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 »
Sep 292013
 

A striking blow to the Los Angeles Dodgers who are already playing without outfielder Andre Ethier, have now added that Matt Kemp will not appear during the post season.

Kemp apparently re-aggravated his nagging ankle injury and will be sidelined.  The tough news is as Andre Ethier attempts to return from his own ankle injury. He has been getting rehab in Arizona for the last several days.

The injury doesn’t doom the Dodgers, who went 42-8 without Kemp in the line-up. They’ve expected him out for the season several times during the year, so they can still win without him. What it does create is a massive hole in the lineup, if not supported by Ethier. The outfielder duty would move to light-hitting Skip Skumacher or the not often played Scott Van Slyke. There word is Ethier may make the roster but only come off the bench to pinch hit. Ethier is a stellar defensive player which has made up for him times of struggle at the plate.

Time will tell what direction the 25 man roster will go on, skipper Don Mattingly knows of all, it is running out.

 09/29/2013  Posted by at 6:21 pm Dodgers Injury Reports, Dodgers News No Responses »
Sep 262013
 

We are all speculating who the Don Mattingly, Ned Colletti and crew will have on their roster for the post season. Here we will take a look at the easy choices, as well as a breakdown of a couple of the questionable, tough choices. We do know that the Dodgers will carry 11 pitchers and 14 position players. Here we go with the gimmies:

Position Players (Starters)

A.J. Ellis (C) - Tim Federwicz (C)

Adrian Gonzalez (1B)

Mark Ellis (2B)

Hanley Ramirez (SS)

Juan Uribe (3B)

Matt Kemp (OF)dodgervictory

Yasiel Puig (OF)

Carl Crawford (OF)

Position Players (Bench)

Michael Young (Util) – Colletti didn’t bring Young to be at home during the postseason. Say what you want about his batting average in his later years, you want a potential clutch player who can play all infield positions in a pinch. Speaking of pinch, how about pinch hit?

Skip Schumkaer (Util) – Baseball smarts, he can play about everywhere, great club house guy, and he has earned it.

Nick Punto (Util) – Plays everywhere in the infield, the Little Pony is smart, relatively quick and useful for a sacrifice.

Pitchers (Starters)

Clayton Kershaw (SP)

Zach Greinke (SP)

Hyun-Jin Ryu (SP) – Ryu who at one point made some waves for rookie of the year, has bounced back from his… back injury and is primed to be a #3 starter. Not to mention the St. Louis Cardinals are top heavy with lefty hitters.

It is worth to mention that there is no reason to have a 4th starter, I’ll talk about long relief coming up.

Pitchers (Relief)

Kenley Jansen (RHP)

Paco Rodriguez (LHP)

Ronald Belisario (RPH)

J.P. Howell (LPH)

Chris Withrow (RPH) – Do not let being a rookie scare you. Withrow blazes the ball, has been holding up well and can throw a couple innings if needed.

Brian Wilson (RPH) – Everything has been pointing to Wilson getting put in tough situations to simulate the playoff. The experiment has paid off and he should hold up nicely in postseason.

The In-betweeners (Position Players)

Dee Gordon (SS, PR) – Whaaaat? Dee Gordon? Yes. You need speed. Look at your lineup. Between pitchers, A.J. Ellis, Juan Uribe and Adrian Gonzalez, a speedy base runner is extremely helpful. It is also a spot where Dee Gordon hasn’t had any mental blunders (fingers crossed).

Jerry Hairston (Util) – A gamble, but here is the low down: He can play infield and the outfield. His atrocious batting average is a result of pinch hitting.

The In-betweeners (Pitchers)

Carlos Marmol (RHP) – This is a scary option, but even more scary is Brandon League. The thing is, Marmol just strikes out a lot more batters, plain and simple.

Edinson Volquez (RHP) – He is used simply as a blow-out pitcher or heavy into extra innings. You need a long relief guy, especially if it is early in the series and don’t want to kill your bullpen.

Left Out

Brandon League (RHP) -  Brandon League does not have overpowering stuff, not a strikeout pitcher when he closed out games. If you have an option for the ball to go into the catcher glove vs. another fielders glove, I’ll take the catcher. It is also worthy to note Mattingly has not put League in any tough situations whatsoever for who knows how long. League, despite his 2 year contract remaining with the Dodgers, Mattingly isn’t setting him up for success.

Ricky Nolasco (RHP) - No Nolasco? As we saw by his last game, Ricky has not righted his ship. The playoffs are not the time to do so. The rental may be hurt by that, but it is business. His wonderful start with the Dodgers will not be forgotten, but this is a risk, even if he is pitching in a blowout. He is the likely swap for Volquez, obviously.

Andrew Ethier (OF) – If he is healthy, he replaces Jerry Hairson. That is all that needs to be said there. His absence makes it a bit easier to not platoon when they face lefties. Cardinals have no starting lefties however, Braves have Paul Maholm, Pittsburgh have Francisco Liriano and Jeff Locke. He might be sitting regardless.

Capuano/Fife (SP) – Injured, erratic

Scott Van Slyke (OF) – I mustache you a question about Scott; do you expect him to be effective? Big power off the bench, but hasn’t seen a lot of at bats or playing time for that matter. Makes him tough. Michael Young will serve as the big pop off of the bench. Hairston beats him in the ability to play the infield. You need diversity.

 

 09/26/2013  Posted by at 8:26 pm Dodgers News, Dodgers Rumors No Responses »
Jun 252013
 

With half of your team of potential All-Stars playing like half the team the Bad News Bears, it is easy us Angelenos to get antsy in the trade department.

Greg Zawkin who heads the “Plaschke, Thy Sweater Is Argyle,” blog, took an opinion on trading recently. Mr. Zawkin feels that trading away your top hitting prospect Joc Pederson will help shore up some of the teams instabilities either pitching or infield, which the Dodgers do need; but Greg Zawkin is dead wrong. A team that is sitting last place does not trade away a top hitting prospect to get themselves out of last place, that is not how it works. The Dodgers problems are several-fold and cannot be addressed with a 1 for 1 swap.

Let us look at the Dodgers and what we can expect pretty soon before we start trading top prospects.

First: Look at the standings. Dodgers are sitting in last place,la-sp-dn-dodgers-yasiel-puig-matt-kemp-andre-e-001 yes, but are only 8 games out of first place, with the All-Star break still a couple weeks away. They are riding a 3 game win streak, all which have come against teams in their division. This division is still up for grabs for any team.

Second: Look at the DL. Matt Kemp is close to returning, maybe even in a week or so, plus Scott Van Slyke isn’t terribly far behind either. Chris Capuano just came off DL, and had two impressive starts yielding zero runs. Why don’t we try Matt Kemp, Adrian Gonzales, Hanley Ramirez and Yasiel Puig in the lineup before we complain about a power surge. That is coming soon.

Third: Don Mattingly is still the manager. I like Don Mattingly, but he should not be managing this club at THIS present time. So even if you throw more great pitchers in the bullpen or batters in the lineup it doesn’t mean he will utilize them correctly. A more stable manager would.

Fourth: You have someone who can get you more. You actually have a couple players that can get you more. Andre Ethier, Carl Crawford or a number of other prospects waiting in the wings. Conversing with a fellow Dodger fan, I brought up Andre Ethier potentially being traded and I said “$15 million, that’s a lot of payroll to eat.” His reply was “$2 billion.” Well that is true. The Dodgers can eat contracts for breakfast if they wanted to. Management wants to win, the team wants to win. A prospect is a prospect, they are not proven. We know Ethier is a better hitter than he has been, even though he is acting like a James Loney (while he was on the Dodgers at least). He is also very durable and can play right field and center. Crawford is injury prone, but has had a nice season until getting hurt. Many teams can call for their services for the right amount of contract subsidiary.

Finally: Do not repeat the past. Trading away prospects for veterans or position stabilizers has not worked out with the Dodgers. I mean, it works out for the prospects they trade away though. Just ask Carlos Santana.

The gist is we need to allow this team to play as close to full strength as possible before we throw away a prospect. As much as the Dodgers can afford take a large portion of Ethier’s salary, they can also afford to keep it and him right where it is. The trade deadline is still a ways away, towards the end there will be a lot more time to assess how the team is doing.

The Dodgers need bullpen help. The Dodgers need Don Mattingly to manage like he’s been doing it for 10+ years. The Dodgers need to play consistently.

The Dodgers are still in it.

 

 06/25/2013  Posted by at 12:03 am Dodgers News, Dodgers Rumors, Prospects No Responses »
Apr 112013
 

That is no typo. Greinke out with no timetable.

Pitching in just his second game as a Dodger, Co-Ace Zach Greinke suffered a collar bone fracture during a scuffle with Hit By Pitch King, Carlos Quentin. Quentin, who has lead the majors for two seasons was plunked during a 3-2 count in the 5th and charged the mound. In a surprise to catcher A.J. Ellis, who was steps behind Quentin, did his best to scramble and eventually tackle Quentin.

The replay shows Greinke turn his left side towards the charge, not to take damage to his pitching arm. As benches cleared, the jawing and scuffle continued, eventually leading to the tossing of both Matt Kemp and Jerry Hairston Jr.. The blow comes off the heals of an injury free pitching staff, where Chad Billingsley returned to earn his first win of the season.gqdodgers

After the game, Don Mattingly was furious to put it nicely. “He [Quentin] shouldn’t be allowed to play another game until Greinke can… If he does.. well then that is just stupid.” The normally calm and precise skipper lashed out at all questions regarding the “why” this all happened. A brave reporter asked him “you seem upset by all this, how upset are you?”

“I’m happy.”

Yikes.

Obviously there will be some suspensions here, but a fair point for Don to make. In a 2-1 game, full count, why would Greinke throw at Quentin? Why would Quentin think it was intentional? Has he considered backing up from the plate a little bit?

Quentin who has 30 pounds on Greinke, attacks, gets suspended maybe for 2-3 games and is back in commission. Greinke gets the brunt of it and could potentially out 4-6 weeks. Doesn’t seem fair. Don isn’t pleased. Management can’t be thrilled with their pricey investment getting injured. Chris Capuano’s stock is rising.

 04/11/2013  Posted by at 11:34 pm Dodgers Injury Reports, Dodgers News 1 Response »