Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Keith Law, Proct(or)ologist

ESPN's Keith Law says that Scott Proctor's addition to the Dodgers may be a wash, but losing Betemit will put more urgency on considering Dodger prospect Andy LaRoche: (insider only)

Scott Proctor was Joe Torre's go-to guy in 2006, a dubious distinction because it carries with it a very high workload -- 83 games and over 100 innings of work. He already showed signs of fatigue down the stretch last year; his fastball was still solid at 93-97 mph, but it went from having little movement to having no movement, and he couldn't keep his front shoulder closed through his delivery.

Those issues haven't resolved themselves this year, and Proctor's peripherals have all gotten worse, including a near-doubling of his walk rate and a big spike in his home run rate. The switch in leagues should help him, but Dodger Stadium is a good home run park, which might cancel the former out. This does open up a small hole in the Yankees' bullpen, although Joba Chamberlain could come up to fill those missing innings if the Yankees don't fill the hole via trade.

Betemit was once one of the top prospects in the minors, but inconsistent playing time and a long swing have held him back. He may not hit for much average due to his trouble making contact, but he has good power for a third baseman, good hands, and a well above-average arm. His work ethic has also been a question mark, and his on-field effort level is inconsistent.

For the Yanks, he slots in as a solid backup infielder in case there's an injury, but his playing time will be very limited given who he's behind. He's not exactly a good insurance policy if Alex Rodriguez opts out of his contract, but he's a capable reserve. For the Dodgers, this needs to be followed by the recall of Andy LaRoche, the best third base option in their organization. LaRoche is unathletic and just an average glove, but he can rake and gives them an on-base threat in a lineup that already has a number of them. If LaRoche gets the full-time job and plays to his potential, the Dodgers will have by far the best offense in their division.

Jon Weisman, for the record, is equally guarded on this trade. It is curious to me to see Dodger Stadium mentioned as a home run park, though I suppose the changes in the foul territory due to all of McCourt's added seats has made it less pitcher-friendly. But if Proctor is just another reliever who gives up jacks (as he has been with the Yankees), then don't we already have that in Rudy Seanez?


Anonymous said...

Well, no, Dodger Stadium doesn't really depress home rus - it just kills 2b and 3b. This year it's above average in park factor for home runs (and runs period, actually, which has been unusual, but was the case last year as well, oddly enough). Over the past 5 years, park factors for HR have only been below league average once (and then it was just barely, at .988).