Jul 292013

It’s not like the Dodgers don’t have momentum going into their Tuesday series against the Yankees. July has been a month fans and players will be sorry to see pass. In it the Dodgers have gone 18-5 and taken over possession of first in an always gridlocked NL West by 2.5 games. To cap off the month, the Dodgers will host the Yankees for two games at Chavez Ravine.

For the first game, Dodgers fans get to watch Ricky Nolasco take on the ageless Andy Pettitte. Despite an ostensibly shaky 6-9 record, Nolasco has been a formidable starter at times for LA this season, compiling a solid 3.72 ERA and respectable 1.24 WHIP. Tickets to Game 1 are, on average, $150, with some available for as low as $32, according to TiqIQ.

In Game 2, former Dodger Hiroki Kuroda will be battling current Dodger Zack Greinke, who’s having a fabulous season on the hill, including two straight shutout appearances in July. On a withered Yankees pitching roster this season, Kuroda has been the team’s saving grace. In four July appearances, the Japanese-born pitcher has surrendered only two earned runs, capping a stretch in which he was one of the league’s best pitchers.

How do tickets to the Yankees-Dodgers series stack up with other Dodger home games? According to TiqIQ, the average prices for Dodgers tickets at home is $65, meaning this series is well above what fans are used to paying. Across America, though, ballparks crank up prices when the Yankees come to town. The NY team’s road average is $123, TiqIQ reports.

Overall, this Yankees series is the Dodgers most expensive in the past three seasons, a startling stat. The series average is $145 for a seat, 123 percent above the Dodgers’ home average, and 18 percent above the Yanks’ road average.

This year will be a bit of a role reversal, though. While Dodgers fans may have previously entered August kicking dirt in frustration, they’ve got what looks like a better squad on paper, led by the league’s best pitching staff, this time around.

 07/29/2013  Posted by at 2:00 pm Dodgers News 1 Response »
Jul 272013

Yesterday I brought up the fact that the Dodgers should set their sights on Bud Norris. With four days to go before the non-waiver trade deadline passes you can fully expect the rumors to be hot over the weekend. Not sure if Bud Norris will be part of the Dodgers hot stove, I can just keep my fingers crossed that Jake Peavy is not.

Danny Knobler tweeted earlier today that Matt Lindstrom, Alexei Ramirez, and Alex Rios are also on the trade block along with Jake Peavy. Lindstrom and Ramirez could potentially fit into the Dodgers summer plans, but I think the Dodgers are setting their sights on something a bit bigger.

The Dodgers are reportedly looking first at younger and team controllable players. Makes sense, if you are going to absorb money and deal away top prospects, it’s wise not to take on aging and declining veterans. Of course, this is certainly not as easy as it seems. Hopefully the Dodgers can find the right fit over the next several days.

The Kansas City Royals have reportedly made Luke Hochevar and Ervin Santana available. The price is reportedly very inflated for Santana and Hochevar has the best chance of being traded. Small sidenote, the Dodgers originally drafted Hochevar 40th overall in 2005, but he never signed with the Dodgers.  I’d like the Braves to scoop up Santana to take them out of the equation for Bud Norris, as I’m not a huge fan of Santana for all the obvious reasons.

Jon Heyman wrote earlier today that Luke Gregerson will likely be changing uniforms in the next few days. On the flip-side Chase Headley is almost certainly not. Neither is Huston Street. Not really a huge surprise there. I tend to believe in believing in the unexpected, after all nearly all of the trade rumors we hear never actually take place. Most of the trades that happen are the ones you never hear about until the deal is done. Go figure.

Finally, Ken Rosenthal posted late tonight that the Texas Rangers are listening on Joe Nathan. The Rangers are shopping heavily for a starting outfielder on the belief that they will lose Nelson Cruz for the remainder of the season due to his connection to the Biogenesis case. I don’t expect much to happen here, but it’s interesting to think these two juggernauts could connect on a trade this summer.


 07/27/2013  Posted by at 11:18 pm Dodgers Rumors No Responses »
Jul 252013

The Dodgers lost out on Matt Garza to the Texas Rangers, though I’m not really sure how hard the Dodgers were trying. The price was sky high and was simply too inflated for the Dodgers.

Moving on, the Dodgers have now turned their attention to Jake Peavy but according to ESPN’s Buster Olney, the Sox asking price is “really high.”

The Dodgers will be scouting what could be Peavy’s last game in a White Sox uniform, among about a half-dozen other teams. The White Sox haven’t even decided if they want to trade Peavy this summer, though the general consensus is they ultimately will. Not sure how the Dodgers should proceed here, but I like Peavy over Capuano. Personally, I would like to see the Dodgers get younger at this point. Which brings me to my top trade choice, Bud Norris.

Norris, 28, will likely be pitching for the Red Sox, Pirates, Phillies, Giants, Dodgers or Orioles next week. While probably not the favorites, don’t be surprised if Norris is in Dodger blue this time next week.

Norris may be the hottest trade commodity for the Houston Astros, For one, he’s pitched well for the worst team in baseball. In 20 starts, he’s 6-9 with a 3.91 ERA. He’s averaging 6.24 strikeouts and 3.01 walks per nine innings of work. On top of all that, he’s only getting an average of 3.3 runs of support per start. Imagine if he was with a playoff contender. The Astros are said to be in love with Joc Pederson, so maybe, just maybe, we could land one of this summers top prizes.

Finally, Brian Wilson auditioned for about a dozen teams today, according to Danny Knobler of CBS Sports. Knobler writes that a scout in attendance said Wilson looked good and was “not far away” from being able to return to the Major Leagues. His fastball reportedly reached 93 mph on Thursday. Knobler does not name the Dodgers as being in attendance, but I would find it hard to believe they wouldn’t be. As much as I despise this guy, I have to admit I would like to see him help propel the Dodgers into the playoffs.

 07/25/2013  Posted by at 8:53 pm Dodgers Rumors No Responses »
Jul 252013

The Dodgers have officially designated left-handed pitcher Ted Lilly for assignment Thursday, the team announced via Twitter. Updating the earlier item, Mark Saxon of ESPNLA adds that the move comes as a result of a disagreement on whether or not Lilly would head to the minor leagues to adjust to a relief role.

Lilly,37, acquired during the Frank McCourt era, has pitched in the majors since 1999, doing so for the Expos, Yankees, Athletics, Blue Jays, Cubs and Dodgers. As recently as 2011, Lilly pitched nearly 200 innings with an ERA of 3.97, but lately has been plagued by injuries and ineffectiveness. Lilly departs the Dodgers with an ERA of 5.09 in five starts this season for the Dodgers.

To fill Lilly’s roster spot, the Dodgers have recalled utility player Elian Herrera from Triple-A Albuquerque. Herrera, 28, has played in three games for the Dodgers this season. At Triple-A, he had a batting line of .290/.375/.384. I’m thrilled about the call-up, Herrera provides some versatility to the Dodgers offense and has tremendous heart. The little spark plug should immediately bolster the Dodgers bench, and wouldn’t be surprised if he gets a few starts in the infield.

The Dodgers’ acquisition of Ricky Nolasco filled the fifth rotation spot, displaced Lilly out of the rotation for good. With Chris Capuano doing his thing and Stephen Fife beginning rehab for a shoulder injury,Lilly’s time as a Dodger comes to an inevitable end. Obviously there was no way for the Dodgers to trade Lilly at this point, but I wouldn’t be surprised if a team like the Yankees doesn’t give him a chance.

 07/25/2013  Posted by at 7:51 pm Dodgers News, Transactions No Responses »
Jul 232013

With eight days before the non-waiver trade deadline, the Dodgers still have plenty of pitching options despite Francisco Rodriguez being traded today and Matt Thornton a few days back.

Not a trade candidate but you better believe the Dodgers will be watching when former Giants closer Brian Wilson throws sometime in the next couple weeks. Wilson threw for the Giants yesterday, according to Andrew Baggarly. According to the report it was purely a favor on the Giants part, no deal is close for now. Baggardly adds that Wilson looked Major League ready. Wilson should throw for other teams over the next couple weeks and it appears Wilson will get signed for a team in need of bullpen help down the stretch.

Other names on the trade block, Oliver Perez, Scott Downs, Javier Lopez, Joe Thatcher, Travis Blackley, Wesley Wright, Mike Dunn, Darren Oliver, Steve Cishek, Jesse Crain, Brian Duensing, Antonio Bastardo, Jose Veras, Tom Wilhelmsen, Huston Street, Matt Lindstrom, Jared Burton, John Axford  and James Russell.  I would also throw in Joba Chamberlain, Jonathan Papelbon, Glen Perkins and Alfredo Aceves into the mix, but that group is obviously going to be more difficult to acquire.

A lot of players are still available so it really shouldn’t be an issue for the Dodgers to acquire the bullpen help they need, right? I sure as heck hope not. After the disastrous performance by Carlos Marmol tonight I’m thinking the Dodgers are back on the phones as I finish typing this bad boy up. Right now, I’m hoping that the Dodgers don’t get too hard-pressed to acquire a bullpen arm or two and pull off bad deals. The Dodgers need to be smart over the next week. We have seen some good deals, and we have seen some bad ones, and I had better not see a deal go down that kills the Dodgers over the next several seasons.

 07/23/2013  Posted by at 8:57 pm Dodgers Rumors, Thinking Blue No Responses »