Dodger Thoughts

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

Tag: Kike Hernandez (Page 1 of 4)

Best of the 2010s:
The All-Decade Dodgers

Raymond Gorospe/MLB.com

We have nearly reached the end of the ’10s, and though selections of the Dodgers’ all-decade team should probably wait until after the 2019 World Series, these few days of relative calm before the storm of the postseason seemed like a good time to reveal them. Nothing is likely to affect these choices between now and then (although I’m fascinated by the idea that something could). 

Most challenging was having to deal with five legitimate candidates for the four openings at outfield/first base. Catcher was nearly a toss-up, and second base yielded its own surprise. 

Here we go … 

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After wielding attire iron at Dodgers, it’s Joe Simpson who should be embarrassed

I’m not nearly the first tonight to weigh in on the bizarre, absolutely out-of-nowhere manufactured controversy in which Braves announcer and one-time Dodger outfielder Joe Simpson ripped his original team for their non-uniform batting practice attire tonight, but I want to make a few particular points about it.

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What it means for the Dodgers if they land Manny Machado

Manny Machado’s career statistics (click to enlarge)

Vin Scully and Manny Machado, 2016
(New York Times)

The flame of Manny Machado is lighting the Dodger rumor mill on fire, as noted last week, and today has only fueled the speculation — though as always, you should note that nearly every rumor blows in with its own agenda.

But all the heavy petting still has me wondering about the domino effect of a Machado acquisition on a Dodger lineup that has so many moving parts.

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What’s up, Dodger fans? Feats of strength and other notes …

Seventh-inning stretch at Dodger Stadium, Independence Day (click to enlarge)

When you’re out of the blogging groove but the ideas keep coming, the easy thing to do is just dish them off on Twitter. But tweets are like shooting stars, and sometimes you want a constellation. So here I am back at Dodger Thoughts to try to collect some thoughts.

Also, I’m convinced that tons of people bypass the intro to a column and to get straight at the meat, so let’s get right to it.

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Dodgers shuffle batting order against Jon Lester

NLDS GAME 3--LOS ANGELES DODGERS V WASHINGTON NATIONALS

Cubs
Dexter Fowler, CF
Kris Bryant, 3B
Anthony Rizzo, 1B
Ben Zobrist, LF
Javy Baez, 2B
Jason Heyward, RF
Addison Russell, SS
David Ross, C
Jon Lester, P
Dodgers
Kiké Hernández, 2B
Justin Turner, 3B
Corey Seager, SS
Carlos Ruiz, C
Howie Kendrick, LF
Yasiel Puig, RF
Adrián González, 1B
Joc Pederson, CF
Kenta Maeda, P

By Jon Weisman

It’s a small change in the batting order, but at the same time, the Dodgers’ most significant of the postseason.

Against Cubs lefty Jon Lester tonight, Dave Roberts has moved Kiké Hernández to the leadoff spot, with Carlos Ruiz batting fourth, Howie Kendrick fifth, Yasiel Puig sixth and Adrián González seventh.

In his first postseason appearance of 2016, Hernández walked twice and lined out against Lester in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series, and Roberts said he liked the quality of his at-bats.

“And I think that since he’s come back for this series, his pitch recognition is much better,” Roberts added. “I feel comfortable with him trying to get on base instead of worrying about trying to drive runs in — and also to put Howie in the middle of things. I think that to be able to get a hit with guys on base, I feel very comfortable with that.”

Ruiz is starting at cleanup for the first time as a Dodger and the first time at all since May 16 with Philadelphia. Ruiz is 2 for 7 with a homer in the playoffs, including an 0-for-2 start against Lester.

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Ruiz, Hernández in Game 1 lineup, Kershaw-Hill starting Games 2-3

NLDS-Game 5-Los Angeles Dodgers vs Washington Nationals

Cubs
Dexter Fowler, CF
Kris Bryant, 3B
Anthony Rizzo, 1B
Ben Zobrist, LF
Addison Russell, SS
Jason Heyward, RF
Javy Baez, 2B
David Ross, C
Jon Lester, P
Dodgers
Howie Kendrick, LF
Justin Turner, 3B
Corey Seager, SS
Yasiel Puig, RF
Adrián González, 1B
Carlos Ruiz, C
Kiké Hernández, 2B
Joc Pederson, CF
Kenta Maeda, P

By Jon Weisman

Carlos Ruiz and Kiké Hernández will make their first 2016 postseason starts for the Dodgers, on a day the team confirmed that Clayton Kershaw will be the starting pitcher in Sunday’s Game 2 and Rich Hill in Game 3 at Los Angeles on Tuesday.

Ruiz had a two-run homer and RBI single off the bench in the National League Division Series, while Hernández will be making his 2016 postseason debut, taking the Chase Utley/Charlie Culberson spot at second base.

Dave Roberts cited Hernández’s athleticism, versatility and “the potential slug” for bringing him back into active duty.

“It was a tough decision with Charlie, but I think (Kiké) could pay a huge benefit for us,” Roberts said.

Otherwise, the Dodgers have their regular postseason lineup against a left-handed pitcher, with Yasiel Puig and Howie Kendrick subbing for Josh Reddick and Andrew Toles.

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Wood, Hernández join Dodgers’ NLCS roster

LOS ANGELES DODGERS AT SAN DIEGO PADRES

SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS VS LOS ANGELES DODGERSBy Jon Weisman

Left-handed pitcher Alex Wood and infielder-outfielder Kiké Hernández have been added to the Dodgers’ official roster for the National League Championship Series, replacing Austin Barnes and Charlie Culberson.

Wood gives the Dodgers an extra pitcher for the best-of-seven series, which could include games on three consecutive days Tuesday-Thursday in Los Angeles. In addition, there is a chance of rain this weekend in Chicago, though it looks most likely to come in between Games 1 and 2.

The departure of Barnes removes the luxury of a third catcher for the Dodgers, though in two of the five National League Division Series games, Dave Roberts already showed he was willing to go down to use his last backstop off the bench with multiple innings to go.

Hernández replaces Charlie Culberson, who went 0 for 7 in the NLDS.  Hernández has a single, triple and homer in 12 career at-bats against Game 1 starter Jon Lester, with the homer being the only run the Dodgers scored against the Cub left-hander in 15 innings this year, as Eric Stephen of True Blue L.A. pointed out.

Here’s the lefty-righty breakdown of the Dodger roster:

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Andrew Friedman, Dave Roberts explain Dodgers’ NLDS roster choices

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

The Dodgers faced several hard choices in coming up with their 25-man roster for the National League Division Series — and to some extent, the specific matchup with the Washington Nationals served as a tiebreaker.

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Puig, Dodgers grieve over José Fernández

Matthew Mesa/Los Angeles Dodgers

Matthew Mesa/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

A number of Dodgers had personal connections with José Fernández, such as Austin Barnes, Chris Hatcher and Kiké Hernández, who all played in the Marlins organization with the All-Star right-hander.

But perhaps no one in Los Angeles was closer to the Miami All-Star, who died overnight in a boating accident, than Yasiel Puig.

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Dodgers activate Hernandez, option Barnes

Kike Hernandez, Dave Roberts and Luke Walton and son pose prior to Saturday's game.

Kike Hernandez, Dave Roberts and Luke Walton and son pose prior to Saturday’s game.

Diamondbacks at Dodgers, 1:10 p.m.
Howie Kendrick, LF
Corey Seager, SS
Justin Turner, 3B
Scott Van Slyke, 1B
Yasmani Grandal, C
Yasiel Puig, RF
Kiké Hernandez, CF
Chris Taylor, 2B
Bud Norris, P

By Jon Weisman

One month and four days since his last game for the Dodgers, Kiké Hernandez has been activated from the disabled list, where he has been recovering from left rib cage inflammation.

To make room on the 25-man roster, Austin Barnes has been optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City. Barnes doubled in four at-bats during his most recent stint with the Dodgers.

Hernandez has a .280 on-base percentage while slugging .346 this season for Los Angeles.

In other recent news for the Dodgers, who scored runs in the seventh and ninth innings Saturday but fell to Arizona, 4-2 …

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Yasiel Puig remains out of starting lineup

Los Angeles Dodgers at Arizona Diamondbacks

Diamondbacks at Dodgers, 7:10 p.m.
Chase Utley, 2B
Corey Seager, SS
Justin Turner, 3B
Adrián González, 1B
Howie Kendrick, LF
Yasmani Grandal, C
Andrew Toles, RF
Joc Pederson, CF
Kenta Maeda, P

By Jon Weisman

Yasiel Puig remains listed on the Dodger lineup card as a reserve, but for the seventh straight game, he is not starting.

Puig’s last start came July 20 at Washington. He then had a scheduled off day July 21 but came off the bench and felt tightness in his right hamstring while trying to beat out a hit in his only at-bat of the game.

He has made one pinch-hitting appearance since, on July 22. Counting Thursday’s off day, Puig has been out of action for six days entering tonight’s game.

The 25-year-old has a .384 on-base percentage and .412 slugging percentage in 99 plate appearances since returning June 21 from a stint on the disabled list because of his left hamstring.

Andrew Toles, profiled Thursday by J.P. Hoornstra of the Daily News, is starting for the fifth time in seven games since Puig’s last start. Toles is 9 for 31 with three walks for a .353 on-base percentage in the first 34 plate appearances of his Major League career.

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Brett Anderson to begin rehab assignment Thursday

By Jon Weisman

Some quick Dodger injury updates, mostly courtesy of Dave Roberts:

  • Brett Anderson is set to make his first game appearance since back surgery in March with three scheduled innings in a rehab assignment Thursday for Single-A Rancho Cucamonga.
  • Kiké Hernandez went 3 for 8 with two walks and a stolen base Monday and Tuesday for Rancho Cucamonga. He will continue his rehab assignment with Double-A Tulsa.
  • Yasiel Puig is still day-to-day because of his right hamstring, available to pinch-hit but not to start.
  • Adam Liberatore was unavailable Tuesday after tweaking his right knee covering first during Sunday’s game at St. Louis.
  • Chase Utley and Yasmani Grandal are healthy but not starting today, simply to rest at the outset of a day game against a left-hander (Matt Moore) that followed a night game.

Dodgers place Kiké Hernandez on disabled list

Milwaukee Brewers vs Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

Kiké Hernández has been placed on the 15-day disabled list (retroactive to June 28) with left rib cage inflammation by the Dodgers, who also transferred Alex Wood from the 15-day to the 60-day disabled list.

Tonight’s starting pitcher, Brock Stewart, will take their spots on the active and 40-man rosters.

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Hernández delivers a Father’s Day he’ll never forget

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

Kiké Hernández’s father, you might have heard by now, is battling cancer. For Hernandez to hit a home run, on Father’s Day, is pretty much all the story anyone would need on this day.

The fact that Hernández’s home run, the first of his career as a pinch-hitter, stopped a shutout and tied the game for the Dodgers in the bottom off the eighth inning, well, that’s just a gift for the rest of us.

“I don’t think I have any words to describe it,” Hernández told AM 570’s David Vassegh after the game. “I still have a little bit of goose bumps from it, and it was a little bit hard not to cry running the bases. I woke up this morning, and I was thinking about the same thing: I probably won’t start, but if I get a pinch-hit at-bat, it’s kind of like a movie. … I’m sure my dad loves every bit of it.”

Hernández’s homer set the stage for another pinch-hit RBI, Yasmani Grandal’s bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the ninth, to give the Dodgers a 2-1 victory over Milwaukee.

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Dodgers play righty vs. righty card against Chatwood

Atlanta Braves vs Los Angeles Dodgers

Rockies at Dodgers, 7:10 p.m.
Justin Turner, 3B
Corey Seager, SS
Trayce Thompson, RF
Adrian González, 1B
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Kiké Hernandez, LF
Scott Van Slyke, RF
A.J. Ellis, C
Mike Bolsinger, P

By Jon Weisman

If you’re wondering why Dave Roberts chose to rest left-handed hitters Chase Utley and Joc Pederson against right-handed Rockies pitcher Tyler Chatwood, it’s mainly because right-handed batters have had more success against him.

This year, righties have an .788 OPS against Chatwood, while lefties are at .579. The split was even more pronounced in 2014, before Chatwood had the Tommy John surgery that forced him out of action in 2016. Chatwood has returned this year to lead Colorado starters with a 2.99 ERA.

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