Dodger Thoughts

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

Tag: Yasmani Grandal (Page 1 of 6)

Yasmani Grandal in desperate need of playoff redemption

On a quiet Wednesday between the National League Division Series and Championship Series, I looked up Yasmani Grandal’s career playoff stats.

I knew he wasn’t doing well this October, and that he had been benched last October, and that there had been issues in previous Octobers, but I hadn’t really put it all together until they spilled out before me on Baseball Reference.

Heading into the NLCS, in his postseason career, Grandal was 5 for 59 with 25 strikeouts. He did have 14 walks and two home runs, including one in NLDS Game 2 against Atlanta, but he was 2 for his last 45, lowering his playoff OPS to .447.

I shared these stats with Eric Stephen of SB Nation, who took things a step farther. Grandal’s .085 batting average, Stephen found, was the fifth lowest in MLB history among players with at least 50 plate appearances, and two of those lower than him were pitchers.

  1. Bill North .051 (3 for 59)
  2. Marv Owen .061 (3 for 49)
  3. Greg Maddux .073 (4 for 55)
  4. Whitey Ford .082 (4 for 49)
  5. Yasmani Grandal .085 (5 for 59)

That’s all to point out where Grandal stood before what has been an absolutely miserable start to the NLCS.

Read More

Versatile Dodgers move from Iron Men to Graphene Gang

Bill Russell with Walter Alston

If you have any sense of Los Angeles Dodger history (and if you don’t, click here!), you know about the iron man.

Steve Garvey played in every game the Dodgers had from 1976 through 1982 — 1,083 in all, and except for eight pinch-hitting appearances, all at his favored position of first base. At his durability peak in 1976, Garvey played in 1,464 2/3 innings, or all but six innings the Dodgers played that year.

Surprisingly, that 1976 season didn’t make Garvey the Dodgers’ all-time single-season innings leader. In a largely forgotten but rather astonishing 1973 season, Bill Russell was on the field at shortstop for every single out the Dodgers made except for four of them.

Playing at fair territory’s most challenging defensive position, Russell logged 1,489 2/3 innings and 160 complete games, both franchise records. He left only two games early:

  • On April 7, in the Dodgers’ second game of the season, Russell gave way in the top of the ninth inning to pinch-hitter Von Joshua, who hit a game-tying RBI single. Davey Lopes, who scored the tying run as a pinch-runner, went to shortstop for the first time in his MLB career in the bottom of the ninth, which lasted only two batters before Jerry Morales hit a walkoff homer against Dodger reliever Jim Brewer.
  • On July 21, Russell took a breather in the bottom of the eighth inning of an 8-1 loss at St. Louis, missing the Cardinals’ final three outs in what I expect was a steamy summer’s evening on the Busch Stadium astroturf.

That was it. Russell, who racked up 163 hits but only had a .301 on-base percentage in 1973, played in 99.9 percent of the Dodgers’ innings at short that year.

If those are the iron men, let me introduce you to (pause to Google most flexible metals in the world) the graphene men.

This year, the Dodgers are heading for a couple of unprecedented fielding events that underscores the team’s unusual versatility. For the first time in a 162-game season, there might not be a single Dodger to play even 1,000 innings at a single position — remarkable considering that the team will play close to 1,500. And, their leader in innings at one position — also for the first time since at least 1962 — might be a catcher.

Read More

Who will represent the 2018 Dodgers at the All-Star Game?

A year after they sent six players to the MLB All-Star Game, it’s more likely than not that the Dodgers will rely on the “every team gets a guy” rule simply to get one player to Washington D.C.

We still have nearly two months before the game is played (so you can question why I’m even writing about this right now), but if I were to make a prediction about who the 2018 Dodger All-Star will be, I might just pick a guy who has played in only seven games so far this year: Clayton Kershaw.

Read More

Dodger trades, from simple
to screwball

So by all appearances, Matt Kemp — the once prodigious if not prodigal son –is going to Spring Training at Camelback Ranch, and it got me wondering about how complicated is the composition of the Dodger roster.

Read More

Video: Who was the most underrated Dodger in 2016?

[wpvideo zmh5Z8cE]

By Jon Weisman

Late in October on Twitter, I asked folks whom they would pick for the most underrated Dodger of 2016.

It was a doubly subjective exercise, integrating not only your own perception of Dodger players but your belief in how others feel as well.

From the dozen or so nominees, I picked out the four with the most mentions and put them in a decidedly unscientific poll, narrowly won by Joe Blanton.

Blanton was a fine choice, but my own vote went to Joc Pederson. In this video (edited and produced for Dodger Insider by Julian Gooden) I explain why. Enjoy …

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and the Dodgers be holding a 2-1 NLCS lead

sunset-overhead

By Jon Weisman

Pitchers paint on the edge of a cliff. They are artists, tending to a tiny canvas that hovers in mid-air, and they are adventurers who might fall at any moment.

Rich Hill took a minor masterpiece into the sixth inning tonight at Dodger Stadium. After walking two of three batters with some tremulous brush work to start the top of the second, Hill was in his element. Twelve of the next 13 batters he faced became dots on his Seuratian landscape.

In the top of the sixth, the ground beneath Hill’s easel began to quiver. With one out, Kris Bryant singled to left center, for the second hit off the Dodger left-hander. With two out, Anthony Rizzo took the first four pitches, and three fell outside the borders of the strike zone. On deck was Javy Baez, whose electric play helped the Cubs win Game 1 of the National League Championship Series and nearly Game 2 as well.

Hill raised his arm and lofted the next pitch, a 74 mile-per-hour curveball that sidled through the California air with the arc of a rainbow, landing into the glove of Yasmani Grandal for strike two.

Then, at 87 mph, Hill dropped down with a master’s flourish.

101816_hill_k_rizzo_med

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers (Top: Juan Ocampo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers (Top: Juan Ocampo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

Hill pumped his fist, shouted to the heavens and handed his work to the gallery, for 54,269 art-lovers at Dodger Stadium to marvel.

The 36-year-old’s six innings of two-hit shutout ball, his finest performance since he threw seven perfect innings at Miami on September 10, were framed by Grandal, the catcher who also hit a two-run home run off Jake Arrieta in the Dodgers’ 6-0 victory.

Taking a 2-1 lead in the NLCS, the Dodgers are as close to the World Series as they have been in 28 years.

Hill struck out six, giving him 19 in 13 postseason innings (13.2 strikeouts per nine innings) with a 3.46 ERA. With Joe Blanton, Grant Dayton and Kenley Jansen finishing the game, the Dodgers have thrown consecutive postseason shutouts for the first time in franchise history.

Read More

Yasmani Grandal gives the inside scoop

2016 NLDS Game One---Los Angeles Dodgers vs Washington Nationals

Dodgers
Chase Utley, 2B
Corey Seager, SS
Justin Turner, 3B
Adrián González, 1B
Josh Reddick, RF
Joc Pederson, CF
Yasmani Grandal, C
Andrew Toles, LF
Rich Hill, P
Nationals
Trea Turner, CF
Bryce Harper, RF
Jayson Werth, LF
Daniel Murphy, 2B
Anthony Rendon, 3B
Ryan Zimmerman, 1B
Danny Espinosa, SS
José Lobatón , C
Tanner Roark, P

By Jon Weisman

Before Saturday’s Game 2 of the National League Division Series was postponed, Yasmani Grandal gave a pretty entertaining press session with reporters.

Here’s how it began:

Q. What is it about Kenley Jansen that makes him not only able to have five-out saves, like what Dave (Roberts) asked him to do last night, but lets him thrive in situations like that?
YASMANI GRANDAL: 98-mile-per-hour cutter.

Q. Anything about his mentality —
YASMANI GRANDAL: No. 98-mile-per-hour cutter.

If it seems as if Grandal was being curt, he actually gave thoughtful and lengthy responses to subsequent questions …

On catching Game 2 starter Rich Hill:

It’s fun to catch Rich just because of … all the angles and how much movement he has got on his fastball and his curveball. It seems like he has got five different curveballs and three different fastballs. So that aspect of a game is pretty fun for me to do it.

I don’t know about other people, but you know, at times it’s a little bit challenging. … You don’t know what his curveball is going to do when he drops down. You don’t know what his curveball is going to do when he’s throwing it over the top.

At times it is a little challenging just to catch the ball to try and help him out behind home plate, and to make sure that I help him out doing what I’m capable of doing behind home plate. Like the stats said, framing is one of the top things in the league right now. … My challenge, basically, each and every day, is making sure that I’m prepared to help him. If I’m able to get a couple strikes here and there, then that’s always a good thing.

Read More

Several sizzled in September for Dodgers

Dodgers at Giants, 1:05 p.m.
Kershaw CCLXIII: Kershawcadia
Howie Kendrick, LF
Justin Turner, 3B
Corey Seager, SS
Yasiel Puig, RF
Adrián González, 1B
Yasmani Grandal, C
Joc Pederson, CF
Chase Utley, 2B
Clayton Kershaw, P

By Jon Weisman

Though the 2016 regular season isn’t officially over, the month of September is, a month in which several Dodger bats delivered.

Joc Pederson led the National League in slugging percentage (.702) last month and finished second in OPS (1.154) and fourth in on-base percentage (.452). Pederson led the Dodgers with seven homers and 15 walks.

Over to Pederson’s left — in right field — were two strong hitters. Josh Reddick rallied from a dismal August to tie for the NL lead in batting average (.400), alongside a .435 OBP and .569 slugging percentage. Reddick was due, to say the least — his batting average on balls in play went from .194 in August to .429 in September.

Read More

Dodger offense sets strikeout mark in loss to Marlins

Marc Serota/Getty Images

Marc Serota/Getty Images

While the focus was on Clayton Kershaw’s reunion with a big-league pitcher’s mound tonight, Miami’s Jose Fernandez quietly stole the show.

The 24-year-old — who trails only Kershaw among MLB starting pitchers in ERA since 1920 — struck out 14 Dodgers, the most by any single pitcher against Los Angeles in 14 years, in a 4-1 Marlins victory.

With Miami’s bullpen producing three more strikeouts, the Dodger offense set a team record for strikeouts in a nine-inning game with 17. The previous mark of 16 was reached seven times, most recently in 2014.

Read More

Homer-happy Dodgers make it rain against Greinke

s

Adrián González, Corey Seager and Yasmani Grandal hit three of the Dodgers’ five homers. (Photos: Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

Image-1-2By Jon Weisman

In distance, they measured 2,025 feet. On the Richter scale, they might as well have been a 10.

Zack Greinke, the darling of Dodger Stadium for three seasons, was punished in his former home like a Rock’Em Sock’Em Robot.

Five home runs off Greinke — a career-high, including four in the fifth inning — shook Chavez Ravine and sent the Dodgers to a 10-2 victory over Arizona tonight.

With San Francisco shut out in Colorado today, Los Angeles leads the National League West by a season-high four games.

The Dodgers’ five leaders in home runs each took Greinke deep — Adrián González (17) with a man on base in the fourth inning, followed by Joc Pederson (20), Corey Seager (24, with two aboard), Justin Turner (25) and feature creature Yasmani Grandal (24).

Read More

Yasmani Grandal returns to his hard-hitting ways

Grandal power

By Jon Weisman

Sunday brought another homer for the catcher who leads Major League catchers in homers, Yasmani Grandal.

Grandal has actually surpassed Justin Turner in adjusted OPS (126 OPS+) and trails only Corey Seager on the Dodgers. His impressive year still seems to be operating under the radar, but we did make him the cover story in a recent Dodger Insider magazine.

“Whoever tells you that they say, ‘I’m going to hit a home run here,’ and they’re thinking about it and they hit it, not too many guys can do that,” Grandal said. “If you think about it, it’s probably not going to happen. My main point throughout the whole season is being able to hit the ball hard, and wherever it goes, it goes.

Read the entire story by clicking here.

Beginning this year, the Dodgers merged their previously separate Playbill and Dodger Insider magazines into one publication (at least 80 pages per issue) with a new edition available each homestand plus one in October, 13 issues total. It is distributed at auto gates (one per vehicle) and via Fan Services for those who use alternate transportation. Dodger Insider magazine includes news, features, analysis, photos, games, stadium information and more. Fans who still wish to subscribe can do so at dodgers.com/magazine

Debuting De León delights for Dodgers

Jose De Leon

RooksBy Jon Weisman

After his first big-league game, Jose De León has a 6.00 ERA, a number that doesn’t come close to reflecting how good he looked Sunday.

De León, who struck out 33 with no walks in his final three minor-league games this year, became the first Dodger pitcher ever to strike out nine and walk none in his MLB debut, a 7-4 victory over San Diego.

The 24-year-old, who became the first ever to wear No. 87 for the Dodgers, had the most strikeouts in a big-league initiation for the Dodgers since Kaz Ishii in 2002.

Read More

Dodger offense on record pace since All-Star Break

Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Dodgers at Phillies, 4:05 p.m.
Chase Utley, 2B
Corey Seager, SS
Justin Turner, 3B
Josh Reddick, RF
Adrián González, 1B
Yasmani Grandal, C
Joc Pederson, CF
Howie Kendrick, LF
Ross Stripling, P

By Jon Weisman

The Dodger offense has been sensational over the past several weeks, and part of the reason for this post, believe it or not, is to remind people (OK, me) that they can’t stay this hot forever.

Right now, the Dodgers have an .814 OPS since the All-Star Break, which is 30 points higher than the Los Angeles record for second-half OPS of .784 by the 2008 Dodgers. In franchise history, only the 1953 Dodgers have had a higher OPS after the All-Star Game.

Read More

Before rout began, hot Howie Kendrick’s homer was turning point

[mlbvideo id=”1058141883″ width=”550″ height=”308″ /]

By Jon Weisman

In every other way, this was Chase Utley’s night. He was welcomed home by his longtime fans in Philadelphia with a prolonged standing ovation. He homered — against the Phillies — and they begged him for a curtain call. He hit a grand slam, and the begged him for another.

But in one very specific way, tonight was about the fact that we are in the midst of one of the most meaningful stretches of Howie Kendrick’s 11-year MLB career.

KendrickThe Dodger Insider cover guy ripped a mammoth two-run homer to center and flipped a one-run deficit in the fifth inning, part of a 4-for-5 night in the 15-5 victory that, pending the final score of the Giants’ game against Pittsburgh tonight, put the Dodgers in a tie for first place in the National League West.

Read More

Dodger rotation is day to day, but aren’t we all

LOS ANGELES DODGERS V PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES

Phillies at Dodgers, 12:10 p.m.
Chase Utley, 2B
Josh Reddick, RF
Corey Seager, SS
Adrián González, 1B
Yasmani Grandal, C
Joc Pederson, CF
Howie Kendrick, LF
Rob Segedin, 3B
Scott Kazmir, P

By Jon Weisman

Ross Stripling will start Friday for the Dodgers in their series opener against Pittsburgh, Dave Roberts said before today’s series finale against Philadelphia.

Rich Hill is being given more time to resolve his blister issues. Stripling, who threw five shutout innings Sunday against Boston, will be pitching on four days’ rest.

The Dodgers remain undecided for their weekend starters against the Pirates. Brandon McCarthy is the top choice for Saturday, but the Dodgers are holding off until after a scheduled Thursday bullpen session before making it official. If not, Julio Urías would be the most likely replacement (on four days’ rest).

Brett Anderson could make his first start of the season for the Dodgers as soon as Sunday, five days after his most recent rehab start. Otherwise, Kenta Maeda would be lined up to pitch the homestand finale on four days’ rest.

In lineup news …

Read More

Page 1 of 6

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén