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About Jon
Thank You For Not ...

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

An Early Peek at the Minors
2005-04-22 08:59
by Jon Weisman

AAA: Las Vegas 51s

Caveat emptor on the offense-inflated Pacific Coast League stats ...


  • Infielder Jose Flores has an on-base percentage of .490 in 49 plate appearances.

  • Infielder Willy Aybar has an OPS of 1.086 in 56 plate appearances.

  • Outfielder Henri Stanley has an OPS of 1.191 in 33 plate appearances.

  • Outfielder Chin-Feng Chen has an OPS of 1.099, including a 450-foot home run off rehabilitating Angels starter Kelvim Escobar, in 55 plate appearances. Twelve of Chen's 30 outs this season have been strikeouts.

  • Outfielder Cody Ross is batting .238 but still has an OPS of .909 thanks to 10 walks and three home runs. Ross has also struck out 12 times, in 52 plate appearances.

  • Catcher Dioner Navarro has an OPS of .810.

  • Infielder Joe Thurston is 4 for 26 with two walks and one home runs.


  • Thirty-four-year-old Pat Mahomes has allowed one earned run on seven hits in 12 2/3 innings over two starts, walking five, hitting a batter and striking out eight.

  • Edwin Jackson has allowed 10 runs, 11 hits and seven walks in 9 1/3 innings over two starts, striking out five.

  • Heath Totten allowed two runs over 7 2/3 innings Thursday, lowering his ERA to 5.79 in 18 2/3 innings.

  • Relievers Mike Venafro and Aquilino Lopez have combined to allow nine runs in 10 innings. Venafro has been walking batters, while Lopez has surrendered two home runs in five innings.

    AA: Jacksonville Suns


  • Joel Guzman is delivering: 1.061 OPS, including three home runs, in 57 plate appearances. Eight of his 17 hits are for extra bases. He has seven walks and 15 strikeouts. Eric Enders passes along this note:

    Kevin Goldstein of Baseball America's Prospect Report reports that yesterday, "Dodgers Double-A teammates Joel Guzman and James Loney combine to go 9-for-10 with four doubles and two home runs (Southern)."

    Loney was 4-for-5 with a walk, a homer, and two doubles. Guzman was 5-for-5 with a walk, a homer, and two doubles.

  • Despite this, first baseman Loney still only has an OPS of .703.

  • Catcher Russ Martin has a .442 on-base percentage with a .333 slugging percentage in 51 plate appearances. He has 11 hits and 11 walks.

  • Outfielder Nick Alvarez (28 years old) has a .447 on-base percentage in 38 plate appearances.


  • Chad Billingsley has a 3.29 ERA in 13 2/3 innings over three starts, allowing eight hits, walking six and striking out 15.

  • Derek Thompson, as noted earlier in the Dodger Thoughts comments by Brian Greene, has struck 25 in 17 innings over three starts. He has allowed 24 baserunners, and his ERA is 4.24.

  • Jonathan Broxton has an ERA of 5.40 in 15 innings over three starts, with 14 hits and six walks allowed and 11 strikeouts.

    High A: Vero Beach Dodgers


  • Infielder Andy LaRoche (21) has an OPS of .971 in 61 plate appearances. He has nine extra-base hits but two walks.

  • Infielder Cory Dunlap has an OPS of .682 in 54 plate appearances.

  • Infielder Mayke Cabrera (24) has an on-base percentage of .441, but no extra-base hits.

  • Outfielder Justin Ruggiano (23) has an OPS of .997 in 43 plate appearances.


  • Chuck Tiffany continues to excel. Old friend Robert Tagorda passed along this note on Minor League Ball:

    A friend emailed me last night to point out Chuck Tiffany's line at Class A Vero Beach: 16 innings, 6 hits, 1 run, 9 walks, 26 strikeouts. Yes, a 26/16 K/IP ratio. It doesn't get much better than that. Tiffany has an excellent curveball and changeup, and good velocity (87-90) for a 20-year-old lefty. Continued domination of the Florida State League will earn him a promotion to Double-A soon, if the Dodgers hold with the pattern they established with Chad Billingsley and other young pitchers over the last few years.

    Tiffany's ERA is 0.56, and opponents are batting .115 against him.

  • Cautionary tale: Joel Hanrahan, meanwhile, is down in Single-A as well, with four runs allowed in seven innings. He has walked six and struck out four.

  • Jonathan Figueroa, who had a 1.42 ERA in the low minors in 2002, has allowed four runs in his first nine innings, with 14 baserunners allowed and seven strikeouts.

  • Six-foot-eight Casey Hoorelbeke has an ERA of 2.31 in 13 1/3 innings, walking six and striking out 14.

    Low A: Columbus Catfish


  • First-round draft choice Blake DeWitt (19) has a .694 OPS in 64 plate appearances.

  • Infielder Travis Denker (19) has four home runs and a .988 OPS in 62 plate appearances.

  • Infielder Lucas May (20) has a .915 OPS in 59 plate appearances.


  • Left-handed first-round draft choice Scott Elbert (19) has made one start this season. He went four innings, allowing one hit but two walks and two runs.

  • Brandon Weeden (21), who came in the Kevin Brown trade with Jeff Weaver and Yhency Brazoban, has 13 strikeouts in 13 innings but a 5.54 ERA with 15 hits and eight walks allowed.

  • Five-foot-nine lefthanded reliever Carlos Alvarez (20) has allowed no runs in 9 2/3 innings while striking out 16.

  • Another lefty reliever, Wesley Wright (20), has also pitched a scoreless 9 2/3 innings, striking out five.

  • Comments (83)
    Show/Hide Comments 1-50
    2005-04-22 10:24:12
    1.   Bob Timmermann
    Is Pat Mahomes going to be duking it out with Buddy Carlyle and Elmer Dessens and Scott Erickson for that last spot in the pitching staff?

    Or maybe someone who will start the second game of a doubleheader if need be?

    2005-04-22 10:24:51
    2.   Jonathan
    According to Baseball America, the Dodgers traded Pat Mahomes to the Mets for a player to be named. I think they signed him as a free agent just a few weeks ago. This might be one of DePodesta's strategies - to sign spare-part-type free agent veterans and then 'find a place for them to play', in other words, to take advantage of another team's need to trade for something useful. Like Tanyon Sturtze for Brian Myrow. Maybe all GMs do this but I vaguely recall reading DePodesta inviting veterans to sign minor league deals with the Dodgers so he could find an opportunity for the player to get back to the majors.
    2005-04-22 10:30:20
    3.   Eric Enders
    Maybe we'll get lucky and the player will be named "David Wright."

    On second thought, probably not.

    2005-04-22 10:30:44
    4.   Jon Weisman
    Mahomes pitched for Las Vegas on April 19 so I don't know what to make of that trade news, which is dated April 14.
    2005-04-22 10:34:29
    5.   Jon Weisman
    Also: Ryan Rupe is hurt ...

    2005-04-22 10:36:11
    6.   Jonathan
    Jon, Your right. BA is probably wrong.
    2005-04-22 10:42:16
    7.   Berkeley Doug
    Thanks for the minor league update Jon.

    I was thinking of going up to Sacramento on Saturday to see the 51s play the Rivercats. Perhaps by then I will be seeing Carlyle in a 51s uniform.

    2005-04-22 10:49:46
    8.   Bob Timmermann
    I think it's more likely that Penny will take the spot of Dessens on the roster. It sounded like Dessens would be going on the DL. Especially since he was sent back to L.A. to see Doc Jobe about his bum wing.
    2005-04-22 10:53:33
    9.   Identity Crisis
    Jesus Castillo (20) has been filling in for the injured Scott Elbert in low A. His numbers on the season are 13.1 inning in 3 games (2 as a starter), 12 strike outs, 3 walks, and an ERA of 2.70. I'm not sure how Elbert was hurt but the last time he pitched was April 8. Castillo's numbers since becoming the starter: 11 innings, 0 ER, 2 BB, 10 strikeouts.
    2005-04-22 10:59:28
    10.   Daniel
    I was looking forward to our local team the Round Rock Express joining the PCL because I'd get to see the 51s play. When the schedule was released, I saw that they don't play here at all this season! What kind of squirly unbalanced schedule is the PCL using? I know they try to reduce travel, but would a western swing for west coast teams really kill them?

    I guess I can wait until next year. Maybe Guzman will be around then.

    2005-04-22 11:06:32
    11.   Jim Tracy

    Thanks for the update. I try to keep up with our prospects' progress but sometimes fall behind. It's great of you to keep us updated. Much appreciated.

    2005-04-22 11:28:43
    12.   Landonkk
    Thanks for the report. On a similar note, has really improved and has updated box scores and stats. I check up on our farm hands every night.

    It is "powered by" so it has the same feel. It would be cool if they introduced the Gameday live updates like has.

    2005-04-22 11:34:05
    13.   jeongers
    Man, Edwin's numbers make me cringe. His confidence must be absolutely shot. Any idea as to what might be wrong with him? Someone mentioned his velocity was down--is he hurt?
    2005-04-22 11:47:27
    14.   Eric L
    Updates like this should make me get motivated to get the my planned website about the farm system off the ground. It's so easy to register the domain name and buy hosting.. the actual work is the tough part (and having another webpage to worry about).
    2005-04-22 11:49:42
    15.   CanuckDodger
    Jackson's last start went better than his first, as he surrendered only one run through five innings. It was the sixth inning that hurt him. Jackson's velocity is fine; it has been his command that has been the problem while he has struggled with mechanical issues. The ship will be righted in time.

    Someone wanted to know what is wrong with Elbert. Just a right abdominal strain. He should be back in action soon.

    2005-04-22 11:53:30
    16.   Sushirabbit
    Just got this over my Palm (nice for those quiet reading moments, ahem):


    Good to see the good things happening in the farm system. I Can't wait to see the 51s in a few weeks. Wish I could have seen Penny, though. Hopefully he'll get plenty of run support in the mountains.

    2005-04-22 11:56:07
    17.   Marty
    Columbus Catfish...great name. Do the local papers refer to them as the Whiskers?
    2005-04-22 11:56:50
    18.   Sushirabbit
    UH, probably should have said that the above link's a Dayn Perry bit on the Dodgers.

    ARGH I put in the wrong link, here is the correct one:

    2005-04-22 11:58:30
    19.   Eric Enders
    By the way, this morning Peter Gammons published his first article in nine days -- his first since the Steve Henson controversy.

    Not sure if that's the usual gap between Gammons articles, or if there's, ah, more to the story there.

    2005-04-22 11:59:07
    20.   Identity Crisis
    Eric, that would be great if you did that. I'm currently going to about 5 different sites to get all the news that I can on our minor league players. A site based on our farm teams would be awesome.
    2005-04-22 12:01:05
    21.   Eric Enders
    An interesting addition to the minor league report above... Today yet another former Dodger minor leaguer was suspended for steroid use: Ricardo Rodriguez.
    2005-04-22 12:01:50
    22.   Jeromy
    Gurnick says Ledee is hurt. Anyone else concerned? Perhaps he will go on the DL in time to activate Antonio Perez.

    On a related note, when someone is "out of options," like Perez, is it completely permanent? Or is there any outside possibility where a player could spend a certain amount of time on the ML roster and get sent down again? Or can a player only get DFA'd and go through the waiver process no matter what?

    The reason I ask is that some players seem to float back and forth quite a bit.

    2005-04-22 12:02:06
    23.   Jon Weisman
    Just checked, Eric - it's a different Ricardo Rodriguez.
    2005-04-22 12:02:55
    24.   Jon Weisman
    A player who is out of options needs to clear waivers. Recently, Chen and Thurston did so and were able to return to Las Vegas, but Frank Brooks did not and was claimed by Atlanta.
    2005-04-22 12:06:11
    25.   Eric Enders
    Oops, my bad.
    2005-04-22 12:06:24
    26.   Jeromy
    So, if you clear waivers, get sent down, called up and the team wants to sent you down again, do you have to clear waivers again or can the team option you?

    If the team must use waivers each time, I would think marginal players like Chen and Thurston would not even be considered for a call up until September when the rosters expand.

    2005-04-22 12:09:22
    27.   Jon Weisman
    That sort of thing happened with guys like Masao Kida last year. Kida was lost to Seattle after a brief callup. You call up these guys when you need them, and take your chances.

    Chen and Thurston are there for a rainy day - they're not going to be saved for a rainier day, if you get my drift.

    2005-04-22 12:13:41
    28.   Jeromy
    Thanks, Jon. Very helpful! I'm clear now. By the way, Chen is listed twice on your sidebar and David Ross can be moved down to the former Dodgers list.
    2005-04-22 12:15:26
    29.   Jon Weisman
    New Stanford blood in the organization!

    From the Las Vegas Sun: The Dodgers acquired pitcher Justin Wayne off waivers from Florida. Wayne allowed two hits and two earned runs in one inning in spring training for the Marlins. In 61 2/3 major league innings, Wayne has a 6.13 ERA with 37 strikeouts.

    The 51s put pitcher Ryan Rupe on the disabled list due to a muscle strain he suffered in Wednesday's loss.

    2005-04-22 12:16:00
    30.   Jon Weisman
    Updating the sidebar is on my long To Do list.
    2005-04-22 12:24:24
    31.   Sushirabbit
    So what are the odds of Kent going into the HF as a Dodger? I've been sort of surprised by how little appreciated he was before the season started.

    I figure the guy is a lock to get into the HF, especially if, one, he continues to have an MVP caliber year (top ten) and, two, the Dodgers make it to the world series in the next couple of years. Do you think a WS ring would make him want to go in as a Dodger? Not sure how likely any of it is to happen, I'd like all of it to happen though.

    2005-04-22 12:26:27
    32.   bigcpa
    Well look who crawled out of the Black Lagooon:

    Dodgers Waste No Time Making Great Impression
    - Bill Plaschke, April 22, 2005

    2005-04-22 12:27:31
    33.   Eric Enders
    I saw Justin Wayne pitch against Texas when I was in college.

    [Rummages through old scorebook...]

    2/13/98, 2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 K
    2/15/98, 1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 K, 1 SV

    Like Wayne, Stanford's other pitchers in that series -- Chad Hutchinson and Jeff Austin -- have had disappointing pro careers.

    2005-04-22 12:29:11
    34.   Eric L
    I'm guessing that if Kent makes it, he will be wearing a Giants hat. He may want to go in as a Dodger, but the HOF has made it pretty clear in recent years (after the Dave Winfield thing) that they will take the player's opinion into consideration, but the folks at the HOF have the final say. Enders probably knows more about this than I do, though.

    His best years were with the Giants and it was his longest stay with any team thus far.

    2005-04-22 12:29:27
    35.   CanuckDodger
    Every Stanford pitcher not named Mike Mussina has a bad pro career.
    2005-04-22 12:31:02
    36.   Jon Weisman
    Does that include Jack McDowell?
    2005-04-22 12:33:02
    37.   Eric Enders
    Well, McDowell has had a bad pro career as a musician.

    Gotta love this Plaschke sentence:

    Especially in this town, under this ownership, in this season, the Dodger players providing the stability that the front office could not


    2005-04-22 12:33:48
    38.   Eric Enders
    Enders probably knows more about this than I do, though.

    Not really. The way you stated it is exactly correct.

    2005-04-22 12:52:52
    39.   bigcpa
    My favorite Plaschke Deep Thought...

    >>The team that was going to lose many games had just lost its first one... Who would have thought that, from that moment, they would lose only once more in the next two weeks?

    What to make of that? He thought they were a 75-win team as did that faceless force that is "conventional wisdom." No one here would have called a 12-3 start either. So chalk this up as a wait-and-see column without even a whiff of "I could've been wrong."

    2005-04-22 13:23:04
    40.   bigcpa
    And some Joe Morgan gobbledy-gook to chew on from today's chat:

    ron ca: joe are the dodgers for real this year?

    Joe Morgan: Well, I thought the Dodgers would struggle scoring runs this year, but so far, they've scored more runs than anybody in the NL. They will win their division if they keep this up ... but I don't expect them to score as many runs as they have been and in that case, I don't think they can win it with their pitching. That said, they have been very consistant so I don't think it's just a fast start. They have won games in a variety of ways and that is the sign of a good team.

    2005-04-22 13:30:04
    41.   Eric Enders
    Less clueless than usual, is my impression.
    2005-04-22 13:33:08
    42.   Marty
    Boils down to "they might win, but they might not"
    2005-04-22 13:45:12
    43.   GoBears
    I posted this in the comments to the previous post, re: the Dayn Perry article. Sorry about the repeat, but I figured everyone was up here (to this comment thread) by now:

    Good, balanced article. I was thinking it was too balanced and smart for Fox Sports, and then realized why. Dayn Perry, the author, is a Baseball Prospectus writer. Good for him, getting a wider audience with the Fox exposure.

    One quibble, though. It's true that the Dodgers have done this without Werth, Penny, Alvarez, Gagne. But have they actually missed those guys? IOW, have their replacements really performed worse than the starters would have? Over the season, sure, you expect more out of the starters. But so far, the backups have done quite well. So I think it's false to project that the team will improve over this fast start once those guys are back.

    2005-04-22 13:50:02
    44.   Jon Weisman
    There's no room for improvement over the fast start, GB - no one would project that. The point is that as some of the hot players of the first three weeks tail off, the infusion of the four guys you mention should help compensate.
    2005-04-22 13:51:51
    45.   Eric Enders
    Gagne's absence is the reason somebody like Buddy Carlyle is around to give up runs. Brazoban replaces Gagne, Carrara replaces Brazoban, Sanchez replaces Carrara, and so on down the line.
    2005-04-22 13:53:27
    46.   GoBears
    I agree, Jon. But the returning players will have to outperform the guys who get bumped from the roster. That mostly means Werth for Repko/Grabowski, I guess, since the returning pitchers will probably just swap places with guys going onto the DL.

    Just read the Plaschke article. If he were to replace "we" with "I" in every "paragraph" it might actually come off as an honest mea culpa. But in insisting that his opinion is that of the masses, it just comes off as defensive. Feh. Who posted that link and suckered me into reading it?! Shame on you!

    2005-04-22 13:58:55
    47.   GoBears
    I guess all I'm saying is that the replacement players have been better than expected, which, in addition to Kent, Valentin, Bradley, Perez, and Lowe overperforming, helps explain the fast start. Even the bullpen flotsam has been a pleasant surprise. Carlyle got rocked when he had to replace Dessens after the injury, but otherwise, they've all been solid. Couldn't really have expected better out of Alvarez/Gagne that we've received from the guys we have.

    Not trying to be a pessimist here - just to rein in anyone who thinks "and it will only get better!"

    2005-04-22 14:00:09
    48.   DougS
    GoBears, it's true that Repko has made the most of his opportunity to replace Werth, and that Ghame Over has settled into the closer's role, however long until Game Over comes back. But Eric makes a good point about the displacement effect in the bullpen. And you figure that Penny replace Dessens or Erickson in the rotation, which is a serious, serious improvement.
    2005-04-22 14:01:54
    49.   Jon Weisman
    "But the returning players will have to outperform the guys who get bumped from the roster."

    You seem to imply this will be difficult. Eric's point in #45 is well taken. Someone like Werth doesn't have to do better than say, Repko has done up to now - he has to do better than Repko is going to do. Seems like a safe bet, if Werth in fact does heal.

    In addition, it's not like everyone has been on fire. Grabowski and Nakamura, two guys at the bottom of the roster, are 6 for 34 between them, mostly at first base/left field. Werth can probably do better with those at-bats.

    2005-04-22 14:10:07
    50.   Eric Enders
    Tom Martin, new Astro.
    Show/Hide Comments 51-100
    2005-04-22 14:12:56
    51.   jasonungar05
    whats wrong with our pitching? I keep reading how we don't have enough. Like third best in baseball isnt enough?


    2005-04-22 14:18:56
    52.   GoBears
    Yeah, I'm not arguing that the team will get worse when people get healthy. Just reacting to the notion that the team will do better than it has so far. Jon put it well in #44. There's no room for improvment over the current record. Over the course of the season, sure, you'd expect better performance out of, well, better players. But the team has weathered the injuries so far not just because some of the regulars are having fast starts, but also because the subs have played as well as the we could have expected from the guys they replaced. Not trying to be a wet blanket here. I'm as happy as the next guy.
    2005-04-22 14:19:59
    53.   Foolsgold
    5.04 K/9 is the last in MLB, We need to add more power pitchers to our rotation. When are going to see Greg Miller?
    2005-04-22 14:21:50
    54.   Eric L
    Is Brad Penny not a power pitcher? Or Eric Gagne?

    I seriously doubt that we will see Greg Miller any time soon.

    2005-04-22 14:26:30
    55.   Eric L
    To piggy back on my last comment, Greg Miller has yet to pitch an inning this season.

    According to the Dodgers mailbag on 3/28/05, no one expects him to take the mound again until the middle of the season.

    2005-04-22 14:30:30
    56.   jasonungar05
    I think K's are over-rated. I would rather get 27 outs on 27 pitches. Not 81 pitches.
    2005-04-22 14:30:54
    57.   Jon Weisman
    The Dodgers have off days in seven of the next 10 weeks. If Penny is healthy, and if the Dodgers can find a replacement for Scott Erickson by July, the starting rotation should hold up. Still would love to see Wilson Alvarez, once he is healed, get some starts in Erickson's place.

    The low strikeout totals are a concern, however expected they were.

    2005-04-22 14:31:45
    58.   Art H Tracy
    I've lost track of Ketchner. Anyone mind letting me know where he wound up?

    Art H. Tracy

    2005-04-22 14:32:38
    59.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
    RE: 52

    I agree that there really is no room for improvement on our start. We will just naturally fall back to earth. The incredible over-performance of our subs and the healthy regulars on the roster is important not because we'll do even better when Gagne, Penny, Werth, and Wilson come back, but because instead of simply treading water and keeping it close early in the season as we played short-handed, we're instead sitting on a nice cushion as the injured players return.

    I looked at Perry's projection of 100 wins, which I think is now reasonable, but that piece was a bit too rosy I think. Still a lot of season left, and too many things can still go wrong.

    That being said, it's now by no means crazy to think that this really could be a WS championship team. I always thought we'd be competitive in the division and in the league, but even before the season, I didn't think it was really realistic to think we could hang with the likes of Boston and New York. I thought Jon's projection of a close dogfight between us and the Giants was on target, but with Bond's injury and our flashes of brilliance, we might very well run away with the division.


    2005-04-22 14:33:03
    60.   Jon Weisman
    Jason, we'd all rather get 27 outs on 27 pitches. And the Dodger defense is good enough to buttress a low-strikeout staff. But it is definitely a weakness to rely on balls in play to win. You're ceding an element of control.
    2005-04-22 14:35:33
    61.   Eric L
    re: 56

    In a perfect world, 27 outs on 27 pitches is the most desired outcome (I think).

    In the real world, the only "stat" that a pitcher really has control of is strike outs. Once a ball is put into play, anything can happen.

    (again, one of the real stats guys can explain this better than me)

    2005-04-22 14:36:34
    62.   Suffering Bruin
    Perhaps this has been answered before (maybe upthread) but why do the Dodgers play their AAA games in cities (Albuquerque then Vegas) that are almost polar opposites to Dodger Stadium?

    An inquiring mind wants to know...

    2005-04-22 14:44:35
    63.   Eric L
    I suspect that the reason the Dodgers play in Vegas right now is because is it just about the closest AAA city to LA.

    Except for Ogden and Vegas, the rest of the teams are located on the East Coast because they are close to Vero Beach. Vero is the hub for minor league operations.

    2005-04-22 14:47:52
    64.   Nolan
    I continue to believe that CFC should be with the club instead of Repko...Give the guy a chance!
    2005-04-22 14:49:46
    65.   Jae

    "And besides strikeouts are fascist..."

    2005-04-22 14:50:29
    66.   jasonungar05
    Oh I totally agree and yeah anything can happen once the ball is in play. I would love to have Santana, Sheets, Schilling etc..But we also see that anything can happen once a starter gets into the 90-110 pitch range. Or when we get into the other teams bully.

    Getting outs is the important thing.

    2005-04-22 14:51:56
    67.   Eric L
    Though the sample size is rather small (12 ABs for Chen vs. 33 for Repko), Repko currently has 9 more ML hits, 3 more HRs, and actually has more than a .000 average next to his name.

    I don't think Repko is great, but he can do more for the Dodgers right now than Chen.

    2005-04-22 14:52:00
    68.   GoBears
    re 62: I've often wondered that too, SB. I don't know if LV is as extreme, but Albuquerque is at over 6000'. Higher than Coors Field. I was very happy when they moved the team out of there. It does help to explain why Dodger pitchers were always better than expected, and hitters (Brock, Marshall, Ashley) were often worse. Not JUST that they had only warning-track power (Ashley was strong enough to hit it out anywhere) but because curve balls don't curve at 6000', and it turned out that those guys couldn't hit major league curveballs.
    2005-04-22 14:53:37
    69.   molokai
    In the real world, the only "stat" that a pitcher really has control of is strike outs. Once a ball is put into play, anything can happen.

    Check out the latest articles at BP on that issue. Voros McCracken's initial study is starting to come under serious scutiny so that statement you just made based on one analyst's work is not set in stone.

    2005-04-22 14:54:46
    70.   GoBears
    Also, Repko is 24. Chen is 27. Chen won't get much better than he is now, whereas Repko should.
    2005-04-22 14:56:54
    71.   bigcpa
    Dodgers team ERA is 3.51 and FIP (defense neutral) is 4.15. So the defense can take credit for saving .6 runs/game. Upping the K's would help bring that 3.51 down.
    2005-04-22 14:56:59
    72.   Langhorne
    Assuming Penny can be effective he completes a pretty good four man rotation. With Dessens, Erickson and/or Alvarez as the fifth man. Alvarez was much better than expected last year as a starter. As I remember he wanted to go back to the bullpen because his hip was giving him problems in long outings. If that is no longer a concern he would complete a rotation with which I would be more than happy. I am also impressed with D.J. Houlton. As far as I can tell he's never pitched above AA but he does exactly what I want from an inexperienced pitcher; he throws strikes. Part of me hopes it is too cold for Penny to start Sunday so we can see what Houlton can do with a start. Also I'm going to Monday's game and I'd love to see Penny's return if they bump him to Monday.
    2005-04-22 14:57:46
    73.   GoBears
    re 69. Pitchers have some control over HRs too. McCracken's conclusion was about batting average on balls in play (BABIP), which is not consistent from season to season for even good pitchers, and therefore is more a matter of luck than of skill. More recent studies have shown that pitchers who rely on certain types of pitches, especially knuckleballs, but also change-ups, do have more than a random effect on BABIP. There was just something at Hardball Times on this - I think the state of the art is that about 7% (on average) of BABIP is attributable to the pitcher, the rest to the defense and luck.
    2005-04-22 15:02:51
    74.   Jon Weisman
    "But we also see that anything can happen once a starter gets into the 90-110 pitch range. ... Getting outs is the important thing."

    While a first-pitch groundball out is obviously most economical, if a low-K pitcher is surrendering more hits because he's allowing more balls in play than a high-K pitcher, he will still end up using more pitches per out.

    2005-04-22 15:04:34
    75.   molokai
    Go Bears:
    LF - Ledee/Repko-nice power and defense, the more they play the less likely they will be productive at the current level.
    Werth - same defense, more power, more selectivity, better long term in all aspects.

    SP - Erickson-one good lucky start. It will be his last decent start.
    Penny - if Penny can't outpitch what Erickson has given us so far what is the point. I'm expecting ace type numbers from Penny.
    SP - Dessens-one good, one injured start
    Alveraz-if he pitches like last year a vast improvement. Plus he moves Dessens back to the bullpen where he has proven to be productive.
    Closer - Yhancy- done all that can be expected
    Gagne - Can't do any better then Yhancy did but it will move Yhancy to the setup spot where we can start our game over in the 7th.

    As we start playing the top teams in the East and Central we will need all 4 of those players to keep playing at a high level. As each of those players come back they make us a better team by moving the players who performed for them back into roles they are better suited for. In the long term Repko/LeDee/Dessens/Yhancy are will be usefull in the roles they were expected to perform. The sooner Erickson is purged from this team the better.

    2005-04-22 15:08:10
    76.   Nolan
    Pitchers have consistent control over strikeouts, walks and home runs...If a pitcher never struck anyone out and consistently allowed the batter to put the first ball into play, he wouldn't last very long...The optimal outcome of any at-bat, for a pitcher, is a strikeout...
    2005-04-22 15:10:30
    77.   Nolan
    I don't think it makes any sense to put Alvarez into the starting rotation...He's had injury problems his entire career because he can't carry the load...I'd like to see Dessens be the 5th man and allow Alvarez to be the type of guy who can come into high leverage innnings and stay in for a couple of innings at a time...
    2005-04-22 15:23:24
    78.   Nolan
    Let me correct myself. If you could be sure that you would get an out from a ball put in play, then you would prefer a one-pitch groundout/flyout over a strikeout...But, since you can't control whether a ball put into play becomes a groundout or a base hit, then, going into the at-bat, the goal would be to strike the batter out...
    2005-04-22 15:37:42
    79.   GoBears
    As I'm sure everyone knows, Greg Maddux has put together some seriously low pitch-count CGs in his career. Despite not being a power pitcher, he did get a lot of Ks in his prime, in part because the Eric Greggs of the world were willing to call unhittable pitches a foot outside "strikes." But to go 9 innings on 68 pitches, he had to get a lot of quick outs too. There was a story floating around that, during a meeting on the mound, he said he'd get some guy to hit the ball to the warning track to end a game, and then went ahead and did it. Probably apocryphal. But his skill was to throw up pitches that looked straight, but had enough late movement so that the batters could rarely hit it on the sweet spot.
    2005-04-22 15:46:26
    80.   Nolan
    I'm not sure that tells the whole story...I'd like to go back and look at Maddux's numbers in greater detail but, as I recall, he actually didn't have a very low H/9 rate...He did, however, allow an extremely low number of home runs and walks...Thus, when guys were getting hits, they weren't hitting the ball out nor driving anyone in...The key question is: what was/is Maddux's H%?
    2005-04-22 16:31:12
    81.   Langhorne
    Of the three; Alvarez, Dessens and Erickson I think Alvarez had the most success as a starter over the last year. Depending on how he is when he comes back I would choose Alvarez to take the fifth spot. However, we probably want to keep at least two of the three on the team since it is likely we will need a couple of spot starts over the course of the season.
    2005-04-22 16:39:51
    82.   al bundy
    Kevin Brown's dished 4 runs on 5 hits after the 1st inning against Texas at Yankee Stadium.

    Shout out to Daniel in Round Rock - I normally reside there but live in London for the next couple years. Sure would love to take in a game at the Dell Diamond. Maybe when the 51s make it to the Austin area sometime it would be worth a road trip for some of you (a good excuse to go to Austin). It's an awesome minor league stadium.

    2005-04-22 20:20:42
    83.   bill cox
    Does anybody know anything about Jason Olsen.He is pitching for the Suns.I heard a radio announcer(for my hometown Huntsville Stars) say he had been hurt along time.He's piling up strikeouts in relief for the Suns.If he's older he may be a useful callup in late summer.
    I hope Schmoll stays with the team.He is solid.

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