Dodger Thoughts

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

Tag: Gary Sheffield

Andre Ethier and Joc Pederson hit milestone homers

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By Jon Weisman

Sandwiching a home run in the same inning by Yasmani Grandal, Dodger outfielders Andre Ethier and Joc Pederson each hit fourth-inning blasts that made a bit of history tonight in Arizona.

Pederson’s home run, which almost predictably came after a first-inning walk and third-inning strikeout, was his 20th of the season, making him the first Dodger since Gary Sheffield in 2000 and fourth in Los Angeles Dodger history to have at least 20 homers and 50 walks before the All-Star Break.

The 23-year-old rookie is only the eighth Dodger rooke ever to have 20 homers in an entire season.

As my colleague Cary Osborne informed me last week, Pederson is ahead of the pace needed to become the first rookie in MLB history with at least 40 homers and 100 walks. Al Rosen came closest in 1957 with Cleveland, homering 37 times and walking 100.

Only two National League rookies have hit more homers before July 1 than Pederson: Wally Berger (22, 1930, Boston Braves) and Albert Pujols (21, 2001, St. Louis Cardinals).

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But let’s not forget Ethier. His home run was the 155th of his career, which the Dodgers’ public relations department noted put him in sole possession of ninth place on the Los Angeles Dodgers’ all-time list, ahead of Willie Davis.

It also gave the Dodgers six players with at least 10 homers before the All-Star Break for the first time since 1979, which admittedly was a team that finished the first half of the season in last place. Grandal, who hit his 11th home run, is one of those six players.

Andre Ethier and the 1988 draft

Ethier Grantland

By Jon Weisman

And with the 1,390th pick in the 1988 amateur draft, the Dodgers select 6-year-old outfielder Andre Ethier …

Well, not exactly, but over at Grantland, Ben Lindbergh did something I’ve always wanted to do but never attempted — see how far back you can trace the acquisition of a given player.

Amazingly, he’s done it for all 30 MLB teams, and as you can see above, he routes Andre Ethier all the way back to the 1988 draft, when the outfielder wasn’t quite two months past his sixth birthday. (Click the image to enlarge.)

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In case you missed it: Kershaw and Maddux at the top step


By Jon Weisman

Step right up …

  • Despite their 22-year age difference, the careers of Clayton Kershaw and Greg Maddux intersected in 2008. Bill Shaikin of the Times has a nice story on this. (Jon SooHoo’s photos above were taken during the introductions before Game 1 of the 2008 National League Championship Series.)
  • With this year’s Hall of Fame election behind us, Matthew Pouliot of Hardball Talk looks ahead to the new candidates for next year’s balloting. The group includes three former Dodgers: Pedro Martinez, Gary Sheffield and Nomar Garciaparra (not to mention 2010 Dodger Spring Training invitee Brian Giles). Next year will also be Don Mattingly’s final year on the Baseball Writers’ Association of America ballot.
  • Mike Piazza’s greatness, “both old- and new-school,” is assessed by Eno Sarris at Fangraphs.
  • The deckhead for Bryan Curtis’ story at Grantland: “We know what MLB players were doing during the steroid era. Here’s what baseball writers did.”
  • Lose yourself in a baseball stats whirlpool with Ben Schmidt’s Baseline Cherrypicker tool (via Deadspin).
  • On video at, Adrian Gonzalez talked about the importance of Don Mattingly’s contract extension and looked ahead to the coming season.

Homer drought in left field … not for the first time

Dodgers at Pirates, 4:05 p.m.
Shane Victorino, LF
Mark Ellis, 2B
Matt Kemp, CF
Andre Ethier, RF
Hanley Ramirez, SS
James Loney, 1B
Adam Kennedy, 3B
A.J. Ellis, C
Aaron Harang, P

To say the least, this has been a lean year of home runs from Dodger leftfielders. The full list: Juan Rivera on May 6, Bobby Abreu on June 2, Elian Herrera on July 5, Jerry Hairston Jr. on July 7. That’s it. Four.

To my surprise, however, this kind of year isn’t unprecedented. In fact, the Dodgers aren’t on pace to have their worst year in leftfielder home runs since moving to Los Angeles — and the low-offense 1960s have nothing to do with it.

Lowest single-season HR totals for Dodger LF

Year	G	HR	Players
2012	115	4	Abreu, Hairston, Herrera, Rivera
1958	154	6	Cimoli, Demeter, Fairly, Gilliam, Howard, Roseboro
1974	162	7	Buckner 7
1976	162	7	Buckner 7
1970	161	8	Crawford 4, Mota 3, Kosco
1981	110	8	Baker 8
1973	162	9	Buckner 3, Crawford 2, Joshua 2, Ferguson, Paciorek
1975	162	9	Buckner 6, Lacy 2, Crawford
2011	161	9	Rivera 4, Gwynn 2, Gibbons, Oeltjen, Sands
1992	162	10	Davis 5, Webster 3, Daniels 2
2005	162	10	Ledee 3, Grabowski 3, Repko 2, Werth 2

The lowest total of home runs by leftfielders for the Dodgers in the 1960s was 14, in 1965 and 1966.

Here are the top five seasons since 1958:

Year	G	HR	Players
2000	162	48	Sheffield 43, Aven 2, Donnels 2, Leyritz
2001	162	42	Sheffield 36, Grissom 5, Aven
1999	162	34	Sheffield 34
1990	162	32	Daniels 27, Gwynn 3, Gibson 2
1977	162	30	Baker 30

Dodger leftfielders hit more home runs in 2000 than Dodger leftfielders have hit since 2009 (45).

Sheffield hit his 43 homers in 2000 in only 139 games … but how ’bout that Bruce Aven, huh?

Coming soon — home run droughts at first base for the Dodgers.

* * *

Cuban prospect Yasiel Puig has been promoted to Single-A Rancho Cucamonga. Mike Petriello of Mike Scioscia’s Tragic Illness has more.

Update: Elian Herrera has been called up in place of Jerry Hairston Jr., who was placed on the disabled list with left hip inflammation.

Today’s Dodger Facebook status updates

Kyle Terada/US PresswireChad Billingsley is digging fielding practice today at Camelback Ranch.

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