The Dodgers ask Alex Wood to do better at Coors Field than he has in the past. He’s made three starts and given up 15 earned runs on 21 hits in 11 innings in his career there. He’s 1-2 with a 5.06 ERA and more walks (8) than strikeouts (7) so far this season. His opponent will be Jordan Lyles, who’s 1-1 with a 6.00 ERA and 9 strikeouts with only 6 walks in his three starts this year.
In other words, this could be an all-staff game from each team, and runs may be easily come by. If they are, you can bet these two guys will be in the middle of it as long as the starters remain in the game:
Yasiel Puig is a career .571 hitter (4-for-7) against Lyles, with a home run and three RBIs.
Nolan Arenado has only faced Wood nine times, but he’s done his damage, hitting a pair of home runs and plating five while batting .333.
Lineup when available.
Utley 2B Seager SS Puig RF Gonzalez 1B Grandal C Kendrick 3B Pederson CF Thompson LF Wood P
But first, Vin Scully reads a grocery list. Yep, someone sent the Sunday Night Baseball crew an audiotape of Vin reading just that back in the 1970s, and they played it during a tribute they offered to him during the third inning of tonight’s game.
Alex Wood (1-1, 4.50 ERA) goes for the Dodgers against some guy named TBD. It will probably be Julio Teheran (0-2, 6.35 ERA, 17 innings, 9 BB, 14 Ks). This will be Wood’s first appearance at Turner Field since he was traded to the Dodgers last July for Hector Olivera, Paco Rodriguez and minor-leaguer Zachary Bird. Olivera has played five games in left field for the Braves this season and Rodriguez will miss the entire year after Tommy John surgery.
Old friend Rubby De La Rosa has had horrid luck against the Dodgers, going 0-3 with an 11.21 ERA against them in his career. Overall he’s 22-25 with a 4.61 ERA in his five previous seasons in the big leagues. Alex Wood has similar career stats: he’s 26-27 with a 3.36 ERA in three previous seasons.
Lineup when available.
Utley 2B Seager SS Turner 3B Gonzalez 1B Puig RF Grandal C Kendrick LF Pederson CF Wood P
Andre Ethier broke his lower leg (the tibia, for the purists) when he fouled a ball off it last Friday. He’ll be out 10-14 weeks. This means in all likelihood that Carl Crawford will be the Dodgers’ starting left-fielder for the first three months of the season.
So do all these injuries:
pitcher Frankie Montas had a rib removed and was placed on the 60-day disabled list. Brett Anderson suffered a bulging disk and had surgery. Hyun-Jin Ryu’s recovery from shoulder surgery has been slow and he won’t pitch in a spring game. Pitcher Josh Ravin broke his non-throwing left arm in an auto accident. Brandon McCarthy is still recovering from Tommy John surgery. Brandon Beachy (elbow) and Mike Bolsinger (oblique) have had their fifth-starter candidacies derailed by injuries.
Seager sprained his knee almost two weeks ago, but is expected back by Opening Day. Starter Alex Wood missed a start with forearm soreness. Julio Urias was slowed with slight groin tightness. Caleb Dirks never pitched because of a back injury.
Yasmani Grandal missed several games with strained forearms and came out of Monday’s game after aggravating the right one. Alex Guerrero missed a week with a twisted knee. Adrian Gonzalez missed a couple games with a bulging disk in his neck. Howie Kendrick missed a handful of games with a tight groin muscle. Justin Turner has been eased back slowly after offseason microfracture knee surgery. Crawford missed a game last week because of a sore back.
Other than that, Dodgers’ fans, it’s been a great spring training.
The Dodgers were expected to spend WHATEVER IT COSTS to retain the services of Zack Greinke. Absent Greinke, or maybe even with Greinke, the Dodgers were expected to acquire one of the other big-time pitchers out there: David Price or Johnny Cueto.
Greinke signed with the Diamondbacks, Price with the Red Sox, and Cueto with the Giants. Ergo, the Dodgers had (or are having) a lousy winter. Right?
Before exploring that question in some detail, we should start with this salient fact: The Dodgers won 92 games last season.
Thank you, Mr. Neyer. The pundits and fans do somehow forget the team has won three titles in a row, and only two of them were Greinke-aided. It can survive without him.
Neyer points out that the Dodgers re-signed Anderson, who was pretty good and figures to be close to that again. They signed Kazmir, who figures to be better than Anderson. They signed Maeda, who only has to be an average pitcher for him to replace the 12 guys who tried to fill that role at the back end of the rotation last year. They also still have Wood, who’s young and whose history is better than his performance with the Dodgers last season. They’ll get Ryu back, and we don’t know yet how complete his recovery might be. Finally, they’ll get McCarthy back mid-season, and if he’s recovered most of his form that will be the equivalent of getting a mid-season trade for a starter done without giving up a player or two.
Neyer thinks the Dodgers will be pretty good this season. So do I.
No new hire to replace Mattingly yet. I suspect (hope?) the Dodgers won’t step on the World Series by announcing a new manager in the midst of the games. Remember 2007 when Scott Boras announced that Alex Rodriguez, his client, was going to opt out of his contract with the Yankees in the middle of Game Four?
Should the Dodgers keep Puig? Will they sign Greinke? Can Pederson find a hitting stroke? Who’s gonna play second base? Will Ryu, McCarthy and possibly Arroyo recover? Can Alex Wood become an effective pitcher? Will Bolsinger improve?
Have at it. Who’s on first? Which pitchers are on the roster, and whose dreams are crushed? Should Yasiel Puig be on the first-round roster? What about the injured Scott Van Slyke? Should Seager start at shortstop or should it be Rollins? Should Utley be on the 25-man roster?
Do the Mets’ starting pitchers hold a candle to the Greinke/Kershaw combination? Should it be Wood as the number three starter, or should it be Anderson? It’s ironic that gaining home field advantage means the Dodgers’ #3 starter, whether Wood or Anderson, will start on the road. Anderson was 7-4 away from Dodger Stadium with a 3.07 ERA while Wood was 2-4 with a 6.14 ERA.
The Dodgers start Alex Wood, who is 11-12 with a 3.89 ERA. His last start was awful: he gave up 11 hits and 8 runs in 5 1/3 innings at Colorado. In fact, he hasn’t yet shown the Dodgers or their fans a lot since being acquired in July: he’s gone 4-6 in 11 starts for the LA team with a 4.55 ERA.
Wood’s opponent will be Casey Kelly, who spent almost the entire year in AA San Antonio. This will be his third appearance for the Padres; he gave up six runs in the first two innings of his last start against Arizona but got the last 11 men he faced.
Matt Kemp is out for the year with a partial tendon tear in his right middle finger. Juston Upton will be a game-time decision after straining his neck running into a wall in Wednesday’s game. The Dodgers are hoping Justin Turner’s bruised left forearm has recovered.
Lineup when available.
Tonight's #Dodgers lineup:
The Dodgers hope lefty Alex Wood (11-11, 3.60 ERA) can get them closer to clinching the division title. He’s alternated wins and losses in his last eight starts and lost the last one, so if you believe in patterns he should win today. His opponent will be lefty Chris Rusin, (5-9, 5.39 ERA), who walked four, gave up six runs on eight hits in just four innings in his last start last Tuesday.
Lineup when available.
Today's #Dodgers lineup:
Van Slyke 1B
Wood P #whiff