Countdown to Camelback

Countdown

Camelback Ranch Baseball Training Facility used by the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Chicago White Sox

The long winter season is soon to give way to the time when the baseball players return to their spring training homes. In the Dodgers case, it seems that the biggest hole is the one created by the departure of Nick Punto, Skip Schumacher, and Mark Ellis. There is nobody on the bench that can step in late in the game and provide a bat with power. They need solid a middle infielder and a solid corner player to provide coverage for the times when the starters are unable to go.

It will be interesting to see what Colletti and company will come up with in the next several weeks before opening day.

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102 Responses to Countdown to Camelback

  1. 32and53fan says:

    Where are all the good utility players?

    • 32and53fan says:

      http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article/mlb/michael-young-mulling-retirement-or-accepting-offer-from-dodgers?ymd=20140126&content_id=67157016&vkey=news_mlb

      We need Michael Young back for one more year. Once he retires, there’s no coming back. Put this year’s salary in your three kids piggy banks. They will thank you later. While not ideal, with Skype or Face Time, you can see your family every day and they can see you too.

      • JhallWally says:

        Good Grief, if Young is our best bet, we’re hosed.. It really says alot about the state of our farm system when we don’t even have a reasonable utility player ready. Unacceptable!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • trublu4ever says:

          I agree!

        • 32and53fan says:

          We’re hosed. Utility players are like the relievers of old; washed up starting pitchers trying to hang on in the show, any way they could. Now days, relievers are specialists who are trained in the minors to take on that role.

          Somehow, the teams need to develop guys who, while not quite good enough to be a starter, could provide a valuable service as a multi-position substitute with a decent wOBA and a good glove.

        • enchantedbeaver says:

          Dammit, I feel a song coming on…

          • trublu4ever says:

            It has been quite a while.

          • enchantedbeaver says:

            Ned Collett is AC/DC, TNT:

            “P.V.L.”

            (Oy, oy, oy, oy, oy, oy, oy, oy, oy, oy, oy, oy, oy, oy, ve)

            In the twilights of their sunsets
            Some would say has beans
            Out to sign all I can get
            If you know what I mean
            Figgins to the left of me
            Olivo to the right
            Can’t knock in runs
            Ain’t got no life
            But ain’t they a sight?

            They’re my PVLs, they’re dynamite
            (PVLs) Think they’re outta sight
            (PVLs) Got a whole buttload
            (PVLs) watch them imploooooode

            Moskos, Boscan, their stats are obscene
            Want to kick my can?
            Harris was the best I could get
            Understand?
            The kids are trade fodder
            Lee, Joc & Fife
            Stock up on vet’rans
            Get ready for strife
            The Ned is back in town
            Maybe you’ll see me around

            They’re my PVLs and they’re dynamite
            (PVLs) And they’re just right
            (PVLs) Don’t you call them old
            (PVLs) I think they’re gooooolllllldddddd

            PVLs (oy, oy, oy)
            PVLs (oy, oy, oy)
            PVLs (oy, oy, oy)
            PVLs (oy, oy, ve)
            PVLs (oy, oy, oy) Are dynamite
            PVLs (oy, oy, oy), and they’re outta sight,
            PVLs (oy, oy, ve) Signed a whole shitload
            PVLs You’re gettin’ hoooooosssseeeddd!

            Artist: Ned Colletti and the Ho-Hums
            Title: PVLs
            ©2014 NedCo Broken Records

          • Dodger4life says:

            Ned must be under a gag order about Young, ’cause he didn’t sing one word about him… These always make me chuckle enchanted… welcome back.

          • trublu4ever says:

            ~ :-) ~

          • crash24now says:

            Thanks for the song.

            Is this supposed to make us feel better when our bench is filled with PVL’s Young, Crawford, and Ethier?

          • Another hit by E! Great song!!

          • JhallWally says:

            Out of sight Beav!!

      • Oh yeah, we need Michael Young back so he can hit into automatic double plays when he’s put in to pinch hit in a crucial situation. Seems to me that’s something he did a LOT of last season.

  2. Amazing how time flies, to me it seems like the season just ended. Well as you know I was at CBR last season and it was a wonderful experience and maybe someday I’ll return. I’ll take it easy this year and watch on TV, as usual. I hope we make it to the World Series this year and who knows, it may be played here in New York.
    GO DODGERS!!!

  3. lbirken says:

    Nothing against Michael Young but I have to say I am concerned that he is the best choice the Dodgers have for this particular spot on the roster. The fact he is deciding if he wants to play may not mean anything in the end but I would certainly prefer someone who has been thinking about playing since the end of last season and has been working toward that in the off season.

    As to the comment that the Dodgers should have someone in the minors for this role, it seems to me utility/bench players play themselves into this role and for most it is the way they stay in the big leagues. Some of the more successful guys used to play on an everyday basis and most learned multiple positions as a way to find and keep jobs. Obviously other teams felt M. Ellis and Punto could help them and made serious offers. Did the Dodgers even consider keeping either of these players?

    In the past Ned just plucked guys from the trash bin. We all believed that was out of necessity because his hands were tied. That should not be the case now.

  4. Dodger4life says:

    I think perhaps Young was the target all along… possibly even to play third everyday. Then Uribe was resigned… Could this have held negotiations up in terms of monetary value, meaning Young could obtain more money as an everyday third baseman vs as a utility guy? Now, Young may wonder if his heart is still in it? Just speculation on my part.

  5. 32and53fan says:

    Finally there is justice instead of piling on unwarranted charges, as reported on CBS Sports:

    “A reckless driving charge against Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig has been dropped by the Florida state attorney’s office, reports Marisa Kendall of the News Press. He still receives a speeding ticket for driving 110 mph in 70 mph zone.

    Puig, 23, was taken to Collier County Jail on a misdemeanor reckless driving charge last month after he was caught speeding on the Alligator Alley section of I-75. It has been ruled that there is insufficient evidence in the case. Here’s more from Kendall:

    Puig was not weaving in and out of traffic, he did not lose control of his vehicle, he didn’t cause other motorists to brake or make evasive maneuvers, and he was sober and had a valid Florida driver’s license, according to a memorandum released by the state attorney’s office.

    To prove reckless driving, the state must prove the defendant drove with a wilful or wanton disregard for people or property, according to the memorandum. Speeding alone is not grounds for a reckless driving charge.”

  6. oldbrooklynfan says:

    I’m glad this is over with.

  7. Dodger4life says:

    I suggest we all write a song in unison… have our own little fan fest..

    Maybe someone can choose a tune and write the first line, and so forth???

    I’m curious to see what we would come up with… no holds barred thing, whatever you feel like adding, add.

    Good choice kahli…

    • kahliforni says:

      OK…I’ bored, I’ll play…to the tune of Sgt. Pepper:

      Been 26 years of play
      With no World Series parade.
      Three million at the gate turnstile
      Gettin’ old after all this while.

      Next…

      • enchantedbeaver says:

        Now let me introduce to you
        The guys who’re signed for all these years
        Donnie Baseball’s crowded outfield clan…

      • 32and53fan says:

        We’re Donnie Baseball’s crowded outfield clan…
        We’re all so glad we’re in the show.
        We’re Donnie Baseball’s crowded outfield clan…
        We’re all wealthier than you know.

        • Dodger4life says:

          Donnie Baseball’s outfield, Donnie Baseball’s outfield
          Donnie Baseball’s crowded… outfield clan
          It’s a wonder we’re all still here
          Us 4 circling the field
          Ned’s simple incompetence
          Means soon Donnie will bench us
          Like JP the Garden Gnome
          JP the Garden Gnome

  8. enchantedbeaver says:

    Sabermetrics projects this team to be 88 wins as it sits. I’d have to say that’s pretty low considering the crap we played with for 2 months last year and still made it to 92.

    • Just so long as we win more than any of the other four teams in the division, it’ll be O.K. with me.

    • crash24now says:

      Is Stan Conte still involved in this team?

      Then we need to count on a bunch of injuries. Could we think about who will be used as fillers when the following go down with their usual injuries:

      - Hanley – SellBlock12?
      - Crawford – Ethier?
      - Kemp – Ethier – Pederson?
      - Ethier – Van Slyke?
      - Gonzalez – Young?
      - Uribe – Young?
      - Haren or Greinke – Fife and Magill?
      - AJEllis – FedEx and Drew Butera?

      It could get ugly. By May we will be wondering whose bright idea it was to interrupt Spring Training with a trip to Australia. How the heck is that supposed to get the guys in the proper condition to sustain 162 games?

      • Dodger4life says:

        I don’t think our good friend crash has much faith in Figgins… or Conte!!

        • crash24now says:

          I’m not looking forward to another of those crappy May 15th lineups that looks like:

          Gordon 2b
          Puig rf
          Pederson cf
          Van Slyke lf
          Young 1b – never mind, he has retired!!!!!!!
          Figgins 3b
          Butera c
          Sellers ss
          Magill p

          Geez those are ugly. Could we please not see another one in 2014? We’ve had too many of them over the past five years.

  9. crash24now says:

    Sometimes you just have to say thanks. Thank you, Michael Young, for saving us from Ned. Thanks to your retirement, we will not need to watch you ground into countless double plays when the game and when the season is on the line.

    Ned wasn’t smart enough to not sign Young. Young had the guts to save us from his GIDP’s.

    • lbirken says:

      Best wishes to M. Young and thanks for making this decision now. Now the Dodgers have to find some other stiff who wants to (and hopefully) can still play.

  10. I wasn’t counting on M.Young to be around much longer, anyway.

  11. lbirken says:

    I see Vin Scully will travel with the team to Sydney. That is not an easy flight (I have done it) although unlike me I assume he will fly first/business class which should make the trip a bit easier.

    Of more importance to me is the fact that the Dodgers have announced that season ticket holders will no longer get paper tickets. Somehow a bar code will be used for admittance. While I understand some of the benefits of such a system (mostly benefiting the team since it no longer has to print and mail tickets), I am saddened that I will no longer have the paper ticket as a souvenir of that particular game. I have ticket stubs going back to 1959 and made it part of my game experience to write the score on the back of the ticket after the game. I have not counted the stubs but trust me, there are a lot of them. There is definitely a price to pay for technological improvements.

  12. I hate change and I’m havng a very tough time keeping up.

  13. JhallWally says:

    I see we are interested in Arroyo as a back end starter…. I think he would be an excellent choice. If he comes reasonable and for only 1 or 2 years….. Go on Ned, give him a 2 year deal with vesting options for a third if he performs… He’ll listen, he is a southern California guy….

  14. enchantedbeaver says:

    Don’t get the need for another back end starter. Beckett should be ready, and they say Billz is a little ahead of schedule. Main thing is though, a lot of people feel Lee is ready now. I don’t get blocking all the guys coming up who are pretty close – Lee, Stripling, Magill. Typical Ned philosophy that’s gotten us no where in the past with the likes of Lilly, Harang, et al.

    • 32and53fan says:

      My thoughts exactly. We’ll find out soon enough if Beckett has anything left. If not, there are a couple of AAA guys who could do a decent job as a number five pitcher until Billingsley returns and even after.

  15. grizzy says:

    If a quality starter were to fall into our lap, that would be one thing, but it’s already been pointed out that the bench needs the most attention.

  16. Dodger4life says:

    I’m not any good at figuring out what the Dodgers are thinking… But, there have been rumors that someone will be added to the bench soon. Who that is, is a good guess? I also just read that they are working on an international player and it seems as if there is a Cuban who hasn’t yet been cleared to enter the country?

    My thinking on the 5th starter situation is that there really isn’t anyone in the minors at the moment that can fill a role higher than #5. Maybe a good spring from someone will say otherwise, as several have been invited? Adding someone on a short term deal now should cost only money and not prospects or players… as it would around the All-Star break in the event the staff becomes weakened? It also gives them more resources to add troops at the trade deadline in the event we find the need? Beckett, Bills, and Haren are all guys with injuries on their record and Ryu has only been around one season, albeit, Ryu displayed a good sound toughness on the mound .

    Kasten has already stated that he feels good about going into spring training with what we have now, but given the chance to strengthen upon it… they could.

    (Other than resigning our own guys, the utility situation has been weak, and better or more options may present themselves before opening day?) Then again, they may not?

    • Dodger4life says:

      Didn’t Beckett ponder retirement for a bit last season?
      Then opted for surgery on a rib?
      Maybe there’s a chance he ponders retirement again before the season starts?

    • JhallWally says:

      Excellent post and synopsis of our starting pitching situation….

      It’s only money, and now we have plenty of it……Not like the McSlime era when we couldn’t spend on players because Frank and Jamie were raping the franchise to live the high life….

  17. JhallWally says:

    http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2014/02/02/dodgers-raise-ticket-prices/?ocid=Yahoo&partner=ya5nbcs

    I wonder how Emma feels about this….

    They’re spending big and the fans are going to pay thru the nose and a certain posterior orifice….

    • 32and53fan says:

      At the time of the tour four and a half years ago, she told me that she paid $4 per game for her seat near the top, center of the upper deck. I don’t know if the Dodgers were really breaking down specific rows and opponents like they are doing now.

      I guess the new way makes sense using the law of supply and demand, but I don’t like it.

  18. enchantedbeaver says:

    Starting to think that Ned is going to wait until towards the end of ST to see other teams DFAs before adding anything to the bench.

    • Dodger4life says:

      I started thinking along those lines too, enchanted.

      • Dodger4life says:

        I also began to wonder how this will effect Mattingly’s tactical decisions… with his double switches, Sunday line-ups, and mix and match batting order etc… not to mention the 4th and possibly 5th outfielder off the bench in late game situations.

        • enchantedbeaver says:

          And I thought I’d never hear Mattingly and tactical used in the same sentence…

          I hope this is where Wallach will help him more than Hillman. We don’t need him switching out someone like Hanley for Dee then having it come back to bite him in the ass a couple innings later.

          Last Year’s/this year’s bench:

          Federowicz – Federowicz
          SVS/Young – SVS
          Schumaker – 4th OF
          Hairston/Young/Cruz – Gordon
          Punto – Figgins/Sellers

          Not that much difference on paper, but it sure seems weaker.

  19. Dodger4life says:

    Offensively Speaking

    The 4th outfielder if healthy should be stronger…
    Gordon would have to play above his head to equal Young.
    Figgins/Sellars have a lot of work ahead of them… if they are to achieve the success Punto had and are the only two who can play third base.

    I think this guy may join the team on a minor league deal, with an invite to camp.

    Justin Matthew Turner (born November 23, 1984) is a professional baseball utility infielder who is currently a free agent. Nicknamed “The Machine”, he has experience playing mainly third and second base; however, he has played shortstop, first base and (one inning) in left field.

    • Dodger4life says:

      Could this be the international player Ned mentioned?

      http://www.amazinavenue.com/2012/12/21/3771270/international-free-agent-profile-aledmis-diaz

      Aledmis is very well rounded offensively, and this is a bit surprising for a player who is so young. Over three seasons, he has demonstrated the ability to draw walks and hit for power and average. That he has put up those numbers from a middle infield position makes his bat all the more noteworthy.

      Defensively, Diaz has an above-average arm, but has been prone to making errors.

      Rumors these days have the Dodgers linked to everyone…

    • enchantedbeaver says:

      Heard Turner’s not too swift with the glove, but is OK with the bat.

      Gordon and Young are about equal with the glove. Young couldn’t get to anything, and Dee gets there but can’t throw it when he does. No comparison between the two with the bat though. Dee is Juan Pierre plain and simple. Pierre was pretty decent part time. I’m hoping Dee can be too.

      Sellers/Figgins though is brutal to have to carry in place of Punto. Let’s hope they can find somebody better.

  20. enchantedbeaver says:

    Wonder how much interest there is in the Dodgers really signing Arroyo as there is in keeping him away from the Snakes?

  21. Dodger4life says:

    I received MLBTV as a gift for Christmas… I’m really looking forward to the season… No more Gameday… without audio :)

  22. Dodger4life says:

    I hope it is too, tru. That is next on my to do list :)

  23. koufax1963 says:

    read about the sale of the sparks to Magic and walter, and in that article there was mention of turning the parking lot of Dodger stadium in to a football field, hmmm does Mc Court still have fingers in that little ground?
    Great songs up there, and I too put the score on the back of my tickets too
    Bench most important, second only to healthy players like Kemp.

    • Dodger4life says:

      The last I read… Not only does he still own half of the parking lots, he has a guarantee from The Guggenheim Group to allocate many millions to the development of future projects…

      http://articles.latimes.com/2013/jun/13/sports/la-sp-dodgers-land-mccourt-20130613

      The deal also calls for Guggenheim to invest as much as $650 million in a real estate development fund run by McCourt — for projects not on the Dodger Stadium property — and for him to receive an annual management fee, starting at $5.5 million.

      Whether Dodger Stadium property has the parking lots (which were separated by Frank and allowed by Bud) included… I couldn’t say.

      Although, if you read this in terms of Frank speak … One could argue a case they do not… (In every court available)

  24. McCourt may not have many friends in Dodgerland but I’d have to say with all the hatred slung at him it looks like he didn’t do too bad in the end.

  25. Dodgers just signed Justin Turner. Hope he’s at least better than Figgins.

  26. crash24now says:

    Pitchers and catchers report in two days! Two!!!!

  27. Zona Dodger says:

    So glad the D’Backs signed Arroyo and not the Dodgers

    • enchantedbeaver says:

      He must like parks where he can give up all those HRs.

    • JhallWally says:

      Me too Zona… They way over paid… If we could have gotten him for 2 years at $6-7M per year, I would have been OK… This guy is not a $12M a year pitcher. D-Butts must be desperate,,,,,

  28. oldbrooklynfan says:

    The only downside about the Arroyo deal is that he went to one of our closes rivals in the division.

    • enchantedbeaver says:

      He eats up innings, but gives up a lot of HRs, and Chase isn’t going to make him any better in that respect.

  29. Dodger4life says:

    Gurnick say’s, Maholm most likely to receive a minor league deal with an invite to camp.

    Dodger Digest say’s, this may be a sign Beckett won’t make it to Opening Day…

  30. Dodger4life says:

    I don’t mind it, but not so much because Maholm is an arm we just had to have. It gives us more depth at a spot prone to injuries. If the youngsters don’t impress beyond a reasonable doubt. They can get accustomed to the season in the minors… Instead of having the pressure of the show thrown at them right out of the gate. It cost us only money (It’s a Whole New Dodger Blue) and if Gurnick’s report is correct, only on a minor-league level, for now.

    Having said that, if Zac Lee, Stripling or whomever else, showed the tenacity to handle big league hitters this spring… By all means, let them.

    Providing Beckett’s days are numbered…

  31. grizzy says:

    Why am I not stoked?

  32. Dodger4life says:

    Has everyone seen a photo of Dee Gordon and his newly improved guns…

    photo/1

  33. JhallWally says:

    Woo Hoo, Spring Training is finally here. We just need to stay healthy and we will make a long run….

  34. oldbrooklynfan says:

    It’s good to know that Billingsly feels great but he looks much thinner, maybe it’s the beard.

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