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Dodger Baseball

I Helped Win A Championship

We all can recall the stars who propel teams to Championships. But sometimes, it is the non-star who makes a key play, or drives in a crucial run. It happens during the season, and many times in postseason play too. Over time, their names escape some of us when we try to recall a moment in time when the ultimate was made possible by an unlikely source.

In 1955, that key moment came when Alston substituted Sandy Amoros for Jim Gilliam in left field at Yankee Stadium in game 7 of the 55 series. Gilliam moved to second for Don Zimmer.

In the sixth inning, Podres allowed two runners with one out. Berra hit a shot down the left field line, Amoros sprinted over and made the catch, he then pivoted, threw a bullet to Reese, who relayed the ball to Hodges, who then tagged McDougald for the third out.

The Yankees would miss out again in the 8th when McDougald failed to drive in the runner from third with one out. Podres set the Yankees down in the 9th and Brooklyn had its first and only championship. Amoros hit .333 in that series and had a homer and 3 runs driven in.

He was, by all accounts, your classic bench player. But in this case, that one play changed the Dodgers postseason fortunes. They have done far better in Los Angeles than they did in Brooklyn, but the game has changed significantly since then.

 

1959: 59 was a very tight pennant race in the National League. The Giants, Braves and Dodgers battled most of the year. The Dodgers had a few days at the top of the standings and managed to stay close to the Braves for most of the season. Their biggest deficit was 5.5 games.

There were many changes to the roster during the season and the team ended up using 38 players over the season. 15 of them were pitchers. Carl Erskine, clearly no longer the pitcher he was, pitched in 10 games and was released, ending his career at 32.

Roger Craig, who had some success in Brooklyn, but had been relegated to the minors for a couple of years with arm problems, stepped into the #4 spot in the rotation and pitched well. McDevitt was the #5 starter. But Stan Williams and Larry Sherry also made starts.

One of the biggest changes was bringing in 26 year old Maury Wills to be the starting SS. Wills would get into 83 games. He was an upgrade over the slumping Don Zimmer. Chuck Essegian was obtained in a trade and added bench depth.

Sherry would become the World Series hero out of the pen winning two and saving two. Essegian would hit 2 pinch hit homers.

 

 

1963:  1963 was the year that Sandy Koufax became the pitcher they thought he would be. He won the Cy Young and had a 25 win season. Between him, Drysdale and Podres, they won 58 of the Dodgers 99 wins. The #4 starter was Bob Miller, the # 5 was Pete Richert. They had a new closer in ’63, Ron Perranoski. He would win 16 and save 21.

Rookie, Dick Calmus, would win 3 games. He would never pitch for the Dodgers again in the majors. He had a short stay with the Cubs, 1 game, in 1967. Off season addition, Bill Skowron had a terrible year, hitting only .203 with 4 home runs.

They did not make a lot of moves during the season. They sold Duke Snider just before the season started and then sold Zimmer to the Senators in June. The only trade they made was on July 30th when they traded Ed Roebuck to the Senators for infielder Marv Breeding. Breeding played in 20 games and did not do well.

Dick Nen came up for a cup of coffee in September and had one hit. But it was huge, a homer against the Cardinals in a crucial three-game series. Skowron turned it around in the World Series and played well. But it was all about the pitching as they swept the Yankees in four.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1965: 1964 had been a huge disappointment for the Dodgers. But many of their stars underperformed and Koufax had a circulation issue in his finger that shortened his season. Tommy Davis, coming off of back to back batting titles, hit under .300.

Other than Koufax and Drysdale, the pitching staff was not very good. Podres pitched in only 2 games. So some changes were obviously coming. They traded Howard, Ortega, Richert and Dick Nen to the Senators for Claude Osteen and infielder John Kennedy.

Disaster struck 17 games into the season when Tommy Davis broke his ankle sliding into second base. They called up a career minor leaguer that they had traded for in 1964, Lou Johnson.

Johnson was no Davis, but he played with a smile on his face and played well all season long. They did not have much power, but they stole 177 bases as a team, and they had the ROY in second baseman, Jim Lefebvre. He and Johnson led the team with 12 homers.

Koufax had 26 wins and Drysdale 23. Osteen chipped in 15 and Podres, in his last season as part of the rotation, won 7. They had a good bullpen, but not much on the bench. They won 97 games and finished 2 games in front of the Giants.

They did not make any trades at the trade deadline, but they did bring Jim Gilliam out of retirement in May, and he ended up being the regular third baseman and hitting .280.

They would meet the AL Champion Twins in the series. The Twins, unlike the Dodgers, had a lot of power with Harmon Killebrew and Bob Allison leading the way. Their pitching staff was led by 20 game winner, Mudcat Grant and lefty Jim Kaat.

Drysdale pitched in game one, Koufax had refused to pitch since the game started on Yom Kippur, a Jewish holiday. Big D lost to Grant 8-2 in Minnesota. Koufax started game 2 and lost to Kaat, 5-1. The series shifted to Los Angeles and Claude Osteen started game three with the Dodgers down 2 games to none.

He pitched brilliantly and won a 4-0 shutout over Camilo Pasqual. Roseboro drove in 2 of the runs, Osteen went 9 for the complete game 5 hitter. They lost Lefebvre to an injury in this game. Game four saw Drysdale against Grant again. This time Drysdale won, 7-2. Another complete game win.

Koufax faced Kaat again in game five. Sandy was more than up to the task as he threw a complete game 4 hit, 10 strikeout win at the Twins. The Dodgers had only three extra base hits out of their 14 hits in the game,  two doubles by Wills and one by Fairly.

Back in Minnesota for game six, Osteen against Grant who evened the series on three day’s rest with a 5-1 win. Alston had a decision to make, should he pitch Drysdale, who had won game four on the 10th, or should he bring his Ace, Koufax back on two days’ rest. He opted for his Ace.

Sandy was up to the task, he would pitch a three-hit complete game shutout. He struck out 10 and walked three. Johnson’s homer off of the foul pole leading off the fourth inning started a two run rally that would chase Kaat.

The Dodgers won their fourth overall title, and their third in LA. It would be their last until 1981. They would lose four times in the series in between. 65 was Koufax’s last World Series win and the same for Drysdale. Sandy retired after the 66 series, and Big D had to retire after 1969 with a bad rotator cuff.

 

 

 

1981: 1981 was a strike year, so it was different in that this was the first time that the pennant winner had to win two playoff series to advance to the World Series. The reason was the strike caused the powers that be to divide the season into two halves. The winner of the first half, would play the winner of the second half in a division series.

The Dodgers won the first half by half a game over the Reds. They were barely over .500 in the second half and finished with 63 wins. Houston won the second half by winning 33 of their 53 games. The Reds got screwed. They won more games, 66, than any team in the West. But they had not won either half, so they missed the playoffs.

The Dodgers had to go to Houston for the first two games and got beat 3-1 and 1-0. They came back to LA for the next 3. Hooton beat Knepper in game three, 6-1. Rookie sensation, Fernando Valenzuela, beat Ruhle, 2-1 in game four. Jerry Reuss, who’s injury at the beginning of the year opened the door for Valenzuela, pitched a shutout in game five, beating Nolan Ryan, 4-0.

The Dodgers still had the infield together in 81. It would be their last chance at a championship together. Mike Scioscia had taken over the #1 catching spot. But Yeager was his backup. Pedro Guerrero was the starting right fielder but otherwise the lineup was pretty much the same as it had been in ’78.

The only trade they had made had brought Ken Landreaux to the team in March. Valenzuela was the star and a sensation to the fans. Fernandomania took over Los Angeles and baseball.

They still had the likes of Rick Monday and Reggie Smith on the bench along with prankster Jay Johnstone and utility man, Derrell Thomas.

Valenzuela, Hooton, Reuss and Welch made a formidable rotation. Steve Howe, Bobby Castillo and Dave Stewart were the main guys out of the pen.

After knocking off the Astros, they then had to face the Eastern champion Expos. The first two games were in LA. Hooton beat Gullickson 5-1, but then Burris shut out LA in game two, 3-0 beating Fernando.

Off to Montreal for game three, Expos Ace, Steve Rogers beat Reuss, 4-1. Hooton won his third playoff game, 7-1 over Gullickson, with Dusty Baker and Steve Garvey driving in five of the seven runs. Garvey hit his 3rd homer.

The deciding game was played on October 19th. A rematch of Rogers and Valenzuela. The Expos got one in the first inning. The Dodgers came back and tied the game in the 5th when Valenzuela drove in Rick Monday.

That is the way the game stayed until the 9th inning. Then with 2 outs, Rick Monday hit a home run to deep center field, and the Dodgers led 2-1. Valenzuela got two outs in the 9th, but got into trouble and Bob Welch came in to get the last out and send the Dodgers to the series against the Yankees.

The Dodgers would lose the first two games in New York to lefties, Ron Guidry and Tommy John. Back in LA they would sweep all three games behind Valenzuela, some stellar bullpen work in game four with Howe getting the win, and Jerry Ruess in game five.

They also got some clutch hitting in game three from Cey and Guerrero. A two-run pinch hit off of Frazier in the 6th by Johnstone when they tied the game at 6. 2 late homers off of Guidry in game five by Guerrero and Yeager.

Game six was a laugher. After going down 1-0 in the third they scored 1-3 and then 4 runs in the 4th, 5th and 6th innings. Guerrero was 3-5 with 5 RBI’s and the final score was 9-2. Hooton got the win and Howe pitched 3.2 innings of scoreless relief.

It was a magical year.

 

 

 

1988: The Dodgers had signed free agent outfielder Kirk Gibson in the offseason. Gibby was as hard-nosed as they come, and he set the tone in spring training when he went ballistic after reliever Jesse Orosco put eye black around the inside of his cap. He stormed off of the field and made it known he was there to win, not to play games.

But Gibson was not the only new member of the team. Orosco, SS, Alfredo Griffin and reliever Jay Howell were also new. They brought back Don Sutton and traded for infielder Glen Hoffman. Yep, Trevor’s brother.

They would make only one significant trade during the season when they traded Pedro Guerrero to the Cardinals in August for John Tudor.

Another new member was Mike Davis, a free agent signing in the offseason also. But Mike would suffer through a terrible year. Gibson would eventually win the MVP award. Griffin would bat under .200, but brought solid defense at SS. Howell was the closer and would have 21 saves.

Hershiser had a Cy Young year, 23-8 Leary won 17 games and Belcher won 12. Valenzuela and Sutton were not that great. That was one of the concerns and the reason they traded for Tudor who won 4 of his 7 decisions.

Overall the bullpen was pretty solid. But injuries to several players had many non-regulars playing major roles. They called themselves the Stunt Men and they were led by Mickey Hatcher, who had returned to LA the year before in a trade with the Twins.

They would be crucial come World Series time. They met the Mets in the NLCS. New York had beaten them 11 of 12 games during the regular season.

They split the first two games at Dodger Stadium and lost game three at Shea. Howell got suspended for having a file in his glove. He would miss a couple of games. In game four, they were down 4-2 in the 9th inning when Mike Scioscia, who had three homers all year, connected for a two-run shot off of Dwight Gooden to tie the game.

Finally in the 12th inning, Kirk Gibson hit his first homer of the series off of Roger McDowell to get the win. It took three pitchers to close the game out in the bottom of the inning. Leary gave up two hits and got one out. Orosco got one out and walked a man to load the bases.

Hershiser came in and on 3 pitchers got Kevin McReynolds to fly out for the last out. Led by  Kirk Gibson’s 3-run homer, they would win game 5, 7-2 behind Tim Belcher.

Game six back in LA was a 5-1 5 hit complete game gem by David Cone. Game six was all Orel Hershiser. He completely shut down the Mets on 5 hits. The Dodgers won the pennant with a 6-0 win. But it was costly, they lost Kirk Gibson to sore knees.

The mighty A’s came to LA to start the Series. The Bash Brothers as they were known clubbed a lot of homers. They had also won 104 games.

Mickey Hatcher started in left field for the injured Gibson and he actually got the Dodgers on the board first with a 2-run homer off of Dave Stewart in the first inning.

The A’s got 4 in the second on a Canseco grand slam off of Belcher with 2 outs.

The A’s would not score again. The Dodgers got one back when Scioscia drove in Marshall with a single. And that is the way it stayed until the bottom of the 9th. The A’s brought in their closer, Eckersley to pitch the 9th.

Scioscia and Hamilton made outs and Lasorda sent Mike Davis to hit for Griffin. Davis drew a walk, and then out of nowhere, Kirk Gibson was seen strolling to the on deck circle getting ready to hit.

The stadium went nuts. Gibson stepped to the plate. I forget what the count was, but Davis stole second base. The hope was Gibson would hit a ball far enough where he did not have to run and Davis would score the tying run.

Gibby hit a weak roller down the first base line that went foul and it was obvious he was really hobbled. With the count 3-2, Gibson called time and backed out of the box.

He would say later that he was recalling a scouting report on Eckersley that said on 3-2 counts, he would throw a backdoor slider to left handed hitters.

Eckersley threw exactly that type of pitch and Gibson got around on it and hit maybe the most dramatic homer in Dodger history. But he would not have even had a chance had Davis not worked that walk. That walk was Mike Davis’s highlight in his Dodger career. Even though four more games were played,  they seemed anticlimactic compared to game one.

Hatcher filled in nicely for Gibson hitting well over .300 with 2 homers in the series. But it was all about pitching and the pitching star was Hershiser. 6th World Series title in team history and number 5 in LA.

We would have to wait more than 30 years for the next one. The longest drought in LA Dodger history. Brooklyn waited 65 years, from 1890 to 1955. It has been three seasons now. Let’s hope that the wait is over in 24.

 

 

 

It does not get more iconic than the above!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Duke Not Snider

Nice trip down memory lane, Bear.
When I read about how many games Perranoski won, I find myself wondering how many multi-inning appearances he compiled. Phil Regan too, with that 14-1 record.
On another matter, I’ve noticed some fans muse that maybe Mookie shouldn’t move to 2B. I don’t really understand the sentiment.
Anyway, I think Mookie has made his perspective clear. A recent quote about the move to 2B:
“Oh, man. I’m ecstatic about it. I’m super excited about it. But you know, I do what I can just to help the team win. We’ve got J-Hey out there, who’s got just as many Gold Gloves as I do, so we’re not really missing much out there in right field, for sure. We have a really good team and really good outfield. It’ll be a lot of fun to get to go back to my roots.”

I’m still hoping that Heyward platoons with Taylor, while Outman and Teoscar are basically full-time players. (Teoscar could shuffle between LF and RF, but he might be a better defender if he focuses on LF full-time.)
At this point, I think AF might just tinker a bit. Re-signing Brasier makes sense. And maybe Margot could be moved to make room for Kike.
One reason an overpay for Burnes would have made sense is that Burnes himself is underpaid. He is under contract for ’24 at $15.6 million, while Glasnow is getting paid $25 million.

Oldbear48

In 1963, Perranoski pitched in 69 games and compiled 129 innings. So there had to be several multi-inning appearances. He only struck out 75 batters and he walked 57. 14 of which were intentional. In 65, ” The Vulture”, Phil Regan, pitched in 65 games and compiled 116.2 innings. So he had some multi-inning appearances too. He struck out 88 and walked 24. 9 more were intentional.

norcaldodgerfan

Dodgers could have easily matched the trade executed by the Orioles, but Milwaukee was not going to trade with the Dodgers.

Burnes would have been a very nice addition, but it will soon be time to see which young Dodger pitcher is ready to step up. Is Stone ready, can Frasso be the guy or is Knack ready to roll?

I have a sneaky suspicion Knack will come to camp in great shape and surprise a lot of people. May not break camp with the big club but just might be the first MiLB pitcher called up to fill in for the eventual tired or ailing SP arm.

Jeff Dominique

A little devil’s advocate here. I do not think the Dodgers could match that haul from Baltimore, unless they included Gavin Lux. The Dodgers have nobody close to Joey Ortiz in their system. Ortiz is an outstanding defensive player at SS, 2B, and 3B and has a MiLB career slash line of .285/.357/.449/.806. Not quite at the level of Miguel Vargas, but Vargas is nowhere close to the defender of Ortiz. Ortiz can slip into SS next year (or this year if Adames is traded), while Vargas would be fighting for 1B time with Hoskins. DL Hall is a LHSP who just turned 25. Nick Frasso would be the RHSP equivalent.  Hall is exactly 1 month older than Frasso.  Milwaukee got the 34th pick in next year’s draft. The Dodgers do not have a compensatory pick they can trade. Milwaukee wanted a middle infielder and LHSP. The Dodgers do not have that. 

Bluto

I’ve seen the Dodgers equivalent to be guessed at:
Rushing, Frasso and Martin.

And the Brewers don’t need a catcher so even more may have been needed.

Not sure the Dodgers do that.

Jeff Dominique

I would not trade Frasso or Martin. And you are right…Milwaukee does not need a catcher. What they need is pitching. What is 2 years of Williams worth? It is not like the Dodgers have to have Williams to have an elite bullpen. He does make it better. So who could LAD trade that they can afford to lose and who Milwaukee would want. I think you are down to Gavin Stone.

Bluto

Was talking about matching the Cease offer

Jeff Dominique

oh, okay.

Dave

What about 2020? It counts too!

Badger

But does it?

Memory Lane. It’s a much longer street for we old guys. I’ve had the privilege to attend 3 World Series games, one in ‘59 at the Coliseum, two in Baltimore in ‘83. Box seats on both occasions. In ‘59, with tickets my uncle got from the Hearst family (yep, that one) Row 7 right in front of the opening to the Dodgers dugout. Joe DiMaggio was sitting behind me and Nat King Cole was sitting in front of me. I was 11 and in dreamland. I got both autographs on the ticket stubs and have no idea what happened to them.

Oldbear48

2020 counts, but the only trade made in season sent Ross Stripling to Toronto for two prospects. Also, the rosters were expanded the entire season. Edwin Rios hit 8 homers in his 76 at bats. Matt Beaty had a couple of key hits during the season. Lux, McKinstry, Ruiz, all played in a few games. But they had a six-man bench. Taylor and Barnes were the vets on the bench.

Zeke

I count 2020 and I count 1981 too even though they were shortened seasons. Why wouldn’t you, every one played by the same set of rules.

Really like what the Orioles did with getting Corbin Burnes. Has to almost vault them as the favorite in the AL in my opinion. Young and hungry squad and with a new owner coming in. Could be a force to be reckoned with for years to come.

Oldbear48

Burnes is nothing more than a rental unless he signs an extension. My bet is that he tests free agency after the 24 season.

Mark Timmons

Absolutely

Jeff Dominique

But a great rental. Ortiz was blocked. Burnes goes to #1 instead of Hall as #5. Baltimore has Cade Povich, LHSP, 2 years younger than Hall ready next year if Baltimore cannot re-sign Burnes. Cole Irvin can fill the role of Hall this year. This is a trade that Baltimore had to make. It makes them prohibitive favorites in the AL this year. It also gives them a great #1 for October.

Does NYY counter by upping their offer to Blake Snell? Does Seattle jump in for Snell? This changes the competition landscape in the AL.

Oldbear48

I do not like trading for a rental unless it is lower-level talent. The Glasnow deal was better for the Dodgers because he signed an extension. Burnes would have cost more in prospect capital and if he signed an extension, it would have been for more than Glasnow did.

Mark Timmons

What he said!

OhioDodger

Spot on Zeke. Everyone had the same opportunities. The WS that really burns my bottom is 1978. Even to this day.

Oldbear48

Winning the first two and then losing four is not a great feeling. Yanks felt the same when LA did that to them in 81.

Duke Not Snider

Glad we have Glasgow, and the deal seemed good for the Dodgers.
But Burnes is the far more accomplished pitcher–a true CYA ace. And he’s been much more durable.
Rays wanted to dump Glasgow’s final-year $25 million contract. Burnes final year is $15.6 million.
So the Dodgers should have been willing to offer more to get higher quality with a bargain contract. Maybe they tried; we don’t know. We don’t know if Burnes would have been willing to extend or not. We don’t know how mercenary he may be. The Dodgers are a premium destination–perhaps now more than ever–and Burnes may have been as eager to extend as Glasnow.
One thing we now know is that the Orioles were eager to get Ortiz, a top SS prospect, as a successor to Adames, plus a potential front-line starter in Hall to take Burnes’s spot in the rotation. Plus a PTBNL with first-round talent.
The Dodgers actually don’t have a SS prospect equal to Ortiz. So yes, the deal would have to include Lux–and Ortiz, like Adames, is considered a far better defender than Lux.

Anyway, Burnes isn’t coming.
But Adames and Devin Williams are still available.
At this point I am much more interested in Williams (with two years of control) and his airbender. What do the Brewers want?
I want to see what Lux can do. If he succeeds at SS, he could own the position until Jeondry Vargas or ?? is ready to take over. If he underwhelms, Adames might be available in midseason.
With Burnes gone, the Brewers are likely to be sellers.

Oldbear48

2020 was a very difficult year for the players and the fans. Playing in empty stadiums with nothing but your teammates, opponents and umpires present. Even the announcers were back in the studio. There were no fans until the Championship Series in each league and then only 25 percent capacity. Cardboard cutouts in the stands that fans paid money to have out there and piped in crowd noise. Then for the first time, it will be a normal thing for wild card teams, you had to win 13 games in the postseason to be crowned the Champion. Dodgers did it. No one else did.

RC Dodger

Good trade by Orioles to get Burnes. The prospects may have been a little more than what Dodgers gave up for Glasnow, but Dodgers absorbed $20 million in additional salary on Margot and Glasnow. I would have preferred Burnes this year over either Glasnow or Yamamoto. Burnes has thrown 193 and 202 innings the last two years with a career ERA of 3.26. Orioles have added a top 10 pitcher and the #1 MLB prospect to a 101 win team.

Dodgfan

We could have matched the pitching portion of the deal, but not the middle infielder. Unless we would’ve been willing to part ways with Lux.

Oldbear48

For one year. I am glad LA did not trade for a rental. That is what makes the Glasnow deal better because before the trade was made, they made sure he would sign an extension. Yamamoto is 25 and the best pitcher in Japan. I am glad they have both instead of a rental.

Cassidy

Is there Dodger backlash with other clubs. Do Dodgers have to pay more on trades now because of all the money we’ve spent this off season?

Oldbear48

I think there is but not so much lately. Of course, if it is a rental in season, then the cost is going to be higher.

Phil Jones

Thanks Bear.

Oldbear48

You are welcome. In 2020, the Dodgers had a lot of star power that produced. Five players had double figures in homers and Pollock and Betts each had 16 to lead the team. Seager had 15, Muncy and Bellinger had 12 each. Rios and Taylor contributed 8 each. Seager led the team in RBIs with 41. Seager and Turner both hit .307, but Turner only had 170 at bats and missed several games. During the season itself, and in the first two rounds of the playoffs, they had little trouble beating the competition. They were down 2-0 to the Braves when they exploded for 11 runs in the first inning of game 3 and blew Atlanta out. Muncy had a grand slam in that inning. Urias won his 3rd playoff game. But Kersh got beat 10-2 the following day. So now they are down 3-1. What a lot of people forget is that they played from behind in games 5 and 7. The bullpen pitched great in game 5, and Mookie made a couple of great defensive plays. They scored 3 in the first inning in game 6 and made it stand up for a 3-1 behind Buehler, who shut out the Braves for 6. Treinen, Baez and Jansen closed out the win. In game 7 they were down 2-0, then 3-2, but could have been further behind if not for a huge baserunning blunder by Marcel Ozuna. Kike then tied the game with a pinch-hit homer, and Bellinger won it with a game winning shot in the 7th. Atlanta only got 3 hits that game but scored 3 runs. Seager was the big force in the World Series, but Turner and Pederson had good series also. The Dodgers out homered Tampa, 12-9 and held the Rays to a .215 BA.

Bobby

Is anyone going to Dodgerfest tomorrow at the Stadium?

I’d love to meet up and say hello (and talk about Mark and Jeff behind their backs)

Oldbear48

Long drive from Colorado Bobby. I also hear it is a pretty expensive event. I am glad you are not talking about me behind my back 😃 

Bobby

For you, my man, it’d be free as you’d be my guest

Oldbear48

If I was in California, I would take you up on that.

Jeff Dominique

I am not sure that Dodgerfest is a long enough event to talk behind Mark’s and my back. 😂

Jeff Dominique

Ross Stripling has been traded by SF to Oakland for 22 year old low A Ball OF Jonah Cox and cash. Cox was the 28th top prospect in the Oakland system (MLB Pipeline). No report as to how much cash, but Stripling is due to make $12.5MM in 2024. This has the makings of an acquisition of a future trade deadline player whereby Oakland might be able to pick up better prospects than Cox at the deadline.

Logan Webb, Kyle Harrison, Jordan Hicks, Keaton Winn, and Tristan Beck is now the Giants rotation. They have to be gearing up for Blake Snell, right?  

Oldbear48

The A’s also signed Alex Wood.

Singing the Blue

Since the A’s owner is already hated there he ought to throw caution to the wind and sign Puig and Bauer. They’re both desperate to get back to MLB and would probably sign for 5 mil between them. Think of how those 2 would increase attendance.

OhioDodger

I like it STB.

Dodgfan

Can you imagine those two residing in sin city?

Oldbear48

They won’t physically move to Las Vegas until the stadium is finished in 28.

Bumsrap

Maybe they can get the rights to Franco as well.

Badger

The problem with that is it didn’t happen in Vegas.

OhioDodger

Dodgers should have won the 1978 series. That one still is the biggest disappointment for me.

Jeff Dominique

Willy Adames is now a prime trade target, and to some degree Devin Williams. I found this comment on MLBTradeRumors… “while teams like the Dodgers, Marlins, and Rays could stand to improve at shortstop and may have some level of interest in Adames.”

Why are the Dodgers still being discussed as a team who needs an upgrade at SS for 2024. How many times do they have to tell everyone that Gavin Lux is their SS for 2024. Mark may be right, and he may fall on his face as a legit SS, but there is nothing to indicate that is inevitable. While not at the Adames level, I would bet that Lux will play better defense at SS than many believe he will.

I do believe that Miami is the perfect trading team for Adames.  There are a number of pitchers Miami can sent to Milwaukee for Adames. The problem is that Miami will not extend Adames, and next year they will find themselves in exactly the same position they are this year at SS. They might as well see what they have with Jacob Amaya.

OTOH, Williams could be a target for LAD. Yesterday, I asked if anyone would be willing to trade Gavin Stone and Ryan Yarbrough for two years of Devin Williams. STB said he would. 

My take. I am all for the kids, but I am more interested in putting together the best team possible. Yes, Evan Phillips is a great reliever. But he is more valuable as a reliever to come in at the most opportune time. It is the Andrew Miller model. Devin Williams is that shut down reliever to close out a game the Dodgers do not have, and have not had since Kenley. The Dodgers get the closer, and they get to move their best reliever to where he is best used.

The cost? Gavin Stone. For some of you that is sacrilegious. But in all candor (IMO), he is not at the Emmet Sheehan level, not at the Nick Frasso level, and there are others who could adequately replace Stone and the Dodgers would not miss a beat. How much better is Stone than Landon Knack? River Ryan? Kyle Hurt? Stone is surplus at a position the Dodgers are LOADED. I would not trade Emmet Sheehan or Nick Frasso. I doubt that Milwaukee would equate Knack or Michael Grove to Williams. IMO, Stone is the only LAD pitcher, who the Dodgers would consider, and who the Brewers would agree to. Come October, who gives the Dodgers a better chance…Devin Williams or Gavin Stone?

My guess. The Dodgers will be going to ST next week with who they have now.  

Jayne Cobb

I tend to agree. Stone has some amazing stuff but the Dodgers minor league depth at pitching is an embarrassment of riches. I read a system ranking this morning from ESPN that had the Dodgers ranked 8th. And had this to say “Here’s the scary part for the rest of MLB: The system’s pitching depth is positively wacky — at just the right time for the big league team — led by a Double-A pitching staff that might have had a dozen big leaguers on it (Nick Frasso, River Ryan and Kyle Hurt are the best ones that are still in the org and prospect eligible).”

Last edited 4 months ago by Jayne Cobb
Bumsrap

I think the Giants should go after Adames.

Williams would be a Dodger through 2025 https://www.spotrac.com/mlb/milwaukee-brewers/devin-williams-32715/

I moved on from Jansen so if Williams is the closer answer then I’d make the Stone/Yarbrough for Williams trade. That said, we don’t yet know what Stone has added this off season.

Jayne Cobb

Good read Bear.

As many know, former Dodger Dj Peters began the process of converting to a pitcher in Tiger’s system last year. Somebody posted a video on X. He certainly has the arm. It will be interesting to see if he gets a shot somewhere this year.

https://x.com/pfabaseball/status/1747977107177955715?s=46&t=QLZL6rUStVTcnhF7gF-Qig

Mark Timmons

Quite the leg kick – he would be an imposing figure on the mound. If he threw high and tight, I doubt that anyone would charge the mound! 😉

Jayne Cobb

Ironic. DJ signed a minor league contract with the Texas Rangers this AM.

Bluto

Quick summary note:

After publishing his top 100 list, the great Kiley McDaniel produced his overall farm system rankings ($$$$$$):
Dodgers are at #8 (were at #6 last year).
For comparisons Baseball America has them at #10 (previously at 3) and BP at #3 overall (were #2)

Of the system, McDaniel writes:
“The system’s pitching depth is positively wacky”

Gotta love wacky.

Bumsrap

Might the Lakers trade James before the deadline?

Report: Lakers have put out feelers to trade LeBron James

porpoiseboy

Heck, I might watch basketball again. I have not for 3 years now.

Oldbear48

Same here, I cannot stand James. He is a great basketball player but a total control freak and prima donna.

Singing the Blue

Did you feel the same way about Kobe?

porpoiseboy

No

Oldbear48

Sometimes. Kobe had his moments. I think he got humbled some with the rape case in Colorado. But he was a career Laker. James is a gold digger.

Dodgfan

Wouldn’t mind to see him traded. I do not hold any ill will against LBJ, but he is 39 years old and is already showing some level of decline. He is still a very good basketball player but is no longer the dominate force he used to be. I’d like to the Lakers acquire an elite PG.

Singing the Blue

I’d like to see them trade both LBJ and AD, just take it down to the studs.
That said, I predict neither of them goes anywhere.
I don’t think building the team around AD would work either because he just isn’t a leader.

RC Dodger

Excellent article Bear!
Everyone remembers the Gibson HR in 1988, but the Scioscia HR against Gooden in the 9th inning may have been even more improbable. I didn’t know he only had 3 HR that whole year and he ties the game with a 9th inning HR off of Gooden!

Oldbear48

Thanks RC. Dodgers hit only 99 homers as a team. Not as few as the 65 team (78), but not a lot either. The Dodgers had three catchers who got playing time, Scioscia, Rick Dempsey, a member of the Stunt Men, and Gil Reyes who got into 5 games. Dempsey hit .251 and had 7 homers and 30 RBIs. Scioscia drove in 35 and hit .257. I think Mike ambushed Doc. There were no outs, and a runner was on, so it surprised everyone including Lasorda. Had they lost that game, the Mets would have most likely won the pennant. But Gibson’s homer did the job along with Hershiser getting McReynolds with the bases loaded and two out.

Oldbear48

I saw a video of Andy Pages taking BP in a cage. Swing looked nice and smooth.

Mark Timmons

OK, here I go!

  1. I continue to believe that Gavin Lux is not an MLB SS (I hope it is wrong).
  2. Willy Adames is Plus defensive SS with excellent power who could benefit under RVS.
  3. Devin Williams may be an elite closer, and even though I think Gavin Stone will not be a starter, he may be the same guy. However, I would trade Lux and Stone (throw in Rojas and Sweeney) if the Dodger could have a 48-hour window to negotiate with Adames for an extension.
  4. Then they could sign Kike.

Here’s the Roster:

  1. Betts 2B
  2. Ohtani DH
  3. Freeman 1B
  4. Smith C
  5. Muncy 3B
  6. Hernandez LF
  7. Adames SS
  8. Outman CF
  9. Heyward RF

Subs:

Barnes, Taylor, K Hernandez, Margot

Williams becomes the closer, and Phillips is the setup man.

Vargas is the Wild Card. His bat will play, and he is not a horrible defender.

Singing the Blue

The last time I looked at the Brewers roster, it seemed to me that they had plenty of infielder-type players so I don’t see why they would want Lux AND Rojas AND Sweeney.

If you trade for Adames, you can eliminate Rojas and send him to the Brewers but hang on to Sweeney. The Brewers are going to want starting pitching and possibly some bullpen pieces. They’ve lost Woodruff and Burnes and if they trade Williams I think they will be asking teams for pitching.

How about Lux, Stone and Ferguson? That may be an overpay but other teams might offer even more. I would only do that deal if they could extend Adames.

Willy to Mookie to Freddie would be fun to watch.

Last edited 4 months ago by Singing the Blue
Mark Timmons

I don’t see why they would want Lux AND Rojas AND Sweeney.

OK, I will explain. Lux is not a SS. Rojas is NOW. Sweeney is the future.

I also look for Ferguson to GROW this year.

Last edited 4 months ago by Mark Timmons
Duke Not Snider

Actually, Ortiz is the Brewers’ future SS. Might be the immediate future if they deal Adames.
The Brewers basically got 3 top prospects–first-round level talent–for one year of Burnes.
For one year of Adames and two of Williams, the Brewers will require more than Lux and Stone
But sure, let’s start with Lux and Stone. Who is added?
Young Miguel Vargas make a lot more sense than old Miguel Rojas.
And that still might not be enough…

Last edited 4 months ago by Duke Not Snider
OhioDodger

Willie, Freddie, and the Mook.

Singing the Blue

Imagine 50,000 fans singing that refrain every game during the 7th inning stretch.

Cassidy

What are you guys smoking?!!!!

Singing the Blue

I don’t know what it is but I got it from Badger.

Jeff Dominique

They do not need infield, outfield, or catching. Of course they could use an upgrade. Every team does. But the Dodgers do not have any infield, outfield, or catching upgrades available. They NEED PITCHING.

Bumsrap

Yuck

Keep Lux. Trade Muncy. Put Adames at 3rd.

Oldbear48

Your over the edge Fred. Muncy has more power and also just signed a one year deal with an option for 25.

Bumsrap

Over the edge? Is that the same thing as hanging 10?

I’m saying I would rather keep Lux than Muncy.

Oldbear48

Not to worry Fred, Lux is going nowhere, and neither is Maxwell’s Silver Hammer.

Cassidy

No!

Oldbear48

I cannot understand all the love for Adames and the lack of support for one of our own. Lux is the SS period. Rojas is his backup, Kike is gone. I don’t believe RVS can help this guy at all. He is a strikeout machine. Yes, he is a solid defender, and he hits homers. But I believe Lux will have a higher BA, hit close to 15 homers and be better defensively than most give him credit for. He also struck out to end the 2020 World Series. Seriously? If you want to trade for a SS, why not try and get Bichette????

Singing the Blue

Why not get Bichette? They have to be willing to trade him for that to happen.

Oldbear48

Very true, but if you are going to aim for a good SS, aim high. They can only say no or yes. And there have been rumors about them moving him many times this winter. Adames is a whiff machine and there is enough of that on this team already.

Jeff Dominique

Willy Adames is Plus defensive SS with excellent power who could benefit under RVS.

I wonder why that has not worked for:

Chris Taylor – 32.6% K rate
Max Muncy – 26.4% K rate
James Outman – 31.5% K rate

Then you get Teoscar Hernández at 31.1% and Adames at 25.9%.

That is a lot of strikeouts. We saw what great power and the lack of hitting WRISP did for the Dodgers the last two NLDS. Nothing like seeing a runner on 3B with less than 2 outs, and a Dodger gets a K or pop up.

I agree Adames is a GG caliber SS.

Vargas not a horrible defender? DRS and OAA say different.

Singing the Blue

Glass half full. If we trade for Adames, half the lineup will have a higher k percentage than he does.

I’d still much rather give Lux his chance but go out and get Williams.

Duke Not Snider

I agree. Devin Williams is the guy to target.
I think Lux will be OK, and maybe better than that. And Miguel Rojas is a solid backup.
With upgrades at DH and LF, the offense will be fine even without more production at SS.

Badger

I agree as well. Lux is the shortstop, because he is indeed a shortstop, and if Williams is available make a play for him.

The team as is looks damm good to me.

dodger dad

i’m in on lux! maybe he won’t be a gold glove shortstop, but me thinks he will have a monster year at the plate. he has something to prove and i believe he will. might end up being the best nine hitter in baseball. hopefully he doesn’t have to move from SS . but he could always go back to Second and move mookie to short or trade for adames and move mookie back to right. hope im wrong but i think heyward regresses this season. i would not trade the farm for devin wiilliams. dodger bullpen could be dynamic if treinan is healthy. get him and not overpay? absolutely. i have not watched a laker gy since kobe retired!! kobe wanted to win , nothing else mattered! lebron wants the glory. who else have you ever heard complain about not winning MVP? the NBA has been unwatchable for years now. lots of talent, no passion. 95 % of the coaches couldn’t coach high school basketball. super bowl doesn’t get my blood pumping either. wanted detry and buffalo so there would be a first time winner. please come back Clayton!

Mark Timmons

Vargas is a very talented hitter. There’s no reason to believe that he won’t hit at the MLB level. I know Jeff understands that. It’s also true that he is blocked, but things have a way of changing. Things rarely stay the same. Miguel has improved his footwork considerably and has a soft glove and above-average arm. He’s young and while the stats do support that he is not a good defensive player, I believe he will be a Max Muncy defensive-type.

I believe he will improve and be solid. With the high K-Rates on the Dodgers, he’s a RH hitter who makes solid contact without the K’s. The team needs that bat. Where? I don’t know, but it could be next year or this year. What if Freddie, Mookie, Max, Shohei, or Teoscar go down for an extended time? It’s not like injuries don’t happen.

There was once a guy who started the season without a position and then went on the play over 2,000 games straight. I think his name was Lou.

Badger

You know I agree with you about Vargas Mark. On most other teams, he’s in the lineup. On this team? I just don’t see a spot for him. He has to get 4-5 PAs every day. That won’t happen in LA.

I was just thinking about dodger dad’s Heyward’s regression comment. Heyward is only 34, seems like he should be older, and is always in superb shape. His career post season numbers are quite frankly awful. I think the Dodgers obviously signed him as a platoon player and also for his outstanding character. He is no doubt a positive role model for younger players, but the Dodgers don’t have any on the 26. He only got 377 PA’s last year, and I would think it will be the same in ‘24. His defense is decent but he finished with a negative dWAR number. Hopefully he can straighten out RH pitching and put up positive numbers in limited appearances. I don’t expect much production out him in the coming season.

Cassidy

Vargas is injury insurance this year and if he hits will be our future LFer or 3rd baseman. But he’s in OKC to start the year no matter what he does in spring training.

Oldbear48

Your forgetting Pages. I think he is the future left fielder.

Mark Timmons

Pages is better suited for RF

Oldbear48

Ok, is that because of his arm?

Mark Timmons

Yes, he has a great arm and he can also play CF (only in a pinch) as he gets great reads.

Bluto

Has there been any comment or insight to suggest the Dodgers view a high K rate as a problem?

I certainly could use less Ks as a fan, but I’m not sure the team or the team’s analytical department feels the same way.

Oldbear48

It certainly seems like the team does not worry about it as much as we old guys do. I happen to believe that strikeouts are wasted at bats. But the team has had several high K guys around for years. Especially with the lift and drive theory used by todays hitting coaches.

dodgerpatch

I’m skimming the comments. Is it safe to say that Mark is beating the “trade Lux” drum again? I was serious when I said on a previous occasion that barely a week goes by without Mark making the case that Lux can’t play SS and includes him in some trade scenario. I can’t count the number of times poor Luxie has been traded.

And I saw Vargas mentioned a few times as well. Mark loves him, in spite of his claims that he doesn’t have favorites or biases.

We all have biases.

I gotta admire his dogged persistence, though … and that’s not to say that Mark is incorrect. Mark did post some videos of Lux making throws vis a vis that other talented SS we traded for Rojas. Yeah, I would go along with the argument that Lux doesn’t have the best arm strength, and yeah, the scouting reports on Vargas really like his bat to ball skills, and he has a plausible ceiling as a .280 right handed bat with about 20-25 home run potential. He lacks HR power, but is a potential doubles machine. An offensive comp could be Justin Turner. And yeah, Adames is a borderline elite defender with some power.

But here’s another reminder of Lux’s potential: Fangraphs gave him a Future Value score of 70 out of 80 (Vargas was 50). His power number rated a 60. Their little scouting summary snippet describes him as a “perennial All-Star.” He was the 2nd highest rated prospect in all of baseball before he was called up. He hit nearly .400 in AAA. His ceiling is pretty darn sky high. I would even go out on a limb and say that this is one of the reasons why the Dodgers let Seager walk. They thought they had a close enough facsimile in Lux. That is tantalizing enough for me to at least give him a legitimate chance, a “long runway” if you will. Why wouldn’t you?

At the same time I think the Dodgers gave a pretty clear indication that Vargas is not a serious part of this year’s plans when they signed Teoscar, and I seriously doubt he becomes a bench piece or “utility” player. A utility player needs to able to play competent defense at multiple positions (and the Dodgers love flexibility, as we know). Vargas can’t play competent defense at ANY position. They tried to hide him at 2nd base last year and even Roberts, in one of his exceedingly rare moments of negative candor, publicly voiced his displeasure at the state of his defensive play. The stats confirm this. A team is not going to burn a roster spot for someone without a legitimate position.

Vargas is blocked. For him to have any future with this team, if it was me, I’d just stick him in AAA and make him play left every single game. If he becomes a competent fielder and his offense does not regress, he has a chance at playing next year when Teoscar signs somewhere else.

Last edited 4 months ago by dodgerpatch
Oldbear48

There was a story on fan sided and they named three Dodgers they felt did not deserve to be on the roster. Barnes, Vargas and Varland. Vargas is insurance and will be at AAA most likely. Barnes is the only other MLB proven player at his position on the roster. They could have gone out and got someone like Gary Sanchez, a lot of power there or they can give Feduccia some reps this spring to see what he has. Varland to me is a bubble pitcher.

dodgerpatch

Don’t disagree, but my hunch is that Barnes stays. Catcher is an important position that isn’t really measured by offense or even defense. They’re basically the on-field pitching coach and need to be good at implementing the sequencing strategies and managing the pitcher. I guess he must be pretty good at it or he would’ve been long gone.

Dionysus

One more year of Barnes. We can make it.

Singing the Blue

With this being Yamamoto’s first year in MLB, first year as a Dodger and first year in this country, Barnes’ spot on the roster seems very safe to me. They’ll want to make his transition as seamless as possible and with AB’s reputation this is not likely the time they’ll choose to cut him loose.

Oldbear48

I also concur that Barnsie will probably be the main backup to Smith. Feduccia seems to be trade fodder or emergency backup at AAA once again.

Mark Timmons
  1. I hope I am wrong about Lux, but it seems like I am the only one who doesn’t think he is a SS.
  2. Yes, I agree about Vargas. Odds are there will be an injury and Teoscar is a one-year wonder. It won’t kill anybody if Vargas starts the year at AAA. He will get a call at some point.
  3. Next year, I see Pages in RF and Vargas in LF. IF Heyward has a good year, he will be back too.
dodgerpatch

He might not be an SS. I’d Ike to see the Dodgers give him a legitimate shot at it.

None of the experts thought Seager would stick at SS. Too big. Not enough lateral quickness. He’ll eventually wind up at third in his late 20s.

Bluto

Esteban Rivera takes a look at hitters who are getting (or who have gotten) stuck with too much weight on their back foot.

Will Smith in the 2nd half of last year is a real culprit. Hopefully this doesn’t resurface as a problem in the upcoming season.

MLB Hitters Get Stuck On Their Backside Too

Oldbear48

Dodgers sign Dinelson Lamet to a minor leagues contract with an invite to spring training. Lamet is 31 and has had some injury issues. He has pitched for the Padres, Rockies and Red Sox.

Mark Timmons

I have always hoped the Dodgers would try him out. You never know!

They signed him because Nick Frasso underwent Labrum Surgery and his future is very much in doubt! Bummer!

dodgerpatch

He flashed some potential early on with the Padres. I always thought he had a cool name, too. Reminds me a little of Dashiell Hamet, which is one of the coolest names ever.

Singing the Blue

Well, we can eliminate one potential starter from the rotation this year. Turns out Frasso had labrum repair surgery in November and will probably miss most if not all of 2024.

They sure managed to keep that quiet, at least I didn’t see it mentioned anywhere.

Oldbear48

Neither did I, another IL when they hit spring training.

Bumsrap

Nen was voted a full World Series share.

I want to trade James so that the offense doesn’t revolve around any one person.

Mark Timmons

I was listening to MLB Radio today as I drove to see my granddaughter perform at a “Winter Guard” Competition (Boring). In a roundhouse discussion, the participants all agreed that the White Sox should trade for as many prospects as they could get for Luis Robert, Jr. If the White Sox concur, would you consider trading for him?

How about Vargas, Outman (Robert plays CF), Gelof, Rushing, Stone, and Knack? That’s a lot to pay.

This is a lethal lineup:

  1. Betts 2B
  2. Ohtani DH
  3. Freeman 1B
  4. Robert, Jr..CF
  5. Muncy 3B
  6. Smith C
  7. Herandez LF
  8. Heyward/Margot RF
  9. Lux/Ruiz SS

With that lineup, I could see pitchers committing suicide on the mound during games.

Badger

The Dodgers don’t need him now. Just sign him as a free agent in two years.

Mark Timmons

But I want to win 130 games!

Also, Dodgerpatch thinks I have a man-crush on Vargas – I’d trade him in a heartbeat!

Last edited 4 months ago by Mark Timmons
Mark Timmons

Yesterday, Baseball America ranked the Dodgers farm system at #10 in MLB.:

The Dodgers’ exceptionally productive player development system rolls on, even after graduations and trades have thinned the team’s top-end talent. While the Dodgers don’t have any top 25 prospects in baseball, they have more close-to-the-major pitchers than almost anyone, led by RHP Gavin Stone.

Pretty amazing!

Badger

#10. More close to majors pitches than ALMOST anyone.

So there are 9 better systems and others with more close to majors pitching.

Bumsrap

I’m keeping Outman. They need youth and controllable players as well.

Jeff Dominique

D-backs traded OF Dominic Fletcher to CWS for 21 year old MiLB RHSP, Cristian Mena. I mentioned Fletcher a couple weeks back. Although there is absolutely no real possibility for Arizona to trade to LAD, he would have been a good OF depth for LAD. I hope he gets a shot with CWS.

Last edited 4 months ago by Jeff Dominique
Oldbear48

David Fletchers brother.

Oldbear48

Gomes said today that Buehler will probably not be ready for the start of the season, but he is not a candidate for the 60-day IL. That means he could be back on limited innings very early in the year. Gomes also said his bullpen the other day looked great. Ohtani has begun hitting, but not throwing and is confident he will be ready for opening day in Korea. Gomes also said that the Dodgers are still talking with Kershaw.

Bobby

Not sure if it’s been mentioned yet, but Doc stated today at Dodgerfest that the top 3 would be, in order, Mookie, Freddie, Ohtani

Oldbear48

Works for me. Freddie is an on base machine. He does hit homers, but not like Ohtani. Should be a very interesting spring.

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