Thursday, May 27, 2010

John Ely, quite the find

When the Dodgers traded Juan Pierrein December for a couple of no-name prospects, intelligent Dodger fans were elated. The fact is, we would have been happy with a bucket of sunflower seeds and batting practice balls for lil' Fivel.

Instead, the Dodgers might have stolen a quality starter from the White Sox in John Ely.

The 24-year-old came to the Dodgers with Jon Link, and Ely has been nothing but spectacular.

He doesn't have the best or most overpowering "stuff," but he gets the job done.

So far, he's 3-2 with a 3.00 ERA and team-low 1.00 WHIP (for starting pitchers). His fastball tops out at 90 MPH and he has a slider, curveball and changeup - a classic repetoire for a starter. However, it's his command that is the most impressive.

Coming into today's start against the Cubs, Ely had walked four batters in his previous five starts. He ended up walking two against the Cubs and suffered a tough-luck 1-0 defeat.

While Clayton Kershaw, Hiroki Kuroda and Chad Billingsley are the headliners of the rotation, Ely has firmly entrentched himself as the team's No. 4 starter.

Photo credit: Malingering

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Frustration already setting in

First of all, this is my first post in four and a half months. My apologies, I've been really busy.

Now let's get down to it.

The Dodgers are off to an inauspicious start (9-14).

General Manager Ned Colletti recently called out Matt Kemp on a local radio show, calling his defense "below average." He also criticized his baserunning.

Kemp, the team's best player, started really hot and has cooled a little since. However, he's still hitting .278/.333/.546 with seven home runs and 20 RBI.

That's really genius, Colletii. Call out the team's best player, thus singling him out for the poor performance of the entire team.

Never mind the fact you're the one who put the team together. Never mind the fact you spent $3.85M (over two years) on a career utility player (Jamey Carroll) when you could have spent $2.35M on a guy who is currently leading the National League in home runs - Kelly Johnson (nine).

But the offense isn't even the issue.

The pitching staff has been atrocious.

Save for Hiroki Kuroda, Clayton Kershaw and Jonathan Broxton, the staff has been awful. Its 4.84 ERA ranks 25th in baseball and its 1.51 WHIP is 27th in the league just one season after leading MLB in both categories.

But yeah, let's single out one of the guys who is actually producing. Now, has Kemp's defense and baserunning suffered since last season? Sure. But keep that stuff in-house. There is absolutely no reason to make that information public.

Things are kind of down in Dodgerland right now. I'm not giving up hope, though. The team needs to get in a groove.

Here's hoping Kuroda can keep it up and Kershaw can continue to develop. Because with the money problems in L.A., it doesn't look like the team will be able to add a difference-making starter anytime soon.

Go Blue!