Categorized | Mark Timmons

My Fearless Prediction

My Fearless Prediction

Bill James at Work?:

Lately, we have been talking about “projections” – especially what Ethier, Kemp, Loney, Furcal, Uribe and Blake will do this year.  Over the years, it has become increasing more difficult to make predictions with this bunch, especially after nearly everyone on the team grossly “underperformed” last year.  Was 2010 just a freak “one-time-thing” or was it a preview of things to come?  I have asked that before and will continue to ask until the players themselves answer.

It has been well established that the entire Dodger team underperformed last year.  Was it because Joe Torre lost his passion, were the players under-prepared or did the loss of Manny kill the team?  I THINK it was all three, and I KNOW that all of that drama is now gone.  Mattingly and Company are determined to right this ship.  I wasn’t a big Mattingly fan, but I am now coming around.  I like what he is doing and how he goes about his business.  I think that Davey Lopes and Maury Wills will work wonders together on some of the players on this team.  Ditto with Tim Wallach and Trey Hillman.

2010 was the first year in a long time that I didn’t buy Bill James or Baseball Prospectus “Projection” books.  I am convinced that the photo above is how they arrive at the numbers they do. [that's a joke, so]  Actually, I’m sure that it’s some sophisticated computerized algorithm, but at any rate, Bill James especially has built his career on the premise that past performance is a good indicator of future performance. My only question is: Which past performance – 2009 or 2010?  I can’t answer that question.  The Dodger players will have to answer.

Will we see a platoon of Thames and Gibbons in LF or will Gwynn , Jr. step up and win the CF job?  Both are question marks.  While the Dodgers don’t really need another LH, they could use a speedy CF like Gwynn, who would improve the overall outfield defense immensely.  The only problem is that Gwynn will probably have to hit .270 and get on base at a .350+ rate.  That’s sounds like too much to ask, but I can dream, can’t I?

The reason I say he has to hit .270/.350 is that he needs to be the Dodgers CF, AND #2 hitter, or they can’t hide him anywhere.  Again, I will say that Wills and Lopes could be critical in Gwynn’s re-development.  He could become that #2 hitter the Dodgers need and I think he’ll be given every opportunity.  Thames and Gibbons on the bench would be nice in the late innings as pinch-hitters.  But, there are options.

There is a lot to be decided.  I am looking forward to an interesting Spring!  Predictions?  I have one – this will be an interesting year!

About Mark Timmons

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

21 Responses to “My Fearless Prediction”

  1. DodgerDude says:

    Ethier and Kemp will both have monster years. Loney will continue to disappoint!

  2. Loose Moose says:

    Playing it safe this year hey Mark. Smart.

    Gwynn is a late inning defensive replacement, and a good one. He was cut loose by the weak hitting Padres, how good a hitter can he be at Dodger Stadium? Maybe Mattingly can do something with him, but it was Mattingly at the helm of last year’s disappointing offense.

    Thames/Gibbons? Really? I already told you what I thought.

    Please Raffy, stay on the field all year.

    It will indeed be an interesting season. Maybe having Lopes, Thames and Uribe will light a fire under the soporific Kemp and Loney. Ethier doesn’t need a fire lit under him. He will have a decent year, maybe better than my prediction, earn his $9.25 million then plan an exit strategy.

    Still no #2 hole hitter, but we have several 6-8 hole hitters. Blake will do what Blake does. This is a team built on pitching, and hopefully the whole staff steps up. The Dodgers are going to need them to overtake the three teams that finished in front of them last year. I got them at 88 wins. If we come out strong, and are in it at the deadline…… will we pull the trigger on that thumper that becomes available? Don’t know how the team will afford it, maybe with 45,000 showing up every night? If that happens, and we do find a Manny floating around that comes for free (good luck with that happening again) then we can win 90+ and be in it until the last week of the season.

  3. Rory says:

    The Moose is still being moderated.

    Does anyone else get that?

  4. ken says:

    Safe and Sane – Staying away from the fireworks?

    Gwynn is the key to 2011.

    Before the 2010 season I predicted 87 wins. I do not see a better team in 2011. Therefore 84 and no more.

  5. Loose Moose says:

    Mark is God?

    Maybe I should treat him with more respect.

    Moderation is the key? I think I have heard that somewhere before.

    84? That won’t win the West ken. Stand by for some negative nellie talk.

    If Gwynn is the key, the door is going to be tough to open.

    Hey, the moderated post showed up. Took a while, but…. thar she blows!…. wait, that’s whale talk. Not fit for moose. Nevermind.

    OK, off to the movies. Taking the wife to see True Grit. I saw it already, she wants to, is buying the popcorn so, I am there.

  6. MillaBlue says:

    A little off topic but you mentioned Mattingly. I am from his home town and played on many of the same high school baseball fields. HE opened up a restaurant and he was there a lot in the off season.

    Mattingly is a cool dude. He is not over his head. He will be a player’s coach and rely on his staff to make himself better.

    If you haven’t heard how he learned to hit………his dad gave him a broomstick at a very early age and threw plastic golf balls at him for years. By the time he saw a baseball it looked like a balloon. Cool story.

  7. Bobby says:

    it’s sad if we’re relying on tony gwynn to hit 280, get on base 35% of the time, and bat 2nd for us. the crap padres dumped him for nothing.

    i’d much rather give the job to t-rob. he won’t do worse than gwynn’s .204 avg last year!!

  8. the truth hurts says:

    lets be real people……

    gywnn will bat….220
    our “platoon” in left field…235
    our stud 3b will hit a whopping….240 (on the upside)
    our catcher(s)…….235
    loney will hit for average, but low power
    kemp/ethier….these two alone will not win any games
    furcal…..100% hitting the DL for an extended period of time when we need him most

    god forbid any one of our starters gets hurt and hits the DL…..

    2011 projected finish
    DODGERS NOT IN PLAYOFFS, BOOK IT!

  9. Loose Moose says:

    uh oh……. negative nellie alert………

  10. DodgerDude says:

    Dude,

    I think Mark is down with people voicing their opinions. It’s just that when you pound it in the ground, over-and-over again, it makes him edgy.

  11. the truth hurts says:

    Not very often would I rather be a Negative Nellie then a Positive Pauly but in this circumstance, the negativity is the stronger argument. I have no reason to believe this team will be better then last year.

    Our lineup is AWFUL. Assume that kemp and ethier will have better years, i assume it will be the same as last year.

  12. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    I don’t have a clue what Gwynn will hit, but .270 with a .350 OBP is not out of the question. Those are his 2009 numbers. If he could approach those numbers again, he would be invaluable given the upgrade that he brings in center field, and also in left and right, since his presence in CF would allow Ethier and Kemp to shift to their more natural corner outfield positions. And despite his poor numbers in 2010, Gwynn’s .304 OBP was good relative to his .204 average. If he can get the BA up to a respectable number, he should be on base a more than respectable part of the time.

    “DODGERS NOT IN THE PLAYOFFS, BOOK IT!” Really. I’m sure that comment could have been made about Giants and Rangers last year. There are no super teams in the NL West, so NOTHING is booked.

    And if Gwynn doesn’t cut it in CF, then maybe the Dodgers make an in-season trade, or an in-house candidate like T. Rob or Jerry Sands steps up. What I don’t want to see is Gibbons/Thames in LF. I think that’s recipe for disaster. Off the bench they provide power threats from both sides of the plate, and that’s where I believe their value lies.

    80 wins, 88 wins, 96 wins. Who knows? I’m cautiously optimistic, since I expect better years out of Kemp, Ethier and Loney, and believe that Uribe will be an upgrade at 2B. Furcal has to remain healthy and productive, Kershaw has to take another step forward, and Billingsley needs to put together a FULL season of productivity. The rest of the rotation looks dependable at least, and while the bullpen looks like it might have all the pieces for success, there are questions that need to be answered (Broxton?, Elbert?, Belisario?, Jansen?, etc.). Even Kuo could be problematical if his arm acts up.

    Mark is right, “this will be an interesting year!” And he’s also right about the picture above, it does best demonstrate how prognostications are formulated. I’m sure it’s what I’m doing right now.

  13. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    I could understand someone believing that Kemp will have the same year as last year, as much as I disagree. Even Loney. But saying the same for Ethier leaves me puzzled. Doesn’t his injury count for anything?

  14. SpokaneBob says:

    A very reasonable take Brooklyn. I am looking forwaed to seeing how it all plays out.

  15. Loose Moose says:

    Yeah, sure, his injury must count for something. What? I have no idea. He missed about 20 games or so. That’s something. And it’s not like he isn’t hot and cold. Check his splits.. in 2009 he hit .211 in June and .212 in September. His finger wasn’t broken then.

    You do know that this injury to his pinkie is chronic, right? I mean, this time it actually got a hairline fracture in it, but it is an issue that has bothered him before.

    The title of this thread has “predictions” in it. So, some of us actually did that. Fangraphs has Ethier at 27 HR and 104 rbi’s, with is average the same as last year. James has him at 24 and 86 with an avg. of .288. I don’t know why these guys came up with those numbers, but I still ask… who is Ethier going to drive in 100 times?

    I don’t see Gwynn coming to L.A. and actually improving his numbers. Maybe he will and that would be great. I just don’t see it. And Uribe? Does he come to L.A., where bats to come to die, and actually improve? I doubt it, but again, it could happen.

    But, I tried to remain optimistic with 88 wins. At least I am putting it out there. If everone remains healthy and has good years, this team could make the move at the deadline (provided money isn’t needed) and get close to 90 wins…. IN MY OPINION.

  16. Mark Timmons says:

    Rory,

    That’s “wild unbridled optimism” coming from you!

    ;)

  17. Loose Moose says:

    Well thanks….

    while it is true not many predicted the gints and the rangers last year, it wasn’t that difficult to see who the play-off teams were likely going to be. It’s the same again this coming year. The good stay good, the bad will likely remain bad and everyone else is in the middle slugging it out. The gints are favored to win the West, for very good reason. The Phillies are favored to win the NL for very good reason. The Yankees are always the Yankees, as are the Red Sox. The White Sox made some moves, the Rays look good, Texas again…… the Dodgers power ranking is right where it belongs… in middle of the pack. Sorry if that doesn’t sit well with Dodger fans, but, I suggest you all get used to it.

  18. the truth hurts says:

    amen

  19. Kieth says:

    Huge fan of this page, plenty of your blogposts have truly helped me out. Looking forward to updates!

  20. DRomo says:

    “I already made my money,” Ramirez said. “I’m here because I love the game, I love to compete. It doesn’t matter how much you make .”
    Manny Ramirez today as he was introduced as a TB Ray.

    I love the new attitude that comes from a backloaded/defferred contract. I wouldn’t care about the money coming in from my new employer if my previous one was paying me still either!! Manny is still being Manny!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks


Leave a Reply

Mandatory Daily Dodger Reading