As I mentioned a couple days ago, on July 14 I made my second visit to Cooperstown, and first as an adult. I took tons of pictures, and couldn’t help wanting to share some with you. Today, here is a set of shots focusing on the Dodgers, dating from their move to Los Angeles.
Tag: Josh Beckett (Page 1 of 3)
By Jon Weisman
Tonight, Rubby De La Rosa faces the Dodgers for the first time, outside of batting practice or bullpen sessions before he was traded away in 2012.
Once a bigtime prospect for the Dodgers, De La Rosa technically left on October 4, 2012 with Jerry Sands as players to be named later in the August 25 deal that brought Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez and Nick Punto from Boston to Los Angeles. James Loney, Ivan DeJesus Jr. and Allen Webster had already departed Los Angeles that August.
Now 26, De La Rosa has a 4.57 ERA with 105 strikeouts and a 1.45 WHIP in 138 innings since leaving the Dodgers. His ERA is at 4.68 in 25 innings this season, though he does have 25 strikeouts against five walks and was fairly brilliant in his last outing, holding Pittsburgh to one run on four hits and no walks over seven innings while striking out eight.
It cost a bit of money, but so far, the Dodgers have come out ahead in that trade with the Red Sox — no matter what happens in tonight’s game. Here are the Wins Above Replacement totals since the trade for the players, according to Baseball Reference:
Lost: 1.7 WAR
0.2 De La Rosa
-0.3 De Jesus
Gained: 17.9 WAR
These numbers differ a bit on Fangraphs, but the gist is still the same. Webster in particular has struggled, with a 6.25 ERA and 5.9 K/9 in 89 1/3 Major League innings. Now in the Arizona organization with De La Rosa, Webster has a 19.29 ERA with Triple-A Reno through two starts, having allowed 15 runs and 22 baserunners in seven innings before hitting the disabled list.
What’s remarkable is that even if the Dodgers had only received Punto, who had a .335 on-base percentage and .325 slugging percentage in 378 plate appearances from late 2012 through the end of 2013, they still would have arguably won the trade to date. I wouldn’t make that argument necessarily, but still …
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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.)
- 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
By Jon Weisman
Josh Beckett confirmed today that he won’t play again this season, but he said he wouldn’t decide whether or not to retire until the offseason.
Beckett told reporters today he is not able to get back on the field without surgery to repair a torn labrum and a lesion in his left hip, and said he would probably have the surgery regardless of whether he plays again.
If Beckett, who is a free agent after this season, does come back, he said he didn’t expect to be ready for Spring Training. He delayed having surgery in the hopes that he might be able to come back this season without it.
The Dodgers would have gladly taken a healthy Beckett. It might seem like a distant memory now, but less than three months ago, Beckett was a National League All-Star and Comeback Player of the Year candidate, with a 2.26 ERA, and 8.2 strikeouts per nine innings in the first half of the season, not to mention a lil’ no-hitter May 25 at Philadelphia.
It was hard not to admire Beckett for how he rallied from his injury-riddled 2013 season that limited him to 43 1/3 innings, or how hard he worked in between every start just to get himself ready for the next. But the hip condition is the culmination of 2,051 big-league innings of wear and tear, dating back to his MLB debut at age 21.
Beckett, who has a 2003 World Series Most Valuable Player award to go with a 3.88 ERA (111 ERA+) for his career and a 3.39 ERA (108 ERA+) in 202 innings as a Dodger, was self-deprecating about his achievements.
“Even leading up to this year, I had it in the back of my mind that this could be my last year,” he said. “I did well for a pretty good stretch there. Like I told (MLB.com reporter) Ken Gurnick in Spring Training, ‘I’m just on the back end of a mediocre career.”
* * *
Don Mattingly told reporters the Dodgers have reset their rotation since Thursday’s off day, with Hyun-Jin Ryu and Zack Greinke following Dan Haren tonight against Arizona, and then Clayton Kershaw and Ramon Hernandez beginning the next series against San Diego.
Carlos Frias remains a candidate for a start but does not have one scheduled at this point.
Mattingly was also questioned again on his decision to wait until A.J. Ellis was at third base before pinch-running for him in the 10th inning of Wednesday’s 5-4 loss to Washington. Mattingly reiterated that he didn’t want to go down to his last catcher but felt compelled to only once Ellis reached position to score on a sacrifice fly.
The manager added that had Drew Butera gotten hurt later in the game, when the Dodgers were out of position players, Justin Turner (then playing shortstop) would have had to catch.
For more Tuesday photo highlights, visit LA Photog Blog.
By Jon Weisman
Matt Kemp, who leads Dodger outfielders in games played despite not leading at any of the three positions, ends a streak of 40 consecutive games in the starting lineup today.
It’s getting harder to remember when there was active concern about Kemp’s fragility. During that 40-game run, Kemp has had a .380 on-base percentage and .580 slugging percentage.
He has actually played in 50 consecutive games and started 83 of the Dodgers’ past 86 games, since Carl Crawford went on the disabled list May 28, with an .842 OPS in that time.
And Dodger manager Don Mattingly indicated that he is counting on Kemp for the pennant drive.
“I think today for me is an energy day,” Mattingly said. “He kind of looked a little heavy-legged in Sunday’s day game. He’s been going hard for us, and honestly hasn’t played this many games in a couple of years. I feel like this is kind of his last chance to get a breather.”
Kemp has played 128 games this season, after playing 106 and 73 the previous two seasons.
* * *
Making his debut as a Major-League starter today, Carlos Frias isn’t on a specific pitch limit, but Mattingly said that the team’s goal is to get five innings from the 24-year-old righty and then evaluate from there.
Mattingly said he doesn’t manage differently or make changes more aggressively with the post-September 1 expanded bullpen, and that the extra men mainly function as a way to avoid using primary relievers in a blowout.
At the same time, it’s not clear that Pedro Baez qualifies as an “extra” anymore, given his baptism to date (1.84 ERA in 14 2/3 innings), and Yimi Garcia pitched two shutout innings Monday in a game the Dodgers nearly tied in the ninth.
Mattingly also said that Paco Rodriguez had an encouraging bullpen session Tuesday and might be close to a simulated game, and that signs are more encouraging that he’s closer to a return. However, though Josh Beckett played catch Tuesday, signs for his return were no more encouraging than they have been.
Tim Federowicz makes his first start for the Dodgers since June 12, and Mattingly confirmed that Federowicz’s familiarity catching Frias in Albuquerque this summer played a role in the decision.
By Jon Weisman
Josh Beckett has officially gone on the disabled list today with a left hip impingement, an event that jeopardizes the remainder of his season. Whenever he’s destined to pitch again, it’s worth taking a moment to appreciate the remarkable contributions and moments he gave the Dodgers and their fans so far in 2014, even as his body at times seemed to be doing everything it could to fight against him.
Below, I’m posting our story on Beckett from the July Dodger Insider magazine, one that’s a little more poignant now but still effective in illustrating how big his comeback was. And below that, relive Beckett’s May 25 no-hitter again.
Click each file to enlarge.
By Jon Weisman
Josh Beckett is not going to make his next start Friday in Milwaukee, and newly acquired Roberto Hernandez is on his way there to take the mound for the Dodgers.
Mattingly told reporters that Hernandez would make the start “as long as that plane gets there,” Bill Shaikin of the Times tweeted.
Beckett, who is having hip issues and is going to see Dr. Neal ElAttrache today, has a 2.88 ERA and 107 strikeouts in 115 2/3 innings for the Dodgers this season. He passed the 2,000-inning plateau for his career earlier in 2014, but has not pitched more than five innings in a game since June 26.
For more Tuesday highlights from Jon SooHoo, visit LA Photog Blog.
By Jon Weisman
Man, the Dodgers have packed a lot of wild baseball into this week, and we’re still two days away from this weekend’s series at San Francisco. Here are some off-the-cuff thoughts about the past three nights.
* * *
Josh Beckett had a rough return from the disabled list in Tuesday’s 12-7 loss at Pittsburgh, allowing four runs in 3 2/3 innings, including three doubles and two home runs. He hasn’t had this rough an outing since … the last time he came off the disabled list, on April 9, when he allowed four earned runs in four innings, including two doubles and one home run.
Beckett then went on to have a 1.99 ERA in his next 99 2/3 innings. So maybe let’s give him a bit longer before we raise the white flag on his season.
I’m not much on treating correlation as causation, and I’m 100 percent against the designated hitter. But in Beckett’s case, he might be getting on base too much for his own good. So far in July, Beckett has come to the plate seven times. He has three doubles, a walk and reached second base on an error, and by his own admission seemed to aggravate his hip condition running to third base in his last game before the All-Star Break.
* * *
Adrian Gonzalez hit his 250th career homer Tuesday, as Lee Sinins notes at Gammons Daily, and his first since July 1. Gonzalez has been one of the victims of an increased use of defensive shifts by MLB teams in 2014, a trend so dramatic that Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci is proposing rules to ban them. He makes a lengthy case, but I disagree strongly with the idea that teams should be penalized for innovation.
The response, essentially, should be for batters to counter-innovate.We’ve seen Gonzalez do that a bit in recent weeks, by trying to go the other way, though it’s reasonable to wonder whether the challenge of the shift has affected Gonzalez’s power production. That being said, Gonzalez has been strong overall since the All-Star Game, going 8 for 19 with two doubles, the home run, three walks and a sacrifice fly, for a 1.162 OPS.
* * *
The Dodgers hadn’t had a two-homer game since Independence Day, and haven’t hit three homers in a game since June 17.
Still, they managed to go 5-3 in their recent eight homerless games.
* * *
So, Chris Perez. No one would deny that was a brutal outing Tuesday, when Perez became the first Dodger reliever since 1988 to walk four consecutive batters, as Eric Stephen of True Blue L.A. notes. It ended — with a thud — a stretch in which Perez had faced 37 batters over eight games and allowed only 10 to reach base, for a .496 opponents’ OPS, while stranding one of six inherited baserunners.
Few probably remember now that Perez began the year even hotter, facing 45 batters in his first 14 games and allowing only nine to reach base, for a .380 opponents’ OPS. Perez has been having some extreme fluctuations in batting average on balls in play this season:
.161 March 22-May 1
.444 May 2-June 15
.179 June 16-July 21
Perez walked more batters in the eighth inning Tuesday than he had in his previous eight games.
* * *
Brandon League has been the best reliever in the National League most of this year in inducing double-play grounders. When he relieved Perez with the bases loaded and the Dodgers down by two, he got two grounders — the difference being, these found holes.
Russell Martin hit a dirt-skipper to the left of an over-shifted Dee Gordon, and Ike Davis followed with a bouncer that also went between Gordon and Gonzalez. Live by the sword metaphor, die by the sword metaphor.
* * *
There was a lot of talk about how Matt Kemp hadn’t played right field in five years, but people were treating the position as if it were as alien to him as left field was, which wasn’t the case.
Kemp had started 131 games in right field before this season. He had started eight games in left before this season. The clamor to move Kemp to center field began largely as a consequence of Andruw Jones’ struggles there in 2008, and the appearance that Kemp, who looked natural in right, could adapt to center. It doesn’t surprise me that Kemp’s appearances in right field have seemingly had a homecoming aspect to them.
Puig’s arm still probably plays best in right field, though it might make sense for the Dodgers in the short term to move him to center and just warn the corner outfielders to stay out of his way. The answer isn’t obvious.
* * *
Have people even noticed that Juan Uribe has hit .295 in the 78 at-bats he’s had since his return from the disabled list four weeks ago? It has been a quiet .295, with two doubles, a home run and four walks, but that’s been alongside his fine fielding, with 50 assists compared with two errors in nearly 180 innings.
For the year, Uribe has what we’ll call a 26.2 assist-to-turnover ratio, topped in the National League by only Atlanta’s Chris Johnson (31.5) and San Francisco’s Pablo Sandoval (30.3).
In terms of advanced measurements of overall defensive performance, with Chase Headley gone from San Diego to the Bronx, Uribe is now the No. 1 defensive third baseman in the National League, according to Fangraphs, and it’s not that close. And thanks to Justin Turner, the Dodgers are the best as a team defensively at third base.
* * *
Slugfest update: Tuesday’s game was the seventh of the year for the Dodgers in which they scored and allowed at least six runs. The Dodgers are 3-4 in those games, and as you can see, seven has not been particularly lucky for them.
6-7 April 9 vs. Detroit
8-6 April 13 at Arizona
8-6 April 19 vs. Arizona
9-7 May 3 at Miami
7-18 May 17 at Arizona
7-8 July 5 at Colorado
7-12 July 22 at Pittsburgh
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By Jon Weisman
Josh Beckett has officially come off the disabled list and will start for the Dodgers today, with Paco Rodriguez returning to Triple-A Albuquerque.
Making his first start since July 6 after spending the minimum 15 days on the DL because of a left hip impingement, Beckett is fourth among National League pitchers in ERA (2.26) and opponents’ batting average (.203). He has pitched shutout ball in four of his past six starts, though his last before the DL totaled only five innings in Colorado.
In 12 starts since May 8, Beckett has a 1.92 ERA with 65 strikeouts in 75 innings against 80 baserunners, averaging 6 1/3 innings per start.
Rodriguez pitched back-to-back games July 18-19 on his recent callup, retiring the four batters he faced with 16 pitches, on three fly balls and a strikeout.
Two new giveaways celebrating the Josh Beckett and Clayton Kershaw no-hitters this year were recently announced by the Dodgers.
At the September 1 game at Dodger Stadium against Washington, the first 40,000 fans in attendance will receive a Josh Beckett no-hitter commemorative pin.
Tickets are available for purchase now at dodgers.com/nohitter or by calling (866) DODGERS.
The giveaways come in addition to the numerous promotions already on the schedule for the 2 1/2 months of regular-season play at Dodger Stadium. For more information, visit dodgers.com/promotions.
By Jon Weisman
Dodger ace Clayton Kershaw is scheduled to pitch his last game before the All-Star Break on Thursday. But Kershaw might not start the Dodgers’ first game after the All-Star Break on July 18, eight days later.
Don Mattingly told reporters in Detroit today that if Kershaw pitches two innings in Tuesday’s All-Star Game, that he would not open the Dodgers’ post-break schedule in St. Louis.
Whether that will happen remains to be seen.
By Jon Weisman
Amid his banner comeback season, there’s been increasing concern about general wear and tear on Josh Beckett, concern that was only exacerbated when he went aggravated his left hip on the basepaths Sunday in Colorado.
Today, the Dodgers announced that Beckett is heading the disabled list with a left hip impingement. Because of the All-Star Break, Beckett might miss only one scheduled start, the one Saturday at home against San Diego. Assuming the Dodgers reset their rotation after the break, Beckett could return to make a start July 22 at Pittsburgh.
By Jon Weisman
Reflecting the strength of their 2014 seasons and independent of fan bias, Zack Greinke, Clayton Kershaw and Yasiel Puig were unanimous choices for the National League All-Star rosters among five ESPN.com national baseball writers.
Puig was chosen as the starting outfielder by Jim Bowden and Jayson Stark, the starting designated hitter by Jerry Crasnick and David Schoenfield and a reserve outfielder by Buster Olney.
Kershaw was recommended as the NL’s starting pitcher by Olney and Schoenfeld, while the other three included him on the NL staff alongside Greinke. Josh Beckett was also an NL All-Star choice by Crasnick and Olney.
Four of the five chose Dee Gordon as a reserve second baseman, with only Crasnick omitting him. In addition, Bowden and Schoenfield had Hanley Ramirez as a backup shortstop.
Meanwhile, Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com had Puig, Kershaw and Gordon, but not Greinke, Beckett or Ramirez.
As for the fan voting, it ends tonight at 8:59 p.m., with Puig looking to get a final push to ensure a spot in the NL starting lineup.
By Jon Weisman
While tonight’s start by Josh Beckett was never really in doubt, the Dodgers have taken measures to have a Plan B in case he needs to skip a start going forward.
Recently, the Dodgers adjusted the schedule of Albuquerque starting pitcher Red Patterson, who allowed one run in 4 2/3 innings of a spot start against the Mets in May, to make sure it lined up with that of Beckett, who is scheduled for two more starts after tonight before the All-Star Break.
Beckett has no specific ailments right now, but as happens with an everyday player (most infamously, I suppose, Mike Marshall), “general soreness” can catch up with you.
“Josh is always the guy that in between starts we worry about,” Dodger manager Don Mattingly said Monday. “He just kind of battles every time to get ready for the next one.”
Beckett has frequently described the way he feels after a start as “like being hit by a truck.”
Said Mattingly: “He’s got over 2,000 innings on him. There’s time he doesn’t throw his bullpens. Any guy who’s got a little mileage on him, we’ve got to pay attention.”
Mattingly said that frankly, he hasn’t noticed an effect on Beckett’s performance when he skips a bullpen session. After missing most of last season with thoracic outlet syndrome, Beckett has a no-hitter and 2.11 ERA for the Dodgers in 2014, as well as 14 consecutive scoreless innings (the Dodgers as a team have 24).
“Josh is a guy in the past who threw a lot of pitches in the bullpen, even before a game,” Mattingly said. “I think it just kind of came to the point where he’s cutting back and trusting his stuff, being more thrifty with the number of pitches he’s throwing in all areas.”