Los Angeles Dodgers News
9-29-15: In the first of four games at AT&T Park, the Los Angeles Dodgers lost, 3-2, in 12 innings. Zack Greinke threw seven innings of two-run ball, but the Dodgers offense could not score in extra innings. Los Angeles went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position in the loss. On the bright side, the Dodgers can clinch the National League West with a Clayton Kershaw victory on Tuesday.
9-25-15: The Los Angeles Dodgers have enjoyed one of the best stories in Major League Baseball this season with minor league deal turned star Justin Turner. Turner may now be an extension candidate before 2016 after having an under the radar type 2015 season. Joining Turner in the category for under the radar type seasons is Brett Anderson who signed a $10 million contract before the season and has far exceeded expectations with the Dodgers. Anderson had certain incentives written into his contract for innings pitched milestones and has already reached the 150, 155, 160 and the 165 innings pitched plateau’s which earned him an extra $1.3 million in salary. Heading into the weekend Anderson had eclipsed the 168 IP mark and is set to earn an extra $350K for the 170 and 175 IP marks. Anderson’s contract tops out at 200 IP and an extra $400K for every five innings pitched intervals from 180 IP to 200IP. The max amount that Anderson can earn this season with the Dodgers, although it seems unlikely with two starts left, is $14.5 million.
9-23-15: On Tuesday, the Dodgers’ losing streak moved to four games, as their offense continued to struggle. Robbie Ray and the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks shut out the Dodgers to drop Los Angeles’ record to 20 games above .500 in 2015. The Dodgers have not scored more than four runs in a game during their losing streak.
9-18-15: The Los Angeles Dodgers thought they were buying low on former Chicago Cubs infielder Darwin Barney when they acquired him but the 29-year old never contributed much for the big league club leading him to become expendable in LA. Before the week was over, and in response to the Toronto Blue Jays losing Troy Tulowitzki for at least two weeks after suffering a back injury against the New York Yankees, the Dodgers sent Barney to the Toronto Blue Jays in a relatively minor deal. Toronto sent Double-A catcher Jack Murphy back to Los Angeles to complete the deal after the 27-year old career minor leaguer finished his Blue Jays tenure with a .220/.309/.315 slash in 328 plate appearances. Meanwhile Barney had slashed .277/.325/.354 with four home runs and seven stolen bases after falling out of favor with the Chicago Cubs as recently as 2014. Barney brings a career .245/.293/.336 Major League triple slash to Toronto after spending the last six seasons with the Dodgers and the Cubs.
9-15-15: Clayton Kershaw’s stellar season continued on Monday, he threw seven innings of one-run ball in the Dodgers’ 4-1 victory over the Colorado Rockies. Kershaw and the Dodgers bullpen allowed the Rockies to have just three at-bats with runners in scoring position, and they prevented Colorado from getting a hit in any of those opportunities.
9-11-15: The Los Angeles Dodgers are expected to make a bit of a risky move this offseason when the team makes a qualifying offer to left-handed starting pitcher Brett Anderson. Anderson signed a one-year deal worth $10 million before the season and the 27-year old has lived up to the contract and the hype putting up a 3.36 ERA in 158 innings. Anderson is expected to decline the qualifying offer giving the Los Angeles Dodgers an opportunity to get a draft pick back in return for his services or they could get another solid piece for their rotation with a relative commitment both in terms of dollars and years. Speaking of the Dodgers 2016 starting rotation the team may be without starting pitcher and one of their aces in Zack Greinke if he opts out of his current deal like he is expected to. Greinke will be 32-years old at the time of the deal so many National League and American League executives are expecting him to get no more than a five-year deal worth around $150 million.
9-7-15: Top prospect Corey Seager went 2-for-4 in his debut last Thursday and went 2-for-5 the following night. Although he flied out as a pinch-hitter on Saturday, he made it three consecutive starts with a hit on Sunday in the Dodgers’ series-winning 5-1 victory over the San Diego Padres. He also stole his first base of his Major League Baseball career in the win.
9-4-15: The Los Angeles Dodgers left-handed pitcher JP Howell has attained his 2016 vesting player option after appearing in his 52nd game of the 2015 season. With the 52nd appearance this season, his 120th appearance between the 2014 and 2015 seasons, Howell’s team option for $6.5 million becomes a player’s option that could be guaranteed for 2016. Howell will have to finish the 2015 season off the 15 day disabled list for the option to become guaranteed but Howell has been durable during his career so it looks more and more likely that he will. The team also called up the top prospect in all of Major League Baseball this week when the team gave Corey Seager the shortstop position for the foreseeable future. Fellow top shortstop prospect Jose Peraza is dealing with a sore hamstring after coming over from the Atlanta Braves in the deal for Hector Olivera. Jimmy Rollins, the team’s current shortstop, has struggled for much of the 2015 season potentially opening the door not only in 2015 but beyond for Seager at shortstop inside Dodger Stadium.
8-31-15: On Friday, the baseball world learned that Vin Scully is returning for his 67th season in 2016. The Dodgers, who placed Yasiel Puig on the disabled list that day, won that evening and on Saturday to win their series against the Chicago Cubs. However, on Sunday, Jake Arrieta became the second pitcher to no-hit the Dodgers in August.
8-28-15: The Los Angeles Dodgers watched as Chase Utley made his debut in Dodger Blue only to see the team get no-hit by the Houston Astros, not the start to Utley’s Los Angeles tenure that many expected. The no-hitter by Mike Fiers of the Houston Astros began a stumble downward for the first place Dodgers that has some in the organization seemingly ready to hit the panic button. While some inside the organization are audibly nervous about the team’s shot at a National League West Division title the team’s recent streak of rough play will not force one of their top prospects Julio Arias to the Major Leagues in September. Many wondered if the Dodgers would call up their #2 prospect on September 1st when rosters expand from 25 active players to 40 active players to help out their ailing bullpen but it seems unlikely that the 19 year old will be up. The Dodgers haven’t entirely ruled out the possibility of calling up Arias though after he posted a 3.03 ERA at Double-A this season but his inexperience may keep him down in the minor leagues for one more season at least. The only way the drum beating for Arias will subside is if the likes of Kenley Jansen and Chris Thatcher, among others, pitch better than they have of late.
8-24-15: Last week, the Dodgers acquired Chase Utley and $2 million from the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for minor leaguers Darnell Sweeney and John Richy. Utley went 0-for-4 in his first game with Los Angeles, a 3-0 loss at Houston. Utley then collected a double in each of the next two games, but the Dodgers lost both and were swept by the Astros.
8-21-15: The Los Angeles Dodgers have not shied away from adding salary since Andrew Friedman took over as President of Baseball Operations and the team did just that this week when they acquired the Philadelphia Phillies veteran second baseman Chase Utley. Utley was sent to Los Angeles along with roughly $3.7 million in cash while the Dodgers sent two prospects back to Philadelphia in Darnell Sweeney and John Richy. Sweeny and Rich were the Dodgers 13th and 29th best prospects in their farm system at the time of the trade but that cost will be well worth it if Utley continues to hit for the rest of the season like he has thus far in August. Utley has hit .484/.485/.742 in 31 August plate appearances at the time of the trade and will look to bring that red hot bat and veteran leadership with him into a pennant chase in Los Angeles. Alberto Callaspo was designated for assignment to make room on the active roster for Utley after the Dodgers acquired him and his $3 million in salary from the Atlanta Braves earlier in the season. The DFA of Callaspo has led the team to move top prospect Corey Seager to third base in Triple-A as the team’s depth there and at the shortstop position has taken a hit in recent weeks.
8-19-15: Although the Dodgers fell on Tuesday, they hold a two-game lead on the second-place San Francisco Giants in the National League West standings. In the loss, A.J. Ellis homered for the third time this season. The 5-4 loss in extra innings dropped Los Angeles to 15 games above .500 on the season. The Dodgers are 25-32 on the road in 2015.
8-14-15: The St. Louis Cardinals signed a new television deal this month worth an estimated $1 billion which leaves the Cardinals now facing a flood of revenue into the organization. The newly added revenue along with another strong season to date may allow the team to originally do the unthinkable, sign some of their pending free agents to either extensions or new free agent deals to keep them in St. Louis. That mindset begins and ends with outfielder Jason Heyward who the team surrendered right-handed pitcher Shelby Miller for in the offseason in a trade with the Atlanta Braves. The team may also opt to re-sign one or both of John Lackey and Jaime Garcia for their starting rotation to join an extension candidate in Michael Wacha. The team may also be willing to lock up some of their young talent such as Kolten Wang and Carlos Martinez in separate deals that could keep the Cardinals relevant for a long, long time. The Cardinals and Heyward have not had discussions regarding an extension as of the time of this writing though which may worry Heyward a bit. St. Louis has watched big names and big bats leave in recent years including Carlos Beltran and Albert Pujols which is not a good sign for Heyward if the past is any indicator of the future but the added revenue in St. Louis may change that strategy for the franchise.
8-7-15: The Los Angeles Dodgers began this week showing off their newest players on the roster Alex Wood, Jose Peraza, Jose Tabata, Mat Latos, Jim Johnson and Bronson Arroyo who were all brought over before the July 31st trading deadline ended last week. With the plethora of deals that the Dodgers have made before the deadline, in the winter and throughout the season the team now owes nearly $100 million in salary to players that are no longer playing for Los Angeles, an unheard of amount in the history of Major League Baseball. The team has gotten creative in the way they assembled their roster by taking on bad contracts and salary that is immediately designated for assignment rather than giving up top prospects like Corey Seager and Julio Arias. The team even stood pat when it came to Cole Hamels before the trade deadline refusing to trade either of their top two prospects for Hamels. The team was said to be far more interested in Hamels services than David Price or Johnny Cueto’s since he had years of team control beyond the 2015 season while Price and Cueto were pure rentals that could not be offered a qualifying offer after the season.
8-7-15: Behind home runs by Adrian Gonzalez and Zack Greinke on Thursday, the Dodgers’ offense made up Greinke’s six runs allowed in six innings, as they defeated the Philadelphia Phillies in the rubber game of the three-game series. Jimmy Rollins, who received a standing ovation, went 2-for-5 on Tuesday, which was his first game back at Citizens Bank Park since leaving the Phillies.
8-3-15: On Sunday, the Dodgers extended their most recent winning streak to four games, as they swept the visiting Los Angeles Angels. The win moved Los Angeles to 15 games above .500 and 2.5 games ahead of the San Francisco Giants. Last week, the Dodgers were busy near the non-waiver trade deadline, as they acquired Alex Wood, Mat Latos, Jim Johnson and Bronson Arroyo among several other players.
7-31-15: The Los Angeles Dodgers came into this final week before the July 31st trading deadline as big time buyers in the market. In the Dodgers never-ending quest to acquire every trade target in the league and in their never-ending quest to win a World Series the team made a run at RHP Mat Latos and Michael Morse from the Miami Marlins. The deal was set to send Latos, Morse and a competitive balance pick to Los Angeles for a stable of prospects although the deal was initially threatened due to some medical information. When the deadline came and went the Dodgers ultimately acquired both Latos and Morse with their salaries being paid by Los Angeles. This did not stop the team from making real runs at the Detroit Tigers LHP David Price, the Philadelphia Phillies LHP Cole Hamels, the Cincinnati Reds RHP Johnny Cueto before he was dealt to the Kansas City Royals and the Cincinnati Reds closer Aroldis Chapman to name a few. Los Angeles made Hamels their top trade target and even made outfielder Andre Ethier and utility man Alex Guerrero available in any and all trade.
7-28-15: The Dodgers were unable to win their four-game series against the New York Mets, as Los Angeles lost on both Saturday and Sunday at Citi Field. After the Mets blew out the Dodgers on Saturday, Zack Greinke saw his scoreless streak end at 45.2 innings on Sunday. Don Mattingly’s squad returns home to take on a couple American League West opponents before heading to Pennsylvania.
7-24-15: The Los Angeles Dodgers had a pair of first round picks from the 2015 MLB First Year Players Draft that went down to the absolute wire before deciding to sign or head back to school. While the Dodgers were unable to sign starting pitcher Kyle Funkhouser the team was able to lock down Walker Buehler before the deadline passed. Funkhouser was drafted 35th overall in the draft but decided to turn down big money to return to the University of Louisville to continue his amateur career. Fortunately for Los Angeles they were able to sign one of their first round picks though as Buehler did agree to a last minute deal worth $1.788. That was well below his slot recommendation of $2,094,400 but it was quickly revealed that Buehler needed Tommy John surgery before beginning his professional career with the club. If the agreement hadn’t gone down to the wire it could have been possible that the $314,400 in savings from the Buehler deal could have went to Funkhouser getting both those live arms in the Dodgers farm system and organization.
7-22-15: On Monday, Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw were named the National League co-Players of the Week. Over the weekend, Greinke extended his scoreless streak to 43.2 consecutive innings. However, both Brandon Beachy and Brett Anderson struggled in their starts against the Atlanta Braves. As a result, the Dodgers dropped each of their first two games against the Braves, dropping Los Angeles’ road record to 20-25 this season.
7-17-15: The Los Angeles Dodgers have the top prospect in Major League Baseball in shortstop Corey Seager and that should make current shortstop Jimmy Rollins very, very nervous. Rollins has been told he has a pretty long leash with the team but how long the team can handle his struggles remains to be seen. In Rollins’ defense he has been much better hitting .286/.333/.464 this month but in the year of the prospect and the Dodgers willingness to do whatever it takes to win now we may be seeing the last of Rollins in Dodgers Blue. The Dodgers willing to do whatever in order to win was on full display when the team designated Brandon League for assignment last week and when the team released him this week. The team is now on the hook for the remainder of his $7.5 million in salary for the 2015 season without getting a single pitch out of him this year due to shoulder issues. With League and former closer Brian Wilson also not throwing a single pitch for Los Angeles this season the team is paying the duo a combined $17 million for absolutely nothing in 2015. One player the team could save some money on, not that they would want to, is their first round pick in the MLB First Year Players Draft Kyle Funkhouser. Funkhouser at this point seems like the most unlikely to sign out of who is left in the first round and will go down to the deadline before signing or heading back to school.
7-13-15: On Sunday, the Dodgers, who had home runs from A.J. Ellis and Adrian Gonzalez, defeated the Milwaukee Brewers, 4-3, to win the series. It was announced that day that Clayton Kershaw is replacing Max Scherzer, who pitched on Sunday, on the All-Star team. Then on Monday, Zack Greinke, who owns the Major League Baseball-best ERA, was named the National League’s starter for the All-Star Game.
7-8-15: With the Dodgers’ 7-2 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday, Los Angeles has alternated wins and losses since July 1. In the first game of the four-game series, the Dodgers defeated the Phillies, 10-7, behind 15 hits, including four from Howie Kendrick. Yasmani Grandal homered on both Monday and Tuesday.
6-17-15: The Dodgers continued their road struggles on Tuesday, as they fell to the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington in walkoff fashion. In the 3-2 loss, the only Los Angeles runs came on Justin Turner’s two-run home run. It was the Dodgers’ only extra-base hit of the game, but Los Angeles remains 2.5 games ahead of the second-place Giants in the National League West.
6-5-15: The Los Angeles Dodgers are officially open for business according to the team president Andrew Friedman as the former Tampa Bay Rays GM announced he would entertain for any player on his roster, even Yasiel Puig, at this July 31st trading deadline. Entertaining and actually making a deal are two totally different things though and it would take a building block like a Matt Harvey from the New York Mets to even begin open discussion about Puig or fellow outfielder Joc Pederson presumably. The Dodgers may or may not trade Puig this season but that hasn’t stopped them from shuffling around their pitching staff as their week started off with a pair of pitching related roster moves that started with the trade of P.J. Walters to the Washington Nationals for cash considerations. The team then learned that Eric Stults, who was acquired from the Atlanta Braves before being immediately designated for assignment, has accepted an assignment in Double-A and will remain in the Dodgers farm system for the time being giving the team extreme starting pitching depth. With the addition of Stults the team saw fewer and fewer reasons to keep LHP David Huff on the roster and designated him for assignment this week making him a free agent. Huff made a spot start with the team this week before the DFA leading the team to call up Triple-A pitcher Josh Ravin.
6-1-15; Even with the San Francisco Giants having a terrific May, the Dodgers finished the month in first place in the National League West. On Saturday, catcher Yasmani Grandal, who was activated from the seven-day concussion disabled list, hit the go-ahead home run in Los Angeles’ 5-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals. However, the Dodgers dropped Sunday’s game to the Cardinals and lost two of the three games in the series.
5-30-15: The Los Angeles Dodgers and the Atlanta Braves discussed a potential deal this week that would have sent third baseman Juan Uribe to the Braves while second baseman Alberto Callaspo would have went back to Los Angeles in the deal. Other lesser names were said to be in the deal including a pitcher heading back to the Dodgers in the deal as well, although no names were officially released, but Callaspo ultimately nixed the deal before it could be finalized. Callaspo rejected the deal because he enjoyed playing for Atlanta and did not want to play on the West Coast. Between Monday night and Wednesday night something changed apparently for Callaspo as the deal was brought back up and eventually got done sending Callaspo, Juan Jaime, Ian Thomas and Eric Stults to Los Angeles in exchange for Uribe and RHP Chris Withrow. To make the deal work for both teams the Braves agreed to pay Callaspo a $100K stipend for waiving his no trade clause while Stults was immediately designated for assignment by the Dodgers. With the deal done for Los Angeles the team quickly designated Sergio Santos as well to make room for Thomas and Jaime on the active roster.
5-26-15: The Dodgers, who placed Yasmani Grandal on the seven-day concussion disabled list over the weekend, hit three home runs as a team on Monday against the visiting Atlanta
Braves, and all three of the homers came in the eighth inning. Andre Either, Alex Guerrero and Jimmy Rollins each went deep, as the Dodgers came back to beat the Atlanta Braves, 6-3, and move to 20-6 at home on the season.
5-12-15: A day after the Dodgers celebrated Clayton Kershaw’s 1,500th career strikeout, they returned home to Dodger Stadium to take on the Miami Marlins. In Monday’s contest,
Greinke held the Marlins to one run in seven innings. Although Yimi Garcia blew the
save in the top of the ninth inning, Scott Van Slyke hit a three-run walkoff home run in the bottom of the ninth to send the crowd home happy.
5-5-15: he Dodgers looked like the strongest National League West team in April, and they continued to stay atop the division with a three-game sweep of the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks over the weekend. In Monday’s 4-3 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers, the NL Player of the Month Adrian Gonzalez reached in all four of his plate appearances, but NL Rookie of the Month Alex Guerrero went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.
4-29-15: The Dodgers suffered only their second home loss of the season on Tuesday, as they fell to the San Francisco Giants, 2-1. Los Angeles only managed five hits, one of which went for extra bases, and did not get a hit with a runner in scoring position in the loss. Clayton Kershaw threw seven innings of two-run ball and had eight strikeouts.
4-21-15: On Sunday, the Dodgers won their seventh consecutive game, as they defeated the Colorado Rockies, 7-0, at Dodger Stadium. The last time Los Angeles had a longer winning streak was in August 2013 when it won 10 straight games. In addition, the Dodgers announced last week on Jackie Robinson Day that the franchise will begin a statue program at Dodger Stadium, and Jackie Robinson will receive the first statue.
4-14-15: On Monday, the Dodgers defeated the Seattle Mariners, 6-5, in 10 innings, as Alexander Guerrero delivered his first career walk-off hit. Adrian Gonzalez, who reached base twice and scored twice on Monday, was the National League Player of the Week, as he hit five home runs in his first three games of 2015.
4-7-15: Jimmy Rollins’ eighth-inning three-run home run lifted the Dodgers to a 6-3 Opening Day win against the improved San Diego Padres on Monday. Adrian Gonzalez also hit a home run to go along with a double in a 3-for-5 day. Clayton Kershaw threw six innings, gave up three runs and had nine strikeouts that day.
4-2-15: Last week, Forbes said that the Dodgers are the most valuable National League franchise at $2.4 million. As far as news on the field, after hitting his fifth home run of 2015 spring
training on Saturday, top prospect Joc Pederson hit another home run on Sunday. Then on
Tuesday, the Dodgers acquired utilityman Elliot Johnson from the Texas Rangers in exchange for cash.
3-19-15: Last week, Major League Baseball announced that when the Dodgers host the Seattle
Mariners at Dodger Stadium on April 15, they will be playing in the annual Civil Rights
Game. It will be the first Civil Rights Game held on Jackie Robinson Day. On
Wednesday, outfielder Joc Pederson continued to be great at the plate, as he hit his second home run of the spring.
3-3-15: Joel Peralta looks to start the season as the Los Angeles closer with Kenley Jansen being out eight to 12 weeks after undergoing surgery on his left foot last week. The Dodgers signed Brandon Beachy, who is working his way back from his second Tommy John surgery, to a one-year, $2.75 million deal with a club option for 2016. Then two days later, the Dodgers placed Beachy on the 60-day disabled list and signed Dustin McGowan to a one-year deal.
2-17-15: On Sunday, the Dodgers signed right-handed relief pitcher David Aardsma to a minor league contract, and they invited him to spring training. Los Angeles hopes to make a bigger signing soon. David Hastings, the agent of Cuban infielder Yoan Moncada, said that they are fielding offers over the next couple of weeks.
2-11-15: Last week, the Dodgers signed right-handed pitchers B.J. Rosenberg and Ramon Troncoso to minor league contracts. They also struck a minor league deal with second baseman Albert Cartwright. Recently, there has been some talk about Zack Greinke’s contact situation: he remains undecided on whether he will opt out after the 2015 season.
10-14-14: The Los Angeles Dodgers won the National League West division this season and headed home to host the first two games in the NLDS at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers got a chance to avenge their 2013 NLCS loss to the St. Louis Cardinals as they drew the same Cardinals once again in the 2014 ALDS. The Dodgers were big favorites in the series with St. Louis having to beat Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke twice in a five game series but Kershaw has struggled in his career both in the postseason and against the St. Louis Cardinals. Kershaw could not get the Cardinals monkey off his back in Game One as he allowed eight earned runs while the Cardinals came from behind to win Game One 10-9 to take a 1-0 series lead. In Game Two Zack Greinke shut down the Cardinals and Matt Kemp hit a big home run late to give the Dodgers a victory to even the series at 1-1 as the series shifted to Busch Stadium.
In Game Three of the NLDS the Cardinals sent John Lackey to the mound to face off with the Giants Hyun-Jin Ryu. Ryu was sharp as he lasted 6.0 innings allowing just five hits and one run, a solo home run off the bat of Matt Carpenter, striking out four before handing the ball to the Dodgers shaky bullpen. Lackey matched Ryu’s strong performance with 7.0 innings of his own allowing just one run while striking out eight as he handed the ball to the Cardinals bullpen with a lead. The Cardinals struck in the 7th inning against Dodgers reliever Scott Elbert when Kolten Wong hit a two run home run to give the Cardinals a 3-1 lead after seven innings. Pat Neshek pitched a perfect 8th inning for the Cardinals while St. Louis closer Trevor Rosenthal made things interesting in the 9th inning allowing two hits before locking down the save and the 3-1 victory for the Cardinals. St. Louis took a 2-1 series lead as the Cardinals looked to finish the series at home in Busch Stadium in Game Four.
In Game Four Clayton Kershaw was back on the mound on three days of rest for the Dodgers while St. Louis countered with Shelby Miller. Kershaw and Dodgers manager Don Mattingly stated that Kershaw was going to pitch Game Four whether the Dodgers were on the brink of elimination or not which was a questionable decision given the lefty’s career line against the Cardinals. Kershaw seemed ready to put those talks to bed as he was absolutely dominant through six innings and was finally given a lead in the top of the 6th inning. The Dodgers put two runs on the board in the top of the 6th including a Juan Uribe RBI single and Kershaw went out to the mound for the 7th with the lead looking to send the game back to Los Angeles in a decisive Game Five. Kershaw started the inning putting two runners on base before St. Louis’ first baseman Matt Adams came up to bat. Matt Adams took a Kershaw offering deep to right field for a three home run that knocked Kershaw out of the game and eventually knocked the Dodgers out of the playoffs. Kershaw’s demons once again took center stage in the postseason and against the Cardinals and once again St. Louis was moving on while Los Angeles was heading home. Pat Neshek pitched a perfect 8th inning while Rosenthal gave up a single before locking down the save in the 9th inning to win the game 3-2 and win the series 3-1. St. Louis will head to the NLCS to face off with the San Francisco Giants.
The Dodgers will once again head home early in October after having one of the highest payrolls in all of baseball. Many around the league are wondering if GM Ned Coletti’s job is in jeopardy after a second early postseason exit as well as manager Don Mattingly’s managerial job. Change may definitely be on the horizon for the Dodgers as free agent Hanley Ramirez sets to test the open market while personnel changes may be on the horizon in Los Angeles.
10-7-14: The Los Angeles Dodgers won the National League West for the second consecutive season in 2014 and got a second chance to get payback against the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Division series. There was not a single Dodgers ticket not sold for this game as the fans filed into Dodgers Stadium for what was scheduled to be a pitcher’s duel in every single game of this best of five game set. The fans were entertained in Game One as the two leading Cy Young Award candidates in the NL faced off with Adam Wainwright heading to the mound for the St. Louis Cardinals and Clayton Kershaw heading to the mound for the Dodgers. In a game that was pegged as a definite pitcher’s duel there was plenty of offense to go around for both teams. For much of this game it looked like the Dodgers had the game in hand and even took a 6-2 lead into the Top of the 7th inning before the Cardinals offense broke out of their slump against Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers. Matt Holliday hit a two run home run off Kershaw in the frame as a part of an eight run inning for St. Louis that gave them a 10-6 lead heading into the bottom of the 8th. Kershaw finished the night with 6.2 innings of work allowing eight earned runs and two home runs while striking out 10 Cardinals batters. Adrian Gonzalez inched the Dodgers closer in the bottom of the 8th with a two run home run to bring the score to 10-8 heading into the bottom of the ninth. Trevor Rosenthal entered the game in the bottom of the night for the Cardinals and made things interesting giving up a run in the bottom of the 9th before securing the save and giving St. Louis a 1-0 series lead.
In Game Two St. Louis sent Lance Lynn to the mound to face off with Zack Greinke for the Dodgers in what was described as another pitcher’s duel. This time the game lived up to the hype as Greinke threw 7.0 shutout innings only allowing two base hits while striking out seven before handing the game over to the Dodgers bullpen. Lynn pitched well in the game for the Cardinals throwing 6.0 innings but made two mistakes to Dee Gordon and Adrian Gonzalez and left the game trailing 2-0 before handing the ball to the Cardinals bullpen. J.P. Howell entered the game for the Dodgers and ultimately blew the save allowing three hits and two runs without recording an out before Brandon League came in and stopped the bleeding for Los Angeles. The Cardinals sent Pat Neshek out to the mound to hold the lead in the bottom of the 8th inning but Matt Kemp had other plans as he blasted a solo home run to put Los Angeles up for good by the score of 3-2. Kenley Jansen threw a perfect 9th inning striking out two batters to even the series at 1-1 and give the Dodgers that 3-2 victory.
10-1-14: The Dodgers earned their second consecutive NL West title despite the fact that the team never played their best baseball. One Dodger who was dealing all season was Clayton Kershaw. The left-handed starter won 21 of his 27 outings, which made him the first pitcher to do that feat since 1880. Yes, 1880. Kershaw should win both the NL Cy Young and NL MVP this season. The Dodgers will play the Cardinals in the NLDS.
9-30-14: The Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Dan Haren had a $10 million player option written into his contract that vested this week when Haren went over the 180 IP mark this season. Haren has announced that he would not think about the 2015 option until after the Dodgers season that will end in the postseason. Speaking of incentives the Dodgers relief pitcher and former Cleveland Indians pitcher Chris Perez has already made $2 million in incentives this season while triggering appearance bonuses written into his contract. Perez already had a base salary of $2.3 million and will finish the season with an AAV of $4.3 million. Los Angeles made it official this week when they took home the National League West division title and will host the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLDS later in the week. Los Angeles has one of the hardest pitching staffs to beat in a short series with Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, and Dan Haren all pitching in a short series. Los Angeles finished the 2014 season with a 94-68 record and won the National League West division title.
9-25-14: The Dodgers offense exploded for 54 runs in seven games last week, as team rebounded from a series loss to the Rockies to take three out of four from the Cubs. The Dodgers already clinched a playoff spot, but are still looking to nail down the NL West crown. Their lead over the Giants sits at 4.5 games. The Dodgers closing out their schedule against the Rockies at home in what should be an easy series for L.A.
9-23-14: The Los Angeles Dodgers are not expecting to retain shortstop Hanley Ramirez this winter and have announced they would be offering Hanley Ramirez a qualifying offer this season. Ramirez could return to the Dodgers on a one year deal worth roughly $15 million or he could test the market and sign elsewhere. If the latter happens the signing team would have to surrender a draft pick and the Dodgers would receive a first round pick as compensation. The Dodgers find themselves scrambling this week in wake of the injury news from starting pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu. Los Angeles sent out 39 year old Jamey Wright in place of Ryu this week for only his second start in the last seven years. Wright has been working exclusively out of the bullpen and will be called on to get a few innings and be relieved by a plethora of relief pitchers in the game. Dan Haren was pushed back a day and started Monday to try and ease the strain on the team. Los Angeles ended the week by announcing a new home for their Triple-A and Double-A minor league affiliates as the Triple-A squad will be moving to Oklahoma City, former home of the Houston Astros Triple-A team, and the Double-A squad would be moving from Chattanooga to Tulsa, the former home of the Colorado Rockies Double-A squad.
9-18-14: The Dodgers staked their claim as the NL West’s top team with a series win over the Giants this past weekend. They entered this week with a three game lead over San Fran in the division. First baseman Adrian Gonzalez has a good shot of winning the NL RBI title. He currently leads Giancarlo Stanton by just one (106 to 105), and with Stanton most likely done for the season its Gonzalez’s to lose. Clayton Kershaw is 19-3 with a 1.70 ERA and 219 strikeouts in 185.1 innings of work. He's 16-1 with a 1.26 ERA since the beginning of June. He should win both the NL CY Young and NL MVP.
9-16-14: The Los Angeles Dodgers Hanley Ramirez may be letting his impending free agency get in his head as he has become a defensive liability and short tempered with the media. Ramirez refused to talk to reporters after the game on Monday and followed it up with a two error game at shortstop on Tuesday. This is the first time Hanley has seemingly had all eyes on him heading into free agency and manager Don Mattingly thinks it may be affecting his star shortstop. Los Angeles also received some terrible news at the worst possible time of the season as starting pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu is battling a sore shoulder. Ryu has already missed several weeks this season with shoulder inflammation so for this injury to conceivably reoccur it cannot be great news for the Dodgers. Los Angeles has already lost Josh Beckett, Paul Maholm, and Chad Billingsley this season and any Ryu injury could leave the Dodgers extremely thin at starting pitching as they continue to fight the San Francisco Giants for the NL West division title.
9-12-14: After dropping a three-game series to Nationals for the NL’s best record to kick off last week, the Dodgers bounced back nicely with a three-game sweep of the Diamondbacks. Their lead over the Giants in the NL West race currently stands at just 2.5 games, and those two teams square off this weekend for a three-game series in the Bay Area. Their pitching staff is scary and their offense is starting to come around. If they can hold off the Giants, the Dodgers will be tough draw for anyone in October. .
9-9-14: The Los Angeles Dodgers have finally called up their top prospect in outfield Joc Pederson as rosters expanded this week. Los Angeles had to designate former Seattle Mariners top prospect Carlos Truinfel for assignment to accommodate Pederson after Truinfel slashed .223/.256/.330 in Triple-A for the Dodgers. Truinfel was immediately outrighted to Triple-A and can now accept the assignment or elect free agency and test the free agent waters. Los Angeles also selected the contract of Roger Bernadina this week in wake of the sickness that has kept outfielder Yasiel Puig out of the lineup. Josh Beckett was transferred to the 60 day DL to make room on the 40 man roster for Bernadina as Beckett is out for the rest of the season. Puig was sent to the hospital this week and had to receive IV fluids.
9-4-14: Despite dropping a series to the Padres this past weekend, the Dodgers closed out August with a
winning record at 15-13, and given the injuries they are dealing with, that is impressive. Hanley
Ramirez is out for who knows how long and Yasiel Puig is slumping badly. The Dodgers will
have their hands full holding off the Giants in the NL West standings, and those two teams still
have six games left head-to-head. L.A. has a narrow two-game lead on the Giants.
9-2-14: The Los Angeles Dodgers completed their trade with the Philadelphia Phillies this week for starting pitcher Roberto Hernandez by sending prospect Victor Arano to Philadelphia. Arano was ranked as the Dodgers 14th best prospect according to MLB.com at 19 years old. The Dodgers are also holding internal discussions about the future of Hanley Ramirez with the team as he is set to be a free agent at the end of the season. Hanley may look to head to the American League so he can get the occasional half day off as a designated hitter and may ultimately move to third base. Los Angeles is wary of giving Hanley a big deal due to concerns about his attitude, durability, and his defense. If Hanley walks in free agency the Dodgers may be forced to keep Matt Kemp and trade one of Andre Ethier, Carl Crawford, or Joc Pederson as Kemp is only one of two notable right handed hitters in the Dodgers lineup besides Yasiel Puig.
8-27-14: The Dodgers made the most of a favorable schedule this past week, taking series from the Padres and Mets to extend their lead in the NL West to five games over the Giants. They beat Arizona Tuesday in Phoenix and travel to San Diego this weekend. Hanley Ramirez rejoined the team Sunday, and starter Hyun-Jin Ryu is expected to be activated as soon as he is eligible to come off the DL. The Dodgers are getting healthy for their stretch run, and that is scary news for the rest of baseball.
8-26-14: The Los Angeles Dodgers have already added Kevin Correia, Justin Germano, and Roberto Hernandez and are still reportedly in the market for a relief pitcher and a bat for the bench. The Dodgers have not shown a willingness to part with top prospects this season so a deal for a top piece seems unlikely at this point. Los Angeles may give the New York Mets a call about starting pitcher Bartolo Colon before August is up, especially since Colon has now cleared waivers and can be traded to any team for the remainder of the season. Colon would also help the Dodgers next season as he is under team control for the 2015 season. Colon also fits into the Dodgers plans well as he would not command a Joc Pederson or other top prospect in return presumably. Even without the big name acquisition the Dodgers still lead the NL West division by 4.5 games over the San Francisco Giants with a 74-58 record. If the season ended today the Dodgers would have the second best record in the National League and would face off with the Milwaukee Brewers in the NLDS playoff round.
8-20-14: The Dodgers lead over the San Francisco Giants in the NL West is now just 3.5 games. LA is dealing with some key injuries right now. Hanley Ramirez, Juan Uribe, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Josh Beckett are all sidelined with no timetable for their returns. The Dodgers did acquire Kevin Correia and Roberto Hernandez to plug the two holes in the rotation. It’s going to be a dogfight in the NL West from here on out.
8-19-14: The Los Angeles Dodgers have been seemingly acquiring a new pitcher for every day of the week as the team has been extremely active during these August revocable waiver days. Last week we saw the Dodgers acquire starting pitcher Roberto Hernandez to try and replace the injured Josh Beckett and the team hasn’t stopped acquiring pitching since. The Dodgers also acquired Justin Germano from the Texas Rangers for future considerations. Germano will start his Dodgers career in the Triple-A but may be called upon after the losses of Beckett and Hyun-Jin Ryu. Ryu has been placed on the 15 day DL with a hip strain but the DL stint is retroactive a day which will shorten the time he is out.
8-13-14: The Dodgers took three out of four from the Los Angeles Angels in the Freeway Series last week but failed to build off of that when they dropped a series to the Milwaukee Brewers over the weekend. They have beaten the Braves twice this week and with the San Francisco Giants sliding once again, the Dodgers' lead in the NL West currently sits at six games. Hanley Ramirez landed on the DL on Sunday with a strained oblique, which could prove to be costly for the Dodgers over the next week or so.
8-12-14: The Los Angeles Dodgers started the week by designating infielder Chone Figgins for assignment ending his surprising season with LA. Figgins signed a minor league deal with the Dodgers this offseason and made the team out of spring training but spent a big chunk of the season on the disabled list with a strained quad muscle. Figgins was on a minor league rehab assignment but the clock is only good for 30 days and that window expired forcing the hand of the Dodgers. It is conceivable that Figgins will sign another minor league deal with the Dodgers or will clear waivers and accept a minor league assignment and outright to stay with the team. Speaking of waivers the Dodgers placed Matt Kemp, Carl Crawford, Andre Ethier, and Josh Beckett on waivers and all four players cleared meaning that LA can trade them to any team for the rest of the season. The Dodgers finished the week by sending two players to be named later for the Phillies Roberto Hernandez to further solidify their pitching staff.
8-6-14: On a night when Clayton Kershaw looked human, the Dodgers still found a way to win beating the Angels 5-4 Tuesday night to even the Freeway Series. Kershaw recovered from a rocky start to pitch seven innings, but he gave up three early runs to the Angels' lineup. The two-time CY Young winner didn't get a win for just the second time in 12 starts since May. Juan Uribe scored on David Freese's bad throw to the plate in the ninth inning to give the Dodgers the win. The Dodgers have a 2.5 game lead on the Giants in NL West play.
8-5-14: The Los Angeles Dodgers inquired about the Phillies ace starting pitcher Cole Hamels and quickly shot down their asking price for the lefty. Philadelphia asked for the Dodgers top three prospects in Joc Pederson, Corey Seager, and Julio Arias. Los Angeles thinks the world of these prospects as they were linked to many high priced starting pitchers including David Price and Jon Lester and ultimately passed rather than trading away their top talent in the farm system. All in all the Dodgers lead the NL West division by two games over the San Francisco Giants with a 63-49 record. The Dodgers are 7-3 in their last ten games while the Giants have slumped with a 4-6 record in their last ten.
7-30-14: The Los Angeles Dodgers got the news they have been hoping for this week as the Philadelphia Phillies have made ace starting pitcher Cole Hamels available in a trade. The Dodgers immediately jump to the front of the interested list as they have been looking to acquire a top of the rotation starter all month. The Dodgers also shored up some of their infield depth and defense this week when they acquired Darwin Barney from the Chicago Cubs after Barney was designated for assignment. The Dodgers will only be on the hook for $500K of Barney’s salary for the remainder of this season and get a defensive specialist for the middle of their infield. The Dodgers are said to be shopping Carl Crawford in trades this week as they are willing to eat a lot of the $69.25 million owed to the outfielder through the 2017 season.
7-28-14: The Dodgers started on a nine-game road trip after the All-Star break. They did not play too well at the beginning of it, dropping two of three games to both the St. Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates. However, Yasiel Puig made it back to the lineup on Friday and led the Dodgers to victory by hitting three triples at San Francisco.
7-24-14: Adrian Gonzalez hit his 15th long ball of the season and finished with three RBI but it wasn’t enough as the Dodgers fell to the Pirates 12-7 Tuesday night in the Steel City. Paul Maholm took the loss after replacing starter Josh Beckett, who struggled in his return from a hip injury. The Dodgers have cooled off considerably after the All-Star break and are just 5-5 in their last ten games played. LA must play better as their arch rivals from San Francisco are starting to play better baseball too. Currently, the Dodgers are one game back of the Giants for the NL West lead.
7-21-14: The Los Angeles Dodgers are looking to complete the Boston Red Sox to Los Angeles departure as the team has recently shown interest in acquiring former Red Sox and current Philadelphia Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon. The Dodgers are in danger of relinquishing first place in the NL West and are currently tied with the San Francisco Giants at the top of the division with a 55-45 record. The Dodgers may now be turning their full attention to acquiring David Price to get them over the hump in the division but Tampa Bay still seems unwilling to commit to selling or staying put. With Cole Hamels seemingly available these days Los Angeles may also make a run at that left handed starter.
7-19-14: Yasiel Puig’s first All-Star experience was not very successful. He went homerless in Monday’s Home Run Derby and went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts in Tuesday’s All-Star Game. His offensive struggles spread to the rest of the team on Friday, as the Dodgers only scored two runs and lost to the St. Louis Cardinals.
7-17-14: The Dodgers have not been as dominant as expected, but they still look like the best team in the NL heading into the break. They closed out the first half on a 22-12 run, and they currently hold a one-game lead over the Giants. Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke are the best duo in the majors right now. Hyun-Jin Ryu has been strong once again. With Dan Haren and Josh Beckett on the DL, look for LA to add a starter at the deadline. If guys like Hanley Ramirez and Adrian Gonzalez can pick things up in the second half, the Dodgers can be that much better.
7-15-14: The Los Angeles Dodgers may be forced to jump back into the starting pitchers market at this year’s trading deadline after losing Josh Beckett to the 15 day DL this week. The Dodgers did dodge a bit of a bullet with Beckett though as he will only miss one start with the help of the All Star Break but the team is not as confident in Beckett’s health and Josh himself may be. The Dodgers asked the Cubs about Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel before they were traded to the Oakland Athletics but were quickly denied since they are reluctant and seemingly unwilling to trade Joc Pedersen or Corey Seager in any deal. The Dodgers head into the All Star break with a 54-43 record which is good for first place in the National League West division. Yasiel Puig represented the Dodgers in the Home Run Derby and fellow teammates Clayton Kershawn, Zach Greinke, and Dee Gordon will be representing the National League in the All Star Game this week.
7-14-14: The Dodgers, who went 18-10 in June, fought their way back into the race for the 2014 National League West title, but they could not solidify a divisional lead because of their poor July thus far. With Josh Beckett on the disabled list and Hanley Ramirez still out of the lineup, Clayton Kershaw is going to have to continue to carry this team. On Thursday, he threw a complete game as the Dodgers beat the San Diego Padres, 2-1.
7-10-14: After getting five runs off of Tigers ace Justin Verlander, the Dodgers must have felt great about themselves. That all vanished quickly as the Tigers rallied to beat the Dodgers 14-5 on Tuesday night. Dodgers’ starter Hyun-Jin Ryu allowed seven runs and 10 hits in only 2 1/3 innings of work. Juan Uribe hit a two run homer for the Dodgers in the first, but Verlander retired 13 in a row after that. Los Angeles has a narrow one-game lead over San Francisco in the NL West.
7-7-14: Clayton Kershaw, who was the National League Pitcher of Month for June, started July on a strong note. On July 4, he extended his scoreless streak to 36 innings, pushed his personal winning streak to seven games and gave the Dodgers their sixth consecutive victory against the Colorado Rockies. Los Angeles has taken over first place of the division even after losing two of three games against the Cleveland Indians earlier in the week.
7-3-14: You know it’s not your night when you have a triple play go against you. That’s what happened to the Dodgers Tuesday night in their 10-3 loss to Cleveland. In fourth inning, with Dee Gordon and Yasiel Puig on base, Adrian Gonzalez hit a flyball out to Indians left fielder Michael Brantley for one out. Brantley threw home and got Gordon at the plate. Two outs. Catcher Yan Gomes saw Puig breaking for second and got him for the third out. Indians manager Terry Francona challenged the original safe call. The ruling was overturned and then Dodgers skipper Don Mattingly then came out to challenge the call at the plate. Nevertheless, the Dodgers couldn’t recover from that.
7-2-14: The Los Angeles Dodgers are going to be buyers once again at this year’s trading deadline but are already telling teams they are unwilling to move top prospects Joc Pederson or Corey Seager. This announcement will likely take them out of any sweepstakes involving David Price and Jeff Samardzija. The Dodgers were a team that were worried just a couple weeks back about falling too far behind in the division but have come back to within one game of the first place San Francisco Giants and are primed to make moves in the West. The Dodgers are 7-3 in their last 10 games while the Giants are 3-7 in their last ten which made for a four game difference in a week and a half. This division may go down to the final weekend of the season with these two teams battling it out.
6-30-14: Although Hanley Ramirez remains out with a shoulder injury, the Dodgers are gaining ground on the San Francisco Giants in the National League West. On Wednesday, Dee Gordon had four hits, scored two runs and stole his 40th base of the season in the Dodgers’ 5-4 win over the Kansas City Royals. On Thursday, Josh Beckett shined in the 1-0 victory, but the Dodgers lost on Friday.
6-26-14: Clayton Kershaw managed to follow his first career no-hitter by going eight innings, and Adrian Gonzalez and Andre Ethier drove in a run each as the Dodgers edged out a 2-0 victory over the Royals Tuesday night. Kershaw, now 8-2 on the year, allowed six hits and a walk while striking out eight. The two-time CY Young winner hasn't allowed a run in 21 1/3 innings of work. LA is 7-3 in their last 10 games played and are only three games back of San Francisco for the NL West lead.
6-24-14: The Los Angeles Dodgers are struggling and trailing the San Francisco Giants in the National League West division and are now said to be “open for business” in the trade market. The Dodgers have even gone as far as to say they would be willing to talk about trading any of their outfielders not named Yasiel Puig. The Dodgers also signed their first round pick in the MLB First Year Players Draft this week when they signed Grant Holmes to an over-slot deal worth $2.5 million. The deal was worth $519.5K over the slot and will count against the Dodgers draft pool. The Dodgers also were witnesses to Clayton Kershaw’s no hitter against the Colorado Rockies this week. If not for a Hanley Ramirez error the Los Angeles lefty would have had a perfect game, I bet a steak dinner after the game didn’t make up for that costly mistake. The Dodgers are considered to be the favorites in acquiring another dominant left hander, Tampa Bay’s David Price, which could make for an extremely scary rotation for opposing teams.
6-18-14: Hanley Ramirez’s two-run homer against Colorado’s Jhoulys Chacin, coupled with Zach Greinke’s five strikeouts helped the Dodgers defeat the Rockies 4-2 Tuesday night in Los Angeles. Greink, who improved to 9-3 on the year, threw a season-high 117 pitches over six innings of work, allowing a single run and three hits. Ramirez left in the seventh inning with a bruised ring finger on his right hand after Corey Dickerson's hard grounder deflected off of him into center field. Thankful for Dodgers fans, X-rays were negative. LA remains five games back of NL West leading San Francisco.
6-17-14: The Los Angeles Dodgers received some bad news on starting pitcher Chad Billingsley when they learned that Billingsley was highly unlikely to throw the baseball again this season. Billingsley has a partially torn flexor tendon that he is trying to rehab and avoid surgery with. This news came at the worst possible time for Billingsley as he is in the final season of a three year deal worth $35 million. The Dodgers have a $14 million club option for 2015 that they will likely decline and instead pay the $3 million buyout associated in the deal. This is disappointing news for the Dodgers that currently find themselves in second place in the National League West and 6.5 games behind the San Francisco Giants in the division.
6-10-14: The Los Angeles Dodgers have shelved discussions with their soon to be free agent shortstop Hanley Ramirez, likely until after the season. Ramirez is reportedly asking for a contract somewhere in the neighborhood of $130 million to not test the market but would likely command more on the open market, qualifying offer or not. The Dodgers got a glimpse into their future when they drafted RHP Grant Holmes out of Conway High School with their first pick in the 2014 MLB First Year Players Draft on Thursday. The Dodgers may need a shakeup if they want to compete in the West again this season. Last year they called up Yasiel Puig and the team took off on a historic run and this season it may have to be centerfielder and top prospect Joc Pederson and Erisbel Arruebarrena. The problem is these call ups would take away at bats and opportunities away from Matt Kemp and Hanley Ramirez but it looks like it’s either that or struggle with the highest payroll in the league.
6-3-14: The Los Angeles Dodgers have added Carl Crawford to the 15 day disabled list after he rolled his ankle in a victory over the Reds. The Dodgers will shift Matt Kemp to left field to take his spot and, at least for now, the problem with the division of playing time in the Los Angeles outfield is easier to deal with. The Dodgers are now 7.5 games back of the San Francisco Giants in the National League West division but may not be worried. At this point last season they were in last place before making a historic run all the way to the top of the division. Last year the Dodgers called up Yasiel Puig to be the savior and I am not sure they have anyone who can do the same this time around. The Dodgers Matt Kemp does seem to be coming around a little with the bat since Carl Crawford was placed on the disabled list so that is encouraging for manager Don Mattingly and the Dodgers.
5-28-14: The Los Angeles Dodgers released Miguel Olivo for his assault on rookie Alexander Guerrero, a really disturbing scene that you must see if you missed it. Guerrero will miss at least five weeks after Olivo bit off part of his ear in the altercation. This was terrible timing for Guerrero as Juan Uribe was added to the disabled list recently and Guerrero was considered the first in line for the call up. Instead of Guerrero the Dodgers called up Erisbel Arruebarrena for his first shot in the majors. In some good Dodgers news Josh Beckett threw a no hitter against the Philadelphia Phillies on “Bat Day” in Citizens Bank Park. This was Beckett’s first career no hitter and the last Dodger no hitter since Hideo Nomo in 1996.
5-21-14: The Los Angeles Dodgers have the highest payroll in all of major league baseball and find themselves in third place in the National League West division. The good news is the Dodgers and their ownership has shown a willingness to spend at the trading deadline and in free agency if it improves the team in the now. The bad news is that Los Angeles has way too many outfielders for the positions they have to fill. The Dodgers have the big names in Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig, Andre Either, and Carl Crawford but the overlooked Scott Van Slyke has outperformed them all not named Puig. This is on top of top prospect Joc Pederson sporting a 1.125 OPS in Triple-A this season knocking on the door. The Dodgers may use one or two of those high priced outfielders to solidify a shaky bullpen and held an iffy bench that lacks situational hitting.
5-15-14: The Los Angeles Dodgers once again spent a ton of money this offseason and barely hold a record over .500 after two weeks of games in May. The Dodgers also lead the National League in errors and have really looked bored at times this season on the field. There is plenty of time to turn things around as they have a terrible April and May last season as well and ended up winning the National League West division by a comfortable amount of games in 2013. It doesn't help the Dodgers case that the San Francisco Giants are hot and playing very good baseball as one of the most underrated teams in all of baseball. The Dodgers core may be running out of time to win as players like Hanley Ramirez are free agents after the 2014 season.
5-7-14: The Los Angeles Dodgers have to be one of the most disappointing teams in all of baseball in 2014 after just a month of games with a third place finish to date. The Dodgers spent heavily once again this offseason but have little to show for it. Los Angeles has been without their ace Clayton Kershaw for about a month now but has been activated off the disabled list and is joining the big league club once again for the mid-season push. The Dodgers still have more outfielders than they have playing time for in Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig, Andre Ethier, and Carl Crawford and the problem is only going to get worse with the emergence of Joc Pederson. Pederson is knocking on the Dodgers door after hitting .393/.491/.628 in his first 114 plate appearances in 2014. The Dodgers need all the reinforcements that they can get because the top spending team in the league will not settle for second place, and they shouldn't.
4-28-14: The Los Angeles Dodgers are right in the thick of things with a record above .500 in the National League West division and in the free agency market. The Dodgers have been linked to free agent relief pitcher Joel Hanrahan as he showcased for teams in April on his way back from Tommy John surgery. The Dodgers will have to play much better at home this season if they want to make a serious run at a playoff spot as they have a losing record in LA in the first month of 2014. Yasiel Puig continues to make questionable decisions after being benched for showing up late to batting practice. It's hard to blame the guy though after getting arrested in the offseason for driving way over the speed limit and being told to slow it down by the Dodgers. Voting has opened up for the 2014 MLB All Star Game for this July so remember to vote your favorite Los Angeles Dodgers into the game.
4-21-14: Cliff Lee and the Phillies defeated the Dodgers last night at Dodger Stadium 7-0. Cliff Lee was fantastic over 8 innings, striking out 10, walking none and shut the Dodgers out on just four hits. At one point in the game he retired 20 straight batters. Adrian Gonzalez, Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp, and Tim Federowicz were the only Dodgers to reach base vs Lee who had everything working. The Phillies were led by Carlos Ruiz who went 3-for-4 with a double, and home run, 4 RBI, and 2 runs scored. Ryan Howard also homered and drove in two in the Phillies win.
4-14-14: Los Angeles (9-4) improved to 5-0 on the season against the D-Backs with a three-game sweep in the desert over the weekend, led by the hot bat of Adrian Gonzalez. Gonzalez has homered in each of the last four games, and is hitting .280 with five bombs and 14 RBI to kick-off the year. The play of Dee Gordon has also been a surprise, as the speedy middle infielder currently leads all of MLB with nine stolen bases early on.
4-7-14: Friday’s home opener did not go as planned for the defending NL West champs, as starter Hyun-Jin Ryu was touched-up for six runs in the first inning alone against the San Francisco Giants. The Dodgers’ bullpen picked up the slack in a big way, holding the Giants without a single hit from the third inning until the end of the game, but the Dodgers fell 8-4. On Sunday, the Dodger bats came around, as Matt Kemp and Hanley Ramirez each crushed a pair of home runs, leading L.A. to the 6-2 victory. L.A. (5-2) will host the Tigers in a series beginning Tuesday.
4-1-14: The Dodgers' defense of their NL West title got off to a nice start in 2014, as the team went Down Under and took both games of a two-game set with the Arizona Diamondbacks in Sydney, Australia, on March 21st and 22nd. Ryu then started the domestic opener in San Diego against the Padres on Sunday night, allowing no runs to the in seven strong innings. Unfortunately, the Dodgers could muster just one run of their own off of Padres ace Andrew Cashner. Leading 1-0 heading into the eighth, Brian Wilson came on to give up three runs on two hits with a walk, as San Diego went on to win it, 3-1.
3-27-14: The Los Angeles Dodgers made waves this offseason by signing Cuban defector Alex Guerrero, which everyone thought put them out of the Robinson Cano sweepstakes, only to stash him in AAA to start the 2014 season. The Dodgers also made waves as they made George Steinbrenner roll over in his grave when Los Angeles snapped the Yankees 15 season streak of being the biggest spenders in baseball. The Dodgers will have the highest 2014 Opening Day payroll in all of baseball with a $235,295,219 payroll. The Dodgers were also valued as the second highest Major League Baseball team after Forbes valued the Dodgers at $2 billion, the only other team to be valued that high being the New York Yankees. The Dodgers are the favorites to win another National League West division title and are also the favorites to win the 2014 World Series, spending big will do that for a club.