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Thread: Los Angeles Dodgers - OFFICIAL SPRING TRAINING THREAD

  1. #71
    Elegant Diehard's Avatar




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    Dodger-related bits from Keith Law

    Jeff (Smithtown, NY): Keith, what's Paul Depodesta up to these days? Kinda feel like he got a raw deal considering Russell Martin, Kemp and Loney all turned out to be pretty decent players.

    SportsNation Keith Law: (1:32 PM ET ) He's in the San Diego front office. I think his arrival there coincided with a more statistically-minded approach to player acquisition, both in pro ball and in the draft.
    Joe (New York): Keith, percentage chance that Chad Billingsley is more valuable than Brad Penny, this year?

    SportsNation Keith Law: (1:45 PM ET ) 25%. Penny produces a ton of value by pitching so well and throwing so many innings.
    He answered two of my questions:

    Ned Colletti (Vero Beach, Florida): Mr. Law, did I make a mistake by not signing Luke Hochevar and Kyle Blair?

    SportsNation Keith Law: (1:55 PM ET ) No on Hochevar. Maybe on Blair. The latter wanted money that was above his "worth" in draft terms, although I'm generally just a proponent of identifying the best players and spending what it takes to sign them.
    Jimmy (Ventura, CA): Would you rather spend the night with Jessica Alba or Adriana Lima?

    SportsNation Keith Law: (1:59 PM ET ) Lima.
    His answer to my second question baffles me.

    Josh (Lawrence, KS): Good Major League comp. for Kershaw? Bedard/Kazmir?

    SportsNation Keith Law: (2:30 PM ET ) Stuff-wise, yes, you're on the right track.

  2. #72
    Let the kids play ASUcruz's Avatar




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    Jeff (Smithtown, NY): Keith, what's Paul Depodesta up to these days? Kinda feel like he got a raw deal considering Russell Martin, Kemp and Loney all turned out to be pretty decent players.

    SportsNation Keith Law: (1:32 PM ET ) He's in the San Diego front office. I think his arrival there coincided with a more statistically-minded approach to player acquisition, both in pro ball and in the draft.
    I give more credit to Logan White for Martin, Kemp, and Loney. But yea, Depodesta was smart not to trade thse guys.

    When bringing up Depodesta's accomplishments as Dodgers GM, the first thing mentioned should be Brad Penny.

  3. #73
    Let the kids play ASUcruz's Avatar




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    Ned Colletti (Vero Beach, Florida): Mr. Law, did I make a mistake by not signing Luke Hochevar and Kyle Blair?

    SportsNation Keith Law: (1:55 PM ET ) No on Hochevar. Maybe on Blair. The latter wanted money that was above his "worth" in draft terms, although I'm generally just a proponent of identifying the best players and spending what it takes to sign them.
    Did Colletti even have a chance at Hochevar? I think by the time he took over, any chance of signing Hochevar was gone. He pissed off Dodgers management when he reneged on the deal they had when Hochevar changed agents for like a day.

    Anyways, I think that told the Dodger a lot about his makeup and there was probably no chance the two sides would ever come to an agreement.

  4. #74
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    3rd base still up for grabs

    The Official Site of The Los Angeles Dodgers: News: Notes: Third base remains up in air

    VERO BEACH, Fla. -- Two days into full-squad practice and rookie Andy LaRoche again was at third base in the group with the other three starting infielders: first baseman James Loney, second baseman Jeff Kent and shortstop Rafael Furcal.

    Manager Joe Torre has said not to read anything into the groupings and he denied that the third-base job is LaRoche's to lose. Nonetheless, Torre did say that six-time All Star Nomar Garciaparra, his other obvious option at third base, would be a good candidate for a bench role because of his versatility and experience.

    "When you've been around a lot, you can slow the game down," Torre said. "Young kids put more pressure on themselves. I talked to Nomar during the offseason about third base, but also that he has the ability to play everywhere else in the infield. That's especially valuable in this league with a lot of double-switching. You need the flexibility."

    Conventional wisdom is that, ideally, LaRoche would start and Garciaparra would provide Torre with defensive flexibility off the bench, along with a clutch right-handed bat for late-inning pinch-hitting situations, especially now that Olmedo Saenz, for four years the primary right-handed pinch-hitter, is gone.

    Torre provided further fuel to the speculation by referring to players he's previously managed who have transitioned from starter to reserve. He said Bernie Williams adjusted to losing the center-field job in New York by playing right and left fields.

    "And Chris Chambliss in Atlanta was as good as I've seen of a regular player coming off the bench," Torre said. "You've got to hit pitch-one in those situations and [Garciaparra, a notorious first-pitch swinger] doesn't have a problem hitting pitch-one. In RBI situations, he knows how to hit. He has a better feel in that situation."

    But Torre backed off when asked if it was LaRoche's job to lose.

    "No. Nomar's experience plays into this thing," he said. "It's not necessarily Andy's job to lose. We'll decide how it best helps the club. I don't expect Nomar to play 155 or 160 games."

    Rotation announced: Media were similarly cautioned not to project to Opening Day, but Torre laid out a starting pitching rotation that sure looks like it could be repeated for the first week of the season.

    All-Star Brad Penny will start an intrasquad game on Tuesday, Derek Lowe will start a simulated game Wednesday, Chad Billingsley will start the exhibition opener against the Braves at Vero Beach on Feb. 28 and Hiroki Kuroda will start against the Braves in Orlando on Feb. 29.

    The alignment makes sense on many levels, including separating the hard-throwing Penny and Billingsley with the sinker-throwing Lowe, who has been the Dodgers' Opening Day starter the past three seasons.

    Following Penny in the intrasquad game will be Chan Ho Park and Hong-Chih Kuo. Joining Lowe in the simulated game will be Eric Stults. Jason Johnson will follow Billingsley. Esteban Loaiza, a contender for the fifth spot, will follow Kuroda.

    Billingsley was in the first group of pitchers throwing live batting practice on Thursday. Penny, Kuroda, Loaiza and Kuo are scheduled to throw to hitters on Friday.

    A Young infielder: Delwyn Young is still an outfielder, but the club has asked him to dust off his second baseman's glove.

    Young is taking ground balls in early work with the coaching staff before the day's regular practice begins. Young originally was a second baseman, but was moved to the outfield after leading the Minor Leagues twice in errors at the position.

    "This way I get more reps," Young said. "I'm concentrating on making the basic plays and focusing on doing it right."

    The switch-hitting Young last year hit .337 at Triple-A Las Vegas and was the team MVP. He hit .382 in a 19-game September callup with the big league club and is in contention for a utility spot.

    Torre on Loney: The manager saw Matt Kemp during the club's minicamp in Los Angeles last month, but he got his first look at Loney during batting practice on Thursday.

    "I've been wanting to see Loney swing a bat, so I camped out in one spot, and I was very impressed with the ease with which he swings it," said Torre. "He has good coverage and doesn't have to hit to one field. Good stuff."

    In that hitting group was Kemp and Garciaparra, and Torre mentioned Kemp's power.

    "There are guys who hit the ball in the air and it doesn't come down," said Torre. "You think he missed it, but the ball carries. It will be fun watching his game."

    Medical report: Non-roster outfielder George Lombard said his strained left calf muscle felt better than he expected the day after suffering it, but he expects to be sidelined a few more days. He said he suffered a similar injury to his right calf in Spring Training in 2001.

    Honeymoon at Dodgertown: The crowds at Dodgertown are bigger this year than they've been in at least a decade. Included on Thursday were Tim and Danielle Monteath, wearing Mickey Mouse ears that included a top hat and a bride's veil. They who were married on Saturday in San Juan Batista, Calif., and took their honeymoon to Florida so that Tim, a lifelong Dodgers fan, could see the team's longtime Spring Training site. Danielle said she was not a baseball fan prior to meeting Tim but has since been converted. The couple flies home Friday after also stopping at Disney World in Orlando.

  5. #75
    FBJ
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    I read that article earlier today and thought, "Yeah? So two days into camp, Torre hasn't picked his starter yet?"

    FIRE TORRE!

    :P
    Anything worth shooting is worth shooting twice. Bullets are cheap. Life is priceless.


  6. #76
    Bringing sexy back! SicSemprTyranis's Avatar




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    Im interested to see if Chan Ho Park has anything left in the tank...If he did, I sure like him as a long relief/spot starter in the same mold as Bret Tomko...just effective.

  7. #77
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    It's nice having a boss with kick ass Dodger season seats. Just got hooked up with tickets to the sold out Coliseum game.

  8. #78
    That's all, folks! Wolvie's Avatar




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    I found these statistical tidbits interesting. Got it from Scout.com, by way of the Riverside Press-Enterprise, by way of Bill James...

    Quote Originally Posted by Scout.com
    Diamond Luong, of the Riverside Press-Enterprise, checked through Bill James' book, "The Bill James Gold Mine 2008" and came up with these interesting gems:

    * After the first three innings the 2007 Dodgers were 19 games under .500—ahead in 53 games, behind in 72. After that they were pretty good, improving by 10 games from the start of the fourth inning to the end of the game. “We generally believe that lineup construction is not a big issue, but one can’t help but assume that this is tied to the Dodgers’ slightly peculiar decision last year to bat their worst hitters first and second, which generally means that those hitters would hit twice in the first three innings. The Dodgers had a lower on-base percentage AND a lower slugging percentage from the #1 and #2 spots in the batting order than from any spot 3 through 8."

    * Brad Penny threw his changeup more than twice as often in 2007 as he had in 2006, and cut more than a run off his ERA. “Unlike most pitchers, Brad Penny did not save his changeup for opposite-side hitters—he relied on it heavily against both lefthanded and righthanded hitters.”

  9. #79
    kingofdodgers
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    very interesting stuff wolvie.

  10. #80
    encinododgerfan
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    Saw this today on the Dodger site. You gotta love that name!

    Japanese signing: The Dodgers signed Japanese catcher Fumimasa Ishibashi, 24, to a Minor League contract. He has played independent ball in the U.S.

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