Walker Buehler Named National League Pitcher of the Month for July

Walker Buehler of the Los Angeles Dodgers has been voted the National League Pitcher of the Month for July, and Jameson Taillon of the New York Yankees has been named as the American League recipient of the award. The announcements were made Monday afternoon on MLB Network.

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The event marks Buehler’s first-career Pitcher of the Month Award and is the first Dodgers winner since Hyun Jin Ryu in May 2019. Taillon similarly claimed his first career Pitcher of the Month Award and is the Yankees’ second winner this season, following All-Star teammate Gerrit Cole in April.

Buehler’s highlights for July:

—Across five starts, compiled a perfect 3-0 record with 38 strikeouts, nine walks and a 1.67 ERA over 32.1 innings pitched. Surrendered just 20 hits and did not allow a home run.
—Was dominant in his final start of the month, earning his 11th victory of the season after firing 7.0 scoreless innings with eight punchouts.
—Has tossed at least 7.0 innings without surrendering more than two runs in each of his last three starts dating back to July 17th. Notched at least eight strikeouts in each outing while not permitting more than five hits in any.
—Enters Monday’s games with the third-lowest ERA in the Majors (2.19), trailing only fellow All-Star Lance Lynn (2.07) of the Chicago White Sox and Freddy Peralta (2.17) of the Milwaukee Brewers. Buehler’s .917 winning percentage (11-1) paces all of Baseball.

The Dodgers are off Monday, as they prepare for a short, but seemingly important two-game set against the Houston Astros beginning on Tuesday in Los Angeles. Buehler will take the mound in the opener with newly acquired Max Scherzer getting the ball in the second game.

In other news, the Rangers on Monday claimed former Los Angeles outfielder DJ Peters off waivers. After five years on the Dodgers’ farm, Peters made his MLB debut this year, going 5-for-26 with one homer, two doubles and four RBI. His career minor-league slash line is .266/.359/.489.

Righty pitcher Jake Reed, who was designated for assignment by the Dodgers on July 21, was claimed by the Mets after a short stint with the Rays.

(Ally Salvage furnished some information provided in this report)

Dodgers Activate Mookie Betts Amid Flurry of Roster Moves

One day after the Los Angeles Dodgers officially welcomed starting pitcher Max Scherzer to their active roster, the team activated superstar outfielder Mookie Betts from the 10-day injured list.

However, the Betts move came with a few other surprises, as the team optioned super-utilityman Zach McKinstry back to Triple-A Oklahoma City and selected the contract of righty pitcher Yefry Ramirez.

In a few other player shuffles, the Dodgers also optioned pitcher Mitch White back to OKC and transferred reliever James Sherfy to the 60-day injured list. Sherfy was originally placed on the 10-day IL with elbow inflammation on July 24.

Ramirez is a surprise as he seemingly has not been on the MLB radar, at least from most of us here at TBPC.

The 27-year-old Ramirez native was 3-3 with a 5.49 ERA (38 ER/62.1 IP) and 70 strikeouts in 15 games (12 starts) for Oklahoma City this season. The Dominican native has spent parts of two seasons in the majors with Baltimore (2018-19) and Pittsburgh (2019), going a combined 1-10 with a 6.32 ERA (63 ER/89.2 IP) and 89 strikeouts in 30 games (13 starts).

Over his nine-year minor league career, Ramirez is 43-39 with a 3.75 ERA (278 ER/667.1 IP) and 679 strikeouts in 152 career games.

Ramirez signed with the Dodgers as a minor league free agent on March 25.

Here’s a brief scouting report on Ramirez from his early days with the Orioles:

“Operating from a high three-quarters slot, Ramirez will sit comfortably in the low-90s with his fastball while bumping 96. He features a pair of average-or-better secondary pitches in a changeup and a curveball, and he uses both offerings to generate whiffs against hitters on both sides of the plate.”

McKinstry, 26, has appeared in 58 games for the Dodgers this season, batting .217 with seven homers and 29 RBI. Before an oblique injury in late April, McKinstry was slashing .296/.328/.556 with five doubles and three homers over his first 58 plate appearances of the year.

Betts returns from the injured list after missing 11 games with left hip irritation. He was hitting .700 (7-for-10) with four doubles, one homer in his three games after the All-Star break. On the season, Betts is hitting .270 (85-for-315) with 14 homers and 40 RBI in 82 games.

Betts returns to Sunday’s lineup leading off, but surprisingly playing second base.

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First pitch is set for 1:10 p.m. Pacific time.

(Juan Dorado furnished some information provided in this report)

Dodgers Injury Notes: Clayton Kershaw, Mookie Betts, Corey Seager, More

For as much as the summer trade deadline hyped up all those close to the Dodgers, the injury setbacks and bullpen use are still lingering concerns as the final third of the season approaches.

In Friday’s opener against the Diamondbacks, starter Tony Gonsolin was pulled with two outs in the second inning after surrendering two earned runs on a hit and a whopping five walks on 55 pitches.

The Dodgers lost the game in extras, but the worst part about the defeat was that skipper Dave Roberts used nine pitchers in the affair. What’s even worse is Saturday’s contest will be another bullpen game with Mitch White taking the ball as the opener.

However, there may be a bit of good news in the coming days, as the newly acquired Max Scherzer will tentatively make his first start in Dodger Blue against the Astros on August 4, while Clayton Kershaw should be activated from the injured list on August 7.

Clayton Kershaw

Kershaw threw three innings in a simulated game while he was with the team early this week in San Francisco and came out of the affair feeling fine. On Sunday, he’ll throw another session either at Chase Field or Camelback Ranch as the final part of his rehab.

Of course, it’s still more than a week away, but having both Scherzer and a healthy Kershaw in the starting five should play huge, especially with regards to eating innings. It should also be interesting to see what happens with Gonsolin and David Price with the final rotation spot. Either way, if all are healthy, the first four will consist of Kershaw, Scherzer, Walker Buehler and Julio Urias.

Mookie Betts

After being bothered by a sore hip for most of the season, the Dodgers finally took the plunge and placed right fielder Mookie Betts on the injured list on July 25. The move was retroactive to July 22, so the soonest Betts can return is on Sunday in the finale against the D-backs. As of this writing, everything appears to be on schedule.

No question the top of the Dodgers lineup will change fluidly over the next several days. Trea Turner is currently on the COVID list, so it’s still unknown when he’ll be active. Still, with a healthy Betts in the leadoff spot, it will no doubt boost a Los Angeles squad that has won just four contests over its last 12 games.

Corey Knebel

While there is not yet a firm return date for righty reliever Corey Knebel, the idea that he’s been throwing great at Triple-A Oklahoma City suggests that his return to the majors might indeed be a reality.

In two rehab starts so far at OKC, he has allowed just one hit and no walks while striking out four batters. His fastball has been clocked as high as 97 MPH. There’s still a long way to go but adding Knebel to the backend of the bullpen will certainly bolster a unit that has been questionable as of late.

Corey Seager

After going 2-for-5 and playing all 10 innings at shortstop on Friday, the plan is to give Corey Seager a day off on Saturday before inserting him back into Sunday’s lineup.

“He’ll be down tomorrow, you know, after playing a four hour-plus game,” Roberts said on Friday. “He’ll be back in there on Sunday, but I thought he looked fantastic. It was good to have him back.”

(Update: Not long before Saturday’s first pitch, the Dodgers placed Gonsolin on the 10-day injured list with shoulder inflammation.)

Max Scherzer Approves Trade to Join Dodgers

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(Brad Mills/USA TODAY Sports)

Multiple reports on Thursday evening have revealed that starting pitcher Max Scherzer has approved a deal to be traded to Los Angeles, as both the Dodgers and Nationals put the finishing touches on the details.

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Dodgers Drop Two of Three Games to Giants, Trade for Pitcher Danny Duffy

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One day after the Dodgers executed a picture-perfect 8-0 victory against the NL West-leading Giants, the Los Angeles offense went missing once again, this time resulting in a 5-0 defeat. The loss closed a three-game set between the division rivals, with the Giants winning two contests and lengthening their lead to three full games.

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Dodgers Reportedly Among Teams Still Involved in Max Scherzer Negotiations

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With less than 48 hours remaining before the 2021 MLB trade deadline, the Los Angeles Dodgers are reportedly among several teams making a play for starting pitcher Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals.

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Chris Taylor, Kiké Hernández Earn NL and AL Player of the Week Honors

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(Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

All-Star utilityman Chris Taylor of the Los Angeles Dodgers has been named the National League Player of the Week, while his counterpart and former teammate Enrique Hernandez earned the American League honors.

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4 Reasons Why Dodgers Might ‘Stay Put’ at 2021 MLB Trade Deadline

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(Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports)

After Saturday night’s 1-0 victory over the Rockies, the Dodgers find themselves maintaining a stronghold on the second-place spot in the National League West with a tidy 60-40 record. Heading into Sunday’s games, Los Angeles trails the struggling first-place Giants by two games. The Dodgers have 62 contests remaining on their regular season schedule.

The 2021 MLB Trade Deadline is less than a week away.

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Is Ian Kennedy a Good Fit for Dodgers?

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Considering Friday night’s 9-6 loss to the Colorado Rockies, the Los Angeles Dodgers have a 59-40 record, which is still good enough for second place in the National League West division. Heading into Saturday’s games, the Dodgers trail the first-place Giants by an even three games with exactly 63 contests remaining.

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Dodgers Acquire Billy McKinney from Mets; Corey Seager Still Not Ready

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Although the Dodgers continue to hang right beside the Giants in a tightly contested NL West race, things are once again worsening for Los Angeles on the injury front.

Continue reading “Dodgers Acquire Billy McKinney from Mets; Corey Seager Still Not Ready”