Dodgers at Cubs, 5:05PM PT, TV: WGN, SPNLA
This the first time the Cubs and Dodgers have played each other this season. The Dodgers send lefty Clayton Kershaw out to face the Cubbies’ lefty Tsuyoshi Wada. Kershaw is 5-4 with a 3.29 ERA. He’s given up as many home runs this year as he did all of last year, which hasn’t helped. On the other hand, his last five appearances have been quality starts. He’s struck out double-digit batters in his last three starts and five of his last seven. Wada is 1-1 with a 3.68 ERA in six starts. He played nine years in Japan before signing with the Orioles in 2011, but he’s had injury troubles including Tommy John surgery, which has made for a slow start to his American MLB career. He’s 34 years old.
Lineup when available.
The only notable thing about this lineup that I see is that it’s Turner’s fourth consecutive start, something Mattingly has said he’d prefer not to do. Ethier’s undoubtedly out of the lineup because the Cubs’ starter is a lefty. Rollins’ absence may be just a needed day off.
Rangers at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, MLBN, FSSW
It’s a battle of lefties. Clayton Kershaw (5-3, 3.21 ERA) starts against the Rangers, the team he grew up following. The team from Texas counters with Wandy Rodriguez (3-2, 3.03 ERA). This will be Kershaw’s first time pitching against the Rangers, while Rodriguez has a 5-5 record with a 2.64 ERA in 12 career starts against the Dodgers as an Astro and a Pirate.
The Dodgers activated Scott Van Slyke from the DL and placed Chris Hatcher on it with a shoulder strain.
Joc Pederson gets a rest, as does André Ethier.
Diamondbacks at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA
The D-Backs send out LHP Robbie Ray, who’s 1-0 with a 0.82 ERA in 11 innings in his second partial season in the big leagues. He’s thrown a lot of pitches in each of his two starts, which is why he’s gone no longer than six innings in either of them. He’ll face the Dodgers’ Carlos Frias, who’s 4-3 with a 4.25 ERA. He’d been perking along with an under-2.50 ERA until a disastrous start against the Padres on May 24 when he gave up 10 earned runs in 4 innings.
Here’s a list of the Dodgers’ first ten draft picks. Begin your wild speculations now.
Joc Pederson sits down for the first time this season. Ethier sits because Ray is a lefty. Turner probably sits because he hit a ball hard off his knee in last night’s game.
Braves at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, SPSO
Zack Greinke (5-1, 1.48 ERA) goes out after a Dodger win for a change. He’s not asked to stop a losing streak of even a single game tonight. His mound opponent will be lefty Alex Wood (2-2, 3.83), a three-year veteran. The only Dodger who’s had more than ten at-bats against Wood is Jimmie Rollins, and he’s 0-for-14.
Jay Jaffe of SI tries to make sense of the Uribe trade and can’t: “For the Dodgers, they’ve traded away their best infield defender and a possible second-half bullpen arm in a deal that just doesn’t make sense.”
Here are the trade details: Uribe and Withrow to the Braves for Alberto Callaspo, Ian Thomas, Juan Jaime and Eric Stults. The Dodgers then followed up: “Callaspo on active roster, Thomas optioned to @okc_dodgers, Jaime goes to extended Spring Training, Stults designated for assignment.”
The best way I can make sense of it is that the Dodgers realized they weren’t doing Uribe any good playing him in a three-way platoon at third base and looked for a way to get him to a team which would use him more often. He’s a free agent at the end of this season and he wants to impress potential new employers. That may not be the real reason for this deal, but I can’t figure out any other sensible ones.
Lineup when available.
The Braves’ lefty is the reason André sits, I’m sure.
Dodgers at Rockies, 5:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, MLBN
Clayton Kershaw makes his fourth try to win career number 100 this evening, weather permitting. He’s won six straight against the Rockies and has a 1.62 ERA over those games. He’s 14-5 with a 3.11 ERA in his career against the Rockies and is 7-3 at Coors Field, posting a 4.58 ERA. His opponent will be Jorge De La Rosa, who has 45 lifetime wins at Coors, more than any other pitcher in the history of the stadium. De La Rosa started the year on the DL, however, and he’s 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA after coming off it.
In outfielder news, Yasiel Puig tweaked his hamstring in a rehab game with Rancho Cucamonga Friday night.
Lineup when available.
The weather is not looking good, unless you’re a skier/snowboarder.
Continued rain today will increase the possibility of flash flooding throughout the urban corridor and plains. Residents should be on alert for flooding in their vicinity after heavy rains pass over. The far eastern plains could see severe weather with increased heating. Chances for large hail and tornadoes increase by this afternoon. For the mountains, the snow level will be around 9000ft lowering to 7000ft by this evening. Areas above 9000ft could see 2 to 6 inches by this afternoon with another 4 to 10 inches overnight. Mountain roads will be slushy and snow packed by this evening.
Okay, lineup for today’s game:
The weather is forecast
to be in the low 40s with a small chance of rain.
No explanation given for Ethier’s absence in right field, nor for Uribe’s absence at third base. It could just be that the Rockies’ pitcher De La Rosa is a lefty.
Dodgers at Padres, 5:40PM PT, TV: MLBN, SPNLA, FSSD
Brandon McCarthy goes for the Dodgers. He’s got a 5-1 lifetime record against the Padres and won his last start. McCarthy has averaged 6 innings per start and has given up 18 hits in 18 innings while striking out 25 and walking only 3. His ERA is 4.50 and falling.
His opponent will be Ian Kennedy, who strained a hamstring in his only start this year and just came off the DL.
Lineup when available.
André in right in place of Puig. I guess that hamstring is hurting him pretty badly.
Mariners at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA
David Huff is a 30-year-old veteran with a lifetime 25-28 record and a career ERA of 5.02 in the major leagues. He’s been called up from Oklahoma City and is filling the fifth starter role for the Dodgers this evening. I imagine his 2-0 record with a 1.32 ERA over 13 1/3 innings during spring training had a lot to do with his call-up for this start. Darwin Barney was sent down to OKC to make room for Huff.
He’ll be opposed by RHP Hisashi Iwakuma, whose first start didn’t go well. He’s 0-1 with a 6.00 ERA. He’s a good pitcher, though, as witnessed by his 38-21 record with an ERA of 3.11 in his four years in Seattle. That’s after eleven years in the Japanese league where he compiled a 107-69 record and had an ERA of 3.25.
Puig gets the night off. I wonder if this is just to keep Andre fresh.
Padres at Dodgers, 1:10pm PT, Dodger Stadium
Here it is at last, the first day of the new season, with the changes the new management made over the winter soon to be on display.
Will Jimmy Rollins play better defense than Hanley Ramirez? Will Howie Kendrick hit better than Dee Gordon? Will Kershaw win a fourth Cy Young Award? Can he lead the National League in ERA for the fifth consecutive year? Will Hyun-Jin Ryu recover from his shoulder woes and win more than fourteen games? Can Kenley Jansen come back from his foot woes and regain his form as an elite closer? Will the Dodgers miss Matt Kemp’s bat more than they’ll be helped by Puig’s play in right field? Can Uribe play up to his standard of the past two years while remaining healthy enough to play 125 games or so? Can Justin Turner keep up his torrid hitting from last year while coming off the bench and playing all over the infield? Will Joc Pederson keep up the hitting he did in spring training? What’s going to happen with André Ethier?
Questions, we have questions. Today we start getting answers.
Jon Soo-Hoo is there with about 100 pictures per day.
This doesn’t look acrimonious.
Nonetheless, I’d like to have been a fly on the wall to hear what Don and André are saying to one another.
Correction: I thought the Dodger Insider post I linked to was written by Jon Weisman. I’m still not used to thinking of that site as a multi-author blog. It was actually written by Cary Osborne. I’m sorry for the misattribution!
Mr. Weisman’s Cary Osborne’s calculations, the moves the Dodgers made during the off-season have made them the most improved team in the West in terms of Defensive Runs Saved.
Huh? What’s that number, you ask? Defensive Runs Saved is an attempt to determine the value of a player against other players of the same position. As Joe Posnanski put it at his blog: “the number determines (using film study and computer comparisons) how many more or fewer successful plays a defensive player will make than league average.”
Here’s the full-on explanation from its creators at The Fielding Bible, if you’re interested. It’s lengthy.
Jon Cary says
Gone from the Dodgers are Matt Kemp, Hanley Ramirez and Dee Gordon, who combined for -37 DRS. In are Howie Kendrick, and Jimmy Rollins and what appears to be either Joc Pederson or Andre Ethier. Since there isn’t enough Major League statistical data on Pederson, we’re going to slot Ethier into the replacement for Kemp. Rollins, Kendrick and Ethier combined for six DRS. That’s a swing of +43 DRS.
He’s got the other NL West teams’ DRS data, and he comes up with the startling fact that the Dodgers are the only team in the division whose changes over the winter give it a net positive number.