May 12

Game 32, 2015

Marlins at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA

Old friend Dan Haren goes for the Fish against Dodger farmhand Mike Bolsinger. Haren has become the most dependable starter the Marlins have, going 4-1 this season and winning his last three outings. His ERA is a sparkling 2.68.

Bolsinger is up from Oklahoma City for his second start with the big club. He did well in his first one back on April 23, going 5 2/3 innings while giving up 1 run and striking out 5 while walking 2. That was the second game in a row that the Giants beat the Dodgers on a walkoff hit. It was the game that Kendrick saved in the eighth inning with a horizontal dive to catch a ball headed for center field.

Lineup:


Poor Scott Van Slyke. Throw a guy out at the plate, hit a walkoff home run two innings later, and get dropped to the 8th spot in the batting order the next day.

Nov 01

Hot Stove League Talk

The Dodgers bought out Chad Billingsley’s contract for $3M, making him a free agent.

The 30-year-old Billingsley, a former All-Star, is trying to return from two arm operations. He didn’t pitch in 2014 and made only two starts in 2013 before needing Tommy John surgery. While rehabbing this year, he required surgery to repair a partially torn flexor tendon.

A first-round pick in the 2003 First-Year Player Draft, Billingsley went 81-61 with a 3.65 ERA for the Dodgers. He won a career-high 16 games in 2008 and was an All-Star in ’09.

Billingsley becomes the seventh Dodger free agent. In addition to him, Hanley Ramirez, Paul Maholm, Chris Perez, Roberto Hernandez, Kevin Correia and Jamey Wright are also free to negotiate for new deals with any team.

Ramirez’s contract is possibly the biggest decision new boss Andrew Friedman will have to make. Do the Dodgers make him a $15.3M qualifying offer, which ensures they get something in return (a supplemental draft pick between the first and second rounds) if he rejects it and goes elsewhere? He might be worth more than that, especially if he’s willing to move to third base for a new team. The Dodgers have Uribe signed through 2015, so that’s not an option they could easily fulfill. My guess is they make the qualifying offer just to guarantee themselves a player in return when he signs with the Yankees to replace Derek Jeter.

Dan Haren picked up his $10M option to stay with the Dodgers, and Brian Wilson is expected to pick up his for the same amount. Maholm is recovering from knee surgery, Perez was lightly used down the stretch, Hernandez was mostly adequate, Correia wasn’t much help, and Jamey Wright is 40 years old with who knows how much left in his arm.

The team still has more outfielders than it knows what to do with, and it’s also got Joc Pederson pounding on the door to get in, although his cup of coffee at the end of September wasn’t very successful. Ethier and Crawford could be trade bait, but both have very large contracts. Ethier is signed through 2017 with an option for 2018; the balance of the contract is $53.5M through 2017. Crawford is still under terms of the contract he signed with the Red Sox, which has a balance of $62.5M through 2017.

It should be an interesting off-season.

Oct 07

Who might go?

In end-of-the-season news, Josh Beckett announced his retirement after the game. He did better for the team than most of us anticipated he would, I think: 6-6 with a 2.88 ERA and a no-hitter before going down for the year with a torn labrum in his hip.

The Dodgers have a passel of free agents led by Hanley Ramirez. The team has until five days after the World Series to extend what’s called a Qualifying Offer of $15.3M (a number set by the Basic Agreement as the average of the 125 highest contracts by average annual value). That ensures that the Dodgers would get a compensating draft pick if Ramirez rejects the offer and goes elsewhere. On the other hand, he could accept it. If so, he and the Dodgers would be committed to one another for next year.

Other free agents: Chad Billingsley (team option of $14M or a $3M buyout — after two surgeries the Dodgers may elect to buy him out); Paul Maholm, Roberto Hernandez, Kevin Correia and Jamey Wright. Dan Haren has earned a $10M player option but even after Tuesday’s game said he remained undecided whether to play or retire. Brian Wilson has a $10M option he’s expected to accept.

Sep 27

Game 161, 2014

Rockies at Dodgers, 6:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, KDOC-56

Nobody’s calling Dan Haren a hot young prospect anymore, unlike his opponent in today’s game, a right-hander named Eddie Butler. Haren’s luck against the Rockies throughout his career has been poor: he’s 7-9 with a 5.19 ERA in eighteen starts against them. He’ll be on a pitch count today, the team says. Young Mr. Butler made only his second big league start last Saturday and went six innings, giving up one run on five hits and a walk to the D-Backs.

Hun-Jin Ryu reported he felt fine after throwing off a mound for the first time in two weeks Friday. He only threw 20 pitches, though. He’s scheduled to throw a full bullpen session tomorrow. An aside: I’m not sure that’s going to be all that representative of his control or velocity, since as I understand it he doesn’t throw between starts, unlike his American-trained counterparts. We’ll have to see.

This is a mildly interesting bit of trivia:

The Dodgers will finish the season without a losing streak longer than three games, joining the 1988 (161 games) and 1924 (154) teams as the only ones in franchise history without a four-game losing streak in a season.

Their longest winning streak of the season was six, for comparison.

Lineup when available.

Update: If the Dodgers’ Twitter feed is to be believed, Clayton and Ellen Kershaw are expecting their first child. Less importantly, Jeremy Lin is going to throw out the first pitch.

Sep 26

Game 160, 2014

Rockies at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA

The Dodgers’ Roberto Hernandez is possibly pitching for a playoff roster spot with the Dodgers tonight. In his last four starts he’s gone no longer than 4 1/3 innings in any game and given up 11 runs in those 15 innings.

The Rockies will send out Jordan Lyles, who’s 7-3 with a 4.15 ERA on the year. On August 6 he returned from two months on the DL with a fractured hand, and he hasn’t gone longer than 6 1/3 innings in any start since then.

Dan Haren and Zack Greinke are scheduled to go this weekend for the Dodgers, but they may be on limited pitch counts or be scratched altogether, depending on how Mattingly wants to set up his rotation for the NLDS, which begins a week from today in LA. Hyun-Jin Ryu threw off a mound today for the first time since his shoulder inflammation flareup took him out of his start against the Giants on September 12.

Update: News from Phoenix: The D-Backs hired Dave Stewart to be GM, which means Matt Kemp will have to find another agent, and they fired Kirk Gibson and Alan Trammell.

Lineup:


Woot! Justin Turner hitting cleanup!

Sep 22

Game 157, 2014

Giants at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, MLBN, CSN-BA

Update: Whoops! Forgot that from here on out the games are also carried on KDOC. Channel numbers:

Provider HD Channel SD Channel
Charter 710 10
Cox 1012 12
AT&T U-verse 1006 6
DirecTV 56 56
Verizon FiOS 506 6
Dish Network 56 56
Over the air broadcast 56.1 56.1

Admit it. We’d be a lot more nervous about the penultimate three-game series of the season if the Dodgers hadn’t got a 4 1/2 game lead in the division. Barring absolute disaster the Dodgers should win the NL West with relative ease, since their magic number is down to three. The two teams have split the first sixteen games they’ve played this season.

Having said that, tonight’s pitching opponent is no palooka. Jake Peavy has a 7-1 record with a 2.85 ERA in 13 starts in Dodger Stadium and a career record against Los Angeles of 14-3. Dan Haren will take the mound for the Dodgers. He’s 6-6 with a 3.05 ERA in 17 career appearances (16 starts) against San Francisco.

Neither Michael Morse nor Angel Pagan will be in the lineup for the Giants in any of the three games; they both have injuries severe enough to see specialists.

Lineup:

Sep 16

Game 151, 2014

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

Dan Haren goes for the Dodgers. He’s 3-0 with a 0.69 ERA in his last four starts and 13-10 with a 3.99 ERA for the season. After that mid-season slump he’s seemingly reduced the number of sinkers he’s thrown by 12 percent, says one statistical outfit, and that may have helped the turnaround. He’ll face Tyler Matzek, a rookie whose 5-10 and 4.23 ERA look bad, but may be misleading. In his last four starts he’s given up just four earned runs, including a three-hit shutout against the Padres. He’s 3-1 over those games. The loss was a four-hit 6 1/3 inning performance in which he gave up two runs but got no run support.

In other news, Ryu’s shoulder MRI on Monday showed no damage. He got a cortisone shot and will meet the team in Chicago. He’ll miss his next scheduled start but he’ll throw a little in Chicago and see how the shoulder feels.

Nobody on the Dodgers’ side is explaining what the cause of the mild flareup of tempers between Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig was during last night’s game. The press and we bloggers have therefore been free to speculate, as Steve Dilbeck of the Times notes and sneers at.

Via Twitter: “The Dodgers select the contract of LHP Daniel Coulombe from Double-A. RHP Stephen Fife was recalled from Triple-A and placed on 60-day DL.”

Lineup:

Sep 10

Game 146, 2014

Padres at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FSSD

The Dodgers send Dan Haren out to do battle with Ian Kennedy. Haren’s 12-10 with a 4.17 ERA and has had three consecutive good starts. Kennedy has already made five starts against the Dodgers this year, going 0-2 with a 3.90 ERA. He’s 10-12 with a 3.75 ERA overall this season.

The Padres have beaten the Dodgers three of their last five meetings, which is not what you’d expect in games between the first-place and third-place teams in the division.

The Diamondbacks play the Giants tonight at AT&T Park in San Francisco. Josh Collmenter goes for the D-Backs and Ryan Vogelsong goes for the Giants.

Lineup:

Huh. No Gordon. Just resting, I hope.

John_from_Aus linked to this article at Dodgers.com in the comments to the last post. It’s a discussion of Puig’s slumping bat. Is it just a slump or could he be injured?

Sep 05

How many innings can one arm throw?

According to Dodgers.com Beckett is thinking about retirement.

Beckett needs surgery to repair a torn labrum and a lesion in his left hip, whether he pitches again or not.

[snip]

He’s a high-mileage 34-year-old, having thrown 2,051 innings in 13 big league seasons.

I don’t doubt Beckett might decline a four-month rehab, as the article suggests is needed. He hurts, he’s made more than $116M in his career and has a couple of small kids, so why not retire? Other than the no-hitter this year I suspect he hasn’t had much fun this season. He even says “It takes four hours of [therapy] work to do two hours on the field.”

I think baseball may have seen the last of Josh Beckett as a player. But that bit about his innings pitched raised a question for me — is 2,051 IP high-mileage? Over 13 years he’s averaged 209 IP over a 162-game period. He was a full-time starter when he was 22 years old. Among Dodger starters:

  • Dan Haren is 33 and has thrown 2,202 innings in 12 MLB seasons for a 162-game average of 215 IP.
  • Kevin Correia is 34 but has thrown only 1,397 MLB innings for a 162-game average of 168 IP in 12 seasons.
  • Roberto Hernandez is 34 with 1,248 MLB innings for a 162-game average of 190 IP over 9 seasons.
  • Hyun-Jin Ryu is 27, has 7 years of Korean League experience and 1,269 innings there in addition to the 336 he’s got in the big leagues, averaging roughly 178 IP (the Korean Leagues throw off the 162-game calculation).
  • Chad Billingsley is 30 and has 1,175 MLB innings for a 162-game average of 195 IP over 7 seasons (and 12 innings).
  • Kershaw, believe it or not, is 27 but has 1,349 MLB innings himself and has averaged 223 IP over a 162-game period in 7 seasons.

Of the three guys who are the same age as Beckett, Haren’s the closest in hard use. He’s always been a starter. Correia pitched his first five years in relief and as a spot starter. Hernandez was a full-time starter in his second year in the bigs.

If Beckett is high-mileage, then Haren, averaging 215 IP, and Kershaw, averaging 223 IP, are the two guys who could also be classified as such. We can only hope Kershaw doesn’t injure himself throwing that many innings every year.

Sep 05

Game 141, 2014

Diamondbacks at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, MLBN

18 of the Dodgers’ final 22 games are against division opponents. 19 of the Giants’ final 22 games are against division opponents. The NL West championship is going to be decided this month, although perhaps not in games the two teams play against one another. Their last meeting is a three-game series ending on the 24th of September in Los Angeles. After that the Dodgers close out the season with three games at home against the Rockies, while the Giants go home to play the Padres for four games.

It starts tonight as Dan Haren (11-10, 4.27 ERA) tries to keep up his current two-game streak of quality starts. He’s given up just one earned run in his last 13 innings. The D-Backs will counter with a left-hander named Vidal Nuno, who’s pitched in horrid luck all year. He’s 2-9 with a 4.46 ERA, but some of that was in 78 innings with the Yankees. He’s 0-4 with a 3.23 ERA in 61.1 innings since coming over to the Diamondbacks. They’re 1-9 in his starts for them.

Lineup:

Van Slyke could be forgiven if he’s distracted or sleepy. His wife Audrey gave birth to their second son, Eli, early Thursday morning.