To say that Albuquerque is bad for the young Dodger players is like saying kissing rattlesnakes might not be a good idea! Why can’t the Dodgers see that? Paco Rodriguez, Zack Lee, Matt Magill, Red Patterson and Stephen Fife are all AAA Prospects, but really can’t hone their pitching skills there. Lee was lit up for 7 hits and 6 runs in 5 innings last night. Right now, he is 5-7 with a 4.86 ERA. Dumb!
It’s also bad for hitters because it gives them a false sense of power. Joc Pederson is on pace for 40 HR with his 17th last night. He ain’t that guy! Over the years, Mike Marshall, Franklin Stubbs, Greg Brock, Billy Ashley and lots of other players had their stats inflated by Albuquerque… only to be a lot less… or nothing at the major league level. I have the solution – move AAA to Indy. Get it? Got it? Good!
Brooklyn Dodger sent me a good article by writer Jerry Crasnick from ESPN.com about Dee Gordon and the Dodgers. It’s a good read. Here’s a few blurbs:
Davey Lopes, Los Angeles’ first-base coach and resident baserunning guru, compares Gordon favorably to Juan Pierre, a born worker who parlayed modest skills and plus speed into 2,217 career hits and 614 stolen bases. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly also opts for a left-handed-hitting outfielder, but he prefers a guy who outran a reputation as a suspect hitter to make two All-Star teams and sign a $48 million contract with the Cleveland Indians.
“I look at him like a Michael Bourn,” Mattingly said. “When I first saw Michael, you could almost knock the bat out of his hands. But he got better and better, and all of a sudden this guy was a pain in the butt to get out. To me, that’s where Dee is going.”
Gordon, 26, is a dynamic combination of old-age sensibilities and new-age flair. In his quest to become a leadoff catalyst, he’s embraced instruction on hitting from Mark McGwire, polished his bunting with the help of Dodgers great Maury Wills and done his best to learn the nuances of base-stealing from Lopes. He says “sir” a lot and listens attentively to utility man Chone Figgins, a 12-year veteran who has become his good buddy and veteran mentor on the roster.
The Dodgers have some interesting choices ahead of them. Hanley Ramirez will be a free agent this winter, but his lack of range in the field and mediocre offensive production haven’t helped his chances of signing a long-term deal with Los Angeles. Alex Guerrero, who signed a four-year, $28 million contract in October, was tearing it up offensively before losing his ear in a dugout confrontation with catcher Miguel Olivo, but he’s a questionable defender at second. And fellow Cuban defector Erisbel Arruebarrena, who just arrived from Double-A Chattanooga, is a glove whiz at shortstop and a work in progress as a hitter.
Regardless of the road the Dodgers take, no potential scenarios call for Gordon to return to shortstop. He has a comfort level at second base and the attributes to be a plus defender for a long time, and the organization has no desire to trifle with what’s working.
Kenley Jansen is scaring me a lot! Nice win last night.