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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

So Long Pudjito

ahhhh Pudjito parting is such sweet sorrow. the time has finally come, the first of many pink slips to come no doubt. the Dodgers finally rid themselves of Dioner Navarro, deciding to designate him for assignment, and call up A.J. Ellis.
this move was long overdue. Navarro A.K.A. "fatty" A.K.A. "Pudjito" has been nothing short of horrendous this year with the Dodgers. Navarro the source of heavy ridicule from Los Angeles and all over the internet and blog communities, was originally signed by the yankees. he was a top round draft pick back in the day, and considered promising at one time. the Dodgers originally signed him in 2005, and he played parts of two seasons wearing blue from 2005-2006. he hit .273 and .280 respectively, and was decent. he was traded to Tampa Bay once Russell Martin was called up. Navarro was terrible with Tampa Bay, only having one good season (all-star in 2008). after hitting .194 and .218 over the last two seasons with Tampa Bay, he was so bad he was left off the playoff roster last year, and decided to pout and leave the team instead of staying with his teammates during their playoff series.

the Dodgers desperate for catching signed him for a 1 yr 1 million dollar deal. we all knew this would not work out, and it hasn't. Navarro has been predictably terrible all year long. Navarro has hit a horrible .193/.276/.324 line with 5 home runs and 17 RBI. defensively he has been even worse. his errant throws into centerfield becoming an almost daily occurrence.

however the Dodgers timing has many bloggers confused. why now? after reading several reports online, and quotes from Manager Don Mattingly, apparently Navarro was having "philosophical differences" which was a contributing factor in his departure. when this story broke, it of coarse unleashed hundreds of hilarious jokes across the twitter feed.

it wasn't just Navarro's complete uselessness at the plate, or his throws that sailed into center field, like he was trying to play catch with kemp, but his pitch selections were bizarre and at times maddening.

according to reports read online, he was not calling the right pitches. perhaps this is what Mattingly meant by the philosophical differences? we just can't have this kind of failure, especially with such an important position as catcher. even more especially with a lot of young pitchers on the mound still learning how to pitch. this is why Russell Martin was so valuable, he knew all our pitchers and how to catch and call a game. we've been questioning Navarro's pitch calling all season.

while Navarro has split time all  year with Big Rod, because of Injury we've seen far more of Navarro then we've ever wanted to see. more jokes have been perpetuated because of his uncanny ability to always be up in the 9th inning in a 1 run or tie game with runners in scoring position. (in case your wondering Navarro was 1 for 11 in pinch hitting situations)

we here at DBF have been long concerned with the Dodgers lack of catching depth, and skill, as has most of the fan base and blog community. this long nightmare begun last year surrounding the circumstances of Russell Martin's bizarre injury that led to his non-tendering last winter.
this lack of catching depth for the dodgers is sad and disconcerting considering the Dodgers have always had great catchers over the years. Roy Campanella, John Rosbero, Steve Yeager, Mike Scioscia, Mike Piazza, Paul Loduca, and Russell Matin, names a long list of great Dodger catchers.
while I like Big Rod, I just don't see him returning after this year. he is a free agent, and we also know that Big Rod really really badly sucks. he's a .235 career hitter with a career .285 OBP. he's an awful defensive catcher, and throws runners out at a pathetic 20% clip. his only redeeming quality is his home runs.

in Navarro's place the Dodgers are getting a 30 year old career minor leaguer, but A. J. Ellis brings hope. he may be a Crash Davis, but he brings the Dodgers a much needed skill. the skill of getting on base.
last year in 108 at bats, he hit .278 with a .363 OBP. this year he's had only 45 AB with the Dodgers, but at Albuquerque he's getting on base at a very impressive rate. for his career he has a .406 OBP, while this season he's getting on base at a .467 clip, most likely due to his walk to strikeouts line of 50 walks, and only 23 strikeouts. his average is .304.

who cares about the timing of this move? all that I care about is that Navarro is finally gone. the Dodgers should call up Fedex in september and take a look at him for next year. we've learned that even an injured declining Russell Martin is better than a Big Rod and Fatty platoon.
I'm fine with ellis and fedex catching next year, especially since the free agent market is slim pickens.

look for more pink slips as the season concludes, but this is a good move. the Dodgers are looking to the future, and so are we.

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