Guerrero’s At Bat Against the A’s

Alex Guerrero has already caused some spark and controversy among the Dodgers ranks as he has said, with no option years left and that it would be up to him if he goes down to AAA where he hit .329 in 65 games, with 80 hits and 15 home runs. He has already said no, he would stay in the majors regardless of what the club wants from him.

Perhaps he doesn’t have to though; already this year is Spring Training Guerrero has been on fire, second best on the club for averages and equal most hits with Scott Schebler, who will be in the minors this year barring some amazing circumstances.

There was one at bat today I would like to highlight in Guerrero’s progress. As there is no doubt he is age ready, being 29 years old, he has been around a baseball field for some time. Last year however in my mind there was doubt surrounding his pitch selection of what he is hitting or looking for was strong but today that changed. In 13 at bats last year he struck out 6 times and only managed one hit in the majors, a terrible record for anyone, this was all down to pitch selection.

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Why Julio Urias is not Ready for LA

Julio Urias, on a non roster invite to the Dodgers’ Spring Training camp for 2015, faced 4 batters in a live batting practice session today, and he dominated. Striking out potential center field starter on Joc Pederson on three pitches, did the same to Alex Guerrero and then sat down Chris Heisey too.

When he threw a fastball, I couldn’t see it,” Guerrero said in an interview after his at bat. “The movement was distinct. He threw me two high fastballs, but I couldn’t see them. I swung for the sake of swinging, but I couldn’t see them.

The thing that got the eyes of such greats as Sandy Koufax and Rick Honeycutt was his offspeed, “His fastball is pretty good, and he offsets that with his changeup,” Heisey said. “The changeup I saw was really good, especially if he can learn to pitch it with that upper-90s fastball. Then that changeup away to righties will be devastating.”

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No More Kemp so Who Starts in the Outfield?

After the trade of Matt Kemp for Yasmani Grandal the question that Don Mattingly and his coaching staff is faced with is simply who plays in the outfield? Matt Kemp leaving does mean that five players who all had real chances of being an everyday starter is back to 4, 5 if you count Joc Pederson but that will have to wait to see how he plays in Spring Training.

In left field I have CC, Carl Crawford, after playing in 105 games of the 162 last year and putting up .300 with 8 homeruns, 46 RBIs and also a nice 23 stolen bases, I cant see anyone else who needs to be ahead of him with Kemp leaving and going to San Diego. Both Carl and Scott Van Slyke would have and should have got some more games, and they probably would have if they played for any other team, but for LA with the 5 men they had in the outfield that wasn’t ever going to happen. This year will be Carl’s year, he has left field all to himself and if he wants it, it can stay that way for the whole 162 games.

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Matt Kemp for Yasmani Grandal?

After trading Drew Butera to the Angels during the week for a player to be named later or cash considerations, the Dodgers were on the look out for another catcher to help AJ Ellis in his role on the team; and they may have found the one.

He comes at a hefty price though for LA, having to get rid of Matt Kemp, one of the stars in the outfield in 2014, but in return getting Yasmani Grandal plus young pitchers Joe Ross and Zach Eflin.

The deal is no finalised and it is only coming from various sources but this could be a massive upgrade in the catching stock for the Dodgers and also solving one of the biggest problems for the team, having too many outfielders.

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Gordon, Haren and Rojas Gone in Blockbuster Trade

Coming into the penultimate day of the Winter Meetings, LA had done nothing and the new front office was under scrutiny. But this would all change in the next 12 hours or so.

The Dodgers ended up agreeing on sending second baseman Dee Gordon, starter Dan Haren and utility infielder Miguel Rojas to the Marlins in return for starting pitcher and top prospect Andrew Heaney, Enrique Hernandez, minor leaguer Austin Barnes and relief man Chris Hatcher.

Since the announcing of this trade Andrew Heaney has already been shipped on to the Anaheim Angels to get Howie Kendrick, the all-star second baseman from the AL, the perfect replacement for Dee Gordon. Dee hit for .289 on the year while Howie went for .293, Dee with a .326 OBP is slightly lower than Howie’s .347 and 176 hits compared to 181. Both players are very similar on offence, as goes for their defence, both have range and the arm to the make the plays while not messing up too many routine plays, with only 11 errors for Kendrick compared to Gordon’s 12.

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Do the Dodgers Really Need Jon Lester?

Coming into the Winter Meetings for the MLB and the chance to get any free agent as well as any player via is trade is very enticing for any time, but especially one with the access to money that LA has stacked away. With many new front office members too, non more noticeable than a new GM, the Dodgers have reason to go after a big name, and none of which stands out more than 30 year old Starting Pitcher Jon Lester.

He spent the last year with Boston and then went over to Oakland after a trade involving such other big names as Jonny Gomes and Yoenis Cespedes and shined bright for both teams. Jon went 16-11 combined with a 2.46ERA, a record that any team would love to have in the bullpen but do LA need him that badly?

The starting pitching staff that the Dodgers have right now is impressive as ever with starters like 3 time Cy Young award winner and 1 time MVP Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke and Hyun Jin Ryu and I just don’t see why Jon Lester is of priority to them at the moment. Surely the team needs back up for these 3 plus whoever else comes in to fill number 4 and 5 in the rotation rather than just another star.

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Player Ratings for the 2014 Season

(All stats are from MLB.com and for the regular season only in the Majors)

Let’s start with the catchers. As a whole the 4 that played had an all round shocker, one bit off a teammate’s ear and the other 3 averaged under .200, this is only offense though and has Clayton Kershaw has said, “I don’t know what I’m going to do if [AJ Ellis is] not back … I think we’d be losing a lot if we let him go.”

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