October 6th, 2011
For the 2011- 2012 season, the Los Angeles Dodgers will have to make some wise moves to dodge the financial problems that are plaguing them. For the time being, they will have to focus on what they can do without affecting their payroll. For the free agency 2012, it is ideal for the Dodgers to sign low risk but high reward players for a minimum period of one year.
The possible free agents for Dodgers
When it comes to filling the gaps created by the stars who have left the Dodgers, three players can be considered:
- To replace the star catcher Rod Barajas, the choice is ideally Ryan Doumit. This 31-year-old player has finally being ruled healthy and has a hit .303 with a 128 OPS-plus in 77 games this season. Doumit can easily do some backstop duties for the Dodgers.
- The second player up for grabs is the 32-year-old Bill Hall, who can easily manage Third Base, Shortstop and Outfield. He can very well fill in the gaps left by key players Casey Blake and Dee Gordon. When it comes to replacing Blake at third base and managing the outfield like Gordon, Bill is the man. He is the man to hang on to as he is consistent at batting and can score doubles, which can even seal the game for the team.
- Finally the 33-year-old starting pitcher, Joel Piniero. He will come in handy when Hiroki Kuroda departs via free agency and with speculations of Chad Billingsley leaving the Dodgers.
With these three players, the Dodgers could have a great run.
September 1st, 2011
Andre Ethier, with his grand slam, sealed the San Diego Padres fate. Dodgers won 8-5. Ethier had been having some trouble with his right knee for a few days now, but one thing is clear, his knee still lets him drive the ball with the bases fully loaded. This win is the seventh one for Dodgers in eight games.
Ethier’s grand slam is even sweeter because since May last year, there has been a big controversy on whether he should continue playing on his injured knee. He was 3 for 4 consecutively for the second game on Tuesday night. The grand slam was on the first pitch from Anthony Bass, who was the reliever for Stauffer.
Overall, the Dodgers received 12 walks and it was the most since they had 14 walks in 1999 against the Atlanta Braves.
Kuroda gave a single to Jason Barlett, a double to Guzman, a three run home run to Blanks, and a home run to Orlando Hudson. Still, Kuroda has matched his major league season high that was set last year. Kuroda himself expressed some disappointment that he was not able to pitch as well as he ought to have, considering the kind of run support he had.
Kenley Jansen and Javy Guerra pitched scoreless innings. Jansen has now thrown 3 scoreless innings since he got out of the disabled list in August. Matt Kemp also played brilliantly in the 4th inning.
This season, the Dodgers have scored 520 runs. They also allowed 518. This is the first time that they have had a positive run differential since the second game of the season.
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July 12th, 2011
The typical Dodgers player response to the Frank McCourt mess is that it does not affect them. But, Andre Ethier, the star right fielder of Dodgers, seems to be singing a different tune according to people close to him.
Ethier has nothing to worry about his play and the McCourt fiasco has definitely not affected his statistics – he had a 30 game hitting streak in April and May, and has 42 RBIs, 7 home runs and a batting average of .316. Ethier had earlier made some cryptic comments about the state of affairs of Dodgers during spring training and that had attracted some attention at the time, but other than that he has never publicly admitted that anything is amiss. But, sources close to Ethier say that he may be more concerned about the dismal financial position of Dodgers and poor management, more than he cares to admit.
Will Ethier jump ship, is the question. If he decides to move on to another team, the Boston Red Sox could be a chosen pick for Ethier. The Yankees like him too, but Ethier’s affections are more with the Red Sox.
Nez Balelo, Ethier’s agent has made no comment. Ned Colletti, the Dodgers General Manager, has also declined to comment in the absence of any direct quotes from Ethier. Currently, Ethier is the second year of a two year contract for $15.25 million. He will not become a free agent till after 2012. Ethier had earlier speculated on leaving Dodgers late in the spring training. He seems worried about the future of the team as a viable contender in baseball and said that he will consider staying back in LA as long as the team is moving in the right direction. And with the current debacle that Dodgers seem to be in the midst of, it is most definitely not moving in the right direction, and it will be no surprise indeed if Andre Ethier chooses to join the Boston Red Sox.