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Entries in Los Angeles Dodgers (49)

Monday
May202013

Don Mattingly is nearing the end, and that's no bull

Warming up in the bullpen is the next manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Whether, or when, the reliever manager gets the call, remains to be seen, but it is in the bullpen that Don Mattingly has been having a miserable time this season.

The great Ken Rosenthal on Foxsports.com wrote yesterday, "Now I’m convinced that Mattingly is going to get fired. And the sooner it happens, the better."

The last-place Dodgers were swept over their weekend in Atlanta, getting outscored, 16-8. Their bullpen allowed 12 of the runs.

No group of relievers have lost as many games as the Dodgers in all of baseball.

  W L W-L% ERA SV IP WHIP
LAD 5 13 .278 4.61 11 127.0 1.449
HOU 3 10 .231 4.82 7 170.0 1.488
CHW 5 10 .333 3.99 14 119.2 1.412
TOR 8 9 .471 3.92 11 151.2 1.345
CIN 10 9 .526 3.76 11 124.1 1.198
MIL 6 8 .429 3.46 9 132.2 1.229
TBR 6 8 .429 4.49 9 116.1 1.324
MIA 4 8 .333 3.88 6 144.0 1.340
PHI 7 8 .467 4.47 8 114.2 1.465
DET 3 8 .273 3.91 8 131.1 1.294
NYM 7 7 .500 4.77 7 139.2 1.360
LAA 7 7 .500 4.47 9 149.0 1.369
SDP 5 7 .417 2.96 10 146.0 1.164
SFG 10 6 .625 2.91 14 133.0 1.323
ARI 10 6 .625 3.10 14 127.2 1.230
PIT 10 6 .625 2.81 18 157.0 1.127
BAL 9 6 .600 3.31 16 141.1 1.245
BOS 7 6 .538 3.98 10 129.0 1.364
COL 5 6 .455 3.04 10 154.0 1.195
CHC 6 6 .500 4.11 10 114.0 1.333
STL 3 6 .333 4.55 15 110.2 1.383
SEA 4 6 .400 3.85 11 128.2 1.205
KCR 6 6 .500 3.07 11 99.2 1.174
MIN 5 5 .500 3.24 9 144.2 1.251
ATL 8 3 .727 2.65 14 118.2 1.121
NYY 8 3 .727 3.41 18 129.1 1.206
WSN 5 3 .625 3.87 13 116.1 1.307
OAK 8 1 .889 2.88 9 146.2 1.173
TEX 9 1 .900 3.24 14 125.0 1.176
CLE 7 0 1.000 3.03 8 127.2 1.238
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/20/2013.

 

  • As you can see, only the Mets and Astros bullpens have a worse ERA than the Dodgers
  • As you can see, only the Phils and Astros bullpens have a worse WHIP than the Dodgers

 

Here are the individuals relievers who have provided little relief for LA

Rk Player GR W L W-L% SV IP
1 Kenley Jansen 23 1 3 .250 2 22.1
2 Paco Rodriguez 22 0 2 .000 0 15.2
3 Ronald Belisario 21 2 4 .333 0 20.2
4 J.P. Howell 19 1 0 1.000 0 18.2
5 Matt Guerrier 18 1 1 .500 0 15.2
6 Brandon League 16 0 2 .000 9 16.1
7 Josh Wall 6 0 1 .000 0 7.0
8 Javy Guerra 5 0 0   0 7.0
9 Chris Capuano 2 1 2 .333 0 22.1
10 Skip Schumaker 1 0 0   0 1.0
11 Shawn Tolleson 1 0 0   0 0.0
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/20/2013.

Here are the stats that have caused the pain

  IP GR GF SVOpp SV BSv SV% Hold IR IS IS%
Ronald Belisario 20.2 21 3 1 0 1 0% 5 12 8 67%
Chris Capuano* 22.1 2 0 1 0 1 0% 0 1 1 100%
Javy Guerra 7.0 5 3 0 0 0   1 0 0  
Matt Guerrier 15.2 18 2 1 0 1 0% 3 10 3 30%
J.P. Howell* 18.2 19 4 0 0 0   3 13 4 31%
Kenley Jansen 22.1 23 6 3 2 1 67% 9 6 1 17%
Brandon League 16.1 16 15 11 9 2 82% 0 2 2 100%
Paco Rodriguez* 15.2 22 2 2 0 2 0% 6 19 6 32%
Skip Schumaker 1.0 1 1 0 0 0   0 0 0  
Shawn Tolleson 0.0 1 0 0 0 0   0 3 2 67%
Josh Wall 7.0 6 4 0 0 0   0 1 1 100%
League Average             66%       31%
Team Total   134 40 19 11 8 58% 27 67 28 42%
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/20/2013.

 

If Don Mattingly loses his job, those calls to the bullpen will have been a number of the nails in his coffin.

As Rosenthal wrote, "a bad bullpen can create a bad manager." Mattingly defended his relievers afterward, saying “Take it all as a group, not just the bullpen.”

It certainly feels as if both the Dodgers bullpen and Don Mattingly are worried about hearing that phone ring. The call at the other end seems to only mean trouble.

Sunday
May122013

The Dodgers (and others) struggles with runners in scoring position

In today's Boston Globe, Nick Cafardo writes extensively about the Dodgers troubles hitting with runners in scoring position.

Cafardo points out that the Dodgers entered the weekend ranked fifth in batting average (.255), and second in on-base percentage (.330) in the NL, but 14th in slugging and 11th in OPS. With runners in scoring position, the Dodgers are hitting .213, 13th in the NL.

They’re also 12th in OBP, 15th in slugging, and 14th in OPS in the NL with runners in scoring position.

“The key for us is execution,” Dodger GM Ned Colletti told Cafardo. “We’re getting runners on base but we just can’t seem to get that one hit at the right time.”

The Dodgers are just one of the teams struggling when hitting with RISP.

 

The major league average for hitting w/RISP this season is .255.

Their American League neighbors, the Angels, are equally awful also hit .223. Then again neither of these two teams' fan base should be complaining as much as those who follow the residents of "the friendly confines." The Cubs are the only team in baseball hitting under .200 with runners in scoring position. And their Second City neighbors, the White Sox are only hitting .221.

The Marlins, Mariners, Jays and Diamondbacks are all under .220 in their miserable displays of hitting when it matters.

15 players whose career average with runners in scoring position fall below .255

(at least 2000 PA w/RISP)

Rk I Player From To G BA PA AB H RBI
1   Adam Dunn 2001 2013 1268 .222 2044 1542 342 607
2   Tom Brunansky 1981 1994 1232 .239 2023 1676 400 632
3   Dave Kingman 1971 1986 1302 .240 2066 1774 425 771
4   Royce Clayton 1991 2007 1374 .243 2133 1808 440 598
5   Lance Parrish 1977 1995 1396 .244 2244 1954 477 692
6 I Jim Wynn 1963 1977 1334 .245 2201 1704 418 638
7   Bobby Grich 1970 1986 1368 .248 2169 1712 425 609
8   Andruw Jones 1996 2012 1585 .249 2632 2154 537 824
9   Darrell Porter 1971 1987 1238 .251 2000 1550 389 623
10   Graig Nettles 1968 1988 1781 .252 2689 2218 560 886
11   Chris Speier 1971 1989 1409 .252 2153 1745 439 576
12 I Darrell Evans 1969 1989 1825 .253 2919 2242 568 895
13   Ron Gant 1987 2003 1285 .254 2040 1680 427 674
14 I Bill Mazeroski 1956 1972 1354 .254 2113 1806 459 641
15   Benito Santiago 1986 2005 1339 .254 2125 1841 467 696
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/12/2013.

There are 121 batters who this season have to the plate at least 20 times with runners in scoring position who are hitting under .255, 56 of them are under .200.

Here are the 25 under .150

Rk Player BA PA AB H RBI
1 Eduardo Nunez .000 24 16 0 4
2 Luis Cruz .038 29 26 1 2
3 Dan Uggla .050 26 20 1 4
4 Ryan Flaherty .050 25 20 1 3
5 Darwin Barney .063 23 16 1 1
6 Martin Prado .063 37 32 2 4
7 Nolan Reimold .067 22 15 1 4
8 B.J. Upton .083 33 24 2 3
9 Rickie Weeks .088 45 34 3 8
10 Nick Hundley .091 27 22 2 7
11 Mike Moustakas .091 30 22 2 4
12 Miguel Montero .095 36 21 2 10
13 Alex Avila .103 32 29 3 3
14 Josh Hamilton .103 36 29 3 6
15 Mike Morse .108 41 37 4 7
16 Chris Iannetta .118 29 17 2 6
17 Eric Sogard .125 28 24 3 3
18 Maicer Izturis .130 25 23 3 3
19 Ike Davis .133 36 30 4 6
20 Tyler Flowers .136 23 22 3 8
21 Skip Schumaker .136 27 22 3 4
22 Cliff Pennington .136 30 22 3 8
23 Will Middlebrooks .138 33 29 4 9
24 Justin Smoak .148 35 27 4 5
25 Chris Parmelee .148 31 27 4 5
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/12/2013.

The Dodgers individual batters with runners in scoring position.

Fans certainly can have no complaints with Adrian Gonzalez or Mark Ellis.

But Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier are very different stories.

Rk Player BA PA AB H RBI
1 Mark Ellis .545 14 11 6 10
2 Adrian Gonzalez .500 38 28 14 23
3 Juan Uribe .273 17 11 3 4
4 Carl Crawford .269 31 26 7 3
5 Nick Punto .250 15 12 3 4
6 A.J. Ellis .241 37 29 7 7
7 Justin Sellers .231 15 13 3 1
8 Andre Ethier .200 40 35 7 8
9 Matt Kemp .171 44 35 6 11
10 Skip Schumaker .136 27 22 3 4
11 Jerry Hairston .071 16 14 1 3
12 Luis Cruz .038 29 26 1 2
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/12/2013.

It appears, that even when the Dodgers recover from their injuries, if they don't recover their hitting stroke with runners in scoring position, this season will continue to be ugly.

Friday
May032013

Patient Crawford Setting Table for Dodgers

When the Los Angeles Dodgers took on the five years and $102 million left on Carl Crawford's contract last August, it was just the cost of doing business to get the player they really wanted: Adrian Gonzalez. The suddenly uber-wealthy Dodgers wanted a cornerstone first baseman. The Red Sox wanted salary relief. To put Gonzalez in Dodger blue, L.A. had to pay Crawford (injured and mostly ineffective the previous two seasons) a lot of green.

Someone forgot to tell Crawford he's a washed up rich guy, though. The 31-year-old is conjuring up memories of his pre-Boston, pre Tommy John glory days with the Tampa Bay Rays, batting .308/.388/.516 in 103 plate appearances. That's quite the improvement from the .260/.292/.419 triple-slash he put up in 2011-12. Crawford looks like a totally different man in 2013, laying off junk pitches he hacked at with Boston and working the count in his favor.

First, here is Crawford's swing rate by pitch location with Boston in 2011-12. He was especially jumpy versus chin-high pitches:

Crawford chased about 35% of pitches thrown outside of the strike zone, far above the 28% league average. His walk rate with the Sox was downright Francoeur-like: 3.9%. In fact, the only hitters who walked less often while convincing their managers to give them 600-plus plate appearances were Yuniesky Betancourt, Miguel Olivo and Delmon Young.

Now, check out Crawford's swing rate so far in 2013. He's no longer chasing chin music:

Crawford's chase rate is down to just 20% in 2013. With a far more patient approach, he has more than doubled his walk rate to 8.7%.

One-hundred great trips to the plate don't necessarily mean that Crawford will be worth his $20-plus million a year salary between now and 2017. That said, his newfound strike zone discipline has to encourage the Dodgers that they acquired a quality table-setter instead of a sunken cost.

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