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I Said It Before and I'll Say It Again
2003-11-13 09:03
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

The Dodgers need to improve their offense against right-handed pitching more than left-handed pitching.

More names are being dropped in the trade rumor pool - today, it's the Daily News whispering about Magglio Ordonez, who's a prince at the plate to be sure, and Richie Sexson.

Rich Hammond of the News also mentions Jim Edmonds, but caveats it by saying that "the Dodgers primarily are coveting a right-handed corner outfielder in addition to a first baseman."

I'm not gonna shoot the messenger here, but can I just reiterate the following?

Dodgers vs. RHP in 2003: .647 OPS, 1 HR every 49 AB
Dodgers vs. LHP in 2003: .735 OPS, 1 HR every 34 AB

Any offense is going to help the Dodgers, but offense against right-handed pitchers is going to help more. Now, it's fine if you find a right-handed batter who slugs it out against same-side pitchers, as Ordonez and Sexson do, but to rule out Jim Edmonds not because of age or cost, but because he swings the bat left-handed? Let's wise up.

Stats below from ESPN.com, Baseball Prospectus and Baseball Graphs.

Magglio Ordonez, Chicago White Sox, OF
Age: 29
Bats: Right
Salary: Owed $14 million for 2004
Mainstream stats: .317 BA, 29 HR, 57 BB, 73 K
OPS in 2003: .926 in 160 games (.980 vs. LHP, .906 vs. RHP)
EQA in 2003 (park-adjusted): .310 (17th in the American League)
Win Shares in 2003 (park-adjusted): 23 (20th in American League, 6th among OF)
Trend: Second-best OPS of career in 2003; EQA was high in 2003 but higher in 2001 and 2002.
Worth acquiring in exchange for Odalis Perez or Guillermo Mota? Definitely, but dream on.
Worth acquiring in exchange for Odalis Perez and Guillermo Mota? Yes. The $14 million for 2004 is a very mixed blessing. It's a huge chunk of change, but/and the good/bad news is there's no commitment to Ordonez beyond next season. In any case, the talent is clearly there.

Richie Sexson, Milwaukee, 1B
Age: 28
Bats: Right
Salary: Owed $8.6 million for 2004
Mainstream stats: .272 BA, 45 HR, 98 BB, 151 K
OPS in 2003: .927 in 162 games (1.005 vs. LHP, .904 vs. RHP)
EQA in 2003 (park-adjusted): .308 (21st in the National League)
Win Shares in 2003 (park-adjusted): 26 (9th in National League, 3rd among 1B)
Trend: Career-high in OPS and EQA in 2003
Worth acquiring in exchange for Odalis Perez or Guillermo Mota? Yes.
Worth acquiring in exchange for Odalis Perez and Guillermo Mota? Right now, Perez is being sold low while Mota is being sold high. The more I say "yes" to trading Perez, especially with Mota, the more nervous I get that Perez' value is being underrated. But basically, I'm finding it hard to resist any hitters with EQAs over .300.

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