Tagged: Los Angeles Dodgers

This Blog is moving and so is Nomar!

Look for me over at the Sporting News and Fantsay Baseball Mafia.com – http://www.sportingnews.com/blog/dhhouston and http://www.fantasybaseballmafia.com/

At last Grady Little has taken the former two-time american league batting champ up on his offer to move over to third if it would help the team. Nomar made this offer back in the spring. Well better late than never. Unable to swing a trade for a big name hitter so far the team has been forced to turn to youth, namely last year’s minor league batting champ James Loney.

"We’re trying to get ourselves in a position where we can be the best we can be, and that option right now is there for us," manager Grady Little said Monday. "Nomar’s 100 percent on board. He’s been over there before. It’s not a strange place for him." Nomar played first base Monday at Arizona and he went 0-for-5.
Loney has been on fire since being recalled from the minor leagues a couple of weeks ago. "This has a lot to do with the way James Loney is swinging the bat and the way he’s playing, too," Little said. "The primary factor is to try to help us win games. And we feel like this is a move we want to give a shot at right now."

Grab Loney in all leagues he is not a power hitter but should hit for a high average the rest of the way.

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Dodgers play it safe in 2007 Draft

Here’s BA’s pre-draft scouting report on Withrow:

Chris Withrow, rhp
School: Midland (Texas) Christian HS. Class: Sr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-3. Wt.: 195. Birthdate: 4/1/89.
Scouting Report: Withrow first boosted his stock last summer at the Texas Scout Association showcase, and he has continued to rise up draft boards this spring. He has a projectable 6-foot-3, 195-pound body and plenty of present velocity. He was reaching 93-94 mph as the draft approached and consistently pitching at 88-92 mph. He has a clean delivery, no surprise for someone whose father Mike pitched at Texas and reached Double-A in the White Sox system. Mike is also his pitching coach at Midland Christian High. Withrow doesn’t always finish his curveball, but it’s a promising pitch with bite and has improved this spring. He should get drafted high enough to pass up the opportunity to attend Baylor, but if he does go to college he’ll be a two-way player. He has some hitting ability and the athleticism to play an outfield corner.

W L ERA G SV IP H BB SO
8 1 1.32 13 3 58 40 8 90

Inside: Chris is a big strong all-around athlete, who will just get bigger and stronger by the time he reaches Los Angeles (likely 2011).  The best things about him are his very clean and repeatable mechanics (this type of pitcher tends to stay healthy) and three pitches (fastball, curve and change) that have a chance to be above-average.  This type of player is a nice safe pick.

Unfortunatley, he is not Rick Porcello.  For the third year in a row for the Tigers Christmas came early.  Detroit as always is willing to over pay for young talented hard-throwing pitcher.  With the 27th pick they dared what the Dodgers would not and selected the best high school pitcher in the game Rick Porcello (think a Josh Beckett-type talent).  The problem with 6’5 195lb, Porcello is not his 96 mph heater or his other three above average pitches, its his SIGNABILITY!  This guy is going to be very expensive to sign.  Oh well that’s Baseball in 2007 if your willing to over-pay you can do well no matter where you select in the draft.

Dodger Update

June 1st and the Dodgers are nine comes over .500 and in a three way tie for first place with San Diego and Arizona. With 109 games to go the Dodgers are still a long way from finish line. As Pete Rose says the baseball season doesn’t really start until the kids are out of school! We’ll folks it seems now is the time to get down to the business of a full blown pennant race.

As always taking 2 out of 3 from the Nationals is a good way to start a 10 games road swing. The remaining games of the trip are as follows:

At Pittsburgh (4 games) – Inside stuff: The Pirates have only won 1 season series at home this year. Duke vs. Wolf; Snell vs. Kuo; Gozelanny vs. Penny and Maholm vs. Lowe.

At San Diego (3 games) – Inside Stuff: The Padres are red hot having gone 18-9 in May.
C. Young vs. Hendrickson; Maddux vs. Wolf and Peavy vs. Kuo.

I am bit leery of these matchups. It’s always tough for a first place club to go into someone else’s park and face their best pitchers. Despite that I think the Dodgers can take at least four out of the seven games. The key will be Kuo despite a so so season in Las Vegas he may get the ball twice this week. I would much rather have Grady Little give the ball to Chad Billingsley instead of trusting Kuo. Or at worst give youngster DJ Houlton a try he at least has been effective (his susceptibility to the long ball might not hurt him so much in Pittsburgh and San Diego).

The next big thing, Milwaukee blue-chip prospect Yovani Gallardo pitches tonight for Nashville against the 51s. You can listen to the game for free at the Las Vegas 51s website. Gallardo is likely to be called up to the big soon so do your self a favour and listen in. This guy could really help out your fantasy team in the second half push.

Jason Schmidt continues to rehab and looked great against some Single-A competition going 6 scoreless innings, giving up just 2 hits with a 7/1 K/BB ratio. 51 of his 71 pitches were strikes. Even better no pain the next day! So it would appear that he will be back soon.

UPDATE: Joe Beimel will take to the mound tomorrow against Pittsburgh instead of Kuo!

May 7th Dodger Update

Hello, faithful Dodger fans!  It has been awhile since I’ve been able to post anything due to some minor health issues, but I wanted to bring everyone up to date on the Dodger season so far.  Today finds the Dodgers are a top the NL West table with a respectable 18-13 record. 

The stating lineup for the next few weeks will be some combination of:

Furcal, SS

Pierre, CF

Garciaparra, 1B

Kent

, 2B

Gonzalez, LF

Martin C

Ethier, RF

LaRoche, 3B

This is by far the Dodgers strongest offensive lineup and it is nice to finally see Grady Little begin to use it.  Defensively there are a few short comings but hopefully the Dodgers should be able to score enough runs to offset this fact on most days.

The key to this season remains the pitching.  Here is a quick run down of the staff:

Brad Penny is seeking to become the first Dodger starting pitcher to begin the season 4-0 since Kazuhisa Ishii went 6-0 in 2002. Penny’s 1.64 ERA is second best in the National League.

Jason Schmidt remains on the disabled list.  He claims that his shoulder is feeling fine but don’t you believe it just yet.  He has battled diminished velocity all year so until he can prove that his fastball can at least return to the high-80’s consistently I would advise caution.  Stash him on your DL until further notice.

Mark Hendrickson has been a pleasant surprise so far filling in for Schmidt.  Henrickson sports a 24/5 K/BB ratio and is 2-0 with a stingy 1.30 ERA.  He is not this good folks but feel free to use him as a spot starter if the matchup is right.

Derek Lowe and Randy Wolf have both been unlucky and each has pitched better than their 6-6 combined record indicates.  Brett Tomko at 0-3 remains a poor choice as a starter on any day.

Takashi Saito and Jonathan Broxton remain one of the best 1-2 punches in the NL and are a big reason why the Dodgers are in first. 

Putting Chad Billingsley in the bullpen has not been a great success. Despite a 2-0 record, he has an ERA of 5.06 in ten appearances (he has also been terrible at Dodger Stadium as his 9.82 ERA clearly indicates).  Even more worrisome is that Lefthanders are currently hitting a robust .353 against Billingsley.    Right now he’d be better off starting at Triple-A and should not be anywhere near your fantasy roster.

Speaking of relief it’s off to

Montreal

for me and the wife for a mid-week mini-holiday until then GO DODGERS!

Rafael Furcal on Rehab Trip to Cucamonga

Next Stop Cucamonga: Injured shortstop Rafael Furcal (ankle) will begin a two-game rehab assignment at Single-A Inland Empire on Tuesday and rejoin the Dodgers on Friday.

Maybe he should start reading this blog; seemingly just realizing that he is part of a right field platoon. Andre Ethier had this to say, "They have never said one word to me," said Ethier. "But you have competition on every team. I guess the writing is on the wall for me, at least. If I want this spot, I have to not only earn it, but keep it." If I want this spot, I have to not only earn it, but keep it." – No Duh!?

Matt Kemp (Ethier’s platoon mate) is going to miss the next 15 days with a bruised shoulder.

Jason Schmidt appears to be fine so leave him in your lineups for his next start on Sunday against the Padres.

The week that was April 2

The Dodgers opened their 50th season in Los Angeles on the road, losing 2 out of 3 games to the Milwaukee Brewers before sweeping the San Francisco Giants in a terrific 3 game set. The Dodgers have now won four in a row. The Dish: Miller Park in Milwaukee remains a very difficult place to play day games. The sunlight there plays havoc with outfielders due to the excessive use of glass panels and reflective metal support beams in the stadium’s infrastructure. The Brewers grounds crew has been known to maintain a slippery outfield grass as well. This is not why the Dodgers lost 2 out of 3; it was the lack of runs. In any event the Dodger outfield is not going to any gold gloves in 2007 and remains highly suspect. Moving on to San Francisco the Dodgers continued their mastery of the hated Giants. The Dodgers have now won 8 in a row and 10 of the last 12 games played at AT&T Park. Brad Penny had a nice start despite giving up 10 hits and lasted into the 8th for his first victory of the season. His should remains an ongoing concern but he appears to be healthy at this point. Wilson Betemit has so far been an early season bust. The dawn of the Andy LaRoche era is fast approaching. In Las Vegas this week James Loney clubbed a first-pitch 440 foot homer run on opening day against Salt Lake City. Loney was very unhappy losing out of the last roster spot but he will need to force his way back to LA with his bat and glove not his mouth. In Jacksonville, Jonathan Meloan pitched two perfect innings, striking out five of the six batters he faced, Friday for AA Jacksonville. Look for Meloan to get promoted soon to AAA.

Notes from Vero Beach Part III

Dodger trainer Stan Conte said Monday that the injury to Hong-Chih Kuo, must fully heal before Kuo can begin to throw again. "This is not a long-lasting or career-threatening injury," Conte said. "It just takes time to heal."  He will be out 4-6 weeks.  I guess Stan Conte (ex-Giants trainer) must be wondering out loud at this point about all of these injuries.  The Dish – When he came over the Dodgers switched their daily physical training routines.  The Dodgers now complete their "indirectly" related baseball training before they proceed to their directly baseball related training.  Conte is considered one of the game’s best so don’t be overly alarmed, it’s just a run of bad luck it will even itself out (hopefully), in San Francisco his methods, eventually led to a sizable decrease in the over-all DL time some pretty elderly Giants teams.

The Dish – Chad Billingsley will take the 5th spot in the rotation from Brett Tomko, once and for all by midseason. He has been put in the role of long relief in order to allow him and Dodger pitching coach, Rick Honeycutt enough time to work on his expected command issues and develop his sub-par straight changeup against major league hitters, once he gets that sorted – lookout! He is a classic power pitcher and with a fastball, curve and slider that are already at major league level. If you have the space, keep him as a reserve until he gets that call. By all means if you’re in a keeper hang onto him he is going to be very valuable. Look for about 10-12 wins as his upside for 2007.

James Loney and Andy LaRoche are both headed to Las Vegas.  They will continue to see time in the outfield since both are blocked at the major league level. 

Larry Bigbie continues to make case for himself as 5th outfielder as does slugger Matt Kemp.  Kemp has much more upside but needs to play everyday look for Bigbie to make the 25 man roster.