Apr 03

Opening Day, 2017

The LA Times has a special Baseball 2017 section in its Sunday, April 2 edition.

Padres at Dodgers, 1:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, ESPN (out-of market only), FSSD

The Padres send Jhoulys Chacin out to do battle with the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw. Chacin will make his second Opening Day start; the first was for the Rockies in 2013. He was with the Angels last year and finished strong: he had a 0.75 ERA in his last four starts for them. He did well for Venezuela in this year’s World Baseball Classic as well. This will be Kershaw’s seventh straight Opening Day start for the Dodgers. That ties him with Drysdale and Sutton for the team record. This will be the fourth time he’ll face the Padres on Opening Day; he gave up three runs on nine hits in the previous 16 innings on those occasions.

The Padres have two potential Rookie of the Year candidates, “outfielders Manuel Margot and Hunter Renfroe, ranked No. 23 and No. 42, respectively, among MLBPipeline.com’s Top 100 prospects.”

Renfore and Margot excelled for Triple-A El Paso last year en route to a Pacific Coast League championship. Margot batted .304 and stole 30 bases, while Renfroe earned PCL MVP honors by hitting .306 with 30 home runs.

Lineups when available.

Here’s the Opening Day roster. The interesting part is probably the Disabled List, where six guys will start the year:

Pedro Baez, RHP (10-day, right wrist contusion, retroactive to March 30); Andre Ethier, OF (10-day, lumbar disk herniation, retroactive to March 30); Yimi Garcia, RHP (60-day, right elbow surgery); Scott Kazmir, LHP (10-day, left hip strain, retroactive to March 30); Josh Ravin, RHP (10-day, right groin strain, retroactive to March 30); Brock Stewart, RHP (10-day, right shoulder tendinitis, retroactive to March 30)

Here’s the lineup:

Feb 13

Spring Training begins this week!

“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.

It all begins on Wednesday.

Jan 28

Almost time for the Ps and Cs to report

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.

The Dodgers have a ton of starting pitching.

Veterans Scott Kazmir, Brandon McCarthy, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Alex Wood — each on the rebound from injuries last year — are on the outside of the starting rotation looking in, barring injury or a trade.

Clayton Kershaw, Rich Hill, Kenta Maeda and Julio Urias are the top four, with the fifth spot up for grabs among Kazmir, McCarthy, Ryu, Wood and young starters Brock Stewart and Ross Stripling.

Sep 17

Game 148, 2016

Dodgers at Diamondbacks, 5:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-A

Rookie RHP Brock Stewart (1-2, 6.55 ERA) gets the start for the Dodgers, replacing the scratched Bud Norris. His opponent will be RHP Shelby Miller (2-11, 7.12 ERA), who hasn’t had a good year since he played for the Cardinals in 2014. They traded him to the Braves before 2015 and the D-Backs gave up several good prospects to get him last off-season. He’s 0-2 with a 7.04 ERA in three starts since being called back up from Triple-A Reno where he’d been sent to work out his troubles. He’s 1-2 with a 7.02 ERA against the Dodgers in six career starts against them.

Lineup when available.

Sep 08

Off-day factoid

“For the fourth straight game, a rookie starting pitcher earned the victory for the Dodgers.”

It’s true. DeLeon on Sunday, Maeda on Monday, Stripling on Tuesday, and Stewart yesterday. According to Elias Sports Bureau

it was the first time in franchise history that the Dodgers won four straight games with a rookie starter getting the win each time. The last team to do so was Oakland from Sept. 9-12, 2012.

For the record, the As’ pitchers were Tommy Milone, now pitching for the Twins; Jarrod Parker, who last pitched in OB at AAA Nashville for the As; Dan Straily, who’s having a pretty good 2016 for the Reds, although the Dodgers beat him 3-1 on May 25; and A.J. Griffin, who’s now pitching for the division-leading Texas Rangers.

The streak has probably stopped for the Dodgers, though, unless Urias picks up Kershaw in relief tomorrow night.

Sep 07

Game 139, 2016

Diamondbacks at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-A

The Dodgers send RHP Brock Stewart (0-2, 7.94 ERA) to the hill to pitch against LHP Robbie Ray (7-12, 4.46 ERA). These two guys’ last starts couldn’t have been more different. Stewart threw five scoreless inning against the Cubs, while Ray had four uneventful innings against the Rockies before they scored six runs against him in the fifth. Ray is a strikeout pitcher, averaging 11 Ks per nine innings. Most of Stewart’s ERA is the result of a performance against the Rockies in Denver when he gave up 9 earned runs in four innings.

This is the final game of the homestand for the Dodgers. They play Miami on Friday when Kershaw makes his first start in two months. They move on from Miami to New York and Yankee Stadium and then to Arizona before returning to Dodger Stadium for their final two home series of the year.

Lineup:

Note that A-Gon has the night off, barring pinch-hitting duties.

Aug 28

Game 130, 2016

Cubs at Dodgers, 1:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, CSN-C, TBS

Lefty Jon Lester (14-4, 2.81 ERA) goes for the Cubs and RHP Brock Stewart (0-2, 11.25 ERA) takes the hill for the Dodgers. Lester’s been pitching even better than his record looks: he’s 5-0 with a 2.28 ERA since the All-Star break. In Stewart’s first two career starts in the big leagues he’s given up 14 earned runs and five dingers.

Lineup:

Aug 16

Game 118, 2016

Dodgers at Phillies, 4:05PM PT, TV: SPNLA, CSN-P

Kenta Maeda (11-7, 3.31 ERA) pitches for the Dodgers and Vince Velasquez (8-4, 3.94 ERA) for the Phillies. This game is a rematch from last Tuesday, when Maeda went five innings and gave up three runs. In the same game Velasquez got hammered by his hometown team, giving up nine runs in 4 1/3 innings.

Here, have an excellent and funny catch made by the Giants’ Hunter Pence on Monday during the team’s loss to the Pirates.

Player movement:

Lineup when available.

Aug 03

Game 107, 2016

Dodgers at Rockies, 5:40PM PT, TV: SPNLA, ROOTRM

Rookie righthander Brock Stewart (0-1, 9.00 ERA) spot-starts for the Dodgers, filling in for the newly-acquired Rich Hill and the possibly-injured Bud Norris, not to mention the disabled Hyun-Jin Ryu and Brett Anderson and Clayton Kershaw. In his first and only other MLB start he went five innings, gave up five runs, struck out seven and walked two. He’s been very good in the minors, posting a 1.80 ERA across Double-A and Triple-A and has a 3.00 ERA in four Triple-A starts since he went back down after that MLB start. He’ll be opposed by the Rockies’ rookie lefty Tyler Anderson, (3-3, 3.33 ERA), who’s had six quality starts in his first nine in the big leagues. He hasn’t given up a dinger in his last 22 1/3 innings.

Personnel news: Stewart, Fields and Urias up; Toles and Josh Ravin down (the latter after reinstatement from the restricted list for PED usage; he also recuperated from broken bone surgery while out); Coleman (right shoulder fatigue) and Liberatore (left elbow inflammation) to DL. And the biggest and most unpleasant news of all: Kershaw moved to 60-day DL. Eligible to return August 27.

Lineup when available.

Jun 29

Game 80, 2016

Dodgers at Brewers, 5:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FSWI, MLBN (free game)

Brock Stewart started the season in Class A (Advanced) with the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes. During his rise to AAA the 24-year-old righthander has compiled a 1.47 ERA and a 99:14 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 14 starts. He’ll be opposed by 31-year-old rookie Junior Guerra, who’s 4-1 with a 3.67 ERA. He faced the Dodgers in LA and had the worst start of his season in which he gave up five runs on five hits but came away with a no-decision.

Here’s a stat which may surprise:

Coming into the series, both teams ranked in the top three for percent of wins via comeback this season. With 19 out of 34 (56 percent), the Brewers ranked second, and the Dodgers were right behind, winning 23 of their 42 games (55 percent) via a comeback.

Lineup:

No surprise, Pederson is not in the lineup after his wall-banging catch last night.