To many of you, he is the Sinatra-looking figure who mans the third baseline for the Los Angeles Dodgers. However, he is more than just a passing figure in this daily game of baseball.
Indeed, many made much of the move when Chris Woodward left that spot for the Texas Rangers. While some worried, the Dodgers were busy re-loading. In late November they added Dino Ebel to their coaching staff. Ebel came highly-regarded in league circles.
Now, we are learning how the man’s skills are translating to excellence in the Dodger baseball we watch each night on screen. Furthermore, J.P. Hoornstra of the OC Register puts the poetry in motion for us. Of course, that poetry is Dino Ebel’s willingness (and success in doing so) to send ’em.
The Dodgers have had 1,756 baserunners this season. Dino Ebel has sent only six into an out at home plate. Sunday was one of those days when you noticed. Notes: https://t.co/3VM1R3A9Re
— J.P. Hoornstra (@jphoornstra) June 17, 2019
First, it’s not a quote at all; rather a daunting statistic that puts into perspective how good the Dodgers’ third base coach is at his job.
The Dodgers have had 1,756 baserunners this season, more than any National League team. Only six have been thrown out at home plate, so third base coach Dino Ebel must be doing something right.
If you are a numbers guy, that’s less than one percent of the time. Therefore when Dino gives the green light, you can rest assured that man is scoring.
Ebel’s Calculated Aggressiveness
Evidence of Ebel’s smart coaching took place in the series finale against the Chicago Cubs. Surely, the Dodgers won the game 3-2 on a bottom of the 8th inning single by Russell Martin that scored Chris Taylor. Here is that play for you to watch again.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) June 17, 2019
Still, everyone is talking about Taylor eating dirt and cutting his face. What they’re not talking about is the knowledge that went into that ‘send’. For without Ebel’s study of about one thousand little things, that play doesn’t happen at all. Let’s look into the mind of Ebel for a moment, if you feel ready for that.
“I saw a little footwork action going and I just felt that where Kris was, he had to make a perfect throw,” Ebel said. “For me in that situation – one out, bottom of the eighth – I just felt right now is the time to be aggressive. Chris has got a great jump, good instincts … (Bryant) has to make a good throw. I can live with it (if Taylor were thrown out). He didn’t. We got the win.”
And if that’s what Dino is telling Hoornstra, one can bet that he thought of about a hundred more little things in anticipation of that moment. Moreover, imagine how many situations he scrolls through in his mind each game while we are just watching an at-bat with a runner on first or second.
Final Thoughts on Dino
Some people root for players, and some just root for the laundry. While that’s awesome – I have become a fan of Dino Ebel. Truly, this is some of the stuff from the game within the game; the chess match of baseball you often hear about.
Clearly, the Dodgers snagged a gem in this guy. It would not surprise me that if private thoughts were known within league circles – the opposition admits that Ebel is one of the best at his job in the sport.
This is yet another small wrinkle in the excellence of Dodger baseball right now. It may be difficult to tell the full story all at once, but it’s important to offer a small detail of why the Dodgers are winning at such a nice clip. Without question, Ebel’s excellence is one of those reasons.