The Dodgers are a talented team, but they have some issues – issues that I believe will be addressed before the season is over.

For example, they really don’t have a quality Center-fielder, but they do have Carl Crawford, Andre Ethier and Joc Pederson – lefties all!

Matt Kemp can be a valuable offensive player but gets injured on defense and should not play CF – he’s best hidden in LF.  Matt Kemp needs to play left field.  PERIOD!

Carl Crawford is VISIBLY smaller this year – leading me to believe that he bulked up too much last season.  I’m serious – watch the video – he’s a lot slimmer!   Maybe that will bode well… or not.  At any rate, Carl Crawford is untradable because of his contract.  Joc Pederson may or may not be MLB ready, but he is a player that has future in the majors.  Then, there is Andre Ethier who has had a great spring, sports a new awesome attitude, appears headed to a career year, can play any outfield position and 1B and is poised to be traded.  That’s right!  TRADED!  I said it, I meant it and I’m here to represent it!

So, here’s the deal:  Carl Crawford, Andre Ethier, Chris Withrow and Joc Pederson (along with $70 million cash) are sent to the Pirates for Andrew McCutchen.  Hey, you have to overpay to get something valuable.  Why would the Pirates do this?  Well they would get better immediately with Ethier and Crawford in the outfield and Withrow in the pen and Joc Pederson in the wings waiting.

The upshoot is that the Dodgers would get a REAL leadoff hitter.  Here’s the lineup:

  1. McCutchen  CF
  2. Ramirez  SS
  3. Kemp  RF
  4. Gonzalez  1B
  5. Puig  RF
  6. Uribe  3B
  7. Guerrero/Gordon  2B
  8. Ellis C

Be Bold!  That’s my motto!

spring-sale

  1. Bobbie17 says:

    For some teams, a great leadoff hitter is important. I don’t this team is one of them. Someone competent is enough. I’m not sure who that is. Keep Pederson. He could be good. Ethier might be our best hitter this year. I am more worried about Puig, Paco, and starting pitcher depth. How can these guys last a whole season???

  2. Badger says:

    Interesting idea. Too complicated. McCutcheon is the premier draw for the Pirates. A group of Dodger rejects wouldn’t interest them.

    Frankly I see Kemp as the guy who might go. I think he has DH written all over him. This will be the tell year for him. If he can still hit, AL teams will be very interested. Then we can field an al LH hitting outfield.

    I think the Dodgers are good enough to be near the top of the NL in offense but I got a gut feeling they won’t be. My instinct tells me we will win a lot of close games with pitching. I can see us looking for offense at the deadline. I would feel more confident if our middle of the order averaged 3 years younger. I can’t help it, I’m concerned about the health of some very expensive players.

  3. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    McCutchen is a young superstar. Teamed with a healthy Kemp in left and Puig in right, that outfield would be the best in baseball. I think Pederson has serious upside, but McCutchen has already reached that upside. I’d probably do that deal in a heartbeat. Would the Pirates do it. Can’t say. But it would certainly take an awful lot to pry McCutchen loose. And I’m pretty sure that that deal would not go over well in Pittsburgh.

    Would he hit leadoff on the Dodgers? Maybe. But I would have to believe that even with his high on base skills, the Dodgers would probably prefer McCutchen in the middle of the lineup, given that he also has power (but maybe less in the spacious NL West ballparks).

    But the reality is, is that this deal is probably more imagination than reality. And Andre Ethier having a career year is probably a bit of an exaggeration. Maybe his good spring is harbinger of things to come, but maybe it’s just spring training, and should not be taken too seriously. Besides, I have my doubts we’re ever going to see 31 HRs from Ethier again. He might be poised to have a good year, not a career year.

  4. Pete M. says:

    Dodger rejects??? Strong word for those 4 players…Is this the residual effect of St. Patrick’s day or what???
    I think after some thought, the Bucs would jump all over that if they were serious about a ring… The Bucs are C rick in the minors and maybe we could pry a Jkang or McGuire from them…
    All that said and done, lets get this thing going with the ones that took us to the dance last year…

  5. Badger says:

    2 guys past their prime owed about 160 million for the Pirates best player in his prime. Tell me – why would Pittsburgh do that?

    I like that lineup too. But it would take a few more teams involved to pull it off and would end up costing a lot of money. Dumping both Crawford and Ethier would require eating most of those bloated contracts. All the prospects received could be used along with a few of our own to send to Pittsburgh and then there is paying McCutcheon AT LEAST what we are willing to pay all those other guys. It might could be done. By Colletti? I have my doubts. Like I said, too complicated b

    The Dodgers have put together a pretty good team. Bench depth is a crack. Aging injury prone players is a crack. Once again, if they all stay on the field for 148 games, I like our chances with this group.

  6. Roger Dodger says:

    Must really be hard for the Dodgers to evaluate Matt Kemp right now.

    They watch him taking batting practice and he probably is hitting balls with authority and out of sight. A+

    They watch him in minor league games and he goes like 1 for 6 and they say, soon. D+

    They put in in the outfield for an inning or two, and hope nothing happens to hurt his body. B

    In the end — they know he should probably move to LF or even back to RF, but they know in his heart he expects to play in CF, so they wait another day. C+

    In the end — the doctors watch him, the trainers watch him, other teams are probably watching him, and the Dodgers are most certainly watching him.

  7. Frank A says:

    Timmons, you’ve really got to stay out of that loco weed. That’s too much to trade away. Though McCutchen is a great player (for the Pirates), he doesn’t fill the bill here. And although Puig will eventually come around (I hope!), I believe he will be sent down to the minors (to fix his swing) early on. As someone suggested above, Ethier will probably be the best hitting outfielder, at least in the early going. Baxter, not Pederson, will join the outfield. I also think they can’t keep getting no hitting from the catcher position for long and will send FedX down and bring Olivo up to be backup catcher or trade Guerra for one.

  8. Pete M. says:

    Lets be real, this is just a fantasy that Mark brought up… Maybe the $70M cash thrown in would help the Bucs go for it…
    I really see no reason discussing Joc in any trade scenarios… He will be in the Dodger OF one way or another in 2015…
    Wit a healthy Matt Kemp alot of our bench and specifically our 2B all but disappear…

  9. Badger says:

    It’s about this year. I think Ethier, with 500 PAs, could muster a 3 WAR. Crawford, approaching 500 PAs, could offer a 2+ WAR. Puig? Who knows, but is good enough to give us 3 more wins. Now we get to Kemp, a 5 WAR player when he is healthy. Putting him on a corner position is a good idea and one I have been promoting for a few years now. He has a good arm, put him RF. Puig in center and the LH platoon in left. I can see Donnie mixing that up all year. But the less stress on Kemp’s legs the better.

    I don’t see a big move being made. Tweaks yes, but the pieces are here. Keep them all off the DL and Donnie has some excellent talent with which to work.

    I remain confident.

  10. Pete M. says:

    Camelback Alert…Even with the MLB roster players in AU.,its cool to check out some of the kids left back at camp.
    What isnt cool is the fan convenience at the back fields… Too hot and no shade. bring your water… Not so bad for me, but real rough on little woman… Thank God she accepts my baseball addiction…

  11. Roger Dodger says:

    So the Dodgers at home (AZ) are just playing some minor league games and nothing against other teams till August 27 (Angels).

    Frank A — I have been yelling about the catching slot here for more than a year, but Brooklyn and others keep saying we have enough in the order to win with just their (include Fed Ex) at catcher. Not a lot out there to get and our system has been dry there for years.

    Several other catching free agents have come and going over the past two seasons and the Dodgers did not go there.

    There are times in the Dodger line that bother me: when it ends with Uribe, 2B, Catcher, and the pitcher slot === that is 4 weak out and most times all are hitting below .250 or .230 or .210 or lower. And when the number 2, 3, 4, 5 guys are having a tough day — it makes a long day.

    • Badger says:

      I am still fine with Ellis/FedX as catcher as long as we have Hanley Ramirez, Matt Kemp and Alex Guerrero in the lineup, not Justin Sellers, Luis Cruz, Jerry Hairston or Puntamacher in there. We go to the hamburger squad then AJ/FedX is just another relatively easy out at the bottom of the lineup. If the pitchers are happy with their catchers, then we can find offense from those players who are being paid around $20 million to hit. We have a few of those. I am not convinced that the bench is any stronger this year than it was last. If Gordon comes around, then he and Turner may be considerably better than what we had last year. That remains to be seen.

  12. Watford Dodger says:

    That’s a good take Badger but I was keen on making a run at Mcann as an offensive catcher is a huge plus (look at Posey or even Piazza). Roger is right we are light at catcher particularly after AJ. FedEx can’t hit but he’s Babe Ruth compared to Butera. Like Frank’s idea about a trade for a catcher – AJ doesn’t look like a World Series winning catcher to me.

    • Badger says:

      He ain’t Posey but then Brandon Crawford isn’t Hanley Ramirez and Angel Pagan isn’t Matt Kemp.

      We have far more potential than the team Posey is on. I would like to upgrade at C but if everyone else is doing what they are paid to do, we should be a’ight with Ellis/whoever.

  13. Roger Dodger says:

    Waterford . . . Dodgers will probably make no change in the AJ slot this season. Maybe in the FedEX slot during the season.

    But again, what bothers me is that last 4 slots in the batting order. Uribe seems to be only a key player for about 30 games and the rest of the season he is an 0-for this and that.

    The other key is 2B. I would love to see Alex take it over at some point and be the man. Gordon might find himself and take it over, or be the super sub that some are hoping for.

    THEN we can carry a light hitting catcher like AJ and FedEx. But to keep those last for slots with Uribe, 2B?, catcher, pitcher — is asking a lot for the 162 games.

  14. Watford Dodger says:

    Yep the bottom of the order is a worry. I like the idea floated on here about Gordon batting 9th behind the pitcher. Potentially we could have Gordon then Puig then Crawford followed by all the RBI guys.However that leaves the 7th batter (AJ) vulnerable.
    On a different note are we to presume that SVS gets the start in LF in Oz as no CC or Kemp?

  15. Bob says:

    Baseball is so much fun but seeing all of these TJ surgeries becoming necessary over the last month is a boomer. I would rather see great competition against the best pitchers in the game. Sadness in SD and ATL.

    • Badger says:

      I see your point Bob but fact is Arizona fans weren’t sorry to see Kemp go down and St Louis fans sure as heck weren’t sorry that Hanley had his rib busted.

      Yes, a lot of outs at the bottom of our order. But there should be production 1-6. And our staff should be able to hold teams down. I think we are going to win a lot of low scoring games.

  16. jerry says:

    the tj surgery is because they do every thing different the old day.s.. all the weight lifting and the long toss ..those are two different throw and it dosent help there arms..just my opinion

  17. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Jerry, pitchers blew out their UCL’s just as often in the old days (maybe more often). In those days we just heard that the pitcher had an elbow injury with little emphasis on the UCL or whatever. And there was no talk of TJ surgery because it didn’t exist.

    I just came across something about the Pirates, and was reminded that they have one of the top outfield prospects in the game, Gregory Polanco. Based on that alone, I would think they would have little interest in moving McCutchen. They want to win now, but they’re also building for the future, and McCuthen is definitely part of that. Only way they’d move McCutchen is if they think they won’t be able to afford him going forward.

  18. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    By the way, with all the TJ surgeries popping up with other teams, maybe we should give some slack to our medical staff. It would appear that the Dodgers do not have a monopoly on medical issues.

  19. Quasimodo says:

    I’d say they’ve had slack as far as the pitchers go. I don’t think any us blamed medical staff with pitcher injuries. All of us were concerned with so many hamstring injuries, and medical staff has to take the blame there. If proper exercise with hamstring injury in mind there’d of been less. Something had to have been overlooked.

    • Badger says:

      Carl Crawford (shoulder) is expected to return to playing in minor league games for the Dodgers on Thursday.

      Crawford exited Tuesday’s game with a little inflammation in his right shoulder, but it’s no big deal. He’ll sit out Wednesday (which was already a scheduled day off) before returning Thursday. Crawford didn’t make the trip to Australia in order to be with his fiance, who is expecting their child. Mar 18 – 11:41 PM
      Source: David Vassegh on Twitter

      Minor injury. No big deal. Ding. They add up. Aging is the accumulation of one ding after another. Crawford is like an 8 year old Corvette with a lot of miles and a lot of dings. He will never run as well as he did 8 years ago. In and out of the shop all year? Heck, we may need 5 outfielders.

    • Badger says:

      Did enjoy! Thanks.

      If Mark was GM maybe he would hire one of us as his assistant and we would be busy talking him off these ledges.

      Who is actually available that would fill a void? Nobody right now. But things will change as rosters are finalized. Then there is the trade deadline. We should know by then if our tin men are going to be a problem. In the mean time, we have a decent roster. Stretch those hammys and make sure everyone gets proper rest and good nutrition. Let’s get this party started!

  20. Bob says:

    The Dodgers are most of their way through their Spring Training and look like a team that is not hungry and did not come to camp in top shape nor started their off season conditioning workouts early enough. This season is officially up in the air until a real motivator emerges.

    1. Crawford LF .188 I need a burp bib when I watch him
    2. Puig RF .122 Too Fat & possible sophomore jinx
    3. Gonzalez 1B .303
    4. Rameriz SS .231
    5. EThier CF .324 Another hot spring that leads to ?
    6. Uribe 3B .270
    7. Gordon 2B .286 About time
    8. Ellis C .129 He looks old to me

    1. Baxter OF .278
    2. Van Slyke OF/IF .219 Full of potential?
    3. Turner IF .355 Finally a real PH?
    4. Figgins OF/IF/C/RHP? .167 I hope that he can play every position
    5. FedEx C .077 AAA material

    1. Kershaw 9.20 Started Late? Used too much last year?
    2. Greinke 11.57 Started Late?
    3. Ryu 2.20 Hurrah!
    4. Haren 1.80 Already tired?
    5. Beckett 5.63 Already Injured?

    1. Jansen 0.00 Can count on him!
    2. Wilson 4.15 hum..
    3. Howell 3.10
    4. Perez 3.18
    5. Wright 9.95 One too many years?
    6. League 16.87 Time to DFA
    7. Maholm 7.04 Rather have Magill or Fife

    Time for all of the players and coaches to man up, be accountable, and grow some.

  21. Badger says:

    The performance numbers this early mean very little to me.

    The idea that these guys came into camp out of shape means plenty.

    Though the season technically starts this week-end, this schedule is Major League stupid. Even Wilbon says so. Other than “nobody gets hurt” I don’t really care what happens in those two games.

    The season starts against San Diego. We should know a little more by that time. I hope the guys are enjoying an all expense paid vacation to Oz and will be ready to get after it come April.

    • Badger says:

      That didn’t take long.

      Reading Dylan Hernandez’ piece this morning regarding that field. Sounds dangerous. Instead of installing poles to secure the outfield fences they put in huge cement blocks. Great idea. Outfielders cannot play the way they usually do. The mound is a problem and there is a 90 by 90 hard patch, the pitch, right in the middle of the field. This whole thing sounds like a really bad idea. There has to be better ways to promote baseball around the world. Just get out of there without further damage.

  22. Watford Dodger says:

    Boy it’s quiet in here today. I don’t want to sound negative but 3 hits against an Aussie team – really? I mean that is unbelievable. And we played the probable starting team for the D’backs first game. WTF.

    • Badger says:

      It’s the Coriolis Force. Causes bats to rotate through the strike zone differently. You think you are pulling the bat through the zone but since the strike zone is upside down it won’t work. Just ash anyone from down under and they will tell you Australian bats are made from Coriolian maple, which makes contact with a spiraling ball much more easily. Northern hemisphere ash is virtually useless down there, as evidenced by the Dodger performance.

  23. Watford Dodger says:

    Badger I’ve just had to Google the Coriolis effect. You are wasted. You could have been the Dodger’s special adviser on this trip Down Under. Let’s hope the D’backs don’t have Coriolian Maple bats. You could have got em stretching & given Donnie some advice on how and when to bunt & how to manage the later innings of a tight game while you were there!

    I’m predicting a 0 & 2 start. (and at least one hammy). Too many under cooked. Clayton especially.

    • Badger says:

      It’s good to see you get it W.

      I’m going with a split. The dbacks ain’t all that and have lost their best pitcher. I suggest Clayton drill Goldschmidt in the ribs with a first inning fastball (we know that works) and they will be down a bat. That evens things up.

      Light the fuse! Time for some Dodger baseball!

    • Badger says:

      From Wikipedia:

      “The Coriolis force is proportional to the rotation rate and the centrifugal force is proportional to its square. The Coriolis force acts in a direction perpendicular to the rotation axis and to the velocity of the body in the rotating frame and is proportional to the baseball’s speed in the rotating frame. The centrifugal force acts outwards in the radial direction and is proportional to the distance of the body from the axis of the rotating frame. These additional forces are termed inertial forces, fictitious forces or pseudo forces. They allow the application of Newton’s laws to a rotating baseball. They are correction factors that do not exist in a non-accelerating or inertial reference frame especially affecting strike zones in the Southern Hemisphere.

      Of course, the most commonly encountered rotating reference frame is the strike zone in Australian baseball. The Coriolis effect is caused by the rotation of the Earth and the inertia of the mass experiencing the effect. Because the Earth completes only one rotation per day, the Coriolis force is quite small, and its effects generally become noticeable only for motions of ash bats occurring over upside down strike zones. Such motions are constrained by the surface of the earth, so only the horizontal component of the Coriolis force is generally important to the baseball swing. This force causes moving objects (baseballs) on the surface of the Earth to be deflected in a clockwise sense (with respect to the direction of travel) in the Northern Hemisphere and in a counter-clockwise sense in the Southern Hemisphere. Rather than flowing directly from areas of high pressure to low pressure, as they would in a non-rotating system in northern hemisphere leagues, baseball bats made of northern ash and currents tend to flow to the right of this direction north of the equator and to the left down under”

  24. Michael says:

    Love March madness especially Po-dunk U’s upsetting the OSU’s,OU’s and Cinnci’s of the world. Go Harvard. Wonder what Mark will do tomorrow when the dookies …

  25. T.O.Dave says:

    No Dee Gordon in opening day. Puig leads off, followed by Justin Turner. Jerry Hairston seemed a bit upset about no Dee Gordon, no speed in lineup so he said. God I’m glad I switched to Time Warner.

  26. Badger says:

    My billion dollar bracket is busted.

    “Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez has lower back tightness he thinks was triggered by sightseeing.”

    Seriously? What is he – 60 years old? Must be the sacral corialis muscle in the lower pleziac hemisphere.

  27. Badger says:

    No opinions about both Gordon and Guerrero not in lineup on Opening Day?

    I still go with Guerrero against Miley. I don’t think the team’s best interest is served starting a bench player out of the gate.

    • Badger says:

      Depends on what side of the globe you live on. I think.

      Game on tv at 1 am here in Arizona. I’ll record it and watch it when I get up at 5.

      It begins. And already we start the second string.

  28. Watford Dodger says:

    If I’d had 50 guesses about the opening day line up, Turner wouldn’t have got a shout. All those Spring Training At Bats for Gordon & Guerrero and innings played at 2nd base and we end up with Turner. Guerrero hits lefties. Go figure.

    • Badger says:

      Yeah, that’ll come in handy. Can he hit behind a runner?

      Maybe they are teaching Guerrero humility. Nah, that doesn’t make any sense. You don’t give anyone 28 XXL and then expect humility. 30 days max and he’s up. I have no idea what roster move will be done to make it happen, but this team will eventually need his bat.

  29. Pete M. says:

    Confused!!! Need help…
    When do the Blue submit a 25 man roster??? The Freeway series will be expanded???
    Turner at 2B??? I have no problem… Better stick and a little less D…Were not looking at the long term solution anyhow. I am still in favor of Alex G. for tommorow, but thats not happening…

  30. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Guess Turner starting probably means that Guerrero is headed to ALBQ to begin the season. And for the time being it would appear to be a platoon at 2B. The one advantage to starting Gordon would probably be the field conditions. A hard infield would be advantageous to Gordon if he hits the ball on the ground, and the hard outfield would allow more of his hits to scoot into the gaps and down the lines. And the large amount of foul territory would allow him to be off to the races on any errant throws. Seems like the perfect venue to take advantage of his speed.

    Let the games begin.

  31. Badger says:

    “And now the always-global-minded Dodgers are here, with Yasiel Puig from Cuba, Kenley Jansen from Curacao, Hyun-Jin Ryu from Korea, Hanley Ramirez and Juan Uribe from the Dominican Republic and Clayton Kershaw from Dallas among the biggest names on their roster.”

    That cracked me up. “and Clayton Kershaw from Dallas”. Well yeah, Dallas is in Texas and Texas is a country all of itself.

  32. Quasimodo says:

    Hello, friends. The season starts without me. I really hate TWC and have to remain stubborn about not giving them business. Well, not directly at ant any rate. In the last two years I’ve missed only one game. Soon the World Series will be a pay per view event. Commercials used pay all the viewing fees and rabbit ear antennas was all you needed above having a TV. Now there’s just too many middle men and a line has to be drawn.

    • Michael says:

      Might be a good time to go old school and listen to Vin on the radio. I did this as a kid and I let Vinnie paint the picture in my eye. Good luck Quas. Good luck Dodgers, ready or not, he we come.

    • Mark_Timmons says:

      Hey Quas,

      I have e-mailed you and asked you on this blog, but Watford Dodger wants to get your e-mail address. Since you didn’t answer my e-mail… maybe that’s not your address…

      Suggestions?

    • grumpy3b says:

      dude….”Life as a Subscription”…it’s the new black. BTW, agree with you. I won’t even pay the MLB sub for radio. I can find it on legal online radio options. But see no reason to pay until Steiner is gone. Guy bugs crap outta me.

  33. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Roger, MLBN having the game is good for you and good for me because we don’t live in the LA blackout area. Guys like Quas get blacked out unless they have Time Warner. Same happens if they have MLB.TV.

  34. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Does anyone know why the D-Backs are the home team in both Australia games? Seems like an advantage for the Dodgers given that they will have all their homes games at Dodger Stadium, and two less games in Arizona. Mind you, I’m not complaining.

  35. Watford Dodger says:

    Is that right Brooklyn – you get blocked out if you live in the LA area and the game is out of area – like tomorrow – if you have MLB TV? I thought it was only the home games.

  36. Roger Dodger says:

    See, that is why I moved from L.A. when I was 3 years old. I knew that was coming in the future — and wanted to see the games and not be blacked out. Smart . . .

  37. grumpy3b says:

    Given that Comcrap is buying TWC pending the perfunctory FCC/FTC “approval”, why are the games at least now on Comcrap? Being rhetorical and ironic not literal because “they” (ESPN’s spy satellite’s] are watching.

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