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Has there ever been a worse bench than Dodgers' current group?

Llfiv6nc Worst. Bench. Ever.

Not just for the Dodgers, not even for baseball. In the entire history of mankind, has there ever been a more uninspiring bench in any sport than the current unit of the Dodgers?

Right now, any time Don Mattingly has to go to his bench, it’s time to cover the eyes. Bodies with numbers on the back.

His bench options Wednesday were Tony Gwynn Jr. (.224), Jerry Sands (.200), Dioner Navarro (.158), Russ Mitchell (.000) and Juan Castro (.000). Among them, they have one home run.

With four position players on the disabled list (Casey Blake, Rafael Furcal, Marcus Thames and Hector Gimenez), what’s been left behind is almost unwatchable. These days, Mattingly best have a pretty good reason to even look to his bench.


He thought he had one in the fifth inning Wednesday, when, trailing 4-1, the Dodgers loaded the bases against ace Matt Cain on a pair of walks and a hit batter. With one out, due up was left-hander Clayton Kershaw.
 
Mattingly called on Castro, a lifetime .228 hitter who is here for his glove, to pinch hit.

Imagine the dread that spread throughout the Giants dugout.

"We have to take a shot to get back in the game,’’ Mattingly said. "Castro was 2-for-3 against [Cain]. At that point, he was our best option.’’

Juan Castro, best option. Did I mention worst bench ever?

Castro flied out harmlessly to center.

Of course, this also took Kershaw out of the game. Kershaw was not his normal dominating self, but with the bullpen thinned by use and injury, taking him out ultimately proved costly in the 8-5 defeat.

And then there was the seventh, now down 4-2 with Rod Barajas at second with two outs, and Mattingly needed a pinch hitter. Let’s see, hey, Navarro, go give it a shot. Another routine fly to center.

These are the players Mattingly has to work with. As a unit, historically bad.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw wipes his head after walking in a run during the fourth inning of a game against the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday. Credit: Mark J. Terrill / AP

 
Comments () | Archives (33)

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and of course a former Dodger bench player, Cody Ross won the game....for the Giants

I was surprised he lifted Kershaw even if he did not plan on him pitching the sixth. He had had one of the two hardest hit balls off Cain in the third and probably had the better chance to do something in that situation. Just because he is your pinch hitter does not mean he could hit. It is a sad, sad, sad bench.

Stranger then that was bringing in Cormier with two outs in the 8th to face Cain, especially with the thin bullpen. McDougall was his typical crazy wild and had given up a run but you have to think he can get the pitcher out. I don't think I've ever seen a pitching move like that, baffling.

I guess the add in the paper read: Wanted Dodger Manager, no experience needed, can learn on the job. Pay commensurate with experience.

This is a very very very good team.

How good would Ross look in left field now? Thanks Ned, you truly are an idiot, who's working for a low life.

I would rather have seen Billingsley pinch it than Navarro. Or maybe Davey Lopes.

And from kudos to Mattingly for his BP management (and of course batting Castro), I now have to give props to Neddy. I didn't think it possible, but he's actually achieved a new low in roster building. My hat's off to you Neddy.

the wusspen is bench, too, though admittedly it is typically referred as a separate entity

but if you factor in the pen and the position players? oh, my, how even more horrid

or, how many of our current everyday-8 plus 5-man rotation would definitely start for another team in our division? the NL? the AL? Point is we don't have many good players, starting or coming off the bench. Its a dang short list.

Why 30,000 folks would buy a ticket, and at those prices, I dunno.

This season is a wash due to the ownership situation, i would be surprised if we can finish only 10 games below .500. No ticket purchase from me until the McCourts are gone as owners. That includes selling all entities including Land, Stadium, Team and concessions.

I dunno Steve... them '66 Bums offered up some underwhelming challengers.


gilliam's .217 in 235 ab's was a true highlight, but he was in worse company. nate oliver .193 more than 100 at bats, wes covington .121, derrell griffith's .067 and mssrs. hutton & campanis sporting twin .000's.


Oh sure, a few others did better but they were moreso also spot starters... sort of like this year's AJ Ellis and his .267 and Xavier Paul his .273; alas, they were banished to AAA & PITT, found wanting by Ned et al... go figure.

Why is Navarro on the team instead of AJ Ellis?

There aren't any Killer Tomatoes on that bench for sure.

What gets me is that THIS is the team management and the owners wanted. Even if the injuried guys were healthy, we would not be too much better.

the dodgers have no left fielder, no relief pitching, and no bench. what happened to our once great los angeles baseball team? the mccourts. lieing, sneaky, greedy, cheap jerks from boston who would rather watch the team go down the toilet and keep the 25 mansions and private jets. i am counting the days until mccourt is thrown out and selig takes the dodgers, something i did not ever want to happen but now i see it is the only option to stopping the mess the mccourts have created. MCCOURT IF YOU ARE READING THIS, I AND THE OTHER RAPIDLY DECREASING DODGER FANS WANT YOU GONE!!!!

There honestly has never been a worse GM in any sports at any time than Ned Colletti. Amazingly putrid and pathetic.

The idea that you would use a sample size of three to base a decision on only makes me think Mattingly is a dope. I would have rather he said Juan was killing the ball in BP today and I wanted to see if it would translate into a game ("I had a gut feeling"). To say he was 2 for 3 makes you sound like a statistical idiot.

Why is Rod the Bod getting off with no criticism for not scoring a run when he was up with bases loaded and no outs?

Mattingly is awful, too. We all are well aware of that, though. This team hasn't had a major-league quality manager since Lasorda left.

this offense, this bullpen, this season, this owner, this organization; all excrement!

The stadium crowd seems to get smaller with each game.

worst bench ever, including the manager. really. donnie completely blew that game up. he knows who he has on his bench. he knows who he had in his bullpen. he knew that padilla, guerrier and jansen were unavailable. hitting for kershaw in the fifth was only justifiable if he knew he was increasing his chances of scoring by using the pinch hitter. and he clearly wasn't since he was using the worst hitter in the history of baseball as his pinch hitter (kudos to True Blue LA or Mike Scioscia's Tragic Illness for that). then, after using castro and thus being forced to use the bullpen from the sixth inning on, he had to give himself options by using elbert or guerra for more than one inning. by using those guys for one inning each, all he had left was macdougal and cormier for the eighth and ninth. that is inexcuseable when you know you will need your mop-up guy for the ninth innning. it's almost as if he figured the team would not come back and that he would use cormier in a loss situation. lo and behold, his team uncharacteristically comes back and now he has to use cormier in a tie ball game. really, at that point, it was game over. all that being said, donnie didn't manage well, but the lion's share of the blame has to be on Ned. Why Cormier is even on this roster is a mystery to everyone. And this bench was assembled by Ned as well. Injuries have played into it, but a good GM assembles the whole roster, including the veteran backups to use in the case of injuries. Ned has completely dropped the ball. He's given a million dollars to Navarro and he is just done as a ballplayer. We should have kept Martin and had Barajas as the back-up. Instead, Barajas is our starter and Navarro, who should be out of baseball, is the backup and left-handed pinch hitter? That's horrible!!!!

You guys don't remember the Len Gabrielson/Andy Kosco years. That was after Koufax & Drysdale & before Cey, Lopes, Garvey etc. Those were some thoroughly forgettible years.

Back in December MikeScosia'sTragicIllness blog posted that Juan Castro has the 4th WORST OPS+ of all time. 4th worst in the history of major league baseball. Not in my worst nightmares could I have imagined he would be called in to pinch hit with the bases loaded and one out trailing 4-1 in the 5th inning of a game against the Giants. I cringed and groaned when I saw him step to the plate. I was watching the game with two SF fans and will now be mocked and humiliated by them any time I say the word Dodger, though they were nice enough to express some pity while laughing about overall Dodger impotence. Come on Mattingly and Colleti, learn your ABCs (Anyone But Castro).

Juan, you are a nice guy and used to play pretty good defense to earn your keep, but please do us all a favor and retire from playing now that you are 39. It's just not fair to take such advantage of the stupidity of your senile management. Make the most of your talent. Be a Dodger hero by feigning injury, shifting to a coaching position, and helping Dee Gordon and Ivan DeJesus on improving their defense. Be admired for passing the torch instead of cursed for blocking the way.

Actually, part of our bench, Carroll and Miles, has been playing pretty good. One reason the bench is looking bad is that it is starting games.

The bench would be the least of our problems. When you are only "set" at two of the eight position players, you have greater worries than a feeble bench. Our first string is comprised of a bunch of bench players!! Kemp and Ethier are being too heavily relied on. Carroll (and especially Miles) are playing waaaaay over their heads, and there is no help coming from the farm or via free agency... We are stuck in a hold pattern with a so-so product that we really cannot expect too much of anything from. Our greatest victory will be to avoid a last place finish. I am Dodger fan make no mistake but you have to be realsitic too...

Why is Rod the Bod getting off with no criticism for not scoring a run when he was up with bases loaded and no outs?

Posted by: West Coast Ram | 05/19/2011 at 11:59 AM
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That's because more often than not, he would get an rbi in that situation. Even Pujols and great hitters pop the ball up or strike out with the bases loaded once in awhile.

Surprisingly, we almost pull this game out.

Donny Baseball says tha they will be in the playoffs. It just goes along with the grand scheme of things.Thats all frankie plays for !!!!!! (playoffs and nothing else, except maybe another house) Thanx (frankie) for the memories!!!!

Can they re-activate Manny Mota?

Speaking of Dodger bench players, Mickey Hatcher was a loveable goof ball. Off kilter and harmless.

On the other hand, the Giants reliever Brian Wilson is down right psychotic and scary.

Give us our due!

Oh to have Jeff Hamilton or Tom Goodwin right now. This team really does blow.

Mattingly has no clue how to manage right now, and the GM has been invisible. Furcal and Blake are always injured. I feel sorry for the pitchers -- every game, they go out knowing that giving up more than one run will likely result in a loss because the Dodgers lineup is the most pathetic in the majors.

The 2011 Twins bench provides good competition in the worst category. Matt Tolbert, Alexi Casilla, Drew Butera and Ben Revere all below .200

We have 4 guys(Chormier, Castro, Navarro, Mitchell) who shouldn't be on a ML roster period. If we are going to be this bad why are we not giving youth an oppurtunity? Sands may not be getting the job done but he is learning to play Left field at Dodger stadium which for a variety of reasons is not as easy as it seems. His OBP is still 100pts higher than his batting avg and he is on pace for nearly 40 2b's. Most importantly he is learning at the ML level. Come summer time alot of those 2b's become HR's. DeJesus should get the same oppurtunity considering the Dodger's ownership probs are going to continue at least through the off-season meaning no free agent help again. Send the futile 4 away, call up Ellis, Dejesus, and either St.Claire or Antonini from AA. Furcal will be back in a week or so and will be gone again a few weeks after that. Colletti looks worse and worse every day. I just hope Mattingly is learning from his mistakes.


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