Stuck in Charlotte

Monday Evening my VP of Engineering and I flew to Ft. Lauderdale for a quick meeting with some inventors of a new water treatment technology on Tuesday Morning and caught a flight back at 5:15 PM Tuesday.  Long-story short, the layover in Charlotte stretched from one hour to two hours and in that time, my travel partner developed a severe case of pancreatitis and had to be rushed to a hospital here in Charlotte.  I was able to watch most of tonight’s game on my Chromebook, but here I am at 12:30 AM in Charlotte with nothing to do but write this blog. I’m not sure how long we will be here or even if they will admit him as he is in the ER.

But, that’s my problem… not yours. The Dodgers are our problem, so I’ve just got a few Rants and Raves for today.

Rants & Raves

  • Just a reminder:  Feel free to disagree with anyone, but most takes that a person has different from you are not dumb.  I will remind you that when the argument has been lost, the loser often resorts to slander.  Feel free to disagree, but if you can’t articulate your position and you have to resort to “slander” we already know who the loser is. Have a take and do not suck!
  • Hopefully, Brian stops “Dozing.”  I saw hope last night.
  • Maybe Kenley’s “trick play” will get him going.  He has had trouble with the old ticker and now has a new baby.  Each thing can create issues, to say nothing of both.  Hopefully he pulls it together. He should only pitch in games like Tuesday for a while.
  • 15 hits and only 8 runs is not good.
  • Stripling has been pushed back because his back still is not right.
  • They are pausing on Urias… evidently for a few days.  We should still see him is September.
  • I have been one of Dave Roberts biggest supporters since he was hired, but I value the Dodgers over Roberts and if I were in charge, I would have fired him to try and salvage the season.  Maybe they will win with him.  I still believe this team is built for the Post-Season.
  • Alex Verdugo hit HR #10 last night! I’m anxious to see him in September.
  • Yadier Alvarez pitched 5.2 innings last night and did not suck big time… although he wasn’t great either.
  • Is Gavin Lux now the Dodgers #1 prospect?

This article has 83 Comments

  1. Good luck in Charlotte – looks like you are in for a long night.

    Just watched Bum blank AZ, and SF walk off to win 1-0.
    I’m sure I heard the announcer say that stretched AZs scoreless streak to 23 innings.
    We thought we had problems….

  2. More about Roberts after the season now I just want to see how he handles a real race with only 30 games remaining.

  3. Our other relief pitchers looked good last night except for Jansen. Kiki has looked good the last few games. About time for Doc to sit him.

  4. First and foremost MT, hope your friend is well…
    1439, I’m hoping it will be like 2015/16 with better results… Oh to have the CG back again with Kenley in a funk… Even 6-7 IP would make me happy…
    OK lets put the tuxedo on Texas and put em to rest…

  5. So Roberts took out a young pitcher who pitched in the SEC because he thought it was too hot. Nolan Ryan must be laughing his ass off.

    1. They have to save him for October.
      Roberts’ management of the pitchers is very curious. But the reduced pitching load is prevalent throughout the organization. In Gonsolin’s last outing, he pitched 5 shutout innings but was pulled after 59 pitches.

      1. i’m not in favor firing roberts, but i think his pitching management likely cost us the 2017 world series. i’m hardly a blind adherent of his policies.

  6. For those who want to see Machado re-sign with the Dodgers in the offseason, hopefully Farhan doesn’t read Manny’s latest quote. “Can’t win ballgames by just hitting home runs,” said Machado, who has nine RBIs in the last three games. “We’re preaching about passing the baton to the next guy, just taking what the pitchers give us. Today, we did a good job with that, stick to the plan and we did our job.”
    The Dodgers are doing what they are supposed to do against weak competition. Hopefully they can knock off Texas one more time, and then come back home for a HUGE 4 game series against the DBacks.
    The Dodgers are now 1.0 game back with 30 to go. Of the 30, the Dodgers face playoff contenders in 17 (DBacks 7, Rockies 6, and Cardinals 4). 10 of the 30 are against the bottom feeders (Rangers 1, Mets 3, Reds 3, and Padres 3). The final 3 are against the rival – SFG.
    The DBacks face 24 contenders out of their final 30 (Dodgers 7, Rockies 7, Braves 4, Astros 3, Cubs 3). Their other 6 are against the Padres (5) and Giants (1).
    The Rockies have a similar final 30 as do the Dodgers. They have 17 against contenders (DBacks 7, Dodgers 6, Phillies 4). They have 6 against the Giants, 4 against the Padres, and finish the season with 3 against the Nats.
    It looks like Machado is starting to get comfortable in Dodger Blue. With Machado and JT having good AB’s, I think it is going to take Belli and at least 1 of Verdugo/Kemp/Dozier/Grandal/CT3 to get hot in September. Joc and Kike just needs to continue what they are doing. While I would hope they would get hot, they are not the problem, and could be big helpers.
    The starting pitching is hot, and all starters have ERA’s below 3.00 for July and August. I am still very uncomfortable with the relievers, but it is what it is. As I expected, Urias is not ready, and is supposedly not going to be an option until he can go back to back. He may stay in RC until their season is done or he may be in LA after the holiday. I do not think anyone knows, except that he is not ready. FAZ is just being cautious with Chicken Strip. They are not bringing him back before Saturday anyway, so hold him out. Rosscup pitched 0.2 uneventful inning yesterday at OKC. But he is hard to get excited about. Fields does not look ready. This team is going to need Jansen to pitch as he did mid season. That will leave Ferguson/Maeda/Stripling/Alexander/Floro/Baez as the only relievers who should ever sniff a game in a non mop up situation.
    Gavin Lux is rising on the top prospect lists like a bullet. He is not only not intimidated by AA, he is close to dominating. And doing so as a 20 year old. In 99 PA, he is batting .337/.424/.500/.924. In 23 games for Tulsa, he has got at least 1 hit in 19 games and has not gone hitless in back to back games. In fact he has not gone hitless in back to back games since a 3 game hitless streak in May. In 3 of the 4 games he was hitless, he did reach base via a walk. In those 3 games he was 0-6 with 6 walks and 1 HBP; so while hitless he had a better than .500 OBP. What else are you looking for in a leadoff option? I still think that Verdugo is #1, but Lux should be number 2.

  7. i’ve been impressed with our aggressive baserunning recently

    especially against struggling teams that can be caught napping

    or flat-footed when they are already behind

    curb-stomp these chumps

  8. While were in a lull so to speak, AC I have a question…
    It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was watching Kenley Jansen catch at San Bernadino… Kenley wasn’t a very good catcher and seemed too tall and gangly(?) behind the dish… It wasnt long after that, that I came to the ballpark and there was Kenley working in the pen with Charley Hough… We’ll just say the rest was history…
    C.T. can you name three pitchers in the system that might make the same transition… You may have already gone over it, but I’m old…
    P.S. Another couple lead guitarist I got to see and impressed me… Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top and Slash from Guns n Roses…

    1. OKC has Stetson Allie who was converted to pitcher. I have not actually seen him pitch, but he routinely hits triple digits, but is not refined enough to be consistent. At times he will dominate, and others he just gets hammered.
      Alex Verdugo could convert to a pitcher if he was so inclined, but that is not happening.
      AA utility player Drew Jackson (25) could conceivably convert to pitcher, but at his age it would take too long for that conversion. He is still a viable candidate for a ML utility role, and if he does not make that, I am sure his Stanford degree will serve him well…much better than a AAAA relief pitcher.
      There are others in the lower levels who still pitch and play elsewhere on the field.
      Pedro Baez is also a converted 3B.
      The problem with the conversion to pitching is that way too often the pitcher may throw hard, but it is generally straight because a moving ball does not work well throwing to bases. Kenley’s conversion was helped because he developed the cutter by accident.

      1. Converting to pitching or hitting later on does not always work well. I remember lefty Aaron Miller who the Dodgers drafted as a pitcher in 2009 and four years later converted him back to an outfielder. He was a compensation round selection, 34th overall. Following the 2014 season he played in Australia and was selected as the league’s MVP and won the Slugger of the Year Award. He was 26 then. He retired before the 2015 season began. It is easy to second guess but if they had it to do over gain I expect Aaron Miller would have been selected as an outfielder.

      2. Bring back Juan Uribe for a shot at RP. I always thought he’d astound us there……well, at least when he started hitting again that is. It was at a dark time when we needed an astounder.

  9. I expected the Blue to bounce back against losing teams but did not expect the teams they are chasing to start losing games and helping the cause. Lady Mo is a fickle thing so keep it up and finish the sweep! Godly goes tonight and he has been shaky lately. So has Wood but the Rangers can be out slugged.

    The Snakes have had brilliant starting pitching mostly wasted by lack of offense. The Rocks have starter issues and bullpen issues depending mainly on the bats. While Az and LA duke it out Col will get 4 in SD and could make a move if they sweep while the other teams split.

    Kike had 3 hits, then Doc played him again against a RHP and he got 3 more-is there a trend here? Stay more with the hot hand? Make everyone earn their playing time based on performance. Jansen looked shaky again but he needs to work through it, his velocity has returned.

    Not only have the Dodgers tightened up the division race to a single game they are now just 1.5 back of Milw. for the WC. Buckle up it’s going to be a wild ride!

  10. The way management is handling pitches and wanting to save them for October you have to make it to October 1st not go home in October

  11. philly is fading fast
    ari/col play each other 7 more times
    braves and cubs look to be cementing their division crowns
    stl is playing out of their minds
    mil is talented but maybe the starting pitching is getting stretched a bit thin
    by far the best path to the playoffs is winning the division. we’d likely match up with atlanta in the nlds if that happened.
    while there is uncertainty in the bullpen and the second half of the lineup, we also have true competition for rotation spots, relief roles, and even starting lineup spots.
    a 20 game lead would be nice but the fact that we need to earn our way in just might sharpen our focus heading into the postseason. beating bad teams is fine but eventually we’ll have to man up against our main competitors.
    might there be one more surprise move coming before the 8/31 deadline? i’m sure the front office is working on something. but if we have to roll with what we have, i think we have enough talent to go all the way.

  12. Well, I’m in Charlotte another night… at least. It’s a very cool city in case you have never been.

    Charlie told me to go on back but I reminded him of the US Water Creed:

    I will always place the mission first.

    I will never accept defeat.

    I will never quit.

    I will never leave a fallen comrade.

    1. Charlotte is a great city and should be considered the front runner for the next MLB franchise.
      US Water System employees are very fortunate that they have a leader who cares as much for his employees (if not more) than bottom line. Unfortunately I have seen too many companies that do not share that belief.

      1. I have not been here (other than the airport) for 12 years but it is really ready for MLB. It’s very much like Indy but no Chicago or Cincy to queer the deal.

        Our employees are our greatest asset. We take care of them.

        1. I make my living in the stock market and real estate but I respect the small business owner as the foundation of our economy. I bet you could name your price to sell.

          1. Been there numerous times. My 19 year-old son will carry the torch in about 5-7 years. We started in our garage 17 years ago and have no desire to sell. Life is good. Better when the Dodgers win.

  13. Does anyone know which Dbacks pitchers we will be facing, in this next series?

    The two starters on the Dbacks that lefties hit best, are Godley, and Corbin.

    I hope Roberts realizes, that lefties hit Corbin better.

    Greinke and Corbin have the best ERAs in their rotation, this year.

    1. While they are not cast in stone, the scheduled pitching matchups are as follows:
      Robbie Ray vs Rich Hill
      Zack Greinke vs Clayton Kershaw
      Patrick Corbin vs Hyun-jin Ryu
      Clay Buchholz vs Walker Buehler

  14. I accept that many question Alex Wood. But please consider that since July his ERA is 2.82, and he has allowed only 3 HRs. Buehler – 2.54 ERA and 7 HRs. Hill – 2.60 ERA and 5 HRs. Kershaw – 2.00 ERA and 4 HRs. And in a much smaller sample size, Ryu has a 2.30 ERA and has allowed 2 HRs. All starters with an ERA at 2.82 and below.
    Going a little farther, in his last 12 games (back to June 9), his ERA is 2.78 and HRs allowed is 5. So while he is not dominating as he did for the 1st half last year, I would not consider him struggling. He also leads the team in innings pitched this year. But I accept many do not share my affinity for Alex, and when the Dodgers do make the playoffs, I would expect him to go to the pen.

    1. the main reason why he would go to the pen is ryu’s inability to pitch in relief. stripling’s situation is slightly different in that he has extensive experience in the pen and we need a glue guy to hold together the middle innings during a short series. wood is a bonafide wild card heading into the postseason. i believed he pitched the best single game of the WS last year and who knows how he would perform coming in mid-game. my only comment is that if we’re serious about moving him to the pen, we should start the transition before the season ends. i don’t expect him to be andrew miller but maybe he can eat up 2-3 innings at a time to keep us in a game. the best solution for a shaky pen is for the offense to make close games blowouts. a sweep with no saves sounds good to me!

  15. Buchholtz has the best ERA, on the Dbacks’s staff.

    And both Buchhlotz and Ray, have very good numbers, against lefties.

    It looks like we only will be facing one rightie in this next series, Grenike.

      1. Too bad segedin never panned out. We could use a rh bat off the bench (keekay is more a spot starter). I hate farmer in that role and saenz is long retired. Someone who can play the corners and a little OF.

          1. AC

            The Arizona pitchers you named, for the Arizona series is correct!

            I just heard that on the Dodgers pregame.

  16. Hill, Ryu, Kersh, and Buehler in that order will be the starters vs. AZ.

    Kersh was pushed back 1 day, from Friday to Saturday, so that his next start would be vs. Colorado instead of vs. the Mets.

  17. Get The Scouting Report out and review it cuz I know the D-backs are Surely scouting our hitters get some kind of inside from the Cardinals Scouts

  18. 2B Dozier
    DH Turner
    3B Machado
    LD Kemp
    CF Hernandez
    SS Taylor
    RF Puig
    1B Bellinger
    C Grandal

    Plenty of Power in there.

  19. Dylan floro has quietly put together a nice little half-season with the dodgers:

    20.2 IP 11 H 7BB/24K 1.74 ERA .87 WHIP 5 GF

    1. Maybe, but factor in medication that makes him drowsy and a new baby. Is there rehab for that?

  20. Haha exact quote just heard on the Texas broadcast: “we have minor wood today.” Speak for yourself. Buddy!

      1. He is to tall to pick up that much speed, in that short distance.

        Shorter people pick up speed faster, in the first few feet.

        Jackie Robinson was only 5”11.

  21. AC

    It looks like Woody didn’t like being moved down, in the rotation!

    An excellent start tonight!

  22. The Dodgers have to have the dumbest manager in the major leagues Mazda could not
    find the strike zone and the dumbass manager had nobody warming up in a close game.

  23. Another great start for a Dodger starter. Hopefully this will quell some of the Wood struggling commentary. Maeda may do well in middle innings relief, but he is not a closer. Maybe someone can convince me again how the relief is going to be good and an elite high leverage late inning reliever is not needed. Jose Leclerc looked pretty good. At least I can dream.
    But it was a win for the good guys. Pick up a half game on Colorado. That’s 5 in a row, and now back to LA and 4 with the DBacks.

    1. Wood pitched a gutsy game, he always battles and when he keeps the ball down he misses bats and gets ground balls. His main issue for me is health and decreased velocity. He needs extra rest and has had hamstring and cramping issues plus a strain requiring a DL stint, but generally gives the team a chance to win every time. I hope they keep him in what I believe is his final arb year in 2019. They may even want to lock him up longer term, he is cheap for the innings he provides.

  24. oKc

    In a doubleheader sborz k’d 3 in 1.1 ip

    Then allie and Broussard combi ned for 6 k’s in 2 ip

  25. An observation and question. When Puig tried to steal home Bellinger was at bat. As the pitch is delivered the catcher steps forward in front of the plate and Bellinger steps back out of the box and gives him a clear path to the pitch and the tag. Could the catcher be called for interference for stepping so far forward and why wouldn’t Bellinger swing (gently) hit the catcher with his bat and get the call for interfernce.

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