The old adage in baseball is that good pitching beats good hitting, today in Dodger stadium good pitching dominated poor hitting. The Dodgers once again demonstrated just how limited they are offensively, especially without their starting shortstop and third baseman. They have essentially turned into a 2 man offense consisting of Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp.
The only other hitter who seems to get on base on a regular basis is Jamey Carroll, yet for some reason Don Mattingly keeps burying him in the #8 spot in the lineup. Imagine how much more effective the Dodgers lineup would be if Ethier and Kemp came to bat with people on base. Yet day after frustrating day Aaron Miles continues to hit at the top of the lineup, not Carroll. This is the same Aaron Miles who is hitting a putrid .257 with a ridiculous .288 on base percentage.
As was pointed out earlier today by True Blue LA, Miles is batting an astonishingly pathetic 9 for 56 left handed. So why isn’t he benched against right handed pitchers and young players like Russ Mitchell or Ivan De Jesus Jr given the opportunity to play? We’re not talking about a 1 month track record here with Miles either, he is a player who has a career OBP of .320 not exactly what you want out of your leadoff hitter.
The Dodgers are now 1 game under .500 on the season and clearly this club is built to win one way, have Ethier and Kemp drive in runs when other guys get on base, and get exceptional starting pitching. The Dodgers own the worst bullpen in all of the National League with a gaudy ERA of 5.47, in fact Detroit at 5.50 is the only team in ALL of MLB that has a worse bullpen ERA.
I fear that this blog is going to become a broken record with the same news day after day, unless the Dodgers make significant changes. You’ve got young players either on the bench or in the minor leagues who may be able to help the club, but we don’t know because they don’t play. Rather we get to watch Aaron Miles, Rod Barajas, Dioner Navarro and James Loney play, each of whom is barely hitting over .200.
Loney is the most disappointing of the bunch he has actually been an effective player in years past, yet for some reason since the all-star break last year he has looked completely lost at the plate, and you simply cannot afford his lack of production at a premier offensive position.
The Dodgers will be back at it tomorrow night at Dodger stadium against the Chicago Cubs. They face Cubs left handed pitcher James Russell who is 1-3 on the season with an ERA of 8.31. If they can’t get the offense going tomorrow then one has to wonder when it will happen.
I think that the mess that is the Dodgers ownership situation, has a direct correlation on the product the Dodgers are currently putting on the field. For years Dodger fans have flocked to see the team play as the Dodgers were annually one of the leading teams in attendance.
However, through the owners misuse of Dodger revenue, using it for personal reasons rather than investing it in the product on the field; along with the long list of terrible and expensive free-agent contracts the Dodgers have signed (Jason Schmidt, Andruw Jones, Juan Pierre, Manny Ramirez) the Dodgers are now feeling the effects of this mis-management of the teams revenue. For example, the Dodgers are paying Andruw Jones more this year than the team he is playing for, the New York Yankees, that is simply a terrible way to run your business.
Quality players haven’t been signed because the Dodgers are still paying millions of dollars to players who are no longer on the team, like Jones. Also until just recently, the budget conscious front office has not invested premium dollars in the MLB draft and their minor league player development system.
It was so bad that a couple years ago they turned down the opportunity to get 2 extra first round draft picks because they didn’t want to have to pay them. Who knows who those draft picks may have been but there are few prospects in the Dodgers system who are capable of filling in for injured players, and those who are deemed worthy sit on the bench rarely doing anything more than pinch hitting.
This irresponsible attitude toward running the club has placed the team in its current dire fiscal situation which required MLB to have to step in to oversee the daily operations. Until the Dodgers get out of the habit of spending money they don’t have by back loading player contracts, and start drafting and spending on draftees like other teams do, Dodger fans will continue to see career journeymen scuffling on the field rather than promising young home grown talent, like Matt Kemp. Dodger fans are tired of this philosophy, if you don’t believe me just look at the recent attendance figures.
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Tags: Aaron Miles Andre Ethier Dioner Navarro Don Mattingly Ivan De Jesus Jr James Loney Jamey Carroll Juan Pierre Los Angeles Dodgers Major League Baseball Manny Ramirez Matt Kemp Rod Barajas Russ Mitchell