Where Is The Set Up Man?

The Dodgers won a big one run game tonight against the Giants behind another strong outing from ace Clayton Kershaw. The lefty gave up one run in 7 innings of work, allowing only 6 hits on 90 pitches, 66 of them strikes.

The win was capped by a 4 out save by Kenley Jansen, his third of the like in this short season. Jansen’s 3 four out saves so early in the season is alarming for the ball club, this doesn’t seem to be sustainable over the course of the long marathon of a season.

The Dodgers need one of their relievers to develop into a legitimate set up man and get three outs in the 8th without leaving fans gasping for breath from an intense outing or just letting the game get completely out of hand and unreachable for a win. Continue reading

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Do Managers Know How To Use The Intentional Walk Rule?

Cubs home opener. Dodgers are against the Cubs at Wrigley field after a 2 hour rain delay and 3 hours of baseball. It is 2-2 in the bottom of the 9th and Romo has handed the ball off to the closer Kenley Jansen to finish the inning.

There is a man on second and 2 outs. Anthony Rizzo is at the plate.

“What could go wrong?” A naive Dodger fan would ask, “We will get Rizzo out and go to extra innings with Seager due to lead off. It is a good spot to be in.”

Dave Roberts has managed this game pretty well to most eyes, the only exception being Scott Van Slyke being in the game, or even the roster… However this would be the most important time to control the whole game, right here with 2 outs in the 9th.

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Is This A New Yasiel Puig?  

Yasiel Puig is one of the only players on the Dodger’s roster who is either really lovable or hateable depending on the team you support and the views you have on his actions.

When he came on scene back in 2013 he was 2nd in Rookie of the Year voting and 15th in the league wide MVP after hitting 19 home runs at a .319 in over 100 games. This was projected to be something special and would only continue to grow, with his attitude and anger at times, capturing the hearts and eyes of Dodger fans everywhere.

Puig quickly become a hot topic of conversation all around the league with his flare and enthusiasm he plays the game. This would lead to the great Vin Scully naming him “The Wild Horse” after stealing bases, throwing out people from right field with his cannon and stretching singles into risky doubles.

Of course for Puig not all of this would pay off and he would be left stranded and the subject of a lot of anger from Dodger fans and sometimes the then manager Don Mattingly, who would think he was just an immature kid and someone who wasn’t ready for the big leagues when he was just a 22 year old out of Cuba.

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NL West Predictions for 2017

With the 2017 season fast approaching and Opening Day right around the corner it is time to see how the teams are shaping up in the Dodger’s division to challenge them for a 5th consecutive title.

5th: San Diego Padres (66-96)

There is nothing to like about this roster once again in 2017 with the aftermath of them “winning the offseason” two years ago still in full effect. The club has gone and really done nothing in this year’s offseason, bringing in no one to help out their offense or defense, with the pitching looking like being the worst in the division for a 3rd consecutive year.

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Romo’s First Inning As A Dodger

For the first 9 years of his Major League career Romo was with the Giants and played there, winning 3 World Series rings in that time.

Entering the game in the top of the 6 with a 3-1 lead to protect, Sergio Romo came in to Dodger Stadium for the first time as a Dodger. His line will read;

1IP, 1H, 0BB, 0ER with 11 pitches for 8 strikes.

However this inning was slightly worrying for Dodger fans and Sergio alike.

The reason for this is simply that his sliders really weren’t sliding that far and only hung in the zone for a majority of his strikes. For Romo with this ‘slider first’ mentality he should be throwing his pitches for balls with the hopes of swings and misses.

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What Will LA do with Alex Guerrero?

Before the season began, during Spring Training, Guerrero injured his left knee and has been carrying soreness ever since which saw him start the season on the 15 day DL, a place he finds himself today.

When Alex was ready to return to the ball club the Dodgers placed him on a rehab assignment with High-A Rancho Cucamonga hitting only .269 with 7 for 26. This is about where he should be in the majors if he follows expectations but in A+ someone of major league standard should be nearing .300 if not there.

The front office in LA thought it would be beneficial for him to be promoted to AA Tulsa where he has found himself now, the only problem with this is that he is hitting 1-30 in his 8 games with 5 strikeouts. He has found himself at both 3B and LF, this hasn’t changed much for his offence however with his only hit coming 4 games ago, since then he is 0-12 with 2 K’s.

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Josh Ravin Suspended for 80 Games Following PED Use

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.

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Is There a Problem in LA’s Bullpen?

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.

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Why Dave Roberts Made the Right Call

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.

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Problems with Dave Robert’s First Two Lineups

 

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.

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