Dodgers Roster: A Few Early Season Surprises

I think if I had to name the one thing I love the most about baseball, it’s that it just so darn unpredictable. Almost a third of the way into the season, there are quite a few things that no fan of the Dodgers could have predicted.

Take last night’s game, for example. After Rich Hill could not throw a strike to save his life on Wednesday, and the Cardinals took a lead that the Dodgers couldn’t recover from, it looked like deja vu all over again. The Dodgers had struggled to get runs against the Cardinals in the previous two games. They fell behind 3-0 early. But hey! Then Kenta Maeda got his stuff together — so much so that Dave Roberts let him bat in fourth inning, down one with two outs. After fouling off pitch after pitch, he ended up hitting a two-run single to put the Dodgers ahead for good.

Subsequently, Maeda followed up with a 1-2-3 fifth inning. The Dodgers scored two more runs in the bottom of the frame, knocking Michael Wacha from the game. Maeda was replaced in the sixth with Hyun-Jin Ryu. Ryu seemingly is the odd man out in the Dodgers rotation with the return of Maeda from the DL. Before the game, Roberts talked about it was a “very delicate” situation, and that the possibility of Ryu being long man in the bullpen was discussed.

The first experiment with doing just that went very well. Ryu only gave up two hits over four innings of work in his first ever relief appearance. He struck out two, walked one and threw a total of 51 pitches. Whether he will remain in that roll long term, time will tell. But it’s not something anyone saw coming at the start of the season.

Let’s talk about Chris Taylor, shall we? Originally left off the club in favor of Enrique Hernandez to start the season, he has made himself indispensable to the team. He has continued his hot hitting that started in spring training. Currently, his slash line is .344/.445/.581/1.026 with five home runs. He’s played games at second, third, shortstop, and has now forced the Dodgers to give him starts in the outfield, too, just to keep his bat in the lineup. The fact that he doesn’t play much outfield is why he was left off the roster in the first place. The last two nights he has started in center field, however, and has really held his own, even making a spectacular diving catch to rob Dexter Fowler of a hit.

Taylor has become something of a folk hero to Dodgers fans. On a team that boasts some of the best talent in the majors, it’s CT3 that has won over many a heart. His quiet, unassuming way he plays and his hot bat have consistently brought happiness to Dodgers fans. The fact that he seems to be a Giants killer doesn’t hurt either. While some complained that Zach Lee should not have been traded from the organization, its clear that LA stole a gem from the Mariners.

The top three pitchers on the staff currently are Clayton Kershaw (duh), Alex Wood and Brandon McCarthy. Only one of those is not surprising. Fans probably also would not have wanted to predict that the Dodgers would be in third place at this point in the season either, or that it would be Colorado and Arizona ahead of them. Colorado seems to be the real deal. I do have a feeling Arizona will fall off as the season progresses. The Dodgers have too much talent and depth to remain in third place. Their record at this point extrapolates to a 95 win season. They will be fine, even though we are sure to encounter many more surprises before the postseason begins.

(FOLLOW ANDY ON TWITTER: @DODGERGIRLINPA)

 

Advertisements

Dodgers Hope to Carry Momentum Through Current Homestand

1-qJWeLVHVucamJOcaV_GxhA

The high-powered Dodgers offense had a very good weekend at home, scoring a total of 26 runs, and they didn’t score less than six runs in any one game. Even though the beginning of Saturday’s game looked as though it may be bad, even possibly a no-hitter, the offense battled back to score six runs. Invariably. that was not enough to win the game. However, the Dodgers still took three of four from the struggling Marlins.

Continue reading “Dodgers Hope to Carry Momentum Through Current Homestand”

Injuries Continue to Haunt Dodgers

1-l8_FPJa1MHkB4CXYAnAs4A

It just doesn’t seem that the Dodgers can catch a break. On the same night that saw Adrian Gonzalez return from his first-ever stint on the disabled list, it appears that the Dodgers might lose their All-Star caliber third baseman Justin Turner.

Continue reading “Injuries Continue to Haunt Dodgers”

Dodgers Reinstate Brandon McCarthy, Option Brett Eibner to Oklahoma City

Mac
(Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press)

The Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday reinstated right-handed pitcher Brandon McCarthy from the 10-day disabled list and optioned outfielder Brett Eibner to Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Continue reading “Dodgers Reinstate Brandon McCarthy, Option Brett Eibner to Oklahoma City”

Dodgers Head to San Francisco After Missed Opportunities in Colorado

img_5466

Hindsight is always 20/20. Of course. But I bet that Dave Roberts wishes he would’ve pulled a different play in the top of the first inning yesterday. Instead of having Chris Taylor swing away, he called for a sacrifice squeeze. The Dodgers already had two runs in, and two runners on base. Instead of getting to the rookie pitcher early, Taylor hit into a inning ending double-play where Utley was tagged out trying to go home and Yasmani Grandal was tagged trying to head into third.

Continue reading “Dodgers Head to San Francisco After Missed Opportunities in Colorado”

A Letter to My Mom on Mother’s Day: Thank You for Making Me a Dodgers Fan

img_1229

My very first major league baseball game was at Dodger Stadium. I was only a year old, and I loved to sing ‘Take Me Out To The Ballgame.” 39 years later, not much has changed, and I owe that all to my mother.

Continue reading “A Letter to My Mom on Mother’s Day: Thank You for Making Me a Dodgers Fan”

Dodgers Still Hope to Gain Ground on Rockies in Weekend Series

1-8jVEdgZuBFnRRY114PiokQ

Baseball is a funny game. Things will happen in a game that make you scratch your head. On a night when your offense can’t buy a hit, the veteran who had been sent to Triple-A because of his lack of offense steps up to the plate and hits a pinch-hit home run. A relief pitcher that makes you cringe goes into Coors Field and throws two scoreless innings. A player who you thought needed to retire is suddenly hot, going 6-for-8 in his last three games with two doubles and a triple (I see you, Chase Utley). The same night the old man hits that triple, the guy who has been red hot at the plate and filling in for the old guy at second can barely scratch out one hit.

Continue reading “Dodgers Still Hope to Gain Ground on Rockies in Weekend Series”

Monday Musings: Is Cody Bellinger in the Majors to Stay?

1-tIlitlLkNSYoou54rL-S_g

If you followed any of my posts last year here at TBPC, you’ll know that most of them were titled to match a song that struck me as being relevant to whatever was happening that week in Dodgers baseball. While I haven’t continued with that this season, a song keeps popping into my head about this situation with Cody Bellinger, Adrian Gonzalez, and aging players being replaced by younger ones — Its Sad To Belong by England Dan and John Ford Coley. You know the one — “Yes it’s sad to belong to someone else when the right one comes along.”

Continue reading “Monday Musings: Is Cody Bellinger in the Majors to Stay?”

Dodgers Reinstate Joc Pederson, Place Adrián González on Disabled List

Adrian-Gonzalez-Joc-Pederson
(Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports)

The Dodgers made it official on Friday — Adrian Gonzalez will be going to the DL for the first time in his 14-year major league career. He had the big league record among active players for most games played without going on the disabled list, going 1,774 games since 2006. He had never missed more than six games in a season in that time frame.

Continue reading “Dodgers Reinstate Joc Pederson, Place Adrián González on Disabled List”

Dodgers Hope to Gain Momentum in San Diego Series

1-qEWQOs23QIxLgRngTfFR7w

Today could very well turn out to be an interesting day for the Dodgers. It appears as though a couple of roster changes will be made, including one that has never happened before. Up until now, Adrian Gonzalez has never gone on the disabled list in his entire major league career. Will that change today? Also, will Kenta Maeda be able to build on his success from his last game?

Continue reading “Dodgers Hope to Gain Momentum in San Diego Series”