How to Fix The Dodgers in 24 Hours or Less

We can see it. At least half the crowd in Chavez Ravine can see it. But I don’t think Dodgers’ manager Dave Roberts and his “advisors” can. This team, run on the same strategies that they’ve tried night after night, is headed straight for Nowheresville – and last time I checked, they don’t host the World Series there.

Take some advice and look in the mirror, Roberts and Co. Think hard about the game plan you’ve used for the past two weeks. That disjointed and malfunctioning batting order just aint cutting it.

Here’s how to fix the offense:

Drop Justin Turner out of the top of the order. Today. Our beloved, red chia pet hit a home run the other night, but otherwise, that’s been about it for the past month.

Bat Adrian Gonzalez fifth. He’s the butter and eggs man forever, but time’s are changing, and those delivery trucks are expensive options we don’t see too much of anymore. Gonzo can still hit, but the Dodgers have got to bat him fifth until he starts showing some power.

He should bat fifth because the hot bats of the Dodgers youth need to be united in the batting order behind lead off man extraordinaire, Chase Utley. The young trio is hitting the ball far and hitting it with authority. Exploit that, put them back to back to back in the batting order and watch their separate sparks ignite batting fireworks.

Here’s how to fix the pitching:

Bring Zach Lee back up to bolster pitching. The Dodgers seem to be one step away from losing all interest in him, so I say bring the guy up and give him one last chance to make the big club for good.

This avoids exposing young Urias too soon, Lee knows his way around the big club, and he will not be any worse than some of the other stiffs going to the mound.

At best, a motivated Lee may find that magic in his arm and bring stability – and innings – to the staff.

There you go, skipper. That’s how to fix the team. You can thank me with a champagne toast down the road.

 

Oscar Martinez

Oscar Martinez

I was born in the shadow of Dodger Stadium and immediately drenched in Dodger Blue. Chavez Ravine is my baseball cathedral, Vin Scully was the golden voice of summer all my life, and Tommy Lasorda remains the greatest Dodgers manager ever. My favorite things are coffee, beer, and the Dodgers beating the Giants. I also blog about my baseball card hobby at All Trade Bait, All the Time.

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54 thoughts on “How to Fix The Dodgers in 24 Hours or Less

    1. Why the hate on Zach Lee? What opportunity has Zach Lee really been given?

      One MLB start last year, in which came unexpectedly two days earlier than everyone thought and he was forced to pitch a bull
      pen session the day before his start. Ask Clayton Kershaw to do that and see what kind of response you get.

      Last season at AAA he performed exceptionally well.

      Other than one start at AAA this year, he has been very good. That bad start was one in which he was waiting in limbo in LA and then flown back east the day before his start. Again.. Not an ideal situation.

  1. Here’s my fix for the Dodgers in 24 seconds: FIRE HONEYCUTT! Make Greg Maddux or Orel Hershiser Pitching Coach! ENOUGH!

      1. I believe we have the arms, but not the leadership.

        You can have less talent but better coaching and get better results.

  2. My fix – pick the in form position players for a week regardless of whether it’s LH or RH pitching and stick to it. No platoons. Let the in form players play and see where it takes us. Stick the rest on the bench and use them as necessary.

    I would send

    2B Utley
    CF Joc
    SS Seagar
    1B AGon
    LF Trayce
    RF Puig
    3B Turner
    C Grandal
    Pitcher

    Crawford
    Kendrick
    Ellis
    ki ki

    Must win game today.

  3. My fixes, based on the available resources at the major and minor league levels:

    1 – Replace Kazmir in the rotation with Urias. If Kazmir can get it together, then move him back into the rotation and either option Stripling or do something with Wood.

    2 – When Ryu comes off of the DL, see if he can replace one of the aforementioned mediocre starters.

    3 – When McCarthy and Anderson are ready to come off of the DL, trade or DFA them.

    4 – DFA Crawford.

    5 – Option Kike until he gets it together. Bring up Culberson.

    6 – Trade Puig. They will need to make room for Van Slyke and Ethier when they come off of the DL.

    7 – The top 4 hitters by OPS on the Dodgers are Pederson, Thompson, Seager and Utley. They should get up the most. The top of the order should be Utley, Thompson, Seager and Pederson. Gonzalez should bat 5th.

    8 – No platoons except at 2B (Kendrick and Utley) and C (Grandal and Ellis). Also let Kendrick play 3B occasionally for Turner.

    9 – DFA Hatcher, Tsao. Bring up one of the top arms to help in the ‘pen, and keep them coming.

    1. I like the general tone of the of the articles by Scott and Oscar the last couple of days. If your post topics are ones that encourage an honest yet constructive appraisal of the team, those are the responses that you will get. If the articles are simply how bad the team is, you’ll just get people piling on.

      The only one I’d consider DFAing would be CC. Even then, he’s possibly still a valuable pinch hitter or reserve outfielder. Hatcher actually has been effective in the not too distant past. He just doesn’t know where his pitches are going. He’s got good stuff, but if you start each count 2-0 and throw a fastball down the middle, you’re going to get hit. I just know if he’s cut, then some Ray Searage is going to turn him around.

      I’m still not ready to trade Puig. Van Slyke is a bench player. Ethier I think should still be a part of a left field platoon, where he gets the majority of the starts, but sits against lefties.

      I’m not ready to blow up the team. Trading Kershaw is insanity. The team has holes, yes, but if it can just hang on for another month or so, help will come, either internally with players such as Montas or Urias coming up, or through a trade. The playoff are still a possibility, and after that anything can happen.

  4. I agree, fire Honeycutt. I said that many times. We need a change, if nothing else. I would take Maddux in a minute. Switch Honeycutt and Maddux.

  5. What unique ways the Dodgers are finding to lose games.

    Game 1 – walk off home run to the Padres.
    Game 2 – bases loaded walk.

    Soon what might be next is: 9th inning or extra innings, scored tied: a balk on the Dodger pitcher and the winning run scores.

    Then – same situation — and a wild pitch, and the winning run scores.

    Why not. If so, then the Dodgers would be tied in last place in the N.L. West.

    Who would have thought that Kendrick would be hitting 3rd in the Dodger order with a .217 average come the end of May.

  6. I understand the concept of making the best of what you have got but in my opinion, the group of guys assembled, no matter how you shake it up, will continue to underachieve and more specifically, not play well together. Does this feel like a team to you? It doesn’t for me, never has since last year, the chemistry is non existent, it is the wrong group of guys, we need new figureheads, new faces, new names. Roberts arrival obviously has done nothing and as long as FAZ runs the show, proving their incompetence with Kazmir/McCarthy signings, repeated SABER games, we are up s–t creek.

    The offense is pretty much back to where they finished last year:

    AVG- 20th
    OBP- 21st
    SLG- 24th
    OPS- 23rd
    HR- 18th
    RUNS- 13th
    SB- 29th (seriously, with Dave Roberts at the helm, who do you think is calling the shots?)
    HITS- 16th

    Which means, just not the most talented position players. Which means, we need new players, all the shuffling in the world will not save this group. The pieces are not in place, I am not sure how anyone can say this team has talent, they don’t. We have gotten so used to accepting AAA players in our line up that it has become normal. Andre Ethier’s name has been brought up, guess what? He is not fixing anything! Not a DAMN thing.

    Which means, sellers and rebuild. I start with Kershaw and demand a king’s ransom, you trade with VALUE, Kershaw and Jansen have value, trade them for ELITE prospects that can come up with Urias/Verdugo/De Leon. The Phillies traded Hamels a couple years ago, look at them now? Kershaw will always be the best* (except the playoffs), but no risk no reward.

    We don’t make anymore ridiculous McCarthy and Kazmir signings, we let the anchors expire, let the kids play. What we DON’T do, is act like this current squad is capable of turning it around, this is not a quick fix or a lineup reshuffle. We are in this for the long haul, hopefully FAZ doesn’t make it even worse than they already have.

    79-83

  7. Firing people doesn’t solve the problem Honeycutt took the Dodgers to the playoffs the last few years. That’s like the Cardinals firing their manager Mike Matheny who is the first manager in the history of the support to bring his team to the playoffs the first four years of his managerial career. For now two pitchers can be replaced–Kazmir and Stripling. I would bring Zach Lee up like the article said and give him several starts to see what his value is. Maybe you can strike lightning in a bottle.

    I disagree with you when it comes to bringing Urias to the majors. I know Valenzuela came to the majors at 19. That does not mean every pitcher at that age is ready to come to the big leagues and face the pressures that come with being promoted. Additionally, Urias brings the same the problem to the major league level that the team already has. 14 or 15 games this season the team starting pitching hasn’t gone over 5 innings. Granted Dodgers pitchers have been hit hard and yanked. Urias is only pitching 5 maybe six innings maximum. Bringing him up still exposes the bullpen which has been awful, putrid, and disheartening. I would dip into the AAA roster and bring up Cotton. He’s 24 and it’s also time to see what this youngster can provide. He can’t do any worse, right?

    1. Cotton is working on some secondary pitches and has a 6.67 ERA. I think he will be a good pitcher, but he ain’t ready!

  8. A couple of things:

    1. It is seldom works to send a player who proves he belongs in the majors back down. In the instant case I am talking about Kike. He doesn’t look lost at the plate – in fact he has hit a number of balls on the screws! His career batting average on balls in play is .313, last year it was .364. This year it is .237. Translation: he is hitting a lot of balls where they is. Sending him down won’t help him hit where they ain’t! That’s a ridiculous suggestion that can kill a young guys spirit.

    2. Hurts says:

    The offense is pretty much back to where they finished last year:

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    OBP- 21st
    SLG- 24th
    OPS- 23rd
    HR- 18th
    RUNS- 13th
    SB- 29th (seriously, with Dave Roberts at the helm, who do you think is calling the shots?)
    HITS- 16th

    Let’s see where they ended up last year:

    AVG- 19th
    OBP- 4th
    SLG- 10th
    OPS- 7th
    HR- 6th
    RUNS- 19th
    SB- 26th (seriously, are you going to run with guys like Ellis, Gonzo, Grandal?)
    HITS- 27th

    In most ways the Dodgers right now are MUCH WORSE than last year. Over half the hitters are below their career averages. They have a new hitting coach and they are learning a new system. That gives me a lot of hope. For your idea to pan out, the underachievers have to keep it bad all year. WON’T HAPPEN!

    1. So the fact that we are much worse and getting “worser” than last years numbers is a good thing?…….The hitters you speak of are either aging or to young to take their career averages seriously. We don’t have a Miguel Cabrera trying to find his groove, who do you think is going to turn it on all of a sudden from where they are now?

      Utley? .277, No
      Seager? .288, probably not
      Kendrick? .216, he can’t be any worse
      Agon? .282, probably not
      Thompson? .286, No, maybe down
      Pederson? .248, No
      Puig? .234, one can pray
      Ellis/Grandal? They can’t be any worse

      So you banking on Howie Kendrick and Yasiel Puig to start our offensive onslaught? I list average because I think offensive stats start with being able to hit the ball.

      I just don’t know where the hope is coming from with this group of hitters, I mean collectively, they are a really bad lineup.

  9. The best thing to do is to do something that completely surprises the players and makes them think that heir job is not safe.

    Yes fire Honey Butt Grabber who is great with film but the absolute worst in in-game situations.

    OR DFA your Wunderchild Hatcher.

    Or DFA an expensive player with high sunk costs like Crawford.

    So something unexpected and shake them all up.

    Most of all reward the players at AAA who can play better than some of the players on the 25 man roster.

  10. Seager should bat second, Thompson third and Pederson fourth. They are the three best hitters right now.

    Right now I would be looking to trade Puig. Ethier, Pederson and Thompson would be my starters. I think Urias has to come up. He has nothing left to prove at AAA. I would send Stripling down. He does not trust his stuff. He reminds me of Billingsly.
    Wood looked good last night. Ryu replace Kasmir and move him to the pen. Bring Montas up to help the pen. Who should go from the pen? Baez, Howell, and Blanton should be sent down or DFA, or traded. Of course CC should be DFA or traded. Season is still young. We have a ways to go. We need to get our best 8 on the field. Get our best 5 starters out there, and make changes to the bull pen. It probably will not happen.

  11. Another bizarre inning.

    Oh well, one of those things. I still believe this group (with a few tweaks) will wake up

  12. Had to go to the market for something for dinner — walked back in the house, and Hatcher is pitching.

    I thought some crazy fan shot him the other day. Is he still alive?

  13. Now that was an amazing, unexpected comeback.

    Can our bull(shit)pen hold it and get Hatcher the future Giant a W??

  14. For the Dodgers — if they can hang on and will this game — it will be a win for the ages.

    Or, at least one for the weekend.

    1. I’m sick of our relievers getting behind on the count, and walking people. The Padres don’t even need to get hits, because our relief pitchers, put them on base.

    1. Bobby
      How could Roberts take Thompson out of leftfield, and put Crawford, in left. Crawford is a defensive liability, and especially with his arm.

      He should never be in leftfield in a tight game!

  15. Even Tricky Dick Nixon would not try to be this stupid. DFA Roberts. It is not worth watching this stupidity any more.

      1. Bobby we were so lucky that the Padres didn’t have anyone on third, and hit a flyball to Crawford.

        Roberts has to stop doing stuff like that.

  16. On the telecast today, Orel said that he was liking what he sees of Kazmir and thinks that he is on the brink of being very good.

    1. And Orel is the pitching coach many want.

      Also, someone in the booth said the Dodgers 42 – 8 run started in San Diego.

      All is well except for the home plate umpire.

  17. Urias pitched on the 20th and Lee pitch on the 21st. Tuesday might be a Dummie Jr. bullpen game. Frias bombed today.

    scott Barlow pitched for Tulsa on the 19th with 3 straight shut outs. Neddy Jr. doesn’t have the balls to call him up to pitch on Tuesday.

  18. So Cotton isn’t ready you say, but he’s working on secondary pitches. But he’s at AAA. How about Brock Stewart? He’s also 24 years old but he’s at AA and he is pitching (according to stats) like an elite starter. Which of these two players can help the team right now? The point I’m trying to make is that at 24 years old, the label of a prospect is virtually over. With the Dodger pitching staff in disarray they need to bring up a player with maturity someone with talent and someone who knows how to manage a game. It’s not all about how fast you can throw a baseball it’s how much control, speed, deception you can provide to keep the hitters off balance. Greg Maddux and John Tudor did that kind of thing for years. With Montas being several weeks away, he isn’t an option and it’s too early to know what option he could be. Would he be looked at as a starter, middle relief or back of the pen? I’m not a pessimist but it’s getting close to throwing in the towel this year. Usually a team that’s in first place by Memorial Day usually wins the division or gets into the playoffs. In baseball the say momentum is as good as the next day’s pitcher. Today, Kershaw has a huge load on his back. With almost nobody to give the ball to in reserve, he will need to throw 120 pitches or as close to nine innings as possible. I know the team is the Padres but the Dodgers can’t even beat bad teams with ease. This is the kind of thing that wears a team down by the end of a season. That being said, the offense needs to come out and put 5 runs on the scoreboard early to let Kershaw throw nice and easy and leave things uncomplicated.

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