Pitchers and Catchers Report in Two Weeks

Kershaw-PFP

 

The baseball drought is almost over.  The Dodgers pitchers and catchers will report to Camelback Park on February 19th, then begin working out the next day.  What is the current state of The Dodgers’ pitching staff?

Starting Pitchers

Clayton Kershaw.  We have basically no questions here.  Kershaw has been a rock solid great starting pitcher for many years now.  Last year, he likely tore off the monkey from his back that was known as “playoff choker”.  He is not that.  He is a reliably great pitcher who could possibly become even better in 2016.

Number two or number one-“B” starting pitcher.  Oh, that was Zack Greinke, and now he is gone.  So who is the replacement?  Well, no one pitcher will replace Greinke on this staff.  Who is number two?  Maybe Scott Kazmir.  A 32 year old pitcher, Scott pitched eleven seasons in the American League before being signed by the Dodgers as a free agent.  Kazmir peaked in 2007, then began struggling with injuries in 2008 and 2009.  He finally dropped completely out of the major leagues in 2011 and 2012, then began his comeback in 2013.  Based on his WHIP’s of 1.16 in 2014 and 1.21 in 2015, it appears that he has been able to breathe new life into his pitching career.

Kenta Maeda is young, posted great numbers in Japan, and may be the only right handed pitcher in the starting rotation this year.

Brett Anderson is an enigma.  We all thought he would fall apart last year, as he had only once previuosly strung together more than 115 innings in one year.  Will he hold up again this year?  Only time will tell.

At first, Alex Wood seemed like a good mid-season pickup.  But he certainly didn’t perform well late in the season, nor in the post season.  He may be in the minors in 2016 if Ryu comes back strong.

Injured arms on their way back:  Hyun Jin Ryu, Brandon McCarthy, Brandon Beachy. Beachy is on a road less traveled on his way back from two Tommy John surgeries, and is not even on the 40 man roster.

Others – Mike Bolsinger, Carlos Frias, Julio Urias, Julian De Leon, Jharrel Cotton,  Zach Lee.  We may not have the best #2-#5 in our rotation, but boy do we have depth.

Bullpen

Kenley Jansen is a perpetual all-star.

Chris Hatcher got stronger late in the year, we can hope he will be a solid set up man.

Yimi Garcia was very good at times, not as good other times.

Pedro Baez does a pretty good job, not great.

J.P. Howell is still hanging around.  Will he become more of a LOOGY this year?

Luis Avilan is a service-able left hander.

Joe Blanton is back, this time as a reliever.

Adam Liberatore (not Lipitor!)

Frankie Montas could be the diamond in the rough.  He flashes a 100 mph fastball, and could be used out of the bullpen or as a starting pitcher.

 

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51 thoughts on “Pitchers and Catchers Report in Two Weeks

  1. I really enjoyed the Super Bowl. It was one of the best ones I’ve seen it quite a while. A little sloppy but that made it more exciting and entertaining and the closeness of the game kept it interesting until the very end. I had no real favorite.
    Every year I look at this game as it means baseball is right around the corner.

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  2. Our Pitching Staff could be great or it could be ?, it will not be Bad. Kershaw has not had a bad year, yea there have been years that he didnt win a Cy Young, but I can live with that with over 15 wins and an ERA under 3.0. What excites me is what will Kazmir and Maeda will bring. and even more interesting is how Ryu will be throwing after surgery. Anderson will default to McCarthy by July (if McCarthy makes it back) and perhaps a urias or wood will be that much more ready for the big show.
    I trust our BP will be more improved, the bad apples seem to gone. and I know the offense was subject of last post, but the potential for a very productive batting order is there. Joc, Puig and Grandal seem to be the swing men (pun intended) if they can get past the surgery or the work needed to hit MLB pitching, then the Kendrick, Seager, Gonzo, Dre and Turner (i think he has got it) will provide the consistent at Bats.
    Im really excited this year, with Roberts as skipper, I hope a new energy, work ethic, strategy to win and good club house chemistry will develop. I really pray that a TV deal will be worked out, so the Fans can see the Dodgers on TV. Without the local coverage, then Fathers and Mothers won’t be to share Dodgers experience with their children, to their grandchildren, and the Dodgers will become irrelevant to their local community. And Geez its the last year that historical story teller of Dodgers Lore, Vinny, will be holding his daily seminars on all that happens at Chavez Ravine.
    and furthermore let the Giants (even year) Snakes (with mercenary Grienke), and Padres (revamped again) Bring it on, makes for a great showdown in the West! GO Dodgers!

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  3. It looks like a tough NL West race with the Dbacks and Giants really readying themselves to take on the boys in blue. The Dodgers look like they are ready for them and everybody else.

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  4. I’m glad ST will start soon. With football season over, I truly am in a dead zone sports wise.

    Anybody have an opinion on the Cam Newton flap? I do think it weird he didn’t go for the fumble, but his conduct afterwards is a non issue for me. He didn’t want to talk, so what? I think it’s BS these guys are required to take interviews.

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    • well yea Cam is upset, disappointed, frustrated, Just look how the Denver defense contained him for the hour of Play, something Cam is not use to, but good sportsmanship should prevail, and that he did not do, never gave a shred of credit to Denver on job well done, hey if a guy hits a HR off your best pitch you tip your hat to him. Cam lacks the humility, he will grow up

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  5. Dodgers pick up Brandon Hicks for no apparent reason. He has a non-roster invitation to Spring Training. He’s a no hit utility infielder from the G’nats.

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  6. For some reason I am not as excited about Spring Training this year and the upcoming season. Perhaps it is because I do not see much improvement in the roster from last season although the managerial/coaching change should be a story all by itself. I do believe if the offense can somehow turn itself around and not waste so many opportunities, the loss of Greinke might not be so dramatic. I agree this team still has a lot of question marks with how Seager will do in his first full season, if Joc can figure out how to hit major league pitching, if Puig can overcome the injury bug and become a more productive and consistent player offensively, if Justin Turner’s knees will hold up, if the pitching, beyond Kershaw, can get anyone on The D’backs out, if the catchers can continue to provide enough offense, and just how many front office advisors a team needs, just to name a few.

    In reality, what we are seeing is the transition continue full steam to a different approach to building a roster. We will continue to see the payroll decrease as younger prospects become available, shorter term contracts with incentives or larger annual amounts (to compensate for the shorter term) for established players past arbitration and similar moves. One thing for certain: the roster at the end of the season will most likely be different than the one at the beginning.

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  7. I also agree with lbirk’s assessment of the coming season. I’m not expecting much from the team this coming year. We couldn’t do it last year with the best one-two punch in the starting rotation in recent memory and the starting lineup is the same. I think we know what to expect from the infielders, so a lot is going to depend on production from the catchers and outfielders. It’s true the rotation is deeper, even with the loss of that guy, so it is possible they could be a strength or at least be steady. The BP still needs to be shored up. So everything considered, I’m not optimistic about going deep into the playoffs, Perhaps the division title. We shall see.

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  8. What I don’t understand is why certain players don’t take coaches advice or why that advice is not accepted as an order. After all, the players are employees that are very well compensated and should do what they are told. All last season, Rick Monday, Kevin Kennedy and others lamented the fact that with two strikes and men on base, some hitters swung for the fences instead of shortening up their swing to just try to put the ball in play, the way AGon does. Mattingly and McGuire both preached “professional” at bats, yet, all to often, our hitters struck out on a down and away slider or change up. In the old school days, there were fines imposed on players who disobeyed an order, even if the result turned out well.
    Dave Roberts was a “grinder” with excellent baseball instincts. From what I gather, he may not accept mental mistakes as well as the previous manager. He will likely handle those mistakes much better, as well. He seems to be the kind of person who can stomp on one’s shoe without messing up the shine.
    If the players buy into Roberts philosophy of team togetherness, rather than going for individual glory, the 2016 Dodgers may have a chance to make it to the postseason again.
    Only time will tell. And so it goes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I liked your comment 32and 53fan, it sure was well thought out. It’s a good thought when the only thing new on the Dodger website was about the left field situation.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Montas who was one of the key off-season acquisitions as a pitching prospect is now lost for half of the season because of some rib surgery – just another case of our vaunted Front Office with so many highly paid assholes not knowing what they’re doing.

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  10. Tejada is supposedly still upset with Utley and and wants an apology. I’m happy Tejada is getting around, has been working out, but I don’t know how realistic expecting an apology is. Perhaps Utley will do to smooth it over, but maybe these two are from different eras. Nail Chase in the back and move on. Twice if you feel you need to.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m wondering if the Dodgers have something in mine to celebrate the 100 anniversary of appearing in their first World Series in 1916.

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  12. OBF, with the fact that the Dodgers have not even been to the World Series since 1988 and that Gibson’s home run is still so familiar, I wonder if there is any real significance to 1916.

    32and53 brings up a highly interesting topic of why certain players don’t listen to coaches. Is it because we assume they do not listen because of the results? Is it because performing in real game situations is a lot harder than in practice? Is it because the player does not agree with what coaches are telling him? One would hope all players would do anything (within the rules) to hone their skills that should lead to personal and team success.

    We see the same thing in other sports. How often have you heard a basketball coach or player comment after a loss about not executing what the coaches suggested? Do players just tune out the coaches or does the game sometimes move too fast?

    I know I have mentioned this before but it still sticks in my mind whenever this topic comes up for discussion. I vividly recall a conversation with Reggie Smith at Dodger Adult Fantasy Camp some years ago when Reggie coached for the Dodgers. We were talking about why so many major league players do not seem to know how to bunt. Reggie said you cannot get a major league player to do what he does not want to do. I was a bit surprised to hear him say this but he meant it.

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    • I think Reggie’s statement is true to just about anyone and anything. A person has to want to change, and find or have help finding the motivation to do it.

      Mattingly never struck me as a motivator. Roberts does.

      Another reason I’m curious to get this season started.

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  13. A rebuilding year with a $200 million plus payroll really makes a lot of sense. That’s probably why it takes so many highly paid Front Office people to accomplish. I’m sure I could do as well for half the price.

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  14. I know I sound like a broken record, but I can’t help it. Having ill will towards this ownership group, given their handling of the whole TV/Vinny fiasco, is not my favorite emotion to carry, but it’s there and I can’t disguise it. And once the year is over and Vinny is gone, I really won’t give any more credence to their constant chest beating about respecting the passion of the L.A. Dodger fan or how they are the greatest fans in the world. Friedman’s Q&A in the L.A. Times today did little to alleviate my disgust; on the contrary, it made me feel like the interview was with a politician or an economist, not a baseball GM. It’s become a game controlled by corporations for corporate patrons. Baseball is slipping further and further away from younger fans’ interest and the sport has only itself to blame. My Friday night softball beer leagues are fielding fewer and fewer teams. As we old guys drift away there is no new blood to carry on. Sad and cynical…but also true.

    Liked by 2 people

    • As a direct contrast, the Los Angeles Rams games will be available to all Los Angeles viewers on Channel 11- FOX, likely both home and away games.

      Both the MLB (Bud Selig) and The Dodgers are to blame for the demise of baseball in Los Angeles.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Finally.
    *
    There is apparently a deal with right handed relief pitcher Coleman. Looks to me like some of the pitching staff will be racking up the points between LA and OKC.

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    • Coleman was released by Kansas City on February 3rd. He doesn’t give up a lot of hits, but he has averaged 4 walks per nine innings in his MLB career.

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  16. In case anyone hasn’t seen it, Jon Weisman has an interesting article in Dodger Insider, “Bridges to history: Last links to retired numbers.

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  17. Hey everyone….I’ve been a tad bit busy…what did I miss? Has Crawford stumbled running down a ball and been placed on the DL yet?

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    • Hey D4! Long time no read. How ya doin’?

      Frankie Montas had a surgery to remove a rib. Maybe gonna remake Eve? I dunno. Anyway, Montas will be out for four months. So the Dodgers picked up Louis Coleman, a reliever released by the Royals.

      Other than that, nothing new under the sun.

      Oh, by the way, the first Spring Training workout is today at Camelback Park! Woo hoo!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Any idea how long Montas will be out? (Sorry, I just noticed you said he will be out for 4 months. It looks like I need some ST to hone my reading skills!)

        I’m doing well. My New Years resolution was to lose some weight and so far I’ve lost 40 lbs. My short term goal is to lose 60 lbs, so I’m almost to that point. My long term goal, is to stick to attaining goals. I need to transform my figure from Lasorda to A.J., so I have a journey ahead of me yet. I’ve been busy turning my sleeping quarters into a dorm room. I call it “Room 65 at Fly Kappa L.A. House”!! I built a counter to cook on, bought a double-burner hotplate, a small convection oven, fridge and microwave.
        .

        .
        I was sharing the kitchen and fridge with the folks. This enables me to better control what I eat and keeps me active. I finally got all my doctors on the same page…I think? So I expect to get that gallbladder thing fixed soon. Other than that, I’m still hangover and tobacco free. Not to mention my lungs have improved tremendously with the use of a cpap machine and new medication. I feel pretty darn good compared to what I’ve felt like in previous years. I still wear down pretty quick, but I’m anxious to see what happens as far as endurance when I shed more weight.
        .
        I’m really looking forward to watching the team play again, but haven’t been too excited about keeping on top of the current events to date. I suspect that will change now that ST has reopened.
        .
        I agree with Kahli 100%. FIX THE DAMN TV DEAL!! I did notice they cut the amount of spring telecast back to save money.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I just finished preparing some “Tilapia and Shrimp Fajitas.” :0)
          .

          .
          I count calories these days (1500 max at the moment) and try to stick to the Mediterranean dietary guidelines.

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          • Oh, yeah…I’ve also been teaching myself how to play the piano when I get the time. I figure now that I can breath, maybe in the future I can bring our Dodger Lyrics to life. (I too can dream Kahli)

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  18. I just seen the ST caps with the D on them…I’m not a fan!

    Like I mentioned earlier. I haven’t really been reading much Dodger related news. I did just read the article about what Doc has in mind for his team this season. One question he answered was who he had in mind as his leadoff guy, or who on the squad was even an option.

    http://m.dodgers.mlb.com/news/article/164943574/dodgers-dave-roberts-on-spring-training-plan

    Roberts also sidestepped batting order specifics or naming names when asked for contenders to bat leadoff, but indicated that it’s more likely to be a rotation than a permanent job the way it was for him when he played “because of the way that the game has evolved,” meaning metrics and matchups.
    “Players are starting to understand their strengths and weaknesses,” he said. “Nowadays it’s another spot in the order, where a typical leadoff hitter doesn’t have to be a Brett Butler at the top.”
    .
    I’m curious to what y’all think of this?

    In the past many on here were advocates of keeping the line-up similar day in and day out. Although it can also be said that many of us are also quick to make a change if there is a lag in productivity? Do you like the metrics answer when it comes to your leadoff hitter, or would you prefer to have a guy that is built for the spot hitting there day in and day out?

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    • Not a fan. Frankly, I think that was one of Donnie’s greatest weaknesses was not having a set line-up. That said, we don’t have a true leadoff hitter so I suspect we’ll be seeing a lot of Joc and a lot of Puig.

      Metrics are great when they work and worthless when they don’t. Still comes down to performing when its your turn. Hopefully Roberts can get more performances than did Mattingly.

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