Dodger Stats - How are some of DePodesta's picks doing?
Some other hosts are a bit more willing to give the student of Billy "Moneyball" Beane a chance.
Let's take a quick look at the stats of some key players that DePodesta moved out and brought in and see how those choices have turned out. The stats for the players are as of June 15, 2005.
DePodesta took a lot of heat for giving up Paul LoDuca. He was a fan favorite. And certainly, at the time, giving up LoDuca and Mota for Penny (who got injured) and Choi (who did nothing late last season) looked pretty bad. But how about now?
Penny is the #2 starter on the team and Choi is doing much better.
But back to the catcher's spot. Here are LoDuca's numbers: 200 AB, 22 R, 2 HR, 26 RBI, .295 AVE and .345 OBP.
DePodesta picked up Jason Philips during spring training and here are his numbers: 176 AB, 17 R, 4 HR, 28 RBI, .273 AVE and .320 OBP.
No complaints here. LoDuca's numbers are better but not by a lot.
DePodesta traded away first-baseman Shawn Green; thus, Hee Seop Choi is playing most (against right-handed pitchers) games at first-base.
Green's numbers: 245 AB, 38 R, 9 HR, 36 RBI, .282 AVE and .342 OBP.
Choi's stats: 164 AB, 24 R, 13 HR, 29 RBI, .262 AVE and .332 OBP. Choi is platooning with Olmedo Saenz whose numbers are: 111 AB, 18 R, 7 HR, 29 RBI, .306 AVE and .349 OBP.
Once again, no complaints. However, I have to say the way the negotiations were handled with Green was very poor. Green had been a very loyal Dodger and was never a trouble maker on the team. He deserved better treatment.
The Dodgers gave up the veteran Steve Finley who has put up okay power numbers but not so great averages with the Angels: 228 AB, 25 R, 8 HR, 39 RBI, .228 AVE and .290 OBP.
Instead, the Dodgers plunked down some cash and got some hitting and a veteran in Jeff Kent. He has been the biggest bat: 234 AB, 43 R, 13 HR, 51 RBI, .286 AVE and .366 OBP.
So clearly, here, the Dodgers have gained some offense.
Finally, DePodesta took a lot of criticism for not re-signing Adrian Beltre. It would appear that, at this moment, he made the right call. Beltre's numbers have been under-whelming with Seattle: 238 AB, 34 R, 5 HR, 30 RBI, .244 AVE and .279 OBP.
Instead, DePodesta did spend some big bucks on J.D. Drew and though his numbers are better than Beltre's, they aren't up to what fans expect for someone getting so many dollars: 214 AB, 40 R, 12 HR, 30 RBI, .276 AVE and .397 OBP.
Overall, on the offensive side of the equation, the Dodgers are better off.
However, the Dodgers are clearly struggling on the pitching side. Derek Lowe and Brad Penny haven't been the dominant you can count on them one-two punch they hoped for. Jeff Weaver continues to be erratic. Odalis Perez is injured and four pitchers (rookies D.J. Houlton and Derek Thompson and veterans Wilson Alvarez and Scott Erickson) have tried out for the fifth spot with mixed results.
But where would the Dodgers be if they kept last year's rotation?
Weaver and Perez would still be the same. However, DePodesta let go of Kaz Ishii who hasn't done much on the NY Mets and Jose Lima who hasn't done much on the Royals except one great game against the Dodgers. With that rotation and musical chairs for the fifth starter, the Dodgers would probably be a sub-.500 team right now.
Last year's team made the playoffs but had nothing left against the Cardinals. DePodesta was charged with making some changes to see if they could go further. One can't be sure how well the team would be doing if they kept last year's team intact. But a quick look says last year's team probably wouldn't be doing any better and maybe even a little worse than this year's team.
At the moment, the NL West hasn't been very strong so the Dodgers remain in the hunt for October. Hopefully, Choi will continue to improve as a hitter and J.D. Drew will perk up some more. The starting rotation needs to step it up a notch lest a probably Gagne-less bullpen will throw too many innings and have nothing left as the race goes down the wire at the end of the season.
The Padres are in front of the NL West because of pitching. Their hitters are doing about as well as the Dodgers.
Tim Wallach has been lauded with being a great hitting coach and hopefully he will continue his good work. Jim Colburn, the pitching coach, has his work cut out for him. But with injuries to the pitching staff there is only so much he can do.
UPDATE: More thorough defense of Dodger GM picks over at Dodger Thoughts.