One Way or Another, The Dodgers Must Bench Adrian Gonzalez

We all know it. We can all see it. I know the Dodgers can see it. After going 0 for 4 at the plate and failing to stop a ball that sparked San Francisco’s winning rally last night, I think Adrian can see it himself, as well.

The writing is on the clubhouse wall. Adrian Gonzalez is no longer helping the Los Angeles Dodgers, he’s hurting them.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the Butter and Eggs Man. If there’s something else we all know, it’s that the Dodgers would not have won four straight NL West championships without his leadership, steady glove, iron man dependability, and of course, all of those beautiful RBIs.

Trouble is, we haven’t seen much from the big man this year, and the first month of the season is now behind us. Adrian Gonzalez hasn’t been right all year, and he’s playing worse as time is passing.  Gonzalez reported to Spring Training with what he called “tennis elbow”, and it’s becoming clear that he’s still suffering from something. Perhaps several somethings.

“I’ve just got broken parts, man.” , is how Gonzalez characterized the situation to Andy McCullogh after the Dodgers lost last night’s game, and the series, to the last place Giants.

Gonzalez has earned enough respect to play if he says he’s healthy and he can help the team, and manager Dave Roberts has an obligation to give him a pretty long line of rope. I get it, it’s the way teams operate. However, the length of that rope depends upon the team’s fortunes. A first place team can give an ailing veteran plenty of time to overcome a nagging injury – but the Dodgers aren’t in first place. The best they’ve done so far is to spin their wheels in the “.500 Zone” while being spanked around by last place teams. They’re starting to look like a lost and mediocre bunch of underachievers.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Every season has its pivitol moments. This is the first one of the year for the Dodgers. They have two veteran players (Chase Utley and Gonzalez) who are rapidly becoming automatic outs, but the good news is there are two young players (Chris Taylor and Cody Bellinger) up from the minors who have shown they can handle the bright spotlights and help the Dodgers win.

Cody Bellinger has been a joy to watch play. He’s done everything as advertised, and then some. In less than ten games he’s impressed the fans, the media, his coaches and his teammates. He’s the kind of spark plug that kicks a team out of the doldrums and right into the heat of the race. The sirens are screaming that Bellinger deserves to stay. We can all hear them. The Dodgers can’t afford to send him back down so that a number six hitter who runs like a file cabinet can continue to play weaker baseball every night.

Chris Taylor has done much of the same in his limited opportunities. He leads me to believe if he had more starts, we would be clamoring for him to remain with the big club as well.

I wrote about the Chase Utley problem a few days ago and I’m now pointing out it’s time for Adrian Gonzalez to step aside and spend some time on the disabled list, or for the skipper to insist upon it. Either way, the Dodgers stand at a crossroads.  One path maintains the status quo – continuing to play two dead bats in the lineup nightly – while the other path bucks conventional, conservative baseball logic, and pushes the Dodgers toward their future now.

The Dodgers could (and should) go bold and find ways to keep Bellinger and Taylor in the lineup. Time and again while the tired and injured veterans made unproductive outs that stalled rallies, the kids came through and sparked victories when given the chance to play.

Gonzalez probably won’t take himself out of the lineup. He’s a proud man who’s never been on the DL in his career, and five will get you ten that he’s “not about to start now”. The Dodgers will have to nudge and shove Gonzalez out of the way. It’s like moving a file cabinet – difficult to do, but not impossible when necessary.

 

 

 

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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103 thoughts on “One Way or Another, The Dodgers Must Bench Adrian Gonzalez

  1. Not too many writing about Gonzalez’s offensive/defensive woes but you sure are and I can appreciate it. Living in NW Indiana, Dodger games don’t start until it is 9:10 pm and I do not relish watching Adrian fail as clock strikes midnight. And Chase Utley is another story.

  2. Oscar, watching Adrian play now is just plain painful. His batting prowess has just all but disappeared and to tell the truth I would respect the man a lot more if he just went to the team and said I need time to heal, let the kid play. The kid being Bellinger of course. Utley is even worse and as far as we know he is not hurt. He really wants to help the team? Retire and become a coach. He has a lot of experience to share. Let Taylor play everyday, since it does not look like Forsythe is back anytime soon. He is also a damn good fielder and he and Corey make a great DP combo. That way Hernandez goes back where he belongs, the bench. Grandal is another HUGE disappointment……..to the FAZMANIACS> . I never have liked the guy in the first place. I think he is hugely over rated and from what I have seen, a lousy defensive catcher, and this year he is not hitting to boot. The bullpen has been nails, but they are seriously over worked and 5 inning from the kid did not help matters. He got out of that game by the skin of his teeth. Me, I would play the best 8 every day, but FAZOMATIC does not think that way, numbers and platooning are his forte, unfortunately his forte is flate! Joc will be back, and I think he will be better if his strain is healed. His power will be there. They need someone besides Seager and Turner to be more consistent. Hopefully Yasiel can fill that bill. He has been hitting in a lot of bad luck, maybe some of those start finding holes instead of gloves. Toles has been hot, play him against all comers. My lineup…….Toles LF, Seager SS, Bellinger 1B Turner 3B Pederson CF Puig RF Taylor 2B Grandal C……against lefty’s I leave it that way and substitute Barnes for Grandal.

  3. Oscar, I love that line,”runs like a file cabinet”. Classic!
    Between now and game time tomorrow night, I fully expect Agon to go on the DL, by force if necessary. Even FAZ is afraid to insult the Legend of Chase Utley by canning him. Utley apparently doesn’t realize that he himself is doing the most to tarnish his great record. The time to walk away comes to every player, no matter how great.

    1. I don’t even advocate dumping Utley. He has value to the team, but it’s just not as a hitter right now. He just needs to start less and play more like a bench guy. He was never supposed to be the starting second baseman, so why treat him like that?

  4. I read that some are advocating a DL stay for Utley – you can’t cure getting old! He needs to be DFA’d.

    Gonzalez needs to go to the DL – see what Bellinger can do. Taylor needs to play 2B until Forsyth is back.

    When Joc returns from DL the OF is Toles, Joc and Puig.

    A 5 inning start in an 11 inning game is too many chances for something to go wrong in the ‘pen.

    The Dodgers scored 13 runs off of a lefty on Tuesday but couldn’t score against a righty pitcher with a 6 ERA? They have to be more consistent on offense.

    So – out of the starting pitcher lottery, who will be the 5 that should start? A lot of people were anointing Wood as one of them but he has had 1 good start in 4. Maeda has had one good start in 5. Ryu has been better than either of them but I don’t trust his stuff. Hill has 8 innings in 2 starts and now they are talking about the $16MM man as a middle reliever? This seems to leave Kershaw, McCarthy, Urias and ???

    1. Well, both Masterson and Jurrjens have sub 3 ERA’s at OKC….Ryu is on the DL so who knows, they could in a pinch probably stick Stripling back in there….they have this depth thing going you know…

  5. Not sure what the subtext is here, but obviously the team can’t unilaterally put a player on the DL if the player doesn’t think it is warranted. The Union won’t stand for it, and the league won’t let it happen.

    On the subject of Utley, McCullough, who has been a godsend on the beat, weighs in on the % chance that he is designated or released:
    “Pretty slim. DL would be way more likely, if they needed to clear roster space. Utley is a talismanic figure in clubhouse.”

    1. So the team has a 12 or 13 man pitching staff and a 4 or 5 man bench but keeps a guy because he is a talisman? Great. (A talisman who is hitting .104/ .204 /.125/ .329.)

      As to the DL, it is up to the team to request that a player be placed on the DL.
      “Application by a Club to the Commissioner to place a Player on the
      Disabled List shall be accompanied by a Standard Form of Diagnosis
      (see Attachment 5), a copy of which shall be provided to the Player and
      the Association. The Standard Form of Diagnosis shall be completed
      by the Club physician and shall include, as a separate item, an estimated
      time period for recovery.” (Art VIII, Section C, current CBA.)

      The player can dispute it but why would Gonzalez dispute it?

    2. Bluto, There’s no subtext. My text is right up front. The manager (and GM) can convince, cajol and do what it takes to convince a player to go DL. It wouldn’t be the first time.
      If he’s soooo stubborn that he won’t agree, that’s one thing. But it’s another to just let him keep on penciling himself in the lineup without saying SOMETHING. Roberts said they haven’t had that meeting yet.
      As for Utley, my take is in the comment above.

    3. Finally figured you out, Bluto. You must be a driver for Sparklets, ’cause you always throwing cold water on other people’s happy thoughts…

      1. Some days. More than I’d like to admit, I wish I had a job like that. Would be simpler.

        Dodgerrick, don’t shoot the messenger (or water delivery man.)

        My point is if Gonzalez doesn’t want to go on the DL, he won’t be put there. That said, his recent interview said this (that) is not the case.

        1. I don’t have anything against Bluto. I’ve been trying to guess his profession, can’t get a clear read. I’m getting some legal overtones but I don’t think he is a lawyer. Or a cop. Some kind of research or documentation is as close as I can get…

  6. Everyone needs to read the whole article in the LA Times, to see what Agone said.

    He didn’t say he wouldn’t go out, and that is why I asked Oscar, if he read the whole article.

  7. Now why in God’s name would the Dodgers acquire the player listed below, no matter how little it costs them?

    The Brewers announced today that they’ve traded minor league outfielder Victor Roache to the Dodgers in exchange for cash or a player to be named later. A former first-round pick (28th overall, 2012), the now-25-year-old Roache has yet to ascend beyond the Double-A level in his minor league career. Roache has appeared with Double-A Biloxi in each of the past three seasons but mustered a timid .234/.313/.391 batting line in that time. The Georgia Southern product was off to a woeful .176/.238/.230 start through his first 80 plate appearances prior to today’s trade.

    1. Well, obviously he was a first round pick, so he’s good. He’s only been a pro for 5 years, hasn’t spent time on the DL, he’s got a 1.667 OPS with the bases loaded, a .294 avg against lhp and only strikes out 35% of the time. He is 3 for his last 20, so obviously he’s due for a hot streak.

      He’s ready.

      And if all that doesn’t convince you then clearly you don’t share the FAZ vision.

    2. Lots of possible reasons:

      1. A need (on the minor league level)for a RH veteran
      2. He’s a good dugout presence that could aid development. Perhaps a talisman.
      3. Dodgers scouts detected a problem they feel the team can remedy.
      Etc.

      BTW: the return is going to be waaaaaaay less than SVS. Probably cash or near cash

  8. The FAZ moveth in mysterious ways…. We have no clue what he will do next. What ever it is, we will no doubt be awed by the magnificence of his baseball acumen………NOT! Maybe the player to be named later is SVS. Or he is one of FAZ’s patented low risk high reward guys.

    1. I think a lot of these type moves are what I call “brother-in-law” business. Somebody doing somebody a favor in hopes of getting it returned someday.

  9. I read the story MJ. Gonzo said he would consider it 100% He also said he had broken parts….now a lat strain to go with a stiff back. He said the elbow is no longer a problem, but it was obvious when he tried to field that grounder in 11th inning, that he is not moving all that well out there. Bellinger would have had that ball. He said he was not getting proper extension on his arm. All of that makes sense, except, why put the club in a bad place staying out there and not being productive or even a shadow of your old self? He hasn’t hit a ball with any authority since Moby Dick was a minnow….sit down, and let the kid play.

  10. In my book both Agon and Utley are greedy bastards, putting their egos before the best interests of the organization which is paying them so well. And they’re not helping their reputations a bit.

      1. I was thinking they are greedy for the respect and adulation people give to major league players, greedy to want to keep on being in the limelight.

      2. Bluto

        I will say this, if a player plays just about a cup of coffee in the majors, they are set for life for at least 25 thousand a year.

        1. To get your pension MJ, you have to be in the majors 10 years. A cup o coffee does not get you anything. You have to be in the union to gain benefit time and that is accumulated the way I explained about Yasiel and Joc’s actual big league time.

          1. Not correct, Michael.

            MLB players must play 43 days in the majors to earn a minimum $34,000 annual pension plan. Just one day in the majors gets them lifetime healthcare coverage. After 10 years in the big leagues, benefits grow to $100,000 annually.

            Behold the glory of unions! Those without graft and corruption.

  11. Andy McCullough of the L.A. Times provides a pair of updates on some injured Dodgers (Twitter links). Second baseman Logan Forsythe was lifted from the most recent game on his rehab stint due to tightness in his hamstring and won’t be reinstated from the disabled list tomorrow, manager Dave Roberts told reporters. That could mean continued playing time at second base for the struggling Chase Utley, who is hitting just .104/.204/.125 through his first 54 plate appearances. Meanwhile, left-hander Scott Kazmir still needs at least another two weeks in extended Spring Training to build up his arm strength. That should push his timeline back at least into the month of June, even in a best-case scenario, as Kazmir would need further work on a minor league rehab assignment.

    1. Kazmir? Does anyone expect anything out of him. I’m naming a sandwich after him. Kazmir Sub. Last year’s turkey on toast. No mustard. $48.

      Forsythe staying on the DL is a real problem. Just play Taylor against everybody until you know how long Forsythe will be gone. Dozier might be available. He’s hitting .245. But he’s playing everyday.

    2. Jonah

      Did you read that article in the LA Times, about Agone, and his injury problem?

      It was written by that same writer, you listed.

  12. I would expect Joc to be the answer to the batting woes when he returns. He has never hit over .250, has never gotten more than 101 hits in a full season, and can’t hit lefties. He does hit the HR and has over 50rbi’s per season. This is the kind of player that keeps the Dodgers exactly in mediocrity.

    Grandal, who has never hit above .234 in a full season, has never broken 100 hits, is another HR hitter and over 50 RBI’s. Both of these players have a proclivity for SO’s. Both players are above average fielders, though.

    With the introduction of Bellinger into the lineup, if we don’t bench Gonzalez, Bellinger will continue at LF, and rightly so. Both Toles and Puig should continue in the OF as both are more complete players than Joc.

    Utley must be benched and Taylor and Kike given time. This makes sense on many levels.

    Why we don’t have a decent hitting catcher on the roster is a mystery I’d like to get solved. It’s been years now since we’ve had someone there that can hit. A.J. was also horrible. Is this something so subtle that FAZ has not noticed? Hitting wins games, especially with the pitching rotation we have. Weak, weak, weak.

    How FAZ has gotten the Dodgers into the playoffs has more to do with the garbage of the NL West, a mediocre division that saw the Giants collapse last year along with Arizona. If Colorado ever gets their pitching together, the Dodgers will not see 1st place for years. We simply cannot compete with the better teams and there is no sign that we will, either.

    1. AJ’s value to the Dodgers was his game calling ability and the fact he saw more pitches per at bat than most any hitter in the majors. He also was decent at the plate until injuries and age caught up to him. He is far superior to Grandal as a defensive catcher. Grandal has improved in throwing out base runners, but his pitch blocking skills are terrible and I still question his game calling, if you do not believe me just look at the pitch selection against Pence last week in SF. 7 straight high fastballs and Pence finally hit one far enough to score the go ahead run. Joc is a superior OF to Toles, but I would move Toles to LF and have Joc in CF and Puig in RF…every night. Joc has actually hit LH better this year than RH.

    2. Jeff’s 100% correct. I mean it’s not like this team was up against the Cubs in the NLCS after losing the pre-eminent pitcher in MLB for 60 days. Nor is it like this club has a highly rated farm system. Nor a catcher who garnered an MVP vote. Nor the best pitcher of this generation.

  13. Rich Hill at RC tonight…2/3 of an inning, 3 hits, 4 runs, all earned a walk and 2 K’s,,,,,I do not think the boy is ready for prime time. SVS yet to play for OKC……Thompson raised his average to .050…and struck out twice more. Calhoun 2 more hits. Hills ERA…..54.00

    1. He may not be ready for Prime Time, the last paragraph below implies that. BUT…

      Don’t judge a book by it’s cover:
      http://www.truebluela.com/2017/5/4/15541198/rich-hill-successful-rehab-start-dodgers-injuries

      Excerpts:
      “Shoulder feels great, finger held up well,” Hill said. “Obviously it is disappointing in the fact that it was only two-thirds of an inning but from the other standpoint of getting the work in and everything that it was a success from the finger standpoint.”

      “Shoulder feels great, finger held up well,” Hill said. “Obviously it is disappointing in the fact that it was only two-thirds of an inning but from the other standpoint of getting the work in and everything that it was a success from the finger standpoint.”

      “So the more times you can throw the baseball and and kind of callous it up as much possible,” Hill said, “the better off you are going to be in the end.”

      He doesn’t know what the team plans are for him but he’ll be prepared for anything.

      “I don’t know. I have no idea, to be honest with you,” Hill said.“Today was a good day as far as the right step in the right direction, just get out there and hopefully get some more up and downs instead of getting two-thirds of an inning.

      1. Come on Bluto. Those words make no sense.

        “Obviously it was disappointing”. Yeah, you can say that again. 29 pitches to get 2 Single A hitter’s out. It was a batting practice session and that is all. “Shoulder feels great”. The shoulder?

        When you order that overpriced $48 Kaz sub, have a side of overpriced Hill fries with it.

        Is AGon a goner yet?

        1. Overpriced? …how ’bout Greinke Sliders…made with aged beef? $200 and gives you food poisoning.

          It is rehab game. You do know that, right?

          1. Greinke? Where did that come from? Greinke has nothing to do with Hill and 29 pitches to get 2 outs in an A ball game.

            Yeah, of course I know what it was. A horseshit outing followed by a lot of bullshit spin.

            I ask again…… the shoulder?

          2. When you bandy about the term “overpriced” I think it’s just helpful to provide some relative context. I dunno, I thought it was somewhat clever.

            What about the shoulder? Unless there’s an actual story, simply reading into that particular phrase doesn’t really add anything.

          3. Dodger patch

            Even you had a better solution then Kazmir or Greinke.

            The thing is the only choices wasn’t only Greinke or
            Kazmir.

            And they should have done more research before signing another pitcher, with problems, after all of the loss of money, from these other pitchers.

    2. Thompson is really messed up, he is seeing a sports psychologist.

      He never hit really really well, in the minors, but he was not close to this bad.

      I actually feel bad for the kid.

      I saw that Hill’s era is at 6 in A ball.

      I was surprised when the front office went out and signed Hill, this year.

      And I still think they should have researched his problem first, before signing this guy.

      Anyone that knows about baseball, knows that the main pitch he throws, is a curve that can cause blisters on a pitcher, that doesn’t use a curve, as their main pitch.

    1. Why? It’s a rehab assignment .

      You folks certainly find varied and creative ways to criticize the FO.

        1. “Cover for them?” What did they do?

          Oh, I get it. Hill really has a torn labrum, or very serious shoulder issues that FAZ clearly knew about or should have known about. What did FAZ know and when did they know it? Clearly they knew before they signed him, but it’s all part of their master plan to sign cheaper, injury prone players rather than expend payroll capital to sign quality pitchers. It’s a cynical and complex arithmetic process, whereas, if they spend cheaply and do Guggs greedy bidding, they can sell the Dodger fandom public on the lie that they are truly improving the team. The lie gets butts in the seats and increases revenue. This so-called “rehab” assignment is simply a smokescreen, a public relations facade to conceal the fact that Hill is nowhere ready to pitch in real games. I’m simply a paid shill, a water carrier for the FAZ/Guggs Complex.

          Where’s Woodward and Bernstein….follow the money

          1. “What did FAZ know and when did they know it? Clearly they knew before they signed him, but it’s all part of their master plan to sign cheaper, injury prone players rather than expend payroll capital to sign quality pitchers.”

            To the first half of that paragraph – duh. Hill has a long history of not pitching much because he’s a known candy pants and he was on the DL, had been for weeks when they traded for him. So, yeah, they knew. We all knew.

            To the second half of that paragraph – double duh. McCarthy, Doughboy, Kazmir, Norris, Tepesch….. let’s do another way….. 16 starting pitchers in ’15 and 15 last year.

            What did they do? Did you just walk through the door?

            Looking at the World Series winners over the last several years it would appear that Moneyball has won exactly one championship – the Royals in ’15. Fortunately for us, we have left on this roster, and in the minors, several great players that FAZ had nothing to with obtaining. Just look at everything they’ve done since arriving and give them a grade. FAZophants all give them than A, I think because they are wedded to their opinion. I give them an A in one category- they haven’t completely f’d it up.

            Nobody knows how this will shake out as the breaks fall different directions all year. On paper it looks like 2 teams in each league are better than the Dodgers, but that’s on paper. It might work out. We’re looking like a .500 team so far, but it could get better. I don’t think it will get worse, but, stand by.

          2. Why are the Cubs and Red Sox not considered MoneyBall?

            They are and were led by GM/Executive Teams who used analytics to find inefficiencies, which is the underpinning of Moneyball.

        2. Legitimate question bluto.

          I would answer it this way:

          When Boston last won the championship they had the 4th highest payroll in baseball. When KC won it, they had the 16th highest payroll. Tampa has always been near the bottom, same with Cleveland. It’s about bang for your buck. I think everyone is using metrics now. Some have the ability to build a winner with money AND metrics. Chicago, Boston and SF have all done it recently, and all have high payrolls. Friedman never has, and though only 40, he’s been at this a while.

          1. Right, that makes more sense.

            Because, I’m not even sure the Royals front office is very “Moneyball”ish.

            That said, the “bang for the buck” is no longer an applicable metric for Friedman, because he’s at one of the largest market teams in baseball. Making the Royals comparison more distant.

            It seems to boil down to the fact that Friedman hasn’t won yet. Which to me is always a specious argument.

    2. The issue with Hill is blisters not skill.
      It doesn’t matter where he throws the ball as long as it’s with his normal velocity and spin.

      As to Badger, I was also surprised about the mention of “shoulder”. Maybe it’s a nod to release point? To something the Dodgers monitor in their arm health evaluation? A past injury? A recent past discomfort?

      Who knows? Will be good to find out.

  14. As it stands: the potential for Agon to go on the 10 day DL, Joc to be reactivated and Cody to get a chunk of at bats playing 1B.

    Will they platoon 1B? I hope not. Who else can play 1B when a lefty pitches?

    1. Turner. That gives them the chance to get both Taylor and Kike in the lineup on the infield, Gutierrez, Puig, and choice of Pederson or Toles in CF.

      1. I think Kike may finally end up in AAA.

        He is doing what he did last year now, when he is up to bat.

        He is over swinging almost all the time.

        They really don’t even need him in center, with Puig, Toles, and Bellinger on the team.

        Kike isn’t hitting that well against lefties, except those two HRs he hit.

  15. Wow – more “tone” from patch. It adds a lot to the discussion. (Not)

    While I don’t doubt that the Braintrust did their due diligence re: Hill’s health before signing him to 3/$48MM, it’s just that the MO doesn’t make sense to some here. Give $48MM to a guy who has only thrown 600 innings in 12 seasons and who has had not only various arm ailments but chronic blisters due his high spin-rate curve? Why would you do that? Or give 4/$48MM to a guy based on less than 1/2 season of good pitching for the Yankees? (McCarthy) This story has been repeated so many times in the past few seasons that Dodger fans want to see starting pitchers who actually, you know, pitch.

    As to Hill’s recent rehab assignment, I am glad that he was able to pitch 2/3 inning without his blister flaring up, but his apparent inability to get out Class A hitters is a concern. If you look at it objectively, you would expect that even a rehabbing ML veteran pitcher of 13 years expected to be the Dodgers’ “second ace” would be able to get out Class A hitters without too much difficulty. The fact that he didn’t is of some concern, but it was only 1 rehab start and maybe he can pitch a full inning next time.

    1. Rick

      Like you said, what good is it to save a little money, if they are never out there, pitching.

      And actually, that is one thing that Greinke is doing, he is pitching.

      And their success rate, is just not good at all, when it comes to these signings, of all of these, free agent, pitchers.

      And a 160 million dollars later, what did we get for this money?

    2. Exactamundo Rick. The parade of mediocrity through this organization is mind boggling. The positive spin put on almost every head scratching move by FAZOMANIACS is pure BS. Some people who have not returned to this site expounded FAZ’s virtues on a daily basis and thought that anyone who could not see their brilliant plan to make this a dynasty franchise was a dolt. Well, I have been a Dodger fan for well over 60 years. I have seen winners, losers, and mediocre teams. I have watched the good, the bad and the extremely ugly. These guys get paid more money in a year than most of us will see in a lifetime. The excuse I have read a lot for giving guys like Hill 48 million were things like, he was the best available arm, or he is a bargain at todays salary’s. Hill is getting 12 million this year, then it goes up next year and so on. But for that kind of money shouldn’t the owners and the fans expect more from him than an almost immediate trip to the DL? Fans see 2/3 of an inning at A ball by a guy with 13 years in the majors and the immediate reaction is this guy is toast, and it does not matter it was only a rehab start. We heard the same tired crap about Kazmir and McCarthy. Saber metrics aficionado’s quote all these stats that us old farts could care less about. McCarthy at least, in the 3rd year of that stupid contract, finally looks like he can contribute. After 2 years 24 million down the drain. They paid more for the 10 wins they got out of Kazmir last year than the 10 they got out of Anderson the year before. They have made trades that make no sense, like the one yesterday, and signed or picked up on waivers guys who did nothing when they were here. Their closest pick to the majors right now is Buhler. And he is in AA. All the prime players in the minors at this point were signed by the previous regime. Like Badger, I give them an A in one category, they have not traded the talent acquired by White and his team when they were doing the drafting. There is a lot of talent down there. But some times you need to part with a piece or two, since there is no guarantee they will ever contribute at the major league level, to make your team that much better. They made offers to Greinke, and he turned them down for outrageous money, I have no problem with that. They did not sign Cueto, or the Shark, no problem there either, but I cannot believe they could not have traded for pitchers without striping the farm, that are better than the free agents they have signed, or the ones they eventually did trade for…..Latos, Norris, Wood, The team has depth, but not a whole lot of quality. There are a lot of borderline guys on this roster. And unfortunately there are no quick fixes. Right now it is patch the dike and pray. Oh yeah, their top pick from last draft, Gavin Lux is struggling mightily at low A ball.

    3. I could make a good argument that my “tone” does add to the discussion. At least in this last example, though snarky and hyperbolic, I think I effectively paraphrased some of the core underlying assumptions some folks here have. I think you could insert my paragraph into one of those Dodger Therapy pieces some of you seem to love so much and it wouldn’t look out of place. Why continue to argue in circles and nibble around the edges? I got right down to core beliefs….and mocked them.

      If the team had done it’s due diligence, they would’ve noticed that Hill had changed as a pitcher: that his curve had developed late in his career as one of the most devastating pitches in baseball. They smartly would’ve have weighted more heavily his most recent performance with his new curve repertoire rather than his pitching ten years ago. They would have seen first hand his effectiveness, both in observing his pitching directly and analyzing his metrics. They would’ve no doubt realized the relative bargain for elite performance vis a vis the David Price/Greinke tier of free agents. They would have understood that there is risk, but would have weighed the risk against the impressive upside.

      You reject a pitcher as a health risk due to some underlying structural damage to ligaments and joints. Why would you turn down an elite caliber pitcher because he had a blister?

      Same thing with McCarthy. He was one of those oddities who actually was throwing harder than he had earlier in his career. A change in pitching philosophy and what he threw when he got to the Yankees also changed his performance. He had evolved into an effective pitcher later in his career. If I was the FO and had to do it over again, I’d still take a four year chance on him. What you constantly fail to understand is that, even if a McCarthy is a higher risk that busts, the cost can be absorbed. I’d rather have that then Price at the age thirty mark with declining velocity, a bum elbow and six more years at thirty mil. Same thing with Greinke..and Samardzija. If you’re going to criticize bad signings, you need to acknowledge that those are potentially disastrous signings. What about players like James Shields?

  16. MJ, you are right about Thompson not being a very good hitter in the minors. The FO traded for him after he had a short stint with the White Sox where he batted .295 and had 5 homers in a very short time. He also has pretty good speed and defensive tools. Very athletic kid, but he is pretty messed up right now and striking out faster than a speeding bullet. He did get a hit the other night to raise his average to .050. I like him and hope he finds the solution because with the glut of outfielders in the organization I would say his spot on the 40 man roster will be in jeopardy soon if it is already not so.

    1. Michael

      Your right, and he is such an easy guy to root for, but things don’t look good, right now.

      And I do think it isn’t good to have so many outfielders on the AAA team, that they are platooning some of the players.

      That is a way not to get the best of any of the outfielders, on the team!

      The individual stats on these players against lefties, is not as important, as some think.

      The numbers don’t always tell the whole truth.

  17. We can come in here and tell each other what an idiot FAZ is till the cows come home, but there will be no changes as long as people buy seats. I know it does no good to complain and I daily think about the point in coming in here. Someday I’ll probably quit.

    1. We know what it takes to get people to stay away. A complete screw up like McCourt. There will be 3 million every year from now until always.

      As long as we have Kershaw we have a chance. As for what is said here, it really isn’t that important, is it?

      1. It is important to me what I say. If it’s not important, I don’t say it. People who say things that aren’t important just like to hear the sound of their own voice or see their words online. That is not me. Is it you?

        1. Jonah

          I guess what is good about the next three games, is that we are playing a team, we actually won a series, against.

          It is suppose to rain on Sunday I read, and there may be some rain, tomorrow too.

          And San Diego has such nice weather normally, I hope it doesn’t rain.

        2. I think if the powers that be read what is said on this site and a lot of others, they would see that the fans for the most part are not drinking the Kool-Aid. But they have a plan, a business plan, and they will stick to it.

    2. Jonah

      I noticed even some of those older guys that text on the Dodger MLB Site, are now even saying things about the front office now.

      And they actually refer to the front office, as FAZ too.

    3. As long as people buy seats? The LA times article said attendance was down. No wait list for season tickets. Are fans complaining with their $?

      1. Dodgers have led MLB is attendance for 4 straight years.
        They are incrementally down since 2015 or 2014, but still impressively eclipse 3.7mm.
        What makes this hard to gauge is inability to gauge local TV #s, though the deal still throws off massive $$

        1. Well sooner or later the cost of going to a game is going to be so hefty that the average fan will be attending less and less. The Dodgers may have some of the lower cost seats in the game, but it still costs a family of 4 well over 100 bucks to go to a game, tickets, parking food and souvenirs, that’s a lot of money to most folks. FOX paid the Dodgers a fortune for the rights. And that is where a large portion of the teams income lies. I remember the Dodgers leading in attendance every year. But it has gone down, and will continue to do that as prices rise and sooner or later fan apathy towards a perennial bridesmaid grows.

      2. Last year we led the league in attendance averaging 45.7k. This year we lead the league averaging 44.6k. Yeah, technically it’s down. But it’s still 3.6 million by the end of the year. If the team goes on a roll, it will be back up to 3.7 million. If we really stink, it could go down to 3 million. They’ve already sold 35,000 season tickets.

        Jonah, do I sound like that to you?

        There are a lot of fans with raised eyebrows about our FO moves. If we make noise in the playoffs again, the beat will continue. There are some, most notably the well spoken Freudy, who believe the playoff run will end, if not this year then soon after. I can’t make any predictions like that. If all goes well we should win the West again. Who’s better? But with our current group I don’t like how we match up against the Cubs or the Nationals. This looks like the third verse of the same song.

        1. Wait.

          Someone thinks that Freud guy, on the ghost-town of a site is a good writer? If he’s so good wouldn’t he spur more discourse from his audience?

          1. IGNORE THAT.

            I think I read he moderates his comment system.

            I’m not a big fan of him, nor do I find his arguments persuasive or well-written.

            But others can and should. I apologize to Badger as my comment was quite snarky.

          2. No surprise with AGon. They can keep him there for a while and give Bellinger some time to fit. It’s my opinion he and Urias are both a year early, but necessity dictates the moves. If Utley doesn’t get untracked he will have to go. He can be brought back as a coach if he’s interested but the team needs offense, and I think most will agree we are better off with a right handed option in there over Utley. For information purposes Calhoun is OPS’n .855 vs right hand pitching at AAA. If we need to bring another kid up early, maybe it’s him? I’m not necessarily advocating that, but we know how FAZ loves to platoon.

          3. I left a comment in response to one of his articles once. It was critical, but by no means was it abusive. It was quickly deleted, only to magically reappear after I noted the deletion here. At least he reads other comments on other blogs and doesn’t live completely in his self-referential echo chamber.

            I don’t get the admiration for his writing. I don’t think his prose is particularly exceptional unless you consider a thousand word rant as good writing. I think Badger conflates a general agreement with his world view as verbal skill. I actually think Badger writes better.

    4. The point is this, and it won’t be this year. At some point FAZ’s plan has to produce results. At some point this team needs to make it to the World Series. This is what this ownership told the fans, they were committed to winning long term. 4 division titles mean nothing unless you get to the big dance in the fans minds. FAZ’s plan seems helter-skelter to those who are not into all the metric stuff, and his constant acquisition of so called low risk high reward players, to the eyes of most are not working. If he makes a major trade that makes this team better and championship caliber, maybe more fans would be on board and complain less. Those who have bought into what he is doing see nothing wrong with the way he is doing it. Those of us who have been watching this team for over 50 years, are not drinking the blue Kool-Aid. It takes talent to get talent, and some of those lower tier guys who might or might not make it, are very tradable. Deleon is an example, for some reason not explained his stock was high in Tampa but not in LA, so we get Forsythe for 2 years. Hill, well that trade has been beat to death, but is he worth 48 million and 3 prospects??? Not in my mind. Reddick was worthless. And not needed. It is a month in, they are close to where they were last year, and the injuries keep coming. They have depth, no denying that, they do not have a whole lot of quality in that depth.

      1. I’m not sure, Michael, if you want to make this point:
        “Those of us who have been watching this team for over 50 years, are not drinking the blue Kool-Aid. ”
        If you are hoping economics or fan pressure is going to weigh on the Dodgers ownership to change how the FO looks/runs.

        1. Not the economics, the results on the field. This team is going to make money, for the most part since they have been in LA they always have, and if you look back they have led the league and the majors in attendance probably more than any other franchise, but fans like myself and most of the Dodger fans I know, are not buying what they are selling at this point. I think their plan is flawed, and the results are not what was expected. Ownership will make the decision if they continue to be mired in a bridesmaids roll…..the powers that be and all the fans want a world series.

      1. I started to respond to bluto, changed my mind, then responded to this – but left it under bluto’s post. Oops. You can read it there, but the gist is injuries force teams to go to backup plans. Our backup plans have some youth involved. Could be a very good thing.

  18. Simple #’s game. Walter Alsont walks into Walter O’Malley’s office. O’Malley with his head in his hands moans how the Dodgers lost 2 million dollars. Buzzi Bavasi smirks as O’Malley walks out. Alston asks Buzzi how he could be so callous. Buzzi says “Oh Walt, what he (O’Malley) meant was that the ball club made 4 million dollars instead of 6 million.”

  19. Rich Hill, if things continue to go without a hitch (read: no blister, I think,) will return to the club in about a week. Maybe around then for Forsythe as well.

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