Dodger Thoughts

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

Tag: Paco Rodriguez (Page 2 of 2)

Nearly-an-iron man Matt Kemp gets rare rest day


For more Tuesday photo highlights, visit LA Photog Blog.

Nationals at Dodgers, 12:10 p.m.
Dee Gordon, 2B
Yasiel Puig, RF
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Hanley Ramirez, SS
Carl Crawford, LF
Justin Turner, 3B
Joc Pederson, CF
Tim Federowicz, C
Carlos Frias, P

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.

Paco Rodriguez placed on disabled list, Pedro Baez recalled

Angels at Dodgers, 7:10 p.m.
Kershaw CC: Kershawt Tub Time Machine
Dee Gordon, 2B
Yasiel Puig, CF
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Hanley Ramirez, SS
Matt Kemp, RF
Scott Van Slyke, LF
Juan Uribe, 3B
A.J. Ellis, C
Clayton Kershaw, P

By Jon Weisman

For the second day in a row, a Dodger reliever has gone on the disabled list.

Paco Rodriguez was placed on the disabled list today (retroactive to August 4) with a Teres Major strain, the same injury that sidelined Clayton Kershaw from late March into early May.

Pedro Baez has been called up from the Albuquerque bullpen to replace Rodriguez on the roster. Baez, who has pitched in two games for the Dodgers this year, most recently pitched a shutout inning for the Isotopes on August 2 against Tacoma.

In Rodriguez’s most recent outing, he threw two shutout innings with two strikeouts against the Cubs on Sunday. If you don’t mind tossing out the April 30 game in which he allowed three runs in two-thirds of an inning to the Twins, Rodriguez has 1.74 ERA in 12 other appearances with 10 strikeouts in 9 2/3 innings against 10 baserunners. Rodriguez also stranded all six inherited runners this year.

Paco Rodriguez called up, three regulars sit


For highlights from Friday’s game, visit LA Photog Blog.

Cubs at Dodgers, 6:10 p.m.
Dee Gordon, 2B
Justin Turner, 1B
Hanley Ramirez, SS
Matt Kemp, RF
Scott Van Slyke, CF
Juan Uribe, 3B
Carl Crawford, LF
Drew Butera, C
Hyun-Jin Ryu, P

By Jon Weisman

Paco Rodriguez is at Dodger Stadium today, having been called up to take the roster spot of Paul Maholm, who is heading to the disabled list with a torn right ACL.

Three other Dodgers — Adrian Gonzalez, Yasiel Puig and A.J. Ellis — are resting or nursing injuries and taking a break from the starting lineup.

Among other things, Justin Turner is making his first start at first base since May 30, 2013 with the Mets — although he did play innings 9-20 there on June 8 the same year.

Rodriguez pitched an inning for Albuquerque on Friday, retiring all three batters he faced on grounders. He allowed five runs on 12 baserunners in six innings for the Isotopes in July.


Dodgers activate Beckett, option Rodriguez

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Dodgers at Pirates, 4:05 p.m.
Dee Gordon, 2B
Justin Turner, SS
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Matt Kemp, RF
Andre Ethier, CF
Carl Crawford, LF
Juan Uribe, 3B
A.J. Ellis, C
Josh Beckett, P

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.

Are the Dodgers getting a more rested Paco Rodriguez for the stretch?

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Dodgers at Cardinals, 5:15 p.m.
Dee Gordon, 2B
Yasiel Puig, RF
Hanley Ramirez, SS
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Matt Kemp, LF
Andre Ethier, CF
Juan Uribe, 3B
A.J. Ellis, C
Dan Haren, P

By Jon Weisman

One big concern with Paco Rodriguez in 2013 was whether he was burned out by the time September arrived. That was the conclusion almost everyone seemed to draw when his otherwise sterling season fell apart with a 5.68 ERA and 2.211 WHIP in the regular season’s final month, followed by a rough and abbreviated postseason.

Cause or correlation, it made me curious how much more rested Rodriguez will be after this year’s All-Star Break compared to last year. (Note: MLB and minor-league work is combined here.)

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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 15 pregame: Buckle up

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Dodgers at Giants, 7:15 p.m.
Dee Gordon, 2B
Carl Crawford, LF
Hanley Ramirez, SS
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Yasiel Puig, RF
Andre Ethier, LF
Juan Uribe, 3B
Tim Federowicz, C
Josh Beckett, P

By Jon Weisman

After playing their first 13 games in 24 days, the Dodgers will play their next 13 games in 13 days. So get ready …

Late updates: Taking advantage of his remaining options, the Dodgers sent Paco Rodriguez to Albuquerque to make room for the return of Brian Wilson from the disabled list. Obviously, this won’t be the last the Dodgers see of Rodriguez, who had allowed six hits and two walks in 5 2/3 innings this year while striking out five.

More forebodingly, Chad Billingsley is returning to Los Angeles for an MRI after cutting short a bullpen session today with discomfort in his right elbow. Ken Gurnick of has more on both stories if you click the links.

* * *

Some gems from the Dodger press notes:

  • The Dodgers’ 7-1 start on the road this season is their best since 1983, and a win tonight would make this their best road start since the 1977 team went 11-1.
  • The Dodgers lead MLB by scoring first in 10 games this season and winning nine of those (via Stats, LLC).
  • The Dodger bullpen has allowed only two of 20 inherited runners to score this season.
  • Adrian Gonzalez became the eighth Los Angeles Dodger to have at least 10 RBI in a three-game series. Frank Howard is tops with 12 from July 27-29, 1962 against the Giants.
  • Gonzalez has homered in four consecutive games, one off the team record held by Roy Campanella (1950), Shawn Green (2001) and Matt Kemp (2010).
  • Gonzalez has an extra-base hit in eight consecutive games, one off the team record held by Jack Fournier.
  • I looked up Fournier’s streak just now (August 20-26, 1925) and saw that it included doubleheaders on three consecutive days. From sunup on August 22 to sundown on August 24, the 35-year-old first baseman went 10 for 22 with two doubles, a triple, three homers and four walks.

* * *

Also in today’s mix …

  • The first Jackie Robinson Celebration Game was set for today at Holman Stadium at Historic Dodgertown in Vero Beach, matching Florida State League teams Lakeland (Tigers) and Brevard County (Brewers). Former MLB commissioner Fay Vincent was to address the crowd with history about Robinson.
  • Kenley Jansen threw a cutter that broke 100 mph, notes Daniel Brim at Dodgers Digest.
  • Ernest Reyes at Blue Heaven presents some anti-discrimination baseball memorabilia.
  • Duke Snider received the 1961 Union Oil Dodger Family Booklet treatment (also at Blue Heaven).
  • The Dodgers were shut out four times in nine games at San Francisco in 2012, but none in 2013.

In case you missed it: Upside down, boy you turn me

By Jon Weisman

One week until it’s time for Dodger (Spring Training) baseball …

  • Injury updates on several Dodgers are provided by Eric Stephen of True Blue L.A. It could be a couple of weeks before we know more about Matt Kemp.

    … Kemp has had monthly MRI exams since having surgery to remove torn cartilage in his left ankle in October. Mattingly said the last exam was roughly two weeks ago, so we could have another two weeks or so before hearing anything new. …

  • More encouraging news — and a great quote — are coming from Josh Beckett and Dan Haren, according to Mark Saxon of ESPN LosAngeles.

    … “I said, ‘Did you ever dream you’d be watching a guy with a beard like Brian Wilson pitch with Sandy Koufax standing 10 feet from you?’” Beckett said. “Dan Haren’s like, ‘Yeah, it seems like there should be a unicorn somewhere.’” …

  • Since before the beginning of Spring Training, it’s been apparent that there might not be a full-time starter at second base come March 22. As Saxon and Stephen report, nothing has changed on that count.
  • Proclamation time:
  • “There’s no reason not to be confident” in Paco Rodriguez, despite the fact that he ran out of steam last fall, Don Mattingly told Ken Gurnick of MLB.comalong with Stephen.
  • In this Gurnick news feature about Don Mattingly, managers and long-term contracts comes this tidbit: “Jamey Wright has played for 29 managers in his 21 professional seasons.”
  • Yasiel Puig’s signing could have an impact for the Dodgers’ future international efforts, reports Jesse Sanchez of

    … “The way it works down there, [amateur] players come to tryouts at your camp, and we had a hard time getting players to come to the academy [in the Dominican Republic] until we signed Puig,” (Ned) Colletti said. “I was down there about three weeks ago or so, and it was probably the best group of players that I’ve seen. A lot of it has to do with our ability to spend, and we’ve increased our scouting internationally three-fold from where it was. We have the finances to be competitive with players from Cuba and amateurs in other countries. Puig was a very key sign for us in more ways than just his talent.”

  • Tommy Davis is the latest to be featured in Ernest Reyes’ 1961 Union Oil Family Booklet series at Blue Heaven.
  • Joe Morgan talked with Bill James? It’s more than 80 minutes (via Baseball Think Factory), but this I gotta hear. “A lot of you may not know him as well as I do,” Morgan said, “but he is the father of sabermetrics, so to speak, and a guy that I really have a lot of admiration for. I don’t agree with a lot of sabermetrics people, but I’ve rarely disagreed with Bill.”

In case you missed it: Sandy Koufax applies for regular job presenting awards to Clayton Kershaw

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By Jon Weisman

We’re all in awe of Sandy Koufax, but Koufax seemed in awe of Clayton Kershaw while presenting him with his National League Cy Young Award over the weekend (in the video above):

“Clayton Kershaw is not my protege,” Koufax said. “Clayton Kershaw is his own person, his own man, and he’s done it all himself. … He’s a very special pitcher. He’s a very special teammate. He’s a very special person.”

“As a player, Clayton has never been satisfied. He has tried to get better every year. And if he gets better after the year he had this year, I’d like to apply for next year’s job of presenting this to him again.”

  • What’s the all-time Dodger team of single-season performances? Matt Snyder of makes his picks.
  • Keith Law of ranks the Dodgers’ farm system 11th in baseball.

    “A very top-heavy system like Baltimore’s, with two elite guys at the top and three solid guys after, followed by a lot of reliever/fifth starter depth. They did have some intriguing arms in short-season ball who could push this system’s overall value up a lot by next year, especially since none of their top eight prospects are likely to lose eligibility in 2014.”

  • In this post about the superb hitting by Dodger pitchers last season, Daniel Brim of Dodgers Digest notes that it was the fourth-best performance since 1990. Though Zack Greinke figures to regress after his phenomenal season at the plate, Dan Haren (career .240 on-base percentage) might help the cause.
  • Charlie Osgood, who pitched in one game for the Dodgers in 1944 during World War II at age 17, has passed away, notes Baseball Happenings (via Blue Heaven). He was a nephew of famous Dodger coach Clyde Sukeforth.
  • A type of protective cap for pitchers to use on the mound has been approved by MLB, reports William Weinbaum for “We’re excited to have a product that meets our safety criteria,” Halem told “Outside the Lines,” adding that baseball will continue its efforts to come up with more options.
  • Historic Dodgertown in Vero Beach will host a game between the Brevard County Manatees and Lakeland Flying Tigers on April 15 in celebration of Jackie Robinson Day.
  • Recent Dodger signee Chone Figgins is among the baseball veterans attempting to make comebacks that Cliff Corcoran writes about at, but the most interesting tidbit might be about Mark Mulder, who is trying things out with the Angels.

    “By 2011, Mulder had settled into retirement as an analyst for ESPN, but while watching Dodgers lefty Paco Rodriguez pitch in last year’s playoffs Mulder was inspired to imitate his delivery and discovered that doing so restored the life on his pitches.

  • Peter Gammons wrote at Gammons Daily that the Dodgers are the team to beat in the National League West, but that the division will be interesting this year.
  • The inimitable Pete Seeger, who passed away Monday, can be heard discussing baseball — including the integration effort — on these videos shared by Craig Calcaterra at Hardball Talk.
  • Following up on the first day of the Dodgers’ Pitching in the Community Caravan, Courtney Jones and bring some great stuff in this video.[mlbvideo id=”31325787″ width=”400″ height=”224″ /]

Jansen takes night off, but Paco keeps Dodgers rolling

Hanley Ramirez is on the sidelines – for days or weeks, we’re still not sure.

Kenley Jansen was on the sidelines – for a breather after an intense run of success.

But no one could sideline the Dodgers’ winning ways.

It was another close one, but thanks to just enough hitting and starting pitching and the right stuff from a young lefty in the bullpen, Los Angeles won its 15th consecutive road game, defeating St. Louis, 3-2.

The Dodgers are now 32-7 in their past 39 games, 15-2 since the All-Star break and are two away from the National League record for consecutive victories on the road, set 97 years ago by the New York Giants. They are a full six games ahead of idle Arizona in the NL West, and within three games of St. Louis, a team that on June 21 held a 16-game margin over them.

During their 32-7 run, the Dodgers are 10-0 in one-run games. They have won 10 of past 11 and were tied in the ninth inning of game they lost in that stretch, at home against the Yankees.

Though they led most of the way, it was a comeback victory for the Dodgers. Los Angeles fell behind in the first inning thanks in part to some spotty glovework by Yasiel Puig (who made a throwing error) and Nick Punto (whose throw home later that inning wasn’t good enough to prevent a run), but came back to take a 2-1 lead in the fourth on a walk to Adrian Gonzalez, a double by Puig, an RBI single by Andre Ethier and a run-scoring groundout by A.J. Ellis.

Then in the fifth, Puig, returning after a day off, and Punto, starting in place of Ramirez, reversed their fielding fortunes and teamed up to take a Cardinal run off the scoreboard. Puig barehanded David Freese’s double off the wall and rifled the ball to Punto, the shortstop who was in short right field to take the throw. Punto whipped the ball home to A.J. Ellis, who shorthopped it and tagged out Allen Craig trying to score from first.

Greinke, who earlier had a sacrifice bunt, hit an RBI single to right-center to push the Dodger lead to 3-1. That hit raised Greinke’s 2013 on-base percentage to .476, currently the highest of any pitcher in baseball history with at least 40 plate appearances.

The hit also provided an important insurance run. To start the bottom of the seventh, Greinke walked pinch-hitter Abron Chambers, who was batting .200 with no career homers. Matt Carpenter followed with a hit, putting runners at first and second as Greinke neared 100 pitches. Surprisingly, Carlos Beltran bunted, putting runners at second and third but giving up an out.

Chambers scored on an RBI groundout by Craig against Ronald Belisario, but the Dodgers escaped with their one-run lead heading into the eighth.

Greinke’s bottom-of-the-seventh struggle essentially eliminated any hope that the Dodgers wouldn’t agonize about getting through tonight’s game without Kenley Jansen, who entered the action with 25 consecutive batters retired (13 by strikeout) but with appearances in nine of his past 13 games, including 13 pitches Saturday and 15 Sunday. After Paco Rodriguez threw only six to get his three outs in the eighth, he remained in the game to start the ninth against the 8-9-1 spots in the St. Louis lineup, while Jansen sat in the bullpen with his coverup on. Brandon League warmed up in support of Rodriguez.

• Left-handed hitting Daniel Descalso struck out on three pitches.

• Left-handed pinch-hitter Matt Adams, with an .836 OPS and eight home runs in 174 at-bats, grounded out to Gonzalez on the second pitch from Rodriguez.

• Left-handed hitting Carpenter went ahead in the count 2-0, swung and missed, then hit a fly ball to center field that Ethier flagged down.

Rodriguez had his second career save (the first by a Dodger of at least two innings since Ramon Troncoso in 2009), Jansen had his night off, Greinke had his 100th career victory and the Dodgers had yet another win. Incredible, ain’t it? Simply incredible.

Previously on Dodger Thoughts: Phenomenal bullpen key to Dodgers’ revival

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