Changes to the Game is Inevitable

NFL Attendance has peaked and is going the other direction.  Baseball purists say that baseball is healthy and why change the game?  The answer is really simple:while there are certainly some young fans, baseball is not as popular among the Millenials and Gen X as it was during the Baby Boomer Generation. I guarantee that in the next few years, there are going to be substantially fewer crowds watching the games fn MLB keeps going down the same path. Change is inevitable – embrace it or not, but it’s coming. I see a few things that need to be changedf immediately:

  1. Electronic Balls and Strikes– I don’t totally want to take the human element out of baseball, so I think something like this should happen: There is an electronic strike zone with a  “Red Zone” around it, which may be an inch or two.  Balls and strikes become a “challenge” option.  Each team get 1 challengd per inning (9 per game and you can use them all in one inning if you are so inclined).  If a ball is challenged which is in the “Red Zone” (meaning it was close), it is not overturned.  It has to be egregious to be overturned.
  2. The DH is Uniform Throughout All of Baseball– Come on, this is easy.  Practically every baseball league uses the DH except the National League.  Many pitches in MLB have NEVER HIT and Never Will. No other professional sports legaue has different rules for different divisions.  NL pitchers are hitting .110 this year.  If you like that, you are strange.  The NL should have the DH.
  3. Shifts are Banned– If you think it is easy to “go the other way” when a pitcher throws a “inside and low slider” you have never played the game much.  If you are a LH hitter and they put 4 defenders on the Right Side of the infieldANDthe pitcher exceutes a high and inside or low and inside pitch, I doubt you can go the other way 10% of the time.  Tony Gwynn?  12% maybe. Of course, pitchers don’t always excute (some should be executed, but I digress).  If fielders can be stationed anywhere, why not let the catcher and pitcher set up where they want? That is not allowed, so why can other fielders? I believe the shift makes a huge difference and that defenders should have to play in certain “zones.” A 3B could play near 2B, but he should not be able to play between 1st and 2B. That’s my opinion.

Dodger News

  • For the record, I would trade Lux and May for Machado, but FAZ did not ask me.  Again…
  • Will Smith is smoking hot and hit another HR last night while going 3-4.  Hello… the switch was flipped… he’s ready! Get him to LA!
  • Alex Verdugo did not play in the AAA All-Star Game last night.  Hummmmm…..
  • Dump Logan Forsythe!
  • Play Andrew Toles already!
  • Max Muncy was robbed.  I hope he win the HR Derby and has a huge chip on his shoulder.
  • Congrats to Chicken Strip for being an All-Star.
  • Zac Rosscup is a pitcher to watch as a LH specialist who has ntaken Edward Paredes place on the 40-man roster.
  • There is a nice articvle in The Athletic (pay site) about Daniel Hudson and why he was ejected.  Since early May, his ERA is 1.88.  He is evolving into a set-up role.


A pair of winning streaks came to an end yesterday.  The Drillers lost after 6 wins, and the Quakes lost for the 1sttime in over two weeks.  They had a 15-game winning streak broken.


Tulsa Drillers – 9-5 Loss to Northwest Arkansas Naturals (Royals)


Will Smith continued his drive to LA with a 3-4 night including his 16thHR and 12thdouble and 3 RBIs.  He has now hit a HR in four consecutive games.  He is now slashing .296/.391/.614/1.005.  He is putting up better numbers than Yordan Alvarez who was recently promoted to AAA.  He is an outstanding defensive catcher.  There is no reason to keep him at AA except no place for him to play with Rocky Gale and Kyle Farmer.  Somebody has to move (Barnes, Farmer, or Gale) for Smith to move up.

Jacob Scavuzzo also went 3-4 with his 13thdouble and the remaining 2 RBIs.

Isaac Anderson continues to show why he is a Single A pitcher.  He got tagged again in his most recent AA promotion.  He pitched 3.1 innings allowing 6 runs on 7 hits and 2 walks, with one K.  Michael Boyle, Karch Kowalczyk, and Corey Copping followed with only Copping pitching without allowing a run.

I hope to see both Will Smith and Yusniel Diaz in OKC very soon.


Rancho Cucamonga Quakes – 6-2 Loss to Lancaster JetHawks (Rockies)


Gavin Lux went 2-4 with a walk, to extend his hitting streak to 13 games.  He is batting .364/.410/.473/.883 during that time with 5 walks and only 7 Ks in 61 PA. Rylan Bannon also reached base 3 times going 1-3 with a double (17) and 2 walks.  Sage Jenco went 2-3 with a walk, and Connor Wong went 2-3 with his 13thHR.  He is finding his stroke again.

Austin Hamilton stepped in as starter as Isaac Anderson was promoted to Tulsa.  He went 4.0 IP, allowing 4 runs on 5 hits, with 1 K.  Ryan Moseley followed and was really tagged in his 0.2 IP.  He allowed 3 runs on 2 hits but 3 walks and 0 Ks.  Yeison Cespedes restored order in his 3.1 scoreless IP, while Zach Pop pitched yet another scoreless inning.  He has now allowed 1 run in 27.0 IP, for a 0.33 ERA and a 0.70 WHIP.  I do not know what else he needs to show to get promoted to AA.


Great Lakes Loons – 1-0 Win over Clinton LumberKings (Mariners) in 10 innings


Josh McLain hit a 2 out single in the 10thinning for the shutout victory.  That’s right…the Loons got a shutout last night.  20-year-old Edwin Uceta pitched the 1st6.0 innings allowing 4 hits and 1 walk, with 7 Ks.  Stephen Kolek and Jasiel Alvino pitched the final 4 innings (2.0 IP each) for the shutout victory.  In 74.1 IP this year, Uceta has compiled a respectable 3.75 ERA and 1.32 WHIP.  He has 76 Ks and 24 walks.  He needs to learn command, but once he does he should be someone to follow up the organization.  Command is something Caleb Ferguson already had at this age and stage in his career.


Ogden Raptors – 11-0 Win over Missoula Osprey (DBacks)


Julio Chacin started and pitched 5.0 innings allowing 3 hits, 3 walks, and 4Ks. A pair of 2018 draftees, Hunter Speer and Justin Hagenman both pitched 2.0 innings to complete the shutout victory.

OF Drew Avins went 4-5 with 2 HRs and 5 RBIs.  Both of his HR were with 2 outs.  He now has 3 with Ogden and with 3 at AZL, Avins has 6 HRs combined in the short season (58 AB and 68 PA).  Jacob Amaya continued his hot start with a 3-5 night.  Jefrey Souffront went 3-4, and James Outman went 2-4 and is starting to get more comfortable at the plate.  Miguel Vargas got his 6thdouble, and Ronny Brito got his 3rdHR.  It might be fun to watch a pair of 19-year-old middle infielders (Amaya and Brito) move up the organizational ladder.  Both are primarily SS and with Jeremy Arocho playing 2B, the team has three middle infielders to monitor.


This article has 136 Comments

  1. The DH is lame and should be banned throughout baseball. The game was played 100 years before the American League came up with the stupid idea to keep old players in the game longer, which isn’t even the case anymore as it is being used mostly as a rotational resting spot tired starters. Shifts shouldn’t be banned, players should adapt. Boggs, Gwynn, Carew made careers out of hitting where they aren’t. See Bellinger’s double last night. I thought you were more of a purist.

    1. I appreciate the game in the past but I believe that in everything you change or die. Pureists don’t evolve… and they die.

      1. For the record, I loath the DH.

        That being said, I hope it is instituted next year in the NL.

        It is ridiculous to have different rules for each league, particularly when there is inter league play.

  2. Good morning Mark.
    I’m almost sure I can make a mistake about it, since I’m not an expert, but I do not see Hudson as a set-up, the name of Baez comes to my mind, who seems very similar to Hudson in confidence for the team, also he the only one who could throw two innings….

  3. 1. Electronic strike zone but no challenges.
    2. DH in both leagues or not at all.
    3. Ban the shift. Plus, infielders can no longer position themselves on the outfield grass.
    The game needs more offense.
    Maybe three balls instead of two (and I’m not talking anatomically).

  4. I liked what I saw from Dylan Floro last night. He was in the mid90s with some good movement. Hopefully gets back out there tonight. It’s an audition for him before the trade deadline as well.

    1. He’s from Atwater, ca.

      Only one of Mark’s changes I have an opinion on is robotic strike zone. Long overdue.

    1. Would not mind seeing Smith in LA sometime in September to give him some ML exposure

      1. He’s a AA catcher. Why rush him? I love to see him playing 3b. His value keeps going up and up. Assuming verdugo is #1, might he be #2 now?

  5. Free Andrew Toles!
    Free Andrew Toles!
    Free Andrew Toles!
    Free Andrew Toles!
    Free Andrew Toles!

    Makes me want to drive to SD just to try to start the chant

        1. haha maybe. I can’t think of another explanation for batting Forsythe and Barnes back to back in back to back games

          1. Doc tries to keep everybody relevant so if FAZ is going to keep both on the team, Doc is going to find places for them to play.

  6. I don’t loathe the DH; I don’t care either way. If it comes, great, that’s less Rich Hill at bat and more good hitters at bat

  7. Electronic strike zone, but keep the home plate umpire. He can make all the other calls he does now and can make better decisions on half swings and balks if he doesn’t have to watch the ball. Would he still be positioned behind the catcher?

    1. Yep, he just has a little buzzer or something that tells him ball or strike. If a guy wants to get mad, that’s fine. But a grid will show if the ball was in the zone or not. Imperfect but standardizes the most important part of the game. I mean by the playoffs every pitch is debatable.

  8. Why not DH for catchers as well? Because that’s not what baseball is. There’s nothing wrong with pitchers having to deal with both sides of the game and for a few of them they excel. I don’t believe bringing DH to the NL will sell more tickets either. I’m not a purist but when it isn’t broke there’s no reason to fix it. The umpires calling balls and strikes is a different story and that’s broke more than 50% of the time. While the heads of MLB are always patting umpires backs of the umps for doing an outstanding job I wonder were they watching the games I watched. When it ain’t right is when it needs fixing and it ain’t right that calls favor for the brethren factor. And I’m not for changing for what the fans want either. The whole world goes crazy over soccer and I have a hard time understanding why that is. Football is becoming just as lame and basketball jumped ahead and now is just another talent show like American Idol. The only way soccer is any good is when it’s played on ice. Baseball is the unique sport and most of the other sports are just the same game with different scenery. There I go again upshifting with my ADD…….sorry.

  9. I don’t like any of Mark’s proposed changes. I don’t like interleague play anyway. The distinctive of the All Star Game and the World Series is that these were the only 2 times that the players in different leagues faced each other. Since this is no longer the case, baseball runs the risk of doing what the NBA has discussed and just put the 8 teams with the best records in the post-season, regardless of league or division affiliation. I would hate that!

    I hate the DH! Get rid of it. Pitchers who have to hit are a little more circumspect about dusting hitters off.

    You say you’re worried that Millenials and Gen Z don’t like the game in part because it’s too slow? Then by all means allow for challenges of balls and strikes!

    After you ban “the shift” are you also going to ban playing the infield deep in double play situations and in to cut off the run on a grounder? Ban moving outfielders deeper when power hitters come up? Make pitchers throw from a flat surface instead of a mound? Outlaw the slider? Geez.

    I would figure some way to dump Forsythe for sure. Utley is the best pinch hitter on the team so maybe he keeps his job. (He’s hitting .345 in 29 PA as a pinch hitter.) For sure they have to see what Toles can do now that Puig is on the DL and Toles is on the roster.

    Zac Rosscup is not going to be the answer to any question. Here are his numbers
    4 seasons not including this year, 71 games.
    3 – 1, 5.30 ERA, 1.55 WHIP, 54 IP, 52 H, 34 BB, 10 HR, 67 K.

  10. 1. Electronic Balls and Strikes — I prefer to totally go with electronic strike zone. No appeals. No challenges. Keep the ump behind home plate to call everything but non-swung on pitches.
    The DH is Uniform Throughout All of Baseball – Agree but with caveat that both leagues use it.
    Shifts are Banned – While I really like positioning the defense where it can have the highest likelihood of making a play, like football uses the prevent defense or the nickel defense, or the three man line, or the four man line, or stacking 8 on or close to the line to thwart the run. But like football has protected the quarterback, or stopped certain contact with receivers maybe baseball needs to help produce more offense.
    Glad to see Smith supporting my early faith in him. Unless Ruiz is seen as a second base prospect, I would include him in a package for a player that can better help the Dodgers.

    1. Will Smith is having a tremendous season, but it is his 1st nice season. He also has been on the DL multiple times (one due to HBP). Ruiz is 3.5 years younger than Smith, and is rated as the #2 catching prospect in all of MiLB. He is the #26 overall prospect per Baseball America, while Smith is #80. Obviously those are not givens, but they are projections. If any player is going to change positions, it might be Smith. Ruiz has never played another position other than catcher, while this year Smith has started nearly as many games at 3B (22) than catcher (23), plus his DH starts. They will both undoubtedly be catchers at the ML level, but I would hold on to both of them for now. There is nothing wrong with a little competition.

      1. I Will guess (see what I did there) that Smith will zoom up the Dodgers prospect rankings soon enough. MLB top 100 rankings should not be too far behind.
        I really like the idea that the Dodgers could soon have speed at catcher and first base in Smith and Bellinger.
        Might Ruiz and May to the Pirates for Mitch Keller help both teams? I ask more for the reason that May might bring back more than 3 months of Machado.

  11. Minor League Update – Update Above. Some good games and good performances. And as Mark indicated Alex Verdugo did not play in the AAA All Star game.
    Mitchell White and Dustin May are due to start for Tulsa and RC respectively today.

    1. I love some people saying we have plenty of starting pitching prospects. There is no such thing! Start with Santana and Ferguson. One us injured and the other we really dont know what we have. White and alvarez have had choppy years. Neither is a premium guy at this point. May is probably our best true sp prospect but even he’s a way away. After that, Kremer, Jimenez, cooper, grove. I mean it gets thin pretty fast. Sheffield pffft.

  12. Most analytics show that Ball and Strike calling by umpires is pretty accurate and constantly becoming even more.
    Your proposal to allow challenges will turn the game into a snore fest. ONE PER INNING? Are you nuts? Can you challenge check swings? Catcher interference? It’s a silly idea.

    1. First They Think You are Nuts, Then They Laugh at You, Then They Attack You, Then You Win!

  13. Where is Verdugo? Mark, Ac why the mystery? I must say Floro is off to a fantastic start with la. How in the world does his fastball jump into the 94-95 range? I don’t know how that happens, maybe the radar was in error.

    1. the ball was definitely moving though, regardless of his speed. I did think he was throwing pretty hard myself, so the 95 did look accurate (based on my lack of expertise, of course)

    2. Suspect Verdugo is being held out as he is seriously being used as a trade chip. Keep8ng him out avoids injury.

  14. Thanks for the responses about Floro. It just seems he may be more valuable than his previous record might indicate.

  15. The NBA and the NFL have made a lot of changes over the years that I think have improved their games. If MLB wants to continue to attract new fans in larger numbers they will have to change. I agree with all of Mark’s proposed changes – except the challenges. Maybe 2 or 3 per game max. The Hawk-Eye system they use for Tennis has worked great.

  16. In response to Bluto’s post above about umpire calls. There is a 2016 article that talks about the award winning sports show, Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel that states, “Oct 1, 2016 – MLB claims its umpires call 97 percent of balls and strikes correctly. … the study showed that only about 88 percent of the calls were accurate.” It went on to state that 1/3 of their calls on close pitches (not obvious strikes or balls) were incorrect. That is not very good and needs to be corrected, especially since there is a method to correct it.

    1. Interesting Campy, I’d cite this 2018 article in the Washington Post which states:

      Plus, umpires are better at calling strikes. A decade ago, the first year data is available, less than 75 percent of pitches in the strike zone were called strikes, but that has since improved to 85 percent in 2017 and more than 86 percent this season. Plus, pitchers are inducing more swinging strikes (10.7 percent vs. 8.7 percent in 2008) than ever before…

  17. Insofar as the challenges, I purposed 9 because if they can’t be overturned in 30 seconds, they stand. Ball and strikes will be the most challenged and that will be instant!

    1. Right, but 90 seconds is just to be reviewed. There’s the time for team A to decide whether to review, then the walk and set up of the review process.

  18. I personally hate both the DH and the pitcher hitting.

    So here’s a crazy idea… why not just have an 8 man lineup for both leagues. In that scenario, you eliminate both problems with one easy rule change.

    I know that this will probably never happen, but I think it makes the most sense.

    1. Good new-to-me idea. Everybody wants to play and be relevant. Letting one more player get in the game does that. I prefer to watch Kemp hit more than i like watching Kershaw hit. A pitcher in involved with all pitches, duh, and a fielder might not touch a ball the entire game. Pitchers don’t need to hit too.

  19. I think a study of how young (12-18) fans react or perceive the shift needs to happen soon. I took my 15 year grandson to the Dodgers vs Angel’s game 11/6 and was shocked at his reaction to seeing the shift in person. He was adamant that that wasn’t how baseball should be played. Of course from his limited experience from tee ball til now they never use a shift. Still I was completely caught off guard by his reaction.

  20. I was for replay and I still would rather than not. However, it still doesn’t assure that the calls are accurate. I am getting very weary of the umpires make a call and it is not overturned because of not enough evidence to overturn. I believe the Dodgers got hosed big time with the out call on Gonzalez at home plate against the Cubs 2 years ago. I believe that call turned the whole series. The other night against the Angels bellinger was called out twice when if the umpire would have called him safe on the field he would have been safe. The fact the umpire called him out there wasn’t enough evidence to overturn. It cost the Dodgers the game when I feel he was safe. I thought the replay showed him safe with the bases loaded. It was a tie which goes to the runner. Forget the call on the field just rule whether he was safe or not.

    1. 1. Umpires should not be deciding from a monitor in NYC if one of their brethren made a mistake or not. An independent group should be in charge, be it retired players, managers, whomever.
      2. You are 100% correct that a call shouldn’t be subjected to being upheld or not. Just call the play, regardless of what the ruling umpire opined.

    2. There is nothing that says “Tie goes to the runner.” That play simply could not be overturned. 30 seconds move on.

      1. You are right Mark that there is no tie goes to the runner. I admit I did not know that but thanks for pointing that out. However, if the umpire had made a safe call and not an out call I believe the ruling would have been safe. My point is that replay does not end all arguments and not 100% correct. I also said I would rather have than not but I am still frustrated when I think it is a blown call.

    3. Yeah, now that you mention it, replay is broken too. It’s basically garbage and adds nothing to the game.

  21. I like the idea of having a older player like Kemp, Big Poppy or someone like that play a few years longer. It add more offense and excitement. Hardly any youth league are letting pitchers hit, then they can’t hit when they come up. The horse is already out of the barn. I believe that at the very minimum, next season, there will be the DH in both leagues and roster expansion to 26 or 27… and maybe the end of shifts!

    1. Speaking of crazy ideas, why not put two teams to play? One to field and the other to hit … Like in the NFL

      To field.
      1B- Bellinger
      2B- Forsythe
      SS- Hernandez
      3B- Turner
      LF Pederson
      CF- Taylor
      RF- Puig
      C. Grandal

      To hit.
      1 – Taylor
      2 – Pederson
      3 – Turner
      4 – Bellinger
      5 – Kemp
      6 – Muncy
      7 – Puig
      8 Grandal

      So you eliminate the DH and do not need to take turns to bat the pitchers

  22. More importantly, AZ just lost again at Col. Let’s get today with our all star Stripling and take sole possession of first place

  23. Rocks have just knocked off the Snakes 5-1, first place is there for the taking.

    Why is Grandal batting cleanup tonight in front of speedsters Taylor and Toles?

    1. Bobby, you are just too quick! Agreed Stripling will want to make a statement. Ross got lit up in his last start, could be a HR barrage coming.

  24. If Machado is moody or a primadonna, I don’t want him on the Dodgers. I wish I knew for sure one way or the other.
    I would trade Barnes to Padres for AJ Ellis. Add players to make that work.
    Joc, buy a vowel.
    Belli, close your eyes and when you open them it will be 2017.
    Puig, Close your eyes as well and when you open them you will be in Miami, or NY, or Tampa.

    1. I’m sure machado is an egotist like a rod or any other variety of 1% superstars. If he hits eight Homer’s during an 11 game postseason run he can think whatever he wants of himself. If we’re on the same side of the table as him, its win-win. Hired gun. Mercenary. Rentier. Call him by his name.

    2. Lol at trading for Ellis.

      The Padres may have to include a prospect for anyone to take him.

  25. Scott kingery batting .231 with 4 hr and 26 rib
    He’s the ss of Philadelphia who is playing baltimore and machado right now
    Eagles just won the super bowl. Sixers lost out on lebron
    The nl is wide open. Watch out for them adding a major piece.

  26. I’m not sure how I feel about electronic balls and strikes… but I’d definitely be in favor of replacing Bill Miller with some kind of basic AI robot… like Johnny 5 from Short Circuit.

    Hell… I’d take a toaster oven behind the plate over Bill Miller. At least you know what you’re gonna get with a toaster oven.

    1. That was absolutely disgraceful watching bill millers? Strike zone. I really felt he screwed the Dodgers big time and particularly kikes at bat. How does a guy that bad get in the World Series?

      1. My question exactly! Everyone in the major leagues know’s who the best and worst umpires are… from the front office to the managers / coaches to the players. How can they reward an umpire with such a bad reputation to be behind the plate in a pivotal game 5 of the world series!?

  27. Hypothetical question:
    If the Yankees sign Harper in the off season, do the Dodgers go after Stanton?

    1. I have actually read that was a potential story line for this upcoming offseason. It has been circulated (I love rumors) for some time. NYY wants Harper and his LH bat, and could trade RH hitting Stanton to LA for more prospects. Stanton is absolutely crushing LHP .366/.425/.763/1.188. Brett Gardner is the only LH hitting OF on the roster, other than Ellsbury who they can not get rid of quick enough. Gardner is a FA next year. If Hicks is the CF, NYY can switch Harper, Judge, and Frazier as LF, RF, DH. They could also flip Frazier as a key part of a package for a top of the rotation pitcher, and mix in Billy McKinney. Machado may want NYY, but NYY wants Harper. I see Machado ending up in Philly next year.

  28. The Athletic on Alex Verdugo:

    With the trade deadline right around the corner and the Dodgers in the hunt for Manny Machado, Verdugo is expected to be available among the possible trade pieces for Los Angeles, a source has shared with The Athletic.

    Taken by the Dodgers in the second round of the 2014 draft, Verdugo was originally viewed as a feasible pitching option coming out of high school. The Dodgers opted to sign Verdugo as an outfielder, a move that Verdugo went on to note was his preferred defensive post. The Dodgers’ choice to utilize Verdugo as a hitter has been quick to pay off, as he is now labeled as one of the best active pure hitting prospects.

    Verdugo, 22, has a keen understanding of his body and that balance adds to his effectiveness at the plate and allows him to control the strike zone from the left side. He has bat speed that flashes plus and a degree of barrel control that allows the lefty to work all points of the field offensively.

    The Dodgers have been fairly aggressive with moving Verdugo despite his age and he’s handled the offensive transition without missing a beat. Verdugo was introduced to Class AAA at 21 years old in 2017, slashing .314/.389/.436 with an .825 OPS, a .367 wOBA and a 10.1 K% over 495 plate appearances.

    Verdugo got a look in the big leagues with the Dodgers in both 2017 and again this season. In a combined 24 major league games, he has proven his hit tool can play up to the major-league level. The question moving forward will be how much power he will hit for as he gains more experience in the big leagues.

    As average runner defensively, Verdugo grabs attention with a plus-plus arm that works in favor of any ground not covered. He takes a strong first-step read watching bat-to-ball from the outfield and his defensive instincts generate solid routes.

    Although Verdugo has done most of his work in centerfield at the Class AAA level, he has been shifted to more time in left. He may ultimately be a corner outfielder upon landing full time at the major league level.

    1. Alex is in the OKC lineup tonight, playing CF. In the bottom of 5, he is 1-3 with his 8th HR.

  29. Figure the rest of this deal out, but OK, here it is:

    Alex Wood, Alex Verdugo, Yasiel Puig, Logan Forsythe, and Joc Pederson to the Yankees for Mike Stanton. That’s pretty close to keeping the Dodgers under the Lux Tax. Then the Yanks can flip Verdugo and whoever for Machado… or Harper.

    1. Or, wait until next year after Forsythe is gone and the Yankees have signed Harper and Machado. The Yankees will need to get rid of Stanton’s contract and few teams will have the ability to absorb that ridiculous contract.

  30. Well last year’s Mitchell White showed up tonight in NW Arkansas. He went 6.2 IP allowing 1 run (unearned on his error), 6 hits and 0 walks, with 6 K’s. He threw 98 pitches. He was still 91-93 in the 7th. White made an absolutely horrible throw on a comebacker to pull Raley off 1st, and the batter eventually came around to score an unearned run.

    1. I’m glad to see that. He must have had an “undisclosed” injury. Mitch has filthy stuff!

    1. Will Smith and can’t think of another so maybe Barnes will have a good second half and can share catching with Smith.

  31. Other Tulsa Drillers in a 14-3 Win over the NW Arkansas Naturals (Royals)
    Keibert Ruiz – 3-4 including 2 HRs (9) and a 2 run double (90).
    Will Smith had his 4 game consecutive HR streak snapped, but he did have a double (13).
    Yusniel Diaz went 4-5 with 2 doubles (10). Why isn’t he in AAA?
    Drew Jackson 2-4 with a HR (9).
    Luke Raley 2-5 with a HR (14).
    RC – 8-4 Win over Lancaster JetHawks (Rockies)
    Dustin May – 6.2 IP, 3 runs, 3 runs, 2 hits, 1 walk, 1 critical HBP, 12 Ks. Unfortunately for Dustin, one of the hits was a 3 run HR.
    Gavin Lux – 3-5 Led off bottom of 1st with 10th HR. He also had a double (19).
    Rylan Bannon – 2-5
    Cody Thomas – 2-5 with a double (21)
    Cristian Santana – 2-4 with 2 RBIs
    Hamlet Marte – 2-4
    Steve Berman – 2-3
    Omar Estevez – 10th HR
    Marshall Kasowski – 1.1 IP – no runs, 1 BB, 4 K – Got the win; now 2-0.
    Andre Scrubb finished the 9th with 1 unearned run and 1 hit and 2 Ks.

  32. Kenley Jansen has been getting the job done, but there is no doubt that he’s nowhere near as dominant as he’s been in the past. Not striking out hitters at anywhere near the same rate as he has in the past, and is having more problems putting away hitters.

  33. Gritty win – making Ross look Cy Young.

    We have managed to get to the top of the division without playing our best baseball, which has to be a good thing.

    In other news, The Don certainly making waves over here in the Uk, not holding back in his criticism of the Prime Minister & the Mayor Of London.
    In a way it’s quite refreshing to hear a politician shooting from the hip, rather than hiding behind the usual platitudes.
    The problem is, not sure everyone is comfortable with it. Certainly makes things more interesting.

    If we can take the series with the Halos, we will be heading into the 2nd half in good shape.
    A couple of new Bullpen arms, plus the return of some the wounded should see us set.
    A full return to health & form of JT would certainly help the Offense.

    1. Some of us would certainly appreciate it if you keep the Don on your side of the pond. He does want to be king after all.

      1. Rudy – there’s already been a Don King.
        He’s currently having tea with the Queen at Windsor Castle.
        Maybe he’s making his move for when Prince Philip falls off his perch.

  34. Bartender, drinks are on me! Make mine a Lone Star! Let me drink it till the season ends.

  35. AC, I recall you mentioned Marshall Kasowski earlier. Check out this tidbit:
    Marshall Kasowski struck out four in 1⅓ scoreless innings of relief. Since joining the Quakes, the 23-year-old right-hander — drafted in the 13th round in 2017 — has a 0.95 ERA with 35 strikeouts and eight walks in just 19 innings. Counting his time in Great Lakes this year Kasowski has 84 strikeouts in 47 innings and a 44.7% K rate.

  36. The Quakes have a couple of potential shut down relievers in Marshall Kasowski, and Zach Pop, 7th round 2017 draft pick out of Kentucky, who may be even better. Not the strikeout threat that Kasowski is, but with better command and control.

    Zach Pop – RC – 27.0 IP, 1 run, 0.33 ERA, 0.704 WHIP, 6BB, 23K
    Zach Pop – 2018 – 43.1 IP, 5 runs, 0.737 ERA, 0.877 WHIP, 13 BB, 47K, 1 HR
    Marshall Kasowski – RC – 19 IP, 0.95 ERA, 0.737 WHIP, 8 BB, 35 K, 1 HR
    Marshall Kasowski – 2018 – 47 IP, 1.91 ERA, 0.957 WHIP, 26 BB, 84 K, 2 HR
    Not to be oudone, 2016 8th round draft pick, Andre Scrubb, has been nothing but exceptional since his promotion to RC.
    Andre Scrubb – RC – 10.1 IP, 0.00 ERA, 0.581 WHIP, 2 BB, 14 K
    Combine those with Nolan Long and Michael Boyle who are struggling a bit at AA, but the jump from A+ to AA is huge, so I would expect some struggle. Both pitchers should settle down to become solid relievers. And with Jesen Therrien ready to go next year, the future of the bullpen is in the farm system.

        1. He probably is. He’s the last person to just hold a conference to gab with the press.

          1. I am okay if he is retiring as long as he is staying in the Dodgers organization. You know Kapler and Philly would love for Chase to come back to the Phillies in some capacity.

          2. The solid rumor is that Chase will be retiring and it will be at the end of the season . The timing is such that it gets announced before the AS game and before the Dodgers go to Philly where Chase will be treated like a King. He should get at least two starts in Philly. He has only been a Dodger a short time, but he will always be a Dodger to me.

  37. I think that is a great idea to get that out, before we go to Phillie after the Allstar break.

    And you know Roberts is going to do the right thing, when it comes to Chase, in Philly.

    And I wouldn’t be surprised if the Dodgers haven’t already offered Chase a job in the organization, and just might have made Chase’s decision to retire, a little easier.

    1. Because he is retiring, LAD gets to save $1M in AAV next year. Not that that should be any consideration. I am sure the Dodgers will honor the remaining portion of the contract to try and keep him in the organization. He has so much to offer. A true professional. My son will always consider his time with Chase as one of his favorite times in all of his professional career.

        1. Chase is my kind of player, I only wish the Dodgers had him, when he was in his prime.

          But I also wish every player that is from California, especially Southern California, was a Dodger too.

          1. Don’t forget the Dodgers drafted him in the second round in ’97 but he didn’t sign. As AC can attest to, going to UCLA was a great choice.

  38. Per MLBTradeRumors: Julio Urias faced live hitters this week for the first time since undergoing major shoulder surgery last June, tweets Pedro Moura of The Athletic. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts told reporters that the left-hander’s fastball reached as high as 92 mph in that session, and while that’s not quite as high as the 93.1 mph he averaged last season before surgery, it’s an encouraging sign in the early stages of his return to throwing.

  39. I believe that I read that the Dodgers signed Chase to a 2 year $2 million deal in order to reduce the AAV for 2017 to help keep the Dodgers below the luxury tax threshold this year.

    I suspect they knew all along that this would likely be his final year, and may well have offered him a job with the Dodgers following his retirement from playing.

    Although he will likely get some playing time going forward this year, I suspect it will be limited. Given his advanced baseball age, it seems to me that he performs better these days when he gets some time off. Probably could be a valuable piece off the bench and with occasional starts in the 2nd half.

    1. Chase Utley was and is very special. A leader on the field and especially in the clubhouse. In the beginning of this year when we had problems winning, Chase hit in the mid-280’s until May of this year. I’ve read that Seager loves him for his knowledge and the way he plays the game. I have never ever not seen him run at full speed after hitting a routine groundout to 2nd or 1st base. He has been a very good hitter this year as a PH(I believe over .400) I wish the FO would honor his contract for next year even if he isn’t plying and hire him as a coach. I also think we should trade him to the Phillies so he can retire as a Philly at the end of Sept.

    2. It certainly is a lot of fun watching Utley running the basepaths. He’s surely no sloth in anything he does in baseball. Pure class is what he brings and I hope he’ll be a part of the franchise in any capacity going forward.


    – The Los Angeles Dodgers today reinstated right-handed pitcher Walker Buehler from the 10-day disabled list (right rib microfracture) and optioned switch-handed pitcher Pat Venditte to Triple-A Oklahoma City.

    Buehler, who will make his 10th start of the season tonight against the Angels at Dodger Stadium, missed the past 13 games with a right rib microfracture. The 23-year-old hard throwing right-hander has appeared in 10 games (nine starts) with Los Angeles this season, going 4-2 with a 3.44 ERA (20 ER/52.1 IP) and has struck out 54 batters against just 12 walks over 52.1 innings. He has also held the opposition to a .222 average, while posting a 1.05 WHIP.

    Venditte, 33, has made five relief appearances for the Dodgers this season, allowing four runs over 4.1 innings (8.31 ERA) and has struck out four against one walk.

  41. Tonight’s lineup

    Pederson LF
    Muncy 3B
    Kemp RF
    Bellinger 1B
    Grandal C
    Taylor SS
    Toles CF
    Hernandez 2B
    Buehler P

        1. Rich Hill is scheduled to pitch Sunday. Buehler is taking Wood’s spot so Wood will either be in the pen or just rest. It was said earlier in the week that Wood would not make another start before the break.

          1. Mike DiGiovanna tweeted they switched the rotation. Alex Wood will start Saturday and Clayton Kershaw will start Sunday. Rich Hill threw pen today and will be available in relief over the weekend

          2. Thank you. They still show it as Kershaw and Hill. I wonder what changed their mind?

  42. That’s odd, especially because Kersh was scheduled to pitch tomorrow, on his bobblehead day too!

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