OURDODGERS.COM Presents Out of Left Field!
The Capuano and Harang Signings In Hindsight
February 26th, 2012 by SDdodger5
If Capuano pitches like he did as a Brewer, that'd be a good thing.
When Ned Colletti first decided to sign Chris Capuano and Aaron Harang instead of re-signing Hiroki Kuroda the reaction among Dodger fans like myself were what the heck is Colletti doing? While Colletti has certainly had his fair share of questionable moves, I think he made the right choice in signing Capuano and Harang instead of just Kuroda. Many fans wanted to keep Kuroda and let Nathan Eovaldi be the fifth starter because he had success late last season but there are a few issues with that. The first problem is that Kuroda is now 37 years old and has had back/neck issues the past couple of seasons. The chances that those issues come up again with the rigors of a full season are pretty high. The second problem with having Kuroda and Eovaldi in the rotation is that Eovaldi has never thrown more than 137 innings in one season. He threw that amount last season when you combine his major league and minor league innings. Counting just minor league innings he has never gone above 103 innings in one season. Eovaldi also just turned 22 last week and has already had one Tommy John Surgery. With De La Rosa getting injured last season the Dodger don’t want to take any chances with Eovaldi. They can limit his innings in the minors but in the majors it would be hard to start him for some parts of the season and then bring in another starter. Eovaldi’s time will come, but for now it’s better to take the safe route with him.
The only issue I have with the signings of Harang and Capuano is that both were signed for two years. If they were one year deals I would have no problem at all. Signing two starters instead of one better protects against injuries dooming the team as the Dodgers found out last year. Last year the Dodgers thought they had great depth but then Padilla and Garland were inured for the season and the pitching depth vanished rather quickly. With Capuano and Harang, if one gets injured then Eovaldi can be used as a replacement. Chris Capuano is a better pitcher than most people think. Ya his numbers were nothing special last season but advanced stats say his ERA should have been closer to 4.00 than 4.55. Several projections have his ERA this season ranging from 3.91-4.26 which for a fifth starter is pretty good. In fact it is really good if you take a look at fifth starters around the league. One can also take into account that this is his second year back from Tommy John surgery and that is usually when a pitcher bounces back. I think Chris Capuano is going to be the second coming of Randy Wolf which would be a great thing.
Aaron Harang was signed to be the fourth starter after a solid season in San Diego. A lot of people will bring up Petco Park as the reason he had a good season which is true, but winning 14 games for a very bad Padre offense is not easy to do. Since I live in San Diego I sometimes take a glance at Padre games when the Dodgers are off and I saw some of Harang’s starts. He had some pretty good games against good teams like the Phillies, and that was in Philly. If he pitches how he did against the Dodgers than that will be a very good thing. He almost no hit the Dodgers in one start last season. Harang’s ERA was 3.64 last season and advanced stats suggest it should have been closer to 4.20. For an innings eating fourth starter that wouldn’t be bad. Projections this season have his ERA ranging from 4.20-4.50. He will still be pitching the weak hitting NL West and in Dodger Stadium so his numbers should not go up that much from last season.
While Kuroda is a better pitcher than Capuano and Harang it was a better decision to let Kuroda go. The Dodgers are now better set up to withstand injuries to the starting rotation with Nathan Eovaldi waiting in the wings. Capuano still has some upside where Kuroda’s best days are most likely behind him. The Dodgers starting five should be pretty solid as long as there aren’t major injuries and the veterans like Lilly, Harang, and Capuano pitch around their career norms. Add in a very solid bullpen and the Dodgers pitching staff should be in the top 10 in MLB.
Dodgers 2012 Spring Training Primer
February 18th, 2012 by SDdodger5
Who will be running the show next at Dodger Stadium?
Another spring training is set to arrive in a little over two weeks and this spring training is going to be unlike any other one in Dodger history. While Frank McCourt owns the team for now, his time for owning the Dodgers is winding down and the current cast of Dodger players are not only battling for a roster spot. This year’s Dodger team is going to be auditioning for whoever the new owner is and a chance to be a part of the new era in Dodger history. Besides the obvious candidates like Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw, the rest of the players will have competition for their roster spots. The following is a brief breakdown of the positions that will be under competition in spring training.
Bullpen: The bullpen has six pitchers that are heavy favorites to make the bullpen and those pitchers are Javy Guerra, Kenley Jansen, Mike MacDougal, Matt Guerrier, Scott Elbert, and Todd Coffey. While Guerra and Jansen are locks to make the pen, they will both be battling for the closer spot. Jansen has the better stuff but Guerra converted 21 of 23 saves last season and there is that old saying that if it’s not broken, don’t fix it. The candidates that will be battling for the final bullpen spot are Josh Lindblom, Jamey Wright, Ronald Belisario, John Grabow, Angel Guzman, and others. This spot may have gone to Blake Hawksworth but he underwent elbow surgery and is expected to miss time. It is likely that the final spot will go to a reliever capable of pitching multiple innings so the top two candidates are Lindblom who has started before and Jamey Wright who has been a decent long reliever the past few seasons. Lindblom held righty batters to a 153 average but lefties hit 370 off him.
Left Field: Battling for the left field starting job are Juan Rivera and Jerry Sands. Both players were very helpful in the second half of the 2011 season after Andre Ethier had surgery on his ailing knee. Jerry Sands could open the season in AAA depending on if the Dodgers want him to start everyday or be part of a platoon with Rivera. Rivera came over to the Dodgers after being traded by the Bluejays and all he did was knock in 42 runs the last two months. Sands had a September surge of his own as he hit 342 in September and hit a pair of homeruns. Tony Gwynn Jr will likely be the top backup outfielder again but he shouldn’t be a full time starter barring any injuries.
Third Base: At Third base the job is Juan Uribe’s to lose. Being paid seven million a season will give you that kind of privileges. Last year Uribe hit 204 with only four homeruns in a injury plagued season. Some players also press in their first season with a new team to try and impress their teammates and fans so hopefully that was one of his problems. Uribe has always hit for a bad average but he usually hits over 12 homeruns when he stays healthy and has a knack for coming up big in clutch situations. Uribe also plays a steady third base thanks to his strong arm and quick release. If Uribe gets injured or struggles again then the next man in line is likely Jerry Hairston Jr. Hairston is a nice utility player that will hit around 270 and can play just about anywhere but the Dodgers are better off if Uribe bounces back.
First Base: Similar to third base, at first base the job is James Loney’s to lose. This is likely the last year that Loney has to prove he can be a regular first baseman in the majors. Loney came alive in the second half last season hitting 320 with 8 homeruns after the all star break. Loney once hit 15 homeruns in a season so the potential is there, it’s just a question of which Loney is real, the mediocre one or the second half Loney. Loney hit just 213 against lefties last season so Juan Rivera may get some starts at first base against tough lefty pitchers. Sands could also play first against lefty pitchers as well but who knows if he will be a bench player or start full time in AAA. If Loney continues to struggle then Rivera or Sands will get a shot to start while the other starts in left field. There is also a chance that Scott Van Slyke could get a look after hitting 348 with 20 homeruns in double A last season.
Catcher: AJ Ellis will finally get a chance to start in 2012 after being a backup for several seasons. Ellis is known as a good defensive catcher who calls a good game the only knock on him is whether he can hit enough to be an everyday catcher. He does get on base very well and has no matter where he has played. As long as he can hit 270 like he did last season he should stick as the starter. After Ellis the situation looks a lot worse. Matt Treanor was signed as the backup but has no hitting ability and defense and veteran leadership is the reason he was signed. Fedex (Tim Federowicz) could be the next version of Ellis but he looked over matched in his brief 13 at bats with the Dodgers last season. Josh Bard who is a non-roster invitee has done good for a few stints in the majors but for them most part of his career he has been a non-factor.
5 Burning Questions heading into the Spring
1. Who will own the Dodgers?
2. Which James Loney shows up in 2012?
3. Can Juan Uribe give the Dodgers any production from third base?
4. Will Chad Billingsley put together a good full season?
5. If AJ Ellis struggles, what do the Dodgers do at catcher?
2011 Dodger Season Review
October 1st, 2011 by SDdodger5
Matt Kemp had an MVP caliber season.
The 2011 season started out as a season that was very dark and gloomy for Dodger fans with the team going 14 games under 500 and the uncertainty of the Frank McCourt divorce trial. The year ended up turning into a decent season as the Dodgers finished three games above 500 and found out they have some quality young players for the future. Add in the breakout campaigns for Clayton Kershaw and Matt Kemp and it was a good season considering how many injuries the Dodgers had to overcome. Among the bright spots for the Dodgers this season were Matt Kemp, Clayton Kershaw, the young players, and the contributions from unlikely sources such as Juan Rivera and Aaron Miles.
Among the words to describe the seasons of Clayton Kershaw and Matt Kemp are unbelievable, amazing, and electric. Clayton Kershaw has always been touted as an ace in the making and this season he showed that he is now an ace and one of the best pitchers in the game. He should win the NL Cy Young after winning the pitching triple crown and putting up 21 wins for an offensively challenged team. He also went 4-0 against two time Cy Young award winner Tim Lincecum which shows just how good he is. The biggest improvements for Kershaw were cutting down on walks and improving his hard biting slider. There were countless times he got hitters to swing at sliders that bounced. Add that to a 94 mph fastball and a nasty curve and he is simply unhittable. Matt Kemp also exploded this season nearly missing a 40-40 season and improving last seasons 249 average all the way up to 324. Davey Lopes really helped Kemp’s base running abilities take off and he also had fewer base running mistakes. Kemp deserves the MVP award but if he doesn’t get it he will certainly be rewarded with a big contract.
Among the young players making contributions for the Dodgers this season were Javy Guerra, Kenley Jansen, Jerry Sands, Dee Gordon, and Justin Sellers. Javy Guerra and Kenley Jansen formed a formidable 8th and 9th inning combo which solidified the Dodger bullpen. Guerra came out of nowhere and converted 20 of 22 save opportunities and seemed to forget the blown situations quickly. Jansen set a new MLB record with his 16 strikeouts per 9 innings average and his newly developed cutter was unhittable. Jerry Sands struggled at the beginning of the year but after correcting his swing in AAA he appeared to be a new player in September and should be the Dodgers left fielder next season. Dee Gordon showed why he was touted as the Dodgers top prospect as he finished batting over 300 and was the NL’s rookie of the month in September. Justin Sellers made several big plays defensively and even if his hitting doesn’t improve he could be a nice utility infielder that is capable of playing shortstop, second base, and third base. The Dodgers have a handful of young players that will continue to help them in the future years.
Aaron Miles saved the Dodgers at third base due to the injuries of Juan Uribe and Casey Blake. Miles was one of the leading hitters in baseball against lefty pitchers and even knocked in 45 runs. Juan Rivera hit 271 for the Dodgers and knocked in over 40 runs and didn’t even start the season with the Dodgers. He lead the NL with RBI’s in September and helped lessen the impact of Andre Ethier’s absence in the lineup. Jamey Carroll had another solid season as a backup with Furcal getting injured several times.
All in all it wasn’t a bad season for a team in bankruptcy and a large amount of injuries. Despite an awful first half the Dodgers bounced back in the second half to finish above and give Dodger fans hope for 2012 and beyond. The Dodgers have a superstar in Matt Kemp and a young ace in Clayton Kershaw. Adding a few solid players and the continued development of young players and the Dodgers could surprise in 2012.
Dodger Trade Deadline Review
August 1st, 2011 by SDdodger5
Trayvon Robinson will get called up soon but it won't be as a Dodger.
Like a flash of lightning in the sky, the non waiver trade deadline has come and gone with a flurry of deals being made. For the Dodgers the deadline wasn’t too busy but GM Ned Colletti did spin a few trades that should help the Dodgers in the next couple of years. Hiroki Kuroda who was the Dodgers best trade chip was not traded because he would not waive his no trade clause but the Dodgers did Rafael Furcal as well as prospect Trayvon Robinson. Furcal went to the Cardinals for minor league outfielder Alex Castellanos and Robinson was dealt in a three team trade to the Mariners for Red Sox prospects Tim Federowicz, Juan Rodriguez, and Stephen Fife. While these moves won’t pay off immediately, it allows the Dodgers to build for the future in a season where there will not be a playoff appearance.
The Furcal trade is not surprising at all because it accomplishes three things for the Dodgers which are salary relief, an open position for Dee Gordon, and a prospect to possibly compete for the left field job next spring training. The Dodgers can now use the rest of the season to take a good look at Gordon and see if he can be the starting shortstop starting next season for the Dodgers. If the Dodgers hadn’t been able to trade Furcal then they would of ran into the problem of trying to get a look at Dee Gordon in September while Furcal is playing for a new contract with another team. In Castellanos the Dodgers get a twenty four year old outfield prospect who is capable of playing all three outfield positions. He wasn’t known for being a power hitter but so far this season he has hit 19 homeruns playing in the Texas league. Castellanos also offers some speed having stolen at least 19 bases every minor league season and has an above average throwing arm.
The trade involving Trayvon Robinson may be a bit surprising at first but when you look at the Dodgers outfield situation it becomes clear why they traded him. Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier will hopefully patrol the outfield for many more seasons with the Dodgers which only leaves left field as an open position. The Dodgers already have Jerry Sands who can play left field and another up and coming outfield prospect in Alfredo Silverio to go with the newly acquired Alex Castellanos. Robinson has hit 26 homeruns so far this season but he plays in the Coors field of the minor leagues in Albuquerque. He has also struck out 122 times this season and that is far too many strikeouts for a guy with only 15 homerun potential. The Dodgers acquired a great defensive catching prospect in Tim Federowicz and the Dodgers are short on catchers. Given that defense is more important than anything for a catcher the Dodgers may have found their catcher for next season if Federowicz can hit at least 250.
While Federowicz is the main prospect acquired in the Robinson trade the Dodgers did get two nice arms in Juan Rodriguez and Stephen Fife. Rodriguez barely turns 23 this December and while his ERA is high he has potential given that he can reach 98-99 mph with his fastball and has struck out 88 batters in only 59 innings in Single A. Fife turns 25 this October and is in the midst of a great season in double A where he has a 11-4 record with a 3.66 ERA. Fife fits into that John Ely mold of a finesse pitcher but Fife can reach the low 90′s where Ely usually sits around 88 mph. Fife is a sinkerballer who relies on his two seam fastball to get ground outs and figures to be a fifth starter in the majors within the next couple of years. I would give Colletti a high B for his trades since he acquired an outfield prospect, good catcher prospect, relief prospect, and a starting pitcher prospect for a shortstop who is an impending free agent and an outfield prospect who may strike himself out of the majors.
Trade Deadline Primer
July 19th, 2011 by SDdodger5
Is Hiroki Kuroda gonna be on the move soon?
T-minus 12 days until the non-waiver trade deadline and the Dodgers appear to be destined to finish fourth or fifth in the NL West. The offense is non-existent and unable to find any form of consistency this season. The Dodgers will definitely not be buyers at the trade deadline and the only question left is will the Dodgers be sellers and who do they trade. The only thing that is given is the Dodgers will not be trading Matt Kemp, Clayton Kershaw, Rubby De La Rosa, or Chad Billingsley. After that everybody is available although its highly unlikely Andre Ethier gets traded unless someone offers the moon for him. Here are some players that could be traded away with some possible landing spots.
Hiroki Kuroda: Kuroda is the Dodger that’s most likely to be traded if he accepts a trade because he is having another stellar season and there are plenty of teams who are interested in him. Kuroda’s agent is saying he will not accept a trade to the east coast and he may not accept a trade at all because his family is comfortable in LA and he may want to return to the Dodgers next season if he doesn’t retire. Teams that have expressed interest in him are the Tigers, Red Sox, Yankees, Dbacks, Indians, and the Rockies but the Rockies are unlikely to be buyers at the deadline.
Rafael Furcal: Furcal is certainly available but he has been atrocious since coming back from the DL and nobody is going to be interested in an often injured shortstop who is hitting under 200. The only way that someone could become interested in him is if Raffy goes on a ridiculous hot streak over the next week and shows flashes of a healthy Rafael Furcal. The chances of that happening are slim to none but if he does magically return to form the Pirates and Brewers are two teams who could upgrade at shortstop. Yes you read that right, the Pirates are contenders.
Jamey Carroll: Like Kuroda, Jamey Carroll is the Dodger position player that is most likely to be traded although he has been slumping lately and hurting his value. He wouldn’t bring much back because he is an impending FA but the Dodgers will take whatever they can get to restock the minor leagues. Teams that have expressed interest in him are the Reds, Brewers, and Rockies. The Pirates make a lot of sense since they can use a shortstop and Carroll is affordable.
Hong Chih Kuo: While there hasn’t been any indication that Kuo is available I’m sure the Dodgers would trade him if it brought them back a couple good young bullpen arms or a decent position player prospect. Kuo is under team control for 2 more seasons so that beefs up his value tremendously. He has been shaky this season since he was dealing with an anxiety disorder but there’s no question about his stuff. Teams that are looking for bullpen help include the Yankees, Pirates, Indians, and Phillies.
All in all the Dodgers do not have much to offer on the trade market outside of Kuo, Carroll, and Kuroda. I think its best if the Dodgers just stay put and do nothing at the deadline. While its not a sexy move it would fit the Dodgers best if they cannot get anything of value for Carroll or Kuroda. There’s a possibility Kuroda may not even accept a trade so that further complicates things. The only good move if any would be to trade Carroll since he will be a free agent and if Furcal goes down again the Dodgers can call up Dee Gordon. Casey Blake and Furcal could have been decent trade chips at the deadline but given their injuries and struggles they won’t attract any teams and I highly doubt anybody is interested in Ted Lilly or Juan Uribe.
The Dodgers Will Be Back
June 30th, 2011 by SDdodger5
Dodger stadium hasn't been anywhere near that full this season.
Brutal. One word is all it takes to describe the Dodgers 2011 season thus far. Not only are they in last place and ten games back of first place, they reached a franchise low when they filed for bankruptcy this week. It’s a shame that a historic and once proud franchise like the Dodgers has been run into the ground to the point where it can’t get any worse.
The good news for Dodger fans is that this is not the first time the Dodgers have put a team lacking so much talent on the field. Remember the 2005 season? Seemed like everybody was named Jason on the team and was full of no name players such as Jason Repko, Jason Phillips, and Jason Grabowski. Surely names that will not be remembered by Dodger fans twenty years from now, probably not even ten. The following season the Dodgers were infused with young talent by players like Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, and James Loney.
The Dodgers could have a similar infusion of talent for the 2012 season. Dee Gordon has already found his way into the majors and even if he gets sent back down to AAA when Furcal returns he will be back next season. Gordon has shown off his fine defensive skills and ridiculous speed. Jerry Sands came up and showed flashes of his power when he blasted a grand slam in Houston that may have left the stadium. Then there is still guys like Trayvon Robinson who are talented and waiting for a shot. The bullpen has seen some youngsters come up and show they are capable of holding jobs in the pen. Javy Guerra is currently the closer of the team and is yet to blow a save. Josh Lindblom put together a fine stint with the team and if Scott Elbert would ever get his control together he could be a shut down reliever in the bullpen as well.
The Dodgers may be down but they will not be down forever. It may take a season or two but regardless whoever owns the Dodgers once they get their new TV deal will have the funds necessary to rebuild the Dodgers in a hurry. The team already has two superstars in Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw and neither of them are even twenty eight yet. If this team was to acquire a big bat in the offseason then it would instantly become a contender with a middle of the order with ethier, kemp, and the big bat. Even if they don’t acquire a big bat theres several talented youngsters that could start next season to fill out the order.
The Dodgers are rich with history, just look at the names atop the outfield pavillions. You’ll see names like Koufax and Drysdale. Look in the stands and you’ll see hall of fame manager Tommy Lasorda. Tilt your head up to the pressbox and you will see the best baseball broadcaster of all time, Vin Scully. Once the ownership situation gets resolved the team will be able to be rebuilt. Not many teams get a head start on rebuilding with an ace and superstar slugger already on the team. Just remember the Dodgers may be down, but they will be back.
Small In Size, Tall In Effort
June 15th, 2011 by SDdodger5
Carroll has been an indispensable player for the Dodgers.
Short in height, average speed, no power. Doesn’t sound like a scouting report of a major league player, yet thats what scouting reports say about Jamey Carroll. When you look at Carroll he doesn’t look like an athlete. If you saw him on the streets in regular clothing you would think he is just some ordinary guy but for the Dodgers he has been anything but ordinary. Carroll has been a super utility player throughout his major league career as he is capable of playing shortstop, second base, third base, and even some outfield. His stats are not eye opening, he is a 279 career hitter and has never hit more than five homeruns in a season but ever since he came to the Dodgers he has become a significant part of the team.
Jamey signed with the Dodgers in 2010 for two years at 2 million a year. Upon signing many questioned what kind of move this was since owner Frank McCourt was cash strapped and here he is giving 2 million a year to some utility player. It turns out Carroll has been a bargain and worth more than the Dodgers could have imagined. With Rafael Furcal being the often injured player he is, Carroll has become somewhat of a regular starter since last season. The numbers he has put up are more than anybody could have expected as last season he hit 291, knocked in 23 runs from the leadoff spot, and stole 12 bases. Carroll has helped the Dodgers absorb the absence of Furcal and now in 2011 he is doing it yet again while putting up better numbers than last season. So far he has a 319 batting average and an on base percentage approaching 400. Jamey also plays very steady defense so while he is not going to replace Furcal’s production he is not going to hurt the Dodgers at all either. There is even some argument that Carroll could make the all star team since Omar Infante made it last year as a utility player. Carroll ranks fifth in the NL in batting average (319) and is the NL leader in road batting average (383) and three hit games (11). His numbers are justifying of an All Star appearance should manager Bruce Bochy choose to pick Carroll as a utility player.
Not only is Jamey Carroll an excellent bench player he is also an excellent role model. This guy always brings maximum effort day in and day out and his uniform is usually dirty by the start of the third inning. His scrappy way of play has seemed to rub off on the Dodgers because the Dodgers never seem to give up this year no matter how many injuries occur or the score. Dodger broadcaster Rick Monday said if you want to teach somebody how to play the game of baseball then show them videotape of Jamey Carroll and that is the greatest compliment you can give an athlete. He will never complain about whether he is in the lineup or not and he has never had any incidents off the field. I had the privilege of getting Carroll’s autograph at a game in San Diego and he was very polite and signed for every person that wanted an autograph whether they were Dodger fans or Padre fans. Once said to be overpaid, Jamey Carroll has proven to be an invaluable piece to the Dodgers team and one that is worth every dollar he makes. What he lacks in size and talent, he makes up for with an enormous amount of heart and hustle.
The Joke That Is MLB’s All Star Voting
June 6th, 2011 by SDdodger5
What else does Kemp have to do, save the world?
Self admittedly I could care less about all star games for any sport because they are just an exhibition. MLB has tried making it more interesting by giving World Series home field advantage to whoever wins it but its still an exhibition. One thing that I do care about all star games is when players that should make it don’t and that is what this post is about. Matt Kemp is currently fifth in all star voting for the NL, yes you read that right, fifth! If there is a better all around Centerfielder in the NL, heck maybe even all of baseball then come find me and I don’t plan on being found. Currently Matt Holliday, Ryan Braun, Andre Ethier, and Lance Berkman are ahead of Kemp in votes. I won’t pick on Ethier because he is a Dodger but here is Matt Kemp’s stats compared to the other guys ahead of him:
Holliday 342 (hes been injured, less AB’s)
Yes Kemp has a lower average but not by much and lets not forget that Kemp sees the least amount of hittable pitches since there is nobody after him in the Dodgers lineup that scares you. Berkman and Holliday have each other in the lineup to protect and some other dude by the name of Albert Pujols. Ryan Braun also has a potent lineup around him with players like Fielder, Mcghehee, and Corey Hart. Kemp leads all three of those guys in stolen bases with 14. Braun is right behind with 13 but Berkman and Holliday have no stolen bases. Even though defense never gets taken into account with all star voting Kemp is the best fielder of all three, afterall he has won a gold glove and mans centerfield. So everybody go out and vote for Kemp the maximum 25 times, he deserves it. All star games are just an exhibition but when looking at a guys career the number of all star appearances he made are always noticed and Kemp was already robbed last season, don’t let it happen again.
The Softening of Professional Sports
May 28th, 2011 by SDdodger5
Plays at the plate have become a hot topic after Posey's Injury.
To hit the catcher or not to hit the catcher? San Francisco Giant’s All Star catcher Buster Posey was injured Wednesday night in a home plate collision with Marlin’s outfielder Scott Cousins and is likely out for the season. Now there has become a hot debate about whether you should be allowed to run into the catcher or not. First off, let me state that I feel bad for Buster Posey even though he is a Giant because I do not wish injury upon anybody and Posey’s career could be affected by this injury. With that said there was nothing wrong with Cousins running into Posey and I think the debate on whether MLB should change the rules should end. Last year former Dodger prospect Carlos Santana was badly injured in a home plate collision and unfortunately this is just apart of the game.
By changing the catching rules then that would open a debate about whether runners should be allowed to execute take out slides and slide hard into a second baseman or shortstop turning a double play. Earlier this season Twins Shortstop Tsuyoshi Nishioka broke a leg after being sled into by a Yankee player. By altering these rules you are looking at a whole new version of MLB and the game would be changed dramatically if such rule changes were made. Just looking at the catcher collisions part, runners would no longer be able to score from second base on a single unless they were really fast because they would be afraid to get into a situation where the catcher blocks the plate and then they cannot score since they can’t run over the catcher if they needed to. Then if you cannot slide hard into second base then double plays would be easy since the runner wouldn’t be able to slide and disrupt the double play attempt. To me Catcher collisions and take out slides at second base go hand in hand. If you change one then the other must be changed because both are dangerous. The simplest way to solve this issue is to not allow catchers to block the plate but in my opinion the rules should be left as they are.
Safety has become a new trend in sports which is not a bad thing but the rule changes being made in sports are too drastic and taking away too much from the game. In the NFL Roger Goodell has implemented new rules where the quarterback pretty much can’t be hit unless he’s standing there or takes off running. Once he starts his throwing motion he cannot be hit. Wide receivers must be allowed to catch the ball and get themselves ready to be it before they can be tackled now. Injuries will always be a part of sports, they are a part of every day life. You go to fix a leaky sink and you tweak your back. That is just life. I have no problem with people inventing new gear to protect against injuries but when you start changing the rules and it changes the way the game is played then you have gone too far. Seems as if people today are becoming too soft and are afraid to get injured. If you are afraid to get hurt then don’t play, the players know what their getting into and thats why they make the big bucks.
The Offense Is Offensive
May 15th, 2011 by SDdodger5
The Dodgers offense is anemic without Furcal at the top of the order.
I always thought that Furcal was the sparkplug to the Dodgers offense but it turns out he is the heart of the offense. When he is healthy he gets on base and sets the table for Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp. Casey Blake being out of the lineup hurts too because it forces the Dodgers to start a slap hitter at a power position which is Aaron Miles. The good news is that Furcal began his rehab stint Friday at Triple A and Casey Blake could start his this upcoming Friday. So perhaps two weeks from now the Dodgers will have their full offense back, in uniform at least.
How anemic has the Dodgers offense been you ask, well here are the disheartening stats:
Jose Batista’s homerun total: 16 homeruns
Sunday’s Lineup total: 13 homeruns
Opponent homeruns at Dodger Stadium: 24
Dodger homeruns at Dodger Stadium: 10
Saturday marked the first time since 1914 that the Dodgers allowed only 1 hit and lost the game. (poor Chad Billingsley)
Dodgers are tied with the Pirates for the 2nd lowest runs scored in the National League. Only the Giants have scored fewer runs.
runs scored 26th
James Loney is on pace for the worst season ever by a first baseman. He has only 3 doubles and has a lower slugging percentage than Jamey Carroll and Aaron Miles. Chad Billingsley has 2 doubles in 133 less AB’s.
The Dodgers have been wasting outstanding pitching performances such as Billingsley’s 1 hitter Saturday and if they had executed better with runners in scoring position then the Dodgers may be in first place without the left side of their infield in Blake and Furcal. Hopefully they return and bring the offense back to life because with the Dodgers pitching they have a real shot to win the NL West if they can get enough offense. The offense was rolling nicely until Casey Blake got injured and the Dodgers had to use two slap hitters as replacements. No offense to Miles and Carroll, they are doing a nice job especially Carroll but that is a big drop off from Furcal and Blake. Hopefully there are better scoring days ahead because this offense is downright offensive!