With all the issues we had posting, it has taken us longer than we had hoped to answer some of the questions you posed but hopefully it should be a little more regular going forward. Here are Ned’s responses:
Question for Ned, How do minor leaguers get paid? Is it based on the round they were drafted, or a certain pay for the level they play at.?
Posted by: firstname.lastname@example.org |
All minor league players, regardless of when they get drafted, start at the minor league minimum of $1,100 / month. After their first year, we increase their pay depending on which level they are playing at, i.e., a first time Triple-A player would get $2,150 / month. For second and third times at a particular level, the monthly salary goes up minimally.
Both Nomar and LaRoche were playing well in the spring before they both went down with injuries a few minutes apart. Once they both return, are they going to be battling it out all season or is one of them more likely to be given the every day starter’s job at some point?
With the early play of Blake DeWitt, it is becoming even more interesting for us. If everyone
returns healthy, Joe will have a few options. From my perspective, if someone steps out as the every day starter that would be the best case scenario. If not, the competition for playing time is part of the game and the more competition a team has with good players, the better the team can be.
Ned, how worried are you about Saito’s recent struggles this Spring, and what are the plans if
these continue into the regular season? How concerned are you that this could be his age catching up with him?
One of the many questions that cannot be answered in Spring Training is evaluating the play of veteran players. Each player prepares at their own pace and while the results may not look promising, many times the spring results turn out to mean nothing. Certainly, that is not always the case. In the event something happens to Saito, we feel Jonathon Broxton would be a strong candidate.
Ned, I don’t always agree with your decisions but I have to say you and the Dodgers are class acts for answering the fans questions. My question is , It seems to us fans that whenever a trade rumor pops up involving the Dodgers, it seems like other teams want so much more from the Dodgers for their player than they ask for and sometimes get from other teams. Is this a true statement, and if it is why do you think it’s like that?
By email@example.com on March 25, 2008 2:37 PM
Trade rumors certainly fuel conversations about the game and about teams, but the vast majority are not close to being accurate. With the internet and the constant chatter among fans, most rumors are just that. That said, it is true that we are asked about our top players whenever we discuss a trade. One of the major differences between us and other clubs is that our top prospects – for the most part – are in the Major Leagues or have Major League experience that isn’t just of the September call-up variety. Some of the major trades made in the last year or so, involved prospects whose time in the Major Leagues was limited or non existent. Our young Major League players are keys to our foundation and some have a chance to be star players. We find it diffiucult to part with three or four young major league players who have shown star potential for one star player.
Hi, Mr. Colletti. Thanks for taking the time to look through these. Quickly, I’m wondering if the opinion of the fans play into your decision making process. I understand that you have access to a wealth of resources and information that may not be available to the average Dodger fan and that you always try to act in the best interests of the team, but when a majority of knowledgeable Dodger fans come to a concensus about a particular situation, does that have any bearing on how you move forward?
Josh, I have great respect for the fans and have found that the Dodgers fans are very knowledgeable and follow the club very closely. While there are many times when it seems as if there is a fan consensus, that might not always be the case. And it is important to really sort through a multitude of different situations that sometimes force certain moves and roster changes. With the varying contract values, contract lengths, injury histories, no-trade clauses, player make-up queries, it’s complicated and many times what seems obvious to a group of fans isn’t entirely practical. And even if it is practical, most of the time there needs to be a second party (another team for a trade, a free agent player who wants to sign with a club, an agent’s agenda in which they want to place a certain player with a particular club, etc.) that also sees the practicality of a situation in order to make a deal.
I understand that young players need to to mature and all that, but when you have a talent like Clayton Kershaw how can you hold him back? Two questions: (1) Do you think he’ll make the team out of Spring Training (possibly as a reliever to keep his innings down until later in the saeson); and (2) If he dosen’t make the team, when do you anticipate calling him up?
I think you have done an excellent job – Keep it up!
The Clayton Kershaw situation is one that we spent a lot of time considering this spring. Without question, he pitched very well the second half of Spring Training. In his case, we took a look at how many professional innings he had pitched. We researched other pitchers who were high school drafts like Clayton and how many innings they pitched professionally before they made their Major League debut. In the case of everyone we looked at, they had pitched anywhere between 75 and 200 more professional innings before they pitched in the big leagues. That was one consideration. Another consideration is that he pitched 122 innings last season and the normal progression would be for him to throw 155-165 innings this year. We didn’t want to put him in a position where he came to the big leagues early in the season and began accumulating innings at a pace that would find him at 150-160 Major League innings in mid-August (the stress of 150-160 Major League innings far exceeds the stress of 150-160 innings in the minor leagues).
So by starting him in the minor leagues we can continue to refine him (while he is on his way to be a very accomplished pitcher, he still has a couple things to iron out) and also monitor his innings. It is easier to monitor innings and shorten a start or two in the mnor leagues than it is in the Major Leagues. If he continues to progress, it won’t be long before he is with the big league club.
How many of the 25- and 40-man roster decisions are yours and how many are decided by Joe Torre?
If yours, how much do you depend on Joe’s advice?
We take input from the Major League coaching staff and our baseball operations staff members.
Joe and I always discuss the roster and usually come to a consensus on the makeup of the club.
Question for Ned Colletti:
A notable trend in MLB front offices today is to have at least one full-time statistical analyst (typically a person with a math degree) on staff. The World Champion Red Sox hired Bill James* as a special assistant in 2003; they’ve given him two World Series rings since. The Padres, who seem to contend for ofter than their talent might indicate, employ Chris Long as “Senior Quantitative Analyst”. Do the Dodgers have or have plans for a statistical analyst on staff?
A couple of our baseball operations staff members spend time doing statistical analysis. We believe that statistical analysis plays a role in decisions on players, but like reviewing their character, work habits, leadership abilities, injury history, it is part of the equation and not always the entire answer.
Thank you so much for talking to us fans. I have some different questions i think, not so much related to the roster..
What would you say do the dodgers organization use most technology wise? What advancement have been made in technology do u find fascinating and useful. Like do guys take home video of their swings on their labtops to review or pitchers throwing against them the following day etc?
What type of new tools are used beyond non traditional baseball methods in the training room, practice facility or computers/video and management side?
How advanced are the dodgers, maybe versus other teams, in advanced stats and computer usage in evaluation or are the dodgers more of a traditional team that uses scouts primarily?
How far are we pushing the envelope on non traditional baseball stuff (or do we care to even?) and what are examples? I hear some teams employ advanced stats and computer guys to develop models and algorthims and things like that. Using super computers ans well as number crunchers and programmers/developers, not so much a “baseball” people within talent evaluation and management?
By firstname.lastname@example.org on March 24, 2008 11:42 AM
Jason, we do use technology in helping us in scouting and player development. We have a video system that can help players review their game, both when they are going good and when they are struggling. A hitter has the chance to look back at video versus a specific pitcher and review how that pitcher has pitched him in the past. The same goes for pitchers versus hitters. We also use a lot of video for helping the team prepare for the next opponent. We spend a lot of time reviewing previous games and opponents. We are in the process of developing a system in the minor leagues as well which we plan to have in place when we open the Glendale site. A portion of the Glendale site will be devoted to player development where managers, coaches and instructors will have video access to every player in the system both for in-season use and for off-season instruction.
It’s difficult to determine where the Dodger organization fits in comparison to other clubs because it is rarely discussed. Any facet of the game that organizations feel provides an advantage are usually not openly discussed or practices shared.
One other consideration with video is an over abundance of information. Some times a player can be beseiged with information and voices that complicate the situation and create more overload than problem solving. Since there are games played nearly every day it is important for the video coordinators to sort through the pertinent information and keep it as crisp and uncluttered as possible.
Question for Ned-
Manny Acta has recently come out and questioned the risk/reward of basestealing and has cut the Nationals sb attempts in half. Do the Dodgers have a minimum SB success rate to make sure you’re achieving a net gain on the basepaths?
There is always risk/reward in every strategic facet of the game. The stolen base provides great value to a team’s success. An unsuccessful attempt can also kill off a rally. We do not have a specific percentage that we adere to, although the manager will usually use the steal in the situations where success is more likely than failure and the game situation calls for it. Speed is an important component in every sport and base stealing when executed correctly can be a key to winning a game. Again, though it comes down to a lot of different in-game factors.