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Saturday, February 25, 2006

Little: Billingsley "A Factor" In 2006

In the Let's Try And Get Him Sent Back To AA Before The Year Even Starts Department, Grady Little's hot for Chad Billingsley:
"I don't think this guy is going to be a good pitcher; I think he's going to be a great pitcher," Little said, proceeding to list the reasons: "The body style. The look on his face when he's on the mound. The way he walks around in a major league clubhouse. And his stuff."

The last starter the Dodgers rushed to the big leagues was Edwin Jackson, who struggled the last two years, became a walking, talking cautionary tale, and was traded in January.

Little knows this too. But he can't help himself.

"I wouldn't be surprised if Billingsley was a factor on this big league team in 2006," he said. "He's a guy we will be sure we make all the right decisions with. I want to make sure his upward progression stays upward."

Which would best be helped by you keeping your fool mouth shut and letting the kid change minds at Las Vegas and not in spring training, Grady. (Hat tip: BTF.)

Rob, my understanding of this has to do with Las Vegas (supposedly) being a hitter's paradise, and the fear that young pitchers are better served by avoiding Vegas and jumping from Jacksonville straight to Dodger Stadium. I don't think it makes a lot of sense-- what does that say about the fragility of a guy's psyche if he can't pitch in any AAA park, and I'm not convinced that Vegas is a hitter's paradise), but that's what I've been told.
Vegas isn't as bad as Albuquerque, it's true (full context), but you have to remember that the Dodgers' minor leaguers used to go through Albuquerque, too. I think there's something to the idea that the A's have of making their minor league AAA park match the characteristics of their home major league park as closely as possible, but the Dodgers don't seem to care.

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