I have to say this again:  I’m not sure Don Mattingly is the right guy to manage this bunch, but here we are anyway.   That said, this team has some glaring weaknesses that have to be overcome or the Dodgers will continue down the path they are currently on.

Consider these things:

  • Neither Ethier or Crawford is going to get his timing down with less than 250 AB’s a season.  They both have been starters their whole careers and alternating them won’t work (hasn’t worked), especially when Van Slyke plays against some lefties.
  • With Uribe back, the infield is strong defensively at the corners and very weak up the middle.  Hopefully, Dee Gordon will hit .300 and get on base at an over .350 clip so that the Dodgers are solid at the leadoff position, but he will never be a great defensive second baseman  – It’s just not in his DNA!  Oh, he will make some great plays at times and then a couple of horrible ones.  However, if he can keep hitting, it can be tolerated.
  • Hanley Ramirez is not Happy Hanley.  Oh, he’s not really mad right now, but he wants a $130 million + contract and the only team that can (should) give him that is one that has a DH.   As the season progresses, if Hanley does not have a new deal he will become a head case!

It’s time to make a move.  I don’t think the Dodgers have a shortstop in their system that is ready to play.  Guerrero simply isn’t a shortstop – his range is limited (he could possibly sub there).  Seager isn’t close to ready and Arruebarrena may never hit.  Guerrero’s bat looks like it could be solid at the major league level, but he has to play 2B or 3B.  Maybe it’s time to revisit a 3 or 4 way deal where the Dodgers trade Hanley to a team that is willing to give him his deal because they have the DH.  Also, in that deal, the contracts of Ethier and Crawford would be moved and Guerrero could be part of the deal… maybe even Zach Lee.  Trade partners are limited with Texas, New York and Boston being at the forefront.

Texas does need a starter or two, but I have no idea what they think of Lee (I don’t see him as any more than a #5).  I would like to see the Dodgers get someone like Elvis Andrus, back and a top catching prospect like the Yankees Gary Sanchez... or someone like that.  Andrus would hit second with Puig moving to the #3 spot in the batting order vacated by Ramirez.  The Dodgers would have to eat some payroll but it could work and maybe Guerrero doesn’t have to be a part of that deal.  I would be happy with this lineup (and it would be stronger defensively):

  1. Gordon  2B
  2. Andrus  SS
  3. Puig  RF
  4. Gonzalez  1B
  5. Kemp  CF
  6. Uribe 3B
  7. Pederson/Van Slyke  LF
  8. Ellis C

Sometimes subtraction is addition.  Hanley is not a SS, neither is he a second baseman!  He’s a DH in waiting who could play 2B or LF too.  This is a simple answer to a much harder question.  I know it’s not this simple, but moves need to be made… sooner than later, which also brings us to the pitching staff.

The pen is a disaster.  Brandon League still hasn’t earned Mattingly’s trust (but he should have) while Donnie keeps rolling out Arsonist Wilson to light wildfires on the other teams bats.  Paul Maholm (bless his heart) just isn’t very good and Kenley Jansen needs some tough love.

I think the Dodgers are making a BIG MISTAKE by keeping Paco Rodriguez at AAA where he is getting shelled.  Bring him up or put him at AA – he stuff won’t work in the PCL.  At any rate, Maholm and Wilson have to go somewhere.  Red Patterson or Matt Magill couldn’t do any worse.  Ryu should be back in a week or two, but Maholm is not the answer.  Shoot, start Drew Butera!  The guy is a #1!

It’s time for some change.  Some injection of youth!

Insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results.

Speaking of Wildfires, I drove through Carlsbad, Fallbrook and Temecula on Wednesday and it was a mess.  Godspeed to everyone there.

My Psycho Pacers could sweep the Heat or get swept – neither would surprise me!

memorial-day-2014

  1. Badger says:

    I used to live on a lemon ranch in Fallbrook. Was stationed at Pendleton too. I fear for that area. I fear for the entire West.

    Agree about Hanley and have said as much. The trouble is finding the right partner. Especially if the guy continues to .260. Maybe a trade involving Lee and Arrubueno would interest someone. I think Arru will start hitting soon. And he may be a player who earns his WAR defensively. Pitchers are going to love that guy.

    Gordon will not hit .300 and he won’t get on at .350. He hits too many weak grounders and his walk rate isn’t high enough. If he ends the year at .275 and .333 we will be fortunate.

    Why not Yimi. Did you see his numbers at Albu?

    If Ryu is ok our starters should be good enough. If he isn’t we have a hole. I still believe we should start thinking about a 6 man rotation. It’s the future. Get ahead of that curve now.

    This organization develops pitchers. Continue that and trade them for what we need.

    • BOB says:

      Thank you for the link. I guess I don’t have CBS Sports either. Crap!

      Agree with Mark.

      Ned Stockpiling too many players at certain positions and not enough at others. Donnie not knowing what to do. Ramirez asking for too much, just make him a qualifying offer after the season is over so he can become a DH in the AL. That will screw his greedy ass in this new MLB World. How you doin Stephen Drew and Kendrys Morales?

      Cappy has a 2.20 ERA and has closed 3 games for Boston for $2.25 mil. And Ned signed Wilson for $10 mil. Watched Moneyball last night. Really pissed at the overspending Dodgers right now. The Dodgers are “kinda like” the City of Stockton that overpaid its union employees for too long and eventually suffered the consequences. It is time to go young. That is the only way to lose the reputation for overspending/not knowing how to negotiate when free agents knock on your door.

      Kemp is still playing like a DH and should be considered as trade bait in July if his stopping and cutting does not improve.

      The infield, except for Turner, is in a major slump and these dead heads are taking way too long to figure out what is wrong. Gordon batting .171 against LHP. This team has a bunch of overpaid 3 tool players.

      Dodgers are the 29th best team against LHP at .213 and 2nd best against RHP at .275. Most of these underachievers have extreme splits when batting. In my opinion anyone with a split at .100 or more, that means 7 current Dodgers, must be platooned:

      Better against RHP
      Gordon .190
      Uribe .133
      Figgins .130
      Kemp .122
      Ethier .120

      Crawford .087
      Gonzalez .086
      Turner .043
      Rameriz .002

      Better against LHP
      Van Slyke .143
      Butera .103

      Puig .012

      Same
      Ellis .000

      • Badger says:

        The difference between Stockton and the Dodgers is night and day. Stockton no longer has the budget to meet its bills. We could go into the reasons why, but I won’t bother. The Dodgers are filthy rich and have MORE than enough income, and assets, to pay their bills. The tv contract alone can support a larger salary structure. Now add the income stream of 3,645,000 people coming through the turnstiles every year. No need to be pissed about the payroll. Be pissed about what they do with it if you choose, but the Dodgers are hardly in financial difficulty. This is a Rolls Royce organization.

        • BOB says:

          What happens if the Clipper’s owner wins his probable anti-trust lawsuit against the NBA? It would then spread to MLB especially with the price fixing and other anti-trust violations regarding the TV networks and the stupid 7 county exclusive area of the Dodgers and Angels that stretches all of the way to Yuma and Mammoth. I predict major economic problems in the professional sports pyramid within 5 years.

          • Badger says:

            Maybe. I doubt it. This is corporate Umerka at its finest. They have sports junkies by the millions ready and eager to pay whatever is necessary to bail them out. Even idiots like McBug and racist morons like Schott and Sterling come out on top. If the fans (the voting public) don’t put a stop to it, it just goes on and on and on and on ad nauseum. I tried to organize an Opening Day boycott years ago. I got laughed at. Now we are paying for tv viewing, $100 a ticket, $15 parking, $10 for lousy beer and $10 for life ending hot dogs. And we are showing up in record numbers. Like I said, the beat goes on.

  2. Rob says:

    It’s crazy that league is the most reliable guy out of the pen. What the hell happened to our pen? Is it bad preparation or loss of confidence? We have the ability to make a run but Hanley really needs to start hitting. Watching Garrett jones drop that bunt during the shift really shows how Agon needs to make teams pay for playing him so right sided.

    • Badger says:

      Amen to that. It’s relatively easy to bust that shift. Just bunt the ball in that general direction. Doesn’t need to be perfect, just get it down. A guy should be able to hit .600 against that lame defense.

  3. Adam says:

    Brad Ausmus, the guy some of us wanted to manage the Dodgers, has the Tigers with the best record in MLB. Just sayin’.

    • Badger says:

      I wanted him too. Donnie needs to go to the AL. As a hitting instructor.

      Agree with the qualifying offer to Hanley idea. And wait to do it. This is a contract year. He will get it in gear, or lose tens of millions.

    • donnie says:

      Yes. Brad Ausmus is the reason why the Tigers are so good. Let’s simply ignore the fact that the has the best hitter in baseball and the best rotation in baseball.

      • Badger says:

        I simply meant I preferred Ausmus over Mattingly. And btw, last I looked both Detroit and LA are 6/1 favorites to win the World Series. Also, best player and best rotation may be opinion.

  4. donnie says:

    Miguel Cabrera is probably the best hitter, and Detroit’s rotation is probably the best. Based on projected WAR. Tough to argue otherwise when it has Verlander, CY Scherzer, and the reigning AL ERA champion in Sanchez and 2 other very good pitchers.

    And yes, I don’t think Mattingly is a good manager. I don’t think he’s an awful manager. He’s pretty average. To say that Ausmus is a key reason why the Tigers have the best record I think is overstating it a little bit, at least from Adam’s point of view. Switch Ausmus and Mattingly and I don’t think the teams would have a drastic difference in records.

  5. Badger says:

    That’s fair. And who knows, by the end of the year the stats may support your claims. Early season projections have Detroit with the best pitching, but St Louis, LA, Tampa, Atlanta – a lot of good staffs out there. I keep waiting for the heavyweight Cabrera to blow out a hammy but he just keeps showing up. Donnie is ok, but I don’t like how he handles the pitching (see Joe Torre) and not sure about some of his strategies. His lack of controlling the instruction of basic fundamentals is maddening to me. I would think the former catcher, and very smart Ausmus, would not overlook the basics. Detroit is a better defensive team, that’s for sure.

  6. Badger says:

    Is it possible umpires don’t like Matt Kemp? He seems to get more than his share of horsesh*t calls.

  7. Badger says:

    This guy isn’t happy about the tv viewing arrangement;

    “we can’t see them play on TV either. I am trying to forget the Dodgers, which apparently is OK with Dodgers management, as their game plan is fulfilled — grab the money, and make more money using that money.”

    I agree. Even without a paying tv audience the Dodgers are floating around in a boat made of money. I despise the steep pyramid that in the last few decades has become the new Umerka paradigm, I do hope this results in a championship. Go Blue. Bring it home at least once more in my lifetime.

  8. Idaho Al says:

    I think AJ is one of the best catchers in baseball. His value is handling the pitching staff. Last nights game was a typical game for AJ. I do not remember Greimke shaking him off once. After the walk, Wilson became dominant. The pitchers trust him. He is an excellent defensive catcher. If he can hit around .250, that wil be good. I just love to watch AJ call a game.

    • Badger says:

      We are improved with AJ behind the plate. But somehow we managed an 11-4 record with Butera. I think the two of them will be enough the rest of the way. Now, how do we get Ramirez and Gonzalez going. 3 days in Arizona might do it.

      Dee 1 for 5. Not many walks lately, and a lot of GO 4-3. Come on Dee, twice a game. That’s all we ask.

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