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No Fear or Loathing of Las Vegas
2006-01-04 16:49
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

In his article on the Jae Seo trade, Steve Henson of the Times reports that Dodger general manager Ned Colletti "wants Chad Billingsley, who is now considered the top Dodger pitching prospect, to begin the season at triple-A."

Chad, just ignore those park-inflated stats, challenge those hitters, and duck.

Comments
2006-01-04 17:05:37
1.   scareduck
I like how that story characterizes the negotiations to retain Jeff Weaver's services as a "sweepstakes". This is pretty silly, really, especially when you consider that the "loser" (i.e., the guy who doesn't pay 4 years/$40M or whatever inflated contract he does end up with) could be in better shape than the "winner".
2006-01-04 17:08:41
2.   deburns
That's called the "winner's curse", since, in an auction context, the "winner" by definition is paying more for the product than anyone else; thus, either the winner is correctly valuing the product, or he is overpaying. That concept does not of course include Steinbrenner, or anyone for whom money is popcorn.
2006-01-04 17:23:43
3.   King of the Hobos
Chad needs to get some tips from Osoria and Brazoban and stay clear of Heath Totten, TJ Nall, and Harold Eckert (I haven't any clue if they still are signed, but stay away nonetheless)
2006-01-04 17:31:00
4.   King of the Hobos
John Schlegal wrote on MLB.com that "Colletti suggested Wednesday that Jackson may move to long relief." Houlton to AAA to join Chad?

Still no quotes, but he also wrote "Colletti said Hamulack has a good chance to make the Opening Day roster out of Spring Training."

2006-01-04 17:33:24
5.   MartinBillingsley31
4
I can smell it.
Lowe houlton aybar choi ethier for bobby abreu.

2007 outfield abreu drew guzman.

2006-01-04 17:34:38
6.   King of the Hobos
Also, I don't think Chad to AAA is the worst news in that article. Not even close

"Colletti also might sign free-agent Jim Brower"

2006-01-04 17:35:11
7.   scareduck
The guy did have 1.26 and 1.02 ERAs his last couple years in the minors, with decent (~9.00 K/9) but not great strikeout rates.
2006-01-04 17:50:48
8.   bhsportsguy
John Manuel of Baseball America in today's EPSN.com chat ranks Chad as the best pitching prospect in the game. Note that for BA purposes, prospects exclude anyone who has pitched 50 innings.
2006-01-04 18:10:00
9.   jasonungar05
that smell is coming from Weaver's "water" bong in the other room. it'll pass...lol
2006-01-04 18:12:27
10.   jasonungar05
or Doctor Gonzo's room in sticking with the theme
2006-01-04 18:27:15
11.   natepurcell
its not surprising scouts/ba LOVE billingsley. power pitcher with great mechanic and no injury history whatsoever (knock on wood).

im just surprised they are rating him above liriano and verlander. lets hope billz fulfills the hype for the dodgers. he needs to develop his splitter more.

2006-01-04 20:03:21
12.   CanuckDodger
Verlander is a couple years older than Billingsley, and started out the year in high A, so Billingsley should be rated above Verlander. However, Liriano and Cain should both be rated above Bilingsley. They have tasted success in Triple A and the majors. Compared to Billingsley, they have better fastball command at the same velocity. Liriano is left-handed, and Cain has an easier delivery than Billingsley.
2006-01-04 21:38:20
13.   das411
5 - I think the Phillies are actually one of the few teams that would NOT be improved by picking up Hee Seop as a 1B.

Maybe a younger project-type arm in that deal instead? Too bad Ed Wade is not around any more or else that piece would be Tomko, no question!

2006-01-04 21:43:03
14.   natepurcell
i dont think cains delivery is easier than billingsleys. Billingsley uses a ton of leverage in his thick lower body and legs and reduces the stress he puts on his elbow and shoulders. cains delivery is more of a whip like motion, using more upper body.

didnt cain have a elbow injury in the past as well?

i also dont like verlanders delivery at all. shoulder problems are going to be in his future if he doesnt have any already.

i love edwin jacksons delivery. i think he has the cleanest delivery out of all our prospects.

2006-01-04 23:01:31
15.   natepurcell
so im watching the met vs marlin game on sept 4 where seo is pitching.

after the 1st inning, he has shown like 6 pitches. a fb that was topping out at 91, a 72mph cb, a change up, a splitter, a 81mph slider, and a 86ish mph cutter.

and, he has control of all those pitches. wow, he is the epitome of junkballer.

2006-01-04 23:03:54
16.   Steve
Weaver II?
2006-01-04 23:09:10
17.   natepurcell
weavers 2 seamer moves a lot. seos 4 seamer is pretty straight.
2006-01-04 23:13:25
18.   natepurcell
Seo's delivery is pretty gross too.
2006-01-04 23:14:03
19.   dzzrtRatt
I like the idea of Edwin J as a long reliever. Gets him a chance to work on his approach to major league hitters, but without all the pressure of being an anointed starter.
2006-01-04 23:16:24
20.   dzzrtRatt
Uh oh I see Jose Lima is back in the NL West. You guys probably covered that during halftime.
2006-01-04 23:19:30
21.   dzzrtRatt
Here's another thing you guys probably discussed during a replay time out. According to MLB's John Schlegal:

Colletti had a number of positions to fill, but the Dodgers' starting rotation already had a pair of aces at the top in Brad Penny and Derek Lowe, so it didn't need a whole lot of work.

Guess ol' John didn't make it to many games out here last season. Penny and Lowe are "worth keeping." They're not "aces."

2006-01-04 23:25:24
22.   natepurcell
seo has a nifty little curveball though. he needs to use his splitter more. he just struck delgado out on it.

he could get more gbs and Ks if he uses it more.

2006-01-04 23:28:12
23.   natepurcell
oh, another reason why seo isnt weaver 2.0 is because seo can get lefties out.

2005 splits
176ABs vs lefties: 627 OPS
158ABs vs righties: 715 OPS

2006-01-04 23:46:45
24.   natepurcell
hes got about like 6 infield/shallow pop ups in this game already.
2006-01-05 01:21:35
25.   natepurcell
haha. the daily news headline is "dodgers seo starting rotation"

haha, that made me laugh.

2006-01-05 02:15:23
26.   GoBears
Anyone want to take a crack at comparing Seo to Byun-Hyun Kim? I ask not because both are Korean, but because Kim had been mentioned in these parts as an intriguing potential pickup, whereas Seo kinda came out of nowhere.

Dodgers have Seo. Would they be better off with Kim? Or heck, both?

2006-01-05 03:11:48
27.   natepurcell
anyone remember those sanchez for david bell rumors??

this trade was much better.

2006-01-05 03:57:17
28.   dsfan
Nate,

Not sure what you meant in describing Seo's delivery as "pretty gross."

Scouts love his delivery. He shows phenomenal balance. It's clean and simple, repeats well.

2006-01-05 04:01:37
29.   dsfan
I must couch any praise of Tomko by first saying he's mediocre, soft and stubbon.

But one thing that gives him a little more value than the typical chum-on-the-water, over-priced pitcher is his relief potential.

He's a two-pitch guy who could be a pretty good seventh-inning pitcher if he embraced the role.

Not saying that's where he should open the season, but it could be his niche before the contract runs out.

2006-01-05 04:10:26
30.   dsfan
I'd give the Seo trade a B. That's not to say Sanchez isn't a good reliever. Those K ratios are enticing and his offspeed improvement was real. But that elbow could also blow up. He sprained it three years ago. Scouts say he's a max-effort delivery guy. He's been worked pretty hard, too.

For the LAD, it was critical to buy time for Billingsley and Jackson and sop up some of Weaver's innings.

Deferring Billingsley's debut by 10-12 weeks could be worth several million dollars and the development time could be vital. His fastball command, by major league standards, even for a power guy, is susspect. So is his changeup.

You probably should have 7-8 starters entering a season. The LAD are getting there.

2006-01-05 09:08:27
31.   Sushirabbit
Jason Phillips appears in a cameo role in Dave Studeman's latest at HardBallTimes:

http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/pictures-of-batted-balls/

...just thought it was funny...

2006-01-05 09:51:49
32.   Andrew Shimmin
29- Great. A $4 million a year middle reliever. And that's a feature?
2006-01-05 10:17:38
33.   Blu2
How about Tomko and Mueller for Abreu? We save $9 mill in salary there, Nomar goes to third and Choi is rightfully the firstbaseman. A few cheap throw-ins if they insist. That way we can afford Abreu and we have a heck of a lineup...
2006-01-05 10:27:19
34.   carmiguel
While it's true that many parks in the PCL tend to favor the hitters (such as the deserts of Las Vegas and Tucson and the mountains of Albuquerque, Salt Lake and Colorado Springs), the vast majority of the parks are in cities comparable to MLB cities.

Granted, Billingsley would be pitching more than half his games in Las Vegas, and also make some trips to Tucson, but he would also pitch in cities like Fresno, Sacramento, Round Rock, Portland, Oklahoma City, New Orleans...

I don't want to dismiss the PCL effect, but also sometimes think there is an element of exaggeration... Many of the good Dodger pitchers made it to the big leagues via Albuquerque.

2006-01-05 10:38:00
35.   regfairfield
33 I'm pretty sure thats close to the level of Kevin Stocker for Abreu.
2006-01-05 21:06:46
36.   das411
Kevin Stocker is probably a better fit for the Phils at 3B than David Bell though...
2006-01-06 13:41:25
37.   jpeace
31
Great link. Iz also makes an appearance on the original article.

"Another truism is that when groundball pitchers yield outfield flies, they tend to have more run value"

The Dodgers have a guy like this don't they?

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