Dodger Thoughts

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

Tag: Mike Bolsinger (Page 3 of 4)

Kershaw start delayed until Friday — Bolsinger to start tonight

Los Angeles Dodgers vs Atlanta Braves

A’s at Dodgers, 7:10 p.m.
Jimmy Rollins, SS
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Yasmani Grandal, C
Andre Ethier, LF
Yasiel Puig, RF
Joc Pederson, CF
Alex Guerrero, 3B
Mike Bolsinger, P

By Jon Weisman

Clayton Kershaw’s scheduled start tonight has been moved to Friday by the Dodgers, amid reports of a sore left hip or glute muscle.

Mike Bolsinger, who threw seven innings and allowed no earned runs seven days ago in Atlanta, will start in Kershaw’s place. Bolsinger has a 2.79 ERA this season — 1.59 in his past three starts.

Kershaw will bring his 29-inning scoreless inning streak up against the Angels on Friday.

Justin Turner, who is suffering from a leg infection, remains sidelined. Alex Guerrero is scheduled to make his first start at third base since May 19.

Joc Pederson is batting seventh, his lowest spot in the order since July 5. Pederson has a .239 on-base percentage and .271 slugging percentage in July, with one homer and four walks against 28 strikeouts.

“He’s working on different things,” Don Mattingly said after Tuesday’s 2-0 loss to Oakland, according to Eric Stephen of True Blue L.A. “It’s not like he’s just going up there, I know it looks like he’s swinging for the fences all the time. That’s not what he’s trying to do. … He’s trying to get inside the ball a little bit using his bottom hand. He’s frustrated.

“At some point Joc’s going to get that front side thing, and he’s going to be a monster. He’s going to be tough to get out.”

With Dodger pitchers ailing, Mike Bolsinger brings the medicine

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By Jon Weisman

The Dodgers wished upon their non-star, and Mike Bolsinger came through.

Beginning with his nine-pitch first inning, the undersung Bolsinger was at the top of his game for seven innings and 98 pitches, allowing only three hits and an unearned run in the Dodgers’ 3-1 daytime victory at Atlanta.

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The night the lights went out in Georgetown

Darkness YYBy Jon Weisman

It wasn’t too long ago that you would never have found a Major League team playing baseball in the nation’s capital at any time of day. So I guess we shouldn’t complain.

But on a night that began the night with bright sobriety, before a bar crawl to the darkly ridiculous, the Dodgers and Nationals found themselves going to bed five innings into a suspended game, with the Nationals leading, 3-2.

The third power outage in the stadium lights, coming shortly before 10:45 p.m. at Nationals Park, proved one too many — although it left the Dodgers disconcertingly on the short end of a game they had led during the first two delays.

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Revised starting rotation moves Bolsinger to Friday, Kershaw to Saturday

Mike Bolsinger has 69 strikeouts in 73 innings this year. (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

Mike Bolsinger has 69 strikeouts in 73 innings this year. (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

By Jon Weisman

The Dodgers have decided to give Clayton Kershaw an extra day of rest after the All-Star Game after all, meaning that Mike Bolsinger will take the hill on Friday at Washington, with Kershaw on Saturday and Zack Greinke still going Sunday.

Bolsinger went six innings on July 10, allowing two runs on five baserunners while striking out six, in his longest start since June 8. He will pitch Friday on six days’ rest.

Kershaw’s start on Saturday will be on three days’ rest after throwing 22 pitches at the All-Star Game, and nine days’ rest since his last regular season start. Greinke will be on four days’ rest after his 39 pitches at the All-Star Game.

Washington is scheduled to go with Jordan Zimmermann on Friday, Doug Fister on Saturday and Max Scherzer on Sunday.

Starting rotation likely to shift in second half

Los Angeles Dodgers vs Arizona Diamondbacks

Dodgers at Diamondbacks, 6:40 p.m.
Kiké Hernandez, CF
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Justin Turner, 3B
Yasiel Puig, RF
Scott Van Slyke, 1B
Alex Guerrero, LF
Jimmy Rollins, SS
A.J. Ellis, C
Brett Anderson, P

By Jon Weisman

With neither Mike Bolsinger nor Carlos Frias having reached six innings in a game since June 8-9, the Dodgers are prepared to separate them in the starting rotation so that the innings don’t pile up on the bullpen, Don Mattingly told reporters today.

The split wouldn’t happen until after the All-Star Break, Mattingly said, adding that Frias, who was reportedly suffering from back tightness during his 98-pitch, five-inning outing Tuesday, is expected to make his next start. Either Frias or Bolsinger would go in between Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke.

After the All-Star Break is also when the Dodgers could be close to bringing Brandon Beachy into the starting rotation. Beachy, who is taking the mound for Oklahoma City in a rehab start as I write this, could have his rehab process complete by then. Entering tonight’s game, he had allowed one run on three hits and four walks in six Triple-A innings, with five strikeouts.

Each Dodger starting pitcher after tonight has two starts left before the break. That would set up Kershaw to take the first start of the second half (July 17 at Washington). Moving the No. 4 or 5 starter after Kershaw would put Greinke in the July 19 game. Of course, with Greinke a lock to get an All-Star invite and Kershaw a strong candidate, the Midsummer Classic would factor into any planning.

Relief pitcher Brandon League has completed his rehab and will come to Los Angeles, where a decision will be made on how he fits in, according to Mattingly.

Backstage Baristas: The Dodgers’ annual Wrigley coffee run

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Though not strictly a rookie move — Mike Bolsinger is technically a veteran — the Dodgers renewed their tradition of sending a newbie or three out into the streets near Wrigley Field to get coffee and coffee-like drinks. SportsNet LA’s “Backstage Dodgers” shared a clip.

— Jon Weisman

In case you missed it: Breaking Bolsinger

Mike Bolsinger with family and friends prior to Los Angeles Dodgers game against the Texas Rangers Monday, June 15, 2015 at Globe Life Park in Arlington Park,Texas. The Rangers beat the Dodgers 4-1. Photo by Jon SooHoo/© Los Angeles Dodgers,LLC 2015,LLC 2015

Mike Bolsinger with family and friends prior to Monday’s game at Texas.

By Jon Weisman

A few quick hits before mid-morning passes into late-mid-morning …

  • The subtle variations in Mike Bolsinger’s pitching arsenal are analyzed by Eno Sarris at Fangraphs.
  • Great perspective on how the notion of “playing the game the right way” varies between locales is provided by John Baker at Fox Sports’ Just a Bit Outside.
  • Third-round draft choice Philip Pfeifer’s journey from being booted off the Vanderbilt baseball team as a junior to his seven shutout innings at the College World Series is recounted by Michael Lananna at Baseball America.
  • Dodger co-owner Peter Guber also has a share of the Golden State Warriors, so he was celebrating Tuesday, writes Anthony Castrovince of

Mike Bolsinger goes deep in starts — and in thoughts

By Jon Weisman

Unlike his last start at Dodger Stadium, Mike Bolsinger allowed more than one hit tonight — in fact, he allowed three.

But with his seven-inning performance in the Dodgers’ 9-3 victory over Arizona, the 27-year-old righty continued to thrive at Dodger Stadium — and in fact, set a standard worth noting.

Not since Jerry Reuss in June 1982 — nearly six years before Bolsinger was born — had a Dodger pitcher retired 32 straight batters at home, the way Bolsinger did from the second batter of the first inning May 23 through the third inning tonight.

“Everything just felt smooth, from the curveball to the fastball,” said Bolsinger, who struck out eight tonight and lowered his ERA to 2.08. “Everything just felt right.”

Bolsinger, already establishing himself as about as easygoing as they come for a starting pitcher, holds no grudges against the Diamondbacks for taking him off their 40-man roster last fall and then selling him to the Dodgers for cash.

“The way I think about it, it’s probably like $5 million, $6 million, right?” Bolsinger joked.

But pressed further, Bolsinger acknowledged that he has had to make huge strides, on the field and off, to make himself a rotation regular. And though he believed in himself, even he seems a little blown away by the speed of his transformation.

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Matthew Mesa/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

He’s the man, the man with the golden pitch.

Taking a promising start to the next level, Mike Bolsinger — designated for assignment by Arizona after the 2014 season — retired 23 batters in a row after allowing a leadoff single, facing the minimum 24 hitters over eight innings in a 2-1 Dodger victory.

Bolsinger struck out a career-high eight and got 10 outs via the ground ball (including a first-inning double play and a diving stop off the mound in the eighth), using only 92 pitches. He’s the first Dodger to complete eight innings this year, and his Game Score of 88 is 10 higher than the previous top Dodger performance of the year, by Zack Greinke on May 5.

“I was just locating on the offspeed pitches, getting ahead of batters, and it was really working for me,” Bolsinger said on the field after the game. “Getting ahead of guys — that’s been the most important thing.”

The 27-year-old righty, acquired for cash considerations six months and one day ago, lowered his ERA to 0.71 in 25 1/3 innings this year, with 22 strikeouts and a 0.79 WHIP. A year ago, he had a 5.50 ERA and 1.59 WHIP in 52 1/3 innings for Arizona.

“People have been asking me (what the difference is this year),” Bolsinger told reporters in the clubhouse. “I don’t know, something just clicked in my head. People ask me how (I) feel, and it’s just, I’m locked in. That’s the best way to describe it — just locked in.”

Said catcher A.J. Ellis: “He was executing all night long. He had a great mix going. Just really keeping them off-balance by using different sequences, different ways of attacking guys. He just does a really nice job of keeping (his curveball) around the strike zone. It’s just enough of a pitch that teases you, and just when you’re ready to hit one that you think is a strike, it breaks out of the zone, and just when you think one is gonna be a ball, it drops in.”

“To be honest with you, this was a guy we saw last year with Arizona who had a tough go of it,” Ellis said. “He came over, and just seeing the way he went about his business … he’s got a great demeanor, great mound presence, never gets too up, never gets too down. He’s a really fun guy to catch.”

Joc Pederson’s leadoff homer in the bottom of the first (his 12th of the season and technically, his second game-winning homer in a row) and Justin Turner’s RBI double in the sixth accounted for the Dodger runs. Kenley Jansen extended his hitless streak to 13 batters in picking up the save, ending the game in 131 minutes (the shortest nine-inning Dodger game since August 23, 2013).

This was the Dodgers’ first one-hitter since June 30, when Dan Haren, Brian Wilson and Jansen combined to lift the Dodgers into first place. And, it’s the first Dodger one-hitter in less than 100 pitches since Hiroki Kuroda’s complete-game, 91-pitch effort on July 7, 2008.

Previously on Dodger Insider: “Opponents in high school, Mike Bolsinger and Clayton Kershaw are now teammates”

As Dodger bats shout, Mike Bolsinger quietly stakes his claim

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By Jon Weisman

A funny thing happened in between Giancarlo Stanton flying one to the moon and the Dodgers playing among their stars.

Mike Bolsinger appears to have grabbed the No. 5 slot in the Dodger starting rotation.

Despite allowing the sixth homer out of Dodger Stadium in the ballpark’s 54-season history, Bolsinger surrendered but one run over 5 2/3 innings for the second time this season, scattering four Miami singles that together didn’t add up to the 478 feet of Stanton’s blastmatic blast.

By keeping the Marlins’ offense in park after Stanton’s homer long enough for the Dodgers to rev up a season-high 21 hits and an 11-1 lead through eight innings, Bolsinger maintained his 1.59 ERA, hours after manager Don Mattingly indicated in his pregame chat that the Dodgers were moving past shuffle time with the back of their starting rotation.

Together in four starts this season, Bolsinger and Carlos Frias are averaging six innings per outing, with a 1.88 ERA and 7.1 K/9. Frias faces Miami in Wednesday’s 4:50 p.m. series finale.

The 5.11 on the Dodgers

Scott Van Slyke is congratulated by his teammates after his game winning home run. The Dodgers beat the Marlins, 5-3

For more images from Monday, visit LA Photog Blog.

By Jon Weisman


Marlins at Dodgers, 7:10 p.m.
Joc Pederson, CF
Jimmy Rollins, SS
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Alex Guerrero, 3B
Yasmani Grandal, C
Andre Ethier, RF
Scott Van Slyke, LF
Mike Bolsinger, P
Note: Chris Heisey was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City to make room for Mike Bolsinger on the active roster.

So, how would you like to face the above pitcher on your average day?

We’ll award points for averaging 8 2/3 innings per game, but otherwise, this guy is really getting pounded.

Or perhaps you’ve already figured out this ruse — the above stats represent the cumulative performance this year of Dodger opposing pitchers, who have been getting pounded at a rate at which even Charlie Brown might cast a saucy eyebrow.

Through games of 5/11, a 5.11 ERA by opponents. Not to mention a home run every 5.5 innings. It’s pretty remarkable. With the season 20 percent complete, Dodger position players have a .364 on-base percentage and .504 slugging percentage.

The Dodgers’ overall .479 slugging percentage this season puts them on pace to top a 62-year-old franchise record of .474.

Dodger minor league report No. 4: Seager adjusting to Triple-A

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Dodgers at Brewers, 10:40 a.m.
Joc Pederson, CF
Yasmani Grandal, C
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Alex Guerrero, LF
Andre Ethier, RF
Juan Uribe, 3B
Kiké Hernandez, SS
Carlos Frias, P

By Jon Weisman

Though the Pacific Coast League has put a slight break on the rapid rise of Corey Seager, it wouldn’t be fair to say he’s lost all momentum.

Seager, who turned 21 last week, is 5 for 20 with a double, a walk and four strikeouts since his promotion to Triple-A Oklahoma City from Double-A Tulsa. Seager had hits in two of his first three at-bats, then went 0 for 9 (with his one walk).  But in his last two games, Seager is 3 for 8 with a double and two RBI, heading into tonight’s game against New Orleans.

On to this week’s roundup …

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Dodgers add Sergio Santos to bullpen

Los Angeles Dodgers vs San Francisco Giants

For more images from Thursday, visit LA Photog Blog — here and here.

Dodgers at Padres, 7:10 p.m.
Jimmy Rollins, SS
Yasiel Puig, RF
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Yasmani Grandal, C
Carl Crawford, LF
Juan Uribe, 3B
Joc Pederson, CF
Zack Greinke, P

By Jon Weisman

The Dodgers’ latest roster move is to add righty Sergio Santos to the bullpen, while sending Mike Bolsinger back to Triple-A Oklahoma City.

A veteran of 180 Major League games as a reliever, Santos began the 2015 season in Triple-A with eight strikeouts against eight baserunners in 4 2/3 innings.

To make room on the 40-man roster for Santos, the Dodgers designated newly acquired Xavier Cedeno for assignment. Santos is the fifth player to fill the 40th spot on the 40-man roster since David Huff came up to start April 14 against Seattle. One of those players, Daniel Corcino, was outrighted to Double-A Tulsa.

Meanwhile, the Dodgers’ starting pitcher for Sunday’s series finale against the Padres is still officially listed as “TBD.”

Bolsinger, Seager, Urias honored

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By Jon Weisman

Mike Bolsinger, Corey Seager and Julio Urias and Mike Bolsinger each received Player or Pitcher of the Week honors in their minor leagues.

A candidate to be called up by the Dodgers to start in the next few days, Bolsinger pitched 11 innings and allowed three hits and three walks while striking out 17 to become Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Week.

Seager, who turns 21 on April 27, is off to an extraordinary with Double-A Tulsa: 21 for 42 with a .762 slugging percentage and only four strikeouts, including 14 for 26 in the past seven days to become Texas League Player of the Week.

Meanwhile, the 18-year-old Urias struck out 10 in 5 2/3 innings while allowing five baserunners to earn Texas League Player of the Week recognition. At the outset of the season, Urias has a 0.00 ERA in 10 2/3 innings with 14 strikeouts against eight baserunners.

We’re not in Albuquerque anymore

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By Jon Weisman

On Friday, Mike Bolsinger extended to 11 his streak of scoreless innings to start 2015. He has allowed three hits and three walks while striking out 17.

Zach Lee has given up but one run and eight baserunners in 12 innings, with 13 strikeouts. Scott Baker’s ERA is 1.80.

As a team, the Dodgers’ new Triple-A affiliate in Oklahoma City has a 2.79 ERA with 104 strikeouts against 90 baserunners in 83 innings.

It’s still the Pacific Coast League, but it’s definitely not the high-flyin’ altitude of Albuquerque, where the Isotopes in 2014 had a team ERA that was more than double (5.83).

The OKC Dodgers played their first eight games of the season at a home ballpark that is far more friendly to pitchers than Albuquerque fans could ever imagine.

That’s not to minimize what the OKC Dodgers are doing at the outset of the season — that their 2.71 ERA leads the Pacific Coast League isn’t entirely the ballpark’s doing. Bolsinger’s five scoreless innings Friday came in the team’s road debut, a 3-2 victory over Iowa in which Oklahoma City allowed seven baserunners and struck out 14. But as time passes this season, we need to remember a different set of standards now applies to evaluating Dodger Triple-A pitchers statistically.

Similarly, the forgiveness typically directed toward Isotope pitchers might now be reapportioned toward the batters of Oklahoma City, who have the fourth-worst OPS in the PCL. Individual results vary wildly, from Buck Britton’s 11-for-28 start with six walks (1.036 OPS) down to Scott Schebler’s .379 OPS.

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