Categorized | Mark Timmons

This Is A Flawed Team

This Is A Flawed Team

… which is why it’s a good thing we don’t have to play any “perfect teams.”  Yes, we have flaws, and so does everyone else, but I am going to suggest that while we have a pretty good group of players, the sum of our parts is greater than any other team, and our record happens to prove that.  For that matter, we may not have even played our best baseball yet.  We are due to get one of the best players in the game back next week, after a 50 game absence, and we have the best record in baseball despite that fact that three of our stars (Martin, Furcal and Ethier) have “all but disappeared” for extended periods this year.  There is still hope that all three can rebound with a vengence. 

Ned Collotti made the two best free agent signings of the off season in Casey Blake and Orlando Hudson, and as good as Orlando Hudson has been, Casey Blake has been even better.  Doug-TommySome complained that Ned paid $17 mil for Blake and therefore got robbed.  I would suggest that Blake got robbed based upon his production.  Casey Blake abd Orlando Hudson should stand as an example of how to run a franchise.  Lots of GM’s have paid a bunch more and gotten a whole lot less (Ned has did it too). 

It should not be lost upon us that our biggest losing streak this season is two (2) games!  Good teams perform like that.  A year ago, out fractured clubhouse was more like the “outhouse”.  Today, it’s closer to the “penthouse!”    Blake and Hudson have had a big hand in that.  Along with Casey Blake and the O-Dog, Matt Kemp, Juan Pierre and James Loney have been there “day-in-an-day-out!’  Those 5 players have played like champions.  Hopefully, Martin, Ethier and Furcal will pick them up. 

If this is an “arms race” then we will be the champion.  No one has more arms and we saw that even Jason Schmidt could actually becaome a factor for us.  Dare we hope?  NO!  But, it is a possibility.  We really have too many options we have to explore as starters, before we should ever explore the trade market.

We do need a good LH pich hitter – and we have two on the DL – Doug Mientkiewicz and Xavier Paul.  One should be available soon.

About Mark Timmons

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

70 Responses to “This Is A Flawed Team”

  1. Blue Haze says:

    Crow is the new turkey!!! If crow is leaner than turkey, then this group might stand a pretty good chance as a team on Biggest Loser (Looser).

  2. Mark Timmons says:

    There is a Big Looser!

  3. Harold says:

    Just a note regarding Matt Kemp’s K’s. I hate K’s. An article on the ESPN site states there is a strong possibility of 100 guys or more having 100 K’s or more this year. Never happened before. Chris Davis of Texas already has 100. Why is it that K’s have become so acceptable? Is it that the range of pitches has increased the probability of a strike out or is the HR the factor causing it?

    I blame Don Mattingly for some of our hitting woes. When James Loney was in a flunk he seemed to be making a lot of outs going the other way. Russell Martin is doing the same. That zapped their power, IMO. James is getting a homer now and then to right field. I am all for hitting the opposite way in a more situation way, depending on the situation and pitch location. Too far outside is a “soft” out to the opposite field. Mattingly’s big thing seems to be hitting to the opposite field.

    Right now our BA, and ERA lead the league. Our fielding is second only to the Phillies. We are playing as a team picking each other up. Some nights the challenge is too great – like last night against Hernandez. There are certainly going to be blips – injuries, errors, slumps, etc. Right now Belisario is a blip as he could be deported if he is found guilty of DUI. Dumb, just plain dumb. Can’t they drink at home?

    GO DODGERS!!

  4. Mark Timmons says:

    Harold,

    Don’t you know that when you gotta drink, you gotta drink? ;)

    Actually, this is a crime that can be beaten with money. A good attorney should get him off. Sad, but true!

  5. Harold says:

    Belisario had been pitching so well, although some claimed he didn’t know where his pitches were going. Seems he might have. It will be interesting to see if this has an effect on his performance. Confidence in front of a crowd is so fragile. DUI is definitely a crime. We have all seen too many innocent people killed or maimed for life by drunk drivers.

    GO DODGERS!!

  6. Badger says:

    How can we blame someone for hitting woes when we lead the league in hitting??

    As for the statement we haven’t played our best baseball yet, well, I think we have. This team has led the league in hitting and pitching. Where else do we go from here? I have maintained that the likelihood of us finishing on top in both categories is slim. We aren’t half way yet, so far so good, but I still have to wonder – are we really a .640 team? That translates to a 104 wins. Does anyone really believe we will win 100 games?

    Kemp strikes out a lot. So does Ryan Howard and he is an MVP. I am of the belief that an out is an out. I don’t like K’s, but most power hitters have them. The all time leader in strike outs? Reggie Jackson. He is in the HOF. So are several of the top strike out leaders. I don’t worry about it so much.

    My son bought me the P90X work out system. I have tried 4 so far, and can’t get through any of them. I am done after about 20 minutes. What am I supposed to do with a 61 year old beach body anyway?

  7. Mark Timmons says:

    “Suck it up, tough guy!”

    That’s what my PT tells me.

  8. Mark Timmons says:

    Badger,

    You need to realize that THIS team is very talented. If Ethier and Martin can pull their heads our of their butts, and Raffy starts playing like he should, I see no reason that Kemp and Ethier shouldn’t continue at about the same pace. Ditto with Blake and O-Dog. AND, I think our pitchng will be even better!

  9. Mark Timmons says:

    I believe we “might” win 100 games!

    Does that count?

  10. Harold says:

    Badger – hitting woes probably overstated. As a team perhaps we have to credit Mattingly. It seems our hitters see as many pitches as most or all teams. That is a good thing on a number of fronts.

    To be more specific, James and Russell seem to make a lot of outs going the other way. I think that was a Mattingly forte and a good idea depending on other situations. It seems, at least with James, he was going that way too often for a while. I had posted earlier in the year that I felt that was the reason for his power drought. That is, he hadn’t learned exactly when to pull and when to go to left, or how to be selective in doing so. Perhaps Russell is just in a funk, maybe he topped out two years ago. He doesn’t have to hit for power, just hit. I guess that is where Mattingly will earn his stripes – straightening Russell out.

    GO DODGERS!!

  11. Badger says:

    I haven’t seen as many games as you guys have, so I don’t have as much to go on when analyzing Martin and Ethier’s swing. I was told that the out chart shows Martin making a lot of outs going the other way, but what I saw several times was a guy trying to pull an outside pitch, resulting in weak grounders and fly balls the other way. My suggested solution, and I have only coached as high as JC (and that was women’s softball) is to try to drive the outside pitch into the right center field gap, or take the middle out pitch up the middle right through the pitcher. The idea is ALWAYS hit a line drive as 7 out of 10 of them are hits. Hit the ball on the screws every at bat. From what I have seen of Martin, he tries to muscle every pitch rather than go with the pitch. Hit it where it’s pitched. The best hitters I have seen, most of them left handed hitters, know what this means and Mattingly was one of the best ever. Others that come immediately to mind are Rod Carew, Tony Gwynn and Wade Boggs.

    I saw Ethier in ST driving the ball into the left field gap, and over the wall, with ease and regularity. From the limited number of at bats I have seen this year, he is doing the cardinal sin of swinging at pitches out of the strike zone. You do that often, and you will go from a .300 hitter to a .250 hitter in the matter of weeks.

    Can we win 100? Sure we can. Will we? Too early to tell, but I do love our chances in the West. That’s the first goal.

  12. Badger says:

    And, have you guys seen this P90X work out? It is a ball buster. I dare any of you old farts to stay with those youngers for 50 minutes.

  13. lawdog says:

    What’s a P90X? That’s how old I am. One important thing our present club has that the 88 destiny team also had? Consistency. The 88 club never lost more than 3 consecutive games all season. Neither has the 09 club.

  14. Mark Timmons says:

    Badger,

    Russ is in a huge funk (it looked like he might be getting out for a while), but Andre is too. Andre has produced all but one of his HR and almost half his RBI in just 6 games. He has had 5 amazing games, 1 very good game and 67 very poor games. 12 of Andre’s HR have came in 6 games and so did 19 RBI.

    Andre had 1 HR and 8 RBI in May.

    Russell has absolutely sucked all season!

    These are two guys we have really counted on.

  15. Mark Timmons says:

    I am not blaming anyone. I just think it’s likely both could turn it around.

  16. Bill Russell says:

    We are still short in pitching. Yes Mark or Ken will throw out some stats that show why are staff is so great. Our pitching stats are under inflated because are starters are not going more then 6 inning and our bull pen is getting over worked. I don’t want to be a downer in here today but the pen will have some dead arms if the starters don’t start going 7 + innings in the second half. ( See C Wade). Milton may or maynot need another start at the bull pens expense. Milton appears to be very hittable. If I were Ned, I’d be burning up the phone lines trying to find one more starter and one more reliver. This could be our year.

    • Ken says:

      Apparently some people do not read and/or remember what I write especially about the mismanagement of the pitching staff, the pitching coach, the terrible overuse of certain members of the bullpen and serious under use of other relief pitchers, and the lack of long relievers when a staff can not find home plate resulting in short soft outings. Some of these issues I have been discussing since spring training.

  17. Mark Timmons says:

    Billy, I would love to have another starter (who wouldn’t?).

    The problem is that the starters who are available probably can’t go 6 either, and/or we have to give up a bunch of prospects. I still think we have more than enough arms. Look what happens to successful starters quite frequently: Halliday, Webb, Peavy, and others have bitten the dust.

    It’s quite likely that we could give up guys like Elbert, McDonald, Lindblom, Lambo and others and end up with another guy like Schmidt.

    Schmidt almost went 8 last week. We have time to see if he can do it, or Milton, or Weaver, or McDonald, or Stults!

  18. Blue Haze says:

    Any word on how Schmidt as felt since his outing? Has he been able to pitch a bullpen session since then?

    I hear ya, BRuss, that group of arms is going to be ragged out in August or sooner, at the current pace it is on.

    I thought I heard someone say that Martin had broken thru after his one (1) good game. I stated my hesitation then.

  19. lawdog says:

    We’ve got a guy on the farm named Elbert who is a lefty and has electric stuff which he can command. Put Milton on the DL and bring him up. Elbert’s stuff on a bad day is better than Milton’s on a good day. Elbert commands a mid 90s fastball, breaking ball and change up. He’s twice the pitcher Stultz is, yet he really hasn’t been given a chance. He’s tearing up the minor leagues and has nothing left to prove.

    FREE ELBERT!

  20. lawdog says:

    Elbert, Elbert, he’s our man. If he can’t do it, no one can!

    I’m just afraid Elbert’s about to get bundled with McDonald (another keeper) and sent of with some good minor league bats for a geezing pitcher like that 4-5 guy who’s 87 years old from Seattle.

  21. mark says:

    Elbert has 31 BB in 68 IP to go along with 94 K’s.

    The walks don’t tell the whole story, however. He goes to too many 3 ball counts and throws too many pitches. His upside is not as big as Kershaw’s and it would be hard to have two identical pitchers in our rotation.

  22. mark says:

    I would not trade Elbert or McDonald for Washborn.

  23. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    When Elbert was with the Dodgers I didn’t see the command that lawdog is talking about. But I’ve always liked his stuff, and I admit that I haven’t seen his stats since being sent down. Perhaps he is beginning to develop the command that lawdog is talking about, and I haven’t seen yet. And perhaps he’s making better use of his swing and miss breaking stuff.

    But I definitely don’t want that “4-5 guy who’s 87 years old from Seattle.” Unless there’s a team out there willing to let loose of a stud for a reasonable price, the last thing I want to see is the addition of any mediocrity for prospects. I’ll take my chances with Schmidt, Milton, Stults, Elbert, McDonald, Lindblom or whomever, rather than part with a prospect who may prove valuable down the line, either in a Dodger uniform or as piece in a future trade that brings real value.

    In an earlier thread I unsuccessfully attempted to post my thoughts on Torre’s policy of skipping the 5th spot in the rotation when the Dodgers have a day off. That post never made it to the site. In short, I have always been of the opinion that during the long season starters benefit from an occasional extra day of rest. I even think that there are benefits to be gained when a pitcher gets knocked out early after throwing only a limited number of pitches (mind you, I never root for that to happen).

    Billingsley, I believe, would benefit from an extra day once in a while. Consequently, I was disappointed to hear that Torre (who overall I am very satisfied with) will not be using a 5th starter again until July 11. Milton has done a commendable job so far, including last night after he got past the early innings. I would rather take my chances with him (or any of the others I mentioned above) than a weary Billingsley. And the same could also be said of Randy Wolf, whose stuff hasn’t looked particularly sharp in his last couple of outings. In addition to affecting a pitcher’s stuff, arm weariness can also affect their command. It probably wouldn’t be bad for Kershaw’s young arm to get an extra day off now and again.

  24. Ken says:

    Elbert is not close to being Kershaw (who is not close to being Koufax). Elbert is still throwing, which works most of the time in the minors, but he needs to learn how to pitch in order to be effective in the Majors. Just look at his follow through. When it is like Kershaw’s was (Mitch Williams) he is throwing. Kershaw is following through toward the plate better in his most recent outings. Trust me, you will know the outcome of his pitches by watching what direction his body goes after the pitch. Same for Elbert.

    With the right coaching, and attitude, Elbert might be ready in September, which is right before Bills and Wolf start fading due to pitching too many innings in relation to their ptior year total innings, especially considering Bill’s pitch counts and current fading at 90 pitches. This starting rotation will crash in the playoffs unless they obtain more rest. The Dodgers should go with a 6 man rotation with the sixth man taking the day off when there is an off day. A potential use for Schimdt or Stults.

    Same crash is coming for Broxton, Troncoso and Beimal, I mean Belisario, if their pitching load is not decreased. If they pitch less then Torre will just find some other sucker that he can burn out. Another reason not to bring up Elbert.

  25. mark says:

    Brooklyn,

    Elber does have electric stuff.

    Harold,

    I still think Belsario doesn’t know where his pitches are going…

    but neither does the hitter!

  26. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    I didn’t see Mark’s posting prior to mine above. If, in fact, Elbert has walked 31 in 68 innings, then indeed, he probably needs further seasoning. However, although he may not have Kershaw’s upside, I would love to see him in the Dodger rotation together with Kershaw, assuming of course, he works out his command issues. I don’t think Kerhshaw and Elbert have exactly identical stuff, but even if that were the case, separating them in the rotation would solve that problem.

  27. Ken says:

    If you want some pitching stats here goes
    Worst month in 2009 as measured by ERA

    Bills – June
    Kuroda – June
    Wolf – June
    Kershaw – March; Second worst June
    Weaver – June
    Milton – June

    Broxton – June
    Troncoso – June
    Belisario – March
    Wade – June
    Ohman – April (no June)

    This trend should have everyone thinking

  28. Ken says:

    Ethier batting second today apparently to show his bunting skills

  29. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Also, keep this in mind about Elbert. He missed almost the entire 2007 season due to shoulder surgery, and wasn’t returned to starting until this year (and not at the beginning). Chances are that he needs to be closely monitored as he builds up innings, and also needs more innings to refine his pitches and command. Now might not be the best time for him. It might be best to let him finish out the minor league season, and perhaps get some work with the Dodgers in September. He can then use the winter and spring training in 2010 to better prepare for a possible starting role in 2010. For now, I’m willing to let Dodger management, which has more information than any of us regarding Elbert’s progress, call the shots.

  30. Roger says:

    I agree with Mark on Russell and Furcal and hitting problems.

    From my view, both swing toooo hard. Both are trying to be something they are not.

    Both guys are blow average in size players, and need to swing from hitting the ball, all around the field (or to all fields) — with different pressure on each swing. But NO, they both swing from the heels, and waste a lot of ABs that way.

    Furcal use to use the hard bunt to the SS more often. Needs to push the ball more around the field; hitting the ball where it is pitched. Go for the single, get on base.

    Russell also just tries to hit everything out. Like he thinks he can hit 35 HRs a year.

    I wonder if they really watched with Ichiro was doing with the ball. Ichiro hits (swings) within himself. He simply want to drive the ball in that swinging / running style.

  31. Roger says:

    What I saw of the game last night, the Dodgers were just out played, overmatched.

    I cannot believe I am hearing 6 man rotation. And then most of that is to make it to the 5th or 6th inning.

    I too believe that the Dodgers need more pitching. Maybe the idea of Ned and Joe is, bring up arms from the farm, sending others down, and make it with those still standing at the end.

  32. Harold says:

    Belisario doesn’t know where the ball is going but neither do the hitters. I like that explanation Mark. Memories of Ryan Duran.

    Pitching is a concern for us. Regardless of any internal options our starters simply throw too many pitches. Alrerady today in two innings Olsen has thrown 10 less pitches than Kuroda. During the course of a game it doesn’t make much difference when the pen takes over successfully. During the course of the season it will be wearing on the pen especially and also on the starters.

    It seems to me if we are going to go outside for a starter it better be a good one (pay the price), not a 4/5 guy in the rotation, giving up too much. We already have 4/5 guys. There are not many out there for sale, if any. Cliff Lee may be available but it is considered that Texas has the best goods to acquire him. Unless Ned can pull the proverbial rabbit out of the hat, we will be hard pressed to improve our rotation. At this time it is doubtful that Scott Elbert is ready. He is being moved along but also walking too many. A conundrum but that is why Ned gets the big bucks. In the mean time we can enjoy the team and let the future take care of itself.

    GO DODGERS!!

  33. Badger says:

    The Dodger pitchers need to throw strikes. If they did, they would either make it through 7 or be gone by 4. Is it a question of not trusting their stuff?

    If Elbert is walking that many in the minors, he would walk more at the big league level. He is not the answer. Neither is Milton I suspect. Nor Weaver. Nor Schmidt.

    Hernandez went through us, the best hitting team in the N.L., for 8 innings and 14.6 p/i. Typical Dodger start, Milton went 5 on 16.8 p/i. It’s a team problem. Throw strikes. If you are good enough, you will get outs. If not, move over and let someone else try.

  34. Roger says:

    Wow! Seattle has scored 4 runs already, and the Dodgers have not even batted around one yet.

  35. Roger says:

    Just looked at the Dodger.com roster (it seems to change almost every day with the up and down stuff). I guess Joe would line it up this way, from #1 to #5.

    Billingsley
    Kershaw
    Kuroda
    Wolf
    Milton

    C-Bills is our #1, but not a post season #1. On his best day, yes, but in the post season, we will be facing guys like Hamles.

    I guess Kershaw has moved from #5 to #2 by defalt, and pitching solid a few games. Others droping down, or being injured.

    Kuroda, injured most of the season, has a good game, and a bad game, like today.

    Wolf, good one day, hit another. His ball looks so hit-able. Those big cruves worry me. day

    Milton, took him awhile to get up to the biggs (working back from major injury), and then down again, now back. Right now he is hit-able.

    Next, they try Weaver, McDonald. Both are solid nothings (right now).

    Then I looked on thed 40-man roster and see any life at all …

    Scott Elbert, Jason Schmidt, Eric Stults, maybe someone else in the system — but not anyone that could step in.

    Folks, I a concerned, almost to the panic button stage.

    Now, in the post season, depending on the number of games and all . . . only three starters might be needed, max four. Right now that would be the above #1, #2, and a fight between #3 & #4.

    Unless the Dodgers can get the bats in order, this team is not now a post season team.

  36. mark says:

    If Andre Jacks it here, I will be impressed.

    Nothing soft at all about this situation!

  37. mark says:

    The RBI is nice. I’ll give him that. At least he stayed out of the DP.

  38. mark says:

    Roger,

    I believe we still have the best record in all of baseball, and this game ain’t even close to over!

  39. mark says:

    Let’s look at the last 30 days:

    ERA – First is Chicago (3.15), Second is Houston (3.27), Third is SF at 3.49 (the GREAT GIANTS PITCHING I KEEP HEARING ABOUT), At #4 afre the AWEFUL DODGERS at 3.50!

    Batting – We are 12th in the NL at .248. We are 14th in Runs.

    Listen to me: We are getting Manny back in a few days. Our pitching is not killing us. Our hitting is!

    Pay attention!

  40. mark says:

    We have 2 runs today. You won’t win many that way!

    We need Ethier, Martin and Furcal to step up and hit!

  41. mark says:

    No reasons are acceptable.

    No excuses will be admitted.

    Hit or else!

  42. mark says:

    BTW,

    Here is the ERA of the Phillies Starters:

    Hamels 4.44
    Myers 4.60
    Blanton 5.06
    Moyer 6.05
    Bastardo 6.75

    You think we have problems?

  43. mark says:

    Wait! Myers just went on the DL with Hip Surgery and hopes to be back in September.

  44. Ken says:

    Mark – Misleading Stats

    The only stating pitcher under 4.00 for June is Weaver at 3.60

    Kuroda 4.10
    Wolf 5.74
    Bills 4.11
    Kershaw 4.05
    Milton 5.79

    The bullpen ERA has brought down the team ERA that much in June
    Mota 0.64
    Belisario 1.38
    Mac 1.93
    Weaver 2.08
    Leach 2.35
    Troncoso 2.63
    Schlit.. 3.38
    Broxton 4.22
    Wade 6.75

    Yes the hitting is terrible in June

  45. mark says:

    Ken,

    I don’t know how the stats are misleading. I went to the MLB website, clicked on team pitching, last 30 days and thats what came up. Are you teling me MLB is deceiveing me?

  46. Ken says:

    You are using the stats in a deceiving way when you imply that there is nothing wrong with the Dodger pitching because they are 4th in the NL during June. In fact the starting pitching is tanking and the Dodgers would have a losing month of June if not for the extraordinary performance of the bullpen

  47. mark says:

    Now, there have been times when the starters were taking the team ERA down. It’s not that way right now, but the season ebbs and flows.

    Wait, I just checked and Kershaw has a 2.36 ERA in the last 30 days. That’s what MLB says!

  48. mark says:

    MLB also says that Billingsley, Weaver and Kuroda are all under 4.00. Wolf is over 5.00, but how am I deceiving anyone?

  49. mark says:

    I am not implying anything – I just don’t think the sky is falling!

  50. mark says:

    I tend to look at a trend a little longer than just the past few days.

  51. Roger says:

    Some of us, older folk, that have been watching baseball since the 60′s, 50′s, and even 40s — keep wondering if players in those days were better at the skills of baseball, or, better today, or just the same?

    Maybe to break it down to fielding, throwing in the field (outfield expecially), hitting, bunting, situational hitting, starting pitching, relief pitching, pinch hitting, managers, players knowledge of baseball, etc.

    But, sometimes older memories remember that “the older days were better” — where they ???

    Someone mentioned that Ks were on the rise, maybe to an all-time record. Looking at MLB.com, the top 50 hitters (both leagues) have 57 and more.

    We older folks ask, would Howard even have a foul tip off of Koufax or Gibson or Seaver???

    Two are already over 100 (with 107 and 101). Hummm . . . that could be two guys or more over 200 Ks for the season. Powerful. And here is something, the leader at 107, C. Davis, has only 17 walks. Tells me that pitchers are not afraid of him.

    Adam Dunn has 81 Ks, but 59 walks.

    Also, of the top 15 strikeout hitters so far, here are the highest batting averages:

    Wright, NY with 73 Ks, average is .346 is #10 on the list.
    Kemp, LAD with 70 Ks, average is .312 and is tied for #12 on the list.

    Other than Ichiro, are there any other leadoff hitters like Henderson, Wills, Brock, Ashburn (Richie hit over .300 9 of his 15 seasons; won 2 batting titles), Butler, Lofton, Raines, Rose, Carew . . .

  52. Mark Timmons says:

    Not what I say – What MLB says the Dodgers Pitchers stats are for the past 30 days:

    1. G Mota 0.60
    2. R Belisario 1.23
    3. J McDonald 1.93
    4. B Leach 2.00
    5. C Kershaw 2.36
    6. R Troncoso 2.45
    7. T Schlichting3.38
    8. C Billingsley3.58
    9. H Kuroda 3.77
    10. J Weaver 3.77
    11. J Broxton 3.86
    12. E Milton 4.30
    13. R Wolf 5.74
    14. C Wade 6.10
    15. E Stults 12.00

  53. Mark Timmons says:

    Roger,

    I think that in many ways, the good old days were better! Baseball has changed for the worse in many cases. Better in some cases.

  54. Ken says:

    My numbers are for June, the month that the Dodger starting pitching began to fall apart. Post your numbers again on July 1st.

    The hitting has become terrible

    April 5.48 RBIs per game
    May 5.00
    June 3.50

  55. Ken says:

    Micro Soft award for the series with the Mariners

    Hudson 0 RBIs and 7 LOB

    Only person with more RBIs than LOB – Ethier

  56. Mark Timmons says:

    If I were Joe, I would be having a sit-down with Martin, Raffy and Ethier and tell them it is time!

  57. lawdog says:

    I suggested Elbert as ready for another Looksee based on what I see coming across the Computer screen while I’m doing the Minor League Reports for this site everyday. I remember last time he was up at the major league level thinking if he could avoid the walks he might some day be an Ace. He’s always had a microscopic ERA and struck out about 33% more than innings pitched. The rebuilding of his arm or shoulder remarkably hasn’t cost him any velocity on his fastball. His curve is as electric as Kershaw’s–maybe better because he can throw it for a strike while Kershaw, even when he’s on can’t rely on his command of it enough to throw it behind in the count. And he has a very good change which Kershaw still doesn’t throw.

    Kershaw has thrown his change maybe up to 6 times a game recently. Before that he’d show it maybe once or twice a game. half the time it has a nice drop to it at 83 mph. The other half the time it looks like a straight 85 mph fastball and it would get drilled if it was over the plate.

    Anybody else notice that Kershaw’s velocity has dropped to the 92-93 range most of the time when he’s getting strikes called?

    The last month or so Elbert has pitched lights out almost every outing. The last time I remember he got “roughed up” he only gave up a couple of hits and walks, allowing 2 earned runs over 5 innings and fanned 10! He’s routinely going 7 innings of shutout or 1 run ball, allowing 4 hits or less, walking 0-2 and striking out 9-10.

    I think he has now got “command” although I haven’t actually seen him pitch.

    Don’t be too tough on Wolf–he’s recovering from whooping cough and has no business even pitching. Milton has a sore back and should be on the DL. I think it’s time to try Elbert if we’re not going to try McDonald.

    • Ken says:

      Yes, that is what I have been saying. When Kershaw follows through toward the plate his fastball loses 2-3 mph thus his desire to follow though like Mitch Williams. However, if he uses various finger pressures to put movement on the pitches then the loss in speed does not matter.

      Same was true for Elbert when he was in the Bigs.

  58. lawdog says:

    I just went to the minor league links and tried to get Elbert’s stats for y’all. Unfortunately, I’d forgotten that he was recently promoted to AAA after pitching lights out down with the Chattanooga Choo Choos AA club.

    He’s only had one start at AAA since his promotion–on June 25th where he pitched 6 shut out innings of 1 hit ball, walking 1 man and fanning 7.

    Methinks we’re wasting a quality arm on the farm when we need that kind of “stuff” from a lefty on the big club right now.

    The hitting will turn around once Manny comes back–if they actually give Manny more than a showcase ab or two every other day like they’ve been doing. Dumb bastards! Watch him come up stiff as a 99 cent broom and take most of July to get over the Mendoza line!

  59. lawdog says:

    All true Ken. But a Kershaw throwing 92-93 can’t be compared with Koufax, even if he learns to get that curve which does look like Sandy’s over more than 50% of the time.

  60. Mark Timmons says:

    .. because of the dramatic difference in the height of the mound.

  61. Mark Timmons says:

    Lawdog,

    How much Manny is playing is not on the Dodgers – it’s on him. He’s the one who is begging out. He really doesn’t want to be there.

  62. Bill Russell says:

    Zambrono, Sheets or Martinez could be had if Ned/Frank is willing to shell out a few Bucks. Rumors are swirling about the Cubs are ready to release Zambrono and take what they can get. He’s a head case but may just need a new start somewhere else. It may be worth a gamble for a few prospects. I was happy with Stultz prior to the thumb injury but why is it taking so long to get back? Milton, and Weaver should be middle relief canidates only. Sheets could be a very good gamble. Just a few ideas for Mr Mark to poo poo……

  63. Bill Russell says:

    I also wonder what Cleveland will be asking for Cliff Lee. Just another idea for ya Markie Mark. Cleveland appears to be starting the fire sale off early this year.

  64. Bill Russell says:

    Also Mr Ken, sorry for implying that you would throw out stats to support Marks crazy thinking that our starting pitching is the best in baseball. I haven’t read many postings lately but the one’s I have read had you wanting more middle relief and against Torre’s handling of the pitching staff. I assumed you were on board with Mark in his thinking that our starters were post season ready.

    I keep thinking of last years beat down by the Philly’s and it appeared to me that our starting staff was the weak link of the team. It would take a huge turnaround by Kershaw putting him in Ace caliber status to change my mind about our starters. YES Mark, we do have the best record in baseball currently but we probably won’t be saying that too much longer.

  65. Badger says:

    I agree with both Ken and Bill on this one. Does anyone remember me saying I thought this team was put together rather strangely at the beginning of the year? I said early and often we would miss Lowe’s numbers, we obviously do, and that Kershaw really wasn’t ready to step in and be a successful 32 start pitcher. Frankly the team’s early success was a pleasant surprise to me. We were on pace for 120 wins at one point. And you just have to know that isn’t sustainable.

    I will admit that this pitching staff does not fill me with confidence. Never did really. I like Bills and thought he was ready to step in as our ace but after that….. I was not sure at all. As most of you know I like Broxton, but the 7th and 8th inning worried me because frankly I didn’t know those guys.

    I do believe we will hit better when Manny returns but I just don’t know what to do about this pitching staff. I would like to get a front line starter but it will be costly. I don’t want anymore retreads but that will probably be what we get.

    We didn’t lose any ground in June did we? Summer now begins, and it is going to be long, extremely hot and this team will get tested. It is going to be interesting to see what the Jed and Frankie team does at the deadline.

    The sky isn’t falling, but it’s getting cloudy.

  66. Badger says:

    I thought I had mentioned Cliff Lee earlier but maybe I didn’t. I just read this:

    “Sports illustrated is reporting that the Indians have been fielding offers about Cliff Lee. They have been fielding offers from the Phillies, Dodgers, Mets and Rangers. The Indians want prospects for Lee and it looks like the Rangers have the best group of prospects to offer the Indians. The Rangers have Derek Holland and Neftali Feliz to tempt the Indians. If the Rangers were to trade for Lee they would need the Indians to pick up the remaining 6 million dollars of Lee’s 2009 Contract. The Phillies also have some prospects for the Indians, prospect pitcher Kyle Drabek could be enticing for the Indians. The Mets and Dodgers do not have the depth in prospects that the Indians may want to get the deal done.”

    Lee will be expensive and I doubt we will offer enough to get him.

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