The Ogden Raptors, the Dodgers’ affiliate in the advanced-rookie level Pioneer League, saw their season come to an end Friday in a 10-0 loss to the Missoula Osprey. The Osprey win the best-of-three series, 2 games to 1.
Jesus Valdez and Delvis Morales went 2-for-4 for the Raptors, but starter Ross Stripling –the Dodgers’ fifth-round 2012 draft pick — was tagged for eight hits and seven runs (six earned) in 3 2/3 innings.
The Raptors were the last of the Dodger farm teams still alive in the postseason.
Ned Colletti was in a chatty mood Friday.
Did he sound dour? No. Philosophical? Yes.
So much so that it was easy to miss this nugget of wisdom, which the general manager dropped when he was asked if the Dodgers’ 5-12 stretch since Aug. 26 has caught him by surprise: “I try not to ever be surprised,” he said, “because I accept every day for what it brings.”
It’s easy to see where he’s coming from. One day, your cleanup hitter is James Loney. Next it’s Adrian Gonzalez. One day, you’re working for Frank McCourt. The next day, it’s Mark Walter, Stan Kasten and Magic Johnson.
Kenley Jansen was all smiles Friday after receiving final clearance to come off the blood-thinning medication that has prevented him from playing or practicing the last two weeks.
Jansen took an electrocardiogram test Thursday and expects the dose of Pradaxa he takes tonight will be his last. The 24-year-old pitcher reiterated that he’ll have surgery once the season is over.
In the meantime, he’s ready to pitch, but the team will wait at least four days for the blood-thinning medication to leave his system. The Dodgers begin a three-game series against the Nationals on Tuesday.
“If they want to give me the ball in the ninth inning, I’m ready,” he said. “I’m built for it.”
After months of waiting, the Dodgers finally shut down Ted Lilly for the season Friday. The 36-year-old pitcher will have arthroscopic surgery on his left (throwing) shoulder a week from today; the surgery will be performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache.
Head athletic trainer Sue Falsone said that, barring any unexpected discoveries, Lilly will be able to resume throwing in January and can begin his spring training program on time.
“Ideally it is a simple cleanup procedure,” Falsone said. “Obviously the doctor won’t exactly know what he will or will not do until he gets inside the joint, but that’s the plan as of now.”
The Ogden Raptors, the Dodgers’ advanced-rookie level affiliate in the Pioneer League, kept its season alive with a 13-7 win over the Missoula Osprey on Thursday night.
Eleventh-round draft pick Jeremy Rathjen went 2-for-4 with a home run and four RBIs. Noel Cuevas, a 21st-round draft pick in 2010, went 3-for-4 with three RBIs and three runs scored. The Dodgers’ most recent first-round draft pick, Corey Seager, went 1-for-4 with a double and scored twice.
Gregg Downing, a 47th-round draft pick last year, finished the game with 5 1/3 innings out of the bullpen to earn the victory. The best-of-three series concludes tomorrow night with the two teams even, 1-1.
Ogden rallied late but fell in Game 1 of its Pioneer League Championship Series, 4-3, at Missoula (D-backs) Tuesday night. The Raptors are the only Dodgers affiliate club playing in the postseason.
The St. Louis Cardinals’ roster is full of native Southern Californians, enough to turn one at-bat by the visiting team into a loud welcome home.
Bryan Anderson (Thousand Oaks) is basically the Cardinals’ third catcher. The 25-year-old was recalled Aug. 29 and has appeared in five games since, starting only one. The Cardinals’ other local products are all regulars:
First baseman Allen Craig (Temecula) is batting .305/.361/.536 with a career-high 20 home runs this season. He is batting in his usual cleanup position against the Dodgers.
Left-handed pitcher Joe Kelly (Corona/UC Riverside) starts tomorrow. More than 100 friends and family members are expected to attend.
Left-handed pitcher Marc Rzepczynski (Anaheim/UCR) has appeared in 65 games, second on the team, all in relief. The 27-year-old has a 4.43 earned-run average and 31 strikeouts in 44 2/3 innings.
Skip Schumaker (Aliso Viejo) continues to be one of the Cardinals’ most valuable utilitymen. He has played all three outfield positions in addition to second base, batting .289/.352/.390, coming off the bench in 32 of his 93 games.
The Dodgers, once the undisputed major-league leaders in bunting, have fallen to second — 71 to the Milwaukee Brewers’ 73 –in successful sacrifices. Don’t take your eye off this race.
In what appeared to be an attempt to correct this disturbing trend, several Dodgers took part in extra bunting practice before Thursday’s game against the St. Louis Cardinals. Dee Gordon and Shane Victorino were both on the field crouched, bat head out in front of the plate, about four hours before tonight’s game.
But only one of the two is in the lineup today, and Victorino is hitting sixth for only the seventh time this season — the first time as a Dodger. Andre Ethier is batting second for the first time since Aug. 1.
“I’ll bunt,” Ethier said. “I’ll do whatever it takes to help the team.”
Maybe he won’t have to.
“I probably wouldn’t bunt (a baserunner) over with Andre,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said.
Not that it needs much help, but the Dodgers’ bullpen is about to get bigger.
Left-hander Scott Elbert, on the disabled list since Aug. 29 with inflammation in his left elbow, is scheduled to throw a simulated game tomorrow. It could be the final tuneup he needs before returning to action.
“If he’s good,” manager Don Mattingly said, “we’ll probably roll with him.”
Randy Choate and Paco Rodriguez are currently the only healthy left-handers in the Dodger bullpen. Choate has appeared in 26 of the Dodgers’ 44 games since he arrived in a trade with Miami, which projects to a 96-game pace over a full season. That’s not grounds for overuse when you’re only facing one or two batters a game, but having another veteran left-hander to complement the rookie Rodriguez will only benefit Choate.
Kenley Jansen, meanwhile, is scheduled to meet with a doctor tomorrow to get “final clearance” to resume practicing with the team. Because he’s been taking prescription blood thinners, Jansen has been unable to take the field –anywhere he could be struck by a batted ball. He could pitch as early as Tuesday in Washington.
The news was bad (again) for left-hander Ted Lilly, whose simulated game Thursday was cancelled. He’s expected to meet with a doctor tonight. It’s unclear what the medical reason was but Mattingly said that it’s “not necessarily a setback.” Lilly hasn’t pitched since May 23.
In their last eight innings dating to Saturday, Dodger relievers have not allowed a run.
Clayton Kershaw was selected by his teammates as the Dodgers’ nominee for the Marvin Miller Man of the Year award, given annually to the MLB player whose on-field performance and contributions to his community inspire others to high levels of achievement.
Fans can log on to MLBPlayers.com to vote Kershaw as the league-wide winner through 9 p.m. Sunday.
Kershaw currently leads the NL with 206 strikeouts and ranks second with a 2.70 ERA, trailing only the Mets’ R.A. Dickey (2.68).
The Dodgers revealed a preliminary 2013 schedule today.
The team will open the season at home with Opening Day slated for Monday, April 1 against the San Francisco Giants, and end the season at home with three straight games against Colorado.
Interleague Play will be spread throughout the regular season for the first time as the Boston Red Sox visit from Friday, Aug. 23 to Sunday Aug. 25; the Angels on May 27 and May 28; the Tampa Bay Rays from Friday, Aug. 9-Sunday, Aug. 11. The Yankees played at Dodger Stadium in 2004 and 2010, the Red Sox made their only trip in 2002 and the Rays have never been to Chavez Ravine.
For their road Interleague dates in 2013, the Dodgers will travel to Camden Yards (April 19-21), Angel Stadium (May 29-30), Yankee Stadium (June 18-19) and the Rogers Centre in Toronto (July 22-24). This season will mark the Dodgers’ first game in the Bronx since winning Game 6 of the 1981 World Series at Yankee Stadium on October 28, 1981. The two-game series will also be the first-ever regular season matchup between the Dodgers and Yankees at (New) Yankee Stadium.
The complete preliminary schedule: