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About Jon
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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
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7) using sarcasm in a way that can be misinterpreted negatively
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12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with

Can Loney Be a Big Game James?
2006-07-12 11:05
by Jon Weisman

Is he worthy?

James Loney puts his bat on the ball. In nearly 300 trips to the plate this season with AAA Las Vegas, he has struck out 22 times.

However, he has only seven home runs and 20 walks. So the question on people's minds is, is he a one-trick Loney?

Despite his apparent home run shortfall, Loney has the highest slugging percentage on the 51s at .556 - higher than Andy LaRoche or Joel Guzman has, higher than Andre Ethier or Russell Martin had. Loney has a double every 12.9 at bats - second-best on the team behind Delwyn Young, whose .335 on-base percentage is 91 points below Loney's .426.

Loney is doing this at AAA despite being only 22 years and two months old.

Of more concern is whether Loney is walking enough. Interestingly, Loney's nearly even walk-strikeout ratio is an improvement from his two seasons and is his best since his debut year in 2002.

Year BB SO
2002 31 28 (64 games)
2003 43 80 (125 games)
2004 42 75 (104 games)
2005 59 87 (138 games)
2006 37 40 (projected over 130 games)

Loney is walking less and striking out less. Is he simply getting more pitches to hit? In the past, he has shown both more patience and a greater ability to be confused. Of course, in some of those years he struggled with injuries as well.

I often ask myself why Martin and Ethier, whose overall AAA statistics were worse than Loney's, have succeeded in their first trips to the majors. Is it because their walk rates were higher and gave them a better defense against major-league pitching? Or is it a fluke?

Sitting here today, it would seem these are the following potential outcomes for Loney in the majors.

1) Injuries prevent us from seeing what he could be.
2) He becomes a .280-.300 batting average, low-power hitter (.750 OPS).
3) He becomes a high-average, doubles hitter (.850 OPS).
4) He becomes a high-average hitter with power just shy of Nomar Garciaparra's (.950 OPS).

At his age, I like his chances of learning not to be fooled in the majors. I think he can reach Level 2 by 2007, Level 3 by 2008 and maybe, just maybe, Level 4 by 2009.

But because they're not fooling Loney in the minors anymore, I'm sort of in limbo with my prediction. He's going to need the challenge of major league pitching to give us more information about his future. And in all likelihood, the Dodgers are going to have to allow him to struggle a little bit before he makes his big leap forward. When you go weeks or months without a challenge, the challenge can shock you when it comes. And then it's all on how you adjust.

Loney, by the way, has been learning to play left field - giving him a place to go should the Dodgers retain Nomar Garciaparra for first base. Heading into next season, the Dodgers could potentially have Loney, Garciaparra, Ethier, Matt Kemp, Andy LaRoche and J.D. Drew rotating among the three outfield positions and the infield corners - and that's not even accounting for Joel Guzman or Aybar.

Drew and Garciaparra are question marks to return to Los Angeles next season. Garciaparra will test his love for the city against the team's love of a long-term deal. Drew and his agent, Scott Boras, will have to decide whether he can do better than the three years at $33 million he has the option of keeping or discarding. With at least 2 1/2 months of baseball remaining in 2006, there's no way to know what will happen.

But if the Dodgers don't jerk Loney around in the future, if they can at least give him the kind of four-or-five-game-a-week exposure that Ethier and Kemp have been receiving, I like his chances of becoming a significant asset. I'm holding my breath the tiniest bit as to whether National League pitchers will have any Loney Kryptonite that isn't found among the AAA pretenders. But then again, National League pitchers aren't that much to write home about these days, are they?

* * *

Many thanks again for an overwhelming fundraising drive for Dodger Thoughts, and above all to Sam DC for being the driving force. It was really something else.

Comments (364)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-07-12 11:19:40
1.   thinkingblue
Drew and his agent, Scott Boras, will have to decide whether he can do better than the three years at $33 million he has the option of keeping or discarding.

Drew's not going anywhere. First, he said in ST that it was just an option because he wanted to see how LA would be, and he wouldn't opt out for more money.

Second, I don't think he's gonna get paid more money putting up less than 20 home runs in a corner outfield spot. Plus, he's a huge injury risk.

2006-07-12 11:23:22
2.   Humma Kavula
Second, I don't think he's gonna get paid more money putting up less than 20 home runs in a corner outfield spot. Plus, he's a huge injury risk.

On the other hand, ya never know what the market's gonna do.

Is there a particular date by which Drew has to state his intentions? If it's, say, the day after the season ends, then I think you're right and he'll stay. If it's, say, December 31, Boras just might convince him to wait and see what others sign for.

2006-07-12 11:24:50
3.   Jon Weisman
It's nothing personal, thinkingblue, but you wouldn't appear to have the most objective view on Drew.

I think odds are he would play it safe and stay, but it's not at all out of the question that a big-budget East Coast team would give him a raise on a three- or four-year deal.

2006-07-12 11:26:59
4.   Marty
As long as the Yankees are around, nothing is certain when it comes to contracts.
2006-07-12 11:28:18
5.   Greg Brock
So let me get this straight. Loney, a player with greater value because of his defense at first, is going to be moved to an outfield corner spot, where his lack of power crushes the lineup. Nomar, injury plagued, may be re-signed, and continue to play first, rather than moved to third base. Brilliant.
2006-07-12 11:30:06
6.   thinkingblue

Really? After that draft fiasco, the Phillies won't touch him. The Braves, Marlins, and Nationals aren't big budget teams, and the Mets already have a huge contract for Beltran, and don't appear to need a Drew.

Also, the Blue Jays, Rays, and Orioles certainly don't seem likely to want/afford Drew. The Red Sox have Manny already, Coco, and Nixon or Pena in left. They may have slight interest, but I don't think he'd be a priority for them.

The Yankees already have huge contracts in Matsui, and Damon in the outfield. There are your East Coast teams.

2006-07-12 11:30:46
7.   thinkingblue

I would like to see LaRoche at 3rd soon.

2006-07-12 11:30:47
8.   thinkingblue

I would like to see LaRoche at 3rd soon.

2006-07-12 11:32:41
9.   D4P
Drew's not going anywhere. First, he said in ST that it was just an option because he wanted to see how LA would be, and he wouldn't opt out for more money.

You appear to have reached the conclusion that DJ likes LA enough to stay. How did you reach said conclusion?

2006-07-12 11:33:16
10.   bluetahoe
If Nomar is unwilling to except a reasonable 2 year deal I advocate letting him walk.

I'd go with Loney at 1st. I think he's an Ethier clone in many ways and that's a GOOD thing. With Nomat walking I fully advocate Neddie does what he must to land Mr. Zito. I also advocate trading Izturis and possibly others for more power at the hot corner. Of course Odalis is the wild card in assembling the team the way we need it.

2007 Rotation
1. Zito
2. Penny
3. Lowe
4. Billz
5. Hendy/Tomko - (not sure of Hendy's status but at least 1 must go via trade.)

2007 Bullpen
1. JBrox
2. Kuo/JoeyB
3. Gio Machine
4. Saito
5. OPerez - (puke)
6. top notch reliever to be determined

1. Raffy - ss
2. Martin - c
3. Ethier - lf
4. Drew - rf
5. Kent - 2b
6. Kemp - cf
7. LaRoche - 3b
8. Loney - 1b

1. back up cather yet determined.
2. Repko
3. Young/Guzman
4. Saenz
5. bring back Ramon Martinez
6. another in house reserve

2006-07-12 11:33:42
11.   natepurcell


ALL of that is your opinion and you are trying to spin them off as fact. Not going to fly.

anyways, at least Jon thinks my rotational idea of ethier, drew, loney, nomar and kemp could possibly work.

2006-07-12 11:34:31
12.   Marty
Well, he did say earlier this year that he liked L.A. more than he thought he would. If I were to bet on it, I'd bet Drew is here for the next 3 years. But you never know. Even when you know, you never know.
2006-07-12 11:34:47
13.   the OZ
3 We know the Yankees would like to have more talented outfielders. The question is how much money is left in their budget. Shoot, the Red Sox could use him, too, but they'd likely need to offer more than whatever he's due over the last three years of the contract (suppose, $33M/3 unless the current deal is backloaded; maybe $38M/3). I can't imagine that the Mets need an outfielder so badly that they'd seriously bid on him.

Wait, this is a Loney thread! Stop talking about Drew!

2006-07-12 11:34:50
14.   fanerman
I would agree with 4 and not 6. I don't think the price of the current Yankee outfield really has any bearing on if they would go after Drew. Sheffield may have already played his last game as Yankee and Drew could be seen as a good replacement.

Still, my gut feeling (for whatever that's worth) says Drew will most likely stay. Especially after this sub-par year. By the way, any reason why he seems to be lacking in power?

2006-07-12 11:35:07
15.   Jon Weisman
6 - I think you eliminated some of those teams too quickly.
2006-07-12 11:37:28
16.   Bob Timmermann
Considering Manny Ramirez to be a permanent fixture in Boston is interesting.
2006-07-12 11:37:43
17.   DodgerJoe
Would Nomar play 3rd next year? Loney probably has nothing else to prove in the minors.

What is the timetable for LaRoche to the majors?

As much as I like Carlos Lee, I think the big money this offseason should be spent on pitching (Zito).

2006-07-12 11:37:59
18.   the OZ
14 We're guessing labrum, Shawn Green-style.
2006-07-12 11:39:12
19.   fanerman
Speaking of Loney, any ideas on whether Nomar can play SS again? If Nomar is at 3rd, he's blocking LaRoche. If he can be an slightly below average to average SS, his bat more than makes up for it. Of course it could be more of an injury risk than 1B. And there's Furcal and Izzy. The Dodgers don't seem to have a plan on how to deal with these issues.
2006-07-12 11:39:22
20.   thinkingblue
Has anyone heard the Mike Gonzolas rumor?
2006-07-12 11:40:12
21.   thinkingblue
nate, to change the subject, does the 10 BBs and 1.75 or so WHIP concern you with Morris?
2006-07-12 11:40:44
22.   DougS
Loney certainly proved that he's a pretty good glove man at the major league level, so there's no doubt about his defense. I would think that even if he never progresses much beyond level 2 in Jon's formulation, he'd be a useful part-time player, especially if he can pick up another position.
2006-07-12 11:40:47
23.   JJoeScott
First, I admit to having no idea what Team Drew/Boras might be thinking.

However ... I'd have to think he can do better than $3yrs/$33M, which is what's remaining on the Dodgers contract.

This season's free agent OF class is filled with aging stars, fading stars, or non-stars (or guys like Gary Mathews Jr. having unusually good, breakout seasons the year before their free agency):
Moises Alou
Barry Bonds
Jeromy Burnitz
Mike Cameron
Frank Catalanotto
Jose Cruz Jr.
Dave Dellucci
Mark DeRosa
Jermaine Dye
Jim Edmonds
Carl Everett
Steve Finley
Cliff Floyd
Luis Gonzalez of
Jose Guillen of
Todd Hollandsworth of
Aubrey Huff of/DH
Torii Hunter of
Brian Jordan of
Gabe Kapler of
Ricky Ledee of
Carlos Lee of
Kenny Lofton of
John Mabry inf-of
Eli Marrero c-of
Gary Matthews Jr. of
Trot Nixon of
Jay Payton of
Eduardo Perez of
Juan Pierre of
Dave Roberts of
Tim Salmon of
Gary Sheffield of
Alfonso Soriano of-2b
Shannon Stewart of
Daryle Ward of
Rondell White of
Bernie Williams of
Craig Wilson of
Preston Wilson of

Despite what post 6 notes -- and depending on what happens to Soriano -- I probably advise Drew to leave.

2006-07-12 11:40:52
24.   blue22
Don't count out the Cubs in the Drew sweepstakes. They'd like a bit more pop after the Pierre (whose a FA) debacle.
2006-07-12 11:41:24
25.   JJoeScott
2006-07-12 11:46:04
26.   thinkingblue
I don't think Drew is leaving. And I don't think he'll get more than 11 million having a down year, and the fact that he is too injury prone.

Also, going to the cubs? I think he wants to win.

2006-07-12 11:50:36
27.   JJoeScott
Maybe he gets another 5/$55M contract. That's $22M that he doesn't already have now. Probably depends on his second half this year ...
2006-07-12 11:50:49
28.   Jon Weisman
I'd love to get some other opinions about Loney and walks, if any of you have one.
2006-07-12 11:55:22
29.   Marty
Loney seems to be hitting everything thrown at him in AAA, so why walk? Has he always had a low walk rate, even with less average? My feeling is he needs to come up and play as soon as possible so we can see what he can do. Unfortunately, the NL batting leader is in his way.

I will not be surprised if Loney is traded in the next 2-3 weeks.

2006-07-12 11:56:18
30.   bluetahoe
Mark my words, Marty. Loney will NOT be traded.
2006-07-12 11:56:40
31.   thinkingblue
or today
2006-07-12 11:57:10
32.   blue22
28 - Looks like pitchers are really going after him. He's seeing a lot of strikes, and is hitting them well enough. Lots of singles and doubles (would love to know the "type" of doubles he's getting). Not many homeruns.

The league should adjust and start missing the strike zone soon, right? You can't get walks if the pitchers are throwing strikes. You have to punish them for being too wild in the zone. Is he doing that right now? How's his iso-power look?

2006-07-12 11:57:19
33.   Eric L
29 According to our friend Canuck, the front office values Loney very highly and sees him as the 1B of the future.
2006-07-12 12:02:12
34.   bluetahoe
If Nomar reups with the blue, and we are unable to land Zito, look for Loney to be packaged in a deal that brings us Roy Oswalt.
2006-07-12 12:02:40
35.   JJoeScott
30, 33 - With Nomar (and then maybe Kent, per Coletti) holding down first base for the next 2+ years, I think you've got to look at making Loney (red hot right now) as the cornerstone of a deal. Which is why you talk him up as "the 1B of the future."

Or as Colin Cowherd might put it, this is why MLB has the Royals and Pirates so we can deal our "hot minor league prospects" for players to help us win now.

2006-07-12 12:02:47
36.   the OZ
28 I'm not overly concerned with Loney's walks, much like when Andy LaRoche was destroying high-A ball last year. Loney is seeing and hitting strikes hard, which is evidenced in his batting average and slugging. He's not stiking out much, either, so I assume he's not chasing bad pitches.

Walks are good if you're seeing pitches you can't drive. It's hard to bat .380 while maintaining a .100 isolated patience ratio because you're driving good pitches before you work deep in the count. Nothing wrong with that.

2006-07-12 12:03:18
37.   blue22
26 - Also, going to the cubs? I think he wants to win.

Says who? Everyone knows that Drew is a robot. An injury-prone robot at that.

2006-07-12 12:03:22
38.   Marty
34 What about what you just said in 30. Seems like a conflict.
2006-07-12 12:03:28
39.   Linkmeister
Noted in passing: In 12 Marty is channeling either Joaquin Andujar or Don Rumsfeld. He gets his choice as to which person he'd rather emulate.
2006-07-12 12:04:19
40.   Fallout
28 Jon Weisman
I'd love to get some other opinions about Loney and walks, if any of you have one.

I think that he needs to prove that he can hit in the minors. In the majors he will have to prove that he has patience...

(I love it when someone asks for an opinion)

2006-07-12 12:05:35
41.   Marty
39 I was actually channeling Richard Dreyfus in "Let it Ride". I've used that line ever since.
2006-07-12 12:09:28
42.   Linkmeister
41 Ah. That one is outside my frame of reference, since I never saw it.
2006-07-12 12:10:27
43.   bluetahoe
Loney will NOT be traded this season I should clarify. The offseason is a whole new ballgame with Nomar and getting another top line starter. I would include Loney in a deal for a top line starter NOW. As long as said pitcher is not a 2 month rental. But I do not think any top line non-rentals are out there to be had.
2006-07-12 12:11:13
44.   blue22
36 - My question is, is he really killing the ball? Is a .556 slg% really that impressive when you're hitting .385?

That's why I'd like to know what kind of doubles is he hitting. Are they gappers? Is he getting lift on/driving the ball?

2006-07-12 12:13:36
45.   thinkingblue
Even Steve Hartman rips Plasckhe, though the Brick still agrees with Bill.
2006-07-12 12:15:06
46.   Jon Weisman
44 - That's why I think it's likely that his batting and slugging averages will take a huge initial hit in the majors. But as he gets older, his slugging percentage could well improve relative to his batting average.
2006-07-12 12:16:35
47.   Fallout
44 blue22
That's why I'd like to know what kind of doubles is he hitting. Are they gappers? Is he getting lift on/driving the ball?

Lets be analytical. Does he have "Kenny speed"? No. So, they must be gappers or another question are they hit down the lines?

2006-07-12 12:16:36
48.   thinkingblue
But now Hartman dissapoints me, he accuses Gagne or roids. HELLO, he got hurt playing pepper.
2006-07-12 12:22:29
49.   savetheblues
Loney has a level swing, he's a gap hitter, and so what we can assume is he will probably develop into a good 2 hitter eventually with doubles power, which is valuable enough. As for his strikeout rate and low walks, I feel as though too much emphasis on walks is a bad idea in the minors since pitchers tend to struggle with control there. What is his PpAP, which could be a sign of whether he's swinging free or hitting smart.

What I'm worried about is we'll go after Zito and tie a bunch of money into him, while he is not the pitcher he used to be and will probably only get worse. His peripherals this year are downright embarassing, and his fastball doesn't set up that curve as well as it used to.
2006-07-12 12:23:43
50.   thinkblue0

where are you getting this info that Oswalt is going to be traded. I can't imagine any scenario where the Astros trade Oswalt.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-07-12 12:23:46
51.   the OZ
44 Is a .556 slg% really that impressive when you're hitting .385?

It's not spectacular but it's not awful, either. 171 ISOP is tolerable, especially from a guy that was never supposed to be a major power threat, anyway.

Plus, he's still young and has a lot of room to add strength on his frame. I've been mostly bearish on Loney becoming an average ML 1B. If he adds some more power and continues to recognize pitches at the ML level as well as he has at AAA, he'll prove me wrong.

2006-07-12 12:27:27
52.   thinkblue0
Astros land Aubrey Huff for Mitch Talbot and Ben Zobrist.
2006-07-12 12:28:08
53.   Steve
If his parents had a sense of humor, they would have named him Bo.
2006-07-12 12:28:58
54.   s choir
I can't believe the trade deadline is less than three weeks away.

I think we can all agree that the Dodgers' two goals for July 31st are, in order, starting pitching and power hitting. We can most afford to give up outfielders and high-average hitting. Right?

2006-07-12 12:30:45
55.   Andrew Shimmin
If you're going to answer 50, you may as well explain why the Dodgers would refuse to trade Loney during the season, while he's in AAA, not helping the big team, right now, for a pitcher they could very much use, right now. How does waiting for winter help them, at all?
2006-07-12 12:31:15
56.   bluetahoe
The Astros are looking for some 'O'. The Astros would well served to move Lance back to the outfield and engage in an Aybar/Loney/other for Oswalt trade. Aybar would be their 2nd baseman with Loney at 1st. They got some good young pitching to replace Oswalt and it would free up some money to get a 2nd tier pitcher. This could be Biggio's last season and Loney would essentially be replacing Preston Wilson.
2006-07-12 12:31:27
57.   overkill94
45 To the knowledgeable sports fan, the Brick being on someone's side is a bad thing. I couldn't think of a worse sports radio blowhard if I tried.
2006-07-12 12:32:28
58.   overkill94
56 Chris Burke is their future at 2B. With Hunter Pence on the way to provide a boost to the OF, it seems SS and C are the main places they need to upgrade.
2006-07-12 12:33:16
59.   thinkblue0

There isn't a chance in you know where that they'd ever do that.

2006-07-12 12:33:23
60.   the OZ
54 Yeah, it's been a coolish hot stove this season. Which is nice, because it keeps us from flying off the handle about every stupid trade rumor and frees us up to fly off the handle about every stupid trade with the D-Rays.
2006-07-12 12:35:11
61.   Andrew Shimmin
Hmm, that comment ran over a couple of speed bumps on the way to the submit button.

If the market for a good SP is as depressed as people say, shouldn't Colletti be dangling Lowe? It could very well torpedo this year, but if there's a king's ransom to be had for him, wouldn't that be worth it? Maybe?

2006-07-12 12:35:20
62.   thinkblue0
anyone have any info on the two guys the stros gave up for Huff?
2006-07-12 12:35:41
63.   bluetahoe
Dont trade Loney now for rentals, NO WAY JOSE!

Offseason options
1) Resign Nomar for 2yrs/18 mils, package Loney with others for top tier starter.

2) Loney opens 2007 at 1st and Neddie signs a top tier starter.

Of course I would advocate packaging Loney NOW, for a Halladay/Santana, but that just doesn't seem realistic.

2006-07-12 12:35:44
64.   Eric L
56 Good young pitching still doesn't equal Oswalt. Wouldn't it make more sense for them to dangle some of that good young pitching for offense?

Unless you get some Albert Pujols type of guy back, trading Oswalt for offense is foolish. I'm not sure that Purpura is a fool.

2006-07-12 12:38:12
65.   Eric L
62 From the previous thread...

According to Mike Emeigh at BBTF, this what the 'Stros gave up for Huff....

"Talbot's a 22-YO righty (23 in October) who's taken a step forward this year but who I still think projects as a back-of-the-rotation starter. He's given up a lot of unearned runs, which makes his ERA overstate his effectiveness. Heavy GB guy, average-ish fastball, hard slider, great changeup (it's the first thing that everyone says about him).

Zobrist is 25. He gets on base, makes consistent contact, is a good baserunner, and plays adequate defense at SS. He's been old for his levels, and is probably a B-/C+ prospect; he really should be at AAA. He's hit over .300 everywhere he's played with OBPs in the low-to-mid .400s, but isn't especially fast and doesn't drive the ball a lot (a fair number of doubles but no HRs to speak of). Jason Bartlett is about the best comp I can think of at the moment."

2006-07-12 12:38:30
66.   thinkblue0

Agreed....they'd need you know a Danny Haren or Justin Verlander type back in addition to some really nice offensive prospects...certainly not James Loney.

If they really traded Oswalt for Loney their GM might get tarred and feathered.

2006-07-12 12:40:18
67.   thinkblue0

you gotta be kidding me. So we've given them Jackson Tiffany Navarro and Seo and couldn't even get Huff back? Unbelievable.

2006-07-12 12:42:09
68.   bluetahoe
67. trash, trash, trash, and ehhh. Who cares?
2006-07-12 12:42:39
69.   thinkblue0
Of course I would advocate packaging Loney NOW, for a Halladay/Santana, but that just doesn't seem realistic.

I think you're WAYYYYYYYYY overstating Loney's value. If we offered him as the main piece of a package for Halladay/Santana/Oswalt we'd get laughed at.

Loney is a good prospect, but certainly not anywhere near good enough to get great pitching back...especially an ace.

2006-07-12 12:43:57
70.   thinkblue0
Who cares?

I'm sorry...I just have a thing against getting fleeced.

2006-07-12 12:44:51
71.   bluetahoe
I'm talking LaRoche/LONEY/Bills for Santana or Halladay, RIGHT NOW!!
2006-07-12 12:44:59
72.   s choir
68 Jackson, Tiffany and Navarro are all trash, and Seo is "ehhh"? Might want to rephrase.
2006-07-12 12:46:27
73.   thinkblue0
I'm talking LaRoche/LONEY/Bills for Santana or Halladay, RIGHT NOW!!

again, NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. Santana and Halladay are two of the best pitchers in the game, they would never, NEVER give up either of those two guys for that package you reccommended. EVER.

2006-07-12 12:48:40
74.   bluetahoe
70. Bold prediction time. Baez posts a sub 2.00 ERA and Hendy wins 8 in the 2nd half as both play vital roles as the Dodgers win the west. Thinkblue0 and many others are subjected to bowl fulls of garlic seasoned crow.
2006-07-12 12:50:56
75.   s choir
I say we trade Matt Kemp for Johan Santana, Roy Halladay, Greg Maddux, and Bartolo Colon. The Twins, Jays, Cubs, and Angels each get one of Kemp's appendages, but we keep his head and torso.

Also, we have to pay Kemp's salary for this year.

2006-07-12 12:53:01
76.   bluetahoe
75. silly goose
2006-07-12 12:53:01
77.   Marty
Hendy? You ARE Rex Hudler :)
2006-07-12 12:53:23
78.   jet
To those who 'have a feeling' that Drew doesn't want to leave L.A., I think they're right. A friend of mine has spent some time with him and believes that Drew is here for the long haul. Which angers me to no end. Hopefully, he'll take his four day a week passive and passionless approach to this wonderful game to some other suckers. Except I too don't believe that anyone out there will overpay what we're overpaying. Only fact that would change that is a monster second half causing hearts to flutter and money becomes no object for the usual suspects -- but in order to have a monster second half you have to be in the line-up more than four days a week. Don't you?
2006-07-12 12:54:01
79.   fanerman
75 - No way anybody accepts that deal unless we give up Kemp's torso, too. You gotta be realistic.
2006-07-12 12:55:00
80.   Marty
Bring me the head of Matt Kemp.
2006-07-12 12:57:05
81.   s choir
79 I'll give up his torso, but we have to keep his head, otherwise it's a deal-breaker. I want him going into the hall of fame as a Dodger.
2006-07-12 12:57:33
82.   Terry A
bluetahoe, I wanted to give you credit for a nicely crafted (and "Midas"-reference free, to boot) post in 10, and then I read 68 and 70.

As for Loney, I wouldn't be shocked to see him traded at the deadline. But I really hope he mans 1B for the Dodgers next season.

I don't think signing Nomar for more than one more year is a good idea. And in the unlikely event that he stays in LA on another one-year deal, Nomar should play 3B.

2006-07-12 13:00:21
83.   thinkblue0
And in the unlikely event that he stays in LA on another one-year deal, Nomar should play 3B.

already have laroche for that.

2006-07-12 13:01:32
84.   Jeromy
Saw Loney play against the Beavers in Portland as I outlined in an ealier thread. At the next point the Dodgers might need someone, he's ready for another call up. He was smoking the ball. Line drives that reminded me of John Olerud--the batting champ Olerud, not the mediocre hitter he was later. He also played an impressive left field, with a spectacular catch up above the fence, taking a homerun away from Termel Sledge.
2006-07-12 13:01:54
85.   thinkblue0
Bold prediction time. Baez posts a sub 2.00 ERA and Hendy wins 8 in the 2nd half as both play vital roles as the Dodgers win the west.

If Baez posts a sub 2 ERA in the second half I'll personally go up to the Hollywood sign and change it to Baezwood.

2006-07-12 13:03:24
86.   bluetahoe
I think there's a reason Nomar is relegated to 1st that hasn't been shared with the public. Next time I see Ned I may ask him why Nomar is relegated to 1st base duties. I doubt he answers me honestly though. In reality, its none of my business. But he did take my advice on Gio, eventually.
2006-07-12 13:03:34
87.   jet
Do you mean Joan Baez?
2006-07-12 13:04:45
88.   the OZ
The Cardinals are saving old friend Jeff Weaver for the Braves. We won't get to see his this weekend :[
2006-07-12 13:06:03
89.   Terry A
83 - That would be fine by me.

Nomar, for whatever reason, makes me think of Steve Finley circa 2004. I hope we don't end up paying him in 2007 and 2008 for what he's done in 2006. (Maybe in that regard he also makes me think of Jeff Kent.)

2006-07-12 13:10:29
90.   thinkblue0
I think there's a reason Nomar is relegated to 1st that hasn't been shared with the public.

because if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

2006-07-12 13:39:27
91.   Marty
I think everyone is too stunned by 86 to continue commenting.
2006-07-12 13:41:06
92.   the OZ
I'm surprised that no one has discussed the Jamie McCourt chat from yesterday. There's not much of substance there, but here's a link and an excerpt:

"Base_Ball_2: How do you think baseball should deal with the steroid issue?

McCourt: As a mother of four boys, the most important issue to me is the health of the players. All of baseball, whether it's the players themselves, the front office, the MLB Players Association or the agents, should all be looking out for the players' health. Furthermore, these players are looked up to by our children and we need them to hold themselves to high standards."

I like her intro sentence because the first and second cluases seem totally unrelated to me. She might as well have prefaced her answer with "As an owner of three puppies..." or "As someone who once interned for a summer at the National Ad Council..." or "As a participant in Sam DC's fundraising drive..."

2006-07-12 13:45:53
93.   Steve

Probably not the right word.

2006-07-12 13:48:33
94.   Terry A
The next time I see Neddie, I'll be sure to ask him about Jamie's sentence structure.
2006-07-12 13:53:54
95.   Gen3Blue
I'm afraid Loney is one of those D's prospects that I tend to overvalue. I will own up to this tendency and admit there have been many over the years.
On the other hand he is a left handed, sweet swinging, fine fielding, natural first baseman. And he is only 22. All this makes me want to keep him around several years. Power is the one thing that often increases all through the "twenties".
And above all don't give this guy away cheap. We have had the luxury of too many players around and I would hate to see him get Navvaroed. He is worth your average #1 or 2 prospect,IMO. And perhaps ready right now!
2006-07-12 13:54:16
96.   Jon Weisman
On the injury portion of Ken Gurnick's midseason recap of the Dodgers at

Antonio Perez -- He missed five weeks with a hamstring injury.

2006-07-12 13:54:26
97.   s choir
I think there's a reason we're in Iraq that hasn't been shared with the public. Next time I see President Bush I'll ask him why. I doubt he'll answer me honestly, though. In reality, it's none of my business. But he did take my advice on Rove, eventually.
2006-07-12 13:56:47
98.   bluetahoe
If anyone has a reasonable/appropriate question for Ned, I'll ask him the next time I see him. Assuming I do see him again before the season ends.
2006-07-12 13:58:18
99.   fanerman
How do you know Ned and how are you able to speak to him?
2006-07-12 13:59:11
100.   Jon Weisman
97 - Okay, I'm sure this was well-intentioned, but it's sarcastic, mocks a fellow commenter, and of course, injects a political element into the site. None of which is permitted here.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2006-07-12 14:00:21
101.   the OZ
I think there's a reason that Jon and Brian Cashman have never been seen together that hasn't been shared with the public. Next time I see Cashman, I'll ask him why. I doubt he'll answer me honestly, though. In reality, it's none of my business. But he did take my advice on Bubba Crosby, eventually.
2006-07-12 14:01:13
102.   the OZ
100 Shoot. Sorry about 101 then.
2006-07-12 14:02:52
103.   hedgemytickets
Despite his AAA statistics, I don't see Loney as a big time prospect. Similar to Aybar, he doesn't seem to hit the ball with the lift and authority required to be a legit power threat. Aybar, at second or third, doesn't need to. A firstbaseman, however, must.

I see a poor man's JT Snow here and I'd trade him for anyone who is deemed a pitching upgrade over what we now have even if it's only for the stretch run.

2006-07-12 14:06:42
104.   bluetahoe
I've got to go but I talked with him briefly on occassion in DC. I let him know my displeasure with Carter and I recommended he call up Gio Carrara to replace him. Of course he reminded me Gagne was coming back. (boy that didn't last long) The next day, Saturday, I saw Matt Kemp arrive at the hotel. I knew 18 hours before anyone NOT associated with the Dodgers that Kemp was a Dodger.
2006-07-12 14:07:22
105.   Penarol1916
98. I seriously want to know why he decided that looking like all of my Southside of Chicago neighbors is the way to go.
2006-07-12 14:08:38
106.   Jon Weisman
Interesting that even though Aybar's major-league BA and OBP are down in 2006 from 2005 (thanks to his pre-demotion slump), his slugging just about stayed the same.

Aybar's career EQA remains .301.

2006-07-12 14:12:36
107.   MJW101
When talking about Loney and comparing him to the 2006 MLB performances of Ethier/Kemp/Martin you must bear in mind that:

1. Loney came up to the ML club WITHOUT AAA experience. AA in 2005 then directly from ST2006 to the majors.

2. He did NOT have the month or so that Ethier/Kemp/Martin had in AAA before they came up to the big club.

3. If Loney came up to replace NOMAR now he may be a completely different player than the one we saw at the beginning of the season.

2006-07-12 14:14:40
108.   StolenMonkey86
Someone is going to have to be traded for a good starter. Be it Guzman, Laroche, Loney, Nava- (er, nevermind), Drew, and/or Izturis. I really like the idea of Drew for Beltre, and then maybe a prospect for Felix Hernandez.

Meanwhile, Tampa is trading everyone for young pitchers. After Kazmir worked out, though, I'd try to repeat it too.

But of course, one never knows. Ethier could grow a beard and belt out 25 homers in the second half.

2006-07-12 14:18:56
109.   s choir
100 I regret posting it. Sorry bluetahoe.
2006-07-12 14:21:27
110.   jasonungar05
let me ask you guys who know, these two prospect that Tampa just got for Huff, where would they rank in the dodger system?
2006-07-12 14:24:07
111.   Fallout
104 bluetahoe
I've got to go but I talked with him briefly on occassion in DC.

Under what circumstances are you able to speak with the GM of the Dodgers?

2006-07-12 14:24:17
112.   natepurcell

nate, to change the subject, does the 10 BBs and 1.75 or so WHIP concern you with Morris?

Not at all. Go Look up Scott Elberts Pioneer League stats. The amount of innings Morris has pitched is to small to take anything meaningful from it. The scouting reports on him are favorable and a lot of prospect people really like him (including our own Logan White).

PS Sorry it took so long for me to answer, I had to go to the dentist.

2006-07-12 14:24:33
113.   blue22
108 - and then maybe a prospect for Felix Hernandez.

Hee hee.

2006-07-12 14:25:58
114.   Terry A
Perhaps it's my distrust of Colletti (based on prior deals involving prospects), but I fully believe he'll move Guzman before the end of the month.

And I have a gnawing fear it will be for Greg Maddux.

2006-07-12 14:31:30
115.   thinkblue0

I don't have a problem moving Guzman as long as it's a package for a pitcher like Willis.

If we trade more prospects for another over the hill starter I'm going to hurl myself off a bridge.

2006-07-12 14:32:20
116.   D4P
I'm not opposed to trading Guzman, but I am opposed to trading him for any kind of weak-hitting veteran 3rd baseman (e.g. Bell/Randa) or any kind of crappy pitcher (e.g. every pitcher acquired thus far by Ned).
2006-07-12 14:32:29
117.   blue22
114 - I don't mind parting with him, but I think it'd be a shame to trade him now considering his value is pretty low.

If there's a downside to Ned's prospect party from the 1st half, it's Guzman and his perceived "failure". He was the #1 positional prospect in the organization coming into the year, but he appears to have slipped down the chain.

2006-07-12 14:33:05
118.   hedgemytickets
114 - I am hoping that Guzman's relatively poor showing during his call-up has reduced his trade value to the point that Ned decides not to trade him.

I'm still of the opinion that if Joel learns to hit the curve he can turn out to be a spectacular major league talent.

2006-07-12 14:33:39
119.   natepurcell
think there's a reason that Jon and Brian Cashman have never been seen together that hasn't been shared with the public.

So you think they look alike too? Good to know I'm not crazy.

2006-07-12 14:33:58
120.   blue22
115/116/117 - Sheesh, does anyone want JtD around anymore? How the mighty have fallen...
2006-07-12 14:35:13
121.   natepurcell
let me ask you guys who know, these two prospect that Tampa just got for Huff, where would they rank in the dodger system?

They wouldn't crack my top 10. Well maybe Zobrist towards the back end because Ive read good reports about his defense and he will stick at shortstop. Im not a fan of Talbot. Patton, Hirsch, Gutierrez, Albers are all better then Talbot in the Astros system.

2006-07-12 14:35:24
122.   Andrew Shimmin
Took me a minute to find, but I think there might be interest in comment #48 in this thread:

2006-07-12 14:36:40
123.   Jon Weisman
120 - I've been thinking about writing about the JtD backlash, but I'm still figuring out where I come down on it. I've always been worried about him from a plate-discipline standpoint, and this season's overall performance isn't helping. But part of me still wants to really make the case for him, and I just have to see how strong that is.

For another day ...

2006-07-12 14:37:21
124.   natepurcell

I would like Joel to stay. I said this before the year started that Guzman was an awesome, but raw talent and one year at AAA is probably not enough for him. He also needs to drive himself. He has all the talent in the world but if he doesn't have the drive to be a great ballplayer, he is never going to get there.

2006-07-12 14:37:51
125.   Jon Weisman
Detective Shimmin, I presume.
2006-07-12 14:38:50
126.   the OZ
117 If his slipping a few notches on our prospect chain is a result of other guys making great progress (like Kemp, Martin, Ethier), then I hope he falls to the middle of the pack.
2006-07-12 14:39:27
127.   Andrew Shimmin
Bet you wish I'd been around for the What's My Line thread.
2006-07-12 14:40:49
128.   BlueCrew Bruin
Judging by this picture, even Greg Maddux himself is perplexed at the thought of Ned trading prospects for him.

2006-07-12 14:41:25
129.   blue22
126 - That could be the case, but also he seems to have regressed (or, rather, not progressed sufficiently). I don't think he's a top-5 power prospect anymore, as he was in early 2005.
2006-07-12 14:44:05
130.   natepurcell
this is interesting. I got this from a diary from and its a list of all the active players that have slugged over .475 in AA as a 19 yr old in a min of 150AB

Daric Barton (0.491) 2005 Midland Tex AA
Adrian Beltre (0.581) 1998 San Antonio Tex AA
Juan Gonzalez (0.506) 1989 Tulsa Tex AA
Joel Guzman (0.522) 2004 Jacksonville Sou AA
Andruw Jones (0.675) 1996 Greenville Sou AA
Wayne Lydon (0.482) 1999 Birmingham Sou AA
Alex Rodriguez (0.654) 1995 Tacoma PCL AAA
Gary Sheffield (0.591) 1988 El Paso Tex AA
Gary Sheffield (0.561) 1988 Denver Amer AAA
B.J. Upton (0.519) 2004 Durham IL AAA
Delmon Young (0.582) 2005 Montgomery Sou AA

the talent is there.

2006-07-12 14:45:24
131.   natepurcell

I don't think he has regressed, he certainly has stalled and it might be because of his attitude. I don't necessarily think its because AAA is to hard for him.

2006-07-12 14:45:34
132.   Ben P
I like our prospects and would love to see Loney and LaRoche succeed. But I don't think we should idolize these guys just because they came up through our system. If (a big IF) Nomar can go through the whole season healthy and hit .350 with a 1.000+ OPS, of course we should try to re-sign him for a reasonable amount of money -- whether it's at 1B or 3B. The grass is not always greener, and there is a fairly slim chance that either Loney or LaRoche will put up the kind of numbers Nomar is putting up this year. I'm not saying we should cut all our prospects loose, but I do think it's funny when I hear people say that we should get rid of the guy who's carrying our offense because he's "blocking" a prospect.
2006-07-12 14:47:10
133.   Blu2
I would like to see Drew opt out this fall but I don't think he'll get any offers to encourage that. I am wondering, is that opt a one time thing, this year only? Or will he have the choice again next year and the year after?
2006-07-12 14:52:59
134.   the OZ
133 I believe he has to make a choice after 2006.
2006-07-12 14:57:44
135.   trainwreck
I don't think Drew opts out at the end of the year. He said he put that in there because he was unsure of living in LA, but he likes it here and of course there is probably little chance he gets more than 11 million a year.

I wish Loney would stay at 1b because his defense is a big plus in my eyes. I agree with Canuck and others who have said that Nomar is going to want a longer contract so he can finally have some stability and that is a risky proposition. Loney does not have to be Nomar, because he will be surrounded by a lot of talent. All these young players will give us a lot of financial flexibility.

2006-07-12 14:58:27
136.   bobbygrich
Keith Law on Joel Guzman:

Joel Guzman (Dodgers) took a lazy BP -- he looked like he'd prefer to be anywhere else -- but still showed some of the easiest power of the day. The ball flies off his bat, especially to left-center field. It's a long swing, though, and I think like a lot of tall guys with long swings, he'll be vulnerable inside

2006-07-12 15:04:19
137.   BlueCrew Bruin
I can't remember who asked (and I don't have a's that for reliability) but Drew has 2 months after the end of this season to inform the Dodgers of his decision. It's a one-time option.
2006-07-12 15:06:12
138.   Mr Customer

"...I see Ned people... walking around like regular people..."

sorry, had to go there.

2006-07-12 15:17:16
139.   Fallout
I'm not a Drew fan but I do not understand why so many have turned on him. This board was so supportive of his signing and so mourned after his wrist was broken. So fickle. You build him up and tear him down. Your expectations were too you expected a .300 BA, 30HR, .400 OBP every year and to do it every month, every week, every day. No one is that good!
2006-07-12 15:17:34
140.   overkill94
There are a few reasons I think there's a slight chance Nomar would give us the extremely rare hometown discount:

1. He already has a ton of money
2. He seems to enjoy the LA atmosphere and was burned by his Boston experience
3. He's a local boy

This may be wishful thinking, but for any of you who saw how miserable he was at the end of his tenure in Boston, you can see where he might be coming from. I would hope that a 2-year, $20 million contract with a vested 3rd option year would convince him to stay if for nothing else than his peace of mind.

2006-07-12 15:25:59
141.   Jon Weisman
139 - I don't think that many Drew supporters have turned on him, and I don't think many people had the expectations you describe.

I think the ones who are against him feel very strongly, though.

2006-07-12 15:30:09
142.   JJoeScott
Isn't it time for a moratorium on suggesting that Nomar play another position? He's the best first baseman we've had here since ... Eddie Murray, maybe?
2006-07-12 15:32:22
143.   Gagne55
Nobody hates Drew. We just want his bloated contract out of here. He's basically a singles hitter. His defense and walks alone don't make him worth 3/33.

I'm going on record that I never liked Guzman. He was very mediocre in AA last year.

I'm not sure what to make of Loney. He sucked last year and in his cup of coffee this year. He has no power to speak of, but his numbers are very impressive in AAA this year. The lack of secondary skills though makes me think of Joe Thurston. (Remember when he hit .340 and was considered a great prospect?)

2006-07-12 15:33:29
144.   JJoeScott
141 - I for one like Drew. Great Strat cards. I just think it would be foolish to NOT opt out and try to land another five-year deal, given his agent and the marketplace. Or ask for a contract extension here. Either way.
2006-07-12 15:35:52
145.   Gagne55
I can not see anybody giving Drew better than 3/33. The Dodgers were criticized for the contract then, and with the lack of power he's shown this year he is no longer going to get as good a price as 2 years ago.
2006-07-12 15:36:54
146.   Bob Timmermann
It's much easier to like a player if you start from this criterion:

1. Is the player Russ Ortiz?

If the answer is no, then I like the player.

2006-07-12 15:37:08
147.   jet
-139 I was never a fan of the Drew signing (see my comment #78). My criticsm is not so much about results, it's about attitude. (See LaRussa's frustrated take in Bissenger's "Three Days In August".) It's just that the guy clearly does not like to play this game. (Except in a walk year.) Beyond repeating myself from #78, just watch Drew's reaction when the batter in front of him hits a homerun (I know, a rare occurance), but the congratulatory handshake as he approaches the plate is apathetic and prefunctory. Likewise, when he achieves. It's not the 'he's the same player, not too high, not too low' cliche, but he's always low. Like Vin says, 'It's a boy's game'. Not for Drew. I've never seen it.
2006-07-12 15:37:41
148.   Jon Weisman
143 - Can we stop generalizing about people's opinions about Drew, please?
2006-07-12 15:41:47
149.   trainwreck
I like Drew a lot, but I don't know why anyone would give him a bigger contract. He is a player that I would worry about breaking down early and I do not think that is an unreasonable assumption. He has had problems in both of his knees and his shoulder, those are major areas of concern.
2006-07-12 15:44:26
150.   ryu

I think some athletes just don't show much emotion:

- JD Drew
- Shawn Green
- Tim Duncan
- Sam Perkins
- Garret Anderson

Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2006-07-12 15:46:20
151.   thinkblue0

Everyone thinks because he doesn't act like Bradley that he doesn't care. I'm sure Drew cares, he's just not a chest thumping type of guy which I actually like...I get sick of all the hot dogging.

2006-07-12 15:46:39
152.   bigcpa
143 We just want his bloated contract out of here.

Whoa there, speak for yourself. Drew has a .291 EQA and is having his best defensive season yet accd to BP. They have him at 7 FRAA. Given his high obp and waning power I'd compare him to Helton, Abreu and Giles all of whom are under paid more annually.

2006 WARP
Abreu 4.0 (age 32)
Drew 3.6 (age 30)
Helton 3.6 (age 32)
Giles 2.7 (age 35)

Nomar has a 4.0 WARP btw.

2006-07-12 15:47:19
153.   BlueCrew Bruin
150 -
And quite possibly my favorite nickname of all-time: C3P-Olerud
2006-07-12 15:48:05
154.   bigcpa
152 check that... "all of whom are paid more annually."
2006-07-12 15:51:53
155.   ryu
153. Hahaha... yeah, that's a good one.

I would even add Kent to the list of emotion-less guys. Look at him after a homerun next time; he just acts like he's been there and done that, instead of jumping up and down.

2006-07-12 15:52:24
156.   Izzy
3.-9.-11. On the JD Drew questions way up top, I read an article that said the same thing as thinkingblue referenced. He said he had just bought a house in Pasadena and moved his family out here now and that he liked it. He also said the part about the clause in his contract simply being an "out clause" in case he didn't like it here. It was never intended for him to use it to get more money. I generally take people's words at face value, so in spite of the money speculation I think he will stay. But, you never know what might happen with the McCourts.
2006-07-12 15:55:28
157.   Bob Timmermann
I volunteer to come over to JD Drew's house and will either babysit or mow the lawn.

I haven't mowed a lawn since Reagan was president, so maybe I should just volunteer for babysitting.

I could definitely walk his dog.

2006-07-12 15:56:51
158.   thinkblue0
is anyone else watching this best world series ever thing on espn2 right now? I'm sick as a dog so at least this is entertaining me.
2006-07-12 15:57:55
159.   natepurcell
143 is filled with tons of prospect fallacies.

I'm going on record that I never liked Guzman. He was very mediocre in AA last year.

He was 20 yrs old in AA last year. You have to take into context the age vs level of competition into serious context. At 20 yrs old, that is a sophmore in college and Guzman was already more then holding his own in AA. Quote from Sickels, "Ge still posted a +13 percent OPS, and that is very impressive for a 10 yr old in Double-A." Combined with what I posted in 130, you have a player with a very high ceiling. Sure he is always going to K, but his power has been evident at a very young age and his walk rate improved at a great pace last year. For a 20yr old, his season last year was far from being "mediocre."

I'm not sure what to make of Loney. He sucked last year and in his cup of coffee this year.

Again, saying he "sucks" is the same thing as calling Colletti "Midas". It just doesn't give off the same definition. Loney hit for a good average (.284 in the SL is a good average), had good ISOd and had a good k:bb ratio. All those things do not equal "suck". His power was definately lacking but plenty of players with his frame, skillset, swing and other attributes did not develop the power scouts envisioned until a couple of years later. One example of this type of player is David Justice. He is the same build as loney with the same type of pretty left handed swing. As a 21 yr old in the Southern League, Justice slugged .336. His minor league career slugging percentage is .431 compared to his major league career slugging percentage of .500. Power is the last tool to develop and if a prospect can show he can hit for average, does not strike out and posts a solid to good walk rate AND has the build where scouts envision future power development, there is a good chance he is going to develop power.

The lack of secondary skills though makes me think of Joe Thurston. (Remember when he hit .340 and was considered a great prospect?)

Thurston was never considered a great prospect. He might have been a prospect Dodger fans hyped up, but that was due to our absolute barren farm system. Thurston never made any Baseball America top 100 list. Thurston was never a toolsy player, he was an overachieving who maxed out his production with hustle.

2006-07-12 15:59:01
160.   Jacob L
Drew is slugging .473 over a half season. That's far from his best, but also far from "no power." I'd pretty much echo 139. He's not having a great year, by any stretch, but I just don't see that much to complain about.
2006-07-12 16:01:31
161.   Fallout
152 bigcpa
>>>I'd compare him to Helton, Abreu and Giles all of whom are under paid more annually.<<<

Bringing up Giles, I wonder what would be the reaction if the Dodgers did sign him in the off season. Now that he is only hitting .269 and 6 HRs what would the response be? (Is that too general?)

2006-07-12 16:05:26
162.   jet
147 - Lots of players don't show emotion, yet they show up in the line-up. The other players you mentioned on that list, however, are/and or/were not essentially part time players. Can you imagine Garrett Anderson ever even playing a single game if he had Drew's 'nagging injuries'? Sam Perkins playing a career on bad knees...?
2006-07-12 16:05:53
163.   Izzy
157.-I am sure you would, but you would have to pass a background check, so.....
2006-07-12 16:09:21
164.   Bob Timmermann
I've walked dogs before!

I've learned that a dog will wait until you are the farthest point from where you started the walk before they accomplish their principal objective requiring the walked to carry around a "trophy" for a long time.

2006-07-12 16:09:24
165.   ryu
I think we both would agree that as long as players "show up in the line-up," we couldn't care less how much emotion they display.
2006-07-12 16:13:00
166.   thinkingblue
Drew is slugging .473 over a half season. That's far from his best, but also far from "no power." I'd pretty much echo 139. He's not having a great year, by any stretch, but I just don't see that much to complain about.

Well, no home run power anyway.

2006-07-12 16:15:23
167.   thinkingblue

As long as they produce.

2006-07-12 16:16:45
168.   D4P
Regarding Drew: if Gaffy is worth $39 million over 3 years, isn't Drew at least worth $33 million over 3 years?
2006-07-12 16:16:52
169.   bigcpa
161 Giles' 60 BB and 6 HR would have fit in perfectly with this team! Wow he is getting killed by LHP this year: .193/.336/.216 (105 pa).
2006-07-12 16:17:24
170.   jet
165 - Exactly.
2006-07-12 16:20:34
171.   ToyCannon
I'll second that.

JtD will and must succeed. To much went into giving him a great nickname for him to fail.

After watching Penny in the all-star game I think he would be able to have a Gagne like spurt as a closer not that I'm advocating any such move for fear that Steve would put a lien on my house.

A 2007 lineup of
JD Drew
A Jones

Looks very very good to me.

Add Schimdt to the bullpen for the Gagne money and I'd be a happy camper.

2006-07-12 16:20:59
172.   bigcpa
2006 RF WARP (both leagues)
1 Jermaine Dye 4.7
2 Brad Hawpe 4.1
3 Ichiro Suzuki 4.0
4 Bobby Abreu 4.0
5 Austin Kearns 3.9
6 J.d. Drew 3.6
7 Alexis Rios 3.4
8 Trot Nixon 3.3
9 Randy Winn 3.3
10 Brian Giles 2.7
11 Vladimir Guerrero 2.5
12 Mark Derosa 2.5
13 Jacque Jones 2.5
14 Magglio Ordonez 2.3
15 Casey Blake 2.3
16 Shawn Green 1.9
17 Mike Cuddyer 1.7
18 Moises Alou 1.6
19 Xavier Nady 1.4
20 Jeremy Hermida 1.3

Vlad=Jacque Jones!

2006-07-12 16:21:13
173.   JoeyP
I wouldnt count on Loney to be of any value.
He doesnt hit for power, low walk rate, and he plays either 1st, LF, or RF.

If James Loney is the next Darin Erstad, Sean Casey, or more likely just wont make the big leagues as an everyday player, then trade him while his value is highest.

Move Guzman back to SS
Move Broxton back to starter.
Move Pedroza to AA

Vegas hitting stats are should really be taken with a grain of salt.

2006-07-12 16:21:55
174.   natepurcell

Andrew Jones?

2006-07-12 16:22:53
175.   JoeyP
171. Andruw Jones isnt available until 2008.
2006-07-12 16:24:39
176.   Marty
164 I've lugged many a "trophy" 2 miles or more....
2006-07-12 16:25:38
177.   JoeyP
Why would you spend Gagne-money on Jason Schmidt, and then put Schmidt in the bullpen?
2006-07-12 16:27:16
178.   natepurcell
He doesnt hit for power, low walk rate, and he plays either 1st, LF, or RF.

Power is developing. Low walk rate because he is hitting everything. Has walked at good rate in the past. See andy laroche 2004 Vero Beach campaign.

Move Guzman back to SS
Not going to happen, he can't field the position, get over it.

Move Broxton back to starter.
Not going to happen, especially with the huge questionmark of our bullpen going into next year.

Move Pedroza to AA
Pedroza will get eaten alive by advanced pitching. When you strike out that much as a 22 yr old in Low A ball, you're going to get murdered at more advanced levels.

Vegas hitting stats are should really be taken with a grain of salt.

okay fine, Loney is hitting 354/0.388/0.500 on the road. And if Vegas hitting stat should be taken with a grain of salt, what does that make of Aybar and Guzman?

2006-07-12 16:27:31
179.   ssjames
173 Would you say the same things about Howie Kendrick you would about Loney? What about Conor Jackson? The three of them have posted similar numbers in AAA the last two years, but Loney is younger than both.

Additionally, Pedroza should get his average above .300 at Low A, or should show he can handle high A, which I have some doubts about before he gets sent to AA.

2006-07-12 16:27:52
180.   MartinBillingsley31
Salaries next year:
nomar 11 million
kent 11.5 m
furcal 13 m
drew 11 m
zito 12 m
schmidt 12 m
penny 8 m
lowe 9.5 m
saenz 1 m
backup catcher 1 m
15 players at league minimum or near = 6 m
(martin, laroche, aybar, guzman, ethier, kemp, repko, loney, billingsley, broxton, kuo, saito, and 3 others in the bullpen)

Total 96 million

You could argue that we could keep about 10-15 million from the list below and have the same payroll next year that we have this year.

Guys signed thru next year pending trade:
perez 10 m
tomko 4.1 m
izturis 4.15 m
mueller 5.25 m (pending insurance)
Hendrickson i'm not sure but i think arbitration

c martin
1b nomar
2b kent
ss furcal
3b laroche
rf drew
cf kemp (others getting significant time)
lf ethier (others getting significant time)

Bench: saenz aybar guzman loney repko backup catcher


Bullpen: saito broxton kuo 3 spots open for, guys signed but not traded/minor leaguers/non roster invitees/cheap free agents.

The key is for ned to try to trade as many as possible of perez, tomko, hendrickson, izturis, and i don't care what we get back in return, just dump the payroll.

If nomar doesn't re-sign, then loney at 1b and we sign a mediocre veteran cheap free agent backup outfielder.

2006-07-12 16:29:17
181.   natepurcell

Vlad is one of the worst defensive outfielders I've ever seen.

2006-07-12 16:31:54
182.   natepurcell
180 Getting Zito AND Schmidt is a huge pipe and I hope you are not that devastated when it doesn't happen.
2006-07-12 16:32:31
183.   Marty
Vlad's not quite Mannyian though is he?
2006-07-12 16:33:36
184.   natepurcell
Dewitt just homered, 12 on the year now (6 on the road, 6 at home, for those of you that might be trying to over analyze Vero Beach's home and away splits).
2006-07-12 16:33:40
185.   Marty
That list has Moises near the bottom. It reminded me how comical he looked in the last series.
2006-07-12 16:34:53
186.   Marty
What would be the all bad outfield?

Manny LF
Byrnes CF (maybe Lofton?)
Moises RF

2006-07-12 16:35:57
187.   natepurcell

Willy Mo should be on there somewhere, maybe as a backup.

2006-07-12 16:36:17
188.   trainwreck
What happened to Van Slyke? Didn't we sign him? And wasn't he supposed to be really good?
2006-07-12 16:37:23
189.   hedgemytickets
179 - Howie Kendrick has hit this well for several seasons now and plays second base. Please don't compare Loney to Kendrick.
2006-07-12 16:37:55
190.   ToyCannon
Yikes-my bad, meant rotation. I'm not that stupid.

Yes, Nate I mean A Jones, I think he can be had this winter or summer. I know he's not a free agent.

2006-07-12 16:38:11
191.   natepurcell

Van Slyke is down at Odgen, but not really making any big noise.

When we signed him, he was a player that was raw, but projected to be pretty good 3 years or so down the line. The thought was that if he went to college he was probably a top 2 round pick after his junior season.

2006-07-12 16:39:01
192.   Mr Customer
162. Can you imagine Garrett Anderson ever even playing a single game if he had Drew's 'nagging injuries'?

Is this a serious comment?

That's not sarcastic, I really want to know!

2006-07-12 16:40:12
193.   natepurcell

If he can be had this winter, then we would only be getting one year out of him until he hits free agency again, which is something he will surely test since Boras is his agent. And Boras is probably going to look at a Beltran type contract for Jones. No thanks.

2006-07-12 16:40:41
194.   ToyCannon
He looks awkward but I don't think the numbers will show that he's really that bad. It would be nice if he could hit the cutoff man once in a while.

Matt Kemp has looked like a lousy outfielder to me after his 1st week on the job. I'm still waiting for his next throw home to be somewhere close to Martin.

2006-07-12 16:41:58
195.   trainwreck
What is a good place to look up minor league stats?
2006-07-12 16:43:33
196.   JoeyP
182. Why not? Why not expect to land difference making players?

If Lowe/Kent can come in 1 off-season, why not Zito/Schmidt? If you budget properly, you should have enough funds to land the big fish.

I think you over value contact rates. There's a reason why 3TO hitters, that make it to the big leagues, develop those skills at the minor league level. There's nothing wrong with striking out, as long as you walk enough to make up for it. Nothing. Its how Oakland has started from the ground up, as well as San Diego now with Alderson.

No one should care about Aybar's splits bc he's produced at the MLB level in his time up here. He doesnt need to hit like a 1st basemen or corner OF'er, bc he plays middle infield. Same thing with Guzman, if the Dodgers would put him back at SS. No one would be concerned about his hitting either.

Not going to happen, especially with the huge questionmark of our bullpen going into next year

Starting pitching is more important than middle relief. When you have the 3-5 the Dodgers currently have, its a much bigger question than finding whatever guys off the scrap heap to pitch the 7th inning.

2006-07-12 16:43:34
197.   ToyCannon
Amazing how so many are worried about spending McCourts money. He must appreciate it.
2006-07-12 16:43:43
198.   Jacob L

Gary Sheffield comes to mind.
What about Dmitri Young (d'meathooks - I love that knickname)? Does he still play any outfield?

2006-07-12 16:43:47
199.   natepurcell
2006-07-12 16:44:31
200.   blue22
194 - Small sample sizes and all, but Kemp has ammassed these Rate2's so far:

LF - 114
CF - 64
RF - 54

So he's either one of the best, or historically awful.

Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2006-07-12 16:44:41
201.   trainwreck
Zito and Schmidt will cost way more than Lowe and Kent.
2006-07-12 16:45:06
202.   ssjames
189 Sorry, but I think that Kendrick to Loney is a reasonable comparasion, in that (although they play different positions which obviously makes Kendrick more valuable) they both hit for high average (Loney has done it when healthy), with limited power. They are similar offsensive players, with the caveat that Loney is about a year younger.

I would like JoeyP's interpretation of what is lacking value about Loney relative to the other two if anything.

2006-07-12 16:45:59
203.   natepurcell

Im not worried about spending McCourts money. I'm worried that he WON'T spend the money and we essntially just traded (probably) 3 tops prospects for one year of Andruw Jones.

2006-07-12 16:46:15
204.   Mr Customer
195 Baseball cube is good (and free), Baseball Prospectus is also useful (w/subscription)
2006-07-12 16:49:45
205.   JoeyP
202. Loney's lack of value lies in the position he plays.
2006-07-12 16:52:42
206.   JoeyP
The difference between a 2nd basemen, and 1st basemen is huge in terms of what each produces at the major league level.

Do you really want Darin Erstad at 1st base for the Dodgers? Bc for most of his career, thats what James Loney has been.

Or, if Loney's upside is Sean Casey, is that worth anything? Does having Sean Casey at 1st make a difference? Of course it doesnt.

2006-07-12 16:53:50
207.   ssjames
205 Well how do you feel about Conor Jackson then?

His season last year was almost identical's with slightly more walks than Loney's this year, both as 1B. Same lack of power, same high average. The only difference is that Jackson is exactly two years to the day older than Loney so in AAA last year Jackson would be one year older than Loney is this year.

Also do you feel that Loney will never develop into a 25-30 HR hitter? Or do you think he needs more than that to be MLB 1B?

2006-07-12 16:54:26
208.   natepurcell
I think you over value contact rates. There's a reason why 3TO hitters, that make it to the big leagues, develop those skills at the minor league level. There's nothing wrong with striking out, as long as you walk enough to make up for it. Nothing. Its how Oakland has started from the ground up, as well as San Diego now with Alderson.

I am not overvaluing contact rates. You are undervaluing them. Hitting Major League pitching is a totally different beast then minor league pitching. Lets look at the most popular 3TO hitter currently in the majors, probably Adam Dunn. You would think that Dunn was a 3TO as he was coming up the minors but no not really, his minor league career average is .304 and his K/AB is 22%, which is very reasonable for a power hitter and is not high enough to be considered a 3TO hitter. Compare that to his 32+% K/AB ratio and you can where I'm coming from. The thing is Olbear, you don't get it that you cant look at minor league stats the same way you look at major league stats. I know you've recently just started following prospects because I remember not too long ago you confessed you were a bit unfamilar with the Dodger farm system so I'm trying to help you out. Looking at how a player hits in the minors, cannot be translated to how he is going to hit in the majors. If a hitter is struggling to make contact in the low minors, is already old for his league, its going to be hell for him to try to hit upper level pitching.

Its also a falsehood that Oakland started from the ground up with 3TO hitters. Tejeda, Chavez and Giambi all had great contact rates in the minors.

2006-07-12 16:55:00
209.   Chris H
196 Schmidt and Zito are both going to be looking for 4-5 year deals at $13-15 million per year. Judging from what pitchers have gotten the last few offseasons they might actually get it too (I think Zito has better odds at a longer deal since he has been healthy and is 5 years younger).
2006-07-12 16:55:10
210.   ryu

We got Andruw Jones?

2006-07-12 16:55:52
211.   trainwreck
Loney does not need to be Jason Giambi when it comes to power. He can put up a good OPS without hitting a ton of HRs. Our team will be good enough offensively, that he won't have to worry about hitting 30 homeruns a year.
2006-07-12 16:55:53
212.   Jon Weisman
I don't really see anyone getting a good jump on balls hit to center field these days. It may be a talent problem, but it also may explain why the Dodger centerfielders (Repko, Lofton, Kemp) have looked so strange. Everyone looks frozen at first when the ball leaves the bat.
2006-07-12 16:56:07
213.   ssjames
206 I think his upside a lot more than Sean Casey, and in fact in these same comments the comparision was made to David Justice. I assume that would be a sufficiently talented player to put at 1B for the Dodgers?
2006-07-12 16:56:08
214.   hedgemytickets
202 - Kendrick has hit in the high .300's for 4 consecutive seasons. Loney's done it for 71 games. I don't see that as a fair comparison.
2006-07-12 16:58:24
215.   JoeyP
207. Conor Jackson had 69bbs and 32Ks last year in AAA. I dont think he's a very good comparison to James Loney.
2006-07-12 16:58:29
216.   natepurcell


2006-07-12 16:59:24
217.   blue22
212 - I was just at DS last week, sitting in the 3rd row down the 3rd baseline. Looking back towards home plate, it was very difficult to pick up the batter at home. Combining the dusk evening light, the empty seats behind home plate, and this new light-yellow/khaki color of the field level, it makes for a very difficult read off the bat (I think).

I don't know if that is partially to explain, but it certainly was apparent to me.

2006-07-12 16:59:50
218.   JoeyP
213. The problem with that is those arguments are straw men. You can pick David Justice out, but how many other players had very similar numbers to Loney in the minors, that ended up doing nothing?

I'm just saying the chances of Loney making at low considering the position he plays.

2006-07-12 17:00:22
219.   ssjames
214 How many season has Loney been healthy? Almost none, and he has played through nagging injuries every year until now. When has been healthy he has shown this ability to hit for high average, including a couple of times in ST, and after he was first drafted. This isn't an out of the blue shocker for people who have followed the minors for the last couple of years. He has always drawn raves from scouts, and now that he is healthy, he is putting it together.
2006-07-12 17:01:46
220.   OaklandAs
206 The Sean Casey of 1999 (.332/.399 OBP/.539 SLG) or 2004 (.324/.381/.534) is definitely a difference maker. It's just that he has also had a few .290/.350/.410 years too. But if Loney hits like the "good" Casey, that's quite valuable.
2006-07-12 17:01:57
221.   D4P
How many season has Loney been healthy? Almost none

Injury prone!!!

2006-07-12 17:02:13
222.   jet
192 - Please see this in context. I.e. #78, 139, 147, 150, 162, 165, 170. Sorry for the reading list, but that's the only way you can read that comment and have your question answered.
2006-07-12 17:02:27
223.   JoeyP
Our team will be good enough offensively, that he won't have to worry about hitting 30 homeruns a year.

The problem with carrying a light hitting 1st basemen, is that you have to make it up at another position that is traditionally powerless (CF, SS, 2b). Well, those players are rare, which makes them more expensive.

2006-07-12 17:04:39
224.   MartinBillingsley31
Schmidt and Zito are both going to be looking for 4-5 year deals at $13-15 million per year.

I agree about the length of zito's contract, but not with the amount.
I do not agree about schmidt on both situations because of injury concerns.

Zito 12 m per year for 4 or 5 years, probably 5 years.

Schmidt 12 m per year for 3 or 4 years.

How much higher can contracts go, 12 million is 1/8 of the total payroll for many teams and higher percentage of total payroll for other cheaper payroll teams.

Zito's attraction for southern california and schmidt's past with ned and the way our team is shaping up for next year and beyond makes me believe we have a good shot at signing both.

2006-07-12 17:05:43
225.   ssjames
215 So you think a difference of 29 walks over a season (some of which he was the in the majors for, so he couldn't accumulate walks) is makes a player superior to younger player hitting .031 ba better?
2006-07-12 17:06:27
226.   trainwreck
We have Kent, Kemp/Drew, and Furcal. They all have more power than usual players at that position. Russel Martin can hit too for a catcher.

You like to use the A's a lot as an example. They had Scott Hatteberg as their first baseman for a few seasons.

2006-07-12 17:08:19
227.   blue22
224 - I bet Schmidt goes to the Mariners. I believe he's from there, and almost went to Seattle his last round of free agency, before coming back to SF.

If they're interested, he'd probably go.

Doesn't Zito figure to go to one of the NY teams? Isn't that how it works?

2006-07-12 17:08:37
228.   trainwreck
Zito has repeatedly talked about his love for pitching in New York. Not to mention, I think money will be a bigger issue than being in Southern California. Remember, he has Boras as an agent. Boras wants the most money!
2006-07-12 17:09:11
229.   blue22
226 - They had Scott Hatteberg as their first baseman for a few seasons

Made up for it with Tejada though.

2006-07-12 17:10:26
230.   trainwreck
That was one season and we will make up for it with Kent or Kemp or Drew.
2006-07-12 17:10:28
231.   JoeyP
225. That, and last year was Conor Jacksons 2nd year in professional baseball. You have to give a guy at least some experience in pro ball to improve.

Loney's been playing professionally for 5yrs now.

2006-07-12 17:13:00
232.   Mr Customer
205. I think that is somewhat subjective. Mark Grace never had a 20 HR season, and Garvey had only 1 season over 30 jacks.

Not every 1b has to be Adam Dunn or Carlos Delgado to be effective.

If JL can emulate any of those role models, we should thank our lucky stars. As fans, we tend to focus on what players can't do, rather than what they can.

2006-07-12 17:15:46
233.   ssjames
231 2005 was Jackson's third pro season, and I thought you Moneyballers only wanted guys drafted out of college, isn't that supposed to make them better?

Basically you are saying that although Loney is younger he should do better than an older player, because he has been a pro longer?

This sounds very anti-moneyball to me.

2006-07-12 17:16:18
234.   trainwreck
If Nomar never hits another HR, but he keeps up his numbers, would you say he sucks?
2006-07-12 17:18:25
235.   trainwreck
The A's do not even closely resemble the same type of team that they did when Moneyball came out. But the argument never changes.
2006-07-12 17:18:26
236.   confucius
I heard during the All Star game that Zito was expected to sign a 5 year 75 million dollar deal. There are so many reporters and commentators though I can't remember who said it.
2006-07-12 17:19:00
237.   trainwreck
When it comes to offense.
2006-07-12 17:28:21
238.   trainwreck
Wow, Gagne in a commercial for trash bags.
2006-07-12 17:29:56
239.   hedgemytickets
232 - Was Mark Grace good? I mean, was he ever even above average?
2006-07-12 17:32:38
240.   overkill94
236 That was one of the announcers speculating that if Burnett could get 5/55 then he didn't see why Zito wouldn't get 5/75. I see him getting something like 5/65 considering he's the surest bet in this offseason's class. Schmidt should take in a bit less, probably 4/50 since he's getting a little up there in age and has had some arm problems.
2006-07-12 17:32:45
241.   ssjames
239 He did have the most hits of anyone in the 1990s, it does take some talent to do that.
2006-07-12 17:33:22
242.   King of the Hobos
235 Nomar would need to hit 57 doubles in 268 ABs to keep up his current numbers (namely slugging) without hitting another homer.
2006-07-12 17:33:58
243.   King of the Hobos
242 should be linked to 234
2006-07-12 17:34:21
244.   Bob Timmermann
Mark Grace had a career OPS+ of 119, so he wasn't that bad.

He had one season at 140 and another at 143.

2006-07-12 17:36:02
245.   trainwreck
I know its not probable, I was trying to make a point that you can be a good 1b without hitting a ton of homeruns.
2006-07-12 17:36:16
246.   OaklandAs
239 Mark Grace, like Sean Casey, had some very good years. In 1995, Grace hit .326/.395 OBP/.516 SLG. He had an OBP over .390 for every season from 1995-2000, and slugged around .480 during that time. He certainly had many seasons as an above-average player.
2006-07-12 17:39:05
247.   JoeyP
Basically you are saying that although Loney is younger he should do better than an older player, because he has been a pro longer?

Yes, and the fact he hasnt makes it apparent to me that he's not even close to Conor Jackson's level.

Age doesnt play that big of role for me when I evaluate minor leaguers. I think improvement with experience is more important. Thus, college players who are seen as old, but do well for their league I like. Because to me, if they dont have much pro experience and yet are dominating, thats a great thing. People say, "well they should." I dont agree. College baseball is alot different than pro baseball, mainly bc of the bats. Conversely, if you have a player thats not really improved, has been a pro for 5yrs, I dont think much of that player. Others will say, "We'll Player A still is only 20, he can turn it around". I say, if he's gotten 5ys of experience and hasnt changed much, I dont think just by getting 1yr older is going to matter either. Its like the longer a player goes with building up evidence of what kinda player he his, the easier he is to evaluate. Age doesnt really matter that much to me.

Minor league professional experience is more relevant when evaluating talent, rather than just a player's age IMO.

2006-07-12 17:40:14
248.   Blu2
I can well believe we'll get Andruw Jones in the next few weeks because that's the flashy kind of deal Flanders like to make. Our Saviour! But I'm going to hate how much we're going to pay for him, maybe 3 top prospects. If it were me, I'd require they take some of our deadwood (Cruz, Perez, Lofton, Ledee, Mueller) along with maybe two good prospects.
2006-07-12 17:42:28
249.   OaklandAs
247 I don't think the data supports your last statement. If a player is repeating the same level, that should be considered, but otherwise age is the relevant factor, not years of professional baseball.
2006-07-12 17:42:35
250.   Steve
If Phil Garner were a zombie corpse, would he wander the cemetery chanting "Pudding...pudding..."
Show/Hide Comments 251-300
2006-07-12 17:43:22
251.   JJoeScott
222 - 192 - Please see this in context. I.e. #78, 139, 147, 150, 162, 165, 170. Sorry for the reading list, but that's the only way you can read that comment and have your question answered.

I recall the discussion - it was about emotionless players. Still makes no sense as to why someone would question whether Garret Anderson would be playing through injuries. It looks to me, from watching most Angels games, that he's killing the team because of doing so.

2006-07-12 17:45:58
252.   JoeyP
When players reach the major leagues, age becomes relevant bc physical drop off occurs around 28-30.

But when you're talking about 16-25, the physical drop off is of no issue, so thus age doesnt matter there imo.

2006-07-12 17:49:11
253.   ssjames
247 I don't know how to respond to that, because it makes my head hurt. I think that almost every professionl minor league talent evaluator would completely disagree with you. I have never heard any evaluator discuss experience relative to league, as opposed to age relative to league.

Players drafted out of high school go to rookie league for one year, then low A, then high A. Some college players start in high A. The whole theory behind Low A and rookie or instructional league is teach young players how to play, not for college players to beat up on kids who are learning. That shows absolutely nothing about the player.

Can you point to anyone else who takes length of minor league experience into account over the player's age?

Additionally your premise is faulty, because despite your claims, Loney is performing at the same level this year that Conor Jackson did last year.

2006-07-12 17:52:11
254.   JJoeScott
Just looked this up:

In Don Mattingly's five major league seasons, he hit 3-9-7-10-8 HRs, with low strikeouts and about a walk every 2.5 games. Seems comparable to Loney.

Of course after Mattingly hit 4 HRs in 91 games his rookie season in NY, at age 22 ('82), he then went 23-35-31-30-18-23-backache.

Could Loney develop into that type of player? I hope we trade him this year for a #1 or #2 starter so we can find out!

2006-07-12 17:55:57
255.   dzzrtRatt
I'll never catch up with all the posts, but to respond to Jon's original post: I consider it highly likely that Drew leaves for more money. My thinking is like this. Most of the NL consists of teams hovering around .500. Some of those teams will make the playoffs, if they get a little hot at the end of the season. Only the Mets are a semi-lock at this point.

So at the end of the season, there will be eight or nine GMs who will think, damn, with a little more offense, it could've been us. And that's where Drew will fit in. He will get offers above his current salary, with as many years. But it sounds like we're so overloaded with corner players, we might benefit from using Drew's money to buy a Zito (which sounds like a Portuguese car).

Garciaparra, however, will be resigned, and the meeting of the minds will only be marginally painful to the Dodgers' wallets. I think the idea of moving him to third base or left field will be considered quite viable.

2006-07-12 18:49:39
256.   Sam DC
1. Of all the things ever mentioned on Dodger Thoughts, this is what I want to see the most: "I'll personally go up to the Hollywood sign and change it to Baezwood."

2. Assuming Nomar doesn't get injured or fall off a production cliff, whether or not to resign him to a big contract strikes me as a very hard decision for Colletti. There's a lot of factors in play on that one.

3. I have a futile pet peeve to share with the group. I think that what Jon does is "post" and what we do is "comment." Thus, the pieces Jon publishes on the front page are "posts," and the things we leave in the comments section (including, to be fair, the things Jon leaves here), are "comments."

You can return to making fun of Joe Thurston (starting second baseman in tonight's AAA All-Star game) or JD Drew.

2006-07-12 18:59:07
257.   CanuckDodger
255 -- It's too bad I have been busy with other things today and had to find this topic being discussed with 250 plus posts already made. There isn't world enough and time to correct everything wrong that Joey Oldbear alone has said, but some other posters have already put some effort in that direction.

I will address something that I don't believe anybody has talked about at any length. Some people want to trade Loney thinking that we can get something valuable for him. Think again. It is fairly common knowledge in the baseball industry that there is nothing with less trade value than a minor league first baseman. Ryan Howard illustrates the point. In fact, the Phillies' first base situation a couple years ago is extremely relevent to the Dodgers' present situation. It wasn't that long ago that Phillies fans couldn't imagine NOT having Jim Thome, just as Dodger fans are finding it difficult to conceive of Nomar not being a Dodger beyond this year. Ryan Howard was a blocked prospect, and the Phillies tried hard, very hard, to trade Howard. I have no doubt he was shopped to the Dodgers. It's not that there weren't other teams that were willing to take Howard. Instead, the Phillies found that other teams weren't willing to give up much of anything for him, so they decided they might as well hang on to Howard rather than give him away for close to nothing. That turned out to be very wise of the Phillies, as Thome went down to injury and all of a sudden the "blocked" prospect got a chance to prove himself in the majors, soon making Phillies fans ask "Thome who?"

Since Howard had little trade value, how much trade value can Loney have by comparison? Loney has a lot less power than Howard, and some teams think like Joey Oldbear: they want HR power from their first baseman. Loney on the trade block now would fetch LESS than Mark Hendrickson as a return. Like Howard, Loney's actual value to the team that already has him far outstrips his trade value, making a trade simply illogical.

2006-07-12 19:09:44
258.   Sam DC
257 Why distract attention from your thoughtful and provocative comment by using a commenter's discarded (loaded) handle? What are you trying to accomplish?
2006-07-12 19:12:29
259.   Vishal
I thought you Moneyballers only wanted guys drafted out of college, isn't that supposed to make them better?

that's ridiculous. if i remember the argument correctly, the rationale for drafting college players as opposed to high school players is that they have more reliable stats, so in theory, it's easier to predict how good they might be. they're not inherently better for simply having attended college. and at the time of moneyball, college talent was relatively undervalued in the market. these days it's not, so there's less advantage in drafting people out of college than there used to be. certain high schoolers may have way more talent, but there is more risk and uncertainty as to whether they will make it, and if you're running a small market ballclub, you want to minimize risk to some degree. that's what i remember from moneyball. someone else can feel free to correct me.

2006-07-12 19:18:54
260.   JoeyP
I think that almost every professionl minor league talent evaluator would completely disagree with you

Well, there are quite a bit of things that I find professional baseball do, that dont make sense to me. OaklandAs brings up a good point about players repeating levels: James Loney repeated AA just last year. If he doesnt make the bigs next year he'll be repeating AAA for a second year next year.

I think experience is very important. A simpler example might be this: Would you expect a Junior College transfer to be a better D1 basketball player, or a sophomore that already has played a year of D1 basketball.

Experience matters, bc it provides evidence as to what you can expect out of a player in the future.

2006-07-12 19:20:57
261.   Steve
"less than Mark Hendrickson" only exists in theoretical mathematics best suited to The Manhattan Project.
2006-07-12 19:28:33
262.   CanuckDodger
258 -- How is calling JoeyP by his original name out of line? What makes you think I was trying to "accomplish" anything by that? Oldbear was known to me as "Oldbear" for a very long time, long before he ever came to Dodger Thoughts, and that is simply the name I automatically think of whenever I see "JoeyP." (And just on aesthetic grounds, I LIKE the name "Oldbear" better than "JoeyP.") If I suddenly changed by on-line name, I am going to go out on a limb and say that quite a few people around here familiar with me would still be thinking "Canuck" whenever they saw my new name. And I certainly wouldn't read anything sinister into anybody continuing to refer to me by my original name.
2006-07-12 19:38:00
263.   jet
251- Yes, this year, I totally agree with you. Anderson's certainly not helping them. But his inclusion -- as an example of an emotionless player was not mine -- nevertheless was only in the context of what he and the other players mentioned had done in their careers, i.e. contributing to their respective teams although frequently 'playing hurt' as opposed to the bubble boy attiude Drew brings to the game. Thanks.
2006-07-12 19:38:37
264.   Sam DC
262 I'm at the end of a long day, and sorry if I had too much bite in my comment. But there's a lot of history (and threadwars) in the background here, and using that dropped name (intentionally or not) gave your comment a somewhat sharp and personal orientation, as if it was part of a longrunning disagreement rather than just a response to a comment in this thread.

Anyhow, I shouldn't Dodger Thoughts when I'm cranky. I'm glad if I misread you.

2006-07-12 19:45:55
265.   confucius
"Wow, Gagne in a commercial for trash bags."

Maybe he'll climb into one of them and wait down by the curb.

2006-07-12 19:53:38
266.   Blu2
262 Did it ever occur to you that he might have changed his name for a good reason? Like maybe to lose a troll that had followed him from another blog? Your blowing his cover again is quite troll-like itself, come to think of it...
2006-07-12 19:55:36
267.   trainwreck
Someone calls him by his old name practically everyday.
2006-07-12 20:00:34
268.   D4P
Nice post, Sam.
2006-07-12 20:08:27
269.   Steve
Moneyballers want different things at different times. More than anything, they want things before other people want them, when they are undervalued. This is what most reasonable investors want, and it requires fealty only to common sense.

Meanwhile, I am very comfortable accepting whatever risk is involved in drafting high school players, if only because such is no less risky than importing half of the worst team in the American League on to your roster.

2006-07-12 20:09:49
270.   CanuckDodger
266 -- Like 267 says, JoeyP gets referred to as Oldbear here frequently, so I obviously didn't "blow" anybody's "cover." Nate called him Oldbear earlier in this thread, in fact. Whoever was harassing Oldbear before is long gone and I imagine he was banned, so is everybody supposed to walk on egg shells in fear of a banned poster? And frankly, after I explained that there was no sinister motive behind my using the name Oldbear, for you to come out and say I was being "troll-like" is offensive and insulting.
2006-07-12 20:11:00
271.   D4P
Not to mention

High school players >>> Devil Rays

2006-07-12 20:12:23
272.   D4P
Whoever was harassing Oldbear before is long gone

Starvin' Marvin still makes an occasional profanity-laced appearance.

2006-07-12 20:32:49
273.   thinkingblue
Whatever happened to oldbear anyway?
2006-07-12 20:36:19
274.   thinkingblue
Pedroza will get eaten alive by advanced pitching. When you strike out that much as a 22 yr old in Low A ball, you're going to get murdered at more advanced levels.

You don't even know what K'ing is until you gaze upon Brandon Wood.

2006-07-12 20:38:10
275.   thinkingblue
Perdoza also has a .436 OBP, not saying that he's a good prospect or anything, but don't his stats earn him a promotion soon?
2006-07-12 20:43:15
276.   Brendan
265. confucius
"Wow, Gagne in a commercial for trash bags."
Maybe he'll climb into one of them and wait down by the curb.


2006-07-12 20:44:14
277.   Terry A
123 - Jon, I look forward to a Guzman post.

His star has dimmed considerably since the start of spring training. It stands to reason that his actual value is a little lower than last year's peak and a little higher than this year's valley.

Ned, unfortunately, seems to deal prospects from their valleys, getting minimal return (I'm looking at you, Toby Hall). Of course, if he traded them at their peaks, I'll growl about him trading all our "can't miss" prospects.

2006-07-12 21:05:02
278.   CanuckDodger
Guzman is the guy I think is most likely to get dealt. A lot of people here hate how much the Dodgers think about make up and attitude, but that it is important to the Dodgers in undeniable, and Guzman is looking like exactly the sort of moody malcontent the Dodgers want no part of.
2006-07-12 21:10:09
279.   Steve
Which means more pleasant, underachieving Devil Rays for us!
2006-07-12 21:28:43
280.   trainwreck
I agree. Of the big name Jacksonsville guys, he is the most likely to get dealt. Billingsley and Martin I think are basically untouchable. Ethier and Kemp are not going anywhere, Little loves these guys and in his eyes they have already proven they can play and produce at this level. Broxton is our closer of the future and we are already thin in the bullpen. LaRoche is better than Guzman so he should get the third base nod over him. That leaves Loney and Guzman. Logan White loves Loney and it has been mentioned before how Loney has a lot less trave value. So that leaves Guzman as the odd man out.

Of course we could keep them all since Drew may leave, but I think we all assume Ned is going to try to make a deal and will probably deal one of our bigger name prospects.

2006-07-12 21:29:44
281.   trainwreck
*trade value
2006-07-12 21:37:54
282.   StolenMonkey86
About the only thing that would make me happier than Drew for Beltre would be for Eric Gagne to get Wolverine's healing power.
2006-07-12 21:39:14
283.   StolenMonkey86
Is Jason Marquis on track to have the worst ERA ever for a 20 game winner? Or does it just look like that?
2006-07-12 21:52:37
284.   das411
Oh no!!!! Some terrible fallout from the Huff trade today:

...and what is the general opinion on trading Guzman for Miggy C now that everybody saw last night, well-rounded, Cabrera has become?

2006-07-12 22:02:27
285.   Bob Timmermann
The highest ERA for a 20-game winner since 1900 is 5.07 by Bobo Newsom with the 1938 St. Louis Browns. The Browns only won 55 games that year too.

Ray Kremer had an ERA of 5.02 with 20 wins in 1930 for the Pirates.

I think some 19th century pitchers were higher, but there were more wins back then for pitchers.

2006-07-12 22:13:08
286.   trainwreck
Aww I was expecting to read some rumor about a Guzman (w/others) for Cabrera deal. Which I would do in a heartbeat.
2006-07-12 22:49:18
287.   natepurcell
Age verus level of competition matters greatly. To say otherwise to me in opinion, is just baiting.
2006-07-12 22:50:32
288.   dzzrtRatt
I would do an anybody for Cabrera deal, except maybe Penny. But the Marlins are going to keep Willis and Cabrera, without any doubt. They figure on those guys for their next world series in 2008.

I was surprised to see this: After the Huff trade, the Astro payroll is now $106 million. Since when did Houston become a "big-market" club?

2006-07-12 23:01:44
289.   StolenMonkey86
Which Cabrera? I'll assume you mean Miguel for the Marlins. I don't think they're afraid to spend more money next year. I thought they were going to knock out everyone making over $1 million earlier, but I think they're just rebuilding, and they're just the best builders in the business.

I, personally, would be more likely to go crazy and try to make Beltre a franchise player, and trade Drew and Laroche for Beltre and Felix Hernandez. Sure Laroche is good, but if Beltre's a Dodger, he's blocked. And once Hernandez gets hit less, he'll be dynamite (cutting down the homers would help too).

The biggest reason I think Drew for Beltre is a possibility is that it follows an overriding principle in Colletti's philosophy: moves that DePo made that don't involve players that played for Grady or me before were bad. Thus trading Milton Bradley for Andre Ethier trumped Colletti's general rule of trading, which is make a terrible trade that involves getting older, more mediocre players.

2006-07-12 23:06:43
290.   trainwreck
Why would anyone want Beltre? One good season and a whole lot of mediocre seasons. He is not worth the money is he paid, especially when we can get a rookie getting the league minimum to do his job and probably do the job better.

The Mariners are not trading Felix Hernandez. Even Bavasi is not that stupid.

2006-07-12 23:10:23
291.   natepurcell
I second 290

Why would we want Beltre and why on earth would the Marlins trade Felix?

2006-07-12 23:18:17
292.   natepurcell

Interview with Beane, some good questions about their drafts. And what a shocker, Beane takes a bunch of High Schoolers again this year.

2006-07-12 23:21:46
293.   trainwreck
I liked what he said about Andre Ethier.
2006-07-12 23:22:00
294.   natepurcell
a good quote from Billy:

The average draft has two players out of 50 rounds that get to the major leagues. If you can find a way to get three, over five years that's five extra players and a significant amount of players for your major league roster. To say that we, or anyone, has figured it out is untrue.

2006-07-12 23:35:58
295.   natepurcell
I usually dont take any rumors seriously from but they believe that Tom Gordon might be available at the deadline and with the Phillies basically out of the race, it would make sense for them to move him.

Now, I know Gordon is old, but he is absolutely filthy and would add stability to our pen for the next couple of years. He is probably worth looking into.

2006-07-12 23:55:40
296.   StolenMonkey86
290, 291 - With those numbers, keep in mind he has a .225/.284/.324 line in Seattle. A lot of that has to do with dealing with the funny shaped park, whereas he's been used to Dodger Stadium's symmetry and hitting opposite field homers.

Besides, might as well get him before JD Drew undergoes Tommy John surgery.

It's really just wishful thinking to nab King Felix, I know, but worth a shot, maybe.

2006-07-12 23:57:44
297.   StolenMonkey86
Besides, Beltre's best month for his career is August.
2006-07-13 00:01:46
298.   JoeyP
Age verus level of competition matters greatly

It's overly exaggerated by scouts and used as a crutch for when players they like perform poorly. Its a built in excuse..."Just wait till he turns 22", as if by magically aging one year the player will just be better. Thats retarded thinking.

I'll say, "Player A has 5yrs in the system. He hasnt distinguished himself"

A scout will say, "Player A is only 21 yrs old"

I'll say, "How does Player A just aging one more year, going to make him a better player..Better yet, why does his simply getting older, matter more than his 5yrs of prior performance..?"

I guess because I follow college sports so much, age doesnt really matter as much as experience does to me. Some players start college when they are 17 and others start when they are 19. But once each has had the same amount of experience at that level under their belt, there's no difference between the two. Its not like the younger guy is going to have a growth spurt (may happen but rarely). Fans arent sitting up in the stands thinking, "Wow, this kid thats 22yrs old JC transfer, 1st year in the program, should be better than a 20yr old Junior with 3yrs in the program". Age doesnt matter at all.

Was Chris Weinke expected to be the best college QB that ever lived, simply bc he's one of the oldest ones to ever start a game? Of course not. Weinke's age didnt make him better or worse against the competition. It was the experience he gained while at FSU that determined how good he'd be by the time he was done.

As for the contacts rate argument, I'll say this: Any system that encourages bad fundamentals (which I think when teams dont want you to K, it encourages just that mentality in the hitters bc it forces them to swing at borderline pitches for fear of K'ing"), is a really bad philosophical policy. I hope that the Dodgers do not adhere to that, bc if they do the farm will eventually be nothing but early in the count hackers. Loney appears to be one.

2006-07-13 00:04:03
299.   JoeyP
Beltre a franchise player

Just because one is paid like a franchise player, doesnt make one a franchise player.
If you can find the difference between Joe Crede and Adrian Beltre, I'd like to know.

2006-07-13 00:07:23
300.   natepurcell

Another fallacy in your argument is cross comparing sports. You cannot compare baseball to football or basketball. The structure of how young players are brought up is entirely different to compare the two.

Show/Hide Comments 301-350
2006-07-13 00:15:11
301.   natepurcell
To add, if you don't think there is a physicaly and mental difference/maturation from 18-19 yrs olds to 22-23 years old, then I'm basically done with this debate. That is what you are implying, that a player cannot improve after a certain amount of years. Also, college players who play in big time D1 conferences like the Pac10 or the SEC, the level of play at those schools are similar to Low A to high A type levels. So the argument of "less proffessional experience" should mean more then age vs level of competition doesn't fly with me. Why? Because you are implying that those players just pratically started playing oraganized baseball which in fact, they have been playing a high level of baseball already for the past 3 years, but just in a slightly different environment then some.
2006-07-13 00:18:00
302.   natepurcell
The Oakland A's, an organization which you hold up on a pedestal, have heavily invested in prep players in the last two drafts. I remember you last year saying that their 2005 draft was a fluke and wouldn't happen again. Guess not. Maybe now you can put aside your anti-high school player bias.
2006-07-13 00:26:34
303.   natepurcell
To expand on Oakland's draft this year, they landed a texas prep OF in the 3rd round who I really really like. His name is Mark Sulentic and he played in the Dallas area, same as Kershaw. This kid is a gamer. He isn't that big (5'10 170lbs, he isn't that fast, he isn't that athletic, but this kid is a huge gamer and is outstanding with the bat. He was one of the best hitters in the Dallas area and he feel because of his size I think. But He was one of my more favorite picks in the draft, really lucky for the A's to nab him in the 3rd.
2006-07-13 00:31:20
304.   trainwreck
Age matters in all sports. How many times did we hear to wait for Darko Milicic because he was still young and could turn it around? He had three years of experience sitting on the bench, but people still believed in him because he was so young. Magic traded for him and now they look like geniuses.
2006-07-13 00:32:19
305.   trainwreck
Magic also took the young Dwight Howard over the proven more experienced Emeka Okafor. Okafor looked better in his rookie year, but who would you rather have now? Dwight Howard!
2006-07-13 00:35:06
306.   StolenMonkey86
Beltre got started on a tear in late 2003, as he had 7 homers in both August and September 2003.

Anyway, the LA Times Midseason report says Guzman and Aybar are on the block for a starter. Who do you get for those two? Livan Hernandez seems right up Colletti's alley, and may or may not cost both of those players. He might figure having another Cuban on the staff will make Baez more effective. And Livan is better than his brother (although I'd take either one in the postseason).

Another JD Drew trade possibility - is Mark Prior a fair trade for Drew?

2006-07-13 00:36:26
307.   Jon Weisman
298 - First of all, you're hardly alone in following college sports among us.

The Weinke example is a strange one for you to cite - it's precisely because he's old in college that makes him a questionable pro prospect. No one's really arguing that the oldest player is the best player. On the other hand, if an 18-year-old QB can play in major competition, that's significant.

To be sure, it's not that others are arguing that all 22-year-olds are better than all 21-year-olds. It's that each passing year offers a young player a chance to get better, and that some years offer more growth than others. Growth is not consistent year-to-year, as much as you may want it to be. If you'd like, I can show you statistics from the very best players to illustrate this. And we're not talking only physical growth - far from it. Growth in ability is the main thing.

The problem with using college as an analogy is that college has a time limit. Four years of eligibility plus whatever redshirt years. So yes, age isn't as big a factor in evaluating a prospect. You need to be at your best in four years, however old you are.

In professional baseball, there isn't that same limit. So there is a difference between older and younger "freshmen." If I'm 18 and I can play at the same level with 20-year-olds, even if I'm not playing better than them, it stands to reason that by the time I'm 22 (four years from now), I'm going to be better than they will be when they are 22 (two years from now).

As far as competiton level goes, a player rising through a system is always meeting new challenges, until he gets to the majors. That's as good as it gets. So, if he reaches the majors at a young enough age, he stands to improve - not by magic - but because there is still room for his ability to improve while the competition is static.

I still don't see where you've provided any reason to have these theories - and I know you're big on demanding factual explanations. The basis for your argument seems to be, "This is what some people think, but they're retarded." Maybe you can see why it's not very convincing.

2006-07-13 00:36:46
308.   JoeyP
That is what you are implying, that a player cannot improve after a certain amount of years

I dont buy the "filling out" argument if thats what you mean. These kids nowadays start training in HS, and are at their top physical condition from ages 19-22. Look at these kids that step in play big time D1 football, or step into the NBA. Sure they are young, but they are ready. They've been training their whole lives for that one shot. Look at all the young tennis players. From a physical standpoint, there's not as much room for physical improvement nowadays considering how much high schoolers train. So I think the "filling out" argument, and I've heard it bantered about with Loney, is wishful wishful thinking at the very best, and I think completely naive.

Players improve their skills (and baseball is a skill game) from playing time/experience. Not by simply aging.

Its like you might say a guy is young for his league, and I'll say experience wise that shouldnt be an excuse. The difference between a 22yr old and 20yr old is nothing IMO (age wise). But if you chart their experience, and how far they've progressed since being drafted, I think that is much more important. An average MLB'er will have a career of what, 15 yrs counting minor leagues. Whats so important about 2yrs difference from age 22 or 20? Or age 21 and 19? Very little in the grand scope of things. I just have very little faith in a guy suddenly 'getting it', after 5-6yrs of minor league experience.

Maybe back 20yrs ago, when weight training wasnt as popular, you could make the case that players would blossom during those years. But now, I dont think you can say that.

James Loney (since this thread is about him), has been a pro athlete since 2002. Is he going to all the sudden blossom into this big strong slugger, gaining 20 pounds in the process? I doubt it, considering the new rules in place.

2006-07-13 00:37:45
309.   trainwreck
I hope we don't trade Guzman and Aybar for a hurt starting pitcher.
2006-07-13 00:39:09
310.   CanuckDodger
For Oldbear to not be aware of the difference between how baseball players are developed and how the players in other sports are developed makes perfect sense, but really, he SHOULD know better -- if his claims about assiduously studying statistical records have any truth to them. Anybody whose expertise in baseball stats doesn't even extend beyond glancing at career stats on the backs of baseball cards could see how, for players in their early 20's, improvements in performance correlate in almost lock-step fashion with one-year increases in age -- or what is often the case, MLB players didn't even make the majors in the first few years of their 20's. It is not just scouts, but statheads as well, who view prospects through the prism of age-versus-level-of-competition. The younger a player is able to either hold his own or excel at a certain level, the better his future is likely to be. It's not a 100%, and Adrian Beltre is one guy who shows that, since his career has been pretty disappointing considering how he performed very young, but statheads accept that the comprehensive bank of historical data confirms the general principle.
2006-07-13 00:46:34
311.   trainwreck
Was anyone watching Daily Show? They mentioned that if you googled Rick Santorum's last name you would find an interesting substance that you may have not known even existed.

They were right.

2006-07-13 00:52:55
312.   natepurcell
James Loney (since this thread is about him), has been a pro athlete since 2002. Is he going to all the sudden blossom into this big strong slugger, gaining 20 pounds in the process? I doubt it, considering the new rules in place.

Of course not and I don't think anyone who has been following James Loney is arguing that he will. He is not going to be Ryan Howard, no one saying he is. But natural power progression does happen as players age, that is a fact that can't be disputed. And there is a colossal difference between Darin Erstad and Jim Thome and in your writings, you think there is no reasonable middle ground which Loney can attain. It seems like for him, its either one or the other, not something in between, which in my mind, is incredibly inaccurate. In your 308 post, again you are using examples in other sports to support your argument which in turn, more likely doesn't hold water because you can't compare the maturation of baseball players into MLBers to Football players and Basketball players. The drafting process is clearly evident of that! In football, players picked in the first round are expected to play heavily the following year (except for QBs). In Basketball, Lottery picks are expected to contribute the following year. In baseball, in some rare cases for the top 2-3 talents, the rest are not even expected to sniff the majors the following year. That right there, in itself, should be large enough evidence to show why cross comparing sports for this discussion is a big time fallacy.

2006-07-13 01:01:31
313.   thinkblue0
if Guzman and Aybar are dealt for someone like Livan I'll be furious...but at the same time, it wouldn't shock me at all with Neddy's track record.
2006-07-13 01:03:04
314.   natepurcell
If Guzman or Aybar, nevermind both, are dealt for Livan, fat tub of goo 2.0, Dodger Thoughts will combust into cyber space.
2006-07-13 01:04:53
315.   Uncle Miltie
So Ned is looking to acquire another starter and is using Wilber and Guzman as his bait...

Will Ned trade for another BJ? Scott Elarton will probably be available.

Would Guzman and a middle level prospect get us John Smoltz? Probably not, but that would be a great trade.

Erik Bedard would be a great pickup, but the pitching-less O's probably won't trade him.

Ian Snell would be a nice pickup.

There are too many teams in contention right now, which I why it's unlikely that anyone good will be available. This is the perfect year to be a seller.

2006-07-13 01:06:05
316.   natepurcell

Bedard would be AWESOME. Too bad I dont think he is available.

2006-07-13 01:07:48
317.   JoeyP
On the other hand, if an 18-year-old QB can play in major competition, that's significant.

Ok how about this college example:
Lets say a true frosh thats 17 is the starting QB for his team and performs below average that season. Still an accomplishment bc he did start at that level.
Sophomore year he makes a slight impovement, but still isnt very good.
Junior year again makes a slight improvement, up to being an average QB.

This QB declares for the NFL draft:

Which aspect of this player is the NFL team going to look more into:
#1. The fact that he was playing big time D1 football, while being younger than most of the competition.
#2. The fact that, even though he was younger, he didnt really improve that much with playing time. In fact, he really wasnt that good of player, maybe only average.

Is the upside of his age and the fact he'd still have a little more time to improve, going to override the fact that when given playing time, he really didnt show that much?

Are you going to trust a player to improve with playing time, or improve simply by aging? NFL is a results based league. If he didnt improve that much with PT at the college level, why should they expect him to improve at the pro level? They probably arent going to be too sympathetic about the player's age, since being 20yrs old and having 3yrs of college experience, versus being 23 and having 3yrs of college isnt that big of deal. They are going to choose the better player.

A baseball team deciding that a minor leaguer is going to be given an MLB roster spot, is sort of like to me an NFL team that decides to draft someone. Its an important decision from which age shouldnt be used as an excuse for a player's poor prior performance.

James Loney has 4 years of below average minor league credentials. Would you give him a roster spot on the MLB club, bc you believe he'll magically get better with age? That he still has more time to improve than perhaps an older player (which is true)? Or will you assess what he's actually done in those 4yrs and simply think "This kid hasnt improved much. He hasnt developed power. If he hasnt by now, is simply giving a roster spot and hoping he develops worthy of consideration?" I fall into the latter group. It doesnt matter what scouts may say. If he hasnt gotten it by now, I dont think he'll ever get it. Therefore, giving him a starting spot is very risky.

I'm very results oriented. Granted, I'm not very patient unless I see the upside. With Loney, I dont see the upside. I dont trust someone that just happens to have "scout" in their title tell me, "Just wait. He'll hit 25HRs by the time he's 25". I cant trust that aspiration bc there's no reasoning behind it, other than the "he'll get older, he'll get better" routine. We'll, he's 22 now and he has the same amount of power as when he was 17.

2006-07-13 01:11:51
318.   Uncle Miltie
316- Billy Beane has wanted him for years. My mancrush for Bedard is one level below the one I have for Crawford and many many levels below the one you have for Sal Fasano.

Just read on ESPN that Morgan Ensberg might up on the bench a lot because of the Aubrey Huff acquisition. Low average, but almost a .900 OPS. I'm drooling at those 68 walks. He's also from Redondo Beach, which is very close to where I live.

2006-07-13 01:17:28
319.   natepurcell

Ensberg is interesting although he has completely tanked since his hot April.

april: 329/.467/.765
may: .216/.328/.450
june: 145/.351/.236

and so far in July: 200/.459/.400

He just turned 30 too so he SHOULD BE in his peak years. Maybe last year was his peak year, who knows. Maybe he is having a case of Mike Lowellitis. who knows.

2006-07-13 01:17:40
320.   Andrew Shimmin
Canuck- My real name (which I've never divulged on this site before) is Wilson Pickett. But I've chosen the nom de guerre Andrew Shimmin, and I'm grateful that people indulge that choice I've made. Now, in the future, even if Wilson Pickett springs to your mind every time I post; even if you lay awake at night muttering, "Wilson Pickett, Wilson Pickett, Wilson Pickett. . .," I'd still be grateful if you addressed me by the name I've picked, for personal reasons, to go by, here.

Thanks in advance,
Wilson Pickett

2006-07-13 01:18:35
321.   natepurcell

Maybe if Bedard grew some greasy italian facial hair, he could be on Sal Fasano level. The Ball's in his court.

2006-07-13 01:19:29
322.   trainwreck
I don't think we need a thirdbaseman. We got LaRoche. LaRoche can be up after the trade deadline, let's not block him or deal him.
2006-07-13 01:19:30
323.   CanuckDodger
When Alexis Rios was 22 -- Loney's age now -- he played the whole year in Double A, winding up with a .352/.402/.521 line, with 11 HR's and only 39 walks to 514 AB's. Not much power, not much patience, but a batting average that suggested excellent contact skills. That was three years ago. Rios hit one single home run in his first MLB season, 426 AB's. Two years later Rios is hitting with a lot more power. He simply matured. I think we COULD see Loney make the same leap at around age 25. A lot of players like him do. But I am not counting on it, and my point from the beginning has been that Loney does not have to be a big power hitter for him to be valuable to us. A well-run baseball organization looks at what players CAN do well and evaluates players in relation to other players on the team or in the organization that have their own respective set of strengths and weaknesses. We have other players who profile in the #3 and #4 slots of the line-up.
2006-07-13 01:19:46
324.   natepurcell
Is Wilson Pickett really your real name?

So basically Ive been lied to everyday for the past year or so.

2006-07-13 01:22:26
325.   trainwreck
My name is Andrew. I thought I had another brother of name on this site. I was lied to and now my world is turned upside down like the Fresh Prince.
2006-07-13 01:23:19
326.   Jon Weisman
315 - #1, though perhaps he should have stayed in school. Because he doesn't need to be great at age 20. Do you see many 21-year-old starting NFL quarterbacks? And for the level he's at, he's less beat up than someone who has played longer.

Now, I'm not saying there isn't a better player. But who is that better player? Someone who made great strides from age 21-23? He'd better be dimensionally better than the younger QB.

I'm not saying you have to rule out the great 23-year-old. I'm just saying you don't have to rule out the still-developing 21-year-old, who still retains the possibility of developing over the next three years that the other guy had.

In your example, you haven't told me what the 23-year-old did from ages 18-20. I assume you're going to tell me he was making great strides all those years too. But it's all just so contrived. What did Matt Leinart do from ages 18-20 - was that when he backed up Carson Palmer. There's no sign of development there.

As for Loney, your inability to see that he has improved his season - or your complete dismissal of it - just leaves me at a loss. Beyond that, you're changing the opposing arguments. Many people who think Loney will develop aren't ready to hand him a "starting spot" right now.

"We'll, he's 22 now and he has the same amount of power as when he was 17," you say. This is completely false. He's at a higher level. He's at the second-highest level there is. Please respond to the fact that at the next level, his improvement will go straight into his statistics growing, rather than into having to meet an even higher challenge.

If I hit seven homers in fifth-grade softball and 10 years later hit seven homers in AAA ball, am I displaying the same amount of power, or have I improved?

2006-07-13 01:24:31
327.   Jon Weisman
Sorry, 326 is a response to 317.
2006-07-13 01:28:48
328.   trainwreck
I am surprised how late people are up on a Wednesday.
2006-07-13 01:29:01
329.   Uncle Miltie
322- Getting Ensberg would buy some more time for LaRoche to develop in the minors. There's no reason to rush him up here, especially not this season. Ensberg is a buy low candidate because he's in a huge slump and it appears that the Astros have soured on him. He has a good track record and he's young enough to rebound. He'd be a big upgrade over Izturis offensively.

323- scouts have always loved Rios. He has a projectable 6'5 frame, long arms, and unbelievable tools. He has a lightening quick bat and a cannon for an arm. I wouldn't compare Loney to him. While Loney is doing it at a higher level, he's also playing in an extreme hitters park.

I've read quotes from scouts where they said Loney didn't have great bat speed and wouldn't be able to catch up to really good fastballs. I don't dislike Loney at all and I'd like to see the Dodgers let Nomar walk (mostly due to his past injuries), but also so we can see what Loney can do at the major league level. If he's a bust, no big deal. 1B is one of the easiest positions to fill.

2006-07-13 01:29:05
330.   Andrew Shimmin
325- You're not alone. There are at least two other Andrews who post here. Other than you, I mean; I'm just an imposter.
2006-07-13 01:30:47
331.   Jon Weisman
328 - I had to work really late. I'm going to bed now and will renew the suffering in the morn.
2006-07-13 01:31:11
332.   natepurcell
he's also playing in an extreme hitters park.

and as I have noted before, he is hitting 354/388/500 on the road. The PCL isnt entirely made up of ALL hitters parks so Loney is performing in normal coniditions as well too.

2006-07-13 01:31:50
333.   trainwreck
I would have no problem with that except I worry Ned would trade LaRoche in a heartbeat for scraps like he did to Navarro. But I am paranoid when it comes to our prospects.
2006-07-13 01:31:50
334.   natepurcell

Well I'm not going to call you Wilson. You're Andrew to me, changing now would be to hard.

2006-07-13 01:33:30
335.   dzzrtRatt
319 Re: Morgan Ensberg.

In 2004, I walked into a take-out restaurant in Rolling Hills, which is near Redondo Beach. It was a Sunday in September. The guy behind the counter asks me if I knew the football scores. I said what I always say around that time of year. "I hardly pay any attention to the NFL until the World Series is over." He says, "Oh, you're into baseball, huh. My brother is into baseball. Actually, he plays baseball professionally." "Oh yeah, who is he?" "Morgan Ensberg." "Morgan Ensberg? That guy's doing great!" (At the time he was.) I continued: "Not only that, but Houston is playing so hot right now, they might make the playoffs." (This was the year they sucked until after the All-Star Game. Ensberg, along with Beltran, Berkman and Kent, were the spurs to a huge revival.) "Really?" "Yeah. You mean, your brother plays in the majors and you aren't even following his team?" "I'm more into football. Did I ask if you'd heard any scores?"

True story.

2006-07-13 01:34:13
336.   CanuckDodger
320 -- It's not like I ever knew you as "Wilson Pickett," is it? And why did you choose to be called "Andrew Shimmin"? Is it a literary reference?
2006-07-13 01:36:27
337.   Jon Weisman
I have this growing fear that not everyone knows who Wilson Pickett is. And it's well past the midnight hour.
2006-07-13 01:36:29
338.   JoeyP
you haven't told me what the 23-year-old did from ages 18-20.

He went to prep school for his year 18.
He entered college at 19 was redshirted.
Then he played as a RSFrosh from ages 20-23.

2006-07-13 01:37:12
339.   thinkblue0
also I read we're after guys like Tom Gordon and Bob Wickman....Wickman wouldn't irritate me too much...but I don't want to be on the hook for Gordon again next year.
2006-07-13 01:39:14
340.   trainwreck
Hahaha, that is a good story.

My friend's brother was telling us how his tattoo artist (who he has known for a while) was in some band. So he would have to wait to get his tattoos finished when the guy was done with his tour. My brother's friend just assumed he was in some crappy band. So my brother's friend asked us, "He is in some band called Slipknot. Have you heard of them?"

I realize a lot of people here probably don't know or care who Slipknot is haha.

2006-07-13 01:45:10
341.   Uncle Miltie
My brother's friend just assumed he was in some crappy band.
His assumption was correct
2006-07-13 01:45:48
342.   trainwreck
I know of Wilson Pickett because I took a class about the history of popular American music.
2006-07-13 01:46:43
343.   Andrew Shimmin
Not knowing who Wilson Pickett was (G-d rest his soul) is the sort of thing that will be a hanging offense when the revolution comes. Not knowing who Andrew Shimmin is, won't be. Unless I wangle my way to the top of the revolutionary totem pole. So, you know, here's hoping.

336- No. Never mind, I was playing at being clever. Calling someone by what ever (within reason) name he chooses is an important tenet of good etiquette. Time for bed.

2006-07-13 01:52:06
344.   JoeyP
He's at a higher level.

He's also more experienced, which is my point.

If I hit seven homers in fifth-grade softball and 10 years later hit seven homers in AAA ball, am I displaying the same amount of power, or have I improved?

You havent improved relative to your opponents. You were in 5th grade, you hit 7HR's against your peers. You're now in AAA ball, you hit 7HRs against your peers. To me you havent improved. You've maintained.

I think the biggest argument is defining 'peers'. I think Loney is playing against his 'peers' in AAA. Others think he's a young kid playing in a big boys league. Personally, I dont think there's anything special about being 22yrs old in AAA, if you have 4yrs of pro experience.

2006-07-13 02:02:28
345.   natepurcell

The average age in AAA is about 24/25 or so.

2006-07-13 02:20:38
346.   JoeyP
The Oakland A's, an organization which you hold up on a pedestal, have heavily invested in prep players in the last two drafts.

Sounds like they need DePo back.

2006-07-13 02:28:26
347.   natepurcell

Oh come on. You are just as stubborn as Joe Morgan in your views.

2006-07-13 02:29:03
348.   Andrew Shimmin
Unless I'm missing some deeper layer of meaning, this is one gigantic semantic argument. There's no way to divorce age from experience (except with Mark Hendrickson, but I'm not going to touch that) unless you arbitrarily decide that College experience doesn't count. Rookie League baseball isn't magic. And the ways in which it's different from college ball (in whatever division might be comparable; so some community college league might be a much lower level of competition, but the SEC wouldn't be, right?) are not great enough to dismiss it.

That's the whole point of that part of Moneyball--college stats are useful because they represent a meaningful level of competition.

2006-07-13 02:36:58
349.   JoeyP
If College ball played with wooden bats, I'd alter my stance more on this. But playing college baseball and playing pro baseball is completely different. The guys that have played pro ball longer should have an upper hand over less experienced players.

For one, the pros have more time to devote to improving and working on their games. In college, baseball players have homework, less alotted practice time, etc.

There's a difference between evaluating players to draft, and then evaluating them once they are in your system. I like using past performance in both cases over age, but I'll grant that college baseball/wooden bats is more difficult to equate to the pro game.

2006-07-13 02:56:30
350.   JoeyP
Show/Hide Comments 351-400
2006-07-13 03:05:21
351.   Andrew Shimmin
That's an hypothesis worthy of investigation (well, if you think it is; my investigatory practice is limited to petty vengeance and stories about Ogden, Utah). If you're up to producing a conversion formula (e.g. 3 yrs of college=2.1865 yrs pro), based on something, I'd be willing to consider it. But I'm not willing to take your word that metal bats make the game of college baseball incomparable to pro ball. If it did, then there'd be no reason to believe that any random lacrosse player would be an inferior pro baseball player than a great college baseball player.

As for homework, it's not been my experience that most big time college athletes lose too much time over it. Anyway, less alotted practice time is not the same as none. It must be of some value, mustn't it? No good dismissing something because you can't quantify it as exactly as you might hope. If you honestly believe college experience doesn't count for anything, then the argument is pretty much over. There's not any where I know of to go with that. If you don't believe that, then you can't behave as though you did.

2006-07-13 06:30:34
352.   Terry A
In Tony Jackson's somewhat balanced piece on the State of the Dodgers today, he chooses to close with this quote:

"Really, there is no comparison to when we first arrived here," Frank McCourt said. "We are in so much better shape, and the organization is in so much better shape. It shows what I have stressed since the beginning, and that is the importance of putting the right people in place who are dedicated to putting their self-interests aside and focusing on the goals of the organization."

Other than the 2004 season and the recent arrival of prospects drafted under Malone (yikes!), Evans and DePodesta (and, in Ethier's case, acquired by Colletti), I truly can't come up with one significant area in which the franchise is in better condition since the arrival of the McCourts. Suggestions?

2006-07-13 06:57:10
353.   Andrew Shimmin
Dreifort and Hundly are off the payroll. After this year, Odalis's is the only really bad contract left; I don't like Tomko, and I don't like Kent's or Furcal's contracts, but they are not suffocating the team, yet. Green's contract was pretty ugly, too, in 2004. So, there art thou happy.

Penny is big, and has options through 2009.

Then the prospects. Even if he's trying to take credit for things that only a fool would have done some other way, he's still right. The 2006 state of the team is much stronger than the 2004 state.

2006-07-13 07:32:40
354.   Terry A
I art happy. Thank thee verily much. :)

The tone of the quote led me to believe Frank was saying things were so much better because of his arrival. I couldn't -- and can't -- see how that's the case, especially since many of the things you listed were DePo moves, and of course, we know what McCourt thinks of DePo. (Of the other items on your list, three of them occurred only because of the passage of time. So, to a jaded reader like myself, it appears that McCourt is now taking credit for the sun rising and setting.)

Meanwhile, the McCourts have seemingly bungled and botched nearly every aspect of running the franchise. But that's a broken record to be played another day.

2006-07-13 07:41:26
355.   regfairfield
352 Malone only had two drafts. The only player that he's "produced" is Repko.

I had a dream last night that we got Felix Hernandez for most of our junk. Took me a bit to figure out that this didn't happen.

2006-07-13 07:44:15
356.   Penarol1916
355. You must have been reading too many of StolenMonkey86's bizarre Drew/Laroche for Beltre/Hernandez posts.
2006-07-13 07:47:01
357.   Terry A
Yes. But even Repko counts, thus Malone's inclusion on the list.

Speaking of the Sheriff, a few days ago there was a discussion here about the infamous Karros extension. IIRC, it was blamed on Malone or Evans. However, I thought that contract was the handiwork of Bob Daly, who saw EK as the consummate Dodger and wanted to keep him here until EK's retirement. I thought Daly stepped in and engineered the EK extension. Is my memory faulty?

2006-07-13 07:56:33
358.   regfairfield
357 I'm still firmly in the "Repko is terrible" camp.
2006-07-13 08:40:50
359.   Steve
Andrew, stop lying about your record. Wilson Pickett was never a member of The Temptations, and you know it.
2006-07-13 08:45:34
360.   Bob Timmermann
LA Times 2/19/2000
Expressing appreciation of Eric Karros' contributions, the Dodgers rewarded their longtime first baseman with a multiyear contract extension Friday, elevating Karros among the game's highest-paid players at his position.

Committing to the fans' favorite player, the Dodgers gave Karros a three-year contract with an option, guaranteeing him $24 million. Karros will receive a $1.5-million signing bonus and salaries of $7 million in 2001, $6.5 million in 2002 and $8 million in 2003.

He will make $9 million in 2004 if the Dodgers exercise their option, which will kick in if Karros has 500 plate appearances in 2003. The Dodgers can buy out the final year for $1 million if Karros does not meet that requirement.

The deal could be worth as much as $32 million for Karros, who this season is making $5 million in the final year of a four-year, $20-million contract. The $8-million average annual value puts Karros in elite company.

Mark McGwire of the St. Louis Cardinals, Rafael Palmeiro of the Texas Rangers and Mo Vaughn of the Angels head the list of first basemen at $9 million this season. Vaughn's six-year, $80-million deal is the richest, and his $13.3-million average salary also sets the mark for first basemen.

"Eric represents the Dodgers so well in so many ways," said Bob Daly, managing general partner, during a conference call. "Besides his unbelievable talent as a player, what he stands for and the way he's handled himself in his whole career means so much to the team.

"Eric is a person whom I, and the rest of Dodger organization, feel very strongly about. He's the type of person we want to be a long-term player with the Dodgers."

2006-07-13 09:00:30
361.   Andrew Shimmin
359- I was just thinking that when Jon said something, earlier, about my being a detective, I should have made a funny joke about my tour with the grammar police explorers unit.

Why do I always think of the perfect thing to say when it's too late? "Shut up, Becky!" Oh, that would have been sweet.

2006-07-13 09:03:52
362.   jasonungar05
The idea of not promoting laroach and trading guzman to keep izzy at 3b is bad for us long term. The thought process behind it makes me want to throw up.
2006-07-13 09:04:51
363.   Jon Weisman
344 - "You havent improved relative to your opponents. You were in 5th grade, you hit 7HR's against your peers. You're now in AAA ball, you hit 7HRs against your peers. To me you havent improved. You've maintained."

Bingo. Thanks for making my argument for me. Because once you get to the majors, your peers stop improving. And as you improve, your stats will go up. And the younger you are, the better chance you have of this. I know you understand that a 23-year-old major leaguer is more likely to improve than a 27-year-old major leaguer. So this is why being young matters.

2006-07-13 10:24:42
364.   ToyCannon
I'm shocked that some of the best minds on DT have taken to arguing with JoeyP. I gave up when it was apparent that my wife would quickly cash in on my life insurance as that vein on my temple kept pounding louder and louder and the spittle popping out of my lips was ruining my keyboard experience.

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