Categorized | Mark Timmons

Let’s Assume…

Let’s Assume…

Assuming is not always good, but right here, right now, that’s all we can do. Let’s assume that the Dodgers are done trading or signing free agents (I have no opinion either way).  They might be wise to wait until June or July to make a trade out of strength, not weakness, but be that as it may, what is the starting lineup going to look like on opening day?  I think it’s safe to assume that a righthander will be on the mound.  Here’s my pick, what’s yours?

  1. Furcal  SS (S)
  2. Gwynn CF  (S)
  3. Ethier  LF  (L)
  4. Kemp  RF  (R)
  5. Loney  1B (L)
  6. Uribe  2B (R)
  7. Chavez  3B (L)
  8. Navarro  C (S)
  9. Kershaw  P (L)

That would give the Dodgers seven (count ‘em 7) Left-Handed Hitters against Lincecum.

Oh, By the way, the Dodgers weren’t done – they signed Eric Chavez to split time at 3B with Casey Blake.  That’s another assumption on my part.  Boneheaded, huh?

Seriously, if Eric Chavez could be healthy (and he hasn’t been in 3 years), he could be a force against RH pitching.  He’s also a Gold Glover, if healthy.  BIG IF!

About Mark Timmons

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

33 Responses to “Let’s Assume…”

  1. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    “Assuming is not always good….” Certainly, Felix Unger would agree with that.

    But for now, it’s all you have, so the lineup is reasonable. It doesn’t make a difference in your lineup, but it should be noted that Gwynn is a left-handed hitter, not a switch-hitter.

    I wonder about Kemp hitting cleanup. I recall that Mattingly once remarked that he thought Kemp wasn’t ready at this stage of his career to hit 3rd or 4th. Might have also said something about Ethier, but not sure of that.

  2. Lindsay C. says:

    man, didn’t even know they had signed this chavez fella, gonna check out his stats right now, anyway, all that’s left to believe in, is faith…I guess

  3. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Here’s some interesting stuff to think about. Maybe there are assumptions to be made. Maybe not.

  4. SpokaneBob says:

    Mark, we are close in our thinking. I almost posted this yesterday to change the subject. I believe they are going to give Gwynn every chance to prove he can provide enough offense to be a starter. I think they (Lopes and perhaps Wills) will be working with him on bunting for hits and improving his ability to steal. We need the spped at the top of the line up and we just don’t have many options. In addition with him in center, Kemp in right and Ethier moving to left, it gives us the best devensive outfield in recent memory. I would hope that Tony Sr. would be working with him right now on his batting skills and strike zone recognition. He needs to generate more walks and improve his on base percentage. He was cut loose by the Pods and I would think he and his Dad would realize this is his last best chance. In other words I think he will come to spring training motivated.

    I agree with your line up except for Chavez. Until we actually sign him and he proves he is healthy we cannot assume he will be there. Right now I see Casey starting at 3rd. I do hope the Chavez thing works out.

  5. chucky says:

    Mike Scocia Tragic Illness gave this lineup.

    read the comments at the bottom they are telling too.

    We still need a RH left fielder.

    Please Ned do your job, find someone (even if it at the expense of the farm system)

  6. Roger Dodger says:

    I just found some video of Mark and myself at Spring Training last year . . . go here:

  7. Ken says:

    A very safe assumption (A team that I am actually ok with until Frank is forced to sell the Dodgers) if you believe that the Dodgers are BROKE!!!!!

    Are they? Only Bud truely knows. (Frank will only admit as much to Judge Gordon at a strategic time) Speculation, rumors or facts. We will soon see.

    Is everything really hunky-dory! Or is it crying time for Frank as some are saying:

    “Yet even the less-than-dynamic Selig has to be seriously ticked off that the McCourts would pull over $100 million out of the team’s operations to become the Great Land Barons of the Westside. And even the watch-me-leverage-a-parking-lot-into-a-$1-billion-franchise McCourt has to recognize it.”

    “But it’s hard to believe that MLB would offer any short-term financing relief, given his history of turning team profit into Chateau McCourt No.6.’s Buster Olney (Insider status required) wrote that if MLB doesn’t lend McCourt a hand, he could be squeezed out.”

    “The one scary factor in all this, as it always has been, is Fox. Someone explain the concept of “three strikes” to the network. One, it bought the team and ran it into the ground so badly financially that; two, the only buyers who could be scrounged up were the McCourts; three, would be to offer McCourt a rich new television contract to bail him out of this mess. Shaikin wrote that Selig could reject any new television contract, and you can only hope.”

    Even a Dilbeck can be correct some of the time.

  8. Dusto says:

    Ethier should be in left full time no matter what! He’s terrible in right and at least in left we can hide our no glove outfielder a la Manny Ramirez/Juan Pierre. Left is Ethiers natural position and he should play better there, but I wouldn’t expect anything above league average.

    I do like the idea of adding Chavez at third, platooning him with Blake. I wouldn’t mind Gwynn in center as he has potential to be a 2 WAR player. But most, if not all, of his value comes via speed (defense and steals) and walks. Characteristics I like for a bench player. But with his skills he is the best option available.

  9. Bill Russell says:

    Hey Roger, I remember watching you guys doing this dance last year at Camelback. Even the guy that sells lemonaid stopped in his tracks to watch. The guy that walked up and down the stairs saying “lemonaid, lemonaid, the kind that grandma made”. This is priceless. Great moves…….

    I’m confused, did Eric Chavez sign with the Dodgers or not?

  10. Dusto says:

    As far as I know Chavez has not signed with LA. He has a “work out” scheduled for the 20th, and then another one later in the month with two AL teams. But I still like the idea of adding him.

  11. Jaydavis says:

    I can’t see Gwynn batting 2nd, Kemp 4th, or Chavez 7th. Switch those three around and I likes. Kemp runs faster than Gwynn, Chavez has better plate discipline than Kemp.

    • Dusto says:

      But Gwynn has MUCH better plate discipline. If he hits at all he is capable of a 350 OBP. Kemp looks better hitting cleanup.

  12. lawdog says:

    I don’t think Gwynn with his Mendoza batting average is going to start for us unless we land in the basement.

    Ty Cobb was asked once how he thought he would hit against modern pitchers. He thought about it for a moment and said “I think I would hit about .300.” Why so much less than your lifetime average, asked the reporter. “Well,” said Cobb, “you’ve got to remember, I’m seventy-three now.”

    Cobb lived out his later years in a tiny Califonia town–Oroville, CA where I lived for many years while raising my family. The Clerk’s Office there has a copy of a lawsuit filed against Cobb for breaking a man’s nose in a bar fight when he was in his 70s.

    He must have been one mean mother.

    • Dusto says:

      He’s a 2 WAR player. Better than most last year despite his woeful bat. It sure would be nice if he would pull an Andres Torres and be the best center fielder in the game next year. But I’d put my chips on Matt Kemp before I did Gwynn. Again, it would be nice to have an experiment player like Gwynn pull out a career year next year. We need someone to catch fire next year besides the ones that need to just improve from last year (Kemp, Ethier, and Loney). Because Barajas and Uribe aren’t much to write home about with the stick.

  13. Ely's Coming, Better Hide Your Haeger says:

    I still like Lastings Milledge as a free agent signing. We can get someone serviceable without having to trade anyone

  14. Roger Dodger says:

    Gwynn just might be an interesting sleeper for this team. He could mature, that is learn to swing where the ball is coming and get some hits. Learning to bunt better and take advantage of speed and quickness. Maybe . . .

    I kind of like the Chavez possibility for 3b and PH. Also, Lastings Milledge would be interesting on the team (if controllable).

    So the team is shaping up. But so are the other teams. Now the work begins.

  15. Roger Dodger says:

    Oh, on day two of Spring Training last year, Mark and I showed our moves again:

  16. SpokaneBob says:

    Dusto, I think your assessment of Ethier’s defense is incorrect. Although I agree that he would be better in left, but to compare him to Ramirez is rediculous. He threw out 6 runners to Kemps 3 and had only 1 error to Kemp’s 5. BTW Gwynn threw out 5 and had no errors. I watch most games and I haven’t seen any proof that he is a poor outfielder. And you don’t need to point out that Kemp covers more ground, I get that. But Ethier would be fine in left and the fact that his glove is on his right hand adds an extra advantage on balls hit down the line.

    Anyone here care to post their opinion of Ethier’s defense?

    Also, I don’t buy that Kemp is faster than Gwynn. I don’t know who is faster……does anyone elso here have that information or an opinion?

  17. SpokaneBob says:

    Roger, If Gwynn could hit 270 like he did in ’09 and improve his ability to steal, we would be in good shape.

  18. lawdog says:

    I have to agree with Bob about Ethier’s defense. He doesn’t have the range or the rifle arm that Kemp has, but he’s hardly chopped liver. He made some really spectacular catches and threw out many runners at the plate. Put him in left and you’re not “hiding” a player with a bad arm like Manny and Juan. With Ethier in left and Kemp in right you’ve got 2/3rds of a fabulous defensive outfield. Who plays center?

    Not Gwynn/Mendoza.

    Better find someone who can actually hit. Gwynn looked good coming into the league, but the league figured him out and now pitches to the holes in his swing. He’s not the answer.

  19. lawdog says:

    Gwynn will probably hit .220 again. Why else would the Padres cut him loose?

  20. lawdog says:

    It’s interesting. Bob and I couldn’t be more opposite when it comes to politics, but we seem to agree with a lot about the Dodgers.

    I’m not sure why I fid that significant, but I feel that it is. Bob is the only guy on the board that I actually met and had coffee with many moons ago. I found him to be a very likable fellow.

  21. SpokaneBob says:

    Thanks for the kind words Ldog.

    It may be that Gwynn remains a 220 hitter. If that happens then he doesn’t win the job. But where else are we going to find any speed. Furcal and Kemp are the only others who would be considered threats to steal. To maximise this offense we need some speed at the top of the order to provide some energy and make things happen. I don’t expect Ned to add any more players, with the possible exception of Eric Chavez. So I guess we will just have to hope Tony can revive his offense.The outfield defense would be great to watch.

  22. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    If the Dodgers don’t make another move to acquire an outfielder prior to the season, then I’m guessing that in addition to Gwynn, it could be that T. Rob and Sands will get a look. Maybe they both need some time at AAA, and perhaps they begin the season in ALBQ. But if neither one opens the season in LA, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to see one of them get the call in May or June. And when things get a bit more sorted out in July, perhaps the Dodgers make a move at the trade deadline. And I’m sure I haven’t covered everything.

  23. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Regarding Tony Gwynn’s ability to get on base. It was .350 in 2009 and .304 last year. The .304 doesn’t seem like much, but was actually quite good considering that he hit only .204.

    So, if he plays stellar defense, allows Kemp and Ethier to play positions for which they’re better suited, and somehow manages to hit .260, Gwynn could actually prove valuable. At worst, he might buy the Dodgers some time to find another answer, be it be via trade or a promotion of one of their prospects. That said, to a large degree the success of the Dodgers is going to be tied to their pitching, defense and bouncebacks from ELK. Maybe Blake is more productive with more rest, and Furcal has a relatively healthy season, which also includes more rest. In addition to needing more rest, it’s probably best that Furcal doesn’t get 600 plate appearances, since that number triggers a $12M option for 2012.

  24. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    And in addition to better pitching and defense, throw in better baserunning, and perhaps more speed.

  25. Mark Timmons says:

    I have to agree with Dusto – Ethier is not good in RF. He gets poor jumps frequently and allows more balls to drop than he should. He could be a defensive average player in LF, but in RF he is certainly well below average, even though he has a decent arm.

  26. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Ethier has a good arm, but it’s not a classic RF cannon. In LF his arm would be a very good weapon. And I agree that his play in RF leaves something to be desired. If Ethier makes a great catch in RF, it’s probably a routine catch for Kemp. And Kemp’s arm is the classic RF cannon.

  27. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Based on what this guy did in his first professional season, and the carryover into the Arizona Fall League, it looks like the Giants may have another offensive gem. If he cuts it, Sandoval turns it around, and Posey and Huff pick up where they left off, the Giants may well have more than just pitching.

  28. Roger Dodger says:

    I agree with Spokane Bob —

    I have been a Ethier lover since I saw him first play in the Texas League as an A’s farmhand. I think he hold his own in right field. He has made some great catches going to the line, to the base of the wall, agains the wall, diving in.

    X Paul and others are far behind him. Yet, if moved to LF, he would be even better with a shorter throw.

    In Ethier’s 5 seasons, he has 41 assists from the outfield. And 21 errors.


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