Categorized | Mark Timmons

Crystal Ball Gazing

I have been gazing into my crystal ball and here is what I see as the Dodgers Opening Day Starting Lineup:

  1. Crawford  LF
  2. Ellis  2B
  3. Kemp  CF
  4. Gonzo  1B
  5. Ethier  RF
  6. Ramirez  SS
  7. Uribe  3B
  8. Ellis  C
  9. Kershaw

OK, I know you think I have been hitting the crack pipe way too much by saying that Juan Uribe will win the 3B job, but that’s my opinion.  Of course, I could be very wrong.

That leave 16 more spots – who do they go to?


  1. Greinke
  2. Beckett
  3. Ryu
  4. Lilly
  5. Billingsley
  6. Capuano
  7. Harang
  8. Belisario
  9. Howell
  10. Jansen
  11. League

That leaves some pretty good pitchers off the roster, like Javy Guerra, Matt Guerrier, Paco Rodriguez, Scott Elbert (on DL) and Shawn Tolleson.  Of course, Chad Billingsley and Ted Lilly are not a given and their arms could fall off at any time.  In fact, the odds are one of them will not open the season on the active roster… maybe both.

If the Dodgers carry 12 pitchers (and I think they will), that only leaves 5 subs.  Fortunately, all except Fed-Ex can play multiple positions and Fed-Ex can probably play 1B.  Not many subs, but a lot or versatility.


  1. Fedex – C, 1B
  2. Hairston – 3B, 2B, 1B, RF, LF
  3. Schumaker, 3B, 2B, 1B, LF, CF, RF
  4. Castellanos – 3B, 2B, LF, RF
  5. Herrera – 3B, SS, 2B, LF, CF, RF

Let’s talk!



About Mark Timmons

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

37 Responses to “Crystal Ball Gazing”

  1. RogerCraig says:

    Isn’t it a little early for this?

  2. Mark_Timmons says:

    Yep! But it’s never stopped me before.


  3. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    What happened to Nick Punto? Luis Cruz? OK, that means Castellanos and Herrera don’t stay. They probably want Castellanos to play, not sit on the bench, and Herrera would seem a long shot. As for Uribe, you need to have your head examined. And if he stays, Dodgers management needs to get off crack. But given he’s getting about $7 million, that could keep him around for a while. But I doubt it.

    I also see the Dodgers carrying 12 pitchers. Good chance one or two of them will be traded. And Roger is probably right. It is “a little early for this”. But “Yep, …it’s never stopped [you] before.”

  4. p4L says:

    How could you forget about Kershaw!!!

  5. Leroy says:

    Yeah, the omission of Kershaw (or as my autocorrect knows him: Let’s haw)… come on, Mark!

    I’d switch the two Ellis’; AJ and his OBP skills have to be up there. And as far as Mark goes, “If you can’t hit, you must sit!” right?! (Or at least jettisoned to 8th!)

    Also, Capuano or Harang will be traded.

  6. Watford Dodger says:

    Sign Lohse – strongest starting rotation in MLB – win World Series .


    • Mark_Timmons says:

      9 Starters – Yikes!

      • Watford Dodger says:

        Don’t think Bills & Lilly will see the season out even if ready for opening day.
        Then there’s Kershaw’s hip.
        If we lose them from line up then we look ordinary – that’s without anyone going down – with Lohse we should ensure at least 4 premier starters all season.

        • Prostrate says:

          I keep thinking/believing that the Dodgers will sign Lohse, and later trade Capuano and Harang. I also think Cruz will start the season at 3rd base, but I think signing Rolen a distinct possibility.
          The whole left side of the Dodgers team (Crawford, Cruz, Ramirez) presents problems, each one different from the other, but each one potentially serious, and with no clear solution in view. If Kershaw goes down for any extended period of time you can probably write off dreams of glory.

  7. Mark_Timmons says:

    Kershaw is on the list as the Opening day starter. Geezzzzeeee!

  8. Badger says:

    I see Kershaw on that list. He comes up right after Uribe strikes out and Ellis gets on base. You guys missed Mark’s starting lineup?

    Obviously I hope you are wrong about this Mark, but I too could see this lineup happening on Opening Day.

    I am going with Gordon leading off after having had a monster Spring and forcing Donnie’s hand. Ramirez comes to his senses, sees the team is better with him at third and volunteers for the move. I also see the signing of bench guy that will actually strike fear into a late inning opponents bullpen, forcing match-up problems that will give managers nightmares. I agree with Leroy that Harang and Cap will be traded, but disagree with him on where AJ hits. I like him in the 8 hole for reasons I have already stated.

    Looks like Bourn might sign a short term deal with the Mets if that pick thing is worked out. We pick around 19 so I give up that pick to sign Bourn, but that’s just me. I don’t give him what Borass wants, I go three years with a club option. That takes him to age 34 and without steriods, that’s a players limit for big money.

    The bench will work itself out with a mix of vets and young players and our bullpen, along with our starting pitching, will be a real strength.

  9. Pete M. says:

    Of course it’s early, buts its fun. It’s the last couple of weeks of rehab for baseball fans and we must keep our minds busy…
    Starting line up…I’m good with that…Uribe would be a pleasant surprise at best. If Big Mac works his magic, Cooperstown next ballot. The AJ switch-ola is a consideration, but the baserunning is a stumbling point for some…
    Pitchers..If any trades of xs starters, I see Fife re-emerging. He seems to be a forgotten man. The xs heading to AAA is impressive to say the least…
    Subs… I’m happy to see Castelanos in the mix, but “wheres the beef”?? FedEx at 1B is a stretch…

  10. quasimodo says:

    1.A.J Ellis 2.Crawford 3.AGon 4.Kemp 5.Ethier 6.HanRam. 7.M Ellis 8.Cruz 9.P. This is not the way its likely to be, especially opening day, but its the way I’d like to see it. Any pitchers having to face this lineup will probably lose sleep the night befor. We have more than a couple pitchers who can hit the ball and I’d like to see A.J. batting after them than the other way round. Mark, what are you not telling us about Uribe? Did you get an insider that sold you on him? My eyes sold me to what you earlier said..”cut bait”. As far as rotation goes we can put the top 5 pitchers in a hat or draw straws and we’re good to go.

  11. Bobby says:

    Our 3/4/5/6 should be Kemp Gonzo Hanley Ethier. R/L/R/L; great balance.

    I HOPE Gordon wins the SS job, and Hanley accepts his “demotion” to 3b. I also hope Uribe accepts his demotion to Rancho Cucomonga, so let’s keep hoping.

  12. Pete M. says:

    Does anyone have a clue on where Moylan is on the big picture???
    More b/u in Albuquerque???

  13. Bobbie17 says:

    We have to find a spot for the young pitchers. They don’t learn squat at 3A. Paco, Guerra and Tolleson should be on the team. I like Howell, but he is only good for one out at this point in his injured arm. Questionable signing? Oh well.

    • Kevin says:

      1. Schumaker
      2. Crawford
      3. Kemp
      4. Gonzo

      • Kevin says:

        5. Ramirez
        6. Ethier
        7. Cruz
        8. Ellis

        Schumaker tears the cover off tbe ball in Spring and gets the start against Cane (a tough righty), Donnie puts Crawford in the 2 hole because that is where he hits best and at this point why put extra pressure on him? I just don’t see Uribe starting but who knows….

  14. Bill Russell says:

    Cruz will win the job for 3B unless the Dodgers pick up another player between now and the start of the season. The Pillsbury Dough boy/Mr Corkscrew (Uribe), will be lucky to make the team. In fact he may be lucky to tie his own shoes at the start of the spring. I also think that the Dodgers will trade one or two of their starters before the season starts. Hopefully a decent piece can still be added to the team. Glad to see politics left out of here today. Peace

  15. quasimodo says:

    I’m glad Schumaker is with us and i think we’ll see him get alot of play. Cards fans loved him for good reason. But i don’t see him the everyday starter, though can’t say it’d be bad if he was. McGwire wanted him to fallow. Damn I’m so excited and time just won’t shift gears!

  16. Badger says:

    Just checked Schumaker’s career stats against Cain. Ain’t pretty.

    Ellis had 423 at bats last year, none leading off. According to fangraphs, he has never lead off in his career. However, in the 7-8 holes he hit around .270 with an OBP around .380. Leave him there.

    This is interesting:

    No surprise Trout is the best.

    Looks like our lead-off “team” left something to be desired. Crawford would be better, but he is a 2 hole hitter. Lead-off still needs to be addressed, as does the PH role.

    Uribe… contract year. He may surprise. Then again……….

  17. Gonzo says:

    Good lineup Mark. I just flip flop Hanley and Ethier. I still dream of a scenario in where we get a B or B+ prospect + others for Ethier and send those, Puig and some of our better prospects for Stanton. That kid will play but he is becoming more vocal about not wanting to be there. In an article he mentioned that he doesn’t necessarily want needs to play in LA, but he could not not notice everything the new ownership was doing.

    Or something more realistic would be kicking the tires on Jemile Weeks. Apparently his stock has fallen in OAK and he may be on the market, one of Capuano(plus salary relief), Lee or Reed and another 11-20 prospect may get it done. This kid can play and it takes care of two issues for the team, 2B and lead off for years to come.

  18. quasimodo says:

    Badger, thank you for taking into consideration and giving me a reply, I thought i was talking to myself. Yes the 8th spot is easier but OBP means less if its where the pitcher has to advance him. But if crawford is the leadoff I’m OK with keeping A.J. at 8. We did see Ellis bat leadoff several times last year-just not the 1st inning. Thusly we saw him left on base too often. But that was with weak OBP at the top slot. I’ll admit I’m not the most savvy here but so far I still feel A.J. at leadoff is worth a try

    • Badger says:

      I read everyone’s post quas. I find yours interesting and thought out.

      I get the interest in Ellis leafing off. His OBP is for real. I just prefer my 400 at bat catcher thinking about other things and my lead off hitter an everyday jackrabbit. Having said that, I am sure A. J. would do a fine job with the duty.

  19. Mark_Timmons says:

    AJ Ellis would get a lot more at bats leading off, necessitating more days off, but the biggest problem is how slow he is on the bases. You can talk about OB% but he is a station-to-station runner – very slow. I don\’t know of any manager who would bat him in the upper half of the lineup. He would clog the bases and remember this – just because a guys has an OB% of .370 at #8 is no indicator he will do that at #1. In fact, most won\’t!

    Schumaker has never hit leadoff and won\’t be a regular because of his poor defense at 2B. He\’s a role player.

    A championship caliber team would not have AJ or Skip leading off.

    • Kevin says:

      Just for the record I don’t think Schumaker will be a regular but I do think he will get the nod against tough Righties. Ellis’s BA against righties is pretty pathetic.

      Unfortunately if Donnie decides to hit Crawford second there is really no one else to hit leadoff except for the Ellis/Schmaker combo.

      • Badger says:

        Amen to that Mark.

        I think you are right Kevin, which is why Crawford might end up leading off. I am sure he would accept the role, but, when he is on, he is the perfect two hole hitter. This team doesn’t have a prototypical lead-off hitter. I am a little surprised we haven’t heard more about that issue from the team, but maybe they are secretly trying to remedy that situation. Wouldn’t surprise me if they have already told Bora$$ to call us before you ink the deal. Ethier would be EASY to move. There are a number of teams that would move on that upgrade.

  20. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    A.J. Ellis belongs at #8. The top of our lineup is capable of driving him in if he’s sacrificed to 2nd. And if he gets on with 2 outs, at the very least he clears the pitcher.

    If Dee Gordon finds his way into the lineup, I think it best that he start out hitting at the bottom of the lineup (7th or 8th) until his confidence grows and he earns a shot a leadoff. At this stage I think it best just to get him and his speed in the lineup, and then give him a chance to grow.

    I doubt if the Dodgers have very long term plans for Juan Uribe. Maybe they think they can get a little cash in return in a deal, so they’ll hold onto him as long as possible. If they need his roster spot, I doubt if the Dodgers would hesitate to release him. I think Uribe is gone early in the season (maybe earlier).

    • Badger says:

      I think you are right about Gordon Brooklyn. Bummer he didn’t get his OJT year last season. He needed to grow into that spot and unfortunately got de-railed. Now, with new ownership and so much money being spent, there will be a measure of impatience within the management team. You don’t get it done and you will be outta here.

      Uribe. That situation could get interesting. If he learns how to lay off balls a foot out of the strike zone, and take the ball back through the middle, he might actually make an acceptable late inning threat. If he wants another decent contract, he is only 33, he needs to get his head out of his ass.

  21. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    “Uribe. That situation could get interesting. If he learns how to lay off balls a foot out of the strike zone, and take the ball back through the middle, he might actually make an acceptable late inning threat. If he wants another decent contract, he is only 33, he needs to get his head out of his ass.”

    That would be nice, and maybe there really is a tooth fairy. Anything and everything is possible, but for some reason I find it extremely inconceivable that Uribe will suddenly change a lifetime of habits. But if he’s released, all the Dodgers might save is the major league minimum (just under $500,000), since any team that picked him up would be required to pay him a pro rata share of the big league minimum salary. Then again, maybe no one would pick him up, or would do so later in the season. And maybe the Dodgers could include him in a deal, and the receiving team would be willing to pick up at least a small piece of his 2013 salary.

    For whatever reason, it makes no difference if the Dodgers release Uribe now, or at anytime before the end of ST. All I care about is his being gone by opening day, which I have to believe will be the case.

  22. Badger says:

    “That would be nice, and maybe there really is a tooth fairy.”

    That’s funny, and you’re right. But, strange things happen during contract years. If you read the abstract (this one – ) you will see one Adrian Beltre’s name at the very top. It could happen. If this were on PTI, I think Wilbon would give him a 20% chance (about what he has hit for us) of him having a decent year. If I were management, I would send him a strong message – “Juan, come to Spring Training in shape, work hard while you are there and you will have your shot. If we see anything that suggests you aren’t taking this seriously, we will not hesitate to DFA your ass and your career will for intents and purposes be over.” Who knows, he may have already made enough money to go just home and spend the rest of his time in an ocean side mansion.

  23. jerry says:

    if uribe wouldnt swing so hard .which he pulls his head..mybe .just mybe he could hit again. he trys to hit home run every time..


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