June 2016

Clayton Kershaw to avoid back surgery

Los Angeles Dodgers against the Washington NationalsHere’s the Dodgers’ official update on injured ace Clayton Kershaw:

Yesterday, Dodger pitcher Clayton Kershaw was examined by Dr. Robert Watkins Jr. in Los Angeles after experiencing low back discomfort. Following an MRI, it was determined that he has a mild disc herniation that will not require surgery. We will know more about his recovery time at a later date.

Tomorrow, it is expected that he will be officially be placed on the 15-day disabled list.

Dave Roberts confirmed in Milwaukee after today’s 8-1 victory that newly acquired Bud Norris will start for the Dodgers in their homestand opener Friday.

— Jon Weisman

Corey Seager is an NL MVP candidate

Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Dylan Buell/Getty Images

By Jon Weisman

Forget the National League Rookie of the Year race for a moment. It’s time to start thinking of Corey Seager as a potential NL Most Valuable Player.

The 22-year-old shortstop ranks second among NL position players in wins above replacement, and that doesn’t account for Seager hitting his 17th home run and reaching base three times in the Dodgers’ 8-1 pounding of Milwaukee today.

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Dodgers acquire Bud Norris, Dian Toscano

Bud Norris pitched seven shutout innings Sunday against the Mets. (Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

Bud Norris pitched seven shutout innings Sunday against the Mets. (Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

By Jon Weisman

Right-handed pitcher Bud Norris has been acquired by the Dodgers from Atlanta and is expected start in place of Clayton Kershaw for Los Angeles on Friday.

The Dodgers also picked up left-handed hitting minor-league outfielder Dian Toscano, a player to be named later and cash considerations.

In exchange, the Dodgers have parted ways with minor-league pitchers Caleb Dirks (1.44 ERA, 10.1 K/9 in Double-A) and Philip Pfeifer (2.67 ERA, 12.5 K/9 in Single-A). The Dodgers also designated left-hander Ian Thomas for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster.

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Clayton Kershaw heads to 15-day disabled list

Clayton Kershaw pitches to Bryce Harper on June 20. (Juan Ocampo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

Clayton Kershaw pitches to Bryce Harper on June 20. (Juan Ocampo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

By Jon Weisman

Clayton Kershaw will finish the first half of the 2016 MLB season on the 15-day disabled list, Dave Roberts told reporters today.

Roberts said before today’s game in Milwaukee that Kershaw received an epidural in his lower back Wednesday after flying back early to Los Angeles. The Dodgers have not yet chosen who will take his scheduled Friday start, though Carlos Frias is a leading internal candidate if the Dodgers essentially decide to make it a bullpen game. A roster move has not officially been announced.

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This Dodgers team can’t be counted out

Screen Shot 2016-06-29 at 8.12.19 PM

Dodgers at Brewers, 11:10 a.m.
Chase Utley, 2B
Corey Seager, SS
Justin Turner, 3B
Adrián González, 1B
Howie Kendrick, LF
Yasiel Puig, RF
Trayce Thompson, CF
Yasmani Grandal, C
Kenta Maeda, P

By Cary Osborne

Don’t give up on the Dodgers, because the Dodgers don’t give up on themselves.

Who is the best comeback team in the National League? When trailing at any point during a game this season, the Dodgers have come back to win 23 games. That’s tied with the San Francisco Giants for first in the National League. Texas leads baseball with 25, followed by Baltimore at 24.

The difference between the Dodgers and Giants is the Dodgers have more late comebacks.

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One bad inning fells Brock Stewart in debut

Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Dylan Buell/Getty Images

By Jon Weisman

Maybe Brock Stewart didn’t deserve better in his MLB debut tonight.

He did allow Kirk Nieuwenhuis’ no-doubt, three-run homer that put the Brewers ahead for good in a 7-0 victory over the Dodgers. And there were a couple of hard outs, including a 97-mph liner by Scooter Gennett that turned into an inning-ending double play.

two hitsOn the other hand, after a three-batter, two-strikeout first inning, the two hits (right) that preceded Nieuwenhuis’ blast barely would have traveled hole-to-hole on a putt-putt course. More importantly, after taking his licks in a five-run inning, Stewart showed a level of competitiveness and resiliency that spoke loudly for him, even if it won’t be much comfort in tonight’s update of the standings.

Despite allowing eight hits and two walks (one intentional), the 24-year-old finished with seven strikeouts, more than all but three pitchers making their debuts in Los Angeles Dodger history. Reaching 95 pitches in his fifth and final inning, Stewart wiped out Ryan Braun, Jonathan Lucroy and Chris Carter in a row, with a particularly nasty changeup felling Lucroy for strike three.

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Dodgers place Kiké Hernandez on disabled list

Milwaukee Brewers vs Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

Kiké Hernández has been placed on the 15-day disabled list (retroactive to June 28) with left rib cage inflammation by the Dodgers, who also transferred Alex Wood from the 15-day to the 60-day disabled list.

Tonight’s starting pitcher, Brock Stewart, will take their spots on the active and 40-man rosters.

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Brock Stewart rises from Single-A to MLB in 11 weeks

Oklahoma City Dodgers

Oklahoma City Dodgers

Dodgers at Brewers, 5:10 p.m.
Chase Utley, 2B
Corey Seager, SS
Justin Turner, 3B
Adrián González, 1B
Howie Kendrick, LF
Trayce Thompson, CF
Yasiel Puig, RF
A.J. Ellis, C
Brock Stewart, P

By Jon Weisman

A year after being drafted in the sixth round by the Dodgers, Brock Stewart turned in a reasonably solid 2015. He had a 2.84 ERA in seven starts for low Single-A Great Lakes, then got the half-step promotion to Rancho Cucamonga.

Things were moving in the right direction. The right-hander got roughed up for eight runs in his first start for the Quakes and logged a 5.43 ERA for them, but progress is progress. In 2016, he’d have every opportunity to move up another level.

Or two …

Or three …

Remarkably, after beginning 2016 at Single-A, the 24-year-old Stewart has climbed all the way to the Major Leagues, where he will be making his MLB debut for the Dodgers as their starting pitcher against Milwaukee tonight.

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Farm Fresh: June 28 Dodger minors highlights

By Josh Gurnick

Highlights from the Dodger farm system for June 28, including a offensive outburst in the Dominican Summer League…

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How the Dodgers’ starting rotation is like the family from the 1994-2000 Fox television series ‘Party of Five’

Party 4By Jon Weisman

How the Dodgers’ starting rotation is like the family from the 1994-2000 Fox television series ‘Party of Five’ …

Clayton Kershaw = Charlie Salinger: Older than his years, young by any other reasonable standard, Clayton/Charlie is the unquestioned leader. Everybody loves him. Everybody wants him. This rotation/family could thrive or dive depending on his presence, and fans will be in awe over his always perfect amount of facial hair. But on rare occasions when even he needs a lift, we turn to the rest of the clan.

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