For Dodgers Fans, Waiting is the Hardest Part

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The Dodgers swept the Marlins, as they should. It was a typical Dodgers series, a close game, a blowout, and an (almost) blown save by the bullpen.

The Dodger starting pitching was stellar, allowing only one earned run across 20 innings of work. Hyun-Jin Ryu, Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler combined to showed the All-Stars that they were. Kershaw and Buehler both had double digit strikeouts, 10 and 11 respectively. Granted it was the Marlins, but they had all their pitches working. Ryu had a bit more problems, but still managed to work around his early issues and allow only one run with seven strikeouts.

The offense was firing on all cylinders too, after they got over their jet lag from the east coast trip. They scored 21 runs, and hit six home runs by five different player.

The bullpen, of course, still leaves a lot to be desired. Combined with the sketchy defense of late, it makes for some late inning headaches.

There’s not much that’s changed over the whole course of the season. The Dodgers are a powerhouse team with great starting pitching, and their bullpen needs help. We can talk about all the ways that it can be improved but no one really knows what’s going to happen. It’s a broken record that hopefully will only be played out a few more times, as the trade deadline is fast approaching.

It’s a saturated market, as the Dodgers are not the only team that needs bullpen help. The Dodgers, as we know, are well suited to meet any team’s demands, although they are always reluctant to actually part with any high level talent. This season may take a little bit more to get the higher level reliever needed to finally get the Dodgers that elusive ring.  So, a few things to watch for over the next nine days. Who gets moved? A couple teams are looking for a big league player in addition to prospects.

This has lead to a lot of people thinking that the most likely candidates be traded from the current 40-man roster is Joc Pederson. His recent, albeit sometimes rough transition to part-time first baseman had led to speculation that the Dodgers are trying to showcase his versatility.

Keibert Ruiz, the Dodgers’ number one prospect, has just been promoted to Triple-A Oklahoma City, again leading to speculation that one of the catchers in the Dodgers organization is going to be traded, be it Austin Barnes, Ruiz, or fellow prospect Will Smith. As much as fans may clamor for Barnes to be gone, as his offense has left much to be desired so far this season, his defense and rapport with the pitching staff is a huge reason why, this late in the season, he will not be the one who is moved.

The Dodgers will make a big move at the deadline – but it’s a strange offseason, and the hard deadline on July 31st. President of Operations Andrew Friedman stated to Sportsnet LA-  “In the offseason it’s easier for teams to deal guys that are big parts of the team. The emotional part of it in season, when you’re living with them day to day, it’s harder. It’s one of those things, we’re just going to have to wait and see and react and be as aggressive as we can be without being stupid. And also plan for contingencies if something doesn’t line up.”

We as fans are just left to wait and see what the team looks like come August 1.

 

38 thoughts on “For Dodgers Fans, Waiting is the Hardest Part

  1. Well Andy I don’t know if there are any typos, I was too busy enjoying the article. I sure hope we don’t part ways with JOC bc my son just got me his jersey for my bday! We shall see!

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  2. I find it difficult to believe the Dodgers would change catching this late in the season. If it’s me, I don’t. Barnes is your prototypical blind squirrel at the plate, but it’s my understanding the staff likes him. Same with Martin. I think the Dodgers live with them in the 8 hole and try to outscore everyone with 7 guys and solid pitching. It’s worked pretty well so far and that’s with the pen often showing signs of weakness. Add a stopper and we should be ready for the post season. At least one, maybe two, starters can be added to the pen if necessary.

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  3. Mike Petriello has a post up this morning at mlb.com where he predicts where 20 players will wind up at the deadline. He is the first to admit that he misses many more than he gets right. In any case, he has the Dodgers getting Giles and a guy from the Rangers named Chris Martin, whom I must admit I’d never even heard of. What does he have to recommend him? He hasn’t walked anyone since April and he’s having a pretty good year by most standards. Right handed, 33, and a free agent after this season. Last year he was very mediocre. It would definitely be a roll of the dice but I don’t imagine he would cost much in prospects.

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    1. Martin spent a few years in Japan and just recently came back. Neither of those guys addresses the left handed reliever problem. The Dodgers need a shut down lefty. Ferguson has not shown he is that guy. Joc is not getting traded, especially for a rental or a reliever. You don’t put that big of a hole in your lineup. A 20 plus homer guy for a reliever? Ridiculous. Beaty has been good, and maybe next year he gets that full time capability. Taylor won’t be back for a while, but he will be on the roster when he does come back. Dodgers announced a 100 million dollar renovation to the old ball yard. The drawings of the renovation look pretty cool. They are putting in a new sound system, renovating the Pavilions and putting a walkway in that allows fans for the first time to walk all the way around the ball park. A new batters eye in CF with a place above it where fans can stand. A play area for kids and lots of other stuff. They say it will be completed by opening day of next year. Maybe they should have announced that before they raised the ticket prices. You had to figure they were going to do something before the All Star game in LA next year. …the bad, most of the fans in LA still do not get the Dodger games on TV.

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      1. Until they fix the cable custerfluck they will continue to have a problem with me and millions of other fans. No excuse. Renovations sound cool, but not everyone can go to the game. Give me the opportunity to see my Dodgers from my recliner. I think I’ve earned that right. I’ll pay for it.

        In principle I agree with your take on trading a one sided .800 OPS hitter for a reliever. That sounds dumb. But let me aks you this – would you trade a 2019 Joc Pederson for a 2017 Kenley Jansen?

        We need to shorten the game to 7 innings. Heck, let’s go all the way down to a Little League 6. We generally have a pretty good lead by then. You do that by having a bullpen that can slam the door the last 2-3 innings. It’s what this team needs. We will have to pay for it.

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      2. I would love to know how far the two sides are apart on the tv broadcast negotiations. The Dodgers would reap huge positive publicity if they called for a meeting of both sides which the Dodgers also attended and then agreed to give back some of the money they got in order to help facilitate a deal. The positive publicity coupled with the extra seats, concessions and merchandise they would sell because of the extra exposure would at least defray some of their cost in doing that give-back. I’m one of the fortunate ones who has Spectrum but I’m furious with all sides on this and that includes the commissioner’s office for not leaning on everyone more heavily to get something done.

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  4. Rumor mill in full swing. Only 8 days for AF to make his move. Which way does he go? Who for sure is available? Going to be an interesting week.

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    1. The Best List from ESPN:

      Kirby Yates
      Will Smith
      Shane Greene
      Felipe Vásquez
      Alex Colome
      Edwin Díaz
      Raisel Iglesias
      Ian Kennedy
      Sergio Romo
      Shawn Kelly
      Mychal Givens

      Those on contenders not listed.

      I’m convinced Friedman will pick one of those guys or somebody else.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Welcome to our little coffee klatch. Ruiz is younger at 21 to Smith’s 24. Ruiz has struggled this year at AA. But was 2-4 with a homer and 4 ribbies in his first AAA game. Defensively, Ruiz is supposed to possess better skills, but in his brief time in the majors Smith did very well. To think he would be a consistent .269 hitter might be stretching it a bit. He is at .244 in his minor league career. He is hitting .274 right now. He has 20 homers and 54 ribbies there this year. For his minor league career he has 55 since he started in 2016. Ruiz actually started in the system before Smith. 2015 was his first year. He is a career .298 hitter in the minors. Less power than Smith so far with 28.Smith strikes out a little more than Ruiz, who is a switch hitter ala Grandal. But their OBP is exactly the same, .351. Smith can play other positions as well as catch like Grandal did. Ruiz is actually taller and heavier than Smith. Skills wise, they match up very closely and I for one would not be surprised to see the Dodgers keep both of them since they value Smith’s versatility and Ruiz’s defensive skills.

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      2. I think the most logical choice based on the rumors is Givens and Giles. who Toronto will definitely trade the way their season is going.

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  5. First time, long time–love the site, it’s the only sports blog I’ve come across where the comments are worth reading. Thanks! One thing I’d be curious to hear about is an in-depth our-Will Smith vs. Keibert Ruiz. It’s hard to think of trading Smith with his success in the bigs, but it kinda seems like a foregone conclusion that one of them would be moved. I guess it could be asked another way: which one is more of a can’t miss guy? I’ll hang up and listen. God bless!

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    1. Welcome aboard Johnny. Glad to see your first comment. Keep ’em coming.
      As I see it in the Smith vs Ruiz situation, Ruiz has the higher ceiling but I’m not sure we can wait another year or two for him to be ready for the big time. It’s tough when Barnes and Martin are just about automatic outs these days. That makes the bottom of the batting order a dead zone. One thing we know about Friedman is that we don’t know what he’s going to do. I guess we just have to hold our collective breath for another week and see how it all plays out. Smith gone? Ruiz gone? Both still here? Stay tuned.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I do not think they trade either of them, I also think that the list ESPN posted has one guy on it who is going no where. Vazquez……..and if he were to be traded, the cost would be so high AF would never make the deal. Catcher is one of the Dodgers deepest positions in the minors. Also as to the catchers now on the team, Orel addressed that very subject last night. He said that a change this late in the year would adversely affect the pitching staff. Since the pitchers on the team right now have expressed how good they feel about how Barnes and Martin control the game. Neither can hit for crap. but both are good defenders and the pitchers love that. WE DON’T BUT THEY DO.

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      2. Hey Bear. First you announce that Vazquez isn’t going anywhere and then you explain that if he were traded the cost would be very high. So which is it, he can’t both not be traded and be traded at a very high cost.
        There are a lot of contenders out there a few of which might be desperate for a Chapman-like reliever. Not everyone has the self-control of Mr. Friedman. Can we agree that Vazquez might be traded (actually I think it’s very likely) but that it probably won’t be to the Dodgers?

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      3. That’s because of statements the Pirates GM made. First he said that he was not anticipating him going anywhere, and expected him to be a part of the Pirates future playoff scenarios, he then said, it would take a deal so awesome that they could not turn it down before such a move would even be thought of. Yeah, he might be moved if someone like Atlanta wants to give up a few of their top prospects. But Ol Andy is not doing that.

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      4. OK, we can agree on that point, although I’m not completely ruling out Andy’s trading for him. I would say that it’s a major longshot and that other teams are more likely to pay the price.
        You are probably much wiser than I am, my friend, but let me give you one piece of information that I learned long ago. Never believe anything you hear from a politician or a general manager. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Neve have,,,,but he keeps saying it and did so again the other day. So based on that I have to think it has some credence.

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      6. The more often he says it, the higher the price goes up. Good strategy. It isn’t going to keep other teams from calling him all the way up to the deadline. He could get a huge haul and should definitely trade Vazquez and while he’s at it make sure that he gets back a near MLB ready reliever who could potentially become their closer. That would just be part of the deal. The Braves and Dodgers both have plenty of prospects and in our case a couple of guys on the 25 man roster who might appeal to the Bucs. I think Farhan should dismantle the Giants and I think the Pirates should trade Vazquez. Why? Because I don’t think either team will be in the playoffs this year or next.

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      7. Obviously He does not agree with you. but I am on your side….Giants, they are a mess and have a very weak farm system. Posey is a shadow of what he was. I honestly believe he will not be a regular catcher much longer.

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      8. You put to words the underlying question in my mind, thanks Jeff–waiting for Ruiz to see if he works out. I see Scoop’s point below and that makes sense; on the other hand, it’s hard to wait when Smith has shined so far (admittedly a small sample size)

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  6. Interesting takes here.

    Johnny – I still believe Ruiz has the higher ceiling and that is why he is ranked higher on the MLB Top 100 list AND on the Dodgers Top 30 list. I’m not concerned about him not being quite ready. Every year there are veteran receivers available and if needed we can get one. This year it’s Martin, next year it might be someone else. Ruiz is talked about as a can’t miss prospect. Smith is surprising a lot of people. Is he for real? Who knows But with our abundance of catching prospects, if we could get a solid reliever for him I would do it. That is why I brought up the Smith for Smith idea. Will Smith the pitcher is at the top of that ESPN list for good reason. If Zaidi wants our Smith I’d do it. Buy my guess is he will want more.

    Here’s something else that occurs to me…. the gnats chances of making the playoffs is less than 10%. I hope they go for it. It will slow down their rebuild.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am not trading that kid for a rental. Sorry Scoop. I think they keep both of them Smith can and has played other positions. Ruiz is a switch hitter. Too much cost for less than half a year of Smith. Yeah he has been good so far. He has 2 games of post season experience. He is 29, so the possibility exists that AF would re-sign him next year. But it did not happen with Watson, so I doubt it happens with Smith, and I am never trading with the Gnats…especially with a guy who’s knows our system so well.

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      1. No need to be sorry Bear. I understand why you don’t want to trade him just as you know the reason I would is to make us stronger in the playoffs. As I said, I don’t care if it’s a rental, I care it’s THE fit that we need. Like I’ve said more than once,I don’t believe we will trade with SF. Smith for Smith won’t happen. What about Smith for Greene?

        I still don’t trade any of our top three, unless it’s for Mike Trout. We should be able to get this done without trading any of them, but we all know every team will ask for them, and settle for less, just like the Phillies did when they asked for Seager and Urias.

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      2. So don’t leave us in suspense Bear. Who are we giving up? I read earlier (not from Olney) that they were willing to listen on Diaz but they wanted a bigger return than what they gave up to get him. I guess Brodie forgot to look at the kind of year Diaz is having. If he’s asking for a huge return, I’m guessing he won’t be trading him.

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      3. yeah I read that too. If they want that big of a haul, I think Ol Andy says see ya. In another interview Roberts said that the Dodgers might not be able to make a deal at the deadline and his reasoning is that the deal needs to be a good deal for both teams and the players have to fit. Sounds a lot like double talk to me because I remember reading a statement from AF that said the Dodgers were going to definitely go for a major upgrade. That did not happen. Ol friend Hanley Ramirez had shoulder surgery to clear up an old injury that has bothered him for years and put his return to baseball on hold until next year. He is now 36 years old.

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    2. Very true about veteran catchers always being available. maybe A.J. Ellis will be looking for a job next year. I’m with you (sorry Bear), I’d give up a top prospect for the right pitcher. I look at the Cubs a few years ago; they gave up a lot to get Aroldis Chapman, but when all was said and done, they lose a top prospect and gain a WS ring. I’d take that trade every time.

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      1. I get it and no need to be sorry. If I knew all the answers I would be working for the Dodgers instead of just being a fan. My problem with any trade like that is that there are no guarantees. And Chapman flamed out in game 7 against the Tribe. They almost lost that Series. Yes, you need to improve your team and the biggest need for this team is the pen. But who is the right fit and at what cost? If it were to take a say 4 prospect package to get Vazquez, and say 2 for Smith, and one is a top 10 for Smith and 2 of them for Vazquez, which way would you go. Smith or Vazquez. Since Vazquez is more under control, I might do the deal for him, as long as none of those guys are in my top 4. Those guys are the future and the closest to being ready to help the big club. Smith is a short term solution. Vazquez would be for the future as well as this year. Which brings me to today’s total head scratching trade for Tyler White. A guy who’s primary position is 1st base, and who is abysmal this year. He is hitting .225/320/330 with 3 homers and is hitting only .162 with 1 homer against LHP which is supposedly why AF traded for this clown. A totally unneeded and stupid trade which makes absolutely no sense what so ever. And who goes down to AAA so they can activate this clown, most likely Matt Beaty. Who probably got the bad news at the airport when they boarded the plane to DC today. Unless of course, Kike’s wrist lands him on the IL> or Striplings neck does the same for him. Totally dumb ass trade…..

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      2. I’m as mystified about this trade as you are Bear but Friedman rarely makes dumb ass trades. Sometimes his trades don’t work out, but there is always pretty decent reasoning behind the trade. Maybe we’ll find out what that thought process was at some point.

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      3. I’d be tempted to go with the hot hand with the gnats’ Smith, mainly since he looks to be having the better season. Vazquez would make a lot of sense, though, in that we’d have him past this season. Hard to think past this season!

        I’m with you guys on the Tyler White trade. Maybe they didn’t give up much for him–I don’t know anything about the pitcher we sent in the deal. But out of everyone that Ol Andy (Bear I like your name for him) could’ve gotten, he got White?? Don’t we have enough multi-positional, below-.250 avg bench players? Jeff you’re right, we will have to wait and see.

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  7. I’m not a huge fan of Greene’s. He’s been around for six years and has had two good years and four blah years. Last year was not one of the good ones. He’s better than some of our guys but I wouldn’t want to give up too much to get him and I’m sure that someone will.
    Mike Petriello just brought up another name with regard to relief pitchers, the Rockies’ Scott Oberg. He’s right handed, but his 2018 and 2019 seasons have been excellent. Petriello didn’t necessarily suggest that Oberg should be traded here but that he would bring a nice return. I agree. If we want to avoid giving up the entire farm system, I suppose we could do a lot worse than Amir Garrett and Scott Oberg.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There is also a rumor going around that Puig might be sent elsewhere by the Reds also. They named 6 possible landing spots. Only 2 in the NL. St Louis and SF. He is raking after a miserable start to the year. Floro is throwing again and says he feels a lot better. If he could be the same guy he was last year that is a huge plus and they believe the neck problem was why he was so erratic. He is definitely an upgrade over Garcia. Here is a thought, trade for a starter, like Tanner Roark of the Reds, he can replace Maeda who is at this point a HR yielding machine.

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      1. If you check comparable stats for Maeda and Roark I think you’ll find they’re pretty similar. If we’re going to go out and get a starter let’s get someone interesting like Stroman, Thor or Bauer.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. yeah they are, but I doubt AF is even checking on those guys and so far the Mets have not discussed moving Thor. They would probably want a kings ransom for the guy. Now him I would trade Joc for.

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  8. Tonight’s line up, Pederson, Muncy, Turner, Bellinger, Pollock, Seager, Hernandez, Barnes and Stripling. Muncy playing 1st.

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