Dodger Thoughts

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

Category: All-Star Game (Page 2 of 3)

Joc Pederson edged by Todd Frazier in thrilling Home Run Derby final

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By Jon Weisman

Joc Pederson was an absolute smash at the first round of this year’s Home Run Derby in Cincinnati, before falling by the slimmest of margins.

Hometown hero Todd Frazier of Cincinnati went all the way to bonus time to edge Pederson in the final round tonight, 15-14, though Pederson — blasting distance-shattering homers to all fields — dazzled the nationwide audience like none other, and muted a history of Dodger disappointments at the event.

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Zack Greinke to start All-Star Game, Joc Pederson in left

Los Angeles Dodgers vs Colorado Rockies

By Jon Weisman

Thanks to the best first-half ERA by a starting pitcher in decades, Zack Greinke will be the Dodgers’ first All-Star Game starting pitcher since Brad Penny in 2006, MLB announced today.

Greinke has two previous innings of All-Star experience, both perfect. In 2009, representing Kansas City, he got Raul Ibanez to pop out, then struck out David Wright and Shane Victorino, using a total of 10 pitches in the inning. Last year, it was a virtual repeat on 12 pitches: a Jose Bautista groundout, followed by Nelson Cruz and Adam Jones strikeouts.

To sum up, that’s six All-Stars faced and six All-Stars retired on 22 pitches, 17 for strikes.

Greinke, whose 1.39 ERA before the All-Star Break is the lowest for a pitcher with at least 100 innings since 1968, will combine with Joc Pederson to give the Dodgers two All-Star starters for the first time since Hideo Nomo and Mike Piazza in 1995 — also the most recent year the Dodgers had five players on the roster.

Pederson is playing left field and batting eighth, manager Bruce Bochy announced today.

Pederson’s All-Star week is scheduled to begin with tonight’s Home Run Derby at 5 p.m. Pacific. However, as of this writing, there is a thunderstorm watch for this evening in Cincinnati.

Greinke will face Mike Trout, Josh Donaldson and Albert Pujols in the first inning Tuesday. Here are those batters histories with Greinke:

  • Trout: 3 for 7 (double, triple), one strikeout, 1.286 OPS
  • Donaldson: 1 for 3, .667 OPS
  • Pujols: 10 for 29 (five doubles, four walks), three strikeouts, .929 OPS

Joc Pederson officially named NL All-Star starter

Los Angeles Dodgers vs Florida Marlns

As I sensed a couple of weeks ago, the winds of change (and injury) have pushed Joc Pederson into the National League All-Star starting lineup, replacing the injured Matt Holliday.

The 23-year-old Pederson is the Dodgers’ first rookie All-Star starter since Hideo Nomo in 1995 and, as Eric Stephen of True Blue L.A. notes, the franchise’s first rookie position player to start the All-Star game ever.

Pederson earned his spot in the starting lineup through his vote count from the NL Player Ballot. He will probably start in left field, with Pittsburgh’s Andrew McCutchen in center field and Washington’s Bryce Harper in right.

— Jon Weisman

It’s official: Clayton Kershaw headed to fifth straight All-Star Game

Clayton Kershaw co-hosted a clinic for youth from the Dream Center on Saturday at Dodger Stadium.

Clayton Kershaw co-hosted a clinic for youth from the Dream Center on Saturday at Dodger Stadium.

Brewers at Dodgers, 1:10 p.m.
Jimmy Rollins, SS
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Justin Turner, 3B
Joc Pederson, CF
Yasiel Puig, RF
A.J. Ellis, C
Kiké Hernandez, LF
Brett Anderson, P

By Jon Weisman

Clayton Kershaw is back where he belongs.

With Washington right-hander Max Scherzer pitching today, the National League All-Star team has added Kershaw to its active roster for Tuesday’s game.

This is Kershaw’s fifth consecutive year on the All-Star Team, putting him in this company when it comes to consecutive years with All-Star appearances:

9 Pee Wee Reese (1946-54)
8 Roy Campanella (1949-56)
8 Steve Garvey (1974-81)
7 Gil Hodges (1949-55)
7 Duke Snider (1950-56)
6 Ron Cey (1974-79)
6 Sandy Koufax (1961-66)*
6 Jackie Robinson (1949-54)
6 Fernando Valenzuela (1981-86)
5 Don Drysdale (1961-65)*
5 Mike Piazza (1993-97)
5 Dixie Walker (1943-47)
*Note: There were two All-Star Games in 1961 and 1962.

Here’s Kershaw’s All-Star history:

  • 2011: David Ortiz strikeout, Robinson Cano groundout, Alex Avila groundout
  • 2012: Adrian Beltre groundout, David Ortiz single, Mike Napoli single, Curtis Granderson groundout, Asdrubal Cabrera walk, Ian Kinsler flyout
  • 2013: J.J Hardy flyout, Mike Trout flyout, Dustin Pedroia flyout
  • 2014: Adam Jones foul out, Josh Donaldson strikeout, Salvador Perez groundout

Total: Four innings, 0.00 ERA, 15 batters, two hits, one walk, two strikeouts.

Kershaw is joining Adrian Gonzalez, Yasmani Grandal, Zack Greinke and Joc Pederson to form the Dodgers’ first All-Star quintet since 1995.

In case you missed it: Two openings in NL All-Star starting outfield

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By Jon Weisman

Greetings. A few quick morning notes …

  • St. Louis has confirmed that Matt Holliday will join fellow National League All-Star electee Giancarlo Stanton on the sidelines for the All-Star Game, leaving two outfield spots open in the starting lineup alongside Bryce Harper that will go to two of these four: Andrew McCutchen, A.J. Pollock, Justin Upton, Joc Pederson.
    Here’s how the candidates rank in wins above replacement among NL outfielders: Pollock third, McCutchen fourth, Pederson fifth, Upton 11th.
    On Friday, Pederson singled, then later doubled in the game-winning run in the Dodgers’ 3-2 comeback victory over Milwaukee.
  • Though a starter for almost his entire career, Andre Ethier is moving up the Dodgers all-time pinch-hitting charts. His two-run, pinch-hit, game-tying single in the seventh inning Friday gave him 27 career pinch-hit RBI, good for 11th place and one away from a three-way tie with Rick Monday, Mitch Webster and Ken McMullen for eighth place.
    Ethier also has the 10th-highest on-base percentage (.394) among pinch-hitters in Dodger history (minimum 50 plate appearances). Arky Vaughan is first at .461.
  • In his first appearance since having elective cosmetic eye surgery, Julio Urias retired six of seven batters Friday for Rookie League Arizona, allowing an infield single while striking out three. “He hovered around 93-94 mph, topped out at 97 and saw his off-speed stuff drop into the low-80s,” wrote William Boor for (Hector Olivera also played in the game and went 0 for 3.)
  • Dodger Double-A catcher and MLB Futures Game participant Kyle Farmer is the subject of a nice profile by Eric Stephen of True Blue L.A.
  • Workloads for MLB starting pitchers are no longer declining, according to a subscription-only piece from Bill James that was excerpted by Rob Neyer at Fox Sports’ Just a Bit Outside:

    … What is happening at this time is not relievers taking innings away from starting pitchers so much as it is relievers taking innings away from other relievers. The batters faced per game by relievers are declining, at this point, only because we switch more rapidly from one relief pitcher to another.

    Actually, the historical trend toward fewer innings for starting pitchers appears to be over. Major league starting pitchers pitched more innings (and more innings per start) in 2014 than they did in 1999—fifteen years earlier. There is no decline in innings pitched by starting pitchers occurring at this time; if anything, the numbers are increasing.

    In the year 2003, major league relievers pitched more innings than they did in 2014. However, in 2003 they pitched those 14,720 innings in 12,958 relief appearances. In 2014 the innings were down to 14,622—but the games were up to 14,461.

  • Finally, this … speaks for itself.

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Clayton Kershaw falls short in Final Vote, but will he still go to All-Star Game?

FV map

By Jon Weisman

Despite a great effort from his supporters — which he acknowledged in a rare tweet — Clayton Kershaw finished third in the MLB All-Star Final Vote, with Carlos Martinez of St. Louis earning the bid to the All-Star Game.

Count me among those unconvinced that Kershaw won’t be in Cincinnati for the Midsummer Classic next week. With the other pitcher in the Final Vote competition, Johnny Cueto, scheduled to start on Sunday, Kershaw is a clear first alternate should any of the existing 14 pitchers on the squad drop out. (Not that Kershaw should be in this limbo in the first place.)

For that matter, after some amount of doubt earlier this week, Washington righty Max Scherzer now is also scheduled to pitch Sunday, which could affect not only his potential selection as a starter over the Dodgers’ Zack Greinke, but his presence on the roster altogether.

In general, there’s usually a good bit of roster shuffling before the first pitch Tuesday. There’s an argument that Kershaw would benefit from the rest, but as far as I’m concerned, if he wants to go, then I want him to go. And he has been clear that he’d appreciate going.

“You always want to go,” Kershaw told Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles this week. “You never know — it might not ever happen again. I said that last year, and, if I make it this year, I’ll say it again.”

Clayton Kershaw an All-Star Final Vote candidate

Final VoteBy Jon Weisman

Last year’s National League Most Valuable Player and Cy Young Award-winner is one of this year’s NL All-Star Game Final Vote candidates.

Despite leading the league in strikeouts, strikeout rate and xFIP and being second in the NL in wins above replacement, Clayton Kershaw’s All-Star chances in 2015 depend on him winning the fan vote for the final spot on the roster.

Voting takes place now through 1 p.m. Pacific on Friday. Click here to vote. you can also vote on Twitter beginning at 7 a.m. Pacific on Friday.

Fans can now begin to vote an unlimited number of times for Kershaw to be the final player selected to the National League’s 34-man roster via the 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote. Voting is available online at and, in addition to the web, fans can use their mobile phones to cast votes via text message. To receive the ballot, text the word “VOTE” to 89269 or to vote for a specific player, fans can text the choice to 89269 (Kershaw: N3). Standard message and data rates may apply. Text “STOP” to end and “HELP” for information. Mobile voting in Canada also is available and fans should text their choices to 101010.

Kershaw’s competition is Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto, Mets reliever Jeurys Familia, Cardinals pitcher Carlos Martinez and Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki. The Dodgers are promoting the vote for Kershaw with the hashtag #MVPtoASG.  For six hours beginning at 7 a.m. Pacific on Friday, the final day of voting, tweets with that hashtag will also count as votes.

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Gonzalez, Grandal, Greinke and Pederson join NL All-Star roster


By Jon Weisman

For the second year in a row, four Dodgers have been named to the National League All-Star team.

Adrian Gonzalez, Yasmani Grandal, Zack Greinke and Joc Pederson were selected by a combination of player vote and NL All-Star manager Bruce Bochy. (Pederson and Greinke were by player vote, Gonzalez and Grandal by Bochy.)

As noted Sunday, Greinke and Pederson are each in the running to end up as All-Star Game starters. Greinke is probably the No. 1 alternative to Washington’s Max Scherzer, while Pederson is one of the top candidates to be an injury replacement for either Giancarlo Stanton or Matt Holliday.

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Shutout Sunday won’t extend to All-Star selections Monday


By Jon Weisman

The Dodgers were shut out today by the Mets and the National League All-Star voters, who didn’t put any Dodger position players among the league’s elected starters.

Los Angeles still has a chance to make an impression on the All-Star roster when reserves are announced Monday afternoon, with Zack Greinke, Clayton Kershaw, Kenley Jansen and J.P. Howell in consideration for the pitching staff and Joc Pederson, Adrian Gonzalez, Yasmani Grandal and Justin Turner for the bench. Pederson and Greinke could still even end up in the starting lineup.

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How Joc Pederson might start in All-Star Game after all

Juan Ocampo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Juan Ocampo/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

In the final All-Star Game balloting update before the results are announced July 5, no Dodger is within more than 2.4 million votes of a starting spot — but there is still some intrigue.

Although Bryce Harper returned to play Sunday for Washington after a brief absence, the next three National League vote leaders in the outfield — Giancarlo Stanton, Matt Holliday and Nori Aoki– are on the disabled list. If none of those three are able to play in the game, Dodger center fielder Joc Pederson, in sixth place with a 330,000-vote lead over Jason Heyward, would be in line to start. To bet on any NL games, sites like slot dolar138 are up and running.

NL All-Star manager Bruce Bochy of the Giants will make the decision on who starts in place of any injured players, but fan balloting should be a factor in his selection (along with, perhaps, the presence of Dodger manager Don Mattingly as one of his coaches, not to mention the fact that the Dodgers have let the NL West most of this season).

In any case: Your votes still matter.

You can read more about the selection process here. Vote up to 35 times until the July 2 deadline. Here’s a direct link to the ballot.

Earlier today on Fangraphs, Dave Cameron explained why he’d select Pederson to start and add Yasmani Grandal, Adrian Gonzalez, Justin Turner, Zack Greinke, Clayton Kershaw and Kenley Jansen as reserves.

The starting position players for the 2015 All-Star Game will be announced Sunday at 4:30 p.m. Pacific on ESPN, with the reserves named the following night (July 6) at 4 p.m. Pacific on ESPN. Pitchers and reserves are determined through a combination of player ballot choices and managerial selections.

The All-Star Game Final Vote for the 34th spot on each team’s roster will then begin, continuing through July 10.

Current vote totals appear below:

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Justin Turner’s unique All-Star case

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San Francisco Giants vs Los Angeles DodgersBy Jon Weisman

From non-roster player … to valuable bench piece … to starting third baseman … to All-Star?

Each step of Justin Turner’s journey in the past 18 months has seemed improbable, but his showstopping offensive performance as a Dodger has turned the most unlikely step of all into potential reality.

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Pederson closer and farther away in All-Star balloting

Los Angeles Dodgers Joc Pederson signs for Westchester Little League prior to game against the St.Louis Cardinals Sunday, June 7, 2015 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles,California. Photo by Jon SooHoo/©Los Angeles Dodgers,LLC 2015

Los Angeles Dodgers Joc Pederson signs for Westchester Little League prior to the June 7 game against St. Louis.

By Jon Weisman

Joc Pederson gained and lost ground simultaneously in the past week of fan voting for the All-Star Game.

Pederson moved up from 11th to eighth place among National League outfielders, but his distance from a starting spot increased from 813,000 votes to 1.3 million.

The 23-year-old rookie remains deserving of votes, ranking third among all NL outfielders in Wins Above Replacement. Andre Ethier is ninth among NL outfielders in WAR.

Yasiel Puig also moved up in the standings during his first week off the disabled list, but the 2014 NL starter’s gap from the top three spots increased as well.

First baseman Adrian Gonzalez, second baseman Howie Kendrick and catcher Yasmani Grandal remained second and fifth at their positions.

You can read more about the selection process here. Vote up to 35 times until the July 2 deadline. Click the image below to enlarge the current results.

ASG 6-16

Dodgers need your help in the All-Star vote

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

Do you want an All-Star Game with no Dodgers in the starting lineup? If your answer is “No, I do not want an All-Star Game with no Dodgers in the starting lineup,” then get involved in the fan voting for the All-Star Game.

You can read more about the selection process here. Vote up to 35 times, like a boss.

Click the image below to enlarge the current results, which show that the Dodgers’ lone position leader, Adrian Gonzalez, has fallen into second place.

June 9 All-Star

Don Mattingly confirmed for NL All-Star coaching staff

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

DM2Dodger manager Don Mattingly has officially been named a National League coach for this year’s All-Star Game, along with Cincinnati manager Bryan Price. NL manager Bruce Bochy of the Giants invited Mattingly and Price to join.

With the Dodgers playing .585 ball (31-22) so far this year, Mattingly remains on pace to become the second manager in the past 100 years to improve his won-lost record for the first five full seasons of his career (as noted in the April issue of Dodger Insider magazine).

— Jon Weisman

Gonzalez, Pederson losing ground in All-Star vote

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By Jon Weisman

Adrian Gonzalez still leads the National League All-Star balloting at first base, but as was the case in 2014, Arizona’s Paul Goldschmidt has begun cutting into Gonzalez’s lead.

Ahead by nearly 450,000 votes a week ago, Gonzalez leads Goldschmidt by about 313,000 votes now.

In addition, Joc Pederson fell from sixth to 10th in the outfield race, despite continuing to lead NL center fielders in WAR. Pederson, who a week ago was 356,000 votes out of a starting spot in the NL outfield, now trails current No. 3 Giancarlo Stanton of Miami by more than 620,000 votes.

The best news for the Dodgers this week is that Yasmani Grandal has moved into the top five at catcher, though he still trails San Francisco’s Buster Posey by more than a million ballots.

See below for the current leaders …

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