Trenidad Hubbard, CF (1998)
Blake DeWitt, 2B (2010)
Olmedo Saenz, 1B (2006)
Juan Rivera, LF (2012)
Jason Phillips, C (2005)
Juan Encarnacion, RF (2004)
Luis Cruz, 3B (2013)
Justin Sellers, SS (2013)
Vicente Padilla, P (2010)
Tag: Vicente Padilla (Page 1 of 3)
Trenidad Hubbard, CF (1998)
By Jon Weisman
Every spring, there’s tons of edge-of-your-laptop anticipation over who will start for the Dodgers on Opening Day, even if it won’t mean much by the end of that year, month, week or game.
Going back 30 years, here are nine of the most eccentric picks for the Dodgers’ season-opening lineups. Do you remember them all? They’re each peculiar yet lovable in their own way …
Speaking of Durocher: Variety reported Wednesday that Christopher Meloni has been cast to play Durocher in “42,” the upcoming feature film starring Chadwick Boseman as Jackie Robinson and Harrison Ford as Branch Rickey.
For more on Durocher, check out chapter 57 of 100 Things Dodgers Fans Should Know and Do Before They Die: “The Head-Spinning, Allegiance-Shifting, Authority-Defying Leo Durocher.”
- Josh Wilker of Cardboard Gods: still writing, still wonderful.
- Today in Jon SooHoo: Pitching in his first major-league game in Canada on May 17, 2001, Eric Gagne gets a standing ovation from fans in Montreal. In that game, Gagne allowed two solo homers in the first inning, then pitched two-hit, shutout ball over the next five innings, striking out seven and walking none — but the Dodgers lost, 3-1.
- Steven Cohen, one of the well-funded Dodger bidders, is pursuing a minority share in the Mets for the time being, according to Bill Shaikin of the Times. If Cohen ended up winning on the Dodgers’ front, he would then sell that Mets share. Shaikin notes that “Cohen has cleared a Major League Baseball investigation, the people said, which could bode well for his chances in the Dodgers sweepstakes.”
- “The Verducci Effect,” which states that young pitchers who have large increases in innings pitched will decline the following year, is built on faulty methodology, concludes Derek Carty of Baseball Prospectus.
- Former Dodger pitcher Vicente Padilla is facing legal problems in Nicaragua over child support payments. That could prevent him from reporting to Spring Training on time, although the amount in question has been reported to be only $4,200.
- Instant-replay reviews in sports aren’t as cut-and-dry as you might think, writes David Cohen in his column for Variety.
- Here’s a cute follow-up from Volkswagen to last year’s awesome kiddie Darth Vader ad for the Super Bowl.
This post is dedicated to a real ’49er …
- Jamie Moyer, who turns 50 on November 18, signed a minor-league deal with the Rockies with an invitation to Spring Training. Not that my expectations would be sky high, but I would have been curious to see Moyer, recovered from Tommy John surgery, in a Dodger uniform in March.
- Here, The Platoon Advantage needs only four degrees of separation to connect Moyer to Babe Ruth and makes the case for six degrees between Moyer and Cap Anson.
- Want to know what potential Dodger bidder Mark Cuban is up to this week? Just trying to change the business model of TV distribution.
- Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com spoke to Cuban this week about why he’s interested in the Dodgers. “It’s an iconic team,” Cuban said. “There’s only a few franchises like that. And it’s always better to buy a team like that when they’re down.”
- Bill Shaikin of the Times does the most thorough look of anyone yet at the threat of Frank McCourt keeping possession of the parking-lot-infused land surrounding Dodger Stadium. Because McCourt’s agreement with MLB doesn’t require him to sell that land, he can use it as a bargaining chip to extract more purchase money, hang on to it and draw millions in lease revenue from it, or do the very thing we imagined he’d do when he first bought the Dodgers eight years ago, develop it.
As I’ve said in the past, though there’s a risk that some group will buy the Dodgers without the land, no one with the sense of a bullfrog should be willing to take the risk of remaining beholden to McCourt after the sale. Pay the man up front and get him out of Dodge.
- The Miami Marlins appear to be the choice to succeed the San Francisco Giants as the featured team on Showtime’s baseball documentary series, “The Franchise,” Jon Weisman of Variety reports.
- Still more from the TV front: John Ourand of Sports Business Journal explores how long MLB Advanced Media will keep its digital operations separate from TV rights sales. Stakes are high.
- Renowned baseball historian Robert Creamer gave a lengthy interview with Graham Womack of Baseball Past and Present. His biography of Babe Ruth was one of the first serious baseball books I ever read. Here’s a small Dodger-related tidbit from the interview:
… I first became intensely aware of big league baseball in the summer of 1931, when I was nine. My big brother, who was six years older than I, took me to my first major league game, or games — it was a doubleheader between the old New York Giants and the old Brooklyn Dodgers in the old Polo Grounds on the banks of the Harlem River in New York, below the steep hillside known as Coogan’s Bluff. John McGraw was still managing the Giants and Wilbert Robinson the Dodgers, who were generally known as the Robins. Headlines would sometimes refer to the Robins as “the Flock, as in flock of birds. I’m not sure if team nicknames were technically formal at that time. If not they soon were. Both McGraw and Robinson ended their managerial careers in 1932, and the Robins nickname soon disappeared as “Dodgers” returned. The new manager was Max Carey, whose real name was, I believe, “Canarius.” One sportswriter, Tom Meany, bowing to Max, suggested the team’s new nickname be the Canaries, but it didn’t take. …
- “Moneyball” won approval across the pond, nabbing nominations for Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill and the screenplay by Steven Zallian and Aaron Sorkin from the British Academy.
- Our good friend Bob Timmermann wrote a terrific piece at L.A. Observed’s Native Intelligence about “L.A.’s Hall of Fame basketball coach who faded from memory,” Alex Hannum.
- Timmermann also passes along this note: “RIP Patsy Tombaugh, wife of Clyde Tombaugh, the man who discovered Pluto. … She was also the great-aunt of one Clayton Kershaw.” Tombaugh was 99.
- Dioner Navarro, who got a guaranteed $1 million from the Dodgers after finishing 2010 with a .528 OPS and an awkward departure from Tampa Bay, will go to Spring Training this year on a minor-league contract with the Reds after finishing 2011 with a .600 OPS and an awkward departure from Los Angeles. (Remembering 2011: Dioner Navarro.)
- Vagabond former Dodger draft pick Preston Mattingly has hooked a minor-league contract with his dad’s former team, the Yankees. Mattingly, 24, reached base 50 times in Single-A last year.
- Vicente Padilla signed a minor-league contract with Boston. He will compete for a spot in the starting rotation but could end up in the bullpen – health permitting, of course. (Remembering 2011: Vicente Padilla.)
- Diamond Leung, former Dodger beat reporter for the Press-Enterprise, has been blogging on college basketball for ESPN.com but now will cover Michigan State hoops for MLive.com.
Scott Boehm/Getty ImagesVicente Padilla (10)
The setup: Following a 2010 in which he was a controversial choice as Opening Day starter (it seems so long ago now), only to pitch 95 innings all year, the Dodgers re-signed Padilla for 2011 in December. The reasons: He required only a $2 million base salary, he had a summertime hot streak (after recovering from right forearm trouble) in which he had a 1.32 ERA in eight starts and 54 2/3 innings with 48 strikeouts, and he and the Dodgers came to an understanding that he might end up as the team’s closer if Jonathan Broxton continued to struggle.
The closeup: Arm trouble returned for Padilla before March even arrived, with the righty undergoing surgery to free up a nerve in his forearm. By the time he was ready to make his 2011 debut on April 23, concern had begun to mount for Broxton, who, despite being 1-0 with five saves in five opportunities, had allowed 14 baserunners in 8 2/3 innings. Though Padilla gave up a run on two hits and a walk in his second appearance of the season, it only took a perfect inning his next time out, saving a 10-inning victory in Florida on April 27, to ignite his candidacy for closer. On May 4, the day Broxton was shut down to have an MRI, Padilla pitched a shutout ninth inning (in a 5-1 loss to the Cubs), and it seemed the Dodgers’ backup plan was in motion.
However, after Padilla pitched three times in the ensuing week, allowing three runs in 2 2/3 innings, he was done. Placed on the disabled list May 19, he never came off. In June, he had season-ending neck surgery. He finished his season with 8 2/3 innings pitched in nine games and a 4.15 ERA.
Coming attractions: Padilla, who turned 34 on September 27, is a free agent again. News on his recovery has been hard to come by, but if he has any inclination toward a comeback, there should still be interest in offering him at least a minor-league contract from more than a few teams, including the Dodgers. If someone like Mike MacDougal was worth a shot last winter, Padilla with a clean(er) bill of health might be as well.
Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com has details on the impending surgery for Vicente Padilla.
We’re still waiting for the official word, but Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com is reporting that Jon Garland will be placed on the disabled list (for the second time this season) with a right shoulder problem.
The immediate roster replacement would be Vicente Padilla, who will be activated from the disabled list, but more significantly, it could mean Rubby De La Rosa will make his first major-league start Tuesday in Philadelphia.
Update: Whatever’s going to happen is apparently not happening before today’s game, according to this note from the Dodgers.
Icon SMI/US PresswireRubby De La Rosa and Scott Elbert brought relief from the minors.
The kids have come to the rescue of the Dodger bullpen, and not nearly enough has been said about it.
Jonathan Broxton went on the disabled list May 6, followed within 10 days by Hong-Chih Kuo, Vicente Padilla and Blake Hawksworth. To replace them, the Dodgers brought up Kenley Jansen (who had temporarily gone down to Chattanooga), Scott Elbert, Javy Guerra and Ramon Troncoso.
Another week later, the Dodgers dispatched mop-up man Lance Cormier and replaced him with Rubby De La Rosa. Then in the past week, Jansen went on the disabled list and was replaced by Josh Lindblom, who made his major-league debut with an inning in the finale of the Colorado series Wednesday.
Of the replacements, Troncoso was the veteran with all of 177 1/3 career innings. The combined career experience of Jansen, Elbert, Guerra, De La Rosa and Lindblom was 39 2/3 innings. Their average age: 23 1/2. Think about it – more than half of the bullpen handed over to runts.
Here’s how they’ve done, including the 3-0 Dodger loss to Colorado, in which the bullpen followed Jon Garland’s six-inning, three-run start with shutout ball:
- Jansen: 7 2/3 innings, 13 baserunners, four earned runs (4.69 ERA), 13 strikeouts, 0 of 5 inherited runners scored
- Troncoso: six innings, six baserunners, no earned runs (0.00 ERA), two strikeouts, 2 of 5 inherited runners scored
- Guerra: seven innings, nine baserunners, two earned runs (2.57 ERA), five strikeouts, 0 of 0 inherited runners scored
- De La Rosa: five innings, four baserunners, one earned run (1.80 ERA), five strikeouts, 0 of 0 inherited runners scored
- Elbert: 4 2/3 innings, six baserunners, no earned runs (0.00 ERA), seven strikeouts, 1 of 6 inherited runners scored
- Lindblom: one inning, two baserunners, no earned runs (0.00 ERA), no strikeouts, 0 of 0 inherited runners scored
Total: 31 1/3 innings, 40 baserunners, seven earned runs, 32 strikeouts, 2.01 ERA, 3 of 16 inherited runners scored
That’s remarkable, especially considering we can assume that we can possibly attribute three of the seven runs allowed to the shoulder inflammation that sent Jansen to the disabled list.
The news that Padilla is expected to return to active duty Friday will, barring injury, start pushing the runts back to the minor leagues, but each has made the case to stay with the big club. Considered a weakness less than a month ago, the Dodger bullpen will in less than 48 hours have eight effective relievers to choose from, with more to come as Broxton, Kuo, Hawksworth and Jansen get back on their feet.
The other noteworthy thing is that with all the injuries, Dodger manager Don Mattingly has basically been forced to throw the idea of a designated closer out the window, instead bringing in pitchers simply based on the situation rather than their title or status. Unshackled from a pecking order, the Dodger kids haven’t suffered – they’ve thrived. Jansen, Guerra and De La Rosa have all finished close games, while Elbert and now even Lindblom have pitched in situations where giving up a single run could be a killer. De La Rosa, whose destiny remains starting pitcher, could be a circa-1992 Pedro Martinez-like smokejumper, giving you a couple innings at a time as long as there’s sufficient rest in between.
Message to Mattingly: Do yourself a favor. As the veterans return to the pen, don’t get caught up in who your closer is. Just keep doing what you’re doing. Manage according to the situation, not according to resume.
- Aaron Miles went 2 for 4 with a one-out double in the bottom of the ninth that led to the tying run, completing the Dodgers’ rally from a 6-2 deficit.
- Juan Castro also doubled and singled.
- Scott Elbert pitched a perfect inning. He stayed around the plate for the first two batters, before going to a three-ball count on the third.
- Ramon Troncoso replaced Hiroki Kuroda with two out in the sixth inning, score tied 1-1 and two runners on base. By the time he got the third out, the score was 4-1 Brewers.
- Two more runs came off of Travis Schlichting in the seventh inning.
Vicente Padilla had his surgery today. From Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com:
… The surgery was performed in Los Angeles by team physician Dr. Neal ElAttrache and Dr. Steve Shin, who conveyed the results to Dodgers trainer Stan Conte at Camelback Ranch.
“Stan said it went well,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “[Padilla] is supposed to be back in Arizona sometime [on Friday], and he’ll start the rehab process. What I got was that his best outlook is three or four weeks, then he’ll start tossing.”
Because this type of surgery is so rare among pitchers, there are no plans for how long the rehabilitation will last. Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said Wednesday, the day before the surgery, that he had been given reason to believe Padilla would return sometime during the season’s first half. …
* * *
- Kenley Jansen’s spot on the roster seems even more secure to me after this tweet from ESPN the Magazine’s Molly Knight from Camelback: “Mattingly says Jansen will work 7th inning typically, 8th when Kuo is unavailable and could close if Broxton has gone three days in a row.”
- My favorite tidbit from Ken Gurnick’s roundup of Dodger non-roster invitees at MLB.com is on Ramon Colon: “This is his 15th professional season and he had a great Spring Training last year to make the Royals Opening Day roster, but after a month he was released and wound up pitching in Korea. He signed with the Dodgers because they became his favorite team when they signed his older brother, Daniel, in 1989.”
- More details on the pitching plan on Saturday from the Dodger press notes: “In Scottsdale, Dodger right-handed hurler Tim Redding will get the start and is scheduled to be followed by RHP Carlos Monasterios, RHP Oscar Villarreal, RHP Jon Huber and LHP Wilkin De La Rosa. Over in Tempe, RHP Hiroki Kuroda will make his first start of the spring and is scheduled to be followed by RHP Rubby De La Rosa, LHP Scott Elbert, RHP Lance Cormier, RHP Roman Colon and RHP Luis Vasquez.”
- Also from the press notes: “A contingent of Dodger employees will take on a group of White Sox employees looking to avenge their loss in the 1959 World Series in a “friendly” softball game on Field 1. The skirmish will take place at 6 p.m. and admission is free.”
- Ernest Reyes of Blue Heaven passes along this photo of Walter O’Malley in Cuba in 1959. Cutline: “Officials and players of the Reds and Dodgers received a warm welcome from Fidel Castro’s forces when they played two games at Havana, March 20-21. In front row, left is Gabe Paul, general manager of the Reds. In the second row, standing, are Bud Holman (with beret), a Dodger director, and Walter O’Malley (wearing deputy sheriff’s badge), Dodger prexy.”
- Happy birthday, Nancy Bea Hefley …
* * *
Update: The Dodgers “plan to add one more Cactus League game to their schedule to be played sometime in late March in Tucson, Ariz., to benefit the Christina Taylor Green Memorial Fund,” according to Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com.
Ric Tapia/Icon SMIVicente Padilla had a 4.07 ERA in 95 innings for the Dodgers in 2010.
Padilla was examined in Los Angeles on Tuesday, and according to the Dodgers, “it was determined that the right radial nerve was being entrapped by one of the deep muscles in the forearm.” The goal of the surgery is to “release the muscle and free up the nerve.”
It could be worse. St. Louis is facing the loss of Adam Wainwright for a considerable length of time, ESPN.com reports.
Vicente Padilla’s pitching elbow is ailing, the Dodgers said today. Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com has details.
Dodgers vice president of communications Josh Rawitch said that Padilla “was experiencing pain in his right elbow similar to what he felt last year.” He was examined by Dr. Neil ElAttrache in Arizona on Monday, after which it was decided Padilla would fly back to Los Angeles today for an MRI. Results of that test are expected Wednesday.
The start of the season is still five weeks away, but a longterm Padilla injury would probably cement Blake Hawksworth’s spot on the club and, combined with Ronald Belisario’s absence, further increase the odds for Ron Mahay, Lance Cormier, Ramon Troncoso or Scott Elbert.
Outside of the left-field conundrum, the Dodgers’ biggest question mark for Spring Training might be how they will address the task of getting left-handed batters out with their almost completely right-handed bullpen. No one wants to see Hong-Chih Kuo relegated to facing only lefties, and the only other left-handed thrower on the 40-man roster is the uncertain Scott Elbert.
Three non-roster invitees to major-league camp are left-handed: 39-year-old Ron Mahay, achy-hamstringed Dana Eveland (whose career 5.74 ERA will apparently be sidelined for weeks after Thursday’s injury) and Wilkin De La Rosa, who has never pitched about Double-A. After that, you start dipping down into the minors for developing players like James Adkins.
With Ronald Belisario’s absence seemingly opening up a roster spot, Mahay would seem to be the default candidate. He had a .520 OPS allowed against lefties last season. But the previous two seasons, his OPS allowed against lefties was above .700 — which isn’t terrible, but isn’t exactly the kind of authoritative performance you’re looking for when you really want someone to come in and get that guy out.
I got to wondering if there were any righties among the Dodger relievers who were reliable against lefties. Here’s a chart of the bullpen candidates’ OPS allowed against lefties over the past three seasons in the majors:
|2010 PA/||2010 OPS||2009 PA/||2009 OPS||2008 PA/||2008 OPS|
- The Dodgers have a few righties who seem consistently effective against their opposite numbers: Jonathan Broxton, Matt Guerrier and, based on a small sample size, Kenley Jansen.
- Oh, and another guy who probably isn’t on your radar … late signee Lance Cormier.
- Based on only his one season, Carlos Monasterios offers an intriguing first impression — though looking at the chart, you can see how much these numbers can fluctuate. Look at what happened to Ramon Troncoso, for example, or moving in the other direction, Vicente Padilla.
- For extreme small-sample candidates, there’s Roman Colon and Travis Schlichting. Consider at your own risk.
If the Dodgers decide that Kuo, Broxton, Guerrier, Jansen and Padilla are all effective against lefties, they could decide to go without a second left-handed pitcher — especially if they also think Cormier is worth a roster slot. It might still be Mahay’s spot to lose or Scott Elbert’s spot to win, but Cormier might be this year’s guy you least expected.
Friend this …
- Ronald Belisario says he just needs to replace a lost passport, and that “of course” he is going to Spring Training.
- Ned Colletti isn’t rushing to offer a laurel and hearty handshake.
- Matt Kemp couldn’t wait to start his baserunning training with Davey Lopes.
- Don Mattingly feels like the eye in the hurricane.
- Gabe Kapler is a happy and hopeful Dodger (and doesn’t want to be the one to tell you he has more managerial experience than Don Mattingly).
- Clayton Kershaw always enjoys a good laugh with his buddy Hiroki.
- Jon Garland had a happy first day throwing in Arizona with Hiroki.
- A.J. Ellis is trying not to be frustrated.
- Dana Eveland is not in the moon over his hammy.
- Jonathan Broxton’s calendar does not say 2010.
- Tony Gwynn Jr. might be a left fielder after all.
- Vicente Padilla isn’t a relief pitcher … yet.
- Jeff Weaver is hanging by the phone.
- Hong-Chih Kuo pledges allegiance to the pitching schedule.
- Manny Ramirez is an eager beaver.
- Casey Blake is gettin’ in some last-minute wrestling-watching.
- Dee Gordon has heard it all before, but you can’t shake his confidence.
- Josh Rawitch thinks this might be the best time to be at Camelback Ranch.
- Gary Sheffield is not thinking about how destiny will reunite him with Mike Piazza in 2014.
- Vance Lovelace is thankful for the opportunity to have a career in baseball after his playing days ended.
- Sandy Koufax is smiling.