Baseball Toaster Dodger Thoughts
Help
Jon Weisman's outlet
for dealing psychologically
with the Los Angeles Dodgers
and baseball.
Frozen Toast
Search
Google Search
Web
Toaster
Dodger Thoughts
Archives

2009
02  01 

2008
12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

2007
12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

2006
12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

2005
12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

2004
12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

2003
12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

2002
09  08  07 
About Jon
Thank You For Not ...

1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
6) using hyperbole when something less will suffice
7) using sarcasm in a way that can be misinterpreted negatively
8) making the same point over and over again
9) typing "no-hitter" or "perfect game" to describe either in progress
10) being annoyed by the existence of this list
11) commenting under the obvious influence
12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with

Batting Second in this Report, Paul Lo Duca
2003-02-10 09:14
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

In his National League preview, Peter Gammons put the Dodgers seventh. They topped a second tier of teams in the National League, but trailed St. Louis, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Arizona, Houston and Atlanta.

This seems reasonable.

However there were some oddities in Gammons’ writeup on the Dodgers. For example, there was this sentence:

Doctors say [Dreifort’s] knee could be a problem as he gets up and down in the bullpen, so he may start, which along with Brown will require a sixth starter.

Can you translate this sentence for me? Is he implying a six-man rotation? Do starting pitchers not “get up and down?” What does “which” modify?

Gammons also wrote that “one big factor is that with McGriff in the middle of the lineup, catcher Paul Lo Duca can go back to the two hole and stop trying to carry the team.”

I get the sense that some scout or Dodger organization man fed Gammons this. In any case, I’m not sure the numbers bear out what Gammons is saying.

Lo Duca’s OPS by batting position:
#1 2.000 in 2002 (1 AB), .971 in 2001 (189 AB)
#2 .759 in 2002 (285 AB), .555 in 2001 (9 AB)
#3 .867 in 2002 (108 AB), .666 in 2001 (3 AB)
#4 .641 in 2002 (122 AB), 1.792 in 2001 (6 AB)
#5 .538 in 2002 (59 AB), .832 in 2001 (183 AB)

What really stands out is that .971 in the leadoff slot in ’01. He had an on-base percentage of .378 and a slugging percentage of .593, hitting a home run every 13.5 at-bats batting first. By comparison, Dave Roberts OPS in 2002 was merely .697.

In any case, I don’t really see enough consistency in Lo Duca’s numbers to draw any firm conclusions, but with that .867 OPS in the No. 3 hole, it’s hard to make the argument that “carrying the team” dragged down LoDuca’s production. I’m guessing there were other issues involved.

Here’s an interesting if no more conclusive chart – Lo Duca’s OPS by month in 2002:
.779 April (Dodgers go 16-10)
.791 May (Dodgers go 15-13)
.876 June (Dodgers go 19-8)
.743 July (Dodgers go 10-16)
.440 August (Dodgers go 18-10)
.771 September (Dodgers go 14-13)

You’d think July and August should be flip-flopped. Essentially, the Dodgers seemed to cover up for Lo Duca during his worst month of the year.

I don’t know what LoDuca will produce in his third season as a regular. But the Dodgers of 2002 didn’t really depend on him offensively – his numbers offensively were barely better than Karros’ numbers were. (The difference is, LoDuca is a catcher, a position offense is at a premium. At first base, it’s another story.)

Gammons is correct about one thing – if Lo Duca is forced to carry the Dodgers, then they are in trouble. But it’s a fallacy to imply that Lo Duca was carrying the Dodgers last year – Shawn Green, Odalis Perez and Hideo Nomo were. If this misconception needs to be clarified for the competitive Lo Duca so that he doesn’t press, it needs to be done verbally, not passive-aggressively through his batting order position.

Comment status: comments have been closed. Baseball Toaster is now out of business.