Thursday, May 25, 2006
Joey Eischen LAN b. 1970, played 1995-1996
Dave Hollins ANA b. 1966, played 1997-1998, All-Star: 1993. Whenever I see an All-Star, I have to pause and wonder whether the player's a legit All-Star or one of those every-team's-gotta-have-one varieties. Hollins was one of the former on the '93 Phillies team that almost went all the way, but found the Blue Jays in the World Series there to impede their progress. Fluking his way into 27 dingers in his 1992 campaign, the third baseman never again hit near that many; in Angels lore, he became the guy Troy Glaus replaced at third.
Joe Judge BRO b. 1894, played 1933, d. 1963-03-11
Sean Maloney LAN b. 1971, played 1998
Verisimilitude: Dodgers 7, Rockies 1Aaron Sele, thief in the night, has stolen another game; but consider this. Over the last three years, he's 17-14 before the All-Star break with a 4.74 ERA, but he's got a 5-13 record with a 6.67 ERA after it. As well as things are going for him now, the likelihood of him imploding is a near certainty; the question for the Dodgers is, when will it start? Odalis Perez's uncertain status will cause him to rust in the bullpen, and he'll be terrible when the Dodgers need him in a few weeks to replace Sele.
But ignoring the pitching for now, I thought it might be interesting to take a look at doing something for the Dodgers that Angels blogger Bjoern recently did for the Angels, and review the types of batted balls the Dodgers are getting:
- The four batters with the most at bats — Jeff Kent, J.D. Drew, Rafael Furcal, and Jose Cruz, Jr. Of the four, Cruz has the fewest line drives, and unsurprisingly, is also having trouble at the plate, hitting a mere .240. His BABIP is a healthy .289, so don't expect his luck to change any; this is an established baseline, and a huge dropoff from last year, when he got a .383 BABIP and 22.7% of his hit balls were line drives; this year his line drive rate is down to a meager 13.7%.
- One other player in that first group has a seemingly unreasonable line drive rate and particularly good luck on BABIP — J.D. Drew. Drew's 16.4% LD rate combined with a .325 BABIP seems awfully like luck; and yet, he's managed to consistently turn this same trick year after year. It would make an interesting study to find out why.
- Bill Mueller, before he went down, had a BABIP of .254, which would seem to indicate that he's actually been unlucky on line drives; the question now is whether he'll get his job back once he returns, thanks to the strong play of Willy Aybar.
- Speaking of Willy, the Dodgers' two rookies, Aybar and catcher Russ Martin, both have BABIP's well over their batting averages; expect that to change, especially Aybar, whose 12.5% LD rate is hardly encouraging.
- Another guy lately a bit lucky on batted balls is Olmedo Saenz, with a .353 BABIP; but maybe that's partially explained by his strong 24.6% LD%.
Vero Starts Looking For A Dodgers ReplacementThe Times notes that Vero Beach has started looking for a possible replacement for the Dodgers in spring training; every day it sounds like a move to Arizona is more and more plausible.
- Jayson Werth's wrist was put in a cast and he was given another cortisone shot. The trouble came, Stan Johnston said, as a result of trying to do too much too quickly.
- Brad Penny's back is fine, but he's being given exercises to prevent future trouble.
- Jason Repko will have the cast removed from his ankle today but is a month away from returning.
- Ricky Ledee is another week away, at least, from swinging a bat.
- Maicer Izturis will probably be activated next week after a minor league rehab stint on Friday.
- Chris Bootcheck was activated and optioned to Salt Lake.
- Mike Scioscia on Dallas McPherson:
He's been through a lot trying to fill Troy Glaus' role, getting hurt last year and having hip surgery — a lot has happened to this kid. But he hasn't folded his tent.