Categorized | Mark Timmons

Rant & Rave Tuesday

Rant & Rave Tuesday
  • I think James McDonald and Josh Lindblom will both play a big role with the 2010 Dodgers.
  • If Hiroki Kuroda can continue to hit 95 MPH on his fastball and mix up his pitches like he has, he will be an All-Star this year.
  • The Kiddie Corps of Chad and Clayton are starting to hit their stride.  I’m liking the Dodgers top 3 starters.  You can buy and ace or grow an ace.  I prefer the later.
  • With Padilla likely out until June, John Ely and Carlos Monasterios will each get another start or four.
  • Charlie Haeger can’t even pitch in a 9-1 blowout?  That doesn’t bode well for his future.  He is in Joe’s doghouse.  Charlie Haeger and Been Sheets have similar ERA’s.  I guess I’d rather be Ned Colletti than Billy Beane on that one.
  • George Sherrill needs another pitching coach.  He scares me, but he’s better than he shows.
  • What’s not to like about Casey Blake? He gets big hits, makes good plays and is a good teammate.  He’s hitting .263 with 3 HR, 6 Doubles and 15 RBI, which is 3rd on the team.  He’s solid, steady and will benefit if he only has to start 125-130 games, but he can pinch hit in the rest.  Casey Blake can play on my team any time.
  • Have the Dodgers fired Joe Torre yet?
  • When do Sands and Russell move up?  With Lambo in Limbo, Russell should go to AA and Sands to IE.
  • Somebody told me I was crazy last season when I suggested that Andre Ethier could hit 40 HR.  I may be crazy, but he CAN hit 40 HR, like THIS year! No more Mr. Softee.
  • Speaking of Soft, Andy LaRoche looks “soft” to me.  It looks like I was wrong in his evaluation.
  • Matt Kemp is a streaky hitter.  He’ll hit like crazy for 4 or 5 games and then look horrible the next 4 or 5 games.  Sooner or later, the bad times will be less and less.  I guess the same can be said about Ethier.
  • Who likes Garrett Anderson over Xavier Paul? No me!  Paul has better speed, is better defensively, has a cannon on his shoulder compared to Anderson’s popgun and is hitting better than Anderson.  That kind of performance needs to be rewarded.  Paul has to stay on the team when Manny is activated.   Simple as that.  While Paul is not a great CF, he can play there as well, and Anderson can’t.
  • Ken Gurnick of Dodgers.com has a nice article about the reformed Pedro Guerrero.
  • Don’t get too excited – it was only the Pirates…
  • It looks like Hu will be called up on Tuesday and Raffy will go on the DL.

About Mark Timmons

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

41 Responses to “Rant & Rave Tuesday”

  1. Ty says:

    1. You said the same thing about Lindblom last year. He never showed up. He’s not exactly tearing it up in AAA

    2. What a quick 180 you did on Haeger. I thought he was supposed to be a diamond in the rough?

    3. Casey Blake is a solid player. I’d take him on my team any day. With that said, I’d take Carlos Santana back in a second.

    4. Andy LaRoche always looked like an overrated prospect. Fragile, never swings the bat, questionable power.

    5. Paul is better than GA right now as a starter but I think I might take GA as a bench player right now. Paul would be a waste rotting on the bench while GA knows and accepts his role as a lefty PH. If GA keeps hitting under 200 then things will change.

  2. Badger says:

    Platoon Paul and Reed, give Anderson a pink slip.

    Casey Blake is becoming a back-up player. .263, and 1 for his last 20. If he were on another team, he would not have 15 rbi’s. But, he is our best option, so, he stays in there.

    Andy has a .828 OPS now. It’s early. But at 26, he has his best years in front of him. I wonder how good he would be if he had some better hitters around him.

    Sherrill has pitched 9 innings. He started slow last year too. Check his splits for the last three years. You will learn something about him.

    Sorry Charlie. You needed to show something, and you have not. Dodgers can’t wait. They need to find someone now.

    Please Kuroda, do something you have not yet done in MLB – throw 200 innings.

    “Somebody told me I was crazy last season”

    Somebody tells you that every week.

  3. pig says:

    go giants!

  4. JDavis says:

    Blake playing backup would be nice much better then belly playing first and third. I still don’t understand why Ned wasted money on Jamie Carrol.

  5. Mark Timmons says:

    I’m pretty sure that what I say, Ty will always say the opposite. DSM-IV calls it “oppositional disorder”. ;)

    1. The Dodgers are trying to convert Lindblom to a starter, which I do not think will work, but his stats at AAA should be ignored for that reason. Brooklyn is smart enough to see that, some aren’t.

    2. I did a 180 on Haeger because he did a 180. He looked good last year. He looked good in the Spring. He had his chance – he blew it.

    3. Ty’s opinion of Blake is noted. The jury is out on Santana…

    4. Ty said: “Andy LaRoche always looked like an overrated prospect. Fragile, never swings the bat, questionable power.” When you say stuff like that you show you have no knowledge of how Andy LaRoche looked when he was younger and the power he displayed. Most young player have “power potential,” but Andy had great power, especially to the opposite field. At age 20, he hit 23 HR, at 21 he hit 30 HR, followed by 19 and 18 in injury shortened seasons. So to say he had “questionable power” is insane. The man had monster power at one time. I probably watched him play over 100 games in the minors and I can only speculate that his shoulder or back injuries have robbed him of that natural power.

    5. X.Paul would play once or twice a week and I think his energy trumps anything that washed up Anderson has.

  6. DRomo says:

    Lets not go down the Andy aRoche road again. He is not a great big leaguer and he was a very good minor leaguer. Lets leave it at that. I too have seen a fair share of “can’t miss” guys in the minors. Sometimes it doesn’t work out. Mark has been right a few times too fellas….but lets not give him a big head. For the record when I saw Chin-Feng Chen play here in San Bernardino, I swore he was the next BIG thing. The best single A player since Ken Griffey Jr. to play here. Chen set all kinds of records here and could do it all. They even retired his number. What a bust he was at the big league level.

    I do agree that we need to send Paul back down when Manny comes back and the only reason is he needs to play every day. He has impressede me as a leadoff guy. His defense is OK, but if my memory serves, he was a disaster in CF this spring. He is better all around than Anderson but he rots on the vine coming off the bench here. Think big picture here Mark, keeping Paul hot with 4 AB a night might be to our advantage down the stretch when we need him back up here in the bigs.

    Peace fellas

  7. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    When Manny comes back I don’t think Paul has to rot on the bench. He’s not going to see a ton of action when Manny returns, but he could see enough to keep him sharp. Manny is definitely going to need time off to keep him healthy, and will probably be replaced late in games during blowouts. Even Ethier and Kemp will probably get an occasional day off. And of course, he would see action as the primary lefthanded pinch hitter off the bench. If done creatively, Paul should see enough action to keep him reasonably sharp. Besides, he no longer has anything to prove at AAA. And yes, I know we also have Reed Johnson from the right side.

    And what is the alternative? From what I can see, Garret Anderson’s bat has slowed down. Maybe he suddenly gets hot, but don’t count on it. And he’s definitely a defensive liability. Give the younger guy a chance, he’s earned it.

  8. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    It’s looking like Green to replace Furcal, who is expected to go on the DL.

    http://losangeles.dodgers.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20100504&content_id=9775974&vkey=news_la&fext=.jsp&c_id=la

    As regards LaRoche, I don’t have a strong opinion either way, because, frankly, I haven’t seen enough of him. However, he had a reasonably good year with the Pirates last year, and is doing fine this year, at least according to the stats. And keep this in mind. When LaRoche was in the Dodgers’ system he was a notorious slow starter who really didn’t get things going until May. He may well turn out to be better than Casey Blake. And if he had not injured his thumb in spring training in 2008, he might have been our third baseman today, and maybe Santana would have went to the Pirates in the Manny deal. We’ll never know.

    As for Casey Blake, he’s not the hot hitter that began the season, nor is he the cold one we are currently seeing. He is, as others have noted on this site, a .260 – .270 hitter with 18-25 HR power. He’s a steady player with a solid presence in the clubhouse. Nothing exciting, but more than serviceable.

    Third base is definitely a spot the Dodgers have to be thinking about for the future. Maybe DeWitt can eventually slide back into that position if the Dodgers find a second base alternative. Whatever the case, Blake is OK for now, but I would have no problem with an upgrade if it came at a reasonable price.

  9. Badger says:

    Paul must play everyday. Reed was signed as the back-up. When Manny returns – so does Paul, where he will play everyday.

  10. coloblue says:

    XPaul has nothing to prove or gain from AAA. He is decent hitter and defender. Being a BU OFer this yr will expose him to MLB pitching which will help his case for when Manny leaves next yr.
    He will get enough Abs as bench player to learn and improve.
    Mark, I agree that we will see Jmac and Lindblom this yr..
    Jmac would be my next callup as SP and IMO would have gone before Ely had he not gone on DL.
    Lindblom is very efficient as SP but still gets hit too hard (FB is ave. as SP vs RP).I would like to see him as RP extensively this yr like CBills did a few years ago and then we will see about SP next yr.

  11. Mark Timmons says:

    Lindblom and McDonald have both shown they can throw 97 MPH out of the pen, which is 4 or 5 MPH off of what they throw as starters.

  12. lawdog says:

    A .263 average with mabe a dozen home runs isn’t going to make the nut for a third baseman and at Blake’s geriatric age, it’s only going to keep declining. Belliard hits better and does an adequate job at third. Or swing DeWitt back there and let Belliard play 2nd.

    Haeger’s dancer stopped dancing after the first couple of games where he was brillant early and then started walking batters and giving up the long ball. His velcity on the dancer went up as well. The pitch is unhittable with no rotation at 68-72mph. Haeget started throwing it more around 73-75 and it just kind of rolled up to the plate with a hit me sign on it. He’s not going to get anybody out with an 82 mph cutter with a rolling , hanging dancer.

    I think the adrenalin of pitching in the bigs got to his head. Too bad. He was electric in his first game this year. I doubt Torre is going to use him again. Might as well designate him for assignment and let him go pitch for the Red Sox. He’s just taking up a roster spot right now.

  13. Badger says:

    I agree that Paul has nothing left to prove at AAA. That isn’t the point. The point is, we already have a back-up outfielder here in L.A.. His name is Reed Johnson. And the LH hitter we have off the bench is Anderson. When Manny gets back we will no longer need Paul, or Johnson, take your pick. But, the Dodgers have already picked, and they picked Johnson, and paid him $800,000. Talk to Jed about it, he is the one who constructed this team, and obviously he didn’t plan on Paul being on it. The best place for Paul is to be where he gets 5 plate appearances a night, not 5 a week. If I were the GM, Paul would be our 4th. But, I am just a hack with a keyboard.

    Due to circumstances, Haeger might get another shot. Who else they gonna go with? If he fails again, he likely will be sent off. But we have two holes to fill, and we need somebody asap.

  14. lawdog says:

    Do you really think Torre will give him the ball again when he wouldn’t pitch him in a 9-1 blowout in the ninth? If you don’t pitch regularly as a knuckleballer, you lose the edge you need to throw it right. Haeger is screwed until he lands somewhere where he’ll be allowed to pitch regularly. It’s not happening with Joe and LA.

  15. Mark Timmons says:

    Charlie was give the chance – I can’t disagree with what has happened.
    Kansas City is a likely destination – a place where they don’t care if you get bombed.

    Belliard at 3B is an adventure. An adventure I am sure no one on the Dodgers will take unless they absolutely have to. Belliard plays 3B like Carroll plays SS. No one seriously thinks Belliard can play 3B everyday. I think the Dodgers are committed to DeWitt at 2B, so Carroll and Belliard are subs.

  16. Badger says:

    Yeah, you are probably right.

    So, who gets the ball?

  17. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    The two holes in the starting rotation could be filled by Monasterios and Ely. Now I know that neither is a proven commodity, but then again, neither is Haeger. If the Dodgers manage to latch onto a good big league pitcher, then Monasterios and/or Ely can go to the pen. Elbert, McDonald and Lindblom all remains options, be it in the bullpen or in the rotation. And like Mark, I prefer McDonald and Lindblom in the pen. Elbert I’m not sure about.

    I don’t buy the argument that Haeger is suddenly ineffective because his knuckler speeded up. Sure, it may be a less effective pitch in the mid-70′s, but it was apparently uncontrollable in the 60′s. Fact is, if he was still throwing it in the 60′s it would be ball 1, 2, 3 and 4. Now that they’ve seen him, big league hitters know that they can take his good knucklers, and either take a walk or sit on the inevitable 82 mph fastball. As Mark likes to put it, he’s “toast”.

    I believe that Paul could get sufficient at-bats as the lefthanded bat off the bench and occasional outfield replacement. I also think that he would benefit both himself and the team more by remaining on the Dodgers. I think it’s just as important that he becomes comfortable in his big league surroundings as it is to get at-bats in ALBQ. Besides, Anderson has got to go, and X. Paul is the logical choice to replace him. And I think it can only help to let him get his feet wet in the big leagues.

  18. Mark Timmons says:

    1. I would go with Ely and Monasterios as well until McDonald or Weaver was able to try it.

    2. Garrett Anderson was “universally disliked” in the Atlanta Braves clubhouse last year. In what little time I have been around him, he seems aloof or surly. He’s not nearly the player he once was. He’s a “guess” hitter who has to start his swing sooner because he has lost bat speed. In my opinion, this was a bad signing by Ned.

    Cut Bait!

  19. DRomo says:

    Is it just a coincidence that Charlie Knucles stuggles started when Ausmus was no longer catching him?

    Anderson was worth the risk. He didn’t cost much.

  20. lawdog says:

    Haeger threw the 68-72 mph dancer all last year at AAA and was our best starting pitcher at that level. He rarely walked anybody, struck out lots of people and rarely gave up the gopher ball. His first start this year he was throwing it in that range and nobody could hit it. How many did he strike out in less than 5 full innings? I think it was 10. When he cranks it up to 73-75 it doesn’t dance, it just rolls like a hanging slow curve–right down broadway. :shock:

  21. lawdog says:

    Ellis was his catcher at AAA and Charlie did fine with him there.

  22. lawdog says:

    GA is a great example for the need to stop signing geezers!

  23. Mark Timmons says:

    Ellis caught his last two games too.

  24. coloblue says:

    If Dodgers option Haeger right now i don’t think anyone will pick him up.So we could put him back in AAA.He is still fairly young for a knuckleball pitcher. So maybe next yr we give him a shot?

    As far as getting vets in to replace players..why in world would you we bring up Nick Green..in 6 yrs and 300abs he has hit .236..heck Hu can do that without losing a roster spot. silly move.
    If Dejesus were further along in AAA he would be next to get call.

    XPaul should replace GAnderson who is worthless.

  25. lawdog says:

    Green is hitting below the Mendoza line (.219) on the farm right now. Sounds like a blue chipper! Bring his sorry ass up and we’ll continue to get nothing offensively from the ss position. :roll:

  26. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Haeger walked 58 in 145 innings last year, an average of about 3.6 per nine innings. Not bad, but it hardly qualifies as “rarely walked anybody.” Big league hitters are not AAA hitters. As a rule they tend to be more patient, especially the good ones.

    I can see Haeger pitching an occasional good game, especially against a weak hitting team. But he hasn’t shown me that he can be consistently good, and I have my doubts. If he proves me wrong so be it. But without a knuckler than he can throw fairly consistently for strikes, he is not going to be successful. Too easy for good hitters to take the dancer and sit on the his fastball (if you can call it that).

    If he were to remain on the team, Haeger is probably best suited for the bullpen. But even there I’m not sure there’s room to carry him.

    It’s probably worth the risk to option Haeger, and let him continue to develop if he remains with LA. Perhaps he can eventually harness the knuckler into an effective pitch that he’s able to command. But it doesn’t appear to be now. Perhaps if he’s optioned and claimed by another team he will be able to come back successfully to the big leagues. Fact is, he’s probably better served by being with a losing team that can afford to be patient with him at the big league level. It’s not a luxury that the contending Dodgers can afford. And even if he becomes successful, I doubt if he will be that much of a loss that any of us will have any deep regret over.

  27. lawdog says:

    Why not take a lark and bring up de Jesus or Gordon and see if they can make the jump early? I know most players aren’t handled this way by our organization, but lots of teams bring up a player like one of those two early for a cup of coffee and see how they handle it. If they produce, we might not have to wait a couple of more years to have them in the lineup.

    Replace Garrett with Paul. There’s no comparison in the talent area.

  28. lawdog says:

    “Haeger walked 58 in 145 innings last year, an average of about 3.6 per nine innings. Not bad, but it hardly qualifies as “rarely walked anybody.” Big league hitters are not AAA hitters. As a rule they tend to be more patient, especially the good ones.”

    For a knuckleballer–that’s hardly walking anybody! ;)

  29. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Green doesn’t make much sense to me either. Hu is clearly the better defender, and probably offers more upside with the bat. I’m guessing it’s the experience thing. Or maybe they don’t want Hu up and down, and Furcal isn’t expected to be out too long. By the way, is Furcal being placed on the DL as of now, or is it retroactive?

  30. lawdog says:

    “I can see Haeger pitching an occasional good game, especially against a weak hitting team. But he hasn’t shown me that he can be consistently good, and I have my doubts. If he proves me wrong so be it. But without a knuckler than he can throw fairly consistently for strikes, he is not going to be successful. Too easy for good hitters to take the dancer and sit on the his fastball (if you can call it that).”

    If you can throw the dancer consistently for a strike, it doesn’t matter if you’re playing A ball or pitching in the majors–nobody can hit it. If they take the dancer and it’s consistently a strike, you become an overpowering p;itcher with the slowest pitch ever invented.

  31. lawdog says:

    “It’s probably worth the risk to option Haeger, and let him continue to develop if he remains with LA. Perhaps he can eventually harness the knuckler into an effective pitch that he’s able to command. But it doesn’t appear to be now.”

    Charlie pitched the dancer “lights out all year last season at Albertquacky. I don’t think AAA has anything left for him. He needs to get over the adrenalin rush he was getting for finally getting a shot as a 5th starter in the bigs. He’ll never make it as a 5th starter unless he really pitches every 5th day. Most 5th starters don’t. :shock:

  32. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    I believe De Jesus has be playing 2B. Considering the severity of the injury he had last year, I’m not even sure he can handle short at this time. He’s probably better off getting regular playing time to get back whatever he lost by his inaction after the injury. He probably needs to get his feet on the ground before he’s ready to make the jump to the Dodgers. I tend to think that this is a recovery year for him.

  33. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    “If you can throw the dancer consistently for a strike, it doesn’t matter if you’re playing A ball or pitching in the majors–nobody can hit it. If they take the dancer and it’s consistently a strike, you become an overpowering p;itcher with the slowest pitch ever invented.”

    Absolutely correct. One problem though. If you don’t throw it for enough strikes big league hitters will take it, and wait for the garbage fastball (or else take a walk). Minor league hitters, however, for the most part do not have the same level of discipline at the plate (hence, that’s why they’re in the MINOR LEAGUES). Plate discipline is one of things that separates minor league from big league hitters. In fact, the level of discipline increases at each level up the ladder from “A” to “AA” to “AAA” to the big leagues. Charlie is now playing with big boys, and he had better throw that thing for more strikes, or they ain’t biting. There’s a reason why big league hitters make the big bucks.

    Haeger is not a lost cause. At 26 he still has time to harness the knuckler. I just don’t think he’s worth the wait for the Dodgers, who are a contending team, and who also have other options. If Haeger stays, someone else has to go. And I prefer to see what Monasterios, Ely, etc. have to offer.

  34. Mark Timmons says:

    It’s silly to think that the Dodgers would put Gordon at AAA, let alone, the Majors. He’s green and raw and no way close to ready.

    DeJesus was borderline as a SS BEFORE his leg injury. Now, he’s a younger version of Jamie Carroll.

    Raffy will be DL’ed retroactive to his last game.

  35. Michael says:

    Can someone refresh my memory about what the story was about pRINCE last year trying to get in our locker room?

  36. Michael says:

    If any one is coherent in the dugout, will they please go out and tell the second coming to throw the freaking ball over the plate and stop effing around.

  37. lawdog says:

    (It stinks that we have no shortstop on the roster or waiting for a looksee on the farm. I guess Ned and Fred will have to trade the entire AA roster to get a geezer to play out there who can put the ball in play.

  38. Mark Timmons says:

    Michael,

    Fielder went after Mota who can backpedal with the best of them (i.e., Mike Piazza)

    I think in the BIG PICTURE this is good for Clayton – It makes it painfully obvious what happens when you walk a lot of players. This happened to him last year about this time and he was un-hittable the rest of the way.

    Lawdog,

    We need a SS who can pitch…

  39. Badger says:

    This is good for Kershaw?

    That’s a strange thing to say. But, I hope you are right. 57 pitches to get 4 outs, and 7 earned in 1.1. Yoiks. That stinks. And he is supposed to be one of the starters we can count on.

    Hey, Haeger gets another chance already!

    Interesting to read all the takes in here. I can’t add anything. It’s all been said, some of it weeks ago.

  40. Mark Timmons says:

    Sometimes you need beat like a rented mule to wake you up.

    WAKE UP CLAYTON!

  41. Badger says:

    Yeah, I suppose. But this happening to an up and coming star, could also set his confidence back. You just never know. Every outing like this makes it that much less likely these guys will get 200 innings. This bullpen is what is getting beat like a rented mule. Every pitcher that went out there tonight gave up a run, though Haeger did lower his ERA. Maybe Joe will keep him around for these type games. We may see more of them down the road.

    Interesting stat, we had 1 hit WRISP and still managed to score 6 runs. Our first three batters were 1 for 11. Reed Johnson leading off? Not that it mattered on a night like this.

    San Diego and San Francisco keep on winning. We are alone in last place. No where to go but up.

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