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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
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Cutthroat Competition
2008-05-06 07:23
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Not gonna talk about it. But James Loney, watch your back.

* * *

I only just noticed that Baseball Prospectus spiffed up its team pages; you can see the Dodgers here. Among other things, it shows off some pretty stunning equivalent averages that reflect their lovely winning ways, led of course by Rafael Furcal, who also has a Value Over Replacement Player total of 26.3, 33.3 points higher than Andruw Jones.

Congrats to Blake DeWitt for his first home run, and to his Dodger teammates for their great celebration of it. Monday's game sure was fun.

Update: Okay, I couldn't resist. From the aforelinked Ben Bolch Times article:

(Joe) Torre said (Nomar) Garciaparra might need to complete a minor league rehabilitation assignment depending on how quickly he progresses. Is his spot as the everyday third baseman secure upon his return?

"He really didn't do anything wrong, he just got hurt," Torre said. "I think he certainly needs an opportunity to pick that up."

As for the Loney reference above, given Torre's knack for experimentation, I'm wondering if either Andre Ethier or Russell Martin will get a start there.

Ethier, by the way, has still outperformed Juan Pierre on offense this season if you look at the numbers above, even factoring in Pierre's basestealing and recent hot streak.

The Dodgers are tied for the National League wild card lead with Chicago.

* * *

Congrats to the Joe Saunders and Ervin Santana of the Angels for their outstanding starts to 2008: Each is a well-earned 6-0. Saunders ERA is 2.61 (though with only 21 strikeouts in 48 1/3 innings); Santana is at 2.02 (38 strikeouts in 49 innings).

Comments (456)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-05-06 07:44:46
1.   D4P
I will be surprised if Andy LaRoche ever becomes the (long-term) starting third baseman for the Dodgers.
2008-05-06 07:46:18
2.   Ken Noe
So I'm not completely crazy? Cool. (451 , previous thread).
2008-05-06 07:48:41
3.   Ken Noe
1 Based on what I read here yesterday, I'm now officially worried about his throws to first. He may well need more time in Vegas.
2008-05-06 07:50:23
4.   D4P
3
While being healthy is a necessary condition for LaRoche to become the starter, it's nowhere near sufficient. I'm pretty sure he's now firmly ensconced below Nomar and Dewitt on the depth chart, and it becomes more likely everyday that he'll be Betemitted.
2008-05-06 07:53:48
5.   Jon Weisman
I think if anything's clear from the first 32 games under Torre, it's that things change, again and again.
2008-05-06 08:03:04
6.   Ken Noe
4 5 Having accepted the fact that Torre is a restless tinkerer, I sleep better. Nomar at any rate will be gone in October.
2008-05-06 08:04:07
7.   D4P
Nomar at any rate will be gone in October

But if Ned's still here, he'll just be replaced by another Mueller/Nomar/Hillenbrand clone.

2008-05-06 08:07:45
8.   jasonungar07
Let's be honest, this was the way it was gonna be from the start..Ethier's hot start just put a kink in the plan.
2008-05-06 08:07:50
9.   DXMachina
7 - Wouldn't that describe DeWitt?
2008-05-06 08:09:31
10.   D4P
Wouldn't that describe DeWitt?

In 10-12 years.

2008-05-06 08:16:33
11.   JoeyP
Can an Ethier/Kemp platoon be that far off in the distance?
2008-05-06 08:18:11
12.   Ken Noe
I suspect that Joe's the sheriff, not Ned, even if Ned survives Jones. And Blake DeWitt looks to me like his new Bernie Williams. Or at least Scott Proctor.
2008-05-06 08:20:29
13.   Bluebleeder87
I'd rather watch an avg. Ethier than a hot Pierre
2008-05-06 08:20:43
14.   Who Is Karim Garcia
11

Which one plays the part of Willem Dafoe?

2008-05-06 08:21:37
15.   okdodge
12 Or Scott Brosius
2008-05-06 08:25:17
16.   Jim Hitchcock
So much for Met's bloggers talking smack about sweeps.

And what an beautiful moment for DeWitt.

2008-05-06 08:26:14
17.   CeyWhat
Dewitt is Torre's new Scott Brosius -- just younger and cuter.

LaRoche will be traded -- perhaps for another bullpen arm?

Ethier is staying put.

2008-05-06 08:28:00
18.   D4P
LaRoche will be traded -- perhaps for another bullpen arm?

AKA "Betemitted".

2008-05-06 08:29:40
19.   Jon Weisman
11 - I'm assuming we'll see Ethier start for Kemp this week. But that won't be the end of the changes. I don't think Pierre's spot in the lineup is permanent.

2008 EQAs (factors in stolen bases but not defense):

.301 Ethier
.291 Kemp
.290 Pierre

2008-05-06 08:30:58
20.   Ken Noe
Until his hand is healthy and his throws to first not in the dirt, LaRoche would be hard to move.
2008-05-06 08:31:41
21.   D4P
The As might be willing to part with Saarloos, Embree, or Blanton in exchange for LaRoche.

Straight up!

2008-05-06 08:37:17
22.   Bumsrap
I remember reading that Martin and Ethier used to carpool and were close friends. Now it seems like Martin, Loney, and Kemp are real close and I can't tell if Ethier, who is married, isn't as tight with Martin. And I wonder if DeWitt has made it into an inner circle of friends.
2008-05-06 08:41:29
23.   ibleedbloo
Andy is our 3rd baseman, he's not going anywhere. Let Dewitt, Hu, and Abreu battle it out for 2nd base. If Furcal leaves, then the fight is down to Blake and Tony and Hu gets SS.

22
Last season I saw Martin, Ethier, and some friends going to dinner together down in Gas Lamp after we lost to the Pads. As a matter of fact, if I remember correctly, that was Cinco De Mayo, so it was 1 year ago.

2008-05-06 08:47:25
24.   Bob Timmermann
21
It won't be Saarloos. The A's outrighted him to Sacramento and he's not on the 40-man roster.

Now, Alan Embree is another matter.

2008-05-06 08:48:10
25.   fanerman
I miss the D4P that was predicting World Series championships.

Things will change again

2008-05-06 08:48:31
26.   KingKopitar
Flummoxed, I say.
2008-05-06 08:49:16
27.   D4P
Now, Alan Embree is another matter

LaRoche and Abreu for Embree. Book it.

I miss the D4P that was predicting World Series championships

I'm still here...

2008-05-06 08:52:24
28.   blue22
0 - But James Loney, watch your back.

I'm having visions of Nomar at 1st, DeWitt at 3rd, and an OF of Pierre, Andruw, and Ethier/Kemp. Shudder.

Certainly difficult to question some of these decisions based on the way everyone has played to date, but it could certainly lead to some bad decisions being made.

I think the Nomar thing works itself out though, once he comes back hitting .260 with bad defense. I really worry about LaRoche's future though.

2008-05-06 08:55:04
29.   kinbote
Funny how complicated situations when you're losing are problems, while complicated situations when you're winning are not.

As long as we're winning, I'm not that concerned about the 3b logjam. DeWitt is holding down the job, pure and simple. If LaRoche presents a clear upgrade, great; if not, he can spend time in AAA building his case. (Nomar was supposed to be our supersub anyway.)

As for Pierre, I admit I was furious when I saw last night's lineup, but I have to give credit where it's due. Pierre was great. I don't know if Torre can keep up the pace of always playing the right "hot hand," but I have to give him some credit for our turnaround.

(Now if we could only get D. Young some at-bats . . .)

2008-05-06 08:58:55
30.   kngoworld
Ned should be spending all his energy trying to trade one of our four (Kemp, Ethier, Jones, Pierre) outfielders. The current situation is not far to Kemp and Ethier who are playing wonderful. The atmosphere can not be great in the club house which is the one reason the Dodgers claim to have brought in Torre. I can not imagine Ethier is happy sitting on the bench and watching Jones bat .160.
2008-05-06 09:00:11
31.   D4P
30
On one hand, I can see Ned riding out the 4-outfielder thing for the entire season.

On the other hand, I can't see us repeating the 4-outfielder thing for all of next season as well. Something's gotta give.

2008-05-06 09:03:22
32.   Doctor
0

Ethier to get some starts at 1B?

2008-05-06 09:03:27
33.   Ken Noe
31 Short of a league championship, McCourt fires Ned and either Logan White or Brian Cashman DFAs Jones.
2008-05-06 09:04:40
34.   regfairfield
29 But LaRoche has built his case for the last three years now, there's absolutely nothing more he needs to do to justify starting over DeWitt.
2008-05-06 09:05:19
35.   Jon Weisman
Part of my point in 19 was that even with current his hot streak, Pierre still hasn't outperformed Ethier this season.
2008-05-06 09:06:05
36.   Jon Weisman
32 - That's what I was implying, though I don't have a clue whether he can field a ground ball, despite whatever practice he has had there.

Then there's the Martin gets a day off at first base scenario ...

2008-05-06 09:10:28
37.   kinbote
Will Pierre steal Ethier's leftfield job? Will Nomar replace DeWitt? Will LaRoche be left behind in AAA? Will Loaiza block Kuo and Kershaw? Will Schmidt supplant Broxton? Will Meloan start or relieve? Will Brazoban bounce back? Will Greg Miller find the strike zone? Will Andruw Jones ever hit a ball squarely again?

Join us for all the questions and none of the answers on the next edition of Dodger Thoughts.

2008-05-06 09:10:35
38.   D4P
35
Of course, we all know that Torre isn't looking at EQA. Torre's big thing seems to be that he believes Pierre and Ethier/Kemp bring something "different to the table", such that comparing their stats is mostly irrelevant.

Torre obviously thinks (and likes) that Pierre causes havoc for opposing pitchers with his speed and base-stealing threat.

2008-05-06 09:11:59
39.   kinbote
34 Staying healthy would help. So would outperforming DeWitt. Listen, I'm a huge LaRoche supporter, but I can't ignore what DeWitt has done.
2008-05-06 09:12:19
40.   Jon Weisman
Torre said Garciaparra might need to complete a minor league rehabilitation assignment depending on how quickly he progresses. Is his spot as the everyday third baseman secure upon his return?

"He really didn't do anything wrong, he just got hurt," Torre said. "I think he certainly needs an opportunity to pick that up."

My emphasis.

38 - Of course we all know that he doesn't look at EQA. But Pierre is starting because he is hitting, not because he is annoying to pitchers.

2008-05-06 09:14:18
41.   Michael D
I think Ned keeps his job if we make the playoffs even if we get swept again, at least for this year. Still, if I was a business man like McCourt I simply would not trust Colletti to spend any of my money with how Colletti pretty much wastes it.

Furcal's agent should be calling Ned every day trying to get an extension while the fool with the money is still on the job.

2008-05-06 09:15:27
42.   underdog
Torre gets bonus points for me for the following:

>>Torre said the Dodgers "need to get Andruw back on track." <<

Not "untracked." Yay, Torre!

--

16 Btw, to be fair, it wasn't really Mets bloggers looking for a sweep, it was just a few commenters on their blogs. Which is different, as Buzz Bissinger hopefully knows by now. ;-)

2008-05-06 09:15:39
43.   regfairfield
39 But he's done the outperforming DeWitt thing. Plus as much as DeWitt has exceeded expectations, he's gotten incredibly lucky on balls in play. If he was BABIPing .208 like he should be, he'd be hitting .192/.279/.333. We'd be less impressed by that.
2008-05-06 09:16:11
44.   Disabled List
I have a hunch the days-off for Andruw are going to start being more and more frequent in the near future, so we'll be seeing the Ethier-JP-Kemp outfield more often.
2008-05-06 09:16:27
45.   blue22
James Loney's EQA right now is .251. Nomar will fail at third, just for the simple fact that he's atrocious over there. If DeWitt continues to own thirdbase, why wouldn't we think that Nomar could steal some time at first?
2008-05-06 09:18:05
46.   Michael D
Also, just for fun, If Andruw Jones doesn't start hitting again and his next contract is an NRI, does he still make the hall of fame? Jim Rice looks like he will make it, and Jones at least has the sterling defensive reputation to go with it.
2008-05-06 09:20:20
47.   underdog
I think Nomar's value would be as a backup infielder, including first base, which he's proven he can play fairly decently. Which would seem to render Sweeney superfluous at that point, except Sweeney's a lefty off the bench. (And I'm not actually someone who has thought we should get rid of Sweeney; I think having a reliably experienced pinch hitter off the bench, one of the best there's been, is valuable, but at this point he may still deserve to be the odd man out if Nomar comes back healthy.) Best scenario is LaRoche comes back ready, is allowed to start or win the starting position over at third, Nomar is a backup, Young stays.
2008-05-06 09:21:31
48.   JoeyP
There's really a simple solution to this situation:

When LaRoche's healthy----either DFA Sweeney or Delwyn Young. I personally dont see much value in either guy at the expense of keeping LaRoche in the minors.

Second, play Kemp/Ethier everyday. Platoon Druw/Pierre.

If Pierre's OBP'ing above .360, there's no problems in playing him. But why not play him ahead of the guy that sucks--Druw. Not in front of Ethier.

Why does Andruw Jones have so much pull that he cant be benched? And its not like its a 1.5 month slump. He was bad in 2007 as well.

2008-05-06 09:25:52
49.   Jon Weisman
46 - Jones won't make the Hall of Fame if his career is now over. Not without a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie.
2008-05-06 09:25:53
50.   D4P
48
In my LAT-ed comment from the last thread, I pointed out that if Jones were putting up Ethier's numbers (.303/.388/.465/.853) and Ethier were putting up Jones's (.158/.267/.248/ .515), there's no way Ethier would be playing over Jones.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-05-06 09:28:49
51.   regfairfield
If Ethier got benched for Pierre if he was hitting like Jones, wouldn't say small sample size?
2008-05-06 09:29:08
52.   Kevin Lewis
The most frustrating thing for me about LaRoche is the amount of hate he gets from the normal fan. I defend him all the time, but people still don't like him, even though they admit they don't know why. Why does Nomar get the "He really didn't do anything wrong, he just got hurt," free pass, but LaRoche is always looked at like he is somehow deceptive about his playing ability. This is no knock on Dewitt. He has done great with the opportunity, but I just want LaRoche to get the same opportunity as Dewitt.
2008-05-06 09:30:47
53.   Bob Timmermann
49
"That Dog Shot Me in the Leg and Ruined my Batting Stance and Gave Me a Much Better Batting Stance Instead!"
2008-05-06 09:32:12
54.   Kevin Lewis
From the LAT article in 0

"Asked when he might reach the point when he wanted to bench Jones, Torre said somewhat emphatically, "I can't. I can't do it. He needs to perform here if we're going to do something special."

Does that scare/frustrate anyone else? We are winning games without the help of Jones on offense. If he is still hitting this way in June, should we not just field our best team? Wouldn't Ethier in the lineup be a better option no matter what?

Ok, I need to calm down.

2008-05-06 09:32:31
55.   Gagne55
46 No. The Braves once had a centerfielder named Dale Murphy who was an even better hitter than Jones has ever been and a two time MVP. He fell off a cliff at 32 and never was better than average after that. He hasn't gotten any HOF support.
2008-05-06 09:36:06
56.   Jacob L
52 The casual fan is down on LaRoche because he has not been impressive in his brief stints in las grandes ligas. Only nut jobs like us have much familiarity with his minor league track record.
2008-05-06 09:36:23
57.   Jon Weisman
54 - June or July is another story, but on May 6, I agree with that Torre quote. I just don't think Ethier should pay the price.
2008-05-06 09:36:23
58.   Gagne55
"Why does Andruw Jones have so much pull that he cant be benched?"

5 all-star appearences, 10 gold gloves, 369 HRs...

2008-05-06 09:38:25
59.   Disabled List
48 Second, play Kemp/Ethier everyday. Platoon Druw/Pierre.

If Torre did that, it would be like pulling the trigger on Ned himself. Could a GM really survive paying $27 million worth of free agents to be a platoon, because they were both outplayed by organizational guys making $400K?

The thing is, from a strictly baseball perspective, that's absolutely the right move to make.

2008-05-06 09:40:23
60.   StolenMonkey86
Andruw Jones is a massive ball of PVL, and there is no visible end in sight to the way he's hitting now. I think he'll hit the DL at some point, considering his vision is supposedly not a problem.
2008-05-06 09:40:24
61.   Gagne55
Fwiw, Bobby Abreu last year had an OPS of .668 in April and .541 in May and he rebounded for a productive season.
2008-05-06 09:40:26
62.   D4P
If Ethier got benched for Pierre if he was hitting like Jones, wouldn't say small sample size?

I'm one of those crazy people who includes Jones's 2007 numbers in my sample size.

2008-05-06 09:41:59
63.   D4P
61
2007
Jones: .222/.311/.413/.724
Abreu: .283/.369/.445/.814
2008-05-06 09:43:53
64.   bryanf
49 He could make the Hall of Very Good though.
2008-05-06 09:46:04
65.   regfairfield
62 And if he hits as well as he did in 2007, he's probably better than Pierre thanks to his glove. There's no reason to bench Jones.
2008-05-06 09:46:51
66.   underdog
Rob Neyer chat going right now on ESPN:

http://proxy.espn.go.com/chat/chatESPN?event_id=20498

Hurry up and ask your Dodgers question!

2008-05-06 09:48:04
67.   bryanf
65 Torre seems to agree with you based on that article. I just wonder what we will all think at the end of the year if Jones never turns it around.
2008-05-06 09:49:22
68.   underdog
From that chat:

Mike (Cottonwood, CA): What's the word on Matt Kemp? Career .340 hitter or just a hot start to his career.

Rob Neyer: (12:32 PM ET ) Well, he's not a career .340 hitter now, because he hit/batted .253 as a rookie in '06. But yeah: he's going to be really, really good. My only concern is the lousy K/W ratio that isn't getting better. It's hard to hit/bat .340 if you're striking out once per game.

2008-05-06 09:50:03
69.   underdog
(68 Who cares if he strikes out once a game if does the kind of damage he's doing otherwise, Rob?)
2008-05-06 09:52:02
70.   LA Native
52

Well said. I still think LaRoche can be our 3b of the future. Let him get it going at Vegas I say and then bring him up when he is hitting the ball and throwing well. He hasn't had spring training really and is recovering from an injury so people need to be patient and give him a few weeks to recover and get in the swing of things.

If we are going to bring up guys from the minors, we have to have some semblance of patience. We seem to judge guys how they do in the first 100 at bats too much. Look at the Angels who let Kotchman, Saunders, and Santana struggle for a while when they were brought up and are now reaping the benefits

DeWitt has been fairly solid. However, I am not ready to annoit him 3B of the future just yet, although I am impressed with his poise and patience.

Jones is becoming a complete embarrasment. I hate to say it, but he would be better off getting a small injury and then a long rehabilitation assignment in Vegas to get some confidence. Even Vin was saying how bad he was opening up and could barely reach strikes on the outside corner. Last night was almost a good game for him, because he didn't strike out. Funny how the expectations have gone so low for him so quickly.

2008-05-06 09:53:21
71.   fanerman
68 Lol that's a good one.
2008-05-06 09:55:32
72.   Gilberto Reyes
52 Why do people feel that LaRoche has not been given a chance, or is being squeezed out as the future Dodger third baseman? LaRoche's ML performance and injuries have prevented him from getting that chance, NOT management. But Andy is still clearly the future at third because of his power and plate discipline. DeWitt is scrappy and probably playing over his head. I like the Jack Fimple comparison that Jon made for DeWitt. The Dodgers would be crazy to trade a top prospect like LaRoche for some to the names mentioned earlier in this post.
2008-05-06 09:57:52
73.   bryanf
70 I don't think Jones has ever been on the DL, has he? I thought I remembered Vin saying he's gone 10 years without ever being on the DL. I know coming to the Dodgers is usually the way to break a record like that, so maybe we'll get lucky. I don't wish for anybody to get hurt, but it sure would make the decision easier in this case.
2008-05-06 09:58:53
74.   bryanf
Anyone think that DeWitt's trade value has gone up and maybe that's an option? Just throwing it out there.
2008-05-06 10:00:07
75.   bryanf
Bingo:

Chuck (Downtown LA): Please tell me Joe Torre will finally bench Andruw Jones. How much more do the fans have to BOO him before he's benched?

SportsNation Rob Neyer: (12:55 PM ET ) Funny, for all the preseason moaning (mostly by me) about Juan Pierre, he's been a LOT better than Jones. And since they both make way too much money, Torre might as well play the guy who's playing well.

2008-05-06 10:02:44
76.   Jon Weisman
72 - "LaRoche's ML performance and injuries have prevented him from getting that chance, NOT management."

I appreciate your comment, but the above sentence isn't really true for much of 2007 or for today.

2008-05-06 10:03:45
77.   Daniel Zappala
I fully support playing Jones regularly to help him break out of his slump. He has the potential hit much better than Pierre, and the team has a better chance of reaching the postseason and winning some playoff games if he is hitting well.
2008-05-06 10:06:51
78.   JoeyP
51--I think over 100 ABs just in 1 season is enough of a sample size to know if a guy is playing well or not.

But, if Ethier had been as bad as Druw was in 2007, and he got benched for Pierre after a horrible start to 2008 also---I think that would be fine.

2008-05-06 10:06:56
79.   underdog
76 - Isn't it sort of half true, though? And if the freak thumb injury hadn't happened to him at the end of spring, wouldn't he have been starting? (Of course, that would've been partially by default, given Nomar's status.) I dunno, it seems like it's been partially management not giving him enough shots and partially his own bum luck with health. All I know is I want him back in there -- when he's ready to do some damage and hope then, at that point, he will be given a shot. Make it a competition between he and DeWitt if they have to... but give him the shot then. (Nomar shouldn't be in the picture, ideally.) But from what I've been hearing in Vegas he's still not quite 100% at least on defense.

I do hope he gets the shot soon, though.

2008-05-06 10:07:11
80.   Gilberto Reyes
Competition at all positions is good for a team. I think it has helped the performance of Pierre, Ethier, and Kemp this year. I think Loney's job is safe, but the threat of someone else taking your job is a good motivater for some players not to get complacent. What I really like about the Times article today is that Ethier is not complaining to the media about not starting for a few days. I hope he keeps this positive team attitude instead of questioning whether the Dodgers have him in their plans like he has in the past. Let's just win the games.
2008-05-06 10:07:40
81.   Eric Stephen
I think we are getting too bogged down by arguing the same points over and over again.

Just to have it on record, why don't we all give our preferred starting lineup right now. Not batting order, but the 8 positions. No platoons, just the 8 starters. Has to be from people on the 40-man roster. I will be happy to tally the results.

Here is my starting lineup:

C - Martin
1B - Loney
2B - Kent
3B - LaRoche
SS - Furcal
LF - Ethier
CF - Jones
RF - Kemp

2008-05-06 10:08:50
82.   Kevin Lewis
72

His ML performance time is so sporadic. If LaRoche gets the same chance to play EVERY day like Dewitt, than I will be happy.

2008-05-06 10:10:06
83.   Jon Weisman
81 - That's mine, assuming LaRoche is healthy.

I'm not against having spot starters, though.

2008-05-06 10:11:01
84.   KG16
69 - actually a higher strike out rate (particularly one per game) will make it incredibly difficult to hit .340 - which is the premise of Neyer's comment.

Less contact means fewer hits, fewer hits means lower batting average.

Let's say that Kemp gets 4 ABs per game and he strikes out once per game. That's 648 ABs, 162 Ks. To hit .340, Kemp would need 221 hits in 486 at bats... that's a clip of .455 in at bats where he doesn't strike out.

Now, that's looking entirely at batting average, if he ends up hitting .325 with 30 HRs, 100 RBIs, and 25 SBs, I won't be complaining... even if he is striking out once per game.

2008-05-06 10:11:28
85.   fanerman
81

Here is my starting lineup:

C - Martin
1B - Loney
2B - Kent
3B - LaRoche
SS - Furcal
LF - Ethier
CF - Jones
RF - Kemp

2008-05-06 10:12:15
86.   Eric Stephen
83
I'm for the occasional spot start as well, but for accounting clarity it's just easier to count regulars, meaning 5-6 games per week guys.
2008-05-06 10:12:28
87.   LA Native
Jon,

I'm not sure I would agree with that. They gave him some at bats last year. I think it would be unrealistic to say he would have been starting the whole year in the majors after coming back from the shoulder injury and having never really played in AAA yet.

As for this year, I think he hasn't had a full spring training and is not 100% quite yet. I don't take the act of optioning him down at this point when he would still be on the rehabilitation assignment as a big deal. Now if it is June and Andy is swinging well and fully healthy and is still in Vegas that will be a different story

2008-05-06 10:12:51
88.   D4P
There's not gonna be much variation in these starting lineups...
2008-05-06 10:15:25
89.   Eric Stephen
88
I know, but I'd like to have the facts so I can tell friends "4 out of 5 Dodger Thoughters agree" that so-and-so should be starting.
2008-05-06 10:15:31
90.   Gilberto Reyes
76 I really don't see how management is holding back LaRoche. Do you believe he was healthy and ready to take over the job in 2007? I remember him having back trouble last year and never really getting it going during his time with the big club last year. And in 2008 he had the freak injury in the spring which he is still recovering from.
2008-05-06 10:17:24
91.   Daniel Zappala
I agree with the lineup in 81 .
2008-05-06 10:17:29
92.   KG16
81 - to play along, as of today:

C - Martin
1B - Loney
2B - Kent
SS - Furcal
3B - DeWitt
LF - Repko
CF - Kemp
RF - Ethier

2008-05-06 10:20:12
93.   regfairfield
Put me down for the standard lineup.
2008-05-06 10:20:13
94.   Jon Weisman
90 - BH showed last night how LaRoche never got the chance to start many consecutive games in a row, the way DeWitt has. Do I believe LaRoche was ready to take over the job in 2007? At least as ready as DeWitt.

Of course, I wanted Betemit to play too, so there's that.

As for the current recovery from injury, management was willing to rush Nomar back into the lineup. They have made a choice not to do the same with LaRoche, who homered yesterday for Las Vegas. Maybe it's the right choice, but it's a choice all the same.

I will say this about DeWitt - he has had every excuse to wilt, and he hasn't.

2008-05-06 10:20:54
95.   bryanf
I hate Pierre and love LaRoche (neither as much as some people here), but RIGHT NOW, this is my lineup if I'm Joe Torre:

C - Martin
1B - Loney
2B - Kent
SS - Furcal
3B - DeWitt
LF - Pierre
CF - Kemp
RF - Ethier

2008-05-06 10:21:18
96.   alex 7
I love Repko too, and wouldn't mind him playing IF we didn't have Jones and Pierre. If Pierre keeps getting on base and stealing at his high rate, then Repko stays down.

Weird, in a way we have too much talent this year in the OF. Or at least too many guys who do one thing really well.

2008-05-06 10:22:06
97.   JoeyP
81--Lineup vs RHP:

SS- Furcal
C-- Martin
CF--Kemp
2b--Kent
LF--Ethier
1b--Loney
3b--DeWitt
LF--Pierre

Lineup vs LHP
SS-Furcal
C--Martin
RF-Kemp
2b-Kent
LF-Ethier
CF-Druw
3b-LaRoche
1b-Nomar

Everyday.

6 guys platooning in 3 spots.

2008-05-06 10:22:10
98.   Jon Weisman
Joe Sheehan on the Dodgers:

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=7478

2008-05-06 10:22:21
99.   Gilberto Reyes
81 I think almost everyone would agree that it the best lineup. Unfortunately, we get injuries (LaRoche). And I support Pierre as a 4th outfielder and spot starter when it makes sense.
2008-05-06 10:22:58
100.   old dodger fan
C - Martin
1B - Loney
2B - Kent
SS - Furcal
3B - LaRoche (homered in a 2-1 loss last night)
LF - Ethier
CF - Jones-It has to get better-doesn't it?
RF - Kemp
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2008-05-06 10:23:15
101.   Jon Weisman
97 - I'm not completely opposed to that.
2008-05-06 10:23:17
102.   StolenMonkey86
I think Jones needs to get it together, so right now I'd say

C - Martin
1B - Loney
2B - Kent
3B - La Roche
SS - Furcal
LF - Pierre
CF - Kemp
RF - Ethier

His homers per fly ball have fallen off sharply, etc. I think Terry Pendleton screwed him up - a lot of his problem is mental. But I think he needs to alter his approach, and I wouldn't be surprised if he was injured.

2008-05-06 10:23:30
103.   fanerman
97 You'd platoon the Nicknameless one?
2008-05-06 10:24:50
104.   fanerman
103 The second part to that question is... with Nomar?
2008-05-06 10:25:32
105.   Daniel Zappala
95 What part of Repko's AAA numbers do you like this year? He's at 214/315/393, which, aside from batting average, is very close to his career numbers in the minors.
2008-05-06 10:25:32
106.   Jon Weisman
Boy, what happens if the Dodgers sign Fukudome instead of Jones?
2008-05-06 10:26:10
107.   dzzrtRatt
Hey, MLB, how about a "lemon law" for free agents?

Between 30-60 games into their first season, if a FA plays far enough below expectations (some metric would have to be established), the team that signed them can drop them by paying a cancellation fee of, say, $2 million, at which point the player becomes an unrestricted free agent, except the team that cancels him can't resign him.

Maybe you could limit this so teams could only exercise it once every, oh, three years.

With respect to Andruw, I guess in a perverse way this validates Ned's theory of short-term free agent contracts. He lost his bet on Furcal, who will be hellishly expensive to resign, but he is winning his bet on Andruw who will at least be gone soon.

2008-05-06 10:26:35
108.   bhsportsguy
87 Between 2006 and 2007, Andy LaRoche has played 128 games in Las Vegas and has compiled this stat line, of all the current young players on the Dodgers, his is the most impressive.

128 games/467 AB/90 runs/147 hits/32 doubles/2 triples/28 HRs (not counting the 2 he hit in the past few days in Vegas/ 83 RBI/64 BB/76 K/.315/.397/.572

No matter what DeWitt has done in the past month or so, should diminish Andy's minor league record. To say he needs more seasoning is just simply wrong. I do think he needs to be fully healed before coming back but other than that, he's proven everything he needs to in the minors.

2008-05-06 10:26:44
109.   dzzrtRatt
106 or even Hunter.
2008-05-06 10:26:48
110.   JoeyP
103--I've never been a big fan of Loney. I dont have a problem letting Nomar play 1st against LHP.
2008-05-06 10:27:04
111.   StolenMonkey86
100 - LaRoche homers when nobody else scores, but has an o-fer when the 51s score 18. Will Colletti see this as balance or not being a team player?
2008-05-06 10:27:21
112.   bryanf
95 I guess I didn't realize that LaRoche was healthy enough to come back. If so, I say bring him up and start him instead of DeWitt. But don't send DeWitt down either...at least not until Nomar comes back.

Have the Dodgers tried DeWitt anywhere else (2B, SS, etc.?) as a backup. I know his defense isn't highly touted, but he's played it well and I'd rather see him be the super utility IF rather than Nomar at this point.

2008-05-06 10:29:14
113.   Rob M
Sheehan pretty much eviscerates Ned in that article. Brutal.

I think it's time to go with a straight platoon of Jones and Pierre. I'd also stick Laroche at 3B as soon as he's healthy enough to make that throw consistently. Part of me wonders if Hu's defense should make him the defacto starter at 2B when Lowe and Kuroda start. That wouldn't go over too well with Kent I'm sure. I don't like the idea of platooning Loney with Nomar - Loney should play every day.

2008-05-06 10:29:47
114.   D4P
Andy's numbers thus far at Las Vegas (in very limited action) present and interesting study in player evaluation. Witness:

.176/.364/.529/.893

2008-05-06 10:30:06
115.   regfairfield
109 We do the same thing we're doing with Jones, just a couple years later.
2008-05-06 10:30:18
116.   blue22
114 - He's screwed.
2008-05-06 10:32:12
117.   whodat807
94 DeWitt only got a chance to start everyday b/c of two freak injuries to Garciaparra and LaRoche. Had LaRoche been in the same position, he'd have gotten the same shot. Now that DeWitt capitalized handsomely on the brief window he was given, I don't see any reason why LaRoche (or Garciaparra) should be given any more of a shot than DeWitt would have in LaRoche's current position (if that makes sense).
2008-05-06 10:32:26
118.   fanerman
110 Oh yeah. Now I remember. =(
2008-05-06 10:33:30
119.   Gilberto Reyes
94 Dewitt got to start a number of consecutive games this year out of necessity. They had nobody healthy left in the organization. And DeWitt has shocked us all with his play and poise. I don't think LaRoche showed the poise and confidence last year in the bigs that DeWitt has shown in 2008. However, I am convinced that LaRoche will at some point soon. And as much as I appreciate DeWitt this year, a healthy LaRoche with his power and plate discipline should be starting at 3rd every day. Management did rush Nomar back, but I think they are being smart with LaRoche right now.
2008-05-06 10:33:33
120.   KG16
LaRoche lost, what, half of spring training to injury?

This isn't going to be popular around here, but I say give him until Memorial Day in Vegas to get back to game speed. If DeWitt falters between now and then, and LaRoche is playing well, bring him up, but otherwise, give him a month.

2008-05-06 10:34:21
121.   regfairfield
113 It makes sense that DePo looks good in analysis like that, any bad players he acquired would have been jettisoned by now. Plus Kent should be considered a Colletti guy at this point.
2008-05-06 10:34:59
122.   Bob Timmermann
The San Diego DA has announced the arrests of 96 students at San Diego State in connection with a drug-selling ring.

There were just 96?

2008-05-06 10:36:09
123.   Eric Stephen
97
I don't disagree with your lineup, but humor me. Assume a good version of Greg Harris is pitching, to remove handedness from the equation. What is your one lineup?
2008-05-06 10:37:06
124.   Daniel Zappala
106 I remember a lot of DT regulars lobbying for Fukudome. Would have been fun.
2008-05-06 10:37:59
125.   Rob M
121

I was thinking the same thing about DePo's guys but the fact remains that Ned's success rate on the moves he's made has been unacceptably poor. That's not news around here, but I appreciate seeing such a thorough analysis in a national forum.

2008-05-06 10:38:43
126.   regfairfield
Plus Sheehan is assuming the WARP has a linear value, when really it's exponential. A six win player is way more than twice as valuable than a three win one.

I'm guessing he knew the conclusion he wanted ("Ned Sucks") then wrote an article around it.

2008-05-06 10:38:52
127.   Eric Stephen
124
My fantasy team is named after him ("Beyond Fukudome"), but I pronounce it as a Rule 1 violation, sort of an homage to Mad Max.
2008-05-06 10:39:20
128.   Daniel Zappala
124 Following up, I wonder if the Dodgers would have been more willing to sign Fukudome if they had realized they could play Kemp in CF.
2008-05-06 10:41:45
129.   bhsportsguy
I wonder if anyone will ever admit that Ned getting a few months of Julio Lugo and the two draft picks (Withrow/Adkins) for Guzman, Pedroza and Ruggiano will ever be seen as a good move.
2008-05-06 10:43:20
130.   Bob Timmermann
I doubt the Dodgers were seriously considering signing Fukudome given the erratic track record of Japanese position players coming over to MLB.

Japanese pitchers are probably viewed as the "safe" free agent investment.

2008-05-06 10:43:23
131.   Eric Stephen
129
It might be a good move, but it's hard to admit that because Guzman's perceived value was much higher, to the point that Ned probably should have received more in return, even if Withrow & Adkins turn out great.
2008-05-06 10:43:38
132.   imperabo
I still think the Dodgers view LaRoche as the future, and they are trying to put him is the best position to succeed. I don't see anything wrong with letting him get back into a groove before they call him up, especially with Dewitt playing well.

We all complained about Kemp sitting againts "tough righties" earlier in the season, but he wouldn't be hitting anywhere near .330 now if he hadn't. He's done all his damage againt lefties this year. I think we ivory tower folks are too cavalier in dismising the psycholgical aspects of player development.

2008-05-06 10:43:49
133.   Jon Weisman
128 - I thought of you while making my Angels comment up top.
2008-05-06 10:43:58
134.   Gilberto Reyes
108 Who said that LaRoche needs more seasoning? I think he is only in AAA as a form of spring training right now. I don't think that management feels he has anything left to prove.

94 LaRoche does deserve more of a shot than DeWitt because his upside compared to DeWitt is huge.

2008-05-06 10:44:08
135.   Bob Timmermann
129
The Summer of Lugo! Who can ever forget?
2008-05-06 10:46:17
136.   D4P
135
Followed by The Summer of LuGo!
2008-05-06 10:46:57
137.   Jon Weisman
132 - Maybe we just emphasize different psychological aspects. I think there's a psychological benefit to knowing you're going to play every day and to being challenged by the best. I would take an 0 for 4 against Peavy if I thought the player could learn from it.
2008-05-06 10:47:02
138.   whodat807
130 Just out of curiosity, which Japanese position players have been bad? Off the top of my head, I can remember only one Japanese position player that wasn't at least decent (Shinjo) and a bunch of awful Japanese pitchers (Kei Igawa, for example). It seems to me that Japanese position players have been the better investment.
2008-05-06 10:47:14
139.   Eric Stephen
132
Yeah, I'm not as worked up over LaRoche being optioned as I thought I would be. Obviously, I would prefer he be here ASAP, but if he gets a couple of weeks to let his hand heal more (and for his throws to improve), it's wise to call him up when he's at full strength.

However, if a couple of weeks go by, and LaRoche is still in AAA when he is healthy and ready, then it's castle storming time.

2008-05-06 10:47:57
140.   regfairfield
138 Kaz Matsui isn't all that great.
2008-05-06 10:48:01
141.   JoeyP
123--My one lineup:

Furcal
Martin
Kemp
Kent
Ethier
LaRoche
Loney
Pierre

Overall, I like LaRoche more than DeWitt, and think long-term its better that he play now. Loney, is of course better than Nomar but I can see the argument for benching him against LHP.

Sad to say, but at this point I'd rather have Pierre in there over Druw. Druw's splits vs LHP though are good enough where he has to still play against them.

2008-05-06 10:48:13
142.   Eric Stephen
138
The man who lost his job to Mike Edwards, for one: Norihiro Nakamura.
2008-05-06 10:48:58
143.   Eric Stephen
141
Thanks.
2008-05-06 10:50:52
144.   whodat807
138 Haha, yes, Nakamura was awful, but he was only signed to a minor league deal, if I recall correctly. In terms of higher profile signings of Japanese players, I think that Japanese pitchers have been an extremely mixed bag, while the position players have been surprisingly solid. I might be wrong.
2008-05-06 10:52:48
145.   Louis in SF
C Martin
ss Furcal
2b Kent
1b Loney
Rf Kemp
3b DeWitt
CF Jones*
LF Ethier

If over the next two weeks Jones shows no major improvements than I really think we go to the platoon of JP and Jones and on the days JP plays Kemp plays Center. For 3b I stick with DeWitt with Nomar spelling DeWitt on occasion. I agree that La Roche needs a real chance, but I think a few weeks of regular play in Las Vegas will actually be good for since he had no spring training. As I recall also La Roche played some outfield and I do think come next year the Dodgers might be able to trade JP, they will never DFA Jones even if his struggles continue, so they will need another outfielder with power and that might be where LaRoche ends up

2008-05-06 10:53:07
146.   StolenMonkey86
129 - It would have been a good move if Little didn't keep batting him 3rd. The draft picks were nice though - I'm all in favor of Logan White doing more.
2008-05-06 10:53:29
147.   Rob M
Does anyone else think that Ethier is a better outfielder than Kemp and should play CF ahead of him? It looks like he has better instincts and, while he's not as fast, I feel like his better jumps more than make up for it. I think his arm is sufficient as well.
2008-05-06 10:55:03
148.   whodat807
140 You're right, he has been pretty mediocre. That said, he was an extremely useful player while he was with the Rockies.
2008-05-06 10:55:14
149.   Daniel Zappala
133 I think the resurgence of Ervin Santana is one of the great baseball stories of the season so far. He's always had talent, but suffered through some terrible problems last year. If he keeps it up, he could be Comeback Player, All Star, possibly Cy Young?

Saunders has been great too, but I don't know if he can be expected to keep it up. Both of them have been great surprises and have kept the Angels afloat while they lack their top two pitchers. Neither is strong enough to make you feel like they won't revert at some point.

2008-05-06 10:55:35
150.   imperabo
137 Yeah, but if a guys starts flirting with Mendoza the way LaRoche did in his callup then it undermines his confidence and turns the fans against him.
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2008-05-06 10:57:44
151.   Penarol1916
144. I think that the issue with Japanese position players in the past has been that their power has been less than assumed.
2008-05-06 11:00:38
152.   dsfan
A few observations:

Hand fractures are known to rob a hitter of his power, not permanently, but it can take weeks, months, even more than a year after the bone has healed for the hitter to get it all back. Who knows how long it will take LaRoche? Maybe he's already back to his peak form, though I doubt it. I'd prefer he have a less pressurized environment to stage his comeback. The PCL seems ideal for him right now. If his hand's fully recovered and his talent is what it appears to be, he'll get another shot.

The outfield situation seems pretty workable to me, even a win-win-win-win, should be enough ABs for all four of these guys, might even be of benefit to them by keeping them fresh physically -- specifically, Jones and Pierre, who are past their prime years and have played a ton of innings the last several years. Each guy might be a half step quicker just because he'll be fresher. I also think playing the matchups will benefit each hitter. There's such a diversity of pitching out there, including relievers, that it's nice to be able to sit a guy against certain pitchers who are going to be really tough on him, prep him that night to come of the bench against a less unfavorable opponent.

One other thing, and I toss this out there pretty lightly, would Kershaw benefit from having to face more adversity before the Dodgers bring him to the majors? I tend to think he would. Not saying I want him to get knocked around several times, but I kind of think it would be good for him to have to cope with at least some degree of failure while he's in the minors, or at least greater challenges. If he continues to handle Double-A -- and that's obviously not a sure thing -- why not slot him in the PCL against all of those 4A hitters in tough pitching condition? In the long run, I think it might do him some good. I might be getting this wrong, but as I remember it, Pat Jordan had a pretty interesting take on Ankiel, saying that if he had gone through some growing pains in the minors, his chances of adapting to failure in the majors may have been greater. Interesting take.

2008-05-06 11:01:38
153.   27indigo
150 And it's hard to move north of Mendoza when your playing time is erratic at best. Kemp looked pretty bad before he started getting regular playing time. Can't imagine why it wouldn't help LaRoche.
2008-05-06 11:03:41
154.   alex 7
Unless he stated it, we have no idea that last season in the bigs hurt LaRoche's confidence. He could have gained confidence from his defensive play and strike-zone judgement.
2008-05-06 11:04:10
155.   27indigo
Maybe he's already back to his peak form, though I doubt it.

Well, he has two HR in 12 games played so far.

2008-05-06 11:06:01
156.   Jon Weisman
152 - Good thoughts.
2008-05-06 11:06:53
157.   Louis in SF
Bob just brought up the summer of Lugo, as I recall he came to the Dodgers wtih a low batting average to begin with, but I don't think he ever was below a BA of 200 for more than a day. I can't seem to recall that any regular Dodger with at least 200 AB has hit below 200? Am I correct, even Jeff Torborg back in the day hit above 200.
2008-05-06 11:07:52
158.   alex 7
dsfan, the psychology of a player is so unique, and varies from player to player.

It seems you would have two arguments with sending Kershaw to AAA. One is yours, which is that facing adversity might toughen him up and prepare him for MLB life.

The flip side would be the concern that faltering in an environment that may be slanted towards hitters may cause Kershaw to change his approach, alter something that doesn't really need to be altered, or weaken his confidence.

I don't know which would be right. I don't know that anyone does. Just stating what the two sides would be.

2008-05-06 11:09:29
159.   Jon Weisman
Does the park that was suggested for the DT picnic have a playground for little kids?
2008-05-06 11:10:16
160.   Hythloday
129 BH, I think if push comes to shove most would agree that Ned (whoever came up with the Darth Flanders nickname should get some sort of prize) has made some good moves. Frankly, I was very hopeful about the Jones signing.

If I were an owner and I were to do outcomes assessments for my employees. Wins would be the primary metric for the manager, but would only be a secondary metric for the GM. Overall, including wins, Ned has been a bit of a disaster. If I were Frank I would care about value per dollar committed. According to that outcome alone Ned is an unmitigated disaster as a GM.

Tip of the cap: Didn't trade away the farm and made some savvy trades.

Wag of the finger: Used huge financial advantage to purchase negative to zero wins.

2008-05-06 11:12:13
161.   ROC
My lineup (given likely roster 6/1):
C Martin
1B Loney
2B Kent
3B LaRoche
SS Furcal
LF Ethier
CF Jones
RF Kemp

Significant subs (% of games started):
Pierre 25%
Nomar 25%
Bennett 8% (begrudgingly)
Abreu/DeWitt ??% (depends on DL)

This raises whom the subs take playing time from. Rest, "hot hand", injury, slumps, etc. may factor in. Since I think most of our lineups are the same, I'd be curious what % of folks would be satisfied having a non-regular start if health isn't a factor. I think we can agree Martin & Kent need the most rest.

2008-05-06 11:12:53
162.   Hythloday
152 Actually with a talent like Kershaw I think he might benefit from facing adversity at the major league level a la Kemp in his first cup of coffee. It might behoove him to get knocked around a bit and go back to the minors to work on the gaps in his game.
2008-05-06 11:13:02
163.   alex 7
but yeah, good post dsfan.

I can certainly see how the OF rotation keeps everyone fresh and alert. No one can get mentally complacent. (except Jones, who may already be :)

Some athletes certainly put forth a better effort when they find themselves competing for time. Others aren't suited to handle this well. Pierre didn't handle it well in ST, but looks more relaxed now. So far it seems everyone has benefited from it.

2008-05-06 11:17:15
164.   underdog
152 But is it a hand fracture or more specifically a "thumb fracture" we're dealing with re: LaRoche? Maybe it makes no difference with your analogy but I'm just wondering aloud about the history of that particular injury, seems like less recovery time and not sure about long term power numbers.

Re: Fukkudome, did the Dodgers even have a shot at him even if they were interested? And given the Kuroda deal, separate even from Jones, would they have wanted to take a chance on two players from Japan? I feel like there's no real point in debating this (other than possibly to torture ourselves).

I'm kinda happy the Dodgers have been the hottest team in baseball for the past two weeks. Hopefully these other things will sort themselves out in the right way. My ideal lineup wouldn't really differ from the most frequent one posted above. (Except Pee Wee needs to play more! Heh.)

2008-05-06 11:19:00
165.   madmac
Ned probably should have received more in return

the problem with this is that we really don't know if he could have gotten more. We may think he should have, but maybe other GM's didn't feel his value was as high as us Dodger fans did. Maybe 6 months earlier he could have fetched more, but at that time he wasn't quite so sexy.

2008-05-06 11:19:43
166.   Jon Weisman
Lowest BA, L.A. Dodgers, min 200 AB.

http://www.bb-ref.com/pi/shareit/Mnzj

2008-05-06 11:20:52
167.   underdog
Were there any other Dodger Q&As in Neyer's chat today? (For anyone who has Insider subscription.)
2008-05-06 11:21:39
168.   ROC
With Jones, I believe he's still capable of much more than we've seen. I also believe that this team may make the playoffs without him, but likely not advance unless he's performing at least at 2007 levels. He won't improve sitting on the bench. So it's a tricky balancing act getting him enough AB's while not dragging the team down and letting current producers (Pierre right now) play enough to get wins.

Part of me wishes Andruw would have a minor DL injury, so he could go to Vegas and get his groove back against AAA pitching. BP performance isn't translating to game time...I can't think of a better way.

2008-05-06 11:21:46
169.   Jon Weisman
166- Don Zimmer ranks first on the above list. Mike Piazza ranks last.
2008-05-06 11:25:26
170.   underdog
{re-opening an old chestnut} So, Pierre's doing well, which helps the team and helps any chance they may have of trading him if so desired. SO, since we all agree a trade to the Padres is unlikely, any other likely suitors? A trade wouldn't really be likely, if at all, until July anyway, so I guess we have to see what other team's needs are. I'm one of those who is happy to have the depth right now, given Jones' struggles, but with some other OF depth (Repko, Young, f'rinstance) and IF Jones does get his act together somewhat, Pierre doing well at least makes a trade in the future a possibility again.
{/old chestnuts, OFF}
2008-05-06 11:30:04
171.   Jacob L
166 What an amazing list. 2 of the top 10 (A. Griffin and Mike Davis) were semi-regulars on our last championship team, as per our discussion yesterday. Many other familiar faces from the 1988 team are on the list for other seasons (Anderson, Stubbs, Shelby). The fact that Griffin, in particular, was such an offensive sinkhole was not something I didn't appreciate until much later. Makes Christian Guzman look awesome, by comparison.
2008-05-06 11:32:42
172.   kinbote
I just figured out Ned's big offseason move:

First, Pierre signs for 5y/$44m; then, Jones for 2y/$36.2m; NEXT:

Ken Griffey Jr. for 1y/27m!

(BTW, someone on U.S.S. Mariner was saying the M's should trade for Pierre. Hmmm. Bavasi & Colletti . . .)

2008-05-06 11:34:46
173.   Bob Timmermann
I don't think that Japanese position players have been viewed as being as good as they were in Japan with the exception of Ichiro. Whether that is true or not is one thing, but there are perceptions.

Hideki Matsui was considered the top Japanese power hitter, but his best season for homers in the U.S. has been 31.

Tadahito Iguchi showed good power his first two seasons, but it appears that age and playing in Petco has put an end to that.

But Kazuo Matsui is still the Japanese player that teams fear they are going to get stuck with.

Remember also that Fukudome missed the second half of the 2007 season with an elbow injury and that probably scared off a few teams.

2008-05-06 11:36:02
174.   Bob Timmermann
171
So far this year, Cristian Guzman is 309/331/463. He already has three home runs.
2008-05-06 11:37:48
175.   madmac
168 what better place and time than on the big club now to let Jones try and work through his problems. Better to do it when the Dodgers can score a lot and win without him producing in the lineup than later when the team is struggling as a whole.
2008-05-06 11:40:16
176.   bigcpa
Pierre finally plays himself into a trade-able commodity, and now we actually need the guy around. That is better irony than anything Alannis Morrisette could dream up.
2008-05-06 11:44:15
177.   Jon Weisman
176 - What isn't?
2008-05-06 11:46:39
178.   bigcpa
177 Pierre is like 10,000 spoons when all you need is a knife.
2008-05-06 11:49:17
179.   Jacob L
He's like rain on your wedding day. Actually, it did rain on my wedding day. It started just as we moved from the outdoor ceremony to the indoor reception. Everybody got a nice little refreshing sprinkle as they came in. It was kind of nice. Juan Pierre is nothing like that. Never mind.
2008-05-06 11:51:08
180.   fanerman
Wikipedia sez:

The song's usage of the word "ironic" attracted attention for what many feel is an improper application of the term. Some situations that Morissette describes in the song are arguably examples of cosmic irony: events that, as the Oxford English Dictionary puts it, appear "as if in mockery of the fitness or rightness of things", such as "a death row pardon/two minutes too late". Others appear to be merely unfortunate (not even improbable or coincidental), such as "a black fly/in your Chardonnay" or "A traffic jam/when you're already late." If one discounts cosmic irony, however, it is arguable that the song is ironic in and of itself - there is a fundamental incongruity in a song titled "Ironic" which ultimately contains no irony, an interpretation that Morissette herself has supported.

2008-05-06 11:51:38
181.   fanerman
Someone should write a song called "Cosmic Ironic."
2008-05-06 11:52:41
182.   Bob Timmermann
178
I see you know how to play knifey-spooney.
2008-05-06 11:53:44
183.   bhsportsguy
180 This is why I never use "ironic" anymore.

That and being slapped down by Bob Timmermann and the grammer/usage police.

2008-05-06 11:55:35
184.   Bob Timmermann
183
gpellamjr made me turn in my badge and style guide and drummed me out of the Grammar Police. It was a formal ceremony. Sort of like what happened to Dreyfus.
2008-05-06 11:55:42
185.   Eric Enders
Feeling a bit contrarian today.

C Martin
1B Loney
2B Kent
3B LaRoche
SS Furcal
LF Ethier
CF Kemp
RF Young

2008-05-06 11:56:39
186.   Bob Timmermann
185
Then you should go write for Slate.
2008-05-06 11:59:51
187.   Eric Enders
Wouldn't it be more contrarian for a contrarian to refuse to write for Slate?

So, that's what I'm doing. No writing for Slate today. Take that, contrarian establishment!

2008-05-06 12:01:54
188.   Disabled List
My ideal Dodger lineup:

C Martin
1B Loney
2B Kent
3B A-Rod
SS Furcal
LF Kemp
CF Victorino/Werth
RF Guerrero

We could've had that lineup. So close...

2008-05-06 12:03:11
189.   Eric Enders
We were never close to A-Rod, unless you're talking about the 1993 draft.
2008-05-06 12:03:12
190.   Eric Stephen
We're up to 14 votes for the lineup. Get your vote in today!
2008-05-06 12:03:45
191.   Bob Timmermann
187
Slate will likely have an article for the weekend titled, "Why Your Mother Really Hates You and You Shouldn't Get Her Anything for Mother's Day."
2008-05-06 12:03:45
192.   Eric Stephen
188
Doesn't count!
2008-05-06 12:05:00
193.   Eric Stephen
191
If Slate wrote shows for CBS, Monday would include "How I Wish I Never Met Your Mother."
2008-05-06 12:06:37
194.   Jon Weisman
I know people heard the Bison reference on the postgame show last night, but I guess no one saw the pregame? Lyons just e-mailed to say he plugged the site and credited us for the nickname on the pregame show.
2008-05-06 12:08:10
195.   Eric Enders
I don't get pregame or postgame shows. Extra Innings starts with "Time for Dodger Baseball" and after the game, cuts off within 5 seconds of the last out.
2008-05-06 12:10:10
196.   jasonungar07
Nomar, even though he never won the job out of spring wont loose the job now. Even though Nomar cant even play and LaRoche and Dewitt both homered last night for current dodger teams...
2008-05-06 12:11:48
197.   bhsportsguy
194 Did not catch the show either but its cool that the site got a plug.

SS Fucral
LF Ethier
RF Kemp
2B Kent
1B Loney
C Martin
CF Jones
3B LaRoche

2008-05-06 12:11:57
198.   GMac In The 909
My vote:

C - Martin
1B - Loney
2B - Kent
SS - Furcal
3B - LaRoche
LF - Pierre
CF - Kemp
RF - Ethier

2008-05-06 12:12:08
199.   Jacob Burch
194 I didn't see it, but the way the post-game worked it made sense. It started with Kennedy asking "What do they call him?"

He then took the higher road later in the segment, preferring Bison to "tinkle player" (and thank him for that)

All that's left is for Vin to work it into a Kemp AB...

2008-05-06 12:12:35
200.   madmac
188 I'm still very bitter that we don't have Guerrero. It's Bud's fault he isn't here. He was ours and Bud ruined it. The Dodgers should have gotten compensation for the leagues interference in the matter. I think an extra 1st round pick for each year that Vlad signed with the Angels.
Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2008-05-06 12:13:13
201.   gpellamjr
Count me in for the standard line-up, Mr. Stephen.

And, as for you Bob, I've quit the grammar police, too. Though I did it with much less ceremony. It's just too hard to grade papers quarter after quarter when you hold your students to some standard.

2008-05-06 12:14:02
202.   Kevin Lewis
To be clear: I am not frustrated with LaRoche getting some more time in AAA right now, as long as he gets his shot when he is deemed "healthy".

I am frustrated that so many fans and media types have written him off based on a small, sporadic sample of playing time at the big league level.

My ideal lineup as of today:

C Martin
1B Loney
2B Kent
SS Furcal
3B Dewitt
LF Pierre
CF Kemp
RF Ethier

2008-05-06 12:15:49
203.   StolenMonkey86
191 - That reminds me of this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Rnig2EHzDg

2008-05-06 12:16:13
204.   fanerman
200 Well our owner has to be partly to blame too, right?
2008-05-06 12:16:27
205.   arborial
178 is that because Pierre is really fast but never gets on base?
2008-05-06 12:20:48
206.   madmac
204 well that is when the purchase was being approved and all. As I understand it Frank was under prssure not to make any big moves like that.
2008-05-06 12:22:53
207.   regfairfield
Or we could have not said "nah, we'll just take Wilton" long before that.
2008-05-06 12:23:25
208.   cargill06
i'm with 202
2008-05-06 12:24:09
209.   Eric Stephen
194 ,195
I had the Dodger pregame show, or at least a few minutes of it last night on Extra Innings, and I didn't catch the reference. I did tune in a few minutes after 7pm though. I assume someone at EI flipped the switch at 7pm on the dot so we got 5-10 minutes of pregame prior to the start of the contest.
2008-05-06 12:25:46
210.   Jim Hitchcock
195 Strange, but last night it didn't cut out
until in the middle of `Torre's Stories. That's the first time this year, though.
2008-05-06 12:26:51
211.   Bob Timmermann
201
Does this mean I can leave Devil's Island?
2008-05-06 12:27:52
212.   madmac
207 the corky experiment didn't work out so well.
2008-05-06 12:28:43
213.   underdog
194 Sweet!
Thanks, Psycho.

Okay, okay, twist my arm, Eric S.

C - Martin
1B - Sweeney (I'm kidding!) Loney
2B - Kent
SS - Furcal
3B - LaRoche
LF - Young (Hah! Take that, payroll!)
CF - Kemp
RF - Ethier

DH - (for @AL games) Young (move Pierre in to left)
or, for Daniel Z, John Lindsay.

2008-05-06 12:28:51
214.   madmac
207 nevermind 212 I didn't catch your NOT in there.
2008-05-06 12:30:22
215.   D4P
LF - Young (Hah! Take that, payroll!)

Payroll responds by reminding you that Jones and Pierre get paid just as much to sit on the bench as to stand on the field.

2008-05-06 12:31:32
216.   Eric Stephen
With 19 entries thus far, here are the results:

Unanimous Regulars
Martin
Loney
Kent
Furcal
Kemp
Ethier

3B
LaRoche 14 (73.7%)
DeWitt 5 (26.3%)

3rd OF
Andruw 12 (63.2%)
Pierre 5 (26.3%)
Young 1 (5.3%)
Repko 1 (5.3%)

2008-05-06 12:32:20
217.   madmac
215 yeah, but they need the opportunity to NOT earn their money
2008-05-06 12:33:04
218.   fanerman
216 There is on love for Gary Bennett and his -9 OPS+.
2008-05-06 12:33:05
219.   Eric Stephen
216
Those numbers are through the cargill06 lineup, btw.
2008-05-06 12:33:42
220.   Disabled List
As long as Steve Lyons keeps throwing DT some love, he gets an A-OK from me.
2008-05-06 12:34:03
221.   Hythloday
216 Cast on more vote for Young in place of Jones/Pierre
2008-05-06 12:34:23
222.   Louis in SF
Jon

Thanks for my answer on 200 AB's. How could I ever forget the former MVP who came to the Dodgers I believe in 67. To think we also had to have Gene Michael for a shortstop as well!

2008-05-06 12:34:48
223.   Jim Hitchcock
201 You may be eligible to join the 101st Keyboard Commandos if you have a desire to ruthlessly root out typos.
2008-05-06 12:36:34
224.   MC Safety
C Martin
1b Loney
2b Kent
SS Furcal
3b LaRoche
LF Ethier
CF Miley McManboobs
RF The Bison

I think we should give Jones until June or July to get untracked.

2008-05-06 12:37:29
225.   underdog
215 But isn't it ironic?
2008-05-06 12:38:00
226.   silverwidow
Xavier Paul is on the RESERVE list in AAA Las Vegas. What does this mean? Below is the link to the website:

http://lasvegas.51s.milb.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?t=t_ros&cid=400&stn=true&sid=t400

2008-05-06 12:38:33
227.   gibsonhobbs88
I just feel bad for Ethier-even when he hits .300+ - he can't keep his everyday job in the lineup. I'm going to the game tonight, hopefully the bats keep it going and Kuroda is sharp. I'm in the reserve section 23 Row N. I'll have on my LA Dodger World Series Champions Jacket.

Congratulation to Blake Dewitt on his first HR! Nice shout out to DT by Lyons by making Bison references for Kemp on the postgame show on Fox.

2008-05-06 12:39:30
228.   Bob Timmermann
226
It means Paul is not on the active roster. There is a 24 player limit. And Miguel Pinango just was added to the roster.
2008-05-06 12:39:39
229.   Eric Enders
Delwyn's making a late run. Three votes and counting!

Delwyn wants your vote. Delwyn needs your vote. When the phone rings at Dodger Stadium at 3 a.m., who do you want in right field?

2008-05-06 12:40:01
230.   elandcohen
hey does anyone know the promo code for the $15 field seats for tomorrow's day game?
2008-05-06 12:40:19
231.   underdog
But Xavier Paul has been playing. So what it also might mean is it's a mistake.
2008-05-06 12:40:55
232.   Eric Enders
230 Wasn't it "Burger"?
2008-05-06 12:41:43
233.   Eric Enders
Or maybe Burgers.
2008-05-06 12:42:10
234.   silverwidow
231 He didn't play yesterday.

I remember Canuck saying something like "refusing to play" during the Tony Abreu fiasco last year. Could the same thing be happening here?

2008-05-06 12:42:27
235.   kinbote
229 You can't spell "wyn" without "Delwyn"!
2008-05-06 12:44:08
236.   cargill06
235 isn't it the other way around
2008-05-06 12:44:49
237.   Hythloday
235 or you know, vice-versa.
2008-05-06 12:45:49
238.   Bob Timmermann
234
According to the boxscore, Paul pinch ran yesterday. And Pinango pitched.
2008-05-06 12:47:20
239.   El Lay Dave
81 My "preferred starting lineup right now"

C - Martin
1B - Loney
2B - Kent
3B - DeWitt
SS - Furcal
LF - Ethier
CF - Jones
RF - Kemp

because I refuse to believe that Jones has fallen off the career cliff already (though it is possible) and because I'm in the LaRoche needs some more "rehab" time camp. In 10-14 days, when LaRoche is completely healthy and comfortable playing everyday, I would choose him over DeWitt.

2008-05-06 12:47:35
240.   Jon Weisman
238 - Alanis should have done a son called "Alliteration," with a lot of words that didn't start with the same letter.
2008-05-06 12:47:48
241.   silverwidow
238 Thanks. Still find it strange, though.
2008-05-06 12:50:18
242.   natepurcell
Dewitt's OPS+ is 112. Can we stop complaining about him?
2008-05-06 12:51:31
243.   Daniel Zappala
213 God bless you. Tiffee would also work as DH for me.
2008-05-06 12:53:31
244.   Bob Timmermann
Jason Johnson is on the HTML version of the roster, but not on PDF version of the roster for the 51s.
http://tinyurl.com/3fq5zd
2008-05-06 12:54:00
245.   Eric Enders
Is there a single person who's actually been complaining about DeWitt? Stating that his BABIP-fueled performance is unsustainable, and that LaRoche is likely to be the better player from this point forward, are not complaints. I think everyone appreciates what he's done so far.
2008-05-06 12:54:08
246.   Gen3Blue
166,171 I had forgotten how bad Alfredo Griffin could be. It is amazing he got that many AB's that year.
2008-05-06 12:55:20
247.   bhsportsguy
From various internet sources.

There are two separate lists of players for minor league teams: the "active list", and the "reserve list".

Players may be transferred between these lists before the start of each game, but only players who are on the "active list" at the start of the game can play in a particular game.

The "reserve list" includes all players on the "active list".
AAA and AA teams are allowed 24 players on their "active list" for the first 30 games. They are allowed 23 players on their active list after that until August 10th, when they are allowed to have 24 players. The "reserve list" limit is 38 players for AAA teams and 37 players for AA teams.

2008-05-06 12:55:55
248.   Eric Enders
Griffin was also the most aggressively stupid baserunner the Dodgers have had during my lifetime. Mondesi was aggressive, too, but at least he'd make it some of the time. Seemed like Griffin would get thrown out every time he tried to advance an extra base.
2008-05-06 12:57:21
249.   El Lay Dave
Jason Repko has the following slash-triple MLB career stat line: .232 / .302 / .382 in 451 PA. That's just nine short of four times the MLB PAs of Andy LaRoche and all of Repko's PA were at an age older than LaRoche was to start ST this year. At age 27 Repko is again in AAA ball and is danger of becoming the next conductor of George Lombard's orchestra more so than in line to becoming a 25-man roster member.
2008-05-06 12:59:48
250.   Eric Enders
247 So basically, Paul being on the Reserve List means he's getting the day off. Much ado about nothing, probably.
Show/Hide Comments 251-300
2008-05-06 13:01:19
251.   natepurcell
Is there a single person who's actually been complaining about DeWitt? Stating that his BABIP-fueled performance is unsustainable, and that LaRoche is likely to be the better player from this point forward, are not complaints. I think everyone appreciates what he's done so far.

Ok maybe complaining wasn't the right word. But there are a lot of people here basically just waiting for Dewitt to fail to affirm the fact that their horse (Laroche) is the right horse to ride.

I love Laroche as much as the next Dodger prospect fanatic but Dewitt is getting the job done right here, right now. He has not done anything to have that taken away from him. Lets just see where this takes us. Yes, his minor league numbers are not as stellar. Yes, he hasn't progressed as quickly as we all would have hoped since being drafted in 2004. But Dewitt has always been a player that scouts have really liked because they see something in his swing, his work ethic and personality. The road that he took to get here has been uncharacteristic but is here now and making the most of his opportunity.

2008-05-06 13:02:50
252.   El Lay Dave
BTW - is there any service time consideration to keeping LaRoche in AAA a little longer? I don't know the exact numbers, but it seems to me that he might still be under one year at the end of the season if he is in AAA long enough.
2008-05-06 13:07:19
253.   natepurcell
http://drivelinemechanics.com/2008/04/21/pitcher-analysis-hiroki-kuroda/

this guy doesn't like Kuroda's mechanics.

2008-05-06 13:07:55
254.   Gen3Blue
252 I don't know exactly, but these things become important for it is obvious that we are going to have quite a little bunch of good players reaching free agentcy in the same one or two years.
2008-05-06 13:09:19
255.   Bob Timmermann
250
In hockey terms, Paul is a "healthy scratch."
2008-05-06 13:12:23
256.   Jon Weisman
251 - Most of my carping relates to the expectations double-standard for LaRoche and DeWitt, and the (perhaps irrational) fear that LaRoche will get buried. I'm enjoying what Blake's doing - I'm genuinely thrilled for him.

If it weren't for Nomar's presence, I'd hardly sweat this - I'd just assume it would take care of itself.

2008-05-06 13:13:02
257.   Eric Enders
252 Interesting thought, but he'd have to stay in AAA for over two months for that to become relevant. He had 56 days of service time coming into 2008, and (if I'm counting correctly) has accumulated 34 more days this year for a total of 90. A full year of service time is 172 days. So in order to finish 2008 with less than a year of service time, he'd need to be in the minors until 81 days before the end of the season. By my calculation, that is July 10th.

So if they call him up before July 10, he'll accumulate a year or more of service time. After the 10th, he'd accumulate less than a year of service time.

2008-05-06 13:13:12
258.   Eric Stephen
251
Nate, can you give me your lineup? Sorry if I missed it earlier.
2008-05-06 13:16:30
259.   Gagne55
I guess I might as well vote:
C - Martin
1B- Loney
2B- Kent
SS- Furcal
3B- Dewitt (I don't expect him to keep up his pace, but LaRoche needs to show he can stay healthy, tough choice for me)
LF- Ethier
CF- Jones (history shows its best to stick with the stars)
RF- Kemp
2008-05-06 13:16:41
260.   whodat807
251

"But there are a lot of people here basically just waiting for Dewitt to fail to affirm the fact that their horse (Laroche) is the right horse to ride."

I agree with that completely.

2008-05-06 13:17:20
261.   CodyS
248 Ever see Wilton Guerrero play baseball? He was literally unbelievable. If an actual Bison somehow played baseball, it would make smarter decisions than Wilton Guerrero.
2008-05-06 13:18:27
262.   kinbote
259 Ditto.
2008-05-06 13:18:54
263.   elandcohen
232-thanks
2008-05-06 13:19:45
264.   regfairfield
260 That waiting for him to fail does probably describe me, though I would add the word "inevitably" in there somewhere.
2008-05-06 13:19:52
265.   D4P
Are there are a lot of people here basically just waiting for Pierre to fail to affirm the fact that their horse (Ethier) is the right horse to ride...?
2008-05-06 13:21:02
266.   Jon Weisman
260 - "waiting" and "hoping" are two very different things. It's not as if I'm sorry DeWitt is doing well. For what he's meant to the team, they could send him to the minors tomorrow and I'd hope he'd get a full playoff share.
2008-05-06 13:21:55
267.   whodat807
My line-up:
C- Martin
1B- Loney
2B- Kent
SS- Furcal
3B- DeWitt
LF- Ethier
CF- Jones
RF- Kemp

I like Hu coming in late as a defensive replacement, and Pierre to be a spot starter, especially for Jones. And I don't mind riding with Pierre for a spell when he's hitting as well as he has been the past couple of weeks. I like LaRoche, but I don't think he should be anything more than an occasional sub until DeWitt cools down considerably (and I'm not convinced he will, predictive statistics be damned).

2008-05-06 13:21:57
268.   silverwidow
What will happen to Greg Miller? He is walking 11 per 9 IP, with an ERA over 8.

And he's out of options starting in March.

2008-05-06 13:22:24
269.   wronghanded
Lineup as of today:

C - Martin
1B- Loney
2B- Kent
SS- Furcal
3B- Dewitt (of course LaRoche could change this opinion in a short amount of time)
LF- Ethier
CF- Jones
RF- Kemp

2008-05-06 13:27:03
270.   bhsportsguy
NCAA pulls 2 scholarships from USC for 2008-2009 academic year

On the one hand, its for basketball so it nots their bread and butter sport but someone is going to have be pretty creative to get to scholarship players to "walk-on" since they would have to pay their own way and I am pretty sure that it costs $30,000+ plus food and lodging costs for the year.

2008-05-06 13:34:04
271.   Marty
Furry
Martin
Kemp
Kent
Ethier
Loney
Laroche
Pierre

Jon, please thank Lyons for me (all of us?) for the DT shout out.

2008-05-06 13:35:57
272.   whodat807
265 266
I understand the difference -- I don't think anybody on here is anything less than thrilled at DeWitt's production. But I'm seeing a lot of favor being thrown LaRoche's because of their attachment to him as a player, and with that comes an effort to devalue DeWitt's play, at times unfairly.

As for Pierre, yes, I absolutely think that people are waiting for him to fail. And not only that, I think a lot of people actively hope he fails.

2008-05-06 13:36:32
273.   fanerman
I think as good as DeWitt has been, LaRoche will be better. I also think DeWitt should go to AAA and try to learn to play 2B.
2008-05-06 13:36:40
274.   Sac Town Dodger Fan
Andruw Jones holds a .364 average with one home run in 11 career at-bats off Figueroa.

-Looking for anything positive with this guy.

2008-05-06 13:37:24
275.   Jon Weisman
271 - I thanked him and sent him the link to the Hardball Made Easy video.

272 - My attachment to LaRoche comes from my belief in his overall greater potential. Emotionally, he and DeWitt are in the same place for me.

2008-05-06 13:37:47
276.   underdog
Ah well. My attempt to set Mets blog commenters straight that Billingsley is not a "middling prospect" fell on stubbornly deaf ears, it appears. I tried.
2008-05-06 13:40:46
277.   KG16
251 - I concur. But is the road DeWitt has taken all that different from what the road use to be? There was a lot more weight put in what scouts said (rather than numbers) and an understanding that "it" clicks for guys at different levels. Or maybe I'm just yearning for a bygone era that never really existed.

And wow, I'm surprised that I'm the only vote for Repko so far.

2008-05-06 13:41:17
278.   regfairfield
272 Define "devalue his play unfairly".
2008-05-06 13:41:46
279.   bryanf
251 I'm with you 100%.
2008-05-06 13:43:42
280.   old dodger fan
216 Problem is this is not a democracy and only 1 person's vote counts and Ethier is not among his "Unanimous Regulars".
2008-05-06 13:45:14
281.   bhsportsguy
The more you see Matt play, the more "Bison" fits him.

Now if we can get them to refer to Matt as Bison instead of "the Bison."

2008-05-06 13:47:15
282.   El Lay Dave
257 So if LaRoche were never optioned this year and stayed up for all of '09, he's be around 2 1/3 years service time. Perhaps that brings "super two" status a little too close for comfort for the bean counters? Obviously the lower they keep the service time, the less likely he's in the top 17% of the two-to-three year players.
2008-05-06 13:47:15
283.   Longhorn Bill
Mine

C Martin
1B Loney
2B Kent
SS Furcal
3B LaRoche
LF Ethier
CF Jones
RF Kemp

2008-05-06 13:47:21
284.   underdog
Interesting new piece by Tim Brown on Willie Randolph and Joe Torre:
http://tinyurl.com/5npawh
2008-05-06 13:48:54
285.   bryanf
256 To Jon's point, as much as I am in favor of DeWitt, it is not at the expense of LaRoche, who I am also in favor of and hope gets a fair chance. For me the wrench is Nomar. Does Nomar deserve to be in the mix over DeWitt? Right now, I don't think so. The problem is I don't think the Dodgers agree with that sentiment. I think even the Dodgers are on the same page with us that LaRoche should be the starting 3rd baseman (or at least they thought that during spring training I think). The question is what do you do with Nomar now that DeWitt has had a chance to shine? Further complicating this is that Nomar is probably the favorite of the "casual" fan and DeWitt, since he is in the spotlight is likely second on that list. LaRoche has been more or less invisible to the majority of the fan base, I think. That can of course be remedied by sustained playing time.

Bottom line: for me it is not LaRoche vs. DeWitt, but Nomar vs. DeWitt.

2008-05-06 13:50:35
286.   KG16
Totally unrelated basketball question... the coaching carosel has started again and guys like Mark Jackson are being talked about for openings, why isn't anyone talking about Kareem as a potential coach?

The guy played for Wooden, he played for Riley, he's a six time MVP, and should get a lot of credit for making Bynum the player he became this year. So what's the deal?

2008-05-06 13:51:06
287.   trainwreck
My Lineup would be:
SS Furcal
C Martin
1B Loney
CF Kemp
2B Kent
LF LaRoche
RF Ethier
3B DeWitt
2008-05-06 13:51:30
288.   El Lay Dave
277 Given your liking for batting average, I'm surprised you are in favor of Repko. (See 249 ).
2008-05-06 13:51:58
289.   whodat807
278 I think people are judging him on what they predict he will do rather than what he has already done. You mentioned in 264 that DeWitt will 'inevitably' fail, which I think is a pretty unfair statement. Writing his play off as a fluke ignores how solid he's been.
2008-05-06 13:52:10
290.   underdog
285 - Well said.

I asked this before, I know, but what are the odds that LaRoche can play 2nd base? (It sounds like DeWitt's not a good candidate for it; been there, done that, didn't field very well there... but what about Andy? That could solve problems at least next season.)

286 - Maybe he doesn't want to be a head coach? He seems too sane to want to.

2008-05-06 13:52:11
291.   Eric Stephen
Updated tally through Marty's lineup (28 entries):

Unanimous Regulars
Martin
Loney
Kent
Furcal
Kemp
Ethier

3B
LaRoche 18 (64.3%)
DeWitt 10 (35.7%)

3rd OF
Andruw 18 (64.3%)
Pierre 6 (21.4%)
Young 3 (10.7%)
Repko 1 (3.6%)

And since I'm in the mood to compile data today, here are the results of the DT record predictions from back in March:

66 Predictions
Collective winning %: .546 (88.4 wins)
Median # of wins: 89
Highest prediction: 97-65 (Daniel Zappala & silverwidow)
Lowest prediction: 74-88 (Bob Timmermann)

Only two (Bob & MC Safety) predicted a losing record. 56 of 66 predicted 85 wins or higher.

27 of 68 (40%) predicted 90 wins or higher.

2008-05-06 13:52:16
292.   JoeyP
270---Lil Romeo I'd suspect will be one of the players that has to "walk-on", which is the way it should have been all along. His getting a scholarship to play at USC was ridiculous.
2008-05-06 13:53:24
293.   FirstMohican
286 - I think he's perceived to be antisocial and sullen.
2008-05-06 13:53:55
294.   Eric Enders
282 No, that's not it. Two years and 56 days wouldn't bring a guy anywhere near "Super Two" status. According to BP, every year since 1990 the cutoff has been somewhere between 2 years, 128 days and 2 years, 153 days.
2008-05-06 13:54:06
295.   KG16
287 - edgy

288 - eh, sometimes I like a guy despite my own measuring sticks; Repko's just one of those guys.

2008-05-06 13:54:38
296.   El Lay Dave
286 Kareem is likely perceived as someone who wouldn't handle the press corp well, nor schmooze up to the front office.
2008-05-06 13:54:59
297.   regfairfield
264 DeWitt has an uninspiring minor league track record, and has an OPS that is 142 points higher than it should be going by his batted ball types.

That pretty much spells inevitable failure to me.

2008-05-06 13:56:05
298.   Eric Stephen
287
I like the outside the box thinking, but it's screwing up my nice neat little exercise! :)
2008-05-06 13:56:29
299.   KG16
290 - I remember reading a lot of stories a year or two ago that he was doing everything he could to get a coaching job (to the point that he was coaching a high school girl's team on an Indian Reservation), and no one would bother calling.
2008-05-06 13:57:21
300.   fanerman
I think less people would be "waiting" for DeWitt to fail if his batted ball types were nicer than they currently are.
Show/Hide Comments 301-350
2008-05-06 13:58:00
301.   Eric Enders
Supposedly, about 8 or 9 years ago Kareem applied to be the head coach at UTEP and was rejected for not having any coaching experience.
2008-05-06 13:58:41
302.   Jacob L
Just going by my lying eyes, DeWitt seems to be a better candidate to play the middle infield than LaRoche. He certainly looks more athletic, but whatever the organization saw from him at second, they didn't like. Honestly, they're probably both capable of playing 2nd at least as well as the current version of Jeff Kent. What puzzles me is that the Dodgers seemed intent on giving Delwyn a crack at some infield innings during Spring Training, but haven't followed through in the season, even though he played quite well.
2008-05-06 13:59:10
303.   silverwidow
Furcal SS
Martin C
Kemp RF
Kent 2B
Ethier LF
LaRoche 3B
Loney 1B
Jones CF
2008-05-06 13:59:55
304.   whodat807
297
"...and has an OPS that is 142 points higher than it should be going by his batted ball types."

I might be in the minority here, but I roll my eyes at stats like that. Seems to me to that those are the sort of stats to devalue the other stats that don't conform to your expectations.

2008-05-06 14:01:02
305.   natepurcell
That waiting for him to fail does probably describe me, though I would add the word "inevitably" in there somewhere.

See, this is what I mean. Sometimes, looking too deep into things really takes the joy out of enjoying the great things about baseball. The belief that "oh this is a fluke, this isn't sustainable" kinda hampers the current accomplishments.

Now, you can point to his minor league record and his current LD% isn't supporting his BABIP, but looking outside the quantitative and watching Dewitt play, it doesn't look like a fluke. The at bats that he has had shows he has an idea when he gets up to the plate and the plate discipline he is displaying isn't a result of batting 8th, but more of a result of translating his contact hitting tools into pitch recognition skills.

The comparisons to Mike Edwards doesn't work either because for one thing, there is like what?- 6 years that separate them? While last year the numbers don't look that great at first glance, the improvement in ISOp is encouraging for the future.

I think in a lot of ways, Dewitt is a lot James Loney where scouts have always said "he's gunna hit, he will hit, don't worry about his bat will play." And it was just something that just took time.

I guess what I'm trying to say is what if the "inevitable" never comes? What if he sustains a 105-110 OPS+ in the majors for in his age 22 season. What happens then? Does he get re-evaluated based off his major league merits instead of (still) dwelling on his minor league past?

2008-05-06 14:01:09
306.   regfairfield
304 Then I guess I'm just being unfair.
2008-05-06 14:01:11
307.   El Lay Dave
294 Thanks, that's a nice nugget of information. Then I don't understand the option move at all (and I think this was already discussed here, so I will cease now.)
2008-05-06 14:01:27
308.   Jacob L
My lineup is same as 303 .
2008-05-06 14:02:08
309.   Gagne55
291 Standard deviation of wins?
2008-05-06 14:03:03
310.   Jon Weisman
The second half of Baskin-Robbins passed away.

http://www.latimes.com/news/obituaries/la-me-robbins7-2008may07,0,3080340.story

2008-05-06 14:03:29
311.   bhsportsguy
294 Upcoming Arbitration Eligible Dodgers

2008 - Jonathan Broxton, Andre Ethier, Russell Martin, Takeshi Saito
2009 - Chad Billingsley, Matt Kemp, James Loney, Hong-Chi Kuo

Currently, Andy LaRoche, Tony Abreu, Chin-Lung Hu, Blake Dewitt, Cory Wade would not be eligible until after 2010 at the earliest.

2008-05-06 14:03:55
312.   Eric Enders
DeWitt and LaRoche were both drafted as shortstops. At the time, here's what Baseball America said:

"DeWitt has arm strength and athleticism, but he's not a true shortstop. He'll move to second or third base once he turns pro or attends Georgia Tech, and he's intriguing as a possible catcher."

"The Dodgers will keep [LaRoche] at shortstop for now, though his long-term ability to stay there is uncertain. His instincts and arm strengths are plusses, but his range is fringy. LaRoche could handle the offensive and defensive responsibilities at second or third base, and Dodgers scouts are intrigued by his potential as a catcher."

2008-05-06 14:04:13
313.   natepurcell
297

Loney had a pretty uninspiring minor league record until his age 22 season too...then he broke out.

2008-05-06 14:04:30
314.   fanerman
305 Can't you enjoy his performance while being wary of his future? Discussing his major league LD% does not dwell on his minor league past.
2008-05-06 14:04:43
315.   Xeifrank
C - Martin
1B - Kent
2B - Hu
3B - Guo
SS - Furcal
LF - Ethier
CF - Kemp
RF - Loney
2008-05-06 14:04:50
316.   regfairfield
305 If or when DeWitt pulls his line drive percentage up by about 10 points, I'll believe in him. DeWitt's going to have to get by on making solid contact, and he's failed to do that thus far in his career.

I've never thought Blake DeWitt was a bad player, I'd never seen him play before but the fact that he strikes out so rarely means he must be doing something right, but he had a lot of things to work on. His increase in patience is very encouraging, and makes me believe he might actually be a functioning major leaguer some day, but not yet.

I'm not comparing him to Mike Edwards, I was just bring up the fact that even the worst players can look good for 80 plate appearances.

2008-05-06 14:05:11
317.   Eric Stephen
309
Standard Deviation was 4.25 wins.
2008-05-06 14:06:33
318.   Jon Weisman
According to the press notes, "Last night was game No. 4,000 in the history of Dodger Stadium."
2008-05-06 14:07:51
319.   Jon Weisman
"The Dodgers are 9-1 since April 25 and Kemp isn't the only one hitting. During that time, Juan Pierre is batting .444 (12-for-27) and leads the Majors with a .571 on-base percentage; Rafael Furcal leads the Majors in runs with 15 during that stretch; Russell Martin is fourth in baseball with a .417 average since April 25 and tied for second with 11 walks. "
2008-05-06 14:08:19
320.   Eric Stephen
315
I'm not counting that one, only because of 3B. :)
2008-05-06 14:09:09
321.   natepurcell
314

Absolutely you can but when I see words like "inevitably" and etc it just rubs me the wrong way. Those words/phrases should be reserved for journeymen players and veterans like Juan Pierre that have a consistent track record of whatever they are doing. There are so many dynamics that go into measuring young players, especially in this stage of their career where their baseball aptitude and skills are constantly growing.

2008-05-06 14:09:17
322.   Penarol1916
302. My hazy memory of the DeWitt at 2nd experiment in the minors was that he was also struggling with the bat at the time and it is possible that learning a new position and working out his offensive kinks may have been too much at that point in time. Now that he appears to be more comfortable offensively, perhaps it would be easier for him to work on the transition.
2008-05-06 14:10:31
323.   Humma Kavula
Lineup:

the standard six(Loney/Kent/Furcal/Martin/Kemp/Ethier)

DeWitt at 3B for now, but LaRoche doesn't need to hit too many more homers before I'm convinced

Jones in CF. It's possible that he's done, but he gets to start all year on my team. If he finishes this year hitting below the Mendoza line and below .300 OBP, we'll talk.

2008-05-06 14:10:34
324.   Jacob L
305 I, for one, am totally with you. DeWitt's play has been fun to watch, and there's always the possibility that he'll keep it up. If he does keep it up, its totally fair to look at him in a new light.

Its also important to remember that he's 27 games and 89 PAs into his career. The league has yet to adjust to him, and he has yet to adjust back. I think there's a middle ground between dismissing him and penciling him in at third for the next 10 years.

2008-05-06 14:10:38
325.   Xeifrank
320. He's the best hitter on the team.
vr, Xei
2008-05-06 14:10:58
326.   StolenMonkey86
315 - Switch Kuo and Loney if you're gonna do that. Kuo was a star outfielder in high school, so he's probably better there than Loney. But maybe put him in left...
2008-05-06 14:11:37
327.   StolenMonkey86
or at least Loney's probably better at 3rd than Kuo
2008-05-06 14:11:51
328.   Eric Enders
305 "The belief that "oh this is a fluke, this isn't sustainable" kinda hampers the current accomplishments."

I completely disagree with this. For me, knowing that a performance is a fluke doesn't hamper my appreciation or enjoyment in any way.

I mean, I knew Marlon Anderson wasn't a 1.250 OPS guy, but that didn't stop me from enjoying the 4+1 game. I knew Eric Stults wasn't going to be able to hold a spot in our rotation, but that didn't stop me from enjoying his debut at Shea Stadium. I knew Steve Finley wouldn't keep hitting a home run every 15 at-bats, but that didn't prevent me from enjoying the walk-off grand slam. I knew Willy Aybar wouldn't continue to get on base at a .448 clip, but that didn't prevent me from enjoying the hell out of his September 2005. I know Billingsley isn't going to break the single-season record for K/9, but that's not stopping me from enjoying what he's doing.

2008-05-06 14:12:16
329.   StolenMonkey86
323 - So you'd take a repeat of his 2007 performance?
2008-05-06 14:12:17
330.   El Lay Dave
310 If you couldn't get comment 31 for that, 310 will do. A 31-scoop salute in his honor.
2008-05-06 14:13:04
331.   Eric Enders
311 Is that taking into account that Abreu's currently on the major league DL?
2008-05-06 14:13:47
332.   natepurcell
I know Billingsley isn't going to break the single-season record for K/9, but that's not stopping me from enjoying what he's doing.

No no, that will happen :)

2008-05-06 14:13:53
333.   Humma Kavula
posting as Luis Gonzalez

C - Bennett
1B - Sweeney
2B - Kent
SS - Furcal
3B - Garciaparra
LF - Pierre
CF - Jones
RF - Hey, I've got a great idea...

2008-05-06 14:15:30
334.   Jacob Burch
assuming this is in a semi-vacuum (assuming, somehow,'Druw finds a way to OPS higher than 790 over a month)
C - Martin
1B - Loney
2B - Kent
SS - Furcal
3B - LaRoche
LF - Ethier
CF - Jones
RF - Kemp

if i had to win a one game playoff today, i'd probably play JP and DeWitt instead.

2008-05-06 14:16:13
335.   bhsportsguy
331 Pretty much all of those guys will not be Super Two candidates unless Abreu's appeal of his service time last summer changes things.
2008-05-06 14:16:19
336.   GobiasIndustries
I don't want to rehash the whole Ethier vs. Pierre debate because I know where everyone here stands. I would however like to address Pierre's recent "hot" streak. Does anyone find it coincidental that Pierre performed well in the two places that he used to call home? Both are gigantic parks with lots of real estate and quirky dimensions, perfect for someone like Pierre. All his little dink and dunk hits have a better chance of falling "in" than they do at say Wrigley (another former home where he floundered) and Dodgers Stadium.
I don't think it's a stretch to say that his offensive prowess is better suited to a bigger/quirkier park than say that of a more traditional one. By that rational I can see why Pierre was so valued for the numbers he put up in his Col/Fl days. The problem is when you take him out of the more spacious environment, his strengths almost become his weaknesses. We can all agree he's never had an arm so I'm not debating his defense. I'm just curious if anyone thinks that there is anything to what I'm saying.
The point I'm trying to make is that I think all we have to do is give JP another few games starting at home and in the next road series before he goes back to being the out machine that we are more accustomed to seeing. I want to see Ethier in there everyday because I think given the chance, he will flourish just like Kemp. I just hate the fact that I find myself not rooting for Pierre and moreover the Dodgers when he is up to bat.
2008-05-06 14:16:35
337.   natepurcell
what are these lineups for again?
2008-05-06 14:17:13
338.   StolenMonkey86
333 - Sweeney? That's not posting as Luis Gonzalez, that's Jim Tracy.
2008-05-06 14:17:26
339.   natepurcell
I'm kinda glad today has been more about Dewitt than the same Pierre debate from the last 14 months.
2008-05-06 14:17:52
340.   fanerman
337 Eric Stephen is taking a poll as to what everybody's preferred line-up is.
2008-05-06 14:18:38
341.   StolenMonkey86
339 - It's also nice that instead of a stupid move, it's just a confusing move.
2008-05-06 14:19:18
342.   natepurcell
340

Like...for the near future or for 2009? Or?

2008-05-06 14:19:35
343.   Humma Kavula
329 I'm not sure what "you'd take" means -- do you mean "Is a repeat of Jones' 2007 performance the floor to guarantee a spot on the 2009 team?"

The answer is, I don't know.

On the one hand, if that happens -- if he repeats his 2007 performance -- then he really shouldn't be starting. A team can't have that kind of regular performance...

But on the other hand, it occurs to me that if Andruw stinks for another month, then gets very, very hot for three-plus months, his final numbers could end up looking very much like last year's. With a turnaround like that, wouldn't he earn a spot on next year's team?

So I don't know how I would feel about that. I would have to see what happens, see how he gets to those numbers.

How's that for a hedge?

2008-05-06 14:19:35
344.   wronghanded
336 I'm gonna chalk it up to bunt singles and BBs.
2008-05-06 14:21:08
345.   El Lay Dave
342 see 81 : "preferred starting lineup right now"
2008-05-06 14:21:44
346.   fanerman
342 It's for right now. See 81 .
2008-05-06 14:22:01
347.   scareduck
336 - so, trade him to the Padres or Giants!
2008-05-06 14:23:19
348.   natepurcell
345

SS Furcal
C Martin
RF Ethier
CF Kemp
2b Kent
1b Loney
3b Dewitt
LF Pierre

Andruw Jones is completely worthless right now.

Although 3 lefties in a row at the bottom like that isn't too appealing for late inning matchups.

2008-05-06 14:23:34
349.   Xeifrank
336. Since Juan Pierre rarely if ever hits home runs, he is better off offensively to play in a bigger park where his gap doubles, now become triples. The bigger park is a mixed bag defensively. He can cover a lot of ground, but he has to make long throws.
SO I kind of agree with your point, if you were trying to make one. :)
vr, Xei
2008-05-06 14:23:56
350.   Eric Enders
336 " Does anyone find it coincidental that Pierre performed well in the two places that he used to call home?"

Yes.

Actually, the consensus on Pierre while he was with the Rockies was basically the opposite of your hypothesis. He was even less valuable at Coors Field than anywhere else because he was uniquely unable to take advantage of the thin air. Even at altitude, his hits were mostly singles. And playing in such a high-offense environment, each single, run, etc., was less valuable than it would have been elsewhere.

Show/Hide Comments 351-400
2008-05-06 14:23:57
351.   natepurcell
And its Dewitt over Laroche because Laroche's thumb/wrist/hand or whatever is a major wildcard for me.
2008-05-06 14:24:48
352.   scareduck
98 - DePodesta's successor, Ned Colletti, is the third architect of the current roster. Colletti earned his stripes working under Brian Sabean in San Francisco, and unherited Sabean's approach to team-building.

I'm not sure if "unherited" is a typo or not, but I like it.

2008-05-06 14:26:50
353.   Eric Enders
352 I wish it were an accurate decription, but alas, I'm pretty sure it's a typo.

That was a good article, BTW.

2008-05-06 14:28:38
354.   27indigo
C Martin
1B Loney
2B DeWitt
SS Furcal
3B LaRoche
LF Pierre
CF Kemp
RF Ethier
2008-05-06 14:29:38
355.   CanuckDodger
Prospects are like stocks. Their value can go up, or down. Pegging, accurately, the value of Dodger prospects, especially relative to each other, is something I have attempted to do for years, with a passion some consider odd. At no time in the last four years has DeWitt's stock been higher, or even equal to, LaRoche's, but as far as I'm concerned, that has now changed.

I don't believe that what DeWitt is doing is any kind of "fluke," as Rob Neyer called it. That doesn't mean that his production, this season, can't or won't tail off, or that he can't slump, but I think that the production we have seen from him represents real growth in DeWitt's baseball skills, and it is that improvement in skills that has to be the basis for future projections, not minor league stats. DeWitt was the consensus best pure hitter in the 2004 draft, coveted by DePo just as much as he was by White, and possibly more so, since DePo wanted us to draft him with the pick we used for Scott Elbert, but White assured DePo that Dewitt would still be available for our second pick. DeWitt has likely underachieved in his minor league career (I related the story last year, at DT, about how someone DeWitt respects from his hometown got in his face about that), but he has always had the tools, and now his potential is translating into performance. At 22, DeWitt can hardly be called a late bloomer, however. If he had gone to college, this would only be his first full pro season.

Just as DeWitt's stock has risen, I think LaRoche's stock has declined, not just relative to DeWitt's, but in absolute terms. I still believe in the talent, the skills, but I am starting to disbelieve in the body. At some point, in the past, I think a Baseball Prospectus writer has said that health is a skill and some players just don't have it. I remained optimistic through the shoulder injuries (both of them) and the back injury, but the spring training injury made me finally admit that LaRoche is looking like he was just born under a bad sign. What sealed it for me was the news that LaRoche's thumb wasn't even hit directly by the thrown ball -- the ball ricocheted off his glove and with the reduced velocity STILL managed to do damage. Now THAT'S fragile.

As of right now, I am content to let DeWitt and LaRoche determine their own futures, with their play and in LaRoche's case with his ability to stay on the field, and while I don't have faith in Colletti to make a cogent evaluation of the two players, I do have confidence in White and De Jon Watson to do that. So I will just wait and see how this plays out.

2008-05-06 14:31:04
356.   Eric Enders
Come on, people! We have one outfielder batting .375. His name isn't Matt Kemp, and it isn't Andruw Jones or Juan Pierre or Andre Ethier either.

Vote Pee Wee!

2008-05-06 14:31:27
357.   Jacob L
I think if I managed against Pierre, I'd play my outfield extremely shallow, even at the expense of the occasional inside the park homer. I figure I can take away a good number of his singles, and he's just not going to hit it over our heads all that often. It'll be embarrassing when he does, though.

I developed this strategy from my own hitting in softball. I look at the outfield and think, what are they doing all the way out there?

2008-05-06 14:34:16
358.   kinbote
Wow. Are we really debating LaRoche vs. DeWitt? This is a good problem to have!

If some here are defending DeWitt, it's because we are finally seeing what we've been told by scouts ever since he was drafted. Granted, DeWitt's minor league career has largely been a disappointment, but minor league numbers only say so much. I think one way to describe DeWitt prior to this year has been "waiting to break out." Well, he finally broke out; it just happened to be at the major league level.

DeWitt's attractiveness has always been centered around his swing. As a first round draftee, he was considered a pure hitter from the left side with moderate power potential. I'm sure when he was drafted, we were dreaming on a future high-average, high-o.b.p. infielder with outstanding makeup. So far so good.

Praising DeWitt has nothing to do with damning LaRoche. Nomar aside, the reality is [likely] that DeWitt has managed to pass LaRoche on the Dodgers' 3b depth chart. I guess the debate here is whether this is right or not. I personally don't know what's right, but I recognize that DeWitt has done everything asked of him this year [excusing some concentrated defensive hiccups].

With three potential 3b candidates on this team for the remainder of the year, the question which none of us knows the answer to is: Who will get the bulk of the starts going forward? While LaRoche was injured, the consensus was to send DeWitt down when Andy returned. What's complicated that is the sustained performance of DeWitt.

It's probably best for the organization to send DeWitt down when LaRoche is ready, say thank you very much and we'll see you soon. But if that happens, LaRoche will have an even shorter leash than he had last year, knowing a viable replacement is simply a call away.

It's a hard race to handicap, but I think every day DeWitt stays with us and performs, the case for LaRoche becomes harder to make. All that being said, I don't know anyone here who wants to see either player fail. Maybe the solution will just have to reveal itself.

2008-05-06 14:34:31
359.   Jacob L
356 Wait, Jones isn't hitting .375? ;)
2008-05-06 14:35:19
360.   LeeLacy
Re Pierre:

So far this year, Juan has drawn 7 walks in 71 ABs.

Last year, it wasn't until his 148th AB that he drew his 7th walk.

Has the old dog learned a new trick? Time will tell ....

2008-05-06 14:35:51
361.   Jon Weisman
355 - I love you comment except for "born under a bad sign." I think the notion that LaRoche is fragile because of the "reduced velocity" of the impact is pretty dubious - just how much do you think the ball slowed down in that 10th of a second?
2008-05-06 14:39:53
362.   Bob Timmermann
Born under a bad sign
I been down since I begin to crawl
If it wasn't for bad luck,
I wouldn't have no luck at all

Hard luck and trouble is my only friend
I been on my own ever since I was ten
Born under a bad sign
I been down since I begin to crawl
If it wasn't for bad luck,
I wouldn't have no luck at all

I can't read, haven't learned how to write
My whole life has been one big fight
Born under a bad sign
I been down since I begin to crawl
If it wasn't for bad luck,
I wouldn't have no luck at all

2008-05-06 14:40:56
363.   natepurcell
Labrum tears in both shoulders, lower disc problem in back and torn ligament in thumb in a 2 year span.

Anything else?

2008-05-06 14:41:21
364.   Kevin Lewis
285

I think Dewitt is getting close to being a "fan" favorite. People, and I don't blame them" have been tired of the constant shuffle at third. This kid comes up and grabs the bull by the horns. What is not to like about that? Of course, he didn't have to platoon with anyone. I wonder where we would be if Nomar was still healthy?

2008-05-06 14:44:06
365.   Xeifrank
355. What do you make of DeWitt's LD% of 8%? I am a little worried about it, but I do like the fact that he draws a fair amount of walks.
vr, Xei
2008-05-06 14:44:59
366.   GobiasIndustries
355
Would Jason Werth qualify as fragile? He seems to be healthy and very productive for the Phils now and I for one would've loved to hang onto him until he FINALLY proved healthy. It seems that the Dodgers patience ran out with him. I don't want to see the same thing happen to LaRoche that happened to Werth and I hope that the Dodgers may have learned something by cutting bait on a talented, albeit oft injured player for lack of organizational patience.
I see the same thing playing out with Abreu at present. I don't think he has much time left with the Dodgers. Just my opinion though.
2008-05-06 14:45:30
367.   Howard Fox
I think LaRoche, with the "arrival" of DeWitt, become trade bait...just a gut feeling...providing of course that he can prove the ability to stay healthy for at least a week...
2008-05-06 14:45:46
368.   blue22
364 - Barring setbacks, Nomar is due to come off the DL this weekend I believe. I don't think Hu is going down to Vegas, as he seems to now be Kent's personal caddy. Is this weekend when we finally get the Sweeney/Delwyn resolution? Or does DeWitt get sent down, with Martin serving as Nomar's back up?
2008-05-06 14:46:11
369.   CanuckDodger
361 -- "I love you" too, Jon.:)

About the reduction in the velocity of the ball after it hit the glove, I'm no physicist, but in all my years playing hockey as a kid, I got hit with a lot of ricocheted pucks, and a lot of direct shots, and the ricochets practically tickled compared to the direct shots, when hit in non-padded areas.

2008-05-06 14:47:42
370.   kinbote
368 CoughReleaseLoaizaCough.
2008-05-06 14:48:50
371.   Jon Weisman
369 - LOL. Oops.
2008-05-06 14:49:15
372.   El Lay Dave
JP to SD? If I am reading retrosheet correctly, there have only been two trades ever between the Dodgers and the Padres.

The more recent was nearly ten years ago, July 23, 1998 with LA dealing Jim Bruske for Widd Workman.

The other was April 17, 1969, the first trade for the Padres after they opened play, sending Al McBean to LA for Tommy Dean and Leon Everitt.

Brett Tomko for David Wells does not count. ;)

2008-05-06 14:49:40
373.   underdog
356 I don't know why this popped into my head just then, but...

Wewease Wodewick! Wewease Wodewick!

2008-05-06 14:54:19
374.   Eric Enders
369 There are, of course, many different kinds of deflections. There are those which barely graze off the object, like a foul tip, with no loss of velocity at all. And then there are deflections where the direction is changed and the velocity decreased significantly. We're making an awful lot of generalizations considering that nobody here saw the play or knows what sort of deflection it was.
2008-05-06 14:54:53
375.   Xeifrank
I don't think either LaRoche or DeWitt will be or should be trade bait. Nomar is fragile and his contract runs out at the end of the year. Things will work it's way out between the three of them the rest of the year. We all know that Nomar if healthy will be a starter or backup at third, then LaRoche and DeWitt can split time based on merit or whatever method Torre prefers to use. Once next year comes around, then LaRoche and DeWitt can compete for the starting job. One is LH and one is RH, so a platoon is always a possibility, plus LaRoche has some injury risk. I just things will work itself out, and that there doesn't have to be a "solution" (no pun intended) at this point in time.
vr, Xei
2008-05-06 14:55:50
376.   Eric Enders
372 I thought we had a young Rule 5 pitcher a few years ago who blew up in April so we dumped him on the Padres. Maybe it was a waiver transaction or something, instead of a trade. Heck, what was that guy's name?
2008-05-06 14:56:22
377.   Bob Timmermann
376
Jose Nunez
2008-05-06 14:56:32
378.   Jon Weisman
I know it might seem like points are getting belabored, but I actually think this thread has been productive.

Now, the next time we do this debate, maybe it won't be so useful.

2008-05-06 14:58:25
379.   Eric Enders
Ah. Jose Nuñez. 2001. Thank you, Baseball Reference.

"December 11, 2000: Drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers from the New York Mets in the 2000 rule 5 draft.

May 11, 2001: Selected off waivers by the San Diego Padres from the Los Angeles Dodgers.

November 5, 2002: Released by the San Diego Padres."

2008-05-06 14:59:00
380.   KG16
366 - I think Werth's injuries could be attributed as much to recklessness as to freakiness or chronic conditions. Wasn't he the one that got hurt slamming into the score board in the fence at full speed?
2008-05-06 14:59:20
381.   Bob Timmermann
And it was Jose ANTONIO Nunez and the Padres got him off of waivers.
2008-05-06 15:00:05
382.   LoneStar7
Obviously this will come off as a bit biased, seeing that Loney has grown into one of my favorite players over the past couple years, but I think Joe would be stupid to start reducing James' playing time.

His defense is overlooked tremendously, and although hes been a bit of slump compared to his hot start, I still think hes one of the most gifted, and natural first basemen I've seen in a while. The guy is patient beyond his years at the plate, and makes good contact at the plate, rarely striking out on bad balls.

I dunno, I know Torre likes to tamper, but Loney is a natural fit over there at first in my opinion.

2008-05-06 15:00:30
383.   Ken Noe
Pierre will never have more trade value than right now. Move him, make LaRoche the fourth outfielder for the sake of his body, DeWitt stays at third, problem solved.
2008-05-06 15:00:34
384.   CanuckDodger
365 -- I'm not worried about that because I think DeWitt's power is not even close to reaching full maturity.
2008-05-06 15:00:57
385.   bhsportsguy
Plaschke gets the scoop at Kobe's MVP press conference when he gets Kobe to say he would like to be Laker for the rest of his career.

No followup on whether or not Kobe will opt out at the end of 2009 season.

Funniest moment is when a reporter asks a question in Spanish and Kobe does a prety good job answering in Spanish until he adds some English at the end. Also both Luke Walton and Tex Winter have asked questions so far.

2008-05-06 15:01:23
386.   Bob Timmermann
380
Matt Kemp and James Loney got hurt running into the scoreboard very quickly.

Werth got hurt by taking a fastball off the wrist.

2008-05-06 15:01:35
387.   Reddog
Right now we have too many extra players who could be in the lineup, but there's nowhere to put 'em - Hu, Abreiu, LaRoche, Nomar, Delwyn Young, Repko - so maybe Ned packages several of them and does a trade. What would he go for, a pitcher? Or maybe a home run hitter, that's what we need the most.
2008-05-06 15:01:50
388.   bhsportsguy
380 A.J. Burnett breaking his wrist was the worst one.
2008-05-06 15:02:08
389.   El Lay Dave
366 Also, with Werth the Dodgers were forced to make a decision. He had to be offered arbitration or made a free agent, like Hendrickson this past off-season, for example, only Werth had just missed the entire year. There is nothing procedural forcing the Dodgers to make any decision on LaRoche; he could stay in AAA if he doesn't get back to full health for instance.
2008-05-06 15:02:36
390.   CanuckDodger
366 -- I am not familiar with Werth's injury record beyond the one wrist injury we all know about. It took quite a few injuries to LaRoche before I started taking them seriously.
2008-05-06 15:02:37
391.   bhsportsguy
387 Have you not been watching Ned operate for the last few years, he does not package depth, he hordes depth.
2008-05-06 15:03:34
392.   Bob Timmermann
Jose A. Nunez left the Dodgers with his guns blazing.

http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/2001/B05050CHN2001.htm

2008-05-06 15:04:28
393.   KG16
386 - I remember the fastball of the wrist, but I though the had an additional injury.

Faulty memory, I suppose

2008-05-06 15:05:14
394.   Eric Enders
386 I'm pretty sure Werth cracked a rib running into the outfield wall. I think it was at Coors Field.
2008-05-06 15:05:55
395.   Bob Timmermann
When Kemp ran into the scoreboard last year, there were calls for a Congressional investigation into its construction.

When Loney did it, there were calls for military action to destroy the scoreboard.

2008-05-06 15:07:30
396.   Jon Weisman
Okay, I admit I thought nothing ill of Jackie Robinson's plaque being revised, but this now strikes me as people trying too hard.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3384433

2008-05-06 15:09:35
397.   fanerman
396 That seems rather excessive.
2008-05-06 15:09:38
398.   Bob Timmermann
396
The Griddle passes.
2008-05-06 15:10:16
399.   bryanf
387 Or maybe a home run hitter, that's what we need the most.

We have a home run hitter. His name is Bison.

2008-05-06 15:10:19
400.   KG16
396 - some days, I really dislike Bud Selig.
Show/Hide Comments 401-450
2008-05-06 15:10:47
401.   Ken Noe
396 Let's take Josh Gibson and DFA Gary Bennett ;-)
2008-05-06 15:11:16
402.   okdodge
my lineup is the standard one:

c -martin
1b - loney
2b - knet
3b - dewitt, can't argue with his production thus far. let laroche heal then work it out
ss - furcal
of - kemp, either, and jones. i still believe jones isn't done and he'll somehow turn it around.

2008-05-06 15:11:26
403.   El Lay Dave
392 Chris Donnels (!) stranded his three inherited runners or it could have been even worse for Nunez. The mid-inning position player to the mound seems unusual to me; that is, isn't it much more often the case that the position player mops up the last inning of the blowout?
2008-05-06 15:11:37
404.   okdodge
typo 2b - kent
2008-05-06 15:13:59
405.   okdodge
396 that's trying way to hard imo
2008-05-06 15:15:19
406.   El Lay Dave
396 That strikes me as utterly bizarre. Wouldn't it have been simpler, more graceful and more dignified to have honored each at the MLB ballpark closest to them (send limo as necessary) on Jackie Robinson Day?
2008-05-06 15:15:40
407.   Humma Kavula
I was (and am) in favor of the Robinson plaque revision, and I think 396 is mighty odd.
2008-05-06 15:16:21
408.   Eric Enders
Ken Gurnick on Werth:

"Just when he was gaining playing time, Werth cracked two ribs running into a fence making a spectacular game-saving catch in Colorado July 29. He tried to play through that injury and hit .203 in August."
(3/3/2005)

2008-05-06 15:17:36
409.   Jon Weisman
It's not like there was any kind of baseball draft in that era.
2008-05-06 15:17:47
410.   LoneStar7
Has there ever been a write in to make it onto the all star team. Because Bison isn't on the official Ballot right?

Just saying, if his numbers stay like this, we need to start organizing a mass write in lol..

2008-05-06 15:18:15
411.   cargill06
402 ya after a 83 OPS+ out of our 3b last year, i could care less who it is giving the 112 OPS+, now it's unlikely dewitt will keep it up, but i think he at least deserves the spot until he falls flat on his face.
2008-05-06 15:18:22
412.   arbfuldodger
C - Martin (duh)
1B - Loney
2B - Kent
SS - Furcal
3B - LaRoche
RF - Ethier
CF - Jones (Hoping his bat get better, if not Kemp here & Slappy in LF)
LF - Kemp
2008-05-06 15:18:32
413.   El Lay Dave
410 How quickly Steve Garvey is forgotten.
2008-05-06 15:19:04
414.   Eric Enders
What makes it even more bizarre is that almost all of the living Negro League players frankly sucked. They were the guys who kept playing in the Negro Leagues in the 1950s because for the most part they weren't good enough to sign on with major league farm systems. The players who were stars during the heyday of the Negro Leagues are deceased.

Then again, the first round will include guys like Hank Aaron and Willie Mays.

2008-05-06 15:19:23
415.   Ghost of Carlos Perez
396
Is it still an honor if you are picked last?
2008-05-06 15:20:20
416.   Xeifrank
The fans only vote in the starters, right? Don't the managers get to select the reserves and then the fans vote on the last player rostered? Plenty of chances for the Bison to get on the all-star team. Not that it really matters. vr, Xei
2008-05-06 15:20:27
417.   Eric Stephen
OK, so you're saying someone named "CanuckDodger" played hockey growing up? Now I've heard everything!

I seem to remember Terry Adams, of all people, grumbling that Nuñez had no place coming into close games because he was so young.

Updated lineup tallies, through 27indingo (36 entries):

Unanimous Regulars
Martin
Loney
Furcal
Kemp
Ethier

Nearly Unanimous
Kent - 35 of 36 (97.2%)

3B
LaRoche - 24 (66.7%), includes 1 vote in LF
DeWitt - 14 (38.9%), includes 1 vote at 2B

3rd OF
Jones - 23 (63.9%)
Pierre - 8 (22.2%)
Pee Wee - 3 (8.3%)
Repko - 1 (2.8%)

2008-05-06 15:20:35
418.   Jon Weisman
Ken Arneson is back in business, tenfold.

https://catfishstew.baseballtoaster.com/archives/973365.html

2008-05-06 15:21:00
419.   KG16
410 - I've already written in Kemp and DeWitt, so I've done my part
2008-05-06 15:22:00
420.   Kevin Lewis
375

I second this!

2008-05-06 15:25:08
421.   El Lay Dave
414 the first round will include guys like Hank Aaron and Willie Mays

If only. "Those selected will represent Negro Leaguers players who didn't have the chance to play for major league teams, the commissioner's office said Tuesday. MLB was not sure how many former Negro Leagues players are living."

Why is this being announced when they don't even know who is on the list yet?

2008-05-06 15:25:52
422.   Eric Enders
421 Okay, then they're all going to suck. Pretty much without exception.
2008-05-06 15:25:54
423.   Bob Timmermann
A write-in making the All-Star team?

Well, it would certainly never be a Dodger...

Unless he were named Steve Garvey.

And it was 1974.

2008-05-06 15:27:16
424.   regfairfield
We can't even take Cool Papa Bell? I've lost interest.
2008-05-06 15:27:31
425.   bhsportsguy
The Tampa Bay Rays select Charley Pride.
2008-05-06 15:28:14
426.   underdog
410 A "mass write in lol" sounds like fun.

The world needs more laughter, even if it's written. ;-)

2008-05-06 15:28:20
427.   LoneStar7
413 haha sorry I would of remembered if i was alive, i was born 14 years after that all star game : )
2008-05-06 15:28:54
428.   Bob Timmermann
427
So I shouldn't bring up Rico Carty then either?
2008-05-06 15:29:06
429.   Bluebleeder87
Furcal (sizzling hot, tizzzz)
Martin (pefect #2 hitter IMO)
Loney
Kent (veteran, knows what he's doing)
Kemp
Ethier (why Torre plays Pierre instead of Ethier is beyoned me)
Jones
DeWitt (but when La Roche is ready give him a nice healthy look)

off the top of my head really quick.

2008-05-06 15:30:46
430.   delias man
403 My memory says that Donnels just ran in there and bailed him out. Kid was about to cry on the mound.
2008-05-06 15:31:19
431.   tjdub
My vote:

C-Martin
1B-Loney
2B-Kent
3B-LaRoche
SS-Furcal
LF-Ethier
CF-Jones
RF-Kemp

2008-05-06 15:32:18
432.   Eric Stephen
424
Cool Papa Bell was so fast, he lived his whole life before this vote took place.
2008-05-06 15:34:03
433.   Axim
My $0.02

SS-Furcal
C-Martin
CF-Kemp
2B-Kent
1B-Loney
LF-Young
RF-Ethier
3B-LaRoche

2008-05-06 15:34:11
434.   Eric Enders
428 No. That post is... wait for it... the end of Rico.

I'm really trying to think of a good living Negro Leagues player who never played in the majors, and I can't think of one. Artie Wilson was a tremendous player, and is still alive, but he got 22 at-bats with the Giants in 1951.

I think Lou Dials is still alive, but he wasn't really that good.

2008-05-06 15:34:58
435.   Eric Enders
433 Yeah!!

Don't forget to vote Pee Wee.

2008-05-06 15:39:00
436.   blue22
Oh, why not?

SS - Furcal
C - Martin
RF - Kemp
2B - Kent
LF - Ethier
1B - Loney
CF - Jones
3B - DeWitt

2008-05-06 15:39:13
437.   bhsportsguy
429 Bluebleeder if you want to go to the game tonight, email me at BHSportsguy@aol.com
2008-05-06 15:40:35
438.   El Lay Dave
435 No politicking within 50 feet of the polling place!
2008-05-06 15:40:53
439.   LoneStar7
428 Sorry, hadn't heard of him, until Wikipedia informed me he was an all-star in '70 with the Braves.

It incredible that you know he was a write in for the all star game though..

2008-05-06 15:42:18
440.   bryanf
I will be at the game tonight in a suite wearing my Dodger Thoughts t-shirt.

The past couple of days have been really fun threads to be a part of. Some really great stuff I think. Thanks everyone for keeping me busy at work! :)

2008-05-06 15:42:30
441.   D4P
The correct answer is:

3B - LaRoche
SS - Furcal
CF/RF - Kemp
2B - Kent
C - Martin
CF/RF - Ethier
1B - Loney
P - Whomever
LF - Young

2008-05-06 15:42:44
442.   underdog
Will anyone be passing on our consensus line-up to the Dodgers' brass?

...Josh in publicity?

...Charlie Steiner and Steve Lyons?

Would you believe 150 Tyrolean skijumpers?
How 'bout two St. Bernards in heat?

2008-05-06 15:44:13
443.   bhsportsguy
440 Sure, throw your suite ticket in my face :)
2008-05-06 15:46:06
444.   LoneStar7
Man if Druw was just hitting like the clean up hitter he know he can be, We'd look something like this.

SS-Furcal
C-Martin
2B-Kent
CF-Jones
RF-Kemp
1B-Loney
LF-Ethier
3B-DeWitt

we can dream right?

2008-05-06 15:47:38
445.   bryanf
443 I wish it was actually my suite...if it was you'd all be invited. :)

I'm marrying into a season-ticket holding family. I'm not stupid you know.

2008-05-06 15:48:24
446.   Eric Stephen
We're up to 43 entries, and Pee Wee is looking a bit like Ralph Nader with 11.6% of the vote. That would make Jason Repko Alan Keyes.
2008-05-06 15:49:47
447.   Jon Weisman
If Eric wants to post the final vote, I'll add it to the NPUT.
2008-05-06 15:56:27
448.   68elcamino427
Wait! One more time
ss Furcal
c Martin
cf Kemp
1b Loney
2b Kent
rf Ethier
lf Young
3b DeWitt
2008-05-06 16:00:26
449.   Bob Hendley
Furcal SS
Martin C
Kemp CF
Kent 2B
Ethier RF
LaRoche 3B
Loney 1B
Young LF
2008-05-06 16:23:48
450.   Gilberto Reyes
One of ESPNEWS Headlines today for MLB...

Wife: Rodriguez fainted during first daughter's birth

A-Rod can't seem to catch a break with the media!

Show/Hide Comments 451-500
2008-05-06 16:42:53
451.   Bluebleeder87
watching the early innings of the USA versus V. Tech softball game, Virginia Techs pitcher is looking really good in the early going & there also leading 1-0 first time this year they score off of them, pretty impressive, specially the V.Tech pitcher.
2008-05-06 16:53:00
452.   jasonungar07
I like 441
2008-05-06 17:19:57
453.   Dodgers49
My line-up:

C- Martin
1B- Loney
2B- Kent
SS- Furcal
3B- DeWitt
LF- Ethier
CF- Jones
RF- Kemp

I'd play Andruw Jones through June before making a decision on him. I'd also leave LaRoche at Las Vegas through May before making a decision on him (as long as DeWitt continues to perform well).

2008-05-06 17:41:49
454.   Bluebleeder87
obviously we have to make sure La Roche is healthy enough to play & I'm sure the Dodger medical dept. will make sure of that...
2008-05-06 17:42:51
455.   Bluebleeder87
interesting stuff USA v. Virginia tech.
2008-05-06 17:57:01
456.   Bluebleeder87
OMG!!! the V. Tech pitcher throws a NO-NO gainst the USA team, wow, just wow.

Team USA is by far the best team in the WORLD if I understand this correctly.

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