Categorized | Mark Timmons

Clayton Kershaw Will Be a Dodger Before the End of the Month!

I said it. I meant it, and I’m here to represent it! Ned Colletti watched Kershaw’s start last night and saw Clayton lower his ERA to 1.11. He is obviously pitching against hitters who are totally overmatched. I hear people say not to rush him, but there is also a point where it does him no good to pitch against hitters like that. I suppose they could send him to Vegas, but that is a real crap shoot. We know he can pitch against major leaguers. We have seen it. There’s no need to wait past the end of this month.

On May 3rd, here are some things we are dealing with and things that need to change:

  • As I predicted, Matt Kemp is our best #3 hitter, but I would really like to see Loney at #4 and Kent at #5, just to give us that R-L-R protection. I think it would help Loney too. I think he’ll break out soon (not that he’s doing bad);
  • Speaking of Kemp, one of the reasons he has to to play everyday is to keep him under control. When he sits, he tries to do it all in one AB. Play the Puma, Joe.
  • Raffy Furcal is driving up his contract price. If Ned has an inclination of signing him, he should do it now as a bidding war after the season will be expensive. Raffy’s agent says he is agreeable to signing now…
  • Andruw Jones just needs to sit and rot on the bench for a week. Let him be a defensive replacement and that’s it for a week! He needs a jolt!
  • Blake DeWitt has taken off his Superman Cape. He is mortal afterall!
  • Our bullpen remains a major strength. Our pen has blown 2 games. San Diego’s has blown 10!
  • Jason Schmidt will pitch a simulated game early next week and then head to Inland Empire for a rehab assignment – probably a full 30 days!
  • Gary Bennett needs some HGH – he’s hitting way below the Andruw Jones line.
  • Sign Piazza!
  • LaRoche was 0-3 last night
  • Meloan got hit hard last night

Finally, for those who are worried about Martin playing 3B, I had forgotten that Joe Torre used to play 1B when he was “resting” as a catcher, so I will defer to Joe. Dylan Hernandez of the LA TIMES addresses this issue:

Torre, himself a former catcher, said he used to play first base on his days off and that the change in positions served as a mental break. Martin said he understood the reasoning.

“It’s not the same,” Martin said. “You don’t have to think about what you’re going to do every pitch, how you’re going to get this guy out and so on. And you don’t have to squat the whole game.”

That being said, Torre made it clear that Martin would periodically receive complete days off.

ESPN’s Jason Crasnick writes about players with slow starts, among them AJ. – There are several others doing about as bad! Here’s what he says about Jones:

Jones’ early travails rekindle bad memories from last season, when his .222 batting average, .724 OPS and penchant for killing rallies made it a tough sales job for agent Scott Boras.

Jones turns 31 Wednesday, so it’s hard to believe his bat speed has vanished. But he messed himself up swinging for the fences in the quest for big money a year ago, and it might require an overhaul to resurrect the old Andruw.

“He’s in a horrible habit where he has no back-side pivot to unlock his hips, and every swing is an uppercut swing,” said a scout. “It’s a grooved swing, and if you happen to hit his bat, he’s swinging … so hard that he can do some damage. But there’s very little adjustment to be a good hitter.”

Just weeks into Jones’ tenure with the Dodgers, the team’s fans are already booing him with fervor. He has also become a target for acerbic Los Angeles Times columnist T.J. Simers, who dared him to climb on a scale last week and began referring to him as “Tubbo” when Jones’ weight popped up at 248. So much for a Southern California honeymoon.

Don’t look now, but we are just 4 games back. A week ago, the sky was falling. Now, we’re in “high cotton.”

About Mark Timmons

When you see the invisible, you can do the impossible!

9 Responses to “Clayton Kershaw Will Be a Dodger Before the End of the Month!”

  1. Badger says:

    Jones needs to be sent down. I don’t care he makes $18 million, he needs to discipline his swing and re-learn his strike zone and he can’t do it sitting on a bench. If he is going to be of any value to us, he needs 5 ab’s a night to work, and we can’t afford to see him practice on the big club. Send him DOWN!

    I have mixed feelings about Martin at 3rd. He probably is ok with it, but if it’s about rest, then rest him. Giving him another position to play might give him too much to think about. Then again, he is a player and it might be fine. And, LaRoche will be ready very soon. He has to be given the opportunity to prove it’s his position. If he can come through, then we don’t need to move our All Star catcher around.

    3 more unearned runs last night. That bugs me.

    Bullpen coming through. That pleases me.

    How about Pierre? I am telling you, Furcal/Pierre 1-2 is going to give other teams fits.

    Kershaw just may be ready. He is doing everything he can to earn that #5 spot and I don’t see anyone else on the current roster that impresses more than Clayton. Give him a start.

  2. Harold says:

    When I glanced at that picture of Clayton I thought it was a young Orel Hershiser – if only. I am not in a rush for Clayton to become a Dodger starter yet. AAA has better hitting than AA and if Clayton is that good he can pitch in Vegas, I would think. MLB hitting is much better than either AA or AAA so it will be a challenge. I do agree Mark, if we are in a race and looking for a boost, Clayton will be brought up. I think I would like it to be a short season in the bigs this year so teams don’t have time to adjust to him. Next year he will make his adjustments to them. Go Clayton!!

  3. mark says:

    If you go back and look at Joe Torre’s career, there were years that he played nearly as many games at 1B or 3B as he did C. Of course, later he quit catching.

    Johnny Bench was another C (some say the greatest of all time) who played a lot of other positions right from the beginning of his carerer so that they could keep his bat in the lineup. He played 1B, 3B and OF with as many as 20-40 games at other positions (more so early in his career).

    I don’t think it’s a big deal and here’s a point to consider:

    Catching may exhaust you mentally even more than physically. Playing 3B is a lot less “mindless” for Martin. Don’t discount the mental rest of playing 3B! With catching you have to be really thinking all the game. I’m not implying 3B don’t think – it’s just a different intensity!

  4. Badger says:

    Johnny Bench started playing outfield late in games that he had already started behind the plate. He won 10 Gold Gloves as a catcher and he did so while playing an inning here and an inning there at other positions, mostly in the outfield.

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/b/benchjo01.shtml

    Take a look at the number of innings he played behind the plate each year. The man was an iron horse. I don’t think they make them like they usta did. Take a look at IP from guys in that era. Won’t see that again.

    I suppose we could do something similar with Martin if we wanted to. But if the idea is to rest him, then rest him.

  5. Robert Cole says:

    When I first heard that Martin would be starting at first, I was outraged. Why play one of the best catchers in baseball today at third base, especially when you have a perfectly able bodied rookie, who until his two errors last night had proven himself worthy of the position. So to take DeWitt’s bat out of the line up, put Bennett behind the plate and put Martin at third seemed asanine. I understand the theory of resting a catcher at another position, and has a huge Russell Martin fanatic, would like to see him in the game regardless of position, but with Blake DeWitt previously on point, why not just give Martin a full day off?

    On the flip side, I am grateful to see that Joe is doing what he does best and turning the dodgers into a fantastic ball club. And when it came time to pull some strings with and when the game, being able to bring in DeWitt and put Martin back behind the plate where he belongs paid off with Blake batting in two runs. I think Joe has a great oppertunity and a plethera (yes plethera) of young talent that can do great things. If only he’d send Jones to Vegas. There is no reason not to have Pierre in the line up in favor of a guy that can’t seem to hit the ball.

    And for the record. I believe we should resign Furcal right now, whatever the cost.

    Go Dodgers.

  6. Robert Cole says:

    and webmaster, how about an editing feature? I suppose i could proofread….

  7. Harold says:

    I think the idea for Torre is to win as many games as possible and with Russell in the lineup he will win more.
    Now that is not a bad objective, in fact, I kind of like it. However, Russell will never rest until Joe forces him to.

    It is a long season – ST, regular season, post-season going on eight months. Maybe once we close the gap even more with the D’Backs, Joe will not push so hard with Russell. I know there are precedents with Torre, Bench and Tim McCarver, but as Badger points out times have changed. Maybe Russell is a throw back to the iron men in bseball era.

  8. mark says:

    1. We plan to add an “Edit” feature, but it might be a month or two (this is a hobby, not a business);

    2. We can’t send Jones to NLV unless he agrees.

  9. Badger says:

    Don’t you think if his option is 10 days on the pine he might take a couple week vacation at the Mirage?

    Send him there for 10 days and bat him lead-off. He’ll have 50 at bats to get his collective stuff together.

    Or, just tell him he has to sit in the corner for 10 days, and if the team is winning, another 10 days….. and so on. His choice.

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