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Kenta Maeda: Gotta Keep em Separated

Kenta Maeda

Dodger’s Japanese right hander Kenta Maeda is very good at two things. One of those is getting hitters to swing at strikes outside of the zone. He’s been doing that all season at one of the best clips in all of baseball. According to the numbers he’s inducing those swings at pitches outside the zone 36.1% of the time. Another thing Maeda does very well is getting velocity separation on his pitches. It’s not only a classic offspring song, but also a key to successful pitching. Don’t make me sing it guys.

Allow me to explain what I am talking about. When a pitcher has velocity separation on his pitches that means he’s able to have large amounts of differences in speed between pitch types. So when a pitcher throws a 94 mph fastball, and then comes back with a 76 mph Uncle Charlie, that gives him good velocity separation between those pitches. The difference in speed is what helps pitchers deceive hitters.

Maeda has been very good at that. Clayton Kershaw does it well too. The ability to mix pitches and keep hitters off balance using different speeds is very important to good pitching. If a slider or curveball is thrown at 90+ then what happens is it looks like a fastball coming in, and the hitters are likely to think it is one and they’ll hit it. That’s why it’s so vital for pitchers to get good separation between their off-speed pitches and their fastball/cutters.

Maeda made Marlin’s ace Jose Fernandez look befuddled during last Thursday’s 5-3 Miami win over the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Maeda allowed four earned runs on seven hits across 6.2 innings pitched. It resulted in him picking up his first loss of the season. During the outing he was able to confuse the hell out of Fernandez with one of his best off-speed pitches. In doing so he got perfect pitch velocity separation.

Our friends at Numberfire analyzed the slider that made Fernandez almost jump out of his shoes. The slider was especially nasty and came after Maeda had thrown a 90+ mph heater. That’s how good pitchers mix their pitches. All Fernandez could do was shrug his shoulders as he walked back to the dugout. Needless to say he struck out. Maeda has excellent pitching mechanics.

If Maeda continues to get opposing hitters to swing at pitches outside of the strike zone, and big differences in velocity between pitches, then he’ll continue to have success at the major league level. Getting more outs will allow him to hit more home runs too. The Dodgers could sure use the offense.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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Scott Andes
Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

63 thoughts on “Kenta Maeda: Gotta Keep em Separated

  1. Not spending money on players in 2016 is showing up really big now.
    If we take the big ones

    Clayton at 31,000,000
    AGon at 21,000,000
    Crawford at 21,000,000
    Ethier at 18,000,000
    Anderson at 16,000,000
    Kazmir at 14,000,000
    McCarthy at 12,500,000

    3 of those guys are not even playing and Crawford might well as not be playing and Kazmir is surly not worth the money — that leaves only 2 guys out of the top 7 Dodger salaries helping this team.

    As I was thinking on this, I looked at the total baseball salary list — and there are 135 players making 9,000,000 or more in the majors. Look at some of those salaries . . .

    And the Dodgers keep filling shoes with bottom of the barral players hoping they have some life left.

    One thing for sure — the Dodger sure do not know how to sign, trade for, or develop talent any more.

    Looking at the Dodger prospect watch, most are pitchers. Only #s 5, 6 10, 11 are hitters. And #6, Bellinger, is hitting .176 at Tulsa with 0 HR in 17 AB.

    1. Bellinger just came off the DL and is young for AA. I think he will figure it out. We have some good outfield prospects and catchers but SS and 3B not so much. And of course, they’re prospects, so whatever certain people may tell you there’s no way of knowing how good they’ll be.

  2. Fooling a pitcher in the batters box is really not that impressive an event. Maeda gave up 4 earned in 6.2. That ain’t good. Hopefully he’s better than that today.

    I agree about the rest of your text. Maeda is a pitcher. Our young throwers can learn someting from him. Mix it up and hit your spots. If the staff can do that consistently, they can be good. None but Kershaw have the stuff to get away with mistakes, and mistakes are killing this staff.

    To Roger’s point about development – I can only say I hope he’s wrong. There are new people throughout the organization. It takes time to change things as large as a professional baseball organization. It’s a huge corporation with thousands of moving parts. It appears we have good baseball people in important roles, so I think the future could very well be bright. But these FAZ guys do things differently. So far what they’ve done on the Major League level does not look good. But if you look down the road a bit, it could indeed get better. I sure hope so, because if they are as bad at evaluating minor league talent as they have been at maneuvering at the big league level, we are in a world of sh*t.

    In the mean time let Thompson, Pederson, Hernandez, and Grandal play EVERYDAY. If they can’t play we need to know.

  3. I had hopes that things would change when Robert’s was hired. How stupid of me! They were certainly not going to hire anyone who could think for himself. Even Mattingly chaffed under their direction. Bud Black probably told them what they could do to themselves… Anyway, in the future I shall refer to Roberts as Friedman’s Toady.

  4. See, I totally disagree with this statement:

    “One thing for sure — the Dodgers sure do not know how to sign, trade for, or develop talent any more.

    It’s easy to trade and sign for overpaid players. Want David Price? It’s easy – outbid everyone. Want to put butts in seats? Sign Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp to long-term deals and trade for A-Gon and Crawfish. Even Ray Charles can see how to do that. Rest assured that my 7 year-old granddaughter knows that.

    We are now seeing that those long-term deals are really, really stupid. REALLY STUPID! I believe that the Dodgers flat-out know how to develop players, but they also are signing other player who may be expensive, but only for 1, 2 or 3 years. They are trying to stay competitive while building the homegrown talent.

    Have you been paying attention to what’s going on in the minors? Bellinger, Calhoun, Verdugo, Farmer, Barnes, Johnson and others are progressing very rapidly. Thompson and Seager are already here figuring it out.

    Julio Urias pitched 6 inning of no-hit ball yesterday and has a 1.88 ERA – has fanned 29 batters in 24 innings while issuing just 3 walks.

    Jose De Leon made his season appearance the day before and was outstanding.

    You will see both very soon and Cotton is not far behind… and there’s a boatload of other prospects behind them. THIS IS THE VERY REASON THE CUBS ARE SO GOOD!

    There are a lot of hitters who have started the season poorly, among them Joey Votto, Carlos Gomez (.227), Ian Desmond (.224), Jayson Werth (.221), Jason Heyward and Alex Gordon (.211), Todd Frazier (.206), Albert Pujols (.198), Troy Tulowitzi (.160) Chase Headly (.153) and many others.

    BTW, had the Dodgers traded for Fraizer all you second-guessers would have been blasting them for such a stupid trade! Do you think all those players will hit that bad all season? Have you ever watched baseball before? It’s a streaky game. Quit losing your minds.

    Look at these pitchers: Jake Peavy (9.00 ERA), Adam Wainwright (6.68 ERA), David Price (6.14 ERA), Mike Leake (6.03 ERA), Annibel Sanchez (5.87 ERA) and Zack Greinke (5.50 ERA) – All of those guys are worse than Wood and all except Greinke are worse than Kazmir.

    Do you think some might right the ship? ABSOLUTELY! Then why not Wood and Kaz? Wood had three bad pitches and there is no excuse for that, but otherwise he showed me a lot. I can see improvement with both him and KAZ! I know most of you have experience in watching baseball, so why do you loose your minds after such a small sampling?

    Be patient, Grasshopper! This is a good – a very good team with great depth, resources and returning players.

    Finally, it’s way beyond SILLY to think that a man like Dave Roberts would be a puppet! FAZ is not pulling the strings. Friedman is Roberts boss and as such, he provides him with lots of tools. Nothing different than Epstien does for Maddon or nothing most other teams don’t do.

    This stuff is what comes from fans during stupid losses. Patience…

    1. ‘it’s way beyond SILLY to think that a man like Dave Roberts would be a puppet…’ you speak like you know the guy personally. First of all, he had no MLB managing experience….none, nada, zilch. If he was so coveted wouldn’t he have been given a job before now?

      ‘you have eyes, but they do not see….’ Tell me what the difference is between the lineups this year and last year and then tell me what is consistent from last year to this year.

      IF THEY were rebuilding like the Cubs, than they would have done so like the Cubs. THEY DID NOT! Epstein who has 2 W.S. Championships, traded away every talented player the Cubs had for prospects. That’s how they acquired a lot of their talent, that along with high draft picks from losing.

      And the Dodgers prospects do not compare to the young talent on the Cubs. Not even close.

      IF FAZ was building for the future than Grienke should have been dealt for 2-3 TOP prospects that would be MLB ready now. They did not.

      Epstein knows what he is doing….these guys not so much. Epstein is not playing MoneyBall, he is out to win a title. That’s why they signed Heyward, of which you advised the Dodgers not to. They also signed Zobrist, a player that can play multiple positions, instead the Dodgers resign Utley and Kendrick, neither has played anything but 2B their entire careers so what do we do, at the age of 37 want Utley to learn 3B and Kendrick to play LF.

      With FAZ, the Dodgers will not win a title. The sooner F & Z are gone, the sooner they will win a title.

      At least your on record saying 92-95 wins this year….W’s & L’s will tell the story. Hopefully your around in September for the discussions.

      1. Theo is to Friedman as West is to Kupchack. And a lot of knowledgeable baseball people think the Cards and (gulp) Giants do a better job of developing players than the Dodgers, who neglected the farm system for years. Maybe the new guys can turn that around but it won’t pay dividends right away. As for signing and trading players, so far they haven’t shown a lot.

    2. The Cubs have hit on a lot of their young positional player draft choices, but that’s not always the case. Teams like the Pirates and Royals were terrible for 2 decades before they finally figured it out and they were constantly trading guys for prospects and drafting in the early rounds.

      One other thing about the Cubbies, they struck gold out of nowhere and Arrietta and Lester was a great FA signing so far. Helps when you have two great SPs at the top of the rotation, both came from outside the organization.

      One thing about the Dodgers, and call me a codge for this though I’m not that old, but they need to go back to the Dodger way, and that’s developing their arms, both in the rotation and bullpen. I’m not talking about the Ymi Garcias of the world either.

    3. And regarding Todd Frazier……yeah all of us would be so disappointed with his 7 HR’s, 18 RBI’s already AND he hasn’t found his stroke yet. WOW. 7HR’s, 18 RBI’s would be leading this team. I’ll bet he is hitting better WRISP than 95% of the Dodgers. Yeah, who needs that. Justin turner’s 0 HR’s, 5 RBI’s and .250 BA is perfect.

      There wasn’t a comparison when Frazier was readily available (BUT THE BRAINTRUST and I use that VERY LOOSELY) passed on him at an economical $12M per year. Willing to give McCarthy and Anderson that type of money but not a proven position player in his prime.

      And this isn’t 2nd guessing anyone. I said it then how stupid it was.

    4. Mark I don’t agee about Kazmir. He hasn’t pitch that well, at all. Even in the game a pitched and won, against the Padres, he really didn’t pitch that well. He is constantly getting behind on the count, and leaving his subpar fastball up, and he has given up way to many HRs!

      Almost any time the Dodgers get the lead, or tie a game, he can’t even hold the other team from scoring, through there next at bat. He is always sucking any momentum, that the Dodgers ever get.

      And he is a veteran pitcher, but he sure doesn’t pitch like one. He often has the Dodgers behind in the game, before they even come up to bat!

      And he has allowed runs, in the first inning, in almost every game that he has pitched. And he sure made the Rays, look like a big power team. Maeda is really the Dodgers number two pitcher. And that is because Maeda pitches like a number two pitcher, and has the attitude, of a number two pitcher. And Maeda’s fastball, is not any faster then Kazmir’s fastball.

      And that is because Maeda knows how to pitch, and doesn’t often, leave his fastball up, unless it is high enough, to only strike a player out.

      1. Well said!
        Kazmir stinks! Maeda has pitched well. Can he keep it up? We shall see. But it’s pretty clear once you move past Maeda (and I’m still not convinced about him) things fall apart pretty quickly.

  5. Uhh, Cody Bellinger had been on the DL since the season started; he just got back this week. To criticize him on his first 17 at bat’s is basically somebody looking for something to bitch about.

    There’s lots of things to complain about on this team, but Bellinger is not one of them.

  6. Then why not Wood and Kaz?

    Did you just compare them to Price and Greinke? And you want us to take you seriously? And another thing, I’m sure your 7 year old granddaughter is a Star Child and probably knows more about the Dodgers than you do, but can we leave her out of the insults? I don’t think it’s a good idea to bring up family in here.

    Look, nobody is arguing the point about our prospects being good. I will give you that if you will agree none of them are ready for a pennant drive, nor playoffs, against the better Major League players and teams THIS YEAR. The debates being presented here are not about Bellinger, Urias and De Leon, they are about the Major League team we’ve seen fold like a cheap tent since FAZ took over. To keep pounding deals that were made 4 years ago as stupid is, well, at the very least not helpful, and at most kind of stupid. It’s not those deals that are hurting the club now, it’s the deals being done last year and this year that are not yet working. These guys actually increased payroll on their way to getting beat in the first round last year. And that increase doesn’t even count the money spent on the international market. It’s not about the money, it’s about the players. So far, I’m not all that impressed with Anderson, McCarthy, Wood, Grandal, Latos, Johnson, and the 296 other moves made to give this 25 man roster the coveted depth. That depth currently just looks like a deep hole.

    And another thing – how can you say FAZ is not pulling the strings? Every string on Roberts’ guitar has been put there by FAZ. THIS is the team Roberts has to work with. And he is working like a madman trying to strum a tune here. So far? I’d say he has done ok considering how poorly this team has played, and how fragile they still appear to be. On that topic, any ideas on who goes down next? I’ll say Grandal. No, Kazmir. No wait, it’s going to be Howie. Utley?

    1. I agree history and common sense suggest Price and Greinke will right their ships before Kazmir and Wood. But in baseball you never know. Even great players go through slumps. Most of us are tired of the ever-changing lineup but when your best hitters don’t hit it’s tempting to tinker, especially when the front office supplies you with boatloads of “data.”

  7. And another thing on a subject YOU keep bringing up. That trade that you revile so much brought us respectability that was lost when mcFuzznuts, YOUR guy, drove this team to bankruptcy. We won three straight Division titles, led all of baseball in attendance and interest and would have gone to the World Series at least once, maybe twice, if Clayton Kershaw, the greatest pitcher in Dodgers history and also YOUR guy, hadn’t coughed up playoff hair balls two straight years.

    The trade accomplished EXACTLY what it was meant to accomplish. Time to move on. Let’s see if FAZ can make a Big League move as good as that one.

    1. Price and Greinke have both thrown 200+ innings of ERA around 3 and below for several years running. The one year Greinke didn’t throw 200 he won 15 lost 4. Both have Cy Youngs and multiple All Star appearances. The idea that Wood and or Kazmir will string together anything close to that is bizarre. It’s just not going to happen. And here’s something I believe you can count on – Zack Greinke is going to get it together and when he does – look out NL West.

    2. Sorry Bum….but no way that everyone is right. I’m not impressed with FAZ and a few here are. Totally opposite views and opinions.

      Only ‘moderates’ could make the statement that everyone is right, therefore no one is wrong. Realize you didn’t say exactly that but that is the implications.

      It’s an either or (as to either your on FAZ’s bandwagon or your not.) Will they get a few things right. Of course but it’s the logic and process that either you agree with or disagree with.

      They truly haven’t committed to anything except to do it as cheaply as possible.

      Can’t say they are trying to get younger and then sign older players to block the path’s of the youngsters. Can’t say they are building for the future when they did not move Grienke for top talent. Can’t say they are trying to win now when they could have traded for another top pitcher last July, could have had Frazier right now, could have signed a number of FA’s (players that would have helped the team, not 2 old 2nd basemen and injury prone pitchers).

      94 wins in 2014, 92 wins in 2015…… ? ?? wins in 2016? Do you see a trend? If not yet, wait until after this season.

      1. What is, and what is ain’t payroll? Cots and TrueBlue have different numbers and it appears some of the Cuban minor leaguers who received a lot of money dont show up everywhere. What I do know for sure is there are dozens of millions being paid to guys who are not on the field now and many probably won’t be for some time. Yes, I’m sure $300 million won’t show up again, but we are somewhere around $250 million. If dumping payroll is a goal, and I’m not so sure it is, then I agree with those who say we would have been smarter about losing Greinke.

        1. Yeah, it would have been a cinch last year to lump Crawford in with Greinke and still get a good return from it.

        2. Badger I saw the fish that Puig caught, when he was fishing with Agone, and that was one big fish. They went fishing in Canada. I thought they would fish in Florida.

          Puig did hit a little, in that last two games. And Turner finally hit like he normally has, so maybe we will see a better offense soon. Hopefully the Bluejays will continue not to hit, until the Dodgers leave the country.

          And we all can thank God, that Kazmir, and Wood didn’t pitch against the Bluejays. Because Wood and Kazmir especially, made the Rays offense, look like the Bluejay’s offense!

        1. Excuse me.
          Don’t think I was ‘going after’ your Bum. Just voicing my opinion of not being sure how we all can be right when there are some stark contrast in the views or results of FAZ’s actions.

          I realize that it’s his take on the comments and prepped my comment accordingly but if I’m right in what I say and a person that supports FAZ’s moves are right than I’m not doing a very good job of expressing and illustrating my thoughts and views.

          As Badger had said, comparing Wood and Kazmir to Price and Grienke…..come on. Only someone in or supports MoneyBall would even begin to make those comparisons.

          Did I not say that I dislike anything associated with MONEYBALL. Moneyball has yet to win sh*t.

          1. I have been doing this and that and haven’t had a chance to embellish on what I said but I will try to make sense of it soon. I am not sure I can make my statement stand up but I think I probably can. We’ll see.

  8. Dammit. Kazmir and Wood blows. They would be way worse than they are now, if they are not so lucky to pitch at Dodger Stadium half their games. I’d put them both on 15 day DL now and give Zach Lee and Bolsinger another shot at nailing down the 4-5 spots.

    The only saving grace right now is that the other NL West teams suck too.

    1. Kazmir is signed for 3 years. Putting him on DL, though maybe a good idea, won’t help that much –

      2016 32 $12,666,667
      2017 33 $17,666,667
      2018 34 $17,666,666

      The devil is in those details.

      This is what starting pitchers past their prime actually cost? Yeah, guess so.

      1. Only when a GM acts in desperation because of a lack of plan or no back up plan to Grienke leaving. Wonder if we will hear about THIS bad contract from the FAZmantics.

        1. I doubt it. Not much has been said about McCarthy. Not a whole lot said about the $30 million down the crapper on Olivera either.

          1. Ryu is suppose to be back before MCCarthy. Did you see that Ryu throw off the mound, at Dodger stadium today?

      2. Right (and I’m replying to Badgers earlier post on Kaz’s contract). But rather than waiting for them to turn it around, I’d say put some of the AAAA/borderline/”undiscovered gems” out there, at Dodger Stadium in an early evening game, so that they get, maybe, hopefully, some inflated stats. Then maybe we can move them for some good BP pitchers (pitchers not arms – we have enough arms).

        Look at it this way. So let’s suppose Kaz and Wood turns in a couple of gems at Dodger Stadium under ideal conditions. What does that get us? Everyone will just wait for them to “regress to the mean”. But what it Zach does the same? All of a sudden his trade value increases, he’s young, cost controlled, and there’s no viable future for him here anyways so he’d say and do all the right things …. yes I am cynical but in this case it’d help everyone, even Kaz and Wood as they have less chances to fall on their faces

      3. Maybe they got good insurance. Did you see where the Red Sox had no insurance on the Panda? I think it may be, because he isn’t insurable. They didn’t say though.

  9. Wow! You guys better hope mental health experts don’t read this blog because you clearly have no grasp on reality! I don’t even know where to start…

    If you think I was comparing Wood and Kazmir to Price and Grienke then you are either an ignoramus or delusional…

    Learn to read English.

    Chili, you cloak your argument with a few carefully facts that you evidently believe will obscure your lack of supporting facts. It’s just an epic rant without any substance. It doesn’t fool me. I’ll be here in October.

    1. Feel free to argue/debate or disagree with anything I say and while your at it please enlighten me to which of my stated facts is incorrect. I read very well, hence the facts that are provided. At least I don’t operate with a split personality. You might need to see a psychiatrist before it gets worse.

  10. The Bluejays may have broken out of there team slump today! They had 15 hits, and beat the Rangers 12 to 2! Why couldn’t they wait, until the Dodgers left the country?

  11. Wow – all of the vitriol without any of the calories! What you might call “light” insults!

    In spite of this, I’ll make the following observations:

    1 – Many of the posts here are redundant because the Dodgers’ performance is also redundant. Inconsistent starting pitching and middle relief, inability to hit with RISP.
    2 – There are several genuine debates going on here:
    a. Is the “Moneyball” approach the best way to run a baseball team?
    b. Does it make sense to spend money on the farm system to the instead of the major league roster?
    c. How effective has the Dodgers’ Braintrust been at putting together a major league roster designed to win now?
    d. If the team is only doing so-so after a protracted period of time, what adjustments need to be made and will the Braintrust make them?

    Most of these issues have been addressed and re-addressed because the team has been doing the same thing since last May – inconsistent starting pitching and middle relief and poor hitting RISP. The Braintrust has done little to address these issues, other than to churn the roster with other teams’ castoffs and to sign numerous mediocre players instead of spending the big bucks on premium players and calling it “depth. (and also spending profligately on every Cuban baseball player it can find.)

    Until the results change, the same complaints will be made and re-made.

    1. The insults begin from one poster with a split personality.

      And the results have been fairly consistent over the past 28 years.

  12. In an attempt to address Mark’s point about if Price and Greinke can right their ship, why can’t Wood and Kazmir, the obvious didn’t work so maybe the more subtle will have a chance to get through:

    I don’t believe Wood is happy in LA. He is a young country boy, as is Mad Bum, but Wood is without Bumgarner’s f you attitude. I don’t think it’s going to work for him here. Add to that the guy’s stuff is just not that good. Kazmir. I think someting is wrong with him. I would recommend Mark go to his stat page and look at what he has done starting in August of last year. It ain’t pretty and it’s continued into his first 6 starts here. We have him for 3 years so I sure hope whatever it is he gets it fixed.

    To rick’s last post – all I can say is I agree with everything he said. I still maintain its not about winning now. They had an opportunity at last year’s trade deadline and they showed us what they thought of the team’s chances. They either believed they had enough with Kershaw and Greinke, and were wrong, or they did not believe in that group. Either way, the team suffered from their judgment. I found the ending predictable and in fact I predicted it. As for this year, it feels like more of the same. They misjudged the market on Anderson and Kendrick, and spent a lot of money on Cuban prospects instead of spending it to upgrade this year’s Major League team. The $28 million down the crapper on Olivera would have gone a long way upgrading this year’s staff. Instead we are stuck with Kershaw and the plethora of 5 inning 5 ERA wonders and a gas can bullpen. But we do have a strong minor league system that they keep adding to and are yet to use. All of this says “wait til next year” to me.

    It would appear we are down to one FAZophant here. I hope to see them all again because if we do it will mean the team has started to win and the “I told you so’s” will cascade upon the naysayers. I can take it. All I want is for the Dodgers to win.

    1. Badger I don’t think Wood is unhappy in LA. Because he was really excited when he was traded here, and loved having Kershaw and Greinke here.

      He just badly wants to contribute to the team. But I totally agree with you that he doesn’t have good stuff, and that is why he has to be perfect to win.

      Maybe a small market team can take a risk on him, but in LA we expect more, and we should. The Dodgers are not a small market team, and they have a history of good pitching.

  13. But dodgerrick –we must understand — this is what half of this fan website or forum has bought into to. And add, to wait 2 or 3 years until this or that kid is ready on the farm to step in at 1B, 2B, 3B, Of, pitching, etc. Then the Dodgers will be the new Cubs of the N.L. West.

    By then the 40 man roster will have been though 500 players of this or that position.

  14. I do realize we are engaged in circular debate here. Mark keeps saying “you gonna believe what you see or what I tell you” and we keep saying “it’s going on for some time now and the on field results are the same”. I guess until the results are in fact different, around and around we go.

  15. The Dodgers have played some games really well and in others were mostly boring. The games they played well included good hitting and starting and relief pitching. The boring games included poor hitting and poor pitching. After the first month they wound up half good and half boring.

    They have showed that they can be good and the question being asked is how many games can they be fun to watch. There is no reason to say or believe that the NL Western Division has teams that are doing any better than the Dodgers.

    We could be more optimistic about the Dodgers in 2016 if they had signed Greinke and Price or Cueto. But signing those players to 5 or 6 year contracts has risk just as does signing Anderson, McCarthy, and Kazmir to shorter contracts. The Dodgers, unlike many other teams, have years 2017 and beyond covered with pitchers in their minor league system and have players coming off the DL in the second half of this year.

    Should the Dodgers have traded for Hammel last year? We may never know if any of us would have made that trade if the asking price was ridiculous. Should the Dodgers have signed Scherzer or Zimmerman? Probably if those pitchers were willing to sign with the Dodgers. Should the Dodgers have traded for a relief pitcher? Probably, but time is needed to evaluate any trade so that is why I say probably.

    Should Roberts use Kendrick, Crawford, and even Utley in reserve in case Thompson, Kike’, and or Pederson or Puig aren’t getting the job done? I think so. Start the younger players and see what they can do and use the veterans to give them mental breaks or take over should the youth sputter too long.

    Should DeLeon and Urias start 5 games each in May and June? I think so. That would allow time for Kazmir, Stripling, Bolsinger, Ryu, McCarthy to prepare themselves to finish the year.

    The Dodgers have the players to win 95 games some of which are in the minors. They also have shown that they could wind up with 81 wins as well. Everybody realizes this. Trades and free agent signings may have helped for 2016 but may not have been needed as well, especially if they saddled the team with expensive contracts without compensating production as soon as 2017.

    To say the Dodgers suck ignores that they have played half their games well and to say that they will easily win 92 or 95 games ignores that they have played half their games in a boring fashion. Both perspectives are as right as they are wrong.

    1. Now who doesn’t like that tone?

      But the status quo is and has been to play the vets and work in the youngsters, otherwise management will be questioned why they signed Utley, Kendrick and Kazmir. Hence, why it is obvious whom is running/managing the team.

      There is no way that Deleon & Urias is going to get starts in May/June to give the vets/underperforming and walking wounded rest. First of all if Deleon or Urias is brought up they should be brought up to stay….meaning that you expect them to pitch well and therefore the job becomes theirs. This will fly in the face of management hence why they will be delayed as long as possible. IF they are that good and better than the current pitchers than that is sad and implies the Dodgers are not putting their best 25 out there cause it’s about saving face. That’s MONEYBALL for ya.

      So the folks that ‘now’ disagree with long term contracts, you do realize that most every ‘talented’ (meaning good or star player) will be seeking long term contracts, and are you not in favor of signing Kershaw?

      1. The only reason I thought May and June would be plausible is due to pitch counts. It might be too late for them to make a difference by September and by then they may have already have reached their lids on pitch counts. Even if they join the club in September, I don’t see them pitching in the playoffs, again because of pitch counts.

      2. I guess I would decide on a long term contract based on how old they would be at the end of that contract, the percent of games they were able to play to date, whether they were trending up or down, whether they were already home town favorites, and who a team had in the pipeline.

    2. ‘To say the Dodgers suck ignores that they have played half their games well and to say that they will easily win 92 or 95 games ignores that they have played half their games in a boring fashion.’

      Bum……but they are on a pace to win 81 games which to most is not good or acceptable (or would be a step backwards.)

      And from my vantage point, Stripling and Maeda have had some good starts in the early going and I don’t expect either to continue at that level….already seeing Stripling slip and as more video is available on Maeda I expect his numbers to decline (from his early 1 something era.)

      Kazmir and Wood are who they are… the reinforcements better be arriving soon.

      It’s really too bad that I couldn’t win some real money with some of these folks because there would be some easy pickins.

      1. chili—-Bum……but they are on a pace to win 81 games which to most is not good or acceptable (or would be a step backwards.)
        True, but only a about 10 days ago they were trending to 95 wins. Not even CNN would call it this early and with this sample size.

  16. The Dodgers don’t suck. They play half their games well. I think we can expect more of the same.

    YF asked a question above about Zach Lee. Yeah, I would give him a start or two, but at this point I don’t expect much. If he was all that he would be in the rotation by now. I think I would consider moving him for an equal talent at a position of need. Urias and De Leon have more potential, but then so did Lee a few years ago. I can see De Leon this year as he is 23. Urias is still only 19. It’s my opinion the Dodgers will not rush him to the Show, even if there is a demand for it. Asking a 19 year old with less than 100 innings above A ball to rescue a rotation is nuts. He might get some innings later, but he is not part of the overall 2016 plan. The blueprint for this year is there for all to see.

    Anybody see what happened to the midgets last night? Wow. Cain and Peavy look terrible. Worse than Wood and Kazmir. I wonder what move they have in mind. Lincecum? Go for it.

    1. Not very reassuring in terms of Kazmir and Wood but I get your point. I still think SF and AZ are “better” on paper but only by a thin margin.

      13 runs in one inning! Wow. Cain 0-4 7.84 era. Wonder if the saber metrics find anything good in that?

    2. I would like to see Lee get a start on his regularly scheduled day. Bring him up after he pitches his game in OK, let him sit on the bench for a couple of games with the Dodgers and then give him his start. They could rotate Lee with Stripling in and out of OK for a few games.

    3. Badger as you know, Lincicum is having his showing today. This front office, better not sign this guy!

    4. I think Lincicum has already got the most out of his body. And I also think his body, has been pushed beyond, what his small frame, can take.

      And if he is throwing better, it isn’t going to last that long, especially with the way he gets his power.

      He has that really long stride, to get all of his power, and I think that alone, is really something that can’t last to long.

      And like I said above, he has got everything that he could, with his slight frame. Let the Giants sign him again, because they have already wasted to much money on Lincicum, the last couple of years, that Lincicum was with the Giants.

  17. I think they should have got a better arm for the bullpen, by now. Why spend all of that money, and continue to let the bullpen, lose games that were played well, and pitched well. And they should have made sure that the Dodgers had a really good arm for the bullpen especially this year. Because they brought starting pitchers to the Dodgers, that can’t pitch deep into games.

    And because the bullpen, has been an on going problem for a while, and has ranked almost last in baseball, for a few years now. Another reason, that they should have got a good arm for the bullpen this year, because after this year, Kenley will be gone, and they don’t really have anybody waiting in the wings, to take Kenley’s place.

    And if they do have someone, why are they not in the bullpen righr now. They could have gotten Chapman, and that would have solved the problem this year, and he would still be with the Dodgers, next year. That is because when Chapman was suspended, he doesn’t have enough time now, and won’t be a free agent, until the end of next year.

    And I think Dodger fans would have felt a lot better, if they knew Chapman, would be Joining the Dodgers shortly. But after they didn’t get Chapman, they really didn’t do much, because the pitcher they got from the White Sox, was injured, just like everyone else, they bring to the Dodgers.

    To be fair, they didn’t know at the time, that this pitcher was injured, and we don’t know that it was them, not doing there due diligence. And even without this injury, the pitcher from the White Sox, is not a almost sure thing, like Chapman.

    All of the wasted money on these injury prone subpar pitchers, could have gotten a really good arm for the pen, and there would still be money left. And look at the two starting pitchers, they choose to give multi year contracts too.

    First MCCarthy, he has only pitched 200 innings once, in his long career, and that is because he was almost always getting injured. And if that isn’t bad enough, the 200 innings, that he pitched, we’re not a good 200 innings.

    And basically, they signed MCCarthy, on his performance, in only a half of a season. Even the team he pitched well for, wouldn’t give him as much as the Dodgers did, and that was the Yankees.

    And about the other pitcher, they choose to give a multi year contract to, Kazmir. Kazmir didn’t pitch well, the second half of the season, last year. And the Angels gave this same pitcher, a multi year contract, not to long ago, and he was so bad, that the Angels, had to release Kazmir, and eat his contract.

    Who would bet money, on either of these pitchers, and for multi years? And the funniest part of Kazmir’s signing, was that they gave Kazmir, an opt out, after one year. Does anyone here, believe that Kazmir, was going to pitch so well, that he really was going to opt out?

    And even if he pitched decently, do you think other teams, would be rushing to sign him, to a multi year contract, at his age, and with his recent history, of being so bad, that the Angels had to release him?

    All of the Faz lovers thought that the opt out, was a genius move, from the front office. Because they said, that Kazmir would pitch so well, this year for the Dodgers, that he would opt out, and the Dodgers would only have Kazmir, for one year!

    1. Badger That is a good question. I don’t know because Trout really looks like a once in the life time player. Do the Dodgers have enough pitchers in there minor league system to lose a guy like Urias.

      And is Urias a once in a life time pitcher. I know all prospects are only that, until they prove they are a viable major league player. But the Dodgers are pretty high on Urias, and kind of act like he is that once in a life time pitcher.

      Part of me says that I shouldn’t think twice, and get Trout, because he is already a viable major league player, and a MVP player.

      And he is also an everyday player. The thing with baseball, is that pitching is practically 80 to 90 percent of the game. What do you think?

    2. In a heartbeat…..always take a star everyday position player for an arm.

      Urias could get hurt tomorrow and be done. Urias might not even be a good MLB pitcher.

      But the package would have to be something along the lines of Urias, Seager and Puig and they might listen.

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