Thursday, May 31, 2007

If Juan Pierre were a carpenter

Juan Pierre wanted to build a house. He came to work Tuesday and laid a foundation for the best house he's ever built. It was a fine foundation; strong, deep, well-made.

Stepping back to look at his work, he decided to quit while he was ahead.

1. Grounded to second. #177.
2. Popped to second. #178.
3. Fielder's choice. "Only the speed of Juan Pierre was able to avoid the double play," says Monday. Of course, only the bat of Juan Pierre got the grounder to second in the first place. #179.
4. Grounded to second. #180.

So though Juan started this series 4-for-5, he finishes 4-for-13. His OBP is right back where hes started on Tuesday, at .307; his SLG, of course, is higher, at .329.

Pace: 550 outs.

We Now Return to Our Regularly Scheduled Center Fielder

Well, whatever got into Juan on Tuesday is gone.

1. Lined to left. #173.
2. Grounded to second. #174.
3. Grounded to short. #175.
4. Grounded to first. #176.

That's the Juan we've gotten to know so well.

P.S. Just in case you're curious, Juan gave back 11 of the 44 points of OPS that he picked up. Line is currently .281/.312/.335.

Pace: 548 outs.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Tastes like chicken

I have said all along that I would like nothing better than for Juan to make me eat my words... and today, he did.

In not only his best game as a Dodger, but quite possibly the best game of his major league career, Juan smacked a triple and three doubles. That's unambiguously good (despite his getting picked off second. What was he thinking?).

So, for one day, I eat crow. Keep it up, Juan.

1. Tripled to right. Would come around and score.

2. Doubled to center. Would get picked off! Aaarrrggghh! What would happen if you just stopped making stupid, stupid outs? Addendum #3.

3. He answered my question: Doubled to right. Got Penny to third, but Furcal failed to get 'em home with two out.

4. Doubled to left. Scored.

5. Flied to center. #172.

Juan Pierre started Tuesday at .274/.307/.307, and finished the day at .286/.317/.341. 44 points of OPS in one game. Wow.

In honor of his great day, I will not list his pace. Congratulations, Juan. Please, please keep it up.

What's the problem? An investigation

There has been much discussion lately about Juan Pierre's hitting flyballs. I've been on his case for it, too. Today, Baseball Prospectus gets on board.

If you've been following along, there's not much reason to click the link, except to serve as a reminder that Dodger Stadium -- "cavernous Dodger Stadium" -- is friendly to the home run, but not so much to the double and the triple.

Juan Pierre doesn't his home runs, but over his career, he HAS hit doubles and triples. 32 and 13 last year. 19 and 13 in '05. 22 and 12 the year before. Always with a not-quite handful of home runs: 3, 2, and 3, the last three years.

This year, he's on pace to be just off his career numbers in hits, and one possible interpretation is that he's simply not getting the doubles and triples he usually gets -- Dodger Stadium is eating them up. If one were to imagine he played in a ballpark more friendly to extra base hits... take eight of his outs and make them 5 doubles and 3 triples... and all of a sudden, he looks OK. .311 BA, .339 OBP, .396 SLG. (I'm not too sure about my math and will stand corrected if someone writes in with better numbers.) That's right around his career averages.... a little above, from the SLG, but small sample size etc.

So the questions become:

1) Is it possible that a stadium can sap a player of three-quarters of his power?
2) If so, is Juan Pierre just that horribly suited to Dodger Stadium?

I don't know the answers to these questions, but I will:

1) Continue to root for Juan Pierre to embarrass me and force me to rip down this blog in shame; and
2) Continue to be horribly disappointed by his performance and call him out for it.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Juan takes one for the team

Just as Juan Pierre seemed to be set up for his most useless day yet...

1. Flied to left. #168.
2. Flied to center. #169.
3. Flied to right. #170.
4. Flied to right. #171.

... there he was in the 11th, up with the bases loaded and nobody out.

"Ya know, self," said I, alone on the couch, after having placed the lovely and talented Mrs. Kavula on a plane, "If there's one guy on this team who you want up with the bases loaded, it's Juan Pierre. He's extraordinarily likely to put the ball in play. If he does what he's done all day, the good guys win. If he hits a grounder to the right side, that'll very likely do it, too. Let's see what he can do."

5. Hit by pitch. RBI.

Dodgers win!

It wasn't the best hit involving Juan Pierre all season, or the prettiest, but it did the job. Good job, Juan, to take one for the team.

(As long as this is the day that Humma Kavula kinda sorta lays off Juan Pierre -- I mean, I did point out his four fly balls, didn't I? -- let's point out that he also made a nice catch in the top of the 11th on DeRosa's looping liner.)

OK, Juan, vacation's over. You're still on pace for 554 outs.


I'd have to go back and look at each individual game to be more sure of what I'm about to say, but it sure seems like when Juan has an unambiguously good game, like he did on Saturday, the Dodgers lose, but when he has a good-game-with-faults or a bad game, they win. It's strange.

There was the April 17 game, in which he hit the double and the triple, going 2-for-5, but five bases. That's unambiguously good and the Dodgers won. I think that's it, but I'd be willing to stand corrected.

FRIDAY... 2-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI looks okay, but add in the SF and that caught stealing -- caught by a mile, too; it was really a pickoff -- and the fact that if he had just sat still on first base, the Dodgers wouldn't have need to work quite so hard to squeak this one out... it's upsetting. It looks okay, but he still makes four outs and if the Dodgers had lost, that CS would have bee costly indeed.

1. Grounded to pitcher. #162.
2. Beat out a bunt to the pitcher! Yay! Caught Stealing! Oh, no! #163.
3. Singled to center. Would be moved up and score.
4. Bunted to catcher. Out. #164.
5. Sac Fly to center. #165.

SATURDAY is an unambiguously good performance, from the box score (I didn't watch)... and the Dodgers lost.

1. Flied to right. #166.
2. Singled to left. Didn't foolishly try to steal... would get pushed to third and stranded. Oh, Luis Gonzalez, please hit.
3. Flied to center. #167.
4. Singled to center.

That's a fine game. I wish his two outs had been grounders instead of fly balls, but whatever... 2-for-4 -- two bases and two outs -- is about all you can expect from any ballplayer on any particular day. Can Juan enjoy it if his team doesn't win?

Pace: 552 outs.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Repeat the meme

T.J. Simers rips on Juan Pierre in today's dog trainer.

There is a time and a place to say that Juan Pierre is not a good everyday major leaguer and should be benched and used as a pinch hitter. That time is any time you can get anyone to listen, and that place is anywhere that anyone will let you write it and not punch you in the face.

Is Simers' piece mean-spirited? You bet it is. I tend not to read his column because it's mean-spirited about everything. That might seem hypocritical from the author of the OutWatch, but I hope you'll believe me when I say that I reserve the wrath and anger in my life for this blog. I get my hate out on Juan Pierre. I'm generally not a hateful person, so it's tough to read his column.

Still, when it comes to Juan Pierre, all bets are off. Say it loud, say it proud: Juan Pierre is not a good everyday major leaguer and should be benched and used as a pinch hitter! It's not pithy and it doesn't fit on a bumper sticker, but it's not hyperbole -- it's just what should happen.

You might be mean, T.J., but the OutWatch thanks you for repeating the meme.

The return of good pitching = good stuff

Taking two of three from the first-place Brewers? Yes, I will take that.

Of course, both those wins come on the back of (a) the great Dodger pitching and (b) His Dreaminess, Russell Martin (though, I will note that tonight, Juan did have a good game, kinda). Not much has changed since the four-game losing streak (except, of course, the pitching is back on track).

1. Juan gets lucky as Tony Graffanino forgets to make a play. It's scored an infield single; he'd come around to score on Martin's bases-clearing double.
2. Graffanino makes the play this time. Grounded to third. #159.
3. Singled to center!
4. Walked(!), stole second, got to third on a balk(!), and scored on a sac fly. One manufactured run! Ned must be so happy.
5. GIDP. #160 & #161.

What's that add up to? 2-for-4 with a walk, a stolen base, and two runs scored. That's a good game.

If I were a mean, nitpicking, Juan Pierre-hatin' bastard, I'd point out that one of those hits is really Graffanino's boneheaded mistake, and that even with that "hit," Juan still managed to be responsible for three of the team's outs. I suppose if I were that person, I'd have something of a point -- even when Juan Pierre has a good game, scratch the surface and it doesn't shine quite so brightly.

But I'm not going to point that out. I'm going to bask in the glow of Martin's fantastic play and the Dodgers' win.

Pace: 555 or so.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Creativity Abounds!

Very nice, compact, quick 3-2 win for the Dodgers. Once again, the pitching comes through -- Randy Wolf is Randy Wolf: shaky early, dominant later, and it works out. Good win.

Pierre, of course, had nothing to do with it.

1. "Grounded bunt out to first" says the play-by-play... but really, he was called out for running inside the baseline. Despite making more outs so far this year than anyone else, I don't think he's made that one yet. At least he's getting creative -- anyone can ground to second base four times in a game, but Pierre finds all new ways to make out. Credit the first baseman with the putout and make it #155.
2. Grounded to short. #156.
3. Bunt out to third. I mean Pierre smacked that thing, hard, and was waaaay out. #157.
4. Comebacker, grounded to pitcher. #158.

Pace: 556 outs.

Who's the Worst? Redux

Looking at the Hardball Times' stat of Runs Created per Game is nice, because it uses the number of outs the player himself has made, times 27, as the definition of "game." (Confused by Runs Created? Click on the link, go to the glossary, and find the definition. It's a nice way of measuring performance.)

By that definition, Juan Pierre is the 25th-worst regular major leaguer right now. Despite leading the league in plate appearances, he also leads in outs. According to THT, he is averaging 3.4 RC per 27 outs. That's bad, but it's not the worst.

So who is? Of the 24 players worse than him at the moment, more than half (13) are shortstops or catchers. While they're bad, I don't feel like I can pick on them. They play key defensive positions and aren't expected to perform like a corner infielder or an outfielder. Picking on Jason Kendall or Ronny Paulino just isn't all that fun.

Let's look at the other 12 -- including Juan -- to see how they stack up.

Alex Gordon / 2.6
Robinson Cano / 2.8
Jim Edmonds / 2.8
Ronnie Belliard / 2.9
Ty Wigginton / 3.1
Scott Rolen / 3.1
Joe Borchard / 3.2
Garrett Atkins / 3.2
Josh Barfield /3.2
Sean Casey / 3.2
Chris Duffy / 3.3
Jermaine Dye / 3.4
Juan Pierre / 3.4

Let's pick, for a moment, on Scott Rolen. Big contract, offensive position, 3.1 RC/G. But: he's almost certainly hurt, and if he gets healthy, his performance will likely improve.

Joe Borchard, come on down! You play right field.... but it appears that you have lost your job. The outwatch will not pile on.

No, friends... I think in a squeaker, the Worst Regular Major Leaguer, right now is.... Jim Edmonds! You play center field! You are tied for the second-worst non-catcher non-shortstop RC/G in baseball! With a slumping second baseman! And you make a lot more than he does!

Unless I'm wrong and it's Sean Casey. He's been stinky, like old cheese.

Now leading off for the Dodgers...

"You really can't blame Juan Pierre," went one argument over the past two weeks or so. "He's a leadoff guy. His whole career he's been a leadoff guy. Now he's being asked to hit second, which is a whole different beast. Let's jump start him by switching around the lineup."

I didn't see much point in this. Is batting second really all that different from batting first? Isn't a batter likelier to see BETTER pitches to hit with a guy on -- especially Juan Pierre, who's actually been OK (10-for-23) with RISP this year? We know that batting order doesn't matter all that much -- would moving him to leadoff make any difference?

It was that last question that made me decide not to argue all that hard against moving Pierre to leadoff. If it doesn't make much difference, why not try, just in case I'm wrong and there's something psychological that Pierre likes about batting leadoff?

In the Dodgers' most recent tussle -- with the Brewers -- Grady Little decided to give it a shot. How'd it go, Grady?

1. K, swinging. #151.
2. Grounded to third. #152.
3. Grounded to first. #153.
4. Grounded into fielder's choice. #154. (Stole second.)
5. Hit by pitch.

Pace: 554 outs.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Still waiting

Still waiting for runs. Holding my breath

1. Popped to center. #148.
2. Flied to center. #149.
3. Fouled to third. #150.
4. Singled to left! Would score the Dodgers' only run of the day on Kent's double!

....................................and, exhale. Phew!

Very little, certainly too late.

Pace: 552 outs.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Some runs would be nice

Anytime the Dodgers would like to start hitting would be okay with me.

How about....nnnnow. Okay, nnnnnnow. I'm serious, guys. Nnnnnnnnnnnnnow.

It may be ridiculous to make this criticism when they were facing Jered Weaver. I recognize that. Still: sigh.

1. K, swinging. #145.
2. Flied to center. #146.
3. Flied to right. #147.
4. Doubled! Got to third! Stranded.

The beat goes on. Juan's on pace for 553 outs now. Heavens to murgatroid, this is a tough record to beat -- he makes three outs and loses ground.

Omar Moreno, you were a golden god. Or the exact opposite of a golden god. Whatever.


Actually, Juan wasn't terrible... 1-for-4 with a walk isn't fantastic, but it is to be expected. But I wonder -- is this game an outlier, or a sign of things to come? With the Dodgers' offense still looking average at best, I note that team OPS is 23rd out of 30 MLB teams. Their average performance might be overachieving. We'll wait and see.

Let's get 'em tonight.

1. Flied to left. #142.
2. Walked.
3. Lined to second. #143.
4. Singled to center.
5. Flied to right. #144.

Pace: 555 outs.

P.S. Fire Joe Morgan gives Bill Shaikin the what-for.

Friday, May 18, 2007

In Which Bill Shaikin Makes Me Upset

Oh, Bill. You can do better than this:

Yet, if you base the early returns on the standings, the investments are paying off. The Angels are in first place with Matthews, the Dodgers are in first place with Pierre, and isn't that the point?

"To some people," Pierre said.

The fact that the Dodgers are in first place has nothing -- nothing! -- to do with Juan Pierre. He has been thoroughly awful at the plate and in the field. The Dodgers are in first place -- and Colletti deserves credit for this -- for building a very deep rotation of starting pitchers and a bullpen that has, so far, been about as good as could be.

What's more, the Dodgers are in the top-third in baseball in OBP. That's smart. Juan's not contributing, of course, but when you have patient guys like LaRoche, Martin, and even Betemit getting on, that's a good thing. The Dodgers' offense is failing due to a lack of power. At the plate, they're thoroughly average.

Shaikin -- and Pierre -- are wrong if they think that being in first place is all that matters. In fact, it doesn't matter one bit who's in first place on May 18 if that team collpses down the stretch.

I haven't looked into it, but I wonder how likely the Dodgers' pitching success is to continue. If that answer is "only sorta likely" or worse, the offense will need to step up. With Pierre sucking four outs from the Dodgers' 27 just about every day, he is simply not contributing to the effort to make sure that my favorite team STAYS in first place. He should be benched in favor of Matt Kemp.

Let's do better, Bill.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Hey now!

The Dodgers' continued ability to eke these out has warmed the cold, cold stone that exists where I used to have a heart.

Taking two of three from the Cardinals was a must -- they're stinky this year, and you have to beat the stinky teams... but on the other hand, I wonder if the Dodgers got a little lucky. The Cardinals' woe has been a lack of ability to score runs, and the Dodgers let 'em have 19 in three games.

On the third hand, they got it done, so who's complaining.

On the fourth hand, Juan Pierre is still making outs at a rate matched by only one man in major league history.

1. Grounded to second. #138.
2. Grounded to short. #139.
3. Singled! Knocked in a run. Go Juan.
4. Flied to center. #140.
5. Grounded to second. #141.

Juan-for-five strikes again. Pace: 557 outs.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

You take the good with the bad, I guess

It's very good that the Dodgers finally beat the Cardinals. It's been a long time, and it's good to see.

It's even better than it comes on the return to form of Rafael Furcal, who has busted his slump big time, with 12 hits in his last three games. He's raised his average from .214 to .297. He's raised his OPS from an anemic .579 to a still-low-but-approaching-healthy .729 in three days. Rafael Furcal hitting like Rafael Furcal is key to the Dodgers chances this year and his return is welcome.

Of course, this game also featured a classic performance from Juan-for-five.

1. Flied to left. #134.
2. Flied to left. #135.
3. Doubled to right!! woo hoo!! Scored Furcal, and would come around to score.
4. Grounded to first. #136.
5. Fielder's choice. #137.

Pace: 555 outs.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

G'night, everybody

Juan had not had the chance to stink when this one was in the books, but he did not let that stop him.

1. Grounded bunt out to pitcher. #130.
2. Grounded into fielder's choice. #131.
3. Grounded to short. #132.
4. Grounded to third. #133.

He was then replaced as part of a double-switch and didn't get a chance to bat in the 9th. Brady Clark would foul out in his spot.

At least all of Juan's outs were groundouts. I look for comfort where I find it.

Pace is 552 outs.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Who's the worst?

So who's the worst regular major leaguer right now?

There are a number of possibilities. Let's discuss the criteria.

1. You have to start every day (or nearly every day).
2. You have to be a big drain on your team's financial resources.
3. You have to be a big drain on your team's outs, and not doing enough with the hits you do get. This is the Jimmy Rollins rule.
4. You can't be nursing an injury. I don't really pay enough attention to know who's working his way through a sore shoulder and who's just bad, but it's not in the spirit of this question to get on an injured guy's case. He's just got to be bad for no good reason.

Let's start with that. As point of comparison, our man Juan -- who is pretty clearly NOT the worst regular major leaguer at the moment -- has made 129 outs (leading the majors!) with an OPS of 639. Who else is out there?

Clearly, Jason Kendall has been terrible. 107 A's outs for an OPS for 424! Wow. I don't know how much he makes, but no matter what it is, an OPS of 424 has got to mean there's a better choice somewhere in the system. On the other hand, he's a catcher and batting 9th. There aren't a lot of expectations for him. He's done nothing with the opportunities given to him, but when Juan Pierre has made 20% more outs for not a whole lot more production, I wonder if there are better choices for the title. Same thing with David Eckstein and his poor production, but only 93 outs...

Scanning the list... Mike Cameron: $7 million, center field, a whopping 124 Padre outs -- and an OPS of 558! How about a shout-out to Bobby Abreu? Whopping salary, huge expectations in the Yankee outfield, 126 Yankee outs -- and an OPS of 603.

I think it's gotta be one of those two guys at the moment. What say you?


Sorry, fell asleep at the switch there. I did notice that Juan had a pretty good weekend, sort of, as the Dodgers swept the Reds.


1. Single to right.
2. Single to center.
3. Grounded to pitcher, #121.
4. Groudned to second, #122.


1. K. #123.
2. Singled to left. Caught stealing, #124.
3. Singled to center.
4. Flied to right. #125.
5. Popped to short. #126.


1. Sacrifice. #127.
2. Single to first.
3. Grounder to third. #128.
4. K, swinging. #129.
5. Bloop single to short. Charlie Steiner says, "Pierre could not have hit that any softer." Lucky devil gets a two RBI base hit instead of an out! Good for him, and good for the Dodgers -- it looks like a line drive in the box score. He'd steal second and score.

He came up 14 times and didn't make an out in 5 of them. That's fine. He certainly looked a lot better than he did on Wednesday.

Pace is now 549 outs.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Back on the horse

I am writing this in the sixth inning of a scoreless tie... and I'll say that this is one of Juan's best games as a Dodger so far (following one of his worst), no matter what happens from here. Good for Juan to put this together after yesterday.

He was batting leadoff today in a lineup shuffle -- Furcal was sitting. I'm not sure where it matters where Pierre bats -- leadoff, 2nd, 8th -- I think he is who he is. That said, I could be wrong -- if there's something psychological that makes him better suited for leadoff than second, then put him there. Since there's neither downside nor upside -- it's likely not to make a difference at all -- why not try it, just in case I'm wrong about the upside?

1. Bunt single! Blind squirrel, meet acorn. Pierre steals second, but is stranded at 3rd. Still, good job... this is what Colletti envisioned when he signed Pierre, and it sure is fun to watch. It just doesn't happen often enough.
2. Juan comes up in the third with two out and nobody on. Walks on four pitches! WALKS!
3. Leading off the sixth, Juan works the count full (!!) and then strokes a line drive base hit! Got to second on Martin's grounder and then stole third!
4. Grounded to pitcher. #120.

This is a tough loss, but hand it to the Marlins for coming through in the clutch. Juan did everything he could. Good game.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

...and that's the inning. ...and that's the inning. ...and that's the inning. ...and that's the inning.

Juan makes the third out four times in this game, finally leaving the bases loaded in the 8th. The Dodgers won 5-3, but it was a closer game than it needed to be.

Five flyball outs. Come on.

1. Flied to left. #115.
2. Flied to left. On the first pitch. Against a very shaky Willis, who had, to that pitch, walked four and thrown as many balls as strikes. As the third out of the inning (man on first). #116 -- but oh, it feels like so much more.
3. Flied to center. Again, the third out (man on second). #117.
4. Juan's up. Rick tells the world about Dontrelle's quote that "Fans in LA will appreciate Juan's game by the All-Star Game." Humma says, "Only if pigs are flying by the all-star break." Juan pops to center, making the third out (man on second) for the third time this game. #118.
5. They walk Furcal to load the bases with two outs. Juan swings at the first pitch. Flies to left. Leaves three. #119.

Pace: 567 outs. Back on record pace.

I have upset Dontrelle Willis

Diamond Leung of the Press-Enterprise informs us that I have upset Marlins pitcher Dontrelle Willis.

If I may quote the passage from the article:

But Willis, who will pitch against his "little big brother" and the Dodgers today, has also heard what he feels is unwarranted criticism of Pierre, whose .304 on-base percentage is lower than Wilson Betemit's. Pierre admittedly has struggled on defense.

There is even a blog called "The Juan Pierre OutWatch" that launched this season to track every single out Pierre makes.

"That upsets me," Willis said. "I've heard that he doesn't hit for power and that it's going to be hard for him to make the All-Star Game. But I know what he did over here. If we didn't have him, we wouldn't have won the World Series. Hopefully, the (fans) really appreciate Juan's game, and I think by the (All-Star) break, they will.

You've heard that he doesn't hit for power? Yes, Dontrelle, it's true. Hate to be the bearer of bad news. Juan Pierre doesn't hit for power.

It's going to be hard for him to make the All-Star game? Yes, that's true, too. Perhaps it has something to do with being one of the worst regular major leaguers. It's also going to be hard for Jason Kendall to make the All-Star game.

Juan Pierre doesn't get on base, doesn't hit for power, and plays terrible defense. He is not without skills, though. He'd be a good bench player.

Still, I'm sorry I upset you, Dontrelle. I don't mean to cause you emotional pain. I know it's cold comfort, but please know that your suffering comes at a greater good: through your pain, we are spreading the word that Juan Pierre's constant outmaking must be stopped.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007


Another day, another 4-1 lead wasted. As one commenter noted -- the Marlins took advantage of a stingy strike zone; the Dodgers did not.

1. Lined to shortstop. #111.
2. Single to center! After Furcal got on! Makes me wonder... how often has it happened that Furcal and Pierre were both on the basepaths at the same time?
3. K. Looking. As the third out of the inning. With Dodgers on 2nd and 3rd. I'm so glad this guy is so hard to strike out, because otherwise, this would be dispiriting. #112.
4. Grounded to second. #113.
5. Popped to left. #114. That's the Juan-for-five we know and loathe!

Pace: 559 outs. Actually, 559.6, which rounds up to our magic number! Go Juan!

The difference

Looking at ArtHTracy's useful list of outmaking leaders, one can't help but notice the name Jimmy Rollins.

Rollins has been, for his career, a slightly below average major leaguer with the bat. Considering he plays 2B, that means he's probably above-average for his position. 760 OPS isn't great no matter how you slice it, but if your team doesn't have a better option at 2B, it's certainly fine.

This year, however, has been different. Rollins has been hitting triples and homers at a rate unlike any so far in his career. A 600-slugging 2B can start for my team any day. He has been very valuable to the woeful Phillies.

Juan, on the other hand, is in the running for Worst Regular Major Leaguer. How can this be, when both are on the list of outs leaders?

The answer, of course, is power. Juan's extra-base production so far is this: 3 doubles, one triple. Jimmy's is 5 doubles -- meh -- but 5 triples and 9 homers. Juan can reach Jimmy's level -- almost -- if he hits triples and/or homers in every single at-bat over the next two games.

In short -- even if a player makes lots of outs, he can still be very useful, even an All-Star, but he has to hit for power. Jimmy Rollins has been great. Juan Pierre makes lots of outs and doesn't hit for power and has been a millstone around the neck of the Dodger offense.

Of course, it's dishonest to suggest that Juan could ever perform at an All-Star level or that he would hit for power. He's never done either. The question is: how many singles short of useful is he? That is a question for another day.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Lucky Penny... um... unlucky Pierre

Penny turned in the finest game yet by a Dodger pitcher this year: 7IP, 5 hits, 14K, no walks.

That'll hide a Juan Pierre 1-for-5 day every time.

1. Grounded to first. #107.
2. K, swinging. #108.
3. Fielder's choice to short. At least he beat out the double play... #109.
4. Infield single -- Pierre grounded to first and beat it out. Good job, Juan!
5. Fouled to left. #110.

Pace is 556.


I have made an error: the pick-off does not count as an "official out." It goes to the addendum.

Which means Juan entered yesterday with only 102 outs, not 103. The Outwatch regrets the error.

1. Walked... and picked off. Again. But this one went as a Caught Stealing. Official Scorers are fickle creatures. #103.
2. K. #104.
3. Flied to left. #105.
4. Fouled to third. #106.


Sunday, May 6, 2007


Just trying to get caught up... yes, I realize that I'm already behind.

So far, my weekend consists of this: "Porgy and Bess" at the LA Opera is good. "Spider-Man 3" is also good, and made a lot of money.

1. Singled to center; picked off first. #100.
2. Singled to right.
3. Fielder's choice, #101.
4. Ground into double play, #102 and 103.

Pace is 556 outs.

Saturday, May 5, 2007


In getting picked off first base in the first inning today, Juan Pierre has officially made 100 outs!

Juan for the road

In their last 49 innings -- since they scored in the 3rd inning of Sunday's marathon 17-inning game -- the Dodgers have scored 6 runs.

That's anemic.

It can't be pinned on Juan, but he's a symptom of the problem, not the cure.

1. Grounded to second. #96.
2. Lined to short. #97.
3. Sacrificed. #98.
4. Singled to center.
5. Grounded to second. Last out of the game. #99.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Businessman's special

I figured out where Roger Clemens decided to pitch: in Mark Hendrickson's body. Odd choice, to be sure, but the Dodgers are better for it.

1. K, swinging. Good thing this guy is so hard to strike out. #94.
2. Single to right. Erased on Nomar's double play, but that's not his fault.
3. Single to right, knocking in Furcal. A rare RBI! Good stuff.
4. Grounder to second. #95.

Juan's pace: 549 outs.

Quote of the day

From Steve Henson's Dodger Report in today's dog trainer...

In a short piece about Juan hitting too many fly balls, there's this:

Said Little, "You can see how he gets his 200 hits a year. He's also going to
make 500 outs." Hitting more groundballs "would give him a better shot at
getting 250 hits."
If he hit more grounders, he'd get more hits, and if a frog had wings, it wouldn't bump its ass a-hoppin'... but let's see what that would do for Juan.

Juan has averaged exactly 200 hits a season for a .302 average, a .349 OBP, and a .376 SLG. (Let's ignore the fact that those numbers have all been trending downward and that this year is his worst ever.) Add 50 singles to that and you get a .378 average, a .414 OBP, and a .453 SLG from a guy who will steal 50 bases. An 870ish OPS CF with speed? That is an All-Star, my friends.

I can't really fault Grady. He was probably speaking off the cuff and not really thinking about what he was saying. I'm guessing that the interview took place before the game and he had better things to think about than exactly how many hits Juan Pierre would get if he was a completely different hitter than he is. Still, I couldn't let it pass. This blog has one purpose: to destroy the myth that Juan Pierre deserves 750 major league at-bats a year and a healthy chunk of a team's payroll.

You know, now that I think about it, maybe I am misreading Grady's quote. Maybe the important part isn't the "250 hits" thing, but the "500 outs" thing -- after all, when was the last time Dodger brass brought that up? It's been the elephant in the room that nobody talks about as they focus on his other stats. Perhaps this blog is making some progress after all!

Juan-for-three (plus two)

At a first glance at the box score, Juan doesn't seem so horrible. 1-for-3.

Dig a little deeper, though: with two sacrifices. OK, anybody can make four outs in one game.

And twice was the third out with the bases loaded.

Once again, the Dodgers are saved by their pitching becuase Juan can't come through. That's good, but it cannot and will not last. Pretty please, Juan, with sugar on top, please start hitting.

1. Single to center.
2. Flied to left. #90.
3. Sacrifice. #91.
4. Flied to left. #92.
5. Sacrifice. #93.

Pace: 558 outs.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

A very pleasant good evening to you, wherever you may be... for me, I was at Dodger Stadium, watching the Arizona Diamondbacks make mincemeat of my Dodgers in a lackluster contest. Diamondbacks scored 9 and left 16 on. Oy.

Juan did not have a good night. Initially, I sat on my hands, but after his third out -- and a poor play in center -- I could not resist unleashing the catcalls.

I mean, fer pete's sake, Wilson Betemit takes all sorts of crap for not hitting at all this year, and rightfully so -- but his OBP is within a couple of points of Pierre's. They get on at about the same rate. Juan and the guy who takes crap for not getting on at all. Don't take this as a defense of Betemit -- we need a better answer at 3B. We also need a better answer at CF.

1. Flied to left. #87.
2. Grounded back to the pitcher. #88.
3. Flied to left. #89.
4. Walked. (Yeah, walked!)

Juan's pace: 554.