Mar 272013

The Dodgers have announced their opening week starting rotation, but as we know things are always subject to change in Dodgertown. April 1st is just around the corner and the Dodgers opening series is against none-other than their arch rival San Francisco Giants. Still looking for Los Angeles Dodgers Tickets? Opening week tickets are still available, don’t wait. It is looking like the Dodgers will go with only four starters for now, and it appears that right hander Chad Billingsley is going to spend the beginning of the season on the DL. But not for his elbow injury, the good news. The elbow appears to be healed as of right now, which is nothing short of a miracle at this point. Billingsley is recovering from an elbow injury that usually requires Tommy John surgery, but he seems to be in the clear, unfortunately a fingernail bruise on his pitching hand is causing some trouble, so to the disabled list he goes.

Opening day, April 1st, the Dodgers will be going with 2011 Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw. Free agent signee  Hyun-jin Ryu will get the start on April 2nd, and Josh Beckett will start the third game of the series on April 3rd. The Dodgers have an off-day on April 4th, and then begin a three game set with the Pirates on April 5. Here’s where things get tricky, Zack Greinke, assuming he’s cleared to start will make his Dodger debut on April 5th. Greinke has been dealing with elbow pain over the last few weeks, but the Dodgers got some good news after pitching pain free last Wednesday. If all goes according to plan, Clayton Kershaw would make his second start on April 6. From there is a complete mystery at this point. The Dodgers have off-days on April 4, and 8, which means they won’t need a fifth starter until the 13th at the earliest. That should give Billingsley’s nail plenty of time to heal and then the Dodgers would then slide him into the rotation.

Where does that leave Ted Lilly, Aaron Harang, and Chris Capuano? So far not even a whisper, but that doesn’t mean anything. It’s fair to assume that at least one of the trio will be dealt. The Dodgers also have to decide what to do with the bullpen if they do decide to hang on to the surplus of starting pitching. Of course, Scott Elbert and Ronald Belisario are both out of options, so that brings a whole other issue as it pertains to the Dodgers 25-man roster crunch. Who should stay, and who should go?

Dec 112012


Earlier today, the deal that has been the talk of  the town, was finally consummated when new starting pitcher Zack Greinke donned his new Dodger jersey and ball cap for the first time amid an army of reporters.

Having recently signed a league record six-year deal for $147 million, the Dodgers continued to show the rest of baseball that they planned to be a force to be reckoned with for the foreseeable future.

When asked why he chose to play for the Dodgers over the other teams who expressed interest, Greinke said, “Besides the money, the number one (reason) was to have the team that could have a chance to win a world series for several years.”

He said that when it came to the time to pick a team out of his suitors, he wrote down the lineups of all the teams and when he looked at the Dodgers’ probable lineup that included Matt Kemp, Adrian Gonzalez, Hanley Ramirez, Andre Ethier and Carl Crawford it dawned on him just how much potential they offered.

“…it made me realize how good the offense is on this team,” Greinke said.  He added, “There’s a lot of talent in this organization.”

Greinke joins a potentially dangerous pitching staff headed by staff ace Clayton Kershaw with another newly acquired star pitcher in Ryu Hyun-jin, Chad Billingsley and Josh Beckett rounding out the starting five.

Signing Greinke long term gives the Dodgers a second Cy Young award winner under the age of 30, which no other team in the majors can claim the same. By teaming Kershaw and Greinke up as a solid 1-2 punch, it arguably makes the Dodgers’ front end of the rotation the best in Major League Baseball.

“We are very pleased to add a second pitcher who has won a Cy Young award to this rotation and organization. We believe he brings a lot to this team and to a pitching staff that was already very good,” Colletti said.

Not only do they both have the potential to win more Cy Young Awards, they both have career ERAs below 3.80 and each have at least three seasons with 200 or more strikeouts.  They both also pitch deep into games, with at least four seasons of 200-plus innings pitched for both of them.

No other pair of teammates- including Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee or Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum can match those stats.

The acquisition of Greinke is just another notch in the Dodgers’ belt. Since new ownership headed by Mark Walters, Stan Kasten and local sports legend Magic Johnson has taken over, they have amassed a dangerous lineup and a top-line rotation to make a world series run while increasing their projected payroll for 2013 to a major league record of $225 million.

With a major TV deal in the works that could top $7 billion, the Dodgers don’t seem worried about spending money. In addition to the $147 million they gave Greinke, they also spent $250 million in acquiring the trio of Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawdord and Josh Beckett, $42 million for Cuban All-Star defector Yasiel Puig, $85 million to keep Andre Ethier gunning runners out from right field and $160 million to keep Matt Kemp’s deadly combination of power and speed patrolling center field.

When Magic Johnson was asked whether money was no object he simply replied, “We want to win.”

The city of Los Angeles and Dodgers fans around the world agree.  And by bringing Zack Greinke on board, the Dodgers have become one of the favorites to do so.

Greinke, was a combined 15-5 last season with the Milwaukee Brewers and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. He posted an ERA of 3.48 with a WHIP of 1.196 while striking out 200 batters.

 12/11/2012  Posted by at 4:13 pm Dodgers News No Responses »
Nov 192012

The Dodgers met Monday with Korean left-hander Ryu Hyun-Jin and his agent, Scott Boras. There is no love lost between Boras and the Dodgers. As a matter of fact there is a lot of bitterness towards Boras among a lot of Dodgers executives. The Dodgers have been very reluctant to work with Boras over the last couple of years, perhaps with the new owners around, the Dodgers are could be making amends with the powerhouse agent.

I’ve never been a big fan of ol’ Boras myself,  and the Dodgers should tread lightly when dealing with MLB’s snake in the grass. Regardless, it’s doubtful that an offer was made anyway. Los Angeles paid a $25.7MM posting free for exclusive negotiating rights with Ryu, but the club is expected to wait until the December Winter Meetings to begin real contract talks. That should give the club enough time to come up with a gameplan that will dethrone the San Francisco Giants. The best news in all this is, should the Dodgers fail to work out a deal with the 25-year-old southpaw, they will get their money back.

 11/19/2012  Posted by at 5:28 pm Dodgers News, Dodgers Rumors No Responses »
Sep 242012


Time is running out for the Los Angeles Dodgers to make their playoff push. They’ll need an excellent showing in San Diego this week if they’re to close the gap and earn a Wild Card spot and they’re starting pitching has to lead the way.

The Dodgers did get a boost when they saw Clayton Kershaw throw a bullpen session on Friday. He was expected to be out much longer when he was diagnosed with a right hip impingement but made the start on Sunday night. Apparently he can’t do any further damage to the hip so it’s just a matter of how much pain he can deal with.

It’s surely been a tough going for the Dodgers starting staff with Kershaw, Chad Billingsley and Ted Lilly all out but there’s no need for excuses at this point. The Dodgers simply need wins.

Josh Beckett, Chris Capuano and Joe Blanton are tasked with the job for the Dodgers in the three-game set but all have struggled this month. Beckett has allowed nine runs in his last 19 innings pitched while Capuano and Blanton both have ERA’s of 4.24 or higher this month.

The bigger concern might be that these three Dodgers starters haven’t registered a win versus San Diego this season and while Beckett hasn’t made a start against the Padres, Capuano and Blanton are a combined 0-3.

San Diego is expected to counter with Edinson Volquez, Clayton Richard and Casey Kelly. The good news for the Dodgers is that the Padres head into this series in a slump. They’ve lost four of their last six and people making their MLB picks know that there is a slight opening for the Dodgers to take advantage.

With each passing day, it gets tougher and tougher for the Dodgers to make the playoffs but a sweep of San Diego would surely go a long way.

 09/24/2012  Posted by at 1:48 pm Recaps From The Ravine No Responses »
Sep 172012

Below is a complete list of every trade orchestrated by Dodgers GM Ned Colletti through September 1, 2012. This is the most complete and accurate list of all the trades completed during the Ned Colletti era on the web.

Colletti became the 10th General Manager in Los Angeles Dodgers history and the 5th General Manager for the team in the past 8 years when he was hired prior to the start of the 2006 season. He came in replacing Paul DePodesta, when he was fired after a very disappointing 2005 season. In his first ever trade as Dodgers GM, Colletti traded headcase Milton Bradley and Antonio Perez to the Oakland Athletics for Andre Ethier. So much for Moneyball eh Billy Beane?

There is no denying that Colletti has made some very questionable trades since his arrival to Los Angeles. However, landing Andre was Ethier either the luckiest move ever, or he really did his homework, and stole Ethier right from under Beane’s nose. That was by far his best move, but Colletti has had some other brilliant moments, especially when he landed Manny Ramirez in 2008, only giving up Andy LaRoche. One of my other personal favorites was the Juan Pierre for Jon Link and John Ely trade. That one worked out pretty well. Ely was just named PCL Pitcher of the Year as a member of the Albuquerque Isotopes. Winning.

Colletti also acquired Alex Castellanos for Rafael Furcal, who was done in Los Angeles, with the Dodgers ready to start the Dee Gordon experiment. That brings us to 2012, the year where Colletti acquired Hanley Ramirez, Randy Choate, Brandon League, Shane Victorino, Joe Blanton, Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez, Nick Punto, and Josh Beckett. Of course the Dodgers gave up some quality prospects to make that happen, but the top 3 prospects were still with the Dodgers organization after the dust settled on all those trades. Job well done? I tend to lean on the side of yes.

Before 2012 we saw Colletti give away players like Cody Ross, Edwin Jackson, Carlos Santana, Josh Bell, James McDonald, and Trayvon Robinson. How many of those guys would you like to have on the Dodgers current roster right now? Just sayin’! The sad part is we have nothing to show for Ross, Jackson, Santana, Bell, or McDonald. At least we got three decent prospects for Robinson. Tough pill to swallow, no doubt.

Sure the Dodgers found success in 2008 and 2009, due in large part to Colletti. But along the way were some very bad baseball decisions.

The Dodgers of 2011 barely put together a winning season going 82-79, finishing 11.5 games out of first place. A season filled with Frank McCourt and all of his reality series drama led to a very frustrating season for fans. From the brutally public divorce, the embarrassing battle with Bud Selig, the bankruptcy, and his eventual agreement to sell the team. The Dodgers were plagued with all sorts of misfortune in 2011. There were a few bright spots for the Dodgers though, the MVP caliber season turned in by Matt Kemp, and watching Clayton Kershaw dominate the National League, and eventually win his first Cy Young. Perhaps the brightest spots though was the way Colletti and Mattingly committed to the youth of the franchise. Going with players like Justin Sellers, Jerry Sands, Nate Eovaldi, and Javy Guerra. In years past we would have seen Ronnie Belliard, Scott Podsednik, and Octavio Dotel brought in at the deadline. Yuck! The Dodgers found a ton of success in the second half going 41-28 after the All-Star break. But the season was considered a huge disappointment as the Dodgers failed to make the playoffs for the second consecutive season. To make matters worse the Dodgers had one of the highest payrolls in baseball at a whopping $119MM. This winter Colletti has fallen right back to his old ways as we have seen the signings of a few old men and a complete waste of $24MM.

On March 26, 2012 the Dodgers were purchased by Magic Johnson, Stan Kasten, and Guggenheim Baseball for a record-setting $2.2BB. It officially began a new era for the Los Angeles Dodgers, and with Colletti’s history as GM for the Dodgers having mixed reviews to say the least, most fans and insiders believed Colletti would be sent packing. Immediately upon the new ownership group’s arrival, they made it very clear Colletti will be given a chance to really manage this franchise. Something that for the last 5 months Colletti has done very well. Colletti’s first big order of business in the Guggenheim era was extending Andre Ethier to a five-year $85MM deal. It’s impossible to ignore everything that Colletti has done to the Dodgers during the McCourt era, but with the new owners around it’s also hard to argue that Colletti is solely to blame. Colletti has made some bad judgment calls along the way, no doubt. Looking back though, I tend to believe Colletti was handcuffed into a lot of the decisions that were made. It’s easy to point the finger at McCourt for a lot of those bad trades, but looking at what Colletti has pulled off in 2012, I just think it came down to money, and McCourt didn’t have any. So Colletti was forced to part with better prospects in efforts of trying to win the division. Tough spot to be in. Sure glad those days are over.

You will see once you dive in that Colletti has made a few good trades. But the far more of the majority has been one bad baseball decision after another. Some very big names that would really help this team right now, gone, and nothing to show for it. 2012 was a big success in my opinion, no matter what the outcome of the season is. The Dodgers are built to win now, but there is still a lot of work to be done. This winter will be Colletti’s first, real true test, with rectifying the two-year deals given to Aaron Harang, Chris Capuano, Jerry Hairston, and Mark Ellis. There is certainly a logjam in the starting rotation with Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, Ted Lilly, Chris Capuano, Aaron Harang, and Josh Beckett under contract already. Sadly that rotation isn’t going to cut it. Three lefties for crying out loud! What is Colletti thinking?

So, Lilly should and will likely be traded this winter. Dodgers will eat some cash, and get some prospects in return. If Billingsley has Tommy John surgery, this could get much worse, so fingers crossed there. I think the Dodgers have to trade Lilly and Harang regardless to be able to really upgrade the rotation. We can’t have three lefties in the rotation, that is just ridiculous. I don’t really care if it’s Capuano or Lilly at this point, but one of them has got to go. Harang could be used as the imaginary sixth starter, just a fat waste of money in my opinion. I would like to see John Ely if that’s the case. The Dodgers have $188.68MM committed to the 2013 payroll already, so a few trades are definitely going to be in the works.

The infield is even more of a mess, Mark Ellis, Juan Uribe, Jerry Hairston, and Nick Punto are already under contract. Then you have Hanley Ramirez, Luis Cruz, and Dee Gordon. Ummmmm…hello McFly…think!

Those two-year deals to Ellis and Hairston aren’t looking so smart now are they Ned? Sheesh! So, it’s easy to say toss the garbage out, but I just don’t see the Dodgers doing it. Uribe is immovable at this point, so we are just stuck with him. I am sure he cleared waivers with a chuckle from around the league this season. I don’t really see how we can sit Cruz at this point, the kid is just too good. Moving Hanley back to shortstop was a huge mistake in my opinion, so hopefully we move him back to third, and put Gordon back at shortstop. Yes. Gordon back as the starting shortstop. You can’t expect for him to develop in one season, you could say the Dodgers rushed him a bit, so growing pains are to be expected. Put the kid back at short and roll with the punches. You can not develop young players if they are sitting on the bench. Putting him back in the minors? We already know he can hit down there, so what good does that do? So Hanley to third, Dee to short, and start Cruz at second. That leaves Ellis, Punto, Uribe, Hairston for the bench. Yikes! Can we get a do-over? Logjam in the middle infield. Couple trades should do the trick though. Curious to think if the Dodgers will explore a Dee Gordon trade this winter?

So here is it is, the complete list of all of all of Ned Colletti’s trades. Take a look. Post your thoughts in the comments section. Do you think Ned deserves that extension the Dodgers just handed him?

Ned Colletti Transaction History: Trades

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 09/17/2012  Posted by at 10:22 am Thinking Blue No Responses »