Categorized | Mark Timmons

No Team Has More Potential – No Team Has More Questions (25 at least)!

Champs or Chumps.  The 2013 version of the Dodgers could win 105 games or lose 85 games.  Which team will show up?  There are lots of questions (at least 25).  Here’s a few:

  1. Will Carl Crawford be able to come back and be the player he was 4-5 years ago or will be be the player he was in Boston?
  2. Will Hanley Ramirez be a team player and return to his pre-2011 form or become an anchor?
  3. And, while we are talking about him, would he be willing to move to 3B IF it becomes clear that it is in the best interests of the Dodgers?
  4. Will Adrian Gonzalez regain the swing he says he lost?
  5. Will Matt Kemp be healthy after surgery and regain his MVP form or regress to what happened after he ran into the wall?
  6. Will Chad Billingsley pitch next year or need surgery?
  7. Will Ted Lilly recover and resume where he left off last year or flop?
  8. Will Luis Cruz hit like he did in 2012 or like he did before that?
  9. Will Dee Gordon realize his potential or will he be traded?
  10. Will Andre Ethier ever figure out how to hit lefties just a little bit?
  11. Will Clayton be healthy and continue as the best pitcher in the NL?
  12. Will Kenley Jansen recover from his heart procedure?
  13. Will Brandon League re-sign with the Dodgers and pitch like he did at the end of the season, or will he pitch like he did before the trade?
  14. Will Josh Beckett pitch like he did after THE TRADE or will be revert back to being a buffoon like he was in Boston?
  15. Can Tim Federowicz be the backup catcher?
  16. Are any young players ready for the next level (Castellanos, Fed-Ex, Van Slyke, Ames, Silverio, Puig or Pederson)?
  17. Will Matt Guerrier return to health and form?
  18. Will Scott Elbert recover from surgery and be the LH in the Dodgers pen?
  19. Can Paco Rodriguez be ready to be a LH reliever for the Dodgers?
  20. Can Jerry Hariston, Jr. recover from his surgery and be a significant utility man next season?
  21. Can Ronald Belisario put two good seasons up back-to-back (he never has)?
  22. Is AJ Ellis the real deal at Catcher or a flash-in-the-pan?
  23. Does Mark Ellis have another good year left in him and can he hit RH pitching at all?
  24. Can Aaron Harang and Chris Capuano be counted on for another 380+ pretty good innings?
  25. Who will be the Dodgers hitting coach and can he make a difference?

There is it:  Lot’s of questions.  Not many answers!  Dodger fans could be in for one hell of a ride or the could be on the ridge to hell!

I don’t know which it will be.  This team is going to be hard to predict.  For the record, I am a Dee Gordon fan, but I don’t think there is any way Hanley will go to 3B and be a good Hanley, so Dee is trade bait and he should bring a lot.  I still thank Tampa Bay is a logical destination in a deal for Sheilds and/or Price.

I have lots of hope, but there are lots of questions.  It should be interesting to see how the dominoes fall.

About Mark Timmons

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

46 Responses to “No Team Has More Potential – No Team Has More Questions (25 at least)!”

  1. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    There certainly are lots of questions, but fortunately other teams also have lots of questions. I am hoping for the best, and believe that the Dodgers will be closer to the 105 win team than the 85 loss team. A lot closer. But of course, the key word is “hoping”. What I hope for, or what anyone hopes for, is not necessarily what’s going to happen.

    I have some thoughts on some of the questions above, but I also understand that I have to be careful to answer with my head, and not with my heart. Here’s my take:

    1. I’m hopeful that Crawford will return to form, but far from certain. I’ve heard that he played well before the elbow injury, and I also know that TJ surgery is generally successful. But for now, I’m just hopeful, and that’s it.

    2. Looked to me that Hanley still has his pre-2011 skills. Hopeful again, but definitely not certain.

    3. Hopeful again that Hanley would willingly move to 3B if asked. Seemed to me that he likes LA, and wants to stay there and play for a winner. And I think being around players like Kemp, Gonzalez, and Kershaw can’t hurt. I could be wrong, but I recall hearing something about him having a close relationship with Manny Mota. If so, that could help.

    4. Looked at the end of the season as if Gonzalez had actually begun to find his swing.

    5. Adrian Gonzalez I’ve heard had the same surgery as Kemp on his non-throwing shoulder after the 2010 season. He returned the following year to hit .338, 27 HR, 117 RBI. Very hopeful that Kemp will be OK. From what I remember, Gonzalez says he hit in April after his surgery, but that his power didn’t return until May or June. Who knows, maybe it was the cool eastern spring weather. But if Kemp hits early and his power doesn’t return until May or June, I’ll be very happy.

    6. My guess is that Billingsley will NOT pitch in 2012. My hope is that the Dodgers will acquire more than enough pitching over the winter to make up for the loss.

    7. I seriously doubt that Lilly will be much of a factor with the Dodgers in 2013. But as I said above, I expect the Dodgers to be active shoppers for pitching this offseason.

    8. I don’t have a clue if 2012 was the new Luis Cruz going forward, or if he will revert to past performance. If Dee Gordon returns and picks up his game, I’m not sure it matters all that much. But I’m at least a little hopeful that Cruz, if not a starter, may turn out to be a solid utility guy. And nobody what he does, he’s an improvement over Juan Uribe. And for now I will assume that Uribe will be gone come opening day, which if anything, is addition by subtraction.

    9. Hopeful that Gordon will realize his potential. And, of course, he could be traded, in which case he probably brings value.

    10. Andre Ethier hit lefthanders early in his career with the Dodgers. Maybe having Gonzalez on the same team will be helpful, since Gonzalez does hit lefties.

    11. Hopefully the Dodgers made the correct decision to forego surgery on Kershaw’s hip. We’ll just have to wait and see.

    12. Hopefully Kenley’s surgery is successful, and his heart problems become a thing of the past.

    13. Looks like League solved his problems. Hopefully, he returns to what looks like it can be a lights out bullpen.

    14. Just looking for Beckett to be a solid member of the rotation. He looked good with the Dodgers. Hopefully, it continues.

    15. Fedex looks like he could be a successful backup. If it turns out to be a problme, it’s a something the Dodgers can probably correct in short order.

    16. Puig and Pederson are probably not on next years radar, and there is probably no need for them to be so. Some of the rest may make an impact, just not sure what it might be.

    17. Almost forgot about Matt Guerrier. Not sure I even consider him an essential part of the pen.

    18. Scott Elbert? Maybe he’ll recover. We’ll just have to wait and see. Paco Rodriguez did good job, even though he doesn’t have me convinced yet. Onelki Garcia sounds intriguing.

    19. Paco Rodriguez? See my answer to #18.

    20. Jerry Hairston. Here’s hoping he returns successfully following his hip surgery.

    21. Don’t have a clue if Ronald Belisario can put together back to back good years.

    22. Guessing that AJ Ellis is the real deal. If anything, he should be able to get on base.

    23. Really don’t know what to expect out of Mark Ellis. However, he will be a year older. At the very least, however, he should prove to be a dependable, if not spectacular.

    24. Dodgers should add pitching over the winter. Maybe they trade Harang or Capuano. And maybe they continue pitching for the Dodgers. Not sure what to expect. Both should be OK, but maybe not so OK as they were this year.

    25. Don’t even care to speculate on who the hitting coach will be. For the record, I don’t have any preferences.

  2. Badger says:

    The Dodgers have the same issues eery team in the league has. What I believe they will be trying to do is get younger and more athletic. If you have a roster of 40 great athletes, then it isn’t such a big deal if one or two go down with injuries. This team needs to target 30 and under players with a history of playing full seasons. I think the brass knows that.

    I am wondering if anyone knows what the Dodgers intend to do with their overall training philosophy. Sure seems like they have more than their share of DL cases. More stretching, more running, diet education – I have no idea what it is they do now, but I would think that a $200 million payroll would come with some expectations. The problem, as I have always seen it, is guaranteed money. What a concept. If you are going to guarantee that money, you better make sure you are not investing in head cases.

  3. RogerCraig says:

    I have been out of the country for a few days and had no access to the web. It does seem to me that there are a lot more questions than answers with the 2013 Dodgers. There is a “hopefully” attached to almost every player you can talk about. That may not be good. Hopefully it is! ;)

  4. Jae says:

    Mark, this is very depressing. Wow. There really are lots of questions and they all will not turn out positive. Any fans knows that. It seems like everyone thinks that having a lot of money solves all the problems. Ask the Red Sox and Phillies about that. Count me in with the naysayers on Crawford. I think he will be a colossal flop.

    • Badger says:

      Colossal flop?

      Damn.

      I’ll stick with hopeful. This team has the chance to be terrific. An addition here, a prospect coming through there, everyone staying healthy and I can see 94 wins. It’s not quite there yet, but, I believe this ownership will get it there.

      I have told anyone how grateful I am that Paco McUnderfunded is gone? Who let that rat in the house anyway?

  5. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    “It seems like everyone thinks that having a lot of money solves all the problems. Ask the Red Sox and Phillies about that.”

    None of us that think that money can make a difference believe that it “solves all the problems.” It doesn’t. But we’ve seen first hand what not having money means. The Dodgers are now players in the free agent market, in trades that involve picking up some money, and in the international market to acquire young amateur talent. None of that was possible under McCourt. We’re just now “hopeful” that the Dodgers finally have the flexibility to make things happen.

    And by the way, up above in my #8 I said this in reference to Luis Cruz: “And nobody what he does, he’s an improvement over Juan Uribe.” It was late and I was tired. I meant this: “And no matter what he does, he’s an improvement over Juan Uribe.” But I could probably say that about Juan Castro.

    • Badger says:

      Those who are happy about the new owner, and management team, have been clear about this whole money issue. It isn’t about solving ALL the problems, as that can never happen. Nobody, even the Yankees, live in a perfect world. But what it can do is exactly what Brooklyn just outlined. Managed properly, by people who know baseball, it can keep the Dodgers relevant. That is all most of have asked for.

  6. Bobbie17 says:

    You guys have set your sites pretty low. Being RELEVANT? The team was relevant in 2012. Wasn’t that fun? The Giants have a pat team for years. It is still the gold standard in the West. Pitching, young, healthy, and good. To be successful against the Giants, Blue must hit, hit, hit, and hit. No Dee Gordons, please. The offensive players they have must come across; or relevant is the best they will be.

    • Badger says:

      relevant: having significant and demonstrable bearing on the matter at hand

      The matter of course being a run at a championship. And yeah, 2012 was exciting for some. Seems to me I remember you quit early B17. My team was in it til the end of the season. I like that. I want my team in it every year, and with this new ownership I believe they will be. To be more succinct, relevant to me means making the play-offs.

      I agree that the Dodgers need to hit. And, with the new players, I think they will hit. Our pitching is already better than is S.F.’s so, it’s going to be about scoring next year. I think we will do much better. The Dodgers were 26th in scoring last year, the gints 12th. I predict we will outscore them next year.

  7. Ken says:

    Being a baseball fan is often like being a proactive, wise and hopeful gardener. Every winter the bushes lose there flowers and even some lose their leaves. The perennials start to fade, wilt and die. However, the gardener is full of hope and therefore tends to his garden during the fall and winter with proper cover and fertilizers and looks forward to the spring for the days that all of his bulbs and plants will begin to burst forth in the healthy branches, leaves and flowers. He knows that he will have to fight the droughts, the heat, and insects every year but the joy of seeing his garden grow and thrive with healthy plants and bountiful flowers is worth the wait. The aggravation of fighting the weather and insects during the dog days of summer often leads to disagreements with other gardeners regarding how to deal with the issues that arise. However, the joy of gardening never fails.

  8. Gionfriddo says:

    Good list up top–Just got back into town after some travel & instead of going over it, I will defer to Brooklyn and his analysis because it mirrors a lot of my thoughts.

    Mark, in regards to you thinking I “called you out” on the Olt issue and the Crawford situation (2 hole and everyday LF upon return) and it being a crock and pulling stuff out of my a$$— I say go pound sand, pal.. One of the few holdover Dodger executives who transitioned over from the McCourt days is a lifelong friend of mine. We grew up in the same town, lived on the same block, attended the same HS, and stay in contact to this day. Like you, I’m not giving out that info on this person, but trust me, what I said about Crawford IS NOT me pulling s… out of my rear– they got the guy with the intention and the hedging of bets that: 1. He would return to his glory days in Tampa once fully recovered from his injury issues and 2. he would be the ideal #2 hitter that he was in Tampa.. you don’t believe in that, oh well, this is not my concern or worry..

  9. Ken says:

    1. No, but 2012 extrapolated into 162 games was above average and ok.
    2. Yes, No, justy a floater.
    3. Yes if Gordon hits .360 in AAA and Cruz hits .199 in April
    4. N/A he already found it
    5. Yes, NO, NO. He will be above average.
    6. Return but surgery by May
    7. Yes but flop and Ned knows it
    8. .260
    9. Yes, NO, but at 2B
    10. Yes
    11. Yes, NO, 180 IP, 3.00 ERA
    12. Yes
    13. Yes, Yes, No
    14. Yes, No
    15. Yes, but Ned will find someone else
    16. No.
    17. No.
    18. Yes, Yes
    19. Yes
    20. Yes.
    21. Yes.
    22. Yes, No.
    23. Yes, No.
    24. No.
    25. N/A. It is up to the players anyway

  10. Gonzo says:

    B17, the giants are the gold standard? Really? It seems that minus that streak at the end of the yearone Melky Cabrera was the reason that they were officially winning games. i wonder how many of those games they won because of Melky?

  11. SpokaneBob says:

    Ken…… Were you in the movie Being There ?

  12. Roger Dodger says:

    Gee, If I were the CEO of Bain . . . and saw your list Mark — I would not buy stock in the team. Too many questions, too many factors unsettled.

    In fact, I would do what Bain does, bring in a lot of Chinese labor, they must have some players healthy over there.

    • Reggie says:

      That is totally inaccurate. When I am from they call that bullshit.

    • Badger says:

      Oh, I think Bain could make a buck or two off the Dodgers.

      Speaking of Bain, did you read Taibbi’s piece about Romeny and Bain in the Rolling Stone? Man, what a nightmare of a company.

      When Reggie is from, they call that bullshit. Whatever the hell that means.

  13. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/8532919/shohei-otani-japanese-high-school-fireballer-opting-mlb

    The Dodgers are one of the teams expected to bid for Otani. However, given the limits on international spending before penalties kick in, I wonder how much they, or any team, will bid. Guessing this won’t play out until after the World Series. In fact, once the Series begins, I believe there is a news blackout that prevents teams from announcing anything of significance until after the Series is over.

    • Badger says:

      I read that too Brooklyn. The Dodgers make the most sense. They have a rich history with the Pacific Rim, or on the Pacific Rim, and can have this kid stay and pitch on the Pacific Rim (start with Rancho Cucamonga). I hope the Dodgers go hard after this kid. It will not only improve our system, it will send a message.

      I am not enjoying this post season. I haven’t watched much, just reading about it. Is St. Louis going to go to sleep like the Reds did? Gotta give credit where credit is due – the midgets play as a team. Hope the Dodgers are watching.

      I noticed Joc Pederson got a couple of singles. He has his OPS up to .237 now. Gordon doing better – .393 OBP, 8 hits, 7 of them singles, 6 K’s and 2 BB’s. I wonder what his D game looks like. Anyone know?

      And KState moves past Oregon in the BCS. When will the BCS be blown up? Soon I hope. Everyone would love to see a Oregon Alabama match-up. But, Oregon will have to beat USC, probably twice. Don’t know if anyone could do that. And, after they play SC, Stanford and Oregon State, if they win them all, maybe they move back into the #2 slot.

      Lakers are 0-6, but, man, what a team.

  14. Ken says:

    Can anyone name 5 MLB ready pitchers in the Dominican League. Looks like DWL is full of AA & Hi-A pitchers this year.

  15. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    I wondered about Gordon’s defense too. Somebody must know. Any websites with that info?

  16. Ken says:

    Do DWL stats mean anything?

    Eugenio Velez
    OBP = .375
    OPS = .940

  17. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Don’t get carried away Ken. Prior to playing for the Dodgers Eugenio Velez was a lifetime .256 major league hitter. His 0 for 37 with the Dodgers knocked that down to .241. He wasn’t an offensive machine before coming to the Dodgers, but he wasn’t hopeless either. 2011 was if anything an aberration.

    Mark, is there a website where we can get that fielding info?

  18. Ken says:

    If Otani does not sign by Wed night will he automatically become the property of a Japanese team under the agreement between MLB and NPB?

  19. Bobby says:

    Go Cards tonight!! (please)

    • Badger says:

      Go Cards. They have had two opportunities to shut the door. I won’t see much of it but am hopeful.

      Saw Argo today. Enjoyed it.

      Hey Mark, got the R.O. System installed today. Good price, good product. Thanks.

  20. Michael says:

    If Scuturo keeps flipping hits into RF why in the heck don’t you pitch him inside? Freaking MORONS!
    GO TIGERS!!!

  21. Michael says:

    I’m afraid it might be the perfect storm; SF wins, Romney wins and te Mayan prediction of December 21 comes to fruition.

    It’s been real

    • Badger says:

      House of cards.

      Morons are everywhere Michael. That is why we had Bush and that is why Romney has a chance. The Mayan calendar is round. We just enter a new age. It’s a pole shift that I would be looking out for. Where I live has been underwater several times. Could it be again? Of course it could.

      • Jas says:

        As long as we get the biggest moron of all out of the White House, all things will be better.

        • Badger says:

          Don’t be a hater Jas. The middle class needs to be represented. You 1%ers have had it your way for a long time.

          Go Tigers!

          • Jas says:

            I work in a factory and make less than $50K a year, but I am not easily duped and there is no way America can survive such huge deficits. Obama’s way is the road to destruction. He is as stupid as Bush.

          • Badger says:

            “He is as stupid as Bush.”

            I don’t believe that is possible.

            “there is no way America can survive such huge deficits”

            Have some faith man. Reagan borrowed enough money to create a debt that equaled a stack of dollar bills from here to the moon. We survived that. 8 years of Clinton and that debt was wiped out. We can do it again if we just stop the wars and put people back to work.

            FYI:

            Reagan increased our debt 11.3%
            Bush 20.7%
            Obama so far 9%

            We can get out of this if we all pull on the same end of the rope. Don’t be a Teabilly Jas. We are all in this together.

            Except for midget fans. Screw them. And screw the midgets. What a sad showing by the “World Champions”. They rolled over like puppy dogs. Go Tigers.

  22. jerry says:

    BELL GOT TRADED TO ARIZ,, THAT SHOULD HELP THEM..HE IS A GOOD RELIVER.

  23. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Ken, I’m certainly not impressed by your interpretive skills. So you were making a point and not expecting a reply. OK, guessed I missed that. Sounded to me as if you were trivializing Gordon’s good start by questioning the competition against which he is competing, competition against which even Eugenio Velez can put up good numbers.

    Wonder if I should take this any further? Forget it, no need to answer that.

    • Badger says:

      “Sounded to me as if you were trivializing Gordon’s good start by questioning the competition against which he is competing, competition against which even Eugenio Velez can put up good numbers.”

      He was.

  24. Dave says:

    Damn Giants! From Wikipedia. . . “As one of the oldest baseball teams, [the Giants] have won the most games of any team in the history of American baseball, and any North American professional sports team. They have won 22 National League pennants and appeared in 19 World Series competitions – both records in the National League. The Giants’ 6 World Series Championships are also tied for second in the National League with the Dodgers (the St. Louis Cardinals have won 11).” Looks like they will pass the Dodgers in World Series Victories. Hope I’m wrong. GO DETROIT!!!

  25. RogerCraig says:

    Badger,

    I am not going to debate this, but if you Google how much the debt has increased under Obama, the lowest I can find is 34%. Many say it is a lot more than that. Please don’t insult our intelligence with your twisted facts. Not everyone buys the spin the left is selling.

    • Badger says:

      You are right Roger.

      Well, sort of.

      You see, I did that for a reason. I wanted to see if anyone out there would actually post the accurate numbers. NONE of those numbers I posted are correct.

      You were able to correct only the Obama number. Why didn’t you correct all of them?

      I know why. And so do you.

      The actual numbers according to CBO are Reagan 190%, Bush 86% and Obama 45%. Everybody seems to scream and point fingers at the other side, but, the truth is (and truth is something that is hard to find in polical season) that BOTH sides spend money like there is no tomorrow and for many years, only Bill Clinton was able to balance a budget.

      Thanks for responding Roger. And you are also right about another thing, we don’t need to debate this. Not here anyway.

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