Wednesday, November 11, 2009


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.