marlins_park

Dodgers @ Marlins May 4, 2014: Reminder, Jose Fernandez Is Amazing

marlins_parkIt’s Fife-tastic! Stephen Fife, recalled today to start against Miami with Jose Dominguez going back to Triple-A, is just the best kind of guy to have in your organization. You never, ever want to start a season with him in your rotation, and you don’t ever want to have to rely on him for 30 starts, but you know that a few times a year you’re going to need to dip into the minors and ask for some solid innings from him, and more often than not he’ll deliver.

Of course, 2014 hasn’t exactly gotten off to a wonderful start for Fife down in Triple-A. I’m not too worried about his walk rate, because that’s almost entirely the result of a single game. (In five of his six appearances, he’s walked zero or one; in the other, a start on April 14 against Tacoma, he walked six.) I am, however, worried about his sudden inability to miss bats. In 20.1 innings, he’s whiffed only 11. That’s not going to fly in the minors, and it’s certainly not going to work in the big leagues.

Dodgers
Marlins
10:10 am PT
Miami, FL
2B
Gordon
LF
Yelich
RF
Puig
2B
Dietrich
SS
Ramirez
RF
Stanton
1B
Gonzalez
3B
McGehee
CF
Kemp
C
Saltalamacchia
LF
Crawford
1B
Jones
3B
Uribe
2B
Ozuna
C
Butera
SS
Hechavarria
P
Fife (R)
P
Fernandez (R)

Also not working in Fife’s favor: Jose Fernandez opposes him on the mound, and if this is even possible, I feel like he’s still somehow underrated. Over the last calendar year, he has a 1.77 ERA, the best in baseball. He’s been one of the three most valuable pitchers in the game (and that Clayton Kershaw is still tops on that list, even having barely pitched in 2014, says a lot about how wonderful he is)… and he’s still only 21. It’s just absurd how wonderful Fernandez is.

Oh, and in 125.2 innings at home, he’s allowed 14 earned runs and a .159/.217/.227, so good luck with that, Dodger lineup. You’ll notice that the lineup does include Carl Crawford rather than Andre Ethier, even though it seemed like Crawford was quickly receding into the “fourth outfielder” role; I guess last night’s homer really counted for something. (Who are we kidding, though — we all know it’s because Crawford is 3-6 against Fernandez, while Ethier is 0-6.)

Fife is all but certain to get shipped back down to Albuquerque after this start to make room for Kershaw to return in Washington, and that’s good news that’s sorely needed, because I’m starting to get worried about Hyun-jin Ryu. Ken Gurnick reports that Ryu has flown back to Los Angeles to get examined by Dr. Neal ElAttrache. We originally heard that Ryu’s shoulder soreness wasn’t expected to be serious, and maybe it won’t be, but this certainly can’t be seen as a good sign.

* * *

Dee Gordon, first 14 games: .373/.421/.510. Second 14 games: .344/.355/.426. That looked a whole hell of a lot different before he picked up eight hits in the last two games, but it’s difficult to not be impressed. He’s not going to carry a .411 BABIP all season long, of course: over the 40 seasons from 1974-2013, a .400 BABIP was topped all of three times, and no one reached .411. So that’s definitely coming down, and it’s still early enough in the year where Troy Tulowitzki is hitting .400. So what I’m trying to say is that I’m not completely sold yet based on a few nice weeks, but the Dodgers are now approximately 20 percent of the way through the season, and that’s far enough in where you can’t totally discount what you’re seeing, either. I don’t know what the future holds for Gordon; I do know that he’s been an absolute wonder so far.

Thurs 8/18Fri 8/19Sat 8/20Sun 8/21Mon 8/22Tues 8/23Wed 8/24
LL. Avilán-------
RP. Báez-22--26-13
RJ. Blanton5-1322-2022
RJ. Chavez-24--1610-
LG. Dayton17-20-17--
LJ.P. Howell-2219-20--
RK. Jansen--016-1514
LA. Liberatore-1114--43

Mike

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Mike writes about lots of baseball in lots of places, and right now that place is MLB.com.


958 comments
Purple Drank
Purple Drank

best takeaway this series: reason to be optimistic with Ethier and Crawford.

Just like everybody with an idea of how baseball stats work has been saying all along.

very smart towel
very smart towel

Jeff Baker was hitting .130/.222/.217

worse than Crawford

DBrim
DBrim moderator

Concussion?

Scroogie
Scroogie

@DBrim  Concussion from the ball smacking him in the head?

YeahYeahNahs
YeahYeahNahs

@DBrim @Scroogie  no. that would result in a bruise and it didnt even hit him that flush. His biggest concern is the shoulder.