Andrew Friedman needs to rethink his strategy. Instead of being reluctant and hoping the roster pans out for another year, there has to be some benefit in going and making the changes you need to make to get the roster to the promise land. After two years of reserved salary acquisition, the Dodgers roster is cheap enough that the team should be going all out for a trophy.
Yasmani Grandal on the other hand, is the best catcher left on the market.
While passed balls became an issue behind the plate towards the end of the season, Grandal is still a better backstop than 95% of the catchers in the league and he could be primed for a nice bounce back season in 2019, especially if the Dodgers get him back on a one year deal. Then he would help bridge the gap to Keibert Ruiz in 2020, while re-establishing his own market before hitting free agency again at the end of next season.
Because of their relative frugality last year, the Dodgers will be penalized as first-time offenders if their payroll for next season exceeds the luxury-tax threshold. And because they traded Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp to the Cincinnati Reds, they can take on another outfielder.
So where’s Bryce Harper?
Hernandez argues that the fans expect and deserve better than this sudden apparent unwillingness to spend on payroll given the higher ticket prices and inability to watch Dodgers’ games on television, among other things.
Over at MLB Trade Rumors Connor Byrne notes the recent Times story about Yasiel Puig’s ostensible “disgruntlement” about his diminished playing time last year. He also speculates about a Matt Kemp trade, but wonders how and to whom that might happen. So do I. I can’t imagine another NL team wanting the Bison, a 34-year-old outfielder who had an excellent first half of last year but then fell off drastically at the midpoint of the season. He did win the Players’ Choice Comeback Player of the Year Award in 2018 but was beaten out for the MLB one by Atlanta’s LHP Jonny Venters. He could be a useful DH for an American League team.
Here’s a wonderful Christmas gift idea. You can purchase it at ALL BLUEA for $28.99-$34.99.
I imagine MLB hoped that the Giants and Dodgers would be fighting it out for the NL West title when they scheduled this series. They got it half-right. The Dodgers need to win all three games and hope the Nationals can take two of three from the Rockies if they hope to win the division. Otherwise it’s a cat’s cradle of possibilities with wild card games, tiebreakers to get into wild card games, and who knows what else.
Tonight the Dodgers ask LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (6-3, 2.00 ERA) to keep them in the game until they can either get to LHP Madison Bumgarner (6-6, 3.20 ERA) or knock him out. Both of these pitchers have spent lengthy amounts of time on the disabled list this season, and Ryu has done better since his return than has Bumgarner. Ryu has given up no more than three unearned runs in any of his fourteen starts this year including eight since his recovery. Bumgarner has a 1-1 record with a 5.48 ERA for the month of September.
On this day in Dodgers’ history:
1924 Rogers Hornsby finishes the season with a .424 batting average to lead the National League. The Cardinal second baseman easily outdistances Zack Wheat, who finishes second in the race, batting .375 for the Dodgers.
1952 On the last day of the season at Ebbets Field, the Braves’ 77 years of representing Boston is extended by three innings when Eddie Mathews’ ninth-inning, two-out double ties the game. The contest is called due to darkness and ends in the 12th inning in a 5-5 tie with the Dodgers.
1955 In the bottom of the second inning, Elston Howard, in his first World Series at-bat, knots the score at 2-2 when he homers off Dodgers’ right-hander Don Newcombe. The round-tripper to deep left field at Yankee Stadium marks the first time a black batter has hit a home run off a black pitcher in the history of the Fall Classic.
1959 The Braves, who ended the National League regular season in a first-place tie with the Dodgers, lose Game 1 of the three-game series, 3-2, in front of a sparse crowd of 18,297 at County Stadium. Milwaukee will lose tomorrow’s game in L.A., spoiling their chance for a three-peat as NL Champs.
1966 At Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Larry Jaster throws a four-hitter, blanking Don Sutton and the Dodgers, 2-0. It’s the southpaw’s fifth shutout against LA this season, equaling a post-1900 major league mark held by the Senators’ Tom Hughes (against the Indians in 1905) and Grover Cleveland Alexander of the Phillies (against the Reds in 1916).
1988 In his last start of the regular season, Dodger Orel Hershiser tosses 10 shutout frames to extend his streak to 59, breaking Don Drysdale’s record of 58 consecutive scoreless innings.
1997 With his 40th home run, catcher Mike Piazza sets a single season Los Angeles Dodger record. Duke Snider holds the franchise record, slugging 43 round-trippers for Brooklyn in 1956.
2003 At Turner Field in Atlanta, Jose Reyes becomes the second Mets player to hit a home run from both sides of the plate in one game. Lee Mazzilli was the first when he went yard twice against the Dodgers in LA on September 3, 1978.
2006 At Coors Field in Colorado, James Loney collects four hits, including two homers, and drives in nine runs in the Dodgers’ 19-11 victory over the Rockies. The rookie first baseman, who had one homer and eight runs batted in in 93 previous at-bats with the team, ties the franchise RBI mark set by Gil Hodges in his 1950 four-homer game for Brooklyn and breaks the Los Angeles club mark held by Ron Cey.
The Dodgers send RHP Walker Buehler (7-5, 2.74 ERA) to the hill to face RHP Matt Koch (5-5, 4.26 ERA) in Game Two of a crucial series. In Buehler’s last start he went six innings and struck out 12 while giving up just three hits and two unearned runs in a game won by the Dodgers on a seventh-inning pinch-hit home run by Yasiel Puig. Koch is taking the place of Clay Buchholz, who’s out for the year with a strained flexor tendon. Koch’s last start was on September 13. He lasted just three innings, giving up eight hits and four runs and taking the loss.
This day in Dodgers’ history:
1941 Combined with a Cardinal defeat, the Dodgers win their first pennant in 21 years when they beat Boston at Braves Field, 6-0. Whitlow Wyatt throws a five-hitter and Pete Reiser hits a homer in the winning cause.
1956 Dodger right-hander Sal Maglie no-hits the Phillies at Ebbets Field, 5-0. The ‘Barber’s’ gem helps second-place Brooklyn to keep pace in the pennant race with Milwaukee and Cincinnati.
1962 After appearing in 60 games over a two-year span, Dodger reliever Ed Roebuck suffers his first loss. The LA right-hander gives up a 10th inning home run to Houston’s Al Spangler, breaking the 2-2 deadlock at Chavez Ravine.
1974 In the first-of-its-kind operation, Dr. Frank Jobe transplants a tendon from Tommy John’s right wrist to the Dodger pitcher’s left elbow. The revolutionary ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction, which will become a standard surgical procedure better known as Tommy John surgery, enables the southpaw to win an additional 164 games, more than half of his career total of 288 victories.
1996 Giants slugger Barry Bonds draws an intentional walk which gives him the National League record with 149 bases-on-balls in a season. The free pass is issued in the seventh inning by LA’s Mark Guthrie with two outs and a runner on third base in the team’s 7-5 loss at Dodger Stadium.
2008 The Diamondbacks, defending division champions, lose to St. Louis, 12-3, allowing the Dodgers to clinch the NL West. Los Angeles first-year skipper Joe Torre’s 13-year postseason streak continues, unlike the Yankees, his former team.
LHP Derek Holland (6-8, 3.57 ERA) goes for the Giants in their attempt to sweep the Dodgers, who’ll counter with their fresh-off-the-DL lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu (3-0, 2.12 ERA). The Giants have won Holland’s last three starts, while Ryu has been shelved since May 2 with a left groin strain. He made two rehab starts and gave up seven hits and one earned run in nine innings.
MLB’s Will Leitch compiles a timeline of Puig’s on-field incidents over his career and concludes
We can argue all we want about Puig, what he’s like off the field, whether he rubs other players the wrong way. But on the field … the problems are rarely his fault, and the scuffles are usually started by other people. (And usually the Giants.) People always want to start something with Puig. But on the field, that’s on them, not him.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1914 Brooklyn’s Jake Daubert sets a National League record with four sacrifices in one game. The first baseman’s efforts aren’t enough when the Dodgers drop an 8-7 decision to Philadelphia at Ebbets Field.
1926 When Babe Herman doubles with the bases loaded, three Dodgers wind up on third base. The runner on second rounds third but decides to go back as the runner from first reaches the same base, and a few seconds later Herman slides in to join his two teammates.
1951 With one out in the top of the eighth inning and a runner on third base in a 1-1 tied game, Willie Mays, running at full speed, makes an incredible catch of Carl Furillo’s drive to deep centerfield. After grabbing the ball, the rookie outfielder turns counterclockwise and throws a perfect strike to home to nail a surprised Billy Cox at home to complete the double play. Some believe the catch, in the Giants’ eventual 3-1 Polo Grounds victory over the Dodgers, is the impetus for the beginning of the team’s incredible comeback from an 11.5 game deficit to win the National League pennant.
2006 The Dodgers, with their 4-0 blanking of the Marlins, win their sixth consecutive game and 17th in the last 18 contests. The stretch is the team’s best run since the Brooklyn Superbas went 20-1 in 1899.
If any member of either team is awake enough to play well behind the two rested starting pitchers I’ll be surprised. The Dodgers send out their young righthander Walker Buehler (4-2, 3.45 ERA) to face the Phillies’ righty Jake Arrieta (7-6, 3.47 ERA). Buehler arrived in Philadelphia from Oklahoma City Tuesday. He’d been sent there as a roster move before the All Star break but didn’t pitch an inning for the team there on this latest visit. Arrieta started the year with two good months, going 5-2 in April and May. His June was awful: he lost four out of five starts. He’s bounced back in July to win two games and lose none so far.
Manager Dave Roberts says he expects Buehler “to stick around for a while.”
Injury updates were announced before Tuesday’s marathon. Tom Koehler is done for the year without throwing a pitch for the Dodgers. Puig and Baez are rehabbing in OKC and will be back for Thursday’s game in Atlanta, and Ryu is about to start rehabbing in the minors. The Dodgers expect him to make at least four starts before returning to the big club.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1962 At Sportsman’s Park, Stan Musial surpasses Giants’ legend Mel Ott as the National League’s all-time RBI leader. ‘Stan the Man’s’ two-run home run off Don Drysdale in a 5-2 loss to the Dodgers gives the Cardinals’ right fielder 1,862 career runs batted in with the Redbirds.
2017 The Dodgers defeat the Minnesota Twins to run their record to 70-31. Kenta Maeda gets his ninth win of the season and Josh Ravin posts his first save.
The Dodgers have beaten the Padres in six of nine meetings so far this season. Today they’ll send LHP Clayton Kershaw (2-4, 2.86 ERA) to the mound in hopes he’ll continue to recover from his two stints on the disabled list. He’ll face the Padres’ RHP Luis Perdomo (1-2, 6.86 ERA), who has made one start since coming back from a two-month stay in AAA El Paso with the Chihuahuas.
Source: #Orioles have mentioned Keibert Ruiz and Dustin May in talks with #Dodgers on a Manny Machado trade. (@BNightengale was first to link May and Baltimore.) L.A. is not likely to trade Ruiz for a rental. @MLBNetwork@MLB
The Dodgers and Yankees are promoting Muncy and Giancarlo Stanton as candidates for the ASG Final Vote.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1956 The BBWAA, by a narrow margin of 14-12, votes to establish the Cy Young Award to honor the major leagues’ most outstanding pitcher. Commissioner Ford Frick initiated the idea because he felt hurlers were not recognized in the MVP voting, but ironically the first recipient of the Cy Young Award, Dodger Don Newcombe, also won the Most Valuable Player Award.
1996 Mike Piazza, who will be named the All-Star Game’s MVP, hits a moon shot into the upper-deck at Philadelphia’s Veterans Stadium. The Dodger backstop also strokes an RBI double, helping the National League to beat the AL, 6-0.
Lineup when available.
As expected, Puig (probably) to DL. Toles in CF, Kemp in RF, Joc in LF.
The Pirates ask RHP Ivan Nova (4-5, 4.02) to stem the tide of Dodgers’ bats after last night’s swamping. He’s 2-0 with a 1.75 ERA over his four starts since he came off the DL. He’ll face the Dodgers’ LHP Clayton Kershaw (1-4, 2.84 ERA), who’ll be making his third start since coming off the DL himself. His last start on Thursday against the Cubs was very good; he went five innings, gave up four hits and struck out six. He then watched poor Walker Buehler throw a rehab stint at the major league level and get crushed as the bullpen gave up 9 runs and the Dodgers lost 11-5.
This date in Dodgers’ history:
1925 Milt Stock sets a National League mark by having his fourth consecutive four-hit game, going 16-for-23 during the span to compile a .696 batting average. The 31 year-old second baseman’s offensive output, which includes three singles and a triple, helps the Robins beat the Giants at Ebbets Field, 6-3.
1949 En route to a 16-0 shutout of the Dodgers at the Polo Grounds, starting pitcher Monte Kennedy hits a grand slam. Another 51 seasons will pass by before another Giants hurler hits a four-run homer when Shawn Estes accomplishes the feat in 2000.
1958 In their 35th home date in L.A., the transplanted Dodgers reach the one million mark in attendance. Last season, the team drew only 1,028,258 fans, playing in Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field.
2013 Yasiel Puig becomes the first player to be named Player of the Month for the first month he plays in the major leagues in the 55-year history of the award. The Dodger outfielder played in 26 games in June, compiling a .436 batting average, with his 44 base hits being the second-most ever by a first-month player, only behind Joe DiMaggio’s total of 48 in 1936.
Cubs at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PDT, TV: ESPN (out-of-market only), SPNLA, NBC Sports Chicago
The Cubs have called up RHP Duane Underwood (0-0, 0.00 ERA) to make his MLB debut. He’s gone 3-7 with a 4.27 ERA in 14 appearances for AAA Iowa of the PCL (the PCL? Iowa?) this season. He’ll face the Dodgers RHP Kenta Maeda (4-4, 3.84 ERA) in his third start back from a stint on the DL with a hip strain. He struggled last time out against these same Cubs, walking five in 3 2/3 innings and getting no decision.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1968 Bobby Bonds hits a grand slam in his third at-bat of his first major league game, going deep off Dodger right-hander John Purdin in the Giants’ 9-0 victory at Candlestick Park. The 22 year-old Giant outfielder joins Philadelphia National pitcher Bill Duggelby (1898 – first at-bat) as the only other player to hit a base-loaded home run in his major league debut.
1984 Dodger infielder Bill Russell plays his 1,953rd game to become the team’s leader in games played. The shortstop, who will extend the mark to 2181 during his 18-year tenure with the club, is hitless in three trips to the plate but will walk twice in LA’s 9-4 loss to San Diego at Chavez Ravine.
Old friend Edwin Jackson (now 34 years old!) has been called up to the As. His first appearance for them will tie Octavio Dotel for “Most different big league teams pitched for, career: 13.”
Yasiel Puig posed for ESPN The Magazine’s Body Issue. The posted pics are only semi-risqué.