Heading into the final weekend of the regular season with some Dodgers stories for you on a Saturday morning.
Sam Miller in his excellent Pebble Hunting newsletter appreciates the incredible streak by Freddie Freeman of out-performing his preseason PECOTA projections year after year, even if the Dodgers first baseman might fall just shy of doing so this season. “Most people will remember this as one of Freeman’s best years, and might consider it one of baseball’s amazing achievements that Freeman is still improving at age 34,” Miller wrote.
Mookie Betts and Freeman will finish highly in National League MVP voting, an award Braves outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. will likely win. Juan Toribio at MLB.com examines the case for Betts and Freeman — among other potential Dodgers award vote-getters — and advocates, rightly in my opinion, that Betts and Freeman should finish in the top three.
Oklahoma City Dodgers manager manager Travis Barbary, who will battle against Norfolk for the Triple-A championship on Saturday night in Las Vegas, has managed OKC since 2019 and his days with the Dodgers date back to 1994 when he was a player. He praised the organization’s player development staff with Kelsie Heneghan of MLB.com on Friday:
“The scouts do a tremendous job of getting the right people in the organization as far as the talent and the makeup of the player,” said the Triple-A skipper. “And the player development group does a great job of taking the skill sets that the players have and developing them to help them get the most out of their potential.
“I just felt like overall as an organization, players are allowed to be themselves. I think the players appreciate that, and they’re able to go out, feel relaxed each day and know that with the resources that we have, we’re going to help them develop to the best of their potential.”
Bob Timmermann at his newsletter has been looking back at ever Dodgers division-winning season. On Thursday he recounted the tumultuous 2013 season, which saw the arrivals of Hyun-jin Ryu, Zack Greinke, and Yasiel Puig.
After the Giants Friday firing of manager Gabe Kapler just ahead of the series against the Dodgers, Brady Klopfer at McCovey Chronicles argues that the Giants didn’t need a scapegoat, but do need a better team. You know, maybe one that matters.
Among the candidates mentioned to manage in San Francisco, from Andy McCullough at The Athletic, are Dodgers first base coach Clayton McCullough, former Dodgers first base coach (and current Tigers bench coach) George Lombard, and former Dodgers manager and current Blue Jays bench coach Don Mattingly.