Tag: Jay Gibbons

Los Angeles Dodgers: A Look at Marcus Thames and the Blue Crew Outfield

With their most recent acquisition of outfielder Marcus Thames, the Los Angeles Dodgers not only achieved an addition of power to the roster, but they also balanced the bats in the process. Thames will join a solid corps of outfielders who individually feature power, speed, and reliable defense.

Some fans across Dodgertown have very high hopes for 2011, yet many factors will come into play that determine the level of success during the upcoming campaign. Team chemistry, attitude, and coaching are just several aspects of the game which need polished in order for the Dodgers to be contenders.

Other fans are focusing their attention on the long haul, and based on the high level of talent on the farm, envision a bright future for the Boys in Blue during the years to come.

The outfield is just one of several areas that’s packed full of potential—both from the veterans and the future stars. Spring training will play a large role in determining who plays where and which players see the bulk of action this season. Depending on injuries and the level of production from certain players, a number of new faces may be making their Dodger debuts.

In no particular order, the following slides showcase the top 10 outfielders in the entire Los Angeles Dodgers organization and offer a bit of commentary on each player. Also included is a special bonus slide which features an additional 10 players in the system who range from Single-A farmhands up to several outfielders who have numerous years of MLB experience.

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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.

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Los Angeles Dodgers Preparing for Potentially Large Waiver Sale

Folks across Dodgertown who don’t quite understand the waiver wire process were buzzing with concern on Wednesday after learning that the Dodgers were gearing up for a potential fire sale by placing a total of five players on waivers.

In addition to workhorse pitcher Hiroki Kuroda, outfielder Manny Ramirez finally hit waivers as expected, and veterans Scott Podsednik, Casey Blake, and Jay Gibbons were also waived later in the afternoon, according to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times.

For non-playoff contending squads, many players are waived the week before rosters expand on September 1, as teams look to possibly cut salary, gain prospects, and prepare to build their rosters and budgets heading into next season.

However, at the beginning of the day on Thursday, the Dodgers find themselves trailing only 5.5 games in the National League Wild Card race, and with 35 games still remaining to be played, the front office in Los Angeles is left wondering whether a playoff shot is realistic.

Teams around the league have until the end of the week to make potential claims, after which deals would need to be agreed upon by Tuesday afternoon to complete any transaction.

If by some chance Los Angeles climbs even further into contention by the beginning of next week, the Dodgers have the right to rescind the waivers, and retain all the players mentioned above, even if they are already claimed by another team.

Los Angeles has been busy talking to the Chicago White Sox about possible trade scenarios, and according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, Ramirez has already told friends that he would waive his no-trade clause and approve a deal sending him to Chicago.

Nevertheless, since Manny’s return from the disabled list last Saturday, the Dodgers have seen a spark in their offense, which has been almost dormant since the All-Star break.

In the three games that Ramirez has been in the lineup since being recalled, Los Angeles has scored 18 runs, including seven home runs—a resurgence of power that has been lacking since the first month of the season.

Kuroda is in the final season of a three-year deal worth over $35 million, while Blake still has one additional year remaining on his three-year, $17 million contract with a club option for 2012.

Podsednik’s contract is valued at $1.75 million this year with an option for 2011, while Gibbons’ contract is setup only for the remainder of this season after being bought from Triple-A Albuquerque.

After finishing a series with the Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday afternoon, the Dodgers will travel to Coors Field for a three-game set with the Colorado Rockies beginning Friday, then return to Dodger Stadium for a series with the defending National League champion Philadelphia Phillies on Monday.

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Meeting the Los Angeles Dodgers: Who Is Jay Gibbons?

The last we heard of Jay Gibbons was in 2007 while a member of the Baltimore Orioles. Three years later, Gibbons has finally made it back to the Majors, and thus far, he is making it count.

Jay Jonathan Gibbons was born in 1977 in Rochester, Mich. However, he spent the majority of his childhood in California, graduating from Mayfair High School in Lakewood. Following high school, Gibbons was a standout at UCLA

The 6-foot, 205-pound outfielder was drafted in the 14th round of the 1998 amateur draft by the Toronto Blue Jays.

Gibbons immediately began making an impact, becoming the Triple Crown champion of the Pioneer League, with 19 home runs and 98 RBI while carrying a .397 batting average.

Following the 2000 season, the Baltimore Orioles claimed him in the Rule 5 draft. He made his major league debut on April 6, 2001. Gibbons rookie season with the Orioles in 2001 was off to a great start.

The young slugger had 15 home runs and 36 RBIs in 73 games before becoming hampered by a hand injury.

The following season, 2002, was a career-best for Gibbons. That season he hit 28 home runs for the Orioles,

In 2003, he followed up that performance with career highs in batting average (.277) and RBI (100). He was voted team MVP and many considered 2003 his break out season.

However, in 2004, the injury bug once again bit Gibbons. He appeared in just 97 games, a great reduction compared to the 160 games the year before. Gibbons collected just 47 RBIs while striking out 64 times.

The Orioles were convinced his declining numbers weren’t due to just injuries. In his shortened playing time, he also struggled at the plate while not complaining of physical discomfort.

The lefty had LASIK eye surgery following the 2004 season, and his numbers improved immediately in 2005. 

Gibbons smashed 135 hits in 139 games, re-emerging on the scene as a legitimate force at the plate. But it was short-lived.

The 2006 and 2007 seasons were once again plagued with injuries. Gibbons didn’t play over 100 games in either season.

To add insult to injuries, Gibbons was named by pitcher Jason Grimsley as an anabolic steroid user in a September 2006 report by the Los Angeles Times.

He was also named in the infamous Mitchell Report  in late 2007 as a steroid user and was eventually released by Baltimore on March 29, 2008. 

Left without a team and on the outside of the fringe having been linked to steroids, Gibbons spent four months from late March to late July as a free agent, before being given another shot by the Milwaukee Brewers.

However, he never appeared in a major league game for the franchise, and was again released in November. 

Gibbons was signed in January 2009 by the Florida Marlins, but spent less time with them than he did with the Brewers, and was released in March of the same year.

The outfielder found himself signing a deal to play for the Newark Bears of the Atlantic League.

Finally, in 2010, Gibbons impressed the Dodgers enough to be given an invitation to Spring Training. Gibbons took the invitation to heart, determined to reach the majors again to prove he could still compete.

While with the Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes, Gibbons batted .347 in 94 games while hitting 19 home runs.  

Injuries to Manny Ramirez and Reed Johnson, coupled with the consistent underachievement of veteran Garret Anderson, prompted the Dodgers to promote Gibbons to the 25-man major league roster.

Thus far, you’d never guess Gibbons hasn’t played in the majors since 2007, as he has found his way into two Dodger games, and it would be difficult for Gibbons to perform any better. He is 4-for-5 with a home run and four RBI (Gibbons’ RBI single).

His current performance leaves Dodger fans pondering two questions: What took so long for the team to promote him? What would the season look like had he been called up much earlier?

In any event, the hometown kid may be here to stay, and is certainly making his case to cement a roster spot for the remainder of the season, and possibly into the future.

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