Results tagged ‘ Juan Rivera ’
We are 30 Days Away from Pitchers and Catchers reporting, Almost a month before the first Spring Training Game against the White Soxs, and 78 Days until Opening Day. A lot can happen between that time and that has been proven before. This off-season the Dodgers managed to go on a spending spree to try to improve the team. Stan Kasten and Ned Colleti got together and signed the likes of Zack Greinke and Hyun Jin Ryu as well as trade for guys to help on the bench such as Skip Shoemaker. Off the field the Dodgers have been busy getting Dodger Stadium redone to not only improve fan experance but improve the Stadium for the players and modernize the 51 year old stadium as well. As we aproach the 2013 Season there are still questions that loom over the Los Angeles Dodgers. Regardless of the amount of talent and spending the Dodgers did there’s still some things that many are uncertain with. Let’s see what questions suround the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Will Zack Greinke live up to expectations in L.A?
I think this is the key question many were asking once the Dodgers signed Greinke. Yes the Dodgers did pay a lot for Greinke and we understand that but in this case Dodgers had Greinke on their list and was willing to pay whatever for him so lets clear that up. Theres going to be a lot of things expected from Grenike and with him being the #1 Pitching Free Agent there’s going to be pressure on him for a fact. To be honest I for one am not worried about Greinke at Dodger Stadium but when the Dodgers go out on the road is something that I will keep a good eye on. I think if he can stay consistent and healthy then watch out MLB.
How will Hyun Jin Ryu adjust to the Major Leagues?
Lets be real here we know International players have to adjust to the style of Major league pitching and play and Ryu is no different. After a dominant career in the KBO (Korean Baseball Organization) Hyun Jin Ryu signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers and if you look at his highlights you along with myself would be very excited to see him pitch. The one good thing about this is that no one in the Majors has seen Ryu pitch but MLB runs longer for pitchers which is something Ryu does know and is preparing for. I do believe Ryu will be a treat to watch but also is very unknown to many fans in the U.S. I think as the season progresses we will know more about him on the field.
Will Chad Billingsley, Matt Kemp, and Carl Crawford be the same coming off Injuries?
A concern with the Dodgers last season and something that hampered the team was Injuries. Chad Billingsley came off a stent on the DL when the second half of the 2012 season hit and was really pitching well until he suffered a partially torn right elbow ligament which sidelined him for the rest of the season. Matt Kemp was also bothered with injuries throughout the season and that affected his play through the season. Suffering from Hamstring injuries that sidelined him until the All-Star break and then tearing his right labrum and a frayed shoulder-blade which really affected him through the season. While Carl Crawford didn’t suit up with the Dodgers last season he also was injured and had to have Tommy John surgery which sidelined him for the season as a Red Sox. The health of those three have been closely watched since the end of the season and from the sounds of it progress is being made with Kemp and Billingsley. Kemp is swinging the bat again and working with McGwire in Arizona, Experiencing no pain while Billingsley has went fourth with is throwing program and from what is being said he’s sound confident which is also good to hear. While nothing is out on Crawford they expect him to be the Opening Day Starter at Left Field. My main concern at the moment for these guys is game speed. Yes they’ll have Spring Training to get it together but will they be at game speed and game condition once the season hits? Last thing everyone wants is for Kemp, Billingsley, and Crawford to struggle because that’s never a good thing to see. The key for their success as players is going to be Good health and confidence and If they can do that then watch out.
If Carl Crawford Isn’t Ready Who Starts at Left Field?
This was the talk at the end of last season and the answers was all over the place. In the event of Crawford not being able to play come the start of the season then who will start at his position? There were tons of players thrown into the discussion and some weren’t bad ideas while others were ehhh I don’t know. One Idea was to sign back Shane Victorino but there were two problems with that. 1) Shane wanted to be a starter and was not going to sign with the Dodgers to be a bench player once Crawford returned plus I questioned if he even wanted to be a Dodger and 2) he signed with the Red Soxs for a ridiculous amount of money so he’s officially out the picture. A few players also thrown out there was Juan Rivera which isn’t a bad idea but wasn’t the same player he was when he was traded to the Dodgers and Tony Gwynn Jr who was with the Dodgers until L.A. designated him for Assignment to Albuquerque. Yasiel Puig is a name plenty of Dodger fans put out there and while he is on the 40 man roster and has been Killing it in the Minors I question if he is indeed ready for MLB ball. He hit a major slump in winter ball but seems to be picking it back up. We have to see how he does at Spring Training to really judge if he is truly ready.
Will Luis Cruz repeat his 2012 Season
Luis Cruz was fantastic and was quite the surprise in the 2012 season. Cruz really became a popular player in Los Angeles and a key player as well earning the everyday 3rd Base spot. This season Mattingley said that the plan will be for Cruz to be starting 3rd baseman come Opening Day and why not? How the way he played Last season he should but whether he will make the same impact is a good question. Cruz will be playing with Team Mexico in the World baseball Classic so he will miss part of Spring training with the Dodgers for that. We’ve seen Juan Rivera who had a good impact on the team some what struggle the next season along with Dee Gordon and that is one thing that is in the back of some minds but with Cruz he has the work ethic to be better and help this team so it’s something to keep an eye out.
Is Andre Ethier on his way out of Los Angeles?
Andre Either has had his name in many trade rumors in the off-season and while the word is that the Dodgers are listening to offers they have not indicated that they will trade Ethier. Andre Ethier signed a 5 year $85 Million Contract extention during the season which raises eyebrows on why the Dodgers would trade him. Yes the knock has been that he can’t hit off left-handed pitchers and we all understand that but wouldn’t it be fair to wait and see how he does with Crawford AND Kemp in the outfield with him? There has been the rumor of him being traded to Seattle then signing Michael Bourn but that remains to be seen at the moment. I honestly think if Ethier struggles come the trade deadline then the Dodgers will likely look into Trading Ethier away but with his contract there isn’t many teams who will be willing to take him. I see the Dodgers holding on to Andre because as of right now it’s the right and smart thing to do.
Will The Dodger Stadium Renovations Be Done In Time?
I think this is another major question but it takes place with the stadium. If you have seen pictures of Dodger Stadium being redone or have been to the stadium then you can’t help but to worry about the Stadium being done in time for Opening Day. Stan Kasten made note that it will be ready by March 29th when the Dodgers take the field for their exhibition game against the Angels. Dodger Stadium was in need of renovations and that wasn’t a mystery at all if you visited there. After the 2012 Season the renovations start to modernize the 51 Year old Stadium but the worry is if it will be done and ready in time. It’s currently January right now and Dodger Stadium has to be ready by March for the season but in the event of it NOT being ready then there has been plans in place for the Dodgers to play at the L.A. Coliseum or Angel Stadium. I don’t believe that the Dodgers will have to play else where for their games and that the stadium will indeed be ready by March. They’ve already moved the Dodgertown Classic where USC and UCLA play at Dodger Stadium due to renovations so that’s already one event down. Yes A lot has to be done and it is a concern about getting it done in time but workers are working hard to get the upgrades done and it will be worth it.
Will Hanley Ramirez and Adrian Gonzalez Have A Better Season L.A.?
Hanley Ramirez and Adrian Gonzalez had up and down season in L.A. after they were aquired. With Adrian playing in the World baseball classic and Hanley in Winter Leagues I expect those two to improve. Another advantage is that Mark McGwire is the hitting coach and based on what he did for the Cardnials I can see him really doing what he can to help Hanley and Adrian improve. Weather it will work or or not is something we will have to wait and see. If Adrian Gonzalez can hit lights out and if Hanley can hit like his 2009 Batting Champion self then the Dodgers will really be a dangerous team hitting wise.
Your Los Angeles Dodgers are 29-13 which is a MLB Best, 1st Place in the NL West, Playing really good baseball with Matt Kemp, Jerry Hariston, Juan Rivera, Mark Ellis, and Juan Uribe. The Dodgers are getting all types of production from everyone this season at this point. The Dodgers even Swept the Defending World Series Champion St Louis Cardinals with a dangerous line up. Yet the Dodgers still have not received any National media attention. It seems like no matter what obstacles the Dodgers over come it gets little to no notice. Why is that? It’s beyond me but whatever it is I don’t like it but at the same time I do. Last year the Dodgers were in the headlines for all of the wrong reasons. Bankruptcy, Frank McCourt Draining the franchise, Losing, Brain Stow beatings. It seems like the Dodgers and it’s fan base couldn’t get a break. Come winter meetings the Dodgers only big move was Extending Matt Kemps contract while another team in Anaheim was making big moves signing Abert Pujols and CJ Wilson. Came the start of the Season Dodgers had new Owners in Magic Johnson, Stan Kasten, and Mark Walter and great display of baseball but national recognition hasn’t been all that.
Sometimes not having that National spotlight on you isn’t always a bad thing if you think of it. Right now the Dodgers have the best record in the MLB but is also staying quiet. As you see teams with the most pressure are usually teams like the Yankees, Red Soxs, or even now the Rangers where if one minor thing can become big news for you. The Dodgers having a big media spotlight just adds pressure to them to win. With the Starting Pitching playing well, Bullpen getting it together, and Everyone stepping up for the Dodgers it seems like things are going pretty well. So not having that national exposure isn’t always a bad thing when it comes to the play on the field. Just as good as it is to fly under the radar comes that respect.
As of now the Dodgers may have the top spot on a lot of Power Rankings but there’s others who talk more about other teams more than the Dodgers. How is it that Collin Cowheard can go on his show as with a straight face say the Cardinals are the best team in the MLB. The Dodgers swept the Cardinals in a competitive series but a Sweep is a Sweep. I’ve also heard many say the Texas Rangers are the best team which you can argue but comes this argument on why the Dodgers don’t get that recognition is the Schedule. Dodgers have played teams like San Deigo, Pittsburgh, Houston, Cubs, Rockies. Well let me kill the arguement that it’s hard to beat teams the way the Dodgers do in Baseball regardless of the teams and not to mention the Dodgers have hung around in games vs Atlanta and was robbed in two straight games vs Milwalkee. Not only that but Swept the Washington nationals and St Louis Cardinals as well as come back from a 6-1 defecit on the Road against Arizona to continue a 6 game winning streak without Matt Kemp. Want to talk about other stuff? the Bullpen is getting better and the Starting Pitching staff like Chris Capuano, Ted Lilly, Clayton Kershaw (Defending Cy Young Award winner), and at times Chad Billingsley playing very very well. So the Dodgers should have that notice from the media that the Dodgers are something special. Now its not how you start but how you finish and the Dodgers have to keep this good play up once June July and September October hit.
As long as the Dodgers keep winning then all is well but most Dodger fans have to be some what frustrated that they’re being OVERLOOKED by the national baseball media. Does it bother me? Some what but the Dodgers are 30-13. As long as they complete the season in October with a World Series back in Los Angeles then Im fine and happy. Dodgers playing great baseball and I love it how they’re doing it!!
Its About that Time to fill out your Ballots!! We’re about 3 Months away from the Midsummer Classic and this year it’s being hosted in Kansas City Missouri (Royals). Yesterday the Ballots were released for the fans to Vote for the Starters in the All-Star game and many on the Ballot are well worthy while others you wonder why they’re on there. For the Dodgers the Ballot consisted of James Loney, Matt kemp, Andre Ethier, Juan Rivera, Juan Uribe, AJ Ellis, Dee Gordon, and Mark Ellis. Yeah Pretty much the Starting Line up for the Dodgers. There are others who are on the Ballot who have been there before and others who are putting up really good numbers. Now In my honest opinion its kind of early to vote right now seeing the season started a few weeks ago but It never hurts to Vote right now.
I took the liberty of voting early because Voting just once doesn’t hurt. So far my NL Picks are basiclly What I think will be the picks come the Announcements. Many people may agree many may disagree but It’s a good discusion.
1B- Joey Votto (Reds)
2B- Aaron Hill (D-Backs)
SS- Starlin Castro (Cubs)
3B- David Freese (Cardnials)
c- AJ Ellis (Dodgers)
OF- Matt Kemp (Dodgers) Andre Ethier (Dodgers) and Micheal Cuddyer (Rockies)
This isn’t final as there may be some guys who show me that they deserve to be a Starter in the All-Star game. For my AL People no need to worry I kept a close eye and so far the AL Infield is almost a Detroit Tiger dominated one with Prince Fielder, Miguel Cabrerra, and Alex Avila. If Derrick Jetter continues his play then watch for him to be a starter as well. It’s Still early so theirs enough time to vote. Remember fans you can only vote up to 25 times but take time to see who’s really worthy to go.
Dodgers starting off the season on Fire going 9-1 making it their best Start since 1988…That was the year they won the World Series. After All that the Dodgers have went through this is a start that the Dodgers and it’s fans could use. Now not to rain on parades but the last time the Dodgers had a great start was 2005 where the Dodgers jumped out of the gate at 12-2 but ended the season at 71-91 which was one of the Franchises worst records but what makes this so different is that the Dodgers have the players to do damage. I’ve heard it all from people regarding this start and while Many are excited about the 9-1 start others are skeptical stating that they’ve only played two teams that the Dodgers Should handle. I for one am Excited at the 9-1 Start but see room for improvement but what can you say?
I understand that we’re 10 games into a 162 Game season and anything can happen but rallying the wins for this Ball club won’t hurt. I will throw out one argument is the whole “Look at who the Dodgers played” or They’re suppose to be them comments. Its hard to go 9/10 In Baseball against Any Team in Baseball and the way the Dodgers Did it makes this start impressive. The Dodgers will be tested this week against on the road against the Milwaukee Brewers and get the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals (Yes I said the Nationals) at Dodgers Stadium before hitting a tough month of May. The 9-1 Start is a good build in momentum leading up to the tough games.
Why are the Dodgers on this good start. Well 10 Games in the Dodgers are playing really good Baseball. offensively the Dodgers are getting great production from Matt Kemp who has been continuing to play out of his mind and Andre Ethier is redeeming himself from a not so good 2011 Season and Juan Rivera is still that solid player to back them up but it’s not only those three stepping up to help. Mark Ellis, AJ Ellis, and YES Juan Uribe are also contributing with their bats. The Dodgers however need Dee Gordon to get on base to provide another Base Stealing threat for the Dodgers but Dee will have to have better plate discipline for that to happen. Pitching has also been pretty good. While Clayton Kershaw has yet to record a win others behind him has stepped up to help provide the wins. Chad Billingsley in two games has played like he did in his All-Star years proving to be a Solid number two. Ted Lilly in his first start back from injury and Chris Capuano has really stepped up as well. While some like the Bullpen right now Outside of Javy Guerra, Kenley Janson, and Josh Lindbloom ,who has done a great job so far, Im not yet sold on the Bullpen but so far has done a good job.
What does this start mean? Well for the Dodgers and Dodger fans it means a lot. After enduring what went down last season and the off-season with McCourt the Dodgers and the City of Los Angeles are riding a high off Momentum. Momentum that has started with Magic’s Group Purchase of the Dodgers and continuing with the Dodgers play and if the Dodgers keep this up then sky is the limit for the team. Now the Dodgers won’t sweep everyone or win every series but if the Dodgers can take 2 of 3 or 3 of 4 in most series games and the NL West then they’re in the Playoffs and add another NL West title. Los Angeles is buzzing thanks to the Boy in Blue. Something Special is happening in Los Angeles Baseball Fans.
As Spring Training comes to a close and Opening Day approaches It’s time that we take a look into the Dodgers Spring Training. Filled with some good play, bad play, Bad weather, Hot weather, Ties, magical ownerships The Dodgers wrapping up Spring Training in Arizona before heading to Anaheim to play the Angels in the Freeway Series. The Dodgers went on to have a 14-13 Record in Spring Training with a few ties. Watching the games that we’re televised on TV I would have to say there were somethings that have impressed me and some that didn’t impress me but all in all Spring Training have given us a taste of whats to come. Lets go ahead and Recap Spring Training in Arizona.
Who Impressed-There were a few Players this Spring that really impressed me. One who stood out the most was Andre Ethier and Dee Gordon. Ethier who is coming off Knee Surgery and a not so good 2011 Season managed to Play this spring with many questions that appears to be answered for right now. Ethier played like the Ethier that we all know and is showing the potential for a monster season. Dee Gordon exploded into the Major League scene with his amazing speed but his issue has been hitting at the Major League Level. During Spring Training Leading off Dee has been able to hit into the Gaps and Successful bunting by taking advantage of his speed. Stealing Bases as well has been a huge success this spring as well. Clayton Kershaw and Matt Kemp have also showed how they can look to improve on their Monster Season from 2011. Any worry so far of them disapointing have not shown so far. Juan Rivera, Nathian Eovaldi, and Kenley Jansen have also pitched in with stellar showings as well which give Dodger fans something to look forward too.
Who Disapointed- While some impressed there have been a few that really disapointed me this Spring Training. Juan Uribe who had a disapointing 2011 Season had a lot to prove to people. During the Spring Uribe really have not shown that things will get better for the season. Uribe who is on the Opening Day Line up will have to produce this season. Another set of players that have disapointed me have been Chad Billingsley and Ted Lily. Billingsley who has been in the All-Star game a very good pitcher has found himself imploading in the middle of games giving up runs and beat up by batters. During the Spring it seemed like we were getting a repeat of the 2011 Season as Billingsley went through his mid game breakdowns that would hurt the team. Ted Lily also had issues with pitching last season giving up multipul home runs in games which really put the Dodgers in a bad position as well. In the Spring Ted Lily had also had the same isssue as well as getting bases stolen off of him. Lily is starting the Season on the DL due to Neck stiffness issues which sidelined him for the rest of Spring training.
One Year under Mattingley’s Belt- Last Season Don Mattingley did a pretty good job managing the team dispite off the field issues with the Franchise ownership. Keeping the teams focus on the field play good ball has been one heck of an effort by Mattingley. This season he will look to apply somethings that he learned from last season and apply it to become even better. The potential is really briht for Mattingley to become a very Good Manager. The players respect and play hard for him and the Fans love him.
Big heart Factor- I can’t count how many times this team has been down late in games and stormed back to either take the lead or tie the game. The Dodgers have showed that other teams that games aren’t over until the final out and have stormed back a few times thanks to late game heroics. This team can fight and weather they apply it to the Season. If so then they can really be something when down in games.
Storyline of Spring Training- One way or another The Dodgers Ownership situation would dominate the headlines and most of the time it wasn’t positive. This Time It was Magical. April 27th would be a day where the Los Angeles Dodgers would open another new chapter in Dodger Baseball. Magic Johnson, Stan Kasten, Mark Wither and co Were approved by MLB and Former Owner Frank McCourt as they bought the Dodgers for 2.15 Billion. The new Ownership group was a sign and start of whats to be a Bright future for Dodger Baseball and the City of Los Angeles as they look to restore the luster back into one of Baseballs most historic franchises. This is something all Dodger fans can really low towards as this is the start of a brand new and Magical Era in Not only Dodgers baseball but MLB it’s self.
For those who play Fantasy Baseball like myself looking into Spring Training and picking players who could bring you wins and a Fantasy League title can be a hard process. Well look no further than here for your Fantasy Fix here (On the Dodgers end that is). Looking at the Spring Training games and Projecting what players could help you win and theres quite a few who could put up solid numbers, Just enough to get you by. While some maybe Obvious others will really make you think. Just a heads up Im exluding Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw because those are no brainers right there.
OF Andre Ethier- I truely believe that Ethier will have a big year this year. This spring he has impressed a lot of people and can only carry over to the season (As we hope). If you’re drafting Don’t take him too early. Ethier will likely be there around the 4th and 6th round. 5th round would be best to take him. He’ll put up solid numbers if you’re loking for RBI’s, HR, and Batting AVG.
OF/1B- Juan Rivera- Last year Rivera had a solid year with the Dodgers. Second Half of the season He put up some decent numbers to help the Dodgers. People who picked him up also loved the year he had as well. This spring he struggled some what but I can see Rivera picking it up in time for the season. Juan Rivera will likely get picked up late in Drafts so there shouldn’t be a urgancy to scoop him up in a hurry. Just like Ethier you can expect Rivera to give you RBI’s, HR, and Batting AVG Stats.
SS Dee Gordon-Looking for Steals? Dee Gordon is your guy for that! Dee Gordon ,who wowed fans with his Speed stealing bases, Looking to add on to last season. During Spring training Dee improved getting on base by hitting into the gaps and successful bunts. Another guy you can pick up between the 5th and 6th round of a draft. Gordon will help with Steals in a BIG way this season and if the chance is there then get to it.
RP Kenley Jansen- Looking for a under the radar pick for the Bullpen? Kenley Jansen is your guy. Jansen who is a setup Pitcher had a monster year with the Dodgers Striking out 61 Batters in 32.2 Innings and having 0.55 ERA at the time before going down with a Irregular Heartbeat. Spring Training it looked as if he Didn’t lose a step. Likely Jansen will be a steal for you if you can’t get that pitcher you had your eye on.
CL- Javy Gurrea-Javy Guerra closed for the Dodgers last year and did wonders closing for LA. Guerra along with Jansen make a deadly 1-2 Punch in the Bullpen. You can’t go wrong picking Guerra if you don’t get Jansen. Guerra I believe will put up solid numbers for fantasy teams. Guerra will likely be there later on in the Draft so no need to rush for him.