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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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Bad Double Down
2005-05-10 21:03
by Jon Weisman

If you're dealt an ugly 12 in black jack, and you hit and get an eight, do you hit again?

Scott Erickson is a 12. He gave three good innings - that's a good third card. He then gave up three runs in the fourth inning. For someone of his current ability, that's a bust.

Keeping him in to give up four more runs in the fifth inning - that's betting good black jack money on a 22.

And it doesn't save the bullpen, does it?

It was a terrific comeback by the Dodgers, with the dealer's choice being Hee Seop Choi, who gave the team the lead with a three-run sixth-inning home run. When Choi collided with Scott Rolen in the bottom of the fifth inning, the first thought I had was the collision near home plate in 2003 that derailed his promising season. However, those fears were eliminated in a hurry (though Cardinal fans had their own ugly deja vu when Rolen left the game).

But the continued betting on Erickson demands a new strategy, if not a trip to Gambler's Anonymous.

Pitching one shutout inning or three shutout innings in the majors is an achievement - for a relief pitcher. Either you treat Erickson like a long reliever who happens to enter the game in the top of the first inning, budgeting your relievers in advance and having them at the ready, or you don't treat him at all.

That doesn't mean you pull Erickson when he's up 3-0. It means that you recognize that after he's given up some runs and puts more baserunners on base, things are not likely to get better.

Please, let's not repeat the Hideo Nomo Syndrome in 2005. Let's not double down on 22. Let's bet on a new hand.

Update: Commenters have pointed out this Ericksonerpt in Steve Henson's Times article today:

Erickson gave up 10 hits and left after 4 2/3 innings with the Dodgers trailing, 7-3, and pointed a finger at the defense. Two pitches before Sanders hit a home run in the fourth, he lifted a foul popup near the stands that fell behind third baseman Oscar Robles — playing in his first game after having his contract purchased from the Mexican League.

"With a lineup like theirs, it's tough to give extra outs," Erickson said. "I seriously felt I threw much better than the results."

Two years ago, Odalis Perez, a considerably better-performing pitcher, nearly got run out of town on a rail for making the obvious point that the Dodger offense wasn't hitting. Lovable Paul LoDuca was leading the metaphorical lynch mob at the time.

Up to the moment where the foul ball fell between Robles, Cesar Izturis and Ricky Ledee - catchable, but after a long run for each - Erickson had faced 23 batters and allowed four singles, two doubles, two home runs and a walk while striking out none. Opponent's OPS: 1.118. Dodger errors: 0.

Prideth goeth before the falleth.

* * *

Choi continues to be a subject of fascination: it's as if Cinderella has been discovered at the ball. Tony Jackson, who I think could be called a dispassionate skeptic about Choi in Spring Training, seems to have been won over in the Daily News this morning: I love his use of the word "alas":

Choi has hit .400 (14 for 35) his past dozen games, raising his once-moribund average to a solid .280. Alas, only 10 of his 94 plate appearances have come against left-handed pitching, including his eighth-inning strikeout against Ray King after a prolonged, well-executed at-bat. Moreover, manager Jim Tracy effectively refuses to start Choi against lefties, a fact he made crystal clear in his only postgame comment about the player.

"He's doing very well against right-handed pitchers," Tracy said. "He's doing exceptionally well against right-handers."

Choi is 1 for 7 with two walks and a hit-by-pitch against lefties this year.

Comments (113)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2005-05-10 21:34:23
1.   Dodgers Fan in NorCal
Agreed. There definitrly needs to be a quality fifth man; should Erickson switch with somebody in the bullpen? It's been a shaky strategy in the past for the Dodgers.

I remember there were more than a few games in recent years in which it seemed like the Dodgers' starter got rocked early, so Tracy ended up putting in a new pitcher every inning and hoping that each one had the stuff to get three outs. Doesn't seem like a feasible strategy for two or three games out of the week.

We should spring for a fifth man, and soon.

2005-05-10 21:35:50
2.   dzzrtRatt
The concept of long relief was invented for faded heroes like Scott Erickson.

I still think the best bet is to bring up Edwin Jackson, and let him sink or hopefully swim as the 5th starter when necessary, and put Colborn on alert that the bullpen will need to be ready on those occasions. Jackson is the only choice who has a chance to improve, to bring more to the table each time he goes out, to become a new source of, uh, "win shares" as the season rolls on. Erickson and especially Alvarez will give us a chance to win now and then, but it's all borrowed time, with minimal chance they'll be around to help the Dodgers down the stretch (as starters).

2005-05-10 21:35:56
3.   Ben P
I'll say that I think the idea that Alvarez has "durability" issues shouldn't stop him from being our 5th starter. I think he is perfectly capable of giving us 5 or 6 quality innings every 10 days or so.
2005-05-10 21:37:31
4.   al bundy
I agree with you about Erickson - time for Tracy to employ a new strategy with the guy. I'm also wondering when the Grabowski experiment will end. There's got to be a better solution for a ph.

And in a completely from-left-field comment, in your honor this evening, Jon, I dined at Kirk's Steakburgers. Normally I'm in London - for a couple years, anyway - but presently I'm in NoCal visiting the folks for a couple weeks. I went to the Giants game last night and suffered through a gem by Tomko. Kirk's, by the way, was de-lish!

But for tonight...Dodgers win, Giants lose. It's all good.

2005-05-10 21:41:44
5.   bigcpa
Erickson 4 2/3 7 ER
Bullpen 4 1/3 1 ER

Yes Erickson is a long reliever and he should be named mop-up specialist effective Wednesday. How about Duaner going 3-0 and walking Nunez fresh off the pine? Ewww.

AZ eked out another one getting outhit 10-3. Double ewwww.

2005-05-10 21:45:28
6.   Bob Timmermann
Here are the players Scott Erickson has struck out this year:
Brian Giles
Adam Eaton (bunting)
Dave Roberts (back to back!)
Adam Eaton (swinging)
Esteban Loaiza
2005-05-10 21:46:30
7.   Xeifrank
Erickson just barely beat the Over/Under of 4 1/3 innings pitched, with his less than stellar 4 2/3 innings outting.

I will be posting tomorrows Over/Under sometime on wednesday before the game, after I run the numbers through the computer.

Stay tuned!



2005-05-10 21:47:20
8.   Xeifrank
Missed tonight's game. Had a softball game tonight, but was happy to see the Dodgers came back and won. Read in the recap that there was a nasty collision at first base between Choi and Rolen, how bad was it? Did Rolen get the worst of it?



2005-05-10 21:49:28
9.   Steve
Adam Eaton is the Anti-Shawn Green.
2005-05-10 21:50:14
10.   Steve
It appeared that Rolen got the worst of it, since he left the game, and Choi hit the game-winning three run homer the next inning. :)
2005-05-10 21:51:28
11.   Bob Timmermann
Rolen had to leave the game with a sprained shoulder. He has bad luck running into guys. He got the worst of a collision with Alex Cintron in the 2002 DS. He missed the rest of the playoffs.
2005-05-10 21:52:10
12.   Xeifrank
I still think the Dodgers should can Erickson as a starting pitcher. I would also prefer giving Jackson or Alvarez a chance, or even Houlton for that matter. Another possible option is to start Erickson/Alvarez/Houlton and then pinch hit for them the first time they come up, then bring in one of the other three to pitch in long relief, kind of as a starter who starts in the 2nd or 3rd inning. At the minimum it would give TJ Simers something to write about.



2005-05-10 21:59:40
13.   Xeifrank
K-Rod in for the save for the other LA team, gives up a HR to the first batter. Book on K-Rod and Gagne is to not swing at the slider/splitter and TRY to hit the fastball.



2005-05-10 22:00:00
14.   LAT
CoCo goes CoCo on K-Rod HR. Top 9 5-4 LAA
2005-05-10 22:04:14
15.   FirstMohican
I think it's only necessary to point out that Erickson has given up more home runs than he has strikeouts.
2005-05-10 22:06:51
16.   Fearing Blue
While I would really like to see Jackson in the majors because of his tremendous upside, I just don't think now is the time. He has a 7.09 ERA, which is bad enough, but he's also given up 17BB and 5HR in 29.1 IP. He's only 21 years old, so I think we should wait until he's successful in AAA for an extended period of time.

Our 5th starter slot comes up twice more in May, 5 times in June and then twice in July before the All-Star break. That's approximately 9 games before we can likely trade for another quality starter. Maybe once Dessens is back, we can have Dessens and Alvarez rotate starts?

2005-05-10 22:09:12
17.   Fearing Blue
#15: Ouch! He has a 1.8 HR/K ratio.
2005-05-10 22:15:25
18.   Xeifrank
High Speed police chase in LA tonight. Turns out the police got a tip that the driver was responsible for multiple beach balls at a Dodger game last week. Glad they got their man! :)

So, on a more serious note. Who's pitching tomorrow?



2005-05-10 22:18:47
19.   Xeifrank
You will like this one. Good article summarizing how well the players DePodesta let go this offseason are doing. Team Depot is looking bleeping brilliant so far. Good for the Geeks!!! :) vr, Xeifrank

2005-05-10 22:19:35
20.   Xeifrank
Due to the four consecutive post rule, I will let someone else get #21. :)



2005-05-10 22:19:46
21.   Steve
Oh yeah -- Dessens. So Erickson probably starts on Sunday, then Dessens at the end of the month. Makes sense to me.
2005-05-10 22:32:46
22.   molokai
O Perez-trade
Lowe - Free agent.
The point is can anyone name me a YOUNG starting pitcher who has been successfull in Vegas and in Los Angeles. Veterans like Alveraz/Sturtz thrived there but our prospects go there and die. Maybe the best place for E Jackson is not Vegas but Jacksonville. I think Brazoban only pitched about 20 inning in AAA last year before the callup. Even the young Giant studs Cain/Foppert/J Williams are all getting creamed this month. Very interested in how Tim Stauffer does for SD. He is the Pod's number one pitching prospect and has done very well but he is not a fav of the prospect analysts and they only project him as a number 4 or 5.
Wouldn't be unexpected if they give Mahomes a chance.
2005-05-10 22:54:24
23.   the OZ
Having more HR than strikeouts is good if you're a hitter. For pitchers, not so much.

Here's a theory unrelated to tonight's events: ESPN hates the Dodgers because they are (still) partly owned by FOX, an ESPN and Disney/Cap Cities competitor? Just a thought.

2005-05-10 23:23:51
24.   bigcpa
I just replayed the scoring plays on Tivo. Did anyone hear Steve Lyons say with a Dodger on 2B "this team is built to do the little things?" Say what?
2005-05-10 23:23:56
25.   T Money
Anyone else notice that the Dodgers have alternated wins and losses this entire month? They've yet to win, or lose, two games in a row in May. Let's hope that Penny can change that tomorrow...
2005-05-10 23:26:38
26.   LAT
In the past ESPN has dissed the Dodgers becasue of its East Coast bias and because Baseball Tonight is usally over before the Dodgers are finished. But this year there is an additional factor: Although Depo has put together a good team, they may be the unsexiest team in baseball. There are no marquee players to sell. There are no Lima-like feel good stories. There are few highlight players like Izzy and Cora or Belly. There are no emotional guys like Loduca. Kent is passionate but that's an old story. JD Drew is by all accounts a loner. Before anyone jumps on me for this, it is not a criticism of Depo. I think we are a better team and the insert in today's LA Times bears that out. But at the end of the day ESPN has ratings to get and when Bradly, Kent and Lowe are not blowing up there is nothing to report. Moreover, I think Depo would just assume have everyone outside LA ignore the Dodgers and let him sneak up on the national baseball stage.
2005-05-10 23:42:11
27.   the OZ

Yours points are well taken. However, ESPN is in a position to become a 'star-maker," so to speak. Torii Hunter, Khalil Greene, Orlando Cabrera, Steve Finley, and Dontrelle Willis come to mind as players who are good but have been elevated to star status at least partly because of ESPN.

You're absolutely right about the West Coast thing - BBTN is done when our games are jsut starting or half-over, and the WebGem defensive plays are edited before our games even start (you'll almost never see a Dodger home game in WebGems). ESPN could easily make stars of Izturis and Bradley - it's not like Kent isn't already a star, he's just media-wise.

When I was watching the Dodgers at Fenway Park last June, the guys around me were all asking if our bullpen was any good. They didn't know anything about Gagne whatsoever. If ESPN can't make him a household name, it's because they aren't trying.

2005-05-10 23:50:33
28.   Louis in SF
I agree with most regarding the Erickson experiment, and he is what he is at this point in his carrer a 3-4 inning pitcher at best and as a starter I believe he is very limited. WHile this site as much as I like it seems to be a bash Jim Tracy blog-some of which I agree with, Alvarez, as a starter while better than Erickson, I do agree is best out of the pen. Solutions I would endorse would be Mahomes at Triple AAA-he had a good game tonight, give Jackson a shot because he does have the upside and has had some success at the major league level. I actually think when he is healthy Elmer can give you a good solid 5-6 innings, but that may not be for a month.
On another positive note Gagne pitched another shutout inning against Memphis tonight striking out 2, Perez I believe hit a 3 run homer. Werth struck out twice! ...PS nothing is better than listening to Giant sportstalk and just give excuses on how bad the Giants really are. WHile I may still question some of the Dodger performance, but buy into it more and more each day-despite the injuries to the Giants they were incredibley over rated going into the season and Schmidt going on the DL should be no suprise since he has been on the DL almost every year since he has been a Giant.
2005-05-11 00:40:01
29.   DougS
I also think that LAT is onto something re: ESPN. One thing I noticed about how Miller and Morgan covered the Sunday game (besides their obvious lack of enthusiasm, noted in the comments to a previous thread) is that they kept harping on Griffey. Griffey this, Griffey that, Griffey all the time. Which makes a certain amount of sense from a promotional angle in that he was the most famous player on either team. But it meant that they spent a lot of time talking about stuff not directly relevant to the action.

I've noticed that national sports broadcasts always seem to try to frame the game in terms of a projected storyline, or at least some kind of direct conflict between famous players, even if they have to stretch to do it. As if the game is a Japanese monster movie, and the biggest name on one team is Godzilla and the biggest name on the other team in Rodan. The Dodgers may pose a problem in this regard because they don't have a Godzilla.

2005-05-11 01:02:22
30.   alex 7
Anyone think Edwin Jackson might learn and improve more in L.A. with Colborn than in Vegas without him?
2005-05-11 05:29:14
31.   Louis in SF
The comments about Miller and Morgan are very interesting and the way the national media, as well as the LAT cover the Dodgers. In all of my years following the Dodgers from both near and far, there does seem to be an undertone of both "wanting and waiting" for the Dodgers to fail this year. While I am not into media conspiracys-when your local papers aren't in love with you the national media, especially sports tend to follow. There were so many in the group who had the Dodgers pegged for fourth, it is amazing. COnversely, the Giants were so over rated and were on such an edge their poor start to me is not a suprise. Schmidt going on the DL should not be a suprise to anyone...Our pitching concern primarily the 5th starter should not be overlooked and in today's Daily News, despite Pat Mahomes good record at Triple AAA, the Dodgers don't seem to be interested in bringing him up, also I am in the dark why Elmer's injury and rehab is taking so long, is his injury more serious? This could be the answer for the 5th starter, but the next sart comes up this weekend.
2005-05-11 06:33:20
32.   Fearing Blue
#31: After the start on Sunday, we could go until the 28th without using our 5th starter. Let's throw Erickson to the wolves one more time, and then hope Dessens is back by the 28th. Of course, Dessens is only slightly younger and only slightly better than Erickson, but I'm willing to take the chance at this point.
2005-05-11 06:34:11
33.   Eric Enders
Whatever happens with Erickson, I hope the Dodgers don't find it necessary to trade for a fifth starter, because the fifth starter is the one spot on your team that's absolutely guaranteed to become irelevant come playoff time.

If the Dodgers can make the playoffs using a combination of Erickson/Alvarez/Dessens/Jackson in the fifth spot, they should do that rather than wasting resources on a trade.

If we're going to make a trade, I think 3B or LF would be the spots to patch up.

2005-05-11 06:59:12
34.   Eric Enders
By the way, where does Brazoban stand right now in the Rookie of the Year race? I know Clint Barmes is having a great year... any other competition so far?
2005-05-11 07:02:19
35.   Eric Enders
BTW, in the Daily News this morning, Erickson claims to have pitched well, but the defense let him down.

No comment.

2005-05-11 07:21:35
36.   Fearing Blue
Robles missed getting to a foul popup, so as I understand it, Erickson was forced to groove a pitch to Reggie Sanders. No explanation for the other two HRs he gave up. His comments are a cherry on top for why he deserves to be released.

Last I read, ESPN had Yhency as second in the RotY race, but they commented that if Gagne comes back successfully that would change. I imagine it would be hard to win RotY as a setup man.

Philadelphia papers are suggesting a Polanco & Howard for Sanchez & LaRoche trade:

Would be alright with me, since Sanchez hasn't really been as good as his numbers indicate and LaRoche is great, but we have quite a few 3Bs in our system. The only problem is that we don't have a spot to play Howard. We'd have to spin him off somewhere, maybe for a young starter?

2005-05-11 07:26:23
37.   Eric Enders
Giving up LaRoche for Polanco is not a good idea. Howard, we really have no use for. I don't see that as being a good trade, unless DePo can spin off Howard for Carlos Quentin or somebody (probably dreaming there).
2005-05-11 08:04:38
38.   DXMachina
#27: "When I was watching the Dodgers at Fenway Park last June, the guys around me were all asking if our bullpen was any good. They didn't know anything about Gagne whatsoever. If ESPN can't make him a household name, it's because they aren't trying."

That doesn't surprise me at all, but it's not really ESPN's fault. Living in the midst of Red Sox Nation, I can attest to the fact that most Red Sox fans don't care who's in anybody else's bullpen except the Yankees'. Plus, if you were to judge by the local media, the National League is just a figment of the imagination. There's almost no coverage apart from boxscores and the AP summaries. It's a very different vibe than cities that have teams from both leagues. Really, if you live out here, ESPN is really the only outlet that gives you coverage of west coast teams.

2005-05-11 08:09:28
39.   LAT
When Erickson, with his record, starts taking shots at teammates in the press its time to find a real estate agent in Las Vegas. He may think its ok to crap on the new kid but that's a cheap shot to explain away a 5th inning collapse. You know he wouldn't have the nerve to call out Kent or Drew. If a fairly difficult missed foul ball causes you to lose ALL concentration, than you don't belong out there. This sounds like Odalis two years ago when he complained he wasn't getting run support. The team crucified him for that and and he was a much better pitcher than Mr. Lisa.

I agree we should keep him until the 28th but not if he becomes a clubhouse problem.

2005-05-11 08:14:01
40.   Johnny Duke
First post ever. Jon, I'm finally doing it. Firstly, I want to publicly thank you for the wonderful job you do and the great community you have created. On to the commentary. I have to agree with a point made by Molokai, that Las Vegas is a terrible place to try to develop young pitching. How much confidence can these guys have? I think that the Dodgers would be better off, long term, finding a different place for their AAA team. How can they expect hitters or pitchers to prepare to play at Dodger Stadium by playing in a Coors Field like atmosphere? I used to have a theory that they had their top pitching prospects jump from AA to the majors (skipping Albuquerque). If I remember correctly, neither Fernando or Steve Howe pitched much in AAA. I think, until they relocate the affiliate, it's a good idea to let the top pitching prospects develop at AA and avoid the PCL.
2005-05-11 08:15:53
41.   Fearing Blue
It seems that Howard would have more trade value than LaRoche, so in my mind it's Ok that we don't have a spot for him. We don't really have a spot for LaRoche either, with Guzman blocking his path. Maybe we could spin Howard off to the Astros for Ezequiel Astacio (again, dreaming), since they may have just lost their 1B for good.
2005-05-11 08:19:41
42.   Colorado Blue
#33: If we're going to make a trade, I think 3B or LF would be the spots to patch up.

I'll need your explanation as to why LF is a concern, Eric. Currently, we have Ledee and Repko who can platoon, AND the fact that Grabs does not appear to be going anywhere is another option. Plus, Werth will be returning someday.

Once Gagne returns, I think the BP will be in spectacular shape. I think a more consistent 5th starter would be in the Dodger's better interest. After all, you've got to make the playoffs for the 5th starter to become irrelevant. Plus, he's insurance down the stretch if someone else wears down or doesn't perform well in the playoffs. I do not think Jackson is ready to take the ball and Dessens, Alvarez, and Erickson are always questionable whether it be consistency or health.

However, I do believe that 3B is the biggest hole and should be filled first... let's see what Robles can do for a couple of weeks though.

2005-05-11 08:19:52
43.   Eric Enders
It should be noted that in his first 20 or so at-bats this season, Howard has looked Nakamura-like.

(Then again, so did Choi.)

2005-05-11 08:23:03
44.   Eric Enders
I'll need your explanation as to why LF is a concern, Eric.

I didn't say it was a concern, exactly, it's just the most logical place (along with 3B) to stick an extra bat in the lineup. Even when Werth gets back, the Dodgers will still have only 4 OFs with major league hitting capabilities (Drew, Ledee, Bradley, Werth). An extra OF would let Werth play the 4th OF role he starred in so well last year.

Plus, we don't really have any outfield prospects to speak of in the minors, so trading for a hard-hitting LF could help us in the long run, too.

2005-05-11 08:23:29
45.   Steve
If Erickson is going to play that game, Choi should call him out for trying to get him killed last night. Jerk.
2005-05-11 08:30:37
46.   Eric Enders
Once the Brewers fall out of contention, for example, it might be cool to trade a couple of prospects for sombody like Carlos Lee. That would help us this year and in the future.
2005-05-11 08:30:38
47.   Vic
Just wanted to give a huge thanks to all of the parties responsible for the fantastic Ghame Over shirts. Hope to see a fellow wearer at the Stadium soon, so we can nod to each other all Fight Club-like.

Erickson's back-handed slam of his teammates is pretty rage-inducing. Don't let the door hit you on the way out, Mr. Lisa.

2005-05-11 08:32:51
48.   LAT
Eric, by the second half Werth was not the 4th OF role. It was pretty clear Werth in LF, Fins in CF and MB in RF. That was the everyday line up
2005-05-11 08:33:49
49.   Eric Enders
LAT -- sure, but that wasn't exactly by design.
2005-05-11 08:37:31
50.   Fearing Blue
I don't think Robles is intended to be the answer at 3B. He was brought up as a backup middle-infielder. Antonio Perez should get the vast majority of the starts at 3B once he's back from his rehab assignment next week. I really would like to see what Perez can do there.

Yes, Howard has looked bad so far in limited ABs, but he's still ranked highly on most prospect lists. If we trade for him, I would stick him in Las Vegas for a couple months to boost his offensive numbers and then trade him away at the All-Star break.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2005-05-11 08:38:07
51.   Fearing Blue
By the way, welcome back Eric. Haven't seen you much in a couple games. Did you hit another deadline?
2005-05-11 08:39:59
52.   Eric Enders
The problem with Howard is that he's already basically a DH, even at his young age. He's barely adequate at 1B, and previous attempts to move him to LF have met with disaster.

He's basically Choi with weaker defense and plate discipline.

2005-05-11 08:41:29
53.   Eric Enders
Fearing, no, just busy, I guess. I don't hang around game threads because I TiVo all the games and watch them on 1hr delay to skip the commercials.
2005-05-11 08:43:25
54.   Steve
Billy Ashley II? I'll pass.

If we could get Polanco, he could hit .275, become a Plaschke favorite, and if we win the National League, Arte would give him a 30 million dollar contract to go over there, so it might work out quite well for Polanco at the end of the day.

2005-05-11 08:45:53
55.   Mr Customer


You really wouldn't make that deal?

As I break it down in my mind, the Sanchez-for-Polanco part is a no-brainer. Duaner has always been a bugaboo of mine with his maddening inconsistency, and we seem to have an open bullpen chair with EG coming back.

LaRoche-for-Howard is more complicated, but from the standpoint of pure prospect value, Howard's value is still miles beyond Andy's. Not that he'd be happy about it, because he'd still be 2nd chair in the organization's 1B section, but he could garner quite a lot of interest if he was placed back on the trading block from, say, the Red Sox, Orioles, or even the A's.

2005-05-11 08:48:22
56.   Mr Customer
...Or possibly even Houston (as much as it sucks to say it, cause you hate to see Bags winding down the career)
2005-05-11 08:48:28
57.   Eric Enders
As I break it down in my mind, the Sanchez-for-Polanco part is a no-brainer.

Agreed. It's the other part that worries me. I like LaRoche a whole lot, and Howard not very much at all. LaRoche also plays a position we might need, which Howard does not.

I will now cease dumping on Ryan Howard, I think I've said my piece. ;)

2005-05-11 08:48:28
58.   Fearing Blue
Agreed. I was hoping to get Polanco, and unfortunately, the Phillies really want to package him up with Howard. So, Perez it is for now.

Another suggestion I read was trading for Morgan Ensberg of the Astros. It's probably not going to happent, but the Astros have seemed to like Mike Lamb a little better at 3B.

2005-05-11 08:58:13
59.   gvette
Doubtful the Dodgers make any moves at 3B until Perez proves he can't play the position. So that's at least end of June/All Star break before that's decided. Polanco will probably be long gone to another team by then.

Erickson's Times quotes about the defense, and that he "threw much better than the results" are the sounds of a guy trying to save his career. Calling out Robles doesn't explain that cannon shot he gave up to marginal major leaguer Luis Terrero of the D-Backs.

Never thought that I would actually look forward to the return of Elmer Dessens.

2005-05-11 09:04:43
60.   Eric Enders
Coincidentally, Baseball America's latest Hot Sheet was released today.

"9. Andy LaRoche, 3b, Dodgers (High Class A Vero Beach)
The Dodgers battles with the commissioner's office over giving LaRoche a $1 million bonus as a 39th-round pick in 2003 seem well justified, as the young brother of Braves first baseman Adam leads the Florida State League in slugging (.652), runs (28) and extra-base hits (21)."

2005-05-11 09:08:10
61.   molokai
That trade scenario seems pie in the sky. Thome is very iffy right now and I can't see them packaging Howard until they know that Thome is healthy. Plus the Phil's arent' ready to give up the season so why would they want a lousy reliever and a single A 3b who won't be any help for several years for there 2 most tradeble players.

Let's give A Perez a chance and if he doesn't pan out then we will have plenty of cheap options like Joe Randa/Jiminez/Freel from the Red's alone. Plus Aybar might be ready by July to give it a go. With Choi becoming so solid and Werth on the horizon I think this team could carry a weak hitter at 3b as long as he can play defense so even Robles could be the answer. Depo will solve this minor problem. I wonder how hot Choi has to get before Plasche/ESPN/ eat some crow. They were sure willing to dump on him when he was struggling.

2005-05-11 09:16:47
62.   Dodgerkid
Let's hope LaRoche doesn't fall into the curse of the crappy brothers, that the Dodgers always seem to get. Chris Gwynn, Maddux anyone? Of course we have lucked out with the best of the Drew brothers.
2005-05-11 09:22:09
63.   Bob Timmermann
The Dodgers had Zack Wheat and his brother Mack (a catcher) was not nearly as good and eventually dispatched to Philadelphia. That's the best reverse of the Gwynn situation I can think of.
2005-05-11 09:24:11
64.   Eric Enders
Jackie Robinson's brother Mack was also not as good (at baseball, anyway).

Any other famous Dodger brothers named Mack?

2005-05-11 09:25:09
65.   Eric Enders
I assume everyone has already seen this, but if not...
2005-05-11 09:29:58
66.   Eric Enders
I like the new poll on Dodger Blues, BTW.
"Which Dodger broadcaster do you hope gets stricken with laryngitis first?"

Rick Monday 861 34%
Charley Steiner 558 22%
Steve Lyons 502 20%
Al Downing 494 20%
Vin Scully 105 4%

In unrelated news, 105 people are going to hell...

2005-05-11 09:34:59
67.   Icaros
Anyone else seeing italics? My head hurts. Did I bump it?
2005-05-11 09:36:36
68.   Icaros
Oh, and this is my new favorite HSC quote, from the LA Times:

"If I come out of the game, then no homer," the South Korean native said. "Good for me."

2005-05-11 09:37:41
69.   Eric Enders
Trying to fix... see if this works.
2005-05-11 09:38:07
70.   Eric Enders
I guess not.
2005-05-11 09:41:05
71.   Bob Timmermann
Our long italicized nightmare is over!
2005-05-11 09:41:19
72.   Jon Weisman
I posted an update above. Sorry for the temporary italics problem.
2005-05-11 09:48:31
73.   Icaros
That's okay, Jon. I thought I needed to make an eye appointment for a second there.
2005-05-11 09:48:38
74.   Bob Timmermann
Tim Kawakami opines about the Giants apparent denial about how bad things are going for them:
(You may have to register or Bugmenot).
2005-05-11 09:52:07
75.   Eric Enders
Thank goodness we play in the N.L. West. I think we could shoot ourselves in the foot several times this year and still manage to win the division.
2005-05-11 10:06:18
76.   Bob Timmermann
The Padres were down to the Reds 2-1 in the first inning today and the Reds had the bases loaded with no one out and Joe Randa grounded into an inning-ending triple play.
2005-05-11 10:09:22
77.   Bob Timmermann
Whoops, sorry Sportsline had it wrong. Randa hit into a double play. Austin Kearns then made the last out.

Randa hit into a 5-2-5 DP

2005-05-11 10:12:47
78.   ryu
re: #62, crappy brothers

Add Wilton Guerrero to that list.

2005-05-11 10:13:22
79.   Xeifrank
Ran the numbers through the computer and the Over/Under on innings pitched for Brad Penny tonight is 7. Last night's Over/Under for Scott Erickson was 4 1/3 and he managed to last 4 2/3 innings. Please feel free to guess the Over or Under on Penny tonight.



2005-05-11 10:24:19
80.   Steve
78 -- But we had Pedro, so it balanced out! :)
2005-05-11 10:26:24
81.   scareduck
Jon -- I see you liked my gambling metaphor enough to adopt it in altered form. I like the change.
2005-05-11 10:43:55
82.   Bob Timmermann
And now for the second time in 3 innings, Joe Randa comes up with the bases loaded against Timothy Stauffer of the Padres....
2005-05-11 10:44:47
83.   Bob Timmermann
And Randa pops out... I think Joe Randa should have stood in bed.
2005-05-11 10:48:27
84.   Bob Timmermann
In the first 3 innings in Cincinnati, the two teams have had a combined 15 baserunners.

And it's 2-1 Reds. Already 12 guys LOB.

Stauffer has thrown 70 pitches in 3 innings. And "good friend" Paul Wilson has thrown 60.

2005-05-11 10:58:42
85.   Bob Timmermann
4-2 Padres now after a 3-run Klesko homer.

I think there will be more scoring.

2005-05-11 11:00:40
86.   Robert Fiore
When Choi slumped at the end of last season and then continued his slump at the beginning of this season, I imagined Paul DePodesta sitting cross-legged, rubbing a lamp, saying, "I swear, a genie is totally going to come out of this thing . . ."

So far he seems to be right about Beltre not being worth superstar money. Just think how badly he'd be doing if he hadn't learned to hit to all fields last year.

Regarding Paul LoDuca's usually stellar start, I was wondering whether anyone had ever done any serious analysis of whether it would be worthwhile to have a player who's an all-star up to the All-Star break but a stiff in the stretch. Would the value built up in the beginning of the season cancel out the liability at the end?

2005-05-11 11:05:47
87.   Colorado Blue
Thank goodness we play in the N.L. West. I think we could shoot ourselves in the foot several times this year and still manage to win the division.

If only we could trade divisions with St. Louis... we could then shoot ourselves in the foot, kneecaps, and shoulders and our lead would grow.

2005-05-11 11:11:57
88.   the OZ
83 -

He definitely should have stood in bed, provided he didn't bump his head on the ceiling.

I can see the headline: "Reds 3B Joe Randa lands on 15-day DL for concussion resulting from hitting his head on the ceiling while standing in bed rather than face Padres rookie Tim Stauffer in his MLB debut."

2005-05-11 11:22:34
89.   JSN
I'll take the over on Penny with a little help from Rolen not being in the lineup. I'm feeling good about tonight's game.
2005-05-11 11:22:36
90.   Bob Timmermann
The Padres are starting to treat Paul Wilson like the Dodgers did. 11 hits in the 5th inning, but only 4 runs.

For the time being....

2005-05-11 11:22:53
91.   Bob Timmermann
It was 12 hits and then Ricky Stone came in.
2005-05-11 11:23:32
92.   Ben P
Polanco is not a great player, just a decent, useful one who probably hasn't gotten as much playing time as he deserves.

I would be hesitant to get rid of LaRoche, especially since I'm not completely sure Guzman will end up a 3B. He could well move to LF or even 1B eventually.

2005-05-11 11:24:15
93.   Colorado Blue
I still like Robles:
His career line is:
.308 .401 .399

That OBP is gotta be worth a shot at a chance in the majors at least.

His spring stats:
.438 ??? .563

Couldn't find his walk/HBP total for the spring, but his OBP had to be better than .438 (in 32 AB).

2005-05-11 11:30:37
94.   franklin
Colorado Blue-
I'm all for giving Robles a shot but you know what spring stats are worth. For example, Erickson with IP 30, K 15 and ERA 2.10?
2005-05-11 11:31:17
95.   Bob Timmermann
The Padres get one more run, but leave the bases loaded. They are ahead 5-2.

They have 11 LOB through 6 innings.

2005-05-11 11:34:53
96.   LAT
I know this is the wrong thread and we are done with this discussion (Jon is going to kill me for raising it again) but it just occured to me: During yesterday's discussion of unruley fans, why didn't any of us think to ask Improbable88 where he sits so we could visit and test his theory.
2005-05-11 11:50:41
97.   Fearing Blue
#96: I'm assuming by test his theory, you mean throw peanuts at him? :)
2005-05-11 11:55:26
98.   Xeifrank
Couple of comments:

1. Robles has been playing in a ballpark that makes Coors Field look like a pitchers park.

2. Polanco is one of the top two second basemen ranked by 'Range Factor'. From Bill James, players can usually move from right to left on the defensive spectrum. I assume Polanco's arm is good enough to play third base. Polanco though a decent replacement player is probably on the decline and is off to an awful start. Probably not worth trading anything of value at this point.

3. Also from Bill James, "The largest variable determining how many runs a team will score is how many times they get their leadoff man on base." Which makes you wonder why Barry Bonds usually hit third. The player who leads off the least amount of time is the person who bats third. Who usually bats third for the Dodgers?

4. Over/Under on Penny tonight is 7 IPs.



2005-05-11 11:55:42
99.   Jon Weisman
Rob (81) - what was your gambling metaphor? I either never saw it or I'm blanking.
2005-05-11 11:55:52
100.   Colorado Blue
RE: #94 True enough... but his spring stats were in line with his career totals... I say just give him a short, but steady leash... won't happen though. Tracy will continue to juggle the lineup, and he won't get any consistent playing time. I'm not implying that Tracy is wrong, it's just a fact.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2005-05-11 11:59:18
101.   Bob Timmermann
Padres starting to open up some space. It's 7-2 in the 7th. Looks like Mr. Stauffer will win his first game.
2005-05-11 12:00:54
102.   Jon Weisman
Bob - won't that be a first win for a Padres No. 5 starter since July?
2005-05-11 12:01:14
103.   Colorado Blue
RE #98: 1. Robles has been playing in a ballpark that makes Coors Field look like a pitchers park.

If you're referring to Mexico City, he has spent 2 of his 10 seasons there... don't know where he was in '99 (was he out of BB?)

2005-05-11 12:02:46
104.   Xeifrank
Gambling metaphors. Trying to keep on the topic of baseball and gambling metaphors, here are a few. Feel free to add.

1. Leadoff batter reaches base = Being dealt a face card with first card.

2. Paul Wilson is the opposing pitcher = Dealer's face card is a 6.

3. Hiring Paul DePodesta as your GM = Being able to count cards.

4. Roger Clemens is the opposing pitcher = Dealer's face card is a 10.

5. Leaving Erickson in to pitch the 5th inning = Wagering too much.



2005-05-11 12:02:48
105.   the OZ
98 -

Frank, James' analysis doesn't define 'leadoff batter' as #1 lineup hitter, but rather as the first batter leading off any given inning.

While the discussion of where to place Bonds (or any player) in a lineup to maximize team value can be an interesting one, it is not related to 'leadoff hitter reaching base." The real point is that a depth of OBP down that lineup will result in the most "first hitters" of an inning reaching base over the course of a season, and hence scoring some increased amount of runs over an alternative.

My guess is that the number of times a given lineup slot is the first to hit in a given inning is somewhat dependent on how the other spots are filled.

2005-05-11 12:06:08
106.   Bob Timmermann
How do you determine who the Padres #5 starter is? Tim Redding started Sunday and got injured. I think Stauffer is taking Woody Williams spot?

There's Peavy, Eaton, Lawrence, and then whomever else is willing to stand on the mound.

2005-05-11 12:08:15
107.   Xeifrank
Oz 105.

I know that. :) and it's what I stated in my post.



2005-05-11 12:18:24
108.   Jon Weisman
With all the day games going on, I've opened the May 11 game chat thread above.
2005-05-11 12:48:33
109.   JJoeScott
Loving the interesting leads the past couple of days, Jon. What's next, a column about Mrs. Big?

Re: Polanco - I think he played most of '03 at 3B while David Bell was injured/inept. He seemed to handle himself well there in the games I saw on TV.

- JJS (age 36)

2005-05-11 12:50:58
110.   Adam M
re: 66

Enders, those 105 people are going to hell because they're Giants fans, just like most of the people on DodgerBlues.

Oh, wait, I misspoke. Since they're Giants fans, they're already in hell!

2005-05-11 13:30:48
111.   DougS
Xerifrank, is there an over/under on how much longer Erickson will be with the Dodgers? Maybe we should start a pool. :-) Clearly, the Scott Erickson experiment has produced results, and the hypothesis has been found wanting.
2005-05-11 13:49:23
112.   Adam M
The Erickson = Late 90s Terry Mulholland/Terry Adams analogy is also wanting. The Terry Erickson resembles most may be Terry Gilliam. Sadly, it's the Gilliam of "Lost in La Mancha."
2005-05-11 17:37:20
113.   scareduck
Jon/99: well, then, never mind.

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