Monday, June 13, 2011

Matt Guerrier vs. Jesse Crain and why the Dodgers chose wrong

I haven't bitched about Matt Guerrier for a while, so I figure it's time (you're next, Juan Uribe).

Everyone and their mother was surprised when the Dodgers signed Guerrier to a 3-year, $12 million deal. Needless to say, I was not a fan.
"On the surface, Guerrier looks like a decent pickup. Then you factor in his age (32), the number of games pitched (most in baseball after Pedro Feliciano) and his low K/9 rate (5.9 for his career) and it isn't a great deal.

And most of all, the contract. Why on God's green earth is Guerrier getting a 3-year deal? It's not like right-handed middle relievers are rare. This just makes no sense.

Ned Colletti strikes again. There is absolutely no need to dump $4 million a year (though I'm sure some will be deferred) on a middle reliever. Guerrier has a nice ERA for his career (3.38), but his peripherals are not great.

The only good thing is Guerrier has been better the past two seasons than he has his entire career. He has a 2.75 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 7.0 H/9, 2.3 BB/9 and 2.34 BB/9 in his last two seasons. However, his K/9 is less-than ideal (5.4)."
Guerrier has done little to prove me (and others) wrong. He owns a 3.90 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 8.6 H/9, 3.6 BB/9 and a 1.85 K/BB ratio. He has struck out batters at a better clip in his first 32 1/3 innings as a Dodger (6.7) and has yet to allow a home run, but that's about it. He's been mediocre, something which many expected.

Which leads me to Jesse Crain, Guerrier's former teammate with the Twins. Crain, who is three years younger than Guerrier, signed a 3-year, $13 million deal with the White Sox. I'm not advocating the signing of middle relievers to 3-year deals, but if the Dodgers were so hellbent on signing a reliever to a 3-year deal, it should have been Crain, not Guerrier.

Crain has performed much better than Guerrier while pitching in a tougher hitter's league and a hitters park.

Crain bests Guerrier in almost every major pitching category:
  • 3.10 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 5.0 H/9, 8.7 K/9 and a 1.87 K/BB ratio
Not only that, but Crain's pure stuff is much, much better than Guerrier's.

I know, hindsight; shoulda, woulda, coulda; I get it. But this just shows the ineptitude of the mustachioed one making personnel decisions for the Dodgers.

I'm hoping Guerrier can improve, but this is probably what Dodger fans should expect for the next two-plus years.


A couple weeks ago, I wrote a post about Garrett Gould and how he was back. Well, he's done nothing to make that post look foolish. Gould is one of the best pitchers in the Midwest League and could very well be in line for a promotion after the league's All-Star Break.

When I release my midseason top 15 prospect list in a few weeks, Gould is almost certainly going to be in my top five after starting the season at No. 13.


Old friend and former Feelin' Kinda Blue mancrush Cory Wade was released by the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday and was signed Monday by the Yankees. At first, I thought Wade might have been released due to performance, but was alerted that he had been pitching well in Triple-A:
  • 2-1, 1.23 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 8.3 H/9, 1.5 BB/9, 8.3 K/9, 5.67 K/BB ratio
The Rays have one of the best 'pens (statistically) in baseball, so why release a guy who is dominating Triple-A? Wade had an opt-out clause for June 15. If the Rays didn't add him to the active Major League roster, they would have to release him.

Well, the Yankees wasted no time scooping him up. He should get back to the majors sometime this season.


Mike Petriello of Mike Scioscia's Tragic Illness wrote on Saturday it's time to give A.J. Ellis a chance. It's a good read and makes a lot of sense.

Eric Stephen of True Blue L.A. wrote Aaron Miles has "the emptiest .300 batting average in Dodgers' history."

Roberto Baly of Vin Scully is my Homeboy has all the coverage you need on Vin Scully's damaged Hollywood Walk of Fame star.

Kenny Shulsen of Lasorda's Lair has a nice interview with former Dodger Tommy John.

Andre Ethier is still in fourth place, Matt Kemp fifth among National League outfielders in All-Star balloting. Ryan Braun, Lance Berkman and Matt Holliday are leading the way. No other Dodgers are in the top five at any position (unsurprisingly).

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