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A Snapshot of The Pitching

A Snapshot of The Pitching

By actual count, the Dodgers have 32 pitchers in Spring Training Camp who are vying for 12 spots.  I cannot see any way that Joe Torre decides to go with 13 pitchers.  With the off days and all, I think he will break camp with 12 pitchers.  That means that 20 have to go.

There are 11 Non-Roster invitees:

Luis Ayala
Scott Dohmann
Francisco Felix
Eric Gagne
Josh Lindblom
Justin Miller
Ramon Ortiz
Russ Ortiz
Juan Perez
Josh Towers
Jeff Weaver
Those guys have little chance, BUT there is always at least one surprise.  Maybe two.  Last year it was Ronald Belisario (I didn’t think he could pitch a lick after watching him in the Spring).  Jeff Weaver has a good shot, but Charlie Haegar and Eric Stults are out of options and Carlos Monasterios is a Rule 5 player who we lose if he doesn’t make the roster (barring a trade).
Of the group of non-roster invitees, only Weaver has a good chance of breaking with the team.  Gagne, Lindblom or  Miller could make the cut, but it;s a long-shot.
Of the pitchers on the roster, there are Nine Locks (barring the disabled list, trade, or not obtaining a Visa):
  1. Kershaw
  2. Billingsley
  3. Kuroda
  4. Padilla
  5. Broxton
  6. Sherrill
  7. Belisario
  8. Kuo
  9. Troncosco

Also on the 40 man roster are McDonald, Link. Zerpa, Wade, Schlichting, Leach and Elbert as players who have a shot at making the team.

The way I see it, unless Stults and/or Haeger really mess up or get traded or go on the DL, they will both make the team.  That would make 11 pitchers.

Monasterios has a shot unless the Dodgers want to lose him (I have never seen him pitch, so I have no clue).  Then there’s Wade (remember how good he was in 2008?), Weaver (great swingman), Miller (solid), Gagne (no way?  way!) and McDonald and Lindblom (the future, who could all go to AAA).

The Dodgers have plethora of arms.  Who will win the arms race?

It should prove to be interesting.


  • According to Steve Dilbeck of THE LA TIMES, the Dodgers are steamed about Ronald Beliasrio.  Sometimes things like this end badly for a player:

“I think it’s a problem now.  The pitchers need all this time. Of course, he did play winter ball. But I can’t really tell you [his condition]  until I see him.”

  • Dylan Hernandez and Bill Shaikin report that Garrett Anderson is a Dodger.  This should prove to be interesting as Mientkiewicz, Giles and Anderson compete for one spot.
  • Jay Jaffe of Baseball Prospectus writes on ESPN/LA’s Pay Blog that Clayton Kershaw’s new Slider Makes Him a Cy Young Candidate (Thanks to Jon Weisman)
  •  Tony Jacksonreports that Ned Colletti is not happy with Belisario either.  I am beginning to think the guy is a knucklehead!  Tony also reported this:

 The situation ultimately could cost Belisario a considerable amount of money, as well. He has only one year of big-league service time, meaning he will have a split contract with a major-league salary of no more than about $415,000 this season, and he won’t even get that much if he is in the minors.There also is a provision, known as Regulation 6, in the current Basic Agreement between owners and the players’ union that would allow the Dodgers to suspend Belisario without pay and require him to stay behind in extended spring training when the team breaks camp if he doesn’t report at least 33 days before the start of the season.The Dodgers’ season opener is April 5 at Pittsburgh, meaning Belisario already has missed that deadline and the Dodgers already have that option.”In the event of the failure of the Player to report for practice or to participate in the exhibition games, as required or provided for,” the regulation reads, “he shall be required to get into playing condition to the satisfaction of the Club’s team manager, and at the Player’s own expense, before his salary shall commence.”The phrase “to the satisfaction of the Club’s team manager” means the length of such a suspension would be entirely at the Dodgers’ discretion.

About Mark Timmons

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

20 Responses to “A Snapshot of The Pitching”

  1. DRomo says:

    Belisario doesn’t surprise me. And honestly it isn’t a major loss to be with out him to me. Here is a guy who got his DUI last year in Pasadena and didn’t know about the seat belt law in California. Assuming he has a drivers license from the United States, where have they not had a seat belt law for the last 25+ yrs? The guy is a problem cut him loose. Good riddance to bad rubbish! Bella-OH SORRY can suck somewhere else.

    Garret Anderson is better than Brian Giles, unless Frank wants Giles to “take care” of Jamie? Anderson might have a little pop left but he is a liability in the outfield. If we are going to have another left handed bat on the bench I prefer Meintkievich (I know I spelled that wrong), because the guy can is an excellent defensive player. He can play a little outfield too. I guess his down side is he doesn’t have much pop. I guess we’ll see.

    Kershaw adding a slider is both intriguing and scary. Clayton is nasty and with another pitch he should be lights out. But the slider is hard on an arm. It could be very dangerous if he loses technique. In fact in the old days the Dodgers would not let minor league pitchers throw a slider. It was Fastball, Curve, & Changeup mostly. I would have liked to see Clayton come up with a Change.

    It was a great day in here yesterday. Some great conversations, just imagine when we have games to tal about! LOL

    Peace my friends

  2. ken says:

    Typically this many pitchers in camp has resulted in the Dodger starting pitchers not receiving enough game experience during spring training, thus not having the level of control needed to pitch effectively, thus throwing more balls and more pitches per batter, as compared to pitchers handled more appropriately in spring training, thus pitching less innings per game, thus requiring more guys in the bullpen, thus allowing less bench players, thus requiring the starting position players to play more innings, resulting in the position players being warn out in the play offs,…

  3. lawdog says:

    I don’t know why the Dodger pitchers who can’t master a change don’t just throw the splitter. It is a terrific off speed pitch to compliment a great heater, is easy to throw and is virtually unhittable when mixed with a great fastball and curve. Kuroda could teach them how to throw it if he could speak English. I think Honeycutt used to throw one, (or was that a spitter?)

    BelliSorryOh has the best slider I’ve ever seen. Almost as fast as his heater. He might be a knucklehead, but he’s hard to hit. He can throw his fastball and slider in the mid 90′s.

    I think the Dogs are going to have to carry 13 pitchers if they don’t want to lose Haeger and that rule 13 kid they just signed. I’d like to see them add Haeger, Montasarios, Gagne and BelliSorryOh to Ken’s “big 9″. Bring up Elbert or MacDonald when Kuroda goes in the tank.

    If we carry 13 arms (which you almost have to do when you over use the pen as much as Torre does in an average season), that only leaves room for 4 bench players. One has to be a back up catcher. That leaves 3. If you carry Garret Anderson, who gets the last spots? Almost has to be DeWitt and Belliard. Who is the back up shortstop?

    We’re going to get squeezed a little going into the season.

    • Erik says:

      I tried my roster prediction earlier and didn’t have a true backup shortstop. Thoughts on DeWitt starting at 2nd and covering short on furcals days off? This would provide options for Carroll and beliard to start at 2nd. Torre apparently said furcal wont need as much rest this year. Hope Dee Gordon is ready. No rest for furcal could put him on the dl.

  4. lawdog says:

    Anybody up to posting the contents of ESPN’s article on Kurveshaw’s new slider?

  5. DRomo says:

    Best slider you have ever seen LDog? Better than Randy Johnsons? Wow

  6. lawdog says:

    I think Bellsario’s slider is as good as anybody’s. He can goose it up to the plate at 95+ or crank it down to 89-90 mph. And it breaks like a good hard curve. A lot like Bill Singer’s Slurve in the old days–but harder.

    But I forgot about Johnson’s breaking ball–which was as good as most great curve balls–just with more lateral movement and not quite so much drop. Johnson’s slider was more effective than Bellisario’s because his 100 mph heater was such a contrast to the 90 mph breaking ball. If Bellisario could bring it as consistently and effectively as Johnson, his slider would be in the same league as Randy’s.

    I guess my point is I like Bellisario. He’s got very good stuff. (Besides, you guys should all know by now that I sometimes exaggerate things a bit or forget important exceptions to a point I’m trying to make anyway.) :eek:

  7. lawdog says:

    I think I finally see your point Mover. This place is a lot more interesting if we do more than just rag on the McCourt’s lack of character. There is only so much to say about that anyway.

    Besides, if some people don’t see it the way I do by n ow after all my rants, there’s no hope for changing their opinions by continuing to beat a dead horse’s ass. ;)

  8. lawdog says:

    Ahhh, just as I suspected. ESPN’s caim that Kerveshaw has developed a new “light’s out slider” that will make him a Cy Young candidate this year is n othing but hype and spin. All lies. Consider this quote from Jaffe’s pay for view article that I found on Weisman’s free site:

    The importance of Clayton Kershaw’s slider is the subject of a Jay Jaffe post at’s new pay-blog, TMI. “Kershaw’s numbers, since he introduced the pitch in early-June, are eye-popping,” Jaffe writes. “They stand with the elite hurlers in the majors, with the caveat that his age limited his workload.”

    Lying bastard! I watched virtually every pitch thrown last year by young Kurveshaw thanks to MLB Extra Innings on Comcast. I know what sliders look like when they are thrown, and our child-man doesn’t throw one–or at least didn’t throw one last season in the games he pitched “after early June”. I wonder where these fish hacks get their information–or do they just pull the material out of their asses? :shock:

  9. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    I watched Kershaw pitch last year also, and remember him incorporating the slider as the season progressed. He was also able to throw that pitch more consistently for strikes than his curve, making it an important element in his second half improvement.

    I don’t believe I ever saw Belisario throw a 95 mph slider. Belisario’s fastball has lots of movement, and more than likely anything he threw 95 mph that looked like a slider, was likely a fastball with exceptional movement. Even Broxton doesn’t throw a 95 mph slider.

  10. Roger Dodger says:

    Lawdog, I watch this Bellsario pitch many innings last year — I said it then, and I say it again — he does not know where his pitches are going. He is effective, but time and again, he throws, and even he is surprised at the out come.

    Gee, just think when he finally gets control of his pitches. And put them where he want too.

  11. lawdog says:

    I would agree that Bellsario is wild in the strike zone which is why he doesn’t get virtually every hitter out. He has electric stuff. He can change speeds on his slider and has a cutter that moves in the opposite horizontal direction. But he can get enough giddyup on the slider to get it in with incredible movement near 95 mph–just like his cutter and close to the 97 mph he sometimes reaches with his straight fastball–which also moves. Everything he throws moves.

    Thanks for the article on Kurveshaw’s slider Chucky. I now see why I didn’t notice the pitch last season. It mirrors the curve in terms of location and horizontal break. It just doesn’t drop as far and it’s much faster–but still significantly slower than his heater. I figured that pitch was either his change, a “cutter” or a change of pace off his curve ball. Well, that’s a horse on me! He still needs a change up that moves in the other direction, or a cutter that moves away from the right handed hitter. Funny thing, his “slider” has the motion and speed of a slow, splitter. His curve is almost 12-6 and his slider breaks in the same plan but only with about half the drop and more velocity.

  12. Scoop says:

    Bellisario reminds me of Dreifort – just throw the thing right down the middle and it will end up on a corner. I don’t believe any of the hype about him being in trouble. This is early March, if he can get people out in April, he will make the team. He knows it and the Dodgers know it. He will be somewhere this year, his stuff is too good not to pitch. Did you read Weisman today? Much ado about nothing. And this:

    “While he is sitting in Venezuela, other people are here trying to make the club,” Colletti said. “Maybe one of them will take food off his table.” Colletti. What a maroon.

    Kershaw doesn’t really need a slider now does he? Throw strikes with what you have, work on the change. This team needs 200 innings out of you and throwing 90 pitches every 5 innings ain’t gonna get it done.

  13. lawdog says:

    Actually, Clayton’s new pitch is probably a “slurve” like Bill Singer used to throw. My son used to throw a good one that he used as a change up off his big slow curve that dropped 12-6. It was faster than an ordinary curve but broke too sharply and on a similar plane to be called a true slider. A true slider would have more horizontal break along with the drop than his overhand curve.

  14. lawdog says:

    I agree Scoop. Clayton’s “slurve” is just a faster curveball that doesn’t break as much as the curve–but comes in on the same plane with the same breaking motion. He needs a change up or a sinker/cutter that will break back in on the hands of a lefty and away from the right handed hitter. Something that the hitter can’t make an adjustment for while making the same swing when he’s guessed curveball.

    • Andrew Wagner says:

      I agree. Not a true slider, but extremely effective all the same. Kid K has a changeup but he only threw it like 15 times all year. If he could develop that he would be deadly. I could be wrong but I thought cutters only went in the opposite direction of the pitchers arm. Like a cutter from Kershaw would break into the hands of a right-handed batter. Billz has a great cutter and it breaks into the hands of lefties. I think what you’re referring to is basically a 2-seamer. A 2-seamer from Kershaw would break into the hands of lefties, and if he could master that then the league should be put on notice. Again, I could be wrong, but I agree with you all the same. I read an article a few weeks back, on I believe, and they referenced a statistical study that showed Kershaw’s fastball was actually the fastest fastball in the game last year. Because of it’s late life, it doesn’t slow down as considerably as most fastballs do. Pretty interesting I thought.

  15. Mark Timmons says:

    Roger and I watched Belisario up close last spring and I predicted that there was no way he would make the team, because he was awful. Like Roger said, he didn’t have clue where the ball was going. Evidently, he got better…

  16. Roger Dodger says:

    Yeah Mark, that is good sometimes. Hitters worry about that. Fast and faster and if the pitcher does not know where it is going — neither does the hitter.

    Hitter will probably hold the bat either tighter or looser out of a bit of fear. Not get a good swing. Cannot dig in the spikes (or what ever they wear these days.)


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