Connect with us

Dodger Baseball

Stand Pat or Change?

A couple of divergent thoughts have been percolating amidst this LAD slide of late.  There is the side that believes this team is okay as it is to get to the playoffs and then hope they get hot.  AF knows better than any of us how to build a roster.  BTW, I agree that he does…for the regular season.  But does that mean we cannot question him?  Are we supposed to blindly follow the Dodgers and know they are the best team in MLB and cannot be improved?

Then there is the side that believes that AF is not anything special and has committed $1.4+ billion salary on a team that has as many holes as Swiss cheese.

More importantly than anyone on this or any other blog may write, what do the Dodgers owners think?

Ken Rosenthal commented on this in a recent Athletic article.

 

“As owner Mark Walter recruited Shohei Ohtani, he mentioned that he views his 12-year tenure running the club as an on-field failure. Walter wanted to stress something to Ohtani: The owner considered his tenure running the Dodgers to be an on-field failure.”

“We’ve only done it once,” said team president Stan Kasten, who was present when Walter spoke to Ohtani. “And we need to do it more often than that.”

“Everything with the Dodgers this season — every pitch, in-game decision and roster move — is intended to maximize their chances in October. So although the team’s current five-game losing streak and 7-9 slump hardly are cause for concern, they’re nonetheless a meaningful snapshot, one president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman almost certainly will not ignore.”

Yes, it is the players that are most responsible for their ultimate success. That is not arguable.  But it is the POBO/GM who is responsible to put together a roster with the correct 26, and the managers/coaches responsibility to manage that 26 to the finish line in October/November.  Thus far in the AF/Dave Roberts era, they have done that once, in a shortened 2020 season.  And yes, I still consider that a World Series Championship.

Then there are most of us in the middle.  We recognize that the game is hard, but we are still thirsty for a Championship, and are open to changes that can improve the Dodgers.  Fans can continue to point out that there has only been one two time WS winner in the last 10 Championships; Houston, and they cheated to win one. But in my best George Thorogood, “That don’t confront me”. Then the new playoff formula actually seems to make it even more difficult for the best team to win the WS.  In the era of the expanded playoffs, arguably the two best teams in MLB in both 2022 and 2023 were the Dodgers and Atlanta.  Neither team has  gotten out of the NLDS yet in the new format.

Interestingly (at least to me), both of those teams were built for slug.

Scott wrote:  “Perhaps Friedman can stop being so arrogant.”   I do not know if it is arrogance, but I can certainly see how some can believe that it is.  His apparent refusal to change his approach.

Isn’t it clear that getting to the playoffs and winning the playoffs may take different players?  The Dodgers have been built for slug (and they emphasize it in MiLB), but when it comes to generating runs against good to great pitching, they have not been able to do that when it counts most.

Over the last 18 games, the Dodgers are 9-9 (not counting Wednesday).  They are 32 of 152 WRISP (.211), and have 17 HRs.  Good pitchers know how to pitch away from slug.  And no Tyler Megill, Jose Quintana, and David Peterson are not good pitchers.

After the season, AF convinced Mark Walter they needed to spend $1.4BB to improve the team.  He improved the SP, I am not convinced he has improved the RP.  Plus, he got 2 more power hitters that strike out a lot.  Did nothing to improve the bat to ball skills.  And they are counting on their top power producer to also be the primary speed on the bases.

I am one who likes to build teams from within, but when they aren’t there, management needs to look outside the organization.  The Dodgers had one OF in their system above A ball, but Andy Pages was not considered ready for prime time. and no middle infielders in their system above A ball.  If the Dodgers believed in Drew Avans or Ryan Ward they would not have looked outside.  The Dodgers had to trade for two SS (Trey Sweeney and Noah Miller).  Although the best of the group could be homegrown Alex Freeland who is currently tearing up AA, after tearing up A+.

The Automatic Out  team was 10-18 with 2 BB in Wednesday’s game, but I am not going to say the Dodgers have turned the corner.  Let’s face it, these were the Mets they were facing.

The best hitter at OKC was DFA’d from Detroit, Andre Lipcius.  He is primarily a 3B, but also plays a lot of 2B.  Wouldn’t it be great to see what he could do with the Big Club?  Before the trade deadline?  Send Miguel Vargas back to OKC where he can get regular swings in.  I still believe he is a good hitter, but is not going to show it playing once every 3-4 games, and only against LHP.

Do the unexpected.  Let’s see what Lipcius can do.  What can it hurt.  They are certainly using questionable relief pitching…Yohan Ramirez and Elieser Hernandez, and we really do not know how Anthony Banda will fare.  Or has everyone forgotten how Hernandez looked in his first game as a Dodger?  Certainly no resemblance to his subsequent appearances.

I am not as negative to Gavin Lux as some are.  I do not believe it is as easy to come back from an ACL tear as many believe.  Mental and physical????  Take a look at Ronald Acuña Jr.  The year he returned from his 1st ACL tear he hit .266/.351/.413/.764, 15 HR, 29 SB, 11 CS. His lowest OPS before that year?  .883.  His three other years he hit north of .900 OPS.  His next year?  .337/.416/.596/1.012, 41 HR, 73 SB, 14 CS and an MVP.  It took Acuña a year before he was recovered enough.  Was it physical?  Was it mental?  Probably both.

I am willing to give Gavin Lux the benefit of the doubt.  But if the Dodgers can get Bo Bichette, and it takes Lux to be included, I am behind that deal.  But if the best available is Willy Adames, I would be holding onto Lux.  I would be fine with Rojas at SS and Mookie at 2B the rest of the year, and Lux coming off the bench.

I am perplexed as to how bad Chris Taylor has played this year.  It would have been acceptable for me if he hit as he did his last two years, but he isn’t close.  Will he get it back?  If he was the only one struggling like that, I can live with that.  But he isn’t.

I am not sure whether Brusdar Graterol gets back this year.  Same with Ryan Brasier.  You can never count on Joe Kelly to stay healthy.  Evan Phillips will replace one of Elieser Hernandez or Yohan Ramirez on Friday.  But is AF really going to wait on Graterol and Brasier and in the interim rely on pitchers who have been released multiple times?  I like Michael Grove, but how comfortable will you be with him in a high leverage spot in the playoffs facing Bryce Harper.

Maybe it is time to do something different.  Spend some of that prospect capital for a dependable quality high leverage reliever.  No, I do not think it needs to be Mason Miller, but he needs to be better than Yohan Ramirez and Elieser Hernandez.  If that means they have to include Graterol, so be it.

Things could be worse.  The Dodgers could have the NYM bullpen.

I am not convinced Jason Heyward is anything more than a defensive OF and a bat off the bench at this point (Wednesday’s triple and HR not withstanding – Again it is the Mets).  I do not believe that the Dodgers can win a Championship with 2 of Andy Pages, Miguel Vargas, and James Outman as every day OF.  Since the team needs a CF, the choice really comes down to Pages or Outman.  Pick one and keep him there for the season.  Use the other with  top prospects to go get a top OF.  Someone mentioned Kyle Tucker, and it has been reported that Houston is not going to be able extend or re-sign Tucker.  Make an overwhelming offer.  Juan Soto was traded, why not Tucker.  But you are not going to get him for Pages or Outman, Maddux Bruns, Damon Keith, and Carlos Duran.

I do not remember who said it, but it was said if you try to win every trade, you will come in 2nd every time.

Suck it up and spend some of the prospect capital rather than letting them wilt on the vine.

One unwritten perspective is that while Mark Walter may feel failure for the Dodgers not winning more Championships, maybe he is looking at changing POBO or moving on from Dave Roberts being an option.  If they do not win this year, both could be working for other teams in 2025.

For those who believe that it is only important to get to the playoffs, count the LAD owner as someone who lines up with those of us who believe that it is Championships that determine success and failure.

For the rest of us, I hope you will continue to voice your opinions, no matter what that may be.  Be respectful, because none of us know the outcome of those opinions until the final game of the WS, if ever at all.  We are all Dodgers fans.

 

Go Blue

 

OKC Baseball Club 6 – Albuquerque Isotopes (Colorado) 1

With Andre Lipcius and Ryan Ward both tied for the PCL lead in HRs, and with the recently optioned James Outman on the roster, it had to be a surprise when it was Trey Sweeney that went deep 3 times in one game for OKC.

Sweeney went 3-4 with 3 HRs and 5 RBIs.  That is 4 HRs in his last 2 games.  Now the feat is somewhat muted because the games were played in Albuquerque.  But he hit just the same.

 

The pitching star was recently signed 27 year old 6’5” RHP Chris Vallimont. He pitched 6.0 scoreless innings, giving up 3 singles, a double, and a BB, with 5 K’s.  He did this against a team that is hitting .283/.365/.485/.850 in the Pacific Coast League.

Kevin Gowdy continued with the combined shutout with 2.0 scoreless innings.  The shutout was broken when Michael Peterson gave up a one out HR in the 9th.

Austin Gauthier hit a triple, and Kody Hoese was the other OKC player with at least 2 hits.

 

Box Score

 

 

Tulsa Drillers 6 – NW Arkansas Naturals (KC) 5 – 10 innings

Jared Karros pitched another brilliant game.  He was perfect for the 1st 4 innings.  Karros walked Gavin Cross to open the 5th.  Cross stole 2nd and scored on a single, the first hit against him.  Karros gave up a second single, but no other runs.  He got the first batter out in the 6th, but after 83 pitches he was lifted.

 

With both teams being no-hit through 3, Tulsa broke through in the 4th.  With one out, Taylor Young walked and Dalton Rushing singled.  A passed ball moved both runners to 2nd and 3rd.  Brendon Davis doubled home both runners.

In the 6th with 2 outs, Griffin Lockwood-Powell singled, followed by a walk to José Ramos, and a run scoring single by Diego Cartaya.  That hit pushed Cartaya north of the Mendoza line.

With Juan Morillo taking the mound in the 7th, a walk, double, line out, and walk loaded the bases.  Christian Suarez relieved Morillo.  Suarez walked the first batter forcing in a run.  A sac fly and throwing error scored the remaining base runners giving NWA a 4-3 lead.

In the bottom of the 9th, down 4-3, after a one-out double by Yeiner Fernandez, Fernandez scored the tying run on a two-out single by Taylor Young.

 

In the 10th, NWA got the free runner home on a single against Ryan Sublette.

In the bottom of the 10th 

With Brandon Davis as the free runner at 2B, Brandon Lewis singled him to 3rd and a walk to José Ramos loaded the bases.  Cartaya walked to force in the tying run, and Austin Beck singled home the walk off run.

  • Taylor Young – 2-4, 1 BB, 1 run, 1 RBI
  • Doubles – Brandon Davis (11), Yeiner Fernandez (10)

 

Box Score

 

 

West Michigan Whitecaps (Detroit) 2 – Great Lakes Loons 0

Chris Campos drew the start, and pitched decently for his 4.0 innings.  He gave up a 2-run HR in the 2nd, but nothing else.  He allowed 5 hits in total, 1 HBP, and NO walks.

Three relievers followed Campos.  In their 4.0 innings there was one hit, one walk, and one HBP, but no runs.

Unfortunately, the Loons had three baserunners all day: 1 hit, 1 BB, 1 HBP.  The lone hit was from Jake Gelof.  They got 1 runner to 2B.

The Loons struck out 9 times.

 

Box Score

 

 

Lake Elsinore Storm (San Diego) 5 – Rancho Cucamonga Quakes 4

Payton Martin had another rough start.  In the 2nd inning, a single, HBP, single, BB, BB, and single plated 3 runs.

Down 4-2 in the 9th, Jerel Perez hit a game tying 2 run HR.

Lake Elsinore scored on a walk off single in the 10th.

  • Jerel Perez – 2-4, 1 BB, 1 run, 2 RBI, HR (6)
  • Oswaldo Osorio – 2-5, double (2)
  • Juan Alonso – 2-3, 1 BB, 1 run, 1 RBI
  • Logan Wagner – 1-3, 1 HBP, 2 runs, double (2)

 

Box Score

 

 

 

 

68 Comments
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
68 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Bluto

Is this the quote you were looking for?

Andrew Friedman: “If you’re always rational about every free agent, you will finish third on every free agent.

I still think the case can be made that Chris Taylor is fully in Carl Crawford land.


Badger

Party conversation recently on the current insane bidding wars for Orange County Real Estate:

Question: “So how do you decide who among the 30 qualified bidders gets the property”

Broker: “Easy, that qualified bidder who offers the most money.”

It ain’t neuroscience. In baseball bidding wars you must be willing to overpay for the property you want.

Bluto

I think you are confusing the buy and sell sides in a marketplace

Badger

Oh? How so Blutavious?

Bluto

I’m no master of arbitrage but when you buy aren’t you more predicated on value, when you sell you care about return?

maybe?

Badger

Good question, and one I’m not qualified to answer.

In my world you pays your money and you takes your chances. I figure if AF and Dodger ownership, in an effort to win a championship, deduce that one hamburger today is worth two hamburgers tomorrow then who am I to say it’s an overpay?

Dionysus

You two should stick to not knowing about baseball 🙂

Oldbear48

Good stuff Jeff, but I have to disagree about Rojas at SS and Mookie back at second. Mookie is where he wants to be, and he is happy. He is also staying productive and right now is the best contact hitter on the team. Ohtani has surprised everyone by staying well above 300 himself. Bichette is a free agent after next season, and Adames would be nothing but a rental. Bichette has 4 errors and Mookie only 7. Betts has had 22 more chances than Bichette. I just do not see a big enough difference between the two to warrant a trade. They definitely need to upgrade the outfield, and I would love Tucker. But I also do not trust Vargas or Pages to be the answer. I move Taylor off of the roster sooner rather than later. You are right about the way AF constructs a bullpen, and I think he is also counting on two aging arms, Treinen and Hudson, way too much. There are relievers who are going to be on the market in a few weeks. I would jump the gun and get one or two as early as possible. From what I have read, Graterol is not even throwing. Muncy will not be back for at least two or three more weeks. He is still feeling tightness in his oblique. I doubt the Cardinals will be trading any of their stars, aka Arenado, and Muncy has been more productive than Nolan so far anyway. The bench is weak. Especially when it consists of Taylor, Rojas, Barnes and Kike.

Badger

Mookie is 31, playing a new and quite challenging position. We have him for 8 more years after this one. Ok, he’s the shortstop this season. How many more years, how many more games do you see him playing there?

I still see this move as a stop gap. He’s only there because Lux failed at it. Take a look at Mookie’s splits. In the last 7, 14 and 21 days his OPS has continued to drop. Is it just a month long slump or is it because of this demanding position switch?

And the reason one might consider trading for Bichette is because he’s a 26 year old All Star starting shortstop. Is he a fit here? It would mean giving up on Lux unless he takes over Taylor’s role.

Change. Yes, there will be some change, and it could be true that AF would want to do it earlier than the intense trade deadline. Personally I think with the lead the team has built he will give Lux, Pages, Vargas and Outman rope to prove their worth. If I’m wrong all those guys, and many others in the organization, could be on the chopping block.

Oldbear48

You are probably right about Mookie only being there for this season, but I still do not see them trading for a SS this year. I also believe Mookie will not move back to the outfield. He likes being on the infield and closer to the action. After the season maybe. Lux has a long leash. His lack of production at the plate has not diminished his good work at second. But they really need to cut bait with some of the weak bats.

Badger

“Mookie ran out of gas last September and went into hibernation in the playoffs.”

And that’s exactly what concerns me.

Oldbear48

Mookie wasn’t the only one. Freddie was awful in the postseason. But I think if they have a large enough lead, both Betts and Freeman will get time off. I know Freddie doesn’t like that, but he is almost 35 and we saw what one day off did for him. I agree with Karros who said yesterday that if Freeman took a day now and then, his stats would be even better.

Badger

Well put Bear.

Proper rest in a long season is sound practice. Though baseball physically is not as demanding as any of the major sports, the baseball schedule is far more demanding. All of those over 30, and many of those under 30, should get regular time off over the course of 162 games.

Last edited 13 days ago by Badger
dodgerram

Excellent wirte up, Jeff. I am glad that Kasten views it as a failure what they have done the last 10 years. We have a man in charge who wants to win it ALL and not be only the best team in the regular season every year. My exact feelings too.
And to question AF and Roberts about their decisions is absolutely fine and deserved. Slug only lineup does not work in the postseason as it does over a 162 regular season where you can overcome a slump or two relatviely easily. We have seen that over and over and over again with the Dodgers and other super teams who are built in a similar way. Saying it again: I would like the Dodgers to bring in two high average bats to compliment the current sluggers. One has to come from the outside and the other hopefully among the group of Pages, vargas, Outman though other than Vargas the other two are more of the slug only club.Too bad the Padres got Arraez. Would have been perfect fit in our lineup with his high OBP. Maybe AF should be playing some more checkers than chess. If you get my drift…😀

Also agree on that additional shutdown arm for the bullpen. Miller or Scott come to mind immediately though Miller probably too costly. I would be fine with Scott who is lefthanded and we need that more than a RHLP.

Go Dodgers!!!!!!!!!!!!1

tedraymond

Dodgerram, great thoughts on slug vs contact! This has been my frustrations the past few seasons. When facing top line pitching in the postseason the slug has proven to be problematic for the Dodgers. Insanity at a certain point. The team’s ownership may ready for a change if another failure in the playoffs or WS.

Badger

Well said. Teach them to be good hitters. Good hitters put the ball in play, especially with two strikes.

The best hitters I saw in my playing and umpiring days seldom saw two strikes. “Protect the plate” is not something great hitters want to do, but know how to do. With two strikes you likely have to chase pitchers pitches. Great hitters don’t let center cut strikes go by. The Dodgers sure do.

Are sluggers great hitters? Sure, some are. Throughout history there have been .300 hitters that were sluggers. Henry Aaron, Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, Carl Yastemski, were among the best I ever saw. Babe Ruth, Josh Gibson and Ted Williams might be the best of all time. Will we ever see guys like them again? Yeah. Shohei Ohtani might though his career batting average is only .279.

The Dodgers won’t likely venture away from launch angle and velocity. But I would at least like to see a better two strike approach.

Last edited 13 days ago by Badger
Jeff

Does AF have any actual baseball experience beside running the FO? This corporate mentality has me somewhat baffled by all the moves this guy makes without anything real changing? If it’s my team and the team has slumped, I would make a change in management. Sounds rational but rational is not something that I see in the Dodgers makeup. We have both a pitching problem and a positional problem. With the amount of injuries and new auditions taking place, my first change would be in replacing Mark Pryor. The same with RVS. Doc is also not safe on my team. If we have real talent on the roster, they will weather this storm. Because the same story has been taking place over many seasons, someone in charge is either lying to us, the team, or themselves. 10 years of playoffs and we lose to Colorado like a minor league team. This is the fate of corporate mentality. The players have already been paid in spite of not producing. Makes no sense to me.

Sam Oyed

Bad umpiring part 2

https://flip.it/Gs0DxL

Badger

The letter of the rule says they got it right. But, come on man. Talk it over then do the right thing. The right thing was no harm no foul.

Dionysus

Kasten from the top rope. Love the quote.

7-9 looking better with Heyward, Pages, Lux.

Vargas can get reps until Muncy returns & Rojas can continue to plug and play.

Outman maybe returns in 2025 but CF job is lost.

CT3 & Keekay bench dudes only and shouldn’t start a single postseason game.

Phillips coming back solidifies the pen.

Team is fine.

Duke Not Snider

The center field job is lost?
Who won the job? Perhaps a player to be named later?
Pages certainly didn’t look like a good centerfielder today. Got a couple of hits but his fielding was awful. If Outman plays well in OKC, he can certainly come back this season. While Pages, Heyward, Taylor and Kike all can play CF, Outman is considered the best defender in center.
If Outman succeeds in OKC, and Pages and/or Vargas slump or get hurt, Outman is the obvious option.
If management isn’t happy with the in-house options, a deal can certainly be made for a proven veteran. Several outfielders could be on the market.

Jeff

I’m afraid wishful thinking isn’t going to right this ship. We need a housecleaning.

Dave

I still think this team needs a little more fire in the belly. Maybe being so good helps them cruise, but not fight? Maybe a player like Kurt Gibson or a manager like Tommy? Don’t get me wrong, I like Doc and our current players, but I think we got stuck loading up the top of the order and being stuck with hoping Outman, Heyward, Kike,Lux and Taylor would have good years.
I like this bullpen if they stay healthy, Phillips,Treinen and Hudson are filthy with decent support in Yarborough, Vesia et al. Plus when Miller and Kershaw come back they have too many starters and one of them could go to the bullpen,Miller throwing hi 90’s comes to mind. And maybe Graterol makes it back.
I have always preferred a lineup full of .275 hitters rather than 2 guys hitting .330 and 4 hitting .220. I questioned giving Taylor that contract but hoped he would hit at least .225 and only be used as a fill in when needed.
I like Teo but didn’t think they needed another 2 result player. I always have liked players like Whit Merrifield. I like your idea of packaging some of our outfielders and young pitchers for an outfielder. That certainly doesn’t need to be another star, just a steady fielder who can get on base, hit .270 and doesn’t strike out alot.
I like our front office, they are visionary and put together a good 40 man roster. We can differ on our approach to the game, I like contact and they prefer slug.

Bumsrap

Muncy’s old oblique can’t support his hard swings. He’s still my first trade.

Vargas to OK, Andre Lipcius to 3rd base.

Outfield: Teo, Outman, Pages.

Taylor+ $$$ to ?

Badger

Lipcius had a great day. But bring him up and bench Kiké?

OK by me. Try some more young blood.

I doubt anyone would want Taylor.

Outman hitting .280 with a .940 OPS. 36 plate appearances. 9 BB, 12 Ks. Would like to see less Ks and more hits. Like well over .300 against minor league pitchers. Can we trade him straight up for Ward or Pillar? The Angels and Dodgers should be able to help each out.

Oldbear48

Pillar hitting .431 since he joined the Angels with 5 homers for them. We had him before, and he was hurt. When healthy, he is a good player. But he is an Angel. Would Moreno trade anyone to the Dodgers? Old friend Mitch White DFAd by the Brewers.

Jeff

Kike is our jinx and I say that liking him as a person. CT3 is included. They are part of our slumping, underachieving, makeup.

tedraymond

A fantastic write up Jeff! Many topics and concerns were covered with some logical conclusions or solutions.

Your thoughts on Graterol have been mine as well. It’s always a mystery with the Dodgers and injured players. Graterol’s arm issue is most likely the same one that caused the Dodgers to trade for him with another team (Boston?) refused to include in a three team trade because of an potential arm problem. I guess that arm concern finally happened. Rehab isn’t helping so maybe surgery is in the solution. It’s too bad in that Graterol was very effective in 2023.

I’m in the camp that if you don’t win the WS then the season was a failure. The Dodgers have been built to win championships with AF in charge of player personnel and the slug approach to the offense. In the past two playoffs the early exits were due to the top of the order going cold against, in most cases, very good pitching. Which is to be expected in the postseason. Obvious situations that a contact or small ball approach would be in order, it was completely dismissed by the coaching staff. Roberts’ reasoning was the players were not able to apply that approach due to their slug mentality. For a professional baseball player not to be able to do this didn’t make sense to me. You can’t learn to lessen your swing to make contact or hit a SF with a runner at third base? You can’t bunt a few pitches in BP in case it might be helpful to win a game? You know, to help win a championship. OK.

So, after their two years of failure the team continues to rely on the slug with the signings of Teoscar and Shohei. Maybe, AF thought that the top six hitters would supply the slug they wanted with the bottom three spots some consistent on base production as the lineup turned over. Unfortunately, the bottom 3 or 4 have had awful production so far (excluding yesterday) this season. So, when the top of the order goes into a funk like it has recently, the offense completely shuts down against average, at best, pitching.

I sure it might be absurd to be critical of the Dodger FO when all the regular season success they have had the past decade or so. But, to have so many 100+ win teams have such utter failure in trying to win a WS then I think it’s fair to be critical and expect some changes.

If the Dodgers don’t win a World Series in 2024 then I wouldn’t surprised to see at least Dave Roberts fired and possibly the front office. Now that we know what the Walter ownership feels and expects then I don’t think that is not out of the question as crazy as it may sound. They can’t fire the players and the current FO philosophy is not winning enough championship.

Carry on.

Last edited 13 days ago by tedraymond
Badger

Maybe they can’t fire players but they can sure get rid of them.

Where are the weak links in this team? At the moment it appears to be centerfield and maybe another lock down reliever. Other than that this team looks good to me. As for Roberts, the manager with highest win % of all time, I don’t dump him.

tedraymond

I understand you don’t dump Roberts. But, you didn’t commit $1.4B this offseason. Walter stated that he felt a failure for the Dodgers not winning more WS. It’s ownership’s money and expectations. Roberts regular season record be damned.

Therealten

Ohtani can opt out if AF is fired. Don’t c that happening or Roberts for that matter. Just get a couple of players in the lineup focused on contact when needed. When I c the helmets flying off of lux n pages when u just need contact I don’t understand.

glaze3

Exactly right. Hitting coach and philosophy is the biggest problem I see. Same old thing every year.

Jeff

Yep.

Phil Jones

Great post Jeff and I especially enjoy how welcoming you are with differing opinions, offered with respect and civility. It makes this site so enjoyable. Thank you for that.
*You shared the same thoughts that many of us have on not standing pat with players who aren’t productive. AF may address this eventually but I don’t think it is impatient to encourage moves, sooner then later. The season is 1/3 complete and the outfield is still basically unproductive and the bench not anything close to what is needed for a deep run in the playoffs. I’m not as concerned about the bullpen, as some starters will move to bullpen pieces and hopefully CK will be added to Phillips, Miller and Kelly, barring further injuries. I’m not spending on relief pitching unless someone falls in AF’s lab on a deal with an existing player or two. I’d like a corner outfielder bat and an improved bench.
Other thoughts:
*Will is quietly hitting .431 vs LHP.
*I’m not a huge fan of platoons but here’s an idea out of the blue for down the road. If Outman gets it going in AAA, he’s a career .232 hitter vs RHP. Pages is a .351 hitter vs LHP. Perhaps there is a platoon potential in center with the youngsters down the road if Outman gets in going. I love Pages but his .194 split vs RHP isn’t good enough. Just a wild thought.
*Speaking of Pages, what a great play in center on JDM’s hit off the wall. He damn near threw him out at 2nd. Pretty sweet play.
*Adrian Johnson just raped Vargas on strike 3 in the 2nd. I wish we could challenge? Better yet, just get it right in real time with ABS?
Johnson had an 83% called strike accuracy on the night missing 17 pitches. Which one would you challenge? All of them? Swell, we could turn a 3:20 minute game to 3:30?
*I was anxious to see if Paxton was injured but apparently he was removed for preventive measures.  
*He is fun to watch with his funky mechanics. Sort of a big sweeping release like a big bird coming at the hitter that’s hard to pick up. Similar to Chris Sale and Randy Johnson. 
I have listened to Tom House talk pitching mechanics a lot. House, as most will recall, was a pitchier who caught Henry Aaron’s 715th in the bullpen. He is a former MLB pitching coach and a pitching guru. Tom now even coaches up NFL quarterbacks in addition to being a forerunner of today’s baseball pitching mechanics. One of Tom’s interesting points is his “equal and opposite” observation. Years ago, he pointed out in a clinic I attended that all skilled pitchers have both the pitching elbow and the glove side elbow at exactly the same angle, at foot strike. He’s right as I have watched pitchers over the years. If the pitcher’s arm angle at 90 degrees at foot-strike, the opposite elbow angle is also 90 degrees, maybe up, down of horizontally, but 90 degrees. And all angles in between.
Paxton is a great example. Both elbows at practically straight at foot-strike, giving that big, sweeping look that hides the ball from hitters. It’s like magic and very cool to watch.
*Thanks again Jeff and thanks for creating such an accommodating site where all ideas are welcome and encouraged.

Badger

As always, good points Phil.

I prefer players who don’t need platoons but understand why a few platoons are necessary. I like your CF idea and had a similar thought about Smith and Feuccia last year.

House is indeed a pitching guru and when he talks pitchers should listen. I hadn’t considered the elbow analogy but it makes sense.

I don’t think the pitch review would take long at all. It’s visible immediately and a direct line to the ump would resolve it in seconds. And even if it does add a few minutes it’s worth it. 83% is inexcusable.

Phil Jones

Badger, I mentioned the Smith-Feduccia idea yesterday and I think it’s worth consideration. Hunter is hitting .273/.799 at OKC and is on the 40 man roster so it’s as simple as sending a pitcher up & down, which we do all the time. Why not give him a look? He can’t be worse than Barnes. Carry 3 catchers for awhile if he hits and use him off the bench. He could be active for the playoffs and not Barnes. Keep Barnes around as a “consultant”. I know some pitchers like Barnes calling a game but put him in the earpiece calling games. May these seem wild ideas but we could use a bat.

TennisMenace (TM)

Excellent article…excellent discussion by all. I think many have nailed it….we have been a failure…only one WS, albeit, one with an asterisk…..usually have the best record and still can’t win…often not even making it to the WS. Yep, we should consider a different attitude.

You guys nailed it- slug doesn’t usually work against the best pitchers in the playoffs. Do you think we will bomb away against Atl or Phillies SP in the playoffs? Nope. So yes, we do need guys who can manufacture runs with speed, timely hitting, moving runners along, stuff like this.

I am a huge proponent of moving Betts back to 2B and going with MIGUEL ROJAS. Lifetime .258 hitter with an amazing glove. Why would I rather have Mookie and Lux instead? It’s a no brainer fellows. Rojas is fantastic in the field…our best…and Rojas is better than Lux with the bat, although Lux probably has a bit more power. Mookie doesn’t wear out as fast playing 2B.

Our top priority should be finding one or two proven outfielders before finding a SS. Trade Lux, Outman, Pages, and or Vargas if you have to.

Oh one more solid BP guy too. We have two guys who get bombed every outing. Please, send them to the Mets.

TM

Oldbear48

Guys who need to be gone and the sooner the better. Taylor, Kike, Barnes.

OhioDodger

I am all for cutting Taylor loose and bringing up Lipcius. Sounds like Muncy could be out for quite awhile. Signing Kike was redundant with Taylor already onboard. Barnes is not going anywhere this year. I hope the Dodgers move on from all three next year.

tedraymond

Oh yes, the “overpay” dilemma. So, to possibility trade for Kyle Tucker we have catching prospects, Rushing and Lizanzo, who will most likely never play for the Dodgers. We have Outman, Vargas, and Pages currently MLB ready. All three will not play for the Dodgers at the same time. Several pitching prospects are available and all will not pitch for the Dodgers long term.

Why is it an overpay in a trade to include players that the Astros could use and that will probably NEVER PLAY FOR THE DODGERS? What good does it do the Dodgers and the prospects to have them in the minors because there is no spot for them on the Dodgers 26 man? Either play them or trade them!! Damn, it’s Kyle Tucker! I know he walks more than he K’s, hits HR’s, and is an excellent OF. What’s not to like?

Jeff

Jeff, great write up, today.

AF do something he is not comfortable with? That is an oxymoron? This guy never does something he is not comfortable with and that is why there is so little change in the organization with the same mistakes being made year in and year out.

Singing the Blue

We don’t know that AF would have passed on Estrada because the Padres made their decision before we had our turn…………..or am I missing something here?

Singing the Blue

Two thoughts – would appreciate hearing what you guys think.

1) If the Dodgers have any thought at all that Graterol is more likely than not to need surgery, what are they waiting for? Last year they messed around with Treinen (although it might have been his decision) and wasted an entire year of pitching because he postponed his surgery. I wonder if the same thing is happening with Graterol?

2) We keep on bringing up names of outfielders who might be available at the deadline and aren’t really thrilled with any of the candidates. How about this solution? Starting in late July, make Shohei the left fielder and trade for old friend JD Martinez to once again be the DH. That eliminates one major hole in the lineup.

Bluto

1) surgery is bad. If Graterol doesn’t want it, they can’t force it.

2) I have read that OF is a non-option for Ohtani for this year.

as for today’s post, this is why it’s so frustrating to try and think for Dodger executives. Do we put more credence in this Kasten quote or the other one where he downplayed WS titles vs. regular season success. Or something like that.

Singing the Blue

I have also read that OF is a non-option for Ohtani for this year.
I also read that Max’s injury was relatively minor and he would be back by now.
All Dodger front office pronouncements are subject to change.

tedraymond

Bluto, I don’t think the fans are trying to think for the front office.

“As owner Mark Walter recruited Shohei Ohtani, he mentioned that he views his 12-year tenure running the club as an on-field failure. 

I think Walter’s feelings are clear on the Dodgers postseason failures.

Bluto

Which is why I was asking about Kasten, who has viewed opinions that could be seen as contradictory

Therealten

Kasten seems to have mimicked the Braves success in division crowns with the Dodger success in division crowns. Unfortunately, he mimicked the lack of success in the WS at Atlanta with the Dodgers lack of WS success. I am sure Kasten is proud of the accomplishments. We are always talking about AF but I have often wondered how Kasten figures. Walter may be wanting to send a message to Kasten as well as AF. Interesting dynamic and I would like to know who is pushing the buttons. I’m sure they would say it is a team effort. Mb just a recruiting pitch to Ohtani but Ohtani appears to have held their feet to the fire a bit.

Last edited 13 days ago by Therealten
OhioDodger

It don’t mean a thing, if you ain’t got the ring.

Oldbear48

I disagree. It just is not that easy. Yes, they can shoot to win every year, but that is unrealistic. They have gone to the big show three times in the time they have been in charge. They won one, lost one and were cheated out of another. They lost in the NLCS twice, 16 to the eventual World Series champ, the Cubs, and 2021 to the eventual World Series champ, Braves. They lost two wild card series and six times in the division series. The last two playoff losses were after the 5-day layoff which obviously affected the team’s offense. In 21, they made it to the NLCS despite missing one of their most productive hitters and a pitching staff that was totally banged up and missing it’s Hall of Fame pitcher, and its high-priced deadline acquisition who only pitched a couple of innings in the series. The layoff between the end of the season and the beginning of the last two playoffs, definitely played a part in their lethargic play. What also played a part was AF’s inability to upgrade the pitching staff when it was most needed. Injuries to major pieces also played a role. With perfect health, who knows what they might have done.

Bluto

Yes. I quite enjoy successful seasons and while I’d also enjoy a WS success the lack of it doesn’t take away from the season.

for me.

OhioDodger

Likewise. I enjoy the season and winning the division. It is great entertainment. However, the season is not a complete success if we don’t win the WS.

tedraymond

Exactly OhioDodger!

Jeff

You should have been around for the Brooklyn years. The Dodgers were the epitome of a loser team. People cried when they won their first WS. The streets went mad. I was there and we were used to the Dodgers losing. But we were loyal and would never think of jumping ship to the Giants or Yankees.

Oldbear48

Ya gotta love Bradley. He just posted on Mark’s site that he read a rumor, where I have no clue, that the Dodgers were targeting O’Neill, on the IL, Arozarena, he of the .160 BA, Lane Thomas, just off of the IL, barely above .200, CJ Adams, who the Nats have no intention of trading, Connor Joe, to play the outfield, one of the Pirates best hitters at this point, not a free agent until 2029. And the cherry on top, Kenley Jansen. Jansen has pitched exactly 17.2 innings this year. His WHIP is 1.245. Not nearly the pitcher he used to be. Bradley is enthusiastic, but a little short on baseball acumen where it comes to trades. And he believes every rumor he sees.

Phil Jones

I’m still not convinced that Bradley isn’t a shill on Mark’s site. Like Bulldogsand Penquins. His mission is to draw as many responses as possible to his off the wall trade ideas. And you fall victim almost every time. Bless you for wanting to straighten up his thinking. But, it takes too much energy to rebute his ideas. He wins. Ignore him.
And please don’t get him posting here.

porpoiseboy

Yeah, seems unlikely that someone would be that in the baseball to be on a blog all the time, and at the same time be so illiterate about it.

Bluto

This could be very right, and I’m not sure it’s.a bad thing.

Badger

Outman 3 for 5 with a home run. Now OPSn 1.091. Lipcius and Ward also continue hitting. Knack 5 innings no runs.

Last edited 13 days ago by Badger

Must See

More in Dodger Baseball

68
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x