When you score 7 runs in a 4 game series, you have every expectation of being swept!   Except, when you hold the other team to 1 run or less in three of the games!  The Dodgers are indeed fortunate that the Padres couldn’t jump out of a boat and hit water… sort of like Kurt Bevacqua.

So, the Dodgers won 3 out of 4 games.  It was ugly (if you are a pitching coach, it was beautiful), but I’ll take it!

Let me clear something up right now:  I am not negative on this team’s ability to win the NL West.  I think they are more likely to win than the Giants.  92+ games sounds just about right.  What I am negative on is their ability to win a series with a team who actually moves RISP to the plate!  I am negative on their ability to play defense up the middle.   I am negative on a couple of pitchers in the pen.  However, most of that can be fixed within the organization. This is NOT YET a championship team!

But when I hear stuff like they might try Carl Crawford in center – well, that makes me crazy!  The Dodgers either need a centerfielder who has some experience there and has speed to go along with that, or they need someone with the speed to make up for mistakes out there.  Carl Crawford is not that guy.  He cannot stay healthy – there are probably at least two more stints on the DL for him – THIS YEAR!  Either way, both centerfielders are on the roster.

Baez was optioned today, so all Ned has to do is call up Joc Pederson on Friday to play in St. Louis.  I think it’s about time we see what he can do.  I hear from some people that’s he’s a corner outfielder, but my eyes show me someone who is Jim Edmunds-esque out there.  Just my opinion!  I have to admit that I have seen him in CF less than 20 games, but I saw nothing that made me believe he couldn’t play it!  I wonder if he will hit, but I think he can play center.

The other centerfielder is Dee Gordon and to those of you who say the Dodgers can’t move him during the season, but in the next breath talk about CC in CF – well that makes me crazy too!  If Alex Guerrero has the pop I think he might, he needs to play 2B – he will be solid, if not spectacular there.  Uribe mans 3B, so that’s not an option for Guerrero, and Guerrero is most certainly not an MLB shortstop.  I do think he a guy who can get you 25 HR.  The Dodgers need power…

It’s about time Corey Seager was promoted to AA.  What if he tears up that league too?  What then?  Watch for him next year!

FYI:  My two sons met up in Brooklyn last week.  The oldest hasn’t been back for about 14 months and my youngest is growing to catch him.  He was shocked at how much he’s grown (6’3″ vs. 5′ 11″).  Here’s their photo at Battery Park.

Nick-Stephen

 

  1. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    I’m about to got to sleep, so I won’t say much. However, even if Dee Gordon could solve the problem in CF, moving him off 2B would strengthen one up-the-middle position (CF), and weaken another (2B). Gordon not only covers a lot of ground at 2B, but his arm is invaluable on double plays and balls hit to his right up the middle. In fact, I think he has more of a positive impact on the team at 2B than he would in CF. Overall, I think moving Gordon to CF weakens the overall up-the-middle defense.

    And why do we assume that Guerrero would hit immediately with the Dodgers, especially after all that he’s been through? Maybe he’s ready this year, and maybe not. And he would definitely be a downgrade defensively at 2B.

  2. Badger says:

    Centerfield IS a problem, but putting your All Star second baseman out there midseason is not the answer.

    Things have certainly not gone as I saw them going. Other than being in first place and having outstanding pitching, several cracks have presented themselves. If we continue to play as we have, it could very well be true that we are not a championship team. But it’s been proven over time that the team that is hot at the end of the year is the team that lifts the trophy. Brooklyn made a point yesterday that I have been stressing all year – we can live with our defensive weaknesses if our offense does what it is paid to do. I still look forward to Puig, Crawford, Ramirez, AGon, Kemp, Uribe and Ethier all hitting well at the same time. If that doesn’t happen until September/October I could live with it. I think it will happen eventually, but if it doesn’t, then over the winter make all the changes you want.

  3. Michael says:

    Have to run but using CC in center is laughable. He can barely play LF and at times is atrocious out there. The thing I’ve noticed this season in CF is no matter which one of the usual suspects out there NONE of them can go back on a ball. If it’s over their head its off to the races.

    There was a time the Dodgers used to win a lot of 1-0 games, back in the day of Koufax and Drysdale.. later

  4. Pete M says:

    Amen Badger… I’m in 1st. place and got em where I want em… Great to watch the kids in the Futures game… Baseball has, as always a bright future… Kudos to Seagar and Urias……. The Urias mania is in gear today and I’m happy… I will make no predicions, but with health, his career is on a scary path… Seagar to AA… Thank God…

  5. Badger says:

    Just checked the defensive metrics of all our current CF options. The facts according to observable evidence is – we have no good options out there. My gut tells me that given some time to actually work on it, Kemp is still the best choice. As for Crawford, I just don’t know. For those og you who have actually played all those positions (I have) or coached them (yep, I have) you know the physics of fly balls, and hits down the lines, are different. Balls pulled or sliced (left and right field) arc much differently than back spin (centerfield) balls do. Balls hit hard into corners are often much harder to field (2 fences coming together). Centerfield is obviously bigger and requires more speed, but dealing with the one fence, once you learn how to do it, should be easier. Who among them is best at chasing a ball hit 60′ beyond them? Clearly Ethier and Van Slyke can’t do it. Puig and Kemp have spatial awareness issues and slam into walls. Our best defensive centerfielder appears to be playing in Albuquerque. And his path to the big leagues is like the MCRD obstacle course – there are just too many things that must happen before he gets on the field.

  6. bobbie17 says:

    This team has gotten a lot of wins without doing much. Good baseball or lucky? Who cares? Gonzo has to start hitting, if there is any chance for the postseason. RBI’s are fine, but rally inspiring hits in the gap are better. I expect Kemp to keep improving, slowly, but his production will be off all year. Not the Kemp of old. It would be nice to have a better backup catcher and infielder. That shouldn’t cost much. I fear the rest of the season will be on Puig’s shoulders. Hopefully this stupid contest today doesn’t screw him up like it has many others.

  7. BOB says:

    Seager is the real deal. I swear that the first time that Mark said that Seager should be promoted he was batting below .200 against LHP and now he has very good reverse splits. With him moving to RC his batting coach could move there too. Then the BC could hop over to Dodger Stadium and help I or more of the many underachievers.

    Downsizing is good. Look what it did for Uribe and Crawford when they lost weight!

    Per the injury report the Dodgers could have 5 healthy players added to the roster by 7/31, not that they would want every single one of them. http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/fantasy/injuries/#team119

    The rest of July might be a difficult month but August and September are still primed for another surge like in June.

    • Badger says:

      I’ll take 5 of them. Arrue, Beckett, Elbert, Turner and Ramirez.

      July is real test for this team. It is time for the sticks to heat up.

      Still not sure how this downsizing is to work. If Mark’s plan is to install Guerrero and move Gordon I say no. Adding Guerrero and losing Figgins is fine with me but moving Gordon mid season makes little sense.

      I think we are kinda stuck with Crawford. That leaves Ethier. He has some value so, we’re back to moving him again. Trade Ethier, be forced to pay half his salary then bring up Pederson and put him in center. There. CF problem solved and it only cost around $35 million. But, wtf, we’re rich and the people in the blogosphere must be served.

      Jed has work cut out for him. It would really help if Andre would put a streak together. The last 14 days he has a .286 .412 .840 slash line and ZIPs has a second half projection of a 2.1 WAR and a wRC+ of 121 for him so …………..

      I made that last part up but maybe there are some GMs that won’t check.

  8. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Mark, can I assume that your two sons met up in Brooklyn and went to Battery Park. Battery Park is located in lower Manhattan. Or is that a different park in the picture?

  9. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Wainwright starting All-Star game.

    http://www.latimes.com/sports/dodgers/dodgersnow/la-sp-dn-adam-wainwright-clayton-kershaw-dodgers-cardinals-all-stars-20140714-story.html

    As far as I’m concerned, Kershaw has earned that start, not only by his numbers this year, but in winning the Cy Young in 2 of the last 3 years (should have been 3 in a row). Wainwright is good, but Kershaw is the consensus best pitcher in baseball. Hope Kershaw keeps this in mind when he starts against Matheny’s Cards on Sunday night. Perfect time for his second no-hitter, and this time a perfect game.

    While I was watching Tyson Ross throw those filthy sliders yesterday, it also occurred to me that Ryu’s slider was especially hard and sharp. That was confirmed today, when I read that Bud Black said it was the best slider he’s seen Ryu throw since he came to the Dodgers. Maybe it’s something we’ll begin to see regularly.

    “I think we are kinda stuck with Crawford. That leaves Ethier. He has some value so, we’re back to moving him again. Trade Ethier, be forced to pay half his salary then bring up Pederson and put him in center. There. CF problem solved and it only cost around $35 million. But, wtf, we’re rich and the people in the blogosphere must be served.” — Badger

    I agree. And if we go on and win the WS, the $35 million will come back in a hurry.

    • Campy says:

      I would hope that Joc would solve the CF problem, but, frankly there are lots of people that do not think he is the solution right now. I do agree that I would like to see him be given a shot. There are no sure fire solutions that I see right now, it is, find the best solution you can because the status quo is rather discouraging. Even though I suggested they give CC a shot in center, it is not because I believe he is a good CF, it is just that we need to find something better than what we have out there right now.

      If Joc does not have it, or is traded, then I believe Mark is on the right track with Dee. Only, make the position change in the off season and don’t throw him out there in a pennant race when he is under a lot of pressure. I can see Dee becoming a good CF and Guerrero may very well fill in the 2nd base slot but I believe that is for the near future. It is questionable to make CF and 2nd base trial by fire experiments at the half way point when we are in first place. I think that if Joc is traded soon it will be a sign that the brain trust is leaning that way.

  10. Roger Dodger says:

    My eyes have watched Crawford, very uneasy catching high fly balls in left field this season. Almost staggering under the ball. That is my eyes. He is not a center fielder, and maybe ok for a few innings of some games — but Ethier would cover more ground and ability.

    • Campy says:

      We have watched Kemp in CF and people don’t seem to be satisfied with his play. Ethier has been out there and the only way we can keep balls from going over his head is to play him on the warning track, he isn’t the solution. SVS has been out there and it is painfully obvious that he isn’t a CF either. Even Puig has played there for a few games but RF is really his position and moving him weakens two positions. If they are not going to bring Joc up (which may be the best solution) who is left to try??? Crawford is the only other OF we haven’t seen there. While I too have my doubts, I do think it is worth a try. Can’t be much worse that what we have been playing with and there is a long shot that we may be surprised (pleasantly).

      • Badger says:

        Logical. We don’t know if he goes back on balls any better than the others but I doubt he is worse. He is faster so he can get to balls quicker. Worth a try until somebody is jettisoned.

        I spent a lot of time in Minneapolis when I lived in Wisconsin. Beautiful city. Very cosmopolitan. But the weather in that region can suck the ruby begonia.

        • Brooklyn Dodger says:

          We definitely need an upgrade in CF. I think my position on Gordon is well known, and I also lean against moving him next year. But I also might support that after I see him play CF (because I don’t assume just because he’s fast he’s a natural for that position), and also after I see Guerrero play 2B, and hit. And I’d have to see Joc Pederson for a while. Also, if the problem isn’t solved long term this season, there’s lots that can be done over the winter, including the acquisition of another player.

          Crawford? I don’t know. Can he be worse than Ethier/SVS? I guess that’s possible. But it’s also possible he might be better. Certainly I don’t envision him as a long term solution. There’s got to be a reason why he never settled into that position in Tampa Bay. But barring a better solution, I’d give it a try, and then dump the idea if he quickly proves as inept as our current denizens of that position. Maybe, given his recent stay on the DL, it wouldn’t have been a bad idea to have had him give it a try on a rehab assignment.

          • Blake Estes says:

            Well that was embarrassing. At least we don’t have to worry about him ruining his swing for the second half

  11. Roger Dodger says:

    Home Run contest. I thought I heard them say, that Puig did not bring anyone with him to pitch to him.

    What are the Dodgers thinking!!!! I believe all of the others in the contest had their batting practice pitcher or relative or friend — they brought with them.

    And the Dodgers knew he was going, and in the contest, and they did not send a pitcher to lob those pitches in . . . So he picked up old man Cano this morning to do the throwing.

  12. Pete M says:

    Yasiel…You know his brothers and others are still talking about his ‘magnificent 7’… When does baseball begin??? Assuming Joc P. stays, 2015 opening day OF is Matt – Joc – Puig… IF is Uribe – Arrrrr – Gordon – Agon… Ellis… Something different I think about often… I really want to find a spot for Guerrero, but I’m stuck… Lets say Alex is as good as I suspect, would it be sacrilegious to entertain offers for Dee G??? I back up the Brinks truck again to keep Zack part of the band… Going into ST with K, Zack and KimChi is a great starting point… I’m heading to NY in Sept… Want to save a few $ and was thinking of staying in Jersey and commute into NY city to see some spots… Any suggestions… (Jersey, I gotta go to Nathan’s)…

      • Badger says:

        Basically this is it – A rumor I read – Gordon, Lee and ? (Pederson) for Stanton. Ethier leaves for prospects, one to be included to Miami, or we use another one of ours. Guerrero, Arrue, Seager and Sweeney are the infield. I have no idea who plays center for us, maybe Sweeney and we sign a FA to fill the other spot.

      • Roger Dodger says:

        Yes, but they won’t trade him. Speed kills. And if the Dodgers think that Gordon can really now hit major league pitcher for at least .280 and above — can’t find many players like that.

        Go to some other players in the Dodger system to trade.

  13. Watford Dodger says:

    Badger I do not recall reading your post on the above but if you round those guys up I will drive them to Florida today. Gordon plus two prospects for Stanton is an absolute no brainer. It has been suggested on here that Puig is too wild to play CF but I think he is the answer – look how more disciplined he has become at the plate this year. He has the range & the arm. Kemp/Puig/Stanton – yes please!!!!!!! Ok we lose Dee’s speed but it would free up 2nd base for One Ear which would add more pop. I’m excited now. That would be a game changer.

  14. Pete M says:

    Boy, I wait for years it seems to get a bona fide lead off guy… A guy who sets the table and disrupts pitchers and we want to trade him . Don’t get me wrong, I like Stanton but I still think he’s going nowhere… I stick with Uribe for his last year and give Seagar a year more and have him transition to 3B…

    • Badger says:

      Stanton is arb eligible and though he makes a ton through that process he is affordable. They don’t need to trade him so I agree he’s going nowhere for now. Unless of course somebody makes an insane offer. They can finish out of playoff contention, and be near the bottom in attendance without him.

      I didn’t say I would do that trade. It’s just something I read somewhere, or dreamed up myself, I don’t remember. ;). Miami sent Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis to Detroit for 6 players. Can anybody name them? Did any of them become All Stars?

      If Sweeney is the real deal, maybe in 2-3 years he can lead off. Or perhaps we keep Gordon and ship Sweeney. Frankly I would rather have them 1-2 in the order. If this present group of overpaid players continue to perform like B movie actors they can all be shipped as far as I’m concerned. We built this expensive hot rod to finish first now. If it doesn’t, rebuild it.

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