Dodger Thoughts

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

Capuano, Rodriguez left off Dodgers NLCS roster

The Dodgers have halved their number of lefthanders on their playoff roster, leaving Paco Rodriguez and Chris Capuano out of the National League Championship Series.

Carlos Marmol and Edinson Volquez have joined the roster in their place.

J.P. Howell will be the only lefty in the Dodger bullpen unless Hyun-Jin Ryu gets removed from the starting rotation.

If it weren’t surprising enough, it’s particularly shocking because the Cardinals don’t hit lefties well.

My best guess — and this is entirely speculation — something’s wrong with Capuano physically, and maybe Rodriguez too. Or, the Dodgers just felt that Rodriguez was spent.

The Dodgers’ contingent of position players remains the same.

Starting pitchers for sure (2): Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke

Starting or relieving? (3): Hyun-Jin Ryu, Ricky Nolasco, Edinson Volquez

Relief pitchers (6): Kenley Jansen, Brian Wilson, J.P. Howell, Chris Withrow, Ronald Belisario, Carlos Marmol

Catchers (2): A.J. Ellis, Tim Federowicz

Infielders (7): Adrian Gonzalez, Mark Ellis, Hanley Ramirez, Juan Uribe, Nick Punto, Michael Young, Dee Gordon

Outfielders (5): Carl Crawford, Yasiel Puig, Andre Ethier, Skip Schumaker, Scott Van Slyke


Can the Dodgers win five games in the NLCS?


National League Championship Series Game 1 chat


  1. TAFKA_Gagne55

    Seems kind of strange that not long ago they preferred Capuano over Volquez and all that’s happened since- 3 shutout innings by Capuano- would cause them to switch that. Granted, three walks in three innings means he was a bit lucky. Not terribly surprised by Paco; he hasn’t been effective in over a month now.

  2. spacey32

    I feel like we are going to need those lefties. If he wanted to take anyone off the roster it should have been Bellisario and replaced him with Marmol or Volquez.

  3. foul tip

    “Starting or relieving? (3): Hyun-Jin Ryu, Ricky Nolasco, Edinson Volquez”

    So Volquez is in too?

  4. Benzojones

    If they can get long starts out of Kersh and Greinke, then the 3rd game can be an amalgamation effort. Kersh already showed he can come back quick.

  5. Paco is not a surprise to me; the dude, alas, has just looked really tired and not reliable lately and Dodgers clearly feel that’s not gonna get better without a rest. IF they make world series maybe he’d be fresh again. Am a bit surprised that Cappy didn’t make it instead though. How many LHH are on St Louis NLCS roster?

    • Alec Johnson

      LH Only: Adams, Carpenter, Descalso, Wong, Chambers, and Jay. Not that surprised they left Paco off after rough outings against the Braves. Surprised to Volquez, though. Maybe Ryu is hurt, but he definitely looked lost in Game 3 of NLDS – my only examples is the throw home. Could he have possible been in his own “head” that game?

      • I really don’t think Ryu is hurt or they *definitely* would have tried to get Capuano on the roster (unless *he* is hurt), I think he just struggled in his first playoff game. More mentally than physically, as you note. Happens. But yeah an extra lefty would be nice vs these guys. Oh well, bummer Paco was basically overused this season and petered out.

  6. I mean we do have 2 (likely 2 anyway) left hand starters, so hope is they go deep I suppose. And Howell situationally. I do wonder as Jon did if Cappy is banged up again though. Wouldn’t be surprised.

    Where’s our dark horse candidate Onelki!

  7. ASW1

    “Apparently the Cardinals showed the ’85 Clark homer every 3 minutes during the Dodger workout at Busch Thursday.”

    – foul tip

    Classless organization.

  8. WBBsAs

    Well, at least there’s still no Brandon League.

  9. scooplew

    I also wonder if this means Capuano is injured. I hope not. Rodriguez unfortunately worked his way off the roster based on his recent outings. Volquez will apparently be a long man in the pen if he doesn’t start. Against what may be prevailing opinion, I like the inclusion of Marmol, who could be good against a right-handed batter or two in the middle innings. Clearly, they can’t count on Ethier full time; hence the inclusion of Gordon as his pinch-runner. I am concerned that Ramirez might not be able to go at full speed, and that may be another reason for Gordon’s activation. I see where the Dodgers treated Ramirez gingerly this week. As someone else has noted, Game 7, if it gets that far, is a likely match-up between Wainwright and one of our non-aces, unless the Cards are down 3-2 and pitch Wainwright in Game 6 on short rest.

    • Adam Luther

      Dodgers in five with Kershaw pitching in the shadows to close out all the bad memories of 1985.

    • dalegribel

      Scares me with that thought on Ramirez, but even if so, I would imagine Punto is still the primary alternative. Dee right now is the LA version of Billy Hamilton. (Herb Washington for those of you that are my age).

  10. dalegribel

    I’m surprised Gordon stayed in favor of only one left hander even with Paco’s late season woes. Obviously the brain trust feels Kershaw and Greinke can pitch very deep into games. Volquez appears to be destined as long man for Cappy, who all I can surmised is injured again.

  11. RBI

    Serious butterflies, and it’s not even noon yet.

    • Bob_in_Vegas

      I can name that tune!
      I’m remembering that no matter what, this has been an incredible (historic!) season — and to savor it all, even if everyone is already writing off Ryu and the Dodgers in the game I’m attending Monday.

    • NoahUCLA

      Happy Birthday, by the way!!

  12. NoahUCLA

    I understand Volquez, because either Ryu or Nolasco will likely pitch a second time and if they stink up the joint in their first outing, Volquez is the only one with enough arm strength to go more than 60-70 pitches. I think Capuano was just out too long to expect him to throw that many pitches and start a game. I do agree though that for Marmol to make the club over Capuano, something must be wrong with Capuano. Sure Capuano walked a few leadoff batters, but there was nothing else negative about his performance, and you don’t just drop a 3 inning scoreless guy for a complete crap shoot guy, who has walked his fair share and then some.

    • Bob_in_Vegas

      I was nervous about Cap and frustrated he couldn’t throw strikes, but like I said to the fan sitting next to me, they didn’t score on him. That’s the kind of grit Kersh showed in Game 1.
      Plus, who else wears his pants the old-fashioned way?

      If it’s a choice between “careful analysis”/stupidity or injury leading to the decision, I actually hope it’s the latter . . . and that it heals quickly (because the former doesn’t and can come back to hurt even further).

    • You act like Capuano throws three scoreless innings every game. I’m surprised he’s off the roster, but he’s the definition of “a complete crap shoot guy, who has walked his fair share and then some.”

      • NoahUCLA

        Yet, he was chosen for the roster in the first round and did nothing to suggest Marmol would be better in the second round. That’s all I meant. Why pick a new crap shoot guy, when the old crap shoot guy did his job. Not that Capuano is by any means a sure thing.

        • I don’t know the Dodgers’ answer. But Marmol basically was more reliable in relief than Capuano was with the Dodgers this year. With Volquez also on the team, maybe they thought Capuano was redundant as far as a long reliever and not as effective as a short, warm-up quickly relieve.

          • foul tip

            Plus the trend for Volquez was in the right direction.

            Cap’s trend tends to be yo-yo.

          • I think part of the answer may be Capuano’s numbers vs the Cardinals lineup, which are pretty crap-uano.

      • btimmer

        Capuano pitched three shutout innings against the Braves and walked the leadoff hitters in each one.

  13. LKFojtik

    I have extra ducats for Tues & Wed if any DTers are interested. Larry – 818 309.6297.
    DODGERS IN 5!!

    • Jason Ungar

      i may have to take u up on this. last playoff game i was at was the LIMA game in 06. I feel as if I need to be there! go blue

  14. Cliff Corcoran of SI has cautionary thoughts about Greinke’s previous postseason appearances and record.

  15. ASW1

    I’m also going to believe that Cap must have tweaked something – just for the fact that the Cards are so much worse against LHers – days ago I proposed possibly dropping Paco and Beli in favor of Marmol and Volquez but didn’t even consider dropping Cappy – but still, I wasn’t too far off!

    • PismoBruce

      Cappy could have been kept on the roster to bunt. ;-)

  16. Am I the only one that believes Ryu can have a good start? Sure his last start didn’t instill much confidence, but he had a great year and I’m betting his next start is more indicative of that. At least that’s my hope.

    • You are never the only one.

    • ASW1

      I totally believe Ryu can bounce back to have a great start against the Redbirds – his last start he was dumping all his pitches into the strike zone – there was no way that was going to work against an MLB playoff team.

  17. David Vassegh ‏@THEREAL_DV4m
    Andre Ethier will be in Dodgers starting lineup

    • John_from_Aus

      That is good news!

    • ASW1

      Awesome – I sure hope he can stay there!

    • foul tip

      If he’s cleared medically and doesn’t have a setback, little to lose, good lot to gain..

      If necessary, Schu can go in for him.

  18. Crawford LF
    M Ellis 2B
    Ramirez SS
    Gonzalez 1B
    Puig RF
    Uribe 3B
    Ethier CF
    AJ Ellis C
    Greinke P

    • So same line up just insert Ethier into Skip’s spot. I think he’ll move down the order during this series, especially in game 3 against Wainwright.

      • Bob_in_Vegas

        As long as he’s in the lineup . . . that means he’s healthy . . . and, hopefully, producing!

        • Some people questioning changing the line up after winning the NLDS, but Skip went 3 for 13 with 2 RBI’s. I have a feeling Andre can improve upon that.

      • I hope he’s healthy enough and hasn’t just done a great sales job on Mattingly, Sue Falsone and the rest of the staff.

        • Donnie said something to the affect of, “He’s starting today, we’ll see how he responds tomorrow.” So I think they’ll be careful with him if he is hurting at all.

      • foul tip

        Didn’t I read that Ethier has very good numbers v Wainwright?

  19. Dodgers really want people to carpool, not only is the parking free you get to use the bus lane. Pretty good incentives if you ask me.

    • PismoBruce

      Frank wanted you to not carpool so he could charge you 20 bucks.

      • Bob_in_Vegas

        Hopefully we’ll soon be saying “Frank Who?” — this year has been like waking from a nightmare and going into one of the best dreams ever.

      • Jason Ungar

        he must be pissed, dosen’t he still own the lots?

  20. ASW1

    Cardinals Lineup :

    2B Carpenter
    RF Beltran
    LF Holliday
    1B Adams
    C Molina
    CF Jay
    3B Freese
    SS Kozma
    P Kelly

  21. bart4u

    Caupano was 0-4 in St. Louis but I think he recently looked strong and should had been put on the roster. He is a good long relief pitcher.

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