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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
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5) discussing politics
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Seo or Sanchez
2006-01-04 08:22
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Last August, Jae Seo entered the Mets rotation in place of former Dodger Kazuhisa Ishii, and all I could wonder was what took the Mets so long? The 28-year-old Seo won his first four starts following his recall, averaging 7 2/3 innings per game with an ERA of 0.89. He then allowed 18 runs in his final 36 innings (4.50 ERA), so that for the entire second half, Seo was 6-1 with a 2.74 ERA.

The downside of Seo, whom Newsday is suggesting - based, you should be ever-so-cautioned, on unnamed sources - will be traded to the Dodgers this week for Duaner Sanchez, is that he is another pitcher whose ERA totals might be too dependent on where the ball bounces. Seo struck out 45 batters in his 72 1/3 second-half innings - that's 5.6 per nine innings, which is not an impressive figure. On the other hand, Seo is a true starting pitcher in his prime, with good control (2.5 walks per nine innings in his career), and a much more intriguing placeholder for the Dodger starting rotation than, say, Brett Tomko.

Sanchez surprised last year by raising his K/9 ration by 57 percent from 2004, to 7.79 strikeouts per nine innings. At age 25 (he turned 26 after the season), Sanchez became the Dodgers' third closer of 2005 and did the job - perhaps finding it easier than the setup role that required him to pitch multiple innings in a game more frequently. Durable, Sanchez has also flirted with conversion into a starting pitcher.

The key to whether this would be a good or bad trade for the Dodgers is whether Sanchez's strikeout improvement is real. A one-for-one trade of a relief pitcher with a higher ERA for a starting pitcher with a lower ERA is a no-brainer - the former is more easily replaced (especially given the live arms the Dodgers can find in the minors and on the scrap heap), the latter more valuable. Most relievers are like penny stocks, subject to wild fluctuations and only in rare, pristine cases reliable long-term investments. Only if Sanchez's dramatic strikeout increase is a signal of things to come should the Dodgers even hesitate to consummate this deal.

You could even argue that if Sanchez is the better pitcher, then work should begin immediately to convert him into a starter. It may not have been intentional, but in some ways Sanchez has had all the right preparation for the conversion - he has pitched and become adept in every other role: long man, set-up man and closer. He knows every kind of game situation except facing the first batter of the game. And he wasn't burned out in his early 20s.

Yes, a Sanchez-to-starter experiment could be a failure - maybe he was a born reliever, if there is such a thing - but the experiment is not exactly a risk one should be afraid to take. There isn't too much to lose.

Given their current roster makeup, it's a fine idea for the Dodgers to explore getting a starting pitcher in exchange for Sanchez - whether it is Seo or Sanchez himself.

Update: It's officially Seo, coming with throw-in Tim Hamulack (age 29), for Sanchez and Steve Schmoll, according to The Associated Press.

The loss of Schmoll doesn't bother me - another nice kid with an interesting delivery, but who was too inconsistent, posting 22 walks and 29 strikeouts along with 47 hits allowed in 46 2/3 innings.

Comments (101)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-01-04 09:10:39
1.   D4P
The Dodgers are acquiring Jae Seo because

1. Choi needs a friend now that Milton is gone
2. McCourt doesn't want to lose the Korean fan base with Choi sitting on the bench
3. Jae Seo kinda sounds like Ja son

2006-01-04 09:16:44
2.   underdog
Happy New Year (and bday to me) everyone!

I think your write-up is dead-on, Jon, and although I like Sanchez, I agree that the opportunity to get another quality starter is too good to pass up, and that as a reliever Sanchez is more disposable. (Now I do wish we still had Mota, though, obviously...) But the Dodgers have kids in the minors who could replace him in the bullpen - Broxton, Kuo, etc.

Don't they have to replace Carrara, too? (Even more replaceable, obviously...)

2006-01-04 09:26:45
3.   Slipstream
I thought the Mets were really high on Seo; I'm surprised they're willing to give him up for Sanchez. Of course, they're also going after Alex Cora:

NEW YORK (Kyodo) The New York Mets are sounding out the Boston Red Sox about trading second baseman Kazuo Matsui for infielder Alex Cora, Newsday reported Sunday.
The Mets have told the Sox and other teams that they would pay $5 million of Matsui's $8 million salary, the U.S. daily said.

2006-01-04 09:40:50
4.   LAT
So much for the Wild Wild West aticle. I guess this means we are not re-signing Weaver and not pursuing Wells. Unless of course, we are going with the rare seven man rotation.

The worthiness of this deal turns on Yhancy. If Yhancy really did fix things in the winter league then I like the deal. I assume Ned believes he did. If not, we will regret trading Duaner. Gagne will be healthy and will still be a front line closer but I believe he will not be as dominate as he was.

In any event, I would have liked the deal better if we hadn't made the Tomko deal. I still want the fifth spot to go to EJ or another prospect and would prefer Seo to Tompko.

2006-01-04 09:44:55
5.   Blackfish
Seo would be a pretty good pickup for the Dodgers. His K numbers in the majors wasn't great, but they were up dramatically in AAA thanks to the fact that he revamped his repertoire.

When he first came up, Seo was really a two pitch pitcher -- throwing a very good changeup off of a fastball that tops out at 89-90 mph. He'd rarely mix in his slider, and he had a tendency to lose faith in his fastball, throwing mostly the change.

It finally got through to him that he needed to change his repertoire, so he started throwing his slider more frequently and added a curve ball. Finally, this year he added a splitter and cutter, and he looked quite good with a AAA K-rate of 8.31. It became quickly clear to most Met fans, if not some in the organization, that Seo deserved the spot in the rotation Kaz Ishii held for too long.

I don't think he'll be a guy with big strikeout numbers, but I think they could improve a little. Even if they don't, he does have very good control, as Jon mentions, and he changes speeds very effectively now. As a Met fan, I'll be sorry to see Seo go, as he's really our second or third best starter.

2006-01-04 10:12:17
6.   jasonungar05
I like the trade if it happens. Man for Man. But what I am not so sure of is a rotation of Penny, Lowe, Odalis, Seo and Tomko.
2006-01-04 10:16:08
7.   Steve
Maybe we should hold out and see if we can get Craig Wilson for him.
2006-01-04 10:19:54
8.   SiGeg
5 So do the Mets not believe in his progress? Why do/would they want to trade him for Sanchez?
2006-01-04 10:32:57
9.   Dark Horse
6--It's Tomko there that hurts. Penny, Lowe, Odalis, Seo and Weaver...Billingsley...Jackson maybe. All a little better. This would be a decent trade.
2006-01-04 10:38:06
10.   das411
Isn't Seo supposed to be part of the megadeal to bring Man-Ram to the NYM? Or does Omar somehow think that Duaner Sanchez is anywhere near a decent replacement for Aaron Heilman?
2006-01-04 10:39:19
11.   CT Bum
There are plenty of "ifs" with this deal...

If Duaner's 2005 was an aberation...

If Seo didn't pitch over his head last year...

But I, for the most part, like it.

2006-01-04 10:39:45
12.   blue22
Seo looks ok, though he is a flyball pitcher, doesn't strike many people out, and has probably given up a few too many homeruns considering he's pitched in Shea. He'd be a 5th starter on a team that seems to already have one in Tomko. Of course, I consider the bullpen to be strong enough to lose Sanchez, so getting back a decent starter seems like a good exchange.

9 - Not to single you out, but I have a hard time agreeing with anyone who would give Weaver a multi-year, big dollar deal after watching him pitch in the first half of the last two years. If he had accepted arbitration, and took a one-year deal to serve as a bridge to the younger pitchers, I'd be happier to bring him back. I can't imagine 3-4 more years of Jeff Weaver.

2006-01-04 10:39:50
13.   bhsportsguy
OT- According Peter Gammons 1/3/2006 column on ESPN.com, Grady Little, after being hired as the Dodger's new manager has taken Dave Jauss (formerly Boston Red Sox Advance Scout and past Director of Player development and a "trusted evaluator") with him as his bench coach.

Still no announcement about this or other coaches from the Dodgers.

2006-01-04 10:52:28
14.   KLV
I really hope this trade goes through - more depth in the rotation so we don't need to rush the kids and we'll be ready when the inevitable pitching injuries occur.

Another thing that should be remembered about Seo is he's still pretty cheap and he's not a free agent until (I think) 2009. Given what league-average and even below league-average starters got this winter in free agency, that has real value.

2006-01-04 10:55:33
15.   bigcpa
Wow Seo was mowing em in AAA last year. 122ip, 111k, 30bb. If you look at his game log with the Mets (14 starts) he was Seo solid - 10 QS, 8 starts of 2 ER or less, 8 starts with no HR allowed. Jayson Stark would love this- Seo allowed a mere 9 HR in 90ip, and 3 of them came in the same game at spacious RFK to Guillen, Schneider and... Livan Hernandez.
2006-01-04 11:14:07
16.   bigcpa
So if we pick up Tomko's option year we could have the same (okay) rotation through 2008. Time to resurrect the Lowe for Abreu deal. I want to see the kids get some starts!
2006-01-04 11:25:52
17.   Dark Horse
12--Not feeling singled-out, since I'm not inclined to overpay for Weaver either. Just noting he's better (were one to leave $$ out of it) than Tomko.
2006-01-04 11:31:40
18.   blue22
15 - Hopefully it was just a bad game. I did a quick look at his last two years, and saw 28 homers in 208 IP, while pitching 1/2 his games in Shea (which is tougher than DS on homers, IIRC). His G:F ratio has been historically less than 1 too. I didn't go so far as look at home/road splits.
2006-01-04 11:34:58
19.   Marty
The most important question has not been asked yet.

Can Seo do the flying glove trick?

2006-01-04 11:35:54
20.   King of the Hobos
So what's our bullpen now? Gagne, Brazoban, Broxton, Osoria, Kuo, and Houlton, with Jackson, Schmoll, and Wunsch availble should we use a 7th man? The bullpen doesn't seem bad, but it's very unproven. Obviously, someone really likes what Brazoban is doing in the Dominican, and presumably, what Osoria is doing. I'd say we're putting a lot of trust onto Broxton, which I hope is smart. Too bad he'll face players other than Pujols, Bay, Miguel Cabrera, and Andruw Jones. Schmoll has been excellent in Venezuela, with a K/BB ratio of 5 (20/4) in 19 innings. Like Osoria and Brazoban, I hope it continues. Hope Kuo and/or Wunsch can actually stay healthy, and just hope that Houlton is a good long man

As for 13, Jauss was a former director of player development (albeit for the Red Sox), so hopefully he knows what he's doing with the kids

2006-01-04 11:40:18
21.   blue22
20 - Look what the Yankees have done the last couple of years with their "proven" (read: "expensive") non-Rivera/Gordon relievers.

IMO, the right way to build a bullpen is cheap, versatile, live arms of which LA has plenty. A healthy Gagne would cover a lot of weaknesses too.

2006-01-04 11:43:40
22.   Blackfish
8 - The thing is the Mets see themselves as having too many starting pitchers (7 on the roster at the moment) and no bullpen. As it seems, Seo is the odd man out, because he's the only one, other than Heilman, with any trade value.

Some will tell you that pitching coach Rick Peterson doesn't like him -- I can't say how true that is or not. It's been said that Seo has an attitude problem despite being very soft-spoken, often refusing advice. Those voices, have, however disappeared in the past year as Seo finally added new pitches to his repertoire. So I can't really see any reason why the Mets are so eager to trade him.

2006-01-04 11:48:23
23.   Ben P
This might have fit better on the last post, but here are some good stats for putting 2005 in perspective from Ken Gurnick:

The Dodgers totaled 1,177 days on the disabled list in 2005, more than any Dodger team in the last 20 years. That led to the use of 20 rookies, the most in baseball, and 130 different lineups.

2006-01-04 11:57:11
24.   Mark
Hello all, back from holidays (finally!). I will repeat what I really believe: 90% of the time, when you acquire a starter for a reliever, the starter is the better deal.
2006-01-04 12:04:10
25.   Metfan4life
The reason the Mets were so willing to give up on Jae Seo is twofold. One they had a surpluss of starting pitchers (I use that term loosely when talking about Victor Zambrano) and needed another good arm in the pen. Second and more important was their lack of faith in Seo's ability to develop an "out" pitch. He has a bunch of decent pitches to throw but nothing that can be counted on to induce a out when he needed it. Add that to his age, close to 30 and the Mets deemed him expendable. He is a solid back end of the rotation guy and pitched real well for the Mets at the end of Last season so its not a bad move if the Dodgers can afford to give up a younger power arm like Sanchez, which it seems like they can.
2006-01-04 12:04:48
26.   blue22
So now its being reported as Schmoll and Sanchez for Seo and Hamulack (young LHP, no other info).

Not bad, Schmoll is a "nice-to-have" RHP, certainly not a vital part of the bullpen. Ned likes his lefties, though I don't know of what quality this kid Hamulack is.

2006-01-04 12:16:26
27.   bigcpa
23 The Hardball Times points out that EIGHT Yankees qualified for the batting title last year. I know AROD, Jeter and Matsui are iron men but that's still an eye-opener in light of our ONE.
2006-01-04 12:18:18
28.   underdog
26 Argh. Yeah, I just saw that. I liked Schmoll. This makes more sense to me though, just because getting Seo for Sanchez straight up was frankly too one-sided for the Dodgers, imho. Obviously Schmoll didn't fit into LA's long-term plans as much as some of the other youngsters did...

Hamulack seems like just a throw-in with a 23 ERA last year. (Or is that "throw-up.") But here's what ProFantasySports had to say about him:

"Hamulack is a lefty specialist who posted unbelievable numbers at two levels in the minors this season."
[http://www.profantasysports.com/easycite/baseball.php?PID=232]

2006-01-04 12:18:31
29.   Steve
Hamulack is going on 30, so this is like a non-roster invite. As far as Minaya, he, like Ed Wade, apparently believes that if you get two middle relievers, you've doubled your output, forgetting the lesson in first grade about multiplying by zero.
2006-01-04 12:22:31
30.   RELX
From the AP:

"The thought process behind this was Seo's going to get a chance to start," Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said. "He had a real good year with the Mets and in Triple-A, pitched close to 200 innings.

"This gives us a little more depth in the starting rotation. I don't think this will prohibit us from getting another starter in either free agency or in a trade. One more would be good. I think we have a rotation now that's capable of throwing 180 innings, 200, 210 through all five starters."

2006-01-04 12:31:59
31.   Eric L
It seems to me that alot of fans seem to remember Schmoll as the spring training sensation rather than the averageish reliever that he was last season.
2006-01-04 12:32:14
32.   MartinBillingsley31
30
Do you have a link for that?

It sounds like ned is doing what i've been saying, stocking up on starting pitching and probably going to explore a trade for abreu.

Remember the rumor of lowe (assuming others also) for abreu, he probably thought that he didn't have enough starting pitching at that time to be able to give up lowe.

2006-01-04 12:32:49
33.   Paul Scott
THe trade just got a lot worse. As it was, I felt Sanchez for Seo was questionable, but reasonable. It's now Sanchez + Schmoll for Seo + Hemulack. That trade sucks.

Worse, our GM is now getting ripped off by the likes of Omar. Not a sign of good things to come.

2006-01-04 12:34:57
34.   Jon Weisman
31 - See update above. I agree with you.
2006-01-04 12:35:39
35.   regfairfield
With the assumption that Hamuleck is worthless, the Dodgers likely do win this trade, but not by much. With his scary groundball to flyball ratio and low strikeout rates, I would be amazed if Seo managed to put up a sub 4 ERA next year.

The bullpen, which looked solid before, now looks very shaky. I have full faith that Yhency has turned things around, but before if he faltered, Duaner could fill in the setup role and get things done, now, the third best reliever in the pen is Broxton. With reports being that the Pedro incident was not out of character for Grady Little, we could be counting on Broxton and Kuo a lot to keep us in the game if we're down by one. (Can't let the closer or setup man into the game if we're losing, can we?)

Add this to another one of Colletti's decent, but not Earth shattering manuevers.

2006-01-04 12:36:09
36.   Jon Weisman
33 - It's very doubtful that Schmoll belongs on a major-league roster, so I don't see how his inclusion makes things worse.
2006-01-04 12:36:19
37.   molokai
I like the trade even better. Hamulack should make the team allowing Kuo to get the work he needs at the minor league level after missing 3 seasons to injuries. Hamulack posted a 1.02 ERA at AAA last season. Small sample size but for the 2nd lefty who won't get much work he'll do. Not a big fan of Schmoll as I think major league hitters adjust to him and I don't think he'd have made the team this year.
So far the only move Ned has made that I dislike is the Tomko deal, considering how many moves he's made that is a good %. We are now completely set for the start of the season. With Billingsly/E Jackson/Orenduff bubbling below the surface we will be in a nice position to make any deals we need at midseason or to fill in if we suffer any injuries to our pitching staff.
2006-01-04 12:39:51
38.   molokai
35
Why does Seo have to put up a sub 4.0 ERA to be considered successful? I'll take a league average ERA from a starting pitcher from our number 5 starter after taking into account park effects and I'm sure Seo will accomplish that.
2006-01-04 12:46:23
39.   Steve
If the rumors are Wells for Broxton, and the facts are Seo for fungible middle relief, then give me more rumors.
2006-01-04 12:48:35
40.   King of the Hobos
Unlike many of you, I actually remember Schmoll for his 2004 season. He had an ERA of 1.81 between Vero and Jacksonville while striking out 8 guys every 9 innings. The real impressive feat wasn't any of that, but instead the fact that he pitched 84.2 innings, and allowed no homers. Not one. He did give up the game winning homer in the championship game of the AFL, but with regular season teams, no homers. He gave up 5 last year, 4 in the majors, more than he's given up in his entire minor league career (3 including the one in Vegas)
2006-01-04 12:49:50
41.   molokai
39 Ditto

Seo projections from 2 sources:
Bill James
IP/Hits/BB/K/WHIP/ERA
154/166/42/92/1.23/4.12
HQ
166/ / /100/1.34/4.35

2006-01-04 12:50:36
42.   regfairfield
Is a league average starter worth Sanchez and Schmoll? A lot depends on what you think of Sanchez.

He's going to be entering his prime and showed a substantial improvement in strikeouts last year. Considering that nasty changeup he developed in the second half, it wouldn't surprise me if they jumped even further. Sanchez showed a lot of promise last year, and it wouldn't surprise me if he had a (good) Guillermo Mota type year next year, take that as you will.

There's too many ifs for the Mets to consider the trade in their favor, but there certainly is a chance we can look back at this in five years and wonder how the hell we traded Sanchez for Jae Soo.

2006-01-04 12:51:10
43.   King of the Hobos
Also, this quote seems big

"Hamulack has developed to the point of being a strong candidate for a left-handed role in our bullpen."

So, he's going against Wunsch, and I'm guessing Kuo will only be involved if we carry 2 of them. Kuo really isn't a LOOGY like the other 2, and Colletti may not think he's ready

I do wonder if Gagne did anything to help Sanchez...

2006-01-04 12:52:43
44.   sanchez101
Sanchez for Seo would be a great move. I dont like Seo a whole lot more than Tomko, but then again I like Tomko more than most around here. The dodgers have the depth in the bullpen, and realistically Sanchez probably just had the best year of his career, so it seems logical to trade him. Seo is a perfectly acceptable back end starter. Some people are just going to have to get used to the fact that the Dodgers arent going to have an all-world type rotation in 2006, and accept that 6 starters will get the job done and provide the consistency/druability that the offense may not have.

As a side note, I think the defense will be considerably better than last year(Furcal, Mueller, and Aybar are big improvements over Robles, Valentin, and Perez) and that will have a significant impact on the pitchers ERA.

2006-01-04 12:55:14
45.   blue22
37 - With Billingsly/E Jackson/Orenduff bubbling below the surface

How far below the surface though? Is that 3/5 of Jacksonville's rotation or Vegas'?

Rotoworld is speculating that this trade allows the kids to start the year at AAA, but I don't think they know exactly what they are saying by that.

2006-01-04 12:57:26
46.   D4P
44
Some people are just going to have to get used to the fact that the Dodgers arent going to have an all-world type rotation in 2006

I'm used to it.

2006-01-04 12:57:39
47.   molokai
40
Easy to be successful as a sidearmer in the beginning. No question he had a great 2004 in the minor leagues, but the Schmoll I saw in 2005 was Major League hitters laying off his stuff and then hammering him when he had to come in after they adjusted to his style. In time he may become very effective against RHP if he develops better command but I expect Hamulack to be very effective against LHP and I'd rather he be our LOOGY then waste Kuo in that role since Kuo if healthy could be a dominate pitcher against anybody.
2006-01-04 12:59:22
48.   Linkmeister
Seems to me you get a 5-6 innings guy every fifth day with Seo, and you give up a 1-inning guy every one-to-two days with Sanchez.

Looks pretty straightforward to me.

2006-01-04 13:00:42
49.   sanchez101
45. I think the kids will start in AA, I doubt that a dodger starting pitching prospect sees Las Vegas again, which is a smart move. Florida has had a lot of success promoting their young pitchers from the Southern League, bypassing their own Vegas-like AAA ballpark in Albequerque.

Just as a side note, I think its funny how I call these guys "kids" even though they are all older than me.

2006-01-04 13:06:07
50.   Paul Scott
I am no great fan of Schmoll's and I certainly agree that he is marginal to be on a major league roster. Injuries put a lot of guys on the Dodgers last year that should not have been there. He is, however, 25. To be acceptable middle relief, he really just needs to reduce his BB/9. In admittedly limited play in the majors, Schmoll also had pretty significant splits.

Hemulack is 29. Sure, he has had some success in the minors. But he's 29 and he has a total of 2.1 innings in the majors. Looking at his minor league record, you see a guy that has had a K/9 aruond 8 and a BB/9 around 2 and he has done that pretty consistantly. However, AAA was always a barrier for him. He went up to AAA 3 times over his rather long minor league career and until last year, his stats suffered significantly.

A possible "late bloomer" at 29? Sure. I guess. Between the two, though, it seems more likely that Schmoll has a better upside in that he could become a decent major league middle reliever. Hemulack looks to me like a complete throwaway.

Was the loss of Schmoll a terrible thing? Certainly not. But since I already had questions about the Sanchez for Seo trade, I think the addition of Schmoll to the mix tips the balance.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-01-04 13:09:09
51.   MartinBillingsley31
"This gives us a little more depth in the starting rotation. I don't think this will prohibit us from getting another starter in either free agency or in a trade. One more would be good."

This ssssssoooooo tells me that 1 of our starting pitchers is going to be dealt for a position player, why would we need another starting pitcher, we now have 5 of them.

Remember the lowe for abreu trade rumor.

Man i hope so.

2006-01-04 13:09:45
52.   King of the Hobos
Has anyone looked at Hamulack's numbers? He's been pretty good, especially for a AAAA pitcher. Career ERA of 3.28 with a K/9 of 8.21. The 2.1 innings of major league ball certainly hasn't been impressive (he gave up 3 homers in that time). In the minors, he was Schmoll-like with the homers (.41 HR/9). He does walk a few guys. He didn't progress real fast (injury?) then seemed to become a AAAA guy. How he hasn't already established a career as a LOOGY is beyond me, especially when the Mets were using guys like Heredia in the LOOGY role. No idea what his splits are.
2006-01-04 13:11:28
53.   sanchez101
46. ya, so am i. it just seems that some people here arent going to be happy unless the dodgers pick up a few more proven front-line starters, which is unrealistic and unwise. I think it speaks to the general uneasyness(sp?) of Dodger fans here. It seems like many posters here are very pessimistic and cant accept any moves as good. I think it says something that Richard Lewis is probably the most famous celebrity Dodger fan (that i know of).
2006-01-04 13:15:28
54.   molokai
Lefties bloom later. If we had picked up Hamulack as an NRI I'd been thrilled so I like the deal all the way around especially because that tells me they don't want to use Kuo as a Loogy which is even more important in the long run.
2006-01-04 13:16:06
55.   regfairfield
Check out the studly patience on this 29 year old AAA stud:

.287/.384/.432.

This Edwards kid will be huge, let me tell you.

Point is, unless you're on the Angels, there's a reason why a 29 year old hasn't touched the majors.

2006-01-04 13:16:22
56.   oldbear
After acquiring Jay Seo, can the Dodgers return Brett Tomko to the Mediocre Pitching Store?

Honestly, this move baffled me when it was made. Now its even more baffling.

2006-01-04 13:18:08
57.   molokai
FYI-His MLE based on 2005 would be:
64 innings, 52 hits, 18 walks, 43 k's, 1.49 ERA with a BPV of 95 which is solid.
2006-01-04 13:19:45
58.   molokai
55
Come on, your bright enough and know your stats that to compare a LHP pitcher to a run of the mill OF/INF is not doing justice to how each develop.
2006-01-04 13:20:54
59.   the count
Why does the Schmoll for Hamulack part of the deal matter to people? It does not change the fact that the Dodgers just solidified the back end of the starting rotation for a couple middle relivers who can be replaced.

Sanchez had a great year, but with Gagne returning and Kuo, Osoria, and Broxton all able to break camp with the Dodgers, they will have a young talented bullpen and are dealing from a strength.

However, does this mean Coletti will actively attempt to deal for Odalis Perez? (Not trying to start rumors, just curious.)

2006-01-04 13:22:28
60.   oldbear
53. I think most Dodger fans are open to players that have no history of sucking. I'd be optimistic seeing a Billingsley, Broxton, etc. start out in the Big League rotation. There's an actual chance that they might not be that bad.

Its those mediocre players, that are past their primes, that have no shot at improving, that are paid more than they should be.. (Doesnt that describe Brett Tomko) that make Dodger fans nervous.

D Lowe-- Has had good years in recent past.
O Perez- Ditto
Brad Penny- Ditto
Jay Seou- Ditto
Brett Tomko--Um no.

2006-01-04 13:23:36
61.   sanchez101
56. maybe they can include tomko in a trade for Dunn?
2006-01-04 13:23:51
62.   deburns
Depending on creative pronunciation, our new LOOGY could be a force on our wrestling team.
2006-01-04 13:24:28
63.   regfairfield
58 Yeah, to be honest I just came up with the comparison off the top of my head, expecting Edwards to be better in AAA. Not wanting to lose a good line, I ran with it anyway.
2006-01-04 13:26:03
64.   oldbear
56. No team will touch Tomko at 4.5 mils a year. The Dodgers got Jason Phillips for Kaz Ishii.

I expect less for Tomko.

And I doubt he'll be traded after he was just signed. Although it'd be smart if he was. I think there's a rule that you cant trade a player that you just signed in the same off-season..

2006-01-04 13:30:52
65.   GoBears
Compare this year's rotation-presumptive to last year's, it comes down to Seo and Tomko vs. Weaver and Erickson/Houlton.

Seems like a wash, but for less money, and we still have Houlton.

Thought of differently, our "swing-men" are now Houlton/Tomko instead of Alvarez/Dessens.

I see no great change one way or another. The reason for the changes was Weaver's new asking price - this forced some scrambling, and I guess Colletti has managed to tread water pretty well.

At this point, trading for Abreu seems a fantasy - unless most of those extra middling OFers (Lofton, Werth, Repko) go in the deal too. And Philly just let Lofton go, so I kinda doubt it.

Forget Dunn. With Casey gone to Tracyland, Dunn is Cincy's new 1bman, and insurance for the OF when Griffey gets hurt again. Cincy would be daft to trade him while he's still cheap. I mean even more daft than they are.

2006-01-04 13:30:55
66.   sanchez101
60. the problem with players that have no history of sucking is that they are really expensive. Tomko isnt as good as lowe, perez, or penny, but then again he's getting paid half as much. An $8 million commitment over 3 years isnt going to sink a $90-95 million a year budget or prevent the front office from getting the players they need to be successfull.
2006-01-04 13:35:03
67.   sanchez101
64. wow, in your mind Tomko is no better than Ishii. Tomko has a 4.26 ERA in 384.7 IP over the last two seasons, Ishii's numbers are a 4.85 ERA over 263 IP in that same period of time.
2006-01-04 13:37:18
68.   bigcpa
56, 64 Unless you're playing the ain't-my-money card, Tomko for $4.5M is a heck of a lot better than $9M for Morris, Washburn or Weaver. With Seo around, Tomko is now our #5 with the prospects nipping at his heels. Plus he's durable. Playoff teams always have league avg starters at the back of the rotation. He beats John Thomson, Woody Williams etc. in my book.
2006-01-04 13:38:36
69.   Steve
Not to mention Scott #&%*()^&#% Erickson
2006-01-04 13:40:57
70.   sanchez101
does any one have any idea where Weaver may be going?
2006-01-04 13:41:44
71.   Marty
Not to mention Jose %#$@#% Lima. And Tomko's wife is better looking than both Erickson's and Lima's
2006-01-04 13:42:31
72.   King of the Hobos
70 The article that reported the Sanchez trade this morning said the Angels are currently in discussions with Boras. Apparently they have a lot of money to spend, and no one to spend it on.
2006-01-04 13:43:46
73.   ElysianPark62
Jon, I argued last year that Sanchez should've been tried as a starter, given his nice repertoire of pitches, good K ratio, apparent durability, and decent WHIP. Of course, his value as a reliever improved as 2005 wore on, as he certainly inspired more confidence in me than did Brazoban.

The Dodgers' bullpen is not a great source of depth anymore. They have some very promising and talented arms but far too many question marks to make me comfortable. These are mostly due to injury and inexperience.

Will Gagne resemble his old self? While talented, Kuo is an inexperienced injury risk, and Wunsch is coming off a bad ankle injury and subsequent operation. Brazoban needs to develop another pitch or two and keep his head on straight. Broxton is dynamite but raw, and Osoria is intriguing with his ground balls but also inexperienced. His Dominican League numbers very well could be misleading.

There is no reason to be optimistic about Hamulacker. Why was he beginning the year at AA at the age of 28 in 2005, when decent lefty relievers are the hardest to find? He made 382 minor league appearances in 10 years. I am not at all hopeful.

2006-01-04 13:43:59
74.   bigcpa
70 They're talking to Anaheim and it makes sense for both sides.

65 I wouldn't call Dunn cheap. He'll likely get $8-11m in each of his last 2 arb-eligible years. That's 15% of the Reds payroll.

2006-01-04 13:45:15
75.   oldbear
66. Its the principle of the whole thing. I dont believe any amount of money should be spent on a player that is mediocre or has no upside. Especially a multi year deal.

Its like going to the store and buying a cheap shirt that you'll never wear. Sure its cheap, but if you're never gonna wear it, whats the point in buying it?

And there are cheap pitchers that have a history of not sucking. They are most of the time prospects that have to be given a chance to perform.

I'll take Houlton/Billz/Broxton in the #5 role for the league minimum, than Tomko at whatever they paid him. Unnecessary spending can have cumulative effects.

Maybe your saying that having Tomko sit in the bullpen if (Bills beats him out), isnt going to hurt the club. And that 4.5 mils being spent on him isnt the difference in signing a difference making player. Well, I'm not sure. Sometimes budgets are tight and an extra 5mils may be nice to have around. Or, perhaps due to his contract and vet status, he'll be forced/kept in the rotation despite peformance (I hope this isnt the case).

2006-01-04 13:46:05
76.   Marty
OT: Old friend Fred Savage has a new sitcom on ABC called Crumbs with Jane Curtain and Willam Devane(!). It's about a dsyfunctional family, where the Curtain charactor has just been released from a psychiatric hospital. Hilarity is supposed to ensue, but I have my doubts.
2006-01-04 13:47:18
77.   ElysianPark62
#59

I like Broxton, Osoria, and Kuo, but I do not want to rely on three of them in the bullpen, in addition to Brazoban, who still hasn't pulled it together. There could be serious growing pains in the 2006 bullpen.

2006-01-04 13:50:50
78.   bhsportsguy
From Scout.com - Q&A with Tim Hamulack
BTW - Surprise #1 - He had elbow surgery in 2004, Surprise #2, was in the Boston Red Sox system in 2004.

Bryan Hoch - Scout.com
September 26, 2005 at 2:46am ET
Inside Pitch checks in with Mets lefthander Tim Hamulack, who had a stellar minor league season at Double-A Binghamton and Triple-A Norfolk to earn a September callup to the major leagues.

You missed part of last season with an elbow injury. What was that like?

I missed like the last month of the season, but it had hurt for a long time. I finally went and got it fixed at the end of the year, after thinking, 'There's nothing wrong. There's nothing wrong.' I finally got it done myself and it turned out it was all messed up, but it's a lot better now.


You were directed that the Mets might be a good option for a pitcher coming off surgery. Why was that the case?

I got my surgery and one of the guys I talked to had played with the Mets. I had offers from a couple of other teams, but I figured since they [the Mets] knew a lot about me and what I was doing at that time, it seemed like a good place to go. I guess it was.

After your outstanding year in the minors, what was it like to get that call and make your big league debut (Sept. 2 at Florida)?

It was pretty awesome, I don't know. I guess I can't explain it. I've been waiting so long for it and I finally got it.

You had come pretty close before, nearly making the 2004 Red Sox out of spring training. Knowing what the Sox accomplished, have you thought about what that would have been like?

That was pretty cool too. I was down to the last two guys and then they wound up picking some other guy with more experience. I don't know. Things happened and I never made it back up there. It would have been nice, though.

Spending most of your career bouncing around the minors, did you ever come to doubt that you might realize that big league dream?

You know what? I guess everybody doubts it. Guys here might doubt how they're going to be next year. You never know.

What was the biggest factor in finally achieving it this year?

I would guess getting my arm fixed, and knowing that I'm getting a chance here. Everybody's experience has helped out.

Is there anything you're able to do differently now as a result of the surgery?

Throw a lot harder. Some of the off-speed pitches don't make my arm as sore anymore, so it doesn't take as many pitches to get loose.

2006-01-04 13:54:36
79.   Jon Weisman
78 - Just post a shorter excerpt and/or link next time - thanks. That's too much copy belonging to someone else to take.
2006-01-04 13:55:16
80.   Robert Fiore
The name Hamulack makes me think of the Coneheads. I just hope Jae Seo makes us think of David Cone.
2006-01-04 13:55:41
81.   sanchez101
75. but Tomko isnt unncecessary, the Dodgers need someone to soak up innings consideing all the injuries last year and Weaver's departure. That is what Tomko has been signed to do, even if he's a swingman out of the pen, he's very usefull to the team. You seem to be under the delusion that Tomko is a replacement level player, which he is not. Is he a good player, no, but he impoves the team and there is good evidence that he is indeed worth the money he's getting paid. If you dont agree with this fine, their is an argument that he may be somewhat overpayed even though i dont agree with it. I guess we're just going to have to wait for the season to come around to see if Tomko pays dividens.
2006-01-04 13:58:39
82.   Jon Weisman
If money is an object, I think the Tomko question boils down to whether he is better or worse than a minimum-salaried pitcher combined with whomever the remaining money is spent on, such as a better offensive player.
2006-01-04 13:59:43
83.   King of the Hobos
The last question of the Q&A in 78 could be interesting.

At worst, Hamulack should be an upgrade from Mike Venafro for the 51s

2006-01-04 14:11:18
84.   oldbear
Right. This is how I see it:

Salary (Most desirable to least desirable)
Bills>>>>>Tomko>>>>>Morris

Ability (Most desirable to least desirable)
Morris>>>Billz>>>>Tomko

Combined Overall:
Billz>>>Morris>>>>>Tomko

2006-01-04 14:11:31
85.   King of the Hobos
Has anyone seen this quote?

"We went to Dodger games (growing up), and I've just felt comfortable there. I think it's a confidence thing," Tomko said. "When I was there sitting on the visitors' side (as a player), I would be thinking that this would be a place you could really enjoy."

2006-01-04 14:16:17
86.   GoBears
74 Thanks for the correction. I thought that was still at least a year off for Dunn. Still, I'd keep him if I were running the Reds.

It's like going to the store and buying a cheap shirt that you'll never wear. Sure its cheap, but if you're never gonna wear it, whats the point in buying it?

Hey, I resemble that remark! I'm wearing my 'Team Depo' shirt right now. Never say never.

2006-01-04 14:26:51
87.   bhsportsguy
79-No problem.
At this point, pending a trade of a starter (Odalis) for another OF bat, I could see this team going to spring training.
25 man roster
Pitchers
Penny
Lowe
Odalis Perez
Tomko
Seo
Brazoban
Gagne
Broxton
Osoria
Houlton
Harnulack/Wunsch

Catchers
Navarro
Alomar

IF
Choi
Nomar
Kent
Furcal
Mueller
Saenz

OF
Drew
Ledee
Lofton
Cruz, Jr.
Repko

Bubble - Aybar or Robles
DL - Werth, Izzy

Scorecard - Ned turned over 7 (or 8 depending on the LH relief position) from last year. He signed 6 free agents and traded for 1 (maybe 2) others.

2006-01-04 14:28:03
88.   willhite
85 -

Didn't Tomko spend some time with a sports psychologist a year or two ago and improve dramatically right after that? I realize the improvement didn't last, but maybe he'll psych himself up this time because he'll be playing in front of the "home folks."

2006-01-04 14:31:15
89.   bhsportsguy
77 - It was just the Domincan League but it does appear that Brazoban straightened out his mid-season blahs. I just hope he isn't too worn out when the season starts.

Also, I know he has kind of gone under the radar but Joel Guzman did have a pretty good winter, he finished among the league leaders in Slugging and RBI and while he still strikes out close to 25%, he did walk about 11% percent and had an OPS over .800, he also just turned 21.

2006-01-04 14:34:43
90.   Formerly R
65 - Good use of "daft." Cheers.
2006-01-04 14:36:45
91.   bhsportsguy
90 - One more thing, and remember he pitched against the powerhouse hitting Dodgers but here is Seo's numbers in Dodger Stadium. In 2 starts he has pitched 14.1 IP, 11 hits, 9K/3BB 1.26 ERA and .212 BA. He also won both games not surprisingly.
2006-01-04 14:40:10
92.   regfairfield
91 That is far too little of a sample size to be relevant.
2006-01-04 14:53:49
93.   Sushirabbit
I said this before (I think): Tomko had a decent last second half of the season last year. Sure, it probably isn't a change and he will revert back to normalcy, but we can at least hope that he's better. (it does happen, right?) That's not any sillier to me than hoping Weaver will finally Pitch as well as he is getting paid, or that Nomar will work out-- AND the money saved.

Also, I'm really no fan of Little, but people keep referring to the Pedro thing. Who was Little supposed to go with? (sorry, got interupted by work) But I don't think Little had any trust of Embree, Howry, Timlin, Mendoza or Fox (or Lowe, wasn't he in bloodblister-relief at that point?)

2006-01-04 14:56:42
94.   Suffering Bruin
I don't know if this has been mentioned anywhere upthread but Seo and Choi were high school teammates.

Seo was described by his high school coach as the "fiery" one.

2006-01-04 15:01:15
95.   Suffering Bruin
Addendum to above: Seo, Choi and Byung-Yung Kim all played on the same high school baseball team. As above, their coach described Seo as "fiery", Kim as "emotional" and Choi as much quieter than both.

They are all very good friends.

2006-01-04 15:02:23
96.   Jon Weisman
93 - Little should have gone with any of the relievers, anyone who wasn't as flat-out fried as Pedro was. The whole point of the incident is that Pedro had stopped being Pedro and become ordinary; he had become inferior to the relievers.

That being said, I don't believe one should make too much of one incident, unless it is one incident of many similar ones. What troubles me about Little is that I've heard that his over-allegiance to tiring starting pitchers was common.

2006-01-04 15:11:48
97.   Jon Weisman
I've got a separate chat for the Rose Bowl above. Baseball chat can stay here.

Actually, you can do what you want, but those are my recommendations.

2006-01-04 15:21:18
98.   KLV
I think people complaining about Seo and Tomko blocking Billingsley and others are not considering the fact that the Dodgers will almost certainly need more than 5 starting pitchers in 2006. The odds of all 5 guys staying healthy are very, very slim. And even if they do, it's likely that at least 1 of the 5 will pitch poorly enough to merit being demoted to swingman.
If Billingsley or E.J. steps up and pitches lights out in the minors, there will very likely be a place for him in L.A.

Right now we've got 5 starters, a swingman who could start if absolutely necessary (Houlton - personally I don't think much of him), and a number of high-upside prospects in the minors, one or more of whom could break out. That's admirable organizational depth in 2006 and beyond.

2006-01-04 15:35:18
99.   SMY
93 For what it's worth, outside of BK Kim (who only pitched once), the Red Sox bullpen was dominant in the 2003 playoffs.
2006-01-04 16:28:04
100.   KAYVMON
It seems that Duaner has the potential to be a great reliever while Seo has the potential to be a solid starter, but starting pitchers are more valuable so I still think well come out better in this deal.

That said, I want to say that I always enjoyed watching Sanchez pitch. He always seemed to have a lot of pride in his performance and his emotion, more than Gagne but less than Bradley, made my experience as a fan more enjoyable. The goggles and beat-up cap were important aesthetic additions as well.

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2006-01-04 22:24:46
101.   popup
I like this much more than trading a kid for David Wells. Actually I like this more than trading anyone for David Wells.

I will become more comfortable with Ned when I see him finally be willing to promote a young player to the Dodger roster. It is nice to have the kids available, but at some point he is going to have to give a young player a chance to play. If he replaces Sanchez with some pick up from outside the organization instead of going with Broxton or Osorio, I will become even more concerned.

I saw Schmoll last year when he pitched for Vegas when the 51's played in Tacoma. Looked to me he had trouble throwing strikes consistently. With that delivery, I am not sure how much a pitching coach could help him.

Stan from Tacoma

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