Connect with us

Dodger Baseball

2023 Dodgers Testing Fans Patience

Well let’s face it, 2023 has not exactly gone the way it was planned so far. Pitching, which was expected to be a strength, has become an anchor around the teams neck. Except for Kershaw, Gonsolin, and Phillips, most of the staff has been a disappointment.

Miller has pitched better than expected, but still walks too many. Graterol has his head on right one night, and looks like a clown the next. Amazing that his ERA sits at 1.86.

But go to the stats page on the Dodger website, you will cringe looking at the pitching staff’s numbers. I have not written here for a few days, so a couple of games have been played. The bullpen had six scoreless innings yesterday, Thursday, in the Dodger extra inning win.

But tonight, they totally ruined Emmett Sheehan’s MLB debut, 6  no-hit innings and cost him a win. They allowed 7 runs from the 7th inning to the 11th. Shoddy baserunning cost them too.

Biggest culprits were Gonzalez and Vesia who between them gave up 5 runs. Gonzalez let the lead get away in the 8th, and Vesia gave up 2 in the 11th and got his 4th loss. His ERA now sits at 7.13.

Graterol lost the shutout by giving up a 2 run shot to Flores in the 7th. That caused his ERA to go over 2. Scott gave up a hit, but the runs were charged to Gonzalez, who was all over the place.

Robertson worked out of trouble in his only inning giving up a walk and a hit. The Dodgers did come back to tie in the ninth, hanging a blown save on Doval. They had three hits and a walk. But again, they blew a chance to win it.

The bullpen is the biggest hole on the team right now, but trouble could be over the horizon. They lost a game in the standings to Az and to SF. But with Muncy heading to the IL, and then Peralta and Taylor sustaining injuries, their vaunted depth is going to be severely tested. At one point they had five rookies in the game at the same time.

Something is going to have to be done, this time, AF does not have the luxury of waiting.

 

 

 

 

 

55 Comments
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
55 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Bumsrap

If anyone didn’t like the first game against the giants I’m pretty sure last night’s game was more unpleasant.

The giants are a good team. A better team than the Dodgers right now.!

Badger

Yes. Yes they are.

Jeff

So much for the idea that we have a deep team and a gold mine of a farm. After tomorrow’s game, I expect that we will be treading water furiously from the #3 position HOPING not to fall any further. How likely will that be? No Muncy HR’s. Smith coming back to earth. JDM struggling not to SO. The HR has been our lifeline, not the ball to bat tactic that sustains winners. Pitchers who have lost their focus, some who have crumbled before our very eyes. How did it come to this?

Badger

The curse of Bauer.

Bluto

Back to back tactics sustain winners?

Proven or theorized?

Last edited 10 months ago by Bluto
Badger

It has for years.

Maybe it’s time is up?

Jeff

Ball to bat.

Bluto

all true, but I’m not sure on-field performance will spur serious action out of Friedman.

tedraymond

What a beating the Dodgers took. I was watching US Open golf for the first few innings. I checked in and the score was 4-0. The golf finished so I flipped to the game and it was 9-0. With Bobby Miller pitching? WTF? Watching some highlights (the Giants of course) there were so many soft hits or hits where the hit ball found a hole in the defense. As Jeff mentioned above the Dodgers lack bat to ball skills to keep rallies alive and to try make contact and put the pitch in play. With so many players having awful batting averages and high K rates the Dodgers still rely too much on the HR. Look at the Giants lineup. No stars at all. But, most of the lineup has hitters batting .270+. I know BA isn’t the end all, but my point is the Dodgers have several players that need to make more contact to try to create more production. Because….

What in the world is going on with the pitching staff? Especially, the bullpen. In the 2019 draft AF selected 21 pitchers. The thought was that they could get the ones with college experience on a fast track to the Dodgers. Where are they all? Besides starter Ryan Pepiot, Nick Robertson is the only one to reach the Dodgers. And that’s with 3+ years of minor league play. Not exactly a “fast track”. Currently, Ferguson (draft 9 years ago) and the above mentioned Robertson are the only BP members drafted by AF. In 2018 it was another 19 pitchers selected with only Michael Grove appearing with the Dodgers. So, in two recent drafts 40 pitchers were selected and only three have played for the Dodgers. I see that as a huge failure on the Dodgers’ front office.

AF prefers to trade or sign FA pitchers to put together a BP. Which is OK. Until it isn’t. Also, he has this fascination with spending tens of millions of dollars on infirmed pitchers who never pitch for the team or do so for a few innings and sign somewhere else. A consistent bullpen staff has been a weakness for AF. The last couple of years they have had some success, but year it’s been a disaster. But, it’s not all on AF. Pitchers that have had success are failing right now. Where to turn? Apparently, not our farm system. A trade? Too many teams chasing too few quality relievers. Bottom line is likely that the current staff has to get better

I wanted to comment on the results so far from the #1 rated farm system. But, I’ve written too much already. So, another day.
Carry on.

Badger

Thought provoking post ted.

The Dodgers teach hitters to hit the way they do because it’s proven to successfully score a lot of runs. I had a hard with it initially as I’m from the old school of hit line drives. It worked for me and for most of those I coached because most kids aren’t 6’ plus and over 200 pounds. Major League players are for the most part quite large and have professional trainers. The fences are the same distance as when I played, some closer, so, yeah, swing for those fences.

Drafting so many pitchers got me thinking. The Dodgers are known to be pitching gurus. I think they draft pitchers to develop them and then use them for trade assets. I guess we’ll see about that in a few weeks.

I’ve also arrived at the opinion the Dodgers need more better trainers. This many injuries to professional athletes is, to me, indicative of a systemic failure. These guys play baseball, not rugby. And young pitchers? Stop trying to throw the ball through the backstop and learn how to pitch. Change of speeds, spin rate and location. Nolan Ryan was a freak of nature. Greg Maddux was a 170 pound genius. I suggest we learn our youngsters the Maddux way to throw a baseball. If they’ve got it, they can throw the occasional 97 mph fastball just to keep hitters honest. But you want to pitch a long time in this league? Do what Maddux did, and like him, you may start over 30 games into your 40s.

I’m watching a bit of golf too, but I’m not happy with this LIV deal.

Last edited 10 months ago by Badger
Bumsrap

…”I’m watching a bit of golf too, but I’m not happy with this LIV deal.”
Tiger Woods turned down $800,000,000 from the Saudis. He’s not happy with the merger either.

Koufax wasn’t good until he took some mph off his fastball. Kershaw wasn’t great until he found the slider. Both became pitchers at the major league level and not in the minors. What’s my point? I don’t know.

If relief pitchers typically go from good to bad and then maybe back to good it is hard to justify trading good prospects for a relief pitcher that is currently having a good year. Like quite a few have said here maybe some of the prospects now doing well and are being groomed as starters should be pitching relief for the Dodgers. They can go back to being starters later.

I’ll take Smith’s respectful power combined with his ability to drive in runs without the homerun over someone like Muncy any day regardless of how many homeruns Muncy might hit with his sub .200 batting average. Same with Taylor and his sub .210 average.

Badger

Outman, with the bases loaded, chases two balls out of the zone then looks at strike 3. How do you fix that? Iontkno. Patience? I’m too old for patience. I need it done right away.

800 XL huh. As far as I’m concerned, he did the right thing.

Speaking of Vargas, I was reading up on his stats. I learned this – it’s not a good read.

Jeff

I’m still at odds with the Van Scoyoc batting skills. Where are they? It seems the odd player here and there can benefit but as a team, the Dodgers are miserable batters. They are on the bottom end in MLB while the Giants and AZ are at the top end of the spectrum. The Padres are even worse than the Dodgers in hitting. The collapse of our team in the playoffs last season did it for me. AF is nothing but a corporate bot at the helm and Roberts is his minister on earth. We need some new algorithms.

Badger

As bad as it may look to you, we are still second in the NL in scoring and OPS. Only Atlanta is better.

Jeff

No HR, no wins. Those stats will drop while the Dodgers sink to 4th place. I ask myself how a team like the Pads can bat so poorly. They will fix that, but the Dodgers are not fixing anything that I can see.

Jeff

The trainers being partly responsible for the injuries is something I’ve thought for a long time. The kind of bulk they are adding to players can cut down on one’s mobility if not trained properly. Athletes who have unlocked hip and shoulder mobility amidst the added bulk have an edge. Bodyweight exercises and floor work can do a lot for an athlete.

Oldbear48

This has to be one of the most embarrassing three game sweeps at the hands of the Giants since the Dodgers came into existence. I totally dislike the three true outcome brain set. You bunch together hits, you score runs. You give up 29 in three games, you are going to lose all three. Gonsolin was good until he wasn’t. The offense was pathetic. I have no solutions. Luckily, they are still within striking distance and can still make a run. But I do so hate looking up at the Giants in the standings. One thing I would do. I would move Betts to SS immediately and permanently. Find a RH hitting slugging outfielder somewhere. Next season, put Lux back at second, he is comfortable there and a much better option than Vargas. Revamp the bullpen, and some changes make now. Vesia needs to be either DFA’D or traded. Get the gas can guys off of the roster and out of the picture. My patience at this point is very thin. At least look like you give a flying eff and do something,

Singing the Blue

Are you listening Andrew? Bear has run out of patience. Do something!

I’m with you, move Mookie to shortstop permanently and immediately. He needs to be in the middle of things instead of parked out in right field, in spite of how good a right fielder he is. He seems to be an above-average shortstop already. Think of how good he’ll be with half a season under his belt.

We have no idea what Lux will be like next year. If he’s totally healthy and remembers how to hit, he can move back to second or out to left with Vargas filling the other spot. I’m definitely not ready to give up on Miguel yet and expect that he’ll have a good career.

Oldbear48

I agree, but I think Lux has a better handle on being at second. He looked totally uncomfortable in the outfield. Remember when they put up that taped outline of him hitting the wall in left, and the botched attempt at a very catchable ball in center? Vargas has the speed and range to play the outfield, and that is probably where his future lies. Or he could move to third when Muncy leaves. And yeah Andrew, listen to me get off of your ass and do something.

Jeff

Is Lux enough to turn the dynamic around? That’s hard to visualize for me. Addition through subtraction might help a lot.

Oldbear48

I think Lux is a better choice at second that Vargas. He is a better hitter and has more range.

Jeff

Agreed, but is he enough to alter the course?

Oldbear48

He is part of the solution. But unfortunately, he won’t be back this year. It remains to be seen if his speed is affected adversely from the surgery.

Jeff Dominique

I apologize for not getting a new post published for today. I am trying to be judicious with Bear’s other posts. But I am formalizing something in my brain. But for now, ponder, criticize, cajole, dream or reality, on this post. 

I do want to comment on Gavin Lux. It is doubtful that Lux is better conditioned or is better athletically than Ronald Acuña Jr. Acuña tore his ACL on July 10, 2021. He returned April 28, 2022. That is 9.5 months from the injury. While Acuña competed, it took him all of 2022 to get reacclimated and back to his All Star form. Lux should be ready for 2024 ST. He was near All Star at 2B in 2022, but that was his first year as an established starter. 

Will Lux have the mobility to play SS? His arm is more suited for 2B. I was against moving Mookie from his GG RF, but maybe he is a better option for the Dodgers as a SS. The Dodgers do not have anyone in their organization that can play SS anywhere near an All Star level. They do have a plethora of utility players who can play SS at the MLB and MiLB level, but nobody to build around, like say———-Corey Seager. 

It sure would have been nice to have homegrown Corey Seager at SS. It appears AF would rather have extended Mookie to $365MM but not Seager to $300 MM. I say $300MM because IMO if that was offered in 2021 ST instead of $225MM, they would have had a deal. Or not sign Trevor Bauer. They would have difficulties with Trea Turner, but they still could have been worked out. 

As Ted would say…Carry On.

Badger

In their 66 years of playing in Los Angeles this is the worst pitching the Dodgers have ever had.

That explains why we are now in third place.

I too was hesitant about playing Betts at short. I preferred a shortstop. Well, we don’t have one so now it makes sense to put him there.

Is it possible it’s just somebody else’s turn in the West?

Jeff Dominique

Is it possible it’s just somebody else’s turn in the West?

Yes. At some point it has to be, right???

Singing the Blue

Who says?

tedraymond

Someone else’s turn in the West may be the case this year Badger. I have thought Betts to SS was a good move a few weeks ago. I think he would love the opportunity on a more consistent basis.

The stats I wrote about a couple of weeks ago back up your statement that this is the worst LA Dodger pitching staff ever. I think the team medical staff needs to be questioned and given a serious performance review. Too many starting pitchers have some kind of conditioning or soft tissue problem. How can that be when they are so cautious with them? The reasoning is always “it’s a long season and we want to keep them fresh for the postseason”. Yet, the pitch count and/or third time through the lineup syndrome seems to extend even into the playoffs. And, they still breakdown. The magical 100 pitch (now leaning toward 80 pitches) threshold applies to EVERY starting pitcher. I find that, stat proven or not, total crap. No exceptions? EVERYBODY?

This obsession with throwing 100 MPH is absurd IMHO. Expect Bobby Miller to have a TJ surgery in his near future. Being a starting pitcher and throwing 97+MPH almost assures a TJ surgery nowadays. I can see it with a reliever justifying throwing that hard, but not a starter. Kershaw made the necessary adjustments when he lost some velocity and has been very effective when he was available to pitch. I too use the Greg Maddux example when the loss of velocity is discussed. It’s location and movement, not 100 MPH, that can make any pitcher successful. That’s why the Syndergaard situation is so sad. This guy is willing to give away his first born to able to throw 100 MPH again? Are you kidding me? This is another example of the Bellinger situation. You have a talented player who focuses on what he wants to do and won’t listen or attempt to accept advice, coaching, or has the common sense to watch successful teammates on how they approach their craft. Dude, learn how to pitch. It could help you be successful, have a longer career and thus make more money. And, still keep your children!

Graterol is another who proves 100 MPH doesn’t assure dominance. I find it incredible that he has such a low K rate and has such a hard time getting weak contact. Even with improved movement on his FB he still has trouble.

The outlook for the Dodger starting staff now and in the near future doesn’t appear to be very hopeful. I know AF and front office are always publicly that all is well and so and so will return soon and all is well. Until it isn’t. Like now!

Walker Buehler – After a second TJ since he was drafted I can’t envision him being a power pitcher in the future. He most likely needs to retool how he pitches or be a reliever until his arm gives out.

Tony Gonsolin – This is example #1 of a pitcher they try to hold together as a starter when he doesn’t have the physical tools to do so. Constantly injured. He can barely hit 90 MPH now compared to 97-98 when he first got to the Dodgers. Again, not that’s important but is an indicator that he physically isn’t capable of being a starting pitcher.

Bobby Miller – Possible TJ candidate with his unnecessary 100 MPH. Learn to pitch with a bit less velocity. Outstanding future.

Julio Urias – If he continues to have a below average season then it might give the Dodgers a chance to resign him. If he does turn things around it’s helpful this season, but I feel he’ll get a “dope fiend” offer from someone and he’s gone.

Clayton Kershaw – Surprisingly healthy and effective so far, but will he be around next year?

Ryan Pepiot – To me this is another example of medical staff failure. What about preventive conditioning? Really, three months and still not on the mound? I know oblique injuries can take time, but this is 2023, not 1980. There’s something wrong here. With all the research, methods, machines, etc how does this happen? With all the conditioning these players do how can they be so fragile and take weeks (months) to recover from tissue or muscle injuries?

Gavin Stone – It only took 10 innings of MLB to reduce him from top pitching prospect for the team to a train wreck. Physically injured? Who knows. Most likely mentally stunned. Needs another pitch to be successful or it’s to the BP.

Michael Grove – Recent start, except for a couple of pitches, looked like another pitcher other than MG. Second start not so good. Back in AAA. Who knows?

Emmet Sheehan – Outstanding first start. But, of course, at 23 years old and at 89 pitches he had to be exhausted. Out he comes. Roberts had to prevent the possible destruction of Sheehan’s psyche in his first start. Roberts wants to save that experience for another time (Sarcasm).

There are other “top” starting prospects in the system. Things can change, but I don’t think the team has a positive history of developing their pitchers into healthy, long term, and effective starters. To me the above starting pitching staff candidates don’t look that promising. Maybe, by the end of this season we’ll have a better idea how the prospects have developed and how their health goes.

Badger, I didn’t mean to hijack your post. Well, maybe I did. Thanks for the space. LOL.
Carry on.

Last edited 10 months ago by tedraymond
Bluto

Love these two bits:

Bobby Miller – Possible TJ candidate with his unnecessary 100 MPH. Learn to pitch with a bit less velocity. Outstanding future.

Ryan Pepiot – To me this is another example of medical staff failure. What about preventive conditioning? Really, three months and still not on the mound? I know oblique injuries can take time, but this is 2023, not 1980. There’s something wrong here. With all the research, methods, machines, etc how does this happen? With all the conditioning these players do how can they be so fragile and take weeks (months) to recover from tissue or muscle injuries?

tedraymond

I was driving to the gym and realized I forgot Dustin May. I’ve mentioned previously that I think May’s days as a pitcher may be over not for just this year, but maybe forever. I think best case would be a closer. To have TJ surgery, go through a long rehab, and then another arm issue shortly after returning is very troubling. He’s so much fun to watch and a terrific talent, but his arm may not allow him to reach and maintain his full potential. If it as a closer I would be happy with that.

Badger

That could be a daily lead post Ted

You didn’t hijack anything. You and Jeff are the best writers I know doing this. I would like to see you write more here.

“dope fiend”. Only one guy I know in the blogverse uses that term.

I’ve felt the same about Gonsolin since I read how hard the split finger pitch is on an elbow. 5 innings, 75 pitches and get him out of there.

I wonder if Graterol even listens to coaches about grip, spin, and hitting spots. He looks like he just throws it up there without a clue. Great arm of course. Not a great pitcher.

Miller. Is he on the Buehler/May path? I fear you may be right. He looks considerably stronger than either, but, tender mercies? The elbow cannot be trusted to treat the arm kindly.

Speaking of that, I find it interesting that guys like Roger Craig, Roger Clemens, David Cone, John Smoltz and many others actually, threw the splitter for years and did fine. Why are today’s pitchers pitching fewer innings resulting in more surgeries?

Pepiot, Stone, Grove. Gulp. I wonder if we could get a couple of innings eaters for them.

Yes, there appears to be other starting pitchers in the system, I heard the Tulsa staff collectively throws harder than any ML staff. Don’t Knopf I heard that right but I’m as certain I can be that none of them are ready to step in and go 6 (still sounds like a low bar to me) 15 times between now and October.

It’s going to be an interesting few weeks leading to the deadline. Friedman and Friends have their work cut out for them.

Last edited 10 months ago by Badger
Bluto

I wonder, Badger, if for every Roger Craig, Clemens, Cone and Smoltz who threw the splitter (or threw hard) and did fine there are hundreds whose careers were felled because of usage.

Something along the lines of success has many parents, but failure is an orphan.

Last edited 10 months ago by Bluto
Badger

Felled because of usage? You mean like Koufax?

Bluto

huh?
Why would I mean Koufax?!??!?

Oh wait.

Grrrr. You almost had me.

Last edited 10 months ago by Bluto
Badger

Your point is a good one. Who knows how many one time great arms never made it due to injury.

tedraymond

Thanks Badger. I thought you might pick up that little LADT mantra.
Still read over there every few days. I find LADC a calmer place to contribute and more focused on Dodger baseball. Jeff D keeps things that way.

Fred Vogel

Wonderful analysis Ted.

tedraymond

I appreciate it Fred. It’s fun to do.

Singing the Blue

Let me join the others and say I’d like to see you comment more often here, Ted.

Pitchers who pitch (instead of throw) – I say we bring back Greinke! Not sure if he would help on the mound but it would help get through the season just to read some of his quotes. I wonder what his thoughts are on the velo/injury situation. I’m sure he has some.

Urias – a real conundrum. We want him to pitch poorly so we can afford what Boras will be asking……………………….or, we want him to pitch well so we can get into the playoffs and not afford him.

Oldbear48

Greinke getting lit up by the Angels.

Oldbear48

Giants won the west in 21. Granted, only by a game, but they were the division champs.

Badger

And went nowhere fast. It was a hiccup.

Oldbear48

Okay. in 18 they had to play their ass off just to tie the Rockies. The Giants owned LA in 21 until that last series, and they won that by the skin of their teeth. So it is not like they dominated the division every year.

Singing the Blue

“In their 66 years of playing in Los Angeles this is the worst pitching the Dodgers have ever had.”

Granted, that is not a stat to celebrate, but I’m not going to get overly concerned about a stat that encompasses only 72 games. Let’s talk after 162 games and see where we are compared to the other 65 years.

When you’re already using your #10 guy on the depth chart to start a mid-June game, you can probably predict some pretty gruesome stats. On the other hand, if the year winds up as bad as it is now, hey, if you’re going to be bad, you may as well be really bad and get your names in the record book.

tedraymond

STB, a couple of weeks ago I think the Dodgers had used 27 pitchers. It’s crazy.
And you are correct about there is plenty of time in the season to correct the trend. With all of us being Dodgers fans we are hoping that is true.
Thanks for the kind words as well.

Last edited 10 months ago by tedraymond
Bumsrap

I had a strong urge to say bite me Ted and nothing else. Not sure you would appreciate my humor so I’ll just add on my compliments on your posts.

Last edited 10 months ago by Bumsrap
Badger

“but I’m not going to get overly concerned about a stat that encompasses only 72 games.”

OK. Leave that to rest of us.

I know there’s plenty of time. Sure feels like there’s a lot to do.

“Let’s talk after 162”

Im sure we will.

Singing the Blue

I enjoy talking to you any time, Badger. Not sure I want to wait until 162 so why don’t we meet up here at, say, 120, and see how things are going. I’ll bring the coffee, you bring the vegan donuts.

Badger

We’ve been talking for years, I see I reason to stop now.

My acupunctuationist told me “Coffee no. Bad. Stop”. So I have. Donut sounds good.

Jeff

Only old people think this way. 😎

Oldbear48

Yep, and the game was better then. The athletes are bigger and stronger now, can hit the ball a country mile. Pitchers could throw steaks past a hungry wolf. But the game has changed tremendously. Fans do not want to see pitching duels. They want homers and hits galore. But they have to settle for a record number of K’s along with those homers.

Badger

No team that is winning is small ball anymore. Arizona is fast and athletic but even they hit for a high OPS. 6 inning pitchers who throw gas. That’s today’s game. I would love to see a team succeed with old school tactics, but it’s not gonna happen.

We still score enough to compete, but are 11th in fielding and 25th in pitching. That’s just not championship baseball. Can it be turned around? Of course. We were pretty good a month ago. Maybe we get it back in another month.

Singing the Blue

The Athletic surveyed 96 players and asked them who they thought Ohtani would sign with.

Results:
Dodgers – 57%
Angels – 11%
Padres – 7%
Mets – 7%
Yankees – 6%
No other team had even 6%

Unless they asked Ohtani’s best friend on the Angels, this survey probably isn’t any more accurate than if Jeff ran a survey here and asked us.

I’m sure that the Dodgers were picked because they appear to have cleared payroll space this year to make a run at him and they have money, but there are so many other factors involved, including where he wants to play and live. If I were betting and had a choice between the Dodgers and the field, I’d definitely take the field.

Suddenly the Dodgers aren’t looking like the winners they have been for the past 10 years. Will that make a difference? He may want to play on a team with a Japanese player on it. The Padres, Cubs and Red Sox all have Japanese players who will be around for awhile. Most people seem to think he prefers the West Coast. But does he?

The one thing I do believe is that he won’t necessarily go to the team who offers the highest $. I just don’t think money is that important to him so other factors may be more important. Teammates, location, manager will all factor in.

Does Doc speak any Japanese?

Last edited 10 months ago by Singing the Blue

Must See

More in Dodger Baseball

55
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x