Christopher Crawford

Baseball Daily Dose

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Dose: Tale Of Two Claytons

Friday, September 8, 2017


Assuming you haven’t been living under a rock without internet access, you likely know that the Dodgers have been struggling over the past two weeks. Since winning to go 91-35, Los Angeles came into the game having lost 11 of 12 games, including a three-game sweep to the Diamondbacks. Fortunately for the Dodgers, they had their ace on the mound Thursday in the form of Clayton Kershaw. Surely he could get things on the right track.

He could not.

Kershaw didn’t get out of the fourth inning on Thursday, giving up four runs on six hits in 3 ⅔ innings in a 9-1 loss to the Diamondbacks. Three runs came on a homer to Nolan Arenado, and the normally efficient southpaw also walked three hitters.

Let’s keep a couple things in mind. First, this was Kershaw’s second start since returning from a back strain; an injury that kept him out from July 23 to September 1. Second, Kershaw was excellent in his first start back against San Diego, and inconsistent results are to be expected when you miss nearly two months. Finally, let’s also remember this was against Colorado, which is a challenging lineup to pitch against.

It would be nice to see Kershaw return to dominance with the flick of a wrist, but these things take time. He should pitch much better when he faces San Francisco on September 12.

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Richard pitches gem against Cards

No one will confuse Clayton Richard for Kershaw, but tonight, it was Richard who looked like an ace. He pitched six scoreless innings on Thursday, scattering five hits and striking out five in a 3-0 victory over St. Louis.

Richard’s ERA (4.78) and win-loss record (7-13) is ugly, but it doesn’t really tell the whole story. He’s struck out 133 hitters in 179 innings, and for the most part, he’s kept a not very good Padres teams in games. Three of his last six starts have seen him give up no runs, and take away some stinkers like the outing against Colorado in which he gave up 10 runs in 3 ⅓ innings and that ERA starts to look a lot healthier.

He’s never going to be an ace, but Richard has earned a chance to pitch in a rotation next year, and he should see more success with a better defense and better lineup behind him.


Rodon scratched

Big things are expected from Carlos Rodon’s career, and with good reason. He’s a southpaw who has shown an 80-grade (on the 20-80 scouting scale) slider, and he’ll also show a quality fastball and the ability to miss bats with both pitches. Unfortunately, he hasn’t shown the ability to stay healthy yet, and he was scratched from his start on Thursday with left shoulder stiffness.

The move came just before the start, and while it doesn’t necessarily spell doom for Rodon, it’s not good. Shoulder issues are never something you want to see in a pitcher, as the rehab can be significantly more difficult than injuries to the forearm or bicep. Let’s also remember that Rodon missed the first two months of the year with bicep tendinitis. He hasn’t pitched terribly in his twelve starts for the White Sox with 76 strikeouts in 69 ⅓ innings, but this has basically been a lost year for the left-hander.

The future's still bright, but it remains to be seen if he can stay healthy enough to live up to the lofty goals.


National League Quick Hits: Mets 3B David Wright says he’s still eyeing a return to the Mets even after undergoing rotator cuff surgery on Tuesday. … The Nationals called up OF Victor Robles on Thursday. Robles is considered one of the top prospects in baseball, and ranks first in the Rotoworld Season Pass top fantasy prospects. … The Rockies acquired RHP Jon Keller from Baltimore as the player to be named later to complete the trade for RHP Miguel Castro. … Marlins 1B Justin Bour (oblique) has completed a rehab assignment, and could be called up by Miami as soon as Friday. … Mets SS Amed Rosario (nose) remained out of the lineup on Thursday. Jose Reyes got the start and hit leadoff.

American League Quick Hits: Willy Garcia (jaw, head) has been cleared to begin a minor league rehab assignment with Low-A Kannapolis. … Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy (elbow) could be activated from the disabled list on Friday. … Angels DH Albert Pujols is expected to be in the lineup on Friday; he was unable to play Wednesday with a bone bruise in his left knee. … Marcus Stroman (elbow) will make the start on Friday against Detroit. … Orioles RHP Chris Tillman was sent to the bullpen, and Baltimore has not scheduled a start for him after giving up 13 runs in just under 15 innings. Yankees OF Aaron Judge hit his 39th homer of the season on Thursday. His 39 homers are the second-most for any rookie behind Mark McGwire, who hit 49 in 1987.



Christopher Crawford is a prospect writer for Rotoworld. He's scouted and covered prospects since 2009 and resides in Coronado, Calif. Follow him on Twitter @Crawford_MILB.
Email :Christopher Crawford



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