“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.
And it starts with the announcement that nine Dodgers are officially free agents. Justin Turner and Kenley Jansen top the list, followed by by starting pitchers Rich Hill and Brett Anderson, relievers Joe Blanton, J.P. Howell and Jesse Chavez, outfielder Josh Reddick and second baseman Chase Utley. Scott Kazmir and Carlos Ruiz could join the list depending on their respective opt-outs.
My personal opinion? Keeping Turner and Jansen should be management’s first priority. After that it’s mixed. I doubt they’ll keep Utley. I think I’d keep Blanton and Howell, I’d try to keep Hill, and I’d watch Reddick and Chavez go.
The Dodgers continue their playoffs’ 4th-starter auditions with LHP Scott Kazmir (10-6, 4.59 ERA), who’s been on the shelf since August 22 with thoracic spinal inflammation. He’ll face the Rockies’ RHP Jon Gray (10-8, 4.42 ERA), who threw a shutout in his last start, striking out 16 Padres in the process. Kazmir beat the Rockies on July 2, going six scoreless innings and giving up just three hits. Gray has made five starts against the Dodgers and gone 2-2 with a 3.38 ERA, but the losses have both come at Dodger Stadium, where he’ll pitch tonight.
This will be opening night of a weekend celebration of Vin Scully:
Lefty Scott Kazmir (10-6, 4.41 ERA) takes the mound for the Dodgers in this getaway day game, and Homer Bailey (2-1, 3.66 ERA) does the honors for the Reds. Kazmir hasn’t gotten an out in the seventh inning since July 30 and he’s walked 10 in his last 16 1/3 innings. This will be Bailey’s fifth start of the year as he’s been recovering from Tommy John surgery most of the season. He hasn’t made it into the seventh inning yet.
The Giants have the day off while the Dodgers play. One hopes it doesn’t help them prepare too well for the opener between the two teams Tuesday night in Los Angeles.
Somebody post the lineup in comments when the game starts.
Veteran Scott Kazmir (9-6, 4.44 ERA) pitches for the Dodgers and rookie Jake Thompson (1-1, 8.68 ERA) goes for the Phillies. Kazmir’s last start was a quality one in which he took the loss; he left with two men on and the bullpen gave up a home run to score them. This will be Thompson’s third big league start; in his first one he went 4 1/3 innings against the Padres and gave up seven runs, and in his second he went five innings and gave up three runs.
Tonight’s Dodger lineup at Phillies: Utley 2B Seager SS Turner 3B Reddick RF González 1B Grandal C Pederson CF Kendrick LF Kazmir P
Scott Kazmir (9-5, 4.51 ERA) goes for the Dodgers against Jeremy Hellickson (9-7, 3.72 ERA) for the Phillies. Worrisome stat: Kazmir has made 22 starts for the Dodgers and hasn’t gotten past the sixth inning in 12 of them. Hellickson, on the other hand, has gotten through the sixth in all but one of his last ten starts and in two-thirds of all his starts this season.
Today’s Dodger lineup vs. Phillies: Utley 2B Reddick RF Seager SS González 1B Grandal C Pederson CF Kendrick LF Segedin 3B Kazmir P
Former University of Hawai’i pitcher Steven Wright (12-5, 3.20 ERA) goes for the Sox and Scott Kazmir (9-4, 4.41 ERA) goes for the Dodgers. When Wright pitched for UH he didn’t throw the knuckleball, which is what his bread-and-butter pitch has become. This will be his first start against the Dodgers, while it will be Kazmir’s 30th start against the Red Sox thanks to all the time he spent with the Rays.
The Dodgers and Sox met once in the World Series in 1916, when some guy named Ruth won Game Two by outpitching Sherry Smith in 14 innings. Smith did hold the Babe hitless in the 13 innings he pitched. Other than that, they’ve played just twelve times between 1901-2016.
The Dodgers will honor the Sox’ retiring Big Papi, David Ortiz, before the game. I have no idea why. I don’t begrudge him the accolades, but it’s not like he or his team are hated enemies that the Dodgers play multiple times a year and he’s been mashing against them. That’s a guy you’d want to say “Bye! Good luck! Glad you can’t hurt us anymore!” to. For example, if Paul Goldschmidt were to retire, or Matt Holliday, or Hunter Pence, I’d be quite happy to see them off.
Lineup when available.
Tonight’s Dodger lineup vs. Red Sox: Utley 2B Seager SS Turner 3B Reddick RF González 1B Grandal C Kendrick LF Pederson CF Kazmir P
The Dodgers send Scott Kazmir (9-3, 4.35 ERA) out to face the D-Backs’ Braden Shipley (0-1, 10.13 ERA). Kazmir’s W-L record is deceptive; he’s not pitched quite as well as that would indicate. This will be Shipley’s second big league start; he gave up three homers to the Brewers in his first start. It was a three-run shot by Martin Maldonado which ended his outing.
A-Gon is one dinger shy of 300 for his career, and this will be Kazmir’s first time facing Arizona since 2006.
Utley 2B Seager SS Turner 3B Gonzalez 1B Kendrick LF Grandal C Toles RF Pederson CF Kazmir P
Wily veteran Scott Kazmir (8-3, 4.30 ERA) pitches for the Dodgers in the rubber match of this three game series against a longtime (like, 1890 longtime) enemy. The Dodgers have gone 8-3 in Kazmir’s last 11 starts, and he’s had a 3.84 ERA during that stretch. The Cardinals are asking a rookie named Mike Mayers to make his ML debut tonight. He’s 8-5 with a 2.62 ERA between AA and AAA ball this season, so he’s not chum thrown to the sharks.
A tale of two pitching staffs: Mayers will be the sixth starter for the Cardinals all season long. The Dodgers have used a dozen.
Lineup when available.
Tonight's Dodger lineup at Cardinals: Utley 2B Seager SS Turner 3B González 1B Kendrick LF Grandal C Toles RF Pederson CF Kazmir P