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I Do Not Understand the Sniping at Andrew Friedman

Look, I get it.  There are those of you out there that flat out do not like Andrew Friedman.  Never have liked him.  I am not going to change your mind so I am not going to try.

Yes he has made mistakes.  Trevor Bauer being the biggest.  Noah Syndergaard also comes up snake eyes.  Yes, he more than most will scour the waiver wire and try to find that gem.  He has found more than most.  But it does give the visual that he is more interested in finding the gems than getting proven players. I get that, it frustrates me as well.

I am not one who thinks AF can do no wrong.  I have criticized his moves in the past, but IMO he has proven himself.  But we can debate him at a later time.

But this commentary/editorial is on the coming and going of the 2023 trade deadline and the disappointment and frustration we all must feel, and I am sure that includes AF.   I am generally writing this in response to the Bill Plaschke and Dylan Hernández columns on the outcome.  I read both articles after comments by Badger and Hondo.  As I previously said, I am not a Bill Plaschke fan primarily because of his disdain for USC.  I cannot remember the last time Dylan Hernández had anything positive to say about the Dodgers.  But I do heartily acknowledge that they are gifted columnists.  Just not my favorites.

Plaschke criticized AF for not getting a front line starter, but also acknowledges…

Granted, both Verlander and Rodriguez utilized no-trade clauses and Scherzer once quit on the Dodgers and there are surely a million reasons why these deals didn’t work out but still…

He then goes on to say what Texas did and what Houston did to improve.

The Rangers shipped their No. 2 prospect to the New York Mets for Scherzer. 

The Astros traded their best prospect to the Mets for Verlander.

 But he already acknowledged that Scherzer was not a fit and JV invoked his no-trade so he could go back to Houston.  So how do you criticize a PBO for not trading for someone who once quit on them in the playoffs, and one who had no intention of playing for LAD, and had the leverage to make sure he didn’t.

This is what Fabian Ardaya said about the JV negotiations:

Things progressed enough for the two sides to exchange names and for the Dodgers to be involved. But Verlander’s history and relationship with Astros owner Jim Crane (along with a no-trade clause to help him direct his new landing spot) threw a wrench into any real chance of a pursuit.

 Based on the comment, I would think that the LAD offer was more than fair, but JV had the leverage and used it.  Even if NYM was inclined to accept the LAD offer, Houston was probably the only team that NYM was allowed to consider.  Yes, NYM probably used the Dodgers to exact the max they could get out of Houston. Why shouldn’t they?  AF does it.

Plaschke went on to say:

The Angels traded two of their top three prospects to the Chicago White Sox for Giolito and Reynaldo López.

IMO, a complete overpay that screwed up the market for the week.  Also, how did that work out?

In his first start as a LAA against Toronto, Giolito really did not pitch better against them than did Grove or Urías.

Plaschke concluded:

The Dodgers needed some standout starting pitching, yet Andrew Friedman couldn’t acquire any, and so a team that has so often been lifted by the trade deadline has once again been crushed by it.

I would heartily agree if a front line pitcher was actually available to the Dodgers, and he was not acquired.  Perhaps my definition of front line and Plaschke’s definition are different.   The Dodgers have a roster full of mid rotation to back end rotation starters.

That is why Michael Lorenzen and Jordan Montgomery were not considered, again IMO.

 

Dylan Hernández

Maybe owner Mark Walter decided to cut back on spending.

Just like E-Rod invoking his no trade, Walter has an absolute right to cut back on spending.    I do not know if he did, but Hernández is free to conjecture anything he wants.

He went on to say:

Prioritizing the future over the present, Friedman refused to deal the necessary prospects to acquire the likes of Justin Verlander or Dylan Cease, who were available for the right price.

How does Hernández know this?   Was he party to the negotiations?  Even his LA Times buddy, Plaschke, knew that Verlander was not going to waive his no-trade clause to pitch for LAD.  The Dodgers did not lose JV because they were not willing to pay the price.  This was all on JV who had all the leverage.

Hernández says that Cease was available at the right price, but does not say what that price was.  I agree he was available at the right price FOR THE WHITE SOX. I say that the right price was Bobby Miller, Michael Busch, Miguel Vargas, Diego Cartaya, and Gavin Stone.  I bet CWS would have made that trade.  Should AF/BG do it just to satisfy Dylan Hernández and all of their critics?

I know these writers are editorializing, but they have no more basis in what they say vs what I say when it comes to “the right price”.  It is their opinion, nothing more.  Neither Plaschke nor Hernández were told of any trade details that did not materialize.

Eduardo Rodriguez is another issue, and I am doing a lot of reading on that one.  More on this later as well.  STB hit on most of the salient points.

I do agree that good intentions are not always acceptable.  But in this case, I have no idea where this front line starter was going to come from.  Pittsburgh thinks they are close and were not about to make the same mistake with Mitch Keller that they did with Gerrit Cole, Tyler Glasnow, and Joe Musgrove.  They were going to listen and probably not act in desperation.

CWS said they were not going to trade Cease, and then saw what stupid returns teams were getting for mediocre rentals, including what they got for Lucas Giolito.  If they could get an overwhelming offer for Cease, why wouldn’t they?  Apparently what the Dodgers were discussing and what CWS GM Rick Hahn was willing to accept was not close.  Maybe it will get closer in the winter.  Maybe not.

None of Blake Snell, Gerrit Cole, Justin Steele, Zac Gallen, Shane McClanahan, Framber Valdez…were available.  I could add any number of names to that list that would also not be considered available.

So what front line starting pitcher were they supposed to get?  Other than JV, none were traded.

I do believe that AF/BG realized that unless Kershaw is healthy, and unless Urías and Gonsolin can turn it around, the Dodgers will find it very difficult to win the WS in 2023 anyway.  They needed an innings eater, and Lance Lynn fills that void.  He is not an Ace, but he does fulfill a purpose at the back end of the rotation.

The team has invested so much in their rookies.  It would have been preferable if Dustin May did not get hurt, Noah Syndergaard would have been a Tyler Anderson type acquisition, Clayton Kershaw did not get hurt, Ryan Pepiot did not get hurt, and Julio Urías and Tony Gonsolin would have pitched as expected.  Didn’t happen.  In fact none of it did.  And yet because of the kids,  and their on-the-job training, they are in 1st place in a very competitive NL West.

If Kershaw is fully healthy, Urías and Gonsolin turn it around, Bobby Miller continues to perform, and Lance Lynn pitches as a back of the rotation pitcher should (eats innings and gives the bullpen a rest), they should be just fine.  That would allow Emmet Sheehan and Michael Grove to go back down to OKC to further percolate without the pressure of being a rookie in a pennant race.  Although Sheehan did have a 4 inning save on Thursday.  He allowed 2 hits (both HR), 1 BB, 3 K in his 4.0 IP.  56 pitches in those 4.0 innings.

BTW, I am not as much down on Michael Grove as many of you are.  Yes, he got roasted by the Reds (and others).  But he also struck out 10 Reds’ batters in 6 innings.  That would indicate that his “stuff” is good.  But the 8 runs would also indicate that his command is not.  His strikeout percentage is at MLB average, while his walk percentage is better than MLB average.  His K/BB is 3.50.  But his HR percentage is much higher than MLB average.  What that says (to me) is that he has the pitches to get ML hitters out, but he has not mastered his command to do it consistently enough to be a ML starter for a contender.  Will he ever?  A lot of talented pitchers have overcome command issues, and a lot have not.  He needs to play it out, and the Dodgers need to let him.  We have been advised that the Dodgers are experts at this.

There was no front line starter available for trade after Justin Verlander. The closest was Eduardo Rodriguez, and both pitchers invoked their no-trade clauses to do what they wanted.  No other front line starter was traded to anybody before the deadline came and went, so stop with the nonsense that AF/BG missed out.  If Gerrit Cole, Shane McClanahan, or Framber Valdez were traded, then I would lead the bitching.

There was no 2015 Johnny Cueto, no 2017 Yu Darvish, no 2021 Max Scherzer, no 2022 Luis Castillo that were headline moves.  Lucas Giolito, Jordan Montgomery, Jack Flaherty, and Michael Lorenzen are not difference makers for a contender.

Aaron Civale?  He is a mid-rotation starter at best. He would be a #3 even with Cleveland if Shane Bieber and Triston McKenzie were not hurt.  He has probably been passed by Tanner Bibee.  He does not have much swing and miss. He does not strike out a lot of people.  He just may not be the type of pitcher that the Dodgers are looking for.  Three different types of fastballs – Cutter, sinker, 4-seamer – Cutter in the high 80’s, and the other two in the low 90’s.  He pitches to soft contact, but soft contact has been killing the Dodgers this year.  Thus the desire for Lance Lynn who does strike batters out.  Here is his Statcast Percentile Rankings.

 

 

That is also why Joe Kelly was reacquired.  He strikes batters out well above MLB average.  He also walks batters at a well above MLB average.  Always has.  Joe Kelly does not change.  He also gets hurt.

I admit, I was all in on Arenado.  But that was not going to happen.  Instead, AF/BG veered to Amed Rosario and Kiké Hernández.  That should help with hitting against LHP, and it probably was the best they could do with a RH bat (again that was available).  Both have already had a positive starts for the Dodgers.  I still look forward to what Kiké will do in the playoffs.

For those that do not like AF, I know I will never change your mind.  I am not trying to.  What I am writing is a response as to why I think Plaschke and Hernández were critical without offering a solution other than “they should have”.  Give me the name of the front line starter that they missed on.  They did not miss on Cease, because he was not available.  They did not miss on Keller, because he was not available.  They did miss out on Rodriguez and were willing to incur the overpayment, but the player pulled the plug.  They were in on Verlander, and the player balked. So who?

 

OBSERVATION – Here is hoping that the Dodgers 2nd round pick, Jake Gelof, will hit as well as Zach Gelof seems to hit for the A’s.  Zach seems ready to rise to become a star in the League.

 

 

08-02-2023 – MiLB Game Summary

 

OKC Dodgers 7 – Round Rock Express (Texas) 6

The Express scored 6 off the first two OKC pitchers, and took a 6-3 lead after 5.  OKC had not scored after the 2nd inning going into the 9th.  In the bottom of the 9th, David Dahl hit a 2-run HR to get within 1.  The next two OKC batters were retired.  Patrick Mazeika singled with two outs and moved to 2nd on a WP.  Hunter Feduccia reached on a scoring error, and Mazeika scored the tying run in the 9th.

Bryan Hudson left the inherited runner on base in the 10th.  With Michael Busch starting the inning at 2nd.  He went to 3rd on a ground out.  The next two batters were IBB, and David Dahl singled home Busch for the walk off win.

 

Key Performers:

  • David Dahl – 3-4, 2 runs, 3 RBI, HR (5)
  • Ryan Ward – HR (15)

 

Box Score

 

 

Tulsa Drillers 10 – Wichita Wind Surge (Twins) 0

Nick Frasso was brilliant for 5.0 scoreless IP.  3 hits, 1BB, 8 K.  He threw 77 pitches while facing 18 batters.  Ben Harris and Aldry Acosta each pitched 2.0 scoreless and hitless innings to complete the shutout.

 

8 of the 9 Tulsa batters had a hit.  6 of the 12 hits were XBH.

Key Performers:

  • Austin Gauthier – 2-3, 1 BB, 1 run, 1 RBI, 2 doubles (12)
  • Jorbit Vivas – 2-4, 2 runs, 3 RBI, HR (12)
  • Josh Stowers – 2-5, 1 run, 5 RBI, HR (2)
  • Hamlet Marte – 2-4, 1 run
  • Yusniel Diaz – 1-3, 2 BB, 2 runs, 1 RBI, HR (7)
  • Imanol Vargas – double (20)

 

Box Score

 

 

Fort Wayne TinCaps (San Diego) 10 – Great Lakes Loons 0

Maddux Bruns had a very rough outing.  Maddux Bruns struck out seven TinCaps but was responsible for half of Fort Wayne’s runs. Graham Pauley smacked a two-run home run with two outs in the first.

Bruns retired 10 of the next 12, striking out six. Bruns entered the fifth inning but only recorded one out. The TinCaps scored six runs off five hits.

The Loons were shut out on 5 hits.

Key Performers:

  • Taylor Young – 2-4
  • Yeiner Fernandez – 2-3

 

Box Score

 

 

Fresno Grizzlies (Colorado) 4 – Rancho Cucamonga Quakes 2

The Grizzlies scored a pair of runs each in the 4th and 6th for a 4-0 lead.  RC got 2 back in the 8th, on a pair of solo HRs by Thayron Liranzo (17) and Jesus Galiz (5), but that was as close as they could get.

Key Performers:

  • Thayron Liranzo – 2-4, 1 BB, 1 run, 1 RBI, HR (17)
  • Jesus Galiz – 2-4, 1 run, 1 RBI, HR (5)

 

Box Score

 

 

 

 

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Oldbear48

Great post Jeff. I agree with everything you have said. When AF came to LA, most wondered what the wunderkind would do with a big budget team. He had done a good job turning the Rays into contenders with a small budget. I think the word genius is tossed around too much. But he does have a lot of baseball savvy. He surrounded himself with good baseball people and he does not make snap decisions. I was very critical of him at first, and after his first two major trades, I was livid. How dare he trade away my favorite player, Matt Kemp, for a PED using so-so catcher! I did not like Grandal then, I still don’t. Then he traded the fastest player on the team and only real stolen base threat, to the Fish for guys I never heard of. Who the hell was Kike Hernandez anyway? Over the years he has made some head-scratching signings, Brett Anderson, Brandon McCarthy, and a couple of bad trades, Tyler White, Jedd Gyorko…just had to get those two in there. But the Dodgers have kept winning far more than they lose. I am relieved he did not waste a lot of prospect capital when he could not get a front-line guy. He tried; it did not happen. I don’t read Plaschke or Hernandez. Don’t get the times. There are a lot of ifs that have to happen for the Dodgers to go deep into the playoffs. Kersh had a great bullpen yesterday. Sheehan did a good job in relief; I think his days as a starter this year are past. Buehler told Kersh he hit 94 on the gun, and he is on the road trip with the Dodgers. This weekend they face the Padres. A surprise under-performing team that has gotten hot lately. They will be facing a very good lineup. A split will be ok. Losing 3 is unacceptable.

Badger

Good morning Jeff.

Thanks again for your work here. Right before reading the Times, this is where I go every morning.

Those who know me from DT are aware initially I wasn’t enamored with Friedman. But I cannot argue with facts, the team wins. Being old school I wasn’t a fan of that three outcome business, and frankly still don’t buy pieces of it (every baseball player should know how to bunt, hit to the opposite field and protect the plate) but again, this team wins, and they’ve done it with slugging and pitching. For that I’m grateful. I’d like to believe how to win in October is a science a guy like Friedman can figure out but in my estimation outlying factors of October baseball are difficult to corral, more so now than ever before. And that includes how to stop teams from cheating. Clearly MLB doesn’t really care if players and organizations do it.

2023. Buehler, May, Lux, Bauer. WTF? If those guys were all still standing it’s LA, not Atlanta.

The Deadline. As you know I didn’t believe St Louis would trade Arenado. Didn’t make sense. I wanted Verlander. He didn’t want LA. Giolito made sense to me and I figured it wouldn’t cost that much to get him. And it didn’t. Maybe he isn’t as good as I thought, but maybe pitching for his home town club would have lit a fuse in him.

ERod. That too made no sense. Sounds to me like someone was bargaining in bad faith. The excuse, close to home, is ludicrous. Detroit and Miami? LA is 2 hours in a First Class cabin farther from Miami than Detroit. And any player who would rather stay in Detroit than play for the Dodgers is not a player I want on my team. I do think Friedman and his geek squad should have known this, but I don’t know the details.

Plaschke and Hernandez. They are journalists whose job it is to create interest. They do that. Plaschke is one of those people who stirs the pot. I like that in a guy. But often I find myself raising eyebrows and moving on.

On a personal note, the last year or so I’ve been dealing with life issues that have taken me away from spending time researching and commenting on the game I love. But I do like coming here and reading. Keep up the good work Jeff. Your columns more often than not I find better than the other sites.

Last edited 6 months ago by Badger
Bobby

Maybe it’s toooooo early for this, but I am getting Braves 2021 vibes from our trade deadline acquisitions and the way they’re fitting in.

We were beat in 2021, not by Acuna or Freeman, but by a few random dudes that we could just not get out.

Our “Best Team Ever??” team from 2017 didn’t win (we all know why). Our even better team in 2019 was out in round 1. The 2021 106 win team with tons of superstars were absolutely gassed after beating SF. Our absurd 111 win team in 2022 got embarrassed in round 1.

So why not try it a different way in 2023?? Bottom line is, we’ll be in October again. Maybe the random guys batting behind 4 All Stars can change that in 2023.

Dionysus

Man, Frasso is a big dude.

Jeff, look into your crystal ball and tell me when you see him in our rotation.

Dionysus

Thanks

Dionysus

Just for fun, anyone seen Greinke’s stats this year?

Oldbear48

1-11 5.32 ERA 106.2 innings, 69 K’s WHIP is 1.256 and he has given up 21 bombs. Pathetic. Still 72 games over .500 for his career.

Dodgerrick

I was not a Friedman fan at first. Like Badger, I am more a traditionalist. I don’t like 5 inning starting pitchers, unproductive outs, etc. etc. and Friedman has moved the Dodgers into the Moneyball era. But the Dodgers have been mostly very successful under his leadership, and I have come around some.

I have believed all year that this is a transitional season for the Dodgers. They have played more prospects (to see if any are ready for prime time and are the “real thing”) and plugged in gaps with a lot of old timers (Heyward, Peralta, JD Martinez) on one year contracts.

Next year, the Dodgers can lose up to $100MM in player salaries from the current roster (plus Bauer). Every one of the 5 guys they picked up at the deadline are free agents or have a team option for 2024.

Coming into the Winter of 2024, the following players are free agents or come off of the payroll:
Urias, Kershaw, Bauer, Shelby Miller, Jimmy Nelson, Brasier, Cyr (pitchers) (Lance Lynn has a team option at $18MM, Kelly has one at $9.5MM), JD Martinez, Kike Hernandez, Rosario, Peralta, Heyward, Marisnick (position players) (Muncy has a team option at $10MM).

So this year, they are trying to be competitive. Next year will be interesting because I think that they will look a lot different.

As for this year’s crop of rookies, Outman and Miller look like they might be major leaguers. Sheehan is a two pitch pitcher and is probably fated for the bullpen. Grove is one of many guys that I have seen over the years with stuff but no ability to consistently get results.

They probably reach the post-season this year, but they don’t have the starting pitching to go far in my view. This looks like a “wait ’till next year” kind of year.

Badger

Great take Rick.

Next year will look different in many ways, but our best position players will be back. Our 1-4 is as good as any and I trust the pitching will be figured out.

There were some unusual circumstances this year, some of which could not have been foretold. We’ve lost two starting shortstops, Turner and Lux, what amounts to a starting staff, and our prize can’t miss ROY candidate prospect is in the minor leagues. Yet we are still in first place. Good job Andrew.

Last edited 6 months ago by Badger
Bluto

Is it really that “money” has taken over the game?

Isn’t the biggest change since when Pittsburgh, The Big Red Machine and the Vida Blue athletics (with the sweet uniforms) that PLAYERS have gotten more power and gained the ability to make their maximum?

It used to be that the owners had all the power and freedom, and while that enabled owners to make a shit-ton of money without doing much, they also hampered the growth everywhere else of the game.

I may be totally wrong about that. I have no research or hard data to call upon.

Jeff Dominique

Yes money has changed the game. Small market teams cannot consistently put together championship teams. Pittsburgh finally is paying 1 player north of $100MM and that is over 8 years.

I do not believe Oakland has ever had a player with a $100MM contract.

KC – I do believe that the highest paid contract is Salvador Perez, 4 years $82MM.

Cincinnati has had 1 player north of $100MM, Joey Votto – 10 years $225MM. They have not been able to keep any of their stars since then. They are waiting for Votto to retire into Cooperstown.

Cleveland has 1 player north of $100MM. Jose Ramirez – 7 years $144 MM.

OTOH, Texas went out and spent more than a half a billion dollars on three players…Corey Seager, Marcus Semien, and Jon Gray. ($500MM on just 2). They spent a bundle more this year on de Grom (5 year $185MM), and 2 year $34MM on Nathan Eovaldi. They have committed $775MM on 5 players, and now another $23MM on Max Scherzer for just 2024.

Which of Oakland, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, or Kansas City can come close to that level of commitment.

I am not begrudging the players. Good for them. But to ignore the fact that most of the MLB teams cannot commit what Texas has done for 2 years, or what NYM has done for 1 year is not realistic. How many teams can even think about signing Shohei Ohtani. How many teams can afford $100MM for Josh Hader?

Not just Ohtani and Hader. 24 year old RHSP Yoshinobu Yamamoto (Orix Buffaloes – JPL) is estimated to pull down $200MM. Yuki Matsui (Tohoku Rakuten Eagles) figures to be another high cost reliever hitting the market next year. As poor of a season as Julio Urías is having, he still figures to be limited to just a handful of teams that will be able to afford him. Blake Snell, Aaron Nola? Which of Cincinnati, KC, Oakland, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Cleveland will be able to even consider any of those free agents.

Two of my non LAD favorite teams growing up were Baltimore and Pittsburgh. I miss them. I miss the We Are Family Pirates. I miss the 80’s KC teams. I miss the Big Red Machine teams. I am happy that the Dodgers are not in the same financial position as those teams and can contend every year.

Bluto

I think I agree, but think it’s worth it.

The ideal thing to me, would be more revenue sharing. But I don’t think anything NFL style is doable. And the NFL isn’t perfect.

Bumsrap

It was not really interesting playing Oakland. Small market teams that don’t win get early draft picks. They could use some of their unspent revenue sharing money on scouting and drafting and pull themselves up by their bootstraps.

KC could trade Witt and get a load back. Then draft early again and trade one for two or three again. They don’t have to compete for the players making huge contracts for them to not be bottom dwellers. Spending didn’t help the Mets this year. Tampa Bay wins without a big payroll.

Oldbear48

Montgomery is a vet and I think he could be a huge help if needed down the stretch. I watched the game he pitched the other night. Very impressive.

Singing the Blue

Montgomery has done nicely at OKC and probably deserves a shot, but with Kershaw and Pepiot almost ready and Buehler hopefully next month coupled with Urias and Miller and maybe Catman, he may not get his chance.

At least he’s built up enough of a track record that he should be able to find an MLB job in 2024.

Good news. Cole Hamels has saved Andrew from himself and has announced his retirement.

Last edited 6 months ago by Singing the Blue
Singing the Blue

Free Michael Busch!!!

Dionysus

Amen

Bobby

Any idea how Gelof did in the AZ league? I’m assuming because he’s a college player and high pick, it likely does’t matter anyway, and we’re hoping he’s on the fast track.

Oldbear48

Sent to Rancho,

Singing the Blue

If you can stand another compliment, Jeff, let me add my two cents to what others have said. Thanks so much for the work you do here and the atmosphere that you maintain on the site. It’s truly a baseball oasis for those of us who don’t appreciate name calling on a daily basis.

Some random thoughts:

  • I made my thoughts known on Plaschke/Hernandez previously. Hernandez, in particular, just seems like he’s always angry. I hope, for his sake, it’s only his print persona and not how he lives his life.
  • I mentioned that I really like Bill Shaikin and another one on my approved list is Fabian Ardaya at The Athletic. I think he does excellent work.
  • Verlander said his familiarity with the Astros PLUS the fact that they have ST in Florida made them the logical choice. We were never going to get him.
  • Former Dodger draftee from the Dominican Republic, Lauryn Sao, who up until now was a first baseman/third baseman, has now converted to pitching. We may be looking at the second coming of Pedro Baez (although one can only hope he can adapt to the pitch clock). His numbers so far this year at Rancho are excellent: in 42 innings, 57 k’s/7 bb, 2.98 ERA, 1.039 WHIP.
  • I liked what I saw from Sheehan last night. His future may very well be in relief and with all the starters just arrived and about to return, it certainly seems as though that might be his role for the rest of 2023.
  • As they say, sometimes the best trades are the ones you don’t make. As already discussed, Giolito followed his so-so first start with a lousy one. Mitch Keller, another potential trade we were looking at, pitched last night and gave up 8 runs in 5 innings.
  • The Padres look to be getting their act together. I’m hoping for a split this weekend. I’d love to come out of that series with them still 9 behind us in the standings. If they should sweep, they would only be 5 back and that would be very scary. I still fear them more than the Giants or Dbacks. I heard this morning that Ha Seong Kim is third in MLB in bWAR at 5.4. That totally shocked me. He’s well known for his excellent defense but his OPS+ is at 135. He came over three years ago from Korea and his numbers have improved dramatically every year. So they not only have Machado and Jr and Bogaerts and Soto but also the third best WAR in MLB. How the hell they’ve managed to put together the record they have so far is beyond me, but there are still a lot of games left to play and whatever we may think about their personalities, they have some real talent down there.
Badger

“The Padres look to be getting their act together”

Ive said all year they are better than they’ve played. I hope I’m wrong about them. They are in their sherbet ice cream uni’s tonight. I know I’m not wrong about those.

Bumsrap

There will never be more than a handful of pitchers like Koufax and he wasn’t an instant success. Kershaw was good but not great until he added his slider. Some pitchers can’t live up to their stuff because of lack of control and command. Others like Greinke have to get past their anxieties before they become what they are physically capable of.

I don’t have confidence in Grove or Pepiot or Stone to become #2 or #3 pitchers or even stay in the rotation of a championship caliber team but I still think they might. In fact, I am happy to have such potential already in the Dodger organization.

I do have confidence in Miller and Sheehan with the latter having a chance to do what Kershaw did at the big league level–add a pitch.

Sometimes Friedman gets lucky. Who knows who might have been traded if some of the trade discussions had worked out. I for one am very happy to still have Grove, Miller, Sheehan, Stone, Pepiot on the Dodgers.

This might surprise most of you although I have already said this. I am glad Muncy is still a Dodger. The Dodgers are winning even with all the worries about pitching and the filling out of the batting order with a few players hitting below the Mendoza line. It’s about keeping a winning culture intact. The off-season would be a better time to decide the fate of Muncy.

What is happening in San Diego with all their offense makes me realize how much Roberts does to keep the Dodgers winning. Structure is important to success. Keeping Muncy in the lineup and in the upper half of the lineup adds consistency and consistency usually has good results. That said, keeping Muncy in the lineup against lefties and taking Outman out is aggravating for the fans, well me anyway.

I look forward to seeing how this season plays out. I look forward to watching our youthful and inexperienced pitchers evolve.

Bluto

I find this really interesting, but I don’t know much about the players named:
The Dodgers say they traded minor league pitchers Aldrin Batista and Maximo Martinez to the Chicago White Sox for international slot money.

Per the CBA, international bonus pool money can only be traded in increments of $250,000, and must be for the current international signing period

The 2023 international period runs through December 15

Last edited 6 months ago by Bluto
Jeff Dominique

Aldrin Batista, 20 year old RHP (Azua, D.R.), was signed June 1, 2022. This year he had 54 K against 15 BB in 39.0 IP. Just promoted to Rancho before the trade. He has been assigned to CWS ACL.

Maximo Martinez, 19 year old RHP (Caracas, Venezuela) was signed January 15, 2021. Was with LAD ACL at time of trade. Has been assigned to CWS ACL.

Looks like AF has his eye on a IFA. Remember Yordan Alvarez was signed late.

Singing the Blue

I seem to remember seeing a blurb somewhere the other day about a Korean high school kid who planned to sign with a US team instead of playing in Korea. Maybe that’s who he’s after.

No matter who he signs, at least we know he won’t be able to trade him in September for a reliever.

Scott Andes

A lot of people think I hate Friedman, which I do not. But there are a couple of things he does that I severely dislike.

Lack of value placed on starting pitching, poor game strategies and pitching philosophies Baseball is not a science. It’s not an algorithm. tradional strategies work in October. You have to have good starting pitching and starters have to go deep into games, regular and postseason. Bullpens should be used sparingly. Take a look at the Dodger’s innings over the last 3 seasons 2021-present, How many starters pitched over 150 innings each season? Maybe 1-2 that’s it. trotting in 6-7 middle relievers every single game is a very poor strategy that will result in Tommy Khanle having to be used in an elimiation game because all of the primary middle relievers are hurt, injured or innefective or already used too early in the game. Unfortunately Friedman is stubborn and doesnt see it this way. Im afraid the same problems will sink the Dodgers in the postseason again this year.

I do admit he’s done a good job in general, as the team makes the playoffs every year has won 3 pennants and a ring. Although, those clubs were heavily helped by a lot of players left over from the Colletti/Wjhite adminstration such as Kershaw, Urias, Pederson, JT, Seager, Bellinger, Kenley etc.

I dont really have an issue with his trades (I actually liked his trades this year) which have normally worked out (mookie), or at least brough value marginally if nothing else. During the winter season he’s normally terrible (free Agency) or does nothing at all (with the exception of Freeman)

His free agent pitcher signings are usually dreadful because he either signs injured pitchers who can’t pitch, or reclamation projects or journeyman who bring little to no value to the team. Somehow someway, someone needs to make him understand the important of starting pitching. He needs to look no further than the orginizational history of the team he runs, I.E. Koufax, Drysdale, Sutton, Newcomb, Fernando, Orel, etc)

Moneyball is ruining baseball if not already. It makes the game boring. Sometimes what helps teams win and what is good for the individual team is not what is good for the sport as a whole. Analytics are good tools to use, but should not change the way the foundation of the gameis built nor get in the way of giving the consumer, the fans what they want. This is what the commissioner is fighting against,

The three true outcomes are boring.
No base-running is boring.
Watching 6-7 middle relievers every night is not exciting.
4-5 inning starts=not a start

Fans want to see action. They want to see base-running, they want to see starting pitching duels. They want to see less middle relievers. Most of you guys here are probably older than I am and probably have seen some of the greatest starting pitchers in Dodger’s history. Don’t you miss seeing great starting pitching? Pitching duels?

Myself, I love a good pitching duel. But everyone is different. Either way, if the Dodgers can get their pitching right, they have a good chance this year.

Last edited 6 months ago by Scott Andes
Badger

Adapt, migrate or die Scott.

There are aspects of the game I grew up with that I miss, but I don’t find this game boring.

If Friedman doesn’t value pitching, as you suggest, how do the Dodgers end up at the top of pitching stats year after year?

I’m a fan and I want to see my team play exceptional defense, score runs and win. 2 out of 3 ain’t bad.

Scott Andes

Well they’re not at the top this year in pitching.

RC Dodger

Good analysis Jeff.
I like Friedman and think he is one of the top GMs in baseball. But he still deserves criticism when he makes poor moves and fails to take action. The largest mistake to me was the Trevor Bauer trade and I said it at the time. AF had a World Series champion and he lets key members walk, doesn’t extend key players, strings along JT, and then makes Bauer the highest paid player in baseball. The trade deadline last year was dreadful with his primary move a trade for Joey Gallo. The off-season this year was lackluster and he allowed several key players to walk like JT, Bellinger, Anderson,and Heaney. And now this trade deadline, with the pitching staff struggling, the best pitcher he adds is Lance Lynn with his 6.40 era and MLB leading HR allowed. Maybe the only true ace available was Verlander, but I disagree that other pitchers could not help this staff. I would take Civale, Lorenzen, Montgomery, Flaherty or even Hill on this staff either instead of or in addition to Lynn. These pitchers mostly required prospects outside the top 100, and well down the LAD list. I hope Lynn pitches great Sunday, but the Hill vs Lynn matchup concerns me. Hopefully, AF is right, my concerns are unfounded, and Lynn pitches great. AF has all the medical info on Kershaw, Buehler, Hudson, Treinen, Pepiot, etal, so maybe he is confident that these guys will be effective for the stretch run. I will be hopeful even though I think Friedman should have done more.

I would love to see the Dodgers win or even split this Padre series as their roster is still formidable. And given the obstacles this year, if the Dodgers can win the division, it is a successful season to me even if they don’t make the WS.

Bluto

Jeez. The D’Backs are 7.5 game behind.

I did not see that coming.

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