Jun 28

Dodgers recall Van Slyke … but option De Jesus

Mets at Dodgers, 7:10 p.m.
Dee Gordon, SS
Elian Herrera, 3B
Juan Rivera, LF
James Loney, 1B
Scott Van Slyke, RF
Adam Kennedy, 2B
Matt Treanor, C
Tony Gwynn Jr., CF
Chris Capuano, P

The Dodgers have called up Scott Van Slyke to help fill the Andre Ethier injury gap and optioned Ivan De Jesus Jr., which means there will still be a roster spot available assuming Ethier is placed on the disabled list. The other possibility would be that the Ethier injury isn’t as serious as first reported, though I’d be surprised by that.

Beleaguered first baseman James Loney gets a shot at batting cleanup in the absence of Ethier and Matt Kemp. Bobby Abreu is on the bench.

According to the Dodger press notes, the franchise’s longest scoreless streak on offense is 41 innings, set from August 21-24, 1908. The current team is at 30.

* * *
Luis Cruz, John Ely, Tim Federowicz and Josh Wall were selected to represent Albuquerque at the Triple-A All-Star Game on July 11. From the press notes:

Federowicz was named the starting catcher of the PCL team after batting .284 with 20 doubles, a triple, seven homers, and 43 RBI this season. The backstop leads the PCL in games played by a catcher with 59. Ely is 8-5 with a 3.38 ERA and leads the league with 103 strikeouts. Cruz is hitting .320 with a whopping 30 doubles, putting him on track to break the Albuquerque record for doubles in a season (41). Wall has a league-high 17 saves in 34 games.

May 22

Can’t explain

I can’t explain … anything that is going on.

For the past week, I have been sitting on the sidelines. Watching. Not writing.

There’s more going on right now with my compulsion to write about the Dodgers than I can articulate right now. None of it is bad. It’s just complicated. Like trying to jump on to a spinout ride, not knowing how to jump … and realizing you don’t have to jump. That maybe you’re not supposed to jump.

It has never seemed less necessary to offer my two cents. I’ve never felt less qualified. There’s nothing I’m seeing that you’re not seeing. The only thing I can tell you about the Dodgers is what I’m feeling … and you’re already feeling it.

Maybe someday, there will be a baseball team that I’ll write about again. But this is a thrill ride. Right now, I’m a passenger, just like you.

May 19

Ellis for chillin’

Thanks to the left leg injury he suffered Friday, Mark Ellis joins Juan Rivera, Matt Kemp, Juan Uribe and Jerry Hairston Jr. in the Society of Disabled Position Players. In his place, Ivan De Jesus Jr. becomes yet another ballplayer’s son on the Dodger roster.

Eric Stephen of True Blue L.A. has more.

Cardinals at Dodgers, 7:10 p.m.
Kershaw CXXV: Kershnakes on a Plane
Tony Gwynn Jr., CF
Elian Herrera, 2B
Bobby Abreu, LF
Andre Ethier, RF
Adam Kennedy, 3B
James Loney, 1B
A.J. Ellis, C
Justin Sellers, SS
Clayton Kershaw, P
Mar 20

Another painful Spring Training for De Jesus

Very sorry to hear that Ivan De Jesus Jr. has a left-oblique tear, three years after the March broken leg that derailed his career.  Star-crossed kid.

  • Good tidbit on longshot bullpen contender and Royal High graduate Scott Rice, from Ken Gurnick of MLB.com. “He’s easy to find in the Dodgers’ clubhouse, and not just because he’s 6-foot-6,” Gurnick writes. “His locker is located in the section assigned to players that are generally the first to be cut. Sure enough, eight lockers to his right are now empty, as are five lockers to his left.”
  • Dee Gordon needed only a home run for the cycle today.
  • Andre Ethier: still on fire.
  • Grant Brisbee is as entertaining as usual in his look at the 2012 Dodgers for Baseball Nation.
  • Wednesday at 9 p.m., NBC premieres a new sitcom, Bent. The Peacock, as we say at Variety, is racing through the entire six-episode order in three weeks – putting the premiere against Modern Family, no less – so you might think the network is ashamed of it. But I think the show is worth watching and only grows on you. TV critics Brian Lowry at Variety and Alan Sepinwall at HitFix agree with me. So check it out.
Mar 18

The LaRussa factor

Don Newcombe at Camelback Ranch (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

Angels at Dodgers, 1:05 p.m. (weather permitting)

It’s natural to speculate about which free-agent players the Dodgers might go after under new ownership, but one subject that hasn’t gotten as much talk is that of whom the next general manager might be.

Ned Colletti might need the Dodgers to at least win their division to survive the natural tendency for a new owner to hire a new lieutenant. If Colletti is replaced, logical successors include past or present Dodger executives like Kim Ng, De Jon Watson or Logan White.

However, the fact is that a revitalized Dodger franchise might be considered a prime target for some of the best active general manager candidates in baseball, if their contract status allows it.

To that end, Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com writes that if Steven Cohen ends up with the franchise, there’s talk that Tony La Russa will take an executive role, above the general manager’s office, such as team president. If so, that could discourage several possible general manger candidates, who might question whether they’d have as much decision-making authority as they’d otherwise expect.

“All of this is speculation; the bidding is not nearly complete,” Rosenthal writes. “But, as rival execs see it, a GM such as the Tampa Bay Rays’ Andrew Friedman or Arizona Diamondbacks’ Kevin Towers likely would not leave their current situations for limited autonomy in L.A.”

  • J.P. Hoornstra of the Daily News reported it was hailing at Camelback Ranch less than two hours before gametime today.
  • Ivan De Jesus Jr., who made a nice defensive play Saturday against the Giants and had been having a solid spring, has been sidelined indefinitely with an oblique strain. Kem Gurnick of MLB.com has details.
  • Non-roster invitee Alberto Castillo, who pitched for Arizona last year, was released by the Dodgers, according to Eric Stephen of True Blue L.A., who adds that Will Savage, Matt Chico and Ryan Tucker were sent to minor-league camp.
  • This memorable ESPN the Magazine cover of Tim Lincecum and Clayton Kershaw was passed along by Roberto Baly of Vin Scully Is My Homeboy. Seems to me the roles should have been reversed, but Kershaw is nothing if not a good sport.

Mar 16

Dodgers having fun despite Thursday loss

Royals 8, Dodgers 5

  • Ivan De Jesus went 3 for 3 for the Dodgers, impressing Steve Dilbeck of the Times but leaving Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com no less skeptical about his future. Jackson also chronicles the latest example of Dee Gordon’s ridiculous speed.
  • Todd Coffey had his first hit, exhibition or regular season, since 2007, writes Ken Gurnick of MLB.com.
  • Despite a two-walk, 27-pitch first inning, Chad Billingsley had an overall positive outing in the view of Eric Stephen of True Blue L.A., with Don Mattingly agreeing.
  • Four of five batters against Mike MacDougal reached base, one on a fielder’s choice, and all four scored by the time the next reliever, John Grabow, was done.
  • In case you missed the highlights of Wednesday’s 9-1 victory over the Reds, Clayton Kershaw struck out six in four shutout innings, and A.J. Ellis and Adam Kennedy homered. Dodger relievers struck out six in five innings, allowing one unearned run.
  • Chris Withrow, Michael Antonini, Stephen Fife, Josh Wall, Scott Van Slyke, Alfredo Silverio, Alex Castellanos, Shane Lindsay and Russ Mitchell were optioned or reassigned to minor league camp today.
  • In an extensively reported story, Gene Maddaus of L.A. Weekly cemented the kibosh — or enabled the kibosh — on purported Dodger ownership candidate Joshua Macciello. (Macciello issued a press release in his own words Thursday.)
  • Wendy Thurm of Fangraphs wonders if major-league teams should be more concerned with outbreaks of Valley Fever.
  • Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors reviews the San Francisco Giants’ offseason. “Posey’s recovery from a grisly May leg injury will provide a boost to the Giants, while the additions of Cabrera and Pagan should make the offense less awful,” Dierkes writes. “Still, it’s likely Sabean will again be actively seeking run support for his top-notch pitching staff come the July trade deadline.
  • Looks like it’s coming down to Juan Pierre vs. Scott Podsednik for the final spot on the Phillies roster, writes Jonathan Nisula of Phillies Nation.
  • Photo of the week: Kansas City’s Everett Teaford and Tim Collins in Jonathan Broxton’s pants.