Dodger Thoughts

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

Jansen, Puig and more under-the-radar developments

Arizona Diamondbacks vs Los Angeles Dodgers

For more images from Tuesday, visit LA Photog Blog.

By Jon Weisman

Howie Kendrick’s home run and two-run single in the Dodgers’ 3-1 victory Tuesday over Arizona practically speak for themselves, so here are some thoughts on some other Dodgers …

Jansen is no fugitive: Is this the year Kenley Jansen cements himself as the best reliever in the National League? Despite having only eight innings pitched this season because of preseason foot surgery, Jansen is already third among NL relievers in wins above replacement, behind only Washington’s Drew Storen and Miami’s A.J. Ramos.

Following Clayton Kershaw in 2014, Jansen could make it two years in a row that a Dodger pitcher missed all of April and ended up being recognized as the best at his particular job.

All Jansen has done this season is face 26 batters and allow one hit and no walks while striking out 14, for an opponents’ on-base percentage of .038.

Los Angeles Dodgers during game against the Arizona Diamondbacks Tuesday, June 9, 2015 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles,California. The Dodgers beat the Diamondbacks 3-1.  Photo by Jon SooHoo/©Los Angeles Dodgers,LLC 2015Peaceful Puig: I don’t know what the expectations were for Yasiel Puig coming off the disabled list, but I’m confident that if he were struggling at the plate, we’d be hearing about that, loud and clear.

Instead, very quietly, Puig is 5 for 11 in his first three games (5 for 9 after striking out in his first two at-bats), and if not for the bullpen mishap Sunday, he’d have been instrumental in three victories.

I imagine when Puig hits a home run, that’s when we’ll hear the thunder crack.

Yimi’s back? Yimi Garcia had a rough go of it in Colorado last week, but in two games this week, he has, rather amazingly, generated seven outs on a mere 13 pitches.

Take his work at challenging Coors Field out of the equation, and Garcia has a 1.13 ERA in his past eight innings, allowing six hits and one walk while striking out 10, though two of five inherited runners in that sample have scored.

Heisey’s eye: Reserve outfielder Chris Heisey’s .174 batting average isn’t pretty, but thanks to seven walks, he has a .367 on-base percentage in limited duty with the Dodgers.

Not for nothing, Heisey has gotten on base and scored the winning run for the Dodgers twice this week, thanks to his seventh-inning double Sunday and seventh-inning walk Tuesday.

Arizona Diamondbacks vs Los Angeles DodgersFrias a bird: To date, I haven’t been able to confirm that there is an ancient Chinese proverb that states, “May you live during a Carlos Frias start.”

But still: Midway through the second inning Tuesday, the boxscore showed that Arizona was 5 for 7 against Frias — and yet (thanks in no small part to Yasmani Grandal throwing out two runners trying to steal), Frias still had a shutout.

That ended with a wild pitch, but from that point on, Frias allowed no runs on three hits and a walk over his remaining five innings. He has pitched at least six innings in five of his past six starts.

Frias and Mike Bolsinger have now combined for 15 starts this season. They are averaging exactly six innings per start, with a 3.10 ERA. I think the Dodgers will take that.

Frias’ strikeout rate in 2015 is only 5.1, down from 8.1 in 2014. Judging by what Grandal told Pedro Moura of the Register, he’s still working on mixing his pitches effectively in the early going.

“It did seem like the more he went on, the more comfortable he got throwing that changeup, throwing it and throwing it,” Grandal said. “He gives glances of how good he can be at times.”


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1 Comment

  1. oldbrooklynfan

    I’d like to give the Dodgers credit for winning with Giants’ victories starring them in the face from the scoreboard.

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