Cody Bellinger owns the Dodger / Mets Total Base leaderboard

[Update June 20th, 2017] Corey Seager with three home runs and a double now has 14 total bases obliterating the old total base record against the Mets at Dodger Stadium

Considering the Mets have been coming to Dodger Stadium since 1962, it is amazing that no LAD has been able to have a double-digit total base game against the Mets.

Cody Bellinger, however, had nine total bases last night and that was good enough to tie Gary Sheffield and Jim Lefebvre at top of the total base leaderboard against the Mets at Dodger Stadium.  All three hitters did it the same way. Two home runs, and one single. There was a thirty-four-year span between Lefebvre and Sheffield. Must have been all those great Met pitchers.

Lefebvre did it during his remarkable sophomore season in 1966. 

Player                 Date  Tm Opp   Rslt PA R H HR TB RBI BB
Cody Bellinger   2017-06-19 LAD NYM W 10-6  5 2 3  2  9   4  0
Gary Sheffield   2000-08-19 LAD NYM  W 4-1  4 2 3  2  9   3  1
Jim Lefebvre     1966-05-29 LAD NYM  L 6-7  4 3 3  2  9   3  1

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 6/20/2017.

On the flip side, the Mets have had some huge games against the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Claudell Washington hit three home runs and a single for thirteen total bases. Dave Kingman hit three home runs for his twelve total bases. Even Lee Mazzilli was able to put up a double-digit total base game.  You will note that it has not been done in 37 years.

Rk                Player       Date  Tm Opp   Rslt PA R H HR TB RBI
1    Claudell Washington 1980-06-22 NYM LAD  W 9-6  5 3 4  3 13   5
2           Dave Kingman 1976-06-04 NYM LAD W 11-0  5 3 3  3 12   8
3           Lee Mazzilli 1978-09-03 NYM LAD  W 8-5  5 2 4  2 10   3

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 6/20/2017.

Font goes up in flames

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that Wilmer Font was smacked around last night after all the times I’ve commented on how hot he has been. Font walked six batters in just four innings. He had walked only six in his previous six games combined.

He had a good run.

Brandon Morrow isn’t doing himself any favors in trying to get back to the Dodgers. You could understand if he is down after doing very well for the Dodgers but still got sent back to AAA. Has to be a different mindset when you have tasted major league success like Morrow and can’t get back to the show compared to those young arms who are just trying to get there. In the end, both types want to make it and stay. Since Morrow came back to AAA after throwing six scoreless innings for the Dodgers he has given up five runs in just 2 2/3 AAA innings.

Ross Stripling threw a nice scoreless inning as he waits for his AAA time to end so he can replace Brock Stewart.

Carlos Rincon wins MWL home run hitting contest

Yesterday marked a few minor league all-star game festivities and two Dodger prospects played prominent roles. Some roles are more prominent than others.

Carlos Rincon the 19-year-old power hitting prospect for the Great Lake Loons won the Home run derby contest over Vlad Guerrero Junior. Vlad is considered the best prospect in the MidWest league so a tip of the hat to the young Rincon for scoring an upset.

Baseball America was there:

The two teenagers from the Dominican Republic brought a special combination of power, excitement and fun to the home of the Great Lakes Loons—the Dodgers’ affiliate and Rincon’s regular season field—and gave a crowd that stuck through hours of rain delays everything it had been hoping for through three hard-fought rounds of competition, eventually seeing the Loons outfielder take the crown.

“This is more fun that I can imagine,” Rincon said through his manager and translator Jeremy Rodriguez. “Every time I hit a home run I could feel the energy from the crowd screaming. That just gave me more energy to hit home runs, because I love the energy from the fans, and the fans definitely helped me win tonight.”
Read more at http://www.baseballamerica.com/minors/carlos-rincon-vladimir-guerrero-jr-put-show-midwest-league-home-run-derby/#HuBBm4ck0GIzuDTo.99

Not to be outdone, Luke Raley of the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes was part of a group who won the cow milking contest.

Rancho Cucamonga’s Luke Raley won the cow-milking contest over the North team of Visalia’s Mason McCullough, San Jose’s Mike Connolly and Modesto’s Nick Neidert.

Raley, the Dodgers’ seventh-round pick in 2016, celebrated by drinking some of his freshly squeezed milk and convinced his teammates to take a victory sip as well.

“That was the first time I’ve ever milked a cow,” said Raley, a native of Hinckley, Ohio. “I did all right for my first time I think. The milk tasted pretty good actually. A little warm. I can’t complain.”

Read more at http://www.baseballamerica.com/minors/marty-herum-wins-home-run-derby-in-front-of-home-crowd-california-league/#FWU3vT7FT72BSx55.99

 

Chasing Piazza on June 20th

Yesterday we looked at how Cody Bellinger was doing on chasing down the Mike Piazza LAD rookie record of 35 home runs.  Cody hit two more last night becoming the fastest to 21 home runs in the history of baseball.  At this rate, he might hit 35 home runs before August 1st.

Below is a quick table of how long it took each of the Dodger rookies to hit their first twenty-one home runs of the season.  The PA are estimated within 4 PA.  The table also shows how many home runs they each had by June 19th.

Player Year PA HR HR/PA Total HR by June 19th Total
Piazza 1993 372 21 17.71 13 35
Pederson 2015 407 21 19.38 17 26
Seager 2016 474 21 22.57 15 26
Bellinger 2017 210 21 10.00 21 ???

If this confusing here is a quick legend.

PA – this is the number of plate appearances it took for each rookie to reach 21 home runs. We used 21 home runs because that is where Bellinger is right now.

HR – This is a marker showing you 21 home runs.

HR/PA – this is the home runs per plate appearance pace when they each hit their 21st home run.

Total HR by June 19th – self-explanatory but it includes games of June 19th

Total – season home run total

Chasing Piazza on June 19th

For twenty years it looked like Mike Piazza’s LAD rookie record of 35 home runs would stand the test of time. Since 2015, however, it has had Dodger rookies taking good cuts at it.

Puig never had a chance in 2013 given he didn’t get started until June but still hit 19 home runs in only 432 plate appearances. He reached his 19th home run in about his 416 plate appearance.

Last year I put out some LAD Rookie HR leaderboards when Corey Seager was giving Piazza a run for his money. I wasn’t writing in 2014 but if I had been, Joc Pederson actually gave Mike a bigger run for his money until the all-star break happened.  At the end of May, both Joc and Seager were ahead of the Piazza pace since Piazza had only hit eight of his thirty-five home runs by the end of May.

This year Cody Bellinger has the best chance to eclipse the Piazza record of 35 home runs in 1993 as a Dodger rookie based on home runs per plate appearance.

Below is a quick table of how long it took each of the Dodger rookies to hit their first nineteen home runs of the season. The PA are estimated within 4 PA.  The table also shows how many home runs they each had by June 18th.  We might have forgotten just how awesome Joc Pederson was in June of 2015. There was a reason he went to the Home Run derby in 2015.  As you can see each Dodger was in front of the Piazza pace on this date.  The only way to beat Piazza is to keep up the pace.

Joc couldn’t do it

Seager couldn’t do it

Bellinger ??? – I’d probably bet against it, my total is around 33. He has to slump at some point, doesn’t he?

Player Year PA HR HR/PA Total HR by June 18th Total
Piazza 1993 348 19 18.32 12 35
Puig 2013 416 19 21.89 4 19
Pederson 2015 291 19 15.32 17 26
Seager 2016 452 19 23.79 15 26
Bellinger 2017 205 19 10.79 19 ???

If this confusing here is a quick legend.

PA – this is the number of plate appearances it took for each rookie to reach 19 home runs. We used 19 home runs because that is where Bellinger is right now.

HR – This is a marker showing you 19 home runs.

HR/PA – this is the home runs per plate appearance pace when they each hit their 19th home run.

Total HR by June 18th – self explantory

Total – season home run total

Two Cubans take the FFA for week of June 12th

Multiple Dodger prospects had huge hitting performances for the week ending on June 18th. It was a tough call who to pick for the weekly FFA award and ultimately I had to split the award between our Cuban positional prospects Yusniel Diaz and Jose Fernandez.   Both Cubans have gotten red hot in June and amassed multiple hit games last week.  They come from different places. Diaz is the young big bonus baby and coming into this year was expected to establish himself as a Dodger outfielder for the future. Jose Fernandez was signed for the minimum and at best was expected to provide some infield depth.

Through the end of May, neither was doing much but June came and they have woken up.

Just a few weeks ago I was discussing Yusniel Diaz as one of the most disappointing top prospects in the Dodger system,  and right on cue, Diaz exploded in June and more so in the past week.  Diaz had fourteen hits in just seven games. He had two hits in two games, three hits in two games, and four hits in one game.  With his four walks, he got on base eighteen times in twenty-nine at-bats.   So far in June Diaz has a triple stat line of .412 / .459 / 1.107 with three home runs.  For the season, Diaz has a massive home/road split with a home OPS of .924 compared to a road split of .567.  Nice to see the 20-year-old starting to put up some numbers worthy of the Dodger bonus.

Jose Fernandez has also gotten as hot as the West Valley sun. Fernandez also hit in every game last week, picking up fourteen hits. Four times he had two hits, and three hits one time.  That is blazing hot, and for June his triple stat line now reads .453 / .532 / 1.136.  He’s still 29 years old in AA but at least he’s making noise, and maybe it was just a rust issue after all and that there is some prime iron ready to shine once polished.

Part of the competition for the week came from my number one prospect Keibert Ruiz who hit in every game he played in last week. He might have knocked off Diaz if not for the fact Ruiz only played in four games.  The eighteen-year-old isn’t showing much power but at eighteen he has plenty of time for that part of his game to show up. Over his last ten games, he is twelve for thirty with seven walks. Good for a .400 BA, and staggering .514 OBP.

Alex Verdugo also had a great week and now that I look at his numbers maybe I should have given the nod to Alex. Verdugo also hit in every game last week, tallying twelve hits, two home runs, and four walks. Verdugo is now hitting .487 over his last ten games and has a June triple stat line in June of .369 / . 438 / .615. The just turned 21-year-old is doing great things at AAA.  Might not be long before he’s playing LF in some capacity for the Dodgers.

On the pitching side:

A. J. Alexy pitched his best game as a pro on June 13th. The Great Lakes Loon nineteen-year-old got eighteen outs for the first time in his career and did it without allowing a run. He struck out six and walked two.

Wilmer Font continues to amaze with another solid performance on June 14th in AAA. Font went six scoreless innings, giving up just three hits, walking one, and striking out seven. In his last three starts, Font has gone six innings each time, given up just one run combined, 10 hits, and a crazy twenty-four strikeouts with just two walks.

Walker Buehler was solid on June 15th in a start for AA Tulsa. Walker went five innings, gave up five hits, two earned runs, walked one, and struck out six.

Of the big three of Alvarez / Buehler / White, only Walker gets a mention with White on the DL and Yadier not pitching any better than Dennis Santana.

Speaking of Dennis Santana, the 21-year-old converted shortstop to relief to starting pitcher went seven innings for the first time in his professional career. Santana was almost brilliant, allowing only three hits, one earned run, two walks, and eight strikeouts.  This was great to see as Santana had struggled in his two prior June appearances.

 

 

 

Starters getting it done in June for Dodgers

Overall Record – 44/26
June Record – 11/5
Position – 1 game back of Rockies
Highlights of June so far:

  • Only six Dodgers have made starts in June so far.
  • Four of the six starters have an ERA under 3.00.
  • Four of the six starters have an OPS against below .600
  • One starter is looking like a mountain of a problem
  • Neither Alex Wood or Kenley Jansen have walked a hitter in June in a combined 23 innings.
  • Josh Fields has pitched five games, gotten 17 outs, and given up five home runs.
Player               IP   ERA  H ER BB SO  WHIP  SO9 SO/W   OPS
Clayton Kershaw    21.0  1.71 11  4  6 27 0.810 11.6 4.50  .537
Brandon McCarthy   16.1  2.76 13  5  5 10 1.102  5.5 2.00  .587
Hyun-Jin Ryu       16.0  5.63 21 10  2 16 1.438  9.0 8.00  .875
Alex Wood          13.2  2.63  9  4  0 12 0.659       7.9  .512
Rich Hill          13.0  6.92 13 10  9 14 1.692  9.7 1.56  .799
Kenta Maeda        13.0  2.77  8  4  4 18 0.923 12.5 4.50  .562
Kenley Jansen       9.2  0.00  4  0  0 15 0.414      14.0  .329
Pedro Baez          8.0  2.25 11  2  2  7 1.625  7.9 3.50  .951
Grant Dayton        6.0  1.50  3  1  2  6 0.833  9.0 3.00  .517
Josh Fields         5.2 11.12  6  7  4  6 1.765  9.5 1.50 1.339
Ross Stripling      5.2 11.12 12  7  2  5 2.471  7.9 2.50 1.130
Chris Hatcher       5.1 11.81  4  7  4  8 1.500 13.5 2.00  .796
Brandon Morrow      4.0  0.00  2  0  1  6 0.750 13.5 6.00  .388
Luis Avilan         3.0  6.00  4  2  1  2 1.667  6.0 2.00 1.049
Josh Ravin          2.0  0.00  1  0  0  2 0.500       9.0  .571
Sergio Romo         1.2  5.40  2  1  1  3 1.800 16.2 3.00 1.089

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 6/19/2017.

Dodgers hitters roll through Ohio

Overall Record – 44/26
June Record – 11/5
Position – 1 game back of Rockies
Highlights of June so far:

  • The Dodgers swept the Reds at Dodger Stadium and on the road in a span of ten days, and they did it without Clayton Kershaw pitching in any of the six games.
  • They have won nine of their last ten games
  • Won five out of six in Ohio stumbling only when the Indians made a determined charge up the Hill.

Hitting Highlights:

  • Justin Turner has hit in every game this month that he’s played, leading the team in OPS at 1.169
  • Cody Bellinger is evidently going to put his name on every single LAD monthly home run leaderboard as he already has eight in June.
  • Chris Taylor is doing his best Davey Lopes imitation with six steals without being caught.
  • The Puig and Pederson show are back. Both have an OPS over.850 in the same month for the first time since…………I’ll look it up if they can do this for the whole month.  Last June, for example, they both finished the month with an OPS barely over .800.
  • Overall the Dodgers have fourteen stolen bases while being caught three times.
  • Puig/Bellinger/Taylor have combined for a perfect 12 for 12 in stolen bases.
  • Grandal is struggling mightily and not showing any signs of slump relief.
  • Logan Forsythe was struggling mightily but might have cracked the code with his monstrous home run and a sweet single to center yesterday.
  • Chase has come back to earth.
Player               Split HR GS PA RBI SB CS SO   BA  OBP  SLG   OPS
Corey Seager          June  2 16 73   8  0  1 15 .267 .397 .450  .847
Cody Bellinger        June  8 15 68  14  3  0 19 .279 .353 .754 1.107
Chris Taylor          June  2 14 62  12  6  0 16 .263 .323 .474  .796
Yasiel Puig           June  3 14 61   8  3  0 12 .283 .361 .528  .889
Logan Forsythe        June  1 12 53   2  0  0 19 .130 .245 .196  .441
Yasmani Grandal       June  1 11 50   3  0  0 19 .163 .180 .245  .425
Chase Utley           June  1 11 48   4  0  0  6 .200 .333 .325  .658
Enrique Hernandez     June  2  7 37   2  1  0 12 .182 .270 .424  .695
Justin Turner         June  2  7 35   5  0  0  4 .414 .514 .655 1.169
Adrian Gonzalez       June  0  8 31   3  0  1  5 .214 .258 .286  .544
Joc Pederson          June  2  6 27   4  1  1  3 .261 .370 .609  .979
Austin Barnes         June  0  6 26   1  0  0  5 .292 .346 .333  .679
Franklin Gutierrez    June  0  2 14   3  0  0  4 .154 .214 .154  .368
Brett Eibner          June  0  2 11   0  0  0  5 .100 .182 .100  .282

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 6/19/2017.

 

Alex Wood almost cracks game score leaderboard

During the broadcast tonight, Joe Davis and Orel starting talking about game scores.  Orel was wondering if the current game score by Alex was close to the brilliant game that Clayton pitched. Joe correctly said no because Wood only had five strikeouts. At the time Wood had a game score over 80 which is excellent but it was still the 8th inning. By the time the 8th inning had ended it had dropped below 80 because of the Mesoraco home run. Orel was acting like Wood had already pitched his complete game shutout but seemed to forget he still had five outs to go.

Anyway for those who don’t know (like Orel) how a game score is calculated here it is:

Game Score – This is a value created by Bill James that evaluates how good a pitcher’s start was.

Start with 50 points. Add 1 point for each out recorded, (or 3 points per inning). Add 2 points for each inning completed after the 4th. Add 1 point for each strikeout. Subtract 2 points for each hit allowed. Subtract 4 points for each earned run allowed. Subtract 2 points for each unearned run allowed. Subtract 1 point for each walk.

Stan Williams shows up for the first time so I can tell my little Stan Williams story. It actually involves his son. In 1975 my High School Herbert Hoover of Glendale beat Stan Williams Junior’s team at Dodger Stadium to win the CIF Baseball Championship. The game involved a matchup between Stan Williams Junior and our ace Chuck McMichael. Chuck had not given up a run during the playoffs and would outpitch Stan to give Hoover the victory.

Here is an excellent recap of the history of Chuck who actually worked as a scout for the Dodgers in the 1980’s.  Chuck was the first fireballing lefty I ever faced in baseball. He was two years older than me and basically struck out everyone he faced.  His dad was an ump in every league I played in.

I had expected to follow Chuck’s career as he went from high school phenom to major league star but injuries derailed that career.  Instead, he went into scouting and has had a long career and was just a step away from the GM job in Atlanta.

Player                         Date  Rslt   IP H ER BB SO GSc
Sandy Koufax             1960-08-11 W 3-0  9.0 2  0  1 13  95
Don Sutton               1967-06-27 W 9-0  9.0 2  0  0 11  94
Fernando Valenzuela      1984-08-05 L 1-2 10.0 2  1  6 10  88
Ramon Martinez           1998-04-05 W 1-0  8.0 1  0  1  7  86
Tommy John               1972-08-08 L 1-2  9.0 3  1  4 13  86
Bob Welch                1985-08-03 W 2-0  9.0 2  0  3  5  85
Don Drysdale             1962-08-19 W 5-1  9.0 3  0  1  7  85
 Stan Williams            1961-05-22 W 2-1 10.0 4  1  3  8  85
Jerry Reuss           1980-05-26(1) W 4-0  9.0 4  0  0  5  84
Claude Osteen            1971-04-23 W 3-0  9.0 5  0  0  6  83
Sandy Koufax             1964-08-12 W 4-1  9.0 5  1  1 10  82
Pedro Astacio            1992-09-29 W 5-0  9.0 3  0  2  2  81
Ramon Martinez           1990-09-15 W 3-0  9.0 6  0  1  7  81
Bill Singer              1969-06-22 W 5-0  9.0 5  0  3  7  81
Tim Belcher              1988-09-16 L 0-1  8.0 3  0  1  7  80
Claude Osteen            1967-06-26 W 3-0  9.0 5  0  2  5  80

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 6/16/2017.

Howie Kendrick and Yordan Alvarez

While it might seem that everything the Dodger front office turns to gold, it isn’t true.

Last year at this time I was noting how Howie Kendrick could not drive in a run as a starting left fielder. Eventually, Howie got that figured out and was basically the de-facto starting left fielder until Andrew Toles showed up. Even then Dave Roberts went to Howie more often than not in Sept. It wasn’t until October that it seemed that Roberts had figured out that Andrew Toles was a better left fielder than Howie.

Headed into 2017, Howie didn’t like what he saw for himself and the Dodgers and asked to be traded. They obliged and sent him to the Phillies where he was supposed to be their starting LF. Amazing in baseball how things don’t work out as planned. Howie did indeed start out as the Phillies LF and was hitting the hell out of the ball when he got hurt on April 15th.

Enter Aaron Altherr. Aaron took over in LF while Howie was on the DL, and he’s not giving the starting job back. Aaron has a wRC+ of 133 and so when Howie came back they moved Aaron to RF.

Howie came back On May 29th and started ten games in LF and continued to pound the ball. On June 11th the starting 2nd baseman for the Phillies, Cesar Hernandez was hurt and is not due back until late July. No problem, Howie took over at 2nd base and if you happened to be watching MLB network last night you got to see Howie make an amazing play as a 2nd baseman diving to his right on the grass in CF and throw out the runner. This year Howie has a TSL of .330 / .393 / .485.

Logan Forsythe, not so much.

In time they might pass each other headed up and down but maybe not. A year ago in the spring of 2016 you wouldn’t have traded Howie for Logan straight up would you? Logan had one successful season to his name, Howie had a career. They were both 2nd baseman. The older one stayed healthy in 2016, the younger one did not. Winter of 2017, one was given away, while one was acquired for a talented young pitcher. It was probably the right move and time could easily prove the Dodgers correct.

I just think the Dodgers should rethink this policy of trading veterans who ask for a trade. To much can change and the same reason you signed Howie Kendrick in the spring of 2016 still applied in the winter of 2016.

Last summer the Dodgers made a deal acquiring Josh Fields from the Houston Astros. The price was Yordan Alvarez who had yet to play on the mainland. The Dodgers had given him a $2,000,000 bonus so they must have liked something about him given the cost was $4,000,000 with the tax included.

Just before this year’s international signing period closed in June, the Dodgers landed Alvarez for $2 million (plus a $2 million tax for exceeding their allotted spending pool). Now, without playing a single game for the Dodgers, he’s on the move to Houston. He’s around 6-foot-5 and 220 pounds and earns high marks from scouts for his smooth lefthanded swing. He also has average or better power from the left side, though he needs to work on getting more leverage in his swing to tap into that power more often. He’s going to have to improve his defense at first base, but he is an offensive prospect first and foremost.
Read more at http://www.baseballamerica.com/majors/dodgers-acquire-josh-fields-fresh-cuban-signee/#hRw4a1Octcj8Ubsg.99

At the time of the deal, I was happy to get Josh Fields and didn’t give much thought to the price being a kid who had never played on the mainland.  I probably should have given it more thought.

That price is looking mighty high right now. The 6’5 19-year-old Yordan Alvarez is making a name for himself.

Chad Moriyama didn’t seem to think it was a big deal since they had basically just traded 4 Million for Josh Fields. And if money was just the deal that would have been correct. But it wasn’t. Yordan Alveraz was the deal, and it is very possible he’s the real deal. It is the rare 19-year-old who carves up the Midwest league.

Per the Baseball America Hot Sheet on June 2nd.

4. Yordan Alvarez, 1b, Astros (19)
Low Class A Quad Cities (Midwest)

Alvarez is moving beyond just an interesting back story. The 6-foot-5, 225-pound Cuban has feel to hit—he’s one of the best hitters in the Midwest League’s Western Division, a scout said—and now he’s pairing it with tremendous in-game power (.280 isolated slugging).
Read more at http://www.baseballamerica.com/minors/prospect-hot-sheet-june-9/#3Ku8KdhxVxVqI0bs.99

That was two weeks ago. Since that time he’s continued to hit and leads the MWL in OPS at 1.1326

Josh Fields did help out the Dodger bullpen in 2016 and did pitch in the 2016 postseason. Was he a difference maker? No. He was also one of the best bullpen options early in 2017, but after watching him give up key home run after key home run in June, I can’t help but wonder if Dodger fans won’t be looking yonder toward Yordan in the future.