Clayton Kershaw pauses before throwing the final pitch of his no-hitter June 18 at Dodger Stadium. (John McCoy/Staff photographer)
SAN DIEGO >> Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw
‘s name has been linked to Greg Maddux
quite a bit in recent years. Last year, Kershaw became the first pitcher since Maddux to lead the majors in earned-run average in three consecutive seasons.
This year, Kershaw is on track to make it four years in a row. He’s 16-3 with a 1.73 ERA and a major-league leading six complete games.
Maddux never finished higher than third in National League Most Valuable Player voting in 23 major-league seasons. Speaking Friday at Petco Park, the recently inducted Hall of Famer thinks Kershaw has a shot at winning the award this year.
“I don’t have a vote,” Maddux said, asked if Kershaw should win the award. “That [winning three straight MLB ERA titles] is what it would take for a pitcher to win the MVP. That and a down year on the hitter’s side.”
It so happens that offense is down across the board this season. The OPS for the entire major leagues is .703, which would be the lowest mark since 1992 (.700).
Even though he wouldn’t commit an MVP vote to Kershaw, Maddux offered some high praise for his former teammate.
“His consistency is off the charts good,” Maddux said. “Everybody who wears a major-league uniform is good in their own way. There’s guys who can do it every time they put on the uniform. … Every time you see a player whose bad games are good, it’s special.”
Hyun-Jin Ryu is 2-0 with a 0.47 ERA in two starts against the Padres this season. (Associated Press photo)
SAN DIEGO >> Dodgers left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu will return from the disabled list Sunday to start against the San Diego Padres, and right-hander Roberto Hernandez will start Monday at Dodger Stadium against the Washington Nationals.
“The only that’s going to change that — (Ryu) is going to do more stuff today running-wise — is if for some reason he would go backwards and they felt that another day would be needed, then we would do that,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said.
Ryu was placed on the 15-day disabled list after straining the gluteus medius and piriformis muscles in his right buttock August 13. He threw a bullpen session Tuesday in Arizona and reported no ill effects afterwards.
The left-hander is 13-6 with a 3.28 earned-run average this season.
Ryu’s return would displace Kevin Correia to the bullpen. The right-hander went 2-1 with a 6.43 ERA in three starts after he was acquired from the Minnesota Twins. That’s likely to be the only major impact on the Dodgers’ pitching staff, since rosters can expand past the current 25-man limit on Monday.
Mattingly had a simple reason for lining up Ryu to face the Padres and Hernandez to face the Nationals.
“Ryu’s been really good against San Diego, and Roberto’s been really good against the Nationals,” he said.
In two starts against the Nationals this season, both wins, Hernandez hasn’t allowed a run in 15 ⅓ innings.
In three starts against the Padres this season, Ryu is 2-0 with a 0.47 ERA (19 IP, 1 ER).
Hyun-Jin Ryu threw a bullpen session here Tuesday and could return to the Dodgers rotation as early as Sunday.
Ryu, who is eligible to come off the disabled list on Friday, said he experienced no pain on Tuesday but wouldn’t commit to on if he felt he would be activated.
“I’m very positive,” Ryu said through an interpreter. “Every day I’ve gotten better than the day before, so that’s a good sign.”
The Dodgers need good signs when it comes to their starting rotation, and Ryu’s seemingly impending activation would be just that, although Ryu was noncommital on when he thought he would come off the disabled list.
“I can’t really say, but I think (Wednesday) will determine that,” Ryu said.
The Dodgers rotation has been cobbled together on the back end with injuries to Paul Maholm, Josh Beckett and then Ryu’s strained right gluteus muscle sidelined him.
Asked how difficult it’s been not being able to help the team, Ryu said being on the disabled list was “boring.”
The Sports Fans Coalition, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit, filed a Petition to Deny with the Federal Communications Commission in connection with the pending Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger.
According to an email from the SFC:
We call on the FCC to (1) hold the entire Comcast-Time Warner proceeding in abeyance unless and until the unprecedented Dodgers/TWC holdup is resolved, and (2) either deny the merger or require as a condition the complete divestiture by Comcast of all its Regional Sports Networks.
Already, members of Congress have asked the FCC to intervene on this matter with no formal response. With five weeks left in the MLB regular season, it seems unlikely that non-Time Warner subscribers will be watching live Dodgers games (legally) anytime soon.
Also Monday, AwfulAnnouncing.com reported that TWC is asking carriers to pay $3.84 per month per subscriber for SportsNet LA, which goes a long way toward explaining the hold-up if it’s true. Author Joe Lucia contends that the Time Warner/DirecTV impasse could delay the Comcast-Time Warner proceedings without any outside help.
Hanley Ramirez spent the minimum time on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right oblique muscle. (Getty Images)
was in the Dodgers’ starting lineup Sunday for the first time since he strained a right oblique muscle August 8 in Milwaukee. Ramirez was batting fourth then, and has batted either second, third or fourth every time he’s been in the lineup this year.
Why is he batting fifth today?
“I wanted to let Hanley get back into the flow,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “It’s been a little bit of time. He doesn’t really have a history with (New York Mets starter Bartolo) Colon. Matt’s got a little history.”
Dee Gordon is leading off, Yasiel Puig is batting second, Adrian Gonzalez is third and Matt Kemp fourth — the same order Mattingly has used in 10 of the 13 games since Ramirez was placed on the disabled list.
“We’re not really going to try to be that cautious,” Mattingly said. “We’re going to play him. We’re not going to run him into the ground. If he’s not feeling good we’re going to give him a break. With the days off coming, just kind of play it by ear. Play one, got one off. Play two, got another one off. Then we’ve got six in a row. Unless we’ve got something going on, he should be fairly rested.”
Dodgers prospect Joc Pederson achieved a rare Pacific Coast League milestone when he stole his 30th base of the season against the Colorado Springs Sky Sox on Saturday.
The 22-year-old outfielder now has 31 home runs and 30 steals for the season. No PCL player has posted a 30 home run-30 steal season since Frank Demaree did so in 1934 for the Los Angeles Angels. Demaree hit 45 home runs and stole 41 bases in 186 games that year (it was an epic year).
Pederson has a chance to make his major-league debut with the Dodgers when rosters expand September 1. He’s ranked among the top 50 prospects in baseball by MLB.com, Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus.
Michael Owen Baker/Staff photographer
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It’s been a bad year for giveaways at Dodger Stadium.
On Friday, the team announced that because of “unforeseeable circumstances relating to shipping and customs control,” approximately 15,000 Matt Kemp figurines that were to be given away at Dodger Stadium on Sunday “will not be available for distribution.”
Instead, approximately 25,000 remaining figurines will be given out Sunday. Another 15,000 fans will receive vouchers. The fine print:
From Sept. 1-28, the vouchers will be redeemable at the Top of the Park Merchandise Store at Dodger Stadium during games and on non-game days from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week. Fans will also have the option of mailing their vouchers into the Fan Services Department, and the figurines will be sent to them at the address specified on the voucher. Details for redemption by mail will be printed on each voucher.
On July 10, a truck carrying Hello Kitty travel mugs did not make it to Dodger Stadium for distribution as scheduled, and vouchers were issued instead.
Corey Seager was named MVP of the California League, where he hasn’t played since July. (Staff photo)
Dodgers prospect Corey Seager
was named the California League’s Most Valuable Player on Friday.
The 20-year-old shortstop slashed .352/.411/.633 in 80 games for Single-A Rancho Cucamonga before earning a promotion to Double-A Chattanooga on July 18. Since the promotion, Seager is batting .333/.356/.495.
Seager was the starting shortstop for the California League in the All-Star Game against the Carolina League in Wilmington, Delaware in June. He also started at shortstop for the U.S. at the MLB Futures Game in July.
In addition to Seager, Rancho Cucamonga’s head groundskeeper, Rex Whitney, was honored with the Groundskeeper of the Year award for his excellent work on LoanMart Field throughout the 2014 season.