Mark Langill – The Big Debut

There is natural curiosity this morning surrounding Chad Billingsley as the top rookie prospect prepares to make his Major League debut against the Padres in San Diego. In mid-June, the question is whether the right-hander is ready to join the Dodger rotation on a full-time basis. Billingsley, who turns 22 on July 29, was the Dodgers’ first-round selection (24th overall) in the June 2003 First-Year Player Draft.

Since the amateur draft began in 1965, the Dodgers have made a pitcher their top selection on 19 occasions, including left-hander Scott Elbert (2004), currently pitching for the Dodgers’ Single-A Vero Beach affiliate; and recent first-round draft choice Clayton Kershaw.

Billingsley becomes the sixth pitcher from that group to reach the Majors, joining Rick Rhoden (drafted in 1971), Rick Sutcliffe (1974), Bob Welch (1977), Steve Howe (1979) and Darren Dreifort (1993). And Billingsley becomes only the second pitcher to make his debut as a starting pitcher.

The other was Sutcliffe, who pitched five scoreless innings and received a no-decision in a 1-0 victory against the Houston Astros on Sept. 29, 1976. That game marked the managerial debut for Tommy Lasorda, a third-base coach who took over the ballclub when Walter Alston announced his retirement two days earlier after 23 seasons.

While the spotlight was on Lasorda, there was no pressure on Sutcliffe that evening as the second-place Dodgers already were eliminated from the pennant race and trailed Cincinnati by 10 games in the National League West. Sutcliffe returned to the minor leagues in 1977, appeared in two games in 1978 and resurfaced in 1979, winning Rookie of the Year honors with a 17-10 record.

18 Comments

One thing all these debuts have shown for each of these rookies is their character, and it seems that is what has kept them on the club. That is why Ethier, Kemp, Aybar, and Martin in particular have done so well. Billingsley seems like the kind of guy with that type of character, making me optimistic about how he’ll do this season for the big club.

They just hit Billingsley. I say we hit their pitcher back!

Billingsly is amazing! He drives in 2 runs in his first official at bat and has allowed one hit to this point. Bye bye Odalis.

Those kids can hit! Billingsley with the 2 RBI single!

Read this post and invite everyone to join this will be a fun way to see who everyone would have on their team if they could draft a team.
http://mlblogger.mlblogs.com/my_weblog/2006/06/fantasy_mlb_dra.html

Chad

Great win today! The kid pitched great… and what velocity and movement on his fastball! This is going to be fun! Go Big Blue!!

I want to re-post what I typed from an earlier discussion today because I’d like it to be read… hopefully by someone from within the organization. I think I speak for many Dodger fans here:

“Jim Rome was relentless toward Odalis yesterday… it was very humorous to listen to.

Odalis Perez has the potential to be one of the best, that’s why it’s so frustrating to see all of this happening with him. He can be better than Seo/Sele/Tomko, but for whatever reason, he seems hades-bent on keeping his cozy Jekyll and Hyde potion handy for all occasions.

Now throw into the mix the question of character: How could a person of his financial clout actually jerk tickets away from inner-city kids who were expecting to see those tickets when he pitched? How could he say that he wasn’t getting any recognition for this act of charity? How… becaue he is a selfish person, and therein lies the cancer.

He cannot be humble with this type of selfish attitude. His lack of humility… the character trait needed to look within ones self to see and correct faults… is keeping him from seeing that mechanics may be an issue with his delivery. But no. Humility will find no place in a heart like his… until he reaches rock bottom… and that cannot happen with the kind of jack he’s bringing in. His attitude will begin to affect those around him. That’s what cancer does you know. It infiltrates and attacks the healthy tissue surrounding it, until the healthy tissue itself becomes cancerous.

Odalis Perez is a cancer to this team. He needs to be excised and thrown into the bio-hazzard container.”

it seems if the dodgers had koufax and drysdale and the 27′ yankees lineup they would still struggle in san diego! good win, esp with billingsly…and he can hit – who knew?

the bigger issues are yet to come. furcal, the bullpen and the fourth/fifth starter.

furcal is the highest paid ss and i think he is feeling the pressure to prove himself. he didn’t have a great spring. he is not fielding well at all, and now not hitting either.

edgar renteria says playing in atlanta is so much easier than boston. there is less pressure in atlanta with the media and they have a core of guys that know how to win.

now he is in a major media market, making 39 mil, and replacing a gold glove ss who is also a fan favorite.

what to do. in the short term, sit him and play martinez for a game or two. for the long term, i say try izzy at third or maybe ss as a late inning replacement for defense.

still think furcal is a better hitter and base stealer than izturis. izzy was best when he was in the two hole with dave roberts leading off. and for whatever reason, he is a terrible basestealer.

besides, furcal makes a ton of money and seems to be okay in the club house. best thing would be for him to jam a thumb and go on the dl. we would get izturis back for a bit to showcase him and win a few ball games as well.

also, i love kent but i think they jumped the gun with the extension and an option for 2008. couldn’t it wait until the winter?

now there is a log jam in the infield and he apparently wants no part of 1b and i doubt 3b as well.

“jesuispret” A lot of what you say rings true. I too think Furcal is here to stay and as soon as he gets used to it I think he’ll settle down. We the fans need to give him our support and let him get comfortable. What makes the Izzy deal so hard to accept is the magic he can perform up the middle. Long term though I think Furcal’s bat and base stealing will far out weigh his defense. A great lead off guy is far more important to this team !! Great game today guys !!

Go Dodgers !!!

The fact that Furcal’s playing with nagging injuries doesn’t help either, and might be a good reason to DL him. Defensively, he is actually quite similar to Kenny Lofton; he relies on his speed in order to make plays (thus he has a higher rating than Izturis in the “Range Factor” category), and he also has a somewhat powerful arm, and has hit double digits in home runs the past few years.

The fact of the matter is, he’s much better suited for third base than Izturis, given that his arm didn’t undergo Tommy John, and that would make the left side of the infield rock solid. Furcal would be best suited to be a Chone Figgins type player; he does have a good bat to have in the lineup. Izturis, though, is critical for his glove. His Gold Glove.

This would be so much easier if Chad Billingsley would teach the other pitchers how to hit.

Furcal was a way to get from the DL to october if Izzy doesn’t recover. Izzy is the best SS in the NL bar none. His hitting was Very good to great before he was hurt last year .300+avg. people seem to have short term memory here.His base stealing you have to remember was hampered by Tracy who didn’t put the sign out for all to take when they thought they could.Repko was tearing it up before he climbed the wall and had very few steals last year.The errors are hurting our starting pitchers very bad and if the Defence is better on the field the bats we have will take care of the rest remember that furcal has not been a major factor in our wins on the bases nor on the field.Nomar has been the biggest producer on both planes and Izzy will soildify the infield. He will make 2nd and 3rd better just because he makes the plays nobody else does.He may be scoring alot of runs but look who is batting behind him….. Izzy will produce if he comes back all the way. Nuff said Go Blue!!!

hey josh, i noticed that scott elbert only went 4 innings, did he have an injury?, i would appreciate a response… and we need to get odalis out of here, hes starting to infest joel guzman with his same attitude, and thats bad news… and how bout my kids, they just keep doing it…

BELIEVE IN THE RELEASE!

1) Chad Billingsley is batting 1.000. He has Odalis Perez’s job, and Eddie Murray, you’re next.

2) HAIL CESAR!

Izzy went 4/5 in vegas’s loss tonight with a double and a run nobody hit well behind him though.Lookout Raffy here comes Izzy.Carrara got bombed for 3 in 2/3 an inning and he was looking good by the numbers before that.AA Jacksonville made it 15 straight tonight also!They have some serious talent down there even with La Roche in vegas now and Kemp here.Just wish we could have held on to Tiffany ya think the devilrays will Take Carter and Baez Back for Him?

“hey josh, i noticed that scott elbert only went 4 innings, did he have an injury?, i would appreciate a response”

he was selected to the FSL all star game on the 17th so they didnt want him pitching a ton because he is going to be pitching again in 2 days.

Hail Cesar! Izturis raised his BA to .304, and he has walked 9 times and has only 2 K. One error so far. Could someone in Vegas give him a steal sign to see if he can do that too?

And while the bottom of the order was weak, there was a good side. Loney went 2-4 and Guzman hit an RBI triple. Loney’s hitting .370 down there; this guy listened to Grady. Dioner Navarro, though, is hitting .048 and let two baserunners go.

What was the “Eddie Murray, you’re next” comment all about?

Yeah. What was the Eddie Murray comment about?

The Eddie Murray comment: I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that Billingsley wasn’t brought up for his bat. Yet he delivered at the plate, and maybe he’ll influence the other pitchers to bat some in. It was said rather tongue-in-cheek.

The Dodgers should get credit for helping him out at the plate in more subtle ways. By working Young in the counts and fouling pitches off, he was out after 5 innings, and the Padres bullpen couldn’t keep it together.

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