New manager Dave Roberts is the Dodgers’ somebody

Dave Roberts in 2002 (Jill Weisleder/Los Angeles Dodgers)

Dave Roberts in 2002 (Jill Weisleder/Los Angeles Dodgers)

By Jon Weisman

Dave Roberts first came to the Dodgers as a nobody. On December 22, 2001, the Dodgers traded two single-A minor-leaguers, Christian Bridenbaugh and Nial Hughes, to Cleveland for an outfielder who had 40 career Major League hits at age 29.

Neither Bridenbaugh nor Hughes would play at any level in any of MLB’s 30 organizations again. But Roberts, he wouldn’t easily be forgotten.


Vin equals win at the Esurance MLB Awards

By Cary Osborne

It’s tuxedo season in baseball, and Friday marked the latest in a series of Major League Baseball award presentations.

The winners of the inaugural Esurance MLB Awards were announced on MLB Network and, and the Dodgers walked away with two prizes — both Vin Scully related.

Vin Scully took home the prize for Best Call, TV for his “holy mackerel” call of the Dodgers’ June 18 balk-off win.


Cotton, Stripling added to 40-man roster

Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 1.08.52 PMBy Jon Weisman

Minor-league right-handed pitchers Jharel Cotton (left) and Ross Stripling have been added to Dodgers’ 40-man roster today, as expected, ahead of the deadline to protect them from other MLB clubs in  the Rule 5 draft.

Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 1.08.44 PMCotton, who turns 24 in January, pitched primarily for Double-A Tulsa, with 71 strikeouts and a 1.12 WHIP in 62 2/3 innings, before gaining 7 1/3 innings of Triple-A experience at the end of the year.

Returning from April 2014 Tommy John surgery, Stripling (who turns 26 Monday) had 55 strikeouts and a 1.19 WHIP in 67 1/3 innings for Tulsa.

The Dodgers now have 39 players on their 40-man roster, 23 of them pitchers.

Alex Wood looks ahead after a year that ‘wasn’t up to standards’

Los Angeles Dodgers vs Colorado Rockies

By Jon Weisman

When he got on the phone late last week, Alex Wood was on his way to a wedding, an event that has become as regular as a turn in the starting rotation.

“A lot of teammates and friends are getting married, so on the weekends I have a lot of weddings and different things going on,” Wood said. “I had a bachelor party last week and a wedding this weekend, wedding next weekend, wedding the weekend after. The next three weekends I’ve got weddings.”

Inevitably, baseball players become experts at weddings — especially arranged marriages, like the one Wood found himself in July 30 when Atlanta traded him to the Dodgers. In some ways, the honeymoon is over, but in other ways it hasn’t yet begun.


Greinke, Kershaw in NL MVP top 10

By Jon Weisman

Zack Greinke finished seventh, Clayton Kershaw 10th and Adrian Gonzalez tied for 19th in the Baseball Writers Association of America’s National League Most Valuable Player vote, won unanimously by Washington’s Bryce Harper.

Greinke, the NL Cy Young Award runner-up, received two of the 30 possible second-place votes behind Harper, and in the MVP race also finished one slot behind NL Cy Young winner Jake Arrieta. Greinke was included in the top 10 of 24 ballots.

Other than Kershaw winning the NL MVP voter last year, Arrieta and Greinke had the highest finishes for a pitcher in the NL MVP race since Roy Halladay finished sixth in 2010.

Kershaw’s highest place on any MVP ballot this year was fourth place (two votes). Gonzalez had one ninth-place and one 10th-place vote.

Greinke, Kershaw not alone in post-award arguments

Mike Piazza in 1997. Todd Warshaw/Allsport/Getty Images

Mike Piazza in 1997. Todd Warshaw/Allsport/Getty Images

By Cary Osborne

After Wednesday’s Cy Young Award announcements, we know that Zack Greinke has the best pitching season by a Dodger to not get recognized with a Cy Young Award. And it might be the best ever by a pitcher who didn’t win the prize. Clayton Kershaw’s season might be the second best by a Dodger who didn’t win the Cy Young Award.

They’re not alone. Other Dodgers have had strong arguments for season-ending awards and were left empty-handed.

Looking back at some of the best seasons by Dodger pitchers who didn’t win a Cy Young Award, it’s easy to see why they were passed over.

Reliever Ron Perranoski had an incredible 1963 out of the bullpen — a 16-3 record, 21 saves and a 1.67 ERA in 69 appearances. Perranoski even finished fourth in the NL MVP voting. Some guy named Koufax won the Cy Young that year.

Don Sutton had a 2.08 ERA and 0.91 WHIP in 272 2/3 innings in 1972 and finished tied for fifth. No one was beating Steve Carlton with his 1.97 ERA and 310 strikeouts in 346 1/3 innings.

But there are some former Dodgers who could look back at the Rookie of the Year and MVP awards and share argument stories with Greinke and Kershaw. Actually, Kershaw could argue twice about the Cy Young Award.


Arrieta tops Greinke, Kershaw for NL Cy Young Award

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers


Zack Greinke in Cy Young balloting

  • 2009: first (AL)
  • 2013: eighth (NL)
  • 2014: seventh (NL)
  • 2015: second (NL)

Clayton Kershaw in NL Cy Young balloting

  • 2011: first
  • 2012: second
  • 2013: first
  • 2014: first
  • 2015: third

Dodger MLB Cy Young Award winners

  • 1956: Don Newcombe
  • 1962: Don Drysdale
  • 1963: Sandy Koufax*
  • 1965: Sandy Koufax*
  • 1966: Sandy Koufax*

Dodger NL Cy Young Award winners

  • 1974: Mike Marshall
  • 1981: Fernando Valenzuela
  • 1988: Orel Hershiser*
  • 2003: Eric Gagne
  • 2011: Clayton Kershaw
  • 2013: Clayton Kershaw
  • 2014: Clayton Kershaw*

By Jon Weisman

Despite the lowest ERA in the Major Leagues in 20 years, Zack Greinke will go into the offseason without the National League Cy Young Award.

Greinke missed becoming the ninth Dodger pitcher to win the trophy, falling to Jake Arrieta in this year’s vote by the Baseball Writers Association of America.

If four of Greinke’s 17 second-place votes had put him first, Greinke would have won the award.

Finishing third was three-time winner Clayton Kershaw, who did receive three first-place votes.

No ballot put Arrieta or Greinke outside of the top three, while two voters had Gerrit Cole of the Pirates in third place.

Greinke had a 1.66 ERA — the lowest in the big leagues since Greg Maddux in 1995 — and an adjusted ERA of 225 (best since Roger Clemens in 2005). He also led the Majors in WHIP (0.84) and win probability added (6.72).

This year’s balloting marked the first time that a pair of teammates ranked among the top three Cy Young vote-getters since 2011 (Philadelphia’s Halladay and Cliff Lee) and the first time for two Dodger pitchers since 1974, when Mike Marshall won the award and Andy Messersmith was the runner-up.

Two different Dodgers haven’t won the award in consecutive years since Don Drysdale (1962) and Sandy Koufax (1963).


Dodgers, Newcombe welcome vets to Dodger Stadium

Newcombe signs

By Jon Weisman

A cheerful Don Newcombe was among the featured guests at today’s Dodger Stadium gathering for approximately 300 pre-selected Armed Forces veterans and active duty service members and their families.

To my regret, I didn’t have the recorder running as Newcombe shared stories with me about training soldiers during the Korean War, including doctors for the medical units depicted in “M*A*S*H.”


Anticipating today’s NL Cy Young Award reveal

Greinke Kershaw

Together, Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw pitched 455 1/3 innings for the Dodgers in 2015 with 501 strikeouts and a 1.90 ERA. (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

By Jon Weisman

Sometime between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. today on MLB Network — I’m guessing as close to 3:59 p.m. as possible — the Baseball Writers Association of America will announce the winner of the 2015 National League Cy Young Award.


The year of John Shoemaker continues with top minor league honor

A.J. Ellis and John Shoemaker. Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

A.J. Ellis and John Shoemaker. Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Cary Osborne

It’s been a season of appreciation for longtime Dodger minor league coach John Shoemaker. In July, he was named “Captain” of Dodgers Player Development. On Tuesday, the influential figure received extraordinary recognition from Minor League Baseball.



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