A sickness has been sweeping the Dodgers clubhouse, causing as many as 25 players to be sent home from Camelback Ranch the last few days. Thursday’s scheduled starting pitcher Ross Stripling was scratched due to the as-of-now mysterious illness. Manny Banuelos instead gets the start, a pitcher this writer has never heard of.
The Yasmani Grandal trade rumors began as far back as the beginning of the 2017 playoffs, when the management crew of the Dodgers started to make clear that Austin Barnes was the preferred catcher of choice for the postseason, and perhaps the chief catcher moving forward. Now that Grandal is ready to embark on his walk-year, everyone around baseball is anticipating that Los Angeles will deal the 29-year-old switch-hitter before the deadlines this summer.
While there aren’t an overwhelming number of trade rumors surrounding the Dodgers as this winter’s hot stove approaches, there has been a bit of conjecture regarding catcher Yasmani Grandal and whether or not he’ll last the entire season in Los Angeles.
Last week, when we initially put together our first draft of roster projections for the NLDS, we were somewhat undecided between including veteran first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and rookie utility man Kyle Farmer. As the regular season continues to dwindle away for the Dodgers, there hasn’t been much news regarding Gonzo’s back injury, yet based on the amount of playing time Gonzalez has been given lately, Farmer may have the inside track to a NLDS roster spot—at least in theory.
The Dodgers have finally clinched the division, and are one win away from reaching 100 wins this season. Their PECOTA projections was 98 wins, so in that respect they have exceeded expectations. What was not expected, however, is the makeup of the roster heading into the playoffs.
September looks different for these Dodgers, very different. Within the first week of the month, the Boys in Blue have not looked like their normal selves, as the pitching and offense have not been at their usual championship-worthy levels. Don’t get used to it, though, because before you know it, the Dodgers will hit their stride again and we’ll go back to being amazed with their caliber of play.