Categorized | Mark Timmons

Escape From The Outhouse – On the Way to the Penthouse

Escape From The Outhouse – On the Way to the Penthouse

Matthew McConaughey and John Ely, Brothers?

Earth time – 5/18/2010, 9:00 AM EDT – After winning 8 straight games, and going 13-3 in their last 16 games, the Dodgers are long gone from the “outhouse” (currently occupied by the vastly overrated D’Backs – I told you in Spring Training that they would be horrid), and just 2.0 games from the Penthouse.  With a 21-17 record, they are on pace for 89 wins (if you extrapolate their winning percentage).  I have heard some Dodgers followers (they are not fans) who are actually mad about what is happening because I guess they can’t bash McCourt anymore.  That’s just plain sad!  Maybe they can trash the farm system, as some of the Dodgers top prospects are under-performing (that’s a joke).  I can always tell when the Dodgers win, because very few people post.  I guess they just love the negativity…

At any rate, the Dodger’s pitching, which so many of you complained about, and said that the Dodgers could not win as a result of not getting more pitching and an ACE, is suddenly their strength.  Kershaw, Billingsley, Kuroda and Ely are pitching as well as any other quartet in baseball and the Dodgers team ERA dropped to 4.35 last night.  Kershaw, Bills and Kuroda – that’s no surprise to me.  John Ely?  What a huge surprise!  This Matthew McConaughey look-alike throws strikes,  is very adept at changing speeds, and is savvy beyond his years.  I think he’ll be a very nice “middle-of-the-rotation” guy for years.  He’s no “flash in the pan” because he doesn’t walk people.  He didn’t have great control last night and he still didn’t walk anyone.

The bullpen which was bleeding early in the season is now slamming doors. Those of you who “knew” this was what it would be like this year, didn’t know anything!  Admit it and enjoy the ride.  Lawdog who has been one of the most vocal dissidents, freely admitted it yesterday: “I don’t mind giving Mark a tip of the hat for being more accurate in his assessment of our talent than me.” Thanks, Lawdog.  You are ‘da man! It’s a long season and anything can happen, but this team has a chance to be very, very good, and contrary to what many have said, it looks like the Dodgers might have improved their pitching during the off-season.

It’s no coincidence that in their eight game winning streak, the Dodgers have only committed one error.  Blake DeWitt is showing improved range at 2B and Jamey Carroll and Casey Blake have been playing like the sure-handed savvy vets that they are.  Quietly, James Loney has stepped up his play at 1B and is becoming a defensive force.    Matt Kemp is back to his Gold Glove play in CF and Reed Johnson brings outstanding Defense every time he plays.

RANTS & RAVES

  • Russ Martin has a 12 game hitting streak and is still hitting .265 – 1 hit a game in most cases…
  • They say that Xavier Paul projects as a 4th OF because he doesn’t have the requisite power needed by a corner outfielder.  If I remember correctly, Baseball America said the same thing about Andre Ethier.  There is talk the Dodgers will go after Carl Crawford next year.  I’d try Paul first.
  • Andre Ethier – Dodger MVP?   NL MVP?
  • Hopefully Kuroda will make it Nine in a row tonight.

About Mark Timmons

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

18 Responses to “Escape From The Outhouse – On the Way to the Penthouse”

  1. DRomo says:

    Great takes Mark.

    Matthew McConaughey? I don’t know about that one. But I absolutely love this Ely kid. He battles. He is under control. He is just what the doctor ordered. I read he is staying at Russ Martin’s house while he is in LA. A cool gesture by Russ.

    One more question: As much as I like Carl Crawford a true 5 tool guy, would you rather spend on 1 position player and have to outbid the Yankees most likely. (Note they have an opening in LF next year)
    or maybe spend on pitching? We will be missing a few arms next year again.

    Also, Who would you rather spend on Crawford or Jason Werth? That will be the 2 big ones this coming offseason!! The good news is neither are Boras clients….yet!

  2. Mark Timmons says:

    I think Xavier Paul might surprise a lot of people. Move Ethier to LF and put him in RF. I believe he’s got 15-20 HR power, but with his “pop” and speed, he’ll have lots of double and triples and he can lead-off if necessary! Plus, he has a cannon.

  3. Idiot says:

    Hey Mark, you stupid, you still don’t get it. You say:

    “I have heard some Dodgers followers (they are not fans) who are actually mad about what is happening because I guess they can’t bash McCourt anymore.”

    Some Dodger fans just do not like or trust Frank McCourt and his wife. It is not a matter of winning or losing. Some fans just do not want the McCourts as the owners of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

    So we bash the McCourts. Some bash Ned and say he as let the roster down. Some I(like you) bash Torre and Honey.

    It is STUPID to think you can say what is in a person’s motive. Please quit trying. Now, it you are only trying to get some Fox News style of reporting and create some kind of story . . . then tell us.

    Now to the Dodger win. If was not for the role players, might have been a tough night. But role players are there to do just that — play a role and make a difference. They did last night.

  4. Jdavis says:

    Is ely the real deal??? Or other teams just lacking scouting reports? Ely reminds me of D lowe or Zito
    I love Crawford, but I wanna see X play RF
    Say if Ned makes a trade for a SP who goes and who stays?

  5. GoNzO says:

    Badger, yes on 100! Tell your friends.

  6. Harold says:

    Although I didn’t have quite your optimism Mark, which I appreciated, I felt very strongly all it would take for us to get going would be some event, such as a dominant pitching performance, a walk off hit, hitting with RISP, an unexpected event. We have had all of those in the past little while, also Russ throwing out base stealers. The unexpected event, John Ely, might have been the biggest event.

    I knew we were not as bad as we were playing and felt we would compete, if for no other reason, no one really ran away from us when they could have buried us. They allowed us to stay close even in our down times. They have their’s yet to come, although the D’Backs have already had their troubles.

    I don’t think Carl Crawford will be signed by us. The cost will be prohibitive in our present circumstance which is going to be solved at the end of the 2011 season. We have our own young players to sign for big bucks. At the end of the 2011 season we will have contracts off the books – Manny (this year, except for smaller deferrred increments), Casey, Kuroda, Raffy, Sherrill and much of the deferred money and much of our contributions to the White Sox. Raffy does have an option for 2012 based on 600 plate appearances in 2011. However, it adds up to a lot of cash when we will need it to sign our own core players.

    I would be happy to see Xavier Paul be given a shot. We talk about Jayson Werth who didn’t blossom until 2008 and only had 67 RBI that year. I know he was injured but he didn’t have his coming out until he was 29. We tend to get all tied up in the power thing. James Loney gets his RBI without a lot of home runs. Why does it make any difference how we get them? Can you imagine an outfield with these arms – Xman, Andre, Matt, and Andre as a left fielder. That would be one of the best armed outfields ever.

    GO DODGERS!!

  7. SpokaneBob says:

    An outfield of Ethier, Kemp and Paul would be a great defensive unit with probably the best set of arms in baseball.

    Ely is awesome.

    Whoever the idiot is should try watching Fox news instead of just making a negitive remark.

  8. Mark Timmons says:

    Dear Iddy,

    It is everyone’s right to bash the McCourts. As I have often said, I am not a fan of theirs. However, whenever people allow their hatred of the McCourts to taint their image of the team, they are bing very foolish. The Dodger product on the field is very good. The management team is very good. The farm system is very good. Dodger Stadium is better than ever. Camelback Ranch (the Dodgers’ side) is the envy of every major league team. McCourt has spent a lot of money over the past 6 years and currently the Dodgers sport a $102 mil payroll. In all of the Dodgers lore, they have never, never ,nver been to the playoffs three years in a row. It could happen this year. Now, I would love to have a $200 million payroll, but that’s no guarantee of anything. I would love to have a better owner, but even with his apparent decadent and greedy lifestyle, the Dodger Machine is alive and well!

  9. steevo17 says:

    Mark you have been right since I’ve been visiting this site (whether I’m remembered or not). Congratulations on your current position of “I told you so”. It means the Dodgers are doing well.

    As for me…I’m still finished with this site. (dripping with sarcasm)

    Oh and to whom it may concern…I told you so too.

  10. DRomo says:

    I know X Paul reportedly has a great arm (I’ve never seen it) he hasn’t shown it in the big leagues yet. But why do we think he is a greta defensive outfielder. I have seen him butcher some plays in CF and in LF. I have seen it with my own eyes. Maybe all of you have seen him dazzle in AAA?

  11. Mark Timmons says:

    I have seen Paul mess up big time in CF and LF, but his play in RF is excellent. He’s no CF by any means (of course, I said the same thing about Kemp). He does have a cannon – it’s better than Repko’s! I once saw him throw a laser from the RF corner to 3B on the fly to nail a runner who tagged. It was amazing!

  12. Mark Timmons says:

    JD,

    I think if Ned makes a trade for a starter it will involve mostly prospects.

  13. Harold says:

    You have already commented on Joe Torre’s role in this surge Mark. I think Joe has played a significant role in our winning streak.

    I have not been a big Joe Torre fan feeling he won in NY because they bought all the horses and the stable. I get concerned about his use of relief pitchers and think he doesn’t play small ball enough or at all.

    Well – we came out of SD with three wins, one on “get ‘em on, get ‘em over, get ‘em in. The manager has to have something to do with that. More importantly, Joe just stayed so calm while we were floundering, saying things I thought were strange under the circumstances. For instance, “He was missing by a bit.”, when he couldn’t hit the backstop if he tried that night. He never said anything negative to my knowledge and did not get involved in the Matt Kemp issue.

    Meanwhile over in Chicago, one of very least favorite managers, Lou Pinella, is spouting to the media how poorly they are playing, using cuss words. The Cubs sure have pulled out of their funk after Lou’s tirades to the media. I gotta say, right now, I am feeling pretty good about Joe Torre. All managers will make decisions that cost games and they are so noticeable, while they make decisions that win games that go unnoticed. However, I don’t think all managers can chart the ship through troubled waters as Joe just did. He gets full credit from me for his patience, his continued expressed confidence in his players, and for avoiding a media frenzy with controversial statements. Way to go Joe. Not too bad at all.

    GO DODGERS!!

  14. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Regarding Mark’s comment concerning Paul’s throw from right field to nail a runner at 3B. I was at the same spring training game last year, and witnessed it myself. Later in the same inning with another runner on third, Paul let loose a laser to home plate on a fly ball to right in which he had no chance (unless the runner tripped on his way home) of throwing out the runner. The throw did not get the runner, but it was a thing of beauty as it sailed into the catcher’s glove. His arm is not only powerful, but amazingly accurate as well.

    I’m not sure his arm is any better than Repko’s, since I recall seeing Repko a few years ago let loose on a ball hit over his head to the wall in center field in Wrigley Field. The ball nearly beat the runner to 2nd in what is normally a routine double. Whatever the case, Paul’s arm is truly a treasure. Only time will tell if he can hit enough. But from what I see, I believe he may well surprise. And I don’t think 15-20 HRs is out of the question, but I need to see more to come to any firm conclusions.

    As for next year’s free agents; well, that’s next year. I’ll worry about that during the hot stove. Lot’s can change between now and the offseason.

    If Padilla comes back healthy, I believe we will have a pretty solid rotation. But I have no problem with adding another pitcher, especially one of the ACE variety. Of course, the price would have to be right. And if it’s someone we can retain beyond this year, that would take care of the probable loss of Kuroda after this year.

    And I still like Carlos Monasterios. Either he needs to start getting more work, or the Dodgers need to cut a deal with Philly to retain him, and send him out to AA or AAA to get more seasoning. Like Ely, he has a great changeup. But he’s not going to be effective unless he begins to get more work. It might be that he could be the perfect replacement for Cory Wade.

  15. Michael says:

    James is the Man.

  16. Roger Dodger says:

    I posted earlier, but it is not here. Is there a trap door?

    For next season, if the Dodgers go with Ethier/Kemp/Paul — OK, but Paul will not equal Manny’s bat. He is good, but not a leader in the league (yet). I suggest an upgrade at 3rd or 2nd.

    Either sell, cut, let walk Casey Blake (who is not pulling his weight) and move DeWitt back to 3rd. Or, keep Blake and bring in a new 2nd baseman with a bat.

    All else would be fine in the field.

    On Paul’s arm – at Camelback, X had a really bad mis-read in centerfield and really screwed up a ball near the wall, then made a very bad throw back — inside the park HR. Have seen him take bad routes to balls in the air at times. I believe earlier this season he did that twice in LF. Plus, he is 5 inches too short and sometime 5 inches away from the ball.

    Great first inning tonight. Guys hitting the ball, keep it up.

  17. Roger Dodger says:

    Have some work to do. The Astros will not go away. They are embarrassed with their play this year and are trying to show they are not AAA

    Kuroda has to reach down and get his game in shape.

  18. Idaho al says:

    I agree with Harold. Joe Torre is a great manager. I believe the players love to play for him. He is always on their side. If he needs to talk to a player he does it privately. Publically he always has praise for the players. Most managers would not have stayed calm when the Dodgers were losing. I was hard on Honeycutt when the starting pitiching and the bullpen was a mess. Now I have to praise him for starting pitching and the bullpen are doing a great job. I just wish Joe had a little more fire in his belly and would get thrown out of a ball game every now and then. I think sometimes you need to have the players back.

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