Monday, May 27, 2024
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Conversations With The Enemy: Red Bird Edition

The Dodgers begin a three game set with the Cardinals on Tuesday afternoon. The pitching match-up for the first game will have Lance Lynn battling Clayton Kershaw. Mike Leake will take on Rich Hill in the second game, and Michael Wacha is scheduled to counter Kenta Maeda who will be returning from the disabled list in the series finale. The Cardinals enter the series with the Dodgers in second place in the NL central with a 22-19 record and a couple of games behind first place Milwaukee. The Dodgers are 26-19 and 2.5 games behind in the NL West.

With the Dodgers and Cardinals getting ready to do battle at Chavez Ravine what better time to reach out to our good friend Daniel Shoptaw of C70 at the bat which is a part of Cardsonclave. Daniel is the founder of the baseball blogger alliance, host of playing pepper (which we have been a participant of for several years) and a good friend. We virtually sat down to talk to Daniel about the upcoming series and what’s been going on with the Cards in 2017. In return, Daniel offered us some questions about the Dodgers as well.

  1. Tell me about this new Korean hurler you guys have? Why is Trevor Rosenthal not closing games anymore?

Seung-hwan Oh was signed by the Cardinals before last season and started off 2016 as a valuable 8th inning man having plenty of closing experience in Korea and Japan.  When Rosenthal struggled to start last season, Oh eventually came in and replaced Rosie as the closer and did an impeccable job while doing so.  Unsurprisingly, Oh retained the closer job this year while Rosenthal looked to prove that he was back to form. 

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There was some idea that the Cards would use him in a similar fashion as Andrew Miller was used in the playoffs last year, but Rosenthal tweaked some muscles in spring training and since then the club has been hesitant to use him too much.  When he has been used, he’s been pretty dominant.  He had a tough outing against the Red Sox, but that was partially due to some questionable calls that turned a strikeout into a walk and set the inning going the wrong way.

As for Oh, he’s not been as dominant this year for the Cards–he blew a save just Friday–but he’s still be reliable in the ninth for the most part.  If he scuffles too much, I don’t think St. Louis will hesitate long before flipping him and Rosenthal again.​

  1. Tell us about a couple of the new talented young Cardinals this year. Who do you think has been the most valuable youngster?

​The Cardinals don’t have a lot of youngsters, as it were.  Most everyone that is on the club has been here for a year or more.  Alex Reyes would have been a nice answer here had he not had Tommy John surgery in the spring and been lost for the season.  Due to a spate of injuries, the Cardinals recently had Magneuris Sierra, a player that impressed in spring but was playing at High-A Palm Beach, on the roster.  Sierra more than held his own and brought an element of speed to the club.  However, given where he was in development, it was not surprising that when Jhonny Peralta returned this past weekend, Sierra was sent back to the minors, albeit this time to AA Springfield.​

  1. Why did the Cardinals sign Dexter Fowler, and how much of an impact has he made on the club this year?

​There were a lot of reasons the club signed Dexter Fowler.  They didn’t have a true center fielder, though Randal Grichuk could handle the position if necessary.  They believed Fowler would bring a great OBP presence to the top of the lineup and combine especially with Matt Carpenter to be a really potent threat in the first innings of games.  They also hoped his personality and demeanor might lighten up a clubhouse that was a pretty serious one over the past few years.

Fowler got off to a slow start on the field, but has been more of what we expected in May.  I don’t think the lineup has produced like folks dreamed it would after signing Fowler, but he’s also brought some pop to the squad that was unexpected as well.  Fowler’s already a well-liked Cardinal and I don’t see that changing any time soon.​

  1. Wainright and Molina are getting old, but they keep trucking along. Have they lost a step?

​It’d be fair to say they have.  Wainwright’s season has been pretty atrocious until his last two starts, when he looked more like the Wainwright we’re used to seeing in outings against the Cubs and Giants.  It really feels like there’s always going to be some uncertainty when Waino takes the mound from now on.  Some days he’s going to have it working, some days he’s going to struggle.  He’s more like the crafty veteran that has to really think about what he’s doing than the ace that he’s been, but hopefully he’s on the right path to at least being decent the rest of the season.

As for Molina, he played an inspired World Baseball Classic but that hasn’t completely carried over to the regular season, which isn’t surprising.  He’s still got a fairly solid bat–he hit two homers on Mother’s Day–and the defense is perhaps not as otherworldly as it has been, but he’s still plenty good enough for you.  His game instincts, focus, and baseball intelligence has not been dimmed at all, I can tell you that.​

  1. I see Matt Carpenter has moved to first. What happened to Matt Adams?

​Adams has dealt with injury and less-than-stellar play over the last couple of seasons, but the move for Carpenter was more about the fact that the club felt he was better at first than any other infield position.  Defense is not Carpenter’s strong suit and we’ve seen issues from him over at the cold corner as well, but his bat has to be in the lineup and that seemed like the least damaging spot.  It’s also allowed for Jedd Gyorko to play most every day at third base and he’s continued his power surge from last year.  This weekend, the Cardinals traded Adams to the Braves in a move that was probably overdue.  Adams is a great bat to have off the bench, but he’s good enough to play every day somewhere as well.​

  1. The Cubs have been average this year, and the Reds have fallen out of first place. The Brewers seem to be the team to beat for the moment. How do you think the Cardinals rank in the NL Central, and why do you think they’ve fallen back to second place?

​The Brewers are a pretty good team, but I’d be surprised if they were quite ready to make that step of winning the division this year.  I could be wrong, but I expect them to fall back.  I always thought the Cubs would have trouble with their pitching staff and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them upgrade that somewhere along the line.  The Cardinals, honestly, have enough flaws that it wouldn’t be surprising to see them finish second or third, but they also have the talent that they could win what has been a mediocre NL Central.  I still believe the Cubs will come around and win the division, but the Cardinals may be closer to unseating them than a lot of folks expected when the season began.​

1) As we start this discussion, the Dodgers are 26-19, tied with Arizona for second behind Colorado.  What’s gone right so far this season and what hasn’t?

What has gone right for the Dodgers this year has been their relief pitching which has been tremendously good for the most part. The middle relief has been great. Generally speaking the pitching is good. The defense has been poor, and the offense at times has been dreadful. The Dodgers win because their core group of players are very talented. Guys like Kershaw, Jansen, Puig, Pederson, Turner, Seager, and Grandal are very gifted players. The offense has definitely perked up in recent weeks. Relief pitching, on-base skills and the bench have been the strengths so far. The first few weeks of the season brutal though with one one or two series wins over the first five weeks.

As for what’s gone wrong I can just point you back to the 2016 season to have those questions answered. The Dodgers have the same problems from last year that were never addressed. They can’t hit left handed pitching, and the starting pitchers are unable to provide adequate innings.

When the starting staff is unable to go past the fifth inning it puts a great burden of work on the bullpen. By August or September everyone is gassed or hurt and nobody has anything left for the playoffs. Last year Kershaw and Jansen had to carry the club into the NLCS on their backs but they can’t do it alone. They need help. Unfortunately the front office is so small market minded they are unable to realize that there is an easier way of doing things where you are allowed to acquire healthy durable starting pitchers that can give you 6-8 innings per start.

Oh and also the injuries. Everyone gets hurt constantly on this club. But again when management continuously acquires injury riddled pitchers with long and established histories of injuries and inconsistency than it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anybody.

2) Clayton Kershaw is still Clayton Kershaw, but the rest of the rotation seems a bit hit or miss.  Is there anyone else that you trust when they take the ball every fifth day?

Not really. If I were to choose someone it would probably be southpaw Alex Wood. He’s been fantastic of late, (recently winning NL player of the week award). His domination over the last few weeks has been a lot of fun to watch as he builds arm strength and develops his command. Unfortunately like all of the rest of the starters, he is unable to pitch past the fifth inning. The rest of the starters are either unable to as well, or are not allowed to by management. No matter what in every game no starter other than Kershaw will be pitching 4-6 innings. This is every day.

3) After Corey Seager last year, the Dodgers seem to have found another great young talent in Cody Bellinger.  What are the thought on the rest of his season?  Has he had to make adjustments yet or has the league still not caught up with him?

Not yet. But that’s coming soon. So far these first couple of months are going to be icing on the cake for the super kid. The National League has never seen him before, so for the first couple of months they’re going to challenge Bellinger. This is the time for him to be raking, and he is. The adjustments from the league will come soon, and so will his. But he is able to make those adjustments on the fly. We’ve seen him do it in the minors, and his instincts at the big league level are top notch. This kid is ridiculously talented, and I expect for him to continue to be scorching the ball during this initial period until the league makes the first adjustments.

4) Justin Turner was off to a great start before landing on the DL.  How much is his loss going to hurt the team?

The Dodgers will miss him Tremendously. Turner is the heart and soul of the Dodgers. Period. He’s beloved in the clubhouse, beloved by all fans, and one of the best third baseman in all of baseball. He hits, hits for power, plays amazing defense at third, and bats third in the lineup every day. He makes the Dodger’s offense go, and losing him for any extended amount of time is a huge crushing blow for the Dodgers. I get worked up just writing this. We miss our red dream.

5) What’s the weak spot in the lineup, if there is one?

Lack of speed and athleticism, and mediocre power to start the season. The Dodgers rank in the middle of the pack in power (17th in home runs) slugging, OPS etc.

The problem has been that every time there is a left hander on the mound opposing them, management puts the bench guys in the lineup. Some of the lineups put out have been horrible, and it’s a huge weakness. I have always felt that the regulars can hit left handers if given the chance. I prefer a set lineup to all of this lineup shuffling anyways. However the front office loves triple-A castoffs and light hitting utility players. When a left hander is on the mound expect for all of them to be in the lineup.

I joke a little, but the bench has actually been very good. Chris Taylor has reinvented himself, Kike has finally stopped being an automatic out, and Austin Barnes is very good. Even Chase Utley has started to hit again. The Dodgers are still a good club.

6) What’s your prediction for this series?

I’ll say the Dodgers take 2 of 3 since the series is at home. However if this was at Busch then it would probably be reversed. But the series could go either way because the Cards are pretty good too.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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Scott Andes
Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

87 thoughts on “Conversations With The Enemy: Red Bird Edition

  1. DP-

    ‘Mike Leake has been a good signing for the Cards. Kazmir, not so much.’

    Did you get Daddy’s permission to say this? You do realize all last year the narcissistic one ripped on the Leake signing by the Cardinals and the Samardzija signing by the Giants. ALL last year he was propping up Kazmir. We, the defenders of the Leake & Samardzija signing were stating that both of those signings were about eating up innings with proven healthy performers. That fell on ‘deaf’ (actually someone that has a preconceived narrative) ears.

    Leake had his worse season of his career last year but has bounced back and pitching as well as ever. He will be a good 5 year signee for the Cardinals ESPECIALLY when considering he was signed to be their #5.

    Numbers with their new teams after signing their latest contracts prior to the 2016 season:

    Jeff Samardzija – 264 IP, 3.98 ERA, WHIP 1.184, 3.4 WAR, $18M per year avg
    Mike Leake – 230 IP, 4.07 ERA, WHIP 1.243, 2.9 WAR, $15M per year avg
    Scott Kazmir – 136 IP, 4.56 ERA, WHIP 1.357, .2 WAR, $16M per year avg

    Please tell me who is the worse signing of the 3?

    This is not ‘after the fact’ statements. I argued that both Samardzija and Leake were better signings than Kazmir at the time……only to be called names.

    1. Thanks for reminding me that Leake had a mediocre season last year. Actually, since I’m looking at his Fangraphs page, he’s been a serviceable starting pitcher for his career, but no more than a solid #3 or #4 on a good team. He’s attractive as a signing because he’s a few years younger than Samardzija and Kazmir and has been relatively injury free. The problem: his upside and his ceiling is somewhat limited. Is he pitching well this year? Yeah, good for him. Has this been characteristic of him? Nope. Will he regress to the mean? Probably.

      So, it goes both ways. A signing can play better than expected and a team can luck out (Wood and his 2.7 million salary for example), or a player can get injured or play worse than expected. Sometimes you get lucky, or unlucky. To look at the first quarter of a season and say, “See!! That’s a great signing!” is merely cherry picking small sample size data points to make a bad argument.

      You know why Kazmir was still a better signing than Leake or Samardizja for the Dodgers? In four or five years, when the Dodgers starting rotation is populated with Buehler, Urias, maybe Wood (he’s actually on a one year deal this year. It’d be interesting to see how much he signs for if he breaks out this year), Dayton and whoever else is in the pipeline, there will be no Leake or Samardizja being overpayed for mediocrity and clogging the rotation. Kazmir was a three year deal. That fits with the Dodgers long term plans better.

      Samardizja for me is the poster child for the misplaced value GMs place on the prototypical “workhorse” “innings eater” starting pitcher. All of you folks who complain about the Dodgers signing pitchers with career track record of injuries, well, Samardizja has had a consistent track record of mediocrity his entire career. He’s never ever shown that he has the potential to be an elite caliber pitcher. Somehow the Giants thought that AT&T would magically transform him into something good rather than merely mediocre, so they threw 90 million at at guy in his 30s who has never been good in his entire career. Dumb. Yeah, sure. He’s consistent and durable. He just doesn’t give you a very high ceiling. I wouldn’t want that guy as my #2 or #3 in the playoffs.

      I would rather take risks on Rich Hills or McCarthys. Sure, there’s a risk they don’t always pitch or have stints on the DL, but when they do their ceiling is much higher – and they’re half the price and their contracts are half as long. Hill was one of the best pitchers in the game last year when he pitched. McCarthy showed us the other day what the team saw in him when they signed him. ( I still have an open offer to Scott for our little wager. If he stays off the DL for the rest of the year, Scott donates $20 to the charity of my choice, and vice versa for me if he does. Scott didn’t respond *insert chicken noises*)

      You know what depth means? It means the team has options. If Urias regresses and needs to be sent down, “Oh look! Hill is coming back just in time.” The Giants don’t have an option but to trot out Samardizja every five days and get a serviceable, maybe decent but somewhat meh start.

      And I find it mildly hilarious that folks here want to use me as a proxy for this ongoing war they’re waging in their own heads with Timmons. You realize he’s won, right? If he’s that deep inside your heads that you obsess over him and expend all of this mental energy in your ruminating….well…

      So fire away Kook Aid Bottle Boy. LOL

      1. Will give you credit… have learned well from your Daddy. Here come the name calling again. THAT’S HOW I KNOW I WON. The losing side will always resort to name calling once they know they are losing an argument. Congrats DP.

        1. That wasn’t name calling. I was merely assigning to you a catchy nickname. It’s a term of endearment. Besides, Bottle Boy has kind of a nice ring to it, don’t you think?

      2. Samardzija has some peculiar numbers. He is averaging 6.2 innings per start, with a 1.13 WHIP and 70 strike outs in 61 innings. Sounds pretty damn good. How come he’s 1-5 with a 4.57 ERA? Beats me.

        1. He’s pitching better than his stats this year. I think his xFIP is under 3.00. He’s been getting dinged with some home runs. Still glad the Dodgers didn’t give him 90 million.

          1. On the Dodgers he’d be much better. His ERA in the 6th inning, which he’s pitched in every game he’s started, is 9.39. In LA they’d just pull him after 5. With that schedule he would easily pitch the required 150 innings every year of his contract, earning the money.

          1. What I find interesting is that an athletically inferior talent such as Hill (by that I’m referring to his obvious fragility) can put up 3.8 fWAR in only 20 starts and 110 innings. I wonder how good Samardzija and Cueto and Price and Greinke and Sale and a dozen others would be if asked only to pitch 5 innings about every 7th day?

            This is what FAZ values. Guys that have enough potential talent, but not enough physical strength, to do a lot less than the big guns and get paid half what real stars get paid. Nobody is going to out of their way to buy tickets to see guys like Hill and McBrittle pitch, but in LA that just doesn’t matter. The Dodgers draw 40,000 no matter who is on the mound. Other teams need star power to fill the seats. We don’t. So we get 15 starters, only one of whom has a snowball’s chance of 30 starts and 180 innings. And it doesn’t matter because our bullpen will bail them all out. I don’t like it, but it appears to be working.

          2. I’m actually very happy if you are correct Badger.

            The last thing I’d want is my GM to be coaching to allay the concerns or pique the interest of fans.

  2. Saw that post on the other thread Chili. I remember some of those conversations. The czar of of his own bubble got that wrong too. I think it’s safe to say no moves made by the management group have been criticized much by him and his followers. I suppose that’s what can happen when you are 100% invested. All hail Mr T and the great and powerful FAZ!

    Good report this morning Scott. I think that guy summed up the Dodgers quite well. I agree 2 of 3 can be a reasonable outcome. We are always expected to win whe Kershaw pitches, 67% today, and I coin toss the other two, though we are currently favored to sweep. The Cards are obviously better than anyone we’ve played in a while (Rockies excluded). And I hope the Cubs stay in hibernation through our series with them. Early odds for that series have Arrieta slightly favored and Maeda expected to beat Wacha, Wood favored to beat Lackey.

    1. I’ve lost edit capabilities again. Can someone remind me how I remedied that before. I’ve cleared history, didn’t help

    2. I think that was Scott who summed up the Dodgers. It mentioned that he was going to ask Scott questions about the current state of the Dodgers. And besides, those are pretty much Scott’s talking points…and yours.

      1. In re-reading the post I see you are right. It was Scott’s answers to those question. My mistake. And, you are correct, his take parallels mine. I’m just more conservative in my deliberations than you Blue liberal thinkers. Yeah, that was meant to be gelastically captious. It’s Bernie Sanders humor.

        1. I know what your take is.

          “110% corporate tax rate on Guggs! Make the team fan owned and operated! Sign every free agent on the market regardless of cost! Free tickets for the proletariat! Yaay socialism!! Yaaay!”

          1. You couldn’t be more wrong. Do you even bother reading up on these things?

            1. Corporate tax rates are not the issue. It’s loopholes. In 1953 corporate income tax accounted for 32% of all federal income. Make that happen again.

            2. Fan owned? Where did you come up with that? I like it. Show me your plan.

            3. Every free agent? How about 1 bonafide star?

            4. Proletariat. Kentucky Derby winner, right?

            Try to bring a little levity and patch goes full catbox on me.

          2. I’m playing with you.

            You’re right about loopholes. Just a straight 15% corporate rate with streamlined and minimal deductions. The need to hire tax attorneys disproportionately hurts small businesses who can’t manage nor afford to negotiate the labyrinthine tax loopholes and regulatory schemes.

          3. Ok. Got me.

            I’m fine with 15%. Off the top. And stop the off shore banking b.s. And other things that I can’t talk about here.

  3. Here’s another famous statement……made last year after he was brought up the first time.

    ‘For the record, Julio is not going back to AAA – he’s here to stay!’

    Can anyone remember who ‘penned’ this statement?

    1. He’s made so many predictions over the years it’s impossible to reference them all. He got everything wrong except Grandal hitting 25 home runs. I think he’s 1 for 500.

    2. Well, was he here to stay last year? He pitched great at the end of the season last year. All indicators pointed to Urias being in the major leagues to stay. I don’t even know what this proves? Are you saying that you think Urias should have stayed in AAA?

      1. ‘Julio is not going back to AAA – he’s here to stay!’

        What part of this statement do you not comprehend? It is in English.

        Here’s another statement made around the same time frame…..

        ‘Urias will never be sent back to AAA as he has nothing to learn there.’

        Does everyone remember this one? DP—-please interpret what that statement meant?

  4. Well here’s another one of his predictions for 2017….

    2. Joc Pederson and Yasmani Grandal will each hit close to 40 HR.

    How’s that shaping up?

    I’ve archived all of these ‘great’ predictions and statements…..the next few years are going to be a lot of fun for a few of us.

    1. And to be fair…’s my prediction for these same 2 players.

      ‘Pederson, Grandal & Seager all hit 20-30 homers.’

      Guess we’ll see whom is more accurate.

    2. And if you can prove that your predictions turn out to be more prescient than this guy who writes articles for another blog, do you get like a special prize or something? Maybe a big stuffed animal?

      1. Nope. I don’t need any prize. See, I don’t live in LA LA Land or is it FAZland.

        Did you make a prediction? I didn’t think so. Just a critical human being. Ever heard of the saying put your money where your mouth is? At least I give your Daddy credit, he will do that….he’s just a homer and only see’s things through his Dodger Blue glasses while drinking his Dodger Blue Kool-Aid.

        You? Well you only know what Daddy tells you. Good luck with that. But at least you read this blog so maybe you are seeking to expand your knowledge. After all you did confirm that Leake was a much better signing than Kazmir…..correct?

  5. My prediction was posted 4/3/17 at 1:03 PM on this blog.
    His prediction was posted as the main topic on the 4/3/17 blog.

    1. His blog? I don’t read it.

      Predictions can be fun. Even when you’re wrong it should be fun. Sometimes maybe being right shouldn’t be so important. I played my part in the contention by cheerfully pointing out mistakes in predictions – all 499 times. I enjoyed poking the bear with that stick. Maybe too much. I don’t miss the name calling. That said, I admit I’m interested in your documentations.

      1. My morals and values keep me from posting on that site but if I did not read some of the hideous comments I would miss out on about 3 good laughs a day.

        And of course I would not acquire these famous ‘predictions and statements.’

        DodgerRick attempts to level the playing field but it’s almost equivalent to 1 against 49.

        Over time I will provide you with some great stuff…….just letting reality play out.

  6. Badger and Chili,

    I knew this would be a big week for you two, and both of you, would be at your best!

    We should see some interesting conversation, soon!

    And also see plenty of amusing conversation, too!

    1. Just out of curiosity MJ….why this week?

      The Dodgers just won 3 of 4 and I expect them to win the majority of the games against the Cardinals (2 series), Cubs and Brewers over the next 2 weeks.

      1. Chili

        Good answer!

        I think these next few series will give us some pretty good insight, to see where we are at, at this point of the season.

        But I was watching that game last night, and the Cubs have a lot of players, that are not hitting, all that well.

        Rizzo, Zobrist, and there young shortstop, were only hitting just above 200.

        And Schwarber, was hitting below, 200.

        I hope Kershaw can keep Carpenter quiet, tonight.

        And I hope C&C, can also go off on the Cardinals pitcher, tonight too.

        1. My premises for the Dodgers winning the majority of the games is

          1.) Kershaw will pitch 3 of the games
          2.) Neither the Cards or Cubs are hitting all that well
          3.) It is quite possible that they will only face 1 lefty starter over the next 2 weeks.

      2. Confucius say, counting chickens before hatching lead to many eggs scrambled…..or something like that. Those 3 teams are all playing pretty well. The Cubbies have had some problems, but they come in here feeling they can beat the Dodgers due to their recent history. StLoo has been a major pain for quite a while. The Brewers are a lot better than when LA saw them last. I see all these games as a dog fight and no cake walk at all.

        1. I agree that none will be cake walks…..I just like the Dodgers odds of going 7 and 5 in the 4 series (am assuming each series is 3 games…..haven’t looked.)

  7. On another subject, we’re looking at the return (as far as I know) of two infielders fairly soon, Turner and Forsythe. I would think at least one infielder must go, along with probably a pitcher, to make room for them. Personally, I think, hope, that is Utley. I would dearly hate to see Taylor sent down. Opinions, anyone? Would Utley benefit by a DL vacation for a couple of weeks? FAZ needs to pull a rabbit out of his hat here…

    1. Jonah

      It will probably be Eibner, and possibly a pitcher, if they don’t want to send Kike, or Taylor down.

      1. Jonah

        I have to go take my aluminum cans in today.

        I hate doing that, but I don’t know why.

        But I do feel better after I get them in!


      2. Jonah

        I have to go take my aluminum cans in today.

        I hate doing that, but I don’t know why.

        But I do feel better after I get them in!

        1. Save some of those cans, they’ll be collector’s items some day. In Canada milk is now sold in plastic bags, can beer be far behind? In addition to saving on the packaging cost and the disposal cost, another bonus is that served from a plastic bag as shown here, the remaining milk is not exposed to air and will remain fresher longer.

    2. Jonah, for now, until Turner gets back, which will probably be closer to 3 weeks than 2, Forsythe , who comes off the DL today will be playing 3rd. Taylor and Utley are going to share 2B. My thinking is that the first guy going down will be a pitcher. They really cannot spare any of the position players right now. Puig will be back in the starting lineup tonight. So most likely Ravin gets the shuttle treatment since they are grooming Eibner to be an emergency reliever. Once Justin gets back, then the choices get tougher. Now putting Utley on the DL would make some sense, since he would still be with the team and could still put his game knowledge to good use. I doubt they release him. especially if he keeps making plays like he did Sunday. The guy plays harder than anyone on this team and never takes a play off. His value is beyond what you see on the field.

      1. That is another OMG move. Converting Eibner to be a reliever has all the makings of a cheap ass, small market FAZ move. Here I thought we had depth in pitching. Evidently FAZ does not think so.

        Eibner is 28-1/2 years old and now he is being ‘groomed’ to pitch in relief. Yeah, yeah going to tell me versatility on the roster. A lot of position players can throw hard. That doesn’t make them ML pitchers.

        Here’s my question to anyone in support of this…..
        Which do you think will happen first…..Eibner pitches and because of his pitching, contributes to a win or Eibner pitches and because of his pitching is a factor in the loss?

        So after 5 years in the Kansas City Royals organization, not one person thought, hey with his career .245 BA in the minors let’s convert him to a pitcher so he can do both and be much more valuable. Then Oakland trades for him mid 2016 and he proceeds to hit .165 the balance of 2016. They release him not even considering that they might have a multi-facet player on their hands.

        The great and powerful FAZ pick him up off the scrape heap and now want to make him a combo player….an OF that can pitch.

        This is the team with the highest payroll and yet they have to come up with gimmicks to fill their ML roster. Speaking of gimmicks, what happened with the great and powerful FAZ’s ‘ahead of the curve’ speed school program. You know where they were going to develop speedsters to specialize any stealing much needed bases even if it was only in September. I remember so many ‘hailing the praises’ of FAZ on this. Now, nothing.

        When can we get a real President/GM that operates this team like the large market team we are?

        1. They are a large market team. They’ve spent money revamping their minor league system from virtually top to bottom. Oh, by large market you must mean wasting money on overpriced free agents.

          Why didn’t stupid FAZ sign Albert Pujols when they had the chance!?

          1. Your stupid FAZ wasn’t with the Dodgers when Pujols was a FA.

            Your stupid FAZ did make Grienke a 5 year offer worth $170M.

            Your Daddy has mentioned that FAZ should give Kershaw a blank check. Of course he’s probably changed his mind 3 times since then, you know that away he is in agreement with FAZ no matter what they do.

            But yes, the small market mentality of giving pitchers $16M per year for almost nothing is wasted money. Get some real talented players. I’m on record saying that they should have went after Scherzer. I would have been ALL IN for Chris Sale (don’t you think that the White Sox would have preferred to have traded him out of the AL).

            If FAZ/Dodgers lose Kershaw then you will really see just how great this FO is, and trust me it will not be pretty.

          2. Am referring to losing Kershaw after the 2018 season to another team, not due to injury.

          3. Forgive him Chili. His knowledge of Dodger history only goes back to when FAZ took over……..And they did not need a 1st baseman when Albert was a free agent.

  8. My prediction is this, that none of us can predict what the FAZ has in store for us the rest of the way. They did say right after Urias’s first start, and I know this for a fact because it was on their web page and not some blog, that Urias was not going back to AAA ball because he had nothing to learn there. Maybe they thought Honeycutt could teach the kid to not throw too many pitches. Or maybe it was here is the strike zone, this is where that little round white thing needs to go, and oh, by the way, hanging a curve or fastball to these guys up here is not a good thing. Especially when you are pitching in a launching pad like Coors. That facts are this, this front office went the cheap and infirm route to stock it’s starting rotation. They chose, and the records show it, pitchers with recent success, not a history of success, and signed or traded for them. Even Kazmir was coming off a decent season when he signed. The only one who was not was Anderson. Wood was probably the center piece of the trade with the Braves. And now after 1 plus years he is finally showing some plus value. That’s cool, he is young and talented and is now rewarding the team. One year does not make you a great pitcher. Both Hill and McCarthy turned a good season into a multi year contract. But that’s been hashed over plenty of times. Yes, the pipeline is loaded with talented young arms. Not all of them fully healthy at this time. Stewart has not thrown an inning yet. Buhler is averaging about 4.2 innings a game. It would be nice, and a lot less stressful, to have a rotation where you can expect close to 6 innings a start from your starting 5. McBrittle has done that lately, and he has looked like what he was 3 years ago in NY. It only took him 2 years and 24 million dollars to get there. Kazmir looks like money down the drain, Maeda has rebounded nicely his last couple of starts, but he was pretty much a bargain anyway. Hill is what he is.. A injury prone, journey man pitcher who turned 3 decent months in his 12th year in the majors into a 48 million dollar contract. The Dodgers have gotten 4 regular season wins out of this clown. How can anyone say he is one of the best? He can’t even pitch 5 innings most of the time. Oh yeah, he had a great game against the Cubs in the playoffs, but that blind squirrel finds nuts once in a while. I would be totally shocked if FAZ ever makes a deadline deal that actually brought a quality bona fide major league hitter or pitcher in to help this team reach it’s goal. I am now in Badger’s camp and thinking they want to hold serve and be competitive until after 2018. By then, most of the big contracts will be gone, save Kershaw, if he stays, and the salary heavy veterans will be history. They will be younger and more athletic, in other words, they will be like the Astros. But until the plan results in a World Championship, fans are going to continue to gripe and disagree with FAZ’s trades and acquisitions. Until they actually do something that makes the Dodgers king of the hill, there is going to be dissention in the ranks of those who have given their heart, soul, and a lot of their money backing this team. All the saber metric double talk and stats and average fan could give two hoots in hell about has not won anything so far. Not in Tampa, Oakland or here. Yes, the Rays actually got to the Series, and were dismantled not long after because they could, or would not retain their core players. LA expects more.

    1. Friedman said that he’s somewhat leery of deadline deals anyway. There’s a lot of emotion that goes into a deadline deal, where playoff contending teams deal on short term hope and give too much. It’s a little bit of a feeding frenzy when the league gets close to the deadline.

      Minor league arms in the Dodgers org are pitching short innings by design. The Dodgers farm system is more instructional than competitive, and the org is going to bring Buehler along slowly and methodically. I wouldn’t read too much into his innings.

      On the same topic, I can’t really fault the org’s approach to Urias. The kid is young, but talented, and the team needs him, but they have to be mindful of his development. I don’t think there’s a question that he proved last year that he belonged in the ML to stay. He’s just regressed, and I don’t think you can blame the FO for starting him at Camelback to manage his workload. The strike zone is the strike zone whether it’s at Camelback or Dodger Stadium. He still has to remaster his command and/or sequencing or whatever the problem happens to be.,

      And let Hill pitch before you write him off.

      1. If Hill COULD pitch I might not say a word, the problem is and has been since he came here is that he is not RELIABLE. I am not faulting their use of the kids at the minor league level. They are managing them the way they see fit, and limiting innings is a relatively new concept. Before it was stretch the starters out and see what they can do. Trouble is, and I reiterate, they are having the same problem with a veteran staff. If Hill and McCarthy manage to have decent seasons the rest of the way, well great. But I am not expecting miracles here. I still do not and will not believe either one was worth a long term deal. As far as deadline deals, I am not for gutting the system, but I also know that other GM’s have made pretty astute moves at the deadline and significantly improved the team. FAZ’s deadline moves less than impressive. I know you agree with his plan, and that is your privilege, I myself think it is not working at this point. Maybe I will change that point of view down the road, but so far he has won nothing. Most of the pieces were in place before he took over and what he has done has not resulted in a league champion yet.

      2. Oh and by the way, I trust not one word of what Friedman and Zaidi say. I remember them saying Matt Kemp was not on the market, about a week before he was shipped to SD….Ravin demoted, Forsythe activated. I was right.

      3. When Hill has pitched, he has not been that great. Unless you think a 4-3 regular season record has merits. Oh yes, I forgot, wins and losses mean nothing to fazophites and saber geeks. You measure a pitcher success on stats most average fans give little credence to.

        1. Michael

          Pitchers depend on run support, and that is why wins are not that important.

          And Jonah asked about when both Turner and Logan, return to the team.

          1. You act sometimes like I cannot read. Sorry I know what Jonah asked and I said most likely a pitcher goes down today when Forsythe comes off, and he did, Ravin, as far as Turner, who knows. They have a tough choice when that happens. I doubt Turner comes back right at the 10 game mark. As far as run support, look, runs win games, the stat geeks changed the criteria to make themselves more important and relevant than stats the game has been measured by since its inception. I for one think the pitcher has a lot to do with wins and losses. I bet if you were to look back on Koufax’s career after he became that Ace pitcher, his run support was miserable and not all that great. But he was great enough to win with little support. Kersh can do that too. Just look at his lifetime ERA. To me, it is what you do with the runs you are given. I have seen guys this year, and last BLOW big leads. That guy might get 5 runs of support and win, and get 7 runs and blow the lead. Wins are important, they might not be the only tool to measure a pitchers worth, but they count. You just cannot eliminate a historical part of the game because some geek who never played says, oh a pitchers wins mean nothing. That’s as dumb as saying hitting 300 with 30 homers with 100 ribbies is not a plus player because he has a less than stellar set of stats in the field. RUNS win games.

  9. Michael

    You are giving McCarthy to much credit, he only pitched well, for half of a season.

    I am glad that Kershaw has pitched well in his last two starts, because that is good timing, since we are facing the Cardinals, tonight.

    The stats say we should hit Lynn, because lefties are hitting Lynn pretty well, this year.

    But you just never know, but I hope our guys come back strong, after having a day off.

    But I am glad that I don’t have to watch the National broadcast, of the game, tonight!

      1. If he is healthy all year and contributes sufficiently, yes, I will give him credit. It like trust has to be earned.

    1. I know that MJ, Hill did not pitch a full season last year either. I am not giving him more credit, I am just saying they both turned the success of 1 year into big deals. Neither one of them is worth 48 million. Hill no where close to being worth that money. Although Hill has a little more than 2 years to make good. McCarthy wasted 2 years.

        1. I know MJ, but he did pitch most of the season. He was 7-5 for the Yankees in 14 starts, and 3-10 for the D-Backs in 18 starts. He pitched in 32 games and had over 200 innings, so in actuality he did pitch the entire year. He just was not effective as a D-Back. He had a 10-15 record, and a ERA of4.95 with a WHIP of 1.28, so you see, he pitched the entire year and his contract was based on what he did in 14 games. Hill also pitched in 14 games with the A’s before becoming a Dodger and he pitched in 6 games in LA during the regular season. 3-2 record in those games with a 1.83 ERA and a WHIP of .079. He turned those stats and his playoff record into a ridiculous 3 year contract for 48 million. So I was basically right about McCarthy. He turned that 1 year into a 48 million dollar 4 year deal.

  10. Dodger news from all around:

    EricLongenhagen chat:
    QUESTION: Adam Willie Calhoun’s bat seems ready and he could probably be one of the better leadoff hitters in the game. Could he be adequate in LF or is it still a DH or bust thing?
    ANSWER Longenhagen DH
    QUESTION: Bleh (12:33) How much longer until we see Buehler in the big leagues? Can he oust someone from the roster (Sergio Romo perhaps) or does he have to wait for a guy to get hurt?
    ANSWER Longenhagen I have no idea.
    QUESTION: Mike Is Yadier Alvarez back on track or is there still risk after not showing up for two starts.
    ANSWER Longenhagen: I’d like to think he’ll be fine from here but it’s going to be hard to wipe away some of these dud starts and rumors of him being out of shape early in the spring.
    QUESTION: Oakland A’s fan Is most of Cotton’s problem mental or did you see anything else in his rough outings? I am hoping for a callup soon.
    ANSWER Longenhagen: There’s some worry his fastball plays down due to poor extension.

    FanGraphs also has a nice article on Chris Taylor. Here’s the big takeaway:
    Every season brings us moments like this. More often than not, they end with the red-hot player cooling back into his usual self, or something slightly more than that. Precious are the times when a new above-average performer suddenly emerges from nothingness. We don’t yet know if Taylor’s newfound patience at the plate will translate into long-term success. But there’s always a group of guys whose performances require further monitoring. Taylor is part of that group right now. He’s outplaying even the most generous of projections, and damn if it isn’t fun.

    In a Baseball Prospectus chat:
    Jose (St Paul): What are your thoughts on Will Smith’s offensive production with the Quakes? Has the hit and/or power tool ticked up or is it too soon to gauge his production in the hitting environment he is in?

    Wilson Karaman: Smith’s a tough hitting nut to crack, I still don’t have a great feel for him after seeing him a whole bunch now. He’ll flash some leverage in his swing when he’s in a hitting count and looking to pull one, but broadly his swing plane tends to be quite linear in games. Know a couple of dingers have come at Lancaster, I haven’t seen any of ’em personally yet. I’m wary there’s much more than I saw last year, but he’s a guy I still want to see more of

    Jerry (Earth): Hey Wilson. Wasn’t sure if you had chance to get eyes on or any updates on Oneil Cruz as I know he is in full season and super young?

    Wilson Karaman: Emmett’s had a few looks at him, and I wrote an update based off his notes in an MLU recently: “Described by prospect team member Emmett Rosenbaum as “one of the weirdest things I’ve seen” Cruz is a gangly 6-foot-6, 175-pound shortstop. After turning heads at the Dodgers’ DSL affiliate last summer, he’s been adjusting as you might expect for an 18-year-old navigating his stateside and full-season debut. While he’s highly unlikely to stick at short as he fills out, the profile’s still intriguing at third. More from Emmett: “The power is definitely real, he [shows] some pretty impressive strength given how little his body is filled out.”

    Finally in the latest Baseball America mock draft they note the Dodgers are interested in:
    RH 1B Evan White
    RH Speedy outfielder Bubba Thompson
    RHP Tanner Houck
    RHP Griffin Canning

    1. Bluto

      That is funny, because Friedman just said that Calhoun and Verdugo were the next big players ,after Bellinger.

      And he said don’t be surprised if they come up to the major league team, this year.

  11. Strange plays tonight. Hope everyone is ok. You guys need to talk out there.

    Lynn pitched well too. One grooved fastball to Squirrel was his only mistake.

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