Aug 02

Rubby Bluesday


Kirby Lee/Image of Sport/US PresswireRubby De La Rosa struck out 60 in 60 2/3 innings in his rookie season.

The statement from the Dodgers:

Dodger right-hander Rubby De la Rosa underwent an MRI on Monday that showed a partial tear of the Ulnar Collateral Ligament (UCL). After consultation with Dr. Neal ElAttrache and Dr. James Andrews, it was decided that reconstruction (Tommy John) surgery should be performed. The date and location of the surgery is yet to be determined.

The recovery time of approximately one year, give or take, puts De La Rosa out of the Dodgers plans in any meaningful way until 2013.

Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com has more.

* * *

In case you missed it, there was more sad and stunning news in the Bryan Stow case Monday. From Andrew Blankstein of the Times:

A key witness in the beating case of Giants fan Bryan Stow at Dodger Stadium may have died of a peanut allergy, though officials have not determined a positive cause of death.

Matthew Lee attended the Dodgers’ home opener on March 31 with Stow and was cited in court papers filed Monday involving the two suspects charged in the beating.
According to law enforcement sources familiar with the case, Lee died Sunday after eating a salad that apparently contained nuts, which caused an allergic reaction. The sources said Lee had a peanut allergy.

It’s unclear how this will affect the case against Stow’s alleged attackers, but the sources said Lee was an important witness.

However, officials have said they have physical evidence in addition to the evidence provided by eyewitnesses to the beating.

Los Angeles police detectives said Monday they were trying to find additional Giants fans from the Bay Area who were assaulted by the suspects. …

Aug 01

Spoiler alert: Surgery looms as possibility for De La Rosa

Clayton Kershaw only starts about 20 percent of the Dodgers’ games, so you hate to see them spoiled.

But on a night that Kershaw pitched his fourth complete game of the season and Matt Kemp had a double and triple in a 6-2 victory over San Diego, the Dodgers took what I would consider to be their worst blow of the season, non-ownership division, as well as their first big blow of 2012.

Rubby De La Rosa, the prized rookie who figured to be a significant cog of the 2012 Dodger starting rotation, has a sprained ligament in his right elbow and will miss considerable time, with surgery a distinct possibility. Here’s Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com:

… De La Rosa faces the possibility of season-ending elbow surgery after an MRI exam on Monday revealed a sprained ulnar-collateral ligament. A team spokesman said De La Rosa and the medical staff presently are considering a handful of treatment options, one of which would be surgery.

Even if De La Rosa were to decide against surgery, he could be done for the year. The Dodgers have only 54 games remaining, and De La Rosa’s innings were being closely monitored anyway because he is considered such an important part of the franchise’s future. Between the minors and majors, he has pitched 100 2/3 so far this season. …

Dodgers medical-services director Stan Conte said De La Rosa reported tightness in his elbow immediately after leaving the game, but that he initially had felt it while throwing a pitch in the third inning. De La Rosa saw team physician Dr. Neal ElAttrache, who recommended he undergo an MRI exam.

Conte said the decision to put De La Rosa on the DL so quickly came because he likely would have missed his next start anyway. Mattingly said Ely initially will pitch out of the bullpen and that with an off-day on Thursday and De La Rosa’s rotation spot not due to come up again until Saturday night at Arizona, the Dodgers might simply skip that spot. That would mean they wouldn’t need a fifth starter again until Aug. 9 against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Aside from losing the treat of seeing De La Rosa pitch, what this may well mean is that more of the money that is needed to rebuild the Dodger offense in the offseason might now have to be reallocated to pitching.

* * *

Alex Castellanos went 0 for 4 with a walk in his debut in the Dodger organization, in a 6-4 Chattanooga victory. Juan Rodriguez pitched two shutout innings for Great Lakes in a 9-2 win.

Aug 01

Make it stop: Rubby heads to disabled list

Have Dodger fans not suffered enough?

Something was rubbing Rubby De La Rosa the wrong way Sunday. A day after spending 103 pitches over four innings, De La Rosa was placed on the disabled list with right elbow inflammation by the Dodgers, who recalled John Ely from Triple-A Albuquerque.

The abruptness of the roster move indicates that the Dodgers were under no illusion that De La Rosa was in position to pitch again anytime soon — plus, they have every reason to be cautious with him. Best-case scenario is this is just a well-timed rest for a pitcher who needs to be protected. I wonder if De La Rosa was ailing before Sunday’s start and kept it to himself.

That puts Kenley Jansen and De La Rosa on the disabled list in the past four days. Clayton, do be careful out there.

Jul 27

Kenley Jansen has irregular heartbeat issue

Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com has details of Dodger reliever Kenley Jansen’s sudden trip to the hospital.

Los Angeles Dodgers rookie reliever Kenley Jansen was transported to a local hospital for treatment of an irregular heartbeat shortly after recording his second save of the season Tuesday night against the Colorado Rockies. Although he was expected to remain at White Memorial Hospital through Wednesday night for observation, the situation didn’t appear to be serious.

Still, Jansen did have to undergo cardio conversion — the procedure of shocking the heart back into its normal rhythm — when medication didn’t immediately correct the problem.

“Anytime you have an irregular heartbeat, we take it pretty seriously,” Dodgers medical-services director Stan Conte said. “They were able to get his heart back into normal sinus rhythm. The next 24 hours will tell us what we want to do next.” …

Click the link above for the remainder of the story.

* * *

I’m not sure this will be Hiroki Kuroda’s last game in a Dodger uniform. My head tells me it should be; my heart hopes it isn’t.

Jul 05

Is lefty Lilly all right?

Ted Lilly’s start tonight for the Dodgers could be considered a critical one, for reasons that have nothing to do with the team’s place in the standings.

Lilly has been battling left elbow tenderness, as Ken Gurnick of MLB.com notes. He was given an extra day of rest before making his latest start, after having to skip several between-starts bullpen sessions. This has been going on while Lilly has allowed 17 earned runs over 14 2/3 innings in his past three outings.

Any further struggles could (or perhaps the word is “should”) force Lilly to the disabled list, which would mean the callup of John Ely, the only minor-league starting pitcher on the 40-man roster, or someone else who isn’t on the 40-man, such as Triple-A All-Star Dana Eveland. Jon Garland is out for the season, reports Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com.

* * *

  • Andre Ethier is out of today’s starting lineup because of the flu, but he did what I presume was MLB-prescribed promotion for his candidacy for the MLB All-Star final vote.
  • Matt Kemp has been invited to the Home Run Derby during the All-Star Break.
  • Baseball America published a list of the youngest ballplayers in each professional league.
  • The Dodgers continue to offer major discounts even on giveaway nights. $5 reserved seats for an Andre Ethier bobblehead promotion Thursday.
  • Longtime Holman Stadium public address announcer Dick Crago passed away Friday at the age of 85, the Dodgers announced. He worked the Vero Beach stadium from 1969-2008.
Jun 28

Broxton might be out for season

Is Jonathan Broxton’s Dodger career over? Maybe not, but it’s increasingly possible that the Dodger reliever, who will be a free agent at season’s end, won’t appear in a game for the team again with today’s news that he is being shut down from throwing for at least three more weeks. Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com has more:

… Club officials won’t say at this point that they are counting on getting Broxton back the rest of the season.

“We don’t have a timetable now,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “We did this once before, where he was shut down for three weeks and did all the stuff to return, and then we got back here. It’s just hard to say now that we’re going to get him back in six weeks or seven weeks or eight weeks. To me, at this point, if we get him back, great, all the better. But we have to kind of move forward.”

Broxton underwent an MRI on Monday in Los Angeles and then consulted with team physician Dr. Neal ElAttrache, who determined that the MRI showed a worsening of the bone bruise in Broxton’s elbow and that the best course of action was to shut him down again. …


Though his troubles this year will lower his value on the free agent market, it’s likely that some other team than the Dodgers will pay more to take a chance on the reliever, who only turned 27 this month. For pitchers with at least 300 innings as a Dodger, Broxton is the franchise’s all-time leader in strikeouts per nine innings.

He might make it back this season, but if not, like Russell Martin last fall, he’ll probably be looking at a fresh start.

* * *

The initial news on the bankruptcy court front appeared to drag things out another month, but then again, maybe not.

MLB will “probably” file a motion to seize the Dodgers from Frank McCourt, The Associated Press is reporting. That comes in the wake of the franchise’s initial bankruptcy court hearing today, which ended with McCourt being granted financing on a temporary basis, pending a July 20 hearing, with the TV rights saga still a major hurdle. In short, there was news, but no resolution.

Jun 24

Dodgers calling out all Angels on basepaths but lose


Mark J. Terrill/APThe defensive stylings of Dioner Navarro, here tagging out Bobby Abreu, were not enough to keep the Dodgers in the lead.

In the first inning tonight, the Angels’ Maicer Izturis was caught stealing and Bobby Abreu was thrown out at home. In the second inning, Mark Trumbo was picked off first by Navarro and Jeff Mathis was thrown out at third. In the third inning, Erick Aybar was picked off first by Navarro. In the sixth inning, Vernon Wells was caught stealing.

Dioner Navarro became the first catcher to be officially recorded with two pickoff throws and two caught stealings in the same game, according to Vin Scully on the Prime Ticket broadcast. And still the Dodgers were down 5-3 heading into the eighth inning.

That’s because Rubby De La Rosa, while throwing heat, allowed four walks, six hits, a double and two home runs. And that’s because, while Matt Kemp was hitting a two-run homer and Andre Ethier was going 3 for 4, the Dodgers were 2 for their first 12 with runners in scoring position.

Meanwhile, Marcus Thames left tonight’s game in the second inning with a strained left calf, raising the possibility that the Dodgers will soon see the return of Jerry Sands (.941 OPS in Albuquerque in June) or the debut of Trayvon Robinson (1.173 OPS in June) in left field if Thames goes on the disabled list.

There’s also talk that Rafael Furcal could move to second base when he returns from the disabled list so that Dee Gordon can stay at short, but I’m not convinced that Gordon doesn’t have a trip to Triple-A left in him.

Update: It got no better for the Dodgers, who gave up three runs (one unearned) in the final two innings of an 8-3 defeat. The Angels retired the final 11 batters for the Dodgers, who went hitless after the fifth inning.

Jun 04

The Los Angeles DLers roster


Jeff Gross/Getty ImagesRafael Furcal has reached base 17 times this season while missing 42 games and counting.

The roster of the Los Angeles DLers, day by day this season:

23 Casey Blake
21 Jon Garland
31 Jay Gibbons
30 Dioner Navarro
44 Vicente Padilla
9 Hector Gimenez
15 Rafael Furcal
56 Hong-Chih Kuo
33 Marcus Thames
51 Jonathan Broxton
36 Blake Hawksworth
5 Juan Uribe
74 Kenley Jansen

                           
Date/Uniform No. 23 21 31 30 44 9 15 56 33 51 36 5 74 Total players
3/31 x x x x x                 5
4/1 x x x x x                 5
4/2 x x x x x                 5
4/3 x x x x x                 5
4/4 x x x x x                 5
4/5 x x x x x                 5
4/6 x x x x x                 5
4/7 x x x x x                 5
4/8 x x x x x                 5
4/9 x x x x x                 5
4/10 x x x x x x               6
4/11 x x x x x x               6
4/12 x x x x x x x             7
4/13 x x x x x x x             7
4/14 x x x x x x x x           8
4/15 x   x x x x x x           7
4/16 x   x x x x x x           7
4/17 x   x x x x x x           7
4/18 x   x x x x x x           7
4/19 x   x x x x x x           7
4/20 x   x x x x x x           7
4/21 x   x x x x x x           7
4/22     x x   x x x           5
4/23     x x   x x x           5
4/24     x x   x x x           5
4/25 x   x     x x x           5
4/26 x   x     x x x           5
4/27 x   x     x x x           5
4/28 x   x     x x x           5
4/29 x   x     x x x           5
4/30 x   x     x x x           5
Date/Uniform No. 23 21 31 30 44 9 15 56 33 51 36 5 74 Total players
5/1 x   x     x x             4
5/2 x   x     x x             4
5/3 x         x x   x         4
5/4 x         x x   x x       5
5/5 x         x x   x x       5
5/6 x         x x   x x       5
5/7 x         x x   x x       5
5/8 x         x x   x x       5
5/9 x         x x   x x       5
5/10 x         x x x x x       6
5/11 x         x x x x x x     7
5/12 x         x x x x x x     7
5/13 x         x x x x x x     7
5/14 x       x x x x x x x     8
5/15 x       x x x x x x x     8
5/16 x       x x x x x x x     8
5/17 x       x x x x x x x     8
5/18 x       x x x x x x x     8
5/19 x       x x x x x x x     8
5/20 x       x x x x x x x     8
5/21 x       x x x x x x x x   9
5/22 x       x x   x x x x x   8
5/23 x       x x   x x x x x   8
5/24 x       x x   x x x x x   8
5/25 x       x x   x x x x x   8
5/26 x       x x   x x x x x   8
5/27         x x   x x x x x   7
5/28         x x   x x x x x   7
5/29         x x   x x x x x x 8
5/30         x x   x x x x x x 8
5/31         x x   x x x x x x 8
Date/Uniform No. 23 21 31 30 44 9 15 56 33 51 36 5 74 Total players
6/1         x x   x x x x x x 8
6/2         x x   x x x x x x 8
6/3         x x   x x x x x x 8
6/4   x     x x x x x x x x x 10
Total days 54 16 34 25 44 56 41 43 33 32 25 15 7 425

23 Casey Blake
21 Jon Garland
31 Jay Gibbons
30 Dioner Navarro
44 Vicente Padilla
9 Hector Gimenez
15 Rafael Furcal
56 Hong-Chih Kuo
33 Marcus Thames
51 Jonathan Broxton
36 Blake Hawksworth
5 Juan Uribe
74 Kenley Jansen

Jun 04

Dodgers call up Ely, De Jesus

Rafael Furcal and Jon Garland are officially on the disabled list, replaced for the time being by Ivan De Jesus Jr. and John Ely. Vicente Padilla has had a setback, which is why he’s not being activated. Juan Uribe and Blake Hawksworth could displace the Ely and De Jesus within days, however.

Ely will pitch out of the bullpen – Rubby De La Rosa is still scheduled to start Tuesday.

Jun 03

‘You Can Look But You Better Not Touch: The Rafael Furcal Story’


In his 10th game since returning from the disabled list and 17th game of the season, Rafael Furcal went kablooey again, leaving tonight’s 2-1 Dodger loss to Cincinnati in the top of the third inning with an injury to his left side. He is day-to-day, although keep in mind that Furcal’s body measures days based on Mercury time.

Meanwhile, the Dodgers’ offensive surge of earlier this week proved itself to be the fluke we all assumed it would be. Los Angeles has scored one run in its past 21 innings, despite playing today’s nine in one of the healthier hitting environments in the National League. Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp had six of the Dodgers nine times on base, with Kemp erasing one of his successes by being doubled off second after Ethier scored the team’s only run via James Loney’s sacrifice fly.

Hiroki Kuroda pitched six innings, several of them rough ones, but escaped unscathed (thanks in part to Jay Bruce being thrown out on the bases in the second inning – the play that might have caused Furcal’s injury) until the bottom of the fifth, when Scott Rolen drove in two runs with a bases-loaded single. The Dodger bullpen pitched two shutout innings, highlighted by Scott Elbert relieving Mike MacDougal with a runner on second and one out in the seventh and retiring Joey Votto and Bruce. But pinch-hitter Rod Barajas flied out with Kemp and Ethier on base to end the Dodgers’ last threat in the eighth.

The Dodgers put the ball in play tonight, striking out only four times in 31 at-bats, but they just could not make anything happen outside of the trainer’s room. Aaron Miles, slated to be the 25th man on the roster, remains on pace to combine with backup infielder Jamey Carroll for 1,000 plate appearances this year.

Jun 03

Garland injury opens path for De La Rosa to starting rotation

We’re still waiting for the official word, but Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com is reporting that Jon Garland will be placed on the disabled list (for the second time this season) with a right shoulder problem.

The immediate roster replacement would be Vicente Padilla, who will be activated from the disabled list, but more significantly, it could mean Rubby De La Rosa will make his first major-league start Tuesday in Philadelphia.

Update: Whatever’s going to happen is apparently not happening before today’s game, according to this note from the Dodgers.

May 29

Whooosh – there it is: Kershaw, Dodgers blow out Marlins


Jeff Gross/Getty ImagesClayton Kershaw

So that’s what a breeze feels like.

Sailing into a storm most of the season, the Dodgers enjoyed a day with the wind entirely at their backs, with Clayton Kershaw in near no-hit form and the offense practically an arcade, leading to an 8-0 breeze over the Marlins.

The Dodgers took two of three from Florida for their first series victory since April 22-24 in Chicago. If you’re any kind of believer – and praise be onto you if you are – this is where it starts, all the ifs and buts transforming into actual results.

Whether they can extend this one-game winning streak, matching their longest since May 13 (yes, that’s right), is of course up in the air, but if in fact it’s a blip on the losing radar, it was a blip to be savored.

Kershaw’s marquee game in my mind remains his showdown victory over Ubaldo Jimenez of Colorado 12 1/2 months ago, but as Mike Petriello of Mike Scioscia’s Tragic Illness points out, today was Kershaw’s finest statistical outing ever – a Kershawnal Best, if you will – allowing two hits and one walk while striking out 10 in his second career shutout. The second hit off Kershaw was a ball that Jay Gibbons lost in a battle with the sun and an unusually ferocious wind, which would have been exceedingly painful for fans had Omar Infante not singled softly to left in the third inning.

In any case, Kershaw, who lowered his ERA to 2.62 and now leads the major leagues with 87 strikeouts, was in complete control.

“He was hitting both sides of the plate and throwing inside on lefties, which you don’t see that much from a lefty,” Florida’s Wes Helms told The Associated Press. “Kershaw just commanded all of his pitches today, and he had above-average stuff. He knows how to bury his curveball and his slider. He’s not going to leave it over the middle of the plate. I mean, you get geared up for that heater, and his slider’s hard enough that you can’t hold up when it’s in the dirt.”

It was a Hershiseresque day all around for Kershaw, who had as many hits at the plate as he allowed. The 23-year-old, who was 10 for 132 entering this season, is 6 for 25 in 2011. His two hits were only 13 percent of the Dodgers’ 15 off Marlins starter Ricky Nolasco, who was forced to stick it out for five innings after Florida blew out its bullpen Saturday. The total tied a Los Angeles record for the most off a single starting pitcher (Mario Soto of Cincinnati was the last victim, in 1982).

Gibbons, Andre Ethier and Rafael Furcal each had three, including Furcal’s first homer of the year, a two-run shot to the right-field bullpen that gave the Dodgers their initial lead after Kershaw led off the bottom of the third with a single. Ethier reached base in all five plate appearances, while Dioner Navarro went 2 for 4 to complete a 7-for-18 week.

Dodger life is good today, for the second time in three days.

* * *

  • Bob Timmermann has a great essay at L.A. Observed’s Native Intelligence about a simpler time, a simpler time when all we had to do was be mad at Tom Niedenfuer and Jack Clark.
  • Zach Lee gave up six runs in one-third of an inning of his return to active duty with Great Lakes today. He allowed three hits, two walks and two hit batters, writes Hugh Bernreuter of the Saginaw News, who also had a nice piece on Ramon Martinez earlier this week.
  • Josh Lindblom officially arrived today, with Kenley Jansen going on the 15-day disabled list and Travis Schlichting being designated for assignment. Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com has details. That makes five top relievers on the Dodger disabled list: Jonathan Broxton, Hong-Chih Kuo, Vicente Padilla, Blake Hawksworth and Jansen.
  • Gary Carter’s diagnosis is grim, but no one is giving up, writes Ian Begley for ESPNNewYork.com.
  • Stadium Journey reviews the Chattanooga Lookouts ballpark.