Dodger Thoughts

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

Tag: Austin Barnes (Page 1 of 3)

The possibility of a comeback by Austin Barnes

In 2018, Austin Barnes had a .409 OBP through May 21, but .278 thereafter.
(Juan Ocampo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

All along, 2019 was supposed to be the season of Austin Barnes. The year that Yasmani Grandal would leave the Dodgers as a free agent was perfectly timed for Barnes to complete his journey from the minors to the major-league bench and finally the starting lineup of a title contender.

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Dodgers-Red Sox historical tidbits

The Red Sox and Dodger franchises last played in the World Series 102 years ago, in 1916. We’ll obviously get a lot of history from that series. Here’s a bit of it …

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Ten games in, Manny Machado already boosting Dodgers

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Manny Machado’s first 50 plate appearances as a Dodger are now in the books: .400 on-base percentage, .442 slugging percentage. During that time, the Dodgers went 6-4 on a road trip against three playoff contenders, a trip that you could have called a complete success had they won the 16-inning game at Philadelphia and taken all three series.

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Dodgers trade Carlos Ruiz for reliever Vidal Nuño

Elsa/Getty Images

Elsa/Getty Images

By Jon Weisman

Vidal Nuño, a 29-year-old left-handed reliever, has been acquired from Seattle by the Dodgers in exchange for catcher Carlos Ruiz.

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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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Dodgers’ NLDS roster essentially set

At dusk, the Dodgers were in a workout ahead of their Wednesday flight to Washington D.C. (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

At dusk, the Dodgers were in a workout ahead of their Wednesday flight to Washington D.C. (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

By Jon Weisman

Though the Dodgers haven’t officially revealed their 25-man roster for the National League Division Series, Dave Roberts answered the remaining questions about the final spots today before the team’s final pre-NLDS workout in Los Angeles.

Here’s how it shakes out, pending any last-minute changes:

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Puig, Dodgers grieve over José Fernández

Matthew Mesa/Los Angeles Dodgers

Matthew Mesa/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

A number of Dodgers had personal connections with José Fernández, such as Austin Barnes, Chris Hatcher and Kiké Hernández, who all played in the Marlins organization with the All-Star right-hander.

But perhaps no one in Los Angeles was closer to the Miami All-Star, who died overnight in a boating accident, than Yasiel Puig.

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Dodgers recall Puig, Barnes and Fields, activate Coleman and Ravin

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

Yasiel Puig will be back in the Majors for the Dodgers’ September stretch run, joined by catcher-infielder Austin Barnes and pitchers Louis Coleman, Josh Fields and Josh Ravin.

Padres at Dodgers, 7:10 p.m.
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Corey Seager, SS
Justin Turner, 3B
Adrián González, 1B
Yasiel Puig, RF
Yasmani Grandal, C
Kiké Hernandez, LF
Joc Pederson, CF
Julio Urías, P

Since he was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City on August 2, Puig played in 24 games for Triple-A Oklahoma City, with a .422 on-base percentage, .605 slugging percentage, five homers and nine walks against 11 strikeouts.

“For us, Yasiel’s done everything that was asked of him,” Dave Roberts said today in an interview with MLB Network about Puig, who will start tonight. “As we talked through things, we felt ultimately that he makes us better, with him keeping his end of the deal. It’s all about Yasiel becoming a better person, a better teammate, but also helping the Dodgers with baseball games.”

Said Puig to reporters this afternoon: “I earned the demotion to Triple-A. I feel that I’m now a better person, and I’m here to show it.”

Puig has a .320 on-base percentage, .386 slugging percentage and .706 OPS this season for the Dodgers. Between his return from the disabled list and his trip to the minors, he had a .390 OBP while slugging .440.

He joins a Dodger outfield that has Howie Kendrick, Joc Pederson, Josh Reddick, Andrew Toles, Kiké Hernandez and (though mainly an infielder) Rob Segedin.

Andre Ethier, who has played three nights in a row in rehab games with Single-A Rancho Cucamonga (including seven innings in right field Thursday), might not be far behind.

The 26-year-old Barnes wraps up his second season in Oklahoma City with a .380 on-base percentage, .443 slugging percentage and 18 stolen bases in 21 attempts, along with 43 walks against 53 strikeouts. In brief action with the Dodger this year, Barnes is 3 for 23 with three walks and a double.

Coleman pitched four shutout innings in rehab outings from August 22-30, allowing five hits while walking none and striking out six. With the Dodgers, he has a 3.70 ERA and 1.33 WHIP with 37 strikeouts in 41 1/3 innings. He had made six straight scoreless appearances before going on the disabled list August 3 with right shoulder fatigue.

Fields has pitched two innings for Oklahoma City since he was optioned August 23. He had allowed five earned runs and 18 baserunners in 9 2/3 innings as a Dodger since his August 1 acquisition from Houston.

Placed on the disabled list August 15 with right triceps inflammation, Ravin pitched in one rehab inning August 30 for Rancho Cucamonga, allowing a hit and a run with a strikeout. He has two shutout innings with the Dodgers this year.

Luis Avilan, a winning pitcher Wednesday thanks to Toles’ grand-slam heroics, was only temporarily on the team as the 26th man for the second game of the doubleheader, and officially returned to Triple-A today. Because he was optioned August 25, he isn’t eligible for a permanent recall until Sunday.

So as they start September, the Dodgers have 15 pitchers and 15 position players on their active roster  — with more to come.

Farm Fresh: De Leon’s 13K carry OKC to playoffs

[milbvideo id=”1109273483″ width=”550″ height=”308″ /]

By Jon Weisman

While Brock Stewart was having his career-best Major League game in Los Angeles, Jose De Leon was firing up some heroics of his own.

De Leon struck out 13 with no walks in 7 2/3 shutout innings for Triple-A Oklahoma City, which clinched the Pacific Coast League American Northern Division title in a 6-1 victory over Colorado Springs.

In 41 2/3 innings over his past six starts, De Leon has a 1.30 ERA with 46 strikeouts.

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How much will Dodgers fatten roster in September?

CHICAGO CUBS VS LOS ANGELES DODGERS

Cubs at Dodgers, 1:10 p.m.
Howie Kendrick, LF
Corey Seager, SS
Justin Turner, 3B
Adrián González, 1B
Kiké Hernandez, CF
Rob Segedin, RF
Yasmani Grandal, C
Charlie Culberson, 2B
Brock Stewart, P

By Jon Weisman

September 1, the date that active rosters can expand to as many as 40 players, has been in the Dodgers’ sightlines for some time — the seemingly perfect quirk in the schedule to serve a team that has depth in its pitching staff but not length.

Today, Dave Roberts told reporters that the Dodgers plan to activate Louis Coleman from the disabled list before Friday’s game (Thursday is actually an off day for Los Angeles, except for the Dodgers All-Access event) and also bring back reliever Casey Fien from the minors.

That would give the Dodgers a minimum of 14 pitchers, pending more possible additions as the month progresses. A recall of Luis Avilan and Josh Fields, who pitched recently for the Dodgers, would give them 16 arms. Brett Anderson, Scott Kazmir, Brandon McCarthy and Josh Ravin are on the 15-day disabled list, and so with the flick of paperwork, the pitching staff could number as many as 20.

Hopes remain for the return from the 60-day disabled list of Clayton Kershaw to the starting rotation and Alex Wood to the bullpen, and then you possibly have 22 pitchers. (That seems like a lot.) In those cases, however, someone currently on the 40-man roster would have to be displaced.

That’s why, despite his strong finish at Triple-A Oklahoma City and highly regarded prospect status, Jose De Leon — who is not on the 40-man roster yet — might not see action for Los Angeles this year. It hasn’t been ruled out, but it’s predicated on the status of the aforementioned score of pitchers.

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Shawn Zarraga to back up at catcher tonight, while Scott Van Slyke is moved to 60-day DL

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Giants at Dodgers, 7:10 p.m.
Kiké Hernandez, CF
Howie Kendrick, LF
Corey Seager, SS
Justin Turner, 3B
Adrián González, 1B
Yasmani Grandal, C
Rob Segedin, RF
Charlie Culberson, 2B
Ross Stripling, P

By Jon Weisman

With Carlos Ruiz not arriving from the Phillies until Friday, Shawn Zarraga will come from Triple-A Oklahoma City tonight to serve as the Dodgers’ backup catcher.

Scott Van Slyke, who went on the 15-day disabled list August 9, has been moved to the 60-day DL to make room for Zarraga on the 40-man roster, which means Van Slyke will be sidelined for the remainder of the regular season.

Relief pitcher Luis Avilan has been optioned to Oklahoma City to make room on the 25-man roster for Zarraga.

In addition, Rob Segedin has been reinstated from the paternity list after missing Wednesday’s game, and will start tonight in right field.

The 27-year-old Zarraga would be making his Major League debut if he gets in the game tonight. He has a .348 on-base percentage this year in a season split between Oklahoma City and Double-A Tulsa. Los Angeles acquired him in December 2014.

Oklahoma City’s Austin Barnes, normally next in line for the Dodgers at catcher, has been sidelined since Tuesday after getting hit by a pitch in the hand.

Also: With an eye toward a September return, Andre Ethier begins his rehab assignment tonight with Single-A Rancho Cucamonga.

Dodgers activate Hernandez, option Barnes

Kike Hernandez, Dave Roberts and Luke Walton and son pose prior to Saturday's game.

Kike Hernandez, Dave Roberts and Luke Walton and son pose prior to Saturday’s game.

Diamondbacks at Dodgers, 1:10 p.m.
Howie Kendrick, LF
Corey Seager, SS
Justin Turner, 3B
Scott Van Slyke, 1B
Yasmani Grandal, C
Yasiel Puig, RF
Kiké Hernandez, CF
Chris Taylor, 2B
Bud Norris, P

By Jon Weisman

One month and four days since his last game for the Dodgers, Kiké Hernandez has been activated from the disabled list, where he has been recovering from left rib cage inflammation.

To make room on the 25-man roster, Austin Barnes has been optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City. Barnes doubled in four at-bats during his most recent stint with the Dodgers.

Hernandez has a .280 on-base percentage while slugging .346 this season for Los Angeles.

In other recent news for the Dodgers, who scored runs in the seventh and ninth innings Saturday but fell to Arizona, 4-2 …

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Catcher steals make a rare return for Dodger offense

LOS ANGELES DODGERS V ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

Diamondbacks at Dodgers, 6:10 p.m.
Chase Utley, 2B
Corey Seager, SS
Justin Turner, 3B
Adrián González, 1B
Howie Kendrick, LF
Yasmani Grandal, C
Andrew Toles, RF
Joc Pederson, CF
Scott Kazmir, P

By Jon Weisman

In the very first game after A.J. Ellis stole his first base in the Majors on Wednesday, Yasmani Grandal stole his first base as a Dodger on Friday.

Grandal, whose steal came in his 191st game as a Dodger, did have three thefts with the Padres in 2014. Nevertheless, to say this week’s sequence of events was unusual is an understatement.

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Dodgers recall Austin Barnes, option Julio Urías

Dodgers at Cardinals, 5:15 p.m.
Chase Utley, 2B
Corey Seager, SS
Justin Turner, 3B
Adrián González, 1B
Howie Kendrick, LF
Yasmani Grandal, C
Joc Pederson, CF
Scott Van Slyke, RF
Brandon McCarthy, P

By Jon Weisman

Sorry for the sparse Dodger coverage this week: We’ve been on a family sightseeing trip to Washington D.C., and though I crossed paths with the team Wednesday at Nationals Park, I’ve mostly been focused on trying to spend one of these 52 weeks a year of fatherhood not tied to the computer.

It’s certainly been another eventful week in the world of the Dodgers, with some bursts from the offense twice out of the three games in Washington, and the transaction wire again hopping daily. This evening brings catcher-infielder Austin Barnes back to the Dodgers, with Julio Urías being thanked for his Thursday spot start (four innings, one run) before being handed a ticket back to Oklahoma City.

Barnes has a lovely .383 on-base percentage and .454 slugging percentage in 63 games with Oklahoma City this year, as well as 17 steals in 19 attempts. He is 2 for 19 in abbreviated action for Los Angeles in 2016.

Fortunately, Cary Osborne will be back tonight to wrap things up after the game. Here’s to a good one.

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