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Some Unrelated Links

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Ken Gurnick of MLB.com postulates that Joe Mays, not Chad Billingsley, is the Dodgers sixth starter. It's a amazing what fluking into a good year can do for your career. In 2001, Mays went 17-13 with a 3.16 ERA. However, he only struck out, 4.72 per nine, had a 1.92 K/BB, and had a .96 HR/9. If he never would have had that fluke year, he wouldn't still be getting job offers six years later despite never having an ERA+ above 82 since then. Hopefully, this is just idle speculation rather than actual news.

Nate Silver discusses the 80-82 record PECOTA projects for the Dodgers. He beleives Takashi Saito will outperform his 3.70 ERA prediction, and that Brett Tomko won't make his 4.67 ERA come true. He sums up the Dodgers a lot like I would.

The Verdict: This is one of the harder teams in baseball to forecast because of the huge amount of injury risk, exemplified in guys like Jeff Kent, Nomar Garciaparra, Randy Wolf, and now apparently Rafael Furcal. I’m not sure that they’re the best team in the division even if they do stay relatively healthy; the NL West has gone from being relatively weak to relatively strong, and the Dodgers lack any kind of true superstar talent. Still, it’s a deep club, especially considering their minor league system, and that counts for something. We’ll add two wins for 82-80, but we’d add more if their GM wasn’t as veteran-happy as Ned Colletti.

Kevin Goldstein covers the Dodgers farm system. No real surprises here, he says Delwyn Young will have a hard time finding a job and that pitcher Josh Wall actually needs to do something at some point, but I thought this part was interesting.

I Like Him Better Than Most: [Josh] Bell's all-or-nothing approach needs be curbed, but his kind of in-game power is a rare find.

Don't Believe The Hype: If Rafael Furcal isn't ready by Opening Day, Tony Abreu could be the surprise starter at shortstop. His range is a little lacking for the left side of the infield, and while he hits for average, he offers little in the way of power or on-base skills.

While we spend our time fretting about a stiff like Wilson Valdez makes the roster, we tend to forget that every other fan is dealing with similar decisions. Case in point, the Mariners just decided to carry Rey Ordonez on the 25 man roster. Ordonez has been out of baseball since 2004 and has a career line of .246/.289/310. Of course, it doesn't help my sanity when a commenter calls it "Wilson Valdez redux".

Lookout Landing has a very funny post on what you can infer about a fans identity by the jersey he wears. My favorite one:

Rene Rivera: Is Rene Rivera.

Kenji Johjima: Rene Rivera's mother.

Josh Hamilton's got a gun.