November 24, 2014

Kuroda Sidelined with Tendonitis – Park to Start Saturday

Hiroki Kuroda’s MRI revealed tendonitis in his right shoulder, resulting in the pitcher being scratched from his Saturday night start against the Indians. Kuroda’s injury means Chan Ho Park gets the nod for Saturday night, following up Eric Stults who will pitch in place of the injured Brad Penny on Friday.

The Dodgers have not said whether Kuroda will end up on the 15-day DL at this point – they could make it retroactive to June 13th, thus minimizing the time he misses on the roster if the injury is minor. However, Torre and Colletti seem determined to use releiver to manage Kuroda’s absence at this point.

At least Derek Lowe and the Dodger bats seem to be performing (albeit against the lowly Cincinnati Reds) – the boys in blue scored six runs on nine hits while Lowe went 5 1/3 innings with only one run, three hits, two walks and six strikeouts on the board.

Maybe there is hope…

First Penny, Now Kuroda?

Quite possibly.  From Dylan Hernandez at the LA Times:

The news went from bad to worse for the Dodgers on Tuesday, as they put Brad Penny on the 15-day disabled list and sent Hiroki Kuroda to Los Angeles to undergo a shoulder examination similar to the one Penny had a day earlier.

Kuroda will have an MRI exam this morning, making him unavailable to make his scheduled start tonight in Cincinnati. If Kuroda is cleared by team physician Dr. Neal ElAttrache to resume pitching immediately, he will start at Dodger Stadium on Saturday when the Dodgers play host to Cleveland, Manager Joe Torre said.

Can this get any worse?  Ugh.

Kuroda and Duke Offer Interesting Matchup for Dodgers and Pirates

Hiroki Kuroda
OK, so I for one am itching to see Kuroda and Duke face off tonight for a few reasons:

1. Their stats are nearly identical – Both have pitched about 12 innings, both have a 2.13 ERA, both have given up three earned runs so far this season. Kuroda’s 1-1 record is partly based on some unearned runs, so I’ll let that difference slide for now.

2. Current Dodger players have struggled against Duke in the past - Jeff Kent is 1-11, Rafael Furcal is 2-10, Andruw Jones is 1-8, and poor Juan Pierre is 3-17 (glad to see he is nowhere in tonight’s lineup).

3. The Matt Kemp factor - OK, so he’s FINALLY in the lineup and not being brought up off the bench…very pleasing (especially given Pierre’s stats against Duke). Batting third should give him a chance to stretch his legs a bit here – but his historical performance against Duke has been spotty as well (although not nearly as bad as those already mentioned)

4. Kuroda isn’t facing the D-backs this time – The “all of nothing” approach to batting that the D-backs are using definitely hurt the Dodgers (and Kuroda). Pittsburgh, however, has only registered two games where they scored over four runs (the Florida game was the only impressive victory) and aren’t putting up impressive numbers from the batters box consistently. Kuroda has a decent shot to preserve any early lead that the Dodgers can muster here (remember Russel Martin and Kuroda vs. the Padres). Did I mention that Martin is hitting better against Duke than just about any Dodger player?


What Does Kuroda Bring to the LA Dodgers?

Hiroki Kuroda

A lot of people are asking what exactly does Hiroki Kuroda bring to the Dodgers (besides a hefty price tag)?

Good question. For starters, he delivers a fastball that averages about 93 mph and ranges between 89 and 95 mph. He tends to be a strike machine, delivering lots of speed in the strike zone and can also put down a slider at 89 mph.

Surprisingly, Dodgers GM Ned Colletti never actually saw Kuroda pitch in person. They relied solely on tape to make their decision. Logan White, in speaking to, said “I put my reputation on the guy…he’s legit.”

As a part of Hiroshimo Toyo Carp, Kuroda was 103-89 with a 3.69 ERA over 11 seasons with the team. He made the Japan all-stars each of the past three years and was 12-8 in 2007 with a 3.56 ERA.