Categorized | Mark Timmons

Give Me a Fifth!

Give Me a Fifth!

After looking at the #5 Starter competition, I have concluded that anything is possible.  I believe that the favorites to win that position are as follows (in the order I think it most likely along with questions):

  1. Eric Stults (his time?)
  2. Charlie Haegar (was last year a fluke or a peek?)
  3. James McDonald (he’s determined to win the spot, but can he?)
  4. Jeff Weaver (can he return to being a solid-pitchers every 5 days?)
  5. Scott Elbert (is his arm ready for this?)
  6. Carlos Monasterios (can he jump that far?)

These six pitchers all have a shot and deserve consideration.  One will step-up.  Maybe two or three?   I can see only three of those pitchers making the team, maybe just two.  There will be some tough battles this Spring.  What do you think?

What other teams in the NL do you think will be in the playoffs?  I have already stated that I think the Rockies will not make the playoffs and I am now picking the Cardinals to be the best team in the league (behind the Dodgers, of course).  I hate to say it, but Brad Penny could win 20 under Dave Duncan (he has always had million-dollar talent to go with a 10 cent brain), and Kyle Lohse could also win 15-16 games.  If Wainright and Carpenter stay healthy, this could be an excellent rotation.  Dave Duncan is the master!

Around the WEB:

  • Steve Dilbeck writes about Chad Billingsley’s Mental Toughness (or lack thereof)
  • Ken Gurnick says that Cory Wade is in great shape and eager to re-gain his spot in the pen.  I found this part especially interesting:

“Wade brushed off the suggestion that middle relievers get abused and are particularly vulnerable to injuries of overuse.

“It really is an honor when a Hall of Fame manager has confidence to give the ball to a rookie,” he said. “It’s my own fault I ended up breaking down. I wasn’t as strong as I should have been. I wasn’t really prepared for the role.

“I did what I could do. As a first-year guy, you think you can handle it. I’d be happy with the role again. I’d do anything to help the club win. Last year was a big-time learning experience for me.”‘

  • About a week ago, I wrote that I had heard James Loney had been working out and bulking up.  It turns out I was partially right.  Dylan Hernandez confirms that he is slimmer and stronger.  That bodes well for the Dodgers.
  • It seems to me that the Dodger Kids are becoming grown men and they are determined to make their mark.  They are more mentally tough and they are prepared and planning for big years.
  • Again, I don’t think that Russ Martin will continue his decline.  His character won’t allow it, and he’s not old.  Look for a big rebound.
  • As much as it worries me, Rafael Furcal is a big key to 2010.  If he stays healthy and can put up good on-base numbers, the offense should be very good.  It all starts at the top.  It will be interesting who bats #2.  I vote for Kemp, due to his speed.
  • If it comes down to Jeff Weaver or Charlie Haeger for the “swingman” role.  I’d keep Haegar – he’s much younger with a bigger upside.  Of course, theres’a  lot of time between now and then.  Too many scenarios to play out.
  • Tony Jackson talks about Belli’s Belly and other issues at 2B.
  • Jon Weisman thinks Xavier Paul could make the team if Giles and Mientkiewicz health issues keep up (and both have major issues)
  • Jon Weisman opines what could happen with Ronald Belisario.
  • MSTI discusses that Having a Good Team With No Ace is Better Than The Inverse- Good read
  • Memories of Kevin Malone (hereafter “MKM”) profiles Chris Withrow.

About Mark Timmons

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

16 Responses to “Give Me a Fifth!”

  1. Scoop says:

    The Dodger kids have the talent, this is the year to see if they have the “want to”. These guys aren’t in it to win, they are in it to get rich. Loney, Ethier, Kemp, Billingsley, Kershaw and Martin are all standing at the gates to the kingdom and this is the year to prove they have what it takes to become part of the elite earners in this game. I look for them to have very good years.

    Furcal? Who knows. He is already wealthy, but his skills are such that he could be one of the best lead-off men in the N.L. if his back allows it. Blake? He could do what his career numbers suggest, or he could play 130 games. Manny? The guy’s ego will propel him. None of those guys like to go down in flames. Look at Willie Mays.

    The Dodgers will be competitive. So will the Rockies, the Diamnondbacks, the Giants – and even the Padres will be better. The divsion is filled with some of the best yount talent in the game. The Cards, the Phillies, the Mets, the Brewers, the Cubs will all be good.

    In the end, the Dodgers have too much going on and too many question marks. I got the Phillies and the Yankees.

    Gee, there is going out on a limb.

  2. DRomo says:

    Hello fellas,

    I think thereis a 5th starter on this staff somewhere but I don’t think we should stop looking. I think we will also aquire someone else along the way.

    How about Felipe Lopez signing with the Cards? And for peanuts ($1 million, $1.5 with incentives) Unbelievable. We gave Jamey Carroll 2 yrs/ $3.8 million, Maybe the worst thought out signing of the offseason. Especially after we signed Belliard.

    I am glad Steve Dilbeck asked Bills about his lack of mental toughness. Someone needed to! Bu still in the interview it seems like Chad doesn’t get it. With his Richie Cunningham charm he says “What do you mean?” I still don’t get how a kid with that nasty of stuff can’t put it together, I don’t want to hear “he is only 25″ anymore. There is a story about a giant bear with sharp claws and big teeth that doesn’t know how to kill a bunny….that is Chad Billingsley. Be mean Chad! Use what you have! Kill the bunny!

    I hope you are all well, peace fellas!!

  3. A Shot of Haeger says:

    I’ll put this in simple terms as far as the 5th starter goes. In the words of Tom Ridge… If Charlie Haeger isn’t the 5th starter, the terrorists win.

  4. DRomo says:

    I would expect nothing less fom you Haeger! :)

  5. Roger Dodger says:

    I getting my arm loose just in case Joe cannot decide. My curve breaks about 5 feet. My sinker starting sinking about three feet after I release the ball. My fast ball is real smoke, but it takes a mirror to see it.

    I dig my nails into the cowhide, forming a groove, and when I release the ball, use a snap to the left or the right (depending of which way I want to fool the hitter) and that pitc is not hittable tat-all.

  6. ken says:

    Until the starters learn how to pitch into the 7th inning on a reagular basis the Dodgers need 2 swingmen in the bullpen. Heager and Weaver to start the year as swingmen and Heager the first alternative to replace Stults if/when needed.

  7. A Shot of Haeger says:

    I can live with ken’s solution to start

  8. steevo17 says:

    You guys are incredible. I’m talking about all of you who are considering our fifth starter “situation” to be so grave a circumstance. Answer this: can you name either the Yankees or the Phillies fifth starters of last year? Did they have only one? Now don’t look it up…just off the top of your heads do you know? Didn’t think so.

    Here is our situation as I see it: we are just fine. Romo I want to see your opinion of Billingsley when he’s finished the season, a successful season I’m predicting, and all the numbers are in. Until then all your doing, to borrow another terrorist related phrase, is giving comfort to the enemy.

    I would be totally satisfied with either Haeger (who I see as the 5th) or Stults as the 5th starter. I am sure both will have their fair share of starts regardless. My main concern is the who is going to be our big guns come October. Will Kershaw grow up and remind us of Fernandomania or will Billingsley take the Ace role? Will Kuroda stay healthy all year and be a mainstay in the playoffs? Can Padilla have a career year for us and instill some toughness to this starting rotation by returning to his headhunting ways? All these questions are much more important to the Dodgers than “who is going to be our 5th starter?”…which by the way every team in the major leagues is asking also, Yankees and Phillies included.

    You guys have to think about whats important here and ask yourselves this: Is my concern real or am I just manufacturing false concerns to have something to post? Hmmmmmmmm I wonder.

  9. Bill Russell says:

    When will Washburns salary become affordable?

  10. DRomo says:

    “Romo I want to see your opinion of Billingsley when he’s finished the season, a successful season I’m predicting, and all the numbers are in. Until then all your doing, to borrow another terrorist related phrase, is giving comfort to the enemy.”

    C’mon Steevo, I have been consistant since he melted down against Philly in 08. If he does turn it around I will be happy. I would have been happy if he turned it around last year. He had a soft draw early last year and dominated struggling teams….I can go on but I’ll stop, Lets live in the present. We need Bills to step up and be a dependable starter. I think we all agree on that. If mental toughness wasn’t a concern it wouldn’t always be brought up when discussing Chad Penney…errr…Billingsley :)

    Or next season we will all be saying he is only 26!

    BRuss, I agree about Washburn. He would be welcome for depth!

  11. mark says:

    Washburn would be great…

    except for the fact that he can no longer pitch effectively!

    Haegar and Stults are both better options than Washout!

  12. mark says:

    Oh, if you think Billingsley was bad after the All-Star Break, look at Washout!

  13. mark says:

    If Washout can come back from his second half flameout, why can’t C-Bill!

    You guys kill me…

  14. mark says:

    The ignorance here makes me want to quit!

    Maybe I’ll be back…

    Maybe not!

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