Recent News

What Does Dee Gordon’s Hot Start Mean for the Los Angeles Dodgers?

April 23rd, 2014 at 3:31 PM
By Jimmy Reynolds

'Dee Gordon' photo (c) 2012, SD Dirk - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Dee Gordon has always had tantalizing ability. His speed — which has been on frequent display as of late — is by far his best tool. In prior seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Gordon had been unable to get on base with enough frequency to showcase his greatest talent. This season, however, has been a very different story.

Gordon is currently the owner of an excellent slash line of .369/.408/.492 that is far from reminiscent of the Gordon of previous seasons. His ability to get on base has enabled him to swipe a league-leading 12 bases, having only been caught once (on a pitchout). Gordon has been getting the bulk of his starts against right-handers, and in 65 at-bats, he has 24 hits, though he has only walked four times.

So, is this a new and improved Dee Gordon, or is this merely a well-timed hot streak?

Much was made in the offseason of Gordon’s increased muscle mass, and Gordon himself reported that working with Barry Larkin enabled him to better turn on pitches thrown on the inner half. However, Gordon’s current BABIP is .418, and while his career BABIP is generally high, it is hard to imagine him sustaining that number over the course of a full season.

Read more...
Join the Conversation...

Los Angeles Dodgers Catcher A.J. Ellis May Return from Surgery Sooner Rather than Later

April 21st, 2014 at 7:30 PM
By Jimmy Reynolds

'A.J. Ellis' photo (c) 2013, Keith Allison - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

The Los Angeles Dodgers are looking forward to getting their ace pitcher back in the rotation, and his battery mate may be soon to follow.

Clayton Kershaw pitched a simulated game before the Dodgers 4-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium, and was caught by none other than A.J. Ellis. The catcher was only 12 days removed from surgery on his left knee. While the timeline for the surgery, which was done to repair a tear in Ellis’ meniscus, is generally between four and six weeks, Ellis experienced no pain throughout the three-inning simulated game, a good sign for a team in desperate need of production from the catcher position.

While Ellis is not exactly an offensive juggernaut, he is known for getting on base at a solid rate, taking a lot of pitches, and excellent situational hitting. The Dodgers have had to rely on Tim Federowicz and Drew Butera during Ellis’ absence, and the results have been less than encouraging from an offensive standpoint.

Read more...
Join the Conversation...

Details of Yasiel Puig’s Defection Puts Performance for Los Angeles Dodgers in Perspective

April 19th, 2014 at 5:50 PM
By Jimmy Reynolds

'Yasiel Puig takes a mighty swing' photo (c) 2013, Not That Bob James - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

The recent emergence of the details of Yasiel Puig’s life in Cuba and his subsequent defection from the island nation has placed his performance with the Los Angeles Dodgers in perspective. In a report published in ESPN The Magazine by Scott Eden, Puig has been accused by others through a lawsuit of being a government informer. Whether the allegations of the lawsuit are accurate or not remains unclear, though the nature of the allegations paints a disturbing picture of life as a professional baseball player living in Cuba.

Puig and Cincinnati Reds closer Aroldis Chapman both face lawsuits in which they are accused of naming individuals looking to help Cuban players defect to the United States. In the case of Puig’s suit, the plaintiff alleges that Puig’s accusations resulted in him being imprisoned for seven years, enduring torture in the process. According to the plaintiff’s lawyer, Puig has been involved in other similar incidents, doing so in order to gain favor with the Cuban government that had previously suspended him from playing baseball.

Read more...
Join the Conversation...

Clayton Kershaw is Progressing as Return to Los Angeles Dodgers Draws Near

April 18th, 2014 at 3:31 PM
By Jimmy Reynolds

'Clayton Kershaw, L.A. Dodger All Star & two time Cy Young Award winner' photo (c) 2012, Ron Reiring - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

The Los Angeles Dodgers will soon be able to trot out their ace once again, as Clayton Kershaw is getting closer to returning to action. Kershaw threw a bullpen session yesterday, though the effort he put forth was described as “sub-maximal.” The training staff had Kershaw stop and start throughout the session in order to mimic the physical demands he may encounter throughout a typical start.

The Dodgers have done well without their star pitcher during his absence, getting quality starts from their starting rotation over the past few weeks. Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu have served as the frontline starters and, while the back end of the rotation has faced some difficulties, Dan Haren, Josh Beckett and Paul Maholm have all made excellent starts of late.

When Kershaw returns, one of either Beckett or Maholm will have to be moved out of the rotation. Each pitcher has had their share of ups and downs, with both making solid starts recently. It appears that a combination of factors will push Maholm into the bullpen, including the fact that Paco Rodriguez was sent down to Triple-A to make room for Brian Wilson. With Rodriguez in Albuquerque, the Dodgers have only one lefty in the bullpen, J.P. Howell.

Read more...
Join the Conversation...

Los Angeles Dodgers Off to Great Start with Plenty of Room for Improvement

April 14th, 2014 at 2:17 PM
By Jimmy Reynolds

'Adrian Gonzalez_ST 3.15.14' photo (c) 2014, Dustin Nosler - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

With just 13 games in the books for this young season, the Los Angeles Dodgers have gotten off to a great start. At 9-4, the Dodgers are currently in first place in the NL West, one game ahead of their perpetual rival, the San Francisco Giants. While most prognosticators predicted big things for the Dodgers this year, the team has not exactly been firing on all cylinders in every facet of the game. In fact, the Dodgers have plenty of room for improvement as the season progresses.

As was the case last season, the Dodgers offense has looked stagnant at times. Over the past few games, Adrian Gonzalez has provided a spark by showing the power to all fields that was his calling card with the San Diego Padres. Dee Gordon has also wreaked some havoc with the bat and on the base paths, yet many of the Dodgers hitters are just beginning to show signs of putting it together. Hanley Ramirez and Matt Kemp got off to slow starts, and both are looking as though they are beginning to come around, making the Dodgers lineup quite fearsome from top to bottom.

Read more...
Join the Conversation...