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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
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Logan White's Got Needs
2008-06-09 15:40
by Jon Weisman

Dodger Thoughts commenter CanuckDodger sends along this post-draft perspective on the Dodgers:

With the Dodgers' 2008 amateur draft, the seventh consecutive Dodger draft for which Logan White has been responsible, in the books, is it time to wonder if White's job has gotten harder, not easier? If the answer is yes, it seems counterintuitive. In most lines of work, the work gets easier, through either mastery or, at worst, sheer familiarity with a routine. But White appears to have had his job mastered from the word go, judging by the universal high esteem in which his 2002 and 2003 Dodger draft classes, his first two, are held, to say nothing of the warm bodies they have graduated to the majors. Job performance like that earns trust, and no small amount of it, surely. And yet, Dodger fans who have subjected White's latest draft effort to scrutiny are asking, in the fashion of Peggy Lee, "Is that all there is?" How do we explain Dodger fans being so underwhelmed? Maybe White is the victim of his own success, and has raised Dodger fans' expectations to unreasonable levels. Alternatively, White, like the protagonist of the second Austin Powers film, could simply have lost his mojo. Or, what I think is the most probable explanation, White's job has become more difficult than it used to be.

The description that Joe Sheehan of Baseball Prospectus gave of the left field position on the Baltimore Orioles in recent years - a position manned by a succession of radio station contest winners and the occasional farm animal - is what Dodger fans may imagine the position of Director of Amateur Scouting in the Dodger organization was like before Dan Evans hired Logan White to fill the role, after Evans became general manager in late 2001. The Dodgers, at that time, had become legendary for a long string of dunderheaded first-round draft picks, and if any Dodger draftee turned out well, it was apt to be quite by accident, or dumb luck, like taking Mike Piazza in the 62nd round as a favor to Tommy Lasorda, a friend of Piazza's father. The Dodgers' farm system, entering 2002, was ranked by Baseball America as the 28th-best in the game, thanks in large part to years of Dodger draft futility. Anyone who has ever had to buy gifts for Christmas or birthdays knows that the hardest person to shop for is the one who "has everything," so to speak. A scouting director, at bottom, is a professional shopper, and in 2002 Logan White's new client, far from "having everything," on the farm, had, to not put too fine a point on it, nothing. The Dodger farm system was a blank canvas on which White could paint his vision. Not an enviable position for the Dodgers to be in, but certainly an enviable position for a new scouting director to be in, if he is up to the task, especially if he is working for a GM who has given him full autonomy, which is precisely what Dan Evans gave White, instead of meddling in the draft as some GMs are disposed to do.

Confronted with a Dodger farm system nearly devoid of talent at every level, White could draft whomever he wanted, procure whatever shiny object caught his eye, without giving thought to organizational needs or playing-time issues on the Dodgers' lower-level farm teams. White made "draft the best player available" his mantra, and with so many other clubs focusing early on college players, that left White with a wide selection of high school players who might be further away from the majors than the college players available, but whom White believed had higher ceilings than the college guys. White's 2002 and 2003 drafts were two of the most high school-oriented drafts in baseball over those years, which did not endear White to folks inclined to believe that high school players, and particularly high school pitchers, were bad risks on which to gamble an organization's fortunes. Working under Paul DePodesta in 2004 and 2005, White had to compromise with a GM from the school of thought that preferred college draftees with records of strong statistical performance over relatively unproven high school players, but the work of building up the Dodger farm system continued, even if White had to make some concessions to DePodesta's preferences, and that work also continued after DePodesta's regime gave way to that of Ned Colletti, the third GM White would have to work under in five years. Players whom White drafted as long ago as 2002 were only then reaching the top levels of the Dodger farm system, and soon enough many of them would make the jump to the majors.

Not counting the Dominican Summer League, there are six levels to a baseball organization's farm system, from rookie ball to Triple A, and that has given rise to a saying among scouts and player development people that it takes six drafts to remake a farm system, from the bottom to the top. With six drafts behind him, entering 2008, White's remaking of the Dodger farm system can be said to have been completed. The virgin white canvas White started with in 2002 was, now, a full picture, with mere bits of uncolored space remaining. The Dodgers' 2008 draft looks disappointing to fans, arguably, because it represents not new, bold strokes with an artist's brush, but filling in the blanks, or paint-by-numbers. It did not come without prior warning from White. In May, White gave's Ken Gurnick a statement that Gurnick identified as an indicator of a sea change in Dodger draft philosophy under White: "What's different about this draft is that now we're in a position where we have to look, at No. 15, at going in a different direction than before and looking at need a little closer now." White turned out to not be strictly true to that declaration, as when it came time to make his first 2008 draft pick, at No. 15 overall, he went with the consensus best talent still available, high school pitcher Ethan Martin, who bears a strong resemblance to the players on whom White has used his first draft pick since 2003. So it was "business as usual" with the first-round pick. But starting with the Dodgers' second-round pick, it is unmistakable that the Dodgers were targeting players who appear suited to fill real or perceived gaps in the Dodger farm system.

Taking a college reliever early in the draft is widely derided as wasting a pick on a player with a rather limited ceiling, so that is clearly at odds with what had been White's modus operandi. But taking college reliever Josh Lindblom in the second round looks calculated to address a very specific issue on the Dodgers' near-term agenda: finding a suitable replacement for big league set-up man Jonathan Broxton when Broxton succceds Takashi Saito as the Dodgers' closer. Possible candidates for that job already in the organization - Scott Proctor, Yhency Brazoban, Jonathan Meloan and Ramon Troncoso -- have all lost some of their luster since as recently as the offseason, unfortunately. After taking Lindblom in the second round, the Dodgers' drafting Kyle Russell in the third round, Nick Buss in the eighth round and Steven Caseres in the ninth round appears driven by the desire to add depth to the Dodgers' somewhat thin collection of minor league outfielders, and, in the cases of Russell and Caseres, the desire to boost the system's power hitting. The Dodgers' farm system was also light, at the lower levels, on middle infield talent heading into the draft, which no doubt prompted White to draft shortstops Devaris Strange-Gordon in the fourth round and Anthony Delmonico in the sixth round (though Delmonico is said to profile better as a second baseman going forward).

It might be asked, continuing the painting metaphor, how White's doing paint-by-numbers work with the draft can be construed as more difficult than painting a picture on a blank canvas. It comes down to the breadth of creative possibilities in the one endeavor compared with the breadth of possibilities in the other. If a scouting director is open to the full range of players in a draft's talent pool, at every stage of the draft, and talent and upside are the only determinants in who is selected or rejected, the scouting director's draft "haul" (for want of a better word) is likely to be better than it would be if he is drafting according to position and demographics. Mixing and matching draft picks with farm system vacancies is a tricky business, because the strength of a given draft's talent pool may not align well with specific needs, or position vancancies, in an organization. To illustrate: White wanted a heavy combination of outfielders, middle infielders, relievers, and power hitters, and he wanted them to come from the ranks of players older than the high schoolers. But the best college hitters this year were corner outfielders, and this was a downright awful year for college outfielders. After White had spent his first two picks on pitchers, White used his third pick on a college outfielder and power hitter (Kyle Russell) with significant and likely insurmountable flaws just because that player was all that was left that satisfied the narrow criteria White was looking to fill, notwithstanding that there were many better talents still available who just happened to be high school players, a demographic White evidently had very little interest in, in 2008, after Ethan Martin filled what was probably a quota of one high school player for the first nine picks. This approach to drafting is, baldly, incontrovertibly, tantamount to a scouting director handcuffing himself. If he can maximize the talent he is getting out of the draft despite working within these kinds of limitations, he is truly a favorite of fortune.

For all of the problems inherent in drafting to meet "needs," as frustrating as it is to watch unfold, Logan White may not have been at liberty to do anything different this year, so it is unfair to cast blame at his feet. Past White drafts emphasizing young players who require a fair bit of polishing, as well as recently increased recruiting of Latin American teenagers, is putting pressure on the rosters of our lowest level farm teams. Hypothetically, if White had used, say, his first eight picks in the 2008 draft on high school pitchers, because each time it was his turn to pick a high school pitcher was the best talent available, where would they all pitch? We have high school pitchers from last year's draft, top-round guys like Chris Withrow and Michael Watt, still not ready for low A ball and needing roster space and rotation slots on one of our rookie teams. A farm system is like a series of pipelines, and care has to be taken to prevent the formation of bottlenecks at any position that would threaten a deserving player's playing time and endanger his development. In addition to what is going on with our youngest pitchers, some of our position players - like Preston Mattingly, to name one -- need more time to develop in the low minors before they are promoted any further. Thus, it is understandable that the Dodgers, this year, decided that college players were needed more than high school players, with it being presumed that the college players could start a little higher in the system and move up a little more quickly. It is having to take something like that into consideration that is making White's job harder than it was when he started out with the Dodgers. The empty farm system of 2002 was no threat to bottleneck at any position, but it was also distinctly the kind of farm system that no Dodger fan wants to see attached to the Dodgers again, ever. Contemplating what a return to those days would be like, a Dodger fan may console himself with the thought that Logan White drafting for organization need because of a fairly full farm system is, by far, the lesser of two conceivable evils.

Comments (215)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-06-09 15:54:08
1.   underdog
Terrific stuff, Canuck. Thank you so much for that report. It answers a lot of questions and confirms some of the things I suspected. Nicely done.

Is that your own special Canuck/DT font?

2008-06-09 15:55:47
2.   Jon Weisman
1 - It's my guest font.
2008-06-09 16:02:01
3.   Eric Stephen
Excellent, Canuck. I always enjoy your "take" on the farm system.

Logan White was on with Ken Levine and Josh Suchon last night on KABC, and it was a pretty entertaining interview, although I missed the first few minutes.

2008-06-09 16:02:48
4.   bhsportsguy
I also wonder if they want to have slightly older players in the Midwest League, at least for the first few months.
2008-06-09 16:03:28
5.   CajunDodger
The Dodgers 3rd round selection (Ryan Chaffee) is an LSU Tigers signee if he decides to forego the $350,000 or so.

And now to other news that noone cares about except me...

2008-06-09 16:05:44
6.   Linkmeister
Now I know why my employment searches have failed in the past; my prospective employers were looking for corner outfielders and I'm a good field no hit second baseman.

Well done, sir.

2008-06-09 16:06:54
7.   Eric Stephen
Not that I would ever want Logan White to leave, but I eagerly await the headline "Logan White's Shadow" talking about his successor.
2008-06-09 16:08:41
8.   LoneStar7
wow thanks for the hard work put into that, the piece gave me a more tangible idea of whats really going on in the farm system...well done
2008-06-09 16:09:14
9.   bhsportsguy
5 He was selected by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Since Chaffee was not in the top 200 list that Baseball America puts out, my guess is that if the Angels offer slot level bonus, Chaffee will forego his committment.

2008-06-09 16:10:32
10.   bhsportsguy
Nice work Canuck though a certain poster will wonder why it took 7 drafts for White to consider college relievers and outfielders.
2008-06-09 16:11:46
11.   bryanf
Great post about Logan and the draft this year in general.

If Ned does get fired (which I don't see happening), would Logan White be near the top of the list of potential replacements?

2008-06-09 16:13:41
12.   bhsportsguy
11 Within the Dodgers, I would handicap it, Ng, than White/Watson. Watson has more broad overall experience than White but Ng's been an Assistant GM for longer than both of them combined.
2008-06-09 16:16:13
13.   bhsportsguy
12 I give Ng first crack since she already interviewed for it once and she has survived all other management moves.
2008-06-09 16:21:15
14.   Indiana Jon
Griffey Jr. just hit #600 of Lurch.
2008-06-09 16:21:27
15.   CajunDodger
You are oh so correct; it was our 5th pick that is an LSU signee. JonMichael Redding out of Florida Community College...
2008-06-09 16:25:41
16.   Bob Timmermann
With all due respect to the suffering going on in your state, but ...

How high's the water, Indiana Jon?

2008-06-09 16:26:54
17.   bhsportsguy
15 Well on average, the Dodgers sign about 90% of their picks in rounds 1-10, not signing only 6 since 2002.
2008-06-09 16:32:03
18.   Indiana Jon
16 It's real bad in a lot of places. On Saturday, I thought it was going to hit my house, but it stopped half way up the property before it started to recede. My neighbors and others were not so fortunate. Most of the businesses here in town were completely under water and are in ruins. My daughter's school, a trailer park, and an apartment complex were nearly washed away too. There are many out of homes, but we are fortunate to live on a hill east of town. Most of the water has moved on from this area, but now the concern is rising rivers and creeks to the south. In Franklin and Columbus, rising waters have caused the evacuation of two major hospitals as well as thousands of homes. Sections of major highways and bridges have washed away too in my area and to the south. Many people are out of electricity and water. All in all, it's pretty ugly.
2008-06-09 16:33:02
19.   D4P
Mark Hendrickson has a 7-3 record.

And a 5.5 ERA.

2008-06-09 16:33:55
20.   Bob Timmermann
Is this a 100-year flood, a 75-year flood, a 50-year flood?
2008-06-09 16:34:45
21.   D4P
I like the new in-game video highlight feature on Gameday, but the videos often don't work.
2008-06-09 16:37:40
22.   Indiana Jon
20 It's at least a 95-year flood. In most areas we are breaking records set in 1913. The damage makes the wreckage from the tornadoes last week look like nothing.
2008-06-09 16:40:03
23.   LoneStar7
at least arizona lost again today...scary thought that san fran and san diego are basically back in striking range
2008-06-09 16:44:01
24.   CajunDodger
Again in news that only interests me, LSU just went back-to-back-to-back in the bottom of the first...

That is the last update, I swear. Just in case there are any UCI grads out there...

2008-06-09 16:44:46
25.   Kevin Lewis

The videos work for me, but the sound is always static.

2008-06-09 16:47:26
26.   underdog
25 - Do you have a Mac? I have the same problem on mine. Watching any highlight clips on, the sound is static. A lot of people have complained to them about this and talked about it on the boards but doesn't seem there's a fix for it yet. Pretty annoying.
2008-06-09 16:48:15
27.   Bob Timmermann
The answer to all video problems on can be answered or exacerbated with one word:


2008-06-09 16:48:48
28.   JoeyP
Informative article, but I think the premise that Logan White is working under constraints is wrong.

Just because you dont agree with the picks doesnt mean White didnt really want to pick those players.

2008-06-09 16:55:44
29.   underdog
27 I've taken to calling it Silverfish because it's just as irritating and belongs in a dank basement somewhere.
2008-06-09 16:55:56
30.   Bob Timmermann
If the Dodgers face today's version of Dontrelle Willis, the OPS will soar!
2008-06-09 16:56:49
31.   ucladodger
Anyone else watch the destruction of Dontrelle Willis today? Man, that was Rick Ankiel-esque. So sad that a guy who really was good cant even throw a strike. Orel was just killing him on his mechanics, and i can't say i blame him. Detroit also has him under contract for 2 more years at like $10 mil per. Not a good situation for the Tigers and Dontrelle.
2008-06-09 17:04:18
32.   CanuckDodger
28 -- Well, I reproduced White's statement to Gurnick about having to go in another direction this year, having to look closer at need. I don't think there is any other way to interpret that than an admission that circumstances ("constraints," if you will)-- with the farm, with the big club (in the case of needing to find the future set-up man for Broxton) -- dictated White's course of action. That doesn't mean White didn't "want" the players he selected. It just explains White's motivation for wanting those players.
2008-06-09 17:05:32
33.   bhsportsguy
Bob, according to UCLA website, the Bruins will play both Arizona and Fresno State (9/20, 9/27) at 12:30 p.m.

I am guessing you may not make these games.

2008-06-09 17:06:07
34.   Greg Brock
Great job, Canuck!
2008-06-09 17:08:43
35.   scareduck
1) "to say nothing of the warm bodies they have graduated to the majors" Damning with faint praise?
2) White could draft whomever he wanted Strictly speaking true, but this omits the problems already noted with foreign free agent signing bonuses. I wonder if there is any evidence that the Dodgers have been limiting themselves to slot for North American draftees.
2008-06-09 17:12:48
36.   Jon Weisman
Devaris S-G 1 has signed, per Tony Jackson:
2008-06-09 17:15:30
37.   Jon Weisman
Ken Gurnick's most cogent analysis ever?

There's been talk of the Dodgers acquiring a power bat since Adrian Beltre left. You can't find them at Costco. They are almost nonexistent via trade, and if one does become available -- like Cabrera -- he'll only cost you every top prospect in your farm system. Check out the Tigers and see how that's working out.

Many fans simply won't accept what the Dodgers have clearly decided -- it's youth movement time and they're developing from within. Even if it is a disaster, the main reason they signed Andruw Jones was to add a power bat while preserving the nucleus of the roster. They don't even have the kind of prospects that could land a Cabrera. The players that were their top prospects a few years ago now are the Dodgers. They are Russell Martin, Matt Kemp, Chad Billingsley, Kershaw, James Loney.

To make a trade for a Cabrera-like player now, they would be forced to tear up their current nucleus. Aside from the philosophical dilemma that creates, it also would open other holes on the Major League club that would need to be filled by ... how? Even if a big bat were available, who would you trade to get him? Martin? Kershaw?? And how do you replace them? Filling one hole by creating another is a zero-sum game.

2008-06-09 17:17:15
38.   bhsportsguy
35 My outside impression of White is that he is kind of a maverick guy and he enjoys the finds rather than just paying someone a high bonus to come play for his team.

The Dodgers did draft one high school hitter in the 20th round, Zach Cox who was projected by Baseball America as the top 100 pick (No. 72). He has college committment to Alabama.

2008-06-09 17:17:50
39.   D4P
Looks like someone's been reading DT.
2008-06-09 17:19:28
40.   ToyCannon
Great writing Canuck. Not sure if I totally agree with your premise but it was great reading.

Hope he makes it far enough so that I can hear his name announced at DT.

2008-06-09 17:23:07
41.   Linkmeister
Um. At the bottom of that same Gurnick article Jon links above:

"The longer DeWitt performs well at this level, the greater the chance that LaRoche becomes expendable unless he emerges as a future second baseman. The thing to remember about DeWitt is that, although he was a complete surprise to make any big league impact in 2008, it's not like he came out of nowhere. He was a first-round Draft pick four years ago, signed to a $1.2 million bonus and was considered one of the best hitters in his Draft."

2008-06-09 17:23:36
42.   Bob Timmermann
I hope Davaris is better than Doug Strange.
2008-06-09 17:25:06
43.   Tom Meagher
"White used his third pick on a college outfielder and power hitter (Kyle Russell) with significant and likely insurmountable flaws just because that player was all that was left that satisfied the narrow criteria White was looking to fill, notwithstanding that there were many better talents still available who just happened to be high school players... This approach to drafting is, baldly, incontrovertibly, tantamount to a scouting director handcuffing himself. If he can maximize the talent he is getting out of the draft despite working within these kinds of limitations, he is truly a favorite of fortune."

I appreciate Canuck's takes and have been reading his work for the last five years. The above is pure conjecture, and I don't buy it, period.

The thinking goes A) I don't like Russell, hence B) White chose a flawed player that he doesn't like much to meet a need. Are you kidding? First of all, if Russell's flaw is not insurmountable, then he can be a monster. Second of all, what exactly is the evidence that White doesn't like Russell as much as the alternatives? Third, I might be willing to buy that White drafted to get an impact power bat at the expense of HS hitters that he liked, but are you seriously arguing that there are HS hitters with better power potential than Russell? If so, could you enlighten us as to who they are (and what their bonus demands will be)?

And exactly what evidence is there that White can hit on high ceiling high school hitters? He's graduated the following hitters to the major leagues: Loney, Kemp, Martin, Young, LaRoche, Ruggiano, DeWitt. Two HS first rounders, one very raw HS 6th rounder, and four college hitters. In the first five rounds, he has taken 10 HS hitters [Loney, Nixon (3rd round catcher who chose ASU football), Paul (4th rd), Dewitt, DeJesus (2nd), Bell (4th), Mattingly (supp), Orr (4th), Gallagher (3rd), Lambo (4th)] and 5 college hitters [Young (4th), Dunlap (3rd), Raglani (5th), S. Pedroza (3rd), Russell]. Each of the college hitters has done well in the minors, although I'm sure someone will argue that the "makeup" flameouts of Raglani and Dunlap have something to do with them coming from college. Plus, Russell clearly has the highest ceiling of any of the college hitters White has drafted.

I'm fine with CanuckDodger arguing that he doesn't like Russell - I'd like to see him back it up of course, and if he has done that I haven't seen it and he should link to it. As I see it, Russell is a power hitter who stays back and drives pitches deep in the strike zone, and his selectivity gets him a lot of walks and strikeouts and his long swing gets him some more strikeouts. You can argue that those flaws are hard to overcome - he will need to improve and adjust his approach to a better class of pitching. But I don't see why you are asserting that those flaws are essentially insurmountable and that they are more massive than the flaws that every high school hitter who hasn't been drafted by the third round has.

(There is a post that covers Russell to some extent over at the 5th outfielder today, if anyone is interested.)

2008-06-09 17:26:38
44.   Jon Weisman
41 - Yeah, I saw that, but you take what you can get. And frankly, other than misanalyzing LaRoche by sticking with batting average, Gurnick's not wrong. It is true that the longer DeWitt performs, the more expendable LaRoche would be, especially if he can't master second.
2008-06-09 17:29:51
45.   Linkmeister
44 I just thought the cautionary note was needed before everyone gets on the LaRoche bandwagon and loses their hearts. Personally I'd like to see him hit about 8 home runs in his first 10 games.
2008-06-09 17:30:54
46.   CanuckDodger
35 -- In my original draft, I wrote "tangible, warm bodies," just intending to add to the abstract stuff (intangible stuff) about people holding the drafts in "high esteem." I wanted to convey that the drafts have PRODUCED, whatever people might THINK of them. I dropped the word "tangible" at the last minute thinking it was unnecessary, but maybe my intent would have been clearer had a left it in.

I wondered if I should address the dimension of signability there, because strictly speaking, White's draft options no doubt WERE constrained by budget issues, as nearly every scouting director is so constrained, but I thought that would add an unnecessary level of nuance when people KNOW that that White couldn't spend, say, tens of millions of dollars of the organization's money to sign every player who fell due to their signing bonus demands.

Good points you raised, Scareduck.

Like anybody, I enjoy seeing my work praised, and I thank people who did that, but if I can clarify something I wrote, or people want to challenge me on something, please do.

2008-06-09 17:32:19
47.   Tom Meagher
Also, for the record, what luster has come off of Meloan? Adjusting for the difference in run environment and starting instead of relieving, he is pitching slightly better than he did last season. Do you just mean that he's no longer seen as a reliever?
2008-06-09 17:33:53
48.   D4P
I think I told everyone to book "LaRoche for Embree" a month or so ago.
2008-06-09 17:36:35
49.   Johnson
36 Devaris S-G 1 has signed, per Tony Jackson:

I missed the weekend. Did Strange-Gordon pick up the nickname "The Stargate" while I was gone?

2008-06-09 17:38:07
50.   ToyCannon
I have to agree with Gurnick's assesment. However as Eric noted in the previous thread, DeWitt is already stumbling and if LaRoche can impress, he will probably still be our starting 3rd baseman after the all-star break.

We should all cross our fingers that either LaRoche or DeWitt can handle 2nd base and DeWitt continues his astonishing season. An infield going forward with some combo of Loney, LaRoche, Furcal, DeWitt(2008 Version) is something to look forward to even if it is farfetched.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-06-09 17:41:05
51.   Longhorn Bill
I just graduated from Texas so I've had several opportunities to see Kyle Russell play. Every time I have seen him play he has reminded me of a young Shawn Green. Yes, he has a long swing, but I feel it is a stretch to say that this flaw is insurmountable. Russell has power to all fields and was dominant at the plate for most of his college career.

I think many assume that high school draftees automatically have higher ceilings than college draftees. It seems that this assumption is largely based on the fact that high school players are younger. Russell is only 21 years old and has proven himself to be a force in the Big 12. Last year he broke the single season record for home runs in college baseball while he played in a pitcher's park here in Austin. This year, he broke the career home run record for Longhorn baseball players which is no small feat given the program's notable successes over the years. There are certainly flaws in Russell's game, but I do not think it is a foregone conclusion that they cannot be fixed. Plus, he is a third round pick and the Dodgers can afford to be patient with Russell's development because of Kemp's and Ethier's continued development.

2008-06-09 17:42:00
52.   Jon Weisman
49 - Nope, it's brand-new from me.
2008-06-09 17:42:24
53.   Longhorn Bill
43 I just saw your post and I realize now that some of the points I am trying to make will now seem redundant.
2008-06-09 17:43:54
54.   ToyCannon
Really, that K/BB ratio looks a tad high to me compared to last year. Sure he was relieving last year but that is no reason for his command to become so craptastic. In 2007 it was 70/18 and in 2008 it is 56/37.
2008-06-09 17:48:22
55.   CanuckDodger
43,47 - Thanks for those posts, Tom. A lot of substance to respond to. I am just starting my dinner, so I will post a reply later.
2008-06-09 17:49:54
56.   bhsportsguy
54 Is it a case where he could get away with one or two pitches in short relief and also just give it his all each time out rather than trying to get a third pitch over and stretching out longer now.
2008-06-09 17:51:57
57.   PDH5204
30 31 37 That is why I was so distraught and upset when the Rays sent Longoria down. The Tigers needed pitching and not more hitting. They gave up one of their best young arms in that deal and got back Willis in return. It was fairly predictable, as with Willis it was all good for year 1 and then it's been downhill ever since. And so now the Tigers are paying the recompense for that sin and one less team that the Rays need worry about re making the playoffs.

And, Jon, don't think HR. I know you despise fantasy baseball, but AVG/OBP/SLG are person specific and are what they are. And so I posted the results of that one just completed fantasy week that demonstrate that you can get out-homered 14-2 and still win the battle for OPS [you just need to double and walk a lot]. If I were Ned, I would have tried for both Rowand and Fukudome over Jones. We could have had .292/.398/.425 and .330/.396/.526. Instead, we got next to nothing, at least to date, and all because somebody had visions of HRs dancing in his head.

43 I have need seen any video of the soul in question, but from what you describe, he sounds a little like Jack Cust. So how Cust-like is he?

2008-06-09 17:52:20
58.   Bob Timmermann
I'm watching ASU-FSU and I can say that Brett Wallace is one large human being from the waist down.

Wallace has a posterior that could match Adrian Dantley's.

2008-06-09 17:56:05
59.   Jon Weisman
57 - "And, Jon, don't think HR."

What is this in response to?

2008-06-09 17:56:14
60.   regfairfield
57 We went with Jones because we would have had to commit five years to someone in their 30s to get someone else.

Also, when your best case scenario is a guy who has no real comparables, it's a bad sign.

2008-06-09 17:57:13
61.   fanerman
37 Yay!
2008-06-09 17:58:40
62.   Bob Timmermann
You should think Personnel, instead of HR.
2008-06-09 18:00:02
63.   ToyCannon
I wanted Fukudome last summer but Bob told me he wasn't any good even though an actor assured BH and I that he was the real thing.

Rowand has been shockingly impressive so far in that park.

2008-06-09 18:00:55
64.   bhsportsguy
57 I'm confused. Is Longoria no longer with the Rays, I would disapppointed DirtBagger or whatever Long Beach State is called if I was heading to Angel Stadium and he wasn't there.

I think had the Dodgers gave a long-term deal to Aaron Rowand, Matt Kemp or Andre Ethier would be gone.

2008-06-09 18:01:47
65.   bhsportsguy
63 That's true, I still have his number.
2008-06-09 18:03:41
66.   PDH5204
59 Maybe I'm reading into what you wrote, but this was the line: ...the main reason they signed Andruw Jones was to add a power bat...

Andruw might hit his fair share of doubles, but I believe that when one thinks of Andruw and his power bat, one tends to think of those 51 and 41 HR years [when he had less than 30 doubles].

2008-06-09 18:10:41
67.   PDH5204
64 Sorry, for any confusion. I was simply noting my prior distraught state of mind when the Rays played it a little cheap and sent their best 3B down to the minors when it appeared to me that they would have a decent shot at the playoffs this year, and a shot that would be better had Longoria stayed up the whole year.

I would prefer that the team keep Kemp. I don't otherwise dislike Andre, but if we could've landed both Fukudome and Rowand and that makes Ethier expendable, well, then Ethier is expendable. But if the team could have got both souls, I would have preferred packaging Pierre and Pee Wee, with us eating about half of Pierre's salary. And I'm sorry, but if they can build a mall behind the pavilion, they can pay for Fukudome and Rowand, and eat part of Pierre [fig. and not lit.].

2008-06-09 18:11:17
68.   Ken Noe
Thanks Canuck (and Jon), fascinating stuff.
2008-06-09 18:11:47
69.   bhsportsguy
66 First, that was an excerpt of Ken Gurnick's answer in regarding what can the Dodgers do to get more power.

Second, for the Dodgers, it was more the length of the contract, the fact even his worst power years would probably lead the Dodgers in HR and he also was a defensive upgrade in CF, led the Dodgers to make the deal with Jones.

2008-06-09 18:13:32
70.   Bob Timmermann
The amazing thing is that people trusted my opinion about Fukudome.
2008-06-09 18:14:12
71.   Dodgers49
Mudcats continue mastery of Suns

>> McDonald (3-2) left after five innings and allowed three runs (one earned) and five hits.

2008-06-09 18:14:19
72.   bhsportsguy
67 I have always felt that Pierre was untradeable until the middle of next year. Even if the Dodgers ate the salary, no one wants that long a contract. If he is still Juan Pierre in a year, then the Dodgers can eat a lot of his contract and he can be dealt to someone. Right now, I don't think the Dodgers are willing to eat that much plus with Jones out, he is going to play anyway.
2008-06-09 18:14:58
73.   bhsportsguy
70 I told you to stop your daily e-mails to Ned Colletti.
2008-06-09 18:18:28
74.   gpellamjr
70 If it makes you feel any better, I don't trust anything you say.

I think you're making it all up as you go. Except when what you say is corroborated by one of the Erics.

2008-06-09 18:25:31
75.   Eric Enders
I will corroborate Bob's comment regarding Brett Wallace.

By the way, Baseball America is still listing Devaris Strange-Gordon as a RHP. Anyone know if there's anything to that?

2008-06-09 18:27:32
76.   PDH5204
69 Rowand isn't exactly a slouch in CF and he was coming off his best year, and not a wretched year. And don't we all remember '06? Next to last in the NL in HR, above only the lowly Pirates, but yet 4th in the NL in runs scored owing to the team OBP. Now isn't any exception, since it isn't the lack of HRs that is killing the team, but lack of OBP and hitting in general. The OBP was06 /is09 .348/.332. And it isn't otherwise the HR, since if we could move the .264 AVG up to .276, we'd narrow the SLG gap between .382 and .432.
2008-06-09 18:34:27
77.   PDH5204
76 Sorry, let me add to 76 , as I am going back and forth between entering last week's timeslips and this site. If true that we lack OF depth in the minors, then maybe we take a risk on the longer contract for the two 31 year olds?
2008-06-09 18:46:26
78.   Bob Hendley
76 - Ok, but please don't touch my Pee Wee. He is a small guy so he still has a small sample over his career, but:

Rowand .289/.347/.466 $9,600,000
Pee Wee .305/.360/.463 $391,000

2008-06-09 18:46:49
79.   regfairfield
76 Thing is that Rowand was a huge risk, since he's either been a great player, or not worthy of a starting job any of his seasons. Combine this with defense that's good, but overrated, and you have someone that I would never want to commit to for five years.
2008-06-09 18:55:29
80.   ChicagoDodger
A farm system is like a series of pipelines, and care has to be taken to prevent the formation of bottlenecks at any position that would threaten a deserving player's playing time and endanger his development.

Isn't it a shame the Dodgers don't look at their major league roster that way?

And while I read how wonderful it was to sign Jones for only 2 years of nothing results rather then sign someone else for 5 years of nothing results, I'm left wondering why they couldn't just have saved the $36 million and let Kemp play CF.

2008-06-09 18:56:45
81.   silverwidow
I really hate Ken Gurnick. I thought his LaRoche bashing was over with, then I read today's mailbag column and it's full of indirect slaps at Andy.

The guy is a complete idiot and doesn't deserve to write for Dodger house organ.

2008-06-09 19:00:51
82.   regfairfield
80 That would lead to 162 games of left fielder Juan Pierre. Plus Kemp was a below average to terrible right fielder according to the numbers, so I can see why we would be hesitant to stick him in center.
2008-06-09 19:00:52
83.   regfairfield
80 That would lead to 162 games of left fielder Juan Pierre. Plus Kemp was a below average to terrible right fielder according to the numbers, so I can see why we would be hesitant to stick him in center.
2008-06-09 19:04:05
84.   underdog
78 The beginning of that post could've been phrased better... ;-)

But yes I do like Delwyn, too!

2008-06-09 19:07:04
85.   ChicagoDodger
82 I wasn't advocating pierre in the outfield either. In fact, why did they bother picking him up in the first place?

I mean, what is the point of signing a free agent you are going to have to replace the following year? I realize it's in the past, but can the Dodgers at least try and learn from their mistakes instead of repeating them?

2008-06-09 19:08:11
86.   regfairfield
85 But, they did. The Dodgers realized Juan Pierre sucked, they decided to replace him.
2008-06-09 19:08:11
87.   Bob Timmermann
Paul Bako has TWO homers and FIVE RBI tonight in Florida.
2008-06-09 19:08:38
88.   ChicagoDodger
85 Obviously I meant sign a free agent to a longterm contract you would need to replace the following year.
2008-06-09 19:09:08
89.   Bob Hendley
85 - Well, you could say that they tried to, no. Two years instead of five.
2008-06-09 19:09:25
90.   ChicagoDodger
86 I understand, but they could have replaced him with Kemp, not Jones!
2008-06-09 19:10:43
91.   silverwidow
81 Oh and he was wrong -- as usual -- when trying to paint LaRoche in a negative light when pointing out his batting average (it was .277, not .274), as if that's the only stat that matters. Nevermind that LaRoche hit .315 over 467 ABs between 2006-07 in Triple-A.

As for his claim that the front office "miscalculated" the 3rd baseman of the future, it's kind of hard to have a competition when only one person (DeWitt) gets a real chance to play everyday.

2008-06-09 19:11:43
92.   ChicagoDodger
Kemp, Ehier and Young is a better outfield then Kemp, Jones and (Pierre) or (Pierre/Ethier).

In addition it's much more fun to watch, and provides a tremendous amount of payroll flexibility were a Matt Holiday to become available.

2008-06-09 19:14:11
93.   ChicagoDodger
89 No, I disagree. Never sign a free agent you couldn't trade in the 1st year. Example: Pierre, Jones. They could not trade either of those players in the 1st year of the their free agent contract! That's beyond terrible! And the Dodgers continue to make these kinds of mistakes!
2008-06-09 19:18:14
94.   Eric Enders
93 So then what you're saying is never sign any free agent, ever. Because no free agent signee can be traded in the first year of his contract. It's a rule throughout baseball, part of the collective bargaining agreement, not something that was specific to Jones and Pierre.
2008-06-09 19:19:32
95.   Bob Hendley
93 - I am not understanding. If they were playing up to your expectations, why trade them? If they weren't, who would want them?
2008-06-09 19:21:06
96.   ChicagoDodger
94 You understood what I meant. You don't need to throw in a technicality. Do you honestly beleive the Dodgers could have rid themselves of Jones or Pierre in the first year of their contract were that rule not in effect?

The point here is the ability of the player you are signing and his contract terms. Not whether there is a rule preventing him from being tradd in the first year. And I thought a free agent could be traded after June anyway!

2008-06-09 19:22:46
97.   NWdodger
Canuck, this should interest you. Logan pulls out a rabbit from the 33rd round. Perhaps they are going to pay over the suggested signing bonuses.

"In some breaking news from the Mobile Press-Register , Alabama signee Melvin Ray has opted to go the MLB route, and will sign a contract with the Dodgers."

2008-06-09 19:26:27
98.   ChicagoDodger
95 What's not to understand? The Dodgers signed Pierre to a 5 year deal, and many were skeptical at the very least. Midway through the 1st year, his inabilities show up loud and clear, and the Dodgers are stuck with a contract they couldn't move if they wanted to, or if they were able to (to take into account the technicality). More importantly they are stuck with a player that is not worth having in a starting line-up. Then the following year they make the same mistake in signing Jones, even if it is for only 2 years. The 2 years are not a great thing because it's still 2 years of crap!
2008-06-09 19:27:26
99.   Bob Timmermann
Longoria and Aybar homer back to back to put the Rays up 2-0 in Anaheim.
2008-06-09 19:29:19
100.   Bob Timmermann
Back to back to back!

Navarro goes deep.

Gabe Gross puts Joe Saunders on Paul Foytack watch.

And that guy on the Yankees.

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2008-06-09 19:29:38
101.   CajunDodger
I really like the idea of Colletti signing risky free agents like Jones and Furcal to short deals, but why not be in the final conversation for a cornerstone offensive player?

I know that he really liked both Soriano and Carlos Lee two years ago but neither was interested in playing here. It makes me wonder if he will (if he still has a job) make a damn-the-torpedoes run at Texeria and risk a PO'd clubhouse if the team were to lose Loney to trade.

This man has been in charge of the Dodgers for 3 years now and I still can not figure out what he is thinking from one day to the next.

Oh, and LSU is winning 19-4 in an effort to get my beloved Tigers back to the College World Series.

2008-06-09 19:35:40
102.   Bob Timmermann
Fresno State looks ready to pull off a big upset to get the last spot in Omaha.
2008-06-09 19:36:20
103.   Bob Hendley
98 - I think the got basically what they bargained for with JP

Chi 2006 .292/.330/.388
LA 2007 .293/.331/.353

2008-06-09 19:37:04
104.   scareduck
46 - the issue for me is more that, are the Dodgers willing to break slot to get, say, the odd Boras guy who might actually be worth it? I'm not saying that this should be a commonplace thing, but given that White has run every draft from 2002 on, you'd think there would be at least one instance of that. I can't recall any (which may just be ignorance speaking).
2008-06-09 19:39:36
105.   silverwidow
In honor of the Dodgers' best hitting prospect finally being promoted, here's "You're the Best Around":

2008-06-09 19:42:24
106.   CajunDodger
Definitely not sure about this, but wasn't Hocheaver his pick? I also seem to remember him picking a guy in round 4 or 5 3 years ago who we did not sign and went to a team in the first round the following year for about 3 million above what he was asking for from us.
2008-06-09 19:43:47
107.   ChicagoDodger
103 That may be true. The problem is they needed a heck of a lot more then that, and in any event he's not worth spending $45+ million on for 5 years.

I mean, if the Dodgers gave Brett Tomko 5 years for $45 million and he bombed, couldn't all of us Dodger fans say that the Dodgers got what one would expect out of him? If that's true, then why do some feel it's a good thing that the Dodgers got what could be expected out of Pierre?

2008-06-09 19:48:46
108.   Bob Hendley
107 - Agree on JP. On Tomko, I am guessing that Ned thought for some reason that he would revert back to 2004 performance, when he had him at SF, which certainly didn't pan out
2008-06-09 19:52:25
109.   caseybarker
81 I almost fell out of my chair when Gurnick called LaRoche a utilityman in his column today.

I am looking forward to a Bulldogs-Bulldogs matchup at Omaha.

2008-06-09 19:55:22
110.   Bob Timmermann
Georgia and Fresno State would be in opposite sides of the draw in the CWS.

Fresno State is using its sixth different in the #8 spot tonight.

The Bulldogs lead ASU 12-5 going to the bottom of the 9th.

LSU leads UCI 21-7 with 5:37 left in the fourth quarter.

2008-06-09 19:55:48
111.   scareduck
Batter's interference in Anaheim against Eva(n) Longoria.
2008-06-09 19:56:56
112.   Bob Timmermann
That doesn't pique my interest.
2008-06-09 19:58:06
113.   scareduck
106 - Hochevar was a Logan White pick, yes, and there was considerable discussion about the Dodgers trying to tamper with Hochevar's non-representation representation (i.e., trying to chase Scott Boras off the job by offering a higher bonus if Hochevar would sign with a different "advisor").
2008-06-09 19:58:20
114.   Bob Timmermann
Shawn Bonesteele trying to close it out for Fresno State.
2008-06-09 19:58:34
115.   scareduck
112 - why, Bob, why?
2008-06-09 19:59:38
116.   Johnny Nucleo
Thanks for the writeup Canuck. I always look forward to your yearly post-draft breakdown, and to your (and Nate and Silverwidow's) daily insights on the state of the Dodger farm system.
In lieu of joining the off-day Juan Pierre discussion, I'll share with you all that this past weekend my brother came down and we went on a brief baseball roadtrip. Friday night we sat in the bleachers at Fenway and watched Felix and the Mariners blank the Sox 8-0, and then Saturday we drove up to Manchester NH and watched the NH Fisher Cats (Jays) lose to the Erie (Tigers) Seawolves 3-1.
At Fenway, it's the flowing beer that causes most of the noise in the stands. At the AA ballpark, it was the KIDS - so many of them! so much energy! screaming at the top of their lungs every time the scoreboard told them to.
Fenway is legendary and all, but we had much better (and cheaper) seats at the AA game, and all-in-all a much better time.
2008-06-09 19:59:38
117.   ToyCannon
6'3 202 out of High School. I love it when football players choose baseball. He may not have had the academics to go to Florida but he made a smart career decision.
2008-06-09 20:00:24
118.   sporky
I kind of wish my screen name was CorsicanDodger, CaribbeanDodger or CrunchyDodger.
2008-06-09 20:01:39
119.   ToyCannon
If LaRoche is filling in at 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, isn't that the definition of "utility"? What he may or may not become, at the moment he is our utility player.
2008-06-09 20:02:05
120.   Johnny Nucleo
118 You could always be CelticDodger, but you run the risk that some of us would pronounce it with a hard C.
2008-06-09 20:02:14
121.   Bob Timmermann
It's not an official statistical category.
2008-06-09 20:04:52
122.   Bob Timmermann
And LSU is on to Omaha!

Fresno State needs two more outs.

2008-06-09 20:05:45
123.   Bob Timmermann
Garret Anderson with the SF+DP!
2008-06-09 20:12:24
124.   caseybarker
Uh oh.
2008-06-09 20:12:36
125.   Bob Timmermann
ASU cuts it to 12-8 with 2 on and 1 out in the 9th with Wallace coming up.
2008-06-09 20:14:11
126.   Bob Timmermann
Wallace flies out. Ike (son of Ron) Davis is the last chance.
2008-06-09 20:14:48
127.   Bob Timmermann
Davis singles to make it 12-9. Two outs, 1st and 3rd.
2008-06-09 20:18:20
128.   Bob Timmermann
Bases loaded, two outs in Tempe. Matt Newman up and he has two home runs today.
2008-06-09 20:20:50
129.   caseybarker
No cigar!
2008-06-09 20:21:51
130.   Bob Timmermann
And the Bulldogs complete the field of eight in Omaha.

There is no joy in Tempe tonight. Fresno State is the first team seeded #4 in a regional to make it to Omaha.

They had to beat Long Beach State, San Diego, and ASU to make it to Omaha.

2008-06-09 20:26:24
131.   berkowit28
118 CuracaoDodger - if you don't mind being taken for an A. Jones supporter - or CatalanDodger (or for that matter CastilianDodger) are still available. As is CossackDodger. Or you could go way out on a limb with CCCPDodger.
2008-06-09 20:29:31
132.   Tom Meagher
I'm having a hard time keeping this thread straight since a third of the posts are by CajunDodger, ChicagoDodger, or CanuckDodger. My skimming powers are not up to that task.

54 Obviously K and BB are the main thing to look at, but if you look at them as a ratio it's kind of hard to account for such a massive difference (SL to PCL, RP to SP). In the Southern League, Meloan had a 1.85 szERA, and in his 2007 PCL stint it was 3.74 (a third of his batters faced were in the PCL). Convert the Southern League stats to PCL, and his szERA combined for 2007 is about 3.15. This season it is 4.57. The starter penalty accounts for a full run, so his szERA is only slightly off last season's pace. However, I'm not very convinced that his walks are a command issue so much as an issue about how he is approaching hitters. He has only allowed one home run this season, which is pretty amazing pitching for the 51's. Perhaps he really is having significant problems with his command, but based strictly on his numbers and using regression his BB rate is where it should be based on his past performance and the change in roles/leagues/parks. By FIP or ERA, this season is pretty darn good for him - 4.18 ERA as a starter in a 4.70 league, and if we force the FIP constant to league average ERA, his FIP is 3.80. For a 23-year-old who just converted to starting, that is quite impressive.

57 Russell is Cust-like in his results (K, BB, HR), but I would not say that they have particularly similar swings or bodies. Cust is relatively more of a pull hitter while Russell has very good power to all fields. But that's just me.

2008-06-09 20:33:19
133.   Tom Meagher
I should have refreshed before letting that C__Dodger material go to print.
2008-06-09 20:39:05
134.   sporky
Prior to Andy's callup, I could've passed as CrabbyDodger. Or CantankerousDodger.
2008-06-09 20:39:19
135.   JoeyP
Dodgers are now just 1.5 games ahead of the Giants.

3 games ahead of the Padres.

2008-06-09 20:39:41
136.   Bluebleeder87
just read the Gurnik mailbag, why does always pick lousy pictures of La Roche? last year it was him with his eyes closed in the outfield this year it's the same thing except in the infield.
2008-06-09 20:42:31
137.   NWdodger
Another tidbit on Melvin Ray. It looks like the bonus must have been pretty substantial if he was expecting to go in the first four rounds.

"Ray knows the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft is June 5-6, and he says scouts have been impressed with his speed in the outfield and his ability to hit with power. It's uncertain what round he will go, but at one point he said he was told anywhere between the first and fourth round."

2008-06-09 20:42:58
138.   Jon Weisman
Holy cow, my baby boy is cute these days.
2008-06-09 20:44:21
139.   preacherroe
To any of the resident prospect mavens, why isn't Russell Mitchell considered much of a prospect? He seems to be having a solid year in AA. After all if there's anything we need its another young third baseman to throw in the mix.
2008-06-09 21:04:39
141.   ChicagoDodger
In the AL city this weekend, what are the chances we could see Martin, Kemp, Loney, Martin and LaRoche all in the lineup at the same time?

Could we see it twice this weekend? 3 times?

2008-06-09 21:05:11
142.   ChicagoDodger
I meant Ethier not Martin twice!
2008-06-09 21:07:07
143.   CanuckDodger
43 -- First, let me say that I am not pleased with your characterization of my thinking as "I don't like Russell, hence, White chose a flawed player he doesn't like much to meet a need." There is no connection between the two propositions, and I didn't make that connection, or imply one. If White really likes Russell, I am perplexed WHY he likes him in spite of what we know about White's taste in hitters, based on the kinds of hitters White has shown a penchant for in the past, and, frankly, based on his own words. Two years ago, in a post-draft chat at, somebody asked White what he looks for in hitters. White talked about what he likes, and he added, "I don't like hitters that collapse and lift but may have raw power." I have watched the video on Russell at twice now, and he sure looks like a "collapse and lift" guy to me.

And I agree that IF Russell's flaws can be fixed, somehow, without taking away his power, he COULD be a monster. In Russell, I definitely see similarities to Ryan Howard at the same age. Howard, despite the power he showed in college, wasn't drafted till the fifth round, in 2001, because he was a college strikeout machine whom many scouts did not trust to be able to succeed with wood bats, and against pro pitching. Howard's story had a happy ending, but with most guys like Howard, and Russell, the result is NOT a good one, in the pros. But just because of Ryan Howard, I said that Russell's flaws are "likely" insurmountable, not definitely insurmountable.

And I never argued that when we took Russell there were HS hitters available with better power potential. I said there were better high school "talents" still on the board when we picked Russell, as in "all-around talents," and that includes both hitters and pitchers. BA had ranked Russell as the 153rd best talent in the draft. Now obviously some better-ranked high schoolers fell way out of the early rounds because of signability, and though Tim Melville only fell to the 4th round, we know about his signability issues, so I will leave him aside, but looking at the 35 picks made AFTER the Dodgers chose Russell, I see five high schoolers BA liked better than Russell, and whose scouting reports impress me a heck of a lot more than Russell's. If you want to read up on them yourself, they are RHP Ross Seaton, CF Zachary Cone, RHP Joseph Weiland, RHP Kevin Eichhorn, and CF Daniel Ortiz. Read what BA says about those guys and tell me if each time you finish a report you don't say to yourself, "Now THAT sounds like a Logan White player," based on White's record in the previous six drafts.

And, Tom, I am not sure what your point even is in the second paragraph. I think White has done quite well with his high school hitters, especially looking at what rounds some of them were drafted in. Beyond the guys who have made it to the majors already, a group that in addition to Loney, DeWitt, and Kemp includes Travis Denker (now with the Giants), there are many guys experiencing varying degrees of success in the minors: Bell, Dejesus, Paul, May, Mitchell, Lambo, Gallagher. Nixon flamed out, and Mattingly has disappointed. A good hit rate, and even more so considering how much White has emphasized pitching over hitting. And I disagree that certain college guys you mentioned peformed well in the minors, as a whole, given their ages at certain levels. Pedroza and Raglani were not good, especially if you are looking at their strikeouts rates, which were bad for supposedly advanced college hitters.

47 -- About Meloan, somebody already touched on in, but Meloan's walk rate is what I had in mind when I included him in with a group of other pitchers who have seen some of their "luster" wear off since the off-season. In Double A and below, Meloan's combination of high K rates and low walk rates were what really made him special in a system where pitchers usually have high walk rates to go along with good K rates.

2008-06-09 21:07:48
144.   kinbote
Edwin Jackson's throwing an easy 97 with two outs in the 6th--just now 99. Are we still excusing Ned?
2008-06-09 21:10:47
145.   Bluebleeder87
I know I'm late to the party but I LOVE the new iphone MLB feature they will be adding, among another things.
2008-06-09 21:14:09
146.   jasonungar07
144 I never did.
2008-06-09 21:18:41
147.   Bluebleeder87
It's amazing how hard that sidewinder can throw 88mph. 144 I think it was a collective miss step from ALL involved in that decision, what a shame is all I can say about that, I remember posting & saying he was to young to unpolished to put that much pressure on a young kid (not exactly what I said but I did say something about him being to young & unpolished) oh well, what can you do.

Navarro just got another hit & RBI.

2008-06-09 21:18:55
148.   silverwidow
Navarro's on fire.
2008-06-09 21:19:10
149.   Bob Timmermann
Yellow alert for Dioner Navarro.

This is a yellow alert.

2008-06-09 21:20:04
150.   ucladodger

If he could develop a splitter or any type of 3rd pitch to throw to righties (he does not throw the change to righties), he would be great.

Navarro and Aybar look flat-out great tonight at the plate. Both have hit home runs, shown great apporaches at the plate, and had great all around ABs. Ned is looking more and more foolish as the season for Tampa Bay unfolds.

Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2008-06-09 21:20:17
151.   Jon Weisman
144 - I never did either, though it doesn't exactly look like a great outing: 10 hits, two strikeouts.
2008-06-09 21:21:59
152.   Jon Weisman
Aybar had a career .381 OBP going into today's game.
2008-06-09 21:22:15
153.   ucladodger

He hasnt pitched well, but he hasnt been lucky. One hit was a ground ball to second that Aybar tried to make a play on and went as a hit. That led to a run. Vladdy also had a broken bat bloop before Hunter's HR. Not a good outing, but he's limited the damage.

2008-06-09 21:23:06
154.   Vaudeville Villain

It's not, I'm watching the game. He's been giving up some rockets. Still his numbers this year overrall are pretty good, so I agree that trade can start being chalked up firmly in the loss column for us.

2008-06-09 21:23:29
155.   Johnny Nucleo
My apologies.
2008-06-09 21:23:49
156.   Disabled List
I'm a little late on this, but I just wanted to add that 37 is nothing that anybody reading Dodger Thoughts hasn't known for months. Many of us posted the exact same sentiments during the offseason. Glad to see Gurnick is finally catching on.

Yet another example of how the DT community puts mainstream media to shame when it comes to analysis. I've said that so often it's bordering on a Rule 8 violation.

2008-06-09 21:24:22
157.   Vaudeville Villain
I have always been a big fan of Willy Aybar's game. I hope he does well in Tampa.
2008-06-09 21:24:44
158.   kinbote
0 Great stuff, Canuck. Always enjoy your writing. Any lower round picks you're excited by?
2008-06-09 21:30:53
159.   Eric Stephen
Here's the frustrating part about Edwin Jackson:

He was out of options last season, and I'm 100% positive the Dodgers would not have let him work through his troubles at the big league level last season. Tampa could afford to be patient, and it's paying off for them this year.

Anyway, here are the 2007 numbers as starter for Jackson and another familiar duo:

Jackson: 31 GS, 160.2 IP, 87/128 BB/K, 5.77 ERA, 78 ERA+
Tomko/Hendy: 30 GS, 155.2 IP, 55/103 BB/K, 5.84 ERA, 69 ERA+

So we did have Jackson last year, only we don't get to reap the benefits this year.

But at least we have Scott Proctor to show for it.

2008-06-09 21:31:08
160.   Jon Weisman
Interesting use of Arredondo in the fifth inning. I was going to say they used him as a smokejumper, but they actually used him in an even more unlikely situation.
2008-06-09 21:32:23
161.   Bluebleeder87
Is Aybar a full time player also? if so the D-Rays have 3 full time players we use to have & it looks like they are holding there own.
2008-06-09 21:32:29
162.   ucladodger

I've made that complaint a lot over the last year. And considering Edwin is in the AL East, his numbers would be even better in our division.

2008-06-09 21:33:34
163.   ucladodger

He was hurt for a while and recently came back. Pena just got hurt so he's been playing 1st. With Pena back he'll DH and play some OF.

2008-06-09 21:38:03
164.   kinbote
I don't claim to be an undying supporter of Edwin Jackson. I am just finding it harder and harder to be--like Jon--an even-handed critic of the Colletti reign.

I think he's awful, a joke, and should be viewed thusly until proven otherwise.

2008-06-09 21:47:41
165.   Bob Timmermann
Cycle alert canceled.
Stand down.

Navarro doubled in his last at bat.

2008-06-09 21:47:47
166.   Bluebleeder87
Navarro with his 4th hit of the night & he runs like a catcher.
2008-06-09 21:47:50
167.   Jon Weisman
Bidding for the cycle, Navarro hits it down the right-field line!

But he holds at second base.

2008-06-09 21:47:58
168.   PDH5204
Hey, Dioner, you're up 12-4, go for three.
2008-06-09 21:48:50
169.   Vaudeville Villain
Has anyone seen the UZR numbers yet? I know they are not really worth too much analysis at this point in the season, but according to the numbers, we are a below average defensive team.

Also, we have two of the worst defensive players in baseball on our team currently, Jeff Kent (no surprise) and Andruw Jones (kind of a surprise).

2008-06-09 21:50:27
170.   ucladodger
The Rays are a really fun team to watch. I usually get my 6 hours of baseball in by watching the Rays at 4 and the Dodgers at 7. They have 2 tremendous starters at the top (Edwin and Garza also have great stuff), tremendous young offensive players (Upton is the most underrated offensive player in the game), and a great bullpen. Really a complete team.
2008-06-09 21:54:31
171.   jasonungar07
last chunk of ABs...

Kent -the jedi master

43 doubles
2 triples

Pierre-The Jedi

.293 .331 .353 .685

Kemp -The Padawan

205 hits
33 doubles
8 triples
100 rbi
27 sb
.308 .345 .481 .827

2008-06-09 21:55:53
172.   CanuckDodger
158 -- If the Dodgers signed 9th rounder Chris Joyce (LHP), 10th rounder Nathan Eovaldi (RHP), and 20th rounder Zack Cox (3B), all high schoolers who seem to have fallen because of signability, I would be delighted. But McCourt wants the All-Star Game, so he isn't going to rattle Selig's cage by opening up his wallet to pay anybody much over slot money.
2008-06-09 21:56:06
173.   jasonungar07
If anyone is going to the Angel game on Wed (Kazmir vs Lackey) let me know. I am goin with the little one and would love to meet up.
2008-06-09 21:58:22
174.   Jon Weisman
Leading 13-4, Ruggiano absolutely flung himself at a long drive and almost made an extraordinary catch.
2008-06-09 21:58:34
175.   Alex41592
Maddux vs. Kershaw, Wolf vs. Billingsley and Peavy vs. Kuroda are the probables for the S.D series. This has the makings of a tremendous series.
2008-06-09 21:58:50
176.   Tom Meagher
143 Thanks for the response. I apologize for the "I don't like Russell, hence, White chose a flawed player he doesn't like much to meet a need" characterization. I think you're being too limiting in arguing what a Logan White player is like; while he obviously has preferences, I think your reasoning rests on a jump in logic that I think is valid but do not agree with. I'm more than willing to admit that your analysis of this draft may be correct, I just think that somewhat different explanations are more likely.

My comments about insurmountability are asking for some sort of comparison. You say that lots of guys are like Russell and Howard but don't end up succeeding, but it's not fair to say that the majority of players of a certain type will flame out when the majority of players of any type will not make it. Hitters like Howard have long been underappreciated and derided by scouts, but is that based on a realistic comparison or is it just a defense mechanism since there are many superficially good types who are similar but in reality do not have sufficient power to make it?

Your third paragraph is in response to a conditional argument I made, which is that if White handcuffed himself by looking for a power bat in Rd 3, he did not necessarily handcuff himself to a college hitter. Your article makes the argument that White was constraining himself to college players, but it's important not to mix up the different concerns (power, MLB ETA). If you're saying White would have liked those other players better, then I'll grant you a maybe. But don't forget that BA had Russell ranked #25 last season pre-draft. And in all honesty, I think his stock has fallen since then just because he did not repeat his monstrous 2007 season exactly (and because his signability issues have probably been exaggerated; if I'm not mistaken, the clash caused by Jocketty's failure to sign Russell, a Luhnow favorite, was a significant factor in Jocketty being fired). I just don't buy that Russell's stock should have fallen this far after another outstanding season that was mislabeled as a big slump.

I was not trying to argue that White's HS picks have been bad (forgot to list Denker, too - good call; I can't believe how irresponsible that trade was). I'm not trying to knock the list of HS hitters at all. The point is that he has done a good job of identifying college hitters too. While Pedroza and Raglani do not appear to be future major league starters, that is obviously a very high expectation for where they were drafted. Raglani was an above average hitter for the Southern League at age 23 and had to repeat it and hit very well in 2007. The only hitters younger than him in the Southern League who hit better were Longoria, Upton, Jaso, Mark Reynolds, Hu, Michael Griffin, and Brandon Jones. Again, I don't think he figures to be a regular, but he has hit well enough that it can't be ruled out and he looks like he can be a decent bench player. Of course, maybe you disagree because you value batting average more highly than I do, but in my research I have not found that batting average in the minor leagues is more important to future success than the other components of offensive value. Pedroza has hit very well at each level until hitting the Southern League this season, so I don't know what you are talking about there. He was in the top ten in offensive production in the FSL last season. Again, they have both been old for their leagues, but a college hitter needs to catch lightning in a bottle to advance quickly enough for this not to be the case. So you can knock White for not having come up with any impact bats among his five high picks of college hitters, but it is a pretty insignificant knock, and the knock is not that he picked bad ones but rather that he didn't pick any that truly broke out and took it up another step (unless you really want to count Dunlap as a bad one). Plus, the low-round college hitters he has taken have turned out quite well, so the notion that he's at his best with HS talent is erroneous, IMO.

I addressed Meloan's K and BB in 132 .

2008-06-09 21:58:59
177.   silverwidow
Interesting news: Jon Meloan pitched one inning of relief tonight for Vegas.

Maybe they changed their minds about him starting...

2008-06-09 22:07:43
178.   underdog
172 What about Melvin Ray? Seems like he could be a major steal...?

I also read on a couple of 'Bama sites that he may have had some concerns about his grades not being good enough for school after all, coupled with his love of baseball, and the Dodgers may have gotten lucky with a late rounder.

2008-06-09 22:08:52
179.   Tom Meagher
By the way, there is a discussion about Edwin Jackson starting up over at the The Book blog:

2008-06-09 22:10:34
180.   natepurcell

I wonder how much they are giving Melvin Ray?

2008-06-09 22:15:48
181.   henly
hey guys, a bit off the discussion path, but does anyone know what happened to Mark Alexander?
2008-06-09 22:18:34
182.   natepurcell
I do hope they sign Cox even though I think its a long shot.
2008-06-09 22:19:10
183.   ToyCannon
Mitchell is now only a 1st baseman which means he needs to hit alot more to be considered a prospect. Given the plethora of 1st baseman we have at the lower level he doesn't have much of a window.

He was released and signed by Texas.

2008-06-09 22:21:20
184.   henly

wow. thanks dude. i can't believe we just let the dude go. did he have an attitude problem or something?

seems like such a waste

2008-06-09 22:22:51
185.   CanuckDodger
172 -- I don't know anything about Melvin Ray. BA didn't post any info about him pre-draft, and they always post SOMETHING about guys who are considered within spitting distance of having any kind of potential.
2008-06-09 22:28:12
186.   ToyCannon
Easily the most fun team to watch in the majors. Throw in the fact we have so many ex-Dodgers on the team, it is easy for Dodger fans to get behind this team.

Now if only Tiffany can comeback from his arm woes.

I expected them to contend, but I thought it would be in 2009 when Davis, McGee, and Price would start having an impact. Considering Baldelli has been a big zero and Pena has not come close to matching last years heroics, as good as they have been, they could actually get better this year and not fall back. From what I understand the defense has been a driving force behind some of their improvement.

No one wants to hear about anyone's roto team but when Longoria, Navarro, and Aybar went back to back to back, they were all my boys.

2008-06-09 22:29:16
187.   ToyCannon
Canuck knows about that then I do. I think they just felt he would never be able to get major league hitters out.
2008-06-09 22:34:35
188.   silverwidow
Mark Alexander was old for the Southern League when he was putting up dominant numbers. And from what I read, his fastball was average and didn't have much movement.
2008-06-09 22:37:20
189.   JoeyP
I actually felt worse about the Aybar/Navarro trades than Edwin Jackson.

Jackson was out of options, plus he hadnt fully regained his velocity when the Dodgers traded him. Still, a dumb move to deal him for what they got back, but I had no problems with actually trading him---as long as they got something good--which they didnt.

Trading Navarro was dumb on many many levels. It's almost like the Dodgers refused to just keep as many good players as possible, so they dealt Navarro bc they had another good one in Russ Martin. Just dumb. I'd love to have seen a Martin/Navarro pairing at catcher, with Russ getting time at 3b, or LF, or even 1b. Getting rid of a quality catcher that was as young as Navarro--just ridiculous.

Aybar for Betemit wasnt much better either, mainly because Aybar had better OBP skills and Betemit was older.

Its really a shame the Dodgers couldnt have kept their 2nd tier prospects bc they could have been used collectively to get something better than what they ended up with.

Joel Guzman has been the only guy that Ned dealt that hasnt really hurt that much. But when they moved him off SS, he lost most of his value anyhow.

This organization really needs a housecleaning. The moves, that were seen as minor in years past, are really coming home to roost now.

You look at Drew, Bradley, Werth, Cody Ross, then the guys at Tampa....You look at the Dodgers bloated payroll...It's bad. Replace Ned please.

2008-06-09 22:43:30
190.   LoneStar7
On a day that was very quiet for Los Angeles sports teams, I'm pleased the Anaheim Angels got spanked...and I still can't believe San Fran is within 5 now..
2008-06-09 22:44:02
191.   Eric Stephen
Jackson was out of options

I thought since Jackson was placed on the 40-man in September 2003 -- when rosters expanded -- his option years used with LA were 2004 & 2005. He still had one option left when he was traded, and that was used by TB in 2006.

2008-06-09 22:48:49
192.   CanuckDodger
189 -- And my sentiments are the opposite: trading Jackson away at all galled me then and galls me now, but with Navarro, it just would have been nice to have gotten something better for him. You can't have two starting catchers, any more than you can have two starting quarterbacks in the NFL. There is just no way around that. And neither Martin nor Navarro deserved to be relegated to being a back-up.
2008-06-09 22:52:19
193.   Eric Stephen
You can't have two starting catchers, any more than you can have two starting quarterbacks in the NFL

I don't get that at all. Are you saying that the controversy that would ensue by having competing catchers would outweigh the benefit of having two good catchers? Or that Navarro simply wouldn't function as well as a backup, assuming Russ still kept the job?

2008-06-09 22:52:45
194.   CanuckDodger
191,192 -- Jackson was not out of options; he had one left. He spent time in Triple A in 2006. The Dodgers could have kept him in Triple A that year. And as somebody has shown above, in 2007 he was better than Tomko/Hendrickson, so the old argument that L.A. couldn't have tolerated his growing pains in 2007 is bogus.
2008-06-09 22:57:57
195.   CanuckDodger
193 -- I'm saying that bringing another starter quality catcher on to your team is analogous to bringing home a woman and telling your wife, "Honey, this is going to be my other wife from now on. In fact, she will be sharing our bed at night. Is that okay?" Things won't be okay. Trust me.
2008-06-09 22:59:14
196.   scareduck
173 - I believe that's the day game and I have a pretty decent chance to go (my nephew is graduating from high school and I might just play hookie). Drop a line,
2008-06-09 23:01:13
197.   underdog
I did see one piece on Ray that was on Bleacher Report (for what it's worth, not much):

"Not only was Melvin Ray excelling on the gridiron at NFC, he was making his mark on the diamond as well. While most BAMA fans knew that Ray was a highly-touted football prospect, it's arguable that few of them realized that the young man was a legitimate Major League Baseball prospect as well. With the MLB draft coming up in June the reports surfacing indicate that Ray has drawn intense interest from the Houston Astros, New York Mets, and Cincinatti [sic] Reds, among others, due to his combination of raw speed and power as an outfielder. Of the 30 teams in the MLB it appears that Ray has filled out pre-draft informational questionaires for aproximately 25 of teams. Though he isn't guarenteed to be drafted in the first round, speculation is that Ray will likely go within the first 5 to 7 rounds. Such an opportunity would certainly have to cause a young man to sit down and re-think his options."

2008-06-09 23:01:31
198.   Vaudeville Villain
The Aybar for Betemit trade was weird in that it seemed to make sense at the time, even for an Aybar fan like myself. We needed power, and Aybar was not projecting to be much more than a high OBP/ doubles and singles guy. Plus, we had LaRoche waiting in the wings, to say nothing of DeWitt. Betemit addressed a need, even though his walk rate was pretty weak at the time.

Nomar's suckitude at first and eventual move to 3rd made the deal pretty much moot, anyway.

2008-06-09 23:03:12
199.   scareduck
195 - see Steve Yeager and Joe Ferguson. Because, yeah, that didn't work out at all.
2008-06-09 23:03:55
200.   LoneStar7
192 I'd agree with you there, and we can say this least we kept the right catcher..
Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2008-06-09 23:04:21
201.   regfairfield
Agreeing with Canuck, what you could get for Navarro in a trade is far more valuable than having him play 25 games a year.

Getting Mark Hendrickson in return is what makes trading Navarro a dumb idea.

2008-06-09 23:05:50
202.   Eric Stephen
The thing is though, you have to have bring home some other woman, right? To follow your analogy, the backup catcher on a good team should be kind of an ugly nanny that is good with the kids?
2008-06-09 23:10:09
203.   jasonungar07
your lady won't break her thumb on a foul tip..but yeah you guys are all right, trading is fine, just trade well.
2008-06-09 23:10:48
204.   jasonungar07
ok that might sound bad above. but no "foul" intent.
2008-06-09 23:11:54
205.   LoneStar7
202 I think Navarro was on his way to becoming more than ugly nanny though, and unfortunately like 201 says, its too bad we didnt get more in return for him
2008-06-09 23:17:10
206.   scareduck
188 - what did happen to Alexander? Did he get injured?

198 - the ironic part is the Dodgers got better production out of Aybar than they did out of Betemit. Aybar was two years younger, and thus in Ned's mind, inferior.

After Ned's comment about veterans that "What can be lost on [observers watching prospects play] in the excitement of accomplishment is how good the big-league player is", it strikes me that he is singularly unqualified to run any kind of baseball organization. I note in passing that the Angels left Brandon Wood and his .131 batting average on the major league roster rather than trading for a washed-up, roster-clogging veteran like Angel Berroa who would be worse with the glove, and no better with the bat. I have normally been loathe to say that Bill Stoneman/Tony Reagins have been smarter than Ned Colletti for the simple reason of Gary Matthews, Jr. and Torii Hunter's deals (GMJ's deal is bad now, and Hunter's will be bad in two years.) But with the Berroa deal, we now have a clear cut case where both GMs were faced with exactly the same difficulty at very nearly the same position (SS/3B for the Angels, SS for the Dodgers), and Colletti elected to swallow the Kool-Aid.

2008-06-09 23:21:42
207.   bhsportsguy
206 This is it for me, I know Jon explained to me that it is nature of this site to examine a move to death but I really don't get it this.

I'm done.

2008-06-09 23:23:31
208.   Bob Timmermann
Scareduck's new nickname should be "tipping point."
2008-06-09 23:25:28
209.   CanuckDodger
199 -- Yeager was a lifetime .228/.298/.355 hitter, and it is not like there were too many anomalous peak years in there. How much of an argument could he have made when the Dodgers wanted to sit him? And I imagine it was easier to tell a player, way back then, to do what he is told and shut up. Martin and Navarro were two big-time prospects/recent-prospects and neither guy was going to play second fiddle to the other. Both those guys are on track now to becoming extremely wealthy men, and they each no doubt expected to be on that road. They weren't going to be on that road as "part-time catchers," though.
2008-06-09 23:44:46
210.   ToyCannon
Being around during the Yeager/Fergy years it did cause some friction. They both wanted to start and they were both right handed. Luckily Fergy could play some outfield. The difference is that Campanis let Fergy build his value and then traded him for Reggie Smith.

Ned sold early and lost the run up for something we didn't really need. Lousy LHP are a dime a dozen. Switch hitting catchers not so much. I defended Ned back then in the hope they saw something in Hendy but Joey P was right then and he's right now. It was a bad deal.

2008-06-09 23:46:49
211.   arbfuldodger
It was Willy Aybar who went AWOL on the Braves last season and was suspended & in rehab for most of it right?? (No way he's still on the team after that w/ McCourt as the owner) & w/ Tony Abreu he was kind of redundant no?
2008-06-09 23:47:09
212.   ToyCannon
I still don't see how the Betemit for Aybar deal did not work out for the Dodgers? I would still much rather have Betemit then Aybar. Aybar is only carrying that high OBP because he's never gotten a full time gig. Give him 400 at bats in a year and let us see where that OBP ends up.
2008-06-10 00:27:20
213.   Tom Meagher
212 I just don't see it. Aybar had an above average OBP in each league he played in after 2001 (he had been slightly below average in the Pioneer and SAL) and was always on the young side. The first time he repeated a league was his 2006 stint in Vegas, where he was top 20 among hitters 25 and under (at age 23). He was not an elite prospect and Betemit was a decent return for him, but for my money Betemit was not better than Aybar at the time and Aybar was younger and had less service time and more potential. In addition, Colletti chose a pretty poor and pointless time to deal him. The Braves made the deal because they liked Aybar better than Betemit, and I don't see how that could have changed in the time between the deadline and the offseason. So you have to be sure that you like Betemit better to make the deal, and the Proctor deal casts doubt on that having been the case. Colletti was, IMO, frustrated with Aybar for childish reasons. You could say it worked out because of how things shook out for him in 2007, but you could also speculate that the Dodgers played a role in that, so I don't see the point of it. I definitely think Aybar can put up a .280/.360/.420 line or better over the next few years. Given the variety of issues involved, obviously I can see it going otherwise, but if the question is where will his OBP be after 400 AB, I'm going to say in the .350 to .365 range. (Obviously, 400 AB is not the kind of sample where you can state a range that narrowly.)
2008-06-10 03:59:17
214.   D4P
I still don't see how the Betemit for Aybar deal did not work out for the Dodgers? I would still much rather have Betemit then Aybar

Oh boy. This is gonna be tough. OK: I just gotta get it out. I don't know how to break this to you, but, well, Ned traded Betemit for a middle reliever...

2008-06-10 06:41:27
215.   Jon Weisman
2008-06-10 10:13:19
216.   herchyzer
213 . I think the problem Ned was trying to solve was the one that continues: lack of power.

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