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Apparently LAD Does Not Need SP???

So you tell me the Dodgers are fixed at Starting Pitching.  I would respectfully disagree.  The Dodgers have exactly three healthy starters: Tyler Glasnow, Gavin Stone, and James Paxton.  Bobby Miller?  Nope, not yet?  So the Dodgers need Landon Knack to start just to have 5 SP, when they probably need 6.

Bobby Miller?  This is the second year he has come down with shoulder concerns.  He has had 1 good game all year.  His four rehab assignments were not very good at all (okay, bad), and his start in Colorado was not very good.  I give him some leeway because the start was in Colorado.  But what about those four rehab starts:

  • Low A – 3.0 IP, 4 hits, 3 runs (all earned), 2 BB, 4 K
  • Low A – 3.1 IP, 5 hits, 4 runs (all earned), 1 BB, 0 K
  • AAA – 4.0 IP, 4 hits, 2 runs (1 earned), 2 BB, 2 K
  • AAA – 4.2 IP, 6 hits, 5 runs (all earned), 3 BB, 4 K

 

  • Total – 15.0 IP, 19 hits, 14 runs (13 earned), 8 BB, 10 K

That is a tidy 7.8 ERA and 1.8 WHIP, and yet that was good enough to say he was healthy enough to be in the starting rotation for LAD?  He had 3 BB and 2 K in his Colorado start.  I acknowledge that this is June, and he has time to improve.  Walker Buehler had 8 starts before everyone finally recognized that there was still something not right.  The Dodgers have 30 games before July 30.  That is roughly 6 more starts.  What if he is pitching the same after those starts.

Clayton Kershaw?  Here is what he said when asked when he was coming back:

“I don’t know. We’ll see,” Kershaw said. “It’s all dependent on the next one. As long as you keep doing well in the next one. You have to see where the team is as well, see what the need is up there, obviously. There’s a lot of ‘X’ factors. Some of them are in my control but some of them aren’t. We’ll just see how the next one goes and go from there.”

I do not personally know Clayton Kershaw.  But that certainly does not sound like an optimistic personal commentary as to where he is at.  Undoubtedly more honest than optimistic.  Without #22 pitching before the deadline, is everyone convinced he is going to be a quality starting pitcher in October?

Yoshinobu Yamamoto?  When asked how the Betts and Yamamoto injuries impact decisions on the trade deadline:

“I actually don’t think it meaningfully changes anything at this point,” Gomes said, “With the expectation that those guys are gonna be back for the postseason.”

What else is he supposed to say?

Key word is expectation.  It was then reported:

Betts was hit by a pitch on his hand and suffered a fracture, with an expected recovery time of six to eight weeks. Yamamoto has a more nebulous timeline with his strained rotator cuff, though the club is expecting him back at some point this season.

Expecting him back at some point this season seems like Dodgerspeak for:  We are probably going to have to shut him down this year because we need to protect 11 more years.  But we are not going to say anything now because we do not want teams trying to take advantage at the deadline.

Minimum expected down time for a rotator cuff strain is 60 days.  When was the last time the Dodgers have hit minimum downtime for an injury?  Can you answer that Max Muncy?  Walker Buehler? Blake Treinen? Danny Duffy? Tony Gonsolin?  Dustin May?  Brusdar Graterol?  Emmet Sheehan? Carlos Martinez?  Tommy Kahnle?  I could go on, but I think everyone understands.

So why should we expect to see Yamamoto back this year with a rotator cuff problem?  If he is back, how effective will he be?  I do not know, but I sure do not trust LAD reports on his shoulder.

Walker Buehler?  It is possible that we have seen the last of Walker Buehler as a Dodger.  I hope I am wrong.  But he has not given any indication that he is ready for an October role.  What does anyone truly expect after his 1st year back after his 2nd TJ?  It is probably going as well as can be expected. I am worried about October, not August/September.

I emphasize October role, because that is the only role the Dodgers should be concerned with.  If Landon Knack and Justin Wrobleski were to join the rotation full time, it would not diminish the Dodgers chances of winning the NL West.  However, we have seen what diminished SP has done for the Dodgers over the past 3 playoffs.

Glasnow has to be on an innings watch with his past injuries.  Paxton has to be on an innings watch with his past injuries.  Gavin Stone is already at 80 IP with a career high of 121 (2022) and 100.2 last year.  How effective will he be in October with 160 IP.

There are less than 6 weeks before the trade deadline.  The Dodgers need to decide before then whether they “need” or do not “need” starting pitching.  But if the Dodgers limp into October with 2 healthy starters without addressing it (again), AF/BG should be fired.  Are they going to want to rely on Miller, Buehler, Kershaw, Yamamoto all being healthy in October?  Hopefully they all will be, and we will not have to worry about LAD starting pitching.

Outside of Garrett Crochet, I have no idea what SP could be available.  I do not even know if Crochet is truly available, and if he is, whether AF has the stones to outbid Preller for him. And honestly I have no idea how he would do in the Dodger rotation. But I sure would like to see what he can do.

Jesus Luzardo?  I am not sure he is healthy enough for this year.  And he has not exactly been dominant this year.

Suddenly Detroit is falling out of the WC race and discussing making Jack Flaherty available.  He is in his FA walk year, and pitching well.  Although Detroit is playing CWS this weekend, so maybe they crawl back into it.  One look at his 11 BB vs 100 K in 77.2 IP, and I am on board.  I have been advocating for Tarik Skubal since 2021.  I have no premonition that he will be traded much less to the Dodgers.

How comfortable is everyone with Tyler Glasnow, Gavin Stone, and James Paxton as the top three in the Playoff rotation.  We saw what the wunderkind rookie pitcher (Bobby Miller) did last year in the Playoffs.  We saw last year what a diminished Clayton Kershaw was in the playoffs.

I was a lonely voice in the wind last winter in my desire for Tyler Glasnow.  The bulk of the comments were:  “he is too injury prone”.  Now he is the #1 starter for LAD, while Ryan Pepiot is struggling in Tampa Bay. Where would the Dodgers be without Glasnow?

If the Dodgers look to add a SP, it needs to be top 3 in the rotation.  No Lance Lynn types.  It has to be someone who you trust to win a playoff game.  So if Crochet, Flaherty, or Skubal are not available…move on and hope AF/BG can find a bat or two.  Do not trade prospects for a Griffin Canning or Zach Plesac.  Zach Eflin?  He is not a top 3 rotation pitcher.  Pass.

It takes pitching and defense to win in October.  The Dodgers did not have either in the last three.  And unless they slug (yeah I said it dodgerpatch) like they did in 2020, they could come up short again unless they at least ensure they have sufficient starting pitching.  Part of that is getting another top 3 rotation pitcher.

I will say again, I am just fine with Landon Knack and Justin Wrobleski as #4 and #5 in the rotation for the regular season.  But I sure would not want to see them as starters in the playoffs.

It is irrelevant what I think.  If AF is convinced that 2-3 or all 4 of Miller, Buehler, Kershaw, and Yamamoto can pitch in October, and they do not need another SP, then good for the Dodgers. But he better be right.  I would also hope that Garrett Crochet does not end up in San Diego.

 

Follow up editorial – Yes the pitching, especially Landon Knack, was good (except Yarbrough), and the hitting was not.  Once again, the Dodgers scored two on a HR and were 0-6 WRISP including 2 strikeouts to end the game with both trying to hit HRs, when a single or fly ball was all they needed.  But we were just advised with “facts” that the Dodgers are excellent on hitting WRISP.

For the playoffs, the Dodgers will have Mookie, Muncy, and Smith in the lineup, and they will not be playing the Angels.

I like Gavin Lux, but this is not acceptable for a championship team.  We are well past the 150 PA mark Doc was giving him.  Middle infielder also has to be considered for the deadline.

 

 

 

MiLB GAME SUMMARY REPORTS

 

Albuquerque Isotopes (Colorado) 4 – OKC Baseball Club 3

River Ryan started for OKC and completed 3.0 innings.  In 3.0 IP, Ryan faced one over the minimum allowing just the one hit.  He struck out 4.  Ryan threw 34 pitches (24 for strikes).

 

 

OKC struck in the first inning.  Drew Avans and James Outman both singled.  With one out, Ryan Ward doubled with Avans scoring and Outman moving to 3B.  Outman scored on a ground out from Trey Sweeney.

LHRP Alec Gamboa did not have one of his better outings.  In the 4th,  a pair of singles, a SB, and a 2-run scoring double.  Gamboa allowed a solo HR in the 6th.

In the 8th, Jack Little issued a BB.  A sac bunt moved the runner to second, and he scored on a double, giving Albuquerque a 4-2 lead.

OKC scored an unearned run in the bottom of the 8th when Hunter Feduccia reached on an error and scored on a Chris Owings double.

  • James Outman – 2-5, 1 run
  • Doubles – Ryan Ward (14), Chris Owings (7)

 

Box score

 

 

NW Arkansas Naturals (KC) 5 – Tulsa Drillers 0

The Drillers managed 5 singles and were 0-4 WRISP.

Hyun Il Choi was the starter for Tulsa and allowed 3 runs in the 2nd including a 2-run HR, and 2 more in the 3rd, including a HBP and a pair of doubles.

In his 5.0 IP, Choi allowed 7 hits, 3 BB, and 1 HBP, to go with the 5 runs.

Lucas Wepf made his AA debut tonight in relief of Choi.  He pitched 2.0 scoreless innings, allowing 1 hit with 2 Ks.  The other bright spot for Tulsa was 22 year old RHRP Edgardo Henriquez who pitched 1.0 inning in relief with a BB and 2 Ks.  This was Edgardo’s 4th AA appearance and he still has not allowed a run.

 

  • Yeiner Fernandez – 2-3

 

Box Score

 

 

Rancho Cucamonga Quakes 5 – Inland Empire 66ers (LAA) 2

Wyatt Crowell made his first start for RC and was excellent.  He completed 3.0 scoreless IP, allowing 1 hit, 1 HBP, and registering 4 Ks.

19 year old RHP Sean Linen followed with 4.0 IP.  He allowed a solo HR for the only hit and run allowed.  Felix Cabrera closed the game with 2.0 innings.  He allowed 1 run on 3 hits.

Every RC batter had at least 1 hit.

  • Jesus Galiz – 3-4, 2 runs, triple (2)
  • Josue De Paula – 2-4, 1 BB, 1 RBI
  • Wilman Diaz – 2-4, 2 runs, 2 RBI
  • Double – Sean McLain (3)

 

Box Score

 

 

ACL Dodgers 9 – ACL Brewers 7

Every starting Dodger had at least one hit.

  • Eduardo Quintero – 3-5, 1 run, 2 RBI, double (4)
  • Mairoshendrick Martinus – 2-4, 1 BB, 3 runs, 1 RBI, HR (4)
  • José Izarra – 2-3, 1 run, 3 RBI, double (1), HR (1)
  • Easton Shelton – 3-4, 1 run
  • Cameron Decker – 1-3, 2 BB, 1 run, 1 RBI, HR (4)
  • Jaron Elkins – 1-3, 2 BB, double (6)

 

Box Score

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dionysus

Jeff, I don’t quite agree with your argument about our starting pitching. Assuming every pitcher is an injury risk, we currently have:

Glasnow
Stone
Paxton
Miller
Knack

Buehler seems to be getting a spell for an adjustment and Kershaw is on the slow road back.

Sheehan is gone for the year but I expect Yamamoto by the postseason.

Wrobleski, Ryan & even Hurt are options down the line.

Replacing/improving Lux’s spot and possibly Vargas/Keekay/Taylor is a more urgent need.

Jeff

What didn’t you agree with in Jeff’s pitching argument?

Dionysus

I want the other Jeff, Jeff.

Jeff

Jeff, you make great points in your analysis of our pitching. Injury is always an unknown, unwanted guest, and could effect any of our staff. Just what we will look like come the playoffs is really not something we can bet on. We have the talent, but will we have the health?

Glasnow has lost more games than any of our incumbent starters. However, I believe this season to be the one where he will emerge with an impressive record and make the doubters, myself included, become believers. I didn’t know he was such an impressive SO hurler and he’s got the body to withstand injuries if he takes care and remains mindful of how his training helps him to do this. It is Yamamoto that I am most concerned about mainly because of how concerned fans like yourself are about his injury. I know rotator cuffs are problematic and need special attention in athletes that are prone to injure them. If Yamamoto comes back this season, which I think he will, we should be ready for the playoffs without any other pitching injuries occurring.

Paxton is a long time pro who should know how to take care of himself and seems to quietly do his job on the mound. With these 3 pitchers alone, we should be good. With Kershaw entering the fray, if he is healthy, he can only help because of his talent and vast experience. His days of domination may be over but I bet he can still win a game or two.

Buehler seems finished for this season as well as Miller. Knack is inexperienced and seems out of condition if you ask me. Looking at his body fat, breathing, and awkward motion style, I’m not a long term believer.

We definitely need another solid starter to go into the playoffs and not one of our walking wounded to step in. Those pitchers will have to go through another ST and compete for a job here. Getting another arm should be our primary concern and we must pay a premium if we have to. No rehab victims need apply.

We should have won the opener against the Angels. We need to beat teams like this now and get beyond our .500 difficulties. Hitters beside Ohtani need to step up. Where’s the power?

dodgerram

Give Vargas an infield glove, give him some infield practice on Sunday on the off day and plug him into the lineup. And for gods sake stop pinch hitting for him and leaving Kike in. That was an embarassing at bat by Kike in the 10th. Completely guessing, totally overmatched from the first pitch.
Oh , I forgot. Wins in June dont count for nothing.

Go Dodgers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Last edited 22 days ago by dodgerram
TennisMenace (TM)

I don’t know much about Vargas as an infielder, but it seems like many here think he is a liability with a glove in both the IF and the OF. This concerns me…I hope they are inaccurate and I hope Vargas can play some position well- 2B, 3B, or LF.

Not surprised we lost last night…they have been losing 50% of their games and only win when they hit multiple HRs. So, the formula was true to form.

Last edited 22 days ago by TennisMenace (TM)
Duke Not Snider

The Dodgers clearly have lost faith in Vargas as an infielder after several years of observation.
He had ample opportunity to prove himself in the minors, and was given the 2B job in ’23–and failed.
The best thing that could happen to Vargas is that he’ll be traded to a team that could use him at DH or 1B (his natural position) and give him greater opportunity in LF.
Sad to say, but he’s just the least useful Dodger on the roster. He’d be a lot more useful on a weaker team.
I hope he is packaged in a deal for the Marlins’ RP Tanner Scott. Vargas is from Cuba but his family now lives in Miami. The home cooking might help, and if he succeeds he’d be a popular player.

Dionysus

Not happening.

They have decided for this year he’s OF.

Maybe in 2025 . . .

dodgerram

IMHO: stupid . Just stupid looking at the makeup of this roster. His bat would help more than his defense at 3b hurts. His fielding percentage at 3b is just two points under Kikes and 4 under MM. That is 2 and 4 more errors on 100 chances. And he would not play every game at 3b just occasionally. But hey, as we know, AF and Roberts are playing chess and all others are playing checkers. They are so way ahead on everybody else it is not even close.

Go Dodgers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oldbear48

You are guessing that his bat would make up for his lead glove. There are no stats to support that. And so far, he has not hit RHP. They are not going to put him back in the infield. He has not shown he can handle any infield position. By the way, Vargas has played exactly one inning at third at the major league level. That was in 2022. He played some third in AAA last year but has only played the outfield this year. They are not going to stick a guy at third base who has that little experience there. He is hitting .321. But only .133 against RHP. Not exactly knocking the cover off of the ball there.

Last edited 22 days ago by Oldbear48
Duke Not Snider

Nope. Not stupid at all.
What is stupid is that the Dodgers’ front office didn’t figure out the defensive limitations of both Vargas and Lux before they decided that these two players would be the keystone combo heading into the ’23 season.
There were already plenty of questions about whether Lux had the arm to play SS–but his knee injury delayed the recognition of this reality. Vargas’s struggles at 2B prompted Mookie’s move to 2B.
So instead of Lux at SS and Vargas at 2B, the Dodgers wound up with Rojas at SS and Mookie at 2B.
And now it’s hard to see how Lux and Vargas fit into the Dodgers’ longterm plans.

Duke Not Snider

I think they’ve decided he is trade capital.

Dave

* I agree re how little we can trust what the front office says about injuries.
*I am going to predict that Kershaw comes back sooner rather than later, 1 maybe 2 more rehab starts.
*Crotchet is at 88 innings pitched, which is his career high.
* I do not trust relying on homeruns. It is too hit and miss, literally. Give me a handfull of hitters that bat .275 anyday.
* Glasnow, Kershaw, Paxton, Stone is a good playoff rotation but we need to score runs. We have enough other pitchers to help us get there.
* There is still plenty of time to see how Miller, Kershaw and Yamamoto progress.

Wally Moonshot

Personally, I don’t see Kershaw as being someone to count on come playoff time. When he was an elite pitcher he crumbled in the postseason so should we expect him to suddenly become more than he’s capable of now that he’s coming off of arm surgery? According to reports he’s throwing in the 88-90 mph range which is perfect batting practice speed for major league hitters. I like him as much as the rest of the posters here but reality tells me we shouldn’t count on him to be in the post season rotation.

Oldbear48

Kershaw had some bad performances in post season play no doubt. But you do not have to have a blazing fastball to be successful in the majors. Just look at Jamie Moyer. I think Kersh is more of a pitcher now than he ever has been. If his slider is working, and uncle Charlie, he can still be a successful pitcher. Will he be dominant? Probably not. But the guy knows how to pitch, and his arm will be fresh.

Wally Moonshot

Yeah, “pitching” vs “ throwing” I hope you’re right. Maybe he’ll be the second coming of Frank Tanana, who went from 95 miles an hour to about 80. He had to learn to pitch and he was pretty good at it.

Oldbear48

Right or wrong it really does not matter. Kersh is coming to the end of his career. I think you take his comments the other day with a grain of salt. He said afterwards that he felt great, no pain. That is a good sign. But they still need at least one more front-line starter, or at least someone reliable.

Duke Not Snider

Yes, a lot of uncertainty with Kershaw. Right now, we also have uncertainty with Yamamoto, Miller and Buehler.
Fortunately, Glasnow remains healthy–and even seems like both an ace and the proverbial “workhorse,” Maybe the surgery really did fix the source of his chronic ailments. Fingers crossed!
Paxton has exceeded expectations, and Stone and Knack have been more than solid.
Wrobleski is now on the rise–but if he could be flipped in a package for a non-rental talent like Crochet or Luzardo, why not? Either could be the lone lefty in a six-man rotation in ’25 and ’26.
Wrobleski is now the top lefty among Dodgers prospects–but Ferris, Bruns and others are coming along. I’d rather have potential all-stars in the LA rotation than nice prospect depth in Oklahoma.

Last edited 21 days ago by Duke Not Snider
TennisMenace (TM)

Great article again, Jeff. Every year we go through multiple pitching injuries- much like the Braves- and every year, with the exception of Darvish, we replace the voids with mediocre talent which does us very little good in the playoffs.

I believe we definitely need one top 3 starter for more than one reason. I don’t count on Buehler at all….I still have hope for Miller, but it is fading……and I’m very concerned about Yamamoto’s health. Oh, and this might upset some people, but I also expect Glasnow to go on the IR sometime soon. I’m hoping it won’t be a year ending injury. As for Kershaw….who knows? He did look okay in his Tulsa outing this week, but he is broken down with age….still hopeful.

So yes AF…..if you are serious about winning it all this year, you definitely need to go all in and trade away some prospects to acquire a few missing pieces….like a SP and another OF. Best wishes….TM

Last edited 22 days ago by TennisMenace (TM)
Badger

Well you know I’m in agreement with this view Jeff. Paxton threw 96 innings last year. Glasnow 120. Gavin Stone has pitched 111 innings of Major League ball and 80 of those have been this year. Buehler is broken, Miller is a definite maybe, Yamamoto might be ok in a few weeks and he might not, Kershaw is going 3 innings in A ball, Gonsolin, May, Grove, Hurt and Sheehan are all being paid to rehab. It might work out fine, but it doesn’t feel right to me.

And something else that doesn’t feel right – first day of summer and they start the junior varsity against Anaheim. It felt like the Freeway Series in April. But these games count.

Rojas appears to be playing back to his mean, .563 OPS in the last 2 weeks, Kiké has become a .197 hitter, and it looks like maybe the Dodgers are going to give Lux all year to get it right. 200 at bats, .538 OPS.

When the top of the order goes flat, after Ohtani the next 6 spots in the order were 1 for 24, this team can struggle to score. And this was against one of the worst teams in baseball. I suppose all teams do this occasionally. I guess we just enjoy it when it’s working, roll our eyes and shrug when it doesn’t. Sure is fun having Ohtani on this team.

Dave

After a series in Colorado some of the players needed a break. They needed oxygen in the dugout up there!

Bobby

I actually thought Bobby Miller got a bit better as the game in went on. It was his first game back, after an “eh” rehab assignment, and IN Colorado. Let’s see how he is in his next start, most likely at the White Sox.

I am done with Gavin Lux. He looks timid up there, and unsure of what pitches to swing at and what pitches to take (fastballs right down the middle). I was all in on Gavin when we draft him, and when he shot up to be the #2 prospect in baseball. But his at bats this year have ZERO to do with his leg injury; he looks lost. He may need to go join Outman in AAA.

I also hope we give some extended vacations in July to Glasnow and Stone to get them ready for Oct. Granted in Oct, Doc will throw them 4-5 ip anyway, and then start the bullpen train.

dodgerram

If that is the plan for October we better bring in Tanner Scott and Mason Miller and hope Graterol comes back in time.😎
Lux: His and Kikes at bat in the 10th both were pathetic, uncompetitive at bats.
Everyone says the Dodgers will win the West for sure, I am not as confident of that.
With so many weak bats on the roster (Lux, Kike, CT3, Barnes, Biggio) and M.Rojas average coming down fast in the last couple weeks plus the injureis IMHO it is no sure thing we will win the division.

Go Dodgers!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bumsrap

A big difference between Luis Rengifo’s confidence and demeanor and Gavin Lux’. I’m ready to make that swap as I am losing more and more hope for Gavin. You good with that Arte?

Duke Not Snider

If I was Arte, I’d love to get Lux + a prospect for Rengifo. Or two prospects, if possible.
Angels have a very weak farm and a habit of rushing prospects to the majors. The Dodgers have several farmhands who won’t make it to LA but might get a chance in Anaheim.
It’s a bit sad that Lux was supposed to be the Dodgers SS of the future and now I’m hoping he can be flipped for Rengifo.

Wally Moonshot

Bobby— you bring up a good point about the Roberts Bullpen Train. We’re all wringing our hands trying to figure out which Dodger starters will bring us a WS championship when the reality is, every post season Doc seemingly pulls the starter no matter what after 60 pitches and then wears out the bullpen with his so called matchups. If it worked, that would be one thing but history says it doesn’t.

tedraymond

What a discouraging defeat by this Dodger team. To have that kind of offensive production (five hits) in a bullpen game against five pitchers not having a ERA below 4.50. Ohtani got two hits and then the “problem” bottom of the order had the other three.

Jeff D’s assessment of the starting pitching, unfortunately, appears to be realistic in it’s weaknesses. A few weeks ago I was touting that the Dodgers had more than enough pitching to be successful in the playoffs. No trades would be necessary. That is not going to be the case. After Buehler’s nice outing in his third or fourth start I thought it was something to build on. It was not. Yamamoto was becoming a dominating pitcher. Now he’s out, but will be ready for the postseason?. He, most likely, will not. Kershaw was expected back after the All Star game. His recent comments might indicate that could not happen. Bobby Miller is a big question mark right now. So, Jeff D, it looks like AF needs to trade for at least one, maybe two, starting pitchers. You are right.

After spending close to $500MM (with posting fee and luxury tax penalty) on Glasnow and Yamamoto that might not be enough. Yamamoto’s conditioning and mechanics were lauded and maybe revolutionary. Yet, after 14 starts with the Dodgers, the 25 year old breaks down with shoulder issues. Fourteen starts into a 12 year contract and he is probably shut down for the season. WTF?

Bobby Miller has a brilliant first start and then a few where he is ineffective. Because he’s injured. Same with Buehler. Same with Graterol, Kelly, Braiser, Treinen, May, Gonsolin, and Hurt. Over the years AF always has a group of broken down pitchers that he hopes to be rehabbed and ready for the postseason. Almost all never pitch for the Dodgers or anyone else.

With the dozens of pitchers he has drafted AF can’t find one that can become an effective BP piece? Or, the many proven relievers in the MLB that he has been dead against trading for. He won’t give up any of the Dodgers treasured prospects. You know, those position prospects that never get a chance to play with the Dodgers. He just keeps recycling everyone’s castoffs.

I don’t know what the Dodgers are doing or not doing to have all these pitchers break down the way they do. They can draft them, develop them, baby them as far as innings pitched, and then watch them get injured after a short time with the team.

What about Gavin Stone you might ask? He is becoming a pitcher. He isn’t a guy trying to throw the ball threw a brick wall. Hopefully, his approach and mechanics will allow him to continue to improve and be effective. I think this is a nice example of the type of pitcher the team should be developing. It’s not 100% guaranteed, I think might increase the odds of staying off the IL or TJ surgery. Not the Miller type. They rarely stay healthy. Look around baseball. Mostly are big velo and spin guys.

I know this isn’t only a Dodger problem, but a baseball problem. Well, the Dodgers are supposed to be better of the rest of baseball. And, in most aspects they are. But, like everyone else, they fail at keeping pitchers healthy and available. And, unless they are very lucky, the slug approach with their offensive in the postseason will lead to another early exit by an inferior team.

Now, Max is on the 60 day IL. What a surprise. Give someone from AAA a chance.

Sorry to be so negative. But, with such expectations this season and seeing the recent play by the team and the pitching disappointments, it’s very discouraging. How much money do they have to spend? How many pitchers do they need to get through a season? Will the highly paid and talented offensive players succeed in the postseason? I do not know.

Carry on.

Last edited 22 days ago by tedraymond
TennisMenace (TM)

Great post, Ted. No reason to apologize…everything you said is golden…..especially when talking about all these pitchers we draft only to see them get injured. I’m starting to find 30 year old pitchers more appealing because they’ve probably passed the period for getting your 1st TJ injury and have proven they can survive the rigor of throwing a baseball every 6th day.

You probably can at least count on Guys like Yarborough and Lynn to avoid the IR although what you see is what you get. I’m not advocating acquiring guys like these….just stating that at least guys like this will be able to pitch. We can’t say that about much of our staff.

Phil Jones

Great post Ted.

tedraymond

Thanks TM and Phil. Looking forward to writing about all the injured starters and relievers returning to action for the postseason and having the ultimate success in the end.

Bluto

I guess.

i see the point, it’s well presented.

To me the problem is just space. Kershaw, Graterol, May, Kelly, Brasier are all on the 60 IL and due to return. There are a couple of DFA/60 candidates: Brogdon, Hernandez, Ramirez….

But ADDING to that congestion?

Feels inefficient.

Especially adding a pitcher with term. So many starting pitching spots are already allocated for multiple years: Stone, Miller, Yamamoto, Glasnow. Then there’s the ready youth: Knack, Hurt, Ryan, Sheehan and THEN the guys below them.

i love Preller’s aggressiveness, but I’m long past worrying about the Padres even with their perennial acquisitions.

sure, they could be like last year’s Arizona and just get lucky in the crapshoot playoffs. But both teams are fundamentally lesser long term.

Last edited 22 days ago by Bluto
Badger

Congestion could easily be handled with spaced out visits to the IL. 15 days in a 6 man rotation is only 2 starts. Give all of the October pitchers days and innings off in August and September and that can be managed by using Knack, Ryan, Wrobleski, Crochett, Luzardo, Hurt, Casparius…. who am I missing?

I think Freddie needs a day off.

Bumsrap

You have my permission to trade for Crochet but it sounds like he could reach his innings limit before the playoffs.

Bumsrap

….”You are looking at 2025 and beyond, while I am concerned about 2024. I want 4 healthy starting pitchers that can beat Philadelphia going into the playoffs”

I fear adding pitchers to address first and foremost the 2024 season. There is no guarantee they will be healthy for the Playoffs and they will cost trade pieces that could first be used for a third baseman.

Friedman IMHO has to live with his huge investment for Glasnow and Yamamoto and to a lesser extent Ohtani if he assumed he would pitch again. The Dodgers might get Roki Sasaki next year and if so and he doesn’t have to have surgery, he would join Miller, Knack, Stone, Ohtani, May, Gonsolin, Kershaw, Yamamoto, Glassnow, Ryan, etc.
Get me a hitter first and then consider a pitcher

Duke Not Snider

Bregman is coming on strong, mlb.com reports.
After a slow start, Bregman has slashed .353/.402/.615 with five HRs over the past 21 games.
I’m pretty sure he’d upgrade the defense too.
It’s not clear that Houston will be sellers, but I would rather win a ring than nurse a grudge against the Trashtros….
If AF swings for the fences, just imagine a potential playoff lineup:

Shohei DH (why not?)
Mookie 2B
Freddie 1B
Will C
Max/Bregman 3B
Robert CF
Teoscar LF
Heyward/Pages RF
Rojas SS

Bench: Barnes, Outman, Kike, Taylor

Vaya con dios to Lux, Vargas, various prospects.. And perhaps either Pages or Outman in the Robert blockbuster.

Duke Not Snider

Is there any pitcherout there these days that doesn’t inspire a concern about the workload or risk of elbow damage?

Bluto

Yeah, totally agree.

100%

I think given how random the playoffs are and how variable seasons are, you can’t just make moves for 2024.

I again cite the Diamondback’s random run to the World Series. Last year they were, for most of the season, a middling team. This year, for most of the season, they are a middling team.

They got lucky. They played an team saturated with injuries, a few players played beyond their station. They made it to the World Series.

That’s pure variance and chance, in my book.

You can’t strategize against that.

You can’t even strategize for 2024 against the Phillies or Yankees, when it’s just as likely you have the Diamondbacks!

Not sure what age has to do with anything, but I appreciate youth!

Last edited 22 days ago by Bluto
Bluto

I know this was a joke, but I’ll try to keep the conversation going:

YOU WROTE:
If you cannot just make moves for 2024, then why trade at all?

I RESPOND:
Who said you cannot make moves just for 2024?!?!!?!?!
I think the majority of the Dodgers deadline moves are JUST for one year (Machado, Lynn, Rodriguez (even through it didn’t go through), Darvish.)

My unsaid point is, the best position to be in to win a World Series is to be in the playoffs as many times as possible.

YOU WROTE:
Just hold on to what you started the year with, because it is all just luck. Maybe Gavin Lux and Chris Taylor and Kiké Hernández will get hot in the playoffs. It would not be the first time for CT3 or Kiké.

I RESPOND:
For this most part, this is correct.

YOU WROTE:
Maybe all of the injured SP get healthy in September.

I RESPOND:
All? Who cares about totality? I mean there are many ways of looking at playoff pitching, surely more than the following two points, but:

ONE: Most pitchers aren’t going to go through the lineup 3x.
TWO: How much impact on a win probability will a pitcher like Crochet have contra Stone? I wish I knew the answer, or even had good data to make a guess as to the answer.

Rosario, Soler, Pham and Sewald just make my point. They are journeymen who got hot at the right moment. It could just as easily have been Lynn, or could have been Gallo/Chris Martin the previous year. HOw great would 2022 have been if Joey Gallo was like he was in early 2023 (Gallo was the Twins’ most dangerous hitter in April 2023, posting a 1.063 OPSwith seven home runs?

One month or 2 weeks is just such a tiny sample size it is prone to randomness.

Last edited 22 days ago by Bluto
Bluto

Totally lost about what your first paragraph means or is in response to. I think the Dodgers front office is probably the best in baseball. Does this include deadline trades? I hope so, as chronicled in the past on this blog most of the big bats and pitchers acquired at the deadliine have been by the Dodgers.

What more could fans want? Are we going to use hindsight bias on these middling trades?

I hope not.

That’s the point of my Joey Gallo hypothetical, if he had done better it would have been a great trade. In hindsight does anyone (anyone?!??!?) think the Soler acquisition for Bauman and that other guy (which was part of the “get any OF now that Acuna is injured strategy) was a high-quality acquisition? No, it was just like the Gallo trade, but Soler got hot.

Finally, I have a hard time projecting out what ifs and consider it a tremendous waste of time. Burning grey matter on if no pitchers for the Dodgers get healthy? We have zero information about their recovery, their initial diagnosis, we’re not doctors. We’re not even nurses nor medical technicians.

Whose fault is it that the Dodgers pitchers were injured? Nobody’s! It’s random!

Not sure if I called Montgomery a journeyman. He is better than that. Would Montgomery have meant the Dodgers won the World Series? We will never know, but I have doubts. Would it have improved their chances? Sure! If Arizona had Montgomery would they have won the World Series? Who knows?

Last edited 22 days ago by Bluto
Bluto

Interesting.

I came to the conclusion that our major difference is that I’m more interested in process, and you’re more interested in outcome.

I see the trade for Gallo and the trade for Soler as similar. Same process. Braves needed an OF. Dodgers needed an OF. Neither wanted to give up much and took a chance on upside.

You don’t think they are similar. I think that’s because the Soler trade worked out. It worked out because…. The Braves won. The outcome validates the move?

How does one plan for the worst? The worst would be Ohtani, Freeman adn Betts all being injured. You think the Dodgers are planning for that? Are they planning for Will Smith tailing off? Doubtful.

They are not and cannot plan for the worst.

That was a silly statement, unless I misunderstand it. In which case I’m silly.

You don’t rely on luck, you hope for luck. Big difference.

If you relied on luck, I’m not sure you would make any trades. Much less make the most high-cost trades.

Last edited 22 days ago by Bluto
Bluto

Totally!

I’m a process guy!

It’s marketing. My field. You can’t ever know which campaign is going to win, but you follow your best practices and processes and more times than not your message will land with the audience!

QUESTION: THis leads me to an interesting test. What’s your opinion on Dombrowski? He assuredly “gets results” in terms of winning WS, but his process often leaves teams in sad shape when he inevitably departs.

I know we are both BoSox fans. I preference Theo way over Dombrowski. I even named my firstborn Theo, not solely because of the GM.

Last edited 22 days ago by Bluto
porpoiseboy

Yeah, but sometimes process matters. And take the results of the 2017 world series. The result was exactly what the Astros hope they would get. Unfortunately, the process they used to achieve that goal was cheating.

Duke Not Snider

Actually, the Dodgers had Outman in the minors–and it’s hard not to think that he would have been better that Gallo or Vargas, who failed to hit after he got called up but made the postseason roster anyway. The following spring, all Outman did was play so well that he became the starter in CF.
AF really botched the trade season in ’22. When Roberts needed a pinch hitter for Belli, he didn’t summon Gallo or Vargas, but Barnes.
And it was the right decision.

Jeff

I think Paxton may prove us wrong, Jeff. At least I hope so. He is quietly chewing up other teams without being a dominating strikeout pitcher. He will be needed at the end of the regular season.

Bobby

In the twitter link above about River Ryan, the writer stated “He sat 96.5, touched 98.9 spin averaged well over 2300 and touched over 2500”

Can anyone explain to me how those spin numbers compare to top spin guys? If I recall, Walker Buehler had some crazy spin before he reinjured his arm.

Does anyone else on our staff have those type spin numbers?

Bumsrap

Thank you Jeff.

Bobby

Thank you for that!

Looks like Ryan has elite spin which is great

Wayne

Excellent presentation Jeff on why things are far from peaches ‘n cream for this year’s team.
So much fluidity with injuries and performances casts a dark shadow over how good the Dodgers can actually be by October.

Last edited 22 days ago by Wayne
Therealten

I happen to agree with everything u said. Our starting pitching is tenuous at best. One more injury and where do we go? How about a guy like Quintana from the Mets? Throughout the AF tenure we have just struggled with enough quality pitching in the playoffs. Last year was a total embarrassment not 1 healthy quality playoff starter.

at the end of the game last night is a preview of our playoff offense if it doesn’t change. Kiké and lux can’t put the bat on the ball when needed. I would throw biggio, Taylor, Barnes, and probably pages n Heyward in that group but not as bad.

injuries are almost comical. He will be back after the 15 days blah blah blah. Never happens in LA. I hope they make some moves but I am not going to hold my breath. I know one thing this team is nothing special as constructed.

Duke Not Snider

yeah, scratch Luzardo as a target.

Fred Vogel

“But if the Dodgers limp into October with 2 healthy starters without addressing it (again), AF/BG should be fired.”

Doesn’t Ohtani have the right to void his contract if AF leaves?

Bluto

Look.

It’s all opinion from Jeff, that’s why he used “should”.

In reality there’s no chance either is fired, but especially AF, for at least half of Ohtani’s deal. AF was a massive part of the signing.

He’s too good. Too well respected and, to the point of the keyman clause, too entrenched.

Obviously you could argue Walter could try to “explain” AF’s firing, but after one season? After two seasons?

The team would be SERIOUSLY risking things.

Last edited 22 days ago by Bluto
Singing the Blue

I’m ambivalent about our pitching needs and I think AF will wait until late July before deciding what he wants to do.

I have more confidence in Miller’s returning to form this year than I do Buehler but one, both or neither could be playoff ready. And of course, we don’t know what we’ll get from CK either. Andrew has four or five weeks to see what progress those three make before deciding on a plan of action, or inaction.

Comments on some of the possibilities you mentioned:

Skubal – I don’t see any way that the Tigers move him. He’s one of the top 5 pitchers in the AL and they still control him for 2.5 years. They could be in the playoffs as soon as next year so why trade Skubal?

Crochet – You say you aren’t concerned about the future but are concentrating on 2024, but as others have pointed out, he has never been a starter before and has now reached his 2023 number of innings pitched. Considering what he would cost in prospects, I don’t think it’s worth the risk. With even a moderate amount of innings pitched between now and September, he’s going to be a tired puppy come October.

Flaherty – If we want another starter, this is my choice. A free agent after the season so won’t cost a ridiculous amount of prospects. He seems to have found himself again this year and has always been a favorite of mine. Hopefully he would be of more help in the post season than my brilliant pick of Lynn last year.

And while I’m re-working the team, I’m moving Kike, Biggio and Lux in trades or DFA and bringing in Brendan Donovan from St Louis to play 2B, 3B and LF, as needed. Another favorite of mine and I have no clue if the Cards would trade him, but they need young pitching, so……………………………

Last edited 22 days ago by Singing the Blue
Oldbear48

They definitely need another starting pitcher; some infield help and at least one power bat. Luzardo went on the IL today. I saw a trade proposal for Bichette on Heavy.com. Dodgers get Bichette, Jays get Lux, Cartaya and Payton Martin. Sounds about right. I saw another blurb the other day where they might be interested in Kikuchi. He is having a decent year.

Wayne

Your first sentence summed it up nicely.

Bluto

Um

The Dodgers have no chance of knowing about Yamamoto before the deadline.

Not sure about this beyond the literal nature. Will they know conclusively? Of course not, but they will know a great deal more than they currently do about Yamamoto and Miller and Knack and Stone. They will know how YY recovery is coming, they will know what the original diagnosis is/was and how that diagnosis holds up. They’ll have more data on all the pitchers stamina, strength and projections.

Nothing will be definitive, because you cannot ever know anything. Pitchers could lose their release point, they could get hurt, they could find confidence in a secondary pitch, they could get suspended ala Urias.

That said there are even more key questions, like:

Which pitchers will be available?
How healthy are those pitchers?
How do those pitchers project to perform in the playoffs?
What moves do the Dodgers anticipate their rivals taking?
How much of an improvement are those pitchers over the ones the Dodgers already have?

Therealten

“Nothing will be definitive, because you can never know anything.” That’s why u r the GOAT.

Therealten

Cannot ever lol

Jeff

What kind of uniforms are the Dodgers wearing? I’ve never seen them before.

Ron Fairly fan

They’re wearing the new city connect uniform.

Jeff

Thanks……

Duke Not Snider

Excellent case for going after Crochet.
That stat on Lux is pretty brutal… He had a good day yesterday, but I just don’t see him in the long-term plans for the Dodgers. And the plans shouldn’t include a guy whose sole job is to play LF against lefties.

Last edited 21 days ago by Duke Not Snider

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