Right now, Dodger fans are not very happy. Oh the result Sunday was good, but what about going forward. I have seen many blame the manager. Not sure there is much Old Dave can do about the inconsistency of this team. They score runs in bunches one day, and couldn’t beat your local little league team the next.
There are obviously some very visual reasons for this. One being they are playing without a full deck. Smith has been out for close to 10 days, so one of their better run producers has been absent. The 13-0 game was embarrassing to say the least, but I give a lot of credit to the excellent pitching of Cubs pitcher Drew Smyly. He pitched his game plan, and there was not much that the team could do to right the ship.
I think some sort of shakeup in the lineup is needed. Freeman should be hitting 3rd. He is the most consistent and best hitter on the team. I think they would benefit with Outman in the leadoff spot. He has been getting on base and also provides early power. Mookie might benefit from having a speedy runner in front of him.
Muncy is beginning to look like the Muncy we came to love early in his career. If you follow those four with Martinez, Smith and Vargas, the front seven could be a very productive group. The bottom two, no matter who they might be, will need to be able to step up and provide much more than they are right now.
But back to the blame part. I place very little on Roberts, after all, he did not assemble the players he has to use. That is on the front office people. Gomes is the GM, but on this team, I think the personnel decisions are a cumulative effort with AF very involved with Gomes as to their targets in trades and free agency.
And if you go further up the chain, ownership decides how much money is going to be allotted for salaries. We all know the Dodgers are one of the richest organizations in baseball. Guggenheim is loaded. But they also have shareholders they have to satisfy. So that means they are in the game to make a profit.
What the fans wanted, and did not get, was another spending spree on at least one or two big name players. Judge was pretty much assured of returning to the Yankees. So not shot there. What about their own, Trea Turner. I have to believe that Turner never really felt at home in LA. He played well, but something was obviously missing for him and his east coast roots kicked in and he is a Phillie.
Many felt the Dodgers kicked JT to the curb. I think his age had more to do with letting him walk than his performance. He is not the same player he was a couple of years ago, and no way they were going to pay him the 20 million he is getting in Boston.
So they went the cheap route. Low cost high reward retread reclamation projects that they are hoping pay big dividends in the long run. They also opened up spots for a couple of their own prospects. So far the results have been mixed. Arizona, a team they have owned the last several years, has a 4-3 record against them. They are also losing close games.
They have been one of the best in the majors for run differential the last few years. But after the 13-0 loss, that number is only at +19 right now. They are also in the lower half of the majors in pitching. That is not the Dodger way. The bullpen so far has not been very good. The starting staff was dealt a blow before the season when both Gonsolin and Pepiot were injured forcing Michael Grove to step in.
Gonsolin should be back within a week or so and that will help a lot. But like in many seasons before, a lot will depend on how they go about plugging the holes they have.
Overall though, the blame for the slow start falls on the shoulders of the players. They are paid a lot of money for their talent. Playing up to that level of talent is always on their shoulders.
But any failure on the field also trickles down the organization. Each level of the organization is responsible for some part of the overall production and success of the team. Ownership provides the capital.
It is up to the baseball minds who run the team to acquire the best talent they can to stock the system with players who will give the organization depth and flexibility. The coaches in the system then take over and are there to nurture and guide those players through the system developing that talent to a level where they can be productive in the major leagues.
Many are called, few succeed. I only wish I would have had the talent to succeed as a major league player.
I am comfortable that there is no blame to assess. The team was built on the current regime’s strategy of power and strikeouts be da***d. The Dodgers have always relied upon pitching to support that level of offense. This year, going into the offseason and into ST, the Dodgers believed they had the rotation and sufficient depth to overcome injuries. However two of those potential starters, Tony Gonsolin and Ryan Pepiot hit the IL before the season started. Pepiot is on the 60 day IL with an oblique strain. The earliest he will be back is June.
Michael Grove the #7 starter is now on the IL, and Gonsolin is coming back, perhaps too early. Bobby Miller still has not pitched in a game. Is he throwing in extending ST at Camelback?
And the other (#8 or #9) Gavin Stone has had a rough start to the 2023 season.
The bullpen has been underwhelming. Daniel Hudson was supposed be ready right about opening day. Now he is on the 60 day and not expected before June. Jimmy Nelson still is not ready. Two relief additions were never expected to be ready until August at the earliest (Alex Reyes and JP Feyereisen). I do not believe anyone thought Blake Treinen would pitch before 2024. The bullpen is always a wild ride, and this year it really has started out in a rough patch. Almost all of the relievers have had prior success, so there is little reason to believe that most if not all will be able to recover from the rough start.
I may not agree with the offensive makeup, but I am not responsible for the $250MM payroll either. As I have said, stay relevant as long as they can and make adjustments at the trade deadline. Pitching or offense.
Did it bite us to sign so many projects in our bullpen instead of relatively sure things ie; healthy pitchers?
“sure things” and bullpen are mutually exclusive. No one was complaining about the bullpen last year.
Vesia, Almonte and Evan Phillips were fantastic last year. They’re not this year. Were they “projects” last year? Were they bad signings? Should they be cut? Who are the “sure things” the Dodgers should’ve signed or should be signing now?
Sure-thing Bullpen is an oxymoron. Some people drink that stuff up.
“I am comfortable that there is no blame to assess.”
I am still a bit flummoxed on the payroll questions, but nobody is talking about it so apparently 50% on overage is ok with the pocket people.
It does feel like some players are taking their time taking their jobs seriously. Betts and Freeman aren’t really warmed up yet, though Betts is OPSn .860. Martinez looks like a real hitter, some of the time. Vargas. Peralta. Taylor. Barnes. Rojas. Bullpen. Would we be at .500 without Muncy and Outman playing over their heads?
I look to things improving when the weather warms up. Which isn’t going to happen in Pittsburgh. Freeze warning this morning and tomorrow. Not at game time. Game time will be a balmy 55 but dropping, which contributes to my unease about Gonsolin starting. I can’t help it, I don’t trust his elbow.
Syndergaard tonight. 8.5 O/U. Dodgers favored. I’ll take the Dodgers and the over. Not sure why. Gut feeling I suppose.
Muncy and Outman pounded the ball in the Chicago cold. But we won’t have Muncy in the Pittsburg cold.
Betts loves bowling as much as he does baseball. He is a laid back type and so am I. I am hoping Betts will get jazzed up by playing short. I am.
Vargas has been a big disappointment but if he is a hitting machine he might be the next guy to get it going. Outman won’t keep it up but if he starts hitting to the opposite field more he might not fade too much from stats few could maintain.
Moving Outman to leadoff will get him better pitches to hit otherwise there have been a slew of .150 – .200 hitters “protecting” him.
Looking forward to rookie Busch joining the lineup. What might happen if he makes the most of his 3 days?
A stone’s throw away but now only if it skips a few times. Gavin could be up sooner than later.
I blame AF and the front office for their indecision on getting under the CBT. Either go with the youth and get under it or spend some money on proven major league talent. It looked like they were going to get under the tax and halfway thru the process, they panic and sign Peralta and then trade for Rojas. AF trying to build a bullpen with duct tape and chicken wire is ridiculous.
I will give them a little reprieve because of injuries.
Or, maybe signing those players was in the plans for quite a while, and it was the Bauer decision and them being on the hook for his salary that’s the issue.
Well that’s on AF and front office as well.
The decision to suspend Bauer without pay and then rescind that suspension with retroactive back pay days before Spring training is on AF?
AF signed him. How it turns out is ultimately on him. There were red flags about Bauer before he was signed. It was an ill advised panic move.
Chicken or the egg–they learned about Bauer before they signed Peralta.
Maybe as soon as they lost Lux they should have pivoted to Betts at short.
Agree with this 100%
Peralta is a scrub
That comes across as something a scrub commenter might say. I don’t think that was your intent.
sport – a player not on the first team
ok. I think that fits
Well, I guess we can stop hearing about trading for Bryan Reynolds.
Very small point:
Guggenheim Baseball Management is an LLC, not a public company with shareholders.
They have no real reason not to spend a fortune.
Well in that case…..
Have you seen their financial statement? Do you know what their debt is? MLB does have debt covenant provisions. Forbes can come up with Revenues, and they can “guess” profit. But the Dodgers are not going to disclose research and development costs (scouting/instruction/computer analysts/baseball decision makers…)
Besides AF and Brandon Gomes player personnel executives include highly regarded Josh Byrnes, Jeffrey Kingston, Alex Slater, Galen Carr, Brandon McDaniel, Billy Gasparino, Ismael Cruz… Here is a list of the LAD front office personnel – https://www.mlb.com/dodgers/team/front-office
Mark Walter and Guggenheim is an LLC as you stated, but their individual wealth is limited, and nowhere comes close to Steve Cohen. In 2012, Guggs bought LAD for $2B, while Steve Cohen spent $2.4B for NYM in 2020. The Dodgers already have one of the richest TV contracts (Maybe NYY is greater), and no organization has better attendance. So just exactly how much more revenue can the team generate to spend a fortune.
How would I know debt levels? Why would any private company make that public? That’s kinda my point. No outside pressures like shareholders at all with an LLC. Just rich people and their goals.
Nor are there ways to see the financial statements? And why would I want to?
Not sure what you are driving towards with those silly questions.
Lastly, I don’t understand the idea of putting one set of billionaires wealth against the other. They can all afford to spend more, but do not.
This whole response is weird.
No, your response was weird and unsupported. All I did was to point out that you have no basis or support of any kind for: “They have no real reason not to spend a fortune.” Define fortune? $350MM payroll? $400MM payroll? Ohtani and Soto?
No private company would ever disclose their financials, but you made the statement they could spend a fortune. That is what I question, because you have no idea what they can and cannot do. You assume, but we all know what that means.
Because an LLC is not an S-Corp, does not mean they do not have internal cost controls or limitations (from minority owners). Most of the LAD owners do not have a fortune. Stan Kasten, Todd Boehly, Magic Johnson, Peter Guber, Bobby Patton, Billie Jean King, Llana Kloss, Alan Smolinsky, Robert Plummer. Do you think there might be a reason the owners have to continue to dip into the capital pool with additional owners being invited in. MLB also has debt covenants. And perhaps that is why Billie Jean King and the other subsequent owners were invited in…an infusion of cash rather than more debt. I do not know that to be true, but either do you.
Before you can say they can spend a fortune, you have no idea what the owners’ liquidity is. You think the Dodgers have enough revenue with all of the revenue sharing that goes on that they can afford to sustain an annual payroll level of $300MM – $400MM? They could have to borrow, which economically they can do, but maybe that would put them past MLB debt covenants. The Dodgers have already been slapped on the wrist for exceeding the debt covenants and not getting below them quick enough. They were about to be subjected to other provisions that would probably tie up the individual owners assets. But you know without a doubt their liquidity allows them to spend a fortune. But without seeing specific financial statements, it is all conjecture.
BTW, have you seen the LLC agreement that discloses what the managing member can obligate the non-managing members? I have seen LLC agreements that require a majority of the non-managing members to agree to additional debt/capital call/new ownership.
So go ahead and read Forbes all you want. Unless you actually see the financial condition of a MLB team, not named the Atlanta Braves, you are simply guessing. That is what I objected to. I said you cannot make that blanket statement without looking at all of the financial and legal (LLC Agreement) documents. Since that information will not be disclosed, it is just your assumption/guess/conjecture.
Silly questions indeed. How silly for anyone to actually believe they have to look at financial information before they can make the statement that because they are an LLC they can spend a fortune.
I guess in your world it is weird that someone should actually ask you to support your statement.
You must be having a bad day. This is absurd.
This started with me simply saying it was an LLC and without shareholders.
Whatever you are talking about with Forbes, finances and liquidity is bonkers-ville.
Billionaires have billions. If you don’t think they can spend a portion of that (which is a fortune) then I don’t know what to tell you.
Nope. Am having a good day.
If that was all you said, I would not have had any response.
But you continue to ignore the next statement you made:
That is what I was responding to. They can spend a fortune because there are no shareholders? What does that even mean. I will use your word…That is absurd.
How the hell is this debateable???!?
There are at least two (2) BILLIONAIRES in the ownership group. You’ve already outlined the rest of the reasons.
Between Boehly and Walter they, what, have a net worth of 8 BILLION??!?!?!
1% of that is 80 million dollars.
News from Internet:
Fangraphs’ Sunday Notes has a couple of Dodgers items
1. A quiz:
Earlier this week, Clayton Kershaw became the third modern-era pitcher whose last name begins with the letter K to log 200 or more big-league wins. Who are the other two?
The answer can be found below.
2. Ronan Kopp has 17 strikeouts and has allowed just six hits and one earned run in 10 innings for the High-A Great Lakes Loons. The 20-year-old left-hander is No. 32 on their Los Angeles Dodgers Top Prospects list.
The ludicrously great Jeff Paternostro takes a look at some Dodger Prospects in his ($$$$$) Monday Morning Notes:
Newsflash, the Dodgers are elite at developing pitching… including Indy ball signee, Jake Pilarski who is going to be a fast mover in the organization.Sheehan, Pilarski, Vivas and Frasso.
Jay Jaffe on Max Muncy’s return to MAX power.
“The only thing I have to worry about is just getting my foot down on time instead of thinking about so many other things. It was just simplifying it, really, even though it’s more movement.””
Baseball America’s Prospect Report of April 21 ($$$$)
Dalton Rushing: “An early season addition to the Top 100 Prospects list, Rushing went 2-for-4 with a home run and a walk on Thursday. His combination of feel to hit, power and approach….”
Fangraphs’ Leo Morganstern looks at Mookie Betts, the SS:
…All fault-finding aside, Betts doesn’t actually need to be an excellent defensive shortstop. He doesn’t even need to be good. As fun as it would be to watch him master a new position, that’s not what the Dodgers are asking him to do. Instead, they just need him to be good enough that he’s a better option than Luke Williams and his .237/.295/.310 career slashline.
Andy Pages made Baseball America’s 20 hottest prospects ($$$$)
10. Andy Pages, OF, Double-A Tulsa (Texas) Age: 22
Why He’s Here: .444/.655/.889 (8-for-18), 8 R, 4 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 5 RBIs, 6 BB, 5 SO, 1-for-1 SB
Twitter must-follow (for Dodger fans) @FutureDodgers makes note of the following:
When he makes his debut (tomorrow?), Michael Busch will become the second player from the Dodgers’ 2019 draft class to reach the major leagues, joining Ryan Pepiot.The Dodgers have had two players each from the 2019, 2018, and 2017 draft classes make it to the majors with the team––the 2017 class has an additional four who’ve made the majors with other orgs.Compare that with the vaunted 2016 draft class, which has had eight players reach the majors with the Dodgers, and another seven with other orgs (nine if you count Bailey Ober & Cal Stevenson, who didn’t sign).
The answer is Jim Kaat with 283 wins, and Jerry Koosman with 222 wins. If you guessed Jimmy Key or Sandy Koufax, they had 186 and 165 wins respectively.
Interesting thing to note in Ben Clemens’ weekly column
How Andrew Heaney is easy to steal on. We know this is true about current Dodger pitchers (BTW, what happened to Urias’ pickoff move??!?!?!?) it also extends to recently rehabbed friends.
On Twitter, Lance Brodowski noted changes in Dustin May’s CB:
7″ of vertical move vs. 4″ from last year….
Jay Jaffe Chat:
Anthony: It’s November ’23 and we are looking back at the Dodgers saves by reliever breakdown. What does that look like?
Jay Jaffe: Woof, I just looked and they’ve got three saves so far, two from Evan Phillips and one three-inning job from Andre Jackson. I’d guess they wind up with Phillips and Graterol in double digits and Miller with a few. Not gonna be a lot because 90 wins ain’t happening and I’m starting to wonder about 81.
Tungsten Arm Ohtani: If Ohtani’s overriding goal in free agency is to win a World Series (assume the money is essentially equal and geography is not a consideration), which team should he pick?
Jay Jaffe: Might be the Dodgers… or the Braves. Good lord is the latter bursting with young talent and unlike the Dodgers they’ve locked those guys up with ridiculously low contracts (which I don’t love but must point out).
Minor League News to note:
Newly promoted Braydon Fisher closed this one out for Tulsa with a two-inning save. He’s up to six scoreless innings across five appearances so far this season, with 9/0 K/BB between High-A & Double-A. The Dodgers’ 2018 4th round pick is the youngest pitcher on Tulsa’s roster (22).
Also in Tulsa, prospect Nick Nastrini has been added to the roster. The RHP was held back in extended spring training to build up arm strength. Nastrini made six starts for Tulsa in 2022, posting a 4.15 ERA with 42 K in 30 1/3 IP.
Bluto thank you for the above.
I have written about Braydon Fisher in my MiLB Reports. He is finally coming into his own after all of the injuries, and it looks very much like he is being groomed now to be a late inning high leverage reliever rather than a starter.
Nick Nastrini has pitched, and has three scoreless, 1-hit innings (April 20). His control was a bit off with 3 BB and 4K. Then again with Nastrini, his control is often off. Nastrini is another candidate for a late inning high leverage reliever.
I do assess primary blame. The blame I assess is on the asses in the front office for their constant dumpster diving. They knew we had major holes and chose to cross their fingers with the players they pulled off the scrap heap. It angers me, my family, and my friends. Our interest in the Dodgers this season is the lowest in many years, and it started before the season began. Sad.
That sounded like a towel being thrown by Hondo.
It might work. The more I trade Muncy the better he does. It’s a mantra. I’m willing to take ownership of it.
I don’t know why it doesn’t work with Taylor.
KC is now 5 – 18. They need an infusion of talent a lot more than they need Witt Jr. Therefore I keep hope.
It works because Muncy actually has trade value. KT3 doesn’t.
What is KC’s organizational goal? It makes a difference on what they do with the few stars they may have.
First inning – Thor getting way too much of the plate.
Second inning. Still happening.
Syndergaard seems to be a bust. I haven’t seen much I like about him. The straw for me was his inability to react quickly enough to put out Bae at 1B when Bae hit a ground ball to Freeman and ran slowly to 1B.
My other gripe that won’t be going away very quickly is Barnes inability to throw runners out who try to steal 2B. He’s terrible and he doesn’t seem to hit any longer. We need to upgrade the C position and find a new starter to replace Syndergaard.
It ain’t Barnes. His release is pretty quick.He will hit better than has.
So far I’m disappointed with Syndergaard. No increase in velocity, and he just can’t seem to stay out of the center of the strike zone.,
We are upgrading C.
Barnes’s arm doesn’t seem explosive enough. Plus, it is often thrown to an awkward position for the fielder to catch and tag the runner out.
I’ve seen some of that, but what I’ve also seen is a catcher doing his best to release the ball quickly. Bad things can happen when you hurry.
Peralta and Thor suck. Nice job AF.
A lot of time left. Patience Ohio.
Deep breath. Counting to June. Thanks Badger.
I’d recommend to count to July 1st, maybe even the All Star break. That’s enough time for our vets to have enough at bats to get it together. By vets I mean Taylor, Peralta, Barnes, Rojas, Thompson, Heyward. They may not need to wait on that long on Thompson.
What does that mean for Thompson? Is he the first man out?
My answer to that, based on recent evidence, is yes.
But, that could change.
I wrote this Jefe…sheesh a little credit please. LOL