Why the Dodgers Stink pt III: Bad Benches and the Managers Who Love Them

Here’s part I and II of why the Dodgers stink.

This doesn’t need to be a whole post, since this is maybe the most obvious part for the Dodgers’ awful

In looking at numbers, there’s the value of the true talent that a player has and the value of what the player has already done. While Chris Coghlan had a tremendous 2009 season, he had a very high BABIP and suffered major regressions in 2010.

But he still had a very good offensive season in 2009. Even if it was unsustainable, he provided very well for his team.

In 2009, the Dodgers had two off-the-bench bats who performed above-average: Ronnie Belliard and Juan Pierre. Belliard was acquired at the waiver trade deadline, Aug. 31, and performed amazingly in 83 plate appearances: .351/.398/.636. That OPS is Albert Pujols-levels.

As for Pierre, he filled in for Manny Ramirez while Manny was suspended 50 games for illegal substances and put up this line: .318/.381/.411 in 240 plate appearances.

The best part of that is Belliard was a utility infielder and Pierre a utility outfielder. There wasn’t conflict between the two over utility spots; both could be good at the same time.

Having a great starting 9 is one thing, but when they’re injured or out, having good or above-average bench players can help a team avoid in the meantime. That’s basically what happened (rip o-dog).

But since the 2010 Dodgers were pretty much out of it before the end of the waiver wire deadline, Belliard helped but he wasn’t necessary. With that in mind, here’s the difference between the 2009 and 2010 benches.

The Dodgers’ 2009 bench
OF Juan Pierre, 425 PAs: .308/.365/.392
IF Mark Loretta, 204 PAs: .232/.309/.276
IF Juan Castro, 121 PAs: .277/.311/.339
C Brad Ausmus, 107 PAs: .295/.343/.368
IF Blake DeWitt, 53 PAs: .204/.245/.388

This bench was replaced with this:

The Dodgers’ 2010 bench
IF Jamey Carroll, ~500 PAs: .287/.377/.338
IF Ronnie Belliard, ~200 PAs: .216/.295/.327
OF Reed Johnson, ~200 PAs: .283/.306/.380
OF Garret Anderson, 163 PAs: .181/.204/.271
OF Xavier Paul, 133 PAs: .231/.277/.314
C Brad Ausmus, ~70 PAs: .203/.299/.220
C AJ Ellis, ~90 PAs: .211/.291/.237

The outfield was the part of the team that needed a good bench player this year and it didn’t have one. Not one of Johnson, Paul or Anderson was capable of filling that hole and Scott Podsednik sadly provided what little above-average production he could. The biggest problem is when your top two offensive players miss 100 combined games up to the trade deadline, you better have some bad-ass replacement players.

The Dodgers didn’t. After a hot start, injuries to Manny Ramirez and Andre Ethier hurt the team and nobody could replace the .290/.400/.530 bat.

While the starting 9 wasn’t pulling their weight like in 2009, neither was the bench.

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1 Comment

Filed under Los Angeles Dodgers, MLB

One response to “Why the Dodgers Stink pt III: Bad Benches and the Managers Who Love Them

  1. DodgersKings323

    Let’s hope Gibbons won’t be another Marlon Anderson/Ronnie Belliard…….

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