Categorized | Mark Timmons

Everything is Great… Except for 1B, 2B and 3B

The Dodgers Need a Solution at 2B, 1B and 3B, but 2B may be the most critical.

Let’s face it – Mark Ellis may not be back this year and if he does come back, it will probably be in August, maybe September.  Dee Gordon has been through some growing pains and can’t be counted upon as a leadoff hitter, but I think you have to just bat him 8th and let him play.  It’s a learning process that he has to go through.  Unless he dips below .200, I would keep playing him.  He will figure it out.

James Loney excites no one at 1B and Juan Uribe depresses everyone at 3B.  That’s not to say the Uribe or Loney can’t breakout and have a good season, but the odds are against it.

Of immediate concern is 2B and replacing a player (Mark Ellis) who is arguably the most important offensive player on the Dodgers after Kemp and Ethier this year.

Elian Hererra is on the team and may hit enough to play 2B, but his ability to turn the DP is suspect and I see him as a young Jerry Hariston – simply a good utility player, but not an everyday player.  He deserves a shot, but I can’t see him pulling an AJ Ellis.

Alex Castellanos seemed to be the next logical 2B for the Dodgers but he went down in late April with a hamstring injury and has been on the DL for over a month.   He returned last night and went 2-4, both doubles.  He is hitting .373 and deserves a look-see at 2B.  I think he could be stone cold hitter.  He did make 2 errors last night and has 4 on the year.

Calling Alex Castellanos:  Please report to the Ravine.

AJ Ellis – just when you think “He can’t keep this up” he does  even better.  Walk-off three-run shot.  What an ending.  AJ Ellis, All-Star Catcher”  – I like the sound of that.

More Dodger Notes:

  • It’s likely that Nate Eovaldi could be called up shortly as he pitched one inning in relief last night after being scratched from his scheduled start.  He faced the minimum and struck out all three.
  • Jerry Sands and Scott Van Slyke have shown flashes, but neither one is ready for the show (and they may never be).
  • Matt Kemp and Juan Rivera start their rehab assignments today at AAA.
  • Shawn Tolleson his evidently figured out how to pitch in the thin AAA air, striking out  2 in an inning of work last night and lowering his ERA to 7.11.
  • Mat Magill is turning heads at AA with a 3.19 ERA, a 4-2 records and 60 K’s in 48 IP.  The 22 year-old is on a fast track.
  • Tommy Lasorda is at the Big Race we have every year here in Indy.  He gave a very cool interview on the local Fox affiliate.  I’ll try and get the video up soon.


About Mark Timmons

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

14 Responses to “Everything is Great… Except for 1B, 2B and 3B”

  1. Badger says:

    A.J. Ellis has a .959 OPS.

    Really? .959? Where else can that go but down? It’s a long year, and he has had a great start. But honestly, can this guy maintain a .300 average and a .900 OPS?

    Bummer about Ellis. Is there anyone in the organization that can do what he does? Castellanos? He has played every position on the field that faces the plate, and he has hit every where he has been….. so….. Obviously he isn’t as good defensively as Ellis, but nobody we have is. Herrera? Iontkno. How come every where I look on this infield I see the same player. They all look like back-up utility players to me. It’s like you could put all their names in a hat and pull them out and then let them race out there to the positions. And every one of them is a #7-8 hitter.

    Juan Uribe? Is he still on this team?

    What is going on with Sands? He has a chance to make the Major Leagues and he is blowing it.

  2. Mike Dixon says:

    Juan Rivera can play first base….I hope Mattingly plays him there a few times a week….Dodgers can go with Sellers at 2b if Rivera is in the line-up…..Abreu, Kemp, Ethier, Rivera and Ellis can carry this ball club…

  3. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Badger I generally agree with you, but I do think your comment about Sands is a bit premature. He’s had exactly 17 ABs since coming back to the Dodgers. His 4 hits put him at .235. If it was 5 hits he’d be hitting a better than respectable .294. My point is simply this. You can’t make judgments about a player “blowing it” based on a scant 17 ABs, especially when you can see that one hit in that scenario results in a 60 point swing in his average. Last night he struck out going fishing for a breaking ball away, exactly the type of pitch that hitters learn to lay off when they get consistent playing time (case in point=Matt Kemp). What happens if he plays consistently at 1B/LF? In that case do his at bats become more measured as he begins to relax?

    I commented in an earlier thread that I saw A.J. Ellis coming into the season as hitting .260 to .280 with a high OBP. Obviously he has exceeded that, and has especially been surprising in the power department. I would expect a normal leveling off, but maybe not a drastic leveling. Every hitter goes through a rough patch, so Ellis is likely due for one. But then again, maybe somebody else (e.g., Loney, Uribe, or their replacements) begins to pick it up, thereby balancing the equation. Just the return of Kemp makes things better. With Kemp you just can’t measure his loss during the last two weeks, but have to also factor in that he was slumping prior to being disabled, and that the slump may have largely been due to the balky hamstring that he was playing on.

    Maybe Sands and Van Slyke aren’t ready for the show, or maybe neither one of them has gotten the regular playing time necessary to make any judgments. We all know how much easier it is for young players to break in with non-contenders where they’re allowed time to get adjusted. And I’d say the same thing about De Jesus, who has looked to me as if he’s finally fully recovered from his broken leg, and might be capable of playing everyday at 2B until Ellis returns, and could even be part of a long term solution at 2B. And Mark might be right about Elian Herrera, or then again, maybe he’s the next Maury Wills, coming up at age 27 and suddenly putting it all together.

    Castellanos? Maybe he’s ready, maybe not. I would imagine that defensively he isn’t (unless he ends up in LF), but maybe he is offensively. And the offensive numbers are in question given that his current numbers are out of ALBQ in particular, and the PCL in general.

    Shawn Tolleson? I don’t have a clue. If it turns out that he figures out how to pitch at ALBQ, then I’d say he has a chance. But as dominant as he’s been in the minors, does not mean it will translate over to the show. And with a bullpen that already has Jansen, Guerra, and Elbert, that’s a lot of young, inexperienced arms in the same bullpen. I’m not saying it couldn’t work, but it does raise questions. And if he comes up, where does Eovaldi factor in? Rotation? Bullpen? And does his return mean that Coffey is gone? And as I’ve suggested before, could Billingsley play a role in the pen? I even understand that Hawksworth may not be too far off from returning.

    Lots of questions, but no answers. Trades, etc. could change everything. Since I’m not the GM, I’m satisfied for now just to sit back and wait to see what happens. After all, some of these guys mentioned above may not even be around if trades are coming.

  4. ken says:


    Proposed Batting Order after Memmorial Day

    1. Herrera – S BA .353 RHP .364 LHP .333
    2A. Abreu – L BA .291 RHP .276 LHP .333 (Rest Often-YTD Stats)
    2B. Gwynn – L BA .286 RHP .286 LHP .286
    3. Kemp – R BA .359 RHP .300 LHP .486
    4. Ethier – L BA .323 RHP .310 LHP .343
    5. Ellis – R BA .317 RHP .315 LHP .323
    6A. Loney – L BA .266 RHP .301 LHP .175 Must Platoon
    6B. Rivera – R BA .247 RHP .196 LHP .314 Must Platoon
    7A. Hairston – R BA .328 RHP .273 LHP .400 Should Platoon
    7B. Uribe – R BA .250 RHP .333 LHP .077 Must Platoon
    8. Gordon – L BA .217 RHP .250 LHP .143 No Platoon Candidate

    Plays rarely
    Treanor – R BA .250 RHP .200 LHP .278
    Kennedy – L BA .231 RHP .208 LHP .294

    Kennedy gone when Ellis returns and Ellis is a Platoon player
    Ellis – R BA .273 RHP .220 LHP .360

    AAA Scrubs with Reverse Splits/Need more attention from Batting Coach
    SVS – R BA .158 RHP .200 LHP .143
    Sands – R BA .235 RHP .333 LHP .214
    IDJ – R BA .273 RHP .400 LHP .167
    Sellers – R BA .206 RHP .243 LHP .174

  5. ken says:

    If everyone gets healthy and Donnie platoons the players properly then the Dodger’s hitting will be just fine!

    Crap that means Ned did a very good job with this year’s team.:)

  6. Gonzo says:

    The solution to 1B plays for TEX. If When Hamilton hits FA The Dodgers shoud sign him and play him at 1B. Less injury risk for him and a Power Hitting LH 1B for the team. I bet if this scenario were to happen James Loney’s glove wouldn’t be missed as much.

  7. Badger says:

    You may be right about Sands Brooklyn. 17 at bats this year isn’t much of a sample, but he hasn’t shown much of anything in those 17 at bats. He is 1 for 7 with 4 K’s with runners on. He also started slow in the minors, though he really doesn’t have much to prove there anymore. To me, he looks like a .250 ML hitter with the ability to hit 30 home runs. We could use that, yes, but he really needs to improve his OBP. Lay off pitches out of the strike zone Jerry. I just hope he starts showing more with the at bats he gets here.

    Interesting stats Ken. This looks like a team that will need everybody on it as the year progresses. Ellis is going to need some time off, and with Treanor in there, we lose a lot of OBP. Most of the infielders look like back-ups to me so, nothing lost by mixing them up. Kemp and Ethier need to play every single day. Who plays lf? Whoever decides the position is HIS. I guess that would likely be Rivera, though I kind of expect him to be more mediocre with every passing month.

    Hamilton huh? In L.A.?

  8. Roger Dodger says:

    Traveled to Hampton, VA & then Williamsburg, VA yesterday. Missed my first Dodger gave — that is knowing the score before I went to sleep — last night — in the last 60 years.

    Nice win. But as I recall, AJ Ellis had the same change the night before in that loss. He was up in the 8th with the bases loaded and flew out to deep center.

  9. Roger Dodger says:

    Been thinking about our 2 key starters from the beginning of the season. Now after almost 2 months of play: or –

    #2 Billingsley started 10 games and won 2. Lost 3. In his last 8 starts, he has not won a game. Even lost 3.

    #1 Kershaw started 10 games and won 4. Lost 2. 6 games, no decision.

    I bet many fans had them, after a total of 20 starts (between them) at a total of 12 to 14 wins. So far together they are 6 & 5.

    Thank goodness for #3, #4, #5 starters.

  10. ken says:

    Another Win! Heroes of the Day Capuano (All-Star ?) and Hariston(Welcome Back)

    40 games until the All Star Break with only 2 series against the weak NL West.

    17 Home games and 23 Road games – Prediction 23-17 :)

  11. Badger says:

    Huge difference between our #1 and #2 starters Roger. Kershaw went 233 innings last year, allowing him to win 21. Bills went 188, and he got 11 wins. If you don’t have starters that can take you deep into the game, then the bullpen has to win it. Interestingly enough, both Billingsley and Kershaw had their best year when they were 23. The difference of course is, Bills was 23 4 years ago.

    When Hairston, Gwynn and Treanor combine for 9 hits, things are definitely going right for you.

    I think the baseball gods are pleased with the Dodgers this year.

  12. DodgerDude says:

    The Big Dodger in the Sky is smiling!


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