Braves @ Dodgers June 9, 2013: For Your Own Safety, Look Away

dodger_stadium_2013_150x150

It’s June 9. Matt Kemp isn’t in the lineup, nor is Carl Crawford, nor is A.J. Ellis, nor is Hanley Ramirez, nor is Andre Ethier, and the game is being started by a pitcher who was not one of the top nine options being discussed over the winter when everyone thought the Dodgers had too much starting pitching. Obviously, the first three are on the disabled list, but still — take a second to think about that. We’re all disappointed by how the season is gone, but had you been told all of that in March — to say nothing of Zack Greinke‘s collarbone and everything else — the response might have been, “wait, they’re only seven games under? Not as bad as I thought would be.”

Ethier sits against lefty Mike Minor today, which is fine, but Hanley Ramirez sits for the fourth straight day, and I have absolutely no idea what the thinking is here. Yesterday, we heard that Don Mattingly expected him back in the lineup today, but clearly that didn’t happen, nor, really should it have; when Clayton Kershaw, of all people, is pinch-running for you, you aren’t healthy. The problem here is that they’re once again stuck in the middle, refusing to pick a direction. Ramirez clearly came back too soon from his original hamstring injury — stop me if you’ve heard that one before, and I have to admit I’m unsure if the blame there falls on the training staff, the front office, or more likely both — but because he keeps getting pinch-hitting appearances, he’s both risking his health and ruining any potential back-dated disabled list stint. It’s infuriating, and once again it really smells as though the front office and the manager are not on the same page here.

Braves
Dodgers
SS
Simmons
RF
Puig
RF
Heyward
SS
Punto
LF
J.Upton
1B
Gonzalez
1B
Freeman
LF
Van Slyke
C
Gattis
3B
Cruz
2B
Uggla
CF
Schumaker
3B
Pena
C
Federowicz
CF
Schaefer
2B
M.Ellis
P
Minor
P
Magill

What we’re left with instead is a lineup that is confounding, to say the least. Yes, Yasiel Puig is probably already writing his Cooperstown induction speech, but it’s still worth noting that the 2013 Dodgers are currently sending out an outfield of Scott Van Slyke / Skip Schumaker / Puig. It’s just… difficult to wrap your mind around.

But that’s nothing compared to the idea of Luis Cruz not only playing over Juan Uribe, but hitting fifth. Fifth! As you might expect, Cruz has the worst wOBA in baseball of anyone with 100 plate appearances. But I bet you didn’t expect him to be a full 33 points worse than Alex Gonzalez of the Brewers. Or should I say, “formerly of the Brewers,” because Gonzalez was released a few days ago, which is what should happen when you cannot hit in the major leagues.

So why, why, why is this happening? It’s not because… oh lord, it absolutely is. Last August, Cruz went 2-3 against Minor, including a homer. That is unquestionably why he’s hitting fifth, and it’s beyond silly to put credence into that. Then again, you look at Schumaker, Federowicz, and Mark Ellis hitting after him, and you wonder if it’s really worth complaining about. This is a really, really weak lineup. Expect it to score 8 runs. Speaking of Ellis, he starts for just the fourth time in nine June games as he nurses an injury of his own; good on Mattingly, I suppose, for hitting him eighth, because he is just struggling awfully right now.

As expected, Ted Lilly returns to the disabled list thanks to a sore neck. Yes, that is three trips in three months for the increasingly fragile Lilly. Coming in July: lupus! Matt Magill returns to the Dodgers without ever having made an appearance for the Isotopes after last weekend’s disaster in Colorado.

Finally, in even more injury news, Twitter superstar A.J. Ellis & Kemp are each expected to be with Albuquerque for a rehab game or two when the Isotopes travel to Round Rock (i.e., “Austin, TX”) this week, then rejoin the Dodgers when they kick off a road trip in Pittsburgh on Friday. Chris Capuano may also be ready then as well, though it seems less certain he’d be activated just yet. (All of this via Eric Stephen of TrueBlueLA.)

We can, and will, talk about what roster moves will accommodate that trio when the time comes — Federowicz heading back to Triple-A seems to be a given, at least — especially how the outfield will shake out, but it almost seems premature to do so right now. It’s beyond naive to expect this team to make it the whole week without any new injuries, especially when we’re seeing Ramirez & Ellis fall apart before our very eyes.

Buy Dodgers tickets, I guess?

Fri 10/11Sat 10/12Sun 10/13Mon 10/14Tues 10/15Wed 10/16Thurs 10/17
RR. Belisario9105
LJ.P. Howell152026
RK. Jansen51626
RC. Marmol26
RB. Wilson281411
RC. Withrow2544
RE. Volquez
956 comments
Weston Taylor
Weston Taylor

Keith Law's take on the Dodgers' draft:

"This doesn't feel like a Dodgers draft, with no high-upside high school picks mixed in here at all. Chris Anderson (18) does fit what the Dodgers like in pitchers, as he has size, velocity and has shown a plus slider, hitting a rough stretch in April after the Dolphins overused him in the season's first six weeks. Minnesota lefty Tom Windle (56) profiles as either a back-end starter or good reliever, a command/finesse pitcher with average stuff but very good feel. Brandon Dixon (92) is currently a third baseman but has to move either to an outfield corner or to first base, and he doesn't have the power (slugging just .362 away from Tucson) or patience (15 unintentional walks in 247 PA) to profile in those spots. 


Cody Bellinger (124), son of former True Yankee Clay Bellinger, is a first-base-only high school hitter with a loose swing and some power potential if you really dream on him, but he didn't look physically ready for pro ball and was seen by many area scouts as a college guy this year. Right-hander JD Underwood (154) has a fringy fastball with good feel and could end up a three-pitch guy with nothing plus. Right-hander Jacob Rhame (184) has good sink on his low-90s fastball with above-average control, but right now his curve and changeup are both below average. Adam Law (364) is not related to me."

HelloFans
HelloFans

Will Puig ever take more pitches ? I know he's been hitting on a supreme level but when he regresses , will he learn to value OBP more and be more selective ?

Dang88
Dang88

Chipper Jones is weird

BIah
BIah

The Anti-Plaza community circle jerk is getting pretty strong around here too, just sayin'...

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

Plaza's self circle jerk hour starts

Weston Taylor
Weston Taylor

The coming back too soon from injuries thing falls not only on the training staff, but also on the medical staff and the front office. But who tells the front office that the players are ready to go? The training/medical staff. It's the FO's job to protect players from themselves when they're adamant about playing. IMO, they all need to go. That, and Kemp hurt himself again trying to come back too soon? I feel like we're the only team that has this problem. 

DBrim
DBrim moderator

Don't feed.

BIah
BIah

@1DTicketHelp3m

"If u weren't old enough 2 see EVERY Harry Potter movie as it came out in theaters, u are NOT part of the generation, so don't act like u r."

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

My homie Kuroda wasnt worth it

MSTIer: Jake
MSTIer: Jake

@Weston Taylor ya i didnt like our draft im not excited for any of these players the way i was/am for zlee and seager

BIah
BIah

@HelloFans Probably.  He's getting thrown a lot of strikes right now and not swinging at a lot of stuff outside the zone.

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

Will adjustments be made?

Stay tuned for a career TBD

DBrim
DBrim moderator

@HelloFans That is impossible to say at this point.

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

Well he hates me cuz I'm liberul

BIah
BIah

@Moon Warrior (VND) Just realized you were VND.  Those sneaky avatar and name changes can catch one off guard

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

Down voted. Harry Potter

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

Which is fine but its a sports blog

BIah
BIah

@Moon Warrior (VND) sports blog communities can get monotonous though if you don't occasionally discuss other things to get to know one another.  Politics though is probably not the best subject to do that with

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

Never. People honk and it freaks me out I get all emotional

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

:( I DRIVE IN THE SLOW LANE!

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

I honestly can't drive.for.shit

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

Damn women. Can't even be good doctors