Nice catch

Via Jon W. on Facebook, we learn that AJ Ellis’s wife gave birth to their third child on the way to the hospital.

Yikes.

Update: The Dodgers signed Brandon League to a three-year deal. Even though League can both close and come in in the seventh or eighth, I’m not sure a three-year contract is a great idea.

Update: The Dodgers’ clubhouse in the bowels of Dodger Stadium undergoes major renovations starting next week, and Lasorda, Yeager, Cey and Lou Johnson reminisced about it before its rehab.

Update: In slightly older news, the Dodgers declined club options on Juan Rivera, Todd Coffey and Matt Treanor. I wonder if that means they plan to bring FedEx up as a backup catcher next year, or perhaps even to have him compete with AJ for the starting job.

Update: Via Roberto at Vin Scully is My Homeboy comes this rather startling news: Mark McGwire may take the hitting coach job with the Dodgers.

Mark McGwire, who has served as Cardinals hitting coach for three seasons under two managers, has informed the club that he intends to accept a similar position with the Los Angeles Dodgers, sources familiar with the situation told the Post-Dispatch this afternoon.

Though a deal between the Dodgers and McGwire is not considered final, McGwire has told the Cardinals that he does not anticipate accepting their offer of a contract extension.

Apparently McGwire’s family lives in Orange County and he’d prefer to work closer to home. He’s been on the Cardinals’ staff for three years; the conventional wisdom seems to be that he’s done a good job while there.

Update: Oh fer . . . now Guerra has had arthroscopic surgery on his shoulder ” to clean up bursitis and the acromioclavicular joint, where the top of the scapula meets the collarbone.” The team expects him to be “competitive” by the time Spring Training rolls around.

Update: Jay Jaffe suggests free agent David Ross is the Practically Perfect Backup Catcher. If the Dodgers conclude that FedEx needs another year of seasoning in the minors, maybe Ross would be a sensible acquisition.

59 thoughts on “Nice catch

  1. It appears the Dodgers could have bought the rights to Hyun-Jin Ryu for 25.7 mil. He is the South Korean pitcher that several clubs may have bid. We shall see.

  2. Per dodgers.com, Ned says a trade for another starter might be a tad closer…

    Also at the site is a piece about how it would be smart for the Mets to move R.A. Dickey now. (The stories aren’t linked. And Ned didn’t name names–be dumb if he did.)

    Hmm……considerable risk with his age, knuckler, and all. But intriguing, if a possibility, given that knuckleballers can do just fine well beyond normal pitcher expiration dates.

  3. The Blue Jays want a second baseman and have a good catching prospect in Travis d’Arnaud so would the Dodgers want to trade Mark Ellis for Travis plus others from both teams to make the trade a win win.

    • The others would have to have been the key to that deal. Toronto is more than one aging second baseman away from being a contender.

    • I don’t have any objections to his hiring. He’s qualified. He admitted his steroid use and is paying the price with HOF voters, so I’m not gonna throw any more brickbats at him.

    • I think he will do a good job. He has the knowledge. I think he will teach hitting not roids.

  4. If the Dodgers were to sign both Grienke and Sanchez and Lilly and Billingsley played healthy next year, they would be in a good shape for trades, perhaps upgrading their prospects. Kasten wants to build from within, and such trades might be the only way he can do it.

  5. Not Dodger related except as regards some past worthy opponents. But anyone who likes baseball and knows a bit about its history probably will love this, on a gathering of “8 1/2” HOFers for a very worthy cause:

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/kostya_kennedy/11/05/hall-of-famers/index.html?sct=mlb_wr_a1

    From it, attention to detail dept….Lou Brock telling how at times he could tell what pitch a catcher called by the flexing of muscles in the catcher’s forearm. Putting down 2 fingers caused the muscles to move more, and at times he could see it. Small thing, but try it yourself. Put down one finger, then 2 like a catcher would. Brock’s right.

    Wonder how many baserunners try that these days, or will now after Brock revealed it. Wonder if Lopes knows and teaches it.

    Another thing that struck me was Wade Boggs saying Unit tipped pitches, but Boggs said it made no difference. Still couldn’t hit him…

  6. I kind of like the news about McGwire, not so much for his ability to teach hitting, although Cardinal hitters did seem to hit above expectations, but because it keeps Mickey Hatcher out of the job. I’ve been worried about that since Hansen got fired.

    • Always nice to upgrade and there were a few regular catchers in the NL that hit better than AJ, but not many. We actually haven’t had a catcher do better than AJ’s OPS+ of 118 since Lo Duca in 2001. And we know where that came from.

    • There are made up rumors that say Ethier would do really well hitting in Yankee Stadium. Looking at the Yankees, the player the Dodgers might want for Ethier would be the the Yankees top prospect–a catcher.

      Since you mention 2nd base, another rumor is a trade involving Ethier for Kinsler.

      • Not sure who the catcher you are refering with the Yankees but I think Ethier for Kinsler would be outstanding

        • Sanchez is the Yanks top prospect at age 19 and is a catcher. It would be tough to trade Ethier for somebody that might not make the team for 3 or more years.

  7. Two things–

    1) Maybe the team thinks it’s time for FedEx to be in the majors, even if as backup. Also, management may think he’ll be better than Treanor and can spell AJ more so as to decrease AJ’s load. AJ kind of hit a wall for a bit there toward the end, and wear & tear may have had a lot to do with that. Catching likely is the most grinding of any position.

    Kinda hope AJ being out there a bit less is the case, because managers can tend to overwork catchers. See Joe Torre comment about how easy it was to put R. Martin in the lineup every day. Literally. See also how that worked out.

    2) Ned called League the closer as of now. Unlikely set in stone. But he and other management probably think that way due to his experience–always a Colletti attractant–and resume, and uncertainty over Jansen’s recovery and some inconsistency. Looked like toward the end there that Jansen had straightened things out. Velocity picked back up on the cutter after a mechanical fix, and so did effectiveness. At the very least, good to have those kinds of options.

  8. Former MLB pitcher Pascual “I-285” Perez killed in apparent robbery in the DR at 55.

    Probably most famous for circling Atlanta on 285 trying to find the stadium for a game he was supposed to pitch in 1982, he was sometimes disliked for using a finger gun at opponents. Other antics included sprinting back to the dugout after innings and pounding the ball into the ground.

    No intent to minimize the tragedy, but his antics come immediately to mind. Beyond them he was talented with good career numbers.

    Something tells me he’d have been a far bigger star in the current media environment, especially in New York. He sometimes threw a eephus pitch and may have checked runners on first by peeking through his legs, at least in the DR. Dunno if he did so MLB.

    http://newyork.yankees.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20121101&content_id=40142326&vkey=news_nyy&c_id=nyy

  9. Three years for a relief pitcher seems too much. But maybe this spring we avoid the reclamation project….maybe.

  10. As rumors go, the Dodgers are? open to trading Ethier and somebody suggested that the Yankees should be interested. What wasn’t said was who the Dodgers might want from the Yankees in exchange.

    If Ethier leaves, that would put Kemp, Crawford, Phiug, Pederson, Hairston, Gwynn, to select from.

    • Hard to believe anyone would prefer Hairston or Gwynn over Ethier. The kids aren’t ready yet. Maybe SVS? I’d be open to trading Ethier. If we can grab a 3B go for it.

        • For now I am too, but he has a lot to prove to shake the career minor leaguer tag. While he supplied a much needed spark, I believe the Dodgers probably need more production from that position.

          • I like Cruz and would feel good knowing he would be available to move in for somebody that wasn’t getting the job done. I think we all would fret less with his production if here were at short instead of third.

            Cruz and Gordon are hungry players and Ramirez might not be–I worry some on the latter.

    • None of the Yankees’ MLB outfielders are people I’d want, particularly. I can’t believe the Cuban kid would be ready yet. If the Yanks had a can’t-miss prospect, maybe I’d consider trading Ethier, but I’d just as soon as keep him.

    • Aaaargghhh!!!!!
      Matt Guerrier all over again! Why must Ned constantly repeat the mistakes of the past. There is no reason to sign a reliever for three years unless he is the best closer in the game. Where was the market for Brandon League, a guy who has failed as a closer with another team?

      • I don’t see it that way. League has been more solid, both in Seattle and LA, than Guerrier was in either MN or LA. If his problems at the end of his run in Seattle were truly mechanical and were fixed by Honeycutt and Howell, then this is a fair value deal.
        What I don’t like is that the Dodgers are annointing him the closer of Jansen. KJ really didn’t perform his way out of the position and while League pitched well, he didn’t do it long enough to earn it.

  11. Just as well then we weren’t in the middle of game 5 (or 6) of the world series! Congrats to the Ellis’