This is an extremely pessimistic look at the Dodgers’ prospects this season from SI’s Tom Verducci. It’s hard to argue with much of it.
No team stands to lose more from the loss or truncation of the 2020 Major League Baseball season due to the coronavirus than the Dodgers. They may have traded three prospects to Boston for few or no games from Mookie Betts and his $27 million salary. As the team that draws half a million more fans than any other franchise, they are losing the most gate revenue. As the deepest team in baseball, their depth may be less valuable in a shorter season. And as the clear favorites in the National League West, their road to the postseason is more difficult as more games come off the schedule.
If there is a season it’s going to be a short one. With the pitching depth they have they might be best served by going to a six-man rotation, considering the possibility of more doubleheaders (did the Dodgers play even one over the last few years? I don’t remember any). In fact, Verducci says, “The six-man rotation, including a plethora of openers, is likely to be standard procedure for teams in a shorter season with expanded rosters.”
Roberts thinks getting baseball back when the science allows could be therapeutic for hospital patients and health-care workers and for the nation as a whole:
“You know, my father would tell stories of the family being huddled around a radio to listen to a game or around the TV for the one game of the week the family could watch. Lord willing, we can get this season in, and we’re playing and it’s broadcast into our homes to get back that feeling from decades in the past of families huddled around the TV watching America’s pastime.
RHP Dustin May (0-1, 3.18 ERA) takes the mound in Florida. He’ll face Hawai’i boy RHP Jordan Yamamoto (4-3, 4.17), who started off in the big leagues like a house afire but has cooled off in his last four outings: he’s given up four ER or more in each of those games. May will be making the third start of his career: he’s gone 5 2/3 innings in each of his first two, striking out ten and walking just one.
How good is the Dodgers’ rotation? So good that Kershaw is only the third-best pitcher in it. Partly because of that, the Dodgers are having their best season since they moved to Los Angeles. “But, but, the bullpen!” Well,
If there’s a weakness on this team, it’s clearly the bullpen, though having the ninth-best bullpen ERA (per Fangraphs) isn’t exactly the disaster the narrative around the relievers might have you think.
Here’s an excellent story about Walker Buehler from SI’s Tom Verducci. WBBsAs pointed it out in the comments to the previous post.
This date in Dodgers’ history:
1910 In a game which features each team having 38 at-bats, 13 hits, 12 assists, 2 errors, 5 strikeouts, 3 walks, 1 hit batsman, and 1 passed ball, the Pirates and the Superbas (later to be known as the Dodgers) play to what else – an 8-8 tie.
1951 Any fan who shows up with a musical instrument during the Dodgers’ Musical Depreciation Night is admitted free to the Ebbets Field contest against Boston. With an assortment of trumpets, trombones, zithers, tubas, accordions, bugles, flutes, various type of drums, violins, mandolins, assorted horns, a glockenspiel, a washboard, and a piano, 2,426 fans, which is about 10% of the total crowd, take advantage of the team’s unusual promotion.
1965 Dean Chance establishes an American League record when he fans to extend his streak to 11 consecutive plate appearances with a strikeout. The Angels’ right-hander falls one shy of the major league mark set by Sandy Koufax, who whiffed in 12 consecutive plate appearances in 1955.
1982 At Chavez Ravine, Dodger second baseman Steve Sax steals his 41st base to set a franchise record for rookies when he swipes second base in LA’s 6-1 victory over San Francisco. The eventual National League Rookie of the Year, the fourth consecutive Dodger to win the award, will extend the record to 49.
2006 LA’s Greg Maddux and SF’s Jason Schmidt hook up in a classic West Coast pitcher’s duel, reminiscent of match-ups of Koufax and Marichal, as the Dodgers beat the Giants, 1-0, thanks to Russell Martin’s 10th inning walk-off home run. When Giants slugger Barry Bonds lines into a double play in the first inning, it marks the only time in baseball history a 300 game winner pitches to a batter with over 700 homers.
2007 For the first time in 1,303 games, Nomar Garciaparra of the Dodgers is ejected from a game. The 12-year veteran infielder, who is tossed by home plate umpire Tom Hallion for arguing a called third strike in the fourth inning, is restrained by first base coach Mariano Duncan when he continues to shout and points his bat toward the umpire.
Hill has a “hot spot” on his finger? Shut him down (twice) so it doesn’t become a blister. Urias is perfectly healthy but is only 20 years old and needs to be protected so that he throws only about 165 innings during the regular season? Stash him in Oklahoma City and conserve his innings. (His starts have lasted 3 2/3 and 4 2/3 innings. He should join the Dodgers at the end of this month, with occasional rests during the season.) Kazmir has a bad hip? Let him take his time in extended spring.
I emailed a link to this newsletter from the LA Times’ Houston Mitchell to those of you on my mailing list earlier. If you like it and want to subscribe, there’s a box at the bottom of that page where you can sign up to get it directly.
LHP Kyle Freeland (1-1, 5.91 ERA) goes for the Rockies, LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (0-2, 5.79 ERA) goes for the Dodgers. Freeland gave up one run in six innings and beat Ryu and the Dodgers earlier this month. Ryu’s velocity hasn’t gotten back to what it was in 2014 before his injuries and rehab, which may explain why he’s not gotten past the fifth inning and given up 12 hits and six runs including three HRs in his first two starts.
Lineup when available.
Tonight's Dodger lineup vs. Rockies: Forsythe 2B Seager SS Turner 3B Puig RF Hernández LF González 1B Barnes C Pederson CF Ryu P pic.twitter.com/SncKaQdjJj