Categorized | Mark Timmons

Biding Their Time

At this point, that is exactly what the Dodgers are doing with Yasiel Puig, Chris Capuano, Aaron Harang, Matt Guerrier  and Ted Lilly.

Sending Puig to AA was a a no-brainer, not because Carl Crawford is ready to play and looks very, very good, but because spending at least 20 days in the minors will add a full year to the Dodgers’ control of Puig.   While we are  on the subject of Carl Crawford, I would like to say that he has exceeded my expectations (so far).  He is in excellent physical condition, noticeably slimmer and still very, very fast.  His throwing is progressing and he will most certainly (barring further injury) open the season in left field and as the Dodgers leadoff hitter.

I have criticized C.C. in the past for being fat and maybe not able to play.  I am now getting excited at the possibility of seeing him hit leadoff for the Dodgers.   He looks really, really good, albeit in a short sampling, but I have reason to believe.   If he can hit .300, steal 40-50 bases and run like a deer, he will be a huge asset to the team.

I am OK with Puig in AA for a while.  It gives time to make a decision about Ethier or Crawford.  I wonder if Puig can really play 3B?  It’s a lot to ask, but…

I am certain that Ned is working the phones, looking for trades.  I could see the Dodgers putting Greinke and Billingsley on the DL in order to showcase Capuano, Harang and/or Lilly.  I could actually see all there gone by June.  Guerrier too!  Fife can hold down the #5 spot!

As of right now, this is what I see as the opening day lineup:

  1. Crawford  LF (L)
  2. Schumaker  2B (L)
  3. Gonzalez  1B (L)
  4. Kemp  CF (R)
  5. Ethier  RF  (L)
  6. Cruz  SS  (R)
  7. Punto  3B (L)
  8. Ellis, AJ  – C (R)
  9. Kershaw  – P (L)

6 lefties verses Cain!

Dee Gordon was sent to AAA to work on one thing:  Hitting, Fielding and Running.  That’s his only weakness!

Earth-Covered-70

About Mark Timmons

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

70 Responses to “Biding Their Time”

  1. KEN says:

    Since all seemingly intelligent baseball people only talk about there being 5 Tools Puig should absolutely be able to play 3B without any problem. On the other hand maybe fielding ground balls should be the 6th Tool. How many infielders make the adjustment and move to the OF as opposed to how many OF make the transition to the IF? It does seem like fielding ground balls is a very important tool.

    Puig has been quoted as saying, joking?, that he can play SS!

  2. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Lots of subtleties involved in moving from the outfield to the infield. More than just picking up the ball and throwing it. A lot of what players do is reflexive in nature. It would probably take Puig quite a while to master 3B, or any other infield position. Also, using his muscles in an unfamiliar fashion could make him more prone to injury. He’s would have enough to deal with just adjusting to big league pitching. Clouding his mind with anything else would be only place an undue burden on him.

    “Dee Gordon was sent to AAA to work on one thing: Hitting, Fielding and Running. That’s his only weakness!”

    That’s pretty funny Mark. He definitely needs to work on the first two, but not the last. I haven’t seen anything in his baserunning that has me concerned. A refinement here or there, but that’s true for just about everyone. However, I continue to believe that he will hit, that his bunting will get better, and that if he doesn’t fully improve his fielding skills at short, that he could be shifted to 2B, where the throws are shorter, and where a strong arm would be welcome on plays up the middle, and on close double plays.

  3. Quasimodo says:

    I’ll bite, just because its the reason you threw ‘running’ into the part of Gordon’s only weakness. Now that’s out of the way and I’m likely be be your only catch on that one, Mark. I like Schumaker, and I know you’ve designed that lineup as a 1 day gig, but its also 4 lefties in a row. I see the logic. That lineup would last as long as Cain on the mound and need little tweaking if a L reliever replaced him.

  4. Quasimodo says:

    Oops! You beat me to it, Brook. I was making coffee, cooking breakfast and had a ‘throne call’ in the time I started my comment till I finished it. Good Morning All!

  5. emerson-Lake says:

    A couple of months ago you dumped on me when I said Crawford was a good lead-off hitter, but now you’ve come around. Nobody said you had to be consistent short-term as long as you keep an open mind long-term. But, I gotta say, you’re on to something when you wonder about Puig playing 3rd–I’ve been thinking the same thing. Has anyone else talked about this? Has he ever worked out there? If he really is Superman, why couldn’t he learn the position in 3 weeks in the minors? Let’s give it a shot!

  6. Mark_Timmons says:

    Brooklyn,

    While I trying to be funny, I do think that a player as fast as Dee Gordon should have a much better SB% than 76% (the same in the minors and majors). I have seen the elite stealers and even todays\’ players like Carlos Beltran – 86% and Carl Crawford 82%. There are 16 players with 80-90% career SB% and I think Dee Gordon is faster than most. His technique needs refining.

  7. Bobby says:

    Carl Crawford was always the best 1-2 players on Tampa Bay. Here, we’re hoping he fits in.

    Man if he becomes what he was, how good can this team be????

  8. Mark_Timmons says:

    Most players could not handle a switch to 3B, but some players have the instinct, ability and glove to do it. Puig may or may not. I think if they don\’t try him there, they already know the answer.

    As a side story, when I was younger, I played SS and as I got older, I moved to 1B. I only played 3B one inning EVER! I was playing 1B and our 3B made 3 straight errors to load the bases, so we switched positions and the next ball was a bullet down the line which I backhanded, tagged the runner, stepped on the bag and threw to second for a triple play. It was all instinct, not that I was ever in that class as a player – I wasn\’t. I never played there again. ;)

  9. voldomer says:

    The great unknown is how serious Puig was when he said he can play SS and 3B. Was he only joking, or does he have significant earlier experience there (besides just being the biggest kid on the playground)? I don’t know enough about the Cuban team (or system) to know how or why he came to be an outfielder. Was this his natural position, or did he end up there because his path to playing time was blocked in the infield? He certainly has the physical tools that one normally desires in an outfielder, but that rocket arm might translate well at 3B too.

    Certainly it isn’t ideal to move a natural outfielder to the infield, but it has been done before when it was deemed more important to get someone in the lineup than to have excellent (or even average) defense at a particular position. Pedro Guerrero certainly comes to mind, but Schumaker did a similar thing in recent years in St. Louis.

    The caution about rushing Puig has been discussed in the context of Gordon’s experience last year. I wonder if Kasten has made any comparisons with Andruw Jones (and, for that matter, if he has any insights on what went wrong with him)?

    • Quasimodo says:

      Well one thing is certain – Puig has surely played both 3B and SS coming from Cuba and as saturated as Cuba is with baseball that is a no-brainer. Now how ‘well’ is the question? But even if its in the below average side there is the upside giving it a try – the plate. It may work out we’ll all have to wait for the next injury to see Puig hit the team. That is not where I place my hopes.

  10. voldomer says:

    I just found some box scores for the Cuban national team in July 2011. Puig consistently batted seventh or eighth (playing LF) and even got pulled for a pinch-runner late in the game once. Admittedly he was two years younger then, but imagine what it must mean that they had two outfielders and six (or seven) hitters they liked better at the time!

  11. Badger says:

    Puig at third base? Has he ever done it? If the Dodgers were even thinking about that, wouldn’t he be playing some there? Puig was signed as a hitter. I would just leave him where he is and let him think about hitting. There are other ways to address third base. Second base. Shortstop. The bench.

    I see most everyone is now on the Crawford wagon. Good to see you all come aboard.

    76% is actually better than average in the Major Leagues. For now, I would take that if he got on 36% of the time. He also needs more experience as I am sure he has relied on his speed to get that SB. A couple more years doing this job and he could easily get over 80%. I still have a lot of hope for that kid.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I believe Davey Loped and Bill Russell both started in Center Field.

  13. Quasimodo says:

    You’ve got more than hopes, Badger. You’ve got your eyes and the savvy to recognize promise. Gordon won’t fizzle-out and Dodgers won’t let him slip-away. Now its time to sadly put the crow in the oven as Uribe’s on the menue. Who’d a thunk it?…….Oh yeah, Mark.

  14. Quasimodo says:

    Well it seems today’s game is the last Dodger game I’ll be unable to view. At least till 2014. Harang did a lot of damage to his trade value last night. When walking 1st 3 batters to give the 4th a HR was enough to make scouts exit if their chore to find something in Harang. Maybe his record will get us something in trade.

  15. DRomo says:

    Can someone tell me more about the “hidemyass” for ipad? I want to stream as many games as I can when I travel this season. I have the MLB at Bat app but of course I get blacked out a lot.

  16. Mark_Timmons says:

    Mike \”The Cannon\” Shannon was converted from RF to 3B. Never was a Gold Glove or anything… but he had a cannon!

  17. Mark_Timmons says:

    DRomo,

    I have not used it for my ipad, but it works great on my laptop. I watch most games on my ipad, but on ones that are blacked out I use my laptop because I have an additional screen and watch it there.

    Go to their website and ask them if it works on an ipad. They have a chat feature.

    http://hidemyass.com/vpn/

  18. Quasimodo says:

    Did I read things right? At TBLA Eric Stephen said Puig still might be at ‘freeway series’ although he won’t be breaking camp. If this is so then COOL. I’d like to see how he does with sort of atmosphere. After all, its probably what most of his dreams have been made of and the reason he made his escape from Cuba. Hope he’s there.

  19. Michael says:

    I really doubt Zach will start on the DL because he pitched in a designated MLB game last night.
    If we get some breaks we could have a cakewalk but more likely a couple of games could have great significance; whether it’s game one or number 162 they all count the same.
    If Donnie uses one of the 3 usual suspects[Caps,Harang or Lilly] he’s dumber than even I thought.

    Yes Lopes and Russell were converted OFs
    Special Thanks to Mark for SPELLCHECK!

  20. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Mark, I agree that Gordon’s baserunning technique could use some refining. Which is why I said “A refinement here or there.” Maybe over time he could learn to get a better jump, or a quicker first step, etc., etc. But as Badger pointed out, 76% is good, and over time he’s likely to get better. Let’s not forget, that last year, despite his low average and OBP, Gordon was leading the league in stolen bases when he got hurt in July.

    And as Badger pointed out, Puig was signed to hit. Leave him alone, and let him concentrate on hitting. A position switch is something that should be addressed in the offseason, if at all. Besides, if Cruz hits, the Dodgers will be fine at 3B once Hanley returns. And if not, they now have the financial flexibility to find help, if it becomes available.

  21. Badger says:

    Mike Shannon? Davey Lopes? Bill Russell?

    Man, you guys are digging deep. How about somebody from this century that has made a successful switch from the outfield to third base? It’s not a move that is often made. Leave him alone. He needs to focus on his hitting and it would be a distraction to have him learning a new position.

    A lot of chatter about the Dodgers pitching staff. Who stays and who goes? A bullpen with Lilly, Harang and Capuano? Lilly said he would rather be there than in the minors on a rehab assignment. Fife throwing 96 with some positive experience when he was up…. I got no problem with him in there. I think he could do as good a job as Harang, and Lilly obviously isn’t ready.

    Somebody gotta go……

  22. Pete M. says:

    Now dont get me wrong, I really liked Billy Russell as a clutch hitter!!! That being said, he had the the range of a tortoise at SS…
    Ditto on ‘Lets leave Puig alone’!!! He will have his hands full learning alot of little things and on top of that facing some pretty damn good at AA…
    The traffic will suck, but watching Rancho this year could be fun…

  23. beckett_rockett says:

    “08:05 AM ET 03.28 | Forgive Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki for occasionally casting a glance west, where the Dodgers are running away with a spending race. Can a World Series championship be bought for $215 million? The Dodgers are going to try. So I asked Tulo: Does he ever allow himself to be envious of the Dodgers’ payroll? “Yeah. No doubt,” Tulowitzki said Tuesday. “You play at the highest level, because you want to play with the best players. So there are times when you look at it and say: ‘Man, I wish we were able to spend $200 million.’” While sitting at his locker in the Rockies’ spring training facility, Tulowitzki spoke in a matter of fact tone. No anger. Zero bitterness.

    The Denver Post”

    Man, you can be a dodger!
    how about Tulo for Puig, Lily, Uribe, Harang, Gurrier?

    • Badger says:

      I don’t trade Puig, but look at Tulo’s contract (Cots)13:$10M, 14:$16M, 15-19:$20M annually.

      Yoiks.

      He signed long term with the Rockies. He will likely be there long term.

      He had an “off” year last year. Wasn’t an All Star and wasn’t a Gold Glove….. but he is in his prime. The next 5 years should be good ones. The last two of that contract might not be, but, hey, if they want to trade him…..

      they won’t want to trade him to the Dodgers.

  24. Badger says:

    I think Atlanta is going to like having the Upton brothers on that team. I know I liked watching Justin here in Arizona. When he was up, nobody went to the can. I think he will score a hundred and knock in 90 on that team.

    I am going to be watching Mark Reynolds and Michael Bourn very closely this year. They were on my target list. I know most don’t like Reynolds, but, I just didn’t have confidence in our third basemen. Reynolds might be a role player now. James has him at 85 runs, 32 HR and 90 ribbies, but he may not get the at bats to do that. I know our third baseman won’t do that. But our third baseman won’t likely have a negative dWAR either.

    I am assuming the starting lineups against the Angels over the week-end will be the starting lineup on Opening Day. Do I have that wrong? Have they posted it yet?

  25. Quasimodo says:

    Only in part, Badger. But as Puig will be playing the 2nd game of the freeway series and final cuts are dead-lined early afternoon Sunday, it can only be a close resemble for starting lineup.

  26. SpokaneBob says:

    I know it is still ONLY spring training, but I would feel a little better about things if our team would show some offense this weekend.

  27. RoidRage says:

    agree spokane(cocaine)bob, i’m pretty concern about lack of offense for the entire ST. Is it the Dodger curse striking once again? LA, where all great bats go to die.

    Thanks Badger, I’m out and now staying with friends in Phoenix. It is a very slow recovery process from the dural leak, but rebouding a little more each day, flying back home early Friday morning. Three idicators of a slow recovery: 1) geriatrics are passing me on the sidewalk whie I take my daily walks (no kidding), 2) I have to have a wheelchair to take me from airport curb to door of airplane (damn I can’t believe it), 3) doctor’s orders to not lift more than 2 lbs for 6 weeks (dang I take craps that weigh more than that).

    However, I am grateful and ready to get home in time to watch my MLB Extra Innings package and in time for opening day.

    Peace (I now hate Phoenix, lol)

  28. Gonzo says:

    Roid hang in there dude, you’ll be taking your 2+lbs dumps in no time. Remember, when your down there is nowhere to go but up.

  29. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Maybe the Dodgers are saving their hits for the regular season. Have to admit, I haven’t been studying the lineups everyday. Other than Hanley, do we have most of our regular lineup out there each day, or is it sprinkled with some starters, bench warmers, and other assorted players who won’t be in the opening day lineup? If the Dodgers aren’t hitting, can’t be good that the opening series is against the Giants pitching staff. Then again, how well are the Giants playing right now?

    Just let the games begin, and remember that it’s a long season.

  30. Quasimodo says:

    Yes Rage, speed be with your recovery. I’m sitting in my wheelchair this very moment, though I’ve progressed to the point where its no longer needed-but also found it to be a great desk chair here in my kitchen. It becoming a once again necessity isn’t far away. Brooklyn, split squad for today, and starters and bench share the split.

  31. KEN says:

    Is there a greater probability that one of the 3 extra starting pitchers will be DFA’d as compared to Uribe who just might open the season with LAD? Who knew?

  32. KEN says:

    Dodgers ST Stats

    Starters 5.47 ERA – 21st in MLB
    Relievers 4.81 ERA – 18th in MLB
    :(

    BA – 12th
    Runs – 16th
    OBP – 9th
    SLG – 23rd
    OPS – 20th
    :(

    Starting lineup is doing ok except for Kemp (.186) and Gonzalez (.250)

    Angels are mashing the ball and their staff has the highest ERA in ST so get ready to watch some fireworks the next 3 days.

  33. Bill Russell says:

    Range as a tortoise? I recall Joe Torre putting Russell Martin at 3rd a few years back and it seemed to work out well. Stick Puig at 3rd in the minors and lets see how it works or doesn’t work. Worth the gamble I think.

  34. SpokaneBob says:

    While its concieveable that Puig could have the skills to handle 3rd, I am in the camp that wants to leave his defense alone and let him concentrate on hitting and improving his outfield play. Last year when Kemp went down we had no adequate replacement. Who knows if our 3 outfielders stay healthy. I would rather have Puig ready to step in instead of one of our bench players. Ownership will solve the 3rd base issue at some point if Cruz and others can’t.

  35. SpokaneBob says:

    i before e except after c.

  36. Quasimodo says:

    Ah! I asked you if you were the same Bill Russell and got no answer! Do I detect (and rightly so!) you to be a little offended? I also agree the kid might very well pull it off. He has youth on his side and I see no reason him needing to be baby’ed, like the guy that you (or the real Bill) threw to many times to get that out at 1st. My question stands.

  37. RoidRage says:

    Bill Russell is the son of Jane Russell and he is embarrassed to admit he once suckled on those gigantic ta-tas, not because they were ta-tas but becasue he hates to be associated with anything “Giants”. Who can blame him.

  38. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Russell Martin at 3B made some sense, since I believe that he was drafted as a third baseman, and was converted to catching. Bill Russell I recall wasn’t the most wonderful defensive shortstop on the planet. Unless Puig has some actual infield experience, leave him alone, and let him concentrate on hitting. Hanley will hopefully be back healthy and ready to play, and perhaps the Luis Cruz of 2012 was for real.

    If real needs develop, the Dodgers have the flexibility to react appropriately. These are not the cash strapped McCourt Dodgers. Ownership really wants to win, and I believe, will do everything necessary to make it happen. Besides, I don’t see anyone running away from the Dodgers, so I don’t think a fast start is an absolute necessity. Even if the Dodgers were 5 games out at the All-Star break (and I’m not predicting they will be), they’d have plenty of time to make a run in the second half. I said it before, and we’ve all heard it before: IT’S A LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG SEASON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  39. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Russell Martin played 41 games at 3B in the minors, and 1 game at short.

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=martin003rus

  40. Badger says:

    Good stuff in here today. You guys are rounding into regular season form.

    It is a long season, and all of us want to come out of the gates fast. But, there are quite a few veterans on this club, and though they all know every game counts, they also know they want to be at their peak during the late summer early fall drive to the pennant. Depth is the key to veteran squads. Not sure we have it the way I want to see it. I want some positive dWAR’s out on the field to protect leads in the dead of summer and I want some thunder off the bench. Resting the veterans when it’s 100 degrees out there is critical to a 174+ game season.

    I have always wondered… remember when all teams had 4 man rotations and guys pitched 300+ innings? Well, if you have the pitchers, why not start the year with a 6 man rotation and see which teams tries to break that up by offering a decent return in trade? Just wonderin’.

  41. jerry says:

    you need hitters who get base hit…not just home runs..we have home run hitters.. and i dont think that is great for the dodgers.i said it before ..i dont think this is a great team…money doesnt buy good teams..like most of you think.you need both ave.hitter and power hitters.

  42. Quasimodo says:

    Not a great team? Well lets hear your pick. I’ll go out on a limb. 94 wins at the bottom.

  43. Quasimodo says:

    I haven’t seen Angels roster for today’s game. But if they don’t also have split squad then Dodgers may have a slight disadvantage. At any rate I’m excited for the 3+ hrs to put behind me. I’m also guessing we won’t be hearing Vin as announcer. Primeticket is showcasing Angels pregame, so likely game will be Angels broadcast.

  44. Bobby says:

    Can’t wait till Mark’s new topic this weekend. I think we all, since we are utmost experts, should make our predictions for the year, record and all.

    We can refer back to it in Oct (when we’re 17 games behind SF) and see how far off we were

  45. Bill Russell says:

    The answer to the question is yes I am Bill Russell.

  46. DRomo says:

    The one and only BRuss!!!

  47. DRomo says:

    BRuss, looking forward to a great season and getting out to the yard with you again. Always good to talk baseball with you.

    I am going Wednesday. Too excited to see the new stadium. What I have seen looks awesome.

    Mark, Thanks for the link to hidemyass I think it might work with the iPad.

  48. Quasimodo says:

    Wow! I’m usually not a person that gets ‘starstruck’ but I admit I feel like I’m speaking with royalty. Yes ‘Royalty’ is the correct word in this case. Honored Sir. See, Mark? Validates just how special your site is-like you didn’t know.

  49. Badger says:

    I wonder how many Bill Russell’s there might be in California, let alone the U.S..

    I got the over on 92 wins. I remain confident.

  50. Quasimodo says:

    Badger, we’re pretty much on the same page, again. It seems most like predict inside a 4 game span. With me its 8 this year = 94-102. Plus I also see the Nats have a bigger obstacle with Braves than we have with Giants.

  51. Bill Russell says:

    Yes Romo that will be great. I think Tommy can hook us up again. LOL

  52. Badger says:

    Hey Bill Russell, remember me? We met at the Kaiser Grill in Palm Springs. We shared a pizza and you signed a restaurant receipt for me. That is, if you are the same guy that played SS for the Dodgers n

  53. Bill Russell says:

    Well I can take it further Badger. I remember you umpiring a few of my minor league games. I don’t recall the Palm Spring meeting however. Maybe that was Ron.

  54. Quasimodo says:

    Friends, we really got to see some outstanding pitching, eh? This is going to be a very good season.

  55. Quasimodo says:

    Badger, were you really a pro umpire? I’m starting to feel a bit out of my league here. About the only thing I’m able to claim is playing little league with Jason Thompson.

    • Badger says:

      Yeah, I was a pro. But, wasn’t a minor league ump. I helped put myself through college doing Semi-pro, college, American Legion and every summer baseball and softball league around the Chico, Redding and later, the Napa area. I was damn good too. I also coached at the high school and Jr College level. I tried out for, and made, the U.S. Marine Corps team out of San Deigo, but my orders were cut West Pac and never played for them.

      Love this game.

      You aren’t out of anyone’s league here quas.

      Who’s Jason Thompson? That Canadian actor? (kidding)

  56. Badger says:

    Justin Sellers at short?

    Well, he is the best defender in the group. If the other 7 guys can put up 4-5 runs a game until Ramirez is back………. who knows, maybe it could work. I like the way Sellers plays the game – all out – but his offense leaves a bit to be desired. If he gets more at bats, maybe he could keep it around .250. That’s the way many shortstops stayed in the league years ago. Anyone remember Mark Belanger? 18 years, .228 career hitter, 8 Gold Gloves, including 6 in a row. Don’t see that these days.

  57. Corey says:

    anyone hear any rumblings about the Mets coming after one of our surplus pitchers now that Santana is done again?

    • Badger says:

      I haven’t heard specifically they want to talk to the Dodgers, but I suspect they will want to talk to everybody and look first to the free agents who are still out there.

  58. Jose says:

    “Jose” I have to say great work! That is “Biding Their Time | LADodgerTalk.com – Matt Kemp, Clayton Kershaw, Vin Scully, Andre Ethier and the Dodgers” really the variety of information which must be shared round the net.

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