Categorized | Mark Timmons

The Dodgers Need a Closer, I Have a Plan

I wrote this last week and I’ll keep it up until someone listens.

Javy Guerra has lost his mojo, but I still think he can be an important part of the pen.  Kenley Jansen is not ready to close.  I love Josh Lindblom and maybe he could close, but I just don’t see it right now.  Ronald Belisario could be … who know? Don Mattingly is loathe to use Scott Elbert (even against Lefties). Mr. Coffey isn’t the one and Jamey Wright is wrong for that job.

The Dodgers also have a 5th starter who is merely below average (Harang) but who has excellent stuff, especially the first time through the lineup.  Odds are, he will get it together and be what he has always has been:  a .500 pitcher with a 4.24 ERA, or …

Make Aaron Harang a reliever.  Don’t anoint him closer just yet, but tell him he needs to turn his 6-7 260 pound body into a menacing figure.  One, occasionally two innings.  He can throw 97+ with 4 pitches and I think he would be hard to deal with as a late-inning pitcher – a closer!  The Dodgers have a starter-in-waiting (Nate Eovaldi) who showed himself worthy last year.  Give him the ball.

The Plan

DFA Elbert (Mattingly won’t use him so what use is he?), call up Eovaldi and put Harang in the pen.  I watched Harang for years in Cincinnati and many people in the Tri-State Area (Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky) also believe Harang is a “born closer.”

What is there to lose?  Give it a try.  You could have another Gagne or Eckersley on your hands.

Dodger News

  • The team is starting to look like a Mash unit.  The upside is that we may get a look al SVS soon.  The Dodgers should put Castellanos at 3B when he returns from the DL.  Josh Fields is hitting .311 but slugging only .491 at Albq – yawn!
  • On another note, how is the Dodgers new trainer working out?  Just asking….
  • Ryan Braun just hasn’t been the same most of this season.  Got juice?
  • Jared Massey’s May 6, 2012 Minor League Report

About Mark Timmons

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

42 Responses to “The Dodgers Need a Closer, I Have a Plan”

  1. Dusto says:

    Idiot speaking! Everyone beware, idiot speaking.

  2. DodgerDude says:

    Dude,

    You don’t have to identify yourself as an idiot. We already know that, but thanks anyway!

    Are you a pre-teen or just a spineless little weasel? I am just curious.

    • Dusto says:

      HAHA, that was good. Not a pre-teen or a spinless little weasel. But if your going to post about every little piece of drivel that pops into your head, be ready for the onslaught.

  3. Jae says:

    I don’t particularly like the idea of Aaron Harang as a closer, but what other options do we have?

    Why does this Dusto idiot show up every now and again, just to call you an idiot? You should ban him. He’s scum.

    • Dusto says:

      Harang closing is a legitimate bad idea! I will admit that I am a jerk and other peoples feelings don’t get in the way of how I feel about their ideas. I’m sure Tim is a nice guy and all around “winner”, but some of his ideas are beyond “outside the box” and I feel it necessary to post my opinions about it in the comments section.

      • Dusto says:

        So, instead of just saying you are dumb and not backing anything up with something constructive, I have an idea of my own. And you can shoot it down.

        Koji Urehara. He wont cost much and has legitimate stuff.

  4. DRomo says:

    Ignore a guy who doesn’t use his real name.

    Anyhow, Yeah the closer role is gong to be an issue. I am done with Guerra. It is early but the guy has single handedly coughed up maybe half of our losses? Its time. I would give Jansen a shot. He was groomed for that role even though I agree with Mark he may not be ready. He is better than what we have.

    I don’t hate the Harrang idea. It might be interesting if he would buy into it though. Starters have their routine. It takes most a better part of a few hours to get ready. Would he be willing to shorten that routine, plus give up 4 days off inbetween starts? If he would buy in it might be an idea.

    One thing is for sure health will be an issue. Yesterday was a scary day. This team is going to change. Lets hope it is in a positive direction…

  5. Ken says:

    All the Dodgers need is better players, better coaches, and better work habits.

    Batting
    Season
    Kennedy .115
    Abreu .143
    Sellers .150 to AAA
    Treanor .167
    Loney .202 Must be platooned

    Last 7 Days
    Sellers .000 to AAA
    Loney .111 Must be platooned
    Abreu .143
    Uribe .200 Should go to DL

    Pitching
    Season
    Coffey 13.50 Improve or Leave
    MacDougal 7.94 DFAd
    Elbert 6.75 Will be gone soon
    Guerra 5.84 Should not be the closer any longer
    Harang 5.24
    Wright 4.50 With his movement the catcher needs to sit directly behind the middle of the plate

    Last 7 Games
    Elbert 18.00 Will be gone soon
    Wright 12.00 Where is the pitching coach?
    Lindblom 10.12 Overused
    MacDougal 9.00 DFAd
    Kershaw 6.14
    Billingsley 6.00
    Harang 5.40

    Slump or true abilities being displayed?

    As bad as they are playing they still are 9-9 since their 9-1 start where I said that they could play .500 if the scrubs played more and imporived. Well the scrubs are getting worse and Kemp, Ethier are slumping; 3 starting pitchers are tanking; and the bullpen is crashing.

    Time for a team meeting and find out who is scared of being replaced with all of the new money :) and who mans up and improves.

  6. Wascal says:

    “On another note, how is the Dodgers new trainer working out? Just asking….”

    Too chicken$hi! to be direct? Dennis the Menace doesn’t like girlz in the clubhouse. They give him cooties.

  7. Ragaller says:

    Who is going to play 3rd other than Kennedy? With Hairston Jr and Uribe on the DL? ANyone know of a good prospect or vet in the minors we have?

  8. Bill Russell says:

    I was actually thinking about the same thing yesterday Mark. I hate Harang as a starter so why not give it a try. I agree with Romo that Jensen has been groomed towards the closer role but if he doesn’t get ahead on the count, he becomes hittable. Javy is very cocky for not being as good as he thinks. I also agree that he was very lucky many times last year and now his head won’t fit into last years hat. He’s becoming the new Broxton.

    We have 4 very capable starters and Harang, so it sounds like a win win situation to just give it a try. I don’t know much about Eovaldi, but we could always change back if it dosen’t work.

    The other big concerns are 3rd base and the offense with Kemp out of the lineup. I wouldn’t mind having Trumbo play 1st instead of Loney if a deal could be make. Anyway, now we can see if the new ownership will allow Ned to pick up some missing pieces. We should have beaten the Cubs a minimum of two games this weekend. It hurt my eyes watching the game yesterday. The Cubs are not a very good team. Stay tuned……….

  9. jerry says:

    i said it before..donny leave a starting pitcher in too long..the ave..fan can see if a pitcher is done. any one that has played baseball..harrang is a 4 inning pitcher. and that it.who care,s if he get 5 innning in..let win the ball game.

  10. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    I suggested the following in the previous thread (and I’ve mentioned it before):

    “Guerra’s problems aren’t that he can’t handle the closer’s job, sucks, needs to be demoted, or needs to get back his swagger. From what I’ve observed, it appears as if he is throwing one fastball after another, and making very little use of his breaking stuff.
    I thought he was going to go back to using that stuff after his appearance against Colorado last Tuesday, when he mixed in numerous nasty breaking balls with his fastball. When he does that he’s effective. When hitters are able to sit on his fastball, he’s very hittable.

    Question is, why has he gone away from mixing his pitches? Is A.J. Ellis calling all fastballs, has Guerra lost confidence in that pitch, does Honeycutt have anything to do with it?”
    I’m not ready to anoint anyone else the closer, if, in fact, Guerra’s problems are the result of a faulty approach. Is it anyone’s fault.? I don’t have a clue. But it’s clear to me that he can’t get by just throwing fastballs that the hitters are sitting on.

    Harang? Maybe there was a time when he could throw 97+ coming out of the pen. I doubt if that’s the case now. At first glance, I don’t see Harang as being closer material. Jansen, maybe yes, maybe no. I have a theory about Jansen, which at this point I’m really not sure of. Given the fact that he came up two years ago somewhere around midseason, when he was lights out effective, and then taking into account his slow start last year, and again this year, I’ve been wondering if it just doesn’t take him a while to get things going. Nothing really concrete to go on, so for now it’s just a guess, and maybe not even a very good guess.

    Perhaps the Dodgers just need Billingsley to start. But as I’ve mentioned in the past, I remember him being lights out when Grady Little had him coming out of the pen for a while in 2007. I remember him hitting 97. Maybe he’s an option.

    No matter who the closer is, Eovaldi probably will have a role with the Dodgers, be it in the starting rotation or in the pen (though not necessarily as a closer, probably not at this early stage).

    Does Mattingly leave the starters in too long. Well, it’s difficult to keep going to the pen given the workload they’ve endured this year. And that workload is not likely to get any easier if this team continues its anemic ways at the plate. Part of the pitching workload problem lies in the upgrading of the offense to support the pitching staff. It’s all tied together.

  11. LASLIM says:

    Why not let Eovaldi close? He throws fire.

  12. Bill Russell says:

    Because if Harang can do it, then we can improve the rotation also. If Harang can’t do a good job at closing, then that would be something to look at.

  13. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Not saying Eovaldi coudn’t close. But we’ve seen in the past that closing is more than just throwing fire. If Eovaldi could work his way into the closer’s role I would have no problem with it. But keep in mind that Eovaldi wasn’t all too effective when he came out of the pen at the end of last season. Maybe he was just tired, and maybe he’s matured somewhat since then. But it’s not a given, that even throwing gas he would be effective as a closer. Also, Eovaldi issued 20 BB in just under 35 innings last year. Not the kind of command that you expect from your closer. Eovaldi could be an option, but he’s not necessarily the answer.

    Also, the Dodgers are probably wary of over-taxing his arm, which could become an issue if he were closing on a regular basis. None of this precludes, however, his working as the closer on occasions when the back-end of the bullpen is overworked. But there are others who could do that as well, e.g., Belisario and Jansen, assuming neither is the closer.

  14. Bobby says:

    I looked at that Atl closer last week when we played the Braves. He came up last year and just took over the closer role and won rookie of the year.

    I think it takes a guy who’s just used to closing, thus knowing the ups and downs of the role, to be effective. Not just anyone can come in and do it. We all thought Padilla had that makeup last year and he didn’t impress anyone.

    I think the best solution is to bring up Tolleson and let him close. He closed at rookie ball, at low A ball, at high A ball, and AA. He’s just used to to doing it.

    I’d be comfortable knowing that he knows how to pitch the 9th over a guy who’s been in the bigs but doesn’t know how to pitch the 9th.

  15. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Regarding Guerra throwing too many fastballs, or not enough breaking balls, this from Chad Moriyama.

    http://www.chadmoriyama.com/2012/04/is-javy-guerra-relying-on-his-fastball-too-much/

  16. Mark_Timmons says:

    Dusto,

    Jim Rome says \”Have a take and do not suck.\” Your takes suck, because you just say people are idiots and that you disagree.

    Chapter and verse. Back up your assertions with facts, not just hot air. Thanks for telling me my ideas are outside the box. I take that as a compliment, but give me some facts to back up what you say. For instance, Bobby disagreed with me and he stated some facts:

    1. Not just anyone can come in and do it.

    2. I think the best solution is to bring up Tolleson and let him close.

    3. I’d be comfortable knowing that he knows how to pitch the 9th over a guy who’s been in the bigs but doesn’t know how to pitch the 9th.

    Those are all valid parts of a coherent argument. I may not agree with them all, but I respect his point of view.

    You come in an just say I\’m stupid (I\’d love to see you say that to my face) and don\’t back it up with any type of coherent argument and no one here respects you for that.

    So convince me.

    And to the rest of you: What do we have to lose in trying Harang as closer?

    Bobby,

    Gagne never closed before that first time and I\’d like to see Eovaldi in the rotation. Two problems could be solved or the Dodgers would just go back if it didn\’t work.

    However, I like Tolleson too.

  17. Reggie says:

    I am generally too busy to post here, but I kind of like the idea of trying Harang as a closer. One of the kids, namely Eovaldi, could then step into the rotation.

    Forget what that troll Dusto says. He’s a hack.

  18. Roger Dodger says:

    I have been away for 11 days, and the last 4 without TV or computer . . . So could only visit the box scores on those games . . .

    Here is my take now: tonight is the real beginning of the 2012 season. The first month of the season was against power-puff teams. And the Dodgers won that round and are in first place.

    But tonight, the real grind begins with the Giants.

    Only two hitters over .300 (Kemp & Harriston).

    Pitching: good and not so good. Cap is the leader with Lilly with 4 & 3. Bills & Clayton with 2 wins.

    My thoughts now: go ahead a loose a few games. Show the new owners that this roster cannot keep winning some of those games now facing stiffer competition. Lose some. The Giants, Rockies, D-Backs are only .500 clubs. L.A. would keep in the mix. But if the new owners need some help — truly show the weakness with some loses — and I would think they would move to fix the broken parts faster.

  19. Bill Russell says:

    I don’t feel we should give up on Javy or Jensen, I just don’t think they are ready for prime time right now.
    It seems like every team is currently looking for a closer so we may be in better shape then we think. The main thing that has disappointed me this year with Javy is that you need to start the batters off with a strikes. He is getting behind and then having to grove the strikes. I think to add to Brooklyn’s point about Javy, It isn’t just that he’s fallen in love with his fastball but he’s lost some of his control. I just think it’s time to shake a few things up……..

  20. mike dixon says:

    Dusto!!…your hysterical ..threating some random dude over the net is lame Mark…thought ou were above that…

    • DodgerDude says:

      I don’t see any threat. I have been on a lot of message boards and I have observed that people talk different to your face because they are cowards and think they can hide behind their keyboards – kind of like you.

      • mike dixon says:

        I hope one day you write something that makes sense ….

        • DodgerDude says:

          Dude,

          I probably shouldn’t waste time on a moron, but I went back to February to see how freaking smart you are, so that I could learn from you. HA! Here’s all anyone needs to know:

          2/22/12 – “I predict Dodgers will finish in last place…team is basically the same as last year….but at least we will have a new owner, and will spend big next off season…..this year will be awash so let’s play the kids and see what we have…..”

          2/28/12 – “$2.1?….not even close….even if the new owner makes $100 mil a year off the Dodgers it will take 21 years to make his money back….not a wise investment…these guys are not billionaires by being dumb…..I’d say it will be closer to $1.5 and that is still a ridiculous number…”

          4/02/12 – “Are we ready for opening day?…what you see is what you get Anew….we will be lucky to finish 3rd…N.L west is a tough division…Arizona, the Giants and the Rockies are so much better than the Dodgers”

          4/05/12 – “Jesus Mark you really are a homer…good for you for having faith……My Dodger buddy’s who are hardcore fans and really know the team and baseball in general, say the Dodgers will be lucky to finish 3rd….Arizona is the most underrated team in all of baseball and the Giants have the best staff period…their offense is not that great but its on par with the Dodgers offense….the only way the Dodgers win the division is if Ethier, Rivera, Loney, Uribe, Capuano and Harang all have career years”

          4/09/12 – “Anybody still think Arizona is overrated….?….”

          Hummmmm – I find it interesting that you ridicule others for their predictions and ideas and have such a poor record yourself.

          Maybe it’s just to obfuscate your stupidity!

  21. Ken says:

    Borass sitting in Magic’s box tonight. Good or bad? We will see.

    It is now officially safe to use Guerra tonight as the closer. :) 9-1

  22. Bill Russell says:

    I agree with Ken, I believe Javy can hold on to this one.

  23. Joe says:

    I am not a fan of Harrange anyway, so I certainly don’t want to see him as a closer. He gives up way too many hits. Of course I am not a Cappuano fan either but he certainly proving his worth. I like how the lineup functions on the top, just wish it had more length to it, hopefully replace the human hellicopter Uribe. The Dodgers are 5 games ahead despite the closer issues. Hopefully Jansen can be the guy.

    • DodgerDude says:

      Were you a fan of Gagne before he became a closer? Nevermind the juice…

      • Joe says:

        Yes I was a fan of Gagne when he 1st came up. If I remember correctly Gagne would dominate the 1st time through the order as a starter then implode. Harange to me is an inning eater starter which translate to giving up 3-5 runs for 6-7 innings every start. If they turn him into a closer and he dominates, so be it. As I said I wasn’t a fan of Capuano either but he certainly doing better than I thought and hope he keeps proving me wrong. Not a fan Uribe too and that hasn’t changed although he is better defensively than I was aware of.

  24. Bobby says:

    That play in the 7th is the reason I pray Loney learns to hit. That was one of the best plays he’s ever made, saved 2 runs, and totally changed the game.

    Too bad he cant hit!

  25. jerry says:

    bobby ..agree with you on loney, i thought that is what the coaches are suppose to do..i have been say ..to me the coaches are a waste of money. honey cant teach a new pitch .and someone change loney ..because he use to hit.

  26. Jae says:

    Capuano said that his success is because Honeycutt taught him a new pitch….

  27. DRomo says:

    James Loney is the Tony Gwynn Jr of the infield. Great defense/No stick.

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