Dodger Thoughts

Jon Weisman's outlet for dealing psychologically with the Los Angeles Dodgers, baseball and life

Tag: Alexander Guerrero

Tweets from the Dodger caravan

By Jon Weisman

Today’s the day a bunch of current Dodgers join the team’s Pitching in the Community Caravan (presented by State Farm). You can follow along on Twitter, but I’ll update this post periodically with Josh Tucker’s tweets from the scene.

Guerra Puig

Active Dodgers join community caravan Friday

caravan MondayBy Jon Weisman

Yasiel Puig, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Carl Crawford, Brian Wilson and Alexander Guerrero are scheduled to be among the active Dodgers participating in the team’s Pitching in the Community Caravan (presented by State Farm) on Friday.

Subject to change, those Dodgers will be joined by Scott Van Slyke, Paco Rodriguez, Tim Federowicz, Stephen Fife, Dee Gordon, Javy Guerra, Justin Sellers, Matt Magill, Seth Rosin, Nick Buss, Drew Butera, Mike Baxter and Jarrett Martin (along with assistant hitting coach John Valentin and broadcaster Charley Steiner), as they make the following stops:

  • 9-11:15 a.m. – Kidspace Children’s Museum, Pasadena
  • 12-2 p.m. – Homeboy Industries, Los Angeles
  • 2:30-3:45 p.m. – Weingart East Los Angeles YMCA, Los Angeles
  • 4:30-6:30 p.m. – Dodgers Dreamfield dedication and baseball clinic at Jesse Owens Park, Los Angeles

This will be Guerrero’s first public appearance as a Dodger.

The overriding mission of the Dodgers’ community efforts in general and this caravan in particular is to build upon the team’s tradition of service with the goal of inspiring youth and adults to play, learn, live and serve. The impact the players can have is pretty priceless.

Note: Caravan activities are not open to the general public, but are specifically targeted for the aforementioned groups.

Alexander Guerrero says hello

Guerrero Puig

By Jon Weisman

He’s real! As Mike Brito stays connected in the background, new Dodger infielder Alexander Guerrero buddies up today with not-so-long-ago-new Dodger outfielder Yasiel Puig.

Notes: Miguel Rojas to contend for playing time at second base

By Jon Weisman

In addition to discussing Don Mattingly and Yasiel Puig, Ned Colletti touched upon several other aspects of the Dodgers in his conversation with reporters today.

  • Colletti’s priorities now for 2014 are to fine-tune the club, including another infielder off the bench that would give the club more versatility, and making sure the team is healthy. “I talk to our medical people every other day to see where we are at,” he said.
  • Miguel Rojas will get “a good look” during Spring Training for playing time at second base, thanks to his defensive wizardry. Rojas had a .303 on-base percentage and .307 slugging with Double-A Chattanooga last year, but Colletti calls him an “excellent defensive player.”
  • Alexander Guerrero is still leading the pack of contenders at second base, but Colletti said “we still have questions.” The Dodgers are taking a conservative approach with Guerrero and the hamstring issues he dealt with this winter.
  • Caution is also the byword with Matt Kemp, but the outfielder has had his walking boot off for the better part of four weeks now and is beginning to hit.
  • Josh Beckett should be ready to go for Spring Training, but Scott Elbert and Chad Billingsley remain targeted for midseason. Elbert could come sooner than Billingsley, thanks to being a reliever.
  • Andre Ethier and Hanley Ramirez have generated nothing but positive medical reports. No lingering issues.
  • Colletti is eager to see what Rule 5 draft-day acquisition Seth Rosin can bring. “Again, some of what we do is to continue to build the depth you need for a season.”
  • Preliminary conversations with the agent of Japanese pitching star Masahiro Tanaka have taken place. Colletti described it as a “feeling-out process.”
  • Infielder-turned-reliever Pedro Baez, essentially following the path of Kenley Jansen, “still has some things he’s got to learn, but he’s a very interesting talent.”

The past 10 years of Dodger starting lineups

Screen shot 2014-01-04 at 11.02.56 PM

By Jon Weisman

Though the Dodgers might not know exactly which three of their outfielders will start Opening Day, injuries aside, they should return seven of their eight position players from the starting lineup that ended last season. Only at second base, where Mark Ellis will be supplanted (the leading candidate, Cuban newcomer Alexander Guerrero) should we expect turnover.

That level of stability initially struck me as somewhat rare over the past decade, and in some ways, it is. Though at this time last year, the Dodgers had only one significant lineup change (replacing Shane Victorino in left), that only came after the tumultuous changes in the second half of 2012. There’s a parallel with what happened in the second half of 2008, when the Dodgers made the dramatic acquisitions of Manny Ramirez and Casey Blake, then held things relatively steady into 2010.

Certainly, you can be excused for thinking that every couple of years, there is a pretty significant reboot of the Dodger starting lineup. The chart above will take you down Lineup Memory Lane, a trip that became kind of foggy for me fairly quickly. (Who was the regular left fielder as 2010 was ending? You tell me.)

Don’t blame Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp, however. If health and circumstances allow them to play alongside each other this season, they’ll become the first Dodger teammates to each tally 1,000 games together since the Garvey-Lopes-Russell-Cey infield. (Pedro Guerrero, Steve Sax and Mike Scioscia almost did so, but weren’t quite in sync.)

James Loney nearly made it a trio with Ethier and Kemp, before being traded away in 2012, but even so, first base has been fairly stable for the Dodgers. The Dodgers have relied upon four principal starting first basemen in the past 10 years (Hee Seop Choi, Nomar Garciaparra, Loney and Adrian Gonzalez) and the same number of catchers (Dioner Navarro, Russell Martin, Rod Barajas and A.J. Ellis). Rafael Furcal’s presence, healthy or not, also helped limit the number of shortstops the Dodgers have needed since 2005.

On the other hand, left field has been a spin of the wheel more often than not. If Carl Crawford remains the regular in left this season, he’ll be the first in the past decade to hold that position down for two consecutive full seasons, with Manny Ramirez, among others, just falling short).

Third base and second base (particularly since Jeff Kent’s retirement) have also been places of change, which is what makes the Guerrero signing so intriguing. If you were to guess which Dodgers are most likely to become the next 1,000-game teammates, are there any more likely choices today than Yasiel Puig and Guerrero? At least, they have better odds than Oscar Robles and Willy Aybar had.

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