Categorized | Mark Timmons

Right or Wrong?

Right or Wrong?

Rants & Raves

The Dodgers Second Baseman for the Next 1o Years?

  • A few days ago when Joe Torre named Vicente Padilla the Opening Day Starter, eyebrows were raised because the guy who is arguably the #4, maybe the #5 starter on the team was picked.  That is troubling, especially in light of the fact that some of the writers who regularly cover the team believe that Joe did it to spite Ned for not getting him an “Ace pitcher” over the winter.  Of course, no one can answer that but Joe Torre himself.  I am not accusing him of that, merely saying out-loud what some people say in private.
  • After a 1.69 Spring ERA and two new pitches, Clayton Kershaw looks like an Ace.  Chad Billingsley, with a 1.84 Spring ERA looks much improved over the second half of last year.  Hiroki Kuroda  (2.51 Spring ERA) and  Charlie Haeger (2.20 Spring ERA) also all had dramatically better Spring ERA than Vicente Padilla’s 5.71 Spring ERA.  You can say all you want about saving Clayton for the home opener, but the Opening Day Starter is almost always bestowed upon your staff Ace and Clayton or Chad are clearly that.
  • To name Vicente Padilla the Opening Day Starter nearly two weeks ago was clearly a mistake.  It’s a mistake which can be corrected, if it’s done now.  Vicente Padilla is the Fifth Best Starter on the Dodgers.  Naming him the Opening Day Starter is wrong and simply indefensible.  End of Story!
  • To his credit, Joe did name Blake DeWitt the starting 2B, but it took way to long.  According to Tony Jackson of ESPN/LosAngeles, Joe Torre first told DeWitt that he was being sent to AAA as an April Fool’s Joke.  To DeWitt’s credit, he hung his head and showed his class by saying “I understand” before being let in on the prank.  Joe went on to say:

“Ronnie Belliard certainly has been a regular player and could be a regular player for a period of the time, but I think over the long haul Blake DeWitt is the young guy that needs to play every day. If he’s not going to play every day he shouldn’t be here.”

  • Charlie Haeger clearly did not have good control of his Knuckleball last night (6 BB), but they weren’t hitting him either.  I look for good things from him.  Joe named him the number 5 starter, but Joe can’t count.  Charlie is the Dodgers #4 starter.
  • When the bell rings, if Troncoso and Sherrill keep getting beat like rented mules, we have a big problem.  I am not worried… YET!
  • Ramon Ortiz is a real gem in the pen for us.
  • Have you ever seen Brandon Webb and Jason Schmidt together?  I think not!   Brandon Webb is either Jason Schmidt or impersonating him.  He looks like toast to me…
  • To me it looks like Russ Ortiz can’t make the team.  Wheeeeewwwwww!
  • Chad of Memories of Kevin Malone list his Top Dodger Prospects.   I no longer rank them in order because I don’t think it’s possible, but he’s got all the right names on there.  Nice Job Chad!  Here’s his TOP 20:

  • My Final Roster:
  1. Martin
  2. Loney
  3. DeWitt
  4. Furcal
  5. Blake
  6. Ramirez
  7. Kemp
  8. Ethier
  9. Ausmus
  10. Belliard
  11. Carroll
  12. Johnson
  13. Anderson
  14. Hu (but they will probably keep Green-Why?  I have no clue, other than the fact he can play OF too)
  15. Kershaw
  16. Billingsley
  17. Kuroda
  18. Haeger
  19. Padilla
  20. Ortiz, Ramon
  21. Troncoso
  22. Weaver
  23. Sherrill
  24. Monasterios
  25. Broxton

About Mark Timmons

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

33 Responses to “Right or Wrong?”

  1. Bill Russell says:

    We don’t have an Ace Starter yet so who cares who gets the first nod? (Kuroda got it last year) To me, it benefits both Kershaw and Bills by not getting the pressure put on them to be the Ace of the staff this year. This can be revised at the Allstar break anyway. So starting out the season in the number 1 slot doesn’t mean they have to finish there.
    Green over Hu is a no brainer to me. Green is more polished and Hu can be sent down. Yes Green would take a 40 man roster spot but like someone stated eariler in the week, we have 4 extra spots. Greens bat is not blazing with average, however I’d take it over Hu’s anytime. That’s just my take on this. Peace

  2. Bill Russell says:

    I heard about Torre and Ned’s April Fools Joke on DeWitt yesterday. Calling him into the office and telling him he was headed to AAA. After a few minutes of poor Blake sitting there, They asked him what day it was and he didn’t know. “April Fools, you are the starter at 2nd” they told him. Wow
    I wonder what might of happened if Blake started throwing chairs?
    Right or Wrong………….. :smile:

  3. Anonymous says:

    It is about time that Torre announced the 5th starter and 2nd basemen that we all figured out weeks ago.

    Regarding relief pitching, that decision will continue to be delayed as Ned plays chicken with the 5 candidates’ potential contract terms for the 1 remaining position in order to stash 2 – 3 of them at ALBA with a minor league contract that contains an out clause after May 1st.

    I still prefer 3 catchers with Hu at AAA. Bills was rushed to play last year and crashed. Will the Dodger rabbits allow the same occurrence this year with Martin?

    Green is gone as soon as Belisario is ready unless Troncoso and/or Sherrill continue to stink.

    Stults is better than Zito.

  4. Harold says:

    Padilla is a #4/5 starter. His time with the Dodgers last year was one of those spurts, an anomoly, players have when they are acquired by another team. They rarely last into the next season. He does blow hot and cold so I hope he comes out with all guns blazing. Well, not literally.

    I don’t put much stock in this opening day thing. I think all we need to do, as on any day, is give ourselves a chance to win. However, Padilla wouldn’t have been my choice but it doesn’t bother me too much. Joe gets paid more than I do to make those decisions so I guess we will have to go with his. I don’t buy into any theory that Joe is doing this because Ned didn’t get him a top of the rotation pitcher. If he did, then he should trade places with Tim Wallach in Albuquerque.( I love that I can spell Albeguergy)

    As for Blake Dewitt, I don’t think much of the April Fool prank. His heart must have sunk out of sight. Can you imagine him saying, “I understand.”, after what he has done to improve himself. I really hope he does well. We need his type of player on the team -hard nosed, a team player. As Bill says, what if he had cussed them, kicked a chair, stomped out. Luckily that is not in his nature. He uses his energy on the field.

    GO BLAKE!!

    GO DODGERS!!

  5. mark says:

    Billy,

    You would take Green .156 Spring batting Average over Hu’s .300 batting avearage based upon what? Maybe his lofty career .239 batting average, or maybe it’s the fact that he has less range?

    Green is 32 years old, Hu is 26. Hu is faster. Hu has a .298 career batting average for 7 seasons in the minors. Green has a .263 career batting average for 9 seasons in the minor leagues. Hu has a better glove.

    I can see no possible reason why you would keep Green over Hu. We also have DeJesus at SS in AAA and Gordon in AA. Green has nothing to offer us, except for the fact he can play OF, but so can Blake.

    We have no use for Green, which pretty much means that Joe will keep him.

  6. mark says:

    On March 22, Manager Joe Torre said the club is satisfied that Chin-lung Hu can fill in for shortstop Rafael Furcal on an extended basis if needed.

    So, Joe, you just need to keep Hu!

    DO IT NOW!

  7. Badger says:

    I agree with Mark on both issues. Green is redundant. Since neither of them will hit higher than .250, I keep Hu.

    What other team in MLB is starting their #4 on Opening Day? It’s generally the ace of the staff that gets that honor. It’s the principle of the thing. I was assuming Bills didn’t get it because of opening in Pittsburgh. Of all places, Pittsburgh? Hope it doesn’t rain. Actually I just checked the weather forecast and it’s supposed to be 76 with rain. Hmmmm. I am surprised it will be that warm. Usually in the mid 50s to low 60′s this time of year. Must be global warming.

    Come on DeWitt. Show some big league stuff and continue the .300 hitting. You may not remember, but one of the reasons we got off to such a hot start last year was because our second baseman, batting second in the order, hit .330 with a .400 OBP (including hitting for the cycle) in April and May.

  8. troyfromwv says:

    If the Dodgers opened the season at home I don’t think Torre would have gone with Padilla. It looks to me as though things are set up to have Kershaw and Billingsley pitch the 1st 2 home games.

  9. Roger Dodger says:

    Badger, those were the days . . . being last April and May with a solid lineup.

    This year, after all that has happened, been written, seen in the flesh — I can pick the Dodgers in the N.L. West for 1st, even 2nd, and really even 3rd.

    Other teams just might out pitch the Dodgers on many occasions. Other teams just might out hit the Dodgers.

    Watching Ethier this spring, he is getting closer to hitting pitchers like he owns that part of game; but he is not completely there yet. Kemp is not there and Loney is even farther behind. Manny used to be there and is trying to get back to that kind of hitting.

    There are times when batting averages mean nothing. It is hitting in the clutch or owning the situation.

    While I am at it — Furcal does not turn me own like Mark has been talking this Spring. I hope he puts it together, but we will see. We do not need or expect 60 stolen bases, but a few would be nice. He just needs to keep his bat hot longer and be a good base runner. I think his glove and arm can really help the infield — since 2nd and 3rd will have less coverage this year.

  10. New guy says:

    Mark as usual you have a short memory..
    Padilla was solid for us last year…
    so what if he had a bad spring..have you seen Johan Santana’s
    numbers this spring..let the season actually start before you rip the guy….

  11. Badger says:

    I predict Padilla will pitch like a typical #4 pitcher. And that is if he has a good year. Why would anyone expect him to do more than what he has done the last 3 years? Because he is older? Last year he pitched 147 innings of 4.46 ERA. The year before it was 171 innings and the year before that it was 120 innings. Most predictions have him around 150 innings of mid 4′s ERA. He could win as many as 12 again, if all goes right for him. But, he is not a front end starter and we shouldn’t expect him to pitch like one.

    Yep Roger, last year’s team looked pretty darn good coming out of the gate didn’t it? That was fun.

    And, I am with you on Furcal. Show me what you got Raffy. Prove me wrong and have the career year Mark says you will (though he isn’t putting 500 on it).

  12. lawdog says:

    Here’s my projection for our 5 starters:

    Padilla 12-10 era 3.75 180 innings

    Kurveshaw 15-10 era 2.75 185 innings

    Bills 12-12 era 3.80 195 innings

    Haeger 13-7 era 3.25 210 innings

  13. Bill Russell says:

    Mark, Hu’s spring of ? 300 doesn’t impress me. It was against the AA and AAA guys anyway. I would like to see him hit .300 in the majors for another team on a regular basis. His range also doesn’t impress me. You may have seen him play more then I, however the times I’ve seen him play Don’t impress me. Where the hell is Castro when you need him. Like I said, just my take on this. Scoop/poop/Roxy or what ever is agreeing with you, so you guys must be right.

  14. lawdog says:

    From Bernie’s Bits, St. Louis Dispatch this morning:

    ” For those souls who believe that the use of performance-enhancing drugs in baseball commenced with the so-called steroids era: you might want to read this Boston Globe piece on former Red Sox (and for a time, a Cardinal) outfielder Bernie Carbo. Remember the 1975 World Series and Carbo’s dramatic HR? Seems that Carbo was pretty hepped up on “vitamins” at the time. Or at least that’s what the Reds’ trainers called the amphetamines.” :shock:

  15. Harold says:

    I’m not sure why the offense is a concern unless the other teams have improved enough to pass us. We should be at least as good offensively, if not better, which I think we will be. The only personnel change is at 2B. Blake Dewitt probably won’t have a start like O Dog did last year. Not many guys do.

    Matt and Andre should be solid again, more experienced.

    James should be at least as good – 90 RBI not bad. He is a good hitter, not a power hitter, our Mark Grace.

    Russell has only one way to go and hopefully that is to the opposite field.

    Manny won’t be suspended for 50 games and not really get back on track. He doesn’t have to carry us – just be good, not exceptional.

    Casey will be about the same.

    That leaves Raffy – he too should improve as he is healthy. I don’t expect to see him as he was in his prime but hope to see him ignite things at the top of the lineup better.

    It also leaves Blake Dewitt. One would think he could match O Dog’s 9 home runs, 62 RBI and .357 OBP.

    Now I know clutch hitting, two out hitting, situational hitting, hitting with RISP, tops average. I’m not sure why our young players won’t get better at that. They surely haven’t topped out yet. The other variables are age and experience. We have that mixture of youth and experience. The younger players growing and the older guys using their experience to make things happen in those key situations.

    I think our bench might be stronger than last year with at least some power on it.

    GO DODGERS!!

  16. Roger Dodger says:

    MLB Fanhouse has their predictions. In the NL West, only one guy picks the Dodgers all the others pick the Rockies and 1 picks the Giants. And no one picks the Dodgers as the wild card:

    Ed Price – Rockies
    Jeff Fletcher - Rockies
    Frankie Piliere - Rockies
    John Hickey - Rockies
    Tom Krasovic - Rockies
    Steve Phillips - Rockies
    Andrew Johnson - Rockies
    Marc Lancaster - Rockies
    Matt Snyder - Rockies
    Tom Fornelli - Giants
    Knox Bardeen - Dodgers
    Josh Alper - Rockies
    Pat Lackey - Rockies

    http://mlb.fanhouse.com/2010/04/02/mlb-experts-2010-predictions/#cntnt

    If I were a baseball writer covering all 30 teams, I might look at the Dodgers as a team with question marks. Going around the field, a catcher with his career in reverse, a first baseman like Mark Grace, no second baseman at all, an aging SS, and aging third baseman, a drug-ster in left field that should be in the other league, a legit center fielder who is great, and a nice right fielder. Pitching has many concerns. Only two younger pitchers, one older pitcher and Mr. Padilla as a question mark, with no real fifth starter at all. A nice pen and average bench. Only if there is a trade during the year could this team rise to the occasion.

  17. Scoop says:

    Scoop/poop/roxy? For your information, I have been Scoop all my adult playing days and am so on other boards. Rory came up here on it’s own when I wrote a few pieces, bringing my real name in here wasn’t my idea so…… poop on you. I just say Hu cuz he was already here. I have no idea where and why Green. He wasn’t really needed. We needed a starting pitcher, not another back-up infielder. And the #1 starter is the guy that gets the ball on Opening Day. It’s a baseball tradition.

    The Around the Horn guys picked the Rockies. A couple of them actually picked the Rays and Cards in the Series. MLB power ranking has us 8th, so, not many are going with the Dogs all the way this year. I think it will be the Yankees in the A.L. and between the Cards and the Phillies but I know better than to say that in here.

    ldog, greenies have been around since both of us were in high school. Speed drugs in baseball is nothing novel. But the power produced by growth hormone drugs is relatively new.

    Everything you said in your last paragraph Roger is what I have been saying for months and taking heat about it so, stand by.

    The Dodgers are good, but it will take great to win it all.

  18. Bill Russell says:

    I hear ya brother Badger/ Rory/ Scoop, Ya know how you just don’t like some players. I guess that’s me with Hu. I watched him fill in for Furcal during the bad back year at Dodger Stadium and I’ve watched him in spring every year. (In my opinion) he doesn’t have great range or a great throwing arm, (In my opinion) his bat is weak. Green isn’t much better (In my opinion) but I feel he’s more polished. That’s all I’m saying in my opinion. You guys are probably right and I’m probably wrong. Hu can still be sent down to play everyday and Green would need to be released.

    Mark/Ken wasn’t a big fan of Either this time last year. They both said he wasn’t a clutch hitter and they had the stats to back it up. I remember Romo and myself saying he was and stats were thrown at us. Maybe that’s what Hu needs to do to shut me up. Just get the chance and hit .300 in the bigs. I just don’t see it and Hu didn’t either last year.

  19. steevo17 says:

    Only two things to comment on today…

    1. An opening day start is a nice honor to have…but IT’S ONLY ONE GAME OUT OF 162!!! Our season will not be made or broken by one start in Pittsburgh.

    2. Why do we have to keep either Hu or Green? I don’t see where either one has earned a roster spot. An extra backup IF is not more important than a 12th pitcher…which is what you are giving up by keeping either Hu or Green.

    This blog is slipping if this is truly what we are going to be posting about. Mark, I know you can do better.

  20. mark says:

    Steevo,

    Issues are different every day. If yo don’t like it, it will change. I address lots of issues.

    New guy,

    I like Padilla as a 4th or 5th starter, which he has been. I just don’t like him as our #1. I wanted to sign him for what he did last year, but not to be our Opening Day starter. Nothing else against the guy, except for the fact that he is a “space cadet.” Really, he is!

  21. mark says:

    Predictions for the rotation:

    Padilla – 14-12/4.10 ERA/190 IP
    Kershaw – 20-8/2.96 ERA/200 IP
    Billingsley – 17-9/3.20 ERA/215 IP
    Kuroda – 14-9/3.75 ERA/188 IP
    Haeger – 12-14/3.90 ERA/230 IP

    That would be nice wouldn’t it?

  22. steevo17 says:

    Mark, your predictions are not only nice but attainable.

    My hope though is that Kershaw does not pitch 200+ innings. I want more like 175-185 IP, which should mean more like a 15-6 record and a lower ERA, maybe like last year’s 2.79 or lower.

    If both Kuroda and Haeger (especially as a #5) reach your predictions, we will definitely be in very good shape come October.

    I still love this site…I guess I’m getting anxious for the season to start. Keep up the good job guys.

    DODGERS IN 2010

  23. Roger Dodger says:

    Mark and Steevo you guys are real positive Dodger fans.

    I have not looked, but how long has it been since one team had five starters winning 77 games between them? With an ERA well under 4.00?

    Those are career years for all of them. If they did it — wow!

    Those could only happen if they went deep into games. No more 5 or 6.1 innings. It would be more like 7.2 or 8 plus innings.

    I like the idea. But baseball experts that get salaries say the Dodgers are more like a .505 team this year.

    If you are right — they need to be fired, and you guys get the pay checks.

  24. Roger Dodger says:

    I am glad we are still in the Spring Training mode, just tuned into the Dodger Angel game. And watched Manny, Kemp, and Loney all strike out.

    But Reed Johnson has their back with a big HR.

  25. Roger Dodger says:

    Clayton looks un-hittable. Way to go.

  26. mark says:

    The numbers will be skewed by injuries. I believe all the players are capable, but not all will be able. Who will be injured? No clue.

  27. Scoop says:

    Those predictions have 4 coats of blue paint on them. I would ask you to get serious but it’s like asking a cheetah to become a vegetarian – it ain’t gonna happen.

    You are asking the pen to save a lot of games if those guys get that many wins and that few innings. Guys with 20 wins are rare (none last year) and when they do it they usually pitch at least 220 innings. Halladay had 239 innings last year with 17 wins. This Dodger team is not a team that is going to run away from teams with enormous early leads. The pen is going to win a lot of games this year because games will be close and we still don’t have studs on that starting staff that go 220+ innings. Not Bills not Kershaw and certainly not the rest of that crew. Haeger with 230 innings? What color is the sky in your dreams?

    I ain’t crazy about Hu either Bill, but, we already had Hu, DeWitt and Carroll – and Belliard is our back-up chalupa so, why do we need Green? Hu is cheap and can play SS in an emergency, so can Carroll.

    Padilla is a wild man, but, that can be a good thing on the mound. He isn’t afraid to throw it high and tight. I like that in a guy. I think I already said this but I got him for something like 156 innings and 11 wins. And, I think that is plenty realistic.

  28. Bill Russell says:

    Hu’s still on Hu’s bandwagon? He sucks ….. :smile:

  29. lawdog says:

    I forgot Kuroda–which has to tell you something about how little I expect from him.

    Here’s my projection for Kuroda:

    10-14 era 4.77 175 innings

  30. A Shot of Haeger says:

    I used to post on the cbssports.com Dodger boards… As bad as some of the doomsdayers are…..

    Nobody here is this guy….

    http://www.cbssports.com/mcc/messages/chrono/20718240?tag=pageRow;pageContainer

    He was spewing the exact same thing the last two years when we were in the NLCS to

  31. Scoop says:

    Well I think I know from where he cometh. But, he is just a tad over the edge.

    And he got it wrong in rooting for the Twins because they are the “oposite” of the Dodgers. Yes, they are a small market team, but they now have a larger payroll than do the Dodgers. You want to root for a team that has to do all things right, root for the Rays. They don’t draw, have a marginal payroll, and many expect them them to beat the Yankees the year.

    Go Rays.

    And the accuracy beef with Kershaw is legit. I saw he had 65 pitches to get through 4 last night. That will get him 6 innings.

    Way to be clutch last night Dodgers. Lose 4-3 in the 9th. These are the kind of games I expect this year – close and won or lost at the end. Starters will be long gone by then.

    Broxton with nothing but fastballs last night. Gameday had one “change up” listed – at 91 mph. His other pitches were 92 to 94 so 91 isn’t much of a change. He won’t get away with one pitch this year.

    OK, time for coffee.

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