise. Maeda, Wood, and Stripling are pitching very good right now, but none of them have started a full year without problems. I am not going to count on Urias at all for this year. Maybe Kershaw, Buehler, Hill, Wood, Stripling, Maeda, Ryu all come together and pitch lights out over the second half. That is the HOPE. But none of them are 7 inning pitchers (even Kershaw right now) meaning that the team is going to need a NYY type of bullpen to bring it home. That is not Dylan Floro. The A’s keep winning and they say that Treinen is not going to be traded. That makes sense because even if they do not get a WC this year, they will be in the hunt next year. So unless you are willing to trade some of that valuable prospect capital, it is going to be Alexander, Hudson, Floro, Paredes, Ferguson, Chargois/Goeddel/Venditte/Garcia/Cingrani/Liberatore???? Sounds an awful like last year without Morrow, and the Dodgers rode that guy all post season because there was nobody else.
    I understand that the team is reluctant to trade valuable prospects for rentals such as Machado, but somebody is going to get him and it looks like it is going to be a NL team. The Dodgers do have a good (not great) farm system. They have 5 top 100 prospects, but only 2 top 50. OTOH the Braves (a team in 1st place and a better winning percentage than the Dodgers) have 8 top 100 , but more importantly 6 top 50. And the NL West team that is at most 2 years away, the Padres, have 9 top 100 and 6 top 50. The Padres should roll out their DP duo of Fernando Tatis Jr. and Luis Urias sometime this summer. They already have Eric Lauer and Joey Lucchesi in the rotation with MacKenzie Gore, Cal Quantrill, Michael Baez Adrian Morejon, Chris Paddack, and Logan Allen all getting ready. That does not count Anderson Espinoza who may be the best of the group but is out with TJ surgery (last July) and should be back by Fall Instructional League.
    The Braves pitching should be stellar next year. The Braves have two big guns, Mike Foltynewicz and Sean Newcomb, already in the rotation, and Mike Soroko, Max Fried, and Luiz Gohara all getting ML experience this year, and Kyle Wright and Kolby Allard just behind. With All Stars Freddie Freeman and Nick Markakis headlining the lineup with Ozzie Albies, Ronald Acuna, Ender Inciarte, a solid defensive SS with an improving bat in Dansby Swanson, and top 50 prospect Austin Riley ready for 3B next year they are a catcher away from being a prohibitive favorite next year. And my guess as to who that catcher will be is Yasmani Grandal. AA knows him, and knows what he can do with a young pitching staff. Atlanta is a lot closer to Miami than LA.
    Compare the pitching prospects of the Braves and Padres to the Dodgers. The Dodgers have 2 top 100 pitchers, one in the 80’s (Mitchel White) and 1 in the 90’s (Dennis Santana). I have no idea what has happened to White, but I assume he will drop out of the top 100 on the next list, and Santana needs to recover from his injury. The next prospect is Yadier Alvarez and who knows what is going on in his head. Dustin May looks to be solid, but he is two years away and three years from really contributing. Ferguson is ready, but will he be a back of the rotation starter or a multi inning reliever? Also top prospects…Jordan Sheffield (????), Imani Abdullah who has thrown 20 innings the last two years combined, which is 20 innings more than Morgan Cooper. The top prospects finish up with Tony Gonsolin who may be better suited for relief and Dean Kremer who burst on the scene this year.
    If the Dodgers do not go for it this year, they are not going to be any closer in 2019 or 2020. The Phillies are young and have a lot of money. The Cubs are still young and even with Hayward have a lot of money. Although they are worse in pitching prospects than the Dodgers. The Nats are going in the wrong direction, and the Brewers are a flash in the pan (IMO). So sure, even if the Dodgers do nothing, they will continue to contend, but will they be in a position to win. I do not want to resurrect last year again, but Justin Verlander sure would have been nice to go to battle with.
    So maybe this is the year the Dodgers have to go all in and pick up Machado, Barraclough, Steckenrider and others. Maybe the Dodgers do not need Machado to contend, but he sure makes them a lot better offensively and closer to the finish line than without him. We can worry about 2020 later. Let’s finish what we started in 2017 and win it all in 2018. With Machado and if Mark’s patchwork projected rotation stays healthy for the rest of the year, and the addition of solid bullpen pieces, the chances are accelerated.
    Because it is not going to get any easier in 2019 or 2020.

    1. It is true that we don’t have the elite impact prospects in the minors (maybe Verdugo is), but for us to continue to be great, we need our studs to carry us for a while. And we have plenty of young studs (Buehler, Seager, Bellinger, and hopefully Urias) that the Toronto’s, Philadelphia’s, San Diego’s, and Atlanta’s hope their kids turn in to. We also have a lot of young vets (CT3, Joc, Puig, Stripling, Wood) that are very good players. What we need from our minor league prospects is come up and fill in, and hopefully become very good players (and really hope 1-2 become stars). Plus, we are the Dodgers, so we can find stars via trade of Free Agency.
      But this point is the exact reason I want to trade for DeGrom. It seems that we don’t have any future aces coming up soon (I don’t consider Buehler or Urias to be minor leaguers nor do I see them being traded for an ace). DeGrom is an ace, he’s controlled, and he’ll be an ace for the next 3-4 years.
      From that list Mark laid out (Maeda, Strip, Wood, Ryu, Kersh, Urias, Buehler, etc): who do you trust in a Game 1? Kersh has proved he can’t be that guy, and nobody else has proved or shown that he could be that guy (except for Buehler). We need a #1 right now to carry us, ala Hershiser, ala Bumgarner. The best teams rarely win it. The winner seems to come from a good team that gets hot and has an ace carry them. Our ace hasn’t carried anything the last 5 postseasons, and I don’t expect him to do it going forward.
      I don’t trade impact kids for a 3 month rental, but I do trade them for a DeGrom, and trade some kids for a lockdown reliever.

    2. Respectfully?
      I hope the Dodgers never focus so much on the short term that the medium and long term are significantly hindered.
      The key word being significant.
      These are smart people, with a ton of resources. All three horizons should be evaluated.

  8. Perhaps the biggest elephant in the room is the pending litigation that Guggenheim is facing. There are multiple articles that indicate that MLB owners looked the other way rather than do their due diligence on Mark Walter and Guggs because they wanted McCourt to go away. Just like they did when they accepted McCourt because they wanted Fox and their TV contract and overlooked the big loan Fox gave McCourt. And now there may be a price to pay for the alleged use of their Security Benefit Life Insurance annuity investments to buy and operate LAD.
    The complaint alleges that $1.2 Billion of policyholder and annuity holders cash was used to fund the $2.15 Billion purchase. The more research I get into, the shadier Todd Boehly looks, and the picture gets more clear as to why he wants to cut the expenses (payroll). Because of his involvement with Mike Milken he has already put Guggenheim on the SEC hot seat. His sole concern is making as much as he can on his investment, and that does not concern winning. The revenues are already at a peak, and if he can push for a payroll reduction, the operating value increases and his ROI increases. I get the impression that LAD was not a long term investment for Boehly or Bobby Patton Jr. The Dodgers need to extricate themselves from this lawsuit as quickly as they can. They have until August 8 to respond to the class action complaint, which also alleges racketeering. It is hard to say how much Mark Walter is involved, but Magic needs to get back with the Dodgers decision makers and look for new money to take out Boehly, Patton, and maybe Walter. Otherwise this could become more of a mess than the McCourt era. The attorneys say there is no merit to the case and are looking for the case to be thrown out. But what are they supposed to say?
    Maybe our resident attorney and legal expert, Dodgerrick, can research the case…Ogles v Security Benefit Life Insurance, et al, U.S. District Court, District of Kansas, No. 18-02265.
    If this goes much farther, forget big free agents next year(s), making it even more important to maybe go for it this year.

    1. I’ve literally heard for years that Security Benefit was a massive ponzi scheme.
      That said, never underestimate the ability of wealthy people to drag out and out-manouver the legal system. The problem with McCourt (over-simplification warning) was that he actually wasn’t that wealthy.
      To quote Bluto Blutarski there’s ZERO POINT ZERO chance that Free Agents will forgo the Dodgers once the luxury tax is reset.

    2. Maybe it’s time for the familiar face in the front row with, seemingly, hundreds of friends, Dennis Gilbert, to try for an ownership role once again.

    3. Well, the Complaint (lawsuit) has been filed and served but hasn’t even been answered yet. It has been filed as a class action, but I don’t see where the Court has certified it as a class action.

      Basically, Guggenheim bought a life insurance company that sold annuities called Security Benefit Life. Under Guggenheim, the company sold a new type of annuity called a fixed indexed annuity. Here’s a good definition of a FIT:
      “A Fixed Index Annuity is a tax-favored accumulation product issued by an insurance company. It shares features with fixed deferred interest rate annuities; however, with an index annuity, the annual growth is bench-marked to a stock market index (e.g., Nasdaq, NYSE, S&P500) rather than an interest rate. An index annuity’s growth is subject to rate floors and caps, meaning it will not exceed or fall below the specified return levels even if the underlying stock indices fluctuate outside of those set parameters. ”

      According to the complaint, Guggenheim wanted the upfront money paid by annuity purchasers. Nothing wrong with that – that’s how the insurance and annuity market works. The company takes the money and invests it and makes money on the investments and then pays out when the annuity comes due.

      The Security Benefit FIT was indexed to something called the Trader Vic Index Excess Return instead of some market index. This allegedly was advantageous to Guggenheim because it would underperform but investors were blocked by contract from withdrawing their funds if it did.

      Plaintiff Ogles bought a policy and claims that he was mislead about how the fund would perform by Security Benefit’s marketing materials.

      Plaintiff alleges that brokers/agents were incentivised to sell the FIT due to great perks and commissions and that created a conflict between brokers/agents and purchasers. (Although that conflict potentially exists between any seller’s agent and buyer. The agent works for the seller. There’s a question about any fiduciary duty between buyers and the seller’s agent.)

      The complaint also alleges that there is an incestuous relationship between the various Guggenheim entities which covered up whether Security Benefit was adequately capitalized.

      The complaint then alleges that Walter, Boehly et al took the money from Security Benefit policyholders to buy the Dodgers. They allegedly did by a “shell game”.

      The complaint is long but can be read here:

  9. I feel your frustration and sense of urgency, AC. Winning another division title but not winning the WS means absolutely nothing to me. I’m sick of being an also-ran.

  10. Olney on Muncy. It’s free so I’ll quote liberally.
    Under Andrew Friedman and Zaidi, the Dodgers have built layers of functional depth in their farm system, creating safety nets, and Muncy was a good candidate for that, in spite of his first unremarkable appearances in the majors.

    Along the way, Muncy joined the wave of players who have adjusted their approaches in an effort to lift the ball. Like Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner, Muncy is something of an ideal candidate for adaptation because of his hand-eye coordination and ability to make contact. He explained in the visitors clubhouse Saturday that the changes were not really to his swing but to the mechanics setting up his swing and allowing him to hit underneath the ball.

    Max Muncy has tried different swings his whole life. Lee Muncy is an ardent fan of baseball, and years ago, he absorbed an observation by Duke Snider about left-handed hitters — that they enjoy the natural advantage of being a step or two closer to first base than right-handed hitters. He encouraged Max, naturally right-handed, to swing from both sides of the plate. Max smiled when Snider was mentioned and said, “That’s my Dad’s story. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t hit left-handed.”
    There’s another bit that alludes to Duke Snider, not relevant but interesting….

  11. AC has some good points which I agree and disagree with. However, lets’s look at the pitching staff of the Astros last year. They finished 10th in MLB in ERA. The Dodgers were 3.38 and the Stros were at 4.12. Cleveland was #1 with 3.30. The Stros’ starters were #6 in team ERA and their relievers were #17! Ouch!

    The Astros were #1 in Runs, #2 in HR, #1 in OPS, #1 in OB% and #1 in BA. They were also last in strikeouts. The Dodgers were the second best team in MLB in ERA – both as starters and relievers.

    Clayton Kershaw won game 1 over Keuchel. In Game 2 , Justin Verlander started and yet the Dodgers were in a position to win when Morrow and Jansen blew the game and the Astros won in extra innings. In game 3, Darvish melted down (Act I) and McCullers allowed the Dodgers to get close, but starter turned bullpen guy, Brad Peacock pitched 3.2 innings of no-hit ball. In game 4, Wood, Morrow and Watson gave up 1 run, while the best closer in baseball gave up another run. Next, in game 5, just about all the pitchers were mauled, however the greatest closer in baseball gave up the winning run after the best setup man blew the save. In game 6 Rich Hill, Morrow, Watson, Maeda and Jansen all pitched lights out to tie the series 3-3 and beat Justin Verlander in the process. Game 7 ended early when Darvish (Act II) choked big time. Morrow, Kershaw, Jansen and Wood were then lights out.

    Did we learn anything from that?
    1. Having the best closer and best setup man, did not mean much. Were they overworked? Yeah, so was MadBum in the Giants last 2 World Series.
    2. Both teams scored 34 runs. There Dodgers were right there with them.
    3. To me it turned on clutch hitting with RISP. The Dodgers struck out 65 times in the series while the Astros struck out 54 times. The Dodgers walked 21 times. The Astros walked 22 times. The Dodgers hit 10 HR, the Astros hit 15 with fewer strikeouts.

    Maybe there is merit to getting another bat. Machado would change everything:
    1. Manny SS
    2. Muncy 2B
    3. Turner 3B
    4. Bellinger 1B
    5, Kemp LF
    6. Taylor CF
    7. Grandal C
    8. Puig RF

    Yes, lead Manny off and if we can get a couple more arms, do it. However, I think (barring multiple injuries) that the pitching is fine.

    1. This is why I hate the “go for it all” mentality.
      I’d argue with Mark’s third learning and say if Darvish wasn’t tipping pitches the Dodgers would have won it all. EOS.
      If Charlie Morton pitches more like he did against the Yankees in the previous round, then the Dodgers win by not doing anything different.
      They didn’t happen, but they assuredly could have. Even if the Dodgers acquired Verlander, JD Martinez and the rights to Sparky Anderson’s brain, it doesn’t mean they would have won.

      1. And if the Queen had balls she would be King. You can play what if all day long and the story does not change. Of course getting Verlander would not have guaranteed a WS championship. I never said it would. I said I would have preferred to go to battle with Verlander than against him.
        My point, for whatever that’s worth, the Dodgers are not as good as they were last year, and the Astros, Yankees, and Red Sox are all better, with all three figuring to pony up at the deadline. Will the Dodgers? By the way the Cubs went all in and won a WS. The Astros went all in and won a WS. Maybe the Cubs won’t win again for another 108 years, but they did in 2016.
        I have never said that the Dodgers should gut the Farm “to go for it all mentality”. I have always said that the organization is chock-full of good not great prospects. So pull out the two top 50 and say they are untouchable (Verdugo and Ruiz). Now pick from the rest to get what is needed. At the very least the team needs two very reliable relievers. If they can get Machado for Yadier Alvarez, Jordan Sheffield, and Edwin Rios who really would not make that trade. Or are you saying absolutely hold on to all of the prospects because you just never know that you will need 8 OF some day? Prospects can be brought up like Joc, Corey, Cody, Ferguson, Stripling,Puig, etc. Or they can be used in trades, like Willie Calhoun and Brandon Dixon, Oneil Cruz, Hendrik Clementina, JDL, Grant Holmes, etc. Some trades work, so do not. Some draft picks work some do not. It is all a gamble, but you try to put the best 25 man team possible to win. And last year that should have included Justin Verlander. This year it may very well be Manny Machado and Kyle Barraclough/Drew Steckenrider.
        If the Dodgers do not make a move, I will still believe the team will win the WS until they do not. I will believe that Kershaw, Buehler, Hill, Wood, Stripling, Ryu, Maeda will all pitch 7 great innings each game the rest of the year, and nobody will get hurt. The bullpen of Alexander/Hudson/Cingrani/Fields/Chargois/Goeddel/Floro/Jansen will be unhittable in the 8th and 9th. CT3 will stop looking at called 3rd strikes to go deep another 15 times. Cody and Muncy will each hit 35, and Joc, Kemp, Kike’ and Grandal will all hit 20+. And that maybe someday Jordan Sheffield, Imani Abdullah, Donovan Casey, Errol Robinson, Kyle Garlick, Dean Kremer, Matt Beaty, Connor Wong, Luke Raley, and Josh Sborz, will all become All Stars once they are traded and the Dodgers will rue the day they ever considered trading them.
        Or maybe you prefer they go after Curtis Granderson again as I understand he is available.

        1. LOL.

          For the record, I would trade Alvarez, Sheffield, Rios and another prospect, not in the TOP 10.

          DO you believe Manny could be had with that package.

          1. From the reasonably reliable (IMO, again) Morosi:
            Orioles have mentioned Keibert Ruiz and Dustin May in talks with the Dodgers on a Manny Machado trade. L.A. is not likely to trade Ruiz for a rental.

    2. I wonder how Kemp feels about playing rf. Toles looks ready for the full-time lf job assuming we trade puig.

      I disagree that “going for it” necessarily improves our chances to win it all.

      Remember the debate over “standing pat”? I think I am advocating that now. A few tweaks here and there but some upgrades can be found from within.

      Also hoping we can find some more at-bats for keekay come the postseason. I’d rather see him at the plate than puig.

      Will watch the all-star show to cheer on Kemp and root for muncy (though I won’t be surprised if he’s left off). I dont think Jansen deserves it and stripling will likely fall short.

      I’m looking forward to seeing connor joe get a few at-bats in blue one of these days. Maybe Rios too.

  12. I’ve been reading in other pages that the Dodgers are the favorites to get Machado, but apparently it would be in exchange for Verdugo and Alvarez, but knowing Friedman a bit I have a feeling that could go to Baltimore players like Pederson and Ferguson, plus Alvarez and maybe a couple more prospects if Baltimore includes Britton, at least for me, that would seem like a good trade !!

  13. Wow this really picked up since AC’s ‘Devils advocate ‘ stuff… Kudo’s to all…
    IMO we have what we need to go back to the WS and win the whole thing…
    Trading Verdugo is dangerous as he is the real deal IMO. While in Fresno I watched him away from the diamond (pre-game warmups and in the dugout as instructed by AC)… It was all good… He is a hitting machine at every level and he should be given an extended chance at the MLB level…
    As for litigation against Guggs and the boyz, White House leaks are already saying that the Twitter in Chief is guaranteeing pardons for all including Martha Stewart..

  14. Muncy on the bench and Stripling on the staff and the SoCal world will be a better place… Great work guys…

    1. No Strip though? I walked away for a second, and didn’t see his name on that list of pitchers

  15. For those that have the milb tv package, the Quakes/San Jose game is actually being shown! Great for the laptop while the adults are on tv

  16. Maybe I’m overconfident but I’m not scoreboard watching. If we’re not good to make it in, it’s for good reason. I fear no team.

  17. Who was that man who said Puig was going to start propelling balls outta’ stadiums?

      1. You got your wish, but there won’t be a trade of Puig happening now. I would really appreciate if you quit bagging on Puig, it is really getting annoying. I have been leaving your bromance Joc alone even though they will not start him against LHP. If there was ever a sell high candidate it’s him.

  18. Puig must have heard me. Off a lefty ha! Go Puig get hot you called it mark. Keep it going dodgers!

    1. We’ve talked about guys who tinker and Puig(and Ward) has been tinkering with his stance vs lefties all year. Sometimes trying to open his stance more. He’s been letting lefties get in on him like Turner did in 2016. I liked the way he looked prior to the homer. Unfortunately that looked like an Oblique injury.

  19. Uh-oh! If that is a ribcage injury, Puig is out for a while.

    Toles or Verdugo?

  20. Puig has a right intercostal oblique strain.

    DL TIME. Is it time for…

    Verdugo? Who knew?

    1. We will see who they call up but I much prefer Toles to get the nod. He has earned it and to me Verdugo has a lot to prove and still needs an attitude adjustment. He may be the real deal but is the prospect that everyone wants. Call him up and if he flounders forget about getting a really useful piece for the stretch run.

  21. Puig out just when he was heating. Bellinger would have been safe twice tonight if the umpire calls him safe. Instead not enough to overturn call. Ridiculous tie goes to runner.

      1. I would roll him out there, he is better defensively IMO and he produced big time last year. I personally am done with Grandal, he has some serious attitude issues and for the most part I hate his AB’s. I don’t want him back so to me he is a trade candidate to a team like the Nats. Even better put a package together for Realmuto including one of the young catchers, an OF and an arm or two. My preference is Joc, sell high and Donnie loves him.

  22. Watching the Dodgers lately unable to score consistently reminds of why they could use Machado. A s good as the Dodgers lineup can be, they have a tendency at times to go cold. Adding Machado would have repercussions up and down the Dodgers lineup, leading to far fewer cold spells like we’ve been witnessing lately.

  23. Did I just see JT ground into a DP with a 3-0 count, down by one run in the eight inning? Unbelievable, that’s bad baseball like trying to bunt for a base hit down by one with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning on a 3-0 count, yea that happened too.

    Spin it anyway you want that’s not fundamental baseball. Bad, bad, bad!

  24. Not sure that it was a very good idea for Turner to be swinging 3-0 with a runner on and Muncy, Kemp and Bellinger to follow.

  25. Words of wisdom Mark. I was actually thinking just that as I was writing my post.

  26. It’s a shame that we couldn’t sweep the Angels but you need to it in order to do that and we didn’t in this series. AB-91 Hits-13 K’s-37 BA-.143. Too bad.

  27. Brooklyn said “Watching the Dodgers lately unable to score consistently reminds of why they could use Machado. A s good as the Dodgers lineup can be, they have a tendency at times to go cold. Adding Machado would have repercussions up and down the Dodgers lineup, leading to far fewer cold spells like we’ve been witnessing lately.”

    I agree 100%. Machado is a JT type hitter, a hitter who has power but can consistently put the bat on the ball and get base hits when he’s not hitting home runs. It would do wonders for our feast or famine lineup to have a young stud like that. He’s a better offensive player than Seager, I believe. I also feel that an AZ lineup with Lamb, Goldschmidt, Pollock AND Machado would be hard to overcome.

  28. Mark, it’s got to be a bummer to see Puig go out with an injury just when your prediction for him to go on a HR binge was starting to look good.

    1. When you get lemons, make lemonade. I want to see Verdugo, not Toles for two weeks. We have an idea of what Toles can do. Play Verdugo everyday and lets see. Maybe Yasiel gets Wally Pipped!

  29. Well at least the quakes won. Thanks for the head-up, Bobby. I can’t remember watching them this year.

  30. Well, Manny would have looked good in the lineup tonight.

    If Manny comes to LA, why not put Taylor back in CF and Bellinger at 1B? Taylor is the best CF on the team and Bellinger may be the best 1B in baseball (defensively). Leave Manny and Muncy (M & M) as the keystone combination. 2B and SS won’t be great defensively, but hopefully they can rake.

    How about Ramos, Rios, Alvarez and Sheffield?

  31. Verdugo has been out of the OKC lineup for three consecutive days (????). Toles got three hits tonight including his 4th HR. And maybe the forgotten man, Henry Ramos also had three hits including his 8th HR. Ramos will not be recalled because he is not on the 40 man, but he is hitting .298 and an OPS of .841, both better than a lesser defensive outfielder Willie Calhoun. Ramos is also the same age as Toles and Joc.
    It’s going to be Verdugo or Toles. Maybe it should be both with someone like Forsythe going on the DL. With Verdugo or Toles getting recalled, I am hoping that Yusniel Diaz will finally get the promotion to AAA. He went 4 -5 today, including his 6th HR and is now batting .301 with an OPS of .871.
    Also, Will Smith had 2 hits with a HR (14) and double (11). He is now batting .287/.384/.580/.964. Perhaps it is time to give him a call to AAA.
    Zach Pop and Marshall Kasowski were both stellar in relief for The Quakes’ 13th consecutive win, including a 5 game series sweep of the San Jose Giants. It is time for some more promotions.

    1. I can’t find out anything on him… maybe tweak, but they have the 7-day DL. I put out a feeler to a buddy. I’ll see if he can find out anything….

      Will Smith might be ready for LA. What happened to Barnes? He looks lost!

      Chase Utley and Forsythe are both wastes of roster spots. Call up Toles and Verdugo. I’m down with that!

      1. Steve Sax for one was called up to the Dodgers directly from AA. I have been pimping for Smith for awhile now and have always favored him over Ruiz due to his speed and defensive ability. Make him a Dodger.
        Puig just made himself harder for me to trade. So now it’s Grandal, Ruiz, Alvarez, X for Realmuto.

  32. Maybe Alex has a slight injury and they didn’t want him on the DL so that he could play in the AAA All-Star Game. If so, Toles will get the callup now.

  33. I know most of you guys will run me out of town for this, but you trade Verdugo while he has high value. I don’t care if the guy bats ,785 with 50 home runs, he is a potential cancer to the current makeup of this Dodger team. No way he is a Dave Roberts all hands on deck kind of guy. He has already had issues with showing up late to team meetings on the major league level. Hill and Doc have both had words with him, besides the wardrobe malfunction about a month ago with the batting gloves. Just by watching his body language when he plays, I get a 90’s flashback of the ego era, Bonds, Sheffield, A-rod, etc. For all their faults,(Joc, Kike, Forsythe, Barnes, Yasmani, even El Gasolino, they all love their teammates and would lay down on the barbwire for them. I would take Toles on a month of Sundays, bad hamstring and all, over Verdugo. Don’t forget that he jacked his knee up trying to help his pitcher out with a no hitter. For all his talent, which he has alot of, Verdugo is not a good fit for guys like Turner, Utley, Kershaw, Kemp. Dude just has an individual edge that is unsettling.

  34. I’m on the Verdugo Band Wagon.

    Once he’s up this time he won’t go back down again.

    I forget Machado as a rental – rather 3 years of DeGrom if we are giving up talent.
    Now, if Manny was prepared to sign on for the foreseeable future, then that’s a different story….

    Just my take, but from what I’ve seen so far, I don’t see us winning it all this year, but that’s not to say that we might come to the boil at the right time in the second half.
    Some of our key players are just not at the top of their games.
    Kershaw, Turner & Kenley, often the leaders of the team, are not firing on all cylinders, and Seager is lost for the season. Bellinger continues to struggle, and Taylor can’t replicate the heroics of last year.
    On the upnside, Kemp, Muncy & Joc have picked up the slack.
    The Pen remains in a state of flux, with a different cast nightly.

    However, the NL is not so strong, and if we can get our Rotation fit, push a few arms to the Pen, & get JT & Cody hitting, we have a reasonable chance of going deep into the Post Season.
    The AL looks very strong though, and the WS will take some winning this year.

    Still, hasn’t stopped me investing some more money @ 16/1 on the Dodgers winning it all, which I think is a very good price.

  35. I absolutely love Verdugo. As far as I’m concerned he can be a hitting machine. Whatever the Dodgers do, it might be influenced by talks they’re having with other teams, and the players being discussed.

    I like a lot about Toles, but quite frankly I’m not convinced that he’s a long term solution. It always seemed to me that he had a problem with the low and in breaking ball, more so than we saw with Bellinger in the WS.

  36. The Dodgers won 104 games last and still had several very cold spells. Belli is in a sophomore slump maybe but if he hadn’t done so well last year we all would be worried about his huge swing and tendency to swing at balls well out of the strike zone. Taylor does more with balls in play than anybody not hitting 40 home runs. How does a guy strikeout so often do so well when he doesn’t strike out?

  37. Why was Wood pulled after throwing only 76 pitches in six innings? No pitcher will want to come pitch for the Dodgers the way Roberts handles the staff.

  38. For those of you with long term radar:
    Dodgers 19-year-old Mexican righty Gerardo Carrillo, who was 91-96 with a plus curveball. I saw Carrillo pitch in relief of Yadier Alvarez on the AZL’s opening night, during which he was 94-97. He’s small, and my knee-jerk reaction was to bucket him as a reliever, but there’s enough athleticism to try things out in a rotation and see if it sticks.

        1. No demerits. Kudos to you for bringing him up as well. I always love it when others follow the lower minor leaguers. That is where they start.

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