Results tagged ‘ Matt Kemp ’

Greinke, Kershaw not alone in post-award arguments

Mike Piazza in 1997. Todd Warshaw/Allsport/Getty Images

Mike Piazza in 1997. Todd Warshaw/Allsport/Getty Images

By Cary Osborne

After Wednesday’s Cy Young Award announcements, we know that Zack Greinke has the best pitching season by a Dodger to not get recognized with a Cy Young Award. And it might be the best ever by a pitcher who didn’t win the prize. Clayton Kershaw’s season might be the second best by a Dodger who didn’t win the Cy Young Award.

They’re not alone. Other Dodgers have had strong arguments for season-ending awards and were left empty-handed.

Looking back at some of the best seasons by Dodger pitchers who didn’t win a Cy Young Award, it’s easy to see why they were passed over.

Reliever Ron Perranoski had an incredible 1963 out of the bullpen — a 16-3 record, 21 saves and a 1.67 ERA in 69 appearances. Perranoski even finished fourth in the NL MVP voting. Some guy named Koufax won the Cy Young that year.

Don Sutton had a 2.08 ERA and 0.91 WHIP in 272 2/3 innings in 1972 and finished tied for fifth. No one was beating Steve Carlton with his 1.97 ERA and 310 strikeouts in 346 1/3 innings.

But there are some former Dodgers who could look back at the Rookie of the Year and MVP awards and share argument stories with Greinke and Kershaw. Actually, Kershaw could argue twice about the Cy Young Award.

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Jacob Scavuzzo emerges as a prospect to watch

By Cary Osborne

Yes, there are Dodgers playing baseball in October. Nine players from the minor league system are on the Glendale Desert Dogs of the prospect-rich Arizona Fall League.

Maybe the Arizona Fall League is where we will see a Dodger farmhand continue to blossom. And maybe that farmhand is outfielder Jacob Scavuzzo.

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A medical look at Grandal’s slump and hope for ’16

Jon SooHoo/ ©Los Angeles Dodgers,LLC 2015

Jon SooHoo/ ©Los Angeles Dodgers,LLC 2015

By Cary Osborne

Let’s put in better perspective what Yasmani Grandal was going through in the second half of 2015 with the AC (acromioclavicular) joint injury in his left shoulder. Then we can better understand why he saw such a precipitous fall in his offensive numbers.

Grandal had a 45-minute surgery performed by Dodgers head team physician Dr. Neal ElAttrache on Wednesday to repair the joint. ElAttrache described how an injury like this might affect someone performing everyday functions.

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Grandal and Turner going in for offseason repair

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By Cary Osborne

Yasmani Grandal and Justin Turner will have surgery this week. Both players are expected to be ready for Spring Training.

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Home Run Derby adds a Joc star

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By Cary Osborne

No Major League rookie has more home runs and no Major Leaguer hits them on average farther than Joc Pederson. Now he has a stage built to show off that power.

Pederson will represent the Dodgers in the 2015 Gillette Home Run Derby presented by Head & Shoulders.

The 23-year-old is one of eight players who will compete on Monday at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, the day before the Major League Baseball All-Star Game. He will be competing against fellow rookie Kris Bryant (Cubs), along with Anthony Rizzo (Cubs), Todd Frazier (Reds), Prince Fielder (Rangers), Albert Pujols (Angels), Josh Donaldson (Blue Jays) and Manny Machado (Orioles).

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Look who’s haunting his old team

San Diego Padres vs Los Angeles Dodgers

Padres at Dodgers, 7:10 p.m.
Jimmy Rollins, SS
Yasiel Puig, 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

Well, with all that’s been going on in this Dodgers-Padres series, it’s about time we confront how much damage that All-Star slugger is doing to his old division rival.

Yes, Adrian Gonzalez is hammering the Padres.

No, the Padres didn’t trade Gonzalez directly to the Dodgers, but they did part ways with him, and now he’s in Los Angeles taking his old team to task.

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Storytime theater ends happily for Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

Opening Day at Dodger Stadium usually makes for a good story. But it’s hard to remember one when there was so much story.

Game 1 of 162 wasn’t merely a contest between the two top contenders in the National League West, it was a full-throated battle for narrative.

Matt Kemp took the early lead in the bid for headlines, Clayton Kershaw threatened to sneak his way back in, and Adrian Gonzalez, Howie Kendrick and the Padres’ defense all had their moments in the sun (literally and figuratively). For good measure, you had Hanley Ramirez threatening to show up the Dodgers, hitting two home runs out in a far-off time zone.

But standing large-font triumphant at the end of the day were Jimmy Rollins, the Dodger bullpen and ultimately, the Dodgers themselves.

Los Angeles did its fans the big favor of sending them home with a 6-3 victory over San Diego — and plenty of tales to tell.

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Kershaw’s 1,500th and other milestones ahead in ’15

Photos: Jon Soo Hoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Photos: Jon Soo Hoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Dodgers at Angels, 7:05 p.m.
Jimmy Rollins, SS
Yasiel Puig, RF
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Scott Van Slyke, LF
Yasmani Grandal, C
Juan Uribe, 3B
Justin Turner, DH
Joc Pederson, CF
(Brandon McCarthy, P)

By Cary Osborne

With 1,445 career strikeouts entering the season, Clayton Kershaw should become the second-youngest left-hander in baseball’s modern era to reach 1,500 strikeouts for his career.

And with that, we start the conversation of potential Dodger milestones in 2015.

The fastest MLB pitcher to reach 1,500 strikeouts was Sam McDowell, who hit the mark on June 27, 1969, at 26 years, nine months and six days. Based on Kershaw’s 162-game averages, he should reach the halfway point to 3,000 in early May, less than two months after his 27th birthday.

That would best Fernando Valenzuela, who at 27 years, six months and 13 days old struck out Ron Gant for number 1,500 on June 14, 1988.

Kershaw could also surpass Orel Hershiser (1,456 strikeouts) for sixth place in franchise history as soon as Opening Day. Valenzuela is the next target, at 1,759. Hershiser and Valenzuela rank fourth and fifth respectively in Los Angeles Dodgers history.

In addition, Kershaw has a chance to become baseball’s all-time best Opening Day pitcher, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Kershaw’s 0.35 Opening Day ERA (one run in 25 2/3 innings) trails only Rip Sewell’s 0.29 (one run in 31 innings). Andy Messersmith is third at 0.67 (two runs in 27 innings).

Here’s another note about Kershaw. He comes into the 2015 season ranked tied for fifth all-time in strikeouts per nine innings, among pitchers with at least 1,250 innings pitched. At 9.44, he is even with San Francisco’s Tim Lincecum. Here is the top four:

  1. Randy Johnson (10.61)
  2. Kerry Wood (10.32)
  3. Pedro Martinez (10.04)
  4. Nolan Ryan (9.55)

Now onto the others. This one is kind of a crazy thought. This marks Adrian Gonzalez’s fourth season with the Dodgers and third full year with the team. With 13 home runs this season, he will crack the franchise’s all-time top 10 in home runs by a first baseman. With 20, he’d be seventh all time. Gonzalez has 52 home runs as a Dodger. Eddie Murray is 10th at 65. Gonzalez also needs 34 RBI to reach 1,000 for his career.

Jon SooHoo/© Los Angeles Dodgers,LLC 2014Andre Ethier is all over the Dodgers’ top-10 lists. He is seventh in franchise history among outfielders with 1,238 hits. Hy Myers is sixth at 1,253.

Ethier is also seventh in home runs by an outfielder with 145. Willie Davis is sixth at 154. And, Ethier is seventh in RBI for an outfielder with 629. Matt Kemp is sixth at 648.

With two home runs, Ethier will crack the Los Angeles all-time top 10. Adrian Beltre sits at No. 10 with 147, followed by Davis.

Ethier has 281 career doubles. Bill Russell ranks 10th in franchise history with 293, one behind Gil Hodges at 294.

Ethier has 453 career extra-base hits. Ron Cey is fourth in L.A. history at 469.

New shortstop Jimmy Rollins is one of the greatest offensive players at his position in baseball history. Among shortstops all time, he ranks sixth in doubles (479), eighth in home runs (216), 11th in stolen bases (453), 14th in triples (111) and 20th in hits (2,306). If he duplicates his numbers from 2014, he would move up to seventh in home runs, 12th in triples and 13th in hits.

At 470 stolen bases, Carl Crawford needs five to surpass Roberto Alomar and move into 42nd all time. He also needs 132 hits to reach 2,000 for his career.

We close with the closer. Kenley Jansen has 106 career saves, which ranks fifth in franchise history. If he saves 24 games this season, he would surpass Jeff Shaw’s 129 and move into second all-time behind Eric Gagne, who saved 161 games as a Dodger.

Matt Kemp’s Opening Day visit to Dodger Stadium is unprecedented

Matt Kemp first faced the Dodgers in a March 12 exhibition game. A week from today, it counts.

Matt Kemp first faced the Dodgers in a March 12 exhibition game. A week from today, it counts. (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

For photos from Sunday, visit LA Photog Blog.

Dodgers at Diamondbacks, 1:10 p.m.
Jimmy Rollins, SS
Yasiel Puig, RF
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Carl Crawford, LF
Juan Uribe, 3B
Joc Pederson, CF
A.J. Ellis, C
Brett Anderson, P

By Jon Weisman

If you’re like Vin Scully, and you think it’s going to be weird to see Matt Kemp suit up for the Padres against the Dodgers on Opening Day in his first official career game for another team, you’re right.

Nothing like it has ever happened.

In the history of Dodger Stadium Opening Days, no other former Dodger — let alone one of Kemp’s current magnitude — has made his debut for an opponent before Scully and friends.

There have been a few former Dodgers to play for the opposition at Dodger Stadium on Opening Day, most recently Dave Roberts for the Giants in 2008 and Ismael Valdez for the Padres in 2004, but not very many, and they were always years removed from their last appearance in Dodger blue. (If you want to include road openers, former Dodger knuckleballer Charlie Hough pitched the Marlins’ first MLB game ever, against the Dodgers in 1993.)

Steve Garvey — the biggest name to go directly from Los Angeles to San Diego before Kemp — was at first base for the Padres at Dodger Stadium on Opening Day 1986, but Garvey was already in his fourth season with San Diego.

WelcomeThe highest-profile Dodger ever to play his next game for an opponent on Opening Day at Dodger Stadium was Reggie Smith, who started at first base for the Giants on April 6, 1982 — Los Angeles’ first official game since winning the World Series. Even this couldn’t be considered a big a deal as Kemp. Though revered by this author, Smith was not a career Dodger, and he had already ceased to be an integral part of the team by 1981, collecting seven hits and seven walks the entire year.

To find a Dodger regular who played an Opening Day for an opponent in Los Angeles the very next year, you have to go all the way back to a different venue and the very first Game No. 1 played in Los Angeles: April 12, 1960. (The Dodgers opened on the road for their first two seasons after moving from Brooklyn.) That player was Don Zimmer, who had been pushed to the bench by shortstop Maury Wills midway through the 1959 season.

That’s not to say there wasn’t some shock for local fans: Zimmer was traded to the Cubs on April 8, only four days before the start of the season, which found him at third base for Chicago at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

Still, Don Zimmer playing for the Cubs at a Dodger home opener is nothing compared with what it’s going to be like to see Matt Kemp playing right field for the Padres a week from today. Surreal is a word that comes to mind. As Scully put it, the idea of Clayton Kershaw facing Kemp with the game on the line is, for now at least, mind-blowing.

That being said, time marches on, and so eventually will our sensibilities. If we could get used to Garvey in a Padre uniform, anything’s possible. (Well, almost anything.)

Actually, the Dodgers should have as much power as the 2014 team

Yasmani Grandal hits a grand slam home run at AT&T Park on September 25 in San Francisco. The home run was Grandal's second of the game.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Yasmani Grandal hits a grand slam at AT&T Park on September 25 in San Francisco. The home run was Grandal’s second of the game. (Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

By Cary Osborne

The cry when Hanley Ramirez left for free agency and Matt Kemp was traded to San Diego was, “Well, there goes the power.”

Actually, the power might not have left the Dodgers after all.

During the offseason, the Dodgers lost eight players who hit home runs in 2014 (Kemp 25, Ramirez 13, Drew Butera 3, Dee Gordon 2, and Miguel Rojas, Tim Federowicz, Carlos Triunfel and Roger Bernadina with one each). That’s 47 home runs. Gone. Kaput. Those players all combined to slug .403.

The Dodgers as a team slugged .406 in 2014.

Now, remove those guys, and the Dodgers slugged .407.

Now let’s mention four additions to the 2015 Dodgers — Jimmy Rollins (17 home runs), Yasmani Grandal (15), Howie Kendrick (seven) and Chris Heisey (eight). Those four players combined to hit — wait for it — 47 home runs in 2014. Their collective slugging percentage was .403.

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