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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
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11) commenting under the obvious influence
12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with

Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot
2007-05-23 09:25
by Jon Weisman

"We're looking for somebody who's going to get hot."

- Grady Little

Hotter than this? [16 for 62, four doubles, four home runs, 16 walks, one hit-by-pitch, one sacrifice fly, .259 batting average, .413 on-base percentage, .516 slugging percentage, .929 OPS]

Those are the combined statistics of Andy LaRoche and Wilson Betemit in May. It's nothing against Tony Abreu, but if the goal is for him to be a better-hitting third baseman than his two competitors in recent weeks, that's the standard he has to beat. And it's not entirely clear to me that the Dodgers are aware of this.

The only Dodger with a higher on-base percentage or OPS in May than Wilsondy LaRochemit is Rafael Furcal. The only Dodger with a higher slugging percentage in May is Jeff Kent.

* * *

Baseball must like Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated, because baseball pretty much lets him do whatever he wants. Monday, Verducci played five innings in right field for the Toronto Blue Jays at the Cooperstown, New York Hall of Fame Game and came away with a whale of a tale.

... I ran toward the gap. The flight of the ball took me nearer and nearer to the wall. It wasn't until I felt my spikes first hit the cinder warning track that I knew with some certainty that I was going to catch it. I reached up and across my body for a backhand catch, calculating that the ball would hit my glove and the wall would hit me at just about the same time. The ball was not more than three feet from my glove, and then, suddenly .. nothing. Darkness. Black. The sky gone. ...

Comments (227)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-05-23 09:47:21
1.   D4P
And it's not entirely clear to me that the Dodgers are aware of this

I think it's safe to assume they're not.

2007-05-23 09:47:49
2.   Doctor
I think all of that power is from Betemit as a PH. For what ever reason he cant seem to hit when he is actually playing 3B. Odd. Maybe an anomaly.
2007-05-23 09:51:48
3.   ToyCannon

Moves like this inspire little confidence. Mr. Abreu may go off on a Aybar like Sept/05 tear but it won't mean it was the right move. I like Toni, but not in any universe as a 3b unless he's a last resort.

2007-05-23 09:52:06
4.   D4P
One difference between starting and PHing is that you're likely to face better pitchers when you start than when you PH.
2007-05-23 09:54:13
5.   Jon Weisman
I don't think Betemit's accomplishments should be downgraded for producing as a pinch-hitter.
2007-05-23 09:54:29
6.   Doctor
Betemit as a 3B:

So the FO is either aware of that stat or unaware of any, take your pick?? Hmmm..

2007-05-23 09:58:21
7.   PHilldodger
4 Why do you think batters face better pitchers when starting than pinch-hitting?
2007-05-23 09:58:27
8.   Curtis Lowe


2007-05-23 10:05:50
9.   old dodger fan
8 That is better than Bete-Roche.
2007-05-23 10:06:15
10.   Penarol1916
7. Because you are usually facing a reliever when you pinch hit, and relievers are almost always not as a good as starters.
2007-05-23 10:07:25
11.   Doctor
4, 10

Not on the Dodgers.

2007-05-23 10:08:00
12.   D4P
4 Why do you think batters face better pitchers when starting than pinch-hitting?

Because I'm assuming starting pitchers are generally better than relief pitchers, which is largely why they're starters in the first place. Pinch-hitters will have a greater percentage of their PAs vs. relievers than will starting hitters.

2007-05-23 10:09:28
13.   kngoworld
Who would you rather face? Tomko or Saito? Lowe or Broxton?
2007-05-23 10:09:50
14.   still bevens
12 Remember one of Betemit's home runs was off of Kip Wells who is not a good pitcher, starter or otherwise.
2007-05-23 10:10:17
15.   jasonungar07
3b is just the scapegoat.
2007-05-23 10:10:27
16.   Curtis Lowe
12 - But didn't his first Homer come off of Smoltz and his 4th off of that one starter for the Cards?
2007-05-23 10:10:55
17.   Doctor

What about starters at pitch 80+ or 100+ I really dont think that can be backed up. Can it?
What about closers?
Im not sure hitters avgs go up in later innings/ VS the 'pen in general do they?

2007-05-23 10:14:42
18.   Jon Weisman
It would be easy enough for someone to find the opposing pitcher and the innings for Betemit's pinch-hitting at-bats.
2007-05-23 10:15:52
19.   PHilldodger
7 Not to argue aimlessly about this, but there are plenty of times when a pinch-hitter is used against a starting pitcher. Betemit's homer against Kip Wells last week the latest example.
Just looking at the on-base percentage against for Dodgers pitchers, it looks like this.
Lowe: .333
Wolf: .313
Penny: .307
Hendrickson: .286 (wow)
Tomko: .376
Saito: .236
Broxton: .255
Seanez: .326
Billz: .350
Beimel: .313
Tsao: .265

Looking at that doesn't strike me as being easier to reach base against the Dodger bullpen than the starters.

2007-05-23 10:16:47
20.   Doctor
.... I can hear the keyboards and mouses ckicking tapping... crunch, crunch, crunch....
2007-05-23 10:18:42
21.   Brent is a Dodger Fan
It is a human tendency to dismiss a few data points if they don't fit your ideas.

Betemit's pinch-hit home runs haven't won him back the 3B job, and are largely being ignored other than to suggest the idea of using him to pinch hit more.

Laroche's guady OBP is also being ignored in favor of the conventional stats.

Same old, same old.

So, I don't get the call-up either, but then again, I do.

2007-05-23 10:21:57
22.   FirstMohican
Speaking of... I just got back from from NY. Saw a rainy Mets game that started at 10:15 last Wed, and was able to visit Cooperstown for the first time.

I went to the game last night and got to sit not too far from Abreu. Nothing profound to say his body language said he was pretty nervous out there the first inning or two. It was my first this season and a great game.

2007-05-23 10:27:19
23.   ToyCannon
It wouldn't take much to disprove that theory and I'm sure many are working on it as we speak. These days the only real slugs in relief are the middle guys but the setup/closer pitchers are usually two of the best pitchers on the staff with the difference being they either didn't have the stamina or control of a 3rd pitch to stay in the rotation. I can think of many 3,4,5 starters I'd rather face then the setup/closer on most teams.

Betemit for whatever reason is locked in when pinch hitting and I don't think the pitching he's facing is relative.

2007-05-23 10:27:39
24.   Andrew Shimmin
Kip Wells, Kyle Davies, and Tim Hudson. All starters.
2007-05-23 10:32:29
25.   D4P
I stand by my contention that starters are generally better pitchers than relievers. However, because they don't have to save themselves for additional innings, it is true that relievers may produce better rate stats in the 1-2 innings they pitch than a starter will over 5-7 innings or so.
2007-05-23 10:33:40
26.   twerp
FWIW, repost from near end of last thread==

377. twerp
My $.02 on why Betemit has been so much better as pinch-hitter than regular is primarily that in pinch-hitting he doesn't know when he'll be called on.

He doesn't have time to overthink, overanalyze, get tight, etc. He just has to go up there and let his natural ability take over.

He's not going to keep pinch-hitting as his current pace, but IMO Betemit the pinch-hitter is closer to the real player than the one who's been struggling at third so far this year.

I hope the Dodgers don't give up on him.

2007-05-23 10:35:34
27.   Doctor
Suggesting that management isn't aware of the stats of the teams 3rd baseman, to me, is a stretch.
My wife knows them.
Of course, ive been yelling at the TV a lot lately.
2007-05-23 10:36:20
28.   Andrew Shimmin
24 were the home runs. Betemit's other successful PHs were a single off of Jeff Suppan, and a double off of Kevin Gregg.
2007-05-23 10:37:04
29.   Jon Weisman
25 - I agree with all of that.
2007-05-23 10:38:37
30.   D4P
Suggesting that management isn't aware of the stats of the teams 3rd baseman, to me, is a stretch

I think it's fair to suggest that Ned has no idea what Betemit's WARP or VORP or BABIP etc. is. Ned looks at stats, but it seems as if he focuses primarily on BA, SBs, RBIs, etc.

Given that he said "Juan Pierre gets on base an awful lot", it's highly doubtful he even goes so far as to look at OBP.

2007-05-23 10:40:05
31.   D4P
And when a PH does face a starter, it's likely to be when the starter is relatively tired and hittable.
2007-05-23 10:44:40
32.   Jon Weisman
31 - But it's not as if he's the only batter in the lineup that gets to face a tired starter. I'm not sure that there's much of a point to this discussion. Are we cutting Betemit a break for all the games he faced as a starter against untired starters and untired relievers?
2007-05-23 10:44:45
33.   paranoidandroid
I think the Abreu move is so intriguing because I never considered it. I've been thinking about the off day tomorrow and the Lowe complete game opening up a spot for a position player and the abililty to go to 11 pitchers for a few days. I thought KEMP would get the call, for so many obvious reasons.

My instinct with Abreu coming up while LaRoche never got his shot to win the job makes me think there is a move about to be made, trade wise. I think that Kemp is indeed ready and that with an Abreu around, we might be packaging things up for Glaus or even better, Miggy. Jacobs is down in Florida, Loney would be a good fit for them along with LaRoche and a pitcher. Glaus has a big contract but can fill our power void if he can stay healthy. I just hope it isn't Rolen.

It seems to me that we are on the verge of that power bat we've been looking for. The small ball hasn't produced enough runs with Pierre not getting on base. He was futile last night. Four outs seeing less than ten pitches with two bunts. At least he didn't pop up.

Maybe Florida wants him back? Throw him in?

Another possibilty is Garrett Atkins. I'm not sure why I think that other than Colorado was looking at Big Bird Hendrickson in spring training and we could move him with Bills and Kuo able to fill in. Maybe Schmidt getting healthy has prompted Ned to make a bold move now?

Interesting to see what happens this week. Abreu doesn't make sense to me right now unless there are more moves coming up.

2007-05-23 10:46:34
34.   D4P
I'm not sure that there's much of a point to this discussion

It's starting to look that way, huh. I was just throwing out a potential partial answer for why a player might hit better as a PH than as a starter. I will now rescind it and shut up.

2007-05-23 10:48:42
35.   Curtis Lowe
30 - The Player? did get on base an awful lot last year. If I remember something like 238 times or seomthing close to that, which qualifies as an awful lot. What Ned fails to understand is that he did only with a ton of chances which is why his OBP is soo low. Im guessing Ned does care at his rate of getting on base as long as at the end of the season he reached base "an awful lot"
2007-05-23 10:48:58
36.   dkminnick
Kind of OT, but remember the bench when the Yankees were winning the WS in the 90's? Tim Raines, Wade Boggs, Darryl Strawberry, David Justice - who am I forgetting? These players accepted limited roles in the interest of winning.

Too bad that Ned and Grady appear to base their decisions on the pride/ego considerations of big name players rather than on putting the best team on the field.

2007-05-23 10:49:34
37.   Kevin Lewis

I would cry with joy if we got Miggy

2007-05-23 10:50:11
38.   Robert Daeley
33 More moves would make sense, but it might just be what Jon said yesterday about setting things up for Kuo to come back up as a starter.

It seems as if Ned's trade moves are almost always surprises -- in other words, nobody expects the moves he makes even if they are expecting a move to be made. (Exception: Greg Maddux.)

With that in mind, Rolen and Glaus (the two most bandied names) would be the least likely candidates. I also wouldn't put it past him to make an outfield move.

Cabrera would be a hoot, if only since he could play both 3B and OF.

2007-05-23 10:50:40
39.   delias man
That was a big win last night. Whatever day that Peavy goes, I think that day turns into a "must-win" for the Dodgers no matter who they play because they are simply going to lose ground that day if they don't win.
2007-05-23 10:53:43
40.   jujibee
I really don't see 3rd base as a problem with this team, other than giving it a little time to come around. Even when JD Drew was here he was 0 for 24ish to start the year off. Laroche has had his share of hot sparks and Betemit the same. I think both of these guys can fill our "void" there if the pressure was focused somewhere else. We all knew what we were getting when Ned signed Pierre and Gonzo, and we all knew that there were more viable options. I think that Ned needs to realize he was a bit pre-emptive when signing both of these guys and seeing the Brewers run around the basepaths on those arms might be enough to make him look for help in the outfield, where there are more options than 3rd base. I'd like to see him go after a young guy like Kemp to fill our outfield out for several years, but that probably won't happen.
2007-05-23 10:55:17
41.   Jon Weisman
34 - I wasn't trying to be critical - the general topic is worthy - just that it doesn't matter for Betemit individually that much, I don't think.
2007-05-23 10:57:28
42.   paranoidandroid

Big win, with little offense and a gift first run after an important stolen base.

Four hits? None after the 4th inning?

If we put up three runs a night on four hits we are in trouble. Sounds like 2003 all over again. Lights out pitching, anemic offense.

Ned isn't going to sit around and watch that without making a bold move.

2007-05-23 11:01:25
43.   dkminnick
40, see 36
2007-05-23 11:02:13
44.   Humma Kavula
33 Don't mean to pick on you, but I keep seeing posts that suggest a trade is coming. That may be true, but I'll repeat what I said in the last thread: if he does trade one of the highly regarded prospects, it would mark a change in Ned's thinking. Up until now, all of the prospects he's traded have seen their stock fall big time. Guzman, Jackson, Tiffany, Navarro -- none was so highly regarded when they were traded.

That said, you can say that Ned still didn't get enough for them, or that they're still young and should have been given time to develop, and I'd agree.

I believe -- and I think history supports this -- that Ned would be willing to trade top prospects for a talent like Cabrera, but not for, say, Rolen.

Ned takes a beating on these pages -- and believe me, I'm one of the guys wielding a tire iron -- but so far, he has kept the very best talents in the Dodgers system. Until that's proven otherwise, he deserves the benefit of the doubt.

2007-05-23 11:06:45
45.   L-girl
Hi, please forgive the cut-and-paste comment.

I've started a petition to tell Major League Baseball that a significant number of fans dislike interleague play and want it abolished.

Please visit Petition to End Interleague Play ( and read it. If you agree, please sign it and consider posting it on your blog.

I'm hoping to spread the word among serious baseball fans. I realize it may do very little, but I thought it was time we stop complaining to each other and tell management how we feel. Thank you!

2007-05-23 11:07:06
46.   ToyCannon
Gonzo is having a bizarro year. His L/R splits from 2004-2006 shows him with an OPS split of +60 when facing RHP. This year he has an OPS split of +250 when facing LHP. His OPS against LHP is 983 even with his wretched May being taken into account. I'm shocked by this data. Small sample size but it would be hard to criticize Grady for using Gonzo tonight which is why I investigated his splits in the first place.
2007-05-23 11:07:49
47.   ToyCannon
I love interleague play. Can't wait to see the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
2007-05-23 11:08:42
48.   jasonungar07
well what else is Ned suppossed to say about Pierre (or Gonzo)? No one says the right things when they panic. They just justify thier choices with nonsense. It's like watching Cops.
2007-05-23 11:09:48
49.   paranoidandroid
I don't feel picked on and I didn't read the last thread. I'm sure I'm not offering up anything new, I'm just passionate about my team and interested in what might be brewing. 'Nuff said. I'll read and not post for the rest of the day, I'm sure I'm a bit too repetative.
2007-05-23 11:10:26
50.   regfairfield
How many online petitions have ever done anything? I can think of one that had to do with CNN retracting a story or something, but that pretty much covers it.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-05-23 11:10:41
51.   Doctor

Im hoping for the Killer Tomato.



2007-05-23 11:11:05
52.   ToyCannon
Ah, but when he traded Joel Guzman he was one of our highly rated prospects. When he traded Navarro he was just days removed from being our starting catcher. When he traded Tiffany he was one of our top 10 prospects. So while he has been right on the button about who he has traded to say he hasn't traded some our best prospects is using hindsite to determine who are best prospects are. I think he could easily trade La Roche if his brain trust has decided he is not what they want as a future 3b.
2007-05-23 11:21:31
53.   Doctor

See- this type of thing has come up before with the bullpen discussion.
How is it when Ned makes the right call and trades "top prospects" who don't pan out its called luck or hindsight not a good call? Isn't he given credit for judging the players future/talent?
Its like he is in a no win situation with that kind of thinking.
It is possible Ned and Logan meet and make good calls on who will pan out before those trades?

2007-05-23 11:26:59
54.   regfairfield
53 I'd give him more credit if he actually got anything of value for those players.
2007-05-23 11:28:32
55.   ToyCannon
That is not what I'm saying at all. Maybe I wasn't clear. I give Ned and his brain trust(Logan White and company) complete credit for trading prospects that have not panned out. My point was that he has traded highly rated prospects in the past which gives precedent to him possibly trading more prospects this summer. I've read that many teams are now wary of trading for Dodger prospects because if they are available they feel that the Dodgers have downgraded their value. Your point seemed to be that he has only traded marginal prospects and I don't think that Guzman/Navarro/Tiffany were really marginal when they were dealt. They are now but not at the time of the deal. BP in particular was high on Navarro while BA and others were not. Guzman was just a year removed from being the top prospect in one of the top prospect organizations. Tiffany was at the fringe of a top 10 prospect.
2007-05-23 11:30:06
56.   ToyCannon
I don't think I've seen a position prospect fall as far as Joel Guzman before he ever even had a chance to be humbled by major league pitching.
2007-05-23 11:34:16
57.   regfairfield
It's also a very dangerous game that Ned is playing. Given the value for your dollar that a young player gives you, if Ned makes a couple more Baez like trades and just one prospect becomes a functional major leaguer, then the Dodgers have lost overall. In these types of trades you have to be sure the person you're trading will amount to nothing.
2007-05-23 11:41:04
58.   ToyCannon
Unless he finally get value in return. I was on board with the Lugo trade. The number one pick we get this year might quickly be worth more then JtD.
2007-05-23 11:41:49
59.   Doctor

No doubt, I for one am leery of guys > 6'5". It seems like they always find a whole in that swing. With some exceptions of course. Joel's value peaked at 16, I wonder if he out grew himself

2007-05-23 11:47:08
60.   bhsportsguy
Sometimes deals cannot be properly evaluated
for years, other times you can make an instant determination if someone made out like a bandit.

When the Indians reached their limit of dealing with Milton Bradley, the Dodgers traded outfielder Franklin Gutierrez, who was their number one position player prospect and number three overall behind Edwin Jackson and Greg Miller, and pitcher Andrew Brown.

Bradley had two drama filled but also productive years with the Dodgers (and was part of an NL West division winner) and was traded with Antonio Perez for Andre Ethier, an outfield prospect who eventually took over an outfield spot for the Dodgers where he continues to play today.

Franklin Gutierrez has some cups of coffee with the Indians but he is in AAA, posting a .879 OPS and he is just 24 years old so time may still be on his side. Andrew Brown is now in the Padres organization at their AAA club, now pitching middle relief, he is 26 and perhaps will be another one of their bullpen finds in the near future.

My point is that the Dodgers did trade their best prospect and while his future may be bright, they did get in return 3 plus years (discounting injuries) of outfield play at the MLB level while Gutierrez now projects as a 4th outfielder at best.

Just something to keep in mind as we go down this road of discussing potential deals.

2007-05-23 11:55:33
61.   bhsportsguy
Unfortunately for Joel, he is not even a three outcome player, striking out 30% of the time, while only having 5 HR and 5 BB in 150 plate appearances.

Again, he is only 22 but he is also in Option year 2 for the Devil Rays so he has some time to turn it around but with the crowd in the outfield, Longoria probably months away from joining the big league club, you have to think that the Rays hope that Joel can start hitting home runs for a potential deal down the road.

2007-05-23 11:59:19
62.   StolenMonkey86
44, 52 - They saw their stock fall largely, although a lot of that was after the trades. Those players had falling stock as they were traded though; Tiffany had been bumped in favor of Elbert, Guzman had disappointed the Dodger brass, and Navarro couldn't throw anyone out and didn't move to get to a baseball.

Navarro did well at the end of last year, throwing out 20 of 52 would be basestealers, although he's only thrown out 6 of 28 so far this year. He hit .244/.316/.342 last year, but this year slipped below the mendoza line and currently has a .511 OPS.

2007-05-23 12:05:18
63.   Sushirabbit
Picking up on something from the last comments, I was able to see Betemit play in several minor league games, and he was always impressive in the field (if I remember correctly it was almost all SS). But he was moved along fairly quickly and had some troubles at the plate. I sort of agree with Twerp that alot of this maybe mental. He needs to go see Hendrickson's visualization guy. As to the only hitting home runs as PH, what about last year?

It does look to me like he's starting to overthink too much.

One of the things I like (and hate) about Furcal is that he seems to just do stuff. Sometimes that allows him to make amazing bare handed plays, but other times he makes a throw that goes offline when he had barely a chance of getting the guy. Kent doesn't seem to make that 'mistake' anymore.

I'm looking forward to Penny tonight.

And I never noticed but Broxton has awesome mechanics.

2007-05-23 12:06:43
64.   ToyCannon
So true, who knew that Carlos Guillen would be such a gem, but then Seattle never even got to enjoy the gem giving him away for a AAA player. It takes a while to evaluate a deal until the players careers have played out but I do like to use WinShares to evaluate deals since it is so easy to do.
2007-05-23 12:15:40
65.   bhsportsguy
64 I think we always remember the Kazmir trade or the Larry Anderson for Jeff Bagwell deal. And the Giants trade for A.J. was bad enough by dealing Joe Nathan but with Liriano, it has become the trade to replace the Bagwell deal as the worst deal in recent history.

But most deals are speculative on both sides, the Tigers dealt a lot of pitching depth for Sheff, Sheff could help this year but will the Tigers miss those pitchers in years to come, we shall wait and see.

2007-05-23 12:17:50
66.   Andrew Shimmin
50- Regfairfield hates Democracy.
2007-05-23 12:22:02
67.   D4P
Regfairfield hates Democracy

As well as Our Freedom™

2007-05-23 12:27:20
68.   underdog's Todd Morgan had this note in his draft Q&A column up today (responding to a question about Boras clients):
"Aside from Boras, there is still a lot of speculation that Massachusetts prep lefty Jack McGeary will be a tough sign thanks to his Stanford commitment, but I'm still hearing that the Dodgers are all over him."
2007-05-23 12:32:37
69.   Fallout
I really started to get down on Betemit when I saw him swing through 86 mph fastballs from a struggling Russ Ortiz. Soon after that outing Ortiz was on the DL because of pain in his elbow.
2007-05-23 12:36:30
70.   Jon Weisman
68 - I think Stanford (24-28, 6-15) needs him more than the Dodgers. This is the worst the team has been in my lifetime, I think.
2007-05-23 12:38:45
71.   Sushirabbit
68, what's he say about David Price?
2007-05-23 12:44:09
72.   underdog
70 Heh. Yeah, fair point. I'm always in favor of guys getting a college education if they can, anyway, but selfishly, I'd like him as a Dodger. But I'd hate to see them waste a pick a la Hochevar. I'm sure they'll get a better sense soon.

71 "Another rumor making the rounds right now is that Tampa Bay has shifted its focus from Vanderbilt LHP David Price to Georgia Tech C Matt Wieters. Two scouts I talked with said they feel it's a tactic to reduce Price's leverage and that in the end he'll still go #1 overall. Wieters, on the other hand, is the closest thing we've seen to Mark Teixeira since, well, Mark Teixeira went 5th overall to the Rangers in 2001. Another Boras client, Wieters could wind up dropping in the draft, but it's unlikely he'll make it past the Giants at #10."

2007-05-23 12:46:41
73.   Doctor
rob (philly): Rank the young NL arms over the next 5 years: Hamels, Cain, Lincecum, Bailey, Pelfrey.

Jim Callis: Lincecum, Cain, Bailey, Hamels, Pelfrey. And I really like Hamels.


2007-05-23 12:50:29
74.   Bob Timmermann
Stanford went 27-28, 10-20 in 1993.
In 1989 they were 30-28, 12-18.
2007-05-23 12:54:51
75.   underdog
How bout Cal beating up on USC while we're at it? That's certainly a change of pace.
2007-05-23 12:56:48
76.   bhsportsguy
73 Callis was limited to those pitchers, he also said in a chat earlier this month that he predicts that Baseball America's top three pitchers on their 2008 Top 100 Prospects will be Nick Adenhart, Jacob McGee, and Clayton Kershaw.

Baseball America has always been high on Billingsley and I would think on that list, he would be ahead of Pelfrey.

2007-05-23 12:57:23
77.   bhsportsguy
74 I don't think that really helps Jon get over this year.
2007-05-23 12:57:34
78.   Doug N
Apologies if this has been said before:

What is most confusing to me about the Abreu call up is that (assuming there's a spot for Kemp) everyone will have been called up but Loney.

Does that mean he's going the way of Guzman?

2007-05-23 13:08:43
79.   Benaiah
Abreu's callup isn't all that distressing in a vacuum, he was doing very well in AAA after all and he can play SS, 2B and 3B and surely can outhit Ramon Martinez. However, with a platoon at place at 3B, an all or nothing iron man at SS and our best power hitter at 2B it doesn't really add up. Kemp should be up and playing 3-4 games a week and I wish I could give James Loney a hug at this point, but this move is innocuous enough that it isn't worth getting upset about.
2007-05-23 13:12:31
80.   The Blue Legend
I won't feel comfortable if we trade some of our prospects for Glaus or Rolen.

I wouldn't mind a couple for Atkins

For Cabrera I say sell give them whatever they ask for. He's a franchise player and future hall of fame and he's only 23.

2007-05-23 13:15:31
81.   Eric Enders
"For Cabrera I say sell give them whatever they ask for. He's a franchise player and future hall of fame and he's only 23."

I like Cabrera too, but in fairness it should also be noted that in addition to the qualities you mention, he's also fat and getting fatter, reputed to have a severely lacking work ethic, and has created problems in the Marlins clubhouse before.

2007-05-23 13:20:57
82.   bhsportsguy
81 He is also about to become very expensive but I guess that would be the least of any acquiring club's worries.
2007-05-23 13:24:38
83.   Greg Brock
He's getting fat and still OPSing .945.
2007-05-23 13:25:38
84.   Eric Enders
I can't believe Betemit is getting his hitting marked down because his good ABs have come as a pinch hitter. Yeah, it's true that most relievers are lousier than most starters, but this comes with several caveats.

1) This is only true in a general sense and there are many, many exceptions. Every member of the Dodgers bullpen is a better pitcher than Brett Tomko or Kip Wells, for instance.
2) Closers and set-up men tend to be better pitchers than starters. So this tends to balance things out. Relief pitchers, overall, have better ERA+ (and every other stat) than starters do.
3) Pinch hitters are used more often when the game is close and on the line, and therefore are more likely to be facing the better relievers as opposed to the Seanezes of the world.

Pinch hitting is a much, much more difficult task than hitting while in the starting lineup. I mean, they're not even in the same ballpark. Pinch hitters in MLB this year are hitting .198/.298/.317. An OPS of .615. As opposed to the overall MLB batting line of .259/.329/.406. The disparity is that big, or bigger, every year. That's only partly because pinch hitters are the guys who are generally not good enough to play every day. It's also because pinch hitting is a really friggin' hard thing to do. Let's give credit where it's due.

2007-05-23 13:26:22
85.   Greg Brock
2007-05-23 13:27:30
86.   Greg Brock
85 Was meant for the Champions League thread at The Griddle. Sorry.
2007-05-23 13:27:54
87.   Bob Timmermann

That was a soccer comment.

2007-05-23 13:28:36
88.   D4P
I can't believe Betemit is getting his hitting marked down because his good ABs have come as a pinch hitter

Just to clarify, that was never my point. I was just trying to explain why any hitter might fare better as a pinch-hitter than as a starter. But I've already rescinded my thrown-out suggestion, and donned my dunce cap.

2007-05-23 13:28:45
89.   underdog
I totally agree with Eric above.

That doesn't, of course, make it any less frustrating that Betemit has not produced for the most part this season as a starter. It is still early and he did well last year as a Dodger so I think that's why many of us feel like he should get more of a chance. But it's also not irrelevant that he has been futile as a starter - and it could be psychological for all I know, as someone else here suggested. But with that in mind, I totally agree with 84.

2007-05-23 13:28:53
90.   StolenMonkey86
81 - Little seems to handle personalities pretty well, though. Heck, Little had Manny Ramirez for 2 years.
2007-05-23 13:29:32
91.   underdog
86 I'm glad you didn't give the result away, at least! For those of us TiVo-ing it. Maybe I should go away from the 'net entirely until I get home.
2007-05-23 13:31:28
92.   Greg Brock
91 I am so sorry. It was a total accident.

And then Bob apologizes for me. Brutal.

2007-05-23 13:36:09
93.   Xeifrank
I am not convinced that pinch hitting is that much more difficult than hitting while in the starting lineup. I attribute most of the lower stats to the fact that pinch hitters are usually worse hitters than starters and would often be facing a setup man or closer, who are usually no slouches. Given the proper preperation, how could pinch hitting be any more difficult than hitting while in the starting lineup? Do the counts start 0-2? Are the pinch hitting bats smaller? I don't buy that "coming cold" into a game is that big of a disadvantage. They have batting cages under the stadium etc...
vr, Xei
2007-05-23 13:36:46
94.   Jacob L
I've more or less concluded that Betemit is just plain streaky. Everybody seems to remember that he had a good stint with the Dodgers, and he did indeed, hit a bunch of home runs. I think more acurately, though, he had a great August and a pretty awful September, then got it going again during the brief playoff series.

I think what's called for here is, rather than a day-to-day platoon, more of month-to-month.

2007-05-23 13:40:27
95.   Bob Timmermann
I apologize for apologizing by proxy for the Honorable Gentleman from Torrance.
2007-05-23 13:41:34
96.   Greg Brock
95 That's okay. Ha ha.
2007-05-23 13:41:34
97.   twerp
"In these types of trades you have to be sure the person you're trading will amount to nothing."

I don't know if you can be all that sure. Too many variables, since players are subject to improvement or regression for a variety of reasons. You just have to make an informed judgment. Time will prove you right or wrong. Wrong too often, and you probably won't have a GM job.

As far as trade outcomes, if Ned hadn't gotten Maddux, Anderson, and Betemit last year, the Dodgers might not have made the postseason. Sure, he had his share of woofers like Baez, Carter, Lugo, and Seo--none of which are Dodgers any longer. No GM is going to bat 1.000.

Fans can have emotional attachments to their team's young players that make them overestimate their trade value.

It's easy to think the Dodgers should have gotten more for Navarro, Guzman, etc. But results so far don't make it appear Ned did as badly as some folks thought when these trades were first announced.

Arguably the traded Dodger or D-Ray now having the most impact and still with either team is Lurch. That favors the Dodgers.

Ned is fair game for criticism for foulups. But he also deserves credit when things go his way.

2007-05-23 13:41:38
98.   Brian Y Projection of who the Dodgers will select #20 Overall.

20. Los Angeles Dodgers: Madison Bumgarner, LHP, South Caldwell HS (N.C.)
Like the Braves picking six picks ahead of them, it's widely known the Dodgers like taking high school players. They especially like young arms and the Dodgers would be interested in any of the high school pitchers mentioned above should they slide. They'd also consider switching gears and going with Dominguez if he somehow were still around. Going on the assumption he won't, there are still some nice prep pitchers to choose from.

Tim Alderson from Scottsdale, Ariz., gets mentioned for the first time here, but it's a safer bet to pick a lefty since Los Angeles likes taking them early (Scott Elbert, Clayton Kershaw). That list includes Nathan Vineyard from Georgia and Danny Duffy from California, but it may be topped by Bumgarner, who has shown a consistently impressive fastball all season. He doesn't have much in the way of secondary stuff right now, but lefties who can pump it up into the mid-to-upper 90s don't come around all that often. Also, the Dodgers don't shy away from arm-strength guys who can be taught how to throw offspeed and breaking stuff once they are in the fold.

2007-05-23 13:45:15
99.   natepurcell

everyone needs to watch tim alderson's scouting video. he siezures every time he throws the ball.

2007-05-23 13:45:44
100.   trainwreck
White has repeatedly said he wants pitchers with an established second pitch. McGeary or Smoker seem like the most likely candidates.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-05-23 13:47:25
101.   Bob Timmermann
Is that a similar condition to the woman who had a seizure every time she heard Mary Hart's voice?
2007-05-23 13:50:04
102.   natepurcell

i dont know. watch the video and see for yourself.


i agree, i dont think Mayo has it right. Although Josh Smoker going #10 to the giants seems really realy high.

2007-05-23 13:51:23
103.   Eric Enders
I was about to say the same thing 100 did. Bumgarner sounds like exactly the sort of guy White wouldn't want to pick -- a hard thrower who doesn't really have another pitch.

You look at what separates White picks like Billingsley, Broxton, Elbert and Kershaw from your average hard-throwing pitchers -- it's that they each have at least one outstanding breaking pitch.

2007-05-23 13:53:10
104.   silverwidow
Inside the Dodgers is reporting that we have called Yhency Brazoban and put Chin-hui Tsao on the DL with a shoulder strain.
2007-05-23 13:53:26
105.   Eric Enders
It almost seems like they just said to themselves, hmm, the Dodgers like high school guys. This is a high school guy and he's high on the list. That means the Dodgers will take him!

Which, I guess, is typical of the amount of insight you can expect to find in an feature.

2007-05-23 13:55:08
106.   Bob Timmermann
Time to start searching through my closet for the famous t-shirt!
2007-05-23 13:55:13
107.   Eric Enders
104 So basically, our pitching moves over the last 24 hours amount to Kuo being sent down in favor of Brazoban. A little odd. It would make sense only if they plan on Kuo being Tomko's replacement and want him to take one start in Vegas.
2007-05-23 13:55:21
108.   regfairfield
97 The point was that missing on a prospect for veteran trade is massively damaging. So much so that you can't deal a young player for marginal talent unless you're sure it will all work out.

For sake of argument, let's say we trade Greg Miller for Juan Encarnacion. If Miller pans out, then the value per dollar that he will generate will not only cancel out this trade, but also the Baez trade, the Hendrickson trade, the Lugo trade, and any one of those deals where Ned dealt a prospect for almost nothing in return. This is why you don't deal prospects for marginal players.

2007-05-23 13:55:32
109.   D4P
I've never really cared that much that Alyssa Milano had a Dodgers-related blog. I've read most of her posts, but with little interest.

That being said, I was impressed with her radio interview currently up on the blog. She comes across very well. I would have preferred watching her over the guy conducting the interview, but that's just how I roll...

2007-05-23 13:55:44
110.   Eric Enders
106 By odd coincidence, I am actually wearing the t-shirt right now.
2007-05-23 13:58:51
111.   Eric Enders
108 "This is why you don't deal prospects for marginal players"

It's fine as long as you deal marginal prospects for marginal players. Like Jhonny Nunez who we traded for Anderson.

2007-05-23 14:00:24
112.   berkowit28
"Betemit's pinch-hit home runs haven't won him back the 3B job,"

Well, they did win him back several more games at 3B. None of these panned out - he still wasn't good as a starter even after several excellent pinch-hit appearances. So, finally, he's being benched as a starter, at least for a significant period. But he's still around and available. What I'm not quite clear on, like many others, is why LaRoche is not being given longer to play himself in. But it could be that Abreu works out better, or is just being given a chance to show how he faces major league pitching.

It was obviously for this purpose that he was only recently moved to 3rd (when LaRoche came up) from 2nd base at Vegas. It clearly will be quite some time (or an injury) before Kent needs to be replaced at 2nd. Kent is one of the few who can hit the ball long. In the meantime Abreu gets a chance, and a showcase, at 3rd, the only currently "open" position. (Putting CF aside for now.) One of these days, one of the prospects is probably going to have to be traded if a real power bat becomes available.

2007-05-23 14:01:45
113.   Brian Y
100. I really want McGeary!! Though if we have a chance for Smoker I would take him. #10 to the Giants seems really really high to me.
2007-05-23 14:02:54
114.   Brian Y
106. But is it really Ghame Over with Brazoban now?
2007-05-23 14:03:32
115.   natepurcell

I'm a huge McGeary fan as well. his last start of his HS career is actually today. Maybe Logan and co are in Mass now!

2007-05-23 14:03:44
116.   Brian Y
Should it change to "Part of the Ghame is Over"?
2007-05-23 14:04:32
117.   Brian Y
115. It's that whole signability issue with him, but I'll tell ya....he's NASTY!
2007-05-23 14:04:36
118.   Eric Enders
112 "What I'm not quite clear on, like many others, is why LaRoche is not being given longer to play himself in."

This assumes that Abreu was called up exclusively to play 3B. I think it's a little early to draw that conclusion. I suspect he will be used as more of a super-utility guy and will usurp Lucille II's role more than LaRoche's.

2007-05-23 14:04:45
119.   regfairfield
108 Depends on how much of a chance you think a guy like Nunez has to be a productive major leaguer, versus how much Marlon Anderson would have been expected to produce. If you believe Nunez has even a two or three percent chance of being a productive player, you can't make that deal.

Granted the long term thinking I'm displaying here is largely irrelevant for most G.Ms because they'd the law of averages says they'll be out of a job anyway. But if you keep trading two to three percenters for Marlon Andersons, eventually you'll get burned, and it might cancel out whatever you gained from 30 Marlons.

2007-05-23 14:07:21
120.   Brian Y
119. Marlon was already known as a great PH commodity from the left side which we needed and needless to say he surpassed all expections. But to make the deal for something we needed while giving up someone that may or may not pan out and is listed as a B or C prospect at best is fine by me.
2007-05-23 14:07:49
121.   Eric Enders
119 " eventually you'll get burned, and it might cancel out whatever you gained from 30 Marlons."

I understand your point. However, I would point out that what we already gained from the first Marlon -- a playoff spot, no two ways about it, plus the greatest game in Dodger history -- has likely already paid off way more than Nunez ever will. It was luck, you bet, but Nunez becoming a good major leaguer would also effectively be luck.

2007-05-23 14:08:30
122.   Xeifrank
107. Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding!
That was exactly what I was saying yesterday.
vr, Xei
2007-05-23 14:10:46
123.   Eric Enders
122 Me, I like the idea of having both Kuo and Billingsley on the team and having them share the 5th starter's role. The starter could be determined by the RH/LH composition of the opponent's lineup.
2007-05-23 14:13:42
124.   underdog
107 "It would make sense only if they plan on Kuo being Tomko's replacement and want him to take one start in Vegas."

I'm actually working off this assumption. Didn't they even say they wanted Kuo to get some starts in, and also that they were non-committal about Tomko's next start? I'm just sorta assuming they're working towards this.

Too bad Tsao's hurting, though; he was pitching really well except for that one bad inning. Though maybe that was connected to the arm strain.

Hey, didn't we put a moratorium on Game Over variations last year? That's okay, get it out of your systems now...

2007-05-23 14:15:06
125.   Brian Y
123. Doesn't the composition of RH/LH hitters in the opponent's line-up have a lot to do with the opposing pitcher much of the time? Or are you thinking we should just pick one when we exchange line-up cards? Tell them Billingsley then throw out Kuo?
2007-05-23 14:16:48
126.   underdog
125 The opposite is often true, as well - the line-up is altered based on LH or RH pitcher.
2007-05-23 14:18:10
127.   Eric Enders
125 "Doesn't the composition of RH/LH hitters in the opponent's line-up have a lot to do with the opposing pitcher much of the time?"

Two or three hitters at most. The other team's best hitters are going to play regardless. And Todd Helton and Barry Bonds are always going to hit left-handed.

2007-05-23 14:19:02
128.   Brian Y
126. But would that mean we would have to tell them we were starting the RH or LH pitcher then throw out the opposite? That would kill my fantasy team lol.
2007-05-23 14:26:26
129.   underdog
Ah hah, it's all about your fantasy team. Now it makes sense. ;-) I don't know what the rules are about last minute changes to the lineup card. Both teams could be changing them back and forth forever, like some screwball comedy.
2007-05-23 14:26:34
130.   Brian Y
Interesting stuff from the Comment Section on ItD.

Apparently on Dodger Talk they discussed how they aren't planning to promote Loney and are waiting to put him in a trade package.

Bob Harvey basically said that he heard from a source high up in the organization that unless Nomar gets injured they do not plan on calling Loney up until September and if the right deal came along would package Loney in a deal.

This is all cut and paste material.

2007-05-23 14:30:26
131.   underdog
Yeah, I saw that. I wouldn't worry too much about rumors that are like 5 degrees of separation at this point from the source. People are speculating without knowing - and it's possible the Dodgers themselves don't know. They are not likely actively looking to trade Loney, is my guess. If some great trade offer came along that asked for him they might consider it, is all. The rest is conjecture.
2007-05-23 14:31:45
132.   trainwreck
[Insert rant here]
2007-05-23 14:34:36
133.   alexx
Anyone know what happened to 2006 draftee Kyle Orr?
2007-05-23 14:35:16
134.   underdog
How reliable are the people on Dodger Talk, I mean in the past? Is it worth taking at face value, or with a grain (or block) of salt?
2007-05-23 14:36:44
135.   Brian Y
131. I would have to agree. I think they are looking to make A TRADE not with a specific player or package of players necessarily that they want to trade. Obviously Loney is someone we could trade since we have Nomar (not that I want us too) but he would certainly be THE focal point or a big part of any package if and when we do make a trade.
2007-05-23 14:37:26
136.   Brian Y
134. It seems like common sense more than a reliability issue.
2007-05-23 14:38:00
137.   bhsportsguy
130 Dodger Talk is just the messageboards on audio.

And right now, given the composition of the roster, I have a hard time figuring out how Loney comes up without Nomar being hurt.

The only way I think it happens is if Betemit gets the regular job at 3B, LaRoche goes back down to AAA and the Dodgers need a LH pinch hitter on the bench. Because they have 3 LH outfielders plus Nomar is healthy, I don't see his callup anytime soon.

On the trade possiblity, with no 1B prospects behind Loney, I would be surprised if he was part of a deal.

2007-05-23 14:38:29
138.   Brian Y
133. I haven't heard anything thus far this season but my guess is he is in extended spring training working out for short season ball.
2007-05-23 14:40:24
139.   alexx
138 Ah, makes sense. I just thought about him and remembered hearing that he reminded people of Justin Morneau..
2007-05-23 14:40:46
140.   natepurcell

the 1b prospect i have behind loney that might be worth a darn is Josh Bell...and thats projection since he currently plays 3b. With as frail as Nomar is and depth obsessed Colleti is, I really cant see Loney being someone they are including in trade packages.

2007-05-23 14:40:56
141.   Brian Y
137. But we also have Kent, Saenz, and Marlon Anderson among others who can play 1B. It's one of the easier positions to fill and there's also Hee Seop Choi (playing in Korea) and Roberto Petagine if we have to lol.
2007-05-23 14:42:10
142.   underdog
that's the other thing - not that I'm rooting for it but what are the odds Nomar doesn't get hurt at some point? Having no back up plan for that (other than Kent at first for a little while) wouldn't make much sense to me, and I think the Dodgers are aware of the history and risk there. So just because there's no spot for Loney right at this time doesn't mean there won't be this year. Basically, I agree with BH above.

Except, speaking of other 1b possibilities, Kyle Orr - where's Canuck when you need him? Anyway, Orr eventually did sign, in October.
But I haven't heard how he's done lately.

2007-05-23 14:42:15
143.   natepurcell

he signed late last year, sometime in late september/october. He is really young and probably really raw. Maybe he'll start in Ogden but most likely GCL.

2007-05-23 14:42:18
144.   Daniel Zappala
If the Phillies could keep Howard at AAA for several years behind Thome, certainly the Dodgers could keep Loney behind Nomar for a year or more. Nomar is no Thome, but neither is Loney a Howard.
2007-05-23 14:42:54
145.   Brian Y
140. Yeah but Mitch Jones is tearing it up in AAA and plays 1B/OF and John Lindsey in AA is older and has 10HR's for Jax. Don't forget we have options already on the team. If Nomar gets hurt, I see Kent sliding to 1B and Abreu playing 2B.
2007-05-23 14:45:20
146.   confucius
I was thinking about parking at Short Stop tonight and walking to the Stadium. Have any of you tried that and not been ticketed?
2007-05-23 14:46:44
147.   Hallux Valgus
Vegas's home page has Kuo starting tonight. So that would be what, 2 starts before Tomko's spot came up again?
2007-05-23 14:48:12
148.   blue22
135 - he [Loney] would certainly be THE focal point or a big part of any package

I get the feeling LA (their fans at least) values Loney more than other teams might. I'm not sure how much of a market there is for low-power 1B struggling in AAA.

144 - Howard only spent a total of 90 games over two years in AAA. He's just always been really old for his level.

2007-05-23 14:49:18
149.   regfairfield
145 This is Jones' career minor league line at 29 years old: .245/.334/.475. He also strikes out about once every three at bats. He's a non prospect and would just bump something potentially useful off the 40 man roster.

Lindsey is 30, has never advanced past AA and has hit .272/.352/.441 in the minors. Also not a prospect and a waste of the 40 man roster slot.

2007-05-23 14:49:42
150.   ToyCannon
Please Kuo, knock the door down again.
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2007-05-23 14:49:47
151.   Fallout
141 Brian Y

I agree with you. Heck, they could put Kemp at 1st.

2007-05-23 14:50:31
152.   bhsportsguy
It sounds like there is a good chance that Jason Schmidt might be ready in about a month with 2-3 simulated games and a couple of rehab starts. In his last side session, he was throwing harder than he did all spring.

So, with Tomko being skipped (and Kuo could get two starts and still be lined up for a June 2nd start in Pittsburgh), I think the real roster shake ups could come when they know if Schmidt will be ready to go in mid-June.

With Brazoban back, the 7th-9th innings are pretty well set with Yhency, Beimel, Broxton and Saito. Tsao could go down to the minors or replace Seanez. The Dodgers only need two of the following four guys, Chad, Kuo, Tomko and Hendrickson if Schmidt is back.

I think there could be some "minor" deals with Tomko or Hendrickson and cash going out. But the real question is can you trade Penny or Lowe for some hitting if Schmidt is healthy and you are ready to have both Chad and Kuo in the rotation?

2007-05-23 14:52:35
153.   Brian Y
148. Well if Mark Grace, Doug Mientkewicz, JT Snow, etc could make it with decent power and excellent defense then I think Loney has a chance. I am positive other teams value Loney as much as we do.
2007-05-23 14:52:52
154.   bhsportsguy
143 I recall somewhere seeing that he has been in Florida getting ready for Rookie Ball.
2007-05-23 15:01:21
155.   underdog
BlueNotes blog has a nice, new and lengthy piece on Abreu/LaRoche/Kuo/Rob Neyer (all the stuff we've been talking about here) if anyone wants to check it out:

Makes some good points. I can't comment on Neyer's article because I'm not an Insider but someone else here can feel free to.

2007-05-23 15:07:40
156.   bhsportsguy
155 They pretty much quoted the relevant parts, sometimes I think we all do a pretty good job figuring out most of the moves (setting up Kuo to start) especially since Ned and Grady have been a lot more proactive with the pitching staff than with the regular players.

Interesting to see more and more people addressing Pierre and Gonzo, while one could certainly see Gonzo sitting a few days for someone like Kemp (or LaRoche), the idea of finding someone to play CF for Pierre is more problematic though I wonder if Ethier could cover it with Kemp playing RF.

2007-05-23 15:09:05
157.   Hallux Valgus
155 He does make some good points, although I can't for the life of me understand the logic of playing LaRoche in left over Kemp. LaRoche wasn't hitting when he was recalled, and at least Kemp is an actual outfielder.
2007-05-23 15:09:25
158.   underdog
156 Thanks, I was thinking more literally of the comments on Neyer's article, meaning posting a comment there, which I can't do either. Sounds like he followed up a little bit there.
2007-05-23 15:10:20
159.   underdog
157 Me neither, though an outfield of LaRoche Kemp and Ethier makes more sense to me than the current one.
2007-05-23 15:12:40
160.   still bevens
146 I've never parked in the Short Stop's actual parking lot to test the ticketing issue. Its easy to find parking on that street though. If not that street, the streets on either side are a decent bet.
2007-05-23 15:13:47
161.   Kevin Lewis
I always park on Academy Drive.
2007-05-23 15:16:01
162.   overkill94
161 That's what I did last time and it was a pretty short walk into the stadium. I parked basically 50 yards from the entrance gate and there seemed to be plenty more spots around where I was.
2007-05-23 15:24:09
163.   bhsportsguy
158 I looked at the comments and believe it or not, it read like comments you see here. Of course not written as well as some of our fine regulars but generally the tone was vets bad/kids good, Pierre contract sucks, etc.

Neyer's only comment was about Abreu's ability to switch hit but he said every reference source listed him as a right-handed hitter, though had he watched the game last night, he might have seen him hit left handed.

2007-05-23 15:24:50
164.   underdog
Btw, this was ESPN's Eric Karabell's take on the subject at hand (why is everyone suddenly chiming in on this subject?): (I don't fully agree with him here, as I think people are judging this long term what may only be a short term thing, and after one game, too, but still makes some good points)

"OK, so you're a major league team scuffling to score runs, and Wilson Betemit isn't hitting, so you bench him and promote top prospect Andy LaRoche. This is not a bad idea at all. In fact, Betemit has now started to hit, mainly in a pinch-hitting role. The problem is, the Dodgers didn't do that. They brought up LaRoche, used him inconsistently for 30 at-bats and then went to Plan B, which is apparently Tony Abreu, who did put up some interesting numbers in the minors, but he's not a power hitter. LaRoche is. He takes walks, he fields well, he certainly deserves a chance. However, Abreu started at third base Tuesday. I don't get it. What do the Dodgers intend to do here? Are there any other third basemen in the farm system? Maybe they'll promote James Loney to play first base and move Nomar Garciaparra across the diamond. Fantasy owners are pretty confused here. What do I think will happen? I bet LaRoche gets sent back to the minors in the next few days. He might be back in a month, but the Abreu promotion was directed at him. It's possible LaRoche isn't ready for the majors, but I also doubt Abreu is. Betemit had his chance. I wouldn't do this, because fielding and health would matter to me if I was a manager, but I actually think we'll see Nomar switch positions at some point. Never mind that he's got as many home runs this season as Jason Schmidt."

2007-05-23 15:29:44
165.   Hallux Valgus
164 "Fantasy owners are pretty confused here."

That's my favorite part. Anyone looking to the Dodgers third base situation for help should probably just fold up shop and wait for football season.

2007-05-23 15:30:04
166.   Joshua Worley
I don't understand the talk of benching Luis Gonzalez in that Blue Notes column. I'm not thrilled with his play, or the signing of him, but he has been the Dodgers best outfielder offensively ... certainly in April, and even in May!

May stats:

Ethier --- 0.292 -- 0.351 --- 0.338
Gonzo --- 0.241 -- 0.362 --- 0.345

Sad, yes?

Ethier is surely a better bet to post higher stats in 2008 ... maybe he's even a better bet to post higher stats for the rest of this year, though I'm not convinced of that.

I suppose that if it comes down to a Ethier vs Gonzo situation it should be Gonzo who doesn't play. But shouldn't this be about Gonzo v Pierre anyway?

I think the most important point is that surely if there is a willingness by management to bench Gonzo it's not too much of a jump to think about benching Pierre? The possible improvement from replacing Gonzon is far less than the improvement from benching Pierre. I guess the hangups are in finding someone to play center and the length of Pierre's contract.

2007-05-23 15:33:41
167.   natepurcell
apparently, Steve Urkel died today.
2007-05-23 15:34:48
168.   natepurcell

just kidding, my friends are stupid.

2007-05-23 15:34:55
169.   overkill94
165 Hey, I've got Betemit on my team and Abreu on my minor league roster, I'm heavily invested!

Then again, my league is 12-team NL-only, so anyone with a shred of value is on a roster. I wish one of those two guys would take the job and run with it, but obviously I'm okay with LaRoche becoming the superstar we've envisioned as well. The only crappy thing would be bringing in a mediocre veteran to supplant them all.

2007-05-23 15:36:50
170.   bhsportsguy
I think Jon was probably closest to the truth, once they start that road trip next week, they play 16 games in a row, 19 games in 20 days and to close out the first half another 20 straight. That means that perhaps a few days into the trip, they will bring up a pitcher (Kuo) and send down Abreu or LaRoche and go with 12 pitchers during that 39 games in 41 days stretch.
2007-05-23 15:43:17
171.   natepurcell
i just realized on Mayos mock draft that he doesnt have Beau Mills going in the first 20 picks. If hes available at 20 and the rest of the picks look like that, i would probably select him. Hes not going to remain at third, hes probably a 1b or Lfer but wow, that bat is pretty special.
2007-05-23 15:45:09
172.   Kevin Lewis
per ITD

Furcal, SS

Pierre, CF

Nomar, 1B

Kent, 2B

Martin, C

Gonzo, LF

LaRoche, 3B

Ethier, RF

Penny, P

2007-05-23 15:45:47
173.   natepurcell
Mills is hitting

222AB 459/553/1.000 33hr 37bb 17hbp 19k

of course, this is at lewis and state college but still, impressive.

2007-05-23 15:46:51
174.   Ricardo
Is Bryan Morris still on DL? There´s an old link about him:
2007-05-23 15:47:15
175.   overkill94
I figured Abreu and LaRoche would get most of the playing time for the time being. Here's what I posted on a fantasy baseball message board regarding the situation:

I wouldn't get too attached to Abreu at this point. He might get a couple more starts at either 3B or 2B (with either Kent or Nomar sitting), but unless he really shows something, he'll probably be sent back down in a week.

Here are my best guesses, in order of probability:
1. Abreu sent back down next Tuesday, LaRoche and Betemit continue to split starts at 3B
2. LaRoche sent down on Tuesday, Abreu and Betemit split starts at 3B and Abreu gets occasional starts at 2B and SS
3. A trade for a proven 3B (Glaus, Rolen, Lowell, etc) is made including one of the three current guys
4. Ramon Martinez is DFAed, leaving LaRoche and Abreu in somewhat of a platoon and Betemit as the utility infielder

I think in the short-term, Abreu and LaRoche will get most of the starts at 3B to evaluate who will get sent back down with Betemit continuing to be the main LH pinch-hitter off the bench, but after one of them is optioned I believe things will continue as they have been recently (time split evenly between Betemit and LaRoche or Abreu at 3B until someone gets hot).

2007-05-23 15:48:37
176.   overkill94
171 That would be awesome if we ended up with Beau Mills since he's from my hometown. He's got the bloodlines going for him as well since his dad (Brad Mills) played in the majors for a while and has been coaching in the minors (and sometimes majors) ever since.
2007-05-23 15:49:34
177.   Kevin Lewis

I think you hit the nail on that one

2007-05-23 15:49:52
178.   alexx
173 He transferred after having academic problems at Fresno State? Is that even possible?
2007-05-23 15:51:49
179.   Marty
So much for Pierre hitting leadoff.
2007-05-23 15:57:13
180.   ToyCannon
We've got ourselves a merry go round at 3b.
2007-05-23 16:03:29
181.   Xeifrank
The Brewers blog says: This would be an awful nice game to win, as it only gets harder as the Brewers head to San Diego for the weekend. The Padres are the better team
Them are fightin words! :)
vr, Xei
2007-05-23 16:25:16
182.   underdog
I think the Padres and Dodgers are pretty even right now, but who cares what the Brewers blog has to say? ;-)
2007-05-23 16:28:31
183.   Doctor

Good. Nothing makes me happier than the opponent looking past you to the next series before this one is over. Hopefully the team is thinking that as well. I doubt it though.
Right NOW SD is the better team, but it's a long year.

2007-05-23 16:32:55
184.   Who Is Karim Garcia
Anyone here know any good dodger bars here in LA?

I'd like to head to one for the game.

2007-05-23 16:37:33
185.   bhsportsguy
184 The only place that I go to watch baseball games is a cigar bar in Beverly Hills on Little Santa Monica. It is quiet enough to hear the television.

The Shortstop on Sunset near the Stadium has a lot of old Dodger stuff up on the walls but I have never watched a game there. In my experience, LA is not a great baseball bar town.

2007-05-23 16:43:58
186.   Bob Timmermann
L.A. in general is not a bar town period. Unless you are an alcoholic.
2007-05-23 16:46:22
187.   bhsportsguy
186 There are some places I go to watch NFL games since I don't have Direct TV and in the past, watching NBA or NHL playoffs at the sports bars are okay.
2007-05-23 16:48:47
188.   Doctor
Ok, I just got home and watched the Tivo. The Player got absolutely ripped off on that bunt call. They called him out for running to first base and almost getting his head taken off. That guy just can't catch a break.
2007-05-23 16:50:29
189.   Disabled List
130 If that's true, the Joel Guzmaning of Loney is just about complete. It's almost becoming a tradition of the Ned Colletti era. 1) Sign a veteran to block highly prized prospect. 2) Wait for prospect to pout and put up lousy numbers in AAA. 3) Trade newly-diminished prospect for 30 cents on the dollar.

Since that's a Dodgertalk rumor, I'll take it with a grain of salt. But it definitely has an air of plausibility around it. How sad is it that the two prospects capable of helping us the most (Kemp and Loney) are the ones whose positions are blocked by newly-signed over-the-hill veterans.

184 Try Barney's Beanery on Santa Monica and Holloway.

2007-05-23 16:52:08
190.   underdog
186 So "Lost Weekend" is like a documentary...
2007-05-23 16:53:22
191.   bigcpa
Dead horse material but this would have been nice vs. the LHP. Kind of a Red Sox feel.

Furcal (Lugo)
LaRoche (Youkilis)
Nomar (Ortiz)
Kent (Manny)
Martin (Varitek)
Gonzo (Drew)
Ethier (Crisp)
Pierre (Cora)

2007-05-23 16:54:56
192.   Who Is Karim Garcia
I like the Beanery, but prefer Britannia, which is a nice dive bar. I just thought there might be a place im missing.
2007-05-23 16:56:49
193.   Andrew Shimmin
188- You think he was running in the base path? I don't have Tivo, so, I'm just going on the instant replays FSN provided, and watching it in real time, but every time I saw it, it looked like he was clearly on the grass side of the base path.
2007-05-23 16:58:18
194.   Disabled List
Bob's comment in 186 should be amended to read, "L.A. in general is not a sports bar town."

It's sad when Hooters is among the best options.

2007-05-23 16:59:40
195.   Doctor

Thos guys are not victims. Perform and get played or don't perform and toil in AAA. If they are so soft that more seasoning in AAA traumatizes them into poor play- its going to be tough sledding for them as pros.
I still think wel will see Loney before too long. Very early yet to call his future.

2007-05-23 16:59:43
196.   Andrew Shimmin
There's always the Home Base Network if you're looking for a bar with the game on. I can personally vouch for none of these places. But they have the McCourt seal of approval. So. There you go.

2007-05-23 17:01:14
197.   Curtis Lowe
LA county has plenty of fine fun places to watch the games.

If you are near Whittier/La Habra theres a great place called Tubby's Tavern off of leffingwell

2007-05-23 17:02:18
198.   Bob Timmermann
I stand by my original statement.

That is at least what out of towners have told me.

2007-05-23 17:05:30
199.   peeweereese
184 -- HMS Bounty in Koreatown/Mid-Wilshire usually has the games on, as does Lost and Found in Mar-Vista. Both are great bars.
2007-05-23 17:07:57
200.   Andrew Shimmin
Perform and get played or don't perform and toil in AAA.

This is clearly not the case. Nomar was re-signed after Loney's 2006. Pierre was signed after Kemp's 2006. That neither is breaking down the door is the excuse for not playing them in the big leagues, not the reason they aren't playing. I'm not particularly swayed that their performance is a reaction to psychological trauma; I think it's a small sample, not necessarily indicative of their skill. If neither hits much, all year, there'll need to be a better reason. But that's a bridge I'm not interested in jumping off till it comes. Anyway, we shouldn't confuse the effects with the cause.

Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2007-05-23 17:09:51
201.   Jon Weisman
193 - I saw only one replay but I had expected to come here and find the commenters furious with the call. It seemed to me that Pierre was running on the chalk. But no one else seemed to feel that way.
2007-05-23 17:12:42
202.   bhsportsguy
201 It probably has more to do with "the player" vs. whether or not the call was correct.
2007-05-23 17:12:50
203.   Doctor
Kemps 2006? He was in such a tail spin he couldn't even make contact at the end!
Loney, did have a nice year, but really it was one year after several ok years, and still no power. I don't see a few months in AAA as an injustice for either- even if you think both are the future for the club.
2007-05-23 17:13:25
204.   Andrew Shimmin
201- Gen3Blue, last night, thought it was an outrageous call. But I think he was the only one.
2007-05-23 17:14:05
205.   Who Is Karim Garcia
I just noticed the Yankees home dugout is up the first baseline... is that the norm?

The dodgers is up the third baseline.

2007-05-23 17:14:52
206.   bigcpa
201 Kevin Kennedy, who managed in the big leagues, said MLB issued a rule change on this. Players can now run on the left chalk line of the box through the 1b bag. That said he still thinks Pierre was outside the chalk.
2007-05-23 17:15:02
207.   underdog
After rewatching it, I thought Pierre got a bad break, too. I wonder if people are just so fed up with him that they can't find it in themselves to get mad when he doesn't get a break, maybe? Anyway, I thought it was a bad call, and felt a little sorry for him at that moment (before going back to being irked by him later in the game).
2007-05-23 17:16:00
208.   Icaros
If you are stupid enough to bunt, I don't care what happens to you.
2007-05-23 17:16:07
209.   underdog
(I missed the first inning live last night is why I said nothing... not that I was furious with it as much as thinking "Oh, lame.")
2007-05-23 17:16:26
210.   Andrew Shimmin
202- Did you think he was in the base path?

203- His year didn't end when he was sent down to AAA. His line, there, was .368/.428/.560, which is something, but not a tail spin. It's fine to say it's not unjust, it's just not also fine to use their current performance as an ex post facto justification for their not being in the bigs.

2007-05-23 17:17:01
211.   Doctor
Getting clothes lined by a 270lb first baseman was pretty much insult to injury too. I felt pretty bad for him also.
2007-05-23 17:17:08
212.   Marty
HMS Bounty is a good bar, not sure how good for baseball.

The bar at Pete's downtown has a couple wide screens. It's a fun place.

There's the Grand Avenue sports bar thats attached to the rear of the Biltmore. Kind of tacky, but pretty cheap and a lot of screens.

2007-05-23 17:22:05
213.   Icaros

Funny, that was my favorite part.

2007-05-23 17:24:09
214.   Jon Weisman
208 - That, frankly, doesn't make sense. Pierre is undeniably good at bunting, and if he didn't bunt, would be a less productive hitter. He may be a bad hitter overall, but bunting is often a smart decision for him to make.

I felt bad for him.

2007-05-23 17:24:11
215.   Doctor

Do you think Kemp was playing well for the Dodgers after his first few weeks (including Sept when he was recalled)?

2007-05-23 17:24:43
216.   overkill94
I thought the Pierre call was terrible, so I was really surprised to come read the comments on here and see opinions otherwise. Sure one foot might have been in the grass, but you only see someone get called for being out of the baseline if they're obviously out of the normal route to 1B.
2007-05-23 17:25:17
217.   Doctor


2007-05-23 17:28:19
218.   Humma Kavula
214 You know more about it than I do, probably, but isn't bunting still a low-percentage play, even for Pierre?

We would rarely expect, say, Andre Ethier to try to bunt his way on. Is Pierre so much faster than Ethier that it makes sense for him to hit the ball 60 feet?

Is Pierre so bad at hitting that it makes sense for him not to swing?

These are genuine questions. If the answers are no, yes, and yes, I'll believe you.

2007-05-23 17:29:19
219.   Icaros
If the guy was a real baseball player who could get real hits, bunting wouldn't be a good idea.

Instead he's a charlatan who gets paid for "working hard." But what does he work on? His fundamentals are just as sorry as his OPS.

2007-05-23 17:31:24
220.   Jon Weisman
218 - In my opinion, Maybe, yes and yes.

Pierre has less to lose by bunting than Ethier. Pierre has no power and is just trying to get on base. Ethier has more power.

Whatever percentage play it is generally, there are situations when it is smart. The guy is making terrible contract, the infield was far enough back - it was all good last night. Until the end of the play.

2007-05-23 17:32:49
221.   Jon Weisman
Game thread is open.
2007-05-23 17:37:04
222.   Andrew Shimmin
215- It was a full month that he was good. May 28th, to June 24th, he was .333/.375/.667. He was bad, no doubt about it, for the next 14 games, .182/.200/.205. Then he got sent down, where he went, .368/.428/.560 in AAA. He started six games after his September call up, so, I don't find that very interesting.

Clearly he had his ups, and his downs. And his OPS+, after all of it, was about the same as Pierre's had been for the last two years, before he was signed. Kemp's 22, Pierre turns thirty this year. BP projected Kemp to out OPS Pierre by about 150 points, this year. Leaving justice aside, I have virtually no doubt that Kemp was a better bet for CF, this year, and in the future, than Pierre.

2007-05-23 17:40:16
223.   Andrew Shimmin
218- Until this year, bunting has been a high percentage move for Pierre. His bunt hit rates for the past few years:

2002: 39.3 %
2003: 34.8 %
2004: 38.1 %
2005: 40.8 %
2006: 42.9 %
2007: 15.8 %

One of these things is not like the other.

2007-05-23 17:50:12
224.   Humma Kavula
223 Fair enough. I stand corrected.
2007-05-23 20:10:03
225.   Benaiah
I recently moved one more time zone away from the official time zone of DT, which has made it infinitely more difficult to post. I don't know how the East Coast guys do it, by the time the game comes on it is already bed time if you have to work in the morning.

By the way, if you watch "Lost" then you are in for quite an experience. Nice start to this game, but I will have to find out what happened tomorrow.

2007-05-23 20:21:26
226.   Benaiah
225 - Embarrassing.
2007-05-31 16:32:57
227.   scareduck
Rick Monday is coming perilously close to a Rule 5 violation.

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