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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
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12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with

This Goes to 11
2005-04-11 20:12
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

With only two games coming up over four days (counting today) and Derek Lowe scheduled to pitch in neither game even if healthy - Elmer Dessens be in the bullpen - the Dodgers would do well to option a pitcher to the minors right now and recall a 14th position player.

If and when the Dodgers needed to go back to 12 pitchers, they could then option the position player and recall another pitcher (not necessarily the same pitcher due to roster rules, but another interchangeable bullpen part). Or, perhaps by then, it would be time to activate Wilson Alvarez anyway.

The only possible hitch in this get-along would be if there is uncertainty over Giovanni Carrara's ability to pitch. Otherwise, the Dodgers are carrying too many pitchers right now for the upcoming two-game series with the Giants, when they could have extra pinch-hitting flexibility.

Comments
2005-04-11 20:37:34
1.   LetsGoDodgers
Why burn a guy's minor league option to have him sit on the bench for a week?
2005-04-11 20:38:49
2.   GoBears
But who? Repko's up. Nakamura's up. Perez is hurt. Thurston/Robles for IF depth? Or maybe Chen? Guzman isn't ready, and why start the clock? Is there anyone down there who might be trade bait, and could use the exposure? Or any career-AAAA types, someone like Trenidad Hubbard? Too bad Brooks Kieshnick isn't available (Houston signed him) - that would have been a good bet-hedger.
2005-04-11 20:42:24
3.   Rich Lederer
Bill James believes teams generally carry too many pitchers and too few position players. He thinks an extra hitter can win more games than a 12th pitcher, especially if used wisely in platoon situations.
2005-04-11 20:43:48
4.   Jon Weisman
Options cover entire seasons. So if you plan on calling a player up at all during the year, it makes no difference if you start now. And given how thin the Dodger bench is, it's likely the player would see action.

No, I wouldn't start Guzman's clock in this situation. But yeah, any of the AAAA types is what I'm thinking. The point is to take the opportunity to have another option before you send Jeff Weaver in to pinch run, or before you let Kelly Wunsch bat for himself.

2005-04-11 20:48:47
5.   GoBears
Here are the non-pitchers on the 40-man roster who are not on the 25-man roster, and aren't on the DL (to my knowledge):
B/T
C Russell Martin R/R
C Dioner Navarro S/R
IF Willy Aybar S/R
IF Delwyn Young S/R
OF Cody Ross R/L
2005-04-11 20:50:04
6.   gvette
Apparently Dodger farmhand Jon Weber will be unavailable for callup.

Maybe Thurston or Chen can start their annual Southwest Airlines shuttle to LA early this year.

2005-04-11 21:00:53
7.   Jon T
I don't know...

Are pinch running with Weaver + Wunsch batting for himself really worse than not having another arm - any arm - in case these place-holders in the bullpen really get hit hard?

2005-04-11 21:26:29
8.   Bob Timmermann
Calling up Robles would be hard because he is playing in Mexico, not the PCL. So the Dodgers would have to purchase his contract and move somebody off of the 40-man roster. Frank Brooks was moved off the 40-man roster to make room for Nakamura.
2005-04-11 21:43:21
9.   Jerry
Something tells me Jon is a Christopher Guest fan.

I have a goal to one day write a piece about the Dodgers using only lines from Best in Show.

2005-04-11 21:44:46
10.   yofan
As I recall......

Chen and Thurston were DA'd during the off season. They can't come back to the bigs until mid-May. That's still about 5 weeks away.

See the March 4th, 2005 entry....

2005-04-11 21:47:14
11.   Bob Timmermann
There was a thread on Baseball Primer where we discussed the Dodgers bullpen problems (starting with Gagne's injury) using only lines from the Godfather. (or its sequels).

I want a man I can trust putting someone in that bullpen. I don't want Jim Tracy coming out of there with just Steve Schmoll in his hands!

2005-04-11 21:54:55
12.   Jerry
Look what they did to my Giovanni. Look how they massacred my boy!
2005-04-11 21:57:38
13.   Jeromy
Good argument, Jon, but I guess no one is biting. Perhaps because the Dodger offense is off to such a good start and the bullpen has been shaky, most fans feel more security knowing there is an extra arm down there for a out or two in a tight game.
2005-04-11 22:48:55
14.   Vishal
i don't think there are any particularly useful guys to bring up right now, and with the way we're pitching, we could stand having the extra guy in the pen.

kind of OT but, henson has a piece in tomorrow's times about milton bradley, a relatively sympathetic one. here's a refreshing quote which not many of us would have expected to see in the LAT sports section:

*Bradley's appreciation for the seemingly limitless support from McCourt, Tracy and General Manager Paul DePodesta has grown with time.

"They see deeper," he said. "They look at the heart."*

imagine that! stat boy looks at the heart!

2005-04-11 22:51:44
15.   Jon Weisman
Yeah, I'm surprised. If you're saying you're against 11 pitchers now, for reasons other than the machinations, you're basically saying you want to stick with 12 pitchers all season. If you're saying you need 12 pitchers now, then perhaps you should have been aruging for 13 pitchers during the first week, which had no off days.

The Dodgers enter Tuesday's game with Weaver plus seven relievers, all of whom have at least one day's rest: Dessens, Brazoban, Sanchez, Wunsch, Carlyle, Schmoll and Carrara. That's eight total pitchers for what in all likelihood is a nine-inning game. Even if it goes extra, think how long it would be before you exhausted that crew. Meanwhile, an extra bat could help you end the game before it even got that far.

Plus - for what it's worth, the top-hitting pitcher, Weaver, is obviously not available to pinch-hit in this game.

2005-04-11 22:56:03
16.   Jon Weisman
Further, there's a contradiction in the arguments I'm seeing. Nobody seems to think that most of the current relievers are worth spit, yet not one of them can be parted with? I hope Schmoll has a future, but when you have so many pitchers, is he really more valuable than an extra batter or pinch-runner right now?

If you have seven medicore relievers, is the solution to add a reliever who is worse than the previous seven? Or to try to augment your offense, baserunning or fielding?

2005-04-11 22:56:06
17.   GoBears
I'm with you in spirit, Jon. But I'm just wondering who they'd bring up from among those 5 I listed above who Tracy would actually use. Probably Cody Ross. Why bring up a 3rd catcher (unless you're the Angels)?
2005-04-11 23:02:08
18.   Jon Weisman
GB, using that example, unless you think more of Paul Bako's hitting than I do, wouldn't it be nice to be able to pinch-hit for him without fear of running out of catchers? Why not give Cody Ross an at-bat in that kind of situation?

I can almost guarantee if you do go extra innings, you'll run out of position players with the current roster before you run out of pitchers.

2005-04-11 23:15:04
19.   GoBears
Well, if it were up to me, I'd send Bako to Pittsburgh (the final resting place of all dreck) and either call someone up or sign Gagne's favorite hockey goalie from the Great White North. But that's a separate question. Note that 3 of the 5 "extra guys" are switch hitters, which would increase the probability that Tracy would actually use whoever he gets.
2005-04-11 23:25:11
20.   gvette
Problem is that if you view Dessens and Erickson as fortunate to get through five, Tracy is going to burn through pitchers at a dizzying rate.

Last Saturday, all Tracy had left was a worn out Wunsch, after using six relievers. If you have to manage that way,is it better to have a pitcher pinch hit, or a pinch hitter try to pitch?

2005-04-11 23:39:22
21.   Jonathan
Anybody know anything about Oscar Robles' defense? I wonder how he compares to Antonio Perez.

Do you think management sees Perez as just a cheap backup for a few years or do they think he will develop into something more?

2005-04-12 00:57:09
22.   scanderbeg
I think your proposal makes sense, logistically. Would the benefit (having another bat on the bench) outweigh the cost (sending down a pitcher from an inconsistent bullpen)? I think it would, but there are no position players who really seem like they ought to be on the major league roster (though Schmoll is not really ready yet, either).

If Weaver has another solid start, then the bullpen will mostly have two days rest, minimum for Perez on Wednesday. He went over the estimated pitch count last week, but I am still a little nervous about how long he can go.

2005-04-12 03:46:05
23.   Langhorne
Jon, how could you leave out the pride of Fullerton, D.J. Houlton? I agree with you though. I wouldn't mind seeing Navarro. I know he's a couple of years away but why not give him a taste? If we're involved in a blowout let him catch a couple of innings. Of course, I'm swayed by my deep desire to see Duaner pitch to Dioner.
2005-04-12 06:20:12
24.   Eric Enders
Certainly, in the topsy-turvy world of Major League Baseball, having a good solid extra piece of wood on your bench is often useful.

I wouldn't be opposed to putting Carlyle on the first flight to Vegas. But I don't see where it's that big a deal either. If I called up anyone it would be Robles, but I wonder if he and/or his Mexican League team would even agree to a callup that was likely to last only a few days.

2005-04-12 06:23:21
25.   Eric Enders
We're very lucky as Dodger fans in that we have two visionaries, DePo and Tracy, they're like poets, like Shelley and Byron. They're two distinct types of visionaries, it's like fire and ice, basically.
2005-04-12 06:57:22
26.   Eric Enders
From the "better late than never" department, this morning's Times reports:

"The Dodgers spent $20 million to renovate Dodger Stadium, but one of the most significant changes didn't cost a penny: more organ music. Fans attending today's home opener against the San Francisco Giants can expect to hear more of organist Nancy Bea Hefley and less of the recorded rock music that last season became the norm between innings.

'We're going to turn the volume down and keep it diverse,' director of marketing Drew McCourt said of the musical selection.
..
Drew McCourt said stadium officials would lower the volume of a sound system that in some areas is 'deafeningly loud.'"

2005-04-12 08:41:50
27.   Eric L
If the Dodgers (ie Tracy and DePo) plan on bringing up Navarro before the rosters expand, then bringing him up right now for a few games isn't a bad idea.

On the other hand, there is no sense in wasting an option year on someone that you have no plans on using this year.

2005-04-12 08:56:54
28.   Eric Enders
IMO, Navarro is about the least likely player on LV's roster to be recalled. He's not shown he can even succeed in AAA, much less MLB. And I'm sure they are wary of starting his clock too early.

If the Dodgers are going to recall a catcher from LV, it will be Mike Rose, an experienced catcher and good hitter whom they presumably acquired for situations exactly like this one.

2005-04-12 09:50:18
29.   Dr Love
For the season, I'd rather have 11 pitchers than 12, but right now I have no qualms about 12 pitchers. Once the bullpen gets it's shit sorted out--and players come off the DL, I'd like to see them go back to 11. And considering the position players available for callup, maybe the best option is staying with a 12 man staff.
2005-04-12 10:15:46
30.   Sushirabbit
Just to pile on here... and Jon, if I ever sound mad or something, it's just not the way I am....

Anyway, I basically agree with the extra bat being better, except. I think Tracy is right to put people in all kinds of different situations and basically say "OK, show me what you got." The bullpen, even with Gagne's return, still needs to be figured out sooner rather than later... and God forbid, what if Gagne or Penny don't return all that soon.

Plus, better to play around with these "place holders" against an easy team like the Giants. :-)

2005-04-12 10:16:13
31.   Rick A
I'm with Eric, I think Rose should get a look here.
2005-04-12 10:28:37
32.   Jon Weisman
Dr Love - sorry to nitpick, but there's a no-profanity rule in the comments. For da kids ... thanks.
2005-04-12 10:47:22
33.   Dr Love
My bad, I was unaware. Won't happen again.
2005-04-12 11:12:01
34.   LetsGoDodgers
The injury bug is forcing DePo into a holding pattern with the current 25-man roster. Starting the clock on one of our "quality" minor leaguers just so he can experience life on the bench as Plan D or E for pinch-hitting is awfully short-sighted. Giving AB's to Cody Ross is just wrong.

In a perfect world, Repko/Schmoll/Houlton show enough promise to be trade bait so DePo can "sell high" when Werth/Penny/Alvarez return from the DL.

2005-04-12 11:53:24
35.   In Enemy Country
We just need to get healthy. When Gagne, Penny, Alvarez and now Lowe are healthy and ready to pitch I think you'll see an 11 man staff. But right now, with Scott "The Human Gascan" Erickson, we need that extra arm. Look what happened on Sunday, Trace had to use Duaner for the third time in 4 games because he had no one reliable to turn to. When Gagne returns it will take a lot of pressure off our other relievers, they'll know that all they have to do is get the game to him. Baseball is a game of confidence and right now that bullpen doesn't have a lot of it.
2005-04-12 17:01:32
36.   Tommy Lasagna
WP: Carrara

Does this outing ease the bullpen confidence situation a little?

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