We may never know the real reason why Paul DePodesta was fired. Frank McCourt's press conference yesterday certainly told us nothing, other than the fact that McCourt is a horrendous public speaker. Sample excerpt, dialog slightly altered "we...uh...thought that if we...uh...moved on with...uh...Paul then we could win more...uh...baseball." Consequently, with nothing else of note to write about until the Dodgers name new personnel, it's speculation time.
Unless Frank McCourt is an utterly bungling, incompetent fool (not completely out of the question) there is no way this decision was made until a week ago. There is no way that he would have let DePodesta start a managerial search knowing he would be terminated weeks later. What could have possibly changed in the last three weeks?
-DePo was conducting his managerial search
-The White Sox won the world series
In turn some combination of the following events occurred.
Frank McCourt was one of the people who learned the wrong lesson from the White Sox winning the World Series. Since his style has clearly shown him as reactionary (Moneyball was the big thing around DePodesta's hiring) he says "I've got to get me some of that"
DePodesta wanted a manager that didn't fly with either the McCourts or Lasorda. Likely he wanted to bring in Terry Collins, while Orel Hershiser or Bobby Valentine was the apple of the McCourts eye.
Unless DePo did something like take a crap on McCourt's desk, I can't see any other thing that could have changed in the last three weeks. As I said before, someone (I really hope it wasn't the PR firm, heaven help us if they make the baseball decisions) suddenly decided that we need to go back to the Dodger way (despite what that actually means) and DePo, unlike the McCourts, didn't bleed Dodger blue.
Despite the fact that Bill Plaschke's article today is the expected garbage (Rob at 6-4-2 goes into more detail) I'm actually sort of proud of him. I just expected todays column to blast the McCourts, the fact that he actually has something positive to say is a step up for him. While there are some people out there who disagree with the firing, the overwhelming majority think this was a good thing. I suppose McCourt got his wish.
This is really as an anti-Moneyball firing down to its core, not only with the release of stat-guy DePodesta, but with McCourt clearly wanting to overpay a G.M. for a trait that doesn't matter (good P.R.) while ignoring what is really important (building a winning team). At least the man who couldn't communicate kept up the same level of class that he's shown the entire time he was with the organization.
"I truly believe that this franchise is poised to begin the next great era of Dodger baseball," DePodesta said. "I have a tremendous amount of affection for the players, staff and front office and I wish everyone the best of luck. Most importantly, I want to thank the fans for their unparalleled support of the team."
Best of luck DePo. Here's hoping you end up with a team that actually deserves your talents.
On a final order of buisness, I need a new name. As you can tell by scrolling to the top of this page, I suck at naming things. Consequently I'll make this democratic. Make some suggesstions in the comments, and I'll either choose the best one, or leave it up to a vote. I'd prefer something Dodger related, if possible (keeping the current name is also entirely possible.)
I was not happy when Frank McCourt bought the Los Angeles Dodgers. I figured that he would have no money, tear down Dodger Stadium, and do other hideously evil things.
Then the first major thing he did was hire Paul DePodesta, and I was very happy. After that, the Dodgers won the division and won playoff game for the first time that I could actually appreciate such a thing. Maybe I was too harsh on McCourt, with the success, and the renewed lease on Dodger Stadium, I could hold off on parking lot attendant and "LOL Frank McCourt is poor!!!" jokes, and learn to embrace these new owners.
After this decision, I really only have one thing to say.
Fuck you, Frank McCourt.
This decision reinforces the fact the ideas that have been floating around the media for the last two years. Frank McCourt has no business running a baseball team. This decision, in the context of the Tracy firing three weeks ago, makes absolutely no sense. You get rid of Tracy, presumably because he couldn't interact with the GM, and then you get rid of the GM who lost around 18 games (and I'm being conservative here) due to injuries and managerial incompetence. At the time of DePodesta's hiring McCourt said "[the hiring] also fits with a desire to recreate the feeling of stability and continuity that the Dodgers have had over the years. We are bringing in a young man and making a five-year commitment. We are looking for stability because it goes hand-in-hand with success." Yeah, this move does a whole lot to promote stability.
Just one year after DePodesta had to destroy a flawed core and make a new team, McCourt's new hire will likely have to do the same thing. If this report by Peter Gammons is correct, this will mean going back to the style of "Dodger baseball". (Since the report is behind closed doors, this is the relevant bit: "After meeting with Orel Hershiser and Tom Lasorda, McCourt, ever sensitive to the Los Angeles media, changed direction. Friday, DePodesta was ordered to meet with ownership at 10 p.m. PT, and was subsequently dismissed. Now, what could be better PR to sell the Dodger tradition than hiring Hershiser as GM and bringing Dodger blueblood -- and Lasorda favorite -- Bobby Valentine back as manager from his historic triumph in Japan. "Don't bet against it," said one person acquainted with the scene. "Tommy really wants Bobby back with the Dodgers.")
Fuck Dodger baseball.
Let me recap the greatest memories of the Dodgers that I have. I am in no way using anything for comedic effect here:
1) Jose Lima throwing a shutout in last years NLDS.
2) This game, back in 1994, where despite the fact that Mike Piazza was available to pinch hit, Darren Dreifort comes running out of the clubhouse and drives in the winning run.
3) Chan Ho Park attempting to karate kick Tim Belcher.
4) The Dodgers blowing out the Giants in the last game of the season of 1993, forcing the Giants to miss the playoffs with 103 wins.
That's it. Do you know what other storied team could have given me similar memories? The god damn Brewers. Dodger baseball has got us nowhere in recent memory. It's all about pitching and defense right? Who else remembers 2003, where the Dodgers had a historically good pitching and defense, and still lost? Maybe, after 17 years of futility, it was time for a change, and, for a brief period, it looked like it would occur. It was a good thing we had going there, wasn't it?
In comparison, here's what the Dodgers have done for me, keeping in mind that the first season that I can recall getting truly involved in was 1992:
1) Perpetually sucked.
2) Traded my favorite player (who happened to be the best player in baseball) for Gary Sheffield
3) Gave a 34 year old pitcher a contract that would give him 16 million dollars on his 41st birthday.
4) Traded my favorite player for Todd Hundley.
If the Gammons report is true, I can also flip the bird to Tommy Lasorda for his role in this whole thing. The fact that DePodesta supposedly got canned for not following "the Dodger way" along with this quote, "leadership [is] a very important characteristic for a new GM He would have a keen eye for baseball talent and experience to do the job" tells me that the McCourts are not looking to hire another stat guy as their G.M. this offseason, rather, he wants a Jim Bowden-a-like to right the ship. With the bounty of free agents avialable this winter, I'm sure this will involve giving Jacque Jones a Garret Anderson style contract.
What effect does this have on me in the end? I have to rename this blog, and I have no desire to ever give Frank McCourt another cent. The Dodgers have long been a part of my life, and I can't completely abandon them, but being a fan does not have to involve giving him money.
Thanks for the memories.
I was going to write about how the 2005 Chicago White Sox offense, but, as Steve said in the comments of my last entry, what’s the point? Despite the fact that smart ball gets all the press, the 2005 White Sox were far less efficient offensively than the “one dimensional” 2004 White Sox. A very simple way to determine this is by total runs scored:
2004 White Sox: 865 runs
2005 White Sox: 741 runs
Apparently, when you lose your three best hitters (two, if you consider that Magglio Ordonez missed most of last year), despite what the media will tell you, it will actually drop your run production, in this case by about 15 percent.
So, if it wasn’t offense, how did they do it? Well, Alan presents a big reason in the comments from my last entry, courtesy of Baseball Prospectus.
IP W L ERA VORP
Actual 236.7 16 8 3.12 54.2
PECOTA 205 13 11 4.47 36.3
IP W L ERA VORP
Actual 221 18 10 3.50 50.1
PECOTA 180 10 11 5.05 20.9
IP W L ERA VORP
Actual 228 14 8 3.87 45.6
PECOTA 195 12 11 4.55 33.3
IP W L ERA VORP
Actual 204.7 15 7 3.61 41.5
PECOTA 135 8 9 4.91 19.2
All it takes to make a winning team is to have four of your starting pitchers pitch into the 90th percentile of their PECOTA projections. Not that hard, right?
What else would help? How about if the bullpen massively exceeds their expectations as well?
| || |
*DERA= Defense adjusted ERA, adjusted for all time.
Yet another lesson on why you shouldn’t spend money on a bullpen. These five pitchers combined made 5.88 million dollars this year. Three of them blew their career numbers out of the water, one slightly exceeded them, and one got worse. Once again, no lessons can really be learned here. It’s not like Dustin Hermanson had some untapped potential that was suddenly unleashed in his mid-30s. Get a bunch of cheap mid range relievers, and pray for the best is really all you can do.
What else could suddenly rise to fruition for the White Sox? How about defense? While the upturn was not as dramatic as in pitching, four White Sox suddenly got much better defensively, three stayed about the same, and there was only one disappointment, Tadahito Iguchi.
**Numbers from centerfield
With this, there are really no real lessons to be learned from the 2005 White Sox. Get a bunch of players together, and hope they all make drastic improvements simultaneously. Sadly, that’s hard to plan for. The best thing that could come from this season is that other teams learn the wrong lessons from the White Sox, and start trading their good hitters for scrappiness. Repko for Bobby Abreu sure sounds nice.
This would have been more timely had Blogger not been giving me guff all day.
Have you ever seen anyone look as horrible in the span of one game as Willy Taveraz did last night? To review:
1st - Popped a bunt. Runner on second with no outs.
3rd -Struck out. Runner on first, one out.
5th - Popped out to shallow right center. No on, one out.
8th - Flied out to left. No on, no out.
9th - Struck out. First and third, one out.
11th - Hit on the dome.
13th - Struck out. Runner on first, one out.
A-Rod would have been called far worse than C minus-Rod if he put up a night like this. In my desire to see the White Sox not win last night, I called Tavarez a very naughty word after that strikeout in the ninth. This is why players whose entire offensive value is based on infield hits (he would have hit .172/.206/.226 without them) do not deserve to be the consensus rookie of the year. But, I digress.
For my next small sample size observation, Phil Garner is the worst manager ever. He simply left Roy Oswalt out to die last night. Oswalt set his career high for pitches in an inning in the fifth last night, and, in what is arguably the worst inning of his career, Garner refuses to come out to talk to him, nor did he make any attempt to replace him. Combine this with his love for the bunt (see below), and his bizarre attempts to confuse Ozzie Guillen (yes, Brad Lidge is going to bat in the bottom of the ninth), Phil Garner is the worst manager in recorded history.
In what is not a small sample size observation, if there were any justice in the world, this post season would be proof that small ball doesn't work. You would think that the myth that a team needs to play small ball to win would have died when Boston won the World Series, but then Dave Roberts had to steal that base. Because of that, it "proved" that a team needs small ball to win. This post season should have done far more than Boston ever could to debunk that myth. The best example of this is the horrible bunting performed by the Angels, Cardinals, White Sox, and Astros.
In this table, a bunt attempt is any at bat where the batter showed bunt and took a strike. A successful bunt is when the lead runners are able to advance a base.
|Successful Bunts||Bunt Attempts||Percent|
|ALCS Game One||1||5||.200|
|ALCS Game Two||2||4||.500|
|ALCS Game Three||1||1||1.000|
|ALCS Game Four||0||3||.000|
|ALCS Game Five||2||3||.667|
|NLCS Game One||3||3||1.000|
|NLCS Game Two||2||3||.667|
|NLCS Game Three||1||3||.333|
|NLCS Game Four||1||3||.000|
|NLCS Game Five||2||2||1.000|
|NLCS Game Six||0||1||.000|
|WS Game One||2||3||.667|
|WS Game Two||0||3||.000|
|WS Game Three||2||6||.333|
|Successful Bunts||Bunt Attempts||Percent|
|Successful Bunts||Bunt Attempts||Percent|
Considering that in the optimal situation, a bunt is only useful if you get it down 90 percent of the time, an all around percentage of 44.2 is just dreadful. It gets even worse when you take out the worthwhile bunts that the pitchers made. Without those, the percentage drops to 35%. Will this have any effect on the overall opinion of the bunt? Probably not, but it would be nice if these teams stopped giving up outs like they were week old baked goods.
Sadly, a White Sox victory seems inevitable (though Houston is as well equipped as anyone to win four in a row. If only they could hit.) and if Ozzie Guillen makes good on his promise to retire, he will be canonized by the media. The only really good thing to come out of 2005 is that Barry Bonds missed most of it. Other than that, this has been a sad, sad year.
Since the end of June, I've constantly had the debate with others about who was the Rookie of the Year in the American League this year. The AL's rookie class is one of the strongest we've seen in a long time. Players who would be favorites to win the award in other years: Gustavo Chacin, Dan Johnson, Chris Shelton, Robinson Cano, and others, have no chance to win it this year due to superior options elsewhere. As I see it, there are four players who have reasonable arguments for the award:
44.3 VORP, 201.3 IP, 3.53 ERA, 116 K, 67 BB, 23 HR, .253 BABIP
Blanton was my preseason choice for rookie of the year, and he didn't disappoint, putting up the highest VORP amongst rookie. Two things keep him from deserving the rookie of the year without reservation, however.
-His three true outcome stats were rather bad, putting up a shocking 1.67 K/BB despite his excellent control in the minors, along with a below average 23 home runs.
-The only thing that saved him from complete ruin this year was his .253 BABIP, the third lowest in baseball. While, like Barry Zito, his amazing curve ball serves to keep his BABIP down, some luck was most definately invovled.
As a case for Blanton, if you take out his horrendous May (13.25 ERA) he would have had a 2.55 ERA, which would have lead the AL.
Despite the fact that Blanton had a stronger overall performance than any other rookie, if Baseball Tonight is any indication, he won't even receive consideration, most likely because he only has 12 wins.
36.9 VORP, 407 PA .282/.371/.534/.905 ,21 HR, 9 SB, 1 FRAA2*e
Gomes was able to lead all rookie position players in VORP, despite the fact that he only played two thirds of a season. His .905 OPS was second amongst rookies (behind Ryan Howard), and he lead all rookies with 21 home runs. The only knock against Gomes might be the fact that he is a bad fielder, but, other than that, Gomes was clearly the dominant rookie position player.
30.9 VORP, 582 PA, .278/.342/.438/.780 15 HR, 15 SB, 8 FRAA2*
Iguchi gets some consideration because he is a middle infielder, and things like 15/15 seasons tend to get rookie of the year voters all hot and bothered. The one thing that keeps Iguchi in contention for me is the fact that his on base percentage got hurt by the smart ball strategy. If you give him back the 11 times he reached base that were negated by bunting, Iguchi rises to a .360 on base. This doesn't include the times that the bunt failed, which could raise his OBP even higher.
As it stands, Iguchi shouldn't be a serious candidate, he was far inferior to Gomes, but I can see him stealing the rookie of the year award for doing things like bunting and stealing bases.
33.3 VORP, 78.3 IP, 1.72 ERA, 72 K, 26 BB, 3HR, .253 BABIP
Street had an amazing season this year, shoring up the A's closer situation after the loss of Octavio Dotel. Street lead all relievers in ARP** by five, a truly amazing feat. Street was simply lights out all season, and there is nothing that should limit him from serious consideration.
Dropping Iguchi from serious consideration, the rookie of the year award comes down to a starting pitcher, a relief pitcher, and a position player? How to best compare those? Blanton, while he was not as dominant as Gomes or Street, played a full season, and some credit has to be given for sustaining good numbers the entire season.
The best way to do this is to compare these players to the entire league, rather than just rookies. If this is the case, the award must go to Huston Street. While Blanton served as a very good third starter (and was tenth in the AL in ERA, 10th in VORP), and Gomes was an above average left fielder, Street was able to become a truly elite closer, leading all AL relievers in VORP, lead all relievers in ARP, and finished seventh in expected runs added. While Blanton and Gomes were very good rookies, Street was very good, period. Considering that Mariano Rivera is getting Cy Young consideration, and that Street had very similar stats, the award simply must go to him.
However, as I said at the start, this is a long running debate I've been having all season, and I could very well be wrong. I welcome any challenges to my position.
*Adjusted fielding runs over replacement
**Adjusted Runs Prevented, one of the better methods of measuring relief pitchers.
Another day, another playoff game greatly effected by bad umpiring. Has there ever been a post season so marred by game altering bad calls? To review:
ALDS Game Three: For the first time in recorded history, Cowboy Joe West says that Robinson Cano did not touch second base to force out Juan Rivera, despite the fact that historically, a player only has to be in the same zip code of the base to get the force.(the same call would be made on Tadahito Iguchi in the ALCS.) Instead of first and third and two outs in the top of the 7th of an 8-6 game, the bases are loaded with one out. Molina is then sacrificed home.
ALDS Game Five: Cowboy Joe West calls Robinson Cano called out for running outside of the baseline, despite the fact that the only reason he moved was to not block the throw from the catcher to first. The game shifted from having the bases loaded with two outs in a 5-2 game to the inning being over.
ALCS Game Two: Doug Eddings clearly signals that A.J. Piersynski struck out, yet calls him safe when he runs to first. Instead of the bottom of the ninth ending in a 1-1 game, there is a runner on first with two outs. A stolen base and a Joe Crede double later, the White Sox win.
ALCS Game Four: In the top of the fifth, replays show that Scott Podsenik was clearly picked off of first base, but is called safe by Ed Rapuano. Instead of no on and two out in the top of the fifth of a 5-2 game, there is one on and one out. Podsednik would later score. This turned out to be meaningless, but was blatantly wrong.
NLCS Game Four: In a game that had an otherworldly strike zone the whole way through, Phil Cuzzi ejects Jim Edmonds for arguing balls and strikes. While it is in the letter of the law for him to do so, you do not eject a star player from a playoff game unless they, at a minimum, commit arson. While the effect this had was debatable (John Rodriguez inherited a full count and hit a 430 foot fly out), Cuzzi picked the wrong time to figure out who was bigger.
NLCS Game Six: Yadier Molina is called out at second base by Greg Gibson a on phantom tag by Adam Everett. Instead of the bases loaded and no out, it is first and third and one out in a 3-0 game. While this call is far more excusable than the ones listed above since he was screened out of the play, this call cost the Cardinals 1.2 runs on average, and would prove to be the only time the Cardinals could have gotten to Oswalt.
Now joining these calls, we have the phantom hit by pitch on Jermaine Dye. While the end result was still in question, Wheeler would have still had a 3-2 count on Dye, this call potentially cost the Astros the game. Instead of the inning ending, the bases were loaded for Paul Konerko. While the call was hard to see visually, it could have been made simply by watching Dye's actions. When a player gets hit by a pitch, usually two things happen:
-If the player was hit in an unarmored area, they at the very least flinch.
-The player runs to first base.
Have you ever seen someone standing around looking confused after they were hit by a pitch? That should have been enough for Jeff Nelson to realize that Dye was not hit on the arm. All of this would be academic, of course, had Chad Qualls not thought that grooving a fastball to Paul Konerko was a good idea.
Maybe there is something to this "team of destiny" thing. That, or someone just really wants to see an entire offseason of praise for Ozzie Guillen.
Baseball Prospectus has been hyping their new book, Mind Game, recently on their website. The subtitle, “How The Red Sox Got Smart, Won A World Series, and Created A New Blueprint For Winning” invoked ideas of a Moneyball style romp featuring Theo Epstein wheeling and dealing in order to put the right pieces into place. After going through three bookstores, I found the book, and was ready to dig in.
I was way off on my initial perception.
Rather, the book reads like a series of Baseball Prospectus articles, with little continuity between them. This point is driven home by the fact that each chapter is written by a different author. Due to this style, basic information about subjects like on base percentage are constantly repeated. The focus of the book was not on Theo Epstein, who interests me due to his amazing ability to get very good players off waivers or on the cheap, but rather on assorted subjects like how good Pedro Martinez is. This is interesting, but it’s nothing that I couldn’t already get from their website.
I had the feeling that the writers of Mind Game had no inside information, as there was no indication that they had spoke to Epstein at any point. How does Epstein pick up guys for nothing that become so useful? The main case presented is that they have a good OPS. If this were the only reason, however, how come teams like the A’s or the Blue Jays didn’t go get David Ortiz or Mark Bellhorn?
The other major thing that bugged me about this book is the fact that the Baseball Prospectus writers are generally statisticians first, writers second. One of the main reasons that Moneyball was so engaging is because Michael Lewis is an excellent writer. He was able to make Billy Beane, Paul DePodesta, Scott Hatteberg, and others into interesting characters, while at the same time breaking down the thought process of Billy Beane. In contrast, the basic narrative structure in Mind Game is present a small snippet of the Red Sox 2004 season, then go off on a long tangent. For example, referencing that Pedro Martinez pitched a good game one night, then spending the next ten pages stating that he is, for all intents and purposes, the best pitcher ever. If you’ve ever just tried to sit down and read the Bill James Historical Abstract straight through, you’re familiar with the writing style.
Reading Mind Game is like reading something that I wrote. Yes, I enjoy writing, but it certainly won’t hold up to any kind of professional scrutiny. Because the book failed to create an interesting narrative, I ended up forcing myself to slog through it by the end.
The book’s main failing is that it simply doesn’t know it’s target audience. Sabermatricians already know most of the information presented (except for a few things, like the effect that a large brawl has on a team), but the casual baseball fan will be turned off by the lack of a narrative and the general arrogance that is prevalent throughout sabermetrics (I know I am not innocent here.) Case in point: “Chapter One: The Banality of Ignorance”. Without a strong narrative or new information, the book could not sustain my interest. Despite a couple of interesting factoids, I don’t see any major league personnel being proud of the fact that they didn’t read Mind Game in the near future.
"It's the intangibles they have," Tracy said. "They do the little things. Sure, they can thunder you in a heartbeat. But where they really beat you down is when Albert Pujols hits the ball through the hole on a hit-and-run and it's first and third and nobody out."
Scott Brosius, Joe Girardi, or Luis Sojo wouldn't have grounded into that double play in the ninth, that's all I'm saying.
In all seriousness, that game have gone any worse for people who dislike the Angel's strategy.
The Angels continued to wave their luckiest-freaking-team in the world flag, scoring the two difference making runs because the Yankee's defense was too good. Bernie Williams would have never caught that ball, and Sheffield would have had an easy out. Lovely.
There's also the fact that Joe West hates Robinson Cano and/or the entire Yankee organization. First by enforcing the "you have to touch second base" rule that is never enforced, and last night by saying he ran outside the baseline when he was clearly within the letter of the law.
Finally, the game ends on a nice play by Erstad, therefore justifying the 600 at bats he got this year. Would Kotchman been able to make that play? I don't know, but it certainly won't stop the media from calling Erstad the best first baseman in baseball.
In a note to the Angels radio announcers: you are not allowed to rub payroll in anyone's face. "The Yankees 200 million dollar payroll fell a few dollars short" quipped Rory Marcus after the game. The team that spends money at the absurd rate the Angels do can not throw that back at the Yankees.
At least I'm not a Yankee fan any more, getting rid of that horribly dirty feeling. (I actually said, "come on Jeter, let's see some of that post-season magic", with out a hint of irony.) Consequently, I can say this: you did not overachieve this year. You had a 200 million dollar payroll, and, you were the consensus best team in baseball heading into this season. (Heck, I predicted almost everything that would go wrong with the Yankees this year, and I still thought they would have the best record in baseball). As long as you can write a lineup that goes Jeter-Rodriguez-Giambi-Sheffield, you are one of the best teams in baseball. You'll go get A.J. Burnett, Johnny Damon, and B.J. Ryan in the offseason, and you'll be the consensus best team in baseball again. Maybe one day, long after Steinberneer steps down, you'll learn what it really means to overachieve, but that will be a long time coming.
Now, I have to say something that I never thought I would, all thanks to this horrendous season.
Let's go White Sox.
|Player||DL Start||DL End||GM||Salary||VORP||Salary Lost||VORP Lost|
|Eric Gagne||Apr 02||May 14||35||8.000||4.2||1.73||5.07|
|Brad Penny||Apr 02||Apr 24||17||5.100||31.2||0.54||3.66|
|Jayson Werth||Apr 02||May 25||44||0.337||8.7||0.09||3.48|
|Wilson Alvarez||Apr 02||May 03||25||2.000||-0.2||0.31||-0.07|
|Antonio Perez||Apr 10||May 18||33||0.321||15.7||0.07||4.02|
|Elmer Dessens||Apr 24||Jun 15||45||1.300||10.5||0.36||4.04|
|Jose Valentin||May 04||Jul 31||77||3.500||-4.5||1.66||-4.08|
|Jason Grabowski||May 18||Jun 07||17||0.327||-8.5||0.03||-1|
|Odalis Perez||May 23||Jul 05||39||4.500||8.7||1.08||3.61|
|Paul Bako||May 27||Never||115||0.650||1.2||0.46||2.94|
|Milton Bradley||Jun 03||Jul 23||42||2.500||23.7||0.65||11.71|
|Wilson Alvarez||Jun 06||Jul 19||35||2.000||-0.2||0.43||-0.1|
|Ricky Ledee||Jun 07||Jul 08||27||1.000||12.3||0.17||2.46|
|Eric Gagne||Jun 15||Never||98||8.000||4.2||4.84||14.19|
|J.D. Drew||Jul 04||Never||80||9.350||31||4.62||30.24|
|Cesar Izturis||Jul 05||Jul 15||7||2.150||0.7||0.09||0.04|
|Kelly Wunsch||Jul 08||Never||78||0.550||2.5||0.26||2.32|
|Jayson Werth||Jul 31||Aug 11||8||0.337||8.7||0.02||0.63|
|Wilson Alvarez||Aug 11||Sep 19||35||2.000||-0.2||0.43||-0.1|
|Odalis Perez||Aug 22||Sep 24||29||4.500||8.7||0.81||2.68|
|Milton Bradley||Aug 25||Never||35||2.500||23.7||0.54||9.76|
|Cesar Izturis||Aug 28||Never||32||2.150||0.7||0.42||0.18|
The Dodgers lost 953 games to injury this year, not counting little nagging things that cost them two to three games. These losses represented the loss of almost 20 million dollars in salary, and approximately 95.68 runs. This doesn't count Darren Dreifort, which takes another 162 days and five million dollars away from the Dodgers.
The impact of the losses stretches beyond the 95.68 runs, however. Would Werth only have contributed 8.7 runs if he wouldn't have broken his wrist. Would Izturis be nearly replacement level had he not been playing hurt? Would Valentin have hit two home runs? I doubt it.
In 2004 Werth had a VORP of 15.4 in 326 plate appearances and Izturis had a 29.7 VORP in 728 plate appearances. Had these two players performed at that rate this year they would have had a 18.65 VORP and a 19.5 VORP respectively, and would have represented an additional 10 runs lost from these two players alone.
Of course, the Dodgers didn't replace every one of these players with a replacement level body. Robles performed well in his backup roles. Ledee was not very good as a starter, and has most of his value tied up in his pinch hitting duty. All the other backups, however, were pretty much horrid, some so bad (Edwards, Repko, Grabowski) that they almost canceled out the good that Robles and Ledee contributed.
As it stands, the Dodgers likely lost 11-12 wins solely due to injury. When you combine that with under performing starting pitching and poor decisions about play time, the Dodgers could have been a far, far stronger team than they were in 2005.