Right-handed Dodgers pitcher Josh Ravin has been found guilty of performance enhancing drugs and is suspended immediately for 80 games.
The southern California native has spent 10 years throughout baseball in all levels, getting as high as the majors for a couple of them. These have come both in the Dodgers’ organisation and the Cardinals’.
Josh has been on the 60 day DL for some time now too after his crash in a car accident in February that broke his non pitching arm. This comes as a shock to him and everyone involved however it is not the first time something weird has happened to the pitcher.
In a 25-0 drubbing during the opening series against the San Diego Padres all was going well for LA and for Dave Roberts as manager. Through this series 7 men got work out of the bullpen and all 7 only worked together to give up just 5 hits in 8 innings. This was an extremely positive sign for the club at the time with the offence and defense working well together for the perfect start to the year.
However as the club moved to San Francisco, the bullpen, offence and defense all shattered and that start seemingly meant nothing to anyone. The Dodgers gave up 26 runs through 4 games, the bullpen responsible for 12 of them. Through 4 games this means the bullpen gave up 3 a game, a recipe for not making playoffs.
Not only were there these 12 runs but the bullpen also managed to blow 2 saves in Yimi Garcia and Chris Hatcher and had 2 losses in Joe Blanton and Louis Coleman.
The year is 2014 and Ross Stripling is on his way back from yet another Tommy Johns surgery, the second of his career. This type of injury takes a good few months to get back from and of course Ross knows this all too well.
The young right hander, who has been trying since 2012 when he was drafted by LA in the 5th round to get to the big leagues, is now back in his minor league task, pitching for the Dodgers’ AA affiliate, the Tulsa Drillers. Ross’ first 6 outings consisted of 25 innings total, an average of just over 4 per game. This was backed up by the fact he never went past 76 pitches and not once did he reach 100 in the season, his most being 93. This brings us to the decision Dave Roberts made with Ross in Friday’s game.
The 26 year old finally has his shot in the big leagues and has a no hitter going through 7 and a third innings, it is a no brainer to leave him in right? He has a chance to throw a no hitter on his MLB debut, a feat not achieved since over 2 centuries ago, in 1893. Ross walks the first man in the 8th and his pitch count had reached 100, the first time he hit that mark since ever, his previous most had been 99 with the Chattanooga Lookouts, the then Dodgers’ AA affiliate.
There can’t be much complaining done so far with the combined score from LA’s first two games being 18-0 over the San Diego Padres but one thing I have noticed is Dave Robert’s unorthodox placement of people in his lineup and his reasons for doing so.
Chase Utley as a leadoff man is some what surprising to me as he doesn’t have many wheels and often pulls the ball to the right side which most teams will counteract with a shift, putting his OBP down fro what it usually would be for a leadoff man. A leadoff man’s job is to get on base any way they can ad try and start something for the inning, Chase certainly doesn’t try and swing for the fences every time like a leadoff man LA had last year which is a positive and he is smart but his tendencies cant be changed.
We’ve been through positions and the line up and now we will take you through our protected starting 5.
For Opening Day on the 4th of April at Dodgers Stadium we all know it will be Clayton Kershaw vying to get his team off to the best possible start when he takes the hill against the Padres.
However, with Clayton Kershaw being named Opening Day starter for the 6th consecutive time and of course locking down the number one spot, the remaining 4 remain a bit of mystery with the departure of Zack Greinke and additions of starters like Maeda and Scott Kazmir. The problems for LA now will be their injuries, with Brandon McCarthy, Hyun Jin Ryu being injured with his shoulder surgery and now Brett Anderson’s injury, the starting rotation mightn’t get to full strength all year.
(All stats from the 2015 season.) Continue reading
After my previous article about who should play where in the field for LA, we now need to focus on something that Mattingly didn’t do very well last year, the lineup card, especially in the leadoff position. A few candidates pop up for the top of the lineup; from 1 to about 4 and with the departure of Jimmy Rollins last year and then the failed experiment of Joc Pederson we should see some changes for this upcoming season.
1.Carl Crawford (LF)
Although not assured to start on April 4, Carl and his speed is the biggest asset to the top of the lineup with Joc moving down as a result of his many, many K’s in the top spot. Although last year his OBP was just over .300, he only played in 60 odd games and never got his chance to get hot with injuries plaguing what would have been an alright season for the now 33 year old. The only man to get more stolen bases in 2015 was Jimmy Rollins but seeing as he is now gone, and Corey Seager is taking his spot in shortstop it would seem the speed will have to come from Carl. Continue reading
After last year’s mixing and moving between AAA and the majors, Corey Seager’s discovery and the almost impending loss of Howie Kendrick, only to be brought back by new manager Dave Roberts and his staff, this year’s opening day lineup will be an interesting but mostly similar to last year’s.
Changes will come through out the season with some bench players from last year such as Guerrero, Hernandez and maybe even mixing time between Andre Ethier and the overpaid Carl Crawford, all pushing for a job come mid season and the late season playoff push. But for April 4, we should see a very solid defensive lineup with batting strung through out and Clayton Kershaw holding it down off the rubber.
(All statistics are from the 2015 regular season)
Pitcher: Clayton Kershaw, 16-7, 2.13 ERA.