Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Who's on Third?

Have you ever wanted to run on the field and choke Shea Hillenbrand after he struck out swinging at a ball in the dirt with two on and one out?

How many times have you looked in the box score to see Wilson Betemit (since traded, thank God) with an 0-5, 3ks, 6 LOB line?

Are you tired of Nomar Garciaparra using bricks for hands and an errant bazooka to launch balls anywhere but 1st base?

Here are the batting averages for the Dodger 3rd baseman this year:
Nomar: .284 (OBP .329)
Tony Abreu .271 (he also played 2nd base)
Shea Hillenbrand .243 (.257 OBP)
Betemit .231
Andy Laroche .217

So what's the solution? Should Laroche, who has been coddled in the farm system, be given the chance full time to form the youngest starting lineup in the history of baseball? I'm sure they could come up with a great nickname. I vote for The Baby Blue Crew.

Or the Dodgers who could go out and sign a free agent third baseman.

Here are the top candidates:

1. A-Rod

Wishful thinking maybe. A-Rod must opt out of his $25 million contract first, then decide to switch leagues and take on NL pitching, plus play in a pitcher's park. The Dodgers have to decide to pony up the cash, possibly upwards of $30 million, so Frank McCourt would have to break his piggy bank. In addition, the Angels would likely be a better candidate especially with the aggressive and free spending Arte Moreno at the helm. Chances of A-Rod playing in a Dodger uniform are as good as the Lakers trading Kobe. Not going to happen. But we can salivate at the possibility of a 3-4-5 of James Loney/A-Rod/Matt Kemp.

Stats: .311, 53 HRs, 151 RBIs

2. Mike Lowell

The drop off from No.1 to No. 2 is shall I say severe. Lowell resurrected his career with the Red Sox this year, but played with the help of the Green Monster less than 300 feet away in right. He could command big dollars as well, but historically he has produced.

2007 stats: .324, 20 HRs, 111 RBIs

3. Pedro Feliz

I would definitely not put this one past Ned Colletti. A former Giant. Hmmm. Why not. Feliz has some pop and can give the Dodgers some of the power they've been missing. Of course Feliz has never had an OBP of over .305.

2007 stats: .249, 20 HRs, 71 RBIs

4. Aaron Boone

Yes. Bleeping Aaron Boone. He's out for the season after having knee surgery and no it's not smart to sign another hobbled player after failing miserably with Randy Wolf and Jason Schmidt, after failing even more miserably with Darren Dreifort. But Boone could be a high reward for a fairly low risk, considering his recent past can't possibly garner him a huge salary. Plus in his only 162 game season in 2002, he hit 26 home runs.

2007 stats: .286, 5 HRs, 28 RBIs (in 69 games)

5. Mike Lamb

A sign that this year's third base crop isn't the most fruitful. Lamb has had a high OBP throughout his career (.370 this year, .361 last year) and hits for average. He may not be the solution, but he could be an upgrade.

2007 stats: .294, 11 HRs, 40 RBIs

Other possibilities:

Corie Koskie (2008 team option)
Abraham Nunez
Tony Batista
Cezar Izturis
Russell Branyan
Mark Bellhorn

2008 free agent 3rd baseman: Chipper Jones, Morgan Ensberg, Troy Glaus, Hank Blalock, Joe Crede

Guys who could be traded for: Miguel Cabrera, Eric Chavez

Or the Dodgers could just bring back random Dodger NORIHIRO NAKAMURA!
(Kleinman's idea)

Two websites that are great for checking out free agents and baseball contracts.


1 comment:

Evan said...

I vote with jason for nakamura...although i believe he only had 2 hits in like 30 games when he played...you could tell he was a wily vet...at the ripe age of 82 he could still swing an awkward bat and on occasion make a good throw to third...if i could have anything in the world it would be to re-sign LIMA TIME! and my main man ODALIS, then bring back the 1-2 combo of delino deshields and jose offerman to platoon at third.