Tag: Chad Billingsley

Can the LA Dodgers Overcome the Loss of Greinke, Capuano, and Billingsley?

Mothers are always right.

Fighting solves nothing and unfortunately for the Los Angeles Dodgers, they are learning that the hard way. 

Although Carlos Quentin is already slated to return to the San Diego Padres lineup following his suspension for charging Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke, the Dodgers are still reeling from the affects.  Greinke broke his collarbone in a collision with Quentin and is currently on the 15-day disabled list.

As if the loss of Greinke wasn’t bad enough, fellow starter Chris Capuano was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Wednesday, and Major League Baseball reported that his injuries were also a result of the bench-clearing brawl with the Dads.

Apparently things really do happen in threes…hours ago, news broke that Dodgers starter Chad Billingsley will require Tommy John surgery and miss the rest of the season.

However, Dodgers fans should not be cancelling October quite yet.  Although it is true that April has been disappointing at the very least, the key word here is APRIL. 

Starter Ted Lilly is expected to return to the rotation next week.  Although he hasn’t pitched a game since last May, Lilly brings a veteran presence to the mound…something that the Dodgers will miss greatly in the series to come. 

The loss of Zack, Cap and Bill leaves only Clayton Kershaw and Josh Beckett as the only MLB veterans in the rotation as of today.  Rookie Stephen Fife and Korean newcomer Hyun-Jin Ryu make up the rest of the rotation while they await the return of veteran Ted Lilly.

Capuano may even find himself out of a starting job, dependent on the performance of Ted Lilly.  In essence, the Dodgers may only be losing two starters, but Lilly’s performance is impossible to predict due to his extended absence from baseball. 

April could not get much worse for the Dodgers.  Their offense has failed to show up, producing only 3.0 runs per game in their first 18 contests.  With one of the most feared lineups in baseball, the Dodgers are bound to begin to produce offensively. 

The Dodgers bullpen is also reassuring, posting a modest 3.67 ERA to start the season, and a 3.72 team ERA. 

Clayton Kershaw has been exactly what Dodgers fans expect.  With a 1.88 ERA in four starts, Kershaw is the least of their worries.  Beckett and Ryu have been average thus far, though neither are consistently dominant.

Take a deep breath, Dodgers fans.  Although the loss of the three starters is certainly a painful blow, it is also certainly not a fatal one.  Despite the rough April that the team has endured, they find themselves only two games below .500.  

The Boys in Blue are still a serious playoff contender, regardless of their injuries.  Hopefully, the team is just getting their adversity out of the way now so that they can come together later in the season.

After all, no one wins a championship because they had a stellar April. 

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

MLB Playoffs: Why the Los Angeles Dodgers Will Pull off a Win of the NL West

The Los Angeles Dodgers dropped a half game behind the crippled San Francisco Giants with a gut-wrenching home game loss yesterday. The loss came despite another brilliant performance by Clayton Kershaw in which he only allowed six hits over eight innings with two earned runs and 10 strikeouts. 

However, in spite of blowing a chance at putting some distance between themselves and San Fran—with a pitch outing that the Dodgers’ hitters should have taken advantage of—the boys in blue will still win the NL West and make a run through the postseason.

The new-look Dodgers have already excited fans in the L.A. area by acquiring several solid pieces before the trade deadline, all which have shown up in games. Hanley Ramirez has been particularly good and is showing he just needed a change of scenery, and Shane Victorino has made his veteran presence at the top felt. Randy Choate and Brandon League have been solid additions to the bullpen. The only player that has seemed to struggle is Joe Blanton in the No. 5 pitching slot.

In addition, with the loss of Melky Cabrera for 50 games (and maybe more after his attempt at trickery), the Giants have lost their best contact hitter and and their tone-setter. While he wasn’t hitting for a ton of power, the loss of a .346 batter that had already scored 84 runs will definitely sting for a team that, at times, struggles to produce offense. The impact hasn’t been realized yet, but the loss of Melky will hurt the Giants overall.

However, neither of these are the reason the Dodgers will triumph in the NL West and make noise in the playoffs. That true reason is the resurrection of Chad Billingsley.

By failing to obtain a legitimate No. 2 starter behind Kershaw at the trade deadline, the Dodgers looked to be a piece short in moving forward in October. Some groaned when they didn’t pull the trigger on a a deal for Ryan Dempsey, knowing that the price (Allen Webster) would be too steep for a 34-year-old rental, who may sign with them in the offseason anyway (That is IF they want him and IF his feelings aren’t hurt).

However, Billingsley has made those thoughts all but disappear. The former All-Star, who has struggled mightily over the past couple of seasons after showing such promise early in his career, has reemerged as an ace, showcasing his skills over the last six contests. Billingsley is 6-0 over that period, while posting a jaw-dropping 1.30 ERA.

We have seen Billingsley shine before and then regress, but this time it appears that he’s healthy and ready to be the second starter needed for a successful October run. With Clayton catching fire again, the Dodgers now have a fairly formidable lineup, with two excellent pitchers at the top of their staff. If they can reach the playoffs and win the NL West, then the rest of the NL should watch out for this dark horse in blue come October.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Chad Billingsley Should Be a Nice Matchup Against Bryce Harper

Nineteen-year-old Bryce Harper will make his Major League debut today against the Dodgers’ right-handed hurler, Chad Billingsley.

Billingsley enters the game with a 2-1 record, 3.04 ERA and 0.930 WHIP.

While there has been a lot of hype surrounding Bryce Harper and what he will mean to the Washington Nationals and the game of baseball in general, the fact of the matter is this: he is only batting .250 in AAA for the Syracuse Chiefs.

Is that any indicator of the type of player he will become? Of course not.

However, it should give a signal as to how he will fare in his first few major league at-bats.

Granted, in AAA this season facing right-handed pitchers, Harper posts a solid batting line of .275/.362/.431/.793 in 51 at-bats. I’m not prepared to classify that as crushing the opposition, but it is respectable.

Billingsley, on the other hand, performs adequately against left-handed batters. In his career, left-hand bats put up a .271/.360/.391/.751 batting line. For the sake of parity, that equates to 1,902 at bats.

This season in particular, Billingsley has been better against lefties. In 43 at-bats, lefties are posting a batting line of .182/.234/.409/.643.

The major concern being that when left handed batters get a hit, it appears they hit for extra bases off of him. Harper has not been an extra-base threat this season at all, having only four doubles, one triple and one home run out of his 18 hits.

At the end of the day, the Washington Nationals will be glad to have Harper on the big club; it’s just a shame for them that Billingsley will shut him down.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Los Angeles Dodgers: 7 Ways to Steal the NL West From the Giants

First of all, the Dodgers finished fourth in the NL West last season, so let’s not kid ourselves…this isn’t about Dodgers versus Giants. But what can the Dodgers do to win the division?

On paper, the team is good. But how can they separate themselves from the Giants and Rockies? All three have a legitimate ace. All three have offensive holes. So what’s the difference? 

Begin Slideshow

St. Louis Cardinals: A Trade To Fill Holes and Win the NL Central in 2011

As we know, the injury of Adam Wainwright has put the St. Louis Cardinals in a really tough position. What was looking to be a promising 2011 season is now looking to be one of disappointment. Adam Wainwright has been the Cy Young runner-up in the National League the past two seasons. According to the Wins Above Replacement statistic, Wainwright was worth 5.7 and 6.1 wins in 2009 and 2010 respectively.

If that’s not bad enough, Albert Pujols, the team’s franchise player and the best hitter in all of baseball, said that he will test the free agent market this coming offseason.

Although things aren’t looking great at this moment, don’t fret, Cards GM John Mozeliak. You’re in luck, because I have a trade that will solve all of your problems. I propose the Cardinals trade Albert Pujols to the Dodgers for Andre Ethier and Chad Billingsley.


Albert Pujols

Those of you who are still reading this may be scratching your head at the idea of trading Pujols. WAR had Pujols at 7.3 wins last season. His best all-around season by WAR was in 2003, when he was worth 9.5. Still, the Cardinals are in an interesting predicament.

As expected, Pujols wants the same “respect” A-Rod got with his $30 million contract. All evidence is pointing to the Cardinals not being able to afford “The Machine.” He supposedly laughed at the contract offers the Cardinals pitched to him a week ago. Last offseason, the Cardinals managed to lock Matt Holliday up long-term by promising to pay him through 2029. This likely won’t fly with Pujols, who will have the interest from clubs around the major leagues.

You may be wondering who would fill in at first base if Pujols gets traded for the two players proposed. Lance Berkman is a much better defensive first baseman than left fielder. He would relish the opportunity to play everyday there.


Andre Ethier

From an offensive perspective, few can outperform Andre Ethier in right field. His 2010 season was a down year, but still productive from the 29-year-old lefty slugger. What may not be factored into his offensive line of .292/.364/.493 from 2010 was his propensity for the walkoff hits. He has been the undisputed king of the walk off the past couple of seasons.

His defense is considered his weakness. While he may not be close to Albert Pujols offensively, he will get his fair share of hits and provide the Cardinals with a lefty bat. He costs $7.63 million in 2011. That’s much cheaper than the $30 million Pujols is demanding. In 2010, he was worth 2.2 wins because of his defense. However, he can be expected to be worth 3+ per season for the next four years.


Chad Billingsley

When fully healthy, Billingsley is a top of the rotation workhorse who is only 27 years old. He has a nasty four-seamer, cutter, curveball, slider, two-seamer and changeup. He would do a good job to fill the void left by Adam Wainwright. Billingsley costs $6.275 million in 2011, which is also very cheap compared to the salary of Pujols. He was worth 4.6 Wins in 2010, the best mark of his career. I can see him being worth 4+ per season for the next four years or so.


Trade Hurdles

There are two reasons why this trade may not happen. For one, the Dodgers’ financial situation may be worse than the Cardinals’. With the divorce of the McCourts, it’s hard to say how much money they’d be willing to take on. The Dodgers would only do this trade if they could be guaranteed to extend Pujols, which wouldn’t be possible if they didn’t have the money.

Trading away Albert Pujols may be considered GM suicide by John Mozeliak. In the end, he has to worry about his job security. While I don’t doubt the fans would take to Ethier and Billingsley, Mozeliak may receive the blame if the Cardinals’ season isn’t a success. If the Cardinals have a down year in 2011, he could use the Wainwright injury as a scapegoat and keep his job.

Overall, I feel that this trade would fill holes the Cardinals have and keep them in a position to contend for years to come. Besides, the team that gives Pujols a 10-year, $300 million deal will be as regretful as the Yankees are for signing A-Rod a couple years back.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

2011 Fantasy Baseball Pitching Preview: NL West, Clayton Kershaw & The Dodgers

When thinking of pitching rotations with a lot of depth, the Phillies, Red Sox and Giants are—rightfully so—the first teams to come to mind. However, one could argue that the Los Angeles Dodgers rotation is underrated and belongs in that discussion.

The biggest distinction between the Dodgers and the other three teams may be the perceived lack of a true ace. We all know that the Phillies have two premier aces in Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee, the Sox have Jon Lester, and the Giants have Tim Lincecum, but the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw has not yet achieved that true “ace” perception.

Is it time he should?

There is no doubt that Kershaw is an elite strikeout pitcher. In his first two full seasons, he struck out well over a batter per inning. His ability to miss that many bats (combined with a nice home ballpark for pitchers) has also helped him post an ERA under three in both seasons.  

Kershaw’s strikeout ability has even helped him post WHIP’s of 1.23 and 1.18 despite his habit of issuing walks. Where the walks have hurt his roto numbers is in the wins category. Obviously, walks lead to high pitch counts, and high pitch counts lead to early exits from the mound. As a result, Kershaw averaged only 5.2 innings per start in 2009 (eight wins) and 6.1 innings per start in 2010 (13 wins).  

As you can see, Kershaw won more games while pitching deeper into games last season, indicative of the significant drop in his walk rate. If the young pitcher continues to improve (as he should), he may be considered a no-doubt, top-ten, fantasy pitching ace by the All-Star break.  

Just in case he takes a turn away from becoming a Lester/Lincecum type towards being a Jonathan Sanchez type, I am heading into the season slightly cautious with Kershaw just outside my top-ten pitchers at no. 13.

The second starter in LA is also a guy who is probably underrated. Chad Billingsley was very impressive in 2008—his first full season as a starter—when he won 16 games with an ERA of 3.14 while posting a 9.01 K/9.  

Chad then “disappointed” in 2009 (12 W, 4.03 ERA, 8.21 K/9) and 2008 (12 W, 3.57 ERA, 8.03 K/9). However, he showed some positive signs last year by cutting down on the walks issued and having a FIP of 3.07.  

Maybe Billingsley’s first year was a bit of an overachievement, but you should not let what he was color your evaluation of what he now is.

This a guy that seems pretty sure to win at least 12 games, have an ERA in the mid-threes, keep the WHIP at or under 1.30, and be a very nice strikeout-producer. In my estimation, that type of certainty makes him a definite top-30 and borderline top-25 pitcher. It is likely he will be drafted a little lower than that and could be a very nice value on draft day.

Ted Lilly is another LA pitcher of whom you can know what to expect. From 2004-2006, Lilly struggled with his control, walking over four batters per nine innings in each of those years. However, Lilly seems to have found his command in the National League as he walked only 2.3 batters per nine innings over the last four seasons. Thanks to that, Lilly has become an excellent source of WHIP help for the fantasy baseball player with WHIP’s of 1.14, 1.23, 1.06, and 1.08. Combined with four straight K/9’s over 7.50, all these numbers make Lilly a reliable, top-40 starting pitcher.

The next guy in line for the Dodgers is another who may be underrated. In two and a half seasons (he missed time in 2009 due to an injury), Hiroki Kuroda has had a cumulative 3.60 ERA and 1.18 WHIP. He is not a huge contributor in the K’s category, but he should chip in a K/9 somewhere between six and seven. Because he is a little older (36) and because he spent the majority of his career playing in Japan, Kuroda is not a very sexy option who is likely to be undervalued in many drafts. I would recommend treating Kuroda as a top-50 pitcher because he is a safe bet to help and not hurt in every category.

After the four guys who are usable in mixed leagues, Jon Garland is a pretty decent fifth starter who should be a decent NL-only play.  He is a solid innings-eater who consistently produces a four-ish ERA. He does not contribute much in the strikeout department and has the potential to be a bit of a WHIP liability, but Garland is still a reliable contributor for deeper leagues.

[Original Article Location]


Written by Brett Talley exclusively for http://www.thefantasyfix.com

Leave a comment and let us know, or hit us up on  Twitter @TheFantasyFixDon’t forget to use our Quick Fix for any questions about your fantasy lineups or trades


Read More of Brett’s National League West Previews:

Mat Latos & the San Diego Padres

Daniel Hudson & the Arizona Diamondbacks

Ubaldo Jimenez & the Colorado Rockies

2011 Fantasy Baseball Great Debate: Mark Teixeira vs. Adrian Gonzalez

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

L.A. Dodgers Closer Quandary: 10 Alternatives If Jonathan Broxton Is Ineffective

After a very successful first four and a half years to start his major league career, Los Angeles Dodgers’ closer Jonathan Broxton had a miserable second half in 2010.

Broxton was an All-Star in 2010, putting up great first half numbers with an ERA of 2.11, as well as 19 saves in 21 chances.  

However, after the All-Star break Broxton proceeded to post an ERA of 7.13 with just three saves in eight opportunities, and Broxton had more walks than strikeouts.

By mid-August, the Dodgers were falling out of contention and essentially went with a closer by committee over the last month and a half of the season, with Broxton, Hong-Chi Kuo and Kenley Jansen splitting the closer duty,

Broxton’s struggles came as quite a shock, considering he had done so well prior to the second half of 2010.

He still has a career ERA of 3.11 and a great strikeout to walk ratio of 3.2, but with Broxton expected to be the primarily closer in 2011, the Dodgers have to be ready to take action in case he struggles.

Here are 10 potential alternative plans the Dodgers can make if Broxton is ineffective in 2011.

Begin Slideshow

Los Angeles Dodgers’ Outlook Not So Sunny at Chavez Ravine

As we start another offseason of Dodger baseball, this one seems to have a much bigger impact on the landscape of the franchise than most.

With the McCourt’s fighting over the control of the team, free agency questions looming, and deciding on weather to hold on to or cut ties with some of the young faces that have helped mold the franchise. And all this while the Dodgers are breaking in a new manager, Don Mattingly.

The McCourt ownership in Los Angeles seems to have been built on a very unstable foundation to begin with. In 2004, Frank McCourt’s purchase of the Los Angeles Dodgers was financed mainly by debt.

So maybe this all shouldn’t come to us as such a shock. Questions have always loomed regarding the allocation of the teams profits. So are the McCourts just interested in living the lavish billionaire lifestyle?

Their many multimillion dollar homes located around Southern California and the dwindling Dodger payroll sure paint that picture.

Since taking over the Dodgers in 2004, under the McCourt ownership, the team has a 601-541 record. Now that’s nothing to look down on, but with the divorce running the organization through the mud; how much longer can it last.

Last year was a tough season for Dodger fans to sit through and the frustration is really starting to built (news of higher ticket prices in 2011 isn‘t helping matters).

This is not the type of selling point you would like to go into free agency with. Dodgers GM Ned Colletti will have his work cut out for him this offseason, as he tries to lure top free-agent talent with mid-level dollar contracts. With payroll mostly likely not to claim for the 2011 season, the Dodgers most avoid contract disasters such as the recent Jason Schmidt, Juan Pierre, and Andruw Jones.

The Dodgers need arms and they don’t come cheap these days. And what do the Dodgers do about free agents to be Ted Lilly, Hiroki Kuroda, and Vicente Padilla? With the exception of Padilla’s bulging disk, all were viable starters. With Kershaw and Billingsley under contract (Billingsley is eligible for arbitration) spots three through five are open for the taking.

Other than Hong-Chih Kuo and the surprising Kenley Jansen, the bullpen is in need of a major makeover. And with another season in the books and yet another Broxton second half meltdown has caused the Dodgers to scramble for closer; a role they thought they had locked up for years to come. Maybe the young catcher turned hurler, Jensen, can fill that spot for the blue crew.

It wasn’t only the pitchers having trouble getting and staying on track, but Ethier, Kemp and Loney all failed to produce the type of numbers in the second that they showed prior to the all-star break. Colletti has shown his support for his young core in LA since seasons end, being quoted saying, “As of right now, I still have a lot of faith in them. But they all need to be better next year for us to be successful.”

The biggest position question this year is behind the plate. With Russell Martin still recovering from a hip injury suffered during the season and Brad Ausmus announcing his retirement; that leaves A.J. Ellis and free agent to be Rod Barajas as their options before free agency starts. Colletti is expected to make a run at Barajas.

Don Mattingly kicked off his managerial duties on Tuesday in Phoenix, Arizona. Mattingly managed the Phoenix Desert Dogs of the AFL to a 8-3 loss against the Mesa Solar Sox. Mattingly does have one change that he plans to inject into this Dodger farm system: “discipline.” He’s off and running.

For just a minute, let’s remember what drove us to the ballpark in truck loads for the late evening night games under the lights and those beautiful warm summer day games under the sun. Here’s to hoping for bright blue skies and the starry nights under the LA nights once again…And hoping they can field a contender with the turmoil surrounding the organization.

Because this really is the dark days of Dodger Blue.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Los Angeles Dodgers: The 10 Brightest Spots of an Otherwise Disappointing Season

Many words may be used to characterize the ups and downs of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ 2010 season, but from the standpoint of the fans, the best fitting description would be nothing short of “disappointing.”

Normally, most teams who don’t achieve the goals and ambitions that were set in spring training have the entire offseason to rebuild and regain focus, but in the case of the Dodgers, there are numerous off-field situations that seemingly need resolving before the team can move forward.

The decision regarding current manager Joe Torre’s future in Dodger Blue may be coming in the next week or two once Los Angeles is mathematically eliminated from the playoffs; however, all signs are pointing to the fact that the organization is still undecided on Joe’s replacement if he does indeed decide to pack his bags.

Unless Frank and Jamie McCourt reach a settlement before their divorce trial resumes on September 20, the court’s ruling regarding future ownership of the club may not be arriving until sometime in December.

Also, with the uncertainty as to whom will be controlling the team in 2011 comes the question marks of the payroll parameters heading into next season.

More than a handful of current Los Angeles players are facing possible arbitration with the team, yet with next year’s budget still unpredictable, the Dodgers may even decide not to negotiate with these players at all.

Regardless what happens in the winter, the Boys in Blue hope to develop a new, sharper focus, and build on the positives that were displayed in 2010.

The following slides illustrate 10 of those bright spots and offer a few words of commentary as to how the Dodgers’ organization will benefit from them moving forward.

Begin Slideshow

Weakest Links: Five Pitchers the Los Angeles Dodgers Should Lose

It’s that time of year when it becomes apparent certain teams have players remaining on their rosters that don’t really belong.

The Los Angeles Dodgers are no exception, and they have several pitchers that should be on their own, or at the very least in the minor league system. 

Here are five pitchers the Dodgers could do without, and why.

Begin Slideshow

Copyright © 1996-2010 Kuzul. All rights reserved.
iDream theme by Templates Next | Powered by WordPress