Categorized | Mark Timmons

May 25, 2009 – Should We Trade Russ Martin?

May 25, 2009 – Should We Trade Russ Martin?

First of all, I am a Russ Martin fan, but foremost, I am a Dodger fan.  Earlier this year, I suggested that James Loney may be trade bait, but now I am also going to suggest that Russell Martin could be the one to be traded.   First of all, you should trade from a position of strength and we have AJ Ellis, Lucas May, Tony Delmonico, Matt Wallach and others moving up the ladder.  Russ Martin may also have peaked – we may have seen his best.  He was an overachiever, and maybe he will just continue to be a very good catcher, but not a star.   He will always be a good player, but trading him now may net us the most value in return. 

dodgertown0035He is THE BEST signal caller in baseball, best at blocking pitches in the dirt, and while his stats don’t reflect it, he has an elite arm.  The reason his caught stealing numbers are low is the fact that the Dodgers do not place a high priority on holding runners, and he is always at a disadvantage because of it.  On www.FireNedCollettiNow.com, Kensai posted Martin’s POP times, and they are some of the best in the game (POP is how long it takes from when the ball hits the catchers’ mitt until it hits the glove of the fielder).  Martin is an ELITE DEFENSIVE CATCHER!   However, I think that if we could get a #2 or #3 starter for Martin and maybe some other prospects, we probably would be a much better team.    So, when I say that we might trade Martin, I say it not because I am dissatisfied with him, but rather because I think we would improve the team by doing it.  Suggestions?

A wild card in this deal is Rafael Furcal who is hitting like a #8 hitter (and fielding like a below-average SS).  Can we afford Ellis/Ausmus and Furcal hitting at the bottom of the lineup. 

To use a Lawdog saying, it would be “felony stupid” to continue to hit Casey Blake (who appears to be in the midst of a “career year”)  in the #8 spot.  It was good to see Joe Torre move him up today … all the way the cleanup!  I suspect that with  his .305 average, he’ll stay in the middle of the order. 

RANTS & RAVES

  • Jamie Hoffman:  What  a debut!  I don’t think he’ll be  a star, but I do think with Paul and Hoffman, we have 2 really, really good 4th oF!
  • There is something wrong with Corey Wade.  YES!  PERIOD!
  • Mota keeps hanging on.  Is this a god or bad thing?
  • Should we be BOLD and trade Pierre and Martin now?  Pierre’s stock is high.

About Mark Timmons

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

60 Responses to “May 25, 2009 – Should We Trade Russ Martin?”

  1. Roger Dodger says:

    Mark, the problem is, that Martin is playing at his all-time low. His stock is not high. Zero HRs, not winning or hitting in key situations. First, is there a team out there that really needs a catcher that has a hitting friendly park?

    First I would do this. Play Martin three or four games tops a week and use Ausmus three times a week. That would rest Russell more, and he could come off the bench to pinch-hit. Maybe that would help him to get his mojo back.

    If they trade Pierre, it best be a solid trade. We do not know if Mrs. Manny will be old Manny again. He has gone through a lot with being uncovered . . . maybe age is catching up with him and he realizes he needs something to be like the old Manny . . . he does not want his candle to go out. If Pierre goes, and Manny is not Manny, with Kemp and Ethier on a sub-par year so far — that leaves not much for a solid outfield.

    Wonder if the Twins are tired of Morneau or Mauer, those guys are lightening it up, big time.

  2. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    I would have to be overwhelmed to trade Martin. A.J. Ellis has a great arm, and shows promise with the bat. But he's 28 years old, and unproven with the bat above AAA. There are no other catchers in the Dodger organization even close to the big leagues. Carlos Santana might have been close (but at least a year or two away), but we traded him in order to save $2 million (top amateur prospects get at least as much) on Casey Blake.

    As for Wade, it's become clear to me that he may still be suffering from shoulder problems. His command is nowhere near what it was last year, and that could be a sign that he's not himself physically. Although he probably needs more seasoning, the Dodgers recently moved Josh Lindblom back to the bullpen. Although nothing is probably imminent, it could be part of a plan to have him ready, just in case.

  3. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Continuing from my last post:

    Kuroda should be back soon, and who knows, maybe even Kuo (dare I say Schmidt?). And any of a number of pitchers currently on the staff could go (Milton, Mota, Ohman, Leach, etc.). By the way, I like Leach. Love his change, which has nice movement away from righthanded hitters (much like a screwball). He's definitely a work in progress, but I see lots of promise.

    I'm guessing that the Dodgers will continue to go with a 13 man pitching staff throgh at least the first week of June. After that they begin to get days off, and the extra pitcher will probably not be needed. It certainly would be nice to have a deeper and more balanced bench.

    Furcal is a worry, but I wouldn't be in the least bit surprised to see him suddenly get hot. He missed almost all of last year, and a good part of 2007. Maybe he just needs playing time to find consistency. As for his erratic fielding, that's really nothing new. Does anyone remember that he made 27 errors in 2006, the last year he played an entire season?

  4. Badger says:

    Trade Martin?

    In a word – of course not! That is ridiculous!

    It's not even June and even with his struggles he still has a .376 OPB and is hitting .271 with .426 OBP WRISP. He is the captain of this team, is one of the key elements in holding this staff together, and you are talking of trading him?

    What? Slow news day?

    As for Furcal, what are our options? He must be left in there with the confidence that he will come around.

  5. MrMagoo says:

    I'm sure we will make a move but it will be a deadline deal. No use blowing up the best record in all of baseball. When that guy comes back, we will have 3 weeks to pinpoint our needs. Can anybody lead-off? Can we sit Pierre ? If you are still struggling past the halfway point, it's no longer called a slump. Do we really need another starter, or is reinforcements for the bullpen the more pressing need? I agree that Dodger catchers are the sacrificial lamb and when trading them we always seem to get shafted

  6. Roger Dodger says:

    Best record in BB, yes. But most of us know these guys can go from the top to a 3 and12 type two weeks in no time.

    Yesterday our "Ace" was a dud with 9 hits in 6 innings and 5 runs scored with 4 earned.

    When he has those kind of days — and the pen falls apart . . .

    So we turn to the new Ace == Stults.

  7. Roger Dodger says:

    I have seen a few of Russell Martin's ABs over the past week or so. I remember that he seemed to be returning to that "pull to left field" and upper-cut swing.

    Martin, at this point in his career, is not a HR hitter. He is more of a Pete Rose hitter. Line drives, slap hit, hit 'em where that ain't . . . type.

    He needs to put the bat on the ball . . . and move runners, go for line drives —- and NOT this swing from the heels to get the big HR. That is not him, at least now.

  8. Mark_Timmons says:

    As you guys may know, I always am considering what moves we could make to improve the team. I am not down on Martin and like Badger stated, he still has a .376 OB% and what makes no sense to me is that he is not hitting #2.

    Also, Martin's value is still very high – there are many teams that would love to have him. He's probably the only single player we could trade (except for Kemp) who would net us a #2 starter. That said, Kuroda and maybe Schmidt will be back soon. I am just always thinking ahead. I do not think this team is broke, so we can't fix it, but can we improve it?

  9. Penos Cabell says:

    I don't think we'll ever see the same offensive output we saw from Russell MArtin in 2007. He probably has peaked offensively. Yes, he is a good defensive catcher. And most importantly, he really knows how to handle a pitching staff. From the grizzled veterans, to the inexperienced youngsters, to the has-been relievers, he knows how to handle them all and how to call a game. Because of his skills at catcher, he needs to stay, unless Ned is overwhelmed by some crazy offer.

    James Loney is a good defensive 1B. But he's 6'2 and 220 lbs and he hits like David Eckstein. He's also very slow. I just don't understand Loney. The Dodgers can get the same offensive output from anyone. If Loney has any trade value left, he needs to be moved.

    As good as Juan Pierre has been, he still is impossible to trade because of the money he is owed. If the Dodgers were to trade Pierre, they would have to take back another bad contract or eat some of that money they owe Pierre. We all know Frank won't eat money.

  10. Penos Cabell says:

    I forgot, if the Dodgers start looking into the trade market, they need to target an area of weakness, and that is the bullpen. Guillermo Mota and Will Ohman were bad signings. There is something wrong with Cory Wade. I think the Dodgers need to give up on James McDonald and Scott Elbert being starters(if thats what they're doing in the minors) and make them both full time relievers. The Dodgers still have enough in their farm system to go out and get at least one more pitcher. If Kuroda doesn't come back to his old self, then they also need to target a starter.

  11. Penos Cabell says:

    Mark Timmons – I completely agree with you, except for the optimism on Jason Schmidt. This team has the best record in baseball. They're good, but have some glaring weaknesses. Right now, is this team good enough to get to the world series? Maybe. Is this Dodger team good enough to win the world series? Probably not. Not without adding at least one top-notch starter. Right now it may be too early, but as we get closer to the trade deadline, more teams are going to make thier players available.

  12. Ken says:

    The coaching staff needs to stop babying the players and their precious low self esteems and move the position players to the proper spot in the order. If Old Man Blake does not have the intestinal fortitude to bat clean up then he was a bad signing. He does strike out a little too much for clean up but hitting over .300 and striking out 20-25% of the time is better than a .150 clean up hitter.

    Martin stikes out too much to bat 2nd and he would become the double play King if hit 2nd. Bat him 7th until he reduces his swing and learns how to adjust his elbow location, distance from his body, with the location of the pitch.

    The Key to Martin's batting is what he does with his elbows. Just watch him bat, he has the same swiing everytime. He does not adjust his elbows to the location of the pitch and his long swing makes him uncock his elbow torque too early. Either get a batting coach that the players respect or demote the players, in the batting order, who do not listen to a good batting coach..

    • Penos Cabell says:

      I don't think there is a guy on the team right now worthy of hitting clean-up. It seemed logical to try Blake there yesterday mainly because he leads the team in homeruns. Right now, Martin batting second makes sense only because Furcal is struggling.

  13. Ken says:

    Dodger MLB Rankings
    Batting #1
    Pitching #1
    Fielding #3

    GO DODGERS!!!!

  14. Ken says:

    And DO NOT Trade Pierre until the truth about Rameriz comes to light. Will he change his ways or is he just a talented narcissist that is good in the short run but very bad in the long run for the Dodger organization.

  15. Badger says:

    Thank you Ken.

    We are fine for now, but as has been stated by many, including me, this team is constructed rather oddly. So far so good, but will we remain #1 in pitching? Will we remain in the top 5 in pitching? I have my doubts. I still think this team has hitters up and down the lineup and on the bench so we should continue to score. I have said many times I am not real confident in the pitching staff, but, they, like Blake, have surprised the %$#@ out of me.

    I don't trade Martin unless he is somehow a clubhouse problem that we don't know about. Isn't he the on field leader of this team? Chemistry is good right now. And when Manny gets back, all will be right with the Dodger offense. I think.

    Consistency in our pitching. Where do we find it? Maybe right here within the organization. Maybe we trade some minor leaguers at the deadline, but I don't move any out of our starting lineup – including Loney. I am fine with him being a 20 HR, .300 hitting Gold Glove caliber 1st baseman. Just wait, he will turn it on and finish where he always does.

  16. Badger says:

    (last post continued)

    If Kuroda comes back, and Kershaw's arm doesn't fall off, I think we have enough starting pitching to match-up well in play-offs. This is a Dodger team that can outscore the opposition, and it sounds strange to even say something like that. We need some accountable set-up guys, and, I am all for McDonald becoming a reliever if that is where he belongs.

    I like this team, and right now I don't do any knee jerking. We will have our ups and downs, like all teams do, but I think even with some off nights now and then, we are the class of the NL West.

  17. Penos Cabell says:

    Loney hitting 20 homeruns? You're dreaming. This guys is powerless. He's hit two homeruns this year, both at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. My grandmother could hit a homerun in that bandbox.

  18. mark says:

    I have felt that Loney would be traded in the next year, but Colletti, Mattingly & Torre all believe Loney will be a 20 HR guy.

  19. Badger says:

    I think I have seen your grandmother Penos, and she needs to be tested for steroids.

    Loney is 25. He easily has 25 home run power. It will come. In the mean time, he is a solid hitter and a good defender.

    • PenosCabell says:

      My grandmother's arms are massive, she hits the weights hard!

      Of course Loney could hit 25+ homeruns. I think he has the potential to e a very good hitting 1B. Why hasn't he put up the power numbers? He is a good hitter. Maybe he needs the right coach to show him how to maximize his power. It's tough at Dodger stadium, but thats no excuse. He's young and strong and hitting 20 or 25 homeruns shouldn't be that difficult. The same thing goes for Russell Martin and Matt Kemp. We all look at James Loney and Russell Martin and wonder where the power is. But to me the biggest disappointment is in the lack of power from Matt Kemp. I expected Kemp to have a breakout year. Don't get me wrong Kemp is having a good year, but I expected a lot more in the power department.

  20. Badger says:

    Why hasn't he put up the power numbers? Good question. I think all of these guys are still young enough to grow into their roles as hitters. They are all big, they all have good swings, and they all have their best years ahead of them. Remember, Bonds didn't hit a lot of home runs until he was in his late 30's.

    OK, bad example but you get what I mean.

    As for your grandmother, I am more of a leg man myself, but a woman with a set of guns needs to be respected.

  21. PenosCabell says:

    Agreed Badger. I think they all have the potential to put up big numbers. I am not expecting Loney to put up Albert Pujols-type of numbers, but for a young guy of that size, I expect a lot more than he's showing now. Same goe s for Matt Kemp. Russell Martin probably has peaked powerwise. As long as he is getting on base, and knocking runs in, he'll be OK. 10-15 hrs is ralistic for Martin

  22. SpokaneBob says:

    Two words for you Mark……..Jason Phillips!

    I never want to go back to having a problem in what is probab;y the most crucial position among the starting 8.

    Badger is exactly right. We don't subtract from what we have now, we add to it at the deadline by trading prospects.

    One of the main reasons that our pitching is rated #1 is because of our defense. Martin is a big part of our up the middle strenth and his handleing of the staff contributes to that.

    Lets just keep on keeping on and see where we are at the end of July.

  23. Roger Dodger says:

    Almost all teams in both leagues have some problems this year. Lacks here and there. Injured players.

    What gets the Dodgers lost here — is how bad the NL West is doing . . . except for the Padres latest streak. I kinda wish that the Dodgers were being challenged more. Having an eight or nine game lead this early, can put them on their heels too much.

    From a different angle. Broken starting pitching, seems to find a way, even when the Ace falls down. The Pen, which has some below average pitchers, has worked for the most part.

    What Joe believes in — is the total season. He and his staff feel that Loney and the others will come around. Heck, we are sill in May with 4 full months to go.

    As I said above, play Martin only 4 games a week as a starter. Aumsus can start the others.

    At least Blake has stepppppped it up at the right time. He is a much harder out now, then he was earlier.

  24. Dave says:

    Mark,

    Regarding your post of May 22nd. Joel Guzman is not out of baseball. He plays for the AA affiliate of the Washington Nationals – the Harrisburg Senators and currently has an OPS of .847.

  25. Mark_Timmons says:

    Dave,

    Thanks for the correction. I appreciate it. I searched for him and could not find him.

  26. Mark_Timmons says:

    I just researched it more and found out that Guzman started the season in AAA and after hitting .121 was demoted to AA. I thought he had been released. My bad!

  27. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Bad toe + wet weather + lefthander is probably why there is no Ethier in the lineup.

  28. Mark_Timmons says:

    It doesn't hurt that the guy replacing him had 4 RBI last night.

    ESPN's new power ratings has Dodgers still #1:

    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/powerranking

  29. Roger Dodger says:

    Hey, is Loney the new Lou Brock???

  30. PenosCabell says:

    Wow, Joel Guzman has fallen that far? He was supposed to be the next big thing. It just goes to show, there are no sure things.

  31. Badger says:

    Hold on here, there are missing posts in this thread – or did I hallucinate Penos talking about his grandmama's massive biceps.

    I can't keep up.

    Hitting Martin at 2 could help his approach. Maybe he will think more about line drives and moving runners and situational hitting type things.

    Blake at clean-up. I guess as long as he is hitting over his head, why not. Castro is your proto-typical 8 hitter, so, as long as he is in the line-up, it's a good idea to move Blake up. But, I give Casey 1 more day at .300. I got a 100 push-ups that …………. never mind.

  32. Buddy says:

    Trading Martin is a bad idea given his contract and that the Dodgers don't have an everyday catcher behind him. I do think he should be dropped to eighth in the order, however. He has lost all ability to drive the ball consistently.

    Trading Pierre would be great at the trading deadline except no MLB team is dumb enough to assume his inflated contract.

    I am wishing the Jays will take so that they'll have no further option but to make Halladay available.

  33. PenosCabell says:

    Back to back hits by Hudson and Blake. Time to jump on De La Rosa.

  34. Mark_Timmons says:

    Andy LaRoche up to .287, but Blake is at .308!

  35. Buddy says:

    Incidentally, I hate these red caps. The Dodgers look like the Puerto Rican national team. Not as bad as the Padres uniforms though.

    Starting to get a little tired of Vin Scully's right wing talk on TV.

    It's one thing to be patriotic on Memorial Day but lets put it in context.

  36. Roger Dodger says:

    Buddy, you got anything against the Puerto Rican national team? I think the red hats go with the large red numbers on the front of the Jersey.

    This is the MLBs idea to make more money from sales — I assume the red hats will be sold to us, the public.

    Manny broke this game open, oh, I mean Pierre broke this game open . . .

  37. Blue Haze says:

    Pujols needs to be investigated, anyone with crazy power numbers in recent years deserve a second look. It doesn't matter what you think a guy is like or would do, guys in this era have done everything they can do to cheat, I don't trust one of them. It would be interesting to see some past and present photos of Pujols, he doesn 't appear to be nearly as cut as he used to be, his forearms look smaller to me as well. Just curious, I think his power numbers are suffering, I'll have to go look him up on the stats page.

    • Ken says:

      Yes investigate. His numbers are not down but if anoyone saw him without a shirt about 3-4 years ago they would know that he is the poster boy for backne which is a symptom of steriods

  38. Mark_Timmons says:

    One has to wonder who in MLB DID NOT use steroids.

  39. bluedog8 says:

    I have no problem trading Martin or Loney (I'd rather trade Loney first) for a top of the rotation arm. Martin has already reached his peak. He came up as a guy who had questionable power. His 19 bombs two years ago was a fluke. He's more of a 10-15 HR guy. He was never an efficient base stealer. He steals a lot of his bases due to surprise. When pitchers started noticing that he could run then he stopped running or he got caught more often. I may not want to trade Martin during the season though. It would affect all the pitchers on the staff and we do not have a suitable replacement (Ausmus and Ellis can't hit).

  40. Roger Dodger says:

    Mark, I did not use steroids. No cheating here. But I do eat ice cream !!!!

    Hoffmann has two great days at work.

    Notice that the Rockies bullpen is about a bad as the Dodgers. Neither can stop those big innings, and let the other teams keep leaking more runs.

  41. Roger Dodger says:

    Oh, I just noticed it is only the top of the 7th innings, so the Rockies have 9 more outs to go — and being in Colorado, they could score 7 or 8 more runs at this point. So the Dodgers best score 5 or 6 more in the 8th and 9th innings.

    This is another shake and bake game the Dodgers are involved in.

  42. MrMagoo says:

    Don't even think about it Joe. No lead is big enough for Mota.

  43. Roger Dodger says:

    This just jumped up . . . look at the first video here.

    diamondleung.tumblr.com

  44. Badger says:

    Have I mentioned I think this team can hit?

    Yeah, I guess I have.

    What's with Castro? Maybe it's hitting in the 8 hole on this team. Maybe I could hit .300 hitting there.

  45. Mark_Timmons says:

    Today's lineup which will start about 35 minutes late die to rain:

    1. Pierre, LF

    2, Furcal, SS

    3. Hudson, 2B

    4. Blake, 3B

    5. Martin, C

    6. Loney, 1B

    7. Kemp, CF

    8. Hoffmann, RF

    9. Stults, P

    Still no Ethier. Joe is wise in moving Blake to #4 and if anyone thinks Martin will sit for more than 1 game a week, it will because Torre, Bowa and Mattingly were killed or fired. Russ Martin is thier boy!

  46. Mark_Timmons says:

    I guess Joe has been reading what I say, because Martin is actually batting #2. Furcal was a late scratch. Here's the real lineup:

    1. Pierre LF
    2. Martin C
    3. Hudson 2B
    4. Blake 3B
    5. Kemp CF
    6. Loney 1B
    7. Hoffman RF
    8. Castro SS
    9. Stults P

  47. Colon_Cowboy says:

    Trading our young stud signal caller right now for a pitcher, when we have Kuroda coming back soon, and Pedro and Sheets still out there is not smart at all….

  48. Colon_Cowboy says:

    Not too smart to trade our young stud signal caller right now…I love this team….

  49. Jose says:

    Well I would say no one should be traded they have great team chemestry why would anyone want to break that up and giving up the best catcher would b pretty dumb if you ask me, and Pierre come on one of the hottest bat with only what 6 strikeouts comeeeee onnn how could you even think of any trades

  50. Evan says:

    I have been watching A J Ellis play here in Albuquerque and I like what I have seen. I am a big Russell Martin fan so i don't want ot see him go but I like what I have seen in Ellis.

  51. Mark_Timmons says:

    I would have to be overwhelmed to trade Martin. A.J. Ellis has a great arm, and shows promise with the bat. But he's 28 years old, and unproven with the bat above AAA. There are no other catchers in the Dodger organization even close to the big leagues. Carlos Santana might have been close (but at least a year or two away), but we traded him in order to save $2 million (top amateur prospects get at least as much) on Casey Blake.

    As for Wade, it's become clear to me that he may still be suffering from shoulder problems. His command is nowhere near what it was last year, and that could be a sign that he's not himself physically. Although he probably needs more seasoning, the Dodgers recently moved Josh Lindblom back to the bullpen. Although nothing is probably imminent, it could be part of a plan to have him ready, just in case.I would have to be overwhelmed to trade Martin. A.J. Ellis has a great arm, and shows promise with the bat. But he's 28 years old, and unproven with the bat above AAA. There are no other catchers in the Dodger organization even close to the big leagues. Carlos Santana might have been close (but at least a year or two away), but we traded him in order to save $2 million (top amateur prospects get at least as much) on Casey Blake.

    As for Wade, it's become clear to me that he may still be suffering from shoulder problems. His command is nowhere near what it was last year, and that could be a sign that he's not himself physically. Although he probably needs more seasoning, the Dodgers recently moved Josh Lindblom back to the bullpen. Although nothing is probably imminent, it could be part of a plan to have him ready, just in case.

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