Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Dodgers' 25 man roster is all but set!

Eric Stephen of True Blue LA and Dodgers beat reporter Ken Gurnick whittled down the remaining spot in the Dodgers' Opening Day roster to Scott Elbert and Lance Cormier. The rest of the roster looks like this:

Starters: Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, Ted Lilly, Hiroki Kuroda
Relievers: Jonathan Broxton, Hong-Chih Kuo, Kenley Jansen, Matt Guerrier, Blake Hawksworth, Mike MacDougal
Catchers: Rod Barajas, Hector Giminez
Infielders: James Loney, Ivan DeJesus, Rafael Furcal, Juan Uribe, Jamey Carroll, Aaron Miles
Outfielders: Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp, Marcus Thames, Xavier Paul, Jay Gibbons, Tony Gwynn Jr.

Injured: Vicente Padilla, Jon Garland, Dioner Navarro, Casey Blake

Here are some of my comments about the present roster situation:

*I don't know who should win that last spot. I would like Scott Elbert to win it but I would like him to be more developed than he is at this point as well. I am alright with either one at this point. I think the bigger story is Ramon Troncoso given the snub in favor of Mike MacDougal. Troncoso might be shot after having been ridden by Joe Torre early last year because he has done enough in the league to warrant a roster spot. That must be it because Mike MacDougal is not going to be appointment television. Perhaps he will do what some veteran relievers do and start producing out of nowhere but the odds are against him,

*I sit here having been proven wrong and I am stunned. Ivan DeJesus will be getting the majority of starts out of the gate for the Dodgers. I wish him the best of luck and I am thankful the Dodgers' front office is capable of making a decision like this. It did take an injury to Casey Blake but they could have given the job to Aaron Miles. Perhaps it's not so much the front office but a new manager that convinced the organization to go in this direction. This certainly wouldn't have happened on the previous manager's watch.

*Six outfielders?! You could say that the Dodgers have seven with Giminez but I guess this is what the Dodgers are doing. Nothing like four outfielders to play one spot. Yes, Gwynn will play some center but this is a clear indication that the Dodgers need to commit to tossing a player off the roster or, more aptly, they could have done a better job at addressing the position.

*You would think the Dodgers would be reeling with as much press as Padilla and Garland are getting. They still have the big four and the fifth starter is a reliever for the first two weeks anyways. 11 pitchers works for me for many reasons but, if they were to add a 12th, it would probably be Travis Schlichting. Why do I feel that he is better than Hawksworth and MacDougal?

*Hector Giminez is the Dodgers' back-up catcher. He certainly impressed with his ability to play in the outfield as well as catch. I don't think that he is going to get many starts as the team has been vocal about the confidence they have in Rod Barajas. I am just not sure if that is true and I am not all that sure Hector Giminez can field the position at the major league level.

Of course, the success of the Dodgers in 2011 depends far more on players not mentioned in the comments above. This probably means that it's time for Vin to say "It's time for Dodger baseball!" Let's hope this season doesn't have us begging for the McCourts to run out of money, shutting Dodger operations down!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

List of Players I Don't Want On The Dodger Roster

Baseball and Vin Scully game calls are still a little more than two weeks away and there's really not much of import to say about the season. I know who I don't want to be a Dodger, however, and I plan on letting you know who these bums are.

1) Aaron Miles 2B/3B/SS (Plays all positions poorly): Yet another slappy baseball player who was legitimized by the Cubs and their idiot GM, Jim Hendry. He was given stupid money, is bad (actually one of the worst says Mike Scioscia's Tragic Illness). He makes a fan want a player who is at least worthy of taking up a roster spot. Ryan Theriot, who I hate nearly as much, would be a better fit for a utility infielder but we don't know if Ned would direct his manager to play him a lot and bat him second.

If Casey Blake is going to be out for a while, Aaron Miles may just make the roster. I thought he had a good shot at making it even if Blake is healthy. It shouldn't matter that much but if Aaron Miles does matter via a sizable amount of playing time, the Dodgers won't be good. Hell, Nick Green at least was trusted by the Red Sox to field the SS position when they needed a stop-gap and I didn't even like him. He's slappy, he's bad and I have no tolerance for the combination of the two.

2) Jay Gibbons,  LF: The guy has a decent stretch of 20 games and he is anointed a spot in the LF platoon. If he were Xavier Paul's age, he would be headed back to the minors. Now, he is a cost-effective former cheating quasi-veteran (at least I think former) who is having a bad spring. I really don't see him having a good anything again.

3) Mike MacDougal, RP: He's circling the bowl right now and could be a fringe bullpen arm for most teams. Not the Dodgers though. The Dodgers have the bullpen resources without MacDougal. It's not a bad move to take one more shot at a guy like this but the Dodgers don't need to and probably won't.

4) Ronald Belisario, RP: Don't even bother to look his ass up. The first time he was late, it was funny. The second time, it was shameful. Now, why bother with him? I'm not usually a "get rid of this guy because he is a slacker" proponent but he has shown enough disrespect for his team and his job by failing to show up for camp. His arm is still good but let some other team deal with him. The Dodgers do not depend on him and they should tell him to stay gone.

5) Dioner Navarro, C: This guy wore out his welcome in Tampa Bay and, instead of waiting until he could sign Navarro as a non-roster invitee, Ned gave him a million dollars. I think the Dodgers are fine with AJ Ellis as backup. Sure, Navarro is insurance but expensive insurance that draws the ire of the rest of the team.

The Dodgers have lost three young catching prospects/products in Russell Martin, Carlos Santana and Lucas May and are left with another old man who played decent in 20 games and is richer now. A.J. Ellis is more of a farm hand who can be a back up. The catching position in the Dodgers has run dry and this is why the Dodgers are are left to waste money on Dioner Navarro.

That does it for the list. One or more of these players will probably play for the Dodgers at some point. It's a fact of baseball that one has to deal with bums. For all of you who don't remember how they felt about Garret Anderson before the start of last season, bums like these can go south in their production real quick.


Ken Gurnick writes about Hiroki Kuroda giving $50,000 to Japan for relief efforts. To me, that figure sounded sma.. Not that I was implicating Kuroda in any way. I was sure that he gave money elsewhere to charitable causes and/or I thought he would have family who were directly affected by the earthquake and tsunami. You look at his $12 million contract and 50 grand only approaches 0.5% of his income. The average person gives around 1-2% of his income and, as an athlete, Kuroda reaches that range by donates to the Think Cure Foundation among other causes yearly.

What I am getting at here is that the story should be about the team's giving efforts because, with the contracts these players have, 50 grand sounds like 50 bucks. Kuroda is doing some good things but, as a team, they will probably donate much more money. The encouragement makes the great deed better and that is what the article should be titled. Can you tell it's Spring Training? This is what I am typing about.

If it sounds like I am picking on Ken Gurnick, I am as I occasionally do. I am probably a bad guy for doing so as he, like most beat writers in the pre-season, is in writer hell. I just thought the headline made him sound cheap. It should make him sound like what Kuroda intends to sound like: concerned and generous.