The eight-starter experiment was basically a big game of “what if”: What if Chad Billingsley‘s elbow doesn’t hold up? What if Ted Lilly isn’t the same pitcher he was pre-surgery? What if the best pitcher in Korea can be one of the best pitchers in the United States? What if he can’t?
Here’s another “what if”: What if the Dodgers hadn’t gone out and acquired Josh Beckett, Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu, and entered this season with the same collection of starters they had a year ago?
Now you’re looking at Nathan Eovaldi stepping into the fifth starter’s job to replace Billingsley. Oh, wait. Eovaldi hasn’t pitched since spring training because of a shoulder issue. He’s on the 60-day disabled list (currently the Miami Marlins’ problem). Come on down, Stephen Fife.
“It was a good season,” said Ely, who learned he won the award two days ago. “The accolades and all, they’re great. I’m just honestly happy to have put together the year that I did. The awards aside…this is where I want to be. That’s what I’m happy about, that (my season at Triple-A) was able to get me here.”
Both Ely and Pederson will be honored in an on-field pregame ceremony prior to tomorrow’s 7:10 p.m. Dodger game against the Colorado Rockies.
Clayton Kershaw is the Dodgers’ scheduled starter Sunday. That hasn’t changed –yet — though the left-hander is not 100 percent healthy seven days after receiving a cortisone shot in his right hip.
“He’s kind of in that same mode we were in last week with his start” on Sunday in San Francisco, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “He was two days away, he wasn’t great, then the next thing you know it was time to pitch and he was ready. That’s kind of where we’re at with him right now. We’ll see what it looks like tomorrow.”
For now, Kershaw is not expected to get another cortisone shot, Mattingly said.
The manager declined to speculate who would take Kershaw’s spot if he can’t pitch, but Pacific Coast League pitcher of the year John Ely would be the favorite on paper.
John Ely entered the 10th inning Tuesday with all the confidence that comes with winning the Pacific Coast League’s triple crown of pitching.
After taking the loss in the Dodgers’ 6-3 defeat to the San Diego Padres, Ely said, “hopefully I get a chance to do it again.”
The 26-year-old right-hander who once spawned something called “Elymania” has a 13.50 earned-run average one game into his 2012 season. He allowed a leadoff single to Yonder Alonso and got burned on a bunt single by Everth Cabrera; both runners advanced a base when Dodgers third baseman Luis Cruz’s throw to first hit Cabrera in the back and trickled into right field.
Alexi Amarista grounded out and Ely intentionally walked Will Venable to load the bases for Logan Forsythe. Ely got ahead 1-2 but left a fastball over the plate and Forsythe lined a two-RBI single into center field.
“It’s one of those things — call it a bad break, call it whatever you want — I’ve still got to make pitches after that,” Ely said. “I kept one, one or two, up in the zone. Big league hitters will make you pay for that.”
Chase Headley, named the NL’s player of the month for August earlier in the day, added an insurance run on an RBI single that scored Venable. Continue reading →
The first seven starts of John Ely‘s major-league career were pretty good in 2010. He had a good 2009 season in Double-A, which is probably why the Dodgers were happy to obtain him as a player to be named later in the deal that sent Juan Pierre to the Chicago White Sox.
Otherwise, there wasn’t much on Ely’s resume that would have predicted his 2012 numbers for the Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes. When he was added to the Dodgers’ 40-man roster and recalled to Los Angeles on Saturday, Ely was line for the Pacific Coast League’s pitching triple crown: 14-7, a 3.20 ERA and 165 strikeouts (the 14 wins are tied for the league lead).
“Coming into the year, if you had told me I’d have put up those numbers, I don’t know if I’d believe you,” Ely said. “I know I’m capable of it. I just wanted to be consistent. I didn’t imagine it would lead to the year I did have. But here we are. I’m ecstatic about the way things have been going.”
Maybe Ely’s secret weapon was more powerful than even he could have thought.
The Dodgers recalled catcher Tim Federowicz and pitcher Javy Guerra from Triple-A Albuquerque on Saturday, as expected. They will be joined in Los Angeles by pitcher John Ely, who was added to the 40-man roster.
Ely wasn’t specifically mentioned as a possibility by Dodgers manager Don Mattingly on Friday, but his addition comes as no surprise. Other than Clayton Kershaw and Chad Billingsley, Dodger starters had a 4.95 ERA in August. Ely was named the Pacific Coast League pitcher of the year after going 14-7 with a 3.20 ERA and 165 strikeouts, leading the league in all three categories.
The 26-year-old right-hander finished the campaign on a six-game winning streak, going 6-0 with a 2.47 ERA (15 ER/54.2 IP) in his last eight starts dating to July 23. The Illinois native made his big league debut in 2010 and is 4-11 with a 5.35 ERA in 23 Major League games (19 starts).
To make room for Ely on the 40-man, Alfredo Silverio was transferred to the 60-day disabled list. Silverio had been on the 15-day disabled list but was not expected to play this season after sustaining back, shoulder, neck and elbow injuries, plus a concussion, in a car crash in January.