Dodger Thoughts

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

Tag: Alex Wood (Page 1 of 4)

Uneasy lies the head that wears a Dodger cap

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Hi ho, it’s February. Dodger pitchers and catchers and other eager beavers are scheduled to report to Camelback Ranch in eight days. The first full squad workout comes two weeks from Tuesday.

Vibe: unsettled.

Forecast: angsty.

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The Dodgers might not have a 10-game winner this year

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Pitcher wins are a nuisance as a measure of success and basically only qualify as trivia, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be interesting or deeply weird trivia.

And it’s interesting and deeply weird that for the first time in franchise history, the Dodgers might not have a single pitcher win 10 games this season.

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Which starting pitchers should move into the bullpen for the Dodgers?

Kenley Jansen’s absence puts more pressure on the rest of the Dodger pitching staff to step up.
(Juan Ocampo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

All summer long, the big question for the Dodger pitching staff has been which relievers would serve as the bridge to Kenley Jansen.

But with the distressing news that Jansen will be sidelined at least into September with an irregular heartbeat, we now have to ponder not only the bridge, but the destination.

You can read all the options the Dodgers have available in my recent review of the Dodger pitching staff, and Dustin Nosler of Dodgers Digest has a post up today looking specifically at who might close in Jansen’s absence.

My focus today is on the fact that it’s obvious that the Dodgers, who will soon have seven starting pitchers available with the impending returns of Alex Wood and Hyun-Jin Ryu from the disabled list, will need to move at least one starting pitcher to the bullpen — two if they don’t go with a six-man rotation.

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Who will represent the 2018 Dodgers at the All-Star Game?

A year after they sent six players to the MLB All-Star Game, it’s more likely than not that the Dodgers will rely on the “every team gets a guy” rule simply to get one player to Washington D.C.

We still have nearly two months before the game is played (so you can question why I’m even writing about this right now), but if I were to make a prediction about who the 2018 Dodger All-Star will be, I might just pick a guy who has played in only seven games so far this year: Clayton Kershaw.

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Dodger trades, from simple
to screwball

So by all appearances, Matt Kemp — the once prodigious if not prodigal son –is going to Spring Training at Camelback Ranch, and it got me wondering about how complicated is the composition of the Dodger roster.

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Dodgers facts and figures after four NLCS games

infielders

By Jon Weisman

With the National League Championship Series between the Cubs and Dodgers now tied at 2-2, let’s do what we did after it was tied 1-1 and reset the scene …

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After long layoffs, Wood ready to be the Alex-factor

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

So here we are, back in Los Angeles for a guaranteed three games in a row in the meaty midsection of the National League Championship Series.

Barring extra innings, the Dodgers have 27 innings to cover, with 11 pitchers to spread them around. (The 12th, presumably, would be held back for a potential Game 6 start, whether that’s Clayton Kershaw or — if Kershaw is moved up to Game 5 on three days’ rest — Kenta Maeda.)

Among the pitchers that puts into play is Alex Wood, the left-hander who has thrown four big-league innings since May, when he went on the 15-day disabled list with left posterior elbow soreness that led to (relatively) minor elbow surgery.

Wood retired 11 of the 13 batters he faced in the final two weeks of the regular season, allowing only a single and a walk while striking out four with one double play. But he was left off the Dodgers’ National League Division Series roster, meaning that he has gone another 16 days since appearing in a game.

So, a little antsy … ?

“Yeah, you could say that,” Wood said with a laugh before Monday’s off-day workout. “It’s been fun to watch those guys, but at the same time I’m just kind of champing at the bit, waiting for my opportunity to get in there and get my feet wet again. I feel great, and I’ve been trying to stay as sharp as possible.”

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Wood, Hernández join Dodgers’ NLCS roster

LOS ANGELES DODGERS AT SAN DIEGO PADRES

SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS VS LOS ANGELES DODGERSBy Jon Weisman

Left-handed pitcher Alex Wood and infielder-outfielder Kiké Hernández have been added to the Dodgers’ official roster for the National League Championship Series, replacing Austin Barnes and Charlie Culberson.

Wood gives the Dodgers an extra pitcher for the best-of-seven series, which could include games on three consecutive days Tuesday-Thursday in Los Angeles. In addition, there is a chance of rain this weekend in Chicago, though it looks most likely to come in between Games 1 and 2.

The departure of Barnes removes the luxury of a third catcher for the Dodgers, though in two of the five National League Division Series games, Dave Roberts already showed he was willing to go down to use his last backstop off the bench with multiple innings to go.

Hernández replaces Charlie Culberson, who went 0 for 7 in the NLDS.  Hernández has a single, triple and homer in 12 career at-bats against Game 1 starter Jon Lester, with the homer being the only run the Dodgers scored against the Cub left-hander in 15 innings this year, as Eric Stephen of True Blue L.A. pointed out.

Here’s the lefty-righty breakdown of the Dodger roster:

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Andrew Friedman, Dave Roberts explain Dodgers’ NLDS roster choices

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

The Dodgers faced several hard choices in coming up with their 25-man roster for the National League Division Series — and to some extent, the specific matchup with the Washington Nationals served as a tiebreaker.

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Alex Wood activated from disabled list

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Giants at Dodgers, 7:10 p.m.
Chase Utley, 2B
Corey Seager, SS
Justin Turner, 3B
Adrian González, 1B
Yasmani Grandal, C
Josh Reddick, RF
Andrew Toles, LF
Joc Pederson, CF
Rich Hill, P

By Jon Weisman

Out of action since May 30, Alex Wood has been activated from the disabled list by the Dodgers.

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Stewart to start Saturday, rehab continues for vets

Arizona Diamondbacks vs Los Angeles Dodgers

Dodgers at Diamondbacks, 6:40 p.m.
Chase Utley, 2B
Corey Seager, SS
Justin Turner, 3B
Adrián González, 1B
Yasmani Grandal, C
Josh Reddick, RF
Howie Kendrick, LF
Joc Pederson, CF
Kenta Maeda, P

By Jon Weisman

Though it’s not as dramatic as it was in July and August, when seemingly every start was up for grabs, the Dodgers did have some small tweaks and tidbits to share this afternoon about their starting pitching.

Brock Stewart will make Saturday’s start at Arizona instead of previously announced Bud Norris, according to Dave Roberts, who said Stewart was getting the nod based on “the way he’s thrown” in his recent outings. Norris will remain available out of the bullpen.

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Video: Clayton Kershaw plants the seeds of distraction

[mlbvideo id=”1026696483″ width=”550″ height=”308″ /]

As Vin Scully narrated, Clayton Kershaw (“with a devilish look, like a little kid”) and Scott Van Slyke piled sunflower seeds on the shoulders of an unaware Alex Wood during Sunday’s 8-5 Dodger victory over Boston.

Kershaw played catch before Sunday’s game, so hopefully before too long he has even better uses for that golden left arm of his.

— Jon Weisman

New procedure to sideline Wood eight more weeks

Sandy Koufax with Alex Wood on Old-Timers Day, July 2. (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

Sandy Koufax with Alex Wood on Old-Timers Day, July 2. (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

By Jon Weisman

For Alex Wood, it’s eight more weeks of winter. For the Dodgers, it’s a little bit more like Groundhog Day.

Wood is undergoing an arthroscopic debridement of his left elbow today in New York, the Dodgers announced, with an estimated recovery time of eight weeks.

The 25-year-old lefty is the third Dodger starting pitcher this week to suffer a setback, following Clayton Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu. Wood went on the disabled list May 31 with left posterior elbow soreness.

He has a fielding-independent ERA of 3.27 and at the time of his original injury was 10th in the National League with 9.9 strikeouts per nine innings.

Rehab news glowing for Kershaw & Co.

IMG_4821

By Jon Weisman

It was an absolutely lovely day at Dodger Stadium today. Mild warmth. A refreshing breeze.

As the shadows made their way across the field at the 5 o’clock hour, Clayton Kershaw and Brett Anderson emerged from the clubhouse and played catch. And it wasn’t tentative. It was glove-poppin’, “we mean business” catch.

While more Dodgers trickled onto the field for an informal workout tonight, the last night before returning to action with a 10-game road trip that begins Friday at Arizona, Dave Roberts spoke to reporters about the state of several injured players — Kershaw, Anderson, Joc Pederson, Alex Wood, Andre Ethier, Yimi Garcia. And everything was just about as glowing as that magic late-afternoon sunlight.

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Brandon McCarthy to start Sunday for Dodgers

Brandon McCarthy throws during Spring Training in February. (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

Brandon McCarthy throws at Spring Training in February. (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

Alongside Yosuke Nakajima, McCarthy leaves his final 2015 start.

By Jon Weisman

Brandon McCarthy is starting Sunday for the Dodgers. Not the Oklahoma City Dodgers. Not another Dodgers farm team. The Los Angeles Dodgers.

McCarthy last pitched for the Dodgers on April 25, 2015, shortly before he was diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. The expectation at the time was that he would be out until July 2016, and here we are.

Dave Roberts, who revealed the McCarthy news today, said there is no specific pitch limit on McCarthy, who turns 33 on July 7. In his fourth and most recent rehab start, McCarthy went five innings and 72 pitches for Single-A Rancho Cucamonga. He’ll be on five days’ rest

“He’s a full go,” Roberts said. “We kind of sped it up a little bit because of the circumstances, but Brandon’s excited about getting back and being active, and we expect him to pitch well on Sunday.

“With the circumstance of what happened to Kersh in Pittsburgh, we figured we had some options. In talking to Brandon and figuring out where he’s at, with this trade, things kind of fell in line with his start date.”

Julio Urías, whose turn in the rotation was to come Sunday, will instead make an Independence Day start on five days’ rest.

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