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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

An Off-Day Visit with Billingsley
2006-05-25 16:43
by Jon Weisman

Las Vegas at Round Rock, 5:05 p.m.

Top prospect Chad Billingsley is starting for the 51s (26-20), who have lost some ground in the standings with several top players going to Los Angeles. Tucson is .002 behind them, in a virtual tie for first place in the Pacific Coast League-Pacific South Division.

Joel Guzman is not in the starting lineup. Guzman's numbers really don't jump out at you these days - .356 on-base and .446 slugging percentages are fairly tame for the PCL and below what Russell Martin, Andre Ethier and Willy Aybar had done this year for the 51s. Guzman is still only 21, so it's no big deal - just that he still doesn't seem ready for the majors yet.

Round Rock has a 27-17 record, good for second place in the PCL American South. The Express has shut out Las Vegas in two consecutive games. Guzman is 1 for 8 in that span.

Round Rock starting pitcher Chris Sampson is 11 for 20 at the plate this season with a 1.171 OPS.

The game-time weather (local time 7:05 p.m.) is partly cloudy, 92 degrees.

Update: A rough start for Billingsley, as five of the first six batters reach base on a double, three singles (two on the infield) and a walk. But he strikes out the next two batters and escapes the first inning trailing, 2-1. Jeff Duncan and James Loney had singles and Dewlyn Young a sacrifice fly for Las Vegas in the top of the first.

Comments (96)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-05-25 17:12:42
1.   natepurcell
lets go chad!
2006-05-25 17:14:38
2.   Jacob L
I opened the stat page you linked. Who's this Garciaparra kid? Seems like he was raking the ball, but he can't get into many games.
2006-05-25 17:15:08
3.   Johnson
Wait. Isn't local time in Arizona the same as California in the summer because we observe DST and they don't?
2006-05-25 17:15:16
4.   Jon Weisman
He's past his prime for a prospect, so pay him no mind.
2006-05-25 17:17:01
5.   Jon Weisman
The game's in Texas.
2006-05-25 17:17:33
6.   Bob Timmermann
But you are right about Arizona's time zone.
2006-05-25 17:19:48
7.   Marty
Isn't Arizona time actually different in the summer because we observe DST and Arizona doesn't? When we go off DST in the fall they would be the same? Or am I completely confused?
2006-05-25 17:20:16
8.   Johnson
5,6 Geez. I saw Tuscon in there and assumed that Round Rock was just a local environ of Tuscon, just like the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes could be thought of as playing in San Bernardino, I guess. Whee!
2006-05-25 17:21:27
9.   Jon Weisman
8 - Feel free to blame me for the confusion. Re-reading my post, I can see where you went astray.
2006-05-25 17:22:40
10.   Johnson
9 Oh, I'd rather take credit for my own shortcomings than try to lay them on you. You've got enough of your own. ;-)
2006-05-25 17:25:03
11.   natepurcell
Hitters are sitting on the hard stuff. this is why billingsley needs to develop that change up.
2006-05-25 17:26:05
12.   Jon Weisman
That ball hit by McEwing must have gone to a perfect spot to retire Rodriguez on the fielder's choice.
2006-05-25 17:26:21
13.   Johnson
10 In fact, I may go into auto-flagellation mode for not keeping up on my PCL knowledge, what with the kids we've got coming through the minors and all. Bob will be interested to know that, while I am not an albino, my tummy has at times been described as "pasty".
2006-05-25 17:27:40
14.   King of the Hobos
8 Round Rock is somewhere near Austin as I recall. Nolan Ryan had some involvement with it, hence their name, the Express. One of the few minor league parks that I have been to (although they were AA at the time). Colorado Springs and Lancaster round out the extensive list...
2006-05-25 17:27:47
15.   Jacob L
I'll be honest. Before reading this thread I was at most vaguely aware of the existence of a place called "Round Rock" and certainly didn't know that a PCL team played there. Are there any myths or tall tales regarding this place called "Round Rock" or merely starting pitchers who can hit a little.
2006-05-25 17:28:19
16.   natepurcell
loney makes an error.
2006-05-25 17:28:40
17.   natepurcell
okay I guess it was a hard hit. too bad.
2006-05-25 17:29:36
18.   Jon Weisman
Round Rock is the home of Dell Computers, isn't it?
2006-05-25 17:30:08
19.   natepurcell
wow.. what is wrong with billingsley? :(
2006-05-25 17:31:13
20.   Johnson
Hmm. I'm wondering if Jon's title to the thread was more apropos than we might have thought.
2006-05-25 17:31:24
21.   King of the Hobos
18 That would make sense (they play at the Dell Diamond)
2006-05-25 17:31:28
22.   Jon Weisman
Three of the first five batters were kept in the infield, but they must have been hit pretty hard.
2006-05-25 17:31:47
23.   Jon Weisman
20 - LOL
2006-05-25 17:31:48
24.   King of the Hobos
19 No Martin, at least that's my hope.
2006-05-25 17:33:50
25.   natepurcell
seriously. All the problems has started when Martin was called up.

Martin has magical powers!

2006-05-25 17:34:34
26.   Jacob L
Quick, then. Send Martin back down!
2006-05-25 17:35:36
27.   Jon Weisman
Is that world-famous Cody Ransom at the plate?
2006-05-25 17:35:38
28.   natepurcell
A washington nationals scout is there....
2006-05-25 17:35:55
29.   bhsportsguy
With the lumps that Cain and King Felix have taken this year, a little adversity is always helpful to see what he is made of before the games really count.
2006-05-25 17:37:25
30.   JoeyP
Cody Ransom is 30yrs old and OPS'ing .590. How did he ever make it up to the Giants?
2006-05-25 17:37:57
31.   Jacob L
I think they had him for his glove.
2006-05-25 17:38:58
32.   King of the Hobos
28 Billingsley for Clayton?
2006-05-25 17:39:19
33.   D4P
All the problems has started when Martin was called up.

Mere coincidence. The Sabre Philosophy™ tells us that the catcher has no impact on the pitcher's performance.

2006-05-25 17:39:29
34.   natepurcell
in AA, laroche and kemp are both 1-1 so far with a double for laroche.

laroche has really been turning it on lately. in his last 86ABs he is hitting. 349/456/535 17bb 8k

not toooo bad.

2006-05-25 17:40:28
35.   natepurcell

oh golly gosh, i dont think bowden is that dumb- he would be getting ripped off.

2006-05-25 17:40:57
36.   JoeyP
What is being accomplished with letting Justin Ruggiano .278/.387/.475 in AA, while Jon Weber plays for Vegas?

Ruggiano (especially at his age), should be playing for Vegas. I'm not sure what purpose Weber is there for.

2006-05-25 17:48:08
37.   natepurcell
I think Ruggiano needs to cut down on the Ks. Other then that, he is doing well. Kemp has been in a power slump lately, his SLG has dropped a lot.
2006-05-25 17:50:22
38.   ssjames

Actually I have thought after each of Billingsley's mortal starts lately that he may miss pitching to Martin. Meanwhile, look what has become of the big club with Martin up. He may actually have some magical powers.

2006-05-25 17:52:48
39.   Underbruin
Bills hasn't been quite as lights-out recently as he was at the beginning of the year - granted, even with small sample sizes in effect, the ability of the 51's pitching staff to succeed in Las Vegas was astonishing. I'm wondering if there isn't somewhat of a similar affect for pitchers as they stay longer in a minor-league level as it is when they get up to the majors - right when they arrive it takes teams a while to get familiar with the pitcher (not necessarily just players, but coaches, who one assumes don't have quite the same level of turnover).
2006-05-25 17:53:04
40.   King of the Hobos
36 A similar question could be asked for Sergio Pedroza, 22, (.282/.466/.534) and Drew Locke, 23, (.359/.419/.538) in Columbus
2006-05-25 18:02:58
41.   JoeyP
I'm thinking that Pedroza is going to skip Vero and go straight to Jacksonville. Thats happened before a few times with Dodger prospects.

If he doesnt, then it really makes little sense to keep players 22/23 at an American Legion league like the SALLY.

2006-05-25 18:10:54
42.   natepurcell

honestly, while pedroza's ISO's are awesome, i still dont think he can hit upper level pitching. His batting Avg is average considering his age and college pedigree and he still strikes out a bit too much. and he is only hitting .239 against lefties, which was a knock on him in college.

2006-05-25 18:13:49
43.   JoeyP
What difference do strike outs make? If a hitter is constantly deep in the count, they will probably strike out more. They'll also take more walks and produce a higher OBP with that approach, so it more than makes up for not putting the ball into play.

I know not striking out has some value, but not at the expense of drawing walks.

2006-05-25 18:15:45
44.   natepurcell

striking out in the minors is vastly different then striking out in the majors.

I dont mind strike outs for major leaguers if they are getting on base and hitting for power but prospects top prospects need to show contact skills.

2006-05-25 18:16:23
45.   natepurcell
billingsley gives up a 2 run homerun. Okay I am now kind of concerned with the funk he has been in.
2006-05-25 18:18:10
46.   bhsportsguy
It appears that Chad will appreciate May ending and June beginning.

In a town some 50 odd miles outside of KC, Mo., Luke Hochevar is pitching tonight, this will be his last appearance and if the Dodgers don't get him to sign a contract by 9:00 p.m. PDT, he will go back into the draft pool.

2006-05-25 18:21:05
47.   natepurcell

that 900 pm PDT deadline inst for 5 more days!

2006-05-25 18:21:22
48.   King of the Hobos
46 Today's the last day? I thought we had until the end of the month

If Martin really is the problem, then would it be worth it to call up Billingsley to reunite the two of them? :)

2006-05-25 18:22:13
49.   bhsportsguy
And for the first time, Chad is facing players several years older than him, so its possible for the first time, these guys just won't swing and miss at whatever he throws.
2006-05-25 18:23:09
50.   JoeyP
dont mind strike outs for major leaguers if they are getting on base and hitting for power but prospects top prospects need to show contact skills

That sounds like the "cant walk off the island" argument. I disagree totally.

I think its at the minor league level where discipline should be encouraged, because if you form bad habits down there of swinging at pitches out of the zone just to make contact, its going to really hurt at the mlb level where mlb'ers exploit those weaknesses. I think its a bad situation when you have hitters afraid to strike out. It just leads to bad habits I think.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-05-25 18:23:44
51.   bhsportsguy
47-48, oops, I did mean to note that yes is Monday May 29, 9:00 p.m. PDT per a Baseball America colunm
2006-05-25 18:23:47
52.   Linkmeister
O/T: I picked up the new Dixie Chicks album today. It's as much rock as it is country, in case anyone was wondering, and it's very good.
2006-05-25 18:32:00
53.   natepurcell
I feel bad for chad, having to pitch in like 7 hell hole parks in the PCL.
2006-05-25 18:32:37
54.   D4P
I had thought of purchasing it just to support them, whether or not I actually listened to it.
2006-05-25 18:32:43
55.   bhsportsguy
Okay, adversity is one thing, we hope he doesn't get PCLitis
2006-05-25 18:43:49
56.   regfairfield
36 Weber is a reserve and is playing for Guzman.
2006-05-25 18:44:49
57.   Andrew Shimmin
52- Hmm. Really? The single is pretty bad. I don't own any of their other albums, though, so perhaps I'm just not the target audience.
2006-05-25 18:48:26
58.   bhsportsguy
Since Jerry Royster got upset with his team, they have lost seven out of eight games (counting tonight). I do think that missing 3 regulars have hurt them and I don't see Kemp, Laroche or Orenduff making a move until the midpoint of the season.

Hochevar thus far 4 IP at least 5 hits, 3 runs, 6 Ks and 2 walks, sounds (I only have radio) that he has a pretty good fastball, breaking stuff inconsistent, in K/BB is 19/7. His team is up 6-3.

The radio guy observed that there are some Royal scouts there but could they afford Hochevar if he is available.

2006-05-25 18:49:29
59.   Linkmeister
52 The single is more a statement than it is part of the album; they acknowledge that. The album's produced by the same guy who produced Johnny Cash's "American" series, and it's got all manner of great people playing behind them.
2006-05-25 18:49:49
60.   Linkmeister
Whoops. That was a response to [57}.
2006-05-25 19:28:28
61.   King of the Hobos
Pedroza hit two homers for Columbus today, only one of which was included in his SLG that I posted earlier.

Also, Hanrahan continued his comeback. After tonight's game, he'll have a 3.17 ERA in 48.1 IP, while allowing only 2 HRs and striking out 44. He's walked 26 batters however.

2006-05-25 19:40:17
62.   Bob Timmermann
Oakland is in danger of being Odalised.
2006-05-25 19:46:05
63.   Bob Timmermann
Ian Kinsler completes the Odalising of Oakland. It's 7-7 in the 8th.

It was 7-0 after 5 1/2.

2006-05-25 19:50:15
64.   Uncle Miltie
Anyone see the clip of Frank Robinson crying? Wow.

He should be blaming Bowden for having LeCroy on the roster, not himself.

2006-05-25 19:53:13
65.   Jon Weisman
12 singles, nothing else for Las Vegas through 8.
2006-05-25 20:03:32
66.   Bob Timmermann
Complete Odalising for the A's.

Phil Nevin homer wins it in the 9th, 8-7.

2006-05-25 20:15:41
67.   natepurcell
Goldstein has draft notes in his new BP article today. Can someone give a summary of what he said concerning the Dodgers please.
2006-05-25 20:18:49
68.   fawnkyj
If Robinson is crying now he better save some tears because the dodgers are up next.

"Watcha gonna do brotherrr! When the blue run wild on you!"- in my best hulk hogan impression

2006-05-25 20:24:50
69.   bhsportsguy
67 - Nothing really new here, comments that Dodgers are still deciding on whether to make an offer on Hochevar but he projects that they will have to spend 8MM+ for their 3 top picks, hard to figure them paying out another 3-4 million for Hochevar.

He then says that they would take Kershaw, and he's their top target here, but if he's gone, things get a little messy. Jeremy Jeffress, Drabek and Reynolds could enter the picture, and the pick will almost definitely be a pitcher.

2006-05-25 20:27:59
70.   natepurcell
okay i read the goldstein article.

something interesting. according to him, we still have a chance at hochevar:

there are some indications that there have been some very early, very preliminary, very loose talks between the Dodgers and Scott Boras about signing Hochevar, for whom the Dodgers retain exclusive negotiating rights until next Tuesday. While the chances of something getting done there still seem minute, that's significantly more than the zero chance that seemed to be the case a couple of weeks ago.


2006-05-25 20:44:39
71.   JoeyP
Anyone see the clip of Frank Robinson crying?

I dont understand this. In every other sport if a player is playing poorly, you take the player out. Why should being a catcher involve special "stay in the game no matter how poorly they play" perks?

Baseball still has very strange traditions.

2006-05-25 20:47:50
72.   Daniel Zappala
Some of you may be floored by this admission, but regular readers of DT know that I don't watch much TV: I watched my first episode of Lost last night, which (I hadn't realized) turned out to be part two of the season finale. And I only caught the second half. I was bored after the Dallas-Phoenix game and stumbled upon it, not even knowing what night it was on.

Ever try to catch up on a show like that, based on the last half of the season finale? Makes an ordinarily confusing show a complete riddle. I then read the entire episode guide on Wikipedia (great source of information), and basically now understand two seasons worth of the show after just one day. Not a bad way to save time!

I guess you have to really like unanswered questions in your TV shows in order to like Lost. It almost seems inevitable that there will be things that don't make sense, don't fit, or are still left unanswered by the time the series is done. I don't relish the task of the writers, having to keep track of all of this as they figure out what comes next, trying to prevent any errors in the script.

I will admit, it was intriguing enough that I will likely Tivo it next season.

2006-05-25 21:08:15
73.   Sam DC
This Robinson thing is just surreal. Lead to the Post article tomorrow:

"His Washington Nationals had just beaten the Houston Astros 8-5, had just won three games in a row for just the second time all year. Yet here was Frank Robinson, 70 years old, half a century in the game, with tears welling in the corners of his eyes and rolling down his cheeks. His right hand obscured part of his face. He all but chewed on his pinkie. As he pushed each phrase through his lips, he sighed deeply, all because he asked a grown man to perform a task he is ill equipped to perform."

And of course old Frank is getting mad credit for convincing the umps yesterday to call a run-scoring balk on Oswalt who stopped during his move to the mound and stepped off the rubber. The resposible umpire admits he missed it (it's obvious on replay) and Frank convinced him to check with his colleagues which he did, bringing the game-tying run home.

No firing of Robinson this year, that's for sure (which I agree with, given the circumstances) (the circumstances being a team that is not going to the playoffs no matter what you do and that is about to undergo so some significant roster overhaul).

2006-05-25 21:14:18
74.   Sam DC
move . . . to . . . the . . . plate
2006-05-25 21:19:50
75.   Uncle Miltie
I don't understand why people (Bob) hate Frank Robinson so much. I'll admit that he doesn't know when to steal bases and bunts too much, but he really has never had much talent to work with outside a few really good to great individual players. I wouldn't put in Jim Tracy territory as far in game managing or Dusty Basker territory in terms of how he handles his pitchers. He's an average to slightly below average manager. And the guy above him is arguably the worst GM in baseball.
2006-05-25 21:19:51
76.   Uncle Miltie
I don't understand why people (Bob) hate Frank Robinson so much. I'll admit that he doesn't know when to steal bases and bunts too much, but he really has never had much talent to work with outside a few really good to great individual players. I wouldn't put in Jim Tracy territory as far in game managing or Dusty Basker territory in terms of how he handles his pitchers. He's an average to slightly below average manager. And the guy above him is arguably the worst GM in baseball.
2006-05-25 21:20:37
77.   bill cox
Saw the Suns play tuesday and tonight in Huntsville,Alabama.Ordenduff had bad control the other night,but still was overpowering.Hanrahan sailed tonight,lots of hard sinkers,never in trouble,they pitched similar games,two hitters for seven,never in trouble..
Laroche had clutch hits in both games,is just real solid,consistent player.
I was impressed with Chin Lung Hu .He's a wizard at short with big range.He hits the ball pretty hard also.Tony Abreau hasn't looked real special in these games.
Justin Ruggiano and Anthony Raglani both made nice diving catches with some clutch hits,but don't seem to leap out at you as future major leaguers.
Matt Kemp looked bad on a couple breaking pitches in the dirt,but got some timely hits,and showed good outfield range.My son got his autograph after the game and he is a very charismatic guy
Casey Hoorelbeck has an interesting delivery and was effective tuesday night.Carlos Alvarez was a gas can tonight(4 straight hits)
Mark Alexander has a closer's mindset.He came in ,bases loaded ,one out and got a dp ball in the eighth and closed it out in the ninth.He turned it up a notch on the last hitter,flamed him with three fastballs.He looks like a keeper.
The catcher Brad Cresse was impressive.He drove in 7 tuesday(obviously an aberration) but hes a big hard throwing catcher who gets good swings.
Just my humble opinion is all.
2006-05-25 21:23:53
78.   Bob Timmermann
I hate Frank Robinson because he is a grouchy man who thinks he is God's gift to baseball and everyone else in the game is beneath him. And if you keep saying that no one likes and no one respects you eventually that becomes reality.

He keeps getting managerial jobs despite having very little managerial acumen.

2006-05-25 21:24:48
79.   Steve
Why does Bob get all the credit?
2006-05-25 21:27:52
80.   Bob Timmermann
I made a list.
2006-05-25 21:29:05
81.   D4P
For the same reason Miltie gets all the credit for hating Kent and his line drives.
2006-05-25 21:32:25
82.   Uncle Miltie
Steve, you are the leader of the Jim Tracy lynch mob.
2006-05-25 21:34:41
83.   ToyCannon
Bob still hasn't forgiven Robbie's Orioles for the 4 game in sweep in 66. I'm with Uncle Miltie, he's not nearly as bad as everyone makes him out to be and as a player he is one of the top 10 outfielders in the history of the game.
2006-05-25 21:38:02
84.   Kayaker7
73 Just read the Frank Robinson thing. I saw a little bit on ESPN, but I had the volume low to appease my wife, who hates the overexcited voices of sportscaster. I only caught the word, "cry." I saw LeCroy going into the dugout, so I thought he cried after being taken out. Of course, I thought of the Tom Hanks' tirade in, "A League of Their Own."

When I read the story, my next thought was Jim Tracy. I thought about all the times teams ran wild on Jason Phillips.

2006-05-25 21:38:14
85.   Bob Timmermann
Those 1966 Orioles made a 10-month old boy cry.

Nothing else did. I was a model child.

2006-05-25 21:38:47
86.   ToyCannon
So I'm checking up on this Carlos Santana guy. Someone mentioned earlier that they thought it strange that Pedroza was still in Low A. Santana was brought in straight to High A and hit 3 home runs in 2 games. He just turned 20 and last year for the GCL Dodgers he walked 16 times in 78 ab's and posted a 412 OBP. Interesting that they are rushing a 20 year old while Pedroza whacks away at Low A even though it looks like he's ready for a challenge.
2006-05-25 21:40:09
87.   ToyCannon
They made an 8 year old boy cry. Every game, I was a little to competitive for my own good as a child.
2006-05-25 21:44:17
88.   natepurcell

I think Santana was just a temporary replacement for Dunlap who is on the DL for being too fat (or something). But with the way Santana keeps hitting, I dont see how they can send him back to extended ST.

I think Santana has better contact skills then Pedroza. I do think Pedroza should be promoted but I still dont think too highly of him.

2006-05-25 21:49:02
89.   Steve
I wonder what Kevin Modesti thinks of Jim Tracy's win-loss record now. Something tells me that would no longer be Exhibit A in his Weekly Pro-Tracy Thumbsucker.
2006-05-25 22:46:00
90.   jet
Just watched Tim Kurkjian carry on on Baseball Tonight about Frank Robinson being all about 'respect for the players' etc. Well, maybe in his dotage Frank is finding some compassion. He didn't have any for Steve Howe when some decades ago, while managing the Giants, he 'sniffed' the chalk on the first base line while Howe was warming up in Candlestick, precipitating a brawl with the Dodgers and an irate Tommy Lasorda, not to mention this run-on sentence.
2006-05-26 00:35:20
91.   ryu
According to the LA Times, there is a guy named Evan Longoria (IF from Long Beach State).
2006-05-26 00:48:53
92.   bhsportsguy
70 - Doesn't sound good for Hochevar and let's hope that Neddy strives for a better farm system than he left.

2006-05-26 01:14:07
93.   Uncle Miltie
91- how could you miss this one?
Stephen King, SS Winter Park HS, Florida
2006-05-26 02:50:47
94.   thinkblue0

It's Eva's brother. Met him a few times on campus....

2006-05-26 06:46:31
95.   Daniel
I was at the game last night, so I thought I'd give a quick update. Billingsly wasn't hitting his spots last night and it did look like RR hitters were just waiting for his fastball. Almost all of the balls in play off him were hit hard. The error on Loney was hit hard down the line and bounced off the palm of his glove, it could have gone either way. The two run homerun in the fourth was just fair down the first base line.

Round Rock's infield was playing good defense. A leaping catch by the second baseman stole a hit and another great diving catch was turned into a DP.

We had a sleepy 10 month old and 3 year old with us so we had to leave after five. I was disappointed to miss the comback, to not see Guzman on the field and in the teams overall performance.

2006-05-26 07:13:18
96.   CanuckDodger
94 -- Evan Longoria is NOT related to Eva Longoria. Every article that mentions Evan quickly dispells that rumor.

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