Hi, and welcome to another edition of Dodgers Dugout. My name is Houston Mitchell, and seeing Nyquist lose the lead at the end of the Preakness made me think a member of the Dodgers bullpen must have been riding him.
We need Julio down by the play yard
So, the Dodgers are struggling. In the last week, they lost three of four to the Angels and two of three to the Padres, two teams they should be beating with regularity. They have a rookie manager, Dave Roberts, who is learning on the job and gets blamed by most fans for things out of his control, such as lineup selection and the horrible bullpen. For the last couple of weeks, Roberts has been sending subtle and not-so-subtle messages that he would love to see Julio Urias brought to the majors, saying things like:
"Everyone knows what he's doing. Everyone knows what he can do. Our guys are pretty in tune with our farm system. It's kind of belaboring something that obviously guys are aware of. They know what he brings, and what kind of an asset he is. To his credit, he continues to excel and dominate triple A."
"We're looking through a lot of options. Urias is definitely at the top of the list."
Well Friedman and Zaidi, what are you waiting for? Urias has pitched 27 consecutive scoreless innings in triple-A. Your manager wants him on the team. It's not like the Dodgers are so loaded with great pitching that it would be difficult to send someone down. It would show your manager that you have his back and that he is not just the puppet most fans assume he is. It would send a jolt of energy through the fan base. I'm not really seeing a downside, other than, yes, it starts his major league service clock counting so he might become eligible for arbitration earlier than you would like. Which would be a stupid reason to keep him down.
And yes, you want to protect his arm, but where better to protect his arm than in L.A., surrounded by the best coaches, trainers and doctors?
So bring him up. Put him in the rotation. Let's see what he can do. If he fails, no one will blame you. But if you don't bring him up and the Dodgers continue to fail, most everyone will blame you.
In case you missed it
In last Monday's newsletter I asked the question: Is Scott Kazmir on the comeback trail? We have the answer: No.
In case you missed it, II
The Dodgers are 8-1 when Clayton Kershaw pitches. They are 14-22 when someone else starts.
In case you missed it, III
Yasmani Grandal is hitting .194, Kiké Hernandez is hitting .200, Howie Kendrick is hitting .238, Carl Crawford is hitting .203 and Justin Turner is hitting .232. The only above average hitters in the lineup right now are Adrian Gonzalez, Chase Utley, Corey Seager, Joc Pederson and Trayce Thompson.
In case you missed it, IV
In the month of May, Alex Wood is only 0-1, but he has a 3.09 ERA in 23.1 innings, giving up only 17 hits and four walks while striking out 34.
In case you missed it, V
Ross Stripling couldn't finish a potential no-hitter in his first start because his arm needs protecting. But we can pitch him three innings on two days' rest, and that is apparently fine. His arm went from porcelain to tempered steel in record time.
The magic number
Each week I will look at a uniform number a current Dodger is wearing and go through the history of that number with the Dodgers. When I was a kid and went to games, I was always curious as to who wore the number of my favorite players. Then again, I was a strange kid. For “best Dodgers to wear the number,” only the stats a player compiles while he was with the team and wearing that number count.
Next up is:
No. 17 (A.J. Ellis)
Best Dodgers to wear No. 17: Watty Clark (1932-37), Whit Wyatt (1939-44), Carl Erskine (1948-59).
Others to wear No. 17 with the Dodgers: Buzz Boyle (1933-34), Oris Hockett (1938), Max Butcher (1938), Jimmy Ripple (1939), Tom Seats (1945), Tommy Tatum (1947), Don Lund (1947), Bob Ramazzotti (1946-48), Phil Ortega (1960-64), Hector Valle (1965), Jim Barbieri (1966), Nate Oliver (1967), Hank Aguirre (1968), Jim Bunning (1969), Camilo Pascual (1970), Tom Paciorek (1971-75), Joe Simpson (1975-78), Bobby Mitchell (1980-81), Greg Brock (1983), Rafael Landestoy (1983-84), Ed Amelung (1984), Len Matuszek (1985-87), Rick Dempsey (1988-90), Bob Ojeda (1991-92), Roger McDowell (1993-94), Juan Castro (1998-99), Geronimo Berroa (2000), Kaz Ishii (2002-04), Jason Repko (2005-09), Mitch Jones (2009).
What Vin Scully means to me
I asked you to tell me your best Vin Scully memory, and I got a lot of responses. I will publish selected ones in each newsletter. And keep emailing them to me.
Sean Kavanaugh: Three years ago, a Catholic priest friend told me he was going to say a private mass for players and personnel before a Dodger game vs the Chicago White Sox. He asked me if I wanted to come along and assist him.
We converted the Lexus Dugout Club into a makeshift Catholic chapel. The travelling secretary, the late Bill DeLury, received a call right before we were going to start mass. He asked the priest if he can wait a few minutes as someone wants to join us, but was tied up in traffic. Fifteen minutes later, Vin Scully comes rushing in, apologizes to everyone for being late. He then sits down right next to me, turns to me, shakes my hand and says "Hi, I'm Vin Scully." I said "Hi, I'm Sean."
I could not believe one of my idols was sitting next to me; and was so humble that he felt he should introduce himself. After mass, he stayed and talked to me and the priest at length about how the Dodgers were doing and their opponent that night. He then excused himself as he had to go and talk to the manager of the White Sox, who was former Dodger Robin Ventura. He then rattled off a couple of statistics about Ventura during his days with the Dodgers and left. I was shaking my head in disbelief as to what just happened.
Before he left, he agreed to take a picture with me. I proudly display the picture in my office and I look at it everyday. It always brings a smile to my face especially if I'm having a hard day at work.
The TV situation
If you would like to complain about the Dodgers’ TV situation, you have three options: The Dodgers, Time Warner Cable and whatever local cable or satellite provider you have that doesn’t carry the Dodgers. Here’s who to contact:
For the Dodgers, click here or call (866) DODGERS ( 363-4377). (I hope you like form letters).
For Time Warner, click here.
For DirecTV, call (800) 531-5000 or click here.
For your local cable or satellite provider, consult your bill for the customer service number and for the website.
Eric Stephen of truebluela.com has a good look at the Dodgers running game here.