Daily Distractions: The Dodgers’ starting rotation looks good. So does every team’s.

Aaron Harang

Former Dodgers pitcher Aaron Harang, now with the Atlanta Braves, took a no-hitter into the seventh inning Wednesday. So did his opponent, Matt Garza. (Associated Press photo)

I’m going to get off the topic of my fantasy baseball team quickly, promise. Just bear with me for a second.

Something strange happened this week. The first time through my rotation, my five starters gave up a total of one run. The one run belonged to Jose Fernandez (otherwise the miscreant might be booted from my rotation).

Across the majors, in the few games that have been played, pitching has been good so far. Very good. The league-average ERA is 3.31.

To some extent, that makes sense. Pitchers’ arms are healthier now than they will be in September. Some teams have only played two games, meaning they have used only their top two starters — and seen their opponents’ top two. The best pitchers in the world, all those Opening Day starters including Clayton Kershaw, have all pitched once.

The Dodgers aren’t immune to the phenomenon. Kershaw, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Zack Greinke and Dan Haren have allowed a total of three runs in the club’s first five games. That’s encouraging. They will need more encouragement from starters five and six, Paul Maholm and Josh Beckett, while Kershaw rests his bad back. Maholm starts Saturday against the San Francisco Giants.

It’s easy to dismiss the dominance of pitchers, but we might be witnessing the makings of a trend. This season could be a down year for hitting. While they’ve pitched well, the Dodgers are collectively hitting .229. Want to guess where that ranks among the 30 teams? Fourteenth. Sixteen clubs have batted .223 or worse in the early part of the season.

Those numbers will get better, but you wonder when we’ll see the first no-hitter of the season. It might not be long. Former Dodgers pitcher Aaron Harang lost one in the seventh inning of the Braves’ 1-0 win over Milwaukee last night. So did his opponent, Matt Garza. Harang and Garza aren’t elite pitchers anymore, but they were elite Wednesday.

Let’s see if this trend continues.

Some bullet points for a Tweed Day:
Continue reading

Daily Distractions: Alfredo Silverio, Clayton Kershaw, Sandy Amoros, etc.

Alfredo Silverio: Damaged goods or the one that got away?

Alfredo  SilverioMLB.com reports that the minor-league outfielder, scooped up by the Miami Marlins in the Rule 5 draft, seems ready to come back from a devastating car accident last year that wiped out his season and ended his tenure with the Dodger organization.

For about a week, Silverio has been working out at the Marlins’ Spring Training complex in Jupiter. He has been taking part in the team’s voluntary minicamp at Roger Dean Stadium.

On the back fields, Silverio is taking batting practice and doing some drills, while not pushing it when it comes to throwing.

“I feel back to normal,” the outfielder said.

Silverio wasn’t one of the three Dodgers prospects ranked among the majors’ top 100 by MLB.com yesterday. (Those spots went to Yasiel Puig, Zach Lee and Joc Pederson.) You figure Silverio either belongs somewhere in that group or he won’t be the same player once he faces live pitching. Only time will tell.

Some links for a midweek morning:

Continue reading