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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

The Dodger Thoughts 2006 Spring Training Primer
2006-02-08 11:30
by Jon Weisman

The 2006 Dodgers aren't even out of the dressing room yet, let alone strutting down any runways, but with pitchers and catchers soon to report, here's a quick look at how the outfit is shaping up for Opening Day.

Locks (18)
Only a disabling injury can stop these guys from making the Opening Day roster:
Starting Pitchers: Derek Lowe, Brad Penny, Odalis Perez, Brett Tomko, Jae Seo
Bullpen: Eric Gagne, Danys Baez
Starting Lineup: Dioner Navarro, Nomar Garciaparra, Jeff Kent, Rafael Furcal, Bill Mueller, J.D. Drew, Kenny Lofton, Jose Cruz, Jr.
Bench: Ricky Ledee, Olmedo Saenz, Sandy Alomar Jr.

Disabled List (2)
Infield: Cesar Izturis
Outfield: Jayson Werth

Most Likely to Succeed (7)
Yhency Brazoban, P: Thanks to his inconsistent 2005 and the potential for general manager Ned Colletti to choose a veteran at every turn, Brazoban can't be considered a shoo-in, but only a complete Spring Training meltdown could keep him off the 25-man roster Opening Day.
Lance Carter, P: There's nothing particularly distinguished about Carter, but the quotes from Colletti upon his acquisition last month indicate the GM's strong belief in him. It's hard to believe Jonathan Broxton isn't better, but ...
D.J. Houlton, P: Fills the long reliever/swingman role. The Dodgers have 16 games in the season's first 17 days, so long relief could be vital.
Tim Hamulack, P: The 29-year-old's outstanding 2005 minor league numbers (1.13 ERA, 61 strikeouts in 64 innings) give him the slightest edge for the left-handed reliever slot. But this figures to be one of the most competitive battles in March.
Hee Seop Choi, 1B: Still the rightful starter at first base in some people's minds, Choi's place on the roster has been considered safe because of his left-handed bat and Garciaparra's recent injury history. On the other hand, the Dodgers have plenty of people who can play first base, and dropping Choi off the roster would allow them to keep an extra multi-position backup. The chances of Choi being in another uniform in April might still be higher than you think. Watch out if a starting first baseman from another team gets hurt.
Oscar Robles, IF: Last year's sometimes starting third baseman has a more suitable role waiting for him as backup infielder.
Jason Repko, OF: The brittle outfield opens up a good deal of playing time for the No. 5 outfielder. Repko is in line for the spot - he's got the speed the management likes, plus he's a right-handed bat in an outfield with lefties Drew, Lofton and Ledee, but he'll have competition. In any event, his role could be short-lived if Werth heals before the first starting outfielder goes on the DL.

Next in Line (9)
Jonathan Broxton, P: Odds are that with so many veteran relievers on the team now, Broxton will have to go to AAA, where he can work on his control. But he shouldn't be down long - if at all.
Kelly Wunsch, P: Allowed a .589 OPS vs. left-handed batters, .906 vs. righties. He'll definitely challenge Hamulack.
Hong-Chih Kuo, P: His strikeout potential is phenomenal. Ideally, he'll be healthy and ready to go after major league hitters. The last thing the Dodgers should probably do is waste his healthy innings in Las Vegas. But he'll have to prove to manager Grady Little that he's ready to get out major leaguers on a daily basis.
Franquelis Osoria, P: If the Dodgers have real confidence in their starting five, they could send Houlton down and open a spot for Broxton, Wunsch, Kuo or the groundball-inducing Osoria.
Brian Meadows, P: One of those guys who sometimes gives you good innings, he's in the mix.
Willy Aybar, 3B: His hot September primary lead infield backup.
Andre Ethier, OF: A left-handed hitter, he could challenge Repko for the temporary last outfield slot, but more likely would be first in line if another outfielder stumbles after April 1.
Cody Ross, OF: Ross had a terrible cup of coffee with the Dodgers in 2005, wasn't really a knockout in Las Vegas, and is perhaps tainted by association with Paul DePodesta (as one of his earliest scavenger prizes). But Ross has some power, so he could represent a more interesting threat off the bench than Repko.
Delwyn Young, IF-OF: Could sneak on, especially if he proves versatile. This was the Dodger Thoughts report on him in September:

Got the Vegas bounce in on-base percentage (.361) but not slugging percentage (.475) after his promotion from Jacksonville (.346/.499). His 16 homers with the Suns matched the more heralded Joel Guzman in 71 fewer at-bats. While the younger Guzman has greater long-term potential, Young is better positioned to help the Dodgers in April 2006, although currently 25-year-old Antonio Perez blocks his path. Young also has the plate discipline of Dodger minor leaguers of old - 35 walks against 531 at-bats over the two levels. He is hardly a basestealing threat.

See You Mid-Season? (4)
Kurt Ainsworth, P: This below-the-radar, non-roster acquisition is an interesting one. Ainsworth is 27. In 2002-03 with the Giants, he had a 3.34 ERA in 91 2/3 innings (17 games, 15 starts). But since 2003, he has thrown only 41 1/3 professional innings. He doesn't figure to make the Opening Day roster, but if he can prove himself healthy again in the minors, he might be a guy the Dodger starting rotation can use.
Russell Martin, C: There's every reason to assume that Martin will tear it up in Vegas, positioning himself for a callup the moment Navarro falters or Alomar is proved unnecessary.
Chad Billingsley, P: Still 21, he'll collect more seasoning at the outset, but he should get his first taste of the bigs this year unless he implodes.
Joel Guzman, IF-OF: The exciting prospect will also eye the major league injury report while discovering his new position, whatever that is. For our part, we'll be watching his plate discipline.

September Callups (5)
Andy LaRoche, 3B: As far as April goes, Mueller and Aybar are ahead of him as starting third baseman. By September, that could all change.
James Loney, 1B: There isn't any reason to think Loney will have a major-league impact in 2006, but there isn't any rush for him to. He's on track for 2007.
Greg Miller: Will continue his comeback from two surgeries, hoping for the best.
Jon Weber, OF: Probably peaking too late, he has put up nice minor league numbers but just turned 28.
Tydus Meadows, OF: Basically the same story.

Check Back in a Year or Two (4)
Matt Kemp, OF: A true outfield prospect, it's not impossible that the 21-year-old Kemp could be the first of the 2005 Vero Beach Dodgers to make the bigs.
Jose Diaz, P: He turns 22 this month but is a five-year minor-league veteran who has averaged 10 strikeouts and 1.7 walks per nine innings in his professional career. Could help the bullpen in the next 18 months.
Justin Orenduff, P: Good strikeout numbers following his mid-2005 promotion to Jacksonville, but a 4.07 ERA gives him something to improve upon there.
Tony Abreu, IF: Headed back to Jacksonville after getting a late-season promotion there in 2005.

Fodder (5)
Joe Beimel, P: ERAs below 4.00 last year with Durham and Tampa Bay. He's been assigned uniform No. 97 - not for sentimental reasons as far as I know.
Eric Stults, P: Some kind of wonderful? Jacksonville 2005, 3.38 ERA; Las Vegas 2005, 6.58 ERA.
Takashi Saito, P: This year's Norihiro Nakamura, pitching side. A 36-year-old (on Valentine's Day) pitcher with a 3.82 ERA in Japan last season doesn't excite.
Ramon Martinez, IF: Do we really need to force the Dodgers' original Ramon Martinez to compete in the team encyclopedia with a 33-year-old infielder who OPSed .639 last year?
Chris Truby, 3B: In the past three seasons, Truby has appeared in 13 major league games despite playing in three organizations desperate for help: Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh and Kansas City.

Fodder's Fodder (3)
Aaron Sele, P: The Ghost of Scott Erickson. The 35-year-old hasn't had a major-league ERA below 5.00 since 2002, and he barely strikes out a batter every three innings.
Edwin Bellorin, C: Bellorin turns 24 this month. There just doesn't appear to be any hitting potential here.
Pat Borders, C: Born before the Kennedy assassination - the first one - Borders stacks up as a AAA player-coach supporting Martin, the way Alomar is supporting Navarro. Borders' professional career began 24 years ago in Medicine Hat.

Comments (83)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-02-08 13:15:29
1.   D4P
The chances of Choi being in another uniform in April might still be higher than you think.

I actually think those chances are quite high.

2006-02-08 13:59:27
2.   Colorado Blue
Nice write up Jon! As usual, excellent work. I can't say enough how much I enjoy D-T for your work and the insights of the participants.

Isn't it possible that Drew may start the season on the DL along with Werth? In that case, the struggle would really be for a number 4 and 5 outfield spot. You have to figure Repko's a lock in that case. Would love to see Ethier come up as at least the temp. 4 or 5 OF.

2006-02-08 13:59:59
3.   King of the Hobos
Anyone been waiting for Simers to nickname Colletti? Because Colletti is now "The Schmoozer"

And I'm not sure I'd call Saito fodder just yet. No one, save the few other Japanese players, have faced him. For all I know, he could have a bizarre pitching style that American hitters wouldn't be used to (does anyone know how he pitches?). I don't think he'll make the team, but he has the potential to surprise

2006-02-08 15:48:16
4.   Marty
Hey, I was born before the first Kennedy assasination. And I'm left-handed. Maybe I could be a NRI
2006-02-08 15:48:22
5.   bigcpa
Great rundown Jon. I hope you've had a relaxing offseason because DT is going back to homepage status next Weds. :)

At this time I would like to nominate Lance Carter as the honorary Jason Phillips Roadblock player of 2006. This ad has been approved and paid for by the Free Jonathan Broxton Campaign. Thank you.

2006-02-08 15:54:41
6.   Jon Weisman
3 - Saito certainly has the potential to surprise - almost as much as Marty does.

I don't think there's an arm angle around that will give a 36-year-old reliever with a 3.82 ERA from the equivalent of a minor league a reason to be on the Dodger staff.

2006-02-08 16:05:18
7.   Sam DC
You still haven't succeeded in moving Alomar over to coach?
2006-02-08 16:12:04
8.   Jon Weisman
No, no one's biting.
2006-02-08 16:17:14
9.   Daniel Zappala
Great list, Jon. I will now be rooting for Young to make the team instead of Repko, Aybar instead of Robles, and Broxton and Kuo instead of Houlton and Carter.
2006-02-08 16:19:20
10.   DodgerJoe
Jon - thanks for the comprehensive review.

I agree with just about the entire roster. As with everyone else on DT, I would like to see Broxton/Kuo/Osoria in the pen in some way.

Maybe at the expense of Carter? Hamaluck? I guess somebody has to start in the minors.

2006-02-08 16:31:00
11.   Jon Weisman
10 - I'm sure not everyone wants Broxton/Kuo/Osoria.

But Carter and Hammerlock are really going to have to do something to win me over. Which they might do, but if it happens, it will be a surprise to me.

For that matter, I'm pessimistic about Tomko, too.

2006-02-08 16:35:43
12.   Suffering Bruin
As self-designated #1 fan of Choi, I agree that the chances of him being in a Dodger uniform are slim. I also think that the chances of Choi becoming a star have been reduced by the way he's been used.
2006-02-08 16:38:43
13.   Bob Timmermann
Just because I post about it a lot is not why I'm bringing this up, but I think the absence of some players as they participate in the WBC may have some effect on camp.

Choi and Kuo are going to be in Asia for part of camp and that will definitely affect their chances of making it with the Dodgers. Of course, the WBC could help showcase Choi.

Martin is also going to be in the WBC, but I don't think Canada will get out of pool play. I would be pretty surprised if the Dodgers let Gagne pitch. Canada could put him on the roster in hopes that the Dodgers would let him pitch in the final rounds, but I still doubt that.

Furcal, Brazoban, and OP are on the DR squad. Cruz and Ledee will likely see some time for Puerto Rico (Martinez is on the roster for the Boricuas as well).

Robles is on Mexico's roster and I would think he would start. He played in the Caribbean Series.

Seo is also on Korea's roster.

2006-02-08 16:55:41
14.   bigcpa
Hey Bob- do you know how the tiebreakers work coming out of Round 1?
2006-02-08 17:00:44
15.   Bob Timmermann
From an reprint of an AP story:

The tiebreakers in the standings used for advancement will be head-to-head record, followed by fewest runs allowed per inning, fewest earned runs allowed per inning, highest batting average in head-to-head games and a drawing of lots. The tiebreakers are based on International Baseball Federation rules

2006-02-08 17:02:25
16.   dsfan
I'll say it again:

Fans of Broxton/Kuo/Billingsley should have no concerns about roadblocks or lack of opportunity.

A greater concern is overwork and abuse. See Jackson, Edwin, 2003.

Given the dearth of good pitching in MLB, if a pitcher is any good, he'll get plenty of chances against major league hitters to throw his arm right out of its socket.

Jon, I think Broxton likely would benefit from more time in the minors. He was pretty innaccurate as a rookie. If your concern is that Las Vegas is a poor environment for him, send him back to Jacksonsville. Same for Kuo. If they're healthy and throwing strikes, they won't be there very long.

The more decent pitchers the merrier in spring camp. Let's say Meadows tears it up but there's no room for him. Maybe you work out a deal to keep him in Triple A -- "4A" pitching depth there was poor last year and it hurt the LAD. Or maybe you swap him for a prospect.

2006-02-08 17:03:27
17.   dsfan
Do either Delwyn Young or Joel Guzman have any demonstrated aptitude as an outfielder?
2006-02-08 17:08:09
18.   dsfan
What's the over/under on trips to the DL by the All-Star break?

Which Dodger, if any, qualifies for the batting title?

2006-02-08 17:09:34
19.   Jon Weisman
16 - Yeah, I've got no problem with a surplus at all. I'm just not convinced that some of these names constitute a surplus.

17 - They're both learning, or will be.

2006-02-08 17:15:59
20.   Jon Weisman
I have to say that the statement - excuse me, blog entry - by Mark Cuban today is something of a work of art.

2006-02-08 17:29:05
21.   Bob Timmermann
I read so many websites out of Havana now that I keep thinking anything with "Cuban" in it is about Castro.
2006-02-08 17:31:38
22.   LAT
Money aside, I would not want to be on Mark Cuban's hit list. He is a master of the mind game.

"The coach formerly known as the Zen Master must now be considered my bucket boy."

What a great line.

2006-02-08 17:33:48
23.   OaklandAs
13 I hope the WBC is a chance for guys like Kuo and Choi to make a positive impression. If Choi helps lead Korea out of their Round Robin Pool, it will be tougher for the Dodgers to send him down to AAA or trade him for another veteran middle reliever.
2006-02-08 17:37:46
24.   Xeifrank
Great write-up Jon, this is much better than movie or TV talk! :) This is the type of stuff that the LA Times should be printing, instead of the horses@*t they normally do. I can't understand why the Dodgers seemingly blocked Broxton's spot on the 25 man roster.
vr, Xei
2006-02-08 17:39:57
25.   Jon Weisman
24 - Thanks. I think dsfan is right - Broxton can easily make this team if he's worthy.

That doesn't mean he won't be worthy and still get sent to the minors, but he won't be held down long.

2006-02-08 17:44:23
26.   Jon Weisman
Just a reminder: Dodger Thoughts does not endorse partially bleeped profanity. If I can read between the letters, I can read it. Thanks:)
2006-02-08 17:44:24
27.   das411
20 - This may be the coolest episode of Laker Thoughts since Kobe put up his 81!
2006-02-08 17:53:32
28.   fanerman
It'd be nice if Mark Cuban owned the Dodgers, that's for sure.
2006-02-08 17:53:56
29.   das411
Woah, somehow my comment got erased but I wanted to say that 20 is the coolest episode of Laker Thoughts since Kobe put up his 81!
2006-02-08 17:55:31
30.   das411
Oy, nevermind, several refreshes and it somehow slipped through. Argh!

28 - Wasn't there talk of him buying a stake in...the Pirates?

2006-02-08 17:55:51
31.   D4P
Regarding Choi: Ned's apparent belief that Choi is not worthy of being the starting first baseman will likely become somewhat of a self-fulfilling prophecy in that, as it stands, Choi will not be put in a position to succeed (i.e. Hee will only be pinch-hitting and spot-starting, which are not really his strengths). As a result of his lack of playing time, his (poor) performance will apparently justify Flanders' belief that Hee doesn't deserve playing time, which will result in less playing time, and poorer performance, and so on and so on.

The more I think about it, the more I hope Hee is traded, for his own sake. The "I hope Nomah gets hurt so Choi gets the starting job" dream is probably misguided, in that there's no guarantee that Hee would get the starting job if Nomah got hurt. A more likely scenario would involve Kent/Saenz/Alomar/Borders getting the job, or Flanders signing yet another aged vet.

2006-02-08 18:17:08
32.   Andrew Shimmin
Any chance the downtime today was a DOS attack in response to the Dutch cartoons?
2006-02-08 18:21:27
33.   Bob Timmermann
Danish, not Dutch.
2006-02-08 18:30:17
34.   Andrew Shimmin
Ah ha! You fell right in to my trap. Only a sympathizer would point that out. Somebody get a warrant and seize Bob's computer.
2006-02-08 18:31:44
35.   dsfan
Choi lovers, I can see why you're bearish about Choi's chances of getting a meaningful audition from the Colletti regime, but I suspect he will get a decent shake and that you might be underselling Little's clean slate here.

Colletti's acquisition of Nomar wasn't quite a door slammer for Choi. Although Nomar profiles defensively at first base more than he does the outfield, the fragility of the team's outfield also was a factor in his acquistion.

Sure, Garciaparra, an infielder all of his life, would likely prefer first base and probably would find it an easier transition than left field (the left fields in the NL West, by the way, are among the most challenging in MLB).

Still, Colletti likely also was getting Nomar as outfield insurance and we've since learned that Werth likely will be out until June.

The point here is that I doubt Colletti/Little are writing off Garciaparra as a candidate for some time in LF to open the season, given the precarious health of the other OFs.

If Nomar shows he can judge a flyball -- and that's in question -- he could slide over to left for at least a few games per week. It's not like Lofton/Cruz/Drew are ironclad locks to be starting everyday. I'd say it's more likely that one of them is on the DL to open the season.

Choi, of course, needs to do his part and crush the ball in spring training. Power appears a short suit with this team. It's up to Choi to show Little and Murray that he can supply it.

2006-02-08 18:32:19
36.   dsfan
Do the Dodger hold any more minor league options on Choi?
2006-02-08 18:33:24
37.   D4P
Somebody get a warrant

Here ya go

2006-02-08 18:38:31
38.   Andrew Shimmin
37- I got really worried when I saw that the link was directing me to something called Apeculture, but it turned out okay.
2006-02-08 18:42:31
39.   D4P
Just "okay"?
2006-02-08 18:52:08
40.   Bob Timmermann
Choi does not have any minor league option years left.
2006-02-08 19:45:42
41.   Steve
I believe that Choi does have a minor league option left. That is why the full value of his contract is contingent on him making the major league team. I tried to Google it and came up with this:

Which I believe is directly taken from the Daily News article linked from that post, but which is no longer available on the web.

2006-02-08 19:57:41
42.   Bob Timmermann
The one time I don't use a qualifier on a blanket statement and the lawyer jumps all over it to prove it false.
2006-02-08 20:12:08
43.   Andrew Shimmin
39- Fantabulous, I meant. It was a typo.
2006-02-08 20:19:28
44.   D4P
Sounds like Steve's back On Notice.

I guess the Dodgerthoughts spellchecker doesn't recognize that "fantabulous" isn't spelled "okay".

2006-02-08 20:23:05
45.   Andrew Shimmin
If Choi played fabulously well during ST, would he be more deserving of a spot? He's a pretty well known commodity. Why weight ST numbers more, or even the same, as his career numbers? I've had pretty well all my ferver over his future beaten out of me, so, whatever. Still. . .
2006-02-08 20:33:50
46.   FirstMohican
I think Steve has an alert set up that lets him know when an untruth begins to circulate regarding Choi on

Maybe the persistence that Choi doesn't suck on this site has had an impact? From, Gurnick proclaims: "Garciaparra has the greatest challenge. He not only is playing a new position, but predecessors Hee-Seop Choi and Olmedo Saenz actually finished the season with respectable platoon numbers at first base (a combined 31 homers and 104 RBIs)." A rare set of props for the 10th best 1B production in the majors last year.

2006-02-08 20:51:43
47.   Steve
I think Steve has an alert set up that lets him know when an untruth begins to circulate regarding Choi on

Touche to you, sir.

Robin, to the Choimobile!

2006-02-08 21:05:50
48.   D4P
Can I be Robin? I've always liked being the sidekick.

The Robin to a Batman.
The Tonto to a Kimosabe.
The Grover Dill to a Scott Farkus.

2006-02-08 21:10:49
49.   Steve
The Maynard to a Dobie.

The Patrick to a Spongebob.

The Jason to a Jayson.

2006-02-08 21:17:02
50.   D4P
The Troy to a Janitor.

The JD to a Dr. Cox.

But not a Jason to a Ja(y)son. I gotta draw the line somewhere...

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-02-08 21:40:43
51.   Xeifrank
Still three spots left in the F^%$%*s of Dodger Thoughts yahoo fantasy baseball league (which is not officially sponsored by DT management). Feel free to sign up if you are interested in this kind of thing. vr, Xei
League ID#: 35204
League Name: Friends of Dodger Thoughts
Password: repko
Draft Type: Live Draft
Draft Time: Sat Mar 25 8:45pm PST
Max Teams: 16, Scoring Type: Rotisserie
2006-02-08 23:12:59
52.   Xeifrank
wow! The Depodesta Dodgers took over first place from Arizona tonight. I wonder if it's not too late to hire Depo back. vr, Xei

DBacks vs PD Dodgers
Pitching Matchup Results
B.Webb vs B.Penny ... PD Dodgers win 3-2, 13inn.
Game summary: The Dodgers scored one in the bottom of the 9th to tie the game and then one in the 13th to end a thrilling game. .

O.Hernandez vs D.Lowe ... DBacks win 8-7
Game summary: The Dodgers rallied back from a 7-1 deficit, only to see the DBacks score one in the top of the 9th to win the game. J.Drew and H.Choi each drove in three runs for the Dodgers. J.Estrada and E.Byrnes each had four hits for the DBacks. .

R.Ortiz vs J.Weaver ... PD Dodgers win 12-6
Game summary: The Dodgers scored 9 runs in the first two innings and never looked back. H.Choi, M.Bradley and D.Navarro each slugged HRs, Navarro's was a first inning grand slam. The Dodgers took over first place in the standings.

2006-02-08 23:22:44
53.   scareduck
47 - preaching to the Choir?
2006-02-08 23:23:39
54.   regfairfield
Obviously a computer would say DePo is better.

Now if you did this with pencil, paper, and moxie...

2006-02-08 23:49:51
55.   Xeifrank
54. haha! I lost my moxie, I need to get my prescription refilled. :) vr, Xei
2006-02-09 06:56:56
56.   Vishal
would that be for moxie cream, or the clear kind?
2006-02-09 07:14:10
57.   King of the Hobos
As Bob reported in the Griddle, Gagne expects to skip the WBC. However, according to Martin, "He's throwing great, his fastball is hopping and his changeup is really good". Also, Gagne told Martin to skip the WBC (which would make LaForest the starter) because "[Gagne] told me I have a shot at making the Dodger team, and that if I miss part of spring training it will jeopardize my chances."

2006-02-09 08:07:26
58.   Nolan
51 - Can you explain your preference for rotisserie? I've never understood how one could prefer it to point scoring...
2006-02-09 08:10:35
59.   regfairfield
58 I'm almost entirely sure you have to pay Yahoo if you want points, unless they just changed that.
2006-02-09 08:16:04
60.   Nolan
You can do either on Yahoo...My point is that I think point scoring is a much better way to go.
2006-02-09 08:21:46
61.   regfairfield
60 Wow, if only switching over to points wouldn't completely screw over my league.
2006-02-09 09:45:05
62.   Andrew Shimmin
60- What's the difference?
2006-02-09 09:58:42
63.   regfairfield
Rotisserie scoring works as follows: you take your rank in the league for each statistical category, and you then get points for each. For example, leading the league in home runs gets you 12 points in a 12 team league, finishing 3rd in strikeouts gets you 10 points, etc.

This has two problems: First, once you lead the league in a category, it doesn't matter how much you lead the league. Usually, there's no difference between hitting 200 and 500 home runs. Also if a large gap emerges between two players, it encourages in the player on the bottom to abondon the category, since they have no chance of catching up.

Second, it places equal weights on every category. On a one for one basis, a stolen base is more valuable than a home run. This leads to things like Chone Figgins and Scott Podsednik being 3rd round picks. (Home runs do end up being slightly more valuable in the end, since you get a run and RBIs too.)

In a points league, you get a certain amount of points for every thing: one for a single, three for a steal, ten for a home run, etc. You total up your points at the end, and that determines the winner. It really is a better system.

2006-02-09 10:16:59
64.   Andrew Shimmin
63- Thanks.

By the way, I've really enjoyed your Piazza retrospective. (that's the latest), if anybody else hasn't seen it. I wonder if Plaschke ever reads back through his own archives. Maybe he could have a staffer read them to him. Slowly.

2006-02-09 10:24:37
65.   ScoobyGoo
I just joined the DT league, I believe that was the last spot available too...

Even though a points system is fairer (as in, the team with the best overall players usually wins), Roto presents alot of interesting strategic moves. Where as most trades and moves in Points systems are just to try to get the best player possible in any situation, in Roto leagues you get alot of teams playing different strategies and trying to get points in different categories (and trying to screw each other over to lower their points), which makes for a pretty interesting game...

2006-02-09 10:39:05
66.   Steve

As always, this sort of talk is merely an embarrassment to the player. But the bigger question is whether the Times will embarrass itself by taking the player's side (as it did with Cora, Beltre, et al) or the team's side (thus continuing to highlight the double standard in their respective coverage). Will Tim Brown brush up the resume tomorrow? Stay tuned...

2006-02-09 10:48:35
67.   Andrew Shimmin
66- You don't understand. Stoneman didn't call Molina because of normal human reasons. DePo didn't call Beltre, Cora, et al, because his computer told him not to. It's not a double standard, it's case-by-case evaluation.
2006-02-09 11:08:18
68.   Bob Timmermann
Have you ever heard Bill Stoneman being interviewed? The word "human" does not come to mind.
2006-02-09 11:16:06
69.   Xeifrank
I think Roto is much better than H2H or even a points league. Roto presents much more strategy than a points league. I think you will see the more experienced players using Roto and the newbies playing points.
vr, Xei
2006-02-09 11:30:35
70.   Jon Weisman
Fantasy baseball talk : Jon :: TV talk : Xeifrank

But since I don't have a new post for you at this moment, carry on.

2006-02-09 11:32:35
71.   Eric L
63 Just to clear up the roto scoring a little bit, the total points aren't actually awarded until the end of the season. You keep standings up to date and all, but you aren't actually awarded the points for the category until the last game is played.

I haven't played points (unqualified opinion here), but it seems like the draft in the a non-keeper roto league is much more difficult to prepare for if you do the auction style drafting.

2006-02-09 11:33:10
72.   Marty
70 Hah! I'm the same way. But if Xei can put up with my movie/tv ramblings, I can endure roto talk :)
2006-02-09 11:36:29
73.   Bob Timmermann
I believe one of our commenters here wrote this about the NL West and its fantasy baseball implications:
2006-02-09 11:49:55
74.   ToyCannon
Great job Jon, just one thought. Justin Ruggiano should be in the outfield mix for a callup during the year if injuries hit. His MLE based on his AA performance is a sweet 292/345/441 compared to Ethier's of 281/332/424. They are both 23 and corner outfielders and neither has played above AA and both project to be at least good 4th outfielders if not starting corner outfielders. Cody Ross peaked in the minors in 2003 and his 2005 MLE is 201/258/353 which is about as bad as it gets. He should have bounced back from his injury last year so the decline does not appear to be injury based but skill based.

Other interesting MLE numbers:
Billingsly 3.64/1.16
Broxton - 3.27/1.16
Gonzalez - 4.92/1.65
Hamulack - 1.49/1.08 he was awesome last year. Should be at least as good at Wunsch as our LOOGY.
Hanrahan - 5.62/1.64
Orenduff - 3.98/1.23 small sample for starter
Osario - 2.13/1.27
Stults - 4.80/1.52

2006-02-09 12:01:24
75.   Jon Weisman
74 - Thanks. This was a Spring Training Primer, though - so I only considered those on the 40-man roster or non-roster invites. It doesn't preclude others making progress - I just needed to limit my scope.
2006-02-09 12:06:59
76.   ToyCannon
Nate Silver had some nice comments on Dionar Navarro over at BP. It was nice to see because I know BA is not impressed with him. Basically it said that while Martin is getting everyone excited they shouldn't be neglecting the fact that Navarro is also pretty good. I'd link the site but you have to be a paid subscriber. Nate said that if he develops power his upside could be Ted Simmons and if not a Mike Scoscia career is not out of the realm of possiblity. He did a breakdown on catching prospects and Martin comes in 7th based upon cathers who've never played one game in the Majors. That includes Jojima who really shouldn't qualify and Josh Willingham who probably will not remain as a catcher. He then compared prospects who have played some ML ball and Navarro rated 3rd but his statistical numbers based on Nate's methodology would have put Navarro 2nd in the prospect only list behind Jarrod Saltalamacchia who is well above the rest of the pack. Navarro placed above Martin by a WARP factor of 18.9 compared to 16.3 and an upside of 131.7 to 53.3. Needless to say Nate is very high on Navarro's future. Martin also looks good in this analysis. While he is not in the top 5 the numbers are very close and for the catchers rated 3rd - 8th there is not much difference while a huge drop off occurs after the 8th ranked prospect. I'm not doing the column much justice. For those who have BP, you should read it as Nate is trying to take the noise out of ranking prospects and I found it to be a great column. Maybe Jon could do a better column on it.

I guess we can be very thankfull that Molina signed with Toronto and Piazza with SD.

2006-02-09 12:15:19
77.   Jon Weisman
76 - I saw that and was pleased to see it. That being said, I've tried, but I can't really get in a groove with PECOTA (the projection system that Nate/BP run). I'm still not convinced of its merits - though perhaps that's my flaw.

I've expressed before that in my mind, Navarro shows promise, that the Dodgers have two promising catchers. I'm satisfied with that generality.

2006-02-09 13:05:57
78.   Xeifrank
70. Fantasy baseball:Dodgers::TV Talk:Entertainment Tonight.
but it's your blog. :)
vr, Xei
2006-02-09 13:09:38
79.   Xeifrank
Anyone else spooked by that "Ghost of Scott Erickson" comment? It kind of reminded me of that old black and white movie where some guy named Scrooge is visited by the ghost of xmas past. It also reminded me of a couple of X-File episodes, the Get Smart episode with the cone of silence and the Taxi episode where Jim is acting all crazy. :)
vr, Xei
2006-02-09 13:21:36
80.   Jon Weisman
LOL, Xeifrank.

New post up top.

2006-02-09 13:24:19
81.   Linkmeister
"the Taxi episode where Jim is acting all crazy."

Er, that would be episodes 2 through 47, right?

2006-02-09 13:50:12
82.   Vishal
re: fantasy. frankly i prefer h2h over roto, because you get weekly results and you get to do more trash talk after you beat someone. also you have to change your gameplan from week-to-week depending on how the matchup is, so it requires more strategy, i think. but either way, it'll be fun to play with you guys.
2006-02-09 16:36:19
83.   underdog
I'm looking forward to the injury bug devestating us again so we can enjoy an Aaron Sele-Ed Bellorin battery, with Truby fielding smashes at the hot corner. Woo hoo!

I wouldn't be surprised to see Matt Kemp up sometime in 2006, before September even. And/or Ethier. Especially given some of our brittle OFs history...

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