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About Jon
Thank You For Not ...

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

Japanese Takeout?
2006-11-02 19:49
by Jon Weisman

For those who aren't yet familiar with potential Dodger pitching target Daisuke Matsuzaka, Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated has a primer.

Of one thing there is no doubt: Matsuzaka has major league talent. One National League scout called the Seibu Lions righthander, who's expected to be made available soon to all 30 major league teams through Japan's posting system, "one of the 10 best pitchers in the world." Chiba Lotte Marines manager Bobby Valentine, the former Rangers and Mets skipper, says, "I saw the guys pitching in the [major league] playoffs, and there's no comparison." But one big question remains: Who will pony up the more than $100 million it might cost to get Matsuzaka?

The posting system -- a sealed-bid auction among the major league teams for the exclusive rights to negotiate with a player -- is expected to fetch as much as $30 million for financially troubled Seibu (whose owner was convicted in 2005 of insider trading and given a 30-month suspended sentence). On top of that it will take perhaps another $75 million over the next five years to sign Matsuzaka.

The Yankees are so enamored of Matsuzaka that assistant general manager Jean Afterman practically lives on Continental Airlines' Newark-to-Tokyo route, and the organization hired Shoichi Kida, who attended the same high school as Matsuzaka and briefly played with him on the Lions, as a scout (although one source says the two are "not especially close"). The Mariners, Mets, Red Sox, Dodgers, Rangers and perhaps a handful of other teams may yet make a play for the 6-foot, 187-pound Matsuzaka, who was MVP of the World Baseball Classic (3-0 with a 1.38 ERA) last spring and then went 17-5 with a 2.13 ERA and 200 strikeouts for Seibu.

In his eight pro seasons Matsuzaka has won four Pacific League strikeout titles, two ERA titles and one Sawamura award (the Japanese equivalent of the Cy Young). Less easy to quantify is the number of pitches in the Japanese ace's arsenal. One National League scout lists seven: 96-mph fastball, cutter, Japanese "shuuto" (like a two-seam fastball), curveball, changeup, splitter and slider; another NL scout says Matsuzaka throws three different sliders, bringing his total to nine pitches. ...

And then there's the whole gyroball thing, though I'm not sure why this is so controversial.

In the same issue of the magazine, Albert Chen suggest that baseball's overall health, buoyed by high ticket revenue and labor peace and belied by the recent postseason television ratings, could fuel bidding wars for free agents.

"Get set for some crazy contracts," one National League general manager anonymously told Chen. "It's going to be a seller's market because everyone's got money to spend."

J.D. Drew, who ranked seventh among N.L. first basemen and outfielders in the newly released Elias Sports Bureau player ratings, is expected not to opt out of his Dodger contract, but the remaining $33 million he is owed through 2009 may start to look more like a bargain. Which reminds me ... from the Dodger Thoughts comments the other day:

J.D. Drew's on-base percentage and slugging in 2006:

Runners on: .406/.486
Scoring position: .421/.480
Runners on, two out: .459/.570
Scoring position, two out: .437/.471
Man on third, less than two out: .426/.529
Close and late: .397/.533 (results in the 7th inning or later with the batting team either ahead by one run, tied or with the potential tying run at least on deck.)

Drew struck out, swinging or looking, 55 times in more than 300 plate appearances with runners on, or about once every five trips. That ratio more or less holds in the other categories.

(In response to the commenter who said Drew strikes out all the time in clutch situations), if one watched J.D. Drew during his 146 games this season, in real time, on real fields, with varying game pressure, that's what one would have seen. It's not as if the stats are taken from some fictional set of games.

Update: The Dodgers are now shying away from bidding on Matsuzaka, according to Steve Henson of the Times.

Comments (121)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-11-02 20:03:27
1.   Bob Timmermann
Regarding the Sawamura Award, there is only one given out to pitchers in both leagues (as the Cy Young Award used to be) and there is a provision that the voters can decide not to award it.

Kazumi Saito of the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks won it this year for the third time.

2006-11-02 20:04:14
2.   Robert Daeley
While it sure would make a big splash for the Dodgers to pick him up, it seems such an unlikely thing to happen. The Yankees are the best bet, naturally.

Of course, they were also the best bet to win the World Series last month. :)

2006-11-02 20:14:47
3.   natepurcell
I want it to be Matsumania in LA next year.
2006-11-02 20:24:52
4.   LAT
If Jon's prospective figures are correct, I say pass. Forget the $70M it will take to sign him. What about the $30M that goes down the toliet. We could use that to get Schmidt and a bat for one year. I like to spend Frank's money as much as the next guy but $30M just for the negotiation rights. Ouch!

BTW, isn't a gyro ball the same thing as a knuckleball.

2006-11-02 20:26:27
5.   Bob Timmermann
A gyroball is considered by naysayers to be nothing more than a cut fastball.
2006-11-02 20:27:04
6.   Curtis Lowe
So how does this bidding stuff work? Like a traditional auction with each bider raising the other or is it you only get to make one offer?
2006-11-02 20:27:10
7.   Jon Weisman
4 - No, it's not.
2006-11-02 20:27:12
8.   Robert Daeley
Flat fastball with late break?

2006-11-02 20:30:48
9.   regfairfield
6 I believe it's a silent auction. Everyone submits a bid, high bid wins.
2006-11-02 20:32:40
10.   Bob Timmermann
It's a one sealed bid sort of auction.
2006-11-02 20:35:14
11.   Benaiah
4 - You get the money back if you don't sign him and it is a silent auction where everyteam that wishes to submits a bid and the highest one wins.

A gyroball is a breaking back that when flat resembles a slider, when it is on its break is measured in feet.

2006-11-02 20:35:57
12.   Louis in SF
LAT, Regarding the bidding for Matzusaka, if we bid and it is accepted and you then sign him, that 30 million is indeed lost. On the other hand if you bid and your bid is not accepted than you get your money back. Given this guys age and the stuff he seems to have, making a bid makes lots of sense. I have real questions about the durability of Jason Schmidt and I don't think we will end up with Zito-I do think he wants to try the East Coast.
2006-11-02 20:44:13
13.   Robert Daeley
Couple of gyroball vids:

2006-11-02 20:45:42
14.   GoBears
12. That only makes sense if we lose the bid (and don't have to shell out the money). But if that's the case, why bid? Only point of bidding is to win (unless you think the mere expression of interest will raise the cost to whichever team does win.
2006-11-02 20:47:24
15.   GoBears
From the end of the last thread (hadn't realized we'd moved on):

149. Robert Daeley
Again, Great American Ballpark = Homerun Hitter's Heaven. Do not let the inflated numbers distract you.

Well, actually, no. Dunn's 2006 H/A splits:

Home: .231/.362/.502
Away: .236/.368/.479

So, basically no split at all. A little more slugging at home (22 HRs, vs. 18 on the road), but better average and on-base away from GAB. Twice as many doubles on the road. More RBIs at home, but given how close Dunn's splits are, that must be a function of big H/A splits for his teammates.

In fact, if Dunn is to be criticized, it's for NOT taking sufficient advantage of his home park.

2006-11-02 20:47:46
16.   Benaiah
14 - I think he meant if you don't sign him. Obviously the losing teams dont have to pay for the right to bid.
2006-11-02 20:57:32
17.   Steve
It's not as if the stats are taken from some fictional set of games.

But if they are, can we have Steve Lyons do those games instead?

2006-11-02 20:59:22
18.   D4P
I heard a rumor that Torii Hunter won a golden glove
2006-11-02 21:01:11
19.   Robert Daeley

Interestingly, he had twice as many doubles away as home this year.

Take a look at 2005:
H 274/418/639, HR 26
A 221/359/446, HR 14

or 2004:
H 265/390/600, HR 25
A 266/386/539, HR 21

He is consistently inconsistent in the slugging department. ;)

2006-11-02 21:11:41
20.   Fallout
How would you like to win the bid and then have him hire Boras as his agent.

I would think that a knuckleball would be a gyrolessball.:)

2006-11-02 21:31:32
21.   regfairfield
What's to stop, say, the Blue Jays from bidding several billion dollars then not making an offer just to make sure the Yankees don't get Matsuzaka?
2006-11-02 21:33:27
22.   LAT
From Yahoo Sports:

Clemens: A no-decision for 2007

Am I the only one who has grown really tired of this annual headline? Does anyone outside of Texas or NY really care anymore?

2006-11-02 21:34:03
23.   D4P
Does anyone outside of Texas or NY really care anymore?

I never cared

2006-11-02 21:35:11
24.   gpellamjr
17 By far your best work yet.
2006-11-02 21:36:00
25.   Robert Daeley
20 I think Boras already is his agent in the USA believe it or not.
2006-11-02 21:37:45
26.   das411
The gyroball is the nasty nasty nasty second pitch in this sequence, some of you have seen this before but it's just sooooo much fun to watch:

From what I can tell, coming out of the hand, and for the first 30 feet or so, the ball appears to be boring in on the batter, then suddenly appears to break down and away from the lefty batter. It looks almost like your standard Lowe/Maddux cut fastball, only with much more downward break to it...Jon, is there any way to have Will do a once-and-for-all post about this?

And re: Matsuzaka saying he does not actually throw the pitch, methinks maybe he has learned a trick or two from Maddux in the mental department...

2006-11-02 21:40:22
27.   das411
21 - As I understand it, the team whose bid is accepted does lose that money even if there is no contract agreement. The Jays would still be out that billion dollars, although maybe they could get the rest of the AL to help 'em out with it!

22 - Surely Red Sox Nation still cares, as gullible as they are...

2006-11-02 21:42:19
28.   Jon Weisman
26 - I'm sure an archive search could find stuff Will has written.
2006-11-02 21:45:49
29.   natepurcell
the gyroball is like a 2 seam fastball with a more screwball action. its pretty wicked, kind of like gagne's change up.
2006-11-02 21:46:38
30.   D4P
Why don't they call it the "Matsu ball"...?
2006-11-02 21:49:33
31.   regfairfield
27 That's how I previously understood it, but apparently the team gets the money back if Matsuzaka doesn't sign.
2006-11-02 21:58:42
32.   Steve
I highly doubt it.
2006-11-02 21:59:25
33.   Eric Stephen
Jon, the link in your post above points to the 2005 player rankings. 2006 rankings are here:

Drew moves up to 7th place!

2006-11-02 22:11:08
34.   Samuel

apparently the dodgers have no plans to bid for matsuzaka..

2006-11-02 22:23:04
35.   natepurcell

i wonder if he is just saying that as to not show the dodgers hand too early.

Either way, we have money to spend this offseason and it seems like Colletti wants a top tier free agent.

2006-11-02 22:27:08
36.   natepurcell
fom the times angels report from today...

he Angels, according to industry sources, also plan to bid for left-hander Barry Zito, the top starter on the free-agent market, but it appears they will not enter the bidding for highly touted Japanese right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka. The Dodgers are engaged in serious discussions this week about whether to post a bid on Matsuzaka, a 26-year-old right-hander who was the most valuable player of the World Baseball Classic last spring

2006-11-02 22:32:16
37.   Jon Weisman
33, 34 - Thanks. Kinda makes you wonder why I bothered posting tonight :)
2006-11-02 22:48:15
38.   Bob Timmermann
We appreciate the effort.
2006-11-02 22:50:46
39.   D4P
We appreciate the effort

I give Jon an "E"

2006-11-02 23:12:52
40.   trainwreck
I am not surprised by the Dodgers not going after Matsuzaka. I really hope we do not sign Soriano or Carlos Lee. How did Maddux become a top level starter?
2006-11-02 23:14:19
41.   bhsportsguy
Buster Olney thought the same thing about the Orioles making an outrageous post and then lowballing Boras so he would not accept the offer just to make sure that the Yankees did not get him this year.
2006-11-02 23:15:06
42.   bhsportsguy
40 He is a type A free agent, I'm just citing facts not opinion.
2006-11-02 23:24:38
43.   Uncle Miltie
34- well there goes my dreams of chanting Mat-Su-Zaka at Dodger Stadium

I guess I'll settle for Zito.

Landing a pricey starting pitcher and a proven slugger are top priorities.
It doesn't say anything about being good. I'd consider Tomko to be "pricey" considering the amount of production he gives. I hear Jeff Suppan is look for a big contract.

How about Tim Thomas? Wow..

2006-11-02 23:28:11
44.   trainwreck
Anyone else worried Ned has no faith in LaRoche?
2006-11-03 00:19:33
45.   Bob Timmermann
I have nothing to say except that I have a BlackBerry now.
2006-11-03 00:19:53
46.   Bob Timmermann
I have nothing to say except that I have a BlackBerry now.
2006-11-03 00:22:44
47.   Bob Timmermann
And it doesn't refresh the screen so I double post!
2006-11-03 01:11:30
48.   CanuckDodger
44 -- The story I hear is that Colletti does not LIKE LaRoche, personally, which I'd say is something a little different that not having faith in him.
2006-11-03 01:18:52
49.   trainwreck
Either way it sucks.
2006-11-03 04:00:56
50.   DodgerfaninNY
Isn't the fact that Saito might not return a cause for concern? And is there any thought that Broxton could be that starting pitcher Ned Head so desperately needs?
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-11-03 05:31:01
51.   das411
From today's Phila Daily News:

"Burrell's representatives indicated yesterday that he would accept a trade to the Giants. That team could ask Burrell to switch back to first base, the position he played in 2000...

In trade, the Giants might want the Phillies, who are looking for bullpen help, to take closer Armando Benitez, who comes with plenty of baggage: a $7.6 million salary for this season, the last on his contract; his bad knees, which limited him to 41 games this season; and a poor reputation as a teammate."

This could get interesting...

2006-11-03 05:45:30
52.   gpellamjr
39 At Ohio State, an "E" means "failing". It was a sad day when I realized that I would be able to give my students an "F".
2006-11-03 06:21:48
53.   Bumsrap
The Dodgers can post $10,100,100 for Matsuzaka and assume they will not win the bid but just the same participate.

I don't trust Colletti yet. He could easily give up on the Dodgers youth in favor of something old.

2006-11-03 06:58:36
54.   Terry A
18 - So did Mark "Eyechart" Grudzielanek, I hear. Ain't life a kick in the pants? I never would've thought that would happen.

48 - Interesting. This Ned of ours is one complex character.

2006-11-03 07:37:58
55.   LAT
This bidding for Matsuzaka is so crazy, I keep having an image of Ned dressed up as Dr. Evil saying "I bid one million dollars" and all the other GMs laughing at him. Kim Ng would be No.2 telling him that is not very much. Frank could be Minnie Me and Jamie could be Frau Farbissina. I know it makes no sense I just keep seeing it.
2006-11-03 08:27:30
56.   Sushirabbit
Isn't the essence of the gyro the same thing that Marshall is preaching? I guess I'd have to see film of Marshall's pitchers to be sure. If that one pitch does what he's teaching that'd be interesting.
2006-11-03 08:29:39
57.   jakewoods
What does Drews OBP matter when he cant stay healthy and doesnt hit for power?
2006-11-03 08:42:57
58.   StolenMonkey86
51 - Armando Benitez. Wow. We'll see their Benitez with a Tomko and raise them a Beimel.
2006-11-03 09:00:37
59.   natepurcell
What does Drews OBP matter when he cant stay healthy and doesnt hit for power?

drew slugged .498 last year and a has a career slug% of 512.

2006-11-03 09:09:52
60.   Steve
That's a lot of killed rallies.
2006-11-03 09:11:39
61.   jujibee
According to the times, Coletti thinks posting money for Matsuzaka is a detriment to how he does business. Not looking to good to land him after those comments, but maybe he's playing devil's advocate to make the NY teams think we're out of the bidding war.
2006-11-03 09:13:33
62.   D4P
And a lot of clogged basepaths.
2006-11-03 09:20:52
63.   Sushirabbit
56 to answer my own question. No the Gyro is not the same thing. Based on what I've read in his Q&A sections, I think the gyro makes intentional use of what Marshall calls "looping".
2006-11-03 09:39:06
64.   Eric Enders
56 Drew can't hit for power, yet he led the team in home runs and RBI. He can't stay healthy, yet he was second on the team in games played and plate appearances.

Drew's one of those players who inspires such hatred that people apparently feel compelled to just make up stuff that's patently false. Why?

2006-11-03 09:39:48
65.   Eric Enders
That referred to 57, by the way, not 56. Big surprise I screwed that up.
2006-11-03 09:51:16
66.   Rocc
55. A tear came out of my eye when I read the "one billion dollars" part.
2006-11-03 09:59:14
67.   bigcpa
Accd to the Elias rankings Geoff Jenkins > Beltran, Soriano, Howard and Delgado.
2006-11-03 10:01:20
68.   Bob Timmermann
He doesn't smile enough. Or break bats on his knee. Stuff like that. People want passion. But more importantly, they want readily apparent passion.
2006-11-03 10:23:55
69.   bigcpa
If Drew walked 30 times like Garrett Anderson, he'd have driven in 120 runs and become a Proven Run Producer. This concept is still lost on most minds in the press box.
2006-11-03 10:47:40
70.   Dark Horse
I love JD. It's useless to try and convince people who don't that they should, but his performance speaks (favorably) for itself.

48-It may be inappropriate to wonder where this speculation comes from, about Colletti not liking LaRoche or more specifically I guess to wonder why he wouldn't, since his performance is certainly promising-enough-on-paper, and I'd think 30+ HR potential forgives bad breath or a sick sense of humor. Is it work ethic? Can one say any more?

2006-11-03 11:02:48
71.   Big Game
68. Drew isn't scrappy, hustlish, or short enough to be endearing. It's a shame, really.
2006-11-03 11:09:38
72.   heato
Anyone seen Cory Dunlap in person recently? Either he went on a diet or the writer made a mistake.

2006-11-03 11:56:14
73.   Eric Enders
72 That's an old picture. You can tell because he's wearing a Dodger uniform and not a Hawaii Winter Baseball team uniform.

Here's a picture of Dunlap I took last month. He's still pounding the Big Macs as heavily as ever, obviously. (Incidentally, Jon and his fellow Stanford alumni may recognize the other, taller guy in the shot... John Mayberry Jr.)

2006-11-03 12:01:23
74.   Eric Enders
Here are a couple more shots I took at the Hawaii Winter League. This is DeWitt.

2006-11-03 12:03:14
75.   heato
73 Definitely not the 205 pounds the writer says he is. He's prbably not even hitting his weight at .326
2006-11-03 12:26:46
76.   ToyCannon
I wouldn't hang my hat on JD leading the Dodgers in Home Runs in 2006. He does plenty of things well but 20 dingers to lead a team is nothing to brag about.
2006-11-03 12:30:26
77.   Disabled List
I don't know if this has been discussed yet, but has anyone given thought to the possibility that Drew might still exercise his option and become a free-agent this winter?

He didn't have that strong a season, so I think most people are figuring he'll stick with the 3 years and $33 million left on his contract. But with the new CBA in effect, the thin FA class this winter, and talk of how flush with money teams are nowadays, I'm wondering now if he'll opt out after all.

Andohbytheway ($1 to Bill Simmons), his agent is The Boras. If there's a nickel more to be made elsewhere, you know that's where he'll be going.

2006-11-03 12:30:29
78.   mankatododger
KFAN in Minnesota says Tommy John surgery for Francisco Liriano on Monday. Bad news for him, the Twins, and the whole league. He was worth the price of admission.
2006-11-03 12:41:17
79.   popup
Anyone interested in listening to Vin Scully broadcast for the Brooklyn Dodgers can do so by going to, scrolling down to v, and then clicking on vintage sportscasts. A 1957 Cubs/Dodgers game, with Sandy Koufax, Campy, Gil Hodges, and Duke Snider all playing for Brooklyn, is available on the site as well as lots of other interesting broadcasts.

Stan from Tacoma

2006-11-03 12:47:03
80.   bojangles
Jon: I wouldna recognized myself from the
"strikes out all the time in clutch situations"
- it is that far (my take) from what I said.
Please refer to standard # 6, and others, and take a few days off for penance.

I am, on the other hand, guilty as charged when it comes to sufficient real-game views of J.D., and made the mistake of transferring too much evidence of Pat Burrell to Drew's account. I have formed my impressions of the latter over time, and this year, mostly post-season (he had a statistically fine September, no?). I'd wanna see the stat
on his caught looking in what I define as
"game situations." The "K" stats, as offered, don't tell me what I need to know
(and generally, for a guy who's not a premium power bat, the failure to even put a ball in play one-in-five is not impressive, even if consistent with other stats.).

For my sins, I'm givin' myself two months away.
Just add: absent an extraordinary next three years, J.D. will never be seen as a bargain, relative or any other kind, in this camp.
And lastly, since I'm not here regularly, and won't be, for a while, let me make it clear I was a Paul guy when he was hired, and became disenchanted quick; I was not a Ned guy when he was hired, and am a little apprehensive after watching this year, and then reading the Times' piece on him today.

2006-11-03 12:56:01
81.   Jon Weisman
80 - You said, and I quote, "he is like Drew in that regard - caught looking time after time."

I do not agree that my take is far from what you said or implied.

2006-11-03 13:08:06
82.   Jon Weisman
81 - But, I hasten to add upon rereading my comment, I certainly meant no offense.
2006-11-03 13:16:47
83.   bojangles
Jon: Quoting me would have been appropriate in the featured text. A little late at 81.
"Time after time" can at least be demonstrated.

My mistake was, like yours following, being disrespectful of words and their meanings. I should not have put J.D. Drew in Pat Burrell's boat, and your stats indicate I may have to find a better one for J.D.
"Time after time" in a spirited give-and-take
transliterated to "all the time" is a violation of the letter of #6, and the spirit of a couple others. Have at it, then take your days. And I just upped my own penance for foolishness to a year. Sayonara!
2006-11-03 13:34:07
84.   Andrew Shimmin
83- Speaking colloquially is not the same as hyperbole. Nobody seriously read Jon to mean that you'd accused Drew of K'ing each and every time he came up in a clutch situation. You accused Drew of doing it "time after time," which I read the way Jon did, and, which you seem to admit was the most easily had reading, given your "disrespect[] of words and their meanings. . ." If you didn't write what you meant to write, it's not anybody else's fault that they didn't take the meaning you meant to impart.

That said, I'm always up for a little mutiny. I hereby sentence Jon to picking up trash on the highway tomorrow morning, for three hours. Working up the proper punishment for D4P will be a labor of love.

2006-11-03 13:54:10
85.   3upn3down
In case you didn't know, Mr. Ned aint Scairt!
2006-11-03 13:56:03
86.   CanuckDodger
70 -- What I gather from a report at Baseball America is that Colletti has "never been enamored of LaRoche" because LaRoche is too cocky for his liking, carrying himself, Colletti thinks, with a sense of entitlement as the son a major leaguer.

The old school belief that minor leaguers are supposed to be in awe of major leaguers, are supposed to be quiet and know their place, was illustrated by many statements that Colletti and Grady Little made about the Dodger rookies in 2006, though it seemed to be tolerated when Martin didn't follow the script all the other rookies supposedly adhered to.

2006-11-03 13:57:38
87.   sanchez101
Some good news for Dodger fans from the Domincan Winter League, via Baseball Prospectus, among other details.

Kemp, Loney, Abreu, and Betemit all seem to be doing well so far, although reliever Mark Alexander didn't last too long.

I have post over at for the details.

2006-11-03 14:00:24
88.   D4P
Working up the proper punishment for D4P will be a labor of love

Wait a second: what did I do? Here I am, minding my own business, and all of a sudden I'm an Enemy Combatant™...

2006-11-03 14:01:58
89.   sanchez101
Hey, Canuck, have you heard anything in regards to Greg Miller? It seems like he's fallen off the radar since he was promoted to AAA last summer. Is is stuff off? I haven't heard of any injuries, it seemed like he stumbled a bit with Las Vegas, but at 21 it seems like he should still have a major league future.
2006-11-03 14:04:19
90.   Andrew Shimmin
88- Don't be so bourgeois. You know what you did. I know what you did. That's enough.
2006-11-03 14:06:26
91.   Steve
Here I am, minding my own business

And Torii Hunter's business

2006-11-03 14:20:19
92.   twerp
IMO a big issue with Matsuzaka--apart from the bidding process--is whether he's 26 with an arm that's 35 (or older) from overuse, especially in high school.

Apparently Japanese teams use a 6-man rotation. So if a starter goes only about once a week, is a higher pitch average than MLB norms dangerous?

This writer seems to think so. Excerpts from and link to a story dealing with this and other things follow. (Page 2 of this has an interesting bit about how Pujols wasn't very far from being a Red Sox.)

"Perhaps because they knew they would sell his rights after the season, the Seibu Lions allowed the 26-year-old Matsuzaka to carry a tremendous workload this season. In his final start, a 13-strikeout shutout in the first round of the playoffs, Matsuzaka threw 137 pitches, and that wasn't atypical.

"While going 17-5 with a 2.13 ERA, Matsuzaka topped 120 pitches 12 times in 25 regular-season starts. It's true he got more rest than major-league pitchers, as the Lions used a six-man rotation, but 115 pitches per start is still an alarming number. He twice topped 140 pitches, with a high of 145.

"Say this for Matsuzaka, though. He has always been a workhorse.

"He came into prominence in Japan, where high school baseball is king, with a memorable performance in the 1998 National High School Baseball Championship. When the quarterfinal game went 17 innings, Matsuzaka threw 250 pitches. He played the outfield the next day until he pitched for the save in the ninth. He bounced back to start the championship game a day later, throwing a nine-inning no-hitter.

"That's a hoss."

2006-11-03 14:32:47
93.   JJ42

Hey Eric, do you live in Hawaii or were you just visiting? I was on vacation there right before the HWB League started and would've loved to go to the games. What are they like?

2006-11-03 14:41:13
94.   CanuckDodger
89 -- About Greg Miller, I heard that he pitched in instructional league after the season. His fastball was hitting 95-98 MPH, and his curve was devastating. Best news of all, he was showing better control that he did during the season. Dodger coaches were talking about him in the same breath as Elbert and Kershaw. The tentative plan right now is to have Miller starting games in Vegas next year, with a very limited pitch count for the first month or two, then after seeing how that goes, the Dodgers will think about loosening the reins.
2006-11-03 15:19:55
95.   sanchez101
94. Thanks, I really rely on you and Nate for the in-depth news on our young kids.

Wow, I didn't know Miller was doing so well, although I was always rooting for him to return to his 2003 form. What I love about him most is his EXTREME GB ratio. Assuming he can stay healthy (which I don't think is that far-fetched), is a left-handed Roy Halladay a decent comp? With him throwing to Martin, and maybe Loney, Abreu, and Hu behind him in Dodger Stadium and he could be dazzling. (ok, now I'll go back to being cautiously optomistic)

In Logan White we Trust

2006-11-03 15:27:04
96.   regfairfield
92 The 250 pitch game keeps getting brought up, but we know nothing of his usage patterns before and after that game. If his pitch counts are still Livan Hernandez like in the NPB, then I'd be worried, otherwise, I'm sure one or two games of over use a year isn't going to effect him much.

I'm sure most pitchers in the Pros put up some obscene pitch counts in high school.

2006-11-03 15:27:34
97.   thinkblue0
jumping in late here...

but I'm surprised that I haven't seen the Dodgers linked to any big names. I'm not saying that's what we should do, but we do have money to spend in a big market.

I'd be shocked if we didn't go hard after one of Zito or Schmidt. Also, I'm just throwing this out there but is there ANY chance Colletti might make Bonds a one year offer? Please don't attack me for this, and I don't want it to happen but it might be something that Colletti might consider doing.

2006-11-03 15:32:05
98.   CanuckDodger
95 -- I foresee a Dodger rotation sometime around 2009 in which Billingsley is the only righthander -- while Kuo, Elbert, Miller, and Kershaw are throwing mid-90's heat from the left side. Sure, a thousand different things could happen to keep that dream from coming to pass, but a man's gotta have a dream.
2006-11-03 15:47:49
99.   sanchez101
98. I know, there was a time when Edwin Jackson and Joel Hanrahan were gaurantees for that rotation.
2006-11-03 16:31:24
100.   jakewoods
Oh man. cocky players never workout! he better trade laroche STAT!

oy vey

ask the mets how that trade of cocky kid scott kazmir is. and those cocky kids like a rod, griffey, bonds, schilling, clemens, etc etc etc. how are they doing?

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2006-11-03 16:34:52
101.   Greg Brock
Not liking LaRoche because he's "cocky" is so unbelievably stupid, I can't believe that it's a real excuse for The Mustache to dislike the kid.

Cocky is good. You're asked to be one of the best athletes in the world, and you better be sure of yourself. All the best players are "cocky", whatever the hell that means.

2006-11-03 16:35:08
102.   Greg Brock
Maybe cocky is just confident.
2006-11-03 16:39:15
103.   D4P
Wife-beating >>> Cockiness

I guess...

2006-11-03 16:45:22
104.   Greg Brock
How did we get to wife beating? Did I miss something?
2006-11-03 16:51:07
105.   Andrew Shimmin
101- Well, he's not that fat, and he doesn't strike out too much. If you just have to hate somebody, and they aren't willing to meet you half way, what're you supposed to do? Not hate him?
2006-11-03 16:53:29
106.   still bevens
104 Colletti's apparent blind spot on the character issue. Hate the cocky player, sign/trade for the players with domestic abuse issues and DUIs (Lugo/Furcal)
2006-11-03 16:54:55
107.   D4P
Lugo was charged with wife-beating, which didn't keep Flanders from acquiring him. Furcal's multiple DUIs didn't stop Ned either.
2006-11-03 16:56:48
108.   Greg Brock
LaRoche is to The Mustache as Toby is to Michael.
2006-11-03 16:57:15
109.   Greg Brock
106 107 Gotcha.
2006-11-03 17:00:26
110.   D4P
Greg - Another "modern" band you should "check out":

Jimmy Eat World

Their second album "Bleed American" is simply fantastic. The first song on the album, while good, is probably my least favorite, so make sure you don't stop there.

2006-11-03 17:28:55
111.   trainwreck
I can't refrain myself from saying that I hate Jimmy Eat World, but I do like Andy LaRoche. We should collect Andrews on the team.
2006-11-03 17:29:24
112.   Bob Timmermann
From a Time Asia profile of Matsuzaka:

It was in this pressure cooker that the teenaged Matsuzaka, playing for the Yokohama high school team, cemented, forever, his place in the annals of Japan's sports heroes. A skinny lad with the face of an angel and the arm of a demon, Matsuzaka kept a nation enthralled throughout the tournament. The quarterfinal game went 17 innings: Matsuzaka pitched them all, hurling 250 pitches. In the semi-finals the next day, he played in the outfield, his right pitching arm wrapped in a thick layer of bandages. He took the mound in the final inning to save the game. The next day, in the championship, he pitched a no-hitter: nine innings without giving up a single hit, a feat roughly comparable to a golfing hole-in-one. "Nobody will ever forget what Daisuke did," says baseball writer Keizo Konishi. "It was an unbelievable three days."

Yuki Saito, who pitched for the victorious Waseda Jitsugyo team this year at Koshien, threw six complete games in the tournament in a little over a week and tossed close to 700 pitches.

2006-11-03 17:31:24
113.   Andrew Shimmin
111- But should we put up with the Andrews who like, or, at least, tolerate, being called Andy? I'm not sure, either way.

I don't know anything about Jimmy Eat World, but I bet he's not as good as Taj Mahal.

2006-11-03 17:32:43
114.   sanchez101
Who says that Ned doesn't "like" LaRoche?
2006-11-03 17:34:45
115.   trainwreck
Yeah, I hate the name Andy as well, but in LaRoche's case I will make an exception.
2006-11-03 17:36:05
116.   D4P
Should we put up with David Jonathans who like being called J.D.?
2006-11-03 17:37:52
117.   trainwreck
It is not his fault he is dyslexic.
2006-11-03 17:38:29
118.   Jon Weisman
New post up top
2006-11-03 17:39:07
119.   trainwreck
BTW, I watched part of the Office during halftime of the Bruins game. It was funny.
2006-11-03 17:39:52
120.   Andrew Shimmin
114- Canuck, in 48. I hope you're not trying to spoil our fun, demanding evidence that it's, like, true. Or something.
2006-11-03 18:51:41
121.   CanuckDodger
114, 120 -- The information is from a subscriber-only article by Tony Jackson at Baseball America. The exact quote I am thinking of says that Colletti "has never been terribly enamored of LaRoche." The gist of the article is that LaRoche has both supporters and detractors within the organization. Logan White comes off as one of the supporters, but even a quotation from White makes it sound like he understands why some people think LaRoche has an attitude problem: "...he has a little bit of a different attitude because he has been around the major league level his whole life. Some people perceive that a certain way, that maybe Andy figures he has it made. I don't think that's Andy at all. I just think he's not as intimidated by the process, and maybe not as respectful of it sometimes as he should be."

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