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About Jon
Thank You For Not ...

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

As Loaiza Hits DL and Brazoban Gets Recalled, Kershaw Lined Up for May 17 Start?
2008-05-07 21:13
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Dylan Hernandez of the Times isn't sure Clayton Kershaw is joining the Dodgers in 10 days, but he isn't sure he isn't, either:

Esteban Loaiza was placed on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday because of tightness and spasms in his right shoulder -- a move that could create an opportunity for top pitching prospect Clayton Kershaw to make his major league debut in Anaheim on May 17.

First, the Dodgers are expected to call up Yhency Brazoban from triple-A Las Vegas for the start of a three-game series Friday against the Houston Astros. ... Kershaw, 20, could replace Brazoban or another reliever on the active roster the next time the Dodgers need a fifth starter -- probably on May 17. The spot belonged to Loaiza, whose move to the disabled list is retroactive to Sunday, making him eligible to be activated May 18. Hong-Chih Kuo has also pitched in that role, but Manager Joe Torre said he wants Kuo to remain in the bullpen.

A place for Kershaw on the 40-man roster can be opened by moving Jason Schmidt from the 15-day to 60-day disabled list. Asked Wednesday about the possibility of Kershaw's being called up, Torre replied, "You'll have to wait and see." ...

Wednesday, Kershaw made his season debut as a reliever and threw only eight pitches in a perfect fifth. He is slated to start for Jacksonville in Mobile on Monday, five days before the opening in the Dodgers' rotation.

Loaiza said he first felt the tightness in his shoulder playing catch Tuesday. He said he didn't feel any discomfort when throwing Wednesday and that he protested his move to the disabled list.

"I feel fine," he said. "I want to pitch. I want to be out there and throwing."

Comments (149)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-05-07 21:22:28
1.   Bob Timmermann
I don't think the Esteban Loaiza era in Los Angeles is going to end well.
2008-05-07 21:23:40
2.   bhsportsguy
Interesting, didn't know you could put a player on the DL without a medical opinion or diagnosis?
2008-05-07 21:26:30
3.   berkowit28
2 Always available. So who says there was no medical diagnosis?
2008-05-07 21:28:19
4.   Eric Stephen
2
Loaiza isn't exactly playing the role of Al Czervik ("Oooh, my arm!") well.
2008-05-07 21:29:53
5.   Jon Weisman
Rearranging the words in 1 :

Well, think the Esteban Loaiza era in Los Angeles is going to end, don't I.

2008-05-07 21:32:19
6.   Bob Timmermann
3
Mark Grace said Loaiza was hurt.
2008-05-07 21:33:17
7.   Jon Weisman
The Times has posted the results of tonight's American Idol elimination before its local readers had a chance to see the show. It's a cutthroat world.
2008-05-07 21:33:58
8.   neuroboy002
Shoulder tightness!? Of course! That explains his ineffectiveness as a starter. Once that problem is given time to heal, he'll be as good as he was for us before! This will allow an inexperienced Kershaw get some much needed seasoning.
2008-05-07 21:35:03
9.   Eric Stephen
I didn't listen to the game after it became 12-0, partially because I was busy at work, but I just noticed Chan Ho's 3 perfect innings of relief.

He entered the game with a .282/.370/.479 opposing batting line, and lowered that to .250/.333/.425.

2008-05-07 21:37:56
10.   Bob Timmermann
Whadda ya know? The Lakers are playing tonight.
2008-05-07 21:39:37
11.   bhsportsguy
The ESPN.com Gamecast showed the matchup between AZ Chris Young vs. Phil Tom Gordon in the 8th inning.

They had the wrong Chris Young picture.

2008-05-07 21:40:17
12.   Eric Stephen
The two throws from Rick Ankiel last night were pretty sweet. Video here:

http://thebiglead.com/?p=5725

2008-05-07 21:50:04
13.   bhsportsguy
Arizona still has a chance at a split (probably more than a chance with Webb pitching) but at worse the Dodgers will enter Friday night's game shaving off 1/2 their deficit in the last two weeks.
2008-05-07 21:53:18
14.   Eric Stephen
13
Looks like Billingsley vs. Chacon Saturday.
2008-05-07 21:55:05
15.   Eric Stephen
Tony Jackson sees a non-Minotaur May 17:

This virtually guarantees that Chan Ho Park, who pitched three perfect innings today to save the bullpen, will be the fifth starter the next time the Dodgers need one a week from Saturday at Anaheim

2008-05-07 21:56:54
16.   Marty
Hasta la Huego Esteban
2008-05-07 22:04:07
17.   whodat807
15 Jackson's been predicting that Chan Ho would get a shot at the fifth slot all season.

I wouldn't mind seeing Kershaw getting a couple starts -- would be nice to have a lefty in the rotation -- but if he does get the call, what happens to the Kershaw rules?

In any case, I like Chan Ho (sentimental attachment, you could call it, he was the winning pitcher of the first baseball game I saw in person), and I wouldn't mind seeing him get a shot either.

2008-05-07 22:05:59
18.   underdog
Gosh, Doug Collins practically wants to marry Derek Fisher.

Gosh, I'm kinda glad there's a new thread. I loved our DeWitt and LaRoche discussion the other night, but I also love both players and just hope for the best in how things work out. Waiter, check please!

Gosh, it would be a thrill to have Kershaw come up for the Angels game, but it's okay by me if they wait 'til later.

Gosh, if they can phantom-DL Loiaza, you think they might next phantom-DL someone, uh, else soon? Doesn't sound like Loiaza is often a happy camper.

Back to the Lakers game.

Gosh! Sorry, I don't know why I morphed into Napoleon Dynamite. I'll stop now.

2008-05-07 22:07:28
19.   Marty
Wow, amazing assist by Kobe and dunk by Gasol
2008-05-07 22:08:08
20.   Dodgers49
15 I'm not so sure about that guarantee. The Dodgers first indicated Kershaw would pitch in relief multiple times during the Sun's current series. Now he's suddenly scheduled to start on Monday in Mobile after making only a one inning relief appearance. As Torre says, "we'll have to wait and see."
2008-05-07 22:12:11
21.   Jon Weisman
Even if Kershaw is the No. 5 starter, that might not mean the Kershaw rules are kaput.
2008-05-07 22:12:46
22.   KingKopitar
Of course Kershaw might pitch the day I'm out of town. Anyone know a good sports bar in Fresno?
2008-05-07 22:21:30
23.   trainwreck
1
I said that months ago and thankfully the end is near.
2008-05-07 22:22:50
24.   Eric Stephen
Lakers are 6-0 against the spread in the playoffs.
2008-05-07 22:24:16
25.   KG16
so, who else is going to be looking at buying tickets for the game on May 17?

Just check, field level tickets currently available...

2008-05-07 22:27:13
26.   Jacob Burch
If you get tickets KG, I will come with--even if it means risking a shady chan ho start.
2008-05-07 22:28:20
27.   Eric Stephen
25
I had the chance to go May 17, but I will be attending a bachelor party that day.
2008-05-07 22:31:49
28.   underdog
The Lakers will have it tougher in Utah, but they could, should even, sneak away with at least one win. Won't be quite as easy though.

Might have been mentioned in previous thread but Jon Meloan didn't have the greatest of starts for Vegas tonight. 4 ER in 5 IP. 1 hr given up, 2 BBs, 1 K.

And sadly, I have a bad feeling the Greg Miller era might also soon be coming to a close. :-(

(LaRoche had 2 hits and a walk again tonight, btw.)

2008-05-07 22:44:01
30.   Jon Weisman
29 (edited)

2008-05-07 22:39:28
29. silverwidow
May 17 is a FOX Saturday game of the week. Kershaw may just break their radar gun.

2008-05-07 23:10:41
31.   silverwidow
30 First, I apologize for my second comment. It wasn't productive conversation and shouldn't have been written.

Nonetheless, this is still a very depressing time for anyone with an emotional investment in a player that for years looked like the next great Dodger 3rd baseman. And it's all circling the drain, unfairly.

2008-05-07 23:12:59
32.   StolenMonkey86
Other than Vlad and Hunter, Chan Ho might not be too bad a pick for the start on the 17th. The August 23rd game is another story entirely.
2008-05-07 23:16:39
33.   StolenMonkey86
Kotchman's got 6 bombs on the year already too. Ok, I don't want Chan Ho to regress to the mean the moment he joins the rotation.
2008-05-07 23:29:03
34.   DougS
Well, I'm ready for Clayton-mania. Bring it on!
2008-05-07 23:37:13
35.   Louis in SF
If my memory is correct wasn't there a problem with Estaban in New York when Torre was the manager?
2008-05-07 23:41:10
36.   Neal Pollack
This piece may or may not raise some hackles. I will be back in the morning to discuss.

http://lacitybeat.com/cms/index/

2008-05-07 23:50:56
37.   Bob Timmermann
36
With the exception of a few gross factual errors, it's an interesting read.
2008-05-08 00:18:11
38.   Yu-Hsing Chen
Hong-Chih Kuo plz
2008-05-08 00:22:32
39.   underdog
35 The problem in NY was mostly that Loiaza stank up the joint after they acquired him from the White Sox for Contreras. Loiaza struggled so much they put him in the bullpen as a long reliever (sound familiar?) and used him in the 'pen, too, in the 2004 ALDS. I remember something about Loiaza grumbling a bit but nothing too much. Loiaza's had some great runs in his career but especially after his injury issues he just hasn't been consistent or the same. He's not long for LA, I can guarantee you that.
2008-05-08 00:22:46
40.   Dodgers49
36 >> he wandered the dugout cluelessly while his team faded in August and washed-up old grouch outfielder Luis Gonzalez waged a public media war with Matt Kemp, one of the team's most exciting prospects in decades. <<

How did I miss LuGo's public media war? I thought it was Jeff Kent who was waging a public media war with Kemp and Loney.

2008-05-08 00:24:38
41.   LoneStar7
36 I really enjoyed that piece. The guy is a straight shooter, I like him already. It was funny, and the gets it. Good to see that this guy sees past the Nomar crap, and appreciates these young guys, and shares most of my feelings about the good and not so good stuff the McCourts have done.

I love this "Every televised game, we have to watch Lasorda and the Blue Man Group blow noisemakers during commercials. We have to see pasty dudes recount their memories of going to the ballpark with their dads, and we have to continually hear the "when did you fall in love with baseball?" jingle, which isn't good enough for an Inland Empire car dealership" That cracked me up

2008-05-08 00:25:01
42.   Neal Pollack
"Public" may have been the wrong choice of words.

I'm in for a long day tomorrow, aren't I?

2008-05-08 00:43:18
43.   Eric Enders
"He bumped back longtime season-ticket holders 10 rows, installing luxury premium field boxes with padded cushions for the really high rollers."

That's completely wrong, isn't it? Those people weren't bumped back anywhere. They still have the same seats in the same location, the same distance from home plate. McCourt just had the audacity to create seats that were a little better.

This reminds me: Those of you who actually, you know, go to games and stuff, what's the final verdict on McCourt's parking scheme?

2008-05-08 00:44:40
44.   Eric Enders
Anyway, I enjoyed the article. Didn't agree with all of it, but enjoyed it.

Did Cory Wade really do that? That's a pretty amusing, albeit wit-challenged, response.

2008-05-08 01:09:26
45.   Robert Fiore
I think Loaiza is having that Wally Pipp feeling.
2008-05-08 01:19:03
46.   overkill94
36 Pessimistic isn't quite strong enough to describe that article. While there are plenty of legitimate grumbles in there, it seems you cherry-picked everything bad without pointing to nearly enough of the good. I realize the tone of your article was set towards negative, but you could have been a bit more even-handed overall.

One gripe I do have is - what the heck did you want for the 50th anniversary? How exactly would you have put it together?

2008-05-08 01:20:48
47.   overkill94
42 And yes, you're in for a veeeery long day. Most of the points I agreed with were ones that the casual fan could care less about, but they would also be the ones most offended by most of your statements. Basically, DTers are going to be your most supportive readers and we're not exactly the majority.
2008-05-08 04:34:23
48.   D4P
I don't think the Esteban Loaiza era in Los Angeles is going to end well

The beginning and middle parts haven't been so great either. Not to mention that $7 million has probably never been more poorly spent.

2008-05-08 05:20:16
49.   old dodger fan
30 If I have done the math right the next time a 5th starter is needed after the 17th will be the 27th and the schedule at Dodgers.com says ESPN is covering that game.

48 While our return on $7 million has been pretty bad I think the return on Schmidt has been worse. And then there was..(Hmm.. maybe a road I don't want to go down this early in the am).

2008-05-08 06:14:44
50.   CodyS
Colletti's idea of risk is to take someone that used to be good in the hope that they will not continue to be bad forever. Loaiza, Schmidt, Pierre, Jones, Garciaparra, Park,...
It tends to not work out.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-05-08 06:41:07
51.   D4P
Ned wants to protect his job. He doesn't like taking the kinds of risks (i.e. relying on "unproven" players, regardless of upside) that can get you fired. He'd rather take the safe route by relying on PVLs, which is generally seen across baseball as the "right thing to do." If PVLs fail, it's generally not viewed as the GM's fault.
2008-05-08 06:43:07
52.   Marty
The Green Necklace has to one of the worst names they could have come up with. It always makes me think of a pornographic comic book. Or maybe I just have a sick mind.
2008-05-08 06:45:10
53.   Ken Noe
Don't the Yankees have a reputation for elastically using the DL as a sort of first circle of hell for underachievers? Does Loaiza's phantom tightness suggest the growing influence of Torre on player moves? Would calling up Kershaw to start not negate Ned's previously announced plan for him? Might Jones' phantom get rather tight in June if he's still under .200? When do we get there? Huh? Huh?
2008-05-08 06:45:18
54.   D4P
52
I've never heard of "hulu.com", so someone else must have recommended it.

I have, of course, heard of Arrested Development...

2008-05-08 06:47:58
55.   Marty
Ah, it was Overkill94. His comment was right below one of yours. Sorry for the confusion, and thanks Overkill.
2008-05-08 06:54:06
56.   D4P
hulu.com is pretty cool.

I just watched the first 2.5 minutes of the "Doogie Howser" pilot, only to discover the Janitor from "Scrubs" playing a cop, with a mustache.

2008-05-08 07:05:41
57.   Bob Timmermann
I would think tossing around a claim that Walter O'Malley was a "lifelong racist" would require a bit more documentation.

Also, it wasn't like Walter O'Malley was the guy fomenting opposition to public housing in Los Angeles. The Chavez Ravine land was emptied out back in 1949-50 and O'Malley never even thought of moving out west until 1956.

2008-05-08 07:20:10
58.   Hythloday
22 It defies imagination that there could be a good sports bar in Fresno when the entire city is just plain bad. Or is that like a cool spot on the sun?
2008-05-08 07:42:36
59.   the count
22 I haven't been to Fresno in a few years, but there was a sports bar in this fairly new shopping center at Nees and Blackstone. I didn't worry too much about drive by shootings in that area. I would check to make it's still there before going and I cannot remember the name.
2008-05-08 07:48:26
60.   Sushirabbit
36, sounds like it was supposed to be in Slate. ;-)
2008-05-08 07:51:34
61.   ToyCannon
He did screw the 1st row season tickets. I normally would support McCourt for all he's done to the stadium and that he needs to make money but if you had those seats you had the best seats in the house. Now you have one of the worse seats in the house. You can't see home plate anymore because of the new seats added in front. From the 3rd base side you basically are at risk because you have to crick your neck the whole game and if anyone is wearing a hat in any of the 10 rows from your seat to the field your screwed. I've stopped accepting tickets from a friend of mine who had those seats as being close does not make up for the terrible site lines.

Plus it sucks to see empty tables all over the place right in front of you while your trying to manage your Mario's sandwich, take a drink, and hope you don't get nailed by a line drive that the people in front of you are ducking from so you never saw it coming.

2008-05-08 07:54:46
62.   cargill06
25 bought them on sunday
2008-05-08 07:55:47
63.   Bob Hendley
The focus on the fifth slot is rather encouraging, in that last year both the 4th and 5th slots seemed to be treated as throw-aways with the Bums sticking whatever PVL was available into the rotation. On the other hand, the first four slots may not be as strong as we might have expected (hoped)going into the season (I am thinking of Lowe and Kuroda).
2008-05-08 08:01:16
64.   Marty
Mmmm Mario's. I've been eating mostly mediocre middle eastern food while in Baltimore and could use a Mario's sandwich.
2008-05-08 08:03:46
65.   madmac
62 looks like my joke of Park starting may not be that far off. Hopefully you'll get your wish though.
2008-05-08 08:09:17
66.   Bob Hendley
64 - One can eat just so many crab cakes, I suppose.
2008-05-08 08:15:13
67.   Marty
Haven't had crab cake one yet. I went to one place where everyone but me got crab cakes and they all said they were awful. My burger was quite good.
2008-05-08 08:29:02
68.   Bob Hendley
67 - Yeah, they sell them everywhere, so quality can be a problem. You might try the fish market by the harbor. Well, I hope that the weather at least is good, as Spring is normally the best time to be in Charm City. Too bad the O's aren't in town, as Camden Yards is a good experience.
2008-05-08 08:36:56
69.   Bumsrap
If Loiaza never pitches again for the Dodgers it doesn't mean that he never pitches again. And, if he is released and doesn't pitch again his retirement will be less a celebration and more a quiet exit in the middle of the night. But, I think I could really enjoy a quiet retirement while receiving the remainder of my $7,000,000 salary. Celebrated retirement or not, the ending will end well.
2008-05-08 08:39:57
70.   D4P
69
I think the point is that Loaiza will not go gently into that middle of the night. He's gonna complain about not playing.
2008-05-08 08:51:34
71.   Bumsrap
As weird as this would be, I would be curious to see pitchers paired together and pitch every fifth day. Kershaw and Park, Kuroda and Kuo, Billingsley and Meloan, Lowe and Biemel, Penny and Wade. Broxton and Saito would be the finishers and would not be a part of the rotation assignments.
2008-05-08 08:53:41
72.   cargill06
65 ya, but don't get a chance to go to the big a that often, so it will still be enjoyable even if kershaw doesn't pitch and the angels are my least favorite AL team so if they can win it would make it that much more enjoyable. i don't know why i don't like them maybe it's because they always own us every year and those OC bandwagon 2002 fans annoy me, or maybe because i can't stand rex hudler changing everyones name to end in "Y", IE figgy, huddy, vladdy,
2008-05-08 08:53:58
73.   Bumsrap
70 - It sounds more like he would be released in favor of Brazabon and or Kershaw than he would be delegated to the bullpen where he could complain.
2008-05-08 08:59:09
74.   Bob Hendley
72 - I hate them for the same reason, them owning us recently. I also agree on the "y" stuff. Here a lot of DTers call Furcal, Raffy. Not wanting to get into the K/Guo business, but actually in the DR Raphael would be either Rafa or Rafi.
2008-05-08 08:59:43
75.   larry slimfast
15 17 32 65

Somebody better break Chad Krueter out of retirement!

2008-05-08 09:03:16
76.   Hythloday
63 I'm still optimistic about Kuroda. I would feel pretty good about his first year in the bigs if he could approach production somewhat similar to Matsuzaka. I think the days of Nomo-like phenomena are over as far as all that goes.

With Lowe he is just snakebit with the Dodgers. Nothing ever seems to go right with him even when he is pitching well. And when, as on Sunday, he isn't pitching well, or well enough, it just gets ugly.

2008-05-08 09:04:08
77.   Dodger Dawg
Hi people, I'm a long time lurker and finally decided to offer my 2 cents. I think Kershaw will start that game against Anaheim, if he weren't Torre would have said so. Instead he said something like wait and see, to me that means he thinks it will happen.
2008-05-08 09:12:37
78.   D4P
It occurs to me that our starting pitching has been pretty bad this year.
2008-05-08 09:13:46
79.   berkowit28
51 (D4P:) "Ned wants to protect his job. He doesn't like taking the kinds of risks (i.e. relying on "unproven" players, regardless of upside) that can get you fired. He'd rather take the safe route by relying on PVLs, which is generally seen across baseball as the 'right thing to do.' If PVLs fail, it's generally not viewed as the GM's fault. "

That's a pretty good summation. And the great number of acquisitions that fall into that category seem to bear it out, so perhaps even the speculative motivation is correct. But it's not universal, is it? Have I got it wrong, or was Furcal not one of his first signings? (Ned is hired Nov. 17, 2005, signs Furcal Dec. 7, 2005.)

At least this past off-season, I think he really had the all-clear from McCourt to go for a true super-star in his prime, rather than one of these declining PVLs, if only he could find one. If we'd got one of those, we'd still have had Nomar and Pierre hanging around, but not Jones, and Torre's original plan to use Ethier and Kemp as everyday players in the OF would not have needed "adjusting". Could they have got Torii Hunter, with more daring, or would we all have moaned at the longer contract it took to get him? How many people could see that much difference between Hunter and Jones? Just forget both? That would have meant committing to Pierre. Or Repko. A-Rod was never a possibility.

I think they really believed they'd got one of those superstars in Schmidt - pitchers normally last longer. Loaiza, well... it looks like he's being dumped in favor of Kershaw sometime this season anyway.

2008-05-08 09:15:53
80.   Bob Hendley
76 - I agree, I am not really down on them and Kuroda's first start showed what he is capable of. As you say, Lowe does appear to be snakebit with the Dodgers, but IIRC apart from one or two good years at Boston,and of course that one post season, his W/L always seems to hover around .500 no matter how good or bad he is pitching.
2008-05-08 09:17:29
81.   Dodger Dawg
I know this isn't about Jones, but I just wanted to throw this out here. Torre is going to continue to play him no matter how he performs. I think that Dodger fans are not doing Druw or themselves any favors by booing him, not that he doesn't deserve it. My point is that Druw has only been with 1 team his whole career and he has to be comfortable to perform, booing will not help him feel welcome or comfortable. If he starts to hit it will be better for him and the team. Also you have to give him this year to see if he's done or not. The Dodgers could really use his power if he ever finds his stroke. Even if he doesn't he still plays a pretty good outfield, and flanked by Kemp and Ethier that's a pretty good defensive outfield.
2008-05-08 09:19:09
82.   regfairfield
76 If Kuroda strikes out 200 with a 108 ERA+, I'd be overjoyed. Matsuzaka-like production is still really good.
2008-05-08 09:21:40
83.   Eric Stephen
63
On the other hand, the first four slots may not be as strong as we might have expected

I think they will improve, but you're right. Thus far the starters (4.58 ERA) have been poor.

So far this early season, only the Yankee starters (5.26 IP/GS) have averaged fewer innings than the initial Dodger moundsmen (5.31) in all of MLB.

This year, the average IP per start in MLB is 5.77 (it was 5.79 last year). In the NL, it's 5.64, and in the AL it's 5.90.

2008-05-08 09:29:22
84.   Bob Timmermann
Yay! there's baseball at 9:35 am.
Boo! It's the Giants versus the Pirates.
2008-05-08 09:31:16
85.   regfairfield
PECOTA names LaRoche the sixth best third baseman under 25, behind only Wright, Zimmerman, Longoria, Cabrera, and Braun.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=7485

2008-05-08 09:31:39
86.   schoffle
61

Toy I have sat field level Row D (behind home plate) a couple of times and had no problem seeing home plate or with the site lines, perhaps 4 rows made a big difference. Also weren't those ticket holders given the option of moving in the new highend seats? Finally did they change the seat angles on the original field level seats, I had not heard that before.

2008-05-08 09:33:25
87.   Hythloday
82 It was the strikeouts that I was specifically doubtful of. They don't strike me as similar pitchers in that regard. But it seems to me that other aspects of their performance and adjustments are not dissimilar.
2008-05-08 09:34:37
88.   berkowit28
74 According to his Wikipedia entry, Furcal's nickname is "Fookie" (!) Has anyone ever heard him called that? In Atlanta, maybe? He must be relieved that hasn't stuck.
2008-05-08 09:38:09
89.   Bob Hendley
88 - Jeez, I am sure that he is happy to have left that behind. To get an idea of how really bad it is, try saying it with a southern accent.
2008-05-08 09:38:20
90.   regfairfield
Small sample size warnings apply here.

Right now, Kuroda's underperforming his strikeout rate. Almost every pitcher from Japan has seen an increase in all their perhiperal stats when they come to America. Kuroda's walks and home runs have jumped up a bit from his Japanese numbers, but his strikeout rate is way successful. He needs to get that into the high six per nine range if he really wants to be successful here.

2008-05-08 09:38:39
91.   Bob Timmermann
85
And Braun isn't a third baseman anymore.
2008-05-08 09:42:53
92.   ToyCannon
86
Yes, 4 rows make a difference. The biggest difference is being buried in a row as opposed to being on an aisle on the home plate side. We have moved several rows higher and it did make a difference but the seats have to be empty for that to happen.

The 1st row season ticket holders were given the option of moving to the much more expensive seats that are now in front of them. As far as being offered the ability to move back several rows that would be hard since it is full of season ticket holders. They could have moved further out toward the foul poles.

I'm not complaining about what McCourt did, because he needs to generate cash, but to say the long time season tickets holders in the 1st row didn't get screwed is being dismissive of something that they held dear to them for 45 years. 1st row is the Holy Grail when it comes to baseball games, no matter what the section.

2008-05-08 09:43:31
93.   drewjensen
91 I don't think Cabrera is either, is he? I remember the talk about how he couldn't really field the position any longer and they were moving him to first base.
2008-05-08 09:45:01
94.   MollyKnight
Do we think the Dodgers could move DeWitt (or LaRoche) to second? I mean, that might seriously be an amazing solution.

I also would like to see Loaiza get cut. And Jones DL'd. And Piazza signed as a back-up catcher. And Kershaw promoted.

2008-05-08 09:46:37
95.   Bob Hendley
85 - That's rarified company. To get an idea, who is rated sixth now that Bob has made the correction, and the rest of the top ten.
2008-05-08 09:50:02
96.   regfairfield
95 To be fair, it's a huge drop off from Braun to LaRoche.

The rest of the top 10: Alex Gordon, Edwin Encarnacion, Josh Fields, Ian Stewart. There's another big drop from Encarnacion to Fields.

2008-05-08 09:51:44
97.   Eric Stephen
94
If DeWitt especially gets moved to 2B, and performs well, he really is The Solution. He could be our modern day Jim Gilliam, moved all around the infield based on team need.
2008-05-08 09:53:14
98.   ToyCannon
93
Yup, Miggy is now a 1st baseman.

But just because BP says LaRoche is the 6th best 3rd baseman under 25 you might want to remember that the great Andy Marte was the number one prospect for BP at one time.
So when someone like Reg and Canuck and Eric tell you that no one fails who has demonstrated the ability at a certain age to dominate high level minor league pitching, you can just say Marte?

2008-05-08 09:54:19
99.   ToyCannon
The idea that Gordon is now a head of LaRoche is laughable. To me anyway.
2008-05-08 09:55:30
100.   KG16
94 - we talked about moving one of them yesterday... apparently they were both drafted as shortstops and the scouting reports said one or both would likely have to move to second and/or third.

I'd definitely like to see that...

Martin
Loney
DeWitt
LaRoche
Hu
[left fielder TBD]
Kemp
Ethier

I could live with that line up for the next 5-7 years.

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2008-05-08 09:55:58
101.   underdog
94/97 - Yep, in perhaps a case of wishful thinking but just as likely something that could happen, it's been raised here before as a question, a possibility. DeWitt had some struggles defensively at 2nd before, purportedly, but it still seems like either he or LaRoche could move there (don't see how LaRoche could be any less a 2nd baseman defensively than Kent has been).
2008-05-08 09:57:01
102.   underdog
Yeah, what the heck happened to Andy Marte. Was he just overrated or did something happen to cause him to drop off the map?
2008-05-08 09:57:02
103.   regfairfield
98 Marte was like the number three BA prospect that year, so it wasn't terrible.

Also, his strikeout rate was really bad throughout the minors, so he never reach "holy grail" status. It's why I asked in the last thread if anyone who walked more than they struck out in the minors for a sustained period of time didn't find success. I'm really curious if someone with LaRoche's track record straight up flopped in the bigs.

2008-05-08 09:59:42
104.   Bob Hendley
97 - Question in my mind is how would get the Solution time at 2nd, other than in blow outs, to experiment without sending him down?
2008-05-08 09:59:58
105.   old dodger fan
85 David Wright is not under 25. (DOB 12/20/82)
2008-05-08 10:01:44
106.   MollyKnight
I00-See, I don't think we have enough offense with Hu at SS to win. At least not right now. We need to re-sign Furcal. Golly, next year's opening day line-up could be:

Furcal SS
Martin C
Ethier RF
Kemp CF
Loney IB
La Roche 3B
DeWitt 2B
TBD LF
Kershaw P

I'm obviously pretending that Pierre and Jones (and their contracts) don't exist. But isn't it interesting that our homegrown talent (besides Furcal) continues to out-produce our big money free agents.

Do we have any big-time prospects who could play LF in a few years?

2008-05-08 10:02:14
107.   regfairfield
105 25 or younger, sorry.
2008-05-08 10:02:52
108.   berkowit28
100 So you'd rather have Hu than Furcal? Not interested in winning games, then?
2008-05-08 10:05:44
109.   regfairfield
108 The problem is that it's not clear how much longer Furcal will be better than Hu. If you trust PECOTA (which I know is highly inaccurate for things like this, but for sake of argument), Hu and Furcal become the same player in 2011. Is two years of better production worth handing Furcal the 5/75 or so he's due on the free agent market?
2008-05-08 10:06:00
110.   ToyCannon
103
Didn't mean to single out BP as everyone was high on Marte. Only to point out that not everyone is a given to succeed. I wish I had time to check out your question. It is a legitimate question as the K rate seems to be one of main factors in failure.

In retrospect I'm sure the minor league analysts would say they did not pay close enough attention to the K rate of Marte. I'm going to take a look at Hee Sop Choi because my memory is that he had an excellent walk rate but I'm not what it was compared to his K rate.

2008-05-08 10:08:25
111.   berkowit28
109 Yes.
2008-05-08 10:09:03
112.   underdog
109 "Hu and Furcal become the same player"

I think I saw that in a David Cronenberg movie once. {shudder}

2008-05-08 10:12:26
113.   regfairfield
110 Choi didn't qualify, the closest he came to walking more than he struck out was when he walked 95 times and struck out 119.
2008-05-08 10:14:32
114.   ToyCannon
108
Smarter people then you or I feel Hu should be our SS in 2009 and they are interested in building a winning team.
When Rafy slows down it will be curious to see how many of you who are ready to give him whatever he wants right now will be making the same statements.
We have to judge Rafy by his historical record not one month in 2008. He's been freakishly good and a marvel to watch but future decisions should only be based on what we would expect from him in 2009-2013 because it will take a 5 year deal.
And to say we won't have enough offense if Rafy is not on the team is putting to much weight on his early 2008 SuperMan show. He is not Hanley Ramirez.
2008-05-08 10:19:09
115.   Jon Weisman
Neal – There are some good moments in your article, but the unproven notion that O'Malley sold Robinson to the Giants for racist reasons, combined with the erroneous account of how the Chavez Ravine saga played out, is troubling. It's not as if the Dodgers don't have their dark side, but I don't know that this was the fairest way to present it.

And while you question the righteousness of a 50th anniversary celebration when the team has had little to celebrate in the past 20 years, some of your shots at the team are grounded in their ancient history. It seems you need to choose whether the distant past is relevant or not and apply that standard across the board.

The other thing is that a big part of your article is criticizing the Dodger PR campaign for glossing over the negative, over-pumping the positive and being repetitive and annoying. I mean, with the rare exception of something as brilliant as "Hardball Made Easy," that's exactly what PR campaigns do. Criticizing the team for bad moves is one thing, criticizing the team for having a PR campaign that is PR-ish is, however true that might be, kind of beside the point.

So I appreciate the impulse to cut through some of the crap that is the modern-day Dodgers, I think you overemphasized some of the wrong crap. I don't think the Dodgers invented hypocrisy or have a unique hold on it. Your analysis of what's been going on with the team is good, though, and don't mistake my writing less about that for not seeing it.

2008-05-08 10:19:17
116.   Hythloday
106 Is TBD some new shorthand for Pee Wee Young?
2008-05-08 10:21:02
117.   Bob Hendley
114 - I think that people would feel better about Hu at SS, if he had our 2nd base situation resolved for 2009 and had brighter prospects for lead off.
2008-05-08 10:21:02
118.   Marty
I also agree on the "y" stuff. Here a lot of DTers call Furcal, Raffy

That's why I coined Furry. As a jab at Hudler.

2008-05-08 10:24:06
119.   bhsportsguy
Simple Quick Math

Choi K rate 23.4%, BB rate 1/7 PA
Marte K rate 24.8%

LaRoche K rate ~16%, BB rate 1/9 PA

2008-05-08 10:25:56
120.   old dodger fan
114 Furcal will be 31 in October. Except for this year his highest OPS+ season was 107 and his career average is 96. His defense is amazing.

I think almost everyone would agree to offer him 2 or 3 years. I think you are correct in that he will want 5. I guess it depends on how much money you have and if you can afford to overpay the back end. Not everyone can do that. We can. The question is, "Should we?"

2008-05-08 10:26:45
121.   ToyCannon
Our clean up hitter after 100 at bats has on OPS+ of 94. While to many it may seem that Jeff Kent is doing the job, he simply isn't.
You can focus your booing and disgust with A Jones but Jones makes up for it with superior defense and Kent does not.

I'd be more then happy to see a combo next year of Furcal/Hu and hope that Loney, Kemp, Martin, LaRoche/DeWitt, and Etheir keep improving as hitters to offset the loss in offense from Kent. However I'm pretty sure that if Kent continues at this level that Hu is the better player given the defense Hu provides. When Andrew did his study earlier this year I think he had Kent providing much more offense and it was still almost a toss up.

Of course Kent could just be getting warmed up and make all this a moot point. Or not

2008-05-08 10:26:57
122.   Jon Weisman
The resurgence of Troy Percival:

http://tinyurl.com/4scnne

2008-05-08 10:26:58
123.   Bob Hendley
118 - Doesn't Shimmin claim authorship of that as a jab to us?
2008-05-08 10:28:05
124.   Disabled List
Tom Verducci offered up this nugget on Miguel Cabrera, which made me think of the should we/should we not trade for him discussions we had this winter:

Is there a guy who morphed into a DH more quickly than Cabrera? Geez, it seems like he went from a corner infielder to an overweight slug in about five minutes.

2008-05-08 10:29:22
125.   Jon Weisman
I have this notion in my head that you could budget $10 million or more in your payroll for dead weight. Not the 2008 Nomar or Loaiza kind, but the kind of dead weight that allows you to give Furcal a five-year contract even if you only expect him to be good for fewer years.

If you plan for that, and then you build a system for a highly paid player to gracefully step aside, maybe you've got something.

2008-05-08 10:30:39
126.   regfairfield
121 Agreed, this really should be a question of Furcal versus Abreu, not Furcal versus Hu. Wouldn't having a really good defensive shortstop give you an even better defensive second baseman? Don't see anything wrong with that.
2008-05-08 10:32:28
127.   JoeyP
No amount of defense can make up for Druw's .170/.279/.264 over 103 ABs.

And he's the highest paid player on the team this year.

2008-05-08 10:34:00
128.   berkowit28
114 While it's a good thing to have the core of a team - say 5 or 6 position players plus 3 starting pitchers - all mature at the same time, I don't think it's a great idea to have the entire team peaking at the same time. That means they'll all start declining at more or less the same time too. It's good to have someone like Furcal who's probably at his best right now and for the next 3 years lead the way, even if it means he starts to tail off in 2011 or 2012. If everything else goes to plan, the other 9 position players would all be in their prime or getting there, and could well afford to carry a still-good player with better spurts for another year or two. By that time we'd have the new Hu - or quite possibly the new Furcal - waiting in the wings are ready to muscle in when the occasion presents.

Except by unexpected chance, I don't think the best plan is to have all 10 position players mature all at once. A bit of an overlap is no bad thing.

2008-05-08 10:37:32
129.   Bob Hendley
116 - The Battling Delwyn?
2008-05-08 10:37:42
130.   D4P
Furcal is slugging .597.

His previous career high was .445.

2008-05-08 10:38:07
131.   ToyCannon
I like Furcal and would love to see him stay with the Dodgers. As Eric Enders has suggested he would make an excellent CF.

One possible scenario is signing Furcal to a 5 year deal. Hu takes over at 2nd base in 2009. DeJesus continues his solid progression and is ready to play on the infield in 2010. Skill decides who is the 2nd baseman and who is the SS. Furcal moves to CF in 2010 replacing Jones. Our defense up the middle would be one of the best. Our offense would be anchored by Loney, LaRoche, Kemp, Martin, Furcal, and a slugging LF that would not be Ethier. Nothing against Andre but I think if we were to carry Hu/DeJesus on the infield we would need an upgrade in LF.

2008-05-08 10:39:34
132.   bhsportsguy
128 Don't tell that to the 74-81 Dodgers.

Actually that's a big falsehood because although the infield remained the same, their outfield was fluid (Wynn, Buckner, Reggie Smith, Monday, Baker, Landreaux, Guerrero) and the pitching staff changed.

2008-05-08 10:39:40
133.   MollyKnight
125-Exactly. If Furcal keeps this pace (or something even remotely close) I absolutely would support a five-year deal. For Ned to give millions to the washed-up and the infirm (Nomar, Loaiza, Hendrickson, Tomko) not to mention a $36 million present to a guy who OBP'd .222 last year and NOT offer a big contract to Furcal would be criminal.

Not to mention that 6/8ths of our position players next year will be working on the cheap.

This isn't the Kansas City Dodgers.

2008-05-08 10:39:51
134.   Hythloday
128 This assumes a few things some of which are fair and some of which are not:

a) That all the players will resign or be kept when the opportunity presents itself.
b) That all the players have relatively the same peak so we won't want to part with any of them.
c) That continued work on the farm won't continue to unearth some valuable prospects that will fill the ranks over time.

2008-05-08 10:41:32
135.   fanerman
I really would like to know if DeWitt (or LaRoche) could play second base. I would not mind a LaRoche/Hu/DeWitt/Loney infield.
2008-05-08 10:42:33
136.   Hythloday
129 His unfortunate and current battle being with the bench.
2008-05-08 10:42:33
137.   Neal Pollack
Thanks for the even-handed critique, Jon. I think I've well-established myself as a crank here, but I do love the Dodgers...I know that they've hardly cornered the market on PR BS, but I don't know how interested an L.A. alt-weekly audience would be in a piece about Yankees PR BS.
2008-05-08 10:44:46
138.   Bob Timmermann
137
I'm sure an alt-weekly would love to read about me going on for pages about the intricacies of the 1949 Federal Housing Act and the City Council's belief that they could invalidate a contract with the Federal Government.

Then I could start discussing zoning law.

It will have them at the edge of their seat!

2008-05-08 10:47:42
139.   bhsportsguy
133 Have you had a chance to speak with Derek Fisher during this playoff run, he got a lot of man-crush from Doug Collins last night.
2008-05-08 10:49:09
140.   regfairfield
Let's keep in mind Furcal is playing way more over his head than anyone in baseball based on his batted balls. I'd still be very happy with his projected .854 OPS though.
2008-05-08 10:49:32
141.   Jon Weisman
137 - Oh, of course.
2008-05-08 10:49:33
142.   Disabled List
137 I liked the piece too, Neal, except I thought it was a little too arch and contrarian on some issues where it didn't really need to be. Basically, I agree with Jon's review (as usual, he put it into words better than I could.)
2008-05-08 10:49:51
143.   Jon Weisman
138 - Way to scoop Neal's next story.
2008-05-08 10:50:41
144.   ToyCannon
127
Right, didn't mean to imply that A Jones is earning his salary with his stellar defense when his offense is abysmal.
Just meant to point out that for those who like to complain you have more then just Jones as a target.
2008-05-08 10:50:44
145.   regfairfield
The interesting person on that overperformance list is Fukudome. The man adjusts to a .273/.370/.369 line. Would he be on the cover of Sports Illustrated with those numbers?
2008-05-08 10:54:07
146.   Sam DC
From Wash Post chat today:

Capitol Hill: How long can the Dodgers afford to play Andruw Jones? Not only does he look clueless at the plate, but his bat speed appears severely reduced.

Dave Sheinin: Great question. What a mess. You're right about his bat speed -- that's what all the scouts are saying about him. I think the time will come (possibly very soon) when the Dodgers put him on the bench and play an outfield of Ethier, Pierre and Kemp. There's too much at stake to keep waiting on Andruw to produce.

2008-05-08 10:54:19
147.   ToyCannon
133
This is the part I have a problem with
"If Furcal keeps this pace (or something even remotely close) "

Why would he? How could he? He could still have a career year and fall 200 points below his current production level.

2008-05-08 10:56:02
148.   JoeyP
Whats the most surprising? (er..unsustainable)...

Oakland A's (22-14)
St. Louis (22-13)
Rockies (13-21)
Padres (12-22)
Tigers (15-20)

As far as the Padres go---they have worst record in baseball and some older position players. Why not bring up Headley/Antonelli? Granted, those two arent off the to best of starts at AAA, but I dont see what the Padres have to lose by bringing them up.

2008-05-08 10:56:27
149.   Jon Weisman
NPUT
2008-05-08 10:57:14
150.   Sam DC
146 There's more discussion of Andruw and also a brief mention of Juan Pierre's possibly improved plate discipline in that chat if you're interested.

The whole world is talking about the Dodgers!

http://tinyurl.com/6klyuq

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