The Dodgers were expected to spend WHATEVER IT COSTS to retain the services of Zack Greinke. Absent Greinke, or maybe even with Greinke, the Dodgers were expected to acquire one of the other big-time pitchers out there: David Price or Johnny Cueto.
Greinke signed with the Diamondbacks, Price with the Red Sox, and Cueto with the Giants. Ergo, the Dodgers had (or are having) a lousy winter. Right?
Before exploring that question in some detail, we should start with this salient fact: The Dodgers won 92 games last season.
Thank you, Mr. Neyer. The pundits and fans do somehow forget the team has won three titles in a row, and only two of them were Greinke-aided. It can survive without him.
Neyer points out that the Dodgers re-signed Anderson, who was pretty good and figures to be close to that again. They signed Kazmir, who figures to be better than Anderson. They signed Maeda, who only has to be an average pitcher for him to replace the 12 guys who tried to fill that role at the back end of the rotation last year. They also still have Wood, who’s young and whose history is better than his performance with the Dodgers last season. They’ll get Ryu back, and we don’t know yet how complete his recovery might be. Finally, they’ll get McCarthy back mid-season, and if he’s recovered most of his form that will be the equivalent of getting a mid-season trade for a starter done without giving up a player or two.
Neyer thinks the Dodgers will be pretty good this season. So do I.
Now that the Red Sox have gone berserk with their money and given 30-year-old David Price a contract worth $217 million over the next seven years, how much will the Dodgers have to bid to retain Zack Greinke’s services? He might get the same annual compensation as Price but for a shorter time period, since Zack is 2 years older.
Zack Greinke now expected to sign with #Dodgers or #Giants by the end of the week on a 5- or 6-year deal. The #Dodgers still the favorites
No new hire to replace Mattingly yet. I suspect (hope?) the Dodgers won’t step on the World Series by announcing a new manager in the midst of the games. Remember 2007 when Scott Boras announced that Alex Rodriguez, his client, was going to opt out of his contract with the Yankees in the middle of Game Four?
Should the Dodgers keep Puig? Will they sign Greinke? Can Pederson find a hitting stroke? Who’s gonna play second base? Will Ryu, McCarthy and possibly Arroyo recover? Can Alex Wood become an effective pitcher? Will Bolsinger improve?
Buster Olney of ESPN offers up seven things the Dodgers should do this off-season.
Re-sign Zack Greinke, no matter how much he wants or how long he wants it for
Decide on Mattingly’s fate
Add another deluxe starting pitcher
Decide Puig’s fate.
Keep Howie Kendrick
Shore up the bullpen
Change the clubhouse culture
On Puig: Olney reports that on the day Puig started in the series against the Mets he caught the last bus from the hotel, he didn’t start the stretch period with the rest of the team and he didn’t take as many cuts in the batting cage as usual. He thinks the Dodgers need to decide whether Yasiel’s “quirks” can be lived with and if so, they need to get the other players to learn to live with them too.
Well, maybe. From what we’ve read in the media Puig does seem to have a little trouble with clocks, but he’s shown nothing to me that would indicate he’s not a team player.
On clubhouse culture: He says some players felt “unsettled because for others besides Kershaw and Adrian Gonzalez and a handful of others, there was no sense about who might be headed out the door and who might arrive. Some players spoke about a diminished sense of investment in each other.” Olney then says the Giants, Cardinals and Pirates all exude mutual respect and esprit de corps, and the Dodgers don’t have it.
Who’s to say? He’s certainly in a better position to know that than am I. I can certainly understand if some of the everyday players whose names no one but fans know might feel like they’re parts to be slotted in from day-to-day.
If you’ve got an Insider account at ESPN you can read the whole thing.
“This one’s for all the marbles.” “Win or go home.” “There’s no tomorrow for one of these teams.”
Those are clichés for a reason: they’re all true. Banal, trite, and eye-roll inducing, but true.
The Dodgers ask Zack Greinke to do what he’s done all year: hold the other team to fewer than three runs as he did in all but two starts and score more than that themselves. The Dodgers will have to get those runs off Jacob deGrom, who’s got a 3.66 ERA in three regular season starts against them, which shows he can be reached. In Game One, though, he was nearly unhittable, striking out 13 in seven shutout innings.
Turner is probable to start while Grandal is 50-50.
Lineup when available.
NLDS GM 5 #Dodgers lineup:
Down 1-0, the Cubs hope to bounce back with right-hander Kyle Hendricks (8-7, 3.95 ERA) going against the Cardinals’ lefty Jaime Garcia (10-6, 2.43 ERA). They would really like to see their Rookie-of-the-Year candidate Kris Bryant break out of his 3-for-30 slump in his last eight games. He’s never seen Garcia, but then only Starlin Castro of the Cubs has: the last time Garcia pitched against Chicago was in 2012. The Cardinals have seen quite a bit of the Cubs’ Hendricks, and some of them have done quite well against him.
The Dodgers send Zack Greinke (19-3, 1.66 ERA) to stop the Mets and their rookie righthander Noah Syndergaard (9-7, 3.24 ERA). The Dodgers’ hitting is not firing on all cylinders, and some of that can be laid at the feet of the Mets’ de Grom last night. They have to get untracked today or they go to New York down two games to none with the prospect of having to win three straight to advance to the NLCS.
Zack Greinke looks to lower his ERA even further, win his nineteenth game and fend of Jake Arrietta’s late charge for the NL Cy Young Award. What more needs to be said about him? His opponent will be lefty Robbie Erlin, who’s 1-1 with a 6.30 ERA. He’s made two appearances for the Padres this season, both starts. The first was against Colorado; he went three innings and gave up nine hits and seven runs, all earned. His next start was against the Diamondbacks; he went seven innings and gave up two hits and no runs.
The Nationals beat the Mets 3-1 in the opening game of their doubleheader, which puts the Dodgers a full game up on the Mets in the race for home field advantage.
Lineup when available.
A Puig sighting!
Tonight's #Dodgers lineup:
With the Dodgers’ magic number stuck on two, it would relieve a lot of their fans if they won this game and dispensed with the suspense. To that end they send out odds-on Cy Young favorite Zack Greinke, who’s 18-3 with a microscopic 1.65 ERA to face Jake Peavy, who’s 7-6 with a 3.83 ERA. Greinke skipped his last start with a sore calf but pitched his usual bullpen session on Friday and is thought to be fine. Peavy has been a Dodger-killer in the past if you look at his record (14-3 with a 2.42 ERA in 28 career starts against them), but those numbers were amassed with a different team and facing different players on the Dodgers; I’m not persuaded those kinds of statistics mean much.
I’m sure the Dodgers will be just fine, because they have:
This is another battle of lefthanders. Clayton Kershaw has won nine of his last ten starts with a 1.17 ERA during that stretch. He’s 14-7 with a 2.18 ERA overall. He’s only pitched against the D-Backs once this season, back on April 11, and they got five runs off him in 6 1/3 innings. His opponent will be Patrick Corbin, who’s 6-4 with a 2.99 ERA. He lost to the Dodgers on September 13, giving up eight hits and two runs in six innings. That was the Greinke game in which Kenley Jansen gave up a 3-run HR to Saltalamacchia in the ninth with two outs, making it a lot closer game than it had been.
Lineup when available.
Today's #Dodgers lineup:
Van Slyke 1B
Kershaw P #whiff
The Diamondbacks start Chase Anderson (6-6, 4.52 ERA) against the perennial All Star To Be Determined (as of 1:45PM PT). Anderson is taking the place of Rubby De La Rosa, who’s had a tough time with the Dodgers this season (0-3, 11.21 ERA).