Categorized | Mark Timmons

“He’s Growing Up, Isn’t He?”

“He’s Growing Up, Isn’t He?”
Kershaw-Ball

Clayton Kershaw's Curve - www.LaDodgerTalk.com

That is an understatement by Joe Torre (written by Dylan Hernandez of the LA TIMES). What Clayton is doing, is growing into one of the most dominant pitchersin MLB.  At an age when Tim Lincecum was learning to pitch at AAA, Clayton Kershaw is learning how to become an ACE.  Frankly, as much as Ihave championed Clayton as the second coming of Koufax, I an surprised at how well he is doing – I expected this NEXT year.  I thought Billingsley or Kuroda would be our opening day starter for one more year, but Clayton has proven he’s better than I thought.  His ERA sits at 2.73 and he could easily have 13 or 14 wins this year had he received more support.  The Dodgers have scored 5 runs in his last 4 games.  I guess they figure they don’t need to hit when he is pitching. 

I’ll bet Scott Elbert is ripped after first being told he’ll start Saturday only to be sent back to AAA so that Eric Stults cab start instead.  Actually, there needs to be another move made to clear a spot for Stults.  Elbert was optioned to clear a spot for Ronnie Belisario.  It appear to me there are two possibilities:  Joe is loathe to use Weaver lately, so maybe he gets DFA’d, but if it were me RIGHT NOW, I would put Billingsley on the DL, retroactive to the last day he pitched and give him 2 solid weeks of rest.  Don’t mess around with this.  We can do without him for 2 weeks – we can’t do without him in the playoff and we don’t want him to injure his arm.  Be Smart – DL C-Bill!  Don’t mess with Tony Abreu…

Eric has saved our bacon before.  No reason to think a good ole’ Indiana Boy can’t do it again!  Finally, since Manny has been back, we have not had a base-stealing threat at the top of our order.  While Raffy is a solid SS and decent (not great) hitter, he is no longer a stolen base threat.  Russ Martin is a better lead-off option than Raffy.  This is what I was afraid of when we re-signed him.  His .330 OB% and lack of being a threat to steal is impacting our lineup.  Something has to be done.  Kemp, Martin and Hudson are all better options to lead-off than Raffy!  What are you going to do, Joe?

About Mark Timmons

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

34 Responses to ““He’s Growing Up, Isn’t He?””

  1. Badger says:

    Am I the only one who is concerned about Kershaw’s IP?

    I would try more hit and runs with Raffy on first. He has the speed I don’t know why he isn’t, and the Dodgers aren’t, using it. There were times when he was showing signs of improvement, so I don’t really care about his .330 OBP to this point, I want to see it at .380 the rest of the way. We need it.

    Agree about Bills. If we don’t have him in September, we may be toast. This is the time some of us were talking about early in the year. Remember when we were on pace to win 120 and it was mentioned that all teams go through slumps – how will we handle it – and also this pitching staff had some question marks on it? These are the dog days, let’s just see how the Dogs handle them.

  2. mark says:

    I’d like to see them DL Bills and then in early September rest Clayton for a couple of weeks.

  3. Ken says:

    If Kershaw does not rest he will risk injury or burnout based upon the increase in number of pitches this year v. last year. Cf. Bills 2008 playoffs and maybe 2009 regular season (Also Cole Hamels).

    Scott “Charlie Brown” Elbert meet Joe “Lucy” Torre

    DL Bills and give him a blood glucose test

    Eric – You have to go at least 5 innings because Torre totally disrespects you!

    Pitching is like WD-40 to Weaver’s rusty arm. He needs to pitch today or he will be worthless on Wednesday.

    Keep Abreu and waive Loretta. Loretta is playing lousey because he is not a pinch hitter. He is a role player that plays 1 – 2 times a week and as a result is ready to pinch hit. Torre did not use him this way so he has lost his skills. He is better off somewhere else.

    Rest Mota for a few days. He is old and has been overworked from June until now.

    Bench Loney at Home and play Abreu at 3rd with Blake at 1st.

    Tell Manny that if he does not hit the ball to right field he will be benched for Pierre. Make him the example and others will listen.

    Why is Donnie T-Ball letting everyone pull the ball and hit into those weak ground outs and stupid double plays and not riding their butts. If he is and the players are either too tired or stubborn to listen then bench them. Big Ego – Play the Bench

    New Lineup just to shake things up:

    Hudson – Fine him if he hits a HR BARISP .289
    Martin – Let Wills take him behind the woodshed BARISP .245
    Kemp – Best hitter BARISP .308
    Rameriz – Best Power with average BARISP .315
    Ethier – Best Power BARISP .248
    Blake – Good Power BARISP .252
    Loney – Tired Man who now just kills the rally BARISP .302
    Furcal – Can kill the current rally or start the next rally BARISP .216 (The only player with OBP below .350)

  4. SpokaneBob says:

    How we handle these Dog Days will indeed be interesting.

    I personally believe that the next two months could be the fire that forges this team, especially our young core players, into the steel veteran unit that would be capable of winning it all. I like that even now we never quit when we are down. What doesn’t kill you onlt makes you stronger. That is of coursed based on the idea that we can get through this trial and win the west. We will see.

  5. grumpy3b says:

    You know, isn’t about time people stopped with this BS about a guy being “ripped” because he does not get a scheduled start or his frame of mind after being sent down…it is just time to make these boys turn into men…I mean obviously their parents never did if these things ‘destroy’ their psyche. Perhaps that is one reason I find it difficult to be more than a casual Dodger fan anymore. Few players are actually men out there.

    Just too much ‘LifetimeOprahPhilWinfrey’ mindset in everything these days…if a player is not mentally tough enough to handle a change in plan, trade him…stop pampering these bonus babies and they are babies if they can’t manage such parts of the job. Maybe if they were tougher mentally they could throw more than 6-innings and would check their ego at the door of the clubhouse or the bank when they cash their checks, even at MLB minimum they earn more than 90% of kids their age.

    Though, I am sure the comment about Elbert being ripped just refers to his being disappointed, which I am sure he is, and not in reference to it being the wrong thing to do…right?

  6. grumpy3b says:

    Mark:

    I like the idea of putting Billz on the DL to give him a break before the final playoff push…no need to rush a hammy prob. Those can linger but at least today they have better tools to treat them with ultrasound, IR therapy and other newer options but none alone are very good without rest and stretching.

  7. grumpy3b says:

    Ken:

    “….Tell Manny that if he does not hit the ball to right field he will be benched for Pierre. Make him the example and others will listen….”

    THANK YOU…I thought I was the only person who noticed he has been trying to pull everything since he got hit on the hand. Anything he hits to the right side of the field or even up the middle is weak as heck.

    Some guys really need rest, maybe it is time for a Crash Davis Special Rain Out!!

  8. Mark Timmons says:

    Well, Abreu got the pink ticket out of town and Loretta is starting:Furcal, SS

    1. Furcal SS

    2. Ethier, RF

    3. Manny, LF

    4. Blake, 3B

    5. Kemp, CF

    6. Martin, C

    7. Hudson, 2B

    8. Loretta, 1B

    9. Stults, P

  9. Mark Timmons says:

    Martin and Hudson both have a higher batting average, higher OB% and more steals than Raffy, so who is the stupid moron making out that lineup and does he have a reading comprehension level above 3rd grade?

  10. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Grumpy,

    You weren’t the only one who noticed that Manny is trying to pull too often. I mentioned it a while back. In fact, if I remember correctly, he was doing it even before being hit on the hand. It’s looked also as if his timing has been off, expecially on breaking balls and offspeed stuff. I also think he’s been been swinging too hard. I didn’t see last night’s game, but it’s looking like the offense, not the pitching, has become the problem. In fact, if anything is overworking the Dodger pitching staff, it’s the lack of runs that leads to the overuse of the bullpen.

  11. Badger says:

    Martin Hudson Loretta Stults has end of inning written all over it.

    I don’t know what the answer is but I like the idea of losing Loretta and playing Abreu. Loretta is hitting .237 and I just don’t see Abreu ever doing that.

    Raffy knows what up. He has the lead-off experience and mentality. I look for him to lead the way the next two months.

    I doubt anyone is going to tell Manny anything. Some suggestions might be made, but I suspect that dog won’t listen to any commands. You tell him to go to right and he will likely tell you right where you can go. He is Manny and every thing he does at this point of his career is “gravy”. I think he will come around eventually, but in the mean time, like grumpy said, time for the others to cowboy up.

    Elbert will be disappointed sure, but what he needs to do is make it so the organization HAS to play him. Go to the ‘Topes and blow people away for 85 pitches and the Dodgers will be forced to put him in the rotation. If he is a starter, then let him start there. If he is a reliever, then let him relieve. He has great stuff, jerking him around isn’t good for his mental make-up. THIS is your job, THIS is what we expect, now just do it.

    Who is steering this ship? It’s Guiseppi and Fred. Time for them, and the players, to show us some nads.

  12. grumpy3b says:

    Mark:

    Agreed about Ferkle…he is not the Ferkle of old. Thinking back he was always an arms/upper-body type hitter. Now with his steals almost non-existent he should be hitting 2nd but he really does not handle the bat very well. Not sure I like the idea of hitting the catcher lead-off…well, ever…but especially not in August. Hudson has been marginal and as I recall he is not that much better hitting lead-off than Ferkle.

    So, the options are limited…the only other guy I would think can be a lead-off patch sorta guy is actually Kemp. He has the tools to do it and might find it fun for a few games. He is not ready for clean-up just yet so 5th is a nice slot for him. Still, he would be my LO choice given the current roster.

    Kemp
    ET
    FMRam
    Mr. Blake
    Martin
    Hudson
    etc…

    but the first four guys every day for a few days makes for a scary thing for the opposing SP and we fans never know what that Magic 8-Slot will bring each game. Lots of offense from that spot this season at the right time no matter who was hitting there.

    Otherwise the line-up you posted is the only one which makes sense to me at this microsecond of the season.

  13. grumpy3b says:

    Brooklyn Dodger,

    Thanks for the info on FMRam. I had not watched him much before the hand issue so it’s interesting to know. Maybe he felt the only way to contribute after being gone 50-games was to pull everything. Timing is so hard to get and can be harder still to recover after a layoff….in any sport.

    Not knowing what input Mattingly has with him, it’s hard to know if he is willing to work on it with help or not. Funny never have read much about how coachable FMRam really is or is not.

  14. lawdog says:

    You can’t make Torre do anything no matter how hard you play or how well you do. Haeger has pitched lights out all season at AAA and he has no chance of being brought up or used by Torre. Elbert could pitch no hit ball in all his AAA starts and it would not make a difference. Abreu hit .345 with power and what’s it get him? One start and pack your bag, Sonny!

    I wish we could have Lasorda back to manage the club. He knew how to give a youngster a flippin’ chance. If Torre were manager when Fernando came up, he’d still be throwing screwballs in the minors

  15. lawdog says:

    I think Manny dogged it during the suspension rather than keep in shape–and now that he’s back and out of shape, he’s lost confidence because he can’t take a ‘roid cycle. I think a lot of his confidence and “other world” ability came from ‘roids at least2 after he hit 33 or so.

  16. grumpy3b says:

    lawdog:

    “…I think Manny dogged it during the suspension rather than keep in shape…”

    I guess those daily workouts at Dodger stadium after what, 10-days from the beginning of the suspension? were not real workouts?

    Can’t buy that logic. But you opinion is obviously ridgid as well as polarized so probably no point in mentioning those workouts.

  17. Ken says:

    Manny has been diagnosed with “shaken baby syndrome” which affects his equilibrium. Apparently the syndrome began on Bobblehead night after he hit the home run.

  18. Badger says:

    I would think there would be plenty of people available who would be willing to pitch to Manny in live work-outs. A high school kid could pitch from the mound (from behind a screen) and Manny could stand 50 ft. from him making the 80 mph fastball a 90 mph fastball. Heck, bring in AAA pitchers doing their between start bullpen sessions for him. I wonder how hard he actually worked in those “work-outs”. Get him on the P90X program for 50 days, taking 100 live cuts every day and he wouldn’t miss a beat. Yeah, that would happen.

    Stults gone after 5 giving 3 earned (5.4) and that won’t get it done. Now the pen gets overworked again. Methinks we had better come out with our hitting shoes on the rest of the way.

  19. Ken says:

    I guess I have to adjust the colors on my screen. Grumpy3b has a blue haze above his Iris.

  20. Ken says:

    Hey Law Dog – Weaver pitched great but 3 innings may be too many to come back and start on Wed. Does that limit the choices to Mac or Haeger? Or maybe an outsider is still being considered?

  21. Ken says:

    He’s Growing Old, Isn’t He?

    How ironinc is it that Torre’s sophomoric approach is fully revealed in his second year as a coach with the Dodgers. For those of you that do not know, Sophmoric is the combination of two Greek words Sophist and Moron. This mean full of knowledge and devoid of wisdom.

    Maybe Frank will hire a manager next year that understands the simple childhood story of the “Tortise and the Hare”.

    This entire season has been mismanaged beginning in the preseason. First Ned brought into camp too many possible starting pitchers and not enough real starting pitchers. As a result the starting pitchers did not receive the proper number of live innings and did not get stretched out properly or fine tuned properly. As a result the starting pitchers did not go deep enough into games. Torre countered with overusing certain relievers and some of them have gotten hurt. Because the pitchers were not ready for the season and the relief pitcher’s sore arms gave up to many runs Torre countered with not resting the starting players and not using the bench properly. Now the bench can not hit and the starters are tired. Now the starting pitching is tired and the relievers are tired.

    This same old managing style is getting real tired.

    Next year Ned should try a different approach in the spring, finalize the starting pitching by January 31st, and impose a different workout program for the pitchers during the off season, under the supervision of a new Manager.

  22. Badger says:

    Stults only had 75 pitches, how come he was taken out?

  23. lawdog says:

    I can’t speak for Manny’s actual workouts at Dodger Stadium. I do know that he spent weeks, no months, mopping around doing nothing in Florida before he even started to workout and then when he had a couple of weeks to rehab with our AAA and A Advanced farm clubs he completely dogged it–not plying most games and when he did play, they had him lead off, take one AB and then take him out. Those are the facts Grumpy man. Though mentioning facts to you is pointless unless they happen to comply with your prejudices going in.

    Since he’s been back, Manny looks like a 37 year old who’s out of shape. Not some one who used the 50 game and approximately 2 months to stay in shape and be fresh on his return to the game. Or hadn’t you noticed grumpus? Maybe your head was somewhere else while your body appeared to be watching the games?

  24. grumpy3b says:

    wow…seems as if most folks here were toilet trained at gun point…nice to see that…Brooklyn Dodger, dunno how ya stand it. It seems more like an “I hate the Dodgers and know better than everyone else” blog than a discussion of the team and the game…completely with personal insults.

    BD, I enjoyed or exchanges in the past on the “other board” and a few times here…best of luck. This stuff is supposed to be fun, the people here suck the life out of the room when they walk in…

    Hope to see ya somewhere else… ;)

  25. lawdog says:

    Rumor has it that we are looking for a pitcher off the waiver wire. Torre couldn’t comment on it which would tend to indicate that is the case. You can’t comment on waiver deals by MLB rule. I think it’s going to be Smoltzy. Fred and Ned have a penchant for using geezers standing on their last legs. I’d rather see Elbert or Haeger, but I’ve always favored going with youth over experience when the experience takes one to the geriatric ward of baseball.

    Grumpus–you are a friggin’ trip. You attack people like me, basically calling us asses for not agreeing with a prejudice you have formed. You cite some inadequate evidence to support your position and when the other poster comes back with overwhelming evidence to support their position over yours, you get huffy–saying we take the fun out of this and suck the life out of the board.

    If you say things that can’t be supported with strong evidence and call others idiots for taking a different position that can so be supported with stronger evidence than that you cite, you better expect a little debate–and the person who debates you is not an ass because they don’t kiss yours. Grow up a little. If you’re going to dish it out you better learn to take it as well.

  26. Mark Timmons says:

    Grumpy,

    You started it with:

    “Can’t buy that logic. But you opinion is obviously ridgid as well as polarized so probably no point in mentioning those workouts.”

    Then Lawdog came back. This is a classic case of how not to respond. I didn’t like his response, but you started it.

    Then, you get mad and leave, because he escalated it…

    Lawdog can be opioniated, but he’s harmless

    I guess I am going to start having to really enforce the rules, which I dislike…

    Both you and Lawdog have good takes, but everyone needs to lighten up.

    Respect each other. I’m not taking sides – there are no sides.

  27. Mark Timmons says:

    Lawdog,

    On Manny: He allegedly worked out with a trainer in Florida and he did work out several days at Dodger Stadium and then had a mini-rehab in the minors. He is now many games back from his suspension and seems to run well. I have seen him with just a tee-shirt on and he looks to be in as good of shape as I have ever seen.

    ‘Roids? Maybe, but not proveable in a court of law.

    How about a sore hand? Maybe.

    Just a random slump? Probably.

    Time will tell.

  28. Mark Timmons says:

    Vicente Padilla!

    I’d try him over Smoltz.

  29. lawdog says:

    Mover, If Manny’s “mini-rehab” in the minors was any indication of how hard he worked out on his own where we couldn’t watch him and verify what he did or how long he did it–then he dogged the whole process. I watched his mini-rehab at AAA and A Advanced while I covered the minor league report. He didn’t even appear in most games and the very few where he made an appearance he led off the game and then beat feet for the hotel. He really pissed off the fans (thousands came out to see him ) not to mention the managers and other farm hand players and he wasted that two week period. From all that, and the way he looks tentative at the plate and swings and misses at pitches he used to drive, I think he’s not only out of shape but out of confidence since he can’t lean back on his roid cycle with all the world watching. Watch him swing and take pitches at the plate. He doesn’t look like the same man. He looks old and has no confidence.

    But, I could be wrong. I’ve been wrong before.

    I wonder how many other posters agree that he looks like a shell of the old Manny and has looked that way since returning from his suspension. I think he’s lost close to 50 points on his avg in that time and has hit for practically no power at all. And now he can be struck out with a high hard one or low off speed pitch if they are mixed properly. That was never the case before his suspension.

  30. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    I agree with Mark that Manny is probably in a random slump. There’s a fine line between being in a slump and being hot. Perhaps Manny’s a bit out of balance. I’m convinced that he’s going to come out of it. I’m more worried about Loney, who has simply not been driving the ball all year, even when he’s hitting. But like lawdog, “I’ve been wrong before”, many times.

  31. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    By the way, it’s not very comforting to know that neither Billingsley nor Kershaw will be pitching in the Giants series. It doesn’t help also that Kuroda skipped a throwing session recently due, I believe, to some sort of arm discomfort.

    I guess there’s a good chance that some sort of deal is in the works to add a pitcher to the rotation, and step into Wednesday’s slot. Maybe McDonald, perhaps a temporary callup from ABQ, or any number of other possiblities. Maybe it will be starter by committee.

  32. Ken says:

    Yea, I would try Padilla if Kirk Gibson or Larry Bowa was the Manager because Padilla is a head case and needs to be put in his place.

  33. SpokaneBob says:

    I also saw some film of Manny working out in a tank top before he came back and I was surprised at how buff he was. I am not taking sides in this, but like Brooks, I am thinking (hoping) that he is just slumping.

  34. Badger says:

    He got three hits tonight. That’s a start.

    Now, who else on this team can hit the ball into a gap or better yet, over a fence?

    Loretta 0fer. I’m not surprised.

    The pen. We need reinforcements. Starters. Ditto.

    Or…. we just score 9 runs a game.

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