Dodger Thoughts

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

Tag: Jose Dominguez

Dodgers acquire pitchers Peralta, Liberatore from Rays

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By Jon Weisman

It was Friday morning in Tampa Bay but Thursday evening in Los Angeles when the Rays and Dodgers announced a trade: The Dodgers have acquired pitchers Joel Peralta and Adam Liberatore from Andrew Friedman’s former team in exchange for pitchers Jose Dominguez and Greg Harris.

Peralta, who turns 39 in March, had a 4.41 ERA and 10.5 strikeouts per nine innings in 69 games for Tampa Bay this year. His ERA in 2014 was deceptive; according to Fangraphs, his xFIP (expected fielding-independent ERA) was 3.11. With Jamey Wright a free agent, Peralta takes the crown as oldest active Dodger from 35-year-old Juan Uribe, who was the senior senor for a few weeks there.

Liberatore, a 27-year-old minor-league lefty who will also be added to the 40-man roster, had a 1.66 ERA and 11.9 strikeouts per nine innings in 54 games for Triple-A Durham.

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They join a Dodger bullpen mix that includes Kenley Jansen, J.P. Howell, Brian Wilson, Pedro Baez, Daniel Coulombe, Yimi Garcia, Brandon League and Paco Rodriguez, among others.

Going to Tampa Bay will be the hard-throwing 24-year-old Dominguez, who struck out 12 in 14 2/3 career MLB innings while allowing 10 earned runs, and Harris, a 20-year-old righty who had a 4.45 ERA and 9.5 strikeouts per nine innings in 87 innings for Single-A Great Lakes.

Hyun-Jin Ryu goes on disabled list

Colorado Rockies at Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

Clayton Kershaw might be close to a return to active duty, but an optimal starting rotation for the Dodgers will have to wait for another couple of weeks at least.

Hyun-Jun Ryu has been placed on the disabled list, retroactive to April 28, with left shoulder inflammation as one of a series of roster moves today by the Dodgers.

Los Angeles is also sending reliever Paco Rodriguez and 26th man Red Patterson to Albuquerque, and recalling utility man Chone Figgins and reliever Jose Dominguez.

Ryu has pitched shutout ball in four of his seven starts this year, allowed two runs in another and was hit hard in this third start and his seventh, both day games in Los Angeles. Assuming they don’t want to start Zack Greinke on three days’ rest, the Dodgers will need to make another roster move to replace Ryu for Sunday’s start against Miami’s Jose Fernandez. Tentatively, Zack Greinke and Kershaw (if activated from the DL) are scheduled to pitch Monday and Tuesday in Washington.

Rodriguez allowed three runs and five baserunners in 1 1/3 innings in his two outings since returning from Albuquerque earlier this week, while Dominguez has been scored upon in three of his four MLB outings in 2014, allowing six runs in five innings. This will be the fourth separate stint with the Dodgers for Dominguez. After making the trip to Australia, he was optioned March 29, recalled April 2, optioned April 9, recalled April 21 and optioned April 27 before being recalled again today.

Patterson pitched 4 2/3 innings in Thursday’s nightcap, allowing one run while looking good in his middle three innings. Figgins has gone 7 for 25 with six walks for a .419 on-base percentage with the Isotopes.

April 27 pregame: They walk among us

Rockies at Dodgers, 1:10 p.m.
Dee Gordon, 2B
Yasiel Puig, RF
Matt Kemp, CF
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Juan Uribe, 3B
Scott Van Slyke, LF
Justin Turner, SS
Tim Federowicz, C
Hyun-Jin Ryu, P

By Jon Weisman

When Chris Withrow walked three batters and a veritable tightrope in the eighth inning of the Dodgers’ 6-2 victory over Colorado on Saturday before escaping with strikeouts of Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki, it was part of a surprising trend. Dodger relievers have walked eight more batters than Dodger starters this season, in 57 fewer innings (4.7 walks per nine innings).

Withrow has struck out 18 and allowed only two hits in his 12 1/3 innings this season, but he has walked 10. Having the most trouble is Brian Wilson, who has walked six batters and hit two others in his four innings (along with eight hits allowed).

The relievers obviously aren’t trying to walk people, but as soon as they can reduce the free passes, the more streamlined innings should help ease the collective bullpen workload.

* * *

Carlos Triunfel, whom the Dodgers claimed on waivers from Seattle on April 2, has been called up as a reserve infielder. Hanley Ramirez, who has a right thumb bruise, had a scheduled day off today and isn’t expected to go on the disabled list, but the Dodgers wanted some more infield depth. Jose Dominguez has been sent back to Albuquerque.

April 21 pregame: Dodgers option Figgins, call up Dominguez

Phillies at Dodgers, 7:10 p.m.
Yasiel Puig, RF
Justin Turner, 2B
Hanley Ramirez, SS
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Matt Kemp, CF
Scott Van Slyke, LF
Juan Uribe, 3B
Tim Federowicz, C
Paul Maholm, P

By Jon Weisman

To address the rather constant use of the bullpen during this stretch of 13 games in a row (not to mention 29 in 30 days), the Dodgers have recalled pitcher Jose Dominguez and optioned Chone Figgins to Albuquerque.

Don Mattingly called the use of the short bench “a temporary thing,” but said it has been something the Dodgers have been contemplating because as great as the starting pitching has been, the starters haven’t been pitching past the sixth inning very often. Extra-inning games in recent days haven’t helped.

“Every day, it seems like we’re walking a tightrope,” Mattingly said.

In case you’re wondering, Paco Rodriguez wasn’t eligible to be recalled because 10 days haven’t passed since he was optioned, and he’s not replacing a player on the disabled list. Figgins will use the opportunity to get some playing time in after registering only nine plate appearances and one putout since the 2014 season began 31 days ago.

“At the end of the day, I don’t think it’s going to be horrible for Figgy to go down and get 25-30 at-bats,” Mattingly said.

Meanwhile …

  • Clayton Kershaw is scheduled for a bullpen session Tuesday.
  • A.J. Ellis is, if anything, ahead of schedule in his rehab from knee surgery, writes Ken Gurnick of
  • This is fun: Sharon Henry of the Register sketches out Vin Scully’s tools of the trade.
  • Over the years, Zack Greinke has tinkered with his pitches to stay ahead of hitters, writes Dave Cameron for Fox Sports.
  • Dodger Moments with Ross Porter, noted in our pre-Opening Day feature on the former Dodger announcer, has a website.
  • Why is the MLB strikeout rate continuing to rise? Chris Moran looks into the issue at Beyond the Box Score.
  • Eric Stephen of True Blue L.A. notes the significance of Kenley Jansen striking out Paul Goldschmidt on a slider Saturday.
  • has a lengthy excerpt of John Rosengren’s “The Fight of their Lives: How Juan Marichal and John Roseboro Turned Baseball’s Ugliest Brawl into a Story of Forgiveness and Redemption”
  • Author W.P. Kinsella describes how “Shoeless Joe” became “Field of Dreams” at Remember, the Dodgers are showing “Field of Dreams” at Dodger Stadium immediately after the game against the Rockies on Saturday.
  • A different one of the names from my baseball book-reading youth, Zander Hollander, passed away at age 91.

April 9 pregame: Josh Beckett returns

Wilson 4-9-14

By Jon Weisman

Josh Beckett has officially come off the disabled list to pitch tonight’s game for the Dodgers against a player he was once in a trade with, Anibal Sanchez.

To make room for Beckett on the roster, Jose Dominguez was optioned to Albuquerque.

With Beckett’s return, the Dodger pitching staff crowds up some more, and Dominguez’s travels offer only a temporary respite.  Brian Wilson (left) marked his 10th day on the disabled list with a bullpen session of about 20 pitches off the Dodger Stadium mound today.

Beckett is not expected to have a long first outing, Don Mattingly said, adding that Paul Maholm would be available out of the bullpen tonight.

What else can I tell you?

Tigers at Dodgers, 7:10 p.m.
Dee Gordon, 2B
Carl Crawford, LF
Hanley Ramirez, SS
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Andre Ethier, RF
Matt Kemp, CF
Juan Uribe, 3B
Tim Federowicz, C
Josh Beckett, P
  • “The sensation that Dodgers right-hander Chad Billingsley felt while pitching Sunday in a rehab start was scar tissue breaking in his surgically repaired elbow and not a major setback in his comeback from Tommy John surgery,” reports Earl Bloom for
  • Tuesday’s showdown between Kenley Jansen and Miguel Cabrera has been documented by Grant Brisbee of SB Nation as “the best at-bat in MLB so far” in 2014, while for Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports, it was a reminder of “what makes baseball great.”
  • A.J. Ellis is celebrating his 33rd birthday today by beginning his rehab from Tuesday’s knee surgery.
  • Homerless streaks are in the news because of Kansas City’s early season drought. As Joe Posnanski notes for Hardball Talk, the 1963 and 1967 Dodgers had some of baseball’s biggest season-opening homer droughts.
  • Briefly a Dodger Seth Rosin was designated for assignment by Texas. Rosin pitched in three games for Texas, allowing no runs in three innings across his first two, then three runs in one inning on Monday.

April 2 pregame: Lather, rinse, repeat

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

By Jon Weisman

For all their early season injuries, the Dodgers have the exact same starting eight position players, batting in the same order, for the third straight game.

That hasn’t happened since September 3-5, 2012, when Don Mattingly offered the following octet:

Mark Ellis, 2B
Shane Victorino, LF
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Matt Kemp, CF
Hanley Ramirez, SS
Andre Ethier, RF
Luis Cruz, 3B
A.J. Ellis, C

* * *

Tyson Ross, the starting pitcher for the Padres tonight, struck out 10 of 20 Dodgers the last time he faced them, on September 1. The first time he faced them, on April 17, he got his first Major League hit but hurt his shoulder on the swing and didn’t pitch again for 15 days. The 6-foot-5 Ross, who turns 27 this month, had a 3.17 ERA and 8.6 strikeouts per nine innings last year (2.93 and 9.6 after the All-Star Break), and at Petco Park, his ERA was 2.03.

* * *

My favorite stats after four games:

  • Team OPS leaders: Dee Gordon .962, Juan Uribe .941
  • Team starting pitching: 23 2/3 innings, 1.14 ERA, 0.80 WHIP, 9.1 K/9
  • A.J. Ellis: on pace for 162 walks.
  • Chone Figgins: on pace for 81 walks, zero at-bats
  • No Dodger starter has hit into a double play.

* * *

Update: Jose Dominguez has been recalled from his assignment to Albuquerque, as the Dodgers officially placed Brian Wilson on the disabled list.

Scheduled Dodger starting pitchers for the three-game series against the Giants are Hyun-Jin Ryu on Friday, Paul Maholm on Saturday and Zack Greinke on Sunday.

* * *

From the Dodger press notes: “The Dodgers have limited the Padres to three or fewer runs in each of their last 10 games, winning eight of those contests dating to June 22, 2013.  Los Angeles has posted a 1.13 ERA (11 ER/88.0 IP) in that span. The last time the Dodgers held any opponent to three or fewer runs in 10 consecutive games was April 8-Sept. 9, 2003 against the Diamondbacks (source: Stats, LLC). If the Dodgers hold San Diego to three or fewer runs tonight, it would be their longest such streak against a single opponent since a 12-game run against the Cubs Aug. 26, 1991-Aug. 21, 1992.”

* * *

More news: “The Dodgers will welcome back former Dodger outfielder Raul Mondesi as part of Dominican Heritage at Viva Los Dodgers this Sunday. Mondesi, current mayor of San Cristobal, Dominican Republic, will be holding a clothing drive to benefit his hometown of San Cristobal. He will accept donations of gently-worn clothing and will sign autographs for fans. Fans that bring a donation will be placed in a priority line for autographs. … Mondesi will also throw the ceremonial first pitch prior to Sunday’s game.”

March 29 pregame: Kershaw to disabled list

Dodgers at Angels, 6:05 p.m.
Yasiel Puig, RF
Carl Crawford, DH
Hanley Ramirez, SS
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Scott Van Slyke, LF
Juan Uribe, 3B
Andre Ethier, CF
Justin Turner, 2B
A.J. Ellis, C
(Dan Haren, P)

By Jon Weisman

So it has happened: Clayton Kershaw is heading for the disabled list.

It’s not the first time he has missed a start in his career, though that is rare in itself. But it is the first time he has been placed on the DL.

Don Mattingly gave reporters the news today. From Eric Stephen of True Blue L.A.:

Kershaw was throwing off flat ground in right field with trainer Stan Conte earlier Saturday, gradually increasing the intensity and distance of his throws. Once he felt something, on the 27th throw, he immediately ceased throwing.

“We have to save Clayton from Clayton. If it was up to him, I’m sure he’d want to go farther. We can’t allow him to do that,” manager Don Mattingly said. “He’s getting better, but it’s not at a point where we can go any farther. It kind of tells you he’s hit a ceiling at this point, and had to stop.”

Kershaw could next pitch as early as April 8 against Detroit. That potentially could be a matchup of 2013 Cy Young Winners: Kershaw and Max Scherzer.

Jose Dominguez, meanwhile, was optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque.

Post-Arizona status report for the Dodgers

Colorado Rockies v Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

There’s definitely a weird feeling to this Spring Training interregnum between Arizona and Australia — not that it won’t feel even weirder next week, when the Dodgers follow their two regular season games Down Under with four off days and then a pair of Freeway Series exhibitions against the Angels.

Nevertheless, with no game action until the Dodgers scrimmage against Team Australia on Thursday, and the Dodgers having set their 30-man travel squad for Sydney, this does seem like an appropriate time to take a little bit of stock.

Read More

In case you missed it: Happy photo day

Los Angeles Dodgers workout

By Jon Weisman

Who are those guys again?

  • Paul Maholm has been slowed for precautionary reasons by some elbow tenderness. He threw on flat ground today.

    … “I’m just being smart and understand what’s needed to prepare for the season,” Maholm told Ken Gurnick of “I only really missed one bullpen session today and I expect to throw a bullpen Saturday, and it won’t set me back.” …

  • Yasiel Puig was held out of action today after fouling a ball off his right leg yesterday. According to the Dodger press notes, Puig will not undergo any further testing at this time and is expected to be a full participant in tomorrow’s workout.

    … “There was a little swelling and we don’t see the need to have him limp around out there,” Don Mattingly told Gurnick. “We feel he’ll be back tomorrow.” …

  • Gurnick added that Zach Lee returned to the mound for a short bullpen session for the first time in 10 days after suffering a mild lat strain.
  • “Tim Federowicz was limited in workouts Tuesday after feeling tightness in his side during blocking drills,” writes Bill Plunkett of the Register in a notebook item. “He was back to full participation Wednesday.”
  • The Dodgers will play intrasquad games Sunday (with pitchers Matt Magill, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Chris Perez, Brian Wilson, Kenley Jansen and J.P. Howell) and Monday (Stephen Fife, Dan Haren, Chris Reed, Paco Rodriguez and Jamey Wright) on the back fields of Camelback Ranch.
  • Miguel Rojas spoke to Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles about his anxiety over political violence in his home of Venezuela. “Rojas’ wife lives 35 minutes from Caracas, the nation’s capital and the center of unrest,” Saxon writes. “Rojas said she scarcely leaves the house these days.” J.P. Hoornstra has more at the Daily News.
  • Los Angeles Dodgers workoutBrandon League talked about his 2013 season with Dylan Hernandez of the Times.

    … “It was not just one thing,” he said. “It was not just mechanical. It wasn’t just preparation. It was one thing one time, something else another time.” …

  • “Meanwhile, reliever Jose Dominguez tried out a new slider grip suggested by legendary lefty Sandy Koufax and reported improved downward break on the pitch,” reports Gurnick for
  • Non-roster catcher Miguel Olivo, looking for a career rebirth, is the subject of this Saxon piece for ESPN Los Angeles. The 35-year-old has 145 career home runs. Random note: Only two catchers have hit that many for the Dodgers, Roy Campanella and Mike Piazza. In fact, since making his MLB debut in 2002, Olivo has nearly outhomered everyone who has played catcher for the Dodgers in that time:
    • Russell Martin 53
    • A.J. Ellis 25
    • Paul Lo Duca 25
    • Rod Barajas 21
    • Dioner Navarro 10
    • Jason Phillips 7
    • Tim Federowicz 4
    • Ramon Hernandez 2
    • Chad Kreuter 2
    • Matt Treanor 2
    • Danny Ardoin 1
    • Brad Ausmus 1
    • Gary Bennett 1
    • Mike Rose 1
    • Total 155
  • Baseball America has released its top 100 prospects list. The Dodgers’ usual suspects are there: Joc Pederson (34), Corey Seager (37), Julio Urias (51 and the youngest player in the 100) and Zach Lee (95). Dustin Nosler sums up the spectrum of propsect lists at Dodgers Digest.
  • The Dodgers rank second behind St. Louis in Jonah Keri’s “Offseason Stock Report” for Grantland.
  • David Schoenfield of explains why he thinks the Dodgers are the biggest lock of any team to win their division.
  • Eastern Park, where the Brooklyn baseball team played from 1891-97, is the subject of this piece by Ernest Reyes at Blue Heaven.

    … Eastern Park is said to be the birthplace of the famous Dodger name.  It is believed that this is the stadium where the nickname “Trolley Dodgers” came about.  The trolley and rail lines, that were located directly to the east of the stadium, were a constant hazard to fans attending games.  Frankly, this last item was a surprise to me as I began my research on this stadium.  I had always thought that Ebbets Field was were it originated, but that appears to not be the case. …

  • Former Dodger pitcher Chris Capuano has reportedly agreed to terms on a deal with the Boston Red Sox. With more is Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston.

Fife, Dominguez glow amid Puig spotlight

That there is any other Dodger to write about besides the one who got his 44th hit in his 100th at-bat would be remarkable in any year, much less one that still features a last-place team in Los Angeles.

But here we are on the final day of June with not only the remarkable Yasiel Puig to talk about, or even the sizzling Hanley Ramirez, but two others who are turning heads.

You’ve met Stephen Fife – but have you met Stephen Fife? The 26-year-old, whose 2011 acquisition was derided in most quarters (including this one), not only threw seven shutout innings today, he lowered his June ERA to 2.21 – the best of anyone this month in the Dodger starting rotation.

Yes, the rotation. I mean, do you realize that Fife is in the rotation now? He’s not some stopgap spot starter. He’s in. He’s taken a regular turn for six straight starts now, striking out 30 in 36 2/3 innings. It’s hardly too late for his chariot to turn into a pumpkin, that he’s John Ely in disguise, but 12 starts into his major-league career, he has a 2.78 ERA.

In his own small way, far from the Puig spotlight, he has helped the Dodgers win eight games in their past nine and pull within four games of first place in the National League West, which has generated its own level of skepticism but for now remains the third-best division in baseball.

Games over .500
33 AL East
22 NL Central
-8 NL West
-11 AL West
-12 AL Central
-24 NL East

Even at 38-43, the Dodgers are in a much more enviable position at the halfway point of their season than seemed fathomable just last weekend. The future looks brighter than any point since Opening Day. And again, that’s not just thanks to Puig. The Dodgers’ newest freshman, Jose Dominguez, exactly four months older than Puig, delivered the most electric debut this side of their precocious rightfielder.

Hitting 101 on the radar gun, Dominguez relieved Fife in a perfect eighth inning, striking out his first major-league batter and displaying a tantalizing change to go with that fastball. Making it clear that he wasn’t equating Dominguez with Pedro Martinez, Vin Scully nevertheless said you couldn’t help thinking of the future Hall of Famer while watching the baby San Pedro de Macoris native. I can hardly wait to see him again, and I’m sure the Dodgers feel the same way.

We’ll wait to see how Dominguez’ control plays out, but it’s easy to draw renewed bullpen hope in a potential lead trio of Dominguez, Paco Rodriguez and Kenley Jansen, with J.P Howell and Ronald Belisario in secondary roles. And that’s no small reason why there’s renewed hope in the Dodgers as well.

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