What Should LA Do With Yasmani Grandal?

AJ Ellis has been red hot of late, hitting .333 since the first of September. This is good for anyone but for AJ and a catcher, a position the Dodgers have struggled with offensively for sometime, this is outstanding. I know it isn’t a whole year’s worth of stats but with the play offs coming round the corner this is a good sign for everyone involved, especially considering Don Mattingly thinks of Ellis as “just a back up”.

Yasmani Grandal is the complete opposite, brought over to help with offense as well as defence with only AJ and Drew Butera being the stock at the time, Yas has definitely done that in his relatively short tenure with LA. However the now injured catcher has some problems, he is 0 for his last 33, he has a bung left shoulder and his swing isn’t what it used to be, especially in this slump.

The first problem that LA and Donnie come up with is simply do they need him. Do the Dodgers need to risk the injury more for the sake of playoffs during September and the early days in October or do they rest him up and get him ready for the run to the pennant. Continue reading

Chase Utley to LA After Long Awaited Trade

Howie Kendrick, Kike Hernandez, Alex Guerrero and Justin Turner. These four are all ahead of Chase Utley in the pecking order for time at second and third base this year with Jimmy Rollins and Adrian Gonzalez seeming sure players at their respective positions.

So why did LA take on Chase? Well in his 12 and a half years in the MLB and also with the Phillies, Chase has been one of the better players on their roster hitting some .282 and being an NL All Star for 6 years with the privilege of having a World Series ring to his name.

The only problem for now is Utley is 36, he is being paid 6 million dollars for the remainder of the year and even though Philadelphia are paying 4 million of it to help the deal go through LA increase their lead in the MLB’s biggest payroll category to $307 million with the Yankees being some $17 million behind in second. Another two million dollars for his by out next year if he doesn’t fit and isn’t needed and this is a pretty expensive deal.

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Mat Latos Sent to the Bullpen

After coming over from Miami with now DFA’d Michael Morse, Mat Latos hasn’t been all that the Dodgers have wanted from the veteran starter. Mat has gone 0-2 in his 3 starts with LA and sporting a 6.75 ERA, one that is considerably worse than his 4.48 with Miami.

Latos’ stats really don’t help him here either, his OBP, OPS, batting average against and slugging percentage are all the highest it’s ever been with a team and his maximum pitches for LA this year are only 85 in 6IP, his best start for LA only giving up 1 run.

Even though he was 4-7 Latos had showed good signs for the year with only giving up 6 earned runs in his last 4 starts over 26IP but going 2-2. Seemingly the problem there, as the Dodgers have sometimes had is the offence not supporting their starting pitchers when they did it.

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What Role Should Kike Hernandez Play?

So far in Kike’s year he has played every position on a major league field except catching, first base and pitching. This is not a bad resume and one that every team would like to have on their team, fortunately enough the Los Angeles Dodgers have this and he’s playing on the bench, but is this the right move for a player hitting .300 in his second year in the big leagues.

Although only 23 Kike has already shown one of the elders on the team taking fake selfies with All Star Adrian Gonzalez and seemingly being one of the leaders for even the middle age guys to look up to.

But should he be starting? The first question that comes to mind is where would he play, second is an All Stars, as is shortstop’s. Over at third there is Justin Turner who is lighting it up this year and in replacement for him Alex Guerrero who was going to be the every day third baseman after the Uribe trade but hasn’t played much there since. The outfield too is pretty crowded and with Carl Crawford coming back from the DL too this looks to be another dead end. So what is in line for Kike?

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13 Player, One Pick Trade Sees LA on top

With the talk surrounding David Price to LA ending after he got dealt to Toronto and then Cole Hamels with his rumour of landing in LA, after his perfect game in Philadelphia coming to a close with his trade to the Rangers the Dodgers were still left with an apparent need for a big name starter. Enter Mat Latos.

The deal was only spoke about for two or three days in the media before it was announced but in the end the deal will have monumental effects on all three teams’ play off runs. For LA they could be a realistic shot at the World Series ring, Atlanta can bolster the bullpen with their additions and also the 70 million dollar man Olivera where as Miami I think just lost out in this deal.

Los Angeles acquired starting pitchers Alex Wood, Mat Latos and Bronson Arroyo, relievers Jim Johnson and Luis Avilan, slugger Michael Morse and infield prospect Jose Peraza. The Dodgers also received cash considerations from both Atlanta and Miami, this wont help though with Morse’s contract coming on board and also Latos’.

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Yasiel Puig Getting Traded?

Yesterday the Dodgers announced that Cuban phenom Yasiel Puig was available to be traded away come the deadline in 3 days but “only if demands are met”, this could be either a huge success for LA or a terrible one, but what would the Dodgers get out of a deal like this.

Puig has hit .305 with 35HR and 111 RBI in his first ever 250 games in the majors. These are all star numbers and he is only a sophomore in the league. In fact in his first 2 years he was 15th and 19th respectively in MVP voting, and also being 2nd in the NL for Rookie of the Year in 2013.

There isn’t any doubt among the league that Yasiel could be a star, which is why the terms would have to blow the Dodgers away for this once in a generation player.

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Zack Greinke’s Early Case for the NL Cy Young

After today’s dominant performance over the Washington Nationals, going 8 scoreless innings with 8 strikeouts, Zack Greinke is firming as favourite for the National League Cy Young winner and rightly so.

Zack started the All Star game, last week too, going two innings and only allowing the lead off homerun by super star Mike Trout. This one run was the only one he has allowed in his last 45 and 2/3 innings of baseball. In the MLB though that feet now is up to 43 and 2/3 scoreless innings, tying Orel Hershiser for most consecutive scoreless starts by a Dodger at 6.

Not only has he got a record of 8-2 in just 18 games started but he also has an ERA of 1.39, challenging Bob Gibson’s modern day era record of 1.12 in 1968. Zack’s ERA is lower than ever for Clayton Kershaw, even last season when he did the double, winning the Cy Young and the MVP.

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