2023 is a season of change. Not only for the Dodgers, but also their fans. New rules, new players, and a different kind of team than we have become accustomed to.
A smattering of kids among the grizzled veterans and some familiar faces in unfamiliar uniforms. At least for the most part, we do not have to face those former friends who are now foes.
Cody Bellinger got the better of his former team and his Cubs took three of the seven contests with the Dodgers. His teammate, Edwin Rios, did not fare as well.
We have seen the Giants and their five former Dodgers a few times and we will see them some more. But JT, Kike, Kenley, Martin, Verdugo and the Sox will only see the Dodgers in August in a three game series in Boston.
As the year goes on, we will no doubt see more changes in the roster. Some players will be either traded or released. I would surmise that Trayce Thompson is a prime candidate for release. He has not come close to resembling the player he was last season.
Peralta has a much longer leash. Heyward has looked pretty good lately, and as long as he produces like he is now, he will be here all year.
The kids have performed well so far, and will be given every opportunity to continue their growth as major leaguers. Some of the kids in the minors might get calls later on. Busch will probably head back to AAA when Martinez is well.
My main concern is consistency and the pitching staff getting more from the starters, and a little less heart pounding relief from the bullpen. Vesia looked really bad in his first outing at AAA. Luckily, Gonzalez has looked like the guy we first saw in 2020.
If the front four, Urias, May, Kersh and Gonsolin, can keep the ship afloat, maybe they can find that elusive #5 guy. Thor so far, has not been the answer. One reason he has been passed over in this series and might not start again until they return from this road trip.
He is supposedly working on some mechanical issues. So if he cannot fix what is wrong, I expect change by the deadline or before.
What they really need, and soon, is a hitter who can mash left-handed pitching. They beat Snell last night and that is only their second win against a lefty starter. I think and hope when JD comes back, that should change.
Otherwise a trade for a lefty mashing outfielder could be in the works. The only way that doesn’t happen is if Thompson suddenly discovers the magic, or JD goes berserk and they do not have a need.
AF is pretty smart when it comes to making moves to improve the team. At least it seems that way and he is not afraid to unload some prospects.
But to me the main need is at SS. They just are not getting much production from the position. Rojas looks like what he was signed to be, a backup.
Me, I move Mookie there. He loves playing SS and he is pretty good at it. It loosens up the logjam in the outfield, and makes the infield a lot more offensive minded.
But we will just have to wait and see what the team has in mind. Right now, they are sitting where they usually sit, in first place in the west. But there is a lot less of a gap between them and the Padres and D-Backs than we fans would like.
I for one, do not see a blockbuster trade on the horizon, but I have been wrong many times before.
05-07-2023 – MiLB Summary Report
(by Jeff Dominique)
El Paso Chihuahuas (San Diego) 11 – OKC Dodgers 7
OKC jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first. Two BB preceded 2 K. A Ryan Ward single scored one run. The big blow was a Devin Mann 3-run HR. All that was before Robbie Erlin hit the mound. In 3.1 IP, all Erlin did was allow 9 runs on 11 hits and 2 walks, with 3 K. Erlin gave up a pair of 2-run HRs and a solo HR.
OKC scored one in the 3rd on a single, a pair of walks, and a ground out.
In the 5th, OKC scored a pair. Jahmai Jones singled and Ryan Ward drew a BB. Devin Mann drilled his league leading 19th double. Jones scored but Ward was thrown out at the plate. Patrick Mazeika singled home Mann.
Mark Washington relieved Erlin and got a double play to end the 4th. In the 5th Washington walked the first batter, and a double to the second batter put runners on 2nd and 3rd. A pair of sac flies scored two more for El Paso.
All the runs were scored in the first five innings. Andre Jackson pitched two scoreless innings with a pair of Ks. Alex Vesia followed with a perfect inning. He faced the first three batters in the lineup and struck all 3 out on 14 pitches.
- Ryan Ward – 3-4, 1 BB, 2 R, 1 RBI
- Devin Mann – 2-3, 1 BB, 2 R, 4 RBI, double (19), HR (1)
- Robbie Erlin exemplifies what I wrote about on Sunday. As long as he remains on the OKC roster, at least one AA pitcher is blocked. Why wouldn’t Landon Knack be a better option for the OKC rotation. I liked Robbie Erlin, but IMO his professional baseball career should be in the rear view mirror. AF what are you going to do?
San Antonio Missions (San Diego) 5 – Tulsa Drillers 4
The Drillers scored 1st on an Eddys Leonard HR (2) in the 2nd. Kyle Hurt continued his dominance over the first 3 innings, but that dominance ran out in the 4th. With one out, he gave up a pair of singles and then a 3-run HR. Jack Little was summoned in to get out of the inning. After the 2nd out, Little issued a BB and 2 singles followed to load the bases. He then issued a run scoring BB and was then relieved by Alec Gamboa. Gamboa walked the first batter he faced to force in the 5th run of the inning. That was it for the Missions.
In the bottom of the 4th, José Ramos hit his 7th HR of the season.
In the 6th, Jorbit Vivas reached on an error. Andy Pages doubled Vivas home. Ramos singled Pages to 3rd. Pages would eventually come home on a Kody Hoese sac fly.
- José Ramos – 2-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, HR (7)
- Eddys Leonard – 2-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, HR (2)
- Andy Pages – 1-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, double (10)
Great Lakes Loons 9 – Quad Cities River Bandits (KC) 6
The Great Lakes Loons supplied a 14-hit performance out lasting the Quad Cities River Bandits. Great Lakes has sole possession of first in the Midwest League East Division and have won 10 of their last 12 games.
Yeiner Fernandez had the first four-hit game by a Loon this season. The 20-year-old drove home four runs, including a sixth-inning two-run homer.
The first three Loons reached base. Austin Gauthier singled and moved to 3rd on a Dalton Rushing double (5). Gauthier scores on a Yeiner Fernandez single.
Ben Casparius the starter for the Loons rebounded tremendously well after allowing a leadoff homer to Jack Pineda. The right-hander retired the next eight in a row.
Pineda’s second at-bat, he sliced a double and was brought across by Javier Vaz. Casparius struck out four through the first two and then struck out five through the next three. Despite allowing runners to reach scoring position in the fourth and fifth innings, a ninth strikeout finished the fifth. Casparius now has the most strikeouts in a game for a Loons starter with nine.
Entering the sixth, Great Lakes led 4-2 after a scoreless half-inning from Michael Hobbs. The Loons would put together five runs in a four-hit inning. Dalton Rushing walked for the third time of the day and was brought across by Yeiner Fernandez’s two-run shot. A Taylor Young single was next, followed by an Ismael Alcantara infield single to short that was thrown into foul territory, and Young hustling would score. Alcantara and Jake Vogel were later plated by a Yunior Garcia two-run double.
The River Bandits didn’t roll over, producing four runs in the top of the seventh. Stringing together four singles and two walks against Juan Morillo, who recorded just one out. Jack Dreyer retired the five batters he faced in total, including the final two of the seventh, to strand two runners in scoring position. The game was 9-6 Loons after seven.
Jake Pilarski commanded the ninth and completed his ninth save, extending his minor league baseball lead. The right-hander has permitted just one run through 12.2 innings in 12 appearances.
- Austin Gauthier – 3-5, 3 R, 1 RBI. Now batting .429 with a 1.140 OPS
- Dalton Rushing – 1-2, 3 BB, 1 R
- Yeiner Fernandez – 4-5, 4 RBI, 1 R. Now batting .321 with a OPS of .868.
- Taylor Young – 2-5, 1 R, 1 RBI
- Yimi Garcia – 1-3, 1 BB, 1R, 2 RBI
- Ben Casparius – ERA at 2.86., WHIP 1.02
Lake Elsinore Storm (San Diego) 10 – Rancho Cucamonga Quakes 9
Albert Fabian’s three-run homer in the last of the ninth capped an unthinkable comeback on Sunday evening, as the Storm scored seven times in the last of the ninth to defeat the Quakes in walk-off fashion.
Leading 5-3 in the ninth, Rancho tallied four times to take a commanding 9-3 lead.
Madison Jeffrey struggled in the last of the ninth though, as he gave up three hits and two walks while recording just one out. Lucas Wepf came out of the pen and walked the first batter he faced, before getting Rosman Verdugo on a sac fly to center field. Needing just one more out to take five of six in the series, the Quakes came up empty, as Fabian took a Wepf pitch over the fence in right field to end the game.
- Nick Biddison – 2-5, 1 R, 1 RBI
- Jesus Galiz – 2-4, 1 RBI
- Dayton Dooney – 3-5, 1 R
- Peter Heubeck – 4.0 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 2 BB, 5 K
Actually the Dodgers have beat 3 LHSP…Jordan Montgomery (St. Louis), Matt Strahm (Philadelphia), and Blake Snell (San Diego). They get two more in Milwaukee…Eric Lauer and Wade Miley.
Well Bear, I pretty much agree with what you’ve said above. I think any position changes or replacements will come from within the organization. The Dodgers are looking much better than I thought they would fare but there really are some very questionable starters on the team and an overall low team batting average that is producing much worse offense than we are used to seeing. We were lucky to beat the Padres with such meagre hitting the last 2 games. I think our team batting avg is about .232 when I checked. That’s pretty darned low for a division leader. That has to change and the way for that to do so is by replacing those players who are just not getting their job done offensively. Thompson, Rojas, Peralta, and Barnes. Getting JDM back will help as he is a natural hitter but that will mean leaving Muncy at 3B who hits nothing but HRs but a bit of a liability both with his fielding(leading the team with 4 errors) and his high SO rate. We already have two competitors for most SO’s, JDM and KT3 on the roster. We don’t need another. But replacing Muncy with Busch will mean a conflict at DH with JDM. With the paucity of hits, JDM should help as will Busch, I think. Then, replacing Rojas with Mookie, Heyward can continue to develop in RF, we can wait to see if Peralta makes the squad as his glove in the outfield is a good one. Defensively we are doing okay. But Barnes should be pushed out of the rotation for someone who is better offensively and with a stronger arm. I don’t think Will Smith is going anywhere. Can Feduccia rise in the near future to replace Barnes, or do we wait for Cartaya next season? We would be relying heavily on rookies but we have some heavyweight vets that stabilize this team and rookies that seem to be ready and deserving of being in the big leagues. This is an exciting time in my eyes. Rarely does a team have so many possible prospects ripening all at once. It does give hope for the future and answers for our present weaknesses. Good to see the BullPen responding so well lately. Vesia needed removal, VGon rising, Evan stabilizing the closer position, and Ferguson as the setup guy. Only 35 games in, but I like how we are developing this team.
I forgot about Montgomery. My bad. Cartaya is not close to being MLB ready. Not from what I have seen when I have watched their games on TV. Wishful thinking. I think the Padres overall BA is lower than the Dodgers. But you are right, something needs to change. Especially at the bottom of the order. Nice at bat by Busch in the 10th last night. I thought for sure they were going to be shut down again. Glad he made me a liar. And a great AB for Outman.
Jeff, you are not alone in your thoughts about the rise of Diego Cartaya. Too many out there are convinced he is somewhere between Salvador Perez and Johnny Bench (not saying you). Diego will be a MLB catcher at some point but right now he is sub-Mendoza hitter at AA, while other catchers his age (or within 18 months) are now in MLB. Francisco Alvarez (NYM) is 23 days younger. Gabriel Moreno (Arizona) and Logan O’Hoppe (LAA) are 17 months older.
Cartaya has thrown out 3 of 21 would be base stealers. I would give him credit for his handling of the great AA pitching staff, but Carson Taylor has caught nearly as many innings, and is hitting better than Cartaya.
Cartaya – .179/.243/.313/.556 – 128.2 innings caught
Taylor – .225/.311/.350/.661 – 103.2 innings caught
Again, not directed to you, Jeff, but can we fans please let the MiLB prospects have a little success at the lower levels before they are deigned the next Yadi Molina? Right now, I would project the earliest Cartaya will be MLB ready will be 2025. He will be all of 23 at that time. Pretty young for a MLB catcher.
With respect to Hunter Feduccia, I would have brought him up over signing Austin Wynns. But then, by signing Wynns, and releasing him, there was a spot on the MLB roster for Gavin Stone. IMO AF was thinking ahead more than the immediate catcher need, which is why we armchair GMs are way behind those that actually run a club.
Something has to be done with the OF logjam. Thompson, Peralta and Heyward offer little to the offense. Heyward is not going anywhere, so I’m thinking a phantom injury to either Trayce or Peralta to push the ultimate decision down the road a bit but Busch needs to stay with the big club.
Trayce should be DFA’d by June1 if there is no significant improvement. Great win last night.
Heyward’s offense has been trending up as has Peralta’s. Thompson on the other hand has done nothing to merit a roster spot since his 3-homer game. Barnes has a two-year deal, the respect of most of the pitching staff and a spot on the bench. I doubt his getting traded or DFA’d is in the cards.
Peralta’s approach sucks. He has no clue at the plate. He’s neither aggressive nor discerning. He just hacks at pitches that are close to the zone. I see very little adapting or adjusting.
We currently have three 4th OFers and it’s a problem.
Heyward is probably a fine extra guy but Peralta & Thompson’s lack of production is infuriating.
Let’s just get a guy here who can hit a little.
Sometimes it feels like we win just because we’re the Dodgers and winning is what the Dodgers do.
I’m conflicted about Betts at shortstop. Yes it looks like he’s the better option there, but he’s a Gold Glove right fielder. How did we get to this position? We’ve got a DH at third, a third baseman at second, a backup catcher hitting .100, three journeyman outfielders, a team 24th in average, and a staff 14th in ERA, yet, we’re in first place.
I wonder what this team will do when they finally get on a roll? I fully expect that will happen, it’s just a matter of when.
Aren’t they on a roll?
Casparius reminds me of the character from Miller’s Crossing
I never saw Miller’s Crossing. I looked it up and saw that it was a Coen Bros. film, which is probably why I never saw it. I know I am in the minority, but I have never been a Coen Bros. fan. Thus the comparison is over my head.
I agree, never watch their movies
We can continue this discussion when you start the LA Movie Chronicles website, but until then.
Definitely check out Millers, No Country and Lebowski.
However, I find them quite like Wes Anderson, Van Sant or Ari Aster. A very specific style. It may not be for everyone at all.
Fargo. I liked it.
If Dodgers are not hitting or pitching then it must be the Manager that is producing wins.
Thompson can play all three outfield positions and Peralta just left field. If Thompson were to get to play against righties he might be a better option than Peralta. Roberts and Frieman are trying to force a square peg into a round hole with Thompson.
St Louis needs an outfielder. I wonder if they would want Thompson or Peralta. They have 20 year old Walker who could replace Arenado at third, soon. It’s been a couple of weeks since I have suggested a Muncy trade. I’m overdue. Muncy, Peralta, and Taylor for Arenado and let Busch share DH with Martinez.
Add Stone to that deal and the Cards might at least hesitate for a second before hanging up. They have Arenado (who will eventually start hitting and plays Gold Glove third base) locked up long term. And to get him you want to send them Muncy, a below average fielder with a team option for one more year, Peralta who is worse than all of their outfielders and CT who is overpaid and strikes out way too often.
I don’t want to trade Muncy but I have no problem if you want to, Fred. But if you want to trade him you have to make an offer the other team might actually consider.
One question for you. What was the main objective? Getting rid of Max or getting Arenado.
I was just overdue for a trade Muncy comment. Leading the league in home runs, rbi, and crewcut.
Payroll is always a thing so Muncy, Taylor, and Peralta pays for Arenado this year. St Louis makes room for Walker at third in 2024.
Why would they trade Arenado and not get anything in return? Salary relief? St. Louis is not a have not team that needs payroll relief. To make room for Jordan Walker at 3B? Walker is a horrible defensive 3B. There is a reason he was moved to RF. He has a 70 arm but cannot field a lick at 3B. He is back at Memphis and is restricted to RF/DH. Walker is another DH looking for a defensive position.
· 2021 – 22 errors in 177 total chances – .876 fielding percentage
· 2022 – 18 errors in 189 total chances – .905 fielding percentage
But sure, I would love to have Arenado. If Arenado had decided to opt out, AF may have contacted him. But he chose to stay in St. Louis. Unlike Colorado and Arizona, St. Louis is a very good baseball city. That is why Arenado and Goldschmidt like playing there.
My comments were aimed at the Dodgers payroll. I don’t think they would add Arenado’s contract without jettising a lot of payroll, thus the three I mentioned.
Why would they trade Arenado and get nothing back? Really? Muncy, Taylor, and Peralta are more than nothing.
Walker’s scouting grades: They are not as critical of his defense as you are.
Hit: 55 | Power: 65 | Run: 50 | Arm: 70 | Field: 50 | Overall: 60
Roberts is a dumbshit.
Pinch-hitting Busch for Rojas because reasons?
We got lucky to win.
I bet your negativity is annoying as my constant trade Muncy mantra.
Your Muncy trade ideas aren’t in the least annoying. When I’m staring at my computer and come across one of them, it immediately brings the words “What the hell is he thinking?” out of my mouth and awakens me from my stupor.
I’m then forced to do some serious thinking in order to refute your suggestion. So thank you, Fred, for bringing some stimulation into my day.
Because Rojas is a better hitter than Busch? I am certainly not in that camp. So I guess that makes me a dumbs**t as well.
Classic Busch swing. Head down, hands to the ball and drive thru it where it was pitched. Busch is going to be a hitter. He just needs a position.
Isn’t Heyward a GG Right Fielder, too?
It is obvious that the Dodgers need a right handed hitter that hammers left handed pitchers. An outfielder preferably. Any suggestions? Is there anyone out there? Right now Thompson is not getting it done.
Franmil Reyes DFA by KC. Right handed outfielder. Worth a shot?
sure. can’t be worse than peralta.
We need to remove Trayce, not Peralta.
Everyone is so down on Peralta. He has the same number of RBI as Freddie in half as many at bats.
He has 2 fewer RBI than Will Smith in 12 fewer at bats.
He’s playing very good defense and has a .279 lifetime average. I say, give him some more time and find a guy who can hit lefties to replace Trayce.
That’s like applying for a job with Microsoft with McDonalds as your only work reference.
You don’t think that Microsoft needs someone to cook lunch in the employee cafeteria?
He was released by KC, the 2nd worst team in MLB, only better than Oakland. I am not a David Peralta advocate. I never understood why AF signed him in the first place. But I do not promote releasing him, just because.
Franmil Reyes – .189/.231/.288/.519 (can’t field at all).
David Peralta – .192/.229/.282/.511
If you want to release him, find someone better than Franmil Reyes. I agree with STB that Thompson is the weaker leak.
Reyes is a righty. He would replace Thompson, not Peralta. Peralta was brought in to hit righties. Thompson to hit lefties.
Even though I was responding to your post, I was also responding to Sandy who indicated that Reyes would be an improvement over Peralta. My comment still stands with Trayce. Why would the Dodgers want a DH (not an OF) who was released by KC. At least Thompson (and Peralta) can play defense. That is not true with Reyes.
When I looked him up, he was listed as a RF and DH. I was just curious if anyone here thought he could help the Dodgers against lefties. If he can’t play the outfield, we certainly don’t need him.
Not a snowball’s chance in hell. He can’t even stick with KC and you want him in LA???? Ridiculous
I never said I wanted him in LA. I asked a question, is it worth a shot. Notice the question mark. That is why there is punctuation.
I don’t think Reyes will help. He’s more of the same.
We’re winning. We are in first place, and are 8-2, taking 2 of 3 from our strongest competitors on their field. It’s May 8. There are 127 games to go. I say we keep throwing them out there until people are ready to trade. Typically that’s in July.
Oh Brother is one of my all time favorites. Raising Arizona and Lebowski are right there too.
O Brother, Where Art Thou?That one? Everybody I know gives me a hard time when I say I really liked that one. If that is the one you are referring to brother then we agree.
Saw that in a small theater in NW Wisconsin when it first came out. Loved it. People there were split. Also saw Fargo in Minneapolis when it was first released. Though the accents were over done, people there really liked it.
Gonsolin looked good. Until that hanger.
I blame Busch’s error.
6 innings, 80 pitches, 0 earned runs. He pitched great. Bullpen sucked. Busch still looking for a place to play.