October 15, 1988 was an iconic day in Dodgers history. October 20, 1988 was a big deal too. Since then, perhaps no day has filled a Dodger fan with joy as much as today. Barring an eleventh hour hiccup, the Dodgers are no longer owned by Frank McCourt as of today. Today is day one of the Stan Kasten/Magic Johnson regime.
With new ownership comes new hope, with fresh cash blanketing the embarrassment and mediocrity that defined the Dodgers in recent seasons. There figure to be no more off-seasons requiring an offensive upgrade that yield Mark Ellis as the big catch.
It might not be so easy to just throw money around, of course. The Cubs haven't had that much success after all, and the Yankees have just one World Series championship in the past 11 years. It does, however, promise to be much better than it has been.
Naturally, the free agent market isn't as rosy as a Dodger fan would hope. Albret Pujols, Prince Fielder, Andrew McCutchen, Joey Votto...all tied up. They could get creative in trades to acquire a big contract, and Bill Shaikin floats the intriguing idea of flipping pitching depth for Carl Crawford. Ken Rosenthal thinks that any big splash is unlikely, with theDodgers waiting until the offseason to make a big move.
While we know little of the operations management of the new Dodgers' ownership, they figure to be a huge step up. The Dodgers are still paying millions of dollars to Manny Ramirez, Andruw Jones and Juan Pierre, among others. Much of that money disappears after this season, meaning the rising salaries of Clayton Kershaw and Matt Kemp are buffered.
The rough patch is over. The big bad Dodgers were down. The Rockies managed just a 166-179 record in the McCourt era after the drama of the divorce was announced. The Dodgers? 178-167. The Rockies couldn't even keep up with the Dodgers' dark ages, and there is potential now for the team to be as strong as ever in years to come.
NL West Report
Arizona (11-11, W1, 3rd, 5.0 GB)
You Should Know: From AZSnakePit:
Last year #dbacks only lost four times when leading after seven innings. (Saturday) was their third such defeat already in 2012.— Jim McLennan (@AZSnakepit) April 29, 2012
Divisional Change: Took sole possession over third place, but fell one game behind the Dodgers.
News: Vladimir Guerrero will work out for the Diamondbacks and may be used as an interleague DH. Arizona used a similar tactic last year, riding Wily Mo Pena during interleague.
It really is unfair. Daniel Hudson gets hurt, Josh Collmenter is indeed a pumpkin. Instead of calling up Tyler Skaggs, Trevor Bauer or even Patrick Corbin, the Diamondbacks turned to Wade Miley, who had been in the bullpen. All Miley did was take a one-hitter into the seventh inning, and he is boasting a pretty strong stat line for the season.
#36 / Pitcher / Arizona Diamondbacks
Nov 13, 1986
|2012 - Wade Miley||3-0||5||2||0||0||0||0||21.0||10||4||3||1||7||15||1.29||.81|
Miley is just one of five Diamondbacks pitchers with ERA's under 2.00, joining Brad Ziegler, Craig Breslow and Bryan Shaw. Oh right, I said five. Joe Saunders checks in at 0.90 (with a 2.98 FIP). The Diamondbacks do plan to callup Patrick Corbin to start today's game in Collmenter's spot. Corbin had a 1.67 ERA in 4 starts at AA Mobile.
Lyle Overbay hasn't been the future at 1B in Arizona in almost a decade if ever, but he has a 151 OPS+ so far this season. Paul Goldschmidt IS the future, or he was supposed to be, but his 49 OPS+ creates a difficult shuffle for Kirk Gibson at first base.
Quotable: In a Josh Johnson/Wade Miley matchup, a hitter had the following to say:
"It was awesome. He's really nasty and has some good stuff. I'm glad I don't have to face him. It's pretty fun to watch." - Jason Kubel on...Miley.
Transactions: Designated RHP Jonathan Albaladejo for assignment and optioned LHP Joe Paterson (4/24). Called up RHP Joe Martinez and LHP Mike Zagurski (4/24). RHP Jonathan Albaladejo cleared waivers and was assigned to AAA Reno.
Injuries: SS Stephen Drew (ankle) played three innings of extended spring training last Friday and should return in the next two weeks. RHP Daniel Hudson (shoulder) threw from 60 feet Friday and is still at least two weeks away. CF Chris Young (shoulder) received treatment on his shoulder and should return in the next weeks.
Arizona Diamondbacks Injuries
Los Angeles (16-6, W3, 1st)
Last Week: 4-2. 1-2 vs. Braves. 3-0 vs. Nationals.
You Should Know: The National League leader in Walk Percentage is a Dodger. It is...AJ Ellis, who has walked his way on base 20.9% of his plate appearances, which has helped him to an ever-quiet 135 wRC+ and 0.8 fWAR April.
This Week: 3 game road series @ Rockies. 3 game road series @ Cubs.
Divisional Change: Gained a half game in the division, pushing their record to 4.0 full games.
News: Bill Shaikin does not believe Bobby Abreu is a fit with the Dodgers, unless it is in a Jason Giambi role.
Andre Ethier has expressed in the past a desire and expectation to leave Los Angeles. Now that he is playing well, Ned Colletti says he always planned on keeping Ethier.
#16 / Right Field / Los Angeles Dodgers
Apr 10, 1982
|2012 - Andre Ethier||22||83||11||23||6||1||5||24||6||23||0||0||.277||.333||.554|
Kenley Jansen got the save yesterday, even though Javy Guerra warmed up. Javy Guerra is (supposedly) the closer. Eric Stephen sorts through the clues of the (maybe) closer controversy.
Matt Kemp hit a walk-off home run during Bryce Harper's debut, and he was happy about it.
Eric Stephen has a solid week recap on the Dodgers.
The Angels were the "California Angels" for 42 seasons. Then they were the Anaheim Angels for eight years. It's hard to believe, but this is already Year 8 of "Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim." The transition of the Angels to a legitimate rival to the Dodgers in Los Angeles has be slow in the making, and the name has been evolving to fit. Next stop: Los Angeles Angels. Seriously. With Angel Stadium of Anaheim, the Angels might just infringe on Dodgers territory more by moving to downtown Los Angeles. As Bill Shaikin wrote:
What could possibly wipe the smiles off the faces of Magic Johnson, Stan Kasten and Mark Walter? How about the Angels moving into a new ballpark in downtown Los Angeles, three miles from Dodger Stadium?
Quotable: Manager Don Mattingly, on those that doubt the Dodgers are for real.
"I can't be concerned with chatter. We win games, but we're not beating anybody. Now we play two hot teams, 'Well, you did it at home and now you have to do it on the road.'"
Transactions: Called up LHP Michael Antonini from AAA Albuquerque (4/24). Called up RHP Nathan Eovaldi and optioned LHP Michael Anonini to AAA Albuquerque (4/27). Optioned RHP Nathan Eovaldi to AA Chattanooga (4/29).
Injuries: Placed RHP Matt Guerrier (elbow tendinitis) on the 15-day DL retroactive to April 19 (4/24). RHP Aaron Harang is day-to-day with a bruised foot. 2B Ivan DeJusus Jr (oblique) played a rehab game Friday. RHP Todd Coffey is expected to come off the disabled list today. LF Juan Rivera has missed five consecutive games with a hamstring strain.
Los Angeles Dodgers Injuries
|Player||Injury Type||Injury Date|
|Player||Injury Type||Injury Date|
|Ivan De Jesus||oblique||03/26/2012|
60 Day DL / Out for the season
|Player||Injury Type||Injury Date|
|Rubby De La Rosa||elbow||02/23/2012|
San Diego (7-16, L2, 5th, 9.5 GB)
Last Week: 2-4. 1-2 vs. Nationals. 1-2 @ Giants. The Padres are still looking for their first series victory of the season.
You Should Know: At 9.5 GB, the Padres are tied with the Angels for the furthest behind their division leader in the league.
This Week: 3 game home series vs. Brewers. 3 game home series vs. Marlins.
Divisional Change: Fell two games further behind in the division.
News: Former Dodgers owner Peter O'Malley is hoping to have a deal in place by the All-Star break to purchase the Padres.
Jason Bartlett is on pace to have a $5.5million option for 2013 vest based on plate appearances.
#7 / Third Base / San Diego Padres
May 09, 1984
|2012 - Chase Headley||23||79||16||20||6||0||4||14||19||25||2||0||.253||.394||.481|
Padres CEO hints that the Padres are considering moving the fences in at PetCo Park. Don't get too excited though. This is the third time such an idea has been pursued. It seems to come in four year cycles.
Quotable: Interim CEO Tom Garfinkel on moving the fences in:
"I do believe it is too extreme right now. It will still be a pitcher's ballpark. But a hitter should be rewarded if he crushes it. And if a team is down 4-0, they should feel there is some hope. It's just too extreme....We'd have to submit plans by the end of the season...We have to get it right. We are studying everything"
San Diego Padres Injuries
San Francisco (12-10, 2nd, 4.0 GB)
Last Week: 5-3. 2-0 @ Mets. 1-2 @ Reds. 2-1 vs. Padres.
You Should Know: From the Mercury News:
There have been eight games at AT&T Park this season, and twice pitchers have broken up no-hitters in the sixth inning. Weird.— Alex Pavlovic (@AlexPavlovic) April 29, 2012
This Week: 3 game home series vs. Marlins. 3 game home series vs. Brewers.
Divisional Change: Jumped past the Rockies for second place in the division, but remained four games behind the Dodgers.
News: Tim Lincecum still doesn't seem right, and despite scouts believing he may have a hip issue, Lincecum denies it.
Quotable: Tim Lincecum, on his struggles:
"Your head's spinning. You don't know what's going on. You're going through 50 different answers to try to get one. Sometimes, it's easy to simplify it and think simple, stupid. Just throw."
Transactions: Called up IF Joaquin Arias from AAA Fresno (4/25). Called up RHP Eric Hacker from AAA Fresno and optioned RHP Dan Otero to AAA Fresno (4/27). Optioned RHP Eric Hacker to AAA Fresno and called up RHP Steve Edlefsen from AAA Fresno (4/28).
Injuries: Placed 1B/LF Aubrey Huff (anxiety) on the 15-day DL retroactive to April 22 (4/25). Transferred RHP Brian Wilson to the 60-day disabled list (4/27).