Padres @ Dodgers May 1, 2016: #ThreadYourFriend

I’d like to personally thank the Dodgers for giving me something to talk about in this game thread other than how terrible they’ve been for the past week. With left-handed pitcher Drew Pomeranz going for the Padres, Dave Roberts has elected to dramatically re-think the lineup. There are some aspects of this that I really like, too. Yasiel Puig leading off isn’t a bad strategy, though it makes more sense to do that from his weaker platoon side (against RHP). Enrique Hernandez hitting second against left-handed pitching makes a ton of sense.

Padres
Dodgers
1:10 p.m. PT
Los Angeles
CF
Jay
RF
Puig
1B
Myers
LF
Hernandez
RF
Kemp
1B
Gonzalez
LF
Upton
3B
Turner
C
Norris
2B
Kendrick
SS
Ramirez
CF
Thompson
3B
Rosales
SS
Seager
2B
Weeks
C
Ellis
P
Pomeranz (L)
P
Kershaw (L)

Still, it’s a bit disappointing to see the Dodgers treat Joc Pederson like a pure platoon player, like Dustin wrote about a couple weeks ago. Additionally, while Trayce Thompson‘s defense has been rated very well by scouts, his limited look in the majors has been less than encouraging. There’s some confirmation bias and probably some butterflies there too, but at some point he’ll need to settle down. A.J. Ellis catches while a left-handed pitcher is going, but any Yasmani Grandal platoon-related complaining should be put on hold, since it’s a day game after a night game (and also, Clayton Kershaw is pitching). Howie Kendrick is probably too high in that lineup after his rough start, but it makes sense to give Chase Utley a day off every now and then.

The Dodgers will face a unique test in Drew Pomeranz, who is having a strange year. Pomeranz was far from a full-time starter in his years with the Rockies and the Athletics, and his strikeout rate was never that great (21.7% career). However, in 2016 he’s struck out a third of the batters he’s faced in his four starts. On out-of-zone swings, batters have made contact 63.9% of the time during his career. This season, batters are making contact on out-of-zone swings 39.7% of the time. The cause of this is pretty hard to diagnose, too. He’s added a cutter (which he doesn’t throw much) and his velocity is down almost 2mph from last year. He is throwing more curves than any other pitch, which may be a part of it. It’s fascinating, really, and it’ll be a puzzle that the Dodgers will have to solve if they want to avoid extending the losing streak.

On the farm, it appears that Jose De Leon‘s temporary shutdown is over. This is good news, because if Ross Stripling were to falter or if somebody got injured, the next pitcher on the depth chart would probably be Zach Lee, who got absolutely shelled in his last AAA outing. De Leon’s shutdown always seemed a bit strange for that reason, since saving innings for an opportunity that looked more likely to present itself early in the season than late in the season is strange for development. If he gets hurt later this season, then the Dodgers will be back to square one trying to build his endurance. As Jeff Passan‘s book The Arm puts it, nobody has any idea what they’re doing.

In happier news, there’s this:

Maybe win today.

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.