Will Joe change or not? That’s the question. Insanity is doing the same thing and thinking you will get different results. Here’s the Dodger’s insanity: for whatever reason, Rafael Furcal is not the same offensive player he used to be. He is 6 for 11 in stolen bases and he rarely attempts a steal anymore (two since the All-Star Break). Additionally, he hit .256 before the All-Star break and has hit .254 subsequent to that (consistent, at least). His OB% is a paltry .303 since the All-Star Break and that has to be viewed as one of the reasons the Dodgers have floundered since then. He does still get some key hits and while he is not as good defensively as he once was, he is still playing Championship Caliber Defense.
HE’S JUST NOT A LEADOFF HITTER ANYMORE. It’s past time that he realizes that and ASKS to be moved to the #8 spot. If he doesn’t do that, Joe Torre needs to articulated his reasons and move him there. That’s his spot until next year, when he he can again “compete” for that role. Maybe he can regain his “stroke” next year. Explain that to him, but for this team to succeed, it needs a serviceable lead-off hitter. Matt Kemp could fill that role, but I think he is more comfortable and it is better for the team with him in the #2 spot for this season.
Raffy needs to hit #8, that’s a given. Even Ray Charles can see that. Additionally, Andre Ethier seems to have found a home hitting #3 ahead of Manny Ramirez at #4 which leaves James Loney at #5 (L, R, L), followed by Casey Blake at #6 and Russ Martin at #7, which leaves the lead-off spot to none other than Orlando Hudson.
Some people seem to think that O-Dog has tapered off the second half which is simply untrue. He has a .297 BA since the break (.283 before) and a .362 OB% since the All-Star game. He has 7 Stolen Bases in 8 attempts. The only rational thing to do is have O-Dog hit in the lead-off spot. HE has a good OB%, he’s fast and CAN steal a base. Do it, Joe! What are you waiting for? Here’s the lineup:
- Hudson 2B
- Kemp CF
- Ethier RF
- Ramirez LF
- Loney 1B
- Blake 3B
- Martin C
- Furcal SS
Raffy is a pro – he will accept the change. He wants to win. It may hurt his pride, but it may be just what he needs to re-gain his stroke. Actually, we will see Belliard at 3B for a while as Casey Blake’s hammy is not responding very well. His injury and Clayton Kershaw’s hurt right shoulder could both be blessings in disguise as Kuroda’s season of injuries may be. They all could be fresher in the playoffs.
RANTS & RAVES
- Jamie Hoffman re-signed with the Dodgers after his release last week.
- I have to admit that Ned made a good move in getting Ronnie Belliard. Who knew?
- Chad Billingsley starts his BIGGEST GAME OF THE SEASON today.
Minor League Recap – 9/07/09 from Jared of http://thinkbluela.blogspot.com/
Albuquerque won 7-2
Tony Abreu – 2 for 5, 2B, R, 2 K’s (.353 BA)
Xavier Paul – 1 for 4, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R, BB, K, E (.328 BA)
Blake DeWitt – 2 for 4, 3B, RBI, 2 R, BB (.256 BA)
Scott Van Slyke – 0 for 2, R, BB (.167 BA)
Chattanooga lost 6-5
Trayvon Robinson – 2 for 3, 2 HR (2), 2 RBI, 2 R (.246 BA)
Andrew Lambo – 2 for 4, RBI (.256 BA)
Javy Guerra – 1.1 IP, 4 Hits, 3 ER, 0 BB, 2 K’s (4.13 ERA)
Inland Empire lost 11-5
Steven Caseres – 0 for 3, RBI, 2 K’s (.260 BA)
Preston Mattingly – 1 for 4, RBI, R, K, SB (.238 BA)
Justin Miller – 4 IP, 7 Hits, 6 ER, 2 BB, K (8.13 ERA)
Great Lakes lost 4-3
Alfredo Silverio – 3 for 4, 2B (.284 BA)
Jerry Sands – 1 for 3, R, BB, K (.260 BA)
Roberto Feliciano – 1 IP, 3 Hits, 2 ER, 2 BB, 0 K’s (2.70 ERA)
Ogden lost 15-9
Brian Ruggiano – 3 for 4, HR (8), 3 RBI, 2 R, 2 E’s (.377 BA)
BCG – 3 for 4, 2B, HR (18), 2 RBI, 2 R, OF Assist (.325 BA)
Angelo Songco – 1 for 3, 2B, RBI, R, 2 BB (.308 BA)
Nick Akins – 1 for 5, 2B, R, 3 K’s (.256 BA)
Tae-Hyeok Nam – 2 for 5, R, 2 K’s (.333 BA)
Garrett Gould – 0.2 IP, 4 Hits, 5 R (3 ER), BB, K (16.20 ERA)
Allen Webster – 2.1 IP, 9 Hits, 5 ER, 2 BB, 3 K’s (3.00 ERA)
Ji-Mo Lee – 1 IP, 4 Hits, 2 ER, BB, K (9.00 ERA)
Player of the day – Trayvon Robinson, OF
Tray has been a very pleasant surprise this season. After learning how to bat left-handed a few years ago, Robinson actually had more success from the left side this year. He ends the season with 17 HR, 5 more than he’d hit in the past 4 seasons combined. He also drew 60 walks after drawing 89 in that same time span. It appears that Tray has made some strides in his development and, having just turned 22, can be considered a legitimate prospect.