Dodger Thoughts

Jon Weisman's outlet for dealing psychologically with the Los Angeles Dodgers, baseball and life

Dodgers recall Wall

Dodgers at Rockies, 5:40 p.m.
Shane Victorino, LF
Mark Ellis, 2B
Matt Kemp, CF
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Hanley Ramirez, SS
Andre Ethier, RF
Luis Cruz, 3B
A.J. Ellis, C
Josh Beckett, P

Josh Wall has replaced Shawn Tolleson in the Dodger bullpen, but according to Dylan Hernandez of the Times, Tolleson is not about to become someone else’s player to be named later.

Rather, after using every reliever not named Kenley Jansen this weekend, the Dodgers were trying to shore up their bullpen for this week’s games in Colorado. So, expect to see Tolleson again in a Dodger uniform soon after rosters expand.

There are rumors that the Dodgers are concerned enough about Chad Billingsley’s health and Joe Blanton’s performance that they might still try to acquire another starting pitcher, believe it or not.

* * *

Keith Law of on Josh Beckett:

… Beckett’s lost season comes down to three main problems: some lost velocity, poor pitch selection and horrific pitching from the stretch. He has lost a mile and a half off his average fastball this year versus 2011, a year that was already down from his peak fastball a few years earlier, which is likely the effect of age and regular usage over the years but doesn’t in and of itself have to be fatal. (It does show he’s not a good candidate for a multiyear extension.)

He gives up way too many hits on his cutter, which has proved less effective than the straight changeup that was previously his worst pitch (because it looked like a BP fastball compared with his four-seamer). He’s been nearly 300 points of opponents’ OPS worse with men on base this year, and, although that’s often just bad luck or randomness, in Beckett’s case it’s more because his fastball is softer from the stretch and because he relies too much on that flat cutter in those situations. …

From April 13 through June 30 this year, Beckett had a 3.50 ERA in 79 2/3 innings over 12 starts. In his other 2012 starts, he has allowed 43 earned runs in 47 2/3 innings.

In 2011 through August 27, Beckett had a 2.43 ERA and 141 strikeouts in 163 innings.


Can they get to 50?


‘If life seems jolly rotten, there’s something you’ve forgotten’


  1. Has there been a line up change? The tweet I read earlier from the Dodgers had AJ catching and hitting 8th.

  2. Anonymous

    I read that Tolleson was sent to down to Rancho Cucamonga. I would assume their season ends soon after September 1, so he can come back to the team sooner that way.

    •  That’s how I see it.

      • Anonymous

        You don’t think it was just to save money on how far he had to travel?

        Oh, never mind, I forgot that Frank McCourt is gone now.  :)

  3. Anonymous

    I was hoping it would be Ely to make #48. 

  4. Anonymous

    “Horrific pitching from the stretch “…that’s reassuring. :(

  5. Anonymous

    Every pitcher has good stretches and bad stretches.  When you generate a sample size large enough, you get the true measure of a player.  Beckett may have a few good outings left in him but his overall performance the past three years is a perfectly mediocre 8-8 with a 4.38 ERA.   Positively Blantonesque (4.40 career ERA).

    •  Similarly, I don’t truly believe that Blanton is the 7.71 ERA that he has shown Los Angeles.

      • Anonymous

        Agreed. But even his median performance is pretty weak.  The Dodgers are putting a lot of hope into two pitchers with ERAs over 4.3.  With luck, they now should have the offense to overcome their pitching deficiencies.  But I sure don’t like any of their pitching matchups after Kershaw.  

        If they make the playoffs, can you see them pitching Clayton on three days’ rest? 

        • If the Dodgers aren’t in the wild-card game and can set up their rotation to have Kershaw to start Game 1, I’d assume he would also start Game 5.

          Capuano is a pretty good bet for one of the games in between, and honestly, I don’t have a big problem using Harang for a game as well. The question is whether Billingsley is back, or whether it’s Beckett/Blanton.

          I was surprised to see that Harang’s ERA is 3.49 on the road this year and 3.95 at home.

          • Anonymous

            I’d prefer to see Kershaw in Games 1 and 4, especially if they’re down 2-1.  Harang’s numbers are surprising to me as well.  I still don’t hold much hope for him in the playoffs.  He seems to lack clutchiness. 

            Can it be that he has never pitched in October? He came to the A’s in 2002, after the glory years and played for the Reds during their worst stretch. In 2010, he didn’t appear in the sweep loss to the Phils.

          •  What good does it do to use Kershaw on three days’ rest if you still need a guy for a deciding Game 5?

          • Anonymous

            @ Jon…It could rain tomorrow!

        • Anonymous

           Three days’ rest seems an unlikely scenario. Ask Orel what he thinks.

      • Anonymous

        Even if he’s at his career averages of 4.40 ERA and 1.34 WHIP, that’s not all that great…  (this year at Philly he had 4.59 and 1.19)

  6. Anonymous

    >> expect to see Tolleson again in a Dodger uniform soon after rosters expand.

    I know that a player sent down normally can’t return for ten days, aside from replacing an injured player.  Is that ten-day requirement still in effect when rosters expand on September 1?  Is the ten-day requirement still in effect if his minor-league team has completed its games for the season?

    • Anonymous

      If the minor league season is over, you can come back up. Which is why a lot of these transaction involve someone going to A ball.

      • Anonymous

        Thanks.  I see it was mentioned in a comment above as well.

  7. For the last decade-plus, whenever there’s been an MLB player I disliked intensely, he’s always — always — eventually joined the Dodgers. Welcome, Josh Beckett, to the club that includes Shane Victorino, Jeff Kent, Kevin Brown, Manny Ramirez, and Gary Sheffield, among others.

    I can hardly wait for 2013, when Jonathan Papelbon becomes a Dodger.

    • Anonymous

      Don’t forget A-Rod, Melky Cabrera, and Jose Valverde.  

    • Anonymous

      Welcome back to the big leagues, Mr. Clemens!

      Perhaps you too would like to return to action, Mr. Bonds?

    • Anonymous

      I know– like Victor! I said the same thing, and once the guy was on your team you liked him–Like when the Bruins got Ken Linsman from Phillie. But I think you are saying something a bit more complex here, and you don’t always change sides.

      • Anonymous

        I don’t care if he’s on the Dodgers now, I’m still calling him Weaselface.

      • Manny won me over eventually. The rest of them I still have little use for.

        • Anonymous

          Was that before or after the feminine fertility drugs? 

          • Before, but really that didn’t make much of a difference to me one way or the other. I’m not one of the people who freaks out about steroids.

        • Anonymous

          Darryl did run into the wall but hurt himself.  I don’t think Manny knew how to run backwards.  I don’t consider Victorino a bad guy yet.  Nice to have his energy.

    • Dave Alden

      Juan Uribe was my bete noire.

    • Anonymous

      Darryl Strawberry was the guy I didn’t want to play on the Dodgers who ended up playing on the Dodgers. That worked out well.

      • Anonymous

        Then Eric joined Darryl and it was gonna be so….not.

    • Anonymous

      You can only imagine how folks in Brooklyn felt when Sal Maglie became a Dodger!

      • Anonymous

        I’m surprised no one has mentioned Joan Marichal.

        • Anonymous

           I loved Marichal when he pitched for the TACOMA Gnats.

  8. Anonymous

    I will admit that Keith Law knows more about MLB pitching and pitches than me. But that he is an expert in a pitchers use of certain pitches and the nuances of each is more than I can accept easily.
    And yes, it is always good to obtain another starter, but not if you give up two great prospects and take on two awful contracts to do this. 

  9. Anonymous

    The Grantland story by Jonah Keri is a nice read but to one dimensional for my taste, great points made though…

    • I agree. Overall a nice piece but a few lines didn’t sit well with me. For instance, “Even in a best-case scenario, it’s hard to see Crawford fully earning his keep.” Best-case scenario for Carl Crawford would be him performing to his potential, which in the past has included seasons where he has hit over 300, had 50+ stolen bases, as many as 19 home runs and 90 RBI. Would his best-case scenario in offensive potential paired with his great defense not be considered fully earning his keep? 

      Also his theoretical assumption that the Dodgers would have any interest in Stephen Drew was pretty silly. But yeah other than that a decent piece.

      • Anonymous

         I think Drew’s career is effectively over.

        • Technically I guess a best case scenario for Carl Crawford would be him inventing some kind of Flubber-like substance that turns him into a baseball god. But I think Keri probably meant *plausible* best-case scenario — which would not include a thirtysomething Crawford matching his career high in every offensive category.

          • His wording has left us to assume, he should have said something like “it would be reasonable to expect” or something. But with a career 162 game average of 292/332/441 along with 99 runs, 14 hr, 77 rbi, 50 sb a healthy “best-case” Crawford would surely earn his keep.

  10. Anonymous

    Anybody have any tips for watching Dodger games at the Great American Ballpark?

    I just bought single seats, ten rows behind home plate (two rows behind the mega-buck seats) available through the team website, didn’t even have to go through StubHub.

    Oh, and I don’t know if anyone noticed, but I took the Megabus to St. Louis for that series, and ten days later the exact same Megabus run as I was on, crashed… :eek:

    • Sit in the second deck if you like panoramic views. From field level you can’t really see anything, but from up top you can see the Ohio River and Kentucky beyond.

  11. Anonymous

    Billingsley said he felt something when he threw a cutter.  That doesn’t sound like general inflammation to me and now they’ve got a second MRI scheduled once the swelling subsides.  My fear  (and my bet) is that he’s done for 2012.

  12. Josh Wall is cute

  13. Anonymous

    Daisuke Matsuzaka is available next year, just checked his numbers & he hasn’t had an ERA+ above 100 in 4 years. 

    • foul tip

       At least it won’t cost whoever signs him $50 mil just for negotiating rights, like it did Boston with his Japanese team.

      Of all the insane spending in sports these days, that ranks #1 for me. 

      Boston hasn’t gotten a whole heck of a lot in return either…pretty big contract on top of the $50 mil.

  14. Anonymous

    So, three hundred million bucks or so committed later…

    Anyone care to change their response to my assertion that Donnie B might not be invited back if they miss the playoffs?

    • There is zero chance he won’t be back.

    • I think the baseball world generally respects the job Mattingley has done. I’d be very surprised if the Dodgers did anything in that area. As for me, I have occasional issues with his bullpen usage (for once, please use Kenley Jansen in the 8th against the heart of the other team’s order), and his sacrifice bunt fetish, but generally I’m ok….

      • Anonymous

        I think the odds are low, of course – but that they are on the table.

        Obviously, the chicago boys have a steinbrenner wallet, it remains to be seen if they have a similarly short leash with the drivers of their platinum-coated machines.

  15. Man, Beltre is hot. He just crushed another one.

  16. A lot of key guys missing from the Rockies, gosh.  

    Which of course means they’ll win the series. ;)

  17. KT

    Come on Matty

  18. KT

    Good hit Matty!!
    Come on AGon

  19. Great to see the Bison running like, well, a bison again.

  20. Welcome to Coors Field, Josh.

  21. Anonymous

    Ooooo man.

  22. KT

    well only the Hr marks that inning…otherwise he pitched well

  23. Anonymous

    Welcome back to Colorado baseball Josh Becket

  24. Anonymous

    it was nice to see him regroup & make affective pitches though. 

  25. KT

    Come on Dre

  26. KT

    Trying something new tonight…For the 1st time I’m listening to Stiener/Monday watching MLB root feed on the computer and the root feed on the TV…radio is ahead of the computer which is ahead of the I have an automatic replay system

  27. Anonymous

    MLB Network mentioned that Becket & Francis were ’07 WS alumni, just checked & it’s true. A few years older & a few miles an hour slower but a lot wiser. 

  28. foul tip story on the big trade and team outlook with Magic is about what you’d expect. 

    But there was a bit of interesting perspective on the total of  big contacts assumed by the Dodger$– “roughly the $240 million cost of one Albert Pujols down the freeway in Anaheim, where the Angels reside.”

  29. KT

    Yes…come on wild pitch

    • Anonymous

       I was rooting for it, too . . . I’m not proud.

      But tough to hang our hopes on that with the potential of this lineup.

  30. Anonymous

    trying to figure out why Victorino still wears those red batting gloves. Our front numbers are red but that’s about it. 

  31. KT

    Nice play AJ

  32. foul tip

    The Tolleson/Wall news is puzzling.  I know Tolleson gave up 2 HRs last time out, and the team may have noticed something mechanical they want him to work on, in low-risk situations at Class A. 

    Before that there was a lot of buzz about how his stock had gone up, and the team said it wouldn’t hesitate to use him in key situations.

    Surely the team is smarter than to demote a good reliever after one bad outing.  Yeah, there’s a pennant race, but…

    And, yeah, he can and most likely will come back shortly.

    Hope there aren’t medical concerns.  Demotion isn’t the answer to those, tho.

    • Anonymous

      The demotion was supposed to be a factor of the team needing fresher relievers for the trip to Denver and Tolleson had options.

    • I really don’t think it’s anything more than what Jon relayed from Dylan Hernandez, Wall is a fresh arm and Tolleson can be back as soon as next week.

  33. KT

    Come on Kemp start it off

  34. Blue-eyed Gal

    You know, Steve Lyons came up to the Top Deck yesterday. I wonder why he came up to the nosebleed-and-scorecards zone to mingle with the plebs. 
    I yelled down a greeting. I did not, however, go over and ask him about his repertoire of encomiums. A pitcher has “good head”? Er… ooooookay….. I know what you meant, but my students used to titter when I made slips like that. 

    Oddly, yesterday was also the first day I happened to spot Vin getting driven out of the private lot, although I’ve walked past that gate for years. 

  35. KT

    Come on Dre

  36. KT


  37. KT

    Come on Shane

  38. Anonymous

    I was told the Dodgers would score innumerable runs every game now. I demand a refund.

  39. Anonymous

    Wow – this Dodgers lineup sure is SCARY!

  40. Anonymous

    With Donnie managing the Rocks, Pacheco’s grounder wouldv’e been a DP.

  41. Anonymous

    i’m expecting them to score a boat load of runs any minute now. 

    • Blue-eyed Gal

      I’ve been patiently waiting, and suddenly I’ve hit the AUGH SCORE ALREADY stage. SCORE SCORE SCOOOOORE.

  42. KT

    Come on Hanley

  43. Anonymous

    In terms of how they’re hitting, these Dodgers look an awful lot like the June 2012 Dodgers.  The lineup looks better now, but if you can’t score very many runs, you’re not going to win very many games.

  44. Anonymous

    all things considered, Becket didn’t pitch all that bad. Nice outing. 

  45. Anonymous

    Beckett did his job – he pitched fine – the Dodgers hitters need to pull their collective heads out of their collective arse.

  46. KT

    Come on get this guy

  47. Anonymous

    Choate got away with one there.

  48. KT

    Come on guys throw those sticks around to wake them up

  49. Anonymous

    With any decent support, Beckett would have breezed.

  50. Anonymous

    That Carl’s Jr. commercial was better entertainment than this game has been so far.

    • Anonymous

      no kidding, i was going to tell BlueEyedGal that i fell a sleep for 2 innings. 

  51. KT

    Come on Dre

  52. Anonymous

    To paraphrase Vinny’s quote re Adrian G.  to Beckett,  ‘Welcome to the Dodgers — and lack of run support.’

    Don’t they realize they’re on the road . . . they’re allowed to score runs!

  53. Anonymous

    Ok….A few notes here… Just “quick-hitters” …

    1.  Hanley Ramirez is not a great SS.  Slow feet, lacking great arm, doesn’t charge the ball. 
    2.  I’ll miss Loney’s glove at 1B, but my intial reaction is that I like the trade. 
    3.  The media’s mention of Adrian’s ethnicity is a joke and an insult.  Important is a players’ heart and how he plays in that Dodger uniform…not the color of his skin or where he’s from.  It’s a total “non-story” for me.  Just another example of the “demographic-obsessed” media. 
    4.   Matt Kemp has lost his swagger.   And, PS – He isn’t completely healthy.
    5.  What happened to “small ball” ??? – The Dodgers could have at least gotten one “run by attrition” yesterday had they bunted a guy or two over.  Instead…take the loss fellas.  But, hey, at least you can feel good about the fact that you didn’t give up an out…. That’ll show ’em.  :-)

    • Anonymous

      Oh my God! Matt Kemp is swaggerless! We’re doomed! Please God send us some swagger! Please!

      • Anonymous

         At least you have kept your swagger, btimm. 
        Can you help our Matty?  :-)

    • #3 — I know. That had me going “what?” while listening to the radio today. There’s so many Latin players — why does it make any difference with AGon in particular? Although he did mention wanting to bring energy like Fernando (er?) and that he was looking forward to playing in front of “Mexican” fans, so maybe the media took his comments and ran with them.
      It’s possible he felt a little homesick in Boston. There’s not much Hispanic in the urban mix that far north. (or at least there wasn’t when I lived there 16 years ago.)

      • Anonymous

         I hadn’t heard those comments.  Thanks GG. 

    • Anonymous

      There is no question in my mind that point 3 above is a rule 5 violation. However, this is Jon’s site and based on an exchange of e-mails with Jon some years ago,  I believe he does not agree, much to my bewilderment.

      point 3, btw, misunderstands the situation. The media, finding it difficult to come up with justification for giving up so much in money and players in the big trade, concluded the Dodger ownership must be “demographic-obsessed” as they seem to have given in to every Boston demand in order to obtain AGon.

      • Anonymous

        There is no question that I disagree with your interpretation, unless you live by the maxim that all dialogue is political. Or perhaps you live by deconstructionism in the sense that it doesn’t matter what the intention of the speaker is but more importantly how the dialogue is heard and interpreted. I guess we can all blame Foucault.

  54. Anonymous

    However…. Vinny’s news – Made my day.  :-)

  55. Anonymous

    C’mon, Matt!

  56. Anonymous

    Game over

  57. Anonymous

    “my initial reaction is that I like the trade”

    i like it as well JTJ – in all honesty only time will tell.

    • Anonymous

       One day at a time…. we’ll see how things go. 

  58. Anonymous

     The ineptitude was easy to take when it was a AAA team plus Kemp and Ethier (and depending on which streak he was, he could be counted in the former).

    Now the pressure is on to produce.

    • Anonymous

      And after tonight’s performance only 33 games to produce!

  59. Anonymous

    Well, I hope Enders is happy.

    • Anonymous

      Tyler Colvin?

      • Anonymous

        Toy Cannon, the old handle of a poster who was complaining earlier that one of his relatively few peeves about Mattingly is that he only brings Jansen in for the ninth and never the eigth inning. 

  60. Alas. The Dodgers are pining for the overwhelming power of Loney’s bat at Coors Field.

    (– Blueeyedgal too lazy to figure out why my login is screwed up on this device.)

  61. Anonymous

    A bonus to the game : throw Jansen out there in a non-save situation to mess his head up.

  62. KT

    Matty hurt his wrist/elbow

  63. Anonymous

    These extra runs are demoralizing but unfortunately probably all moot after the first CO batter.

  64. Anonymous

    no tiene fin esto!

  65. Anonymous

    Luis telling the guy it was foul.

  66. Anonymous

    Dodgers recall Wall.

    Matt Kemp does not.

    • Blue-eyed Gal

      To misquote Vin, Matt fought the wall, and the wall won.

  67. Anonymous

    Cue the circus music. This is pathetic in all facets of the game now – even more so considering Beckett pitched well.

    • Anonymous

      This makes me recall an Easter Sunday pounding in San Diego.  To paraphrase Vinny: It’s appropriate that it’s Easter because the Dodgers have really laid an egg!  

  68. Blue-eyed Gal

    This is one of those games where we really, really need Vin to get through the end.

  69. Anonymous

    someone needs to remind the Dodgers we’re playing in Colorado!

  70. Anonymous

    Shutout by the team with the worst ERA in baseball — I knew it was bad, but didn’t know the statistics make it worse!

  71. Anonymous

    This line-up is certainly scary!!

    • Anonymous

      Wow – this Dodgers lineup sure is SCARY!- posted by AaSsWw “2 hrs ago” (a simple time/date stamp would be better).Copycat

    • Anonymous

      the linked article is fun, but it’s 90% about the Red Sox (not the Red Sox and the trade -the Red Sox), 5% pro-sports in general in these times, 5% about the trade.
      quoting from it because I agree: “I think the Red Sox would have traded Gonzo, Beckett and Crawford for a used set of Vin Scully’s headphones and been totally fired up. Thankfully, GM Ben Cherington (ironically, a Theo protégé) fought for a much better haul. You can’t say enough about this trade from Boston’s perspective: In the span of 24 hours, we went from “How the hell are we ever going to be good again?” to “Wait, there’s a chance we’re going to be good again!”.”

  72. I was at the game tonight — all 8 1/2 painful innings.  I will say that Beckett pitched quite well, aside from that nothing fastball he threw to Tyler Colvin on the second pitch of the game.  His fastball was consistently 92-93 and he had a good curve.  Kept the Rockies off-balance most of the night.  3 runs/7 hits in 6 innings is a good outing in my book, especially at Coors and given how badly Beckett had been pitching coming in.

  73. Anonymous

    Rough.  Real rough.

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