I said it. I meant it, and I’m here to represent it! Ned Colletti watched Kershaw’s start last night and saw Clayton lower his ERA to 1.11. He is obviously pitching against hitters who are totally overmatched. I hear people say not to rush him, but there is also a point where it does him no good to pitch against hitters like that. I suppose they could send him to Vegas, but that is a real crap shoot. We know he can pitch against major leaguers. We have seen it. There’s no need to wait past the end of this month.
On May 3rd, here are some things we are dealing with and things that need to change:
- As I predicted, Matt Kemp is our best #3 hitter, but I would really like to see Loney at #4 and Kent at #5, just to give us that R-L-R protection. I think it would help Loney too. I think he’ll break out soon (not that he’s doing bad);
- Speaking of Kemp, one of the reasons he has to to play everyday is to keep him under control. When he sits, he tries to do it all in one AB. Play the Puma, Joe.
- Raffy Furcal is driving up his contract price. If Ned has an inclination of signing him, he should do it now as a bidding war after the season will be expensive. Raffy’s agent says he is agreeable to signing now…
- Andruw Jones just needs to sit and rot on the bench for a week. Let him be a defensive replacement and that’s it for a week! He needs a jolt!
- Blake DeWitt has taken off his Superman Cape. He is mortal afterall!
- Our bullpen remains a major strength. Our pen has blown 2 games. San Diego’s has blown 10!
- Jason Schmidt will pitch a simulated game early next week and then head to Inland Empire for a rehab assignment – probably a full 30 days!
- Gary Bennett needs some HGH – he’s hitting way below the Andruw Jones line.
- Sign Piazza!
- LaRoche was 0-3 last night
- Meloan got hit hard last night
Finally, for those who are worried about Martin playing 3B, I had forgotten that Joe Torre used to play 1B when he was “resting” as a catcher, so I will defer to Joe. Dylan Hernandez of the LA TIMES addresses this issue:
Torre, himself a former catcher, said he used to play first base on his days off and that the change in positions served as a mental break. Martin said he understood the reasoning.
“It’s not the same,” Martin said. “You don’t have to think about what you’re going to do every pitch, how you’re going to get this guy out and so on. And you don’t have to squat the whole game.”
That being said, Torre made it clear that Martin would periodically receive complete days off.
ESPN’s Jason Crasnick writes about players with slow starts, among them AJ. – There are several others doing about as bad! Here’s what he says about Jones:
Jones’ early travails rekindle bad memories from last season, when his .222 batting average, .724 OPS and penchant for killing rallies made it a tough sales job for agent Scott Boras.
Jones turns 31 Wednesday, so it’s hard to believe his bat speed has vanished. But he messed himself up swinging for the fences in the quest for big money a year ago, and it might require an overhaul to resurrect the old Andruw.
“He’s in a horrible habit where he has no back-side pivot to unlock his hips, and every swing is an uppercut swing,” said a scout. “It’s a grooved swing, and if you happen to hit his bat, he’s swinging … so hard that he can do some damage. But there’s very little adjustment to be a good hitter.”
Just weeks into Jones’ tenure with the Dodgers, the team’s fans are already booing him with fervor. He has also become a target for acerbic Los Angeles Times columnist T.J. Simers, who dared him to climb on a scale last week and began referring to him as “Tubbo” when Jones’ weight popped up at 248. So much for a Southern California honeymoon.