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My, How Our Rotation Has Changed

My, How Our Rotation Has Changed

I was impressed by Vicente Padilla yesterday – he has a “live arm – ” that’s a given.   He has multiple pitches and excellent stuff, topping out at 96

Padilla Pounding Nick Swisher

Padilla Pounding Nick Swisher

 MPH.  Listen-Up!  These guys don’t grow on trees, and he must have really ticked-off the Rangers.  He entered the season as the number 2 starter behind Kevin Millwood, but didn’t finish the deal.  He has a bad reputation for being combative and a quitter.  That’s not good!  Can he be re-habilitated?  Who knows?  People usually aren’t as bad as they seem, and frequently, they are not as good as they seem.   He’s our first Nicaraguan-born player.  I remember another one, Dennis Martinez,  who had his best years from age 32 to 40, when he has double-digits in wins for 9 straight seasons.  Maybe Padilla has that in him too. 

Let’s look at what we now have as starting material:

  1. Clayton Kershaw
  2. Chad Billingsley
  3. Hiroki Huroda (He’ll probably be activated September 1st)
  4. Randy Wolf (will be re-sign next year or will he be overwhelmed with another offer?)
  5. Charlie Haeger
  6. Vicente Padilla
  7. Scott Elbert  (I still like him in relief)
  8. Eric Stults  (he’s probably done here after this year)
  9. Josh Lindblom  (future closer or #3 starter?)

That’s pretty impressive!  There are some live arms there, but I am telling you right now that Rick Honeycutt is not the man to handle those guys!  It’s going to take some bold action to remedy this situation… and it’s going to take some big bux!  Greg Maddux could be the solution.  The best pitching coach in the majors is Dave Duncan.  Maybe Maddux can rival him.  Duncan takes guys with average or below average stuff and turns them into superman!  Look what he did with Joel Pinero by just helping him learn a sinker.  If you want to go deeper,  we have Ethan Martin, Nate Eovaldi, Chris Withrow, Aaron Miller, James Adkins, Jon Redding  and others with excellent arms.  Of course, like the above list, not all will make it, but we have lots of pitching prospects on the horizon.

  • After taking 2 our of 3 from the Rockies and cutting-out their hearts, we are now 12-3 against the Rocks.  They are to us as to what we are to the Cardinals! 
  • It was good to see Jon Broxton slam the door yesterday on the Rocks after a boo-boo.  Hopefully he can build on this and improve his efficiency.

On The Horizon

John Torleni of MLB.com writes this about Aaron Miller:

Aaron Miller is more than living up to his billing as the Dodgers’ first-round pick in this year’s Draft.

The 21-year-old left-hander struck out five while facing the minimum over six no-hit innings Thursday night as the Great Lakes Loons cruised to a 10-0 rout of the Fort Wayne TinCaps at the Dow Diamond.

“I’m ecstatic,” Miller said after throwing 88 pitches in his longest outing of the season. “I’m just trying to attack the zone as much as I can with all three pitches — fastball, slider and changeup. It’s been a process with the off-speed pitches, but I’m throwing the changeup and slider for strikes when I need to.”

Miller (3-1), taken as a first-round compensation pick (38th overall) by Los Angeles this past June, began his professional career with three appearances in the Arizona Fall League before joining Great Lakes on Aug. 2.

The Baylor University product hasn’t taken long to establish himself as one of the top young hurlers in the Midwest League. Through six starts, Miller has yielded only five earned runs on 15 hits and eight walks with 34 strikeouts over 27 1/3 innings.

“It’s a process,” Miller said. “I understand that. I’m working my way up.l Hopefully my best games aren’t while I’m here. I still have plenty of games in the future.”

Miller fanned the final two batters in a perfect opening frame before getting a seven-run cushion to work with from his offense in the bottom of the inning. The 6-foot-3, 200-pound southpaw didn’t take the big lead for granted.

Justin Baum and Allan Dykstra fanned to start the second, giving Miller four consecutive punchouts before Dan Robertson was retired on a fly ball to right field.

Miller set down the first 13 batters he faced before hitting Dykstra withone out in the fifth. Robertson grounded into an inning-ending double play before the Channelview, Texas native pitched a perfect sixth to cap his best outing as a pro, drawing a loud ovation from the crowd of 5,344.

“I understand being pulled after six,” said Miller. “But anybody who is throwing that well wants to keep going as long as they can.”

Minor League Recap – 8/27/09 from Jared of ThinkBlue.com
Albuquerque lost 11-7

Chin Lung Hu – 1 for 5 (.288 BA)
Blake DeWitt – 2 for 5, R (.248 BA)
Jamie Hoffman – 1 for 4, R, BB (.282 BA)

http://tinyurl.com/nnbmaz
Chattanooga did not play
Inland Empire lost 8-1

Doug Mientkiewicz – 1 for 2, BB, HBP (.500 BA)
Scott Van Slyke – 2 for 4, 2B, R (.290 BA)
Steven Caseres – 0 for 4, RBI, K (.259 BA)
Preston Mattingly – 1 for 4, SB (.239 BA)

Justin Miller – 6 IP, 10 Hits, 6 ER, 3 BB, 3 K’s (7.20 ERA)
Kenley Jansen – 1 IP, 0 Hits, 0 R, BB, K (5.63 ERA)

http://tinyurl.com/nccmjj
Great Lakes won 10-0

Dee Gordon – 2 for 4, 3B, RBI, R, BB (.307 BA)
Jaime Pedroza – 1 for 2, HR (14), 2 RBI, R, 2 BB
Kyle Russell – 0 for 3, 2 R, 2 BB, 2 K’s, SB (.271 BA)
Jerry Sands – 1 for 3, 2B, R, K, HBP (.224 BA)
Alfredo Silverio – 1 for 4, 2B, 3 RBI, R (.274 BA)

Aaron Miller – 6 IP, 0 Hits, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K’s (1.65 ERA)
Geison Aguasviva – 2 IP, 2 Hits, 0 R, BB, K (1.72 ERA)
Cole St Clair – 1 IP, Hit, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K’s (2.78 ERA)

http://tinyurl.com/n4gjdw
Ogden lost 9-8

BCG – 2 for 6, 2B, 3 RBI, R, K (.336 BA)
Mario Songco – 1 for 5, R, K (.333 BA)
Nick Akins – 3 for 4, 2B, RBI, BB, K (.279 BA)

Brett Wallach – 4 IP, 4 Hits, 3 ER, 0 BB, 9 K’s (4.61 ERA)

http://tinyurl.com/lf2ftp
AZL won 9-1

Ivan DeJesus Jr – 0 for 3, BB, K (.000 BA)
Jan Vazquez – 2 for 4, RBI, R, BB (.200 BA)

Travis Schlichting – 1 IP, 0 Hits, 0 R, 0 BB, K (0.00 ERA)
Danny Danielson – 5 IP, 4 Hits, ER, 2 BB, 4 K’s (3.08 ERA)
Greg Miller – 1 IP, Hit, 0 R, BB, 0 K’s (0.00 ERA)

http://tinyurl.com/n3exu5
Player of the day – Aaron Miller, LHP

Who needs a first round pick when you have Logan White? After struggling through his first two appearances, Miller has been stellar ever since. He’s allowed just 1 hit in his last 12 innings pitched and is holding Midwest league batters to a .167 average. He’s also striking out 12 batters per 9 during his debut and has walked only 10 batters in 33 innings. The last Dodgers’ draft pick to dominate like this in his debut was Clayton Kershaw.

About Mark Timmons

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

38 Responses to “My, How Our Rotation Has Changed”

  1. Ken says:

    Absolutely agree with your opinion of Honeycutt!!!!!!!!!!!

    Mike Maddux is the 2nd best pitching coach in baseball.

    Greg Maddux should be available to coach next year!!!!!

    Less fastballs please from every Dodger pitcher especially in the 1st inning.

    Speaking of first innings, I bet Kemp is very happy to see visiting pitchers in the first inning when the pitchers have not gotten accustomed to the mound yet.

    Stults must will be out of options by next year.

    Haeger could be the long reliever next year 4 games a week. Now that might save Torre’s job.

    Unlike my Editor I see Elbert as a thrower that will always be a reliever. Maybe a new pitching coach can change that destiny.

  2. Bill Russell says:

    Has Stults fallen out of favor with you Mark. I always thought he was a good #5

  3. SpokaneBob says:

    Lawdog,

    Thanks for posting the home run derby clip…fun to watch. Really a pretty bad show but as you recall, when your a kid baseball fan it was something special. They filmed that show at Wrigley Field in Los Angeles and when the Angels were born they played at Wrigley until they started sharing Dodger Stadium. It was a real bandbox. I got to see the Yankees play the Angels there and both Yogi and Mickey hit home runs.

    Mark, I think the odds are better of you becoming our pitching coach than us getting Maddux. But I agree that we cuold use an upgrade there.

  4. Bill Russell says:

    Every time I say we need a front line starting pitcher for the playoffs, Mark throws stats at me saying we have the best ERA in the majors. So my question is, What is wrong with our pitching coach if we have the best ERA in the majors?

  5. lawdog says:

    Bob–

    I agree about the show. It was silly and looking back it’s hard to take seriously. But when I stumbled onto that very program by accident one saturday when I was 9 and there were only 3 channels in black and white on our old Hewlett Packard tv, I was in hog heaven! I’d just received a package from Duke Snider in response to my only “fan letter” as a kid and he’d sent me an autographed 8′ x 10′ glossy, an autographed baseball and an autographed 1958 topps baseball card–along with a letter (probably written by his wife, but Duke signed it.) So even though Duke didn’t do that well in the Derby, to hear him talk about baseball with the commentator just added to the whole experience of being a fan and he being m y favorite player.

    Interesting coincidence, while the Dogs played in the coliseum, I probably saw 6 games as a kid with my dad. Duke hit 2 homers in every one of those games, including a half dozen to right center where the wall was positioned about 460 feet from home plate. When Duke hit one out there was no doubt about it. After one such shot Vinnie said if it had been hit at Ebbotts Field, it would have gone out of the stadium and probably broken Mickey Mantle’s record for the longest jack–565 feet. It was crushed that hard.

    It’s interesting that Ethier, who stands and swings just like Duke, also has so many 2 homer games. Jut like Duke, it’s becoming his signature game. 2 hrs and a double. Two doubles and a hr. That kind of thing.

    He strikes out a lot on off speed stuff or fastballs down and away–just like Duke.

  6. lawdog says:

    Was Ken the only one who appreciated the edited version of “Sixteen Tons for Disabled Goods” or “Ode to a Schmidt” we put up yesterday? I mean, Ken composed the thing to begin with, but Ruth thought it was a can’t miss all time Dodger favorite by the time I finished with my light edit job.

  7. Mark Timmons says:

    Lawdog,

    It’s a good song, but I know how hard Jason Schmidt worked to come back and it’s sad.

    Billy,

    That’s a really good question, because we do have the best ERA in baseball. Maybe it’s unrealistic, but I feel that we should be much better. Maybe that’s not possible. Just my take.

  8. lawdog says:

    I can’t feel sorry for someone who accepted 47 million dollars for a job he knew he couldn’t deliver. Lot’s of folks end up with work injuries. If Schmidt had one ounce of class, he would not have accepted more than the first year’s salary in the deal.

    Years ago when we signed Stanhouse to be our closer, we also signed a pitcher to one of the first big FA deals. He was very mediocre in the first year of his deal and he retired, uninjured, and wouldn’t accept the rest of the money called for in his contract. Now there was a guy with class, but I can’t remember his name. If only Schmidt was the same I’d feel sorry for him and respect him for working at his rehab. The way it panned out–I can’t have any respect for the clown.

  9. lawdog says:

    Getting 16 million buckeroos for doing nothing is enough to set yoou for life. Taking the rest of the deal, some 31 million bucks is flat out robbery. Schmidt has no shame–and no class.

  10. Badger says:

    I don’t know ldawg, if some idiot organization with money to burn offered me a guaranteed contract of 47 million, I think I would take it. For that kind of money, I would even vote Republican. (take it easy Haze, it’s just a joke)

    My main problem with our pitching is the seeming staff inability to throw strikes when strikes are needed. We have starters with the stuff to go 7 every time out, but Wolf seems to be the only one who can manage pitch count. Honeycutt? I don’t know, maybe it’s him.

    In watching Gameday again, the limited version, I noticed again that the Rockies hitters were sitting fastball with Broxton and when it came, even a first pitch 98 mph job, they put it in play. It took a 102 mph fastball to get it by them. I still say hitters are sitting on that pitch and if Broxton came up with a Gagne changeup he would strike everybody out. I can just see those guys screwing themselves into the ground trying to hit a 72 mph change after 100 mph gas under their hands. Why can’t Honeycutt get him to do it? I could teach it to him, it just ain’t that difficult.

    Something else about that Gameday thing, every fastball is reported as 4 seam. Does Broxton throw a 2 seamer?

  11. Kay in L.A. says:

    Thanks for the info posted to me last night, Mark, am printing it up as we speak.

    As for me getting any smarter, I don’t think my brain could stand it. Haha.

    Lawdog, I feel so sentimental when you write about the Duke. I just loved him. I think he went on to become an avocado farmer…???

    I used to collect a booklet about each player, one per week, from the Union Oil station. Remember that?

    Re the games at the Coliseum: the Dodgers vs. Reds rivalry was HOT. So, can it be any hotter than L.A. tonight?!

  12. Kay in L.A. says:

    Badger, it’s Democrats who get paid to vote.

  13. Badger says:

    Duke did have an avacado ranch. He owned a restaurant in Fallbrook too. I used to live down there and would drop in occasionally. He was usually behind the bar.

    Kay… nevermind.

  14. Blue Haze says:

    Ouch!

    Kay, I remember those books or something like that as a kid, I used to insist my dad go thru all the trouble of buying gas up at the 76 station in the stadium parking lot.

    Just some trivia, my dad worked for LAWP and did a lot of the infrastructure work for Dodger Stadium. He remembers when they tore down all the chicken coops up there.

    BTW, did everyone see Manny being Manny when ESPN tried to interview him following the game yesterday. That guy is one hilarious goof ball, but I love goof balls, Mickey Hatcher still rules.

  15. Guest says:

    Looks like Padilla took some lessons from Nolan Ryan on what to do if an idiot attacks you on the mound. Mark, I don’t know how you get your games[interenet,DirecTV]but I know you have had issues with blackouts{join the club}It took me 2 years to figure it out; but I get a FoxSportsArizona here[had no clue] in Utah along with FSRockyMountain. I can watch the Dogs playing the snakes on FSA but it will be blacked out on my computer. Anyway if you have FoxS Ohio you should be able to enjoy the game if it is an issue.

  16. Blue Haze says:

    What’s the deal, has Torre totally pulled the plug on Haeger getting another start? What the hell does the guy have to do to get another shot?

  17. DRomo says:

    Scott Kazmir cleared waivers and isgoing to the Angels? WTF? Couldn’t we have claimed a guy like that? Couldn’t he help us? Wow. I don’t get that?

    • A Shot of Haeger says:

      we have the second best record in the league… Waiver claims go from worst record to best record… there are 30 teams that get first crack before we do. Maybe we would have claimed him… but it never got to us. Once someone claims someone that’s it.

      People make this mistake all the time. It’s not a free for all for waiver claims.

  18. lawdog says:

    Kay,

    Duke had an avacado ranch in Fallbrook, married his high school sweetheart, Bev and had 5 kids before i was 10. I wonder if he still has the ranch. He’s a geezer’s geezer now and property in Fallbrook is probably worth more without the avacados. I know he served some Federal time ( a few months) for not reporting some earnings to the IRS on autographs he got paid for many years ago. He also was a very good baseball broadcaster, about the same quality as Dandy Don Drysdale. Even sounded a little like Don. If Vin needed a partner, I’d love to see them team up.

    I used to have every one of those 76 booklets. I wonder what ever happened to them. They probably have collectable value now.

  19. lawdog says:

    Bluhaze–Isn’t Haeger scheduled to start tomorrow’s game? Last I heard he was supposed to be the starter against the Reds in the day game tomorrow.

  20. Badger says:

    With the Rockies and Gints going at each other, now would be a good time to win another series. The Reds have actually played well in their last 10.

    I remember those 76 booklets too ldawg. And the orange and blue 76 styrofoam balls for your car antennae. Man, we’re getting old.

    Kazmir hasn’t looked all that good this year. He has an ERA near 6 and a 1.54 WHIP. I guess his last few starts have been better, but, he is owed a ton of money. I am not surprised nobody was that interested in him. Maybe the Angels see something though. I did just read the deal fell through.

    Rumor mill has us looking for a PH with some pop. Why not Mitch Jones?

  21. Blue Haze says:

    It isn’t the pop that Mitch lacks, it is the strike-outs that he has in abundance that is the problem.

  22. Badger says:

    Isn’t an out an out? This guy has as much ability to hit one out as anyone else we could pick up at this time.

  23. Kay in L.A. says:

    Kay volunteers to pinch hit….
    for the opposition!! LOL.

    Anyway, I don’t know what happened to my booklets either.

    Let’s check on whether Haeger is sched’d. Yeah!! At least, according to the link he is… Tomorrow at 1:10 p.m., tune in. http://losangeles.dodgers.mlb.com/news/probable_pitchers.jsp?c_id=la

    Okay, Badger, we’re even I guess.
    :-)

  24. Kay in L.A. says:

    Bill, I have further info to add to what I told you yesterday. Kuroda says he does not want the screen in his simulated game which is planned for tomorrow.

  25. Badger says:

    Kuroda is nails. He will be fine. Give him the ball.

    If Padilla works out, and Kuroda is ok, we actually look fine in the SP department. Bills, Kuroda, Wolf, Kershaw, Padilla, Haeger – 6 man rotation through September so everyone is rested and ready to go in October. We may need as many as 15 victories in that month, the last three games of the year are against the Rockies – I hope we don’t need them but if we don’t beat the Cincinatti’s of the NL, we may be forced to win all the games against our division rivals.

  26. Badger says:

    Just checked – so far we are 2 for 14 against some guy named Homer who sports a 6.44 ERA.

    Anytime offense.

  27. DRomo says:

    thank God Bills didn’t pitch in Colorado!

    I would even say that if the playoffs start today I would NOT start him. Either something is wrong with him or he is being exposed for the overrated pitcher I think he is!

    Didn’t we get rid of a first half pitcher after last season (Penny)?

  28. Illini Dodger says:

    Dodgers just stranded 2 runners after 2 singles. Neither runner advanced a step. What is wrong with advancing the runners by hitting to the right side or even {GASP} a sacrifice bunt? You can’t score runs hoping for 3, 4 or 5 hits in a row. You need to have some life on the bases. What a disappointment after 2 great wins over the Rox!

  29. Badger says:

    Ethier, Ramirez, Blake and Loney a combined 1 for 14 against Homer and his 6.44 ERA.

    Not so impressive middle of the order hitting.

  30. Guest says:

    We have a habit of making opposing pitchers look like Cy Young candidates. I have the faith and don’t mean to sound pessimistic but easy schedule or not, we play to the level of competition.

  31. Ken says:

    LD

    Double Pun

    Law “Dodger Dog” Review – haha

    What do you think?

  32. Badger says:

    And there’s your 25 million dollar man in action. Striking out in the 9th with the bases loaded.

    Guest is right. We do seem to play to the level of the competition.

  33. Ken says:

    My, How Our Approach to Hitting Has Changed

    Donnie T-Ball will be the sacrificial lamb in order for Torre to keep his job next year.

  34. Guest says:

    We should DL Manny so he can get his head back on. Juan can more than energize us in the meantime. It’s like one of those days when you awaken just quite not there, the only cure is to take a nap and try the awakening all over again. Manny needs a nap.

  35. Badger says:

    Maybe Manny needs his pharmacist.

  36. Bill Russell says:

    Manny just needs his birth control.

  37. Blue Haze says:

    Hee Hee, better be careful Manny reads this site (along with all the other Dodgers’ players and coaches who get their most vital information here, (LMAOROTF)

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