Dodgers claim infielder Cole Figueroa

Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Joe Robbins/Getty Images

By Jon Weisman

Cole Figueroa, an infielder who turns 29 Thursday, has been claimed by the Dodgers and optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Figueroa has a .536 OPS in 84 career big-league plate appearances with the Rays (2014), Yankees (2015) and Pirates (2016). Pittsburgh optioned him June 11 to Triple-A Indianapolis and designated him for assignment June 24.

He had a .333 on-base percentage and .453 slugging percentage for Indianapolis this year. His career OBP in 429 Triple-A games is .356.

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1976: ‘Dodgers of the Future’

Dodgers of the Future, 1976

Forty years ago in the official team program, here’s what the Dodgers’ top prospects looked like, from the familiar to the forgotten.

— Jon Weisman

Reminder: All-Star voting ends Thursday

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

SS

By Jon Weisman

With the fan vote ending at 8:59 p.m. Thursday, Corey Seager remains approximately 700,000 votes removed from the starting shortstop spot for the National League All-Star team.

Seager has picked up 300,000 votes in the past six days, but needs a lot more to get himself over the Addison Russell hump.

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Dodgers eclipse darkness in Pittsburgh with comeback

By Jon Weisman

Shortly after high noon at Pittsburgh, the clock looked like it was going to strike an early midnight for Los Angeles.

The Pirates took a 4-0 lead in the first inning of today’s afternoon special, and the dark side of history had the drop. The Dodgers would need a big rally to avoid their first four-game sweep by the Pirates since 1944 (when it happened twice — in July and August). They were also trying to end an eight-game losing streak at PNC Park.

The last Dodger pitcher to win there was Hyun-Jin Ryu, who hasn’t appeared in an MLB game in more than 21 months.

But whatever flag the Dodgers will hoist this year, it won’t be white. With a run in the third inning and four in the fifth, the Dodgers bucked the Bucs, rallying for a 212-minute, 5-4 victory that was their 23rd comeback win of the season.

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When your front’s to the wall

Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Dodgers at Pirates, 9:35 a.m.
Kiké Hernández, LF
Justin Turner, 3B
Trayce Thompson, CF
Yasiel Puig, RF
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Scott Van Slyke, 1B
A.J. Ellis, C
Chris Taylor, SS
Scott Kazmir, P

By Jon Weisman

This is going to sound particularly banal, but as I’ve pondered what to write before today’s getaway-from-Pittsburgh game, I’m stuck on how change is a way of life in baseball.

Players and teams go up and down, without exception, and a season is really about who gets a few more ups than the rest.

The Cubs, thought to be indomitable, have lost six of seven. Bryce Harper, looking in April like an MVP for the next 10 seasons, has a .680 OPS over the past six weeks.

I’m not saying that it’s impossible to tell the difference between an aberration and a trend. But some players are performing uncharacteristically, and reversals of fortune shouldn’t be ruled out.

Just as you shouldn’t expect Corey Seager or Justin Turner to hit seven or eight homers every month, there are other players whom you shouldn’t expect not to turn it around.

Kershaw has rare stumble in loss to Pirates

Justin Berl/Getty Images

Justin Berl/Getty Images

By Jon Weisman

Ever so rarely, Clayton Kershaw will be less than perfect, and the baseball world will scramble its jets to understand why.

Almost without fail, the why is beside the point. The essential answer is that nobody is always perfect. Not even Kershaw.

In the second inning tonight, the Pirates ambushed the likely National League All-Star starter, scoring every run that it needed in a 4-3 victory, Pittsburgh’s eighth straight home win against the Dodgers.

Kershaw has lost two of those games, allowing four runs on nine hits with two walks in each. In only one other game in the past 12 months has Kershaw allowed at least four runs.

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The unabridged list of Clayton Kershaw walks in 2016

Walks chart

Click to enlarge.

Dodgers at Pirates, 5:07 p.m.
Kershaw CCLVIII: Kershaws I Lay Dying
Chase Utley, 2B
Corey Seager, SS
Justin Turner, 3B
Howie Kendrick, LF
Joc Pederson, CF
Yasiel Puig, RF
Yasmani Grandal, C
Scott Van Slyke, 1B
Clayton Kershaw, P
Note: Dave Roberts told reporters today that Adrian Gonzalez will be out of the starting lineup tonight and Monday.

By Jon Weisman

There’s the list, the list of the seven times in the 2016 baseball season any of the 414 batters Clayton Kershaw has faced managed to get a base on balls.

They haven’t come in consecutive starts since the first week of the campaign. At his stingiest, Kershaw walked one person (David Wright) in a 156-batter, 33-day stretch.

None of them have scored, with two reaching scoring position.

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Farm Fresh: June 25 Dodger minors highlights

By Joshua Gurnick

Highlights from the Dodger farm system for June 25, including a big-time relief performance in Triple-A …

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Farm Fresh: Willie Calhoun brims with confidence

Tulsa DrillersBy Cary Osborne

In the last Dodger homestand’s Dodger Insider magazine, we profiled Double-A second baseman Willie Calhoun.

During a predraft workout at Dodger Stadium last year, the 5-foot-7-inch powerhouse told Andrew Friedman that he was going to put on a laser show.

The show hasn’t ended.

He leads the Dodger system with 14 home runs and his been one of the most exciting performers in the organization since mid-May.

Read the entire story by clicking here.

* * *

Beginning this year, the Dodgers merged their previously separate Playbill and Dodger Insider magazines into one publication (at least 80 pages per issue) with a new edition available each homestand plus one in October, 13 issues total. It is distributed at auto gates (one per vehicle) and via Fan Services for those who use alternate transportation. Dodger Insider magazine includes news, features, analysis, photos, games, stadium information and more. Fans who still wish to subscribe can do so at dodgers.com/magazine

Maeda’s hot streak, Dodgers’ home-run streak end

Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

By Cary Osborne

During a five-game stretch that began in New York on May 28, Kenta Maeda reminded us of the first impression he gave back in April.

His 1.52 ERA in his last 29 2/3 innings had a lot to do with him not allowing the long ball and limiting damage.

He gave up one homer and didn’t have a multi-run inning against him during that time.

On Saturday, Pittsburgh’s Andrew McCutchen went deep twice — the second being a three-run home run that knocked Maeda out of the game.

And the Dodgers lost 6-1, their second straight loss and first losing streak since June 11-13.

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