Personnel departures

Not players, though. It’s only 10 days after the World Series and the Dodgers have already seen three members of their front office depart: Director of Player Development Gabe Kapler has left to manage the Phillies, Assistant Director of Player Development Jeremy Zoll has left to run the Twins minor league system, and as of Monday Vice President of Baseball Operations Alex Anthopolous is expected to be announced as the new General Manager of the Braves.

I suspect it’s easier to find front office talent than it is good-to-excellent players, but it still means a lot of work for the HR Department.

  • HLKLA

    I believe that this shows the kind of talent we had in the FO these past few years.

  • WBBsAs

    It just goes to show how much talent the Dodgers had assembled in the front office, though I wonder whether Kapler’s quite ready to jump into managing a team that’s struggled but has some prospects – Fillies fans are not the patient kind.

    Meanwhile, I got LAT’d on this: For anyone who might be interested, I’ve left an account of my Oakland to LA to BA marathon at http://tinyurl.com/y799573v

  • Ohtoni might be the biggest new addition for the Dodgers. If hitting when he pitches along with pinch hitting and a few DH opportunities is enough for him to go NL, I think he will be a Dodger.

    He is a pitcher that can hit a ball a mile as opposed to a hitter that can pitch. He was mostly a DH in Japan and I don’t think he has a natural fielding position. Babe Ruth played RF after it was obvious that he could hit better than he could pitch.

    • WBBsAs

      I’d choose Ohtani over Stanton, but I suspect he’ll go to an AL team where he can DH quite a bit more.

  • Carlos Beltran is retiring. He announced it with a really nice essay.

  • WBBsAs

    In news that will surprise nobody, Cody Bellinger and Aaron Judge are now officially ROYs of the year.

    • WinnipegDave

      “I’m shocked. Shocked to find gambling going on here.
      Your winnings sir.”

    • Bob_Hendley

      Shocked that Judge wasn’t unanimous as well.

      • He was. They both were unanimous.

        • Bob_Hendley

          Thanks. Missed that. Recall late in the season one of the Boston writers touting their guy over Judge.

          • WBBsAs

            In a normal year, Benintendi would have been a serious challenger.

        • Bob_Hendley

          Took a tweet on this at face value. Fake news!

  • From the MLB ROY story I linked to below:

    Bellinger is the Dodgers’ 18th Rookie of the Year, by far the most of any club.
    The next-closest team? That would be the Yankees, as Judge is New York’s ninth Rookie of the Year and first since Derek Jeter in 1996.

  • WinnipegDave

    In other news, not related to the front office or the ROY award, I finally feel over the loss of the Dodgers in the WS. Yeah, it took longer than I thought it would too. Phew that was a crazy and tough series. Here’s to some time off before spring training roles around again.

  • WBBsAs
  • WBBsAs
  • WBBsAs

    In the northern Chilean desert, with the longstanding presence of US mining companies, baseball found a niche there. The coastal city of Tocopilla had an old sandlot stadium that was used for temporary housing after a major quake ten years ago, but now it’s built a new ballpark: https://twitter.com/southernconetrv/status/930451058182250497

  • ¿Habla espanol? The Dodgers – Padres three-game series May 4-6 will be played in Monterrey, Mexico.

    • WBBsAs

      *español

      I do indeed, and I’ve never been to Monterrey, but I’ll have been about five months on the road at that time, so I’ll probably pass. I won’t even go to SF to see the Dodgers any more, because TPBTNL is such an unpleasant experience.

    • Bob_Hendley

      Have seen the Sultanes play there a couple of times. Team is owned by a fellow who was a member of the Monterrey team that won the LLWS in 1957,

  • SI has an excellent story about Darvish, replete with his own self-analysis.

    • RBI

      This makes me want him back!

      • He comes off as very sympathetic, doesn’t he?

    • HLKLA

      I think Kershaw and Kenley need to do some soul searching as well. Kershaw could not hold a four run lead and Kenley gave up that tying homerun, both of which meant we lost crucial games.

  • WBBsAs

    The latest in baseball below the Equator… https://twitter.com/Fred_Claire/status/930867949266649088

    • John_from_Aus

      That would be good to see, New Zealand have a team in our rugby league and soccer competitions, so why not baseball. ( and basketball I remembered after I read the article)

      • WBBsAs

        It would mean long expensive road trips for the Kiwis, though, wouldn’t it?

  • RBI

    No Cy Young joy for Kersh…

    • Runner-up to Scherzer. The speculation in this article is it was the number of excellent innings that pushed him ahead of Kershaw and Strasburg.

  • foul tip

    Apart from the Cy Young letdown, it’s hard not to take Kershaw’s continuing excellence for granted, and easy not to realize just how special what we’re seeing from him is. It’s a pretty safe bet we won’t see his equal again, tho we can always dream that if we do the newcomer also will wear the Blue.

    Drill down into the numbers in this linked story — and stand in awe, as usual.

    “If Kershaw retired today, he would be baseball’s all-time leader (minimum 1,900 innings pitched in the Live Ball Era) in ERA, WHIP, winning percentage, ERA+ and opponents’ OPS and OBP.

    “Kershaw is the only pitcher in baseball history with a career ERA of 2.50 or lower, a WHIP of 1.05 or lower, ERA+ of at least 150 and K/BB ratio of at least 4.0 (minimum 1,500 innings).

    “Since 2011, when Kershaw won his first of three Cy Young Awards and began a streak of seven straight top-five Cy Young Award finishes — as reported earlier this week by True Blue LA’s Eric Stephen — the numbers are even more mind-numbing.

    “He has a 2.10 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, a .742 winning percentage, 179 ERA+ and has a 5.74 K/BB ratio, striking out 10.1 batters per nine innings.”

    He even shows in Dead Ball ERA superlatives. And he’s not yet 30.

    https://dodgers.mlblogs.com/kershaw-a-decade-of-dominance-f3c7f8fb5451

  • WBBsAs

    Scherzer deserving, but the vote surprisingly one-sided.

    • Bob_Hendley

      Seemed clear to me that he was the CYA, after Klayton stumbled a bit when he came back. Why not vote him as such?

      • Bob_in_Vegas

        Kersh led with wins and ERA . . . I agree, why so one-sided?
        They could argue having less innings affected the ERA . . . yet he still managed two more wins.
        Oh well.

        • Bob_Hendley

          Do you think he should have won the CYA?

          • WBBsAs

            One could argue for a three-way tie.

          • Bob_Hendley

            I am listening…

          • WBBsAs

            Strasburg was great, too.

          • Bob_Hendley

            And certainly deserving of a third place vote!

          • Bob_in_Vegas

            At the VERY least, I didn’t think it should’ve been the landslide it was. Kersh DID win 2/3 of the pitching Triple Crown.

          • Bob_Hendley

            No one is answering the question. I am a Dodgers fan and love Klayton, but I would have voted for Max and Klayton second. They were obviously close in terms of performance, but that doesn’t mean that they necessarily should have been closer in the voting.

          • dalegribel

            Seems he was penalized for missing 30 or so days. I think he was the NLs best pitcher this year, but missing the month means something too. The biggest factor for me to vote him a 1, was the huge difference in WAR he had over Scherzer.

          • Bob_Hendley

            I actually think he might have survived having 4-5 less starts inning-wise than Max, if he hadn’t put up ERA 4.23 in his last five starts.

          • Bob_Hendley

            Seems to me that the notion of a triple crown is a bit of a holdover. There is greater appreciation these days for those elements of it that are mostly determined by the player, so wins (as RBI in the batting triple crown) carry less weight in comparing performance. Even those elements are not taken in a straightforward way, given current understanding of ballpark factors.

      • WBBsAs

        I still think it was not quite that obvious.

  • Bob_Hendley
  • WBBsAs

    At the risk of further self-promotion, I’ll post a link to my Facebook page, which includes primarily photography on the attractions and occasional eccentricities of southernmost South America…. https://www.facebook.com/Southern-Cone-Travel-299468063471006/

    Baseball items occasionally show up.

  • Hmm. Should I try to use Kickstarter to help me with this? Six years is a long time to be in debt.

    • WBBsAs

      Won’t your upcoming tax windfall take care of it?

      • Pfui. Even if I had a windfall (and because my sole income is not subject to federal or state (Hawai’i doesn’t tax retirement income) taxes, I won’t get one, I’d be guilty of what the corporations are gonna do: pay down debt or buy back stock or pay dividends. I certainly wouldn’t invest it in more plants and employees.

  • RBI

    I am so over the glorification of the ‘stros right now. I can’t help thinking even if we’d won, there would not be this endless adulation of all things Dodger…

    Ok. Gripe over.

    • WBBsAs

      It doesn’t much bother me as, in another country, it’s easy to ignore (downside: constant and insufferable soccer news). I admire Altuve, who deserves all the praise he gets, but the Gurriel incident still gnaws a bit. I’ve seen enough Dodgers WS wins that I’m far less upset than some younger fans would be.

      • Bob_Hendley

        Sort of in the same boat, being in another country that is. Also in regards to a long history with the Dodgers and being there and having done that. Hard for me to compare any WS loss with that of 1966, which devastated me at the time. Made peace with that when I moved to the East and adopted the Os as my backup team. Anything that we might be going through now pales in comparison to what Brooklyn fans had to deal with each year until 1955.

        • WBBsAs

          1966 was ugly, but 1965 was truly glorious.

          • RBI

            I was a Mets fan back then, which was its own special form of heaven and hell.

          • WBBsAs

            You had Marv Throneberry, though.

          • RBI

            Marv, Schmarve… I was all about Eddie Cranepool. Big crush.

        • HLKLA

          1966 and the futile years that followed that horrible World Series sweep during the height of my interest in all things Dodgers was a tough go.

          • Bob_Hendley

            Yeah, I was referring to dealing with WS losses. Those down years was a different burden. I recall focusing on the youngings.

          • Bob_Hendley

            Sutton, Singer and Willie Crawford at first and then the wave of Buckner, Valentine, Garvey, Russell…

  • I remember this guy when he wore a gray t-shirt under his b-ball tank top in college. Now he’s coaching his alma mater.

    • Bob_Hendley

      Grew up following the Bruins, but adopted the Hoyas when I moved back East.

  • Bob_Hendley

    https://www.milb.com/milb/news/new-faces-step-into-spotlight-for-dodgers/c-257922570 Dodger organization all-stars. Nice depth at catcher. Ruiz named positional player of the year, Farmer got a cup of coffee, and Smith tore up the AFL. Still, if FO decides to move Grande, they might still want to sign a vet backup for next year.

    • Maybe the cup of coffee guy can start the season with the Dodgers and go from there. Or, or, or maybe AJ.

      • Bob_Hendley

        Speaking of farm boys, FO may need to make a couple of 40 man moves to protect for Rule 5 draft, for instance Oaks and Santana, a couple of young hurlers that might attract other clubs. Not sure who gets dropped.

        • Oaks was working on a new pitch last off-season but I haven’t heard anything about how that worked out for him. He is a strike thrower. Long slow innings are caused by large pitch counts as much as the pitcher getting knocked around.

          Oaks could be a good trade piece but it would be nice to have strike throwers in the Dodger rotation.

      • WBBsAs

        I can foresee the return of A.J., but never as an active player.

        • Maybe a third base coach?

          • WBBsAs

            I can envision his managing in the minors, but I’m guessing DR’s tenure will be long at the major league level.

  • It seems like Taylor is seen as a CFer and not as a second baseman. Given the young talent the Dodgers have for the outfield and the lack of it for second base, I am surprised that there isn’t more talk about Taylor as a second baseman

    • WBBsAs

      Forsythe has another year to go, so there’s no urgency. We’ll have to see how the rest of the OF shakes out – for instance, the return of Andrew Toles.

    • Bob_Hendley

      Ha! As WB says, Dodgers have a 2nd baseman. You are very protective of Joc’s slot. He was in a great spot to be our WS hero, but it didn’t work out. Shucks! Hoping he is back on track, but worried that his prospects at being a stellar CF defensively have dwindled, so his bat will have to carry him at this point.

      • At this point if Joc is a left fielder I will take it. I don’t understand how his defensive stats dropped abruptly instead of faded. But if he gets his defensive game back, then yes, I would love for him to be the CFer.

        • Bob_Hendley

          It’s a mystery to me as well, the drop off in numbers and the eye test as well.

  • WBBsAs
    • dalegribel

      Nothing in the overall top 10. I guess I over estimated Trevor Oaks. Thought for sure he’d be on the list despite the injury.

      • Bob_Hendley

        Think I saw him appear in some of the other lists that came out recently, so he hasn’t fallen completely off the radar.

  • ‘Tis the season for prospect assessments: here’s Baseball Prospectus’s version of the Dodgers’ top ten..

    • dalegribel

      Gavin Lux here but not at BBAmerica. Can see a 2B future for him.

      • Bob_Hendley

        Still said to be good enough with the leather at SS to mitigate still developing offense (Belanger is one of my heroes!). More doubtful that his bat will be good enough to occupy 2nd.

        • dalegribel

          Good hero, but I worry that Mark wouldn’t have lasted long in the current game.

          • Bob_Hendley

            SS have pretty much been valued for their defense throughout the years. Might even be a greater appreciation in recent years, given the attempt to value defense more systematically with WAR. In his hay day as a starter, 1968-78, he averaged around WAR 4,of which 3 was from defense.

  • Bleacher Report’s Danny Knobler finds much to like in Aaron Judge and Cody Bellinger.

  • How big will the free-agent bonanza be?

    • WBBsAs

      No way Lorenzo Cain becomes a Dodger, and that’s a good thing.

      • Bob_Hendley

        Cain is able, but don’t see much value added on the margin to our outfield. j.D. Martinez on the other hand…

        • WBBsAs

          Color me less than enthusiastic about Martínez, who’s a huge defensive liability and is unlikely to repeat this Snaketime.

          • Bob_Hendley

            OPS+ of 168 with the Snakes and Boras will demand he be paid as the second coming of Babe Ruth. He did put up OPS+ 163 with the Bengals for the rest of the year, and had been in the 140-150 range in previous years. The bat seems real, but defense would make him a great DH.

  • HLKLA

    Ravin and Dayton are now Braves.

    • So they are. That’s what comes of your VP Baseball Ops becoming GM of another team.

      • Bob_Hendley

        Guessing that we have enough young arms to replace them and Braves don’t, so it is worth their while to take them on. Dayton was quite something in 2016, but will be awhile before he can contribute again.

      • HLKLA

        Do you think the Dodgers and AA had an agreement ahead of time? Or is that illegal?

        • I think that would be considered tampering. But you can’t wipe knowledge of your former employer’s work style or personnel from your brain when you leave.

          • Bob_Hendley

            Think I saw that the Braves will be stripped of some prospects as a penalty for their shenanigans, so not too many options right now for restocking up on players other than with cash.

  • The Braves are losing twelve players to free agency due to infractions in the international signing periods of the last two years. I wonder if Alex A. was ready for that when he took the GM job.