Good News For People Who Like Eric Chavez…

January 21, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Posted in Eric Chavez | 43 Comments

…as I’ve made it clear that I do. Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle has some info on yesterday’s workout:

I heard from a scout who works for another NL team that the Dodgers were raving about Eric Chavez‘s tryout today; he swung the bat well and apparently looked healthy after being put through his paces. Also from the scouting grapevine, it sounds as if there is some pretty strong interest in Chavez elsewhere, but I know that Chavez is really excited about the Dodgers, so I hope that’s where he lands.

I’m trying not to get too excited about a guy who has essentially missed three of the last four seasons (between 2007-10, he played in 154 games with 628 PA, or roughly one full season), but the more I hear about this the more I want it to happen. With a roster like the Dodgers have, you have to take chances, and if there’s even a 5% chance this works out enough to keep Casey Blake on the bench against tough righty pitching, then it’s absolutely worth it.
 


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  1. How Would that effect the roster though? We can’t have a platoon at every position…

    • I think it would just eliminate any chance of Ivan DeJesus or Juan Castro making the squad. As it stands now, Jamey Carroll is the only backup infielder. So if you had Carroll and Chavez as IF backups behind the 4 starters, that’s 6, plus 5 OF (assuming Paul is gone), that’s 11, plus 2 catchers, leaves you 13 hitters to go with your 12 pitchers.

      • what about looking to get Steven Tolleson from the A’s since they DFA’d him another IF with experience at 2nd short and 3rd if Chavez slips through our fingers

        • He’s not bad. I just don’t see the club going after him.

    • haha…so true. Poor Mattingly’s head will explode with all these platoons.

  2. Chavez could turn out to be a great reclamation project and we have a GREAT history with that. Jay Gibbons being the main reclamation project last year. I still think that Jay can rake, despite all stat junkie’s naysaying about him and him being a bad platoon guy. And I saw plus defense from him last year, again not looking at stats.

    So I like the Chavez deal but I am also leery of the Dodgers history of loading the roster with washed up guys that block the opportunities for rookies to come up. I’d personally like to see what DeJesus and Trayvon can do in the biggs. But maybe that is just me being impatient. You never know though until you try them. Look at players like Uggla, who had no real prospects or ability according to scouts and then once he hit the biggs he developed to be very consistent and powerful for a small guy.

    • You saw plus defense… from Gibbons?

      • I did an article on some web site, it might have been mine, it might have been this one, or another about Jay Gibbons entitled, “The Man With the Perfectly Symmetrical Face.” Sometimes I think I’m the only guy in the world that notices such things. For $675,000 or thereabouts, the Dodgers didn’t make a bad signing, securing the services of Gibbons for another season. I know that you can’t read anyone’s mind but, I wonder if right when Gibbons lays his head on the pillow, does he realize that he may have gotten a big break here? I mean, after all, his name is on the Mitchell Report for public consumption. Gibbons was suspended for the first 15 days of the 2008 season. After receiving the suspension, Gibbons manned up and both acknowledged and apologized for his use of PED’s. Gibbons was so bad in the spring of ’08 that he was cut by the Orioles, despite being owed $12-mil for the last 2 years of his contract. The O’s, at the time, said it was a baseball decision. In ’08-’09, he played independent ball and in the organizations of the Brewers and the Marlins before signing a minor league deal with the Dodgers prior to the 2010 season. Gibbons is a hungry guy right now, not one of these underachievers making $6-mil per year. And, unlike a lot of bloggers on this site, I just have a feeling about the guy with the perfectly symmetrical face. Because deep down he knows this is his last chance! And because, unlike so many others, he became a man and admitted that he’s only human!

    • I guess you got up to go to the bathroom when he dropped routine fly balls?

  3. I am generally not a fan of all the dumpster diving we have done this offseason, but the one move that makes sense is taking a chance on Chavez. If he is back, its a great move. I’ve seen him play a lot in Oakland and while no one can expect him to put up the same numbers he did there, he will be a good bat, great glove and he hustles, etc. Which means he’ll end up somewhere else ;)

  4. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Los Angeles Dodgers, Mike Petriello. Mike Petriello said: Good News For People Who Like Eric Chavez…: http://wp.me/p69kq-1Dk [...]

  5. Chavez, if he is healthy, is a very fine defensive third baseman and still has a career 279/359/514/873 line against right handed pitching. Of course he has to bounce back but it is certainly possible that he does. Platooning with Casey Blake would result in very strong splits, unlike the Thames/Gibbons platoon (Gibbons doesn’t hit righties all that well). In fact, with Blake and Chavez platooning the Dodgers might be more likely to go with Gwynn in CF. Thames could still play against lefties by benching either Loney or Ethier now and then. Gibbons would not get much playing time, and personally, I think that is good.

    Chavez is exactly the kind of risk the Dodgers should be taking. He is only 33 and might help solve third beyond just this year. If he fails, it is still no big loss.

  6. I like the risk of Chavez precisely because he is injury prone. It sounds like he is hitting well again. So either he is going to hit well and have a spot or he will injure himself and sit on the DL. Worth the risk in my opinion. Better option than a veteran that doesn’t get injured (ahem, GA) and just wastes space while blocking others from succeeding…

  7. If it’s a minor league deal or even a Major League deal heavily loaded with incentives…and most importantly, if the talent evaluators (not you, Ned) like Logan White feel he can come back, then let’s do this. The fit is good.

    • I wonder if the supposed interest from other clubs means that this would require a major league deal, not minor. I’d still probably be okay with that.

  8. If LAD lands Chavez they woul need to go into the season with 11 pitchers instead of 12 and the move woul probably leave the 5th OF out (X. Paul) on my own thinking. After reviewing how the roaster would look like let me tell you I´m getting ecxited.

    STARTERS
    1. H. Kuroda
    2. C. Kershaw
    3. C. Billingsley
    4. T. Lilly
    5. J. Garland

    PEN
    1. V. Padilla
    2. M. Guerrier
    3. R. Belisario
    4. H. Kuo
    5. K. Jansen
    6. J. Broxton

    POSITION PLAYERS

    1. R. Barajas – C
    2. A.J. Ellis – C
    3. J. Loney – 1B
    4. M. Thames – LF,1B
    5. J. Gibbons – LF, 1B
    6. J. Uribe – 2B,3B
    7. J. Carroll – 2B, SS, OF
    8. Ivan de Jesus – 2B, SS
    9. R. Furcal – SS
    10. C. Blake – 3B
    11. E. Chavez – 3B (If signed)
    12. A. Ethier – RF
    13. M. Kemp – CF
    14. T. Gwynn Jr – OF

    Looks fine to mee specially cause it gives you enough flexibility to rest key players. What you think???

    • I don’t really agree with that. They won’t carry DeJesus if he’s not the starter, and they always carry 12 pitches.

      • I´m just saying it would be an option… Besides with that roster I´m pretty sure Donnie would´t have problems assembling the lineup against pitchers doesn´t matter what their throwing hand is. In what other way would you fit E. Chavez in the roster???

        • No DeJesus is how. With Chavez we’ll have a 3B backup for Blake, and now that we have Thames there’s no reason to put Blake in LF against righties, as some were suggesting. Uribe can easily be the regular 2B with Carroll as backup. You’re suggesting carrying 3 exclusive infielders on the bench in addition to two extra outfielders, which I don’t think is necessary.

          • *now that we have Thames there’s no reason to put Blake in LF against LEFTIES is what I meant.

          • Analize this…take note this´s assuming LAD do not sign E. Chavez

            AGAINST RHP

            1. Furcal -SS
            2. Loney – 1B
            3. Uribe – 3B
            4. Ethier – RF
            5. Kemp – CF
            6. Carroll – 2B
            7. Barajas – C
            8. Gibbons – LF
            9. Pitcher – *

            AGAINST LHP

            1. GWYNN – CF
            2. CARROLL – 2B
            3. KEMP – RF
            4. BLAKE – 3B
            5. FURCAL – SS
            6. A.J ELLIS – C
            7. LONEY – 1B
            8. THAMES – LF

            I KNOW!!! I´m leaving Uribe & Ethier out against LHP but their BA. kind of gives the the reason doesn´t it??? I also know that Carroll isn´t an every day starter…mmm right!!!

  9. I can’t believe it! the Dodgers may actually have a semi productive lineup *if* Mattingly is willing to Platoon, which it seems based on reports….

  10. I think Chavez still may have something left in the gas tank. He sounded very optimistic during a radio interview in the Bay Area. He doesn’t want to DH, and he said he thinks he can still be a decent first or third baseman. Still, i would sign him to a minor league deal.

    I wish the Giants would pick him up as a back up to Pablo Sandoval.

    • Ehhh bad grammar. Forgot to capitalize the “i”.

      • Ehhh bad post. “I wish the Giants would pick him up as a back up to Pablo Sandoval.” ??????????? Why are you posting this shit on a Dodgers site? Go away.

        • Jeez, why the hostility? His post is relevant to the Dodgers so why shouldn’t he post it on a Dodger blog?

          • @Gibby’s Limp…I happen to be a fan of Mike Petriello’s work. As a fellow blogger who is up and coming, the owner of this blog has given me good advice, so the least I can do is be active on his blog.

          • I’m happy to see Vinnie sticking around after the ripping he took on the BR piece. Vinnie, there’s no better blogger to study and learn from than Mike here. Keep working dude!

      • Yeah, I’ve read your little blog over on B/R, Vinnie. I also saw what a “fan” you were when you were accusing Mike of posting under the Anonymous alias, as well as slandering his good name with the accusation of having trouble finding a job. Yup, you’re some fan of his. I agree, he gave you advice – good advice – and I suggest you take it to heart. Try a little harder in the future.

        • Let’s play nice, everyone. I made my issues with Vinnie’s BR piece clear, and he accepted some of that criticism. We’re good now, let’s put this to bed.

    • I think you mean replace once “The PAnda” eats his way out of baseball.

  11. I think semi-productive is going to end up being accurate.

    When was the last time an offensive player came to L.A. and actually improved on his stats? Uribe hit .248 last year. Yeah, he had career highs in HR and RBI’s – will he do that again? Blake? Give me a break. Furcal will be lucky to play 125 games and we have no idea if Kemp’s head has cleared his sphincter, our catchers will hit a collective .240 and Loney looks like he plays on Ambien and our answers to all this is platoon. I saw that movie. It doesn’t end well.

    I want to believe, I really do. Like many, I have been waiting a long time. But, with the current ownership in ruin, counting on rebound years from 50% of your starting lineup and signing guys like Gibbons, Thames, Gwynn and Chavez…… I just don’t know.

    I need a hug. Somebody tell me it’s going to be ok.

    • Rory, I wish that I can comfort you but it’s tough! It’s great that Dodger fans and scribes are all excited about Eric Chavez. There aren’t too many cases of guys in their 30’s who suddenly get healthy. It just doesn’t happen. But the bad news is, in a vacuum, a healthy Eric Chavez would be more productive then Casey Blake. Both offensively and defensively! And that’s what the Dodger fans are holding on to, to turn back the clock to 8 or 9 years ago when we were all younger and able to stay erect for 150 or so games. But that’s what it is, a dream, a bad dream! And, Rory, I’ll tell you this, I’d love to see him come back. Always a big fan of his.

      • We say this a lot, Abbie, but baseball is a game that remembers the good times and kind of forgets the adversity. Chavez hasn’t been useful since 2006, a season in which he hit .241. But he took a lot of money the last few years from the A’s and is rich beyond his wildest dreams. I’ll give him credit that he wants to keep playing and re-live those times when he’s paid like a superstar. But those days are more than likely gone forever. Now Chavez has to reinvent himself as a platoon player against RHP who, if lucky, will see 150-200 plate appearances. And I do see the Dodgers excitement. They remember a time in the Southwest when people were putting his name up there with the best third basemen in the game. But, it’s never that easy to get it all back after all these years. I hope he does too! We say this a lot, Abbie, but baseball is a game that remembers the good times and kind of forgets the adversity. Chavez hasn’t been useful since 2006, a season in which he hit .241. But he took a lot of money the last few years from the A’s and is rich beyond his wildest dreams. I’ll give him credit that he wants to keep playing and re-live those times when he’s paid like a superstar. But those days are more than likely gone forever. Now Chavez has to reinvent himself as a platoon player against RHP who, if lucky, will see 150-200 plate appearances. And I do see the Dodgers excitement. They remember a time in the Southwest when people were putting his name up there with the best third basemen in the game. But, it’s never that easy to get it all back after all these years. I hope he does too!

        • George, you dope, it looks like you copied your soliloquy twice on this page. I do agree with both assessments that you have made over the years. While you’re a baseball genius, you’re also a computer idiot and that Chavez is probably done. I’m sure he had a great workout and looked great and everyone is excited. But I would temper the enthusiasm until it counts. Because Chavez has a way of disappearing into the trainer’s room. Though there is a 1 in 60 chance that the Dodgers come out of this looking like geniuses. Do you feel lucky today?

    • It is going to be ok – I really think we under performed last year…Torre somehow lost it. I think that these new coaches will revitalize our young core.

  12. Hope you are right Mr. King. I’ll just stay on my pain meds until July, then read the papers.

    I am pulling for Chavez too Abner. Watching Blake gives me I.B.S.. Chavez is a California guy, I wish him well wherever he ends up.

    I see the Angels traded for Vernon Wells, so, L.A. has a power hitter. He should have a better year than our entire left field platoon. And, he only costs about $14,000,000 more than those guys. Wish the Dodgers had that kind of money. Maybe Frankie McNoNickels can borrow some from Arte.

  13. lets wait to see chavez play his way onto the roster first

  14. you like the vernon wells trade just because the angels took on way too much money for a ‘power hitter’ and also lost a cheaper outfielder that matched wells value (rivera and wells have the same OPS+ over the last 3 years, and its not like wells is superior in center) and one of the better hitting catchers in baseball

    • rivera can match wells offensive production this coming season. and napoli has always been underrated, and may hit 30 bombs this year. and there’s that monstrous contract LA took on too.

  15. I looked at Wells’ three year splits at Angel Stadium and it ain’t pretty. Must have been the superior Angel pitching. Yeah, that was it. It’s my opinion that Wells is overpaid, but, Arte can afford it.

    So Chavez impressed at his try out. Who was pitching to him? I still have a pretty good swing for my age, I’ll bet I can drive an 80 mph batting practice pitch.

  16. MSTI, I am getting bummed reading about the Nationals’ attempt to grab Loney this winter. I would have been totally fine with Jordan Zimmermann instead of Loney, especially if we could cheaply grab LaRoche or Derrek Lee for 1-2 years. I don’t know if this ever would have happened, but it’s more realistic than what the Dodgers were supposedly seeking: it sounds like the Dodgers were asking for Desmond and Zimmermann, which is absurd.

    • I thought the same thing. If Loney doesn’t hit this year I wonder what kind of trade market there will be for him. It would be nice to get someone with value back in return instead of non-tendering him an having him go the way of Martin. In my perfect world Trayvon takes centerfield finally aligning Kemp in right and Either in left and Jerry Sands bat plays at first.


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