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Camelback Ranch – The Dodger Lineup

Camelback Ranch – The Dodger Lineup

One need look no further than the first inning of Thursday’s game to to see the benefits of having Rafael Furcal and Matt Kemp hit 1, 2 in the Dodger lineup. Raffy

Dodgers Taking BP at Phoenix Municipal Stadium

doubled to start the game and Kemp followed it with a sharp single to left field which allowed Raffy to go to 3B.  At that juncture, Matt Kemps’ speed probably created 2 runs.  In his efforts to keep Kemp from stealing, the pitcher threw the ball away at 1B, allowing Raffy to score and Matt to go all the way to 3B.  Kemp then scored on a sac fly to the left fielder.  BANG!  2-0 Dodgers.  This scenario would have never happened if say, Blake DeWitt hit 2B.  Joe Torre may have strange tastes in Opening Day Starters but he is very wise to have Raffy and Kemp hit #1, #2!   They will manufacture a lot of runs this year.

I did an interview today with Logan White today that lasted over an hour and ten minutes.  I will transcribe a large portion of it, and have it here for you in a few days.  Among the questions I asked were:

  • Of all the players in the past 5 years the Dodgers have traded or gotten rid of, which one would you most like to have back?
  • When will Chris Withrow pitch in the majors?
  • Can Ethan Martin play 3B and Pedro Baez pitch in the majors?
  • Is James Loney faster than last year?
  • Will Josh Lindblom be a starter or a reliever?
  • What’s the deal with James McDonald (even James hasn’t heard this… yet, but Logan will tell him soon)?

Later this week you will get an inside look at the Dodger Minor League Facility on a tour with De Jon Watson, and with “never seen before” photos of the inside of the Minor League Facility.

Batting Paractice at Phoenix Municipal Stadium

About Mark Timmons

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9 Responses to “Camelback Ranch – The Dodger Lineup”

  1. A Shot of Haeger says:

    Excited to see the interview Mark? Great job in Camelback this week

  2. A Shot of Haeger says:

    Edit!!! Edit!! Edit!!! I am excited to see the question about that

  3. Harold says:

    This is exactly what we expected last year with Raffy and O Dog hitting one and two. That is, wrecking havoc on the bases, especially early in the game. Matt will get pitches to hit with Raffy on base and Ethier, Manny and Loney following him.

    It didn’t happen last year as Raffy wasn’t healthy enough to run much and O Dog didn’t either. These two guys on base early disrupts the rhythm, even of aces. I know Matt might not have as many HR’s or RBI as he would hitting a bit further down the lineup. However, it is a team approach and we need whatever causes the most difficulty for the opposing team and especially their pitchers. Power doesn’t always do that more effectively than speed and aggressiveness on the bases. I am sure Joe is weighing his options carefully and will be looking at it in depth during the rest of ST.


  4. Harold says:

    Looking forward to the interview Mark. Also looking forward to seeing Lindblom and Withrow in our rotation in the not too distant future.That is, the next 2-3 years.


  5. Scoop says:

    “I am sure Joe is weighing his options carefully and will be looking at it in depth during the rest of ST.” (Harold)

    You got that right. I am also certain Joe wishes he had a better option for the two hole than a 30 home run, 100 RBI .500 slugging guy, but, it is what it is. Kemp will do fine there, and he will have considerably less RBI’s this year. This is a guy who on the right team could be hitting 35 while knocking in 115 and instead we are talking about him hitting singles and stealing bases. And don’t forget, Raffy is only at best a .350 OBP guy (.335 last year). The man I want hitting in front of Kemp is a .400+ OBP buy, and we only have one of those on this team.

    I accept it, but I don’t like it.

  6. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Hitting second doesn’t mean that Kemp hits less HRs. In fact, if Raffy gets on base consistently, pitchers are going to be forced to pitch to him, given that he is followed by Ethier and Manny, not to mention Loney following them. Hitting at #2 also means that Kemp gets more at bats, which means more opportunities to get extra base hits and drive in runs. I see lots of first inning runs, including first innings where the Dodgers score runs in bunches and jump out to substantial early leads.

    Also, keep in mind that Kemp drove in 101 runs last year despite the fact that he spent a lot of time hitting 7th and 8th. I don’t think RBIs are a problem in the 2-hole. Besides, even if his RBI total is somewhat diminished by hitting second, he will definitely score lots of runs if Ethier, Manny, and Loney are hitting behind him. And having Kemp on base will provide the latter players with more RBI opportunities. I am less interested in how many runs Kemp drives in, as I am interested in how many runs the Dodgers drive in and score collectively. If the Dodgers ultimately come up with a productive, prototypical 2-hole hitter, then Kemp can be moved to the 3-hole. In the meantime, he fits well at #2.

  7. Scoop says:

    Like I said, he should do fine in the two hole.

    I wonder how many other teams in MLB have a 30 HR 100 rbi .500 slg.% guy hitting second?

    Answer? Not many. Why? Because they would rather not. They are far more valuable in the middle of the lineup. This will be a one year thing, then the Dodgers will address the problem.

    I hope he cuts down on his K’s and improves his OBP. Working on bunting and hitting to right should do that. Also, maybe spending the wee hours up with Rihanna will help cut down on his power, forcing him to bunt and hit behind the runner.

  8. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Actually, I believe that Kemp hitting second changes the 2-hole paradigm for the Dodgers. Less bunting and hitting behind the runner. In other words, giving up outs less often to take advantage of Kemp’s power and hitting prowess. And with Ethier and Manny hitting behind him, I see Kemp making a greater effort to display plate discipline, and get on base as often as possible. However, there will be times when he tries to take advantage of his speed to bunt for base hits, not just to move a runner along.

  9. Scoop says:

    That does make sense.

    I do hope Kemp lays off pitches out of the strike zone this year. On running plays, it will important for him to make contact. If he does, Raffy could score from first. I just don’t see the hit and run as part of the Dodger offense this year. Kemp misses too often.

    But, we will see how it plays out. Like you said, it does make a different paradigm. Maybe the Dodgers change the way the game has been played for the last 100 years.


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