According to the Oklahoman newspaper, the Dodgers will be moving their Triple-A affiliation from Albuquerque to Oklahoma City as early as the 2015 season.  

The Oklahoma City team is currently called the RedHawks, but that name could change, in theory, when the team changes ownership.  The reason for the move rests with the New Mexico environment in relation to evaluating baseball talent. 

"The Dodgers reportedly have been searching for a city more suitable to evaluate their top prospects. Starting last season, the Dodgers have required Isotopes officials to place baseballs in a humidor to try to counteract the effects of the thin, dry air, Albuquerque being 5,300 feet above sea level." 

The Dodgers have been connected to Albuquerque for parts of 44 seasons.  

Clayton Kershaw for MVP? I think not. Of course I won’t argue if he wins it, but I certainly wouldn’t vote for him. Missing five weeks of the season hurts. On the one hand, it’s remarkable that he’s among the league leaders in various categories given the time that he’s missed. On the other hand, who’s to say he would have been so dominant over those five weeks? What if he had a few pedestrian outings over that span, “ballooning” is ERA closer to 2.50? Sure, his strikeouts and innings would have increased, but so – possibly – could his WHIP and ERA. That being said, I do believe that he has been the most dominant pitcher in the NL – no matter who you compare him to. For that reason, along with his leaderboard status, I would vote for him for the Cy Young Award. That may seem like a double standard, but for me it’s the difference between “best pitcher” and Most Valuable Player for the entire season.

• Miguel Rojas. Who knew he was going to be such a wizard on defense? Such an important piece to the roster. For that matter, Justin Turner and Scott Van Slyke have rounded out a most impressive bench. Ned had his work cut out for him last offseason – safe to say that he passed with flying colors in assembling an effective set of role players.

• Speaking of Ned, his recent acquisitions left me feeling like Frank McCourt was pulling the strings again. Darwin Barney? Kevin Correia? Roberto Hernandez? Seems like the kind of moves that Ned made a few years ago. But the early returns have been excellent. Can they keep it up? Time will tell. No one expects them to be lights out over the next six weeks and beyond. But if they can keep the Dodgers in games, they will have proven Ned and Co. to be quite competent yet again.

SportsNet LA is going to be televising a handful of Isotopes games in the coming weeks. It’s really just more baseball that no one is going to see, and not just because 70% of fans can’t get the channel. The games will be tape delayed and shown midday, when no one is home to watch them anyway. It is, however, a step in the right direction. I’ve always felt we should be privileged to watch some prospect baseball on occasion. Hopefully things expand to the point where fans can watch Triple-A and Double-A games on days that the Dodgers are off, or where the schedule allows an “organizational double-header” by showing a Major League game at 4pm Pacific Time, and the Triple-A game following.

• If you haven’t been to the Baseball Exhibition at the Reagan Library, you need to go. Really. Here’s a bit of my visit there a few weeks ago.

• I’ll be offline for a bit. Time for a little R&R with the fam.

--Just my two cents

Recently, Matt Kemp sat down and spoke with Sam Ryan of the MLB Network and discussed his move to right field, and what he thinks about the 2014 Dodgers.

On Saturday, the Dodgers acquired right-handed pitcher Kevin Correia from the Minnesota Twins in exchange for a player to be named or cash considerations. Dodger General Manager Ned Colletti made the announcement. 

“Kevin gives us an additional option as a starter or long reliever,” said Colleti. “He also supplies us with more veteran pitching depth for the stretch drive.” 

Correia, who will turn 34 on August 24, has won at least nine games while making 26 or more starts in each of the last five seasons since 2009, during which time he’s struck out more than twice as many as he’s walked with 585 strikeouts and only 290 walks. He was selected to the 2011 National League All-Star team as a member of the Pirates and has appeared in 344 games (213 starts) in 12 Major League seasons.

In 2014, Correia has gone 5-13 with a 4.94 ERA in 23 starts for Minnesota, including 13 quality starts and 16 starts of 6.0 or more innings. He has pitched well away from Target Field this season, posting a 3.17 ERA (23 ER/65.1 IP) in 11 road starts, and has gone 2-0 with a 3.50 ERA (7 ER/18.0 IP) in three starts against the National League West, with victories at Colorado and vs. San Diego.   

 --Dodgers Press Release
The Dodgers today acquired right-handed pitcher Roberto Hernandez from the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for two players to be named or cash considerations. Dodger General Manager Ned Colletti made the announcement. 

“Roberto provides us with another big league starting pitcher, who has pitched well this year, particularly the last seven starts,” said Colletti. “He has postseason experience and helps fortify the rotation down the stretch.”

Hernandez, who will turn 34 on Aug. 30, has been terrific in his last seven trips to the mound, going 3-3 with a 2.85 ERA (15 ER/47.1 IP) while averaging nearly 7.0 innings per start. During this stretch that began on June 23, Hernandez has limited opponents to a .194 average while allowing just one home run. On the season, the native of the Dominican Republic is 6-8 with a 3.87 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP in 23 games (20 starts).

Hernandez made his big league debut in 2006 and spent his first seven seasons in Cleveland, having a career year with the Indians in 2007, going 19-8 with a 3.06 ERA. Hernandez made three starts for Cleveland during their 2007 postseason run, including a 9.0-inning start in which he allowed just one run on three hits vs. the Yankees in the ALDS. Following that season, Hernandez finished fourth in the American League Cy Young Award voting.

The 2010 All-Star has appeared in 237 games (197 starts) with Cleveland (2006-12), Tampa Bay (2013) and Philadelphia (2014). He has eight career complete games, a career opponents’ batting average of .268 and 755 strikeouts in 1,221.0 innings.

The Indians’ Opening Day starter in 2011 was formerly known as Fausto Carmona until 2012. Hernandez was tonight’s scheduled starter for the Phillies and previously faced the Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw in Philadelphia on May 23, allowing two runs in 6.1 innings. 

Hernandez was originally signed by the Indians as an amateur free agent on Dec. 28, 2000.

--Dodgers Press Release
Baseball America asked every big league manager to break down the best major leaguers in a variety of categories.  Here are the Dodgers making the National League lists with (ranking):

NL offensive categories:

  • Best Power - Yasiel Puig (3)
  • Best Bunter - Dee Gordon (1)
  • Best Baserunner - Dee Godon (2)
  • Fastest Baserunner - Dee Gordon (2)
  • Most Exciting Player - Yasiel Puig (2)

NL pitching categories:

  • Best Pitcher - Clayton Kershaw (1)
  • Best Curveball - Clayton Kershaw (2)
  • Best Slider - Clayton Kershaw (2)
  • Best Control - Clayton Kershaw (2), Zack Greinke (3)
  • Best Reliever - Kenley Jansen (3)

Not surprisingly, no Dodger made the list for Best Defense at his position.  But one Dodger did earn some recognition:

  • Best Outfield Arm - Yasiel Puig (1)

Rankings are also listed for Triple-A players.  In the Pacific Coast League, Joc Pederson was given high marks for these categories:

  • Best Batting Prospect
  • Best Strike-Zone Judgment
  • Most Exciting Player