Categorized | Mark Timmons

No Bull – This is a Pen

No Bull – This is a Pen

As bad as the Dodgers bullpen was last year, there  is a sound belief that it can be 180 degrees opposite of that  this year.  The fact that they have six solid starters who should pitch deeper into games will alone put less stress on the pen and keep the arms fresher.

Quick Question:

Which starting staff gave up the fewest home-runs last season – the Giants 2011 rotation or the Dodgers?  It may surprise you because Tell Lilly was a home run machine with 32, but the Dodgers projected starting five gave up 82 HR, while the Giants gave up 92.  Here’s the breakdown:

  • Kershaw  – 7   Lincecum – 18
  • Billingsley – 8 Cain -22
  • Kuroda – 12  Bumgarner -11
  • Garland – 20 Sanchez – 21
  • Lilly – 32  Zito -2 0

If Lilly could drop his HR totals, which should happen in LA, the disparity could be even greater.  Anyway, back to the pen.  Here’s what it should look like:

Locks:

  • Padilla
  • Guerrier
  • Belisario
  • Kuo
  • Jansen
  • Broxton

Likely:

  • Elbert
  • Hawksworth
  • Troncoso

Long-Shot:

  • DeLaRosa
  • Link
  • Monasterios
  • Ely

Vicente Padilla – I think he can flourish in the pen.  His fastball will run up to 97-98 out of the pen, and if he mentally buys into the move, he has “closers’ stuff.”

Matt Guerrier – Barring injury, if he does what he has always done, he’s a solid middleman, day-in and day-out.

Ronnie Belisario – After a lost 2010, he has been lights out in Winter Ball and is supposedly close to obtaining his visa.  He knows this is an important year, and by all accounts is serious about regaining his role as a setup man or part-time closer.  He another “high 90′s guy.”

Hong-Chih Kuo – All that has to happen is that his arm has to stay attached to his body.  If it does, he is the most devastating LH reliever in baseball.   Can you say “high 90′s?

Kenley Jansen – Flash in the Pan or the real deal?  He’ll have to prove it, but I think he will.  Too much horse power…  Ditto on the high 90′s.

Jon Broxton – Nobody would love to see J-Brox rebound with a good year and be the closer more than me (I’m the one who bad-0mouths him the most).  He would either help the Dodgers immensely or be trade bait which would help the Dodgers immensely.  High 90′s!

Scott Elbert – After an erratic and AWOL season last year, Elbert showed promise as a situational lefty in the pen – If he keeps it up, he’ll make the team out of Spring Training.

Blake Hawksworth -  Barring injury to one of the other pitchers, he’ll be waived, clear waivers and end up at AAA.

Ramon Troncoso – His sinker of 2010 didn’t sink and it made him stink.  If he pitches like 2009, he will shine.  If he’s like last year he will be waived and claimed by another team.  I figure the 12th spot is between him and Elbert.

Jon Link, John Ely and Carlos Monasterios won’t make the team unless they pitch out of their minds and someone else is hurt.  I could see a scenario where Rubby DeLaRosa would make the team out of the pen, but that’s a long-shot.  I do believe that it’s likely Rubby will pitch for the Dodgers in 2011, even if it’s only in September.  Let’s not forget Josh Lindblom, who had an awful 2010, and was converted back to a reliever (which is where I think he belongs).  He’s still high on my radar.  Look for him to work his way back.

The debacle of 2010 can be attributed to a lot of things, but the bullpen woes killed any change the 2010 Dodgers had.  It should be a completely different situation this year.  This years’ bullpen should be “lights-out” not “lit-up. “

NOTES:

  • I’d love to see Kim Ng piss off James Loney at arbitration and see what he plays like with a chip on his shoulder.
  • Say what you will about Gil Meche – He’s obviously a stand-up guy – he let $12 mil on the table, unlike Jason Schmidt who sucked the Dodgers dry.

About Mark Timmons

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

17 Responses to “No Bull – This is a Pen”

  1. Bill Russell says:

    No bull, Milton Bradley is going to be back on the market maybe after another rehab and prison time. Once a crazy, always a crazy.

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

    Once a crazy, always a crazy.

    I don’t believe that. Look at Ron Artest. Ever since he moved to Los Angeles, he’s turned his life around. It’s so easy to make generalizations, but there’s a lot about people we think we know, that we actually don’t. Once again Jon Weisman with another stellar post about this very thing

    • Bill Russell says:

      Good example Ely but let’s say it’s raw. Milton will never turn it around.

      • Ely's Coming, Better Hide your Heart says:

        I’m not saying your wrong Bill… but for someone to say he has no capacity to change…. it’s a pretty absolute statement for such an unknown quantity. most people have the capacity for change whether it’s good or bad change

    • Mark Timmons says:

      Ron Artest still has a home in Indy. He’s one of our customers. Let’s just say…. “he’s different!”

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

    Here’s the article

    http://espn.go.com/blog/los-angeles/dodger-thoughts

  4. ken says:

    So Meche is a mench and Hillman is not. Maybe Hillman will be the 2011 version of Bowa. Just keep him away form the pitching staff and from Donnie ?-Ball when pitching decisions need to be made. With Hillman in the dugout Ned might have decided that he had to sign extra pitchers just in case Hillman is allowed to pull another Hillman. Donnie – Please, Please don’t let yourself be thrown out of any games in 2011!

    If the Dodger and Giant starting pitchers put up the exact same stats in 2011 as they did in 2010, then the dodger starters will be slightly better. Anyone rooting for the Verduci effect upon Bumgarter.

    Bullpen – “can be” and should be. But what if the Dodgers actually need to go with 14 position players and therefore only keep 11 pitchers? Remember how many WS Stengel won in the beginning with a lot of old former stars who were just platoon players for the Yanks?

  5. Mark Timmons says:

    It’s quiet in here. I guess when people don’t say stupid things, there’s not much to say in the off-season.

    I’ll try to write something stupid tomorrow!

    ;)

    I am fully capable!

  6. Bill Russell says:

    The crazy’s / different will be back

  7. Mark Timmons says:

    No they won’t.

    They might try, but they will not prevail.

    I am serious about that.

  8. Mark Timmons says:

    The other thing that will get people kicked off this board is trying to make the same tired point(s) again and again.

    Let me just make this one point.

    This is a new era in LA Dodger Talk.

    Out with the old and in with the new.

    The old posters will not be back.

    Guaranteed.

  9. Bobby says:

    i honestly have no worries whatsoever with your pitching staff. the offense is what concerns me.

    i think bellisario and brox will bounce back. the key will be jansen’s progression, and an in-control elbert.

    the rest of the guys, like guerrier, will be solid in the 6th.

  10. ken says:

    However, if the pitching is good and the offense is average at best then the possibility exists that the Dodgers will play a lot of extra inning games. Therefore the issue of long relievers once again raises its ugly head. Padilla could easily pitch 4 innings twice a week and as a result stay ready to move into an injured starter’s spot if needed. So maybe the Dodgers will need 12 pitchers again next year. Back to work.

  11. Bobby says:

    one thing that i do like is that we’re not forcing any kid who’s not totally ready to be a major contributor.

    by signing the vets like garland/kuroda/padilla to 1 yr deals, it gives another year of experience/seasoning to rdlr, withrow, martin, miller, lindblom, guerra, webster, etc.

    if all goes well, some of them force their way either in spring training, or by may/june. if they’re ready, they replace an injured vet, or become great trade bait.

    either way, can’t wait till it starts!!

    of course, none of this matters now as the bears play this sunday!!!!!!

  12. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Barring injury, I agree with the “Locks” for the bullpen. I suspect that if Elbert acquits himself well in Spring Training, he might have the inside track as the second lefty. If Elbert doesn’t open the season in LA, then Hawksworth/Troncoso could be a battle down to the end of ST. That being the case, and considering the “Long-Shots” and others, the Dodgers should have depth to call on during the season, and perhaps some trade bait as well. And who knows, come August and September the Dodgers bullpen could hold a surprise or two.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jason Bivins, Proud Angeleno. Proud Angeleno said: "No Bull – This is a Pen" http://t.co/LuI6j7A #Dodgers #ThinkBlue #ThinkBeatSF #DeportMcCourt 24 Days till pitchers & catchers report! [...]


Leave a Reply

Mandatory Daily Dodger Reading