Categorized | Mark Timmons

Who Is Our Ace?

Who Is Our Ace?

Our 2010 Starting Rotation

Well, if you ask me… and you didn’t (but I’m going to tell you anyway), it’s Young Clayton.  Maybe it’s a rush job, but maybe it’s not.  Maybe he’s ready.  Not “maybe” – he ISready!   I think it’s likely that Clayton Kershaw will be even better this year.  His ERA might not reflect that, but he will pitch deeper into games and flirt with 20 wins this year.  After Clayton, will come Chad Billingsley, followedby Hiroki Kuroda and Vicente Padilla, with the 5th Spot being Eric Stults to lose.

Unless Charlie Haeger is a disaster during the spring, he will battle Jeff Weaver for the “swingman” spot in the pen.  The rest of the bullpen is less clear.  We do know that Jon Broxton, George Sherrill, Ramon Troncoso, Hong chih Kuo and James McDonald will probably all make the team barring injury.  I just can’t see Weaver and Haeger both making the team, as they are competing for the same position, but if it comes down to it, they will keep Charlie and send Jeff to AAA (at least for a few weeks under the guise of building arm strength).

That leaves a lot of pitchers up for grabs, including Ronnie Belisario, whom Joe Torre may want to demote for a while after his Visa problems two years in a row.   We also have Cory Wade, who could flat-out make the team out of Spring training, and Carlos Monasterios (who could be bought or have another player sent to his former team, and demoted).  Lindblom, Zerpa, Miller, Towers and Elbert all seem slated for AAA.

While it would be a “feel good” story and great if it happened, the odds are against Eric Gagne making the team.  Would he accept an assignment to AAA?  Maybe for a few weeks, but hey, this is Spring – anything can happen.

Let’s not forget, however, that there is always a pitching surprise.  Belisario was the big one last year.  Who will it be this year?

Rants & Raves

  • I keep thinking about it and I can’t see Brian Giles or Doug Mientkiewicz making the team, especially if Xavier Paul has a rousing Spring
  • Ronnie Belliard has to weigh below 210 pounds tomorrow – if he doesn’t, is he off the team.  At any rate, I don’t see him as a starter.  He’s a role-player (like last year).
  • Russ Martin will be the All-Star Catcher in the NL this year – Write that down!
  • Oh, and in case you don’t understand – I still say Clayton Kershaw will be our Opening Day Starter.

About Mark Timmons

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

25 Responses to “Who Is Our Ace?”

  1. Roger Dodger says:

    Dodgers open at Pittsburgh. Maybe colder weather there at that time early in April.

    Mark, does that make a difference in the starter?

  2. A Shot of Haeger says:

    Mark, I read somewhere that Belliard has to weigh 209 pounds at some point during the spring for his non-guaranteed contract to become guaranteed. I’m not sure your Belliard statement is accurate.

    Here’s what I read

  3. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Visa problems or no visa problems, Belisario probably opens the season with the Dodgers. It’s being reported that he’s out of options, and could be claimed by another team if sent out.

    I’m guessing that the Dodgers would like to move Sherrill, save money, and make room for Elbert in the pen. Will it happen? Maybe. When? Who knows.

  4. Mark Timmons says:

    I hadn’t checked on Belisario’s option ststus, so I guess Joe will just spank him and send him to his room.


    It could be warm or cold in Pittsburgh, but I think the decision will be made by late March.


    I am also reading what you said about Belly’s Belly – so maybe today isn’t THE day, just A day.

  5. Badger says:

    All this guy has to do to have a guaranteed $825,000 contract is to keep his weight down to a respectable level, the Dodger owner lives like a king on OPM and doesn’t pay taxes, our president, a man who is trying to save this country from it’s own greed and self destruction is called a Marxist, banks get free tax payer money and aren’t required to loan it out to small business for job creation, insurance companies get record profits and are allowed to increase them at our expense, stupid wars go on and on and on, Congress gets health care but won’t see to it that we do, they also get a COLA raise while Social Security and disabled veterans do not – and we can’t post about the most important current event in recent Dodger history.

    Not much is making sense anymore.

    I’ll be taking some time off. I’ll check in with you guys later.

    • ken says:

      “banks get free tax payer money” then these same banks cancel the debt that GM and Chrysler owed to them, and Obama gives GM and Chrysler to the Unions, and that is trying to help everyone?

      If you are to the right of Doug Wilder (D) and to the left of Olympia Snowe (R) I prefer not to hear your political moanings.

  6. mark says:

    I just heard that if you would takle ALL the insurance company profits you could fund the health care program for two days!

  7. ken says:

    Mark – Except for the first paragraph with “Don’t ask don’t tell” verbage I liked your post. Kershaw may be the Ace this year (based upon WHIP) but if he is the #1 starter he will not have the number of wins that a true Ace normally does.

  8. Scoop says:

    I just read that Belliard weighed in at 231 1/4. If that’s true, he is an idiot. Giles is done, Mientkiewicz is done – the 25 man roster is really ‘shaping up’ isn’t it.

  9. steevo17 says:

    Jeez Badger you kinda sprayed a little everywhere in your post there huh? But how do you really feel? hehe

    Anyways…here’s an interesting link concerning our “Ace” situation:
    That is a great take as far as I’m concerned and I’m just gonna let it speak for me today.

    Take care everyone and enjoy the rest of your day.

  10. JDavis says:

    We don’t have an ACE—- us dodger fans are pulling for baby face
    si_mlb: Belliard must drop two pounds to earn contract – The most expensive two pounds in baseball reside in the…

  11. mark says:


    That is a great article at True Blue LA about “Aces” – It makes Billingsley Haters take pause/

    I predict that C-Bill and C-Saw will set the West on firre this year!

  12. Roger Dodger says:

    I have the feeling that Torre and Honey do not like “fat” over weight pitchers.

    Why? They start wee-zing a lot, throwing-up on warm and hot nights waiting in the pen, keep eating like a shark always looking for snacks . . .

    Pitching discipline and physical discipline are out of the same mind set of good managers and coaches.

    That is way they have physical trainers.

  13. Roger Dodger says:

    Today on MLB Network as I was flipping channels, they were showing top outfield catches of the year. One key catch was Reed Johnson going up and over the wall with the glove to bring a ball back — they loved it.

    He will make the bench squad and be a great fill-in for Manny on rest days and late innings.

  14. Roger Dodger says:

    Hey Brooklyn — you said that it has been reported that Belisario is out of options.

    I wonder. He was signed by the Marlins in 1999. But did not play in the majors until last year with the Dodgers.

    Here is his minor league record:

    7 seasons in the minors. So, how does that get him out of options???

    Gee, we have bunches of guys up and down much more than he — or are we talking years since signed by a club???

  15. Ty says:

    1. Kershaw will be our OD starter (mainly because we don’t have anyone else)

    2. Why would Haeger be a reliever? Weaver can be a long man, middle man or starter while Haeger is strictly a starter. I don’t see him being an effective reliever.

    3. Why would Xavier Paul make the team? He can only play the OF and we already have Reed Johnson while Mientkiewicz can play OF along with Carroll. Why carry 2 OF’s when we already have Johnson and some other guys that can play the OF in a pinch.

    4. Why would we root for Gagne? He’s an admitted cheater. I absolutely hated B*nds when he was playing so why would I root for Gagne? He’s dead to me. If I rooted for him then I’d be a huge hypocrite.

    5. I’d love to put some money down on that Russell Martin thing. It’s easy to throw a bunch of stuff against the wall to see what sticks. Here I go:

    DeWitt will hit 20 HR’s this year. I guarantee it!

    Furcal will steal 30 bags this year. Put it on the board!

    Kershaw will have a 2.50 ERA and 200 K’s with 25 W’s. Etch it in stone!

    Billingsley and Kershaw will be 1-2 in Cy Young voting.

    If one of those things happen then I could just brag about it all day long w/o bringing up the fact that I was wrong in all of the other predictions.

  16. Roger Dodger says:

    Ty, in the spring all of those things can happen. Yes sir re bob. I hope they did, and more.

    Kemp and Ethier could be golden cash cows for the team.

    The Dodgers do not have an all-star pitching 1 – 5 starters, but can all of them will give at least 5 good innings — then one of the best middle relief corp in baseball takes over (when they have too) and give it the 8th and 9th innings closers.

    What I have learned over the past several years is this — those 5th, 6th, and 7th innings are not just in the heart of the game — but the breaker of many games.

  17. Brooklyn Dodger says:


    I don’t know why Belisario is out of options, I just read that he was. Here’s a source, although not what I read previously.

  18. Roger Dodger says:

    Thanks Brooklyn, interesting development of a pitcher who has only been up for one major league season.

    Joe & Ned do have an interesting pitching staff problem. Sending down
    Hong-Chih Kuo, Eric Stults, Ronald Belisario, or Charlie Haeger could end their career as a Dodger.

    Also, Carlos Monasterios and Armando Zerpa are Rule 5 picks, and if not kept would have them move on.

    But no way do they keep all 6 of them on the 25 man roster. Decisions decisions . . .

  19. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Regarding Zerpa and Monasterios. If the Dodgers decide that they like either or both of them, and are unable to find opening day 25-man roster space, it’s always possible that they could swing a deal with their original club(s) to hold onto one or both. Roger, you’re correct, “Decisions, decisions…” Others could also end up being part of a deal(s), depending on how things play out. And then there’s the stuff we don’t know. The possibilities are endless. Could make for an interesting spring.

  20. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    And, of course, there’s creative use of the DL, especially in Kuo’s case.

  21. Mark Timmons says:


    The key is be right more than 50% of the time – if you can do that, you are pretty good.

    A few days ago, I wrote that Bills and Kershaw could be 1,2 in Cy Young voting, but if you go back and re-read it, you will see I was joking. Could that happen? Yeah, it could, but it’s not very plausable.

    I think DeWitt could surprise with his HR, as could Loney.

    Also, Barry Bonds has never admitted steroid use. Gagne has and has apologized. It wasn’t right, but I feel different about him now that he has admitted it than Barry, but I still don’t like it.

  22. Roger Dodger says:

    See, this can be a concern on a fan web board. Joking. Mark, as I remember reading that “Bills and Kershaw could be 1,2 in Cy Young voting,” I remember that is being a serious call. Not a joke.

    Same with the DeWitt totals.

    Now, I did not take that on because I did not want to show one up. Or not allow someone to voice an opinion and say they were stupid for saying such a prediction. In fact, as I remember the post, I did think they were almost all stupid. But fans have hope, and seek the best. So I did not.

    Kind of like a young teenage coming into the house and saying something “stupid” causing some heavy discussion . . . then he/she says, “this is opposite’s day. Everything I say is the opposite.” And everyone leaves the room.


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