Roger Craig, who pitched for the Dodgers in Brooklyn and Los Angeles, and later managed both the Padres and Giants, died on Sunday at age 93.
Craig pitched the first seven years of his career with the Dodgers beginning in 1955, when as a rookie he started and won the pivotal Game 5 of the World Series against the Yankees. Craig won three World Series as a player — two with the Dodgers (1955, 1959) and one with the Cardinals (1964).
In Mark Langill’s obituary of Craig, he notes the only surviving members of the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers are Sandy Koufax and Carl Erskine.
Craig managed the Padres for two seasons (1978-79), leading San Diego to its first winning season, then managed the Giants from 1985-92, leading San Francisco to two division titles, including a National League pennant in 1989.
Craig was also a pitching coach for the Padres, Astros, and Tigers, winning a World Series with Detroit in 1984. From Mike Fitzpatrick at the Associated Press, “Craig was credited with teaching the split-finger fastball to Hall of Fame starter Jack Morris and 1986 NL Cy Young Award winner Mike Scott.”
- J.D. Martinez is hitting better than he has in years, and Esteban Rivera at FanGraphs dug into some of his mechanical swing changes. I enjoyed this excerpt, showing one way Martinez has expanded his horizons with the Dodgers: “The longer you can hold your athletic stretch, the more room you have for releasing a quick snap. Or put another way, the more adaptable to different pitch speeds you are.”
- Bobby Miller’s great start was profiled by Rowan Kavner at Fox Sports.
- Jason Heyward and David Peralta have been used in extreme platoons this season, batting only six and seven times, respectively against left-handed batters. Fabian Ardaya at The Athletic looked at how that platooning has worked of late for the Dodgers.
- Though all three of Evan Phillips, Brusdar Graterol, and Caleb Ferguson all gave up runs in Sunday’s loss, that trio has emerged as the best of an otherwise shaky Dodgers bullpen. Mike DiGiovanna at the Los Angeles Times looked at what’s worked and what hasn’t for LA relievers.