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

Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Choiday, Choiday, Choiday
2005-06-12 16:59
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Dodger Thoughts, June 7:

"This is a game of adjustments," Jeff Kent told Tony Jackson of the Daily News after Monday's game. "You just continue to adjust, no matter how long you play. The other guys get you for a while, and you try to figure out why. When you do, you get them. You just try to be as consistent as you possibly can, but it's never going to happen. I just tried not to worry too much."

So simply, the phenomenon of the streak hitter is explained. The difference between a streak hitter and a bad hitter is simply the ability to adjust.

That's why some of us have found it frustrating when a player like Hee Seop Choi stays on such a short leash - at least before Olmedomania/Saenzsteria took over. It's hard to ask a manager to sit a hitter as hot as Olmedo Saenz. Fair enough. But separate from that issue, when Choi goes into a slump, many people decide that he's hopeless at the plate. Period. This is inexplicable to me, since he seems so clearly a streak hitter, who has had good streaks every year of his young career to go with his bad, who does make adjustments. The adjustments seem to come slowly because he rarely plays three games in a row, but they do come. Over a full season, he is more than a bargain - he is an asset.

Last night in the game chat, there was a discussion of how eager many of us are to defend Choi at every step. The fact is, the guy merits the defense. Not because he is so great. Not because we are blind to his flaws. Choi is not the greatest first baseman in the game, and for the immediate present, he might not be the greatest first baseman on his team. This point is easily conceded. But he remains a good player in the present and one still likely to get better. That's exciting. Anyone who still cringes when he comes to the plate is missing the boat.

In the few days since this post, Choi has hit six home runs, including a game-winner off a lefty Friday and one, two, three today. Thanks, man! What do you say - should we take a chance on this guy?

This ends up being a pretty good week for the Dodgers to play some designated hitter games - surprising with all their injuries, led by Milton Bradley and Cesar Izturis. The Dodgers can continue playing Choi and Saenz in the same lineup for several days. If neither cools off, well, you've got a heck of a nice situation on your hands. Just remember - a cooling period for Choi doesn't mean the world has ended.

My congratulations to ESPN's Baseball Tonight for managing to sneak in its first mention of Choi's three-homer game - no tease, no anything preceding - 19 minutes into their highlight show. Only six minutes after some timely analysis of the fact there are three Molina brothers in the bigs.

* * *

Sunday brought another nice game for D.J. Houlton, whose eight strikeouts indicate his ability to get out of jams, some of his making, some of his defense's and some of the sun's. We'd rather he got into fewer jams to begin with - but that's Step 2.

As happy as it was to see Houlton complete six innings, I have to reiterate my belief that this season, the Dodgers should pinch-hit for a starting pitcher if he is only going to go one more inning maximum.

... going into a game, if your starting pitcher's ERA is roughly the same as the middle relievers' ERA, by the time the sixth or seventh inning of a close game rolls around, fatigue is likely to have made your starter less effective than your middleman. Let me say this again: The starter who was a better pitcher than the reliever when the game began, who was a better pitcher than the reliever in the second, third, fourth and fifth innings, in most cases goes from better to worse as the game enters the final innings.

So the bargain you strike when you let that starter pitch in the late innings - trying to eke out another effective inning from the guy who has already thrown five to seven, trying to spare your bullpen an extra inning of work, is like blowing your bubble gum past its breaking point. Your starting pitcher might not make it through his next inning, you'll have to go to your bullpen anyway, and you're facing a larger deficit - one sticky mess. If you sacrificed a pinch-hitting opportunity in the process, call up Don Rickles so that he can add the perfect insult to your injury.

I think it's important to bring this up in a game in which pretty much every Dodger did his job, to show that the philosophy is important even when ignoring it works.

With the game over, we're all happy that Houlton made it through six innings. But in the bottom of the fifth, the chances of us being happy with the game over would have been better if the Dodgers had hit for Houlton (with a runner on and one out, no less). Is a sixth inning of Houlton - and nearing 100 pitches, there wasn't going to be a seventh - worth giving up a scoring opportunity in a one-run game? (No more than it's worth it for third-base coach Glenn Hoffman to send Jason Grabowski around third to try to score with the ball already in leftfielder Lew Ford's glove and red-hot Choi on deck.)

Let me also reiterate that using your second-worst relief pitcher (Giovanni Carrara) as your first reliever out of the pen in a close game, less than a day after he has thrown 20 pitches, is not a good decision when better choices are better rested and there's an off day Monday, no matter how short an outing you intend for Carrara to have.

Hit for Houlton in the fifth Sunday, and you had Duaner Sanchez, Kelly Wunch, Yhency Brazoban and Eric Gagne (with a combined five pitches thrown Saturday) to get you through the final four innings. Then, if you need a fifth pitcher, you can go to Carrara - or Franquelis Osoria, for that matter. Carrara does not need all this work.

Not trying to be a harpie after a victory. Just trying to be consistent. This, after all, was a feel-good day. It was Choiday, after all. Again.

* * *

2005 NL AB/HR Leaders
(Min. 2 HR)

8.4 W. Pena
11.3 T. Clark
12.6 A. Dunn
13.0 H. Choi
13.2 D. Lee

14.1 C. Floyd
14.2 A. Pujols
14.3 J. Grabowski
14.4 M. Ensberg
14.5 B. Abreu

14.5 J. Cruz
14.5 R. Fick
14.6 M. Alou
14.8 P. Burrell
14.9 O. Saenz

15.0 A. Jones
15.1 R. Sanders
15.3 C. Lee
16.1 P. Wilson
16.3 T. Glaus

16.3 T. Greene
16.5 C. Delgado
16.6 C. Utley
16.7 L. Niekro
16.8 D. Ward

16.9 D. Easley
17.4 J. Kent
17.5 J. Edmonds
17.9 A. Ramirez
18.0 J. Garcia

18.0 R. Klesko
18.1 F. Lopez
18.5 E. Perez
18.8 J. Drew
18.8 M. Bradley

19.2 J. Repko
19.7 T. Pratt
19.8 D. Mohr

* * *

I neglected to mention Jeff Kent's sprinting catch of the ball Choi lost in the sun. The ball would have landed fair and cost the Dodgers two runs. This will sound like typical West Coast petulance, but I'm gonna say it anyway: If Derek Jeter makes that play, that's in the opening montage of SportsCenter.

Comments (181)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2005-06-12 17:31:24
1.   Steve
Osoria should ALWAYS be the first option before Carrara. Always.
2005-06-12 17:48:36
2.   Vic
The first line of the AP's game story:

"Call him Three-Seop Choi."

Plagiarism!

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/recap?gid=250612119

2005-06-12 17:55:32
3.   Linkmeister
Glad to see someone else mildly offended that Baseball Tonight decided that the Flying Molinas were more editorially important than a three-homerun game.
2005-06-12 18:02:32
4.   Landonkk
A magnificent game all around. Kent saving the ball that Chopper lost in the sun was huge. Brilliant. Houlton getting out of jam after jam, Sanchez with a big K, Wunsch Wunschinating Morneau, and of course Ghame Over and Game Over. And everybody's favorite underdog (at least DT's) Choi with a career day. And the cherry on top - both AZ and SD lose in extra innings. Wow. This has been a great day.

GO BLUE!

2005-06-12 18:07:27
5.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
To BBTN's credit, Harold Reynolds did end the show with some props to Choi's 3 HR as the day's most important item, and he even called Choi's weekend "amazing." He said something to the effect that he hopes Choi continues to succeed, because it's nice to see players work through problems, which in Choi's case involved issues with his swing. A lot of us would say the real problem was managers benching him for lame reasons, and I certainly share Jon's irritation with BBTN over its highlight selections, but I think that at least Reynolds deserves some credit.

Ravech doesn't provide much analysis, but that isn't really his job, and Kruk is truly useless, but I think Reynolds has always done a good job serving as the ex-player POV on BBTN. The problem is that when they use the Ravech-Kruk-Reynolds crew, the only thing you get is the old-school littleball POV--the well-spoken version from Reynolds, and the Ron Dibble-numbskull version from Kruk. In all due honesty, that's why I hardly watch BBTN anymore. I only caught the last five minutes or so.

WWSH

2005-06-12 18:16:01
6.   FirstMohican
I'm watching the Cubs BoSox game and Morgan mentions Choi's day. Says its a good day, mentions that Derrek Lee came to the cubs in the Choi trade, then, finishing out the Choi mention, says something along the lines of "I bet the Dodgers would take Lee over Choi."

Okay...? Gotta love Morgan.

2005-06-12 18:16:40
7.   Langhorne
Carrara and Sanchez are pretty much identical this season except Gio has been the better of the two recently. His ERA is 2.70 over the last ten outings versus 7.71 for Duaner. Why would you pick Osoria to come in ahead of Gio in a close game? He's pitched two innings in the majors. Or is it just a case of "the grass is always greener" until Osoria gets shelled? I can see bringing Duaner in first if he is more rested but I think either of them would have been pulled for Wunsch facing a lefty.
2005-06-12 18:37:50
8.   Fearing Blue
#7: I would still take Sanchez, even though his bad outings are more extreme and more recent. Overall, he has a lower walk rate (2.86 BB/9 vs. 4.61 BB/9 for Gio) and a lower OPS allowed (.756 vs. .843).

Sanchez's outing breakdown (32 total):
0 ER - 23
1 ER - 5
2 ER - 2
3 ER - 1
4 ER - 1

Gio's outing breakdown (29 total):
0 ER - 19
1 ER - 7
2 ER - 3

Those numbers don't mean that much without the innings, but Sanchez has thrown up a zero in his outings a higher percentage of the time (72% vs. 66%).

2005-06-12 19:06:27
9.   Fearing Blue
When Houlton originally came to the plate, it was man on first and one out. Certainly, the argument can be made for pulling Houlton in that situation, but it's not as clear-cut. It was only after that strange fake-bunt-stolen-base play that there was a man at second and a 1-1 count. It would have been innovative to pull Houlton at that point, but managers rarely bring in a pinch hitter halfway through an AB.
2005-06-12 19:41:41
10.   Ben P
I bet the later BBTN will correct the earlier oversight. Choi's 3HR was the very first story on the Sportscenter that just started, ahead of the NBA playoffs and everything else.
2005-06-12 19:51:41
11.   Christina
I checked the LA Times's website and THEIR headline is "Three-Sock Joy for Dodgers".

ESPN is killing time now before the next Sportscenter starts, and one of the things they chose to talk about was Choi's 3-HR game. I'm still not tired of watching the open-mouthed, jumping-of-their-chairs-so-fast-they're-tripping, reaction of the fans behind home plate to the third one. They also showed Choi and Bradley mugging around in the dugout. Awwww.

2005-06-12 20:20:14
12.   Jon Weisman
9 - Thanks for the correction. Still, I'd rather have a pinch-hitter in that situation with a runner on first then bunt.
2005-06-12 20:30:57
13.   LAT
I know its too early to call anything "make or break" but before the month is out we see SD seven times. In between we have two even tougher teams in White Sox and LAA. This means we better sweep KC this week. In the meantime the Padres will play Detroit and Seattle, two teams well under .500. Let's hope the good Weaver shows up, O. Perez comes back strong and Thompson or DJ can keep the 5th spot respectable. If so, we should be able to weather the rest of the month.
2005-06-12 20:33:53
14.   LAT
Oh yeah, and if Erickson stays at home.
2005-06-12 20:38:32
15.   Fearing Blue
#12: I would too, assuming the pinch hitter was allowed to swing away. But, I imagine Tracy was thinking bunt in that situation no matter who was up.
2005-06-12 20:40:12
16.   adg
On the other hand, triple A pitching help from Vegas is looking slim after Dessens gets activated.
Jackson blew up again today and I doubt he'll turn around this season. If we didn't call up Mahomes when Derek was called up I don't think we ever will.
2005-06-12 20:44:43
17.   Steve
No, it's basically a case of "Carrara Sucks" regardless of what his ERA is in any random or arbitrary 10 inning sample size.
2005-06-12 20:45:53
18.   Fearing Blue
#13: I agree. Looking at the schedules, a sweep in Kansas City would be huge. While we play the Royals, San Diego plays the Tigers. While we play the White Sox, San Diego plays the Twins. While we play the Angels, San Diego plays the Mariners. In the middle of all that, we play two series against each other (7 games). It should be a really interesting couple weeks.
2005-06-12 20:48:07
19.   Fearing Blue
#16: I'm holding out hope that Schmoll will turn things around and provide some quality bullpen depth in case of injuries. He's still young and showed some promise during his short stint with the Dodgers.
2005-06-12 20:52:43
20.   Fearing Blue
I nominate the following Kevin Modesti article for the Plaschke Award for worst Dodgers critique pretending to be real analysis:

http://tinyurl.com/c9kp2

The conclusion is that the Dodgers don't stack up because they only have one previous 100-RBI contributor on the team (Jeff Kent).

2005-06-12 21:14:59
21.   Bob Timmermann
I got to see Choi's second and third homers today. I wasn't posting because I had company over and somehow it just seemed a bit rude.

Despite hitting six homers in 3 games, Choi didn't set the record for most homers in 3 games. Shawn Green has it with 7, helped of course by his four homer game at Milwaukee.

The most home runs in four straight games (with the player homering in each game) is 8 by Ralph Kiner.

The record for home runs in five straight games (with at least one in each game) is also 8 by Frank Howard and Barry Bonds, who both had two overlapping streaks with 8 home runs.

If you stretch it to six games (again with a home run in each game), then the mark is 10 also by Frank Howard.

2005-06-12 21:28:12
22.   Louis in SF
Jon's post is excellent as usual and points out some of the problems in Sunday's great win. The problem I see is that Tracy is very much into set roles and situations. If the Dodgers are tied in the 7th inning or sooner, it is always going to be Gio, possible Duaner, but it seems that Yahncey can only pitch the eigth inning and it almost seems imperative that the Dodgers be up. WHile it is great to give everyone a chance I think he should go for his bigger guns sometimes sooner..At this point I hope when Elmer, Wilson and Odalis come back, we keep DJ has the fifth starter-release Erickson. Then if we can't rent a top of the line starter, we play with what we have. Houlton and Thompson may not be world beaters, but they deserve a chance to see how good they are.
2005-06-12 21:39:08
23.   popup
Bob, Frank Howard had a streak of 10 homeruns in 20 official at bats, alas not when he was with the Dodgers. I spent the day at the ballpark in Tacoma watching Vegas play the Mariners Triple A team. Dessens looked sharp though he was far from overpowering. Jackson had much more velocity on his fastball compared to Dessens, though he was wild and he was hit hard on occasion. Navarro had a solo homerun for the lone Vegas run of the day. I hope Depo does not give up on Jackson; the kid has too good of an arm to give him away for a fringe player to help in the stretch run.
2005-06-12 21:52:32
24.   Bob Timmermann
Howard's home run tear came in 1968. And he hit the home runs off of some good pitchers in that stretch. Three were off of Mickey Lolich and two off of Sam McDowell.
2005-06-12 21:53:23
25.   Bob Timmermann
Oregon State has blown an 8-3 lead over USC in the 7th and is tied 8-8 in the bottom of the 9th.

The OSU right fielder dropped a fly ball to set up the 9th inning rally.

2005-06-12 21:54:14
26.   deburns
I went to today's game,and it was a great one.I have been a Dodger fan since the exciting 1947 series, that featured the Cookie Lavagetto break up of the Bill Bevens no-hitter, the Al Gionfriddo catch of Joe Dimaggio bid for a home run, and a Yankee win. I was a season ticket holder a few years ago, but had not been going to games recently.
I hope this is not too much of an off-subject post, but, as much as the game was great; I particularly loved Kent's game-saving catch in front of Hee Sop when he clearly didn't have a clue where the ball was, and the uproarious boos when Radke was taken out just before Hee Sop was about to hit his fourth (I can dream) off him.
What I found really off-putting was at least a half-hour of introductions of various youth groups and do-gooders; it seemed to go on and on. The ads all over the stadium I guess are supposed to lead to an acquisition of an Oswalt or Sheets at the deadline, but they are off-putting as well. The music is terrible, the announcer pronouncing Werth's name in a ridiculous tone all makes me wonder whether paying $75 to go to a game is better than watching at home. I also don't get to listen to Scully's call of the game.
I will die being an avid Dodger fan, but as beautiful as Dodger Stadium is, and as fun as this game was, I am going to wait a while to go again.
2005-06-12 22:00:46
27.   Jon Weisman
How many errors for USC today, Bob?
2005-06-12 22:02:48
28.   Jon Weisman
Thanks for reminding me about Kent's catch. I meant to mention that - and have just added it above.
2005-06-12 22:04:10
29.   Bob Timmermann
One error for the Trojans. Four for the Beavers.

The game is at Corvallis, although USC is the home team for this game.

2005-06-12 22:06:32
30.   Bob Timmermann
#26,
I think most would concur with you about the ads and the music and the PA announcer, but they've been introducing groups over and over again for as long as I've been going to games.

I just ignore those for the most part. Unless I happen to know somebody, which I think has happened once.

2005-06-12 22:15:28
31.   Jon Weisman
From that Times article on ballpark organists that I linked to Saturday:

"For many fans, however, the audio-video blitzkrieg is part of the fun. 'Loud? It could never be too loud,' says Dan Sbur of Riverside, a 44-year-old math teacher who has been attending Angel games since he was 6."

It says "for many fans," but I'm wondering how close "many" is to meaning "at least one"

2005-06-12 22:22:09
32.   Bob Timmermann
USC wins in 10 innings, 9-8 and forces a third game tomorrow afternoon in Corvallis.

OSU hasn't been to Omaha since 1952.

When the Dodgers play in Kansas City, it will be the first regular season game in that city for the Dodgers franchise since 1889, when the Brooklyn Bridegrooms/Dodgers played the Kansas City Cowboys. Retrosheet is down so I don't have the exact date. But since Brooklyn won the pennant in the AA that year and Kansas City went 55-82, I'm thinking that Brooklyn likely played well.

2005-06-12 22:30:30
33.   Bob Timmermann
August 17, 1889. Brooklyn 7, Kansas City 2.
2005-06-12 22:31:47
34.   Jon Weisman
That was a serious road trip back then.
2005-06-12 22:37:26
35.   LAT
#26, 30 and 31. I have been to at least 15 games this season. As Jon said in his post this morning something is still off kilter at DS. Sunday games seem a lot more civilzed. I assume its because many people are with thier family/children and because its a day game do not drink as much. But Fri games are no fun (except last Fri), people swearing in front of kids, loud music on a lousy PA system and fans who don't appear to care about the game. Maybe I am just getting old. Probably going to start telling stories about walking to school 3 miles in the snow.

As for the long intro of the do-gooders I actually enjoy that. Its not like it delays the game and it is usually a thrill for the people on the field. Moreover, they have done something good and deserve thier moment of recognition.

2005-06-12 22:39:32
36.   LAT
#32 Bob is that a mini RDCB? A little something something for the Dodger day off.
2005-06-12 22:39:32
37.   LAT
#32 Bob is that a mini RDCB? A little something something for the Dodger day off.
2005-06-12 22:57:48
38.   bigcpa
That Kent play was a thing of beauty. If you watch in slo-mo you'll see Kent charge over and glance at Choi. He saw the whole thing developing and somehow got a bead on that ball in time.

Brendan- I caught a glance of TEAM DEPO right as Choi walked to the plate to face Mulholland. Your face was chopped a bit but it was hard to miss the orange logo. Thanks for the airtime- now tell us how you scored the seats.

Great bit on Sportscenter- in their Choi reel they incorporated the H-S-C chant acapella without the canned ESPN music behind it.

2005-06-12 23:01:29
39.   Mark Linsey
From tomorrow's LA Times article:

"My problem is I watch too many pitches," he said. "The batting coach, Tim Wallach, he changed me. Now I don't think about the count. I'm more aggressive."

The on-base percentage-conscious DePodesta might prefer that Choi meld the best of both approaches and mix in a walk now and then. He hasn't drawn one since May 15."

I think this is slightly worrisome. While Choi obviously has had a terrific weekend, while we are on the subject of adjustments, I think that Choi's patience will be key in overcoming whatever adjustments pitchers make to him. That's one of the main reasons why high walk rates are associated with high power rates, because the ability to work the count in your favor is vital to force pitchers to throw strikes and maybe make a mistake that lands the ball in the seats.

I guess I'm just worried that while we all know Choi's latest streak is bound to end sometime, I suspect the landing will be a lot softer and the rebound a lot quicker if Choi can keep drawing walks and showing plate discipline.

2005-06-12 23:03:32
40.   Bob Timmermann
The 1889 season will be a fun one to write about. The American Association in that year just had three teams on the East Coast: Brooklyn, Philadelphia, and Baltimore and five in the West: St. Louis, Kansas City, Columbus, Cincinnati, and Louisville.
2005-06-12 23:16:46
41.   the OZ
I just got back from a weekend in San Diego.

Please note Post #1 from Friday's game. I ate Eel for lunch in honor of Choi, and he hits two home runs including the game-winner.

Today, I ate Eel again, in honor of Choi. And he has a three-homer game.

Conincidence? Almost certainly. Nevertheless, I'm taking credit. Hee and I are eel-eating monsters. I must now eat eel every day.

2005-06-12 23:19:38
42.   bigcpa
Re: 39
Hard to complain about 4 first-pitch homers this weekend. But we're at 59 at-bats waiting for the next Choi walk. He still seems to lay off bad balls, just not 4 of them at a time. I'd be much happier seeing Choi with a .380/.490 line than a .330/.560 line.
2005-06-12 23:25:26
43.   bigcpa
Sidenote-
AZ is 6-13 going back to May 24th. Their 6 wins include 12-11, 5-4, 10-8, 4-3 and 12-11. They look baaaaaad, but still 6 wins over their 27-36 pythag record.
2005-06-12 23:57:29
44.   the OZ
RE: ESPN.

Sportscenter just ran their "Top 10" segment.

Three walk-off home runs were in the Top 10: David Bell (Phillies), Cliff Floyd (Mets), Marlon Anderson (Mets).

No Choi walk-off, no Choi 3-HR game. No mention of Choi's 6 HRs this weekend.

2005-06-13 00:14:34
45.   Todd
Yahoo MLB page, a couple of hours ago, didn't have Choi as the top story. Indeed didn't have the headline AT ALL. I was amazed. Perhaps if he'd had 8 RBIs or something? Or is that just being overly generous to Yahoo! editors? Finally now (0015 PST) it's about the 7th or 8th story down. Hmmm...wonder if it'll be mentioned on PTI later today. Guessing no.
2005-06-13 06:07:14
46.   Fearing Blue
#39: From the Dodgers.com story:

"Sometimes, I think too much," said Choi. "I watch the video and Minnesota pitchers throw a lot of strikes, [and] no walks. I don't want to take. I want to swing."

That's a really important point, since Jon is talking about the adjustments players make. Going up to the plate with the intent of walking against Radke and Silva certainly wasn't going to help his cause. And as big pointed out, it's not like he's swinging at bad pitches. He's still laying off the bad ones, but he's swinging at (and hitting) the good ones earlier in the count. My guess is that he'll get back to walking as pitchers start to pitch around him.

2005-06-13 07:55:04
47.   Sushirabbit
Wow. er, wait, My name's Sushirabbit and I'm a Dodgers fan! 6'1" 200# ding ding.

(Vin's been doing the weight/height thing alot lately).

So, I watched all of the UT game. Yes, Hochevar has pitched alot. And figures to do so until the series is over.

Missed the first Choi game, and so ended up caving and got Extra Innings, in time to see a loss. But then I got to see ALL of yesterdays game. I thought it was a great game. The sun was clearly a prob, but that catch by Drew, after the catch by Hunter, the save by Kent, Houlton getting out of so many jams.

Jon, I'd love to see the stat comparison you did for the whole team done between just Saenz and Choi now. Man, I hope Milton gets back soon. This is going to be an interesting road trip.

Hey, who was that wearing the Team Depot shirt pretty close up behind the plate?

2005-06-13 08:48:13
48.   Nagman
I've been meaning to ask. Is there a stat (there must be) that reflects a hitters tendency to not go into a slump, some sort of standard deviation thing? Granted, I don't care if a player hits a solid .230 all season but after watching Finley last season and Kent this season, I was just wondering. Are there any players, past or present that were known for rarely going thru a 2 for 30 rut? Maybe Gwynn?

Secondly, maybe I'm just slow at catching on, but it seems Tracy will use Gio in situations if he anticipates a critical lefty AB so he can use Wunsch and bring in Duaner after that? I mentioned that in the yesterday's game thread when that thought struck me.

Finally, sandwiched and overlooked somewhat between the walk-off and the tri-HR game is a shot that nearly cleared the rf pavilion. Amazing.

2005-06-13 08:50:32
49.   Vishal
well, choi did swing at a couple bad pitches against mulholland yesterday, but i'd say it's pretty excusable, considering he was going for his fourth homer of the game.
2005-06-13 09:03:31
50.   db1022
so what to make of depo's quotes on extending weaver? just being nice? trying to dangle the carrot, hoping to have an effective 2nd half?
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2005-06-13 09:11:27
51.   Christina
The LA Times article says that Radke was "visibly angered" at being taken out so that he wouldn't face Choi a fourth time.

Yeah, I'm sorry too, Radke. If he was mad, rather than relieved, then you know his very first pitch would've been a "I dare you to hit this one out" fastball up the middle. LOL

If Choi had hit 4 home runs in four tries, four consecutive pitches, then maybe he would've made ESPN's top 10. Then again, maybe not.

2005-06-13 09:13:14
52.   molokai
First off I must apologize to DJ Houlton. I've felt and expressed the opinion that a rule 5 pitcher like DJ does not belong on a roster of a team trying to win a pennant. I'm dead wrong as DJ showed some serious guts against a good team and I'd rather he get the 5th starter job and Dessens gets sent to the bullpen when they activate him.

Ever since the Dodgers added the extra security, the games I've gone to have been very pleasant. Not as many beach balls, not as many fans chanting "somebody" sucks. Much more of "let's go Dodgers" which I prefer. All in all I haven't felt uncomfortable in weeks and again look forward to going to the games.

Soon to say good bye to Erickson and hello to Dessens. It is always sad when you see the last days of a long time major league like Erickson but he has been crap for years and should have retired long ago.

Congrats to Mike Rose on his first and probably only big league hit. At least he can say he got one.

I don't know what kind of bug Jon had but he sure has come back with some great writing.

2005-06-13 09:21:34
53.   molokai
Kuo who used to be our top minor league pitching prospect before numerous surgeries is evidently on the rebound as he pitched an awesome game last night. He had been pitching just a few innings out of relief but I think last night was his 1st start.
http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/app/milb/stats/stats.jsp?sid=milb&did=milb&t=g_box&gid=2005_06_12_breafx_vbdafx_2

Then Orenduff threw a shutout in the 1st game.
http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/app/milb/stats/stats.jsp?sid=milb&did=milb&t=g_box&gid=2005_06_12_breafx_vbdafx_1

Could be that Brevard County is just a terrible team but a double header with two
shutouts is always cool.

2005-06-13 09:26:04
54.   Jacob L
Re: a few posts back - I also tend to ignore the on-field pre-game introductions of sundry folks, except on Memorial Day, when it was my mom and dad.

Re: Choi's approach at the plate and the prognosis for a soft landing. Obviously something's gotta give. I haven't seen the book on Choi, but I'm reasonably sure it says to try to get ahead in the count. Blame the Twins then for not making the adjustment after, say, his second or third first-pitch bomb. Suffice to say, though, that if this or anything like it keeps up, a league-wide adjustment to Choi is forthcoming. If patient Choi doesn't reemerge at that point, he might be in for some trouble. I also think that a batter saying that he's got it all figured out now, is a lot like me saying that I've got my golf swing perfected. Unlikely to be true, and, at the least, best left unsaid.

2005-06-13 09:40:34
55.   Jacob L
Oh, and while the Twins are still on our minds, I thought I'd see if anyone else remembers the game where Mulholland cemented his status as one of my all-time least favorites.

I think it was the second game in '01 with the Giants in town. He was brought in with the score reasonably close to face Bonds, who took him deep, probably on the first pitch. The Giants then proceeded to bat around in the inning and go up by 10. When Bonds came up again, Mulholland, still in the game, walked him on 4 pitches. Cause, you know, Bonds was liable to put SF up 11.

2005-06-13 10:36:19
56.   Fearing Blue
#53: I hope that one of the things DePodesta brought with him is the A's handling of minor league pitching prospects. The A's have not had a top pitching prospect miss a year with shoulder or elbow surgery in 10 years (http://ussmariner.com/?p=2616). Whereas, it seeems like Dodgers' pitching prospects have had a lot of injuries (Miller, Kuo, Ketchner, Megrew, ...). I've been waiting for the USS Mariner to analyze the Dodgers, but it seems like they lost steam right before getting to them. The last entry in the Attrition War was the Cubs on June 10th.
2005-06-13 11:20:38
57.   chumsferd
Regarding Choi's Patience:
I track every single one of Choi's plate appearances for my blog (http://choicentral.blogspot.com/) and I also found his postgame comments a little worrisome. The last two pitches that Mullholland threw were probably balls, but for the most part Choi rarely swings at balls. In fact, there was only a brief time where he was swinging at balls out of the zone which happened to be during the second slump. I heard he said he was maybe a bit overconfident after getting his average over .300. I have to believe that some of this is the result of hitting second. He's seeing an awful lot of strikes and putting the ball in play, which lowers his walk total.

There WILL be a league-wide adjustment, I'm sure. Pitchers will tempt him with off-speed stuff out of the zone and probably try to get him out with sinkers down and in as well. I hope Choi can stay patient. We'll see.

2005-06-13 11:36:32
58.   Jon Weisman
I share some of your same worries. On the other hand, I think when Choi does swing and miss out of the strike zone, it's usually been at sinking stuff. I don't think those last two swings against Mulholland were unusual for him even when he was hot the first time this season. That's an area he has to continue to work on.

The fact that he worked a 3-1 count off Mullholland to begin with, with the fourth home run so tantalizing, I take as a good sign. Choi is never going to eliminate his strikeouts, and his strikeouts aren't always going to come on fastballs down the middle.

2005-06-13 11:39:57
59.   Xeifrank
I saw the graphic on Choi and how he hits much better batting 2nd in the lineup than in any other spot. My question is, when Choi hit lower in the lineup was it against lefties, righties or both? I was wondering if his great stats hitting 2nd in the lineup was due to him hitting against RHPs. Thanks.
vr, Xei
2005-06-13 11:53:03
60.   Jon Weisman
I'm sure batting in front of J.D. Drew helps more than batting in front of Jason Phillips or Paul Bako.
2005-06-13 12:14:35
61.   molokai
With Jason Werth's complete lack of power since he came back and the fact that last year was the 1st year he displayed that kind of power does anyone think that Depo might make a play for Austin Kearns? We have what the Red's need which is pitching, pitching, pitching and now that they sent him to AAA they can't be expecting the same kind of package if they had traded him last year. Some big time upside with him.
2005-06-13 12:37:00
62.   db1022
#61 - Werth and an arm from down below for Kearns? Or do we really put something together for Adam Dunn? He seems like he's alienating Red management right now.
2005-06-13 16:23:19
63.   FirstMohican
I seriously doubt DePo trades Werth unless its to get a top starter. Why would DePo trade a guy making the min. for a couple more HRs? (Especially a guy he went after and got.)

The Dodgers are 7th in the MLB in OPS. The Rotation is 19th and 23rd in Opp. OPS and ERA. Bullpen is 24th and 19th in Opp. OPS and ERA.

Just based on that it's pretty clear that the Rotation is the weakest aspect (Gagne returning will inevitably raise the bullpen ranks). DePo's even said he'd go after a starter first.

So unless Werth is packaged to get a top starter, I don't see him leaving.

What's interesting is DePo's quotes on extending Weaver. If the Dodgers extend Weaver they'll have 4 guys locked up at top dollar for 06 and 07. I'm guessing thats not the balance they want in the rotation of top dollar to minimum salary guys. If so, that may limit the starters the Dodgers can aquire as some of them ask for multi-year extensions (see RJ, Hudson).

Then again, after last year's Heart & Soul transplant, maybe Werth and Weaver get packaged for Zito... who knows.

2005-06-13 16:44:13
64.   db1022
#63 - Totally dependant on what you consider Werth's ceiling to be. I don't know, based on his minor league numbers, what to expect out of him. Based on what I've seen of him in LA, he looks like a potential .270-hitting, 25 homer guy who plays an above average outfield.

As far as the trades go, pure speculation of course. I'm not advocating trading anyone making close to the minimum putting up his numbers.

2005-06-13 17:05:21
65.   kegtron
I got this second hand from a sports blog I frequent from a guy who apparently knows what he's talking about.

"Austin has a LONG volatile history with the Reds. He was not HAPPY with where he was originally assigned when drafted. (Not many fans know this) Pretty good first season in the minors. Reds Brass goo gooes all over him, fills him with wonder. He played well in Chattanooga until he hurt his hand/thumb. He was PO'd at the team for how they handled the hand/thumb injury. (laying more groundwork) THEN in ST he blew up on Tim Naehring for being assigned to Chattanooga instead of Louisville. I remember Jim Bowden somewhat kissing his butt but Naehring royally lighting him up that morning. Kearns sulked away. As a matter of fact he was MIA for a day.

Kearns played well and eventaully made the Reds roster. He worked hard, took advice and showed progress. Almost out of nowhere he went into a SLUMP and was again PO'd that he had to go back to the minors (AAA). (I'm mean REALLY who do you think you are sending ME down?) Lick Old Labia! Austin has always had his way.

The front office pumped him full of accolades and pleasantries. NOW that he has grown INTOLERABLE to many he's talking about "stuff" that keeps happening to him or is said about him.

I remember being in Louisville's clubhouse and watching him sulk. He would barely speak to me or ANY of his fellow teammates. Finally Raul Gonzalez, Chris Sexton and Ruben Mateo went off on him. I thought Austin was going to cry. Some people have said to me "Well look who was yelling at him, career minor leaguers" True. That's the best part. A more talented whining kid sulking in AAA. That really does not go very far with guys who DO bust their butt to get a taste of what he has. I also remember Kevin Witt chiming in with "You need to take that God$#*% skirt off and start acting like a man" That's harsh but it was the truth. He played well that night and was recalled the next day because of an injury. He never fully learned his lesson.

Austin and Adam are really in the same boat. Adam is close to MONSTERDOM but refuses to put in the time and effort. I personally think Austin has more talent. Better speed, better ARM, better defense and truthfully a better bat. He certainly does not have Adam's power.

(People think Palmeiro is a power hitter. He'll be the first person to tell you he hits "Wall Scrapers") He told a group of us in ST, halk joking, that he had 376 power as he was pointing to Right Center which was 375. (I'll take 550 of those please)

Austin simply thinks he ALREADY put the hard work in. It's a shame. What's even worse is that the Reds do not have a manager to get the best out of these two. "We'll try harder tomorrow" is not the speech or the "what for" these young guys need. Two edge sword.

My personal relationship with Adam and Austin has been a bit fractured BECAUSE I have brought this up. MANY TIMES. There are SO MANY people filling their heads with BS that they just don't see the reality of the situation. Eventually they will but how many WASTED years do we all have to wait? Let's hope that the lesson begins today."

2005-06-13 17:16:39
66.   Bob Timmermann
And who was the National League player of the week?

Of course, who else?

It was Shawn Green.

2005-06-13 17:17:49
67.   Berkeley Doug
DT is back!!!! Because of the outage, I actually had to work this afternoon. :)

#63 - I am all for going after Zito. Aside from a couple of bad starts, it seems he has pitched well this year. Also a change of scenery and not having to be the ace may do him some good.

2005-06-13 17:19:55
68.   molokai
I guess in two weeks when the Dodgers are back home we will have a better idea if Werth is just slowly getting his timing back or last year was a fluke. For this team to compete we need a LF who is going to hit and hit with power since our 3b is playing and hitting like the middle infielder he is.
With the emergence of DJ Houlton and Thompson and with Dessens coming back and OP right around the corner I don't think the number one need of this team is a starting pitcher.
Penny/Weaver/OP/Lowe/DJ or Thompson or Dessens. With Billingsly/Broxton waiting in the wings for a August callup it would seem silly to trade for some 5th starter unless we go out and get an Oswalt.
2005-06-13 17:30:56
69.   Fearing Blue
OT, but I'll post here since it's as good as any. U.S.S Mariner is doing a series on top pitching prospect injuries (http://ussmariner.com/?p=2609). They started with the Mariners and are going alphabetically through the other teams. So far, they're up to the Cubs. Being that I'm impatient, I decided to jump the gun on the Dodgers. The idea is to analyze all of the team's pitching prospects who have appeared on Baseball America's team top prospect lists and determine who has lost significant time (roughly a full season or more) due to injuries. So, onto the results:

Number of pitchers appearing at least once in a BA Dodgers Top Ten List: 30
Number of pitchers suffering significant shoulder injuries: 3 (Gonzalez, Miller, and Foster)
Number of pitchers suffering significant elbow injuries (TJ): 6 (Osuna, Diggins, Dreifort, Gagne, Kuo, Rojas)
Number of pitchers suffering unknown injuries: 1 (Ashworth)

Here is the raw data for each prospect along with the Number/Year they were BA prospects:

Alfredo Gonzalez - 7/2003
Signed as an amateur free agent in 1997. Currently pitching in Las Vegas. Missed the end of 2003 and most of 2004 with shoulder problems.

Antonio Osuna - 2/1995
Signed as an amateur free agent in 1991. Signed the White Sox as a free agent in 2001. Only pitched 23 innings in 1999 due to season-ending elbow surgery.

Ben Diggins - 1/2001, 4/2002
First round draft pick in 2000. Traded with Shane Nance to Milwaukee for Tyler Houston in 2002. Had Tommy John surgery in 2003.

Chad Billingsley - 6/2004
First round draft pick in 2003. Currently pitching in Jacksonville.

Chad Ricketts - 10/2001
Acquired from the Cubs along with Terry Adams for Ismael Valdez and Eric Young in 1999. Traded with Luke Prokopec to Toronto for Paul Quantrill and Cesar Izturis in 2002.

Chan Ho Park - 3/1995, 2/1996
Signed as an amateur free agent in 1994. Signed by the Rangers as a free agent in 2002. Shut down with back problems in 2003 through the first half of 2004.

Darren Dreifort - 1/1994
First round draft pick in 1993. Currently rehabbing at home in Kansas. Had first Tommy John surgery in 1995 and second in 2001. Including these two, he has had 14 operations as a member of the Dodgers.

David Yocum - 7/1996
First round draft pick in 1995. Never made it to the major leagues. Wasn't able to find any history on him. Injuries?

Dennys Reyes - 4/1998
Signed as an amateur free agent in 1993. Traded with Paul Konerko to Cincinnati for Jeff Shaw in 1998.

Edwin Jackson - 3/2003, 1/2004
Sixth round draft pick in 2001. Current pitching (poorly) in Las Vegas. Missed a month in 2004 with a strained forearm.

Eric Gagne - 2/2000
Signed as an amateur free agent in 1994. Currently the best closer in the majors. Missed all of 1997 after Tommy John surgery.

Felix Rodriguez - 9/1995, 9/1996
Signed as an amateur free agent in 1989. Selected off waivers by Cincinnati in 1996. Injured himself exiting the shower in 2005.

Greg Hansell - 8/1995
Acquired from the Mets along with Bob Ojeda for Hubie Brooks in 1990. Traded with Ron Coomer and Jose Parra to Minnesota for Kevin Tapani and Mark Guthrie.

Greg Miller - 2/2004
First round draft pick in 2003. Currently rehabbing in extended spring training. Missed all of 2004 after having two shoulder surgeries.

Hong-Chih Kuo - 3/2000, 3/2001, 6/2002
Signed as an amateur free agent in 1999. Currently pitching in Vero Beach. Has missed most of the past 4 years recovering from two Tommy John surgeries.

Jeff Kubenka - 10/1998
Thirty-eight round draft pick in 1996. Selected off waivers by Arizona in 1999.

Joel Hanrahan - 9/2002, 8/2003, 5/2004
Second round draft pick in 2000. Currently pitching in Jacksonville.

Jonathan Figueroa - 2/2003
Signed as an amateur free agent in 2002. Currently pitching in Vero Beach.

Jose Parra - 6/1994
Signed as an amateur free agent in 1989. Traded with Ron Coomer and Greg Hansell to Minnesota for Kevin Tapani and Mark Guthrie.

Jose Rojas - 8/2002
Signed as an amateur free agent in 2002. Where is he now? Missed most of 2002 and the beginning of 2003 after Tommy John surgery.

Kris Foster - 10/2000
Acquired from the Expos for Rafeal Bournigal in 1995. Traded with Geronimo Gil to Baltimore for Mike Trombley in 2001. Missed most of the 2000 season due to shoulder surgery.

Kym Ashworth - 8/1994, 10/1995
Signed by the Dodgers in 1993. Selected by Detroit in the AAA/AA rounds of the Rule V draft in 1998. Missed the 1997 season due to injury.

Luke Prokopec - 6/1999, 5/2001
Signed as an amateur free agent in 1994. Traded with Chad Ricketts to Toronto for Paul Quantrill and Cesar Izturis in 2002.

Mike Judd - 3/1998, 3/1999, 6/2000, 6/2001
Acquired from the Yankees for Billy Brewer in 1996. Traded to Tampa Bay as part of a conditional deal in 2001 and then selected off waivers by Texas the following day.

Onan Masaoka - 8/1996, 6/1997, 6/1998, 9/1999
Third round draft pick in 1995. Traded with Gary Majewski and Jeff Barry for James Baldwin in 2001.

Ricardo Rodriguez - 1/2002
Signed as an amateur free agent in 1996. Traded with Francisco Cruceta and Terry Mulholland for Paul Shuey in 2002.

Rick Gorecki - 4/1994, 7/1995
Nineteenth round draft pick in 1991. Selected by Tampa Bay as the 40th pick in the 1997 expansion draft.

Steve Colyer - 4/1999, 9/2000
Second round draft pick in 1997. Traded with cash to Detroit for Cody Ross in 2004.

Ted Lilly - 7/1997, 5/1998
Twenty-third round draft pick in 1996. Traded with Peter Bergeron, Jon Tucker, and Wilton Guerrero for Carlos Perez, Mark Grudzielanek, and Hiram Bocachica in 1998.

Todd Williams - 1994
Fifty-fourth round draft pick in 1990. Traded to Oakland for Matt McDonald in 1995.

2005-06-13 17:31:38
70.   Fearing Blue
#69: Please comment with corrections or additional information. After I get feedback, I'll forward it on to U.S.S. Mariner to save them a little work.
2005-06-13 17:33:16
71.   DougS
I think we need to show a little patience with Werth this year because of the timing of his injury. It seems like he's been picking it up over the last week or so, so it may be that he's just rounding into form. Same with Gagne, really--just now, he's looking more like his old self than right after he came back from the injury.
2005-06-13 17:36:07
72.   Fearing Blue
Before anyone else comments, I just realized that I included prospects back to 1994. The updated statistics would be, excluding Dreifort and Williams:

Top Ten: 28
Shoulder: 3
Elbow: 5
Unknown: 1

2005-06-13 17:37:03
73.   db1022
#65 - OK...So who do we want?
2005-06-13 17:42:04
74.   molokai
# 71, agree which is why I said in two weeks we should get a better read on what kind of LF we'll have going forward. That would give him roughly 100 ab's. I'm in no hurry to make a deal. I like Werth and hope he starts producing.

Fearing Blue you are amazing. Great work. I noticed a few pitchers who weren't on your list that we've lost but then I realized they never made the BA top prospect list.

2005-06-13 17:45:27
75.   molokai
#73
I can't imagine them trading Adam Dunn and who knows if what something someone said on a blog has any basis in reality and even if it does the major leagues are probably full of productive egotistical brooding morons.
2005-06-13 17:56:24
76.   Marty
Off topic, but for you oldtimers like me, here is a good story I stumbled upon about Bill Seinsoth. He was the best player in College in the late sixties, slated to take over at first for Wes Parker. He was just about to report to the Dodgers when he died in a car crash on the Vegas road. He could have had a major impact on the team in the seventies.

http://www.stevenkwagner.com/seinsoth.htm

I was a kid when he was at SC, but remember reading a lot about him.

2005-06-13 17:57:56
77.   Linkmeister
"the major leagues are probably full of productive egotistical brooding morons."

Grins. As is the blogosphere, except for the "productive" part.

2005-06-13 18:04:57
78.   Fearing Blue
Eric, if you're reading this, do you recall what injuries Kym Ashworth suffered? You mentioned in another thread that you were a fan of his.
2005-06-13 18:06:32
79.   molokai
#76
That's a story this old timer doesn't remember. I remember the Angels having serious bad luck with prospects dying in accidents but not the Dodgers.
That Vegas road has killed lots of people. Guy I went to High School with, was killed on it while in High School.
2005-06-13 18:10:37
80.   Marty
Yeah, He came out of the same little league organization I played in, but ten years earlier. He was a legened around the neighborhood, but I had forgotten about him until I saw that article.
2005-06-13 18:14:59
81.   Icaros
Didn't Mike Sharperson die on that road as well?
2005-06-13 18:16:41
82.   Steve
Isn't Jayson Werth's upside, at this point, Austin Kearns? We went through this with Polanco and Perez. I'm not sure why we would need to trade for the older carbon copies of our younger players.
2005-06-13 18:16:57
83.   Marty
He might have. I'd forgotten Sharperson had died in an accident too.
2005-06-13 18:30:20
84.   Berkeley Doug
Sharperson died in a car crash in Las Vegas in 1996.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Sharperson

2005-06-13 18:41:42
85.   alex 7
re: 82

That's what I was thinking Steve. If anything, send an average prospect to the Reds for Kearns, then hope either he or Werth gets hot and package them in a deal for a top starter with the hopes that the other OFer can step in adequately.

And if you can't trade for a top pitcher, there's nothing wrong with adding to your strength (hitting) by trading for Dunn. The Cardinals last year seemed to get through with an A+ lineup and B+ pitchers. Dunn would fit perfectly in the 5 hole. And from that great chart Fearing Blue provided us, trading a hot but not elite pitching prospect seems to work out almost all the time.

2005-06-13 18:46:30
86.   Fearing Blue
#82: Austin Kearns is exactly a year younger than Jayson Werth and probably has a higher upside. Nonetheless, it's not worth making any deal until we give Werth a little time to see where he's at.
2005-06-13 18:50:27
87.   Icaros
82 - Werth is actually a year older than Kearns. Coincidentally, they were both born on May 20.
2005-06-13 18:51:08
88.   Icaros
See what I get for delaying the post to make sure I have my facts straight?
2005-06-13 18:51:56
89.   GoBears
re 57-60: My impression of Choi's K against Mulholland was that the called strike 1 was a bad call - pitch was way outside. Strike 3 was the same pitch, but Choi had to swing at an unhittable ball because it had been called a strike earlier. I could be wrong, but that's how it looked to me at the time.

As for Choi's platoon splits, he has 71 plate appearances against LHP over the last 3 seasons. 71! 11 BBs and 3 HBPs, and 57 other ABs. So yeah, his .507 OPS vs. LHP is a lot worse than his ..814 against RHP, but I'd say it's not really this big a difference, if only he'd get more chances. Yeah, Friday's was his first HR vs. LHP this year, but it was only his 18th PA for the season.

As for lineup construction, I thought James or someone had shown that it really doesn't matter much - that "protection" in the lineup is a myth, especially for good hitters. If batting second really does mean more fastballs, then that's only gonna matter for a guy who can only hit fastballs. Good hitters will adjust to whatever they get. I think it's more likely in the small-sample case of Choi this year that he is more relaxed hitting 2nd, knowing that a single or a walk is fine with good hitters still to come, whereas he was pressing more hitting 5th, and especially 7th, figuring he was the last chance to put up runs that time thru the lineup. Not that that would be a systematic effect on all hitters, but that on a young guy playing under so much scrutiny, it might have mattered.

2005-06-13 18:55:42
90.   Steve
I suspect there are desperate teams out there who will pay higher prices than we will for Austin Kearns. Tampa Bay has an OF roster spot open. But I agree with Alex generally. Especially this year. Our exceedingly crappy pitching can be improved only on the margins, whereas a bat like Dunn's will provide much value added. As always, it depends on what you're giving up, but I like the player. Though Tracy would probably hit-and-run on full counts with him.

On an unrelated note, can a Rule V player be traded? I'm not trafficking in Dodger-talk level craziness. I'm just curious. If so, would that team have to keep him on the roster the entire year? And finally, was the last Dodger Rule V player (before Houlton) Chad Fonville, or were there others in between? (McKay Christensen?)

2005-06-13 18:56:16
91.   Vishal
i would LOVE to have either of austin kearns or adam dunn. probably adam dunn more because of his ridiculous power and good on-base skills. give them werth and just about whatever pitching prospect or two they want.

imagine a lineup that has choi-bradley-dunn-kent-drew hitting 2-6. that's unstoppable. and pretty LOOGY-proof.

2005-06-13 18:56:41
92.   Steve
Kearns is YOUNGER than Ja(y)son Werth? You're kidding me. Seems like he's been around since the strike.
2005-06-13 18:57:19
93.   GoBears
On the Kearns thread - I certainly think that Kearns is better than Werth now, and with more upside, but if the real expected difference is small, then I'll take Werth's apparently winning attitude over Kearns's whining any day. If the expected difference is large, in part because AK's bad 'tude is attributable to either Cincy or to youth (a la Milton Bradley), then I'd put up with a little more surliness for a lot more production (think Kent over Cora).

The other thing about Werth is that taking the luxury of learning more could be great (we could find out that he's very good while he's still very cheap), but it could also be bad (he could play away good expectations and lose market value). If we find out that he's Brian Jordan-lite, then we'd better find out before everyone else does, or he won't be Werth much in a trade. OK, I apologize. That was lame.

2005-06-13 18:58:20
94.   Steve
I retract #82 and issue the following statement:

"I'm not sure why we would need to trade for [] carbon copies of our [] players."

2005-06-13 18:59:46
95.   Icaros
Werth took awhile to get to the bigs because Toronto already had a packed outfield.
2005-06-13 19:00:44
96.   GoBears
Having Dunn and Choi (which, I think, is Korean for "Dunn") in the same lineup would be fun, and the source of endless idiocy from the Luddites in the audience. Two guys who are all HRs, BBs, and Ks? Plaschke would never have to come up with a different topic again.
2005-06-13 19:01:41
97.   Rob M
re: 91

I prefer this order: Dunn, Bradley, Drew, Kent, Choi

2005-06-13 19:03:06
98.   Icaros
I called Dunn as my most prized acquisition weeks ago. I want him and Brandon Webb, and would give up ANY of our minor leaguers for both of those players.

Pipe dreams, certainly.

2005-06-13 19:03:47
99.   Steve
Kearns reminds me of a certain Dodger prospect whose name rhymed with "rashly"
2005-06-13 19:04:29
100.   Rob M
Brandon Webb would be very good in Dodger stadium. I can't imagine a scenario where AZ would send him to us.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2005-06-13 19:05:10
101.   Vishal
#97: potayto, potauto. we're still dreaming about the same box of fries :)
2005-06-13 19:05:14
102.   Icaros
I don't think "rashly" could take a walk, and Kearns has speed (the skill, not the drug).
2005-06-13 19:06:21
103.   Icaros
100 - I know, we'd probably have to take Green back with him.
2005-06-13 19:07:34
104.   Bob Timmermann
I believe the Dodgers last Rule 5 pick who was on the Major League Roster was Jose Nunez.

You can't trade a Rule 5 pick to a team other than his original team. The Dodgers could work out a trade with Houston for Houlton if they wanted to keep him around.

I believe with Nunez that the Dodgers drafted him from one team and then put him on waivers. San Diego picked him up and then the Padres had to keep him on the roster for the whole year, which they did for the rest of 2001. Nunez was on the Padres briefly in 2002. The Dodgers drafted Nunez from the Mets.

Fonville was a Rule 5 pick for the Expos, who decided they didn't want him and the Dodgers picked him up and kept him around for the rest of the year.

Why that was so is unknown.

2005-06-13 19:08:36
105.   Bob Timmermann
103 - That's Player of the Week Shawn Green!
2005-06-13 19:12:38
106.   Steve
Kearns 2002 OBP -- .407 OBP .907 OPS
Kearns 2003 OBP -- .364 OBP .819 OPS
Kearns 2004 OBP -- .321 OBP .740 OPS
Kearns 2005 OBP -- .306 OBP .700 OPS

Better than your average .220 "rashly"-type hitter, but there's quite a regression there from '02 and '03, and with decent if not optimal (200+ AB) sample sizes. I hope this will trigger a discursion from FB about BB/K or OBP regression in a young MLB prospect.

But I will say that I don't care if he kills kitties and wears them as hats if he can hit.

2005-06-13 19:12:54
107.   Icaros
105 - I don't think a guy should be eligible for POW if he plays three games against KC pitching.
2005-06-13 19:15:13
108.   regfairfield
Shawn Green vs. pitchers not named Greinke or Erickson

.252/.313/.358 2 HR 23 RBI

2005-06-13 19:15:17
109.   Icaros
You just have to be careful when you throw out "rashly" comparisons, Steve. If they aren't saved for the worst of the worst, they lose all meaning.
2005-06-13 19:19:12
110.   Steve
Who let Plaschke vote for player of the week?

I do not remember Jose Nunez.

2005-06-13 19:21:33
111.   Steve
Chad Fonville played a game at DH for the Chicago White Sox.
2005-06-13 19:21:45
112.   Icaros
Plaschke forgot that it was NL Player of the Week and wasted his vote on Alex Cora.
2005-06-13 19:25:32
113.   Steve
Billy Ashley career HR -- 28
Jason Grabowski " -- 10

Grabowski is also a former Rule V pick of the Oakland A's, which is tremendously exciting, I know.

2005-06-13 19:28:09
114.   Icaros
I'm sorry, but if Grabs keeps up the relatively stellar play, you're going to have to change it to the Robles or Repko Principle.
2005-06-13 19:29:12
115.   Bob Timmermann
Jose Nunez, 6 G, 7 1/3 IP, 15 R, 11 ER, 4 HR, 5 BB, 11 K, 0-1, 13.50 ERA

He had a 3.31 ERA for the Padres the rest of 2001 in 56 games.

I think he hurt his arm after that. He was in the low minors in 2003-2004. He was last in Seattle's organization. He's only 26.

He was pitching for Los Rieleros de Aquascalientes earlier in the year, but they seem to have let him go.

They have a loud website.

2005-06-13 19:31:03
116.   Bob Timmermann
Green has a homer tonight for AZ. The DBacks are breezing 8-1 over the White Sox.
2005-06-13 19:34:20
117.   Icaros
115 - Earplugs loud or Mr. Furley's shirt loud?
2005-06-13 19:35:31
118.   Bob Timmermann
When you load up the site, there is the sound of a train coming. Then there is some Mexican music playing in the background while you browse through the main site.
2005-06-13 19:36:13
119.   Steve
I have immortalized the man. He would have been Hiram Bocachica if I hadn't saved him from obscurity. You would think the Grabowski Brigades would be grateful.
2005-06-13 19:40:56
120.   Icaros
Bocachica was a player I never thought would be good simply because I didn't like his name.

Turns out I was right.

2005-06-13 19:49:09
121.   molokai
Atlanta Braves were starting 4 rookies today in Kelly Johnson
Ryan Langerhans
Wilson Betemit
Andy Marte
and when the score got out of hand they added Brian McCann.

They may struggle for a while but it looks like the Braves are reloading. Marte is the top 3b prospect in baseball and McCann is in the top 3 for catchers. Johnson and Langerhans don't look to be anything special but should be an upgrade on Jordan/Mondesi. Nice job of Atlanta to have these guys ready.

2005-06-13 19:50:28
122.   molokai
# 120
I had the direct opposite reaction. I loved his name and hoped he'd be good because I loved saying Bo Ca Chi Ca.
2005-06-13 19:52:22
123.   Icaros
Well, Molokai, looks like I'd make the better scout :-)
2005-06-13 19:52:43
124.   Fearing Blue
#104: Hey Bob, I believe that's incorrect. The Brewers picked up Marcos Carvajal from the Dodgers in the Rule V draft and immediately traded him to the Rockies for cash. The Rockies still need to keep Carvajal on the team for the whole season.
2005-06-13 19:56:47
125.   Bob Timmermann
Maybe you have to have permission to make the trade.

It's Rule 5, not Rule V, according to Baseball America.

2005-06-13 20:05:20
126.   Fearing Blue
#106: Kearns is hard to project because he's missed a ton of time due to injuries. He had 413 ABs between the majors and the minors in his breakout 2002 season (.907 MLB OPS), but hasn't passed 300 ABs since (297 ABs in 2003, 300 ABs in 2004).

Here's a link to a great blog entry that goes step-by-step through Kearn's injury history:

http://tinyurl.com/a5ymu

It's the "Short history of Austin Kearns" entry.

2005-06-13 20:13:59
127.   Fearing Blue
#125: Ok. Thanks for the correction. The official language that Baseball Prospectus used to describe the Carvajal deal is as follows:

"...the Brewers picked him up in the Rule 5 Draft, and sold him to the Rockies."

There could be a distinction between trading and selling a Rule 5 draft pick.

2005-06-13 20:17:48
128.   Fearing Blue
Wow. Baseball Prospectus really likes Austin Kearns. They projected him as a .286/.388/.500 hitter with a neutral defensive value in RF. The problem is that there a ton of unknowns around his recovery from all those injuries.
2005-06-13 20:56:25
129.   bokonon42
I loved Rashly when he first came up. I was sure he and Karros would be the next Bash Brothers. Which, even if they had been, wouldn't have made '92 bearable. You know, the year when Tom Candiotti was our best pitcher. . .
2005-06-13 20:59:29
130.   bokonon42
In my own defense, I was twelve that year.
2005-06-13 21:15:12
131.   Bob Timmermann
I was 26.

But in NFL terms, I was XXVI.

2005-06-13 21:36:44
132.   Icaros
I was as dumb as you were, bokonon, and I was almost old enough to drive.
2005-06-13 21:41:53
133.   Bob Timmermann
I can rerun the earlier RDGC I wrote for 1992, if it will make you all misty-eyed.

It was June 4.

2005-06-13 21:50:48
134.   Icaros
Wait, I was a year off. I was old enough to drive in 1992.
2005-06-13 21:51:34
135.   Icaros
Run it, Bob. I was out of town that day.
2005-06-13 21:58:31
136.   Bob Timmermann
I'll just post the link. It was the first comment.

http://dodgerthoughts.baseballtoaster.com/archives/189545.html

2005-06-13 22:04:39
137.   Icaros
Oh, I had read that one. I probably tried to forget it, though.
2005-06-13 22:07:29
138.   Bob Timmermann
Some dance to remember
Some dance to forget
2005-06-13 22:17:46
139.   Icaros
I tried to stab it with my steely knife but I just couldn't kill the beast.
2005-06-13 22:20:24
140.   Steve
As all failed dreams, Rashly is now scorned and derided. The year he hit .200, he had an OPS of .800+. Maybe if we knew then what we know now...?

Naaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh...

2005-06-13 22:25:36
141.   Icaros
Whatever became of the sequel to his career as a pitcher?

Obviously not much, but did anyone actually witness this abortion of good taste?

2005-06-13 22:27:33
142.   Icaros
The sequel to his career was as a pitcher, poor sentence construction.
2005-06-13 22:28:39
143.   Steve
139 -- Plaschkers?
2005-06-13 22:31:47
144.   Icaros
That's your curse/mission, Steve. You fight it for me now.

Thanks.

2005-06-13 22:37:43
145.   bokonon42
Wow, I was being snide about Candiotti. He really was pretty good that year. Knuckleballers never lose their stuff, right? Wonder what he's up to, these days.
2005-06-13 22:40:48
146.   bokonon42
Bonus: he probably wasn't any worse holding runners than the current crop of Dodger starters.
2005-06-13 22:41:21
147.   Steve
He's on ESPN, or at least he used to be. Can't be any worse than Erickson.
2005-06-13 22:41:59
148.   Bob Timmermann
You used to be able order a personal phone call from Candiotti at http://www.hollywoodiscalling.com but he seems to have dropped out of it.

Candiotti was an ESPN guy for a while.

2005-06-13 22:44:20
149.   Steve
By the way, color me ready to fall out of my chair that Rashly tried to come back as a pitcher. To quote Mr. Carson, I Did Not Know That. Maybe we should bring him back, get Ankiel to play left field, and turn Austin Kearns into our smokejumper.
2005-06-13 22:51:32
150.   bokonon42
99 loses is pretty terrible, but sending Mike Sharperson as the sole representative to the All Star game makes it art. Is Izzy the only All Star this year? Oh, probably Kent, too. Maybe being Eric Gagne is an automatic berth, but he doesn't really deserve it, this year.
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2005-06-13 22:53:56
151.   Icaros
I may be wrong, but I think he made his pitcher run in the Angels organization.

I can't find any stats for this on The Baseball Cube, but I know I'm not making this up.

Bob?

2005-06-13 22:54:30
152.   FirstMohican
Last I heard Kent was 1st @ 2B and Iz was 4th.

Was Olmedo on the ballot?

No clue on Gagne...

2005-06-13 22:56:31
153.   Bob Timmermann
Kent will probably win at second base and Izturis will make it at shortstop either as a starter or reserve.

At the All-Star Break in 1992, the Dodgers didn't really have anyone who could fit in. I think Candiotti had a really bad record at the break.

Karros didn't that quick of a start. Kal Daniels was the starting first baseman for the first week or so.

2005-06-13 22:58:02
154.   Icaros
I think they should stick Choi and Saenz in one uniform and make them the two-headed backup to Derrek Lee.
2005-06-13 23:02:54
155.   Bob Timmermann
I couldn't find any stories about Ashley trying a comeback as a pitcher, but it sounds possible. Maybe it was in an independent league.

The last article I tracked down on him was one from spring training 2000 in the Washington Post. The Orioles brought him in for a look. One of the other outfielders in camp for the Orioles that spring: Jayson Werth.

2005-06-13 23:09:34
156.   bokonon42
152, 153- Quite right; Kent is at the top of the 2B heap. And with the 120,000 ballots that were flown down to Venezuela, Izzy could beat out the cripple and the midget. Not too shabby.

http://cbs.sportsline.com/mlb/allstar/voting

2005-06-13 23:15:10
157.   Icaros
I definitely remember hearing about it on the radio, and I thought it was reported in the LAT.

But if Bob couldn't find anything I don't know...it's a good story, anyway.

2005-06-13 23:20:43
158.   Bob Timmermann
Aha, May 20, 1999 Ross Newhan story in the LA Times:
A Bigger Unit?

At 6 feet 5, Billy Ashley isn't as tall as the 6-foot-10 Randy Johnson, but at 250 pounds he is definitely wider.

And the former Dodger figures to be an imposing--and

intimidating--figure on the mound, which, at times, is where he will be as Ashley tries to reestablish his career as either a pitcher or outfielder with the St. Paul Saints of the independent Northern League, it was learned Wednesday.

Ashley, 28, was released by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays at the end of spring training after being released by the Boston Red Sox at the end of the 1998 season. His signing with Mike Veeck's Saints, a sort of halfway house for players trying to extend or reestablish careers, is expected within days.

In confirming the arrangement, agent Jeff Moorad said Ashley had discussions with several major league teams about joining their triple-A affiliates--one of those teams being the Angels, according to a source--but "Billy was looking for an opportunity to showcase his ability to as many teams as possible, and the Saints also offered the opportunity to pitch, so he'll be on the mound every five days."

"People may not know this, but when Billy was drafted by the Dodgers [in the third round in 1988], he was considered the second-best pitching prospect in Michigan, behind only Steve Avery. The Dodgers, in fact, were the only team, among those that expressed interest, to view him strictly as a position player. The element of pitching has long intrigued Billy, and what better place to see if he can do anything with it?"

---------------------------

So it looks like Ashley may have tried pitching in 1999 but when he came back in 2000 with the Orioles he just tried as an outfielder.

2005-06-13 23:24:05
159.   bokonon42
http://tinyurl.com/ak27t

May 20, 1999, L.A. Times

Abstract:

And the former Dodger figures to be an imposing--and intimidating--figure on the mound, which, at times, is where he will be as (Billy) Ashley tries to reestablish his career as either a pitcher or outfielder with the St. Paul Saints of the independent Northern League, it was learned Wednesday.

2005-06-13 23:25:49
160.   bokonon42
Consarnit, BT! Did you pay the L.A. Times archive bounty for that, or do you have special powers?
2005-06-13 23:26:52
161.   Icaros
Yes! I knew I wasn't nuts, and there even was mention of the Angels.

Thanks Bob, now I can go back to feeling better about myself.

2005-06-13 23:29:24
162.   Icaros
Thanks for the effort as well, bok. Bob's a tough one to beat.
2005-06-13 23:30:16
163.   Bob Timmermann
I have powers beyond those of mere mortals. Right now my cat is levitating by telekinesis.
2005-06-13 23:41:55
164.   dan reines
for what it's worth (and i haven't been here in a while, so forgive me if i'm being redundant), the dodgers have gotten as much run production from first base (18 home runs, 50 rbi between saenz and choi as first basemen) as, say, the chicago cubs (17 hr, 53 rbi from mvp candidate derrek lee).

interesting.

2005-06-14 00:01:59
165.   bokonon42
Choi-Saenz .284/.408/.542 17HR 57RBI
Derrek Lee .377/.462/.693 17HR 53RBI

And Saenz has started at 3B six times, so a little of the C-S composite is overlapping. I bet the Cubs would love to have Lee bat twice each time throught the lineup.

2005-06-14 00:08:00
166.   bokonon42
Oops, my Choi-Saenz OBP is wrong; forgot to add the walks and HBP to at bats to get a PA total. .361 is their real OBP.
2005-06-14 00:26:49
167.   regfairfield
I got this for Choi-Saenz, only taking into account when either of them were playing first.

18 HR, 47 RBI, .296/.366/.579 .945 OPS

2005-06-14 00:40:39
168.   rageon
Damn, it was 1999 that Ashley played for the Saints. I remember watching him play (poorly) at a double-header in Fargo, but didn't realize it was that long ago. If anyone's seen my last 6 years, let me know, because I'm not sure where they went.

Regarding Kearns, how about trading Edwin Jackson for him? The Reds were into him a long time ago, and reportedly offered Dunn for him 2 offseasons ago. Gee, good thing we turned that down. Anyways, Kearns for Jackson does make a little sense in that both teams have abundence of players at their position. Kearns is basically the 4th OF in Cinci, and I'm wondering with Lowe, Penny, and Perez signed for a few years and plenty of pitching prospects moving ahead of him, whether Jackson can ever really be expected to make LA's rotation. While we're at it, throw in one of our nineteen infield prospects if we have to.

I like Werth, but I like Kearns more. I also like have spare quality OFs on the bench. Particularily with all three of Drew, Bradley, and Werth not exactly being the most durable of players.

2005-06-14 00:43:21
169.   rageon
And here I forget to say the mandatory phrase whenever discussing the trade of one disappointing player for another....

"good old fashion challenge trade"

....there, now it's complete.

2005-06-14 00:59:54
170.   Aug C
At least he's funny:

"If you play Olmedo Saenz every day you'll break him or you'll fatigue him to the point he won't be effective,"
-Jim Tracy

Plus we might ruin his approach against southpaws.

2005-06-14 09:00:43
171.   Bob Timmermann
"Mommy! Mommy! Mr. Tracy broke my Olmedo!"
2005-06-14 09:09:00
172.   Steve
The only thing Darren Dreifort hasn't broken is his Olmedo.
2005-06-14 09:22:10
173.   Icaros
Rageon,

Did you see the big guy pitch?

My Olmedo is really sore this morning.

2005-06-14 09:26:03
174.   rageon
I'm pretty sure that he never pitched. If I remember correctly, he played the OF one game and pinch-hit in the other. My only impression I got about him was, "damn he's slow."
2005-06-14 09:27:43
175.   Fearing Blue
If Bradley comes back during interleague play, we should be able to field a lineup that looks something like this:

Izturis
Choi
Drew
Kent
Bradley
Saenz
Werth
Phillips
Perez

2005-06-14 09:36:20
176.   db1022
#175 - As Izturis continues his inevitable regression to .280-dom, with a walk every third Tuesday, may I nominate Antonio Perez as our new leadoff hitter? He seems to work the count well, and has better walk rates than Izturis. Not sure if that's small sample sizes, or if he's always been somewhat patient.
2005-06-14 09:41:33
177.   Jacob L
Re: Bob's trip down 1992 memory lane, I'm pretty sure I was at that game. I went to a lot of games that summer. Who could forget seeing Scioscia hit a triple? It was also the night I learned that there can be a fielder's choice without a putout or error. I called Dodger Talk to find that out from Ross.

Just to confirm, though, I don't suppose retrosheet would say whether it was towel night?

2005-06-14 09:44:03
178.   mcrawford
#176, ZiPS has Antonio Perez projected at .260/.333/.405 before the season started. Which would be a better walk rate than Izturis, based on his minor league numbers. Overall OBP is about the same because Izturis hits for a higher average, though. It's probably six of one, half dozen of another.
2005-06-14 09:46:42
179.   db1022
#178 - That's my point. I think it's unreasonable to think he's going to continue to be Ichiro-lite. His entire offensive value is wrapped up in his ability to hit singles at a blistering pace.
2005-06-14 09:59:01
180.   Icaros
Yeah, but Izturis is our best base stealer, guys. Haven't you seen those commercials where he used to be Maury Wills?

We need him up first to keep the opposing pitchers off-balance!

2005-06-14 10:32:19
181.   alex 7
Just saw Alfonzo and Grissom are both on the 15-day DL for the Giants as of today.

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