So Clayton Kershaw will be out a month?  It wouldn’t be unusual for a pitcher to pitch through this kind of muscle strain, but in this case, it is a very wise move.  The Dodgers have big aspirations and they need a fresh Kershaw in the playoffs.

Brian Wilson has not looked right this Spring and now we know why.  Nerve irritation can clear up quickly or linger the whole season.  I would not plan on seeing him again and if we do, it’s a good thing.  I can see Chad Billingsley coming back later this month and possibly filling Wilson’s role in pen for a while.  He could be the long guy and build up arm strength slowly.

Dominguez needs some seasoning, so I don’t look for him until July or August.

A-Ball Prospects to Watch:

  • Kyle Farmer – Catcher, Great Lakes (he could move up quickly)
  • Alex Santana – Outfielder, Great Lakes (he’s big, can he develop some power?)
  • Jacob Scavuzzo – Outfielder, Great Lakes (he is capable of great power)
  • Julio Urias, Tom Windle, Chris Anderson – Pitchers, Rancho Cucamonga (3 of the Dodgers top pitching prospects)
  • Blake Smith – Pitcher, Rancho Cucamonga (because I like guys who are converted to pitchers)
  • James McDonald – Outfielder, Rancho Cucamonga (welcome back old friend, I guess they don’t think you can pitch)
  • Corey Seager – SS, Rancho Cucamonga (for obvious reasons)

Earth-Covered-70

  1. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Agree with you about Billingsley. I still remember his stint in the pen in 2007, when I remember him hitting 97 mph. Don’t know if he would do that now, but maybe something similar.

    I mentioned Dominguez last night as a possible replacement for Wilson. But what you said above also occurred to me. So maybe the Dodgers hold off on him for a while. But they know where he’s at in his development better than any of us, so we’ll just have to see. But chances are that some move will be made today for tonight’s game. Just can’t think of anyone other than Dominguez who would be called up now to address the current vacancy in the pen. But it wouldn’t be the first time I couldn’t recall a name.

  2. Bob says:

    Watching Wilson the other night, you had to know the guy wasn’t right. His velocity was down dramatically from last year and had nothing on the ball. Probably going on from when he started throwing this winter and was hoping it would turn around. I say give Withrow the chance at the 7th inning. It’s amazing how this stuff happens. The first week in the season and already two holes in the pithing staff.

  3. Bluenose Dodger says:

    Blake Smith is 26 now and only converted to pitching last year. He did pitch in college (University of California) but he was primarily an outfielder.

    Bladimer Franco(3B) was also converted to pitching in 2013. He is a bit like Pedro Baez in his projection. Most likely has extended ST and short season start hopefully getting to the Loons later in the season.

    That is not the same James McDonald. This James is 22 years old and played last year with the AZL Dodgers and had a stint with the Quakes later in the season. He will start the 2014 season on the 7 day DL. 18th round pick in 2013.

  4. Mark_Timmons says:

    Harold, at Dodgers Digest a certain writer who often criticizes me who shall remain nameless (Dustin Nosler), has him listed as THE JAMES MCDONALD who once was a Dodger a few years ago. Are you telling me he is wrong? I was certain he was as infallible as the Pope.

  5. Badger says:

    Losing Wilson is a bummer but he can be replaced. Kershaw can’t. I’m just hoping the Dodgers aren’t lying about this. Well, they already have misled. I mean if they know Kershaw needs surgery and are waiting to the last minute kind of lying.

    We have what we need. Greinke, Ryu, Haren, Beckett, Maholm, Fife and Billingsley should keep us close until we know about Kershsaw. We will need to score runs when the back end of that rotation is up, but we have the guys who can out runs on the board. Greinke needs to go more than 5.

  6. Watford Dodger says:

    What about Rosin? Oh I forgot – we got him to ST to see what he could & and after we saw that he was rather useful we decided to put him on waivers. Still he might not have been claimed yet? Oh of course, I remember he was claimed straight away. Nobody is suggesting Jamie Wright for the long relief role even though he’s in the pen for precisely that reason. I think we have been underwhelmed with what we have seen from him so far. Once we start hitting things won’t look so bad.

  7. Watford Dodger says:

    We’ve signed another Short Stop – Carlos Triunfel from the Mariners. We seem to be stockpiling infielders. Maybe there’s a trade in the air? He hit .282 at AAA last year.

  8. Rob says:

    Magill has great stuff but his control problems scare me. I think Perez will fill that set up roll unless it’s lefty hitters and then Paco will fill that roll. I watched evoldi pitch yesterday and I really liked what I saw. I know we got Hanley but evoldi looked solid.

  9. Badger says:

    Is Wright still in the picture? If so, we should have enough arms to now to get through this. Beckett can pitch soon. Billingsley will be back. Fife is still around, right? If the team starts hitting we should be ok.

    Mark tells us “it’s no big deal”. Ok. Maybe it isn’t. Maybe Kershaw still gets 25+ starts and will be fine for the playoffs. Maybe. But with $215 million on the line, I would not be surprised if we don’t see him on a mound for a long time.

  10. BOB says:

    Terrible Team Batting Average with several starters needing to go 3 for 4 just to get up to the Mendoza Line.

    Terrible Team Fielding Percentage, plus too many bonehead plays.

    Really bad bullpen ERA.

    ACE on the DL for at least a month.

    Yet the Dodgers have a record of 3-1, are all alone in first place, and are watching the Angels wallow in last place.

    Just wait until the Dodger money players start hitting and the seasonal 2 underperforming relievers get jettisoned and replaced.

  11. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    I no longer have the Extra Innings package, since I’m happy with MLB.TV. However, for anyone in an area not blacked out, the Extra Innings package is usually free at the very beginning of the season as a promotion to get people to sign up. So for as long as it lasts, maybe some of you might want to take advantage of it. For example, if you have MLB.TV and would prefer to see the game on your big screen TV instead of your computer monitor, you will probably have that opportunity, at least for a little while.

    Triunfel is probably just organizational depth. He’s 24, so maybe the Dodgers get lucky and catch lightning in a bottle. Or not.

    I’ll assume that Mark is right, and Kershaw’s injury in no big deal. Assuming the Dodgers will be overly cautious, I’m guessing we don’t see Kershaw again until June. In fact, I heard somewhere that Andrew Cashner had the same injury, and was out for two months. If so, that’s actually encouraging, given what he’s become, and what we saw the other night.

    If the Dodgers hit, and everyone not named Kershaw pitches well, then I see no problem for the Dodgers going forward. And if Kershaw comes back healthy, in, let’s say June, then he will likely be stronger come playoff time.

  12. Roger Dodger says:

    Brooklyn, totally agree with you for the long haul.

    But – just as the Dodgers pulled out a lot of games last year with timely hitting and strong starting pitching and and a great bullpen —- those Giants, Rockies, D-Backs, and even Padres will be working harder than even to turn the tables this season as what happened in the first Padre game.

    That is the reality that Donnie faces as he tries to find a second baseman for the long hall. Decides on who are the outfielders when Kemp comes back. Ned has to decide if he trades a player like Ethier for some other piece/s.

    Some of those games last season, where hold your breath — Dodgers win!!!!

    We can only root them on to do the same this season . . .

  13. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Here’s the downside to Extra Innings. When the Dodger game is on the same station as an earlier east coast game, and that game goes long (e.g., extra innings), then the broadcast of the Dodgers game is delayed until the earlier game is over. Tonight the Cubs and Pirates are in extra innings, so I’m watching on my computer.

  14. Badger says:

    Can this team afford to trade an outfielder? And let’s face it, the outfielder we are talking about is Ethier. He is owed at least 3.5 WAR money until 2018 (team option) and he can earn that money on the right team. He needs 600 at bats and he won’t get them here. He’s a former All Star and wouldn’t it be nice to have a veteran with his history as infield depth too. Unless we get real value in return I don’t trade him. He’s a hammy away from being an everyday player.

  15. Roger Dodger says:

    Brooklyn, I have Extra Innings (DirecTV) and the Vin is on Channel 748.

    But this is interesting — I also tried the same feed on MLB.com on the computer, and that feed is about 2 minutes delayed. Not much, but that makes it not live action.

    One could make bets by watching on TV, and betting someone who only have the computer feed. ON . . . what a hitter will do or the such.

    • Badger says:

      I saw all of last nights game with only intermittent buffering. Nuisance but I tolerated it. Tonight’s game started ok but has now buffered itself right to black screen. Can’t afford a new computer right now. I takes my chances every night.

  16. BOB says:

    Idea for the next “International” trip.

    Tell Japan to send an All-Star team to Honolulu and the Dodgers will meet them there. Then we and thousands of Japanese fans could go on vacation to Hawaii and stay at 4 Star hotels with a large room rate subsidy from MLB.

    Mark – make it happen.

  17. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Roger,

    Speaking of delays. In the first inning there was a look-in showing Hanley’s double before he hit it on the feed I was watching. Then I got to see him hit it “live” I(SMILE!!!).

    If I only had Extra Innings like I used to, I would have only seen the last inning of the Dodgers game. Pirates beat the Cubs in 16 innings. Glad I gave up Extra Innings for MLB.TV.

    Badger, I occasionally have those buffering problems. But for the most part they’re pretty rare. And not too much of an annoyance. However, tonight I experienced something for the very first time in the several years I’ve had MLB.TV. I missed the three consecutive hits in the 8th inning. All of sudden after two were out, suddenly the Dodgers were scoring a run on Gordon’s hit, and that was the replay. Lot’s of action got lost.

    Even though Haren was mostly hitting 87 with his fastball, he did a nice job tonight. However, I can’t say that I was overly impressed. Will have to see him more to see if he can inspire any confidence in me. But all is OK, as the Dodgers are 4-1. Just got to get those bats warmed up.

  18. Bobby says:

    The sign of a good team, and of a good season, is winning despite not playing up to your abilities.

    I think there’s still tons of upside to this year, AND we’re already 4-1 while playing ehh!

    Gona be a good year kids; enjoy the ride

  19. Badger says:

    Missing plays is common for me. Missed innings last night.

    Haren was pitching last night – changing speeds and hitting his spots. And I think another sign of a good team is beating the teams you are supposed to beat. The padres are a 76 win team. The dbacks are a .500 team. Detroit and SF will be a tougher test.

    • BOB says:

      I like it. #2 and #3 playing for the Quakes. Forget driving all the way to Dodger stadium. The future is finally in LA. Maybe I will disagree with their #20!

      Another Day off. What about the real working stiffs? Can we have another day off in the middle of the week?

  20. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Badger, who is that person posing as you? Are you sure you haven’t lost it, and just think it wasn’t you. You and I are from the same generation, and I know for a fact that I have memory issues. Or has Mark just decided to hijack your moniker? SMILE!!!

    By the way, we’re 4-1, and still haven’t played a game at home. But it was against the Padres and the struggling D-Backs. As Badger noted above, the games against the midgets and Tigers will be a tougher test. And although I wasn’t overly impressed by Haren, that’s only because I have to see, over the long run, if he can get by with his ability to locate and change speeds. And it’s quite possible as he gets further stretched out, we might see some more velocity.

    All in all, I’m satisfied, and I’m looking forward to the return of Kemp, and to the perking up of our middle of the lineup bats. And, of course, we do have some reinforcements returning soon, and some young talent in our system with the potential to contribute this year. And of course, we have an ownership that will not hesitate to add talent if it can be acquired.

  21. Badger says:

    Could have been me. I do remember reading that guy was a former top 100 prospect. I don’t remember reading he was #70 and I sure don’t recall posting that. I figured somebody was responding to me and typed my name by mistake.

    I remember when Haren was here in Arizona they were talking a lot about his split finger. One of the best in the game just a few years ago. If he can throw that for strikes he can keep his ERA under 4 and eat up some innings. And he can hit. He might be a guy to hit 8th. I would sure like to something about Gordon hitting behind Ellis. If Ellis can get back his .350 OBP that would be a good thing. But him on prevents Gordon from circling the bases on a gapper.

    I’ll have to take a closer look at the order of those prospects. I still have Guerrero at the top of my list because he is now. What I found interesting is we have zero A prospects. I wonder how many teams have that same situation.

  22. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Well, we did have an “A” prospect, but he’s no longer eligible for that list. I refer, of course, to Yasiel Puig. He may no longer be eligible for prospect lists, but he’s still a young “A” talented player. And from what I’ve read, Julio Urias could easily qualify as an “A”. Besides, as was noted in the article (i.e., if I’m remembering correctly), “B” and “B+” players have been known to become stars. And at the very least, Erisbel Arruebarrena probably has an “A” rated glove.

    As for Haren, I remember that split finger from when he faced us in the past. If he’s still got that, he should be good. If his velocity picks up to the low 90’s, he should be even better.

  23. Badger says:

    Withrow is in the Major Leagues and Urias is 16 years old. To rank Urias higher is silly in my book. Until Seager does it at AA I put him lower. My list is Guerrero, Pederson, Lee then pick the rest of those names out of a hat. We have several that will play at the ML level. No way of knowing who will play extremely well.

  24. Rob says:

    So with kemp expected to be activated tomorrow who will sit? A righty is pitching so do you sit your left hand hitters? Crawford has been hitting the ball but Ethier has not, does Donnie sit Andre against vogelsong? It’s a good dilemma to have but someone will be pissed off.

  25. BOB says:

    Laughing at the Angels. The worst ERA in MLB, worst Starting pitching ERA in MLB, and the worst Relief pitching ERA in MLB.

    Dodger Starters have a 0.91 ERA.

    Priceless

  26. Badger says:

    3 games.

    They are American League and they are not in LA. I find it sad they have added the name Los Angeles. They are in Anaheim and evidently embarrassed by that. They draw 3 million and I’ll wager less than 5% of that number come from Los Angeles. They have a solid Orange County fan base and what they did is a slap in the face to those fans. I lived there, just a few miles from that park and I went to many games years ago. Cheap tickets, cheap beer, AL baseball was no threat to the Dodgers. I don’t wish them any ill will. Their fans deserve better. Change the name. Dump the LA moniker and maybe the karma will be better for you.

  27. Badger says:

    “Dodgers pitching coach Rick Honeycutt didn’t specifically blame the injuries to Clayton Kershaw and Brian Wilson on the team’s early games in Australia when speaking with ESPNLosAngeles.com’s Mark Saxon, but he hinted that they could have contributed to the poor luck. “I don’t think enough thought was put into the process,” said Honeycutt. Kershaw said that he didn’t think the long flights were a factor, but Wilson admitted that he would have liked to have gotten a longer Spring Training to ramp up for the season.”

    Duh.

    Not enough thought indeed. And what little thought that did go into it was dumb.

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