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
Brandon McCarthy makes his second start for the Dodgers after a year off recovering from surgery; he won his first start while going five scoreless innings. He’ll face the Padres’ Luis Perdomo (3-3, 7.93 ERA), whose last two starts have been quality ones.
Lineup when available.
Today's Dodger lineup vs. Padres: Utley 2B Seager SS Turner 3B González 1B Puig RF Grandal C Kendrick LF Toles CF McCarthy P
Brandon McCarthy makes his first major league start since April 25, 2015 when he went on the shelf for Tommy John surgery. He insists he’s looking at this game as just another start. Right. He’ll face the Rockies’ Jon Gray (5-3, 4.83 ERA). Gray has pitched at least six innings in all but one of his last seven starts.
Corey Seager got a hit in his 15th consecutive game Saturday night and now holds the longest current hit streak in the big leagues.
Lineup when available.
Utley 2B Seager SS Turner 3B González 1B Thompson CF Kendrick LF Puig RF Grandal C McCarthy P
The Sunday Night Baseball game between the Braves and the Marlins wouldn’t ordinarily hold my attention, but it’s being held in a ballpark which was built at Fort Bragg, NCin just four months. It replaced an overgrown golf course on the base.
It marks the first time a professional, regular-season game in any sport has been played on an active military base and is the first time the state of North Carolina has hosted a regular-season Major League Baseball game.
What’s going to happen to it after the game is played?
…the site will be converted into softball and multipurpose recreational fields following Sunday’s game. The playing surface will remain, along with the foul poles, dugouts and bullpens, as a lasting reminder of Sunday’s historic event.
Julio Urias (0-0, 10.13 ERA) gets the start which would normally be Kenta Maeda’s, but Maeda’s hand is still a little sore from getting hit with a line drive his last time on the mound. He’s expected to start Friday against the Braves in Los Angeles. Urias’s opponent today will be right-hander Kyle Hendricks (3-4, 2.93 ERA), who got a complete game win over the Phillies on May 28. Urias lasted only 2 2/3 innings in his major league debut against the Mets May 27.
Alex Wood has a posterior impingement of his elbow and will need four weeks of rest. After that he’ll start a throwing program and then pitch in a rehab assignment. Hyun-Jin Ryu threw a 90-mph fastball in Fresno last Wednesday and woke up with shoulder soreness, so the team has slowed his rehab down. Brandon McCarthy threw 45 pitches in two innings of bullpen work and hit 89 mph. Scott Van Slyke is expected to come off the 15-day DL this weekend in LA.
Lineup when available.
Utley 2B Seager SS Turner 3B Gonzalez 1B Pederson CF Thompson RF Crawford LF Ellis C Urias 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?
The Dodgers send out Mat Latos, who’s 4-9 with a 4.76 ERA overall and 0-2 with a 6.05 ERA since coming over to the Dodgers. Worse, he hasn’t made it past the fifth inning in any of his last three starts. I think it’s fair to say he has not performed to their expectations. He’ll be opposed by Colin Rea of the Padres, who’s 2-2 with a 5.95 ERA in his rookie season.
The Dodgers have an 8-4 lead in the season series and the Padres lost three players to injury during Tuesday’s game: starting first baseman Yonder Alonso (back tightness), catcher Derek Norris (hyperextension of left shoulder and elbow) and reliever Shawn Kelley (right forearm tightness).
Lineup when available.
Tonight's #Dodgers lineup:
Van Slyke RF