Dodger Thoughts

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

Tag: Andrew Toles (Page 1 of 2)

Toles, Verdugo offer ready remedies for Puig injury

Josh Barber/Los Angeles Dodgers

It’s not as if the Dodgers must call up an outfielder if, as expected, Yasiel Puig goes on the disabled list with an oblique strain suffered Sunday. In addition to Matt Kemp and Joc Pederson, they have three infielders who play outfield in Chris Taylor, Kiké Hernandez and Cody Bellinger, and relocating Bellinger to center (with Kemp in right) would open up time for Max Muncy to play first base and give him a break from learning second base on the job.

But moving an infielder to the outfield would also force more playing time at second base for the likes of struggling Logan Forsythe (1 for 27 with two walks and 11 strikeouts since June 22) and Chase Utley, whereas you could hardly ask for better outfield candidates for the Dodgers to import from Oklahoma City than Andrew Toles and Alex Verdugo.

Read More

So many Dodger thoughts,
so little time

Dodgers Instagram

When you don’t post daily about the Dodgers, a lot builds up. So here’s a stream of thoughts that have crossed my mind in the final days before Spring Training ends and Opening Day arrives for the Dodgers …

Read More

With or without Matt Kemp, Dodgers stacked in left field

If the Dodgers had nothing more than a platoon of Kiké Hernández and Joc Pederson entering the season, I’d be fine with the Dodgers in left field.

In a typical Dodger batting order, left field might basically be the No. 7 spot. If Logan Forsythe bounced back from his 2017 struggles at the plate, the left fielder could bat as low as eighth.

Chris Taylor, CF
Corey Seager, SS
Justin Turner, 3B
Cody Bellinger, 1B
Yasiel Puig, RF
Austin Barnes/Yasmani Grandal, C
Logan Forsythe, 2B

You don’t want left field to be a black hole in the lineup — certainly, by the time the postseason race heats up, you don’t want any black holes in the lineup. But entering the season, the Dodgers are in fine shape with Hernández, who in his career has an .883 OPS with 19 homers in 382 at-bats against left-handed pitching, and Pederson, who has OPSed .823 against righties with 54 homers in 953 at-bats (23 homers per 400 at-bats).

Each player has gone through an extended slump in his career, but both recalibrated by last October — in the glare of the postseason, no less. And, both Hernández and Pederson will be 26 years old for most of the season. It might seem like they’ve been around for a while, but they’re just entering prime time.

In particular, Pederson is a buy-low candidate. His contact rate has improved each of the past three years. His on-base percentage was a career-worst .331 in 2017, but his batting average on balls in play (.241) was the unluckiest of his three full seasons in the majors. In his poorest year, Pederson’s OBP was only .023 behind Chris Taylor in Taylor’s best year.

Read More

Brewers make splash, but Dodgers already swimming

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

The signings of Kenley Jansen and Justin Turner still count. (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

If this offseason, the Dodgers followed up their National League pennant by signing free agents Rich Hill through 2019, Justin Turner through 2020 and Kenley Jansen through 2021 (not to mention adding a 39-homer-hitting first baseman in the process), everyone would be saying it was a huge haul.

That’s not an argument to stand pat for the sake of standing pat — nor is it to deny that a trade for a certain Miami outfielder had its appeal — but don’t think less of the Dodgers because they got a big part of their homework done a year ago.

And I have to say, I like the mix the Dodgers have for their outfield right now. Yasiel Puig, Chris Taylor, Joc Pederson, Kiké Hernández, Andrew Toles and Alex Verdugo all have considerable upside, with only Taylor arguably playing over his head in 2017.

Pederson, who won’t turn 26 until April, might well have had the same growth experience last summer that Puig had in 2016. Through the end of July, Pederson had a .359 on-base percentage, .481 slugging percentage and .840 OPS with a career-low strikeout rate, statistics that got lost in the shuffle when he hit the August skids. Then he came back and delivered an 1.186 OPS in 26 playoff plate appearances.

As an alternative platoon partner to Hernández, Verdugo had a .389 on-base percentage for Triple-A Oklahoma City, ninth in the Pacific Coast League (despite being its second youngest player), walked more than he struck out and boasts a plus arm. And before he ripped his knee ligament trying to preserve a Julio Urías no-hitter in April, Toles was tied for the Dodger team lead with five homers.

All due credit to Milwaukee, which led the NL Central at the All-Star Break and finished with 86 wins last year. By acquiring Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain in one afternoon, the Brewers have definitely made their 2018 a lot more interesting.

But it’s not nothing that the Dodgers are adding Verdugo and Toles to an outfield that, following Toles’ injury, won 95 games without them. In adjusted OPS last year, the Dodgers finished second in the NL (behind now-depleted Miami) with an offense whose two oldest starters were only 30 and 32. You always look to improve, but they remain in good shape.

Andrew Toles is the eye in the hurricane


By Jon Weisman

Chicago is giddy with enough excitement and anticipation to spread all over the city’s famous hot dogs, if they weren’t so particular about what you put on their hot dogs.

Wrigley Field is jumping. The streets around the old ballpark are rollicking. At once confident and paranoid, Chicago is a quaking nerve brought to life, and the roar at Game 6 of the National League Championship Series will be deafening beginning with tonight’s very first pitch.

And stepping into the batters’ box for that very first pitch will be none other than Andrew Toles.

Read More

Dodger rally capped by Cub slam in NLCS opener


Photos: Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

This game was nothing like it should have been, and everything it shouldn’t have been.

Bloops fell daintily for doubles. Liners zipped into gloves like magnets. Busted squeezes became steals of home.

The Dodgers should have been buried, but weren’t. Then they could have won going away, but didn’t.

Trailing for seven innings, then tying the game in the top of the eighth with Adrián González’s two-run single off human sonic boom Aroldis Chapman, the Dodgers fell to the Chicago Cubs in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series, 8-4, after a pinch-hit grand slam by Miguel Montero off Joe Blanton.

Still hoping for a road split, Los Angeles will send Clayton Kershaw to the Wrigley Field mound Sunday for Game 2, following a night of contemplating how nearly they stole their pennant series opener.

“It stings a little bit,” Dave Roberts said. “But just the way that we kept fighting and we kept playing … I felt that our at-bats all night long were quality. I thought we were gonna win it, but we’ll be ready to go tomorrow.”

Read More

Andrew Toles to start NLDS Game 1 in left field


By Jon Weisman

Though the Dodgers haven’t announced their full starting lineup for Game 1 of the National League Division Series on Friday, Dave Roberts did tell reporters today that Andrew Toles will be the left fielder.

Read More

Several sizzled in September for Dodgers

Dodgers at Giants, 1:05 p.m.
Kershaw CCLXIII: Kershawcadia
Howie Kendrick, LF
Justin Turner, 3B
Corey Seager, SS
Yasiel Puig, RF
Adrián González, 1B
Yasmani Grandal, C
Joc Pederson, CF
Chase Utley, 2B
Clayton Kershaw, P

By Jon Weisman

Though the 2016 regular season isn’t officially over, the month of September is, a month in which several Dodger bats delivered.

Joc Pederson led the National League in slugging percentage (.702) last month and finished second in OPS (1.154) and fourth in on-base percentage (.452). Pederson led the Dodgers with seven homers and 15 walks.

Over to Pederson’s left — in right field — were two strong hitters. Josh Reddick rallied from a dismal August to tie for the NL lead in batting average (.400), alongside a .435 OBP and .569 slugging percentage. Reddick was due, to say the least — his batting average on balls in play went from .194 in August to .429 in September.

Read More

Dodgers can’t duplicate comeback, lose 2-0

toles-cant-catch-itBy Jon Weisman

Eduardo Nunez gave the Giants another self-generated run when he homered just over Andrew Toles’ glove and off a camera housing in the fifth inning tonight, and unlike Monday, the San Francisco Giants made it stand up.

Adding an insurance run on Brandon Belt’s ninth-inning homer, the Giants came away with a 2-0 victory.

San Francisco cut the Dodgers’ lead in the National League West to five games, and perhaps more interestingly, forged a three-way tie with the Mets and Cardinals for the two available NL Wild Card spots at 80-71.

The Giants held on despite needing 3 2/3 shutout innings from their maligned bullpen, after a left groin strain forced Johnny Cueto from the game. San Francisco also lost shortstop Brandon Crawford when he dislocated his left pinky while trying to go from first to third in the second inning.

Read More

Storied Corey leads Dodgers to latest glory


By Jon Weisman

Corey Seager, who among his many other achievements is on pace to break Mike Piazza’s 23-year-old Dodger rookie record for on-base percentage, was one of four Dodgers with two hits apiece in the Dodgers to a 5-2 victory over Arizona.

Read More

In case you missed it: 29 games to go

Remaining schedule - September

By Jon Weisman

Two games in the National League West separate the Dodgers and Giants, who each have 29 games remaining in the regular season — six against each other — and nearly identical schedules.

Read More

Ten years later: Andrew Toles is Marlon Anderson

Marlon Anderson touches home plate with the tying run in the bottom of the ninth on September 18, 2006 (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

Marlon Anderson touches home plate with the tying run in the bottom of the ninth on September 18, 2006 (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

toles-andersonBy Jon Weisman

We have now entered the 10th anniversary month of the 4+1 Game, the most unforgettable regular-season game for a generation of Dodger fans, and one that cemented Marlon Anderson as a folk hero for the franchise.

It’s been hard not to think of Anderson over the past 20-odd hours since Andrew Toles delivered the biggest hit of what has been a magical debut as a Dodger, the 4-in-1 grand slam that completed Los Angeles’ comeback from an 8-2, eighth-inning deficit to a 10-8 victory at Colorado.

Toles’ slam came, to the day, 10 years after Anderson’s acquisition from the Phillies for 20-year-old Gulf Coast League pitcher Jhonny Nunez. And if you look at Anderson’s record as a Dodger in 2006, you find that he played in 25 games — exactly as many as Toles has played so far.

At this moment, there’s even more to link Toles and Anderson. Among players with at least 50 plate appearances in a season for the Dodgers, Toles and Anderson rank No. 2 and No. 3 in adjusted OPS, trailing only 2008’s Manny Ramirez.

I mean, it’s really quite something.

Read More

Toles takes Dodgers from milder to wilder

[mlbvideo id=”1121568183″ width=”550″ height=”308″ /]

By Jon Weisman

Andrew Toles found the golden ticket.

Impossible to believe even as it was happening right in front of us. Joe Davis making the call into his mic, TV capturing the dramatic picture.

Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

The Dodgers, who scored three runs in their first 25 innings at Coors Field this week and trailed 8-2 after seven innings in their series finale with the Rockies, rode the Wonkavator to three runs in the eighth and five in the ninth — capped by Andrew Toles’ everlasting gobstopper of a grand slam — to a 10-8 victory over Colorado.

In a week-long performance that resembled a Broadway show purposefully designed to be the worst it could possibly be, the Dodgers shocked expectations (spookily similar to Alex Guerrero’s ninth-inning grand slam last season) by bringing their fans to their feet.

This Dodger team, a veritable young Frankenstein for all the ways it has been reconstituted during this injury-plagued, transaction-filled season, delivered a “Puttin’ on the Ritz” finish thanks to Toles, whose remarkable rise from Single-A ball now has him batting .397 with a .463 on-base percentage while slugging .690 on the big stage.

Let’s not go stir-crazy: Toles isn’t about to unseat Corey Seager for the National League Rookie of the Year Award. But for all the publicity that Yankees freshman Gary Sanchez is getting in New York, Toles leads Sanchez and all other late arrivals (minimum 50 plate appearances, in other words) in on-base percentage, holds similarly gold-medal status in batting average and is riding a silver streak to second in slugging percentage.

Los Angeles Dodgers v Colorado Rockies - Game TwoFor the Dodgers, it was thievery worthy of Bonnie and Clyde. Major League teams had lost 448 out of 449 games this year when trailing by at least six runs after the seventh inning. According to Elias Sports, this franchise rallied from a similar deficit against the Cleveland Spiders in 1899 — this is only the fourth time they’ve done so in 117 years since.

Did the Dodgers need any help? Oh, all they could get. And they got it, with a string of hits and walks leading up to the opposite-field blast by the Way-to-Go Kid.

Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 9.26.09 PM

Dodgers plunked at Coors Field, 8-1

Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

By Jon Weisman

The best part of tonight’s game at Colorado for the Dodgers is that Corey Seager didn’t appear to be seriously hurt by either of the two pitches that hit him.

Read More

Dodgers got a way with the Giants, 9-5

Seager slide

By Jon Weisman

Early in tonight’s Dodgers-Giants showdown, Dodger Stadium organist Dieter Ruehle played Billy Joel’s “Pressure.”

Funnily enough, the Dodgers played as if they felt no pressure at all.

Read More

Page 1 of 2

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén