Back in First Place!

  • Except for bad pitch selection (4 fastballs) to his last batter, Rich Hill was again terrific.  No blisters = a very good pitcher. This is the pitcher the Dodgers are paying for and if he keeps it up, he’s a bargain!  Blisters have been his kyrptonite!
  • The bullpen was very good again:  Floro, Alexander, Chargois and Jansen handled a hot A’s team.
  • Oakland has the 4th best bullpen ERA in MLB and it got better when they picked Shawn Kelley from the Nats. Manaea is most respects is their best starter – the Dodgers just made him throw lots of pitches.  The RISP stat wasn’t good last night, but the A’s are a tough team.
  • The fact that the Dodgers are saying Corey Seager can remain at shortstop is just boilerplate.  Of course, they are saying that.  What are they supposed to say?  Maybe this: “It’s going to be very hard for him to come back so we have some contingency plans?”  NO!  They have to give him their full support and I hope he is the Dodgers’ starting shortstop next year, but I think it will be difficult.  Shortstops make some of the most contorted and difficult throws of any player on the team.  I’m not worried too much about his hip.
  • Brian Dozier should stay at leadoff – Period!
  • Turner is hitting the ball right on the screws.  He’s back!
  • Looks like it’s Kemp and Bellinger’s turn to get hot!
  • This is  game of ebb and flow. I smell a hot streak coming!
  • FromRotoworld: “Ryu made the start at Triple-A Reno, a very hitter-friendly environment. He scattered five hits and struck out three batters without issuing a walk, throwing 51 of his 71 pitches for strikes and inducing eight groundouts to three flyouts. Ryu should be cleared to rejoin the Dodgers’ starting rotation after one more minor league rehab outing. He’s been sidelined since early May due to a severe groin strain.” So, he will be back soon and someone will go to the pen.  Will they be more interested in Starting or Winning? This will prove to be interesting.
  • Both Brian Dozier and Logan Forsythe are hitting .412 since the trade in 17 AB’s.  Forsythe is OPS’ing .971 and Dozier is OPS’ing 1.506!
  • Mike Fiers goes today and once, no hit the Dodgers – It’s time for Payback!

This article has 69 Comments

  1. Bullpen was lights out. Great to see. Is the Hudson injury a real one or a roster-friendly DL move? I wonder if any of these players (or their agents) take exception to phantom DL stints. I know I wouldn’t be crazy about having it on my record.

  2. It is a great sign for turner! Very strange bullpen moves last night for Roberts. Floro pitches to one batter and is taken out with the lefty coming up. However, the next several batters were right handed and only in the sixth inning. We win it worked but don’t know what the thinking was at that point. Good luck to Forsythe apparently a good guy who doesn’t perform under the big lights. Dozier off to great start. Need to jump on Fiers early tonight.

  3. Mark – I was wondering – what has happened to Bobbie17?
    We havnt heard from him for ages, and I’m sure he is enjoying our position compared to his hated Giants?

    Hope he is ok?

    1. I’ll reach out. Sometimes life just happens and some people leave for a while and come back for various reasons. A guy I really miss is Dodgerpatch.

  4. The four games at altitude starting tomorrow night has me a tad worried. I really hate that ballpark as Dodgers sport pitchers above throwers and Coors Field favors the latter. Seams and spin have too little effect at a mile high. But if our hitters are locked in all should be fine. Still can’t help but hate that ballpark.

  5. Joe mentioned last night that going back to May 1, Puig has hit over .300. I have watched his average slowly climb, but did not realize the .300+ thing. I have really enjoyed his performance this year and am a little disappointed when I tune in and he is not in the lineup

    1. April was brutal for him. He into a lot of tough outs the first 2 to 2 1/2 weeks. He was hitting missles and had 1 or 2 HR’s pulled back. Then he started pressing and looked terrible for about 2 weeks. His trip to the DL was a blessing in disguise.

  6. Tonight: would like to see kershaw go at least six. Baez and Ferguson can back him. A clean late inning appearance for Ferguson would be nice. Axford looks to have a positive outing and I’m sure we’ll feed him the 9th if we’re up big. And if things get silly we have the arms of vendetta to push a two-handed mop. Big win tonight. Feels like a home game.

  7. Juan Soto played 8 games above Single-A before reaching the majors. It doesn’t look like he’ll ever go back. I saw him yesterday and was trying to think who he reminded me of. Strangely the first name that popped into my head was Kenny Lofton. What are other comps? Bryce Harper? 😉

  8. I went back and did a little more research on middle infielders some of you came up with.
    Cesar Izturis – Surgery September 2005 – Returned June 2006. He was 25 at the time of the surgery. Played 3B for LAD because the Dodgers signed Rafael Furcal to play SS. Izturis was traded to the Cubs for Greg Maddux at the trade deadline. He did play a couple of games at SS for LAD but was primarily a SS for the Cubs, and for the rest of his career.
    Gleyber Torres – Surgery June 2017, reported to ST in 2018 and was in starting lineup for Scranton (AAA). He had the surgery at 20 years old. He played 2B, 3B, and SS for his short stay in AAA. He is the regular 2B for NYY, but has played SS. He would probably be the SS if Gregorius was not there.
    Rafael Furcal – Surgery March 3013 – Returned 2014 played some 2B for Miami because Adeiny Hechavarria was their SS and because of Furcal’s age (35 at time of surgery).
    After reviewing those three I am still not convinced that Seager cannot come fully comeback to be the regular SS. The only comparable was Izturis, and he played sparkling D after returning. Led the AL in range factor at least one year. Torres was not going to play SS this year. He was auditioning for 2B in ST with Gregorius the SS. The other encouraging point is that both Izturis and Torres were back competing at 9 months. Izturis had the surgery September 16 and was in the Dodgers lineup on June 20 (after 15 games in rehab). That is 8-9 months and then competing. Torres’ surgery was in late June, and announced he was 100% in February and reported to ST on time and ready to go. Furcal was at the end of his career, trying to come back at 36.
    There is a very small sample size, but there are maybe 2 comparable scenarios with young middle infielders having the surgery. Both returned within 9 months and with no restrictions. I will go with the athletic Seager making a full recovery and assuming SS at ST 2019. Unless FAZ does sign Machado and Seager agrees to move to a new position (which I do not see). If both Machado and Seager insist on playing SS, who do you want there in 2019. I am going with Seager.

    1. 1. Win world series
      2. Give grandal 3y/$48
      3. Give dozier 3y/$42
      4. Trade puig; give verdugo job
      5. Play bellinger at 1b full-time
      6. Let taylor/joc platoon in cf
      7. Muncy replaces Utley
      8. Keep Seager at ss until turner leaves
      9. Get a dependable set-up man for Jansen
      10. Have trilogy fight with astros in 2019

    2. AC

      Gleybar Torres was who I was talking about, but I believe I read that he injured his non throwing arm, unfortunately.

      1. Izturis definitely hurt his throwing elbow, and he was fine after the surgery. I guess am not sure why everyone is moving Seager off SS to make room for Machado because they do not believe he will be able to properly make all of the throws, but after 15 months Urias is going to come back and be a difference maker in September.

        1. I’m not moving him off of Shortstop yet, but if they happen to re-sign Machado, I’m for whatever combo works the best whether it be Seager at SS, 2B, 3B, or 1B. I will say Izturis was never quite the same. He was the best defensive SS I had ever seen play for the Dodgers. His arm strength was never quite the same. I do believe he played a fair share of 2B and utility as he moved around the league. It’s too bad because he was improving at the plate each season then had the TJ surgery. When he came back the progress at the plate was gone and his arm was noticeably weaker.

          1. AC

            I am not assuming anything about Corey.

            People have been saying Corey was to big to play shortstop in the majors, and even some, after he was already playing shortstop in the majors.

            And much to many people’s opinions, Corey not only is playing shortstop in the majors, he has done this at a high level.

            He is so young, and he is getting a new start, with a new ligament.

            He is also going to have the best people working with him, so I don’t assume anything, especially when the human spirit is involved.

            I know Corey is going to do everything he can, to stay at shortstop.

            And Like I already said, Corey has already been told he can’t play shortstop in the majors, and he has at a high level.

          2. Hawkeye

            The doctors told Izturis that he injured his elbow at 13, so it is hard to know, because with medical things as you already know, everyone is different.

            But it sounds like Corey has only had an issue with his elbow, for less then a year.

          3. So, there’s really not a lot of history on TJ surgery for a SS. Gleyber Torres ‘ surgery was on his non-throwing arm and Raffy never really played much after his. That leaves Izturis. I looked at a scouting report for Izturis and his arm was rated a 50 out of 60 as a rookie… but Seager’s was a 60 out of 60. Seager’s arm is a big weapon for him at SS. If it was a 50, he might not play SS.

            Look, I hope he can make it back and play SS – there’s just not much history here – either way. The guy who made it back (Izturis), never had a cannon like Seager. If he does make it back, he will return as the best SS in baseball.

            There’s also not a lot of history on the surgery Urias had. The thing is: in most of those surgeries, it was on older pitchers who had more “wear and tear” on their labrum and anterior capsule. Urias had none of that. There are a lot of pitchers who had that surgery who never made it back, but it was eveident early in their rehab that something was wrong. Julio has hit 94 on the gun… already!

            That said, I still think Julio can be effective THIS year in 2 innings stints… or more. So what do the Dodgers do about Seager? Corey may be ready to resume baseball activites in January and could be available to start the season, but… HERE’S the caveat: Manny Machado will likely sign before January. If Cody is Plan A, what happens if he can’t throw or has a setback? Yes, there is CT3 and that’s pretty good, but can’t you just imagine a lineup witha healthy Machado, Seager, Turner, Bellinger, Kemp, et al?

            Can the Dodgers wait and see if Seager is healthy? We know Manny can play short. I will say this:Corey Seager is the type of man who would say:Manny, if you sign with us, I’ll move off SS – it’s yours!”

          4. To Mark, I agree that the decision on Machado is going to need to be made before anyone knows whether Seager is able to play SS. My contention is that Seager will do whatever is asked of him, but if moved off short for Machado, I would not expect him to re-sign once he becomes a FA. With Machado at SS, FAZ will want to pay Seager 3B or 2B money and Boras will not allow it. He will be in Seager’s ear that Dodger management did not believe in you enough for you to keep your job. We will go someplace where we are wanted for SS. Seager is a team first guy, but that team does not have to be the Dodgers. Loyalty is rewarded with loyalty.

  9. If Machado signs with the Dodgers (and I hope he does), then I am fully confident that between him, Seager and the Dodgers, they will amicably figure out who plays where. And as much as I like Bellinger at 1B, if the Dodgers determined that Seager (who is 6’4″) could play 1B, then I wouldn’t be opposed to Bellinger moving to the OF. And then, whenever Turner begins to show the effects of Father Time, then Seager could move over to 3B, and Bellinger could move back to 1B. Of course, there are about 18 billion variables that could change all of this, so whatever I’m suggesting is probably moot.

    I like both Verdugo and Puig, but with there depth in the outfield there is a question as to what happens if Bellinger moves to the OF. Trades, etc. are probably the only solution to break the logjam.

    And because of the all the variables I alluded to, it’s likely that whatever happens will be completely unexpected.

    1. From what I hear, bellinger plays a good CF. However, I think he’s special at 1b and I’d love to see him there full-time. I understand the muncy factor caught everyone off guard but hes’s come back to earth and is still a solid part-time player, pinch-hitter and DH.

      1. We could see him in the OF until JT’s contract is up or if for some reason he was traded after 2019. Either way it would be for two years maximum and he could be a defensive replacement at 1B late in games.

    2. Seager may be able to come back and play ss or maybe not. I guarantee you based on what I have witnessed from the Dodger rehabbers that Seager won’t start the season. They always say he will be ready for spring training and it will turn out he won’t play until June. Why in the he.. did he not have this hip surgery earlier? It amazes me how teams go the whole offseason and get right up to spring training and say so-so is now going to have tj surgery or some other surgery etc. as far as urias if he pitches this year I will be shocked. If he ever develops I would be surprised. I hope so but he has been coddled the whole time by the Dodgers and he is still hurt. I think they will end up shutting him down in September with an abundance of caution. This game is so much about the dollars. Faz is probably scared to pitch a guy who could be a number 1 if there is any remote risk. I can’t say as I blame them that is such a tough call. These medical people, trainers etc they are going to be extremely cautious. Another reason he probably won’t pitch is that his stuff may not be there. I sure hope I am totally wrong about what I just wrote. I hope Seager is 100% to start the season and urias is dominant out of the pen in September/October.

  10. I wouldn’t say Hill was “terrific.” Let’s be honest he’s effectively wild and walks WAY TOO many hitters. If he doesn’t get his control under control (see what I did there) those walks will come back to bite him.

  11. Hudson on DL with right forearm tightness.
    Not good news if you’ve already had 2 TJ surgeries.

  12. The RISP stat has been a problem all season long and it’s not a function of facing the A’s.
    The Dodgers have 107 solo HRs out of 155. Only 26 HRs with RISP.

    Dodgers’ hitters OPS with RISP
    Barnes .522
    Bellinger .610
    Turner .663
    Machado .679
    Kike .710
    Taylor .724
    Puig .770
    Joc .775
    Grandal .850
    Utley .890
    Muncy .899
    Kemp 1.045

    Taylor has K’d 31/109 PAs
    Bellinger has K’d 34/123 PAs

    Dodgers hit best when up by 4 runs or more; hit worst with 2 outs and RISP.

    Kemp 1 for his last 34 and hits a bloop and now he’s getting hot?

    1. Rick

      I don’t think saber metrics value hitting in runs, when runners are in scoring position, even at a high level, but I could be wrong.

      Of course I don’t feel that way, because I think a good team needs more then one way, to score runs.

      Because pitching can be so dominant, at times.

      1. Rick

        But when we are talking about hitting in runs, when runners are in scoring position, I think what a player hits for an average in those situations, is more important then a player’s OPS.

        Because even a single in those situations, will do the job.

        And I think the players on this team, need to remember that, because they all almost over swing, in those type of situations.

        1. I agree with you MJ – driving in a run with a sacrifice fly or a base hit is often better than taking a walk. That’s why the K’s with RISP is an important stat. To see Taylor and Bellinger strike out so often with RISP it awful.

          1. Rick

            Especially when the pitcher is coming up next.

            I thought the same about Taylor, but in July he had 20 RBIs, and 18 of those 20 RBIs, were from hits, when runners were in scoring position.

            And he hit 445 when runners were in scoring position, at least in July.

            But his many strike outs, are the reason I found how good he was, in July.

            But you know I agree with you, about these strike outs, in general.

            I think it is terrible that sabers don’t value this!

            Because sometimes getting hits when runners are in scoring position, is harder to do, then hitting a HR.

            Because as you know, pitchers pitch much tougher, when runners are in scoring position.

  13. May pitching well for AA tulsa tonight. So far 5 ip 2 h 2 r 0 bb 5 k. Lux already 2-2 with two singles and is up to .435 for tulsa.

  14. Watford,

    I reached out to Bobbie17 and here is the reply:

    “Thanks, Mark. I’ve got Dodger fatigue. Too much of the same thing. The team seems a bit boring. Yesterday’s stars are fading. The prospects may be overrated. Roberts’ interviews have little new to report. I guess I just want the team TO WIN IT ALL. Finally. The rest is in the category of “so what?” When the team becomes interesting again, I’ll come back. I hope all is well. Thanks for checking in. “

    1. I feel his pain… I want the Dodgers to win it all too. I will be 65 in November, but I’ve got about 40 more years to see it.

      Only the good die young!

  15. Kershaw hasn’t thrown faster than 90. He hasn’t thrown his good breaking stuff and can’t finish anyone off – NO Ks SO FAR.

    Puig loafed on the pop up by Laureno. Cost them 2 runs.

    8 Ks in 4 innings for the Dodgers against Fiers.

    Crummy game.

  16. Clayton has hit 92 once and 91 about 3 times. He does not have his slider or good curve tonight.

    Fiers owns the Dodgers.

  17. Not watching but if that’s true about Puig I’m pissed. The last at-bat of his I saw he was dancing on his way to the plate then struck out weakly. Getting tired of the act.

      1. Good to hear. I’m following on game day. 9 pitches 8 strikes for chargois. That’ll play.

  18. Kershaw is so mediocre. I don’t know what happened to him. No velocity, no changeup, no command 4 innings no strikeouts. I guess the back injury has ruined him. Ryu may turn out to be our best pitcher if he ever pitches.

  19. Kershaw is doing it with guile tonight. His stuff isn’t good.

    It looked to me like Puig loafed out there.

    They’ve been hitting Fiers the last couple of innings so he’s coming out. The A’s ‘pen is stellar. It will be fun to see if they can come back. Taylor and Bellinger still look lost up there.

  20. They’re hitting the ball hard now. Machado and Puig hit two near HR’s for outs. Joc just ripped one for an out. Now Machado hits a double. Fiers was done.

  21. Dodgers are swinging at so much stuff out of the zone. Grandal and Dozier just struck out on junk. Awful.

  22. I know we all have been bagging on the Dodgers lack of this and lack of that, but damn, let’s celebrate a little bit. Despite missing a buttload of pitching due to the DL, we still finished a Gauntlet of a stretch of contending teams at 9-8, and are coming back on a very hot A’s team tonight after winning a playoff type game last night. And we are right there!!How about more Hope posts instead of Doomsday predictions. To tell you the truth, this season has way more adrenaline as a baseball fan than last season. I am hanging on every daily score, and it’s only friggin the first week of August. Enjoy the ride man, this team reminds me of the ’88 team. Got a few holes, but all we need is for us to get hot for a few weeks in October. Buckle up boys and pass the Pepto Bismo, this is going to be a crazy ride. And you know what, it’s pretty damn cool.

    1. I hope changing your moniker worked RogerDodger. We will find out the next time you post, if it doesn’t show up in moderation. By the way, we used to have a poster here named RogerDodger. He also was AnewBlueDay. He was a good friend and we went to Spring Training together for many years. He died about a year and a half ago. R.I.P. Original RogerDodger. Carry on his tradition New Rogerdodger!

      1. Yeah, that one kinda shocked me too! I wonder what happened to his card collection. From his description it must have been vast as he said he had to rent storage to contain it.

      2. Mark – thanks for checking in with B17. Glad to hear he is ok.

        Who was the new Roger before he took on the Dodger moniker?

        The Old Roger loved Arenado.
        Would love to see him in Blue.

  23. Chaggy had done his job… and did it well… last night and tonight.

    I was very surprised to see him go out there for a 2nd inning. I keep hoping that Dave will eventually get a better feel for his pitching staff… but I just don’t ever see that happening.

  24. First couple of times through the lineup it didn’t seem like the Dodgers were seeing the ball well. Was it the lights or was it Fier’s delivery? Maybe their stadium needs to improve the center field backdrop to help hitters see the ball.
    Puig only loafs on a ball when he knows he can make a cool, casual, nonchalant catch. He will never let a chance get away to make a play though. If he didn’t hustle it would have been because he wasn’t sure where it was.

  25. Recognizing that the RISP numbers are relatively poor for the Dodgers, it becomes even more obvious that the Dodgers truly miss their superstar SS, Corey Seager. In 2017, in 131 PA WRISP, Seager hit .361/.450/.583/1.034 (53 RBI). In 58 PA with 2 outs WRISP, Seager hit .449/.534/.816/1.351 (35 RBI).
    One other query…I cannot refute what Hawkeye said about Izturis’ reduced arm speed post surgery. But he did not really become a utility player until his final year in 2013. Post surgery Cesar played defensively 660 games. 592 were at SS, 62 were at 3B, and 6 at 2B. 90% of his games were at SS. 28 of the 3B games were with the Dodgers who were committed to Furcal at the time, and 21 were in 2013 when he was a utility player. And while I do not have a medical degree, and I did not stay in a Holiday Inn Express, I do not understand how a pitcher post TJ surgery can come back and throw harder in a very unnatural delivery with the elbow torqued, but a SS cannot get back to his previous arm speed. That does not compute with me. That’s enough for me on the subject. I am looking for Corey being back at SS game 1 in 2019.

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