Categorized | Mark Timmons

Believe It or Not, The Dodgers are Better

Most Dodger fans are not too excited because it seems that the Dodgers didn’t sign any of the big Free Agents.  They argue that the Dodgers should have spent the money on Prince Fielder instead of the same amount on Juan Rivera (4.5 mil), Tony Gwynn, Jr. (.85 mil) Jerry Harriston (2.25 mil), Mark Ellis (2.5 mil), Aaron Harang (3 mil), Chris Capuano ($3 mil), Matt Treanor (1 mil)  and Adam Kennedy (.8 mil).

Those numbers are what the Dodgers are paying them next year, not counting any deferred payments.  It adds up to $17.65 million, which I doubt that Fielder would have accepted, but even if he had accepted, who would pitch and where would the backups come from?  Mitchell, Sellers, Van Slyke?  I don’t disagree with the majority of these signings.  They were necessary.

HARANG & CAPUANO – See, they don’t have to have “career years” – they just have to do what they do.  That’s all.  Capuano and Harang are not aces, but they are pretty good pithers at the bottom of the rotation and between the two of them you can expect close to 400 innings.  Both of them have had their moments.

RIVERA & GWYNN, JR.  -  Rivera likely won’t duplicate what he did last year for the Dodgers, but he is a professional hitter and should put up “journeyman numbers.”   Gwynn has great value as a defender at any outfield position and is a guy who could become better with age (I’m not counting on it, but he’s still an asset).

ELLIS, KENNEDY & HARISTON - Here’s where I think fans might be shocked.  Ellis is a solid 2B and while he is aging, I think he still has a good year or two left.  He has some power, but he’s best when he doesn’t try and be a slugger.  If I were Mattingly, I would ask him to fill the Number 2 hole and see if he could duplicate 2010 when he hit .291 and had a .358 OB%.  He’s had other years better than that, so it’s not like he can’t do it, because he has been there and done that!

Adam Kennedy will be counted upon to be the designated LH pinch hitter, ala Dave Hansen.  That’s his role – how well he fills it remains to be seen.

I’ve saved Jerry Hariston for last, but he could be one of the best.  He can play all over, including SS and has good base-stealing skills.  He’s a great clubhouse guy and could really be productive if he can play 4  or 5 times a week.  He’s a guy who can hit .270 with a .350 OB% in the right situation.  This is the right situation.  I think Jerry Hariston will be a big plus for the Dodgers.

HERE’S THE DEAL – The Dodgers will rise and fall on the shoulders of James Loney, Andre Ethier and Chad Billingsley.  Loney is capable of hitting .300.  Ethier should be one of the most feared hitters in the NL and Chad Billingsley should be a GREAT #2.    If Loney, Ethier and Billingsley can realize their potential, then this could be fun season.  Chad could have had an injury last year – maybe a leg that didn’t feel quite right (the broken one) – who knows?    The fact is: he has filthy stuff!  I still believe in C-Bill.

Oh… and with every passing day, the odds of the Dodgers signing Prince Fielder get better!  Don’t give up yet!

P.S. Melvin Mora hurried up and retired before Ned Colletti could sign him…

 

About Mark Timmons

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

20 Responses to “Believe It or Not, The Dodgers are Better”

  1. Bball says:

    I totally agree u always say what I’m thinking. Keep on writing I look forward to these everyday

  2. Bball says:

    I have a quick question maybe I’m retarded but if we don’t get prince what does anybody think about Carlos Pena I think he still has some left or are we better off with loney

  3. Anonymous says:

    On Pena — I saw Moneyball (the movie) about a month or so ago — and he was the guy (in the movie) that got traded from the A’s. After he left — the A’s had that big winning streak.

    He has been with the Cubs, and you know how bad they have been playing.

  4. Roger Dodger says:

    That Anonymous is me . . .

    • Mark_Timmons says:

      Roger,

      Boy, that was a low-scoring boring game at the Alamo Bowl last night…

      • emersonlake says:

        I agree with Mark. And what they have quietly done, is put together a possibly terrific defense that will help all the pitchers improve their games. This includes the elevation (2 years overdue) of A.J. Elis to starting catcher–pitchers love the guy, from what I’ve read. Also, my take on The Fat Prince is that he is not needed–because he would force us to dump Loney, who I still believe will be a hitter of consequence, and a key defender who makes the whole infield better. Andre is the key to the season–if he has a full Andre season, he almost is Fielder–remember the year he hit all those walk-off hits, mostly homers?

  5. SpokaneBob says:

    All the writers and the guys on mlb.tv can’t figure out why Prince has not signed. Boras said he is trying to educate the owners on who Prince is. It’s just BS, a stalling tactic. Boras knows the new owner in LA will want to make a big move that will energise the fan base. Add the fact that Prince wants to play in LA with Tony and Matt and it just makes sense to wait. Besides, there is NOTHING to lose by waiting and everything to gain. Prince could sign in the first week of February and it would be the same as if he had signed in November.

    Until he signs with another team, I am expecting him to be our firstbaseman this year.

  6. Roger Dodger says:

    Over a playing season, I am many times, hard on some of the Dodger players, wanting more from them. And the team in general.

    But I have the following to say about NEXT SEASON:

    The Dodger record for 2011 was 82 wins and 79 losses. [Note: one rainout game was not re-scheduled, so the Dodgers only have 161 total games played for 2011.]

    I believe the following –

    That with Dee Gordon at SS, his being there all year, he will make the difference of at least 3 more wins. With his speed on the bases, bat, and glove in the field. Even with some of his mistakes, I feel he will give the Dodger 3 more wins.

    I believe that with a repaired Ethier, a re-focused Loney, and Uribe somewhat healthy – between them over the season, they will make a difference in 6 games between them. That gives the Dodgers 6 more wins.

    The Pen, stronger and more mature; no hanger-on’s coming up. I see at least 4 more wins. Think of all of poor pitching at times last season from the Pen. 4 more wins for sure. They will HOLD and SAVE better, that is for sure.

    Starting pitching will be stronger. That is the five starters. I see at least 3 more wins.

    Manager. After his first season. Making some rookie manager mistakes, I see Donnie making better decisions and giving the Dodgers at least 3 more wins.

    Totals:

    Gordon at SS – 3 more wins.
    E L U – 6 more wins.
    The Pen – 4 more wins.
    Starting pitching – 3 more wins.
    Manager – 3 more wins.

    Thus: with 82 wins last season, I up that 19 more wins in 2012 to 101 wins. And it could be more because the team as a whole will play better and move each other along with winning ways.

    BUT, BUT, BUT – to be honest, must consider the other side.

    Let’s say that Kemp does not have his 2011 season in 2012 and falls back a bit. So I take away 3 games.

    Same for Kershaw, a few more tight games, or games the other pitcher equals him but the Dodgers score fewer runs. So I take away 2 games.

    That bring the final total to 96 wins. I’ll be happy with that !!!

  7. Bill Russell says:

    Not having Kuroda -2 wins
    Not having Broxton +2 wins

    Who knows with this team. It would be an exciting season if Prince rolled into town. I guess we will have to sit back and just see how everything plays out.

  8. Bill Russell says:

    I thought -2 meant that we would lose two more games without Kuroda. And win two more without Broxton. So now that you guys know what I’m saying, I hope I’m not prejudice against fat people.

  9. Bill Russell says:

    Glass, That must of been a foopah.

  10. Roger Dodger says:

    Billy, but what about the 16 losses Kuroda had. See, it balances out. He won 13 but lost 16.

  11. Roger Dodger says:

    Just really noticed, but I believe that the picture with this file (above) is one I took two years ago at Camelback.

    • Mark_Timmons says:

      I can\’t tell if the picture is yours or not. We both took a sequence of these. I have about 30 and it looks like you have just as many. One of us took it…

  12. Mark_Timmons says:

    I realize that wins and losses are not good barometers of a pitchers\’ valve, but Hiroki Kuroda had a 3.45 ERA with the Dodgers and a losing record in his tenure with the Dodgers.

    Some pitchers find out how to win. Others just seem to lose.

    I liked Hiroki, but not at $12 mil… or even $5 mil.

    He wasn\’t a loss.

    Yeah, the stats say \”yada, yada, yada.\”

  13. Roger Dodger says:

    Mark, not that it is a big deal, but I checked my images on the showcase pitcher above of Chad. It is mine from that series I took during his minor league game. _DSC0729.JPG. You cropped in a bit.

    Tell ‘em about the book we have from Vero . . .

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