Dodgers Return Home Against Snakes

Howie Kendrick

The Dodgers return home today with Vin Scully Avenue renamed in time for this afternoon’s opening day game against the Dbacks. The Dodgers had a 4-3 road trip, which seems like a decent trip except for the fact that they were embarrassed in San Francisco and the pitching staff is awful. The Dodgers blew leads in all three losses to the Giants while giving up about a hundred runs.

With the Dodgers now finally home, they have decided to option Micah Johnson back to triple-A to make room on the roster for second baseman Howie Kendrick. Yasmani Grandal is expected to return soon as well, but no corresponding move has been announced for him yet. It looks like Van Slyke will be placed on the disabled list, which would clear roster room for Grandal, who is expected to catch tomorrow.

Dodgers Lineup vs. Arizona

Hernandez LF

Puig rf

Turner 3B

Gonzalez 1B

Kendrick 2B

Thompson CF

Seager SS

Ellis C

Maeda P

Game time – 1:10 PM TV – SNLA- MLBN

Kendrick is ready however, and is in the starting lineup today. The lineup looks completely different that it did during the opening road trip, which is very disappointing. One of the things I was beginning to love about first-year manager Dave Roberts was that he was using a set lineup. Every day was essentially the same lineup. None of the players were being shuffled in and out of the lineup like they were last year. Guys were able to get into grooves and pick-up a set routine. As a result the Dodger offense has been terrific this season. You know the saying, If it’s not broke don’t fix it? Now it seems we might be back to the same old lineup shuffling and platooning. At least I hope not.

Kike Hernandez is playing in left field this afternoon and batting lead-off. Roberts is probably playing him in left field because the Dodgers have no left fielders available. Carl Crawford is useless, and Scott Van Slyke hurt his back in San Francisco. The Dodgers are trying to figure out a way to keep catcher Austin Barnes on the roster, which might mean someone like Trayce Thompson gets optioned. That doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. If you remember Don Mattingly did something similar at one point too. Why do the Dodgers need three catchers on the roster, when they are running out of healthy outfielders?

Speaking of Thompson, he is batting sixth and playing in center field. Joc Pederson is not playing. Kendrick is batting fifth, and Yasiel Puig is batting second. Corey Seager is buried in the seventh spot for some reason. Do you remember when Mattingly used to use the all loser righty lineups against left handed starters? It appears that Roberts is employing the same strategy here. It probably means that Andrew Friedman is ordering him to do it.

The Dbacks come into town having lost five of their first seven games. They’ll give the ball to left hander Patrick Corbin to open the season at Dodger Stadium. Corbin pitched just 85 innings (6-5 3.60) last year because he was still recovering from injury, Corbin had Tommy John surgery back in 2014, and has pitched very little since. Before then he was considered one of the best young pitchers in baseball. The 26-year old has a four pitch arsenal which includes a fastball, changeup, slider, and knuckle-curve.

Corbin is 3-4 with a 4.09 career ERA against the Dodgers in nine starts. He has made 4 starts at Dodger Stadium and is 2-1 with a 3.74 ERA. The Dodgers haven’t done a lot against Corbin. The boys in blue are batting .271 (19 for 71) with two home runs. Justin Turner is 5 for 10 against him. Adrian Gonzalez is hitting .308 (4 for 13) with a home run.

Dodgers vs. Corbin

Name PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS SH SF IBB HBP GDP
Adrian Gonzalez 14 13 4 0 0 1 3 1 5 .308 .357 .538 .896 0 0 0 0 0
A.J. Ellis 13 12 3 3 0 0 0 1 0 .250 .308 .500 .808 0 0 0 0 1
Scott Van Slyke 13 13 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 .154 .154 .154 .308 0 0 0 0 0
Justin Turner 11 10 5 0 0 0 3 1 1 .500 .545 .500 1.045 0 0 0 0 0
Yasiel Puig 6 6 2 0 0 1 1 0 1 .333 .333 .833 1.167 0 0 0 0 0
Chase Utley 4 3 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 .333 .500 .333 .833 0 0 0 0 0
Charlie Culberson 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0 0 0
Clayton Kershaw 3 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .333 .333 .333 .667 0 0 0 0 0
Joc Pederson 3 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 .333 .333 .333 .667 0 0 0 0 0
Corey Seager 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0 0 0
Austin Barnes 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0 0 0
Total 74 70 19 3 0 2 9 4 9 .271 .311 .400 .711 0 0 0 0 1

 

The Dodgers will counter with Japanese import Kenta Maeda. He went six scoreless innings against the Padres last week and hit a home run in his Major League debut. He probably won’t hit a home run this time. You never know though.

First pitch is at 1:10 PM. Let the good times roll! The Dodgers are back at home! Who’s up for some snake soup?

Go Blue!

Scott Andes

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Former Co-editor of Lasorda's Lair. Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic Cheap MLB Tickets

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59 thoughts on “Dodgers Return Home Against Snakes

  1. Don’t really like sitting Pederson–don’t want to turn him into an Andre clone who can’t hit lefties. If Andrew is so hot on playing guys that he acquired, why not play Thompson in left, and sit last year’s pet, the Banana Man? The trouble with going with an all-Andrew team is, it’s full of guys with serious flaws–that’s why teams were willing to give them up. Enough of this talk about going with 3 catchers too. Ship Austin Barnes out to triple-A where he can get to know and bond with the Dodgers pitchers of the future–and forget about moving A.J. for at least 2 more years until Clayton escapes the FAZ by signing with Texas and takes A.J. with him. Happy if that doesn’t happen, but that’s the way it looks to me.

    1. Against lefty’s Joc has not shown all that much yet….Thompson had 2 hits…Bullpen sucked again…And the Banana man KILLS lefty’s….he did it again today….Justin Turner looked like a guy who needed to sit..popped up twice, and never hit a ball solid all day…

  2. Except for this part of your post Scott, I agree with what you said: …”except for the fact that they were embarrassed in San Francisco and the pitching staff is awful. The Dodgers blew leads in all three losses to the Giants while giving up about a hundred runs.” … Not that it is inaccurate, it’s just worn out and over the top.

  3. Yup this is modern baseball. The GM and company pick the lineup. Roberts just signs on the dotted line. Not good, IMHO.

  4. Scott, this really is not a completely different lineup when compared to what the lineup was against Bumgarner (the only lefty starter the Dodgers faced on the road trip). 1 thru 4 is the same except Kike’ is in LF instead of 2B. Howie slides into the #5 slot for SVS who is on the DL. Trayce Thompson remains in the #6 spot. Seager is starting against this lefty replacing Culberson. Seager and Ellis switch spots in the lineup. I agree with Emerson-Lake and wish that Joc would get to start against lefties. The only way he is going to learn to hit lefties is by facing them consistently. If he proves he cannot, then SVS, Trayce, and Kike’ are there for him. I am glad to see Seager starting against the lefty. He should be in the lineup everyday, just like AGon, the other solid lefty. Although as it turned out, Culberson turned to be a star of that game (and Seager). So the only regular lefty sitting is Joc. Utley and Howie will be in and out all year, as will Andre/CC and SVS/Kike’/Trayce. That was always the game plan, and a strategy that I would generally agree with.

  5. I don’t think the current plan is to platoon Joc but for now, I think Doc wants to help get him off to a good start. The strikeouts are driving Joc crazy and maybe it is best to give him breaks to let his brain continue to process the changes he is trying to make. By mid May, I would hope he is rarely platooned.

    I want Hernandez’ bat in the lineup against leftys and for this game, I guess left field is the best place in order to get Kendrick into the lineup. Like it or not, while he is here, he is going to play quite a bit.

    I would think that while Crawford and SVS are out, Thompson and Hernandez are realizing that they have a chance to earn playing time. There is enough depth on this team that players will not want to miss any opportunities to play because someone might step in and claim the job.

  6. Bums, I agree with you about Kike’. He is gold against lefties. I hope you are right about Joc. I would like to see him succeed enough to be considered a lock in the lineup against all pitchers.

    I just read an interesting comment that the Dodgers are considering putting Howie in LF for certain games, so that they can take advantage of Utley’s bat and play at 2B.

    1. I read that too AC and cringed at the thought that there could even be an opening in the outfield for Kendrick. I have such mixed feelings about Kendrick. I like him and trust his bat at the same time I don’t want him on the team. That sounds bipolar doesn’t it.

      1. I feel the exact same way, and everytime Utley does so well, it is hard to not feel that way.

        Howie is a good hitter, and player, but we have so many second baseman.

        That is why I don’t think we need Barnes on the the big team. He needs to go down, and get hitting.

  7. Safety squeeze. Beautifully executed.

    Don’t know how many tickets have been sold for this one, but there are a lot of empty seats at that ballpark.

    I can see Howie in left. I think he’d be good out there.

    1. Second look, maybe it was suicide. Howie broke just before ball was bunted. It was a bit late, but he would have been hung out if bunt was missed. Nice.

      Bad play Howie.

  8. Gee, my poll here — 3 out of 5 of us gave up the season to the Giants — and the Dodgers had not even completed their first home game.

  9. Bye bye Baez comes in and gives up a long one. Thanks Pedro.

    Scott — relax, waiting to come up any day now are: Avilan, Liberatore, Thomas, Frias, Lee, Rhame, and even Tsao — just to name a few.

    1. Problem is, Roger, I don’t have confidence in any of those guys either. This bull pen was job 1 for the winter–and all we got was Coleman and, unbelievably, Blanton. And these position guys converted to the bullpen are just not cutting it–maybe pitching isn’t in their DNA.

    2. And Baez and Hatcher, are very dependable for the other team. I’m glad this front office has to see this in person!

      Hatcher never can get ahead on the count. In fact, I thought at first, he was unintentionally walking Goldy. And that means don’t give him any good pitch, to hit! And right now, Hatcher, is getting mad, instead of pitching better.

    3. Yeah, and maybe the ball boys would like to try pitching an inning or two. These are supposed to be the Dodgers, not baseball’s answer to the Gong Show.

  10. Oh boy, here come the negative people again!! Wow, if I lived my life like you I’d kill myself!!

    Blah blah blah. The bullpen is even worse than last year. I feel bad for Roberts, because for the most part, he’s making the right call. The geniuses/idiots do NOT believe a good bullpen means success.

  11. Jesus Christ! I can’t take another dose of Hatcher. Last year this time I was screaming for the Dodgers to dump him. And I am again. The guy is not a winner. I hope Andrew trades Hatcher and Blanton for…nothing…because if anyone gave you anyone for them, they would be sure to be horrible and cost you even more games than the dynamic duo. Pay them off like you do everyone else and cut bait.

  12. If the Dodgers are going to have a bullpen like this . . . then Dodger hitting better step it up a notch because of all the bailing out they are going to have to do.

  13. Arizona’s pitching looked ok today didn’t it. Better than ours.

    From on pace to 93 wins to on pace for 81 in the matters of a couple hours. Notta to worry. We’ll be back on pace for over .500 in the matter of days.

  14. IT IS THE BULLPEN STUPID!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    THEY PEED THEIR PANTS AGAIN WHILE LEAVING RUNNERS ON BASE.

    WILL ANYTHING EVER CHANGE??????????????

  15. Look on the bright side. The Dodgers would be 7-1 if not for the bullpen. So, all the team really needs to do is just get a bullpen. Problem solved.

    Seriously, though…who?

    1. Now? Nobody. This is the pitching staff put together for this year. We are going to hope these guys figure it out.

    2. Patch, actually they would be 8-0. Wood was actually ahead 4-3 with 2 runners on when Garcia came in and allowed both runners to score plus two others in .2 IP. Then Howell and Baez finished it off with 5 more ER in 1 inning. 16 ER in 21.2 IP. What is Roberts supposed to do? Outside of Jansen, there is not one RP that he can rely on right now.

  16. I feel that Turner hasn’t been relaxed when he is up to bat lately. He isn’t waiting for his pitch. I have noticed this since SF.

  17. And I didn’t think that Baez’s pitch was going to go out. They say it was a change. Was the pitch Pence hit out, he curve or a change up?

  18. The bullpen’s stellar work speaks for itself.

    Uncommented on is the fact that the Blue left 8 more on base and was 0 for with RISP. Situational hitting!

  19. 8 Games really don’t tell us much.

    16 games will tell a lot more.

    If the bullpen is still having these problems by game 24, you will see some player movement.

    The Dodger starters are the best on all of baseball with a 2.55 ERA while the relievers are the 6th worst in MLB with a 6.65 ERA.

    The Dodger hitters are #6 in MLB in hitting with a .285 BA and they are 3rd in runs scored.

    Just so that we are clear, if you are of the ilk who says that this bullpen is horrible and that FAZ should be stoned to death for not doing a better job, then you also have to say that FAZ has built the best starting rotation in baseball and put together a great offensive team.

    I mean, if you truly want to say that they suck at building bullpens, but they are masters at building great starting pitching staffs and getting great hitters, then that would be fair. Otherwise, you speak with forked tongue.

    But you will say “It’s only 8 games. How can we say they built the best starting staff and one of the best hitting teams?”

    That’s my point! YOU HAVE SIGHT – DEVELOP SOME VISION!

    1. Mark the problem is, this bullpen has not only been a problem for eight games, it has been an on going problem, for the last four years. I know the front office has only been here two years, but they tried to get Chapman, to make the bullpen stronger, and instead, they signed Blanton.

      Everybody knows, that signing Blanton, is not comparable to Chapman, and is not a good effort, to fix the bullpen, let alone, reinforce the bullpen. Just the fact, that the front offive went after Chapman, shows that the front office believed the bullpen needed badly, to be reinforced.

      And they actually said, that they needed this type of reinforcement, because Greinke was leaving. They also knew, that they needed a better bullpen, because the pitchers they signed for the starting rotation, couldn’t be depended on, to pitch deep into games.

      They also knew, that some of the pitchers, in the starting rotation, that they were counting on, also were not dependable, to pitch deep into games.

      Why when knowing all of this, did Faz not try to fix, and reinforce the bullpen, before the season began? They didn’t sign Greinke, and that saved them a lot of money, and they didn’t sign a big free agent pitcher, to to replace Greinke. And they saved money, with the pitchers they did sign.

      So why didn’t they sign or trade, for a quality arm, for the bullpen, after the Chapman deal went south? This is all on the front office, because they never finished there job, after they cancelled the Chapman deal.

      And they alone, are responsible for all of these Dodger loses, because they never truly addressed the bullpen problem. And signing Blanton, was a joke, and against what they believe. They believe that relief pitchers, can’t be counted on, from year to year, and that was one of the reasons, they have said, that they don’t want to sign a big free agent reliever. And Blanton already, had his one good year, in the bullpen, so he can’t, be counted on, this year, if you believe what the front office believes about relief pitchers.

      And they have had two years to fix this, and they knew in the off season, that this was going to be a problem. And everyone here, and every Dodger fan, and even all of the Dodger players, and Roberts himself, have a right to be upset about this, and also have a right, to question this front office, for not finishing there job.

      And they knew this, was even more important, after Greinke left.
      They didn’t give Roberts, that second ace, they sure should have given Roberts, a better bullpen, as well as the fans.

  20. BTW, MJ – Check your facts – JP Howell WAS signed by Ned to a 2 year deal before the 2014 season.

    He was not signed by FAZ!

  21. Good call MJ. I guess you did have SOME VISION!

    The Dodgers starters do, after 8 games, lead the league in ERA and IP. I say that will not last long. And I don’t think any real patterns start developing until 25 games have been played. By then a few batters will have, or be approaching 100 plate appearances and pitchers will have had 5 starts. If the Dodgers starters are still leading all of baseball in either of those stats I will be both surprised and thrilled.

    I still think this will be a long year with many changes as we go along. I’m open minded, maybe the changes will work this time.

  22. I agree that it is too soon to panic. Some who post here hypothesized that the bullpen would be a weakness. The best predictor of future performance is past performance and the bullpen has been inconsistent for the last 3 or 4 years now. The Braintrust made few substantive changes to the group that ended last season.

    I have been nervous about Baez and Hatcher as long as they have been there. I haven’t seen anything that quells my anxiety. I still think that Garcia will be good. I am troubled that Howell has been getting away with smoke and mirrors and maybe the league has caught up with him, but I agree that it is too soon to tell.

    I am still worried about hitting with RISP and situational hitting. Again, the Dodgers lead the NL in HRs last year and were second in OPS but were 9th in runs scored. And yes, they had a hot start against SD and a couple of good games offensively against SF but last year they were hot in April and May and stunk it up after that. If they have mostly the same offensive players that they had last year, I am not sure that I see a reason to believe that situational hitting will improve.

    The Dodgers are currently 7th in OPS and 24 out of 30 teams with over 7.5 runners LOB per game. You can’t keep leaving runners on base and hope to win. Again, I know that it’s early but this has been a problem for the Dodgers for a while…

    As to changes, don’t look for the Braintrust to pull a big deal for a big-name player. If help comes it will come from the minors.

  23. if i was a manger ..and the front office told me what line up to use ..i would tell them take this job and shove it. dave has all ready made his money ..so tell them to f off

  24. I guarantee that the front office does not tell Roberts who to play. That’s entirely up to him. They do give him access to all the splits and stats which is not too unusual. The Pirates, Cubs, Cards, Astros, Giants and many other teams utilize the same info.

    Dave Roberts is the manager and he is his own man – Don’t think otherwise!

    This is from MLB Trade Rumors:

    The Dodgers’ bullpen has struggled early on, writes Andy McCullough of the L.A. Times, but the team isn’t planning on making any drastic alterations to the composition of its relief corps just yet. McCullough notes that if the Dodgers do elect to make some changes, there are myriad internal options, and those alternatives will only grow in numbers as Hyun-jin Ryu, Brandon McCarthy and Brett Anderson get healthy. A return from any of those arms could push a starter like Alex Wood or Ross Stripling to the bullpen, and McCullough points out that the Dodgers’ large slate of arms and ability to take on salary should also present the club with various trade scenarios as the deadline approaches this summer.

  25. Wait….. you just posted an article that said the Dodgers had “ability to take on salary”, which is contrary to what you’ve been pounding in here for two years. Does that mean you now agree with me that Dodgers can indeed take on salary if they choose? Mercy. Or maybe a retraction is forthcoming

    Even though that was said by Rumors, and of course they could take on salary if they wanted to, I don’t believe they will, nor do I believe they will pull off any blockbuster. To get anybody good in here is going to take some of our highly prized prospects, and that goes against the long term plan of this management team. I see them continue doing exactly what they’ve been doing with retreads and risks and a target of THEIR team sometime around ….. you know the date. Again, I’m open minded, surprise me FAZ.

  26. I noticed that too. Logic is the curse of a small mind, Badger. You and I need vision. Try some of this shit, you’ll see God.

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