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Thoughts on Chris Woodward, Walker Buehler, and the Start of the Next Winning Streak

I was sitting quietly out on the patio having breakfast when I got the notification that Chris Woodward was fired as the Texas Rangers manager.  It caught me totally off guard.  I don’t particularly know why.  My son and Woody both signed as free agents with NYM in December 2004, and spent 2005 ST together before Andy was sold to Toronto. I know they talked when Woody was with the Dodgers. Regardless, I do not have a dog in this fight, but it just seems like the wrong person is getting terminated.

This has more to do with unwarranted expectations that were a result of the questionable commitment of $561MM on 4 players:



Chris Young signed two Scott Boras client SS at a cool $500MM.  It is more like Scott Boras schooled Chris Young.  Young was a pitcher who after retirement moved into a MLB executive position reporting to Joe Torre.  He became the MLB’s enforcer of discipline action, such as deciding fines and suspensions. He also oversaw the On-Field Operations and Umpiring Departments.

Yes he was a smart guy from Princeton, but nowhere has he had any experience in salary negotiations, roster construction, or player evaluation.  And now he gets to go head to head with Scott Boras.

The Rangers were 60-102 after the 2021 season. The Rangers pitching was suspect at best.  They were not going to be contenders in 2022 with the addition of 2 SS, 1 pitcher, and light hitting OF.   The Rangers had a steady but unspectacular SS in Isiah Kiner-Falefa, and five top middle infield prospects (all top 8).  Two are already up with the big league team as 3B (Ezequial Duran and Josh Smith) and Kiner-Falefa is a NYY.  The Rangers top two non-pitching prospects, Josh Jung (3B) and Justin Foscue (2B) are knocking on the door.

Their top pitching prospect, Jack Leiter, seems to have taken a step backward, but it wasn’t Chris Woodward that put Leiter at AA for his first professional stop.  That was Chris Young.  I still think Jack Leiter will be a good to elite pitcher, but maybe not with Texas.  Their top pitching prospect before Leiter was Cole Winn, and he also seems to be regressing.  That is not Chris Woodward’s problem either.

Perhaps if Chris Young had spent more of those half billion dollars on pitchers on 2-3 year deals like SF did, the team could have waited a bit for their position player prospects and their pitching prospects to develop.  And then when the team needs that one player to take them over the top, go get him.

We also learned that one of the key reasons (other than the $$$) Corey Seager signed with Texas was his relationship with Chris Woodward when Chris was a coach with LAD.

I am not going to lose any sleep on Chris Woodward being terminated.  He is under contract through 2023, and will land on his feet.  He is a good baseball man.  But what seems to happen is that the GM fires a manager for his mistakes.  And signing Corey Seager to a $325MM deal and Marcus Semien to a $175 deal after a 60 win season is a mistake.  And Chris Woodward (not Young) is paying the price.

At least Detroit terminated the right guy when they let Al Avila go after FA signing mistakes.  And Avila was with Detroit for a long time.

Now for the big news that some of us believed was inevitable from early on this season.  Walker Buehler is going to have season ending elbow surgery.  What we do not know is whether this is going to also be 2023 season ending surgery as well.  I feel comfortable in believing that if Buehler needed TJ surgery in June, there really was not much risk in waiting until August hoping to try something different that could possibly help. I truly believe that the Dodgers had an outside date they needed for the surgery to make sure he would only miss 2022 and 2023 (at most).  Of course none of us know the extent of the surgery, and maybe it will not be as extensive to eliminate the 2023 season.

I am sure we will have more to discuss once the surgery is complete and we learn the extent of the injury.  I know we all wish Walker Buehler the best of luck with his pending surgery.

How much of the other pitcher injuries are under-reported?  I thought because the team did not go out and get a starter at the deadline, they believed Buehler would be back.  Danny Duffy was supposed to be back in June, now they are hoping he will be back in September.  Tommy Kahnle is now at best 50-50.  I have no idea where Victor Gonzalez is in his recovery.  Blake Treinen and Brusdar Graterol are due back relatively soon.  They may wait until September.

Clayton Kershaw is supposedly due back in September as well.

I am continually amazed at how many Dodgers fans are prominent at the away venues. They were all over Milwaukee’s stadium.  KC are huge Royals fans and the number of LAD jerseys, shirts, and hats were well displayed.  There were even a couple of Freddd-dee chants at both KC and Milwaukee.

Freddie crushes a home run in the first inning for the only run that Julio Urías and 4 relievers would need.

Julio Urías did not have his best command and yet he was able to battle through 5.0 shutout  innings.  Julio has now won 10 of his last 11 starts with a 1.99 ERA in those 11 unbeaten games.  He has an outside chance of having back to back 20 win seasons.   He got some brilliant relief from Chris Martin, Caleb Ferguson, Evan Phillips, and David Price.

I am looking for the Lux Sux posters on other sites to admit they were wrong.  Maybe they have and I just missed them.  For some it is easy to be right when you change your opinion about Gavin Lux after every game.  I was so happy that he got a HR in front of his family and friends.  His Kenosha home is 30 minutes from Milwaukee.  He mentioned how special it was for him to see his grandparents reaction to his HR who have not seen him play since AA.


There were multiple nice defensive plays to support the pitching, but none better than this JT gem.


It continues to look like Max Muncy “is back”.  Now we just have to keep hoping that the patience the Dodgers are showing Cody Bellinger will also pay off.

Finally, here is yet another reason why Mookie is so special.


It is time to go on another win streak. Next game up will be fun.  Ryan Pepiot vs Brandon Woodruff.



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Firing managers and head coaches is the common first step remedy for disappointing play. Can’t say Texas problems concern me much.

Both starting pitchers last night had to work damm hard to complete short outings. Combined they went 9, 186 pitches, 1 earned. Urias, 94 in 5. Yoiks.

quiet in here

Singing the Blue

Woodward is not Young’s guy. He was hired before Young got there so that might have something to do with the decision to remove him .

Maybe we should be ok with the fact that VGon, Kahnle and Duffy may not make it back this year. Where would we put them?


Ferguson still looks like a closer to me.

If Cody uses a swing that takes advantage of his good bat to ball skills he will return to awesome and win a batting title. In the meantime, let’s have more Thompson in CF and more Thompson in LF against righties.

Justin can still make a play.

Keep Lux at second full time, no platoons.

Miller and Stone are now in AAA.


Nice bounce back win against a team in contention but reeling a little. Julio battled his behind off. We will know after the surgery what exactly is the problem with Buehler’s wing. Everything now is just guessing. I doubt seriously that Danny Duffy ever pitches for the Dodgers. Simple fact is, they really do not need him and it has been two years since he pitched in the majors. Just dump him after the season. Kahnle is not close to returning, and the crickets tell me Gonzalez is not in the picture until maybe next year. With Blake and Bazooka coming back, they are really just flotsam right now anyway.


According to the Times, a consideration at the trade line was the fact the Dodgers were expecting Buehler to be back for the playoffs. If they expected their ace back, who do they think will take his place now? The answer, I think, is Julio Urias. Urias, Gonsolin, Kershaw, Anderson. Now it looks like May could be the #3 starter, and it may be Gonsolin, Urias, May, Kershaw. Or Anderson. Or I have no idea.

Stone and Miller at OKC is a tell to me. I think we’ll see them and see them soon.


Yes, it’s definitely about innings. I’d rather see Miller than Jackson. And come to think of it I’d rather see Stone than Grove, though I may regret that.

Singing the Blue

I think the DFA of Wolters yesterday created a spot on the 40-man so one less to worry about.

Singing the Blue

Rios needs to be activated tomorrow but he could also be optioned. May on Saturday will require someone to be removed from the 26-man as well as the 40-man. I’m guessing Reed or Alvarez.


Who is less likely to fit into future plans? Bickford, Moronta come to mind. I doubt Duffy is ever going to pitch for the Dodgers. I’m less concerned about #s 39 and 40 and more concerned about September and October. Maybe I’m being naive about these things, but that shouldn’t surprise. I’m over 70 but very immature for my age.

Singing the Blue

I really don’t see that the roster has room this year for Duffy, Kahnle or VGon. It’s one thing to lop off a Moronta or an Alvarez, but by the time VGon or Kahnle would return, you’d be looking at removing (at least from the active roster) someone who is currently performing well.

Likely 13 pitchers on the post season roster will probably come from this list:
Urias, Gonsolin, Anderson, May, Kershaw, Heaney, Treinen, Graterol, Phillips, Ferguson, Vesia, Price, Almonte, Martin, Kimbrel

The only one of that group of 15 who probably doesn’t deserve to be on a playoff roster is Kimbrel. He’s probably going to be there whether we like it or not, so that would mean two of the others would be left off. No room at the inn for either Kahnle or VGon. I’m guessing that neither will be back this year.


MLB Network interviewed someone close to the rangers Manager situation and there was enough said to understand why a change of managers might help the team. Outfielders making bad decisions. Players doing their own pregame thing hinting that the Rangers were a collection of players not playing as a team.

The Yankees are fading fast and the Mets are rising. Who owns NY?

Trout is having ongoing trouble staying on the field warning teams about huge long-term contracts.

Would Padres trade Tatis for Ohtani? Trout?

Singing the Blue

“Would Padres trade Tatis for Ohtani? Trout?”

Fascinating question, Fred.
I would imagine that immediately after he heard the suspension news, Preller would have traded him for Kody Hoese. But after he had a day to calm down he had the following to think about:
1) The Pads have control over Tatis for 12 more years (is that good or bad?) and the last 6 of those years are at approximately 37 mil per year.
2) Do you trade a guy over whom you have 12 years of control for a guy with 1 year of control (Ohtani)?
3) Do you trade a guy over whom you have 12 years of control for the one guy (Trout) who might be even more talented but is now having a hard time staying on the field?
4) Once Tatis returns, he still has that bad shoulder so if he doesn’t have that fixed while he’s suspended, he may very well miss another year somewhere down the road.

I don’t hate Tatis nearly as much as most Dodger fans. I think he’s very talented and I don’t even mind the hot dogging, but he does have a lot of growing up to do and he, like Trout, may prove to be injury prone.

I suppose his trade value is pretty depressed right now, but it might behoove AJ to see what he could get for him this winter. Maybe it’s time to just move on and let him become someone else’s headache.


Would the Angels benefit from that move?

I agree with everything you said about Tatis. He’s one of those players I wished was a Dodger. Not so sure now, but I think he would benefit being with the Dodgers. Different culture that’s for sure.


Bauer for Tatis 😜


Machado got in the face of their left fielder for a lazy throw that allowed a runner to take 3rd. Last year he was in the face of Tatis. Maybe if instead, he led by example….


Semien was a stud in ‘19 and ‘21. I thought that up the middle combo was going to rake in Texas. Not Woody’s fault he forgot how to hit. Who knows what kind of culture there is in the Rangers organization. Furthermore, who cares.


I like the looks of Gallo under Dodgers’ coaches.

i like Price lately, even.


Pepiot with 5 walks just doesn’t look quite ready to me but I think he has to keep going out there.

umpire sucked

1 for 9 WRISP.

Brewers with 5 hits and 14 Ks. You’d think we win that one.

Gallo with a brain fart on the bases. Cost the game.

Muncy. Lux. 7 Ks between them.

Kimbrel gets the loss but wasn’t awful. Smart, well executed bunt base hit, a walk and a bloop. His ERA just keeps inching up.

8-10 in 1 run games.

Move on.

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