Sunday, July 31, 2011

Dodgers inexplicably trade away Trayvon Robinson

Just when you thought Ned Colletti couldn't screw things up anymore, he proves us wrong.

The Dodgers hooked up with the Red Sox and Mariners on a three-team deadline deal involving Trayvon Robinson.

Early reports have it shaking out like this:

To Boston: LHP Erik Bedard, RHP Josh Fields
To Seattle: OF Chih-Hsien Chiang, Robinson
To Los Angeles: C Tim Federowicz, RHP Juan Rodriguez, RHP Stephen Fife

It's hard to put into words how upset this makes me. Robinson is having one of the best seasons of any Dodger minor-leaguer (a career-year for himself) and is *this* close to the Majors, yet Colletti felt the need to trade him for a mediocre catcher (.275/.337/.397, seven home runs), a 22-year-old Single-A pitcher with a 5.19 ERA (13.4 K/9) and a 24-year-old starter with a decent line in Double-A.

The Dodgers didn't even get the right Double-A catcher! If they felt the need to move Robinson to improve the catching situation, then why the hell not go after Ryan Lavarnway?

Federowicz was ranked No. 21 in the Boston system coming into the season, while Rodriguez and Fife were unranked. Robinson was ranked No. 10 in the Dodgers' system.

In my last post, I wrote how I hoped the Furcal deal was the last in Colletti's tenure as Dodger GM. This is precisely why.

Furcal officially going to Cardinals for Double-A outfielder

The Cardinals have sent Double-A outfielder Alex Castellanos to the Dodgers for Furcal and cash today. The deal saves the Dodgers roughly $1.4 million this season.

Castellanos has some nice numbers in the Texas League this season -- .319/.379/.562 with 19 home runs, 62 RBI, 21 2B and 72 runs scored. However, he's playing above his talent level this season.

Here's a brief scouting report from Jim Callis of Baseball America:
"Castellanos was having a career year in Double-A (he ranks eighth in the Texas League in hitting, fifth in homers and fourth in runs scored), but he'll turn 25 on Thursday and his tools don't live up to his performance. He has some pop but he has a long swing and chases too many pitches out of the strike zone. His speed and defensive tools are fringy, and the former Belmont Abbey (N.C.) second baseman fits best in right field. Despite his 2011 numbers, he doesn't have the bat to profile as a big league regular there. He signed for $70,000 as a 10th-round pick in 2008."
So, not a lot to get excited about. Not only from the report but also because the Dodgers have a glut of minor league outfield prospects: Jerry Sands, Trayvon Robinson, Scott Van Slyke, Alfredo Silverio, Brian Cavazos-Galvez, Angelo Songco, Blake Smith, Jonathan Garcia, James Baldwin, Scott Schebler, Joc Pederson and Noel Cuevas. All these guys have more upside than Castellanos and despite glaring holes at third base and catcher, Ned Colletti went and got himself another outfielder.

I understand we don't know how the negotiations went, but why in the world did the Dodgers need another OF? There are guys who should have been promoted a month ago who can't because of the logjam. Hopefully this is the last trade Colletti makes as the Dodgers' general manager.


I was surprised at some of the negative reaction about Hiroki Kuroda not waiving his no-trade clause.

Yes, trading him would have likely brought back a quality prospect. But how can one be mad at a guy for exercising his right to stay? I understand being disappointed -- I was. But mad? I just don't get it.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Hiroki Kuroda intends to stay with Dodgers

Hiroki Kuroda announced today (reported by Dylan Hernandez) he isn't likely to waive his no-trade clause before tomorrow's 1 p.m. deadline.

I like the fact Kuroda is loyal and wants to stay with the Dodgers. There isn't enough of that these days in sports. However, with the likelihood of him re-signing with the Dodgers in the off-season, he missed an opportunity to potentially improve them team for 2012.

Kuroda is a Type-B free agent and if he was to be traded, the acquiring team would be eligible for a supplemental first-round pick by offering him arbitration after the season. That only increased his trade value. Not only that, the Dodgers could have acquired a significant piece for the future.

It's hard to be mad at Kuroda for not wanting to waive his no-trade clause. So I'm not. I'm mad at Ned Colletti for giving him that no-trade clause (he also gave one to Ted Lilly). But that's far from the worst thing he's ever done.

Kuroda was the Dodgers' best chance to salvage anything at this trade deadline. With Rafael Furcal headed to St. Louis by tomorrow, the Dodgers don't appear to be shopping anyone else, which is a mistake.

Jamey Carroll, who isn't a Type-B free agent, could bring back anything in trade and it'd be a good thing. Yet, the Dodgers are unwilling to trade him after agreeing to trade Furcal.

Andre Ethier should have been made available, especially after seeing what Carlos Beltran and Hunter Pence brought in return. But Colletti never gave any indication he was available.

It's too bad Hong-Chih Kuo and Jonathan Broxton have been bad and hurt all season. Those two could have brought some decent pieces in return. Then again, if they were healthy, the Dodgers would be in better shape (record-wise), so who knows about that?

I had visions of the Yankees caving and dealing Jesus Montero straight-up for Kuroda just so the Red Sox wouldn't get him. Then I had visions of the Red Sox dealing Will Middlebrooks and Ryan Lavarnway so the Yankees wouldn't have a bonafide No. 2 starter behind CC Sabathia. While those scenarios were highly unlikely, at least the chance existed. Now, there's no chance.

We'll see if the Dodgers do anything else in the next 21 hours. I'm betting they won't.

Report: Furcal going to Cardinals

Twitter is ablaze with the news of Rafael Furcal going to the Cardinals. There's no word on who the Dodgers will get in return, but they'll have to send money in the deal to account for some of the $3.9 million left on his contract for this season.

Best of all, this means Dee Gordon will subsequently be recalled and start at shortstop for the rest of the season.

A couple of guys who would be good returns are 3B Matt Carpenter and C Bryan Anderson (local product). The Dodgers have massive holes at those positions and both are not top prospects by any means.

This also likely means Jamey Carroll is likely to stay (for some reason). If he does stay, the Dodgers need to play him enough to have the possibility of him reaching Type-B free agent status. As it is right now, he's on the cusp of it, but will need more playing time in order to reach it.

This post will be updated when the trade is official and we know who's coming to Los Angeles.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Rafael Furcal drawing interest on trade market

Dodgers' shortstop Rafael Furcal is drawing interest from the Brewers and the Giants. Ken Rosenthal reported the Brewers are doing "background work" on Furcal.

Rosenthal also reported Furcal is owed roughly $4 million for the rest of the season and the Dodgers would include "significant" money to get a deal done.

One thing that bothers me, though, is the fact that the Dodgers will only trade Furcal or Jamey Carroll -- not both. This makes zero sense.

Carroll's signing has been unsung, but he has no value to a team that's currently 13 games out of first place. If the Dodgers can get anything of value from a guy who is a free agent next year and a borderline Type-B free agent, they need to do it. There's no guarantee that he'll re-sign in Los Angeles or that he'll earn that Type-B status.

Furcal is often injured and has a 2012 club option that will not be exercised. He's also on the border of being a Type-B free agent, but it'd be shocking if he made the cut.

Not only that, but the Dodgers have two guys ready to come up and take their spots. Dee Gordon would slide right in at shortstop and Ivan DeJesus would take over second base duties because Juan Uribe has been downright awful, as we all expected. Not to mention Aaron Miles, who is drawing no interest on the trade market -- he'd get a lot of playing time at second and third, too.

The Brewers would be an ideal landing spot for both Carroll and Furcal. With Rickie Weeks going on the disabled list, there is a glaring need at 2B for the short term. Coupled with the fact that Yuniesky Betancourt is the worst shortstop in baseball and Casey McGehee has regressed mightily this season and there's no better fit for Carroll and Furcal.

If the Brewers acquire both, Carroll takes some time at 3B and 2B, Furcal starts at SS and Beatancourt and McGehee are relegated to part-time duty.

I looked at the Brewers' blog, Brewer Fan, which has an often-updated Top 50. Now, the Milwaukee system is depleted from trades in recent years (CC Sabathia, Zack Greinke) and was ranked as the worst in baseball by Baseball America. That's not to say there isn't talent o be had.

Three guys who stood out when I looked were RHP Austin Ross, 3B Taylor Green and 1B Hunter Morris. If the Dodgers could get two of the three for Furcal and Carroll, that'd be a nice get. Milwaukee doesn't have much in the way of catching prospects, but Green could see some time in the Majors in September.

And without fail, as I'm writing this, the Brewers just acquired Felipe Lopez from the Rays.

This might make things easier for the Dodgers, if they don't want to trade both. Perhaps the Brewers would be interested in just Furcal, while the Indians could sweep in and snag Carroll. We'll see what happens.

One thing is for sure: one of the two middle infielders will not be Dodgers in 48 1/2 hours. It just remains to be seen which one is dealt.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Where for art thou changeup, Rubby?

Before Rubby De La Rosa made his debut, it was already known he had an electric fastball. But as is with every pitcher to ever pitch, more than an electric fastball is necessary for success.

That's not to say De La Rosa's fastball isn't great. In fact, he throws the fastest average fastball of anyone in baseball (95.9 MPH) -- even Justin Verlander. In last night's game, his 109th pitch was a 100 MPH fastball. That certainly doesn't suck.

(Click to enlarge)

But what about the secondary stuff? I tweeted last night it was nice to see him throwing the slider as much as he was because it wasn't a good pitch when he came up. It's inconsistent right now, but has plus-potential.

But what about the changeup? It's a pitch that doesn't get as much acclaim from scouts as the fastball, but it's his best secondary pitch. So why doesn't he throw it that much? Well, only he knows the answer to that, but the numbers dictate that he should throw it more.

He's thrown it 66 times, getting 42 strikes (63.6 percent) and 11 swinging strikes (16.7 percent). Now, 11-of-66 swinging strikes might not seem like a lot, but it's his best swing-and-miss pitch and the pitch he throws for strikes most consistently.

During last night's game, he only threw five, getting three strikes and no swinging strikes. It was evident that he didn't have a lot of confidence in the pitch last night and that could be said for his last three starts as well. He's thrown just five in each of his last three starts.

Pitch Breakdown (per start)

June 7 @ PHI 96 76 79.2% 10 10.4%
June 12 @ COL 82 62 75.6% 14 17.1%
June 18 vs. HOU 85 70 82.4% 8 9.4%
June 24 vs. ANA 100 74 74.0% 16 16.0%
June 29 @ MIN 99 80 80.8% 8 8.1%
July 4 vs. NYM 98 75 76.5% 11 11.2%
July 9 vs. SD 98 83 84.7% 6 6.1%
July 19 @ SF 88 72 81.8% 11 12.5%
July 25 vs. COL 113 89 78.8% 19 16.8%
Totals 859 681 79.3% 103 12.0%

June 7 @ PHI 96 10 10.4%
June 12 @ COL 82 5 6.1%
June 18 vs. HOU 85 7 8.2%
June 24 vs. ANA 100 10 10.0%
June 29 @ MIN 99 7 7.1%
July 4 vs. NYM 98 12 12.2%
July 9 vs. SD 98 5 5.1%
July 19 @ SF 88 5 5.7%
July 25 vs. COL 113 5 4.4%
Totals 859 66 7.7%

Fastball Breakdown (per start)

Game PC FB Strikes Strk % SStrk SStrk %
June 7 96 76 37 48.7% 5 6.6%
June 12 82 62 31 50.0% 1 1.6%
June 18 85 70 39 55.7% 6 8.6%
June 24 100 74 37 50.0% 5 6.8%
June 29 99 80 37 46.3% 5 6.3%
July 4 98 75 48 64.0% 5 6.7%
July 9 98 83 52 62.7% 11 13.3%
July 19 88 72 54 75.0% 6 8.3%
July 25 113 89 51 57.3% 9 10.1%
Totals 859 681 386 56.7% 53 7.8%

Slider Breakdown (per start)

Game PC SLD Strikes Strk % Sstrk SStrk %
June 7
96 10 3 30.0% 1 10.0%
June 12 82 14 9 64.3% 1 7.1%
June 18 85 8 4 50.0% 1 12.5%
June 24 100 16 8 50.0% 0 0.0%
June 29 99 8 5 62.5% 2 25.0%
July 4 98 11 5 45.5% 1 9.1%
July 9 98 6 1 16.7% 0 0.0%
July 19 88 11 7 63.6% 3 27.3%
July 25 113 19 12 63.2% 1 5.3%
Totals 859 103 54 52.4% 10 9.7%

Changeup Breakdown (per start)

Game PC CHG Strikes Strk % Sstrk SStrk %
June 7 96 10 6 60.0% 1 10.0%
June 12 82 5 4 80.0% 2 40.0%
June 18 85 7 4 57.1% 1 14.3%
June 24 100 10 8 80.0% 2 20.0%
June 29 99 7 7 100.0% 2 28.6%
July 4 98 12 7 58.3% 3 25.0%
July 9 98 5 0 0.0% 0 0.0%
July 19 88 5 3 60.0% 0 0.0%
July 25 113 5 3 60.0% 0 0.0%
Totals 859 66 42 63.6% 11 16.7%

I know he and all pitchers can't be dependent on secondary pitches, especially with a great fastball, but it could help the 22-year-old become a more well-rounded pitcher now and in the future.

Data courtesy of Brooks Baseball and Baseball-Reference. Also, thanks to Chad Moriyama for pointing out where to find this data.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Trade Deadline looms with lots of interest in Kuroda, others

We're one week away from the Trade Deadline and Hiroki Kuroda is one of the hottest commodities available.

As many as six teams have reportedly called the Dodgers about him: Diamondbacks, Indians, Rangers, Red Sox, Tigers and Yankees.

Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer tweeted earlier the Indians are increasingly interested in the right-hander's services.
" have talked to Dodgers about Kuroda. Don't know if it has reached stage where Kuroda has been asked to lift no-trade."
On Tuesday, I looked at what the Dodgers might be able to get for two months of Kuroda. The Indians' deal included Jason Kipnis, whom the Tribe just recalled from Triple-A. He's an offensive-minded 2B and fills a need in Cleveland right now. I'm not sure the Indians would be willing to include him in a Kuroda deal (or a Kuroda/Carroll deal).

The Red Sox are "keeping tabs" on Kuroda, while the Rangers had an observer at Friday night's game.

Danny Knobler of CBS said the Brewers are a team to add to the interested list.
"Dodgers think Kuroda may agree to go somewhere for 2 months, but if he pitches in US in '12, would be in LA. DET, MIL, others interested."
The most interesting part is he said he thinks if Kuroda plays state-side in 2012, it'd be in Los Angeles. This could end up being the best of both worlds for the Dodgers. They acquire some young talent in exchange for Kuroda and Kuroda re-ups in L.A. in the winter. It makes too much sense not to happen.

We'll see what happens, but it's looking more and more like Kuroda will get dealt, as long as it's where he wants to go.

Speaking of the Brewers, they are the team that's been most interested in Jamey Carroll. Carrol, a free agent after the season, signed a two year deal before last season. I was not a fan of the deal when it first went down, but it's actually been a great signing. The Dodgers could hope to get a C-level prospect in return for Carroll. Just someone -- anyone -- with any upside would be fine in my books.

Rafael Furcal could draw some interest in the next week, as the shortstop market is wafer-thin. Despite his injury concerns and struggles this season (.176/.240/.218), teams could still be interested in him.

A trio of NL Central teams could be in on him: Brewers, Cardinals, Reds. The Brewers probably wouldn't acquire both he and Carroll, while the Cardinals would prefer to move former Cub and Dodger Ryan Theroit to second base. The Reds would just like to replace the lackluster combo of Paul Janish and Edgar Renteria.

Jim Bowden of ESPN said Furcal still has the bat speed and teams are hoping he can get on track for a playoff run.

At least GM Ned Colletti finally came to the realization the Dodgers are sellers and certainly not buyers.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Dodger blogger profile: Greg Zakwin (Plaschke, Thy Sweater is Argyle)

This is a the third in a series of Dodger blogger profiles. This time we look at Greg Zakwin, who runs Plaschke Thy Sweater is Argyle and Memories of Kevin Malone.

Along with being into everything Dodgers, he's also an avid collector of sports cards and memorabilia. And, he just celebrated a birthday on Sunday.

1. How did you become a Dodgers' fan?
- My parents were Dodgers' fans, so I grew up loving the Dodgers. Plus, Mike Piazza was a badass.

2. What got you into blogging?
- I had been reading Chad Moriyama's work at Memories of Kevin Malone (née Fire Ned Colletti Now), and I wanted an outlet to voice my opinions outside of simply commenting on Chad's posts. I had some free time before I started at UCLA and decided the time was right to give blogging a shot.

3. What are some of goals for your blog?
- Continue to improve in what I do both at my own blog and at Memories of Kevin Malone. Eventually, I'd love to earn a press pass and attend a Dodgers' Blogger Night and be able to recap my experience and what it’s like meeting other and much more successful Dodger bloggers. Long-term, I hope that my writing can eventually lead to a career in the sports industry in some fashion.

4. What is the best experience you've had since blogging?
- Meeting all of the wonderful people I’ve come into contact with, both fellow Dodger bloggers and others since I've begun posting more on cards. Also, on a few occasions I've had some of the bigger names in the Dodger blogging world – Jon Weisman, Mike Petriello – give me a shout-out, and it’s hard to describe how amazing it is when someone much better at what you do recognizes you in some fashion.

5. What is your most memorable in-person Dodgers' experience?
- As a kid, I was part of a group of little leaguers who had the opportunity to go on the field. I had my picture taken with Jose Vizcaino (whoopee!) and ended up with a batting practice home run ball that most likely came off of the bat of Mark McGwire.

6. How many Dodger games have you attended? At Dodger Stadium?
- Oooh, I can’t give an exact number, but say, 25 or so. I can’t recall seeing the Dodgers play anywhere but at Dodger Stadium.

7. Who is your all-time favorite Dodger player and pitcher?
- Player: Piazza growing up, Matt Kemp now. So a tie there. Pitcher: Clayton Kershaw. Though, I'd be remiss if I didn’t mention how much I love Sandy Koufax.

8. What season of Dodgers' baseball do you remember most? Why?
- 2004, primarily because of Steve Finley’s walk-off Grand Slam to send the Dodges to the playoffs. My best friend called me literally a second after it happened and we were both elated and screaming for joy.

2008 and 2009 deserve a mention as well, simply because of the potential that lay ahead after the runs the Dodgers made those seasons. But atrocious trades and signings, and the McCourt issues, have all but washed away all hope not named Kemp and Kershaw.

9. Who is the Dodger you liked that no one else seemed to like?
- Jonathan Broxton. Blake DeWitt. Though, he was initially very popular, toward the end of his Dodger career, Russ Martin began to be hated by many. I was not one of those people. And, of course, Carlos Santana.

10. What do you the Dodgers need to do to win another World Series in your lifetime (save axing McCourt and Colletti)?
- Sign Kemp and Kershaw long-term, first and foremost. Get better management and player evaluators, and move away from constantly singing and trading for aging, mediocre at best veterans while in the process giving up on the young talent that can be placed around your core to work towards a championship.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

What could the Dodgers get for Hiroki Kuroda?

This is much like my "Trade Ethier" post from last month.

Hiroki Kuroda is becoming a hot commodity on the trade market. The teams reported to have interest in him include the Yankees, Red Sox, Rangers, Diamondbacks, Tigers and Indians.

Kuroda has a full no-trade clause and can veto a deal to any team. Peter Gammons reported Kuroda is unlikely to accept a trade to an East Coast team.

I examined Kuroda's value in a post earlier this month. He's a solid pitcher and would give any rotation a boost. Let's go through some potential trade scenarios.

Arizona Diamondbacks
Not many thought the D-Backs would be in contention this year, but they're 3.5 games behind the Giants in the NL West. They need a starter and stand the best chance to land Kuroda. And the Dodgers and Diamondbacks are no strangers when it comes to trades. The two clubs came together on three trades in the last eight years.

2004: Reggie Abercrombie, Koyie Hill and Bill Murphy for Steve Finley and Brent Mayne
2005: Shawn Green for Dioner Navarro, Danny Muegge, William Juarez and Beltran Perez
2009: Tony Abreu for Jon Garland

In 2004, the Dodgers nearly landed Randy Johnson from the D-Backs before settling on just Finley.

Who would the Dodgers be interested in?
3B Bobby Borchering, 3B Matt Davidson, 1B Paul Goldschmidt, RHP Jarrod Parker, LHP Tyler Skaggs

To Arizona: Kuroda
To Los Angeles: Goldschmidt, 3B Ryan Wheeler

- There's no way the Dodgers are getting Parker, Skaggs or Davidson for three months of Kuroda. However, acquiring Kuroda is going to cost the Diamondbacks a little more than it would other teams, seeing as the teams play in the same division. Goldschmidt leads the Southern League in home runs and Wheeler is a decent third base prospect -- a position at which the Dodgers have no legitimate prospect. He went to Loyola Marymount.

Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox are the most loaded team in baseball, but their rotation is a mess right now. Kuroda would be a welcome addition, especially if Clay Buchholz doesn't come back and John Lackey continues to suck.

Who would the Dodgers be interested in?
OF Ryan Kalish, C Ryan Lavarnway, SS/2B Jed Lowrie, 3B Will Middlebrooks

To Boston: Kuroda
To Los Angeles: Lavarnway, Middlebrooks

- Middlebrooks is having a nice season at Double-A (.317/.359/.517) but is blocked by Kevin Youkilis, Adrian Gonzalez and David Ortiz. Lavarnway, a local kid (Burbank), is OPS'ing .981 between two levels in the minors. There are concerns about his defense behind the plate, though. Kuroda would slide in as the Sox No. 3 starter behind a healthy Jon Lester and Josh Beckett. Boston might have to give up more than it wants to keep Kuroda out of pinstripes.

Cleveland Indians
Like Arizona, no one thought Cleveland would contend. Reports are they're interested in pitching, but a bat might suit them better. They were another one of the teams I included in the "Trade Ethier" post. But they could also use a pitcher, as Fausto Carmona has been massively disappointing this season.

Who would the Dodgers be interested in?
LHP Nick Hagadone, 2B Jason Kipnis, RHP Jason Knapp, C Lou Marson, C Chun-Hsui Chen

To Cleveland: Kuroda
To Los Angeles: Kipnis, Hagadone, Chen

- Kipnis is a solid 2B prospect and would likely start at 2B in 2012. Hagadone could join the Dodgers' bullpen next season and Chen is a long-term prospect. The Indians solidify their rotation with a solid veteran presence for the stretch run, as the AL Central is quite winnable.

Detroit Tigers
The Tigers seem to be the team most interested in Kuroda, but their farm system is the least intriguing of the six reportedly interested teams. That makes sense, seeing as they're running Brad Penny out there every fifth day and Rick Porcello has yet to recapture his 2009 success.

Who would the Dodgers be interested in?
3B Nick Castellanos, LHP Casey Crosby, 3B Francisco Martinez, RHP Ryan Perry

To Detroit: Kuroda
To Los Angeles: Martinez, Perry

- Castellanos is one of the best 3B prospects in baseball, so it's unlikely the Tigers would part with him. Perry, a 2008 first-round pick, was good in his first two seasons but has struggled a lot this season. He still has a good arm. Martinez is holding his own as a 20-year-old in the Eastern League (Double-A). Kuroda immediate slots in behind Justin Verlander and would, in theory, help the Tigers take the division.

New York Yankees
The Yanks are seemingly in on everyone. They have a few prospects the Dodgers would be interested in and they wouldn't have to give up nearly as much for Kuroda as opposed to someone like Ubaldo Jimenez.

Who would the Dodgers be interested in?
3B Brandon Laird, C/1B Jesus Montero, C Austin Romine, C Gary Sanchez, LHP Adam Warren

To New York: Kuroda
To Los Angeles: Laird, Romine

- Let's be real; the Yanks are not dealing Montero for Kuroda (unfortunately). Romine is the most well-rounded catcher of the Yankee trio. Laird is a lot better than anything the Dodgers have at 3B in the minors (and the majors, for that matter). Kuroda would run reclamation projects Bartolo Colon or Freddy Garcia from the rotation.

Texas Rangers
The Rangers are the hottest team in baseball right now and are somehow doing it all even after losing Cliff Lee this offseason. They could still use a rotation upgrade, which is something Kuroda would provide.

Who would the Dodgers be interested in?
LHP Robert Erlin, C Kellin Deglan, 3B Michael Olt, RHP Neil Ramirez, LHP Robert Ross, RHP Tanner Scheppers

To Texas: Kuroda
To Los Angeles: Olt, Ramirez

- If I sound like a broken record, I apologize, but the Dodgers minor-league 3Bs are bad. Olt is immediate the best of the bunch. Ramirez is enjoying a lot of success in the Pacific Coast League. Kuroda steps in to bring a veteran presence to the Rangers' rotation that includes youngsters Matt Harrison, Derek Holland and Alexi Ogando.

Lots of interesting options here. The deal that works best is the Diamondback deal, not just for the Dodgers' needs, but for Kuroda's reported preference. The deals with Boston, New York, Cleveland and Detroit are less likely to happen if Kuroda truly doesn't want to go to the East Coast. If GM Ned Colletti was smart (which we all know he is not), he would cash in on the big time interest in Kuroda. It won't help him save his job, but neither will standing pat or, *gulp* buying.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Clayton Kershaw doesn't give up a lot of unearned runs

If you had looked at the score of last night's game, you might have thought Clayton Kershaw didn't pitch that well.

Did he give up all four runs? How many innings did he pitch?

Despite the four runs allowed, Kershaw pitched brilliantly again. And the best part is, the four runs were all unearned.

Chris Young reached base on a one-out fielding error by the great Juan Uribe. After striking out Stephen Drew for the inning's second out, Kershaw got in a spot of bother by walking Ryan Roberts and giving up a single to Miguel Montero. He then hung a 1-2 slider to Xavier Nady that he promptly hit over the center field wall.

What happened last night was a rarity for Kershaw. It was the eighth time in his career he's allowed unearned runs to score, and the four unearned were easily the most he's ever allowed in a game.

Coming into the contest, through 104 career games (102 starts), Kershaw had allowed just 10 unearned runs in his career.

Jesse Radin of wrote in February that the average starter's percentage of unearned runs is 8 percent. Kershaw's is 6.1 percent. This one is a little dated (2004), but Dan Agonistes looked at all starting pitchers since 1960 and found the unearned run percentage was 10.2 percent. So when Kershaw gives up unearned runs, it's news.

Kershaw's 2.88 ERA is the lowest it's been since May 29 (2.62). And since (somewhat) calling him (and other starters) out for his lack of innings and pitches per start, he's thrown an average of 107 pitches per start, including three complete games. His pitches per start is up to 103.6 from 100.8 through his May 28 start. I think it's quite obvious Kershaw reads this blog and took my criticism to heart.


Matt Kemp's sixth-inning home run last night took all of 3.93 seconds from contact to the stands (by my time, your time may vary). It was the second-fastest home run (in terms of MPH) for Kemp this season.

And as I write this, Kemp hit another home run -- his 24th of the season.


Just when it seemed like Chris Withrow was turning the corner, he's had a couple of poor starts in a row.

Withrow's last two starts (total):

6 IP, 2 H, 5 R, 14 BB, 9 K

The walks are the biggest culprit of regression. It's hard to tell exactly what happened, as he walked just 18 batters in his previous eight starts. Let's hope it was just a speed bump.


Zach Lee, Allen Webster and Dee Gordon have gotten some love lately. Baseball America, Keith Law (ESPN, subscription required) and Kevin Goldstein (Baseball Prospectus, subscription required) have come out with midseason Top 50 prospect lists in recent weeks. Here's how the trio fared on each list:

Lee: BA - 39, Law - 33, Goldstein - 33
Webster: BA - 47, Law - 37, Goldstein - 48
Gordon: BA - 21

Jerry Sands and Rubby De La Rosa were ineligible for these lists, or they surely would have made each list (Gordon might have been ineligible for Law and Goldstein's lists). In fact, Law said in his chat De La Rosa would have been in the Top 20-25.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Dodger blogger profile: Evan Bladh (Opinion of Kingman's Performance)

In the second installment of my Dodger blogger profile series, Evan Bladh of Opinion of Kingman's Performance answers my questions.

His blog is chock full of current Dodger news/opinion and interesting, lesser-known past Dodger happenings, including a post on Sid Borgia and how he "changed the course of Dodger history."

Some of his posts have caught the eye of Dodger Thoughts' Jon Weisman on a few occasions.

1. How did you become a Dodgers' fan?
- My father worked for a company that sponsored the Dodgers when they first came to Los Angeles. So, he was always bringing us home little Dodger trinkets from work. Balls, miniature bats, pennants, signed photos; things like that. So, my Dodger fanaticism was ingrained in me at an early age. That would have been in the mid-1960s.

My first Dodger memory was the day after my 4th birthday in 1965. My brothers were screaming at the TV because John Roseboro was getting clubbed over the head with Juan Marichal’s bat. I was too young to understand what was going on, but I vividly remember the emotion of the event. The first game that I ever attended was May 13, 1970. I looked it up through the magic of It was a 6-5 Dodger loss to Houston. That was one of the most magical nights of my life. Dodger Stadium was astonishingly beautiful. Those home white unis were so bright. The colors, sounds, smells, everything... I was hooked. As a 9-year-old kid, walking into Dodger Stadium with my dad, it didn’t get better than that. I still can’t believe that there were only 11,612 fans at that game.

2. What got you into blogging?
- I kind of got into it by accident. Call it fate if you will. I intended on studying journalism when I entered college, but I got side-tracked and dual majored in political science and Spanish instead; and then got the MBA. Though sports and writing about baseball was a passion, I simply couldn’t see going after that type of work as a vocation, so my career path went in a completely different arena (law enforcement). I always have stayed in close touch with the Dodgers, no matter where I have lived, be it overseas, Phoenix, Washington D.C., San Diego and currently, San Francisco.

When Al Gore invented the Internet, I started participating in message boards and developed some friendships with fellow Dodger fans over the net. I met a few fellow posters at Vero Beach, Dodger Stadium and even in San Francisco at Phone Bill Park. Once I saw that some had created blogs of their own I thought, “Gee, I could do that too.” Finally, when I was on vacation during the Christmas holidays I decided to start it up. Now it has developed into a passion and I’m constantly thinking of material to present.

3. What are some of goals for your blog?
- My goal is to put out unique, good quality stuff. I know I fall short of that often. It’s tough to come up with fresh, interesting material daily. I try to inject a bit of humor sometimes. Opinion of Kingman’s Performance is not strictly a baseball blog. I try to throw little nuances of life events in there. I’ll voice my opinion definitely and if I see some breaking news, I’ll get it out there, but that isn’t the goal of my blog. My goal is to simply be another voice and opinion. A fan’s point of view. Additionally, I like to provide a Dodger fan’s perspective living amongst the enemy in Giant territory, though I fear that I sometimes become obsessed with that. I am amazed at the vitriol and hatred for all things L.A. related up here. It is the ultimate of inferiority complexes. I call it when I see it. I realize that I need to tone things back a bit in that area though.

4. What is the best experience you've had since blogging?
- I wrote a piece on my father around his birthday in March. His health had been failing due to a stroke and dementia was really getting to be a serious issue. My mother read him my piece and he cried. It was the last real connection that we had. We spoke on the phone for the last times that day. He died 45 days later and by the time I got to him, he wasn’t able to communicate or recognize me. But I have the knowledge that what I wrote about him, touched his heart. If I hadn’t started writing the blog, I would have never expressed those feelings for my dad. He was a great man. I used much of what at wrote in the Eulogy at his funeral.

5. What is your most memorable in-person Dodgers' experience?
- My son and I were present to watch the Dodger clinch a playoff spot (the Wild Card) at San Francisco, AT&T Park. We just stood there in awe and took it in as the Giant faithful filed out. It was a great day because we had taken so much abuse from those fans since moving out to S.F. in 1996.

6. How many Dodger games have you attended? At Dodger Stadium?
- It has to be more than 500. I attended many at Dodger Stadium during my youth where I was a regular in the Left Field Pavilion during the magical 1974 season. Now that I live up north, I see them when they come to town four or five times a season here.

7. Who is your all-time favorite Dodger player and pitcher?
- I seem to always root for the underdog. The guy that can’t quite crack into the lineup, but when he does, he’s a gem. Ken McMullen was a favorite pinch hitter in the 70s. I mentioned him once in a blog post. I’d have to say that my favorite everyday player in the 70s was Bill Buckner. I was crushed when he was traded. Many fail to remember how that guy hustled, that he once had great speed and he’d make diving catches crashing into those unpadded left field walls. I was too young to remember Koufax and Drysdale, but I was around for Sutton and he was a favorite. When he got in the fight with Garvey in the clubhouse, I even liked him more. Never was much of a fan of the Garv. On today's team Clayton Kershaw is my favorite player.

8. What season of Dodgers' baseball do you remember most? Why?
- 1974 was my favorite because it was the first Pennant winning team that I experienced as a fan. We took down the Big Red Machine and the kids were starting to gel. Mike Marshall, the Cy Young Award winner was just an amazing closer and pitched in something like 106 games, often 3 or 4 innings to close things out.

My teenage brother would take me to games in the Left Field Pavilion. We’d get there early and ball hawk, chat with Francis Friedman, and cheer like mad. Jimmy Wynn had a great year. Garvey was an MVP, Sutton and Messersmith nearly un-hittable. It was a 104 win season. That’s what it took to beat the great Red teams because 95 games the year before left us behind in second place by 3.5 games.

9. Who is the Dodger you liked that no one else seemed to like?
- That was probably Bill Russell. He was given the shortstop position over fan favorite Maury Wills and it wasn’t his natural position. Russell was a fantastic defensive outfielder and here he was learning to play one of the toughest defensive positions while in the majors. I know he led the league in errors. Something like 40 in 1972. He was booed unmercifully, but Alston stuck with him. I liked Russell’s grit and determination.

More recently I liked both Jayson Werth and Cody Ross. If you were to check my postings on Dodger message boards a few years back, I was livid we let those guys go in favor of players like Jose Cruz, Jr., Kenny Lofton, Luis Gonzalez and Ricky Ledee.

10. What do you the Dodgers need to do to win another World Series in your lifetime (save axing McCourt and Colletti)?
- We were close just a few years ago and now that goal seems so distant. We need another impact bat akin to what Manny Ramirez was. Who that is? A perfect fit would be Albert Pujols, maybe Prince Fielder, but in order for that to happen, the ownership has to change to someone with deep pockets. If that were to occur, things could be real fun. A lot of things would need to fall into place. Some of the young pitching would have to turn into something special. If Billingsley, Kershaw and De La Rosa continue to progress, that’s a strong young pitching core. Add Zach Lee and Chris Withrow to the rotation and we may be in good shape. Kemp, and to a lesser extent, Ethier need to be included in the future, though I wouldn’t be opposed to dealing Ethier for some future young talent.

I really believe in some of the young kids and I think that they will will pan out. I’m talking about Dee Gordon (very exciting player with so much upside), Jerry Sands, Trayvon Robinson and possibly Ivan De Jesus, Jr.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Dodgers' All-Star trio performs well

The National League defeated the American League on Tuesday, 5-1. The Dodgers had three representatives at the game, and they all had a hand in the NL gaining home-field advantage in the World Series.

*Side note: This likely helps the Phillies or Giants immensely, so was it really a good thing the NL won?*

Matt Kemp got the start in center field and hit third for the Senior Circuit. Not bad for your first All-Star appearance, eh? He walked in his first at-bat and singled in his second in front of Prince Fielder's MVP-winning 3-run home run.

Clayton Kershaw pitched the fourth inning and promptly struck out Red Sox' slugger David Ortiz on a nasty slider. He needed just eight pitches to retire Ortiz, Robinson Cano and Alex Avila.

Andre Ethier chipped in with an RBI single after a great at-bat against Angels' rookie closer Jordan Walden.

So, it was a rather successful night for the Dodger trio.

Oh, then there was this epic interview Mark Grace did with Justin Timberlake, who said he's a Dodgers' fan and his favorite player of all-time is Orel Hershiser. But him trolling Joe Buck was the best part of the interview.


Remember how I said yesterday that the Juan Rivera acquisition was a bad sign?
"This doesn't bode well for those hoping the Dodgers will sell at the deadline. Rivera isn't going to put this team on his back and carry them -- he isn't that kind of player. But with the Dodgers riding a four-game winning streak, General Manager Ned Colletti just couldn't pass up the opportunity to acquire a mediocre baseball player."
Well, my fears were confirmed with Ken Gurnick's latest article on the

Dodgers' GM Ned Colletti:
"That said, we need to execute better in the second half and gain the confidence that we can, and we'll be in buying mode at the (Trade) Deadline, as usual. I'm still confident we can make a run, pick up a game a week and be in a decent spot. We still have a load of games in the division."
So, what's the first word that comes to your mind? Delusional? Insane? Stupid? How about all of the above?

This is just great. I've already stated my position on whether the Dodgers should be buyers or sellers -- many times. If Colletti sacrifices potential impact prospects (the few the Dodgers have) for a chance at finishing in third place instead of fourth or fifth, there will be many more folks with signs standing outside Dodger Stadium, but not to picket the McCourts.

Eighteen days. Eighteen days until the mustachioed one does something inherently stupid. This is not going to be a fun two-and-a-half weeks.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Dodgers acquire Rivera from Blue Jays, for some reason

For reasons unknown and potentially confusing, the Dodgers acquired Juan Rivera and cash from the Blue Jays for a player to be named later or, get this, cash considerations.

Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated tweeted the following:
"juan rivera and cash were sent to dodgers in trade, and cash may go back to jays as compensation. almost like a loan for la"
Some things never cease to amaze me. How does a team get money from another team in a trade just to send it back to the initial team? Such are the 2011 Los Angeles Dodgers, I suppose.

Anyway, I don't much understand this move. Marcus Thames was designated for assignment to make room for Rivera.

I've often thought Rivera would be a decent option as a left fielder and/or left-handed masher. With the Angels in 2009, Rivera put up a nice slash line of .287/.332/.478 with 25 home runs, 88 RBI and 24 doubles. Last season, he still managed 15 home runs. He's been pedestrian this season with the Jays (.243/.305/.360).

Rivera, like Thames, mashes lefties. For his career, he is a .291/.337/.501 hitter against southpaws. He's decent against righties (.270/.321/.429), but also like Thames, he can't play defense. Don't let the better-defensive-metrics-than-Thames fool you -- Rivera is pretty much Thames in the field.

Thames has been disappointing this season this season (.197/.243/.333) and hasn't played the field since June 24. His designation was coming, but acquiring such a similar player to replace him was unforeseen.

This doesn't bode well for those hoping the Dodgers will sell at the deadline. Rivera isn't going to put this team on his back and carry them -- he isn't that kind of player. But with the Dodgers riding a four-game winning streak, General Manager Ned Colletti just couldn't pass up the opportunity to acquire a mediocre baseball player.

Wouldn't it be fitting if in a couple weeks the Dodgers traded Chris Withrow and Trayvon Robinson to the Blue Jays for Octavio Dotel? It seems the Dodgers could be heading down this path. I'm not usually one for rooting against my favorite team or wanting them to lose, but this is a situation where it is warranted.

The Dodgers aren't going anywhere this season. There is no debating that. Thinking otherwise is just irresponsible and illogical.

Let's hope this isn't a "gateway" trade. Let's just hope Colletti was thinking he'd need a veteran replacement for Andre Ethier when he's traded.

Yeah, right.

Monday, July 11, 2011

2011 Dodgers' mideseason analysis and grades

The 2011 season has been one to forget for the organization. The team is not playing well on the field and everything with the McCourt saga is just draining.

The Dodgers finished their first 92 games (which qualifies as the first half) with a 41-51 record, good for fourth place in the National League West -- 11 games back of the division-leading Giants. Unfortunately, there isn't much hope in sight for this team. There are a couple of standout players, a few good ones and a lot of mediocre (at best) players. That isn't a recipe for success.

Without further adieu and to go along with Mike Scioscia's Tragic Illness and Jim Bowden of ESPN (video), here are my grades.

Dodgers' first-half grade: D
- Despite ending the first half on a four-game winning streak, this team is not much fun to watch. As is usually the case, the team cannot score enough runs. Pitching was supposed to be the backbone of this team, especially after signing four starting pitchers (Garland, Kuroda, Lilly, Padilla) this off-season. The club has been hit with an abnormal amount of injuries and disabled list-stints, which plays a part in the poor performance. Even if everyone was healthy, the Dodgers, as currently constructed, are a .500 team. If the season ending today, the Dodgers' would have the No. 7 pick. The last time they had the No. 7 pick, they picked some kid named Kershaw.

Here is a grade breakdown for each player on the roster with explanations for most (grouped by position).

Rod Barajas
- We all cringed when General Manager Ned Colletti handed Barajas a $3.25 million contract for one good month. Despite playing just 56 games so far, he is second on the team in home runs (eight). He's been average, at best, defensively this season. Grade: D

James Loney
- Loney had a fantastic first half last season. He followed that up by one of the worst second halves in all of Major League Baseball. He started stunningly slow this season, hitting just .170/.194/.213 through April 25. Since the 25th, though, he's hit .307/.357/.394, so there is some hope for him going forward, despite the lack of power (doubles included). Grade: D+

Jamey Carroll
- Carroll has been consistent for the Dodgers in 2011. He's not going to hit for power, but he has a nice on-base percentage and has filled in at shortstop admirably for the injured Furcal. He's been one of the few bright spots on this team. Grade: B+

Juan Uribe
- Uribe's signing was by far the worst of the off-season -- and he's done nothing to make the doubters think twice. His batting average and slugging percentage are career-low marks, while his on-base percentage is the second-lowest of his career. The only saving grace was he brought some pop (40 HRs the last two season). This season: four home runs. Grade: F

Casey Blake
- Blake has struggled with injuries, which shouldn't be surprising for a 37-year-old who shouldn't be an everyday player in the Major Leagues. After a DL stint to start the season, he got off to a quick start: .319/.427/.522 through his first 18 games. Then the nagging injuries kicked in and his numbers in June quickly made his great .949 OPS look pedestrian: .169/.222/.271 (.744 OPS for the season). Grade: D+

Aaron Miles
- Miles was thought to be a throw-away signing by everyone. While he's still not a good player, he's been a lot better than anyone could have expected. His .318 average is empty, but at least he's hitting that well. He hasn't been horrible on defense, either. Grade: B-

Rafael Furcal
- Furcal was supposed to be the catalyst for the offense. In the last year of his deal, he was looking to have a big season. But he, like many other Dodgers, has been bitten by the injury bug. He hasn't produced much in his limited playing time. He's currently rehabbing and should be back soon. Grade: D-

Jerry Sands
- Sands made his MLB debut in May, and it was unexpected. The 23-year-old started slow (2-for-18 in his first five games) before looking like he was on track. He hit a mammoth grand slam in Houston on May 24, which was the high point of his first half. He followed that up with a 3-for-33 stretch to earn a triple back to Albuquerque. Still, his OBP is 94 points higher than his batting average and he's hit well since returning. There's a lot to be excited about with him. Grade: C

Matt Kemp
- Kemp is an MVP candidate. He's had the best first half of any player on this team and arguably anyone in the National League. He is sixth in the NL in batting average, tied for second in home runs (22), second in slugging (.584), third in OPS (.982), second in OPS+ (178) and he leads the NL in total bases (198). He ranks first in Baseball Reference's WAR ratings (5.7) and third in FanGraphs' WAR ratings (4.4). He's also increased his walk rate to 12.2 percent this season after being at 7.8 and 7.9 the last two seasons. He is one of two main reasons to keep watching this team. Grade: A+

Andre Ethier
- Ethier got off to a torrid start in 2010 -- .392/.457/.744 -- before suffering an injury to his pinkie finger. He got off to a great start this season, which included a 30-game hitting streak. However, his power numbers are down. He has just nine home runs in 288 at-bats. He hit a home run every 25.3 at-bats coming into the season. In 2011, that number is down to 36.4, thanks to two home runs on Sunday. The Dodgers need his power to return. He still has a good batting average and a great on-base percentage. Grade: B

Starting Rotation
Clayton Kershaw
9-4, 3.03 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 10.1 K/9
- Kershaw has been downright dominant at times -- including his last two starts. He had a couple of rough starts at the beginning of this month, but he's found his groove and made his first All-Star team. He leads the Majors in strikeouts (147) and K/9, but two of his most impressive statistics are his BB/9 (2.4) and K/BB ratio (4.2). He has three complete games and two shutouts. And on a bright note, he is second amongst pitchers in hits (11) and a sparkling 8.9 percent K-rate. Grade: A

Chad Billingsley
8-7, 3.87 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 7.7 K/9
- Billingsley signed a contract extension before the season started, which was great. His April, however, was not so great -- 4.46 ERA, 1.37 WHIP. But he did have his best start of the season in that month against the Cardinals on April 17 (8 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 11 K, ND). He had a great May, despite going 2-3 in the month -- 2.63 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 9.0 K/9 -- before struggling a bit in June. His last four starts (3-1, 1.32 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, .183 BAA) has lowered his season ERA back under 4.00 for the first time since June 5. The Dodgers need more out of him, though. Grade: C+

Hiroki Kuroda
6-10, 3.06 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 6.5 K/9
- Kuroda has been one of the unluckiest pitchers on the team. Despite the second-best ERA of all the starters, he's still lost 10 of his 16 decisions. He could (should) be a trade candidate in about a month. He's given up the long ball at a higher rate than any in his career (0.94 HR/9 in 2011, 0.7 in 2008-10). That's something to watch in the second half. Grade: B

Ted Lilly
6-9, 4.79 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 6.6 K/9
- Lilly was acquired last July and pitched pretty well for the Dodgers (7-4, 3.52 ERA, 0.99 WHIP). He was signed, foolishly, to a 3-year deal in the winter. So far, he hasn't lived up to the contract. His walk rate is great (1.9 BB/9), but that's about it. His H/9 is at 9.8 -- 2.1 higher than 2010 -- and he's given up 19 home runs. Grade: D+

Jon Garland
1-5, 4.33 ERA, 1.39 WHIP, 4.7 K/9
- Garland was a somewhat surprise signing in the off-season and looked like a steal. However, he hasn't been healthy. He's been on the disabled list twice this season -- twice more than any other time in his career. Some teams were concerned about the health of his shoulder in the off-season, but that didn't deter the Dodgers from signing him. His best start came against the Braves in April (9 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 4 K), and he's had a few other solid starts. Grade: C-

Rubby De La Rosa
3-4, 3.74 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 8.7 K/9
- De La Rosa was another surprise call-up and had a couple of good starts, a couple of bad starts and a couple more good starts, including his best as a pro on on Saturday (6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 8 K). Still, as a 22-year-old, he's going to have his ups and downs. He needs to improve his control. His innings will be limited come August and September. Grade: C

John Ely
6.23 ERA, 1.61 WHIP, 9.3 K/9
- He made two appearances (one start). He's struggling in Triple-A. Grade: INC

Jonathan Broxton
1-2, 5.68 ERA, 1.89 WHIP, 7.1 K/9, 7 SV
- Word just came down today that Broxton will be shut down for three more weeks and he might not pitch again this season. He didn't exactly inspire confidence in his 14 games this season, posting a 5.68 ERA, 1.89 WHIP, 10.7 H/9, 6.4 BB/9, 7.1 K/9 and a 1.11 K/BB ratio. He clearly hasn't been right physically since last season and his best days might be behind him. Grade: D-

Blake Hawksworth
2-2, 3.00 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 6.6 K/9
- Hawksworth, acquired for Ryan Theriot in the winter, has been a solid performer for the Dodgers. He isn't going to strikeout a lot of guys, but he's getting the job done right now. He's been the most consistent reliever for the Dodgers in the first 92 games. Grade: B

Kenley Jansen
1-1, 4.40 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, 14.1 K/9
- Jansen was great in his 2010 debut and was expected to do big things out of the Dodgers' bullpen this season. He got off to a shaky start, spending some time on the DL and in the minors. Despite all that, he has a most impressive K/9 rate. Since April 22 (20 appearances), he has a 1.64 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 14.3 K/9 and a .120 BAA. It's safe to say he's back on track. Grade: C-

Mike MacDougal
0-1, 1.74 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 6.1 K/9
- Don't let the shiny ERA fool you, MacDougal has been pedestrian at best this season. His WHIP is high, his K/9 is low and his K/BB is poor. He has done a good job of not giving up home runs (one in 31 innings). Don't expect that ERA to stay under 3.00 for too long. Grade: C

Josh Lindblom, Grade: B
Javy Guerra, Grade: B
Scott Elbert, Grade: B-
Vicente Padilla, Grade: C+
Matt Guerrier, Grade: D+
Lance Cormier, Grade: F
Hong-Chih Kuo, Grade: INC

A.J. Ellis, Grade: C
Tony Gwynn, Grade: C
Jay Gibbons, Grade: C-
Dee Gordon, Grade: C-
Trent Oeltjen, Grade: C-
Marcus Thames, Grade: D+
Ivan DeJesus, Grade: D-
Dioner Navarro, Grade: D-
Juan Castro, Grade: F (thank goodness he recently retired)
Russ Mitchell, Grade: F
Hector Gimenez, Grade: INC
Jamie Hoffmann, Grade: INC
Xavier Paul, Grade: INC