Instead of recapping the sad Dodgers series against the Giants and mentioning that they didn't score for three games and are 0-6 at San Francisco this season, let me take you on a journey. Remember Pee Wee League baseball? Where a little kid will stop a baseball after it has bounced about 100 times and then hold it up like he caught it? It's cute. The parents enjoy it, the crowd applauds, and the coach can use it as a teaching moment. Well, you can also see something similar at Dodgers games when Alex Guerrero is playing left field. Go here and watch the GIF:
The umpires didn't fall for it. Let's hope Guerrero didn't ask Don Mattingly to call for an instant replay review.
See you next year
It's official: Hyun-Jin Ryu is out for the season. He had surgery on his left shoulder Thursday. Mattingly said that what the surgeon found was "as good as it could possibly be, " which seems rather vague. Ryu was on the disabled list twice last season with shoulder problems, so he can now officially move into the "pitchers with chronic arm problems" list, founded by Darren Dreifort, who was on the DL approximately three million times when he pitched for the Dodgers. That's just an estimate. With Ryu out, the Dodgers' rotation consists of Clayton Kershaw, Zach Greinke, Brett Anderson, Carlos Frias and Mike Bolsinger. Those last three don't exactly put fear in the hearts of opponents, but they have done OK so far, going a combined 7-3 with a 2.77 earned-run average.
Another Cy for the Dodgers?
A few years ago, stats gurus Bill James and Rob Neyer created something called the "Cy Young Predictor," which is a formula that can be used to predict who will win the Cy Young Award in each league. It has correctly predicted 19 of the last 26 winners, and it's fun to use during the season. This year, Greinke is in second place in the NL, two points behind Michael Wacha of the St. Louis Cardinals. No other Dodger is in the top 10. Houston's Dallas Keuchel leads the AL. You can see the top 10 for each league here.
If you aren't visiting our Dodgers blog daily, you are missing out on some good insight from blogger Steve Dilbeck. He recently analyzed Joc Pederson's performance since moving up to the No. 1 spot in the order, and it's not good. He is batting below .200, compared to batting .296 when he was hitting eighth. You can read all about it here.
Who's up first?
The big problem for the Dodgers is they don't have a prototypical leadoff hitter right now. Pederson is struggling, Jimmy Rollins has been a failure so far, Carl Crawford and Yasiel Puig are hurt, and everyone else runs about as fast as Jack Black carrying a piano. Here's what I would do: Put Howie Kendrick at leadoff. My lineup right now would look like this: 1. Kendrick. 2. Andre Ethier or Guerrero. 3. Adrian Gonzalez. 4. Scott Van Slyke. 5. Yasmani Grandal. 6. Justin Turner. 7. Rollins. 8. Pederson.
Your favorite Dodgers
In the last Dodgers Dugout, I asked you to send in your pick for your favorite Dodger, and I got a ton of responses, so thank you for that. I will be listing them over the next several newsletters, starting today.
Bob Cuomo of Los Angeles: "One of my favorites, and this may come as a surprise, was Tim Leary, a right-hander from UCLA. He pitched for the Dodgers for only two seasons, but the second one was special. He was a key member of the 1988 club that won the World Series. He won 17 games, had a 2.91 ERA, nine complete games and six shutouts. He also made two excellent relief appearances against the A's in the Series."
Emily Siskin-Toy of Mill Valley: "My formative Dodger years were in the late '70s/early '80s, so my favorite Dodger of all time is Dusty Baker. I used to beg my dad to get tickers in "Bakersfield" so I could throw out packs of bubble gum to Dusty as he jogged to his position in the first inning. He came over to sign his autograph for me so many times that he began to recognize me; we had many chats about his favorite gum—I introduced him to "Big League Chew," which was new at the time. Of course, Dusty was not just good with the fans, he was also a good all-around ball player. Needless to say, the years he managed the Giants were difficult for me!"
The countdown continues, with more than 14,000 readers submitting ballots. One will be unveiled on our website each weekday until we get to No. 1.
Email me with who you think the top 10 will be. If you get it correct, and list them in the exact order they will appear in the top 10, I will print your name in the next newsletter.
Down on the farm
Top pitching prospect Julio Urias will be sidelined about a month to have a benign mass removed from his left eye. In seven starts at double-A Tulsa, he is 1-2 with a 3.00 earned-run average. He has struck out 46 batters and walked nine in 36 innings. Opponents are batting .194 against him. Urias has had three operations on the eye since childhood, and talks about it in this story by Times Dodgers reporter Dylan Hernandez.
The Dodgers' second-best pitching prospect, Chris Anderson, is 3-4 with a 4.15 ERA at Tulsa. He has struck out 37 and walked 22 in 43 1/3 innings.
It just occurred to me: The Dodgers scored the same number of runs as you and I did the last three games, and we don't even play in the majors.