Dodgers @ Rangers Aug. 29, 2018: Former teammates square-off

(Via)

The Dodgers finish up their short 2-game set with the Rangers this afternoon. Alex Wood is facing off against Mike Minor — former teammates in Atlanta.

Dodgers
Rangers
5:05 p.m.
Texas
2B
Dozier
LF
Choo
DH
Turner
2B
Odor
3B Machado
SS
Andrus
LF
Kemp
RF
Mazara
CF
Hernandez
DH
Beltre
SS
Taylor
3B
Profar
RF
Puig C Kiner-Falefa
1B
Bellinger
1B
Guzman
C
Grandal
CF
Tocci
P
Wood (L)
P
Minor (L)

Minor, who had a strong season out of the Royals’ bullpen last year, has struggled a bit in his return to the starting rotation for the Rangers. He has a 4.40 ERA, 4.35 FIP and has seen his strikeout percentage dip almost 9 percent. Unfortunately for the Dodgers, he has been pretty good for the last month (2.73 ERA, 3.63 FIP, 19.3 K-BB%), so they’ll be tested tonight.

Wood gets the call for the Dodgers. He’s coming off his shortest outing in 2 1/2 months his last time out against the Cardinals (4 IP, 7 H, 3 R/ER, 2 BB, 4 K). Since getting roughed up a bit in Colorado on June 3, Wood has been a solid mid-rotation-type starter for the Dodgers: 3.27 ERA, 3.36 FIP, 15.4 K-BB% and has allowed just five home runs in 68 innings. Here’s hoping that trend continues tonight.

Max Muncy is the most noticeable absence from the lineup, which has been common against left-handed pitching recently. Expect him to pinch-hit later and probably dinger. Justin Turner gets a day off in the field, while Matt Kemp returns to the lineup after getting last night off. On the Rangers’ side, it’s the same lineup 1-6 as last night. It’s tough to see Adrian Beltre penciled in as the designated hitter since he’s one of the best defensive third basemen in MLB history, but time, age and injury have taken a toll on him (especially this season).

——

The news today is courtesy of Ken Gurnick’s Twitter feed.

Make sense for Clayton Kershaw to throw against a team they’re battling with for position in the division race rather than, well, the Mets. That 4-gamer in Arizona is going to be, as the kids say, “lit.” (I’m sorry.)

I applaud Ross Stripling for being honest about his health. While it’d be nice to have him back sooner rather than later, it does no good for him to rush back. Take note literally every professional athlete not named Zack Greinke and Yu Darvish.

This is interesting. Ryan Madson, who has been really good since about 2008, struggled this season to the tune of a 5.28 ERA and 4.35 FIP out of the Washington bullpen. I’m guessing the lumbar irritation Gurnick referenced in his tweet is a big reason why. He still throws hard (95.8 MPH), but his fastball has been getting hit around this season, and his curveball has been quite bad. His strikeout rate has dipped 9.6 percent from last season, but if it can be explained by the injury, then maybe he’d be a worthwhile addition to a beleaguered bullpen.

Madson in the final year of a 3-year, $22 million deal, meaning his luxury tax number is $7 1/3 million. Since this is day 153 of the MLB season, he’d count about $1.25 million against the tax for the rest of the season (and about $1.31 million of “real” money). With Kenta Maeda pitching out of the bullpen, it seems the Dodgers might be able to squeeze Madson in. It may come at the expense of a 40-man roster player or two not being called up, but that’s fine (I guess). We’ll see if a deal can be reached before the waiver trade deadline on Friday.

About Dustin Nosler

Dustin Nosler
Dustin Nosler began writing about the Dodgers in July 2009 at his blog, Feelin' Kinda Blue. He co-hosts a weekly podcast with Jared Massey called Dugout Blues. He is a contributor/editor at The Hardball Times. He graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with his bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in digital media. While at CSUS, he worked for the student-run newspaper The State Hornet for three years, culminating with a 1-year term as editor-in-chief. He resides in Stockton, Calif.