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Pacing Perez and Penny
2005-03-08 09:40
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Will Carroll has figuratively penned and literally typed his Dodger Team Health Report for Baseball Prospectus. Nothing earthshattering: The position players except for Jayson Werth fare well, and the non-Jeff Weaver, non-Derek Lowe starting pitchers draw concern. (There's an interesting sidenote in the article that one of every nine major-league pitchers in 2004 had undergone Tommy John surgery at some point.)

My hunch is that the Dodgers are better equipped right now to handle Brad Penny or Odalis Perez breakdowns than they were last September, when you wondered whether anyone could get out of the second inning. Just about everyone on the team seemed exhausted by that final month. But with an offseason of rest, even if Scott Erickson is fool's gold, the Dodgers now have the manpower to go with a solid 11- or 12-man pitching staff, mix and match according to situation, and get some outs. Might make for some annoyingly recurring Jim Tracy visits to the mound and walks to Barry Bonds, but they should get the job done.

It seems more important that Penny and Perez be healthy as the season progresses, as the lesser arms of their teammates begin to tire out, than on Opening Day. I'm comfortable with Penny and Perez pacing themselves here in early March.

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