Smokejumpers forever!

A’s at Dodgers, 12:05 PM

Dee Gordon, SS
Mark Ellis, 2B
Matt Kemp, CF
Andre Ethier, RF
Juan Rivera, LF
James Loney, 1B
Juan Uribe, 3B
Tim Federowicz, C
Adam Kennedy, DH
(Chris Capuano, P)

Aside from the health of Andre Ethier’s mind, body and soul, the top story of the opening days of Spring Training appears to be how quickly the Dodgers might move their top relief pitcher, Kenley Jansen, into a role that reduces the value of his dominance. Good times.

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    A leadoff walk for Dee Gordon and a stolen base. Even for Spring Training, I’ll take it. 

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    And a Mark Ellis double. We’re rockin’ and rollin’ …

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    Matt Kemp gets his first hit and RBI of 2012. 

  • Anonymous

    While I’m a longtime member of the Smokejumpers Marching and Chowder Society, I wonder if one silver lining in the “rigid bullpen roles” approach is that it keeps managers from overusing their best relief pitchers.  I recognize that closers, especially, are at risk of being underused, but I could imagine a manager who took seriously the idea of using his best pitcher in the highest-leverage situation might find such a situation in nearly every game, and abuse a guy.  Still, even pitching one inning in 162 games is nothing like a starter’s workload, and Japanese teams who make their guys throw every day might argue that an inning a day keeps the doctor away.

    The best approach is to be smart and not lock oneself into ANY rigid usage patterns, but that’s asking a lot of managers who have to be second guessed 24-7 by bozos like us. 

    • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

       Well, being a closer didn’t do wonders for Broxton.  I do think that being a closer could protect a reliever, but it would come at the expense of another reliever.

      • Anonymous

        Fair enough on Broxton.  Of course, if a pitcher doesn’t reveal an injury, it’s hard to blame anyone else.  As for the zero-sum aspect to innings, I guess that depends on how many arms you have.  As most relief stints have shrunk to an inning or less, bullpens have expanded, right?  So much so that 11th and 12th pitchers rarely get any work.  I think if I were building a team, I’d sacrifice the idea of LOOGYs and ROOGYs and add a hitter or two for real platoons.

        • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

           I’m not much of a LOOGY fan, but the number or relievers really depends on your quality of starting pitchers. 

          When I think about overworked Dodger relievers, Troncoso and Wade come to mind as prominently as Broxton. Even Belisario during that first year.

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    And, Uribe’s back. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/john.stodder John Stodder Jr.

    So, specifically (since I’ve been only able to pay attention sporadically)… you’re opposed to Jensen becoming designated as the closer?  If so, I agree with you.  I think Javy Guerra was a fine closer last year, steady and reliable with the right temperament. And that did allow Jensen to pitch whenever he was most needed in the earlier innings, and/or to step in if Guerra needed help in the 9th. 

    • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

       That’s correct – that’s how I feel.

      • http://www.facebook.com/john.stodder John Stodder Jr.

        This is the problem when the title “closer” becomes both a term of honor and is seen as a promotion.  Jensen’s agent is probably pushing hard to get him the job because closers get the big bucks. We need a European style system in baseball; a “closer” is like the president of France, but the best reliever is the premier, and he has the most day-to-day responsibility. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/john.stodder John Stodder Jr.

    Not a good day for Capuano-haters.  Capuano-haters are, I assume, represented here?

    • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

      I’m a Capuano skeptic – don’t like the term hater :) – but I’m always happy to be proven wrong in the right way …

      • http://underdog.typepad.com/ underdog

        I’m more of a Harang haranguer than a Capuano carper. :)

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    This guy Norberto just struck out Ethier/Rivera/Loney in his first inning. 

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    No. 1 Washington, trailing No. 9 Oregon State 51-37 with
    17:30 to go, went on a 36-16 run and now leads 73-67 with 5:30 left.
     

  • Anonymous

    Didn’t the man(ager) who invented baseball prove that you don’t need a closer to win the World Series?  So why aren’t more people following his lead?  

  • http://underdog.typepad.com/ underdog

    Ethier looked ready to play today.  Also nice to see an offense that is more woeful than ours will be. :)  (Dodgers seem decent when their starters play, fancy that.) Also nice to tune back in in time to see “Castle” hit a bomb.  Would be awesome if he could make the switch defensively competently enough.  Capuano also looked very solid, fwiw. 

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    Oregon State survives a free-throw missing extravaganza, 86-84. 

    • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

       The teams were 29 for 59 from the foul line.

      • Anonymous

         That’s pretty pathetic.

  • Anonymous

    Why not let relief pitchers pitch the first 3 innings and then let the  ”starters” close out the last 6.

    • Anonymous

      That’s crazy talk. It might lead to gay marriage.  Or worse, dancing.

    • Anonymous

      Many years ago I read a piece purporting to prove that it was best to start a reliever until he came to bat then PH and replace with a starter. 

  • Anonymous

    MacDougal seems to be in mid-season form.

  • Anonymous

    I once lived on a smokejumper base in Washington during the summer during my undergrad years.  I worked as a intern Wilderness Ranger for the Okanogan National Forest.  It was a really fun summer (going on hikes was the main part of my job).  I was in the best shape of my life that summer : )  

    • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

       Very cool :)

    • Anonymous

      We went over to the 1 in central Oregon in high school for my forest products class. Fun day, and those people are extremely brave.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Terry-Pruett/1707390003 Terry Pruett

    I HATE designating a closer. To me, if it’s the 7th or later, and the 3-4-5 hitters are coming up…it’s Kenley Time. Line up the best reliever you have against the best hitters. And…who cares what his agent says? He’s years from free agency, and chances are he’ll still close his share of games and get saves (the most meaningless statistic in baseball; even more than RBI).

    • Anonymous

      I really agree with TP here.  How many times is the true closer the 7th inning guy that gets his team out of 2 on, no out jam?  I know that being name the “closer” has marquee value, but show me three guys that are interchangable in 7 thorugh 9, and I’ll bet the team is pretty solid in the pen.

      • Anonymous

        Add Elbert and call it Nasty Boys II

        • Anonymous

          Perfect

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

     NPUT