Thar might be gold in that Taylor

The team with the largest payroll in the history of baseball shouldn’t be allowed to uncover massive gold nuggets while panning in the rivers of utility players, but they keep doing it.

The story of Justin Turner is already will documented, and now the question is, have they done it again?

Chris Taylor was a simple utility player who rode the train between AAA and the Mariners for several years. Even with 230 plate appearances, Chris Taylor had never hit a major league home run. When the Dodgers traded for him last summer he was playing in AAA and the price was simply Zach Lee. Or to be more succinct the price was nothing.

Taylor came over and hit a triple in his first game as a Dodger but didn’t do much for the first few weeks. He barely played getting seventeen plate appearances and getting three hits.

That all changed on July 15th when he got the start at second base.  It all started quietly enough with Taylor striking out in his first at-bat. It got good after that. In his 2nd at-bat he hit a triple driving in two runs. In his 3rd at-bat he hit a double. His fourth at-bat he hit his first major league home run, which also was his first grand slam. It was a game of firsts for Taylor and the Dodgers:

1st LAD to hit a grand slam as his first home run

1st LAD second baseman to drive in six runs

1st LAD to hit a grand slam, a double, and triple in the same game

1st Dodger second baseman since Jackie Robinson to drive in six runs

Taylor would collect six hits in three games and while that was his offensive peak in 2016, it appears that was just a peak into what he was going to do in 2017.

I’ll let fangraphs take it from here: If you got this far, I’d really recommend clicking on the provided link, it is a fun read.

It’s also allowing him to walk a lot more. Taylor’s taken a free pass in an impressive 16.8% of his plate appearances, which happens to be the exact same rate at which Joey Votto‘s walking this season. So, to recap: Taylor is hitting for high average, hitting for power, walking at a high rate, and fielding well. He’s doing all that in some snappy stirrups, too. The Dodgers may have a hell of a find on their hands, even when the regression dragons decide to work their magic.

Alex Wood closing in on most LAD wins in May

With four wins in May, Alex Wood has a decent shot at matching the most wins in May for an LAD. Fifteen times a player has won five games in May.  According to the schedule, Wood has only one more start scheduled for May. If he was to win his fifth game in five starts he’d be the only LAD to accomplish five wins in May in only five starts.
Notes:

  • Sandy Koufax did it four times
  • Charlie Hough did twice without starting any games
  • Don Drysdale did it three times
  • Fernando did it in 1982 not 1981
  • Clayton Kershaw did it last year

 

Player                Year  G W  ERA GS   IP  OPS
Ramon Martinez        1991  6 5 3.07  6 41.0 .628
Sandy Koufax          1963  6 5 1.52  6 47.1 .428
Sandy Koufax          1966  6 5 1.55  6 46.1 .502
Sandy Koufax          1961  8 5 2.74  7 49.1 .601
Don Drysdale          1965  8 5 2.51  7 57.1 .549
Fernando Valenzuela   1982  6 5 2.34  6 50.0 .594
Charlie Hough         1976 11 5 2.28  0 23.2 .633
Sandy Koufax          1965  7 5 2.05  7 61.1 .499
Clayton Kershaw       2016  6 5 0.91  6 49.2 .354
Don Drysdale          1964  8 5 1.83  8 64.0 .530
Don Sutton            1975  7 5 1.35  7 60.0 .442
Charlie Hough         1974  8 5 0.49  0 18.1 .328
Claude Osteen         1970  7 5 3.21  7 56.0 .664
Kevin Brown           2003  6 5 1.02  6 44.0 .451
Don Drysdale          1968  8 5 0.53  8 68.0 .436

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/22/2017.

Updated May Pitching Stats – May 22nd

Dodger record in May 12 wins 7 losses

Dodger overall record, 24 wins 18 loses,  tied for 2nd place, two games behind Rockies

Alex Wood owns the month of May so far.

You can see why Julio Urias is now in AAA working on his command.

Ryu may only have a few more starts before they settle into the five man rotation of Kershaw/Hill/Kenta/Wood/McCarthy.

Josh Fields has made his case to be part of the bullpen going forward and not part of the AAA option train.

Jansen / Hatcher have yet to walk a hitter in a combined 15 innings.

Does Alex Wood’s four wins make you wonder who has the most wins in May for a Dodger? Probably not since we would have to expect Koufax/Kershaw/Drysdale/Orel/Fernando/Sutton to dominate the list. But do they?

Player              G SO W   ERA GS   IP BB  WHIP  SO9 SO/W   OPS
Clayton Kershaw     4 23 3  1.98  4 27.1  5 1.024  7.6 4.60  .633
Alex Wood           4 33 4  1.54  4 23.1  5 1.071 12.7 6.60  .527
Julio Urias         4  7 0  6.62  4 17.2 10 1.642  3.6 0.70  .829
Kenta Maeda         2 13 1  2.03  2 13.1  3 0.825  8.8 4.33  .503
Josh Fields        10 11 0  0.77  0 11.2  3 0.943  8.5 3.67  .543
Brandon McCarthy    2 10 1  5.40  2 11.2  2 1.114  7.7 5.00  .582
Ross Stripling      5 13 0  1.93  0  9.1  2 0.964 12.5 6.50  .515
Hyun-Jin Ryu        2  7 1  6.75  2  9.1  7 2.357  6.8 1.00 1.113
Pedro Baez         10  8 0  2.00  0  9.0  4 1.333  8.0 2.00  .698
Chris Hatcher       7 15 0  4.32  0  8.1  0 1.320      16.2  .903
Kenley Jansen       7 15 1  1.23  0  7.1  0 0.682      18.4  .481
Sergio Romo         7  8 1  4.50  0  6.0  1 0.833 12.0 8.00  .717
Luis Avilan         9 11 0  4.76  0  5.2  4 1.941 17.5 2.75  .787
Rich Hill           1  6 0  1.80  1  5.0  0 1.200      10.8  .868
Grant Dayton        5  3 0 11.25  0  4.0  3 2.000  6.8 1.00 1.088
Adam Liberatore     1  1 0  0.00  0  1.0  0 0.000       9.0  .000

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/22/2017.

Most LAD walks in May

A few days ago we looked at where Cody Bellinger ranks in LAD May for home run runs and RBI.

How about we take a gander at Chris Taylor and the LAD May base on balls leaderboard. Taylor already has fifteen walks and while he’s a long way from the top, he could crack the top five (he’s already in the top ten), though playing time might be an issue with Logan Forsythe set to be activated tomorrow.

Wally Moon has the most walks with 24.

Player               Split Year BB  PA   BA  OBP  SLG   OPS
Wally Moon             May 1961 24  95 .324 .495 .493  .988
Jose Offerman          May 1995 23 128 .356 .480 .455  .935
Shawn Green            May 2000 23 118 .367 .508 .667 1.175
Ron Cey                May 1973 22 125 .357 .475 .612 1.088
Jim Wynn               May 1974 22 108 .365 .491 .706 1.197
Jim Wynn               May 1975 22 114 .242 .389 .451  .840
Brett Butler           May 1991 22 126 .243 .381 .282  .663
Greg Brock             May 1983 21 100 .205 .370 .474  .844
Eddie Murray           May 1989 21 108 .235 .389 .388  .777
Gil Hodges             May 1959 20  89 .290 .449 .609 1.058
Wes Parker             May 1967 20 123 .265 .385 .373  .758
Davey Lopes            May 1975 20 111 .271 .410 .388  .798
Ron Cey                May 1977 20 115 .221 .357 .400  .757
Shawn Green            May 2002 20 120 .316 .433 .694 1.127
Ron Fairly             May 1964 19  92 .214 .389 .300  .689
Wes Parker             May 1968 19 140 .250 .351 .304  .654
Frank Robinson         May 1972 19 108 .282 .407 .529  .937
Joe Ferguson           May 1973 19 125 .275 .376 .520  .896
Reggie Smith           May 1977 19 118 .296 .407 .633 1.039
Darryl Strawberry      May 1991 19 101 .207 .356 .451  .808
Russell Martin         May 2009 19 111 .330 .450 .385  .835
Charlie Neal           May 1958 18 123 .225 .339 .451  .790
Wes Parker             May 1970 18 132 .301 .394 .496  .890
Davey Lopes            May 1980 18 112 .220 .342 .253  .595
Gary Sheffield         May 2000 18 109 .275 .394 .473  .867
J.D. Drew              May 2005 18 110 .244 .373 .411  .784
Jim Gilliam            May 1960 17 119 .250 .359 .320  .679
Wally Moon             May 1962 17  76 .293 .447 .397  .844
Jim Gilliam            May 1962 17 125 .269 .377 .308  .685
Wes Parker             May 1965 17 145 .236 .331 .333  .664
Ron Fairly             May 1967 17 118 .232 .347 .394  .741
Billy Grabarkewitz     May 1970 17 117 .394 .479 .564 1.042
Willie Crawford        May 1973 17 112 .404 .495 .628 1.123
Ron Cey                May 1974 17 121 .293 .395 .424  .819
Joe Ferguson           May 1979 17  88 .203 .356 .449  .806
Brett Butler           May 1994 17 125 .327 .424 .505  .929
Delino DeShields       May 1994 17 104 .276 .394 .322  .716
Jose Cruz              May 2006 17  81 .246 .405 .410  .815
Orlando Hudson         May 2009 17 137 .328 .404 .414  .818
Yasiel Puig            May 2014 17 128 .398 .492 .731 1.224
Maury Wills            May 1961 16 125 .333 .424 .407  .831
Willie Crawford        May 1970 16 107 .311 .421 .489  .909
Willie Crawford        May 1974 16 113 .234 .339 .383  .722
Ron Cey                May 1978 16 112 .266 .375 .447  .822
Jose Offerman          May 1994 16 112 .213 .324 .287  .612
Joc Pederson           May 2015 16 123 .236 .341 .519  .860
John Roseboro          May 1961 15 100 .217 .330 .422  .752
Ron Fairly             May 1962 15  84 .397 .513 .603 1.116
Dick Tracewski         May 1964 15 107 .211 .321 .289  .610
Jim Lefebvre           May 1965 15 131 .248 .341 .345  .686
Wes Parker             May 1971 15 111 .283 .382 .402  .784
Reggie Smith           May 1978 15 116 .357 .431 .602 1.033
Davey Lopes            May 1979 15 127 .295 .378 .661 1.039
Pedro Guerrero         May 1983 15 109 .275 .376 .462  .838
Mike Scioscia          May 1986 15  85 .261 .400 .304  .704
Shawn Green            May 2001 15 118 .252 .347 .476  .823
Andy LaRoche           May 2007 15  54 .216 .444 .270  .715
Chris Taylor           May 2017 15  72 .351 .486 .579 1.065

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/22/2017.

Some interesting names in year. Andy LaRoche? I’m shocked he ever got enough playing time to manage fifteen walks in a month. Got to love the split, a .216 BA with .444 OBP. How about that Dick Tracewski TSL? .211 .321 .289. Ha ha.
Orlando Hudson and Jose Cruz with seventeen walks.

There is that May 2014 Puig again. Can we have that guy back again?

And they say Maury Wills didn’t walk enough.

Of course Jimmy Wynn is near the top. That was the man’s calling card.

I was unaware of Wally Moon’s propensity for patience.

Updated May Hitting Stats – May 22nd

Dodger record in May 12 wins 7 losses

Dodger overall record, 24 wins 18 loses,  tied for 2nd place, two games behind Rockies

Three regular players with an OPS over 1.000,  2/3 of the way through May. No wonder the Dodgers have a great record in May.

Offense looks to be held down by Seager / Joc / Puig. Can’t really count Adrian since he just got back and has looked very good since taking the time off to heal his wounds.  Even Seager and Puig have an OPS over .700 so not exactly hurting the team, just not helping it.  Joc was hurting the team but maybe with his jack yesterday he is ready to go on a tear.

Everything has already been said about Taylor and Bellinger. I guess what really stands out are the fifteen walks by Taylor. Hmmm, wonder how that stacks up on the May LAD Walk leaderboard?

Kind of easy to see why Brett Eibner is on the current roster and SVS is in AAA. Though Brett probably won’t see another game, as I’m sure he’ll be sent down when Logan Forsythe is activated tomorrow.

Player                 OPS PA  R 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO   BA  OBP  SLG
Brett Eibner         1.371 13  3  0  0  2   6  1  4 .364 .462 .909
Chris Taylor         1.065 72 13  4  0  3  11 15 14 .351 .486 .579
Cody Bellinger       1.034 81 19  5  1  7  22  7 25 .297 .358 .676
Yasmani Grandal      1.021 58  6  9  0  1  14  2 10 .393 .414 .607
Austin Barnes         .883 28  5  4  0  0   4  6  3 .273 .429 .455
Enrique Hernandez     .871 43  7  6  0  1   6  5  8 .270 .357 .514
Andrew Toles          .825 26  5  2  0  0   2  1  4 .360 .385 .440
Franklin Gutierrez    .824 23  4  1  0  1   3  2  6 .286 .348 .476
Chase Utley           .809 51  4  2  2  0   7  6  9 .286 .380 .429
Justin Turner         .808 63  9  2  0  0   5  8 11 .333 .435 .373
Corey Seager          .794 82 15  6  0  2   6 11 14 .257 .366 .429
Yasiel Puig           .724 65 12  1  0  3  11  5 13 .250 .308 .417
Adrian Gonzalez       .667 21  0  2  0  0   5  0  7 .286 .286 .381
Joc Pederson          .619 61  9  3  0  1   4  6 13 .192 .311 .308
Scott Van Slyke       .582 11  1  0  0  1   1  1  3 .100 .182 .400

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/22/2017.

OTDIB – May 22nd – Piazza finds his HOF cap

On this date in baseball:
May 22nd, 1998 – Mike Piazza gets traded again, this time to the Met’s where he would enjoy a HOF career. While the Dodgers got slugger Gary Sheffield for Piazza, the Marlins got jack shit from the Mets. Kind of funny how Dodger fans have hated that trade for years, but it was really the Marlins who got screwed.

The Mets trade Preston Wilson, Geoff Goetz, and Ed Yarnell to the Marlins for Mike Piazza. Florida had acquired the All-Star catcher last week from the Dodgers, along with Todd Zeille in exchange for Gary Sheffield, Bobby Bonilla, Charles Johnson, Jim Eisenreich, and Manuel Barrios.

May 22nd, 1968 – Pops Stargell picks up 15 total bases. Remember this was 1968, the year the offense went missing in baseball.

At Wrigley Field, Pirates’ slugger Willie Stargell hits three home runs and just misses a fourth in a 13-6 rout over the Cubs. ‘Pops’ also hit a single and a double, which bounced off the railing of the left field fence back onto the playing field.

May 22nd – Font Farm Factory Award winner

There were a lot of great performances by LAD prospects in the past week but the award has to belong to Wilmer Font. He’s not even really a prospect but when you put up a game like he put up on Monday he has to be on someone’s radar. I don’t care what kind of league you are in but when you strike out fifteen of your twenty one outs you are dealing.  However Font wasn’t done dealing. On Sunday Night, The Font continued his dominant ways with another stellar effort, striking out another ten of his fifteen outs. For the week, Font struck out twenty-five hitters out of thirty-six outs.  In his last five games Font has done the following:

DATE OPP W IP H ER BB SO
04/28/2017 @OMA 1 5.2 5 1 0 7
05/03/2017 COS 0 5.0 4 3 1 9
05/09/2017 @RR 0 5.1 4 2 0 6
05/15/2017 SAC 1 7.0 2 1 1 15
05/21/2017 @ELP 0 5.0 5 3 2 10
TOTALS 2 28 20 10 4 47

Another notable efforts this week:

The man who some say will never play 2nd base base in the major leagues, Willie Calhoun hit four home runs, including three games in a row with a home run.  Currently sitting with a plus .900 OPS for the season and a plus 1.000 OPS in May.\

19-year-old Dustin May hurled his best professional game for the Loons on Saturday Night.  May struck out nine of his fifteen outs, giving up only two hits, one run, one walk.

2017 first round pick Gavin Lux came to life this week collecting ten hits and moved his up around 100 points to .643.

Kyle Farmer collected eight hits in just twenty at-bats to move his average upto .342, and is hitting .513 over his last ten games. Now sporting a robust .891 OPS overall, and .990 in May

Jose Fernandez had three multi hit games and moved his average upto .400 over his last ten games.

Bellinger climbing up LAD May Leaderboards

With 2/3 of May in the books, Cody Bellinger is already in the top ten in LAD May leaderboards for home runs and RBI.

At this moment headed into the May 21st game, Bellinger has 22 RBI and 7 home runs in May.

His 7 home runs would put him tied for 4th in LAD history with home runs in May. With 10 being the most, he has a good shot at being the all time LAD May home run hitter. Amazing

Player           Split Year  PA HR   OPS
Raul Mondesi       May 1998 123 10  .946
Raul Mondesi       May 1999 117 10 1.034
Shawn Green        May 2002 120 10 1.127
Todd Hundley       May 2000  79  9 1.139
Ron Cey            May 1981 119  9  .997
Pedro Guerrero     May 1987 108  9 1.127
Eric Karros        May 2000 113  8 1.021
Yasiel Puig        May 2014 128  8 1.224
Kal Daniels        May 1990  98  8  .968
Pedro Guerrero     May 1981 103  7 1.038
Willie Davis       May 1961 117  7  .925
Cody Bellinger     May 2017  76  7 1.079
Jim Wynn           May 1974 108  7 1.197
Steve Garvey       May 1980 106  7  .855
Matt Kemp          May 2011 113  7  .822
Mike Marshall      May 1986 103  7  .972

You get used to thinking Puig only mashed in 2013 but his May 2014 was also what got everyone excited. Three years now.

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/21/2017.

His 22 RBI would put him tied for 7th in LAD with RBI in May. With 28 being the high, he has a good shot at being the all time LAD MAY RBI leader. Amazing

Player               Split Year RBI  PA  R sOPS+
Eric Karros            May 2000  28 113 16   151
Nomar Garciaparra      May 2006  28 122 25   174
Wes Parker             May 1970  27 132 19   144
Joe Ferguson           May 1973  27 125 21   154
Raul Mondesi           May 1998  27 123 17   143
Raul Mondesi           May 1999  27 117 21   157
Steve Garvey           May 1974  26 127 20   160
Tommy Davis            May 1962  25 125 25   151
Yasiel Puig            May 2014  25 128 20   240
Willie Davis           May 1970  24 123 21   146
Billy Grabarkewitz     May 1970  24 117 20   186
Reggie Smith           May 1978  24 116 18   193
Steve Garvey           May 1979  24 122 16   134
Pedro Guerrero         May 1982  24 120 15   181
Mike Piazza            May 1994  24 106 18   170
Shawn Green            May 2000  24 118 25   194
Pedro Guerrero         May 1981  23 103 16   192
Kal Daniels            May 1990  23  98 15   164
Todd Hundley           May 2000  23  79 15   178
Willie Davis           May 1961  22 117 20   150
Ron Cey                May 1973  22 125 20   208
Ron Cey                May 1981  22 119 17   181
Steve Garvey           May 1981  22 131 20   135
Pedro Guerrero         May 1987  22 108 17   194
Eddie Murray           May 1991  22 109 15   125
Tim Wallach            May 1993  22 111 11   105
Shawn Green            May 2002  22 120 21   200
James Loney            May 2009  22 128 14    76
James Loney            May 2010  22 111 16   108
Adrian Gonzalez        May 2013  22  94 11   143
Cody Bellinger         May 2017  22  76 18   180

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/21/2017.

Twelve Dodgers are tied in 7th with 22 RBI. Suffice to say, Cody won’t be one of them come the morning of June 1st.

Urias might be making rotation question easier

With seven starting pitchers for five spots, Julio Urias might be making the tough front office decision easier.  Other than one start, Urias simply hasn’t cut muster so far this season.  Critics of this statement can point to his three starts where he has given up fewer than one run three times in five starts. I prefer to look at the command/control/dominance. Urias has now walked fourteen hitters in only twenty three innings, with just eleven strikeouts.  This is not the arm we saw last summer and if he needs some time in AAA to get his command together, now would be a good time to make it happen while the Dodgers have an abundance of starting options.

I’m a huge Urias fan, it is because of Urias I started writing again last May, but I’m not sure he needs to struggle at the major league level right now when the Dodgers have other options.

Date     Rslt   IP  H ER BB SO
Apr27    W5-1  5.2  4  1  4  4
May3     L1-4  5.0  4  0  4  1
May9     W4-3  6.1  1  1  2  5
May14    L6-9  4.0  7  6  1  1
May20   L6-10  2.1  7  6  3  0
          2-3 23.1 23 14 14 11

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/21/2017.

[Update at 11:54 AM]

DODGERS RECALL JOSH RAVIN –  The Los Angeles Dodgers today recalled right-handed pitcher Josh Ravin from Triple-A Oklahoma City and optioned left-handed pitcher Julio Urías to Triple-A OKC.

Ravin, 29, will make his first stint with the big league club this year after going 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA (1 ER/5.0 IP) in four games with the OKC Dodgers. He has struck out 11 batters against only two walks in 5.0 innings with Oklahoma City and has held batters to a .167 average (3-for-18). Ravin, who started the season on the disabled list with a right groin strain, appeared in 10 games for the Dodgers last year allowing just one run in 9.2 innings (0.93 ERA) and limited batters to a .065 average (2-for-31), while striking out 13 against four walks. The West Hills native is in his third season with Los Angeles, going 2-1 with a 3.79 ERA (8 ER/19.0 IP) in 19 career games, while punching out 25 batters in 19.0 innings.

Urías, 20, pitched last night against the Marlins allowing a career-high seven runs (six earned) on seven hits in 2.1 innings, his shortest outing as a starter, as he took his second loss of the season in the Dodgers’ 10-6 defeat. In five starts this season, Urías has gone 0-2 with a 5.40 ERA (14 ER/23.1 IP) and has struck out 11 batters against 14 walks.

Dodgers enjoying home cooking

With eight games left on this ten game home trip the Dodgers boast the best winning percentage at home in baseball which is keeping them in the NL West race.

MLB Best winning pct. at home, NL – 2017

Los Angeles Dodgers                        15-6                        .714

Arizona Diamondbacks                     18-8                        .692

Washington Nationals                        12-7                        .632

Even with that great record they are still chasing the Rockies by two games.

Much has been made of the inconsistent Puig, but one thing Puig has been consistent with this year is his love of Dodger Stadium. With his seven home runs at home only Bellinger at four keeps him from doubling up his other teammates.

Home Splits in 2017 as of May 19th, 2017:

Player               HR PA  R  H 2B 3B RBI BB  OBP  SLG   OPS
Chris Taylor          3 38  8 12  4  0   9  7 .500 .806 1.306
Justin Turner         1 74  8 25  8  0  11  5 .473 .571 1.044
Yasiel Puig           7 81 15 20  2  0  19 10 .370 .623  .994
Cody Bellinger        4 47 11 12  1  1  11  4 .340 .628  .968
Yasmani Grandal       3 68  7 20  3  0  11  5 .368 .516  .884
Andrew Toles          3 59 13 18  2  0   7  2 .356 .518  .874
Logan Forsythe        0 30  4  8  1  0   2  3 .467 .391  .858
Enrique Hernandez     1 44  6  9  6  1   7  5 .326 .526  .852
Corey Seager          1 89 16 20  6  0   8 14 .393 .397  .791
Chase Utley           0 38  4  8  3  0   4  5 .351 .355  .706
Scott Van Slyke       1 15  3  1  0  0   1  4 .333 .364  .697
Franklin Gutierrez    1 13  2  3  0  0   2  0 .231 .462  .692
Adrian Gonzalez       0 67  3 17  2  0   6  6 .343 .311  .655
Austin Barnes         1 26  6  3  1  0   3  5 .308 .333  .641
Joc Pederson          1 50  6  8  2  0   8  5 .280 .302  .582
Clayton Kershaw       0 12  3  2  0  0   1  1 .300 .222  .522

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/20/2017.

Today would be a good day for Adrián González to hit his first home run at the ravine this year.