carl_crawford_openingday2013

Carl Crawford Possibly Hurt His Shoulder, Dodgers Can’t Have Nice Things

carl_crawford_openingday2013

As I told anyone and everyone who would listen to me in Arizona this weekend, the number of 2013 games that the Dodgers had their outfield quartet of Carl Crawford, Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp, and Yasiel Puig healthy and available for nine full innings last season was zero. Nada. Not one. There were only two games in which they even started the day with all four available, and in each, Kemp left early, hurting his shoulder on July 5 against the Giants and mangling his ankle on July 21 in Washington.

Remember: last year’s team gave 99 starts to a group of Scott Van SlykeSkip SchumakerJerry HairstonNick BussAlex Castellanos, and Elian Herrera, then five more to Schumaker in the playoffs. While Joc Pederson wasn’t really in the mix yet, there’s no such thing as too many outfielders until there are literally too many outfielders, and so unless anyone’s greatly interested in seeing 50 starts out of Mike Baxter, any presumed pressure to trade an outfielder is premature until it’s not.

You can probably guess by now that no, there are still not too many outfielders:

Obviously, that’s not a concrete diagnosis, but it’s not great. The Dodgers haven’t commented yet, and aren’t expected to until Don Mattingly addresses the media in Australia, which, after figuring in the time difference, should be… in July. (Fine, it’s 10:30pm Pacific. tonight.) 

Crawford clearly wasn’t playing in the two-game Australian set anyway, so this doesn’t change anything as far as the roster goes for the first two games of the season. Ethier will play center, Puig will play right, and just for kicks, Chone Figgins will probably start both games in left while Van Slyke sits, because the world is a cold dark place where joy does not exist. As far as the real season next week in San Diego, we’ll need to wait and hear more. Needless to say, since Kemp has barely even started playing in spring games, any talk of trading an outfielder should be completely shut down for now.

***

Unrelated — probably? — here’s Clayton Kershaw and his wife with a kangaroo, because absolutely.


About

Mike wrote daily for over six long years (2007-13) about the Dodgers at Mike Scioscia’s Tragic Illness, which was named 2011′s “Best Sports Blog” by LA Weekly. He can currently be found writing multiple times per week at FanGraphs and ESPN, has been a producer and editor for Sports on Earth, and built The Hardball Times. He lives in New York City and will probably be asleep or on vacation when awesome things happen.


613 comments
efb
efb

is livefyre out? 

Dave! (Or Justin Turner, Maybe)
Dave! (Or Justin Turner, Maybe)

Hey Mike or Dustin... since y'all are credentialed journalists now, can you ask Andre where he buys his suits? My wife wants me to get a new one, and I want to make sure she never actually wants me to wear it.

Lobo
Lobo

Dodgers ranked number 10

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/2014-positional-power-rankings-catcher/

"Really, Ellis’ 23-point drop in wRC+ was a 60-point drop in BABIP. That’s the main component, and though there were other changes, BABIP could be blamed for the bulk of it. This ought to be an easily projectable player. You know he’s not going to run much. He’ll walk, he’ll strike out some, and he’ll hit for very modest power. Despite being a Dodger, Ellis is the opposite of flashy, but he’s reliable and he might be developing his throwing arm. Last season he nabbed 28 of 63 runners, although it’s possible this had more to do with the pitching staff.

I’ll throw out some framing numbers again, for A.J. Ellis:

2010: -2.0 strikes/game
2011: -1.1
2012: -1.0
2013: -0.5

It stands to reason that pitch-framing could be coachable. It stands to reason that Ellis could be getting better in that department. It stands to reason the Dodgers are pretty happy with their catching situation, all things considered."

Purple Drank
Purple Drank

@Hoze  "Kershaw doesn't pitch to the score"

"He's not good in close games"

#DKnarrative

Jeremy_N
Jeremy_N

@Hoze  bat flips should be encouraged not frowned upon. oh so you think i showed you up pitcher? yes, yes, i did. you brought some weak ass stuff into my house and i put it where it belonged. 

Subtle Euphemism aka Jonathan Lingo
Subtle Euphemism aka Jonathan Lingo

Incidentally, that famous phrase "it's a round bat and a round ball, and you have to hit it square" doesn't really apply with a cricket bat.

Hoze
Hoze

@Lobo  Jason Castro and Yan Gomes at 3.1 WAR seem very generous projections 

Haikairu
Haikairu

@Lobo  GuestCommenter4576 He's not Yadier Molina, therefore he sux.

Purple Drank
Purple Drank

@Keita Mikami @efb  I think Bill Plunkett got the message that Drank liked his joke from yesterday. Thanks a lot to you two for making it happen!

Hoze
Hoze

sigh... what couldve been if the McCourt's were removed a year or two earlier..

Lobo
Lobo

@PagansOedipalComplex @Disgruntled Goat @Keita Mikami @Hoze ZiPS projects Fielder to not be much better offensively (once you adjust for park) and significantly worse on defense and on the basepaths.  Give me Adrian, he's not the player he once was but he's likely to continue being a 3 WAR player for at least the next 3 years.  I have serious doubts Fielder can maintain that level of production while still playing 1st base (and if he becomes a full time DH, that would make him worthless to us)

Lobo
Lobo

@PagansOedipalComplex @Lobo @Disgruntled Goat @Keita Mikami @Hoze  "To get Kinsler, they lose Fielder, who Steamer projects as a +3.7 WAR player next year. Except that projection actually does raise a few eyebrows, as it forecasts a return to his career average wRC+ — a significant bump over what he did last year — and then projects him to post his best baserunning value since 2007 (-3.7, so still bad but less awful than he has been every year since his first season as a regular) and only penalizes him -1 run on defense relative to an average first baseman, far better than his past performances would suggest. I think this is about as generous a forecast for Fielder as you can get, giving him very little penalty for the non-hitting parts of baseball, and believing that his mediocre 2013 season was not the beginning of any kind of long term downwards trend."

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/tigers-exchange-albatross-for-good-player-get-even-better/

Haikairu
Haikairu

@Hoze  We would also have Prince Fielder right now. Which... Nobody wants.