Blog Archives

What Is Making The Dodgers Tick?

They’ve only been at it for about two weeks, but I really like the way the Dodgers are playing ball this season. Led by rookie manager Dave Roberts, the Dodgers look and feel and act like a TEAM. Pardon me if I am excited by something that should be a given in this sport, but the Dodgers haven’t played as a 25-man unit since the last time they won the World Series in 1988. What’s changed and why? Here are the main reasons so far.

The New Puig

As I mentioned in a Spring Training post, Yasiel Puig came to camp with a whole new outlook, thanks in part to Roberts wiping the slate clean, and also because he needs to prove himself this season. I also believe his command of English is much better and therefore he feels more a part of the crew. He shed 15 pounds and has that Bo Jackson-like speed back, running the bases like a bull and getting to every outfield ball. The difference is that he is playing with that fire again, but under control. He is hitting the cut-off guy, taking extra bases with a bit more care, and waiting for good pitches to hit. The result is just the kind of start the Dodgers needed him to have (.356 avg., .442 OBP, 9 runs scored, 5 RBIs) to spark the team like only he can.

Ki-ké, Ki-ké, Ki-ke

CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE

Dodger ‘Pen Looking Ugly

Seven games into the 2016 season, and the Dodger bullpen looks ugly. Really ugly. The only reliever the team can count on is closer Kenley Jansen, who is his usual un-hittable self with two saves in two chances. The entire rest of the ‘pen came ripping apart in the San Francisco series, giving management a very disturbing preview of what could be lurking down there this season.

After a season-opening three-game sweep of the Padres where the Dodger bullpen wasn’t needed much, you knew its first real test would be against the Giants. Besides the third game of the series, which saw some decent late work from Chris Hatcher (more of an escape-act) and Jansen slamming the door, the relief corps couldn’t have looked more inept. Smells a lot like last season. Here we go again…

CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE

Puig: No Bravado, Just Baseball

The Dodgers have come blasting out of the opening gates, and the “Wild Horse,” Yasiel Puig, is leading the charge. In the first two games, Puig has been on base in 6 out of 8 at-bats, including a Little League home run as well as an easy three-bagger, two walks, and a hit-by-pitch where he didn’t even so much as glance at the pitcher (first time ever?). He has also knocked in 3 runs and scored 4. Puig showed us this explosiveness when he first hit the scene in 2013, but there is something different about this Yasiel, and it could be the key to the Dodgers’ season…

CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE

Odds To Be The 1st MLB Manager Fired In 2016: Who Is On The Hotseat?

a hot seat

Hunter Stokes (BBBA Featured Writer) 

Follow The BBBA On Twitter 

Every year there are certain managers that have a ton of pressure to win.  This is always a tough process to think of who will be nixed first.

On one hand, many clubs that should be in contention for the playoffs will see an axe come to their tenure, however sometimes clubs are so bad record wise (even though they were projected to be) that the franchise will just slay the field general in the name of mercy.

As far as under the gun goes. guys like Brad Ausmus, John Farrell and John Gibbons.  are tops on the list. 

Ausmus doesn’t have a track record of any postseason series wins like the latter two here, so he is going to be the #1 favorite out of this group of skippers that could go fast with playoff aspirations if their teams struggle out of the starting block.

Gibbons did a great job with Toronto in 2015, but a slow start would really put his name on the block. Say if they are 6 or 7 games behind the playoff bar near Memorial Day.

Farrell has put up back to back 5th place finishes in the AL East after winning the World Series Title in his 1st year of being the skipper in 2013.

Then there is a perennial bad losing club that have long tenured coaches like Walt Weiss and Robin Ventura. I am not sure they should not have been shown the door following last years campaigns. 

Weiss has losing years for every year under his belt, and Ventura rode out 2013 with his late season collapse, but his club has underachieved in every other year.

Still the two most managers on the hot seat are Fredi Gonzalez of the Braves on top of the favorite list at +331, followed by Bryan Price at +441. But I hate putting money on either of these gentlemen with their clubs both being on track to challenge for the worst record in the Majors this year.

Heck, Gonzalez’s predecessor Bobby Cox was the well into his 3rd decade with the “Tomahawk” Choppers when he finally stepped down to a front office job. Gonzalez at least had the Braves in the playoffs in 2012. 

Price can’t really be expected to do anything with this anemic Pitching Staff, and all veterans except for Votto may be available for trade at any point.

Read the rest of this entry

The Dodgers Make The Right Move To Re-Sign Kendrick

The Dodgers may have overpaid to hold on to Brett Anderson with the Qualifying Offer, however lucked out with Howie Kendrick rejected the QO in November, only to sign for just $4.2 MIL for a 2nd year. The club was able to ink the 31 year old to a 2 YR/$20 MIL - where the Qualifying Offer would have paid him $15.8 MIL for just 2016. That is luck for the Los Angeles franchise.

The Dodgers may have overpaid to hold on to Brett Anderson with the Qualifying Offer, however lucked out with Howie Kendrick rejected the QO in November, only to sign for just $4.2 MIL for a 2nd year. The club was able to ink the 31-year-old to a 2 YR/$20 MIL – where the Qualifying Offer would have paid him $15.8 MIL for just 2016. That is luck for the Los Angeles franchise.

Hunter Stokes (Featured Writer) 

Follow The BBBA On Twitter 

The Dodgers are running pretty good today with the status quo on the offensive side of the ball anyway.

Since it was agreed on that Howie Kendrick would sign a 2 year deal for $20 MIL – this is an economic win.

1st off, the Dodgers avoided the $15.8 MIL Qualifying Offer they extended their 2015 2B, then only had to pad $4.2 MIL to the total for a 2nd season.

This is a loss financially for Kendrick, who must have thought a multi-year offer of 3 – 4 campaigns must have been out there for the same kind of money that Daniel Murphy signed for (3 years at $12 MIL per AAV).

Howie Kendrick was unfortunately in the same market as Daniel Murphy and also lost another club that could have bid for his services, when the New York Mets traded for Neil Walker. Kendrick is a .293 Career Hitter, but doesn't really have great power for Extra Base Hits. This brought down his value a little. He is till a great professional hitter. I am surprised the Angels didn't come calling for his services - considering the lower AAV.

Howie Kendrick was unfortunately in the same market as Daniel Murphy and also lost another club that could have bid for his services, when the New York Mets traded for Neil Walker. Kendrick is a .293 Career Hitter, but doesn’t really have great power for Extra Base Hits. This brought down his value a little. He is till a great professional hitter. I am surprised the Angels didn’t come calling for his services – considering the lower AAV.

Not only did the Dodgers brass finally reel in their Starting Second Baseman, they were able to add Chase Utley as a backup/quality bench hitter for $7 MIL.  If you combined Kendrick and Utley salaries, it is just $1.2 MIL over what would have happened had Kendrick accepted the QO.

Love Kendrick as a professional hitter.  The man is a .293/.333/.423 career hitter – and his 2015 season closely resembled this at .295/.336/.409 in 2015 for the Dodger Blue.

It shows that the Dodgers management/ownership is also willing to fork out the necessary dollars to keep up their NL West Division prowess.

As the 3 time defending Division Champs,  they are in prime position to challenge the Giants for a 4th year in a row in 2016.

This contract vaults the Dodgers up to around $245 MIL in total team salary in 2016, yet it was a necessary move.

Los Angeles is also staring at a 50% penalty for going over the Luxury Tax Threshold for a 4th straight year.  They will pay around $28 MIL with cash situated as it is now.

For the fans that wanted the organization to dole up for the bigger Free Agents, it is hard to fathom paying that 50% penalty for years upon years at the present rate.

This approach has had the super management team of Andrew Friedman, Farhan Zaidi, Josh Byrnes and newly appointed Alex Anthopoulos under heavy scrutiny, but may work out better in the long run.

Had the club inked Zack Greinke to his $34.42 MIL AAV, that would have put them so far in committed $ over the Luxury Tax, that they would never be able to get under for a reset.

With the 2016 season concluding without a CBA after, it is also wise not to be so far over the Luxury Tax mark when they don’t know what the new deal between the MLBPA and the owners will look like.

2017 has them over $203 MIL in contracts guaranteed to 12 guys already, but 8 players will become Free Agents after the 2016 season, and after 2017’s end comes the best news for Dodger fans.  Andre Ethier and Carl Crawford will finally be off the books!

The Dodgers have a ton of young talent coming into the fold here.  Joc Pederson, Yasiel Puig, Corey Seager, Clayton Kershaw and Kenta Maeda are under team control for a long period of time here.  You still have Julio Urias just coming up to the Major Leagues for service time as well.

The Infield is definitely going to be clogged up with Utley, Enrique Hernandez and Alex Guerrero on the depth chart.  Guerrero is out of options and will need to be kept on the Major League Roster (or be released, waived or DFA’d).

Of course Justin Turner is listed as the Starter at 3B for now.  Micah Johnson and Utley may join Hernandez as guys that could spell him at the hot corner.

Guerrero could also play the OF, but I am sure that Dave Roberts would love to use Scott Van Slyke as 1st on the taxi squad.

Los Angeles has also strengthened its bench with this move.  The one thing they could still use it Relief help.  That may be obtained by signing more Free Agents, or perhaps this may clear the deck for another trade to happen.

The Dodgers were 10th in the NL during 2015 – with a .250 Batting Average, and losing a .293 hitter last year would have been tough for this years lineup.

With Corey Seager for a full year, and a return to prominence for Yasiel Puig, this squad could really put up some runs and improve all facets of the offense.

While the club wasn’t so great at Batting Average, they were 3rd in the Senior Circuit in Slugging Percentage at .413.

One has to also think that Chase Utley will be a lot better in reserve role – compared to his .202/.291/.363 3 Slash Line with the team last year.  I would say he could be 80% like his worst year (prior to 2015), where he hit .259/.344/.425 in 2012.

For the record, baseballreference.com has Utley hitting .247/.315/.398 in 2016.  I am sure the club would take that.

Whether the implementation of a lot of players on the roster – as opposed to having a limited bench and depth if they would have signed Greinke projects well to the upcoming season is yet to be determined. 4

No doubt they are not as strong in the Rotation at the top. But perhaps the addition of Scott Kazmir, the return of Hyun-jin Ryu, Alex Wood for a full year, and a surprise comeback from Brandon McCarthy could pick up the slack.

Signing Kendrick was the right move all day long.  This is one less position with the team having questions for.

The fans are seeing a different management philosophy with the new brass under the tutelage of Andrew Friedman They are taking a big long term picture look. Even though they wasted $90 MIL in dead money last year with questionable decisions, they are trying to clear the deck for many years by dropping the heavy amount of committed dollars. With a new CBA forthcoming, who knows what the new Luxury Tax Threshold will be. At least by keeping the new contracts to smaller years and figures, Los Angeles may be able to drop underneath the limit in 2018 - 2020.

The fans are seeing a different management philosophy with the new brass under the tutelage of Andrew Friedman. They are taking a big long term picture look. Even though they wasted $90 MIL in dead money last year with questionable decisions, they are trying to clear the deck for many years  in the future, by dropping the heavy amount of committed dollars. With a new CBA forthcoming, who knows what the new Luxury Tax Threshold will be. At least by keeping the new contracts to smaller years and figures, Los Angeles may be able to drop underneath the limit in 2018 – 2020.  Right near they are at a 50% penalty for every season they are over the Luxury Tax ($189 MIL) until they get under.

*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of bbba.work and their other members***

"<strong

A big thanks goes out to our featured writer Hunter Stokes for preparing today’s featured post.

To subscribe to our website and have the Daily BBBA articles sent directly to your inbox, click here and follow the link at the top of our homepage. Like us on Facebook.

Los Angeles Dodgers State Of The Union For 2016

The Dodgers need to start spending money like right now, otherwise they stand to jeopardize themselves winning a 4th straight NL West title in 2016. Both the Giants and D'Backs have signed ace pitchers this year, and added another good Starting Pitcher besides the point. The club does have several young pieces and Depth at Roster to pull off a blockbuster trade forth coming - or they still have enough resources to acquire players for their 2016 run. The clock is officially ticking gentelmen

The Dodgers need to start spending money like right now, otherwise they stand to jeopardize themselves winning a 4th straight NL West title in 2016. Both the Giants and D’Backs have signed ace pitchers this year, and added another good Starting Pitcher besides the point. The club does have several young pieces and Depth at Roster to pull off a blockbuster trade forth coming – or they still have enough resources to acquire players for their 2016 run. The clock is officially ticking gentlemen.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer) 

Follow The MLB Reports On Twitter 

The Dodgers are having the same kind of offseason the Baltimore Orioles had in 2014 – going into 2015.

If everyone remembers that year, they rejected a couple year contract with Grant Balfour, when he failed a physical, and they did the same thing with Grady Sizemore.

That club also traded back to back 50 Saves guy Jim Johnson.  By the way, the 2014 O’s won the AL East with a 97 – 65 record.

Key cogs in the wheel were new Closer Zach Britton, and Super Utility man Steve Pearce.  A lot of parallels can be made between that squad and the Dodgers.

Late last week, the Dodgers pulled out of a three year deal wish Hisashi Iwakuma because they had concerns with a physical.

For the whole winter they have watched the Giants sign Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija, while the Diamondbacks stole Zack Greinke way from them, while trading a kings ransom for Shelby Miller. (more…)

%d bloggers like this: