Former Dodger prospect Trayvon Robinson is the subject of a great feature and multimedia presentation by Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times that illustrates just how improbable and challenging the young outfielder’s journey to the majors was.
Two members of tonight’s Dodger starting lineup started 2011 in the National League.
Better late than never …
- The McCourt hearing today was mostly a tablesetter, according to The Associated Press. Bill Shaikin of the Times adds that a trial in 2012 will settle the question of McCourt ownership between Frank and Jamie. The date for that trial is to be decided in November. While the team is in bankruptcy, it will not be sold, Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon said.
- Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic supplies some background to the Hong-Chih Kuo-Gerardo Parra spat.
- Roy Halladay, Clayton Kershaw’s top rival for the Cy Young Award, shut out the Astros today.
- Dodger postgame radio host Joe Block speculates that Kershaw might win 300 games.
- An Arizona victory tonight would eliminate the Dodgers from the National League West race. And the NL wild card could be out of reach as soon as Thursday.
To the extent that Ian Kennedy is a contender, the Dodgers can help Clayton Kershaw’s Cy Young Award hopes by doing a number on the Diamondback righty tonight – and preventing him from reaching the number 20, as in wins.
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Dee Gordon surpassed Rafael Furcal on Tuesday in innings played at shortstop for the Dodgers this season.
- Gordon: 310 2/3 innings, 162 chances, 54 putouts, 100 assists, eight errors
- Furcal: 304 2/3 innings, 156 chances, 57 putouts, 95 assists, four errors
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Dodger position player complete game leaders, via Baseball-Reference.com:
134 Matt Kemp
124 Andre Ethier
113 James Loney
91 Jamey Carroll
83 Aaron Miles
69 Rod Barajas
55 Tony Gwynn Jr.
54 Juan Uribe
45 Dioner Navarro
39 Casey Blake
32 Rafael Furcal
31 Dee Gordon
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- Kershaw is the Dodgers’ nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award, given to the major leaguer “who best represents the game of baseball through positive contributions on and off the field, including sportsmanship and community involvement.”
- At True Blue L.A., Chad Moriyama writes about how low-cost relievers carried the day for the Dodger bullpen.
Bureau of Engraving and PrintingNot everyone went to Best Buy on Wednesday. Ted Lilly (middle left) and Clayton Kershaw (middle right) of the Dodgers saw a demonstration on the currency production process at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Washington, D.C. More about the visit from U.S. treasurer and diehard Oakland A’s fan Rosie Rios.
Prime Ticket for Game 1 of today’s scheduled doubleheader; KCAL Channel 9 for Game 2.
It’s time to participate in Tangotiger’s annual Fans Scouting Report. Head on over before today’s game.
All-time single-season leaders in strikeouts per nine innings, minimum 40 innings pitched: Kenley Jansen is now No. 2 with 15.04.
The Dodgers have recalled John Ely and Jerry Sands while purchasing the contract of Tim Federowicz from Albuquerque. Federowicz will become the 48th player to suit up for the 2011 Dodgers once he gets in a game.
When that will happen is a bit murky. Dylan Hernandez of the Times tweeted that Federowicz might not play until the last week or two of the season because Don Mattingly wants him to get used to his “new environment.” Aside from this making more sense if Federowicz were joining the Terra Nova Dodgers, I can’t quite believe that Mattingly thinks it’s necessary for the young catcher to have no game action for more than a week. It’s not as if the Dodgers have been doing that with any of their other young farmboys this year.
In a procedural move, injured pitcher Vicente Padilla was moved to the 60-day disabled list, so the number of players on the Dodgers’ 40-man roster remains the same.
Meanwhile, to give Sands at-bats, Don Mattingly will have to take some playing time from either Juan Rivera or Andre Ethier. That could mean more angst for Ethier, whose saga gets scoped out by Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com.
A.J. Ellis has a .405 on-base percentage this season and, in 216 plate appearances, a .360 OBP in his career.
On a ballclub that has struggled with on-base skills (even considering the recent offensive surge), we’re past the point of considering whether Ellis belongs. He deserves a spot on the team until he proves otherwise, not the other way around.
Ellis has thrown out 27 percent of opposing basestealers in his career (13 of 48) with one career error and two career passed balls in 511 1/3 innings behind the plate.
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Meanwhile, a comparison:
- Russell Martin, Yankees: 425 plate appearances, .325 OBP, .414 slugging, 17 homers, 8-of-9 stealing, 95 OPS+, .262 True average (Baseball Prospectus), 2.9 WAR (Fangraphs)
- Rod Barajas, Dodgers: 289 plate appearances, .289 OBP, .445 slugging, 15 homers, 0-of-0 stealing, 102 OPS+, .261 True average, 1.3 WAR
Martin has played more and been more effective defensively, but offensively, Barajas’ power has been an asset this year. Barajas would have to be willing to take a paycut to return to the Dodgers in 2012 – perhaps he will.
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Tim Federowicz has a .431 on-base percentage and .627 slugging percentage with six homers in 83 at-bats since coming to Albuquerque in the Trayvon Robinson trade. Expect the Dodgers to call up the 24-year-old in the next couple of days.
Amid all of Clayton Kershaw’s accomplishments this season, one feat has been seemingly out of reach – an ERA title.
As recently as a week ago, Kershaw trailed Cincinnati’s Johnny Cueto by about half a run, 2.51 to 2.05. Today, however, Kershaw takes the mound trailing Cueto by only 0.16, 2.45 to 2.29.
Since Independence Day, Kershaw has an ERA of 1.18 with 74 strikeouts in 76 innings and an opponents’ OPS of .533.
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- The Dodgers, who have needed nine reliever innings in the past two days, added Ramon Troncoso to their roster for today’s game. More help will be on the way after the Albuquerque season ends Monday. Reinforcements from Chattanooga, if any, will take longer because the Lookouts are headed to the Southern League playoffs, running through at least September 10.
- In the New York Times on Friday, Richard Sandomir wrote about how much the Dodgers are being billed by their bankruptcy lawyers.
- Thanks to Ernest Reyes of Blue Heaven for the link to Vin Scully’s 1963 description of “What Is a Dodger?” Suitable for a bedtime story …
There’s more – all on the album “Jackie Barnett Presents The Sound of the Dodgers” – from noted stage and singing stars Stubby Kaye, Jimmy Durante, Maury Wills and Willie Davis. And to wrap things up, one more piece from Vin: “The Story of the Dodgers.” Note his pronunciation of “Chavez.”
From the Dodger press notes: “According to Elias, over the last 39 years, only four other Dodgers pitchers (besides Dana Eveland) have pitched at least 8.0 innings while allowing one-or-fewer runs in their first career start with the team: Fernando Valenzuela (April 9, 1981), Dave Stewart (May 19, 1982), Pedro Astacio (July 3, 1992) and Brad Penny (August 3, 2004).”
Also, Stats LLC says Matt Kemp has become the first major-leaguer since 2004 to have at least 30 homers, 30 steals and 10 outfield assists.
It’s almost impossible for me to hear the name “Eveland” and not think of Phil Hartman as Bill McNeal telling off his co-workers on “NewsRadio” for mocking his real first name: “First of all, it’s pronounced Evelyn.”
In addition to purchasing Dana Eveland’s contract from Albuquerque, the Dodgers greeted Roster Expansion Day with two other initial moves: activating Dee Gordon and recalling Russ Mitchell.
- Eric Seidman writes at Fangraphs of “The Awesomeness of Clayton Kershaw.”
- Roberto Baly of Vin Scully Is My Homeboy notes the signing by Toronto of Roberto Osuna, the 16-year-old nephew of former Dodger Antonio Osuna, and wonders if he’s another one the Dodgers shouldn’t have let get away.
- Also from Baly … Sandy Koufax: “It would have been a simple surgery.”
- Ernest Reyes of Blue Heaven alerts us that Vin Scully’s call of the ninth inning of Bill Singer’s 1970 no-hitter is available to hear.
- Rany Jazayerli tells Grantland readers that the future of the Phillies beyond 2011 is worrisome.
In non-Eugenio news, congrats to Matt Guerrier. He is taking a brief detour into paternity leave, and Josh Lindblom is coming back to the major-league club.
The Irony Committee would approve if Andre Ethier were traded in the offseason for an exciting Double-A prospect from Oakland.
I’m withholding comment on the Andre Ethier column in the Times today by T.J. Simers until I get more information. Things be murky.
You can see Vin Scully below in 1962 teleplay “Flashing Spikes,” which aired on anthology series “Alcoa Premiere.” John Ford directed, Jameson Brewer wrote the script and Jimmy Stewart starred with John Wayne, Fred Astaire, Jack Warden, Tige Andrews and Don Drysdale as “Gomer.”
When I was in graduate school at Georgetown — not long after my near-encounter with Dana Delany — my dad came into town, and we decided to go to up to Camden Yards, the almost brand-new ballpark up in Baltimore.
About 90 minutes before the game, we bought tickets behind home plate from a scalper, seemingly unaware that a near-hurricane was moving toward us. Soon, the rain came down in torrents, the wind was blowing everything upside down, the game was canceled, and my father and I were headed back to D.C. in my Scirocco in one of the most harrowing drives of my life, culminating in a flat tire when I drove almost blindly up a curb. Though my car wasn’t a wreck, I nearly was.
Though Dad and I never saw a game together in Baltimore, fortuntately I moved back to Los Angeles in time for the 1994 Northridge earthquake and MLB strike.
All my best to you Easterners …