Categorized | Mark Timmons

Mid-Season Report and Prospectus

Mid-Season Report and Prospectus

With 88 games completed the Dodgers have 56 wins, which is the best in baseball.  The last Dodger team to do this well was the 1977 Dodgers who had 57 wins at the same juncture, and went on to win 98 games.  If  we just play .500 ball the rest of the way, we will 93 games, and I cannot see us not playing any worse than that.   Unless we lose 4 or 5 regulars and a couple of starting pitchers, that is simply not going to happen.  It seems more likely that we should win at least 40-43 games.  This team is better and more experienced than last year and I really believe that we will win at least 95 games, even if Jon Broxton is “not right” the rest of the season, which according to Joe Torre, is the way it appears it is going to be.    Torre said that Broxton’stoe injury would respond only to rest, so my suggestion is to rest him until about August 15th.  We will need to get another pitcher, like George Sherrill who is probably available.  I only suggest Sherrill because he is LH, so he and Troncoso could serve as “co-closers.”

Let’s Take  a Quick Look at the Offensive Team & Defensive Team:destinysdodgers

C - Russ Martin has underperformed but has an excellent OB% and is playing defense at a very bhighlevel.  He’s still in the TOP 10 in catchers in all of baseball.  I look for him to improve slightly in the second half.

1B – James Loney has been solid with great defense and clutchhitting.  I look for him to raise his power numbers in the second half and end up near .300.  He should get 100 RBI’s.

2B – Orlando Hudsonhas been simply amazing as a defensive 2B, incredible as a teammate and outstanding as a hitter.  The only question is:  Can he stay healthy?  If he can, he will carry this team a long way.

SS -  Rafael Furcal has just started to find his stroke.  I think he’ll continue to improve in the 2nd half and end upat around .285. Except for occasional lapses, his defense has been outstanding.

3B – Casey Blake is having a career year – offensively and defensively.  I look for him to taper off a little, but think he will hit around .270 with 25 HR and 100 RBI.  It’s been a nice year for him.  He stepped up when we needed him most. 

LF – Manny Ramirez will go crazy the 2nd half in an attempt to prove it wasn’t the ‘roids.  He’ll end up near .350 and fall just short of 30 HR and 100 RBI for the first time in 10 years.

CF – Matt Kempis on of the TOP 3 CF in the NL and will end theseasonat above .300 with 25 HR and 100 RBI.  He’s a Gold Glover waiting to happen. 

RF -Andre Ethier has traded some batting average for strikeouts and HR.  He will hit 30-35 HR with 110 RBI while hitting .265-.270.  A nice year.  He’s a solid piece. 

The bench has been solid with Ausmus, Castro, Loretta and the Amazing Juan Pierre.  With Doug Mientkiewicz returning soon.  The offense has a “Championship feel.”  Lately, the team seems to be generating more power and I thing you will see more offense generated from the “three-run homer.   Champinship teams are strong defensively up the middle and this team has all that in spades.  Martin, Furcal, Hudson, Kemp and even Blake and Loney have all been near that Gold Glove Caliber Defense.   Our infield defense is simply outstanding.

Now, the Pitching:

Chad Billingsley and Hiroki Kuroda have been sputtering recently, for different reasons.  Kuroda missed most of two months and just has nor regained his rhythm.  He is hitting 96 MPH consistently, so I believe it’s just a matter of getting a few more starts under his belt.   He doesn’t have an arm problem.  Chad Billingsley is an All-Star and our Ace.  Pitchers all have rough spells and he will straighten it out.  If you consider his age anddevelopment, there’s not many better starters in the NL.   We can win with Chad as our ace.  Everyone seems to be worried about our starting pitching, but Clayton Kershaw has been one of the best starters in all of baseball the past 6 weeks.  He knows he “nibbles too much” and he IS getting better.  Someone mentioned Rick Ankiel andhowClayton might be like him if faced with playoff pressure.  Well, there simply is no comparison.  Clayton is not wild – he’s just not as efficient as he should be.  He doesn’t have to solve it all overnight.   He has 11 more bases on balls than Matt Cain in 18 more innings.  If he can just shave 10-20% off his pitch count, he will be dominating (more than he is now). 

By playoff time, we will see Billingsley, Kershaw and Kuroda being a formidable trio, andwithRandyWolf at number 4, we are solid.  Randy had an excellent second half last year and I see no reason he can’t continue.  In a playoff situation, he goes to the pen, where left handerssimply cannot hit him.  Lefties are hitting .149 against him.  The Wild Card is Jason Schmidt.  Can he even re-gain a portion of his stuff so that he can be our #5.  You will find out in the next week or so.  I don’t know the answer, but he knows how to pitch, is healthy and needs another contract for next year.  He has reasons to succeed.  Eric Stults is healthy again, andcanstep in if Schmidt doesn’t cut it.  With Eric Miltons’ back issues, I’d be surprised if we see him any more this year.

Our middle relievers have been excellent for the most part.  Most of you only remember the guys last outing, but Jeff Weaver has been an excellent role-player for us.  He has won 5 games and has pitched as a long and short reliever and a spot starter.  He’s a good guy to have in the pen.  It seems likely that Kuo will return and be able to pitch every 3 days.  If he can just give us 2 innings every 3 days, he’ll be an asset.  Belisario will be out until Mid-August and Cory Wade is an enigma, but Mota has simply been outstanding of late and Troncoso is “lights out.”  I think Ned will have to get a reliever (George Sherrill) to spell Jon Broxton and his ailing toe.  Scott Elbert, Brent Leach, James McDonald and Claudio Vargas round out the pen and we have more help at AA and AAA, if needed. 

Now, I would love to have Roy Halladay, but Toronto is going to want to gut our farm system.  It has been rumored that the Cardinals have offered the Blue Jays their pick of ANY 5 minor league prospects.  No way I would do that.  Let me remind you that we have won 56 games, and with 74 games to go, we will likely win in excess of 93 games, even if we stumble a lot.  We have a potent offense (1st in Batting Average and 2nd in Runs Scored in the NL), and that was accomplished without Manny for 50 games.  We should be as good, or better the second half. 

We are second to the Giants in team ERA (3.51 to 3.58) in the NL.  You can worry about “what if” all you want – this is WHAT IS!    We have the second best team ERA in all of baseball.  End of story.  The Giants have more complete games, but we have a better and deeper bullpen.  I do think we need another closer and will have to give up some prospects to get one, but I think we should keep Pierre and that we should not giveup the farm for Halladay.  If the Phils get Halladay, they still have a weak rotation, especially with Hamels struggling mightily.  We have the horses to win it all, all we need is another closer.

 Dodger Fans, enjoy the ride.  This team has got IT (whatever IT is). 

 Major League Trade Rumors has the Elias Sports Player Rankings (Type A & B Free Agents)


I threw away my cane yesterday (20 days post-op) and am walking alone (albeit with “wobbly baby steps”).

About Mark Timmons

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

28 Responses to “Mid-Season Report and Prospectus”

  1. Bill Russell says:

    Destinys Dodgers. The Kiss of Death. I agree with pretty much everything except the starting pitchering isn’t strong enough for the playoffs. If the Philly’s get Halliday, we are screwed. I’m hoping for the Angels to land him if the Dodgers don’t make a serious run. Pedro is going to sign with the Philly’s today.

    I don’t know what to think about Broxton. If the toe injury is going to be an issue then we may need a closer. I’ve heard the name Kerry Woods mentioned as a closer to be moved. Would SD trade Bell to the Dodgers? I don’t know what to think about Sherill. I don’t like the way he wears his hat or there’s just something about him that looks funny. Maybe that’s what makes the batters swing and miss. GO NL

  2. DRomo says:

    i heard a rumor yesterday that the Jays may hold on to Halladay until the offseason. That is great for us, if it is true. That is the only way the Martin package for Halladay works.

    BRuss there is NO WAY SD trades Bell to anyone especially us. I like Mark’s Sherrill idea. He could be a great combo with Troncoso. I do think Broxton will be fine even if we shut him down for an additional 15 DL trip.

    I think you are delusional if you think this pitching staff matches up against the elite rotations in the MLB. Come playoff time that is where it is won and lost.

  3. Mark Timmons says:

    The only playoff team that currently has an “elite rotation” is Boston, but you never know.

    I think by playoff time, you are going to be glad we have Kershaw and Billingsley and probably Kuroda.

  4. lawdog says:

    Here’s the straight poop on Halladay’s stuff (from Wikpedia):

    Halladay’s arsenal includes a four-seam fastball which he can throw in the mid 90s, a two-seam (sinking) fastball which he throws at 92-94 MPH, a curveball which he throws around 77 MPH, a cutter which he throws at 90-92 MPH, and a changeup, which he added in 2006.[8] He generally can use any of these pitches in any count, which serves to make him even more effective and keeps hitters off pace.
    In an interview with The Globe and Mail, Halladay noted that overusing his cutter in 2006 caused some discomfort towards the end of the season, and that he planned to throw more sinkers in 2007 to avoid further pain or stiffness. In 2007, Halladay regained confidence in his cutter, crediting his catcher Sal Fasano for suggesting a grip change.[9] On the Fox telecast of the 2008 MLB All Star Game, Halladay was seen, along with Scott Kazmir, observing the grip of the cutter of New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera and perhaps figuring out another way of further improving his cutter.

    Besides the arm “discomfort” in 2006–there is a further “Jason Schmidt alarm” that must be considered before literally giving away the farm for this guy. In 2004 he spent a lot of the time on the DL with shoulder problems. This guy is undoubtedly the best in the game right now, but with all the innings he’s pitched with all the different stresses on his arm his “stuff” puts on his shoulder and elbow, he seems like a major arm reconstruction injury about to happen.

  5. lawdog says:

    A cheap stop gap for the pen? How about Matt Herges???

    The Indians released reliever Matt Herges, according to a team press release. They designated him for assignment ten days ago to make room for Winston Abreu. Herges allowed fewer hits than innings pitched in his 25.1 innings, for an ERA of 3.55.

  6. Mark Timmons says:

    I thought Herges was toast 4 years ago.

  7. Blue Haze says:

    Herges is a nice guy, even if he did play for the Giants for a little while. He may be very well show up in the dodgers post season plans, ya never know.

  8. DRomo says:

    Matt Herges was toast a few years ago. He is only holding on because he was a scab player (1994) and doesn’t have a pension coming, if I remember correctly.

    Sorry Matt. No jobs here.

  9. Bill Russell says:

    Where is Miguel these days? Just wondering……

  10. Michael says:

    I think Miguel is a homey unable to go on the road much. Good assessment Mark and O-Dog with 48 RBIs is our other possibility to join our 100 RBI club. A kid caught my eye the other night for Oakland and I hope he was noticed by our scouts. Andrew Bailey is a 24yo rookie closer for the A’s. He is 4 and 1 with an ERA of 1.92. He has 10 saves in 14 chances and has struck out 60 in 51 innings while walking 19. Oh yeah, his WHIP is 0.97. Wonder what it would take to pry him away. P.S. Congrats Mark on walking and your continuing speedy recovery. Next thing you know you’ll be kicking asses again. :}

  11. Voldomer says:

    Where is Giovanni Carrera when we need him?

  12. Voldomer says:

    Seriously, Kansas City is 14 games under .500 and 11.5 games behind Detroit. They are not going to leapfrog the Tigers, ChiSox, and Twins. Why do they need an elite closer like Joakim Soria? Surely they would want prospects in a deal, especially after sending two ML pitchers to Seattle for Betancourt.

    Ned has mentioned the need for another arm in the pen. Soria would be excellent, all the more with Broxton ailing.

  13. Mark Timmons says:

    I like Soria very much, but I like a lefty better (Sherrill) to alternate with Ramon, but if we can’t get Sherrill, I’d take Soria.

  14. Ken says:

    Wikipedia is Rank Hearsay, without exception.

    With Manny back in the lineup and the offense back in line the Starting Pitchers should experiment with throwing more strikes which hopefully will result in less pitches per AB, only a slightly higher number of runs per game, more innings per starting pitcher allowing the starters to last into the 8th inning.

    Lincecum appears to be growing this hair to prove to the world that he fits into the SF lifestyle.

    Soria would be great but for whom.

  15. Michael says:

    I thought Soria has been hurt or something. I’d only take him if the Royals would throw in Zack Greinke too. Yeah, right.

  16. Mark Timmons says:

    Yeah. lets trade Hu and Haeger for Soria and Greinke! Yeah, that’s the ticket.

  17. Roger says:

    Ken, you have a point saying: “Starting Pitchers should experiment with throwing more strikes . . . ”

    But in reality, all of them are doing the best they can. Same with the pen.

    I do not think they are trying to get close to the plate. That is as close as they can make it.

    • Ken says:

      Actually some of them have admitted to nibbling on the corners too much and if Martin will be a real leader and stop the game when their follow through is off then they should throw less balls.

  18. Michael says:

    Is Bud sporting a rug? Seen his pic on Dodgers dot com and it reminded me of Phil Spector. Will we ever get rid of this Bozo? Bob Costas for commish!

  19. Bill Russell says:

    The Allstar game just plain sucks…….

  20. Ken says:

    With Milton done for the year I guess we may get to see Schimdt against CIN.

  21. Ken says:

    Why is Miguel still the #2 featured author? Tom writes alot more then he does.

  22. Michael says:

    You crack me up man. Don’t like the way he wears his hat. 57yo here and I don’t like the way Matt sports his cap either but WTF, this is the world 2day. Love you man. Ken Griff Jr started the dis of the cap and George Hendrick made the stirups disappear.

  23. DRomo says:

    WTF Pedro signs for $1 million w/ the Phillies?!?!

    We couldn’t have taken the $$$ we saved w/ Manny’s suspension and replaced Weaver in our rotation. Damn it!

  24. Bill Russell says:

    I hear Casey Blake and Badger are dining together in Flagstaff today. It must be true because of the silence of the CB on the board today. Hopefully they can have a meeting of the minds and settle all the issues in the middle east.

    Back at ya Michael.

    Well tomorrow is the most boring day of the year. I’ll have to break out the Sudoku puzzle book or actully do some work. Leaning towards Sudoku. Peace

  25. Bill Russell says:

    Rome’s, Pedro’s fastball is only topping out in the late 80′s. Rumor has it that Moyer can currently throw harder. We can only hope to face him so we can lite him up like a big fat cigar. I’m not feeling a loss there. Besides, we have Schmidt coming aboard soon I hear. I keep hearing Jason’s name echoing thur the LA Dodger Talk hallways. Will we actually have him pitch a few games before his 3 year $47 million contract expires? What a steal that deal turned out to be. Anyway, Pedro to Philly may turn out to be a good deal for the Dodgers.

  26. Mark Timmons says:

    Pedro is a beer-league softball pitcher…

  27. Roger says:

    Well, after a three day break, who is in and who is out?

    Has the Dodger roster changed?

    I we have a new starter, a new reliever? Have we lost anyone we hate to loose?

    Does Broxton’s toe feel better today?


Mandatory Daily Dodger Reading