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!”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
132 was my company number in boot camp way back in 1972 at the now-closed Recruit Training Center in San Diego.
Mets at Dodgers, 1:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA
Bartolo Colon will start for the Mets, but the big news is that according to Fox Sports he’s been placed on revocable waivers (see here for a discussion of what that means), so tomorrow’s start might be his last wearing the Orange and Blue. He’s 11-10 with a 3.85 ERA on the season.
The Dodgers send Kevin Correia out to make his third start as a Dodger. He’s 2-0 with a 4.09 ERA in the NL after coming over from the Twins and 7-13 with a 4.87 ERA overall.
In news from the farm, multiple news sources are reporting that the Dodgers will move their AAA affiliation from Albuquerque to Oklahoma City next season. A Dodger-affiliated buyers group is finalizing a deal with the current owner of the OKC Redhawks, which announced it was selling its five minor league properties earlier this year.
Oklahoma City’s elevation is 1,201 feet, while Albuquerque’s is 5,312 feet. The reasoning seems to be that trying to judge players’ skills when they play their home games at the same elevation as Denver is difficult and can lead to disappointment.
In other AAA news,
With a stolen base Saturday night, Dodgers No. 3 prospect Joc Pederson did what no other player has done in the Pacific Coast League since 1934.
Already leading the league with 32 home runs, Pederson swiped his 30th base of the season to become the first 30-homer, 30-steal player in the PCL since Angels Minor Leaguer Frank Demaree did it 80 years ago.
Lineup when available.