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Sunday, August 30, 2015

Vin Scully: 2016 Will Be Final Season in Booth for Dodgers - The New York Times

I will surely watch more Dodger games the rest of this year and next. I will miss Vin Scully.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 30, 2015 at 08:25 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: broadcaster, dodgers, vin scully

Madden: It’s panic in the owner’s box season in baseball - NY Daily News

Andrew Friedman is not going anywhere.

And what if the Dodgers, with their $300 million payroll, somehow miss the postseason — or if they somehow don’t make it out of the first round despite having Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke pitching Games 1 & 2? If either happens, Don Mattingly will most surely be fired as manager, but president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman will also have a lot of ‘splainin’ to do. Like why, with all his money and prospect resources, didn’t he adequately address the Dodgers’ biggest needs at the deadline — a frontline starting pitcher a la Price or Hamels, and bullpen help for closer Kenley Jansen, instead settling for mediocrities in Alex Wood, Mat Latos and Jim Johnson? And why didn’t he send struggling rookie Joc Pederson back to Triple-A to work on making hitting adjustments and regaining his confidence instead of continuing to force-feed him, hopelessly overmatched, in the majors? And lastly, what was he thinking giving oft-injured Brandon McCarthy four years and $48 million last winter, and why is $87.5 million of that $300M payroll being paid to guys who no longer play for the Dodgers?


Friday, August 28, 2015

Los Angeles Dodgers can hit and get on base—so why can’t they score? | FOX Sports

The way I figure, it comes to four things. Very slightly, the Dodgers have underachieved with men on base. They’ve been a bad baserunning team. They’ve very infrequently reached on errors. And then some of this is probably just simple bad luck. Combine those and I imagine you can account for the missing half-run a game. You at least get close. That’s why the Dodgers haven’t scored as many runs as you’d think.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 28, 2015 at 10:25 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, sabermetrics

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Schoenfield: Trying to figure out Don Mattingly and the Dodgers

I agree with Schoenfield: Absent a World Series ring, Mattingly is going, going, gone.

That brings us to the latest maneuverings of manager Don Mattingly. After Mattingly spent a few weeks screwing around with Yasiel Puig by occasionally sitting him to get Carl Crawford some at-bats, the manager has now benched rookie center fielder Joc Pederson, with Enrique Hernandez—who had been filling in at second due to the injury to Howie Kendrick—moving to center so Chase Utley can play second. The Dodgers, who emphasized better defense with their offseason acquisitions (although that hasn’t worked out as planned, since the Dodgers are 23rd in the majors in defensive runs saved), arguably weakened their defense at two positions, right when they’re playing a crucial stretch of baseball. (I don’t say that with certainty; Pederson is probably average-ish defensively and Hernandez may be as well, despite limited experience at the position. Utley’s diminished range is almost certainly a drop from Hernandez at second, however.)

It’s easy to see why Mattingly benched Pederson. The rookie hit .169 in July. He’s hitting .122 in August. Pederson, however, has drawn 20 walks in August and has a .413 OBP. He told Mark Saxon that he understands the demotion. But ... well, I’ll turn it over to Joe Sheehan, who wrote yesterday:

“What makes Mattingly’s decision all the more incomprehensible is his continued commitment to Jimmy Rollins at the top of the lineup. Rollins has been a replacement-level player this season, batting .223/.275/.361 with below-average defense at shortstop and an abysmal 9/7 [ratio of stolen bases to caught stealing]. It’s Rollins who replaced Pederson atop the Dodgers lineup, leading off in 21 of the last 22 games. In that time, he’s batting .269/.299/.398—a performance inferior to Pederson’s in that time. A leadoff hitter with a .299 OBP is actively hurting your offense. It’s 2015, and there’s an MLB manager unable to see past batting average to build his lineup.”

That’s what’s most stunning to me: The Dodgers, with like 26 general managers in the front office, are watching Mattingly bat his worst hitter leadoff. How does that make sense? As he did with Puig, Mattingly seems to get easily frustrated with young players, and can’t look past a small sample size to see long-term production trends. The roots of Pederson’s recent struggles with his batting average and his current benching go back in some fashion to spring training, when the Dodgers were concerned about his violent, all-or-nothing approach at the plate.

Of course, keep in mind that Mattingly’s style as a hitter was basically the exact opposite of Pederson’s. Mattingly rarely walked and rarely struck out. Pederson waits and waits and waits for his pitch and tries to jack it out, but he pays the price with a high strikeout rate. Mattingly’s swing was smooth and effortless. Note: Even with his recent struggles, Pederson has a .357 on-base percentage on the season. Mattingly’s career OBP? .358.

JE (Jason) Posted: August 27, 2015 at 12:47 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, don mattingly, on-base percentage

Monday, August 24, 2015

Joc Pederson of Los Angeles Dodgers loses spot in lineup

Adjustments, adjustments, adjustments.

Joc Pederson was a rookie of the year front-runner and the starting center fielder for the National League All-Star team, but a protracted slump has cost him his starting job with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Manager Don Mattingly said Enrique Hernandez will take over the center-field job until further notice. Hernandez was in the starting lineup against the Houston Astros for the second straight day and will face right-hander Lance McCullers on Sunday.
...
Pederson, 23, is hitting .163 with a .333 on-base percentage and .293 slugging percentage since the All-Star break. For the season, he is batting .214 with a .798 OPS and has struck out in 29.4 percent of his plate appearances.

Of his 23 home runs, 20 came before the break. Pederson finished as the runner-up to Todd Frazier in the home run derby the day before the All-Star Game in Cincinnati.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 24, 2015 at 10:54 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, joc pederson

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Astros, Dodgers try to be smart, but mistakes more affordable for L.A. - Houston Chronicle

At the core, being better at player evaluation than your opponent is the most important attribute of any great organization. Having a lot of cash, though, let’s you wallpaper over mistakes, at least in the short-term.

When Boston was in town in July, Ben Cherington was still its GM. In a long session with reporters, he made an observation related to his own failures.

“Every team’s talent is more evenly distributed,” said Cherington, who has since left the Red Sox. “Every team has access to information. It’s a very sort of flat world, so you have to find ways to build advantages any way you can. Obviously, we haven’t done a good job of that the last two years.”

Friedman surveyed the landscape similarly.

“I do think that competitive balance is at its apex as you look back at least over the last 20 years,” he said. “I think things are at least becoming more efficient, and as things become efficient, it’s more difficult to find an advantage. What’s exciting about what we do on a daily basis: trying to figure out different advantages and different benefits, even on the margins.”

Jim Furtado Posted: August 23, 2015 at 10:05 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: andrew friedman, astros, dodgers, general managers, jeff luhnow

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Madden: Who’s the boss now? Helter-skelter dealing and spending by Dodgers and Red Sox make Yankees

Unbelievable.

As for Castillo (.286/.318/.415, three steals, three doubles in 46 games entering Saturday), he spent most of the season either at Triple-A or on the disabled list, obviously falling far short of the 2015 projections (31 doubles, 22 HR, 32 steals) by Bill James, Red Sox owner John Henry’s resident sabermetrics fraud. James, who ought to be Dombrowski’s first “exit velo” candidate, also projected Allen Craig — whom Cherington acquired last summer from the Cardinals with pitcher Joe Kelly for John Lackey in one of the worst trades in Red Sox history — to hit .280 with 30 doubles, 15 homers and a .280 average. Craig ($5.5M) is at Triple-A Pawtucket and Kelly was pitching to a 6.11 ERA through Aug. 1, while Lackey, earning just $502,000 due to a special covenant in his contract, is having one of his best seasons (10-7, 2.87 ERA/1.201 WHIP) for the Cardinals.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 22, 2015 at 08:12 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, red sox, yankees

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Chase Utley Agrees to Dodgers Trade.

Chase Utley, whose 13-year career with the Philadelphia Phillies included five All-Star appearances and the club’s first World Series championship since 1980, agreed to a trade to the Los Angeles Dodgers, according to a baseball official with direct knowledge of the deal.

The person spoke to USA TODAY Sports on condition of anonymity because the trade has been agreed upon, but not finalized. The Phillies will receive a pair of mid-level prospects from the Dodgers, who will also receive $2 million to help offset the remainder of the $15 million Utley is paid this season.

Cloude Atlas (Voxter) Posted: August 19, 2015 at 07:57 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, phillies, trades

Clayton Kershaw Slams Ball on Field, Throws It into Dugout in Frustration | Bleacher Report

I assume time was already called. I am surprised the umpire didn’t even come out to talk to him.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 19, 2015 at 08:53 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: clayton kershaw, dodgers

Friday, August 14, 2015

Early returns haven’t been good for Dodgers - True Blue LA

Break up the Dodgers front office.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 14, 2015 at 07:55 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, trade deadline

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Casella: Best MLB Rotations of Past 30 Years

Who would have guessed that all of the best pitching staffs came from the NL?  Have fun beating up on opposing pitchers while the real teams face line-ups with 9 guys who can hit.

Chris Fluit Posted: August 12, 2015 at 09:13 PM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, cardinals, cubs, dodgers, mets, nationals, phillies, roy halladay

Monday, August 10, 2015

Dodgers fast-tracking a ‘speed camp’ to develop designated runners - LA Times

They won’t be Herb Washington.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 10, 2015 at 02:06 PM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, herb washington

Fruits of Los Angeles Dodgers’ trades haven’t been promising so far - Los Angeles - Dodgers Report - ESPN

A week after the deal is certainly enough time to judge a deal. Or not.

Apparently, Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi was a big believer in Johnson’s recovery from that career low, because—six months after leaving Beane’s umbrella—he traded for Johnson again. It’s fair to say Johnson has not been a walking billboard for the efficacy of the Dodgers’ new general manager. Not that Zaidi didn’t have reason to believe in Johnson again. Many of his numbers—including strikeout-to-walk ratio and fielding independent pitching (FIP)—had returned to his 2012 form in Baltimore, where he saved 51 games.

Asked if Johnson was the same guy who put up those numbers in Atlanta, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said, “I think it is. Obviously, he was really good in Atlanta this year, which tells you you think he’s going to be really good with you. I think we still believe that, we still have confidence in that.”

Jim Furtado Posted: August 10, 2015 at 06:17 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: deadline trades, dodgers

Monday, August 03, 2015

Dodgers CEO Stan Kasten knows not to rush to judgment after trading deadline - The Orange County Register

Some trade deadline perspective from Stan Kasten, a guy who has been around forever.

“Every stock that has ever been sold in the history of the world has been sold by someone who thought it was going down to someone who thought it was going up,” Dodgers team president and CEO Stan Kasten said. “It’s always a function of an intersection of needs and plans.”

Jim Furtado Posted: August 03, 2015 at 01:34 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, trades

Friday, July 31, 2015

With money and cutting-edge brilliance, Dodgers playing a game others can’t - Yahoo Sports

The Dodgers are very smart.

By absorbing about $15 million from the Marlins – the struggling Morse is owed $8 million next season – Los Angeles paid more than $40 million in contracts for which it has no use. This is where money is best spent, because swallowing others’ problematic contracts or fronting money for valuable players allows the Dodgers to ask for premium talent in return, and in Wood and Peraza, it got just that.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 31, 2015 at 03:45 PM | 124 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Dodgers To Acquire Latos, Wood, Jim Johnson In 3-Team Deal; Olivera To Braves - MLB Trade Rumors

Another interesting late night deal.

JULY 30: The Dodgers will indeed pay the final two installments of Olivera’s signing bonus, tweets David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. That means the Braves are essentially taking on Olivera on a six-year, $32.5MM contract that began this season. He’s earning $2MM in 2015, of which about $754K remains, so their total financial commitment to him will be about $31.25MM over the course of five and a half years.

JULY 29: The Dodgers, Marlins and Braves have reportedly swung what appears to be one of the most complex three-team trades in recent history, though nothing will become official tonight. The “basic” structure of the deal (though there’s nothing basic about this move) is as follows: the Dodgers will receive right-hander Mat Latos and first baseman Michael Morse from the Marlins. They’ll also add top prospect Jose Peraza and pitchers Alex Wood, Jim Johnson and Luis Avilan from the Braves. Atlanta, in turn, will receive Cuban infielder Hector Olivera, lefty Paco Rodriguez and minor leaguer Zachary Bird from the Dodgers. The Braves are also picking up Miami’s Competitive Balance Round A pick in next year’s draft (No. 35 overall). The Marlins will come out of this deal with three minor league pitchers — Kevin Guzman, Jeff Brigham and Victor Araujo — plus the financial relief of shedding the remaining $14.3MM that is owed to Latos and Morse.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 30, 2015 at 08:57 AM | 81 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, dodgers, giants

Wednesday, July 29, 2015


Thursday, July 23, 2015

Top 10 Fantasy Prospects: Conforto Coming? - BaseballAmerica.com

1. Michael Conforto, of, Mets

Update: Conforto raked at high Class A St. Lucie and has been even better since a promotion to Double-A Binghamton, slashing .317/.401/.518 in 43 games.

Prognosis: Drafted No. 10 overall just a year ago out of Oregon State, Conforto is forcing the Mets’ hand into considering a callup quicker than they would like. An inept offense and an injury to Michael Cuddyer have Conforto on the precipice of a major league stint and scouts believe his lefthanded bat and power to all fields will play.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 23, 2015 at 11:53 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, blue jays, dodgers, mets, prospects, rangers, yankees

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Dodgers’ Brett Anderson exits with injury | MLB.com

He has interesting injuries. I will give him that.

odgers starter Brett Anderson is no stranger to injuries. He’s had three surgeries throughout his Major League career and can list problems to his back, fingers, ankle, forearm and knee among his ailments.

But in the Dodgers’ 4-3 loss to the Braves on Tuesday night, the 27-year-old lefty felt discomfort in an area he’s never injured before: his left Achilles.
Anderson had to leave the game in the third inning after tweaking the tendon and feeling further discomfort as he came off the mound to field his position. He initially felt it on a chopper from Andrelton Simmons in the first inning, but the breaking point came in the third, when he went to field a swinging bunt from Jonny Gomes.
...
Even with Anderson’s injury history, there’s optimism that a DL stint won’t be necessary. Anderson said a doctor examined him after the game and found the tendon to be “intact” with no tear.
“There wasn’t a pop or anything like that,” Anderson said after the game, boot on his left foot. “It’s kind of a sketchy area, but hopefully I caught it soon enough where it’s not going to be a big issue. We’ll know more [Wednesday], but the level [of concern]—at least right now—is not too concerned.”

Jim Furtado Posted: July 22, 2015 at 06:54 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: brett anderson, dodgers, injuries

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Video: Kershaw strikes out 14 | MLB.com

He was nasty last night.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 19, 2015 at 07:01 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: clayton kershaw, dodgers

Friday, July 17, 2015

Chairman Mark Walter backs Yasiel Puig, says yes, Dodgers can improve - LA Times

I wonder if a trade would light a fire under Puig?

While there is increased skepticism within the organization as to whether Puig’s production will ever match his talent, Dodgers Chairman Mark Walter remains optimistic.

“I wouldn’t give up on him now,” said Walter, the team’s controlling owner.

Walter said his backing of Puig is based not on the player’s marketability, but on how he thinks Puig will develop as a player.

“I think he’s just going to be a great player,” Walter said.

Walter pointed to a groundout by Puig last week in a home game against the Philadelphia Phillies.

“If you watch him, he’s playing hard,” Walter said. “Did you see that squibbler? He ran his butt off. He almost got there too.”

Walter continued, “Puig clearly, clearly has incredible potential and talent. And I think he’s got a big heart and wants to play hard. So I think that will show up.”

However, Walter said that if the front office decides it should trade Puig, he wouldn’t prevent it from doing so.

“It’d be dumb for me to hire them and tell them what to do,” Walter said.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 17, 2015 at 08:06 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, yasiel puig

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Why MLB Can’t Stop the Dodgers From Spending Truckloads of Money on International Free Agents: A Guide

When MLB first implemented these rules, the expectation was that we’d see no more than a few million go into the league’s kitty, since the penalties would discourage teams from going over their budgets. After this most recent July 2 period, the penalty fund since the new system was put in place has now exceeded $80 million — and might even be considerably higher. Since nobody planned for this, nobody knows what to do with all of that cash. For now, it just belongs to Major League Baseball, and it’s more or less just sitting there.

...

The stated benefit of an international draft will be that lousy teams stand to gain (as they do in the amateur draft). An international draft — coupled with the kind of stiff penalties that exist in the amateur draft — would likely curb the ability of rich teams like the Dodgers and Yankees to run roughshod over their poorer rivals, thus helping competitive balance. But the main reason for the draft would be to put more money back into teams’ pockets.

Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: July 11, 2015 at 01:48 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, jonah keri

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Dodgers star Clayton Kershaw does not belong in the All-Star game

This take is so hot it might melt your computer.

Oh, please, stop your whining. Clayton Kershaw was not selected to be a National League All-Star. The sporting world still spins.

Here’s a real news break for you — he shouldn’t be.

It’s supposed to be a game featuring the players having the best first halves of the season, not having really good seasons. There shouldn’t be any free pass based on past excellence. It’s an All-Star game, not a lifetime achievement award.

This is about 2015. And in 2015, Kershaw has been really good, which is not good enough to be invited to Cincinnati.

His earned-run average is good, but not special. His WHIP — walks plus hits per innings pitched — is very good, though not approaching the numbers he put up the last two seasons.

Then, of course, there is his win-loss record, 6-6 after Wednesday’s game, which we’re just supposed to discard because sometimes pitchers pick up cheap wins or underserved losses. And because, you know, the sabermetric people told us we should do so.


Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Justin Turner cites philosophical differences for Mets departure

Former Mets utilityman and current Dodgers star Justin Turner cited philosophical differences as a reason why he and the Mets’ front office did not always get along. Turner, who played for the Mets from 2010-2013, says that his approach at the plate clashed with the organizational philosophy promoted by General Manager Sandy Alderson.

“[Alderson] is a ‘Moneyball’ guy,” Turner said to ESPN Los Angeles. “I don’t know if ‘Looking to walk’ is the right way of saying it, but he talks about on-base percentage. I’m never looking to walk. Sometimes when you miss pitches you should hit, you end up walking. I wasn’t worried about on-base percentage or anything like that. I was just trying to have good at-bats.”

The 30-year-old third baseman was non-tendered by the Mets in December 2013 after the team’s front office reportedly felt that Turner had not hustled during his tenure with the team.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 07, 2015 at 11:33 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, justin turner, mets, moneyball, sandy alderson

Notes: Rangers will need to get creative to move Choo | FOX Sports

I don’t think he’s representing Kenny’s beliefs but maybe I’m not reading Kenny right. Intangibles are real. They are just really difficult, if not impossible, to quantify.

Some sabermetricians — I’m talking to you, Brian Kenny — dismiss the significance of intangibles, contending they are impossible to quantify and insignificant to winning.

Well, I wish Kenny could have heard Mets manager Terry Collins talk about the lift that David Wright gave his teammates upon meeting them at Dodger Stadium on Friday afternoon.

Wright had been away from the club while rehabilitating from spinal stenosis in Los Angeles. But he remains the Mets’ biggest star, the face of the organization, and his absence has left the team with more than just a void on the field.

Collins described the mood as “completely different” with Wright in the room, saying the players were laughing more, talking louder. No one would suggest that Wright’s presence is the reason the Mets won two of three from the Dodgers. But these things matter, more than some people think.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 07, 2015 at 07:33 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, dodgers, marlin byrd, mets, notes, rangers

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