Wednesday, June 29, 2011
How Hard Should the Dodgers Push Rubby De La Rosa?
With Rookie Rubby De La Rosa placed into the Dodger Starting rotation, how long do the Dodgers allow him to continue to pitch? Consider this, in De La Rosa’s career, one that started at age 18 in 2007, his highest total of innings pitched in a season was last year’s 110 innings. Between his stint in Chattanooga early in the season and his Major League appearances thus far, De La Rosa has already pitched 72 innings.
With the season just past the half-way point, De La Rosa is on a pace to throw over 140 innings and potentially more if he remains in the starting rotation. If the Dodgers don’t shut him down, De La Rosa could possibly start 15 of the remaining 80 and that would most likely put him at over 160 innings pitched for the year.
With the Dodgers fast becoming sellers at the trade deadline, (keeping my fingers crossed), the potential of Kuroda and Lilly becoming trade fodder will increase the likelihood of De La Rosa being a fixture in the rotation for the remainder of the year. After today’s 1-0 loss, Rubby has been formally entrenched himself into the rotation. What is more evidence of that than being a true victim of the teams lack of run support.
The Final Effort to Vote Kemp Into the All Star Game Starting Lineup
There are 24 hours to go and Matt Kemp trails Matt Holliday for the final starting outfield spot by over 200,000 votes. That in in itself a joke, but does it really matter? Cardinal outfielder Lance Berkman, a shoe in to be elected as a starting outfielder, is a perfect choice as the N.L. representative as the Designated Hitter in the game. Ideally, Berkman slides into the DH role and Kemp makes it as a starter for coming in 4th place in the voting.
One thing I know for certain though, you never can count on the Manager to make a logical choice when it comes to All Star selections. With Bruce Bochy managing this game, we’ll see if he does the right thing. Don’t be surprised to see some mediocre Giant talent selected as reserves on the team.
If Matt Kemp is able to Pass Holliday in the voting as a starting outfielder, that would be quite a feat considering the little time that is left to vote. It also would serve as evidence that Dodger fans do in fact exist and are able to unify in ways other than boycotting games in protest of Frank McCourt.
Kemp is probably the closest thing the Dodgers have had to a 5-tool player since Reggie Smith dominated in the outfield in the late 70s. Sure it could be argued that Mondesi was a 5-tool guy, but at no time was he that feared bat in the lineup like Reggie Smith was or Kemp is. Other Power hitters in Dodger past had weaknesses in one tool or another, usually speed or their arm strength. If Kemp gets away from the Dodgers following 2012, we’ll be regretting that departure for years to come and be watching him in All-Star games year after year thinking “what if?”
The Anniversary of a Magical Night
Martin over Truetotheblue81 reminds us all that today was the 21st anniversary of Fernando Valenzuela’s no-hitter against the Cardinals, (and Dave Stewart’s against the Blue Jays on the same day).
One thing I’ll always remember about that game was that Fernando tossed it well past his prime. Freddie was wearing glasses too, something that was a new look. He was able to reach back for one magical night and get it done. Needless to say, Valenzuela probably should have thrown a couple of no-hitters early in his career and with a bit of better fortune, would have done it. Below is footage from ESPN's broadcast of the ninth inning of Valenzuela's gem.
Note that Pedro Guerrero, as a Cardinal, grounded into a double play to end the game. I remember thinking it was going to be a base hit up the middle after it got by Valenzuela. Good thing Samuel was playing him up the middle. Other notables in the clip:
Scioscia called the no-hitter behind the plate.
Alfredo Griffin was still at shortstop for the Dodgers two years after the World Championship.
Juan Samuel didn’t kick the grounder and converted it into a double-play while Eddie Murray recorded the final out at first.
A lot of present day Angel coaches are in the video