Following the Dodgers and Exploring The Team’s Past
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The Dodgers dealt for an outfielder yesterday. They sent relief pitcher Elmer Dessens to the Brewers for Brady Clark, who had a solid season last year. He doesn’t hit for a lot of power, but he has a good eye at the plate and he’ll take over as the team’s fourth outfielder now that Jason Repko is out indefinitely. The downer to the trade is now it looks like Matt Kemp will start the season down in the minors. I was really hoping to see him do his stuff this year, but now he’ll be doing it at Triple A.
Jay Jaffe at Baseball Prospectus previewed the Dodgers today. He starts with a discussion on Ned Colletti and then he talks about the five key guys who could make or break the Dodgers chances in 2007 (some of them might surprise you). He doesn’t go as far as making a prediction for another playoff shot but he also doesn’t slam the door either.
This sounds pretty painful. Jason Repko tore his groin and he’s likely out for the season because it’ll require surgery. His MRI will be looked at today and we should know more soon but this doesn’t look good. In the meantime, Matt Kemp, James Loney and Larry Bigbie will fight it out for the fourth outfielder spot. I hope Kemp gets the job because he showed some promise last year.
Jon Weisman previewed the Dodgers today at the Hardball Times and he asks five key questions heading into the 2007 season. He talks about the makeup of the roster between older players and younger players and he also touches on some of the question marks in the rotation. He wraps things up with the Juan Pierre signing in a well written article.
Dodgers manager Grady Little got a one year contract extension today. Under the original terms, he was signed through 2007 with an option for 2008 but the Dodgers guaranteed 2008 and gave him an option for 2009. The Dodgers just missed winning the division last year but they did squeak into the playoffs with the Wild Card before getting taken out by the Mets.
Not a bad move, although 2007 is probably a more important year then 2006 because the Dodgers are the team to beat in a lot of peoples opinion. A mediocre season in 2007 means he probably doesn’t get the most from his team, which is almost as important as pulling mediocre team up to respectability.
Jerry Crasnick recently profiled all of the great, young talent the Dodgers have brought up in the past year or so. He talks about guys like Russ Martin, Andre Ethier and Jon Broxton as guys who made an impact in 2006 as rookies. Of course now we’re hoping for more from then in 2007 and if they do perform better, it’ll go a long way towards the Dodgers winning the division.
The Dodgers were the latest stop for MiLB.com in their ongoing organizational preview series. You get player profiles for each stop along the Dodgers minor league food chain and they expect Delwyn Young and Scott Elbert to be the cream of the crop. There’s a lot here so be sure to check it out.
This is downright bizarre. Chad Billingsley, while he struggled last year, showed that he can pitch at the big league level. I know his strikeout/walk ratio was pretty poor, but you also have a 23 year old throwing in the bigs and that’s no small task. Instead of continuing to work with him, it seems the Dodgers have decided to throw him in the pen to start the season. I could live with Hong-Chih Kuo as the fifth starter but I still think Billingsley has the most upside. Having Mark Hendrickson or Bret Tomko in there would definitely be a waste or at least misallocation of talent.
PECOTA had him having some good but not great numbers. The 1.51 WHIP and 4.61 ERA aren’t all that great but the 152 strikeouts in 181 innings are. And it’s definitely not too bad considering he’d be the team’s fifth starter.
The Dodgers lost to the World Champs yesterday and Brad Penny took it on the chin. Penny was knocked around for six runs on seven hits in only two innings of work. Hong-Chih Kuo was tagged for a run in his two innings and then Takashi Saito pitched a scoreless frame to keep his spring scoreless innings streak intact.
The Dodgers weren’t much better with the bats. James Looney had three hits and the only run for the Dodgers scored on Mike Liberthal’s sac. fly. Bret Tomko throws for the Dodgers today and he’s the highlight of a nice profile by Ken Gurnick.
Derek Lowe gave up two runs and the hitters couldn’t get it going as the Dodgers lost to the Braves. Jeff Kent drove in Jason Repko in the first inning and that was the extent of the offense for the Dodgers. Both Repko and Kent each had two hits in the game.
Joe Mays threw two shutout innings and he struck out two in the loss. The Dodgers take on the Red Sox tomorrow.
The Dodgers turned on the offense today and Larry Bigbie led the way. He homered twice and drove in five runs in the Dodgers 12-7 blowout win over the Nationals. Wilson Valdez also had a nice game with two hits and three runs while James Loney had two runs and two RBIs.
Jason Schmidt wasn’t perfect but he held the Nationals scoreless in his two innings of work. Unfortunately, Mark Hendrickson was blown out and he gave up all seven runs that the Nationals ended up scoring.
Tomorrow, the Dodgers will take on the Mets.
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