Apr 21

Game 20, 2014

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

It’s the Fightin’ Phils’ Cliff Lee (2-2, 4.00 ERA) against the Dodgers’ Paul Maholm (0-1, 4.97 ERA).

If we’re to take MLB’s Preview as gospel, the Dodgers should just forfeit.

Of his four big-name outfielders, Carl Crawford’s .212 (7-for-33) lifetime mark against Lee is the best of the bunch. Yasiel Puig is 1-for-7 vs. the lefty; Andre Ethier is 0-for-11 with five strikeouts; Matt Kemp, who generally wears out lefties, is 1-for-18 with 11 whiffs.

How’s Scott Van Slyke? He’s 0-for-5 with three strikeouts against Lee.

Jeff Passan wrote a good editorial column exhorting MLB to take action to better control the way Cuban athletes are allowed into this country when defecting. He rightly calls the current system a form of human trafficking.

Dodger Insider has a fascinating little story about the Dodgers’ franchise official win total: Elias Sports Bureau has it at 9,997 including the twelve wins this year, while the official Dodgers’ records have it at 9,984 including those wins. The discrepancy is owed to wins achieved with the help of an ineligible player in 1899 (!).

Lineup when available.

Apr 17

Game 16, 2014

Dodgers at Giants, 12:45PM PST, TV: SPNLA.

One of the two de facto aces on the Dodgers staff while Kershaw’s out, Hyun-Jin Ryu brings his 2 – 1 record and his 2.57 ERA to this game. He’ll face Madison Bumgarner, who has a 2 – 0 record with a 3.31 ERA as well as a hot bat. He hit a grand slam and drove in five runs in his last outing.

Mattingly is going with an all right-handed outfield against Bumgarner, saving Ethier and Crawford for pinch-hitting duty.

Apr 06

Game Eight, 2014

Giants at Dodgers, 5:00PM PST, ESPN2.

Zack Greinke goes for the Dodgers and Matt Cain goes for the Giants. Oddly, they have identical ERAs of 3.60 for the young season. Greinke has a win and Cain has no record.

Lineup:

Hmm. No Puig. From a tweet an hour after the lineup was posted: “Don Mattingly: Yasiel Puig is on his way to get an MRI. We don’t expect it to be anything major. X-rays were negative.”

Apr 05

Ease up on Puig

So says Dan Le Batard of ESPN the Magazine.

Puig is still young, man, and he’s going to do young-man things, no matter our sensibilities. According to ESPN The Magazine’s Tim Keown — and there have been precious few illuminating profiles written about this sports star, the American media machine still somehow having trouble climbing over the language barrier even as our country browns like a pie crust — Puig’s favorite entertainment viewing is “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.” There are very mature adults, celebrities in that part of the world, who can’t handle Hollywood’s vices and excess, and they are not 23, and they are not new to this culture, and they aren’t being asked to carry a baseball team with Magic Johnson as the owner and an $8 billion television contract, and they are not watching “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.”

It’s a good column. Don’t read the comments unless you want to read a whole bunch of privileged wannabes moralizing about the kid who oughtta know better. Le Batard’s point is simple: “how could he know better? He’s been here less than a year; he grew up on an island which has food shortages, dilapidated cars, and few people who could explain America to him. Give him a break.”

Apr 04

Game Six, 2014

Today is the home opener for the Dodgers, and it’s against their fellow migrants from New York, the San Francisco Giants, also known as “the hated enemy.”

First, we get the news that Matt Kemp will start in center field. Second, we learn that that was not the original plan, but that Mattingly changed the lineup to try to get the message across to Yasiel Puig that being late costs playing time.

It’s Ryu v. Vogelsong at 1:10PM PST on SPNLA or in Northern California on CSN-BA.

Due to a quirk in the schedule, this will be Ryu’s third start in five games, all on normal or better rest.

Paul Maholm and Zack Greinke will start Saturday and Sunday for the Dodgers, while rehabbing right-hander Josh Beckett will pitch in a Minor League game Friday.

Maholm was signed to be insurance if fifth starter Beckett wasn’t fully healed from thoracic outlet syndrome surgery. Beckett’s recovery, however, was complicated by a bruised right hand suffered in the clubhouse in Spring Training. This will be Maholm’s first start of the season.

Beckett will pitch for Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga. Greinke, who pitched five innings for a win Tuesday, will be pitching on normal rest.

Lineup:

Update: According to SI, “Puig thought he was supposed to be at the park at 10 AM PT, when he was actually supposed to be there in time for a stretch at 9:40 AM.” Okay, that’s a lot less annoying than I thought it might be. I was expecting that he’d underestimated traffic and hadn’t left his home on time, which in my world is unacceptable (I’m ten minutes early for everything).

Mar 06

Puig dives, recovers, hits cutoff man, gets assist

Two of the most exciting players in baseball combined for one heckuva play this afternoon when Mike Trout hit a ball to Yasiel Puig in center field. Puig dove inadvisedly, but then retrieved the ball from the wall and threw a strike to Hanley Ramirez who relayed the ball on one hop to A.J. Ellis, who stayed off to one side and tagged Trout as he attempted to score on an inside-the-park home run.

Thank heaven for video. I’ve have been very sorry to miss this play.

Update: Two video highlights in one day! Scott van Slyke hit the Dodgers’ second grand slam in two days after Guerrero did it yesterday:

Update II: The MLB Network did a “30 Clubs in 30 Days” tour during this year’s Spring Training, and here’s the Dodgers’ episode at Camelback Ranch. Click the Wilson video if only to see his hair (not beard, hair).

Dec 18

Puig! Puig! Puig!

Okay, that’s overdone. Nonetheless, here’s some video of the young man performing his offseason workout.

Update: Puig has been arrested in Florida for reckless driving, going 110 mph on I-75 on the West-East section of the road known as Alligator Alley.

That can’t make the Dodgers very happy. Reckless driving endangers more than just the driver, it endangers others on the road. They need to get this kid’s driving habits under control before he hurts himself or someone else. He was charged with a similar infraction back in April of this year but the charges were dismissed.

Mar 26

Option day

As Dale mentioned in the comments below, the Dodgers optioned Dee Gordon to Albuquerque today and sent Yasiel Puig to AA Chattanooga, saying both players need more time to play regularly.

In addition, the team announced that Hyun-Jin Ryu will start Game Two of the season on April 2 against the Giants. Kershaw will pitch Opening Day April 1st, Josh Beckett will pitch Game Three and Zack Greinke will pitch Game Four. Chad Billingsley will pitch a minor league game Friday, March 29 and will go into the rotation after the first four pitch. There’s an off day after each of the first two three-game series the Dodgers play, so there will be a slot for Billingsley in one of those six games.

Update: The Dodger Stadium Express shuttle will run from Union Station downtown to the stadium: “. . . for the first time, a dedicated bus lane on Sunset Boulevard has been established that should speed up the process. Game-day tickets will be honored as payment to ride the service and the shuttle operates 90 minutes before first pitch and 45 minutes after the game.”

Update: Jon posits that there are never too many starters on the staff, so the Dodgers shouldn’t be in a hurry to trade any of the current overabundance.

The last thing the Dodgers should do is rush into a low-value trade of one of their excess starting pitchers – Chris Capuano, Aaron Harang or Ted Lilly – just so they can make room for a Wall or Kevin Gregg in the back of their bullpen.

Absolutely. Better to keep the veterans up and the rookies down unless there’s a fantastic opportunity to fill a hole in the infield, and what are the odds any team in the majors has that much interest in any of these three serviceable but not spectacular pitchers?