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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

Eh ...
2006-07-01 20:00
by Jon Weisman

Whatever they think of him, not too many people disagree that batters will put the ball in play against new Dodger pitcher Mark Hendrickson, who is not a strikeout pitcher; the dispute is whether he is actually any better at controling what happens to the ball this season than he has been in the past.

Today's game - one game - was not going to prove anything even if something extreme happened - and in fact, nothing extreme happened. He gave up a home run and a few smoking line drives, including one by Vladimir Guerrero off Hendrickson's arm or upper body that may have hastened Hendrickson's removal after 80 pitches and five innings, but only one earned run. Only 28 of his pitches were caught out of the strike zone, for two walks - again par for Hendrickson course, although keep in mind that these were the Angels, who don't dance to "Walking on Sunshine."

In the end, Hendrickson was good and bad, lucky and unlucky, not showing much in my mind but doing adequately as far as others are concerned. Though four Hendrickson runs allowed were unearned, he will have to take the blame for three resulting from his throwing error that nearly cost Nomar Garciaparra use of his glove hand for the rest of the season.

Garciaparra narrowly averted a collision and almost got the out to boot, but it wasn't his or the Dodgers' day. He and Rafael Furcal were thrown out on the bases in pathetic fashion. Andre Ethier fell on his butt fielding a single, and Matt Kemp made the worst throw I have seen a Dodger make in ages, ignoring the cutoff man to go after a runner at third who was all but there and sending the ball to, I don't know, Guam. It happens. The day's a writeoff.

If you can put the pitching aside, though, the Dodgers have a situation coming to a head at third base. Cesar Izturis made a fine backhand play defensively today, but he is now 0 for his last 19 and 2 for his last 28 without a walk. For the season, his OPS is .504 with three walks and no extra-base hits in 39 plate appearances. It's hard to watch. Izturis isn't this bad normally (career OPS a slightly better .630), and his defense looks almost flawless, so it isn't the end of the world. Still, though I have to do more research on this, but my feeling is that I would rather watch the occasional error by Willy Aybar (who is also capable of great plays just the same) than watch Izturis at the plate. In the meantime, I have to remind myself that I predicted Izturis at third would be temporary.

Comments (58)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-07-01 20:18:00
1.   JoeyP
3rd base should be a platoon of Aybar and Saenz.
Izturis should have been left at Vegas in order to play SS, put up respectable offensive numbers, and then be traded.
However, thats all water under the bridge now as it appears the former probably wont happen, and the latter didnt.

Thats Dodger baseball these days.

2006-07-01 20:21:52
2.   natepurcell
aybar homered in his first AB tonight...
2006-07-01 20:22:04
3.   xaphor
Can we let the pitcher hit and have the DH take Izturis' spot.
2006-07-01 20:37:03
4.   thinkingblue
If LaRoche was healthy, I'd want to see him play more than Aybar.
2006-07-01 20:43:31
5.   natepurcell
Loney 2-3 2 doubles tonight. OPS=955 for the year.
2006-07-01 20:46:11
6.   thinkingblue
And yet only 5 home runs...
2006-07-01 20:46:55
7.   thinkingblue
But you know what, if having to have Loney instead of Nomar next year means signing an Ace, I might accept that.
2006-07-01 20:48:55
8.   natepurcell

that is true. but 20 doubles already which is a great sign for developing power. Its projection with prospects. Look at where Ethier was when he was 22 compared to where Loney is now at the age of 22.

2006-07-01 20:49:20
9.   DaveP
nate - Loney has 10 errors already in Vegas this year. Any story on why all the errors?
2006-07-01 20:51:19
10.   natepurcell

I don't know the reason.

2006-07-01 21:12:54
11.   Icaros
My dream Dodger infield 2007:

LaRoche-3B, Garciaparra-SS, Kent-2B, Loney-1B

2006-07-01 21:21:04
12.   CanuckDodger
Todd Helton, Age 22, Triple A PCL:


James Loney, Age 22, Triple A PCL:

.372/.412/.530 (Before Tonight's Game)

Both players' Triple A home parks count as extreme hitter's parks. Loney's is Vegas, Helton's was Colorado Springs.

2006-07-01 21:27:05
13.   JoeyP
Loney must hardly walk.
2006-07-01 21:37:09
14.   thinkingblue
Loney has 10 errors already in Vegas this year. Any story on why all the errors?

He does? Wow, I thought he was supposed to be the next 10 time gold glover or whatever. Is it that it's a bad field?

2006-07-01 21:37:50
15.   thinkingblue

But what about home runs?

2006-07-01 21:38:24
16.   Andrew Shimmin
12- Where are you getting Helton's numbers? The Cube has him 23/24 in AAA. His 23 numbers are over 71 ABs, but his 24 numbers were:

392 AB .352/.442/.564 (16 HR)

I know the Cube is often wrong; is it wrong here?

2006-07-01 21:39:14
17.   Fallout
3 xaphor

Izturis just recovered from TJ surgery. He's ready to pitch. So, DH for him...

2006-07-01 21:45:56
18.   CanuckDodger
13 -- Loney's walk rate has always been good, not great, but decent. Right, now, though, Loney's walk rate is probably worse than it has ever been in his career, and this year he seems to walk less the higher his average goes. Loney's strikeout rate is also the lowest it has ever been in his career. I think Loney's contact skills have simply developed to the point that in Triple A at least he can put the ball in play at will and with a high probability of getting a single or better, so there is not much point waiting and hoping for a free pass.
2006-07-01 21:46:26
19.   Andrew Shimmin
Now I get it. He was born in August, so he would have been 22 maybe, when he was promoted, then 23 for most of the next season when he had 3/4 of the season in AAA. You were using the tailend '96 numbers. Helton his nine HRs total, between AA and AAA, that year.
2006-07-01 21:46:57
20.   Andrew Shimmin
Hit, not his.
2006-07-01 21:50:49
21.   Uncle Miltie
The Clippers just resigned ET!
2006-07-01 22:01:16
22.   CanuckDodger
16 -- Baseball Cube is not counting Helton's age properly. "Seasonal age," or "baseball age," is whatever a player was on July 1 of a given year, but Helton has an August birthday, so Baseball Cube is not cutting him the appropriate slack. To be most accurate, let's say Helton was an "old 22" when he reached Triple A while Loney is a "young 22" (Loney turned 22 on May 7). At age 22, Helton did not play the bulk of the season in Triple A; he was promoted to that level after playing mostly in Double A that year. So Helton was a bit behind Loney in the age-versus-level-of-competition department. Helton's fuller Triple A season was at age 23, but of course Loney doesn't turn 23 till next May, so they can only be compared just now at age 22. Loney would have to repeat Triple A next year for us to compare Loney's age 23 season with Helton's age 23 season, but Loney doing what he is now a year younger than Helton was when he had his full Triple A Season is itself impressive.
2006-07-01 22:12:50
23.   Andrew Shimmin
What was Loney's big injury, again? There was only one big injury, right?

Helton had better numbers every year but his first in the minors. Not surprising for a college player. Listen, if Loney has a Helton career (a what-Helton-would-have-been-minus-Coors career) mazel tov. Do you really think he's going to be Helton, or are you sticking to Olerud?

2006-07-01 22:29:21
24.   das411
Not sure if anybody besides Andrew S saw this, but you guys may enjoy:

2006-07-01 22:44:38
25.   CanuckDodger
23 -- Loney had two big injuries. In August 2002 (the year he was drafted), his right wrist was broken by a pitched ball (basically, the same thing as happened to Drew last year). Then in April 2004, a couple games into the season, the middle finger on Loney's right hand was broken by a middle infielder's throw while Loney was sliding into second and trying to break up a double play. The Dodgers' crack medical staff let Loney play injured till the finger became infected and Loney had to have surgery or eventually risk having to have the swollen finger amputated. Loney had the surgery, and very quickly went back to playing, even though he couldn't wrap his middle finger around a bat, with a .238/.314/.327 batting line for the year the result. Logan White later said letting Loney play hurt was a big mistake (well, duh).

Loney -- Helton or Olerud? My contention would be that Helton without a career spent in Coors Field pretty much would have the same career numbers as Olerud. Helton and Olerud in their primes, and Loney, are all alike in that they can best be described as great-fielding, lefty first baggers with smooth, level swings conducive to high batting averages and doubles power, who occasionally can put a ball over the fence (or in Helton's case, it would have only been occasionally without help from Coors Field). The only respect in which Loney may differ from Olerud and Helton is that it looks like he won't walk as much as them, though he should at least have an average amount of walks. So Loney keeping his batting average high will be very important to his value.

2006-07-01 22:46:34
26.   CanuckDodger
25 -- Correction, it was the middle finger on Loney's LEFT hand that was broken.
2006-07-01 22:52:33
27.   Steve
So, the argument is that Hendrickson isn't responsible for today because of a play that happened six batters before he gave up all the runs?


2006-07-01 23:00:39
28.   Andrew Shimmin
27- Dude, that's sooo last thread. This is the healing thread. Indoor voices.

On the whole, I think I'd like Loney better if his name were Looney. Also, I hope Flanders doesn't sign him for 9 years, $142 million. But being told (again; I guess I wasn't paying close enough attention the first time) about his injuries makes me less inclined to hold his nothing-special years against him. I like the Dodgers' medical staff less than I did before this evening.

2006-07-01 23:05:54
29.   Andrew Shimmin
I just watched the Monk season premier On Demand (don't know how, but Comcast got the rights to show it early? Maybe other cable companies did, too), most of a week before the rable get to. I liked it. Don't know if Jon watches, so I won't give anything away.
2006-07-01 23:09:40
30.   Steve
Andrew, so noted and duly rectified. Was the Monk season premiere free or did you have to pay for it?
2006-07-01 23:09:50
31.   Andrew Shimmin
28 came out more school marmishly than I meant it to. Even with the dude bit, I don't think I pulled off the tone I hoped to. So, ignore it, or at least excuse my attempt at being funny.
2006-07-01 23:12:16
32.   Andrew Shimmin
30- Free! I watch Monk whenever I remember that it's on, but I wouldn't have been willing to pay for it, I don't think. I feel about the cable company the way D4P feels about Walmart.
2006-07-01 23:13:09
33.   Louis in SF
I think the questions on 3rd base are important and the Aybar Saenz platoon would probably be better. However, more do to contract issues than anything else, we have what we have right now primarily becasue we signed Furcal. If Mueller would be healthy 3rd base in the immediate future would be less of a problem. My concern for the Dodgers this year is more about pitching, primarily our starting pitching and the Gagne issue.

When you read the Ken Gurnick story on the Dodger website regarding why Gagne did not throw yesterday and Little sounding like he was pissed off that Gagne did not contact him..all of this bodes bad news. My main question is why the training staff did not inform Little that Gagne was still unable to throw and why was Little stating his displeasure so publicly. As far as the starters go with 90 some games left and your 4 and 5 starters pitching a combined total of at least 25 but probably more like 30, one of those spots has got to firm up...Given what is out there, not being able to harness Odalis Perez is really sad, Hendrickson at least throws strikes, but he seems very hittable. Am unclear about a return of Jeff Weaver, I just wonder if we wouldn't have been better off bringing up another young pitcher or trying to put together a deal for Smoltz?

2006-07-01 23:16:17
34.   Steve
I thought it was pretty funny. Funny enough that I went ahead and put it in the other thread. I kind of got the general gist of today because I knew Hendrickson was pitching and wanted to enjoy the blood-letting, but I didn't get to look at the details until just a few minutes ago. In any event, any decent pitcher should beat the Angels giving them six outs an inning.
2006-07-01 23:17:04
35.   CanuckDodger
28 -- Did you know that in the year we drafted Loney in the 1st round we drafted a LHP named Marshal Looney in the 6th round? Unfortunately, he got hurt a lot and we released him this spring.

29 -- I just bought the Monk fourth season DVD set a few days ago. Great show, but I wish Sharona was still on the series.

2006-07-01 23:18:45
36.   StolenMonkey86
25, 26 - Didn't a Dodger medical staff guy resign over some sort of philosophical disagreement? What this his philosophy or someone else's?

3 - We may already: Furcal.

Since Izturis' activation from the DL, Furcal has hit 14-43. I know that's largely due to him just coming around and feeling better. But .326? Check back in a couple weeks on that one, but this might work.

2006-07-01 23:25:09
37.   Andrew Shimmin
35- Heresy most foul. Sharona was fine, but I love Natalie. Her kid is irritating (I hold the Career Day business against her), but Natalie is wonderful.

Unrelated- Jeez. Look at Jose Cruz's splits for this year:

RH 58 AB : .328/.444/.552
LH 121 AB: .182/.322/.281

That's irritating. Small sample and all, with as many LH OFs as the Dodgers have, there can hardly be any reason for him to have hit LH, much less twice as often as RH.

2006-07-01 23:29:38
38.   Andrew Shimmin
34- I think the whole earned runs vs. unearned runs was a subtle subterfuge on the part of the pro-Hendrickson forces. That way, nobody could focus on his specific short comings, and we ended up fighting over the philosophical question of whether or not he could really be held responsible for the entirety of the score. And whether or not saying he looked better than Perez or Seo was a defensible position. Or, whethere defensibleness of positions is overrated.

Very tricky, devious people the pro-Hendricksons are.

2006-07-01 23:40:02
39.   regfairfield
37 Cruz was the starter at the beginning of the year. It makes sense he'd have a lot of at bats against righties.
2006-07-01 23:48:17
40.   Andrew Shimmin
But Ledee wasn't hurt for the first month, right? And Repko was dubiously, perhaps, on fire. Ethier was up in May, wasn't he? I don't know, maybe it's unfair. Going forward, I'd just as soon not see Cruz hit LH again.
2006-07-01 23:55:36
41.   dbenzen
After 80 games, here's what I've learned about the Dodgers:

Can't trust the arms of Odalis Perez or Danys Baez. The loss of Eric Gagne is much more important than I ever thought.

Garciaparra is the pick-up of the year. He's LA's version of last year's Tony Clark Arizona surprise.

Colletti, for all the good things he's accomplished, still presides over a .500 club. More shuffling ahead, roster-wise.

For me, Grady Little is much easier to digest than Jim Tracy. Little plays the rooks; if nothing else, the team is more promising even though this doesn't look like a break-out year.

I wonder if Gagne will ever pitch at anything like his "game over" days, or if he will really be able to pitch again at all. His situation is starting to feel a lot like the year Rob Nen went down for the count.

2006-07-02 00:16:16
42.   JoeyP
Saenz, Cruz, and Furcal have huge splits when facing LH pitching. Cruz/Furcal are switch hitters, so maybe they should just hit right handed all the time. At least try it for two weeks and see what happens. Of course, maybe its a fluke and is only happening bc they've faced some trashy left handers?
2006-07-02 00:50:33
43.   Andrew Shimmin
Emergency programming note: There's an Arliss marathon on ESPN Classic, right now!
2006-07-02 00:59:36
44.   ninjavshippo
38 put me in the tentatively pro-hendrickson crowd. i'm willing to give almost anyone with a pulse a 2nd (3rd, even) chance. hell, I didn't think the idea (jon's?) to take weaver off the scrap heap was all that crazy. perhaps it was my catholic schooling that groomed me to be unreasonably forgiving. :)

41 big save #s, K, mini-ERA, borderline overuse by the hated ones, then chronic injury problems. the rob nenn comparisons are a little creepy. and sad :(

2006-07-02 01:28:24
45.   Andrew Shimmin
44- Yes, but are you sneaky?

I don't expect to see Gagne pitch in a Dodger hat again. But, I didn't expect to see him pitch in a Dodger hat again, after the surgery last year. Or the one this year. It doesn't seem like they know what's wrong with his elbow. The planned-TJ-improvised-whatever surgery, then the nerve removal, without seeming to fix it again means, to me, that his actual problem is unknown. It's possible it's just bad rehab, that he's recovered and been reinjured each time. But that's not my guess. This is based on my self-awarded MD/PhD. Nobody else was willing to award me one, so I stepped up and awarded myself, myself.

2006-07-02 01:34:41
46.   Greg Brock
45 Nobody has any idea what's going on with Gagne, or where he'll be next year. Granted, I don't have the MD/PhD you've awarded yourself, but Gagne would be hard pressed to find an organization more willing to give him a legit shot. I'm assuming that the Dodgers will buy out his deal, he'll sign with the club for 3 million next year, and grab 40 saves. Then we lose him to somebody else. Just one man's opinions
2006-07-02 03:04:32
47.   bhsportsguy
Gagne is in a pretty tough spot, he has to know that unless he can show he can pitch effectively, his stock won't mean much in the coming off-season but if he goes out and gets hurt, he has no chance of signing anywhere.

If he was in the middle of a contract, I think he might shut it down for the rest of the year because if his injury is similar to Brad Penny's it took about 7-8 months to get back to form and probably another year where his velocity was consistent.

But it sounds more and more like a mental hurdle he has to get through, it may be that this pain is something he will never get rid of but with inflamatories and treatment he can pitch.

Whether he wants to do that or not will be his call, the Dodgers and any other team know his medical condition so all they can do is wait.

2006-07-02 04:20:21
48.   Sam DC
Wow -- Potholder giveaway yesterday; ketchup/mustard sets today at McAfee.

2006-07-02 04:29:32
49.   Sam DC
Yuck: "Though Washington pegged Astacio (strained right forearm) as its starter tomorrow, Astacio expressed concern he might not be ready."
2006-07-02 05:40:14
50.   dagwich
A little local profile (puff piece) of ex-Bulls manager Grady Little in the Raleigh, NC paper. Nothing new but some nice quotes I guess. You learn he has 25 sons!
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-07-02 06:39:48
51.   D4P
I don't claim to know what will happen with the 3B situation, but I do know this:

There's a very good chance many of us will be saying to ourselves (and to each other) "Why didn't Ned just keep (player(s) he traded for 'veteran' third baseman) and let Aybar/Saenz/Lucille II platoon at 3B instead?"

2006-07-02 06:50:34
52.   Andrew Shimmin
51- Two points of optimism (sort of) on that:

1. He's not blocked a prospect yet, so, even if he does go out and get a garbage 3B, it'll probably only be for a year.

2. One of the two position players he's traded for, so far, has done really well. The other is a backup catcher, so he hardly counts at all.

2006-07-02 06:54:13
53.   D4P
One of the two position players he's traded for, so far, has done really well

Yeah, but he's no more than a 4th outfielder...

2006-07-02 07:04:52
54.   Andrew Shimmin
53- Well, yeah. But, I have a feeling that if Ethier can keep up his current pace for another couple years, he'll be an real, live 3rd OF. So, maybe that glass is half full, too!
2006-07-02 07:09:22
55.   D4P
Not that you have to be a 1st through 3rd outfielder to be a starter in this league. I mean, look at K-Lo...
2006-07-02 08:25:10
56.   Marty
51 If I see Joe Randa's silly grin in Los Angeles there's going to be trouble.
2006-07-02 10:37:23
57.   JoeyP
51. I see Izzy as a garbage 3rd basemen blocking Aybar right now. We'll see how long it lasts.
2006-07-02 23:21:54
58.   Nolan
Izzy cannot hit and never could...To put him at 3B for any extended period of time is suicide if we are actually trying to win the division this year...

Izzy is the classic all-field no-stick SS and would have been a starter back in the old days when runs were more scarce and games were closer...

As I've said several times, Izzy at 3B is only acceptable as long as the purpose is to show the rest of the league that his arm is healthy so that we can trade him...

Anything beyond that will seriously damage this team and makes no sense.

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