It’s been 10 games into the season and the Los Angeles Dodgers find themselves 6-4 and heading to Arizona to take on the Diamondbacks. In the past week, the team went 3-3 after dropping two of three at home to the San Francisco Giants.
We take a look at the players having the best and worst weeks in our trends:
Since recovering from the calf strain that kept him from going to Australia, Zack Greinke has returned to the form that he finished 2013 with. After going five innings in his season debut, the right-hander prevented the Dodgers from being swept by the Giants by throwing six innings and striking out eight, while allowing just two runs to earn the victory.
With Clayton Kershaw out, Greinke will be counted on to lead the rotation and has done well so far. His next start will come Saturday against the Diamondbacks after manager Don Mattingly shuffled the rotation with the day off.
If he remains healthy, Greinke will be in the race for National League Cy Young and give the Dodgers’ another ace in the rotation.
Dee Gordon & Juan Uribe
The infield duo combined for 17 hits this past week and have given the Dodgers some consistency in their lineup. Gordon has added four stolen bases and driven in three runs, including the game-tying one against the Tigers on Wednesday and a leadoff home run on Tuesday. The speedster is off to a great start and could claim the second base spot for his own, eliminating the platoon with Justin Turner.
Uribe has followed up his strong 2013 campaign with a hot start in 2014. Of his eight hits this past week, three were doubles and he has solidified his spot in the lineup. As always with Uribe, he has provided solid defense at third base and is looking to completely erase the bad memories from his first two years in Los Angeles.
If Gordon and Uribe can keep this pace up, the rest of the Dodger lineup should catch up and give them one of the most formidable offenses in the big leagues.
After signing a one-year deal in the off-season Dan Haren was also left off the travel roster to Australia with a tired arm, but has recovered quite nicely. Haren started two games last week and threw six solid innings each time, allowing just one earned run and striking out 10. He earned the victory in the first game against the San Diego Padres and was given a no-decision against the Tigers.
Haren has done a fine job of mixing up pitches and getting outs. The Dodgers hope that he can continue this throughout the season and solidify the back-end of the rotation. Haren’s next scheduled start is likely Monday against the Diamondbacks, returning to Chase Field where he once pitched for the opposition.
Another strong start by Haren will boost his confidence and help the Dodgers’ rotation stay strong without their ace.
Ellis was out of the lineup Sunday for what seemed to be a routine day off; however, there was more to it. The Dodger catcher was said to have a tear in his left meniscus and would have to undergo surgery that would keep him out at least four-to-six weeks. Tim Federowicz was recalled from Triple-A and started the first two games in Ellis’ absence.
Struggling at the plate, Ellis’ injury will have more of an effect on defense rather than offense. His handling of the pitchers and strong arm behind the plate gave the Dodgers a stable force running the defense. While Federowicz and Drew Butera can handle the duties, they are not as dependable as Ellis.
The Dodgers are hoping Ellis can recover in the expected timeframe and return back to his spot behind home plate.
Dodgers’ right fielder Yasiel Puig had a rough week after being benched for the home opener for being late and then spraining his left thumb on an ill-advised headfirst slide into first base. Puig was slotted to be in the starting lineup for his first career Opening Day at Dodger Stadium, but was a late scratch after arriving at the ballpark late. He claims he thought the game was later and was punished by Mattingly.
Following his benching, Puig got the start on Saturday against the Giants and injured his thumb after sliding into first on a grounder that he was going to easily beat out. Since then, Puig has not started the past three games and has only pinch-hit in Wednesday’s game against the Tigers. He struck out with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth.
Puig continues to be day-to-day and could find himself back in the starting lineup this weekend against the Diamondbacks.
Dodgers News: Yasiel Puig’s Thumb Injury, Strained Ligament