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The Dodgers Could Use Another Von Joshua

The Dodgers Could Use Another Von Joshua

Many of you younger Dodger fans don’t remember Von Joshua, but it’s a worthwhile study in Dodger history to go back and remember this former Dodger.   Von Joshua was a  left-handed center fielder.  In 1970 at age 22, Von Joshua saw his first significant action in the major leagues, garnering 106 at-bats and hitting .266.  In 1971 he had 7 AB’s and didn’t get a hit.  In 1972 Von played exclusively at AAA Albuquerque.  The next year (1973) he hit .252 in 159 AB’s, followed by .234 in 1974 limited action.

What’s the point of this history lesson?  Well, the Dodgers thought so little of him that he was not protected and was claimed on waivers by the rival San Francisco Giants, where that season (1975) he proceeded to hit .318 with a .358 OB% in 545 plate appearances.   That one season was by far, his best season.  He never even flirted with the kind of success he experienced that one season in San Francisco at age 27.

Tony Gwynn, Jr. who is also a left-handed centerfielder whose career-path is not unlike Von Joshua’s career.  Tony Gwynn, Jr. was deemed not worthy to be a San Diego Padre and is now a Dodger.  Most Dodger fans think he is worthless at worst and a defensive replacement at best.  Now, I am not predicting that Tony Gwynn, Jr. will hit .300 and I would advise not to even count on much from him.  We know that he can play all three outfield positions and be a plus defender.  We know he has speed and a suspect bat.

Don’t plan on it, but Tony Gwynn, Jr. could hit .300 with a .350 OB% and never repeat the feat again.  It’s happened before!

While we are at it we need to remember that there are a few other young players who could step up and win a job in 2011, including Ivan DeJesus, Jr. who (in my opinion) is even odds to win the job at 2B.  You may not think that, but I do… and Don Mattingly will give him a long look.  Mattingly likes him.

Also, Trayvon Robinson, Jerry Sands, Xavier Paul, Jamie Hoffman and Rubby De La Rosa are all possibilities to make the team (longshots all). It will be an interesting Spring Training.

See, that’s what makes baseball such a cool game.  You just never know.  While we are thinking that we have a couple of stiffs with Thames and Gibbons in LF, WHAM!  A guy like Tony Gwynn, Jr. could come in and win the CF job, and you know what? It could happen!

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

55 Responses to “The Dodgers Could Use Another Von Joshua”

  1. Original Gonzo says:

    And if my uncle had breasts he’d be my aunt.

  2. ken says:

    Great post that illustrates the desparation of hope for 2011.

  3. Bill Russell says:

    Hey Mark, I’m going to Quizno’s for lunch tomorrow. Thanks for the coupon. Prime rib sandwich is the ticket…….. OG, my uncle has breasts, but he’s still my uncle because of his who haw.

  4. Jaydavis says:

    Did the Giants go all the way that year?

  5. RogerCraig says:

    The Giants finished 3rd behind the second-place Dodgers that year.

  6. Mark Timmons says:

    It is a true pity when one becomes so road-weary, so cynical and so jaded that they can’t even allow themslves an ounce of pleasure and dream of what could be. Oh, I forgot – you are realists! I realize that the Dodgers could have a bad year like 2010, but I also know that SF fans were howling about how bad their team was this time last year. I prefer to experience the joy of baseball where hope truly springs eternal. Then, if the Dodgers do tank, I am miserable for a minute when the season is over, but the cynics, ‘er realists are always miseable. Bah, humbug!

  7. Jae says:

    A cynic is just a man who found out when he was about ten that there wasn’t any Santa Claus, and he’s still upset, and when he smells flowers, he looks around for a coffin and knows the price of everything but the value of nothing.

  8. Rory aka Badger says:

    What ken said.

    What the Dodgers need is a Ryan Howard or a Albert Pujols. Why are we flirting with guys like Gibbons and Gwynn? I think we all know the answer to that.

    “but I also know that SF fans were howling about how bad their team was this time last year”…………………….

    don’t know many Giants fans do you. What they were howling at was the Mannyness going on, how ridiculous our ownership situation was and how great their pitching was – and is.

    But your point about baseball is a good one. I love the game. I still go down to Chase three or four times a year just to take in the whole scene, from batting practice to the last out. I love it. I also enjoy trying to figure out who is making the right moves, which team looks like it has it going on, certain young players that look like they will step into the light. I used to be in a couple of fantasy leagues so I was watching players closely. Don’t do that anymore, but out of habit I still look stats up and read a lot.

    And just because I don’t like the look of our ownership, and just because I don’t really like how the Dodgers are currently constructed, does not mean for a moment that I don’t root for the Dodgers. I love that team. I have for decades. But, the fact of the matter is, you are talking about Von Joshua as if what this team needs is another .260 hitter and that, in my opinion is just sad. Von Joshua? He hit 30 home runs in his whole career.

    How can a real Dodger fan find joy in watching what is happening to this team? McCourt is a bad joke Mark and THAT is what Giant fans are howling about! It is funny to them. This team is missing out on every great free agent and is trading away young talent for the likes of Casey Blake and Octavio Dotel.

    Bah humbug indeed.

    • Santana is young talent,

      McD and Lambo-not so much

      Mark is talking about picking up a guy off the scrap heap and the guy producing-beating the expectations bestowed upon him. See Pat Burrell last year.

      Can one imagine, maybe for a split second, that Gwynn could hit .280 and steal 30 bases for LAD in 2011? LAD needs a two hole hitter, no? Gwynn would be perfect.

  9. ken says:

    Kuo still the picture on Dodgers MLB.com. No money no honey. Maybe Ned is busy reviewing all of the film from the riots in Egypt trying to discover whether any of the rock throwers might become Dodger prospects. Now that would fit in the Dodger minor league development budget.

    It is a true pity when one becomes so road-weary, so uninformed and so jaded that they can’t even read a post in contesx with other posts and understand what is.

  10. the truth hurts says:

    I know what jersey I am going to get now……

    VON JOSHUA!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Jae says:

    Odd choice. I’d suggest Gwynn!

  12. Mark Timmons says:

    Badger, ‘er Rory,

    I’ll bet I know more Giants fans personally than anyone on this board. My wife is from SF and has 4 sisters whose husbands and entire families are Giants fans. My step-daughter and step-son are Giants fans. There are probably over 75 people on her side of the family who are RABID Giants fans, plus all their friends. I get the scoop on the Giants and this time last year they were moaning and bitching – maybe worse than you! ;)

  13. Corey says:

    Ryan Howard and/or Pujols would be nice. But those type of guys come up through the minors and rarely, if ever sniff free agency during their prime years. I think Kemp has the type of talent to be a Howard or Pujols. Hopefully he’ll work hard and get there.

  14. Corey says:

    I don’t think there have been any great free agents recently. If they are truly great there home team works out an extension and keeps them. If they have some warts they get to free agency. Crawford and Beltre are just slightly above average and the salaries they are going to receive are mega expensive. There is no way they can produce at the level required to justify those salaries.

  15. Rory says:

    I lived there for a few decades. I went to school with, played softball and baseball with, worked with, golfed with and went to games with Giant/49er fans. Most of my friends up there, from ’74 through ’08 (with a few years in the frozen hinterlands of upstate Wisconsin – I am still recovering from that) were die hard S.F. fans and I really doubt you know more Giant fans than I do. And believe me, those guys are all having fun with the McCourt saga. Sure, they were pleasantly surprised they won it all…. but most of them expected to beat the Dodgers. They do every year. They too are victims of “hope”. Maybe your friends and family were moaning and bitching, but my friends weren’t.

    And now? You ask for another light hitting no power outfielder and they are talking Repeat…….

    times change.

  16. Bill Russell says:

    Well the Giants are loaded now, they just hired Lou Pinella as a consultant. He can teach Bruce how to kick dirt, hats and throw bases.

  17. ThE OrIgInAl GoNzO says:

    So Von Joshue = Lightining in a bottle. I’ll buy that. We do need it but will IT happen. Pujols will be a Cardinal for the rest of his LIFE. And Howard is a product of the little league field he plays in.

  18. Rory says:

    I wonder ……. if the gints hired Larry Bowa their young players would actually listen to him?

    My guess is they would.

  19. Captain Moose says:

    The point is not to go get Pujols or Howard. Obviously that isn’t going to happen. The point is, we need another bat like we had with Manny Ramirez in this lineup. Is it going to be Kemp? He is the only one with that kind of natural raw ability. It won’t be Ethier, it won’t be Loney and I can assure you it won’t be Gibbons.

    Robinson, Paul, Sands and Hoffman will NOT make the team out of Spring Training. You can book that. All of them will go where they can get 5 plate appearances a night. Hopefully one, or more, will rip their way onto the Major League team. The Dodgers need an infusion of young, eager, energetic talent.

  20. SpokaneBob says:

    Like me, many of you older guys were Dodger fan through the 60′s and 70′s. We expected to be “in it” every year. I find it disgusting that we have not been in the series since ’88. 2008 and 2009 were OK, we had a shot but came up short.

    I don’t like the current situation with our ownership, but there is not much I can do about it. I don’t see any value in continually bitching about it. I would rather focus on the team AND on the positive posibilities rather than the negitive. I’ve got to agree with Mark about the hope that all fans should be able to embrace in the spring. There will be plenty of time this season to point out the negitive aspects of the team based on the results.

    This team is not devoid of talent and in baseball, anything can happen. So I choose to hope for the best and see what happens. We are only 12 days away from pitchers and catchers reporting and I can hardly wait. I wonder if I would feel this way if I was expecting the team to be last years Diamondbacks?

  21. the truth hurts says:

    I never felt more excitement being a dodger fan then those last few months in 2008 when manny ELECTRIFIED this team. I would not miss a pitch and would love the ridicule coming from the yankee, sox, phillie fans because we were RESPECTED for once. I give credit to manny for making our team play like we deserved to go to the world series. last year I watched in disgust on how this team has no soul, no drive, no determination. I cant see anything clicking with this team until they prove to me they can. I see a half ass lineup with a bunch of half ass players. since when did the DODGERS become so irrelevent. it is sickening.

  22. I refuse to change my outlook even amongst all the negetivity!!

  23. SpokaneBob says:

    I agree that last year sucked, especially the second half. My personal opinion is that Torre was disengaged and provided no motivation. Not to say that there was no individual responsibility from players like Kemp and others.

    So we don’t have the Manny of 2008, we didn’t have that Manny in 2009 and when he was out of the line up for 50 games that same guys we have on the team now actually played better than they had when ManRam was in there. Much this year depends on how Donney and his staff set the tone in spring training. This team has a great deal of flexibility for late inning manuvering and double switches. It will be interesting to see how well Mattingly handles it.

  24. Bobby says:

    today’s a good day gentlemen (and ladies):

    ned just signed former giant merkin valdez to a minor league deal!!!

  25. Mark Timmons says:

    Unless the Dodgers team plane goes down there is no chance that Valdez will ever pitch in LA, but why is Ned so drawn to ex-Giants? That bothers me.

  26. Mark Timmons says:

    … OH, Print the tickets!

  27. Ty says:

    It’s nice to cross your fingers and just hope that certain guys will outperform projections but it’s not the smartest way to run a baseball team. The “throw it against the wall and see if it sticks” plan isn’t the most popular plan with most pro teams.

  28. Bobby says:

    mark, or jared, or someone who knows, please tell me this isnt true:

    1) we traded jmac and lambo to pitt for dotel
    2) we traded dotel to col for a player to be named later
    3) dotel becomes a type b free agent, and col offers him arbitration
    4) we get some career minor leaguer as the player to be named later
    5) NOW, colorado gets the 45th pick in the draft?!! so we basically traded lambo and jmac, and instead of taking the 45th pick in the draft, we take a career minor leaguer who has less of a shot of making the dodgers EVER than i do?!!!

    tell me this is not true!

  29. Captain Moose says:

    Hadn’t looked at it quite like that Bobby, but, yeah, that’s how it adds up. Two of our best young prospects for a terminal minor leaguer. Another feather in jed’s protective headgear.

    Could it be, knowing how the Dodgers feel about offering arbitration to marginal players, they took the chance on the PTBNL rather than the chance Dotel would ACCEPT arbitration?

    Mark can answer that.

    Come on Ty, cross your fingers and hope. It’s the best thing we can do now. If we all sit in a circle, hold hands and pray……

    I think your point about Torre is a good one Bob. At times he looked like he would rather be elsewhere. Not as easy to manage the Dodgers as it was to manage the Spankees.

  30. Mark Timmons says:

    Moosehead said:

    Could it be, knowing how the Dodgers feel about offering arbitration to marginal players, they took the chance on the PTBNL rather than the chance Dotel would ACCEPT arbitration?

    I say: ABSOLUTELY RIGHT!

    Would you want Dotel back? Do Tell!

    Would you have traded for Dotel in the first place? Do Tell!

    Let’s see what happens to Lambo and J-Mac, but it seems like a “dope-fiend” move to me.

  31. Mark Timmons says:

    Oh, Bobby, Can’t you sugar coat that so that it sounds a little better. I mean, you make Ned sound like a complete dumbass…

    and no dumbass is complete!

  32. Mark Timmons says:

    Hey guys,

    Consider this: Gwynn , Jr. would not be the first player who finally put it all together in his late 20′s. It happens quite a lot.

  33. Willie Mays says:

    I didn’t

  34. SpokaneBob says:

    And you probably never will Willie.

  35. Captain Moose says:

    I sure hope Gwynn puts it together – and I hope it’s in Spring Training. I would love to see him win the starting CF job, bat 2nd in the lineup and just get on base at .350. I don’t care if he hits .220, just get on base. The way I look at this lineup, the two spot is a huge hole in the Dodgers lineup and LF presents defensive liabilities. Gwynn pushing Kemp to left, and successfully winning the 2 hole solves some serious problems on both sides of the ball – so to speak.

    James McDonald started 11 games for Pittsburgh, averaged just under 6 IP per start with a 3.5 ERA. He is listed as their number three starter on the depth chart. I wouldn’t trade him straight up for a guy like Dotel and neither would Pittsburgh. Lambo could be traded right now for players much better than the guy we got at the end of all of that. There is a list of dope fiend moves the Dodgers have executed and this trade is at the the top of that list.

  36. dtwdodger says:

    You’ll lose that bet on Giant fans Mark.

  37. RogerCraig says:

    But I’ll win!

  38. artie says:

    Andrew Lambo would’ve fit the shoes for that position! I’m sure Colletti regrets it now.

  39. Bobby says:

    i’m sure pitt was shocked that they got lambo and jmac for dotel.

    they’re still laughing over there

    • ray guilfoyle says:

      YEAH, because they had to stop crying over the Laroche deal. Shocked that they are stuck with Lambo who is nothing but a 4th OFer.

  40. the truth hurts says:

    WE NEED TO PROTEST CAIRO STYLE AT DODGER STADIUM.

  41. Captain Moose says:

    Cairo style?

    How about instead we just not show up?

    This is America. We don’t protest with camels and sticks. We protest by refusing to buy. It’s all about buying in this country. We can buy the lawmakers, we can buy our owner.

    We can buy by refusing to buy.

    By buy.

  42. Captain Moose says:

    ray’s back.

    You know ray, I have visited your other site, and you do a darn good job of writing up articles on people who have had plenty of other write-ups on them, but, I have yet to see you say anything about what YOU think.

    Now some have called those who think the Dodgers power ranking of 15, middle of the pack, as an accurate assumption of this teams talent level are called “negative nellies”. That is of course silly and somewhat sophomoric. Fact of the matter is, those who said that last year the Dodgers were not that good, and the season would end without a post-season appearance were right, as were those who said the divorce would drag on and be a problem. I would say that the results show those who predicted right were actually proven to be expert judges of talent and, conversely, those who figured the Dodgers to win 95 and take the NL pennant were not very good at evaluating talent, and were, in fact, dead wrong.

    So, ray, what do you predict? Or, do you just want to stay safely in the shadows, calling people names and writing up things you read about prospects?

  43. Ray says:

    Moose,

    I prefer to think positive about all things in life. Some people prefer to be the naysayer. I have hope for the LAD this year.

    To me, as has been said plenty of times here and elsewhere, last year the core of our team underperformed. Some think that will continue into 2011. I don’t see it that way.

    People called for change. That Torre was the reason for the Dodgers demise last year. The change has come. We have Mattingley who is a different style manager, in my eyes, than Torre. He has brought in a bunch of new coaches to inject new life into the team. I think they will be better than in 2010.
    Ned has solidified the rotation and bullpen this offseason. Last year at this time we had 3 starters and a couple question marks. Not so this season.
    We have 5 quality major league starters, and Kershaw is the ace. He proved the naysayers wrong last year. He stepped up his game and pitched over 200 innings.
    With bouncebacks from the core guys-Kemp, Ethier and Loney-we have a very good shot at getting back to the playoffs.
    I see 90 wins this year.

  44. Captain Moose says:

    OK, fair enough. 90 wins.

    I too have hopes for this team. I really want Gwynn to earn a starter spot. That move gives this team a completely different look. He could be the spark the top of the lineup needs.

    I don’t know how different a “syle” Mattingly has. Afterall, he was trained by Torre. But, I agree that having new coaching was a must. Will it be the difference? Remains to be seen. I still say with McCourt as owner, the divorce will be a sideshow that could hurt focus. How can it not? There will always be the question of whether the team can get what it needs, and there always be news in L.A. of what a clown the owner is. And…. will people show up at 3mil+? If the fans decide not to support this team like they usually do….. it could be a team playing for personal stats planning their exit strategies.

    If all goes well, the Dodgers can win 88-90 games. But that includes rebounds from Kemp and Loney and Furcal staying in the lineup all year. Those things don’t happen?…… another .500 year at best.

  45. Why don’t they get Von Joshua back and have him as a hitting coach. He’s been with the Cubs AAA for years and showing good numbers with the players. I think thats the Cubs secret to keep him in AAA and send the players up. Theres still hope with the Dodgers this year. Love to see the old players back where they started. Lopes and Joshua were all on the same team.

  46. I do not even understand how I stopped up right here, however
    I assumed this post was once great. I don’t recognize who you are but definitely you are going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already.
    Cheers!

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