Categorized | Mark Timmons

Black Hole at Third Base

Let me start by saying “Just Say No to A-Rod!”

It shouldn’t even be an issue, unless Ned is planning on building an aging team of choke artists.  A-Rod’s choking in the playoffs is legendary.  NO! NO WAY!  NEVER!

The Dodgers need a third baseman, but they need a young, upcoming third baseman.  Forget Chase Headley – the Padres would want way too much.

Luis Cruz is a nice player – for the bench, but I do not think there is any way he will duplicate his success of 2012.  No way.  He’s not that guy.

Mercifully, just release Juan Uribe and ease all of our pains.

Forget David Wright – I like him, but the price is too high.

I really  like Mike Olt.  His stats aren’t eye-popping, but I think he’s got a shot at being pretty good at 3B and his defense and arm play well there.

Dee Gordon is playing SS in winter ball.  There is no way he will play 2B.  No way!   I also think if Hanley plays SS, there is no way Dee will be on the team next year.  I believe he will be traded… probably to Tampa Bay in a deal for Sheilds and/or Price.

The Dodgers have not had a good, solid, everyday third baseman since Adrian Beltre.  I like Mike Olt.

Do you have a better idea?

About Mark Timmons

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

28 Responses to “Black Hole at Third Base”

  1. Ken says:

    I am ok with Cruz starting 2013 at 3B, with Gordon in the wings to supplement the infield if needed.

    Possibilities:
    #4 Arendo, 21, AA, Rockies, 2011 AFL MVP
    #8 Gyorko, 24, AA, blocked by Headley
    #11 Flores, 20, AA, blocked by Wright.

    I agree – no trades with NYY who just finished the post season with the worst BA in the history of post season play, after going 5th in AL in BA, and 2nd in AL in runs scored. But Mark, no one should dare call them Chokers.

    On second thought maybe Hunsacker was not such a good hire because he did help hire a performance pyschologist, Dr. John Eliot “The 2% Effect”, for the Rays.

  2. Badger says:

    “Do you have a better idea?”

    Not at the moment. And I don’t even know Mike Olt. If you say so………….

    Gordon playing SS tells me plenty. The Dodgers are likely to use him as a trade piece because, from all we have been talking about here, Hanley Ramirez is the Dodgers shortstop. In my dream world, Hanley plays 3b and Dee Gordon leads off for the Dodgers. But the brass may not have as much confidence in the young man as I do. Last I read he was 2 for 12 in winter league. With he and Pederson (0 for 19 – I could that) both having trouble, they might just be outta here.

    Both for Shields? Yes. But, I think the Rays want a ML ready bat if they are going to deal Shields. Seems to me they have two pretty good shortstops already.

    If it ain’t Cruz, I have no idea who it might be.

  3. Kevin says:

    We have a 3B….his name is Hanley Ramirez. Despite what Mark says I think that’s where he ends up next year.

    • Badger says:

      Hope you are right Kevin.

      Maybe Hunsicker can get that sports shrink to pow-wow with Gordon. Perhaps it’s not experience he needs, it’s a good talking to.

      Or maybe Dee just needs somebody to listen.

    • Mark_Timmons says:

      OK, smart guy! Let\’s see how smart you are!

  4. Gionfriddo says:

    Olt is a great idea– except we have Seager who will end up @ 3B in the near future.. Plus, Texas is not trading Olt unless it brings back some MLB ready top of the rotation arm.. So, that idea is a no-go.. Cruz & Hairston can split time @ 3rd IMO ..

    I never did weigh in on the Crawford platoon/#2 hole talk, so here goes– Carl Crawford is a -.263 career hitter vs LH pitching.. This is a long way from terrible- not ideal, but it’s doable..

    Crawford is a career .302 hitter when slotted in the #2 hole (2,500 AB’s)–

    Translation– when Crawford returns healthy (hopefully April), he WILL be hitting in the #2 hole AND playing every day– Go ahead and write that down..

    • Badger says:

      OK then, me and friddo have penciled Crawford in the 2 hole.

      That oughta do it.

      You listening Donnie?

      I am sending some noetic personal coaching power of positive thinking non-profit transformative telepathic what the bleep do I know thoughts Dee Gordon’s way… “you CAN and you WILL learn how to get on base. The rest will come easy for you.”

      I would like some help with this please.

    • Mark_Timmons says:

      You guys call me out for saying things that I can\’t backup (for reason of confidentiality) and then you say stuff like this:

      Texas is not trading Olt unless it brings back some MLB ready top of the rotation arm..

      when Crawford returns healthy (hopefully April), he WILL be hitting in the #2 hole AND playing every day– Go ahead and write that down.

      Wish upon a star. Maybe your wish will be granted.

      What a crock!

      Never call me out again when you pull stuff like this out of your a$$!

  5. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Dee Gordon playing shortstop doesn’t rule him out for 2B. And it doesn’t rule him out for shortstop. This winter is probably more about him gaining further experience, getting his swing back after dislocating his thumb, and working on the small parts of his game that need to improve, e.g., bunting and learning to work his way on base more often. If he accomplishes all of that, his winter will have been a success, and then he can come into spring training ready to compete for whatever is available.

    And 2 for 12 tells me nothing. He was out a long time, and it will likely take him a while to get back into any kind of hitting rhythm. Besides, with that many at bats so far, one 3 or 4 will get him up to .310.

    I also think we have a third baseman in Hanley. If Gordon doesn’t win himself a starting job, then Hanley likely opens the season at shortstop. If Gordon steps up and forces the issue, maybe Hanley moves over to 3B or maybe Gordon gets slotted into the 2B mix. Or maybe he gets sent down for a while, comes back, and wins a job somewhere. And maybe he gets traded. There are so many variables that I wouldn’t even venture a guess.

    As for Mike Olt. Maybe he’s good, maybe he’s not. Here’s what Baseball America said about him in a recent rundown of the top 10 players in the Texas League. They rate Olt at #4, and said this:

    “Olt drew attention with a powerful batting-practice display at the Futures Game in July, and by August he had been called up to the big leagues. He led the TL with 28 homers despite leaving a month early, and also topped the league with a .579 slugging percentage.

    Olt is an average hitter, and he took a leap forward this year because of his increased power output from the right side. He doubled his homerun total from 2011, partly because of more friendly ballparks in the TL but also because he showed more patience and put himself in better hitter’s counts.

    A shortstop early in his college career at Connecticut, Olt has become an above-average defender at third base, with soft hands and above-average arm strength. He has good range even though he’s a below-average runner.”

    There is a more extensive report on him in Baseball America’s 2012 Prospect Handbook, where he was rated as Texas’ #3 prospect. That report made him sound a bit more promising. All in all, he’s probably a prospect with the potential to post big power numbers at 3B, and play solid defense. The question is whether or not he will make consistent hard contact in the big leagues. Definitely would be worth getting, but certainly not a slam dunk at 3B (but who is?). Beltre, I believe is signed through 2015, so Olt is currently blocked at that position. However, from what I understand, he can play 1B and maybe a corner outfield spot. If the Dodgers could get him, it’s likely going to cost. Is it worth it? Maybe, maybe not. I already like Gordon, and maybe I’d learn to love Olt, and I still think Hanley is an option at 3B. And if Texas really likes Olt, they’re not going to take the players you suggest Mark. And as I noted earlier, I believe that Corey Seager may be ineligible as trade bait until at least a year after he was drafted (unless the rules changed last year with the new CBA).

    You might be right about Luis Cruz. And maybe he’s just a late bloomer, and he’ll be even better his second time around. I also see Cruz in the mix at 2B, and perhaps even shortstop.

    All in all, it should be an interesting offseason.

  6. Badger says:

    4 zip midgets with no earned runs. That is how the Reds let S.F. back in their series.

  7. Gionfriddo says:

    Agreed Badger– Lynn had the DP right there (it would have been bang-bang with Pence running) but poor execution cost him @ least 3 runs.. Leave the door ajar and these Giants will take advantage. St Louis DON’T want to go back to the Bay and face Cain and Vogelsong..

    Go Cards

  8. Gionfriddo says:

    One final thought– why the hell is Lynn/Molina throwing Crawford a 3-2 curve in that situation?? Crawford had K’ed 8 times in 13 AB’s vs Lynn.. During the 1st AB, Crawford could not catch up to Lynn’s fastball and K’ed… trying to be too cute— stick with your best pitch and that is his heater…

    • Badger says:

      I thought the same thing friddo. It was a pitch on the corner, but Crawford got it. A 93 mph fastball in that same spot would have got him out of the inning.

      SS got him in trouble by not covering. Even if you have agreed who covers on a ball back to the mound, any ball hit to the right side has you getting to the base because the second baseman is moving on the ball. This is stuff you learn in high school. Poor throw, true, but, that SS screwed the pooch.

      Brooklyn, Dee has been back since August. He had about 60 plate appearances before he came to sit the bench and be a PR with the big club. He should be ready by now. So, 2-14 now, against minor league pitchers, tells me he had better get it in gear and it better start soon. The brass is watching. Produce or be replaced.

  9. Mark_Timmons says:

    You cannot HOPE that Dee can be the leadoff hitter for the Dodgers. We are way beyond that and you can\’t put a guy at 2B who has never played there. Dee is gone!

  10. Dave says:

    Turning point of the game? St. Louis had bases loaded, one out with Lynn at the plate. I SCREAMED. . .don’t let him hit!!! keep the bat on his shoulders. Let a HITTER come up with 2 outs and possibly drive in 2 runs for a 2-0 lead (or better/worse). At least give a hitter a chance to drive in the runs. Don’t let your pitcher possibly end the inning on a double play – which he did! Confidence builder for the Giants who then scored 4 runs in the bottom of the 4th? Maybe a mind-fart for Lynn who had to pitch thereafter? (dammit, I failed to drive in a run). MANAGERIAL ERROR in my opinion. I bet tha will keep the Cardinals’ manager from a good night’s sleep.

    • Badger says:

      It just amazes me that Major League hitters can’t hit an 86 mph fastball. Forget the curve. Just sit and wait for the batting practice fastball and drive it to the alley. Unbelievable.

      You can’t score a run against that guy you don’t deserve to win. I initially thought the bonehead play by the ss was the key to the game, but, the key to the game is zero runs.

      “You cannot HOPE that Dee can be the leadoff hitter for the Dodgers. We are way beyond that and you can\’t put a guy at 2B who has never played there. Dee is gone!” Mark

      Well, I can’t come up with a counter point. I think you may be right. I hope not, but, if he can be used to bring in a starting pitcher, then I say do it. Having a guy like that sitting on the bench is just stupid. He needs to play. AAA? Maybe. But sitting on the bench, which is what he would do in L.A. is just plain dumb.

  11. Badger says:

    “when Crawford returns healthy (hopefully April), he WILL be hitting in the #2 hole AND playing every day– Go ahead and write that down.

    Wish upon a star. Maybe your wish will be granted.

    What a crock!

    Never call me out again when you pull stuff like this out of your a$$!” Mark Timmons.

    That’s kinda funny Mark. I mean, all of us can go back over the years and find lots of stuff that you pulled out of your ass.

    OK then, tell us what you see for Crawford? What do your “inside sources” tell you about when he will return, how much he will play, and where he will hit in the lineup.

    • Glass Is Half Full says:

      I thought people were justoffering their opinions….didn’t realize anyone was calling anyone out!

      • Roger Dodger says:

        GHF, this has been going on for 15 years between them. Nothing new. Just to very knowledgeable baseball guys, following and playing, and they have strong opinions.

  12. ken says:

    Post Season Run Differential
    Tigers -19
    Cards +17
    SF -2

    LCS
    Tigers +13
    Cards -2
    SF +2

    Why won’t the gints just choke away the series?
    I am hoping for a repeat of the 1968 WS.

  13. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Like I said, one good game could get jump Gordon’s average. Well, he didn’t go 3 for 4, instead he went 4 for 6. Now hitting .333.

    http://mlb.mlb.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?sid=l131&t=p_pbp&pid=543829

    Of course, by the time anyone clicks on the above link he might go 0 for 6. Or 6 for 6.

    I don’t agree with the assessment that he Gordon was back since August, and should therefore be ready. First of all, even a player who is ready could go 2 for 12. Small samples like that are meaningless. Secondly, Gordon was mostly back for PR duty, with very few at bats, and those were scattered. He probably needs several weeks of playing time to really get comfortable. And there is no question that he’s capable hitting “minor league” pitchers. He’s done that before, and he also tied for the Puerto Rican winter league batting title two years ago.

    The new Dodger GM, Mark Timmons, has decided that “Dee is gone!” What else can I say. Of course, Mark has admitted to be wrong before, so maybe there’s still hope. I’ve been watching baseball too long to give up on a player because of a bad year. Plenty of other players have turned around bad years, and I see no reason why Gordon can’t be one of them. I agree with Badger’s assessments that this year was on-the-job training, and that we will see a refined player come next year. I love the kid’s talent and I love his attitude and willingness to listen to instruction and work hard. In the end, I think all of that will come to the fore. Just requires a little patience.

    I definitely believe it’s possible that Gordon could be traded this winter. Even I’ve said that I would support a deal that brought in significant pitching help, e.g., David Price. At the same time, if I were the Dodgers I would try to avoid including Gordon in a deal, if at all possible. Let’s not forget all the people who wanted the Dodgers to rid themselves of Matt Kemp after 2010. And Matt Kemp wasn’t just a player with a third of a big league season behind him. Gordon has adjustments to make, and I believe he will make them. And, from all I’ve read, Mattingly seems to like him a lot. That doesn’t assure that Gordon will be playing in LA in 2013, but it doesn’t hurt to have the manager in your corner.

    “you can\’t put a guy at 2B who has never played there.” I agree Mark, that moving to 2B isn’t easy. And I believe that, should he be moved there, that Gordon would require some time to get comfortable. But he’s a good athlete, and could probably become passable at 2B rather quickly, and better and better the more time he gets. Probably turning the double play would be his most challenging task. But I also believe that Gordon could end up playing short, and that Hanley would accept a move over to 3B if that’s what the Dodgers want him to do.

  14. Badger says:

    All right. Gordon must have been reading what I was saying about him.

    I think you and I are actually on the same page Brooklyn. We may be reading the nuances a bit differently, but we are both Dee Gordon fans. He was “back” from his injury in Albuquerque, where he got 60 plate appearances. The thumb might have been tender, but they would not let him go full strength at any level if they didn’t think he was ready. The reason he didn’t play at the big league level is because there was no real spot for him. In the pennant drive, Hanley, Cruz and Ellis were going to play. It’s as simple as that.

    As for playing second base, I think I got it figured out. He is at short this winter not for us, but for other teams. If he isn’t moved, he can learn to play 2b in ST. Who knows, maybe he is taking grounders there now. Many infielders have made that switch without much trouble. (I did in college – it wasn’t that hard) The ball comes off the bat with a different spin, but that can be worked on with 100 grounders a day for a two months in Glendale. Mark thinks he will be moved and there is reason to believe he might be – if he hits .333 the rest of the way in Winter League, somebody out there is going to take notice. You just don’t find a SS with that kind of speed everywhere.

    I sincerely believe we are a better team with Hanley at third and Gordon at short. Too bad Dee’s OJT was cut short by injury. He just needs at bats. When he gets his confidence back, he can improve on what he did his first year with the club – which was 34 runs and 24 SB’s in 233 PA. Not bad. That translates to 100 runs and 70 SB’s over a full season. Who does that in MLB?

  15. Ken says:

    Will Oakland flip Chris Young before Christmas?

  16. Ken says:

    As I have been saying for months Gordon CAN play 2B if he sets his mind to it. Certainly he is a better athlete than Biggio.

    Biggio
    1991
    C – 139 games
    2B – 3 games

    1992
    C – 0 games
    2B – 161 games

    If Gordon can not play 2B for 2-3 years, and then switch back to SS, then I will have severe doubts regarding his athletic skills.

    • Badger says:

      Doubts about his athletic skill? Really?

      Not me. Kid got some serious skills. If you can play shortstop in the Major Leagues, which he already has done, you can play any other position on the field – ‘cept maybe catcher. The shortstop is generally considered the best athlete on the field, certainly the best athlete on the infield.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. [...] Black Hole at Third Base Let me start by saying “Just Say No to A-Rod!” It shouldn’t even be an issue, unless Ned is planning on building an aging team of choke artists.  A-Rod’s choking in the playoffs is legendary.  NO! NO WAY!  NEVER! The Dodgers need a third baseman, but they need a young, upcoming third baseman.  Forget Chase [...]… [...]

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