Wednesday, July 24, 2024
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The Dodgers Are Just Killing Time

Justin Turner-10

The Memorial Day holiday normally marks the one quarter mark of the baseball season. That’s the time where teams take stock of their roster. The Dodger’s stock can’t drop any lower. The boys in blue have been mired in mediocrity since opening week and now have fallen 5.5 games behind the Giants in the National League West. Certainly 5.5 games is not insurmountable by any means. It’s hard to imagine this roster being able to string together the necessary winning streak in order to do that. Meanwhile the more fundamentally sound NL West club up north continue their tear through the early summer weeks.

Baseball is a game of constant adjustments and flexibility. MLB rosters change from month to month and from week to week. MLB front offices are always tinkering with their rosters; the last spot in the bullpen or the last man on the bench are usually revolving doors throughout the season. Not the Dodgers though. They operate quite differently.

The Dodgers may be the only club in baseball that has the exact same roster since opening day. The Dodgers have made zero changes to the roster except for when players are jettisoned to the disabled list and marginal replacements are recalled from the minors to replace them. It hasn’t made a whole lot of sense. The Dodgers are exactly where we all thought they would be right now, or some of us did. The Dodgers are 28-27, an average club.

More frustrating than the mediocre results is the front office’s refusal to dump roster spot wasters, or the illogical game decisions. They could at the least try to better the club through better lineup creation. Common sense seems to escape this front office.

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Andrew Friedman’s flawed philosophy on building a pitching staff has been bad since he was brought in. The club has the same problems that they had last year. A razor thin back of the starting rotation and weak middle relief. The Dodgers essentially have 3.5 pitchers on their 13 man staff. It’s very difficult to win with just 3.5 pitchers. I will admit that the pitching hasn’t really been the primary problem. The pitching has actually been pretty solid. Newly signed Japanese import Kenta Maeda has pitched well and veteran Scott Kazmir seems to be turning a corner.  I still believe that Kazmir is a much better pitcher than we’ve seen thus far. He’s never been this bad and he could be one of the best bargains the Dodgers have acquired if he continues to turn his season around. Ace Clayton Kershaw is still the best pitcher in baseball and having another brilliant season. Kenley Jansen is still one of the best closers in baseball that never gets any press. The bottom half of the rotation needs a wing and a prayer though.

The injuries have been a huge detriment to the pitching staff and the front office only has themselves to blame. The Dodgers suffered another devastating injury losing Alex Wood and now have 4 starting pitchers on the shelf. The Dodgers need innings and health. Not spending a little extra money and getting a frontline starter seems foolish. I don’t want to hear any excuses either. To say there was nobody available is an outright lie. There were plenty of viable free agent pitchers that could have been had. The Dodgers are the richest team in baseball and they could have outbid any team. Why not use that 150 million dollar offer given to Zack Greinke for Johnny Cueto? As many people have told me over and over, “he’s too expensive” as if we’re suddenly the Tampa Bay Rays. It’s amazing to me how many fans have completely done a 180 on this subject. When scandalous owner Frank McCourt owned the club Dodger fans cried Argentina for the team to spend money on good players.

Now some Dodger fans obsess over data and cry anytime the club spends more than league minimum on a player. I see decries for lowering the payroll all over twitter. Good players cost money. You can’t have it both ways. The club is already spending 236 million dollars for an average team. That money could have been better spent on established players with histories of health, like perhaps Johnny Cueto who is probably only going to help the Giants win another division title and possibly another championship. You think Giants fans are crying about his high (130 million dollars actually seems very team friendly) contract right now?

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Common sense would dictate that spending money on injury riddled pitchers is a recipe for failure. You can’t tell me that the front office didn’t know that pitchers like Brett Anderson and Brandon McCarthy who have never been healthy throughout their entire careers wouldn’t get hurt. Everyone knew those guys couldn’t be counted on. I’ve said it since day one.

It’s not just the pitching that has been lackluster during the Friedman era, it’s also the offense. The main problem with the club this year is the inability to score runs. The Dodgers rank at the bottom of baseball in most offensive categories. This year’s club is even worse than last year’s club. At least last year they were able to hit home runs and draw walks. This year the Dodgers have only four hitters on the club, the rest are straddling the Mendoza line and useless as ever.

There’s not a whole lot the Dodgers can do this early in the season, but there are quite a few marginal moves that could improve the club’s chances of winning each night. One important change is stop batting terrible hitters at the top of the order. Justin Turner is a prime example. I have no idea what happened to him this year. Maybe his knee is bothering him, thus affecting his hitting mechanics. It seems he’s lost that gap to gap power he’s had the last two seasons in Los Angeles. All he does is make weak contact. I think the knee injury timeframe has run out, but who knows. Regardless of what the real problem is with Turner, he’s not hitting and currently harming the club. I’m not asking for him to be released or DFA’d. Just to be taken out of the 3 spot and moved down in the order. This is something Oscar has been screaming for the Dodgers to do for weeks, and they refuse.

I don’t know why the Dodgers keep employing Carl Crawford either. He’s horrendous. He can’t hit, he can’t run, and he can’t throw. He’s so past his prime it’s almost painful to watch him play. He’s barely hitting above the Mendoza line. It’s time for the Dodgers to let him go. Just cut bait. Eat the salary. I don’t get it. They don’t even have to wait until Yasiel Puig returns from his sore hamstring. They can put Howie Kendrick in left and Chase Utley can play second base.

As I’ve mentioned before, the Dodgers play percentage baseball. This means they stick to a script and every time there is a left hander on the mound they load up the lineup with right handers. It rarely ever works because the only good hitters the Dodgers have this year all bat from the left side. So by sitting all of your best offensive threats you are asking to lose. The club needs some kind of offensive threat from the right side of the plate.

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Why is Kike Hernandez still here too? He’s been so bad this year I often wonder if the Dodgers should just call up Charlie Culberson and send banana man packing. Seriously, take your lousy hitting and banana suit and clean out your locker.

Look the Dodgers are just not a good club as currently constructed. I still think they can win 90 games. That’s what I thought they would win before the season started. I think that total is attainable, but only if they start making some changes. The front office is in wait for the injured players to come back mode, and that’s not likely to happen.

Waiting until 2018 for a bunch of kids that may or may not pan out is a poor strategy. That’s probably not even their true plan anyways. We have no clue what the roster will look like next year, let alone in 2018. It’s not about that, it’s about winning championships.

The front office may finally decide to start making some moves to improve the club. Until that happens, keep your expectations low. Try to enjoy the games as much you can. Enjoy Clayton Kershaw’s incredible season. Because it’s not Kershaw they are wasting, but Vin Scully’s final days behind the microphone. That is the biggest shame of this miserable season.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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Scott Andes
Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

111 thoughts on “The Dodgers Are Just Killing Time

  1. Baseball is a strange game, but based upon your analysis, these guys should go to AAA too:

    Joey Votto – .215
    Justin Upton – .215
    Alex Gordon – .211
    Giancarlo Stanton – .210
    Curtis Granderson – .208
    Troy Tulowitzki – .204
    Prince Fielder – .190
    Derek Norris – .182
    Mark Teixeira – .181

    Send them back to AAA. Coincidentally, they have all been All-Stars!

    Put Down the Crack Pipe and Back Away Slowly!

    These are the things that make people rich. They buy your stuff for what you think it is worth and sell it for what it is really worth!

    Take a deep breath, Grasshopper!

    1. I’m not sure what you mean here Mark. I wasn’t advocating for anyone to be sent to the minors, and I understand what you mean by everything averages out and players will ultimately revert to their career averages. Sometimes that doesn’t happen and players just suck for entire seasons at a time. Sometimes teams that appear to be great on paper finish with 80 wins and never go anywhere.

      Certainly the Dodgers can save this miserable season, but it’s going to involve making a lot of changes instead of doing the same thing they’ve been doing, which is nothing.

      1. Scott
        I think your critique on the team is fair, and pretty acurate. I think that because the Dodgers were able to win the west, with Kershaw, Greinke, and Anderson, and with the front office’s different projects, caused Friedman to get greedy and think, that the Dodgers could get by, with even less this year.

        He really under estimated just what two number ones, can do for a team.

        Friedman signing Kazmir, and expecting him to be a number two pitcher, is expecting way to much.

        Because Kasmir is not even close to a number two, at this time in his career.

        Kazmir has pitched really well, in his last couple of games, but he is no number two.

        And with Kazmir’s history, of only pitching well, in the first half of the season, we don’t really know, what type of pitcher, he will be in the second half of the season.

        I personally think it would have been better to sign a good reliable pitcher, then a bunch of risky pitchers, to depend on, to be in a team’s starting rotation, throughout the season.

        That is because pitchers, tend to get injured, much more often, then the other positions in baseball, so it is important to consider a pitchers, injury history.

        I think signing all of these pitchers, with long injury histories, to help fill a starting pitching rotation, is not a good idea.

        Because most of these pitchers, can be counted on, to pitch throughout the season.

        And because of that, a team will need even more depth, in case these top pitchers go down.

        And farther down, the depth, and the pitching, gets less reliable, and the quality of the pitching goes down.

        So all of this depth, was only an allusion.

        And that is why the Dodgers, don’t have the pitchers, to fill the pitching rotation, even though, they signed a bunch of pitchers, for the starting pitching rotation.

        And the rotation is not all there, and it is only, the beginning, of the third month, of a long baseball, season.

        And the money can add up, with these different projects, but the innings are not being pitched.

      2. Scott, I just posted some pieces of this article on our Dodgers .com comment board because EVERYTHING you have written here is 100% true and FACT!!!!!!!!!!!! But our FO, whom some of us call Fric and Frac don’t have the b a l l s to admit to anything let alone make the changes you suggested. My expectations are low because I cannot really do anything about this ineptness this year.

  2. the answer is to not go to the games..then it will make the front office do some think ..i cant watch them i will never go to a game again..till they let me watch…please do the same ..and we can get results.

    1. You are dreaming. Stuff like that does not happen because too many fans enjoy going to the games and they care less if you are not getting the games on TV. After the strike in 94 everybody said we’ll show them, we will not attend games, but the attendance has climbed almost every year since.

  3. I don’t see any major changes being made. The offense that is here probably isn’t going anywhere because there is no place to send them. I can say with a modicum of certainty that Turner, Crawford and Puig will eventually hit better. I think Hernandez will too. SVS and Ethier should be back and they can hit. Howie is a career .290 hitter. He probably won’t hit that but he will hit better than his current .224. Utley will probably cool off some and Gonzalez gonna do what he does. Will all of that be enough? I doubt it. But it should keep us close……. unless the wheels come off the pitching cart.

    We’re not terrible. That’s just gonna have to do.

  4. Wow – that’s a lot to take in all at once. A couple of observations:
    1 – We tend to get too up when the Blue wins and too down when they lose. When they won the day that Arrieta pitched, we were all excited. The past 2 losses are hard to take, but we shouldn’t engage in too much hyperbole.

    2 – I have been very down on the way that the Dodgers’ management is set up – not enough baseball people making baseball decisions. Baseball is played by flesh-and-blood human beings, not by or on computers. I would love to see some people with actual scouting or playing or coaching or managing experience in the front office. That being said, all data is useful and should be considered, including statistical analysis.

    3 – The over-reliance on numbers instead of people has led to a roster constructed by computer. Baseball players aren’t interchangeable parts, but that’s how the Dodgers are trying to do it. Same with the constant platooning at too many positions.

    4 – I agree that there is dead wood on the roster that needs to be cleaned out. They dumped Brian Wilson last year – it’s time to dump Carl Crawford. The difference is that Wilson was owed 1 year at $9.5MM and not 2 years at $21MM. I expect that if Andre Ethier returns this year that Crawford is gone.

    5 – Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is foolish. I fear that this offense just isn’t going to hit this year with the same group going out every day. I acknowledge Mark’s argument that some hitters are streaky or may get off to a slow start, but EVERYONE except Utley and the kids? Seems unlikely. On the other hand, what roster flexibility do they have now? The prized hitting prospects aren’t ready yet. And this management group has demonstrated repeatedly that they aren’t going to add significant salary (except for Cubans) or trade prospects to upgrade the current roster.

    6 – The pitching staff’s numbers look better than the staff has been for a couple of reasons: 1st is the brilliance of Clayton Kershaw (the team is 21-26 in games not started by Kershaw) and the 2nd is the poor performance of some members of the bullpen (Hatcher and Baez especially) in high-leverage situations. The loss of Greinke (notwithstanding his poor start) and the improvement of the SF staff by signing Cueto and Samardzjia are particularly galling here. No matter how you slice, Maeda and Kazmir are not comparable to the loss of Greinke or the addition of Cueto by the Giants. And signing injury prone and non-productive pitchers like Anderson, McCarthy and Beachy are no help either.

    The Dodgers are currently on a pace to win 84 games. I picked them to win a few more than that (88-89). Either thing is still possible. The Dodgers are only 5.5 games back, and there is plenty of time, but the team seems to be drifting (not a good sign). When they went 42-8 and went from worst to first, they added Hanley from the DL and Puig. I don’t see that kind of help on the horizon.

    1. Dodger rick
      It was tough to lose, both of those last two games against the Cubs. If the Dodgers would have one of those last two games, they would have had a split. And a split, seems like a big difference, from only winning one, of the four games. Especially after how they played in NY, and after winning, the game, that Arrieta started.

      And that is why it was odd, that Roberts choose, to sit both Agone, and Chase in that third game. And especially when the Dodgers would be going home, and playing the Braves, in a couple of days.

      And the front office choosing to pitch Urias in that last game, was also a bad decision. Especially when Maeda could pitch, and Urias would have been better off, pitching at Dodger stadium aganist a Brave’s team, that is rebuilding.

      I notice that you only gave credit to Utley and the kids. I’m sorry, but Agone is still the best situationally hitter on this team.

      Even though, he has been pitched toughly this year, because Turner, is just not producing.

      And there has been no real protection, behind Agone.

  5. Wasting time is more like it. They are now 5 1/2 games back and spinning their wheels. How this pitching staff has the 4th best ERA in the majors is beyond me. The offense is now relying on the HR again, the starting rotation is a shambles. The BP has been better of late, and was pretty good in Chicago. But the bats of the guys being counted on like Turner, Grandal, Kendrick, and Puig, are still pretty stagnant. Pederson had a terrible series, but so did Seager a week or so ago, and he bounced back pretty good. Gonzo is great on the road, not so much in LA. Utley and Thompson have been the most pleasant surprises of the year. But the bench is mediocre. Maybe the return of SVS will help. Anyone who expects Grandal to have a magical turnaround is dreaming. The guy is just not that good. Make a trade, get a good #2 starter. Bring up Barnes. And hope Ethier is ready to play by mid July. Because right now, this is not a contending team.


    I must have posted our 2015 offensive stats over 500 billion times during the off season, even with the same group of nothings, some people wanted to “believe” in them, well, believe me now.

    Resigning Greinke was a bad move in my opinion, wanna know why? Because our position players still suck, Kershaw/Greinke were unsuccessful with a team incapable of scoring or for that matter, scoring when it counts.

    Puig, he sucks.
    Joc, he still sucks, “but he is figuring it out”….you keep telling yourself that
    Crawford, he sucks.
    Turner, he sucks.
    Grandal/Ellis- they suck.
    Kike- he sucks
    Utley- with a bunch of sucking around him, he is old, worthless this year, except for the Mets game, that was worth it actually
    Agon- best hitter with no power, next year will be even worse, with a bunch of sucking around him too, worthless this year-69th in RBI’s, no suckers to hit in
    Seager/Thompson- earned no sucking status so far, Thompson still has much to prove before being anointed to the plan

    So the 2018 non sucking lineup is:
    1. ? 2. Seager 3. ? 4. ? 5. ? 6. ? 7. ? 8. ? – future is looking bright!

    Polish this turd all you want, if you could not SEE this offensive implosion coming from 2015, you were not paying attention.

    I can’t stand this team anymore, this is NOT Dodger baseball, this is a robotic Friedman machine that has become the farthest thing from a Dodger club I have ever witnessed.


    1. Gee, you are just full of good cheer. I bet you are one of those guys who was cheering his ass off when they resigned Turner this off season, and a big Joc fan when he was hitting all those dingers early last year. And I bet you cheered when they traded Kemp for that slug Grandal, and when Puig came up, and was hitting close to .400, you were right there rooting for him. Everyone goes through bad stretches. That is the nature of the game. You might not like Fried Brains, and his methods, but you are stuck with what we got…I do agree that Crawford sucks. but AJ, is a class act, and a solid catcher. He has never been a great hitter, but the guy knows his business, and will in all probability be a manager someday..

      1. Michael,

        Am assuming that you are fairly new or didn’t read much of the blogs on LADODGERTALK. The Truth has been consistent and hasn’t felt the way that you just described him. He can speak for himself but just letting you know he has been saying this for a good while, not just within the last 2 months.

        Now there are others that think if a player wears Dodger blue that they are nearly super human or they see everything through their Dodger blue tinted glasses. The Truth is not one of them.

      2. A.J. is a class act and a solid receiver but here are his BA’s with more than 108 AB’s. 2012 > .270, 2013 > .238, 2014 > .191, 2015 > .238, 2016 > .208. So that would be one weak hitter in the lineup. How many more weak hitters can a ‘good’ team live with?

      3. Chili, appreciate it my friend, glad Michael likes to assume what others opinions are.

        Michael, I said Turner was a bench player last year. I said Joc Pederson has sucked since May last year. I had no comment on the Kemp for Grandal trade, I did not cheer, did you? When Puig came up I did cheer, I love Puig, but I am man enough to say that he has underachieved. AJ Ellis. I would love to play golf with him, just don’t want him playing a starting catching roll.

        We are stuck with what we have, that doesn’t make it a good thing. Go back through the archives, my stance has not waivered, sorry I call it like I see it, this team is in a terrible situation.

        1. Well I have not been on here long enough to see all your posts, and the fact that your friends stuck up for you says a lot. I apologize for impugning your integrity. That being said, Ellis is a better starting option than Grandal. Given steady at bats he does produce, not a lot of homers, but solid AB’s and his career avg is close to .240. He handles pitchers better than Grandal, and can actually throw out runners. Is he the long term option? No, this is probably his last year. But I would rather see him and Barnes platooning. Turner was not a bench guy last year. He was the starter pretty much all year until he was injured. Uribe was traded so Justin could play. And the guy does not suck, he is still recovering from surgery, and all big leaguers have slumps. Look at Gonzo. Puig has under achieved that is true, but he has also had injury issues and that is part of it. The difference this year is that he is actually communicating with his manager, something that never happened with DM. The Kemp trade made me pretty mad, But I have seen lots of Dodger stars sent packing, most notoriously Mike Piazza, in what I consider the dumbest trade, except for Martinez-DeShields, in Dodger history. And we are not stuck. Management could get off their ass and do something, if for no other reason than to appease the natives, who are restless after 27 years…..

    2. Truth
      Have you been watching the games? It sure doesn’t sound like it. With the way you talked about Utley!

  7. If any other pitcher is our top prospect, it’d stupid to throw him out AT NY and then AT Chicago!!

    But this is Julio Urias. This is the 1997 nba playoffs, when rookie Kobe Bryant was given the last shot in a playoff game at Houston . He threw up 4 straight air balls in regulation and OT. But he had the confidence and swag to learn from that, and not let that define him, or ruin him. This is our near future #2, and eventual co #1. These 2 losses and games will be awesome experiences for him. Give the kid time to grow and learn from this. He’s learned and improved in every level he’s been sent to, after struggling in his first few starts.

    Some want to send him down?? Why, so he can throw 28, 30, 40 scoreless innings?? He was absolutely dominating AAA. There is no AAAA, therefore this is the next step! Not everyone will be Fernando, and win their first 8 starts.

    I hope he’s given the home start on Tuesday, when I go. I expect him to show huge improvement.

    1. Bad comparison. This is not the NBA. Urias is a 19 year old kid who has never thrown more than 80 innings in any season. He should not have started in NY or Chicago. He should have gotten his first start in LA. And this is not the playoffs, it is the regular season. The kid can use more seasoning. He has poise, he has skills, what he lacks is experience and stamina. His innings are going to be closely monitored anyway. Yes, it is great he got his feet wet. But as bad as this team is right now, there is absolutely no frippen reason to rush him. He got his heinie handed to him by a good hitting team, and he would have 2 losses if the offense had not bailed him out in New York. I think it is a waste to bring the kid up when his contributions to the team are going to be cut short anyway because of innings limits. Bring up someone who can go 7 innings. Throwing him out there to only go 5 and strain a weak ass bullpen is stupid. Bolsinger is another one who should be out of here. You get 5 innings if you are lucky…….You grow and learn in the minors. That is what it is all about, and it is obvious to all, except maybe you, that this kid has a lot to learn.

  8. Wow!! Send the whole team back to AAA. Some of you cannot see any light at the end of the tunnel. You are in total darkness. I cannot believe I even come to this sight and even read the negative comments. That includes you Scott. The only point I agree with you Scott on is to move Turner down in the batting order until he finds his stroke. I get up each morning in a good mood and then I read dodger report. When I finish, I want bang my head against the wall. I am out. I cannot stand this any longer. Good post Mark about all those ball players who should be sent back to AAA.j

    1. I hope you don’t bail out. That’s one less voice here. One more “FAZophant that has left the building.” Soon, it’ll just be an echo chamber of the same cynics repeating the same cynical nonsense and quoting some idiot conspiracy theorist blogger like some religious incantation.

      This blog needs thought diversity. It’s becoming like a college campus in a stifling politically correct climate. Al, you need to stay. We’re an oppressed minority. We’re bullied, called names…harassed until we leave, which is then celebrated. Losing you would be losing one less light in the darkness.

      1. Poor you. Bullied and harassed.

        You know patch, I think when you talk baseball you are an interesting guy. When you whine like that you are far less interesting.

        So you think discussing what might be wrong with this team and how they are run is “darkness”. Hey man, I seek light too. Not that you do it, but there is no light in calling people who disagree with you morons. That’s Mark’s thing, it’s not yours. You’re smarter than that. Nobody is against you personally in here. I find it hard to believe that a guy as aware as you are can look at this team, as it is currently constructed, and see Championship. Are you dug in on FAZ because you are a true believer, or because you are a right fighter? Tell me their next Moneyball move and I’ll promise to respond from a baseball strategy pov.

    2. I have shared that thought Al many times. Nobody that I know knows that this is the Dodger blog that I spend my most time on and usually the only one that I comment on but just the same, there are times that Scott’s whining has embarrassed me to be part of his blog. If I were to share an elevator ride with FAZ I would be reluctant to say that I comment on this blog.

      Its that people that comment here do not make pedestrian comments and instead say what they really feel. Many commenters only make snide sarcastic comments that I never enjoy, but most are clever and entertaining.

      1. Here here. Joc has looked like he reverted to bad habits. Maybe Ward can turn that around quick. No helping Grandal, he is a head case.

  9. Excerpt from Dodger Therapy:
    The plan is genius – turn the fans on themselves while Guggenheim and the executives all get rich. Let fans bicker and call one another names, while logically they should all be unified since they have the same common goal – a good, entertaining and championship quality Dodgers team. Like America itself, due to social media and brains warped by technology perhaps, the fans are angry and divided. Half are angry at those fans who are not “real fans” (i.e. have the exact same opinions as they do) and the rest are angry at the snow job they’ve endured for about 3 decades. If one knows anything about the Dodgers, they will realize that this drought is especially shameful for an organization that has championships and history on its side. The Dodgers of 2016 are not the Dodgers of the 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s or even the past decade plus.

        1. It means that in once sentence and in one article, he can belittle someone like David Vassegh as some sort of delusion puppet who’s had the wool thrown over his eyes, and insult and put in some box every single Dodger fan who doesn’t see his mildly unhinged, conspiratorial rant as gospel, and then in another sentence try to point the divisiveness that he himself just did his part to create to some sinister and deliberate plot by the ownership group to maximize profits.

          At some point, the truly self-aware and intelligent are able to take a step away from their own rhetoric and belief systems, look at it objectively, and sometimes call bullshit on themselves.

  10. Urias won’t help much this year. Wasn’t supposed to and won’t.

    Crawford. The thing about him is – he can probably still hit better than any of our options. He’s not that old, he can still run and he’s a notoriously slow starter. Ask Mark about that. If he can hit .275 the rest of the way he’s probably better than anyone we currently have, or could get easily, and even when SVS and Ethier get back, what can we do with him? He’s here. He’s got some skill, we’re kinda stuck with him. Might as well keep putting him out there.

    Those of us who figured <92 cannot be all that surprised we lose 3 of 4 to the best team in the league. We have a lot of work to do. It's going to take some time.

    I wonder if our nerds are reworking the injury algorithm. Injuries happen to all teams, but when you build a house with boards you know are faulty, and have faulty replacement boards, what do you expect will happen? Maybe Utley and Kendrick will avoid the DL by platoonning. Maybe Turner, maybe Crawford, maybe Puig, Grandal, maybe every pitcher other than Kershaw – but then maybe finding guys who aren't currently on an injured list, and never have been, would be a good idea.

    1. Badger, if you are right about Crawford then why does everybody want to say he is untradable even if the Dodgers paid his salary?

      I think he can still hit and run if he plays a lot. He seems like DH would be his best fit.

      1. Everyone is tradable. It makes no sense to trade an asset and “pay all his salary”. Crawford is a 34 year old career .290 hitter. In 2 of the 3 years here he has hit .283 or better (.300). He just needs to get going. I think management recognizes that. With how fragile our group appears to be, we may need him before the year is up.

      2. Badger thinks more highly of Crawford than most. Is he tradable if the Dodgers pay his salary both this year and next? Yes, if an ‘A’ level prospect is acceptable. No losing team is going to want Crawford taking AB’s from it’s younger players so the only possible team that would be interested would be an AL team still in serious playoff contention come August and needing a LH bat in the lineup. But if I’m a GM, I’m waiting until the Dodgers waive Crawford which would save my ‘A’ level prospect.

        So is Crawford really tradable?

        1. He needs to show he can still hit. I think he can. But I could be wrong. I’ve been wrong before. Once in ’66, again in ’78.

      3. Badger
        I agree with Bum about Crawford. And it is because of his defense, and his arm.

        Almost any time Crawford, does get a hit, and hits a run in. There is a chance, in the next half inning, he can give away a run, to the other team, with his weak arm, or with his defense. And he chooses not to try to do anything, to help compensate for his poor arm.

        1. His defense, or lack of it, does not concern me. He catches what he is supposed to catch, and as long as hits his cutoff quickly and accurately I don’t much care he has a noodle arm. This team needs him to hit.

  11. “Seriously, take your lousy hitting and banana suit and clean out your locker.”

    That’s funny 🙂

  12. “Look the Dodgers are just not a good club as currently constructed.”

    That’s what most of us have been saying since spring training (with or without the crack pipe). Now we all have our biases: some pointed to the bullpen , some to the continuous inability to hit with RISP, some point out individual players: CF, C, and now it’s 3B. My bias was that the stating pitching wasn’t good enough to outlast neither SF nor AZ.

    Regardless of the bias it all leads to the same thing: a team which will struggle to win on a consistent basis. Not bad for a bunch of “jackasses”

    So I agree let’s try to enjoy what we can of this final baseball season of Vinny’s career, a season which is 1/3 of the way over, btw.

  13. Everybody is making good points. Interesting how two different perspectives can be presented in logical and thoughtful ways. Many times when half of a group think X and the other half think Z, there is a Y that is the best answer. Y would be somewhere between X and Z.

    How many remember when the Dodgers traded on July 26, 2008 Jon Meloan and Carlos Santana to the Cleveland Indians for Casey Blake and cash? They got a veteran bat that helped the offense but it didn’t take them anywhere and they lost a long term asset.

    Turner can turn his season around and probably will. If not, Kendrick can play more and more third base. Between those two plus Thompson, the Dodgers will have more to offer from the right side as the season progresses. Puig can’t get worse so it is a fair bet he will help more than he has so far.

    I am not in favor of making a trade that tweaks the team. The Dodgers have 3 or 4 high promise starters in Tulsa and they have the well known names in OK that include De Leon, Buhler, Holmes, Mantas, and Cotton. They also have a potential ace in Alvarez somewhere in the wings. Add in Bolsinger, Stripling, Frias, Lee, Verdugo, Diaz, plus Puig and Grandal and their is a rich list of players to choose from that could entice a team to give up, maybe, a player like Trout.

    1. Bum,

      Unfortunately where Urias, Puig and another prospect or two might have been enticing to the Angels, oh let’s ay a week or two ago has now changed. Some of you might disagree but I think that after Urias 2 starts any logical person would be questioning his ceiling. 30+ scoreless innings in AAA….VERY IMPRESSIVE. After 2 starts and a 9.39 ERA in the Bigs, re-evaluation is in order.

      And regarding your analogy of X, Y & Z…… 🙂 I think it might be more like A & Z and the answer is somewhere in between. Actually it would be more of a compromise as I think the answer is a new President and GM.

      Epstein’s contract is up after this season.

        1. lol…..your warm today! But something makes me think they wouldn’t take all 3 for him.

          It might be the 2 WS championships.
          It might be the fact that he’s building an organization and everyone can see what he is doing (AND HE TOLD THE FANS WHAT HE WAS DOING AND ABOUT WHEN IT WOULD ALL COME TOGETHER……Imagine that a President/GM that is open and honest with it’s fan base.)
          It might be the fact that he is making less than half of the 3 combined and doing twice the job.

    2. Bum
      Do you think Turner should continue to hit third in the order, when he is now hittting close to the Mendosa line?

      1. I don’t like to look at one spot in a lineup without looking at all the pieces. I keep asking, what would be your favorite lineup against righties and for lefties? If you push Turner down to 5 and that puts him hitting behind Agon, you are going to say Agon is at a disadvantage because he doesn’t have anybody to protect him. If you push Turner down to 6th, then who bats 5th? How many lefties do you want to bat in a row?

        1. Bum
          How about Thompson?

          And if a leftie hitter, hits both lefties, and righties, what is the big difference?

          And I thought about Howie, helping out, lower in the order.

          And it looked like Howie was starting to hit and getting hot, and then a week of nothing.

          I just thought moving Turner to fifth, and getting someone else, batting third, might work out for Agone and Turner. Because Turner won’t be moved all away down, but he wouldn’t be blocking someone else out, that is hitting, that would be a better third hitter. Kind of like a compromise .

          And about Agone, do you think that anybody else, on the Dodgers, can hit like Agone does, in the middle of the order, and could hit in runs, with runners on base, in clutch situations, like Agone does?

          And Bum it has to be even harder, for Agone, since Kemp and Hanley left. And Turner has helped a lot, in the last two years, and now he is just not hitting.

          Remember when we agreed that Cory could use a day off?

          I think Joc needs a day off too now.

          1. I thought Joc needed about 3 to 5 weeks off last year but I think he is fine for now this year. I watch his at bats closely and he has had a number of pitches out of the strike zone that were called strikes that has put him behind in the count. Also, he hasn’t been getting mistake pitches nor has any of his soft contacts found a hole in the infield or fallen in front of outfielders. His BABIP has to be down for the last several weeks.

            That said, I sit on my sofa and scream at Joc all the time.

            Come on MJ, give me your lineup. Its easy to do. Just type names like this:
            Utley, Thompson, Seager, Agon, Turner, Pederson, Kendrick, Ellis.
            Kendrick, Utley, Thompson, Agon, Turner, Pederson, Ellis, Henderson.
            Pederson, Thompson, Seager, Kendrick, Agon,

  14. Scott, some good points, but the season was one-third over June 1. And we both know it could very well get worse. Kershaw could lose a game, for instance.

    I think by July we will see if this front office is as good as everyone thought. Even if the Giants have one of their patented June swoons I’m not sure this bunch can close the gap. Changes need to be made. I’d give Howie third base and use Turner against LHP and to pinch-hit until he starts driving the ball. If this is all CC has, and it looks like it is, he’s got to go. Maybe if they offered him a cushy job in the FO he could be persuaded to retire.

    They need one big bat; remember how everybody started hitting when Manny came to town or when Puig and Hanley Ramirez arrived in 2013? And pitching, of course. Big mistake to count injured pitchers and unproven AAA pitchers as depth, i.e. Ryu will be back in May, McCarthy in June, De Leon in July, etc.

    1. Crawford won’t retire because he would lose all remaining salary due him, $30MM or more. What they can and should do is work out a deal to pay him his remaining salary over the next 10 or 12 years and then release him. He can then sign with another team.

  15. Good article, Scott.

    For all of this talk by people here….and other crackpot bloggers… about how all the hitters suck. Everyone sucks, Turner sucks, the FO sucks (my life sucks)… ….sucks…it’s all a conspiracy to perpetuate corporate greed….blah blah blah.

    I’l make my point again. Ok, Mr Cynical Arm Chair Front Office Guy, what would you have done differently?

    …Really? You’re complaining that the team got rid of Kemp? You want him back?
    “But…but 11 HRs!”
    Idiot! He’s hitting .230. The Pods are stuck with him like we’re stuck with CC. They want to get rid of him but they can’t. So they got his league worst defense in that big outfield in Petco and his arthritic hips. No! We don’t want him back.

    …You want Hanley back? …next.

    ….You complained about losing Gordon? ….you’re not complaining now, are you?

    ….We’ve already been over Cespedes. He was never coming here, and so far he hasn’t done much.

    We can complain that the hitting isn’t very good right, and it’s not. But if you really want to criticize, tell us and analyze EXACTLY what moves and non moves the front office did wrong. When I look at it the best I can, I would probably have done the same thing. Yeah, it’s a bummer that Turner isn’t hitting, but he earned that starting job. He’s been great the last couple of years. You have to keep Puig in there. He hit .290 in his last full season. I had high hopes for Kike. I thought Ethier was looking great in Spring training.

    I can be critical of very specific moves and non moves by this front office, and I have. What I usually try to avoid is being overly critical of the result if the result can be attributed to bad luck. Analyze the process: it didn’t make sense to outbid the DBs for Greinke, but I would’ve tried harder for Cueto. I’m ok with McCarthy, and would do it again, because his peripherals were great. It was a good gamble.

    Badger, you want complain about rants? Read Truther’s comment. Read that crackpot conspiracy theorist blogger. If you really break it down, they offer NOTHING of substance. All that verbiage can be distilled into one unsubstantiated point (albeit one that is enticing): that the FO is part of some grand conspiracy of planned mediocrity to sucker the fans and maximize profits. It’s not worth the bandwidth it occupies.

    1. I disagree about Freudy. He offers clear, concise, prose. That is something I find rare, and something I very much appreciate.

      truth is just upset. Just like you were when you used the word “idiot” referring to another blogger. I can relate to what truth is feeling. Maybe you remember how upset I was when the FAZ’s nutsack receded into their abdomen at the deadline last year. It ain’t easy to watch your season go down the shitter. Again.

      Nobody wants Hanley or Kemp or Manny back. What we want now is what they represented then. This team needs a shot in the arm. Not sure where they are going to get it, but, perhaps the FAZ has something other than a waiver wire or TJ recovering player up their sleeve. Or, maybe it isn’t about this year. Whatever. Do something ‘drew. Even if it’s wrong.

      1. I don’t know if upset is the right word. Sometimes you can get a pretty good visceral sense of who a person is based on the validity of that person’s opinions and how they are expressed, which in turn gives you insight into his fundamental reasoning skills and intelligence, way of looking at the world, values and overall character. My gut tells me this guy’s an idjit.

        There’s an inherent conflict between giving in to a knee jerk impulse to give the team a shot in the arm and doing anything even if it’s wrong and staying the course and sticking to the plan – if the plan is sound. Besides, in this era, there just aren’t impact bats out there.

        Truther is perpetually upset. The enemy of enlightened, reasoned self-awareness and wisdom is anger. Find your Zen place. Hmmmmmmm

    2. ‘….We’ve already been over Cespedes. He was never coming here, and so far he hasn’t done much.’

      This has to be the dumbest comment made today, yesterday or the day before. Cespedes is one of the few game changers in the NL. So his 15HR’s, 37 RBI’s and .273 average isn’t much. Well if that isn’t much than everyone of our players suck worse than that.

      The Dodgers could have taken 1/3 of the money they were offering Grienke and signed him for 3 years which is all the Mets signed him for. Ye, of short memory evidently doesn’t recall how every OF but Heyward lingered on the market until the end….well Fowler never did sign with anyone so the Cubs ‘re-signed’ him.

      The Dodgers could have had Cespedes but they chose not to spend their money on a bat. Now look at the team. I was for them keeping Frazier and signing Cespedes. Turner becomes a utility player again and now there is some true ‘pop’ in the lineup.

    3. You have made some good points here, I think. Most who post here were primarily concerned about the pitching staff coming into the season (I still am) and figured that the offense would at least be adequate. No one predicted that Turner, Puig, Grandal, Hernandez, Kendrick, Crawford, etc etc would all forget how to hit at once. (To be fair, I did suggest that Turner’s recovery from microfracture surgery was not a sure thing – I live in Sacramento and remember that Chris Webber never did recover from the procedure, and many thought that Crawford was done.)

      I would not have made major offensive changes during the offseason. Some were advocating trying to sign Hayward – but he’s having an awful year in Chicago.

      That being said, the Braintrust has been in charge for about 1 1/2 years now and they haven’t brought in a single impact player, either by trade or as a free agent, during their tenure. They did trade away Dee Gordon and most here thought that was a bad trade. Don’t be too smug about his use of PED – you didn’t know it at the time either. None of the players whom the Dodgers got in return have been impact players of the sort that Dee Gordon was last year. 3 spare parts for one impact player is not a good trade in my opinion.

      As to this year, I don’t believe that making the sort of trade suggestions proffered by some who post here (Mike Trout for Crawford, Pederson, Zach Lee and a bag of balls) is useful. The real question is whether the Dodgers, as currently constituted, will be a competitive team going forward in 2016. We are 1/3 of the way through the season, 1 game over .500, and the offense is just not good. The only way to pick up an impact bat this year will be through a trade and the currency of the realm will be prospects. We know that the Braintrust think that all prospects will be all-stars and they won’t trade any but the most marginal, so that isn’t going to happen. Similarly, the Dodgers won’t be looking to take on a lot of additional payroll this year, so we are stuck with the guys currently on the roster.

      The only source of help available this year, other than the constant nibbling around the margins loved by the Braintrust, will come from the minors.

      That’s why I support them bringing up Urias for example. This, courtesy of

      “Yes, even Clayton Kershaw had to go through it, although he was a year older at 20. At the time he burst upon the scene in 2008, he was the fourth-youngest Dodgers pitcher to make his debut, at 20 years and 65 days. In his first full month in the major leagues (June 2008), Kershaw walked 17 with 20 strikeouts and didn’t record a victory in five starts. His first victory didn’t come until his 12th career game, and even in that contest he walked four. In other words, Urias is far from being a finished product. And the only way he gets there quickly is with game experience.”

      Give the kid a decent chance to pitch in the bigs. He will improve from the experience. He won’t learn how to pitch to big league hitters in AAA. He will get better while in LA. This will be important for next year when he will probably start the season in the rotation.

      One more thought – I do believe that the Braintrust is doing all that it can to reduce payroll. It is down from record levels about $85MM compared to last year and it will probably be reduced again next year, but after 2017, Ethier, Kendrick and Crawford come off. After 2018, Gonzalez, McCarthy and Kershaw come off. This team could have a $100MM payroll by 2019. And given who populates the front office (guys who ran teams in Tampa, Oakland, and San Diego) I wouldn’t be optimistic that they will be looking to sign impact players in the future either.

      As I said earlier, the Braintrust has not signed an impact player in 1 1/2 years. If the best indicator of future behavior is past behavior, then I am not hopeful that it will sign many if any in the future either. For all of those whose battle cry has been “Wait ’till 2018” my response is a little more pessimistic that that.

      1. If the minority still feels like it has an axe to grind and has no interest in protecting the rights of that former majority, not really.

  16. Scott knocks this one out of the park Gibson style in Game 1 of the 88 series. Sigh.

    Honestly, I expected this to be a .500 team, but funny enough, I always thought it was the pitching that would torpedo the ship. Bottom line, offensively, this is just a brutal team right now. How about that Kemp trade now? Grandal has been flat out brutal for almost a calendar year now and Puig looks like a lost player. Those two were the reason the Kemp deal happened in the first place, people were lauding FAZ when Grandal was an all star, and that looks like a fluke. Enriquee Hernandez has turned back into a pumpkin and Howie Kendrick looks washed up. How about that Dee Gordon trade? only Dee’s suspension saves Faz’s bacon right now.

    No impact bats, pitchers either struggling to come back from injuries or are injured, and inconsistent middle relief. Juts looks like a lost year.

  17. For those that keep saying to move Turner down in the lineup, please tell us your lineup, all 8 spots.

    For those that say the Dodgers need to do something, take a stab at what you would like to see. Yes, some will say that is stupid but so what. Just name players you want and who you would like to give up. It is understood that the real GMs would add other players to balance the trade.

  18. I guess when the team stinks so much, we start picking on each other. That’s ok. But the bickering doesn’t mask the fact that the team does, in fact, stink. Some are underperforming, but most just aren’t that good. By “that good” I mean to win the 90+ games it will take to be relevant. In the underperformer category, I would put Kendrick. Maybe Turner. In the not that good category I would put Puig #1, Pederson, maybe Grandal. The replacements aren’t any better, so get used to it. Forget trades. We won’t get anybody any good. Unless the Reds still have a spare part or 2. My glass half empty feeling is that by the end of June, the giants will have a double digit lead on the division, and won’t look back. I’m not sure we can wild card in the playoffs, but it won’t make much difference because it will be one and out. Never forget in all this that we have the best pitcher never to win a World Series and the best announcer. Take solace in that.

    1. Well put. As Mark pointed out, there are a lot of All-Star caliber players struggling right now. But not many teams have three of them. Ethier getting hurt and Turner struggling are events that were not highly probable, IMO, and shouldn’t be blamed on the FO. But standing pat when quality players were available last winter? That was the time to improve the team. As Bum points out, the options now are not promising. Just hope someone else gets hot and nobody else gets hurt.

  19. I have not commented much since the first couple of weeks except to provide my personal observations from the 4 games I saw of the OKC Dodgers, but after reading Idahoal and Patch, I thought that I would chime in. It was suggested that my observations that some on this site are too critical of players after one game or one series and was told by Watford that I was the problem and should take my observations elsewhere. So while I continued to read this site, I took my comments to other sites. Normally I have been known to just take the Mark approach and come back harder (as I tried with Badger and Dodgerrick), but I wanted to enjoy the season (win or lose) and not trade insults with people I do not know.

    But it is the commentary on Julio Urias that got me. I agree with Badger that Urias was never counted on to be a positive factor in 2016. So the fact that he has had two poor outings is supportive of that. But it is not supportive that he does not belong at the ML level. Urias was/is the best prospect the Dodgers have, and has shown that he will dominate at each level after a rough start. With Wood going on the shelf, the Dodgers needed another SP, and all teams first look in their own system before looking for outside help (not just FAZ). Urias being the best they have was summoned and the results were not pretty. Isn’t that what a farm system is supposed to do? Promote your best prospects to the next level? In Julio’s case, it is sooner than anticipated.

    I do not believe it is lack of confidence that troubles the 19 year old, but rather frustration. I do not know how many see much minor league baseball games. I have seen nearly 1,000 minor league games since 1997 (I love minor league baseball). As much as the umpiring is regressing at the ML level it is worse at the minor league level. Pitches Urias was getting called strikes at AAA are not being called at ML. I did not see him pitch against the Cubs, but I did see him pitch against NY, and he was just missing, and he looked frustrated not getting the calls. He is 19. 19 year olds get frustrated because there hair will not stay the way they want. He was probably pitching to his spots, but was not getting the calls he used to get. So he needed to get to the plate more, and since he was no longer hitting his spots, he was getting too much of the plate. One other big difference between ML and minors is that ML hitters do not miss mistakes nearly as often as minor league hitters, and they did not miss Julio’s. So how does he learn to master new spots at the ML level? He needs to pitch there. He already knows how to pitch at AAA, so why go back down if there is a need at the ML level? So those of you who say he lacks experience, I agree. But the experience he needs is at the ML level not AAA. He should stay, and I hope he does.

    One other thing that I missed is commenting on Bum’s trade proposals. So I have one that all can soundly blast. David Wright is now out at least 6-8 weeks (I would guess longer because his injury is chronic and regressing). Alex Guerrero is a better offensive option than Ty Kelly. Duda is still going to be out awhile and SVS can help the Mets with a strong righty/lefty combo at 1B. And if there are two players that need a change of scenery it is Yasiel Puig and Matt Harvey. Package Puig, Guerrero and SVS for Matt Harvey. With Zach Wheeler due fairly soon, the Mets will have an even deeper starting rotation and not miss Harvey. The Mets want to win NOW, and need the offense to stay close with the Nats. They are now three back, and with no offense they need help. Puig, SVS, and Guerrero are better options right now for the Mets. If it takes Turner rather than Guerrero, I would still do it.

    1. AC-

      Excellent post. Guess I missed the post that told you to move on. From day one, you have been a class act. Heck, you and I even had a little debate sometime ago.

      I agree and had mentioned the fact that Urias got ‘many’ (would say most) borderline calls in the minors cause of his reputation. That is why I questioned his coaches/player development. They have to be smart enough to understand that some of those calls are not going to happen in the show.

      Regarding your trade proposal…..that is about as close to a win, win as you can get. Make it happen!

      Don’t be a stranger as most like to hear what you type.

      1. Chili, thanks. The debate we had last year was fun. I do not remember the topic but I do remember the dialogue was good and respectful.

    2. Excellent post as always. Glad you’re back.

      Good trade proposal. I’m just reluctant to trade any potential bat. Bats are at more of a premium than pitching in this era. Pitching can be had a little easier. There are actually two or three potential impact pitchers who will be coming to the Dodgers at some point, and we won’t have to give up any money or players.

  20. Good trade idea AC, but Harvey looked terrific his last outing. Methinks the Mets are hanging on to him. But they may have some minor league talent FAZ can use. You know, flip them for a need. Or save them for …….. another time.

    I’m not so sure Urias has nothing left to learn in AAA. He hasn’t accumulated a lot of innings there, and can do at OKC the same thing he does here – get stronger and spot those pitches in a ML box. The guys that should be here are Lee and Chris Anderson, Stripling and Bolsinger, and even De Leon. If they can’t pitch at this level, why do we still own them?

    Trade deadline is a long way off. I figure nothing of any real importance happens til then. Surprise me FAZ.

    1. Yeah I know that Harvey pitched well last Monday. It bummed me out that he pitched so well against the Chisox and beat Quintana (another pitcher I was hoping the Dodgers could have landed last winter). I have been hoping for a trade for Harvey for some time, and when he was pitching poorly and with Wheeler soon to be up, I thought…maybe. I am really rooting for Wheeler. I would love to see the Giants regret moving him for Carlos Beltran, even though Beltran was good at the end of the 2011 season for them.

      1. Give me an offer for Sonny Gray. He may come cheaper now. What will you give for Rich Hill? San Diego has a couple of starting pitchers that need a change of scenery, Relief pitchers are going to become available. Chapman, Miller, Doolitle, Axford. Sticks? Where we gonna put ’em? We already have 6 outfielders, 2 third baseman, 4 second basemen, Seager and Gonzalez. There are several ways to make this team better. But….. it gets complicated. I think THIS is the 2016 Dodgers and other than some buffing of edges I don’t expect big changes this year. But listening to trade ideas is fun. I got nothin right now (Guerrero to Gnu Yourk for some Knicks tickets) but I’ll listen.

      2. Glad you stepped up and named names for a possible trade. Its more fun to think what a team might do to help the team than to just repeat that the Dodgers aren’t doing well or that FAZ hasn’t done well.

        I think I offered a suggestion for a trade for Harvey recently as well and also mentioned Wright and Duda as players that need to be backed up. Guerrero can play third and he might be able to hit. Right now the Dodgers don’t have a spot for him and the Mets do. SVS seems to have chronic back issues and therefore the Dodgers should not count on him but again, the Mets need a player to fill in for 6 or more weeks while Duda is on the DL.

        Cespedis seems to play half of his games in CF and does not play it well. He is a LFer. I think Puig would do well there and he would love it. He is Mr. excitement everywhere but the batters box but still very entertaining.

        I would definitely begin conversations with the Mets by seeing how far the conversation would go starting with SVS, Puig, and Guerrero and be ready to add to that package for Harvey.

        The Dodger outfield would be Thompson, Pederson, and one from Kendrick, Kike’, Crawford. Although I would rather have an outfield of Thompson, Pederson, and Trout.

  21. Show of hands, how many of you think the Dodgers really miss Andre Ethier? Some of the trade suggestions are borderline insane. With Puig, Pederson and Thompson in the OF, the Dodgers have one of the better defensive OF’s in the majors, but there are those that insist they trade Puig, which in my humble opinion would be a HUGE mistake. The guy is 24, under a very friendly team contract, and quite frankly, still learning the game. He is also learning that you cannot get by on talent alone. It takes hard work and dedication, and in truth failure before success. Sandy Koufax is the best example of a LATE BLOOMER I can think of. I doubt the Dodgers have much the Mets want. They have Loney and Campbell to platoon at first, Guererro is no 3rd baseman, and SVS is more an OF than 1B guy. And why in the world would they give up a good pitcher like Harvey for Dodger garbage. They have a RF, Granderson, who so far this year has shown way more power than Puig. And I doubt T. Collins wants what most teams consider the circus that is Yasiel Puig on his team. They need pitching it is true, but I doubt any moves are made before the deadline, unless someone is put on waivers, which seems to be Fried Brains and Zilcho’s choice for obtaining arms.

    1. Point is well taken Michael but do know that Puig can play CF. Not sure who the Mets have there now and not going to look it up. I think the basis of the trade was riding on the fact that maybe the Mets(fans) were ready to run Harvey out of town. If that was the case (which I don’t believe it is) then the Mets would look to get max return and maybe the Dodgers could oblige. This is Puig’s 4th year. He is 25 and his average has decreased every year assuming he doesn’t hit above .255 this season. He has not shown the capacity to hit in the clutch and his ratio of great plays to bone head plays is about 1 to 1.

      Evidently you have forgotten how well the team performed last season when Puig went on the shelf. If Puig and another non-factor player can bring a top of the rotation pitcher I would move him immediately.

      Someone like Harvey who had been struggling would have been an ideal candidate.

    2. Michael, I think they could use Ethier in left. Big upgrade over CC both with glove and bat. Joc and Puig are both still learning, as is Thompson, who is a late bloomer himself. I’m not sure any of them are in the Koufax class, but you never know.

    3. I think a healthy Ethier would definitely have helped. It would have spared us seeing CC out there.

  22. Leaving all names off the list……here’s Dave Roberts options:


    Third Base:


    Folks, that is 5 of the 8 positions. Realize that I’m preaching to the choir but these are his choices at the moment. I’m starting to think that flipping a coin might be a better way of determining who starts and maybe batting them in the order of their position. Maybe Kershaw leading off might be a good thing.

    1. Average OPS for all MLB players to date is .728 and Dodgers have two outfielders with an OPS over .775 and three infielders with an OPS over .783.

      1. There’s a couple of ways to skin a cat. Outfield is a hitter’s position. So comparing Thompson and Pederson OPS to other NL outfielders, not weak hitting 2B, SS, 3B or catchers, Thompson ranks #12 and Pederson ranks #23 OUT OF THE 39 NL outfielders with at least 100 AB’s. That puts Pederson below average when comparing his OPS to other NL outfielders. Trust me, Dodgers are not getting good offensive numbers from their OF’s.

        1. And if you compare Pederson to other center fielders what do you get? CFers are not as OPSy as are LF and RFers.

          1. Just ran the numbers….NOT counting Hazelbaker whom has played about 40% of the time in CF this year Pederson ranked 7th out of 11 players that showed up as CF. Ozuna, Cespedes, Fowler, Blackmon, Herrera and McCutcheon all have a higher OPS.

      2. Is that all players or all starters? Does it include pitchers? I agree the standard for players up the middle is lower than the corners.

  23. Don’t want Rich Hill. He is a 35 y. o. who has suddenly found himself and a lefty soft-tosser. We have enough late bloomers, soft-tossers and injury risks on the staff. Sonny Gray would be intriguing if healthy but we don’t know if he is healthy.

    Most teams won’t want the flotsam and jetsam of the Dodgers if the Dodgers don’t. It takes value to get value. They will want our prospects mostly – cheap and under team control, and not broken down vets like Kendrick or Crawford. I repeat – the Braintrust will not be interested in trading any but the most marginal prospects (like Mark says, “The Plan” revolves around prospects). I can see some team might be interested in one of the younger players like Puig or Pederson.

  24. I am confused, is Puig (25) a late bloomer or is he Dodger garbage. You said both. Not HOF caliber, but SVS is certainly not garbage. Puig is too much of a circus for Terry Collins but not for Doc Roberts? Eric Campbell is not platooning with Loney. He is back in LV. And when he was in NY, he had a .159/.270/.492 line. Certainly not stellar. I agree SVS is more of an OF guy, but he would not be in NY to replace Keith Hernandez’ gold glove. He is at least equivalent to Lucas Duda defensively, who prior to 2014 was also primarily an OF. SVS will provide more offense than Loney. Guerrero, while no one is going to confuse him with Nolan Arenado, is not horrible at 3B. But he would be there primarily for his bat which would be considerably better than Ty Kelly.

    I do not believe that Puig will ever fulfill his potential in LA. Uribe always took Puig under his wing, so maybe Cespedes does that in NY. Guerrero is only for the year, SVS is a platoon player, and who knows what Puig will eventually do, so yeah maybe there needs to be some prospect that will need to be moved. But Harvey is also a question mark. Who knows what last year did to him. Which pitcher is he? The one who pitched against the Chisox or the pitcher he was in the beginning of the year? And with Zach Wheeler soon to join the rotation… So maybe to you its borderline insane. I can live with that.

    1. Difference between Roberts and Collins is that Puig respects Roberts, and he reached out to him during the off season and let Puig know what the team expected of him. For the first 3 weeks of the season we saw a far different Yasiel Puig than last years model. What you believe is of no consequence since I doubt the front office and the manager share your opinion, because after all, that is all it is. Nothing based on fact. Puig just might be one of those guys who is late to mature, but I see a different attitude from years past. I also think it is pretty stupid to give up on a guy who is only 25. Joc is young too, and still learning. So I give the younger guys a little leeway. The vets, not so much. You might be able to live with the question mark, me, I prefer solid. I think Turner still has knee issues, I think Grandal is suffering from a severe confidence problem, I also think the best thing would be to start Gonzo, Utley, Seager and Kendrick as your everyday infield, with Thompson Pederson and Puig patrolling the OF. Trade for a starter and a catcher and send Grandal out of Dodge when you do.

  25. An interesting comment from Houston Mitchell of the LA Times about the Dodgers’ bullpen:

    ” There is also an important bullpen stat that rarely gets talked about. A relief pitcher’s ERA isn’t always the best indicator of effectiveness. (An important stat is) inherited runners scored %. The lower the percentage, the better the reliever has done. So how has the Dodgers bullpen done this season? Not well. Their team IRS% is 34.6% (28 of 81 inherited runners have scored), which puts them 11th in the National League. Who leads the NL? The Giants, with a IRS% of 20.4% (20 of 98 runners scored).”

    The only Dodger reliever with a percentage lower than 21.4% is Kenley Jansen (no surprise) – 10%. Joe Blanton is 27.3%, Chris Hatcher 30%, Pedro Baez 60% (!) and JP Howell 75%(!!).

    If you think that the ‘pen isn’t as good as the stats indicate this is probably why.

  26. There is a good article at The Ringer. Com, and the articles headline is this. It is Time for the Dodgers, to Stop Over Thinking Everything.

  27. To those who argue that it was wrong to start Urias on the road, I could just as easily argue that there would be more pressure on him at Dodger Stadium, so that is merely sour grapes, lack of reasoning, second guessing “See, he got bombed – they should have started him at home… blah, blah, blah (old woman blubbering). It’s stuff like that which makes me resort to the M-word. Atoms are made up of protons, neutrons, electrons and morons? Right?

    Moving on…

    There are only two things wrong with Badger – everything he says and everything he does. Otherwise, I am fine with him.

    Let me establish one thing: I hate the Guggenheim Ownership – but it does no good to go on and on with it. They ain’t selling anytime soon, unless the SEC jails Walter. I hated FOX too. I embraced Frank McCourt who was the antithesis of BIG BUSINESS and hoped that he could restore order to the Dodgers. Sadly, Jamie and Frank raped the Dodgers and made out like bandits. I like the little guy!

    I was hoping for different ownership other than Guggs and the Magic Show. I don’t even know what the hell Magic Johnson has to do with baseball, but I digress.

    When the Ricketts family bought the Cubs they did it the right way. They hired Theo and blew it to smithereens! They built the farm and now they are reaping the benefits of having a bunch of talented young players which gives you a low salary commitment. That allows you to sign ancillary free agents like Heyward, Lester, Lackey and Zobrist! Friedman will not be able to use that formula until 2018.

    It’s my opinion that blaming the state of the Dodgers on Friedman is moronic! Guggs and Dumbass Kasten started it all with the STUPID TRADE!

    What should have happened was they should have traded about everyone: Kemp and Ethier and everyone not named Kershaw. They would have tanked for a couple of years, but right about now, they would be where the Cubs were last year!

    Friedman was told to try and win now while building the farm. Chili says that FAZ takes credit for the fact the farm system is #1. Chapter and Verse! I have never seen that. I have seen FAZ refuse to trade the prospects gathered under Colletti, however. I have seen them refuse to give out contracts past 2018 (they did try and keep Greinke until the D-Bags got stupid).

    You may not like it, but the Idiots at the top are the ones responsible. FAZ is trying to win now, and the hitting slumps of a huge number of Dodger Players right now makes it easy to pile on. The odds are that as cold as the hitters have been for the past month, it will likely even out and they may be hotter than blazes in a few weeks.

    When that happens, Hurt: Get ready for the diatribe to end all diatribes. I’m qualified! 😉

    I said it

    I meant it


    I’m here to represent it!

    1. Another reason to hope the Dodgers start winning and hitting and pitching…..

      It could get really fun in here.

      1. I was enjoying it until he fell on his face by going back to the trade.

        McCourt was a little guy? Small business man? He was a f’n borrow and spend con artist, like so many of them are. And you thought it would work. Eh, wrong again man.

        I don’t hear the name calling anymore. It’s a sure sign you have lost the argument. I find it funny Mark has to post so many personal insults. Obviously I threaten him. I’m ok with that.

        Still waiting for the plan to come together. I’m detached from outcomes. Entertain me FAZ. You too Mark.

        1. Lost the argument?


          The only reason you are never wrong is your failure to comprehend it.

          I know you are nobody’s fool, but I do hope someone will adopt you.

        2. He makes a strong argument with the contrast to the Cubs, and, although I’m more or less for The Trade, all of this Coletti residue does make it harder to implement the blueprint for your Mythical 2018. This is the basic root of the issue and the source of why we all argue here. The management team has a plan to win in the future, but there is still pressure to win now. You can’t have it all,

    2. LOL, Mark, if that happens, that means the Dodgers are winning and I will take it on the chin!


    “Every day he takes the mound up here, it’s learning a lesson,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of Urias. “He left a few balls up, and they made him pay. He gave up three home runs. When you elevate in the strike zone, there’s damage to be had.” Now the question is whether Urias will get another turn in the rotation. Roberts didn’t provide clarity on that issue, despite being down a starter with lefty Alex Wood on the 15-day disabled list and other starting options still making their way back from injuries.
    “We’re going to talk about that, but I think that we haven’t made that decision yet,” Roberts said. “After this, I’ll get together with the [coaches] and we’ll figure out what is best for us.”

    So this is another part of The Plan for the Dodgers. Use the major league Dodgers as a practice field for learning to play in the majors. Get your game along so far —– then finish up the learning ON the major league level. This is for hitting, fielding, and pitching. Add to that base running, bunting, and attitude.

    Some have tried to compare Julio to Clayton’s rise to the majors. Clayton was a year older, 20. He had 4 years in the minors (from age 18) and pitched 341 innings in that time.

    Julio in his 4 years in the minors has 201 innings pitched or some 140 less innings than Clayton.

    Now, if the GMs plans from pitching would have panned out – if Greinke were still a Dodger, if Anderson were pitching and had 5 or 6 wins to this point, if Bolsinger and Ryu and Wood and McCarthy were having even average seasons —– THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN NO REASON TO HAVE CALLED UP JILIO URIAS IN 2016 AT ALL, EXCEPT MAYBE IN SEPT FOR FUN.

    So THE PLAN got in the way – and it seems to me that Julio was the easiest answer to help solve their pitching problems – have him continue to learn at the major league level. Rather than getting more depth and confidence in the minors with so few innings on his arm.

    1. Roger, I think you might want to check your numbers. Kershaw only pitched 3 seasons in the minors and skipped AAA entirely. 230 minor league innings according to Baseball Reference. And Urias is listed at over 260. Of course, I get your point that bringing the kid up at this point in the season was a pretty desperate move brought on by a ton of injuries.

  29. My mind is kind of remembering a number of team losses that happened not because of weak hitting, but a bad bullpen.

    Hitting, the guys have kind of been in the middle of the pack.

    Avg. 11th out of 15.

    RBIs 8th of 15.

    HRs 10th out of 15.

    Hits 10th out of 15.

    Slugging avg. 13th out of 15.

    Stolen bases 12th out of 15.

    Walks 7th out of 15.

    Triples 11th out of 15.

    Doubles 11th out of 15.

    Okay, Okay —– I was WRONG !!!! These Dodgers stink. Only 1 stat in the upper half of the league and that was #7 = walks.

    This is terrible.

    What channel are the Cubs games on?

  30. Wait a minute Roger, I was with you right up to the terrible part. The Dodgers are middle of the pack in many categories, and are actually, surpringly Top 5 in some. Or, they were, not sure now. That means they aren’t terrible, they are ….. mediocre. The good news is, there is a lot of room for improvement. Some of these guys will hit better, some of those pitchers coming back could actually help. This year is about Seager, Pederson, Puig, De Leon (Urias) and Vinny. There may be others that step up, we won’t know who until it happens and it’s happening differently every day. This team is like a sprinkler system going off in all directions at once. Some of it is good. As long as we have Kershaw we have a chance. Let’s play it out.

  31. Even though we are clearly a dysfunctional family, boy is this entertaining, good job everyone.

  32. Badger, you forgot Thompson.

    Urias was brought up because Wood is hurt. That is the only reason he was brought up. Wood is going to be out for 4 weeks. Let Urias pitch for 4 weeks. Some of you want to reevaluate Urius and declare him not a prospect anymore. Two games!!! I do not understand that kind of thinking. It would of made no difference if Urias pitched at home or away. Some of you would of made the same comments. They should of started Urias away from home, to prevent pressure at home. You guys are great second guessers. I have coached baseball and basketball for many years. I would of hated to have some of you as parents of my kids that I coached. I would of been fired after my first year of coaching, if some of you would of been my AD.

    My biggest bitch is that I wished they would settle on the 8 starters. No they are not doing as well as I think they should. I love my Dodgers and I will support them. End of story. I do not believe in name calling and will not do it.

    1. Idahoal
      Guess we will find out at home. But the first two starts, away, we’re not great. But Orel said he has to learn some way.

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