Dodger Thoughts

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

Tag: Drew Butera

Dodgers trade Butera in first deal with Angels since ’76

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

Drew Butera’s time in a Dodger uniform has officially come to a close, with the Dodgers trading him to the Angels for a player to be named later or cash considerations. Butera was designated for assignment December 5.

This was the first Dodger-Angels trade involving a Major Leaguer since the Dodgers acquired catcher Ellie Rodriguez from the Angels for outfielder Orlando Alvarez on March 21, 1976. That year, Rodriguez batted .212 with a .400 on-base percentage in 90 plate appearances, while Alvarez went 7 for 42 for the Angels, in what would be the final MLB season for both.

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Dodgers claim catcher Ryan Lavarnway from Red Sox, designate Drew Butera for assignment

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By Jon Weisman

Ryan Lavarnway, a 27-year-old catcher who spent most of last season with Boston’s Triple-A team in Pawtucket, has been claimed on waivers by the Dodgers, who have designated Drew Butera for assignment.

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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.

What does Yasiel Puig’s page in a Japan Series program look like?

puig japan

It looks like this. Thanks to Ben Platt of for sharing. Drew Butera and the program cover follow.

— Jon Weisman

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Dodgers show pride and giving side

Justin Turner gets ready to drop the ceremonial puck between the Kings' Dustin Brown and the Panthers' Willie Mitchell. (Juan Ocampo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

Justin Turner gets ready to drop the ceremonial puck between the Kings’ Dustin Brown and the Panthers’ Willie Mitchell. (Juan Ocampo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

111814JO_LAD_USOBy Jon Weisman

Dodgers Pride Night at Staples Center, hosted by our friends at the Los Angeles Kings, took place Tuesday. Click this link to visit a Juan Ocampo photo gallery from the evening, and click here for video.

Also on Tuesday, Tommy Lasorda, Ned Colletti and Tim and Lori Wallach helped serve Thanksgiving meals to approximately 300 service members at the 9th annual Thanksgiving Dinner for the Troops at the Bob Hope USO, located at Los Angeles International Airport. The event was part of the Dodgers’ 2014 Season of Giving.


And on his last off day before returning home from the Japan All-Star Series, Drew Butera joined Jeff Beliveau of the Rays in visiting a children’s hospital. David Venn has more at

Ben Platt/

Ben Platt/

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Sunday slice: At the Tokyo Dome

Kaz Ishii and Takashi Saito were on hand at today's game. (Ben Platt/

Kaz Ishii and Takashi Saito were on hand at today’s game. (Ben Platt/

Enjoy this selection of images from Sunday in Japan.

— Jon Weisman

Yasiel Puig signing autographs before Sunday's game (Yuki Taguchi/MLB Photos)

Yasiel Puig signing autographs before Sunday’s game (Yuki Taguchi/MLB Photos)

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Puig, Butera contribute to MLB exhibition victory in Japan

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Ben Platt/

Ben Platt/

By Jon Weisman

Yasiel Puig had the first RBI of the game with this single to right field in what ultimately became an 8-7 exhibition victory in Japan for the MLB team over a team made up players from the Hanshin Tigers and Yomiuri Giants.

Puig’s Dodger teammate Drew Butera had a key play after an 8-1 MLB lead had been cut to a single run. Butera picked off the tying run at second base in the bottom of the eighth inning.

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Puig went 1 for 4 in the game, while Butera, who entered in the seventh inning, struck out in his only plate appearance.

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Defense, defense

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Though it was ultimately in vain, the Dodger defense put on a show Saturday. Take a look.

— Jon Weisman

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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.

Dodgers Top 40: The best plays of the first half

By Jon Weisman

How exciting a 2014 has it been for the Dodgers? I started out planning to pick out the top 10 plays of the first half of the season, then (after realizing that Dee Gordon could practically fill that quota by himself) saw that list balloon to 40.

So here, in all their glory (and in an unplanned tribute to Casey Kasem), are the biggest thrills of the first 81 games. Thanks to for the videos, as well as pieces of text here and there.

Now, prepare to lose yourself …

* * *

March 30 at San Diego: Hyun-Jin Ryu fields a sharp comebacker and throws to home to start a double play and escape a bases-loaded jam in the first.
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‘Where the Action Is’: Dodger catchers’ roundtable

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CatchersRoundtableStills_04By Jon Weisman

Our big story in the June issue of Dodger Insider magazine was a roundtable with catchers A.J. Ellis, Drew Butera and Tim Federowicz about all the ins and outs of their position.

It’s an interesting, far-ranging and often funny chat, filmed while Ellis was on the disabled list and Butera and Federowicz were both on the active roster.

Thanks to the Dodger video production team for putting together the highlight package above, and thanks to Ellis, Butera and Federowicz for their time.

Below, the full print version of the big magazine feature (click pages to enlarge a bit). There’s more great content like this every month in Dodger Insider magazine.

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Notebook: More Josh Beckett goodness


Reds at Dodgers, 5:10 p.m.
Dee Gordon, 2B
Carl Crawford, LF
Yasiel Puig, RF
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Andre Ethier, CF
Justin Turner, 3B
Drew Butera, C
Erisbel Arruebarrena, SS
Hyun-Jin Ryu, P

By Jon Weisman

Here’s a bunch of news, notes, links and quotes in the afterglow of the past 24 hours:

  • Beckett’s no-hitter, in case you didn’t notice, was the Dodgers’ first complete game of the season and first since Hyun-Jin Ryu threw an eight-inning complete game in a 2-1 loss to Colorado on September 16. The Dodgers hadn’t had an individual shutout since Zack Greinke’s two-hit masterpiece on July 13.
  • At age 34 and 10 days, Beckett is the third-oldest no-hit pitcher in Dodger history, behind Sal Maglie (39) and Dazzy Vance (34 and 193 days).

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Drew Butera’s perfect inning

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By Jon Weisman

Dodger catcher Drew Butera looked pretty great coming in to pitch the ninth inning of the Dodgers’ 13-3 loss to Miami on Wednesday, though he did not admit to being thrilled by his spontaneous success.

“It wasn’t fun, because we were down, we were losing, which is why I was in there,” Butera told

Nevertheless, Butera brought some welcome heat on a 90-plus degree evening, capping his second career shutout inning by striking out Marcell Ozuna on three pitches, the last a 94-mph fastball.

And, Butera admits, there was some levity.

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Yasiel Puig turns spring struggles upside down Down Under

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By Jon Weisman

Appropriately, it didn’t get talked about all that much, but you could still catch some people muttering and snickering about Yasiel Puig’s homerless sub-.150 Spring Training batting average.

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