The Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday reinstated right-handed pitcher Kenta Maeda from the 10-day disabled list and placed outfielder Joc Pederson on the special seven-day disabled list for a concussion. Pederson’s stay on the DL can be retroactive to May 24, if needed.
Maeda, who missed 13 games due to left hamstring tightness, will make his eighth start of the season Thursday evening against the Cardinals. Maeda last pitched on May 10 against the Pirates, allowing two runs on five hits in a career-high 8-1/3 innings, and recording his third win of the season in the Dodgers’ 5-2 victory. In seven starts this year, he has gone 3-2 with a 5.03 ERA (22 ER/39.1 IP) and has struck out 40 batters against only nine walks, ranking among the National League leaders with 9.15 strikeouts per nine innings and a 4.44 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Pederson exited the game against the Redbirds on Tuesday night after colliding with Yasiel Puig on the final out in the 10th inning. In 35 games this season, Pederson is batting .200 with six doubles, two home runs and 11 RBI.
With the move, the Dodgers will continue to play short one bench player. The bullpen remains steady with seven pitchers, but the 25-man roster now has six starters in an overloaded rotation. Looking ahead, though, manager Dave Roberts did mention yesterday that the club has been having discussions regarding the utilization of lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu in a long relief role.
(Dai Sugiura furnished some information provided in this report)
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.
As avid followers of the Dodgers, many fans often know which relievers aren’t the most reliable out of the bullpen without needing to dig heavily into specific player statistics. At the same time, it’s difficult to comprehend that the Los Angeles relief corps still ranks second in the National League with a sub-3.00 ERA while having two or more relievers who seemingly are mainly utilized in low-leverage situations.
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.
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.”
Undoubtedly, the most common conversation themes these days between fans of the Dodgers have been about inconsistencies in several areas of the game, primarily discussions regarding either the sputtering offense or the somewhat unsteady starting rotation.
While there are still a few lingering issues that have affected the general makeup of the big league 25-man roster, injuries have not had a significant impact on the overall performance of the Dodgers so far in 2017. Veteran lefty Rich Hill is prepared to be reinstated from the 10-day disabled list to face the Diamondbacks on Sunday afternoon, and with a little bit of good fortune, one or two other players may soon follow in his footsteps.
Last year, a few stubborn fans who didn’t care to comprehend simple math believed it to be a season-long jinx. But only ten games into the 2017 campaign, the struggles the Dodgers have been wrestling with against left-handed pitching have become so obvious that other teams are realigning their pitching rotation when they see a series vs. Los Angeles appear on their respective schedules.
So far during the young 2017 season, one of the more common lineup themes of the Dodgers has been to employ utility man Enrique Hernandez in center field against left-handed pitching, while stashing away Joc Pederson on the pine for possible appearances later in games against righty pitching, or for his skills as a defensive replacement.