Dodgers activate Elbert, De La Rosa making progress

Dodgers at Braves, 10:35 a.m.
Shane Victorino, LF
Mark Ellis, 2B
Matt Kemp, CF
Hanley Ramirez, SS
Andre Ethier, RF
Juan Rivera, 1B
Luis Cruz, 3B
A.J. Ellis, C
Chad Billingsley, P

In the end, it might just be a confidence booster for 2013, but for the first time, I get the feeling the Dodgers are thinking about trying to get some starts out of Rubby De La Rosa in September.

While it’s still a ways from taking a major-league mound in September, De La Rosa pitched a season-high four innings Saturday for Rancho Cucamonga, allowing no runs on two hits and a walk with two strikeouts.

In four minor-league outings since his comeback from Tommy John surgery began, De La Rosa has thrown 12 scoreless innings with 12 strikeouts, allowing five hits and three walks. At a minimum, De La Rosa might soon to be primed to help the bullpen in September.

Last year in the majors, De La Rosa had a 3.88 ERA with 55 strikeouts in 55 2/3 innings as a starter, while allowing a run in five innings with five strikeouts as a reliever.

* * *

In shorter-term relief news, Scott Elbert – who struck out all six batters he faced in his two minor-league rehab outings – was activated from the disabled list in the next day or so. The Dodgers sent Elian Herrera, who was 1 for 3 while mostly idling on the bench behind Hanley Ramirez and Luis Cruz since his recall, to the minors. Herrera would have played even less had Matt Kemp not been ejected Thursday.

That move lengthens the Dodger bullpen and shrinks the bench (at least for now), and kept the team from having to choose between sending Javy Guerra or Shawn Tolleson to the minors. Each was wild last night, each has allowed two inherited runners to score this month, but neither has been scored upon since late July.

For my part, I think Ronald Belisario would benefit from a two-week “elbow soreness” vacation. Matt Guerrier also pitched a shutout inning in the Rancho Cucamonga game, by the way.

* * *

We were trying to figure out how unusual Saturday’s no-singles game was, and Diane Firstman of Value Over Replacement Grit came up with the answer – and it’s a doozy.

The Dodgers and Braves combined for nine hits without any singles. The previous major-league record was four.

It was the sixth game in MLB history with no singles, including the Sandy Koufax perfect game against Bob Hendley’s one-hitter in 1965.

The biggest play of Saturday’s game was A.J. Ellis catching a foul tip, writes Ron Cervenka of Think Blue L.A.

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    From The Onion TV listings: 

    Breaking Bad
    AMC
    10:00 p.m. EDT/9:00 p.m. CDT
    Walt ups the ante when he discovers he can make much more money through careful observation of financial trends and prudent investment in the stock market.

    http://www.theonion.com/articles/breaking-bad,29242/

  • Anonymous

    I’m not sure I like the short bench.  The only pinch-hitters available now are Lonevera, Kennedy, and Treanor.  Oh, and that guy taking up space on the roster, who I don’t consider a pinch-hitter.  The lengths this team will go to to avoid cutting him loose.

    • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

      I certainly would rather have Abreu at a minimum.

    • Anonymous

      Perhaps the team that comes into Dodger Stadium tomorrow would take him back, given his enhanced performance history with them.

    • http://underdog.typepad.com/ underdog

      I’m not a fan either. Withholding judgement though because I have a feeling that there will be another move soon… If this is the bench for the next 10 days (until after 9/1), I’ll be more irked about it. 

  • Anonymous

    was it just me, or was there a sigh of relief that Donnie was not at the helm manning the bullpen last night. though it was a bit rocky with Javy and Tollefson, order was restored withe Jensen came in to record the last four outs!

    • http://underdog.typepad.com/ underdog

      Sort of, though to be fair if Donnie had used Jansen the night before for a full inning as many of us wanted, he likely wouldn’t have been available for 4 outs yesterday. I did like the hook on Javy after two ball count, not sure Donnie would have done that, but otherwise I don’t think things were all that different.

    • Anonymous

       You are far from the only one.

  • http://underdog.typepad.com/ underdog

    softball star Michele Smith in the TBS booth for this game today. First female to serve as an analyst for a nationally televised Major League Baseball game.
    She seems cool, and I’m no sexist, so I’ll give her a shot!

    • Anonymous

      If you’re in the L.A. or Atlanta markets however, you can’t watch that broadcast.

      • http://underdog.typepad.com/ underdog

        Bummer. For once I think TBS crew would be better than Dodgers’, since you’re stuck with Collins/Lyons.  At least there will be much more Vin in the coming days. Hurrah!

        Smith seems okay so far, hasn’t said a lot, and has made softball analogies a few times.  But good comments on Billingsley just now.

      • http://www.linkmeister.com/wordpress/ Linkmeister

         Or Hawai’i. Dammit.

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Come on Shane start it off

  • Anonymous

    A nice comeback to work out of it, with minimal effort.

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Good inning Chad 11 pitches

  • http://underdog.typepad.com/ underdog

    Well, that worked out just fine. Nice comeback Bills.  Now how about some runs, especially since they’re facing a minor. 

  • Anonymous

    i haven’t been able to watch the Dodgers for the past 2 weeks, but it sure is nice watching Billingsley turn a corner & win 5 straight man…

  • Anonymous

    first impression from the Braves pitcher. He’s hitting the corners well (lefty) with a 90 plus mph fastball, hoping the Dodgers figure him out. 

  • Anonymous

    Does Lyons realize that Bourn didn’t attempt a steal on Billingsley is partly due to the fact that he’s very hard to steal on. Runners have been successful just 9 of 14 times.

    Lilly, in just 8 starts, 1/3 of Billingsley’s total, allowed 7 of 9 runners to steal.

    Surprisingly, Aaron Harang, who gave up 24 stolen bases last year has given up just 6 this year. 

    Other starters: 
    Capuano given up 4 steals in 7 attempts. Kerhsaw has given up 8 in 15.

    The relievers are the ones who are much easier to steal on. 

    • Anonymous

       Lyons realizes very little, except that ankle-high strikes are OK with him.

  • http://www.linkmeister.com/wordpress/ Linkmeister

    The above Gameday link goes to yesterday’s game. Here’s the link to today’s: http://tinyurl.com/d8nugfx

  • Anonymous

    watching the highlights of yesterdays game, especially watching Kershaw all gitty like a 15 year old was refreshing, he’s so composed when they interview him i forget he’s in his early 20′s!

  • Anonymous

    Hi Dodger Thoughts friends. I returned this weekend from 6 weeks in Sierra Leone. I have spent the past 2 days in bed with a cold/flu – catching up on (among other things) a month and a half of DT posts.

    Being gone 6 weeks makes me realize how long a baseball season is. It seems like the Dodgers have done just enough to hang around the top of the division.

    • Anonymous

      Not much happened in the last six weeks. Except for the new shortstop and left fielder. And two new relievers. And a new starter. 

      But did you see Melky Cabrera’s new website?

      • Anonymous

        Thanks. I flew through Chicago and picked up a USA today on the way home to Winnipeg – and saw some of the new roster moves. As well as the news about Cabrera. Just looking at the report on his website now.

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Good hit Luis   way to start it off

  • Anonymous

    I didn’t read all the various replies to Jon’s posts, so I am curious how people felt about the trade for Ramirez?

    • Anonymous

      you can’t ignore some of the things you’ve read about Hanley Ramirez but i’m hoping he’ll be inspired with a new team that’s in the middle of a neck & neck race for the division. 

    • Anonymous

      Most people were pretty happy about it because the left side of the infield was pretty bad. It made Juan Uribe into a nonfactor.

    • Anonymous

      all were excited at the possibilities while realizing a risk was being taken

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Nice hit AJ
     
    Come on Chad

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    YES we’ll take it

  • http://www.linkmeister.com/wordpress/ Linkmeister

    Gameday tells me Billingsley sac-bunted but got on base — was the throw late?

    • peter drysdale

      Throw was to 3rd. Was late, and dropped anyway.

      • http://www.linkmeister.com/wordpress/ Linkmeister

         Thanks. One of the limits to Gameday is the amt of space it has to explain things.

        • peter drysdale

          No problem. I’d have been confused too.

        • Anonymous

          Does gameday tell you if a ball is hit sharply or does it just cough up inning ending DP?  

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Come on Mark

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7VN5CNNJSLBZQXS3NX7DTIUTA4 jasonu

    frustrating. 

    • Anonymous

      the thing that makes it frustrating for me is that it was hit hard. But right & the 2nd baseman for the DP! 

      err!

      • Anonymous

        That swing looked like he was trying to advance a runner to 3rd with less than 2 out. The only thing you absolutely can not do and he did it. Just strike out and go sit down, but do make that swing on a ball down and away.

  • peter drysdale

    Time for Matt to get a hit.

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    Atlanta fouled off 13 pitches in that inning. 

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    LUIS!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Woah, Cruz’ shot was a mammoth blast! Didn’t know he had that kind of raw power.

  • peter drysdale

    About time we scored. Good one!

  • Anonymous

    from the call-ups my sentimental favorite is still Herrera but man! Cruz is a close 2nd!! :0)

    • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

      to me they are running neck and neck…love the way both of them have come through

  • http://underdog.typepad.com/ underdog

    I still expect the magic to wear off at some point, but man Cruz has been quite a story. I’m enjoying it while it lasts! He sure likes hitting in Atlanta, that’s for sure.

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Chadley!!

  • http://underdog.typepad.com/ underdog

    And then a nice rally with 8 and 9 hitters Ellis and Billingsley!

  • peter drysdale

    Looking good Bills. Let’s tack on a couple more

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Come on Shane your due

    • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

      that’s twice, come on shane

  • Anonymous

    i’m so greedy, i want another run!

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Good inning Billz now 73 after 5

  • peter drysdale

    Braves announcers complaining about the unbalanced schedule because Miami and Philly have better combined record than Chicago/Houston and Colorado/San Diego. They think braves will have a harder time down the stretch than others in wild card. But the Dodgers play Washington,cincinnati, and St Louis next month.

    • Anonymous

      The Dodgers had an extra series against the Cardinals. The Giants have their extra series against the Astros. The DBacks get an extra series against the Cubs. 

      Just sort of works out that way.
      In 1991, Dodgers fans complained that for the final series, they had to play in San Francisco while the Braves were home against the last place Astros. No sympathy was given.

      • peter drysdale

        I was more annoyed that they obviously hadn’t checked the schedules. They just assumed LA had an easy September when they actually have a tough one. And the Braves have a much easier schedule.

  • Anonymous
    • foul tip

      Note the bit about the batting stance adopted from his father and Mexican league legend, Luis Cruz Sr..

      You beat me posting this by about 2 minutes.  ;-])

    • http://www.twitter.com/ElJefedor Jeffrey Thomas III

      Love the quote from his dad, “You’re a big boy. You can hit balls to the gap. You should go with the leg kick.”

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Come on Chad

    • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

      Nice way to hold them

  • Anonymous

    BillzKed him!

  • Anonymous

    So who’s the Dodgers’ No. 1 starter?

  • http://underdog.typepad.com/ underdog

    One of the best stretches of Bills career? Sure feels like it.
    One more inning like that would be sweet.  Maybe we don’t need that 13 man bullpen after all. ;) (Unless this goes extra innings — don’t want to jinx it!)

  • http://underdog.typepad.com/ underdog

    Rivera was robbed by the Owl!

  • peter drysdale

    Nice play by Uggla. I was sure that would fall in.

  • Anonymous

    just like there are different personalities there are different coaching styles, i remember when i was playing travel ball you’d have coaches that wouldn’t mess with your personal batting or pitching style but would suggest minor tweaks, others flat out wanted to remould you completely. 

    • Anonymous

      this was actually in response to the nice Cruz piece. 

  • foul tip

    Probably no one else on DT watching the Braves feed, but one of their announcers just made the point I was about to…..bottom 3 in Dodger order have all 5 hits for the team.

    You’d like to think the law of averages will kick in and some other Dodgers will hit….a couple more into the bleachers–fair–would be nice.

    • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

      I’m watching TBS

    • peter drysdale

      I’m in TN so I’m watching the game on Fox Sports South. I actually missed them saying that

      • foul tip

         Where in TN?  I’m in Murfreesboro.

        Aren’t you normally in MS?  If so, where?

        Our Comcast cable does unusual things at times.  TBS thinks it’s televising the game here, going by the cable scroll.  But it’s on one of the sports channels.  May be FSS here, too.

        I don’t follow the Braves closely enough to ID it by the announcers.

        • peter drysdale

          I’m in Winchester. Grew up here in Franklin County. Came back here to see if I’d have better luck job hunting than in MS. Not yet, unfortunately.
          I used to be able to recognize their announcers when they had Skip Caray and Ernie (forgot his last name)

          • foul tip

             Ernie Johnson, I think.  He was pretty decent, IIRC.

            I grew up in West TN.  But been in the ‘boro a long time,

          • peter drysdale

            That’s right. Ernie Johnson. He had a distinctive voice. When I was a kid in the ’80s I’d stay up late listening in on am for Dodgers scores or games. I could pick up atlanta, Cincy and St Louis perfectly, along with Detroit and occasionally Pittsburgh.

          • foul tip

             Know the feeling.  Recall getting asked by my Dad more than once why I was sitting in the car listening to the radio.

            Simple answer.  Car radio would pick up a broadcast pretty well.  Ones in the house wouldn’t.

          • Anonymous

            His son, EJ jr is the NBA on TBS broadcaster

          • foul tip

            Best of luck with the job search.  Nashville area is more diversified than many, and reports are hiring is picking up somewhat.

            But “somewhat” only helps if you’re one of the ones hired.  ;-])

          • peter drysdale

            So true. Thanks.

  • foul tip

    From not seeing the team much, I had the idea Cruz was your typical smallish infielder.

    Wrong.  Dude is 6-2 and 220.  Might be expected to have a bit of power.

  • Anonymous

    lets go Uribe, have me eat crow!!

    • Anonymous

      Walk good enough? 

    • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

      Does a walk work for you…it does for me

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Shane!!
     
    Come on Mark

  • Anonymous

    Hit & run . . . Closer coming in earlier yesterday — YES!

  • Anonymous

    that hit and run worked out perfectly. 

  • Anonymous

    Who was the guy who complains that Mattingly never hits and runs? 

    • Anonymous

       Soy yo. Hillman may have put his job in jeopardy.

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    YES!! We’ll take it

  • Anonymous

    oh man.

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Come on Matty your due

  • Anonymous

    Didn’t Mattingly tell Hillman no “no hit and run?” Is Hillman’s job in jeopardy?

  • peter drysdale

    Glad the sun is on our side.

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Come on Dre let’s get the extra insurance run

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Way to get on Dre
     
    Come on Juan

  • Anonymous

    The last year Uribe had worse stats against RHP than LHP was 2009 but the Braves take out the lefty to bring in a righty. Also, Uribe was 0/2 against Minor and 4/11 against Durbin.

  • Anonymous

    Boost your free agency cause, James!

    • Anonymous

       Or walk, wild pitch or passed ball!

  • Anonymous

    D’oh!!!!!

  • peter drysdale

    Crap! Thought that was destined for right field.

    • Blue-eyed Gal

      Anti-crap! This is Constipation Baseball.

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Little more elevation would have cleared the bases

  • Anonymous

    Jon, I agreed with your comment about Belli needing a rest.  But let’s hope he proves that wrong!

    • Anonymous

      I agree also.  While I don’t think he’s hurt, I do think he’s paying the price for not playing last year.

  • Anonymous

    Belisario has been shaky of late. Hopefully that’s not the case today.

  • Anonymous

    i gotta get going you guys, but 2 runs is better than 1 run. I’m hoping the Dodger pitchers can hold the Braves. i’ll catch up on my hand held. 

    • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

      Take care

  • Anonymous

     I don’t mind eating crow when it’s seasoned with a Dodger win!

  • Anonymous

    Several times today I’ve posted a comment and then discovered that other people posted the same thing at the same time. :/

  • peter drysdale

    Uh oh. Pulled hammy?

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Looked like Luis pulled up a little lame and he sort of grabbed his hamstring

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Nice sunfield double AJ

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Come on Adam

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Let’s go Shane

  • Anonymous

    Take advantage of this!

  • peter drysdale

    Crazy 9th here. If Cruz hadn’t pulled up lame he could’ve beaten high throw and it’d be bases loaded again. Still, 2 on 1 out is nice

  • Anonymous

    The Braves are trying hard to give this game away!

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Good eye Shane
     
    Come on Mark

  • Anonymous

     Good

  • Anonymous

    Redemption for Mellis!!!!!!!

    • http://www.twitter.com/ElJefedor Jeffrey Thomas III

      Making up for all those LOB’s!

      • Anonymous

        A-men

    • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

      ^_^

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Mark!!!!

    • Anonymous

      and that should do us!!

      • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

        I’m greedy…I want more

  • Anonymous

    Guess we don’t need Jansen today after all.

  • peter drysdale

    NICE!! Dangit, should be going for the sweep

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Shane scoring from 1st…great hustle!!
     
    Come on Matty

  • Blue-eyed Gal

    Time to administer the Fleet’s.

    Edit: apparently mlb.tv is about 5 minutes behind all of you. Grr.

  • peter drysdale

    And to think they’ve done all this this weekend with Kemp hitless

  • http://www.twitter.com/ElJefedor Jeffrey Thomas III

    I hope Matty finds his swing before the Gnats come to town.

    • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

      He’ll be alright…he’s going home

  • Anonymous

    the beard is working well for billz…keep it up big guy!

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Come on Scott

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    1 more Scott

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    NPUT

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Way to win the series guys
     
    Great road trip 7-3
     
    Time to get into 1st place and stay there

  • Anonymous

    In San Diego, Birdsong is continuing his reversion to pumpkinhood.

  • peter drysdale

    Good win. Great road trip.

  • Blue-eyed Gal

    Apropos of nothing — having been busting myself on the archery range lately, I am more perplexed than ever that routine fly balls and popups are almost always caught, and in fact the OFers are often standing where they barely have to move.

    And it’s really good to see Chad pitching like a #1, especially with Kershaw being slightly more human this year.