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March 11, 2006

How Good Can the Dodgers Lineup Be?

by @ 4:57 am. Filed under 2006 Season

New GM Ned Colleti was busy this offseason.  Whether you like the moves or not, I think he really addressed our infield needs and if Joel Guzman is the real deal, we’re going to sport a formidable lineup.  In fact, this could be the first year where the pitching doesn’t carry the hitting.  It could be the other way around.  Here are the projected starters at each position, their weighted mean average VORP from their Baseball Prospectus PECOTA card, along with their improve and break out percentages.

Catcher – Dioner Navarro  (10.3 VORP, 52% Improve, 32% Breakout)

First Base – Nomar Gariaparra  (14.4 VORP, 28% Improve, 8% Breakout)

Second Base – Jeff Kent  (33.6 VORP, 34% Improve, 11% Breakout)

Third Base – Bill Mueller  (20.2 VORP, 32% Improve, 12% Breakout)

Shortstop – Rafael Furcal  (33.8 VORP, 41% Improve, 12% Breakout)

Left Field – Jose Cruz, Jr.  (14.0 VORP, 45% Improve, 17% Breakout)

Center Field – Kenny Lofton  (7.8 VORP, 18% Improve, 0% Breakout)

Right Field – J.D. Drew  (41.2 VORP, 46% Improve, 7% Breakout)

And for comparisons sake, here’s Joel Guzman (16.3 VORP, 53% Improve, 26% Breakout).

Looks to me like our biggest hole is centerfield.  Maybe they should be teaching Guzman to play center instead of left.  I’ve always been a Jose Cruz, Jr. fan even though he’s had some rough years lately.  Regardless, having either Guzman or Cruz as your fourth outfield gives the team some solid depth.

In the infield, Nomar’s numbers assume he only gets 329 plate appearances and you’d hope he’d top that.  So somewhere in the low 20s as far as VORP goes would probably be my expectation.  Furcal and Mueller both should be upgrades over last year.

The anchor is still J.D. Drew.  We need him to stay healthy and play like he has the last two years.  If that can happen, I think we have a shot in a weak NL West.  The Giants with Barry Bonds might be the favorites, but I think we have a better depth then they do. 

3 Responses to “How Good Can the Dodgers Lineup Be?”

  1. Rich Lederer Says:

    Good luck with your new Dodgers blog, Charlie. It looks inviting.

  2. Charlie Baker Says:

    Thanks Rich. I appreciate the kind note.

  3. Dem Bums - A Dodgers Blog » Bret Tomko, Bullpen Shutout Astros in Spring Win Says:

    [...] Maybe I spoke too soon about the hitting carrying the pitching.  Bret Tomko gave up only three hits in five innings, Eric Gagne threw a shutout inning and Yhency Brazoban topped them all by striking out the side in his inning.  Jeff Kent went yard for the time this spring and J.D. Drew continued to mash the ball.  He singled and tripled in the Dodgers win.  The Dodgers face the Red Sox tomorrow afternoon with D.J. Houlton geting the start. [...]

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