Archive for the ‘ Defense ’ Category

Corey Seager’s durability stands out in 2016

SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS VS LOS ANGELES DODGERS

Dodgers at Padres, 7:10 p.m.
Chase Utley, 2B
Howie Kendrick, 3B
Corey Seager, SS
Adrián González, 1B
Yasmani Grandal, C
Josh Reddick, RF
Andrew Toles, LF
Joc Pederson, CF
Jose De León, P

By Jon Weisman

Corey Seager, who in the starting lineup tonight for the 146th time in 158 games this season, has played 1,316 defensive innings in 2016.

That’s the third most by a Dodger shortstop in the 2000s, behind Cesar Izturis (1,386 in 2004) and Rafael Furcal (1,371 in 2006).

With all those innings, Seager has been the eighth most valuable defensive player in baseball this year, according to Fangraphs’ defensive rankings, which account for the value of each position.

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Yasiel Puig tops himself with unreal throw


By Jon Weisman

Yasiel Puig is his own tough act to follow, but in the fifth inning tonight, he done outdone himself with a jaw-dropping missle from right field.

With the Dodgers leading 5-4 over the Rockies in Coors Field and one out, rookie phenom Trevor Story sent a fly ball high off the right-field screen, that Puig leaped for but couldn’t reach.

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Puig, who earlier in the game matched his 2015 total with his third stolen base of 2016, raced from the wall to pick up the carom with his bare hand just in front of the warning track, as Story was passing second base and heading for third.

Somehow, Puig ripped a throw well over 300 feet, traveling 93.5 mph, that soared on the fly right to the third-base bag, where Justin Turner laid the tag for the Story-booked ending.

Puig.

Howie Kendrick an unusual choice for left field, but not the most unusual

Arizona Diamondbacks vs Los Angeles Dodgers

Diamondbacks at Dodgers, 7:10 p.m.
Chase Utley, 2B
Corey Seager, SS
Justin Turner, 3B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Yasiel Puig, RF
Yasmani Grandal, C
Howie Kendrick, LF
Joc Pederson, CF
Alex Wood, P

By Jon Weisman

Howie Kendrick, who shifted from second base to left field late in Tuesday’s game, is making his first start in left since August 13, 2011 and 21st overall.

“In a perfect world, we would’ve gotten him more repetitions (in left field) this spring,” Dave Roberts said, according to J.P. Hoornstra of the Daily News. “The way Chase (Utley) is playing, I want to keep him in the lineup.”

Hoornstra added that Roberts believes that left field might be easier than second base physically for Kendrick, who fought off groin and calf issues to make his 2016 debut Tuesday.

Kendrick isn’t by any means the most unusual Dodger left fielder in recent years. Consider these …

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Yasiel Puig’s 96 mph fastball — from right field

Jill Weisleder/Los Angeles Dodgers

Jill Weisleder/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

Just how strong is Yasiel Puig’s arm?

This week at MLB.com, MLB Statcast analyst Mike Petriello wrote about the top outfield arms in baseball. His methodology in brief appears at the end of this post. I followed up by asking Statcast for some numbers specific to the Dodgers, and here’s what I got:

  • 96.0 mph — Yasiel Puig
  • 90.8 mph — Joc Pederson
  • 90.5 mph — Scott Van Slyke
  • 88.5 mph — Alex Guerrero
  • 88.2 mph — Kiké Hernandez
  • 87.7 mph — Andre Ethier
  • 79.7 mph — Carl Crawford

Puig was 2.6 mph behind Houston’s Jake Marsinick, the top outfield arm in the Majors. Here’s a 99.4 mph throw that Puig made at Houston in August:

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The Dodgers’ best 30 plays of the second half

Screen Shot 2015-12-12 at 4.09.28 PM

By Cary Osborne

Back in July, we gave you the best plays of the first half of the season. Let’s close the book with the top plays of the second half.

Going through many plays, a couple things stand out. Man, Joc Pederson covers a lot of ground in center field. Man, I still scratch my head watching that play where the fan tried to take the ball away from Adrian Gonzalez. And don’t try top steal home on Clayton Kershaw.

Enough of my commentary, just enjoy …

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Zack Greinke repeats as NL Gold Glove pitcher

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Photo: Jon SooHoo

By Jon Weisman

Zack Greinke has won his second consecutive National League Gold Glove Award. Known for his athleticism, Greinke was credited with nine defensive runs saved by Fangraphs, 50 percent more than anyone else in the league.

Greinke is the third two-time Gold Glove-winning pitcher, following Andy Messersmith and Greg Maddux. Fernando Valenzuela, Orel Hershiser and Clayton Kershaw are the Dodgers’ other Gold Glove-winning hurlers.

Adrian Gonzalez, a finalist for the Gold Glove at first base and a four-time winner including 2014, was beaten out by Arizona’s Paul Goldschmidt.

2015 Dodgers Top 50: The best plays of the first half

Los Angeles Dodgers vs Texas Rangers

By Jon Weisman

We’re through the first 81 games of the 2015 season, and the Dodgers’ first half was nothing if not action-packed. To be completely honest with you, I tried to trim this collection of top Dodger plays down to 50 — removing some really fine moments — but if you count, you’ll find a few extra.

So I say, revel in it. Sit back, click and enjoy …

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Could Joc Pederson become NL’s first rookie Gold Glove outfielder?

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Dodgers at Rangers, 5:05 p.m.
Joc Pederson, CF
Yasiel Puig, RF
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Justin Turner, 3B
Andre Ethier, LF
Yasmani Grandal, C
Alex Guerrero, DH
Jimmy Rollins, SS
(Brett Anderson, P)

By Cary Osborne

No National League outfield rookie has ever won a Gold Glove Award. But more than a third of the way through the season, Dodger center fielder and Rookie of the Year candidate Joc Pederson has a strong chance of becoming the first.

Certainly Sunday’s game-saving, wall-crashing, goose bump-inviting, did-you-just-see that catch in San Diego provided some fuel for the argument. But beyond that, Pederson is already one of the NL’s best defensive center fielders.

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Gallerama: Hot shots at Kershaw

By Jon Weisman

Clayton Kershaw stayed in the game after being struck by a Justin Upton liner in the first inning tonight — the latest in a seemingly never-ending series of shots up the middle against the Dodger ace.

Here’s a sample from the past two seasons …

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In case you missed it: Andre Ethier keeps on truckin’

Los Angeles Dodgers vs San Diego Padres

For more images from Friday, visit LA Photog Blog — here and here.

Dodgers at Padres, 5:40 p.m.
Jimmy Rollins, SS
Andre Ethier, RF
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Yasmani Grandal, C
Carl Crawford, LF
Juan Uribe, 3B
Joc Pederson, CF
Brandon McCarthy, P

By Jon Weisman

So-called reserve outfielder Andre Ethier hasn’t exactly been a wallflower this season.

With Yasiel Puig’s left hamstring again ailing, Ethier is making his eighth start this season. He is also appearing in his 16th game out of the Dodgers’ first 17, more than every other Dodger except Adrian Gonzalez, Howie Kendrick, Jimmy Rollins and Joc Pederson.

So far in 2015, Ethier is 9 for 30 with four walks, two hit-by-pitches and an extra-base hit of each kind, giving the 33-year-old a .405 on-base percentage and .900 slugging percentage. All but five of his plate appearances have come against right-handed pitchers, which is what he’s facing tonight in San Diego’s Ian Kennedy.

Here are some other pregame notes:

  • Both Puig and reliever Joel Peralta are candidates to go on the disabled list, Don Mattingly toward reporters today, but no decision has been made. Peralta told Ken Gurnick of MLB.com that he has no pain but also no strength in his right arm.
  • Right-handed pitcher Scott Baker has arrived in San Diego with the intent of making the start Sunday for the Dodgers. Baker, who came within one strike of a seven-inning perfect game for Triple-A Oklahoma City on Monday, allowed two runs on 10 hits with one walk while striking out 16 in his three minor-league starts. The 33-year-old had a 5.47 ERA with 55 strikeouts in 80 2/3 innings for Texas last season.
  • Hyun-Jin Ryu is going to throw a bullpen session, possibly as soon as Sunday, Mattingly said.
  • Defensive positioning paid off in two big ways for the Dodgers in Friday’s 3-0 victory over San Diego. In the second inning, Howie Kendrick was standing almost directly behind second base when he caught Wil Myers’ line drive, completing Zack Greinke’s escape from a bases-loaded, none-out jam. And shortstop Jimmy Rollins ended up on the other side of second base when he threw out Yonder Alonso with two on and two out in the bottom of the eight.
  • Rollins went 0 for 4 to lower his on-base percentage to .282, but he really saved the Dodgers in that eighth inning, throwing out Wil Myers from the grass in left field for the first out, then later knocking down a Justin Upton shot to keep Matt Kemp from scoring from second base.
  • With his seven shutout innings, Zack Greinke lowered his ERA to 1.35, fourth in the National League.
  • Yimi Garcia’s perfect ninth inning, leading to his first Major League save, means that he has faced 36 batters this season and allowed only three singles and three walks while striking out 16.
  • Carl Crawford, who hit his first homer of 2015 Friday, did not hit between .200 and .300 in any given month last season. His batting averages the last three months of 2014: .163, .313, .448. Crawford is currently batting .244 with a .262 on-base percentage and .390 slugging percentage.
  • When Yasmani Grandal had to settle for a double after nearly hitting a home run in the second inning Friday, it set the stage for Juan Uribe’s first RBI of the 2015 season. Uribe hasn’t had more steals than homers since 2002, but for now, he’s one up in the stolen-base department.
  • First-base coach Davey Lopes, who turns 70 May 3, “is the oldest person in uniform with a big league team this season,” according to Tracy Ringolsby of MLB.com.