White Sox @ Dodgers June 4, 2014: The Lefty Lineup Shuffle

dodger_stadium_openingday2013Following last night’s frustrating loss, the Dodgers will try to salvage a series win against the White Sox behind Josh Beckett tonight. Trying to prevent the team from reaching that goal is lefty John Danks. Danks, after a great string of seasons between 2008 and 2011, has been struggling ever since. This year is no different, though it’s impressive how close together his ERA and peripherals are right now. So far this season he has a 4.66 ERA, a 4.67 FIP, and a 4.68 xFIP. This year’s mediocre results have been driven by a walk problem; he’s walking 3.59 batters per nine innings. He has also lost a lot of velocity on his fastball over the past few years.

White Sox
Dodgers
7:10pm PT
Los Angeles, CA
CF
Eaton
2B
Gordon
2B
Beckham
RF
Puig
1B
Abreu
SS
Ramirez
LF
Dunn
1B
Gonzalez
SS
Ramirez
LF
Kemp
RF
De Aza
CF
Van Slyke
C
Flowers
3B
Turner
3B
Garcia
C
Butera
P
Danks (L)
P
Beckett (R)

While the lineup facing right-handed pitchers has been relatively stable, the left-handed lineup has been tinkered with a lot lately. Tonight is no different. Yasiel Puig, Hanley Ramirez, and Adrian Gonzalez all move up a spot, which is great. However, when one of the primary offensive issues is “nobody can get on base for Puig,” seeing Dee Gordon lead off against a lefty is frustrating. Scott Van Slyke is in center again, which is fun.

Josh Beckett starts for the Dodgers tonight. His curveball has been talked about a lot recently, both here and elsewhere. His last start featured his highest curveball frequency all year, 31 of 87 pitches (35.63%).  He allowed two line drives against the pitch that night. Those two line drives were the first he had allowed with the curveball since May 8th, and only the fifth and sixth line drives he’s allowed against the pitch all year. The curve has also shown an impressive velocity range lately. In his last start, Beckett’s average curveball velocity was 73mph. However, he threw the pitch anywhere between 65 and 77mph.

Carl Crawford continues to recover quickly, and could be off the disabled list as soon as he is eligible.

Don Zimmer, quintessential baseball man, has passed away at the age of 83. Zimmer started his 65 year professional baseball career with the Dodgers and went on to play or coach for twelve more franchises. He made his major-league debut for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1954 and played for the world-champion Dodgers of 1955. He moved west with the team and remained with them until 1959, returning for a short stint during the 1963 season. Most recently, Zimmer was a coach for the Tampa Bay Rays. He will be missed.

ThrowsRelieverSat 10/15Sun 10/16Mon 10/17Tue 10/18Wed 10/19Thur 10/20Fri 10/21
LAvilan--OFF-2421OFF
RBaez34-OFF-2727OFF
RBlanton28-OFF13-19OFF
LDayton3-OFF16-12OFF
RFields--OFF-910OFF
RJansen-18OFF21--OFF
RStripling10-OFF-2018OFF
LWood--OFF-32-OFF

About Daniel Brim

Daniel Brim
Daniel Brim grew up in the Los Angeles area but doesn't live there anymore. He still watches the Dodgers and writes about them sometimes.