I've got a question for Ned. Don't you think that the team would be better with Either as the everyday left fielder? After all he's a more complete player with some power, a better OBP, and a good throwing arm. This was an indierct bash on Pierre. Great first question!!!
Posted by: email@example.com February 28, 2008 06:53 AM
Andre is developing into a very good player. As Joe and the staff get more acquainted with Andre and others, I'm confident they'll find a way to get a solid amount of at-bats from all the outfielders. There is another factor to consider as well and that is competition. There are many times that we feel a young player is better served when they must compete for a job and compete for playing time. Andre Ethier has reached his ceiling. So has Juan Pierre. Andre is better. So having this "competition" is conterintuitive.
The competition for playing time in the outfield will hopefully increase the focus and productivity of the entire group. And make the team worse. We feel very fortunate that we have four proven outfielders plus Jason Repko and Delwyn Young. Juan Pierre is a second baseman out there. And there is always the injury factor to contend with as well. Which is why it's nice to have guys like Repko and Young but not Pierre. In the matter of a few minutes last Friday, we lost Andy Laroche for two months and nearly lost Nomar Garciaparra for a prolonged period of time. in a freak accident. We would have went from having a perceived surplus at a position, to being almost without a clear cut choice. It can happen that fast. Today, we have some outfield depth as well as competition for playing time. having 6 outfielders is overkill. The season is 162 games in length and many different unpredictable things will happen between now and the end. One thing is for sure. We aren't winning with Juan Pierre.
If you had it to do over, would you sign Pierre? I am sure he will say yes to save face but I think secretly he must be having second thoughts. At least on the length of the contract.
Posted by: firstname.lastname@example.org February 28, 2008 09:45 AM
It's constructive to point out where the club was when we signed Juan. Then sign Kenny Lofton. A stop gap that basically better than Juan Pierre and cheaper! This offseason everyone knew there was literally a plethora of center fielders available. Now were stuck with Slappy. With J.D. Drew opting out to Boston, we had one outfielder with every day Major League experience - and that was limited to four months. Andre Ethier was called up in May and had four good months and then struggled in September. He was the only outfielder on the Major League roster with an experience who had ended the 2006 season healthy. Prior to signing Juan, we made a strong bid to sign Soriano and Lee among others, but those players did not have an interest in playing in Los Angeles. If anyone is expecting Juan to carry the club, then we've signed the wrong player. I just want Juan to pull his weight. He only weighs like 120 pounds. It shouldn't be that hard. We see him as a solid complementary player who has great speed and an admirable work ethic and with run-producing players around him in the lineup adds a strong deminision no mention of 500 plus outs, low OBP, horrid defense, and no power - without run production around him his value is dimininshed a lot. Or his value is diminished because he stinks. But you're the Gm so justify it any way you want. Last season, in my opinion, the club never got untracked. Even when we had the best record in the league in July, I didn't see it. I believe Furcal's injury added extra pressure to Pierre So it was Furcal's fault... Ned, have you been talking ot Bill again? Don't listen to that guy. He's retarded. - especially when we remember how well Furcal played in 2006 for us. I think it was compounded by the middle of the order failing to deliever more with runners on and lacking power. Consider that Pierre was only on base 33 % of the time. Ned, you're not doing yourself any favors by hanging onto the guy. We still feel that if Furcal and Pierre are healthy all season and if the middle of the order - Jones, Kent, Martin, Garciaparra, Loney and Kemp or Ethier Wait... don't say Kemp OR Ethier. You obviously meant Kemp AND Ethier right? You aren't still considering playing the worst outfielder in all of baseball are you?produce in the clutch that Juan's value to the club increases dramatically. How is it possible that his value increases because of the players around him. He isn't Steve Nash. He doesn't drive anyone in literally and he doesn't get on base enough to score a ton of runs. If the players fail to hit in the clutch in the middle of the order, and Juan is healthy and gets 200 hits and steals 60 a feat he has only done once bases, then Juan's value is diminished. Lets remember Juan stats shall we. He's going to bat about 290, OBP 330, no power, about 40 RBI's and 90 Runs. Somewhere between 130 and 150 combined runs. If Ethier played everyday he would score 85 and drive in 85. Somewhere between 160 and 190 combined runs. Who is the better player Ned? Don't tell me you think Slappy is. Don't tell me you think becaues Juan shows up early he is going to magically throw runners out at home. Because he isn't. Get rid of him already. As far as the duration of the contract is concerned, those terms are negotiated and sometimes you have to extend a player out longer than usual. If you look back at the history of our deals in the last three off-seasons, only Pierre's contract extends beyond three years. Many deals were for one or two years. Kenny Lofton anyone? I believe in negotiating the short-term deal whenever possible. From time to time, that's not possible and so you either sign the player or you pass. You really should have passed. Along with Jason Schmidt. Dope! But at the end of the day, you'd better have big league players on your club. And the day before we signed Juan Pierre we didn't have one everyday player on the roster who had played more than one full season in the big leagues as an outfielder. Ned if you have to use every word in the dictionary to justify why you signed this guy it was obviously a mistake.
Another question for Ned is after seeing what Ariz. and Colorado did last year, why do the Dodgers block their younger players with declining veterans? Why not just let the young guys play? After all even Boston stuck with Pedroria last year after a slow start and he came around to be a valuable member of that squad.
Posted by: email@example.com March 1, 2008 08:17 AM
It's a tough call. Los Angeles might be a tougher place for a young player to play so we need to be as certain as possible that the young players are prepared as much as possible for everything that is going to come their way. It's not tougher than Boston. I guarantee you that. And it isn't because of the media. Case and Point: Bill Plaschke. In Colorado's case last year, the key players for them, in my opinion, were Helton, Holliday, Atkins, Hawpe, Francis and Tulowitzki. Of that group, only Tulowitzki is considered a young player. The rest are in their prime. Arizona is a younger club and a more accurate reflection of your point. They however, did have a vast majority of their key players in their prime as well - Byrnes, Hudson, Webb, Davis and Valverde. When we have signed the veterans, it has been because we had not witnessed enough consistency the previous season to take that chance. For example, Matt Kemp has a chance to be a tremendous player. He had a wonderful 2007 season and had an historic early few weeks in the big leagues in May of 2006. From around July 1, 2006 through the end of the season he struggled, hitting about .180 without any power (11-for-62, .177 with 0 home runs and 6 RBI). His defense and base running are areas in need of improvement. So as we entered the 2006-2007 off-season, we weren't convinced we should automatically make Matt the right fielder based on the last three months. Another example is James Loney, who looks primed for a great season. It took a little while for James to hit for power. During the 2006 season, he had hit 12 home runs in 468 at-bats and then started in Vegas in 2007 and hit one home run in 233 at-bats. And he batted 380. What were you thinking? So in more than 700 at-bats - most in AAA in a hitters league and ballpark - James had hit 13 homers. We knew the power would develop, we just didn't know when - which turned out to be last September when he hit 9 homers in little more than 100 at-bats. In some cases, we would rather err on the side of the veteran. One of the reasons being, if the veteran can't cut it, there is still a young player available. If there is no veteran available and the young player isn't ready, the cost to acquire a veteran player from another club in season would be very prohibitive. As time goes on more and more of our young players will get the opportunity to play. And a year from now, we may be fielding one of the youngest teams in the National League. Lets hope it's because you traded Juan Pierre!
He answered two other questions that I could care less about. He still feels that Andre Ethier hasn't developed yet. Dispite batting 295, 360, 460 for his career, Andre is possibly the best 4th outfielder in all of baseball. Combine that with Juan Pierre being the worst outfielder in all of baseball and you have Ned Colletti, the proudest GM in all of baseball. Too bad we have to endure 4 more years of Slappy McPopup and 2 more years of Jason Schmidt on the DL.