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Jim Furtado
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Editor - Baseball Primer


Dodgers Newsbeat

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Cubs Edge toward Destiny as WS Fave Jays Open ALDS

Rational Pastime’s playoff simulator now projects the Cubs as 34% favorites to represent the Senior Circuit in the Fall Classic, and 5:1 to win it all… Among today’s American League contenders, the Toronto Blue Jays remain big favorites at 2:1…

Summary of projections:

TOR 3:1
CHC 5:1
HOU 5:1
LAD 8:1
KCR 11:1
NYM 12:1
STL 13:1
TEX 16:1

J-Doug Posted: October 08, 2015 at 01:41 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: alds, astros, blue jays, cardinals, cubs, dodgers, mets, nlds, playoffs, projections, rangers, royals, world series

How the Mets plan to attack Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke | New York Post

So, there is no plan.

Long, who was a regular visitor to the postseason as the Yankees’ hitting coach, said this kind of competition is business as usual in October.
“It’s the playoffs and in the playoffs you expect to face the best pitchers in baseball,” Long said. “The [Justin] Verlanders, [Anibal] Sanchezes, [Max] Scherzers, I remember facing a very good, talented pitcher every time.”

Jim Furtado Posted: October 08, 2015 at 06:23 AM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, mets, playoffs

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Bill Plaschke: It might be World Series or bust for Don Mattingly - LA Times

Is this a repeat from last season?

Mattingly has led the Dodgers to three consecutive NL West championships, but the guess here is that if he can’t lead this team to a World Series his locker will be empty by Halloween.

Somebody is going to have to take the fall if baseball’s richest team still can’t find the Fall Classic after 27 years of classic falls, and Mattingly is the one wearing the target.

Management demoted Ned Colletti, traded Matt Kemp, let Hanley Ramirez walk. The Dodgers have rid themselves of every perceived problem from the previous two seasons, and now, if they fail again to survive two rounds of the tournament, it would figure to be Mattingly’s turn.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 07, 2015 at 12:31 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, don mattingly, managers

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Toronto Blue Jays Big Favorites as 2015 MLB Postseason Begins

It begins again: Rational Pastime projections for the 2015 postseason. Tonight, the RP model has the Houston Astros as slight favorites over the New York Yankees. Were these teams evenly matched, the Yanks would be favored 54-46, thanks to home field advantage. However, my RP Score system believes that the Astros are a better team.

As for the rest of the playoffs, the model—which relies on the Log 5 equation and Matt Swarz’s numbers for home field advantage—picks the Toronto Blue Jays to win it all as nearly 2:1 favorites.

J-Doug Posted: October 06, 2015 at 04:19 PM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, blue jays, cardinals, cubs, dodgers, mets, pirates, playoffs, projections, rangers, royals, yankees

Friday, October 02, 2015

Dodgers-Giants game interrupted by Full House sequel taping

The Dodgers were playing their final road game of the regular season on Thursday against the Giants when both teams got to be a part of one of San Francisco’s greatest cultural cpntributions, Full House.

The game featured a slightly extended seventh inning stretch which had actress Jodie Sweetin, known to viewers as Stephanie Tanner, singing “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” for the upcoming reboot of the show, titled Fuller House, leaving Los Angeles starter Brett Anderson very confused, according to the Los Angeles Times.

“I didn’t know what the hell that was,” Anderson said. “That was terrible. I didn’t know if that was serious or what was happening.

“I thought it was just her being awful at signing. I had to collect myself there for a second.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 02, 2015 at 12:52 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, full house, giants, have mercy, how rude

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Dodgers put focus on rotation for playoff series with Mets - LA Times

Kershaw and Grienke and pray for rain.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 01, 2015 at 06:42 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Meet the Dodger who learned to have fun and provide serious value

“I think what you see is what you get,” Scott Van Slyke said of Turner. “He doesn’t have the stereotypical red-head, gets-angry, short-tempered thing. Because of that, he makes people around him better. He’ll sit with Joc and talk situational hitting. He’ll lighten the bench. You know there’s gonna be days you hate your job and you’re on the bench and you’re not hitting. That’s when you gotta find a way to enjoy it.”

Attitude over aptitude, that sort of thing. And then, maybe, and here’s where that whole bat-barrel-on-baseball knack enters in, the aptitude follows, and perhaps why there’s an argument for Turner following only Zack Greinke, Clayton Kershaw and Gonzalez among most valuable Dodgers. Yeah, he has found his home, under a red beard that’s a cross between Tormund Giantsbane, leader of the Free Folk, and Prince Harry, big in the House of Windsor.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 19, 2015 at 07:30 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, justin turner

Friday, September 18, 2015

Starter Mat Latos, acquired July 30, designated for assignment by Dodgers

Money to burn….

Pitcher Mat Latos will not finish the season with the Los Angeles Dodgers after the team designated him for assignment on Thursday.

Latos, a right-hander who arrived from the Miami Marlins as part of a 13-player trade on July 30, has struggled in almost all of his appearances since the trade. He finishes his time with the Dodgers with an 0-3 record, 6.66 ERA and 31 hits allowed in 24⅓ innings.

Latos is set for free agency this offseason after signing a one-year deal with the Marlins worth $9.5 million. The Dodgers assumed the remainder of Latos’ salary when they acquired him.

Latos’ final appearance as a Dodger came in Tuesday’s 16-inning loss to the Colorado Rockies. He entered as a reliever in the 16th inning and allowed the winning home run.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 18, 2015 at 11:00 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, mat latos

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Biggest offseason questions |

Dan O’Dowd asks some tough questions.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 17, 2015 at 02:05 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, dodgers, free agency, giants, mariners, mets, orioles, white sox

The Dodgers aren’t really going to start Jimmy Rollins over Corey Seager, are they? -

I can’t see how the Dodgers could take Seager out of the lineup right now.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 17, 2015 at 10:42 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: corey seager, dodgers, jimmy rollins

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

How the Pirates stole Roberto Clemente from the Dodgers

Holy cow, Clemente next to Willie Mays in the outfield?

The Dodgers signed Clemente 15 months after Campanis first saw him. By then, the Giants, Braves, Red Sox and Cardinals had also expressed interest, according to David Maraniss’ biography “Clemente.” The Braves were serious bidders, reportedly offering the largest bonus ($25,000 to $35,000). But Maraniss writes that Clemente wanted to play in New York, where he had friends and relatives in the growing Puerto Rican community there. From Maraniss’ book:

That left the Giants and Dodgers. Any signing over $6,000 would designate Clemente as a bonus player, meaning a team would have to protect him on the major league roster or face losing him in a supplemental draft after his first year in the minors. The Giants, apparently concluding that Clemente needed at least a year of seasoning, kept their offer below the bonus line. Their scout, Tom Sheehan, hoped that Clemente would sign for a $4,000 bonus and begin in Class-A ball in Sioux City, Iowa.

It wasn’t enough. The Dodgers signed Clemente for a $10,000 bonus and a first-year salary of $5,000. Maraniss writes that the Dodgers had motives beyond just Clemente’s talent: They simply wanted to keep him away from the Giants, where he would team with Willie Mays in the outfield. The Dodgers knew he needed some time in the minors, as well. Dodgers general manager Buzzie Bavasi would later say, “It was a cheap deal for us any way you figure it.” Indeed, as Maraniss notes, another reason it was cheap is that white bonus babies were receiving bonus payments six times higher on average than black and Latin players.

Mets Juggle Their Pitchers, and Warily Eye the Dodgers’ Strong Arms - The New York Times

“My #### doesn’t work in the playoffs. My job is to get us to the playoffs. What happens after that is ####### luck.” — Billy Beane

“The one thing we cannot forget is we are in the pennant race,” Collins said. “We are at the end of the season. We do not need to be getting rid of our best pitchers and letting them sit on the side for a while. We need to get him rested up a little bit and get him ready for whatever happens.”

Jim Furtado Posted: September 16, 2015 at 10:11 AM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, mets, playoffs

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Monday, August 31, 2015

Henry Schulman’s guide to Dodgers-Giants showdown - SFGate

Big series coming up. Get the popcorn ready.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 31, 2015 at 07:01 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, giants

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


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.

Infinite Yost (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

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