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Suspects or Prospects?

Suspects or Prospects?

I had a cheesy grin on my face as I read the Top 200 Prospect list put out by True Blue LA.  The Dodgers do not have 200 Prospects.  They have about 20 PROSPECTS and 180arizona_fall_league_logo SUSPECTS!  However, the Dodgers Organization is not nearly as bereft of prospects as some think.  We don’t have a bunch that are major-league ready, but DeJesus, Lindblom, Elbert, Haeger, Schlichting and Leach are all close to ready and while I don’t see any as “superstars” I believe that some of them will be very good players.  However, we are in a position where we don’t need a bunch of young players RIGHT NOW.

Behind the players mentioned above are Gordon, Lambo, Robinson, Van Slyke, Russell, Withrow, Adkins, Martin, Eovaldi, May, Mitchell, Baez, Jansen, Delmonico, Gallagher, Miller and Guerra.  Some of those guys will be complete “busts” and others who are not on the radar will step up.   Additionally, last years draft has yielded some very good prospects. 

All-in-all, we have 4 or 5 young players who could make the team this year and the second wave is another year or two away.  We don’t have the Jacksonville Five, but in 2011 you could see the Lambo Leap!

  • By the way, the Peoria Javalinas beat the Phoenix Dessert Dogs 5-4 to win the Arizona Fall League Championship.  Andrew Lambo, who was one of the youngest players in the league, hit 5th and was 2-3 with a run scored, a triple, a base on balls and an RBI in the game.  He finished the season with a .330 BA (.365 OB%), with 2 HR, 18 RBI and 1 triple in 91 AB’s.  His OPS was .848.  Not eye-popping, but solid and remember – he was one of the youngest players in the AFL.
  • Russ Mitchell, who is several years older, is a longtime Minor Leaguer whose dedication and perseverance paid off in a stellar Arizona Fall League campaign, was presented with the 2009 Dernell Stenson Sportsmanship Award on Saturday.  He hit .319 with a .396 OB% with 25 RBI and 5 HR.  His OPS was 1.003.  While not technically a prospect, I see him as a player who can be a nice pinch hitter who can play 1B, 3B, LF and RF.  It wouldn’t be incorrect to say that his career path is similar to that of Casey Blake.  Stay tuned.
  • Lucas May, had a nice AFL season.  In only 40 AB’s he hit .325 with a .383 OB%.  He had 2 HR, 6 doubles and 12 RBI while OPSing 1.008.  He will move up to AAA next season.  He’s still a prospect, but has to work on his game-calling skills (some pitchers don’t like pitching to him). 
  • Travis Schlichting had a 4.20 ERA in 15 innings as he tried to learn a new pitch.
  • Javy Guerra had a 0.84 ERA, but that was misleading.  He only pitched 10 innings and struck out 8 while walking 9.  To put it bluntly – he was downright lucky.
  • Eric Krebs had a 2.63 ERA and posted 19 K’s in 11 innings.   Draw no conclusions from that.
  • Kenley Jansen, who has a 98 MPH Fastball (converted from C this year), struck out 9 in 4 innings, but had a 9.64 ERA – put him down as a Suspect who could become a Prospect.

The Roy Halladay rumors won’t die.  The Dodgers are talking about it.   I think it would be silly to include Billingsley as the guy has had one bad “half-season” and can still be an Ace.  I would refuse to include Billingsley or Kershaw in a trade for Halladay, but I would include Martin and Broxton in the deal.  Both players would be replaceable for us and valuable to Toronto.  How about Elbert, McDonald, Stults or Troncoso, plus Broxton and Martin for Halladay.  Toronto would have a “Native Son” to build around.  We’d have to sign a catcher, such as Ivan Rodriguez (Molina is a Type A Free Agent and no way to we allow SF to get two picks due to our action), who could catch 100 games – Ausmus is good for 62.  That’s my take…  Ellis?  I doubt it!

About Mark Timmons

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

27 Responses to “Suspects or Prospects?”

  1. lawdog says:

    No way you include Broxton in what amounts to a one year rental of Halladay.

  2. Ken says:

    Does Mitchell have 6 pro years behind him and therefore he is unprotected and therefore GONE in the Rule 5 draft? Say it aint so Ned!

  3. Mark Timmons says:

    I really can’t see anyone taking Mitchell – he may ultimately be a journeyman-type player, but he’s not ready by a long shot. However, I guess you never know. Even if someone takes him, will they keep him all year? Doubtful!

  4. Mark Timmons says:

    Lawdog,

    If we have a rotation of Halladay, Kershaw, Billingsley, Kuroda and Haegar, I’d do it. Let Sherrill, Lindblom, Elbert, McDonald, Troncoso, Kuo and other fight it out for closer.

    Personally, I like Lindblom as a closer!

    He’s an Indiana Boy and I’m not biased!

    Eric Stults is an Indiana Boy too…

  5. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    I agree, no Kershaw or Billingsley for Halladay. I find it mind boggling that you think Broxton is “replaceable”. Closers of his ilk are few and far between. And if you’re thinking the unproven Lindblom, then I’ll just scratch my head a few times. And as we all know, Halladay has to be signed to a lucrative long term deal that could hamstring the Dodgers for years to come. The more I think about it, forget Halladay, and stick with the program that has some of our young players on the verge of breakout years. Consider the failures in the playoffs the last couple of years as part of the growing up process that is about to come to fruition.

    Broxton was lights out until the toe injury, and there is no doubt that he needs a third pitch to complement his fastball and inconsistent slider. I still believe that Broxton was planning to work on his splitter last spring, and had a set back when he was chosen to compete in the WBC, where he had no opportunity to work on anything. I also remember reading that Broxton spoke with J.J. Putz during the WBC, looking for pointers on his splitter grip. If I were the Dodgers I would explore signing Putz (who is recovering from surgery he had last season) to a relatively inexpensive short term deal, if only to get him into spring training with the Dodgers to work with Broxton.

    I prefer to gamble that between Kershaw and Billingsley we will find our ace or aces. To me it’s just as much a gamble to sign a 33 year old pitcher to a long term deal at over $20 million per year. I prefer not to have all my eggs in one basket. And by the way, the Phillies could have lost the WS just as easily without Cliff Lee as with him.

    Colletti is correct. We don’t necessarily need an ace. There are probably several pitchers available below the ace level that could slot in nicely in the rotation. Perhaps we can even get growth out of Elbert, McDonald, etc. And I also like the depth the Dodgers have in the bullpen, and would not like breaking that up including Broxton, Troncoso, etc. in a deal for one pitcher. Instead I would like to add to what we have via a reasonalbe trade or free agent pickup, and add to the depth of the bullpen with someone like Lindblom, and maybe even a resurgent J.J. Putz.

    Finally, I’m not sure Martin is “replaceable” either. Maybe he will get his head screwed on straight, and stop swinging for the fences. I believe he’s still a capable hitter with 15-20 HR power, and is solid defensively. Molina, as I’ve noted in a previous post, is both old and impatient. He’s the last thing we need. I don’t know Ivan Rodgriguez’s numbers from last year, but I do know that he will be 38 next year. As for Ausmus backing him up for 62 games, I think that’s insane. Ausmus no longer has the physical skills to be a force behind the plate, and he’s never had much of a bat. And whatever he hit in 2009, expect those numbers to decline in 2010, especially if he gets significantly more work.

    I too don’t see A.J. Ellis as a starting catcher. But he has hit well in the minors over the last couple of years, and has a penchant for getting on base. He’s also very capable defensively (probably more so than Ausmus), and probably could become a more than competent backup.

  6. Badger says:

    Halladay, $15,750,000 next year with more to follow in FA bidding. Why in the world would we expect the Dodgers to do that? My guess is New York, Philly or Boston. They have the young talent, the money and the franchise stability to get it done. If we hadn’t sent some of our best talent along for late season vet additions, if our owners were happy happy and on the same page, we might could be in the mix, but those 15,750,000 dollars just tells me it ain’t happenin’.

    An ace would be nice. Fact is, we may have two of them already and both of them are controlled by the team for at least two more years.

    Broxton isn’t going anywhere, unless it’s to a team that will give us at least two of their best prospects in return.

    I still think the only deals we will make will be deals that strengthen this team post divorce. Our offense should be just fine if we get the arb eligible players all re-signed.

    Brooklyn is right – forget Halladay. Let’s just go with what we have and see where we might be at the deadline. Maybe by then the Frankenjamie Freak Show will be settled.

    And who knows, maybe they kiss and make up.

    • Ken says:

      After the real estate crash, and Franks’ refusal to tear up the postnuptial agreement, Franks essentually chose the Dodgers over Beans. Hell has no fury like a woman scorned. There will never kiss and make up.

  7. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    “If we have a rotation of Halladay, Kershaw, Billingsley, Kuroda and Haegar, I’d do it. Let Sherrill, Lindblom, Elbert, McDonald, Troncoso, Kuo and other fight it out for closer.

    Personally, I like Lindblom as a closer!”

    Broxton was only 25 last year, and for the most did an outstanding job closing for us. All his game requires are some refinements. Closers don’t grow on trees. Now that Broxton is on the cusp of becoming an elite closer you think he can simply be replaced by someone among the bunch you mentioned above. Not so simple. With some exceptions, closers take time to develop. Let’s look at the names above.

    Sherrill – Maybe he can close for the Baltimore Orioles, but not the Los Angeles Dodgers. From what I saw, I’d rather have Jeff Shaw back. His stuff is nothing exceptional. If anything, I think of him as a lefty specialist. And you can throw all the numbers at me that you want, my eyes tell me what he is. And a shutdown closer it’s not. Fact is, because he has had some success as a closer, he might be an attractive piece that we can package in a deal.

    Lindblom – Maybe someday, but not now. And I don’t care if he has a dominant spring. Spring training numbers are simply not reliable. And he’s done nothing in the minors to indicate that he’s ready to step into the closer role on a contending team.

    Elbert – He’s got good stuff (but not Broxton stuff) and very shaky command. He’s also lefthanded, and hasn’t shown that he can get righthanded hitters out consistently. I see him either as a starter or in middle to late inning relief. Maybe even a replacement for the oft-injured Kuo.

    McDonald – Still has command problems, and is probably best suited as a starter or in middle to late inning relief (much like Elbert). If he could ever close, it’s probably not now. By the way, with those long fingers he has, I’d love to see him develop a splitter.

    Troncoso – I like him where he is now. It’s possible he could start, but he doesn’t have the kind of stuff I like to see in a closer. An emergency closer, yes, not full-time.

    Kuo – First off, too fragile to be used 70-80 times per year. Secondly, other than throwing hard and breaking off an occasional slider, his assortment of pitches is wanting. Actually, because of his uncertain health, and because he still has perceived value to other teams, he’s someone I would consider packaging in a deal to acquire another needed piece, or a good prospect or two. If so, then Elbert, or someone else not on the immediate radar could take his place.

    And whether or not Frank and Jamie kiss and make up is of no concern to me. What I want is an owner committed not only to spending money on big league talent, but one that also sees the value of investing in development and the signing of top flight amateur talent.

    Finally, in order for Broxton to be fully appreciated, we need to trade him, and see what it’s like not having a dominant closer. As I noted above, closers don’t grow on trees, and their value isn’t always fully perceived until they’re gone.

  8. Mark Timmons says:

    Brooklyn,

    You may be right…

    or not!

  9. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    I was watching the replay of the 4th game of the 1965 World Series on the MLB Network, a game that Don Drysdale started and completed. During the broadcast it was mentioned that Drysdale started 42 games that year and completed 20. If the WS is included, that becomes 44 and 21. Times have surely changed.

  10. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Mark,

    I am always right…

    or not.

  11. Mark Timmons says:

    I was dreamin’
    In a prison cell
    ’bout a broad highway somewhere
    When the music from the carillon
    Seemed to hurl my heart out there
    Past the scientific darkness
    Past the fireflies that float
    To an angel bending down
    To wrap you in his warmest coat

    And you ask
    What am I not doing
    He says
    Your voice cannot command
    In time you will move mountains
    And it will come through your hands

    Still you argue for an option
    Still you angle for your case
    Like you wouldn’t know a burning bush
    If it blew up in your face
    Yeah, we scheme about the future
    And we dream about the past
    When just a simple reaching out
    Might build a bridge that lasts

    And you ask
    What am I not doing
    He says
    Your voice cannot command
    In time you will move mountains
    And it will come through your hands
    Through your hands

    So whatever your hands find to do
    You must do with all your heart
    There are thoughts enough
    To blow men’s minds
    And tear great worlds apart
    There’s a healing touch to find you
    On that broad highway somewhere
    To lift you high
    As music flyin’
    Through the angel’s hair

    Don’t ask what you are not doing
    Because your voice cannot command
    In time we will move mountains
    And it will come through your hands

  12. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Badger,

    Confused by Mark’s post?????????

    Go to this site:

    http://www.themountainmover.com/

  13. lawdog says:

    So the autobiography begins with a song based on the dream that came to you in that cell long ago before you got yourself out by handling your own appeal?

    Nice touch, Mark. ;)

  14. Badger says:

    Brooklyn,

    I have known Mark for about 8 years.

    I was just asking what the heck moving mountains had to do with this thread.

  15. A Shot of Haeger says:

    You guys are weird! It’s not necessarily a bad thing, because I’m flat out crazy… ask all the patients in the mental hospital I’m in they’ll tell you.

    I only want Halladay if we can sign him to an extension as a precursor to a trade. Otherwise, no.

  16. Mark Timmons says:

    You may be right

    I may be crazy

    But I just may be the

    lunatic you are looking for.

  17. Badger says:

    I think it’s getting to all of us.

    Halladay is too expensive to add to the coming year’s payroll. We need a 16 game winner for what Cliff Lee signed for ($15M for 4 years) Know a GM that can find him?

    Move that mountain Mark.

  18. A Shot of Haeger says:

    That takes me back Mover…. Billy Joel was one of my favorites in my youth. Still is.

    I’d rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints.”

    Only the good die young….except for me. I’m good and I’ll live a long life.

    This offseason is going to be very interesting

  19. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    This from Jon Weisman at Dodger Thoughts:

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/dodgerthoughts/2009/11/billingsley.html

    Not only do I agree with his argument, but I would also add that it may be that Billingsley’s poor second half was directly related to his broken leg the previous offseason, which I believe may have cut into his workout program and adversely affected his stamina in the second half. It might also explain his hamstring problems.

    Prior to 2008 the most innings Billingsley pitched in a season was 147. In 2008 he threw 201 innings with 201 strikeouts and 80 walks. In other words, the number of pitches he threw in 2008 was far greater than he had ever thrown in a season. I don’t believe it’s unusual for young pitchers to fall off after their first 200 inning season. Given his offseason injury and the number of innings and pitches he piled up in 2008, it’s not hard surmise that Billingley may have been suffering through the equivalent of a dead arm period in 2009. Throw in his 2009 hamstring problems, and you have formula for a disappointing second half.

    Subtracting Billingsley (and other players) to add Halladay, would, in my opinion, be a formula for disaster, especially given that the money saved by not acquiring Halladay could be better spent elsewhere on players, player acquisition, and player development.

  20. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    To add to what I posted above, Billingsley also piled up an additional 11.2 innings, 8 BB, and 16 K’s in the 2008 postseason. Added to his regular season, he pitched 212.2 innings, had 88 BB, and 217 K’s. In this day and age, that’s a lot of work.

  21. Mark Timmons says:

    I’m 100% on board with Billingsley. One bad half-season, does not a career make. I want Halladay, but not at the expense of Billingsley.

    I also feel the same about Martin, but I’d deal him and Broxton for one season of Roy.

  22. Mark Timmons says:

    How about this rotation?

    1. Kershaw
    2. Billingsley
    3. Kuroda
    4. Elbert
    5. Haegar

  23. Badger says:

    How about that rotation.

    I think that is much more likely than the Dogs getting Mr. 15,750,000 for one year.

    How about the guy who won the most games, had the most K’s and the best ERA for our AAA team last year?

    http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?sid=milb&t=p_pbp&pid=425826

    Or the guy who did the exact same thing for our AA team?

    http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?sid=milb&t=p_pbp&pid=435458

    Why not one of them in the #5 slot?

  24. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Badger,

    Guessing that you’re not really serious, but just in case:

    Not impressed by Chick’s 4.22 ERA in the Southern League.

    Mr. Alvarado will be 32 next season. Guessing he’s a journeyman with a lot of mileage. Late bloomer? Doubtful.

    Mark,

    I’m not a big Haeger guy, but you never know. I like Elbert, and think he could fill a spot in next years rotation. However, in the meantime I would like to see us come up with at least one capable veteran to fill one of the slots.

    I think that Kuroda is a bit suspect for next year. He’ll be 35 and is coming off a disk problem in his neck. He might be fine, and maybe not.

    Haeger OR Elbert might be OK, but Haeger + Elbert doesn’t inspire me with confidence. Too much has to go right.

  25. jerry says:

    what is wrong with the pitching coach ..that cant teach broxton a couple of other pitches.. it just does not make since.i do know that if the pitching coach did not throw some pitches..he can not teach…but find some one who can..

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