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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

Perez Isn't Done - But Billingsley Might Be Better
2006-06-09 15:45
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

At 3.91, this year's Dodger starting rotation has its lowest ERA since the 2003 rotation finished at 3.49. This is somewhat amazing because Jae Seo has been like unwrapping socks on Christmas morning, and Odalis Perez has been downright malodorous.

Perez's ERA is 7.02 overall and 8.02 as a starting pitcher in 2006. Without even trying, Perez has extended the tradition of horrible Dodger starters to a third year, taking the baton from Scott Erickson (7.22 in 2005) and Hideo Nomo (8.25 in 2004).

Perez has alienated many of even his biggest supporters with his body language, his susceptibility to the big inning, his dismissive quotes and above all, his overall performance, and the last thing I came here with today is any kind of predetermined agenda to defend him. Perez is 28 years old, young but not so young that he couldn't be facing the end of his career.

Unlike Erickson and Nomo, however, there are signs that Perez is capable of a turnaround.

On balls hit in play off Perez this season - balls that in theory Perez has little control over - opponents are batting an astonishing .395. So, there is more than a little truth to his recent shrug to the media that he has been unlucky. In previous years, the BABIP against Perez has been .292 (2005), .272 (2004), .299 (2003) and .255 (2002).

The BABIP is more significant this year because Perez's strikeout rate is slowly declining, down to 5.74 per nine innings. Perez can't afford as much bad luck as he could before - and he certainly can't afford as much as he's having this year.

But the thing about luck is that it can change. I've even heard it does change from time to time. It would be extremely unlikely for Perez's BABIP to remain anywhere close to .395 - among pitchers who threw at least 100 innings last year, the highest BABIP was .358. Even Jose Lima was only at .320.

At the same time, there are other numbers already in Perez's favor. Perhaps most importantly, teams are giving Perez death by a thousand pinpricks rather than a sledgehammer. Perez has allowed five home runs in 42 1/3 innings as a starter, the equivalent of 19 over 162 innings. That's fairly acceptable - in fact, it's an improvement on his career numbers.

Even though opponents are batting .353 overall against Perez this year - 92 points over his career average allowed of .261 - the increase in slugging percentage allowed by Perez is only slightly higher. It's 109 points - .522 this year vs. .413 over his career. Opponents are not hitting Perez with much extra power compared to previous years.

Although he's keeping the ball in the park, Perez is walking 2.55 batters per nine innings, a better rate than Brad Penny or Derek Lowe. Perez is also striking out batters more often than Lowe, and Perez's groundout/flyout ratio is 1.46: slightly below his career average of 1.62, but an improvement over last year.

Batters are getting plenty of Perez pitches to swing at, and they're hitting them, but they're not hitting them very far.

Perez is not going to make any kind of late run at the Cy Young award this year or ever again. But the stubbornness in Perez that we find so annoying could work to his advantage, because given the opportunity, Perez can perform over the rest of the season at the level people expected of him: at a league-average ERA or better. Producing six innings of three-run ball would make a big difference in the Dodger season - as you can see by looking at the other back ends of the Dodger starting rotation.

It's worth noting that Seo has also been on the unlucky side on BABIP, allowing a .305 batting average. The bigger problem with Seo is that he has also been giving up 1.91 home runs per nine innings - more than doubling his 2005 rate with the Mets. Whereas the increase in Perez's slugging average allowed is in line with the increase in his batting average allowed, the difference between Seo's slugging percentage allowed and batting average allowed this year, 237 points (.290/.527), is well above his career differential of 177 points (.272/.449).

Seo's overall ERA of 5.40 this season is much better than Perez's, but he probably needs to make a more tangible adjustment to gain any improvement in his statistics. Not that it can't be done - Lowe has lowered his nine-inning home run rate from 1.14 last year to 0.54 this year - but the challenge for Seo at this point in the season is greater than that of Perez.

Brett Tomko's situation is somewhere between Perez's and Seo's - his BABIP is .301 and he's allowing a home run every six innings, but his strikeouts are actually on an uptick, and the slugging against him isn't hugely out of line with his career numbers. With an ERA still below five (not that pitching Saturday in Coors Field is likely to help) and some room for better luck, Tomko remains someone who will have his good stretches to go with his bad. It's the way most of his career has gone.

Next to Lowe, Aaron Sele has been the luckiest Dodger starting pitcher, with a BABIP of .246. That figure, along with a strikeout rate that Sele hasn't displayed since 2000 and home run and walk rates that are honestly the best of his career, has allowed Sele to pitch at near-maximum capacity. It goes to show you that anything is possible and if Dodger general manager Ned Colletti or anyone can prove they knew this might happen, we'll all be really impressed, but short of Sele having dabbled in necromancy, these are four very tenuous prongs to stand on.

If I had to rank the Dodger starting pitchers going forward, it would be:

1) Penny
2) Lowe
3) Tomko
4 and falling) Sele
5 and rising) Perez
6) Seo

And yes, by September, if not sooner, AAA Las Vegas pitcher Chad Billingsley should be one of the five-best Dodger starting pitchers available. If he can put up a 3.97 ERA in Jackpot Central, allowing 53 hits (seven home runs) and 29 walks in 65 2/3 innings while striking out 72, he can do well in Los Angeles. If Billingsley maintains or improves his numbers for the next month, and the Dodgers can't get five league-average starting pitchers from the current six (a high standard, no doubt about it, but one completely worth striving for), they should pull the trigger and call Billingsley up. They should do this before they convert Jonathan Broxton or Hong-Chih Kuo into starting pitchers, and they should do this before they let bad starting pitchers undermine the rest of the staff in the second half of the season.

* * *

Tonight's Game

Comments (278)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-06-09 16:03:15
1.   Telemachos
"Perez is going to make any kind of late run at the Cy Young award this year or ever again."

Typo, Jon?

Nice write-up -- I guess the question is, will Perez get enough starts for his luck to change or a regression to the mean to occur?

2006-06-09 16:03:38
2.   Telemachos
Hehe -- you edited while I posted. :)
2006-06-09 16:08:07
3.   Eric Enders
"I would pull the trigger and call Billingsley up. I would do this before I converted Jonathan Broxton or Hong-Chih Kuo into starting pitchers."

Where does Greg Miller fit into this equation, I wonder? He's clearly a callup candidate as a reliever, and he was a starting pitcher not too long ago.

I'd call up Billingsley first, but Miller could always be an option if the Dodgers end up needing to replace both Seo/Perez and Sele.

2006-06-09 16:09:23
4.   Eric Enders
By the way, very nice post Jon.
2006-06-09 16:09:31
5.   Jon Weisman
Yeah, I was proofing for 15 minutes after I posted and still finding mistkes. I mean, mistakes. For some reason, this was a tough one. You are welcome to point out anything else you find.

Anyway, your question is a key question. I would guess that Perez probably has to start showing something soon - although how other pitchers perform could affect how much patience the Dodgers have with him. Beyond that, it's a matter of the antipathy people feel toward Perez vs. not wanting to give up on that much salary without knowing for sure that he's worthless.

2006-06-09 16:11:53
6.   sanchez101
Miller needs more time in AAA, he has more walks than strikeouts and neither his hit rate or K/9 are all that impressive. But he does have the odd tendancy to not allow any runs no matter how poor his peripherals may look, probably because he's such an extreme groundball pitcher.
2006-06-09 16:11:53
7.   Jon Weisman
3 - Eric has now shown that I went from first person to third person in the final paragraph during my edits.
2006-06-09 16:15:23
8.   Bob Timmermann
A hustling writer should always be able to go from first to third on a single.
2006-06-09 16:15:26
9.   Uncle Miltie
Good post Jon. I knew that Perez's HR rate was down and I felt that he has been unlucky, but didn't have the stats to back him. After being taken out of the game, Vin Scully out how Perez had thrown first pitch strikes to 18 of 22 batters, thrown a lot strikes, etc. Then he pointed out that Perez was in the strike zone too much. I agree with this point. Perez needs to learn to waste pitches. Baez too. When you are ahead of a hitter 0-2 or 1-2, there's nothing wrong with wasting a pitch, i.e. a breaking ball in the dirt. If they don't swing at you still have changed their mindset and are making them think. It opens up many more options for the batter to go over in his head. Perez's velocity is down, but it shouldn't hurt so much that it prevents him from being an average pitcher. His changeup is one of the best among all lefties in baseball and his curveball actually seems to be biting more than it did in the past.
2006-06-09 16:17:17
10.   Uncle Miltie
Maybe I should proofread my posts too....nah, too much trouble :)
2006-06-09 16:17:21
11.   Jon Weisman
9 - That was sort of my theory with Lowe last year - that he needed to throw fewer strikes - though I had no proof.

Of course, the deeper you get in the count, the more a batter can anticipate a ball down the middle.

2006-06-09 16:21:41
12.   DougS
Thinking about this the other day, it occured to me that the Dodgers' biggest need right now is a legit #3 starter — someone reliable, who can take the pressure off of Lowe and Penny at the top of the rotation (and serve as a fallback in the playoffs) and allow Tomko and Sele to sink back to more natural places in the rotation, the 4 and 5 spots. Can Perez be that starter? Perhaps, but as time goes on and he fails to turn it around, it seems less and less likely.

Is Billingsley the answer? I'm looking forward to seeing the kid pitch in the bigs, but throwing him into the #3 spot in the middle of a year in which you're gunning for the playoffs seems like a lot of pressure. I'd probably rather see Ned pull a trade for a veteran starter and have Billingsley ease his way into the rotation, replacing Sele at #5 and working his way up.

2006-06-09 16:22:09
13.   natepurcell
Andrew Miller would make an amazing LOOGY. with that across the body and that Randy Johnson like slider, lefties are never going to hit more then .200 off him.
2006-06-09 16:26:21
14.   natepurcell
Where does Greg Miller fit into this equation, I wonder? He's clearly a callup candidate as a reliever, and he was a starting pitcher not too long ago.

Miller doesnt have the arm strength to be a starting pitcher yet. Maybe next year.

2006-06-09 16:26:30
15.   Jon Weisman
ESPN's top managerial candidates among active players, as determined by a poll of 60 baseball people:

PLAYER VOTES
1t) Jason Varitek 11
1t) Brad Ausmus 11
6t) Alex Cora 4
6t) Sandy Alomar Jr. 4
10t) Paul Lo Duca 3

"Most survey respondents preferred role players, "gamers" and overachievers."

2006-06-09 16:27:54
16.   Steve
those look like "Catchers" to me.
2006-06-09 16:31:52
17.   Jon Weisman
12 - I think this is one of those cases where we get too caught up in the No. 1/2/3/4/5 starter business. If Billingsley goes into the rotation, he will be one of five starters, period.

The pressure on Billingsley to perform if he is the fifth-best starter on the team (meaning he's in danger of not holding his job in the rotation) vs. being the third-best starter on the team (others are doing bad, so he's not in danger, but we need him to excel more than ever) - I don't see a significant difference.

I mean, honestly, who is the Dodgers' No. 3 starter today? Who was it a month ago? Who will it be a month from now? It all changes.

2006-06-09 16:32:20
18.   Xeifrank
imho, the Dodgers won't make the playoffs without either calling up Billingsley or making a trade for atleast a solid #3 level starter within the next 4-6 weeks at the very latest. vr, Xei
2006-06-09 16:36:41
19.   Xeifrank
Dodger Sim: Dodgers lose 4-3 in 11 inns. Sim didn't take the Coors field into effect, so perhaps a 7-6 loss in extra frames will hold? Kemp ph HR in the top of the 9th sent it to extra frames. Good luck tonight.
vr, Xei
2006-06-09 16:36:57
20.   natepurcell
when is Kent eligible to come off the DL?
2006-06-09 16:40:25
21.   bhsportsguy
20 Next Tuesday at San Diego
2006-06-09 16:40:34
22.   Uncle Miltie
Where's......
Jason Phillips, David Eckstein (the scrappiest of them all), Jack Wilson, Bo Hart, Ryan Freel, Mike Matheny

A bunch of scrappy dirt player (to quote Steve Phillips)

2006-06-09 16:42:45
23.   Jon Weisman
Eckstein and Matheny were there. I edited the list.
2006-06-09 16:45:58
24.   Bob Timmermann
I'm betting that David Eckstein never becomes a manager in the majors. He's too nice. He's gritty, but nice.
2006-06-09 16:46:59
25.   Daniel Zappala
I know this is sabermetrics heresy, but is it possible that BABIP is not entirely due to luck? Maybe when a pitcher is doing really poorly, he throws balls that are easier to turn into hits as opposed to outs. We sometimes take stats as truth, when many are still a work in progress. Without the BABIP-is-random pillar to stand on, many of your arguments can be called into question.

I unfortunately don't have a lot of time to devote to examining the statistical evidence in favor of BABIP-is-random, but the skeptic in me questions whether every statistical conclusion is necessarily codified into gospel at this time.

2006-06-09 16:47:57
26.   bhsportsguy
15 Alex Cora aka Ozzie Guillen lite
2006-06-09 16:48:37
27.   D4P
Regarding the "BABIP is luck" hypothesis:

While it may be the case that pitchers have little to no control over balls that have been put in play, that observation ignores the fact that certain pitches in certain locations are more likely to become hits once they are put in play than others. For example: a belt-high fastball down the middle is probably more likely (isn't it?) to become a hit than a fastball at the knees or at the top of the strikezone (wherever that is these days).

If that's true, then to assume that BABIP is "luck" would appear to be to assume that there is nothing systematic about where and how pitchers throw their pitches, i.e. (e.g.) pitchers don't "tend" to throw pitches in some locations more than others. But has this assumption been empirically evaluated? Is it really true that there are not certain pitchers who are more likely to throw high strikes, or low strikes, or middle strikes?

And another thing: it seems to be well-known that hitters are at an advantage if they correctly guess what kind of pitch is coming and where it will be thrown. This is particularly true when pitchers fall behind in the count, and then feel compelled to "groove" a fastball. It seems likely that balls put in play off pitches where the hitter correctly guessed are more likely to become hits than balls put in play off pitches where the hitter didn't know what was coming.

If that's true, maybe it's the case that pitchers who fall behind a lot in the count will have higher BABIP than pitchers who get ahead in the count a lot...?

2006-06-09 16:49:52
28.   sanchez101
18. The dodger have the best offense in the NL right now, and the starting rotation has a ERA under 4.00. The bullpen is adaquate even if Gagne never comes back. I think things are much brighter you're making it seem.

I think the problem with all this panic over the starting staff is that almost every club is having the same issues. Here are the other #3 starters in the NL West: Chan Ho Park, Byung-Hyun Kim, Matt Morris, and Miguel Batista. The Mets have Steve Trachsel and the Cardinals have either Sidney Ponson as their #3 startesr. Suddenly Brett Tomko doesnt seem so bad.

2006-06-09 16:50:07
29.   Bob Timmermann
I don't think BABIP is gospel. It's just a theory. It's not like we're talking about Newton's Second Law or something like that.
2006-06-09 16:51:19
30.   Uncle Miltie
24- how can you say that about the scrappiest player in baseball? He plays with passion and he's a clutch player. He grinds it out every night and never leaves the ball park with a clean uniform.

Just saw the poll
http://tinyurl.com/ep7mq

Some of the questions:
Do you feel ''scrappy'' players -- those who made the most out of their talent -- make better managers than those who were stars as players?

How many wins can a good manager account for over the course of a season? (To see Joe Morgan's answer to this question, check out his recent chat)
A- Five or fewer
B- Six to 10
C- 11 to 15
D- More than 15

I'll vote B if you upgrade from Tracy to almost anything

2006-06-09 16:51:30
31.   Jon Weisman
25 - I don't think BABIP is entirely due to luck. I think it's an indicator.

It clearly fluctuates over time. Good pitchers sometimes have bad BABIP and vice versa.

But the suspicion you're having is why I looked at slugging percentage as well. And my conclusion is that if the slugging percentage independent of batting average isn't increasing, then the pitcher probably isn't being hit that much harder.

I completely understand the thinking that Odalis is throwing balls that are easier to turn into hits - and to some extent, it's probably true. But for the most part, the extra hits are singles, and I'd be suspicious that they're all hard line drives that could not be caught no matter where the fielders were.

2006-06-09 16:52:08
32.   Bob Timmermann
Let's check my New Testament here:

Matthew
Mark
Luke
Voros McCracken
John

Wow, what do you now about that? I missed it all those years going to Catholic school.

2006-06-09 16:53:06
33.   Jon Weisman
28 - It's not necessarily panic to say you want to have better starting pitching than the average NL West team.
2006-06-09 16:53:50
34.   sanchez101
25.27. I think those are good points, and if Perez's BABIP was .315 or .320, you might have a point. But .395 has to be luck, the best hitters in the majors can't keep their BABIP's that high and they actually have control over where their batted balls. Just watching Perez's last start, there were more than a couple bloop singles which is exactly what will drive up your BABIP. Also, if Perez was throwing more pitches in hitters "happy zones" then you'd see an uptick in opp. isoSLG, which isnt happening.
2006-06-09 16:53:51
35.   Bob Timmermann
30

Baseball history is littered with the corpses of managers who were fired for being too nice.

I don't think a nice guy manager has won a World Series since Chuck Tanner in 1979.

2006-06-09 16:54:41
36.   Uncle Miltie
35- Grady Little, 2007 or 2008
2006-06-09 16:56:12
37.   Bob Timmermann
36

I believe we are having temporal disturbances here.

2006-06-09 16:57:16
38.   sanchez101
33. it is if you say "the Dodgers won't make the playoffs without ... making a trade for at least a solid #3 level starter within the next 4-6 weeks at the very latest"
2006-06-09 16:58:30
39.   confucius
Turning Kuo or Broxton into a starter was mentioned. I have wondered many times what the Dodgers plans are for those two. In April Colletti said in an interview with Vin that he and Grady had discussed moving Kuo back to starting. Ned said that they wanted to build his arm strength up this year while being mindful of his past injuries. I have noticed that Grady has used him to pitch more than one inning several times this year. I wonder what managements thinking is with Broxton. Does he have enough pitches quality pitches to start?
2006-06-09 16:59:24
40.   Jon Weisman
38 - I was responding to you saying "all this panic." One guy said that the Dodger starting pitching would cost them a playoff bid - you seemed to be extrapolating that into a wider panic.

No big deal - I'm just saying while your point is well taken, complaining about Perez and/or Seo and/or Tomko is not necessarily a sign of panic.

2006-06-09 16:59:26
41.   confucius
Turning Kuo or Broxton into a starter was mentioned. I have wondered many times what the Dodgers plans are for those two. In April Colletti said in an interview with Vin that he and Grady had discussed moving Kuo back to starting. Ned said that they wanted to build his arm strength up this year while being mindful of his past injuries. I have noticed that Grady has used him to pitch more than one inning several times this year. I wonder what managements thinking is with Broxton. Does he have enough pitches quality pitches to start?
2006-06-09 17:01:30
42.   Jon Weisman
37 - Right now, we're actually in a flashback from the fourth season of Lost.

Or, it's a figment of Gregory House's coma-induced imagination.

2006-06-09 17:06:48
43.   JoeyP
I think Xeifrank is right, mainly bc the things going good for the Dodgers (Penny, Lowe, and the offense/rookies) are overperforming.

If you think Lowe/Penny are both going to have ERA's under 4.00, and the rooks are gonna hit .300 collectively and OPS over .800, then I guess you wouldnt think the club needs a boost.

But I think some of the parts are gonna start regressing, so a boost is going to be needed. Lowe right now is having a career season. I just dont think that will last.

2006-06-09 17:07:23
44.   JoeyP
Ooops should say ERA's under 3.00.
2006-06-09 17:07:55
45.   Greg Brock
Hope it's not a House situation...Didn't look too good for the guy on the table in that one. Ouch.
2006-06-09 17:08:26
46.   confucius
43 Lowe is having a good season, but he has had good seasons before. At least one or two.
2006-06-09 17:09:37
47.   Marty
I don't know if anyone looks at metafilter, but down aways is a feature on Ask Greg about Gargoyles.

http://www.metafilter.com/

2006-06-09 17:10:28
48.   confucius
44. Yeah, I agree that Lowe's ERA will not be under 3.00 at the end of the year.
2006-06-09 17:10:52
49.   JoeyP
He's having a near career best season while being on the slight downhill (age/experience) wise. I think he's 3.50 ERA type good. Not 2.50 ERA type good.
2006-06-09 17:13:21
50.   sanchez101
40. i dont think xeifrank's position is that uncommon around here. maybe panic isnt the right word but i think people arent willing to trust success and are waiting for the other show to drop, but there are plenty of things that could be better. Drew isnt performing up to his abilities right now, Mueller, Navvarro, and Kent are on the DL. Perez, as you said, should improve, as should Furcal, and then there's Gagne. Maybe im missinterpeting people's attitudes around here or maybe this site has become too negative for me, but I think the Dodgers have everyone they need to win this division in the organization right now.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-06-09 17:14:08
51.   Greg Brock
Boy, that NL All-star voting is a paragon of objectivity and truth (especially the OF). Of course, isn't it always?
2006-06-09 17:14:52
52.   confucius
I have always felt that Brad Penny was the Dodgers ace. Lowe has pitched more innings, but by the end of the year I think Penny will have set himself apart as their best pitcher.
2006-06-09 17:14:55
53.   Jon Weisman
47 - Thanks.
2006-06-09 17:15:23
54.   Uncle Miltie
Antonio Perez just hit a 2 run homer off Randy Johnson scoring Milton Bradley who walked. Just his 2nd hit as an A.
2006-06-09 17:15:26
55.   Bob Timmermann
Antonio Perez homers (1) on a fly ball to left field. Milton Bradley scores.

WE WERE ROBBED!

2006-06-09 17:16:47
56.   Marty
I knew I hated that trade.
2006-06-09 17:18:40
57.   sanchez101
watching the NC-'Bama game right now, I'm really happy Colorado passed on Andrew Miller. He is nasty.
2006-06-09 17:19:16
58.   Uncle Miltie
Perez has been awful for the A's both offensively and defensively, but he has gotten very little playing time- a little over 30 at bats. This would be a big boost for the A's if he could contribute with Chavez and Ellis out.
2006-06-09 17:19:20
59.   natepurcell
Detroit is building a nice team. bonderma-verlander-miller is going to be nasty.
2006-06-09 17:19:23
60.   Underbruin
43 - Well, I expect Lowe and Penny to certainly have a shot at a sub-4 ERA.

The real problem is that this sub-4 ERA is the worst kind of sub-4 ERA for an offense performing as well as the LAD's is, in that it's made up of a few great stats and a few terrible stats, versus just 'very good' across the board. When your offense is weak, having a couple of really good pitchers balanced by a couple of really bad pitchers gives you a chance to still win the starts for the really good pitchers.

But with a very good offense, you're still unlikely to win your starts by the very bad pitchers, and you'll just be more likely to win the starts of your very good pitchers with ease - as opposed to having a reasonably good chance to win the starts for your entire staff (like the StL Cards, what, one or two years back, when their first 4 pitchers were all hanging somewhere around ERAs of 4 IIRC).

2006-06-09 17:19:59
61.   Underbruin
60 - Oops, posted before reading 44, sorry Joey.
2006-06-09 17:20:52
62.   natepurcell
57

honestly, rockies just wasted a pick. Greg Reynolds is nothing more then Bryan Bullington.

2006-06-09 17:22:04
63.   Uncle Miltie
The Big Unit is now only intimatidating in terms of stature.
2006-06-09 17:28:32
64.   D4P
Speaking of The Big Unit (cue: The Todd), I bought tickets months ago to next Thursday's tilt at Yankee Stadium between the Pin Stripes and Tribe. Despite his decline, I'm nevertheless pleased to see that Randy is scheduled to pitch that day.
2006-06-09 17:28:34
65.   sanchez101
62. They'll be happy if he's jason jennings, which makes passing on a guy like Miller so silly. The rockies paid a quadrillion dollars on neagle and hampton and werent willing to pay an extra $2 1/2 million for Miller?
2006-06-09 17:31:17
66.   natepurcell
65

I still dont understand Reynolds though. I mean, okay if you dont want to pay for Miller, there is still Brad Lincoln, who has great stuff and was excellent during his junior yr. Reynolds and Tyler Colvin were the two most puzzling picks in the first round.

2006-06-09 17:33:21
67.   Kayaker7
I too have doubts about the BABIP theory. If you just do a thought experiment, and consider the following: imagine the BA if the pitcher just tossed softballs. It would have to be higher than if the pitcher threw hard.

Somewhere between the two extremes of pitches that are a cinch to hit and pitches impossible to catch up to lies the capabilities of most ML pitchers. I suspect that the capabilities of most pitcher is within a pretty narrow range. I think the main takeaway of Voros' theory is that the control that the pitcher has on balls in play is very small. So small that luck dominates the outcome.

2006-06-09 17:34:29
68.   Steve
It should be fun to see if Perez can bring his BABIP down to a cool .320.
2006-06-09 17:36:13
69.   Sam DC
Briefly picking up the Soriano talk from last thread, a few cosing remarks:

1. I'm not a Bowden fan, but Repko and Baez is not going to do it. The "do you trade Soriano" story is very big here; fans love him, and Boswen is going to need to point to a meaningful long-term contribution to the team to justify the trade and avoid getting skewered. Boswell has written at least two columns about, and the beat writer a third.

2. The Wilkerson deal is not a fair comp anymore now that Soriano is second only to Pujols in home runs and near the top of virtually every offensive category in the NL.

3. Some team should pay heavily for a guy like that, even for a three month deal. If you're the Mets or St. Louis, it makes sense to give up greater long term value to get over the top this year. How many chances do you get. The trick, of course, is figuring out if it's really a year where you've got a chance.

2006-06-09 17:38:47
70.   Uncle Miltie
Hey Bob, look who has the 2nd highest approval rating among managers whose teams are under .500
2006-06-09 17:39:20
71.   Uncle Miltie
http://tinyurl.com/qfgzj
2006-06-09 17:39:21
72.   Sam DC
sorry - c[l]osing
2006-06-09 17:39:55
73.   Ken Arneson
32 I swear to you that I did everything within my power to come to a different conclusion than the one I did. I ran every test, checked every stat, divided this by that and multiplied one thing by another. Whatever I did, it kept leading back to the same conclusion:

Blessed are pitchmakers, for they shall be called the children of BIP.

2006-06-09 17:40:06
74.   Underbruin
64 - "The Big Unit? Comment-page high five!"
2006-06-09 17:40:46
75.   sanchez101
66. youre right, its not just that they passed on one good pitcher in Miller, but two along with Lincoln. This is Colorado, a team that's always been needed pitching in the worst way and they passed on two front line pitchers. But they look smart next to the cubs, i really dont get Colvin. Ive heard the whole refrain about Samardzja, and how if he doesnt sign its OK because its no big deal, he's only a 5th round pick. So they waste their 1st round pick to possibly afford their 5th round pick, who may not even play baseball?
2006-06-09 17:45:12
76.   Greg Brock
Hey, the Reds have their own Olmedo...Granted, it's his last name, but still, very cool. And he hit a double.
2006-06-09 17:45:47
77.   D4P
74
Guess what else is high...?
2006-06-09 17:49:00
78.   JoeyP
Antonio Perez- Yankee killer.
AP has 2 hits all year and both have come against the Yanks, each driving in a run. Tonite he HR'ed for Randy Johnson
2006-06-09 17:49:37
79.   sanchez101
69. All St. Louis can give up is Wainwright, I doubt if they would give up Reyes. The Mets have a much greater need for starting pitching, like most competitive teams. I agree that Soriano has improved his image by knocking the snot out of the ball in RFK, but he's still only garaunteed for 2-3 months.

The real bottom line, for LA at least, I think is that if Bowden demands some of the prospects the deal wont happen. The Dodgers don't need Soriano that bad, and I dont think anyone outside the Bronx or St. Louis does either. Unfortunatly, neither the Cards or the Yanks have a ton of young talent to give Washington and thats assuming the new ownership doesnt want Alfonso back next season.

2006-06-09 17:51:39
80.   Greg Brock
Why would the Dodgers need Soriano? The Angels seem like a much better fit. Overrated prospects for Bowden to fawn over, a spot in the OF available, and a chance for Arte make a splash.
2006-06-09 17:53:59
81.   JoeyP
Drew isnt performing up to his abilities right now, Mueller, Navvarro, and Kent are on the DL. Perez, as you said, should improve, as should Furcal, and then there's Gagne.

Drew's having a pretty good season.
Do you think Mueller will outperform what Aybar has done?
Do you think Navarro will outpeform what Russ Martin has done?
Kent's old and has a wrist problem. What do you expect out of him?
Furcal's been hitting around .330 for the last month. How much better is he going to get?
Gagne isnt healthy. Should we feel confident that he will be?

I agree with you on Odalis Perez. I see him getting better. But everything else I dont see the upside that you see.

2006-06-09 17:54:07
82.   Steve
The Cards don't need the Cuban Braden Looper when they have the real thing.
2006-06-09 17:54:12
83.   D4P
I note that Adam Dunn has been moved down to the #6 spot in the Reds' lineup. I guess they've lost faith in him.

Guzman, Odalis, and Navarro for Dunn.

2006-06-09 17:54:58
84.   D4P
82
The Dodgers don't need the Cuban Danys Baez.
2006-06-09 17:56:02
85.   Suffering Bruin
For the first time in a many a moon, I listened to some sports talk radio this afternoon.

One station said the Dodgers should trade some youngsters (Billingsley and others) for Barry Zito.

Another station targeted Dontrell Willis, adding that Billingsley, Navarro and one other youngster should do the trick.

2006-06-09 17:57:14
86.   sanchez101
80. The Angels seem like the best team to get Soriano. The other teams that really need Soriano (Yankees, Cardinals, Padres) don't really have enough to get Soriano. The Angels could afford to loose some young talent without killing their entire farm system and Soriano could put them over the top.
2006-06-09 17:57:39
87.   das411
Hey Sam, does Manderson do that a lot? Or does he only do that when the Nats do NOT have their all-infielder outfield going?

85 - SB, if there's one thing I've learned on here this season, it's that Billingsley >>>>> Dontrelle!

2006-06-09 17:58:10
88.   Greg Brock
If the Dodgers trade Billingsley and another prospect for Zito, hide the women and children. Computers will melt across the Dodger universe.
2006-06-09 18:00:22
89.   Telemachos
85 For some reason, I'm utterly addicted to sports talk radio. But 95% of it is utter piffle. Geesh.
2006-06-09 18:01:13
90.   Sam DC
87 They had two Marlins flopping around on the wet grass on that play. Ugly.
2006-06-09 18:01:23
91.   Greg Brock
86- I just don't know who else has the prospect cache, resources, and eagerness to get him. How often do we wait for the annual monster Cubs trade that doesn't happen? Yanks...Not without Hughes and Duncan. I think Bowden looks around at the dirth of suitors, and tries like hell to bait the Angels into the mix. And they bite.
2006-06-09 18:01:31
92.   natepurcell
88

if the Dodger's trade Billingsley for Zito, Colletti would not be a safe man in the greater LA area.

2006-06-09 18:02:30
93.   Bob Timmermann
If Billingsley got traded, there would be a run on Ned Colletti effigies to burn.

I would try to first head down to the Effigy District to corner their market and then they to gouge people wanting to buy the effigies.

After I made a lot of money selling the effigies, I'd gas up the Prius and head to Vegas until the rioting stopped.

I've had this contingency plan worked out for a while.

2006-06-09 18:03:35
94.   natepurcell
would the Prius only take one tank full to get to Vegas?
2006-06-09 18:04:08
95.   JoeyP
The Cubs put Kerry Wood back on the DL today. Was it bad mechanics, or no extra juice that has ruined his career?
2006-06-09 18:04:42
96.   Bob Timmermann
The Prius goes over 400 miles on a tank of gas, so unless Las Vegas has moved, the answer would be yes.
2006-06-09 18:05:56
97.   bhsportsguy
94 Maybe only half
2006-06-09 18:05:56
98.   Greg Brock
93- Hilarious, Bob. Question: Is the effigy district anywhere near the petard section of town? I like to do my shopping all in one day, and I need a new petard.
2006-06-09 18:06:33
99.   Steve
If I had a Colletti Effigy, I would set fire to its mustache first.
2006-06-09 18:07:45
100.   Uncle Miltie
If Billingsley (and Guzman) nets us Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis, then I'd be ecstatic.

If Ned trades Billingsley for Livan Hernandez, then he better make like rice-a-roni and run back to San Francisco.

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2006-06-09 18:08:55
101.   sanchez101
81.
Drew's hitting .284/.385/.500 right now, PECOTA has him hitting .298/.410/.550 this season. Thats 75 OPS points. And his career line is .287/.392/.513, 25 OPS points better than he's hitting now.

When it comes to Mueller and Navarro, if Aybar and/or Martin crater Mueller and Navarro will be there to pick up the slack. If Martin and/or Aybar keep their performance up, then there is no reason to worry.

Jeff Kent has a 800 OPS, well above average for a secondbaseman, and he was struggling. Once he's healthy he'll be fine.

Furcal still has to make up for his terrible May, his eqa on the season is .250.

I dont understand why all the bad things that have happened are for real, but all the good things will be fleeting.

2006-06-09 18:11:28
102.   Greg Brock
Bob, between the effigy district and the mobius strip, you are on a Dimaggio-like streak of hilarity. Expect to be walked every AB from now on.
2006-06-09 18:11:56
103.   Uncle Miltie
Looks like Kim is going to dominate us again. 7 innings 1-2 runs sounds about right.

Expect Clint Hurdle to plan smallball in the first inning if anyone gets on.

2006-06-09 18:12:55
104.   regfairfield
93 I'm pretty sure if Billingsly got traded for Zito, 95% of Los Angeles would be ready to name him executive of the millenium.
2006-06-09 18:15:04
105.   natepurcell
Penny looks really stiff right now.
2006-06-09 18:17:46
106.   Uncle Miltie
Why wasn't Sullivan stealing? I expected Sullivan to steal 2nd and then Clint could have had Helton bunt him over to 3rd or at least hit the ball to right side making a Productive Out™
2006-06-09 18:18:57
107.   das411
59 - Nate, will Brian Kingman nemesis Mike Maroth still be around when the Tigers put that rotation together?

96 - But Bob, what will you do if there is another random smug convergence?

And has anybody ever actually seen Soriano and Vlad Guerrero in the same place at the same time...?

2006-06-09 18:19:58
108.   Greg Brock
Penny's elbow is stiff, and Gagne is attempting to pitch through pain...All is right with the world. Let me guess, Drew has hamstring problems.
2006-06-09 18:21:54
109.   Steve
I just did something I never thought I would do.

I voted Yes on Grady Little.

2006-06-09 18:23:58
110.   JoeyP
It might be helpful to get the ball out of the infield against Kim.
2006-06-09 18:25:03
111.   JoeyP
108. Dodger notes tonite on Gagne werent encouraging.
2006-06-09 18:26:38
112.   Sam DC
Having fun yet, das?
2006-06-09 18:29:55
113.   ryu
Why can't Broxton start?
2006-06-09 18:29:55
114.   natepurcell
I am so over Gagne right now. He is turning into dreifort.
2006-06-09 18:30:11
115.   JoeyP
Penny's got his DP ball workin.
2006-06-09 18:30:22
116.   das411
:-D

Hey Steve, Soriano just tried to take out David Bell with a bat shard, on the heels of a no-out bunt no less!

2006-06-09 18:32:00
117.   natepurcell
Penny hasnt used his splitter in about a month and a half.
2006-06-09 18:33:22
118.   Greg Brock
Ya know, you work so hard, an almost "Eternal Sunshine" type deal, to excise the name Dreifort from your mind, and then some guy casually drops his name into a game thread, and your entire world collapses. Thanks a ton...Any Pedro Martinez or Tom Neidenfur thoughts to share?
2006-06-09 18:35:54
119.   Steve
Healthy Dreifort was overrated.
2006-06-09 18:37:01
120.   natepurcell
Russ Mar Tin
2006-06-09 18:37:37
121.   Sam DC
Tommy Lasorda announced to visit the booth during the Nationals game tonight.

This is the first Nationals game I've watched on TV this year. Horrid announcers. They just openly cheer for the team. Very un-Vin.

2006-06-09 18:39:04
122.   Nick Iyengar
Penny is handling the bat well this year.
2006-06-09 18:47:04
123.   ryu
122. Yeah, Y! Sports says Penny is batting .320!
2006-06-09 18:48:31
124.   Bob Timmermann
121

Bob Carpenter and Tom Paciorek?

2006-06-09 18:49:04
125.   JoeyP
I really dont like Lofton stealing in that situation.
2006-06-09 18:49:51
126.   JoeyP
Thanks for taking the bat out of your best hitters hands. Hopefully Aybar comes through.
2006-06-09 18:55:06
127.   JoeyP
The Cards have just about a complete scraptacular lineup, but they've went ahead of the Brewers 8-6, after trailing 6-0.
Mulder's ERA has jumped to 5.20
2006-06-09 18:56:18
128.   Gen3Blue
Woah, my internet connections been a real Shiloh Pitt tonight. I've been trying to get on since at least the beginning of the game and now I've lost anything relevant I had to say. I know: I always seem to get the Rockies announcers and one gem among others was this. Boy, it's hard on the center fielder if the ball is hit slightly to one side of direct center, makes it hard to read! And other comments more inane.
2006-06-09 18:57:47
129.   Greg Brock
Barmes...Venison in the headlights
2006-06-09 18:57:51
130.   Gen3Blue
Amazing.
2006-06-09 18:57:55
131.   natepurcell
Vin just called Barmes a red-neck.

well sort of.

2006-06-09 18:58:13
132.   Bob Timmermann
Mets up 4-0 in the 1st at Arizona.

I'll be heading out soon, so I hope to have some good things to update on playoff positions when I get back.

2006-06-09 19:01:04
133.   dan310
Can anybody tell me where to find arguments/data to support the idea that BABIP is luck? Free info would be nice, but I'd be interested in anything. It seems like there's at least some truth behind it, but I'm also skeptical. Also, can anybody tell me where to find current BABIP data for pitchers? Thanks.
2006-06-09 19:01:06
134.   Sam DC
Tommy Lasorda and Michael Milken talking about prostrate cancer. Now that makes a ballgame.
2006-06-09 19:02:08
135.   Bob Timmermann
134

Cancer leaves mainly people prostrate.

You should know better than making that rookie mistake Sam!

2006-06-09 19:02:38
136.   JoeyP
Wow its now 4-1. Craig Counsell led off with a HR, after the Mets hit 2 in the top of the 1st.
2006-06-09 19:03:50
137.   bhsportsguy
I am not a doctor nor do I play one on TV but in doing a little reading on the type of injury Gagne has suffered, it appears that they have done everything you are supposed to do but the one thing that complicates matter is that I am not sure you can duplicate the stress on the elbow and the nerve in a gametime situation, I think after 2 weeks of rest and anti-inflamatories, the nerve will calm down and feel fine but when he cranks it up again, I am not sure how he will recover.
2006-06-09 19:05:41
138.   Bob Timmermann
So who's going to tell Vin which team Mike Hargrove really manages?
2006-06-09 19:06:14
139.   Sam DC
Tommy is now talking about pitching to Frank Robinson in Winninpeg. He's also expained that when they do this road show, the home team always wins.

Milken wants you to know that pomegranate juice staves off prostate cancer.

Tommy's nickname for Nationals announcer Tom Paciorek is Wimpy.

2006-06-09 19:06:25
140.   Bob Timmermann
OK, Vin figured it out.
2006-06-09 19:06:55
141.   Bob Timmermann
Tom Paciorek's nickname has always been Wimpy I believe.
2006-06-09 19:12:48
142.   Bob Timmermann
Supposedly, Paciorek ate a lot of hamburgers in the minors. Hence the association with the Popeye character "Wimpy."
2006-06-09 19:13:50
143.   Gen3Blue
This brings me back most of the way to little league. I don't see how a right hander can hit this Kim. On the other hand I don't see how a left hander can miss him.
Of course I see it doesn't seem to work this way in MLB.
But being in Colorado we better work on a few more runs or we are obviously screwed.
2006-06-09 19:16:41
144.   Greg Brock
143-Ask Jeter and Brosius...They might explain how.
2006-06-09 19:22:03
145.   Gen3Blue
Looks like the D-backs won't gain on the D's tonight.
2006-06-09 19:23:24
146.   natepurcell
wow... that was embarassing for the 3rd base coach.
2006-06-09 19:23:34
147.   das411
Sam, that's one of the cardinal unwritten rules of watching a ballgame on TV. When Tommy Lasorda shows up, hit MUTE!

And when Bobby Abreu misses an easy line drive in RF, bad things happen.

GIGANTOR should be coming in soon though!!

2006-06-09 19:23:38
148.   Greg Brock
Good God, what was that. Who in the world thinks you can score on that. GADZOOKS.
2006-06-09 19:24:02
149.   Marty
The human windmill strikes again.
2006-06-09 19:24:08
150.   Gen3Blue
Right to try, in my HO.
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2006-06-09 19:24:20
151.   Steve
Unbelievable. I mean, with Hoffman they were at least arguably close. This guy gets people thrown out by forty feet.
2006-06-09 19:27:44
152.   Steve
Nice job by the Reds in the ninth against soon-to-be former closer Ryan Dempster.
2006-06-09 19:27:47
153.   Greg Brock
Hoffman, meet Sveum...Sveum, meet Hoffman.
2006-06-09 19:27:58
154.   Uncle Miltie
Why were we running on Brad Hawpe? He has one of the best outfield arms in baseball. I'm sure Hoffman would have sent him in too.
2006-06-09 19:28:33
155.   Gen3Blue
Are acrobatic pair, Hu And E.(Tony) Abreu are both creeping towards .300 at Jax. They are both young and I hope we don't give them away too cheap. Of course, we can keep them at least a year maybe two for free.
2006-06-09 19:28:38
156.   Greg Brock
I miss Glenn Hoffman. Of course, I also miss parachute pants and indoor soccer.
2006-06-09 19:28:52
157.   Gen3Blue
Our. sorry
2006-06-09 19:30:21
158.   Greg Brock
Heads up play boys.
2006-06-09 19:31:20
159.   natepurcell
155

I like Hu better then abreu. Better plate discipline, better defensive player.

here we penny, now he is dealing, getting that fb in the mid 90s.

2006-06-09 19:31:56
160.   Gen3Blue
Why not run. Nobody's hitting this Kim much and while Hawpe does have a great arm he might have creamed his dream, almost as easily as Mondesi, and thrown it over the back-stop.
2006-06-09 19:34:07
161.   Greg Brock
The rule is, generally, if you're not around the bag when the outfielder touches the ball, STOP. In this case, If you're not around the bag when the outfielder has thrown the ball, clipped his nails, and is washing his jersey, you might be out.
2006-06-09 19:35:46
162.   Gen3Blue
159 Hu is better defensively, but Tony has a bit more power, which Hu doesn't figure to come by. And who can deny a first name like Estanislau.( I believe thats close).
2006-06-09 19:37:07
163.   ToyCannon
I remember when Tom Paciorek was a huge Dodger prospect. He was part of that incredible 68 draft and was talked about more then Garvey and Cey in 72. Things changed.
2006-06-09 19:39:41
164.   Marty
It was no play to run on. Barely a hit into short right field. Plus it was Nomar running. You risk an injury to your best hitter with some play at the plate, or a pulled muscle. Just an all-around dumb move in my opinion.
2006-06-09 19:39:46
165.   Jon Weisman
I missed the play, but running on Hawpe was the play I wrote about the last time the Dodgers were in Colorado.
2006-06-09 19:41:54
166.   Jon Weisman
Different situation, but sounds like the Dodgers need a new scouting report.

http://dodgerthoughts.baseballtoaster.com/archives/378025.html

2006-06-09 19:41:58
167.   Greg Brock
Jon, this was worse...Way worse. Think about the furthest out a little leaguer has ever been on a play at the plate...and add four feet. It was just horrible.
2006-06-09 19:46:15
168.   Gen3Blue
While it was horrible I see no alternative. Unless Penny can pitch a complete game it is a foregone conclusion. You have to score more than two in the rarified air. Esp. with our bull-pen.
2006-06-09 19:48:30
169.   Jon Weisman
168 - An alternative is letting Aybar bat with two runners on.
2006-06-09 19:48:49
170.   Steve
How does killing the inning by getting the runner thrown out by forty feet help us score runs?
2006-06-09 19:49:36
171.   Greg Brock
This is not your daddy's Coors Field. It's not like it used to be, although, I grant you, two runs don't inspire confidence. But man, you cannot try to score on that play. If I wasn't a Dodger fan, that would be my favorite third base coach snafu of all time. Well that, and every windmill Dale Sveum ever made.
2006-06-09 19:49:55
172.   underdog
I didn't see the play in question either, only heard the call on the radio, but I think I distinctly heard the sounds of Donnelly nipping at his whiskey flask before Garciaparra's hit. Only thing I can think of.

Btw, belated thanks Jon for a very fair-minded examination of Odalis Perez and the other members of the 3-4-5. Very nice breakdown of all the possibilities. I do see the possibility of OP picking things up a bit, though like everyone else here have little confidence in him in general. I can definitely see him on the upswing though. The best thing would be for him to pick it up to average or above average, because it would be nice to have one lefty starter.

Still, I look forward to Billingsley's arrival. Odds are we'll see it well before September.

2006-06-09 19:53:58
173.   Greg Brock
Boy, in the rhetorical/obvious department, how about Nomar this year. Wonder what the contract extension situation will be.
2006-06-09 19:59:51
174.   Brian Y
173. My guess is Ned gives him 3 years at at least 7 mill/year. Probably 3 yrs $22.5 Mill
2006-06-09 20:00:44
175.   das411
It's not over until CHASE UTLEY says it's over!!!

In other news, the mini-Marlins have ended Chris Young's streak of near no hitters! 1-0 Florida, bottom 3rd.

2006-06-09 20:02:54
176.   Steve
Nate, I want a Chase Utley.
2006-06-09 20:03:47
177.   Greg Brock
Boy, Helton isn't as strong as he used to be. It's almost like he's lost something...I don't know, some extra bat speed or something. Can't really put my finger on it. Almost like he's not...Oh, I don't know.
2006-06-09 20:04:57
178.   natepurcell
Nate, I want a Chase Utley.

blame chase, he's the one that didnt sign for one million.

2006-06-09 20:05:33
179.   Gen3Blue
According to these announcers, Lofton robbed a base hit.
2006-06-09 20:07:06
180.   natepurcell
According to these announcers, Lofton robbed a base hit.

well if you didnt see it, no he did not. it was a fly ball right at him. nothing sexy.

2006-06-09 20:07:09
181.   Jon Weisman
179 - It was hit right at him.
2006-06-09 20:07:14
182.   Marty
Penny going through the seventh is nice to see for a change.
2006-06-09 20:07:26
183.   Steve
And now he has to play for Charlie Manuel, so screw him.
2006-06-09 20:08:08
184.   underdog
Yeah, I'm feeling pretty happy to see the 7 shutout innings from Penny. A really good sign.
2006-06-09 20:09:17
185.   Greg Brock
I want a Chase Utley is right...Masher, gamer, fellow Bruin. What's not to love? I give him four weeks before he's booed out of Philly. Maybe he'll break his face, and everybody will love him.
2006-06-09 20:09:37
186.   Gen3Blue
Exactly- this is what I have to deal constantly with these Rocky announcers.
2006-06-09 20:10:28
187.   Greg Brock
Wasn't Stu Nahan a Rocky announcer? Rocky II, for sure.
2006-06-09 20:10:50
188.   Gen3Blue
And I am watching it -which makes many of their comments so incredible(DTV)
2006-06-09 20:12:17
189.   natepurcell
this is what Utley hit in the FSL as a 21/22 yr old.
467ABs 16hr
257/.316/.422
2006-06-09 20:18:01
190.   Gen3Blue
That ball"just tailed foul"
2006-06-09 20:19:43
191.   Greg Brock
100 pitches in 7 2/3 at Coors. Very nice, Brad. Very nice. Keep it going, slim.
2006-06-09 20:20:35
192.   Greg Brock
Once again, this is not your Daddy's Coors field.
2006-06-09 20:21:23
193.   Jon Weisman
The Dodgers' first eight-inning start of the season.
2006-06-09 20:21:58
194.   Marty
Stu Nahan was an L.A. Radio sports guy forever. I can't imagine him doing play by play for Colorado.
2006-06-09 20:22:31
195.   natepurcell
will this be our first dodger CG of the year?!?!?
2006-06-09 20:22:36
196.   Gen3Blue
These damn annoncers had 2 home runs somehow denied this inning.
2006-06-09 20:22:47
197.   Marty
And then I really read 187 and see I'm an idiot.
2006-06-09 20:23:11
198.   Greg Brock
Marty, it was a Stu Nahan, Rocky II MOVIE reference. A little cross-pop culture joke.
2006-06-09 20:23:38
199.   Greg Brock
No worries Marty. No worries. LOL.
2006-06-09 20:23:42
200.   DXMachina
Wow. Penny gets to go into the ninth.
Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2006-06-09 20:27:26
201.   Gen3Blue
Lofton is awesome.
2006-06-09 20:28:16
202.   Gen3Blue
Come on Garc. one more run would be nice.
2006-06-09 20:30:18
203.   Gen3Blue
Whoa- bum call!
2006-06-09 20:30:47
204.   natepurcell
nomar didnt go around, his bat control is tremendous. ump didnt even ask the 1st base umpire!
2006-06-09 21:10:19
205.   das411
Did Frank Robinson having Soriano bunt with two men on and nobody out in the bottom 10th, just kill the Toaster?
2006-06-09 21:15:20
206.   D4P
So, did Penny get upset with Grittle for taking him out of the game before he could get a shutout (or at least a complete game)?
2006-06-09 21:16:23
207.   Gen3Blue
Nate--yes indeed, Garciappara has great bat control-he was nowhere near swinging--But wow--I got back on toaster after 30 mins.
I was wrong! I said the D's would lose unless Penny pitched a complete game.
But I Love being wrong! And I didn't know it would be Saito with the last out.
2006-06-09 21:16:58
208.   Greg Brock
Wow, couldn't get on the page for half an hour....I'll just hope that Super Mario didn't trade Billingsley and Kemp for Zito, and that the Dodger universe didn't hack the entire web.
2006-06-09 21:17:43
209.   Gen3Blue
Something killed the toaster. But its back and so are the D's.
2006-06-09 21:18:35
210.   Greg Brock
Or my ISP didn't sign with a competitor, and that your site is now persona non grata. God bless net neutrality...while it lasts.
2006-06-09 21:20:59
211.   Vishal
[206] no, he was tired and gave grady a pat on the back as he left the mound.
2006-06-09 21:36:53
212.   das411
And now the 0 for 6 Soriano is intentionally walked in the bottom 12th following yet another failed bunt.

Charlie Manuel vs Frank Robinson = priceless!!

2006-06-09 21:38:59
213.   Greg Brock
So, I'm watching Frank McCourt on Fox, and he talks about how the Dodger farm system was 28th the year before he got here, and now they're a jewel, ranked #1 overall. Boy, Logan White and Terry Collins must really appreciate that "team first, credit where credit is due" attitude presented by the owner. Where would the farm system be without Frank McCourt? That is disgusting, and I hope somebody (Jon Weisman) calls him on that Busch League nonsense.
2006-06-09 21:56:08
214.   Daniel Zappala
I had to leave at the start of this thread, but I wanted to make one last comment on BABIP. The idea that it is purely luck runs contrary to those times when a pitcher (call him Carter or Baez) is just getting hammered -- double, single, double, triple, double, single -- and you know he doesn't have it. There are often no home runs in the string -- so this is purely luck? Those balls get hit somewhere different and the inning ends with no damage? It just runs contrary to common sense. Life is complex, and I fully expect that some times the outcome of a batted ball is essentially luck, but other times it is a bad pitch being hit hard.

In statistics, there are lots of things that can be "true" in the aggregate, but this does not preclude different results in more specific situations, e.g. a truly awful pitcher having a bad night.

2006-06-09 22:08:21
215.   bhsportsguy
213 According to Baseball America's rankings in starting from 2002, they have ranked the Dodger Minor League Talent, 28th, 25th, 14th (2004-McCourt buys team), 2nd, and this year 1st.

So his statement is correct for this year, facts are off but I think talent ratings are like the economy, you always give credit or blame to guy in charge even though he may have nothing at all to do it.

2006-06-09 22:10:04
216.   Uncle Miltie
Great outing by Penny. I love Grits, he maybe almost all of the right moves, except not playing Kemp.

Izturis is really walking like crazy on his rehab stint. The game isn't over yet, but so far on his rehab stint, Izturis has walked 6 times in 7 games (25 at bats), while striking out only once. New found plate discipline or wild AAA pitchers? He's never been this patient at any stage of his career.

2006-06-09 22:12:26
217.   Uncle Miltie
*made
2006-06-09 22:14:37
218.   Greg Brock
The fact that he would take ownership (no pun intended) of the prospect situation, as if it were part of some grand plan, is so erroneous and fraudulent that it enfuriates me. The verbiage means "When I took over the club, they had no scouting, no prospects, and no plan...But then I instituted the master plan, and now we're on the right track." For any person who has observed this squad, that is a horrible statement, and wildly inaccurate. Look, I don't hate Frank McCourt; In fact, I think he's alright...But that kind of assertion is just downright ridiculous.
2006-06-09 22:15:48
219.   Blake Sullivan
Regarding BABIP, there is a subtle point about McCracken's theory--it only applies to pitchers capable of pitching in the major leagues. Quoting from McCraken's Baseball Prospectus article:
"There is little if any difference among major-league pitchers in their ability to prevent hits on balls hit in the field of play."
This is based on the idea that pitchers who give up a high percentage of line drives will not be able to reach or stay in major-league baseball. If Perez has a high line drive percentage to go with his high BABIP then he might be unlucky or it might be that his career is coming to an end
2006-06-09 22:19:11
220.   bhsportsguy
Just an aside, Howie Kendrick has 4 hits tonight, he is now hitting .414, at some point don't have to show the players in your system that this kind of production deserves a shot to play in everyday in MLB.
2006-06-09 22:19:26
221.   Steve
219 -- YES! Exactly. Well put.
2006-06-09 22:22:24
222.   bhsportsguy
218 Since I did not hear it, I trust your reporting of it and I agree that if that was it sounded like then it was a erroneous statement to make.

Still I give him credit, thus far he has done a pretty good job staying out of the way.

2006-06-09 22:28:13
223.   Jon Weisman
213 - I've made that point about McCourt plenty in the past, and it never seems to get me anywhere.

214 - "Those balls get hit somewhere different and the inning ends with no damage? It just runs contrary to common sense."

Actually, that makes perfect sense. If those balls find people's gloves, they're outs.

"I fully expect that some times the outcome of a batted ball is essentially luck, but other times it is a bad pitch being hit hard."

I completely agree.

Consider no-hitters. A pitcher gets 27 outs - say, maybe nine by strikeout. Are all 18 other outs softly hit, automatic outs? Rarely. We usually find there's one game-saving play or more.

Every lucky out saves you .055 in batting average per 18 outs (0 for 18 vs. 1 for 18). Every unlucky hit costs you .055 in batting average. A couple of extrra bloopers, or a blooper and a slow roller, and your BABIP in a six-inning start goes up .110.

I understanding that every pitcher gets some of these. But while it's unusual for this kind of bad luck to persist over a number of starts, that's precisely the point here - Perez's BABIP is extremely unusual. It's possible this really does mean the end of his career - and I said as much at the outset of my post. But the change is so abrupt, that I think the more likely explanation is bad luck.

Finally, as far as your double/triple/double comparison with Carter and Baez, again, that's why I looked at Perez's slugging percentage. And Perez is not giving up an unusual amount of extra-base hits - further strengthening the case for him.

2006-06-09 22:29:02
224.   Greg Brock
"When we bought the team, people rated us 28th in the majors in terms of prospects...Today, we're second. I think we've made a lot of progress." Hardly a lot of ambiguity there. I'm so sorry to harp on this, but I couldn't believe what I heard. Perhaps you guys don't think this kind of thing is important, but I (and a lot of my fellow Blue fans) think it is. Claiming credit for something like this, when you have absolutely no contribution, is horrible.
2006-06-09 22:34:13
225.   Greg Brock
Jon, I swear, as much as I love everything you write, from Variety to Dodger Thoughts, From Grey's Anatomy to Furcal's VORP, I really feel like these statements from McCourt are not to be ignored. The sense of self-importance, and the revisionist history, are so amazing that I hope some emphasis is placed on them. Maybe I'm just tilting against windmills, but those statements are downright crazy and dishonest.
2006-06-09 22:34:31
226.   bhsportsguy
BTW Las Vegas and the Dodgers have the same 34-27 record, Jacksonville has the best record in Dodger system with tonight's win, they are 43-20, winners of 10 stright and 18 out of 19.
2006-06-09 22:36:46
227.   bhsportsguy
225 Don Quixote, if last year didn't send McCourt back to Boston, some statements on a local cable production is going to do it either.
2006-06-09 22:41:49
228.   Eric Enders
225 He's a major league owner. Which means he's practically required to be crazy and dishonest.
2006-06-09 22:47:27
229.   Greg Brock
Sorry, after all these years, I'm still an idealist...I'll just go listen to the White Album, throw on my dungarees, and burn my bra...Darn I don't have dungarees or a bra...I'll just listen to Rocky Racoon, and be really angry about it.
2006-06-09 22:52:41
230.   bhsportsguy
229 Peace brother, maybe Matthew will hit one out tomorrow.
2006-06-09 23:12:09
231.   regfairfield
224 If Colletti deserves credit for not trading Billingsly, McCourt deserves credit for not firing Logan White.

I suppose that's how his logic is working.

2006-06-09 23:15:04
232.   ToyCannon
Chris Young will give the Padres a nice one two punch if Peavy gets untracked or stays injury free.
Aren't we in 1st place? Kind of hard to worry to much about our rotation when you see what Arizona is putting out there.
2006-06-09 23:29:50
233.   Greg Brock
I'm so very sorry gang, but I'm just not gonna let this one go. Ignore me, agree with me, but what Angela's Ashes said what just plain dishonest. Ugly McUnderbite bought the team, officially, on January 26, 2004. Prior to that, the team:

Drafted: Andy LaRoche, Chad Billingsley, James Loney, Russ Martin, Jonathan Broxton, Matt Kemp

Signed: Joel Guzman, Willy Aybar

Please, explain to me how Midget McWifeishot rebuilt the farm system...Please, I'm dying to know.

2006-06-09 23:45:48
234.   blue2thebone
If he claimed to have rebuilt the farm system, he's wrong. But, I can't blame the guy for being proud of the farm system he has. I think we're all proud of the farm system.
2006-06-09 23:51:56
235.   Robert Daeley
Back on topic ;) how about that Odalis Perez -- a real giver, ain't he?

In the Press-Enterprise:

> [Odalis Perez] stopped his O's 45's program, in which he bought 45 tickets for inner-city school children to attend his starts, after losing his starting job. He said he would not reinstate the program now that he is starting again because he felt he never got enough credit from the club or the public for his charitable contributions.

> "When you spend your own money you want to be recognized for that," Perez said. "I don't want to be a hero, but just pay more attention to what I'm doing. People don't want to give me the recognition for it."

2006-06-10 00:17:05
236.   Steve
Is our entire pitching staff made of Klingons?
2006-06-10 00:44:05
237.   regfairfield
235 Knowing Odalis, he probably got the cheapest seats possible, so that's $270 a game. Assuming he gets 30 starts, his program was costing him $8,100 a year, or .08% of his yearly salary.

This would be equivelent to me, on my part time college student salary, wanting to get recognized for donating $8.52.

2006-06-10 00:48:03
238.   bhsportsguy
235 I agree you should do charity not for recognition but because you want to give back but at games at Staples, they always point out the areas where certain players have bought tickets for youth programs. Its petty on Odalis' part but a 10 second Dodgervision announcement really isn't too much ask.

They do point out the charities that give money for every strikeout or whatever else early in the game.

But if any other players are buying tickets (and I am sure some do), the Dodgers don't promote that either.

Might be a good question to put on the "Inside the Dodgers" blog.

2006-06-10 00:51:33
239.   Greg Brock
Penny was 91-93 in the first three innings, and 93-96 in the last few innings. I've always wondered how that happens with pitchers.
2006-06-10 00:55:27
240.   bhsportsguy
235 Interestingly, in Odalis's biography on the Dodger website and media guide, it states how he started the ticket program in 2005. So I am not exactly sure what recognition he is talking about because it is there if people want to find it.
2006-06-10 02:13:53
241.   al bundy
I enjoy the Dodgers beating the Rockies even more after reading that the CO team is run by the christian taliban. Sheesh.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eric-j-weiner/the-craziest-fn-baseball_b_22521.html
http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/nl/rockies/2006-05-30-rockies-cover_x.htm
2006-06-10 02:20:43
242.   Uncle Miltie
It's pretty ridiculous that Odalis is stopping the program, what a stupid reason. You donate because you want to help others, not to beef (had to use a food wood when talking about Odalis) up your imagine. It is true that the team really hasn't advertised his program, while we constantly hear about Gagne's charity bowling thing and how Jeff Kent approves of Jamie McCourt's program for women, though we don't really know if he's every done a charitable thing in his life that wasn't done for publicity. I do know from his days in San Francisco that Kent is one of the most unfriendly players in the game, he rarely acknowledges fans before the game and never signs autographs. Odalis Perez is actually one of the few Dodgers who signs autographs, though maybe he'll stop doing that too. His agent really should have advised him not to do this. If he really wants to leave, doing things like this will not help his trade value, and I can't see the Dodgers flat out cutting him unless he pulls a Denny Neagle.
2006-06-10 05:23:36
243.   Sam DC
Angels fans are booing Vlad Guererro?
2006-06-10 07:06:51
244.   Sushirabbit
219 - well, said. I was hoping Perez had something left. Now I think it might just look like bad luck instead of say bad pitches married to bad pitch selection.

228 - Hear, hear!

229-230 That made me chuckle, I was just thinking the other night about how underrated Terry Kath was-- this maybe the only place I think I could say that and at least two people would understand without explanation.

Jon, thanks again for the great place to learn (dealing psychologically?) about the Dodgers. I find it hard to go more than a few days without checking in.

2006-06-10 09:19:43
245.   Gagne55
Perez might be capable of something as he's shown in the past, but he doesn't appear to be right now. I wonder if he'd accept a demotion to AAA for a while. The Dodgers should basically tell him that the only way for him to start for them again is to go to Vegas and fix his mechanics there.
2006-06-10 09:21:31
246.   Gagne55
Oh, and giving to charity for the sake of recognition violates Matthew 6:1-4
2006-06-10 09:23:43
247.   Eric Enders
"Matthew 6:1-4"

Thou shalt hitteth home runs to smite the Metropolitans?

2006-06-10 09:46:08
248.   Bob Timmermann
I was still ticked off that the UCLA Alumni Association took about two weeks to recognize my donation though.

I did get a receipt!

2006-06-10 10:07:51
249.   Greg S
248
I won't give to UCLA Alumni. Those donations are supposed to go to improving life for undergrads yet I could never park on campus. I DID get to watch giant edifices go up on my bus ride in.
2006-06-10 10:45:36
250.   Art H Tracy
I think I heard a guy on the Fox pregame say that the Dodgers are interested in Soriano. Could I have heard that right?
Show/Hide Comments 251-300
2006-06-10 11:04:01
251.   Blu2
(174) Namar had to sign an undervalued contract this year because of the injury questions. If he keeps hitting at this level, it'll take a 3 year $25 to $30 million offer to sign him.
By the way, there was talk of signing Kim last winter. I was all for it then, even more for it now. Could we interest the Rocks in some of our rejects for him now?
2006-06-10 11:28:42
252.   Bluebleeder87
you want Kim in our rotation???
2006-06-10 11:30:33
253.   Bluebleeder87
173

you think he'll give us the home town discount?

2006-06-10 11:53:44
254.   tjshere
245

Perez keeps insisting there's nothing wrong with his mechanics, so I seriously doubt he would agree to a demotion to work on them.

2006-06-10 12:03:19
255.   FirstMohican
Maybe Perez will stop coming to work because nobody appreciates it.
2006-06-10 12:08:38
256.   bill cox
How about bringing up Joel Hanrahan for a start.He has pitched very well this year.The game I saw,91-93mph fastball,good sink,good control.He has nothing to gain by going back to Vegas,but sleepless nights.I can't see him faring worse than Perez or Seo or the real Tomko waiting to breakout.
2006-06-10 12:30:32
257.   Bluebleeder87
I say bring Miller for a start WHY NOT!!?
2006-06-10 12:40:52
258.   Bluebleeder87
can any of you post on Dodgers.com? I can't open my account or post there for some reason?
2006-06-10 12:43:52
259.   Gagne55
"How about bringing up Joel Hanrahan for a start.He has pitched very well this year.The game I saw,91-93mph fastball,good sink,good control.He has nothing to gain by going back to Vegas,but sleepless nights.I can't see him faring worse than Perez or Seo or the real Tomko waiting to breakout."

Ugg. Where to begin? Are you seriously considering failed prospect Joel Hanrahan? And what do you mean by the real Tomko waiting to break out? He's had an era of 9 over his last 4 starts. I think Tomko's overall performence (an era in the high fours) is what he'll be over the course of the season. Are you refering to Sele?

2006-06-10 12:47:55
260.   Gagne55
Actually, I just looked at Jacksonville's stats. It looks like Hanrahan and Miller are looking more like the prospects they were claimed to be 2 years ago. Still, Joel's walk rate needs to come down. It is way high right now.
2006-06-10 13:05:45
261.   natepurcell
260

Miller was always a prospect.

2006-06-10 13:06:15
262.   Bluebleeder87
the way Seo & Perez look why not.
2006-06-10 14:09:01
263.   thinkblue0
the worst part about Perez is that he's throwing so bad that he is completely untradeable. If he was at least pretty good to half-way decent we might be able to find a taker...but not at this point.

If I'm Colletti, I offer him and a little cash to the Yankees for literally nothing. They need pitching, and they've made dumber moves in the past....

2006-06-10 14:21:50
264.   willhite
In order for Ned to get the Yanks to take Odallis, he would have to pay his entire contract plus throw in Billingsley. Right now, he's worth less than nothing.
2006-06-10 14:23:49
265.   ToyCannon
Hanrahan was removed from the 40 man roster this winter. You would need to kick someone off the 40 man to give him a spot start and he's not doing that well to warrant such a move.
2006-06-10 14:51:52
266.   natepurcell
in this going to be the game chat?

anyways, nice lineup for tonight.

Furcal, SS

Lofton, CF

Nomar, 1B

Drew, RF

Kemp, LF

Aybar, 2B

Guzman, 3B

Martin, C

Tomko, P

2006-06-10 14:58:26
267.   Bluebleeder87
I hope Kemp gets a hold of one (in colorado) I don't think this is gonna be the game day thread though.
2006-06-10 14:58:57
268.   thinkblue0
264-

reports are that they were interested. If we can manage to put together a couple of decent starts then we might be able to ditch him. I read they were interested in him and Cruz....Odalis and Cruz for a player to be named later....in my dreams i guess.

2006-06-10 14:59:58
269.   thinkblue0
is Gagne available to pitch tonight?
2006-06-10 15:03:07
270.   Marty
Gagne is not available, may be going on the DL. If we get 3 more appearances out of him this year it will be lucky.
2006-06-10 15:05:03
271.   willhite
269 -
Think I saw somewhere that he was going to try throwing again Tuesday. Scary thing is no one seems to have any idea what the problem is. Or if they do, the aren't talking.
2006-06-10 15:07:28
272.   thinkblue0
guh...ive been out of the loop for a few days...I really don't want to see him back on the DL. If we pick up his option then Ned has made a gigantic mistake.
2006-06-10 15:13:41
273.   Bluebleeder87
272

I say shut him down for a month, & hope for the best.

2006-06-10 15:14:06
274.   Jon Weisman
I think picking up Gagne's option is the last thing on the Dodgers' minds right now.
2006-06-10 15:16:53
275.   thinkblue0
274-

I agree, but it doesn't change the fact that the decision should be completely clear as soon as the season ends.

We need pitching, figure out what to do with the Odalis situation, and worry about getting Kent healthy...still doesn't change the fact that Gagne's situation is still lingering in the back.

2006-06-10 15:23:35
276.   willhite
275 - Looks like Kent is almost healthy, no one is likely to take Odalis anytime soon and the Dodgers are not going to pay Gagne 12 million next year.

Next set of problems, please.

2006-06-10 17:32:17
277.   Uncle Miltie
Tomko is junk!
2006-06-16 20:58:35
278.   gammonshoax
Broxton was a starter in the minors before this year, so it wouldn't be converting him. Little should at least start trying him out in long relief situations. At this point, barring a trade, he seems like our best option. I don't want to try to see if Tomko can go 7 bad starts in a row.

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