Baseball BeatMay 14, 2005
A Brad Penny For My Dodger Thoughts
By Rich Lederer

Jon Weisman, owner/operator/author/moderator extraordinaire of Dodger Thoughts, and I conducted what Jon called a "face-to-computer-to-computer-to-face chat about the state of the Dodgers." You can read Talking the Fifth: A Dodger Thoughts-Baseball Analysts Chat in its entirety at one of the best baseball blogs in the universe.

Here is a snippet. . .

Rich: The problem, as I see it, isn't just one of offense at third base. I'm also concerned about the position from a defensive standpoint. The team's defensive efficiency (.691) is the fifth-lowest in the league.

Mike Edwards and Oscar Robles are career minor leaguers, Perez has some talent but is unproven, and, thank goodness, the Dodgers had the sense to drop Nakamura. I'm not suggesting that DePodesta should panic here, but I would be inclined to find a one-year stop gap for as little consideration as possible.

Jon: I agree. But in a sense, the point you bring up about left field leads us to the fact that DePodesta does have multiple weaknesses to consider with this team. Which is the bigger problem right now, for example: third base or a complete starting rotation?

Rich: Given that Scott Erickson is the pitcher who makes the starting rotation incomplete, there is no doubt in my mind that finding a fifth starter is the more important issue, at least from the standpoint of the regular season. A fifth starter isn't all that important in the post-season though so I would want to shore up the third base situation before the trading deadline passes.

Jon: Well, I assume that Perez will get his shot to prove himself offensively and defensively at third base, and then if by mid-June the position is this year's version of Dave Ross-Brent Mayne 2004, DePodesta will make a move.

Rich: That's fair. One guy he won't be able to move in a trade though is Erickson. For my money, I don't see how Jim Tracy can afford to hand him the ball even one more time. I mean, five strikeouts in 31 innings? C'mon. I'm not sure what they saw in him to begin with but it's painfully obvious by now that the guy is done. No good. Incapable. Over-the-hill. Kaput.

Jon: One of the Dodger Thoughts commenters found, I think, that three of his five strikeout victims were pitchers. I believe Adam Eaton accounted for two.

Rich: Wow, if that doesn't say it all ... I can't add much beyond that other than to also chime in with the fact that Erickson has only struck out ONE batter in 17 IP at home. You know, as in Dodger Stadium, the renowned pitcher's ballpark. Now that is pathetic!

* * * * *

Hurry up, head on over to Dodger Thoughts if you want to read the before and after. Be sure to read the attached comments from Bob Timmerman & Co. If you have anything to add, feel free to leave your comments over there this one time. I'll check them out and respond, if need be.