Unlike most reclamation projects, Lowe was pitching effectively at the major-league level last season. He allowed only eight runs in his first 31 appearances for the Rangers but faded in September, allowing earned runs in four of five appearances (18.90 ERA). He was sidelined for six weeks at midseason with a strained intercostal muscle in his ribcage after throwing a career-high three innings in one game.
The right-hander is not a complete longshot to make the team, but he’ll have to prove he belongs in a crowded Dodgers bullpen. More on that later.
Don Sutton will be the fourth and final bobblehead given away during the 2013 season, the Dodgers announced today.
The mini-Suttons will be nodding yes on June 6. The 7 p.m. game that night against the Atlanta Braves is a three-star game under the Dodgers’ new pricing plan.
The other bobblehead giveaways this season include Hanley Ramirez on April 30 (vs. COL), Matt Kemp on May 14 (vs. WAS), Jaime Jarrín on May 25 (vs. STL), Sandy Koufax on June 27 (vs. PHI), Adrian Gonzalez on July 11 (vs. COL), Vin Scully on July 25 (vs. CIN), Hideo Nomo on Aug. 10 (vs. TB), a “flag saving” Rick Monday on Aug. 27 (vs. CHI) and Magic Johnson on Sept. 12 (vs. SF).
It’s the first-ever bobblehead for Sutton at Dodger Stadium, who was given the royal treatment in 2007 in Milwaukee. Sutton was a Brewer for two-and-a-half seasons and a Dodger for 16 – from 1966 to 1980 and again in 1988. He still owns several franchise pitching records, including wins (233), starts (533), games (550), strikeouts (2,696), innings pitched (3,814.0) and shutouts (52).
Which defunct San Francisco ballpark, and which former National League MVP’s reputation, are getting blown up? Read on …
The Dodgers’ game in San Francisco against the Giants on May 5 has been selected for a Sunday Night Baseball telecast on ESPN. It was one of 11 dates the network announced today as part of its first-half schedule:
March 31: Texas Rangers at Houston Astros April 7: Los Angeles Angels at Texas Rangers April 14: Baltimore Orioles at New York Yankees April 21: St. Louis Cardinals at Philadelphia Phillies April 28: Atlanta Braves at Detroit Tigers May 5: Los Angeles Dodgers at San Francisco Giants May 12: Los Angeles Angels at Chicago White Sox May 19: Detroit Tigers at Texas Rangers May 26: Atlanta Braves at New York Mets July 14: St. Louis Cardinals at Chicago Cubs July 21: New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox
The second-half schedule is yet to be determined. The Dodgers made four Sunday Night Baseball appearances in 2012 (May 20, July 1, September 9, September 23) and went 3-1.
Dodgers pitcher Brandon League is dressing up as Psy for Halloween. The Korean rapper is best only known in United States for the song and music video “Gangnam Style,” a frequent champion on “Dodgers Jukebox” this year.
Coincidentally, San Francisco Giants broadcasters Jon Miller and Dave Flemming were doing the “Gangnam Style” dance today — a “perk,” I suppose, when your team wins the World Series and throws a parade.
Usually, another “perk” of winning the World Series is that you’re considered the favorites to win your division next season. Not in League’s opinion.
“We are going to be the team to beat next year,” he said. “We have everyone coming back, everyone coming back healthy.”
Six days ago, Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp was asked about his team entering the 2013 season as the favorites in the National League West. His response: “I don’t know if we’ll be named favorites. The Giants made it to the World Series.”
Who’s the favorite to win the National League West in 2013?
Less than a week later, the Giants are world champs after sweeping the Detroit Tigers in four games. San Francisco, like the Dodgers, also has few key free agents hitting the market. Aging second baseman Marco Scutaro is probably the biggest, followed by center fielder Angel Pagan and left-handed reliever Jeremy Affeldt.
So even though it’s early, it’s still worth asking … who is the favorite to win the National League West in 2013? I’ll even throw the Diamondbacks, Padres and Rockies into this poll for the sake of fairness.
There will be a new poll here every day for the next month, so keep coming back. No electoral college here – popular vote wins.
Most of the prose flowing from San Francisco about its baseball team focused on the playoffs. Must be nice.
Seems like the Giants are focused on the playoffs, too. They didn’t exactly blow through the Padres in San Diego over the weekend, losing 3-1 on Saturday and needing back-to-back ninth inning home runs Sunday to salvage a series victory. Writes Henry Schulman in the San Francisco Chronicle:
The optimist would say that the Giants are going through a temporary lackadaisical spell with their playoff ticket punched, which is not uncommon, and that once their Division Series begins Saturday, they will be back on track.
On the other hand, that rose-colored picture can be hard to see through the haze of errors, mental blunders and pitching troubles plaguing the National League West champs.
The Dodgers geared up for the stretch run Saturday by completing a 9-player blockbuster trade that brings first baseman Adrian Gonzalez to Los Angeles.
How will their National League rivals opponents respond?
For what it’s worth, sports columnist Tim Kawakami of the Bay Area News Group opined that the first-place San Francisco Giants already improved when they lost their best hitter, Melky Cabrera, to a 50-game drug suspension 10 days ago. Uh-huh.
This was all written before the Gonzalez trade and after the Giants swept the Dodgers at Chavez Ravine, mind you, but read on: Continue reading →
Dempster, whose 2.25 ERA is second in the majors, would have instantly upgraded a rotation whose best right-hander is either Chad Billingsley or Aaron Harang, depending on the night. (Last night, it wasn’t Harang.) He also would have cost the Dodgers a pitching prospect they did not want to part with –Allen Webster and Zach Lee remain at Double-A Chattanooga.
Since he’s a free agent at the end of the season, the Dodgers could still go after Dempster in the winter.
The trade is another strike in the burgeoning arms race in the American League West, where the Angels stole headlines last week by obtaining Zach Greinke from Milwaukee. The Rangers also obtained Cubs catcher Geovany Soto in a separate deal last night.
It also points to August as an interesting month if the Dodgers want to obtain a starting pitcher through the waiver process.
Eovaldi allowed three hits and two runs, both earned, the most runs he’s allowed in five spring starts. The right-hander struck out none, walked two, and saw his Cactus League earned-run average rise to 1.72.
“He continues to get more off-speed pitches,” manager Don Mattingly said. “He was using the curveball today more, using the changeup some.”