Categorized | Mark Timmons

What Took So Long?

  1. Chris Withrow and Pedro Baez are officially moving to the bullpen.  No kidding?  Ray Charles saw that two years ago!  Many people were calling for this two to three years ago.  What is more troubling is that the Dodgers waited so long to make the change.  Both could be in the bigs next year!
  2. Austin Gallager is gone.   Let’s just say he pulled a Manny.  Some had him ranked in the TOP 10 Dodger Prospects at one time.  I wasn’t sure what they were smoking when they did that, but I that’s why most of these TOP 10, TOP 20, TOP 100 or TOP 200 lists are pure drivel.  Kool-Aid for fans with Cabin Fever. “This guy has a projectable body“  What does that even mean? Darn near everyone has that at 19 or 20.  I read what some of them write and it is obvious that they pulled it out of somewhere the sun doesn’t shine.  I am convinced that they have never seen most of the prospects they write about.
  3. Keith Law rates the Dodgers farm system at #18 which ain’t bad, but hopefully will get a lot better.  They don’t have many Top 100 prospects, but they have a lot in the TOP 250 that could move up quickly.
  4. Will Mark McGwire really be able to work with Crawford, Ramirez, Gordon and Kemp – all guys who are free-swingers who don’t work the count very well?
  5. Alex Castellanos could be the surprise starter at 3B if he becomes a Big Mac disciple.  I am intrigued by his ability to hit.
  6. Ten Minor League Players (*not named Seager, Pederson, Lee, Puig or Magill) to watch this season:

  • Onelki Garcia
  • CJ Retherford
  • Steve Ames
  • Jose Dominguez
  • Paul Hoenecke
  • Jordon Hershiser
  • Jeremy Rathjen
  • Devin Shines
  • O’Koyea Dickson
  • Matt Shelton

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About Mark Timmons

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

55 Responses to “What Took So Long?”

  1. Gonzo says:

    Mark, I too mentioned in a previous thread that Castellanos should have the opportunity to win the 3B job. I believe he is our short term fix at that position until Seager is ready in about 3 years. The dude can hit. a line of .260-.275 10-15 HR 50-65 RBI with avg defense for 3 years would suffice for me.

  2. Badger says:

    There are a few 3b listed on top prospect lists (a couple are in the NL West) but Castellanos is not one of them. Heck, he isn’t even on our own top 10 list, but, due to necessity, he will get his opportunity.

    “Keith Law rates the Dodgers farm system at #18 which ain’t bad”

    Not that great either. Yeah, hopefully it gets better. Not sure how that happens quickly, other than trading Ethier.

    “Will Mark McGwire really be able to work with Crawford, Ramirez, Gordon and Kemp – all guys who are free-swingers who don’t work the count very well?”

    Pitches per at bat is an intriguing stat, but I am FAR more interested in career BAbip. Matt Kemp’s is outstanding, Carl Crawford’s and Hanley Ramirez’ is very good. Even Dee Gordon’s is not bad at .310. If you swing at it, what do you do with it?

    I don’t think Mac needs to do much with the three big guys, other than make sure they swing at strikes. I would like to see him work with Gordon’s OBP. That’s all he needs to do, get on base at over .333 and that kid is a star offensive player.

  3. KEN says:

    1. Stan is patient and made the move that Colonel Mustard and Logan’s Run is Over would not do.

    2. Any one else not reading the Top 200+ Prospects over at another website?

    3. No real movement without a better supporting staff under Colonel Mustard.

    4. So you are saying that these 4 males are not man enough to change themselves?

    5. Who will be this year’s Blake DeWitt, if anyone?

    6. How many of these prospects were drafted last year (By Stan)?

  4. Pete M. says:

    Mark & Gonzo…Don’t know if 3B is Castle’s calling, but I would really like to see him have a good ST and maybe sneak in as our #4 OF…
    Badger – Isn’t free swinging more a state of mind/personal style than a mechanical adjustment?? Dee Gordon especially has to understand his strike zone more and be patient. Easy said, again Dee is being given a golden opportunity this ST to make believers of all of us… Good Lord, if Dee could capture A.J.Ellis’ plate discipine…
    I really hope Johnny Damon gets a shot with someone!!! 300 and change to reach 3000H and maybe HOF vote or two.
    I’ll be rooting for Baez and Withrow. CW has some extreme heat and see how it translates at Camelback.
    I marvel at Kenley…I saw him catching in A ball and the WBC and his conversion to mound is amizing. Baez can hope for now… something nw

  5. Adam says:

    I would add Darnell Sweeney to the list.

  6. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Certainly Gordon needs to work on his OBP. And one element of that, I believe, would be his ability to get on base via the bunt. For a kid with his skill set, he’s a lousy bunter. If he can get that straightened out, improve his recognition of the strike zone, and his plate discipline, Gordon could become an on-base machine. He’s also got to improve against lefthanded pitching, otherwise having him and the lefthanded hitting Crawford hitting 1-2 in the lineup could be a problem. In fact, if it’s Gordon, Crawford, Kemp and Gonzalez, that’s 3 of the first 4 hitters batting from the left side. If he were to find his way into the Dodger lineup, Gordon would probably best be served near the bottom of the order, at least until he showed that he could handle anything more ambitious.

    Of course, with all of the above I’m getting ahead of myself. First off, Gordon has to find his way into the lineup, which may not be the case at the beginning of the season, if ever.

  7. Pete M. says:

    Bunting is a dying, or possibly dead art…College ball and the aluminum bat has relegated this art to the back burner. I remember when guys like George Brett or Rod Carew could lay down a bunt softer than mother’s love. “You gonna play me back??” Take this!!!
    I’ve seen Dee lay down a bunt and if well executed, automatic on base…

  8. Bobbie17 says:

    Gordon has to learn to hit before he learns to bunt.

  9. Badger says:

    Gordon could help his ability to hit by being able to lay down a good bunt. Any kind of pressure you can put on a defense is likely to cause more mistakes by them. If Gordon could bunt, he could hit .275 easy, and by only bunting strikes, I bet his OBP would increase as well. It’s often the little things that add up.

    I agree Pete. Bunting is a dying art and only a few are teaching it, and demanding it be done properly these days. In batting practice, it’s “lay two down then swing away”. Well, anyone can lay down a successful bunt against batting practice pitching. When I was coaching, the “lay 2 down” was against live pitching, and you got 3 strikes to lay down two good bunts. You didn’t do it, you run the bases full speed then go the end of the line. You would be amazed at how quickly guys picked it up.

    And I look at the Dodgers and I do not see a bunting team. If Gordon doesn’t make the starting lineup, I wonder what the “over-under” for number of bunts made by the Dodgers hitters would be? With that lineup? – well, I wouldn’t bunt much either, but I would do occasionally just so the opposition knows it’s a possibility.

    Yes, I think free swinging is a personal style. But, even if you are in that category, you can increase your success rate by being smart. Do not swing at balls out of the strike zone, no matter how far you think you might be able to hit it because it “looks” fat. Lay off it. Stay disciplined up there. Do not try to pull pitches on the outside part of the plate… period. Hit those back through he middle. If you adopt this approach, you will be amazed at how many gappers you will hit. If you get behind in the count, protect the plate. That means you no longer are trying to hit the ball to Cucamonga. You had two strikes to do that, and you didn’t get it done. Now you are a two strike hitter. Do not go fishing and be prepared to, at the very least, foul off pitchers pitches and, at the very most, square up mistakes. Nobody does that anymore either.

    The game has changed. The guys that used to play it the way we older guys did are fewer and fewer.

  10. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    “Gordon has to learn to hit before he learns to bunt.”

    First off, read what Badger wrote just after that remark.

    Secondly, prior to last year, Gordon hit just about everywhere he was, and that includes .304 with the Dodgers in 2011, and still carries a lifetime .260 big league average. No doubt Gordon has to improve both in hitting and his on-base skills. But despite not getting on base with any great regularity last year, he was still leading the league in stolen bases when he went out with the thumb injury. Success in the big leagues doesn’t always follow a linear path; it’s often irregular, accompanied by numerous bumps in the road. As far as I’m concerned, Gordon has shown me enough to warrant serious consideration for a starting job in the Dodgers infield, be it at short or second. And if you’re down on Dee Gordon, you’d likely have been down on Mike Schmidt after he hit about .195 in his rookie year. Or you would have been down on Dusty Baker after he stunk the place up in his first year with the Dodgers.

  11. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Mark,

    I don’t disagree with you that people can go too far with top prospect lists. And they certainly can be “drivel”. But if you read them with the understanding that they’re not the final definitive word on talent, you might still also understand that they’re just an indication of an organizations talent base. And those lists do change, as do the rankings of players within them. When I look at lists of Dodger talent, I see an organization that still possesses some good, but not polished arms, and is wanting in major offensive talent. That doesn’t mean that some player or players might not step up. And it doesn’t mean that a #50 prospect may ultimately turn out to be better than a #1 guy. And really, I’m not worried where the Dodger organization ranks at the current time, mainly because I’ve seen a shift in emphasis over the last year back to player development and international scouting. The Dodgers are finally back in the hunt for major international talent, and that bodes well for the future.

    I doubt is Castellanos is a factor at 3B this year, at least in the first half. He doesn’t have much experience there, and would probably need some time in the minors to work on his defensive skills. So even if he hits, I’m guessing that the Dodgers wouldn’t want to hand him 3B if there are any questions regarding his ability to handle the position defensively. Just like Gordon may have to open the season at ALBQ, so too might Castellanos.

  12. Roger Dodger says:

    I think if we looked back almost 1 years, and then 2 years — ago — we would see many posts about Gordon and the need for bunting and more and more practice.

    Mark and I saw the Dodger’s, Maury’s pit, or field are next to the clubhouse at Camelback. They were in there, like, all day long bunting, working on bunting.

    Add to that practice, slapping down on the ball. With Dee’s speed, just slapping at the ball for “Baltimore” chops would raise his average many points.

    I believe that Donny is just waiting to see if Gordon has improved with some age and growth — and that “he” has to make his case in Spring Training to be played. If he is hitting and fielding, opening some eyes — Gordon will play. SS or 2B or 3B, he will play. Mark it down.

  13. SpokaneBob says:

    When Duke Snider was having trouble with the strike zone, Branch Rickey ordered that the Duke be required to stand in without singing for a certain number of pitches each day. I think that Dee should spend every extra minute trying to bunt aginst live pitching. It needs to become automatic and comfortable for Dee to bunt.

    I think the sitution in spring trainning will be very fluid….competition for spots, the posibility of a trade. We just do not know what the starting line up will be.

    Here’s the one I would like to see:

    Gordon SS
    Crawford LF
    Kemp CF
    Gonzales 1B
    Ethier RF
    Hanley 3B
    Ellis/Schumaker 2b
    Ellis C

    • Badger says:

      I’d flip Ethier and Ramirez, but those are the guys I want to see on Opening Day too.

      I think Roger is right…. if Gordon impresses in ST, he will play. You cannot bench that kind of speed if he is proving he can get on base.

  14. SpokaneBob says:

    Although he didn”t sing, The Duke wasn’t allowed to swing either.

  15. Pete M. says:

    Like I said before, would it be cool to hear the chant ‘GO’ reverberating thru the Ravine??? Put a smile on Maury and Vinny’s faces for sure…

    Patience C.C., just let him get to second or third and put the hammer down…

    Ryan Braun….Ya just knew something was rotten in Denmark…His first spin attempt was a failure. Matt, is that a lil smile I see???

    Was just talking old PCL with a few buds yesterday…L.A. Angels with Angel Annie and Steve Bilko and the Hollywood Stars playing in shorts and Carlos Bernier… Wow…Good times…Good ball…

    • quasimodo says:

      All these guys saying they want to cooperate fully with any and all investigations of their names connected to PEDs could easily repair public opinion with a willingness to take a polygraph. But i doubt they want to cooperate to that extent.

      • Badger says:

        No kidding quas. These guys don’t want to cooperate. It’s curtains for them if they do.

        I remember Bilko Pete. I was at a game at Dodger Stadium in ’62 with my grandfather. A kid named Sam McDowell, 19 at the time, was throwing for Cleveland and I can remember my grandpa, a AA pitcher in a Texas League years ago, watching him throw and saying “this kid is going to be a great one.” Bilko played in that game, I remember looking at him, thinking he looked like a cook or something, looked like he weighed about 250, and asking my grandpa about him and he said “he is only here cuz he can still hit a fastball”. I looked it up, that was his last year, age 33, and he hit .287 with an .874 OPS, 136 OPS+ in a reserve role. What would those numbers get a 33 year old in today’s market? Heck, we could use those numbers as our reserve off the bench guy.

        Geez. Steve Bilko. I haven’t heard that name in years.

  16. ugg says:

    egad, my son is on the Giants this year for little league.

    • Badger says:

      That happened to me in 1960. It was ugly. Gray uniforms with green trim…. and GIANTS across the front. I almost quit, but, it was too dang much fun……………

      isn’t it about time something took place?

  17. quasimodo says:

    Lol Badger, 62 eh? I was at many games there that year as well. I’m sure you remember the cheers dodger fans gave when Mays name was announced. I’d say lost era, but Chipper Jones was shown his due respect also last year. I don’t hate the Giants-just hate their fans.I was even cheering Giants when SF won their 1st championship. But it turned their fans into the worse sport fans of all. Its not likely I’ll be on Giants side against any team ever again.

  18. Bobby says:

    King Felix, who I’d say is right on par with Kershaw, just signed a 7 year, $175 million extension.

    I’d bet that’s the same deal we offer Kersh?

  19. Gonzo says:

    Kershaw just got more expensive.

  20. Badger says:

    Who was the best athlete you ever saw in person play a baseball game?

  21. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    I don’t think Kershaw got more expensive. King Felix’s deal probably just confirms that Kershaw is going to get a lot, which we already knew. Chances are it will be similar to this one.

  22. Mark_Timmons says:

    Best Athlete?

    Hands down – Bo Jackson!

    • Badger says:

      Agree.

      Followed by Deion Sanders.

      Trivia…. Lance Alworth earned 15 varsity letters in high school. That isn’t easy to do.

      Guess nobody else is interested in the question.

  23. Mark_Timmons says:

    Kershaw = $210 million/8 Years

  24. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    So is it that Kershaw is better than King Felix, or that the Dodgers just have more money than Seattle and play in a larger market.

    Part of the appeal for Kershaw signing in LA is that he will have more opportunities to make a lot more cash on endorsements, etc. But $210 million over 8 years is in the ballpark, as is $175 million over 7 years. Heck, I’ll take either one.

    This from MSTI, re: Capuano in the pen.

    http://www.mikesciosciastragicillness.com/

    I pretty much agree, since I’ve expressed the same sentiments myself. With Elbert out, I believe that Capuano would be perfect as the second lefty in the pen. If and when Elbert gets back, the Dodgers will just have a decision to make, or just more trade bait.

  25. Roger Dodger says:

    How much will Clayton give to his mother?

  26. quasimodo says:

    Being a great baseball player don’t add up to much if greatness is in the past. At least thats the way the living legends are probably seeing it. Poor heros were born too damn early.

  27. Bill Russell says:

    Not baseball news but how can one guy that’s being tailed, shoot up two police cars killing one cop and then burn his car in San Bernardino Mountains only to vanish into thin air. That’s pretty crazy to think he’s able to get away after doing all this.

    Sorry,
    Lock up Kershaw and find a 3rd baseman……………….
    Go Blue

  28. quasimodo says:

    @Bill Russell, I myself do not have a hunchback. I just took the nickname. Is it out of line for me to ask you do you have the middle name ‘Ellis’ and are you bout 64 years old? My real question is, are you the real Bill Russell?

  29. Badger says:

    People snappin’ all over the planet Bill. Strange times.

    news: 17 NRI’s invited to Dodgers ST, none of whom are expected to fill any immediate holes and a few of whom have been signed to minor league contracts. The Dodgers still need a lead-off hitter, a thumper off the bench and more security at third base.

    Lakers…. eeeshh. They have a reasonable excuse, three of them actually (four if you count the coach), but, man did they suck last night.

  30. Badger says:

    Just read in the Times that L.A. police mistook a 71 year old Hispanic woman for Dorner and put two bullets in her back while she sat in her truck. She and a co-worker in the truck were delivering newspapers. The truck was a different color and a different model, than the one the suspect was driving.

    And these are the ones hired to protect us?

  31. Badger says:

    Early prediction – King Felix contract will be an enormous burden sooner than later.

  32. Rob says:

    Hanley just stunk it up in the Caribbean classic.

  33. Roger Dodger says:

    Something tells me inside, that if Hanley becomes a burden on the team, and Donnie wants him gone — ownership just might send him packing.

    When? If he continues to cry to play SS, and if he continues to butcher the ball in the field and giving up too many outs, and struggles at the plate.

    If, on the other hand, he is moved to 3B and his bat stinks up the place — that is the time they will let him go.

    Hanley had so much he can do for this team — but if he is an attitude problem and not coachable — fans will boo him.

    • Badger says:

      Above all else, he needs to hit. And right now, he is not doing that. His second half numbers last year weren’t all that, though he did knock in a lot of runs.

      I am concerned. He should be lighting it up down there and he is not.

  34. Mark_Timmons says:

    As I have preached since even before the trade, Hanley is a head case. If the Dodgers can figure out how to get to him, he will be an MVP Candidate, but if they can’t, he is trouble.

  35. KEN says:

    Police In Gestapo Spirit try to murder middle aged Asian woman in Torrance because she looks like the 33 year old ex-cop black male murderer?

    Yea saying she looked like him will be a real nice defense in the upcoming law suit. NOT

    • Badger says:

      Yeah, kind of makes you wonder. These guys are the “highly trained” police force.

      Hanley is hitting .150 in this tournament. These pitchers are good, but, are they as good as the pitchers he will face in the NL West? Not even close.

      But, as long as Hanley has a + OPS by July 31st, I am ok with him hitting .257 again. I just wonder if he can do it. And we all know he does not belong at shortstop.

  36. HemmorhoidRage says:

    Your tax dollars in action, typical!

    If Hanley is hitting he will be the toast of the town and the clubhouse. If Hanley isn’t hitting he will be a destructive cancer in the clubhouse. He has all the makings and markings of a real problem this summer. Get ready, this may be a very rough ride with him. He is a prima donna athlete that has never been able to deal with being told what to do. He pouted when moved to 3B in Miami and was a pain in the ass, he didn’t work on his SS skills during the winter (yeah I’m not real confident he had the kind of injury that would preclude him taking some ground balls this winter, just because you might not be able to throw much doesn’t mean you can’t work on fielding skills) but was able to play winter ball as a DH (why not forgo the winter ball and work on getting healthy?). I bet if you knew about him as a youngster he got away with just about anything he wanted to get away with, due to his amazing talent. Yeah, we are in for a rough one with this character.

  37. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    I wouldn’t read too much into Hanley’s performance in winter ball. I’ll make my judgments based on what he does in a Dodger uniform. If he shows he can’t play short, and complains about moving to 3B, then I’d be gone with him. But I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt right now, and let his actions shape my opinion. Also, keep in mind that Mattingly’s job is itself on the line. I doubt if he’s going to let Hanley dictate to him what’s best for the Dodgers. And with coaches like Lopes and McGwire around, I don’t think for a minute that they will make their decisions on anything other than what’s best for the Dodgers, whether Hanley agrees or not.

    If Hanley’s a head case, we’ll find out soon enough. I also think that for Hanley, LA is a whole other place than Miami. And in addition to some strong coaches, players like Kemp, Gonzalez, Kershaw, Greinke and others, will, I believe, make known their displeasure if Hanley does anything that threatens their desire to win a championship. If Hanley tries to make this about himself first and foremost, I have no doubt he will totally alienate his teammates, and find himself a pariah among them.

    And finally, given the investment that management has put into this team, I doubt if they’re likely to tolerate a cancer for very long. I don’t doubt that they would be aggressive, and cut it out before it had a chance to grow.

    All that said, it looked to me that Hanley was happy in LA last year. Maybe I’m just wearing my blue colored glasses, but I truly believe that Hanley wants to stay, and just might surprise us. Besides, I still haven’t heard anything out of Hanley’s mouth to indicate that he is prepared to make trouble if he doesn’t get exactly what he wants. Guess we’ll find out soon enough.

    • the truth hurts says:

      Brooklyn, Agreed. Nice post. I wear my blue colored glasses with you. He did seem happy in our dugout and I will give him the benefit of the doubt.

      There is a lot of Hanley hating going on in here! Setting up to many “I told you so’s”

      Before we hand him his headcase t-shirt, lets make sure it fits!

  38. Roger Dodger says:

    What will take the cake . . . is if after a couple of weeks into the season — Hanley is hitting so poorly and fielding poorly — that he is benched for Gordon to play SS in his stead.

  39. Badger says:

    Just looking at the numbers guys, not hating. He has some work to do. Like I said, OPS+ is all I will be looking at. He isn’t hitting third, he will be hitting fifth. Just knock ‘em in H.

    Speaking of work to do , did you read that Times piece about AGon and Cruz? Maybe Hanley should follow them around for about six weeks.

  40. Pete M. says:

    Truth & Brooklyn – Ditto in a big way…Damn, let him screw up already!!! ST + 157 gms + 50+(?) winter ball gms…
    So many of these latin players are commited to this yearly…I don’t know how they pull it off, especially guys like Tejada…
    Back to Hanley, tie up the horses and store the ropes…Give em a lil time and then find a tree…Tough around Camelback I’d think…

  41. KEN says:

    I hope AGon is working out in the off season because he sure looked like the Pillsbury Dough Boy at the end of the 2012 season.

    • Badger says:

      I recommend you read that Times article ken.

      • Bobby says:

        Agone apparently is a world class athlete, according to the former heavyweight champion boxer who trains him. He may not look it, or run like it, but he’s in shape.

        Then again, I do p90x and insanity, and I dont look like Matt Kemp either.

  42. Pete M. says:

    Heres a Hanley-ism:
    I remember in 1976 the Dodgers signed a dude named Reggie Smith. Now he had the numbers, but his reputation that proceeded him from Boston and the STL was that he was an ebola outbreak in the clubhouse waiting to happen. Now we all know that a black man playing the OF in Fenway was challenging to say the least. Just ask Jim Rice.
    You know what happened??? Reggie ended up being one L.A.’s favorites roaming the OF… New team…Clean slate…
    Now can we just bite our cheek for awhile and see what happens???
    Badger your right on AGon…Hell alot of people had Prince Fielder as a lard ass without even seeing cover first… He wont make me forget the ‘Cat’ Andres Gallaraga, but Prince can pick em…

  43. Gaylon White says:

    A book about Steve Bilko & the ’56 Angels, The Bilko Athletic Club, will be published by Rowman & Littlefield in March 2014. Check out the website: http://www.BilkoAthleticClub.com

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