Almost heaven

A perfect lineup, as I call it, is when a team only uses nine players from the start of the game to finish to deliver a victory.

Tony Gwynn Jr.’s eighth-inning entry Sunday as a defensive replacement cost the Dodgers their first perfect lineup since August 19, 2010. That day, Los Angeles defeated Colorado, 2-0, using this lineup of perfection:

Scott Podsednik, LF
Ryan Theriot, 2B
Matt Kemp, CF
James Loney, 1B
Casey Blake, 3B
Reed Johnson, RF
Jamey Carroll, SS
Brad Ausmus, C
Ted Lilly, P

* * *

  • A new biography of Jim Murray, Last King of the Sports Page, gets a tremendous review by John Schulian at the Wall Street Journal.
  • Reggie Smith, the subject of my piece in The Hall of Nearly Great, gave an Old School interview to the New School’s Fangraphs and David Laurila.
  • Former Dodger general manager Dan Evans provides Baseball Prospectus with an insider’s view of the trading deadline.
  • John Sickels of Minor League Ball gives a midseason update on his top 20 Dodger prospects list.
  • None of the nine Colorado Rockies in the field during the fifth inning of their game Sunday realized they had recorded the inning’s third out, writes Mark Townsend of Big League Stew.
  • http://underdog.typepad.com/ underdog

    A lineup with Scott Podsednik in it is never perfect. ;) But I know what you mean. 

    Speaking of Gwynn, that sure was a well-timed defensive sub yesterday. He gets to a ball in deep left that Rivera sure wouldn’t have. 

    Still on Cloud 9 from that series. Hope they can carry it over for the homestand–no letdowns now Dodgers.

    • Anonymous

      “A lineup with Scott Podsednik in it is never perfect. ”
      To say nothing of one with Ryan Theriot in it.  That starting nine is even more punchless than  the 2012 pre-Hanley version. 

      • Anonymous

        Twas Lilly’s only CG of the season. In fact, his only CG in the NL, ever, a mark that continues to this day.  

      • Anonymous

        We should express our gratitude to Brian Sabean for acquiring Theriot, who was born to be a Gnat.

  • Vail Beach

    Is it a bad idea to block Jerry Sands with someone like Choo?

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

      I’d file that under “good problem to have” (except maybe for Sands, but he can also play 1st base.)

    • Anonymous

       Choo is LH-hitting outfielder, and the Dodgers have plenty of those on the bench.

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

        You’re not, of course, suggesting that Choo isn’t any better than Abreu or Rivera, though, right?

        • Anonymous

          No, I think Choo would be an upgrade, but at a high price in prospects.

      • Anonymous

        Shin-Soo Choo is one of the best OFs in the game, so no, I don’t think we should worry about Choo blocking Sands.

        • Anonymous

          Is Choo available?  His age (29) and career OPS (.857) leads me to say who cares whether he blocks somebody like Sands. He’d be a nice pickup as long as you don’t have to give up too much to get him.  

          • Anonymous

            Apparently the Indians are looking for MLB-ready talent or MLB talent with less than 3 years of service time.

          • Anonymous

            That rules out _________ (fill in name of rule 8 violation).

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

    Great new piece on BP by former Dodgers GM Dan Evans:
    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=17826
    “Pulling Back the Curtain on the Trade Deadline”

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

       As noted in this post :)

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

        D’oh! Sorry, how did I skip that one… !!  I swear I read the rest, Jim. Jack, Roy, whatever your name is! ;)

        Man, that is really a golden piece, gives you such a great feel for what it’s like for GMs and players around this time. Hope everyone reads it.

        • Anonymous

          Great read. Always respected the job he did, and him personally. Seems he should get another shot if he wants it.

          • http://twitter.com/BJohnson_42 Brian Johnson

            Agreed! 

          • Anonymous

             He’s an agent now. How would that work?

  • foul tip

    Peak harvest time for sour grapes in Miami.  From the Herald–                                                                                     
        
    09:06 AM ET 07.29 | An official with another team that made an offer for Hanley Ramirez told us: “We offered better prospects, but [the Dodgers] were going to pay his salary. New stadium and you trade so much money away in less than four months? Worst opening of a stadium we’ve ever seen.”Dissatisfaction with Ramirez extended beyond teammates. One Marlins official said he’s simply not a winner; the coaching staff strongly pushed for this move.

    • Vail Beach

      Pin this to the clubhouse bulletin board, Don Mattingly. 

      • Anonymous

        Lots of players have reputedly had a bad reputation among teammates, but thrived with a change of scenery.  These include Manny Ramirez and Vicente Padilla.

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

    Btw, that Sickels  Dodgers prospect review piece Jon linked above is pretty fair and accurate overall, imho.  Hard to argue with some of the disappointments, too, like Erickson. 

  • Anonymous

    Great links.
     
    I also noted that Sickels left Sands off the list and included Van Slyke.  I don’t believe the organization has devalued Sands as much as he has.  As for the rest, the offensive prospects appear pretty dim.  Hope Saeger really breaks out quickly.

    • Anonymous

      Not sure, but he might have felt that he was no longer a prospect anfter having spent the second half with the club and being pencilled in as LF option before ST.

      • Anonymous

        I considered that, but he had Lindblom on the list and he has been on the ML roster all year.

        • Anonymous

          Oh, yeah.

          • Anonymous

            Hendley, were you working on vineyard irrigation in the Maule? That’s one of my favorite parts of Chile, spectacular backcountry that gets only a handful of hikers.

        • http://twitter.com/Derek_TC Derek TC

          He was grading the list that he made before the season started.

          • Anonymous

            Explains Lindblom, but I’m still fuzzy on whether he excluded Sands as a non-prospect or whether he was excluded as having already made it.

            Not really a big deal either way.

          • Anonymous

            A frequently-used cutoff for whether someone is a rookie is 125 PA for a position player, 50 IP for a pitcher.  As of the start of the 2012 season, that would exclude Sands, include Lindblom.

  • http://veryolddodgerfan.blogspot.com/ veryolddodgerfan

    Jon you are definitely the best blogger/links giver of your generation

    • Vail Beach

      Amen

  • http://veryolddodgerfan.blogspot.com/ veryolddodgerfan

    Wow Zack gets a b plus, EO only a b. geez what is the world coming to.

    • Anonymous

       Tough graders.

    • Anonymous

      Zack may still be at best a potential #2 starter, Eo a #3-4. I don’t think their performance this season has changed that.

  • Anonymous

    Minnesota is listening to trade offers for Morneau, but are asking for a big-league player in return and for teams to take on the full $20 million left on his contract, Yahoo! Sports’ Tim Brown reports. (about 5 days ago)
    Would they consider Loney a big league player? Throw in a minor league pitcher and I’m all in. Stark at ESPN opines it may take a young pitcher and TGJ to get Victorino, as they have few prospects to play center if he is traded. And Dempster is still alive according to Stark as well. Personally, I would do all three.

    • Anonymous

      I’m OK with Gwynn and a minor pitcher for Victorino, but he’s only a rental… I’d prefer Soriano (2 more years) with the Cubbies paying most of the salary. Pence is just going to be too expensive, both to acquire and to keep.

    • Anonymous

      Morneau is not an upgrade over Loney, especially when you factor in his contract.  I don’t consider Victorino an asset.  Also, he’s a massive tool.

      Let’s get Dempster though!

      • Anonymous

        Morneau has 13HR. How that is not an upgrade over Loney I have no idea. Victorino is better than anybody we can trot out there. Hopefully Puig will come as fast as Cespedes in Oakland and a LF rental is all we need.

        • Anonymous

          Because Morneau is a barely above average bat who’s owed $14 mil. next season. Victorino is also fallen off to a point where he may not be such an upgrade over TGJ. Maybe Morneau is worth a couple of runs over Loney this season, but I wouldn’t spend $20 mil. for that kind of upgrade.

          • Anonymous

            Morneau’s OPS+ is 112. Loney’s is 80. Morneau will put up Ethier numbers this year. They just gave him more money.

          • Anonymous

            As my mother taught me, 2 wrongs don’t make a right

            based on Morneau’s stats he can not be played vs LHP as tiensy says, not worth 20M

  • Anonymous

    I liked this (Evans):

    “One of the funny aspects about this particular stage is that every scout
    needs to call the host team for a prime seat at each game. As a result,
    that team has valuable information, because it really knows who is in
    on a particular club or player. If that club is a seller, the person who
    administrates the scout tickets gives the best seats to the team their
    club believes is the best match. If you’re in a poor scouting position,
    you know you’re not in the lead!”

  • aj henning

    I found myself involuntarily grinding my teeth as I read that line up… hahah

  • http://veryolddodgerfan.blogspot.com/ veryolddodgerfan

    So what’s the magic number that you would accept in a soriano trade. how much contract would you eat to get him and dempster. knowing the less you take the more prospect value you have to give up.

    • Anonymous

      As an absolut minimum, Soriano would be worth as much as we’re paying Rivera. And I think Gwynn is the last spare outfielder Ned would trade because we have no one else to back up Kemp.

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

        If you got Soriano, you could DFA Uribe and call up Herrera to back up third base, second base, left and center.

        • http://veryolddodgerfan.blogspot.com/ veryolddodgerfan

          the idea that herrera is in the minors and juan uribe is on the bench doing nothing makes me reach for a high blood pressure pill

          • Anonymous

            The real upside of DFAing Uribe is that the Gnats would probably grab him.

        • Anonymous

           To what end, though? 1 extra WAR per year? That’s not worth prospects and whatever we end up paying, not to mention weakening the bench.

          • Anonymous

            he is 1.7 in WAR this year right now mostly due to improvement in fielding

        • Anonymous

          >> If you got Soriano, you could DFA Uribe and call up Herrera to back up third base, second base, left and center.

          Whereas, if you didn’t get Soriano, you could DFA Uribe and call up Herrera to back up third base, second base, left and center.  :)

          • http://farinella.com/ David Farinella

            I don’t know how KT does those little arrow things, but I love what nsxtasy wrote above….

          • KT

            shift 6 underline shift 6 ^_^

  • Anonymous

    Latest report has Dempster coming pending compensation.

  • Anonymous

    Prefer Pence to Victorino.  I know he’s a Dodger product, but I just don’t like that guy.  Something about his attitude rubs me the wrong way. 

    • Anonymous

      Would take alot more to get Pence

    • Anonymous

      Pence would certainly provide a longer term stabilization of the position.

    • Vail Beach

      Could it be his penchant for burning the Dodgers?  I think he’d give up that habit if he was in an LA uniform. 

      • Anonymous

        unless his ultimate Dodger burn was to really suck while playing for them.  At the same time I have a feeling he’d be amazing for the Giants if they traded for him.  That certainly would strengthen my “hate” for him.

        • Anonymous

          And more incentive for us to get him instead of them.

          • Anonymous

            which is why I’m so conflicted

          • Anonymous

            Stark also opines the Gnats could deal for Morneau and move Belt to the OF. If they do and he hits .330 next year I will not be pleased. Luckily I don’t think they can afford him.

          • Anonymous

             The Gnats’ farm is as barren as the drought-stricken Midwest.

  • Anonymous

    That sure is an ugly lineup

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

    I’m not advocating a Victorino trade, but if Sal Maglie, Juan Marichal and Jeff Kent can become Dodgers, is there really a reason to draw a line with Shane strictly on tooliness?

    • Anonymous

      Tooliness, I love it.  That should be an additional metric we use to evaluate players.  Yes, but what is his tooliness score.

      • Anonymous

        Don’t forget Toolines+

        • http://www.twitter.com/ElJefedor Jeffrey Thomas III

          And park adjusted tooliness.

    • Anonymous

      I was a little kid living in Brooklyn when the Dodgers acquired Sal Maglie.  Most of Brooklyn was left speechless, but he turned out to be a marvelous addition to the Dodgers.  I’ll never forget his no-hitter.

    • Anonymous

      Can’t wait for tooliness to become an official stat.  I think even VODF would like that one.

    • Blue-eyed Gal

      I’ve been pondering that question myself. 

      I have a kneejerk “do we gamble twice?” reaction to the question.

      1) We’re gambling that Hanley will not live up to the “tooliness” rep he had in Florida.
      2) Do we also gamble with Victorino?

      I know that if one penny turns up heads, and you flip another penny, the second penny’s chances are in no way influenced by the first, but I repeat, do we gamble twice? With the good team chemistry we’ve seen for good stretches since the second half of 2011? 

      I suppose it depends on just how much value Shane would bring to the table. At least the Dodgers he especially had it out for — Martin and Kuroda (sniff) — have moved on. 

      So I guess that’s a definite maybe from me. 

      I’m slowly coming around to the idea, because fond as I am of Dee Gordon, even once he gets off the DL, he’s just not there yet. In a parallel universe, he’d be getting another year of seasoning in the minors, and we’d have another leadoff hitter until Dee’s ready or proves that he won’t be.

    • Anonymous

      So I’m not alone in my distaste for his particular brand of grit.  I suspect that tooliness is inversely proportional to grittiness, depending on whether a player wears the uniform of the team you root for or one you root against.  

    • Anonymous

       I’m fine with Victorino, who would be a big improvement on the current LF troika.

    • Anonymous

      Don’t forget Brett Butler.

    • Anonymous

      I would greatly prefer Pence to Victorino.  More power and younger, and signed beyond this year.  Even if it takes more to get him (which it undoubtedly would).

      I really don’t want to trade for Weaselface.  No reason to trade for a rental of an average outfielder.

    • KT

      You left juan Uribe off that distinguished list…oh that’s right it’s because he isn’t distinguished

  • Anonymous

    I’m sure Davey Lopes can give them a read on Victorino’s tooliness/versus work ethic etc.  There are Milton Bradley tools and Jeff Kent tools, who are in different toolboxes.

  • Anonymous

    Everyone is saying to get Pence because he is younger and better. But I think that we should get Victorino because he has the speed that we are lacking in and he can play LF (Not saying Pence can’t) and he can bat first in the batting order. Plus we signed puig this year so why trade some of our better prospects for Pence if Puig is ready by next year.  Plus the chances of us being able to retain Pence is a long shot too. Where if we trade for Victorino we won’t lose as many high level prospects and he can be on his way next year and Puig can take over in LF.

    • Anonymous

      Puig hasn’t even played a single minor league game yet, as far as I know. He hasn’t played organized baseball in almost two years. I don’t think we need to worry about blocking Puig next year.

      • Anonymous

        Exactly.  We are all excited about Puig’s potential, but he could fight for a roster spot in 2014 at best.

    • Anonymous

      He can also play center which would allow us to move Gwynn and keep the two old men for pinch hitting, backing up Loney, etc…

    • Anonymous

      Another thought. Acquiring a good first baseman might be more logical because we have no good prospects at that position in the high minors while I think either Castellano or Sands just might handle left field next year, they’re doing very well in AAA.

      • Anonymous

        Why couldn’t Sands handle 1B then too?  If the right deal can be made to get this year’s team farther, make it.

  • Anonymous

    If Victorino could hit for power, would he be a 5-tooly player?

    • Anonymous

      6 new categories Tooliness, Grittiness, and Clutchiness, all with +’s as well.

    • Anonymous

      Tooly, not Towely!

      • Anonymous

        Towely can be kind of tooly. 

        Personally, I prefer toolish.  fool-foolish.  ghoul-ghoulish. hence tool-toolish.

  • Anonymous
    • Anonymous

      My feeling for a couple days now is that the Dodgers would end up with Dempster and Soriano when it’s all said and done.  If that were to happen our rotation and lineup would be drastically improved from  any point prior to last week.

  • Anonymous

    But would he play LF?

    • Anonymous

      would Kemp?

      • Anonymous

        Does the 2012 Hawaiian cover more ground in CF than our Matty?

        • Anonymous

          his advanced stats are better, my comment was an attempt at humor though

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

    NPUT

  • Anonymous

    MLBTR.com

    (hits refresh)

    (hits refresh)

    (hits refresh)
    :)

    • http://farinella.com/ David Farinella

      Totally with you on the refresh button… very distracted at the desk today…Oh, did Andres Torres just get traded…….

  • Anonymous

    I don’t see how we match up with the Phillies. Lindblom was mentioned but they have a bunch of promising relief P on their 40-man I believe.

    Critical look at the Victorino:  http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/shane-victorinos-one-dimensional-bat/

  • Anonymous

    MLBTR says Oakland is desperate for infielders, do you think they’d take Uribe for…. nothing?

    • Anonymous

      We can only dream………..