Categorized | Mark Timmons

You Will Never See It Coming…

You Will Never See It Coming…

Ned Colletti and company play their cards pretty close to the vest, so usually when the Dodgers make a trade it comes out of nowhere!   Boom!  Here’s the trade…From what I gather, the Blue Jays are asking the Phillies for AJ Happ, Kyle  Drabek and Dominic Brown for Halladay.  That means that they would ask the Dodgers for Kershaw, Lindblom and Lambo.  There’s no way the Phils give up Happ AND Drabek and there’s no way the Dodgers give up Kershaw.  The Dodgers could give quantity, not quality, but I suspect the Ned is already looking at Jared Washburn.  We could do worse.  Cliff Lee?  Maybe.  Bill Plaschke of the LA Times  makes some good points about our need for an ACE today and he also says that Kershaw and Billingsley are non tradable.  jschmidt

This afternoon, Jason Schmidt goes against Chris Volsted, the 6′ 8″ RH.  Kevin Baxter of the LA Times has this blurb about Jason Schmidt and how he knows that this could be the end of the line:

Jason Schmidt will be making his second big league start in 25 months this afternoon — which for Schmidt feels a little like living on borrowed time. The three-time All-Star needed two years to come back from shoulder surgeries, so when Torre handed him the ball for the first time Monday, Schmidt brought his family in from Arizona for the game.

“I didn’t know if that was going to be my last game,” he said.

The long rehab got an extra push from the pitcher’s eldest son Mason Tyler, whose T-ball team Schmidt helped coached. After one recent game the 5-year-old told his father that he was really starting to like baseball, to which Schmidt answered, “Now you know why daddy plays baseball.”

“Dad,” said the boy, who had no memory of his father in uniform, “you don’t play baseball.”

“That’s when I told my wife, ‘We’re coming back,’ ” Schmidt said.

Mason Tyler sat restlessly through Schmidt’s last start. And dad hopes he’ll be paying attention again today.

“Every start could be my last start,” Schmidt said. “That’s how we are in this thing.”

LAST NIGHT’S GAME:

  • Casey Blake’s laser into right center drove in the winning run in the bottom of the 9th, and  got J-Brox his 7th win against no losses.  OK, so it wasn’t a laser – it looks like it in the box score!
  • If J-Brox can finish out strong he’ll receive major consideration for the Cy Young.
  • Kuroda looks to be headed in the right direction – he pitched much better last night.
  • Andre Ethier’s demeanor has gone from “deer-in-the-headlights” to “there’s a new sheriff in town.”   I like the change!
  • Gueey Mota has really been getting it done in middle relief for us.  His ERA after 2 scoreless inning last night sits at 3.00.  Lots of you (me included) were asking for his release a couple of months ago.  I guess the Dodger brass might be smarter than we are ….
  • Josh Bell is campaigning to promoted to AAA.  He hit his 11th HR last night and drove in 5 RBI’s.  He is hitting .297 with a .388 OB% (.888 OPS), with 28 doubles, 11 HR and 50 BB to go with only 68 K’s.  He hits 4th for Chattanooga (Lambo is 3rd).  Andrew Lambo’s numbers are very similar, except the BA is 30 points lower right now.
  • Telling Stat?  The Dodgers have won the game on their last at bat 10 times this year – the most in the majors!  Never, Never, Never Quit!

About Mark Timmons

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

48 Responses to “You Will Never See It Coming…”

  1. lawdog says:

    The Dodger brass smarter than us??? Nawww… They just got lucky with Mota. Who knew that a 35 year old has been could be like a leopard with the ability to change his spots?

  2. Mark Timmons says:

    Here’s the thing – like Kuroda, when a guy is mid-30′s and throws 95-97, you know his arm is sound and he usually understands how to pitch. If they are not having success, it’s usually some small “glitch” and they “fixed” Mota and are in the process of “fixing” Kuroda. It’s more difficult with Kuroda because he doesn’t speak English.

  3. lawdog says:

    I must concede your point Mark. No question but that Mota is pitching as well as he did in the year or so he was with us before he was traded away and he pitched like crap when he first came back this year. And Kuroda looked much better last night than he’s looked in months. Their doing a helluva job on young Kurveshaw as well.

    I guess we don’t give Honeycutt enough credit.

  4. Mark Timmons says:

    I am not a Honeycutt fan, but…

    On another note, the Angels have offered Jared Weaver and a coice of prospects (including Brandon Wood) for Halladay, which the Jays have allegedly rejected. The Jays have allegedly offered Halladay to the Yanks for Chamberlin and Hughes…

    Notice that there’s NO LEAKS in the Dodger camp?

  5. lawdog says:

    Does anybody think we’ll get more than 5 innings out of Schmidt with his 84 mph heater today? I’m just grateful we won one last night that could have gone either way. I hope Schmidt proves me wrong but I don’t have a particularly good feeling about having the game in his hands. I’d rather see Elbert or Haeger out there.

    Is Weaver hurt? They better have him warming up before the first pitch is thrown. The Fish ain’t chopped liver. 84 mph fatballs will be flying out of the park in a day game unless his off speed stuff is perfection itself.

  6. lawdog says:

    Jared Weaver ain’t chopped liver either. It doesn’t sound like we’ve got a shot at Halladay unless we’ll trade Clayton or Bills. Ah, for the good old days when O’Malley could bully a Claude Osteen onto the roster when Johnny Podres was getting older and give up nothing more than a Hostess twinkie and a Dodger dog.

  7. DRomo says:

    I had a thought about a trade with Seattle. A 1-2 low level minor leaguers and Kuroda for Washburn. I like Kuroda (he is the only pitcher that showed he had his teammates back last year against the Phillies) but maybe his contract that is up after next year coupled with the love for Japanese players in Seattle gives us Wash.

    Washburn has been there before and is a battler. Maybe something we haven’t thought of here is: if we see Philly as our biggest obstacle on the way to the WS… they are left hand dominant…should we look more at adding Lee or Washburn? Lefty-lefty match up? Considerably less price tags too? Just a thought.

  8. DRomo says:

    Hey lawdog are you saying you would turn down a twinkie and a dodger dog? :)

  9. Ken says:

    The Athletics call the first three pitches of a plate appearance “conversion pitches” and consider them crucial for pitchers. That’s because batters have a .832 OPS after getting ahead 2-1 but a .520 OPS after falling behind 1-2. So, according to Oakland manager Bob Geren, the goal is two-thirds strikes on those first three pitches. “We stress it here,” he said, “from the minor leagues all the way up. We track it and we teach off of it.”

    With Mota Honey fixed what he broke while trying to get Mota to add a new pitch.

    Romo – a very interesting idea.

    Kershaw still has the worst control of any NL pitcher when considering Pitches per AB

  10. mark says:

    … but he’s one of the toughest to hit!

  11. DRomo says:

    yeah Mark its hard to hit balls out of the zone!

  12. Ken says:

    Strike% – 60% – 6th worst starting pitcher in the NL (No Location Control)

    Foul Balls as a % of Strikes – 31% – 4th worst starting pitcher (Not enough movement on the Pitches)

    Total Pitches Swung at by Batter – 43% – 11th worst – Too many lousey pitches

    First Pitch Stikes – 54% – 7th worst starting pitcher

    3-0 Counts – 7% of batters – 7th worst starting pitcher

    Quality Starts – 50% – 47th out of 72 starting pitchers

    Innings per Game – 5.6 – 59th out of 72

  13. Mark Timmons says:

    21 years old and getting a chance.

    Look, I have seen Koufax, Gibson, Drysdale, Clemens, Santana and you could always see that they were special.

    Kershaw is special too.

    If you happen to think that Kershaw isn’t all that, then maybe you know more than guys who have been in MLB for 30, 40, 50 years, who all rave about him.

    I’ll tell you what – ask Maury Wills who played with Koufax, what he thinks about Kershaw.

    See, you can say that Alston was prejudiced against Koufax (and Koufax NEVER got a chance at this age), or it could be that Koufax couldn’t have pitched at this age. The reality is, we will never know, but we do know that people in the know in baseball are very enamoured with Kershaw.

    His ERA is 2.96.

    It was 7.29 in April

    It was 2.57 in May

    It was 2.36 in June

    It is 0.90 in July.

    Detect a trend?

    In case no one knows, if you walk a guy and he scores, it counts to your ERA. So, if he walks 47 and wins, who cares?

    Again, I’ll say he’s 21.

    Watch and learn what happens in another year!

  14. Mark Timmons says:

    I’ll tell you a guy who used to drive people crazy with how many batters he walked – Randy Johnson! When he was was young he walked 120, 152, 144 batters a season, but you could see how good his stuff was. He was actually a lot wilder than Kershaw.

    If you can’t see how good this kid is and will be, get back to me in two years and you’ll KNOW!

    I specizlize in seeing what CAN BE, not WHAT IS!

  15. Mark Timmons says:

    … and Johnson did that at age 26, 27 and 28!

    LH tend to mature later (Fernando excluded, but he had a “trick” pitch) because they don’t have as many role models (pitchers they can emulate).

  16. Mark Timmons says:

    Schmidt gets out of the 1st inning with 7 pitches. Nice!

  17. Mark Timmons says:

    Romo,

    Kuroda to Seattle – NO WAY!

    Here’s why:

    Washburn’s contract is over after this year.

    Kuroda is owed $13 mil in 2010.

    Unless the Dodgers pay his salary…

  18. Harold says:

    The Dodgers and Indians are in serious discussions about a blockbuster that would send left-hander Cliff Lee and catcher Victor Martinez to Los Angeles for first baseman James Loney, one of the Dodgers’ young starting pitchers and prospects, according to major-league sources. It is not known whether the Dodgers would part with left-hander Clayton Kershaw or right-hander Chad Billingsley in the package. Class AA third baseman Josh Bell, Class AA outfielder Andrew Lambo and Class AAA right-hander Josh Lindblom are among the prospects under discussion. (FOXSports)

    Here’s one to bat around. I nix it without any prolonged discussion. Lee is not a significant upgrade over Bills nor Martinez over Loney in my opinion. Bell, Lambo, Lindblom are throw aways. We have become Cleveland’s farm team if this happens. I am OK getting Lee without Bills or Clayton going. Hate to see Loney go but Mark has been calling that.

    GO DODGERS!!

  19. New guy says:

    If the trade involves Bills or Kershaw no way I make the deal…
    but if not, damn were gonna be scary….

  20. New guy says:

    By the way V-Mart has power and a switch hitter, Loney does not do either…

  21. Roger says:

    Dodgers do not any any life out there today. In the field, or at bat. They are playing today like a last place team.

    I do not even hear: Let’s Go Dodgers.

    More like a Spring Training game in March.

  22. Mark Timmons says:

    I would trade Loney, McDonald, Bell and Lindblom for Martinez and Lee. If we have to throw in another prospect or two, so be it (even Lambo if necessary and I love Lambo).

    Martinez would do well at 1B and could backup Martin/Ausmus at C.

    The Dodgers won’t trade Billingsley or Kershaw – PERIOD! That’s not even on the table. We wouldn’t be stronger if we traded one of them.

    Martinez would immediately become our cleanup hitter. Adding Lee would be a big help.

    We might as well lose 20-0. It all counts the same.

  23. Bill Russell says:

    Does anyone still feel we don’t need another pitcher? Schmidt can not pitch in the major leagues. It’s a sad story. Victor Martinez would be a huge pickup. He plays 1st base and he can catch. If we could keep Bills and Kershaw and fillup Cleveland with Loney/ McDonald and prospects that would be great. I can watch todays game any longer. It just hurts.

  24. Bill Russell says:

    Can’t watch todays game

  25. Mark Timmons says:

    I would not be surprised if Jason Schmidt retires tomorrow.

    There’s nothing here…

    move along folks!

    Your son got to see you pitch Jason.

    Valiant effort!

    Stick a fork in him.

    He’s done!

  26. Mark Timmons says:

    There will be a trade…

    and soon!

  27. Mark Timmons says:

    Stults will be part of it too.

  28. Harold says:

    Lee and Martinez both are signed through 2009 with club option for 2010. You know what that means. Lost to FA after 2010 with five gone to Cleveland to join Santana. Or big time contracts that strangle us again. Having said that, it would give us next year with Manny, Lee and Martinez, Raffy and probably O Dog. Might be workable without Bills or Clayton in it. To trade one of them in lunacy. It is just too hard to develop good young pitchers. We have to keep and grow our own.

    GO DODGERS!!

  29. Mark Timmons says:

    KERSHAW AND BILLINGSLEY ARE GOING NOWHERE!

  30. Ken says:

    Just look at the STATS – Claudio Vargas is the Dodger’s BEST reliever!!

  31. Mark Timmons says:

    Give him 5 years/$75 mil!

  32. Ken says:

    Hopefully Stults will pitch 2-3 innings tommorrow for ALBA and be on track to replace Schimdt on Friday.

  33. Mark Timmons says:

    I can replace Schmidt!

  34. DRomo says:

    DFA Jason Schmidt. Lets face it he is done. It is sad to see and it isn’t his fault. No one wants to get injured but what point is it to run him out every 5th day? Couldn’t we give McD another shot and watch him get batted around until he figures it out?

    Where are you guys seeing the Leetrade rumors at?

  35. Bill Russell says:

    I saw it mlbtraderumors.com but the reports are now being denied.

  36. Roger says:

    What is unique and frustrating about this 2009 Dodger team is:

    1) at times they play like champions. Solid. Great fielding. Timely hitting, sometimes taking over a game early or finishing off other teams late a game.

    2) at other times, they can appear like a last place team. Not much power. Cannot move a runner along, or get the S.F. or S.H. when called for. Ex: a runner at 3rd base and 1 out, and cannot score THAT run.

    They do not loose many games in a row, but when they do loose that game can look so bad.

    Ned and Joe need at least two pitchers. A starter and a reliever. But almost all talk about giving up a players seems so frustrating. “Don’t trade this guy, not that guy, they will never trade him or him, or HIM, or THEM.

    Other teams are about to pull the lever on trades — then the pickings are slimmer.

  37. Roger says:

    This year has been really using the minors with pitching moves.

    Both starters and for the pen. Just move guys down and up. Arms are tired and over used. Almost like Spring Training.

    What is funny. The Dodgers have an 8 game lead over the Rockies and 10 game lead over the Giants. Those teams will not go away. They are 1 & 2 for the wild card.

    Maybe, this in reality is the final buildling year. Another division win. A bit in the post season. Then some re-loading over the winter — and then with solid re-molded pitching and more seasoning of the player. A read Dodger of a team next year.

    And in all the excitment — they might pull it off in Oct/Nov this year and win it all.

    Meanwhile on to St. Louis and the Redbirds.

  38. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    I can’t believe anyone would make a deal that sends Loney to Cleveland for Victor Martinez. Martinez is no doubt a good player, who currently hits for more power than Loney (14 HRs to 7 HRs). Loney is a lefthanded vs. righthanded for Martinez, and I think everyone knows that a lefthanded first baseman is preferable. I haven’t seen Martinez play first base, but I’m guessing he is nowhere near as good defensively as Loney. And, as I pointed out in a previous post, the first baseman is the anchor of the infield defense. Remove Loney, and there will be an overall decline in the Dodgers’ infield defense. Some of you may not think that’s important, but I think it’s critical. If pitching is important, so is the defense behind it. And right now, ours is pretty good, and I’m not willing to mess with it.

    Overall at the current time Martinez gets the nod with his bat, but really, it’s pretty close. Loney has 59 RBIs, the number for Martinez is 64. And as we’ve seen with Loney in the past, he’s capable of getting very hot for a long stretch. The difference in both players is simply not enough to get me to trade Loney’s much greater upside for a quick fix that may not be a fix at all.

    McDonald, Lindblom and Bell for Lee I would probably do, based on the following qualification. If I’ve seen Lee pitch, it was only briefly, so everything I know about him is second hand. Other than McDonald, same goes for Bell and Lindblom. Consequently, I prefer to waffle a bit on this one, and leave the decision to Dodger management, which hopefully has done their homework.

    As for Schmidt, I agree, he needs to be DFA’d. The Dodgers would have had decent chance of winning today with almost any moderately reliable pitcher. A healthy Stults could have done the job. I see no need to sacrifice any more games to continue this experiment, which I believe is doomed to failure.

  39. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    DRomo,

    The Dodger/Cleveland trade rumor can be found (among other places) right on the Dodgers website.

    Roger,

    The ups and downs you’re talking about occur with every team, good and bad. It’s part of the normal ebb and flow of a long baseball season.

    It could turn out that this team doesn’t go as far as we’d like in the playoffs. Once there, it’s a crapshoot. We all know that it’s not always the best team that wins, but rather the team that gets hottest at the end of the season. I believe that it would take a monumental collapse to keep the Dodgers out of the postseason. Even if either the Rockies or the Giants somehow were to catch the Dodgers, there’s a good chance that in that instance the Dodgers would become the wildcard winner.

    I want to win this year, but not so much that I would be willing to mortgage our future. The Dodgers have built a solid core, and I’m more confident that that core (with key upgrades via trade or free agency) will ultimately bring us than any quick fix at the trade deadline will.

    Finally, I would like to know why Torre used the overworked Troncoso to pitch the 9th inning with the Dodgers down by 4 runs. Couldn’t Brent Leach have done that?

  40. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    In the previous post, in the last sentence of the next to last paragraph I meant to say “…”will ultimately bring us a championship than any quick fix at the trade deadline will.”

  41. DRomo says:

    OK here is my best Mark impression:

    Imagine in a few years Carlos Santana, McDonald, Lindblom, Loney, Bell and who knows who else starring for the Indians! Ouch!

    Scary thing is I actually feel that way, but if want this trade to happen. I roll the dice that Martinez isn’t a butcher at 1B.

  42. Mark Timmons says:

    Martinez is a catcher. A good catcher. Good catchers can play 1B pretty well…

  43. Roger says:

    Yes, catchers can play first base, but 6 out of 7 catchers playing 1st base — keep saying, “Hum baby, hum bay, bring it too me. Hum baby, hum baby.”

    Brooklyn — yes, I know there are ups and downs. This team for the first, what, month, were brillant. Of late, they are just so-so. Starting pitching has been really off. This part of the season team is not post season ready.

    Ned needs to fix something.

    Point well taken above. With a large lead, Joe needs to stop over wroking some of the pen guys. Bring up others, rest some of the pen. This over working might kill them all off.

  44. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    I’m not sure of the logic that “Good catchers can play 1B pretty well…” Besides, even if true, Loney plays it a lot better than “pretty well”.

    Again, I’m not willing to experiment with a new first baseman, when the one we already have is of the caliber of Loney, who also happens to have a pretty good bat. Besides his play around the bag, Loney has a powerful lefthanded arm (remember, he was considered a top pitching prospect, with a fastball in the 90′s, when he was drafted by the Dodgers in 2007) with the ability to make strong throws across the diamond to 2B and 3B, without having to take the time to pivot required by a righthanded thrower.

    Below are Martinez’s stats (including fielding) from Baseball-Reference.com. Whatever he’s been in the past, it’s clear that Martinez is having trouble throwing when he catches this year. He’s caught 6 of 45 runners, a 13% success rate. That belies the comment that “Martinez is…a good catcher.”

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/m/martivi01.shtml

    Roger, your point is well taken. And I agree that there is some fixing that has to be done. I simply would like it to get done at the right price. Also, I’m not sure how we’re playing now will have any effect on the postseason. I remember 2006 when we went into the postseason on the heels of a seven game winning streak, only to get swept in the first round by the Mets (two of those games I had to sit through at Shea Stadium). Also, in 2007 the Rockies swept through everyone until the ran into the Red Sox, and were themselves swept.

  45. lawdog says:

    You could rotate Martinez with Martin and give Russ some much needed relief. Martin could play first on days Martinez catches, or put him at third and move Casey jones to first on those days.

  46. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Got a feeling I’ve been consigned to spam again. Previoous comments I posted a while back have not yet appeared.

    It seems that the Dodgers have optioned DeWitt and will be activating Kuo.

    http://blogs.pe.com/prosports/mlb/dodgers/#a511825

  47. DRomo says:

    Blake can play first, Martin to 3B and Martinez behind the plate?

    Hey Mark, Catchers can play first? Did you ever see Piazza play 1st? Ouch! Then again dude was a hack behind the dish.

  48. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    If memory serves me correct (and is doesn’t always), my post that has yet to make it to this site included Martinez’s defensive stats, which showed that he’s caught 13% of basestealers this year. I recall it was 6 of 45. I don’t know about the rest of his defense behind the plate, but if he was ever used to catch, I would hope it’s against a team of tortoises. I would also imagine that at first base, the righthanded Martinez would be quite less effective than the strong armed lefty throwing Loney at making throws across the diamond to second and third.

    Although he’s shown more power to date, Martinez’s bat is not much of an improvement (if any) over Loney, but the dip in defense would be very significant. Plays we now take for granted would suddenly become an issue.

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