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If you roll with the percentages, Dodgers could struggle to score

And now for this incredible piece of insight, carefully culled from covering baseball for more years than Charlie Sheen has been just so completely awesome:

You can't score unless you get on base.

OK, so possibly you knew that. Likewise, perhaps you heard that that ability is not looking like a particular strength of this year's Dodgers.

Unless you're driving the ball over the fence, you don't score a run until you have someone who actually manages to get their little footsies on base.

The use of the on-base percentage stat has rightfully grown in popularity through the years, and it doesn't paint the prettiest picture for the Dodgers as an offensive force in 2011.

Here's a look at the projected lineup for this season and each player's on-base numbers:

Player                   2010    Career
Rafael Furcal         .366        .351
Casey Blake           .320        .336
Andre Ethier         .364        .363
Matt Kemp            .310        .336
James Loney         .329        .348
Juan Uribe            .310        .300
Jay Gibbons          .313        .314
Marcus Thames   .350        .311
Rod Barajas           .284        .284

If you accept .330 as a mid-range on-base percentage, only three starters were above average last season. It gets slightly better with the career marks, but it is clear that scoring could loom as a season-long challenge.

General Manager Ned Colletti may not come across as your most ardent new-age stat guy, but he recognizes on-base percentage has merit, if to a point.

"I think it has value to it," Colletti said. "You have to be able to understand moving runners, even if it's taking a pitch so the other guy can get a jump, hitting behind a runner -- sacrificing yourself for the team."

Because the Dodgers also don't figure to be a home-run power and don't have a great deal of speed, improving their recent on-base numbers figures to be key.

The Dodgers are counting on improved seasons from several players from a year ago, but even if that happens, the historic numbers of the bottom half of the lineup are impossible to refute.

Maybe they could borrow some Sheen Adonis DNA.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Comments () | Archives (15)

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Could? COULD??

Banjos must be scarce everywhere but Glendale.

Thanks, Ned & Frank, for pretty much nothing.

meanwhile, the bullpen is horrid against the Royals

All season seat packages we sell come with first priority for all postseason games.

I thought that the team OBP would be a problem a few months ago. It doesn't take a brilliant mind to see this as a problem. Uribe, Barajas, Navarro, Gibbons and Thames all will have a lot of AB's this year and their collective OBP will be close to .300. Ned Colletti can talk all he wants about doing the little things but doing the little things can be tough when you don't have anyone on base.

Can we stop with acting like we have a competent GM or should we live through another Dotel for McDonald like trade?

We most likely agree that it's the offense that is holding this team back, but
it always seemed to me, when they are going bad, it's not the getting on base that's the problem but the driving them in.

man colletti is a giant man....Thats how smart Mccourt is, he goes out and hires a guy from the giants front office to be his GM... Frank doesn't know squat about dodger culture... first of all that dude colletti,uribe and frank need to pack the bags and geat the heck out of LA... 2nd of all that dude needs to stop picking up his buddies sabean left over washed up players, Can someone remind him giants and dodgers are rivals.3rd of all these Pittsburgh Pirates moves are not cutting it.. Theres not one thing a dodger fan hates is Booing a giants player and seeing them the following year wearing dodger blue.. I cant stand that and its not like these cheap x-giant players colletti picks up are any good, to top it off they stink!!

The Dodgers have become a cash cow for the Mccourts instead of a baseball team for the town. The only cure for this parasite is to cut off the cash. Boycott the Dodgers!

That lineup has done the impossible. It makes the Padres lineup look good.

In the end, does it really matter this year? We still have McCourt and we don't have the talent to knock off the Phillies, let alone most teams in our division.

You can call it a boycott, but attendance will fall at Chavez Ravine this year. People won't pay to watch a bad product.

Frank, sell now. When the value of the Dodgers falls this year because of poor performance, Jamie will blame you. She'll sue you for even more money and you might not see a dime when all is said and done. Get out while you can.

Dodgers NEVER move runners. Dodgers never give themselves up. Rarely played hit and run under Joe. Small ball skills almost non-existent. With Pierre, Posednick and Fontenot, there was some, but this team is now a hodgepodge of no leadership and no star player.
If you strip away our magical thinking, you will see what I now see:
A slow spring
A slow April
Last place.

The Dodgers of the 60's and 50's were not known for their hitting either. We've always been a pitching-centered, defensive-centered, create-runs-centered team. I'm not staying away this year, projections are projections...we can maintain our winning tradition. Mc Courts are the Mc Courts, nothing the team can do except win.

Hollywood Dodger Mark........mike fontenot was on the cubs and giants and has never played for the star players? Billingsley, kershaw, kemp, ethier, kuo, Jansen are all garbage players apparently. What does not moving runners over and not playing hit and run( untrue) under Joe Torre have to do with the team this year?

When Furcal gets injured it will all be blamed on him. The sparkplug is gone. lol Colwetti is a tool.

I called this article out for the relevence of arguing OBP and winning and my post never got put up. Garbage. Again, why no mention of SF winning the World Series w/ a .321 OBP? Where is the statistical proof that OBP is an indicator of winning? Is this guy actually getting paid to write this stuff? A team, in theory, could have a .250 OBP and win all 162 games and the WS. So is bashing the Dodgers team OBP just another chance for a Times writer to dog on a team and a sport they actually don't even follow ?

OBP has become overvalued as evidenced by moneyball teams now focusing more on defense and pitching, two areas this team should be fairly strong in. Combined OBP+SLG= OPS is a better predictor of runs scored. It IS run differential that is the most accurate predictor of winning, not simply runs scored. I am cautiously optimistic that Kemp and Ethier will progress this year.


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