Dodger Thoughts

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

Tag: Adrian Beltre

An Adrián Beltré appreciation from Los Angeles

It’s impossible for a baseball fan like myself to be blindsided by the news that a ballplayer staring at his 40th birthday, with 3,166 hits already in his back pocket, is retiring.

And yet, when I saw on Twitter at 7:15 a.m. today that the great Adrián Beltré has called it a career, my gut got punched in a way that I was totally unprepared for.

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Young Dodgers in the 21st century

Clayton Kershaw makes his MLB debut on May 25, 2008.

Clayton Kershaw makes his MLB debut on May 25, 2008.

Dodgers at White Sox, 1:05 p.m.
Kiké Hernandez, SS
Howie Kendrick, 3B
Scott Van Slyke, 1B
Alex Guerrero, DH
A.J. Ellis, C
Austin Barnes, 2B
Trayce Thompson, CF
Elian Herrera, LF
Rico Noel, RF
(Clayton Kershaw, P)

By Jon Weisman

Clayton Kershaw is somehow 28 years old today, which is only slightly more believable than my youngest son turning 8 years old Sunday. My guess is that Kershaw isn’t renting a game truck this morning, though what do I know?

Anyway, just for fun, here are the youngest Dodgers to make their MLB debuts in the 2000s, with their ages at the time.

  • Edwin Jackson (September 9, 2003): 20 years, 0 days
  • Clayton Kershaw (May 25, 2008): 20 years, 67 days
  • *Adrian Beltre (April 3, 2000): 20 years, 362 days
  • Jonathan Broxton (July 29, 2005): 21 years, 43 days
  • Jose Peraza (August 10, 2015): 21 years, 102 days
  • Corey Seager (September 3, 2015): 21 years, 129 days
  • Paco Rodriguez (September 9, 2012): 21 years, 146 days
  • **Dioner Navarro (July 29, 2005): 21 years, 170 days
  • Nathan Eovaldi (August 6, 2011): 21 years, 174 days
  • Joel Guzman (June 1, 2006): 21 years, 189 days

*First game of the 2000s — actually debuted June 24, 1998, at 19 years, 78 days
**Made MLB debut September 7, 2004 with Yankees, at 20 years, 211 days

Julio Urias, who was optioned to the minor leagues Thursday, turns 20 on August 12 this year. If he gets his big-league callup before then, he will move ahead of Jackson.

Seager is Dodgers’ youngest No. 5 hitter since Beltre

Dodgers at Padres, 7:10 p.m.
Jimmy Rollins, SS
Carl Crawford, LF
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Chase Utley, 2B
Corey Seager, 3B
Yasmani Grandal, C
Scott Schebler, RF
Joc Pederson, CF
Mike Bolsinger, P

By Jon Weisman

Scott Schebler and Corey Seager are each making their second career starts tonight for the Dodgers, who continue to weather the longer absences of Yasiel Puig and Kiké Hernandez and the shorter ones of Andre Ethier and Jose Peraza.

Ethier, who fouled a ball off his knee Wednesday, and Peraza, who has been sidelined by hamstring tightness since Tuesday, are expected back to game action soon. Second baseman Howie Kendrick is also close to a return. But Puig and Hernandez look like they’ll be out until close to the end of the regular season.

The result is an interesting lineup that features Chase Utley (.752 OPS as a Dodger, six homers in 2015) batting cleanup and Seager, who wears No. 5, hitting fifth.

At 21 years and 130 days, Seager is the youngest Dodger to start a game batting fifth since Adrian Beltre in 2000. Before Beltre, the last Dodger this young to bat fifth in the starting lineup was Derrell Griffith in 1964.

In case you missed it: Yasmani happy returns

Los Angeles Dodgers at Cleveland Indians

For more photos from Saturday, visit LA Photog Blog.

Brewers at Dodgers, 1:05 p.m.
Kike Hernandez, 3B
A.J. Ellis, C
Yasiel Puig, RF
Justin Turner, 2B
Scott Van Slyke, 1B
Joc Pederson, CF
Chris Heisey, LF
Scott Schebler, DH
Darwin Barney, SS
(Brandon McCarthy, P)

By Jon Weisman

Fun while it lasts: 14 Dodgers have on-base percentages of .400 or greater so far, topped by Joc Pederson (5 for 7, .714) and Alex Guerrero (6 for 9, .667). O’Koyea Dickson (10), Guerrero (nine) and Scott Schebler (eight) lead the team in total bases.

Yasmani Grandal got in the act in a big way during Saturday’s 5-5 tie with the Indians, hitting a home run, a single, and a single that just missed being another home run.

Here’s what we can reflect on as we head into Brandon McCarthy’s first start as a Dodger exhibitioner:

  • Grandal on his home run, via Ken Gurnick of “I always like to drive the ball the other way. In the offseason, that’s what I worked on a lot instead of jumping at the ball right away,” said Grandal. “A lot of my power is the other way.”
  • Carl Crawford fouled a pitch off his shin in the fourth inning Saturday. It wasn’t believed serious, Gurnick reported, but today would bring more enlightenment. (Update: Crawford said today he plans to play Monday.)
  • A wild pitch contributed to a run in Mike Bolsinger’s two-inning outing Saturday, while Chad Gaudin stepped in with three strikeouts in two shutout innings. J.P. Hoornstra of the Daily News has quotes from Bolsinger.
  • Chin-Hui Tsao came out of minor-league camp to get an inning-ending double-play grounder on his first pitch of relief Saturday, and ended up with the longest outing by a Dodger pitcher so far this year, 2 2/3 innings with three strikeouts.
  • Hyun-Jin Ryu is on track to make his first start of 2015 on Thursday against the Padres (and Matt Kemp?) after a successful batting-practice session Saturday, according to Gurnick.
  • The Dodgers might add a B game this week to get more innings for pitchers to work, writes Eric Stephen of True Blue L.A.
  • Thanks to his early start with the Dodgers as a teenager in 1998, Adrian Beltre is the No. 1 candidate to become MLB’s next four-decade player, according to Paul Casella of Sports on Earth. But don’t count out 37-year-old fellow former folk hero Buddy Carlyle and his 284 1/3 big-league innings since 1999.

In case you missed it: Brandon Beachy, shadow-pitching

Brandon Beachy, shadow-pitching (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

For more photos from today, visit LA Photog Blog.

By Jon Weisman

All my bags aren’t packed, I’m not ready to go. (Reference lost on anyone under 40 …)

Today’s short stack:

  • Andre Ethier talked to reporters today after meeting with Andrew Friedman, Farhan Zaidi and Don Mattingly about his prospects for 2015 in the Dodger outfield. Ken Gurnick has more at, while Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports adds his own perspective.
  • Zack Greinke had his first 2015 Spring Training bullpen session, which Gurnick covers here.
  • Mike Petriello of Dodgers Digest uses Julio Urias as a launching pad to look back at Adrian Beltre’s Dodger career and the implications of calling a player up in his teens. (Side note: As big a booster as I always was of Beltre, not even I realized his 2004 season might have been the greatest combination of offense and defense in Dodger history.)
  • We touched on this subject recently, but Historic Dodgertown posted a piece on “Dodgertown and the Integration of Major League Baseball Spring Training” by Jerald Podair. Some great history within.

Dodgers to play pair of exhibitions in Alamodome


BLWBy Jon Weisman

It won’t be nearly as far as Sydney, but some Dodgers are taking a small detour in March.

Returning to the home of their Double-A team from 1977-2000, the Dodgers will take a split-squad team March 20-21 to San Antonio to play the Texas Rangers in the 2015 H-E-B Big League Weekend.

The two games will be played at the Alamodome in downtown San Antonio. Tickets go on sale Friday.

“We’re excited about this matchup,” said Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan, co-founder of Ryan Sanders Baseball, the owner of the Triple-A Round Rock Express and co-host of these exhibitions. “The Dodgers are one of the most successful franchises in baseball with some good, young players. For fans in San Antonio and all over the state, it’s a great opportunity to see play them since there is not a National League team in Texas anymore.”

Nearly 50,000 fans attended last year when the Rangers hosted in-state rival Houston for the two-game Big League Weekend at the Alamodome in 2014. The previous year brought the inaugural Big League Weekend, the first baseball event in the building’s 20-year-history, with more than 75,000 in attendance.

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May 8 pregame: Sun, we missed you


Giants at Dodgers, 7:10 p.m.
Dee Gordon, 2B
Yasiel Puig, RF
Hanley Ramirez, SS
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Matt Kemp, CF
Carl Crawford, LF
Juan Uribe, 3B
Drew Butera, C
Josh Beckett, P

By Jon Weisman

Having the sun out at the ballpark is so nice, it looks like Dodger Stadium has done it twice.

An early set of pregame notes today …

  • Yasiel Puig got a tour of the White House on Tuesday, and was “nervous” inside, writes Bill Plunkett of the Register.
  • Dirk Hayhurst gives us the scoop at Sports on Earth on what really happens during a visit to the mound. The timing of this is funny because I was thinking Wednesday about whether anyone has tried to measure the effectiveness of mound visits.
  • Former Dodger third baseman Adrian Beltre became the fifth player to hit 100 home runs for three teams, notes Lee Sinins at Gammons Daily. Beltre, whom I’ve long touted as a stealth Hall of Fame candidate, is tied with Graig Nettles for fourth all-time in home runs by a third baseman.

At least there is some good news …

Atlanta, St. Louis and Pittsburgh are sure doing what they can to keep alive the Dodgers’ hopes of playing past Oct. 3, even if only for one day. But it sure has been an ugly week.

On the bright side, Jaime Jarrin has signed a three-year deal with the Dodgers that will keep him in the broadcast booth for his 55th, 56th and 57th seasons.

Elsewhere …

  • I talked Dodgers in this interview with Will Carroll at the Nickel.
  • Javy Guerra and Tim Federowicz are expected to be the Dodgers’ first roster-expansion callups today.
  • John Ely might not get a callup because of 40-man roster issues, but he was named Pacific Coast League pitcher of the year. He led the league in ERA, WHIP and innings, writes Christopher Jackson of Albuquerque Baseball Examiner.
  • Dodger pitching prospect Zach Lee has a 2.27 ERA with eight walks and 29 strikeouts in 39 2/3 innings since July 27 for Double-A Chattanooga.
  • Yasiel Puig, Eric Eadington, Red Patterson, Steven Rodriguez, Gorman Erickson, Rafael Ynoa and Joc Pederson will be on the Dodgers’ Arizona Fall League team.
  • The life and career of John Roseboro is the subject of Bruce Markusen’s piece at the Hardball Times.
  • Former Dodger shortstop Rafael Furcal has a damaged elbow ligament and will miss the rest of 2012. Tommy John surgery is a possibility. Furcal had a .325 on-base percentage and .346 slugging percentage in 531 plate appearances for St. Louis, .276/.278 from May 17 on. He played in 121 of the Cardinals’ first 131 games.
  • No one plays third base like Adrian Beltre, writes Tyler Kepner of the New York Times (via Rob Neyer at Baseball Nation).
  • San Diego, which began its season 28-50, is 34-21 since – best in the National League West. Jeff Sullivan writes about their resurgence at Fangraphs, while The Associated Press writes about their new O’Malley-led ownership.

Trade rumors, 2003

How times have changed …

In this Dodger Thoughts piece from July 2003, you can see Ken Rosenthal (then with the Sporting News) report that “the Dodgers continue to target Melvin Mora, and the Orioles might be willing to take third baseman Adrian Beltre if they also received quality prospects in the deal.”

Mora was an All-Star from 2003-2005. Still, it’s amazing to contemplate the idea of needing to give up Beltre and top prospects for him.

Adrian’s head

What’s the deal with Adrian Beltre and people trying to touch his head? Amy K. Nelson of SB Nation investigates in the clip above.

Elsewhere …

  • Chasing October, a book by David Plaut that focuses on the 1962 pennant race between the Dodgers and Giants, is getting a three-part review by Scott Andes of Lasorda’s Lair.
  • Mike Petriello of Mike Scioscia’s Tragic Illness offers his midseason report card on the Dodger position players.
  • James McDonald’s rise to prominence could be the result of increased use of his slider, writes Ben Duorino of Fangraphs. (Wasn’t the slider the key to Clayton Kershaw’s Cy Young season?)
  • ESPN Sweet Spot bloggers preview the second half of the season for National League teams. Oh, and here’s the American League.
  • Matt Kemp is having a post-ESPYs bash tonight to benefit “Kemp’s Kids,” which provides support to underprivileged youth, writes Roberto Baly of Vin Scully Is My Homeboy.
  • Meanwhile, Lyle Spencer of writes about Kemp’s visit to the Negro Leagues Museum in Kansas City.
  • Ben Nicholson-Smith of MLB Trade Rumors looks at starting pitchers potentially on the trade market.
  • Farewell, Kenny Heitz.

Hitting prospects Silverio, Songco sidelined

Minor-league center fielder Alfredo Silverio, considered by some the Dodgers’ top position-player prospect, will be sidelined indefinitely as he recovers from a serious January car accident in the Dominican Republic. Eric Stephen of True Blue L.A. and Tony Jackson of reported initial details, and Jackson has a follow-up.

… In short, the kid is lucky. From talking to various people (still haven’t been able to talk to Silverio), this is what I have been able to cull: the accident happened on a stretch of road called Curva de la Muerte, which translates to Curve of Death. Apparently, he was going about 60 mph and lost control, the car going off the road and flipping several times. He temporarily lost consciousness, and the car was demolished. …

Silverio, 25 in May, had a .883 OPS for Double-A Chattanooga last year.

Meanwhile, Angelo Songco “is expected to miss the next two to three months after having a rod inserted into his lower right leg,” Jackson adds, the results of complications from a 2011 injury. Now 23, Songco had a .948 OPS for Single-A Rancho Cucamonga.

* * *

  • The boys in the press corp also confirmed that Clayton Kershaw is scheduled to pitch the season opener in San Diego on April 5 and the home opener in Los Angeles on April 10. An off day follows the Dodgers’ first four games, meaning that the No. 5 starter, probably Chris Capuano, will be in the bullpen for the first series of the year. The last Dodger pitcher to start a road Opening Day and a subsequent home opener was Tim Belcher in 1989, in part because Orel Hershiser had the flu.
  • Today in Jon SooHoo: Kirk Gibson and Hershiser in that spring of ’89.
  • Dee Gordon had to get stitches on his lip today following a bad-hop grounder, according to Dylan Hernandez of the Times.
  • Blake DeWitt, at age 26, has earned the moniker “professional hitter” from Cubs manager Dale Sveum, according to Doug Padilla of
  • Manager Pedro Guerrero? Oh yeah …
  • Adrian Beltre, bathroom trendsetter? Okay …


On bended knee for Adrian Beltre

Eric Nusbaum of Pitchers & Poets has paid loving tribute to former Dodger Adrian Beltre at Deadspin. I would excerpt a portion, but I couldn’t find one I was satisfied with – I kept wanting to take more. You really need to read the whole thing.

  • Marking the 25th anniversary of Game 6 of the 1986 World Series, Mark Simon of presented 10 tidbits on Bill Buckner, many of them Dodger related.
  • The shining of the World Series spotlight on Mike Napoli has put Mike Scioscia in its path. In an interview with ESPN 710 AM, chronicled by Mark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles, Scioscia said health and durability questions were the reason for the trade.

Will Adrian Beltre reach the Hall of Fame?

Lynne Sladky/APAdrian Beltre hit 147 home runs in seven seasons with the Dodgers, all before turning 26.

Adrian Beltre, who hit three home runs today in the Texas Rangers’ 4-3 victory over Tampa Bay (clinching their American League Division Series), has 2,033 hits and 310 home runs in his career at age 32, to go with a superb defensive reputation. How many of you think the former Dodger third baseman will play well enough, long enough, to win the favor of Hall of Fame voters?

Beltre is likely to finish in the top five all-time among third basemen in hits, though I imagine he’ll need to make it all the way to 3,000 to win enough Hall votes and avoid the fate of the Ron Santos of the world. When his time comes, would that number still be a golden ticket, or could something like Beltre’s relatively low on-base percentage hold him back?

Texas has Beltre under contract for four more seasons, with a vesting option for a fifth. If he can average 140 hits per season, he’d be in the 2,700 or 2,800 neighborhood when his contract expires.

Pedal to the Lederer

Hopefully, we’ll learn Wednesday that Bert Blyleven has been elected to the Hall of Fame, capping what has to be the most effective grassroots campaigns for Cooperstown ever.

I’m speaking of the one led by Baseball Analysts blogger Rich Lederer, my former blogging colleague. Jon Paul Morosi of has a nice profile of Lederer. Here’s the start of it:

Rich Lederer is an investment manager. Stock and bond portfolios are his thing. He is the president and chief investment officer of Lederer & Associates Investment Counsel in Long Beach, Calif.

But Lederer loved batting averages long before calculating his first P/E ratio. He is a baseball guy. His father, the late George Lederer, covered the Los Angeles Dodgers for the Long Beach Independent-Press-Telegram through their first 11 seasons on the West Coast.

Lederer has since taken up the family business — as a hobby. In 2003, he founded a baseball blog, now called He writes at night, after his real job is done. The website hasn’t made him rich or famous. Yet, his words may soon resonate through the game’s most hallowed corridors.

If Bert Blyleven is elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on Wednesday, he will have Rich Lederer to thank.

Well . . . I suppose Blyleven should first thank his right arm — the one that produced 287 wins (more than Jim Palmer), 3,701 strikeouts (fifth all-time) and 60 shutouts (ninth all-time).

After that, the gratitude goes to Lederer’s noggin.

Blyleven has climbed steadily in the Baseball Writers’ Association of America voting since the founding of Lederer’s website. Blyleven, who polled below 30 percent on his first six times on the ballot, reached 74.2 percent last year. That did not happen by accident. …

* * *

And speaking of reunions …

Tom Szczerbowski/US Presswire Adrian Beltre and J.D. Drew led the Dodgers in home runs in 2004 and 2006, respectively.

Today in Boston, the Dodgers say a rare hello to former Boys in Blue Adrian Beltre and J.D. Drew.

Moving from Seattle’s pitcher-friendly ballpark Safeco Field to Fenway Park has revitalized Beltre offensively. The third baseman, now 31, has a .374 on-base percentage and .574 slugging percentage, his best numbers since he left the Dodgers. I’m not sure ballpark adjustments entirely account for his improvement from .304/.379 with the Mariners last season.

In six career games against the Dodgers, Beltre is 8 for 24 with two doubles, a homer, three walks and one strikeout. Beltre was 3 for 21 with three walks and a homer for the Dodgers against Boston.

Drew, 34, has declined so far this year, his OPS falling from .914 in 2009 to .807 while starting 60 of 68 games in right field. This weekend marks the first time he faces the Dodgers since opting out of his contract. Something tells me that Drew would get booed if he ever returned in a visiting uniform to Dodger Stadium, a shame considering his .905 OPS for Los Angeles.

* * *

  • Carlos Monasterios won’t be the least experienced starting pitcher in Fenway Park tonight. Fellow Venezuelan Felix Doubront, 22, is making his first major-league start. The lefthander’s ERA with AAA Pawtucket was 1.08, though he never reached the six-inning mark in any of his four starts. He struck out 16 in 16 2/3 innings against 22 baserunners. For AA Portland, Doubront had a 2.51 ERA in 43 innings spread over eight starts.
  • From the Dodger press notes: “Monasterios has now outlasted all Rule 5 draft picks for the Dodgers other than D.J. Houlton (2005). Since 1981, the Dodgers have drafted just nine players in the Rule 5 draft and only four made the Opening Day roster – Houlton, Monasterios, Frank Lankford (1998) and Jose Antonio Nunez (2001). Both Lankford and Nunez were returned to their previous teams in May. Houlton stayed on the roster all season.”
  • Nick Green has signed a minor-league contract with Toronto, according to the team (via MLB Trade Rumors).
  • A barnburner in Albuquerque on Thursday, with the Isotopes falling, 15-12 in 11 innings after rallying from an eight-run deficit. Claudio Vargas pitched an effective three innings in his return to the Dodger organization, but then the roof caved in on Cody White, who allowed 10 runs in four innings. Lucas May had a single, double and one of four Albuquerque home runs, raising his OPS to .830. Russ Mitchell hit his fourth homer in his past four games.
  • Kyle Russell doubled but also wore the platinum sombrero in Chatanooga’s 14-2 win. Russell has struck out 19 times in 36 AA at-bats. Dee Gordon reached base four times for the Lookouts, raising his OPS to .951 in his past 10 games. Kenley Jansen continues his fast track up the Dodger system since he converted to relief pitching from catching; he has 24 strikeouts and a 1.17 ERA against 18 baserunners in 15 1/3 AA innings.
  • Ethan Martin pitched six innings of one-run ball with six strikeouts for Inland Empire.
  • Collectibles from Pedro Guerrero’s magic June 1985 are on auction, writes Ernest Reyes of Blue Heaven. They were obtained directly from Guerrero.
  • Here’s a Dodger divorce update from Dodger Divorce.
  • Why do some teams avoid giving physicals to players they’re going to acquire, wonders Craig Calcaterra of Hardball Talk.
  • Why do managers bat reserve players in the same batting slot as the starters they’re replacing, regardless of whether that makes sense, wonders Joe Pawlikowski of Fangraphs.
  • Jerry Seinfeld and Keith Hernandez will reunite in the Mets broadcast booth next week.
  • Davey Lopes was interviewed by David Laurila of Baseball Prospectus. The big news to come out of the interview was that Phillies second baseman Chase Utley has been playing with a bum knee, but I’m linking it for the moment Lopes talks about the day he stole five bases against the Cardinals and how he kicks himself for not getting seven.
  • We know how great Sandy Koufax’s 1966 was. At this stage of the season, it was even greater.
  • Beyond the Box Score has a neat graph of Wins Above Replacement for the first round of the 2006 (Clayton Kershaw) draft.
  • The San Diego Padres pitching gets a long look from Jerry Crasnick of

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