2012 Dodgers in Review #6: 1B/OF Juan Rivera

.244/.286/.375 339pa 9hr -0.8 fWAR D-

2012 in brief: “RBI machine” somehow underwhelmed even the incredibly low expectations we had for him.

2013 status: Dodgers hold $500k buyout of $4m team option which is unlikely to be picked up… we hope.

******

When the Dodgers committed millions towards bringing back Juan Rivera, a player who was awful enough in 2011 to get DFA’d by Toronto and had one good month the entire season, we were, oh, let’s say, “unhappy”:

While I’ve said that I’m okay with Rivera on this club as a OF/1B platoon bat against lefties, no one pays that much for someone to be a backup. That means that Rivera is almost certainly going to be your starting left fielder, and that pushes Jerry Sands to AAA unless there’s an unlikely Andre Ethier trade in the works. That’s a guy who didn’t even make Keith Law’s top 50 free agents list and who had a total 2011 OPS of .701, worse than Jamey Carroll and Casey Blake‘s marks last year. While it’s true that he was far better with the Dodgers than he was in Toronto, that’s hardly a high barrier to clear, and it appears that once again, the Dodgers have been sucked in by a favorable first impression that the new acquisition was unable to maintain. (Yes, I’m looking at you, Rod Barajas.)

Rivera’s first 31 games with Dodgers
115 PA  .327/.365/.481 .846 OPS  .364 BABIP

Rivera’s second 31 games with Dodgers
131 PA .226/.305/.339 .664 OPS .240 BABIP

His true talent level is probably somewhere in between, but unfortunately that’s not what you want from a starting corner outfielder or someone you’re paying nearly $5m to. Did anyone really think that you absolutely had to lock up Rivera during the exclusive negotiating period before a line of other teams drove dump trucks full of cash to his house? There’s this narrative going around that Rivera was some sort of “savior” or “RBI machine”, and while his contributions were welcomed, the facts just don’t fit that story.

If I was wrong about anything, it was saying that his “true talent level was somewhere in between”, because he matched that .664 OPS almost exactly with a .661 mark this year. And start he did, on Opening Day and in 15 of the first 18 games, beginning the season as the primary left fielder, just as we’d all feared. You know, we talk a lot about how worried we were about first and third base headed into the season, but it can’t be understated how much of a mess left field was when the best option to start the year was Rivera.

#RBImachine jokes aside, Rivera was hitting only .247/.276/.358 on May 8 when he fell to the most Dodger of injuries, a pulled hamstring. He returned in June, starting 19 games as one of the few healthy players remaining at that point and hit a respectable .278/.325/.347, with a particular highlight coming via a tie-breaking three-run homer against the Angels on June 12:

Tonight’s hero? None other than the much-maligned Juan Rivera, of course. And why not? He did little before being injured, he missed a good chunk of the season, has done little since returning, so in the new reality that is the 2012 Dodgers, it makes all the sense in the world that he’d be the star of the game – it’s basically his turn, after all.

Remember when the season was still full of hope and anything could happen? Seems so long ago now. As the season progressed, Rivera’s role continued to change. For most of July & August, Rivera rarely saw time in the outfield, becoming almost exclusively a platoon first baseman as James Loney continued to struggle and Shane Victorino took over in left. Not that it helped; between July 1 and the arrival of Adrian Gonzalez in late August, Rivera hit only .207/.248/.355, poor enough that when added with his lousy defense it actually made us prefer having Loney in the lineup.

Once Gonzalez took over first base, Rivera’s role became extremely limited, spending the last six weeks of the season mainly coming off the bench and occasionally getting a start in left when Victorino was needed to cover for Matt Kemp in center field. Though I can’t seem to find the link right now, there were grumblings – laughable, from my perspective – that Rivera was privately unhappy with his new role.

All told, Rivera’s year was incredibly poor, with a .282 wOBA that was only just barely better than middle infielders like Brandon Crawford & Alexi Casilla, yet without the plus defense at important positions that those players provided. The sad part is, this absolutely could have been predicted – and was, not just by me – prior to the season. Signing Rivera was a waste of money and a roster spot from the day it happened, and it didn’t have to be that way.

Rivera’s 2013 team option will almost certainly be declined, and hopefully that’s the last we’ll see of him. What’s scary, however, is that the team badly needs a righty-swinging corner outfielder to help spot for Ethier & Carl Crawford in 2013, and there’s not really anyone on the current roster who can back up Gonzalez at first base. Were Rivera not awful, it’s a role perfectly crafted for him. Can Ned Colletti resist the temptation?

******

Next up! Mark Ellis got hurt while I wrote this!

481 comments
We buy cars
We buy cars

Thank you for sharing your stuff on blog.

DBrim
DBrim moderator

New post.

Kewldood69
Kewldood69

P.S. Goat, do you ever go to Mattern? Phoenix Club Oktoberfest tonight and a Mattern hoochie... aie wey!

Kewldood69
Kewldood69

We are only four or five Players in but I can't take the ineptitude anymore. No more reviews!

*VND*
*VND*

earthquake in salinas

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*VND*

gah. stuck in this hotel room watching SNL. that musical sequence was fucking. lame.

*VND*
*VND*

if i had a degree in computer engineering d make the most badass sex apps for iphone and android. this market needs help.

*VND*
*VND*

that thread got way too long to follow

*VND*
*VND*

sup anyone not going out tonight? who wants to talk about nothing?

DINGERS!
DINGERS!

@Catfish Hunter's Carolina Fish Fry MOAR TURTLES

*VND*
*VND*

yea crazy right

ThtsaPaddlin
ThtsaPaddlin

 @GoGiantsGo It feels nice to be on MSTI during a period in which I'm not expected to be productive.  Don't feel as guilty about it.

*VND*
*VND*

it was awesome.

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somewhere near Salinas.

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hahahahaha no. its cuz they suck and this is supposed to be funny sketches on current issues. not a dumb musical

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HE BETTER BLOW IT

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yeah. nothing worse than discussing anal fetishes during morning meetings

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yeah. i was getting lost in it. too many things going on.

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*VND*

so Tim Wallach remains as the third base windmill of Dodger lore?

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sup mountaintop.

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dude tonight is THE night for you to be out!!!!

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hey deuce are you a teacher?

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hes cool. his eye is doing better... has a lot energy again!

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well at least the 15 yr old spelled it correctly. i must be tired night jerks

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i hope you tear your sphincters tonight

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lame. honestly lame and whack. its cool when youre there. on tv its just annoying noise.

*VND*
*VND*

STUFF A PINEAPPLE UP IT

DINGERS!
DINGERS!

@Saber Kid #293.2 @GoGiantsGo COCHINOS

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iono but theyre all gone. weird

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did you guys notice our comments from the ASG thread were all erased? gone forever?

DINGERS!
DINGERS!

@Deuce @DBrim @GoGiantsGo SOLD.

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i joke of course i want him to succeed.

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*VND*

i hope wallach is hungover for all interviews!!!

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*VND*

but like... whats the grading scale for incoming managers? how do you even know if wallach is worth a hill of beans?

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*VND*

hahaha. shhhhh no politics here!

*VND*
*VND*

hahahahahahahaha

Deuce (is loose)
Deuce (is loose)

 @GoGiantsGo   Live and learn.  I actually think their mom liked me more than either one of them.  Cougar action contemplated but hubby was an LAPD detective.

*VND*
*VND*

but it was high school... everyone had fun. feelings were hurt. no long term consequences - we hope

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*VND*

hahahaha awww high school heartbreak

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OMG. that is TURRIBLE

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i hope you treated her super nice so her sister got all jealous.

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so she was like.. just hot but not nice huh?

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*VND*

awwwww. :( thats very little attention

Deuce (is loose)
Deuce (is loose)

 @GoGiantsGo   Paid for all the crap like pics, dinner, had to wash my dad's car and rent a tux.  Lost it when I was getting as much attention as Beefalo got from Donnie in the second half.

*VND*
*VND*

HAHAHAHAHAHA

*VND*
*VND*

rectal insertions can get messy. one time we had to have an emergent exploratory laparotomy cuz a guy stuck pool balls up his butt... and things happened

Tony Fernandez (MSTY Most Informative Poster)
Tony Fernandez (MSTY Most Informative Poster)

@Saber Kid #293.2 @Saber @Micro @GoGiantsGo You'll do nothing but waste your time and money if you're not serious about her. I know it takes time to figure out, but if it's just a fling you're just screwing yourself

Tony Fernandez (MSTY Most Informative Poster)
Tony Fernandez (MSTY Most Informative Poster)

@Saber Kid #293.2 @Saber @Micro @GoGiantsGo You'll do nothing but waste your time and money if you're not serious about her. I know it takes time to figure out, but if it's just a fling you're just screwing yourself

*VND*
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make sure you guys enema beforehand

*VND*
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when youre done tell your wife about us

ThtsaPaddlin
ThtsaPaddlin

 @GoGiantsGo I know. It was a joke I thought you would like.  I was wrong.  Time to slit wrists.

*VND*
*VND*

at 15 all you need is a lot of clean up tissues

*VND*
*VND*

digital refers to the finger. the index finger. as in for men, the prostate exam

DBrim
DBrim moderator

 @Micro Scrotumo  @Saber Kid #293.2  @GoGiantsGo WINNER.

 

https://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Amikesciosciastragicillness.com+anus&oq=site%3Amikesciosciastragicillness.com+anus&sugexp=chrome,mod=0&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8#hl=en&sclient=psy-ab&q=site:mikesciosciastragicillness.com+anus&oq=site:mikesciosciastragicillness.com+anus&gs_l=serp.3...3879.4260.1.5329.4.4.0.0.0.1.150.320.3j1.4.0.les%3Beqn%2Ccconf%3D1-2%2Cmin_length%3D2%2Crate_low%3D0-035%2Crate_high%3D0-035%2Csecond_pass%3Dfalse%2Cnum_suggestions%3D2%2Cignore_bad_origquery%3Dtrue..0.0...1c.1.SliN5DPfodY&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.r_qf.&fp=80ef5323c76d6b79&bpcl=35466521&biw=1334&bih=905

*VND*
*VND*

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

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ive talked at length of digital rectal exams.

*VND*
*VND*

penis beats fruit any day

ThtsaPaddlin
ThtsaPaddlin

 @GoGiantsGo You mean the offer or the insertion?  Because seriously, what's sweeter than a pineapple?

*VND*
*VND*

those are advanced maneuvers. proceed with caution

*VND*
*VND*

Jake, guys at your age are dumb period. its cool. embrace it. :)

*VND*
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yea but Tony trying the backdoor approach to me is creep status :/ when a guys my friend hes my friend. neeeever see him any other way eeeveeeeerrrrrr

MSTIer: Jake
MSTIer: Jake

 @GoGiantsGo I know guys who pull it off, but I could never be like that, they r just too dumb

Tony Fernandez (MSTY Most Informative Poster)
Tony Fernandez (MSTY Most Informative Poster)

@Saber Kid #293.2 @GoGiantsGo Don't put so much pressure on it. Friend zone isn't bad, it's how I've always gotten a girl. I've now been with this last one 3 years. Just be yourself and find someone you trust and quit focusing on the sex, it's not a way for long term happiness

*VND*
*VND*

Jake will figure it out one day...

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a cute sweet jerkface

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*VND*

hard to find one with the right balance...

*VND*
*VND*

dont laugh at all her jokes. be distant but nice. catch her off guard with a date or compliment. go back to cool n distant mode.

*VND*
*VND*

youll find a good one. just be a loose cannon. be the jerky nerd you are

MSTIer: Jake
MSTIer: Jake

 @GoGiantsGo no the girls are nice they just are too...idk too good for everyone else. especially sylvester stallones daughter haha

*VND*
*VND*

nooooo girls in high school can be sweet. you just have to find the right one. i was a loser. word of advice: invest long term in the losers in high school. good investment.

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why no date?!

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*VND*

i will be voting certain ways on certain propositions...

Deuce (is loose)
Deuce (is loose)

 @GoGiantsGo   Yeah, but good benefits and short work year.  175 days now.  It will never happen under current political setup.

*VND*
*VND*

teachers need better pay tho

Deuce (is loose)
Deuce (is loose)

 @GoGiantsGo   A worthy calling, like yours.  The opportunity to positively impact 30+ lives a year is huge.

*VND*
*VND*

i was soooo close to going into peds. i love those little boogers