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2009 Protected List – The Fringe

Today we have the fourth installment in the my series of Protected List columns – The Fringe. These guys could go either way, with a lot of factors ultimately determining whether they make the cut. Here goes:

Blake DeWitt
2 Years – $5
.264 Average, 9 HR, 52 RBI, 45 Runs, 3 Steals
Nice pickup in week one. DeWitt was the fourth 3B on the Dodgers’ depth chart to start the season, behind Nomar Garciaparra, Andy LaRoche, and Tony Abreu. However injuries to the other three kept DeWitt starting, save for a few days in May. The deadline acquisition of Casey Blake ended the party only for a week, as DeWitt was then moved across the diamond to fill in for Jeff Kent. All indications have DeWitt as the starting 2B for 2009 for the Dodgers, with the Mark Loretta signing only providing a platoon partner against tough lefties. If he was still a 3B, then he wouldn’t be protected, but he’s adequate at 2B, and should earn his $5 keep. Should.

Verdict: Protect

Jody Gerut
2 Years – $5
.296 Average, 14 HR, 43 RBI, 46 Runs, 6 Steals
I had tracked Gerut through spring training, and picked him up once he was called up in May, after Jim Edmonds was dismissed from the Padres. He did really well, including a hot 7-homer August, but then missed most of September with a strained ligament in his finger on a stolen base attempt – leaving him unable to swing a bat. Padres manager Bud Black has already indicated that Gerut would be the starting center fielder. With more playing time, those counting numbers should increase. Worth $5.

Verdict: Protect

Chris Dickerson
2 Years – $5
.304 Average, 6 HR, 15 RBI, 20 Runs, 5 Steals
Dickerson was a flier pickup at the deadline, originally for a few extra steals. He was activated when Gerut went down with an injury for the Roadrunners. Dickerson exceeded all expectations, contributing the above stats in only 102 at-bats. This was the toughest decision for the final spot on the 2009 Roadrunners. Here are some additional projections and comments:

SOURCE        AVG    R     HR   RBI   SB
BP Pecota    .247    63    15   50    17
Shandler     .243    53    12   42    19
Lindy's      .275    81    10   60    14
Fanball      .253    41    8    25    12
Marcel       .282    36    9    31    6
CBS Sports   .278    65    7    41    14

Average:     .263    56    10   41    14

Those are some very Mike Cameron-lite projections. The speed and athleticism doesn’t bother me, but boy, does that projected average, especially for someone that is “old” for a rookie and never really broke out in the minors.

Here’s a quote from Chris Bracke, associate editor of Fanball Magazine:

I admit I bought into him last year mostly in an attempt to pick up a couple extra steals, but I believe his inability to make consistent contact will make him too much of a liability in the batting average department. The comp I believe people should keep in mind when considering the potential for Dickerson this season is Michael Bourn. And if that didn’t make you just throw up in your mouth, I don’t know what will.


Plus, the Reds then signed Willy Taveras to play CF, pushing Dickerson (who held his own in CF) over to left field, potentially in a platoon with Norris Hopper.  Okay, fine.  Then then Reds signed BOTH Jacques Jones and Johnny Gomes to minor-league deals with spring training NRI’s, which further informs me that Dickerson is now one of four competing for the LF spot.  So now he’s a talented 4th outfielder (don’t ask me who the #3 is), and that’s not worth $5, not with that kind of uncertainty.  We’ll see how spring training goes, and may bid accordingly.

Verdict: Release