Dec 10

Winter meetings, Day Three

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.

Dec 07

Winter meetings begin Monday

Grantland’s got speculations!

Question 1. Will the Dodgers move Kemp? Grantland and the Magic 8 ball say “Can’t predict now.”

Questions 2 through 5. Who cares? The only guess about the Dodgers here is whether they’ll try hard to get one of the available starters: Lester, Hamels, Scherzer or Shields.

As Paul Harvey used to say, “Stand by…for news!”

Nov 06

New Hires at Dodger Stadium

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.

In addition, ESPNLA is reporting that

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.

Oct 14

Dodgers name Friedman President, Colletti kicked upstairs

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.

Oct 07

Who might go?

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.

Oct 07

“Wait till next year!”

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.

Sep 24

Game 159, 2014

Giants at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, ESPN, KDOC-56, CSN-BA

If the Dodgers win, they win the NL West. If the Giants win, they clinch a playoff berth. One way or the other one of these teams is going to be celebrating something after tonight’s game.

Most every sportswriter in the country and most fans as well are probably chalking up this game as a win for the Dodgers, what with Clayton Kershaw pitching for them tonight. Well, Tim Hudson is having a poor year, but he’s not chopped liver. He’s started 456 games in his 16-year career and won 214 of them (first among all active pitchers) while losing only 123, with a lifetime ERA of 3.45. However, in his last outing he went only 4 1/3 innings against the Padres, giving up four runs on seven hits. The start before that was against the Dodgers, and it was awful: six runs on eight hits in just one inning.

In personnel news, Mattingly thinks Hyun-Jin Ryu won’t be seen on the mound again until the playoffs.

Lineup when available.

Sep 05

How many innings can one arm throw?

According to Dodgers.com Beckett is thinking about retirement.

Beckett needs surgery to repair a torn labrum and a lesion in his left hip, whether he pitches again or not.

[snip]

He’s a high-mileage 34-year-old, having thrown 2,051 innings in 13 big league seasons.

I don’t doubt Beckett might decline a four-month rehab, as the article suggests is needed. He hurts, he’s made more than $116M in his career and has a couple of small kids, so why not retire? Other than the no-hitter this year I suspect he hasn’t had much fun this season. He even says “It takes four hours of [therapy] work to do two hours on the field.”

I think baseball may have seen the last of Josh Beckett as a player. But that bit about his innings pitched raised a question for me — is 2,051 IP high-mileage? Over 13 years he’s averaged 209 IP over a 162-game period. He was a full-time starter when he was 22 years old. Among Dodger starters:

  • Dan Haren is 33 and has thrown 2,202 innings in 12 MLB seasons for a 162-game average of 215 IP.
  • Kevin Correia is 34 but has thrown only 1,397 MLB innings for a 162-game average of 168 IP in 12 seasons.
  • Roberto Hernandez is 34 with 1,248 MLB innings for a 162-game average of 190 IP over 9 seasons.
  • Hyun-Jin Ryu is 27, has 7 years of Korean League experience and 1,269 innings there in addition to the 336 he’s got in the big leagues, averaging roughly 178 IP (the Korean Leagues throw off the 162-game calculation).
  • Chad Billingsley is 30 and has 1,175 MLB innings for a 162-game average of 195 IP over 7 seasons (and 12 innings).
  • Kershaw, believe it or not, is 27 but has 1,349 MLB innings himself and has averaged 223 IP over a 162-game period in 7 seasons.

Of the three guys who are the same age as Beckett, Haren’s the closest in hard use. He’s always been a starter. Correia pitched his first five years in relief and as a spot starter. Hernandez was a full-time starter in his second year in the bigs.

If Beckett is high-mileage, then Haren, averaging 215 IP, and Kershaw, averaging 223 IP, are the two guys who could also be classified as such. We can only hope Kershaw doesn’t injure himself throwing that many innings every year.

Sep 02

Game 139, 2014

Nationals at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA

Clayton Kershaw goes for win number 17 tonight against Doug Fister. Fister is 0-2 over his last three starts, but he won his first two in August. He’s 12-5 with a 2.55 ERA.

Lineup when available.


More callup news: Dodgers officially recall Carlos Frias, Miguel Rojas and Erisbel Arruebarrena. Active roster now has 33 players.

Aug 29

Game 135, 2014

Dodgers at Padres, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FSSD

Dan Haren (11-10, 4.44 ERA) vs. Andrew Cashner (2-6, 2.43 ERA). Haren’s won three of his last four starts. Cashner is making his second start after a two-month hiatus due to shoulder soreness.

Via Twitter: The Dodgers sent RHP Victor Arano to @Phillies as second of two players to be named (Jesmuel Valentin) in trade for RHP Roberto Hernandez.

Lineup when available.