Look, Rick Honeycutt is the pitching coach of the team that had the best ERA in all of baseball last year. Not only that, but he is a genuinely nice guy, but this is not a love-fest and the Dodger pitchers are not going to sing Kumbaya. Right about now, Ned Colletti is not a happy camper. Some of the reasons he is not happy are of his own doing, like not trading George Sherrill, and signing the Ortiz Twins. Maybe Carlos Monasterios falls in that category as well. Ned expressed his displeasure to Tony Jackson yesterday when he said:
“Our pitching staff has been upside down with walks and falling behind hitters,” Colletti said. “You can’t continue to pitch behind in the count at this level and expect to get away with it. If you look at rallies late in games, almost always, at the beginning or in the middle of them, there is a walk. I’m not big on statistics, but if you look at 1-0 (counts) versus 0-1, I’m pretty sure you will see a dramatic difference in what hitters do. I’m hopeful that it’s just the early part of the season putting us in that position. But it needs to get better, sooner rather than later. You can pitch with average stuff, but if you throw strikes, you can win. You can pitch with above-average stuff, but if you don’t throw strikes, you’re going to struggle.”
Sherrill, Monasterios and the Ortiz Twins aside, the Dodgers young pitcher are not progressing as rapidly as they should be. I have never been a big Rick Honeycutt fan and I hate to say it because he is such a good guy, but if the ship doesn’t right itself soon, his butt will be out the door. That will get these pitchers attention “HE GOT FIRED BECAUSE HE COULDN’T GET YOU GUYS TO THROW STRIKES!” I don’t know who you replace him with (it’s not Charlie Hough – his time is past), but Ned and Logan and all their minions know who it should be. Could it be The Bulldog? Brad Ausmus? How about a half season of Sandy Koufax? That gives you a real pitching coach whom the youngsters would look up to and who could motivate them the rest of the year, until the Dodgers can make a permanent hire. Think about it!
Eric Stephen of TrueBlueLA.com has some good coverage of the Dodgers inability to throw first pitch strikes. If this keeps up, the Dodgers have to fire the pitching coach, because you can’t fire the players. The effective candidate will be able to communicate, be mechanically sound and most importantly, he will be able to convince them they cannot win without throwing strikes.
Tonight’s Lineup (Blake DeWitt Sits):
- Furcal SS
- Kemp CF
- Ethier RF
- Ramirez LF
- Loney 1B
- Blake 3B
- Martin C
- Carroll 2B