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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
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Home Runs Are Breaking the Dodgers' Back
2005-06-02 10:06
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

If you aim, you miss.

That's the peculiarity of throwing a ball. Whether trying to hit a split end on a square out 15 yards away, or trying to hit the first baseman from the hole at shortstop, if you consciously aim as you throw, the mechanics of throwing will actually push the ball away from your target. It's a fine distinction. Your physical follow-through needs to be toward your receiver, but the mental process of aiming needs to be completed before you throw.

Pitching has its own unique qualities that distinguish it from quaterbacking or even infield play, but the axiom remains - you can't aim while pitching. You have to pick your spot before you make your pitch. You get the ball to your correct location not by aiming it as you throw but because over time, with practice, you have made the mechanics of getting a ball to a particular spot intuitive - without aiming as you throw.

Whether this is the main problem with a Dodger pitching staff that is on its way to posting the worst team ERA in Los Angeles history, by a wide margin, isn't clear. But Wednesday night, Derek Lowe acknowledged as much.

"When you play in a pitcher-friendly park like we do and you give up that many home runs, there is only one reason for it," Lowe told Tony Jackson of the Daily News. "It's probably poor pitching, leaving the ball out over the plate. I can't speak for the other 11 guys, but I tried to throw Neifi Perez a 2-0 changeup, which was the right pitch to call there. But instead of going down and away like it was supposed to, it was over the inner half. Home run."

Similarly, Duaner Sanchez, eighth-inning pitching in a one-run game with two runners on against the Cubs' Derrek Lee, who leads the league in all three Triple Crown categories (yet strangely, was not listed among several Triple Crown candidates in the print edition of the latest USA Today Sports Weekly), left a 2-1 pitch hovering smack in the middle of the plate, the last place he could have possibly wanted it to be. The three-run home run by Lee gave Chicago nine runs for the game and all but sealed the Dodger defeat.

The encouraging thing is that this problem would seem solvable. But the discouraging thing is that, according to Jackson, Dodger pitching coach Jim Colburn isn't sure what the answer is - which would seem to imply that in addition to the location issue, movement and speed of the Dodger pitches have also been inadequate.

Going into the season, we knew that most of this Dodger pitching staff was not a strikeout staff, that it was going to depend on its fielders to make plays. The consolation was that, despite offseason media reports to the contrary, the Dodgers offered above-average defense in the outfield and up the middle to make those plays.

But it all self-destructs if the ball is flying out of the ballpark. And the home runs allowed by Dodger pitchers are undoubtedly the reason they have been losing about two of every three games for weeks. Since May 1, no major league team has allowed more home runs than the Dodgers: 42 in May plus two in June.

  • Jeff Weaver, in his bottomless pit 2003 season with the Yankees, allowed one home run every 10 innings. This season, he has allowed a home run every six innings.

  • Wilson Alvarez and Scott Erickson have combined to allow an astonishing 17 home runs in 61 1/3 innings in 2005 - one every 3 2/3 innings.

  • The Dodger bullpen, a group designed to be extra-effective because their outings are short, has allowed 18 home runs in 157 innings - one every nine innings. A year ago, the relievers allowed a home run every 12 innings.

    Interestingly, Dodger pitchers have been among the best in baseball since May in not walking batters - fewer than three per game - making one wonder if they are either challenging too many batters at the wrong times, or not properly wasting their waste pitches. Last year, however, the team only walked 3.2 batters per game, while allowing home runs at an average rate.

    In any case, of all the problems plaguing the team, the single most important - more than the offense or the manager - is for the team to have a pitching staff that keeps the ball in the ballpark. If this problem can be solved - the season remains alive. If it can't, nothing else matters.

    While no one expected the 2005 Dodger pitching staff to be the best in baseball, there is little objective reason to think they should be the worst. Of course, real life has been known to sneer at objective reason from time to time.

    Update: Some of the suggestions commenters are making about personnel changes (remember - I said "some") are contradictory. The Dodgers need to see if these kids can perform now, otherwise they have no future? That doesn't make sense. You want to go with the young kids, but cut D.J. Houlton? Why? His 7-plus ERA in the majors is so much worse than Edwin Jackson's 7-plus ERA in Las Vegas? Houlton has no chance to get better - you know this already - but meanwhile, let's give the kid - any kid - from the pitching-friendly AA his shot?

    What happens if the new kid can't do the job? Does he get tossed aside too?

    I think this is where we as a "think tank" start to lose our credibility. Pointing out underperfomers is one thing, change for the sake of change isn't without value when you're replacing something awful, but there needs to be some rationality. Would you accept a plan from Paul DePodesta that is essentially throwing darts at a dartboard - disposable darts at that?

    Nothing was expected from the Dodger minor league pitchers, with the possible exception of the now-faltering Jackson, before 2006. It's a very young group that got slowed down by the injuries to Greg Miller and Joel Hanrahan. The fact that the major leaguers are not performing isn't going to make the minor leaguers get better sooner.

    Speaking just for myself, I've got all the patience in the world to watch kids like Jackson take their lumps. If you're not sure if you have it, ask yourself what it would have been like to be a fan of the 2003 Detroit Tigers. They went with the kids for their pitching staff. Jeremy Bonderman might be nice to look at now, but that team was not a pretty sight.

    If you're already ready to give up on Houlton, that's a clear signal that you don't have the stomach to endure the level of performance the kid pitchers are likely to produce. You're asking for misery. And where do you go from there? You can't cut everybody.

    So what am I saying? Factor in your potential disappointment in the minor league callups before you call them up. The minor league pitching might help a little in 2005, but ultimately the solution to the Dodgers' pitching problems has to come from major league talent - that of the Dodgers or some other team.

  • Comments (161)
    Show/Hide Comments 1-50
    2005-06-02 10:38:05
    1.   Suffering Bruin
    Taking a break from my hiatus. Because of the move, I have to steal time on other computers until June 6th. A few points...

    1. I've been reading some of the chats since I had to take an involuntary break from posting about my favorite topic. We are a grumpy crew, people. Giving up 42 homers in a month will do that to anyone. We need a group hug. I'm not sure what that hug is but we need it.

    2. I have found out that the "fact of Choi" about him breaking a basketball rim is apocryphal. I apologize. It was a heckuva story that remains interesting because the guy who broke the rim wasn't Choi but somebody else. Archipelago e-mailed to say he screwed up in the translation; his friend in Palau was talking about Choi and then started talking about the rim-shattering story and Archipelago got them mixed up. Bottom line, Choi didn't break a rim.

    But he can dunk.

    3. As I"m literally being kicked off the comptuer, let me say I really, really miss this site.

    2005-06-02 10:42:07
    2.   everett
    nice to hear from you again SB.

    can i change my screenname to Suffering Dodger? j/k

    2005-06-02 11:00:17
    3.   dzzrtRatt
    Are the pitchers missing, or are they throwing the wrong pitch at the wrong time? In other words, how much of this is just poor pitch location, and how much is it attributable to poor scouting, a poor game plan, or poor game-calling by our catchers?

    (I hope not the latter because Jason Phillips is one of the few bright spots offensively.)

    2005-06-02 11:16:17
    4.   the OZ
    I've been wondering if our HR-allowing binge is related to our relative lack of 'fastball' pitchers. Of all the guys who've started a game this year, Penny is the only one I'd say has an above-average fastball.

    There is a conventional physics wisdom that says fastballs will jump off a bat harder than a slower pitch, so a fastball pitcher is more likely to allow HRs. That may be true, but a 94-mph pitch is probably a bit tougher to square up on than a 88-mph pitch.

    Weaver, Erickson, Alvarez - all are relative soft-tossers.

    The Dodgers have allowed 3 HRs to opposing pitchers, which is half of the 6 total HRs hit by NL pitchers.

    Are more 'fastball' pitchers the answer? I don't know, but some focused research could be interesting.

    2005-06-02 11:28:51
    5.   LetsGoDodgers
    If the pitching coach can't figure out what the problem is, then we're in for a Pepto summer and a 4th place finish.
    2005-06-02 11:40:19
    6.   Dodgerkid
    Oh my god I had no idea it was this bad. Wow, this can't be all Tracy's fault. This bad of pitching lies squarely with the pitching coach and/or the GM.
    2005-06-02 11:40:45
    7.   Bob Timmermann
    It's another sport, but I feel compelled to state:

    RIP, George Mikan, 1924-2005.

    2005-06-02 11:42:47
    8.   champion of choi
    Sadly, I believe this is a case of lack of diversity in the pitching staff. Aside from Penny, the other starters have essentially the same repotoire (sinker, two-seam and avg. slider).

    I recall Tracy stating in spring training that is was not beneficial to have the same types of pitchers pitch on consecutive days.
    It seems like opposing teams can lock into our starting pitchers fairly easily.

    I think someone like a C.C. Sabathia could do wonders for the staff. First, the guy is imposing (6'7", 275), throws inside heat, etc. Then, we could have a Weaver, Perez or Lowe in between C.C. and Penny. Indians aren't going anywhere. They might let us have him for a few blue-chippers.

    2005-06-02 11:44:49
    9.   GoBears
    "...how much is it attributable to poor scouting, a poor game plan, or poor game-calling by our catchers?"

    I doubt the catchers have anything to do with it. Except maybe for the rookies, pitchers pretty much call the game, with catchers just going through signs until the pitcher nods. Vinnie has confirmed several times this year that this is how the Dodgers (and most teams) work. The catcher suggests, the pitcher chooses. Most of the time, they're on the same page, so the catcher doesn't guess wrong. I think we saw a good example when Rose caught Gagne for the first time a couple nights ago - all those trips to the mound were likely Rose asking Gagne what he wanted called.

    2005-06-02 11:47:58
    10.   Dodgerkid
    I agree with GoBears. I think there have been statistical studies done showing that catchers do not really have an effect. I do know that DePodesta said that he watches the hitters, but never the pitchers on TV. Well he should be watching them, as they're ruining the team, and have the lion's share of the budget. Why we ever signed Erickson will bug me for the rest of my days.
    2005-06-02 11:49:55
    11.   Jon Weisman
    That is sad about Mikan. The NBA is so much younger than MLB. This is like, what, Cy Young dying?
    2005-06-02 11:52:49
    12.   Jon Weisman
    We signed Erickson on a flyer, as many players are signed - like Olmedo Saenz and Jose Lima in 2004, for example. Inviting Erickson to Spring Training was no crime. The mistake was flying too far with him.
    2005-06-02 11:54:33
    13.   GoBears
    This bad of pitching [sic] lies squarely with the pitching coach and/or the GM.

    And with the pitchers. As I suggested a couple days ago, every pitcher on the staff except maybe Penny and maybe Wunsch seems to be underperforming his abilities. So the GM can't be blamed unless the decline was predictable. It's unlikely that it's the pitching coach's fault - he needs to fix broken mechanics and approaches perhaps, but this sort of malady isn't likely to be contagious - it's not an epidemic with a single cause, but a bunch of individual declines. So what's up? Some guys might be hurt (Weaver IS a hard thrower, and that he's in the 80s is worrisome; Perez IS hurt). Some might be past their due dates (Carrara, Erickson). Some might not be ready (all the kids, including Sanchez). And some might just be slumping. I think this is just really bad luck to have so many guys below their own means at once.

    And as we've discussed, there doesn't seem to be an easy answer. No one of quality will come available. The arguments about rushing up the farm-hands have been made - obviously that's a tough call. Right now, given Jon's observations about HRs and BBs, I'd say that these guys need to nibble more, especially against aggressive hitters. They're actually throwing too many strikes!

    2005-06-02 11:59:45
    14.   Dodgerkid
    Erickson was completely predictable, and predicted by sites like rotoworld. Hey, why do I get a [sic] in my quotes? That's grammatically correct. Odalis Perez's injury history, and the possibility of his collapse was predictable also, as he did poorly two seasons ago. Weaver is Weaver. The starting staff our GM procured works only if everything goes well, and no one suffers an injury. Well several things went wrong.
    2005-06-02 12:04:32
    15.   Brian Y
    The one thing that is for sure is that the Dodgers need to make a couple moves. We have to sure up our rotation and adding another arm to our bullpen with Gio/Erickson/Houlton gone it would be addition by subtraction. I still don't feel as though Antonio Perez is the answer at 3B. Here's an interesting story out of Chicago and I know we could offer more than this.

    http://www.dailyherald.com/sports/beatwriters.asp?column=gregor&id=56482

    Would Edwin, Billingsley, LaRoche, and A. Perez be enough for Chavez and Zito? I know Dotel is on the block too and with our GM's ties to Beane I'm sure we could get it done without getting raped of our farm system.

    2005-06-02 12:07:59
    16.   champion of choi
    The argument about our pitchers failing to nibble is not viable and it really isn't a matter of mis-location either.

    The point that we're missing, and we're not just missing it, it's flying over our heads like a v-2 rocket, is that our pitching staff is simply underwhelming. With not enough true power pitchers to balance out the junk ballers, opposing teams know exactly what is coming all of the time. As such, they sit and wait and hit homeruns.

    We can spin this anyway we like because we don't want to believe the truth.

    2005-06-02 12:08:05
    17.   dzzrtRatt
    It would be great to have Sabathia, and at $5.2 million, he'd be a bargain, but why would the Indians part with him? The Indians are only 1 game under .500, and Sabathia's having a fine year. I doubt their owners think their fans will stand for more rebuilding at this point. The Tribe contended last year. They need tweaks, not a tear-down.
    2005-06-02 12:09:25
    18.   champion of choi
    Wishful thinking on my part.
    2005-06-02 12:09:26
    19.   Bob Timmermann
    I would say baseball's equivalent of George Mikan would be someone like Cap Anson. Except a nicer guy.

    Of the top 50 NBA stars voted at the NBA's 50th Anniversary in 1997, only four have passed away: Mikan, Pete Maravich, Wilt Chamberlain, and Dave DeBusschere.

    2005-06-02 12:10:14
    20.   FirstMohican
    Re 14 - I notice that when I quote people who I don't agree with, i ususally leave in errors, whereas when I quote those I agree or sympathize with, I'll avoid errors or replace them with whatever they meant in brakets...

    I'd bet that if the Dodgers were in first by 6.5 games, you wouldn't see that [sic] there.

    We all need to take a collective deep breath, and think about all the prospects we're going to aquire when we unload Penny and Weaver. 2006!

    2005-06-02 12:18:19
    21.   Jon Weisman
    16 - Yes and no. No one's missing that it's not a great staff, but it's hardly the only staff in baseball that lacks some real firepower. So why has it been perhaps the worst staff?
    2005-06-02 12:21:57
    22.   Brian Y
    I don't understand the 12 man pitching staff to this day when he doesnt really use Erickson or Houlton. We are basically a 5 man bullpen with Gagne, Brazo, Gio, Duaner, and Wunsch.
    2005-06-02 12:23:26
    23.   champion of choi
    21-I truly believe that our entire rotation is overly reliant on the sinker. Perez, Lowe, Dream Weaver, and Penny to a lesser degree.

    It seems like every team could wait on the sinker, especially as it seems it's everyone's out pitch.

    2005-06-02 12:26:06
    24.   Shlomo
    Last time I checked, the Dodgers has the second best total in terms of walks allowed. Yet the home runs are killing them.

    As annoying as Kaz Ishii was, he was always able to keep his ERA semi-respectable by doing a decent job of keeping the ball in the park.

    Maybe the current Dodgers staff should take a page from Ishii's notebook and pitch less aggressively, walking a few men instead of leaving it out over the plate.

    2005-06-02 12:28:17
    25.   FirstMohican
    24 - Ishii's departure might be as much a safety measure taken for management as it was an attempt to better the team's performance.
    2005-06-02 12:30:04
    26.   dzzrtRatt
    A division title is well within our grasp this year. The Padres had a great May because all three of their streaky mid lineup hitters got hot at the same time. They've been waiting years for that to happen. It's like a rare meteorological event. Like the weather, it will be gone with the wind. Nevin, Giles and Klesko will not all stay hot. As they cool off, the Padres will be seen for what they are: A contender, but not a powerhouse, as capable of falling on their faces as excelling. They can be had, if not by this Dodger team, but a team that been DePodestasized.
    2005-06-02 12:30:16
    27.   FirstMohican
    Lets take Omar Minaya's blood pressure at one minute increments during the first few innings of each game and see what the average blood pressure level is for Ishii relative to the other four.
    2005-06-02 12:30:22
    28.   Jon Weisman
    But what does it say that our sinkerball staff is allowing all these homers? The sinker is supposed to keep the ball on the ground - even if you know it's coming. So wouldn't it either be in the execution of the sinker, or that the sinkerballers aren't the problem?
    2005-06-02 12:30:27
    29.   Dodgerkid
    25--It's a move though that probably wasn't warranted, as the alternative Erickson, is awful.
    2005-06-02 12:35:06
    30.   FirstMohican
    26 - I don't think its absolutely necessary for the Padres to get above average production from their mid lineup for them to lead the division.

    During the 12-2 start I was saying "wow, we did this with poor Drew performances, without Penny and Werth." I felt like we were kicking ass at half strenght. We get Penny, Werth, and to some extent Drew all playing and playing decent respectively and we're terrible.

    So as soon as their mid lineup goes cold, another area of their team may step up.

    2005-06-02 12:35:30
    31.   Brian Y
    #23 I agree that we are a sinker ball team and while it's good to have a few sinker ballers in the rotation, we need more change of pace guys like Penny. The inclusion of Erickson to our rotation was a monumental mistake on the part of DePo and JT. We can't trot out Lowe, Weaver, and Erickson and expect them to thrive when we have two soft throwers like Dessens and Odalis in the middle of them. Penny coming back was great but we could still use a innings eater. I don't know who would be available that fits the mold other than AJ Burnett but we definitely need to refine our staff. I like Derek Thompson in the 5 spot until he proves he can't hack it here. He throws low 90's, good change-up, and good location. That's all we need.
    2005-06-02 12:37:54
    32.   Brian Y
    I really believe that location is our problem with the sinkers. Our SP's are pressing and the ball isn't breaking where it should which leaves the ball up in the zone. Another SP to take pressure off them would be a good idea for DePo to look into.
    2005-06-02 12:38:02
    33.   FirstMohican
    29 - are you saying the move was aweful?

    If so, maybe Ishii vs. Erickson is in Ishii's favor, we have Phillips producing at an above average level.

    Maybe the move was aweful in the sense that it was done with the idea that we had more than enough pitching, and its become obvious that we don't.

    2005-06-02 12:49:19
    34.   Bob Timmermann
    The Dodger pitchers are on pace to give up 196 homers, four more than the team record of 192 set in 1999. That team went 77-85.
    Valdes(z) gave up 32 homers. Park gave up 31. Perez gave up 23. Dreifort coughed up 20 and Kevin Brown surrendered 19.

    The Dodgers used 21 different pitchers that year and all but one (Antonio Osuna in 4 2/3 IP) gave up at least one home run. Alan Mills gave up 10 in 72 1/3 IP. Dave Mlicki pitched in just two games and managed to give up a home run, a game-tying pinch home run to Kelly Stinnett in the bottom of the 16th in Arizona.

    2005-06-02 13:00:39
    35.   Dodgerkid
    FirstMohican--

    The question is, would keeping Ishii and Dave Ross be better than getting Phillips and getting rid of Ishii. I'm inclined to think that we should have kept Ishii, even if meant a weaker catcher.

    2005-06-02 13:01:16
    36.   Sushirabbit
    My name is Sushirabbit, and I am a Dodgers Fan (and >gasp< a Republican!)

    I love this site and the people that post on it. Seeing Senator Lieberman at the game was at least as cool as that well-endowed chick jumping up and down the other night. :-) I just can't go through a day without checking back, and feel guilty when I miss any of the posts. Bob T, always makes me laugh, and I think Sam in DC and I would get on famously. I don't know why, but I just see things differently than so many of the down trodden. I think we are not THAT bad, yet. Of course, I thought Werth would be doing more right-away. But I like what I saw in Lowe, I hope the injury isn't serious, but seeing Weaver laughing about it actually made me laugh, too... and probably Lowe. If I'm Lowe, I'm going out there thinking, I won a world series I can do this. And sure he forced it a few places, but he had it in some places, too. I agree with Tracy that having similar pitchers, one after another is not good.

    Don't the Dodgers have some more money in the payroll bank? Depo has pulled off some good trades in the past, so I'm hopeful he can do it again. If Drew AND Kent are gonna suck the whole rest of the way, there's nothing to be done anyway. But I don't think that will happen (it still could, though, we've seen our share it). Does anybody else think that some of the Dodgers seem to be swinging for the fences a bit much, too?

    Anyway, I still think it's a race between us, D-backs (I know, I know), and the Padres, and the Padres are taking off.

    Also, I once tried to show that several pitchers' ERAs were signifcantly better with Piazza behind the plate, but it was a total wash, I couldn't get anything useful from the numbers.

    And, for some reason, it really bugs me that Vin got the 4 HRs thing wrong about Green.

    Finally, yeah, the bad guys win in the book. But I try not to use the term "bad guys" too much around Brian, my son, because he has a playmate whose parents allow him to watch things like spiderman movies and X-men.... I spend TOO much time trying to explain why this other little boy is obsessed with good guys and bad guys.

    So long and thanks for all the WinShares!
    (... because I just posted a triology)

    2005-06-02 13:05:30
    37.   Jon Weisman
    Ishii, while better than Erickson, would hardly help. The pitcher whose departure you're lamenting has an ERA of 4.79. He still walks batters, his strikeouts are still going down, and was injured to boot. Typically inconsistent, he has had three decent starts and three terrible ones. And his pattern in MLB has been to allow more home runs as the season progresses.
    2005-06-02 13:06:17
    38.   Sushirabbit
    #34

    That is, er, not good... OK, maybe I just need to bend over and kiss my...

    Weren't Jackson and Sanchez supposed to provide the "heat" in the rotation? Yikes.

    ...and weren't the Dodgers still in it until the 3 run dinger off Sanchez?...

    2005-06-02 13:06:25
    39.   Landonkk
    ahhh... 1999. The lone year that I had a season ticket. The highlight was watching Tatis hit two Grand Slams off Park in one inning.
    2005-06-02 13:09:00
    40.   Marty
    I will never complain about letting Ishii go. We got a solid starting catcher for him.

    Erickson was worth the experiment. We went at least two starts too long with him however.

    Sinkerballers are not supposed to give up many homeruns, yet ours are. Why? No sink. Those balls have been up and in the middle of the plate for the most part. I think Vlad hit one from the dirt, so that can be discounted. So why are our guys leaving the ball up so often is the real question. And I don't have an answer.

    2005-06-02 13:11:57
    41.   Jon Weisman
    That's where I'm at, Marty. I don't think they are getting the ball down. Can that be fixed? And if it can, will that be enough to compensate for whatever velocity issues exist?
    2005-06-02 13:15:35
    42.   Sushirabbit
    It was Colburn coaching for the past two years, right?
    2005-06-02 13:17:40
    43.   dzzrtRatt
    Don't they have a name for sinker-ballers who can't keep the ball down? I think it's..."retired."

    Hopefully this is just a slump, not a characteristic.

    2005-06-02 13:20:41
    44.   Marty
    What makes a ball sink? Downward rotation? If so, that sounds like a mechanics problem. Though it is scary to hear Colburn say he can't figure it out.

    Of the sinkerballers we have, only Weaver it seems to me, has lost significant velocity. That could be due to the injury no one wants to talk about.

    However, I think both Penny and Gagne have lost 3-4 mph from their fastballs since last year, and that worries me as much as anything. Gagne especially looks less dominating to me. Hopefully they both just need more work to build up the arm strength.

    2005-06-02 13:28:16
    45.   Jon Weisman
    Penny's K/9 is down dramatically since his August 8 injury. He's at 4.7 K/9. With Florida, he was never below 6.0 and was at 7.2 in 2004 when he was traded.
    2005-06-02 13:29:33
    46.   Steve
    Every so often, I don't see Gagne's changeup diving like it ought to as well. And the other night, Ramirez sat on one that did. Tipping, maybe?
    2005-06-02 13:35:09
    47.   Marty
    Steve, I wish someone had the fastball to changeup ratio for Gagne. Because it seems to me he's been throwing the changeup a lot more often than the fastball.
    2005-06-02 13:38:14
    48.   Jon Weisman
    Maybe we can chart Gagne's pitches. Gagne's due to get in a game one these days. Maybe even this weekend ...
    2005-06-02 13:39:51
    49.   db1022
    #47 - I've seen that with Gagne before. I remember Loduca and Gagne seemingly screwing with guys - throwing 4 or 5 change ups in a row to start an at bat off. Of course that was when Gagne was untouchable. The luster appears to be slightly off this year, due to the 3 or 4 mph off of his fastball to this point.
    2005-06-02 13:51:09
    50.   Marty
    It was interesting seeing the interaction between Gagne and the rookie catcher. He was saying "lower" a couple times about how Rose flashed the signs. I thought at first he was saying "slower" and was reminded of the Taxi episode where Jim takes his driving test.
    Show/Hide Comments 51-100
    2005-06-02 13:52:53
    51.   Fearing Blue
    #15: If the Dodgers made the trade you proposed, I would seriously consider finding another team to root for. Jackson, Billingsley, and LaRoche are all Grade A Prospects, even with Jackson's struggles in AAA so far this year. Perez looks like he'll continue contributing at an above-average level for a major-league minimum salary. Chavez is locked in for 5 years at $11 million per, which is more than DePodesta was willing to pay Beltre. Additionally, it's not like he's been performing so far this year. Zito is not good. His numbers have been consistently declining, due to an increasing inability to strike people out. All he has left is his name and a dusty Cy Young award. If there's one thing we don't need on our team it's another starting pitcher who can't strike people out.
    2005-06-02 13:53:06
    52.   Sushirabbit
    Q: How many of you actualy played Baseball?
    2005-06-02 13:56:00
    53.   Marty
    52. That sounds like a question Al Downing would ask :)
    2005-06-02 13:56:36
    54.   db1022
    #51 - I think it's too early to even know if we're buyers or sellers. My feeling is that we make due with what we have (current rotation, bring up the kids, Mahomes/Rupe) until mid-July.

    If we trade for a starter now, we risk dealing kids in what could be a futile run to the playoffs.

    Come July, Brad Penny will be an extremely intriguing option for a contender. I'm sure Depo would be able to turn him around for some nice pieces for next year.

    #52 - What do you mean "played"? HS?

    2005-06-02 14:03:38
    55.   Jim Tracy
    My theory about the whole sinkerball and keeping the ball down issue is that the Dodger started the season with too many similar pitchers. Now, the first two weeks, Tracy tried everything to get similar pitchers not pitch on consecutive days. But with Dessen's injury and Erickson's problems, Tracy started using a 4 man rotation whenever an off day is available. What this does is have too many similar pitchers go on back-to-back days. Thus teams can make adjustments easier and prpare to play the Dodgers better, because they know for the most part what pitches are coming.

    So, why the long balls??? The only thing I can think of is Lowe and Weaver (especially Weaver) do not have confidence in the sinker ball. The other teams are waiting on those and to compensate for that and their own indecisiveness over pitch location, they end up throwing pitches which are no where in the strike zone where they should be. Kind of what Jon touched on before about choosing a pitch location before throwing a pitch.

    The answer... it's hard to say. Not trading Ishii would NOT have been the answer. That is a little ridiculous. If I were a little bolder, which DePo has shown himself to be, I would trade Weaver (especially if he is not in our plans starting next year) and get a Joe Randa/Willie Mo Pena/Placido Palanco type player for our team. And from our farm system, bring up Edwin Jackson as a full time started for the remainder of the season. Let him grow up a bit. I like the rotation set up as Penny - Perez - Lowe - Jackson - Thompson (or Dessens). I think most of us agree that Jackson will not get his confidence back if her keeps pitching in Las Vegas for the next year. Why not get a good idea if he can be a major league pitcher right now? We have to bite the bullet with him at some point, unless we are willing to trade him.. but right now his trade value is not high enough to get something significant in value, and I think his high side for the Dodgers is still worth exploring.

    2005-06-02 14:03:47
    56.   Sushirabbit
    that's not just a misspelled rhetorical question... I was wondering about it a couple of nights ago.

    I somehow fell out of varisty stuff in HS, and never competed in anything in College, did some IPSCC and lots of WhiteWater Canoeing with my dad. I was an OK outfielder, but sucked in the batters box, was much better at soccer for some reason.

    2005-06-02 14:04:14
    57.   Jon Weisman
    50 - !

    What does a yellow light mean?

    Slow down.

    What ... does ... a ... yellow ... light ... mean?

    Slow down!

    What ... ... does ... ... a ... ...

    2005-06-02 14:06:58
    58.   Jim Tracy
    I love Taxi references as much as Cheers references, which is a lot.
    2005-06-02 14:08:06
    59.   Jon Weisman
    "I'm going to die as I lived. Dancing the can-can wearing a green shirt and a catcher's mask."
    2005-06-02 14:08:25
    60.   Fearing Blue
    #54: I wholeheartedly agree. In the last 38 games, the Dodgers are 14-24. Everyone one of us believes that our true talent is somewhere between 12-2 and 14-24. But, with an extra 24 games on the bad side, we have to start assuming that 14-24 is a closer representation. We went through a year last year where most performed above their career averages, and so far this year most are performing below them. While we'd like everyone to start reverting, it's possible that this performance keeps up. If that's the case, we have too much of a gap for trades to close. The one exception is that I would be amenable to a trade that helps beyond this year. For instance, something like the Marlins trade last year (even though it didn't work out optimally).
    2005-06-02 14:08:34
    61.   Marty
    I was in a hospital bed when that episode ran. It's the closest I've ever come to falling out of the bed laughing.
    2005-06-02 14:10:04
    62.   Sushirabbit
    I'd like for Jackson to become the next Randy Johnson, but Randy didn't turn the corner till what 1993? (some might even say 1999) that was seven years from his first major league season. But I'm with you on fitting Jacson in now and just taking what comes.
    2005-06-02 14:10:24
    63.   Nick Iyengar
    Jon, if you get a chance, could you give a quick rundown on our big-name pitching prospects? We have so many that I get a little confused. Between Hanrahan, Jackson, Billingsley, et al, I start to wonder why Alvarez/Erickson are eating up a spot that one of the prospects could have.

    Thanks.

    2005-06-02 14:12:41
    64.   Nick Iyengar
    These HR numbers take a huge bite out of the FJT argument. I think Tracy has cost us at least 2-3 games this year, but it's not his fault that our pitchers are awful right now. The manager can't do anything if our staff can't keep the ball within the spacious confines of Dodger Stadium.
    2005-06-02 14:13:44
    65.   Marty
    58. And Big Lebowski references. Check out the Big Lebowski random quote generator:
    http://tinyurl.com/3erm4
    2005-06-02 14:17:45
    66.   db1022
    #60 - And, obviously, Depo is shrewd enough to accomplish a trade like that. The more I look back on that trade, the more I really appreciate it (and if it wasn't for Brazoban's recent struggles, it'd be even better given the loss of Mota).
    2005-06-02 14:18:02
    67.   Jim Tracy
    65 - Thank you very much.
    2005-06-02 14:18:32
    68.   Howard Fox
    I see every other team with young pitchers who throw it past everyone, some teams with more than one fireballer.

    Why can't we find just one young pitcher who throws 95-96 consistently and blows other hitters away?

    All of our pitchers nibble around the edges. That is why Gagne is so good, he is such as change from the rest of the staff.

    I don't know, is it our scouts? or our pitching coaches? I don't know what the problem is, but variety of stuff and speeds is the key...

    2005-06-02 14:19:35
    69.   FirstMohican
    Another vote against FingJT. Last year I couldn't stand him. He's slowly grown on me.

    I really don't think firing him would do anything. Not like he can inspire a pitcher to throw strikes. Aside from Weaver, usually when players comment on Tracy it's in a favorable manner.

    2005-06-02 14:21:30
    70.   Howard Fox
    Tracy is toast. If Simers is saying nice things about him, it's only a matter of time.
    2005-06-02 14:22:46
    71.   Fearing Blue
    #55: I agree with everything except bringing up Jackson. He's currently not performing, and the problem isn't Las Vegas. He also pitched horribly in the majors in 2004 and in spring training in 2004 and 2005, covering 60.1 innings of work. Additionally, there are other pitchers on the Las Vegas team who are succeeding (Mahomes, Rupe, Osoria). It's one thing to have a 4.00+ ERA and give up a few extra HRs and adjust for the environment. It's quite another to have an ERA of 6.94 with a 1.11 K/BB, 5.6 K/9, 1.93 HR/9, and 11.95 H/9. Until Jackson strings together 5 or 6 quality outings, we wouldn't be doing him any favors by bringing him up to the majors. He needs to work on his fastball location and more importantly develop his secondary pitches. In the majors, he wouldn't be able to work on secondary pitches, so we'd have a one-pitch starter who can't locate his high-90s fastball.
    2005-06-02 14:25:02
    72.   Steve
    I vote for trading Gagne and training Jackson to be the next closer. It's easier than trying to teach him three new pitches.
    2005-06-02 14:25:33
    73.   Jim Tracy
    I don't disagree that jackson is absolutely stinking it up. I just feel that confidence is a big problem with him and for right or for wrong, Las Vegas is not the place to fix these problems. Send him to AA? Sure. Or give him a shot in the majors. I'd rather see him in the majors to be honest than Rupe, Mahomes, etc., but that's just my opinion.
    2005-06-02 14:28:27
    74.   Xeifrank
    2-3 games out of 52 is way too many games for a manager to be costing us. Over a 162 game season that comes out to 6-9 games, probably enough to get us the wild-card or perhaps even win the division (depending on records). Then there are the games we won inspite of Tracy, like the Bradley grand slam game. So we could easily be looking at 10 games by the end of the season at this rate. I will cut him some slack for a game or two blown for the whole season, so he's already most likely exceeded his alotment of blown games.

    69. [Tracy's] slowly grown on me.
    Nothing a hot shower and a good bar of soap can't cure. :)
    vr, Xei

    2005-06-02 14:29:19
    75.   db1022
    #55 - Before we go and trade Weaver though, we may want to see if Cincy or Philly would agree to those deals. Methinks they may object.

    Soft-tossing home run generators making $7M may work here in LA, but others may not find them so appealing.

    2005-06-02 14:30:17
    76.   Jim Tracy
    Oh I would be willing to trade Gagne if we can get something spectacular for him. Steve, what would you accept from him?? Remember, the Yankees, Red Sox, Cardinals, Astros, Phillies, Angels, Marlins, etc. are not going to give up much for him because they have proven closers. Teams with problems like the Cubs don't have anything to offer. The only Cub I'd really want is Zambrano, but we'd have to hire someone full time to make sure he is not spending too much time on the computer. Maybe the White Sox can give us something good for him. Maybe something from the Braves, although I am wary of someone who the Braves are willing to trade (ask the A's). If the Mets wanna give up David Wright for him, they can have him and my condo in Palm Springs.
    2005-06-02 14:32:57
    77.   Howard Fox
    I'd bring up Rupe, Jackson, maybe Billingsley, and keep Thompson here...let Erickson go, let Carrara go, maybe even let Alvarez go, trade Perez (he's too fragile), let Weaver go at the end of the year...

    Our staff is going nowhere right now, take a shot with the young guys and see if they have the right stuff. If not, we are kidding ourselves that the future holds bright...

    2005-06-02 14:33:13
    78.   Jim Tracy
    Yeah, I hate saying this, but Tracy needs to go. I used to like Tracy a lot, but his incompetence is glaring. He is terrible with in-game management. Drew or Choi bunting is ridiculous. His handling of the pitching staff is very very questionable. A pitcher like Weaver, who can be great if he is confident, but awful if he is not.. Tracy has totally messed up with him. That Milton Bradley grand slam game is not the only example of that, just the most obvious one.
    2005-06-02 14:34:13
    79.   Jim Tracy
    75 - I present to you Mr. Eric Milton
    2005-06-02 14:34:54
    80.   Brian Y
    #63 Our Big Pitching Prospects are:

    #1 RHP Chad Billingsley-20yrs old in AA with plus command and decent fastball in low 90's. Projects as a 1 or 2

    #2 RHP Edwin Jackson- 21yrs old with fastball consistently between 96-98 but bad control and getting hit in AAA. Projects as a 1

    #3 LHP Chuck Tiffany- 20yrs old in High A ball. Great fastball, decent control. Fastball in upper 90's, good curve. Projects as a 1-3.

    #4 LHP Greg Miller- 20yrs old in AA but injured for the better parts of 2 seasons now. 6'5" and good control and good fastball in mid 90's. Projects as a 1 when healthy.

    #5 LHP Ryan Ketchner- 22 yrs old in AAA similar to Tom Glavine in his control and no plus stuff. Projects as a 4-5

    #6 LHP Derek Thompson- 24yrs old with decent pitches and most scouts have him projected as a reliver.

    #7 RHP Jonathon Broxton- 20yrs old in AA with great fastball. Projects as a closer or 4-5

    #8 RHP Justin Orenduff- 22yrs old in High A with good command and good fastball. Projects as a 2-4

    #9 LHP Mike Megrew- 21yrs old in High A but injured for the year. He is a 6'6" lefty with good fastball and cutter. Projects as a 3-4

    #10 RHP Joel Hanrahan-23yrs old in AA recovering from injuries. His stuff is plus but command is still not where it needs to be. Projects as 3-4

    Other Notables: RHP Chris Malone (21 in Low A), LHP Scott Elbert (19 in Low A), RHP Brian Pilkington (22 in High A), RHP Julio Pimental (19 in High A)

    2005-06-02 14:35:24
    81.   Xeifrank
    As stated in previous threads, I have no problem with the Dodgers blowing up this pitching staff... well just half the staff. I'd bring up 4 to 6 players from AA and AAA, probably not all at one time, but over the course of the next two months. I'd give Thompson a chance to stick in the rotation, even give Dessens a shot when he's back. Put Perez in when he is healthy. Get Alvarez back to the bullpen. If Dessens or Weaver can't cut it as a starter, I'd move both to the pen. I'd cut bait with Houlton, Carrara and Erickson. I would put E.Jackson in the bullpen (live arm). If any of the new starters I listed have problems, I'd call up two more from the minors, most likely Billingsley and one other pitcher (Rupe? or someone else). You gotta do something at this point, otherwise you look like a quitter. I'm sure the "Old School" crowd won't agree with this. I know it's not an organized post (as usual), but you catch my drift.
    vr, Xei
    2005-06-02 14:35:25
    82.   Jim Tracy
    75 - Also, I have no doubt that Philly, if in the race at all, would rather have a 4th starter like Weaver instead of Polonco coming off the bench. Remeber, the payroll burden caused by Weaver is for half a season only.
    2005-06-02 14:36:18
    83.   Howard Fox
    Tracy has done nothing wrong with Weaver. He was fine when he was with the Tigers pitching for no one with no pressure. He is inconsistent at best in New York and LA, under the spotlight.

    It is him, not his manager. Otherwise, you are also saying Torre is no good.

    2005-06-02 14:37:45
    84.   Xeifrank
    Might not be back online til after the game. So will post tonights over/under for Mr Thompson.

    Tonights Over/Under is 5 1/3 IPs

    Please post your virtual best.
    vr, Xei

    2005-06-02 14:38:23
    85.   Howard Fox
    Under, for sure.
    2005-06-02 14:42:40
    86.   Brian Y
    #84 I think I'm going to take the over for once and hope for 5 2/3 :-)
    2005-06-02 14:45:33
    87.   Jim Tracy
    83 - Small sample size and all, but before that fateful pitch, Weaver's ERA up to that point was 4.55... since then it is 10.07. And no, I am not saying Torre is no good, although I wouldn't mind having that argument. I already conceded that confidence is Weaver's problem and if a team is interested in getting the best out of him, they have to nurture him. NY Yankees lost interest in him and his confidence playing in that city went down. He had a decent year last year, but if you think Tracy was not wrong for leaving him in for that 119th pitch when when everyone in the stadium, at home and in the TV booth knew that he was done, then we can't agree on this topic.
    2005-06-02 14:46:20
    88.   db1022
    #79 - funny, I thought of him as soon as I hit submit. Now, would they give up Wily Mo to complete the set?
    2005-06-02 14:49:17
    89.   Jim Tracy
    If Jim Bowden was still there, maybe.
    2005-06-02 14:50:04
    90.   Howard Fox
    87 - agreed on that 119th pitch...other than that non-move by Tracy, its all in Weaver's head...he would be terrific pitching in Milwaukee or some small town like that.
    2005-06-02 14:50:47
    91.   db1022
    do you think Bowden would take Depodesta's call, or would he insist that Tommy Lasorda was present first?
    2005-06-02 14:53:21
    92.   Steve
    The only way we want Polanco is if Philly is paying for him. Isn't Antonio Perez's upside Placido Polanco?

    I think Weaver is worthless on the market with his contract, unless we pay it anyway. Who doesn't have five 6 ERA guys in their system? We do.

    Who for Gagne? There's the rub. It's not clear that, unlike last year, you can get "anybody" for him. First, his contract, then the problems we've already discussed. It has to be on the table though. We have too many problems getting to the ninth inning to worry about the ninth inning much anymore.

    2005-06-02 14:53:57
    93.   Xeifrank
    If Weaver has lost 4 or 5 mph off of his fastball, then I'd say his problem is more physical than mental. Fix the physical, and the mental will go away. I have seen posts on here stating he has lost velocity, though I have not done any research myself to back this up. There has also been some talk going around that Weaver has been pitching hurt. A proponderance of the evidence leans which way?
    vr, Xei
    2005-06-02 14:55:12
    94.   dzzrtRatt
    #80

    In other words, LA's system has 10-12 pitchers who might be good to great for the Dodgers beginning in 2007-08, but no one who's really on the edge of helping any major league team this year.

    I bet DePo trades a few of the pitching prospects, and also a hitting prospect or two before the July deadline. It makes no sense to hoard all of them. Obviously, any GM takes a risk trading a skilled prospect, but I don't think Dodger fans are willing to wait the amount of time necessary for the turnover to be completed. This ain't Milwaukee. It's hardly mortgaging your future to reduce your pool of outstanding pitching prospects from 12 to 10 in exchange for someone who can help LA take this take-able division this year.

    2005-06-02 14:56:07
    95.   Jim Tracy
    90 - agreed.

    92 - agreed.

    2005-06-02 14:56:42
    96.   db1022
    #92 - But do we try to move Gagne into the rotation this offseason, before trying to deal him? At least the Dodgers save a little face with their fans by not out and out trading "GameOver" (I know, we're not supposed to care what the fans think).
    2005-06-02 14:56:45
    97.   Jim Tracy
    91 - LOL. I almost forgot about that. Definitely have Tommy call.
    2005-06-02 14:57:07
    98.   dzzrtRatt
    #93

    Weaver himself has said he is pitching with a "dead arm." He claimed on a radio interview about a week ago that he goes through this, many pitchers go through this, during each season. He said this year's occurence was earlier than usual, but otherwise not unexpected.

    2005-06-02 14:57:16
    99.   Xeifrank
    92. All solid points (100% agree).

    I would think Gagne would be of more value to us if we were winning games, considering that Tracy will only use him in a save situation or tie ball game in the top of the 9th. If this team isn't going to win, then trading him would become an option if we got ALOT in return. But then I step back into reality and realize that Sir Gagne isn't going anywhere. There would be a HUGE mutiny by Dodger fans if he was shipped anywhere. Next idea!?
    vr, Xei

    2005-06-02 14:58:31
    100.   natepurcell
    as of right now, we have 5 pitchers who have cielings as a #1 or #2 starter.

    1. chad billingsley
    2. jonathan broxton
    3. edwin jackson
    4. greg miller
    5. chuck tiffany

    Show/Hide Comments 101-150
    2005-06-02 14:59:28
    101.   Xeifrank
    100. Bring em all up, and whichever does catch on can always become the manager. :)
    vr, Xei
    2005-06-02 14:59:51
    102.   db1022
    #94 - Depo might end up trading some prospects just because most of them will get to the point where they need to be added to the 40 man roster. We'll need to either free some room for them, or start trading them off for ML talent.
    2005-06-02 15:02:36
    103.   Steve
    Somebody mentioned trading Perez. Obviously can't be done right now, but I would heartily back that suggestion if he comes back and throws some good games. Don't wait for him to go Carlos on us.
    2005-06-02 15:04:15
    104.   Brian Y
    Our Top Minor League Hitting Prospects for the hell of it:

    #1 SS Joel Guzman- 20yrs old in AA. 6'6" and plays SS. Hits for power, runs well, decent defense. Tends to strike out a lot as most power hitters do. Projects as a Starter at either SS, 3B, or OF

    #2 3B Andy LaRoche-21 in High A. SS by trade now playing 3B in our system and already has 20HR's this season. He is above average defensively. Projects as a ML Regular at 3B.

    #3 1B James Loney- 21 in AA. Injuries have hampered his career but is considered an outstanding 1B with a great eye and natural swing. Still working on his power but projects as a solid ML regular.

    #4 2B Delwyn Young- 22 in AA. Horrible defensively and currently playing 2B but a nice switch hitter with pop from both sides of the plate. Projections: DH or OF

    #5 3B Blake DeWitt- 19 in Low A. Great Bat but struggling right now. Good pop but needs to work on learning the strike zone as he K's a lot!

    #6 C Dioner Navarro- 21 in AAA. Great plate discipline, good defensive C with doubles power from both sides of the plate. Projects as ML Regular

    #7 C Russell Martin- 22 in AA. Great plate discipline and still learning C. He has good pop also and projects as ML Regular

    #8 1B Cory Dunlap- 21 in High A. His weight is a concern but hits for average and power with great plate discipline. Projections: Too Early to tell.

    #9 2B Estanislau Abreu- 20 in High A. Good Average, defense, and speed. Projections: too early to tell

    #10 SS Chin-Lung Hu- 21 in High A. Great defensive SS with good average and speed. Projections: Too Early to Tell

    Honorable Mentions: OF Matt Kemp (21 in High A), OF Xavier Paul (21 in High A, once considered one of our great prospects), OF Chin-Feng Chen (27 in AAA with defensive deficiencies and unproven at ML Level), OF Jason Repko (24 in AAA), OF Cody Ross (24 in AAA, once considered the jewel of the Tigers system we traded Steve Colyer for him).

    2005-06-02 15:09:35
    105.   Jon Weisman
    Don't know if you all ever scroll up, but I've updated this post above.
    2005-06-02 15:11:05
    106.   Steve
    The sun will come out tomorrow
    Bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow
    There'll be sun!

    Just thinkin' about tomorrow
    Clears away the cobwebs,
    And the sorrow
    'Til there's none!

    Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya tomorrow, you're always a day away!

    Repeat, Curtain, Encore, Thank you, the matinee is half-price!

    2005-06-02 15:13:43
    107.   Bob Timmermann
    I took liberties with positions and the meter, but here is my homage to this weekend's series:
    Oh, I say D
    I say D-O,
    D-O-D
    D-O-D-G,
    D-O-D-G-E-R-S
    Team, team, team, team!
    Mmmm!
    I say M-C,
    M-C-C-
    M-C-C-O,
    M-C-C-O-U-R-T
    The writer? No, the owner!
    Eric Gagne, oh my Brazoban,
    Cesar Izturis, I love you so.
    And we defy
    Defy the B-R,
    B-R-E
    B-R-E-W,
    The B-R-E-W-E-R-S, Brewers!
    Play ball!
    Russell Branyan is at bat with the bases jammed.
    Russell Branyan, with a wham, bam, he hit a grand slam.
    In the very first inning, but it's only the begining,
    In the third, like a bird, we get two on, none away.
    Then Phillips hits into a double play.
    Here comes Big Jayson Werth, yessiree,
    Boy, what a swing! Strike three.
    Oh dem B
    Oh dem B-U,
    B-U-M
    B-U-M-S.
    Dem bums, dem bums, dem dry bums.
    Oh they may be bums, but they're my bums.
    Top of the fourth, say hey Carlos Lee
    Hits a three bagger down the right field line.
    Then he's out trying to stretch it to a homer,
    As Phillips tags him on the bottom of the spine.
    With a crack you can hear
    All the way back up to
    Milwaukee, open your hospitals!
    Charge!
    Inning six, Izturis
    Draws a walk, in the coach's box
    Glenn Hoffman, Glenn Hoffman
    Starts to wiggle and to twitch.
    A signal? No, an itch.
    Go Cesar, go Cesar, go go go!
    Cesar goes, the catcher throws,
    Right from the solar plexus.
    At the bag he beats the tag
    That mighty little waif,
    And umpire Crawford cries, "Yer out!"
    Out? Out???
    Down in the dugout Tracy glowers,
    Up in the booth Vin Scully frowns.
    Out in the stands McCourt grins,
    Attendance fifty thousand.
    And what does McCourt do?
    Charge!
    Bottom of the ninth, four to nuttin',
    Last chance, push the button!
    Oh we're pleading, begging, on our knees,
    Come on you Flatbush refugees!
    Izturis at bat, hit it for me once,
    Stu Miller throws, Cesar bunts.
    Obermueller runs to field the ball and Cirillo covers first,
    Miller runs to back up Cirillo,
    Miller crashes into Cirillo,
    Miller falls, drops the ball, Crawford calls "Safe!"
    Yea, Cesar!
    Perez up, Obermueller grunts.
    Miller throws, Perez bunts.
    Overbay runs to field the ball and Cirillo covers first,
    Miller runs to back up Cirillo,
    Cirillo crashes into Miller,
    Cirillo falls, drops the ball, Crawford calls "Safe!"
    Yea, Crawford!
    J.D. Drew gets a hit
    And Kent does the same,
    Here comes Mr. Werth
    With a chance to win the game.
    Hit it once!
    Big Jayson bunts?!?
    Overbay runs to field the ball and Cirillo covers first,
    Obermueller hollers "Miller",
    Miller hollers "Cirillo,"
    Overbay hollers "Obermueller," points to Cirillo with his fist,
    And that's the Obermueller Miller Cirillo Hallah-luia Twist!
    The Drew and Kent score score, it's four to four,
    And Werth's still rounding the bases.
    >From second to third, it's almost absurd,
    Amazement on everyone's faces.
    He's heading for home, he hasn't a chance,
    The poor lad is gonna be dead.
    But the ball hits him right in the seat of his pants
    And he scores! That's using your head.
    So I say D
    I say D-O,
    D-O-D-G-E-R-S.
    The team that's all heart,
    All heart and all thumbs,
    They're my Los Angeles, your Los Angeles,
    Our Los Angeles...
    Do you really think we'll win the pennant?
    Bums!
    Ooh, ooh, ooh dem bums.
    2005-06-02 15:14:57
    108.   Brian Y
    #105, I agree with the Houlton thing. He is only 24 and posted great numbers in AA last year. I think he needs to be given a chance to start or play more of a role though to see where he is at. As of late, he has looked very good. Think about if we just now were beginning to look at Brazoban and how poorly he has been pitching of late. I agree we keep Houlton or use him at least before we let the kids play. But Erickson.......he needs to go.
    2005-06-02 15:17:04
    109.   natepurcell
    RE: 104

    i have some conflict with your list.
    i would probably rate them like this, taking into account both offense and defensive capabilities:

    1. joel guzman- 3b,1b,rf,lf
    2. andy laroche- 3b, 2b
    3. russel martin- C
    4. james loney- 1b
    5. willy aybar- 2b/3b
    6. delwyn young- 2b/lf
    7. dioner navarro- C
    8. ching lung hu- SS/2b
    9. blake dewitt- 3b/2b
    10. matt kemp- lf/cf/rf
    11. jason repko- lf/cf/rf
    12. cory dunlap- 1b

    i dont think abreu has a future with the big league club.

    2005-06-02 15:19:57
    110.   Jon Weisman
    Wow, Bob. Wow.
    2005-06-02 15:20:26
    111.   Brian Y
    #109. Willy Aybar was an oversight on my part. Abreu is actually more highly regarded as a prospect than Chin-Lung Hu but that's just the projections.

    The rankings were just a personal thing so don't take offense to them, lol.

    2005-06-02 15:21:14
    112.   Bob Timmermann
    I left a "Stu Miller" in. Darn it!
    2005-06-02 15:21:25
    113.   the OZ
    Speechless am I.
    2005-06-02 15:22:38
    114.   natepurcell
    re: 111

    oh its cool, im not taking offense. i just like to talk dodger prospects.

    abreu's plate discipline ie abysmal. thats the reason i dont see him having a future with big league dodgers. he probably has more value to other clubs like the angels, marlins or twins that value his style of play more.

    2005-06-02 15:23:20
    115.   Bob Timmermann
    Parodies make me feel better. Sorry for the length.
    2005-06-02 15:24:40
    116.   Brian Y
    I'm a big fan of the hitting prospects but they are nowhere near as good as our pitching prospects! I wouldnt mind seeing a few college blue chippers added in this year. We could use a Berkman type PRONTO!
    2005-06-02 15:25:16
    117.   Brian Y
    ok ill be back when the game starts, I'm going to go gamble since I lost $100 on the dodgers yesterday!
    2005-06-02 15:27:55
    118.   the OZ
    Quickly recovering my voice after Bob's Opus:

    Are the only two reasons why people think Loney projects to be a ML regular are (1) his rookie-league season and (2) his youth?

    Because he's shown nothing for 2 seasons that would make me think he could play everyday in the ML for a good team. No HR power, poor to mediocre batting average at A and AA, tendency to injury (could be bad luck, of course).

    Count me among the group that doesn't always buy the "but he's only X years old and will get better" argument. Sure, he COULD get better, but I wouldn't EXPECT it for him, or anyone, based on age alone.

    Struggling at AA at 19 doesn't mean you won't continue to struggle at AA at 21 or 23.

    What's Loney's ceiling, anyway? Sean Casey? I just don't see the big deal with him.

    2005-06-02 15:28:20
    119.   natepurcell
    re:116

    i agree, i think we have more pitching depth but you cant argue with twop top of the line hitting prospects in laroche and guzman. That along with martin, who will get on base at a .400 clip, thats a pretty good collection at the top of the prospect pyramid.

    since our first pick is 40 in the draft, i think we will take a HS arm. since most of the polished college hitters will be picked before 40.

    2005-06-02 15:31:30
    120.   natepurcell
    re: 118

    well if you want to get optimistic about loneys cieling, its probably a john orlerud. A lyle overbay is a good current comparison.

    loney has shown he can hit actually. spring training in 2004, AFL last fall where he hit over .300

    he has had shown flashes of being a good hitter, just hes been hampered by freak injuries which has slowed his development.

    But i agree, if he doesnt produce this year, where he will be 21, repeating AA, he will not be regarded as a high prospect anymore.

    2005-06-02 15:32:04
    121.   Langhorne
    Jon,
    Re: the update. Thank you. I couldn't agree more. You saved me a lot of typing. I haven't heard much about Tom Farmer. He seems pretty solid but he's never mentioned with the other pitching prospects. I realize you may hold a grudge since he beat Stanford in the CWS championship in 2001.

    Now on to other peeves. The surest way to raise my baseball ire is to talk about chemistry. The second is to bring up confidence. No adult professional player should have confidence issues. If sitting Choi against left handers hurts his confidence than he shouldn't be playing at all. If Weaver loses his sense of himself after giving up a home run then he's not a professional. I should say that neither of these players have expressed anything about confidence. That issue exists only in the minds of Joe Morgan and Dr. Phil. It is a ghost that lurks along side chemistry and heart and soul.

    2005-06-02 15:35:49
    122.   db1022
    #118 - I have a hard time pulling for any 1B prospect, unless they are just an out and out stud. Seems like its always easy to find a 1B, that it feels like a waste to try to develop one.
    2005-06-02 15:37:55
    123.   tonmeister
    Hey folks,

    While I am very ashamed of the pitching performance, let's not forget that the Dodger offense is back to its old ways again...not hitting and not scoring runs...Let's remember that when this team was assembled, we gave up a little defense for offense...except for the first 14 games, the offense really hasn't been there. It's not just pitching, it's the offense as well. Looking at some May stats: it appears that the Dodgers are averaging 4.2 runs per game in the month of May (seems decent), but a lot of those runs came in complete blowouts. When the Dodgers lost games in May, they averaged 2.1 runs per game. I think this could be an additional factor at why we're .500. So much for creating offense with OBP, OPS, SLG, ETC...

    2005-06-02 15:48:52
    124.   Jon Weisman
    The Dodgers have played 52 games. They've scored at least four runs in 28 of them and at least three runs in 36 of them.

    Meanwhile, they've allowed at least four runs in 35 of them and at least three runs in 42 of them.

    In two-thirds of their games, Dodger pitchers have required the team to get at least five runs to win.

    The offense could be better, but it's not true to say that the offense hasn't been there since the opening run.

    And let's not dismiss the value of the blowout. I don't think we'd be dismissing a shutout by the pitchers if they started to come around.

    2005-06-02 15:49:47
    125.   Bob Timmermann
    Starters who have had good games against the Dodgers:
    Jason Schmidt
    Adam Eaton
    Livan Hernandez
    Mark Mulder
    Jeff Suppan
    Chris Carpenter
    Tim Hudson
    Mike Moehler
    Josh Beckett
    Jarrod Washburn
    John Lackey
    Brett Tomko
    Greg Maddux
    Carlos Zambrano

    Not really much of a pattern, except that they are mostly righties (except for Mulder and Washburn). But there are hard throwers, soft tossers and sinker ball guys

    2005-06-02 15:52:44
    126.   Jon Weisman
    I guess what I'm saying is, the dismissive remark about "so much for creating offense with OBP, OPS, SLG" etc - I think is off base. What do the great offensive teams create offense with?
    2005-06-02 15:58:42
    127.   Bob Timmermann
    Flip side:
    Starters the Dodgers have hit fairly hard:
    Kirk Rueter
    Brett Tomko (on both lists!)
    Javier Vazquez (who should be on the other list too)
    Shawn Estes
    Adam Eaton
    Tim Redding
    Jason Jennings
    Joe Kennedy
    Paul Wilson (and how!)
    Dontrelle Willis
    Russ Ortiz

    The Dodgers do fairly well against mediocre middle relievers

    2005-06-02 15:59:47
    128.   Steve
    126 -- heart and soul!
    2005-06-02 16:05:46
    129.   gvette
    Bad starting pitching + poor situational hitting = a 14-24 record. Despite using his name as a punch line, Jason Grabowski wasn't the problem.

    Tracy, and his bad game management isn't blameless, but neither is DePo for his inactivity (other than calling up AAAA retreads), and everyone in a Dodger uniform not named Izturis and Gagne.

    Despite the doom and gloom, the season isn't lost, and there are players on the roster who are capable, but underperforming (Drew,Werth, etc.) For those all you can do is ride it out.

    If there was immediate starting help available from the minors, would Alvarez be making a third start? Would everyone actually be hoping for a swift return from Dessens?

    In the meantime, it's time to cull the roster, starting with Erickson, and even Carrara. Try Houlton for the next start, and give Alvarez a chance to succeed in the bullpen.

    Maybe DePo should stop trying to use AAAA free agents as band aids (the way Evans tried to use over the hill veterans like Henderson and McGriff), and work some minor deals for actual major leaguers to plug the holes in the pitching staff and bench.

    2005-06-02 16:11:18
    130.   Jon Weisman
    I love that we've come to the point where DePo is being criticized for being inactive. Remember all the heat for roster turnover that he got? Was it that long ago? The Jason Phillips deal is only two months old. DePodesta has been nothing if not a dealmaker for actual major leaguers since he arrived in Los Angeles.

    The Dodgers were a good team in April - their decline, however sharp, has been recent. I wouldn't assume that just because he hasn't traded for a major leaguer in the past two months doesn't mean he won't do it in the next. As we all know by now, he likes to evaluate in the first two months, then make deals in the second two months.

    2005-06-02 16:13:57
    131.   Bob Timmermann
    I don't fault the #4 and #5 starters for being bad as much as the fact the 1-3 starters are enough to make me fall and on the ground and cry "Mlicki!"
    2005-06-02 16:17:14
    132.   Fearing Blue
    #63/80: Well.. it tooks me a few hours to write this, so I'll post even though it's redundant. Here is the list of our (interesting) starting pitchers. Everyone on this list is either a) on the Dodgers 40-man roster, b) on Baseball America's top 30 Dodgers prospect list, or c) has a chance to join Los Angeles this year. I tried to list them according to my assumption of our depth chart, not their prospect status.

    Derek Thompson is now in the majors at 24 years old. The Dodgers picked him up as a Rule 5 draftee during the 2003 season from Cleveland. He was immediately shut down for the season due to injuries. He pitched well last year for Jacksonville and was pitching well for them this year before being called up. Baseball America does not rate him as one of the Dodgers top 30 prospects.

    Ryan Rupe is in AAA at 30 years old. He's gone back and forth from the minors, pitching for Tampa Bay 1999-2002 and Boston in 2003. Baseball Cube doesn't have any professional experience listed for him in 2004. He's pitched well in five starts for Las Vegas with a 3.80 ERA, K'ing 28 in 24.1 innings, though the 4 HRs allowed don't bode well. He was a non-roster invitee to Spring Training and is on the Las Vegas roster for insurance.

    DJ Houlton is holding down mop-up duty (with our buddy Erickson) in the majors at 25 years old. The Dodgers picked him up as a Rule 5 draftee from Houston this year. He must remain on the 25-man roster the entire season, or be offered back to Houston. Houlton pitched very well in AA last year as a starter. He has three quality pitches, but so far has been hit very hard with a .483 BABIP.

    Pat Mahomes is in AAA at 34 years old. He's a journeyman pitcher (Twins, Red Sox, Mets, Cubs, Pirates), who has logged a 5.48 career ERA in 708 IP since 1992. He's pitching very well so far in AAA, with a 2.97 ERA in 63.7 IP. On the other hand, he's not striking out many (42 Ks), he's walking too many (28 BBs), and he's giving up a decent number of HRs (1.13 HR/9). The combination of his peripherals and his large career record of sub-mediocrity does not bode well for success in the majors. Nonetheless, the Dodgers have stated he would be given a shot before any other pitcher in AA.

    Edwin Jackson is in AAA at 21 years old. He was selected by the Dodgers in the 6th round of the 2001 draft. His stellar performance in AA and Los Angeles (22 IP) in 2003 rocketed him to top prospect status. Expectations were extremely high in 2004, but he performed poorly in Spring Training (9.28 ERA in 21.1 IP), fought through injuries in AAA (5.86 ERA in 90.2 IP) and performed terribly in his second major-league callup (7.30 ERA in 24.2 IP). Baseball America still ranked him the second best pitching prospect in the Dodgers system and 3rd best prospect overall coming into this season. Unfortunately, Jackson seems to have regressed further in 2005. He has mixed in a couple of quality starts with a number of poundings leading to a 6.94 ERA in 46.7 IP. Due to his poor performance, he has been called out by Royster twice in the Las Vegas news. Even with his current numbers, DePodesta has repeatedly stated that Jackson is in consideration for fill-in starts, which makes sense for no other reason than that he is already on the 40-man roster.

    Chad Billingsley is in AA at 20 years old. He was a first-round draft pick in the 2003 draft. He dominated at Vero Beach and Jacksonville last year. He has continued to pitch well this year in Jacksonville, with a couple of rough outings inflating his overall numbers. Baseball America rates him as the Dodgers top pitching prospect and 2nd best prospect overall.

    Jonathan Broxton is in AA at 20 years old. He is one month younger than Billingsley and was selected one year earlier in the second round of the 2002 draft. He put up impressive numbers in Vero Beach last year, and has roughly matched Billingsley's numbers in Jacksonsville so far this year (a few less Ks, but he hasn't gotten his numbers inflated either).

    Chuck Tiffany is a LHP in high-A at 20 years old. He was selected in the second round of the 2003 draft. He put up impressive strikeout numbers in the Sally League last year (141 K in 100 IP) and is continuing his pace this year (51 K in 40.1 IP). He seems likely to be moved up to Jacksonville after the All-Star break.

    Justin Orenduff is in high-A at 22 years old. He was selected in the first round of the 2004 draft. He's dominating at Vero Beach so far this year. He's third in the league in ERA (1.86) and Ks (68) and he's only pitched 48.1 innings. Baseball America rated him as the closest 2004 draft pick to the majors, our 11th best pitching prospect and 24th best prospect overall. He'll likely pass a lot of people on that list in next year's edition.

    Joel Hanrahan is in AA at 23 years old. He was selected in the second round of the 2000 draft. He pitched well for Jacksonville in 2003, but has regressed since moving up to Las Vegas in 2004. He started 2005 with Vero Beach, and moved back up to Jacksonville in May. In 5 starts in Jacksonville, his performance hasn't been especially good, with 22 Ks in 21.2 IP a positive, but 10 BBs, 6 HRs, and a 4.98 ERA outweighing the Ks. He'll need to quickly regain his form this season, otherwise he'll be passed by a slew of Dodgers pitching prospects. He's currently filling a slot on the Dodgers 40-man roster.

    Ryan Ketchner is another LHP on the 40-man roster. He's 23 years old and should be in AAA, but minorleaguebaseball.com and lv51.com don't have him listed on the Las Vegas roster. Like Thompson, Ketchner was not on Baseball America's top 30 Dodgers prospect list.

    Greg Miller is a LHP currently recovering from shoulder surgery at 20 years old. He was selected in the first round of the 2002 draft. Prior to his surgery, he had three plus pitches with a mid 90s fastball, a hard slider, and a power curveball. At this point, if he can come back to full strength, he projects as a front-of-the-rotation power pitcher. Baseball America's pre-season report suggested he could be pitching with Vero Beach by the middle of this month, but I haven't heard any updates. Even after the surgery, BA rated him our 3rd best pitching prospect and 7th best prospect overall.

    Other Baseball America top 30 prospects:

    Julio Pimentel is currently in high-A at 19 years old. He was signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2003.

    Scott Elbert is a LHP currently in low-A at 20 years old. He was selected in the first round of the 2004 draft. He's pitching well with 37 Ks in 31.1 IP and a 2.87 ERA.

    Blake Johnson is currently in low-A at 20 years old. He was selected in the second round of the 2004 draft. He's pitching well with a 3.30 ERA, but not blowing batters away, with only 38 Ks in 46.1 IP.

    Javy Guerra is currently in low-A at 19 years old. He was selected in the fourth round of the 2004 draft. He's not pitching as well as the other low-A prospects, with a 4.91 ERA and only 35 Ks in 47.2 IP.

    Mike Megrew is a LHP on the Vero Beach roster at 21 years old. He was selected in the fifth round of the 2002 draft. He pitched well for Vero Beach last year, but he had Tommy John surgery in the offseason and will likely miss all of 2005.

    2005-06-02 16:17:36
    133.   Fearing Blue
    I apologize for the scrolling for those of you who didn't care to read :).
    2005-06-02 16:19:13
    134.   walbers
    just an off hand thought that came to me on my lunch run today. does anyone else think that Kent stands too far back from the plate? and that he can't get to the outside pitch without diving for the ball (reminds me of Beltre). maybe it's the angle from the TV but it looks like he's backed up looking to pull an inside pitch and so pitchers are going away on him and he can't reach well.

    also, Drew looks completely tied up by anything on the inside of the plate. i've been astonished watching him look at pitches sailing by that he should be swinging at and then see him flailing at pitches on his fist or belt buckle. maybe he needs corrective lenses?

    just wondering.....great poem Bob!
    rgds, will

    2005-06-02 16:21:57
    135.   Fearing Blue
    #100: Based on early returns, I'd add Orenduff to that list.
    2005-06-02 16:23:05
    136.   gvette
    Bob, it's when you start crying out in pain for Brian Bohanon that you have a problem.

    As for DePo, there is always a question, like there was last year, of whether you are going to be a buyer or seller in the trade market. The longer he waits as the team declines, the more the answer becomes a self fufilling prophecy.

    This team has been bad, longer than it was good, with holes evident in the pitching staff, and on the bench. If you can't stem the bleeding internally with AAAA guys like Edwards, Rose, or Buddy, time to look outside the organization before its too late.

    2005-06-02 16:24:14
    137.   Fearing Blue
    #105: Great update. I wholeheartedly agree.
    2005-06-02 16:37:42
    138.   jasonungar05
    Jim Colburn: I bet he can't go five for five.

    Trace: I'll take that bet.

    ---

    ``As hot as he is and as well as he's swinging the bat, if you mislocate pitches in the middle of the plate to this guy, you're going to pay for it,'' Dodgers manager Jim Tracy said. ``When you lead in all offensive categories that would qualify you for the Triple Crown. It's very obvious that he's really beginning to find himself offensively.''

    ----
    wow: When you lead in all offensive categories that would qualify you for the Triple Crown.

    "The one you really need to have, if you don't have it that's why you need it".

    "Well, if you get hurt and miss work, it won't hurt to miss work."

    "And they give you cash, which is just as good as money."

    ---

    "That duck," he says, breaking up. "I had no idea until I was on the set, they have a farm where they train these ducks to act. So the day of the commercial, they bring three ducks. Two of them are back-ups in case the No. 1 duck got scared or something.

    "What they do is teach the duck to look up every time he hears a bell ringing. So in the commercial, I say my line, and the duck looks up. That's because he just heard that bell. I don't know how they slammed the door [on the duck's beak], though. And I don't know how they taught him to walk on the street like that. That part, I never saw."

    http://www.bergen.com/page.php?qstr=eXJpcnk3ZjczN2Y3dnFlZUVFeXkxMTMmZmdiZWw3Zjd2cWVlRUV5eTY2OTA3NTEmeXJpcnk3ZjcxN2Y3dnFlZUVFeXk2

    2005-06-02 16:50:54
    139.   Jon Weisman
    Funny, Jason.
    2005-06-02 16:52:55
    140.   molokai
    1. You guys are crazy. You sound like you want to turn this team into the Devilrays and bring up prospects willy nilly and watch them destroyed in the Majors and then become useless. You don't throw 19,20,21 year old pitchers to the wolves. You don't overmatch your young hitters. Each prospect has a plan and you stick by the plan and don't deviate because the big club needs a panic move. The Derek Thompson move was obvious because he's a 24 year old pitching in AA. Players like Pujols/Cabrerra are unique not common. Our drafts have been mostly HS pitchers which is why they are all young and not ready yet to help us.
    2. Your trade proposals need to have some common sense figured in. Teams that are not in the playoff hunt are not going to trade the young guns (Sabbathia) who are their future but the old guns who make money.
    3. Even if Barry Zito is overrated I'd make the deal that was talked about above. Who cares if Billingsly and Jackson are A rated prospects. The history of baseball is littered with the remains of A rated pitching prospects. Eric Chavez is the real deal and to get a left hand hitting monster 3b who is also a legitimate gold glove man for 11 million a year I'd do in a second. Sure he's off to a slow start but he's young and already has a history as the best hitting 3b in the AL until AROD switched positions. LaRoche is having a monster year. He's also already 21 in A ball with 10 errors. Given that he's only in A ball now, you have to figure he would not be of any help to the big club until 2007, plus no certainty that he will continue to put up the big numbers as he's challenged by pitchers his own age. The trade rumour is probably bull because I'd be shocked to see Beane move Chavez but I would not be shocked if Depo does trade the A grade pitching talent because he knows how hard it is for that A grade talent to become the Major League Ace.
    JMO
    2005-06-02 17:02:38
    141.   natepurcell
    >>

    true. but how hard is it to acquire an ace any other way? most of the aces in the majors are HOME GROWN. depo realizes that a team isnt going to give up thier ace pitcher in thier prime. he knows they will have to come from our farm system.

    2005-06-02 17:02:52
    142.   Fearing Blue
    #140: I should be clear. I'm not against trading prospects; I'm just against that trade in particular. Chavez and Zito are performing like they already belong on the Dodgers this year. Chavez is an offensive force who is performing significantly below his career averages (see Drew and Kent). Zito is a named-brand mediocre starting pitcher who can't strike anybody out (see Weaver and Perez). When we weren't willing to pay $11 million a year for an offensive 3B in the offseason, why pay $11 million plus 3 top prospects during the season?
    2005-06-02 17:04:06
    143.   Fearing Blue
    #141: I absolutely agree. When league-average starting pitching is getting $8 million / year on average, you need to reevaluate pitching prospects.
    2005-06-02 17:04:54
    144.   Fearing Blue
    Question from my book above: Can anyone find AAA stats for Ryan Ketchner?
    2005-06-02 17:05:59
    145.   molokai
    Great stuff "fearing blue"
    Minor League pitchers who aren't mentioned because they are not starters but who can help in the future:
    AAA
    Franquelis Osoria with a nice 25/6 ratio
    AA
    Eric Stults 45/9 ratio
    A
    Hong-Chih Kuo - just starting to pitch again after missing 3 years to injury. Only pitching out of the bullpen right now.
    My favorite unheralded pitcher
    Carlos Alvarez with a 38/9 ratio in 25 innings.

    Orenduff has been completely dominating but he was a College draftee and is 22 in a league populated with 20 and 21 year olds so we need to see what he does in AA before we get to excited.

    2005-06-02 17:13:08
    146.   natepurcell
    ketchner has not pitched all year.
    2005-06-02 17:17:26
    147.   molokai
    Ketchner has yet to pitch.

    We weren't willing to pay 11 million for a 3b who only had one above average year. Eric Chavez has been above average since he joined the league and each year his numbers have gotten better. It is doubtfull that all of the sudden he has lost it but is just going through a tough time dealing with being the only player left on the A's who can hit.

    Randy Johnson/Schilling/Hudson/Mulder should I go on about how many Ace's are traded. The A's got lucky developing 3 aces, at the same time. I'd much rather trade a pitching prospect for an established pitcher any day of the week. Just look at the deals this winter. They got the number one pitching prospect from the the Braves in Dan Meyer for Hudson. He sucks right now. His pedigree was every bit as high as any of our prospects. Billingsly might turn out to be the next Curt Schilling but if you look at Mr. Schilling's career you will see a pitcher who really wasn't that usefull until he'd pitched a number of seasons. Many great pitchers took time to become what they became. The Doc Gooden's of the world are frickin rare birds and to expect our high school studs to become usefull pitchers in the rotation until they are 22/23/24 is fantasy.

    2005-06-02 17:21:34
    148.   FirstMohican
    This is a little late, but I just thought it was necessary to point out that molokai said "willy nilly." That's all.
    2005-06-02 17:24:55
    149.   natepurcell
    re: 147

    i guess we just have different viewpoints on pitching prospects.

    2005-06-02 17:25:42
    150.   Eric L
    "Randy Johnson/Schilling/Hudson/Mulder"

    Randy Johnson - forced his way to NY.

    Schilling - left Arizona because they were rebuilding

    Hudson/Mulder - Beane was trying to get value for these guys before he lost them for draft picks.

    It's not that aces don't get traded, but there has to be a good reason for them to be traded. Can you think of anyone (realistically) who may be traded this year? Like a big contract on a lousy team? Or a GM that is going to lose a guy and wants to get a little something back?

    Show/Hide Comments 151-200
    2005-06-02 17:30:17
    151.   natepurcell
    theres a slight possible chance roy oswalt might be on the trading block.

    if so, hes the type of player i am willing to give up prospects for.

    2005-06-02 17:34:21
    152.   Fearing Blue
    #147: I'd be happy to trade any of our pitching prospects for a pitcher of the caliber of the guys you listed. I just happen to disagree that Zito is of that caliber.

    #151: Absolutely agree.

    2005-06-02 17:45:53
    153.   Eric L
    re #151:

    If Oswalt ends up on the trading block, then I agree as well.

    That said, Zito (in relation to other posts) isn't an ace type of pitcher. He may have been and he may still regain his past glory, but banking on him to do so is just like hoping the prospects we already have turn into good pitchers at some point.

    2005-06-02 17:45:59
    154.   Fearing Blue
    #145: Thanks molokai. Good catch on those two pitchers.

    I'm very excited about Osoria, considering he's already on the 40-man roster, and there's a pitcher with the last name Erickson who I would gladly have him replace. Also, so far, Osoria has defied the odds to pitch very well in Las Vegas.

    As far as Stults, I didn't list him, but I should have. All of Stults' innings have come as a starter this year. He's a 25 year old LHP in Jacksonville who looks like he's finally putting it all together. He was drafted in the 15th round of the 2002 draft out of college. Because of his age, he may see some playing time in the majors this year. Also due to his age, he's not likely to make any top prospect lists. Nonetheless, he's got a lower ERA than Billingsley at 3.30 and I really like all his peripherals (5.0 K/BB, 7.83 K/9, .7 HR/9, and 9.22 H/9).

    2005-06-02 17:56:58
    155.   db1022
    #151 - I'm not sure that Oswalt has the type of body and frame that you're looking for in a pitcher. His slight and fragile frame most likely will not withstand the rigors of starting full time in the bigs. He looks prone to breaking down and is almost certain to be an injury risk in the near future.

    And you know what happens to these types of pitchers...they pitch 15 more years and win 3 cy youngs.

    d'oh!

    2005-06-02 18:13:12
    156.   natepurcell
    loney and martin just took part in back to back homeruns.

    loney was to right field on a sweet sweet swing. martin was to right field, same area where loney's landed.

    2005-06-02 18:22:44
    157.   natepurcell
    c-bills has just struck out 6 in a row (the side in the 2nd, and the side in the 3rd). he has 7Ks through 3 IP. he is throwing his change up a lot, and throwing it for strikes.

    guzman is also at 3b for this game.

    2005-06-02 18:52:28
    158.   molokai
    Guess that is why LaRoche is still in High A so that Joel can play 3b once in a while. It will be curious to see if he starts playing 3b more regularly.
    2005-06-02 19:00:04
    159.   natepurcell
    c-bills line so far:
    5IP 3H 1ER 0BB 11K
    2005-06-02 19:31:55
    160.   Formerly R
    I appreciate the update on all the best Dodger pitching prospects. That's some good stuff. The trend seems to be the younger they are, the greater the potential. As they get closer to the majors, the glow begins to fade.

    As was mentioned in previous posts, if given the opportunity to trade a Grade A pitching prospect for an established top of the rotation pitcher, take it. How nice would it be now if Beane and DePo had pulled the trigger on the Hudson-for-Jackson (and others) deal that was rumored this past winter?

    As much as I love Zito and that big curve, and as much as I think he's still got plenty of good years in him, I don't think he's a good fit for the Dodgers. Right now we've got sinkerballers that can't keep the ball in the park. Imagine the problems a fly ball pitcher would have.

    2005-06-02 19:32:00
    161.   Nick Iyengar
    Many thanks to the people who posted the info on our pitching prospects. Nice to see all that info in once place.

    I agree we can't throw them to the wolves, but part of me gets aggravated when we have guys like Alvarez and Erickson eating up starts that we could use to give guys like Thompson, prospects, Houlton, etc, an opportunity.

    I guess I'd like to see a happy medium somehow. Anyway, here's hoping we'll get back over .500!

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