My Top Takeaways from the 2016 Dodgers’ Season

2016 has ended for the Dodgers. Every step from here on, is geared toward next year. Improvements are expected, and those will only happen if the organization learns from the previous summer’s battles. Here’s what I learned:

1. This was Adrian Gonzalez ‘s  last hurrah.

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It was his last chance to make a difference as an everyday player on a World Series team. Although AGone was an iron man at first base in 2016, he wasn’t able to put up his  usual big bopper numbers. Despite his and his fan’s undying optimism and enthusiasm, he’ll just be a year older in 2017. The Dodgers would be well served to find and rapidly groom a power-hitting first baseman to replace him.

2. It’s time for Yasiel Puig to move on.

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The Dodgers have dealt with his maturity issues long enough.
This season Puig was sent down to the minors because of repeated failures to focus. As he always does, he competed well against minor-league players. He was brought back up to the big club for the playoffs push, and as he always does, he gave us flashes of brilliance. The problem is, flashes are the only thing that Puig ever had, and perhaps, ever will.

Even worse, when it comes to the postseason, Puig doesn’t even have the flashes. I’ll bet he’ll prosper in a different organization. If it was going to happen in Los Angeles, it would have by now.

3. Andrew Toles should be the starting left fielder in 2017.

lat-sp-andrew-toles-dodgers-la0039692835-20160708

Howie Kendrick really has no business being out there, and unlike Puig, Mr. Toles has shown that he can perform consistently. Take away that horribly misplayed fly ball against the Cubs, and Toles has clearly delivered on his promise. He’s a proven sparkplug and run-producer. Starting everyday will allow him to be the star he’s meant to be.

4. There really is only one choice for National League manager of the year. It’s Dave Roberts.

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He was handed a franchise that had been to the playoffs the previous three years in a row. Making it an even four years was his biggest mission. It also became his greatest accomplishment. That said, it sure as heck wasn’t easy to do.
Roberts’ Dodgers were a worse team than their predecessors. The front office used swap meet tactics to build the 2016 model, and then he was told to improve on (or at least equal)the accomplishments of last season’s squad.

During spring training the Dodgers lost Andre Ethier, their new leadoff hitter, to a broken leg. And the injuries never stopped coming. The biggest blow of all was the loss of ace pitcher Clayton Kershaw mid-season.
Yet nothing stopped Roberts’ team. They rose up from being eight games behind the Giants to take the division.
Roberts used spit, bailing wire, and 100 pitchers in 1,000 different combinations-including some that noone had ever seen before-to lead the Dodgers to the October promised land. Indeed, Roberts’ team was on the way to the Fall Classic, when the glue lost hold, and they were stopped cold. Despite a cruel end to the season, the skipper did a helluvajob.

5. The Dodgers are in an interesting period of flux. They’re rapidly evolving, and are very different from the Dodgers they were just five years ago. They’re changing not only as a team, but as a corporate entity and a culture.
Vin Scully is gone forever, and seemingly, so is the ability to watch the home team on television. The 2017 Dodgers will complacently allow the TV blackout fiasco to settle into another season. They just don’t seem to care at all about the situation, or the fans who can’t watch them.
On the field, the Dodgers will bring back the young rookies from last season, and even more farmhands are sure to make an appearance on the squad in 2017.
Although many complain about the sabremetric-heads running the front office, and supposedly controlling Dave Roberts’ moves, stat-controlled baseball isn’t going anywhere, and it’s going to continue to rule the Dodgers. Is that the reason the Dodgers stepped even closer to the World Series this year?  They certainly think so, but I’m of the thought that relying too much on numbers ultimately hindered, rather than helped the cause.

Nevertheless, 2016 was one heck of a dodger Blue trolley ride. Spring training 2017 can’t come fast enough.

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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124 thoughts on “My Top Takeaways from the 2016 Dodgers’ Season

  1. (repost, hanging from the last threat . . .)

    Joc was my guy. Loved the baseball in him. But as THIS season wore on, he kept getting bad habits approaching hitting. Sometimes, as I remember, even swinging at the dirt — for strike 3 –. heck, he took to many pitches right down the middle, then a foul, then swing at the dirt. Then talk to the ump like the ump was uncle ump and back to the bench.

    People yelling, choke up, just put the ball in play. And sometimes he did. He just has not been a smart hitter.

  2. I will miss Vin a lot next year. I turned off the FOX announcers and listened to Steiner and Monday the entire playoffs. Steiner is just awful. He made me miss Joe Davis who I find very mediocre. Steiner called David Ross, Cody Ross for an entire game. No one corrected him nor did he every figure out that it was David Ross. It was dreadful listening to him. I wish they would let Monday and Kennedy take it over. Monday is much better as a play by play than an analyst.

  3. Adrian still has some life left in him. He is still a gold glove first baseman. He is still Mr. RBI and clutch for this team, more so than most of the others. There is also no one to replace him at present. At least no one with the skill set he brings.

    We did see a fall off in his power this year. The HR’s did start to come back towards the late season, but the drought was noticed by all. His slump was part of the team’s overall nose dive in the first half of the season. I don’t know how the Dodgers can let him go without a suitable replacement, even a bonafide prospect. Sure, he’s paid too much and that may be the clincher for FAZ, but I will certainly miss him if he’s not with the team.

    Puig still has not been given a real chance on this team. He’s our best arm in RF, can hit consistently when played, but something is not right here. It’s either his head or the team’s perception about him. Maybe it is time for him to seek his fortune elsewhere.

    Toles in LF sounds right.

    NL Mgr of the year? Maddon

    Replacing Vin Scully? No one. Dodger games should be silent for 1 year.

    1. Jeff

      I agree about Agone!

      I have no problem with the Dodgers moving him down in the order, as long as we have another bat, in the meat of the order, that can deliver.

      And I am not talking about Turner, or Corey, because they are already in the meat of the order.

      We will need someone else, to add to the meat of the order.

      I think people get more on Agone, because what he is paid, and because he is a slow runner.

      But believe or not, Agone and Turner tied for the most RBIs, in the post season, or Agone had a few more.

      Some of these other hitters, don’t know how to get runs in, or over, let alone in the clutch.

      We have players in our line up, that can’t even put the ball in play, to get a run in, and that is pretty bad.

  4. I’m not ready to give up on Puig, nor am I opposed to trading him if the Dodgers get real value in return. But without getting a solid return I see no reason to throw in the towel on him. And if there is anyone who can ultimately get through to Puig, I think it’s Dave Roberts. So unless the Dodgers get some real value in a trade for Puig, I see nothing to be gained by trading him.

    There’s a lot to like about Toles, but I’m still not convinced that he’s ready to take on an everyday role. In fact, he began to show signs of vulnerability to offspeed and breaking pitches as the season progressed. He might make adjustments and turn out to be good over the long haul, but I’m still not convinced. I believe it was Delwyn Young quite a few years ago, who as a late season callup looked like a hitting machine, until pitchers the following year stopped feeding him a steady diet of fastballs. For now I see Toles as an extra outfielder with the potential to earn a starting job. And, if anything, my preference is for the Dodgers to acquire a righthanded power hitting outfielder. Maybe that outfielder could be Ryan Braun, or maybe someone else.

    I do expect that some of our younger minor league players might step up next season, but I don’t see any righthanded bats that are ready to play a significant role. The Dodgers acquired a lot of talent during the 2015-16 international signing period, but just about all of those players were teenagers, so we’re not likely to see any of them for several more years. Maybe an exception or two will pop up, but I’m not counting on it. So in the meantime, we probably have to count on acquiring older (but not old) veterans to fill the void until we start to produce a steady stream of young major league ready talent.

    Right now all I want is for the World Series to be over, and for the hot stove to begin.

    1. Hawkeyes

      Toles was not getting consistent at bats, so who knows if he has that problem.

      They throw off speed stuff in AAA, and he still hit, and I know pitchers have better command in the majors, but getting consistent at bats, makes a big difference.

      There are already a couple players in this line up, that play almost all the t

      1. Brooklyn

        There are a lot of players in this line up, that don’t hit off speed stuff.

        And actually Toles hit better then most on this line up, and he wasn’t getting all the at bats, like the others.

        He also makes more consistent contact then most too.

        But we will have to see, if he gets the chance, and I think he will.

        The back of this line up, can be like a black hole at times, in the regular season, let alone in the post season, against good pitching.

        And Toles gives this team speed, which is badly needed.

        You have to remember Toles started at A ball, so he isn’t polished yet.

        Toles did something that Corey did, when he first came up, which was hit major league pitching, from his first at bat, in the majors.

        Not many players hit in there first taste of the majors.

        Joc didn’t hit in his first call up.

        And Joc is still learning.

  5. Good article Oscar. Puig needs to be traded. We need something of value for him. He has had enough time to be a good major leaguer. Braun could be the answer for right handed power. I do believe Toles will be in the outfield and lead off . He will adjust. I see him being as good as Seager. I would like to see Pederson, Toles, and Braun in the outfield with Ethier being the fourth outfielder.

  6. Many of you still are failing to understand how the concept of blowing up the team give you access to players you don’t ordinarily have access to. By blowing up the Cubs, Theo traded Rizzo (whom he had in Boston – that familiarity many of you despise in FAZ) to SD for A-Gon. While we are on the issue of BAD MOVES, Theo signed Carl Crawford, and along with A-Gon, who hated the East Coast, that would have been a huge black mark on him and they would not have won the pennant without finding a “sucker” in K & C (Kasten & Colletti). Theo pretty much showed you how NOT TO build a team with those bad moves. Ned and Stan saved his legacy. Friedman is aware!

    1. So Theo got Rizzo by trading Cashner and others because of blowing up the team.
    2. Theo traded Dempster for Kyle Hendrick by blowing up the team.
    3. Theo signed Jon Lester and David Ross whom he had in Boston. See others do that stuff too.
    4. Theo traded Samardzija and Hammel for Addison Russell while blowing up the team.
    5. Theo kept Baez and in his first season, Baez hit .169. (but there’s no hope for Kike?)
    6. Chris Bryant and Kyle Schwarber were Top Picks because they Blew up the team.
    7. Jake Arrietta was acquired because they were blowing up the team and dumped Clevenger and Feldman.
    8. Solar and Heyward were signed as Free Agents – neither have distinguished themselves.
    9. Travis Wood was acquired in a salary dump during the blowing up process for Sean Marshall.
    10. Contreras was signed in 2009 and stayed during the purge.
    11. Thedo also paid millions to make Alfonzo Soriano go away.

    I took the time to look this up, because several have compared what Friedman has done to Epstein. Theo did what he accomplished BY BLOWING UP THE TEAM AND TANKING. LET ME REPEAT THAT SLOWLY FOR THOSE WHO LACK COMPREHENSION – THEY DID IT BY TANKING WHILE BLOWING UP THE TEAM. If it makes you feel good to apply intellectual fiction then go ahead and do it, but now that you are aware of the real facts, it will just brand you as what I suspected you were. You know the word!

    Don’t disgrace your parents with such arguments.

    1. Wow, you make it sound like easy pickins.
      If it’s so easy then why doesn’t everyone do it. Many have tried and most have failed.

      What you say is ‘lucky’ I say is someone that sees talent and has a plan.
      Tanking a team guarantees top picks, that’s it. And as most of us know, there are far more failures among the top 5 draft picks than there are successes. Picking in the top 5 year after year does not build championships. It takes smart trades and strategic signings as well along with good player development.

      Ironically Baez and Contreras give much credit to Manny Ramirez for their development.

      Looking at Arrieta, Epstein said that he could see a potential top of the rotation pitcher, therefore traded for him. That’s noticing something. Did anyone else seek Arrieta’s services? Regarding Kyle Hendricks, there were anywhere from 20-30 other Texas Rangers pitchers that Epstein could have chosen but he chose Hendricks. Now 3+ years later look where he’s at.

      Epstien traded for Chapman when the Cubs already all but had their division won. Why? Success is when Preparation meets Opportunity. He had an opportunity and he was going to go for it. It’s called vision.

      Epstein TWICED acquired Rizzo. Evidently he saw something that no one else saw in him. Epstein traded with Oakland for their #1 prospect. The Money Ballers screwed up. (They might have learned something and made up for it by picking up 3 of the Dodgers top 13 prospects this past season.) What Epstien did to them they did to Freidman. But yeah, Friedman does everything just like Epstien……NOT.

      Epstein signed Lester while the Cubs were still losing. After last year’s 97 wins team, he did not stand pat and signed Lackey to complete the rotation. He then signed Heyward. Both of those moves were to put a dent in their nemesis. He then signed a fundamentally sound player that just won a WS title in Zobrist. Zobrist was a draftee by Friedman. Did Freidman not need a proven quality performer or did he sit on the sidelines while everyone else was grabbing ‘product’, remember the Porsche story.
      I can go on.

      You act as if Friedman has been trading or signing top talent just like Epstein. Are you serious? I’m of the mindset he wouldn’t know top talent if it fell on his door step.

      Should I remind you of Friedman’s traded for and signed players over the past 2 years. Allow me.
      Here’s the list….. Josh Reddick, Rich Hill, Yasmani Grandal, Chase Utley, Howie Kendrick, Joe Blanton, Scott Kazmir, Brandon McCarthy, Brett Anderson, Kenta Maeda, Kiki Hernandez, Andrew Toles, Josh Fields, Carlos Ruiz, Alex Wood, Mat Latos, Trayce Thompson, Micah Johnson, Brandon Beachy, Chris Heisey, Jim Johnson, Jimmy Rollins, Justin Ruggiano…..and I’ve missed plenty others.

      Compare that to Anthony Rizzo, Addison Russell, Jake Arrieta, Kyle Hendricks, John Lackey, Jason Heyward, Ben Zobrist, Miguel Montero, Jorge Solar and Aroldis Chapman.

      Wow!

      1. Chili,

        You left out the part that Friedman is trying to win now and later, so Theo did not have to get those kinds of guys as a BRIDGE because he was a demolition expert! Andrew had to keep the team relevant. I have never said they would win the Series now, but I have said they would win and be relevant and they have. During the first 3 years Theo’s teams did ot win and were not relevant.

        … and for the record – you are looking at Theo 2-4 years later. Let’s see what these guys look like then…

        Apples to oranges

        1. Theo did not demolish, therefore rebuild the Red Sox organization and still ended up winning 2 titles. So to label him a demolition expert is slightly misleading. He took over an over priced, not to good Cubs team and told the fan base that it would be a 4 to 5 year project to fix it. This coming from a guy who had not done that before.

          I would say that IF Epstein had inherited a 94 win 2 time Division Champ team that he would have had them playing for a WS title within the first 2 years. He wouldn’t have had to take 4 to 5 years to build a Championship squad, that’s for sure. 80% was already there. Just add the right pieces by moving the pieces that needed to go.

    2. Mark

      Just like you said, every front office makes mistakes.

      Epstein has such a good resume, those moves, can be over looked.

      I think giving Hector Olivera that money, was an even bigger error, but I know it isn’t for the same big money.

      But at least Crawford was a really good baseball player, at one time.

      Look at all of the young players on the Red Sox now, most were drafted by Epstein.

      I am more concerned with Friedman, because he has never worked at a big market team.

      And our GM came from pure money ball team.

      Theo signed Lester, and in that agreement, Lester insisted that the Cubs sign Ross, to be his personal catcher.

    3. Mark

      The Red Sox have won some World Series lately, unlike the A’s.

      And because of that, the Red Sox have and had better players then the A’s.

      And McCarthy, Anderson, were on the A’s when they were younger, but they are not even close to being the pitcher Lester is.

    4. Point of order there Sparky….you are comparing Baez, 1st rounder #9 overall to Kike Hernandez, 6th round 161st pick? Sorry, the dog won’t hunt. Quit embarrassing your parents with that argument…

  7. Pitching. Baez Howell, and Kasmir just need to leave. I do not care how. McCarthy and Wood need to go to the bull pen. Urias and DeLeon will be in the starting rotation. However, we need to trade for a #2 starter. Starters, Kershaw, #2, Urias, DeLeon and Maeda. I would like to see us resign Jansen at 3 years at 50 million.

  8. I am starting to like the idea of trading Puig, A-Gon and a couple of prospects… maybe Medea or McCarthy (and $20 million) to Milwaukee for Braun and converting Braun to a 1B. I think he can play there as he came up as an infielder at 3B (albeit not a great one – he can learn – Hanley did).

    That may be all we need:

    1. Toles LF
    2. Pederson CF (I think he will improve next year – he did this year)
    3. Seager SS
    4. Braun 1B
    5. Turner 3B
    6. Grandal C
    8. Thompson RF
    9. Kendrick/Calhoun 2B

    Rotation:
    1. Kershaw
    2. Urias
    3. Buehler
    4. De Leon
    5. Maeda, McCarthy, Kaz, Stewart, De Jong, et al.

    1. The number two hitter is suppose to be the best hitter on the team.

      I don’t want Joc getting more at bats then Corey and Turner.

      Joc doesn’t have enough sense, to hit at the top of the order.

      He is to worried about hitting a HR, then getting a run in.

      Joc still has trouble hitting eighth and seventh, let alone at the top of the order.

      He strikes out way to much, and doesn’t have smart at bats.

    2. Mark,

      You have more faith in Trayce than I do. He had a nice start. A start that was much better than his career in the minors. I’m not sure which happened first, he decline of his injury. While he looks athletic, he misjudged more fly balls than anyone on the team. I see him as a compliment to Toles and Joc who like this year will have to hit his way into more playing time. I like him, but proceed with caution.

  9. Infield. Sign Turner. Four years at 75 million. Second base, we have Kendrick for another year. Develop a young second baseman. We have two kids in the minors who could be good. What to do with Agon. I would keep him and work Bellinger in after July.

  10. Are we going with the idea that the Dodgers are “all in” on winning a championship in ’17 again?

    I see next year going much the same as this year, though I don’t think we should count on the giants and Arizona collapsing. As we’ve already noted, the win number is trending down, so the early O/U is 91, though it would appear not many in here are Interested in that.

    I don’t give Turner $75 million. 4 and $60mm, maybe $64mm. He’s 32 next year, and has leg issues. Jansen? Does anyone see FAZ giving a closer a long deal? No, not the $75 – $100 million somebody projected, but make him an offer. I’d talk about the fangraphs article on the rising cost of WAR but I’ve done it before and nobody here buys it. I think FAZ does. The clear path for us, and what the Red Sox and Cubs have done successfully, is to get players on their way up, and plug in the bonafide b.i.s. star where needed.

    We traded quite a few young stars this past year, and I’m not at all sure what we got for them that will help next year. Trayce Thompson is the only young guy I see for moving Peraza, Schebler, Montas, Cotton and Holmes. I think every one of those guys will be playing and playing well very soon. Some clearly already have. Who we have left and their projection dates: Bellinger – 2018. De Leon – 2017. Verdugo – 2018. Calhoun – 2018. Alvarez – 2019. Diaz – 2019. Buehler – 2019. Sheffield- 019. Lux – 2020. Barnes – 2017 – or who the hell knows.

    There are some Dodgers due big raises. Until we know what they intend to do with those guys, putting a starting lineup together now is impossible. I agree with Brooklyn that Puig is still an incredible talent and that Roberts can get through to him. Pederson is my everyday CFer and Toles shows promise but I’m not sure about him. Our starting pitching still looks like Kershaw and pick a 5 inning name out of a hat.

    A lot of work left to do with this roster.

    1. FAZ has never been “all in”. They are “in” within what they are willing to do, but not take on long-term bad deals and trade away top prospects. That has been established from the day Friedman was hired. It will be the same next year. This is not a surprise!

      Someone said yesterday that it would not have taken Urias, Seager and Pederson to get Hamels because Texas gave a lot less. This is two years later and we know what those guys are and what Philly got. Here’s what we don’t know – we don’t know how Philly valued those prospects:

      Alfaro (age 23) – C is moving up and doing well (AAA)
      Williams (age 23) – OF is at AAA and showing his tools
      Asher (age 25) – P is a solid reliever for Philly
      Eickhoff (age 25) P threw 197 Innings in his first full season with a 3.65 ERA
      Thompson (age 22) P is their projected ace who threw 53 innings this year

      So, it’s hard to evaluate now, but two years ago many of you were not sold on Seager or Urias as a sure thing. So, maybe Philly thinks they got a better package… and they might have.

      Also, I think you are going to see a big change in baseball: You are going to see a lot of guys who were starters be developed as 2-3 inning guys. This is going to happen all around baseball.

      1. These playoffs, have already proven that a team can’t have a bunch of starting pitchers, who only throw five innings a game.

        A bullpen can’t survive and produce in this way, for too long.

      2. 4 years 48 million for McCarthy is not a bad deal? Sorry I whole heartedly disagree. It is the most wasted money since Andrew Jones….

    2. Agree with both Badger and Mark, FAZ aint going “all-in” in 2017. NEVER will go all-in, unlike NED.

      FAZ will continue to operate by considering EVERYTHING trying to find value whenever/wherever. Often ridiculed on this board is the many GM’s that make up FAZ. I guess many think they are all twiddling their thumbs. Not me. Everyone is on the hunt for value.

      Seems like nobody here is interested in 6′ 4 “, 205 lb, Right hand hitting, 2nd baseman, 23 yr old Lourdes Gourriel. Kid can also play SS/Third/OF. But they say he may be too big and may have to move off SS. Sounds like another kid we all know. I know we are scouting him. If he is the real deal he is exactly what we need.

  11. Brooklyn Dodger: “I’m not ready to give up on Puig, nor am I opposed to trading him if the Dodgers get real value in return. But without getting a solid return I see no reason to throw in the towel on him. And if there is anyone who can ultimately get through to Puig, I think it’s Dave Roberts. So unless the Dodgers get some real value in a trade for Puig, I see nothing to be gained by trading him.”

    Agree 100%. I see plenty of reasons to throw towels AT Puig, but, not ready to throw in towel without a good return. We need a right-handed masher, preferably cheap, 26 yr old Puig could fit the bill. Sometimes six months out of the lime-light, to reflect on stuff, can be very beneficial. Dodgers will be monitoring situation very closely.

    1. I also see the talent. BUT, I’m convinced that he would only be a bigger ‘knucklehead’ with any sustainable success. I’m of the mindset that you cannot win with him. I could be wrong but it seems that way too many teammates struggle with his self serving behavior.

      I see him in the same light as Jeff George, Jay Cutler and Latrell Sprewell. If a GM is wanting to win, you trade each and everyone of those players a.s.a.p.
      Same goes for Puig. That play in the playoffs where EVERYONE knows that the CF has the right to every ball he can get to and then to have Puig run full speed in front of Joc. Come on. That would not be tolerated at any top notch high school program. He has to go.

      1. Wow. That’s some bad company Chili.

        I wonder what the younger players in the organization think of him? If Seager and Joc like having him, and of course if he gets the official okey dokey from Kershaw we will likely keep him. He does bring some multi-tool talent to the field. He’s 26 in December, so the best could be the next 2 years. At $8 then $9 million he’s a freakin bargain. We got 1.4 WAR for $7.2mm this year, and 12.7 WAR for $24.5mm so far in his career. Man, that’s some serious bang for buck, though again, I may be the only person here that buys the Cost/WAR numbers. I keep him unless the return adds real depth (not what we called depth this year) for our turnaround in ’18.

        1. For conversation purposes…… IF the game against the Nationals were a regular season game and he ran into Joc (not even considering that he might have injured Joc for weeks) and the ball would have dropped and the Nationals would have scored and then win that game. How much does his WAR drop from that one play?

          1. dWAR is a stat that should evolve , and I believe is evolving.

            The play you refer to, in my opinion, looked worse than it was to Dodger fans because it was Puig. That play happens to every team every year and it usually happens on the road. You ever sat out in those bleacher seats? Those people are loud and relentless. The worst I ever saw was right field in Yankee Stadium. Those fans, nearly ALL of them hanging near the wall were screaming “I got it!” at the visiting outfielders on every fly ball. It was funny to watch because the fielders did indeed hear them, and often walked away shaking their heads. Personally I think Puig has the potential to be the best defensive right fielder in the game. And I can still see him with 30/30 on his resume before he’s done. He must of course mature. Can he? Who knows. But I’m quite sure the evaluators around the league see what I see. The question remains, what do current teammates and coaches think of him.

          2. My point is that if the ball would have dropped than more than likely it would have been ruled a hit. No dWAR effected. But in reality his WAR should have dropped by 1 full point.

            Some can/will continue to make excuses for their favs like they do with their kids. At some point you have to stop the enabling. I would think even Friedman has enough ‘smarts’ (yes, I might be giving him too much credit) to do what is best and move Puig. The Dodgers mgmt and fan base value this guy so much higher than most any other organization. He should have went to the White Sox in a blockbuster deal for Sales. Puig would have had a mentor in Jose Abreu.

          3. Then you did not see the tweets the following day from Puig…..basically laughing about taking the ball from Joc.

          4. No, I didn’t see any tweets. I know from my time playing outfield over the years collisions can happen when you have two aggressive outfielders targeting a fly ball. I’m not concerned about that really. What I am concerned about is his effect on teammates, especially the younger ones. I saw AGon with both hands on Puig’s shoulders looking him right in the eyes and offering advice. That looked to me like a leader who cares about his teammate.I found that to be a good sign. What do others think of him? He did not have a particularly successful post season for us, and I’m sure FAZ noticed that. I’m not really that attached to him. If he goes he goes. I just hope we get equal value in return. He is a career .287 133 OPS+ hitter. Those kind of hitters make a lot of money, and should return a lot of potential in trade.

      2. Good point Chili about Puig running in front of Pederson. STUPID! But still need good value to trade Puig, I agree with Badger’s WAR analysis. Hope he doesn’t kill someone in meantime.

        Got to take issue with Chili on last thread.

        Chili: “That’s why Grienke, Cueto, Price, Samardzija, Leake and Lackey all went for the dollars they got. CAUSE ALL OF THOSE GM’S KNEW THAT THERE WOULD NOT BE ANYONE AVAILABLE THIS YEAR!
        Look at the teams that signed these players. Look at the GM’s (excluding the D-Backs). All visionary GM’s/organizations. Notice how Epstein didn’t sign Lackey to just a one year deal. Notice how Cueto’s contract is for 2 years (before opting out). This is not coincidence. F & Z are like jr. high kids with their new age math competing with college grads.”

        What I noticed is Greinke, Price, and Leake contracts aren’t looking very good right now. Kazmir 4.56 ERA, 136IP, Leake 4.69IP 176 IP. Kazmir half the money.

        Also college grad visionary GM Sabean forgot all about the bullpen. Happily, the SF fans are not calling him a visionary today.

        Lastly, I hope you know the two year opt-out on Cueto, while visionary, was ONLY visionary by Cueto’s agents.

        Forgot to add most important point.

        Dodger’s biggest organizational strength is starting pitching prospects. I believe and I think FAZ believes we have stud starting pitching on the way. Therefore, no big starting pitching contracts last year.

        1. Badger

          Puig’s stats have went down every year.

          He has been about a 258 hitter, with not much power, and I am talking about HRs, in the last two years.

          He sure should have been playing over Reddick, but Puig still struggles at the plate, in clutch situations.

          He is still behind on fastballs, right down the middle of the plate.

        2. Boxout

          I think the Giants stubbornly didn’t want to pay big money for a closer.

          And they thought they could make use, with what they have, like they have in the past.

          And I think Friedman will be the same way.

          1. But, but, Chili says Sabean is a visionary college grad. A man among jr. high boys.

            Something is not adding up here!!

            Maybe the Midgets also have a budget. Just a thought.

        3. In response to your response Box. Of course some of the contracts after one year will not look good and a couple of those will/might look better after the 2nd year with the club and some of the contracts that look good after the first year might not look as good the 2nd year. As I had said yesterday, just about every long term/high dollar contract is not going to look good by the end of it. It is the nature of the beast.

          Unfortunately for some of you….costs per wins does not determine championships. With star players you will overpay for their production…..just like I was saying about Lester. In 4 years his contract will not look so good when comparing it to his performance. But IF the Cubs win 1 or 2 titles by then, no one is going to care. 90% of their fans would say he was underpaid the first 3 or 4 years of the contract when valuing their title(s).

          If you want stars that ‘hopefully’ perform when the light is the brightest, a la Cueto, Andrew Miller, Lester, etc. then you will have to pay for them.

          Another brilliant move by Epstein was picking up Chapman. Because it kept Chapman from possibly ending up with the Giants. Imagine if the Giants would have had Chapman since late July. We might be talking about the Giants/Indians in the WS.

      3. Chili

        I am not convinced with Puig either!

        He already had one of the most understanding managers, a team could have, and Puig didn’t listen to Roberts.

        Roberts had to give more time to Puig, then any other player, just to make sure Puig did what he is suppose to do.

        Roberts was over whelmed by Puig, because Puig took time, away from all the other players.

        Remember when Puig first came back, he was on his best behavior, and suddenly knew which base he should throw it to.

        Puig has known that all the time, but he just wanted to do what Puig wants.

        And like Chili said, Puig once again, was pulling another stunt in front of Joc.

        We are lucky the ball didn’t drop.

        And before Puig was sent down, he was up on the wall right next to Toles, in Toles first game.

        I also saw Puig in leftfield, by Howie, during that time.

        Puig was suppose to be backing up Toles, and what was Puig doing in leftfield, when he was playing rightfield?

      4. Good comparison: Jeff George, Jay Cutler and Latrell Sprewell to Puig!

        I know Jeff George and he now admits he was an A-Hole. He has actually grown up and is a responsible citizen who gives a lot back. He also has a very hot wife!

        1. Those guys were/are assholes. Sprewell was a violent thug. Puig might be a knucklehead, but I think he’s a little more likable…a little bit more good natured. He won me over personality-wise with the #dontlookatme, #puigyourfriend autographed t-shirt for Bum episode.

      5. Please. There was a crowd screaming while both players called for the ball. Puig has his flaws but citing this as a major thing is ridiculous. Did you see Fowler and Soler run into each other. I guess the Cubs should ship someone out of town over that.

        1. Hawkeyes

          Did you see Puig’s and Joc’s post after that?

          And it isn’t like it was the first time, Puig has done this same stunt.

          It wasn’t even close to Puig.

          1. We will agree to disagree. He was hustling after a ball when the crowd was extremely loud. Should Joc have not distracted Toles in game 6? I don’t think so. A player should go hard every play until he is called off.

          2. Exactly MJ. It was Joc’s ball the entire time. It wasn’t like both players were running full speed. Joc was camped under it and called him off multiple times.

  12. Chili, I agree 100% with you on Puig. That play convinced me that he has not changed. We need to package him with another player to get value. Enough is enough. Time for him to go.

    1. Hawkeyes

      I agree with that, but you know Puig has a history of walking in right in front of Joc, and catching the ball.

      The Joc Toles play, was a very quick play, there wasn’t that much time, it was to quick.

      Toles was making a running catch.

      He wasn’t just getting under a rountine flyball.

      It was rountine flyball, that Puig went in front of Joc, and took the ball away.

      1. I remember the play just fine. Puig was sprinting and calling for the ball too. Mountain out of a molehill. Some will find any reason possible to get after Puig. After watching Reddick play RF and run the bases, much bigger issues than Puig going after a ball. I’ve watched the replay. They were both calling for it. How about the pop up at the pitcher’s mound that almost dropped in game 6. They looked like a bunch of little leaguers. Which guy should get cut over that nonsense? Puig is a knucklehead and at times has a low baseball IQ, but lack of hustle isn’t the issue and there are much bigger issues than this silly topic.

        1. Hawkeyes

          I never said Puig didn’t hustle, in fact I stuck up for him, on that hit that he thought was a HR that hit the wall, that Roberts benched Puig for.

          I knew Puig doesn’t know when he has hit a HR most of the time.

  13. I find this a more educated, and likely more accurate, look at the Hamels trade.

    https://www.google.com/amp/www.si.com/mlb/2015/07/30/cole-hamels-trade-rangers-rotation-prospects-phillies%3famp=1

    We’ll never know what FAZ really thought of the idea, but clearly they weren’t looking for a 31 year old ace. They were looking for bargains, though what Texas did in that deal, as explained in this article, was get a #1 for about what we paid for McCarthy. Nicely done Texas. We’ll see if it works out for them next year. The deal might work for both teams actually.

        1. That might be the thing I find most repellent about progressive/liberals/Democrats/fill in the blanks. There is always that overweening sense of intellectual vanity, this belief that they’re always the smartest people in the room, and anyone who comes from a red state, speaks with a Southern or Texas twang, calls herself a Christian or doesn’t have a degree in Gender Studies or Sociology and doesn’t appreciate a Napa chardonnay is beneath contempt and just plain stupid. ….But that’s a larger issue. It’s not baseball.

          Actually, college educated or not, Mark put on a rather impressive display of intellectual dexterity and creativity with his argument, and went after yours directly.

          You argue that because the prospect package that the Texans ultimately gave up for Hamels were not their own 1,2,3 rated prospects, then it’s a faulty assumption that the Dodgers would have had to give up their own 1,2,3 crown jewels of Seager, Urias and Peterson to get him. We do know that that’s what the Phillies originally asked for, so your argument assumes that the Dodgers failure was one of not making an aggressive counter-offer that would have been more palatable. They didn’t get it done and Texas did. It’s not a bad argument, actually.

          Mark argues that you can’t make those assumptions just by looking at the Baseball Prospectus rating of the prospects involved. Maybe the Phillies placed more value on those prospects, or just had their spotlight on the Texans farm system, or just didn’t want to do business with the Dodgers (telling the Dodgers FO that they wanted all three of those guys was basically giving them the finger). As evidence he showed that the FIVE prospects are all major league relevant, and one pitched almost 200 innings with a 3.65 ERA. I was actually astonished to see that. Another is a valuable reliever and another is their Urias – their future ace. FIVE solid relevant prospects, two of which are already contributing at the major league level is a quite a haul, actually. It’s a pretty solid, well constructed and deep argument. I think you deriding him for his education shows that maybe you think so too, but then again, you have a habit of doing that.

          My take is that I just don’t think the Dodgers were willing to give up a big prospect package of FIVE (that’s a lot) prospects last year. Their first priority in their first year was to rebuild the crumbling foundations of the Dodgers organization. The first order of business was rebuilding the farm system. If that is the backdrop, then I don’t think there was much willingness to deplete a farm of FIVE valuable prospects when they were trying to rebuild it. This year is a little different. The farm is in better shape and I think they felt a little more confident in dealing from a position of strength to to get Hill. They weren’t in that position last year.

      1. Puig is suppose to play winter ball, let’s see what happens there.

        Everybody is doing the same thing concerning Puig, and that is hoping one day Puig will live up to his potential.

        Guess what, that is only up to Puig.

          1. Hawkeye

            If you want Puig in right, and Joc in center, and Toles in left, where do you want our new right hand bat, to play?

    1. I find Puig to be a candidate for some of Toles’ anti-anxiety meds. Seems like this year, he kept his emotions more in check during the playoffs. Partly because he was riding the pines. He seemed to chase less out of the strike zone. Other than the stupid bunt attempt against Chapman, I didn’t have a big problem with his approach at the plate. I’m cool with him playing RF next year, and I’m cool with him being dealt if there is a true upgrade to the team. I hope he does play winter ball. It may give the team a barometer of his growth or lack there of.

  14. I like the idea of putting a rookie pitcher in the bull pen for one year and then make a starting pitcher out of him next year. In the bull pen he gets to pitch 2-3 times a week. He gets good experience by pitching out of the pen. Then next year he is a veteran. Good place for Buehler next year. If you needed a long reliever, he would be the one.

    1. I read somewhere, TrueBlue maybe, that the Dodgers could fast track Buehler through the system in ’17. I could see Stripling and Stewart in that bullpen role next year too. If the starting staff remains the same, gulp, we will need some long arms down there.

    1. From 1 start, 5 total IP, 3 of them in A ball, to the Major Leagues on Opening Day.

      If that happens we are in serious trouble.

      1. I don’t know. Maybe 5 IP while flashing 98 MPH fastball with movement, off the table curve ball and disappearing slider.

        If he does make it in 2017, he will be on an innings limit.

        1. I think it’s safe to say he will be on an innings limit wherever he is. I suspect that will be AA.

          Yes Wonder, I do see who is driving the bus. More of the same is certainly a worry. But, I think we should wait to see how they handle our current list of free agents. I’m ready to be surprised by FAZ. And in a good way this time.

  15. In recent press conferences Roberts and Friedman expressed their love for 66. I don’t see him going anywhere. You know: his potential. My guess is that he will continue to platoon until he learns to hit. I can’t see having 3-4 unproven, young guys in the starting rotation. Kershaw and Maeda are in; after that, who knows? I still think Hill is worth 2-3 years. I read that Hill and Anderson might be the best free agent starting pitchers available. Can that be? If so, I guess we keep Hill and come back again with Wood. Wood HAS to pan out, doesn’t he? The right age; experience; etc. etc. If he is healthy, by default he is a starter. Maybe 1-2 young guys in the starting rotation, but no more than that. Jansen earned 4 years, 12 mill. How is Liberatore? If he recovers, he is a big piece of the bullpen. A big If. I would love to be a young Dodger starting pitcher in Spring Training. A couple of openings, maybe. How about Segedin taking over for Turner? They surely gave him a shot this year, and they must be thinking about it. He played a lot during last Spring. The Stove is getting warm. I hope both teams lose in the WS. The giants suck.

      1. Hawkeye

        Are you going to watch tonight?

        The Cubs are having Swarber DH tonight, after being out the whole year, instead of there young catcher.

    1. Hawkeye

      I did too, and I don’t know exactly why.

      As you know, the Cubs are heavily favored to win.

      And really if Blanton, makes better pitches with two strikes, in a couple of those games, things could have been different.

      And we didn’t have close to the starting pitching, that the Cubs had, and our bullpen, just wasn’t the same, after having to pitch so many innings this year.

      I don’t think the Cubs are as good, as everyone thinks.

  16. I just heard anouncers say that Puig wants to play winter ball.

    But if the Dodgers want to trade Puig, they probably don’t want Puig playing winter ball.

  17. It is hard for me to watch some of these baseball shows, because you hear everybody saying that they wanted the Cubs to win.

    And that is exactly how it felt, when we were playing them.

    I think the Dodgers will sign Turner.

    He may be a little older, but he hasn’t been a full time player that long, so I think he will do pretty well, in the next three years.

    And Turner is one of the leaders of this team.

    1. He had an exceptional year. He has become a very good defensive 3B and he probably spent most of last off-season rehabbing. I think he’s a good candidate to be better next year. I’d give him 4 years and if something better comes along he can be moved to 1st base after two years. We’re all excited about Bellinger, but he has a ways to go and can play multiple positions.

      1. This may sound funny to some, but I think Turner is our most important hitter.

        Because he is good for a hit or HR when we need one, more then anyone else, since Agone regressed this year.

        Corey isn’t quite there in the clutch, but of course he is a good around hitter, and plays a decent defense too.

        I think Turner will solve his problem, of not hitting lefties well, in the off season.

        1. There’s no doubt to me that the offense went as Turner went. They struggled the first month and a half until until Turner got hot.

  18. On Buehler:

    What the uninitiated, “disagree-with-Timmons-because-it-is-my-compulsion”, cynic fails to understand is that many felt Buehler could have pitched in the majors in 2015 had he not been injured. He is smart and from a baseball factory – Vanderbilt and has 4- count ’em four, good pitches to go with his 97 MPH fastball. It wouldn’t be much of a leap…

    BTW, I heard from a very reliable source that the Braun deal fell through because Milwaukee wanted (get this) Puig, McCarthy, Stewart, Bellinger and $20 million cash. I can’t confirm, but other teams know the Dodgers have money and they think they can put the screws to them. NOPE!

    They look at what Ned and Stan did and think Friedman is a pushover!

    1. That is way to much for Braun.

      I actually think we are doing the Brewers a favor in some ways.

      And I don’t want Stewart or Bellinger
      , going anywhere.

      There is just something about the way that Stewart throws that makes him different, even Vinny said that.

      Teams can ask anything, that doesn’t mean they will get that.

  19. Well tonight we are going to see how Kike and company, should have ran the bases against Lester.

    I hope Kike is watching.

    The Indians are going to run on Lester, and they are a running team.

    1. Do you think that was a Kike issue or a coaching staff issue? Every runner was leaning toward or moving back toward first base when Lester delivered. I don’t care what Dave said was Lester’s time to home was. Go on first movement and make Lester either throw to first which he doesn’t want to do or steal the base. If Lester lollypops it over to 1st, then they will be safe at 2nd anyways. Instead the coaching staff thought they could distract Lester into bad pitches. It looked to me that they distracted hitters like Turner instead of getting them into scoring position and letting Turner take normal hacks at the ball. I would have loved to have seen our hitters take the type of AB’s they had in game 1 with guys on 2nd instead of the little league nonsense on the base paths in Game 5.

      1. I agree Hawkeye. Take your lead, it can be 20′, and go on first movement. This Cleveland team has speed. They don’t need to do the Kiké at first. They’ll just take the damn base.

        What a team asks for in a trade has no relevance. As does anyone on a blog that begins an opinion with “I heard from a very reliable source”. That’s a Rush Limbaugh gambit – “some people say” when he was the one who said it.

        We can get Braun if we really want him. He has a no trade and his 10-5 rights kick in very soon. Frankly I think he’s an AL candidate, and ….. I heard from a reliable source….. several American League teams are interested. Offer a package of Puig and some pitching and if they do better somewhere else, oh well.

        1. When Kike was doing that, I thought I was watching a little league game, except they are not allowed to take a lead..

      2. Hawkeyes

        That is a good question.

        I don’t remember the other players, being as extreme as Kike was.

        But Roberts being a former base stealer, you would think he didn’t say to do that.

        And Turner and Howie did the right thing, and took the base.

        Kike had an easy stolen base, or easy delayed steal.

        You are right, they sure hit Lester much harder in that first game.

        I thought Lester was pretty lucky to be ahead in that first game, because the team hit him pretty hard.

        I thought after we tied that first game, we were going to win, with Chapman out of the game.

        Because we still had Kenley.

        The Dodgers would have been up three games.

        Have you read anything about what Kershaw said about his last pitching performance?

        I was wondering if Kershaw knew he didn’t have his curve before the game, and his slider.

        It was to bad that was the highest watched game in Fox One history.

        1. Roberts said that they didn’t run because he was too quick to the plate and they didn’t have the personnel to run. Seager has almost a 20 foot lead at one time. They were all moving back toward the base when he pitched.

          1. Hawkeye

            Roberts might have been covering for his players.

            You just have to take those chances, and you don’t have to have the right personal, so I think Roberts was covering up for his players.

            The Giants run with Crawford, and there regular players.

            They had to let the Cubs prove that they could throw someone out.

            They didn’t throw Turner or Howie out, and they are not the fastest runners on this team.

  20. The answer my friend is blowin in the wind, the answer is blowin in the wind. And that’s what we all here are doing. None of us has a clue what the front office is thinking or planning, and they like it that way. Puig, Jansen, Turner, McCarthy, Pederson, A-Gone, none of us have a clue what the plans are. The meetings are 6 weeks away, and we will rant and rave and make supposition’s, and predictions on what we think the powers to be will do. Then when the meetings are over we will be scratching our heads and saying where the hell did that come from? Think it won’t happen that way? It has for the last 2 years. How many predicted the Kemp trade? Or Dee Gordon going to Miami? What about Maeda? The were after Iwakuma from Seattle and had him signed until there was something in his physical they did not like. And who says they sign nothing but injured pitchers….they passed on him and instead brought us the memorable Scott Kazmir whom we all have come to know and love these past few months. Who predicted they would have a trade for Aroldis Chapman in place? Only to see it sink like the Bismarck. They make their moves and we look back and say, what were they thinking. Personally, I see a lot of changes this winter, mostly fringe moves, and maybe 1 or 2 major moves. I think they keep Puig, get rid of SVS and try really hard to move Ethier. Turner will get a QO, Jansen will not. Especially because I doubt they think a closer is worth 17 million a year. BP will get another do over. They will try to get a RH power bat, but this next spring, they are going to look real hard at their top prospects….Just my opinion…

        1. Hawkeyes

          I agree with you about Kenley, especially after this post season.

          Kenley pitched better, the more he threw!

          I think teams are going to rather have someone like Kenley, instead of one inning Chapman.

    1. Yes, and how many times can a man turn his head
      And pretend that he just doesn’t see?
      The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind

      I have seen some good ideas on this board the last few days on how to build a team for 2017.

      1. Get starters that go seven, preferably five very good ones.
      2. Get starting position players that play every day against lefties and righties and hammer them both equally. Gotta have high BA’s, OPS’s and better not strike out doing it.
      3. Build a bullpen with a dominant closer and others that never hang a slider.

      All Great ideas!!

      Yes, and how many ears must one man have
      Before he can hear people cry?
      Yes, and how many deaths will it take ’till he knows
      That too MUCH MONEY has died?

      “None of us has a clue what the front office is thinking or planning”

      The answer my friend is: Just look to 2016. Then look at 2017 payroll, I posted it yesterday, at least $172M and counting, BEFORE Turner and Jansen.

      Yes, and how many times can a man turn his head
      And pretend that he just doesn’t see?
      The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind

      1. So eliminating the sarcasm…..are you saying that because the FO goal is to get payroll down (which I’m sure it is) but has it been mandated to have it under the luxury tax line by a certain time. Not sure any of us know that.

        Would that mean that they do not resign Turner & Jansen AND will not sign any costly FA’s?

        1. Chili – interesting question you raise. I doubt you will get much response on this topic, especially on a dying thread, but I think it’s worth a look.

          I’ve been saying 2018 for over a year now. When I first looked at the numbers I thought it might be possible the money ballers could get below tax levels by then. I figured that was one of the reasons Friedman was brought over in the first place. Their bargain basement shopping for two years, and luxury tax levels going up made it look achievable.

          http://www.truebluela.com/2013/10/21/4861112/los-angeles-dodgers-payroll

          Not sure they will make it but I don’t believe they feel it a priority, it’s just a goal, and maybe down the list. The Dodgers do not have any money problems.

          1. Badger

            Some here act like it is there money.

            While the everyday people, just see the Dodgers raising prices on everything, every year, but they don’t see a better product on the field.

            I wonder which games in Chicago will are owner be sitting in his season ticket seats?

          2. The fans ultimately pay for everything MJ. The Dodgers are wealthy because of the enormous fan support they get. We draw more than ANYBODY and that insane tv contract was market driven. Google MLB FCI 2016 and look at the numbers. Dodgers went up 6.9% this year. The Padres went up 19%, and still drew 29k per game. The Yankees FCI is $337 and they nearly fill the house. The Red Sox is $360, same thing there.

            Fans will pay. MLB owners know it.

      2. All about the money with you and Mark…and I get it. And maybe someday they will reach that promised land below the tax level. But LA is a STAR driven town, and how long do you think the fan base will put up with watching the Marx Brothers and no world series before they get tired of it? Stat driven baseball is a huge turn off……..players are boring, and are acquired because of some invisible skill……….give me a Willie Mays, or Pete Rose type player anyday………

  21. Watching Indians 1st base hit in 1st inning score has me even more upset as it substantiates the easiness to get Lester off his game. If it was someone other than Kike’s choosing to not steal they should own up as it may bring harm to Kike’s value.

    1. I told you guys Cubs don’t hit good pitching!

      They only hit Kershaw because he only had a fastball, and he wasn’t located well.

      1. Few teams hit good pitching: 8 runs in one game, 10 runs in another game, 8 runs yet again.

        Get the hint Dodger pitching was exposed, as we said it would way back when the season started. It’s a marvel we made the playoffs, but against a good team, got squashed like a bug crawling in the dugout. Will FAZ realize that. Probably not, just a series of random events within a small sample size that is the post season. Maybe they are right. Who knows????

        1. The Cubs were shut out by both Hill and Kershaw.

          They didn’t get a hit off Urias until fourth inning.

          Kershaw must have been drained in his second game.

          You don’t see him like that, much at all.

  22. So far, the Indians are making the Cubs look like the Dodgers in those last two games. Letting strikes go by and swinging at the air.

    1. The Cubs number eight hitter, hit two HRs.

      And one was on a hanger, and one a fastball, right down the middle of the plate.

      And Montero hit that slam on a second hanger in row.

      And they hit Kershaw because he only had a fastball, and he was letting his balls get up, and leak to the middle of the plate.

      Even in Kershaw’s first game, he didn’t have his good slider and curve, a lot of the time, but his command was pin point.

      And after the second innng, they didn’t touch Hill.

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