Tune in tomorrow morning at 5:30 AM as I will be on the Mile High Morning Rush radio program to discuss the Dodgers-Rockies series. A podcast will also be available later in the day. Follow the link below to listen live:
|Notes from the Dugout|
The Dodgers are hoping to surge into the final weeks of the season and capture a spot atop the NL West. Old timer Garret Anderson has seen his last day as a Dodger while new addition Ted Lilly has done his part to help the Dodgers keep pace with the Padres. Tyson Qualls breaks down the top Dodger stories in this week’s Notes from the Dugout.
|Garret Anderson‘s Career Likely Over
The Dodgers designated for assignment the 17 year player, calling up another veteran, Jay Gibbons, from Triple A Albuquerque. Anderson had been horrendous on the bench, batting a meager .181 with 2 home runs and 12 RBIs in 155 at bats.
Gibbons, on the other hand, has been scorching hot throughout the season. Before the call up, Gibbons was hitting .347 with 19 homers, and 83 RBIs for the Isotopes.
Ted Lilly Starts Off Strong in LA
The Dodgers’ biggest mid-season acquisition has been impressive during his first two starts. Lilly has given up four earned runs in 13 innings pitched, getting the win in both games. He also recorded his 100th strikeout of the season during Sunday’s contest. Lilly has struck out at least five batters in each game since being drubbed by the Dodgers on July 9th.
New Acquired Dodgers Making an Impact
With Lilly also came Scot Posednik, Octavio Dotel, and Ryan Theriot. Each of these players have contributed, keeping the season from completely collapsing. Posednik has recorded a hit in 8 of the 11 games he has played, while currently riding a six game hitting streak.
Dotel has struggled the most, allowing two runs in three innings pitched, both coming against San Diego on August 5th. In his last appearance, on August 8th, he looked more comfortable. Dotel did not allow a hit, while striking out two in an inning.
Theriot has been an improvement over Blake Dewitt at second base, recording eight hits in eight games as a Dodger. He has also knocked in two runs and stolen a base since the first day of August. Most importantly, Theriot has provided runs in the absence of Rafael Furcal, scoring six times in the past seven games.
Greg Wilborn Continues to Dominate
The Dodgers’ lefty pitching prospect proved his promotion was well deserved on Sunday, striking out 12 in an 11-0 victory over Lansing. Wilborn pitched seven shut out innings in his second start for the Class A Great Lakes Loons.
Frank McCourt’s penny pinching ways are no secret heading into baseball’s trading deadline. The Dodgers post season hopes will likely rest on the shoulders of the current roster. Can the Dodgers succeed with this lineup? Tyson Qualls offers a few budget conscious suggestions to revamp the team and gear up for a pennant race.
Send Garret Anderson to the Big Baseball Diamond in the Sky:
The former Anaheim Angel has performed poorly in the role previously held by Juan Pierre. As Manny Ramirez’s replacement, the 38 year old left fielder is currently hitting at a .188 clip. He has batted in a paltry 11 runs in 128 at bats. After watching his 0-5, 4 K appearance in the final game of the Dodgers-Giants series, it became apparent that Anderson has nothing left.
The Dodgers would benefit from giving that playing time to the younger generation. Xaiver Paul would undoubtedly improve production. Anderson’s roster spot would be better utilized with a call up for Jay Gibbons, John Lindsey, Prentice Redman, or Jamie Hoffman. Each of these players would surpass Anderson’s poor production.
Explore Trade Options for Russell Martin:
Even though Martin is a fan favorite, the fact of the matter is that his production has slipped every season since 2007. The former All Star has not lived up to expectations and has continued his downward spiral in 2010.
Martin is currently batting .245, which puts him on pace for the worst offensive season of his career. The Dodgers starting catcher is slated to reel in over five million dollars this season and moving him could free up cash. There is always a market for fleet-footed catchers with upside. Martin may also benefit from a change of scenery.
Find Bullpen Help:
Bringing in a front line starter is virtually out of the question, but the Dodgers could make a move to improve the bullpen for a much lower price. George Sherrill has been a shell of his former shelf, Hong-Chih Kuo cannot pitch on consecutive days, and Ramon Troncoso was optioned to work on his mechanics. A veteran like Octavio Dotel or Will Ohman would come at a significantly cheaper cost than Cliff Lee or Roy Oswalt.
Notes from the Dugout:
Rafael Furcal’s tear at the plate was finally rewarded with NL Player of the Week honors. Last week Furcal batted a remarkable .538 with nine runs scored and a .571 OBP. The short stop’s recent surge comes after losing his father to an unfortunate accident on June 20th.
Torre has stated publicly that he believes the Dodgers will get help via trade before the deadline. The Dodgers’ manager was quoted as saying “I know [general manager Ned Colletti] has been exploring, and we’ve done it the last couple years, and my guess is we’ll get some help.”
The Dodgers are in need of a quality starter. There are plenty of options on the market, but the team can ill afford another disaster like Jason Schmidt. Should the Dodgers give up prospects for a mid-season rental? Will Frank McCourt pull the trigger on a major trade in the midst of a messy divorce? Tyson Qualls explores the current trade market.
Read the Rest Here:
Baseball’s draft is far less predictable than its other professional counterparts. A first round selection is hardly a guarantee to perform at the premier level. Even with these lackluster expectations, there have been some disappointments. Tyson Qualls breaks down the top ten picks that have embarrassed management and made fools out of the scouting department.
|10. Shawn Abner: #1 Overall 1984 New York Mets
Drafted by the Mets, Abner never saw the light of day with the franchise. He would make his Major League debut three seasons later with the San Diego Padres. Abner underachieved and when it was all said and done, he finished with a whimper of a career. His mundane marks of .227, 11 HR, and 71 RBI do not represent that of a former first overall pick.
9. Mark Prior: #2 Overall 2001 Chicago Cubs
Prior vs. Joe Mauer as the top overall pick is the MLB’s version of Ryan Leaf vs. Peyton Manning. While Prior does not have the poisonous personality of Leaf, he did disappoint nonetheless. Prior’s career started on the right track, but quickly derailed due to injuries. Having remained absent from the big leagues since 2006, Prior has four years of dust to shake off if he is going to make one last attempt at a career.
8. Todd Van Poppel: #2 1990 Oakland Athletics
As one of the poster boys for not living up to expectations, Van Poppel turned promising talent into a sub par career. The former Oakland Athletic posted a 5.58 career ERA and routinely reminded the team that they could have had Mike Mussina.
7. Mark Merchant: #2 Overall 1987 Pittsburgh Pirates
Merchant never played in the Majors. His selection one spot behind Ken Griffey Jr. is the closest he would ever get to fame.
6. Adam Johnson: #2 Overall 2000 Minnesota Twins
The Minnesota Twins selected Johnson at #2 overall, but watched as their first pick of the millennium floundered at the highest level. Johnson last pitched in 2003 and finished with dreadful 10.25 ERA and a 1-3 record.
5. B.J. Wallace: #3 Overall 1992 Montreal Expos
Wallace’s best performance came during his stint on the United States Olympic team. Wallace struck out 14 batters in a single game, propelling him to the top of the 1992 pitching class. Unfortunately, that would be the peak of his career. A shoulder injury would end his profession as a pitcher before it could get started. Adding insult to injury, Wallace was selected ahead of Derek Jeter, Johnny Damon, and Todd Helton.
4. Kyle Sleeth: #3 Overall 2003 Detroit Tigers
Similar to a few other top draft busts, injuries marred the career of Sleeth. After being drafted in 2003, Sleeth would last five injury-riddled seasons before calling it quits for good.
3. Matt Anderson: #1 Overall 1997 Detroit Tigers
1997’s top selection performed well in his first Major League season, posting a 5-1 record and a 3.27 ERA. Anderson was able to regularly top 100 MPH on the radar gun and looked to be headed for an inspiring career. Following an injury to a muscle in his armpit, the once flame-throwing right-hander could no longer hit 90 MPH on the gun, let alone 100. His career fizzled and he never returned to his pre-injury form.
2. Matthew Bush: #1 Overall 2004 San Diego Padres
Bush could write a manual on the worst possible ways to start a professional career. Altercations, brawls, and assault charges were the most interesting aspects of his tenure with the Padres. Bush is on pace to become the third top pick in history to retire without ever getting a taste of the big leagues.
1. Brien Taylor: #1 Overall 1991 New York Yankees
As the premier member of this list, Taylor continues the trend of mediocrity. Until Bush officially retires he holds the infamous distinction of one of only two top picks to never see the majors. (Drafted in 1966, Steve Chilcott is his counterpart)
Following a fistfight in 1993, Taylor never returned to his previous skill level. A glaring lack of control also contributed to the end of his career. Before being shown the door, Taylor would post record walk numbers. In 1996 he pitched 16.1 innings, walking 43 batters and going 0-5 with an 18.73 ERA.
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