Dodgers Head to Arizona with High Expectations

The Dodgers head into Arizona this weekend with a record of 8-8, a little sub-par for what most Dodger fans were hoping. Los Angeles currently is in third place in the division, behind both the Diamondbacks and the Colorado Rockies. With a sweep of Arizona, the Dodgers would move ahead of them, and possibly be back on top of the NL West.

Injuries continue to plague the Dodgers. Newly acquired second baseman Logan Forsythe is the most recent Dodger to hit the DL. He was placed on the 10-day disabled list, but is expected to be out at least two weeks. Forsythe fractured his big right toe when he was hit by a pitch in Tuesday’s game. Manager Dave Roberts called the fracture “a little hairline thing,” and is hopeful that it will not take as long as four weeks, which is about the average recovery time for a broken toe. When he returns will have a lot to do with his pain tolerance, and he will wear cushioning in his shoe for protection when he comes back to the squad. Also joining Forsythe on the DL with an injured toe is newly recalled utility man Rob Segedin. He strained a tendon in his big right toe on a check swing Monday, his first game after being called up. He will be reevaluated every day to check on the sprain’s progression.

Chris Taylor is making the most of his time back in the big leagues. He was called up Wednesday to replace Forsythe on the roster, and all he did was go 2-for-3 at the plate with two doubles against a left-handed pitcher.

“It’s nice to get off on a good foot, and play well in that first game, and take some of the pressure off,” Taylor said after the game. “Now I can just go out there and play.”

Many fans thought that Taylor should have been with the team earlier, after having a torrid spring trading where he hit .357/.483/.500. Asked about when he thought he’d be back with the big team Taylor said, “You know, I knew in the past this team has made a lot of moves, I knew there was a chance, but I just tried not to think about it. I just focused on what I could control, went down there and just try to continue to play well.”

Enrique Hernandez, who made the Opening Day roster over Taylor, also hit well against Colorado’s left-handed offerings on Wednesday. He went 2-for-4 with an RBI double and a triple in his first start at third base this season. Even the struggling Scott Van Slyke got in on the action, hitting his first home run of the year. The Dodgers need all these players to produce against lefties, plus more, if they’re going to break the narrative that they cannot hit opposing southpaws.

One player in particular has a theory about how to improve against said left-handed pitching. Catcher Yasmani Grandal believes that in the long run, other teams lining up all these lefties in their respective rotations will only benefit the Dodgers.

“It’s early in the season. You get us going, it’s going to come back to bite them,” Grandal told reporters. “I think it’s great. I really do. I’m glad that they’re doing it. I take it as a challenge. Keep on doing it. It’s only going to make us better.”

Three of the seven starting pitchers the Dodgers will see on the upcoming road trip are left-handed, starting with Diamondbacks pitcher Robbie Ray on Saturday.

Clayton Kershaw, who doesn’t usually take much of a stance on things, had some harsh words for Rockies’ pitcher Tyler Anderson after the game on Wednesday. Anderson walked from his bullpen session to his dugout when Kershaw was already on the mound, prepared to pitch to Charlie Blackmon.

“That was one of the more disrespectful things I’ve been a part of in a game,” Kershaw said after the game. “I really didn’t appreciate that. The game starts at 7:10, it started at 7:10 here for a really long time. Just go around, or finish earlier. That wasn’t appreciated.”

It did appear to rattle Kershaw a little bit as, as he allowed the first three hitters to reach base. Only one scored, and Kershaw settled down, eventually proceeding to strike out 10 and notch the win.

Some awesome Clayton Kershaw stats: He has the best ERA at Dodger Stadium since 1913 — 1.98. He is 87-0 when receiving four or more runs of support. His jersey is the No. 3 selling jersey in baseball, the only one in the top five who does not play for the Chicago Cubs.

The Dodgers are headed out on a seven-game road trip, starting with a three-game series in Arizona on Friday night. After that, the squad heads off to San Francisco for the first meeting with the Giants this year.

(FOLLOW ANDY ON TWITTER: @DODGERGIRLINPA)

 

Advertisements

Dodgers Lineups: What’s the Problem Against Lefty Pitching?

scott-van-slyke-yasiel-puig-mlb-los-angeles-angels-los-angeles-dodgers
(Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports)

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.

Continue reading “Dodgers Lineups: What’s the Problem Against Lefty Pitching?”

Dodgers Roster: Is It Too Early for a Few Performance-Based Adjustments?

1-RoWSh5wszT-nJJIltqfsQQ

One week into the season, and fans of the Dodgers are already getting restless. The narratives from last year have carried into this one — the injuries, the inability to hit with runners in scoring position, and the troubles facing left-handed pitching. Other teams are changing their rotations to have as many left-handers as possible face the Dodgers. Rich Hill is the first starter to be placed on the DL, and Justin Turner left the game early last night with a quad strain.

Continue reading “Dodgers Roster: Is It Too Early for a Few Performance-Based Adjustments?”

Should Joc Pederson Receive More Plate Appearances Against Lefty Pitching?

Joc-Pederson
(Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports)

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.

Continue reading “Should Joc Pederson Receive More Plate Appearances Against Lefty Pitching?”

5 Things Dodgers Fans Learned During Opening Series vs. Padres

puig2
(Sports Illustrated Photo)

Outside of a dreary evening against Padres’ starter Clayton Richard on Tuesday, the Dodgers‘ opening series of the 2017 campaign turned out to be quite productive. Three wins in four games is a solid outcome for Los Angeles, as the crew now prepares to carry its momentum to the mountains of Denver for a three-game set against the Rockies.

Continue reading “5 Things Dodgers Fans Learned During Opening Series vs. Padres”

Dodgers Finally Reveal Remainder of 25-Man Roster

1-M5Zwj3iDZ0C75Fg-9bhfmQ

The Dodgers on Thursday announced the final cuts to achieve their 25-man roster. Scott Van Slyke, Enrique Hernandez and Austin Barnes will remain with the team. Trayce Thompson, Chris Taylor and Julio Urias were optioned to the minor leagues, while catcher Bobby Wilson was reassigned.

Continue reading “Dodgers Finally Reveal Remainder of 25-Man Roster”

Dodgers Injury Notes: Kiké Hernández, Andre Ethier, Corey Seager & More

Austin-Barnes-Andre-Ethier-Kiké-Hernandez-Joc-Pederson-Corey-Seager
(Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports)

As fans patiently wait on the management crew of the Dodgers to make the final few decisions regarding the team’s Opening Day roster, it may be worth recapping a few of the more notable injuries and how they may impact the overall makeup of the squad during the first month of the season.

Continue reading “Dodgers Injury Notes: Kiké Hernández, Andre Ethier, Corey Seager & More”

Dodgers 25-Man Roster Notes: Taylor, Hernandez, Thompson, Toles & More

1-gBrYgUyS_svPIj4ZT5LxHQ

Just one week now before the Dodgers start the regular season, and we are a little closer to knowing the final 25-man roster. Dennis wrote a story yesterday about the state of the starting pitchers. That may have become a little bit more clear, with the outcome of Scott Kazmir‘s most recent outing. Manager Dave Roberts today confirmed that Kazmir will start the season on the DL, dealing with issues in his left hip.

Continue reading “Dodgers 25-Man Roster Notes: Taylor, Hernandez, Thompson, Toles & More”

Dodgers Spring Training Notes: Kershaw, Roster Battles, Injuries & More

1-68c1aQvuiGit1K2sVN_R0g

The Dodgers looked nice and ready for Opening Day yesterday in their game against the Texas Rangers. Clayton Kershaw went for his longest outing yet, and was dominant — he struck out 11 of the 21 batters he faced in 92 pitches, allowing two hits and one walk. The prime time slot for the game last night showed MLB that its best pitcher he’s ready to go.

Continue reading “Dodgers Spring Training Notes: Kershaw, Roster Battles, Injuries & More”

Better Utility Option: Chris Taylor, Kiké Hernández or Charlie Culberson?

Charlie-Culberson-Yasmani-Grandal-Kiké-Hernandez-Clayton-Kershaw
(Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)

Listening to the Dodgers radio broadcast yesterday, Rick Monday said something that piqued my interest. He said that he thought Chris Taylor might have a better chance making the 25-man roster because he was there, in camp, showing his hustle. Meanwhile, Enrique Hernandez was playing with the Team Puerto Rico, and not being seen or evaluated by the front office and coaching staff.

Continue reading “Better Utility Option: Chris Taylor, Kiké Hernández or Charlie Culberson?”