The Dodgers figure to come up in the news quite a bit in the coming days as the team’s focus now shifts to the offseason after last night’s loss to the Mets in Game 5 of the NLDS. Earlier today, Jon Heyman already touched down on topics including Don Mattingly’s future, Zack Greinke’s opt-out and qualifying offers for Howie Kendrick and Brett Anderson.
Here’s more on the Dodgers…
- Yasmani Grandal will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder on Wednesday of next week, writes the Orange County Register’s Bill Plunkett. The switch-hitting catcher termed the procedure “just a cleanup” but said he looks forward to no longer dealing with pain in the joint. As Plunkett notes, Grandal played through that discomfort for two months, which resulted in a woeful seven hits over his final 104 at-bats.
- Also from Plunkett’s column, Kendrick says that he very much wants to return to the Dodgers in 2016, though he declined to get too far into specifics. The Dodgers are “on top of [Kendrick’s] list,” the second baseman said before neglecting to elaborate any further. Heyman reported this morning that Kendrick will receive a qualifying offer from L.A.
- One last note from Plunkett’s piece — right-hander Joel Peralta will pitch again in 2016. The 39-year-old nearly underwent neck surgery that could have ended his career earlier in the season, but he returned for a strong final month of the season, prompting him to decide he’d like to pitch for at least another season. He’ll head to winter ball to make up for some of the innings he lost. Peralta logged a 4.34 ERA with 7.5 K/9, 2.5 BB/9 and a 33.7 percent ground-ball rate in just 29 innings this year, but he allowed just two runs with 11 strikeouts and no walks over his final nine innings of the season.
- While Mattingly’s job security figures to be a topic of discussion after another NLDS exit, members of the clubhouse seem to be behind him, writes Zach Helfand of the L.A. Times. Hefland quotes Justin Turner, J.P. Howell and Enrique Hernandez each emphatically defending Mattingly, stating that the reason for the team’s early postseason exit stems from a lack of run-scoring, which shouldn’t be blamed on the manager. “I would play for Donnie any day of the week,” said Turner. “…I’m behind him 100 percent. I think he’s an unbelievable manager, did an unbelievable job handling everything that goes on both on and off the field with this club, and he’s got my support 100 percent.”
- Buster Olney and Keith Law of ESPN discussed the Dodgers in today’s podcast (audio link, with Law appearing around the 27-minute mark), specifically last night’s game (including managerial decisions on both sides) and the future of Mattingly. Both Olney and Law feel that Mattingly will be dismissed. Law opines that while Mattingly isn’t one of the game’s better tactical managers, he’s not among the worst, and much of the team’s postseason struggles must be blamed on the front office and the roster construction. Olney discusses the fact that Andrew Friedman’s strategy of building platoons and part-time roles worked in Tampa Bay with less-established players, but it’s highly difficult to make that strategy work when dealing with veteran players on expensive contracts. Also discussed is how the Dodgers should be willing to overpay to retain Greinke, with Law projecting Greinke’s style of pitching to hold up well over the life of a theoretical free agent contract.