Great day in L.A. today! I woke up this morning — phone blowing up with some of the greatest news I’ve seen in a while. Ned Colletti had acquired Hanley Ramirez from the Miami Marlins. Who would have thought this was an option even two weeks ago?? Not me. When Ramirez’s availability first became available a week or so ago, my original thoughts were that the Dodgers stood the best chance to get him due to the fact that they would be one of the few teams that could afford his salary. When it came down to it, the Marlin’s were going to pay the A’s half of Hanley’s salary, before the Dodgers came in and accepted it. Let’s look at what we gave up and accepted on.
Marlins Give Up:
Hanley Ramirez, SS/3B and Randy Choate LRP (Lefty)
Hanley, as stated before, is going to be a huge addition to L.A. He is an All-Star caliber player that also has some hardware on his shelf. He has won the Batting Title and also won Rookie of the Year. He is expected to initially start at shortstop in the absence of Dee Gordon. However, when Dee is scheduled to come back around mid-August, the idea is for Hanley to move over to 3B. Now most of you are probably wondering, If Hanley is so good, why didn’t we have to give up big name players for him? The fact that we took on his large contract is a big factor in it, but also, Hanley does come with a little baggage. This deal can either go two ways, and this is just me being entirely honest with you guys. The first way, and the way we all hope, is that he returns to the Hanley he was in recent years, and makes an immediate impact on the team. the second way, and the way we could all be dreading, is if he continues on his head-case path that he is currently on. There has been a lot of rumors going around saying that Hanley didn’t like being moved to 3B when Miami brought in Jose Reyes. Hanley, earlier in the year, punched out a dugout fan with his hand in July, which eventually developed an infection in both his hand and with manager Ozzie Guillen. Ned, Don, and all of the Dodgers organization believes that with the new team, and change of scenery, a whole nation away, that Hanley will fix his attitude and return back to his form. If he does…the Dodgers definitely just made one of the better moves they have in a very long time.
Randy Choate is a guy that is definitely not going as talked about in this deal. He is a left handed reliever which was another major hole that we needed to fill. He isn’t the “come in and completely shut teams down” kind of player, by any means, but he is definitely a good contribution. The fact that he is a lefty is great, and this year, in just 44 innings, he has only allowed 7 runs. Randy should also be decently familiar with Dodger stadium, seeing as he pitched for the Diamondbacks for four years through 2004-2007. Aside from the Dbacks, Randy has played on three other teams dating back to 2000 (Yankees, Rays, Marlins), making the Dodgers his fifth team in his career. I don’t think he will be dominant or mind-blowing by any means, or else we’d be talking about him a lot more. However I do think that he will provide that lefty stability that we needed in the pen.
What the Dodgers Gave Up:
Nathan Eovaldi, RHP (Starter) and Scott McGough RHP (Reliever)
We have all grown to love Nate. He has pitched his heart out for us after Ted Lilly went down, but in the end, just never got the run support he needed and found himself with a 1-6 record. His 4.15 ERA may not sound great, but is better than Clayton Kershaw’s ERA in his rookie campaign, (4.26) so that should say something there. It’s tough to see Nate go, especially when we have pitchers like Chad Billingsley still in the rotation consistently being inconsistent, but in the end, we have to realize that Nate was a prospect this entire time. The minute Lilly returned, he was going to be sent down to the minors anyways. At least we could get something for him, while his value is still high.
Scott McGough, although our own prospect, is the one guy in this trade that not many people know anything about. Let me give you a quick report on who exactly we let go. Scott was drafted in the 46th round of the 2008 Draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates out of high school, but instead, opted to attend the University of Oregon. It proved to be a good choice for him, because his college career bolstered him up 41 rounds where the Dodgers took him in the fifth round (164 overall) in the 2011 draft. He began his professional career with Ogden in Rookie League, and made just six appearances before being moved to Class A Great Lakes Loons. He recorded decent numbers (2.21 ERA with 8 saves and 25 strikeouts in 20 innings) but when he was promoted to High-A Rancho, his numbers began to decrease. In my opinion, he allows far too many baserunners to be a major league pitcher. He allows roughly a hit per inning, and a walk every other inning. Although he does have 48 K’s in 47 innings, the baserunners was the thing that always worried me. This year, for Rancho, he is 3-5 with a 3.99 ERA. While those numbers aren’t terrible, if a prospect is going to be a talent at the major league level, those numbers need to be a lot better. Usually, I hate to see a prospect go with so much developing to do, but the fact that Scott is a right handed reliever, that doesn’t seem to be dominant in the Class A levels…I think it’s safe to say that there isn’t much development to be had on this one.
The corresponding move was to send Todd Coffey to the 60-Day DL, and move Adam Kennedy to the 15-Day DL with a strained groin. In the end, the major part of the deal was that the Dodgers would be taking on Hanley Ramirez’s big contract. He is towards the end of a six year contract that pays him $15 million this year, $15 million next year, and $16 million in 2014. The Dodgers are planning to pick up around $40 million of that remaining contract. The nice part about this deal, is that we have 2 more years where Hanley is guaranteed to the Dodgers, in which time we can continue to build, and allows us to offer him a good deal when it comes to sign again, assuming that Hanley puts up the numbers we all know he is capable of. All I know for sure now is…I can’t WAIT to see Hanley in that Dodger Blue.
I’m pretty optimistic heading into the second game of this series in which the Dodgers got punched in the mouth in the first game. Wondering why? A guy by the name of Clayton Kershaw is taking the mound. He has pitched a total of 40 innings at AT&T Park. The Giants have managed to score in just two of those innings. His current innings streak without an earned run is up to 32.2. In his last four starts in San Francsico, he has only allowed one run total.
So needless to say, barring a Eovaldi-type breakdown, I think the Dodgers will be in good condition to win this ball game. With that being said though, expect a very low scoring game. Ryan Vogelsong is on the mound for the enemy and he has been anything but inconsistent this year. He has only had one start this entire year that didn’t result in a quality start, which requires a minimum of six innings pitched, and only three earned runs allowed. That’s impressive. I’d still take Kershaw’s track record in SF though.
Dee Gordon looks to continue his hot streak, just three days out of having a one-on-one session with Maury Wills. In those three days, he is batting .500 with three stolen bases, two runs scored (impressive considering the Dodgers lack of runs) and a walk. He has been definitely improving his offense, despite the inconsistency in the field. Posey is also in the lineup tonight after getting the first game of the series off.
And wouldn’t you know it!! My DREAM lineup has finally come. No kennedy…No uribe…No loney. I really hope this works out to show that this is the way it should be. This is the time to shine for the Dodgers. Here is what Donnie and Bruce Bochy have scratched in for tonights game starting at 7:15 PT.
1. Dee Gordon, SS
2. Elian Herrera, 3B
3. Andre Ethier, RF
4. Juan Rivera, 1B
5. Bobby Abreu, LF
6. Jerry Hairston Jr., 2B
7. Tony Gwynn Jr., CF
8. AJ Ellis, C
9. Clayton Kershaw, SP
1. Blanco, RF
2. Theriot, 2B
3. Cabrera, LF
4. Posey, C
5. Pagan, CF
6. Sandoval, 3B
7. Belt, 1B
8. Arias, SS
9. Vogelsong, SP
The Dodgers look to wrap up the Freeway Series and take their first series from the previous six. Aaron Harang takes the mound tonight as he looks to mimic Chris Capuano’s brilliant night last night as he went seven strong innings, while only allowing one run on seven hits, while striking out four. Dee Gordon also had a breakout night, which was fun to watch. He got two hits, stole a base, and also scored two of the Dodgers three runs. Before the game, Dee met with Maury Wills and apparently, whatever Maury told him…worked.
What I loved about yesterday’s game was the fact that it was the first time in a while that the Dodgers were working on all cylinders. Everyone was playing a role: Cappy was dominant on the mound, Hairston and Rivera had some key at bats, Dee was all over the place, on offense and defense, and Elian Herrera made an outstanding catch in Center that took a three run homerun away from Torii Hunter. Everyone was playing their part and I can say, despite the fact we scored on two errors by the Angels, that we earned that victory. Yes, we scored on errors, but the fact of the matter is, the Dodgers put themselves in positions to win all day by being aggressive on the basepaths. I really hope that we can carry this momentum into today, and more importantly, into San Francisco this week.
Today, Don Mattingly is giving Juan Uribe the day off (we’re all super bummed about that, I’m sure) and actually giving Herrera the nod at third! I thought this would finally be the day I’d get to see my dream lineup…but sure enough, Adam Kennedy is in at second instead of Hairston. One day! I’m still keeping my hopes up. Anyways — Here are the lineups Donnie scratched in for today.
1. Dee Gordon, SS
2. Elian Herrera, 3B
3. Andre Ethier, RF
4. Bobby Abreu, DH
5. Juan Rivera, LF
6. James Loney, 1B
7. Adam Kennedy, 2B
8. Tony Gwynn Jr., CF
9. Matt Treanor, C
Aaron Harang, Pitcher
1. Mike Trout, LF
2. Alberto Callaspo, 3B
3. Albert Pujols, 1B
4. Kendrys Morales, DH
5. Mark Trumbo, RF
6. Howie Kendrick, 2B
7. Erick Aybar, SS
8. Peter Bourjos, CF
9. Bobby Wilson, C
Garrett Richards, Pitcher
Hey Dodgertown!! Grab the popcorn — put on your lucky articles of clothing — sit down and get ready for round 2 of the Freeway Series. Here’s to hoping that the Dodgers remembered to bring their bats to Anaheim, considering they seemed to have forgotten them in L.A. when they visited Oakland this past week. I’ve got some good news and bad news for everyone. Let’s start with some good news. It’s been a while since I’ve been able to say that:
Good News: Mr. Juan Uribe is OUT of the lineup!! It will be so refreshing to get a break from seeing that haggard swing every ninth at bat. Now I don’t mean to bash on any of our Boys in Blue, and I know its not fair to single any one person out considering the recent offensive slump the entire team is in, but this is one that I just don’t agree with. Let me explain my reasoning. Juan Uribe, even after a DL stint because of his recent wrist injury, is batting a mere .185. I double checked myself, and to answer your question, no, that’s not a typo. Remember how hopeful everyone was back in 2010? And the hope that Ned Colletti gave us after he signed him by saying, “He will provide more power, he has thunder in his bat.” Really Ned? Cause that so called “thunder” has only struck five times since you’ve signed him. Mike Petriello for Mike Scioscia’s Tragic Illness wrote a great article about Uribe describing why he is actually the third, possibly second worst Dodger signing in history. Click Here for a great read about more on that. Despite all that criticism, that was my good news: Uribe. Is. Out. Celebrate.
Bad News: Kennedy is in at third instead. As much as I’d like to rejoice that Uribe is out…we’re really not gaining much here. Oh well, at least Adam’s swing isn’t as atrocious as Uribe’s is. Plus, Adam provides the slight gleam of hope that he can come through sometimes. Whereas Uribe really doesn’t give you that hope. Ever.
But hey! I’m not here to be all negative. Here’s some more good news. That DH spot that we get to use in Anaheim is allowing Ethier, Abreu, and Rivera to hit together in the middle of the lineup. Maybe that could potentially spark some offense that we’ve so desperately needed the past couple series. Here’s what else Donnie scratched in for tonight’s lineup against the Orange County Angels of Anaheim.
1. Dee Gordon, SS
2. Jerry Hairston Jr., 2B
3. Andre Ethier, RF
4. Bobby Abreu, DH
5. Juan Rivera, LF
6. James Loney, 1B
7. Adam Kennedy, 3B
8. AJ Ellis, C
9. Tony Gwynn Jr, CF
Chad Billingsley, P
I can honestly say I have no idea where to begin or what to even write about this game. It was…embarrassing. I don’t know about any of you reading this, but there was zero emotion or energy until the ninth inning, when it was WELL too late. I don’t know what has happened to our gritty, always coming at the opposition type play that I loved watching. I hate to say it…but for the first time this season, our injuries are starting to show. Our offense is just not producing runs like we used to be. Especially, and I mean especially, when Nathan Eovaldi takes the mound. This poor kid. In four starts, his ERA is SUB TWO (1.93). He’s getting us deep enough into the game (averaging around the sixth inning, tonight the seventh), and his record is 0-2. He’s the Dodgers version of Cliff Lee. In four games, the Dodgers have backed him by scoring — are you ready for this? Buckle up –two runs. In four games.
I’ve been reading a lot of threads and forums saying “Jansen blew the game again,” this and that. Not to me. This was entirely and one hundred percent a team loss. It would have felt weird to win, because the bottom line was, we didn’t deserve it. Jansen had never given up a homerun when the ballgame was tied in his entire career before tonight. It was a fluke pitch, and a lucky swing by Aybar, who has no power to begin with. I know I’m not in my usual, “let’s look at the good things” type attitude, and I apologize. Maybe it’s seeing the Giants celebrate in perfection or maybe its just an accumulation of both that and tonight’s game, I’m not sure. All I do know is that seeing players like Uribe consistently in the lineup night after night just bums me out. Uribe is 1 for 7 since coming off the DL (shocker to us all, I’m sure) and he is the last person I’d want to see up when the games on the line. I’d honestly rather see Kennedy in.
But my job isn’t to bash players, so I won’t. I’ll have to end this here, and maybe bury this post with other posts that are a little more enjoyable to read. The Dodgers get a very much needed day off tomorrow, so check back to see some posts I don’t get to do very often. Maybe I’ll throw in an interview or an interesting historical read. I’ll surprise ya. In the mean time, have a good night Dodgertown. Until next time…
I feel like I’ve said this quite a bit this year…but what a game!! These guys just never stop fighting. Although, most of tonight’s was quite frustrating to watch, it was still an incredible race to the finish.
I need to be a little negative at first. I want to get this out of the way, because I told myself that I would talk about it, but overall I’m pleased with tonight’s performance. Now, I’m not a major league manager…obviously. Nor do I claim to be. However, with that being said, I have no idea what we’re doing with Uribe and Kennedy; mainly Kennedy. Today, he had a very costly error that cost the Dodgers a run early in the game. Then in the fourth inning, after a Juan Rivera single that scored Ellis and moved Ethier to third, Kennedy grounded into a double play to end the rally. I just don’t feel like there’s any energy from him. Not only from him alone, but it just seems like the team never plays the same with him in the lineup. I dunno, thats just my opinion, and like I said, that’s probably why I’m not a major league manager…but if it were up to me…I definitely wouldn’t have him in, unless it was a last resort type situation. Uribe and Kennedy combined to go 0-6 on the night.
Anyways…now that I have that negativity out of the way. Time for some good reports. I think its safe to say that Andre Ethier was very thankful for his new contract extension. At the press conference today, and while interviewing him, you just saw this constant glow and that famous Ethier grin. It was like it was pasted on all day, even in the dugout before the game. Ethier loves L.A. and he always has. “This is the place I’ve wanted to be all along and I hope to finish my career in LA,” Ethier said after the conference. Tonight, he showed Dodgers fans everywhere that he’s not taking that money for granted. He played a huge factor in tonights game from not only making a superb catch in right field to save a run, but also added on to his NL Leading 54 RBI’s as he knocked in the game tying run with two outs in the bottom of the eighth. I’ve heard a lot of people, both Dodgers fans and non-Dodgers fans, say that they don’t think ‘Dre is worth near $100 Million. After tonight’s game, have their opinions changed? Only time will tell. All I know is…I’m happy to know that we will have Kemp and Ethier going back to back for at least the next five years.
I can’t only talk about Andre though…he definitely wasn’t the only one that made an impact tonight. Dee Gordon (DeeGo) had an incredible game as well. For the third time this season, he had three stolen bases in the game. THREE! He made a costly catching error in the sixth inning, however, if you watch, I want to blame that on Kennedy as well. And no, not just because its Kennedy. With two outs and a soft grounder like that, you go to first base to get the automatic out. Sure, second base is a shorter throw, but its also a shorter run. When you have the pitcher (Jerome Williams) running down to first, its an easy, easy play. That error also scored another run that put the Angels ahead 2-1.
And theeen there was Rivera. Juan Rivera hit a go-ahead three run homerun in the bottom of the eighth inning immediately after Ethier tied it up. And honestly…I have not heard that stadium erupt like that in a LONG time. It honestly gave me flash backs of the 2008 and 2009 playoff runs. With a sellout crowd of over 50,000 fans, every single one of them were on their feet. It got so loud, that when I rewatched the telecast, they had to blackout the sound just because it was peaking so much. It was absolutely breath taking. I know that’s kind of a ridiculous term, but I honestly don’t know how else to describe it. Seeing Matt Kemp jumping for joy, being that incredible cheer leader that he is, seeing the faces of the young guns that haven’t gotten a chance to see that stadium erupt, everything about it was just amazing.
I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again, this team is an absolute “Wonder Team.” They never give up, and I couldn’t be happier to see where this season will go. Here’s to hoping that the Stanley Cup Champion, L.A. Kings will give us some good luck when they throw out the first pitch tomorrow, with the Stanley Cup right beside them, inside the stadium.
The rubber match is set to start at 7:10 PT at Dodger Stadium. Nathan Eovaldi takes the mound, looking for his first win since being brought up. He has pitched amazing, but just ran into some bad luck along the way with run support. Hopefully tomorrow the Dodgers can take the series and give this kid the Win that he’s deserved for a while now!