Dodger Thoughts

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

Tag: Alex Guerrero (Page 2 of 4)

Turner placed on disabled list, Bolsinger and Lee optioned

Oakland Athletics vs Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

To make room on the 25-man roster for newly acquired pitchers Luis Avilan, Jim Johnson and Alex Wood, the Dodgers have optioned Mike Bolsinger and Zach Lee to Triple-A Oklahoma City and placed Justin Turner on the 15-day disabled list.

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Kershaw start delayed until Friday — Bolsinger to start tonight

Los Angeles Dodgers vs Atlanta Braves

A’s at Dodgers, 7:10 p.m.
Jimmy Rollins, SS
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Yasmani Grandal, C
Andre Ethier, LF
Yasiel Puig, RF
Joc Pederson, CF
Alex Guerrero, 3B
Mike Bolsinger, P

By Jon Weisman

Clayton Kershaw’s scheduled start tonight has been moved to Friday by the Dodgers, amid reports of a sore left hip or glute muscle.

Mike Bolsinger, who threw seven innings and allowed no earned runs seven days ago in Atlanta, will start in Kershaw’s place. Bolsinger has a 2.79 ERA this season — 1.59 in his past three starts.

Kershaw will bring his 29-inning scoreless inning streak up against the Angels on Friday.

Justin Turner, who is suffering from a leg infection, remains sidelined. Alex Guerrero is scheduled to make his first start at third base since May 19.

Joc Pederson is batting seventh, his lowest spot in the order since July 5. Pederson has a .239 on-base percentage and .271 slugging percentage in July, with one homer and four walks against 28 strikeouts.

“He’s working on different things,” Don Mattingly said after Tuesday’s 2-0 loss to Oakland, according to Eric Stephen of True Blue L.A. “It’s not like he’s just going up there, I know it looks like he’s swinging for the fences all the time. That’s not what he’s trying to do. … He’s trying to get inside the ball a little bit using his bottom hand. He’s frustrated.

“At some point Joc’s going to get that front side thing, and he’s going to be a monster. He’s going to be tough to get out.”

Zack Greinke expected to pitch against Mets this weekend

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Dodgers at Mets, 4:10 p.m.
Joc Pederson, CF
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Justin Turner, 3B
Scott Van Slyke, 1B
Yasiel Puig, RF
Kiké Hernandez, LF
Jimmy Rollins, SS
Austin Barnes, C
Ian Thomas, P

By Jon Weisman

It’ll soon be back to work for Zack Greinke.

The new dad (though not this kind of new dad) is expected to be back in New York this weekend to start for the Dodgers either Saturday or Sunday, manager Don Mattingly told reporters today.

In other starting-pitching news for the Dodgers, Brett Anderson passed all his tests today to avoid the disabled list. Mattingly indicated that the Dodgers still might give Anderson extra rest for his left Achilles tendon and delay his next start until Tuesday.

Either way, assuming Greinke has no issues with returning to the Large Apple, the Dodgers would only need to call up at most one starter for this weekend’s games against New York. Speculation is strong that Zach Lee will be that pitcher.

If so, Lee would become the Dodgers’ 14th starting pitcher this year, after Ian Thomas becomes No. 13 tonight while making his first MLB start. Not since 1964 have the Dodgers used 13 starting pitchers, and not since 1952 have they used 14. Given the possibility of a trade before the season’s over, it seems likely that the 2015 Dodgers will use more starting pitchers than any team in franchise history except the World War II-era 1944 team, which used 19.

For a while today, it appeared that both scheduled starting pitchers would be scratched because of babies being born, but even though his wife reportedly went into labor, left-hander Jon Niese remains tonight’s scheduled starting pitcher for the Mets.

Alex Guerrero is making his first start for the Dodgers since July 10. Guerrero has reached base once in his past 18 plate appearances and hasn’t homered in 61 at-bats since his game-winning grand slam June 2 in Colorado. He has a .175 on-base percentage and .180 slugging percentage in that span.

Update: Kiké Hernandez has replaced Guerrero in the lineup. Guerrero was scratched because of back stiffness.

Southpaw starters sort of stymie Dodgers

Los Angeles Dodgers during game against the Miami Marlins Sunday, June 28, 2015 at Marlins Park in Miami, Florida. The  Dodgers beat the Marlins 2-0 . Photo by Jon SooHoo/©Los Angeles Dodgers,LLC 2015

Kiké Hernandez is 14 for 41 with five doubles, two triples, a homer and three walks against left-handed starting pitching this season. (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

Mets at Dodgers, 1:10 p.m.
Kiké Hernandez, SS
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Justin Turner, 3B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Yasiel Puig, RF
Soctt Van Slyke, LF
Joc Pederson, CF
A.J. Ellis, C
Mike Bolsinger, P

By Jon Weisman

It’s more like a bug bite than a debilitating injury, but the Dodgers could be happier, healthier and heartier facing left-handed starters this year.

Going into today’s game against left-handed Mets rookie Steven Matz, the Dodgers are 7-8 (.467) against southpaw starters in 2015, compared with 39-28 (.582) against righties.

In those eight losses, the Dodgers have scored a combined 14 runs. Three of those eight losses have come in games started by San Francisco’s Madison Bumgarner, who has a 1.31 ERA against Los Angeles in 2015.

In their seven wins against lefty starters, the Dodgers have scored 35 runs (five per game).

Lefty starters have held the Dodgers to a .668 OPS, as opposed to their .783 OPS against righty starters. Confounding expectations, Dodger right-handed batters have hit better against righties than lefties in 2015.

Yasiel Puig (1.082 OPS) and Kiké Hernandez (1.034 OPS) have been the Dodgers’ best hitters against lefty starters this year, which helps explain why Hernandez is batting leadoff today. Joc Pederson is starting in the No. 7 spot for the first time since April, though his OPS against lefty starters (.875) is third on the team, ahead of Scott Van Slyke (.744).

One problem for the Dodgers is that the typical No. 3 and No. 4 hitters, Justin Turner (.559) and Adrian Gonzalez (.601) have not done well in their small samples against lefty starters this year. The right-handed hitting Turner’s career platoon splits actually favor him against right-handed pitching (.681 OPS vs. all lefties, .816 OPS vs. all righties).

Further, Dodger catchers A.J. Ellis, Yasmani Grandal and Austin Barnes are 7 for 44 with two doubles and no home runs against southpaw starters this year (.204 slugging percentage), though Ellis does have 10 walks to give him a .356 on-base percentage.

Even Alex Guerrero only has a .239 on-base percentage against left-handed starters, though he has two homers in 45 at-bats.

One other piece of trivia: The Dodgers have one stolen base all season against a left-handed starter, and that was by Zack Greinke.

‘I am speechless — I am without speech’

By Jon Weisman

How can something be so exhilarating and so exhausting at once?

How can Joc Pederson hit two homers and a triple in one day … and his team still be one strike away from two losses?

How can his team still be down by three with two out and two strikes on the batter … and win the game?

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Doctor, my eyes … my eyes are fried.

If you’re a Los Angeles Dodger fan, this was a first for your team.

Since moving to Los Angeles in 1958, according to Elias Sports and the Dodger public relations department, the Dodgers had hit five other grand slams after two were out in the ninth. Four of those were in tie games.  After the only previous two-out, come-from-behind grand slam in the ninth inning, the Dodgers still lost the game. Todd Benzinger’s heroic blast on September 4, 1992 was not enough to prevent a ninth-inning collapse and the Dodgers falling to 54-80 in that misbegotten season.

Kenley Jansen made sure that didn’t happen again.

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How in the world is Guerrero doing this? Ten home runs in 98 at-bats. A 1.011 OPS.

And how in the world is Pederson doing this? Home runs in four straight games. A .971 OPS, at age 23. On pace (forgive me) for 50 homers.

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Pederson and Guerrero have combined for 26 home runs, and the season has 110 games to go.

Not for nothing, the three players who got the hits ahead of Guerrero’s slam had batting averages of .212 (Alberto Callaspo), .211 (Jimmy Rollins) and .125 (Chris Heisey).

And let’s not forget Josh Ravin, who came up today and made his big-league debut after 209 games across 10 seasons in the minors, threw five pitches at a combined 494 miles per hour — and got the win. He is the first National League pitcher since 2006 to get an MLB win with only five career pitches.

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Oh, it’s a scene, man. It is a scene.

In case you missed it: Grandal denies W for acha

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By Jon Weisman

On Saturday in St. Louis, Michael Wacha carried a shutout (OK, a no-hitter) into the seventh (OK, the sixth) inning, then gave up a couple of hits and a huge home run. Sound familiar, anyone?

Sure, the stakes were different in the Dodgers’ 5-1 victory than Game 4 of the National League Division Series, but otherwise it was something of a mirror image of Clayton Kershaw’s final October downfall.

Judging by what he told Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny left Wacha in the game mainly to try to get him the “W” next to his name in the boxscore.

“You’ve got that situation there with an opportunity to pitch (Gonzalez) tough, fouled off a lot of pitches and that did, no question, wear him down pretty good,” Matheny said. “At that point we’ve got to try and keep him in that game. Try and get our offense back out there and get him a win. The ball jumped for Grandal and that was the big game-changer.

“If it’s a 1-1 game, it’s Michael’s game.”

Said Yasmani Grandal, who blasted the three-run shot off Wacha, to David Cobb of “It just so happened that [Wacha] made a mistake, probably the only mistake he made all night, and I was able to capitalize on it.”

MLB’s Statcast took a look at Grandal’s tiebreaking homer Saturday and noted that Grandal “has an average exit velocity of 94.5 mph on balls Statcast™ has tracked, which leads all catchers.”

Grandal’s .492 on-base percentage in May is the second-best mark in the National League this month behind Bryce Harper, according to the Dodgers’ PR department, and he is  third in slugging percentage (.698), behind Harper (.905) and Paul Goldschmidt (.720).

Grandal also provided benefits behind the plate for the Dodgers on Saturday. Grandal told Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles that starting pitcher Carlos Frias was trying to do too much too soon in his fruitless start a week ago against San Diego.

… “He wanted to use all four of his pitches from the beginning for some reason and I thought we could go with one or two pitches for the first three or four innings and all of a sudden mix in those other two,” Grandal said.

Frias talked about his trust with Grandal, saying he never shook him off Saturday. He was perfectly happy to cede the game plan to his catcher.

“If he’s thinking, he’s probably not doing his job right,” Grandal said. …

Despite an error by Howie Kendrick on his first batter and loading the bases before getting an out, Frias went seven innings and allowed only one run, unearned.

“Last time he was all over the place,” Don Mattingly told Cobb. “Tonight, he seemed to be hitting his spots. He used his slider some. As the game went on, he started using his curveball. That’s the key.”

Here are some more notes from the weekend …

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Adrian Gonzalez leads NL All-Star balloting at first — other Dodgers trail

Atlanta Braves vs Los Angeles Dodgers

Tim Wallach, who knows a thing or five (1984, 1985, 1987, 1989, 1990) about All-Star selections, and Joc Pederson celebrate Adrian Gonzalez’s 1000th RBI on Tuesday.

By Jon Weisman

First baseman Adrian Gonzalez is the only member of the National League West-leading Dodgers (and NL’s No. 1 offense) in first place at his position in the initial release of NL All-Star voting numbers.

Gonzalez has nearly twice as many votes as second-palce Anthony Rizzo of the Cubs, but otherwise, the Dodgers need help — especially Joc Pederson, who (as you’ll see detailed later in this post) ranks No. 1 among NL center fielders in Wins Above Replacement.

It’s worth noting that Gonzalez was the NL leader among first basemen at this stage last year, only to eventually lose out to Paul Goldschmidt of Arizona.

Fan voting continues through July 2. You can read more about the selection process here. Click the image below to enlarge the current results.


For some perspective, here’s where the top Dodger All-Star candidates rank in WAR, according to Fangraphs.

  • Gonzalez is first among first basemen, a hair ahead of Goldschmidt and Rizzo. Tuesday’s home run was only Gonzalez’s second of May, but he still has a .411 on-base percentage and .481 slugging percentage this month. Gonzalez has been in four All-Star Games, but none since joining the Dodgers in 2012.
  • Dodger rookie Pederson leads NL center fielders in WAR, not insignificantly: 0.3 ahead of No. 2 A.J. Pollock and 0.7 (50 percent higher) above No. 3 Dexter Fowler. And that’s with Pederson losing a bit of value because of his sub-par baserunning so far this year. Thanks in part to Andrew McCutchen’s slow start, no one is even close to Pederson offensively in center.
  • Overall NL voting leader Bryce Harper and Giancarlo Stanton dominate the national headlines and rightly so, but right behind Stanton in right field WAR is Andre Ethier, whose wRC+ is actually better than Stanton’s. An NL Comeback Player of the Year candidate, Ethier (like Gonzalez) last reached an All-Star Game in 2011, but given that he is fifth among all outfielders in WAR, his chance to make the game as a reserve is fairly strong.

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  • For the record, Yasiel Puig (50 plate appearances) is 16th in WAR in right field, and 13th on the current outfield ballot.
  • Yasmani Grandal is fourth in WAR at catcher, behind Buster Posey, Derek Norris and Miguel Montero. Currently on the seven-day concussion disabled list, Grandal has the fewest game and plate appearances (tied with Brayan Pena) of anyone in the top 10. On the offensive side, Grandal ranks second.
  • Also sitting in the No. 4 spot is Howie Kendrick at second base, behind 2015 ballot leader Dee Gordon, Kolten Wong and Joe Panik. Of note: When Kendrick went 0 for 8 May 22-23 against San Diego, that was the first time all season he hadn’t reached base in consecutive games. Kendrick’s only All-Star appearance came the same year as the most recent one for Ethier and Gonzalez, in 2011.

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  • Justin Turner and Alex Guerrero aren’t on the All-Star ballot, but they sit in fourth and seventh positions at third base. Neither has 100 plate appearances yet this season (Turner is at 99), and Guerrero has actually only played nine games at the hot corner (Fangraphs doesn’t separate players by games played at each position on its rankings). Turner at least has 22 games, but it’s still an uphill battle for him to leapfrog such candidates as Matt Carpenter, Todd Frazier, Nolan Arenado and Cubs rookie Kris Bryant. In case you’re wondering, Juan Uribe is just outside the top 20.
  • You’ll also find Guerrero in fifth place in left field, two spots ahead of Scott Van Slyke. Nori Aoki, Justin Upton, Charlie Blackmon and Matt Holliday lead in left field. Guerrero’s best shot would be if he keeps hitting, and the NL falls in love with a combination left fielder-third baseman from Bruce Bochy’s division rival.
  • Jimmy Rollins is one spot ahead of 2013-14 All-Star Troy Tulowitzki in WAR at shortstop, but unfortunately that’s down at 12th.

Changing of the guard at third base

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For more photos from Saturday, visit LA Photog Blog.

Padres at Dodgers, 1:10 p.m.
Joc Pederson, CF
Jimmy Rollins, SS
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Andre Ethier, RF
Alex Guerrero, 3B
Kiké Hernandez, LF
Austin Barnes, C
Carlos Frias, P

By Jon Weisman

Don Mattingly never came out and said that Juan Uribe had been benched at third base after being the starter there for the past two seasons, but the lineups this month have indicated as much.

With a week to go in May, Uribe has four total bases this month (on four singles) plus a walk. Since making back-to-back starts May 7-8, Uribe has made two starts in the past 16 days.

Speaking to reporters this morning, Mattingly said his intention to keep putting the guys out there who are playing well, and for now that means Justin Turner and Alex Guerrero. On the horizon, of course, is Hector Olivera, who could be on the Major League roster before June is over.

Turner, who has started 11 games at third base this month, has a .421 on-base percentage and .617 slugging percentage in May. As a Dodger, Turner has a .397 OBP while slugging .505. Among players with at least 400 plate appearances, Turner has the fifth-best adjusted OPS in Dodger history, behind Manny Ramirez, Gary Sheffield, Mike Piazza and Jack Fournier.

Guerrero has cooled since his Rookie of the Month performance in April. This month, Guerrero has a .283 OBP while slugging .380. He is making his fourth start of the month today at third base and eighth at the position this year, to go with 11 starts in left field.

Today, Kiké Hernandez is making his first start as a Dodger in left field, while Austin Barnes is making his MLB debut at catcher.

Alex Guerrero looks to keep bouncing back

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Half of Alex Guerrero’s 22 hits this season have been for extra bases, including four extra-base hits in May. (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

Dodgers at Giants, 7:15 p.m.
Joc Pederson, CF
Jimmy Rollins, SS
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Alex Guerrero, LF
Yasmani Grandal, C
Andre Ethier, RF
Juan Uribe, 3B
Brett Anderson, P

By Jon Weisman

Alex Guerrero is making his 12th start in May tonight, essentially qualifying him as a regular for the time being. The third baseman-left fielder has made more starts than Justin Turner, Juan Uribe or Scott Van Slyke this month.

Since beginning the season with five homers in his first 22 at-bats through April 26, Guerrero has one homer in his past 45 at-bats. He has a .292 on-base percentage and .400 slugging percentage in that time, numbers buoyed by his 2-for-4 performance in Tuesday’s 2-0 loss at San Francisco. Guerrero ended a mini-slump in which he had gone 0 for 9.

Guerrero has a .323 batting average on balls in play since April 27, while striking out in 27 percent of his plate appearances.

Alex Guerrero gets consecutive starts in left field

Denver weather2

Dodgers at Rockies, 5:40 p.m.
Joc Pederson, CF
Jimmy Rollins, SS
Justin Turner, 2B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Yasmani Grandal, C
Alex Guerrero, LF
Andre Ethier, RF
Juan Uribe, 3B
Brett Anderson, P

By Jon Weisman

In the first nine games after Carl Crawford’s injury, the Dodgers alternated Alex Guerrero and Scott Van Slyke in left field for each starting lineup. (Van Slyke played right field against Madison Bumgarner in the first of those games).

In tonight’s game — that is, if tonight’s game gets played — Guerrero gets a second consecutive start in left field for the first time this season.

Guerrero (1.264 OPS) walked, was hit by a pitch and homered yesterday, curtailing a brief slump in which he went 1 for 14 with a walk. Van Slyke (.832 OPS), currently in an 0-for-12 stretch, would enjoy a game like that.

Mostly, though, it shows the challenges Don Mattingly faces in finding playing time for so many qualified hitters. No position player wants to sit at Coors Field, even in bad weather, and I do expect we’ll see our share of Van Slyke this weekend.

Dodger hitters dominating righties in 2015

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Justin Turner is slugging .538 in 233 at-bats against right-handed pitchers. (Jill Weisleder/Los Angeles Dodgers)

As a Dodger, Justin Turner is slugging .538 in 233 at-bats against right-handed pitchers. (Jill Weisleder/Los Angeles Dodgers)

By Jon Weisman

When Justin Turner bashed his three-run home run to center field off Matt Garza in the sixth inning Tuesday, propelling the Dodgers toward an 8-2 victory at Milwaukee, there was something both noteworthy and increasingly mundane about it.

The home run came against a right-handed pitcher, just as Turner’s previous three homers in the past week have. Despite having only 38 at-bats against righties this season, Turner is tied for third on the Dodgers in home runs against northpaws.

That’s no small feat. So far in 2015, 82 percent of the Dodgers’ plate appearances have come against right-handed pitching, as well as 86 percent (36 out of 42) of their home runs.

Overall, the Dodgers are torching right-handed pitchers to the tune of an .841 OPS, which is .001 behind the club-record .842 set in 1953. If it were to hold up, the 2015 team’s .495 slugging percentage against righties would break the team record by .018 and the Los Angeles record by .048.

Righties had actually allowed 90 percent of the Dodgers’ home runs this year before Brewers lefty Neal Cotts entered the game with one out in the seventh inning and gave up home runs to two of the first four batters he faced, Jimmy Rollins and Adrian Gonzalez.

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Gonzalez’s home run, which hit the scoreboard dozens of feet above the center-field wall, was the first home run by a left-handed batter against a left-handed pitcher for the Dodgers this year. In 26 games this season, there have been only 55 plate appearances by Dodger lefty batters against Dodger lefty pitchers — 49 if you limit the count position players.

Dodger righty batters haven’t been similarly protected. They have come up 341 times against righty pitchers, producing an impressive .779 OPS. To put that in a little bit of perspective, no other National League offense has a .779 OPS, even when including situations in which they have a platoon advantage. Dodger right-handed pitchers have allowed only a .584 OPS to right-handed batters this year.

Leading the way for the Dodger righties against righties are names like Turner (1.179 OPS), Alex Guerrero (1.130 OPS) and Scott Van Slyke (.979 OPS), names that in other years might rarely be allowed to bat against same-sided pitchers. Small sample size warnings should be noted, of course — for example, Guerrero is already sliding, with a single, a walk and six strikeouts in his past 15 at-bats. But clearly, ruling their righty-vs.-righty matchups has been a key to the Dodgers’ early season success.

Gonzalez, Guerrero win NL honors for April

Los Angeles Dodgers vs Colorado Rockies

Seattle Mariners vs Los Angeles Dodgers

Photos: Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

Not only has Adrian Gonzalez has been named National League Player of the Month, but Alex Guerrero was named NL Rookie of the Month.

Gonzalez had a .432 on-base percentage and NL-best eight homers and .790 slugging percentage in April, while Guerrero led NL rookies in home runs with five (remember, Joc Pederson’s fifth and sixth homers came in May), slugged 1.077 and OPSed 1.505.

Alex Guerrero and ‘Awakenings’

Los Angeles Dodgers vs San Francisco Giants

By Jon Weisman

Three kids and nearly 13 years into being a dad, my belief in my kids’ athletic skills is about what most people had in Alex Guerrero in January, or Dee Gordon the previous January, or Marlon Anderson and Ronnie Belliard immediately after their “Why bother?” acquisitions in the summers of recent pasts.

Which is to say, practically hopeless.

A couple of months ago, during my 7-year-old’s basketball season, there was what I call an “Awakenings” moment.

Youngest Master Weisman can string some baskets together from about five feet out in the driveway, but that’s been about it. In his league games at our local rec center, games he enjoyed mainly for being with the other kids, little was happening aside from his amusing clown-car dashes from one end of the court to another.

Then, on consecutive Saturdays, he went nuts. One of the parents tallies rebounds, assists and steals (not points, because of course, we’re not those kind of parents), and my kid had 14 rebounds. And I knew he had scored three or four baskets. It was unprecedented.

The next week, I decided to keep track myself, and my son had his first double-double, on a basketball court or at In ‘N Out or anywhere. This kid had 10 points and 15 rebounds. It was unbelievable.

And as cynical as I can be about my children and sports, I thought there might have been an actual breakthrough.

There wasn’t. The next week, the scoring disappeared, the rebounding almost entirely disappeared. He was the player he had been before those two crazy weeks when everything fell into place.

That doesn’t say anything about what his future will bring, and it doesn’t mean I shouldn’t have celebrated the Awakening while it happened. But it is a reminder that what’s right in front of your face isn’t necessarily reality.

Alex Guerrero is having a wondrous month, and I’m certainly more inclined to believe in his athletic skills than I was in those of my youngest boy. In February, I watched Guerrero field (which has been considered his missing link since nearly the day he joined the Dodgers) and hit, and wondered what deficiencies I wasn’t seeing. March came, and nothing changed, even as the talk continued to be that he was being handed a roster spot out of obligation rather than reward. Now it’s April, and he’s the Cuban Yasiel Puig.

Or he’s this:


Of course, Guerrero is younger (28) than Anderson or Belliard were. I’m definitely sympathetic to the idea that Guerrero should be given a chance to show how much of this breakout performance is real. No one’s going to be happier if he’s Roy Hobbs than me.

But I also feel that the Dodgers are thoroughly justified in any skepticism they’ve built in more than a year of close observation. Even after four homers in 19 at-bats, it’s not clear that Guerrero is a better all-around player than the defensively dependable Juan Uribe (the fifth-best third baseman in the National League last year), or Justin Turner, whom Don Mattingly justifiably pointed out was basically Alex Guerrero at the plate last year and who had three doubles in a game only five days ago.

The question with Guerrero, as is the case with every Major League player, will be whether he can make the adjustments once the opposition adjusts to him. The best you can confirm for Guerrero us that he has earned the opportunity to try. Good for him, and good for the Dodgers.

But it’s naive to believe that Guerrero has proven himself beyond doubt, arrogant to suggest that the answer is obvious, and unfair to pronounce death sentences on any other players based on 15 games. Maybe Uribe is nearing the end of the line, but the perils of counting him out prematurely are underscored by how valuable he was in 2013-14.

I’m eager to see what happens next for Guerrero, with my heart wide open, but my eyes as well.

Reflections on a rough loss

Mattingly l9999980

For more images from Wednesday, visit LA Photog Blog – here and here.

By Jon Weisman

Disappointment infused with a sense of injustice? That’s not an easy way for Dodger fans to go to bed. Here’s a look at Wednesday’s 3-2 loss to San Francisco after a cleansing view of “The Americans” season finale and a night’s sleep …

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The Dodgers’ Fast Burn All-Stars

Jill Weisleder/Los Angeles Dodgers

Jill Weisleder/Los Angeles Dodgers

Mariners at Dodgers, 7:10 p.m.
Jimmy Rollins, SS
Yasmani Grandal, C
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Andre Ethier, RF
Scott Van Slyke, LF
Juan Uribe, 3B
Joc Pederson, CF
Brett Anderson, P

By Jon Weisman

This post is anything but a critique of Alex Guerrero, whose potential legitimacy as a Major Leaguer I have championed this year — in fairly lonely fashion until this week, really.

But even though Guerrero has started the season by going 5 for 12 with a double and two home runs in his first four games, the heated demands on Twitter to push him into the starting lineup — as if it were a crime to question the rush to coronation — got me wondering about other Dodger hot starters.

So, here’s an All-Star team of Dodgers who went wild in their first games of the year, then didn’t quite live up to that promise. We’ll even raise the stakes to 10 games played — more than twice the duration of Guerrero’s hot launch.

C — Kevin Pasley, 1976 (6 for 16, three walks, .911 OPS)
1B — Tracy Woodson, 1987 (6 for 21, one homer, .924 OPS)
2B — Elian Herrera, 2012 (12 for 33, three doubles, .887 OPS)
SS — Luis Maza, 2008 (8 for 20, one homer, 1.005 OPS)
3B — Andy LaRoche, 2007 (6 for 23, 12 walks, .818 OPS)
LF — Jerry Sands, 2012 (8 for 31, five doubles, .753 OPS)
CF — Mike Ramsey, 1987 (11 for 33, .765 OPS)
RF — Jason Repko, 2005 (8 for 26, three homers, 1.092 OPS)
P — John Ely, 2010 (Elymania)

Every one of these guys did or have done more in their baseball careers than 99.9 percent of the world — Sands, for that matter, was at it again this past week, starting 2015 with Cleveland by going 5 for 13 with two doubles.  Some were productive for weeks, maybe even a couple of months. Sometimes it was injuries, rather than ability, that got in the way. But excitement soon gave way to retreat.

Alex Guerrero might well be a starting third baseman someday, and it will be thrilling if he is, but a certain amount of healthy skepticism is probably useful. Believe me, I have to remind myself of that sometimes. In the meantime, everyone can be happy he’s been so productive off the bench, part of the crew helping keep the Dodgers in every game.

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