Opinion of Kingman's Performance

Friday, July 12, 2013

They Were Four, Now They're One

On July 5th of this year, Don Mattingly addressed the press corps prior to the start of a three game series in San Francisco stating that he was excited that he had the tandem of Carl Crawford, Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and Yasiel Puig to cover the three outfield positions.  He noted that this would be the first time in the year that all those outfielders  were healthy and available. 

Clayton Kershaw took the loss tonight, yielding three runs in seven innings of work. (photo by Mark J. Terrill/AP)

Writers questioned how the Dodgers would handle the playing time of the four.  The Dodger manger claimed that there would be enough room for  all of them as he would rest them all, (except for Puig), at least once a week for the remainder of the season.  That comment has turned out to be an understatement.

This is 2013.  And unlucky ’13 has really lived up to the expectations of the superstitious when it comes to health for the Dodgers.  Coming out of Spring Training with nine starting pitchers to choose from.  The Dodgers were down to three starters within three weeks into the season.  They were forced to make choices that have been second guessed a hundred times over.  We should have known that having too many outfielders would be a complete fallacy.

Having an overabundance of players hasn’t been a problem this year with the amount of injuries they have suffered.  Within a week, that Dodger outfield of four has reduced to Andre Etheir alone.  The four have been available this season for one game only.  

A recap of this latest set of injuries went as follows: 

Matt Kemp injured his AC joint in his left shoulder the very night of Mattingly’s comments.  Three days later he was on the disabled list again and there he sits until well past the all star break.  He may be out longer as he has been instructed to not swing a bat for a week, which is never a good sign.

Carl Crawford has been hitting at a 2 for 25 clip since returning from the D.L. for a pulled hamstring.  It is reported that he is suffering from back stiffness, so Skip Schumacher started for him tonight.  Crawford's batting average has plummented 25 points since his return to the lineup and he has had on bit appearances the last few games.

Yasiel Puig is playing hurt and Mattingly pulled him from his second consecutive game.  He was unable to even run  out of the box in his second at bat tonight, which was a weak grounder to second base.  His sore left thigh was injured in a jarring outfield wall collision back in Colorado a full 9 days ago.  Since he has tailed off offensively and it would probably be in the kid’s best interest to rest and heal until after the All Star break.  Training staff followed him around throughout pre-game warmups and it is obvious that the kid isn't right.

So there you have it.  An overabundance of all star outfielders has been reduced to Ethier, plus Schumacher and Van Slyke in that matter of a week.  So it goes for the 2013 Mash Unit Dodgers.  They’re still in good shape though considering that they are in the thick of the division race.  And if you give this whole situation some thought, there’s really not a better time to allow players to heal than a few games before the all star break.


On a night where it looked like all the stars we aligned for the Dodgers to chalk up another win and maybe inch a bit closer to first place, it simply wasn’t to be.  Kershaw started slowly and got behind early.  The offense never clicked and the Brewers laid over and died in their match in the desert with the Diamondbacks.  The Dodgers lost a game in the standings, thus guaranteeing that they will go into the all star break in second place.

Can we complain though?  The Dodgers have been playing .800 ball since June 22nd (16-4).  Tomorrow it’ll be Zack Greinke (7-2) against Tyler Chatwood (5-2) as Los Angeles attempts to get back on track and move above the .500 mark again.

1 comment:

  1. I never did figure the Dodgers had too many outfielders. I expect Matt to be longer term or at least reoccurring during the season. I have felt for some time that Carl Crawford is fragile.

    The question now is if Puig can get healed out or if they keep using him while injured.