From 2004 until 2009, Chone Figgins was one of the top leadoff hitters in baseball while playing for the Angels.  He still has a career .277  BA and a .349 OB% even after three horrible seasons in Seattle.

He wouldn’t be the first player to go to Seattle and almost die – witness one Adrian Beltre who saw his stats plummet while in Seattle.   Adrian Beltre has since re-established himself as the one of the premier power-hitters and RBI men in the game.   There is something about Seattle that just doesn’t agree with some guys.   I know he’s from Georgia and went to school in Florida, but he had his major league success in LA.  He was out of baseball last year, and while it’s not likely he can steal as many bases at age 36, he could rebound while back in familiar surroundings.  Let’s not forget that in a seven year stretch from 2004 to 2010, he averaged 44 stolen bases a season.

He doesn’t have much experience at 2B.  3B is his more natural position, but it’s possible he could do a decent job at 2B – he does have a “soft” glove.  However, if he were to regain his batting stroke, Juan Uribe has a lot more experience at 2B and they could switch positions.

On the other, hand, Chone could become a super-sub and bench player, filling-in all over and pinch-hitting.

The Case Against Chone Figgins:

He’s too old and can’t play anymore!

At any rate, he’s worth a chance.  I have to give Ned credit for trying.

Disclaimer:  I am not sure I believe any of this, but it is possible.

Dodger News:

  • Next, look for Michael Young to sign with a Dodger team near you shortly.
  • Hey, why didn’t we sign Paul Janish?
  • I may need to hire protection next time I am in the Pressbox at Dodger Stadium.
  • By the way, Mathematical-Space Cat (I think I know who this is), DailyDodgers is a site. They also have a ranking of the blogs HERE.  That may explain the vitriol.  Yours truly was second behind Tony Jackson’s.  It’s funny that the former blogs of the founders of DodgersDigest rank lower than the rest of the blogs.  It probably means nothing, but it’s interesting that I was told by one of the bloggers that my opinion was “painstakingly wrong” when his blog rank was a BIG ZERO and mine was a 7!  Do the math!

I also want to extend a sincere apology to anyone I offended yesterday:  “Sorry if I offended you – but screw you if I did!

airmax

  1. DodgerDude says:

    Props to you Mark. It looks like the trolls brought a knife to a gunfight.

    Great comeback!

    On Figgins: You are right. He could be excellent or horrible but it is a chance that the Dodgers should have taken and they are.

    I have mixed feelings about Michael Young.

  2. Quasimodo says:

    Yesterday was just a weird. And not a lot of fun either. When first hearing about the Figgins signing it tripped the negative wire in my head but it also planted a seed to think about it more. I’ll admit that I could be manufacturing a feel good story in my head, but the makings for that are there. With all the ‘why Figgins?’ I find most of my answers lean to the positive side. The biggest reason is ‘he doesn’t want to go out like that’ and has something to prove to himself.

  3. Badger says:

    My ears perked up when I read he ran 6.5 60 for some scouts recently. Anything under 6.7 is very good. It’s a low risk high reward move. Good for the Dodgers. Great chance for Figgins.

    I am surprised by the low score at MSTI. Maybe they get downgraded in the “poster friendly” category.

  4. Jae says:

    I read the post earlier and went to Daily Dodgers to look at the rankings and Feelin’ Kinda Blue had no votes. Neither did Chad Moriyama and MSTI had just a few.

    Now they have a bunch of 10′s.

    You all know what you need to do. Go there and vote. They are obviously doing it.

    This is really funny.

    Mark has so much power over those “little boys.”

  5. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    As far as I’m concerned this is the best site for anyone who wants to actually engage in intelligent dialog with other fans. Don’t really care about the scores at Daily Dodgers, since it doesn’t appear as if there are all that many votes being cast.

    Badger, I thought the same thing when I saw the 6.5 time. Definitely low risk, high reward.

    Saw this in Bleacher Report.

    http://www.mlbdailydish.com/2014/1/26/5349074/ervin-santana-drawing-interest-from-rockies-orioles-yankees-dodgers

    Certainly hope it’s NOT true. Ervin Santana would cost a draft pick. Hope it’s just another false rumor. Actually, I find it hard to believe that the Dodgers would even consider the loss of a draft pick. But I’ve been wrong before.

  6. Quasimodo says:

    Personally I don’t care who’s tops or who’s bottom. And to add to that, I think Mike Petriello is probably the best Dodger writer on the planet. I can’t imagine any Dodger players pay attention to the comments at MSTI/DD, but I know that they view them here. At least some of them do. I’d hate seeing this site gain too much popularity. As it is it stands as my favorite as we are able to toss back and forth our opinions and hit or miss. There are some good comments at DD, just not a high percentage. The community over there loves it. And that’s fine. I just happen to love it more over here.

  7. RogerCraig says:

    Figgins used to be a game-changer. Maybe he can recapture some of that, but after missing a year and at age 36 my experience tells me it is not likely. We can always hope…

  8. N1120A says:

    Figgins isn’t a power hitter, so playing in Seattle should have little to do with his offensive decline. His 2010 was fairly skewed by a poor early start and some bad BABIP luck. Plus, he was moved off 3B, where he had become comfortable. Also, he has been injured, though part of that is being in bad shape.

    I would caution that 2B isn’t a good position for the guy. He is similar to Uribe, in that he relies on a very strong arm to make up for other issues. Its fine for a minor league deal. However, he’s not going to be the guy from Anaheim.

  9. Quasimodo says:

    The bench is what comes into mind with Figgins. And IF he performs well I can see many pluses. Age 36 ain’t so promising, but some guys didn’t get the auto decline in their blueprints and that’s more often the case with smaller guys. All’s I can say is this is interesting and I’ll just keep my fingers crossed. I’m not about to place a bet on this.

  10. Jimbo says:

    The realistic role for Figgins is as a utility player replacing Punto and pinch hitter/runner. He’s a no risk signing that could fill a valuable role if he has something left. I heard that if Michael Young doesn’t retire he wants to play for the Dodgers. I say pass on that and sign Jeff Baker. I’ve said it on here before but he rakes against lefties which is something we need with Ethier’s and Crawford’s troubles against lefties. He is also more versatile than Young in that he can play in the outfield as well as in the infield.

  11. Badger says:

    Figgins isn’t a starter any more and he knows it. He’s coming to a team that is already good enough to win a championship. He knows what his role will be. And he is very aware, as are all of us, he is one hammy away from being called on to help this team win. Hopefully he is taking this opportunity seriously. 6.5 60. That’s impressive. Now, can he get on base again.

  12. Pete M. says:

    We got alot of bench candidates… It’s sort of a crap shoot every year, but you’re always looking for that next group of ‘Stunt Men’… Now that my friends was a joy to watch…

    • Badger says:

      What’s funny about Young? He likes the Dodgers and hit over .300 for us. It’s not like he’s 40. He should hit ok if he’s not on the field for hours every day.

  13. Watford Dodger says:

    I’d take Young over most of whats left out there for certain. As Badger said – professional hitter and good clubhouse guy with bags of experience. Can cover 2nd & 3rd where we are short. Sign him up.
    Take Figgins to camp and see how he rolls. What is there to lose?
    With SVS, Gordon & the 4th outfielder plus hopefully Young the bench doesn’t look too bad.
    My concern is the top of the order. I still don’t think Crawford is the answer leading off – he looks better batting 2nd to me. However we have no lead-off guy. Puig is a game changer with his speed but will he get on enough to do damage. He doesn’t walk enough to lead off.
    Maybe it’s got to be Crawford the Puig unless Guerro can hit & run.

    Crawford
    Puig
    Hanley
    Agon
    Kemp
    Uribe
    Guerro
    AJ
    Pitcher

    Still looks a strong line up without Ethier in it.
    Mark Ellis used to bat 2nd quite a lot but that option has gone.
    Maybe that’s why Figgins is getting a look?

  14. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    My guess is, that out of Spring Training the Dodgers will start the season with 11 pitchers, given all the days off early in the season. If that’s the case, the early season roster would have 6 bench players. And I’ll assume (without any certainty) that those 6 will include the following:

    SVS (not 100% guaranteed)
    Extra Outfielder from among Kemp/Ethier/Puig/Crawford
    Fedex
    Gordon – my own personal prejudice

    That leaves two spots to fill from among:

    1. Chone Figgins
    2. Michael Young (maybe)
    3. Justin Sellers (I doubt it)
    4. Miguel Rojas (more doubt)
    5. Anyone else I’m not thinking of or another acquisition (e.g., Jeff Baker or whomever)

    If the Dodgers start with or later on move to 12 pitchers, only one more spot will need to be filled. Except for the doubtful Sellers and Rojas, I don’t see anyone on that secondary list who could reliably fill-in at short. Maybe the Dodgers just figure that Hanley won’t have to be given too many days off, and won’t often be substituted for with a defensive replacement. Or else, they’re willing to sacrifice some defense by occasionally substituting Gordon/Young/Figgins for Hanley.

    Lots can change between now and opening day, and between now and the second half of the season. But clearly, not all of the above names will be on the team at the same time.

  15. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Bobby, I am on the fence about regarding Michael Young. However, I never judge a player by what he does in a particular series, no matter how important it was. Sometimes it’s just chance how a player does in any particular slice of time. If the Dodgers had won the NLCS, maybe Young would have been a World Series hero. We don’t know, and we’ll never know. Why did Puig tear it up at a .471 clip in the NLDS, and stink it up in the NLCS at a .227 clip? So I’m not ready to call Michael Young “useless”, just as I wouldn’t characterize Puig as being useless in the NLCS.

    Just read this written by Peter Gammons in the latest issue of Baseball America (January 31-February 14, 2014).

    “Yes, he is 29, not sub-25. Yes, he’s been the equivalent of an MVP in 2011, when he had a 10 WAR and 39 homers. He had 10 homers on April 25, 2012, when the injuries began. He had the front shoulder operation that November, but was never right that year.
    But in late December, he said, ‘I feel really good, my shoulder is back to normal, I’m out of the boot and running and my head’s in a really good place.’ In other words, he is back in the MVP thought again, and the Dodgers can be a 100-win team if their two best position players–Kemp and Hanley Ramirez–and elite starting pitchers are healthy.”

    My sentiments exactly. We can talk about this utility infielder, that utility infielder, etc., etc., etc. In the end, it’s the performances of the stars on this team that is going to largely determine the final outcome. Yes, the production of everyone will be important. But none of it will work without significant production from Kemp, Hanley, Agon, etc., etc., etc. And a healthy and productive Kemp would be a huge boost to production up and down the lineup.

  16. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Don’t know how that “about regarding” got into the first sentence of my previous post. It should have been “I am on the fence regarding Micheal Young” or “I am on the fence about Michael Young.” Just another brain malfunction.

  17. Roger Dodger says:

    Sign Michael Young. There are a lot worse guys out there.

    If Young tanks it through mid-June, then drop him.

    But he brings a past, and professionalism, and he is a pro.

  18. Mark_Timmons says:

    Go back to your circle jerk (I like that) you pathetic little boy who hides behind a pseudonym because he’s afraid to put his real name out there. You both are pathetic little maggots, but if no one cares or knows about us, you must be less than no one. You are nothing, and you are our bitches! Give me your real name (you have mine) and we can speak face-to-face! You little Chickenshit, hide behind a keyboard pathetic punk!

    Have a nice day… or not! If you want to get into a war of words you brought a knife to WMD fight! You are way outta’ your league. Now go back to your momma’s basement and play Dungeons and Dragons.

  19. Badger says:

    We’ve already talked about this. We like the writers there, and you two come in here and do nothing but reinforce the narrative. Its about the posters there. We have nothing in common. It’s not necessarily a negative thing. It just is what is.

    I just came from DD and an excellent piece about available pitchers is followed by about 50 posts talking about beer and football in LA. There just isn’t a lot of baseball talk on that sight. That’s fine. If it works for you then great – enjoy it. But there really is no need for you to come here and do nothing but insult. We like it here. You like it there. Let’s just accept that and move on.

  20. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    I don’t know enough at this point to know if the Dodgers should be interested in AJ Burnett, nor if it really makes any sense. But according to this he will not be retiring, and plans to test the open market.

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2014/01/aj-burnett-will-pitch-in-2014-not-necessarily-for-pirates.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+MlbTradeRumors+%28MLB+Trade+Rumors%29

    Anyone have any thoughts about this?

  21. RogerCraig says:

    Beckett and Billingsley will return.

    Fife is decent.

    Lee and Stripling are young power arms.

    I think it is foolish to block the youngsters any more.

    Mark is high on Ross Stripling and so am I.

    The luxury tax is going to hurt. I say let the youngsters play. That is what the Cardinals did.

  22. Watford Dodger says:

    Jerry you have a good point and I thought about that but two things – firstly Agon is our leading RBI man and you can’t have him batting too low. Second – after the ankle surgery and the persistent Hammy problems I’m not sure we will see Kemp doing too much to put himself at risk. It’s only a guess of course but I think Donnie will be asking him to look after himself like he did with Hanley towards the end of last season. Speed could well de an issue with our starting team. Even Guerro brings a hammy issue with him to join Kemp, Hanley & Crawford with that problem. Agon & AJ are slow. Puig is our only real speedster and of course Gordon off the bench.
    Nice to see you enjoying yourself Mark.

  23. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Roger, I just threw that Burnett thing out there to stir up a little talk before I had time to process it. Given that Burnett will be 37, and likely require a multi-year deal, I’d be more inclined to give the kids a shot, especially since we also have Beckett, Billingsley and Fife in the mix.

    From what I’ve read, Lee and Stripling both throw mostly in the low 90′s, maybe hitting 95 on occasion. Neither of them, as far as I know, reaches the upper 90′s. So power arms might be a bit generous. But who cares, as long as they know how to pitch, and can locate their pitches.

    Early in the season, given the number of days off (especially after trip to Australia), the 5th starter probably isn’t going to see any work until the latter part of April. That being the case, I’m guessing that young arms like Lee and Stripling will open the season in the minors, and maybe get called up sometime in May, or even June.

    Jerry, I think you meant that Kemp should NOT hit in front of Agon. Agon only clogs up the bases when he’s on base in front of speedier runners, which is just about everyone compared to Agon. However, Watford is right about not having Agon hit too low. Besides, it’s not just Kemp. You can throw Hanley and Puig into that conversation. Agon probably serves the purpose of splitting up all those righthanded hitters, all of which would be compromised on the basepaths hitting behind Agon. But if everyone is hitting, it’s probably not going to matter all that much. Also, if Agon is hitting down in the lineup, the Dodgers would probably end up with back to back lefthanded hitters when Ethier is playing.

    Where Kemp hits could also change during the season, depending on his performance. Could be that he will hit a little lower in the lineup until he gets more comfortable, and starts to hopefully get his game back. We don’t even know at this point if Kemp will even be in the lineup at the very beginning of the season. But give me a healthy Kemp, Puig, Hanley and Agon, along with everyone else being healthy, and the Dodgers will score runs no matter where anyone is hitting.

  24. Pete M. says:

    There are numerous paragraphs written about the Jae’s of the world in forensic psychologists manuals and literature. Sports sites or actually any site which allows him spew his diatribe, gives him excitement and relief in mind…
    Okey Dokey… I’m in on Young and hoping for a Uribe comeback type year… I still lament we have all the arms we need to fill a #5 spot… That being said, I was really happy for Burnett, because he went thru some hell in NY…

Click Here to Leave a Reply