Dodgers @ Cardinals July 18, 2014: Back To Business

It has been a while, hasn’t it? After all of the pageantry and fun of the all-star game and a well-deserved vacation for most of the players, the Dodgers kick off the second “half” of the season against the Cardinals in St. Louis.

Dodgers
Cardinals
5:15 p.m. PT
St. Louis, Mo.
2B
Gordon
3B
Carpenter
RF
Puig
2B
Wong
SS
Ramirez
LF
Holliday
1B
Gonzalez
1B
Adams
LF
Kemp
SS
Peralta
CF
Ethier
RF
Craig
3B
Uribe
CF
Jay
C
Ellis
C
Cruz
P
Haren (R)
P
Lynn (R)

Of course, the first thing we’re going to look at is the outfield. Joc Pederson remains in Albuquerque, and after the Dodgers originally tweeted a lineup with two players in right and none in center (probably a mistake, but a hilarious one), the team ended up with Andre Ethier in center. The issue seemed to be boiling over before the break, but maybe the time off relaxed the tension for a little bit. Also of note is the return of Hanley Ramirez, who sat out the last few games before the break.

Before today’s game, the Dodgers recalled Paco Rodriguez. There was no corresponding move, since Pedro Baez was sent down after Sunday’s game. Rodriguez has been in Albuquerque since the beginning of May. In the minors, he pitched 25-2/3 innings and allowed a 4.56 ERA and a 4.17 FIP. The numbers aren’t great, but the most important thing is that he survived. He walked nearly five batters per nine innings, which is still concerning even with the crazy park effects. Hopefully he can re-discover his control at sea level.

While Rodriguez being recalled is great news and automatically makes the bullpen a bit better, it’s really only to keep the bullpen at seven pitchers. The Isotopes moved Red Patterson‘s day in their rotation, which means that Paul Maholm is in the starting rotation until we hear otherwise. Once Josh Beckett is healthy and ready to go, a decision will have to be made. Maybe Chris Perez‘ time on the roster is coming to a close, but I’ll believe it when I actually see it.

Another positive roster move is the return of Justin Turner from the 15 day disabled list. Turner strained his hamstring on June 28th. In order to make room on the roster, Carlos Triunfel was sent back to Albuquerque. Turner was on a hot streak immediately before the injury, but hopefully fans don’t have unrealistic expectations of how he will hit going forward. Turner’s BABIP is currently pretty high for his skill-set (.354) and it will regress a bit as the season continues. Still, the unexpected production came when the Dodgers needed it the most, and even when he hits at a reasonable level he’s a good upgrade over Triunfel. Chone Figgins is getting closer to returning as well. He’s currently rehabbing in Albuquerque, which probably means that he’s less than a week away.

A quick note about Dan Haren, who is starting tonight: his average HR+FB distance this season is 306.86 feet, the highest by any in baseball. When that is input into the HR/FB predictor which was used for the post on Papelbon earlier today, his expected HR/FB ratio is 18.2%. That’s actually higher than what he has allowed so far (15.0%). The average fly ball hit against Dan Haren this season has traveled three feet further than the average fly ball hit by Miguel Cabrera. Yikes.

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.