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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
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5) discussing politics
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Twentysomething
2008-05-24 08:35
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Everyone's worried about Clayton Kershaw being rushed to the bigs and then having setbacks like Edwin Jackson. But you know, there's another example of a Dodger pitcher that forced himself onto the fast track, by the name of Fernando Valenzuela. Neither example guarantees what Kershaw's fate will be.

Youngest pitchers in Los Angeles Dodger history

Update: Kershaw has officially been recalled for Sunday, and the Dodgers have optioned Yhency Brazoban to Las Vegas and designated the ill-fated Esteban Loaiza experiment for assignment.

Comments (207)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-05-24 08:49:43
1.   Gen3Blue
Of course to me at the time, Fernando seemed to come out of nowhere, while for someone so young, Kershaw seems to have been around a long time.
2008-05-24 08:55:07
2.   Gen3Blue
I was about to ask why the formatting of the comments on the last post was different but I see its back to normal. That seems to happen occasionally and I don't think its my doing.Maybe Ken's still around?
2008-05-24 08:58:13
3.   tethier
reposted from the previous thread:

I don't know if it has been mentioned here yet, but is Matt Kemp becoming more slective? I see his BBs are up to 12 on the year - still not a lot, but he does have 3 more than Jeff kent. Kemp does have 16 more PAs.

I'm not sure why Torre won't move Kent lower in the order. I didn't think he was a cleanup hitter last year. Wasn't this one the reasons for getting Andruw - to have a legitimate 4th in the order hitter? Just because Jones has not worked out so far, does not seem like a reason to continue to bat Kent 4th.

2008-05-24 08:59:36
4.   tethier
2 I've noticed that too - I was happy to find out that wasn't something just me.
2008-05-24 09:05:56
5.   tethier
4 ...that it wasn't something happening to just me.
2008-05-24 09:10:45
6.   Jon Weisman
2 - What was different about it? I'm guessing it's browser-related.

Kent did bat cleanup last year, for what it's worth. I fully expected he'd be pushed down by now.

2008-05-24 09:20:42
7.   Bumsrap
From Ken Gurnic

With the pitcher's spot due and runners on the corners, Torre sent up Jones, despite the fact that he's hitting .167 overall, is an astounding 1-for-32 with runners in scoring position and hadn't played since Sunday because of torn cartilage in his knee. With the count 1-2, Jones fouled off two very hittable, hanging sliders before waving at a slider down and away to end the game.

2008-05-24 09:22:54
8.   Bumsrap
From Ken Gurnick

The Dodgers managed only five hits off Wainwright, two each for Hu and Russell Martin. Among the 0-fers was struggling clean-up hitter Jeff Kent, who had one hard-hit out but is 5-for-51 over the last 15 games, his average falling from .298 to .228.

2008-05-24 09:24:58
9.   tethier
7 I saw that too. Was there another choice? I know Sweeney had been used and I think Young had also been used. There was Maza - obviously he couldn't have done any worse than AJ.
2008-05-24 09:30:11
10.   tethier
6 You have to scroll over to the right to see the right side of the post. Not to use techno-babble but - the white area seems to be enlarged.
2008-05-24 09:32:01
11.   Bumsrap
The Park/Kuo tandem seemed like a great fifth starter and so when the Dodgers finally had the fifth starter spot solved, they bring up Kershaw.

When the Dodgers seemed to find a way around the Jones situation, they hesitate to do the obvious.

When Kent appears to be a #7 hitter they continue to hit him cleanup.

At some point the Dodgers need to say the hitting core of this team is Martin, Loney, Kemp, Ethier, DeWitt and say the other hitters are fill in players/hitters and put them in the batting order accordingly.

2008-05-24 09:32:24
12.   Greg Brock
So, we have a pitcher that is going to exist very soon?

Cool.

2008-05-24 09:35:47
13.   regfairfield
11 While I doubt Torre's doing it intentionally, there's actually a lot of research that suggests putting your third worst hitter high in the order is a good thing. It spreads out your outs giving you more chances to score every inning.
2008-05-24 09:42:05
14.   regfairfield
Andy LaRoche has a five percent line drive rate in Vegas right now. I don't think it's a problem in the long term since that's his biggest strength, but it is a nice counter argument to anyone who says our third baseman is over performing.
2008-05-24 09:44:28
15.   GoBears
11. I agree that would be nice (adding Furcal, once he's healthy), but don't hold your breath.

Hit Kent 7th and Pierre/Jones 8th. And eventually, replace them with LaRoche and Young.

Yeah, right.

2008-05-24 09:47:22
16.   GoBears
13. I would think that that might be right if you have power hitters. But for a team that often requires 3 singles in an inning to score a run, bunching the talent might work better.

Does the research you refer to make the distinction between power-heavy lineups and "long-sequence" lineups?

2008-05-24 09:48:13
17.   Bumsrap
14 - Put Jones, Pierre, Kent, and the pitcher together at the bottom of the order and I could do more channel surfing.
2008-05-24 09:56:31
18.   Bumsrap
DeWitt, Martin, Loney, Kemp, Ethier, LaRoche, Abreu, Hu, Pitcher.
2008-05-24 09:56:50
19.   regfairfield
15 No just average production from lineup spots. It's basically this:

High on base, low slug
Best hitter
Third worst hitter
Second-Sixth best hitters
Worst hitter
Second worst hitter

2008-05-24 09:56:53
20.   PalmdaleSteve1
The great Dodger mailing list in the sky has spoken:

"The 20-year-old Dodger phenom, Clayton Kershaw, will make his first start as a Major Leaguer this Sunday at Dodger Stadium, and you can be here to share the memory."

What the heck, I know what I'm doing tomorrow afternoon.

2008-05-24 09:59:31
21.   max power
Yup, my wife just got the same Dodgers.com email: "Come see Kershaw in action tomorrow"

And so I will, and so I will.

2008-05-24 10:02:20
22.   Bob Timmermann
Jayson Werth went on the DL with a strained oblique.
2008-05-24 10:04:30
23.   tethier
In addition to sending someone down, don't they have to drop someone from the 40 man?
2008-05-24 10:05:13
24.   Eric Stephen
23
If Jones goes to the DL it would presumably be the 60-day variety.
2008-05-24 10:06:54
25.   bonnie
I am so stoked. I just bought dugout club seats yesterday for Sunday! Now this news. Can't wait to see Clayton
2008-05-24 10:07:03
26.   Eric Stephen
As much as I really want to be there tomorrow for Kershaw's debut, I wanted to stay home this weekend (too much driving out of town the last few months). So I'll enjoy it from my couch, followed by the Lakers/Spurs game.
2008-05-24 10:09:32
27.   PalmdaleSteve1
24

If Jones goes 60 day DL will the Dodgers make him hang around LA and work with the club on the rehab and trips to Ginny Craig?

2008-05-24 10:09:35
28.   Greg Brock
26 I will share this magical moment with you via the spendid internet tubes.
2008-05-24 10:09:52
29.   Bob Timmermann
I should be home Sunday, although I'll be leaving to go to my brother's for a barbecue toward the end of the game.

The allure of pulled pork is hard to pass up. And besides by the time I leave, Kershaw should be out of the game. I doubt he will pitch more than 5 innings and I wouldn't be surprised if he got pulled before 5.

2008-05-24 10:10:47
30.   DXMachina
6 - I think it's probably the longish link in post #154 that's stretching the comment section sideways.

9 - Yeah, the choice at that point was Jones, Maza, or Ardoin. I might've been tempted to send up Brad Penny.

2008-05-24 10:10:58
31.   tethier
24 I would think Jones may eventually go on the 60 day, but it doesn't seem like it will be tomorrow. I would think it will be a pitcher - Alvarez, Stults? They will also have to mnake a similar decision when Schmidt reurns.
2008-05-24 10:11:23
32.   underdog
I also think silverwidow's thought that Alvarez could be cut from the 40 man is another possibility. Otherwise, yeah, a 60 man move would have to be made, and they've already done that with Schmidt.

Anyway, good luck to the Dodgers. May the games be filled with better clutch hitting than seen last night. May Brad Penny, well, suck less than he has. I shall be offline, which is a good thing but a sad thing when it comes to missing Kershaw's debut. To the archives with me, then. Have a good Memorial Day.

2008-05-24 10:14:07
33.   Eric Stephen
28
I fully expect to be like Timothy Busfield in Field of Dreams. I'm just going to stare at the TV, wondering what everyone is talking about when, all of a sudden, I'll be able to see a certain pitcher appear out of thin air.

Hopefully a little girl won't have to choke for this revelation to happen.

2008-05-24 10:14:58
34.   Eric Stephen
31
From the talk of everyone, Jones is either active or, boom, right to surgery. If he's going on the DL, it will be 60-man.
2008-05-24 10:16:36
35.   Eric Stephen
31
Sweeney (hopefully) or Young (hope not) could also be DFA. That would require a 2nd callup (hopefully LaRoche), with Brazoban most likely heading to AAA to make room for Kershaw on the 25-man.
2008-05-24 10:18:08
36.   Eric Stephen
There are still $225 baseline seats available for tomorrow's game.
2008-05-24 10:18:18
37.   Alex41592
Public Enemy #1: ITD:

"That's what Vin Scully called Clayton Kershaw's curveball back in Spring Training and it'll be on display tomorrow at Dodger Stadium in his big league debut.

To make room for him, Esteban Loaiza was designated for assignment and Yhency Brazoban was optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas..."

2008-05-24 10:20:13
38.   Eric Stephen
37
He exists!!!
2008-05-24 10:21:22
39.   underdog
Whoa! They waived Loiaza! Hah. Hah.

Awesome.

Some sucker team will pick him up.
Of course our sucker team is paying for him. But still.

Btw, neat story on Lamar Odom on Yahoo today.
http://tinyurl.com/3gyyob

Now I'm really leaving.

2008-05-24 10:21:46
40.   tethier
35 37 Sweeney would have good - Loaiza is just as good.
2008-05-24 10:22:50
41.   Eric Stephen
40
Now we can just tie the Sweeney DFA to LaRoche's return! :)
2008-05-24 10:33:24
42.   Bluebleeder87
At some point the Dodgers need to say the hitting core of this team is Martin, Loney, Kemp, Ethier, DeWitt and say the other hitters are fill in players/hitters and put them in the batting order accordingly.

Believe it or not Steve Lyons has been pushing for something similar to that during the pre & post game shows. I didn't get to watch the game yesterday & the only thing I did watch was Andruw Jones K'ing, man I gotta tell you guys his swing just screams out K me.

2008-05-24 10:36:05
43.   Bluebleeder87
37

right on!!

2008-05-24 10:39:35
44.   regfairfield
Not too thrilled about Loaiza getting DFA'd here since he's not the worst starter on the 25 man, but I'll live.
2008-05-24 10:42:38
45.   Bluebleeder87
37

I'm getting that feeling (you know) of butterfly's in my stomach, like when your gonna meet a smokin' chick or when your gonna pitch a very important game, historical day?? who knows, all I know is that I wanna be there, I WILL BE THERE & if it turns out he is a mythical creature I can tell my kids I was there in his L.A. Dodger debut.

2008-05-24 10:56:57
46.   JoeyP
Loaiza should have never been picked up in the first place. Hopefully this a lesson in picking up pricey PVL with low upside. But I doubt it will be.
2008-05-24 10:58:19
47.   Bluebleeder87
Loaiza's 82 mph fastball won't be missed by this Dodger fan, I'm glad Ned had the cajones to do what he did, great job Ned, now if he can only learn from his mistakes...
2008-05-24 11:02:30
48.   JoeyP
I'm really interested to see how Kershaw adjusts.

He doesnt have quite the dominant numbers that Lincecum or Scherzer, Joba had when they were called up.

2008-05-24 11:05:01
49.   silverwidow
48 He's way younger than those guys, so his numbers are super impressive since they were against older competition.
2008-05-24 11:07:10
50.   sporky
Pinch me, I'm dreaming.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-05-24 11:10:04
51.   Greg Brock
The Minotaur is about to become a person! With a real name!
2008-05-24 11:11:42
52.   Marty
Now we start the countdown to when we are sick of him.
2008-05-24 11:26:39
53.   robohobo
I wonder if the Dodgers promotion of Kershaw has anything to do with how successful the Giants were with Lincecum. The Dodgers treatment of Kershaw is so different than their treatment of their other young players.
The Dodgers could have picked Lincecum instead of Kershaw, right?
2008-05-24 11:32:11
54.   Bluebleeder87
From my understanding the Giants do a poor job of monitoring there young pitchers pitch counts, I guess only time can tell if it's good or bad.

Traditionally though, it ain't good!

2008-05-24 11:40:10
55.   Greg Brock
52 Now we start the countdown to trading him for a veteran player who can lead this club to the first playoff series victory in twenty years.

/Plaschke'd

2008-05-24 11:49:56
56.   silverwidow
Assuming his call-up is for good, he'll spend 128 days or so on the Active Roster. Does anyone know if this makes Kershaw a Super Two candidate?
2008-05-24 12:00:46
57.   scareduck
Failure being more common than success, it's an entirely legitimate concern to be worried about Kershaw being called up. He may be a roaring success; why plan for that to happen, though?
2008-05-24 12:04:43
58.   scareduck
Group DT ticket purchase? I'll be at the park one way or another.
2008-05-24 12:06:32
59.   scareduck
42 - agreed. He reminds me of Gary Matthews, Jr. on the Angels in that pitchers can very easily get him to swing from the heels at pitchers that are out of the zone.
2008-05-24 12:08:34
60.   Reddog
I'm a little worried about the Bison's lack of home runs this season. He's hit only 3 so far, less than DeWitt. He's not pulling the ball with power like he did the last two years.

I was at the game last year where he crushed one into the loge deck down the left field line. He hasn't done anything like that this year. I think we could use some home runs - last night's game for example - and we need Kemp to start showing he's a potential 30 home run guy.

2008-05-24 12:10:36
61.   Jon Weisman
Jones won't go on the 60-day. Even if he has surgery, recovery time is only about five weeks.
2008-05-24 12:13:27
62.   PalmdaleSteve1
61

Jenny Craig has a five week weight loss program, who'd a thunk.

2008-05-24 12:17:44
63.   popup
Thanks for the list of young LA pitchers Jon; I just scrolled through it. I remember watching Dick Calmus in 1963 and some of the other young pitchers too. Back in the Brooklyn days of the franchise there was a 19 year old pitcher who went on to have a pretty good career.

Stan from Tacoma

2008-05-24 12:20:54
64.   Jon Weisman
57 - Concern is one thing. Saying that a move is a mistake because "look at Edwin Jackson" is another. That's all I'm trying to say.

And though this is beside my point, as Tom wrote yesterday, the comparison between Kershaw and Jackson isn't even fair. How much more common is failure than success for pitchers with Kershaw's credentials.

Kershaw is not Jackson; Kershaw is not Valenzuela. Kershaw is Kershaw.

2008-05-24 12:22:26
65.   imperabo
Someone needs to found a university for GMs. Whatever the tuition it would be cheaper than what the Dodgers are paying for Colleti to learn the job.
2008-05-24 12:25:26
66.   PalmdaleSteve1
65

The Donald is working on a special class in Trump U for that very thing, classes in comb jobs is an extra.

2008-05-24 12:25:28
67.   Jon Weisman
60 - Not at the expense of his development. If it means sacrificing a few homers now so that he can learn to hit to all fields, I'm all for it.
2008-05-24 12:27:42
68.   Greg Brock
60 He can't whiff 150 times and crush 30 homers. It's not what we do here.
2008-05-24 12:29:11
69.   Sam NYC
67 - I agree with that, but it certainly is frustrating when Ethier, Loney, Kemp, and Martin are on pace to fall short of 20 homers when all seemed poised to break that mark based on their performance last season.
2008-05-24 12:35:43
70.   Bob Timmermann
I've confused Bronx Banter with my yellow alert issued for Jason Giambi.
2008-05-24 12:36:56
71.   Paul Scott
If Kershaw is ready, then he should be brought up. I am not in a position to judge that, so I'll assume White and Co. know what they are doing. It's probably not a good economic decision, but I don't care that much about that factor in this case.

The problems with the Dodger rotation are not related to Kershaw's presence or absence. My only real issue with the way the rotation has been handled is Kou, who clearly needs to be made a starter and left there for a substantial period of time. Park and Loaiza are not good choices since at best they are a wash and Kou has so much potential upside. Torre has been a real idiot to insist that somehow having a second lefty in the BP provides so much value that Kou can't be given a real chance as a starter.

2008-05-24 12:37:03
72.   dzzrtRatt
I'm glad the Dodgers are doing this. He's a mature kid, ready for a lot of responsibility, centered and spiritual enough to take the good with the bad. I'm not worried about him failing. He will fail, occasionally. But he'll bounce back.

Moving Loiza out to make room for Kershaw is such a lesson learned. One can hope Colletti, or I should say McCourt after he fires Colletti, will never let this team get bogged down by overpriced fading veterans again.

2008-05-24 12:40:52
73.   Evan Darrow
56 - Hard to say, but I would guess yes it would.

60 - Despite his laying off bad pitches a bit better this year, he hasn't really learned to look for a pitch he can drive yet. He's never really been a big HR hitter even in the minors: he had the one season where he hit 27, but over his minors career, he's averaged roughly 20 HRs per 500 ABs (60 in 1579 minor league ABs), and even in individual seasons, he's only really exceeded that average once.

64 - Jackson's collapse had more to do with his mechanics being overhauled then anything, I suspect. He was converted to pitching by the Dodgers so he had very little experience prior to pro ball, and the tweaking just didn't take. Unless Honeycutt goes completely overhauling Kershaw's delivery like was done with Jackson, I don't think the comparison fits.

Speaking of former Dodger prospects, looks like Chuck Tiffany is back pitching, tho' he's having a very Greg Miller-like performance in Vero Beach for Tampa thus far.

2008-05-24 12:41:24
74.   Jon Weisman
71 - I basically agree.

One thing I like about bringing Kershaw up when the pitching has had a pretty good week is that the team isn't going to have to live and die with his performance. A good outing by Penny tonight would sure reinforce that, though.

I have a lot of confidence in Kershaw, but I hope he isn't judged moment-to-moment the way Billingsley was.

2008-05-24 12:43:10
75.   PalmdaleSteve1
Where's Schmidt in all this?

The news of how he's progressing and when he's going to reappear on the active roster seems to have dried up.

Anyone...Got News?

2008-05-24 12:45:22
76.   Evan Darrow
75 - He's scheduled to make his next rehab start on Monday I believe, and thus far has looked reasonably good. Tho' from all reports, his velocity is still barely touching 90 (it has increased slightly between his first and second appearances, so we'll see if it improves more).
2008-05-24 12:45:38
77.   Jon Weisman
75 - I posted a Schmidt update in the previous thread.
2008-05-24 12:47:47
78.   arborial
58 I might be interested in a group purchase, what section?
2008-05-24 12:48:16
79.   Dark Horse
75-I agree, so far as being "judged moment to moment" is concerned especially. And it's maddening to know that he will be, that if & when he struggles the Plaschkes and the casual fans will be all over it. One needn't look as far back as Jackson, one need only look to LaRoche to see how quickly some people might be ready to punt.

The thing is, absurd expectations are going to hang over Kershaw's head regardless of when he's called up, and I suspect even Ned Colletti knows you don't punt on a pitching prospect of this caliber. Ever. Unless you know for a medically-certified fact there's something wrong with him, in which case you deal him for Pujols and never look back. But, um, the organization's recent record of recognizing injuries means that could never happen either.

2008-05-24 12:53:05
80.   Bob Timmermann
Cycle alert canceled in New York.

Stand down.

2008-05-24 12:56:08
81.   Andrew Shimmin
Is Justin Speier dating a Fox producer? How does he keep getting to read the lineups in new and painfully unfunnier ways every week?
2008-05-24 12:59:57
82.   Bob Timmermann
Has Alfredo Griffin always been wearing a helmet with an ear flap on it while coaching?
2008-05-24 13:01:12
83.   bhsportsguy
I know I am in the minority about this but I tend to agree with how the Dodgers have handled Kuo and LaRoche, two players with high ceilings but unfortunately have gotten hurt at the wrong time.
2008-05-24 13:02:53
84.   Greg Brock
83 I've never had a problem with how the Dodgers have handled Kuo.
2008-05-24 13:03:44
85.   Bob Timmermann
bhsportsguy? Heretic or apostate?

That's the topic tonight on "Firing Line."

Let's ask CanuckDodger for his opinion first.

2008-05-24 13:06:31
86.   Eric Enders
56 "Assuming his call-up is for good, he'll spend 128 days or so on the Active Roster. Does anyone know if this makes Kershaw a Super Two candidate?"

He'll get 127 days, assuming they keep him up the rest of the year. Every year since the Super Two rule was enacted, the cutoff has been somewhere between 128 and 153 days, according to BP. So it would appear that we're safe.

2008-05-24 13:09:11
87.   Eric Enders
84 Oh, man. How could anyone approve of the way they've jerked him around? They're treating him like he's Evelyn Mulwray.

"You're a starter!"
[slap]
"You're a reliever!"
[slap]
"Starter!"
[slap]
"Reliever!"
[slap]

2008-05-24 13:10:45
88.   Sam NYC
83 - I tend to agree, especially with Kuo who seems to get injured every time he starts regularly. I also think it's only a matter of time before Dewitt moves to second and Laroche takes over third. I'm also not sold on Hu. I like his defense but I don't think he's better than Furcal, or will be anytime in the next three years. And with DeJesus coming up, I would be happy to see the Dodgers resign Furcal and trade Hu.
2008-05-24 13:11:43
89.   Greg Brock
87 Because he's made of glass and is going to break down anyways.
2008-05-24 13:13:35
90.   gpellamjr
Watching the ATL-AZ game. I just realized that Chipper Jones is batting .419 with his right-handed single up the middle. Wow.
2008-05-24 13:13:50
91.   Eric Enders
Of course, I guess Kuo's in good company, since Kemp, Loney, Ethier, and Billingsley all got jerked around to varying degrees also. Martin and Broxton somehow managed to escape that fate.
2008-05-24 13:20:49
92.   dzzrtRatt
Getting jerked around is Tom Lasorda's recommended hazing tactic for young players. It's a fun way for the Dodgers to show that they don't like them.
2008-05-24 13:21:02
93.   Bumsrap
Much has been printed about Colletti wanting as much pitching depth as he can get but I am curious if there is another shoe to drop. Schmidt, Penny, Lowe, Billingsley, Kiroda, Kershaw, Park, Kuo, McDonald--That's 9 starters.

With Jones and Kent not performing like 3, 4, or 5 hitters, not even performing like #8 hitters and Pierre really hot and cold, could there be a trade being discussed? If Penny falters again is it because he is about to go on the DL about the time Schmidt will come off?

There is something going on. I can smell it.

2008-05-24 13:22:19
94.   Eric Enders
92 But even Lasorda managed to get nine rookies of the year by putting them in the lineup and leaving them alone.
2008-05-24 13:22:35
95.   Sam NYC
Does anyone have an idea as to why Martin doesn't want an extension?
2008-05-24 13:23:14
96.   Eric Stephen
I have Daron Sutton an Mark Grace calling the D-Backs/Braves for Fox, and to their credit they haven't completely homerized the broadcast. Shockingly Grace hasn't shouted "Gas!" after any fastball for a strike yet.
2008-05-24 13:24:11
97.   Eric Enders
93 I don't know about the Penny to the DL stuff, since he was throwing 96 in his last start and appeared healthier than he had all year.
2008-05-24 13:24:18
98.   Eric Stephen
Because he can make something like $10 million more just during his 4 arb years by risking going year to year.
2008-05-24 13:24:44
99.   Eric Stephen
98 was meant for 95 .
2008-05-24 13:25:42
100.   Eric Enders
95 Martin's been quoted as saying that he would be open to an extension "if they want to offer something legitimate."

Which, of course, is presumably reason enough for us to trade him to Florida and boo the hell out of him whenever he comes back.

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2008-05-24 13:27:23
101.   Greg Brock
95 Jason Kendall made 60 million dollars four years ago, while older and less healthy.

Martin is going to make a killing.

2008-05-24 13:27:33
102.   Gen3Blue
re 60 I agree its disappointing about the young guys present home-run pace, but I don't think you can really measure it for Kemp and Ethier until they get regular playing time.
2008-05-24 13:28:17
103.   Bumsrap
99 - Thanks for the clarification, I was thinking it was for 100.
2008-05-24 13:28:35
104.   Sam NYC
But he doesn't even want to discuss an extension. From what I've heard, there hasn't even been an offer so it would be hard for him to determine whether he'd make more money going year to year. What gives with that?
2008-05-24 13:30:59
105.   Eric Enders
104 As I said above, it's hasn't been established that he doesn't want to discuss an extension. Martin says he does, the Dodgers say he doesn't. Somebody's fibbing, obvlously.
2008-05-24 13:31:02
106.   Eric Stephen
Kemp has played in 34 of the past 35 games, starting 31 of them.
2008-05-24 13:31:05
107.   regfairfield
101 It was sixty for six, but Martin is still going to clean up in arbitration.
2008-05-24 13:32:41
108.   Greg Brock
Martin is by far my favorite player on the Dodgers, but I'd be thrilled if they caught him until his legs gave out and let him walk as a free agent.
2008-05-24 13:33:01
109.   Gilberto Reyes
I have been closely following the Dodgers since 1973 and Kershaw's arrival would appear to be the most highly anticipated rookie debut for the Dodgers that I can remember. The hype like this was not there for Fernando in 1980, Edwin Jackson, or even Billinglsley a few years ago. And I may be forgetting someone, but I can't recall a Dodger position player arriving with as much fanfare. Can anyone recall something like this since the team moved to LA?
2008-05-24 13:33:16
110.   Sam NYC
I didn't see 100 before posting 104, sorry. But this is even more reason to fire Colletti. This man gives $150 million to Pierre, Jones, Schmidt, Nomar and Loaiza, and now he gets cheap with Martin?
2008-05-24 13:34:09
111.   regfairfield
110 It's a risk. Those were proven veterans, therefore had nothing risky about them.
2008-05-24 13:35:05
112.   Lexinthedena
This front office loves to play hardball with the kids, while hooking the old-timers up with fat deals. Old School. Scrappy.
2008-05-24 13:35:12
113.   Eric Stephen
104
Just thinking logically, for the Dodgers to want to sign Martin through his arb years (through 2012) it would presumably be for less than the expected amount Martin would receive in arbitration.

The lure for Martin, in general, would be guaranteeing his salary for at least the years before he becomes a free agent.

I would imagine the Dodgers have made exploratory calls, something like "hey, would Russ sign for 5/$30 (including 2008)?" and Martin's and his agent simply haven't felt they are close enough to make it worthwhile.

2008-05-24 13:37:09
114.   Eric Enders
109 The closest thing to it since I started following the Dodgers would probably be Ramon Martinez's debut in 1988.

Maybe Nomo, but that's different.

Park and Dreifort's debuts were highly anticipated, particularly since they skipped the minor leagues.

2008-05-24 13:40:04
115.   Eric Stephen
110
On principle I agree with you, so much so that I would sign many of the kids at least through their arb years right now. However, let's look at this from a risk perspective.

If the Dodgers don't sign Martin, Billingsley, Kemp, Loney, et al, those players will all be under contract anyway. Sure the club could save money by locking them in now (with risk to be sure), but the players aren't going anywhere.

For free agents, offers are of course more time sensitive not to mention having to bid against other clubs. So while it appears they are going cheap, it's just two different markets.

I would fault the club though for not having a proper sense of urgency to sign these guys. Sure there's a risk, but with the money they save they can go get another FA in a few years (which may or may not be a bad thing).

2008-05-24 13:41:26
116.   Linkmeister
87 Alston treated Koufax in a similar fashion before about 1961, believe it or not. Or so my memory tells me.
2008-05-24 13:45:31
117.   Sam NYC
113 - Yeah, I get the whole dynamic of pre-free agency signings and why a player may agree to less money for more years guaranteed. But offering 5/$30 or anything similar to Martin is a joke (I know that was just illustrative). He's already considered one of the top catchers in baseball. I would imagine that a "real" offer is one similar to the contract the Mets gave Reyes and Wright, with an adjustment upwards for the increase in contracts generally.

I would expect the Dodgers to do that for Kemp, Loney, Ethier, Broxton, and Billingsley now as well, if for no other reason than to lock in money to the core of the team before determining how much money to spend on free agency. One of the reasons that Colletti has gotten away with his reckless spending is that the Dodgers are currently paying five position players less than $2 million combined. But that's going to last. And while the team can have the attitude that these players can't go anywhere, that's not really a great long-term strategy.

2008-05-24 13:46:28
118.   Gilberto Reyes
109 114 I remember Greg Brock and Billy Ashley geting a lot of hype because of their Albuqerque numbers. And Konerko was talked about a lot during at least one spring. But nobody like Kershaw.
2008-05-24 13:51:43
119.   Sam NYC
117 -- Should read "that's NOT going to last"
2008-05-24 13:52:16
120.   Greg Brock
I was pretty excited for Edwin Jackson's debut. Especially so afterwards.
2008-05-24 13:52:34
121.   CanuckDodger
A pitcher with Kershaw's attributes -- excellent stuff, left-handedness, elite pedigree -- being called up to the majors at age 20 without tasting Triple A, and with the experience and stats that Kershaw has in Double A (broadly but not exactly,) is something for which there is a precedent in recent years. Scott Kazmir, who was called up by Tampa Bay in 2004. These were Kazmir's numbers in Double A in 2004:

51.0 IP, 30 H's, 0 HR's, 20 BB's, 53 K's

Those numbers were split between the Mets' Double A team and Tampa Bay's Double A team. I didn't calculate the combined ERA between the two teams, but Kazmir's ERA was around the mid-1.00 range on both teams. Now let's look at Kershaw's numbers in Double A right now, at the same age:

43.0 IP, 32 H's, 0 HR's, 15 BB's, 47 K's, 2.28 ERA.

Very similar numbers for Kazmir and Kershaw, with Kershaw's worse ERA and worse hits surrender per inning numbers the biggest differences.

So how did Kazmir do in the majors the rest of that season?

35.1 IP, 33 H's, 4 HR's, 21 BB's, 41 K's, 5.67 ERA

A somewhat ugly ERA, so Kazmir wasn't exactly contributing much to Tampa Bay's cause at age 20. It was really at age 21, the following year, that Kazmir became a legitimate asset in Tampa Bay's rotation.

2008-05-24 13:53:03
122.   Eric Stephen
117
5/$30 is not out of line. 2009 will be Martin's 3rd year (from a service time standpoint), and he'll get arbitration for 4 years.

Brian McCann got $15.5m total for his 3 arb years.

Joe Mauer got $20.5m total for his 3 arb years.

Each of those guys also were signed through at least one year of free agency (a plus for the club).

Give Martin a bonus an put his 4-6 years at $25m total. Throw in $5m for 2009 (1st arb year), and your at $30m for 4 years. His salary this year wouldn't be much more than the current $500k (maybe a signing bonus of $1-2m) so the total contract would be at about 5/$32. That would let Martin establish a record for catchers with his service time, AND still be a free agent after year 6. Not out of line at all.

2008-05-24 13:58:59
123.   regfairfield
122 That was before the first year arbitration record doubled over two years.
2008-05-24 14:02:14
124.   Eric Stephen
117
Here are the Mets' contracts, from the standpoint of service time:

Wright (6/$55)
signing bonus: $1.5m
3rd year (team control): $1m
3 arb years: $22.5m
2 free agent years: $29m
option year: $16m ($1m buyout)

Reyes (4/$23.25)
signing bonus: $1.5m
3 arb years: $12.25m
1 free agent year: $9m
option year: $11m ($500k buyout)

2008-05-24 14:06:03
125.   Greg Brock
The Reyes deal is amazingly good for management. Good God.
2008-05-24 14:06:47
126.   berkowit28
122 Most of the point of all the early signings we've seen to date is that it also covers the first couple years of free agency. The player gets a degree of security in case they get injured or fade, the team gets them cheaper in the last couple of arbitration years and those 2 years of FA if the player becomes a star. Martin doesn't want to sell himself cheap since he can (unless he gets injured or fades, which he'll probably gamble on) make a lot more, and a big market team like the Dodgers doesn't really have to take the risk since they can afford the big numbers if he's worth it. (This is what the recent LA Times article argued.) So there's not much driving either party to bargain now - they can both afford to wait, whatever they may say publicly.
2008-05-24 14:06:50
127.   Bob Timmermann
116
Roger Kahn would have you believe that Alston and the Dodgers treated Koufax the way they did because they were anti-Semitic.
2008-05-24 14:10:28
128.   Sam NYC
122 - Perhaps I shouldn't have called $30 million a "joke" (for many reasons), but I still wouldn't consider that a serious offer if I were Martin. Contracts have exploded in the last couple years, so precedents from then are not likely to sway Martin. And Martin is different than the examples you gave for several reasons.

Joe Mauer may have gotten $20.5 for his arbitration years, but his total deal was 4/33 and he gave the Twins a home town discount times two (he's a St. Paul native).

And McCann's contract was based on one productive season, so he took a cut because he wasn't as established and thus posed more risk for the team.

And good call on the Reyes deal, but I think the Martin deal should look a lot like the Wright deal. And the point is that Martin probably does, too.

2008-05-24 14:15:06
129.   Eric Stephen
Ryan Howard's $10m arbitration win is really the fly in the ointment here. He's essentially a year ahead of Martin. I don't know if Martin will get $10m in 2009 but Howard's deal certainly didn't help the Dodgers any.

Here are some of the recent deals of young players, perhaps as more comps for Martin (signed after Howard):

Ryan Braun
If he qualifies as a Super Two after 2009, his 4 arb years total $25.5m

Hanley Ramirez
3 arb years + 1 free agency: $38.5m

Let's assume Martin is an all-star again for contract purposes. What is the most he will cost the Dodgers in his 4 arb years? $44m (8/10/12/14)? That seems high to me but you never know.

2008-05-24 14:17:54
130.   regfairfield
129 There's not much precedent for really high value players in arbitration, but historically you get about 50% more per arbitration year.

At this point, there's absolutely no reason for Martin to sign a contract.

2008-05-24 14:19:52
131.   68elcamino427
Just got my tickets for Sunday's game.
2008-05-24 14:21:09
132.   Jike Spingleton
109, 114
Nomo's debut was certainly more anticipated, but as noted, it was different. For a Dodger minor leaguer, this is as much hype as I've ever seen.
2008-05-24 14:23:26
133.   68elcamino427
109
I'd say the anticipation is on the scale of a major free agent signing. (not mentioning any names, I don't want to jinx the mythical one)
2008-05-24 14:29:39
134.   Linkmeister
127 Yeah, but I never believed that very much. I think they thought he was too young and they thought the rules forced them to keep him on the roster when they thought they had better alternatives.
2008-05-24 14:30:34
135.   Bob Timmermann
134
Yes, Koufax was forced to remain on the major league roster because of the size of his signing bonus.
2008-05-24 14:37:52
136.   Eric Stephen
This just in: Randy Johnson is not dead yet. 10 K through 6 so far (only 82 pitches). Hopefully it will be in a losing effort...1-0 Braves.
2008-05-24 14:40:47
137.   Sam NYC
Of all the highly touted Dodger prospects over the years, I don't remember any of them being called potential hall of famers before they even debuted. I'll admit it, my expectations for Kershaw are now ridiculously high.
2008-05-24 14:41:17
138.   Greg Brock
133 Don Stanhouse?
2008-05-24 14:47:59
139.   herchyzer
116 . In 1961 I remember catching tadpoles in a puddle with my brother. Yep, that's about it for '61.
2008-05-24 14:53:04
140.   68elcamino427
138
That's hilarious! Stanhouse walked up to the backstop screen and climbed half way up before the start of a game that I attended. A couple of the coaches were trying to get him to come down. Stanhouse was really enjoying the moment. It appeared that "Full Pack" may have had something that altered his sense of reality. Not too long after that, he was floating on a raft in his pool in Las Vegas, counting his money.
2008-05-24 15:02:53
141.   Dodger Jack
The Dodgers tried DeWitt at second base in 2006. It messed up his hitting and they moved him back to third. Yet posters seem to want to bring up LaRoche (hitting .236 in AAA) and anoint him as our third baseman, moving DeWitt (hitting .314 in the bigs) to second to share time with Kent. This idea baffles me.
2008-05-24 15:07:44
142.   imperabo
141 For one thing, there's more to hitting than "hitting".
2008-05-24 15:12:02
143.   68elcamino427
138
Just checked the Card Board Gods. Ha!
2008-05-24 15:13:42
144.   Greg Brock
143 I never saw that. That's really weird.
2008-05-24 15:16:03
145.   Dodger Jack
Okay, there is more to hitting than "hitting." I presume this means that walks have value. So LaRoche is (at present) a poor AAA hitter but a great "walker." Whatever he is or isn't, he hasn't shown enough (at present) to earn a spot at third base or to move DeWitt into a part time role at second base.
2008-05-24 15:20:46
146.   Longhorn Bill
Yuniel Escobar out on batter's interference.
2008-05-24 15:23:48
147.   Greg Brock
Andy LaRoche is a career .294/.380/.522 hitter in the minors.

This is getting really tiring.

2008-05-24 15:25:31
148.   Zach the Ripper
I just casually checked my mini-season plan schedule to see when my next game is....and whadayaknow...it's tomorrow.
That would have been a dandy of a story to tell my grandkids one day....."I had a chance to see the the great Clayton Kershaw pitch his major league debut, but I forgot I had the tickets. Although, I do remember it was nice watching the game from my couch with a reasonably priced refreshment."
2008-05-24 15:26:56
149.   silverwidow
145 He has close to a .900 OPS. Since when is that 'poor'? There's more to hitting than batting average; this isn't the 70s anymore.
2008-05-24 15:28:39
150.   silverwidow
145 And your dismissal of his walks is funny -- would you prefer he make outs if the pitcher isn't giving him anything good to hit?
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2008-05-24 15:30:16
151.   68elcamino427
Next season, if/when Kent retires, someone is going to play second base for the Dodgers.
Is DeWitt athletic enough and tough enough to be the one? Does he have enough range and enough glove? Sure looks like it to me.
2008-05-24 15:31:32
152.   Eric Enders
What's truly baffling is the notion that a player can forget how to hit because he's standing 90 feet farther to the left on the infield.
2008-05-24 15:32:40
153.   Andrew Shimmin
Will there be prizes at the end of this caucus race?
2008-05-24 15:34:15
154.   Jacob Burch
So I brought it up before with tempered interest--anyone interested in a DT mass buy for tomorrow's game?
2008-05-24 15:34:26
155.   Icaros
152

Sorry, could you post that again? I was reading your comment from the opposite side of my living room and forgot how to read.

2008-05-24 15:35:00
156.   herchyzer
Hu to 2nd (defense). LaRoche to LF. DeWitt stays at 3rd. Resign Furcal(defense AND offense). Trade Pierre. Tonya Harding Jones!
2008-05-24 15:40:30
157.   Bob Timmermann
Braves beat AZ, 2-1.
2008-05-24 15:43:05
158.   Bob Timmermann
Tonight's lineup, via Tony Jackson

Pierre. LF
Maza. 2B
Ethier. RF
Martin. C
Loney. 1B
Kemp. CF
DeWitt. 3B
Hu. SS
Penny. P

For some reason, Jackson has putting extraneous periods in the lineups.

2008-05-24 15:48:29
159.   Eric Enders
This is not a good lineup for the Pee Wee Young Marching & Chowder Society.
2008-05-24 16:04:38
160.   Lexinthedena
Free Pee Wee!

Where have I heard that before?

2008-05-24 16:05:29
161.   Bumsrap
I would to like see Loney and Kemp always hit above the 5th spot in the lineup. I see Maza is good enough to hit second today but not good enough to pinch hit last night instead of Jones. When Jones plays, he has been hitting 7th or 8th indicating what Torre thinks of Jones current ability.
2008-05-24 16:06:31
162.   Bob Timmermann
Evan Longoria has two homers in two at bats in the first two innings in St. Petersburg, good for five RBI.

The Rays are up 9-1 on the Os.

2008-05-24 16:06:36
163.   PDH5204
149 Believe it or not, we had OBP and SLG back in the 70s.

For scareduck, wherever he may be gliding across that body of water or flying through the sky, well, it isn't lack of vision but next step:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121149546083915647.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

And what did I say? Physics does not measure velocity in terms of hard, medium and soft, but instead in such units as meters per second? From the piece:

""Instead of saying, 'There's a hard smash to third base' we could say, 'That ball was hit 106 mph and the third baseman had a third of a second to react.' " says Peter Jensen, a statistician and summit attendee who has written for the Hardball Times, a baseball analysis site. "That adds some context that's been lacking so far."

It isn't some context lacking so far, it is THE context lacking so far. All doubles appear the same in the box score, but not all doubles are equal when described in mechanical/physical terms.

We might want to find out not only his AVG, OBP, and SLG, but the average velocity of the ball off his bat for all his balls in play. The average velocity of the pitch before it hit his bat for all balls in play. The average angle of the ball off his bat, relative to the ground, for all his balls in play. His average reaction time. The time it takes him to turn from facing the 1B line to the 3B line. The same re the turn towards 2B. The time it takes him to turn around on the ball hit over his head. The time of his first step. How long it takes him to go 5 feet to his front, his left, his right, and his rear. And there is a reason why Gibson is in the DBacks dugout with a stopwatch [why we don't have one of our own...].

Those sorts of things, and we can add in some refinement so we don't have some meaningless "average". We can represent the data in both paper and visual form. Sorry, my friend, but again, no malice or ill will on part, but we and he will be better served with the next step and my vision than we and will be by computing his "win shares".

Oh, and my bad on the parody that I did not recognize as parody. But, as you can see, maybe my failure of vision was owing to the parody not truly being parody, but the next step.

And I'll give the God of baseball and Hiroki thanks, since the day after, the WSJ article appears, and Hiroki pitches a gem.

Lastly, Jon, thanks for the assist on this one. In my mentally impaired state, the influenza virus has that effect, I had forgotten about the Pitch F/x piece that you linked-to and reported on prior. It ought to be useful to not only pitchers, but also to batters and fielders as well. And the pity of the whole thing is simply that more are not on board. We should have been doing this at least a decade ago.

2008-05-24 16:09:26
164.   Bumsrap
If Torre is going with the hot bat maybe someone should doubledog dare him to touch his tongue to Pierre's bat, then everybody run inside the clubhouse and act like they don't know Torre is still outside.
2008-05-24 16:15:36
165.   Bob Timmermann
Hey, I posted the piece on pfX two days ago on the Griddle!
https://griddle.baseballtoaster.com/archives/993759.html
2008-05-24 16:17:47
166.   goofus
Apologies if this has been brought up before. The decision to DFA Loiza instead of Sweeney might have hinged on the fact he was already "off" the club and doing it to Sweeney would have taken one of Joe's toys away from him, possibly making him cry. I think we will all grow to dislike Torre more than Little and Tracey. Loiza has a decent amount of trade value and we could have gotten something for him eventually but nobody is going to offer us a used baseball for Sweeney.
2008-05-24 16:23:12
167.   herchyzer
163 Hey! Hard, medium and soft ARE units of measurement. They are, I tells 'ya!
2008-05-24 16:24:15
168.   Eric Enders
Technically, we could still get something for Loaiza. The Braves, among others, are probably desperate for starting pitchers of even Loaiza's ilk.
2008-05-24 16:25:20
169.   bhsportsguy
I think Kemp is trying hard to hit the ball up the middle and to right field. You rarely see him pull the ball (line drives, fly balls), he does hit ground balls to the left side but I believe that is when he is ahead of an outside pitch or breaking ball and he turns his hands over.

In the long run, it will probably make him a better hitter but right now, I see him more Carl Crawford (not bad) instead of home run hitter.

2008-05-24 16:26:56
170.   Eric Enders
And actually, I take issue with the notion that nobody will offer a used baseball for Sweeney. In fact, let's make it official: I hereby offer a used baseball for Mark Sweeney. Not only will it get him off the roster of my favorite team, but I need a butler anyway.
2008-05-24 16:27:24
171.   bhsportsguy
Loiaza saved us from making a Kyle Lohse tyoe deal or dealing some kids for a pitcher.

Sure it costs some money but it bought them almost 2 months when they were ready to bring up Kershaw.

2008-05-24 16:27:46
172.   berkowit28
Arizona lose. Atlanta scores 2 in the bottom of the 9th to win 3-1.
2008-05-24 16:32:56
173.   Eric Enders
169 It's pretty clear from watching him that he's still a guess hitter. Last year he spent the whole season sitting on fastballs, and in 2008 he's spent the whole year sitting on breaking stuff. But pitchers seem to only be throwing him breaking balls on the outside part of the plate, which he can't pull for home runs. So instead, he's knocking singles to the opposite field. Good for him.

I'm still holding out hope that someday he'll learn to recognize pitches better. Imagine how good he'd be then, if he already has a .320 average as a guess hitter.

FWIW, Kemp's updated 2008 averages are .178 on fastballs, .375 on sinkers, .500 on curveballs, .412 on sliders, .360 on changeups, and 1.000 (two at-bats) on splitters.

2008-05-24 16:33:49
174.   Marty
I miss Bojangles.
2008-05-24 16:34:39
175.   Eric Enders
171 IMO it didn't save us from anything, and didn't buy us anything we didn't already have in McDonald/Houlton (2007) or Park/Kuo/Meloan (2008).
2008-05-24 16:36:41
176.   KG16
163 - here's the problem, "there's a hard smash to third" explains, to the normal ear that a ball was hit 106 mph, giving the third baseman third of a second to react. It doesn't tell us exactly what happened, but it tells us enough of what happened.

Your approach troubles me in a way that a lot of the sabremetrics style does... it misses the forest for the trees a lot of times. In an attempt to better express what has happened, we actually fail to explain what has happened.

As an example, someone above asked "would you prefer him to make outs when the pitcher is giving him nothing to hit?" The answer is, "sometimes." Generally getting on base is better than not getting on base, but late in a tie game with one out and a runner on third, I would prefer an out that gets the runner in rather than a walk that sets up a double play.

The game is ultimately played on the field and the analysis can only tell us what has happened, not will happen. The long run, ultimately, has no bearing on the individual instance. As an example, we know that Player X is a .333 hitter and has failed to get a hit in his last two at bats, that is no indication, however, that he will get a hit in this at bat (1 out of 3).

2008-05-24 16:40:51
177.   imperabo
163 This is an interesting conversation, but I haven't followed the whole thing. Can you explain, like in one simple sentence, what your point is?
2008-05-24 16:42:43
178.   kinbote
Who's this Clayton kid?
2008-05-24 16:45:41
179.   KG16
178 - apparently he just came into existence today, don't know a thing about him
2008-05-24 16:48:49
180.   ucladodger
173

I love Kemp's approach, but he needs more power right now. Not just for himself, but for the team because right now he really is a singles hitter right now. My problem with his apporach is choosing when to sit on pitches. When he is up on the count in fastball counts he is still late on fastballs. He really needs to sit on fastballs and let loose, trying to drive the ball to left field. It's not like he hasnt had pitches to hit, he's just missed a ton. But, for him to still be hitting .320 while "Struggling" is really amazing.

2008-05-24 17:10:48
181.   PDH5204
176 Would you have guessed that my prior position here is that numbers tend to horribly mangle the individual instance that is baseball? So you and I agree on this point. It's also one of the reasons why I don't like certain stats purported to speak to "runs created". To take just the one example, in 2006, the Dodgers had, if I am not mistaken, 153 HRs. That was good for 15th in the NL, above only the lowly Pittsburgh Pirates. The stats tend to average that out when predicting runs created and so games won, but the fact is that we had 4 + 1 of our 153 in a single game. The reality can be expressed as 153/162, for our averaged rate of HRs per game [less than 1], and we can then consider that one game accounted for 5/153 of the 153/162. And as I am so fond of saying, teams score runs in crazy ways in baseball games, and we get 10 hits and 2 runs and they get 4 hits and 5 runs. So I understand your point.

But, trying to measure a given player's worth or value, we can and should measure the physical, i.e., his bat speed, his reaction time, his turn time, his first step, how well he truly hits the curve [broken down by type of curve and location], his rate of contact, those sorts of things. This we can and should do, or at least the GM and staff should be thinking along these lines before we trade and sign players. Not necessarily perfect, and it won't account for just how, and why, we scored our runs, but it is better than a box score and Ned's accomanying "he gets a lot of hits".

2008-05-24 17:10:56
182.   Lexinthedena
Kemp will be better than Dave Winfield.
2008-05-24 17:14:10
183.   Bob Timmermann
Orange alert for Carlos Pena in St. Petersburg.
Orange alert.
2008-05-24 17:14:39
184.   scareduck
Got my tickets for tomorrow, though not without major heartburn from Ticketmaster. Hateful, hateful, hateful.
2008-05-24 17:14:45
185.   berkowit28
Per Tony Jackson:

"Because there was a misunderstanding between Jeff Kent and Joe Torre that resulted in Kent coming to the park today expecting to play, he has been added back into the lineup. He'll take tomorrow off, then return on Monday at Chicago."

Any guesses where Kent will play in the lineup? )-; (Not divulged, but...)

2008-05-24 17:14:53
186.   Bob Timmermann
Oh, and I'll be going out, so I deputize whomever wants to cancel the alert.
2008-05-24 17:15:48
187.   Bob Timmermann
Pena walked in his fourth plate appearance, but it's just the sixth inning. He should still get another swing for a homer.
2008-05-24 17:19:14
188.   Bob Timmermann
My gut tells me that Kent will bat fourth and Ethier and Martin will move up one.
2008-05-24 17:20:03
189.   Dodger Jack
I admit, the LaRoche vs. DeWitt issue is tiring. But I finally have grasped the logic of putting LaRoche at third and making DeWitt a part-timer at second. Here goes: Walks are as important as hits. Just because LaRoche didn't hit in his short stint with the big club, just because he didn't hit during spring training last year or this, isn't any reason to deny him as the third base starter. After all, he had a wonderful minor league record, despite stumbling somewhat this year. DeWitt has hit over .300 in the bigs and won a few games singlehandedly but it is he, not LaRoche, who will have to move to second and share time there with Kent. Afterall, it is wrong to make LaRoche play second but okay to make DeWitt play there.

Why? Because walks are just as important as hits and LaRoche had better overall minor league numbers than DeWitt. And because this is not 1970.

Makes perfect sense. If only Torre, et al., will permit this to take place, LaRoche will undoubtedly be the difference maker this season. He might even surpass Druw as a "walker."

2008-05-24 17:20:15
190.   berkowit28
188 - Common gut. Gut it out.
2008-05-24 17:22:32
191.   scareduck
163 - again with the "because it isn't perfect, it's useless" argument, this time with batting average. Yes, it's flawed. No, it's not useless.

181 - which is why Runs Created is refined by Linear Weights. It's also why BPro's third-order pythagorean projections take into consideration the run environment. People have thought about these things and refined their models. It's not clear why you assume they haven't.

2008-05-24 17:23:09
192.   scareduck
185 - designated hitter?
2008-05-24 17:24:15
193.   scareduck
Rich Lederer tells me the Dodgers announced Kershaw will be in reserve, Park to get the start.
2008-05-24 17:24:32
194.   PDH5204
176 Sorry, almost forgot, but I do get your point re the out sometimes being better than the BB. Take last night and one Andruw Jones. I don't know what Andruw was thinking, but I saw the shift on, and so the Cards' 2B was just to the 1B-side of 2B and I was here at home saying to Andruw via the TV, Andruw, just hit a two-bouncer through that hole and tie game. A through the gap single would not exactly enhance Andruw's "power" numbers, but it would have got the job done.

But I do with that Ned and Co. would watch every one of Andruw's ABs, each play in the field, etc., before signing him. And instead of having to guess at the numbers, instead of the out of town scores in boxes on the side of the monitor, have the speed of the ball off the bat, his reaction time, the flight time of the ball, etc. And, of course, we would need Ned to truly understand the concept that those numbers illustrate in mathematical form, though I would hope that his task in that regard would be easier with the number[s] accompanying the visual depiction.

2008-05-24 17:24:54
195.   scareduck
... or he's pulling my leg. Whew!
2008-05-24 17:27:40
196.   Marty
Paths of Glory is on TCM. Anyone who hasn't seen it should watch it.
2008-05-24 17:29:38
197.   68elcamino427
185
Kent, the Gamer. Kent has been hitting the ball sqaurely the past few games. Maybe he'll get some breaks tonight against Lohse.
2008-05-24 17:29:45
198.   PDH5204
191 Excuse me, but just when and where did I say that AVG was useless? As I said, no malice or ill will, but I sure do wish that you would stop misstating and/or omitting the substance of my remarks.
2008-05-24 17:34:34
199.   Jon Weisman
189 - Next time, try making your arguments without the endless rude sarcasm, or they'll be deleted.
2008-05-24 17:37:03
200.   Andrew Shimmin
I think he misread the line: "Those sorts of things, and we can add in some refinement so we don't have some meaningless 'average' "

When you block quote three paragraphs from some other source, the temptation is always going to be to ignore the quotes. At least I'm always tempted to.

Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2008-05-24 17:39:28
201.   sporky
200 I give in to the temptation.

There's a surprising amount of venom despite today's news. Arizona lost, Loaiza's been DFA'd, and Kershaw is called up! Smile!

2008-05-24 17:42:04
202.   Ken Noe
Joining the conversation late, is there any evidence that Ned didn't try to move Loiaza before DFAing him? Seems to me he might well have tried and failed, given the contract vs. results.
2008-05-24 17:42:19
203.   Jon Weisman
196 - A great one, and one of David Simon's favorites.
2008-05-24 17:44:40
204.   imperabo
189 I'll respond, despite the tone. I don't think anyone wants to take anything away from DeWitt. LaRoche is clearly ready, and we're trying to figure a way to get him into the lineup. I think the reason we're looking at DeWitt to make the move is because he seems physically more able to play second than LaRoche, and we're going to need a second baseman next year, if not before. We have no depth at second, and a very old man playing there now.
2008-05-24 17:45:15
205.   Jon Weisman
New post up top.
2008-05-24 18:11:01
206.   Andrew Shimmin
By the way, the line immediately preceeding what was excerpted was: "Nearly everyone at the conference believed such advancements in measuring fundamentals could finally bring a 'why' to the "what" of box scores and stat sheets."

To the extent that the argument is: people should measure everything about baseball that's measurable, I don't think you'll find much dissent. I'm still not sure what to make of KG, but leaving that aside, I know I'm not opposed to knowing how fast a batter comes out of the box, or whether Matt Kemps groundballs really are hit harder than average groundballs.

But when the argument is: until every measurable physical aspect of the game is known, no other analysis is of any value, well, that's not tenable.

2008-05-24 19:12:06
207.   trunkybeat
In honor of Kershaw getting called up, I posted a blog and a youtube video of him pitching against another stud prospect earlier this year. Please see http://blog.360.yahoo.com/blog-aR.3pW00d6La91k_wR0Obts9?p=316 and tell me what you think.

trunkybeat

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