It’s probably premature to suggest that, just as it was when Kershaw came up eight years ago. Nonetheless, Julio Urias will pitch for the Los Angeles Dodgers against the New York Mets in New York City on Friday, May 27, 2016. He’ll be the youngest pitcher to start for the Dodgers since one Fernando Valenzuela in September of 1980. Here are the five most recent starters to debut at a younger age:
Felix Hernandez, SEA, 8/4/2005
Todd Van Poppel, OAK, 9/11/1991
Wilson Alvarez, CHW, 7/24/89
Dwight Gooden, NYM, 4/7/84
Britt Burns, CWS, 8/5/75
Three of those guys had pretty good careers (Burns had a hip injury which shortened his, and Van Poppel couldn’t make his fastball move much).
I can imagine how excited the youngster and his family are. Kiké Hernandez is amused in a funny way, of course:
My phone keeps telling me that there's a teenager pitching for us tomorrow! #UriasMania
Urias has gone 4-1 with a 1.10 ERA over 41 innings for the AAA Oklahoma City Dodgers, striking out 44 while walking 8, a 5.5 K/BB ratio.
Making your first major league start in New York City is being thrown into the deep end of the pool, but the Dodgers must be confident in the youngster. I wonder why they didn’t bring Stripling back up to replace Alex Wood, whose triceps soreness is the cause of this shift in the first place.
This game pits last year’s regular season MVP Kershaw against last year’s World Series MVP Bumgarner. How about that? Apparently this is the first time in MLB history that’s ever happened.
This marks the fourth time in their careers that Bumgarner and Kershaw have faced off and the first since Sept. 13, 2013. The Giants are 2-1 in those contests, but Kershaw has better numbers (2.08 ERA and 23 strikeouts in 21 2/3 innings) compared to Bumgarner, who has a 3.32 ERA and 19 punchouts in 19 innings.
Not only that, but they hit against each other. Kershaw’s 3 for 5 against Bumgarner, while Bumgarner is only 1 for 7 with 4 Ks, but that’s partly because Kershaw bears down against him: “He’s country strong, as they say.”
Neither guy has started off his season as well as he pitched last year, but that can’t last.
In other news, the Dodgers optioned LHP Adam Liberatore to OKC and recalled OF Chris Heisey from there.
Lineup when available.
Tonight's #Dodgers lineup vs. the Giants:
Van Slyke LF
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw has given up nine hits in 12 1/3 innings and a .320 batting average in two starts this season. Kershaw is 13-5 with a 3.17 ERA in 26 starts against the Rockies.
This would seem to be the place for a song:
The Rockies send Kyle Kendrick out to face Kershaw. Kendrick has had two wildly different outings this year. In the first he went seven innings, scattered seven hits, walked none, struck out six and gave up no runs to get the win. In his second start he went six innings, walked five, gave up eight hits and eight runs to take the loss.
In personnel news, the Dodgers optioned RHP Carlos Frias to Oklahoma City. They also claimed RHP Daniel Corcino from Cincinnati and designated LHP Ryan Dennick for assignment.
Lineup when available.
Tonight's #Dodgers lineup:
Update: Kemp is gone to the Padres for catcher Yasmani Grandal and a pair of pitching prospects. Fedex also goes to the Padres, along with about $30M to defray part of the cost of Kemp’s contract.
Wow! In very short order today the Dodgers
Got 36-year-old shortstop Jimmy Rollins from the Phillies to fill the gap left behind when Hanley Ramirez went the free agent route
Traded Dee Gordon and Dan Haren to the Marlins in exchange for pitcher Andrew Heaney, backup catcher Austin Barnes, minor leaguers Enrique Hernandez and Chris Hatcher
Flipped Heaney to the Angels for second-baseman Howie Kendrick
May be close to signing free-agent pitcher Brandon McCarthy
and have discussed adding pitcher Cole Hamels and second-baseman Chase Utley to the Jimmy Rollins deal with the Phillies
And there’s still tomorrow to find deals which send Ethier, Crawford or Kemp to somebody for a starting pitcher or prospects!
Now that they’ve gotten Kendrick, I can’t see why they’d want Utley except as more bait to trade off, as they did with Heaney (hey, kid, I’d have liked to see you pitch!). Do the Phillies need an outfielder?
Update: changed the post title to day 3, which is accurate. I lost a day somewhere.
Thursday the Dodgers announced they hired Farhan Zaidi as general manager and Josh Byrnes as senior vice president of baseball operations. Zaidi had been with the Oakland As for the past ten years, and Byrnes has been a GM for parts of eight seasons with the Diamondbacks and Padres.
the Dodgers will hire former longtime MLB outfielder and current Fox TV analyst Gabe Kapler as the team’s farm director and Billy Gasparino as the director of amateur scouting.
Gasparino is essentially trading places with Logan White, who left the Dodgers to join the Padres last month. Padres scout Jeff Pickler also will be joining the Dodgers, likely as the team’s top talent evaluator for potential trades and free-agent acquisitions.
This is a sabremetric-friendly front office, that’s for sure.
Today the Dodgers named Andrew Friedman, formerly of the Tampa Bay Rays, as President of Baseball Operations. Ned Colletti will remain with the team as senior advisor to Stan Kasten. This probably means that Friedman will name a new GM of his own choosing.
Under Friedman, the Rays posted the franchise’s first winning season and won the American League pennant in 2008, when he was named Sporting News’ Executive of the Year. After finishing below .500 in each of its first 10 years of existence, the Rays finished above the .500 mark in six consecutive seasons under Friedman from 2008-13.
Not bad for a guy in his thirties. He’s only 37 now.
In end-of-the-season news, Josh Beckett announced his retirement after the game. He did better for the team than most of us anticipated he would, I think: 6-6 with a 2.88 ERA and a no-hitter before going down for the year with a torn labrum in his hip.
The Dodgers have a passel of free agents led by Hanley Ramirez. The team has until five days after the World Series to extend what’s called a Qualifying Offer of $15.3M (a number set by the Basic Agreement as the average of the 125 highest contracts by average annual value). That ensures that the Dodgers would get a compensating draft pick if Ramirez rejects the offer and goes elsewhere. On the other hand, he could accept it. If so, he and the Dodgers would be committed to one another for next year.
Other free agents: Chad Billingsley (team option of $14M or a $3M buyout — after two surgeries the Dodgers may elect to buy him out); Paul Maholm, Roberto Hernandez, Kevin Correia and Jamey Wright. Dan Haren has earned a $10M player option but even after Tuesday’s game said he remained undecided whether to play or retire. Brian Wilson has a $10M option he’s expected to accept.
There’s enough blame for the Dodgers’ failure to advance to go around, but here’s what sticks with me: the offense was 8 for 41 with runners in scoring position in four games. Three of those four games were decided by one run, and the fourth was decided by two. Had the offense just gotten two, three or four more timely hits the result might have been exactly the opposite of what it was.