Posted on 15 August 2011.
The demise of the 2011 LA Dodgers is well-documented. It is also clear that the Dodgers poor record this season can be attributed to THREE THINGS:
Sellers curtain calls after his first big league dinger (photo courtesy AP/Christine Cotter via Ted Sobel)
- James Loney
- Andre Ethier
At the start of the season, Andre Ethier was penciled in as the #3 hitter and James Loney was to be the #5 hitter. Both have greatly underperformed… EVEN SUCKED! If James Loney and Andre Ethier had played up to their potential, the Dodgers season would have been immensely different, but they didn’t and it is what it is. Then the injuries came in bunches, and while some were predictable due to age and wear and tear (Blake, Garland, Padilla, Furcal, Uribe), others were just as insidious (Gordon, De La Rosa, et al). At any rate, the Big Dodger in the Sky frowned on the big club again this year and it remains to be seen if he will ever smile on the Dodgers as long as Frank McCourt is owner.
That said, the Minor League System has a few players worth looking at:
- Chris Withrow, Ethan Martin and Allen Webster all have Top-of-the-Rotation stuff to go with Control Issues – if they can get a handle on their control, the Dodgers have three very good pitchers for the near future. I don’t have to remind you that Sandy Koufax was much older when he harnessed his control. Chris Withrow is not as far away as some think. I think that someday soon, the light will just click on. I would not be surprised to see him in the Dodgers rotation in 2012.
- Scott Van Slyke and Alfredo Silverio both are having nice years in a “hitter’s legaue” at Chattanooga. Could Van Slyke be the Dodgers’s 1B of the future? No prediction from me on that!
- Jake Lemmerman moved up to AA this week. He’s playing SS, but I would expect that if Dee Gordon shows he’s the Dodgers future SS, Jake will switch to 3B or 2B. Jake drives the ball and could develop the requisite power to play 3B in the majors.
- There are many other arms at AA: Tolleson, Solono, St. Clair, Miller, et al and you have already seen De La Rosa, Lindbloom and Eovaldi.
- Gorman Erickson and Tim Federowicz are nice defensive Catchers who both have a chance to hit a little… maybe more than that.
- Kyle Russell has prodigious power but strikes out a bunch – I have no opinion of him.
- At the A and Rookie Level, there are a lot of interesting prospects, but a few I really like are Jon Garcia (he could climb quickly – he really has a quick swing and crushes the ball), Garrett Gould and of course, Zach Lee.
There are lots of other players, including Chris Reed, who could climb quickly through the system, but there are also many at the Rookie level… and who can predict that? The ones I mentioned above all have a shot in the next couple of years. Some will fizzle and some will shine. It should be fun to watch and see. If you are a “glass half full guy” you will be hopeful. If you area “glass half empty” guy you’ll have a different opinion. Choose your poison.
Frank McCourt will not be inducted into sainthood anytime soon, but he’s not the devil he’s being made out to be. It’s a media-driven feeding frenzy. Sort of like our last Presidential election where Obama never got a hard question and the Republican challengers got eviscerated. I am not making a political statement, just pointing out how the press can influence opinions (by the way, the President is not now getting the same treatment he got before the election).
I added a new blog today that could be very interesting today: http://tedsobel.wordpress.com/ Check it out. He has a good interview with everyone’s flavor of the week: Justin Sellers.
Next the Dodgers play 4 games against a team that wins 75% of their home games. That can’t be good!