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The Bison is Becoming An Animal!

The Bison is Becoming An Animal!

After James Loney doubles up Andre Ethier in the bottom of the 8thinning with the score tied 3-3, Matt Kemp patiently worked the count to 3-2 and waited for his pitch.  Patiently!  Easy…  Then BOOM!   HR by the Bison who is becoming an Animal.  The Bison scored all 4 Dodger runs to dis-mantle the Astros single-handedly.  Kemp is now hittng.321 witha.385 OB% and if he were to really heat up could be pushing 30 HR by year-end.  He is figuring it out and is getting better every month.  After hitting .292 in May, he hit .305 in JuneBison-Kempand is hitting .417 since July 1st.   Isn’t is incredible to watch these young guys blossom?  See, this is how you really build  a team – by bringing up youngsters from the farm system and mixing in a few strategic free agents.  When you gut the farm to get a guy like Halladay, you risk it all. 

I am with Brooklyn Dodger on this one:  Bat Matt Kemp 3rd, Manny 4th and Andre 5th! 

Kuroda still looks like he is totally out of sync.  His velocity seems fine.  His control isn’t horrible, but his release point is way off and he appears to use a slightly different windup each pitch.  He is totally out of whack!

According to Ken Gurnick of Dodgers.com, the Dodgers are considering activating Hong-Chih Kuo.  He says he’s fine and if he is, he could be a real help.

Jason Schmidt starts against the Reds today  I always felt he’d start this year, but I won’t even predict how he will do.  I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets bombed… or pitches 7 innings of shut-out ball.  I have no idea!  Torre says his velocity is “not what it once was.”  Does that mean 91 or 87?  If he can get over 90, he might be effective.  The thing is, Jason Schmidt could have just given up.  It’s been over two years since he’s pitched in the majors, but he has endured two surgeries, multiple rehabs, simulated and minor league games.  He has worked his butt of.  So when a cynical fan says “He’s toast, forget him,” I’m inclined to say “you have no clue.”   Jason Schmidt used to be a fireballer and now he’ll have to re-invent himself – can he do it?  I don’t know, but I’ll be rooting for the guy all the way.  Tonight will be an emotional night for him and it may be difficult for him to keep his emotions in check at the start of the game.  EVERY DODGER FANS SHOULD DROP THE CYNICISM AND BE ROOTING FOR HIM – WE NEED JASON SCHMIDT TO DO WELL!

Jon Broxton Broxton looked good in blowing the Astros away in the 9th.

Andre Ethier’s swing was noticeably more compact yesterday.

Tony Abreu is playing everyday at AAA, and has steadily been raising his batting average, which is now .297.  There’s still hope…

James McDonald, Josh Bell, Andrew Lambo, Josh Bell and Ivan DeJesus, Jr. for Roy Halladay – That’s my final offer!

Xavier Paul should be back in 2-3 weeks.

O-Dog hurt his surgically repaired wrist.  Of course, he’ll say he’s OK.  We will have to wait and see. 

Frank McCourtdied yesterday.  NO!  not THAT Frank McCourt.  The other one…

About Mark Timmons

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

36 Responses to “The Bison is Becoming An Animal!”

  1. Bill Russell says:

    Mark, I’m confused on if you want Halliday or not. Lawdogs minor league report wouldn’t be as interesting if we got him. Where’s Miguel? I noticed his name disappeared from the top.

    One thing for sure, I know Toronto won’t take Josh Bell twice in a trade. Stay tuned…..

  2. Michael says:

    I’m one of those cynics that has scoffed at you everytime you mentioned Jason the last 2 years. My bad. Hope the fans give him some love in the intros because just coming back is a victory for him in itself.

  3. Roger says:

    Toronto has to take the two (2) Josh Bells. The real Josh Bell, and the one Mark keeps talking about.

    I am getting worried about Casey Blake. In the past 21 games he has driven in only 9 runs. And 3 of those runs in 1 games, so in reality he has 6 RBIs in the other 20 games.

    He has been the go to guy when Manny was on vacation. For the month of July, he is hitting only .234. He seems to be making outs in key situtations.

  4. Badger says:

    I have taken a wait and see approach about Schmidt. I have heard the name Schmidt for the last 2 years and I have yet to see schmidt from him. I am hopeful, but I am also doubtful.

    Kemp at 3? But, I thought we wanted him in the 8 hole? I don’t know how Manny would respond at being moved. Methinks he is happy right where he is. I like Kemp at 5, but I believe he is a clean-up hitter waiting to happen. I have had Loney at 4, but, he has been somewhat disappointing. In fact, both Loney and Ethier have surprised me, in a bad way. Is Ethier eating his way to .250?

    We have speed at the top, power and OPS in the middle, and capable .260-.270 hitters at the bottom. We have a reasonable bench. Our pitching has been good, but it’s durability scares us all. I think this team can win in the play-offs, but one more quality arm would give me much more confidence to win 3 play-off series’. We will make a good offer for Halladay. We’ll see, but I just don’t know. Halladay is not like Manny. Last year Jed was able to get Manny for damn near nothing. Halladay won’t come as cheap. There are many organizations in on this one.

    And I say again, the Giants are a scary bunch. They don’t know they don’t belong in the play-off picture. And their starting pitching, at least for now, is better than ours.

  5. Mark Timmons says:

    There is only one Josh Bell and he is doing quite nicely, thank you very much.

    At age 20, he hit .289 with 15 HR and 62 RBI in 395 AB’s at Great Lakes (Low A) before he was moved to Inland Empire (High A) for 75 AB’s. The next year he lost 40 pounds before the season (last year) and at age 21, he hit .273 (.373 OB%) in just 187 AB’s before he blew out his knee. So, with just 650 minor league AB’s he was moved to AA this year. The Southern League is a pitcher’s league, where James Loney hit .238 and where Blake DeWitt hit .248 in his tenure.

    Currently, Josh Bell has 298 AB’s and is hitting .277 with a .367 OB%. He has 24 doubles, 9 HR and 42 RBI. For a 22 year-old in his first go-round in AA, he is doing outstanding. He has cut down his strikeouts and is getting more walks. He is more disciplined. Look for him to move up to AAA next year. He’s on track to come to LA in 2011, in my opinion.

    He’s a switch-hitting 3B with power and has a decent glove. He was the All-Star 3B and MVP. I’d say he’s back on track after the injury last year and I think he is desirable to many teams.

    Halladay? I’d take him, but I don’t feel compelled to do it…

  6. Mark Timmons says:

    Billy,

    Where’s Miguel?

    I have no clue…

  7. DRomo says:

    I will be rooting for Schmidt but I am not expecting much. The Reds are an aggressive team so if he can keep them off balance he may have a shot. We shall see.

    Kemp is turning into a monster.

    O-dog is one of those touchy feely dudes. You may have noticed he likes to grab a player to say hello.Help guys up after a play at second. Wrap up a guy when they get close to avoid a collision. That is what the knuckle head did yesterday. Let me ask you something. If you know you have a glass wrist and you are sprinting down the line. When a guy gets close to you don’t you move your damn arm out of the way!?!? It is hard to tell a guy to stop being so damn nice but c’mon O-Dog protect yourself be smart. I hope he isn’t hurt badly but if he is I will blame him.

  8. Ken says:

    “..over the next two weeks the Dodgers need to set up their team for the rest of the way. The focus will likely be on two issues other than Halladay. One is the bullpen, which in the past has been a shortcoming of manager Joe Torre, who has been known to wear out relievers. Knowing this, the Dodgers probably need to focus some of their chips on acquiring someone like George Sherrill, a legitimate workhorse.” Boston.com

  9. Roger says:

    Ken, I would say the Dodgers have some 10 to 15 or 18 pitchers in the pen. It is just that some of these pitchers are in L.A., some are in AAA, and some in AA.

    Ned moves them up and down, and Joe blows out their arms. It could be that many of the other teams work that way, now.

    Here today, kuo tomorrow . . .

  10. Bill Russell says:

    Miguel was here yesterday and gone today? Mark, Lawdogie can jump in next vacation.

    I would love Halliday but only if it’s prospects. I think we are all on the same page about that. I only hope Philly don’t land him. I want in the WS this year. O Dogie is more important to this team then people think. NO one makes his defensive plays and sparks the lineup like him. Kemp is a monster not a Bison.

  11. RoyalDodger says:

    I’m not huge on a Halladay deal either. Another good starting arm would sure be useful right now, but maybe we should be exploring Lee, or as mentioned already, looking for quality workhorses out of the pen.

    I am a big supporter of Schmidt. He’s a gamer, he has worked hard to rehab, he is a positive influence with our youngsters. Kersh has singled Schmidt out more than once as someone who has been a willing mentor and brain to pick.

    I hope he’s lights out tonight. We can use it. He’s earned it.

  12. Badger says:

    I too hope Schmidt does well. It’s not his fault Jed signed him to that goofy contract.

    If any contender in the N.L. gets Halladay, it spells trouble for us. The Phils or the Cards, or even the Brewers. I would think Toronto would want him out of the A.L., I know other A.L. managers sure do.

    Sweeten the deal Fred. Better to have him here and lose a few prospects than keep the prospects and face Halladay a couple of times in a short series.

  13. DRomo says:

    Lets not let our man-love for Schmidt get in the way of reality. He will be lucky to get through 4 innings tonight. I am willing to pleasantly suprised but not dumb enough to think he will be anything resmbling his former self. Look to a Weaver-esque performance. Decent(at best) or horrible!

    I have to believe we are adding pitching in the next 10 days. With this band aid staff we have we will be lucky to get past the first round.

    • RoyalDodger says:

      Agree. I don’t have great expectations for him, but I also agree with Mark’s original sentiment – we should be rooting for Schmidt to have some measure of success.

  14. lawdog says:

    The best thing going for Schmidt is he has very few miles on his arm the last three years. Schmidt is not a finesse kind of guy. without his heater toset up the other stuff he’s no better than a dozen guys at the farm trying to develop smoke and mirrors to replace their long lost gas.

    Am I to interpret tat my Minor Leaue report is as interesting as watching Halladay pitch? That’s high praise indeed from the usually surly Hazy one.

    I’m not stupid.

    I know my columns are only for the hard core as they’ve been little more than a summary of each days games and are quite tedious to prepare each and every day. But, if you don’t give a damn abut our farm, the performance of the players will only be important to you fans who starts howling at the moon if it’s proposed we need to trade a few above average players for a legitimate star. If you find the report bring, don’t read it. If you’re a hard core Dog fan and want to know what a proposed trade really means when it comes up, you’d be a fool not to browse it on a regular basis. It’s kind of like a racing form that is free. And amid all the tedium I’ve been tryhing for the last week or so to throw in some humerous hooks which my wife thinks are funny enough to lighten the subject. But for the sake of all the anels in heavem don’t make a monkey of ourself by criticizing a propsed trade when hyou know nothing of the prospect it is proposed that we give up for a horse named Halladay. It bogs the discussion down in crap with a bunch of ignroant opinions.

    Remember, opinions are all like assholes. Everybody has one. When you are not sure if you know what you are talking about, keep your mouth shut so you don’t remove all doubt.

    I think we can acquire Halladay for Martin (Ellis is hitting .305 and has been ready for a couple of years). It’s LoDuca for Piazza–but Piazza in a slump he’s mired himself in for 2 years n ow. I can live with that. Ausmas is hitting .285 and will do fine as the cather who plays in 40-50% of the games. We’ll need to throw in Abreu, Stultz, McDonald, Hu, Lambo and Bastardo.

    Are we a better team without those guys but with the edition of Halladay? You bet we are! And Toronto is better for the deal as well.

  15. Badger says:

    Well Martin to Canada sure sounds like a fit. It’s not like we will be losing a middle of our order hitter. Still, on a gut level I don’t like it. And I really don’t like throwing in 5 other good prospects. Give them McDonald, Lambo, Abreu and whoever. That’s at least as good a deal as the 4 prospects mentioned going from St. Louis.

    Maybe Schmidt has added a Maddux-like on the black 88 mph sinker. He better have something he can put on the corners as if what I have been reading is true, his fastball is pretty much history.

  16. Bill Russell says:

    If your comments are directed towards me Lawdogie, First let me say your report is great. I always enjoy reading about the farm and your hard work is treasured. My comments that your report would become less interesting would be if we traded away the farm for Halliday. Nothing to do with your reporting, just No one to follow if everyone is traded. So sorry you mistook my comments if your comments were directed towards me but let me say just because your reporting the minor leagues doesn’t mean your trade proposals are any better then of the rest of us. None of us truely know how to value players. Unless your working with a major league team and can learn the major/minor league system of handicapping players, we are all in the dark together.

  17. Badger says:

    I used to know.

    Then I forgot.

    What were we talking about?

  18. DRomo says:

    I hate to give up what we will need to for a Halladay but I will say if the Phillies get him we are screwed unless we add pitching! With Halladay, Hammels, anyone else they will have an advantage over us in Oct. Save your stats, we need to improve this rotation!

    The whole world knows we need pitching to win.

  19. Roger says:

    I know it is painfull, for some, who like to dream of tomorrow with Dodger prospects. Face it, since 1988, Dodger fans have been living in the prospect world, with all of those Rookie-of-the-Year players we have had. Not wanting to trade the dream down on the farm.

    But if we want the Dodgers to win this year. Some new pitching blood IS needed. Schmidt is only a echo from the past, trying not to give up. Like Watson in Scotland over the weekend.

    I think Ned knows, if he does not fix the pitching problem, and does not make the World Series this year. He is toast.

    We are not playing for Lambo’s ring 4 or 5 years from now, we are playing for a ring NOW.

  20. Michael says:

    The last time the Dodgers won it all; I had hair, ladies chasing me and my life ahead of me. Now I just have some fuzz on my dome, women run from me and I’m looking back on the decisions and the road I’ve taken to get where I am today. I want to win now but I’m greedy. I want to win this year and next and the next one, do you get it. I think to do that we stick with the plan. Maybe we would have won a few more since 88 if we hadn’t traded the Pedros, Konerkos and the list goes on. As Mark says, no dope fiend moves. Steady as she goes, we are on course.

  21. Mark Timmons says:

    Romo,

    Two things:

    1. Why do you seem to revere Hamels and say we are screwed when his ERA is 4.72 and he has given up 121 hits in 103 innings, but Billingsley is a bum with his 3.76 ERA and has 108 hits in 121 innings? It seems like a double-standard!

    2. From 1988 to 2002, we didn’t have Logan White. Most of the farm system production has been under his reign.

  22. Roger says:

    Mark, teams prepare for the post season. Spring Training is for rookies and minor leaguers. Remember all of the pitchers the Dodgers used in those Spring Training games we had never heard of, or not really in the radar of rosters, anywhere.

    Most of the regular season, is still a Training time to get ready for the Post Season (now in caps).

    Unless Hamels has an arm problem or mental problem. If C-Bills and Hamles hook up in game 1 of the post season, Vegas puts winning money of Hamels. He has great fielding behind him, great hitters behind him, and will have a strong pen. The Phillies will be ready.

    I believe that Ned will have a ready roster.

    Schmidt has Vegas with him tonight, big odds for the Dodgers winning.

  23. Mark Timmons says:

    Halladay is not tested in the playoffs. Not saying I don’t want him…

  24. Roger says:

    Right now, I will take any solid pitcher that the Dodgers can trade for. Not just H-Day.

    I know, chemistry has to be an issue.

    What is Orel doing these day? And he still throw?

  25. GoNzO says:

    Hamels didn’t shit the bed last yearlike Bills did. Once the playoffs begin, your back at zero and Hamels has proven to be a big game pitcher. Not that Bills won’t be, but he hasn’t proven anything yet but being an above avg regular season pitcher.

    There are guys that flip the switch once the playoffs come.

  26. Badger says:

    Halladay is not tested in the play-offs.

    Neither was Ferguson Jenkins.

    I think Halladay would likely be our best pitcher in the play-offs.

  27. DRomo says:

    Mark,
    I think Hammels shuts us down. His stats may not be like Chad’s I get that. But I am thinking of matchups. We will be playing in Oct. Who is seen as our biggest obstacle on the road to the W.S.? I say Philly. We can not beat Hammels? At least we struggle against him. They intimidate Bills. At least Bills acts that way.

    I am not saying he is a bum. I just want us to match up. That is what we should look at. Take away the obvious stats and look at the splits. What is Bills ERA against the playoff caliber teams? (I dont know & I am not looking it up right now). Then look at Hammels’ plus his track record against us.

    One thing that is in Billingsley’s favor is Hammels struggled BIG TIME in 2007 in the playoffs then dominated in 2008. Maybe Chad can bounce back. But from what I have seen he lacks command against patient hitters. Maybe I am wrong Mark but I just want the best lineup and rotation NOW, not in 2010 or 2011. Maybe Bills will grow a set. This is our best look at the World Series in a while. Lets not waste it because we dont want to lose “prospects”. Remember “prospect” means they haven’t done anything yet.

  28. JFragoso says:

    Halladay would be nice but he’s not worth what the Jays want for him. On the other hand, we can’t expect Kershaw to keep pitching like this into October. Hopefully Bills rights his ship soon. I also think he might be tipping his pitches. Did you see that curve ball that he threw to Tejada? He might as well have pulled up a chair.(He was sitting on it)

  29. Blue Haze says:

    LDog, you have me confused with some other poster, I have never made a peep about your columns. To be totally honest I have not read any of your minor league reports columns, they are probably good but I just don’t seem to follow the minors much at all. Well, I do go and see an occasional A ball California league game about twice a season. At least you were thinking of me, however.

    Totally with ya, Gonzo! Absolutely correct. There are some guys who turn it on int he playoffs and others who shut it down. Recent poor playoff guys- ARod, Barry Bonds to name a few (or at least that was the knock often cited). Damn, if we had an Orel Hershisher type playoff pitcher, you could start designing the rings.

    It has been too damn long since we won a WS ring,

    Carry on.

  30. lawdog says:

    Brussell, now that I can see your point I must admit it is well taken! The Minor League Report would be doubly boring if all I had to report on was has been s, might of beens, never weres and legends in their own minds copled with pitchers trying to get it back together after Torre pitched their arms into hamburger.

    We’re all on the same page, me thinks. Now If I could just find an edit button and look less like an idiot maybe more people would take me seriously…

    NAAAWW.. That would take all the fun out of posting here at this my favorite Dodger Blog on the Internet.

    Let’s all Root for Schmidt tonight. Don’t forget, the mind is a powerful thing! Visualize Schmidt going 7 innings and giving up 1 earned run–or better yet. Wth the mind, nothing is impossible–within reason. Visualize Schmidty going 7 and giving up 0 runs. (That way we might actually win when the pen getsd done with us.)

  31. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    I don’t have a clue what Schmidt will do tonight, but if my memory serves me correct, I recall that in addition to the heat, he had a nasty change-up when he was with the Giants. If he has to re-invent himself, perhaps it will take some time, but a superior change-up is a nice place to start.

    I assume that the rehab assignments he’s had have helped him build some of the stamina he will need to be successful. I’m not predicting anything, just hoping that he does well.

    No doubt, I would love for the Dodgers to acquire Halladay, as long as the price is right. On that score I’m willing to trust Dodger management. The trading of prospects is not just based on their perceived talent, but also on the perceived depth within the farm system of players that most, if not all of us, have never heard of. So, for example, even if the Dodgers believe that Josh Bell could be a star, perhaps they have some young teenage stud hidden away in the Dominican Summer League that none of has ever heard of. Or maybe the Dodgers think the world of Pedro Baez, and therefore consider Bell expendable. Same goes for young, unknown, or not fully developed talent at other positions.

    That said, we could trade for Halladay, he disappoints, and everyone we used to pay for him becomes a star. Without 20-20 hindsight there’s no way to know. Again, I’ll trust, and hope that Dodger management knows what it’s doing. Besides, there are probably other, worthwhile pitchers for the Dodgers to consider. It doesn’t necessarily have to be Halladay.

  32. Badger says:

    Schmidt, Schmidt he’s our man, if he can’t do it..

    fire up the bullpen cuz it could be a long night.

    It would appear most of us are in agreement about Halladay. Bring him on in if it doesn’t cost us our 4 best prospects.

    I am intrigued by the Martin idea. It scares me some, but offering a Gold Glove All Star catcher from Canada might get their attention. How badly would we miss him?

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