Orel Hershiser Assumes the Position

The Dodgers announced yesterday that Orel Hershiser will take Greg Maddux’s place as Spring Pitching Instructor.  He’s keep his day job as announcer but I think it’s good news to have his help with the pitching this Spring.

A number of Dodger players are already in camp and more are coming in today and tomorrow.

The teams first workout is Thursday.

If you need Spring Training Information, let me remind you that their is a link at the top of the Home Page.

Here we go….

If you haven’t listened to Baseball America’s Podcast on the Dodgers’ Top 10 Prospects.  It’s 45 minutes of great information.

Soundbites:

  • One of the top farm systems in baseball”
  • “They Dodgers spend lots of money… some of it is burned… but it pays off.”
  • “An organization that is successful at both the big league and minor league level.”

Ladies and Gentlemen:  This is going to be one hell of a ride!

Posted by Mark Timmons

We started LA Dodger Talk in 2001. This site is about giving another perspective outside of the average day-to-day reporting. We don’t do game recaps or such things — lots of sites do that well. I value sabermetrics, but don’t think they are the “end-all-be-all.”. This is where you should start your day as a Dodger Fan. Welcome! We’d like to hear your voice.

This article has 55 Comments

  1. With all the talk about Bellinger and his great defense I am reminded that the Dodgers have had a history of great fielding first basemen. To name a few that come to mind: Hodges, Parker, Loney, Gonzales, Bellinger.

  2. If Bellinger were to force his way into the first base job and the Dodgers were willing to trade Gonzales to make room for him, I still think San Diego is the best bet for such a trade. San Diego is rebuilding and will have lots of young players on their team and I hear they want a veteran to help with the young players transition into big league players. Gonzales would be a perfect fit for San Diego.
    .
    To help San Diego rebuild the Dodgers could put a package together that added near ready prospects along with Gonzales in order to obtain Wil Myers. I know, San Diego wants to build around Myers but they might be better off with a fan favorite in Gonzales while they are rebuilding along with a couple of young players that might include a few from this list: Verdugo, Calhoun, Oaks, Thompson.
    .
    Myers would be able to play first base in Bellinger isn’t quite ready and move to LF if he is. http://m.mlb.com/player/571976/wil-myers
    .
    It would also be nice to find a way to trade Ethier to Arizona to thin out the outfield and make the Dodgers younger.
    .
    If Puig starts out the season as one of the best players in MLB, do the Dodgers trade high?

    1. Bum I agree on Gonzalez to San Diego, Ether to Arizona, I love Puig but I would trade him at his highest value, because he is a knucklehead and will regress back to puig.jmo

    2. Gonzales would be a perfect fit for San Diego? Why would SD trade 26 yr old Myers, who they just signed for $83M/six yrs (and an option for a seventh season) after his best season? I guess if the SD GM wanted to get fired OK!
      .

      I’ve only known one guy to claim he was a Padres fan (sister’s ex-boyfriend) but, I don’t think he would like seeing his team trade a 26 yr old potential stud for a 34 yr old fading player, anymore than we would! Especially after the Chargers just left town for LA!
      .

      Truth is, Gonzalez would be hated in SD after that deal. Fan favorites are CURRENTLY overproducing players after being acquired cheaply. If we are all still here in 12 years, we will all probably be scheming how to get rid of fading Corey Seager and his bloated contract.
      .

      If Bellinger is the real deal in 2017, our only hope of trading him without eating his salary or giving up TOP prospects is shipping him to someplace like Texas, a potential contender with a hole at first and sadly, we aren’t getting Odor or Hamels in return!

    3. Bum

      The Padres just signed Myers to a six or seven year contract, he isn’t going any where.

      The Padres are in a rebuild and there GM learned his lesson, when he traded for all of those name players, that didn’t work out.

      And there will be more pressure on Bellinger, to take over for Agone, then Corey had, when he took over for Rollins,

      Believe it or not, Agone is still a popular player, and Bellinger needs at least this year in AAA.

      He hasn’t faced enough top pitching yet, and I don’t think he is as advanced as Corey was, at this point in his career.

      He has only had this power swing, for about two years or less, and we saw how major league pitchers, can eat a kid up, with those type of big swings, especially with so little experience, against real major league pitchers.

      Corey has a much different swing, that doesn’t allow the other teams to shift on Corey, because Corey hits the ball all over the field.

      1. This notion that everyone wants to be traded or sign with their hometown teams is nonsense to say the least. Adrian Gonzalez doesn’t want to leave LA for SD and SD doesn’t want to trade for him either. Same for Ethier and AZ. Kershaw isn’t going to spring to the Rangers in a couple of years either.

        MJ, I can tell that you’re a big fan of Agone. I ‘m with you when it comes to him going nowhere this year. I’m hoping for one more good year out of him whether it be similar to last year or better. After that, I’m a believer in Bellinger. He will force his way onto the roster in 2018 whether it be in LF for a year or First Base if the Dodgers could move A-gone. It might be tougher than you think. I don’t think there will be as much pressure on him as you might think at that point. El Titan is a popular player, but it’s not like they’re replacing Steve Garvey. Agone has been well traveled.

  3. Have to agree with Box on this one.
    I see Myers as a cornerstone of their organisation going forward.
    It wasn’t long ago that they went “all in”, trading best prospects for Big name players. Obviously they tanked, are now rebuilding. Agon doesn’t seem a logical fit to me.
    If we felt he was blocking Bellinger, or wanted to get some of his wages off the books, then maybe we could get Carter Capps & pay some of Agon’s salary. I agree Agon would be a popular signing for the fans in SD, and Capps would be a great 8th innings guy for us.
    Personally I would keep Agon this season.
    The icing on the cake would be signing an 8th innings guy as I’m still not sure about Baez or Romo. Pancakes is still out there?

  4. Let’s face it: A-Gon and Andre have very little value, unless both get off to stellar starts AND a team in the hunt needs one of them and then the Dodgers would still have to pay at least half of their salary and expect nothing back. I can’t see AZ taking Andre and SD tanking A-Gon. Also, Puig’s value is low. You might get someone to take of of them if you included Alvarez or Verdugo.

    1. The Dbacks owner has already vetoed a trade, that would have sent Ethier to the Dbacks, just a couple year ago.

      And now Ethier is not only two years older, he is coming back, from a pretty significant injury, so I don’t see that happening.

    2. It’s worse than that Mark. Even if they have stellar starts and even if a team is like the Dodgers and in the hunt, then there’s NO CHANCE the Dodgers are going to trade either.

      Because they have had stellar starts and are on a team in the hunt for a World Series title.

      A true Catch-22.

      1. Yeah… I was sleep walking. I’m awake now!

        FAZ must have approved THE TRADE. Everything is their fault!

  5. There is no way that Bellinger replaces AGon while AGon is under contract. If he is that good, he’ll be in the outfield. I agree that he needs at least one year in AAA. Myers is way overrated. Don’t forget he was Minor League Player of the Year. It took him years to make it “big.” So much for the minors. Bellinger hasn’t even gotten to that plateau yet. I hope Mark is right about Cody, but I don’t think he will ever be a Corey. He still needs work on the art of hitting. Lots of it. Of course, power may negate ability to hit for an average. We will see.

  6. Do you know what this is?

    2010 – .904
    2011 – .957
    2012 – .806
    2013 – .803
    2014 – .817
    2015 – .830
    2016 – .784


    It’s A-Gon’s OPS since 2011, Notice a trend? Expect more of the same… only more rapid decline.

    In case you don’t know, here is Bill James OPS Classification:

    Great Player – .900+
    Very Good Player – .833 – .899
    Above Average Player – .766 to .833
    Average Player – .700 – .766
    Below Average Player – .633 to .699
    Poor Player – .566 to .633
    Very Poor Player – .566 or lower

    A-Gon will likely be an Average Player this year. The Dodgers are paying him $43 million this year to be average. If he hits #6, we are OK. If he hits 4th we are in trouble.

    1. Mark,

      I know you don’t like Gonzalez, but h’s still a valuable player and dangerous hitter. He may be in decline an aging but he still has value. Remember he had neck problems for most of the first half of last year,
      Despite that he still hit .285 posted a .349 OBP and a 113 OPS +. 18 home runs, 90 runs driven is well above league average. If he’s healthy he is still capable of hitting 25-30 home runs and putting up close to Gonzo-like numbers. His defense is still very good as well. A .998 fielding percentage and +4 defensive runs saved rating. According to Baseball reference he was still worth 2 wins to the Dodgers in 2016. Cody Bellinger is going to be very good, but I don’t see Gonzo going anywhere until his contract ends.

      1. Why would you think I don’t like Gonzo? Just because I say he’s declining does not mean I don’t like him. He is a great defensive 2B and a great man. He is respected by everyone. I just did not like THE TRADE.
        .
        A-Gon is no longer a TOP 10 1B, so as long as we have enough hitters for him to be at the #6 spot, we are good.
        .
        I also think Bellinger is an exceptional talent and that he is ready. I don’t think Gonzo will get better this year and I hope I am wrong! I mean, there is reason to believe Joc Pederson will improve this year due to maturity and experience. Hoping that Adrian improves is wishful thinking and I can do that too.
        .
        I watched Cody several times last year on MiLB TV and I feel the same way about him as I did Corey Seager. He will be an exceptional talent. Strike that – he is an exceptional talent.
        .
        Just because I don’t want you playing 1B does not mean that I don’t like you either, Scott! 😉

        1. Totally agree with you about Bellinger. Saw him play in spring training last year and that kid is undeniably talented. He’ll be with the big club soon enough.

          LOLZ, trust me you don’t want me playing first base. I suck at the baseballs. That’s why I write instead of play.

  7. Count me with those that believe AGon is here for his contract. Cody Bellinger may in fact become a very good MLB hitter, but he has not proven that he can consistently hit at AAA. Let’s let him feel success at AAA before we move one of our more productive hitters to another team; another team in the NL West. Seager was probably considered more advanced, and he needed a full year at AAA before he got the call in September as a 21 year old. If Bellinger is successful at AAA and gets a September call-up, he will have just turned 22. That would put him about 10 months behind where Corey was, and that seems reasonable.
    .
    I would anticipate that the Dodgers will be a very strong contender at the deadline, and that AGon will be very instrumental in their success. If he is, no way does FAZ move him. If he is not having a productive year, no team will take him and his salary. On August 25, AGon becomes a 10/5 guy and will have his no-trade rights enacted. AGon is a Dodger through 2018. I recognize the decreasing OPS for AGon as Mark illustrated, but I do not believe that it will drop below .784. Nothing to base it on, just an opinion. He is a true professional that stays in great shape. I think the shift has a lot to do with his decreasing OPS. I have not had a chance to review what his fly ball vs ground ball ratio has been doing, but maybe he gets more lift this year, and keeps his OPS around .800.
    .
    I agree with Bobbie17 that Myers is overrated, and certainly not needed. If Bellinger is considered the heir to AGon at 1st, why would the Dodgers want Myers at $83M thru 2022 ($71M for 2018-2022 vs. AGon $21.5M for 2018 only)? Myers had a big power year but still had an OPS less than .800. That does not scream 6 years and $83M to me. Myers is considered a poor OF even for the Pads, as that is the reason they moved him permanently to 1B.
    .
    AGon would be a fan favorite in SD and all of their 2,000 fans, but he is also a huge LA favorite. LA fans would not be pleased if he is traded. The 2012 TRADE is sunk cost now, and IMO is not really a major financial obstacle for the Dodgers. Whether his contract has been a deterrent to Dodger needs, we will never truly know, and that issue has been thoroughly debated, and I am sure will be again. He does add to the luxury tax bottom line, but he comes off when the most onerous of the penalties kick in, and will allow LA to extend Kershaw and/or go after one of the big 2018 FA.
    .
    With everything considered, I am happy to see #23 starting at 1B in 2017, and letting Bellinger continue to learn at AAA. In 2018, if Bellinger is ready, AGon takes over for Ethier as the LH bat off the bench, and mentors Bellinger. Who better for a young LH 1B learn from. If something happens to AGon in 2017, I will be happy to see Cody move in.

    1. AC

      From what I have read, Agone returned to his same power numbers, as well as his batting average, after he had those three days off in a row, and he continued to do this, the rest of the season.

      He also hit in the highest percentage of runs, on the team,
      last year.

      And I do think he will hit at least 20 HRs this coming year, if not more.

  8. Most of the comments here are related to this comment: If Bellinger were to force his way into the first base job and the Dodgers were willing to trade Gonzales to make room for him, I still think San Diego is the best bet for such a trade.
    .
    Part of my thinking about San Diego being the most likely team that Gonzales might be traded to is my desire to let Gonzales to return home and keep him in Southern California. He deserves that. The other part of my thinking is that San Diego fans may be the only fans that would appreciate getting Gonzales at this stage of his career plus San Diego’s need for a veteran to tutor their young players.
    .
    No one replied to what I actually said–that if Gonzales were traded it would most likely be to San Diego.
    .
    One person said: “Why would SD trade 26 yr old Myers, who they just signed for $83M/six yrs (and an option for a seventh season) after his best season?” — Part of the answer to that question is inside the question–the $83M contract.
    .
    Another comment provided another answer to why would SD trade Myers. — “Myers is overrated,…Myers had a big power year but still had an OPS less than .800. That does not scream 6 years and $83M to me.
    .
    Agon probably won’t be traded. If he were traded for Myers, I would expect Myers would be traded again by the Dodgers before the 2018 season started.

    Why would SD trade 26 yr old Myers, who they just signed for $83M/six yrs (and an option for a seventh season) after his best season?

  9. The stars would have to be perfectly aligned for Gonzo to be traded — I don’t think it will happen either.

  10. Let me give you some more reasons:

    Gonzo’s Average Exit Velocity was 88.82. MLB Average was 89.57. He’s below average there.

    Corey Seager’s was 91.71, Turner 91.55, Grandal 93.09, Pederson 94.32.

    Gonzo hit .244 against LH pitching, down from .294 in 2015 – of course in 2014, he hit .201 against LH pitching so he could come back. His BA against LH pitching has been in general decline the past 5 years.

    1. Players declining at his age is normal. I still want him at 1st base this season. However, I would prefer that he isn’t hitting cleanup all year or that he gets a lot more rest against lefties. What concerns me is that his neck condition sounds like a chronic condition that he has battled for a few years. Let’s hope the depth of the Dodgers allows El Titan to have a few more well deserved days off so he isn’t our of gas in October.

      1. I have a sneaking suspicion that Darin Ruf will hit against LH pitchers this year… and that could really be a good thing. I know he’s a long shot…

    2. Mark

      Agone hit in a higher percentage of Runs, and that tells the true story.

      And Corey didn’t hit much higher then Agone against lefties either.

      And we are only talking about a few points, in the difference, in there batting average.

      And I would still rather have Agone up to the plate, with runners in scoring position, then Grandal and Joc.

      And Mark, you would too.

      They may have high velocity exits, but what is there contact rates?

      You have to make contact, to do any real damage.

      1. MJ,

        I think that anyone who hit #4 would have had 85-90 RBI.

        Based upon the existing players on the team RIGHT NOW, here’s how I would have them hit:

        1. Forsythe 2B
        2. Puig RF
        3. Seager SS
        4. Grandal C
        5. Turner 3B
        6. Gonzalez/Ruf 1B
        7. Pederson CF
        8. Toles/SVS LF

        Barnes, Hernandez, Ethier = Bench

  11. Let me break this down:

    A Gon had 90 RBI in 568 AB’s = an RBI every 6.31 AB’s and he mostly hit 4th!

    Yasmani Grandal had 72 RBI in 390 AB’s = and RBI every 5.42 AB’s and he mostly hit lower in the lineup!

    If Yasmani had the same number of AB’s as Adrian, he would have had 105 RBI.

    I rest my case!

    Dismiss the jury!

    1. I would bet Agone had a much higher batting avg with runners in scoring position that Grandal. No one in their right mind would bat Grandal ahead of Tuner let alone Gonzo. Agone is professional enough to change his swing when guys are on in scoring position. Grandal not so much.

      I prefer:
      Toles
      Puig
      Seager
      Turner
      Gonzalez
      Forsythe
      Grandal
      Joc
      Pitcher

      However, I’ve got a feeling that they will hand Forsythe the leadoff spot and Andre vs Toles will be in a true camp battle. I would like to see some speed on the bases ahead of Seager as well as more runners. I think both Seager and Turner could drive in 100 if they hit 3 and 4.

    2. Gotta stay healthy to get those at bats. I don’t think a catcher should get that many at bats even if not hurt as he would be too tired to make a straight line projection on additional at bats.
      .
      I don’t want to put payroll into the catcher position because that position is too likely to miss too many games. Give me a great defensive catcher that works the count and hits .240 with 12 home runs and 55 RBI and get the offense elsewhere.

      1. Grandal was just rated the #3 best catcher in baseball… right behind Lucroy and Posey.

        12 and 55? Please !

        1. Mark

          I like Grandal, but he needs to be able to throw, without constantly, double clutching, like he did, toward the end of the season, and in the post season.

    3. Mark

      It is much easier to hit lower in the line up, then in the meat of the line up.

      Pitchers pitch the top of the order, much tougher, then hitters, who hit seventh, like Grandal mostly did.

      I would take Agone every time over Grandal, and so would everyone else, and that is why Grandal isn’t hitting, at the top of the order.

      Obviously the Dodgers feel the same way, or Grandal would hit higher, in the line up.

      I don’t think Grandal could make consistent contact enough, to hit a run in at home, with less then two outs even.

  12. …but since you asked, Yasmani Grandal hit .247 with RISP with a .393 OB% and a .971 OPS.

    Adrian Gonzalez hit .297 with RISP with a .376 OB% and a .845 OPS.

    But, remember A-Gon was hitting 4th and Grandal was lower.

    All I am saying is that the hitters around you can make you better or worse.

    A-Gon’s stats are OK, but not great.

    1. Mark

      Are you trying to say it is harder to hit seventh, then fourth in the line up, because you know that isn’t true.

      And if Grandal hit in the line up, where Agone, Corey, and Turner hit, his average would be even lower.

      Pitchers pitch much tougher, against the top of the line up.

      And it is harder to hit, with runners in scoring position, because pitchers tend to bare down, and make tougher pitches.

      1. Yasmani hit in every spot last last year from 4th to 9th.

        Guess where he had the highest BA?

        4th at .333 and he OPS’ed 1.178.

        So there is that!

        1. Mark

          He had so few at bats, in those places in the line up, saber metrics, wouldn’t even consider that, a big enough sample, to mean anything.

    2. Mark

      I think it is pretty pathetic when a major leaguer, can’t hit at least 250 for an average, which is considered an average.

      And Grandal is going to have to hit more then just in July, to even come close, to hitting the runs in, that Agone has done, most of his career.

      1. MJ,

        I don’t know how old you are but I am 63 and old school, but Batting Average is just one component. There’s a lot more to it.

        The fact is: Grandal drives in more runs than Gonzo per AB!

        End of story!

        1. Agone hit in a higher percentage, and that is used, to take the batting fourth, out of the equation.

          And although I know some sabers don’t consider average, I do,
          and use that, as one of my tools.

          And sorry by OPS Joc would be the second best offensive player on the team, and that is certainly not true.

          Mark our front office have people who knows numbers, and if that was the case, why is Grandal, almost always hitting 7th?

          I am younger then you.

    1. Mark

      We need another really good hitter, is really the answer, and we will have that, probably in 2018.

      And if someone else, could make the step up, I would agree.

      And I really do like Grandal a lot, and I don’t get why a some people, are hard on him.

      He is a hard worker!

  13. MJ,
    *
    Well, I disagree with you, but contrary to what some people say, I can disagree without being disagreeable… and so can you.
    *
    Peace Out!

    1. I got to tell you I thought Grandal got hot last year then they moved him up to 5th in the batting order and it was a bad spot for him. I’m sure you could provide facts to tell me if my memory was correct. I like Grandal. I just don’t like him hitting ahead of Turner and Gonzalez. I think pitcher’s unintentionally let up a bit after they get past of the heart of the order and it’s nice to have someone like Yasmani and Joc toward the back of the order that can make them pay for a mistake. I would love to see Joc take off this year and earn is way up the batting order.

      1. I really can’t predict what he would do.

        He hit .333 at 4th, .194 at 5th. .288 at 6th, .202 at 7th and .206 at 8th.

        I would just try it.

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