In mid-March, I spent several days in Arizona covering Spring Training for Baseball Essential. In four days, I attended six games, including three as a credentialed member of the media. My second day there, I went into the Dodgers’ locker room at Camelback Ranch in Glendale. It was my first time in a big league locker room, and it was a little bit intimidating. I stumbled through...
The National League West has gone from being ignored on ESPN SportsCenter highlights to being one of the most competitive divisions in baseball. With San Diego’s offseason moves, as well as the blockbuster Dodgers, the defending World Series champs have some work to do to defend their title.
Diamondbacks (7-6, .538)
Since Yasmany Tomas was called up last week, the Snakes have been...
It’s been a week of the new and… well, new Dodger bullpen, and so far, the returns haven’t been generating a ton of confidence. The second game of the season featured Chris Hatcher starting an inning that resulted in three runs. Yesterday featured Chris Hatcher entering an inning that resulted in four runs. Pretty much every second in between has been filled by people screaming...
Say this for the new front office: They do not mess around. After only three games (and one bullpen implosion), the Dodgers have apparently made a move, sending minor league catcher Chris O’Brien and reliever Ben Rowen to Baltimore for reliever Ryan Webb, minor league catcher Brian Ward, and a competitive balance pick, No. 74 overall in the upcoming draft, giving the Dodgers four...
I really don't want to do this. The Twins' pitching has been horrible for years, and even though it might be a little bit better it's still bad and it's also boring. I guess just dive right in? Yeah ok.Opening day starter Phil Hughes should be the ace. The Twins signed him prior to last season on the cheap, hoping he'd be a better pitcher getting out of Yankee Stadium and...
Remember last year? When the Dodgers had “too many closers” and an overwhelming amount of veteran presence and all that, in what was the most expensive bullpen ever assembled? And then, for the most part, it was awful? The new front office cut most of those guys loose. For the ones who found a home this winter, the last few days have been a bloodbath:
Poor Paul Maholm, cut from...
When the Dodgers signed David Huff to a minor-league deal, not a lot was expected. He was a journeyman relief pitcher with some success in the majors, but not a lot of it.
Dodgers (ss) @
So earlier today, I noted that the Dodgers would need to find some 40-man spots for Hector Olivera and (probably) Sergio Santos.
I focused on Darwin Barney, but, well...
Whenever it is that Hector Olivera‘s paperwork gets finalized, he’s going to need to be added to the 40-man roster. Assuming that at least one recipient of a minor league deal makes the team on Opening Day — probably Sergio Santos, particularly with Kenley Jansen, Hyun-jin Ryu, and Brandon League all likely to start the year on the disabled list — he’s also going to need...
Dodger pitchers are getting injured every single second. In the time it took me to write that, four more Dodger pitchers got hurt. It’s a fact! That’s just science. ESPN’s Mark Saxon has more:
Every day that goes by, the chances of the Dodgers trading for a starting pitcher seem to increase. Injuries are forcing the issue. On Friday morning, the team announced that Hyun-Jin...
Like it or not, saves are a category in most fantasy baseball leagues. While I wouldn’t be the first team to draft a relief pitcher (sorry, Chapman and Kimbrel), I still want three RPs to my roster.
When it comes to making the decision on who to choose, there are three main factors that I look for…
1. High K/9 – People will argue that closers are pointless because they only...
It is something that all pitchers strive for, but rarely accomplish. San Francisco right-handed pitcher Matt Cain is one of the few that is able to say he has tasted perfection, tossing a perfecto on June 13, 2012. After an injury plagued 2014 season, a simple start in his Cactus League debut may be nearly as sweet.
Cain, who underwent season-ending elbow surgery on...
The National League West might just be the most interesting division in baseball.
Actually, there are a bunch of interesting divisions in baseball, especially in spring training. But the NL West features four franchises with overhauled front offices (the Padres, Dodgers, Rockies, and D’Backs), the defending World Series champions (the Giants), two of the busiest teams this...
The drop in offense in MLB is a wide topic of discussion. Across baseball, teams scored an average of 4.07 runs per game in 2014, the lowest level since 1981. While some don’t necessarily mind the decline (myself included), new commissioner Rob Manfred seems to be interested in increasing offense to make baseball appealing to a larger audience. This started out poorly, as Manfred...
Just recently the 2015 PECOTA projections were released, and the Los Angeles Dodgers are projected to not only be juggernauts of the National League, but all of Major League Baseball. PECOTA predicts they will win 97 games, the most of any team in baseball and six games better than the second-best team (the Washington Nationals). Someone mentioned to me on Twitter how crazy it is...
Ahh, the Top 30. There prospects are now legitimate, and some have even already debuted in the major leagues.
For the Top 30, I’ve included Overall Future Potential grades and risks. For example, if a guy gets a “50 low,” he’s basically a sure thing to be an average player at his position. If a guy gets a “55 high,” there’s a good chance he won’t reach that ceiling...
When I saw Baseball America‘s Matt Eddy tweet that the Dodgers had signed pitcher Ben Rowen and infielder Jarek Cunningham to minor league deals, my first reaction was “who?” followed quickly by “ha, ‘Jarek’ sure is a name.” With no inclination to worry about either, I quickly moved on. But then I started thinking that I knew Rowen’s name for some reason, and after...
What Happened In 2014: Wasn’t worth his contract, but surprisingly useful (with a few issues).
After 2013, Brandon League looked like a complete disaster. When he signed his contract, it was an accepted fact that it was too much money, but nobody expected him to post a 5.30 ERA and a 4.93 FIP either. Dodger...
What Happened In 2014: Challenged the perception that there’s no such thing as a bad one-year deal.
I don’t really remember writing this, but apparently last winter, two weeks before the Dodgers signed Chris Perez, I wrote that “the declining Perez terrifies me in every way,” and, well, yep. In January...
What happened in 2014: Received a minor-league contract for $1 million, paid off big time for the Dodgers.
There was talk all winter of the Dodgers signing Justin Turner. A day after we launched this site, Chad wrote a piece about the Dodgers needing utility infield depth. The photo used: one of Justin Turner. Here’s what...
If the season were to start today, the Dodger bullpen would look something like this:
R Kenley Jansen
L J.P. Howell
R Joel Peralta
R Brandon League
R Brian Wilson
R Juan Nicasio
L Paco Rodriguez or R Pedro Baez
Triple-A: R Yimi Garcia, Rodriguez/Baez, R Mike Bolsinger, L Daniel Coulombe, L Adam Liberatore
DL: R Chris Withrow
The heart of that group is the one that ended 2014 with...
Now that Andrew Miller is off the board, a number of other setup men could sign quickly.
In particular, the markets for free-agent right-handers Sergio Romo and Luke Gregerson are warming, according to major-league sources. Righties Francisco Rodriguez, Pat Neshek, Rafael Soriano and Joba Chamberlain also figure to be in some demand.
The Astros made a four-year, $40 million bid for...
The Dodgers are reportedly one of the finalists in the sweepstakes for left-handed reliever Andrew Miller, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com wrote. Miller is entering his age-30 season and is reportedly expecting a four-year deal that will pay him around $40 million.
Even with recent moves for depth, the Dodgers bullpen is still lacking in shutdown arms behind Kenley Jansen, so it’s...
Major League Baseball’s free agency period officially opened today at midnight (or maybe yesterday at 5 PM, or maybe at 2:09 AM, I don’t really know specifically when it happened) and while the Pirates are likely to be mostly inactive until they hear from Russell Martin and Francisco Liriano on their qualifying offers — I assume that both players will reject the offer, though...
Frankly, it's about time the Dodgers got with the program. If you're going to spend freely to get the best players, why not do the same to get the best general manager?
Mind you, I don't know what Andrew Friedman will be paid to be the Dodgers' president of baseball operations. But I'm confident that whatever the price, it will produce a far better return than say, the Dodgers' two...