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.
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.
Woot! Justin Turner hitting cleanup!
Dodgers at Cubs, 10:05AM PT, TV: Fox
This is a battle of fourth or fifth starters. Roberto Hernandez starts for the Dodgers and Felix Doubront will start for the Cubs. Hernandez has fallen on hard times after starting out well when the Dodgers picked him up in early August. Three of his first four outings were quality starts, but he hasn’t gotten past 4 1/3 innings in any of his last three appearances. Worse, 6 of the 16 hits he’s given up in the latest starts have been home runs.
Doubront has been in the majors since 2011 but only with the Cubs since July of this year. He’s 4-5 with a 5.00 ERA in 2014, but his last start was a six-inning four-hit no-run performance against the playoff-contending Pirates.
Jon Weisman put together some statistics which show that the Dodgers have a much better offense than many of us think. It’s hard to argue with the numbers, so why do we so often feel like they aren’t very good at scoring runs? Anyway, go look at his bullet points and try to ingest them.
Lineup when available.
Dodgers at Rockies, 5:40PM PT, TV: SPNLA
Roberto Hernandez will start for the Dodgers, hoping he can get his groove back. In his last four starts he’s 1-3 with a 6.38 ERA. The Rockies counter with Christian Bergman, who’ll make his eighth big league start. He’s 2-3 with a 4.89 ERA, but his last two starts have been quality ones.
It’s looking like Carlos Frias will make the Wednesday start against the Rockies in place of Hyun-Jin Ryu. Ryu’s having an MRI today, and that result may determine when or if he pitches again this season. With that in doubt, Don Mattingly says it’s likely the Dodgers will add a pitcher to the roster.
In good news for Los Angeles Dodgers fans who want to see the team on TV, the last six games of the season will be shown on an independent station. Time Warner
said Monday that it has reached a deal with KDOC, which is carried by every cable, satellite and telco provider in Southern California and can be received over the air with an antenna.
Time Warner Cable chief operating officer Dinni Jain says the company will continue to work on long-term agreements with other providers during the offseason to carry SportsNet LA, which televises Dodgers games.
Uh-huh. If you couldn’t get a deal done during the season while the games were being played, why do you think you’ll be able to when there’s no product on your network that fans desperately want to see?
Padres at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FSSD
Roberto Hernandez attempts to get his game back in order after struggling his last three starts, going 1-2 with a 6.46 ERA and .322 batting average against. He’ll face Andrew Cashner, who’s making his fourth start since hitting the disabled list with right shoulder soreness. In his previous three starts back, he is 0-1 with a 2.50 ERA.
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.
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.
Nationals at Dodgers, 5:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, MLBN
Two division leaders open a three-game series tonight. The Nats beat the Dodgers 2 of 3 at Nationals Park in May.
Roberto Hernandez, who’s made four mostly-good starts for the Dodgers after coming over from the Phillies, will pitch for the West Coast team. He’s 2-1 with a 3.52 ERA in those games. While pitching for the Phillies Hernandez allowed Washington one unearned run in 15 innings. Overall he’s 8-9 with a 3.81 ERA. He’ll be opposed by Gio Gonzalez, who’s 6-8 with a 3.56 ERA. Gonzalez didn’t pitch against the Dodgers in the May series.
Dan Haren was originally scheduled to start for the Dodgers on Wednesday but will now start on Friday. Rookie right-hander Carlos Frias will likely start on Wednesday.
Lineup when available.
Dodgers at Padres, 5:40PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FSSD, MLB.tv free game
Zack Greinke brings his presumably-recovering elbow to the mound to face the Padres at Petco Park for the first time this season. He beat the San Diegans on April 1 at Dodger Stadium in his only time facing them this year. Greinke is 13-8 with a 2.79 ERA. Ian Kennedy of the Padres, on the other hand, will face the Dodgers for the fifth time this season. He was the losing pitcher in the Greinke game on April Fool’s Day, in fact. Kennedy is 10-11 with a 3.75 ERA.
In player news, Hyun-Jin Ryu will come off the DL tomorrow and pitch against San Diego. Roberto Hernandez will now pitch on Monday against the Nationals. Mattingly says the matchups make sense, since Ryu has given up only one run to the Padres in 19 innings this year. Hernandez has allowed Washington one unearned run in 15 innings this year. Scott Van Slyke’s ankle isn’t nearly as bad as it looked when he first turned it the other night, as should have been obvious since he was sent up to pinch-hit last night.
Lineup when available.
I don’t know whether it was oversight or Hanley talking his way into the lineup, but the original one had Rojas at short hitting 7th.
Dodgers at Diamondbacks, 6:40PM PT, TV: SPNLA
Roberto Hernandez makes his fourth start for the Dodgers and Trevor Cahill starts for the D-Backs. Hernandez is 1-1 with a 3.18 ERA in three starts for the Dodgers, while Cahill is 2-0 with a 2.33 ERA in August after returning from the minors in July.
To make room for the reinstated-from-the-DL Hanley Ramirez the Dodgers optioned Erisbel Arruebarrena to Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga, but they expect to bring him back up when rosters can expand September 1.
For scoreboard watchers, Rockies at Giants, 7:10PM PT, TV: CSN-BA
Padres at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, ESPN, FSSD
ESPN’s Wednesday Night Baseball late game features Roberto Hernandez making his third start for the Dodgers and looking for his second win for the team. He’ll face Eric Stults, who is 2-0 with a 1.37 ERA in three starts this month.
The Padres have averaged the most runs per game (4.57) in the National League since the All-Star break.
Gordon gets a night off tonight. Darwin Barney will start at 2nd base for him. Crawford had a huge night last night, so he gets tonight off as well (?). Van Slyke will take his place in LF.
Update: The Giants won their protest that last night’s game shouldn’t have been declared a complete game loss for them because the Cubs’ ground crew didn’t get the tarp on properly and thus rendered the field unplayable when the umps tried to restart the game. They claimed that not enough was done to dry the infield. It will be resumed in the fifth inning at 2:05PM PT Thursday before the regularly-scheduled game begins at 5:05PM PT.