Podcast: ‘Dugout Blues’ episode 235 – Kemp, Hernandez, Stripling, prospects

On this episode of Dugout Blues, before Jared and I are back to talk about the Dodgers, a team that is still playing well.

They won four of five games this past week, and they did it with a lot of dingers. Matt Kemp and Enrique Hernandez were the main culprits, but Max Muncy, Yasiel Puig and others got into the mix. Dongs are good, actually.

There were some fisticuffs in the Wednesday night game against the Rangers, featuring Kemp and Robinson Chirinos. Benches cleared but not much happened. I was surprised either player was suspended, but whatever. Kemp is appealing. That game also ended with a Hernandez dance around the backup catcher to score in the 11th after an errant throw from Rangers’ pitcher Matt Bush.

Ross Stripling continued to be great, while Alex Wood had a bit of a rebound start. Kenta Maeda came back from the disabled list while Walker Buehler saw himself taking his place (essentially). There’s no clear timetable for his return, but the initial word was a couple weeks. It wouldn’t be surprising if it were longer (microfracture of a rib).

Clayton Kershaw threw a bullpen session in Chicago today. I’m pessimistic regarding his return. He’s been hurt twice this season and it seems his issues have already been piling up. I’m thinking the best-case scenario is the version of Kershaw we saw earlier this season, which was good-not-great. We’ll see, but I’m not confident (as weird as that may sound).

On the farm, Alex Verdugo is on fire. It’s too bad there’s literally no room for him in LA at the moment. Perhaps he’ll be a trade chip next month. Jeren Kendall is hitting a bit better, while Edwin Rios and Matt Beaty continue to hit well in OKC. Mitchell White struggled a bit in his last outing. This almost feels like a lost season for him, but he still has a chance to sort some things out and pitch well the rest of the season.

The Dodgers signed four of their Top 10 picks. I recapped that in the post prior to this. The Dodgers aren’t going to go over the 5 percent mark, but the Dodgers will exceed their bonus pool up to that point. They’re one of a handful of teams that has done it every year since the system’s inception (2012). Braydon Fisher (4th), Devin Mann (5th), James Outman (7th) and Luke Heyer (8th) all signed. Alrdich De Jongh (17th) got a bonus $25,000 over slot, so that will count against the pool. They’re still more than $300,000 from being in any danger, but that won’t be a concern.

We close with what I assume is a good Q&A session (I had to duck out early). Please keep the questions coming.

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Look for new episodes of “Dugout Blues” every Monday. Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast and review us on iTunes. We want to make this the best podcast we can so we’re always looking for suggestions and ways to improve.

If you have questions you’d like us to answer or certain topics/players you want to hear more about, feel free to email us ([email protected]) or send us messages on Twitter (@JaredJMassey or @DustinNosler). You can also “Like” the podcast on Facebook. We always welcome audience participation.

About Dustin Nosler

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Dustin Nosler began writing about the Dodgers in July 2009 at his blog, Feelin' Kinda Blue. He co-hosted a weekly podcast with Jared Massey called Dugout Blues. He was a contributor/editor at The Hardball Times and True Blue LA. 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.