Sunday, December 27, 2009

I already miss Tony Abreu

Tony? uh....

gold glove caliber defense and a decent enough stick should have been enough for him to stay in LA. He is a 3 WAR (wins above replacement) player and I expect him to really solidify an Arizona defense while Garland is working mop up duty in San Diego, or wherever he signs.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Defense

Apparently the Reds need a bit of money off the books. And supposedly Brandon Phillips is available. While Phillips does not have a great eye, he does provide some semblance of power and decent defense, at least better than the over rated Orlando Hudson. Hudson made some nice plays this year but he is hardly a gold glove. The good part about him getting a golf glove is that it boosts most teams interest in him, thereby allowing the Dodgers the opportunity to offer him arbitration and collect a few draft picks for him. (by the way, Chase Utley had the best defensive season at second base by a huge margin this season. Hudson actually was of negative value not actually ranking in the top ten.)

As good as the Dodgers were this season, their defense was quite terrible. When you consider the best defending team, the Mariners, had 3 players win Fielding Bible awards (out of 9 available). Jack Wilson is not the best offensive player but his glove is so good that it is as worthy as Derek Jeter's bat. Ichiro and Gutierrez are so good defensively that in all truth they don't need pitchers that are good because their defense is so good!

Andre Ethier was so bad in Right Field that it was "Manny'esque". Furcal, Blake, and Martin were the lone positive contributors on defense. Furcal and Blake played above their normal abilities. It is very well noted that Furcal has quite terrible footwork and usually relies upon his terrific arm. A good defense adds to the quality of the pitching staff. Wonder why Jarrod Washburn was so good in Seattle and so terrible in Detroit?

Even Matt Kemp was only an average defender this year. He looked good out there and made some nice plays, but he was only as good as a good right fielder. It would be nice to see Kemp in right, but really he has done an admirable job in center. Speaking of Kemp. The Yankees just won their 27th world series, the '27 Yankees is arguably the best team ever assembled... and Matt Kemp is #27. While Kemp is one of the best center fielders in recent Dodger history, I can see him traded to fill both our needed holes at 2B and in the rotation. Robinson Cano and Joba Chamberlain. Pierre would take over in center. Not that I want this scenario to happen... I just have a gut feeling that Kemp is unappreciated, just as is Ethier, Martin, Billinglsey, Kershaw, Broxton, and any other home grown player we have. It seems to be the tone of the Dodgers front office, that, if given the right situation, they'd be more than willing to trade any prospect for a good veteran any day, regardless of actual talent.

Back to defense. Manny can be upgraded on next year simply by moving Ethier to left and having a prospect play right. My vote goes to Kyle Russell, former slugger from UT. He plays pretty good defense, has good speed and has a great arm. He is of the same mold as Adam Dunn but can actually play defense! Tons of homers, tons of walks, tons of K's. In my opinion strike outs aren't as bad as everyone makes them out to be. Not much more different than a pop-up or ground out. And better than a double-play but not as good as a sac fly.

The pitching staff will continue to suffer with exceptionally weak links like Manny, Ethier, Loney, and Hudson filling the gaps. Second base is prime position to have either an elite glove or elite bat to fill the position, but if all you do is sign someone be mediocre at defense and offense, then you aren't actually getting better than your competition. I'd rather save the draft picks and the cash and have Blake Dewitt and Chin Lung Hu split time at second while keeping it warm for Devaris Gordon. Ivan DeJesus can take over for Furcal in a few years and were set.

Monday, November 2, 2009

The 09 Regular Season

I found a neat graph called Diamond View Composite made by the good boys at www.beyondtheboxscore.com They evaluated players and created a graphical representation on their findings. Here is their graph of Carlos Pena



Here is a link to their creation.

As you can see, the problem with their graphs is the inability to sum up a players negative worth without somehow affecting their positive worth in another category. For instance, Adam Dunn has huge Power and Hitting numbers while his defense is arguably the worst in all of baseball and somehow it effects his power and hitting numbers. There is an easy fix to solve this problem. While using a percentage of players that would qualify for the batting title in their league and taking the high/ low numbers and making them the 100/0 % rate for the league you can find what rate your player is in relation to the best and worst the league has to offer. Narrow that down to the position he plays and you get a better understanding of how your player fits into this conversation. So, that is exactly what I did for the Dodger regulars minus Hudson. I will evaluate the free agent 2B and possible trade targets in my next post.

ISO was used for power numbers ( Isolated Power (ISO) is a measure of a hitter's raw power, in terms of extra bases per AB. Its formula is ISO = (2B + (3B*2) + (HR*3)) / AB ) The ML leader for catchers had a .222 ISO and the bottom dweller was at .064. Martin was at .079. His ISO rate was at 9%. Not good.
Just the same as the Diamondview graph I used OBP for hitting, UZR/150 (The number of runs above or below average a fielder is, per 150 defensive games.) for defense and EqBRR for baserunning.

and here is the rest of the regulars.









My hand drawn graphs aren't as "pretty" but you get the gist of the exercise. The complete player will fill the graph. Someone like Manny will only fill half the graph, which isn't that bad if he were a DH. This graph puts an equal emphasis on all the divisions where in most cases some of them should be weighted differently based on your team needs and values. The Dodgers need an all around second baseman this offseason, so getting Dan Uggla might not be as necessary. I would expect better numbers from Loney, Furcal, and Martin next year and our need at second base would be for a guy who can handle the glove and contribute with the bat. A guy like Orlando Hudson...

Other teams, like the Mariners, have several holes and even more options. They need possibly a LF'er, a SS, a 1B-man, and possibly a 3B-man. SS and 3B might be an area where you look to upgrade (or in thier case) hold serve defensively. Beltre and Wilson might be the top of the class with the glove in their respective positions. However, they would certainly need to upgrade 1B and LF offensively while maybe sacrificing some defense. I'm not going to do the graphs for the Mariners, but it was a fun exercise on evaluating players. Maybe there isn't just one all encompassing stat that can express a players full talent, but there is a graph that can represent a players full talent. I'm sure there is a program out there that I can use to get the area of the graphs and convert it into a percentage and call it the players worth against the league maximum... something to look into.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Looking to 2010

I am the epitome of offseason/free agent/trade rumor mongering junkie. So looking forward to 2010 is nothing of note in my book. Though anyone else might suggest that 2009 is soooo promising and exciting. I can't deny the idea that 2009 might be the year the Dodgers finally break through to go deep in the playoffs. It's been a wonderful season thus far and can only get better. Although...

2010 could be even better!

Jason Schmidt comes off the books and really he is the only significant salary dump we can assume here. Maybe Randy Wolf gets resigned as he has pitched like an elite pitcher. Worthy of at least of a mid rotation type pitcher worth a 3 year contract probably at a double digit rate per million range. 3 yrs at 30 million'ish. He's worth it.

The only position player leaving for free agency is Orlando Hudson. He has been a solid signing all year and if he hits all his bonuses will make roughly 8 million this year. Mota, Ohman, Loretta, Ausmus, and Castro will be other free agents. If the season goes well, I think we can expect Ausmus and Loretta back next year. Maybe even Mota? Though I think Mota would look for more money somewhere else as a closer/set up man. (Shrug) That leaves an open spot in the rotation and at second base.

If Tony Abreau (of all people) continues to impress I don't think we need to sign Hudson to a contract extension simply because he will demand much more on the free agent front and he has a serious injuy history. He is however, a very talented player and a huge clubhouse spring. As far as I know Abreau is nothing but talent, a glove, great hands and footwork at second, and an improving bat. I'd like to see him or Dewitt batting behind Furcal next year playing second base.

I'm not exactly sure what to do on the starting pitching front. Some mixture of Elbert, MacDonald, and throw-ins like Weaver etc, should get the job done in the 5th spot. Jason Marquis will be available should we not sign Wolf? As is John Lackey. There aren't that many options out there.

I think I would like to see Ned try and make a creative trade for a power 1B bat. Prince Fielder maybe. Loney is a league average player with already declining power. Fielder has heart and power and an increasing salary that the Brewers might not be able to afford next year. Loney and pieces for Prince should get the job done.

And of course, I will always plug the "TRADE JUAN PIERRE, BECAUSE HE STINKS" here. If Ned can get rid of Juanita this offseason, the Dodgers will be a better team for it. Hopefully he goes to an AL team where he can't hurt us.

It's never too early to think about the future.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

In the Dirt... literally


Homer Bailey throws one in the dirt... and I mean in the dirt.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Raffy

Raffy has had his struggles this year. I suppose we can claim that he is still kinda getting his feet wet after the back surgery last year. I guess.... with only 5 stolen bases and 4 caught stealing... well, his speed is obviously gone. And really it has been a tale of two Raffy's. When leading off he is batting 278/350/377. When batting behind Pierre he is 201/272/276. All the more reason to dump Pierre now while his stock is kinda high. It's not like we dont have a few guys that could fill that 4th ourfielder spot. I look forward to Furcal breaking out of his shell for the second half. Ofcourse, through July so far he is 372/460/558. So there!

Orlando!

I hate to say something like this, but Orlando is kinda overrated. His offense has been nice and his defense is certainly an improvement over Kant. But... he really lacks the range now that he is 32. His bat has been a surprisingly solid structure in a very weak lineup. He gets on base and hits for decent power. He also has a ton of K's. His recent struggles at the plate are typical ups and downs of playing in the majors and we can expect him to return to his career norms. Certainly not as hot as he was when the season started, but not near as cold as he was entering Milwaukee. At the moment there is no one else I'd want at second for the rest of this year. Good job Orlando... stay healthy.

James Loney

Another dissappointing season for James. Like last year, James is a singles hitter that makes a lot of contact, but rarely makes good contact. His power numbers have also dipped, at least from what is expected of him.

At the plate James ranks near the bottom of all qualified first basemen just above Casey Kotchman and below Adam Laroche. With the glove he is merely league average. He isn't as bad as Giambi or Prince, but even Ryan Howard has proven to be able to play a good first base. Even with an admirable second baseman that can cover more ground that Kent, James is still just a league average player. This is a position where I think the Dodgers can vastly upgrade their offense, especially while Loneys stock is still relatively high. He may still have a bright future, but I can't see it getting much better than what he already is. League Average. I like him, nice guy, crazy eyes, but just a singles hitter. I expect better, and I don't think James is the guy that can do that for us.

First half roundup - Russell

Russell has been the biggest dissappointment by far this year. His defense will always be pretty good, but he wont ever throw many batters out because it seems that Charlie Hough (though has worked wonders in James Macdonald) hasn't taught any of our pitchers to hold runners on, or a decent change up. But thats a different story.

At the plate J. Martin has shown no power, but a huge walk rate. Are pitchers pitching around him? It seems that Russell is trying to force the issue too much. He's trying to force the ball to left or to right. He gets a little clogged in his swing and maybe tenses up. I don't know, but whatever it is, he needs to figure it out, because the bullpenn is short a bit and someone other than Manny is going to have to start producing. The good news is that Russ appears to be playing better. He really needs to get out there and not have an agenda. Just react to the pitch and hit it solid. Sounds easy huh? hah.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Trade ideas... 3 moves at the break

I think this was the entire reason that I created this blog. So I can vent my backward ideas without having to madden the people with real baseball identities. The ideas I have are usually based on a video game version of what I think is possible and are so unlikely that I would have better luck at actually trying to become the GM of the Dodgers and propose the actual trades.

Anyway, here goes. Let me first off say that I love the current Dodger team. Great chemistry, home grown, young, talent, with huge upside. But...

I would first trade Russell Martin to the Blue Jays for Roy Halladay. Straight up. Maybe there are a few PTBNL types, but nothing to write home about. Russell has denied the Dodgers from locking him up to a long term, lucrative deal and it seems likely that he will hit the free agent market in 3 years and leave LA. He is the spine of the best team in baseball. The hard part is that at the moment he is struggling mightily. I love Russell, but he is Canadian and I have a feeling that he wont be around for the long haul anyway.

2) Trade McDonals, Elbert, Bell, Mattingly, and Lucas May for Victor Martinez.

3) Trade Loney and Pierre for Todd Helton.

I'm almost certain that all my trades are just a ploy on ridding myself of Juan Pierre.

Our lineup is significantly stronger and our pitching staff is unbeatable. Then I would try and address the bullpenn. But really, the only person I want at the moment that wont cost much would be Takashi Saito, of all people. It looks like Broxton might miss some time and Belli will certainly be out a few more weeks. Saito might be an easy get for Ned.

Furcal
Kemp
V-Mart
Manny
Helton
Blake
Ethier
Huddy
P

Loretta
Meintchavatichithcaz
Ausmus
Castro
Paul

Halladay
Bills
Kershaw
Kuroda
Wolf

Broxton
Tron
Belli
Saito
Leach
Mota
Weaver

Doesn't get any better than that!

All Star Break

While the Dodgers have comfortably padded their lead in the NL West, its surprising to see that the next best team in the NL is the Giants. At 7 games back they are better than the Cardinals (1st in central) and Phillies (1st in east). And the Rockies are only 2 games back from the Giants. Only the Padres and D-Backs are the true jokes of the NL West. AND, the NL West is no longer the basement of the NL.

Tomorrow I will try and put together some stats that explain Furcal, Loney, and Martin's poor first halves, and then rank each position player in the NL.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

What is Juan Pierre doing to Andre Ethier?

Matt Kemp singled home Orlando Hudson for a walk off win. Celebration ensued.... and Juan Pierre saw this as his chance to mount Andre Ethier. I know Andre is a good looking guy and all, but couldn't it have waited till after the camera's were off, or at least talk to him about it first?



here is a link to the video: http://losangeles.dodgers.mlb.com/media/video.jsp?content_id=5084667&c_id=la where it appears as though Juan really is thrusting and "jousting" Andre. And the look on Andre's face! Head down, fists clenched, it really was a "brokeback moutain" moment.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Just take a pitch already!

It seems as though Hamels was just lights out tonight. There were a few times in the game when it was concievable that we might get a shot, but alas, our patience had struck out.

Martin and Ethier were clearly not themselves at the dish, while Pierre is looking more and more like... well... Pierre. Its a matter of time before he begins his regression to the mean. As for Martin, who knows? Maybe he is injured? Maybe he should dump his crazy girlfrind?

Anyway, Hamels had 17 three pitch at bats, according to Vin. And I doubt that there were that many 0-2 counts. We were off for one game and Hamels was on. Lets come back tomorrow and make some magic for Milton.

Mota finished the game recording 5 outs! Apparently Ausmus gave him some pointers about hiding the ball better and tightening up his delivery. Seems to be working. I still dont trust him, but as long as he comes in for mop up duty and doesn't walk anyone, I'm happy.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Bowa Boner.

To quote Boner himself:



"I'm going to tell you something. If Manny doesn't sign with us, we're in deep trouble. Deep, deep, deep trouble...We're going to be lost without a guy of that caliber a hitter in our lineup...There's two places I really don't want him. The other place is Anaheim because we'd have to read about it every day. If he goes to the Giants, the Giants have definitely improved their ballclub, and if they put a hitter like that in the lineup, they'll be the team to beat I think."

"Manny is sort of that constant in that lineup," Bowa said. "With the kids, you don't know what you're going to get."

I agree that Manny was impressive last year and that "the kids" underperformed. But, between Martin, Loney, Kemp, and Ethier, we know pretty darn well that they are good enough to be on any starting roster in baseball. The worst thing for the Dodgers right now is crochety old dudes who think "young kids" are ruining the game because they get paid more. While I enjoy Bowa's feistyness and "giddyup", I hate that he is officially "the old guy that finds a reason to hate everyone".

What's more is, before Furcal went down, "the kids" were part of a team that hosted the 3rd best offense in all of baseball. Cenrtainly Manny is better than the alternative (Pierre or Dunn), but to suggest that we are nothing without Manny is absurd. Without Manny, right now, we are a better team than last year. Furcal is an upgrade at short, if he is healthy. Blake is an upgrade at third. Dewitt is an upgrade at second. Pierre, surprisingly, is an upgrade in left, over having Jones in center.

I'd certainly welcome Manny if he wants to come back. But 2 years 45 million is a very generous offer and he should consider taking it before it becomes 1 year 17 million. At least he isn't Bobby Abreu, who will likely sign for 1 year 5 million.

The main concern for this team is the starting pitching... and the bullpenn. Why Guillermo Mota? I could see signing him for half a million with incentives, but he really isn't worth more than what McDonald, Elbert, Stults, or Troncoso will be able to do. I just don't see the value of adding a guy like with little value for so much money. Why not just resign Beimel? I just don't get the signings.

Considering the starting pitching: I guess only Randy Wolf is left... or Braden Looper. Looper is older and perhaps more reliable and a better pitcher. Wolf has pretty good K ratios which will bode well for the weak Dodger defense. In reality were looking at adding two starting pitchers. Why not sign both. Put Looper in the pen when we don't need him until April 25th and use Wolf as the 4th starter. Not the best situation... but not terribly horrible either.

Bills
Kershaw
Kuroda
Wolf
Looper

Broxton
Kuo
Wade
Mota
Troncoso
Elbert
McDonald

I have no problem with that.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Calling all NES geeks!

Here's a little treat for ya!


video

So, the video quality isn't the best... I just need to get a new camera.

Even cooler is that there are other versions. One where you can play at the old Yankee stadium. One where you can play at Wrigley Field. Another where you can play at an option of 6 stadiums including Fenway. In the Fenway game you can also play a season or a tournament. It really opens up a whole new game for me!

I did some studying up on ROM hacking to see if there were a way to get a game with all 30 stadiums, the season option and editable players... looks like a lot of work. Maybe when I am done with school.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

So boring!

One guy getting little to no interest from anyone is Ray Durham! To go along with Garret Anderson, Eric Hinske, Jim Edmonds, Paul Byrd, and Fatdalis Perez, Durham might be a valuable assett on the bench with Loretta. Defensively he plays only one position. But truely his only value comes from his bat. It's not what it once was, but his plate discipline is impressive and he does swing it from both sides. Should something happen to Delwyn or Loretta he'd be a nice option coming off the bench or in spot starts at 2nd. In the next few weeks there are going to be a lot of singings.

Manny Ramirez
Orlando Cabrera
Adam Dunn
Bobby Abreu
Ben Sheets
Orlando Hudson
Andy Pettitte
Jason Varitek
Ty Wigginton
Ivan Rodriguez
Kevin Millar
Mark Grudzielanek
Braden Looper

Free Agent signings

I think it is safe to say that Ned Colletti has done a bad job with his free agent signings. We all know that. But lets take a different look at this situation alltogether.

1. The Dodgers currently have 10 free agents that still haven't signed with anyone this offseason. Only the Red Sox and Mets are close. Of the remaining (Joe Beimel, lhp; Gary Bennett, c; Nomar Garciaparra, ss; Jason Johnson, rhp; Jeff Kent, 2b; Greg Maddux, rhp (aanounced retirement); Pablo Ozuna; Manny Ramirez, of; Mark Sweeney) only Beimel and Nomar might be able to get a contract that guarantees them a spot on the 25 man roster or DL. Manny, Kent, and Maddux are all set to retire. But the rest of the guys are crap. No one will sign them. And to be honest I'm surprised anyone signed Berroa.

2. No one wants the current FA signings we have. Think of any of our current position players that were signed as free agents. Schmidt, Furcal, Pierre, Jones, Kuroda, Blake, Loretta... do you think anyone would want them in a trade. I think teams might take a flier on Loretta. And someone might add Furcal, Kuroda, and Blake if we put some money in the pot. But clearly no one wants Pierre, Jones, or Schmidt.

Ned has done such a terrible job at putting together a team that can be flexible, moveable contracts that he has no room to sign one of the greatest right handed batters of all time. Granted, the game he is playing with Boras is legendary. Lets just hope he waits it out and pulls of 2 year deal with 3rd year option. I have a bad feeling that ultimately he will end up with the Giants.

Anyway... this post was focused directly on the bad signings of Ned Colletti. It can only get worse with names like Kris Benson, Jon Garland, and Randy Wolf being bandied about.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The End of an era....

Sayonara Andruw Jones. Apparently team officials want Jones gone by January 15th. No sense in keeping him until after the he proves he can do something and try and trade him and save 5 million. Lets just cut our ties now and let him show progress with some other team on our dime. It just begs me to ask one question...

When will the Ned Colletti era end?

cross your fingers.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Good and Bad news.

The good news is that Pat Burell signed with the Rays for an annual salary of 8 million dollars. This means the price for Manny should drop off quite a bit. I had Burrell going for at least 10-12 million a year. Last year Pat made 14 million and it's concieveable that he's be looking for a slight bump this year. For him to take half of what was projected just shows you the market for baseclogging/non-defensive hitmen.

The bad news: If Burell is going for roughly half of what was expected this brings Manny into play for a lot more teams. Manny at 15 million instead of 25 million makes both New York teams, the Giants, Angels, any AL team, and the Dodgers into the bidding war for him. In the end I don't think anyone can offer him more than what the Dodgers can, but does this mean some desperate AL team offers him the 6 year deal he is looking for? Even if the annual salary is only 15 million a year, thats still 90 million bucks. I can't see the Dodgers going past 3 years and 60-70 million.

If we can have Dunn at 9 million a year he is totally worth it! I'm not as sure about him playing first as I once was, but it is an option. Even Bobby Abreu at less than 10 million a year is a steal. If that would mean Ethier moves back to left our outfield defense would be a significant upgrade. Granted Abreu's defensive numbers have dropped off quite a bit. I still think I'd rather have Manny in left for 3 years and 66.6 million. The number is fitting.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Payroll

http://mlbcontracts.blogspot.com/2005/01/los-angeles-dodgers.html

According to Cott's baseball contracts the Dodgers have, roughly, 88 million locked up for the 2009 season. I am estimating 5 million each for Ethier, Martin, and Broxton. I think Martin and Ethier will get more than 5 and Broxton less, but in the end were talking about less than 2 million each way. So the payroll is currently between 82-94 million range. Still far less than last year.

And while we are still not using our resources to the best of their abilities (Dewitt at second?), we still have enough cash free to sign Manny. But we also need at least one more starter. We are still 28 million below what we were at last year, but given the decline in the economy, I am to assume that we will be somewhere in the 110 million range.

A guy like Andy Pettitte must be on the dodgers radar. At 10 million next year I'll take him over having Sheets, Perez, or Garland all of which have significant draw backs and multiple year contract requests. Garland might be the pony of the group. He would eat innings at a terrible cost. Perez would be a nightmare watcing because he walks everyone. And Sheets is just another Jason Schmidt in the making. He's missed significant time 3 of his last 4 years. He's been effective, but what we need is someone to eat innings (be healthy), be effective, and also not cost us more than one year.

Randy Johnson right?

Wrong.

Anyway, Pettitte should be the only one on the Dodgers list. If we could trade Jones and eat some of the salary then great. But I'd rather just send him to Albuquerque and hope he figures it out.

Hopefully after signing Pettitte we still have enough money to make a run at Manny for 2 years and 45 million again. Backload the contract so we can pay him more when Jones and Schmidt leave.

By 2010 Martin, Ethier, Broxton, and Bills will all qualify for a bump. It's only going to get harder from here on out. I hope Ned gets fired!