Tag: Vicente Padilla

Los Angeles Dodgers: 10 Under-the-Radar Spring Training Storylines to Follow

With spring training now at its peak and Cactus League play in full gear, the Los Angeles Dodgers find themselves in the national spotlight of the sports media in regards to a number of popular storylines.

Team ownership is obviously at the forefront, as Frank McCourt was anticipating a $200 million cash advance from Fox until the transaction was blocked by MLB commissioner Bud Selig late last week. It’s unclear exactly where the overall finances of the club lie, but the fact that McCourt was involved in plotting such a deal doesn’t sound encouraging.

In the meantime, the divorce ordeal between Frank and Jamie continues to trudge along. Frank’s gun is loaded with the intention of new trials and appeals, while Jamie continues to express interest in gaining some type of control of the organization. However, the team, the fans and Major League Baseball itself would love nothing more than to see this tedious affliction become resolved.

As for player news, the absence of reliever Ronald Belisario from his third consecutive spring training start also captured its fair share of headlines. While Belisario continues to offer excuses about being separated from the team, he still remains in his native Venezuela. Most analysts around the league seem to agree that he’s already seen his last days wearing Dodger Blue.

Vicente Padilla, re-signed by general manager Ned Colletti to bolster the bullpen and provide insurance to the starting rotation, has already been under the knife to fix a recurring wrist injury that has been bothering him for more than a year. According to various opinions, Padilla may begin throwing again in as little as three-to-four weeks.

The passing of Dodger legend Duke Snider, who could arguably be known as the greatest player the franchise has ever seen, brought a somber moment of sadness to Dodgers fans far and wide. Without a doubt, for his contributions to the Dodger legacy, the Duke will be remembered for eternity.

As all the aforementioned news made headlines nationwide, a number of storylines which are critical to the club’s success continue to fly under the radar. The following slides highlight 10 such stories, as well as offer a brief commentary about each topic shown.

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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.

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Los Angeles Dodgers: If Jonathan Broxton Can’t, Who Will Close Games in 2011?

The Dodgers know how they’re going to start the games, having assembled their starting rotation before December started, but how they’re going to end their games is another issue.

They enter the season with some big questions surrounding their closer, Jonathan Broxton.

Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com reports that Dodger officials will only be giving Broxton about a month’s worth of rope before they pull him from the closer’s role should he struggle, and it could be even less if Broxton doesn’t throw well in spring training.

Spring training might not be the best place to evaluate how a pitcher will perform during the regular season, especially not for a relief pitcher. However, if new manager Don Mattingly doesn’t like what he sees, there’s no reason to think he’ll give Broxton as much of a chance as Joe Torre did.

Broxton struggled for most of the season, finishing with just 22 saves and a 4.04 ERA.

Broxton’s up-and-down season finally came to an ugly end in late July. On Jul. 18, Broxton gave up two runs in the ninth against the St. Louis Cardinals, blowing a 4-3 Dodger lead and completing a four-game Cardinals sweep.

Less than two weeks later, against the San Francisco Giants, Broxton gave up an eighth inning, go-ahead two-run home run to Pat Burrell, sending the Dodgers to a 2-1 loss.

Manager Joe Torre finally removed Broxton from the closer’s role on Aug. 18. He would make just five more appearances the rest of the season, blowing two more saves in three chances. Broxton finished the 2010 season with seven blown saves overall, his fourth straight season with six or more.

Entering the 2011 season, Broxton is the Dodgers closer. Even if he doesn’t show much in spring training, he’ll likely still start the season in the ninth inning, but he’ll have to have a great April to stay there.

Making matters worse, Broxton’s name was thrown around in a rumored trade, which would have brought Prince Fielder to Chavez Ravine. That deal never really had any legs, but just the fact that Broxton might have been included illustrates how weak his position is within the organization.

For now though, Broxton is still in Dodger blue, but should he struggle again, the Dodgers have a few in-house replacements.

Hong-Chih Kuo took over as closer after Broxton was removed from the job. Kuo, who saved nine games in as many chances in Broxton’s place, was a 2010 All-Star and finished the season with a 1.20 ERA in 56 appearances and a 4.06 K/BB rate.

He is in the best position to take over for Broxton again if needed, but given his history of arm problems, may not be able to handle the job for as much of the season. His 56 appearances in 2010 were the most of Kuo’s career. Over the last five seasons, Broxton averaged almost 72 appearances.

Can Kuo handle being the Dodgers closer for most of the season and the workload that comes with it?

If not, the Dodgers will need a plan C, or even a plan D.

Plan C could start with Vicente Padilla, who made 16 starts for the Dodgers last season, going 6-5 with a 4.07 ERA. The Dodgers’ biggest strength right now is their starting rotation, and Padilla simply adds additional depth. The Dodgers can feel comfortable knowing they can expect at least 200 IP from each of their starters, meaning Padilla can stay fresh in the bullpen.

Should Broxton struggle early in the season, and if manager Don Mattingly is unwilling to push Kuo very far, Padilla could be a well-rested option.

Mattingly may have to employ a closer-by-committee if Broxton can’t get the job done, putting in whichever reliever has the hottest hand.

Broxton is the Dodgers closer, for now. The question is, how long will it last?

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Vicente Padilla Re-Signs with Dodgers (and Some Notes)

A source confirms that Dodgers right-hander Vicente Padilla has been signed this morning to a one-year deal pending a physical this Thursday. Lets just hope he doesn’t shoot himself again.

The source says, “No, we are not talking to Crawford.”

On Kershaw’s wedding: “It was nice, she’s a lucky girl.”

The source refuses to answer questions about Prince Fielder, but says, “We now have co-owners so we’ll see what more we’ll do out here. We are looking at relief help.”

Deals this offseason have been money savers as they have been on deferred payments. They are hoping to add some base salary to players as an incentive to take deferred payments and less money.

On John Garland, “Lets hope he’s luckier on the field than we were in the office.”

Garland is making three million dollars this year with incentives and deferred payments adding up to a little over five million dollars for a one-year deal.

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Padilla and Barajas May Still Be Dodgers in 2011 Despite Arbitration Snub

According to the team website, the Dodgers declined to offer arbitration to veterans Vicente Padilla, Rod Barajas and Scott Podsednik, making them unrestricted free agents.

However, declining to offer a player arbitration is not a signal that the team is ready to move on. Multiple media outlets have reported the Dodgers remain in talks with all three players. General Manager Ned Colletti has mentioned several times that he is still very interested in resigning Padilla to fill out the remainder of the rotation.

Tops on the Dodgers’ agenda is finding a consistent backup for Russell Martin, should the young, workhorse catcher need additional breaks in the upcoming season. 

Another area of concern is the outfield, and it seems Podsednik may not be the answer in Los Angeles. It is possible that the team and the speedy outfielder are on different pages concerning length of contract and yearly salary.

The Dodgers believed the $2 million was a decent figure to offer, but Podsednik may see this off-season as a chance to find a contending team. The outfielder is no stranger to the free agent market, and has played for six teams in his ten-year Major League career.

Rumors from the Hot Stove says Padilla is seeking a multi-year deal in the range of $5-7M a season. That estimated figure is slightly higher than the Dodgers’ estimated price range. Typically, during the free agent period looks similar to a pawn shop in several ways: Both sides are offering amounts higher than they expect to get, the media attempts to ballpark the information for the public.

When both sides exchange numbers, both sides typically attempt to meet in the middle if common interest remains in the venture. As negotiations continue, Padilla will test the market to see if another team has more to offer before deciding where to play next season.

Padilla still has a decent chance of playing in Dodger Blue next season, as he is not viewed as a Type A free agent. Due to nagging injuries, Padilla may be seen as a risk to other teams.

For Barajas, a late-season spark of offense may be attractive to other teams, and he most likely fares a slightly better chance on the free agent market. He will likely find a back-up role in the National League, and talks will certainly heat up between the Dodgers and the veteran.

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Los Angeles Dodgers To Increase Payroll for 2011: Ok, Ned…Sure Thing, Buddy

Is anyone else a little skeptical of one of the latest releases on the Dodgers’ website? According to General Manager Ned Colletti, the Dodgers are actually planning on increasing the $93 million payroll from 2010.

The Dodgers still have seven players eligible for free agency (not counting the recently signed Lilly or retiring Ausmus). While it is understandable the Dodgers would like to bring back players like Vicente Padilla, Rod Barajas and Scott Podsednik, the looming ownership divorce is the Debbie Downer in the organization.

The article, written by MLB.com writer Ken Gurnick, outlines the Dodgers’ needs based on observations from Colletti, and it is a pretty tall order.

Starting pitching is obviously tops on the GM’s list. He plans to resign at least one of the two remaining starters from 2010, either Vicente Padilla or the more expensive Hiroki Kuroda. Those two pitchers combined for over $20M last season, a very large portion of the payroll.

A power bat, some solid infield defense or position players, and a relief pitcher have also been mentioned. 

If Frank McCourt were to settle and hand Jamie a very large compensatory check, where would this money come from? Frank has said repeatedly he plans to keep the team, and the Dodgers are not for sale.

Something just isn’t adding up here. The Dodgers were largely silent at the trade deadline this year, acquiring a solid pitcher and second baseman that fit into 2011 rather than a playoff run. Other than that, the Dodgers were bystanders, and there seems to be no significant changes to justify change. 

With the revelations of botched documents and secrets, one can only imagine what Ned Colletti is talking about.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Fantasy Baseball By The Numbers: Week 23

We have finally reached the payoff portion of the fantasy baseball season: the playoffs! It’s been a grueling 22-week season, but if you’re lucky enough to still be reading fantasy baseball articles, now is the time to really ramp it up.

This is the point in the year where one hot bat could decide your season—or a dead-armed pitcher could ruin it no matter how well his team has done thus far. Below are ten guys who are either destroying your championship dreams or carrying you to the promised land.

And just a heads up, next week will be the final By The Numbers of 2010, so we’ll be going through some of my hits and misses way back from my Mock Draft Reports in the preseason. Be sure to tune in!



That is the Yahoo! rank over the past two weeks for Neil Walker. The Pirates second baseman has been on fire, blasting five home runs and driving in 16 runs. Many had no idea that Walker had been batting third for Pittsburgh for some time, and he’s clearly been taking advantage of the lineup.

The home runs are a huge surprise, considering he only had five for the season prior to this most recent hot stretch. But it’s important to realize that he wasn’t a slouch either, batting in the .300 range for most of the season. He is exactly the kind of random spark plug to add a few home runs and bring your team a title.


Rafaeul Furcal has had two stolen bases since returning from the DL on September 3rd. The fact that he is already active on the base paths is a great sign that he is over his back issues and needs to be plugged back into lineups immediately, especially considering he had a 3-4 game on Monday.

When healthy, he can be one of the best shortstops in fantasy. He provides a high batting average (.316), stolen bases (nine seasons of 20+ stolen bases), and even a bit of power, exhibited by his five home runs in July. All owners, and especially those of the day-to-day Elvis Andrus, need to make sure their league is not one of the 25% in which he is available.



That’s the number of career saves by Trevor Hoffman, who achieved the feat Tuesday night against the St. Louis Cardinals. An absolutely huge feat that could not have come any sooner, as his struggled throughout the season. Not to mention, the emergence of John Axford significantly delayed the accomplishment longer than anyone expected.

As a result, his 600th save may be his last; the Brewers really have no reason to go with the Hoff over Axford from here on out. This should give Axford a boost down the stretch and essentially makes Hoffman waiver fodder, and subsequently less likely to reemerge ever again. Bow your heads baseball fans, a legend like Hoffman doesn’t come around every day.



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Lane Rizzardini has been playing fantasy sports for over 10 years. His earliest memory was drafting Fred Lane in 2003, only to find out Fred’s wife had shot him in the offseason. You can find more of Lane’s writing over at BrunoBoys.net.

You can contact him at Lanerizz@gmail.com or through his Twitter page.

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A Tale of Two Pitchers: Tuesday Night Edition

Here are two pitching lines from Tuesday night:

Pitcher A: 7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 8 K

Pitcher B: 5 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 2 K

Guess which pitcher took a win last night and which pitcher took a loss? Pitcher A is Colorado Rockies ace Ubaldo Jimenez, who suffered a 1-0 loss to the New York Mets last night. Pitcher B is Los Angeles Dodgers righty Vicente Padilla, who got credit for the win last night in the Dodgers’ 15-9 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies.

Padilla was darn lucky that the Dodgers had a rare offensive explosion last night. After being spotted a seven-run lead, Padilla cruised through the Phillies lineup the first time around. Then in the fourth and fifth, the Phillies really got to Padilla.

Padilla somehow escaped a bases loaded, one-out jam in the fourth. He fell behind Domonic Brown 3-0 and Brown hit a frozen rope to right that was caught by Andre Ethier.

Padilla gave up four runs in five innings and you felt that if he went out there for the sixth, he would have given up two or three more runs.

Jimenez, on the other hand, was rock solid against the Mets. His pitching line says he finished with four walks, but two of them were intentional.

The Mets did get to Jimenez in the seventh, but for six innings, the Mets didn’t stand much of a chance against the Cy Young favorite in the National League. Last night I felt Jimenez could have thrown nothing but his fastball and have gotten away with it.

The reason his pitch count was high was because he couldn’t get his slider and curve over for strikes. The Mets also did a good job of fouling off pitches.

However, Jimenez deserved a better fate. He deserved a win.

Last night’s pitching line for Padilla and Jimenez and results that they earned is just another example of why wins is not the best indicator to judge a pitcher’s value.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

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Dodgers Win 2011 World Series: A What If? Timeline

The Los Angeles Dodgers are fading fast, and are already eying the San Francisco Giants with a fleeting hope of making a remarkable comeback and a wild-card berth.

Realistically, the Dodgers are most likely turning their focus to 2011, and the uncertainty that lies on the horizon.

It is becoming more possible that the McCourts, Frank and Jamie, will be ordered to sell the team while they can’t settle marital differences. A new owner would likely provide some financial stability.

Several Dodgers will be free agents at the end of the 2010 season, including James Loney, Hiroki Kuroda, Manny Ramirez, and Vicente Padilla.

In addition to the potential loss of key players, the Dodgers will still be paying estranged outfielders Juan Pierre and Andruw Jones.

With all the turmoil of under-performing players along with injuries and soap-opera drama in the front office, there is a brighter outlook for devoted fans…

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Fantasy Baseball By the Numbers: Week 16

And we’re back. Hopefully the short week didn’t treat you too badly. Good to see the NL finally win an All-Star game, couldn’t believe it has been 14 years since their last win.

But now we get move to one of the most fun parts of the baseball season: the trade deadline.

The waiver wire suddenly gets a big boost in activity as people jump on players who suddenly have value due to the transactions of playoff hopefuls and surrender monkeys.

The position of most impact is relief pitching, as two or three closers always get traded to a contender looking for bullpen help, paving the way for a young up-and-comer to take over ninth-inning duties.

This is a huge opportunity for you save chasers (myself included) to load your bullpens with saves.

We’ll start with four guys who could end up closers before the trade deadline ends then hit some other numbers.


1.50 – ERA for Indians’ set up man Chris Perez since June. We’re starting with him because you need to stop reading and go grab him now if he’s for some reason still available. I’ll explain when you get back.

Ready? Okay, current closer Kerry Wood (he of the 6.30 ERA) recently went to the DL with a blister on his right thumb, making Perez the closer.

Wood has already been on the trading block for quite some time now, and while this injury doesn’t exactly make him more attractive to potential buyers, he will be back from the DL before the deadline and will most likely be moved.

Thus, it can be speculated that Perez’s reign as closer will continue unabated the rest of the season. I dropped Chad Qualls for him without blinking, but that might not be saying much.


6 – Number of earned runs allowed for Evan Meek over 43 appearances this season.

I know I drooled all over him last week, but since we’re talking about set-up men with impending save opportunities, I’m reminding you again to grab him. He’s been fantastic all season and is probably the best guy in this foursome.

Unfortunately, he also plays for Pirates, so keep in mind save opportunities won’t come as frequently.


3.64 – ERA for Brandon League , the man next in line to receive saves in Sea-Town.

The Mariners are sellers once again, and David Aardsma’s name has been thrown around in more than a few scenarios.

There’s no one else in the Seattle pen worthy of taking over the closer’s role, and while the ERA may not look spectacular, but minus a few bad days (four worst outings: 2.2 innings, 13 runs allowed.

Rest of season: 44.1 innings, six runs allowed) League really has been great this season. Pounce as soon as Aardsma gets moved.


21 – Strikeouts for Drew Storen over his first 25 appearances.

This is the biggest long shot of the group, as current closer Matt Capps is still under contract until 2011 and with Tyler Clippard struggling lately the Nats may not want to throw their rookie phenom into fire right away.

But Washington is a seller and Storen’s peripherals along with his future role as dynasty closer means there is at least a slight chance we could see him take over his throne sooner rather than later.


Click and you shall receive more numbers.

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