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Johnson Won’t Run Over The Shortstop

Johnson Won’t Run Over The Shortstop

If the reports are true, and Reed Johnson is going to sign with the Dodgers, I would think that Jason Rekpo is the “odd man out.”  While I like Jason Repko, he has not “seized the day” and shown that he can hit major league pitching.   Johnson is the not the equal of Repko on defense, but he probably won’t run over the shortstop either. 

Reed can play all three outfield positions and while he isn’t a standout, he is solid as a defender.  Average speed, average arm, but experienced, and he is a professional hitter with a .282 career BA and .344 OB%.  He’s a very solid #4 outfielder.  Teams who aren’t trying to win would just go with a guy like Repko.  Experience counts more than skill.  Johnson will be an excellent addition for the Dodgers.  Now, there are two questions:

  1. Does Repko get traded or released? and
  2. Will X. Paul make the team too?

With Johnson and Paul, we would have an excellent L-R Duo of subs who can play all 3 outfield positions.   That would take up two of the five utility spots we have.  Ausmus has the 3rd spot and Carroll has the 4th spot.  With Belliard almost assured of a spot, that mean that DeWitt and Hu are headed to AAA unless Paul is demoted.  There are lots of options…

In case you haven’t read it, Tony Jackson has an article with a lot of quotes from Logan White and Ned Colletti.  Check it out…

About Mark Timmons

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

26 Responses to “Johnson Won’t Run Over The Shortstop”

  1. DRomo says:

    let me just mention Cody Ross. This kid can straight up play the filed and hit. We let him walk and he is shining in South FLA. Jason Repko will be the same way. We may say in a few years we should have kept him. If Reed Johnson is so great why can’t he stick in one place?

    As for Kennedy’s assesment that Repko has the best arm in the orginization. He is probably right. No one has seen X Paul yet. The guy looked great for a minute last season until he got the staf infection. His shot will come. I get Johnson has experience and he can hit a little but I just don’t understand spending the money to sign Johnson when we have a Repko for next to nothing. Oh well.

    The more I hear about Chen Ming Wang’s situation, the more I think we have a legit shot at him. That could be the steal of the offseason if we can pull that off!!

  2. Mark Timmons says:

    I have a feeling that Wang will be a Dodger, and Romo, I watched Paul last year (Roger was there too) throw a laser from deep RF on the fly to 3B to nail a runner by 10 feet that I though he had no chance at getting. He doesn’t have an arm – he has a RPG!

  3. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    “With Johnson and Paul, we would have an excellent L-R Duo of subs who can play all 3 outfield positions. That would take up two of the five utility spots we have. Ausmus has the 3rd spot and Carroll has the 4th spot. With Belliard almost assured of a spot, that mean that DeWitt and Hu are headed to AAA unless Paul is demoted. There are lots of options…”

    If I read you correct, your comment above has the following five on the bench:

    Johnson
    Paul
    Ausmus
    Carroll
    Belliard

    With 8 starters and 12 pitchers, there should be 5 players on the bench. In that case DeWitt could be the starter at 2B (one of the 8), and Hu alone would be headed to AAA. In this scenario, Mientkiewicz doesn’t make the team. And as you noted, “There are lots of options…”, so anything could happen.

    By the way, assuming Carroll is signed, do we know for how much, and if so, how much of it is guaranteed? Although not likely, it could be that if he was signed cheaply enough, he may well be insurance in the event that Paul is not fully ready to open the season with the Dodgers, given his inactivity following his staph infection last year. I’m guessing that Johnson signed a major league contract. But do we know for sure?

  4. Roger Dodger says:

    Right on Mark. After that throw, the whole place stood up and yelled. Even folks like my wife who uses a walker or wheelchair.

    Even Ray Charles was excited.

  5. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    DiRomo,

    Every scouting report I have ever read about X. Paul raves about his arm. But that aside, I know what I saw last year in spring training. I forget who the game was against, but Paul threw out a runner at third from deep right field with a laser straight as rope that never hit the ground. In the same inning he made another throw from deep right field on a runner tagging at third. The ball could have been shot out of a cannon and the runner would have been safe. In any case, his throw was another laser on a line to the catcher, and it didn’t miss the runner by much. While the sheer power of Paul’s throws were impressive, even more so was the accuracy of those throws. Both right on the money.

    Mind you, I have seen Repko’s arm, and it’s one of the best I’ve ever seen. But so is Paul’s.

    Maybe Repko turns out to be Cody Ross (maybe not). Right now I rate Paul over him. And as things currently stand, the Dodgers are more in need of a lefthanded bat on the bench. Perhaps Paul is the lefthanded Cody Ross.

  6. Mark Timmons says:

    I was t that same game, Brooklyn. That’s the throw I was talking about.

  7. Rory says:

    Say goodbye to Repko.

    They both throw well, but, we are talking about a back-up outfielder here. This is not a starter, this is a bench player who backs up the starters. You know, the late inning guy that catches everything hit his way? And, I say again, I don’t want Paul sitting on his ass, waiting for at bats. He had a whole year off last year, he needs to hit and he needs to hit every night. He won’t do that as a BACK UP.

    Having said that, I am fine with a .280 hitter backing up our starters – IF he can still hit .280. His defense isn’t all that, so, you are losing some speed out there with Johnson. And here is something else – who believes this guy will hit .280 as a back-up in L.A.? Somehow I doubt it. I say again, L.A. is where middle aged bats come to croak. The guy hit .255 last year in a hitters park and is now looking for a job. He has had back spasms the last three years and last year fractured a foot. Am I the only one concerned about this guy’s health? And don’t tell me he has passed an L.A. Dodger physical. I don’t trust those anymore.

  8. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    “By the way, assuming Carroll is signed, do we know for how much, and if so, how much of it is guaranteed? Although not likely, it could be that if he was signed cheaply enough, he may well be insurance in the event that Paul is not fully ready to open the season with the Dodgers, given his inactivity following his staph infection last year. I’m guessing that Johnson signed a major league contract. But do we know for sure?”

    Excuse my dimentia. I meant “Johnson”, NOT “Carroll” (see my earlier post above in this thread).

  9. Harold says:

    I like Reed a lot having watched him as a Blue Jay. He is a hard worker. However, I disagree somewhat with the statement: “Experience counts more than skill.”There has to be a balance between them or a team is truly inexperienced or becomes old together. Experience is necessary but not for every player on the field. It’s the old conundrum – you can’t play for us Xavier Paul as you have no experience and you can’t get any experience because we won’t play you. I’m not sure, given the chance, that Paul could not do the job. It all boils down to Ned and Joe still hesitant to commit to youth. Dewitt and Paul are examples. Our bench is not a very young one so could have one young player on it.

    Reed Johnson presents a bit of a situation with his tendency to get injured. However, as a fourth OF he probably might not play that much so the injury risk is diminished. I am much more comfortable with him than I would be with Garett Anderson. I am surprised that we didn’t sign a left hand bat.

    In a way Reed is a JP type player. His average is lower, OBP about the same, doesn’t walk a whole lot with 3:1 strikeout to walk ratio.JP’s was about 1:1 strikeout to walks. He really doesn’t steal bases but has more pop than JP. His downside is the injury question.His upside over JP is that he is a good aggressive defender with at least an average arm so he can play all three OF positions. He probably comes at about 15% of JP’s salary although we are still paying a lot of JP’s.

  10. Mark Timmons says:

    I still say that experience trumps skill. When the inexperienced player with skill gets experience, then he has the edge. I am not suggesting that we take experience over a highly skilled guy, but experience is hard to quantify.

  11. Bill Russell says:

    If we land Wang, It will be a pretty good rotation. No legit Ace but not a bad staff.

    Bills
    Kershaw
    Kuroda
    Wang
    Padilla

    Actually you can mix or match all 5 starters into any order.
    In a way I feel sorry for DeWitt but he did have a chance to prove himself last year and failed.

    We have one of best if not the best outfields in baseball. Will they combine for 100 HR’s ? The infield isn’t that bad either. Blake isn’t as bad as most in here are saying. I predict alot better year out of Furcal, Belliard can hit and play 2nd base and Loney will have a stonger year in 2010. Martin must rebound offensively and the bull pen should be as good as last year.

    The West will be a stronger division this year but we are still the best team. Hopefully the Phillies will run into some injuries and could be banged up for the playoffs. You just never know.

    How about those Lakers??????

    I LOVE LA

  12. Jaydavis says:

    Yeeeeessss I’m sooooo happy we scored—Repko sucks anyways young stud energized strong arm fast never realy givin a chance Reed’s like buying ten year old buick. Ned loves he’s used cars I just wished he had better taste

  13. ken says:

    Looks like Stults will be the Left handed pinch hitter for the first few months of the year until Wang arrives.

    Matt Kemp – You should know that women that have split personalities have the same number of personalities as the number of hair styles that they simultaneously have at any one time.

  14. Rory says:

    Juan Pierre is the only Dodger who hit .300 last year. He also brought something to the table nobody on this team can. Speed. Every time he was on base the pitcher’s attention, and focus, was altered. Those who play the game know what that means. Johnson does not have that. He also was quoted as saying he prepares to play everyday, and if he didn’t play everyday, his preparation would be – different. I guess we will see what that means.

    I can’t say for certain Repko sucks because he has only limited playing time on the big club. He hit .277 at Albuquerque last year, and he has 148 stolen bases in the minors – he can run. For a back up outfielder I was fine with him. He has skill, he has speed, he has experience and I figure he could hit .250 off the bench – nothing to get excited about but, better than Loretta. I don’t have a clue what Johnson will bring. He has been injured so much he hasn’t played more than 109 games the last three years.

    And why the excitment about Wang? He too has been injured the last two years. The Yankees declined to offer him a contract – what do they know that we don’t?

  15. DRomo says:

    Wang won 19 games in the AL East 2 years in a row. He was injured and missed the time. The Yankees don’t have a roster spot for him considering he will have to miss most of the first month. Why I am excited is he is a low risk high reward guy. It is worth the gamble. Much the same way the signing of Russ Ortiz is!!! LOL I can’t wait to see him DOMINATE B-squad games!

  16. DRomo says:

    Also I am not doubting Pauls arm I am just saying Repko is no slouch and is cheap and out of options. Johnson would cost us more and doesn’t exactly kill the ball. Why not keep Paul and Repko? Experience I guess? I get that. I also think we will need someone to seriously back up Manny. I don’t think we get a full season out of him. No he won’t be traded but I would bet he spends at least one trip to the DL. His legs won’t hold up for a full 162.

  17. Mark Timmons says:

    If we could get Wang on an incentive-laden deal, the I would do it, but the A’s $10 mil deal with Sheets is felony-stupid. The guy just missed a season and has rarely pitched without going on the DL. Real Stupid!

  18. Rory says:

    If Wang had something left, I doubt the Yankees would let him get away. Bring him on. We seem to do this kind of thing every year. Wang is this year’s Milton/Estes/Ortiz.

    I agree with Romey. I see Manny playing in 150 games this year, but not all 9 innings of those games. There will blowouts and day games after night games that he will sit. So, whoever backs him up will get late inning at bats and play in a few day games. If I believed Paul would be playing every day, I would say give him the job. But Ethier and Kemp won’t be taking many days off. The back-up we need will be for Manny and why pay millions more when we already have Repko for a half million? He is back to AAA or he is gone this year. Repko has the speed to play all outfield positions. 33 year old Johnson? Coming off a year filled with back spasms and a broken foot? I don’t know about that, but, there is so much I don’t know about concerning the Dodgers.

    Anybody seen Frankie lately? Is he living in a yurt somewhere in the mountains?

    This team is shaping up weird. Three second baseman, none of whom are real starters, no back-up SS, very little speed, no power PH and so far, no 5th starter.

    The A’s are a lot of things Mark, but stupid is not one of them. I’ll bet their doctors cleared him, they have him insured and intend to move him for 3 prospects in July.

  19. DRomo says:

    I hear both of your points here (Mark and Rory). But I think Sheets signing was an investment for the A’s. They are not going to have him come July 31st. Unless there is a miracle the A’s will be out of contention by the All Star break. They will trade him and get young talent in return and probably shed the remainder of the money owed to Sheets.(Billy Beane 101)

    If they do eat his salary in the trade they will get a bigger return for it. $10 million is probably less than the signing bonuses they would have had to pay for that package they get in return. So it is really a long term investment and they win win…unless there are no takers for Sheets come summer time.

    They did however set the market for a starter returning from injury. Wang may get a prorated amount if he misses the first month or so, but like Mark said, if he has incentives built into his contract I would still pay him up to $10 million if he performs. If he is healthy, he is THAT good.

  20. Rory says:

    I would prefer incentive laden contracts for every player on the team. Your base salary is $1 million, here are your incentives. If we suck, we are out $25 million. If we get to the World Series, it costs us $100 million. If we win the Championship – it costs us $125 million. (Badger Econ 101)

    But I think Sheets signing was an investment for the A’s. They are not going to have him come July 31st. Unless there is a miracle the A’s will be out of contention by the All Star break. They will trade him and get young talent in return and probably shed the remainder of the money owed to Sheets.(Billy Beane 101)

    I think that is right on and is exactly what I was saying.

    • ken says:

      You guys got it right. They signed Sheets for the increase in tickets, the spin that they are challenging the Angels (Mariners?), and to trade for prospects. Plus they protected their investment with the purchase of insurance on Sheets. The Dodgers could learn a lesson or two from Billy Beane (The GM not the player).

  21. DRomo says:

    haha Badger Econ! Nice!

    I wonder if Wang can be had at $5 million and another $5 million in incentives. Say 20 starts or so many innings kick the rest in? I could hear the rest of you talking about how cheap McCourt is and telling Joe to pull him in the 5th inning…I won’t go there. 1st thing 1st. We need to sign him. Yes I do think we need to sign him. It would be a huge deal risk vs. reward.

  22. chinole90 says:

    I’m just glad we aren’t talking about how Giles or Anderson (per ESPN) would fit in this lineup. I can see Johnson’s value to the team. Repko could be a major leaguer, but has yet to show he can stay healthy over the course of a season.

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