Dodgers Sweep Seattle While Fifth Starter Spot Percolates

After a three-game sweep of the Seattle Mariners, the Dodgers now prepare for a three game set with the Colorado Rockies, who are off to a great start (7-2) and amazingly, boast the National League’s number one team ERA, at 2.41, which has been a major part of their starting the season with a six-game road winning streak that they will try to extend in the opener at Dodgers’ Stadium against Clayton Kershaw. He will face Kyle Kendrick (1-1, 6.00 ERA), the only Rockies’ starter who has not been dazzling so far this season.

Young starters Tyler Matzek (24), Eddie Butler (24), Jordan Lyles (24), and Christian Bergman (26) have been out of this world, having allowed a total of seven, count them, seven, earned runs between them, over seven starts and 38 innings. Of course, most of that has been on the road and away from cozy Coors field and its high altitude and thin air.

Meanwhile, the Dodgers still are searching for a
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fifth starter, David Huff having made one start, followed by his almost immediate release. Coming out of spring training, Joe Wieland was said to have won the spot, and then a few days ago it reportedly had been handed to Scott Baker. With two off days, the Dodgers will not need the fifth guy until next weekend, and at this point it’s a total mystery as to who it could be. The team did bring up Carlos Frias after Huff was dispatched, and Frias did make two starts last season, pitching very well against the Nationals, but then being rocked for eight earned runs in two-thirds of an inning in a 16-2 loss to Colorado. In Triple-A prior to recall, Frias made one appearance, a start, and he was hit hard, allowing eight hits and three runs, all earned, in five innings.

Looking at Seattle these last three days reaffirms much of what I thought before the start of the season: They’ve got a pretty good team on the field with more punch that last season, but Fernando Rodney’s brief time as a serviceable closer is over and they will only go as far as their young pitching takes them. So far, their two young starters, James Paxton (0-1, 5.11) and Taijuan Walker (0-2, 17.18) have been very bad and absolutely horrendous, respectively. And what in the world is Manager Lloyd McClendon thinking by using Rickie Weeks (.174) in left field? He’s got several fine young outfielders, plus the veteran Cruz, and yet he chooses to put Weeks in unfamiliar ground in left, where, after seeing him for only a brief time – that’s all it took – I can say absolutely that he does not have the arm needed to make the throws necessary even from left field. In 1041 major league games before this season, he never once took the field at any position but second base. He is also

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not the hitter he once was, having hit .233 over his last three seasons in Milwaukee. It's also interesting to note that the Brewers had no interest in re-signing him due to what was described by their representatives as his "unwillingness to play other positions and lack of baseball skills". Yet, there he is, striking out almost 50% of the time and playing a horrible left field for a pennant contender.

While the Dodgers are playing pretty well overall at this point, getting solid play from Joc Pederson and Howie Kendrick, and some big contributions from Andre Ethier and Alex Guerrero, it has to be noted that Dee Gordon, who was considered, apparently, to have had little chance of repeating his 2014 All-Star season, is now hitting .378 for Miami, and 2015 NL MVP Matt Kemp, given away to the Padres for a pile of crap, is at .341.

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