The Dodgers clinched a playoff berth with a win over the Giants on Saturday, but Los Angeles still isn’t a lock to participate in a postseason series. Entering play on Sunday, the Dodgers and Rockies were tied atop the NL West. In the event Colorado wins the division, which may come down to a one-game tiebreaker between the teams on Monday, LA would have to get through the wild-card one-off on Tuesday in order to reach the NLDS. Ace Clayton Kershaw wouldn’t start that do-or-die contest, given that he just tossed five innings Saturday. So, because Kershaw could opt out of the remaining two years and $65MM left on his contract after the season, it’s possible Saturday’s start will go down as his last with the Dodgers. Kershaw was asked about his opt-out Saturday, but as you’d expect, his focus is on the playoffs. “I mean – I can’t really give an answer because I don’t know what’s ahead,” he told Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register. “I know we’ve got the playoffs ahead. It’s a good distraction. If we weren’t making the playoffs, I probably would have put a lot more thought into where we’re going and what I’m doing personally. But right now, I can’t do it. There’s not enough room up there (in his mind) for both.”
More on a couple other NL clubs..
- This season will end up as a major disappointment for the Nationals, who entered as expected contenders but will miss the playoffs under first-year manager Dave Martinez. Nevertheless, Martinez and his staff are safe going into the offseason, general manager Mike Rizzo told Mark Zuckerman of MASNsports.com and other reporters on Sunday. It’s anyone’s guess whether Martinez will continue to manage superstar outfielder Bryce Harper, a pending free agent, in 2019. Unsurprisingly, though, Rizzo wants Harper to remain in the fold. “Of course he’s in our plans,” Rizzo said of Harper (Twitter link via Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post).
- It’s a near certainty the Reds will have Joe Girardi on their wish list as they search for a full-time manager, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (video link). If Cincinnati does pursue Girardi, the former Marlins and Yankees skipper informed Rosenthal he would consider taking the job. “I want to manage again. I’m interested in everything,” said Girardi, whom the Yankees parted with last fall after a long and successful run in New York. On paper, the rebuilding Reds and Girardi may not look like a match, though it’s worth noting they expect to spend more in 2019 and could attempt to start pushing toward contention.
- The Reds’ 2019 manager will have to decide how to deploy righty Michael Lorenzen, a reliever who could vie for a starting role next season. Lorenzen started 21 times as a rookie in 2015, but he moved to a full-time relief job the next season. He has since made three starts, all of which came this season, and ended his year on Saturday with 5 2/3 scoreless innings against the Pirates. The 26-year-old then said (via Mark Sheldon of MLB.com) that he wants to return to starting on a full-time basis. “It’s not a secret that it’s something I want to do,” said Lorenzen, who added he’ll “work extremely hard” in the offseason to bolster his chances. Lorenzen was a valuable member of the Reds’ staff in 2018, as he posted a 3.11 ERA/4.18 FIP over 81 innings. He also did his best offensively to serve as the NL’s answer to Shohei Ohtani, hitting an excellent .286/.333/.750 with four home runs in 31 trips.
If Os get rid of Buck, I hope they go for Girardi
Agreed. Toronto too.
Too bad your owner is a tightwad, huh?
dimitrios in la
I just don’t see a fit—in either direction—with the O’s and Girardi. Mike Bordick would seem to be a strong fit and consideration at this point.
I do not see why Girardi or any experienced manager would take the Orioles job. The organization is a joke. They will be stuck with no experience managers or second rate retreads
.300/.344/.733 was Lorenzen’s batting line actually, per BBref
I wouldn’t count Kershaw out for the WC on three days rest.
You guys better hope Kershaw’s arm doesn’t fall off after his new contract. He’s probably lost 2-3 years off his career due to over utilization in LA.
I wouldn’t count on Kershaw even on five days rest. He continues to prove he’s not clutch. His last outing in SF is the latest example. I’m an avid Dodgers fan but would love for him to opt out. I rather have a pitcher you can count on in must-win games, than a pitcher that has proven he cannot win in the clutch. Not for the money he’ll be asking. He dominates during the regular season because teams don’t go all out every game. But once teams elevate their game during the postseason, Kershaw is average at best. Add to that the fact he hasn’t had any major arm injury (I.e. Tommy John) and whoever signs would have to contend with that risk as well. No thank you, Let him walk and sign a couple of clutch pitchers that can take you to the next level.
I disagree, as would most GMs. Teams don’t sign/not sign players due to postseason performance. A player being clutch/not clutch doesn’t matter much if you can’t make it to the postseason.
You can disagree all you want and I’m not pointing out what GMs want. Just that as a Dodger fan I rather have a couple of clutch pitchers with the money he will demand. Believe me, I want nothing more than for him to turn things around this postseason and prove me (and most everyone else) wrong. But from what I’ve seen so far, he isn’t clutch enough for me to want him around just so he’s a Dodger for life. Let the other GM’s spend that kind of money. Heck, we might win the World Series after all facing him!
Say clutch again
You have selective memeory. Kershaw has definitely had some stinkers in big games but also great ones. Im not going to freak out over yesterdays game because the giants weren’t exactly squaring the ball up fot a good amount of their hits. Kershaw > Keuchel not even close. Corbin is good but he has never pitched a postseason game.
Game 5 against the Astros last year? A clutch pitcher wins that game. He was given a comfortable lead twice! Listen, I’m not here to argue, I’m a knowledgeable fan and know my team. He wins that game and the Dodgers are celebrating after winning game 6. Check out his performance against the Cards also a few years back. Go Dodgers!
Yeah and he won game 1 of the world series and was solid in game 7. Your not a knowledgeable fan because you are cherry picking big games. For every bad one you can pick out a good moment.
Cherry-picking doesnt inherently mean you arent Knowledgeable. Just means you’re cherry-picking.
It’s sad one cannot post their opinion here without a rebuttal every time. It’s just my own freaking view of Kershaw. Simple as that.
This is a fourm. Dont post something where you rip into a guy and get mad when someone responds to it
Say clutch again
Okay, there are a few things that stand out as stupid in this post, but I have to point out the obvious..
“Add to that the fact he hasn’t had any major arm injury (I.e. Tommy John) and whoever signs would have to contend with that risk as well”.
What? Because he hasn’t had arm injuries, he’s more susceptible to having an arm injury now?
You may as well be the guy saying to draft the running back with bad knees, over the running back with good knees, because the one with good knees is due for an injury. Which is the stupidest logic you can have, but seems to apply here.
If teams don’t “go all out” in the regular season why aren’t more pitchers as successful? Think for a minute it helps.
Obviously “thinking for a minute” isn’t helping you. What I’m saying is that during the course of a long season teams don’t have the same urgency to win on a daily basis because they know they can come back the next day and win. It’s not a must win situation (from an elimination standpoint) like it is during the playoffs. To your point about why other pitchers aren’t as successful… there are many successful pitchers but Kershaw clearly stands out because he is a great pitcher! I never said he wasn’t. Just that I wouldn’t tie an absurd amount of money per year on a pitcher that hasn’t proved to be clutch in the postseason.
Cincinnati will go with a typical Cincinnati choice. Likely Riggleman IF he wants it. I can’t fathom a scenario where Girardi comes to the Reds for the pennies they’d pay him.
Also, Dusty Baker is still available.
John Ferrell is next manager here
They paid Dusty well when he managed in Cincinnati. So…Yep, kinda an ignorant comment. It won’t matter who they sign, unless they also sign a big FA pitcher, and or trade for a 1 or 2 quality pitcher.
The real ignorance is the failure to recognize basic sarcasm.
Dusty was hailed as savior when he came to Cincy. They portrayed him as someone who was treated unfairly in Chicago. Not because that was reality but because that’s what Dusty told them. Forget he won less games every year with an increasing payroll, including just 66 games in a contract year.
5 years later the Reds came back to reality.
Dusty also felt he was treated poorly in SF. Also not true.
Wow, you didn’t get what I was saying at all! You said the Reds couldn’t or wouldn’t pay for a manager of Girardi’s I’ll. I said that the Reds paid Dusty well, so you’d understand that you are wrong. Your Dusty is available had zero to do with my comment. You’re just a small man with a big keyboard. Life must be tough on you little guy.
Kershaw is retiring. Hid body is damaged. He doesn’t need to make more money. He’s done.
Velo is down, but 160 innings of sub 3.00 ERA pitching and 3.5 fWAR, tells a different story to what you’re painting.
It’s only because he’s been so otherworldly for so many years, that this Kershaw seems less than great.
He needs another pitch if he’s going to be effective well into his 30s. The heater is no longer a put away pitch and he hasn’t got anything between the curve and the slider. For awhile he was working on a change, but that effort just disappeared. I even saw him try a three quarters delivery once, a la Rich Hill, but just the one time. When velocity starts to drop off, pitchers need to adjust. That’s what needs to happen with Kershaw sooner or later, especially if he expects somebody to take a big money chance on him into his mid-30s.
Good points Cam
Amjr. I agree with you 100%. I as well am a die hard fan that grew up with Garvey lopes Russell and cey. I love Kershaw and he has been our best if not the best pitcher for his dodger stint. However if he is going to be demanding 30 to 35 mill for 5 years, let him go to Houston or Texas. To his acknowledgment he has lost his velocity and his best days are behind him sad to say.
Jordan, thank you. I’m also from the Garvey, Lopes, Russell, Cey era. Had spring training season tickets at Dodgertown in Vero Beach for many years. Those were the days my friend.
No one was handed a better team/teams then Dusty Baker and could do nothing with them. He did ruin plenty of arms on the way and for some reason people think he knows what he is doing. Worst I’ve seen in many many years