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Kids 2, Dodger Thoughts 0
2007-05-28 11:46
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

The game was not as close as the score indicated. I'm even a little taken by surprise by the one-sidedness of it all.

Two quick not-the-top-story notes:

"The Dodgers have signed switch-hitting catcher Griff Erickson, the team's 2006 15th-round draft pick who was a draft-and-follow player out of San Diego Mesa College," Diamond Leung of the Press-Enterprise reported. Griff sounds like a character out of Viking Quest.

A great recap of Friday's 9-8 Dodger victory comes courtesy of Rob McMillin at 6-4-2.

Comments (133)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-05-28 11:59:08
1.   Bumsrap
There was a time when I was split between reading the funny pages or the sports pages first. This could be the new thing.
2007-05-28 12:15:06
2.   D4P
I see that Ashley Harkleroad-Brock won her first round match at the Freedom Open
2007-05-28 12:21:24
3.   natepurcell
Griff Erickson is a big bodied switch hitting catcher (like 6'2 220lbs) who has pretty good strike zone discipline but hits for power like Juan Pierre.
2007-05-28 12:26:57
4.   underdog
That Leung piece also mentioned that they are unlikely to sign Nic Akins before the deadline, which is too bad.
---

Hmmm, this is interesting:
http://tinyurl.com/yw8dsg

"Padres first baseman Adrian Gonzalez is a member of the Free James Loney Society.

"He shouldn't be in Triple-A," Gonzalez said. "He should be traded or called up and given a chance to play every day."

When the Dodgers returned first baseman Loney to Triple-A to start this season, it raised the old development question: How much time in Triple-A does a prospect need? The answer, of course, is that it depends on the individual.

Two Padres players who spent more time in Triple-A than many of their peers – Gonzalez and pitcher Justin Germano – admitted that it wasn't heavenly but said the prolonged duty proved helpful."

2007-05-28 12:55:14
5.   das411
Um......I for one hope Mr. Freel and Mr. H opper are both ok after this:

http://www.breitbart.tv/?p=971

2007-05-28 12:56:58
6.   trainwreck
Can we hire Adrian Gonzalez for the front office?
2007-05-28 12:59:52
7.   silverwidow
6-I'd rather he play 1st base for us.
2007-05-28 13:07:35
8.   Dodgers49
394. It's so perfectly obvious Pierre's never, ever going to hit a home run that it's ludicrous that he keeps swinging to hit it high. Why in the world does he do it?

It seems to me pitchers are challenging Pierre high in the strike zone, daring him to hit the ball in the air. It's up to him to him to make the adjustment. I'm a little surprised that he can't seem to make it. After all, he is not a rookie.

2007-05-28 13:13:46
9.   Dodgers49
397 395 He'll be on the team.

I don't believe Martin making the all star team is a given. The all star manager, Tony LaRussa, has a catcher of his own to consider. I remember years ago when Sparky Anderson managed the Tigers he said that he had to pick the ones who got him there. I don't think that's fair but I suspect Sparky isn't the only manager who feels this way.

2007-05-28 13:17:25
10.   bhsportsguy
Josh Bell Update:

The good: 2-2 with a double and run scored.
The bad: 18th error of the year.

Also, you wonder how long he is going to switch hit, his OPS from the left side is double (.960 to .481) that when he hits righthanded.

2007-05-28 13:17:36
11.   D4P
I'm a little surprised that he can't seem to make it. After all, he is not a rookie

Then again, he doesn't have much in the way of discernible baseball skill, so it's really not that surprising.

2007-05-28 13:18:23
12.   bhsportsguy
4 Nic Akins is playing summer ball in Oregon.
2007-05-28 13:27:40
13.   Greg Brock
I hope everybody is having a nice Memorial Day. I'm cleaning the house (grrr).
2007-05-28 13:33:27
14.   tjshere
5 Thanks, das, I hadn't heard about that. So far, it sounds like he's ok -

http://preview.tinyurl.com/yrhvh5

2007-05-28 13:34:15
15.   natepurcell
10

both his hits today are coming right handed. I think it might be due to small sample size and his horrible april. He is right handed so i assume batting right handed is his natural side.

2007-05-28 13:35:00
16.   natepurcell
12

i can see white drafting akins again this year somewhere in the later rounds as a mini draft and follow for the summer.

2007-05-28 13:44:11
17.   Sammy Maudlin
Vegas Update: Kuo breezed through the first 3 innings and then gave up 4 runs and was replaced in the 5th inning. Valdez and Bigbie have been the hitting stars so far.
2007-05-28 13:50:07
18.   silverwidow
17-Maybe this will change their minds and Billingsley will start next Saturday.
2007-05-28 13:50:47
19.   ToyCannon
Sounds like Kuo wasn't impressive enough to be a slam dunk for Saturday's start. Which would we like to see? I like Kuo but at this point I'd rather they give the ball to Billingsley.
2007-05-28 13:51:57
20.   ToyCannon
Nate, if Matt Dominguez falls to 20th would you pick him?
2007-05-28 13:53:13
21.   overkill94
19 As would I. Seems that Hendrickson has maybe one more chance to impress before he gets replaced as well. Since Schmidt has a couple weeks before he's ready, Kuo might have 2 or 3 starts to prove himself, creating somewhat of a competition between he and Billingsley to see who gets to stay in the rotation when Schmidt comes back.
2007-05-28 13:53:34
22.   natepurcell
20

it depends on who else is available. I am not a big fan of his swing mechanics although he has the tools to do pretty well.

2007-05-28 13:58:24
23.   ToyCannon
Your worried about the swing mechanics of an 17 year old? I'd focus more on the power, quick feet, bat speed, strong arm, and catlike reflexes at 3b.
2007-05-28 14:02:59
24.   natepurcell
23

well all those variables factor in as well. But if he has inconsistent swing mechanics right now, it could lead to developing bad habits that could be hard to break. I do think Dominguez is a first round pick and if he was the pick at 20, i wouldnt complain about it. But at this moment, i like a couple of other players more.

2007-05-28 14:15:50
25.   gpellamjr
24 Hey, Nate. Will White want to pick a hitter at the team's top pick, or will it be the best player available? It seems like most of the kids I've heard of have been pitchers.
2007-05-28 14:20:49
26.   gpellamjr
Kemp with a triple for Vegas in the 7th.
2007-05-28 14:22:40
27.   natepurcell
25

the majority of the BPA when the dodgers pick will most likely be a prep pitcher; the strength of this years draft class. In my opinion, i think the Dodgers are zeroing on LHP prep pitcher Josh Smoker. In the scenario that he is not there, i think they might take one of the prep infielders matt dominguez or kevin ahrens. a wildcard is Michael Main, exciting 5 tool OF prospect or rhp with mid 90s gas.

2007-05-28 14:23:58
28.   natepurcell
umm josh bell...

3-3 2b 1bb

this is like matt kemp hot from beginning of last year.

2007-05-28 14:26:42
29.   natepurcell
i mean, 2 2bs!

hes definately going to see California in the second half.

2007-05-28 14:27:30
30.   gpellamjr
D. Young with a sac fly brings Kemp in.
2007-05-28 14:28:33
31.   natepurcell
from another site, the poster said both of bells doubles were off the wall. This kid is mashing in a league where its incredibly hard to mash.
2007-05-28 14:31:24
32.   Icaros
Can Josh Bell play outfield?
2007-05-28 14:31:55
33.   natepurcell
32.

probably.

2007-05-28 14:33:19
34.   Vaudeville Villain
Can we throw away Colletti's pre-season hogwash about letting the young players play when they "Knock down the door"? I mean, hasn't Kemp effectively axed through the door, Jack Nicholson style, a screaming Shelley Duvall (Ethier/Gonzo), fearful for her life (starting outfield position)?

This refusal to allow the team to be better than mediocre offensively is growing increasingly frustrating.

2007-05-28 14:33:54
35.   Icaros
33

M'kay.

2007-05-28 14:36:59
36.   gpellamjr
34 I almost never laugh out loud while reading on the internet. I did last night while re-reading Pete Seeger's and Paul Robeson's testimonies before HUAC, and I did at the image of Ethier and Gonzo locked up in the bathroom screaming as Matt Kemp axes through the door. Well played, my friend. Well played, indeed.
2007-05-28 14:43:59
37.   bhsportsguy
34 I would not say he is breaking down the door, sure he is doing well but there are players like Billy Butler and Adam Jones who are doing better and they are still in the PCL.

Matt Kemp and James Loney are going to play everyday in Vegas unless injuries change the situation in LA, thats the outlook right now and really, though Matt and James are beginning to hit, their play thus far has not forced the Dodgers to reevaluate their plans.

2007-05-28 14:51:12
38.   dsfan
4

Interesting that Adrian Gonzalez thinks James Loney should be in the majors, but it's a bit disappointing that Loney isn't producing more in Triple-A.

2007-05-28 14:52:33
39.   dsfan
Nate, can you recommend any sites beyond Baseball America for draft analysis?
2007-05-28 14:59:52
40.   Dodgers49
The Los Angeles Times blog has an interesting take on yesterday's game and the strategy used by the two managers in the 8th.

http://tinyurl.com/2d28w9

2007-05-28 15:08:28
41.   underdog
And Kemp just doubled again for Vegas. 3 hits, 7 total bases so far.
2007-05-28 15:10:41
42.   natepurcell
39

pgcrosschecker.com is excellent. brewerfan.net is pretty good also. The milb.com/mlb.com coverage isnt bad as well.

2007-05-28 15:11:48
43.   underdog
The problem for the Dodgers is that Ethier's been pretty good, too, and Gonzo (minus his defense) has been productive offensively, too. Kemp should ideally replace Pierre but we know that's not gonna happen. So he could be a 4th outfielder, instead of Clark, but would that do him much good, sitting on the bench? Ideally, Kemp, Ethier and Gonzo (and Pierre) should all rotate so everyone rests and everyone plays. At the worst, he'll play more in Vegas until someone gets hurt or come up later in the summer. (And I'm certainly one of the many here who wishes he was back, believe me. But where and how much is the question.)
2007-05-28 15:12:55
44.   gpellamjr
Young's single in the 9th brings in Loney and Kemp.
2007-05-28 15:13:19
45.   Gagne55
Speaking of the draft, isn't there a switch pitcher available this year? Where (what round) is he expected to go?
2007-05-28 15:19:22
46.   Gagne55
43 Gonzo, yes. But Ethier has not been hitting very well overall, particularlly for a right fielder. (OPS+ 97). Keep in mind Ethier wasn't considered a great prospect coming into last year and didn't have a prior track record showing he was capable of last year's performence. I hope he proves me wrong but he looks to be heading down the Todd Hollandsworth career path.
2007-05-28 15:20:16
47.   Andrew Shimmin
37- The Mariners don't have anything comparable to the Pierre sinkhole in their OF. Emil Brown is having a horrible year, but, at the end of the day, the Royals are still the Royals; saving service time may be worth more than not being quite as horrible as they are.

I don't think anybody doesn't wish Kemp were destroying the PCL. But it's like saying you can't take a different job because the salary bump is only thirty percent, and not a hundred and fifty thousand percent.

2007-05-28 15:23:33
48.   underdog
46 Well, I agree up to the point of preferring Kemp over Ethier if we had to choose. I'd rather have them both starting. Not sure I agree he wasn't considered a top prospect. The A's considered him one of their best and he was the Texas League Player of the Year in '05. He then put up great numbers to start at Vegas before LA called him up last year. He may indeed end up a solid 4th OFer but I think he can still be a very good starter.
2007-05-28 15:29:54
49.   natepurcell
Keep in mind Ethier wasn't considered a great prospect coming into last year and didn't have a prior track record showing he was capable of last year's performence.

thats not entirely true. his minor league averages are 314/386/458 and his major league line last year is right in line with his 2005 season in AA where he was the Texas League player of the year.

2007-05-28 15:30:34
50.   neuroboy002
46 You sent Sideshow Bob shivers down my spine when you mentioned Ethier going down a Hollandsworth path. I hope for better things for him. He has a good swing and it just doesn't seem right for him to bat below .300 I hope he isn't traded.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-05-28 15:30:44
51.   natepurcell
in actuality, Ethier has been pretty damn consistent in regards to his minor league numbers translating over to the bigs.
2007-05-28 15:48:34
52.   regfairfield
My biggest concern about Ethier is that in 546 at bats, he's drawn 44 walks. If he's not going to hit for power, he needs to be an on base machine if he's going to be a viable corner outfielder. An .053 patience isn't going to cut it.
2007-05-28 15:51:44
53.   gpellamjr
52 I remember the "that Oakland thing" controversy. What were his patience numbers like in the minors? Have the Dodgers beaten walks out of him?
2007-05-28 15:52:41
54.   regfairfield
53 According to wait Nate just posted, he had an .072 patience in the minors.
2007-05-28 15:55:16
55.   Bumsrap
the Dodgers are zeroing on LHP prep pitcher Josh Smoker

Too good of a name to pass on?

2007-05-28 15:56:13
56.   Brent is a Dodger Fan
A question about the end of yesterday's game, which I don't see explained anywhere in print, or in the DT comments that I skimmed:

If Pierre had swung, as Pinella and the Cubs argued, is the rule that when the ball struck Pierre, it is a dead ball? Hence: strikeout and dead-ball, no one can advance?

That's the only logic I can think of, but I don't know the rule. If Pierre had swung and not been hit by the pitch, the ball gets away and Martinez scores on the wild pitch.

Does anyone know the rule?

2007-05-28 15:56:55
57.   Eric Enders
Ethier was never the ideal Oakland-style player anyway, which is why they were willing to trade him in the first place. I like him, but he's beginning to live up to his nickname -- a guy who's a very good 4th outfielder but a bit of a stretch as a starter.
2007-05-28 15:59:34
58.   bhsportsguy
47 My point was comparing Kemp to his contemporaries not to the guys already on the big club.

I was told long ago not to go down the road that Pierre isn't going anywhere because we all know that and that be stating the obvious.

But he isn't going anywhere, at least not this season.

I still think if Ned and Grady had their best case scenario, Betemit would be their everyday thirdbaseman, Marlon would be the lefthanded pinch hitter on the bench and LaRoche and Abreu would be playing everyday in Vegas.

So far, this team has been fortunate with their injury situation. With Schmidt possibly due back in the next few weeks, they remain among the healthiest teams in the league.

I think the main difference between this year and the last two, is that there are guys ready at AAA to come in and play. But things could change and this 39 game in 41 days could see some guys break down.

2007-05-28 15:59:39
59.   natepurcell
Dbacks....Justin Upton....argh.
2007-05-28 16:00:21
60.   Eric Enders
56 It would have been a strike and a dead ball, I think.
2007-05-28 16:21:46
61.   underdog
More on Nick Akins from Ken Gurnick's new mailbag:

"Can the Dodgers still sign Nick Akins, last year's 13th-round pick?
-- Jim V., Sherman Oaks, Calif.

The new collective bargaining agreement eliminates draft-and-follows this year. They can still sign Akins from last year, but are not expected to because of his bonus demands. The Dodgers did just sign Gorman Erickson, a switch-hitting catcher and their 15th-round pick last year. They were also talking to shortstop Justin Coats, last year's 16th-round pick, but were still apart financially. "

2007-05-28 16:30:32
62.   Andrew Shimmin
58- You said that Kemp (and Loney) hadn't "forced the Dodgers to reevaluate their plans." That's technically true, they haven't. But it's not Kemp's fault that Colletti requires more than he's been provided to not make the wrong choice. The knocking down the door business is an excuse to keep doing the wrong thing. If Kemp were hitting .500 in his hundred and whatever AAA at bats, would it be reasonable to expect more out of him in the big leagues than what should be expected from him, as is?
2007-05-28 16:31:23
63.   Eric Enders
Diamond Leung just posted that Jason Schmidt will start for Inland Empire on Wednesday. That's a mixed bag for me personally, as I have doubts that a velocity-less Schmidt would be better than Kuo or Billingsley. The best thing for all concerned would be if Schmidt takes Hendrickson's place in the rotation (remember, Hendrickson was supposed to be a temporary replacement for Schmidt anyway) and Tomko is replaced by Billingskuo.
2007-05-28 16:34:58
64.   CanuckDodger
55 -- Where is that quote about the Dodgers zeroing in on Smoker from? I hope its true.
2007-05-28 16:40:15
65.   The Rabbits Rarely Loose
Talk of team payrolls in baseball was brought up in the last thread and it got me thinking.....

Yes, the Dodgers have a major market payroll but it doesnt seem to be put to very good use(most know this)would a smaller budget really hurt..?

seems this would be just as productive if not more . . about 70 mill. with no real long term contracts...

Furcal
Loney
Martin
Kemp
Laroche
Ethier
Abreu/Meat
Cruz Jr.(or similar player)

Penny
Lowe
Wolf
Kuo
Bill

2007-05-28 16:45:14
66.   Bob Timmermann
60
The ball is dead anytime a pitch hits the batter. Whether or not the batter gets first base is a different issue.

One technique that some pitchers use if they see a squeeze play coming is to throw a pitch at the batter.

2007-05-28 16:53:21
67.   Eric Enders
65 That sort of roster construction works only in hindsight, because you've cherry-picked the high-salaried players who happened to work out well and omitted those who haven't. For example, at the time each was signed, there wasn't really any reason to believe Lowe would turn out better than Schmidt. What if the Dodgers had signed only one of them, Schmidt? Then where would they be?
2007-05-28 17:02:31
68.   twerp
Maybe of interest to any Dodger fans in the Nashville area===D.J. Houlton, Spike Lundberg, William Juarez, and Miguel Pinango are probable pitchers for the 51s Tues.-Fri. vs. the Sounds. The 51s head to Memphis next.

Found a feature on old-time ML pitcher Fred Toney, one of the pitchers involved in the double no hitter between the Reds and Cubs in 1917. Toney won 1-0 in the 10th. Legendary Jim Thorpe of Olympic and football fame played a role in scoring the game's only run.

Toney was reportedly discovered on a hunting trip by a scout who saw a teenager with three dead squirrels but no gun. Questioned, Toney reportedly said he killed the squirrels by throwing rocks and knocking them out of trees.

http://nashvillesounds.com/news/news.asp?newsId=2344

2007-05-28 17:13:51
69.   Andrew Shimmin
Wednesday's 66er game (a) starts at 11 a.m., (b) boasts as a promotion the presence of lots of children, and (c) welcomes visitors to bring their dogs to the game.

I had no idea the 66ers had a "We'd rather Andrew Shimmin not come to this game" day. Message received, at any rate. Somebody else can go see Schmidt.

2007-05-28 17:48:03
70.   ToyCannon
69
So you don't like children and you don't like dogs or you just don't think they belong at a baseball game?
What could be better then high fiving your dog with one hand and cleaning his poop with the other?
2007-05-28 17:48:44
71.   The Rabbits Rarely Loose
67

I simply constructed the roster as a team with a smaller budget might have.Declining to resign players like Nomar and Gonzales who had guys waiting to take their place.This is the way it should have been done anyway.I didnt use Schmidt bc he wasnt needed going into this year. Again , with my point being that it seems there would be a lot more young talented teams like the Cleavland Indians if teams didnt have the money. and would it benefit?

This team could be more productive after shaving 50 mill off the payroll. In hindsight, as you look at Bal and Sea then look at what the Dodgers could be and what Cle is, does it hurt to sometimes be forced to play cheap talent over vets? . .although it probably speaks more of the GM than anything...

2007-05-28 17:56:32
72.   ToyCannon
Interesting thoughts. You can't just throw away money at the Gonzo's and JP's of the world if your have a limited budget. I'd discuss this in more detail but it is time for my nap. You should bring this up during a day when more people are here.
2007-05-28 17:58:18
73.   berkowit28
I have a question about the minor leagues. What's the rule about DH there? From what I can figure out from today's schedule, for example, they use a DH when the home team is affilated to an AL club (e.g. Durham, Salt Lake) even when the away team is NL-affiliated, and vice versa (Vegas), just like the ML teams do in spring training. I guess this makes sense, otherwise NL pitchers would never get a chance to hit. Is this true in all levels (Rookie or A upwards) of leagues consisting of ML-affiliated teams, or only in AAA? I had previously read somewhere that minor leagues generally do use a DH, but that would result in NL pitchers never getting experience hitting, so I'm glad to see it's not true at AAA.

How about lower down? I notice that our Great Lakes Loons (lower A), playing at home, did use a DH, as did San Jose Giants (upper A), but Chatanooga (affiliated to Reds, AA) did not. So AA is where pitchers have to bat playing at NL-affiliated home games? Or is there some other determinant?

2007-05-28 18:11:18
74.   Dodgers49
Martin is playing at an All-Star level

>>> In his first full major league season, Martin is hitting .307 with three homers and leads major league catchers with 31 runs, 22 walks and eight stolen bases. He also leads National League catchers with 33 runs batted in and 51 hits. <<<

http://tinyurl.com/3ca8v2

2007-05-28 18:13:35
75.   Ricardo
If Russell Martin doesn´t go for the All Star Game, dodgers fans should prepare a revange to the other NL fans and send Juan Pierre as the centerfielder! :P
2007-05-28 18:16:00
76.   DXMachina
73 Just to add some more data, I watched Trenton (Yankees AA) play at Connecticut (Giants AA) the other night, and the pitchers batted.
2007-05-28 18:20:26
77.   Brent is a Dodger Fan
60, 66 Thanks! I knew someone would know for certain.

I guess that means that Pinella was arguing that it hit Pierre and he swung, not just that Pierre swung, so it is interesting to hear from others that the ump made no indication of a HBP.

But, the Box Score shows it that way, so the ump wasn't thinking wild pitch...

2007-05-28 18:32:43
78.   The Rabbits Rarely Loose
72

ha yeah . you basically made my point better than I did, in a sentence

.If you have a below average GM and a farm system a budget limit it might not hurt you as much as you think..

.Its possible a team like Cle gets too much credit for having a competitive roster(give them all the credit for doveloping their players though) . . and obviously every team in MLB would use more money if they had it its just more importiant to use it properly

2007-05-28 18:34:33
79.   regfairfield
I don't think it will be a huge surprise if Martin doesn't win. LoDuca seems like a shoo in to win the fan vote, and when it comes to picking a second catcher, LaRussa will probably either take Yadier Molina, who he loves for some reason, or Brian McCann, who could have better stats by then.

There's a good chance that Martin and McCann will deserve the starting nod, but I have to believe Russ is fourth in line right now.

2007-05-28 18:45:05
80.   The Rabbits Rarely Loose
79

Wow, I had just assumed McCann had better numbers mainly due to hype. But,it turns out Martin really is the best NL catcher to date. I guess I should of payed more attention to the skipper Kevin Kennedy, whom I didnt, mainly due to his homerism of thinking Martin should have won the ROY last year. ..which he clearly shouldnt have.

2007-05-28 18:50:06
81.   The Rabbits Rarely Loose
Did I mention Kevin Kennedy was a skipper....?
2007-05-28 18:50:43
82.   Dodgers49
77. so it is interesting to hear from others that the ump made no indication of a HBP.

I've just watched this play again. The ump almost immediately removed his mask and pointed Pierre to 1st base. Since the pitch was on a 2-2 count he had to indicating HBP; otherwise, there would have been no reason for him to send Pierre to 1st. This, of course, would not preclude the Cubs from arguing.

2007-05-28 18:57:00
83.   Bob Timmermann
76
Trenton's official stats don't list any pitchers batting this year.

If a AA or AAA game matches up two NL affiliates then there is no DH.

2007-05-28 18:59:12
84.   FirstMohican
Edwin Jackson had a decent game today. 9k 2bb 3r 8h in 6IP

I'm sure some of you have seen this shot of Dodger Stadium from Google Maps, but for those who haven't, it's pretty cool:

tinyurl.com/2gtmtw

2007-05-28 19:07:02
85.   Bob Timmermann
82
When I looked at the replay online, I see the home plate umpire calling time and then pointing toward first base.
2007-05-28 19:14:50
86.   Dodgers49
85. Yes, and he also waves the runner in from 3rd.
2007-05-28 19:15:42
87.   Dodgers49
The Yankees lost again. I know this may be kind of irrational but I keep thinking the Yankees could become so desperate they could turn to Tomko. :-)
2007-05-28 19:18:43
88.   Bob Timmermann
And Tampa Bay rallied to beat Detroit in the 9th on a game-winning single by All-American Hero Elijah Dukes.

So the Yankees and Rays are tied for last.

2007-05-28 19:18:48
89.   Marty
If this keeps up for the Yankees much longer, they'll be sellers and only want prospects.
2007-05-28 19:19:23
90.   Bob Timmermann
88
Just to be clear, the remark about Dukes was sarcastic.
2007-05-28 19:35:18
91.   PDH5204
Bob, the price of eggs just went up, I mean, in celebration of the 2 for 3 [single/triple] and a walk, with 2 runs scored, the latter being the winning run over the despised Yankees, well, I just made two bacon and egg sandwiches. 6 eggs, grade A, extra large. Oh, and nice way to come off the DL.
2007-05-28 20:12:07
92.   Marty
Wow, Beltre is killing the Angels. 4-4 with two big HRs. He's got 9 or 10 so far this year.
2007-05-28 20:38:31
93.   Branch Rickey
90. But it doesn't violate rule 7 because it is sarcasm that could be interpreted positively.
2007-05-28 20:42:26
94.   Gen3Blue
I wouldn't be surprise if Fatty(alias Roger Clemens) is somewhat petulant about joining a team so far buried that even his magnificence won't help much. Oh well-- the things you have to do to make a few mil!
2007-05-28 20:48:21
95.   neuroboy002
92I know we are short on productive and reliable 3rd basemen but I am glad he is not a Dodger. His streakiness or inconsistency is maddening. He hasn't come close to replicating his free agent year. I just think him re-signing would have frustrated a lot of people who believe he could replicate batting over .300, hitting over 30hrs and driving in (90 - 100+)rbis for the frustration of his contract. He is supposed to be in his prime, but well... you know where I am going with this diatribe.

I remember watching one game very fondly. the Dodgers were playing the Braves and were down by a run in the 9th inning. Beltre hit one out to tie it, then a an inning or two later hit another bomb to win. They were both hit off of one of the elite closers in the game at the time, Smoltz. I kept thinking to myself, "this is surely just the beginning of great things to come for him in this uniform." I think he has been a bust since that year, but perhaps others think differently and I won't argue with you. We are all entitled to our opinion.

2007-05-28 21:00:33
96.   Vaudeville Villain
It's amazing how the Yankees are so bad so far this year. I think everyone predicted that their pitching would be terrible, but their line-up looked like it would be so good.

Abreu has been really disappointing so far this year, we're lucky we didn't go after him a few years ago. I can't imagine a team with two players having OPS'es over 1.0, equaling an offense that struggles that badly. It's probably Doug Mientkiewicz's fault.

2007-05-28 21:05:17
97.   nick
87 92 BB poster here....What would you guys offer for A-Rod, as of right now? Would, say, LaRoche, Kemp, and Broxton be too much? That deal has to make you the favorite in the division...
2007-05-28 21:09:54
98.   dzzrtRatt
I hope Colleti & McCourt are noting the Russell Martin phenomenon in considering whether to stick with the "proven vets" or try to work the smokin' hot prospects into the lineup.

Martin is not only really, really good and essential to the team's success, but the fans have fallen in love with him. From a marketing standpoint, he's rapidly becoming the face of the team.

For one example, on Dodgers.com, there's a poll up now on which Dodger will lead the team in RBI's: Ethier, Garciaparra, Gonzalez, Kent or Martin. Martin is swamping the others at 53 percent.

Fans like nothing better than watching a young star emerge. Getting an aging star through a trade or FA can be nice, but growing your own is far more satisfying. If Little sat Gonzalez, Pierre or Nomar to make way for Kemp and Loney, the fans might actually embrace that move, especially because none of those three are more than occasional contributors to the team's success.

2007-05-28 21:29:19
99.   gpellamjr
98 My impression is that the fans wouldn't mind at all if Gonzo were benched. I feel no attachment to him. I was hoping that he would pull a Steve Finley (i.e. destroy my team for years, and then have one last hurrah with heroic moments for them), but that just isn't going to happen. I think Dodger fans know that.

Fans are going to be frustrated with Pierre very quickly. He has a lot more rope because of his reputation, I think. I root hard for him during games. But it is horribly frustrating to watch him play.

Nomar is the biggest problem. Fans love him. He's not producing, though, so who knows? I'm not so down on Colletti that I think that if Loney gets hot and Nomar stays cold, he won't bring Loney up and find an excuse to play him.

2007-05-28 21:29:36
100.   dzzrtRatt
Another conversation:

Excellent profile of Tony Gwynn ran in the NY Times on Saturday. As I read it, I found myself questioning one of the basic premises of DePodesta and Moneyball: That college players are a better bet in the draft.

Reading between the lines of the story, it becomes clear that:

-- A college coach is dealing with the fact that the best recruits get snapped up in the MLB draft. This is another way of saying the universe of college ballplayers is probably inferior to the universe of players in the rookie leagues, so the competition isn't as meaningful a test;

-- A college coach is not single-mindedly focused on developing baseball skills. Gwynn, to his great credit, is also focused on whether his students pass all their classes. A minor league manager isn't distracted by any of that.

Here's the story: http://tinyurl.com/2cez4g

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-05-28 21:30:33
101.   Bob Timmermann
98
I mentioned in a game thread back in April, that when Martin came on the Diamondvision board to take about the kids' fan club and how he was the sponsor, the woman sitting in front of me, got right up out of her seat to go sign up her two kids, specifically because she liked Martin so much and so did her kids.

I wonder how often advertising works so quickly.

2007-05-28 21:31:07
102.   Vaudeville Villain
97

That's a bit rich for my tastes, but I wouldn't hate that deal with a burning passion. I would totally give up La Roche, Broxton, and a B-Level prospect like a Hu or Abreu.

Or could I interest you in a base-stealing dynamo who wreaks havoc on opposing pitchers and defenses, single-handedly crushing opponents into a spineless jelly with a fear... A fear that he might try to rap? (WORD UP!)

2007-05-28 21:39:26
103.   Vaudeville Villain
100

I thought part of the reason Depo/Moneyball liked college players was not just because of what you referenced, but also practical concerns about how much time the player will spend in the minors. A college player is closer to readiness for the majors than the high school player is, and for a team with very little financial flexibility, a team that sheds good players to teams that can afford their services, you have to be constantly re-stocking the shelves, so to speak.

2007-05-28 21:46:26
104.   the OZ
100, 103 Additionally, when your team (such as the A's) are not able to compete for marquee free agents, you need to fill a lot of your roster with NRIs and the farm system. I believe that the Oakland drafting system was based on getting as many MLB-quality players as they could, even if they weren't top talents. If you accept the idea that high school draftees are inherently riskier but have higher celings than their college counterparts, Oakland's model makes sense as they apply it.
2007-05-28 21:55:06
105.   silverwidow
Giving up Kemp and Broxton for 2 months of A-Rod would be a disaster. I don't think I could follow this team anymore if that happened. Thankfully, considering how much the front office loves those two, it won't.
2007-05-28 21:59:48
106.   underdog
Yeah, that's the thing - if we had A-Rod for longer term, then I'd be more willing to part with some of our best prospects for him. But without that, and knowing he's a Boras client, I can't stomach the thought of giving up all those guys for a rental. And either way, I think giving up Kemp, Broxton and LaRoche would be too much. Maybe Kuo instead of Broxton. Kemp's about our only really good OF prospect. Worth pondering about, but...
2007-05-28 22:56:23
107.   Gen3Blue
97 I would give a lot for A-Rod if I thought we could keep him. Kemp, even w/Loney might not be too much. But Broxton--get real. A decaying franchise like the Y's would be revitalized if they could trade a few aging SStars for great cheap youngsters, and the D's ain't going to do that.
2007-05-28 23:39:32
108.   LAT
84 The coolest thing about that picture is the colored piles of chairs in the various parking lots.
2007-05-29 00:36:47
109.   Eric Enders
97 I would probably not give up even one of those guys -- much less all three -- for three months' worth of ARod. Maybe LaRoche.

The guy is going to be a free agent at the end of the year and is a Boras client. Colletti still has a Boras knife or two sticking out of his back, and holds a grudge about it. It's not gonna happen.

I'd give up Betemit and Hendrickson. But obviously the Yankees would never do that.

You're correct that with A-Rod we'd be the favorites in the division. Of course, we're the favorite without him also.

2007-05-29 00:46:45
110.   s choir
I don't think there's any way Colletti trades for another player who can opt out of his contract. The only way this trade happens is if the Dodgers get a negotiating window with A-Rod to buy out his option as a condition of the trade. It would be an awkward situation though, since those sort of negotiations usually happen when a player has a no-trade clause.

If the Yankees bought out A-Rod's option before trading him, it would make more sense, but I don't know why they would do that if they were planning on getting rid of him anyway.

Side note, I think the Angels are more likely than the Dodgers are to deal for A-Rod.

2007-05-29 01:21:22
111.   bhsportsguy
Looking back at Jason Schmidt's history when he has been on disabled list. In 2001 and 2002, each time he was on the DL for over a month and he made 3-4 rehab appearances before coming back.

Now in 2001, he was coming off shoulder surgery in 2000 and he had an abdominal strain, he was put on the DL as they left spring training and was not activated until May 12, 2001. He made 4 appearances in the minors on his rehab assignment. He was later traded to the Giants.

In 2002, he had a strained groin and was out until his activation on April 24, 2002. He made 5 appearances in the minors during that time and then went on to start 29 games with no return to the DL.

In 2004 and 2005, he was disabled once each year and spent the minimum time on the DL and came back to pitch the rest of the season with no other issues.

Schmidt can be on his rehab assignment for 30 days and since he had no simulated games, I would think that at a minimum, he would pitch 3 rehab games, which means he could return in time for the Angel series starting on June 15th.

My predicted rehab starts for Schmidt are:
Wednesday May 30th @ Inland Empire (San Bernadino, CA), June 4th @ High Desert (Adelanto, CA) (Jason can see the highlights of Victorville) and June 9th @ Las Vegas (Saturday Night in Vegas).

If they decide he needs one more start, he could start on June 14th (the first Dodger off-day after this road trip and six games into their next homestand) in Sacramento for Las Vegas or they could send him to Bakersfield that day for the 66ers game.

That would line him up to be used during that 20 game stretch to close out the first half. Of course, the main thing will be to see if he has increased his velocity, observers who have watched his bullpens have said he is throwing harder than he had all spring, I think I saw Conte say he is throwing harder than he was last year. So if Schmidt is pain free and does get some velocity back, I do think they would like to get him back if possible by the middle of the next homestand.

But we will know a lot more after Wednesday and certainly by next week after his second rehab appearance.

2007-05-29 02:40:27
112.   bhsportsguy
With less than two weeks before the 2007 Draft, lets revisit the first 5 drafts by Logan While starting with his first in 2002.

Any draft that produces a starting player is a good draft. If that player becomes one of the best in his position, that becomes even rarer. But Russell Martin, drafted in 17th round, is only the top of what remains a great opening draft by Logan White.

There are 8 players from that draft that are on the 40 man roster. Martin and Jonathan Broxton are established in LA. James Loney, Greg Miller, Delwyn Young and Eric Stults are in Vegas,while Mike Megrew and Zach Hammes play for the Suns in AA.

There is also James McDonald, who, has just finished a great month for the 66ers in the California League. He was picked in 11th round in 2002, a local kid out of Long Beach and after a community college season, was signed as a draft and follow in 2003.
He didn't pitch in 2004 and wasn't a fulltime pitcher until last season in A ball in Sally League and now he is pitching well in what is known as a hitter's league.

2007-05-29 04:05:47
113.   kevinarno
Though I'm speaking anecdotally, I feel like there were a lot of 'close' foul balls during the last homestand. Now that the Dodgers have played 8 months of games with the new seating along the foul lines, has anyone taken a definitive look at how these seats have affected balls in play v. foul balls? For better or worse, how have outs been attenuated with the new configuration. Do we know?
2007-05-29 04:20:46
114.   D4P
Of course, we're the favorite without him also

Not sure about that. The Padres' Pythagorean Record is something like 11 games better than ours.

2007-05-29 04:47:01
115.   Benjamin Miracord
114
Padres: 30-20
Dodgers: 27-23
2007-05-29 05:02:48
116.   D4P
115
Sorry, I meant after 162 games.

Padres: 99 wins
Dodgers: 88 wins

2007-05-29 06:31:37
117.   Benaiah
From the LA Times Blog linked above:

Grady Little: "But it ended up Ramirez up there against Joe [Beimel], and we trust Joe against anybody. His numbers against righties are just as good as lefties in the last two years we had him here, and we knew Joe was going to throw a strike."

2007
VS LH: .156/.243/.219/.462
VS RH: .295/.365/.386/.752

2006
VS LH: .234/.265/.351/.616
VS RH: .277/.332/.445/.777

Somehow I doubt Grady looks at those stats, but how about this: in 139 plate appearances against lefties in those two years Beimel allowed zero runs.* In 245 plate appearances against righties, Beimel allowed 34 runs (not all of them earned). I hope Grady doesn't really think that, because Beimel is a good LOOGY, but not a great relief pitcher other than that.

*According to ESPN.com, BBreference says he has allowed 9 .

2007-05-29 07:31:22
118.   ToyCannon
Per Baseball HQ:

"Nomar swinging an empty bat... If Nomar Garciaparra (1B, LAD) is your first baseman, you're probably not too happy. So far, Garciaparra is hitting more like a middle infielder: a .281 average with just one homer and an anemic .351 slugging percentage. Back in March, HQ writer Joshua Randall raised the red flag on Nomar's power prospects, concluding "there is considerable downside here"... but this far down?

Year AB Avg xBA bb% ct% Eye PX xHR G/L/F
=======================================================
2002 635 .310 .311 6 90 0.65 128 23 33/21/46
2003 658 .301 .300 6 91 0.64 119 22 33/20/47
2004 326 .316 .303 7 91 0.83 101 10 34/24/42
2005 230 .283 .311 5 90 0.50 99 8 40/25/35
2006 469 .303 .312 8 94 1.40 107 17 38/20/42
2007 185 .281 .254 8 88 0.68 55 2 43/21/36
The above table starts with Nomar's last two full years in Boston, and we can see the slow fade in his power skills over the past six years. He's still a good contact hitter who hits his share of line drives, but he doesn't hit as many fly balls as he used to, and they're not going as far. Expected Home Runs (xHR) concurs with the results. Last year, his PX dropped like a rock from April through August until a September outburst saved him.

One of the theories floating around regarding Nomar's lack of pop is that he and wife Mia Hamm became the parents of twins in March, and so he must be a lot more tired now! Well, he's hitting .337 at home, and .228 on the road, so unless the babies have been going on all the road trips, lack of sleep isn't the issue. "

2007-05-29 07:33:48
119.   D4P
If Nomar Garciaparra (1B, LAD) is your first baseman, you're probably not too happy

Unless you're:

1. Ned Colletti
2. One of the majority of Dodger fans who attends home games

2007-05-29 07:38:15
120.   ToyCannon
Per BP- Great quote from SD Pitcher Chris Young:

"San Diego right-hander Chris Young is a Princeton graduate, so it stands to reason that he would understand the value of a stolen base—or its relative lack of value. Thus, Young wasn't too concerned when the Mariners' Ichiro Suzuki stole six bases against the Padres last weekend. Young also isn't bothered by the fact that opponents have been successful on all 15 steal attempts while he has been on the mound this season. "Statistically, you are off getting the batter," Young told the San Diego Union-Tribune. "Occasionally, you are going to get burned, but you are better off focusing on making the good pitch than the runner. Greg Maddux and I talked about it this spring. Less than 20 percent of steals lead to runs that wouldn't have otherwise scored."

2007-05-29 07:40:03
121.   ToyCannon
119
I don't think Ned is happy about Nomar right now. Just because he signed him doesn't mean he's okay with his lack of production.
2007-05-29 07:44:15
122.   D4P
Just because he signed him doesn't mean he's okay with his lack of production

Well, I agree with that statement. But it's not really my point. Nomar is hitting over .280 and is on pace for 90 RBIs or so. I think those numbers are acceptable to Ned.

2007-05-29 08:07:12
123.   Bumsrap
Ned and Grady may think Nomar might hurt the team defensively if he were to play third, otherwise if they are disapointed in his hitting why all the worry about him getting hurt playing third?

I think the Dodgers will swap Kemp and LaRoche as soon as now and let Kemp rotate into the stating lineup at all three of positions.

2007-05-29 08:17:40
124.   D4P
123
It's hard to believe Kemp would spend much time in CF or RF.
2007-05-29 08:17:57
125.   D4P
124
I meant "CF or LF"
2007-05-29 08:23:06
126.   ToyCannon
124
I don't, in fact I'd be surprised if Kemp isn't part of a 4 man rotation by Aug 1st, with many more games in LF and RF then CF but still getting the occasional start there.
2007-05-29 08:52:38
127.   berkowit28
83 Thanks, Bob. That seems born out yesterday. Two AAA games I looked at with NL affiliates at home playing AL affiliates away used DH. Only games where both teams were NL affiliates had pitchers batting. Overall, the pitchers won't be getting much batting practice while in the minors.
2007-05-29 08:56:15
128.   Bumsrap
If Abreu gets a chance to play third and succeed there, Pierre's offensive skills will have been replaced. Only if one believes Ned will not or can not trade Pierre will Kemp not get lots of time in CF.

I think Pierre will be traded and that it has already been explored and could happen this June. Tomko will be pushed as a potential closer and maybe packaged with Pierre in a trade. Since AROD has been mentioned in this thread, maybe a threeway with Texas and NY involving Mark Teixeira and AROD.

2007-05-29 08:58:30
129.   paranoidandroid
126

Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes! Please Ned? Let's do this now. We don't need to wait until August or even June. Make the move now.

Unless we have a trade brewing, I still don't understand having Abreu and LaRoche both here instead of Kemp. If Abreu, who can switch hit and has speed, can platoon with an improving Betemit, that gives you options late in games that Grady seems to like. LaRoche played one inning in the outfield. He has yet to homer.

Swap LaRoche for Kemp now, let LaRoche play every day, and let Kemp spell all outfielders. When he doesn't start, you have a late inning power threat on the bench to compliment the Tomato.

2007-05-29 09:05:01
130.   paranoidandroid
128
I wish that were true but I simply don't see it happening. Pierre is here to stay. Nobody else will take that contract with what he's done. We haven't even sat him down for more than one game yet. Slappy McPop-up is ours to cheer for 4.66 more seasons I think.

The Yankees want and need pitching. Broxton and Penny would make sense for them. If we get Schmidt back and Bills moves into the starting rotation and Kuo comes along, then I would say trade Penny at the height of his trade value and go after ARod or Miggy or someone who can pump it up for us.

Imagine what an ARod or Miggy would do for our line-up!

2007-05-29 09:14:47
131.   Bumsrap
The Dodgers can subsidize Pierre's contract as needed to make a trade so his contract should not be an issue if the Dodgers want to trade him. Texas seems willing to trade Teixeira, Lofton, and Gagne and I think the Yankees would rather have Teixeira (a right bat for 1st base) than pitching.

I would be fine with AROD as a 2007 rental if it only were to cost them Pierre and Tomko and Penny.

2007-05-29 09:23:47
132.   Jon Weisman
New post up top.
2007-05-29 09:25:56
133.   paranoidandroid
131
I don't think we'd be able to subsidize Pierre's contract enough to make a trade for him work this year. Maybe down the road in a season or two, but with four plus years left on it, I don't think anyone else will touch him and we won't pay someone 30 million to take him. We overpaid and gave him five years, he will be a Dodger for some time I'm afraid.

I also don't think that giving up ARod for a right handed first baseman would do anything for the Yankees. Any move they make I think will include bolstering their pitching ranks. If they think ARod will opt out, they might move him and we are likely trading partner. I would be surprised to see it happen, but I wouldn't be shocked. Penny and Broxton and maybe Loney would get it done. That's a lot to give up, but it is possible.

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