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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

blake anchors his way onto the DL

its just about official. Casey Blake (rusty anchor) will most likly begin the season on the disabled list, after still reeling from a back injury caused by trying to leg out a bunt during a game back on march 12.
all kidding aside, the Dodgers have to be thinking about the future of third base. as much as I like Blake this will in all liklyhood be his final year with the Dodgers. Blake has been a solid player over the years, and a primary component of the core group of players that led the Dodgers to back to back NL west division titles, and NLCS appearances from 2008-2009.
the 37 year old vet, was acquired by the Dodgers from the Indians for two minor leaguers in 2008, one being then top catching prospect Carlos Santana. with Russell Martin gone and the sorry state of the Dodger's catching currently, they better be getting every bit of value out of Casey Blake right?

However with Blake turning 38 and coming off of a bad year, his health, age, and declining numbers worry me. Im not the only one worried.
Blake batted .251 with 10 homeruns for the Dodgers during the last two months of 2008.
he had a very productive year in 2009, hitting .280 with 18 homeruns and 79 RBI, and an .832 OPS.
in 2010 Blake battled age and inconsistency and had a bad year hitting only .248 and striking out 22 more times than the year before. but he still hit 17 homeruns and drove in 64 runs. not to say Blake doesnt have his uses, crushing lefties in 2010 to a tune of a .314 avg. however he has trouble hitting right handed pitching.

the Dodgers will move Uribe over to third which will open up a spot at second base. we all asume Carroll will see the majority of time at second, but he also injured his hand and we might see a couple of other guys get time there as well.
with blake down and padilla and Garland starting the first couple of weeks on the DL, this leaves two roster spots open temporarily, and several players fighting for their uniforms. (Aaron Miles, Juan (yoda) castro, Hector Gimenez, Ivan Dejesus, and light hitting long shot Eugenio Velez).

the Dodgers did announce before spring training that Blake could see less time at third and more time on the bench or the outfield, considering his age, decline, and rustyness.

I still like Blake alot, hes been a decent hitter, solid third baseman, a proven clubhouse presence, and an all around good guy. every dog has its day though, and players get old its a fact of baseball life. and remember he was an important part of the Dodgers miraculous come from behind win in the bottom of the 9th in game 2 of the 2009 NLDS against the cardinals. he was the one who had the epic 10 pitch at bat to draw a clutch walk that extended the inning for belliard and Loretta to get their hits leading the Dodgers to a dramatic victory. he was also the one who faked out arizona reliever Esmerling Vasquez to draw the game ending balk off last may. strong baseball instincts, and smart plays have been common for blake throughout his career.

Blake threw his back out when Donnie baseball made his first blunder of his managerial career, by asking his 37 year old aging third baseman with a history of back problems to leg out a bunt during a spring game nearly 10 days ago. only god knows why? blake has been doing nothing since then other than hitting off of a tee. when asked about his injury and availability for opening day, blake said that he still could be ready by opening day.
Donnie Baseball orginally said he could be ready by opening day, this then changed to he probably wont be ready by opening day, and now its changed to hell be rusting away on the bench for two weeks in april. the injury is actually to his lower back/ribs and is not a reaggravation of a previous back injury last year.
I dont care what Blake says, hes going to the DL.

is Blake really cooked? does the Beard still have something left in the tank? I hope he does. however with each passing day Blake gets a little older, a little more injury prone, a little more attrocious against righties, and a little more rustier.
Can Blake defy father time? only .......TIME will tell.................

check back for more dodger spring training news! T-minus 10 days until we here those beautiful words we love to hear so much......ITS TIIIIIIME FOR DODGER BASEBALL!!!

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