Baseball Toaster Dodger Thoughts
Jon Weisman's outlet
for dealing psychologically
with the Los Angeles Dodgers
and baseball.
Frozen Toast
Google Search
Dodger Thoughts

02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

09  08  07 
About Jon
Thank You For Not ...

1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
6) using hyperbole when something less will suffice
7) using sarcasm in a way that can be misinterpreted negatively
8) making the same point over and over again
9) typing "no-hitter" or "perfect game" to describe either in progress
10) being annoyed by the existence of this list
11) commenting under the obvious influence
12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with

No Proof That Mota Trade Hurt Gagne
2004-10-01 09:33
by Jon Weisman

Not yet, at least.

First, let's get some raw numbers regarding Eric Gagne up on the board:

YearInnings PitchedTotal PitchesPitches/Plate AppearanceK/9 IPK/BBOPS AllowedHR AllowedERA
200282 1/31,2383.9412.467.13.53561.97
200382 1/31,1893.8914.986.85.37221.20
200482 1/31,2143.8913.485.50.50352.16

PeriodInnings Pitched K/9 IPK/BBHR AllowedERA
After All-Star Break, 20023712.655.2032.68
After All-Star Break, 20033714.846.7810.24
After All-Star Break, 200440 1/312.505.0912.46

PeriodInnings Pitched K/9 IPK/BBHR AllowedERA
September 20021411.574.5001.93
September 20031311.785.6700.00
September 200414 1/311.303.6011.88


  • Gagne has pitched the same amount the past three years.

  • Gagne's best year was 2003, keyed by a near-perfect performance after the All-Star Break.

  • Gagne's 2004 performance is comparable, overall, to his 2002 performance.

  • Gagne had better control in 2002 than 2004, but is being hit slightly less in 2004 than 2002.

  • Gagne's post-All-Star and September performance in 2004 is as good, if not better, than 2002.

    If the Dodgers had a bullpen with Guillermo Mota, Yhency Brazoban, Giovanni Carrara, Duaner Sanchez and Wilson Alvarez, all at full strength, Eric Gagne would have been used less down the stretch in 2004 than he has been. How wonderful it would have been.

    However, I have news for you. Such a bullpen never really had a chance of existing.

    If Mota had not been traded, Brazoban would not have been called up July 31. He would have remained in the minors at least until the Dodgers needed another pitcher presumably when Darren Dreifort was injured although with Mota still on the team, Dreifort might not have gone down as quickly.

    Now, take a look at Mota's statistics with Florida this month: 14 innings. 10 hits, eight runs, two blown saves, 5.14 ERA. Mota, it appears, is worn out dimensionally more than Gagne is reported to be.

    Since the trade, Gagne has had six outings of 30 pitches or more, five in September, with the maximum being 38. On half of those occasions, he has come back to pitch the next day. Relatively speaking, this is a lot of work for Gagne, but the notion that it has hurt his performance in any significant way lacks much evidence at all.

    His performance is not at his 2003 level, fair enough. But is it fair to Gagne or the Dodgers to make the 2003 level the baseline to evaluate Gagne?

    One more chart:

    PeriodInnings Pitched K/9 IPK/BBHR AllowedERA
    Before All-Star Break, 20043912.466.0041.85
    After All-Star Break, 200440 1/312.505.0912.46

    Gagne has allowed more hits since the All-Star Game than he was before, but significantly fewer home runs. I look at these statistics and my reaction is that, except for the walks, Gagne has probably just been a bit unluckier on some balls that have been hit finding holes.

    Thursday night, Gagne gave up a 50-foot single, an intentional walk, a sacrifice, a hard-hit fly out and a legitimate single for a run. He started well, but finished a little shaky. He might not have had the endurance to do a vintage Gagne-like inning, two days after his medical treatment.

    Though I hardly minded seeing him in Thursday's game, given that he had been cleared to play and that no one wanted to enter the Giants series on a two-game losing streak, given the concern about him, I could understand the sobriety of turning to Brazoban, and even Carrara and Sanchez, before Gagne. Though I suspect Gagne will be fine for the upcoming games, I can't testify to it.

    But I can say this. The trade of Mota has little, if anything, to do with whatever worries, phantom or otherwise, people have about Gagne. He has been as good as he was before the trade this season, as good as he was in 2002 and as good as anyone would have a right to expect him to be.

    Meanwhile, in a season in which there was so little margin to spare, he has helped the Dodgers clinch a tie for their first division title in nearly a decade. You have to look really hard to find the negatives with Gagne and the Dodgers' use of him assuming, that is, that you take the time for an objective look at all.

  • Comment status: comments have been closed. Baseball Toaster is now out of business.