Dodgers Dugout: What would you do to fix the Dodgers?
Hi, welcome to another edition of Dodgers Dugout. My name is Houston Mitchell, reminding you that Monday night is Maury Wills bobblehead doll night at Dodger Stadium. Hopefully one day we can have a Maury Wills in the Hall of Fame night.
Let’s recap, shall we? The Dodgers lose two of three to the New York Mets and are now 17-17 since June 1. Adrian Gonzalez is day-to-day after getting hit on the right hand by a pitch. Mike Bolsinger and Carlos Frias almost never pitch past the sixth inning, taxing an already overworked and underwhelming bullpen. Not one player got enough votes to be named an All-Star starter (which may show that most fans are not emotionally invested in these players, because if a team with such a wide fan base, a team that draws more than 3 million fans every season, can’t get one person on the team in a fan vote, something is wrong). You’ve read my opinions on what the Dodgers would do, now I want to know what you would do to fix the team. Because right now, this team is not winning the World Series. So what would you do? Email me with your moves, be it trade, releasing a player, lineup switches, etc. But be realistic. Don’t tell me you would trade Pedro Baez for Giancarlo Stanton. It has to be a trade that you believe the other team would accept, so give your opinion but tell me why. Selected responses will appear in the next newsletter.
It was a busy couple of days for the pitching staff. Not only did the Dodgers put Frias on the 15-day disabled list because of lower back stiffness, they also designated Brandon League for assignment. The Dodgers will call up Eric Surkamp from the minors on Monday to start against Philadelphia. It's too bad Zach Lee is still sidelined with tingling fingers. Lee was their first-round draft pick in 2010 but fell out of favor with the team after getting lit up in triple-A Albuquerque last season. This season, with triple-A Oklahoma City, he is 5-3 with a 2.38 ERA, allowing only 65 baserunners in 56.2 innings. He is still just 23 years old, and since they seemingly are letting everyone else start this season (they have used 10 starting pitchers), this would have been a great spot for Lee. Also, last week the Dodgers signed Trevor Cahill, who once won 18 games for Oakland before injuries derailed his career. He was signed to provide pitching depth for Oklahoma City, so don’t look for him in a Dodgers uniform any time soon.
More on League
League was acquired near the end of the 2012 season and pitched well, then was signed to a disastrous three-year, $22.5-million contract. He quickly lost his job as closer in 2013 and finished with a 5.30 ERA. He pitched OK in 2014 but never really pitched when the game was on the line and has missed all of this season because of shoulder problems. So the Dodgers decided to bite the bullet and part ways with him. He is still owed the remainder of his $7.5 million this season. OK, now that you have done it once, guys, how about doing it again with Chris Hatcher?
Nice work if you can get it
The Dodgers are paying six players -- Matt Kemp, Brian Wilson, Dan Haren, Dee Gordon, Ryan Webb and League -- $47.5 million to not play for them this season. I would gladly accept six figures not to play for you too, if you are interested, Dodgers.
Speaking of All-Stars
The All-Star reserves will be announced today at 4 p.m. Zack Greinke is a lock, and you would hope that Justin Turner is too, but who knows for sure. My guess is those are the only two Dodgers named to the team on Monday.
Needs some help
Why do baseball stats gurus say a pitcher's win-loss record is not a reliable indicator of how good he is? In his last five starts, Clayton Kershaw has pitched 33 2/3 innings, giving up 25 hits and eight walks while striking out 46. He has a 2.41 ERA in that time but is 0-3 in those five starts because the Dodgers have scored only 12 runs behind him.
This week in Dodgers history
July 6, 2000: Vin Scully is voted the best sportscaster of the 20th century by members of the American Sportscasters Assn.
July 9, 1996: Mike Piazza homers into the upper deck at Philadelphia’s Veterans Stadium, has an RBI double and is named MVP of the game in the NL's 6-0 All-Star win.
July 11, 1978: Steve Garvey becomes the first two-time MVP in All-Star history after his single and triple leads the NL to a 7-3 victory.
July 12, 1966: Maury Wills' walk-off single in the bottom of the 10th gives the NL a 2-1 victory over the AL.
Your favorite Dodger
Matt Gaffney: I'm 64 and have been a Dodger fan since 1959. Sandy Koufax is my all-time favorite Dodger. He autographed one of my business cards at the 1985 Old-Timers Game and also shook my hand. I still get goose bumps whenever I say his name. He was the greatest and was pure money in big games. I’d love to have lunch with him. My life would be complete at that point.
Gary Ibarra of San Ramon: I've had many favorite Dodgers over the years like Eddie Murray, Orel Hershiser, Fernando Valenzuela or Eric Karros, but the one in particular who really inspired me as a kid was Mike Scioscia. It was because of him I wanted to play catcher and did so all the way through Little League into high school and through college. I guess you could say Mike Scioscia's influence had a hand in how my life unfolded over the years and continues to today.
Robert Olson: Even though my player never played a game with the big club he was still drafted by the Dodgers and played in their minors. He was a true five-tool player and a great humanitarian. My favorite player was ... Roberto Clemente!
Do all these new-fangled statistics confuse or annoy you? Howard Cole writes a nice article for forbes.com that reminds you how to enjoy baseball anyway.