The Manny Ramirez Suspension: A Brief Review

When Manny Ramirez was suspended on May 7, the Dodgers had the best record in baseball, at 21-8. How would this club respond to 50 games without their best player?  Back on that day, I wrote:

Lest we forget the rest of the club is still a damn good team.  The suspension of Manny Ramirez runs through July 2, for a total of 50 games.  There are four other clubs that think they are going to gain on the Dodgers during Manny's absence, so here's a goal for the Dodgers:  "win" the division over this 50-game stretch.  Widen your 6 game lead.

The Dodgers did just that.

Without Manny Ramirez, the Dodgers had to settle for simply the best record in the National League.  Here is a look at the top records in the National League since May 7:

Team W-L Pct GB
Dodgers   29-21 .580 ---
Rockies 30-22 .577 ---
Giants 29-22 .569 ½
Astros 26-23 .531
Brewers 26-24 .520 3

 

Despite a furious rally from Colorado, and improved play from the Giants, the Dodgers did not give up any ground without their superstar.  Let's take a look at how the Dodgers did it:

Dodger Batter of the Manny-Free ZoneJuan Pierre did more than we could have reasonably asked for in Manny's absence (.318/.381/.411, 21/28 SB), and for the first three weeks Pierre was producing at a level damn near Ramirez.  However, the main cog in the Dodger offensive wheel was The Beard, Casey Blake.  Blake migrated from the 8th spot in the order all the way up to cleanup, and that he did.  Don't let the seemingly low total of six homers fool you.  Blake added 15 doubles, and hit .319/.371/.530, easily the best OPS on the club, while driving in 33 runs.

Dodger Pitcher of the Manny-Free ZoneClayton Kershaw was very good (2.63 ERA over 10 starts) but also wild, keeping him from going deep into games.  I'm giving this award to Ronald Belisario, who logged over 30 innings (as did Ramon Troncoso) and put up a stellar 1.19.  That wickedly moving fastball has served him and the Dodgers well this season.

Pre-Suspension Record:  21-8 (.724)
161 runs scored (5.55 per game)
106 runs allowed (3.66 per game)
.698 pythagorean winning percentage

Manny-Less Record:  29-21 (.580)
220 runs scored (4.40 per game)
191 runs allowed (3.82 per game)
.570 pythagorean winning percentage

Thanks For The Chance:  It could be argued that without the Ramirez suspension, the Dodgers wouldn't have had the need to call up outfielders Xavier Paul, Jamie Hoffmann, or Mitch Jones, each of whom made their major league debut during the suspension.  The three combined to hit .224/.273/.429, and quite frankly the .701 OPS isn't out the range of expected production of 4th outfielder Juan Pierre (2009 PECOTA prediction: .293/.334/.356)

What Is This Bench You Speak Of?:  Juan Pierre not only took over for Manny during the suspension, but he played every second of every game, appearing in 462.2 defensive innings without a rest.  His workload is about to become dramatically different, as he will move to the bench and give the club a viable left-handed batter Joe Torre can use in the late innings, and getting a spot start once or twice a week as needed.

What's Next?:  Mannywood invades San Diego, and True Blue LA will be there!

Manny-Less 50-Game Stats

Player G GS AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SB/CS BA/OBP/SLG OPS
Blake 46 41 166 28 53 15 1 6 33 15 2/1 .319/.371/.530 .901
Kemp 50 49 189 26 60 3 2 7 24 16 12/2 .317/.369/.466 .835
Pierre 50 50 214 32 68 14 3 0 21 16 21/7 .318/.381/.411 .793
Loney 50 48 193 26 54 9 1 5 29 15 4/0 .280/.329/.415 .743
Ethier 48 45 176 18 39 9 1 9 25 16 3/3 .222/.293/.438 .730
Martin 46 43 153 19 38 5 0 1 8 30 5/2 .248/.382/.301 .682
Hudson 48 48 196 25 52 12 0 2 24 18 2/0 .265/.323/.357 .680
Furcal 45 38 165 14 37 9 0 2 10 17 1/3 .224/.297/.315 .612
Starters 362 (88.5%) 1452 188 401 76 8 32 174 143 50/18 .276/.344/.406 .749
Castro 20 15 48 12 16 2 0 1 6 6 0/0 .333/.407/.438 .845
Paul 11 2 14 3 3 1 0 1 1 2 0/1 .214/.313/.500 .813
Jones 8 3 13 1 4 1 0 0 0 0 0/0 .308/.400/.385 .785
Loretta 36 14 72 8 15 4 0 0 11 11 0/0 .208/.313/.264 .577
Hoffman 14 3 22 2 4 2 0 1 7 0 0/0 .182/.167/.409 .576
Ausmus 14 9 37 3 8 1 0 0 1 1 0/0 .216/.275/.243 .518
DeWitt 3 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0/0 .000/.333/.000 .333
Ellis 3 1 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 .000/.000/.000 .000
Bench 47 (11.5%) 212 29 50 11 0 3 26 21 0/1 .236/.314/.330 .644
Pitchers 24 0 6 1 1 0 5 2 2 .120/.173/.133 .306
Totals 1739 220 460 88 8 35 207 167 50/19 .265/.333/.385 .718

 

Pitcher G W-L Sv IP H R ER BB K ERA WHIP
Kershaw 10 4-3 -- 54.2 36 16 16 36 54 2.63 1.317
Billingsley 11 4-4 -- 71.2 64 32 29 35 68 3.64 1.381
Wolf 11 2-2 -- 65.2 63 28 28 19 43 3.84 1.249
Weaver* 3 1-0 -- 15.0 13 6 6 6 7 3.60 1.267
Milton 5 2-1 -- 23.2 30 12 10 6 20 3.80 1.521
Kuroda 6 1-4 -- 37.1 32 18 17 6 33 4.10 1.018
Stults 4 1-1 -- 21.1 18 11 11 11 15 4.64 1.359
Starters 50 15-15 -- 289.1 256 123 117 119 240 3.64 1.296
Belisario 27 0-0 -- 30.1 20 6 4 11 26 1.19 1.022
McDonald 7 1-0 -- 9.0 9 2 2 3 8 2.00 1.333
Troncoso 27 2-0 3 32.2 32 10 9 17 22 2.48 1.500
Mota 20 1-2 -- 24.1 20 8 8 5 16 2.96 1.027
Broxton 22 3-0 11 23.2 14 8 8 9 37 3.04 0.972
Schlichting 2 0-0 -- 2.2 1 2 1 5 2 3.38 2.250
Leach 26 2-0 -- 15.2 9 6 6 7 14 3.45 1.021
Wade 18 2-2 -- 18.0 22 15 15 10 14 7.50 1.778
Ohman 9 1-0 -- 3.1 4 3 3 5 3 8.10 2.700
Weaver* 8 2-2 -- 13.2 21 8 8 8 12 5.27 2.122
Bullpen 50 14-6 14 173.1 152 68 64 80 154 3.32 1.338
Totals 50
29-21 14 462.2 408 191 181 199 394 3.52 1.312
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