“It’s a doggy-dog world out there.” I have seen that written on the Internet more times than I care to mention, and it apparently applies to the Dodgers’ starting rotation competition this spring. There are seven proven pitchers trying to fit into the two spots for fourth and fifth starters. Kershaw, Hill and Maeda look to be locks for the first three slots, but after that you’ve got McCarthy, Wood, Kazmir, Ryu, Stripling, Stewart and Urias hunting for work.
“As we look around here today, we have a lot of starting pitching depth, but as we finish spring training, guys like Alex Wood, Brandon McCarthy, Scott Kazmir, they’re going to have to pitch somewhere,” Roberts said. “So whether it is out of the rotation or potentially out of the pen, I don’t know that answer right now.”
Oh, and once they get the starting pitching set, they can start on their “eight outfielders for three positions” problem.
MLB released its Top 100 Prospectslist and the Dodgers placed five guys on it. Only two are in the top fifty; 1B Bellinger at #13 and RHP Yadier Alvarez at #49. Bellinger is up 19 spots since the last list was released at mid-season last summer, while Alvarez is up 49.
Logan Forsythe is glad to be on a winning team. “I’m happy to just come over to a winning ballclub, organization and help some young guys if I can, jump in with the core guys and try to help these guys anyway I can,” Forsythe said.
They’ll put RHP Brandon McCarthy (2-2, 3.63 ERA) on the hill to face LHP Tyler Anderson (5-6, 3.58 ERA). This has been a year of mixed results for McCarthy; on the one hand he came back from the Tommy John surgery he had in 2015 and had five pretty good starts for the team beginning in July. Then he suffered stiffness in his right hip which caused him to lose control of his fastball and issue walks by the bucketload in his next four starts. He gave up 17 walks in just 11 2/3 innings in that period. The Dodgers hope he’s recovered. He’s taking the place of Rich Hill, who was to start this game but is being given more time off in hopes his blister troubles will go away before the playoffs begin.
Anderson is finishing up an excellent rookie season in which he’s struck out 98 in 108 innings and achieved an ERA+ (park adjusted) of 137, meaning 37 percent better than league average.
Lineup when available.
Today's Dodger lineup: Kendrick LF Turner 3B Seager SS Puig RF González 1B Ruiz C Hernández CF Culberson 2B McCarthy P
The Dodgers’ Brett Anderson makes his season debut after rehabbing all year from arthroscopic back surgery in March. He’ll face Chad Kuhl (2-0, 3.91 ERA), who made his big league debut against the Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw back on June 26 and won.
Anderson has made three rehab starts between Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga and Triple-A Oklahoma City, topping out at 71 pitches and five innings in his final start.
Brandon McCarthy is likely headed for the 15-day DL with a newly-disclosed hip injury. He and the Dodgers both hope that’s what caused his control to disappear in his last four starts. He says he hurt the hip fielding a bunt in Colorado last month.
McCarthy and Ravin both go to 15-day DL, Ravin with right triceps soreness and McCarthy with the hip problem described above.
Lineup when available.
Today’s Dodger lineup vs. Pirates: Utley 2B Reddick RF Seager SS González 1B Grandal C Pederson CF Kendrick LF Segedin 3B Anderson P
Brandon McCarthy (2-2, 3.00 ERA) goes for the Dodgers and Gerrit Cole (7-7, 2.94 ERA) goes for the Buccos. McCarthy hopes he’s solved the mysterious loss of control he’s exhibited over the last three games he’s started. Cole had a rough game his last time out against the Reds, but he’s 2-0 with a 4.05 ERA in his only two career starts at Dodger Stadium.
Chase Utley had made 409 plate appearances this season entering Friday’s game and had not hit into a double play in even one of them.
Today's Dodger lineup vs. Pirates: Utley 2B Seager SS Turner 3B Reddick RF González 1B Pederson CF Kendrick LF Ellis C McCarthy P
The Sox ask David Price (9-7, 4.30 ERA) to win the rubber match of this series, and the Dodgers ask Brandon McCarthy (2-2, 2.76 ERA) to keep him from doing so. This will be Price’s third start of this 11-game West Coast road trip for the Red Sox; he’s pitched 15 innings, given up only four runs and gotten two no-decisions out of it. Today was supposed to be newly-acquired Rich Hill’s first start for the Dodgers but the blister which landed him on the 15-day DL hasn’t yet healed, so McCarthy will pitch with normal rest. He hasn’t made it past the fourth inning in either of his last two starts.
Lineup when available.
Today's Dodger lineup vs. Red Sox: Kendrick 2B Seager SS Turner 3B González 1B Hernández CF Reddick RF Grandal C Segedin LF McCarthy P
After yesterday’s sturm und drang about Yasiel Puig and his status — not to mention the incorrect verb used by Ken Rosenthal since it’s hard to “storm off” if you aren’t at the location you ostensibly left angrily — today we’re back to baseball. Puig is apparently on his way to Oklahoma City to work on his swing, although the team has said nothing publicly yet. Here’s CBS Sports’ attempt to explain what went on.
Brandon McCarthy (2-1, 2.39 ERA) is coming off his worst start since his season began several weeks ago; he lasted only four innings against the Rays on the 27th of July. His opponent will be Jon Gray (7-4, 3.94 ERA), who’s made three starts against the Dodgers in his career, two this season, and has struck out 22 in 15 2/3 innings, but he is 0-2 with a 5.74 ERA.
The Dodgers announced they’ve optioned Puig, Stripling and Fields to OKC and activated new acquisitions Jesse Chavez and Josh Reddick. They’ve put their other new pitcher, Rich Hill, on their 15-day DL, but he’s eligible to be activated on Thursday, August 4.
Tonight’s Dodger lineup at Rockies: Utley 2B Seager SS Turner 3B Reddick RF González 1B Grandal C Pederson CF Kendrick LF McCarthy P
Brandon McCarthy (2-0, 1.61 ERA) makes his fifth start since his return from Tommy John surgery. He won his first two starts and has gotten no decision in the last two, despite pitching well and going at least 6 innings in each one. His opponent will be Matt Moore (6-7, 4.31 ERA), whose last four starts have also been pretty good; he’s posted a 3.00 ERA and has gone at least six innings in every start during that span.
Here’s a tidbit from a larger discussion of whether a shorter baseball season (only a few games shorter, to be sure) might make sense:
This year, the Dodgers are the kings of killing offense late in games. From the seventh through ninth innings, batters against their pitchers have hit just .190, posted a .255 OBP, struck out in 27% of their plate appearances and scored only 80 runs in 94 games.
Dave Roberts thinks Puig will be back Wednesday. Meanwhile, his shoes have offended the high-minded executives (read: guardians of shoe contracts) at MLB.
Lineup when available.
Today’s Dodger lineup vs. Rays: Kendrick LF Seager SS Turner 3B Van Slyke RF González 1B Taylor 2B Pederson CF Ellis C McCarthy P
Brandon McCarthy (2-0, 1.69 ERA) has come back from TJ surgery much more strongly than I expected. Tonight he’s up against Michael Wacha (5-7, 4.45 ERA), whose 2016 season has been disappointing after his outstanding 2015 one.
JT is having much too much fun with Animal, who thinks the Dodgers need a drummer:
Video deleted as it kept restarting randomly.
The #Dodgers have recalled C/IF Austin Barnes from Triple-A Oklahoma City and optioned LHP Julio Urías to OKC.
Brandon McCarthy (2-0, 2.70 ERA) makes his third start of the season. He’s gone five innings in each of his first two since recovering and rehabilitating from Tommy John surgery. His opponent is Archie Bradley (3-5, 4.64 ERA), who lost to the Dodgers in his only start against them this season on June 14 in Phoenix, pitching four scoreless innings then giving up five runs in the next 1 2/3 innings.
Fun fact: Since the start of 2013, the Dodgers own the best record in baseball after the All-Star break at 126-79 entering Friday. Next was Kansas City at 127-87.
Trayce Thompson goes to the 15-day DL with lower back irritation, Zach Walters comes up. Ethier’s leg isn’t healed, but he’s going to up his workout level anyway. From Dave Roberts, this statement sounds ominous:
“Because it’s not healed completely, we really don’t have a timetable. It’ll be healed at some point, but this season to hope and expect it to be pain-free is something that’s maybe too optimistic. Andre wants to be back and he’ll do whatever he can to be back.”
Tonight’s Dodger lineup: Utley 2B Seager SS Turner 3B González 1B Grandal C Kendrick LF Puig RF Toles CF McCarthy P