Dodger Thoughts

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

Tag: Dee Gordon (Page 1 of 8)

Dodgers hold team meeting before batting practice

Padres at Dodgers, 7:10 p.m.
Chase Utley, 2B
Corey Seager, SS
Justin Turner, 3B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Yasiel Puig, RF
Yasmani Grandal, C
Carl Crawford, LF
Joc Pederson, CF
Alex Wood, P

By Jon Weisman

In the wake of their four-game losing streak, the Dodgers held a closed-door meeting at 3:30 p.m. in the clubhouse that Dave Roberts said essentially addressed the same issues he brought up after Thursday’s game.

“You just got to get back to the fundamentals and trying to play clean, crisp baseball and play every pitch,” Roberts said. “I think that there are signs of that. … Whether we’re winning games or not winning games, I still think there’s a process that needs to be in place, and you just don’t want things to get away from you. So right now, it’s kind of hit the reset button a little bit.”

Among other issues, Roberts has the sense that Dodger batters are pressing at the plate.

“You know, it’s funny — I think it’s just guys are trying too hard,” he said. “And you hear it all the time when guys aren’t swinging well, that guys want to do it so bad, it’s a little bit, ‘Try a little less hard.’ Because guys just start swinging the bat, and you start coming out of the strike zone.”

One thing not addressed in today’s meeting was the 80-game suspension of former Dodger infielder Dee Gordon that was announced late Thursday. Reaction to that news is amply covered at a number of sites, but Roberts echoed the feeling of many.

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Clayton Kershaw, All-Star jokester

Clayton and Cali Ann Kershaw (John Grieshop/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Clayton and Cali Ann Kershaw (John Grieshop/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Here’s an anecdote that’s an antidote to any Tuesday morning Dodger blues. It’s from Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford — yes, that’s right — at the Brandon and Brandon blog (via MLB.com/blogs):

… Besides being an honor, the All-Star Game was one of the most fun experiences I’ve ever had. When you play against guys, you form an impression of what they’re like. Then you get to spend a little time together and you sometimes see another side. For instance, Adrian Gonzalez. I could never get a read on him because he never really talks to you at first base, unlike some other first basemen. But I talked to him a bit in Cincinnati and he seemed like a really good guy. He was loose and having a great time in the dugout.

So was Kershaw. When the first-base umpire called a foul ball against us, Kershaw yelled in a high-pitched voice, “C’mon, Jerry! That was fair!’’ Then he turned to Dee Gordon next to him and in his own voice said — real loud — “Yeah, Dee! You tell him!’’  He was really funny, which is not what I think of him when I’m standing in the batter’s box. …

— Jon Weisman

Andrew Friedman speaks about Wednesday’s trades

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By Jon Weisman

In the wee hours, Dodger president of baseball operations Andrew Freidman discussed Wednesday’s exchange of players with the Marlins and Angels. Above is some video, below are some excerpts …

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Dodgers sign Barney, retain rights to other arbitration-eligible players

By Jon Weisman

As the 9 p.m. deadline approached tonight to retain the rights to the players eligible for salary arbitration or cut bait, the Dodgers had eight players on the docket — including outfielder Chris Heisey, acquired hours earlier.

Shortly after the deadline, the Dodgers announced they were keeping all eight on board, signing Darwin Barney to a one-year deal and tendering contracts to catchers A.J. Ellis and Drew Butera, infielders Dee Gordon and Justin Turner, pitchers Kenley Jansen and Juan Nicasio, and Heisey.

In theory, all of the players besides Barney could go to salary arbitration, though few if any will.

Just another day in the offseason …

Day in the offseason life

… for Dan Haren, A.J. Ellis and Dee Gordon.

— Jon Weisman

Kershaw, Puig lead as Dodgers grab 15 GIBBY noms

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By Jon Weisman

The GIBBY Awards aren’t named after Kirk Gibson specifically, though the awkwardness of the full name — Greatness in Baseball Yearly — suggests a determined attempt to arrive at that acronym. In any case, the Dodgers are nominated for several in 2014, and you can vote online through November 7. (Winners will be announced December 6.)

San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles DodgersClayton Kershaw and Yasiel Puig were each nominated in three categories. Here is your full list of Dodger nominees:

  • MLB MVP: Kershaw
  • Starting pitcher: Kershaw
  • Closer: Kenley Jansen
  • Bounceback player: Matt Kemp
  • Manager: Don Mattingly
  • Play: Puig’s double play, July 5 at Colorado
  • Outfield throw: Puig, September 22 vs. San Francisco
  • Moment: Vin Scully announces his return for 2015, July 29
  • Hitting performance: Dee Gordon 5 for 6 with three steals, May 3 at Miami
  • Hitting performance: Puig, 4 for 4 with three triples, July 25 at San Francisco
  • Pitching performance: Josh Beckett no-hitter, May 25 at Philadelphia
  • Pitching performance: Kershaw no-hitter, June 18 vs. Colorado
  • Oddity: Dodgers’ defensive wall, August 29 at San Diego
  • Walkoff: Hanley Ramirez’s 12th-inning homer, August 2 vs. Chicago
  • Cut4 topic: Mo’ne Davis at Dodger Stadium

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How Dee Gordon made things shake in 2014

Despite a second-half decline in walks, Dee Gordon finished 2014 with career highs in on-base percentage and OPS, and a career low in pitches chased outside the strike zone. (Juan Ocampo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

Gordon, Kershaw named Sporting News NL All-Stars

Not only did Dodger starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw make the Sporting News’ National League All-Star team, but second baseman Dee Gordon did as well.

Gordon topped runners-up Neil Walker of the Pirates, Daniel Murphy of the Mets and Chase Utley of the Phillies in a vote by baseball executives. Kershaw was a unanimous choice.

By Cary Osborne

Last year in October, Dee Gordon was on the Dodgers’ postseason roster, but practically in name only. He played in two games, both as a pinch-runner. Gordon was in the playoffs because he was fast — and only because he was fast.

This year, Gordon was still fast, but he also became much, much more. But as Gordon will tell you, that development, however ironically, was a long, slow process.

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Yasiel Puig, Dee Gordon and the strike zone in the NLDS

NLDS Game 1-Los Angeles Dodgers vs St.Louis Cardinals

By Jon Weisman

The Dodger offense has been setting the table, but that table has been upside-down.

Thanks to A.J. Ellis, Clayton Kershaw, Andre Ethier and Zack Greinke, the bottom two slots in the Dodger batting order have combined to go 8 for 13 with a walk, two doubles and a home run in the National League Division Series. Overall, Dodger hitters have a .388 on-base percentage and .493 slugging percentage through the first two games.

The top of the order has been less consistent. Dee Gordon is 1 for 9 with a walk and four strikeouts. Yasiel Puig started off 2 for 3 with a walk and that pitch that hit him, but since then he has struck out five consecutive times, immediately re-launching the easy narrative that he has become too emotional and undisciplined.

While Puig’s swing zone has become too wide, he hasn’t been going down easy.

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Dodgers Top 50: The best plays of the second half

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

At the halfway point of the 2014 season, we gave you the Dodgers’ top 40 plays of the first 81 games. Without further ado, as part of our drumbeat of excitement heading into the postseason, here are the Dodgers’ top plays of the second half — with a bonus 10 to deliver a nice 50.

Yeah, you’re gonna want to be here a while …

* * *

June 29 vs. St. Louis: Adrian Gonzalez teaches the Cardinals a lesson about the shift.

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Business before pleasure on the season’s final day

Colorado Rockies at Los Angeles Dodgers

For more photos from Saturday, visit LA Photog Blog.

Rockies at Dodgers, 1:10 p.m.
Darwin Barney, 2B
Yasiel Puig, CF
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Matt Kemp, RF
Carl Crawford, LF
A.J. Ellis, C
Miguel Rojas, 3B
Erisbel Arruebarrena, SS
Zack Greinke, P

By Jon Weisman

Bullet points seem like a nice way to go for Game 162.

  • Don Mattingly said everyone is optimistic that Dee Gordon, who left Saturday’s game with a sore hip and had an MRI, would be ready Friday for Game 1 of the National League Division Series.
  • Hanley Ramirez had no ill effects today after fouling a ball off his knee Saturday.
  • Hyun-Jin Ryu had a successful bullpen session today. Assuming no setbacks Monday, he would be set for a midweek simulated game and on track to start Game 3 of the NLDS on October 6.
  • Mattingly was a bit coy about what manager-for-the-day Juan Uribe would actually do today, but one thing he was clear about was that nothing would be done to embarrass any players or umpires. Any arguments, for example, Mattingly will handle. But while Uribe will be given guidelines about who to play and for how long, it does appear strategic decisions will be left in Uribe’s hands. Uribe himself will not play.
  • Similarly, pitching coach du jour Clayton Kershaw will have a schedule of who is supposed to get work behind Zack Greinke, but he presumably will be the one going to the mound to make any moves or talk shop.
  • Kershaw himself threw about 30-odd pitches in a simulated game to keep himself fresh.
  • Mattingly joked that he was going to check to see if he and Uribe would be switching salaries for the day.
  • Going into play today, Gordon led the MLB stolen-base race by eight and in triples by two. Adrian Gonzalez led Mike Trout in the drive for the big-league RBI crown by two. Stephen Strasburg and Johnny Cueto did end up passing Kershaw on the NL strikeout list.

A rare start at second base against a righty for Justin Turner

Los Angeles Dodgers vs San Diego Padres

For more photo highlights from Tuesday, visit LA Photog Blog.

Padres at Dodgers, 7:10 p.m.
Yasiel Puig, CF
Justin Turner, 2B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Matt Kemp, RF
Hanley Ramirez, SS
Carl Crawford, LF
Juan Uribe, 3B
A.J. Ellis, C
Dan haren, P

By Jon Weisman

Since Australia in March, Dee Gordon has been as regular as they come against right-handed starting pitching in 2014, but the charms of hot-hitting Justin Turner have given Don Mattingly the opportunity to give the speedy second baseman to have an extra day of rest heading into Thursday’s off day.

Turner has a .437 on-base percentage and .517 slugging percentage in 229 plate appearances since May 11.

Gordon has been on a hot streak of his own in the past week, going 10 for 29 with a walk and two doubles for a .367 on-base percentage and .414 slugging percentage. For what it’s worth, Mattingly mentioned Gordon not having a strong history against Kennedy (4 for 21, including a double and a triple, with one walk and six strikeouts).

Some other quick hits (some courtesy of the Dodgers’ PR department):

  • Paco Rodriguez threw a bullpen session today at 100 percent and it went really well, according to Mattingly, who added that the key is how the lefty reliever feels the day after.
  • Over the past month, Carl Crawford is first in the big leagues in batting average (.405), fourth in on-base percentage (.453) and seventh in slugging percentage (.557).
  • Though it has taken him a month to do it because of how rarely the Dodgers have been facing lefties, Scott Van Slyke has quietly put together a 10-game hitting streak with a .985 OPS since August 8.
  • Matt Kemp has an even longer hitting streak going: 15 games. His career-long is 19.
  • Adrian Gonzalez is on pace to become the first Dodger to lead NL in sacrifice flies in back-to-back years since Gil Hodges (1954-55).

Dee Gordon in a stolen-base race with Billy Hamilton

LOS ANGELES DODGERS V SAN DIEGO PADRES

For more photo highlights from Monday, visit LA Photog Blog.

Padres at Dodgers, 7:10 p.m.
Dee Gordon, 2B
Hanley Ramirez, SS
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Matt Kemp, RF
Carl Crawford, LF
Juan Uribe, 3B
Yasiel Puig, CF
A.J. Ellis, C
Roberto Hernandez, P

By Jon Weisman

The Major League stolen base title is nearly up for grabs, though it would be an exaggeration to say Cincinnati outfielder Billy Hamilton is coming up fast on Dodger second baseman Dee Gordon. Each player has one stolen base in the first eight days of September, with Gordon ending a seven-game drought in the first inning Monday.

Gordon now has 59 steals and Hamilton 55. After Gordon stole five bases in three games from August 13-15 to take a 12-steal lead, Hamilton narrowed the gap in the last half of August, stealing 11 bases to Gordon’s three.

Neither, clearly, is going to have the kind of September that Maury Wills had in 1962, when he stole 27 bases in the Dodgers’ final 27 scheduled games, to reach 100 on the nose. Wills then stole four more bases in the three-game playoff against the Giants, October 1-3.

Both Gordon and Hamilton do remain likely to become the first players to steal at least 60 bases in the big leagues since Michael Bourn in 2011. The last Dodger to do so was Juan Pierre, who stole 64 bases in 2007, and the last Dodger to get more than that was Davey Lopes with 77 in 1975.

Gordon’s rate of success has fallen from 83 percent before the All-Star Break (43 of 52) to 67 percent since (16 of 24). Opportunities have declined in part because he has walked four times with 38 strikeouts since the All-Star Break.

* * *

Captured in photography: Clayton Kershaw tosses the Dodgers’ three-error play to the past. Photo by Juan Ocampo (click to enlarge).

LOS ANGELES DODGERS V SAN DIEGO PADRES

Dodgers’ fourtitude in 12th isn’t enough

 

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By Jon Weisman

The radical, four-on-the-floor finish to one of the crazier 3-2 games you’ll see might not soon be forgotten. Then again it might, if these kinds of extreme defensive shifts become more commonplace.

Two things strike me about this moment of the Dodgers placing four fielders between first and second base:

  1. How close it came to working to perfection. Even with Dee Gordon’s throw bouncing home, the Dodgers missed the inning-ending double play by a hair.
  2. Because Andre Ethier was still officially a center fielder at this point even though he was stationed at first (with Adrian Gonzalez to his right), we just missed seeing a 4-2-8 double play.

Gordon had some rough times in Friday’s loss to the Padres, going 0 for 6 with a throwing error, though he hit a monster fly ball with one on in the fifth that deserved to be a go-ahead home run (inside or outside the park), only for Rymer Liriano to flag it at the top of the fence.

Actually, the lingering sensation from Friday’s game might center on Hanley Ramirez, who came within a triple of the cycle even though he injured himself again, this time slipping on a wet base – and then getting called out via replay on his attempt to make it back to first. Ramirez, who hit an even more monstrous fly ball in the eighth to actually tie the game, looked Pedro Guerreroesque circling the bases (fans of a certain age will recall Guerrero hurting his back on a home run swing and barely making it around the diamond).

The Dodgers have had a welcome week’s worth of good news on the injury front, but that’s now in jeopardy.

Dee Gordon, Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp pour themselves into ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Dee bucket

By Jon Weisman

Some Dodgers have taken on the ALS Ice Bucket challenge, to fight what’s commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Having donated money and my 1985 Scirocco to the ALS Association myself in the past, I’m happy to see it.

Above: Dee Gordon. Below: Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp.

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Kemp bucket

Rotation rolls on, Dodgers roll home after 6-4 win completes 6-3 trip

Back endBy Jon Weisman

With Roberto Hernandez scattering three hits and four walks over his six innings in the Dodgers’ 6-4 victory at Atlanta today — admittedly needing 118 pitches, second-most for a Dodger this year behind only Josh Beckett in his no-hitter — the Dodgers’ No. 4, 5 and 6 starters continued their roadtrip dominance, lowering their ERA to 2.01 with 7.5 strikeouts per nine innings.

Seemingly toying with the Braves offensively, the Dodgers took a 5-1 lead into the eighth inning. Dee Gordon (3 for 4 with a walk, two bunt singles and two steals) scored the first of his four runs while coffee was still being sipped in Los Angeles, and Drew Butera added a big blow with a two-run homer in the second inning. Los Angeles had 58 baserunners in the four-game series in Atlanta, including at least 10 hits in each game.

Yasiel Puig was picked off again and thrown out at home but had three hits, a hit by pitch and the defensive play of the game.

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The Dodgers had to hang on after Brian Wilson gave up hits to the first three batters in the bottom of the eighth, all of whom scored. Kenley Jansen allowed one inherited runner to score before striking out Evan Gattis to end the eighth inning. Adrian Gonzalez drove in his second run of the game in the ninth for some welcome insurance. Jansen then completed the save in the ninth, despite allowing a single and a double, finishing with four strikeouts.

Los Angeles finished off a 6-3 trip against the Angels, Brewers and Atlanta, and the pitching staff had a 2.65 ERA. The Dodgers are 16-10 (.615) since the All-Star Break, 15-8 (.652) against teams with winning records.

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