The Chaos of Trade Rumors – June 29th

Oh boy, have the rumors been flowing tonight…where to even start? How ’bout I just dive right in.

The first initial rumors for a trade was as follows:

Jed Lowrie from the Astros coming to LA for Dodgers #1 prospect Zach Lee, and #6 prospect Garrett Gould. When I heard this, I just about died of a heart attack. I thought, ‘No way…not even for Ned. There is NO way that anyone would ever think this is a good idea. Right?’ As I was fumbling for answers, brainstorming for reasons as to why this would ever be even remotely considered…updates were made.

Apparently there was confusion among sources. When the name “Lee” was mentioned, it was assumed that it was the Dodgers’ prospect Zach Lee. That wasn’t the case. It was in fact, Carlos Lee, the Astros’ 1B, and Zach Lee was never mentioned in trade talks. This gave me a huge sigh of relief. Then the official update (which has stood all the way up until this point) was Carlos Lee to LA for Dodgers Prospect Garrett Gould. The confusion with people involved was also surrounding Lowrie. Lowrie is a shortstop for the Cubs as of right now. If he came to the Dodgers, he would have been used at third, a position that he isn’t comfortable with. Dodgers are not and will not give up on Dee Gordon for quite some time.

I’m ok with this Carlos Lee-Garrett Gould trade, and I’m also not. I’ll explain.

I’m ok with it, because Garrett Gould has been wildly mediocre in the minors for us. He does show a lot of promise, I’ll give him that, but his numbers are subpar. For the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (Single A), Garrett has gone 1-6 with a 5.12 ERA. He is a much less risk to give away than Zach Lee is, who is a former first round pick, and just promoted to AA Chattanooga yesterday. With that being said, Garrett is still a very big asset for the Dodgers. The reason I’m not ok with this trade, is because of the impact (or lack there of) that Carlos Lee would have for us. I don’t believe in giving away potential assets for the Dodgers for old, mediocre, short-term talent that isn’t a large upgrade in the first place. We need power at first and third base. No one is disputing that. James Loney isn’t getting the job done. No one is disputing that either. Carlos Lee was a power hitter. Was. This year, he has only hit five homeruns (compared to Loney’s two) and all of those have been at home, in Minute Maid Park. Don’t even get me started on his defense. We all know what Loney can do at the bag, and to put it mildly, we’d be losing a ton on defense with Lee.

Another interesting note in all this…was that Garrett Gould was scratched from his start tonight with the Quakes an hour before game time. Could this trade happen sooner than everyone thinks? I am finding it hard to find another reason that would point to why he would get scratched at all. More updates on this as they come in.

Ryan Dempster is also a name that has been thrown around tonight as well. Dodgers sources have said that they are very interested in acquiring Ryan Dempster. While the sides haven’t talked since the week before Dempster went on the disabled list, a person familiar with the situation suggested the Dodgers have a very good chance to land the veteran right-hander and are the odds-on favorite to land him once he comes off the DL. The Dodgers’ pitching has been very strong and were getting wins when the offense was performing. However, you can’t win games without the support of your offense, no matter how good you are. Ryan Dempster would be a great fit in the Dodgers rotation, but I strongly believe they need to focus on offense first and foremost. With that being said, I wouldn’t mind seeing him in Dodger blue at all.

Edwin Encarnacion: I was asked on Facebook to hit on Encarnacion so I will, as much as I can. It’s hard to talk about players from other teams, because teams won’t give out (nor do they even know) who will be available come the trade deadline. When it comes to Dodgers sources, I have a bit more of an in and know who we’d be willing to trade, but as far as other teams go, it’s hard to say. All I have gotten from anybody is that if the Blue Jays are out of it near the deadline (currently 7.5 games out of 1st) they will be willing to deal. Now the tricky part is…who are they willing to deal out? I’ll bring you into a bit of the chaos that surrounds the Blue Jays situation. This is a summary of what I found among top CBS and Fox Sports writers. Buckle Up.

The Blue Jays are giving “little indication” that they intend to trade potential free agents Edwin Encarnacion and Kelly Johnson, Rosenthal and Morosi write. Scouts are saying they’ve been told Encarnacion IS available for the “right” pitcher, Stark reports. Yet one person told Stark Encarnacion is “not available, as far as I know.” Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.com wrote earlier today that the Blue Jays would have multiple suitors if they make Encarnacion available.

Confused? Yeah so am I. Long story short, we will know a lot more after the July 2nd International signing deadline, when GM’s and team’s can start focusing more on their big league teams. More on that in my Stan Kasten interview. Stan does a great job describing what goes through a team’s head around this time of year. As far as Encarnacion goes, I would LOVE to have him on the team and think that he would be the influential power bat that we so desperately need.

If there are any more players that you are curious about, or would like an update on, please feel free to contact Dodger’s Insider on Facebook or on Twitter and ask away. I am more than happy to do my best and give you the most up-to-date information there is available.

Due to the length of this post, I am going to write about Stan Kasten and what he has to say about the direction of the Dodgers in my next post (which I will finish tonight). It’s a great article, that will honestly get you excited about where things are going. Talking to Stan and hearing him talk gets me extremely pumped up and I’m 100% on board with what he’s doing. Hopefully, after this article, you will all feel the same as I do.

Before I end this, just some quick notes. In regards to the International signing, Dodgers made their first move today by signing Cuban prospect, Yasiel Puig. Puig, 21, was added to the Dodgers’ 40 man roster today and was signed for a 7 year, $42 Million deal. He was immediately optioned down to the Dodgers’ rookie level team in Arizona and placed on the temporary inactive list. Ned Colletti said the signing was only the ‘first piece’ to re-establish their presence in the international market and that “this signing is a snapshot of a much bigger vision and bigger plan.”

Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times also tweeted (while I was writing this post actually) that the Dodgers first round pick (18th overall) Corey Seager, also signed tonight  for $2.35 Million. More details on that later.

Ethier Injured | Dodgers get swept out of San Fran

Today, the Dodgers bad luck just kept on packin’ on. I am very thankful for Vin Scully, because if it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t know what to write today to sum it all up. He, as always, had a theatrical one-liner that did a better job than I could have done in a paragraph.

“When it rains, it pours — and it’s pouring on the Dodgers.” – Vinny

Andre Ethier, after walking in the first inning, slid into second to try and break up the ever-so inevitable double play that the Dodgers can’t seem to avoid lately. The slide didn’t work, and of course, the Dodgers did hit into the double play and it ended the “rally” as usual. All seemed to be normal, until Don Mattingly and Sue Falsone walked out towards ‘Dre in the middle of the inning. After a few words, he was pulled and Herrera was put in RF to replace him. He was taken out due to a left oblique strain. Now, depending on the severity of the injury, this could take quite a while to heal. A move will probably have to be made. Everyone’s money would probably be on Alex Castellanos to be brought up, if necessary.

With Ethier and Kemp both sidelined, (responsible for the Dodgers’ 22 of 45 homeruns) the HR leaders on the team are AJ Ellis with six and Juan Rivera with three.

In the third inning, Juan Uribe lead off, so naturally, that limited our outs to only two for the inning which brought up Chad Billingsley with one down. Bills decided to help his own cause. How? By destroying a pitch to right center that bounced off the wall for a double. The last time I remember seeing power like that was Bobby Abreu’s homerun in Anaheim. Then, with Billingsley on second, Lincecum threw a wild pitch which advanced Chad over to third with one out. Could it be? Could that horrid 23 consecutive scoreless inning streak end? A couple pitches later, sure enough, Lincecum throws his second wild pitch, and Chad takes off for home. Unfortunately for us all, the ball bounced right back to Sanchez and he threw a bullet to Tim who was covering the plate…Out…24 consecutive innings.

In the bottom of the same inning, the Lincecum-Billingsley battle continued with Lincecum singling on a line drive to left field. Gregor Blanco grounded out, which advanced him to second and a Ryan Theriot single moved him over to third. With runners at first and third with two out, Melky Cabrera hit a double on a fly ball to left field which scored Tim and moved Theriot over to 3rd. Dodgers down 1-0. After a Buster Posey walk that loaded the bases, Angel Pagan also worked the count for a walk and that forced in Theriot. Dodgers were then down 2-0.

In the fifth inning, Juan Uribe tried to end the inning by striking out with another ugly swing, but swung at a ball that actually got away from Sanchez so he ended up on base. Billingsley would strike out right after him though…26 consecutive scoreless innings.

To the top of the seventh we go. We have runners on second and third with two outs, and who steps up to the plate…Juan Uribe again. Maybe this is his chance to shine. Maybe this is finally the time where he will stop swinging at terrible pitches and just maybe get a run in. What if Uribe was the one to end this now 27 inning scoreless streak? Nope. He strikes out swinging to end the inning. Weird.

28 Consecutive Scoreless Innings.

With the Dodgers losing this one today, 3-0, that runs their total to 30 consecutive innings. Now anytime that you are shutout in an entire series, you start wondering how close to that dreaded history you are. Well I checked, and fortunately for us all, I couldn’t find an official record for most consecutive innings by a team, however I did find something interesting. Almost exactly a year ago today, the Seattle Mariners were shutout for 30 innings in a row. Now before I go on, the last time the Dodgers have scored was in the sixth inning against the Angels on Sunday Night. When the Mariners had their streak, the last time they had scored was also against the Angels. Strange. Either way, the Dodgers now have 30 consecutive scoreless innings, and man, I can’t wait for it to end. This is brutal.

Kershaw looks to continue his dominance in SF… Lineups vs The Hated Ones

I’m pretty optimistic heading into the second game of this series in which the Dodgers got punched in the mouth in the first game. Wondering why? A guy by the name of Clayton Kershaw is taking the mound. He has pitched a total of 40 innings at AT&T Park. The Giants have managed to score in just two of those innings. His current innings streak without an earned run is up to 32.2. In his last four starts in San Francsico, he has only allowed one run total.

So needless to say, barring a Eovaldi-type breakdown, I think the Dodgers will be in good condition to win this ball game. With that being said though, expect a very low scoring game. Ryan Vogelsong is on the mound for the enemy and he has been anything but inconsistent this year. He has only had one start this entire year that didn’t result in a quality start, which requires a minimum of six innings pitched, and only three earned runs allowed. That’s impressive. I’d still take Kershaw’s track record in SF though.

Dee Gordon looks to continue his hot streak, just three days out of having a one-on-one session with Maury Wills. In those three days, he is batting .500 with three stolen bases, two runs scored (impressive considering the Dodgers lack of runs) and a walk. He has been definitely improving his offense, despite the inconsistency in the field. Posey is also in the lineup tonight after getting the first game of the series off.

And wouldn’t you know it!! My DREAM lineup has finally come. No kennedy…No uribe…No loney. I really hope this works out to show that this is the way it should be. This is the time to shine for the Dodgers. Here is what Donnie and Bruce Bochy have scratched in for tonights game starting at 7:15 PT.

Dodgers:

1. Dee Gordon, SS

2. Elian Herrera, 3B

3. Andre Ethier, RF

4. Juan Rivera, 1B

5. Bobby Abreu, LF

6. Jerry Hairston Jr., 2B

7. Tony Gwynn Jr., CF

8. AJ Ellis, C

9. Clayton Kershaw, SP

 

Giants:

1. Blanco, RF

2. Theriot, 2B

3. Cabrera, LF

4. Posey, C

5. Pagan, CF

6. Sandoval, 3B

7. Belt, 1B

8. Arias, SS

9. Vogelsong, SP

Dee Gordon – Amazing Story of How He Dealt with the Loss of His Mother at a Young Age

Following Story By: T.J. Simers, L.A. Times

It’s been almost 40 years, so many athletes, too many names to remember, and yet lost in the numbing routine of one game after the next I suddenly find myself rooting for someone to really make it.

And I almost never root for anyone, as you know, and yet here I am preparing to gush.

Who wouldn’t pull for a 6-year-old kid who learns his mother has been shot dead only to grow up into the kindest, most approachable and forgiving young man one might ever meet.

“Dee” to baseball fans, “Devaris” to his family and planning in the future to have “Strange-Gordon” across the back of his jersey in honor of his mother and father, this must be what it’s like to break open a shell and find a pearl.

It is noon Monday in the lobby of the Dodgers’ team hotel here, and Dee Gordon, the closest thing to a human toothpick, has already eaten breakfast twice. And between bites he’s smiled at a couple hundred people.

What’s he so happy about? It has to be tough hitting only .228 on center stage before realizing how ridiculous that sounds.

How tough must it have been to have a mother for just six years?

Correction: “Six great years,” he says while reaching for his cellphone.

“You see my screen saver here? This picture was taken in her final days. It’s the one I look at just before every game.”

Mother and son, head to head in the photo, appear to be having a blast; the kid’s mouth is wide open as if shouting or laughing.

“I’m happy,” he explains.

I want to know if he became bitter in time. And how does a kid recover from life turned upside down?

“I just chose to make the best of it,” he says. And how do you not root for the kid?

His mother, Devona Strange, meets his father, Tom Gordon, in high school. They do not marry. Tom, also known as “Flash,” is just beginning what will become a 21-year major league career as a pitcher.

Dee is in first grade, his school bus pulling up to the gated apartment complex in St. Petersburg, Fla., where his mother lives. Like the other kids, he knows something has happened.

“We knew when cars were parked outside the gate someone had died or there had been a robbery,” he says. “A policeman began asking each of us where we lived.”

Two women who work with his mom pull him aside.

“I’m already mad at one of the ladies because two days earlier I didn’t want to do my spelling words,” he says. “I hid them at her work, but she finds them, tells my mom, and I get in trouble.

“Now she wants to take me to McDonald’s. I’m 6, we live in a not-so-nice neighborhood and McDonald’s is awesome. And I remember exactly what I ordered that day: ice cream and small fries. But I keep saying I’ve got to go home because my mother will be there.”

He was very close to his mother, he says, the memories still vivid. He says they would climb into bed, watch TV together, and he starts naming off the shows.

Gordon’s eyes glisten. “I didn’t take it in right away,” he says. “They told me she was gone. I had one question: ‘Is she coming back?’ I remember later crying so hard I just went to sleep.”

Now he still tries to hold on, her name in his helmet, in his shoes, in almost everything he touches.

But he’s still not sure he has it right. He’s told his mother and her boyfriend were watching TV, messing around, a gun goes off, his mother is hit in the heart and later the boyfriend serves five years for manslaughter.

Gordon moves to central Florida to a new home and school to be with his father.

“I told my grandmother God might have done this to help me in life,” Gordon says upon reflection. “I was getting in trouble a lot and if I had stayed in St. Petersburg, I might not be sitting here today.”

There are more hurdles to clear. He takes on his teenage years with a burden no youngster should endure by himself. He begins to blame himself for his mother’s demise.

“A few weeks before my mom died I heard my mom choking,” he says. “I picked up this purple eight-pound weight and hit her boyfriend in the head.”

The kid tells the boyfriend to leave, but then reconsiders.

“I’m 6 and I’m thinking if he leaves he’s going to take my toys,” he says. “Then two weeks later . . .”

He’s in pain, he admits, his anger leading to fights before he works everything out.

“I had a complete turnaround,” Gordon says, a “Yes, sir” often mixed into his answers. “I’ve always been surrounded by great people. I have two grandmothers who are like mothers, Uncle Anthony who texts to say, ‘You can’t keep a good man down,’ and a father, who is just great.”

Dad’s smart, too. The kid is a terrific basketball player, but his future is baseball. Dad promises him a car if he tries baseball. Gordon makes the switch, but gets no car.

“Would you give me a car at 16 or 17?” Gordon says.

Here we are, Gordon 24 and promising to never change. He mentions the impact on him when he hears someone talking about making minimum wage.

“Someone my own age,” he says. “How fortunate are we?”

But he’s going to have to do better, the game not caring what he’s overcome.

“Every sport came easy to me until this year and honestly I didn’t know how to handle it,” he says, his candor as refreshing as his bubbly personality. “It was eating me up, but if I didn’t let what happened to my mother eat me up, why should this?

“I just have to move forward,” he says, and if successful, I know one fan who will be thrilled.

Dodgers Drop Game One and Lose Ground in Standings

It’s that time again…that time where we are forced to be made sick by watching the team that turns the stomachs of Dodgers fans across the nation. Where we are forced to stare at these awful colors of black and orange. To be honest, I’ve never been fond of Halloween because of the colors. I laugh at the people that thought the Angels-Dodgers had a “hardcore” rivalry this past weekend. To them, maybe it is. To us, this is the team; these are the hated ones that will always have that special place in our hearts as the grossest team in baseball.

It’s also time to face another reality…we sucked tonight. There’s no way around it. The Dodgers are losing steam, and they need a pick-me-up. This road trip has been anything but good for us. We have now lost six of our last seven and on the border of losing the lead for the NL West. Where to point the finger? Well, in all actuality, no one in particular. These have been team losses. But ya know what? I’m going to do it anyways. I’m pointing the finger at — Ned Colletti. NOT Don Mattingly.

Ned Colletti has been ruining this Dodgers team for a lot longer than just this year, but he’s really out done himself as of late. The reason I’m not blaming Mattingly is because about a month ago, every button this guy pushed, whether we agreed with it or not at the time, was working. There was nothing but praise for him, and now that we’re in a bit of a bind, people want his head. It’s not his fault. Donnie has been an extraordinary manager ever since he got here. All of the players love him, the only problem is, he has just had nothing to work with, and that is Ned’s fault. He looks at players like Uribe and Kennedy, thinks they’re good and signs them for deals in which we are still paying for. I’m actually not even going to get into Uribe, because I literally need to take a night off from thinking about him. It just frustrates me at this point, as it does you, I’m sure. So I’ll save my negativity towards him for the bad game he’ll have tomorrow night. Unless of course, he’s not in the lineup!! Haha yeah right…I crack myself up.

Back to the game though, as well all know, Eovaldi got knocked around for the first time in 2012…hard. But weirdly enough, I have to hand it to the guy. I know he gave up 7 runs in the first two innings, and pretty much took us out of the game early, but he battled. I’d be lying if I wasn’t one of the many yelling “Get him out of there!!” in the second inning, and was slightly irritated when he came out for the third inning, but he definitely proved me wrong. Eovaldi grinded out another three strong innings, while having a span of 9 consecutive batters that he retired. On Twitter, I always point out the fact that every time that Nate had given up a homerun this year, he has followed up the next batter by striking him out. I thought this showed amazing maturity from him, and the same can be said for tonight. In a much larger scale, he showed maturity by not letting the lead get to him and falling apart (more than he already had). Was there more pressure on him being the first time pitching in the Dodgers-Giants rivalry?

Before the game, Mattingly seemed optimistic about the way Nate would handle that pressure. “If he’s going to be any good, he’s got to pitch here,” he said. “I have no real concerns. I look forward to seeing how he handles it.”

Unfortunately for us all, he didn’t seem to have handled the initial pressure very well. Although when asked about it in the locker room after game, he didn’t agree.

“It’s a great baseball atmosphere, a great rivalry, but I didn’t feel like there was extra added pressure,” said Eovaldi.

“It was a good experience for him,” Mattingly said. “He’s going to be fine. He’s not the kind of kid to get rattled. He is a work in progress.”

Dee Gordon had another great game which put him at three straight after receiving a one-on-one coaching lesson from Maury Wills. I hope, for his sake, that he can continue this hot streak and work on his defense a little more. I am one of the few that still have faith in Dee and think if he can find a way to get on base, day in and day out, he will be an incredible force to be reckoned with, especially with the arrival of Mark and Matt from the DL. Do you remember how that used to go?

1. Dee singles to get on first.

2. With Mark Ellis batting, Dee steals second.

3. Mark Ellis sacrifices, Dee moves to third.

4. Matt Kemp singles, doubles, triples, or homers in Gordon.

Sweet Music.

But for now, we deal with what we have; and that is a desperately struggling team which we all still love. Game two of this rivalry continues tomorrow with Kershaw on the mound against Ryan Vogelsong. Game is scheduled to start at 7:15 PT. Be sure to follow Dodgers Insider on Facebook and Twitter as well!

Dodgers Lineups for Freeway Series Finale

The Dodgers look to wrap up the Freeway Series and take their first series from the previous six. Aaron Harang takes the mound tonight as he looks to mimic Chris Capuano’s brilliant night last night as he went seven strong innings, while only allowing one run on seven hits, while striking out four. Dee Gordon also had a breakout night, which was fun to watch. He got two hits, stole a base, and also scored two of the Dodgers three runs. Before the game, Dee met with Maury Wills and apparently, whatever Maury told him…worked.

What I loved about yesterday’s game was the fact that it was the first time in a while that the Dodgers were working on all cylinders. Everyone was playing a role: Cappy was dominant on the mound, Hairston and Rivera had some key at bats, Dee was all over the place, on offense and defense, and Elian Herrera made an outstanding catch in Center that took a three run homerun away from Torii Hunter. Everyone was playing their part and I can say, despite the fact we scored on two errors by the Angels, that we earned that victory. Yes, we scored on errors, but the fact of the matter is, the Dodgers put themselves in positions to win all day by being aggressive on the basepaths. I really hope that we can carry this momentum into today, and more importantly, into San Francisco this week.

Today, Don Mattingly is giving Juan Uribe the day off (we’re all super bummed about that, I’m sure) and actually giving Herrera the nod at third! I thought this would finally be the day I’d get to see my dream lineup…but sure enough, Adam Kennedy is in at second instead of Hairston. One day! I’m still keeping my hopes up. Anyways — Here are the lineups Donnie scratched in for today.

Dodgers:

1. Dee Gordon, SS

2. Elian Herrera, 3B

3. Andre Ethier, RF

4. Bobby Abreu, DH

5. Juan Rivera, LF

6. James Loney, 1B

7. Adam Kennedy, 2B

8. Tony Gwynn Jr., CF

9. Matt Treanor, C

Aaron Harang, Pitcher

Angels Lineup:

1. Mike Trout, LF

2. Alberto Callaspo, 3B

3. Albert Pujols, 1B

4. Kendrys Morales, DH

5. Mark Trumbo, RF

6. Howie Kendrick, 2B

7. Erick Aybar, SS

8. Peter Bourjos, CF

9. Bobby Wilson, C

Garrett Richards, Pitcher

Kevin Youkilis Could Be A Dodger By This Weekend

Reports are saying that Kevin Youkilis is leaving Boston by this weekend. Question is — Where is he going?

For those of you that have read anything I’ve posted before, you would know that I never liked this Youkilis trade. However, in the past 24 hours, my tune has 100% changed. I’ll tell you why.

Now Dodgers sources are saying something a little bit different than before. They are saying that they would use Youkilis to replace Uribe at third, rather than Loney at first. Now this I love. I never thought Loney was our number one problem. He is a problem, for sure, don’t get me wrong, but not our number one problem. I think Youkilis would give a slightly bigger threat in the middle of the lineup than Uribe would anywhere.

Last night was fantastic. It gave me hope of a Uribe-less future. Adam Kennedy may have only gone 0-2 with a walk, but not seeing that haggard swing that tries to blow the guts out of every ball he sees in the lineup was so refreshing. If we want to improve this team – Uribe HAS to go. No questions asked.

Now Youkilis will not be our savior. He will not come to the team and have a Manny-like impact back in 2008. We still need a big bat. I thought a perfect example of the impact he’ll have would be a Casey Blake. Someone that is in the lineup, and stays consistent with a homerun every now and again. Youkilis obviously isn’t having the year that he would have hoped, and his numbers have dropped off immensely. His batting average is .225 and his wOBA is .306. However, I think these numbers could change when he leaves Boston. Here’s why:

If you remember back in 2008, Manny’s numbers were no where near where they were compared to his career. It’s because he was practically doing it on purpose to make a point that he was unhappy in Boston. Now I’m not saying this is a case of “Youk being Youk” but it could very well be a morale problem that has his numbers down. Bobby Valentine has recently sat down and told him that his playing time is getting cut because of how well Middlebrooks is playing at third.

“He doesn’t necessarily totally agree with it and doesn’t wake up in the morning and hope that’s the case,” Valentine said. “But I think the professional person that Kevin is, he understands it,” Valentine told reporters. “Yes, I think he’s fine.”

So Youkilis definitely wants to move, and he definitely wants no part of the Red Sox anymore. So could his numbers improve with a better morale? Absolutely. And who better to help that than Donnie who is an absolute player-friendly manager.

Like I said before, Youkilis is not the only answer to our offensive problems. But he does help. If by some off chance that you still aren’t convinced that Uribe is a detriment to the team…let me help.

Back in 2010, when Uribe was signed on, Ned Colletti said this about Uribe. “He will provide more power, he has thunder in his bat.” Funny part about that is…he has no thunder in his bat. In fact, there isn’t even a storm brewing. This year he has one homerun. One. That was hit May 11th, at Coors Field. For those of you that don’t know, baseballsfly out of that stadium. Point in case…Dee Gordon also has one homerun this year…at Coors Field. See where I’m going with this? When Ned wants to give an argument about how Dee has thunder in his bat, I’ll be all ears, but until then, my argument stands.

In June, Uribe is hitting a horrendous .179 with two RBI’s, eight strikeouts and no walks. That means every 3.5 at-bats that he gets, is a strikeout. On the year, Uribe is hitting a line of .231/.278/.324.

I wanted to bring up that statistic wOBA. This stands for weighted on-base average. It’s a great stat that tells you in a little bit more precision exactly how much someone gets on base. The league average this year is .309. Just for a bit broader understanding of where a player should be, last years average was .316. So anywhere around there is average.

Youkilis’ wOBA for this year is .306. Just 3 points below the leagues average. Uribe’s is .283 — 26 points below.

I did the math for our potential lineup before (without Youkilis) and after (with Youkilis). Keep in mind the lineup will change drastically after the trade deadline with the arrival of Kemp and Ellis from the DL.

Our team’s wOBA goes from .309 (not bad, considering league average) and shoots up to .333 with Kemp, Ellis and Youkilis. Only three teams have wOBA’s better than that.

I like this trade, I think it would be a great addition, however I still think we need to add another big bat in July. We’ll see what happens. But sources are saying that talks are getting very intense with regards to Youkilis and this deal could happen anytime from as early as today, to at least the end of this weekend. So be looking out for more updates on this.

For those of you that are wondering what we’ll have to pay — not much. Boston will most likely be eating most of, if not all of,  the remaining $12 Million on his contract, and the $1 Million buyout. However, with that being said, Boston is paying more of the contract in order to get a better prospect. Who that is will probably determine which team Youk goes to. As of right now, the top two teams are the Dodgers and the White Sox. Check back to see if any updates have occurred.

Freeway Series Game 2 Preview – June 23rd, 2012

The Dodgers dropped game one of the Freeway series last night which puts them at 1-3 this season against the Orange County Angels of Anaheim. As I always try to do, I definitely, 100% found some positives from last nights game that I want to share with you before previewing tonight’s game, along with some negatives as well.

Positives: The offense awoke from the Oakland induced Coma that we seemed to be in as of late. They finally started showing some signs of life, and a little pop in the bats. In just two innings last night, we had six hits and scored five runs. In the past three games prior, we only managed to get nine hits, and two runs…combined. So it was definitely nice to see that energy from the dugout and the overall excitement that just wasn’t around in Oakland. Granted, I mentioned this on facebook as well, but you have to take into large consideration the stadium as well. The Dodgers have never played well there, and not only is it a pitcher’s ballpark with extremely long fences, but the stadium is NEVER even half way filled, and the energy that the fans bring for the Oakland Athletic’s just isn’t there. It’s very hard to get excited for a game like that, and it’s hard to perform when you’re not amped. It’s much easier to play in a place like Dodger or Angel Stadium in Anaheim. But anyways, back to last night — After the second inning, we were shut down runs wise, but the Dodgers were still making great at-bats. They ended up with 12 hits, including a 3 run homerun by Bobby Abreu, which was the first Dodgers homerun since Juan Rivera’s on June 12th. Yeah…10 days earlier.

“I didn’t think nothing about [revenge],” Abreu said. “I was just doing the best I can do to help my team win.”

A.J. Ellis also had a great at bat, where he battled off Dan Haren’s best stuff and worked an 11 pitch, full count at-bat that ended up with Ellis getting a single, and you could phyiscally see that it affected Haren. Mattingly also commented that he was overall pleased with the team’s performance last night, especially after a three game sweep in Oakland.

“After today, it doesn’t really concern me,” he said. “I was OK with the way we played today. The energy was good. At the end of the day, we got beat; we didn’t give it away. We weren’t able to stop them, but we had good at-bats the whole game.”

Negatives: Chad. Billingsley. There’s not much more to say about Chad that hasn’t been said already. To put it insanely mild, he is incredibly inconsistent and mediocre. AKA -not a number two starting pitcher. Last night, Bills had zero command and just flat out, didn’t execute at all. To me, he looked like he was throwing rather than pitching. He was over throwing, and his confidence was way down. The stat that concerned me the most though, was how he dealt with the bottom third of the Angels lineup. It’s hard enough to deal with players like Trout, Trumbo, Pujols, etc. But you can not make it harder on yourself by not focusing with the rest of the team. The Angels are solid from top to bottom, and last night the bottom third of their lineup scored 5 out of their total 8 runs. That’s practically unheard of.

“That’s why I guess you ask me all those questions every five days,” Mattingly said to reporters afterward. “I guess the mystery continues a little bit. It’s really a matter of, he’s got to be able to execute and get the ball where he wants, you have to stop the bleeding, slow yourself down and make quality pitches and manage those innings and not let it snowball.”

Billingsley was philosophical about his latest setback. “It’s just baseball,” he said. “I’ll continue to go out and pitch my game. It’s baseball. I’ve been playing a few years. I understand this game. Nothing’s easy. I’ll continue to go out and grind like every one of us on the team is doing.”

We’ll see which Billingsley comes to the mound his next appearance, but until then, let’s enjoy one of our most consistent starters in Chris Capuano, who has been great for the team all year.  He is taking the mound against Ervin Santana who has had a very rough season in 2012. Coming off from a 1 hit gem against the Diamondbacks, Santana is only 4-7 with a 5.16 ERA. To be honest with you, he’s been as predictable and consistent this year as Chad Billingsley has been for us. Yeah, I know. That’s mean, but also still true.

Looking at the matchup, on paper, it looks as if the Dodgers have a great shot of taking this one. Santana is coming off a great game, like I said, but for the most part has a tendency to get shelled, and Capuano is solid. However, in this weird quote-unquote “rivalry” anything could happen. Funny side note about that “rivalry.” As we all know…Dodgers fans hate, no that’s not quite it — loathe, no that’s not it either — well I can’t really find a word to describe the way we feel about the Giants, but we all know that is our number one and only true rivalry. That rivalry has been going since the Brooklyn and New York days, WELL before the Angels were even a thought of becoming a team. So to Angels fans, they think that this rivalry is way more serious than any Dodgers fans think it is. Which is funny, cause even Mike Scioscia, the Angel’s manager (also ex-Dodger catcher) doesn’t consider it a rivalry.

“I don’t really think there is [a rivalry], as far as anybody in our clubhouse or in their clubhouse, but I do know that the media and our fans obviously have more interest in the game because of the geographical rivalry that’s here, with two teams being so close,” Scioscia said. “For us, it’s another game. They’re a good team, and we have to do things well if we’re going to beat them.”

I just thought that was pretty funny, and just another point in my forever-ongoing argument that the Dodgers and Angels “rivalry” is nonexistent and dumb. The Giants will always have that special place in our hearts as the most hated team in the universe, and the Angels will never even come close. Sorry ’bout it, Angels fans.

Dodgers Lineup:

Dee Gordon, SS

Jerry Hairston, 2B

Andre Ethier, RF

Bobby Abreu, DH

Juan Rivera, LF

James Loney, 1B

Elian Herrera, CF

Juan Uribe, 3B

A.J. Ellis, C

Chris Capuano, Pitcher

Angels Lineup:

Mike Trout, CF

Torii Hunter, RF

Albert Pujols, 1B

Mark Trumbo, LF

Kendrys Morales, DH

Howie Kendrick, 2B

Maicer Izturis, 3B

Erik Aybar, SS

John Hester, C

Ervin Santana, Pitcher

The game is scheduled to start at 4:15 pm PT. Also, be sure to follow Dodgers Insider on Facebook and Twitter for live, in-game updates as well!!

 

 

Freeway Series Round 2 – Lineups vs. Orange County Angels of Anaheim

 

Hey Dodgertown!! Grab the popcorn — put on your lucky articles of clothing — sit down and get ready for round 2 of the Freeway Series. Here’s to hoping that the Dodgers remembered to bring their bats to Anaheim, considering they seemed to have forgotten them in L.A. when they visited Oakland this past week. I’ve got some good news and bad news for everyone. Let’s start with some good news. It’s been a while since I’ve been able to say that:

Good News: Mr. Juan Uribe is OUT of the lineup!! It will be so refreshing to get a break from seeing that haggard swing every ninth at bat. Now I don’t mean to bash on any of our Boys in Blue, and I know its not fair to single any one person out considering the recent offensive slump the entire team is in, but this is one that I just don’t agree with. Let me explain my reasoning. Juan Uribe, even after a DL stint because of his recent wrist injury, is batting a mere .185. I double checked myself, and to answer your question, no, that’s not a typo. Remember how hopeful everyone was back in 2010? And the hope that Ned Colletti gave us after he signed him by saying, “He will provide more power, he has thunder in his bat.” Really Ned? Cause that so called “thunder” has only struck five times since you’ve signed him. Mike Petriello for Mike Scioscia’s Tragic Illness wrote a great article about Uribe describing why he is actually the third, possibly second worst Dodger signing in history. Click Here for a great read about more on that. Despite all that criticism, that was my good news: Uribe. Is. Out. Celebrate.

Bad News: Kennedy is in at third instead. As much as I’d like to rejoice that Uribe is out…we’re really not gaining much here. Oh well, at least Adam’s swing isn’t as atrocious as Uribe’s is. Plus, Adam provides the slight gleam of hope that he can come through sometimes. Whereas Uribe really doesn’t give you that hope. Ever.

But hey! I’m not here to be all negative. Here’s some more good news. That DH spot that we get to use in Anaheim is allowing Ethier, Abreu, and Rivera to hit together in the middle of the lineup. Maybe that could potentially spark some offense that we’ve so desperately needed the past couple series. Here’s what else Donnie scratched in for tonight’s lineup against the Orange County Angels of Anaheim.

Dodgers:

1. Dee Gordon, SS

2. Jerry Hairston Jr., 2B

3. Andre Ethier, RF

4. Bobby Abreu, DH

5. Juan Rivera, LF

6. James Loney, 1B

7. Adam Kennedy, 3B

8. AJ Ellis, C

9. Tony Gwynn Jr, CF

Chad Billingsley, P

Thursday Throwback – This Day In Dodgers History – June 21st

Considering the fact that the Dodgers seemed to have forgotten their bats in Los Angeles, I figured it would be fun to talk about the man who pretty much coined the phrase, “hit ‘em where they ‘aint.”  Mr. “Wee” Willie Keeler was the Dodgers outfielder and on this day, in 1901, he had five out of the Dodgers 26 hits. It has taken the current Dodgers team five games to knock down 26 hits.

According to the Dodgers official website, Keeler’s five hits set a franchise record that would stand until 1915 when George Cutshaw had six hits August 9 at Chicago. Cutshaw’s record has since been tied five times, most recently by Willie Davis on May 24, 1973.

 

Keeler batted leadoff for nine seasons under Manager Ned Hanlon with Baltimore and Brooklyn. During that stretch, in which Baltimore and Brooklyn combined for five league pennants and three second-place finishes, Keeler batted .378 and averaged 215 hits and 134 runs.

During his 19-year playing career, Keeler was known as one of the game’s best bat handlers. He was an excellent bunter and was a master of the “Baltimore chop” off the hardened dirt in front of home plate. He would choke up on the bat and, with a quick snap of his wrists, chop the ball over the heads of the infielders to get on base.

He was quick down the line and was an expert at executing the hit-and-run with teammate John McGraw. Keeler was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1939.

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