Throw ‘em into the fire now or give ‘em another year? It’s a question more and more teams are facing. With the Dodgers, it’s 20-year-old Cory Seager at shortstop. The cons, as determined by Richard Justice:
- He’s 20 years old.
- He’s played only 38 games above Class A.
- He’s scary good.
- He’s passed every test so far
The Mets, Twins and Giants are facing similar decisions.
Obviously it’s a gamble. Sometimes it pays off, as when the Orioles brought up a 20-year-old named Cal Ripken in August of 1981. Probably more often than not it fails, or at least the kid has to go back down to the minors for more seasoning. Given the dearth of big league players looking for short-term deals (because the Dodgers don’t want to block Seager for years), they may decide they don’t have much choice.
Update: Vinnie turns 86 tomorrow. A couple of years ago ESPN celebrated his 84th birthday with a sequence of what it picked as his top five calls:
Arrgh! Say it ain’t so!
But it is so.
Scully said he has decided to skip road games, at least early in the season. In addition to the Dodgers’ home games, the 86-year-old Scully currently travels with the team to Anaheim, Arizona, San Diego and San Francisco.
“I’m going to go to Anaheim for sure,” Scully said Tuesday night. “But I’m going to try to cut back on nights on the road. I really want to spend more time at home.”
Enjoy him while we’ve got him, folks.
Between the top and bottom of the 2nd inning tonight the Dodgers put this video on Dodgervision in centerfield:
Even had the Dodgers lost, this would have taken the edge off. Winning their fourth game in a row for the first time all season made it even better.
Today brings a couple of nice long-form pieces about the Dodgers and their family:
Here’s a wonderful profile of Vin Scully from Cee Angi at SB Nation.
And Jon W. has written about Yasiel Puig and his predecessors in supposed “uniqueness” in MLB. Jon argues that there have been plenty of guys who, when they first came up, were viewed in the same jaundiced way that Puig was last year after committing some of his baserunning mistakes and non-cutoff-man throwing “errors.”
White Sox (!) at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA
It will be Clayton Kershaw (3-2, 3.57 ERA) for the Dodgers and Jose Quintana (3-4, 3.61 ERA) for the Sox. This will also be the Dodgers’ and their fans’ first opportunity to see the Pale Hose’s exciting rookie, 27-year-old Jose Abreu. He was the American League’s Player and Rookie of the Month for April of this year, but he’s been on the DL with a left ankle injury for the past two weeks.
Abreu and the Dodgers’ Puig know each other very well. They played together for Cienfuegos in the Cuban League a couple of years back. He also knows young Erisbel Arruebarrena, who’s currently holding down a spot on the Dodgers’ bench.
Lineup when available.
After yesterday’s excitement, the season goes on at a slightly lower level.
Reds at Dodgers, 5:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA
The Reds send Johnny Cueto to the hill. He’s 4-3 with a 1.86 ERA this season, coming off a bad outing in which he gave up six runs on six hits in 5 1/3 innings in a loss to the Nationals. The Dodgers counter with lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu, who’s 4-2 with a 3.00 ERA. In his last start he went six innings and gave up two runs to the Mets, winning 4-3.
In an attempt to get Matt Kemp’s bat into the lineup without harming the defense, Mattingly is going to start him in left field for a while. In eight-plus years in the major leagues he’s averaged four errors per season, and he’s already got that many in just 39 games this year. And that doesn’t count the balls he’s not gotten to or taken bad routes on.
“Here’s where we’re going with Matt,” Mattingly said on Sunday morning after he put Andre Ethier in center for a third consecutive game. “We’re going to start working Matt a little bit in left field. We’re going to continue to work him in center. We’re just feeling like we’re giving him time to really get healthy. Not that’s he’s not healthy, but give him a chance to get all the way back.”
Kemp, who missed only 11 games from 2008-11, missed 145 games from 2012-13 due to injuries. He is currently hitting .264 with 13 doubles, five home runs and 13 RBIs in 42 games this season.
Lineup when available.
Update: Video from the Dodgers – Team Australia game (won 4 – 2 by the Dodgers). Puig ties the game at 2 – 2.
Steve Dilbeck at the LAT has dug up the incriminating KTLA interview Vin did with Mike Piazza before he was traded to Florida which Piazza has claimed permanently damaged Piazza’s reputation with the LA fans. I dunno, but I don’t hear Vin saying anything which Piazza objected to at the time, and certainly nothing which would have sent the fans into fits of outrage.
PRIME TICKET will televise games Feb. 25 against the Cubs, Feb. 28 against the Angels, March 7 against Texas and March 18 against Arizona. Scully will be at the microphone for all four games. The Dodgers previously announced that Scully would handle KCAL 9 games on March 17 against Milwaukee and March 26 against Colorado.
At ESPN LA, Daniel Braunstein has written a combined look back/look forward post about the just-completed season.
Also at ESPN LA there’s an unsigned (but probably Mark Saxon-written) post putting a letter-grade on the infield’s performance for the season. Hint: you’d probably not be promoted to the next grade if you got the one he assigned.
Roberto Baly has a lot of links at Vin Scully is my Homeboy, including a podcast of Vin Scully on AM570 radio.
Via Roberto comes this link to a Ken Gurnick story which informs us that Yasiel Puig had a staph infection in his elbow requiring surgery. It’ll take three to five weeks to rehab and it means he’ll miss the Arizona Fall League.