Dodger Thoughts

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

Tag: Steve Cilladi

Steve Cilladi earned every bit of his big-league dream

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Steve Cilladi (82) during Spring Training in 2015 (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

By Jon Weisman

Steve Cilladi’s lifetime professional statistics read like the baseball version of Oliver Twist.

Forty games. Seventeen hits. Two homers, one triple, no doubles. Six walks, three times hit by pitch. Thirty-five strikeouts.

That’s what the ledger shows for five seasons. Please, sir. I want some more.

But Cilladi is no unfortunate, and he would rebel at the very thought of it. He is a man of means, ambition and perspective — Dodger bullpen catcher today, who knows what tomorrow?

“To me, negativity is an absolute distraction,” Cilladi said. “The time that’s used to complain or mope or whatever else, can be time better utilized for the person next to you or for you, and I really take that to heart. Why am I going to complain? If I have a negative thought in my head, I’m going to turn that into something that can either be productive for myself or that’s going to help the person next to me, and I think that’s something we need more of.”

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So, Dave Roberts, what’s a quality assurance coach?

Image via Parks Moving, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Image via Parks Moving, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

Not only are there new names in the Dodger coaching staff, there’s a new title — one that might seem kind of out there.

But “quality assurance coach,” the role to be filled by former Dodger infielder and minor-league infield coordinator Juan Castro, is actually a very down-to-earth role, according to Dodger manager Dave Roberts.

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It’s a bright, bright Chone Chiny day


Dodgers at Mets, 4:10 p.m.
Chone Figgins, 2B
Yasiel Puig, RF
Hanley Ramirez, SS
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Matt Kemp, CF
Scott Van Slyke, LF
Justin Turner, 3B
A.J. Ellis, C
Zack Greinke, P

By Jon Weisman

There was some scoffing when Chone Figgins signed on to reboot his Major League career with the Dodgers, but so far, so good.

Figgins has developed a fairly specific role with the Dodgers: Come off the bench to lead off an inning and, without any seeming threat of power, get on base.

In his 27 plate appearances so far this season, 16 of them have been as the first batter of an inning, and he has a .500 on-base percentage (and .455 slugging percentage) in those situations. He also has a .474 OBP as a pinch-hitter.

Tonight, in the Dodgers’ 48th game, Figgins makes only his third start of the year, though his rate should increase now that Juan Uribe is on the disabled list and Justin Turner will be needed over there. Dee Gordon still hasn’t been a convincing hitter against left-handed pitchers, registering a .200 on-base percentage (8 for 40 with no walks) and .250 slugging percentage this year. It would be going too far to say he can’t improve those numbers, but against Mets lefty Jonathon Niese (2.54 ERA, .446 right-handed opponents’ OPS), it’s a sensible enough time to let Gordon come off the bench.

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