Today could be the day the Dodgers formally switch Triple-A affiliates from Albuquerque to Oklahoma City. The Oklahoman reported the move in August. Yesterday, BaseballAmerica.com reported that 23 minor-league teams have a two-week window to secure new affiliations beginning today, and that Albuquerque and Oklahoma City are two of those teams.
When the move was first reported, I mentioned that former Albuquerque Isotopes manager Lorenzo Bundy (now the Dodgers’ third base coach) offered his scouting report on exactly what playing at 5,200 feet does to a developing baseball player.
Here is that scouting report. This isn’t to presume that elevation was the primary reason for the Dodgers moving their Triple-A affiliate — far from it. Rather, Bundy’s experience adds some nuance to our understanding of why playing at elevation might be more or less desirable from a player development standpoint. This might be a business move first and foremost; here’s the baseball end of it:
Matt Kemp points to the sky after hitting his 21st home run of the season Monday against the Colorado Rockies. (Getty Images)
DENVER >> The Dodgers won. Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig had a little kerfuffle. Carl Crawford hurt his hamstring. Read all about that here.
Two things I want to emphasize that might not be clear on the surface:
1. Crawford wasn’t removed for precautionary reasons tonight. As he explained in my story, he was in genuine pain.
2. It’s really difficult to know what to make of the Puig-Kemp thing. Could be something, could be nothing. Could be something that happens all the time between closed doors, could be something that never happened before today. Again, we don’t really know. The truth is probably somewhere in between; if it was nothing it wouldn’t have gotten caught on camera and Don Mattingly wouldn’t have been nervously laughing and sipping water after the game:
That’s not good however you paint it, but it’s not enough to draw broad brushstrokes about the Dodgers’ team chemistry. It’s two emotionally charged teammates who didn’t see eye-to-eye in Game 150. Maybe it lingers, maybe it doesn’t. We’ll see.
Hyun-Jin Ryu left the Dodgers’ 9-0 loss to the San Francisco Giants after one inning with an inflamed left shoulder. (Associated Press photo)
DENVER >>The National League West standings are so tight — even after two big wins over the San Francisco Giants — that anything less than a glowing health report for every Dodgers player comes as bad news these days.
Even Dodgers manager Don Mattingly acknowledged that the standings will affect how the Dodgers proceed with Hyun-Jin Ryu, whose MRI results came back clean Monday.
“If we’d already clinched the division or something,” Mattingly said, “I’m sure we’d look at things differently.”
Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw is one of six finalists for the Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award, which is given to a player that inspires others to higher levels of achievement by their on-field performances and contributions to their communities.
The other finalists are Carlos Beltran, Max Scherzer, Josh Hamilton, Adam LaRoche and Anthony Rizzo.
More from the MLBPA’s press release:
First inspired by their relationship with a malnourished, HIV-infected girl in Lusaka, Zambia named Hope, Clayton and his wife, Ellen, began Kershaw’s Challenge in 2011. The Challenge is to use whatever you have been blessed with – talent, passion or purpose – to give back to others. This year, Kershaw’s Challenge helped support transitional housing for homeless families in Los Angeles (The Dream Center) and a sports ministry in West Dallas (Mercy Street) in addition its ongoing work in Zambia.
Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw has won five National League Player of the Week awards in his career. (Getty Images)
Clayton Kershaw won his second National League Player of the Week award this season, for the week ending Sunday. It’s the fifth NLPOY award of his career.
From the MLB press release:
Time Warner Cable announced today that it has secured an agreement to broadcast the final six Dodger games of the season (Sept. 22-24 vs. SF & Sept. 26-28 vs. COL) on KDOC.
KDOC can be seen on the following channels:
|Over the air broadcast
Colleague Tom Hoffarth writes that the gesture is “too little, too late.”
Orel Hershiser went 19-3 for the Dodgers in 1985. (Getty Images)
“We call him the Big Train because he keeps coming,” Don Mattingly
said after watching Clayton Kershaw
win his 19th game of the season Sunday.
The birth of a new nickname? Maybe.
Kershaw at the very least matched a 29-year-old team record. He’s 19-3, good for a .864 winning percentage, with two starts left in the regular season. Orel Hershiser went 19-3 in 1985, the only Los Angeles Dodger to finish a season with a winning percentage that high.
Here’s what Hershiser had to say about Kershaw’s season last Wednesday, four days before Kershaw matched his record:
Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw allowed seven hits and two runs while walking one batter and striking out nine in eight innings Sunday against the San Francisco Giants. (Associated Press photo)
Things you learn by talking to people after a game: The Dodgers’ win over the Giants today might have depended on overcoming a misunderstanding.
You can read about that here; the box score is here.
Joc Pederson didn’t get into the game. In fact, he wasn’t even the left-hander chosen to pinch hit for Clayton Kershaw in the ninth inning against right-hander Hunter Strickland — Andre Ethier was. Behind the scenes, he’s still adjusting to a new routine. You can read about that here.
“That’s no graveyard, that’s an oil well, and they just hit a bonanza.”