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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
8) making the same point over and over again
9) typing "no-hitter" or "perfect game" to describe either in progress
10) being annoyed by the existence of this list
11) commenting under the obvious influence
12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with

Dodgers Option Guzman, Aybar
2006-03-28 09:17
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Dodger prospect Joel Guzman will start the season in AAA Las Vegas along with Willy Aybar, public relations director Josh Rawitch announced this morning. (Update: Here's Ken Gurnick's MLB.com story, which notes that Guzman is expected to play a little first and third base to make himself a call-up candidate if a need arises there.)

The Dodgers still need to make a decision on the final spots on their roster, with such players as out-of-options outfielder Cody Ross awaiting their fate.

Hong-Chih Kuo has won the Jim and Dearie Mulvey Award as top rookie at Dodgertown.

* * *

In this National League West preview, Jim Street of MLB.com became one of the few mainstream writers I've seen this spring question whether the Dodgers have enough power to win this year.

* * *

MLB Gameday link for today's Dodger game

Comments (270)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-03-28 09:32:29
1.   Johnson
Jim Street wins the Understatement Of The Preseason award with the following gem about Giants rookie Matt Cain in the mlb.com article:

As long as Cain is able to have fewer baserunners than innings pitched...he'll succeed.

Yeah, for most guys a WHIP under one doesn't correlate well with success on the mound, but in Cain's case...

2006-03-28 09:33:01
2.   Jacob L
O.K., I'll be the first. Ned is treading on thin ice, here. I can see Guzman benefitting from some more minor league ABs. Overall, I can see the value of not starting the service clock on guys who can still improve in the minors. I just don't think that's the case with Aybar. Plus, he's better than guys who are going to make the ML roster.

Ramon Martinez also has nothing left to prove, but not in a good way.

2006-03-28 09:44:56
3.   scareduck
Who needs power when you have this much veteran presence?
2006-03-28 09:48:30
4.   bluetahoe
Have some faith in my boy Ned. We know what we're getting in in Lofton, Mueller, Nomar, Furcal, and the likes.

If you look at the moves some deemed questionable, they've all been golden thus far. Ned's been waving a magic wand. Have faith. He know's what he's doing.

1) Tomko's been dominant.
2) Seo has pitched great while Dirty Duaner has stunk and Schmoll.....haven't heard a word about him.
3) We all knnow Baez is dominant but Carter has been dominant too.
4) It's still too early to tell on Ethier, but he looks to be a stud, and Bradleys not doing anything in the Cactus League where everybody hits.

Just sit back and enjoy the ride.

2006-03-28 09:51:05
5.   Jon Weisman
4 - Why are you using Spring Training stats to pronounce every Ned move a success and yet ignoring the Spring Training numbers of Lofton and Garciaparra?

I mean, my first choice would be to ignore Spring Training stats. But cherry-picking the ones you like seems particularly pointless.

2006-03-28 09:55:14
6.   the OZ
4 Jon said it so I didn't have to.

My prediction for 2006:

2003, except with the pitching a couple notches below "historically and inexplicably good." I worry that this mediocre team will have just enough success that bad roster construction plans will be positively reinforced and we'll get smoked in future years when the Dbacks get good again.

2006-03-28 09:55:23
7.   still bevens
Glad to see Kuo is going to make the club. I took him on my fantasy team with the hope that he'd make the team and keep up his 12:1 k/bb ratio. Here's to the dream.
2006-03-28 10:03:09
8.   Barkin
What do you mean power shortage? Brett Tomko hit a 3 run home-run yesterday. After Olmedo, hes our main right-handed power source off the bench.

Ah Ned and that Magic Wand. If only he could acquire more horrible pitchers that hit three-run home runs, we could win win this thing!

2006-03-28 10:04:11
9.   D4P
Who needs power when you have this much veteran presence?

True. Young guys with power may hit a lot of homeruns, but they hit them at the wrong times, killing rally after rally. It takes experience to know you're better off extending a rally with a perfect sacrifice bunt or chopper to the right side. That's something you just can't teach.

2006-03-28 10:06:40
10.   jasonungar05
So I overheard Manny Ramirez talking to David Ortiz. It went something like:

-Man, I hate facing him
--Yeah he is dominant
-Filthy
--No, really man u never hit the ball hard off him
-dang, mariano is good.
--oh, bro i thought we were talking about Danny Baez

2006-03-28 10:07:51
11.   bluetahoe
Because I know Lofton and Nomar will be just fine when we get rolling.

I can't say that about the likes of Tomko, Seo, Carter....

They needed to have a dominant spring to prove they belong. They've done it. Seo in the WBC.

I mention Bradley because I feel somebody like him who has a little baggage should come bring it in the spring.

Furcal digs out the one hopper. Nomar digs the bad throw out of the dirt. One away.

2006-03-28 10:08:18
12.   bluetahoe
Polanco flies lazily to center.
2006-03-28 10:09:15
13.   bluetahoe
Alomar catches the foul pop. Inning over.
2006-03-28 10:11:32
14.   bluetahoe
HEY, Barkin. Tomko's going to be all right. I think you'll be singing a different tune come this time next month.

Relax. The Dodgers will win.
Just enjoy it and grin.

2006-03-28 10:11:56
15.   bluetahoe
Furcal singles sharply to right.
2006-03-28 10:13:24
16.   TheRedMenace
What is the health status of Furcal? It would seem that if there are still concerns about his ability to play everyday, the Dodgers are forced to carry two middle-infield backups. Is that the reason given?
2006-03-28 10:14:31
17.   bluetahoe
Lofton strikes out looking.
2006-03-28 10:15:27
18.   Jon Weisman
11 - Don't take this personally - I just want to lay out a few things.

The argument that "these guys will be good because I say so" is antithetical to what this site is about.

And really, really, I can't imagine why you put stock in statistics derived from facing for the most part non-major-league competition in non-competitve conditions. I really encourage you to give this some thought.

Finally, thanks for offering, but I have a Gameday link up top, so we don't need the commentary.

2006-03-28 10:16:08
19.   jasonungar05
16

3 mid infielders when u consider Cesar will be ready in End of April/May

2006-03-28 10:16:50
20.   bluetahoe
Drew doubles to right. Furcal moves on to 3rd.
2006-03-28 10:18:14
21.   Jon Weisman
18 - It's not even that I don't believe that some of the Ned acquisitions will do well. But if you want to make that argument, you should understand that Spring Training stats or "I know they'll be fine" are about the worst ways to do it.

Seo's stats in the WBC are a slightly different story - though again, I don't think anyone is planning to rush that kid who pitched the no-hitter in the WBC to the majors.

2006-03-28 10:18:58
22.   D4P
Gameday appears to be stuck...
2006-03-28 10:20:59
23.   bluetahoe
For precautionary reasons it looks like RMartinez is going to replace Furcal. Furcal slid home safely head first on a WP.

You don't get that on gameday do you Jon? LOL...

2006-03-28 10:22:46
24.   Andrew Shimmin
D4P is obviously a trouble maker.
2006-03-28 10:23:57
25.   D4P
Nomar is not clutch.
2006-03-28 10:26:36
26.   Andrew Shimmin
23- Well, not if it's stuck. But otherwise, yes, they do. They update for player replacements, and always explain how runs scored. And they only impart this information to people who care enough to seek it out.
2006-03-28 10:27:26
27.   capdodger
I looks like the gameday stringer got up to go get a hot dog.
2006-03-28 10:39:25
28.   bluetahoe
16, redmenace. I wouldn't label Martinez/Robles as solely middle infielders. They can play the corner infield positions as well.

I think our bench is going to be slightly stronger opening day 2006 than opening day 2005 if things don't change

2005 Repko = 2006 Repko
2005 Saenz = 2006 Saenz
2005 Bako = 2006 Alomar
2005 APerez = 2006 Robles + 2006 Martinez
2005 Grabowski <<<<< 2006 Ledee

Ledee was getting the majority of the starts early in 2005 that's why I don't have him as a bench player in '05.

2006-03-28 10:39:36
29.   capdodger
Wow. This version of the Dodgers swings early and swings often. Grilli has only thrown 15 pitches through 2 innnings...
2006-03-28 10:43:08
30.   bluetahoe
Drew just hit one in the upper deck.
2006-03-28 10:52:51
31.   hernari
29. As long as the Dodgers win, let them swing as early and often as they like.
2006-03-28 10:54:57
32.   capdodger
Isn't that Nomah's first walk of the spring?
2006-03-28 10:55:39
33.   regfairfield
Explain how Ramon Martinez is even in the neighborhood of Antonio Perez. I'll head off one argument. Antonio Perez had a 98 rate2 (I believe, BP is down) and had the highest zone rating of any third baseman in baseball who played as many innings.
2006-03-28 10:56:38
34.   ToyCannon
18
Just can't agree with your comments. Sure the stock in ST stats should be minimized but even as we discuss this, Major League teams are making roster decisions based on these supposed meaningless spring training stats. If Kuo hadn't dominated would he have made the team? If Ramon Martinez had gone 1 for 20 would he have made the team? If major league baseball teams are making decisions based on ST stats then they mean something. It may not be the correct thing to do but since all 28 teams do this it is possible that these small sample sizes have value and are not meaningless. Carlos Pena has hit 85 career home runs in 4 major league seasons with a 459 slug % and yet he was released partly on his ST performance. He was on the bubble and if he had kicked butt they would have found a way to keep him but since he stunk it up in ST it made it easy for them to make a bad decision and release him. That is the thought I've put into this.

Yes, he cherry picked his stats but that is a common practice here and you rightfully called him it. I'd like to see the same thing happen to long time posters who also cherry pick their negative arguements.

I am glad that you told him to stop the game commentary. That was getting very old very quickly. JMO

2006-03-28 10:57:11
35.   Jon Weisman
33 - I agree with you, although one thing worth mentioning re: 28 is that on Opening Day 2005, Perez was on the DL and Nakamura was the other reserve infielder.
2006-03-28 10:57:33
36.   oldbear
2003, except with the pitching a couple notches below "historically and inexplicably good

Exactly.
I've never seen a team with average pitching, past their primes veterans, and a substantial lack of power win more than 80 games.

2005 APerez = 2006 Robles + 2006 Martinez
So Robles/Martinez are going to OPS over .800 for most of the year?

2005 Saenz = 2006 Saenz
Just last week you said you couldnt count on Saenz to match his production from last season. Now you are?

2006-03-28 10:59:31
37.   regfairfield
35 Didn't he get hurt in the first or second game?
2006-03-28 10:59:41
38.   Jon Weisman
34 - Regardless of how much the major league teams use ST stats in making decisions, making predictions based upon them is wrong. And that's what addresses Bluetahoe's earlier point. He wasn't talking about who would make the team.
2006-03-28 11:02:33
39.   ToyCannon
33
Yeah because we know those few innings he played at 3b really mean something when it comes to evaluating his defensive ability.

Curious that Perez is fighting Scutaro for the 25 spot on the A's in that Scutaro is very much like Ramon Martinez. If A Perez is so highly thought as the A's say then this should be a no brainer, shouldn't it?

2006-03-28 11:03:55
40.   bluetahoe
35. If memeory serves me correctly. Naki started in Vegas. Perez played the 1st week or 2 then got hurt. naki replaced Perez.
2006-03-28 11:04:45
41.   regfairfield
39 Do you have a source for this fight? Also, it could be because Scutaro is out of options while AP has some (I don't know about this one).

If we can't use the stats he put up when he played (again, BP is down so I can't see his minor league stats) what can we use?

2006-03-28 11:05:23
42.   ToyCannon
36
Now that is just your opinion regarding the 80 win comment. I'm sure it would only take a little research to come up with plenty of teams with average pitching, past prime veterans and and little power who have won 80 games. Lots of this game is pure luck and in any given year a 72 win team could easily win 80 games. If BlueTahoe had made such a silly statement he'd already be put on a cross.
2006-03-28 11:05:35
43.   Jon Weisman
37 - You're right. My mistake.
2006-03-28 11:05:58
44.   hernari
"36. Exactly.
I've never seen a team with average pitching, past their primes veterans, and a substantial lack of power win more than 80 games. "

What was it about last years team that was enough to predict it would win 90-95 games?
If it was a much better team on paper I'd agree, but that is questionable.

2006-03-28 11:06:09
45.   capdodger
33 38
Saying that ST stats have value because teams use them is a little like the the, "Great teams make only good decisions, therefore...." argument. Teams percieve the ST stats to have value and make decisions on them. Wether or not they have any actual predictive value is a likely subject of research.
2006-03-28 11:06:26
46.   bluetahoe
30. oldbear. As a bench player yes. And to be more accuate, I should have written

2005 Choi/Seanz (the bench portion) << 2006 Saenz

because Choi was ineffective off the bench in 2005 and Saenz won't get as many starts in 2006, hence, Saenz will be more of a bench player this season.

2006-03-28 11:08:20
47.   capdodger
44
Oldbear, and others, would argue that last year's team didn' lack power, as it was initally constructed.
2006-03-28 11:10:59
48.   capdodger
31 Winning is the most important thing, but getting to the soft underbelly of a team's middle relief can help greatly at that goal. 30 pitches through 4 innings means starting pitching handing off to the closers.
2006-03-28 11:11:23
49.   bluetahoe
RAMON MARTINEZ JUST HIT "A LONG DISTANCE HOME RUN, QUITE A BLAST" - Charley Steiner
2006-03-28 11:11:53
50.   oldbear
What was it about last years team that was enough to predict it would win 90-95 games?

It had more players entering their primes capable of putting up big numbers.. Choi, Bradley, Werth, Antonio Perez. Most people are always going to be more optimistic with young players entering their primes, rather than veterans on the downside.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-03-28 11:14:18
51.   capdodger
They're all long distance and quite a blast to Charley.
2006-03-28 11:14:46
52.   oldbear
47. Thats true. Even what ended up being the poorest performer of 2005 (Jose Valentin), had hit 30HR's (a personal career high) in 2004. The team last year (originally constructed) had a lot more power in place. It obviously didnt materialize, but the reasons for optimism were there.
2006-03-28 11:19:34
53.   oldbear
Lots of this game is pure luck

I agree to an extent. But I'd rather rely on anything other than luck. Hoping for the '88 Dodgers to return every season isnt a confidence builder.

2006-03-28 11:20:03
54.   capdodger
BT: Was Seo bunting for a hit during his AB in the 5th? Or was he practicing a Sac Bunt?
2006-03-28 11:20:08
55.   hernari
Even if this team doesn't equal the power "potential", it seems to have "enough". It's not all about power.

Last year, I was thinking 90 wins and this year I'm thinking the same. It seems I'm always looking through blue tinted glasses...

2006-03-28 11:20:52
56.   regfairfield
55 It's not all about power, if you can make it up in other areas.
2006-03-28 11:21:30
57.   capdodger
Last year, I was thinking 90 wins and this year I'm thinking the same. It seems I'm always looking through blue tinted glasses...

Just like Frank and Jaime want you to...

2006-03-28 11:21:44
58.   bluetahoe
I don't understand how some people would predict the Dodgers to win in the 95 range last season and the 80 range this season.

Staff
Penny = Penny (and should be better in 2006)
Lowe = Lowe
Perez = Perez (and should be better in 2006)
Seo >>>> Erickson
Tomko Wunsch
Carter > Carrara
Brazoban = Brazoban
Baez > Sanchez
Osorio > Houlton

I've already done the bench

Starters
Navarro/Martin > Phillips
Saenz/Choi > Nomar/Seanz (I'll give you that so I don't get bombarded.)
Kent = Kent
Furcal > Drew
Mueller > Valentin
Cruz = Ledee/Repko
Lofton < Bradley
Drew = Drew

So how does this equate to 15 more losses. We've upgraded most places.

I don't see how losing Weaver/Bradley/Choi makes us a 15 less win team, especially when you look at all the upgrades.

2006-03-28 11:22:28
59.   bluetahoe
There's something wrong with the preview and edit function.
2006-03-28 11:24:05
60.   capdodger
Furcal > Drew

You mean Izturis, right? Drew never played short last year.

2006-03-28 11:24:20
61.   hernari
57.

They don't care what I think, I haven't been to Dodger stadium since the Fox regime since I live in NorCal now.

2006-03-28 11:25:21
62.   regfairfield
58 Because there are degrees of upgrades and downgrades. For example, Furcal to what we thought we had in Izturis is a minor upgrade, while Lofton to Bradley is a massive, massive downgrade.

Plus, players get older, so Kent does not equal Kent.

2006-03-28 11:28:04
63.   Marty
Is gameday on the fritz, or is there a rain delay?
2006-03-28 11:28:10
64.   ToyCannon
If you think our pitching is so average then why is Depo on your pedestal? He traded for Penny, spent a gazillion $'s on Lowe, and gave O Perez a decent payday. That is 3/5 of the rotation. Everyone of those pitchers has the ability and history to be an above average pitcher and Seo will be at least average if not better. Tomko can only be average at best but that does not compute to an "average" starting staff.
The bullpen will be one of the best in baseball. So a team with average power, good starting pitching, excellent bullpen, good left side defense, the 2nd best offensive 2nd baseman in baseball and the best RF in the NL, and the 2nd best middle infield combo in the NL should be able to win 90 games. A crappy CF is not going to keep this team down at the 81 game level.
2006-03-28 11:28:36
65.   slackfarmer
In 2005 the NL West was the weakest division in baseball, and the same is true in 2006.

If the team had stayed healthy last year, it could easily have won the west and gone nowhere in the playoffs. The same is true for this year's club. They're not very good, but (healthy) they're better than the competition. We will see how long Nomar, Drew, Mueller and company stay off the DL.

2006-03-28 11:28:58
66.   bluetahoe
50 oldbear.

LOL....
Choi, Bradley, Werth, and APerez. Coincidentally, all traded for by Paul DePodesta.

Every team has young players entering their prime. The only one of those 4 with any long term success was Bradley. Granted, Werth did well in 2-3 months of major league service. Choi did well about 1/3 of his career to that point. APerez hadn't even had a ML career to that point.

2006-03-28 11:31:24
67.   ToyCannon
Bummer, just lost my audio feed with Gagne due to pitch.
2006-03-28 11:33:28
68.   OaklandAs
It all comes down to health. The 2005 team, with a reasonable number of injuries, could have been expected to win 85-90 games. I think the 2006 team is nearly equal in value, although a little older and more expensive. But the big advantage for the 2006 team is that this year's AAA team has many players who can contribute in the majors, while the 2005 AAA team hardly had any.
2006-03-28 11:34:00
69.   hernari
62.

IMO until proven otherwise Kent = Kent.

IMO until proven otherwise Lofton is not a major downgrade from Bradley. Bradley hasn't proven a thing at the major league level other than being injury prone and suspension prone.

I agree about Furcal = to what we thought we had in Izzy.

2006-03-28 11:34:39
70.   capdodger
Yeah... and it looks like the GD stringer is either new, or drunk. They're really making a mess of it.
2006-03-28 11:36:05
71.   ToyCannon
If Penny/Lowe/Seo pitch to their ability the Dodgers would have a chance in any playoff matchup. There are no super teams in the NL. The Cardinals have Pujols an aging Edmunds and a injury prone Rolen to anchor their offense that has huge holes offensive holes at 2nd/SS/LF/RF/C and a pitching staff headed by Carpenter and not much else that anyone should be afraid of. If you don't think the Dodgers are very good, try taking a look at the rest of the NL and you won't be very impressed either.
2006-03-28 11:36:15
72.   capdodger
68 Isn't the 2006 team about $12 - $20 million more expensive? That's more than a little.
2006-03-28 11:39:07
73.   ToyCannon
68
Agree, it is all about health but this year we have the reinforcements that we didn't have last year.

Since your an Oakland A guy what is the scuttlebutt on Scutaro/A Perez? Are they both going to make the team or is the decision one or the other? Does Gaudin have any shot or is he destined for another year of AAA? TIA

2006-03-28 11:39:54
74.   OaklandAs
60 But that was one of the strengths of the DePo regime. He made the team a lot younger - gone were the mid-30s players like Green, LoDuca, Mota, Lima, Nomo, McGriff, Jordan, and Burnitz, and brought in was lots of young talent, like Penny, Choi, Bradley, Werth, Perez, Houlton, Drew, and Navarro. Before DePo, the only young talent the Dodgers had was Gagne, Izturis, and Beltre.
2006-03-28 11:43:44
75.   Jon Weisman
69 - 2005 stats:

Bradley OBP/SLG: .350/.484
Lofton OBP/SLG: .392/.420

Bradley total bases plus walks plus HBP: 164
Lofton total bases plus walks plus HBP: 188

Lofton wins the battle of 2005 because he played in 110 games, compared to Bradley's 75. The question is, who is more likely to play in more games this year. If the Games Played numbers are close, the definite edge goes to Bradley.

This quote - "Bradley hasn't proven a thing at the major league level other than being injury prone and suspension prone." - is of course preposterous. He's not a Hall of Famer, but he's been an above-average player the past three seasons.

2006-03-28 11:46:52
76.   OaklandAs
73 The A's have a lot of decisions to make in the infield. Freddie Bynum is out of options, and Keith Ginter is also around, along with Perez and Scutaro. I think Perez and Scutaro could both make the team, along with Jay Payton, Bobby Kielty, and Adam Melhuse as reserves.
2006-03-28 11:46:57
77.   hernari
74.

IMO the purging Depo did was absolutely needed.

The only reason I don't mind the older players Coletti has brought in is the fact that they are 1 and 2 year deals. I can live with that until we know which young guns are going to step up and contribute.

2006-03-28 11:47:26
78.   regfairfield
I realize that I should clarify that I don't think the Dodgers are an 80 win team, but an 87 win team (versus 93 from last year).
2006-03-28 11:51:02
79.   OaklandAs
73 Gaudin has a lot of guys ahead of him. Zito, Harden, Haren, Blanton, Loaiza, Street, Duchsherer, Calero, JKennedy, Saarloos, and Witasick are all probably ahead of him, and they may decide to keep another lefty too.
2006-03-28 11:51:27
80.   hernari
75.

I couldn't agree more Bradley has proven he is an above average player when healthy. I shouldn't have said he hasn't proved "anything".

2006-03-28 11:54:50
81.   ToyCannon
76
I've heard Bynum has been very impressive this spring but since they are spring numbers I guess we should just ignore them because I can't imagine Beane making roster decisions based on spring training games.
2006-03-28 12:03:13
82.   ToyCannon
78
87 would get it done for me. A 16 game improvement might be enough to win this division.
Still think Arizona will end up being our competition. Right now as they stand they don't measure up because of the lack of pitching but if Byrnes makes some nice deals and is able to move Gonzo or Green or Clark or Counsel for more pitching while finding playing time for Quentin and Drew they could be the team in our backview mirror. Or he could go the opposite way and move Quentin for pitching. They are the only team I'm afraid of because of what they can do. Wouldn't surprise me to see Valverde out close Gagne this year. The Pod's and Giants have to try to compete with what they have and I don't think either team has enough.
2006-03-28 12:03:27
83.   Kayaker7
80 I think even the "when healthy" qualifier is unfair. Bradley played in 98, 101, 141 games per season, before getting hurt last year. It's not like he has a history of being hurt all the time.

On a different topic, Gagne just doesn't look very impressive this spring. Sure, you're supposed to throw out ST...but, something just nags at me about his performance.

2006-03-28 12:05:43
84.   Jon Weisman
83 - I don't know. It doesn't mean he might not play a full season this year, but missing 36 percent of the games of the past four years is in my mind a big number.
2006-03-28 12:09:29
85.   hernari
83.

Until Bradley strings together some seasons like 2004 I'm not impressed by his reliability. Then again, it doesn't matter what I think :)

I'm a little uneasy about Gagne. Let's hope it's rust.

2006-03-28 12:16:16
86.   Kayaker7
84 If you're assuming that he missed 36% due to injury.
2006-03-28 12:18:26
87.   blue22
86 - Bradley played in 98, 101, 141 games per season

So he missed all those games, and then got hurt again last year? And that's not injury-prone to you?

I'd give him the benefit of the doubt if his last 3 years looked like: 150, 40, 150 (like one fluky year lost to injury), but his real line looks suspiciously like someone who can't stay healthy through a full season.

2006-03-28 12:18:40
88.   Uncle Miltie
I'm very worried about Gagne. His velocity is way down, so I think it is very possible that he used steroids. Ned better not resign him after this year (unless they just pick up his option).
2006-03-28 12:18:40
89.   ToyCannon
83
To be fair the 98 games was his 1st in the majors and he didn't start out as the starting CF. You should have the 101/141/75 games and that shows him missing huge chunks of time in 2 out of 3 years due to injuries. And each injury was different so we don't have a chronic problem but a combo of a bad back, torn finger, knee surgery.
2006-03-28 12:20:24
90.   blue22
Do steroids make you throw harder?
2006-03-28 12:21:50
91.   ToyCannon
88
I guess the arm surgery didn't have any impact on his velocity?
Ned went and got Baez for a reason not just so he could jettison some prospects.
2006-03-28 12:22:20
92.   ToyCannon
90
Only if you use them in a Holiday Inn.
2006-03-28 12:23:28
93.   ToyCannon
Sorry I'm posting so much, but I've got the flu and nothing better to do. Glad to see some others taking part, otherwise I'd just be talking to myself.
2006-03-28 12:24:12
94.   the OZ
88 There's no way that the Dodgers let Gagne go. For better or worse, they'll pay him a ton of money to stick around. The Colletti/McCourt Axis of Appeasement is afraid to do anything unpopular.
2006-03-28 12:28:34
95.   TheRedMenace
Is Gagne's steroid use related to hs inability to tuck his shirt in? Is that a common side-effect?
2006-03-28 12:30:48
96.   blue22
It's a Canadian thing. Only hosers tuck their shirt in, eh.
2006-03-28 12:32:53
97.   ToyCannon
94
Who was the last Boras client that signed with his existing team instead of leaving for greener pastures? I'm sure there have been some but it doesn't happen often. Once I find out a player has Boras as his agent I cut the emotional ties since Boras is only interested in getting the largest contract possible instead of finding a place that matches the players needs. To me Gagne is as good as gone and it will be become an ugly summer when Gagne stars whining about not getting the extension and money he deserves. Then Plaschke and Simers will chip in about how cheap McCourt is not to pay the "face" of the team 15 million to record 3 outs 60 times a year.JMO
2006-03-28 12:34:10
98.   Marty
If Gagne really underperforms, I don't think Ned will have any problem not resigning him. I'd be ok with it too. And I share the concerns about his performance so far. I'm really afraid his dominant days may be behind him. Maybe he will still be good enough to be better than league-average.
2006-03-28 12:37:17
99.   blue22
Is Gagne's option a team/player/mutual?
2006-03-28 12:39:40
100.   Jon Weisman
99 - Essentially, it's mutual.

http://dodgerthoughts.baseballtoaster.com/archives/303684.html

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2006-03-28 12:41:24
101.   MartinBillingsley31
Jim Street of MLB.com is a smart man.

Anyone can see that we have 2 positions in the starting lineup that are power positions without power (cf, 3b), plus the 2 positions that aren't known for power (ss, c) and on top of that only 2 guys on the bench with power, i don't add repko for obvious reasons.
Put that together with average to a little above average starting pitching and its nothing to get excited about.

But a plus is our fabulous 4 bullpen (gagne baez kuo osoria).
I don't like the baez trade but he's a good reliever, but overrated as a closer.
I hope grady relies on the fabulous 4, and not the other 2.

2006-03-28 12:44:44
102.   tjshere
It pains me to say it, but thoughts like 88 have crossed my mind as well. However, Gagne's off-speed stuff is so good I don't think he needs to hit the mid-90s with his fastball to make his stuff effective. He might not be quite as awe-inspiring as he once was, but I think he can still be an excellent pitcher.
2006-03-28 12:45:00
103.   blue22
100 - Thanks. So team goes first - if LA decides to buy it out, Gagne is a FA with no say in it. If LA picks it up, Gagne can void with a sliding buyout. Is that correct?
2006-03-28 12:47:49
104.   ToyCannon
Doesn't having a 2nd with power negate the 3b position without power. To me it is a wash. Since when is CF a power position in the NL? Pierre/Clark/Byrnes/Taveras/Duffy/
Abercombie/Church are all NL CF who have below average power. It is in general a hole for most teams not just the Dodgers.

Other then Edmunds/Jones/Cameron/Beltran it is not exactly a power position.

2006-03-28 12:50:59
105.   Uncle Miltie
Do steroids make you throw harder?
Yes, they often do
I guess the arm surgery didn't have any impact on his velocity?
Gagne wasn't getting his fastball above 93 in Spring Training last year. I think he can still be a very good closer, but not the unbelievable pitcher he was between 2002-04. Gagne is going to want to be paid based on his past accomplishments, not his current performance. He's a big name player, some team will give him close to what he wants.
Who was the last Boras client that signed with his existing team instead of leaving for greener pastures?
Darren Dreifort?
2006-03-28 12:53:43
106.   tjshere
101 I would add first base to your power positions without power list. I'm hoping Nomah will have a little pop left in his bat - say, 15-20 HRs - but I would think that's a best-case scenario. Not bad, but not what I consider real power.
2006-03-28 12:54:40
107.   Icaros
97

That's pretty much exactly how I feel about the situation.

2006-03-28 12:56:31
108.   the OZ
94 You're right that he'll play wherever the top dollar comes from. As long as the Dodgers are willing to pay, Gagne will stay. My point is that I expect they'll keep him no matter the price.

I suspect that McCourt is terrified to relive through the whole 'Heart and Soul' PR fisaco of 2004.

2006-03-28 12:57:08
109.   MartinBillingsley31
104 or anyone

This isn't a smart alack remark, but why do we have to be like other teams, or put it this way, why compare certain asspects of the dodgers to other teams?

Its like well if this team doesn't have a 20 hr cf then why should we, or if this team doesn't have an ace pitcher then why should we?

I never got those kinda comparisons.

Again, not a smart alack remark.

2006-03-28 13:03:43
110.   underdog
Regarding the power thing, I'd like to see a little more potential power available on the club, but am not super worried about it if they up their Runs and RBIs as much as I think they will this year over last - with Furcal, Mueller, et al. And another thing (with apologies to Harper's Index):
Number of home runs hit in 2005 by Cincinnati Reds: 222
Record: 73-89
Number of HR's by Houston Astros: 161
Record: 89-73 (made world series)

Not that they're not important, but it's when they're hit, and the overall offense that really counts. That and pitching. And defense. And the bench. And coaching. And the groundskeeping, and transportation to the stadium and... what was I talking about?

2006-03-28 13:05:44
111.   underdog
As far as Gagne goes, if the Giants aren't worred about Armando Benitez as their closer to start the season - who has looked horrible this spring - then we shouldn't worry about Gagne or our bullpen.
2006-03-28 13:10:33
112.   OaklandAs
110 The Reds did have a good offense last year, leading the league with 820 Runs. The problem is that they gave up 889, and not surprisingly had a losing record.
2006-03-28 13:10:40
113.   Andrew Shimmin
110-
Runs Scored
2005 Reds: 820
2005 Astros: 693
2006-03-28 13:11:50
114.   blue22
110 - Pitching, pitching, pitching.

And I think any comparisons of this team to the 2003 team are off-base. That lineup was really bad, relying on McGriff, Green, and Burnitz for power. I'd like to think that this lineup will produce more than that one did.

The pitching was really driven off of the bullpen, which should be very similar to this team. The starters were Brown (in a healthy, productive year), Nomo (in his last good year), Odalis (in his worst year in Blue), Ishii, Alvarez, and Dreifort. I'll comfortably put this year's rotation (assuming healthy, above-average production) against that one.

2006-03-28 13:34:20
115.   regfairfield
114 I agree, any comparison of this team to 2003 is incredibly wrong. I thought about it for a bit, but I looked at the stats, and realized how truly terrible that team was:

LoDuca: .273/.335/.377
McGriff: 249/.322/.428
Cora: .249/.287/.338
Beltre: .240/.290/.424
Izturis: .251/.282/.315
Burnitz: .204/.252/.391
Roberts: .250/.331/.307
Green: .280/.355/.460

No matter how good or bad this team is, I'm confident we'll be able to have more than four players put up an on base over .300

2006-03-28 13:47:09
116.   the OZ
I'll stick up for the '03 comparison, but more on the basis of "decent pitching, below-average hitting" than "historically bad offense, historically good pitching." Overall, the 2006 team should be pretty solid pitching-wise and have a good bullpen. Still, there's not going to be a lot of offense.

101 hits on some of the relevant points. Even though I like Mueller, he's not a slugger. Nomar's bat doesn't play well at 1B, the catcher offense shouldn't be too far out of line with league average, and we've put an aging speedster in CF next Cruz, who is solid for a 4th OF but suspect as an everyday player. There's only one power bat on the bench in Saenz and he mostly mashes lefites.

The crux of the matter, from my perspective, is that the 2006 pitching isn't good enough on paper to merit comparisons to the 2005 Astros, 2003 Dodgers, or any of the recent Twins teams, and that's the level of pitching the Dodgers would need to take this lineup deep into the playoffs. A win total in the mid-80s is probably this team's most likely ceiling. If Drew gets hurt again, they could be toast since we'd be back to Ja(y)sonian-level outfield.

2006-03-28 13:51:52
117.   the OZ
Old friend/foe Marquis Grisson has retired.

http://tinyurl.com/m8l8p

2006-03-28 13:54:55
118.   Bob Timmermann
117
It's on Cub Town.
2006-03-28 14:00:49
119.   das411
Hey Bob, is this up somewhere else also? I think someone here will love reading it...

http://tinyurl.com/ofkwp

2006-03-28 14:06:52
120.   Bob Timmermann
Would that someone be you?
2006-03-28 14:22:56
121.   MartinBillingsley31
116

The crux of the matter, from my perspective, is that the 2006 pitching isn't good enough on paper to merit comparisons to the 2005 Astros, 2003 Dodgers, or any of the recent Twins teams, and that's the level of pitching the Dodgers would need to take this lineup deep into the playoffs. A win total in the mid-80s is probably this team's most likely ceiling.

Exactly, the starting pitching is my biggest concern, but i think every GM agrees on what is good pitching, whereas some GM's like speed or defense more than other GM's, and some like power and obp, i think there is a variance of philosophy as far as offense goes with GM's, but not with pitching, so that's why i'm allways complaining about the power because i think if ned wanted to he could make a trade or 2 to improve our power (not by alot) by giving up some defense and speed, plus he could promote guzman to increase our power.
I have no clue what he could do to improve our starting pitching other than give up the farm, which i do not want him to do.
But none of this matters because it seems like ned is satisfied with who we have.

Oh and by the way i'm predicting 87 wins for the dodgers and good enough to win the division.

2006-03-28 14:24:53
122.   das411
Actually it was someone who we haven't seen in a few days...I did just notice this though:

"The hostage crisis ended Friday with the release of James Loney, 41, a member of the Christian Peacemaker Teams, and along with fellow Canadian Harmeet Sooden, 33, formerly of Montreal. "

http://tinyurl.com/qn2hg

2006-03-28 14:28:30
123.   dzzrtRatt
Was Furcal re-injured today? The recap has Martinez coming into the game to "replace the injured Furcal."
2006-03-28 14:29:28
124.   Jon Weisman
At Inside the Dodgers, Josh Rawitch said:

"Rafael Furcal's back tightened up, though, so he left the game early and is listed as day-to-day. We're all hoping it's nothing serious and right now, we have no reason to believe it's bad, but you never like to see one of your top players go down to an injury in the final days of spring."

2006-03-28 14:31:01
125.   oldbear
A crappy CF is not going to keep this team down at the 81 game level.

What if he were to bat leadoff all year?

2006-03-28 14:31:11
126.   Jon Weisman
Also, Rob Neyer picked the Dodgers to win the World Series and J.D. Drew as NL MVP.
2006-03-28 14:34:40
127.   blue22
126 - Man, I thought I was optimistic...
2006-03-28 14:35:16
128.   Uncle Miltie
Ned's brother?
http://tinyurl.com/gf867
2006-03-28 14:35:37
129.   Icaros
J.D. Drew doesn't have the guts to win NL MVP.
2006-03-28 14:37:07
130.   Uncle Miltie
129- would Kenny Lofton be the co-MVP for pushing Drew and making him a great player.
2006-03-28 14:39:17
131.   Icaros
130

Kenny would receive the inaugural Plaschke Gutfinder Award.

2006-03-28 14:42:36
132.   blue22
I can't find the Neyer prediction. Was it on TV or something?
2006-03-28 14:44:01
133.   oldbear
Maybe Neyer isnt a saber savvy writer. Maybe he's just a Dodger fan.
2006-03-28 14:45:09
134.   Jon Weisman
132 - It's at ESPN.com.
2006-03-28 14:45:41
135.   Icaros
133

He claims to be a Royals fan.

2006-03-28 14:49:55
136.   Gen3Blue
At Dodgers.com Gurnick seems to say that Furcal was injured today amd replaced by Martinez.
Anybody know-is this so?
Is izturis almost ready?
2006-03-28 14:49:57
137.   blue22
He's really a Beane fan.
2006-03-28 14:51:42
138.   natepurcell
yea, neyer's a royals fan.

i would like for him to elaborate on his dodger prediction though.

2006-03-28 14:54:05
139.   Gen3Blue
Read 24--thanks Jon
Not very comforting after last year--sounds like buy time remarks!
2006-03-28 14:57:41
140.   Bob Timmermann
Rob Neyer is a conflicted Royals fan. He knows they are terrible. He is very down on their management.

But on the bright side, the Royals reacquired Tony Graffanino today!

2006-03-28 15:00:26
141.   trainwreck
Perez has already made the A's and I heard they are going to keep Scutaro over Bynum. There was never a question of Perez making the A's team. They love the guy, they have praised him all off-season. Bynum would make the A's not because of his spring, but because he is the fastest guy on the A's by far and can play defense. He has value as a late game replacement player on a team that lacks speed.
2006-03-28 15:03:26
142.   Adam
Maybe all those years of rooting for the Royals has finally gotten to Neyer, and he's just completely lost it.
2006-03-28 15:04:01
143.   trainwreck
I saw the Neyer interview. It seemed he picked the Dodgers because the NL is terrible. He said Cardinals and Mets are the best teams in NL, but the Cardinals are not as good as they have been the last couple of years and the Mets are the Mets.
2006-03-28 15:04:36
144.   ToyCannon
Wow, a team heaping praise on a player they acquired. What are the odds of that happening. I put as much stock in that as Jon does in ST stats.
2006-03-28 15:05:10
145.   blue22
OK, I can't find the Neyer stuff anywhere on ESPN. Does someone have a link?

Also, it appears the Neyer link on the right bar is dead.

2006-03-28 15:05:28
146.   Adam
143 Repeat of '88 in the NLCS maybe.
2006-03-28 15:08:09
147.   trainwreck
145
Not sure it is on the web yet. He said it in an interview on ESPNews.
2006-03-28 15:17:52
148.   Bob Timmermann
http://griddle.baseballtoaster.com/archives/320923.html

Bob: Of all the divisions in baseball is the NL West the hardest one to predict since it doesn't have any particularly outstanding teams as well as having a lot of older and injured players? I suppose the AL West could be hard to forecast, but you've got a 25% chance of getting the team right there as opposed to just 20% in the NL West, provided you think the Rockies have a chance.

Rob: I don't find the AL West at all difficult; on paper the A's are easily the best team in that division, and they might be the best team in the major leagues. I think the NL West is tough, though if the Dodgers are reasonably healthy I think they'll win. I say the toughest division to forecast is the American League Central, where three teams are legitimate contenders. First you have the White Sox, who just won the World Series. Then you have the Indians, who managed to win 93 games despite being the least-efficient team in the league. And the Twins got better this winter.

2006-03-28 15:23:25
149.   Jon Weisman
145 - http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/preview06/news/story?page=06expertpicks
2006-03-28 15:26:44
150.   Vaudeville Villain
What's this Marco Scutaro vs. Antonio Perez stuff about? Obviously, the A's aren't going to just come out and say, "Yeah, we'd be absolutely out of our minds to keep Scutaro on the roster over Perez." Of course they're going to say it's a competition.

If they actually DO keep Scutaro over Perez...The A's made a bad decision. It's not the first time it's happened. Keith Ginter anyone?

Other observations-

-Rob Neyer's brain has been affected from his time at ESPN.

-Who is the Royals GM? And why does he still have a job?

-BlueTahoe, earlier you stated that 2005 APerez is equal to Martinez/Robles '06 editions. Are you saying that combined they will put up Perez' numbers? Alone, neither of them will OPS anywhere near Perez.

Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2006-03-28 15:28:01
151.   Bob Timmermann
Allard Baird is the GM of the Royals and has been on the job for a while.

Neyer blames Schuerholz for most of the bad decisions.

2006-03-28 15:30:22
152.   blue22
149 - Thanks, looked all over for that link.
2006-03-28 15:30:52
153.   dzzrtRatt
143 "...because the NL is terrible."

Neyer's got that part right. But it doesn't follow that the Dodgers will necessarily benefit. Any number of NL teams could take advantage of this situation.

This might be the year of the Milwaukee Brewers.

2006-03-28 15:32:06
154.   Marty
Bring back Harvey's wallbangers!
2006-03-28 15:32:46
155.   dzzrtRatt
Well at least Scutaro and Perez don't have to read this kind of thing:

Pirates manager Jim Tracy was asked about the final opening in his starting rotation prior to the Bucs' exhibition game Monday night against the Reds.

"There are things that play in to that that I am not going to get overly involved in at this time," said Tracy. "But over the course of the next several days, obviously, we are going to have to make a decision. We are going to make a decision that is in the best interest of this organization. That's the decision that we have to make. That's the prudent thing to do."

2006-03-28 15:35:13
156.   Vaudeville Villain
151-

Schuerholz hasn't been there for a while though, right? At some point, Baird has to take the blame. Their drafting hasn't been very good if I recall correctly.

2006-03-28 15:35:19
157.   natepurcell
i still lmao when i read a jim tracy quote. does the man realize he makes no sense whatsoever?
2006-03-28 15:35:38
158.   dzzrtRatt
148
Bob, nothing against the A's, but how do you not factor in the Angels' pitching? They don't need much hitting to go along with the Colon-Lackey-Escobar-Santana-Weaver rotation, plus the bullpen. I know the CW is the Angels are in good shape for 2007-08, but with that pitching I think they're being underestimated.
2006-03-28 15:40:07
159.   Jon Weisman
153 - "Any number of NL teams could take advantage of this situation."

To be fair, he can only pick one team to win.

2006-03-28 15:40:38
160.   Bob Timmermann
158

You have your Robs and Bobs confused there.

2006-03-28 15:40:40
161.   trainwreck
The Angels are all pitching. I think their rotation will be fine, but I have a feeling all those innings is going to catch up to their bullpen. Last year they were a really lucky team when it came to scoring runs. I think they slide and end up in third in the AL West. I have a feeling Vlad gets hurt this year for some reason.
2006-03-28 15:44:36
162.   Uncle Miltie
Any interest in Chip Ambres (the Royals placed him on waivers today)? He has a good eye at the plate, some power, pretty good speed, and is a good defensive CF.
2006-03-28 15:49:30
163.   Vaudeville Villain
I don't like the Angels offense. It's nice to see that they're finally going to play some of their younger players, but I'm not sold on their lineup, at least as being better than Oakland's.
2006-03-28 15:49:46
164.   Vishal
[162] i dunno... can we fit him AND ramon martinez on the roster??
2006-03-28 15:52:54
165.   dzzrtRatt
161 Well, that's sort of "who's to say" in reverse.

Who's to say Barry Zito won't retire to a Zen Monastery?

2006-03-28 15:54:19
166.   Johnson
162 If the Royals placed him on waivers to make room for Graffanino, I'm not so interested. On the other hand, if we did pick him up, we could recast the whole Choi/Graffanino/Ambres thing as a delayed three-team trade.
2006-03-28 15:59:26
167.   trainwreck
Angels remind me of the 03 Dodgers, except they play in the AL West not the NL West. That is the huge difference.
2006-03-28 15:59:45
168.   Daniel Zappala
161 The pitcher this is most likely to happen to is Shields. But they did sign JC Romero. I think they have enough depth that they'll be OK in the bullpen. The real question is will they hit enough.
2006-03-28 16:03:59
169.   Andrew Shimmin
Jon's publisher had one of its books banned in Boston.

Exposing the Corruption in the Massachusetts Family Courts

http://tinyurl.com/lfqd9

Sounds like a page turner. Still: Buy The Best of Dodger Thoughts and support free speech!

2006-03-28 16:13:02
170.   OaklandAs
156 Rob Neyer has been very critical of the young talent brought into the Royals system under the Baird regime. You can read his rants on his web site (see Feb 3rd):

http://www.robneyer.com/robrany.html

2006-03-28 16:22:55
171.   thinkingblue
62.

Yes well, that's a massive upgrade chemistry wise.

Also, Seo is a MASSIVE upgrade over Erickson, and Tomko is only a minor downgrade from Weaver.

Also, Furcal is a major upgrade offensively, if you look at more than potential. He scores more runs, gets on base more often, and steals FAR more bases.

2006-03-28 16:25:02
172.   thinkingblue
78.

No, you don't really think that last years team was better on paper than this years team, do you?

2006-03-28 16:31:29
173.   PennyJavy
I don't believe Seo is replacing Erickson. If it wasn't for injuries to the pitchers last year, we should have seen 32 starts in the "5 spot" from Wilson Alvarez, Elmer Dessens, and D.J. Houlton. As we know all know, injuries did hit us so Scott Erickson ended up pitching.
2006-03-28 16:38:54
174.   blue22
173 - we should have seen 32 starts in the "5 spot" from Wilson Alvarez, Elmer Dessens, and D.J. Houlton.

Isn't Seo still a massive upgrade over that trio (assuming Wilson couldn't pitch more than 150 IPs)?

2006-03-28 16:40:32
175.   PennyJavy
Seo probably is a massive upgrade, but it would hardly be a difference between Tomko vs those three starters
2006-03-28 16:43:07
176.   thinkingblue
175.

Tomko should not have an ERA over 4.10. Those 3 had ERA's over 5. Tomko is still better than them.

2006-03-28 16:43:38
177.   dzzrtRatt
167 The '03 Dodgers were sui generis.

To be as inept, offensively, the Angels would have to lose Vlad. LA hasn't had an offensive force like him since at least 1985. Kennedy is a much better hitter than Cora was. Salmon, Kotchman and Anderson will all hit. Plus, they're in a position to make a trade for offense, now or in mid-season. And, there are a few "who's to say" players on that roster, like McPherson, Mathis, and Rivera.

I'm not suggesting they will win their division. The A's look pretty strong. I just wouldn't dismiss the Angels so easily.

2006-03-28 16:46:06
178.   blue22
175 - If last year's VORP is to be believed, Seo will be a massive upgrade over any one of our pitchers, except Penny.

Seo posted a 30 VORP last year (in 90 IPs!!!). Assuming he doesn't fall off a cliff this year, Seo should easily seize a top-4 slot in the rotation this year. If Odalis doesn't get it together, Seo will be in the 3rd slot (not that it matters).

2006-03-28 16:48:05
179.   blue22
176 - Tomko should not have an ERA over 4.10

Save that for posterity. And I expect Tomko to do good things for this team, but a sub-4 era is on the very high end of my expectations. He did have a 4.50 era in SF last year. Why would he (significantly) improve on that?

2006-03-28 16:49:15
180.   oldbear
Tomko should not have an ERA over 4.10

What projection is this based on?

Tomko is still better than them

Is he better than even Elmer Dessens?

2006-03-28 16:52:19
181.   PennyJavy
Nobody was expecting Wilson Alvarez to completely lose it because of his injury, well at least not me. Personally, I was expecting Wilson Alvarez to pitch like he pitched in 2004. With that in mind, I was expecting solid contributions coming from Wilson Alvarez and Elmer Dessens with a few starts from Houlton. Injuries ruined that situation, just like injuries can ruin the planned 5 man rotation this year.
2006-03-28 16:54:50
182.   blue22
180 - Is he better than even Elmer Dessens?

I'll say yes to that one. In the last 3 years as a starter, Dessens is 9-15 with a 5.32 era in 244.2 IPs, 32 HR's given up and less than a 2:1 K:BB ratio.

I think Tomko is better than that.

2006-03-28 17:06:04
183.   King of the Hobos
Bowden and Robinson have decided Brandon Watson is better than Ryan Church, thus Church has been sent to AAA. Watson hopes to become Juan Pierre if he's lucky. Church is one of the Nationals' best hitters. I'd love to replace Repko with Church, or Ambres. But it's not going to happen
2006-03-28 17:14:07
184.   natepurcell
church was sent to AAA? seriously? why???

.287/.353/.466

his numbers were really good last year considering the canyon he plays in half of his games.

i bet its because he had a bad spring im assuming.

2006-03-28 17:16:00
185.   natepurcell
colletti needs to get on the phone and get ryan church.
2006-03-28 17:20:44
186.   bhsportsguy
183-185
I don't see any moves involving picking up young outfielders, Guzman is first man up and Repko has the salary and the attitude for a 5th outfielder.
2006-03-28 17:25:13
187.   MartinBillingsley31
http://www.forums.mlb.com/n/mb/message.asp?webtag=ml-dodgers&msg=59962.1&ctx=0

Some love for olbear and I at dodgers.com. (OldBore & MiniBrain31)
LOL!

Plus some dumb comments in that thread of course.

2006-03-28 17:27:37
188.   natepurcell
church is starting material. with bowden's obessesion with toolsy players, repko+brazoban for church could work.

move drew to cf, cruz to right, church in left and have lofton take repkos spot as roaming spot starter.

this will never happen but its a nice thought.

2006-03-28 17:31:14
189.   MartinBillingsley31
188

I say, get r done ned, anything to bump lofton from the lineup, plus church is good.
Both repko and brazo are expendable.

2006-03-28 17:40:30
190.   Andrew Shimmin
Jose Cruz's 3 year RH split: .291/.391/.493

Call me crazy, but couldn't he be Lofton's platoon partner (with Drew playing CF during Cruz's starts)? Drew, Cruz/Lofton, and Church. Sounds pretty good to me.

2006-03-28 17:56:15
191.   grandcosmo
166. You have much more faith in the Royals ability to make good personnel decisions than I do.
2006-03-28 17:57:03
192.   das411
188 - Shouldn't that be JtD in RF?
2006-03-28 18:05:22
193.   underdog
Sounds like Furcal's back was spasm-ing (not a word is it?) and they'll hold him out of action tomorrow for precautionary reasons. Furcal said he'd be fine for opening day. Doesn't sound serious at all, though I can understand why it would make them nervous.
2006-03-28 18:10:00
194.   Marty
Back spasms can be REALLY painful. I've had a couple episodes that put me on the floor for 30 minutes. Then it can be quite awhile until you fully trust it not to happen again.
2006-03-28 18:10:32
195.   Andrew Shimmin
192- Lofton and Cruz are one year deals. JtD gets one more year of percolation (except for the 40-80 games he spends filling in for injured players this year), even if Ethier pushes Church out, he's a great Ledee replacement (who's gone after this year, too).
2006-03-28 18:13:51
196.   thinkingblue
179.

I didn't say under 4, I'm expecting it to be 4-4.10.

2006-03-28 18:14:57
197.   thinkingblue
180.

He did it 2 years ago, in 04. And he's moving to dodger stadium, where he will give up less home runs.

2006-03-28 18:16:24
198.   Adam
Is dodger stadium really a more pitcher-friendly park than candlestick/sbc/pac bell/whatever they're calling it now?
2006-03-28 18:20:24
199.   natepurcell
He did it 2 years ago, in 04. And he's moving to dodger stadium, where he will give up less home runs.

it is harder to hit homeruns in SBC park then DS.

2006-03-28 18:35:59
200.   Andrew Shimmin
3 year weighted park factors:

San Francisco R-1.00 H-1.02 2B-0.98 HR-0.86 BB-0.96 SO-0.94

Los Angeles (N) R-0.90 H-0.94 2B-0.86 HR-1.12 BB-0.90 SO-1.06

Tomko's biggest improvement over the last several years was that his HR9 dropped significantly when he moved to SF. With that very likely to go back up, he is unlikely to drop .4 points from his ERA. But who's to say?

Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2006-03-28 18:50:55
201.   thinkingblue
199-200.

Tomko has always pitched well at dodger stadium, and he's pitching with confindence now, and he's always had the talent, but never listened to his catcher.

I'm not saying he will have a sub 4 ERA, but I don't think it'll be higher 4.10. I just think being a fly ball pitcher in dodger stadium will help.

2006-03-28 18:53:58
202.   regfairfield
210 If you are using Tomko's performace at Dodger Stadium as a plus, does that make Furcal and Mueller, who have two of the worst career batting averages at Dodger Stadium, terrible moves?
2006-03-28 19:10:29
203.   natepurcell
Compare and contrast the ideas of Stoic and Epicurean philosophy.

someone do my paper for me!

2006-03-28 19:14:34
204.   Bob Timmermann
203

Are you planning to write your paper with pencil and paper or are you going to use a fancy computer with a 19" flat panel monitor and a laser printer?

2006-03-28 19:16:30
205.   natepurcell
im going geek moneyball style!
2006-03-28 19:34:46
206.   dsfan
I know one great September means little, but it's as if Aybar became toxic waste where the Dodgers brass is concerned. Now they're talking about spotting Guzman at 3B. With LaRoche there already, my guy Willy appears an afterthought. If I'm the Phillies, I trade for him.
2006-03-28 19:36:37
207.   dsfan
200

Cool stuff, where'd you get those numbers?

2006-03-28 19:36:40
208.   Bob Timmermann
A Stoic would write the paper with just pencil and paper, preferably really coarse paper.

The Epicurean will write a fancy paper with a computer on good bond paper.

2006-03-28 19:37:10
209.   das411
206 - David Bell for Aybar!
2006-03-28 19:46:42
210.   thinkingblue
202.

It is not true that dodger stadium helps all pitchers, and kills all pitchers.

After all, Mike Lebrithal is a great hitter at dodger stadium.

I don't think DS will really help Furcal and Mueller, but I think that they are good enough that their stats won't go way down.

Tomko on the other hand, I think DS will help him, he has called it a perfect scenario going to DS, and sometimes it just takes the right attitude for some players.

2006-03-28 19:47:57
211.   thinkingblue
206.

I think the Phillies might just be able to claim him off waivers one day this year.

2006-03-28 19:48:06
212.   natepurcell
re 208

thats interesting. Although, i dont think that helps me right now.

2006-03-28 19:49:35
213.   natepurcell
I think the Phillies might just be able to claim him off waivers one day this year.

why would the dodgers just release aybar when he has options left?

2006-03-28 19:52:24
214.   Uncle Miltie
I have a huge paper due tomorrow too. I'll probably be up till 2 doing it. Fortunately, I just drank a No Fear.
2006-03-28 19:53:56
215.   natepurcell
Fortunately, I just drank a No Fear.

id rather drink a black and tan.

whats your paper on? this paper isnt really huge. its just utterly stupid and for an elective class. and Cicero sucks and has no structure so it gives me a headache to read his ramblings.

2006-03-28 20:00:00
216.   D4P
why would the dodgers just release aybar when he has options left?

Oh the irony.

2006-03-28 20:03:41
217.   natepurcell
re 216

oops i forgot. they have a precedent for doing similar stupid things.

2006-03-28 20:06:42
218.   thinkingblue
217.

Oh, nevermind then. However, he probably doesn't figure that prominantly with the dodger future.

2006-03-28 20:10:36
219.   natepurcell
re 218

why not?

2006-03-28 20:15:41
220.   Daniel Zappala
200 he's pitching with confindence now

210 sometimes it just takes the right attitude for some players

How do you know? To me it sounds like you are just making these things up. Either that, or you are a different kind of JTD (Jim Tracy Disciple).

2006-03-28 20:18:23
221.   dsfan
I know I'm about the only person who even cares about Aybar, but is anyone else a bit surprised at how little attention he's received the last few months?

I don't see every article, but I can recall none where Little or Ned said anything about him.

The writers, who take some of their cues from the Dodgers, seem to have no interest in him, either.

2006-03-28 20:21:42
222.   ToyCannon
I've said this before but since everyone keeps repeating that Tomko is a lousy pitcher it bears repeating.
His ERA last year was 4.48, his expected ERC from Bill James was 4.18 so he's already close to what thinkingblue is predicting. In 2004 his ERA was 4.04 and his ERC was 3.82. If your going to be a sabremetric friendly site then these numbers mean more then the actual ERA. Tomko is not crap. Thinkingblue may not be able to articulate why he thinks Tomko will post a 4.10 ERA but the numbers are there in black and white. The man has been all over the map during his career from solid ERC's with the Reds to some awful ones(2003) with the Giants but the bottom line is that he does have the ablity and has proven it that he could post a 4.10 ERA and even a sub 4.00 ERA as easy as posting a 4.50.
2006-03-28 20:23:13
223.   Daniel Zappala
221 I'm a little surprised, but as I have said before I think it all comes down to flexibility. The Dodgers seem to be awarding large bonuses for each additional position a player can handle well, thus Ramon Martinez gets a much higher value than Willy Aybar, despite Aybar apparently being much more useful with the bat. He also has his options against him, and I suspect the Dodgers like holding onto him in case one of the other players doesn't live up to expectation.
2006-03-28 20:25:13
224.   ToyCannon
221
I don't think he is getting the disrespect your talking about. I'm sure he's still in the hunt for the 2b job if Kent goes elsewhere in 2007. He's only moved to 2nd recently so I don't see the problem with him getting regular at bats at AAA for another season. He did not exactly tear up AAA Vegas but I think he will this year. If he doesn't have a future with the Dodgers he will make great trade bait. The comments about releasing Aybar are silly and their is no comparision between his situation and Choi's.
2006-03-28 20:26:33
225.   dsfan
Tomko is mentally fragile so I can buy the notion that pitching at Dodger Stadium, where he's been so good, could enhance him more than seems logical. He's not the most confident or successful chap in the world, and I suspect the venue where he's been most confident and successful could return some utility/X value.

A 4.10 ERA wouldn't shock me.

2006-03-28 20:29:32
226.   thinkingblue
220.

Because I've seen changes of scenery work, like with Mark Loretta, Jose Curz Jr,and many more. It doesn't always happen, but it can.

2006-03-28 20:30:16
227.   dsfan
224

Have you see any articles about Aybar? Any substantial comments about him from Little or Colletti? Again, I don't see every article, but it's like the kid doesn't exist.

2006-03-28 20:32:36
228.   ToyCannon
I've seen a few comments about Aybar from Little and most of them were positive but at this point only a idiot baseball man would say anything negative about one of his own players. The idea is to enhance there value not degrade it so why would you put any value into what a manager or GM says?
2006-03-28 20:34:06
229.   dsfan
224

By the way, I'm fine with Aybar going to AAA to get regular work, especially if they bat him leadoff, the position most conducive to maximizing his talents (I do think he's more comfortable at 3B.)

I just find it odd in this media-saturation age that he's the invisible man after a big September and a respectable minor-league track record. He just turned 23. He's not a fossil. In some ways, he's ahead of the curve. And I'm well aware that he hit like a dead man this past winter.

2006-03-28 20:34:58
230.   Daniel Zappala
226 How are you able to determine a player's confidence level? How do you know a player's attitude? Are you hanging out with these guys every day and keeping a notebook?
2006-03-28 20:36:45
231.   natepurcell
so whos playing shortstop for the 51s?
2006-03-28 20:37:41
232.   ToyCannon
Aren't you the Indian fan? Wouldn't Church be an upgrade over Blake? For that matter wouldn't Marte playing LF for one season and moving Michaels over to RF be an upgrade over Blake? Why is Blake playing in the outfield where he's a cipher? Or does he really have value and I'm just unaware of it?
2006-03-28 20:39:39
233.   ToyCannon
230
It is well known that Tomko has used a sports hypnotist and other pysch tools to help him during his major league career.
2006-03-28 20:39:46
234.   PennyJavy
I always thought that ERC really isn't that different to ERA. Tomko's DERA in 2005 was 4.53 and he has a career DERA of 4.75. His 2005 xFIP was 4.79
2006-03-28 20:40:14
235.   ToyCannon
231
JtD:)
2006-03-28 20:45:29
236.   ToyCannon
234
ERC
Bill James uses a full page to describe in his glossary how he calculates his ERC. I'm not about to type it in. I'm also not about to question Bill James on the accuracy of it.
2006-03-28 20:47:37
237.   Daniel Zappala
233 Yes, but the original statement was that Tomko is pitching with confidence right now. Has thinkingblue been interviewing Tomko's sports psychologist recently?

I fail to see the meaning in these hackneyed phrases.

2006-03-28 20:52:23
238.   thinkingblue
237.

Little said he's pitching with confidence.

Look, I can't use any stats to prove a players attitude, but you can see it in the way a player talks, the way he carry's himself, and his performance. All have been good this spring for Tomko.

Again, 4.10 really isn't unreasonable, especially being in dodger stadium.

2006-03-28 20:58:18
239.   King of the Hobos
231 Sergio Garcia? Jimmy Rohan? Cole Bruce? Tony Abreu? Other than rushing Abreu, SS will be a huge hole on that team.

What's the starting rotation going to be? Billingsley, Houlton, Ainsworth, Stults, and Hull?

2006-03-28 21:02:02
240.   D4P
Who's to say Tomko is not pitching with confidence?
2006-03-28 21:05:17
241.   natepurcell
this is cool

http://tinyurl.com/lo54u

milb.com top 50 list. its a video show.

2006-03-28 21:12:01
242.   Daniel Zappala
238 Little said he's pitching with confidence.

Ah, so somebody actually believes these things he throws to the media when he has to be quoted. What do you think he's going to say? "Tomko's pitching OK, but it's only spring training and the competition hasn't been great, so let's wait and see how he does the first half of the year. If he's not doing too well, I may call up Billingsley or try Houlton."

Look, I'm rooting for Tomko as much as anyone, and I think he'll likely be OK -- somewhere in the 4.30 to 4.70 range. I just don't believe observations that he is pitching with "confidence" or "has the right attitude" have any meaningful value.

2006-03-28 21:15:27
243.   Andrew Shimmin
207- Nate put me on to:

http://tinyurl.com/8naco

There's a problem with using the Dodger Stadium 3 year, since the new seats were put in only last year, but it's the only list to which I have access, and I wasn't going to use SF 3 year, and Dodger Stadium 1 year.

2006-03-28 21:15:37
244.   thinkingblue
242.

What has Tomko done this spring that makes you think that he will have an ERA even near 4.70?

Weaver went from over 5, to near 4 in his first year at dodger stadium. I just don't see where you think 4.10 is unreasonable.

2006-03-28 21:18:48
245.   King of the Hobos
244 What had Erickson done last spring that makes you think that he would have an ERA even near 6.00?
2006-03-28 21:23:52
246.   Daniel Zappala
244 His career ERA is 4.52 and he's turning 33 this year so he is likely to decline.

His equivalent ERA last year was 4.62.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/pecota/tomkobr01.php

4.10 is somewhat optimistic. What you hope will happen does not always happen.

2006-03-28 21:26:21
247.   thinkingblue
245.

Apples and Oranges, Erickson hadn't really done anything in 4-5 years.

Tomko had an ERA of 4.04 in 2004, and has not had a 4.7 + ERA since ST. Louis, and moving to dodger stadium, I don't think that'll happen.

2006-03-28 21:27:16
248.   natepurcell
6 dodgers made milb's top 50 list.

in order
billz
guzman
laroche
elbert
kemp
martin

2006-03-28 21:29:43
249.   thinkingblue
246.

He had a 4.04 ERA in 2004, that's recent enough to think that he can keep his ERA down around there.

And again, in dodger stadium, he can do it.

And again, what has Tomko done this spring to mkae you think that he will implode once the season starts, and he will have a bad year? It is not all a mirage. Tomko can, and will have around a 4.10 ERA.

2006-03-28 21:30:32
250.   thinkingblue
EDIT 249.

Make, not mkae

Show/Hide Comments 251-300
2006-03-28 21:31:37
251.   Andrew Shimmin
There's got to be some reason that James likes Tomko that much more than BP does. Right? Unless ERC measures something different. I don't know enough about it to have an opinion, but my opinion is never, if it's good enough for Bill James, then it's perfect.
2006-03-28 21:35:26
252.   D4P
249
I suspect you're the only one around here who's basing any portion of their expectations of Tomko's performance this year on his performance this spring.
2006-03-28 21:58:21
253.   regfairfield
222 I don't most people here are evaluating Tomko based on his ERA. I don't like him due to his low strike out rate, sub two strikeout to walk ratio and the fact that his only real improvement moving from St. Louis to San Fransico was in home runs. Coincidentally, St. Louis is one of the most home run happy parks in baseball, while SBC is third to last.

The point about the Bill James ERA is very interesting, since BP has his equivelant perhiprial ERA at 5.31, 4.49, and 4.51 the last three years, suggesting he was lucky in 2004 (since his perhiprials are about the same, I have to agree.)

Hearing at least one positive thing about Tomko is nice, however.

2006-03-28 21:58:24
254.   Andrew Shimmin
ToyCannon- I should probably buy the book, instead of sponging off of you, but, if you're willing, does James's ERC have Tomko performing above average in any years but 1997 and 2004? And only a little above average in 2004? Or does he not give an average ERC?
2006-03-28 22:01:11
255.   Andrew Shimmin
Tomko gave up 30+ HRs in three different years, in three different parks. StL in 2003, SD in 2002, and Cin in 1999. Was Qualcomm homer happy, too?
2006-03-28 22:04:36
256.   regfairfield
Oh, I forgot to mention his steadily declining ground ball to fly ball ratio.

I can only find overall park factor on Qualcomm, but it's a pitchers park overall.

2006-03-28 22:34:59
257.   grandcosmo
201.>>> I'm not saying he will have a sub 4 ERA, but I don't think it'll be higher 4.10.

So what you're saying is that his ERA will be one of the following:

4.00, 4.01, 4.02, 4.03, 4.04, 4.05, 4.06, 4.07, 4.08, 4.09, 4.10

Thats confidence.

2006-03-28 22:46:08
258.   xaphor
For fans of Arrested Development, more bad news:

http://tinyurl.com/nvl36

2006-03-28 23:57:33
259.   xaphor
Random English/Irish Trivia:

Black and Tan were the colours the English military wore while occupying Ireland and became their local moniker. The Black and Tan's rather infamous accounts of brutish behaviour (pillaging, raping, and other acts you would expect of young cock sure men with guns) left a rather unforgettable mark on the Irish people. Why would the Irish want to name a drink after such atrocities? They didn't and if you order a Black and Tan in Ireland the locals will likely have a nice laugh (or worse) at your expense.

2006-03-29 00:21:28
260.   natepurcell
from the daily news

Trade winds: Cincinnati special assistants Scott Nethery and Bill Wood attended the Dodgers' major-league game and two minor-league intrasquads Tuesday, but there don't appear to be any specific trade talks going on between the two clubs. The Dodgers would like to upgrade in left field, but that need is made less urgent by the emergence of Guzman and fellow prospect Andre Ethier and the likelihood that either one could be ready sometime this season.

2006-03-29 01:59:01
261.   thinkblue0
thinkingblue,

you asked what Tomko has done this Spring to show that he'll have an ERA over 4.5. Well, ST stats are meaningless, and we're going by what he has shown us an MLB pitcher. His career ERA is 4.52. In the past four years (I figure that's a big enough sample size) he's had ERAs of 4.49, 5.29, 4.04, and 4.48. So, for someone to make the statement that he'll have an ERA of 4.50 or higher is VERY reasonable.

You also said being a fly ball pitcher is going to help him in Dodger Stadium. If anything, that's going to hurt him since Dodger Stadium doesn't cut down on the HR as much as everyone thinks. He pitched in one of the most pitcher friendly parks in baseball last year and was still average at best, he isn't going to magically improve on that in DS. If anything, he'll probably give up more HR.

His numbers pitching in Dodger Stadium are also not a big enough sample size to say he's going to pitch better. On the flip side of the coin, Furcal's DS numbers aren't a big enough sample size to show that he'll hit terrible there.

I'm rooting for Tomko just like everyone else. But the bottom line is he has never been more than average, his K/BB ratio has been consistently bad, and he gives up a lot of HR. A pretty fair estimate for him would be anywhere from 4.4-4.7...and that's pitching in a terrible division....

2006-03-29 02:10:44
262.   thinkblue0
also, if anything I said didn't make sense forgive me, I just got back from a Stereolab show and I'm a bit buzzed...
2006-03-29 03:18:36
263.   Uncle Miltie
nate- I just finished my paper 20 minutes ago (at 3 am). I hope you read this message in the morning.
2006-03-29 04:32:22
264.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
Tomko's ZIPs projection for 06:

193 IP, 4.71 ERA

Weaver's stats for 05:

224 IP, 4.22 ERA

I don't see Tomko as all that great a pitcher, but I don't think he's a horrible downgrade from Weaver, either. And the idea that either Billingsley or Houlton are automatic upgrades over Tomko is dubious, in my view.

WWSH

2006-03-29 04:56:36
265.   natepurcell
ha! i am still working on mine and its 5:56am my time right now. woohoo no sleep for me!
2006-03-29 07:34:20
266.   ToyCannon
Since Tomko seems to be the subject of this debate lets hear from another source. The Baseball Forecaster by Ron Shandler the preminent forecasting system has an interesting take on Tomko.
They foresee a 4.05 ERA with a 1.32 WHIP but curiously only 132 innings.
Here is what they have to say about Tomko:
"1st half problems can be traced to a low S%. A dangerous trend: GB% has dropped for three straight years. Otherwise, his BPIs have been consistent, if unspectacular, for years.

Player Analyses

So what to expect in 2006?

Year IP ERA Dom Cmd G/L/F xERA HR/9
========================================================
2003 202 5.30 5.1 2.0 47/18/35 4.17 1.6
2004 194 4.04 5.0 1.7 42/21/37 4.23 0.9
2005 190 4.50 5.4 2.0 40/22/38 3.17 0.9

Tomko delivered slightly improved Dom and Cmd ratios in 2005, but continued a troubling, three-year decline in GB%. Allowing more fly balls didn't hurt him much when he got half of his starts in San Francisco, but the move down the coast shouldn't help. Dodger Stadium is friendlier to both right- and left-handed hitters when it comes to hitting HRs.

2006-03-29 07:39:02
267.   Daniel Zappala
For those wanting to see a more realistic view of the team in the press, Steve Henson has a balanced article about the Dodgers, their injury potential, and backups in the minors:

http://tinyurl.com/jkvjr

2006-03-29 07:49:28
268.   Sam DC
Hi All. Been off a few days and when last I was here it was late and I was cranky, and I am sure I over-vented. Apologies. Collecting a few random thoughts, and getting caught up on my DC duties:

1. Church -- Bowden says Church was sent down b/c Watson outhit him. Talk about appropriate fodder for this thread that debates the value of ST numbers. Church was the Nationals second best OBP guy last year and has outhit Watson at every level. But 50 ST at-bits doomed him. The whole thing played out in a bizarre way in the press here, too. Today there is a special "Baseball '06" section in the post which has a 2-page full color roster spread, that lists Church as the starting CF. Not Dewey beats Truman, but surprising. Roundup of Nats' bloggers ripping the Church demotion:

http://www.thenats.blogspot.com/

http://dcbb.blogspot.com/

http://federalbaseball.com/

http://thebeltwayboys.blogspot.com/

2006-03-29 07:56:55
269.   Jon Weisman
Jeff Kent's contract was extended a year - new post up top.
2006-03-29 07:58:04
270.   Sam DC
(contd)

2. Boswell watch: Boswell wrote a ridiculous column for the special section explaining how it's a whole new ballgame for small market ballclubs. Very astute/funny deconstruction of the piece at http://dcbb.blogspot.com/.

3. The Post's national baseball writer, Dave Sheinin, picks the Dodgers third in the NL West and offers a very negative writeup of "the train wreck that the Dodgers had become" before Colletti was hired. http://tinyurl.com/ozccz (pdf)

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