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Missteps aside, credit for Dodgers' turnaround goes in part to Ned Colletti

Colletti_300 Give it up, give it up, give it up now … for Ned Colletti.

Ah, you can do this. It can’t be that hard. Come on, give the man his due.

When the Dodgers got off to their miserable 8-14 start, coming off an unimpressive postseason during which they failed to add a front-line starting pitcher and their only additions were role players, Colletti received plenty of heat across the blogosphere.

Yet it’s impossible to know for certain how much of his inability to land someone approximating an ace was his fault, and how much was simply Frank McCourt’s unwillingness to drop some serious moolah.

Since Colletti’s main responsibility is to please McCourt, he’s not going to mention financial restraints he’s under. Until McCourt proves otherwise, best to assume they’re there.

But for now, Colletti deserves credit for what he did do this off-season.

Jamey Carroll and Reed Johnson weren’t the sexiest signings, but 44 games into the season, they have proven valuable assets.

Carroll filled in at shortstop for injured Rafael Furcal better than anyone had right to expect. He’s started 26 games, batting .300 and playing a solid shortstop.

Furcal is (again) expected back Tuesday, but when the Dodgers were winning 12 of 13 games to get back in the National League West race, it was Carroll starting at shortstop.

Johnson has started 15 games, played in 38 overall and consistently been a positive factor. He’s batting .300.

Colletti’s other position addition was the late-signing of Garret Anderson. Right now that’s a seeming bust, but Anderson (.159) got a pair of hits Sunday and last year was off to a slow start before going on a four-month tear. And this is the first time his primary responsibility is as a pinch-hitter. This one will require a little more time before final judgment.

And then there’s the pitching. Colletti brought John Ely over in the off-season in the trade for Juan Pierre.

No one -- including Colletti -- could have imagined he’d be up with the team this soon, let alone performing so well (3-1, 3.41 ERA).

But he is.

Colletti also gambled on bringing in rookie Carlos Monasterios, a Rule 5 draftee who essentially had never pitched above Single-A.

Monasterios is being handled carefully by Joe Torre and has thrown in few true pressure situations. But when he has pitched, he’s been very respectable (1-0, 1.90) and his now likely to get another start.

There are, of course, the Ortiz signings. Russ is already out of here, and Ramon could be soon, letting Randy Wolf leave, and dumping Eric Stults.

Still, on the whole, considering the lack of major off-season movement, what Colletti was able do is proving deft.

And deserving of recognition.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Ned Colletti in 2009. Credit: Los Angeles Times.

Comments () | Archives (19)

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There's a reason why it's called THE LONG SEASON. Before you claim the Dodger season as turned around why don't you wait until the end of September before concluding anything. As of today, the Dodgers are 13-4 versus the weak hitting NL West, 12-15 against non NL West teams who are playing sub .500 baseball. June brings the Braves, Reds, Red Sox and Yankees a better test.

IMO Colletti's a damn good GM. It's easy to see that he's bringing the Dodgers back into prominence.

Give credit to Ned? Are you kidding me?

Give credit to Logan White for building a tremendous farm system. I'll give credit to Ned for trading Milton Bradley for Andre Ethier, but he has made far more bad moves than good ones.

I'll give credit to Ned for trading future all star catcher Carlos Santana, who is currently the number 2 prospect in all of baseball. I have no problem trading elite prospects, but you better get elite talent in return.

I'll give Ned credit for signing Jason Schmidt, Andruw Jones, and Juan Pierre to lucrative contracts.

I am sorry, I cannot give kudos when fringe players like carrol; and Johnson, who were not expected to count for anything, have a few good games. Although Carroll helped fill in for injured Furcal, he is not going to take us to October. Whatever the reason Coletti's can not pull the trigger on big trades. So I guess then you can say he stuck with the 'kids'. His 'big' deals were mostly disasters that we are still paying salaries years later.

IMHO, outside of the players themselves, Ned is second only to Logan White for the Dodgers' recent success, followed by JT and Honeycutt. Sure, he's had his fair share of bad moves, but what GM hasn't? A's fans are downright UNDERSTANDING about Billy Beane's trade of Ethier, and Ned's worse moves don't come close to that. (To put it another way, imagine what Dodger fans would be saying if the trade was the other way around.) For whatever reason, it seems Ned gets more grief for his BAD moves than credit for his GOOD ones (Ethier, Manny, Ely, etc.).

And yes, he traded Carlos Santana, but a) he wasn't the #2 prospect back THEN, just a very promising single A catcher, and b) there is more evidence than not that the Dodgers wouldn't part with a mere $2 million to bring Casey Blake over here, meaning they'd have to give up a better prospect to get him. That's on McCourt, not Colletti. Also, imagine where the Dodgers would be now without Casey Blake.

All in all, so far, so good!

I'll give Colletti plaudits for the Carroll and Johnson signings. Where would the Dodgers be without them? Certainly not 25-19, that's for sure. I'm not gonna mention they're just one game out of first in the West because it's way too early for that stuff (Oops...I just did, didn't I?...sorry about that). Anyway, I knew Carroll would be a good addition because I remember him with the Rockies and how he helped beat the Dodgers on more than one occasion.

Two NLCS appearances in a row, he must be doing something right.

maybe ned gets credit for getting ely and link for pierre. but ned overpaid for pierre in the first place and still owes him money. ely has been good, but how is it that no one recognized this ability in the spring? instead we were force-fed the ortiz twins and charlie haeger. to me, instead of giving kudos to ned for the turnaround, you have to point the finger squarely at him for the team's poor start (his matt kemp rant notwithstanding). imagine what our record could have been if ely had been given a fair shot at the number 5 spot in the spring, or if stults had not been buried for one bad inning. imagine if we had xavier paul having 80-100 ab's right now if he had been kept over anderson. now, i'm hearing that ned/torre may demote dewitt just to keep nick green on the roster? what kind of bone-head move would that be? Do they actually think that nick green is that important to the club that they would demote their starting second baseman to keep him on the roster? if he was that good, why wasn't he on the roster instead of carroll? or even dewitt from the beginning of the season? i just can't fathom the complete lack of confidence and respect that the dodgers have given to dewitt. he deserves better.

The Dodgers are lucky in that the kid Ely has stepped up to help the staff. But give credit to Colletti and the scouting staff for getting him in the Pierre trade. But again, McCourt refuses to make a serious effort to help this team to get to the next level. I'm sure McCourt loves Ely as the rookie is making the minimum major league salary.

Ok, ok. I admit I was wrong about the Blue Crew 2010. Ned saw more of the big picture than I did. I have no idea how or why the starters suddenly became 6 and 7 inning guys. But whatever the magic, let the good times roll. Thanks, Ned.

Ned has done a DECENT job. Hard to get over Andruw Jones signing. But kudos to getting prospects out of trades, such as Ely. The Losses compiled by the Haeger and Ortiz in starting roles is SIX. If Stults or Ely are in that Fifth spot, we are looking at at least 2 wins more than Haeger and Ortiz. That means leading the NL, and being just a game behind Philadelphia for the best record in baseball. Blame the Braintrust for blowing the call on Stults to keep what Torre may have thought as a versatile pitcher (Knuckleballer). That versatile pitcher isn't as effective as Tim Wakefield, so the move has backfired. Oh well, Ely is here now, and should post something like a 9-6 record if he gets the starts. 9-6, or something like that isn't bad for a fifth starter.

Shouldn't the credit go to the farm system? They were the players who allowed Colletti to make his boners and still power through to make the playoffs. They were the players who allowed Colletti to throw darts in trades and eventually have success.

Heads I win Tails you lose? In what fantasy world are we living when Colletti gets credit for players for whom he saw no role for before the season solely because they were forced to play due to the failure of all of the other players he preferred?

Sometimes bad players play well for a while. Is everyone still in love with, for example, George Sherrill? Colletti seems to regularly overvalue guys who have little skill and under value guys with much more, based on their performance just before we deal for them rather than their underlying skill.

And before we give him too much credit, Ill point out that Andruw Jones is outslugging both Matt Kemp and Manny Ramirez right now. What did we get for him again?

I'll conclude by pointing out that the Dodgers are in second place, to the PADRES.

Credit all the players for the turnaround not just a couple 'role' players. Nice team effort supported by terrific pitching and timely hitting. Not to mention some decent coaching by Torre and company.

OK, OK, Colletti grudgingly gets my "Capt. Queeg" award for preventing murder and mayhem on the high seas .... (however, its doubtfully that he'll bring his ship into harbor without damage to the crew and cargo).

as for Jamey Carroll and Reed Johnson's signings? it just proves true what so many have been saying about these dodgers for years, that it was time to get younger.

To all those moaning about the credit should go to the kids or Logan White or Rick Honeycutt and Joe Torre or the disappearance of the ring around Jupiter, clean your reading glasses: Never said there wasn't plenty of credit to go around, never said all things great should fall at Colletti's feet, never said there was a significant trade made in the offseason. I said you have to give him some credit for what he did manage to do. Very simple. It wasn't the final Colletti assessment, just a nod that limited as he likely was, he was still able to add useful pieces.

overall, a mixed-bag of results, some good, & some bad, butt "confett-4-brains" as GM really has NO real authority -- & very sadly, so -- as owner "mcCHEAP" is the REAL problem, & team will NEVA win big, so long as "mcCHEAP" is @ the helm!!!

I can't even really put a lot of blame on Ned for the Andruw Jones signing. The Dodgers at the time needed power. Andruw has more power than either Torii Hunter and Aaron Rowand, the other main free agents at the time. Some claim to have foreseen Jones declining skills, but nobody could have predicted the complete flop he was here.

And now I see a post above criticizing Ned for not getting enough for Andruw? Guess there's no making some people happy. However, if Andruw was playing at the level he did with the Rangers last year and the Sox this year, I doubt Ned would have felt the need to get Manny. So in that respect Jones being completely horrible was a good thing.

I'm sorry but wasn't it Depedosta who raided the farm system that he helped build to get Ethier? Coletti has made more bad moves than good; which makes the good ones more impressive. Alot of teams were trying to get Manny. We got him for a couple of good young players who will never make an all-star team and if they stay with the buccos will probably never make a playoff roster. We payed through the teeth but the move wasn't about the future it was to make the playoffs the first year and to win it all last year. Casey Blake is the same story.Ned gave up a big future to win the division that year, and we don't make the playoffs without the big games Blake won in the month before the Manny deal; and he had one of his best years last season. If Blake stays healthy he will put together the best all around back to back 3B seasons we've had since the Penguin went to the cubs.I was upset when Ned did the Pierre deal. Seemed at the time we could have gotten more from the Rangers but felt a little better when I looked at the numbers and Ely has gone well beyond projections. Have a feeling Link is going to impact this club as well before all is said and done. Schmidt and Jones are top 20 worst free agent signings ever but the Heager/Ortiz decision is 100% Torre. Most established Managers(not to mention HOF) have the final say in who breaks with the team, with the exception of free agents(Johnson/Carrol)or Highly regarded prospects. I do like the fact that he has been able to hang on to the proven young guys. As far as building winners he's got to get a B. Two NL west crowns and NLDS victories. But the future is now and we cannot beat the Phillies or the Rox in the playoffs without a Lee or Oswalt caliber pitcher and what Ned has to give up if he is even allowed to will be the defining move in his legacy the Dodgers G.M.


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