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Dodgers notes: Craig Kimbrel’s demotion, Clayton Kershaw’s routine, the ‘honey hole’

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Detroit Tigers defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1 during a MLB baseball game at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. Photo by Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images

The big news before Friday’s game was the Dodgers removing Craig Kimbrel from the closer role. Read more about it from Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register, Fabian Ardaya at The Athletic, and Juan Toribio at

And since this is a morning links post, I’d be remiss without sharing this photo from Friday’s pregame ceremony honoring retiring Cardinals Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina.


Clayton Kershaw shared in great detail his between-starts routine with Lindsay Berra at Mustard, including this incredibly specific detail: “I’ll go out to the field at 6:23 for a 7:10 game. I do my normal stretch, which takes 13 minutes, from 6:23 to 6:36.”

I missed this from Thursday night, but how Cody Bellinger’s leadoff double in the ninth inning — which he hit from roughly his shoe tops — off Reyes Moronta was described by D-backs manager Torey Lovullo was interesting, from Beth Harris at the Associated Press: “He was ahead of Bellinger 0-2 and then it ended up being a 3-2 pitch kind of down in the bottom of the zone, right in his honey hole.”

Miguel Vargas was named the Dodgers minor league player of the year by Baseball America earlier in September. The accompanying article, written by Bill Plunkett, was put in front of the paywall for the rest of the month. In the article, Dave Roberts says of Vargas, “He does everything. He hunts pitches. He values the walk. He does everything a young hitter is supposed to do. He’ll be special for a long time.”

With no more Games 163 to break ties, Team Entropy gets a fond farewell from its greatest champion, Jay Jaffe at FanGraphs.

With Shohei reaching 200 strikeouts on the season Friday night, this MLB graphic is incredible, and includes Hall of Fame Dodgers pitcher Don Drysdale, too: