Would he rather pitch out of the bullpen here, or start somewhere else?
“That’s a great question,” he said. “I want to be part of this organization and what’s going on here,” he said. “Most importantly I want to win. At this point of my career, I want to be part of something special. I would certainly have to think about it if the time came for that conversation.” Continue reading →
Forget having the best 1-2 starting combination in baseball. Ned Colletti clearly intended to put together the majors’ best 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 staff this winter.
When the Dodgers pitchers and catchers report to camp Tuesday, they present a puzzling situation that only time can solve. Chad Billingsley hopes time can heal the torn ligament in his elbow, not season-ending Tommy John surgery. Ted Lilly hopes he can pitch like a legitimate fifth starter, having not pitched in the majors since last May because of injuries. He, Chris Capuano and Aaron Harang may have to hope that Colletti can find a desirable destination for their talents outside of L.A.
If healthy, it’s hard to imagine this group staying together. Otherwise, the Dodgers are left with the first eight-man rotation in major-league history, and wouldn’t that be an interesting outcome to what promises to be an interesting camp.
“Probably a few years ago I probably never would consider that,” Capuano told host Jorge Jarrin, “but coming back from injury – my second Tommy John (surgery) in 2010 with the Brewers – I had a chance to spend a couple months in the bullpen with Trevor Hoffman, who was in his last year in Milwaukee. That was when I kind of learned I could do it, I could kind of switch gears if I needed to.”
“I’m getting asked this by my family a lot,” Capuano told Jarrin. “Like my dad will call me up; my brother will call me up, ‘did you read the latest rumor?’ … In the off-season, I try to avoid going online as much as I can. I still hear the rumors and everything else. I try to put my head down and prepare for the season the same way. I had a great experience with the Dodgers last year and looking forward to being part of a winner this year. But I know it’s a numbers game and they may not have room for everybody.”
St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter is expected to miss the entire 2013 season and may be forced to retire due to a series of injuries.
The 37-year-old was bothered by a nerve issue in his shoulder that limited him to five games last season. Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said Carpenter currently has health concerns in his right shoulder, arm and neck.
Significantly for the Dodgers, who have a surplus of starters one week before pitchers and catchers are expected to report for spring training, the GM added that he’s “comfortable” with his starting rotation as it’s composed. Adam Wainwright, Jake Westbrook, Lance Lynn and Shelby Miller are the right-handers; Jaime Garcia is the lone left-hander but he’s questionable to start the season because of an elbow injury.
Free agent right-hander Kyle Lohse went 16-3 for the Cardinals last season and would be a sensible replacement. If Mozeliak decides one lefty starter isn’t enough, he might end up calling Ned Colletti, who has two veteran southpaws (Chris Capuano and Ted Lilly) entering camp with no assurance of a spot in the Dodgers’ starting rotation. Lilly has health concerns too – he’s 37 and hasn’t pitched a major-league game since May 23 of last year – and is coming off arthroscopic shoulder surgery in September.
The circumstances seem ripe for a trade, but it will hinge on both GM’s sense of urgency. Publicly, Colletti and Mozeliak say they’re in no rush to resolve their rotation situations, but we’ll see if that changes.
Chris Capuano said after Tuesday’s game that he felt fine, that his donut-induced shoulder bruise (not an edible pastry;this was the kind of “donut” that hitters put on their bat in the on-deck circle) was not a factor in his performance Tuesday against the Giants.
The facts begged the question. Capuano lasted just three innings in his shortest start of the year. He topped out at 90 mph and, although Capuano has never relied on speed, he was regularly touching 91-92 in his last start at home, Sept. 14 against St. Louis. Ask any hitter or pitcher, and 2 mph can make a big difference (all other things being equal — namely movement and location).
The Dodgers may end up missing Todd Coffey quite a bit this season, but the local reporters may miss him more. His season-ending interview Tuesday –an MRI on Coffey’s right elbow revealed a partial tear, an injury that will require Tommy John surgery –contained unexpected dashes of the wit and wisdom that make the right-handed pitcher unique.
It was a strange injury because Coffey did not feel the tear take place during his last outing Monday against Cincinnati. Asked if he had any idea how he sustained the injury, he deadpanned: “I would say pitching.” Continue reading →
Clayton Kershaw doesn’t have the longest consecutive scoreless innings streak by a Dodger pitcher this season. His National League Player of the Week award collected Monday is nothing new, either — it’s the third won by a Dodger in 2012 (Matt Kemp won it on back-to-back weeks to begin the season).
But things are going good right now for the Dodgers, and Kershaw joined the party last week. He went 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA in 16 innings (the most thrown by any NL pitcher), with 10 strikeouts, three walks and 10 hits allowed.
Seven days ago, Kershaw tossed seven shutout innings, striking out six and allowing just four hits in the Dodgers’ 3-1 win over the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks.
On Saturday night, Kershaw outdueled St. Louis Cardinals starter Jake Westbrook in a 6-0 shutout at Dodger Stadium. He also doubled and scored a run in the Dodgers’ four-run seventh inning, which broke a 0-0 tie.
The left-hander currently ranks second in the National League with 61.2 innings pitched, and is third among qualifying pitchers with a 1.90 ERA and 0.88 WHIP. This is his second career weekly award, the other coming June 27, 2011.
Kershaw’s streak of 22 scoreless innings dates back to May 8 against the Giants and is 2.2 innings shorter than the season-high set by Chris Capuano.
In recognition of his award, Kershaw will be awarded a watch courtesy of Game Time.
The Dodgers visit the Diamondbacks tonight (6:40 p.m., Prime Ticket).
Chris Capuano is the Dodgers’ number three starter for the immediate future.
The decision was made Friday afternoon that left-hander Ted Lilly would begin the season on the disabled list and miss his first scheduled start on April 7 in San Diego. Capuano will make that start, as well as Lilly’s second scheduled start five days later against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Dodger Stadium. Assuming his stiff neck isn’t a problem on April 14, Lilly will make his regular-season debut that day at home against the Padres.
“We just don’t feel like he’s going to be ready,” manager Don Mattingly said. “If it was an emergency or something, we had to push to get him ready for this start, he could take the ball. But that’s not what we want for his first time out.”
Lilly threw a bullpen session earlier Friday with coaches and trainers looking on. Afterward he said his neck was “maybe a little stiff” and was willing to acquiesce to the coaches’ decision.
“Teddy kind of molded to the thought that it’s probably the best way to go,” Mattingly said.
The manager said Lilly would likely throw a simulated game Monday, then make a rehabilitation start “probably (in) the Cal League.”