Results tagged ‘ NL ’
It’s about that time again folks! With Pitchers and Catchers reporting next week that means Baseball is in good sight. It’s been a long offseason for many teams. Some were really busy making moves to better their team or make it worse. Some were quiet. Many players were on the move this offseason as well, Josh Hamilton signed with the Angels (Texas fans are mad at that) Zack Greinke made a move down the I-5 to Los Angeles, Torri Hunter went to Detroit, So much happened. The Dodgers were really busy making moves to move towards the ultimate goal. Win A World Series. As we kick off our Dodgers 2013 Season Preview we’ll start off with what the Dodgers needed, Pitching. Starting with Starting pitching.
2012 Review: At the start of last season the Dodgers starting pitching was filled with a lot of question marks. However once the season was underway the Dodgers starting pitching surprised everyone. With the exception of Kershaw the rest of the Dodgers Starting pitchers were really stepping up. Chad Billingsley was playing up to his All-Star form, Chris Capuano was pitching like a Number 2, Ted Lilly was also pitching great as well. As the season went Injuries started to come and hit the Dodgers. Ted Lilly was sidelined for the season due to Injury and Chad Billingsley went back to melting down in late innings before he was struck by injury twice in the season. Chris Capuano declined in the second half of the season and Aaron Harang couldn’t get it together. Kershaw played well but towards the end was hit with a hip injury and caused him to miss a few games towards the end. Los Angeles brought up Nathan Eovauldi and Stephen Fife to start a few games while players were injured and played well. Eovauldi was traded in the Hanley deal towards the deadline. Dodgers also traded for Joe Blanton whose time in L.A. wasn’t the best of things and made a run at Cliff Lee and also acquired Josh Beckett who was solid in L.A.. All and all the Dodgers didn’t make playoffs but you can say the Starting Pitching got them in position to make such a run but fell off as the season went. Dodgers starting pitching at the end managed to go 56-56 with a 3.41 ERA (3rd Best in MLB). As to note Clayton Kershaw finished second in the Cy Young Award voting.
Offseason Moves: Going into the Offseason the Dodgers were going to have money to spend and they spent on gaining pitching help. Los Angeles was looking for solid Number 2 behind Kershaw and everyone knew who was out there. Come winter meetings Zack Greinke had talks with the Dodgers but Los Angeles wanted to try to trade for a pitcher. That ment Chris Capuano or Aaron Harang would be in a deal to make a trade. While a trade for a number 2 pitcher didn’t happen the Dodgers did make moves to grab what they needed and more.
Zack Greinke- From the start of the offseason many executives had Greinke going to the Dodgers stating that they could throw whatever money at him. This was the Number one Pitching Free Agent on the market and many thought the Dodgers and Angels would go after him. Well Anaheim made a few moves to take themselves out and in came Texas who gave the Dodgers a good bidding run until the Dodgers and Greinke both agreed on a $147 Million dollar deal. Largest for a Right Hand Pitcher. In 2012 with the Brewers/Angels Greinke went 15-5 with a 3.48 ERA and 200 Strikeouts. Zack was traded from the Brewers to the Angels before the 2012 Trade deadline.
Hyun Jin Ryu- Stan Kasten talked about wanting to have the Dodgers make an impact in the international market like they used to. We all know Yasinel Puig was the first guy the signed but Hyun Jin Ryu was a player that really stood out in my opinion. When then Dodgers won the bidding to negotiate with the Korean Left Hander they got right to it to try to sign Ryu but as time went it was looking less and less likely that the Dodgers would get him. On the last day of the 30 day deadline (Nov 9th to Dec 9th) the Dodgers signed Hyun Jin Ryu to a 6 year $36 Million Dollar deal. Many Dodger fans will be impressed at his career stats in the KBO (Korean Dodger Baseball Organization). In his career with the Hanwah Eagles Ryu went 98-52 with a career ERA of 2.80 and 1,238. That’s very impressive no matter where you are pitching. Many scouts say his change-up is his best pitch and a legit out pitch at MLB level.
3 Questions to be answered: 1) The health of Chad Billingsley and Ted Lilly- With So many questions regardless of the moves, It’s hard to pick 3 questions but I’ll start with this Billingsley and Lilly. Chad Billingsley has issues with melting down in late innings but tend to show flashes of his All-Star form. Chad Billingsley was sent to the DL after he injured himself towards the All-Star break, When he came off Billingsley was pitching really good until going back on the DL for a partial UCL tear and sidelined him for the season. Ted Lilly on the other hand was hurt early on in the season (May 24th) and was placed on the DL. Lilly did make a rehab start but suffered a set back that sidelined him for the season. The big question for these two is the health progressing towards the 2013 Season. We’re hearing that Chad Billingsley isn’t feeling any pain at all while throwing and that Ted Lilly is pitching some as well so that’s some good news on that but how far are they from actually pitching a full game or anything remains to be seen.
2)Will a Starting Pitcher be Traded?- This was a question in the offseason that many were asking. The speculation was that someone not named Clayton Kershaw in the rotation would be traded. Well here we are as of February 7th and we still a lot of Starting pitching. Aaron Harang and Chris Capuano are on the Trade block, That much we do know but whether they’ll remain there or not is something we won’t know. If I had to guess I do believe the Dodgers will trade either Capuano or Harang (Maybe both) during Spring training. It’s good to have a lot of starting pitchers but if you can made a deal to help the team in any way then by all means go for it.
3) Will Zack Greinke live up to expectations?- In my opinion I believe Zack Greinke will have the most to prove this season. He was the most sought after pitcher on the market during the off-season and the Dodgers signed him to a $147 Million Dollar deal. The number 2 Ace behind 2011 Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw Greinke have some expectations this coming season and eyes will be on him. What makes things helpful for Zack is that he’s playing in a Pitchers league, in Dodger Stadium which is a pitcher’s park, and has a Lineup that you can say is stacked. You can see in his attitude that Greinke is a guy who lets his pitching talk for him so you can say that’s a positive right there. As long as he help the Dodgers get into a position to win with his pitching then he will be alright.
Who to watch for: Josh Beckett- Out of many Starting Pitchers on the Dodgers there’s plenty to keep an eye out for, One of them being Josh Beckett. Beckett came over in the huge Dodgers/Red Sox deal over the summer and provided a solid outing through his time in Los Angeles. Josh Beckett as noted is a very solid pitcher but needed a change of scenery after things went south in Boston. This season Beckett will have a Spring Training with L.A. to really get going and I believe that is good for him to work with AJ Ellis and Rick Honeycutt as well.
Hyun Jin Ryu- I list Ryu because he is the one pitcher who I believe many have no clue about. The Dodgers pitching coaches will have all of spring training to work with the Korean Lefty and see what he is made of. While he is an Unknown he will be pitcher to watch for, Just to see where in the rotation he will be. One thing for sure is that many can’t wait to see what he can do.
Clayton Kershaw- I put Clayton on here not because he’s unknown or anything like that but because one he is coming off of hip surgery and two will that bother him? Clayton missed some games due to a hip issue and from what you could say might have hurt his Cy Young Award chances. despite all of that Clayton Kershaw STILL lead the NL in almost every pitching statistical category. Impressive huh? We will know what effects the surgery will have on Clayton but this guy continues to get better and better every single season and it shows too. Cy Young in 2013? We have to see how he does.
Overview: Over all the Dodgers have TONS of starting pitching going into Spring Training. This was an area where the Dodgers spent the most money on during the offseason. While the Dodgers tackled the needs and spent the money there’s still A lot of questions that has to be answered in this area.
On Deck in the Season Preview: Dodgers Bullpen
Yesterday morning the Dodgers made the official announcement that they have hired Mark McGwire as the hitting coach. Something that has been rumored since last Friday has now come to light yesterday. Ok he may not be on the field anymore but this is a big thing to have Mark McGwire come in and help a Dodger team who struggled to bring in runs let alone score runs or get on base. The Cardinals, Where he formaly played, had good success under him batting .269 (1st in NL), Had a OBP of .337 (1st in NL) and scored 2,263 runs (2nd in NL) so there is success right there. The Dodgers who struggled in all those things will finally have a hitting coach that can get the bats going and make them a big threat offensively. A lot of people are happy for this being done and we assume things will go right but Is this really going to help? I for one say yes he can and will help the Dodgers.
Last season many people wanted to know what the issue was with the offense. We got that Kemp was hurt along with Mark Ellis and had a team filled with the Isatopes but once they got healthy they still struggled with batting thats adding Adrian Gonzalez and Hanley Ramirez. Having a guy who was barley batting .22o as pinch hitter in his playing career will not do it’s justice in my eyes and apperently I wasn’t the only one. Many felt Hansen was a problem so he has another position in the franchise leaving Mark Mcgwire to get the job. As I stated the Cardinals had some very good numbers in the NL with McGwire as their hitting coach so you can only imagine what this team will do come next season with the line up of Adrian Gonzalez, Hanley Ramirez, Matt Kemp, Luis Cruz, Andre Ethier, Carl Crawford and so on. Yeah we know his history as a player and what not but him as a coach is just what the doctor ordered.
I believe there will be good results from this hiring and the Dodgers can be the dangerous team with the bat that they’re expected to be so be ready to see a lot of McGwire jerseys at Dodger Stadium. Will he make an Impact? Yes he will but that’s just my thinking and based off stats that the previous team he coached. Once Spring Training and the Season starts we’ll have our answer.
It took me a few days. Ok close to TWO weeks to really digest things and do this post. Like Almost every Dodgers fan im STILL bitter about our boys not getting into the postseason. While those who watched were Sad, Mad, Shocked, Etc the Team that Eliminated us from contention The Hated San Francisco Giants Celebrated in the visiting clubhouse enjoying the moment that they knocked the Dodgers away from the playoffs. Thats the thing of Baseball many say but to me it’s more of why. We were so close to making it and it didn’t happen. The Front Office did what they could to help and the Manager could only do so much but the Play couldn’t do it and at the time it was maybe Too little too late. So as I sit here see the Postseason I could only think why couldn’t it be the Dodgers? I’ll watch a little but won’t root for a team. Won’t make me any less of a fan but because what would’ve been that I refuse to really get over at this moment.
So the season Had ended for the Dodgers and the blue print for next season is being made. The Front Office making plans about what to improve on to finish the job, Players such as Luis Cruz and Dee Gordon are playing winter baseball to improve, Matt Kemp and AJ Ellis who were hurt have had surgeries to repair and look as if they will recover in time for Spring Training. Many things will be in order for the Dodgers on the field. Also the return’s of Ted Lilly and Chad Billingsley will be a big help and with Carl Crawford coming off Tommy John things will get interesting in Dodgertown. Also with a Off-Season with the new owners means deeper pockets for Free agency where in the last two years the Dodgers were handicaped due to Frank McCourt and a low payroll. This Winter meeting the Dodgers can go out and Address the issues that this team need answered such as pitching and that’s always a positive thing. We’ll also get to see what Adrian Gonzalez, Hanley Rameriez, Josh Beckett, and Luis Cruz can do in a full year with the Dodgers. With Cruz playing Winter ball and Adrian working to improve his swing to name the few it’s a real positive sign to see that players are willing to improve to do their part to help this team.
Not only will the Dodgers improve on the field but off the field as well as Dodger Stadium will under-go much needed renovations. Stan Kasten said that he wants to keep the same look to Dodger Stadium but make it more State of the Art with more stuff to better fan experiance. WI-FI has been said to be added to the Stadium by opening day next season. He’s looking to add more resturants, bars, Kid Areas as well as adding a State of the Art Dodger Store soon. Yes Dodger Stadium will look the same but will have a better look inside so Changes will be made. Ticket pricing as well is looking as if they’ll drop for the upcoming season. I’m a season ticket holder as some may not know and when I got a call about the 2013 Season tickets (Yes I AM renewing) They said that theres a price break for my section ranging from $9-$11 per ticket. That’s the only indication a can really give at the moment because I’m not 100% sure myself but it looks hopeful for many Fans. Hopefully the Dodgers work on better Transit for fans as well as other stuff and I know for a fact that Kasten will without a doubt do that to help the fans of the Los Angeles Dodgers and give us the best that we deserve.
The ending to the Dodgers Season was a nightmare but unlike us the Dodgers refuse to let it linger and are getting right to work to make this a first class Organization and reach the goal of not only making the playoffs and Winning the NL West but Winning a Championship. The Dodgers future is bright. Yes we didn’t make it this year after a hot start but let that be fuel to the players fire to get in next year. The Dodgers front office is commited, the Players are commited, But Are you the Fans committed? The Future is bright for the Dodgers and we’re going along for the ride.
It’s Time For Dodger Baseball!!! Everyone knows that line when Dodger games come on and no one says it better than Vin Scully. For 62 Seasons Vin Scully has been with the Dodgers franchise and has gone no where since then. From Brooklyn to Los Angeles he’s stuck through thick and thin. He’s already had a legendary career and next season that career will continue to be in the press box of Dodger stadium. As it was noted Vin Scully will return for his 63rd season with the Dodgers and I couldn’t be any more happier to type this. I usually share my Baseball talk but this is bigger than baseball in my eyes. A man who’s been with the Dodgers for pretty much his whole career is simply amazing to words I can’t even speak of. As a Dodger fan growing up whenever you couldn’t make it to the Stadium or on West coast Road trips you heard the voice of Vin Scully and his stories that he told in-between pitches. Even telling us about the player playing.
Growing up as a Dodger fan you always heard the voice of Vin Scully which is truly an amazing thing that we should all be thankful for. In the future most of us will be telling stories about Vin Scully and how we heard/watched games with him broadcasting. I honestly believe theres no one better in baseball than Vin Scully. Truly the best ever and I’m glad that we will get him back next year to call his 63rd Season.
Last night the Dodgers were swept by the San Francisco Giants. Typing that sentence left a bad taste in my mouth. In the 3 games against the Giants the Dodgers struggled offensively with the bats and also saw Joe Blanton and Chris Capuano implode. Overall it was a struggle. It’s funny how the Dodgers are struggling at home yet do so well on the Road. As I stated in an earlier blog i said the Dodgers can get into the post season and while I still believe that my frustration for this team is at an all time high. Maybe because we lost the lead to the Giants, maybe because The Dodgers were swept by them, Maybe because The Dodgers showed lack of fight lack of urgency in the series, Maybe all of the above but the fact remains I’m frustrated along with other Dodger fans.
The Dodgers after having a great road trip went up 1/2 Game in the NL West and coming home with a chance to add on against the Giants who had No Melky Cabrera due to a 50 Game suspension testing for PED’s. Instead of taking advantage the Dodgers got swept and how they got swept was where I had a problem and still do. I get that there 37 games left and anything can happen in baseball I completely understand that but let’s get something straight here this series was a chance to do damage coming off the road trip. Let’s not forget that this is also the second time the Dodgers had an opportunity in an important series at home after the break and failed to take advantage (Arizona series after sweeping the giants in SF). We all want this team to win but on the field it looks as if they really don’t want it. You can talk about it but you have to want it every game and every chance You get! The Dodgers have to look themselves and at each other and say Do We Want This?! If they do then go out and do it and not just talk about it. I can’t sit here and sugar coat anything the Dodgers flat out blew it and we’re not happy with that nor the play on the field in that series. I’m really tired of having other teams Do our work when the Dodgers had a chance to do it Themselves.
Again I have lost 0 faith in the Dodgers and I still believe they can make the Playoffs and do more but this blowing opportunities has got to stop. I’m upset the Dodgers played like they did and against the Giants of all teams. If they want to do damage then Starting tomorrow the have to turn it around because with the Diamondbacks coming to LA again and a September trip to SF the Dodgers must prove that they want it and it starts against Miami. Mission October isn’t over but that series did hurt Los Angeles.
The Dodgers right now find themselves in a race for the Postseason. Something that All Dodger fans been wanting. A chance to once again compete for the World Series, something that’s been missing since 1988. We usually hear about the Yankees, Red Soxs issues, Rangers, Braves, or the hated Giants and Angels but here’s my question. What about us? The Dodgers may have a roller coaster ride going along the way but the point being that the Dodgers still have a shot at reaching the postseason baring some epic collapse (We pray that they don’t.) But the question remains the same. Can the Boys in Blue Do it?
Dodgers made moves to help the offense out by acquiring Hanley Ramirez from Miami and then grabbing lead off guy Shane Victorino from Philadelphia and while they tried to make a push a starting pitching (Putting a claim on Cliff Lee) they did show that they weren’t playing around and that they want to win right now. Yes August is shaky so far but it looks as if the Dodgers are starting to put it all together and with a critical series against the Braves and Giants coming up getting it together is really really needed at this time. We often said/Heard Starting Pitching is needed to win, our Bullpen is killing us, Too inconsistent which cam be true but if the Dodgers get it together and stay healthy then this team can make noise. Now in my honest of honest opinions I believe the Dodgers can do it because this team have shown what it can do. Why not us? Dodgers can be just as good even though they don’t show it sometimes. It’s not be being a homer or anything but I believe that the Dodgers can do it this year.
Can the Dodgers do it? I think so and I know all of Los Angeles think so and so far it’s been a story. Going from having horrible owners, 3rd place finishes, More news off the field than on it, Angels talk to having a shot at Postseason, new owners, making moves to win now and so on. The ultimate goal is a World Series. Winning the NL West will be good but Settling for that isn’t enough. Let’s Bring Home A World Series! Back to where it belongs, Dodgertown!!
Oh how sweep it is?! That’s right the Dodgers did something that was highly needed to get back into this thing and that was Sweep the hated San Francisco Giants. Not only did They sweep them but Shut them out two consecutive games and held them scoreless 20 straight innings. With the sweep of the Giants the Dodgers are now tied for the NL West lead and with plenty of baseball left every game is important but it’s always sweet when you beat your rival….at that sweep them but eyes must be on the prize for the Dodgers as they’re playing for the NL West, Post Season, and more!
As we move away from the last series the Dodgers FINALLY return home for a home stand vs the Arizona Diamondbacks and Chicago Cubs. Arizona will be a very critical series for the Dodgers because Arizona is also not far back as well so winning the series for the Dodgers is very huge here. Tonight Aaron harang is on the hill against Trevor Cahill so tonight will be an interesting one. Tomorrow is also Kirk Gibson Bobblehead night which is fitting because the DBacks are in town and their manager is Kirk Gibson. It’ll be a huge night for Kirk as they honor him and his accomplishments as a Los Angeles Dodger.
MORE TRADE TALK!!!! In a Span of days the Dodgers have been linked to Ryan Dempster, Hunter Pence, Shane Victorino, and Alfonso Soriano. Another arm is needed to help but the Dodgers are looking to grab another bat to bolster up the line up. As of today the Dodgers are in on Pence but looking like Soriano is likely. Either way it’s great to see the Dodgers in Trade talks as buyers and with the Trade deadline tomorrow look for the Dodgers to get something dome soon!
Tonight will be my first game as a season ticket holder so I’m very excited about that! Great to be apart of the Dodgers season ticket Holder family! Dodgers must keep this race tight or pull away and if the Dodgers can get deals done then it’ll be big for them!
Tonight is the start of a critical Series for both the Dodgers and Giants in San Francisco. The Dodgers who are coming off a loss to the St Louis Cardinals march into AT&T Park with a healthier team, Hanley Ramirez, Randy Choate, and down 3 games. Last time the Dodgers came to San Francisco they got swept and shutout. Two things that was very embarrassing because it’s one thing to get swept but to not score a run in a single game of the series is another. The Giants have also been hot since the break but are also going into the series coming off a loss as well. No doubt this weekend is huge.
Now the Dodgers who has had chances to trim the lead have done so but has so suffered 3 straight losses to the Cardinals in that 4 game series and now trail 3 games to the hated Giants. At this point The Dodgers can do at least these things to help. Beat the Giants 2 games out of 3 and trim the lead to a game or sweep the giants in San Francisco and tie them for the NL West lead. Anyway the Dodgers HAVE to win or risk being down 4,5, or 6 games which will really damage things. With the Dodgers healthy things should get really interesting and they know that this is a race to October so every game counts.
The Dodgers will get to face the Giants rotation of Matt Cain, Berry Zito, and Ryan Volgelsong which isn’t an easy task at all but if the Dodgers can get their offense going then there shouldn’t be an issue at all but the Dodgers have to do their job. Dodgers pitching also have to be ready and step up to the task of doing what they can to win the series in SF. Yesterday’s game the Dodgers pitching pretty much blew it for them. They can’t have a repeat of that tonight or they’ll be in a world of trouble.
This is BIG by all means and the Dodgers have to come ready to play and out play the Giants. San Francisco knows how much this series mean but the Dodgers have to want it more. This weekend is the time to bring the Game! No more excuses because this is the one game where they can’t afford to let things slip away. The Race for October goes through San Francisco tonight and will have to a few times but tonight is a Critical one.
As of Tuesday night the Dodgers, who many wondered if/when they will make a deal to help them out, struck gold in a Blockbuster Trade. The Dodgers acquired 3rd Baseman/SS Hanley Ramirez and LHP Randy Choate from the Miami Marlins for Nathan Eovaldi and a Minor League Pitcher. This was a move that came out of no where and surprised a lot of Dodger fans. There were rumors on Hanley earlier in the day on teams that could get Hanley but for the Dodgers to out of nowhere make the move to not only get a well needed bat but a Lefty in the bullpen. Knocking out two birds with one stone. Even though the Dodgers lost last night in 12 innings Ramirez and Choate didn’t disappoint at all.
While this is a big trade for the Dodgers there are some risk for Hanley Ramirez. One glaring one is his health. Ramirez when healthy is a major threat the Dodgers need especially seeing the Dodgers have a big pennate race and push for the playoffs. Also his consistency has been gone but I do believe the change of scenery will indeed help him out. As far as Randy Choate he brings that much needed help to the Bullpen. Playing on a championship Yankee team, Tampa Bay, and recently the Marlins Choate will help the Dodgers out here big time. Two Players that fulfill a two voids that we Dodger fans have been screaming for.
While this was a huge Move the Dodgers apparently aren’t done making moves. As Ned Coletti talked about in an interview they’re going to look to moves more moves to win now and with the Deadline being next week Something can be done. Look for Kasten and Coletti to work on getting another arm and another position player which will likely be at 1st Base and Left Field. Brace yourself Dodger fans because the Boys In Blue could strike again before or at the deadline.
While the all the action was going on in LA with the Dodgers/Angels playing eatch other and Kings winning the NHL Stanley Cup news broke of Andre Ethier signing a 5 year $85 Million Dollar deal which keeps him with the Dodgers through 2017. One of the Dodgers most popular players and one of the best players on the Dodgers is locked up with LA for a good while. Through out my twitter feed the one thing I kept seeing was for many people yelling for the Dodgers to pay Ethier after every play he made. Well the man is paid. Now at the begining of the season I made a note that the Dodgers success would come if Ethier played a part in it he he sure has leading the MLB in RBI’s and making an Impact in anyway. I also noted that Ethier would have his contract extention depending on his play and so far his play is doing worthy of the extension. Right now Andre Ethier is in a slump so many will say it came at a bad time then again this maybe something good. Only time will tell if this could be something that breaks the slump.
Now I look at this deal and can’t help but to think of the possible risks you take making a huge deal like that. First thing you think is Injuries or if he falls off but thats always the fear you have. Ethier hasn’t showed signs of falling off anytime soon. Reading an article on Lasorda’s Lair a few months back it reviewed how the Offense would suffer without Ethier and I must say he is important to the offense. Numbers such as Batting Avg, RBI’s, OBP, and so on dropped a good number so this extension was something needed opposed to letting him leave after the season and risk searching in the FA Market and signing somewhere else for just about the same deal. Now this was something that wasn’t possible in the Off-Season or Last Year at that because of the lack of funds but with this deal and how the way Stan Kasten and Magic Johnson talked about Ethier it seems as if the front office is prepared to build a Championship winning team around Kemp, Ethier, and Kershaw (Whenever his extension comes) but something tells me that this deal is worth it.
Yes they’re fears and what not about this deal but an Ethier extension is just another indication that the front office is ready to win and win right now. This is only the begining but weather its the right moves is beyond me. Now that Ethier has his extension lets hope he remains hungry, gets out of this slump, and Keep up the stellar play. Clayton Kershaw you’re up next!!