I missed a lot of news on Tuesday afternoon while I was at work as the Dodgers were defeating the Nationals 8-4 in the series opener. The Dodgers were dealt more injury blows as Hyun-jin Ryu and reliever Casey Fien were placed on the disabled list. For Ryu the news is anything but surprising. As I have said numerous times over this season, I think Ryu’s career has about come to an end.
Sadly shoulder injuries can be career enders, but now he’s got some kind of elbow issue. He’s pitched one major league game since 2014 and I think it’s time for the Dodgers and all of us to come to terms with the sad truth. It sucks because Ryu is a good pitcher. As for Fien, his elbow is bothering him and that’s a blow to the bullpen because he was a pretty solid acquisition for the Dodgers.
The biggest blow was the news that Clayton Kershaw will not be re-joining the rotation on this road trip. The Dodgers had to shut him down again after he threw his latest simulated game on Saturday. Apparently he wasn’t feeling well and his return is unknown. It sucks, but again it’s not a surprise to me given the way that the front office used duct tape and used parts to build the rest of the rotation.
This is why acquiring healthy pitchers who can give you innings is so important. I dreaded that this day would come because eventually all of the innings that Kershaw has had to pitch would come back to haunt the Dodgers. Simply put, you can’t rely on injury riddled pitchers and put all of the stressful innings on Kershaw. Just be thankful it’s his back and not his arm or elbow. God forbid.
Dodgers @ Washington
Game Time – 4:10 PM – TV-SNLA
The good news is Joc Pederson is back. The bad news is Chris Hatcher remains. To say that he is wasting a roster spot is putting it kindly. Seriously it’s time to end the Hatcher experiment. Cut bait now Dodgers. The roster driftwood needs to be set loose if the Dodgers expect to overtake the Giants in the NL West. That means all of the terrible players Friedman favors need to be purged.
This means bullpen torches like Hatcher, AAA players, and reclamation projects should all be dumped. Think about it. Hatcher is a terrible pitcher, and not only does he continue to eat up a valuable roster spot, but the Dodgers continue to use him in games and he continues to suck. Remember, Friedman acquired him and loves him. Doesn’t that make your blood boil? It should.
One last thing about Hatcher, I believe the Dodgers should try and switch him back to catcher. We all know he’s got nothing on the mound, but perhaps he still has something at the plate. It might be the only thing that can save his career.
The Dodger’s series in Washington D.C. goes on as the second game will feature Bud Norris against left hander Gio Gonzalez. With a left hander on the mound you know what that means…..the all-righty lineup again.
Let me guess, Zach Walters will be batting lead-off, or A.J. Ellis in the cleanup spot, maybe Chris Taylor in the 3-hole. Who knows what idiotic lineup we’ll see today, but it sure as hell won’t make any sense. You can bet that all of the Dodger’s good hitters will be sitting. Don’t expect Adrian Gonzalez to be playing, he’s a lefty. Don’t expect Chase Utley to be playing. He’s a lefty too. If Corey Seager has recovered from his flu bug, don’t expect him to be playing either. Or I could be wrong and we’ll finally see a regular lineup against a left hander. What do you think?
Anyways, Bud Norris will make his fourth start as a Dodger. They had to move him up because Julio Urias is pitching on Thursday. The Dodgers had to call him up with Ryu going back on the disabled list. Norris has been pretty solid with the Dodgers. He’s 2-0 with a 3.94 ERA in 16 innings pitched. He’s struck out 18 walked 3 and allowed 9.0 hits per nine. He has a 10.1 strikeout per nine rate and a 2.47 FIP in his three Dodger starts. He’s been good so far.
He’s faced the Nationals twice this year and lost both starts. Those were his first two starts back in April when he was with the Braves. In 6 career starts against the Nationals, Norris is 2-3 with a 5.54 ERA. He’s made 4 career starts at Washington and has a 2-1 record with a 5.33 ERA. The Nationals are hitting .269 (36 for 134) with a .761 OPS versus Norris. Two Nationals have bludgeoned him. Stephen Drew is hitting .360 (9 for 25) with 4 extra-base hits, and Wilson Ramos is batting .474 (9 for 19) with a home run against Norris. Daniel Murphy is 6 for 18 with two home runs as well.
Norris vs. Nationals
Washington will counter with left hander Gio Gonzalez. The veteran southpaw (5-8 4.70) is having a down year. His hits allowed rate has increased by over 2 hits per inning since 2015. His strikeouts and walks are about the same, but he’s also served up a lot of home runs. He’s allowing more home runs and more base runners than ever before. Gonzalez has always pitched well against the Dodgers. In 4 career starts he’s 2-1 with a 1.73 ERA. The Dodgers are 14 for 94 against Gonzalez and are the worst lefty hitting squad in the majors.
Gonzalez vs. Dodgers
|Scott Van Slyke||9||8||1||0||0||0||0||1||2||.125||.222||.125||.347||0||0||0||0||0|
I’ve heard some people talking about giving up or throwing in the towel on this season, or even selling at the trade deadline. Let me put your minds at ease here. There is no way that is going to happen. The Dodgers are not going to sell, not a chance. The club is 11 games over .500 and in the playoff race. They’re only 4.5 games back of the Giants. One or two good moves can put them over the top, combined with getting Kershaw back healthy. There’s no reason to give up. I expect Friedman to make some kind of move or moves at the non-waiver trade deadline.
That doesn’t mean we should be freaking out if the Dodgers trade one or two prospects. Remember just because the Dodgers are not “sellers” at the deadline doesn’t mean they’re gutting the farm. The Dodgers can part with one or two of their kid prospects and be just fine. As long they are getting back quality major league players in return that can help them win this season. It’s not all or nothing. The Dodgers have boatloads of prospects; they can part with one or two of them. No not Urias, or De Leon of course.
It seems like any time I mention anything about flipping a couple of prospects to help the Dodgers down the stretch drive some people instantly start yelling at me “THEY CAN”T TRADE THE FARM!”. Look the Dodgers have a lot of prospects in their farm system. Some will make it, most won’t. Only a few will become major league quality players, and even fewer than that will be as talented as Corey Seager, or Julio Urias. Not every double-A pitcher is untradeable. Most of them are expendable.
On a side note, Kudos to Oscar for keeping up with all of the news while I’m at work during the day. He’s been fantastic, and I don’t know what I would do without him. Anyways, I’ll stop talking now. Have fun, enjoy the game and I’ll see everyone in the chat boards.