Category Archives: Players

Do The Dodgers Have Some New Aces?

If you haven’t noticed, the Dodgers are finally playing better baseball. After their terrible start, they’ve now won 8 of their last 10 games. What’s the key? I think it’s that they’ve got a couple rising aces. Those new aces are Ross Stripling and Walker Buehler.

Stripling is the more surprising of the two. Do you remember when Stripling made his Major League Debut? He threw a really dominant game against the Giants. But then, reality set in. Stripling’s pitching became average. At times, he was the worst Dodger pitcher.

But we have a new Ross Stripling this year. He took over as the best starter on the team when injuries began to plague the rotation. He’s been leading the Dodgers to victory with his 2-1 record and 1.74 ERA. No, I didn’t type that wrong. He has a 1.74 ERA.

On Friday, while I was sitting in traffic at the California, Mexico border, Stripling was destroying the Padres. He allowed one run over 6.2 innings and struck out ten batters. The new Ross Stripling has been a ton of fun to watch.

Now, I’ll talk about Buehler. The only surprising thing about Buehler is that he’s already in the big leagues. A series of injuries brought Buehler to the majors. Buehler showed why he belongs in the Majors almost immediately.

Buehler led the Dodgers to a win again today, allowing only one run over seven innings with eight strikeouts. The young pitcher is exactly what the Dodgers needed when the called him up.

Kershaw Is The Newest DL Club Member

Clayton Kershaw is the newest addition to the disabled list club, that already includes some of the Dodgers’ best players. Kershaw has already seen his fair share of time in the club, missing action due to his back for a part of the past two seasons. This time, it’s biceps tendinitis in his left arm.

If you don’t think the Dodgers are in a bad spot right now, look at the list of injured players. If you still don’t think there’s a problem, you’re a Giants fan. The last thing the Dodgers needed was for Kershaw to hit the DL. Apparently, Kershaw has pitched through biceps tendinitis before, but this time, he can’t.

While I’m writing this, I can’t help wondering if this injury and his stats this year have something in common. In seven games, he has a 1-4 record with a 2.86 ERA. He has 48 strikeouts and a 1.14 WHIP. Let’s compare this year’s stats with last year’s from his first seven games.

 2017 5-2 2.40 49.2 63 0.915
 2018 1-4 2.86 44.0 48 1.136

It’s not hard to figure out where his stats have declined. Last year, he lost a total of four games. This year, he has four losses in the first seven games. He also has four fewer wins than last year. Now, I understand that the win-loss stat relies on the whole team. Sol this is why I have other stats listed. His ERA increased by 0.46 points since this time last year. He has pitched 5.2 fewer innings and struck out 15 fewer batters. His WHIP has also risen by two-tenths of a point.

My biggest concern is the fact that it’s his throwing arm. I know that an injured back is serious, but so is an injured pitching arm. The fact that Kershaw has dealt with biceps tendinitis before concerns me. I also want to know why no one has said anything about it before. The Dodgers shouldn’t have kept it a secret before today.

Tommy John Surgery Ends Seager’s Season

The Dodgers received what is perhaps the worst news of the season so far: Corey Seager will receive Tommy John surgery. Seager’s elbow has been bothering him since last summer. He tried to rehab it this offseason — which set him back in Spring Training — but his elbow began bothering him again this weekend. He made a few throws that hurt him, so he underwent an MRI that brought the bad news.

The Dodgers are already playing without Justin Turner, who has begun hitting off a tee. Yasiel Puig, Rich Hill, and Logan Forsythe are also on the DL. This gives the Dodgers even less wiggle room in the infield. I’m expecting Max Muncy to continue playing third base, Chris Taylor to play shortstop, and Chase Utley and Kike Hernandez to platoon second base.

The surgery is scheduled for Friday. The Dodgers hope Seager will be ready to return by this time next year.

Turner Gets HBP; Fractures Left Wrist

The Dodgers received bad news last night when Justin Turner suffered a fractured left wrist after being hit by a pitch in a Spring Training game against the Oakland A’s. He is going to start the year on the disabled list and the Dodgers have no timetable for his return.

Turner was hit by a pitch thrown by A’s pitcher, Kendall Graveman. It was obvious that Turner was in pain as soon as he was hit. He was removed from the game and replaced by Donovan Solano. Turner immediately was taken to a local hospital for x-rays. Unfortunately, the x-rays came back positive. Turner is going to visit Dr. Brian Shafer today in order to get a timetable for his return.

In the meantime, the Dodgers will have to scramble to find a third baseman. They could move Logan Forsythe from second base to third and have Chase Utley replace him at second base. Utley could also play third. Other options to play second if Forsythe is moved to third include Kiké Hernández and Austin Barnes.

Dave Roberts talked about the significance of this injury, “I know J.T.’s down, it’s a blow, a guy you count on every day. It’s tough but that’s baseball and we have a lot of good players and guys have to step up.”

The Dodgers received a very small amount of good news when they won the game by a final score of 3-1. Cody Bellinger and Joc Pederson both hit homers in the win.

Dodgers Decide To Keep Kemp On Roster

The Dodgers have just announced that Matt Kemp will be joining the team for Spring Training at Camelback Ranch in two weeks. It seems like the front office has a very short memory. Three years ago, the Dodgers wisely traded Kemp to the Padres, who then traded him to the Braves in 2017. When the Dodgers traded Kemp away, it seemed like we would only seem him in the first base dugout at Dodger Stadium. However, this offseason, the Dodgers decided to bring Kemp back. They traded away four players and cash for the thirty-three-year-old left fielder. Today at Fanfest, they announced that he will be joining them for Spring Training.

Kemp’s last stint with the Dodgers did not go well. He didn’t get along with his manager, Don Mattingly (now managing the Marlins), and he also didn’t get along with the young and immature Yasiel Puig. He also seemed to enjoy getting ejected from games. By the time the Dodgers traded him away, Kemp had left a very sour taste in Dodger fans’ mouths. Most of us were glad to see him leave.

So why did the Dodgers trade to bring him back? And why do they want to give him another chance? They brought him back to cut down on the 2018 payroll. That’s the easy question to answer. But why do they want to give him another chance? I don’t really know. They say he’s lost a lot of weight and he’s healthy. That could be the reason. But it’s really hard to tell.

If Kemp makes the roster, there are a few things that need to change. First, he needs to have more respect for authority. Dave Roberts’ clubhouse is not one that tolerates rebels. He needs to respect his manager much better than when Mattingly was the skipper. He also needs to keep out of fights with umpires. Whenever he disagreed with a call, he yelled so much that he would get kicked out of games. This needs to stop. Second, both he and Puig need to mature. We have already seen Puig mature a lot in three years, but he and Kemp did not use to like each other. They will need to put their differences aside and work together to help the Dodgers win. If they don’t, you can drop all your expectations of a World Championship.

The third thing that needs to happen is he needs to win the fight for left field. Chris Taylor already has secured his spot in center, and Puig already has his spot in right. This leaves Joc PedersonKiké HernándezTrayce ThompsonAlex Verdugo, and Andrew Toles to compete with Kemp for left field.

Hernández is likely going to keep his roles as a utility player, so he’s not likely to make much competition. Thompson will need to bounce back from a very disappointing 2017 season. Toles will see his first action since his surgery to repair his ACL, so we’ll see what he can do. Verdugo is hungry for more big league action after getting a taste of it this October. Because of this, it seems like Pederson is the best choice.

I don’t really understand why the Dodgers want to keep Kemp on the team. If I were in control, he wouldn’t be. But I guess that if he shows up at Spring Training ready to work and get along with his teammates, I may rethink my opinion on Kemp.

Should The Dodgers Re-Sign Yu Darvish?

Should the Dodgers bring back Yu Darvish? This has been a question that baseball fans have been asking all offseason. As many of you know, I’ve been against this all offseason. Why? Three words, “the World Series.” Okay, it’s not only his World Series performance, but it is the biggest reason.

Darvish owned a 10-12 record with a 3.86 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP over 31 starts in 2017. Darvish’s stats were not the stats of an Ace while he was in Texas and he got only a little better after being traded. With the Rangers, he owned a 6-9 record with a 4.01 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP. Then when he was traded to the Dodgers and began changing his mechanics, he went 4-3 with a 3.44 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP.

After Darvish’s dominant Dodgers debut, things looked really hopeful. He pitched seven shutout innings against the New York Mets in that game. After that, things went downhill. He allowed two runs in his next start, followed by three the next time. He just kept giving up runs and I began to hope he wouldn’t make the playoff roster.

Darvish then got the Dodgers’ hopes really high when he dominated against the Cubs in the NLCS. But then things changed. Darvish couldn’t make it through three innings against the Astros in either game he pitched in the World Series. When the dust settled, Dodger fans were blaming Darvish for the loss. We were right.

Then today, MLB National Reporter, Barry Bloom, tried to explain why the Dodgers should re-sign Darvish. He said that the Dodgers only had him for a couple of months. And he was right. But that was too long. If the Dodgers bring Darvish back, we will see the same things we saw from him. A few good starts mixed in with lots of frustrating starts. He also says that Darvish spent time changing his mechanics. That’s true. And then what happened? He went back to his old ways when it mattered most.

No matter what anybody else says, I do not believe that Darvish is a good fit for the Dodgers. Comment below and tell me your opinion on this subject.