The Cycle: Must Read Dodgers News

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at Los Angeles Dodgers
Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

We decided to try something new with the blog. Every Friday, we will post a list of articles from different sources that pertain to the Dodgers. Some of the news you may have heard, others may have slipped through the cracks. Whatever the case, this should round out the week of Dodgers news and give you a break from our dumb faces. If you have a source you’d like to see on here, let us know!

Michael Boyle pitches well in Great Lakes loss – (True Blue LA) “Oklahoma City and Great Lakes both lost again on Tuesday. Loons right-hander Michael Boyle matched a season-high seven innings pitched on Tuesday against Bowling Green. Boyle gave up just one run on four hits, two walks, and one strikeout.”

Dodgers survive tough May but still lose ground in standings – (Dodgers Digest) “Chad penned a post back on May 2 that basically said the Dodgers were in for the toughest month they’d have all season (you know, save those pesky September games). They were 12-13 entering the month. Weathered the storm they did. In fact, they fared quite well.”

Dodgers May review: Clayton Kershaw at his best –  (True Blue LA) “The Dodgers in May saw Julio Urias debut, saw Corey Seager tie a franchise record at his position in just his third major league month. The club on offense was led on offense by a pair of rookies, but ultimately May was about Clayton Kershaw, who had arguably the best month of his career.”

Looking at the Dodger bullpen, game by game – (Dodgers Insider) “… a snapshot of how each member of the Dodger bullpen has performed this season. In 173 separate appearances this season so far, the Dodger bullpen had done its job 76.3 percent of the time, with that figure slightly higher in May.”

Dodgers designate Alex Guerrero for assignment – (MLB Daily Dish) “The Dodgers have designated outfielder Alex Guerrero for assignment, as first reported by J.P. Hoornstra of the Los Angeles News Group. The team will now have 10 days to either trade, release or outright Guerrero.”

Corey Seager ties May homer record for shortstops – (Dodgers Insider) “It’s doubtful many people realize the kind of month that Corey Seager just had. The 22-year-old’s three-run homer in the ninth inning of tonight’s 5-0 Dodger victory was his seventh round-tripper of the month, giving Seager a share of a franchise record.”

Andre Ethier’s return to be delayed – (Dodgers Insider) “Andre Ethier’s recovery from has slowed, and his expected June return has been delayed, Dave Roberts told reporters today. Roberts said that there isn’t much new with Ethier, who hasn’t been running at full body weight.”


Pedro Baez: The Worst

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at San Francisco Giants
September 28, 2015; San Francisco, CA, USA; Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

This is Pedro Baez. He’s the worst.

Imagine you have an ice cream cone. We’ll say chocolate chip cookie dough because you have some cash to burn. Thrifty’s gave you a scoop that is loaded with cookie dough and for a brief moment, the world is right. Your friend, Pedro Baez, stops by and asks to try your ice cream. You feel uneasy. “But why Pedro? You dropped my last ice cream cone.” Reluctantly, and with the “I just drove over a bump too fast” sensation in your stomach, you hand him the ice cream cone. He takes a bite and is handing it back to you. Just as it is about to pass back over to you, Baez drops your ice cream. “I fucking knew better,” you tell yourself. You knew better because Pedro Baez is the fucking worst.

It took two pitches for Baez to muck this up. Look at the location of pitch number 2:


Now look at Curtis Granderson’s zone profile for the season:


I’ll take, “All The Locations You Should Avoid When Pitching To Granderson,” Alex.

One has to wonder why Roberts decided to go with an awfully predictable Baez instead of Jansen. Well, we know why. It was the ol’ “Don’t burn your closer on a road game in a non-save situation” situation, duh! Don’t worry, it’s not supposed to make sense.

We can continue to lament over Baez, because it’s fun and easy. Or we can continue to scratch our heads over Roberts’s in-game management, but we won’t get far. Either way, both options neglect to focus on the maddeningly weak offense. Scoring four runs in the ninth to tie the game is a way to win a game, but it probably is not the best way to do it.

The Dodgers had multiple opportunities to take control of this game. In the top of the 3rd, with bases loaded and one out, Seager hit into an inning-ending double play.With men on the corners and one out in the top of the 4th, Pederson struck out swinging and Puig hit into a fielder’s choice in the next at-bat. The next inning, with two on and two out, Turner hit into a fielder’s choice.

The Dodgers remain 4.5 games behind the Giants. Kenta Maeda will toe the rubber against Noah Syndergaard. The last time Maeda faced Thor he gave up two dingers to the son of Asgard. Game time is at 4:15 PST.

NL West Round-up: Week 1

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After six long months without baseball, we are officially through the first week of the season. For the last few seasons, the NL West has been the Dodgers and Giants show. Let’s take a look at how the NL West is shaping in 2016 so far.

Los Angeles Dodgers

Our Boys in Blue started the season off on the road. They swept San Diego and kept them scoreless in all three games. The team traveled North and faced the Giants – a team they went 8-11 against last season. Things did not go well for the Dodgers. Take a look at the box scores from last week.

H R W/L (Dodgers)
4/04 LAD v. SDP 17 15 W
4/05 LAD v. SDP 6 3 W
4/06 LAD v. SDP 11 7 W
4/07 LAD v. SFG 13 6 L
4/08 LAD v. SFG 9 2 L
4/09 LAD v. SFG 10 3 W
4/10 LAD v. SFG 10 6 L

Notable Injuries:
Carl Crawford is on the 15-day DL with lower back pain. Chris Hatcher suffered a twisted left knee but is day-to-day. Scott Van Slyke is suffering from lower back stiffness but is day-to-day.

San Francisco Giants

The Giants opened their season against the Milwaukee Brewers – a team that is in rebuild mode in 2016. Madison Bumgarner was not on his usual game in the season opener as he allowed five hits over five innings pitched. He gave up two home runs and walked five batters but still walked away with the win because pitcher wins. While they did not sweep the Brewers nor the Dodgers, they have found themselves in sole possession of first place by a game. Here are there box scores for the week.

H R W/L (Giants)
4/04 SFG v. MIL 15 12 W
4/05 SFG v. MIL 7 2 W
4/06 SFG v. MIL 6 3 L
4/07 LAD v. SFG 17 12 W
4/08 LAD v. SFG 2 3 W
4/09 LAD v. SFG 5 2 L
4/10 LAD v. SFG 12 9 W

Notable Injuries:
According to, the Giants do not have anyone on the DL. We should all be scared.

Colorado Rockies

Can you believe that the Rockies got fifteen hits and scored ten runs outside of Coors Field?! On the season opener in Arizona, the Rockies trounced the Diamondbacks in amazing fashion. Of course, the story (EH? EH?!) this week within Colorado’s organization is Trevor Story. The rookie shortstop hit seven dingers in his first six games! That put him on pace to hit 189 home runs this season, which is definitely certainly likely to happen. Sadly, as is always the case with the Rockies, they are meandering in the middle of the standings because they are the Rockies. Whether or not the Rockies can take their success at Coors on the road remains to be seen this season. Take a look at last week’s box scores.

H R W/L (Rockies)
4/04 COL v. ARI 15 10 W
4/05 COL v. ARI 9 6 L
4/06 COL v. ARI 8 4 W
4/08 SDP v. COL 2 6 L
4/09 SDP v. COL 8 3 L
4/10 SDP v. COL 9 6 W

Notable Injuries:
Daniel Descalso is expected back sometime early this season. However, with Trevor Story crushing it, one has to wonder how the infield will adjust.

San Diego Padres

Remember last year when the Padres went all-in on offense last year. Yeah, that did not work for them. To remedy that, they brought in John Jay who represents a nice upgrade in the outfield. They also got Alexei Ramirez for $4M with a $1M buyout, who was a much-needed improvement at shortstop at a relatively low cost. The issue with Jay and Ramirez, however, is now the Padres have sacrificed some offensive power for strictly defensive upgrades. How has it worked out for San Diego thus far? To the box scores!

H R W/L (Padres)
4/04 LAD v. SDP 4  0 L
4/05 LAD v. SDP 2  0 L
4/06 LAD v. SDP 5  0 L
4/08 SDP v. COL 18 13 W
4/09 SDP v. COL 19 16 W
4/10 SDP v. COL 8 3 L
4/11 SDP v. PHI 6 4 L

Notable Injuries:
Tyson Ross has landed on the 15-day DL with right shoulder inflammation. He is expected back in the rotation late April.

Arizona Diamondbacks

Speaking of teams that went all-in. The Diamondbacks inked a TV deal during the offseason and quickly signed Zack Greinke and Shelby Miller to outrageous deals. Even more concerning, if you’re a D-Backs fan, is that the team traded one of their top prospects to get Miller. How has that worked out for them? Combined, Greinke and Miller have made two starts and have posted a 6.00 ERA to start the season. I probably don’t need to tell you that is not what you want from your Number 1 and Number 2 starters. Let’s examine the box scores to see how they became the cellar dwellers in Week 1.

H R W/L (Padres)
4/04 COL v. ARI 12 5 L
4/05 COL v. ARI 15 11 W
4/06 COL v. ARI 8 3 L
4/07 CHC v. ARI 8 6 L
4/08 CHC v. ARI 8 3 W
4/09 CHC v. ARI 4 2 L
4/10 CHC v. ARI 8 3 L

Notable Injuries:
Josh Collmenter is on the 15-day DL with right shoulder inflammation. He is expected to return in mid-to-late April. A.J. Pollock is out for the season as he is recovering from elbow surgery.

Game One-Hundred Twenty Recap: Dodgers 2, Athletics 5

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What Went Right

Jimmy Rollins hit a home run in yesterday’s game! No, I’m not joking. Rollins’ dinger gave the Dodgers their only two runs of the game. There is something incredibly wrong with the offense when one of the worst run-producing players on the roster is generating the only runs of the game.

Player (250 Min AB) wOBA wRC+
Justin Turner .393 156
Yasmani Grandal .377 145
Adrian Gonzalez .375 144
Andre Ethier .365 137
Joc Pederson .350 127
Howie Kendrick .331 114
Yasiel Puig .327 111
Jimmy Rollins .282 80

Alex Wood managed to go 5.2 innings before giving way to Chris Hatcher. Hatcher, and later Jim Johnson, kept the Dodgers within one run as they pitched a scoreless seventh and eighth inning, respectively.

What Went Wrong

A better question, and likely a shorter list, is what is not going wrong. After being swept in Oakland, the Dodgers are on an 2-8 skid in their last ten games played. In yesterday’s game, the Dodgers mustered two hits. TWO HITS! While the A’s are not exactly the worst when it comes to keeping hitters off the bases, they are not the best either. When looking at K-BB%, Oakland ranks 13th with 13.2%.

Even though Johnson had pitched a scoreless eighth, he did load the bases before being pulled. Luis Avilan got Stephen Vogt to fly out to right, but that brought one run across the plate. Pedro Baez entered with men on the corners and gave up a double to left field. These hits, in and of themselves, are not concerning. With no one on, Vogt’s sacrifice gets the Dodgers to the inning’s end. Of course, these hits do not occur in a vacuum and as a relief pitcher, your job is to get through the inning unscathed. Sometimes, baseball does not want to work that way.

What To Look For

Enrique Hernandez provided the only other hit for the Dodgers, besides Rollins’ home run. Hernandez has been a great boon for this lineup. On the season, he is hitting .304/.353/.513 with a .370 wOBA and 141 wRC+. Even more encouraging is that there has been a steady improvement from month to month since May.

05/15 .206/.250/.382 .275 75 .261
06/15 .260/.309/.769 .329 112 .256
07/15 .379/.406/.552 .405 164 .579
08/15 .366/.435/.634 .456 200 .400

His unsustainable BABIP is concerning. His true production level is somewhat of a mystery as he has only made 304 major-league plate appearances.

What Is Next

The Blue Crew enjoys the day off today before they face Houston tomorrow. Chase Utley will join the team in Houston on Friday and fulfill every Dodgers fan wet dream from 2008. First pitch tomorrow is at 5:10 PM PST.

Game One-Hundred Nineteen Recap: Dodgers 4, Athletics 5

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I have been doing a lot of writing for places other than this barren wasteland I call a blog. Don’t worry, Tio Piazza Parlor is here to stay. Now on to the game recap.

What Went Right

Demigod, Clayton Kershaw pitched seven innings and tallied seven K’s while holding the Oakland A’s to one-run ball. He did give up five hits – I mean, I guess you can call tonight a struggle. The lone run that came across the plate was the result of Oakland small-balling the crap out of the second inning.

The Dodgers managed to score in the fifth after some small-ball of their own. A.J. Ellis started the inning off with a walk. Joc Pederson followed with a walk of his own. One wild pitch and Jimmy Rollins single later, the Dodgers scored, tying it up 1-1. The scoring continued in the top of the eighth when Ellis crushed a three-run dinger, giving the Dodgers the lead, 4-1.

What Went Wrong

Pedro Baez, J.P. Howell, and Yimi Garcia could not close it down. Baez was given the nod in the eighth and promptly put men on base. Danny Valencia singled to center, Josh Phegley doubled to left, and Mark Canha doubled to right. It took just seven pitches for this game to go from good to, “Jesus fucking christ!” For funsies, let’s see if you can find where that is on this Fangraphs chart.
Source: FanGraphs

Mattingly pulled Baez for Howell and the 32-year old southpaw wasted no time in giving up the tying run. In fact, it only took the A’s three pitches to tie the game. Garcia came in to pitch the ninth and the tenth. Despite retiring the side in the bottom of the ninth, Garcia earned the loss after giving up back-to-back doubles to Canha and Billy Butler.

What To Look For

Andre Ethier went 1-2 as the designated hitter tonight. So far, though, he is having a renaissance season. Thus far, he is hitting .291/.369/.487 with a .369 wOBA and 140 wRC+. Interestingly, in his last 100 AB (arbitrary endpoint), he is hitting .350. His platoon splits are still atrocious as he can’t hit left-handed pitching worth a damn, but even more concerning are his home/away splits.

Home vs. Away Avg/OBP/SLG wOBA wRC+
Home .336/.422/.587 .431 186
Away .252/.320/.399 .311 96
Home (vs. RHP) .350/.444/.634 .459 202
Home (vs. LHP) .250/.273/.300 .249 57
Away (vs. RHP) .264/.337/.419 .326 110
Away (vs. LHP) .133/.133/.200 .143 -16

Ethier’s issues with lefties is no surprise, but his platoon splits on the road are troublesome. Really, -16 wRC+, how is that even possible! You have to be running the basepaths backwards.

What Is Next

Alex Wood will face off against Jesse Chavez. Dave Cameron wrote an interesting piece on Wood’s increasing strike rate since coming to the Dodgers. The Athletics are not a team that strikes out a lot. In fact, their offense ranks 28th in the league in K%. If the Dodgers are looking to capitalize on Wood’s increasing K-rate, it will likely happen after their series in Oakland.

First pitch is at 7:10 PM PST.

Zack Greinke Gets Fifth Win But Gives No Fucks

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There is something to be said about a team that has the ability to have arguably the best pitcher in baseball and Zack Greinke. Usually, a team’s rotation consists of an ace and four other guys that are not the ace. Kershaw is the Dodgers ace, because duh. Greinke is not the ace only because he pitches second in the rotation. The reality is that the Dodgers have two aces pitching back-to-back most days. The benefit, if you are not following, is that if our first ace has a rough outing, we have the pleasure of watching a gem from our second ace. It is rare to see Kershaw and Greinke have tough nights one after the other.

Tonight’s game in Milwaukee followed an un-Kershaw like start. Last night’s game looked like vintage Kershaw until the seventh inning when the wheels fell off. Tonight, however, Zack Greinke looked sharp through 7.2 innings pitched. For the night, Greinke allowed two hits, two walks, and struck out seven. The only run the Brewers managed to score while Greinke was on the mound was courtesy of an odd error by Joc Pederson in the second inning. With the run being unearned, Greinke’s ERA drops to 1.57.

For a while, it seemed that the Dodgers offense would sloth its way into another loss. Then in the top of the sixth, Justin Turner hit his fourth home run of the season, pulling the Dodgers ahead 3-1. The Dodgers put more runs on the board in the top of the seventh. After a fly out by Guerrero, Greinke hit a double and bat flipped the crap out of it.(Courtesy of Dodgers Digest)

Zack Greinke obviously does not give a shit about silly baseball conventions. I really hope this is the beginning of a trend with the Dodgers. If Yasiel Puig does not want to bat flip, then the rest of the lineup should. After homers by Jimmy Rollins and Adrian Gonzalez, plus several more hits by the rest of the lineup, the Dodgers had a commanding lead, 8-1. The Brewers did score another run off of Daniel Coloumbe, but it be all they could muster against the newest addition to the bullpen.

With that, Greinke earned his fifth win and his tenth win in a row. Here are his thoughts on that:

The Dodgers continue their four game series against the Brewers tomorrow with Joe Weiland on the hill tomorrow.

Andre Ethier’s Resurgence: Are We Seeing A Repeat of 2008?

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The 2014 season was Andre Ethier’s worst offensive season in his career. Last year, Ethier slashed .249/.322/.370 while posting a 98 wRC+. To give you an idea of how bad last season was for Ethier, his best year on offense was 2008 when he slashed .305/.375/.510 and owned pitchers with a 134 wRC+. While it is too early to draw any conclusion, this season Andre Ethier has been successful at the plate. In 51 plate appearances, Ethier is slashing .327/.424/.653 with a 194 wRC+. The 33-year old outfielder is proving to be a valuable piece in the Dodgers lineup.

Looking at some data, we can see how his hitting profile in 2008 compares to his hitting profile in 2014 and 2015. The first set of images you’ll be seeing are raw pitch counts from 2008, 2014, and 2015.

2008 Raw Pitch Count

2014 Raw Pitch Count

2015 Raw Pitch Count

Looking at the raw pitch counts, we can see that in 2008 and in 2014 pitchers were pounding the corner low and away from Ethier. Though it is foolish to draw any conclusions about pitcher tendencies towards Ethier so early in the season, the data that has trickled suggests that pitchers are all over the place when pitching to him; though, we can see that pitchers are now throwing towards the inner and lower half of the zone more so than in 2008 and 2014.

Now we’re going to take a look at Andre’s swing rates from the same three years.

2008 Swing Rate

2014 Swing Rate

2015 Swing Rate

In 2008, Ethier’s plate discipline was at its best. He hardly went after pitches that broke away from him at the plate. In fact, you can see that the pitches he often swung at were on the inside part of the strike zone. In 2014, his approach at the plate started to change. Plate discipline data reinforces this. In 2008, Ethier swung at 25.7% of pitches that were outside of the strike zone while swinging at 63.0% of pitches that were in the strike zone, with an overall swing rate of 43.8%. Ethier was more selective at the plate and the restraint paid off in 2008 as he posted a .375 OBP. However, in 2014, Ethier’s swing rate pitches outside the zone was 30.6% and his swing rate at pitches inside the strike zone was 69.1%. Overall, Ethier was swinging at a lot more pitches but making far less contact than he did in 2008. In fact, he was making contact 5.4% more often in 2008 than he was in 2014. Confirming this is his paltry .322 OBP from the 2014 season. So far, in 2015 he is making slightly less contact but is back to being selective at the plate by staying away from pitches outside the zone and swinging less overall. Once again, restraint is paying off as he is posting a .424 OBP!

I can’t go through this post without mentioning BABIP. Andre Ethier’s career BABIP is at .322. In 2008, he posted a .330 BABIP, a .307 BABIP in 2014, and currently a .333 BABIP. Now here’s look at his overall batted ball data, his batted ball data against right-handed pitchers, and against left-handed pitchers.

Overall Batted Ball Data
Year LD% GB% FB% HR/FB
2008 26.6% 41.4% 32% 14.1%
2014 21.6% 51.9% 26.5% 5.6%
2015 10.8% 37.8% 51.4% 15.8%

Batted Ball Data vs. LHP
Year LD% GB% FB% HR/FB
2008 23.0% 46.0% 31.0% 8.6%
2014 12.9% 64.5% 22.6% 0.0%
2015 0.0% 60% 40.0% 0.0%
Batted Ball Data vs. RHP
Year LD% GB% FB% HR/FB
2008 27.8% 39.9% 32.3% 15.9%
2014 22.8% 50.2% 27.0% 6.3%
2015 12.5% 34.4% 53.1% 17.6%

So what are the numbers suggesting to us? The data suggests that Andre Ethier’s production is linked directly to how well he performs against right-handed pitching. We can see that his down year in 2014 was the result of poorly hit balls which was likely the result of a lack of plate discipline discussed earlier. Even more telling is how poorly he hit against right-handed pitching in 2014 compared to other years. It is well known among clubhouses that Ethier cannot hit left-handed pitching to save his career. This has been used against him and the Dodgers to great success for opposing teams. In fact, it has worked so well that Ethier is now a platoon player, being brought in almost exclusively against right-handed pitchers. So far this year, Ethier has been destroying righties while still being impotent against lefties. Again, the caveat remains that it is still too early in the season to draw any distinct conclusions; however, if Andre is able to remain disciplined at the plate, then he will likely continue to see success against right-handed pitchers.


Dodgers Pummel Vogelsong and the Giants, 7-3

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For the first time this season, Joc Pederson hit lead off. In his first at-bat at the top of the order, Pederson hit a solo home run to tie the game after the Giants scored in the top of the first. Zack Greinke did not look sharp tonight. In fact, he was already at 98 pitches going into the fifth inning. His totals for the night, through six innings, were seven hits, three runs allowed and two walks. His WPA for the night was .005, which, yikes. Though, He still managed to strike out 6 batters. Fortunately for Greinke, the offense showed up tonight.

Along with Pederson’s first inning bomb, Adrian Gonzalez and Andre Ethier both hit dingers, a solo home run and a two-run homer, respectively, to extend the lead to 4-1. In 51 plate appearances, Ethier is hitting .310/.412/.548, and posting a .408 wOBA and 166 wRC+. He is expected to regress, however, ZiPS ROS still expects him to be a run generator as his end of season wRC+ is 110, still above the league average. Man I love this bench.

Greinke pitched a scoreless second and third inning, but not without struggling. In the bottom of the third, Jimmy Rollins added to the Dodgers lead with a solo home run of his own. Hopefully that is the spark that gets him out of his slump. Soon after, Howie Kendrick continued the rally with a double to center. On a fly-out to center by Gonzalez, Kendrick advanced to third. Scott Van Slyke brought Howie home on sacrifice fly, making the score 6-1

In the top of the fourth, the Giants scored two runs after a double by Casey McGehee and home run by Brandon Crawford. That would be all the Giants could muster for the evening despite giving Greinke quite the battle.

The Dodgers tacked on some more runs in the bottom of the fourth. Yasmani Grandal walked to start things off. Juan Uribe followed with a double. Zack Greinke hit a sacrifice fly to right which brought Grandal home, bringing the score to 7-3. Zack Greinke went on to pitch two more innings and seemed to have hit his stride. With over 100 pitches logged for the night, Greinke was finished.

The bullpen was fantastic once againe. Adam Liberatore shut down the side in the seventh. Chris Hatcher came out in the eighth and pitched a scoreless inning. And Yimi Garcia closed out the game by making the Giants look foolish.

The Dodgers claimed the series against San Francisco. It was sweet retribution after getting swept at AT&T Park. The Boys in Blue remain in first place at 13-8 and are two games ahead of the Rockies (wut?). They will enjoy a day off tomorrow before hosting the Diamondbacks over the weekend.

Dodgers DL Report: April 29th, 2015

With April coming to a close, let’s take a look at the Dodgers DL:

15-day DL

  • Hyun-Jin Ryu remains on the disabled list with a shoulder issue that has had him sidelined since the season began. He threw a bullpen session April 28th, and is scheduled to throw another session May 1st. His return is expected in May.
  • Joel Peralta is also on the 15-day DL with “dead arm.” While there does not seem to be a lingering problem coupled with this, there has been a dip in velocity on his pitches. We can expect a return in May.
  • Kenley Jansen began the season on the disable list following foot surgery. He threw to batters off the mound over a week ago. He is expected to return in mid-May.
  • Carl Crawford was placed on the 15-day DL with an oblique tear. He left Monday’s game early and is likely to return mid-May.
  • Yasiel Puig remains on the disabled list with a hamstring strain. He had been playing through this injury which might explain his struggles so far this season. He is expected to return in May.

60-day DL

  • Brandon Beachy has been recovering from Tommy John Surgery. He threw off the mound on March 17th, the first time since his surgery. He is expected to return to the roster some time during the middle of the season.
  • Brandon League started the season on the 15-day DL and was moved the 60-day disable list on April 26th to make some room on the 40-man roster. He has been suffering from shoulder inflammation. League’s possible return is around the middle of the season.
  • Chris Withrow began the season on the 60-day DL. He underwent Tommy John surgery on June 3rd of last year and then underwent back surgery on December 1st. He is expected to return midseason.

Out for the season

  • Brandon McCarthy is scheduled for Tommy John surgery tomorrow and will be out for the remainder of the season. We will not see him pitch again until after the All-Star break in 2016.

Game Day Preview: Giants @ Dodgers, Zack Greinke vs. Ryan Vogelsong

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The Dodgers face the Giants tonight for the last game in a three game series. So far this season, the Giants are 4-1 against the Dodgers. A win tonight for the Boys in Blue will restore order in the universe and also reaffirm my undying devotion to Zack Greinke.

Starting Lineup

CF Pederson
SS Rollins
2B Kendrick
1B Gonzalez
LF Van Slyke
RF Ethier
C Grandal
3B Uribe
P Greinke

Joc Pederson moves up to leadoff in the lineup, to which we say, “What the fuck took so long?” He is one of the hottest bats in the lineup and needs to be hitting leadoff more often. Or, more accurately, Rollins should be batting anywhere else but lead off. Pederson’s .428 wOBA, while unsustainable, should be used to the Dodgers advantage. On the pitching side, Zack Greinke gets the start tonight. Through three starts, Greinke has the third lowest ERA in the National League. Of course his peripherals tell a different story. His FIP and xFIP are at 2.73 and 3.23, once his BABIP starts to match his career levels, we can expect his ERA and FIP to rise accordingly. At the moment, however, Zack Greinke is amazing and we expect him to continue his brilliance tonight.

Starting Lineup

LF Aoki
2B Panik
CF Pagan
C Posey
1B Belt
RF Maxwell
3B McGehee
SS Crawford
P Vogelsong

When I was in kindergarten, I sat next to this kid name Giovanni. He ate glue and was my childhood bully, I remember him fondly. Kindergarten was a long, annoying year because of Giovanni. Giovanni. Giants. Illumaniti. Benghazi. Anyways, the Giants are going to make this year especially annoying for Dodgers fan. How can we really stick it to the Giants? I don’t know, I never confronted Giovanni. I just hope he ate enough glue to make him sick. Maybe the Giants can eat glue.

37-year old Ryan Vogelsong is currently worth -0.4 WAR. His pitching has been absolutely atrocious as he is the proud owner of a 6.51 FIP. There’s no hope since his xFIP is 5.18. Steamer ROS does project some improvement with a 4.07 FIP at the end of the season. I mean, that is the definition of improvement. Continue to suck, Vogelsong. Your failure feeds the baseball gods.

First pitch is at 7:10 PM. You can catch the game on Sportsnet LA, or on AM570 if you are not a TWC customer.