It’s Time To Move On From Casey Blake


Hey, I like Casey Blake. Despite the regrettable circumstances of his arrival, his lousy 2010, and the fact that his inability to stay healthy in 2011 was predictable from about a million miles away, Blake’s been a solid enough player and by all accounts an even better person and teammate. All of the nice things you’ve heard about Jim Thome‘s off-the-field demeanor lately? I’ve never met Casey Blake, but every last word I’ve heard about him suggests that they all apply to him as well.

Believe it or not, Blake is, by most measures, one of the three best Dodger third basemen in the last century. Think about that for a second, but it’s true. Among those with as many plate appearances as he has, with at least 50% of them coming at third, Blake has the third highest OPS+. (It was pointed out to me that Jim Gilliam provided plenty of value as a third baseman as well, though he does not appear on this list because less than half his time came at the hot corner.)

Rk Player OPS+ PA From To Age AB H 2B 3B HR OPS
1 Ron Cey 125 6108 1971 1982 23-34 5216 1378 223 18 228 .804
2 Red Smith 110 1667 1911 1914 21-24 1467 409 84 25 14 .743
3 Casey Blake 108 1592 2008 2011 34-37 1393 362 72 9 49 .768
4 Adrian Beltre 108 3818 1998 2004 19-25 3462 949 176 18 147 .794
5 Cookie Lavagetto 104 3241 1937 1947 24-34 2777 763 143 28 35 .756
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 8/22/2011.

Change that to WAR in order to get defense in, and that drops him to fourth, though you could argue that Cookie Lavagetto barely beats him out yet had the benefit of twice as many plate appearances to do it.

Rk Player WAR/pos PA From To Age AB H 2B 3B HR OPS
1 Ron Cey 46.2 6108 1971 1982 23-34 5216 1378 223 18 228 .804
2 Adrian Beltre 22.6 3818 1998 2004 19-25 3462 949 176 18 147 .794
3 Cookie Lavagetto 12.4 3241 1937 1947 24-34 2777 763 143 28 35 .756
4 Casey Blake 10.6 1592 2008 2011 34-37 1393 362 72 9 49 .768
5 Joe Stripp 8.3 2800 1932 1937 29-34 2567 758 129 30 13 .719
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 8/22/2011.

And while I don’t have a table for it, his VORB – that’s Value Over Replacement Beard – is off the charts.

(Here’s where we’ll get the arguments that Blake’s historical ranking somehow justifies the Carlos Santana trade. No, it doesn’t; that trade was good for only two months of Blake’s time, not his full Dodger career, and it’ll never be okay that Cleveland got more from the Dodgers for Blake than they did from Milwaukee for C.C. Sabathia at the same time. Besides, considering that Blake’s 2010-11 span has been awful and he’s still ranking where he does, it should be clear that third base has not exactly been a position with a glorious history for the Dodgers.)

Anyway, the point of all this is not to reflect upon Blake’s position in Dodger history, such as it were, but to suggest that perhaps it’s time to shut it down, for the benefit of all involved. Blake has missed substantial amounts of time this season, from starting the year on the DL with a back injury to missing over a month with a left elbow infection to his current malady, a pinched nerve in his neck. 

As Dylan Hernandez writes, the neck injury has Blake thinking about his long-term health:

Casey Blake hit off a tee Sunday, the start of his latest comeback from a pinched nerve in his neck that has bothered him for a significant part of the season.

But Blake, who has missed the Dodgers’ last four games, is proceeding with caution.

“Obviously, this neck thing is pretty serious,” he said. “I want to be able to move my neck when I’m 50.”

As recently as last month, the 38-year-old third baseman said he wasn’t entertaining the idea of retirement. But he said this weekend that his condition was making him reconsider.

“Sure,” he said. “Obviously, I don’t want to go out like this. Hopefully, with rest in the off-season this thing goes away and I can get ready to play another season. I’ll cross that bridge when I get there.”

He said he is unsure whether he would continue playing if it meant jeopardizing his long-term health.

Blake, who has made three trips to the disabled list and is batting .250 in 58 games, said his goals for the remainder of the season have also changed.

Earlier in the year, he talked about wanting to play well enough to essentially force the Dodgers to exercise the $6-million team option in his contract for next season. He said this week that his priorities have now shifted.

“I’m not even worried about that right now,” Blake said. “The main focus is just getting healthy and doing what’s best for my neck and my future.”

He said doctors have warned him that his condition could worsen if he continues to play.

“The more I play, the more chance I have to really put more pressure on that nerve,” Blake said. “If you put enough pressure on it, you bang it enough, you can cause some damage.”

While you certainly feel for Blake as a player, because no one wants to see their career possibly end like this, you do have to wonder what exactly the point is for the Dodgers. I hardly need to remind you how short the bench has been over the last few days, particularly with Rod Barajas banged up, the bullpen exhausted, and Eugenio Velez continuing to be Eugenio Velez. Remember, James Loney had to throw a bullpen session yesterday and Aaron Miles was prepared to be the backup catcher, simply because there were no appropriate bodies to do the job. Considering that Barajas couldn’t catch and Velez can’t play, the Dodgers have been essentially going with a 22.5-man roster in part because Blake is taking up a roster spot yet can’t contribute.

Even if he can, how does that help the Dodgers? Blake’s clearly not going to be with the team in 2012, so the focus should be on finding out right now if you have anything in the system who can help. (I know, I know - there probably isn’t, but what’s to lose? The team is already in last place.) Disable Blake, and call up Russ Mitchell. DFA Velez, and call up Ivan DeJesus. DFA Dioner Navarro – or donate him to science, I don’t care – and call up A.J. Ellis. Play Justin Sellers every day at short (which, to their credit, they generally are) until Dee Gordon returns.

If Blake’s ready to make a few appearances before the end of the season, that’s fine, because rosters expand a week from Thursday, and since he last played on August 17, he’d be eligible to return the very next day. Letting him take up a roster spot isn’t helping the team now, and it’s not helping him by pushing him to rush back and risk further injury.

It’s time to move on.

******

Speaking of minor leaguers we’ll likely see soon, Christopher Jackson’s latest – this time for MiLB.com – is a feature on catcher Tim Federowicz which is a must-click if only for the photo of the mustache that I pray Federowicz brought with him from Boston.

To his credit, Federowicz seems to understand that the trade which brought him to the Dodgers wasn’t necessarily welcomed by a lot of fans:

The stated intent by Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti was to acquire a catching prospect, something Los Angeles lacked in its farm system. Federowicz said he understands the frustration of Dodgers fans.

“Yeah, they gave up Trayvon — he’s a great player and now he’s in the big leagues, doing his thing up there,” Federowicz said. “That’s tough to lose.

“I guess there is a little bit of pressure to show fans what I’ve got. But I think it’ll eventually work out the way the Dodgers want it to.”

My guess is that Fedorowicz is probably not going to be ready to start 2012 in the majors, and since he’s not eligible for the Rule 5 draft, he most likely will not be called up in September, since that would require him to be added to the 40-man roster. But could we see an Ellis/Federowicz tandem by this time next year? It certainly couldn’t be worse than Barajas/Navarro.

0 comments

Trackbacks

  1. [...] to resolve the pinched nerve which has plagued him for weeks. I suggested this was inevitable weeks ago, though that was mostly for roster purposes at the time; now, it’s a disappointing end to one [...]

  2. [...] career as well. Despite the wasted 2011 and lousy 2010, Blake ends his Dodger career as one of the better third baseman in the history of the club, and while that may say more about the history of the hot corner for this team than it does about [...]

  3. The Best Cat Suits For Women…

    [...]the following are a handful of url links to places we connect to because we feel there’re really worth visiting[...]…

  4. Pink Shoes says:

    The Best Cat Suits For Women…

    [...]these are a couple of url links to web pages which I link to for the fact we believe they’re truly worth browsing[...]…

  5. Great Clips Printable Coupons…

    [...]below are several web page links to internet sites which I link to seeing that we feel there’re definitely worth checking out[...]…

  6. Fantastic Sams Coupons…

    [...]following are a handful of url links to online websites which I connect to seeing as we think there’re worth checking out[...]…

  7. Great Clips Coupons…

    [...]here are a few url links to web pages which we link to since we think they are truly worth visiting[...]…

  8. Supercuts Coupons…

    [...]what follows are several links to online websites which I link to for the fact we feel they will be worthwhile visiting[...]…

  9. cabin in the woods…

    [...]what follows are a few url links to web sites which we link to seeing that we think these are really worth checking out[...]…

  10. lyme disease symptoms…

    [...]here are several hyper-links to web sites I always connect to as we believe these are well worth browsing[...]…

  11. Website says:

    ann romney…

    [...]in the following are a couple of web links to places which I connect to because we feel they will be well worth checking out[...]…

  12. and forums and leave the link to…

    your bloghowever unique the content on your blog might be, there are still millions of blogs on the same niche. so, visitors on these blogs are your targets as well. sign up with various related blogs and post expert comments. participate…

  13. Pacers…

    [...]listed below are a few listings to online websites which we link to since we feel these are seriously worth checking out[...]…

  14. Clippers…

    [...]following are a couple of url links to sites we link to seeing that we think they will be worth browsing[...]…

  15. is extremely difficult to do. but that…

    is because they dive into unfamiliar waters instead of using their skills and past experiences to shape their way forward on the internet.for instance, one way to make money online is by setting up a blog. but what will your blog…

  16. problem and walk through the steps on…

    how to solve that problem. we all have problems in one way or another. so by giving a solution to a problem in your niche you are assured to satisfy your readers’ appetite.use mediawe all eat with our eyes in this…

  17. click here says:

    reasons. there are many types of blogs…

    out there from business to political blogs and everything in between. so what is the best blog to make money? i have been involved in ecommerce (internet marketing) for over a decade and recently realized the true importance of a seo…

  18. too much to handle, blog post writers…

    for hire are available to get the job done quickly, professionally and affordably.freelance blog writers for hirethere are thousands of individuals around the world who are looking for an opportunity to write professional posts about any topic imaginab…

  19. click here says:

    different article directories with their articles being…

    around 200-250 words long, but an article this short typically has only 1 purpose:to sell you on something.even if you see the “gurus” doing it, don’t do it. people know the difference between good content and poor content. if you want…

  20. in forum discussions and provide useful input….

    entice visitors with your expertise. most importantly, post the link of your blog in the dialogue box so that the enticed visitors know how to reach your web page.social bookmarkingsocial bookmarking is a way of putting a tag on the blog…

  21. some of your materials are sourced. or…

    how you’ve been recycling since 1967. or a string of ideas for creative and unusual ways to make use of your products.product literature, sales brochures, industry news, quarterly and annual reports… these can all be sources of potentially good mate…

  22. click here says:

    blog.blog writing services can help you reach…

    your audience with carefully written posts and quality articles that address their interests on your business blog. all you need to do is to prepare all the details that your writer will need in order to write these blog posts.first, do…

  23. on the faces because they don’t provide…

    anything new to think about or discuss. a great way to drag in audience is to write on topics that are relevant, timely, fresh, exciting and engaging at the same time.a blog writer should push her readers a little bit every…

  24. will find that almost all the hosts,…

    especially the top 10 web hosting companies, offer a free installation of wordpress as part of all their hosting plans. it’s quite easy to install with just a few clicks where you have to choose an administrator name and password, and…

  25. tendency to become weak which leads to…

    low bone density. because of this, women have a high risk of suffering from bone pain and developing osteoporosis. in addition, this also increases their likelihood of suffering from bone fractures and leg cramps. if you want to have a profitable…

  26. registration. spammers are unfortunately attracted to forums…

    like flies to honey, and even the newest forums will start getting a trickle of these every day. although it’s tempting to allow these to join to up the membership levels to make it look like you’ve got an active forum,…

  27. discussion by using this style of posting.write…

    a serieslet’s say you have a lot to write about and you are an expert on a particular subject. you can break your posts down into series like part 1, part 2 etc. you can successfully build anticipation for your audience…

  28. effective results.be relevantsometimes the topic is quite…

    simple and you have numerous ideas on your mind to write in your article. but at this point in time, you have to keep in mind that you have only twenty minutes to write an article. so write only those ideas…

  29. this, you should get an increase in…

    your traffic. it is more beneficial if everyone participates. it’s sort of like a chain letter, only legitimate.my last tip for ranking is social connecting with others and blog commenting. there is a correct way of doing this as well. while…

  30. Going Here says:

    to start posting. its better to have…

    15 posts in your blog first. start writing something your own. your personal experience. something funny. something real & true. you won’t need thousands of visitors to get adsense approval. try your facebook friends to pay a visit to your site….

  31. here says:

    site that will command that sort of…

    entry level investment in under 72 hours. (i can do it in under a day)filed under: the business blueprintvery simply, you take the idea above, and offer back end offers, incentives, s and additional services to add profit (and user value)…

  32. a couple of sentences each would be…

    fine. this style works great when you want to give an informational style post in your niche, this will give great value to your readers.make a list postsomewhat similar to the review style but by adding in a number into your…

  33. ipad says:

    you are done. [essential]3. ezinearticles – this…

    is a cool plugin, when you write a blog post, before you put links or pictures into it you can hit a couple of buttons and send your fresh article straight to ezinearticles for distribution. now article marketing used to be…

  34. Titanic says:

    plain “cupcakes”. when you focus the article…

    around those words and just write informative articles containing the keywords once Titanic every hundred words, that is when the search engines will notice the articles. the search engines look for articles that have the keyword in them the right amou…

  35. blog about gardening, fixing bicycles, antique cars,…

    or decorating cupcakes, there are some things that you can do in order to get your blog listed in the top picks of an internet search. when this happens, you could be more likely to have more customers because people will…

  36. these databases of articles. it’s completely free,…

    but it does take some time to write and submit.to find them, just enter something like “article submission” in your search engine of choice. if they start asking you to pay…. pass on them and keep looking. just be sure to…

  37. Mac väska says:

    example – if you are a yoga…

    teacher, and teaching other students who also want to “teach”, you can use the principles above to offer valuable marketing tips and techniques for folks who will need to sell themselves, once certified.there are so many easy and ethical ways to…

  38. it.so as you can see there are…

    many advantages to owning your Titanic blog and by putting it on the best blogging platform around, wordpress.orgif you are serious about your online business then investing in a blogging platform like this will pay off in the long run. our world…

  39. that are extremely relevant for the content…

    of your article. you can leave the rest of the ideas for future use.make use of bullet pointssince readers prefer articles that are clearly written and are well-structured, using bullet points can be beneficial in many ways. for instance, you can…

  40. you can vet their content before it’s…

    published.so you’ve created a few blogs; now what? embed them right on your website. link to your blog from twitter or linkedin. use mail chimp or constant contact to turn your blog into a newsletter that links to your website. even…

  41. Installation says:

    a more difficult branch and people will…

    enjoy reading your blog. even if you cannot genuinely solve the issue, people will respect you for your effort and find the content more interesting.a great blog will engage readersyou could offer a contest or do the occasional poll to keep…

  42. due to an unreliable company.the next thing…

    in line is the packages that the company provides you with. make sure they are affordable. initially you could start off with shared hosting because of your budget which is pretty sensible and that will also be very affordable for you….

  43. - in order for your readers to…

    believe that you are an expert in your particular field you should write content that shows you have an understanding of how your products or services can improve their lives. writing a blog is different than writing an article; remember that…

  44. remix artist says:

    bloggers as a rule do write quite…

    a bit! for the most part when publishing a blog post your primary goal is to keep people interested enough to return and provided your content quality is good enough, they will! another important aspect of your blog posting however is…

  45. content is a necessity. the majority of…

    bloggers who never succeed discover that it is hard to get anything of value from their blogs. this is usually because they are doing too much to optimize their blog for the search engines or they are looking for shortcuts to…

  46. their interests and begin to create a…

    strong following.as you begin to develop your blog, you have the option of creating your own site or utilizing many of the free sites available today such as tumblr, ezine, posterous, squidoo, etc. these sites offer not only a platform to…

  47. electro says:

    good writer and you have enough experience…

    in delivering good write ups or articles which seems to be very interesting, is there a chance for you to use these skills as a part-time job? fortunately, there is! all you have to do is to look for online writing…

  48. Airsoft says:

    Evike.com…

    Treat yourself to a brand new Airsoft light or laser. 100% quality, our lights and lasers are the ultimate upgrade in Airsoft….