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About Jon
Thank You For Not ...

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

We Interrupt This Slump To Be Catty
2005-05-26 08:55
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

A wide shot from the center field camera as Cesar Izturis steps into the batter's box for the opening pitch Wednesday at San Francisco's SBC Park.

Pause TiVo.

Number of people visible in their seats behind home plate: 84

Number of empty seats visible: 109

Oh, but of course, the Dodgers are the only team in baseball with a late-arriving crowd ...

* * *

And now, back to the slump.

You know how frustrating it is when one day your team is hitting well but pitching poorly, and the next day it is hitting poorly but pitching well, and they just can't get in sync?

Well, no such frustration here. The Dodgers are nothing if not in sync these days. This month of May is becoming like last October's playoff series with the Cardinals played out in slow motion. Twenty-five percent great, 75 percent awful.

Talk, which has started to rumble in the comments, about being a seller at the trade deadline this year is way premature. In years past on Dodger Thoughts, I've pondered the merits of selling at the deadline, but it's simply not a decision you even need to make when the deadline is two months away and your team is still only four games out after a tremendous slump.

I'm not trying to paint a positive picture on the past month, but the Dodger problems are obvious enough to fix, and there's still time to do it. It's fine to say you shouldn't nuke the farm system or take on someone else's overpaid flop - it's fine to say let's look for real solutions - but waving the white flag? No, not now.

I do have a rule, though, that if my team drops below .500, I cease all scoreboard watching. At that point, the season becomes about getting your own condo in order, rather than worrying about anyone else. Dismayingly, the Dodgers are near that point.

At the same time, there is part of me that hopes by Sunday, following weekend sweeps by the Dodgers over the Diamondbacks and the Giants over the Padres, that this will be a much tighter National League West race.

(On the cover of "Who Are You" by the Who, Keith Moon sits on a chair upon which is written, "Not To Be Taken Away." I suppose the last paragraph could be called, "Not To Be Taken Too Seriously.")

* * *

Ross Porter will fill in for Fred Roggin on AM 1540 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Friday. Mike Scioscia will be his guest in the first hour and Vin Scully - live from Arizona - will come on in hour two. Perfect for those hitting the road early to jump-start the long weekend ...

Comments (155)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2005-05-26 09:35:30
1.   Howard Fox
I think the Giants have a better change with the Padres than we do with the D'backs.

Unless we do a complete about face with our pitching staff.

2005-05-26 09:43:50
2.   mcrawford
I totally agree with your opening paragraph. Up here in A City By A Bay, I have to put up all the time with comments about how the Dodger fans come late to the game. It's idiotic, because you're right, the crowd at SBCPacBellAT&T Park arrives late too. Last night, the two guys sitting next to me arrived in the 5th inning.

I usually think that more people up here stay till the end of the game, because people at Dodger Stadium do leave early to beat the traffic. But last night, lots of people left early because of the blowout.

2005-05-26 09:54:47
3.   Brian Y
I hate waking up to find out that we havent designated both Scott Erickson and Buddy Carlisle for assignment. BTW, Mahomes pitched a great game last night in Vegas and had a season high 7k's. Dessens is about 2 weeks away though on a happier note.
2005-05-26 09:57:09
4.   Brian Y
Also, I have a feeling that even if Andy LaRoche tears up AA (when, not if) he gets promoted there that DePo still won't bring him in as a September Call-Up this year. I think we need to find out our 3B of the future by the end of this year out of the group of Aybar, LaRoche, and Guzman. Sorry this was so off topic, just had to get it out.
2005-05-26 09:59:47
5.   Jon Weisman
Why do the Dodgers need to find out who their third baseman of the future is by September?

I hope for the best with all these guys, but there still is a difference between A, AA and the majors. Let's not rush LaRoche to the majors just yet.

2005-05-26 10:00:08
6.   Bob Timmermann
I think the Dodgers will be able to score runs against Arizona. They will have to face Vazquez, but they will miss Webb who is starting tonight against Peavy.

The DBacks are still a house of cards in my opinion. That lineup has some holes and the bullpen seems pretty shaky with Brian Bruney know moving in as closer. Brandon Lyon will probably miss the rest of the year.

I still think that one thing the internet has done to baseball fans is that we tend to overreact to hot streaks and cold streaks by baseball teams and players. We analyze too fast and write things off. A baseball season is a process.

Are the Dodgers are on a Krispy Kreme like slide or just a Microsoft correction? I don't know. But I'll keep watching. Beats watching anything else on TV in the summer.

2005-05-26 10:16:38
7.   JeffinTokyo
ohayo gozaimasu minasan.
(good morning everyone)

I want to comment on Buddy Carlyle, whom I met him when he pitched for the Hanshin Tigers in Japan in 2001-2002. (I met him through his teammate on that Greg Hansell, the former Dodger (briefly) who went to my high school, La Palma Kennedy. Speaking of Hansell, who can forget the 14th inning HR he gave up to lose the epic/tragic game in 1994 at the Stick. I can assure you that he has not forgotten.)

Anyhow, regarding Buddy, who's a nice enough guy, he seems to be the pitching version of Nakamura rifht now. He has the skills, but there just seems to be some kind of a mental block that makes him throwh two-strike fastballs down the pike.

And while I think he has the potential to straighten himself out, this should be done in LV,not LA. The only good thing we can say is that with Buddy, Erickson and Houlton, we have great depth at the mop-up man position.

2005-05-26 10:18:15
8.   JeffinTokyo
To clarify, Hansell was Carlyle's teammate on the Hanshin Tigers in 2001-2002.
2005-05-26 10:19:21
9.   ElysianPark62
This team is not a 12-2 team; nor is it an 11-19 team. What irritates me is that the pre-season naysayers are now assuming that they are right because the team's current play supports their original opinion. During the hot start, they sniffed that it was too early. Yes, it certainly was. But it STILL is too early to write them off.

However, the "I told you so's" and smug comments from the media are coming in. The Baseball Tonight crew is a good example. Naturally, they have high optimism for the Gnats, based on them hanging this close with Bonds, Schmidt, and Benitez missing time.

At least the current Dodger line-up should be in there on a consistent basis, with Saenz and Choi platooning. There should be less maneuvering and moving guys up, down, and around. (Emphasis is on "should.")

Tracy and DePodesta have always talked about "lengthening" the line-up, and this one seems lengthened. The 2-8 guys all have some sock. If they can start muscling the ball and if the pitching staff can somehow get on the right track, there is hope. It's fortunate that they are only four games out after this horrible stretch.

2005-05-26 10:20:41
10.   Fearing Blue
#6: Agreed. I still don't believe the Diamondbacks are going to be contenders by September. But, they're currently playing well and we're not, so this series still has the potential to be ugly. Thoughts of Glaus vs. (Carlyle, Sanchez, and / or Houlton) on Saturday may keep me awake tonight.
2005-05-26 10:23:24
11.   ElysianPark62
Jeff, interesting that you mentioned the two-strike fastball thing. I heard him interviewed when he got sent down recently, and Carlyle acknowledged that that is what he needed to work on.

Actually, that's what several of the Dodger pitchers need to be mindful of. Weaver, Perez, and Penny have also been guilty of it, including letting pitchers get on after 0-2 counts. That is unacceptable! Batters need to be put away in those situations. Erickson has trouble with just about any count he gets.

2005-05-26 10:26:12
12.   JeffinTokyo
EP62, I'm with you. Unfortunately, we have holes at 3-4 right now. I know that will change soon enough. But even if Drew and Kent were hitting, we would still be suffering. The Dodgers biggest problem right now is the rotation.

I would like to see Duaner Sanchez given a shot. He has the ability to do much more than share the 7th inning with Gio.

2005-05-26 10:31:27
13.   Brian Y
#5, I was thinking that because Valentin is only signed through this year and because DePo seems like he is ready to hand 3B over to one of those 3 by next year (with some veteran competitiion I'm sure) that we should probably get a good look at the prospects in September. And the point being was that if this is the case and DePo does intend to give a shot to one of the kids next spring training then this September is a good starting point and I don't see him giving LaRoche a chance no matter how well he plays in AA. The fact is that Andy is 21 and needs to be considered. Not to suggest we "must" rush our prospects, just consider them.
2005-05-26 10:32:07
14.   Fearing Blue
#9: I'm also excited about the current lineup. There's potential to do damage all the way through. Also, despite what the numbers say, I feel our defense is very solid, especially when Choi is playing 1B.

Nonetheless, pitching is our issue. It's amusing to hear "I told you so" start rolling in. The talking heads who picked us to do poorly all said we wouldn't be able to replace the offensive production of Beltre, Green, LoDuca, and Finley. Yet, that hasn't been our problem at all. Just goes to show why it's so hard to project what's going to happen in 162 games.

2005-05-26 10:34:02
15.   Steve
It doesn't matter much why they were right. The fact is, they're going to end up being right. Is there a DePo led miracle on the horizon? I wish I could foresee it, and would welcome it if it comes. But this staff is a fourth place staff and there's nothing the defense or offense can do about it. What I can't figure out is why there would be anything but vain hope that any of them will get better on their own.
2005-05-26 10:37:12
16.   JeffinTokyo
If I'm not mistaken, September call ups don't count against the arbitration/free agent clock. Is this correct? If, so then for sure there is no reason to bring up a LaRoche when the rosters expand.
2005-05-26 10:37:21
17.   Brian Y
I honestly thought our rotation would have been fine other than Erickson and that our offense would do fine also. I figured we would have a high K and high walk rate with a shaky infield defense. The defense has been a surprise with Choi being the only real dissapointment in my book. He is so slow reacting to ground balls and I still have yet to see him dive for a ball though I am sure he has. The Weaver struggles surprise me, Odalis' injury stings, as do the ones to Dessens and Jose Valentin. Our main problem is health right now but our team overall is solid.
2005-05-26 10:38:17
18.   Fearing Blue
#13: My feeling is that all along DePodesta has been hoping that he could get Perez to play an above-average 3B this season and next. If that works out, then in 2007 we could hand 2B over to Aybar, 3B over to one of LaRoche or Guzman, and C over to Martin or Navarro. Some of those changes may occur in 2006, but if Kent / Perez / Phillips stay healthy and continue to play well, it gives us some time.
2005-05-26 10:39:00
19.   Brian Y
#16, I have no idea but I know they have to be added to the 40 man roster to be available for a call-up.
2005-05-26 10:39:37
20.   Bob Timmermann
September callups count for service time. They only thing they don't count for is "rookie" status.
2005-05-26 10:41:31
21.   dzzrtRatt
#6 -"Are the Dodgers are on a Krispy Kreme like slide or just a Microsoft correction?"

Hitting like Microsoft. DePo has put together a pretty decent offensive force that when not slumping ought to be among the best in the NL.

The SEC is looking into our pitching projections, and indictments are possible.

2005-05-26 10:41:35
22.   Jon Weisman
16 - that is not correct. Those days count. Which is not to say you can't get a sneak peak at someone.

But LaRoche is essentially doing what Guzman did in 2004. It's very unlikely that LaRoche is really ready to perform in the major leagues this season. Guzman himself is a borderline major leaguer at this point, and he's a year ahead of LaRoche.

2005-05-26 10:42:25
23.   ryu
Hi guys, sorry for being off topic but IIRC Dodger Stadium was due for an earthquake retrofit in the past off-season, but it did not happen. Just now I finished reading this article in the L.A. Times about the next "big one" coming from the La Puente Fault which runs underneath downtown L.A. It could kill as many as 18,000 people.

Not that I'll stop going to DS....

http://tinyurl.com/7sfcq

2005-05-26 10:42:31
24.   Brian Y
#18, I think Navarro is overrated so I hope it's Russell Martin rather than Dioner. Aybar isn't the greatest prospect so I doubt we will "hand over 2B" to him. Not with Delwyn Young, Estanislau Abreu and Chin-Lung Hu possibilities there by then.
2005-05-26 10:43:59
25.   Fearing Blue
#15: I'll bet dollars to donuts that Perez and Penny will perform better over the course of the season. Lowe will likey regress and Weaver is a crap-shoot. Our pitching staff should be close to league-average, not second-worst in the NL, like they have been the past 31 days.
2005-05-26 10:44:47
26.   JeffinTokyo
Thanks Brian and Bob. The reason I thought it didn't affect arbitration is looking at Gagne's career. As I recall, he first came up in 1999, but he wasn't arbi-elig until after the 2003 season.
2005-05-26 10:46:03
27.   Bob Timmermann
That earthquake on the Puente Hills Fault could hit anyday within the next 3,000 years. It's good to be prepared, but over that time span, I'll dwell on something more mundane. Like not getting hit by a car when crossing the street.
2005-05-26 10:46:43
28.   Jon Weisman
26 - Service time is calculated by adding up days. So if you have a half-year here and a quarter-year there, it all adds up eventually.

By the way, I don't really understand why people think Duaner Sanchez will do well as a starting pitcher. Pitching an inning or two at a time, he allows a great many baserunners and has an average-at-best strikeout ratio. He gets by but he's always been hittable.

2005-05-26 10:47:00
29.   Brian Y
#22, Jon...everyone in the minors is a borderline major leaguer. They will either make it or not. I just wonder if maybe we have a Miguel Cabrera or Albert Pujols down there but we are afraid to bring them up because of their age. Pujols came from A ball I believe and Cabrera spent very little time in AA before being promoted. Both were younger than LaRoche and played 3B. Not to say Andy is a Pujols or Cabrera but I don't see the point in holding someone back.
2005-05-26 10:47:11
30.   JeffinTokyo
Thanks to Jon too.
2005-05-26 10:48:57
31.   Eric Enders
Yesterday, Andy LaRoche failed to homer because the Vero Beach game was rained out.

Slacker.

2005-05-26 10:48:58
32.   Eric Enders
Yesterday, Andy LaRoche failed to homer because the Vero Beach game was rained out.

Slacker.

2005-05-26 10:49:00
33.   Brian Y
I dont know how I feel about Duaner being a SP. I think he is severely overrated as a RP already. On a side note, check out Franquelis Osario's stats in Las Vegas so far this year. I think he'll be up at some point this year.

www.lv51.com

2005-05-26 10:49:13
34.   Eric Enders
I swear I only hit that once.
2005-05-26 10:49:51
35.   JeffinTokyo
I don't think Duaner is ace potential, but I think he could be a serviceable Terry Adams-like stop gap at least.
2005-05-26 10:50:16
36.   db1022
#28 - Trade Duaner, while people are still blinded by his era and speed-gun ratings.

The guy is on borrowed time, with the amount of baserunners he allows.

2005-05-26 10:52:15
37.   JeffinTokyo
If we could trade duaner for a legit starter I would be all for it.
2005-05-26 10:55:06
38.   Brian Y
I would trade Duaner for the best player we could get. I don't see anyone on our team as untouchable other than Izturis. I love Milton and Werth but they both have big question marks. Everyone else I could see being made available including Gagne though I wouldn't do it personally for fear of the backlash.
2005-05-26 10:55:23
39.   Jon Weisman
If you define "borderline" as "they will either make it or not," then I'm a borderline major leaguer. So you're sort of twisting what I meant. Most minor league players today would bat about .150 or worse in the majors. That's well below borderline. For Guzman to be a borderline major leaguer at his age, I mean that as a compliment.

I just think it's a little quick to assume La Roche is being held back if he doesn't go from A ball to the majors in the same season. And if you do promote him before he's ready, you do start the service time clock early.

If he's ready to play in the majors, DePo will promote him. Don't worry.

2005-05-26 10:55:24
40.   Sam DC
Bob makes a good point (#6, though I think he's really just subtly cautioning us before the dark 1992 RDGC to come). While slumps always cause concern, that concern is hypermagnified when dozens of us are poring over each game (each at bat? each pitch?). Makes you appreciate a little more the kind of perspective it takes to keep a long-enough term view of a team if you're actually playing on it or managing it every day.

*

Way OT but pretty funny (though annoying in spots). This landed in my inbox this morning. No link to original; I've picked just some from the whole list to avoid over-reprinting problems. The idea is, add or change one letter to/of an existing word and supply an appropriate new definition (sort of like Ghame Over).

Cashtration The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period.

Giraffiti Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.

Sarchasm The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesnt get it.

Foreploy Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting some action.

Karmageddon Its like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and its like, a serious bummer.

Decafalon The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.

Beelzebug Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.

Ignoranus A person who is both dull and an [low-key expletive].

And I've added one:

Codger Thoughts A weblog containing Tommy Lasorda's outlet for dealing psychologically with the Los Angeles Dodgers and baseball.

2005-05-26 10:57:59
41.   dzzrtRatt
Duaner looks so much like Francisco Rodriguez, maybe the Angels would want him as a stunt double.

Sanchez and Saenz and a prospect for Washburn? It would be too much to hope that they'd take Repko instead of Saenz.

2005-05-26 10:59:43
42.   Brian Y
#41 Why do the Halo's need Saenz? They have Quinlan :-)
2005-05-26 10:59:48
43.   Bob Timmermann
There will be two happy RDGCs before we get to 1992.

Two very happy ones.

2005-05-26 11:00:56
44.   Brian Y
#39, I was't trying to twist your words. I just honestly didn't know what your interpretation of a borderline major league player was. If you take it at face value then (as you put it) we all are.
2005-05-26 11:01:12
45.   JeffinTokyo
Regarding LaRoche, first he has to prove himself in AA. Hopefully he, and Chuck Tiffany will get that chance soon. Then we can consider the next step.
2005-05-26 11:04:41
46.   JeffinTokyo
I'm a borderline major leaguer! Cool.

By the way, way OT but are there any track experts here? I ask because I wonder if the elite female sprinters of today run fast enough to be pinch runners ala Herb Washington.

2005-05-26 11:05:03
47.   Fearing Blue
#24: Aybar was ranked the 34th best prospect in the majors by Baseball Prospectus. He's a 22 year-old (6 months older than LaRoche) patient, switch-hitter with line-drive doubles power. His .319/.374/.466 numbers at AAA aren't overwhelming, but they're still great for his age. On top of his offensive contributions, he has played excellent defense at both 2B and 3B.

Delwyn Young is a year older than Aybar, currently in AA, and putting up similar numbers to what Aybar did last year (.279/.333/.448 for Young vs. .276/.346/.425 for Aybar). Also, scouts think Delwyn may have to move to the outfield because of his defense at 2B.

Abreu and Hu are both still in high-A, and not hitting very much there, .269/.298/.374 and .257/.301/.391 respectively. Hu also projects more as a SS because of his strong defense.

Overall, I'd say Aybar has an excellent shot at taking over 2B after Kent's contract expires.

2005-05-26 11:05:25
48.   Jon Weisman
It's okay, Brian.
2005-05-26 11:09:29
49.   Fearing Blue
#33: I like Osario as well. Guys who don't walk many (4 BBs) and don't give up too many HRs (2 HRs) while striking out close to a batter an inning (25 Ks in 32.1 IP) are always good in my book.
2005-05-26 11:10:15
50.   Fearing Blue
#49: Plus, he's already on the 40-man roster, so we wouldn't have to drop somebody to bring him up.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2005-05-26 11:13:03
51.   mcrawford
We have giraffiti on our house right now. The tagging is painted near the top of our three-story building on the side wall (which is open to the street). Apparently the taggers get there by climbing up the back of a billboard which is right next to our house.

We had just painted over the old giraffiti two weeks ago. We were actually mildly surprised to see it stay clean for two weeks.

2005-05-26 11:14:05
52.   Steve
Who cares whether Sanchez would succeed? None of the other guys will. Give him the ball and see what he can do with it. If he can't, give it to Mahomes. Then give it to Derek Thompson. And down the line. But stop with the Carlyles and Houltons and Ericksons who are ridiculous and embarrassing.
2005-05-26 11:14:14
53.   Marty
46. I'm a lefty, so I'm a bonafide major leaguer!
2005-05-26 11:17:21
54.   Bob Timmermann
A 1973 LA Times article had Herb Washington running an indoor 50-yard dash in 5 seconds flat. That must have been hand-timed because the listed record is 5.22 by Stanley Floyd in 1982.
In 1974, there is an article about Washington running the 60-yard in 6.1. Since there's just one digit, I'm assuming that's hand timed also.
The 60-yard record is listed at 6.00 by Lee McRae.

The fastest time for a woman in the 50-yard dash is 5.74 by Evelyn Ashford in 1983. If you want a more recent comp and can do the math, the 50-METER record for women is 5.96 by Irina Privalova.

Nowadays, it seems that the 60-meter distance is the standard distance for a sprint indoors. At the US Indoor championships this year, the winning team for men was 6.61 and for women it was 7.09.

Now for us, the difference between 6.61 and 7.09 seconds isn't much, but if we watched it on the track, it would look like a lot.

So, I'm skeptical that a top female sprinter would fare any better as a pinch runner than Herb Washington did. And Herb Washington wasn't all that good. Stealing 29 bases in 45 attempts isn't anything to waste a roster spot on.

2005-05-26 11:17:21
55.   JeffinTokyo
Regarding my question on the female sprinter, I only mentioned it because I thought that a fast runner who doesn't serve up gopher balls would be more of an asset to the Dodgers than a 12th pitcher.

Speaking of base stealers, Rickey Henderson is back playing in San Diego, for an independent team in the brand new Golden League (who's founders are Stanford Alumni, Jon).

Tonight is opening night. I can picture it now. In the top of the first, some guy steals second base. Then in the bottom of the first, Rickey steals second and third base. They stop the game, and Rickey picks up third base and says, "That guy with the helmet on the other team is a great base stealer. But now, Rickey is the greatest base stealer in the history of the Golden League."

2005-05-26 11:21:41
56.   mcrawford
Does anyone know the story of this guy Damon Hollins, who is now tearing it up for Tampa Bay? I see that he played for the Dodgers in 1998, in between playing for Atlanta and a lot in Richmond. How did we get him? Why did we give him back? Why was he out of baseball for 3 years?
2005-05-26 11:21:56
57.   Jon Weisman
52 - I basically agree with you, Steve. I would just change the order of the line we're going down. I think we're probably getting the best out of Sanchez that we can get, so I'd bypass him and look elsewhere.

Where's old friend Masao Kida these days?

2005-05-26 11:22:52
58.   JeffinTokyo
(Whose, not who's in 55 (I think)) And thanks Bob for snuffing out the nascent women in MLB movement before it ever had a chance.
2005-05-26 11:23:54
59.   Fearing Blue
Our 5 starting pitchers in AA (Broxton, Billingsley, Stults, Hull, and Thompson) are studs. Together, they're averaging 8.44 K/9. One of them would have to be bumped to AAA in order for Tiffany to be bumped up to AA. My vote is for Stults, because he's older (25) and he's only walked 7 in 45.2 IP, though his 37 Ks are lowest amongst the starters.
2005-05-26 11:27:21
60.   Fearing Blue
#56: I don't know what his Dodgers story is, but he's 31 years old and prior to this season had only played 15 games in the majors. Tampa Bay probably signed him as a minor-league free agent.
2005-05-26 11:27:39
61.   db1022
Give the ball to Houlton for a couple of trips through the 5 slot, and if he fails send him back to Houston. After that, if Mahomes continues to pitch well in Vegas, and if the Dodgers haven't completely fallen out of it, we could give him a spin.

I still think eventually we ended up turning over at least one spot to a kid (Edwin most likely).

2005-05-26 11:29:25
62.   mcrawford
Speaking of Tampa Bay, when I go to their official website, I see that their slogan is apparently "Watch It Happen." I'm sure everyone has already made fun of this, but I'm sorry, that's hilarious in its vagueness.

Watch what happen? A train wreck? A lot of losses? An organization going nowhere?

2005-05-26 11:30:03
63.   JeffinTokyo
With the inflated offensive stats in LV, shouldn't the Dodgers consider relocating? I know they like having AAA nearby, but it seems that it would be better to have the environment more forgiving (fair) for pitchers.

With this in mind, I wonder if the Dodgers would consider returning to their long lost AAA home, Montreal. There's a vacant stadium now there I understand.

2005-05-26 11:31:06
64.   Icaros
56 - I don't know the story of his time with the Dodgers, but Damon Hollins grew up near me.

He pitched for Vallejo High School (where I believe Joe Thurston came from as well), and I had the pleasure of watching him throw low 90s gas by a lot of my friends on the varisty baseball team.

2005-05-26 11:31:20
65.   Jon Weisman
This entry seems worth revisiting today:

https://dodgerthoughts.baseballtoaster.com/archives/17211.html

2005-05-26 11:34:05
66.   Steve
Free Derek Thompson!
2005-05-26 11:37:36
67.   mcrawford
This website explains a little bit of my confusion:
http://www.bravesbeat.com/damonhollins.shtml

When I thought he was out of baseball for 3 years, it was from looking at his Baseball Cube site. Apparently playing in Indianapolis and Edmonton is the same as being out of baseball.

Still, there are some weird events in his transaction history. He apparently was signed by the Reds and played in Indianapolis in '99. Then he was signed by the Brewers and played...in Indianapolis again.

Anyways, it's not important. Just sort of interesting.

2005-05-26 11:39:52
68.   Fearing Blue
#61: Pretty much what I would do. Here is my order of operations.

1) Release Ericksona and bring up Osoria in the pen. Leave the 40-man roster slot open in case we need to add Mahomes down the road.
2) Move Carlyle to a strictly mop-up role to figure out how to get out batters with 2 strikes.
3) Give Houlton a few starts in the 5th slot. He may fail, but he has tremendous stuff, and performed at least as well in AA last year as our kids in AA this year.
4) If Houlton fails, add Mahomes to the 40-man roster in Erickson's slot and give him a couple shots.
5) If Mahomes fails, skip Jackson, who has pitched terribly for almost a year and a half, and give someone in AA a shot.

2005-05-26 11:44:01
69.   the OZ
Here's something that sounds great initially, but is of some concern to me:

The Dodgers have some good kids in the minors - Guzman, Aybar, Young, Billingsley, Tiffany, Broxton, LaRoche, etc. Fans like to speculate about how great our infield and pitching will be in 2006-2007 when these guys arrive.

But do we really expect to be a contending team with 4 or 5 rookies/2nd-year players? Sure, they've looked pretty good in the minors, but then so do a lot of 'marginal major leaguers.'

I can't imaging DePodesta or anyone else fielding a competitive team with 2 rookies at one time in the starting lineup or rotation.

2005-05-26 11:47:01
70.   JeffinTokyo
Well bhoys and girl(s), it is way late in Japan. I am off to bed before the sun comes up. Before I hit the futon, I want to say thanks to Jon and all the contributors to this site. Reading the insightful posts and comments really keep me in the loop.

O yasumi nasai (good night).

2005-05-26 11:47:54
71.   JeffinTokyo
keeps
2005-05-26 11:48:01
72.   Steve
57 -- If you can't tell, all of this talk about DER and DIPS and regressions to the mean is severely taxing me. This staff is bad. Stink-o bad. I don't know if it's all injury related or just everybody getting old and washed up all at once or just last year being out of character. But our staff should never be compared unfavorably to Colorado's, and yet here we are.

So to a certain extent, I just don't care anymore what DIPS says about Duaner Sanchez. I'm not a troglodyte or a Plaschkers. But these numbers when applied to pitchers like Weaver or Carrara (injured or not) carry the stench of forgiving mediocrity, and I am beginning to have the same reaction to them as I do when Scott Erickson or Buddy Carlyle or Wilson Alvarez says "I'm throwing the ball right where I want to, and I'm just damn unlucky that the hitters are hitting them 500 feet." Or something like that.

2005-05-26 11:48:17
73.   Fearing Blue
#66: Steve, I agree that Thompson should be one of, if not the first pitcher in AA we give a shot to. But, to defend my position that we should give Houlton a shot, here are Houlton's 2004 stats compared to Thompson's 2005 stats.

Houlton (2004 / AA): 2.94 ERA; 159 IP; 14 HR; 47 BB; 159 K
Thompson (2005 / AA): 3.89 ERA; 41.2 IP; 3 HR; 19 BB; 43 K

2005-05-26 11:54:12
74.   oldbear
This is a 95+ win ball club if DePo:

#1. Fires Jim Tracy.
#2. Trades prospects for Kevin Millwood and Ted Lilly.

Our 8 starters that played last nite will score 4 runs more times than not. This is the most complete lineup we've had in some time.

I'm all for selling a lot of the farm for Millwood/Lilly..

Any takers? Or are those guys not good enough?

2005-05-26 12:17:28
75.   db1022
#74 - With all due respect, this is the kind of knee-jerk reaction that I hope we avoid this season.
Whether we sit tight and go with who we have, or we throw in the towel and go with the kids, we're still in a pretty good situation for next year. I'm just not confident that selling off our young players for rentals to win this year is a good strategy right now.
2005-05-26 12:21:22
76.   oldbear
Lilly and Millwood could be building blocks. Still in their primes, not bad salary wise, effective #3-#4 guys.

The Cards proved last year you can win with 5 #3 starters, which is essentiallly what they had.

Penny, Lowe, Millwood, Perez, Lilly is about the best we can hope for, cuz there arent any #1's on the market.

2005-05-26 12:32:03
77.   MSarg29
#74-76 Old Bear, picking up Millwood would be an awful idea. From Espn.com today.
http://tinyurl.com/a8s37

RHP Kevin Millwood will undergo an MRI on Thursday on his right groin. Millwood strained it in the fifth inning, pitching to Minnesota Twins catcher Mike Redmond. "I felt it bite and tug," Millwood said. "But it didn't pop." Indians manager Eric Wedge said that the disabled list might be a possibility. "We're not sure," said Wedge when asked about the severity of the injury. "It's considerable. We have to get an MRI and go from there, the DL is possible."

2005-05-26 12:35:26
78.   dzzrtRatt
Ted Lilly is pitching for a contender, the Toronto Blue Jays. Yes, I know ESPN believes the AL East is supposed to voluntarily concede to New York and Boston, but Toronto is only about 4 1/2 games out.

Lilly's ERA and WHIP are terrible right now, but that's because three of his four losses have been Erickson-esque. But even at best, he's a six-inning guy. He's a better #5 option than Erickson, but that's not saying much.

2005-05-26 12:35:56
79.   oldbear
Groin injuries arent uncommon. If it was his arm, I'd be more concerned. All the more reason to buy when the price is low. DePo has experience fleecing the Indians, lets hope he can do it again. The Indians are going nowhere and dont really need Millwood anyways.
2005-05-26 12:42:39
80.   MSarg29
Millwood has a history of arm problems in the past and was a free agent this past off season. Even if he was a good alternative, which he isn't, why wouldn't we sign him then instead of giving up premium minor league talent?

Plus Lilly's ERA of 7.59 this year sure isnt any better than Weaver.

2005-05-26 12:48:10
81.   bigcpa
Carlos Zambrano is on his way to losing to the Rockies at home and a 3-3 record. Izturis for Zambrano. Antonio goes to SS.

But wait until after Izturis bobblehead day.

2005-05-26 12:52:04
82.   oldbear
The Cubs would be insane to give up Zambrano for a .720 OPS short stop. I'd love for it to happen, but we'd have to give up a lot more than Izturis for Zambrano.

Antonio Perez is showing he has a decent enough of arm and footwork to play SS most likey. He looks good at 3rd.

Lilly and Millwood are the guys that can get us over the hump though. Right now is the time to buy on them because they arent doing that great so their price would be low.

2005-05-26 13:02:10
83.   Marty
Lilly and Millwood are the guys that can get us over the hump though. Right now is the time to buy on them because they arent doing that great so their price would be low.

I don't really see the reasoning in that statement. Lilly and Millwood "aren't doing that great" yet they are the ones to put us over the hump? Just because they would come cheap?

2005-05-26 13:03:10
84.   bigcpa
I just wasted 45 min arguing the Bill James pythag formula to a friend. His point: even though the offense is #2 in runs/game, they get shut down too often. I argued that 850 runs is 850 runs, let them fall where they may.

I know the Dodgers have only been shut out once. So to illustrate the point I pulled up all 16 NL teams and the # of times scoring >2 runs. You'd think the #2 team in scoring would be in the top 5 at least. But we're 13th in the NL at .667. StL is #1 at .826. Avg. is .712. What to make of that? Excessive streakiness? Random variation? FJT? Discuss.

2005-05-26 13:09:36
85.   GoBears
Hey big (84). Have you charted it over the course of the season? Because it seems to me that the runs per game must be in free-fall. The team started out scoring 7 or so per game, so if the average now is much lower, it's because of lots of lousy games lately. So, in a sense, your friend is right - the high average hides a huge swing from outrageously good to lousy.
2005-05-26 13:10:49
86.   Bob Timmermann
What is the median number of runs scored in a game by the Dodgers?
2005-05-26 13:14:49
87.   mcrawford
Check out these great graphs:
http://www.pennant-race.com/los_angeles_dodgers

They don't chart Runs/G, but OBP and SLG have been basically constant the whole time. Runs seem to be climbing steadily, but that's something that's hard to tell.

It's really the ERA that has jumped in the last month, which is what's killing us.

Relevant question: Given two teams with the same average number of runs per game, does the team with a higher standard deviation win more, or less?

2005-05-26 13:16:00
88.   mcrawford
Actually SLG has been trending downwards, I correct myself.
2005-05-26 13:21:36
89.   GoBears
Relevant question: Given two teams with the same average number of runs per game, does the team with a higher standard deviation win more, or less?

That depends on what the level is. If avg RPG is 3, then greater variation means a lot of games with 0,1, or 2 runs, almost all sure losses. The corresponding games of 4, 5, or 6 runs are not sure wins. OTOH, if the average is 6, then I'd think the sure wins with more runs than average would not be fully diminished by games with fewer (many of which would still be wins.

2005-05-26 13:30:05
90.   Fearing Blue
#84: Your friend may be right. If the current severely unequal distribution of runs, either scored or allowed, is predictive of the future, than the Dodgers' overall record will likely not follow the Pythagorean formula. For instance, a team with Johan Santana and four Scott Ericksons will not follow the Pythagorean formula, though the difference in the number of wins would likely still be within 5%. But, in most real cases, the differences are not that severe, so the formula doesn't end up being off by much. Let me know if you'd like to see the math.
2005-05-26 13:31:52
91.   Steve
110 pitches for Zambrano today. Snuffing out that kind of talent in its crib is very, very sad. One thing to ruin Weaver. Another thing to tube the franchise to try and save your job. FDB for sure.
2005-05-26 13:32:42
92.   Steve
90 -- this team is going to kill SABRmetricians. People are going to be jumping off of bridges.
2005-05-26 13:34:19
93.   mcrawford
I think that mathematically, it shouldn't matter -- teams with equal averages for runs per game should win the same amount, regardless of their variances. But there might be some complications in the real-world, since you can't score negative runs. I would bet someone has actually studied this, but I don't know.

As for #85, I just took the Dodgers' game-by-game results, and made a little graph. The runs scored is not really in free-fall, but you're right that they started off very hot. If you look at a 7-day moving average, it starts off up around 7, then falls to about 4 near the end of April. It goes back to 6 in the middle of May, then back down to 4, where it's at now.

2005-05-26 13:36:36
94.   mcrawford
I'd like to see the math, #90.

FWIW, the pitching moving average has been up around 6 since the middle of May. Not good.

The median number of runs scored by the Dodgers is 4. Median allowed is 5.

2005-05-26 13:37:57
95.   Steve
94 -- that's worth a lot. In fact, it's the whole shooting match.
2005-05-26 13:41:29
96.   oldbear
83. Buy low and sell high. Low risk/high reward with Millwood/Lilly.
2005-05-26 13:43:12
97.   Howard Fox
I don't understand, is allowing more runs than you are scoring on a daily basis a bad thing?
2005-05-26 13:43:23
98.   db1022
#92 - Ironic that a team built on SABRmetrics seems to be breaking all the rules.
2005-05-26 13:46:25
99.   Howard Fox
How can you lead the league in come from behind wins if you don't constantly fall behind?
2005-05-26 13:47:44
100.   mcrawford
#97 -- yes, my understanding of the rules of baseball lead me to believe that the team scoring more runs will be declared the Winner of the baseball contest.

So presuming that your goal is to Win Games, allowing more runs than you score is a Bad Thing (TM).

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2005-05-26 13:52:07
101.   Steve
98 -- No no. If you look at the staff's DIPS, they're awesome. Just watch as the shutouts rain over us in June.
2005-05-26 13:52:34
102.   Howard Fox
ah, okay, I was confused
2005-05-26 13:52:46
103.   Marty
96. With all due respect, but in my opinion giving up prospects for Millwood and Lilly would be buying high.
2005-05-26 13:53:44
104.   Sam DC
3 scoreless for Nomo v. Oakland in Tampa Bay. (He's a got a great, grizzled, gameday picture by the way. Kelly Wunsch should take notice.)
2005-05-26 13:55:51
105.   Formerly R
Never fear, gentlemen (and ladies). Tonight the Giants send Mr. Reuter to the hill, that junkballin' lefty. Which means we're pencillin' Olmedo Saenz into the lineup. Saenz + lefty = plenty of good swings, line drives, extra base hits.

The struggling offense will provide plenty of support for the struggling arms (at least tonight they will).

2005-05-26 13:59:17
106.   Mark
Okay, here's another idea, since my Gagne for Bonderman and Inge seemed to float like a lead weight around here.

Yhency and Edwin to the A's for Rich Harden and Marco Scutaro.

2005-05-26 13:59:19
107.   Bob Timmermann
Choi is 0 for his last 12 and Saenz is 7 for 19 lifetime against Reuter so I'm not too perplexed.
2005-05-26 13:59:22
108.   Howard Fox
IMO, you go with what brung you for this year...if it doesn't work out, filter in one or two youngsters in Aug or Sept, then add a couple more youngsters next year, slowly transition the youth movement...

they are better playing all year in the minors this year for experience than coming up and platooning or sitting on the bench

2005-05-26 14:00:12
109.   Fearing Blue
#94: Ok. Again, I'll state that this isn't really an issue in practice, but here's the math. Let's say 1/5th of the time a team's ERA is 3.00 (Johan Santana) and 4/5th of the time the team's ERA is 7.50 (Scott Erickson). The team scores runs fairly consistently at a 5.00 / game rate. Over 162 games, the team scores 810 runs and allows 1004, for a Pythagorean win expectancy of 63.8 wins. But, we can instead look at the data set as two separate seasons. One of 32.4 games where the team scores 162 runs and allows 97.2 for a Pythagorean win expectancy of 23.8 wins. The second of 129.6 games where the team scores 648 runs and allows 907.2 for a Pythagorean win expectancy of 43.8. The two separate seasons add up to 67.6 wins, which is 3.8 wins higher than calculating for one season. The reason for the delta is that by its nature, the Pythagorean theorem assumes that Runs Scored and Runs Allowed follow a fairly regular distribution. In reality, they come pretty close, because the discrepancy between starting pitchers is not this large.

Thus, if there were actually some predictive reason why the Dodgers averaged 10 runs / game some days and 3 runs / game other days, we could do the same analysis with Runs Scored. I'm pretty confident the disparity is just random variance, which obviously isn't predictive. But, if for instance, the offensive performance significantly varied based on the type / command / quality of starting pitching, which would be predictive, there would be some truth to the friend's thinking.

2005-05-26 14:00:43
110.   Howard Fox
Edwin I could see them letting go, Yhency not...I could see Gagne gone way before him
2005-05-26 14:01:57
111.   Howard Fox
re: #109 - so what you are trying to say is that some days they score a lot of runs and some days they don't, and some days they allow a lot of runs and some days they don't
2005-05-26 14:05:59
112.   Steve
112 -- I think that's what he's trying to say, but he's trying to say that some days they score a lot of runs, and most days they don't, and most days they allow a lot of runs, and some days they don't.
2005-05-26 14:06:51
113.   Fearing Blue
#93: Variance does matter in the theory, but I believe baseball teams have similar variances, so it doesn't matter in practice, which is why Pythagorean works. I can't tell you exactly how much variance means, but I can tell you a team with 0 variance will either win all of their games or none of them. The same is not true for a team with a positive variance, and as variance increases a team with a positive RS to RA delta is more likely to lose and vice versa.
2005-05-26 14:08:57
114.   dzzrtRatt
#96

The advocacy getting Millwood and Lilly seems like a case of "the grass is greener." We already have talented but maddeningly inconsistent starters. Unless we have reason to believe that their current teams aren't using them right, there's no reason to take on their headaches, unless we can get them for nothing and pay major-league minimum for a look-see.

If there's any salvation to our pitching problems, I think it's going to come from a young pitcher from our own minor league system (or Houlton) coming up and finding his way to excellence all of a sudden. If that doesn't happen, then we'll just have to score a lot more runs.

2005-05-26 14:12:09
115.   Howard Fox
re: #112 - thanks for clearing that up for me
2005-05-26 14:13:55
116.   Fearing Blue
#122: Yeah. What Steve said. Though this is likely just a distribution around the mean, which is good for hitting and bad for pitching.
2005-05-26 14:14:40
117.   champion of choi
Correct me if I'm wrong but wasn't Fernando called up from AA in 80-81. Why on earth can't we call up a AA prospect.
2005-05-26 14:14:56
118.   Howard Fox
or bad for hitting, depending....
2005-05-26 14:15:37
119.   Howard Fox
cause Fernando was 35 at the time
2005-05-26 14:16:05
120.   champion of choi
#119 lol
2005-05-26 14:21:09
121.   Sushirabbit
My name's Sushirabbit and I'm a Dodgers fan!

Think any of Oakland's pitchers would help? Houston? Phillies?

In a perfect world, we might have at least 3 good 3B available, though Valentine have no trade value in the near future. I love all the number crunching and wish I contribute more of the same, but I simply don't have the time... which means I love it when anyone here comes up with anything. I always appreciate the thought and research y'all put into your comments.

2005-05-26 14:27:23
122.   ElysianPark62
I would at least give Sanchez the chance to start and see what he can do. He has four pitches; what can he do with them in that role? If they're willing to try Carlyle, then Sanchez deserves a shot, as well.

Sanchez was a starter in the minors, but I don't know what his numbers were. He also said that is his preferred role. Why not give it a shot?

We already know what Erickson and Dessens are like as starters. I don't expect Erickson to be successful in his new role, either, because he has no out pitch, and his BB/K numbers are horrible. He is least likely, IMO, among the pitchers to improve. Dessens should replace him. Sounds like he is a couple of weeks away from returning.

2005-05-26 14:28:53
123.   Howard Fox
actually in a perfect world, Penny doesn't get hurt, Weaver is consistent and doesn't give up home runs, Perez isn't so fragile, and thus 4 runs a game are enough...
2005-05-26 14:29:36
124.   ElysianPark62
I also meant to note that Sanchez didn't have four pitches as a minor leaguer. He seems pretty confident that he can do it. At this point, I seriously doubt he'd be any worse than any of the performers we've seen so far.
2005-05-26 14:30:58
125.   Howard Fox
too many baserunners with Sanchez, too many times going deep into the count...its okay for an inning, maybe 2, but not for a starter
2005-05-26 14:32:04
126.   Howard Fox
that being said, we'll probably see him on Saturday
2005-05-26 14:33:03
127.   Howard Fox
on second thought, Tracy will announce he is starting on Saturday, then on Friday he will forget and have him pitch 2 innings in relief
2005-05-26 14:35:01
128.   Sam DC
Six scoreless for Nomo in v. Oak in TB.

Meanwhile, Haren has thrown 5 innings of 1 hit ball.

(And yes, this is just for fun, I realize the two teams are Oakland and TB and they're both double digits under .500.)

2005-05-26 14:38:14
129.   molokai
Nomo is throwing a shutout after 5 innings. The old warrior rises again.
2005-05-26 14:38:24
130.   GoBears
I agree with Jon that the Dodgers should not be thinking of selling - not yet. The question of "buying," however, comes down to which you value more, a run this year, or all those prospects down the road. I liked the Millwood idea before he got hurt, but Lilly is awful. And I disagree with Howard - I think Yhency goes before Gagne. Yes, Gagne is more expensive but he's a proven commodity. Yhency looks good now, but he's a greater risk (more uncertainty) AND his low price tag will be attractive. And I think there are plenty more Yhency's in the pipeline. A young fireballer who would only be asked to pitch one inning, and not the 9th? Not a dime a dozen, but not scarce either. That may be a way to get one of those young studs up here earlier rather than later.

Oh, and no way Beane parts with Harden. Scutaro nobody needs.

2005-05-26 14:41:24
131.   mcrawford
#113, thanks a lot for the explanation. Now I get it. I was stuck because I kept thinking about a team that allows exactly as many runs as it scores. For that team, variance doesn't matter.

But now I understand that for any other team, variance matters. So a good team wants to minimize their variance, and a bad team wants to maximize their variance. I'm sure I've read that somewhere before, but couldn't remember it.

2005-05-26 14:42:03
132.   Xeifrank
Nice to see the other LA team calling up two of their talented young pitchers, and both making contributions. Then there is the true LA team with it's castoffs and retreads headed to the mound day after day.

I'll try to be more positive next time. Or maybe not.

vr

Xei

2005-05-26 14:48:48
133.   ElysianPark62
My thinking with Sanchez is that he might be a little more relaxed out there if he's starting. Sometimes he seems rushed for some reason. That might just be his demeanor; don't know. If he can pace himself and just throw his pitches, he could be an effective starter. Just a thought.
2005-05-26 14:51:03
134.   oldbear
130- Lowe looked awful at times last year. Lilly's 8.53 K's per 9IP over his career would look good on the Blue. Changing leagues would be a plus for him. As would he's getting healthy and in a groove. His last 2 starts have been fantastic.

I think Low risk/high reward with Millwood/Lilly. I've seen enough of Erickson and Weaver.

Weaver's K's per 9 his career: 5.99.
Lilly's K's per 9: 8.53!

2005-05-26 14:51:46
135.   oldbear
133- I like the Sanchez thought but he'd have to work up his stamina. He cant be worse than what we've had.
2005-05-26 15:02:43
136.   GoBears
If this injury to Millwood is minor, I'd take him over Weaver, Perez, and the other junk. But Lilly would be a #5 at best. Despite Weaver's recent troubles, I think he's a better pitcher than Ted Lilly. Although, I must admit, I didn't know Lilly's K/9 rate was that high.

This is all academic, because none of it will happen.

2005-05-26 15:03:26
137.   Elijah
Blue Jays fan in LA here. Lilly was awful at the beginning of this season because he missed almost all of spring training. But he's been terrific in his last two starts (1 run in 12.2 IP if my memory serves) after throwing simulated games and working closely on mechanics after getting shelled three starts ago.

I seriously doubt Ricciardi will trade Lilly to anyone at this point. His salary is very reasonable which means that teams would have to give up something of substance to acquire him. That and the Blue Jays hope to have him next year (he's not a FA after this season - just arb-eligible) when they can spend a little more of their increased payroll to keep him. They hope to contend in 2006 (laugh if you guys want) and Ricciardi believes Lilly is a legitimate #3 starter.

2005-05-26 15:04:36
138.   Bob Timmermann
Former Dodger Trever Miller in to relieve Nomo in the 8th.

Really he was a Dodger. I saw one of the games!

Miller had an ERA of 23.14 with the Dodgers.

2005-05-26 15:05:42
139.   Sam DC
Loop closing -- Tornado gave up a leadoff homer to Scutaro in the eighth, got Kotsay to ground out, and then allowed a single to Jason Kendall. Then he was pulled. Nice outing.
2005-05-26 15:05:48
140.   db1022
Why put in the effort to have Sanchez build his stamina? It's not like we have a shortage of candidates to start. Just in this conversation, we have:

Alvarez
Dessens
Houlton
Erickson
Pat Mahomes
Derek Thompson
Carlyle
Edwin Jackson

Why does Sanchez deserve a start more than these clowns? It's not like he's been a dominant reliever.

2005-05-26 15:08:51
141.   Sam DC
Trever Miller and Quinton McCracken can be on the "guys whose names are spilled just a little different than normal" All-Star team.

(managed by Charlie Manuel? Doesn't really work.)

2005-05-26 15:17:27
142.   Formerly R
Points against Sanchez are all well taken but, honestly, there is no demonstrably better option. Erickson or Alvarez? They've had their shots. Houlton? Outside of his sometimes very good breaking ball, Sanchez throws everything Houlton does, but better, and with more movement and velocity. Carlyle? Schmoll?

Up to this point, I think Sanchez's biggest problem is that his two-seamer has had too much movement. He can't control it. He gets behind hitters and starts grooving pitches. It's an old tired story and certainly one that doesn't instill much confidence in a young arm. But, still, name a better option.

Punch my ticket for the Sanchez train.

I'm also not against giving Mahomes a shot. Anyone who can put up a sub 3.00 ERA in 58.2 innings in the PCL has to be doing something right. No, his K rates aren't exciting, but so what?

We've looked under every rock. A perfect candidate isn't out there.

2005-05-26 15:19:52
143.   bigcpa
re: #84
My personal opinion is that there's really nothing too this. StL is #1 in RPG and #1 in my >2 stat that needs a name. Looking at the data the Dodgers should score >2 75% of the time vs. the 67% actual. So that's 4 games out of 45. Could easily reverse itself in the next 50 gms.

Intuitively I'd think teams who score sporadically would be weak OBP teams that rely on AVG a la LAAA. But turns out the Angels come up 65% so who knows.

All the GM can do is construct a team that scores 800 and allows 650. And that only required improving the offense and pitching 5% each. And here we are- pacing for 788/813.

2005-05-26 15:20:46
144.   bigcpa
and I know the difference between "too" and "to" so no flames please.
2005-05-26 15:21:07
145.   db1022
#142 - Interesting you say that we've looked under every rock, because of the 8 people on that list, 6 of them haven't been given a start yet this year.

IIRC, only Erickson and Alvarez have a start so far for the big club.

2005-05-26 15:28:09
146.   bigcpa
The White Sox are a real case study in run distribution. They've scored exactly 3 or 4 runs 22 times or 49% and gone 11-11. No other team comes close to 22.

LA has scored 3/4 only 11 times, StL 13 times, SD 8 times. I think this explains how CHW have been able to squeeze so many wins out of the 9th best AL offense and outperform their pythag by 3 wins. Consistently mediocre offense.

2005-05-26 15:28:26
147.   Jon Weisman
Lumping Erickson and Alvarez together is wrong. Alvarez, with a track record of success with the Dodgers since 2003, made one bad start this year - preceded by an outstanding long relief appearance - and he's out? Meanwhile Sanchez, who has weaknesses to fill a paragraph, is in? Doesn't make sense.

My larger point, though, is in a new post above.

2005-05-26 15:31:22
148.   GoBears
Here's a different look at Team Depo:

He clearly improved the offense. No two ways about it. He did it with only minor downgrades in the defense, but as someone showed, the team actually hasn't been hurt by the few extra errors.

Oddly, on paper, it looks like he improved the starting pitching too. Penny and Lowe are clearly better than Lima and Ishii. And while the #5 spot has been a disaster, it was last year too (Erickson et al., vs. Nomo). So the real problem is that Weaver/Perez v. 2005 is nowhere near as good (so far) as W/P v. 2004. The low K/9 rates were a warning sign, but honestly, did anyone think they'd decline this badly?

Tracy has made it worse by leaving those guys in games past their "sell-by" dates, which inflated their ERAs and probably cost the team some games. But either both guys are hurt (we know Perez is) or both just fell off the cliff. I can't really blame DePo for that. Remember how glad we were that he managed to re-sign Odalis (given the alternatives)?

That said, it's his job to deal with it. I'm not entirely convinced that riding it out and hoping they regain at least their 2004 form is not the best plan, as opposed to dumping prospects for fill-ins.

2005-05-26 15:37:08
149.   Jon Weisman
148 -

Pretty much agree with you, although there are two different issues here. The first issue, about Weaver and Perez, could be helped as you suggest by managing them better. But that doesn't have anything to do with the fill-in situation.

In other words, your final paragraph treats the two points as an either/or, but it's not an either/or. Riding it out is a possible solution for problem #1, then you choose between prospects and fill-ins for problem #2.

2005-05-26 15:51:50
150.   dzzrtRatt
re#148
GoBears, I think your analysis of what's wrong is right on. There's at least some hope that Perez will come back from the DL as strong as he looked early this season, and the mystery of Weaver will probably be solved as well.

If I read your last graf correctly, you're saying, 'ride it out.' I agree. There is no one likely to show up on the pitching market who is significantly better than what we've got, who wouldn't cost us too much. The one exception, to me, is Jerrod Washburn, who the Angels might let go of in return for an offensive upgrade from the Dodgers' major league roster that we could replace internally. Saenz, Werth, Ledee, Repko--one or two of them could be expendable in exchange for a Washburn rental, depending on the development of players like Nokamura, Aybar, Chen. But even that move I would not make now.

Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2005-05-26 16:10:24
151.   ElysianPark62
Jon, please elaborate on what you see as Sanchez's weaknesses.

Re: #142, that's a very good point about his movement and getting behind guys. Sanchez reminds me of Guillermo Mota in that he throws gas but he has had trouble harnessing his stuff. (How many times have we heard that about a young pitcher? A couple of times, maybe?)

If I recall correctly, it took Mota about two years with Colborn before he took command. He used to walk a ton of people, and when he did come around the plate, he got blistered. Mota was pretty maddening, and then he blossomed. I'm not saying Sanchez will be another Mota, but they strike me as quite similar. And I'm not ready to give up on Sanchez.

2005-05-26 16:23:59
152.   Jon Weisman
I think Sanchez allows too many baserunners without striking out enough guys, that's all. I think his ERA is deceptive.

He's thrown 161 pitches this entire month. I think it would take him a while to get used to the new workload.

But, a closer look has made me more confident in him than I otherwise would have been.

2005-05-26 16:34:18
153.   ElysianPark62
Jon, I agree with your first sentence. But that wasn't the litany of criticism of Sanchez that I was anticipating! What happened to the paragraph of weaknesses?!

Honestly, I would like to see him get a chance to harness his stuff, and I think the WHIP would go down. If he can't do it this year, then it might be time to move him.

2005-05-26 16:35:26
154.   ElysianPark62
Jon,

What is giving you more confidence about Sanchez?

2005-05-27 09:47:00
155.   Jon Weisman
Well, his ERA is so low over the past two years that even if it's deceptive, it might still stay in the 4 range.

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