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Jul 11 16 7:32 AM

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The All-Star break is here.  What is your grade of the Dodgers, thus far?  I'll break it down into a few categories and you can fill the rest in:

First Half Review:

1.  Starting Pitching
2.  Bullpen
3.  Offense
4.  Manager
5.  Coaching
6.  Front Office

You can grade each category as a whole, or you can give grades to each individual player, or a mixture of both, however you see fit.  Once you do that:

7.  Who/what has most surprised you, in a positive way, so far?
8.  Who/what has most surprised you, in a bad way, so far?
9.  Your non-Kershaw MVP of the first half is:

Second Half Projections:

1.  Do you see the front office making significant trades to address the team's biggest needs by 8-1-16?  Should they?
2.  If so, which player(s) is most likely to be a Dodger?
3.  Which Dodger(s) is most likely to be traded?
4.  Do the Dodgers make the playoffs?  If so, as division winner or Wild Card?
5.  Why is everything Kyle's fault?

Last Edited By: Matthew Jul 11 16 7:41 AM. Edited 1 time

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#1 [url]

Jul 11 16 4:11 PM

First Half Review:
1. Starting Pitching- C-, can't go lower simply because of Kershaw and Maeda have for the most part done what we expected (and maybe even more so in Kershaw's case).
2. Bullpen- A-, the minus is for Hatcher. Biggest surprise of the season by far is how well over the pen has done, and in the last month has been the best part of the team and only reason they aren't 10+ games out.
3. Offense- C. Needs to be better, or at least more consistant.
4. Manager- B. I think he's push most of the right buttons, especially with the pen. Yes he's made rookie mistakes, and yes he makes them over and over, so that trend isn't good. But it appears he takes all responsibilty and doesn't throw anyone under the bus like Mattingly did, so right there is a big plus for me.
5. Coaching- B-, doesn;t seem to be a difference if it's McGuire or Turner, the hitters seem to either be coachless, or the cocaching sucks as far as hitting. Woodward hasn;t made a many mistakes as Bundy did, but he's no Roenicke. Seems as if the baserunning is improved this year, I truly think Lopes was just collecting a paycheck since he left the Phillies, which is sad, a favorite Dodger of mine as a kid.
6. Front Office- C, no matter how you want to sugar coat it, they failed on the starting pitching front (outside of Maeda). They have made some good acquisitions, that makes this grade as high as I can give it however. Can't give them a higher grade for the minor league plan, because that was in place since last year.
7. Who/what has most surprised you, in a positive way, so far? The bullpen (except for Hatcher), and Thompson
8. Who/what has most surprised you, in a bad way, so far? Can't say anything really surprised me in a bad way, I expected a mediocre team, and they've played better then expected. Maybe Hatcher, as I thought he's be better than he has been.
9. Your non-Kershaw MVP of the first half is: Seager, by far

Second Half Projections:

1. Do you see the front office making significant trades to address the team's biggest needs by 8-1-16? Should they? Possibly a setup man, but i don't think they make any radical changes
2. If so, which player(s) is most likely to be a Dodger? I'm bad at guessing, but thinking someone like Jake McGee
3. Which Dodger(s) is most likely to be traded? Hatcher, SVS from the 25 man, basically no one considered a core piece for the rest of this year or ever
4. Do the Dodgers make the playoffs? If so, as division winner or Wild Card? Yes, as WC, and will win that game, but lose in NLDS as Kershaw will only be able to pitch one game in that, and they lose in 4 to the Cubs (who I think wil have best record and play WC winner), as the rest of their pitching can't beat the Cubs, or more importantly, their Offense won't be able to get enough runs off the Cubs pitching to win more than once.
5. Why is everything Kyle's fault? Because it just is, damn it!

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#2 [url]

Jul 13 16 2:09 PM

First Half Review:

 Starting Pitching
        B- ... Outside of Kershaw, all other starters have been what I expected - average.  So with CK, our staff is a B-.
 Bullpen
        A- ... Pleasantly surprised here.
 Offense
        C+ ... Adrian is DRAINING the offense in the 4-hole.  Age sucks.
 Manager
        B-
 Coaching
        B+
 Front Office
        B

Who/what has most surprised you, in a positive way, so far?
Trayce Thompson probably has the #1 spot for me, here.  His minor league numbers don’t support the kind of success he’s having, and yet, I’m not all that worried this is a mirage.  The kid seems to be adjusting with each adjustment the pitchers make, so I have high hopes.

Who/what has most surprised you, in a bad way, so far?
Adrian, Puig, and for most of the season, JT.  Red gets a pass because of injury.  And Puig might actually be coming around.  I just didn’t expect such a FAST drop-off in power from Adrian.
 
Your non-Kershaw MVP of the first half is:
No doubter: Seager.

Second Half Projections:

Do you see the front office making significant trades to address the team's biggest needs by 8-1-16?  Should they?
Define “significant”. J  I do expect some middling moves, but nothing major.  And yes, we have some middling needs – specifically to replace Howell and Hatcher in the ‘pen, and a solid #2 or #3 SP is necessary to go deep in the playoffs.  The “significant” move that needs to be made is in my next answer…
 
If so, which player(s) is most likely to be a Dodger?
… Jonathan Lucroy.  Would love to lock him up and move Grandal.  Prolly not gonna happen, so my other answer to this question is perhaps a Brad Zeigler or similar BP arm.
 
Which Dodger(s) is most likely to be traded?
SVS, Austin Barnes, Andre Ethier (if he gets healthy before the deadline).
 
Do the Dodgers make the playoffs?  If so, as division winner or Wild Card?
Yes, division winner.  Even my gnat fan friends can’t believe their luck right now.
 
Why is everything Kyle's fault?
Because I’m *that* important to the eternal future of the franchise.

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#3 [url]

Jul 14 16 12:46 PM

First Half Review:

1. Starting Pitching
Grade B. Kershaw brings this group to respectability.
2. Bullpen
Grade A-. Never thought I would say that. Only Hatcher keeps them from a straight A. Little worried about Coleman...loved him in the spring, but having some issues lately
3. Offense
Grade C-. Haven't really sustained much. Expect more rest for AGon in the second half (he came back strong after a couple of days off), the hoped for return of Ethier, JT looking like the 2015 version, Grandal being the H-1 2015 version and more to increase the run scoring.
4. Manager
Grade B. Seems to have the players on his side and other than a few head scratchers, has done ok.
5. Coaching
Grade C-. Woodward has been horrible at third base. (Roenicke spoiled us.) Third base is in the spotlight; pretty hard to judge the rest.
6. Front Office
Grade B-. Have kept the best prospects. Thompson looked like sheer genius for a while.

You can grade each category as a whole, or you can give grades to each individual player, or a mixture of both, however you see fit. Once you do that:

7. Who/what has most surprised you, in a positive way, so far?
Expected good things from Seager, but he's been off the charts. Maeda has been very good and looks like a good pickup. Thompson started well. Utley better than expected and his glove is still nearly flawless.
8. Who/what has most surprised you, in a bad way, so far?
Big Red. Some of it is possibly a result of the off season surgery. He wasn't full speed early on.
9. Your non-Kershaw MVP of the first half is:
Seager in a landslide with Kenley in the conversation.

Second Half Projections:

1. Do you see the front office making significant trades to address the team's biggest needs by 8-1-16? Should they?
This is highly dependent on the next two weeks. If the offense continues to slump and Ethier doesn't start to show he's coming back, then, "Yes."
2. If so, which player(s) is most likely to be a Dodger?
Wouldn't spend any prospects on pitching acquisitions, but we may still need some hitting. If Grandal doesn't seem to be capable of turning it around (and he has, lately), then I'd be looking hard at Jonathan Lucroy and what the Brewers asking price might be.
3. Which Dodger(s) is most likely to be traded?
I could see Puig, SVS, some pitching prospect(s), and Barnes (or Grandal) go as part of a package for Lucroy and or TestosteRyan.
4. Do the Dodgers make the playoffs? If so, as division winner or Wild Card?
Sitting 6.5 games back at the break, the wild card is a much better bet. However, if the Giants big three starting pitchers start having problems, and our offense wakes up...
5. Why is everything Kyle's fault?
Kyle Who??? :-)

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#4 [url]

Jul 24 16 7:53 AM

Matthew wrote:
The All-Star break is here.  What is your grade of the Dodgers, thus far?  I'll break it down into a few categories and you can fill the rest in:

First Half Review:

1.  Starting Pitching
2.  Bullpen
3.  Offense
4.  Manager
5.  Coaching
6.  Front Office

You can grade each category as a whole, or you can give grades to each individual player, or a mixture of both, however you see fit.  Once you do that:

7.  Who/what has most surprised you, in a positive way, so far?
8.  Who/what has most surprised you, in a bad way, so far?
9.  Your non-Kershaw MVP of the first half is:

Second Half Projections:

1.  Do you see the front office making significant trades to address the team's biggest needs by 8-1-16?  Should they?
2.  If so, which player(s) is most likely to be a Dodger?
3.  Which Dodger(s) is most likely to be traded?
4.  Do the Dodgers make the playoffs?  If so, as division winner or Wild Card?
5.  Why is everything Kyle's fault?

1. Starting Pitching - A-.   This amount of injuries on a lesser club would be a guaranteed below .500 run.    Kershaw - A+; Maeda - A- (gotta go deeper in the game); Kazmir B+ (when he is good, he is ace like, when he can't find his change up, might as well be pitching BP, but after a sketchy start he has been a solid three);  BMac A+ (just has to slowly work up to 100 pitches per game, his stuff is better than ever and he is making that contract look like a steal); Urias B (command is still an issue and the love of the strikeout has hampered him, but the stuff plays and it looks like the scouts got this one right); Stripling B- (still think he is a serviceable five but for another team, just don't have the belief that he is anything other than a journeyman starter); Stewart B+ (one bad inning doesn't change the fact that this kid is future power arm with massive upside); Ryu - Inc. (I think we rushed him and that the elbow is all smoke and mirrors to get him more time on the farm working on his command); 

2. Bullpen - A.   Aside from Hatcher this group of pitchers has been very good.   I am still a bit down on Kenley over his command and still irritating lack of a second pitch.  Hell, even Baez has developed a second pitch.   Howell found the groove and Liberatore is our Andrew Miller.   I still would not complain if we added an arm to the pen either Will Smith or dare I dream, Chapman.  

3. Offense - C.   Aside from Seager, Turner and Kendrick's recovery from injury, the offense has been pedestrian.    I am not sold on Thompson and AGon is looking real old out there.   Neither Grandal nor the craptastic AJ Ellis inspire more than derision.  Puig is Andre Ethier inconsistent and Utley is not an everyday player.   Toles looks like a keeper and might make it easier to deal Verdugo.   Love Pederson's defense, but his bat is made of Swiss cheese and if Toles can handle center it might make Joe a future ex-Dodger.   Even if we are in a pennant chase with the Giants, I expect Verdugo, Bellinger and Calhoun (if they are not traded) to see time with the Blue in September.  

4. Manager - C+.  Pigpen has shown some improvement over Mattingdork in the handling of the pen, but he is way too quick with the hook for the starters and he still can't write up a lineup without including AGon even though the guy is no longer an everyday player.   He also seems slow to trust kids like Taylor, Toles and even Thompson.   I am hoping he is learning on the job because as of today, he doesn't inspire me with confidence.  

5. Coaches - B-.  The same problem as before, getting through to the hardheads on this team.    Puig, AGon and even Grandal look like they are uncoachable at this point and Pederson has the skills to be a good hitter, but is still enamored by the long ball.   On the plus side, we are running the bases better and the defensive yips of April seem to be going away.   Honeycutt and Bard have done a great job cobbling a stellar pen from guys like Blanton, Baez and JP Howell.   Woodward isn't bad at third but overly cautious.   Lombard seems to be better than Lopes, but we only have one stellar baserunner and that is Toles and I think we are wasting him batting him seventh or eighth in the order.   That is on Pigpen though.

6. Front Office - A-.   The farm system is as strong as it has ever been and because of that, we haven't had to make stupid or ill-advised moves to keep within shouting distance of the Giants.  Adding Blanton, Thompson, Toles and finding gems like Liberatore, Stewart and Taylor are outside the envelope moves.    The fact that they are slow to address the offense is puzzling, but they haven't hampered us with bad contracts (Kazmir and Maeda's deals are steals despite the outcry from idiots like Plunkett and Plaschke).   

Second Half -  1. I see us not waiting for the doctor's report on Kershaw and getting an ace.   I think we are in on Sale, Archer and I would not be shocked if we are also going hard after guys like Gray (although, I wonder if he is worth the effort), Quintana and Moore.   I don't know if we will go as hard for a bat, but I think that Friedman has a chubby for Longoria and if the Rays are willing to tear it down, it might make sense to get in on the bidding.   

2. Who we acquire -  What I want and what I think we will get are two different things.   I see us adding a pen arm (Smith, Colome or even Chapman), an ace like starter (Archer or Sale) and a bat (Lucroy would be nice, but I am thinking that someone like Longoria is a more likely target).  

3. Who we trade - Puig is gone, no ifs about it.   He is going to be playing in Tampa or Chicago on August 2.   JDL, Barnes, Verdugo and Baez could all be elsewhere and I think we might even listen on Alvarez, Holmes and Stewart if that is the cost of getting a middle of the order bat and an ace.  

4. I think we pass the Giants.   Bochy has zero pen and the latest reports on Pence and Panik are not good.   Bochy will burn out his starters and the lack of a strong farm system will make them overpay for marginal improvements.   I figure they will overpay for Dave Robertson and Melvin Upton and it will be for naught.   They may even take a run at Todd Frazier because I don't think Duffy is going to make that big of a difference when he gets back.   I am betting that Arroyo, Beede and Fox are no longer in the Giant farm system by August 2.  

5. If we win, then Kyle is blameless.   We come up short, sure it is all Kyle's fault.  I got a feeling that Kyle is not getting any blame this year.   Call it intuition or just ignorant bliss, but I think we get to the series this year.  

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