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Who Stays, Who Goes?

Who Stays, Who Goes?

I have to agree with Jared about respecting Joe Torre.  I do!  It’s just a case like the “Say Hey Kid” and many others who leave a year too late.  Joe should have retired last year.  He just didn’t have that “fire-in-the-belly.”  $4 mil a year clouds your judgement as when to quit.

Jon Broxton
Ray asked me if I had any inside information on Broxton, and I do not, however it is easy to see that the Dodgers will make every effort to trade Jon Broxton this off season due to (1) his epic meltdowns and (2) his $7 million dollar contract.  However, it may be difficult, as he is a “rehabilitation project”.  Teams don’t like paying $7 mil for questionmarks, especially when the questionmark is not physical.  The Dodgers may be stuck with him.  He is owed $7 mil next year and at this point, I think they would take a mid-range prospect for him.  They waited a year too late to trade him.  Same thing on Sherrill.  Think how different the Dodgers might have been this year without the contracts of Broxton and Sherrill.  They could have afforded another big bat or top-of-the-rotation starter.  I begged them to trade Brox for two years and Sherrill after last season.  Some people think that I am just a “Broxton Hater” and that there is no way that I can tell he is not a guy who thrives under pressure,  Think what you want – don’t judge me by what you can do – but I have been saying that Broxton chokes under pressure for three years and that the Dodgers should have traded him.  So far, I was right!  Everyone makes excuses “he needs another pitch,”  ”He’s hurt,”  ”He needs another pitching coach (I agree).  Maybe he will blossom somewhere else, but results are all that count, and the Dodgers can’t afford $7 mil for him.  It will be goodbye if (BIG IF), they can find a taker.  His stock has plummeted faster than the Titanic!
Kenley Jansen
This guy will be given every opportunity to close next year.  If Broxton is gone, I would think that Kuo and Jansen will both have opportunities to close, along with Belisario, who hopefully will have his head on straight next year.  Belisario is also closer material.  I am not anointing Jansen closer, because he has only pitched 23 innings, but it has been spread out over 22 games and he has been nearly unhittable with a .76 ERA and the league is hitting only .125 against him.  It may be a small sampling, but he’s no “flash in the pan.”
Ned Colletti
Octavio Dotel for James McDonald may be the worst deal Colletti made.  I believe that James McDonald is also closer material.  Someone should have told him that a long time ago.  Yes, I know he has had 2 or 3 good starts with the Pirates, but he still doesn’t pitch deep into games and I don’t think he ever will.  He should have been part of the Dodgers bullpen this year instead of trying to start at AAA.    He throws 97 out of the pen and is built for that role.  Bad deal.  The Carlos Santana deal may ultimately turn out the worst deal if he is what everyone thinks he is (I am not yet convinced he is), but I am convinced that J-Mac will be an excellent reliever.  Octavio Dotel?  Please.  Like other GM’s, Ned has done good things and bad things.  I liked Blake DeWitt, but the Lilly deal made sense at the time, and Theriot is an excellent 2B.  Does the good Ned has done outweigh the bad?  You decide.
Josh Lindblom
This is another case of a guy who I have always said was a reliever, but was attempted to be molded into a starter.  It didn’t work,  and I have to say that if I can see this why can’t the Dodgers braintrust see the same?  Josh Lindblom was switched back to a reliever and had mixed results over the season at that wasteland in New Mexico that kills pitchers.  He will pitch this winter as a reliever for a while, and I still am very high on him.  I think you will see him in the Dodgers pen next season.
Scott Elbert
See Josh Lindblom.  Detect a trend?  Scott Elbert should be LH specialist in the pen.  He’ll throw harder and he’s built for that role.  He had some “personal issues” this year which caused him to miss quite some time.  That could ultimately be a plus as he has less wear and tear on his surgically-repaired left arm.  I also look for Scott Elbert in the pen for the Dodgers next season.
Jeff Weaver
He wants to pitch another year and likes playing for the Dodgers.  If he is willing to sign another deal like last year, then I would keep him.  He got $800,000 last year.  He’s a piece of the puzzle.
Hiroki Kuroda and Ted Lilly
A one-year deal for either one might make sense, but again, it is a risky move.  I would hate to pay more than $8 mil for either one.  I think they can get more elsewhere.  Arbitration?  Depends upon what else Ned has up his sleeve…
Russ Mitchell
This was an opportunity for him and he has not seized it.  He could still be a factor…   as a bench-player.
Casey Blake
This is a guy who is greatly under performing his mediocre career results.  He’s also the kind of guy who might just walk away from his last year.  It could happen!
It should prove to be an interesting off-season.

About Mark Timmons

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

7 Responses to “Who Stays, Who Goes?”

  1. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    I have no problems with trading Broxton. However, if that’s the case, then Colletti has to spin him to other GM’s as being worth quite a bit more than a mid-range prospect. You certainly know my opinion on the looking him in the eye thing, and on that we will just have to agree to disagree. But your statement about it not being physical, of that I’m not so sure (we’re now just hearing that Ethier’s finger wasn’t right until just recently–something both myself and Lawdog alluded to in earlier posts). It’s been very clear that it’s not just an issue of a deteriorating slider, and the lack of a third pitch. His velocity is clearly down. And if anything, that could engender doubts in his mind, resulting in a lack of confidence and fortitude. Remember, this is also the guy who blew away the Cubs in the 2008 NLDS. And let’s not forget he is still only 26. And try not to forget about some of the doubts people have had about Billingsley. I am of the opinion that what he needs is a winter dedicated to reshaping his body, and a spring dedicated, at the very least, to re-discovering his slider. If he can also develop a third pitch, all the better. Along those lines, I noticed that J.J. Putz had a decent year setting up for the White Sox, and that he might be available via free agency. I recall hearing that while they were together on the WBC squad, Broxton sought out Putz to help him with the splitter he was working on (and still hasn’t used). Putz you may know, was renowned for his splitter. Since he’s apparently still serviceable at the least, it might not be a bad idea to sign Putz to some sort of contract over the winter with the idea that he could be of some value to the Dodgers, and perhaps even more so to Broxton. Just a thought, for whatever it’s worth.

    On Sherrill we are in 100% agreement. I never liked him, even when he was having success, and I also thought he was perfect trade bait last year. I wanted to just get rid of him, and it would have been gravy if he had brought back something in return.

    I definitely think Jansen is closer material, but I’d be reluctant to hand him that job exclusively, given both his tender age and his less than two years on the mound. He’s got the raw stuff, and a nice slider and change, both of which likely need some refinement. I’ve previously suggested, as you do here, that if he were used to close next year, it would probably be best advised that he do so in tandem with Kuo. For me, Belisario would only become closer material if he developed an effective offspeed pitch. His slider has much the same hanging tendencies as Broxton’s, and his fastball movement is just not enough to let him get by with that pitch alone (he’s no Mariano Rivera). And his command is also in need of work.

    There is also the issue of the 8th inning. Who gets that job if Kuo and Jansen are the closers? That’s one of the reasons (among others) that I’m reluctant to trade Broxton.

    I’m not sure McDonald will ever be closer material (at least not regularly), but I do agree that he should have been held onto, and utilized out of the pen this past year. And it is not just the 97 mph he can reach with his fastball. McDonald also has a superior change-up and curveball. And with his extremely large hands and long fingers, I’ve always considered him a prime candidate to develop a splitter. Again, as with any young pitcher, he needs to develop better command on all of his offerings. But Dotel? Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeez!!! What was Ned thinking?

    Lindblom remains a prospect, and also a question mark in my mind. Baseball America’s Prospect Handbook noted that “Lindblom blows hitters away with a heavy sinker that breaks bats and sits at 94 mph when he pitches in short stints. He can dial his heater up another notch when he needs a strikeout. His No. 2 pitch is a power curveball.” The “short stints” part certainly supports your argument (one I’ve also made in the past) that he’s a reliever, not a starter. And I couldn’t agree with you more about that “wasteland in New Mexico.” Fact is, I wish the Dodgers could find a way to get out of the PCL, where I consider it near impossible to properly judge hitters or pitchers.

    I can see Scott Elbert working as our second lefty in the pen. Can he also start? I can’t answer that, because I’ve never seen him in that role. With Elbert, as with any young pitcher (especially lefthanders) it’s all about command. He has the pitches, but as with real estate, it’s location, location, location.

    Weaver I have my doubts about. I wouldn’t have said that after 2009, but now is different. It appears to me as if his stuff is in decline, and I’m not so sure he can’t be adequately replaced by another free agent (e.g., J.J. Putz) or by someone like Monasterios, perhaps a reinvigorated Troncoso, or even Cory Wade or Josh Lindblom. And there are probably others.

    I agree wholeheartedly with you about Kuroda and Lilly. Of the two, if I had to choose, I’d prefer Hiroki. Lilly to me is a homerun pitching machine. Like Sherrill, I don’t trust his stuff, and never have.

    Russ Mitchell could probably be a factor. He wouldn’t be the first player to have a horrendous initial September call-up, and follow it up with a productive career. He’s just not someone I’m hanging my hat on.

    Casey Blake’s performance is probably all about his age. Still, as a part-time player and righthanded bat off the bench, he might be productive. If that’s the case, there likely isn’t any room for Russ Mitchell.

  2. Badger says:

    Broxton’s three year splits have him: Pre All Star – .196 BAA, Post All Star .211 BAA and 301 K’s in 227 innings. This year’s second half has skewered all his stats. I know Mark has wanted to trade him for a long time, but those are monster numbers. I don’t trade him because his stock is down. I still think he can be fixed. And for $7 million, they better get it done quickly.

    I read on TrueBlue site that Torre had Broxton out there for 95 pitches in 5 days. For a guy that throws 102 mph (and he did it) you cannot work him like that. It could be that Broxton just needs a rest and new people running the team.

    I’m not optimistic we can sign either Kuroda or Lilly. There will be teams bidding for them, and we don’t win bidding wars anymore.

    As for the rest – what Brooklyn said.

  3. Jaydavis says:

    It’s funny, I was thinking the same thing last night, but with different players.
    Pierre, Wolf, Hudson, Garland,’and never have signed Padilla. Maybe signed Beltre or had Dewitt playing 3B midseason.

  4. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Interesting stuff about Torre having Broxton throw 95 pitches in 5 days. And didn’t Broxton really accelerate downhill after his 48 pitch inning against the Yankees. It’s not like we never heard about Torre’s abuse of bullpens. Good riddance Joe.

  5. Idaho al says:

    After today’s game, I agree completely with you Mark on Broxton and Sherrill. Billingsly pitches his butt off and what does he get out of it? Nothing! I cannot believe Torre did not bring in Jansen or Kuo.

    We are just finding out that Either was not right. This does not surprise me. He has lost a lot of his power. I believe Either could be the slugger we need in the middle of our line up. However, we need to have other players to help protect him. Casey Blake at third base is not an option. We need to trade for a third baseman.

    I do not agree with you on Jeff Weaver. He needs to go. We can fill that role with Ely.

  6. Badger says:

    Torre obviously doesn’t give a crap about these guys anymore. Bills threw 121 pitches today. Why? That’s just stupid.

    Now watch, Kershaw will pitch again this year and he too will throw over 100.

    Why aren’t we seeing some of our younger pitchers? Is it because there are none?

  7. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Badger,

    After the 6th inning when Billingsley’s pitch count in this meaningless game had reached 100, I concluded it was time to take him out. Torre defies logic.

    As I previously stated, I wholeheartedly agree with Mark on Sherrill. Broxton is a whole other matter. Look at the stuff he was throwing up there today. Maybe one or two pitches at 95. The HR was a 94 mph fastball. I saw fastballs register 92. That is not the Broxton we’ve seen in the past. Even the Rockies announcers (Grace and Sutton) were commenting that Broxton didn’t look right, and that his velocity was well below what they’ve seen in the past. Chris Young’s HR was his first career hit vs. Broxton. Doesn’t it dawn on some of you that perhaps there is a physical problem. After all this wasn’t a high pressure game in which you can say that Broxton choked. It’s becoming clearer and clearer that Broxton needs to be shut down, and scheduled for a full scale medical examination to determine if there’s anything physically wrong. If anything, Broxton is not a rocket scientist, so don’t expect him to complain that anything’s bothering him.

    But then again, on medical matters the Dodgers track record isn’t something that inspires confidence. Jayson Werth was misdiagnosed, and had to go to the Mayo Clinic on his own to finally find out what was really wrong. Jason Schmidt passed a physical, it took forever for Tony Abreu to be properly diagnosed, and Andre Ethier was allowed to return earlier this year before he was ready. Am I forgetting anything? Oh, and I wonder what the outcome will finally be with Russell Martin.

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