J.P. Hoornstra covers the Dodgers, Angels and Major League Baseball for the Los Angeles Daily News, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Torrance Daily Breeze, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News, San Bernardino Sun, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Whittier Daily News and Redlands Daily Facts. Before taking the beat in 2012, J.P. covered the NHL for four years. UCLA gave him a degree once upon a time; when he graduated on schedule, he missed getting Arnold Schwarzenegger's autograph on his diploma by five months.
Zack Greinke hasn’t pitched for the Dodgers since he fractured his clavicle in this brawl on April 11 in San Diego. He’s still a possibility to return Wednesday. (Associated Press)
The coaches, managers and physicians may know where Zack Greinke is pitching on Wednesday, but it remained a state secret as of Monday afternoon. Greinke will either come off the disabled list to start against the Washington Nationals or make another rehabilitation start, likely for Single-A Rancho Cucamonga, with Matt Magill starting for the Dodgers.
“We don’t want to wait too long” to announce where Greinke will pitch, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said, “we just want to make sure everybody’s on the same page, getting Ned’s input, Doc’s input, trainer’s input, Zack’s putting together what he — if he’s going to be able to pitch, what are the things we want him doing, we don’t want him doing. We just haven’t gotten all that together. So we’re not ready to say.”
Kemp collected the milestone hit on a single, which seems appropriate. Kemp has been stuck on one home run — against New York Mets phenom Matt Harvey, no less — for almost a month. If he hits one home run a month, Kemp will finish the season with six.
• Kemp is getting eaten alive by pitches down and away. His strikeout rate in that area is among the top five percent in the league.
• Kemp has less power. He’s lost 25 feet off his average fly ball.
• It’s not luck. His batting average on balls in play is .363, slightly above his .352 career average.
• Kemp seems to be avoiding putting stress on his left shoulder, just as he did last September when the shoulder was legitimately hurt.
Kemp started the year unable to hit the ball for power or average, so we could be looking at a snapshot moment in his road back from last year’s shoulder surgery. Maybe not. If we’re looking at the new Matt Kemp, how long before the Dodgers move him up (say, to 2nd) or down in the lineup?
Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis (left) had no problem wearing pink fingernail stickers on Mother’s Day weekend. (Getty Images)
A random note about today’s game …
A publicist for the company Game Signs, which makes the colored fingernail tape sometimes worn by catchers, issued a special Mother’s Day press release this week. It read, in part:
“… You will see several Major League Baseball catchers (including A.J. Ellis) with pink fingernails for Mother’s Day. These are a special Mother’s Day edition of a product from Game Signs, a nationwide provider of bright signal enhancement stickers for baseball catchers. In the spirit of accuracy, we are preemptively sending you this information as we are anticipating that grown men with pink fingernails playing baseball might turn the heads of a few people. The brightly colored signal enhancers are specially designed, durable, reflective, stickers that are applied to the fingernails of the catcher’s signaling hand.” Continue reading →
Mark Ellis ran closer to full speed today than he has since straining his right quadriceps muscle on April 26. The Dodgers second baseman looked good as he sprinted in the outfield under the watch of head athletic trainer Sue Falsone, and felt fine afterward.
“It’s not there yet but it’s getting close,” Ellis said. “It’s better than it was a couple days ago.”
Ellis hasn’t run the bases yet and that’s the next item to check off his rehab schedule. He won’t play in a minor-league rehabilitation game until that happens.
“We haven’t talked about when a rehab game would be,” Ellis said.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said he thinks Ellis could return close to May 22, the final day of a six-game road trip to Atlanta and Milwuakee. May 23 is an off-day before the Dodgers return home for a five-game homestand.
Because the Kings’ game against the St. Louis Blues is airing tonight on Prime Ticket, the Dodgers’ game at 7:10 p.m. against the Miami Marlins will be moved to a Prime Ticket alternate channel.
The game is being made available to all cable, satellite and telco video providers in the Los Angeles market that currently carry Dodger games on Prime Ticket. Additionally, both “Dodgers Live” pre and post-game shows will be seen prior to and immediately following game coverage on these Prime Ticket alternate channels:
AT&T U-Verse — 69, 1694 (HD)
Comcast — 104
Cox Santa Barbara — 8
Cox Orange County — 3
Cox Palos Verdes — 3
DIRECTV — 689, 689-1 (HD)
Dish — 449, 9519 (HD)
Time Warner Cable: L.A. — HD 700
Time Warner Cable:
Desert Cities, Yucca, Banning — HD 590
Time Warner Cable: Barstow — HD 671
Verizon — 1
The Dodgers are telling fans to contact their provider, not the team, with any questions.
As expected, the Dodgers selected the contract of Scott Van Slyke and added him to their major league roster Friday. Elian Herrera was optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque and Chad Billingsley was transferred from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL to make room for Van Slyke.
Van Slyke was hitting .397/.503/.733 for Albuquerque, with a team-leading nine home runs and 30 RBIs.
“He’s got a chance to hit a ball in the seats,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said.
Mattingly said he wanted a right-handed bat in the outfield and an additional jolt of power. The Dodgers have hit 23 home runs as a team, the second-fewest total in the National League, and Herrera relies as much on the bunt as the line drive to get on base.
Herrera started in left field Wednesday and got one hit in three at-bats against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The move would come as no surprise. The Dodgers wouldn’t move Van Slyke from first base to both corner outfield positions –- right field on Tuesday, left field on Wednesday — if they weren’t getting him ready to give Andre Ethier and/or Carl Crawford a day off.
The Dodgers would have to make a roster move to add Van Slyke to the 40-man roster. Since he’s not on the 40-man, the Dodgers would technically be selecting his contract rather than recalling him from Triple-A. Moving Chad Billingsley, who’s out for the season following Tommy John surgery, from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day disabled list would do the trick.
In fact, only five teams have gotten less out of the position than the Dodgers, in terms of offense, baserunning and defense. Mark Ellis (17), Nick Punto (10) and Skip Schumaker (6) are the only three Dodgers who have started games at second base this season.
The Dodgers’ best position, relatively speaking, is first base. Only the Reds and Tigers have gotten more WAR out of the position this season.
The chart has its limits. Take the Angels, for example. Add up their position-by-position WAR, and they should have the fourth-best team in baseball. In reality the Angels are 10 games under .500. The Baltimore Orioles are tied for first place in the American League East, yet their combined WAR ranks 21st in the majors.
One day after Brandon League allowed the game-winning home run in the ninth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks Tuesday, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly defended his closer. Sort of.
“I don’t feel Brandon’s done anything really wrong,” Mattingly said. “I know he’s given up — gives up the home run to (Guillermo) Quiroz (Saturday), the home run (to Paul Goldschmidt) last night. Even the blown save, we feel like if we make plays for him he gets that one (April 24 in New York). Then he’d have zero (blown saves). So I don’t really feel like Brandon’s come in and walked the park, gotten hit all over the place. Obviously he’s getting hit a little bit, though.” Continue reading →
Tim Federowicz posted a 1.643 OPS after being demoted to Triple-A Albuquerque.
Tim Federowicz returned to Dodger Stadium on Wednesday. In his mind, and on the depth chart, it was like he never left.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said that Federowicz will be the team’s number-two catcher, supplanting veteran Ramon Hernandez, whose 0 for 4 performance against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday lowered his batting average to .045. Hernandez, who was obtained from Colorado for pitcher Aaron Harang on April 6, is staying on as the Dodgers’ third catcher. Continue reading →