Jun 302013

For all those fans who thought lightning would strike twice with Luis Cruz, I get the privilege of saying I told you so. The Dodgers officially announce that Luis Cruz and Matt Guerrier have been designated for assignment.

Guerrier hasn’t been the pitcher he once was over the last couple seasons. He came to the Dodgers as a free agent in the of 2010, but ultimately he has been injury prone, ineffective, and at this point taking up roster space. The move will allow the club to recall right-handed pitcher Chris Withrow from Triple-A Albuquerque, cue the trumpets.

Guerrier posted a 4.80 ERA with 6.3 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9 in 34 games for the Dodgers this season.  Something the Dodgers simply could not afford to put out there in the late innings any longer. Guerrier was solid in 2011, but struggled over the last two seasons. All-in-all over his three seasons for the Dodgers, Guerrier owns a a 4.24 ERA with 6.5 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9 across 120 appearances.

Cruz, 29, has had one productive season in his career. This is also called an anomaly in the world of professional sports. I wish he had saved his anomaly for 2013, but oh well. Cruz and the Dodgers were hoping that Cruz would build on his success in 2012, but even Mattingly’s gut was telling him 2013 would not have the same outcome. Instead of building on his solid 2012, in which he posted a .297/.322/.431 line in 296 plate appearances, Cruz struggled from his first at-bat. Cruz owns an embarrassing .127/.175/.169 batting line across 128 plate appearances. As Bill Shaikin pointed out, Cruz is worst in the bigs in each of those categories among hitters with at least 100 at-bats. Cruz may never see the MLB again, Cruz’s agent says that he has not yet decided whether he would accept a minor league assignment by the Dodgers if he clears waivers. Regardless, he will likely head back to the minors somewhere, and we will never here Cruuuuuuz again.

In a corresponding move, the club reinstated outfielder Scott Van Slyke from the 15-day DL. This means we will get to see more of Juan Uribe at the hot corner, at least for now. Ultimately I expect the Dodgers are turning every leaf looking for a legit third baseman to displace Juan Uribe. We might see Dee Gordon again at some point if the Dodgers get desperate enough. I’m still hoping Yasiel Puig can convert to a third baseman like Miguel Cabrera did as a member of Marlins organization. Puig is arguably just as talented and he is certainly athletic enough to pull it off. Change is good. Embrace the change, this is only the beginning.

 06/30/2013  Posted by at 4:55 pm Dodgers News, Transactions 1 Response »
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 »
Sep 112012

The Dodgers have activated Dee Gordon from the disabled list and recalled him back to the Dodgers roster, but not as a starter. To make room for Gordon on the roster, the Dodgers moved Adam Kennedy to the 60-day disabled list, removing him from the 40-man roster. Dee Gordon, who has been shelved with a thumb injury for about 8 weeks returns to action, but with Hanley Ramirez cemented over at shortstop, Gordon appears to be headed to a bench/pinch-runner role for the rest of the way.

Gordon, 24, has suddenly lost his starting roster spot to the hot hitting Luis Cruz. Gordon, despite having 30 stolen bases and only being caught eight times, has not provided the offense the Dodgers had hoped for. Gordon is batting an atrocious .229/.280/.282 in 327 plate appearances this season. 30 stolen bases with a .280 OBP is quite amazing if you ask me, but it’s certainly not enough to warrant a roster spot with the offense having trouble scoring runs. The Dodgers will need to practice patience as Gordon finishes up his rookie season, the guy just has too much talent.

Cruz, 28, is a career minor leaguer who has been a lightning bolt for the Dodgers this season. Cruz is batting .292/.327/.426 in 215 plate appearances. Cruz also has 4 home runs, 30 RBIs, and 15 doubles. It’s fair to say he has been the biggest surprise for the Dodgers in 2012. It’s hard to blame Mattingly for putting Gordon on the bench, because I have to admit, if it were up to me I would be doing the same exact thing.

The Dodgers also called up Stephen Fife and Elian Herrera today. Tony Gwynn Jr. will likely not be called back up to the bigs this season. Tough break for Gwynn. He’s all but out of the big picture at this point. Tough break for Gwynn. Hopefully the Dodgers can trade him to a team that will actually give the guy a chance.

 09/11/2012  Posted by at 7:34 pm Dodgers News, Transactions 1 Response »
Aug 242012

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the return of a handful of Dodgers this season isn’t looking very good.

Dodgers super-utilityman Jerry Hairston Jr. has undergone season ending hip surgery. This is a huge blow to the Dodgers roster. Hairston was hitting .273/.342/.387 in 267 plate appearances for the Dodgers this season. Filling in for the waste of space Juan Uribe for a good part of the season, Hairston was a huge contributor to the Dodgers success in the first half of the season, his versatility and ability to get on base will sorely be missed. Hairston is under contract already for 2013 at $3.75MM.

Blake Hawksworth has also undergone season ending shoulder surgery. Hawksworth has been on the DL all season after right elbow surgery, he also had his rehab shut down in July after feeling pain in the area of his clavicle. Now his shoulder, with the large string of injuries Hawksworth has decided to play it safe and prepare for 2013. Hawksworth is expected to be non-tendered by the Dodgers at the end of the season.

Matt Guerrier is still not ready to go as he still battles with tendinitis on his right pitching elbow. Hopefully Guerrier is able to get on track and return in the first part of September after the rosters expand.

Justin Sellers is set to have season ending surgery in the next day or so for a bulging disc in his lower back. Sellers hasn’t been a factor for the Dodgers in 2012, largely due to injuries, but with the impact play of Elian Herrera and Luis Cruz, the Dodgers loss of Sellers has been a non-issue.  I gotta admit It would been nice to have him around, especially with the horrendous play of Uribe and the loss of Hairston. But I’m sure the Dodgers will be just fine with Herrera and Cruz the rest of the way.

Alright a little bit of good news. Ted Lilly is scheduled to throw a bullpen session tomorrow. If it all goes well Lilly could make a return to the Dodgers roster when the rosters  expand on September 1. Dee Gordon also seems to be progressing well and he could return to the Dodges sometime within the next 10 days or so.

Of course the return of Gordon is going to cause a bit of a logjam on the roster. With the play of Luis Cruz it’s going to be difficult to put him on the bench when Gordon returns. With Cruz playing so well I don’t see Mattingly putting a hot bat on the bench with the offense slumping. More than likely, Mattingly will play matchups and give regular rest to the starters the rest of the way. I still see Mattingly going with Hanley Ramirez, Dee Gordon, on the left side. Cruz will get regular play, perhaps shifting Mark Ellis to a part time role the rest of the way. Either way you slice it Mattingly has his work cut out for him, but that’s a good problem to have now, isn’t it?

 08/24/2012  Posted by at 10:30 am Dodgers Injury Reports, Dodgers News No Responses »