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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
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5) discussing politics
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'He Can Never Have a Game Like That. Ever. Ever Again'
2005-05-23 11:28
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Las Vegas manager Jerry Royster had pointed remarks praising Pat Mahomes and reproaching Edwin Jackson of AAA Las Vegas, according to Nick Christensen in the Las Vegas Sun today:

(Royster) criticized his pitching staff for being too pensive.

"I'm calling them out," he said. "You see a situation like Pat Mahomes came into the other day. He was in trouble, he was not getting pitches, everything was going wrong for him. You look up and he's given up three runs. That's how you compete. You minimize the damage."

He also took issue with Edwin Jackson's start Saturday. Before an overflow crowd of 11,585, Jackson gave up seven runs - four earned - on five hits in two innings before being ejected for hitting Albuquerque's Todd Sears.

"He can never have a game like that. Ever. Ever again," Royster said. "Here's a guy that's rising, (the Dodgers) need a start here in a couple days. You've got to know this stuff and go out there and ... find a way to get out of the minor leagues, guys. How can you pitch in the other game if you can't get these guys out?"

I agree with those who have suggested that Jackson would do better in Los Angeles than he has done in Las Vegas, but these latest remarks are either motivational material to fire up Jackson and/or the suggestion of some deeper malaise at play.

Comments (145)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2005-05-23 12:01:04
1.   mcrawford
Probably Jackson is too busy solving gruesome murders to properly prepare for the games. Oh wait, that's Gil Grissom.
2005-05-23 12:06:20
2.   Bob Timmermann
Perhaps Edwin Jackson would have been better served to have the DBacks batter him around in his first major league start.
2005-05-23 12:09:11
3.   Howard Fox
next year Jackson will sign with the Yankees for $10mm per year
2005-05-23 12:10:43
4.   mcrawford
I don't understand the sentiment of "bring him up and see how he does" for Jackson or whomever else. We are already seeing how he's doing, in Las Vegas. Crappy.
2005-05-23 12:13:02
5.   Howard Fox
he's already had a chance...let's try someone else
2005-05-23 12:15:56
6.   mcrawford
Who else is an option to bring up, if the Dodgers wanted to bring someone up but didn't like Jackson? Pat Mahomes, I guess. Heath Totten? I've never heard of him.
2005-05-23 12:20:51
7.   Xeifrank
Chad Billingsley. Unless of course the Dodgers are still holding his hand. :) I would also say Tiffanee(sp?) but I'm sure the hand holders would say it's too big of a jump for this domiating pitcher.

vr

Xei

2005-05-23 12:34:50
8.   dzzrtRatt
"Too pensive"? The quotes and incidents described in the story don't quite back this up, so I'd love to know more about how this "pensive" quality has manifested itself. Is Jackson sitting on the mound with his chin against his fist?

Yogi Berra: "Baseball is ninety percent mental. The other half is physical."

I've no doubt that Edwin Jackson needs to grow up. If we had a proper five-man rotation, I'd say give him all the time he needs. But we don't. Jackson's got the tools, it would appear, but the Vegas experience seems to be regressing him. Let him try again in the majors--a start or two. How much damage could that do?

2005-05-23 12:38:49
9.   Brian Y
That's not a jump to have Chuck Tiffany rise to the big leagues this year, it's a LEAP! Tiffany is not ready at all but I would say Billingsley is ready. He doesn't really have HORRIBLE games. Worst line I saw this year from him was somewhere in the vacinity of 5-6 runs and that's not horrible considering he has Delwyn Young in his IF so I don't even know if they were all earned. For those of you that think Jackson is overrated and doesn't deserve a spot on our roster then maybe you are right but I would rather see him on the team than Scott Erickson. Dessens will likely end up the 5th starter but why not give Jackson a few starts to see how he fares. Or Billingsley for that matter, it's just a few starts and what in the world makes you all believe Sanchez or Houlton are the answer rather than Erickson for these few starts?
2005-05-23 12:40:41
10.   Brian Y
Just a reminder than Jeff Weaver AND Brad Penny are FA's at the end of the year. We have to see how our kids will do at some point so why not do it in May?
2005-05-23 12:48:10
11.   Howard Fox
why isn't Tiffany ready to try yet? if he has good stuff and a live fast ball, why not?
2005-05-23 12:53:24
12.   FirstMohican
The Dodgers should sign that 11 year old girl who struck out 18 batters in 6 innings...
2005-05-23 12:53:59
13.   Brian Y
Because he only has 2 pitches that he can throw for strikes currently. He is working on a 3rd but most SP's have 3-4 pitches they can throw for strikes. That is what makes Gagne so devastating is that he has 3-4 pitches he can throw for strikes as a closer! Percival has a fastball, change-up...Mariano Rivera has a cutter, fastball...and so on. Yeah Tiffany may be good as a lefty specialist at this point in his development but not going thru a line-up 3 times.
2005-05-23 12:56:06
14.   Marty
We have to see how our kids will do at some point so why not do it in May?

Because it's MAY. We are three games behind a team that lost over 100 games last year and everyone sounds panicked. San Diego and Arizona will be beating each other up while we can hopefully take at least 2 up in Frisco. I think we should be able to stay close until the trade deadline.

If we are 10 or so games out by that time, then start looking at the kids.

2005-05-23 12:56:45
15.   the OZ
Tiffany had a cancerous mole removed from his back - he hasn't pitched in a couple weeks. Even if it were wise to give him an MLB start, he won't be ready to pitch in the spot vacated by Perez or Erickson. At best, we'd have to consider Tiffany a replacement-level player: something that DePodesta is seemingly able to find readily elsewhere.

This is a perfect case for a day-night doubleheader-style bullpen game.

2005-05-23 12:59:09
16.   scareduck
Interesting considering Johnathan Mayo at minorleaguebaseball.com ranked Jackson among the top impact prospects in the game, provided he improves his command:

http://tinyurl.com/c49he

2005-05-23 13:10:10
17.   the OZ
"[P]rovided he improves his command" is pretty much a kiss of death. That makes me sad. Guys almost never improve command.

TNSTAAPP strikes again barring an unlikely turnaround from young Edwin, a guy we'd all like to see succeed.

2005-05-23 13:12:56
18.   Fearing Blue
Here are Jackson's numbers for 2004 and 2005:

2004(ST): 9.28 ERA; 21.1 IP; 1 HR; 8 BB; 16 K
2004(AAA): 5.86 ERA; 90.2 IP; 4 HR; 55 BB; 70 K
2004(MLB): 7.30 ERA; 24.2 IP; 7 HR; 11 BB; 16 K
2005(ST): 8.79 ERA; 14.1 IP; 5 HR; 9 BB; 4 K
2005(AAA): 6.99 ERA; 37.1 IP; 8 HR; 20 BB; 26 K

Edwin Jackson has pitched horribly for approximately a season and a half. He still has potential, but that's why he's still in AAA and not back in AA, where he's more likely to end up if he keeps pitching like this.

Billingsley on the other hand is currently pitching well in AA:

2004(A): 2.35 ERA; 92 IP; 6 HR; 49 BB; 111 K
2004(AA): 2.98 ERA; 42.1 IP; 1 HR; 22 BB; 47 K
2005(AA): 3.74 ERA; 45.2 IP; 2 HR; 17 BB; 48 K

Baseball Prospectus projected his 2005 line in the majors at 4.05 ERA with 7.7 K/9, 1.51 K/BB, and .98 HR/9 ratios prior to this season. That projection is probably still close, though perhaps a little low on the ERA, considering his .8 jump this year.

On the other hand, as an example of the difference between AA and MLB, here are Houlton's numbers from last year and this year:

2004(AA): 2.94 ERA; 159.0 IP; 14 HR; 47 BB; 159 K
2005(MLB): 9.00 ERA; 14 IP; 1 HR; 9 BB; 13 K

Last year, he pitched as well as Billingsley, but over the course of a full season.

Additionally, here are the stats for another 5th starter candidate, Duaner Sanchez:

2004(MLB): 3.38 ERA; 80 IP; 9 HR; 27 BB; 44 K
2005(MLB): 2.35 ERA; 23 IP; 1 HR; 11 BB; 15 K

So, while I think that Billingsley could perform adequately, I don't see the reason to adjust the 40-man roster, when there are two guys on the 25-man roster who are likely to perform just as adequately.

And then, if you were smarter than I, you could try to take into account the value of a guaranteed league-average year now vs. a potentially excellent year lost to free agency for Billingsley.

2005-05-23 13:14:29
19.   dzzrtRatt
The "panic" has nothing to do with the standings, and everything to do with a) Erickson's fraudulent bid to become LA's fifth starter, which has now been exposed and terminated; and b) the health problems of Odalis Perez, Jeff Weaver, Elmer Dessens and the insecurity around Wilson Alvarez's health. Given the fact that our #4 and #5 slots are currently vacant, it is appropriate to consider Jackson as part of the mix. He's pitched in the majors, and had a taste of success. Putting him in the rotation for a start or two moves him further along his learning curve. Giving that start to Mahomes or another sunsetting veteran seems like a waste, with no guarantee of a better outcome.
2005-05-23 13:15:12
20.   molokai
Come on, can we be real. It is one thing to talk about jumping a pitcher from AA to the majors but when we are talking about an A ball pitcher then were just being silly. Especially one who has not pitched in 3 weeks.
If Tiffany were in AAA, he would be getting clocked and you would be just as down on him as you are on E Jackson. The only problem with E Jackson is that after he beat Randy Johnson we all had visions of Doc Gooden in 2004. Didn't happen and he's not still not ready but given his age we expected to much to soon from him but to write him off now is crazy.
Mahomes has earned the start but to give it to him means releasing Erickson and the Dodgers sound like they want to give Erickson a shot in the bullpen.
2005-05-23 13:15:13
21.   Fearing Blue
#13: That's why I believe we should try Gagne as a starter, which I've been told is FJT approved. Unfortunately, there's a higher chance that I'll spontaneously combust while typing this post.
2005-05-23 13:19:06
22.   FirstMohican
21 - When Gagne started, he'd pitch about 2 to 3 good innings (surprise, surprise) then fall off.

Then again, this is 3 years later, and I'd love to see him start a game, for fun at least.

2005-05-23 13:20:56
23.   Fearing Blue
#14: Exactly. If we're out of the race in another month, I'm all for trading Penny and Weaver and throwing out a rotation that includes Jackson / Billingsley / Broxton and any other young pitcher they can pull from the minors. Until then, let's focus on giving our team the best chance to win.
2005-05-23 13:24:13
24.   Xeifrank
I don't see anybody on this 40 man roster who I would be confident in at either the #4 or #5 starting rotation spot (given Perez on the DL). We have a bunch of Scott Erickson type pitchers who could fill in (Alvarez, Houlton, Carrara, Sanchez, Jackson).

I was unaware of Tiffanees(sp?) injury, so he is out of the picture for now. But what about Billingsley? There may be some roster drawbacks for calling him up, but aren't we trying to win NOW?

vr

Xeifrank

Note: Danger! Rant above

2005-05-23 13:26:48
25.   molokai
If BP projections were werth a damn regarding uber young pitching prospects I'd care but the Pecota projections for minor league prospects below AA ball are useless as the sample size is to small and they have said so themselves.
I do agree with #19, now is not the time to give either Billingsly or Broxton a game. I would have no problem with D Thompson getting a start as he's already 24 and starting his clock would be no big deal. Problem with using D Sanchez is that he would really have to stretch it to be able to go 5 innings since he has not pitched more then 2 innings yet this year. Plus his command is not exactly stellar and he'd put up a huge pitch count in short order. He'd probably end up killing our bullpen which would not be of much help. The minor league starters like Mahomes/Thompson are already stretched out and ready to go.
Still if I was a betting man, I'd bet that DJ Houlton gets the start and that we'd see DJ/Erickson/Sanchez/Wunsch/Yhancy/Gagne before the game was done.
2005-05-23 13:29:18
26.   Steve
Jackson -- meh.

Why not Derek Thompson? And if Billingsley is ready, and you need to DFA a guy, isn't that what Grabowski is for? His greatest act for the Dodgers could be his last.

2005-05-23 13:29:55
27.   Fearing Blue
For all of you who are in Fantasy Leagues, Danny Graves was just DFA'ed by the Reds. Check out the story on MLB.com. Time to pick up Ryan Wagner.
2005-05-23 13:34:46
28.   dzzrtRatt
What happened to Graves?? I see his '05 numbers stink, but I remember that guy being suffocating as recently as last season.
2005-05-23 13:42:07
29.   molokai
Trade possibility. Kevin Millwood is pitching nicely and is on a one year contract and the Indians are done. A deal for him might make some sense.

Cody Ross could also be released from the 40 man roster. He's also useless and I'm shocked we protected him and left Marcos Carvajal unprotected. He's doing his 3rd turn in AAA and can still only put up pathetic numbers. What is his value?

2005-05-23 13:43:27
30.   Fearing Blue
He may have gotten by last couple years on a little bit of luck. His OPS against for 2003 was .869 and .801 for 2004. Of course, this year it's a whopping 1.031.
2005-05-23 13:43:37
31.   molokai
Graves was never suffocating. He got the saves but he really was a case of smoke and mirrors and the smoke cleared and mirror cracked. Plus he flipped off the Red fans when he left the mound after his last shellacking.
2005-05-23 13:44:46
32.   Howard Fox
why not just have Erickson go 3 innings if you are planning on everyone pitching an inning or 2...he is uaually good the first time thru the lineup
2005-05-23 13:52:39
33.   Marty
Because I'd be afraid Erickson would go through the lineup in one inning.
2005-05-23 13:53:16
34.   GoBears
re 29: Ooh, I like the Millwood idea. He's not as good as everyone thought he would be after that breakout year in Atlanta (Mazzone is amazing). But he'd be a great fit here, and Cleveland is in DESPERATE need of bullpen help. Their lineup isn't all that good, but they're all young. I bet they'd take Duaner and an OF prospect for Millwood.
2005-05-23 13:53:44
35.   Langhorne
If the Dodgers try to start Gagne I'll kill everybody! He's coming off two injuries. He can't go more than three innings without easing up on his fastball which means a lot of hits. I saw him start many games in the past. I prayed they would get rid of him. I'm still awed by his transformation but he will never be a starter.
2005-05-23 13:55:40
36.   Marty
I should have clarified my statement in #14. I'm for bringing up Mahomes and/or Jackson now, but not the AA and A kids. Let's dump Erickson and Grabowski to make room for them. Only if we are in the dumper in late July would I want to see anyone from AA in the majors.
2005-05-23 14:00:28
37.   Xeifrank
I don't think AA to the majors is such a big jump. Billingsley is 20 years old, if there aren't any other good options out there then give the guy a shot. Why wait until you are 15 games out in August? I'd rather never be 15 games out at all. But what do I know. Don't answer that. :)

vr

Xei

2005-05-23 14:05:49
38.   Steve
Graves is an interesting case study in whether there are any GMs still willing to shell out for supposed "closers"(TM). At his best, Graves was a poor man's Jeff Shaw.
2005-05-23 14:06:31
39.   tjshere
I'm with Marty in #s 36 & 14. We aren't looking all that swift right now but we knew going in we didn't have a great team. What we DO have, or should anyway, is a better than average team in an average division. This race is still very winnable, we're only a quarter of the way in for crying out loud. Now may be the time for some changes, maybe even some big ones, but I don't think it's time to turn the rotation over to AA arms.
2005-05-23 14:06:52
40.   Xeifrank
Pitching matchups for the upcoming road series at San Francisco. Dodgers are currently two up on the hated ones.

Tue, J. Weaver vs. J. Schmidt
Wed, W. Álvarez vs. B. Tomko
Thu, B. Penny vs. K. Rueter

Skinny:
Tue: Edge Giants
Wed: Even
Thu: Edge Dodgers

Over/Unders:
Weaver: 5 2/3 IPs
Alvarez: 6 IPs
Penny: 7 IPs

vr

Xeifrank

2005-05-23 14:09:43
41.   tjshere
And I would be all for a deal to bring us Millwood. Actually, I was hoping we'd make a play for him last winter.

Brilliant idea, molokai. FAX that over to DePo, will ya?

2005-05-23 14:10:36
42.   Xeifrank
The rotation was already turned over to a AA arm or worse (See: Scott Erickson). Calling up ONE guy from AA to make a couple of spot starts is not exactly turning the rotation over to our AA arms. If the spot starts are successful then [Insert AA pitchers name here] can stay in the rotation, and if not they just become spot starts and a cup of coffee.

If it ain't broke don't fix it. But if it's broke, disabled or relegated to the bullpen??

vr

Xei

2005-05-23 14:17:22
43.   Icaros
I wouldn't be surprised to see the Giants pick up Graves. He'd probably do all right in SBC.
2005-05-23 14:23:36
44.   Bob Timmermann
Whoever picks up Graves is going to wait 10 days, so they can just get him for the waiver price and pay him less and not assume his monstrous contract.
2005-05-23 14:29:08
45.   Steve
That's right. I forgot about his obscene contract.

Well, the Cubs need a "closer"(TM). They may need a starter in a couple of weeks if Dusty keeps shredding arms, and Graves has done that too.

He's the next Wilson Alvarez! Like I can't do what Boras does.

2005-05-23 14:29:32
46.   Icaros
The Giants have lots of luck with players who are paid by other teams. At least this time it won't be a former Dodgers player.
2005-05-23 14:38:27
47.   Fletch
How old is Mahomes????
2005-05-23 14:42:14
48.   dzzrtRatt
Why is Millwood on a different team every year?

Seems like we have enough #3 pitchers. I think we have at least four of them. But I'm open-minded.

2005-05-23 14:45:35
49.   Bob Timmermann
Pat Mahomes, born 8/9/1970 in Bryan, Texas.
2005-05-23 14:46:49
50.   DougS
Anyone who seriously proposes returning Gagne to the starting rotation has either not been following the Dodgers very long or has the memory of a goldfish. We tried that, remember? He never made it past the 4th without huffing and puffing. That's why he's a reliever now. It took him and Dodgers a while, but he's found a role that suits his talents and temperament perfectly.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2005-05-23 14:47:03
51.   Bob Timmermann
Millwood was on Philadelphia the past two seasons.

He's in his 8th season. 5 with Atlanta. 2 with Philadelphia. And now with Cleveland.

He's not exactly Bobo Newsom or Mike Morgan.

2005-05-23 14:47:13
52.   GoBears
re 48:
Well, I think Millwood is potentially better than a #3, but even if he isn't, we clearly DON'T have enough #3s. Not with Perez hurt and Weaver complaining of shoulder soreness, or whatever. Cost might be prohibitive, but just on the merits, I'd much rather run Millwood out there than any of the kids.
2005-05-23 14:56:32
53.   Steve
Gagne is a better pitcher than he was four years ago. For one thing, he dumped that miserable Dreifort slider. For another, he simply has better stuff as he has matured and learned to pitch. Hundreds of other pitchers go through the same learning process. Gagne would be an excellent starter were he to start doing so next week. Anybody who doesn't think so must have the memory of a goldfish, given guys who have come out of the Dodger system, like Dave Stewart.
2005-05-23 14:59:43
54.   dzzrtRatt
Re 52 True right now, but no one is saying Perez and Weaver will be disabled extensively-yet.

If we're going to give up some young talent, why don't we pursue Roy Oswalt? Makes a little less than Millwood, seemingly bigger upside potential.

2005-05-23 15:01:56
55.   the OZ
I like OZwalt a ton, actually. Landing him could be a great move. My concern is his size and durability - he tends to get nagging injuries, especially to his legs.

And I agree with the sentiment that as long as we're going to give up a prospect or two for a pitcher, let's at least get a very good one.

2005-05-23 15:04:34
56.   Steve
Or of course, there's the more recent pitcher that Lasorda tried to pigeonhole into a reliver's role -- one Pedro Martinez. His inability to get past the starter(TM) dichotomy got us Delino DeShields and a decade of futility.
2005-05-23 15:05:10
57.   Fearing Blue
#50: I've been following the Dodgers a long time, I have a very good memory. He also had an anxiety related eating disorder that had him at least 25 pounds, if not more, under his current weight. The 2002 season was the first season he was truly healthy. I know Spring Training statistics (see Erickson, Scott) don't mean that much, but Gagne was pitching extremely well as a starter during 2002 Spring Training before he was converted to a closer (17 IP 0 ER 2BB 17 K).

I do believe that Gagne enjoys being a closer, and it is a good fit. On the other hand, it's much more likely that a combination of 1) better health, and 2) significant improvement (which is pretty common among 26 year old players) led to his breakout.

And for all hooey about him making it one time through the lineup, here are his career splits as a starter, courtesy of SI.com:

Innings 1-3: 5.41 ERA; 143 IP; 27 HR; 63 BB; 122 K;
Innings 4-6: 3.76 ERA; 110 IP; 15 HR; 44 BB; 90 K
Innings 7-9: 4.91 ERA; 11 IP; 1 HR; 6 BB; 14 K

That whole story was revisionist history by the media to make the move seem better at the time.

2005-05-23 15:13:37
58.   Steve
57 -- Exactly. It's the same thing with Erickson. If he gets "through" the order the first time, it's not because there's some magic line between turn 1 and turn 2...it's because he's a lucky SOB.

Gagne was a young pitcher who got beat up. He's no more the same pitcher now as he was four years ago as Danny Graves is the same pitcher now as he was four years ago (ok, that might be a bad example, but you know what I mean). Anyway, 1) it will never happen and 2) while if the Dodgers wanted to do it I would approve it doesn't have to happen. Gagne is one of the few closers (if Tracy would use him right) who provides value-added to the club as he is. I'm only saying that the starter(TM)/reliever(TM) dichotomy is a false one and that good pitchers can be successful in any role. If anything, what I'm saying is that GAGNE CAN BE BROUGHT IN IN A TIE GAME IN THE EIGHTH INNING AND IT WON'T KILL HIM!

But it always comes back to that.

2005-05-23 15:14:14
59.   Sushirabbit
I agree about the #3s. Penny is the only number one, then lowe, then perez in my OTB (outside the boxscore) thinking. I really like Alvarez, too. But at somepoint you have to look at all those innings of non-break-out and think, maybe we need another pitcher that gives quality starts.

Also, I'm betting Werth helps out right away.

2005-05-23 15:20:15
60.   GoBears
If I were Scott Boras, I wouldn't let them convert Gagne, at least not until he blows a few saves and is no longer ERIC GAGNE. Even if he would become a capable starter, I'd have to think that he'll make more money and last longer as a closer. I'm not saying that it wouldn't be a good move for the team, but that it will never happen, EVEN IF DePodesta wants it to.
2005-05-23 15:21:33
61.   dzzrtRatt
I disagree about Gagne. Experience has shown that if he isn't closing a game, his focus tends to wander. If you isolated all of his appearances in non-save situations the past three seasons, you'd have a pitcher with a mediocre record. His most famous flub, in the '03 All Star game, is the perfect case in point. Nothing whatsoever was on the line, it was just an exhibition, so he blew the save. Sometimes Tracy's brought him into the 10th or 11th inning of tie games, and he is only so-so in that role.

Gagne is like a guy with ADD. (NOT A PROFESSIONAL DIAGNOSIS--JUST A METAPHOR.) His best work comes when he is roused to react to a crisis. As a starter, the stakes weren't high enough to keep him interested.

2005-05-23 15:23:58
62.   Langhorne
Gagne is a successful one inning pitcher because he puts everything he's got into every pitch. He can't do that as a starter. He would have to bring his fastball down several mph to last more than a few innings. I agree that his change and curve are much better than they were but if a team is seeing them for seven innings they will be less effective. And you'd be giving up the best closer in the game the last three seasons. If you're going to do that you might as well trade him for a top grade proven starter.
2005-05-23 15:25:32
63.   Steve
60 -- I would have liked to have been a fly on the wall in Boras' office when Robles drove in that run with the single in the eighth. "$^#(^ #(^(#^$ #^($^ Robles. .175 (#^#&$, and that ^#( ^(@# of &#^#*&$ cost my guy a save!" Blood on the walls from where the cat hit. That sort of thing.
2005-05-23 15:29:58
64.   Steve
Of course Gagne is going to be "less effective" as a starter. No one is going to have a sub 2 ERA as a starter (any more). But you make a good point Langhorne. Since you can get a top-flight starter for him, maybe you just trade him for a bona fide one.

Unfortunately, none of us are going to get a chance to prove the other wrong, because Eric Gagne's GS for the rest of his career will = 0.

2005-05-23 15:33:10
65.   db1022
#64 - C.Zambrano for Gagne?
2005-05-23 15:33:26
66.   Marty
OT, but another great post over at "Yard Work". Joe Morgan on OBP:

Now of course I believe it's important to get on base. If no one got on base then there would be no need for sacrifice flies or bunting or stolen bases. But the problem with the Moneyball/steroid people is that they want to sacrifice those things in favor of bases on balls because the Moneyball people know that steroids improve vision and patience and so they like bases on balls. I think the base on balls is bad for baseball because it sets a bad example for kids wanting to play baseball, in that it encourages drug use.

2005-05-23 15:34:14
67.   GoBears
We have NO idea if Gagne's attention wanders in non-save situations. None. That's one possible explanation if in fact he's not as good in those situations. But there are lots of others. We also don't know that he'd have to pull back on his fastball to be a starter, or that if he did, he'd be less effective. More to the point, his coaches (who may be bad strategists, but certainly know more about personalities and mechanics than we do) don't know either. They can guess. We can guess a little less well. Gagne might be a much better than average starter. Or he might run out of gas after 3 or 4 innings. We can't really compare 2005 Gagne to the 2001 version - too many things have changed in his health, his approach, his knowledge, and probably even his personality. I'm with Steve on this one - it'd be worth a try if there aren't better options at hand. I've always believed that this LaRussa-esque ultra-specialization of pitching is penny-wise and pound-foolish. As is worrying so much about a guy's reaction to being moved around in the lineup. SABR-type stats have done so much to improve our understanding of player analysis, but they haven't yet been able to destroy the myth that we as fans can read players' minds.
2005-05-23 15:36:48
68.   FirstMohican
57 - Those stats don't necessarily suggest that Gagne would perform better the 2nd or 3rd time through a lineup relative to his first. Keep in mind that if he gives up 5 runs through 3 he's gonna be taken out, whereas if he's given up 1 through 3 he'll stay in. So you can't directly compare and draw conclusions from your splits.
2005-05-23 15:38:58
69.   Langhorne
Steve,

I agree with your assessment of the number of starts in Gagne's future. It would be worth it, though, if I could watch Boras' reaction. Maybe we should trade him and let Erickson be the closer. Boy, Dodger Stadium would empty out early.

2005-05-23 15:40:38
70.   franklin
Late entry for the Dodger Thoughts slogan submitted from Joe Morgan...

Steroids Improve Patience

2005-05-23 15:44:03
71.   Steve
I just want Gagne to be used more and in better situations. I've seen Gagne three times since he came off the DL, but not in the one situation where he was really, truly needed. That sort of inefficiency with the best pitcher on the entire squad drives me to exasperation. The starter talk is nice academically, and fits in with my view of the world, which is that pitching is pick up ball, throw ball, get outs, but mostly this is the more extreme version of my plea that Tracy use Gagne when he is needed, and not when Scott Boras tells him to do so.
2005-05-23 15:46:03
72.   Xeifrank
Nobody knows if Gagne would be a good/bad starting pitcher unless he actually tried it a handful of times. Anyone trying to guess either way is just thinking "inside the boxscore" or speculating. :)

I don't think they should do it, but like a previous poster mentioned it wouldn't hurt to bring him in when the game is on the line, in perhaps the 8th inning.

vr

Xei

2005-05-23 15:46:35
73.   Fearing Blue
#65: Zambrano would be great, but I'd prefer not to trade for any pitcher who has had Dusty Baker as a manager. What Dusty does to his pitchers is scary.
2005-05-23 15:48:02
74.   gvette
Wow, I come back to this board after doing some work for a few hours this afternoon, and this place turns into DODGERS.COM!

1)If this town goes nuts over Paul freaking LoDuca, there will be a lynch mob if a hair on Gagne's goatee is touched by the McCourts/DePo.

2)Why in the world would the 'Stros deal Oswalt? When they ask for Guzman, Tiffany, Billingsly, LaRoche,Navarro and Broxton, how many would you give for him? Somehow a combo of Robles,Duaner,Ledee, and Jackson won't cut it for trade bait.

2005-05-23 15:49:15
75.   Steve
68 -- but I don't think that's what 57 was trying to say. 57 was only trying to say that the stats do not bear out the opposite side's thesis that Gagne could only make it one time through the lineup. I didn't read those stats as making an affirmative argument at all. I know I understand my own argument correctly, and I think FB and I are on the same wavelength, and we would be more likely to simply point at Gagne's 2002-04 stats and say "Look. The man can pitch. Give him the ball."

69 -- The Boras Death Squads are looking for Oscar Robles right now. I would hide.

2005-05-23 15:50:58
76.   GoBears
re 66: I know that's a parody, but it brings up a question. Usually, when former players say dumb things, it's because they feel that their specialties were underappreciated (Harold Reynolds, I'm looking at you).

But is Morgan in denial about his own HoF career? He walked 1865 times, an average of 114 per 162 games. He led the league in OBP 4 times, and slugging(!) once. Led the league in OPS twice - in '75 & '76, which were, as I recall, decent years for his team.

He hit 96 SFs (6 per season) and I have to think that most or all of them were completely unintentional (those Reds teams were constantly on the basepaths). He sacrificed 51 times (3 per season), just a little more often than he was hit by pitches (40 or 2 per) and half as often as he grounded into double plays (105x, 6/162).

If there's a prototype for the SABR-friendly ballplayer, it's probably Joe Morgan.

2005-05-23 15:51:46
77.   Steve
74 -- It seems like you can play Welcome to the Jungle as easily before the game as you can in the 9th. But your point is well-taken. Though the resulting Plaschke piece would give me something to do.
2005-05-23 15:57:14
78.   Langhorne
There's just no reason to start Gagne. His value as a closer, either with the Dodgers or as trade bait, is far too high. We would be trading a known for an unknown. And with his recent injuries there is at least some risk that the added workload could hurt him physically, leaving us with nothing.
2005-05-23 15:58:31
79.   dzzrtRatt
I don't think I'm 'reading Gagne's mind.' He's said as much. The Guns n' Roses theme, the close game on the line, the adrenalin rush; all of that makes him pitch better, he says. Not every pitcher has that kind of make-up. He's like Goose Gossage, Bruce Sutter, Troy Percival in his prime, Trevor Hoffman. No one spent much time trying to figure out if they should start games, and Gagne is in their class.

Gagne clearly doesn't yearn to be a starter, or to change anything about his role. Go ahead, trade Gagne for a starter if you think you can get better value for him. But don't try to squeeze him into a role where he won't excel.

2005-05-23 16:01:29
80.   Steve
I will concede that you are correct Langhorne that there is no reason to start Gagne. Your argument about trading Gagne for a top-line starter is the winner. But Gagne can be a top-line starter himself, in a hypothetical parallel universe! And that's all you'll get out of me!

Meanwhile, did you know Jose Flores also got the 15-day suspension? I missed that. I wish we had known last September, because then Tracy might not have made him bunt.

2005-05-23 16:01:37
81.   GoBears
Smoltz didn't want to be a closer; didn't think he'd excel. But he did OK. Often we're the worst judges of our own abilities. And I wouldn't want to be a starter either if I could make ace starter money doing 1/3rd as much work each season.
2005-05-23 16:15:35
82.   Xeifrank
Part of the Moneyball scheme that Mr Beane talked about was using his closers for trade bait. He would groom a closer, then trade him and then repeat the process. Moneyball says that there are very few true closers, and I believe that Depodesta said that Gagne is one of those true closers when he was hired as the GM.

That being said, trading Gagne would be a public relations nightmare, right up there with steamed Dodger Dogs. :)

vr

Xei

2005-05-23 16:22:17
83.   dzzrtRatt
#81

By that logic, the happiest ballplayer on the planet should be Darren Dreifort, who is getting paid $13 million to go to physical therapy so that after he's collected all his Dodger money, he'll be able to play golf.

Smoltz is a good example of why no one should mess with Gagne (except maybe to use him more). The Braves thought it would be a piece of cake to replace him as a closer, but it hasn't worked out that way.

I like "Moneyball" and the SABREmetric way of looking at baseball, but the way relief pitching is treated is where it jumps the shark for me.

2005-05-23 16:29:10
84.   alex 7
I think #82 describes the type of closers Beane and moneyball are talking about; guys like Isringhausen, Dotel, Mantei, guys that are easily replaceable yet hyped up and valueable in trades because of their closer label. And as dzz said, DePodesta doesn't place Gagne in that category.

I hope DePo would push for Gagne to be used more in two inning situations and as that firejumper role instead of considering trading him. Brazoban seems like the better trade victim and his tiny salary will seem so appealing to other clubs. Brazoban and Jackson should bring in a legit #2 pitcher. Throw in one of our many 3B prospects, and you can pretty much pick your player.

2005-05-23 16:30:29
85.   Eric L
Part of the Moneyball scheme that Mr Beane talked about was using his closers for trade bait.

You know what is interesting though..

Beane traded his first closer (Billy Taylor) for Isringhausen. Izzy then went to St. Louis as a free agent.

He then traded for Billy Koch. Following the Koch year (2002), he traded him to the White Sox for Foulke. Foulke left after 2003 as a free-agent.

Last year, he traded for Dotel.

If Beane believes in using his closers for trade bait, he has a funny way of showing it. Essentially, he has traded a couple of his guys for castoffs from other teams.

What Beane does believe (more or less) is that closers are overvalued.

2005-05-23 16:36:44
86.   Steve
83 -- Now wait a minute. The Braves tried to replace him with Dan Kolb. They had their chance to get a functional closer (it's not that hard -- Jeff Shaw was a closer) -- they screwed up and bought the whole "Closer"(TM) bit. They got exactly what was coming to them when the Brewers rooked them blind. I don't think DePo would have nearly the trouble that some teams would have replacing Gagne simply because he wouldn't limit himself to the name brands.

Not to mention that Dreifort-sized contract Boras is going to force out of us in T minus a year and a half. Now there's a cautionary tale for the ages.

And, with all of their troubles at closer, the Braves are still a game ahead of us, and their corner outfielders are Jordan and Mondesi.

2005-05-23 16:37:52
87.   molokai
#76-Totally agree, if ever there was a player who epitomized what Baseball Prospectus has been touting as the ultimate player, it is Joe Morgan. Given his comments I just have to believe he has actually never read Moneyball. I hated Joe Morgan as a player because he was a Red/Giant/Astro all teams that were challenging the Dodgers when he played for them but I agree at the end of the day he was the best 2nd baseman to play the game. When he was on the Big Red Machine how many times do you think he bunted when they had Bench/Perez/Foster following him in the lineup?
If only baby Giambi had slid we wouldn't have to listen to these silly rambling's.
2005-05-23 16:41:05
88.   molokai
#86- Did the Brewers really rook the Braves? Jose Capellan is not exactly looking like he is worth anything. Talk about command issues. Atlanta does not throw away the good players and I wouldn't make any trade assessment based on two months when it comes to them.
2005-05-23 16:42:03
89.   dzzrtRatt
Some of what Beane said to Michael Lewis in Moneyball struck me as a guy in a dorm room argument trying to push the envelope. The closer remarks, which have inspired a sub-religion of their own, seem to fall in that category. For all the "cheap" saves that inflate closer stats, I'm sure that when Tony LaRussa is looking at the heart of Atlanta's batting order coming up in the ninth inning of a game where he's got a two-run lead, he feels comfortable with Isringhausen, and usually the guy comes through.

And Gagne's twice as good as Isringhausen.

The Dodgers have something special in Gagne, and it is certainly decisive enough times during the season to make him worth keeping unless we get an offer we can't refuse. The pathetic '03 team was in the Wild Card race til the last week, only because Gagne and his bullpen mates were able to protect all those 2-1 leads in the 7th inning.

2005-05-23 16:44:15
90.   GoBears
When he was on the Big Red Machine how many times do you think he bunted when they had Bench/Perez/Foster following him in the lineup?

Well I don't feel like figuring out who was where in the lineup when, but here are Morgan's sacrifice totals a Red, 1972-1979:

3,3,1,0,0,0,0,3

So 10 times in 8 season. Sheesh! Maybe he just regrets all that real productivity and would have made more productive outs if he could do it all over again...

2005-05-23 16:49:19
91.   GoBears
...only because Gagne and his bullpen mates were able to protect all those 2-1 leads in the 7th inning.

While conceding the point that Gagne is a terrific pitcher, and a near-perfect closer, I think the point here is the "and his bullpen mates" part. Probably 3 or 4 different guys would have been great closers on that (or any) team. Which is why paying any one a huge premium is usually money wasted. It's sorta like defense at first base. The difference between the best in the league and the worst is just not all that big, not enough to be decisive very often. So you shouldn't overpay for it, other things equal.

I think we all love "Game Over" here. The question is whether setting the consecutive saves record maximizes Gagne's usefulness for the team, especially given his cost. Like Steve said, we'll never know.

2005-05-23 16:57:14
92.   Bob Timmermann
You folks want to change relief pitcher usage patterns now?

Why don't we all head to the Vatican with a petition for Benedict XVI asking for women priests instead?

We'll get more progress that way.

The present method of using relievers is popular in my opinion because it gives managers the illusion that they are controlling all the crucial matchups. They look like they're doing something.

2005-05-23 16:58:05
93.   molokai
Agree we will never know but if he isn't going to start I'd still like for him to become the next Goose Gossage. I'm tired of these 9th inning closer only deals. 12 man pitching rosters, the whole thing is out of control.

Back to topic, maybe the quote from Jon will come true and E Jackson will never have a game like that again and restart his path to the greatness we all envisioned for him back in 2003. You never know.

2005-05-23 17:03:27
94.   LetsGoDodgers
I would like to see Houlton get a couple of starts. Let Erickson take his well-worn seat on the bench.

Houlton's 2 horrible appearances: @ Cincy (very much a hitters park) in a mop-up role with a 13 run lead, and @ St. Louis (very tough hitters in the lineup) for the game when Robles' foot came off the bag and Lowe unravelled.

His H/9 and BB/9 suck, but his K/9 gives rise to optimism.

At worst, he's Erickson redux. At best, he keeps Edwin Jackson in AAA so Royster can screw his head on straight.

2005-05-23 17:04:57
95.   Steve
87 -- Morgan has said many times that he has never read Moneyball.

Any trade for Kolb would be de facto bad. It's just a matter of degree.

2005-05-23 17:05:07
96.   dzzrtRatt
I just see the landscape a little differently. I think a lot of Tracy's "dumb" pitching decisions this season were the result of Gagne's absence, which had a corrosive effect on the entire pitching strategy for the Dodgers. In '03 and for most of last season, they didn't really need their starters to go longer than six innings, and generally speaking they didn't. This year, until last week, Tracy has been afraid to go to his pen, and has erred on the side of staying with the starter, with painful results. (One could argue that Tracy should've adjusted to the new reality better, but that's a different thread.)

Gagne's presence also affects the opponents' strategy in ways that benefit the Dodgers--not to mention the psychological whammy Gagne puts on hitters desperate to grab the lead before the hammer falls. Any confidence we can have that a turnaround in Dodger fortunes is coming is dependent on Gagne staying healthy and not losing his past form.

2005-05-23 17:06:15
97.   GoBears
92: I think you're absolutely correct, Bob. This is definitely a pie-in-the-sky argument about optimizing instead of satisficing.

That said, with Kolb demoted, the Braves look like they're going to try a closer-by-committee thing for a while. If it works, it might get some people thinking. OTOH, the reason it won't work is because every member of the committee sucks.

2005-05-23 17:06:53
98.   LetsGoDodgers
Pat Mahomes is not the solution for the rotation holes. His pattern of sub-mediocre appearances is well documented.

There's a reason he hasn't pitched in the majors since 2003.

2005-05-23 17:11:56
99.   GoBears
dzzrtRatt's #96: Gagne's presence also affects the opponents' strategy in ways that benefit the Dodgers--not to mention the psychological whammy Gagne puts on hitters desperate to grab the lead before the hammer falls.

This is an interesting thought. It'd take some clever and time-consuming study, but I'd be curious if Gagne's presence (or Hoffman, or Lidge, or pick your CLOSER) changes strategies for opposing teams. Knowing that they'd better have the lead after 8 or else - do they burn PHs faster, play for big innings more often and for 1 run less often, and so on. If so, it could make Gagne's dominance something of a self-fulfilling prophecy, as he becomes more likely to come in with a 3-run lead than with a 1-run lead, and because the opponent has blown its wad already. How good are the hitters Gagne faces, relative to "ordinary" closers or to starters? Someone call Hardball Times!

2005-05-23 17:13:41
100.   GoBears
100. On an off day. We're cool.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2005-05-23 17:14:04
101.   Steve
But Tracy's most egregious mistake of the last week was not pitching Gagne when he was AVAILABLE TO COME IN!
2005-05-23 17:14:09
102.   dzzrtRatt
By the way, I agree with molokai. Gagne should be the man who saves the game, not the man who gets saves. His new slogan should be "Rally Over." He should be saved for the 9th inning only if the 9th inning is when he can do the most good.
2005-05-23 17:15:16
103.   Fearing Blue
Ok. To wrap this crazy thing up, I feel like the best pitchers should be used in the most valuable situations, as Steve suggested. Starters are typically more valuable than closers, but I bleieve if a closer is used creatively, he could be more valuable than a starter. Since I have yet to spontaneously combust, I think Gagne is going to remain in the bullpen for a while, so hopefully Tracy uses him a little more creatively.

Over time, history will give us enough cases of starters moving to closers and back that we'll be able to make definitive claims. For now, we can just guess, but my guess is that since Gagne is the best closer in the game, he'd likely be one of the best starters.

2005-05-23 17:23:31
104.   dzzrtRatt
GoBears, I would love to see this idea validated statistically. Non-empirically, I think the best illustration of this point was the recent Yankee dynasty. Whether it was the Red Sox, the Braves, the Indians, whoever; the desperation to hold the lead or tie the game before Mariano Rivera could come in and lock it up created a situation where the Yankees could cooly dispatch with their frantic, choking opponents in the 6th-8th innings. As Rivera has gotten older and a little more beatable, the Yankees have come back to earth. Isn't there a Buster Olney book out now, "The Day the Yankee Dynasty Ended" or something? That day is the day Luis Gonzalez got his hit off Rivera to win the 2001 series.
2005-05-23 17:25:49
105.   Jon Weisman
Folks -

I'm sick as a dog today, so forgive me if I'm off my game. But I've to make my usual statement that the idea that Gagne can't pitch in non-save situations is an absolute myth. I've studied the numbers again and again and all that happens in non-save situations is that he goes from insanely great to great. The change is almost meaningless. It's true that most of Gagne's bad outings have come in non-save situations, and are memorable in that regard, but they are so few and far between the many times he has been effective in non-save situations.

2005-05-23 17:40:05
106.   dzzrtRatt
Jon, not to aggravate you when you're sick, but aren't Gagne's appearances, period, in non-save situations "few and far between"? I can't imagine we've got enough samples to prove or disprove the assertion. You're right, I'm relying just on memory, but I think I can be forgiven. During his record-breaking streak, Gagne lost six or seven games, representing virtually his only failures during that span. Given the usage pattern and the streak, those games all had to be games where he entered with a lead or in a tie-definitionally.
2005-05-23 17:57:44
107.   Fearing Blue
Loretta is going to have surgery to repair the torn ligament in his thumb. The last time he had a similar surgery he was out for 68 games. According to the article, he is expected back in the lineup this season.

http://tinyurl.com/b2ap8

2005-05-23 17:59:16
108.   Fearing Blue
Feel better soon, Jon. Hopefully the boys in blue can give you a little pick-me-up tomorrow.
2005-05-23 17:59:19
109.   Steve
Speaking of dumb managers (and I know we weren't), how can Philadelphia put together a lineup that doesn't have Chase Utley in it, but does have Polanco, Bell, and Timo Perez (!)? That's insane.
2005-05-23 18:07:22
110.   Steve
And the bait that brought Jason Phillips from the Mets?

4 IP, 7 ER, 7 H, 3 BB, 0 K

2005-05-23 18:07:40
111.   the OZ
100 -

100 posts on an off day is a tribute to Jon's consistent quality updates and our collective coolnes. Or collective dorkiness, depending on how you look at it.

2005-05-23 18:09:24
112.   Fearing Blue
#109: The same reason Choi isn't in 1/3rd of our lineups. Utley "can't" hit LHP.
2005-05-23 18:14:32
113.   Bob Timmermann
It's Tomas Perez on Philadelphia. Timo is on the Chicago White Sox for the time being.
2005-05-23 18:16:33
114.   scareduck
Jon/105: Sorry to hear you're sick as a dog.

I pose to you the same question I posed to Studes, and that is, what is the minimum number of innings required before Gagne's non-save numbers become significant? And, for a bonus question, how do you justify ignoring his record as a starter when counting non-save situations?

2005-05-23 18:20:53
115.   Steve
Gack -- wrote Timo in an angry rage.

Mike Lowell just struck out with the bases loaded. But he had a double against Terry Adams and his 12.5 ERA, so he's well on the way back to the Mendoza line.

2005-05-23 18:30:17
116.   scareduck
Ratt/106: I recall about 17 IP for Gagne in non-save situations since becoming closer, though I think the number is actually slightly higher than that because I screwed up in the way I counted some of his blown saves. Also, it depends on whether you add in the blown save at the (meaningless) All-Star game.
2005-05-23 18:33:32
117.   Fearing Blue
Hey scareduck,

Not trying to derail Jon, but with regards to the second question, my opinion is that it would be extremely difficult to normalize for Gagne's 2002 pitching improvement in any proposed evaluation. Prior to the 2002 season, Gagne performed at a significantly lower level than 2002 and beyond. Many reasons for this dramatic change in performance have been proposed (role change, pitching improvement, experience, health, mindset, etc.). If you're unable to normalize for those factors, than the data prior to 2002 can't be reasonably compared to the more recent data. Within the period of 2002-2004, Gagne performed at a consistent level, so you can aggregate situational data from that period with a much higher level of confidence.

2005-05-23 18:37:03
118.   Steve
Did you all know that Cincinnati is carrying 13 pitchers? Why in the world would you carry that many crappy pitchers? Is the difference between defeat and victory really the difference between bringing in Ricky Stone or David Weathers or Matt Belisle in to any given situation?
2005-05-23 18:41:12
119.   dzzrtRatt
re 116

So, if you're right, and Gagne's pitched about 17-25 non-save innings, and if I read the numbers correctly that he managed to accumulate 6 losses or so in those innings...is that good? Doesn't seem like it, although you have to figure that some of those losses were basically Gagne allowing a lone walk-off run to score in an extra inning game.

I guess I look at the game more like one of Beane's hated scouts who intuit things they can never prove. Gagne just doesn't seem to be as hard to hit when he's not saving a game. More line drives go flying over his head in those instances. Or so I think.

2005-05-23 18:54:16
120.   natepurcell
some prospect updates

laroche is 2-4 with two homers. he has 17 on the season in under 185 atbats.

billingsley had the worst outing of his professional career. giving up 7ER in 3 innings, including 2 homeruns to super prospect delmon young.

2005-05-23 19:10:11
121.   the OZ
How long until LaRoche gets to JAX? Minorleaguebaseball.com lists no 'official' 3B on the Suns' roster - but 3 SS. So, there's no one blocking him unless they want to get Guzman some innings at 3B.

Would they send Loney back to Vero and have LaRoche start at 1B for the Suns? It's pretty clear that Andy can hit +A pitching - He'll be slugging over .700 after today.

2005-05-23 19:25:23
122.   natepurcell
loney wont get sent down and laroche wont move to 1b. that is a waste for someone with his defensive abilities. Besides, laroche is only like 5'11 or so, so he doesnt have the ideal height for a 1b.

but, im listening to the suns game online and the announcer is talking about laroche. hes saying he will get called up soon and take over for 3b (where brian sprout currently plays). So i think the plan is to keep laroche at 3b and guzman at SS for as long as possible.

2005-05-23 20:00:21
123.   the OZ
Harold Reynolds just said that Danny Graves will bounce back and have an impact in the pennant race.

I agree. He'll totally dash whatever chance his next team has to win a division.

2005-05-23 20:11:56
124.   franklin
114. what is the minimum number of innings required before Gagne's non-save numbers become significant... enough to tell/predict/determine what type of outcome?

I know this was addressed to Jon but I'm curious about the question. Are you asking for a specific number from Jon? or a range of numbers, like some sort of rule of thumb that says a pitcher's ERA over the next 20 innings will be plus/minus 15% of his ERA over the last 20 innings? It is possible to hindcast performance to get an idea of the probability of future outcomes but whether they are 'significant' or not depends upon the level of predictive accuracy you are willing to accept.

2005-05-23 20:13:08
125.   the OZ
I hate to be that guy who posts in bunches, but I haven't seen it mentioned here that Mark Loretta is going to miss a couple months (or longer) with a thumb injury. You never want to see a guy get hurt, but this development makes it unlikely that the Padres run off another hot streak like we just saw.
2005-05-23 20:16:31
126.   dzzrtRatt
OZ -- I know Jon frowns on online betting, but I would wager a cup of coffee that for the major league minimum, your Los Angeles Dodgers might try to get him. He might have gone bad, but he's pitched well against LA--four saves and a 0.00 ERA in 2004; 11 saves and 2.60 ERA for the career. Professor Jim Colborn might see him as Project #114, and turn him into an effective set-up guy, a better Dessens. Plus, he would get the Southland's huge Vietnamese community out to the ballpark.

All of which would allow DePo to trade Yhency for...

2005-05-23 20:17:14
127.   Fearing Blue
#123: Hey Oz, are channeling Steve? That comment was just the right amount of bitter sarcasm that I would normally only expect from FJT :).
2005-05-23 20:17:31
128.   dzzrtRatt
"him" meaning Danny Graves.
2005-05-23 20:24:03
129.   dzzrtRatt
re: Loretta

He's a tough hitter, to be sure, but I don't see this as a killing blow. Nevin's been in a slump through this streak, and he'll eventually bust out. Plus, the Pads already had a surplus of middle infielders with the emergence of Blum while Greene was out. I don't know, but maybe they could also put Xavier Nady into this mix; he's played 3rd this year.

2005-05-23 20:27:05
130.   Langhorne
Graves has 10 saves in 12 chances. Not too bad. His teammates seem mystified and upset that he was let go. It seems to have more to do with flipping off a fan yesterday and calling out the fans for booing the team a while back. For what it's worth, Graves blames his move from the bullpen to starter in 2003 for wearing out his arm, costing him velocity on his fastball and reducing his effectiveness as a reliever.
2005-05-23 20:32:46
131.   Bob Timmermann
The Dodgers slump has moved them up in the pecking order for waiver claims.

The Dodgers love disgruntled Ohio players.

2005-05-23 20:34:04
132.   dzzrtRatt
Erwin Santana's line against the White Sox so far tonight after six inings: No runs, 3 hits, five strikeouts, no walks. Carl Everett came to the plate as the tying run, and worked the count full, but then grounded out.

Proving nothing in particular about Edwin Jackson, Chad Billingsley, Chuck Tiffany...

2005-05-23 20:35:50
133.   Steve
Danny Graves. A Dodger. Must keep spoons from eyeballs.
2005-05-23 20:38:32
134.   Bob Timmermann
And my fellow Kennedy High alum Jon Garland may get his first loss of the season!
2005-05-23 20:41:13
135.   Steve
This is my first look at Garland. Is this the real Jon Garland and he's just incredibly lucky, or is this just an off night?
2005-05-23 20:42:16
136.   Bob Timmermann
This is the real Jon Garland. He's OK. But like many of the White Sox, he is having a good year for no readily apparent reason.
2005-05-23 20:47:26
137.   dzzrtRatt
Steve, you're underestimating Colborn.

But another team will pick him up, so no worries. Giants and A's both in the market to name two. I could also see Mel Stottlemyre giving him a shot; compared to the pen they have now with Dead Battery Gordon.

2005-05-23 20:48:37
138.   Bob Timmermann
Don't all the NL teams get a shot to claim Graves first? That would make the Giants more likely than the Athletics.
2005-05-23 20:50:17
139.   Steve
If Colborn could suddenly get guys who throw 86 to throw 93, Jeff Weaver would not be having his problems. In other words, I don't know about Colborn, but I know you're overestimating Graves.
2005-05-23 20:52:07
140.   molokai
Funny thing about Graves is that he forced the Reds to make him a starter so he only has himself to blame for his current troubles.

Kolb gets the save tonight. Gotta love a game where you can give up a home run, triple, & a base on balls and still get credited with a stat that will add hundreds of thousands of dollars to your salary even though you aren't very good at your job.

2005-05-23 20:54:37
141.   molokai
Considering that LaRoche is playing in the pitcher friendly Florida State League I wonder if he isn't setting all sorts of records this year?
2005-05-23 21:23:05
142.   Jon Weisman
From my sick bed, I put the myths about Gagne to rest in a new post above.
2005-05-23 21:24:28
143.   Adam M
#133 good one steve -- I'll take "Danny Graves-Related Pixies Lyrics" for $400, Alex.

re: #140 where did you read that molokai? I thought Graves was asked to come out of the pen because they needed starters. If it was his idea, whew, worst piece of self-managing since Canseco said put me in coach, or Sehorn decided he could return punts.

2005-05-23 22:12:52
144.   Woody
Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Billingsley bombed in Biscuits' rout

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Starting pitcher Chad Billingsley gave up three home runs in three innings and the Suns suffered their most lopsided loss of the season, a 10-3 defeat vs. the Montgomery Biscuits in front of 2,497 fans Monday at Riverwalk Stadium.

Billingsley (3-3) had given up nine home runs over his first 45 career starts, but earned the loss after negating an early Suns lead. Delmon Young hit two home runs, a two-run shot in the first and a solo golf shot to center field in the third off Billingsley.

2005-05-24 09:31:18
145.   Eric Enders
I'm trying to figure out what's more embarrassing, the fact that Billingsley got his butt kicked, or the fact that the butt-kicking came at the hands of a team called the Biscuits.

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