Apr 17

Radio daze game chat

This seems like a good day to get away from the TV, grab a nice spot outside on the grass or thereabouts, and listen to the game in daydream mode. Sometimes I forget, but a ballclub’s struggles don’t seem so serious when you’re out in the fresh air.

Apr 16

Hong-Chih Kuo heads to the disabled list

A lower-back strain has knocked Hong-Chih Kuo off the abled list. Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com has details, including the “oh, of course” news that Kuo has been “bothered by back discomfort all season.”

Ramon Troncoso has been recalled to join the Dodgers’ now all-righty bullpen.

Apr 12

Dodgers recall De Jesus

As the clip above shows, Bill Buckner will appear on the next season of “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”

Rafael Furcal has officially been placed on the disabled list, and Ivan De Jesus Jr. was recalled to take his roster spot and presumably play at least semi-regularly at second base, though Aaron Miles is getting the start tonight.

Chad Billingsley and Tim Lincecum face each other for the first time as starting pitchers in tonight’s game. They did meet up in that bizarre, rain-affected game April 2, 2008 when both entered as relievers, after Hong-Chih Kuo and Merkin Valdez started. Billingsley faced four batters in the fifth inning and got a blown save for his effort.

Click this link to see how Lincecum has done in 11 previous outings against the Dodgers.

Apr 11

Kershaw LXXXVI: Kershawlandaise sauce

I have several different thoughts percolating about the fan and security issues surrounding tonight’s Dodgers-Giants game, as well as today’s Dodger Stadium fundraiser for Bryan Stow. I know it’s my job to get them from percolation to full boil, but I didn’t quite get there. For now, let’s just keep it simple: I am thinking good thoughts for tonight.

In baseball news: Rafael Furcal is back in the lineup after a couple of days off because of wrist issues. But after resting Sunday, Casey Blake is also sitting out tonight’s game against San Francisco lefty Madison Bumgarner. Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com said that Blake’s left leg has been bothering him since Saturday’s game-ending collision with the Padres’ Chase Headley.

Additionally, the Dodgers have sent John Ely back to Albuquerque, paving the way for Jon Garland’s activation before Friday’s game. In the meantime, Jamie Hoffmann gets a callup. Here’s Jackson’s story.

Apr 10

The Wheel of Timely Injury lands on Hector Gimenez

The Dodgers placed Hector Gimenez on the disabled list to make room on the roster for John Ely.

“It wasn’t immediately known whether the pain in Gimenez’s knee was of such severity that he would have been placed on the DL if the club didn’t need a roster spot,” wrote Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com. “But the Dodgers have been carrying three catchers all season partly because Gimenez is out of minor league options, a situation that could come to a head when backup catcher Dioner Navarro comes off the 15-day disabled list sometime in the next few weeks.”

If you were hoping Ramon Ortiz would take today’s start, no such luck. The Cubs signed him to a minor-league contract.

Apr 05

Kershaw LXXXV: Kershawberry muffin


Jon Weisman/ESPNLosAngeles.comFor those of you who saw my January post, “Baseball, moist and delicious,” this is what I’m talking about.

The Dodgers assigned first baseman John Lindsey and pitcher Jon Link to the Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes after the players cleared waivers.

Lindsey, who got his first major league hit in September after 16 seasons in the minors, was designated for assignment by the Dodgers just before the team’s regular season opener Thursday. The same fate happened the day before for Link, a 27-year-old who had a 4.15 ERA in 8 2/3 innings last season for the Dodgers.

Both players spent the bulk of 2010 with Albuquerque. Lindsey led the Pacific Coast League in batting average (.353) and slugging percentage (.657). Link, who came to Los Angeles with John Ely in exchange for Juan Pierre, had a 3.71 ERA in 60 2/3 innings with 55 strikeouts.

Apr 03

April 3 game chat


Jayne Kamin-Oncea/US PresswireJordin Sparks warns Kenley Jansen during pre-game ceremonies Saturday to watch out for the Giants.

Doozy of a game between the Royals and Angels today. Don’t think we’ll see that kind of scoring in Los Angeles tonight.

In other news …

  • The Indians released ex-Dodger first-round pick Preston Mattingly, the son of Dodger manager Don Mattingly who was dealt to Cleveland last fall. The Indians did not release Carlos Santana, who started a triple play while playing first base today and is 6 for 13 with a walk and home run so far this season.
  • Eric Stephen of True Blue L.A. notes that the Dodgers’ early season home run drought is already its longest in nine seasons, and counting.

Be sure to jump into our Cover It Live chat for tonight’s game.

Apr 02

April 2 game chat


Jeff Gross/Getty ImagesShall we dance?

If it comes down to a save situation again, this would be a perfect time to rest Jonathan Broxton. He’s off to a good start – pitching him three days in a row isn’t necessary, with Hong-Chih Kuo and Kenley Jansen rested.

* * *

Here we are with baseball’s only 2-0 team. (It’s been 12 years since a Dodger team started 3-0.) I can only imagine how bilious the vibe would be had the Dodgers started things 0-2. Let the good times keep rollin’ on.

Apr 01

HBP knocks Uribe out of lineup


Kevork Djansezian/Getty ImagesRod Barajas throws out Miguel Tejada at first during the ninth inning Thursday.

We have our first regular season Dodger injury of the year. Juan Uribe, who was hit by a Tim Lincecum pitch when the Dodgers exploded for an unearned run in the sixth inning Thursday, was scratched from today’s starting lineup.

Ivan De Jesus Jr., already scheduled for his major-league debut tonight, will now be joined in the starting lineup by Aaron Miles, making his Dodger debut. Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com has more details.

… Stan Conte, the Dodgers’ director of medical services, stressed that the X-rays were strictly precautionary and that the pitch that hit Uribe struck muscle as opposed to bone. There was some hope Uribe would be available to pinch hit after returning from White Memorial Hospital, where the X-rays were taken.

“I’m going to go get it looked at now,” Uribe said as he changed back into his regular clothes before leaving Dodger Stadium.

Although the Dodgers already have five players on the 15-day disabled list, no one seemed especially concerned that Uribe could join them.

“I had him in the lineup, but he came in swollen,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “Stan was actually really surprised. Hopefully, it’s just today.” …

* * *

Former Dodger minor-leaguer Carlos Santana singled twice and homered for Cleveland, which rallied from a 14-0 Opening Day deficit to a 15-10 loss to the White Sox.

Mar 25

Ivan DeJesus Jr. likely to start at second base while Blake is out

Rob Tringali/Getty ImagesIvan De Jesus Jr. has a .380 on-base percentage this spring.

“Barring an injury,” writes Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com, “infielder Ivan DeJesus looks like a strong bet to make the club and remain in the big leagues until Blake returns from back injury. DeJesus, who will be making his major league debut, likely will get the bulk of the starts at second base during that time, while Juan Uribe will move to third.”

It’s a pretty impressive feat for the infielder, who has remaining options, who had to come back from a 2009 broken leg and was even said by some to be in the Dodgers’ doghouse last year.

Jackson also writes that the Dodgers will carry four starting pitchers on their Opening Day roster, and will call up a fifth starter from the minors April 12. That pitcher figures to be John Ely, especially if Tim Redding’s back ailment today proves to be serious. Jackson:

… Redding returned to Camelback Ranch, the team’s spring-training complex in Glendale, for further examination. No diagnosis or prognosis was immediately available. …

The season opener for Triple-A Albuquerque isn’t until April 7, so whomever the Dodgers choose to start in place of Garland could start that game and then be perfectly lined up to pitch for the Dodgers on April 12 in San Francisco. …

* * *

Diamondbacks 6, Dodgers 3

Highlights:

  • Coming in to relieve the injured Redding with one on and none out in the fourth, Rubby De La Rosa got a double-play grounder and only allowed a bunt single in his first three innings.
  • Backup catchers A.J. Ellis and Hector Gimenez each went 1 for 2.
  • Xavier Paul thew out a runner at the plate.
  • Doubles by Aaron Miles and Justin Sellers’ sandwiched Ellis’ single and gave the Dodgers an early 2-0 lead.

Lowlights:

  • Redding allowed a two-run homer in the third and six hits total in his three-plus innings, before leaving with the back trouble.
  • De La Rosa allowed three runs in his fourth inning of work.
  • Tony Gwynn Jr. went 0 for 4, his spring OPS falling to .689.

Sidelights:

  • Christina Taylor Green’s brother Dallas and Tucson shooting victim Ken Dorushka threw out first pitches before today’s game.
  • Nick Charles, who has terminal cancer, will call the opening bout on HBO’s “Boxing After Dark” on Saturday, says Sports Business Daily.
  • Rafael Furcal has been recovering from an offseason illness, reports Dylan Hernandez of the Times in this feature.
  • Great pics of Fernando Valenzuela pitching in Mexico last week, shared by Roberto Baly of Vin Scully Is My Homeboy.
  • Another great item, this from Eric Nusbaum at Pitchers & Poets, gives us Ken Levine talking about Vin Scully: “Normally I can look over somebody’s shoulders, I can pick up their scorecard and I can kind of figure it out. With one exception – Vin Scully. He’s got lines and dots and stuff. I have no idea. You need Navajo code breakers to figure out Vin’s scorebook. I have no idea.”
  • Here’s part 3 of Mark Timmons’ LADodgerTalk.com interview with Logan White.
  • The Dodgers aren’t the only ones with injuries, by any means. The shoulder of Phillies closer Brad Lidge is hurting, and so is Philadelphia’s bullpen, writes David Schoenfield of ESPN.com.
  • Padres starting pitcher Mat Latos is also ailing, notes Aaron Gleeman of Hardball Talk.
  • Will Leitch on the Mets (via Rob Neyer): “Even if this year is a write-off, the team will be more enjoyable to watch than it has been the last four years, if only because the franchise is finally moving forward. It’s going to get better, soon. I promise, this isn’t a scam. You are forgiven for fearing otherwise. This is, after all, the Mets.”

* * *

Dodgers at Mariners, 7:05 p.m.

Mar 24

Dioner Navarro to play ‘MRI of Fortune’

From Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com:

Dodgers catcher Dioner Navarro was scratched from the starting lineup for Thursday’s Cactus League game against the Colorado Rockies and sent for an MRI exam after feeling pain in his right side taking a swing during a morning session of batting practice.

Results of the MRI aren’t expected until later in the day or possibly Friday. But with the season opener now just a week away, Navarro’s injury at least raises the possibility that he could become the fourth Dodgers player expected to begin the season on the disabled list, where he would join pitchers Vicente Padilla and Jon Garland and third baseman Casey Blake. …

* * *

Rockies at Dodgers, 1:05 p.m.