Fire Jim Tracy

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

I Always Believed in Futures

In case you missed the news two weeks ago, shortstop Joel Guzman and pitcher Chad Billingsley were named the Dodgers' 2004 minor league Players of the Year. Here's a quick summary of what they did in 2004:

Guzman (19 years old, split time between the A and AA teams): .297, 23 HR, 11 triples, 33 doubles, 86 RBI.

Billingsley (20 years old, split time between the A and AA teams): 11-4, 2.55 ERA, 158 K's in 134.1 IP. He's set to replace Odalis Perez in the hard-luck role: he went 1-4 in his first 9 starts with a 2.53 ERA (!). He ended the season on a good note, however, winning his last ten decisions. For what it's worth, Baseball America slapped Billingsley with the "best prospect in Florida State League" label.

Will Guzman and/or Antonio Perez be given legitimate shots in spring training to take Cora's spot in the starting lineup? It's worth discussing. I've always loved Cora's defense, but at some point, offense trumps whatever defensive value Cora offers the club.

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