Nov 162013

Rodney Dangerfield and Matt Kemp have a lot in common these days; they both don’t get no respect.

After the 2011 season it felt as if Matt Kemp could do no wrong. He was humble in his second place MVP voting against cheater Ryan Braun, 1 home run shy of being a 40-40 man and a major presence on and off the field. In 2012, hit still showed his pop, despite injury, and while taking 200 less at bats, he still hit over .300. Injuries would cut short a second consecutive run at MVP. Well, 2013, I think we all know about that disaster. elite-daily-matt-kemp-ejected

The Ricky Bobby attitude in Los Angeles seems to have lashed out at Matt Kemp for being injured. If you’re not first you’re last in this town. Yeah injuries suck and Matt Kemp’s slow start certainly didn’t help garner any new fans, but are we so quick to throw away Matt Kemp?

With a taste of success in LA, fans are very quick to take immediate and harsh actions on players that aren’t performing… Oh yeah and managers too.

Let’s be real for a minute people. Matt Kemp is the best hitter (when healthy) in the outfield for the Dodgers. NO NO NO! YASIEL PUIG IS! No, he isn’t. In a couple years, maybe.

Matt Kemp is the second best power hitter on the team behind Hanley Ramirez.

When healthy in 2011, he led in innings played, starts and games of MLB center fielders.

I shall conclude with this: While I don’t think Kemp is off limits for a trade, I think fans need to back away from the harsh Matt Kemp comments. He is a fine ballplayer, clean, great with interacting with fans and was starting to become a wealth of energy in the dugout.

Relax Dodger fans. When Matt Kemp returns in April fully healthy, you’ll want him in the lineup ready to make right on what went oh so wrong in 2013. I wouldn’t want him against the Dodgers, looking for revenge. Besides, moving Kemp would be no easy task. With his previous injuries, massive money due, he is no picnic to be picked up either. The Mariners have expressed interest, Rangers are in for anything with a bat and legs, Rays, and a myriad of other teams looking to bolster their offense. If everyone is looking at Kemp, don’t you think they know what others in Dodger organization hopefully know? Matt Kemp is a dangerous hitter.

Plug a healthy Kemp in the lineup with Hanley, AGon, Puig, Crawford… Yikes. The Dodgers have the most feared lineup in the NL. Now how about that respect?

 11/16/2013  Posted by at 11:20 pm Dodgers News, Dodgers Rumors 2 Responses »
Mar 112013

Earlier today we heard that Zack Greinke may miss the start of the 2013 season. The inflammation in Greinke’s right elbow may cause him to miss the start of the 2013 season. The Dodgers will more than likely err on the side of caution with their $147MM investment, meaning that if Greinke starts the season on the disabled list that would help the Dodgers in two ways. First, that would provide some what is expected to be much needed flexibility on the 25-man roster when the final roster cuts need to be made. That would also eliminate one man from the Dodgers current eight-man rotation.

Speculation is growing that the Dodgers are leaning towards going with Ted Lilly over Hyun-Jin Ryu in the 2013 starting rotation, at least for now. However, if Greinke does in fact miss the start of the season that would likely mean Ryu would remain in the rotation. This also further points to the fact that Aaron Harang and Chris Capuano are all but destined to be with a different organization come opening day.

Bill Plunkett of the OC Register is reporting that the Dodgers are prepared to sit on their pitching surplus while they play wait and see on Greinke’s and Billingsley’s health. I’m calling shenanigans. I think this is purely a ploy by the Dodgers to keep the prices on their pitching surplus from plummeting. Reports are starting to surface that teams are trying to force the Dodgers into a jam by lowballing them on trade offers as they know the Dodgers are going to have serious issues when they try to set their 25-man roster.

The other scenario would involve moving the starting surplus to the bullpen, but that doesn’t make sense either because it would create a logjam that is ridiculously unnecessary, especially for guys like Matt Guerrier and a number of the Dodgers young relievers. Factoring in the concerns of Harang, Ryu, and Capuano surviving the dramatic shift of moving into a bullpen routine over proven guys like Javy Guerra and Kenley Jansen, the probability is remote at best that it works. Perhaps one of the three, likley Ryu, but there is no way the Dodgers put three starters in the bullpen, ain’t happening folks. I’m surprised we aren’t hearing talks of Chad Billingsley being shifted to the bullpen, he had some success there back in the day, plus with his health concerns it makes the most sense.

According to Nick Cafardo there is more interest on Ted Lilly right now than the other surplus starters Capuano and Harang. That comes as a bit of a surprise to me, but I can see all three being a fit for the Pirates, Blue Jays, Rockies, Brewers, Orioles, and Mariners who are all looking to upgrade their starting rotations before the start of the season. I like Lilly going to Toronto, Harang to Baltimore, and Capuano heading north to Seattle. I’m dying to see how Colletti pulls this off without coming out on the wrong end of the deal.

 03/11/2013  Posted by at 10:02 pm Dodgers Rumors, Thinking Blue No Responses »
Feb 222013

The Dodgers bench is looking bleak offensively for the 2013 season. Unless something of the miracle type happens during the spring, the Dodgers bench is not looking very impressive. Juan Uribe, Jerry Hairston, Skip Schumaker, Nick Punto, and Tim Federowicz just don’t scream or even whisper “offensive threat” off the bench to me. First of all, the Dodgers bench is of the ripened variety, especially with Federowicz removed from the equation. The Dodgers need to get younger and more offensive focused on the bench. Sure our bench can play a solid defense, but when you need a big hit off the bench I wouldn’t exactly want to trust any one of these guys. In fact, I would take Elian Herrera over any one of these guys any day of the week. Speaking of Elian, what ever happened to him? He got buried by Juan Uribe and Jerry Hairston. Yuck. Hopefully he can make a statement this spring.

Notice anything glaring wrong with the picture? No backup first baseman? Ding-ding-ding! Apparently Juan Uribe is going to get the first crack at winning the job, but unless I’m mistaken he has never played a single game at first base. Even if he has, Uribe can’t hit a baseball all that well these days, and I don’t really want to see him getting more opportunities to prove to us what we already know.

Enter Casper Wells, currently buried on the Seattle Mariners depth chart. Wells, 28, is a solid option to help get the Dodgers bench going in the right direction. Wells plays first base and all three outfield spots, with above average defense too. Casper has been playing great outfield defense at SafeCo Field, and he possesses a strong arm to boot. Not the greatest of basestealers but he has decent speed, that’s for sure.

But wait, this is where it gets good, Casper, he has power, having clubbed 25 home runs and 29 doubles in 656 career plate appearances in the big leagues with Detroit and Seattle since the start of the 2010 season. Wells also posted a respectable .698 OPS in 2012, and his career mark is .752. He’s has shown to be a good hitter with men in scoring position to this point, with a career .865 OPS in those situations. Add two outs to the equation and the number jumps up to a very impressive career OPS average of .953, not too shabby. That is leaps and bounds better than any of our current bench options, but you already guessed that I’m sure.

Not only is he a solid right-handed bench option, he could also help give situational rest to guys like Carl Crawford, Andre Ethier, and Adrian Gonzalez, that could get him some decent playing time. Topping it all off, Casper was one of the best right-handed situational hitters in the league last season. So why with all this information and data is Casper on the outside looking in? I honestly have no clue. I thought for sure he’d have an everyday job this season. That doesn’t appear to be the case, perhaps the time to strike a deal has come.

Casper Wells isn’t perfect, trust me, I know. He strikes out quite a bit and I don’t see him being an MVP anytime soon, or ever. But he has a very nice skillset, is a low cost, relatively young option and he would fit in to the Dodgers current scheme quite nicely. I don’t see him costing much to acquire, my guess is the Mariners would take Chris Capuano, Aaron Harang, or Ted Lilly straight up for him. Working out the financial aspect of the trade could be quite tricky. Either way you slice it the Dodgers need a 1B/OF, and the Mariners need a boost in their rotation and all three of those guys, if healthy, would do just that.

 02/22/2013  Posted by at 4:07 pm Dodgers Rumors, Thinking Blue No Responses »
Dec 102012

According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, the Dodgers “are finished in the market for starting pitching.” Unless the unexpected happens of course. This obviously crushes Anibal Sanchez‘s dreams of winning the World Series with the Dodgers next year. The Dodgers were known to have interest in free agent right-hander Anibal Sanchez even after inking a record-setting six-year, $147MM contract with Zack Greinke, but then the Dodgers added$61.7MM to the starting pitching budget by signing the Korean phenom Hyun-Jin Ryu.

Also falling to backburner is Kevin Youkilis, as the Dodgers seem to have soured on the former AL All-Star, according to Nick Cafardo. Youkilis wasn’t my first pick either, so I am not a bit upset that we aren’t wasting money on this guy. Luis Cruz is slotted to open the season as the starting third baseman. But that’s not all folks, the Dodgers are still in the market for a starting infielder, according to Jon Heyman. He adds that Youkilis is no longer on the Dodgers’ radar. The Dodgers certainly have some trade chips to work with so anything is possible at this point.

The days of thinking small in Dodgertown are officially over. What’s next? That’s the million dollar question now isn’t it?

 12/10/2012  Posted by at 9:34 pm Dodgers Rumors No Responses »