Friday, May 30, 2008

Crunching Number... Hidden offense.

I thought I would try and figure out just why the Dodgers are as bad as their record shows. The obvious answer is that they aren't scoring enough runs. And that's basically the conclusion I came to.

If you consider that Offense makes up about 50% of your teams overall contribution, pitching 35% and defense 15%, the Dodgers are missing a good 40% in there somewhere.

The offense has been abysmal.
Last in HR.
Last in 2B.
OPS+ 91
14th of 16 NL teams in SLG.
9th in BB
8th in hits.
11th in runs scored
and the one bright spot, 15th in K's.

Considering what components the offense is made up of and the inconsistencies at which they play the game (Kent, Furcal, Jones, Pierre, and Nomar). This group makes 58 million dollars to ride the bench, max out at a 70 OPS+ with putrid defense, or are on the DL. For that amount of money we could have had the Marlins and Pirates!

The pitching has been well. Not great, though without looking at the stats I can tell you that the starters have been somewhat inconsistent and the bullpen has held the team together. An ERA+ of 111 is nice.
8th in K's
5th in ERA
3.3 BB/game (average)
and first in HR per game (.07!)

What has been letting the pitching down is the defense.
21 Throwing Errors! Only the Marlins are worse.
but only 13 Fielding errors (second best in NL)
only a CS% of 21%. Martin needs rest wether he wants it or not.
A RZR (revised zone rating- plays made into outs that were made in the players "zone") of .819% where the league average is .832
OOZ (plays made out of the players "zone") of 155 vs. league avg of 144. not bad.
Infield RZR .766 vs. league avg of .784
infield ooz 82 vs league avg of 68
outfield RZR of .900 vs league avg .904
outfield OOZ 73 vs league avg 75.

The outfield has been league average at best. I think with Jones instead of Pierre we are a much better team (defensively). Kemp has been a nice replacement.

The infield has some nice points and seriously bad ones too. While they can make plays out of their typical playing area, they seem to have "throwing" issues with normal everyday plays in their playing area. Sounds like a James Loney/ Rafael Furcal issue.

The "core" players make up roughly 65% of the teams production to the game. The pitchers make up the rest. It's fair to say with Esteban Loaiza (7 million), Jason Schmidt (15 million), and any of the high priced, overvalued vaterans the team could very easily be the NL west equivalent of the Pirates. Ned Colletti is lucky to Logan White continue to stock the team full of talented players with high ceilings. Too bad Ned keeps blocking them with overpriced washed up veterans.

My hopes, as are with the rest of you, are that Jones finds his stroke when he comes back, that Furcal comes back at all, that Penny decides to pitch like an ace, that Pierre gets booted out the door, that we get a fielding and throwing coach, and that some of these young kids start hitting the way we know they can.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Too Strong!

Making trades and moves that would make the Dodgers a better team would just make them too good. That's why Ned Colletti signed Juan Pierre (9 million), Jason Schmidt (16 million), Nomar Garciaparra (9 million), and Andruw Jones (18 million). I wonder if Ned is getting a commission on these or something?

Why wouldn't Colletti save some of that money to waste on a young starter just getting ready to blossom out of Cleveland. CC Sabatthia. He kinda reminds me of the left handed version of Brad Penny.

When is Colletti's job on the line? It appears that meddling owner Frank McCourt is too proud to admit to making a mistake. It's time to go internal for our next general manager. Kim Ng or Logan White. Or the both of them together. Logan obviously has the beat on all young up and comers while Kim has made strides in free agent signing. Colletti has to go. We all know that. It's time for a new era in Dodger Baseball. The young era.

K- Zone

Instant replay has been discussed around various baseball communities as MLB is using instant replay in the minor leagues to see how well it works. I think this is a step forward in the right direction. Without naming the numerous blown calls in the playoffs that have let teams escape a loss and go on to win, how many more calls are blown in the regular season that go unnoticed?

In time baseball umpiring should be completely monitored by computers. The human eye is just too... human. Particularly when it comes to the strike zone. When I considered the origin of the game, and the creators thereof, how would they have wanted the game "umpired"? If you gave them the option to have a digital representation of the strike zone for pitchers to pitch to (granted were talking about the late 1800's here) would they have used that opposed to the current human umpires used today? No doubt, I think, they would have used the "K-Zone" that FOX and ESPN use now. It's just my opinion.

Obviously the game would change. Managers would have to manage a game instead of running out to the umpire to plead his hopeless case and get run from the game. The game would also change for the better. At the moment we do not know about umpires secret lives. We do not know how many Tim Donaghee's there are out there. AND based on what I have seen, not just as a Dodger fan, but also wathcing Yankee, Red Sox, Mariners, and tons of NL and AL West games, it's pretty easy to see where umpires make bad or "favorable" calls to one team or the other. The strike zone expands for one team and not the other?

Don't get me started on check swings! As I understand the rule, it is considered a swing if the bat crosses the ball. Meaning you should literally have to pull your bat back when the ball approaches. How many players hold their bat level over the plate as the ball crosses it. And bunt attempts? Many left handed players are running out of the box while trying to decide if they are going to bunt or not and never actually bring the bat back.

It has become a frustrating game to watch.