Monday, January 30, 2023
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Pecota Projections Have Dodgers Winning NL West

Yasiel Puig

Projections! Predictions! Aint nothing but a projection party! Nothing but a prediction party! Yes it’s that time of the year for predictions. USA Today already released theirs, now it’s time for Pecota to release theirs as well. Pecota’s 2016 projections are out and they have the Dodgers winning the NL West by a mile. Well more like seven games over the Giants. Pectoa has the Dodgers finishing 94-68 and the Giants in second place at 87-75. This seems more realistic. However there were a couple of strange predictions this season.

West Updated W L RS RA AVG OBP SLG TAv FRAA
0 Los Angeles Dodgers Hitters: Feb 15
Pitchers: Jan 25
94 68 712 592 .254 .320 .413 .268 12.3
0 San Francisco Giants Hitters: Feb 15
Pitchers: Feb 15
87 75 643 595 .255 .314 .384 .259 42.5
0 Arizona D-backs Hitters: Feb 14
Pitchers: Feb 14
78 84 657 683 .256 .307 .402 .252 4.6
0 San Diego Padres Hitters: Feb 15
Pitchers: Feb 15
77 85 651 692 .247 .302 .386 .250 -5.6
0 Colorado Rockies Hitters: Feb 15
Pitchers: Feb 9
74 88 678 749 .265 .314 .420 .247 -3.5

For one they picked the defending world champion Kansas City Royals to finish dead last in the AL Central. I have no idea why, but they think the Cleveland Indians to win that division. Although it seems like the Indians are always being picked in the preseason to win and never actually do. Sorry long suffering Cleveland fans, I hope Pecota is right for your sake. We’re just as suffering actually. Our World Series drought is now 28 years.

The Cubs are favorites to win the NL Central with a 92-70 record. The strange part of their prediction is that the Pirates and Cardinals will not make the playoffs. Pecota thinks that the Pittsburgh will finish with 83 wins, and the Cardinals with 82 wins. The Mets are NL East winners again but by a very slim margin over the Nationals.

And where oh where are the Dbacks? They’re projected to win 78 games and finish in third place. Zack Greinke or not, Pecota projections are not impressed with the Dbacks.

If these projections are correct it would mean that the Dodgers, Cubs, and Mets are division winners with the Giants and Nationals as the two wild cards. What’s interesting here is that the Dodgers are expected to lead the National League with the least amount of runs allowed. The Dodgers according to Pecota are first in runs allowed (592) and second in runs scored (712) with a 12.3 FRAA (fielding runs above average) which places them with the third best defense in the National League.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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Scott Andes
Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic
http://ladodgerreport.com

130 thoughts on “Pecota Projections Have Dodgers Winning NL West

  1. I think the Dodgers are a better team this year than they were last year but so are the Giants and AZ. I would guess that in head to head match ups between the Dodgers and both SF and AZ that both SF and AZ would win one more game this year than they did last year.

    I say this because AZ and SF are more better than are the Dodgers are this year. That actually might be grammatically correct.

    That alone would mean that the Dodgers would only win 90 games instead of 92 but they will replace those two wins with additional wins against everybody else with the exception of maybe the Cubs.

  2. More improved?

    I think it will be a dogfight and the boys in blue had better be ready. Don’t trust pseudometrics–these guys picked KC to finish last in 2015.

    1. Not to repeat myself but the rotation will produce more WAR this year because #1 and #3 are the same, and #4 and #5 will produce more WAR than the #2 will lose. Kershaw, Ryu, Anderson, Kasmir, Maeda vs. Kershaw, Greinke, Anderson, Bolsinger, Frias and the last two represent the 14 pitchers that pitched in those spots last year.

  3. I am currently slogging through Nate Silver’s The Signal and the Noise. One of his subtitles is “PECOTA vs Scouts: Scouts Win”.

    94 wins??? Given each team wins 54 games and loses 54 games that means we would go 40-14 in the third set of 54 games! Wow!

    Possible??? Yes
    Probable??? No

    But we did go 42-8 a few seasons ago!

  4. PECOTA picks the Royals to only win 76 games again this year and to finish last. Shows the limitations of a SABER-only approach to evaluating baseball. It can provide you with some good information but the games are played by baseball players on the field, not by numbers in a computer.

  5. Looking at the Dodger’s schedule, I noticed the opened dates:

    April = 2 days
    May = 3 days
    June = 2 days
    July = 7 days
    August = 2 days
    Sept = 3 days

    Ending with a 3 game stand in S.F.

  6. Scott,

    You have to stop publishing this kind of stuff. It confuses the Negative Nellies and they may actually do injury to themselves. This Dodger team is horrible – give them something to bitch about. They will have no purpose in their lives if you keep writing this kind of stuff! Enough already!

    No back to your regularly scheduled programming: “The Dodgers will finish 8th in the NL West!”

    1. That is an unfair comment. I have seen projections anywhere between 87 – 94 wins for the Dodgers this year and a finish between 1st and 2nd place. Everyone agrees that they will be competitive this year and they will likely finish with a similar won-loss record to last year. I agree with you that no one knows – that’s why they play the games.

      The disappointment is that the Braintrust hasn’t done more to improve the team for ’16. Many posters to this site distrust their Saber-orientation (you can’t believe your eyes – you have to believe what the computers say). The concern is that other teams including the Cubs, Giants and D-Backs have done more to compete in 2016 than the Dodgers have. That is a fair criticism – whether you agree with it or not. Yeah, they may have postured the team for 2017 or 2018, but that doesn’t help for this year.

      If you are a fan, you want them to win it all now – the sense is that the team that washed out in the first or second round of the playoffs the past three years will not do better this year than last and may well be worse. Of course, you never know what will happen during the course of the season,, but as fans we can project based on probabilities.

      1. You may be right.
        Except in regard to the Cubs, you are assuming Arrieta is the anointed great one based on the second half of last season, as opposed to just being a good pitcher. He falters and the whole pitching staff falters.
        And on the Giants, the key is Cueto. If he performs, they have an excellent rotation. If not, theirs is no better than ours, at best.
        And the Dbacks, it’s Grenke and a lot of question marks. I like the Dodgers’ question marks and depth more than I like theirs.
        Am I disappointed more wasn’t done, yes. But until they can resolve our outfield mess…..
        Two things I am pretty sure of, the Cards aren’t going to win 100 again, and the Royals are once again being vastly underrated.

    2. LOLZ Mark. sorry for my optimism. There’s just the best farm system in all of baseball and a talented roster of players on the major league level. I’ll stop bringing it up.

  7. If I didn’t kill myself when Kershaw blew that big lead in the 7th inning against the Cards, it ain’t gonna happen. Some folks are 4F–Fully-Fledged Friedman Fanatics. If they want to root for the guys in the front office, more power to them. I don’t care if Guggenheim makes 20% ROI. I want us to get back to the World Series, period.

    1. And I put that 7th inning on our manager. You put in someone else, anyone else, to try to stop the bleeding. Kershaw was clearly spent.

      1. DodgerDog I thought as soon as the first player, got on base, that AJ needed to go out there, and slow the game down for Kershaw, just like Yadi does, when a Cardinal pitcher, starts to loose it. That is not AJ’s fault, because Kershaw doesn’t like the catcher coming out to him, but sometimes that needs to happen. And most managers in baseball, bring in a relief pitcher, right after the pitcher losses the first batter, and puts the batter on base, either by giving up a hit, or walk. I just told myself, that this can’t happen again, because Kershaw is to good, to have this happen again, but it did. Most managers don’t want there pitchers, to face the batters, more then three times in a game. And Kershaw was throwing he no hitter, before that first guy got on base, in that game.

  8. This years success will be driven by the team’s quality of talent at both the major league and AAA level. Injuries are a normal part of the game but many can be avoided or minimized by effectively resting/platooning players to increase performance and expedite recovery from the scrapes, nicks and pulls that finely tuned athletes experience. The pitching depth we possess combined with the platooning options that our positional experience provides will allow us to put a better product on the field than any other team in the Western Division on a day by day basis.

  9. It seems so highly improbable that the Dodgers could win more games than last year after losing Greinke and really only replacing one position player; Rollins with Seager. I do not know if they can win 94, but 88-92 seems very plausible. I think it goes down to the final series with the Giants. I am not overly concerned about the DBacks. I would have had more respect for their chances had they signed Kendrick. I do not think that Owings, Ahmed, or Segura put a lot of fear in many pitchers. I also think they are underestimating how much of a loss Inciarte will be.

    The Dodgers have more depth than any team in the NL West, and over a 162 game schedule there is bound to be injuries. Neither the Giants nor the DBacks can perform at a 90 win level if they sustain any significant injury. Every Dodger player not named Kershaw or Seager can be replaced without a significant loss. The longer they go into the season, the easier it would be to make a call to OKC to pick up one of De Leon or Urias. Thompson, Johnson, and Barnes would be a phone call away. Come trading deadline, the Dodgers should be in a great position to go out and get that one player to get them over the hump. Neither the Giants nor DBacks have the farm to make a significant move, or replace a lost starter. The DBacks really do not have quality 4th or 5th starter much less drop down to the farm to pick up someone to replace Miller or Corbin if injured. The Giants 4th and 5th starter are questionable (assuming Peavy and Cain). How would they replace Cueto or Samardzija? The Dodgers have plenty of options for their 4th and 5th starter. Heck the Dodgers replaced their #3 with a #5 and won 92 games. I acknowledge that all three teams would suffer if their Aces were out for any length of time so I purposely did not consider them. The biggest concern I have for the Dodgers is the bullpen. But they certainly have a boatload of pitching options to work through to get the proper mix. But neither the Giants nor DBacks have a better bullpen. I also think that the new coaching staff will provide a different approach to the offense, and generally a more positive attitude. Bochy definitely delivers that. So advantage Giants there.

    The Dodgers are set up for the long season. The Dodgers can sustain injuries and still send out a quality team, while the Giants and DBacks are not set up as well. While the Dodgers are hoping for a lot of comeback years (Puig, Pederson, Grandal, and Wood) and quality rookie seasons (Seager and Maeda), the Giants and DBacks need everything to go right to get to 90 wins. Can Goldschmidt and Pollock both duplicate 2015? Will Greinke find as much success with any of the DBack catchers as he did with Grandal? If the Giants lose Belt, or Pence, or Duffy for any significant time, how will they be replaced, much less Crawford or Posey. The Giants suffered without Belt and Pence. It’s easy to be positive if you believe everything is going to go right for your team. If both the Giants and Dodgers played to the best of their abilities without any injuries, the Giants would have to be favored. But I like to look at it as if there will be player losses during the year, and figure which team is in the best position to handle those losses. That’s where I believe the Dodgers will excel.

    1. All of the talk about the Dodgers’ depth is what I really don’t get.

      For the rotation, they have added a net of one pitcher. Greinke is gone and Kazmir replaces him. Maeda with his suspect elbow is added. Ryu will hopefully be back but he was already here and was supposed to be #3 last year. McCarthy was here last year too and may or may not be back in the summer. Anderson was here last year. Wood was here last year and was none too effective. We have added a net of one pitcher and in theory, we have a rotation to start the season of Kershaw, Kazmir, Ryu (if he is ready), Maeda and Anderson with Wood in reserve. Not as good as the 5 who were supposed to start the season last year.

      Maybe DeLeon, Lee, Stripling, Cotton or someone else will be ready this year and if so, great. Not Urias – he only threw 87 innings last year and in a small sample didn’t do will at AAA, so he needs more innings.

      As far as position players are concerned, they certainly have lots of OFs although no one who can really play CF other than Pederson. They don’t have a backup SS. They have too many old lefthanded hitters (Utley, Crawford, Ethier) at least one of whom will ride the pine most of the time. There aren’t too many major league ready position players (Barnes an obvious exception) available on the farm. Not a lot of depth there in my opinion – not that the Giants or D-Backs have any depth either. It’s just that I don’t really see such a big advantage here and certainly not enough make up for the loss of Greinke.

      1. That’s how I see it too rick. I see one guy capable of 32 starts and a couple who could get 30 if all goes right. By depth I figure we will see 12 different starters this season. 200 innings? Kershaw. 180? Not sure. Meada is the wild card here. He’s 27, weighs less than a buck sixty, has an iffy elbow and will be pitching in a foreign country on less rest. He could be terrific. Hope so. But since we are talking about guesses here, I’m gonna guess 175 innings of 3.5. Wins? As with all our pitchers not named Kershaw it will depend on how many 3+ innings of shutdown relief support he gets.

        My gut tells me the heart of this team will be Pederson at the top, and the middle of the order. If Joc, Puig, AGon, Kendrick, Turner and Grandal all play a full season, and hit, we will compete. They do what they did last year? We’re toast. Pretty simple for me.

        1. I would parlay the Dodger starting depth into a 6 man rotation and try, with that extra rest, to have them pitch deeper into games, shortening the distance between them and Jansen. Then again, what do I know. Since Time Warner signed on, I don’t know what anyone on the team looks like anymore.
          Aha, I figured it out. If none of us can watch the team anymore and see what they look like, then all we have left is to follow stats. The evil plot uncovered. Turning us all to the dark side of sabermetrics.

      2. “We have added a net of one pitcher…..”

        That’s a pretty amazing statement, and you really have to be pretty implacably wedded to a negative point of view to have that statement actually make sense in your head.

        “Not as good as the 5 who were supposed to start the season last year.”

        “Supposed to” is the key phrase. Those five didn’t start. Anderson was “supposed to” be the fifth starter. He was an awesome fifth starter last year. He was a good pick up by the Dodgers in one of those prototypical FAZ moves where they take a chance on an injury risk with a lot of upside. Unfortunately, he was the Dodgers’ #3. After that, the team started Scott Baker, Carlos Frias, …and Bolsinger (who actually pitched surprisingly well and was another prototypical FAZ reclamation project….the ones the cynics here constantly belittle. Do you see how it works, now? The FO does a little homework on a guy whose stock his low, they get him cheap. Put him in the system. Rehab him. And sometimes they work out. Not always. Not usually, but considering the price paid, not a bad way to fill in the margins with value. We got Bolsinger for basically free.)

        Greinke is gone. He’s gone forever. You need to move on. Personally, I have no problem with a team that is actually sane saying “No!” to an exorbitant contract – one that seriously curtails a team’s future financial flexibility. I don’t want a team that has a 500 million dollar payroll. See, the difference between a competitive sports team like the Dodgers and the federal government is that the competitive sports team doesn’t get to spend unlimited funds in perpetuity; and even if the Dodgers could, they still be a laughing stock because they’d just be accused of buying their way to the WS. The Dodgers wouldn’t be getting Greinke’s 1.66 ERA again anyway because he’s not going to pitch that again. …ever….and he’s just going to be getting a year older every year.

        You’re already writing off Maeda. We don’t know how he’s going to pitch. Ryu is a comp. His scouting report coming over wasn’t super stellar, and, as it turns out, he had shoulder issues before the Dodgers even signed him. In his first two years he pitched like a #1 on some bad teams. Stop criticizing the team for signing him without actually seeing him pitch.

        A very compelling argument can be made that, with the added depth all the way to the fifth spot and beyond, the starting rotation is BETTER than a rotation with CK, Greinke and scrum. Anderson is now a solid #5 where he belongs. Kazmir/Ryu/Maeda – whichever one shakes out as the #2 – are maybe a half point ERA higher than Greinke with maybe 1.5 less WAR potential, but what you gain in the 3/4/5 slot makes up for that and more.

        PLUS…DeLeon might be ready …doubtful to start the season, but certainly a possibility after the ASB.

        PLUS…McCarthy will be back after the ASB. I know you hate McCarthy, but he actually does have quite a bit of upside. If healthy, he is in that Kazmir/Smardjia class.

        What all of that means is that you don’t have to have Scott Baker pitch, or Zack Lee go out and get shelled….or Wood pitch in a pivotal game in the playoffs. To me that’s improvement.

      3. And the Dodgers picked up Thompson because his athleticism means he can play all fields. He’s a capable backup CF.
        True, the Dodgers don’t have a true back up SS, but is that a serious deal breaker? I mean the Dodgers are loaded everywhere, and you focus on the fact they don’t have a true back up SS?
        I think you’re the first person I’ve ever seen comment that the Dodgers’ farm system doesn’t have a lot of depth. They don’t have a full complement of major league ready position players? What team does? The major league ready position players in reserve you speak of are already on the friggin team…those players you derided as having to ride the pine….Utley, Ethier, Crawford, ..plus Kike, SVS. I mean, what other contingency are you planning for? A zombie apocalypse killing the entire starting team?

  10. Quite a few people here seemed to be saying that if the Dodgers had a different Manager they would win maybe 5 more games but now that he is gone, where are those 5 games?

    Some say that the Dodgers are the same team less Greinke and plus Seager. But Kazmir and Maeda are added and better than the 14 pitchers that were used in the #4 and #5 spots in the rotation. Ryu will be back and if he isn’t quite ready, Lee, De Leon, Wood, etc. can fill in for him.

    Puig will have a much better year because last year was so bad. Pederson will have a better second half for the same reason. Utley should be a great backup for Kendrick and Turner and Kike’ and SVS kill left side pitching and Ethier does well against right side pitchers.

    Barnes is ready to replace Grandal if Grandal can’t stay healthy. And, I still think the Dodgers will make a trade for a 1.5 pitcher.

    1. Bum A lot of the Dodger’s offensive saber metric numbers, in the last three years, showed a team, that should have scored more runs. And there has not been a team, in a long time, that wasn’t able to score the runs, that these Dodger teams, should have scored. And in every year that Mattingly was the manager, there was only one year, that a Mattingly managed team, was able to score a reasonble amount of runs, with these type of stats, and that was in 2011. Mattingly had no idea on how to get runners to score. He always left the scoring, to a hit, or a HR. And the fact that this front office, had to bring in a former manager, to be the third base coach, to help Mattingly, get this team to score more runs, shows just how bad Mattingly really was. And Mattingly never really tried anything different to score more runs. And that was one of the most frustrating things to watch, about this team. I can’t believe the amount of runners the Dodgers had on third, with less then two outs, that didn’t score, while Mattingly was incharge. This alone has to count for more wins, as well as Mattingly’s poor bullpen management. Do you remember how Mattingly handled
      Frias, in that game in Colorado? He allowed Frias to continue to pitch, after giving up about 5 or 6 runs, before even going out there to talk to Frias? And I believe this was Frias’ first start. Do you remember when Mattingly allowed Chris Perez to walk four batters in a row in Phillie, before going in and getting Perez out of the game? This is just two examples, of some of the games, that Mattingly let get out of hand.

  11. Dodgerrick, I disagree with your stance on depth. We never had Ryu, Kazmir or Maeda in 2015. We had Wood and McCarthy for part of a season. We have Thompson, Puig and Kike who can play centerfield, if needed. Kike has played all three infield positions last year. You have SVS who can relieve Agon. Then they have many choices at AAA for pitchers. I think they have good depth.

    A lot is going to depend on Puig, Grandal and Pederson.

    Every year there are injuries. We will be better able to overcome those injuries than in the past. Also I believe the 3-5 starters will be better this year than last year.

    1. Grandal I have no faith in. Pederson needs work with a good batting coach, maybe losing McGwire will help. Puig is, well, Puig. If he starts hot, I would try to sell high on him.

      1. What would you want back for Puig if he starts out hot? Pitching?

        Ethier has to platoon to make sure he doesn’t get the at bats to kick in his 2018 option year. If traded, that team knows that he can’t be used too much or they will be stuck with a third year of Ethier.

        Dog, if you trade Puig for a pitcher, would you platoon Ethier and SVS in RF and Crawford and Hernandez in LF?

  12. I think what bothers many of us “Negative Nellies” (as Mark calls us) — is that the job of GM was given out to hot shots that were to get this team in the right direction.

    But that direction seems to be, wait for the kids in the minors, and fill in a few players and injured players here and there — and just maybe it would win.

    This new Hot Shot GM staff — really have not made a key move. Not a bold one that wakes up the city. And signing both Utley and Kendrick looks stupid. One older player and the other one not far behind. Then with like 12 other guys who could play 2nd base.

    The 2016 Dodgers will do just fine. Win many games. But are not the team that the new ownership seem to project when they took over. So a change in plans.

    My biggest disappointment is in the outfield. Too left handed, too many wanting and needing to play, and still stuck with Crawford (just make him a roving coach or something for the minor leagues; but he is in the way).

    1. We don’t know what FAZ tried to do trade wise and backed away because the other team wanted too much.

      I would have liked for FAZ to have signed Max Scherzer for the 2015 season with a front loaded contract where he could have opted out after the 2016 season. I think he would have preferred that contract over the one he got which was:

      FOXSports.com reported that half of Scherzer’s seven-year deal with the Nationals will be deferred; he’ll receive $15 million per year for 14 years. That means he’ll be on the Nats’ books through 2028. Yahoo Sports reported that Scherzer’s deal also includes a $50 million signing bonus to be paid out over an unspecified amount of time.

  13. Kike can play anywhere, which is of course a good thing. But where is his best fit? I see him as an infielder. If Joc flops again, I believe Thompson might get the opp before Kike.

    I’m not as sold on this rotation as some. I can’t say exactly why. Could be Kazmir finds a real home in LA and does well pitching in the spacious NL West parks. I hope so. I just don’t see him as a horse. I read an article on fangraphs a while back that said he is a risk, but one worth taking. They mentioned durability as an issue. He was bad last September, allowing opponents to OPS 1.000 for the month. Yoiks. Maybe that’s when Urias takes over for him. Meada? Who knows. Maybe 30 starts. Wood, Anderson? Do either of those guys elicit conference? Not for me, but I’m ready for 30 starts and 180 innings out of all three of those guys. Do I expect that? No, I do not. Our bullpen will get a workout all year long. They better be good. And deep.

  14. Scott, comments are much easier to read if they have lots of white space which is achieved by adding paragraphs. A paragraph with more than 5 lines doesn’t have enough white space.
    .
    All of a sudden the white space we see between paragraphs when we type our comment now disappears after we post the comment. What changed?
    .
    Now if we want that white space between paragraphs, we have to add a punctuation mark between paragraphs.

    1. Bum I don’t know what happened. Something with a plugin is probably effecting the letter spacing or something. Unfortunately I am not a web design expert, so I have no idea. The best thing I can probably do is install disqus at this point.

  15. Roger, Crawford is 34. Though clearly past prime, it’s not really old. His last 5 years have been spotty, mostly due to injury. He makes $21.6mm. How to get 3 WAR out of both he and Ethier when they are backups. Not clear how that can be done. With Van Slyke and Kike both there, and now Thompson added to the mix, where do the at bats to produce 3 WAR come from? The answer seems clear to me – they don’t.

    I’ve always been both a CC and Andre supporter but Carl can’t seem to stay on the field and Ethier will only have opportunity to earn his money if there is an emergency. Both are paid starter money and neither is really a starter. Not on this team. This team is apparently made up of platoons, with SS being the only position without a real backup. And these are the questions I continue to ask. What is the real plan here? Yeah, I know, build a strong foundation. I get that.

    But for the second straight year we have what looks like the same injury prone team, with a scrambling of the rotation to cover for not only the loss of Greinke, but the questionable production of 3-5. Will it work? I can’t help but have doubts. 2016, as it is shaping up, could be very exciting. I already purchased my access. Do I expect a championship? No, I do not. But I do expect to finally see the 3 guys that were untouchable at last year’s deadline. That should be interest. I also expect management to continue shuffling. Will they ever get a 5+ WAR player in their dealings? Don’t they have to get lucky at least once?

  16. “I’ve always been both a CC and Andre supporter”
    You need to take a chip off that one with Ethier, Badger. I do remember a time when most of your posts strongly suggested trading Ethier. And it wasn’t that the Dodgers weren’t playing him as like with Guerrero. I remember because I had countered with you on that topic several times. You claimed always that you liked him but at this end it didn’t sound like it.
    .
    Don’t you hate a guy who will not argue?

  17. I do like Ethier. I thought I made that clear. If you remember I was the one pushing back on that Mr. Softie and “untradable” bullsh*t that was being pounded by a well known poster. I suggested trading him when we signed Puig. And both are still here. Ethier has proven his value. So has Puig. We just don’t need two starting right fielders. Like we don’t need two starting second baseman. In my perfect world we have everyday players at every position, with solid veteran backups at the ready. FAZ don’t operate in my perfect world. The longer we wait on Ethier and Crawford, the less trade value they have. I always thought Ethier would hit well in the AL East, particularly in Boston and New York. He could easily put up 2 WAR with either team, and we pay the difference, maybe $10 million. But, with the apparent lack of conditioning of our athletes, perhaps we should hang on to everybody.

    1. All what you’re saying is true. But I’m speaking of before CC and AGon were with the Dodgers. Hope you’re okay with me putting you in check as it’s in good fun.

    2. Ethier is a lot more tradable than Crawford. Nobody want’s CC’s 41 million dollar albatross. But Andre has had one decent year in the last 4. And that was last year. The 3 before that he struggled with that wrist injury, and reduced playing time. He is solid against RHP, but worthless against lefty’s. His pending 10-5 status has the FO actively pursuing a deal. But I would venture a guess. If he is not traded, and Puig is healthy, Andre gets most of his time in LF. Puig has a much better arm and range. If they trade Ethier, you can bet they are going to have to eat more than 10 mil. He has close to 38 mil owed over the next 2 years plus incentives that can lead to a vesting option for 2017. Not an attractive deal to another team.

    3. Badger there is a good article in the LA Times, where they have questions and answers with Friedman, and discuss there plan.

  18. Well you can tell spring is in the air. The season projections are out and the debates have begun. I for one am going to sit back and see how the spring plays out, see what moves and adjustments are made before I even think of comparing this team to 2015. It gives us time to watch the spring games and see if Puig looks healthy and trimmer than he did last year where he was obviously out of shape in spring. We will see how the starting staff comes together and more importantly, who makes it through spring with no setbacks….Ryu for instance. We will see if Pederson is accepting instruction, and trying to go to left more and not just pull the ball all the time. We will see if Turner, Grandal, Kike, SVS, and Crawford are healthy as well. Plus we will get to see some of the depth that everyone is talking about. I want to see what Urias and Leon can do against MLB players, and not scrubs and minor leaguers. I want to see if Zack Lee has gotten his mojo back enough to actually turn some heads in spring. I want to see if they actually are serious about trading Ethier and Guererro, and if anything gets done on that front. Guererro is in a bad spot because as I see the 25 man right now, there is no place for him to play, not even as a bench player. When they break camp the end of March and come home for the freeway series, I think we will have a much better idea of the kind of team that will be on the field in April. We will also get to see what kind of a manager we now have, and the coaching staff. I think until then, I will abstain from making any predictions…..

  19. Yes, Ethier is more tradable than Crawford and Ethier is also more valuable to the Dodgers. To me it seems it’d be wiser to shop Crawford, Guerrero along with whoever else that makes fitting in complicated. I can understand why trading Ethier now has standing as later it won’t be possible, but I believe he’ll do his job well platooning in left field facing RHP. He’s proven durable and has the ego that he’d not like going out on a bad note. It’s the sort of thing I believe Roberts is able to bring out in these guys. I might be influenced by the season just getting started (I always am before the start of every season) but I also see the reasons for this. I really think the team will play with much more enthusiasm than we’ve witnessed these last few years. I sure wish Gordon was still around, but that’s the sort of energy I see even without him.

    1. I don’t think they should trade Ethier, with all the questions with Puig and Pederson. Ethier was a big part of the Dodger’s offense last year.

  20. A few observations:

    1. Ask anyone close to the game if the Dodgers have shopped Andre Ethier. The only reason Ethier and Crawfish are still Dodgers is because there has not been a deal that would improve the team. Crawfish is totally untradable, so they might as well see if he’s healthy. The team can’t get value back for Ethier even if they pay half his contract. There’s a possibility that he could be traded during the season, even if his 10 and 5 rights vest. However, I don’t think they can trade him now. The fact is, he is a platoon player, but in a platoon with Hernandez, Thompson or SVS, LF could be a productive position.

    2. If chickens have lips then the Dodgers don’t have depth. I am astounded to think than anyone cannot see the breadth of their depth. They may not be the most talented team, but at every position but SS they have 3, 4 or 5 options. That is astounding!

    3. Collectively, the rotation will be greatly improved. Get your head out of the Greinke tunnel and look how many options there are. I believe the Dodgers will have and excellent starting rotation. Some people just can’t seem to get over losing Greinke. Me? I was over it the second he left!

    4. If you think Alex Wood isn’t a good pitcher because he didn’t pitch well after he was traded to LA, I suggest you look at his stats, age and accomplishments. You need to re-think that position. Watch!

    1. Agree with #1.

      Partially agree with #2. Not a lot of position players in the high minors other that Barnes or the 2 guys they got from the Sox. A lot of the depth is old and left handed (Utley, Crawford, Ethier).

      Can’t get past #3. Can’t get past letting Greinke go. Like I can’t imagine losing Drysdale when he and Koufax took the Dodgers to 3 World Series in 4 years. No excuses. Also, could have competed to sign Price or Cueto or Zimmerman but apparently weren’t interested. Free agents don’t require you to trade coveted prospects. Instead signed 3rd option type players like Kazmir and Maeda.

      Don’t like Wood because I don’t like the way he throws; inconsistent arm slot and release point. I know that some like his stats because of high K rates, but high K rates aren’t everything. If Ryu and Maeda are healthy and ready to start the season he will be 6th starter, which goes back to your point about depth but also says a lot about how good a pitcher he is.

  21. I do agree with those that say let’s wait until ST is over to find out what we have. I just hope DeLeon, Urias, and Lee will be allowed to pitch against starters in ST. We need to know if they are ready. Especially Zach Lee. If not, then we need to trade him and give him a chance with another team.

  22. I agree that the starting pitching will most likely work over the season.

    But I sure would feel better with Chapman in the pen as the 8th or 9th inning guy. He and Jansen would hardly give up a run all season. That would make for a number of more wins over the season. Period.

  23. I know Ethier is the more valuable outfielder. I also know they do not want him to reach 10-5 status if it can be avoided. Crawford is untradeable….you can shop him all you want, but nobody wants that 41 million that is left on his contract over the next 2 years. The Dodgers would have to eat maybe 70 percent of the contract to get anyone with half a brain to bite. They did not even do that when they traded Kemp. Ethier is more marketable, and the better player at this point in time. Guererro is a man without a position who is being actively shopped by the organization according to multiple sources. So the best you can hope for is Guererro gone, a return to prominence by Puig, Joc improving, and Crawford healthy. If he is, check his stats. He is a very productive guy when healthy.

  24. MJ – from that article you mentioned:

     

    “By 2018, the Dodgers aspire to be a dominant force, with constant talent replenishment from a minor league pipeline and hundreds of millions of dollars freed for keeping their best players, adding stars from other teams, and keeping that pipeline humming so the team never gets old.”

     

    2018.  What have I been saying?

     

  25. Badger didn’t he say that there is not enough depth with there prospects yet, and not enough depth in the minor league system yet. I read some of the history on what Friedman did when he was with the Rays, and it looked like Friedman got a lot of his good prospects from other teams, at the trade deadline. And most of these prospects were close to top twenty prospects. So he didn’t have to analyze there talent as much, because they were rated high already.

  26. Back to Crawford.  I like the guy.  He is a ball player.  But injuries and more rehab just put him back and back and back.

    So we wait and, hey, he can be ready in 15 days.  So in he goes.  Single here and double there.  Then injury again.  So back on the DL.  Then a month goes by.  He will be ready in a week.  So in he goes.  Single here and double there.

    Weak arm, bad throw.  Injury again.

    He just needs to become a coach in the minors for the Dodgers, and the 25 man roster — replace him with a player who can play.

    1. He is making too much money for that Roger..people need to be realistic when they talk about the guy. all these fantasy trades and just get rid of him talk is ridiculous. He is owed 41 million over the next 2 years. Last year was the only time as a Dodger that he played less than 100 games. In a platoon situation , he can be very productive since it is obvious his days as a regular are long behind him

  27. I guess since it is printed, it must be true.  The Dodgers won’t win until 2018.  Badger has spoken!

    I guess I will just quit watching the Dodgers until then.

  28. My prediction is that the LAD will continue to sign meaningless RPs to their roster and blow another year. Welcome aboard Coleman.

  29. It’s a test all right.

    Louis Coleman? Sounds like a saxaohone player.

    I’m watching mover. Already purchased my MLB package. I’m just trying to be realistic about the chances. No expectations, no disappointments. I expected things last year and the year before that. I look at this roster and I just don’t believe it’s good enough to go all the way. I don’t find that negative I find it honest. And to not watch because you don’t believe your team will win the World Series would be childish and petty. Who would even think of such a thing? Oh wait……..

  30. Michael Norris (above) — there are times one simply cuts their losses.  For me, Crawford is that loss.  We know the problem he brings to the crowded outfield — but I feel that the outfield for the Dodgers ought to be 3 main players and one or two more to cover injuries and give some off days to the others from time to time.

     

    So, I just want to cut the loss and move on.  The Yankees of the N.L. West can cover it.  Move on.

    1. That is not even a realistic dream Roger, and I think deep down inside you know that. There is no way the Dodger owners are just going to eat 41 million dollars. No one knows at this point what they are going to get out of Crawford. They have not even been in camp yet. We all know they have shopped him around both leagues, and there have been no takers. So like it or not you and everyone else is stuck with the guy so you had better accept it. Whether or not the Dodgers have the money to cover just releasing him or not, there is no way they do that. Eat a portion of his salary in a trade maybe. But just cut him? Ain’t happening brother.

      1. Michael, why be so certain about your opinion, its just another opinion and as we all know, opinions are a dime a dozen.  Its my opinion that if they keep Crawford it is not only because of his salary.

        I think FAZ will look at the players on the evolving 40 man roster and decide which ones to put on the 25 man active roster that best gives them a chance to win.  But, if it is a close call between a younger player that benefits from playing every day and Crawford, they will choose Crawford.

        The biggest obstacle in trading Crawford is not his current skill but his inability to stay healthy.  If FAZ would have to pay 80% of Crawford’s salary to trade him, who would fill his roster spot that would be better?  If that player is not significantly better, FAZ just paid that player his salary plus whatever they are still paying for Crawford.

        1. I am going to try adding a double paragraph to see what happens.

           
          Michael, why be so certain about your opinion, its just another opinion and as we all know, opinions are a dime a dozen.  Its my opinion that if they keep Crawford it is not only because of his salary.

          I think FAZ will look at the players on the evolving 40 man roster and decide which ones to put on the 25 man active roster that best gives them a chance to win.  But, if it is a close call between a younger player that benefits from playing every day and Crawford, they will choose Crawford.

          The biggest obstacle in trading Crawford is not his current skill but his inability to stay healthy.  If FAZ would have to pay 80% of Crawford’s salary to trade him, who would fill his roster spot that would be better?  If that player is not significantly better, FAZ just paid that player his salary plus whatever they are still paying for Crawford.

          That didn’t work

    1. Scott: They are actively trying to trade Ethier, and his days as an everyday starter are long gone. He does not his LHP worth a damn. So no matter what he would be platooning. Now unless they thin out the outfield, the 5 guys they will keep on the roster most likely are Puig, Pederson, SVS, Crawford and Ethier. They just do not have room for more than 5. Kike and Guererro are listed as OF. But Kike will be the super sub. Guererro is a man without a position. They are actively shopping him too. Most likely he will get traded to an AL team as he is better suited as a DH.

      1. Micheal they have good insurance on Crawford, that pays a part of his salary, when Crawford goes out. It is to bad that he gets hurt to easily, because he was quite an athlete in high school. He was a good quarterback, so it is to bad about his arm. The thing I don’t like about Crawford, is that he doesn’t do anything to try to compensate for his bad arm. He always catches the ball one handed, instead of putting both hands in his glove, so he has to transfer the ball from his glove, to his throwing hand, usually across his body, and this takes more time. He also doesn’t back up, and run into a high flyball, so he can get more momentum and more power, on his throw. And if Crawford is by another outfielder when he catches the ball, he should flip the ball, to the other outfielder, if someone is advancing. Crawford can hit, and can hit leftys. He only looked so bad swinging in postseason this year, was because he was out so long, and when he came back, Mattingly was platooning him. And at one point, both Ethier and Crawford sat out about 4 games in a row, if not more, toward the end of the season, because of platoons.

    2. I think Ethier is the left sided platoon in left. He deserves this, unless he just starts out badly. I thought that was really disrespectfull, when Mattingly told Ethier that he was competing with Joc for centerfield last year, during spring training. Ethier isn’t a centerfielder! He only fills in, if needed. If anything, Mattingly should have told Crawford and Ethier, that they were competing, to play leftfield. If that is what he wanted. Some people didn’t like Ethier’s reaction to Mattingly, in that last game, but Mattingly has pressed Ethier more then anyone.

  31. I still believe that at age 34, Crawford can contribute. At $7.5mm per WAR he would have to put up 2.9 WAR to earn his contract. Well, that isn’t likely, but with 370 PA’s he could put up 2.3 WAR. He did just that in ’14. Will he get close to 400 plate appearances? In this crowded house it isn’t likely, but it’s possible. If he’s healthy he is still one of our better hitters. He hit .300 2 short years ago. I rememember that with a laugh because mover bet me 500 push-ups he wouldn’t hit .240. Crawford can still hit .285 and there aren’t a lot of guys on this club about whom you can say that. Until further notice, he’s my starting left fielder. He and Ethier. And Hernandez. Van Slyke. Thompson.

  32. You are right Michael Norris.  Dodger owners are not going to eat 41 million dollars, but, actually its $61.5M when you consider the luxury tax next two years.  Lets hope Crawford can stay healthy and contribute in 2016 and 2017.

    .

    The Crawford situation should be a lesson to all of you crying over Greinke.  We are stuck with the Crawford situation because of the “TRADE”.  AZ will have a Crawford situation soon, very soon.

      1. I think you can.  Greinke was great for Dodgers, just like Manny was until the Dodgers resigned him.  Hanley was good for Dodgers, but, bad for Boston.  My point is that Greinke’s contract will be an anchor for AZ, just like Crawford’s contract is for us.  I loved the 2015 Greinke will AZ love the 2016-2021 Greinke?  I think not.

      2. Maybe not right away Scott. But a couple of years down the road, that contract is not going to look so great, unless they win a couple of world series with Zack leading them to the promised land. The bad part of that deal, and one reason I am glad the Dodgers did not sign him is that the contract is very heavily back loaded. He has 64 million coming after the contract is over…..that is a lot of somolions to give to a guy who is not even on your roster anymore….

    1. The “trade” got us Adrian Gonzalez. Remember, we didn’t have anyone to play 1B. No one in the minors. All of the players that the team was expecting to become free agents (Votto for instance) were being signed to extensions. 2 years of Beckett, plus Crawford, plus Nick Punto is what it cost us to obtain Gonzalez.

      1. Rick, I have a different perspective. The Dodgers did have someone to play first, Loney. What the Dodgers didn’t have was a player to hit cleanup. Loney was not the weak link, left field was. Loney was more than adequate as the #6 or #7 hitter and is one of the best in MLB at hitting a fastball.

        With all of the late inning relievers that now throw mostly heat, a player that can hit a fastball in the late innings is good to have on the team. Why not find a left fielder that could hit cleanup instead of THE TRADE?

        1. The trade was all about Gonzalez. If you try to compare Loney to him, it will not wash. They got what they wanted, a Latin star quality player in an area dominated by Latinos. And Adrian could do something Loney lacked, hit for power and average. Yeah, it was a price dump by the Red Sox, but the Dodgers were improved immediately. Kemp was still playing like an all star at the time. And the next year Crawford played very well.

        2. Adrian had 18 home runs and over 100 RBI’s that year. Loney has never hit more than 15 in his career and he did that once…and he has never had 100 RBI’s….

  33. Guys,

    I am working on the white spacing problem in the comments. In the meantime I’ve added some functionality to the comment system. You should be able to edit comments now, but only for 5 minutes. I’ve also added a toolbar at the top that will allow you to bold text, insert links easier and other stuff.

    1. When will those changes be active?  My comment of 5 minutes ago still didn’t have the white space between paragraphs.  Also, I see somebody already decided to make his entire comment in bold instead of just emphasizing a few words.

      1. Bum, I have no idea how to fix the white spacing problem. I’m sorry. Im not a professional web developer. I’m having someone else look into the problem. Hopefully he can figure it out. In the meantime yes you should be able to edit comments but only for a short time. That’s active now. And yes you can make your comments bold if you want. Sorry for the problem.

        1. Scott, sorry, my intent was not to harp.  I saw all the tests and it looked like you found a way to get the white space between paragraphs but when my comment didn’t have it, I thought I missed something.

           

          As I remember, Dodger Thoughts temporarily had the white space issue and we had to add a period to create the white space.  Somehow that was fixed.  I can live with adding the period.  The tricky part is that the white space is there when we type our comment and disappears when it gets posted.

           

          As you can see, I double spaced and got the white space.

  34. Greinke is only 32. And he’s Zack Greinke not Hanley Ramirez. HanRam and Manny walked around waving red flags. Zack Greinke is in his own league. I believe he will pitch effectively until he is at least 36. In fact, as smart as Greinke is I would say he will play more like Greg Maddux than Hanley Ramirez. From age 32 to age 37 Maddux was 105-45. Wouldn’t it be a drag on the rest of the Division if Greinke does something like that?

    .

    The Dbacks are going for it. So are the Giants. The Dodgers? Instead of Hamels, we get Latos. Instead of Chapman, we get Blanton. Instead of Heyward we have – everybody we had last year. This team is building for the future. I get that. Going for it last year and this? Questionable. I believe there is still work left to be done here.

    1. Badger, it might be best if the Dodgers find out what they already have before they add expensive long term contracts or trade away any of the ifs.

      1. Agree, Bumsrap.  Dodgers have alots of young, cheap, high upside talent.  Lets see who steps up.

        .

        Badger: “HanRam and Manny walked around waving red flags”.  I guess Greinke’s annual elbow lube jobs are a green flag?  One thing is for sure, regarding all of you who think Greinke is different and “Is in his own league”, players are workhorses until they aren’t.  ALL players cease to be workhorses eventually! 

        1. I agree Boxout, Greinke’s contract is a worry.  I think their is a good chance that 2 of those 6 years could have significant time on the DL. I would love to see more contracts like Maeda’s.

           

          I also think first year players, etc. should be able to earn bonuses based on WAR.  Hell, pay all players based on a formula that includes WAR and all star votes and google searches.

          1. Bum, they were not worried about the money. The deal fell through because AZ gave him that extra year. That was the whole hang up for ownership. Will he be as good as last year? Pretty hard to stay at that level year after year. How many pitchers have you seen g0 19-3 back to back? Not many. Even Hershiser, and Drysdale never had back to back great years like that. Koufax won over 20 in 65 and 66. And it has been years since any Dodger pitcher won 20 in back to back seasons.

        2. “Greinke’s contract is a worry”

          Says who?

          I think it’s hilarious it was all good until the Dbacks were the ones who actually signed him. You guys are just hoping this doesn’t work out. Just like you are all hoping the myriad of mediocre moves will actually result in a World Series.

          2018. Mark it on your calendars.

          1. “Greinke’s contract is a worry”

            I said that. I commented many times that I only wanted Greinke through 2018.

    2. In all fairness, the Chapman trade was not really the FO’s fault. There is still the possibility that he will get a suspension. And 2 of the guys who went to Cincy in the 3 team trade that brought Montas, Thompson and Johnson, would have gone to Cincy without the return they did get…Peraza and Schebler were in that trade…

  35. Agree again Bumsrap, incentive based player contracts are good for fans.  We would see more motivated and less “entitled” players.

    .

    Regarding Greinke, I agree regarding DL time and also I just don’t think he will be anywhere near as good as he has been.  We will see.

  36. That’s the plan Bum. I have no choice but to be on board with it. We didn’t sign any of the big names. We are going for it with the same lineup plus somebody and somebody else. Go Blue.

  37. Scott I am able to leave a comment now, but it does not let me make a reply. And thank you Scott for returning my text. I am technically challenged, so I don’t know what I did wrong. I use my iphone, not a desktop.

    1. MJ, Im having the same problem too. I’m having a programmer look into the problem. I don’t think it’s anything you did. (Update) MJ I think I fixed the reply problem, sorry about that. I think it’s some of these plugins that are messing things up. again Im having a programmer look into it. In the meantime you should be able to reply to comments now

      1. Scott I think your right if you mean those symbols for paragraphs and other things. That is when it went wrong for me. Thanks again, I can reply now.

  38. Spirited repartee on here the last couple of days. We all have our opinions on the state of the team. So as spring training starts today, we will find out over the course of the next few weeks, who is spot on, and who is nuts….

    1. Michael, we won’t know much about this team until the deadline. I see us leading all of baseball in lineup changes, and at the deadline moves will be made.
      .
      As for nuts, I’ve already been diagnosed. And since it takes one to know one, nobody is more qualified than me to make the call. Roger is fine. rick and truth are fine. MJ is ok. Bum is borderline. Mark needs help immediately. The rest of you guys are indeed nuts, but will be cured by a Championship. It could be long and crazy 2 more years.

        1. Mr Expert?
          .
          Did I offend you?
          .
          We’re just making predictions here. Nobody will be 100% at this. It’s much easier predicting who won’t win it all for obvious reasons. This particular Dodger team just isn’t the best team in baseball. Too many question marks. If everything goes right we will be competitive. To win it all, a few teams in each league have to have things go wrong. I don’t think that is being negative. I think it’s being realistic.

          1. There ya go Badger..you hit the proverbial nail right on the head. Most fans do not see the realism, they see and want to believe in the fantasy. While I have railed against the FO a lot this winter for inaction and picking up a seemingly endless supply of mediocre to so-so players, I have always looked at the organization as a whole. And as such I see a lot of question marks, and holes. I see them depending a lot going right. They are putting a lot of stock in solid comebacks from more than a handful of players. I do like the depth in the system, and it is great to have so many talented players in the pipeline. But until they show us different, that is where they are, in the pipeline, not on the roster contributing. It is a huge wait and see for all of us. Can Roberts instill his work ethic and grit in guys like Puig>? No one knows. How will Pederson interact with a new hitting coach. Are they going to use a L-R platoon in LF? and who will it be? Can they trade Guererro, or Ethier, or anyone else for that matter to unjam the OF. Who is going to hit leadoff? Lots and lots of questions. And about 35 days to figure it all out…….

          2. Well you hit the proverbial nail right on the head Badger. Most Dodger fans do not want the reality, they want the fantasy. Even though I have railed against the FO for inactivity, and for signing a seemingly endless trail of so-so and average players, I look at this with open eyes. Others see depth, which I see too, but I also see a lot of unanswered questions, and the FO relying on bounce back years from a bunch of players. I like the depth, and it is great to have so many talented young players in the pipeline, but until they are on the roster and contributing, that is where they are…in the pipeline. A lot of if’s and maybe’s right now. Will Roberts be able to instill his grit in guys like Puig? How will Pederson interact with the new hitting coach? Is Ryu ready to contribute? Can and will they trade Guererro, and or Ethier, and ease the log jam in the OF? Who is going to be the leadoff hitter? Do they plan to use a L-R platoon in LF? If so, who are they going to be? Many more questions than answers, including the one I hear harped on the most…….it the BP better, or worse? Lots of questions and about 35 days to answer them…..

          3. I was attempting to be funny. You did not offend me.

            I think there will be 30 big contributers and a couple of trades to get a 4th division title.

      1. According to no more an expert than one Thomas Lasorda, you can usually tell what you have in the first 50 games. So I will let the great one be my guide…..

        1. OK Michael, with that as your guide, look back at June 1st of 2015 and tell me what you see. The Nationals were in first place, as were the Twins and the Yankees. The Dodgers were playing .600, Grandal was hitting .284, Pederson .254 and on pace for near 50 home runs, Gonzalez was stroking .339 and Guerrero was OPSn close to 1.000, as was Pederson and Gonzalez. Bolsinger had an ERA under 2, Howell under 1.0, Frias was 4-3….
          .
          I think you get the point. You never really know how good you are until the drive to the finish line. We were close. But obviously we weren’t a .600 team anymore, we were more a .500 team. In September we were .535. Then the playoffs. The point is, maybe you can tell some things early, but it’s always how you finish. We haven’t finished well in a long time.

          1. We have in the regular season, but not in the playoffs, and as you stated earlier, there are no perfect ways to tell. The last 3 years they have played well enough at the end to walk away with the division. But I think last year they really did not improve the weakest part of the team at the deadline…..They did make a couple of trades that did basically nothing to improve the bullpen or the starting pitching which is where they were weakest. I never thought they were as good as they were playing in April and May because they were so banged up. I think with all the injuries they had, they were extremely lucky to win 92 games. Especially with no help after Kersh and Zack. That rotation was a disaster. Anderson was ok, but unspectacular, Frias and Bolsinger were 5 inning guys at best. The reason I quoted Tommy was because I remember him saying that in the 90’s. He said he could pretty well tell how most of his team was going to play after 50 games. They are settled into the routine, most of the hitters are zeroing in, and the pitchers are getting their innings in.

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