Categorized | Mark Timmons

The Dodgers Need Another Outfielder

The Dodgers have some issues to address next season.  Here’s a big one:

They need a lead-off hitter and in my opinion, it’s not Carl Crawford or Dee Gordon.  It’s Hanley Ramirez!  On October 7, 2012, I posted the Dodger lineup I favor and it has Hanley Ramirez leading off.  I still favor that lineup, but I think other changes have to be made as well.  Hanley hits LH pitchers and RH pitchers pretty equally, but not so other Dodgers.  A leadoff guy that can hit .300 with power and speed and a .370+ OB% is a huge asset.  Ramirez is THAT guy!

  • Matt Kemp absolutely crushes LH pitching (.344) and hits RH to the tune of .280.
  • Mark Ellis has hit LH and RH fairly equally over his career, but suddenly couldn’t hit RH pitching last year to save his life.
  • Andre Ethier sucks against LH pitching but mashes RH pitchers.
  • Dee Gordon (in a small sampling) doesn’t hit LH pitching either (.214)
  • Carl Crawford is average against LH pitching but is a star against RH pitching
  • Adrian Gonzales hits LH pitching to the tune of .280, but RH pitching to the tune of .301.

What does this all mean?  If the Dodgers want a solid lead-off hitter, it has to be Ramirez who hits around .300 against both LH and RH pitching.  Andre Ethier hits LH so poorly that he needs a platoon partner.  The Dodgers could use a RH hitting 4th outfielder who can hit for power.  In my opinion that is not Juan Rivera.  Let him walk.  I have a two ideas:

  • Jeff Francoeur is owed $6.75 mil next year and has a career .280 BA against LH pitching
  • Cody Ross has a career BA of .284 against LH pitching and is a free agent.

Jeff Francoeur would cost the Dodgers a player or two, while Cody Ross wouldn’t cost a player and he’s capable of playing all three outfield positions.  He would be my choice to platoon with Andre Ethier and he could spell Carl Crawford in LH as well, AND he could also be the backup in CF.  To get him, the Dodgers would have to probably offer something like a 3 year/$21 million deal.  I think he would be worth it.  Of course, Shane Victorino has hit LH pitching throughout his career very well, soooo….

I prefer Ross because he has more power than Victorino.  I would also give Alex Castellanos a long look as a RH hitter.  I can see games that when a tough LH Pitcher is pitching that Castellanos would be in LF and Ross in RF.  In fact, with 2 LH starters in the outfield (who don’t hit lefties well) I would make sure that I had two platoon partners for them.  That probably means that Tony Gwynn, Jr.’s career with the Dodgers is over.

How about this lineup against RH Pitching:

  1. Ramirez  SS
  2. Crawford  LF
  3. Gonzalez  1B
  4. Kemp  CF
  5. Ethier  RF
  6. Olt  3B
  7. Hairston  2B
  8. Ellis  C

Lineup against LH Pitching:

  1. Ramirez  SS
  2. Ellis  2B
  3. Kemp  CF
  4. Gonzalez  1B
  5. Ross RF
  6. Olt  3B
  7. Castellanos  LF
  8. Ellis  C

Oh,  I almost forgot.  I want to trade Corey Seager and Chris Capuano or Aaron Harang to the Texas Rangers for Mike Olt.  Olt is blocked at 3B by Adrian Beltre and Seager would be ready about the time Beltre retires, plus Texas needs pitching.  I thought about A-Rod and decided that the Dodgers would be wise to take him IF the Yankees pay ALL of his salary and give the Dodgers a PTBNL.




About Mark Timmons

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

15 Responses to “The Dodgers Need Another Outfielder”

  1. Badger says:

    Excellent post Mark.

    I think Ramirez at lead-off is a damn good idea. How come I didn’t think of it? Nevermind, I bin bizy.

    Don’t know about Olt, but his big league sample is pretty small. Would it take that much to get him? Guess you don’t think much of Cruz at third?

    Francour is a starter and only 28. He won’t come here. Ross is fine for a 4th. Would he do it? The last two years he has had close to a thousand at bats, would he get over 450 here?

  2. Bobby says:

    A leadoff hitter who gets on base and has power has worked before. Obviously Ricky, and now Mike Trout.

    Great idea Mark. If Hanley can do it, it’d be a ridic top of the lineup athletically, with Hanley, Crawford, and Kemp.

    Meanwhile, Go Cards!!

  3. Roger Dodger says:

    Good post Mark.

    I am still in the Dee Gordon school and want his speed. Face it, the Dodgers either need to use him now, or trade him to a team that will. He will be 25 years old next April.

    I put him at 2B, maybe platoon him at second with another (Hairston hits right handed and will be 37 years old next season; or M. Ellis, he will be 36). Plus, if Hanley goes down for a few games or in a bad slump, Gordon plays SS.

    What we have seen the last several years — are injuries to many many players on teams. I think years ago (50s, 60s, 70s) many players played through some injuries. Now, some don’t and there just seems to be more players on the DL.

    So teams need to have back ups in all positions, not just a guy who can fill in but is really out of position there.

    Cody plays hard when I watch him. Jeff has somewhat of a cult following and does have a nice game and a great throwing arm.

  4. Bobbie17 says:

    Ramirez is best in a place where he can drive in runs. Whomever plays second or third should lead off. Ellis or successor or Cruz or successor. We need runs! And with little power, leadoff is the least of the problems. Cardinals must win tonight. If they beat Lincecum, the Giants mystique might be over. I hope.

  5. Ken says:

    As I said in spring training, the dodgers have a lot of players that should be platoon players and therefore agree with your post. (Please Improve the Bench) Not convinced yet that Donnie understands the benefits of proper platooning, but one would think that he would understand the benefits of the 1952 Yankee platoon system.

    However, my priorities are

    1. League
    2. #2 starter
    3. RH OF
    4. Backup C
    5. Training Gordon to play 2B

    I believe that investment bankers and venture capitalist have consistently overestimated their expected return on investment and therefore the Guggenhiems will continue to spend freely until the new TV contract is executed or the Cable network is created.

    Signing a quality #4 RH OF would hopefully spur Ethier to change his approach against LHP resulting in a higher BA even with a lower SLG. Ross would be a very good choice, with Hairston the other RH OF.

    Re: Olt – He can play corner OF and Hamiltion played corner OF in parts of 84 games last year. Therefore Olt is a posible replacement for Hamiltion. Maybe the Rangers will put Olt in LF for a few years and then see if they can convert him back to 3B after Beltre retires. Maybe the Rangers will be willing to trade My Cousin Vinney, who is ranked #9 at 3B right behind Gyorko, to the dodgers for starting pitching. The Rangers do have 2 top 10 3B. Not sure the Rangers even need Seager (Too young to be ranked).

    Not a lot of glove but Gyorko is blocked by the NL RBI leader Headley. Ranking of #52 and #8 at 3B. Could take a run at him.

    Trade Uribe for Figgins? Does either player have any upside?

    Off season speculation is interesting, to say the least.

  6. voldomer says:

    Mike Napoli would be my number one off-season target if he could channel Joe Ferguson and play LF and RF competently. A.J. Ellis was great this year but overworked, and LA needs a legitimate DH for those ten interleague road games.

    Barring that, the guy LA needs probably would have to be a veteran in the last few years of his career who just really wants a shot at the postseason. I can’t see either Ross or Victorino agreeing to this. Could Torii Hunter be convinced to do this? He’ll turn 38 next season, is tight with Kemp, could play CF on occasion, and pounds lefty pitching.

    Speaking of interleague games, we all know the DH issue is a problem for teams in leagues, with injury concerns for AL pitchers who have to bat in NL stadiums and the lack of a real DH on the roster for NL teams. Why not just go with an eight-man batting lineup in such games? Wouldn’t that ultimately be more fair to both teams than the current policy?

  7. Roger Dodger says:

    Voldy, the stat folks would go crazy with only 8 in the batting order. That means some players (who play toward the top of the batting order) would have many more ABs over a career — and screw up the life time stats for players —- as they compare them to the old timers.

    But I like your reasoning.

  8. voldomer says:

    Thanks Roger. The AB difference wouldn’t be huge, maybe 20 more ABs a season, and that would have less effect that the changes over the years to the number of regular season games played. It would be interesting to see how much more often the lineups would turn over during a game this way and what strategies would evolve (more or less emphasis on speed, power, bunting, etc.).

  9. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    If Hanley would grouse about playing 3B, what makes anyone think he would want to lead off and forego all those RBIs? He might agree to it, but there is no guarantee that he would be happy. Maybe he wouldn’t be too upset about hitting second, but I’m not so sure he’d want to lead off.

    I don’t know who I want to lead off, since I don’t know exactly what the team will look like come opening day. If Gordon is still with the Dodgers and opens the season in the starting lineup, then my preference is to have him lead off. Crawford could bat second, and so could Hanley. But where Crawford would hit if he’s not at or near the top of the lineup, I don’t really know. I really think the winter has to play out before we start putting together lineups. Changes, all kinds of changes, are possible.

    Go over to and check out Mike Olt’s stats. Really not all that impressive. Definitely has power, doesn’t hit for high averages, and does strike out (struck out 13 times in 33 ABs in his brief time with the Rangers). Maybe he’s an up and comer, but perhaps he’s just a bit over-hyped. Also, I don’t know if the rules changed with the new CBA, but I do know that in years past you could not trade a draft pick until at least a year after he was drafted. If so, then Cory Seager cannot be traded.

    Pitching will likely be the priority this winter. But I’m sure the Dodgers will pounce on opportunities to acquire additional offensive depth, especially in the outfield. And I don’t rule out Shane Victorino. He brings less power than Francouer or Ross, but he also brings better defense and more speed. And because he switch hits, he brings a little more flexibility in how he would be used. And although he will likely be looking for a starting job, I wouldn’t rule out that he would be open to something less if the money and years were right, and he knew that he would get a significant amount of playing time.

  10. Badger says:

    Ramirez leading off only makes sense if the team does not have a lead-off hitter.

    The team does not have a lead-off hitter. If it ain’t Gordon, it ain’t anybody else, so a guy with power, speed and a high OBP makes sense to me. Yeah, Ramirez RBI totals would go down, but his runs scored would go up – way up. I like the idea only because I don’t see anybody else better.

    Have no idea about Olt, but if he is ready NOW, the Dodgers won’t be interested.

    Crawford is the ideal 2 hole hitter. That is where he belongs. And I only sit him occasionally against lh pitching. His career splits against lh pitching are probably as good as Ellis would give us.

    8 in the order has appeal, but will never happen.

    “However, my priorities are

    1. League
    2. #2 starter
    3. RH OF
    4. Backup C
    5. Training Gordon to play 2B” – Ken

    Good list. I might re-arrange it some but can’t really argue with it. I suspect League is a done deal. The #2 starter is no doubt being discussed and us actually #1 on my list. Back-up catchers are everywhere, but it would be nice to get a good one. Gordon at 2b. Yep. Is he there now? That 4th outfielder could be a game changer if a guy like Hunter or Ross decides 300 at bats or less is enough. Pay the guy starter money and he might consider it.

  11. Anonymous says:

    when the Dodgers got League I knew he’d like it in LA. Dud is from Hawaii surfs and digs the beach. Pretty logical choice he’d stay in LA. Hopefully he chooses the real LA team.

    I hope that Greinke gets signed. Been reading that Harang, capuano and Lily will be trade bait.

    Peavy intrigues me as a 3-5 option in the rotation. maybe he could light a fire under Beckett. They both share the same interests.

    I hope to make some AFL games to try and catch the Dodgers LH cuban pitcher. Looks like he might be legit.

  12. Brooklyn Dodger says:


    Read this about the Dodgers from the link in Badger’s post above regarding the signing of Onelki Garcia.

    “Along with gathering up every marquee name on the trade block, they revived scouting and signing internationally, where they once blazed trails and were the envy of the sport.”

    In other words, the Dodgers are rebuilding the organization by spending on established stars to win NOW, and are also INVESTING heavily in scouting and development to create a pipeline of Dodger developed stars for the future. Spending big on established stars is only being done now to buy time for the young stars of the future to develop. Yes, the Dodgers had to surrender a few good prospects, but in return they acquired established stars and the time to replenish the farm system with far more than those few players they recently traded away.

    This is the long term plan that FOX and then McCourt, never had. If anything, you should be ecstatic that we finally have an ownership that is committed to winning, and have the resources to back it up. Every move they make probably won’t work, but in total this organization is doing everything necessary to bring a championship back to LA.

  13. Kevin says:

    Mark I like your idea about Hanley leading off except for one thing…you state “A leadoff guy that can hit .300 with power and speed and a .370+ OB% is a huge asset. Ramirez is THAT guy!”

    Hanley’s OBP was .322 this year, no where close to the .370 you state, and his batting average was well below .300.

    I still think he’s a meat and potatoes man but if he can get back to the old Hanley hit him lead off.

    • Badger says:

      Mark is of course referring to his career OBP of .371. Can he get close to that? Maybe. Doubt it. But he doesn’t really need to. If he can get it back up to .350 he is a hue asset at that spot because who else do the Dodgers have that could do it?


Leave a Reply

Mandatory Daily Dodger Reading