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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
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7) using sarcasm in a way that can be misinterpreted negatively
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Furcal To Have Surgery - On to Plan G
2008-07-02 22:19
by Jon Weisman

My dad had severe back problems a few years back that made surgery seem inevitable. He worked his way through without having it, but then again, he wasn't trying to play shortstop for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Rafael Furcal is, however, and he'll have surgery Thursday to relieve pressure on a disc. He'll be out at least two more months. I haven't written much about the shortstop situation since he's been hurt because frankly, I'm at a loss. There's what we call a dearth out there, and it hasn't helped that backup plans Chin-Lung Hu, Tony Abreu, Luis Maza, Angel Berroa and Nomar Garciaparra haven't yet been able to fill the gap. I mean, the gap is like this (my arms are stretched real wide), and they've been like this (real close now).

Garciaparra is working his way back to the active roster in theory, but in the Associated Press article linked above, you can see even Joe Torre doesn't believe he can play every day. A trade is possible, though the outfielders and third basemen are probably safe for now given Juan Pierre's injury and the lack of alternatives at the hot corner. More likely, a pitcher would be the bait.

But I don't get into trade speculation - too many unknowns. What I can do is bring up a name that others in the comments have been brandishing for a few days: Ivan DeJesus, Jr. I've ignored him as a possibility because it would be way ahead of schedule for a 21-year-old with 80 games of experience at AA to become the starter for a Dodger team that, believe it or not, is only 1 1/2 games out of first place. But this is the year of Blake DeWitt, and so we can't say that stranger things haven't happened.

DeJesus (and isn't he a nice-looking lad) has an on-base percentage of .420 in the minors for Jacksonville this season - and Jacksonville isn't known for its offense. That's nearly a 50-point improvement from his 2007 season in A ball. I don't think it's stretching things to say that this is a big leap forward, and I don't know how much to trust it. But it does at least make it viable that he could be worth a shot in the majors. Forgive me, but I couldn't resist making this perhaps irrelevant comparison: Russell Martin had a .361 OBP in A ball at age 21 and improved to .430 in AA ball at age 22. Of course, Martin didn't come to the Dodgers until the following year, when he started the season in AAA. But the Dodgers don't need DeJesus to hit like Martin. They just need him to hit like a sentient being.

I'm always partial to giving the in-house option a shot before looking outside for help. Independent of that, what I'd really like to see is the Dodgers lose their dependence on offense from their shortstop. With Pierre out, the Dodger outfield has a chance to be more productive. (I won't get into Andruw Jones apparently imminent return, because again, that's too much of a wild card right now.) But it would sure help if the Dodgers could get their young third basemen to hit, to take the pressure off their potentially even younger shortstop. One weak bat in the lineup before the pitcher, the team can handle.

For at least a few days more, it could be Luis Maza and Angel Berroa holding down the fort, and then Garciaparra stepping in. But DeJesus, I suspect, could outplay Maza and Berroa now. So maybe his time is coming, even if it's as a part-timer. DeJesus is scheduled to play in the Futures Game July 13. It sure would be something if he were called up before then.

Update: Last year, Chin-Lung Hu had a .380 on-base percentage but a .508 slugging percentage at AA, at age 23. I don't think we saw the real Hu on offense this season.

Comments (148)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-07-02 22:46:02
1.   Gagne55
2008-07-02 22:51:28
2.   Linkmeister
He looks like neither Russ Tamblyn nor George Chakiris (nor Richard Beymer, for that matter); he can't be from Puerto Rico!
2008-07-02 22:52:15
3.   Bob Timmermann
Plan G? Ah, yes. Plan G deals with the resurrection of the dead. Long distance electrodes shot into the pineal and pituitary gland of the recently dead.
2008-07-02 22:52:57
4.   Bluebleeder87
I really doubt lightning will strike twice [DeWitt] but I'd rather have an in house solution.

Panic moves = bad moves...

2008-07-02 22:55:39
5.   Bluebleeder87
DeJesus on base parentage compared to Russell's at the same age is pretty encouraging but I'm gonna be realistic & see how things go day by day.
2008-07-02 22:55:43
6.   natepurcell
Carlos Santana hits another homerun.

tonight: 3-7 2b, hr (11)

He's slugging .564 on the season with excellent plate discipline. He is breaking out in a HUGE way.

2008-07-02 22:56:26
7.   GoBears
4. Well put, Bluebleeder.

Give Russ a shot at short!

2008-07-02 22:57:00
8.   KG16
D'oh, lost a comment by the NPUT. I'll try to recreate it here...

we've heard a lot over the last few years about guys going to lighter bats to increase bat speed. but I'm wondering about a trend the other way.


however, you want to look at it from a physics standpoint.

At some point the increase in velocity or acceleration won't make up for the loss in mass. Where is that point? And would a singles hitter (like say Ivan DeJesus, Jr., or I don't know, Juan Pierre?) benefit from going with a heavier bat? Would the increase mass actually generate more force or momentum (the "p" in the equation above)?

2008-07-02 22:57:51
9.   Jon Weisman
3 - I just watched the first two episodes of this show:

It's kooky and features a Sookie!

2008-07-02 22:59:09
10.   underdog
At this point I think it may be time for Plan 9.
2008-07-02 22:59:13
11.   sporky
8 The extra mass of the bat would decrease the acceleration (and velocity), thus reducing the force and momentum respectively. They may or may not cancel each other out.
2008-07-02 23:00:23
12.   underdog
Argh, if only DeWitt or LaRoche could play short. I really don't think they could over the long haul, but darn that would solve things. Well, let's see how Nomar fares. And then...

Plan 9.

Jack Wilson!

2008-07-02 23:00:39
13.   underdog
Or Jack Steffan!
2008-07-02 23:01:24
14.   Bob Timmermann
Jack Steffanino?
2008-07-02 23:01:59
15.   sporky
A-Rod has allegedly split with his wife. Both of his daughters have 'Alexander' as middle names.
2008-07-02 23:02:53
16.   Bluebleeder87
speaking of breaking out I'm using this new product called "Stemulite" & I gotta tell you I'm breaking out like a teenager with pimples in my four head & on the sides. It's either that or my local barber isn't sanitizing the blade he uses when he shaves my sides.

I gotta muster up the courage to ask 'em though.

2008-07-02 23:03:24
17.   Bob Timmermann
I think the adverb you want there is "reportedly."

It's not like split with your wife is a crime.

2008-07-02 23:04:43
18.   sporky
It might be if she dumps you for Lenny Kravitz.
2008-07-02 23:05:28
19.   KG16
11 - I know that the increased mass will decrease acceleration/velocity, but by how much?
2008-07-02 23:06:34
20.   Jon Weisman
We're a step away from me talking about Lisa Bonet again.
2008-07-02 23:09:15
21.   Johnny Nucleo
If Berroa and Maza are "holding down the fort", it must be "Fort Necessity". And it's going about as well for the Dodgers as it did for George Washington.

2008-07-02 23:10:11
22.   sporky
19 Since athletes are opting for lighter bats, golf clubs, tennis rackets and the like, I think the loss in acceleration/velocity could be significant.
2008-07-02 23:12:07
23.   Johnny Nucleo
10 Bill Lee is not an option at shortstop.
2008-07-02 23:12:40
24.   kirk gibson
Oh how I yearn for the offensive prowess of Alfredo Griffin and Mariano Duncan.
2008-07-02 23:18:22
25.   tjdub
9-There can only be one t.v. Sookie and she's Lorelai's best friend.
2008-07-02 23:20:48
26.   underdog
24 I don't, but hey, Mariano is in the vicinity; if they go to plan Z, it may be him.
2008-07-02 23:32:28
27.   Linkmeister
26 Er, who's older, Mariano or Bowa? They each played shortstop, right?
2008-07-02 23:34:40
28.   Bob Timmermann
Bowa is 18 years old than Duncan.

Duncan is only 2 years older than me. And I'm only 2 years older than Jeff Kent.

2008-07-02 23:48:25
29.   Linkmeister
Well then. Hey, I saw Tommy Davis in one of those Dodgers retrospectives on Prime Ticket; I wonder if he can still play.
2008-07-02 23:57:26
30.   Louis in SF
Nice post Jon.

You think the Yankees would be interested in taking Proctor back for Wilson B? Don't know if we could pry away Willy Aybar from Tampa Bay?

However on more serious note what always frustrates me about the Dodgers in comparison to the A's is exactly the case you make for Ivan DeJesus, no reason he couldn't come up and with Nomar and Mazza, between the three of them we might be able to piece it together. If DeJesus doesn't cut it you send him down and yes we may lose one year, but in the long run that is better than making a bad trade for at best a BELOW average SS.

Hu was supposed to be seeing another eye doctor, and perhaps there is a simple solution to his eye problem. He definitely showed far more offense last year.

While we all laugh at possible Duncan and Bowa being replacements, the question that can't be laughed at is why the Dodger medical staff either misses these diagnosis or how players are able to not disclose the true extent of their injuries.

2008-07-03 00:08:31
31.   dsfan
Not all scouts are sold on De Jesus' defense as it projects for the majors. Might end up at 2B, not saying he couldn't do somewhat OK, but his defense isn't a lock.
2008-07-03 00:10:14
32.   dsfan
My favorite Gulf Coast League prospect is Beyker Fructuoso. What a cool name. And he's a converted OF with a good arm and some aptitude, maybe another James McDonald.
2008-07-03 00:13:46
33.   dsfan
30- I aggree that the Dodgers should not feel desperate. Looking at the division, they're the team to beat. Seriously.
2008-07-03 00:22:23
34.   CanuckDodger
31 -- What is your source for that proposition, if you don't mind? I have read nothing about some scouts doubting DeJesus' SS defense. The only thing that I have read is that his arm is only average for SS, but that is not a big deal.
2008-07-03 00:28:43
35.   Louis in SF
A slight backtrack on my earlier post. according to Diamond's story on Furcal the Dodgers are indeed considering DeJesus for SS duty.
2008-07-03 01:15:14
36.   Neal Pollack
Put me in, coach. I'm ready to play. Today.

Please, please, Ned, don't make any stupid moves. Please, Joe, put the right lineup forward. I can deal with the season failing if the players don't quite make it to the end, but I just can't tolerate any more organizational stupidity.

2008-07-03 02:08:47
37.   whodat807
It's a sad state of affairs when I'm feverishly waiting for Nomar and Andruw to return to inject some much needed offense into the lineup.

Seriously though, Nomar may no longer be an everyday player, but there is no way he can be as bad as Berroa. And while I'm not going to be making any bets on Jones' hitting, it will be nice to have his glove in centerfield again.

Of course, the way this season's been going (and really, this past decade), they'll both suffer some terrible freak injury and miss the rest of the season.

2008-07-03 03:35:30
38.   Eric Enders
I've never seen any legitimate source question DeJesus's ability to stick at shortstop. His defense has always been regarded as a plus. That said, he's no Chin-Lung Hu.

Speaking of which, why not just give Hu until August 1 to clear his head at Las Vegas and then give him the shortstop job again? It's very clear that he's a better hitter than he's shown so far. And even with the putrid offense he displayed, his overall performance has been far and away the best of the three failed Furcal replacements.

2008-07-03 04:55:33
39.   CanuckDodger
38 -- You're forgetting about Hu's vision problem. He had the problem when he hit so poorly in 2006, and I bet his poor performance this year can be attributed to it recurring (he probably kept silent about it rather than jeopardize his big league roster spot). Anyway, until that problem is resolved, there is no use counting on Hu for anything
2008-07-03 04:57:55
40.   Ken Noe
Kershaw is sent down but Torre says he'll be back soon. Meanwhile, Furcal seems done and Ned is confirmed to be looking for a replacement. I agree with Jon, with JP out it looks like a projected deal for a starter to me, maybe someone who can play short or second next year depending on how other players develop. But who's out there?
2008-07-03 05:59:39
41.   goofus
6 Santana might solve the third base problem by waving his magic wand and turning Martin into a full time third baseman in a year or two...
2008-07-03 06:10:35
42.   goofus
9 Mass increases on a linear function but velocity increases on a squared function, so lighter/faster is always going to win on paper but that may not be the result we want. Remember in Man of La Mancha, "Whether the rock hits the vessel or the vessel hits the rock, it's always bad for the vessel" or something to that effect. In the case of bats and balls, the energy must be transferred to the ball; in too many cases the bat itself lacks the toughness to survive the moment of impact and subsequently shatters, "burning" a lot of the impact energy in an inefficient manner. In aluminum bats, for instance, the lighter the better.
2008-07-03 06:57:30
43.   Bluebleeder87
42 from my experience, lighter is better BUT it depends on the quality of the bat as well.
2008-07-03 06:59:38
44.   Bluebleeder87
42 I'm talking about the aluminum side of your discussion.
2008-07-03 07:12:28
45.   old dodger fan
Let's see if I have this right.

When Andruw is activated, since he is on the 15 day DL thus on the 40 man roster, we will have to drop one person from the 25-man but not the 40. I assume we will continue to carry 4 OFers thus Repko and Young would seem the best candidates but I think Young is out of options so Repko is the best candidate for Vegas.

When Nomar comes back its a bit more complicated since he is on the 60 day DL and does not count toward the 40 man roster. Best candidates to go down would be Sweeney, Berroa or Maza. Room on the 40 man roster could be created for Nomar by moving Furcal to the 60 day DL but I would assume that whoever goes down among those 3 would be DFAed so it is not necessary. My vote is for Sweeney.

2008-07-03 07:13:17
46.   Marty
I'm writing Furcal off from ever playing effectively again. I've been fighting a bulging disk for a year now, trying to avoid surgery. From what I read, you look at surgery only when the pain becomes unbearable and you've exhausted every other type of treatment. Then, it rarely gets rid of all the pain. The goal is to make it manageable. I think Furcal is going for the surgery to try to save his free-agency. I don't blame him. I'd probably do the same in the same situation, but I doubt it will work. If he comes back at all, he'll be worse than Nomar. I could be very wrong but I think he's done.
2008-07-03 07:19:52
47.   old dodger fan
Lots of people get relief from back pain from surgery, though not many of them play professional sports. I can't recall players coming back from this though there must be some. Finally, a baseball situation without a stat!
2008-07-03 07:23:52
48.   Ken Noe
I've never known anyone who recovered quickly from back surgery. To be sure, none of them were athletes, but one was a Marine officer who was in pretty good shape. I don't expect to see Furcal in blue again, sadly, unless we get a huge discount this winter.
2008-07-03 07:31:39
49.   timm
I had the same procedure in 00' and have enjoyed 8 wonderful painless years. I was fully healed in 8 weeks and played golf 8 weeks to the day of the surgery. Of course playing golf and major league baseball are just a bit different. My point is, I've had 8 great years without even thinking about my back.
2008-07-03 07:32:46
50.   JoeyP
Looks like the Furcal era is over for the Dodgers.

At 3/39, even from what appeared to be a good gamble the Dodgers lost.

They got Furcal's career year in 2006.
A terrible Furcal in 2007.
And 1.5 months of a great Furcal, followed by no Furcal in 2008.

Raffy, we hardly knew ye.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-07-03 07:36:42
51.   Doctor
One of the few good NedCo moves just went up in smoke. Are there ANY winners left? Maybe Kuroda?
2008-07-03 07:42:13
52.   rockmrete
Call me crazy, but if I am McCourt Ned gets nowhere near the checkbook anymore. And I hope he is smart enough to keep him from doing any more damage to the organization wiith any desparate moves.
2008-07-03 07:44:35
53.   D4P
I'm writing Furcal off from ever playing effectively again

It will be interesting to see which GM gives him a big paycheck next year.

2008-07-03 07:48:19
54.   old dodger fan
53 And we will all gnash our teeth if he signs somewhere in the division for 3/39 and has three 2006's.
2008-07-03 07:50:56
55.   D4P
If he signs somewhere in the division for 3/39, and that somewhere is not LA, he will have three 2006's.

If he signs somewhere in the division for 3/39, and that somewhere is LA, he will have three 2007's.

2008-07-03 08:05:22
56.   old dodger fan
55 If he wants something like 3/39 and is not interested in an incentive laden contract would you:

A) give him what he wants
B) offer him arbitration
C) wish him well and move on

2008-07-03 08:06:27
57.   Louis in SF
Diamond says that Hu is supposed to see an eye doctor this week. Does anyone know the exact problem Hu has with his eyes.
2008-07-03 08:09:56
58.   JoeyP
I'm not even sure if the Dodgers would want to offer Furcal arbitration now for a couple reasons:

#1. He's not going to be a type A free agent, so there's not the good draft picks to look forward too.

#2. If he takes the arbitration, he's probably looking at a deal of at least 14/15 mils for the 2009 year. Thats just not a very good gamble to take on a player that might be done.

2008-07-03 08:13:14
59.   Ghost of Carlos Perez
54 Was Furcal's 2006 worth $13 million? I think our recent shortstops' performance has caused us to think back on 2006 a little too fondly.

I think it was reasonable to expect/hope for an OPS+ of around 100 from Furcal. That would make a huge difference on this team, but Furcal is really only an average hitter (above average for a shortstop).

I guess I feel that losing Furcal hurts so much not because he is so good, but because everyone else has been so bad.

2008-07-03 08:13:40
60.   ToyCannon
That is bunk. Hope your not basing that on the number of errors he committed last year. As Canuck has said, not one published scout has said anything about DeJesus not being able to play SS. From my favorite scout breaking down the future league team:

"Ivan DeJesus (SS, LAD) follows in a line of strong defensive shortstops in the Dodgers' system. The 20 year-old is fundamentally sound and possesses range in all directions and average arm strength. He has a good bit of athleticism, but is only an average runner. His offense has improved immensely in just a year's time, as he is making better contact and drawing more walks. He lacks the secondary skills of power and speed, so his offense will be predicated on his BA/OBP. If he can maintain a respectable OBP, his bat handling abilities could suit him well in the number two hole. "

2008-07-03 08:14:23
61.   ToyCannon
Or Carlos could move back to 3rd base where he started from just like Russ. Absolute gun for an arm.
2008-07-03 08:17:04
62.   JoeyP
Carlos Santana hits another homerun.

You got that right.
The 22yr old catcher at Class A Inland Empire has these numbers:


Is it too early to tell Russ Martin that his future with the Dodgers is at 2nd base ala Biggio?

Santana, DeJesus have to be in the lead for Dodgers Minor League POY.

2008-07-03 08:23:37
63.   Ghost of Carlos Perez
What are people's thoughts on the going rate for players of differing skill levels (relative to their positions)?

It seems like a rough breakdown would look like this:
below average (but serviceable): 4 million
average: 6 million
above average (but not great): 10 million
all star: 15 million
superstar: 18 million

Although, I suppose it is generally the case that the winning bidder overpaid for the player.

2008-07-03 08:24:06
64.   JoeyP
The nice thing about Santana is he is a switch hitter, and appears to be good from both sides, though LH he just just dominates.

As a RH: .343/.375/.522
67Abs, 11ks/3bbs 1HR

As a LH: .311/.439/.578
206Abs, 33Ks/50bbs, 10HRs

He's listed about the size of Beltre:
5'11 170#s. Doesnt seem very stout for a catcher, but his bat at that position would be a major asset.

2008-07-03 08:26:34
65.   Michael Green
What worries me about not going in-house is that Ned Colletti seems to have the magic touch when it comes to bringing in players from the outside: everything he touches turns to injury.
2008-07-03 08:43:44
66.   ToyCannon
Only because I hate the word "everything" or "always" but Magic Marlon and Maddux do not fall into your all inclusive net.
A high percentage of his in - season deals have been awful but he did hit a home run with two of them. Bad(Hendrickson), Bad(Lugo), Great(Marlon), Great(Maddux), Bad(Proctor), Bad(Sweeney), Bad(Loaiza). Only Lugo was injured.

Wilson Betemit was last seen playing SS for the Yankees.

2008-07-03 08:56:32
67.   old dodger fan
66 Good (or pretty good)-
Signed Lofton
Signed Saito
Kent extension
Declined Gagne
Signed Wolf
Signed Park
Signed Kuroda
2008-07-03 08:58:49
68.   El Lay Dave
65 He's King Midas with a curse (all he touches turns to dust)
He's King Midas in reverse (all he touches turns to dust)
2008-07-03 09:01:55
69.   fiddlestick
My money's on Visquel for a PTBNL
2008-07-03 09:06:55
70.   El Lay Dave
66 At least Lugo was a Type-A FA when he left; the draft picks becoming Withrow and Adkins. On the other hand, those picks coming in may have made losing the #22 overall for signing Schmidt more palatable, if that was even a consideration.
2008-07-03 09:15:33
71.   guy clinch
Vizquel has an OPS+ of 7. How is that even possible??
2008-07-03 09:16:34
72.   68elcamino427
This is an interesting situation. The injuries to Abreu and Hu are key to the lack of depth in the middle infield. What will happen if Kent goes down? That's for this season.

Next season Shortstop and Second base need to be manned.

I'd be surprised if the Dodgers haven't been exploring ways of filling these needs with other teams since Furcal first went down. Berroa was all that the Dodgers could get for next to nothing.

Who are the FA middle infielders that will be making themselves available for next season?

If you want to see what this group of kids can do for the rest of the season can DeJesus Jr. be any worse with the bat than Berroa? He might be as nifty at the plate as Maza.

2008-07-03 09:21:10
73.   Bumsrap
I don't think Ned will be allowed to increase the budget so if he brings a person with a big paycheck he will have to trade a person with a big paycheck. I don't see him trading a youth for a veteran.

With Kent and Furcal and Nomar probably not being back next year and Hu and Abreu now more of a question mark along with Jones, I can see trades in the off season for veterans using the Kent, Furcal, Lowe, and Nomar money.

2008-07-03 09:22:28
74.   still bevens
69 I see your Vizquel and raise you an Uribe.
2008-07-03 09:24:56
75.   rockmrete
I like your idea of Martin at second, his bat at second is a bigger asset than at 3B. If Santana, and May could handle the catching the Ds would be that much better.

Why has it taken so long for Hu to have a second opinion on his vision problems.

And lets give DeJesus a shot.

2008-07-03 09:27:34
76.   berkowit28
Per Diamond:

Kemp, CF
Ethier, RF
Martin, C
Kent, 2B
Loney, 1B
DeWitt, 3B
Young, LF
Maza, SS
Billingsley, P

2008-07-03 09:28:20
77.   scareduck
58 - also, Furcal can't have his salary subtracted by more than something like 25% in arbitration IIRC. So there's pretty substantial reason for the Dodgers to waive arbitration.
2008-07-03 09:29:22
78.   scareduck
62 - don't get too excited by Cal League offensive numbers. cough Brandon Wood cough.
2008-07-03 09:31:33
79.   scareduck
76 - he says that's "just a guess".
2008-07-03 09:32:49
80.   blue22
72 - Who are the FA middle infielders that will be making themselves available for next season?

2B - Mark Ellis, Orlando Hudson, Felipe Lopez, Mark Grudzielanek
SS - Adam Everett, Edgar Renteria (Det has an option), Cristian Guzman, and a trio of ex-LA SS's: Furcal, Cora, and Izturis.

2008-07-03 09:34:50
81.   Gilberto Reyes
Are we all in agreement that there is no chance the Dodgers will resign Furcal after this season?
2008-07-03 09:35:51
82.   D4P
What he actually says is "Just a hunch, but stay tuned for injury updates...".

So, does the hunch refer to the lineup, or to the possibility of injury updates?

2008-07-03 09:35:57
83.   schoffle
How bad does DeWitt have to be before Torre gives LaRoche a shot?
2008-07-03 09:37:03
84.   Jon Weisman
79 - That's the lineup I have from the Dodgers.
2008-07-03 09:37:28
85.   rockmrete

Didn't Wood always have high strike out numbers?

2008-07-03 09:37:42
86.   Gilberto Reyes
I think calling up DeJesus for a little ML action would be a good thing. It would also help the team by giving them a chance to evaluate an internal solution at SS for next year. Hu or DeJesus.
2008-07-03 09:38:28
87.   D4P
I think it's safe to conclude that Torre is both (1) unaware of, and (2) uninterested in the respective minor league performances of DeWitt and LaRoche. All Torre knows/cares about is what he has seen this season, which means that DeWitt is better than LaRoche in Torre's eyes.
2008-07-03 09:39:24
88.   ToyCannon
I'd offer Furcal arbitration. The only thing I would not do is offer him a multi-year deal.
2008-07-03 09:39:32
89.   blue22
81 - Well, they won't offer him arbitration - far too risky with little upside - but that doesn't mean he won't come back. Would another team give him a multi-year deal, considering his track record now? If not, LA seems just as likely to land him as anyone else. He seems to have enjoyed his time here, and his best bud is Andruw Jones.
2008-07-03 09:40:07
90.   Gilberto Reyes
83 I would like to see LaRoche start every day too. Give him the opportunity that DeWitt had in April by starting every game and see what happens.
2008-07-03 09:40:51
91.   ToyCannon
And until Andy actually does something that will remain true. Andy needs to do something against these LHP.
2008-07-03 09:41:56
92.   blue22
88 - That's about a $12M guarantee there, should he accept. I guess we'd need to see if he's able to come back this year and how he performs, but that seems awfully risky.

What is Furcal's salary this year? His average is $13M/year, but ESPN has $15.7M for this year. His contract was backloaded, I believe.

2008-07-03 09:43:50
93.   Gilberto Reyes
89 A one year deal with incentives for games played would be nice. But if DeJesus comes up and plays well, they will probably say goodbye to Furcal.
2008-07-03 09:46:03
94.   Gilberto Reyes
92 A $12M guarantee to a shortstop coming off back surgery who relies on speed and athleticism on defense would be a crazy move.
2008-07-03 09:46:42
95.   fanerman
93 A games played incentive brings to mind 2007. And playing through injuries.
2008-07-03 09:47:06
96.   old dodger fan
From Back Surgery Thoughts-

Mircodiscectomy: A Surgical Alternative for Leg and Back Pain
Kara A. Rieman

Mentor(s): John DeWitt School/Department: Health and Sport Sciences Low back pain associated with peripheral nerve pain of the legs (radiculopathy) that occurs over a period of months can be alleviated through a surgical procedure called microdiscectomy. The procedure involves moving the erector spinae muscles away from the lumbar vertebrae, accessing the impinged nerve root by extracting the ligamentum flavum and removing a piece of the facet joint. This type of lumbar surgery is much easier to recover from then traditional lumbar spine surgeries. Rehabilitation will begin as soon as stitches have been removed and the repair phase of the back muscles has been reached.

2008-07-03 09:48:26
97.   schoffle

While I think your assessment is correct, I still have a hard time believing that a big name major league manager is unaware the his 3rd baseman has had an OPS of under .500 in his last 100 PAs. The only explination that I can come up with is that Torre believe's that LaRoche has no value whatsoever, which is sad.

2008-07-03 09:51:01
98.   ToyCannon
Why? It is only money, if it works out you get a healthy Furcal to be the centerpiece of a young team coming more into their own. If not then you have a battle between Hu, Abreu, and DeJesus.
2008-07-03 09:52:39
99.   rockmrete

I don't think that's it. He is getting the job done defensively, and I think he is just getting the long rope treatment. Which I belive is getting short. Plus he has contributed some during this bad stretch.

2008-07-03 09:55:24
100.   jtrichey
Some possible SS trade targets:

Juan Uribe, Felipe Lopez, Bill Hall.

All with definite flaws, but all vast improvements over Angel Berroa, which was a choice only Colletti would even consider.

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2008-07-03 09:56:00
101.   ToyCannon
Cardboard Cards with a chilling story to start your morning off with.
2008-07-03 09:56:36
102.   Gilberto Reyes
98 Sure. It's only money. And it's not our money. But if that salary prevents the team from making other moves or other signing decisions, then it is not well spent. I just don't see Furcal ever being the same player again after surgery and his age.
2008-07-03 09:57:16
103.   D4P
I still have a hard time believing that a big name major league manager is unaware the his 3rd baseman has had an OPS of under .500 in his last 100 PAs

On the contrary, I would have a hard time believing that most major league managers pay any attention to OPS.

2008-07-03 09:58:57
104.   Doctor
Big game today, 3-1 in Texas is a huge success, 2-2 is getting by.
2008-07-03 09:59:27
105.   Gilberto Reyes
100 Angel Berroa was s short term fix that cost the team nothing. The team expected Furcal to be back for the second half. I don't think it is fair to criticize Ned for that move.
2008-07-03 10:00:38
106.   Bob Loblaw
Colletti/Torre know their chances of post-season play are very limited with either Maza or Berroa at SS. I think they're hoping that Nomar will catch fire when he returns, but they only have 4 weeks to mix & match these guys before the trade deadline. It may be worth taking a look at DeJesus, too, but I doubt Torre is very optimistic about going into a pennant race with another untested rookie.

Luckily, it's not a high-demand offense position (though we certainly need all the offense we can get). I think league avg. OPS is about .750. Jack Wilson, David Eckstein, & Christian Guzman might be the best candidates for trade. They all have their pros & cons, but I just hope Colletti doesn't have to give up much to get one.

2008-07-03 10:00:41
107.   JoeyP
The thing is, Berroa was already a broke player so the chances of his fixing anything were remote.

I credit Torre for benching him for Maza.

2008-07-03 10:00:41
108.   fiddlestick
I wouldn't mind buying low on Bill Hall given the alternatives.
2008-07-03 10:01:47
109.   blue22
DeWitt's batting average is down in the low .260s, so even if Torre's not paying attention to OPS, the traditional stats are suffering as well. I think it has much more to do with the fact that Andy is showing nothing so far.
2008-07-03 10:02:16
110.   old dodger fan
In the last week (June 26 - July 2) LaRoche has 13 PA's and Dewitt has 16.
2008-07-03 10:02:21
111.   regfairfield
105 It's totally fair to criticize anyone for acquiring a 0 tool player. Ned's done it twice now.
2008-07-03 10:02:23
112.   D4P
I think league avg. OPS is about .750

Average AL SS OPS: .670
Average NL SS OPS: .724

2008-07-03 10:03:57
113.   berkowit28
83 How bad does LaRoche have to be before you stop assuming he's going to be better than DeWitt? So far, he hasn't done anything when he's been given chances.
2008-07-03 10:04:35
114.   Doctor


2008-07-03 10:08:03
115.   Physics DR

Agreed. Good story with a scary ending.

2008-07-03 10:09:17
116.   regfairfield
113 LaRoche has a track record, DeWitt doesn't.

LaRoche career: 123 AB .220/.349/.317
DeWitt last 123 AB: .203/.261/.260

Why does DeWitt get a pass when LaRoche doesn't?

114 Yep.

2008-07-03 10:11:01
117.   still bevens
I think the story with DeWitt is that he showed he can produce at the ML level and Torre is giving him a chance to work out of his slump like he would other ML players. However I think once DeWitt's BA creeps south of .250 Torre will make a change.
2008-07-03 10:12:15
118.   Gilberto Reyes
113 I don't think LaRoche has ever been given the chance like DeWitt has. There is a reason why LaRoche continues to be on all experts top prospects list for the past few years. Many teams would love to have LaRoche.
2008-07-03 10:12:50
119.   old dodger fan
113 Laroche has had 34 PA's in the 21 days since his first appearance. He has a .627 OPS in those 34 PA's. I was hoping for better but let's give the guy a chance to play before we toss him out.
2008-07-03 10:14:15
120.   DaDoughboy
Imagine a starting infield next year of:
(current age)
DeJesus- 21
Loney- 24
DeWitt- 23
LaRoche (2b)- 24

I'm 30 and feel like an old fogey now..

2008-07-03 10:16:47
121.   schoffle

Every major league manager is aware of OBP and SLG perhaps he doesn't add them together but never the less he has to know that Blake's last 100 PA's have been nothing short of dreadful.


You may need to look at DeWitt's June numbers and realize that he has been no better than Berroa

2008-07-03 10:17:10
122.   Indiana Jon
Losing Furcal for the next two months (or more) is bad, but for next year and beyond this isn't very bad news. We were probably going to way overpay for him (like we are now) and sign him to an extended contact. He's just not been worth the money he's paid while he's been here. Having Nomar at short would be a great option if he can stay healthy, which he probably can't. As I've said before, when healthy he's a better hitter than Furcal and always has been. If he could at least play 4 or games a week it would be a huge bonus, but I'm not betting on him to stay off the DL for long.
2008-07-03 10:18:22
123.   regfairfield
120 If it comes to that, I'm going after Ned.
2008-07-03 10:20:44
124.   El Lay Dave
Diamond Leung reporting in his blog that the decision has been made:

As somewhat expected, Andruw Jones and Nomar Garciaparra will be activated from the disabled list tomorrow and be able to play beginning Friday in San Francisco, where Garciaparra is scheduled to start at shortstop. The two cut short their rehabilitation assignments after three games and will fly to San Francisco today rather than play in Las Vegas tonight.

2008-07-03 10:21:27
125.   El Lay Dave
Plus Hu news:

Chin-lung Hu, after seeing a neuro-opthamologist, he has been prescribed eye drops that is supposed to take for about two weeks to clear up the blurred vision in his right eye.

2008-07-03 10:23:08
126.   bhsportsguy
124 My hunch is that Jones is probably going to be okay (in terms of his injury) but this is really a test for Nomar, if he can play 5 out of 6 games at SS, than it might lessen the necessity to do anything but if he suffers a setback or needs more time off, than the team will look for another solution.
2008-07-03 10:23:53
127.   Marty
I'm putting the over/under on how many games before the next Nomar injury at 5.
2008-07-03 10:24:24
128.   MonkeyBlue
Thanks for the news El Lay Dave. The Vets are back! Wooo! and I hope for Hu, I really hope the eye drops really helps.
2008-07-03 10:24:44
129.   Bob Timmermann
Diamond was in such a hurry that he abandoned subject-verb agreement.

I've noticed that his blog tends to have far fewer typos than Jackson's.

2008-07-03 10:25:02
130.   blue22
So Berroa gets released and Repko gets sent down? Are those the logical moves now?
2008-07-03 10:26:59
131.   BlueCrew Bruin
127 I'll take the under. I feel like I'm playing Clue.

It was Nomar.
In the 6th inning of his 3rd game back.
With the hamstring.

2008-07-03 10:28:18
132.   Rob M
Can anyone make sense of Will Carroll's comments on Kershaw this morning?

"The problem isn't their being cautious, it's that they're letting caution be the plan, rather than having a plan that should allow that caution to be put to rest at some point. I'm still not convinced that Kershaw is the pitcher most think he is. I'm also not convinced that the Dodgers don't know something we don't."

He suggest that the Dodgers are both being overly cautious, and that they may know of some secret injury? And that Kershaw is possibly not as good as people think he is? Quite a hodge podge of innuendo. Earlier he says that Kershaw is one of the teams 4 best starters right now and shouldn't have been sent down. I'm not sure if he's one of their 6 best "right now," considering their pitching depth and his command issues and inconsistency. He's probably not far from being one of their two best, and that could be as early as next year, but not just yet.

2008-07-03 10:29:06
133.   scareduck
105 - Bunk. Giving roster space to a guy who has zero chance of improving (and is 30 years old!) is by itself a mistake.
2008-07-03 10:29:31
134.   silverwidow
113 Sorry, LaRoche was never given a legitimate chance to play this year.

It's unfair to make him sit on the bench all week, then face Cliff Lee and CC Sabathia, expecting him to hit like gangbusters.

2008-07-03 10:34:54
135.   Jim Hitchcock
3 Sounds like Bob just watched Re-Animator again.
2008-07-03 10:35:48
136.   El Lay Dave
129 Tony did write this sentence - about the Dodgers being short a PH today - correctly:

Eric Stults, who is away in Indiana for the birth of his second child, will rejoin the club in time to pitch on Sunday against the Giants.

It doesn't help the problem you pointed out, but I should have put an ellipsis in front of the quote in 125 ; it wasn't written awkwardly, as I made it appear.

2008-07-03 10:36:01
137.   bhsportsguy
132 Will Carroll is very wishy washy on the Dodgers, on the one hand, he says that Stan Conte is one of the best in his field but on the otherhand he is not clear about how the Dodgers handle their injuries.

He has never liked the Dodgers pronouncement that Kershaw will pitch a set number of innings this year.

But remember, he also claims that Chad Billingsley has some type of injury, and he reported thoroughout last year that the Dodgers have some type of internal struggle in their front office.

2008-07-03 10:36:35
138.   Jon Weisman
2008-07-03 10:36:41
139.   JoeyP

I wouldnt mind for 2009 season.

1b- Teixeira (age 29)
2b- Russ Martin (age 26)
SS- Ivan DeJesus (age 22)
3b- Andy LaRoche (age 25)

Put Lucas May or Santana at catcher. They'll struggle for 2009, but imagine how good that team could be in 2010.

2008-07-03 10:38:51
140.   Rob M
137 I remember the Billingsley stuff - I was the one that wrote him an email about it and got the response that Bills had known attitude problems and was a complainer. It just bugs me that he puts out so much innuendo that seems to be poorly sourced, or just pure speculation.
2008-07-03 10:39:23
141.   bhsportsguy
With Diamond's announcement, the Dodgers can still activate both Nomar and Jones without having to DFA anyone by just putting Furcal on the 60-Day DL.

Now in terms of who goes tomorrow (or probably today after the game),

A. Jason Repko (nice 4-day visit to Texas)
B. Angel Berroa (don't know his status, he was playing in the minors for KC so he might just get optioned)
C. DeWitt/LaRoche.

2008-07-03 10:40:36
142.   goofus
129 Diamond has a lot more entries than Jackson too. In short, I think he is a better worker. Jackson probably has a blog only because the paper told him he had to have one, he is not an enthusiastic worker. He's not the Juan Pierre of columnists, he's more like an Andruw Jones, the one we had for the first two months of the season. How long is his contract?
2008-07-03 10:55:15
143.   autumnlanding
141 - Dewitt and LaRoche aren't going anywhere, Dewitt has more than earned the starting 3b job for the rest of the year even with his recent proneness to the K. LaRoche needs to be given every opportunity to grab a start at 2B, 3B, 1B, and OF so he can get the AB's to show off his mediocre stuff so we can trade him at some point--- I'm sorry I know he really hasn't gotten that many fantastic opportunities but he's a flop and we need to deal him.

I dont know what Colletti was thinking with Berroa, should've just called up trusty Ramon Martinez. Thats a name I haven't heard, probably becacuse I missed someone's post or because theres an impending rebuttal of which the details I am aware of, but the point is it was another frantic move from our frantic GM.

More like our skitzo GM because his other side can't resist calling up the farm, which isn't necessarily bad unless you get the Edwin Jackson Effect outa Kershaw. The kid needed to go down and find a 3rd pitch but he certainly didn't seem to take it well.

Which brings us to DeJesus. Don't know that much about him, but I have been throwing his name around in some circles because I know he's next in line on the prospect train that Colletti clings to hide from all the bad deals he's made. Might as well see what he's got. Nomar's done. Martin isnt going to play short (although it would be cool to watch).

rabble rabble rabble

2008-07-03 10:55:17
144.   DaDoughboy
I'm assuming that means that getting rid of Loney is an option?
2008-07-03 11:14:36
145.   MonkeyBlue
HAHAHA! They don't want a piece of Kent.
2008-07-03 11:17:38
146.   MonkeyBlue
2008-07-03 11:18:17
147.   Alex41592
Cookie. And DeWitt took advantage. 3-0 Dodgers.
2008-07-03 18:25:06
148.   MJW101
For Nomar to be activated SOMEBODY from the current set of infielders on the 25 man roster MUST be optioned or DFAed from the 25 man roster.

Choices - Sweeney (my choice), DeWitt, LaRoche, Berroa (my second choice) or Maza.

Putting Furcal on the 60 day DL only opens a spot on the 40 man for Nomar coming off the 60 day DL. No effect on the 25 man roster.

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