Dodgers Blogger Night – Ned Colletti Q&A

Last night was the fifth annual Dodger Blogger Night. Bloggers were invited to come out to the stadium and watch a game from a suite. There was also a time to chat with Dodgers General Manager Ned Colletti and Dodgers President Stan Kasten. I will post these two sessions separately. First up is the Q&A with Ned Colletti, below are what some of his responses were to what the bloggers asked him. The answers are very loose and I jotted them down. Excuse the format.

Ellian Herrera -  He needs a break, asked a lot in 6 weeks. Get more playing time. Not enough at bats here. Know what he can do now more than what we knew a year ago, 4 months ago. He will play all over like he has here.

Yasiel Puig - Strong kid, no one in system, minor leagues that has the power he has. About 6’3 240 lbs., 10% body fat, strong athlete. No projection yet, need to see more of him. He won’t play for another month, needs paperwork, government stuff needs to be finalized. He has a chance to be special. Very Athletic, very smart. Still has to go through growing pains of playing professional baseball in this country.

What they are looking at at trade deadline – Offense is a big need, looking at first base and third, perhaps an outfielder. If you get presented with an outfielder you have to do that and play Rivera more at first. Its one thing to have a wish list and say lets go get this guy and that guy, it just doesn’t work that simple. If we can improve our offense without sacrificing our defense.

Ronald Belisario - a bit surprised by performance this year, a few years ago he was strong as well. Then he had the off field issues. We also liked the arm. He is fearless in tough situations. When he is on and sinker works, he is pretty good.

Rubby De La Rosa- Hope to see this year, he is on target to get back here, if its going to be in a starting role it will be another 2-3 weeks. If it’s in the bullpen as we get into August we will see how he is doing, he is throwing simulated games now. We will see what are need is and how patient we can be. If we are starting to need bullpen help and he is ready we will have to make that decision to bring him in and put him in the pen. If the goal is starting him in September and he have time and can be patient then we can start him in September. You can always put a guy in the pen who is a starter, you can always make a guy a starter.

Chad Billingsley – Any consideration to put him in the pen? Not unless we get a fifth starter if not we have to live with it and hope that he gets back to how he was as a first year plater, second year, third year player. We know he can do it, its not like he has never been successful. It’s getting him back on track. I think his confidence starts to fade after a while. We need him to step up this half. His record at what it is, is not only surprising to us but also disappointing to him.

Thoughts on new playoff format – There will be fewer teams now that sell with added wild card. As you call now, there are a lot of teams on the fence. Normally they would be calling you and trying to move players. When you have to extra wild card teams, you have maybe 3-5 teams in each league that are competing for that last spot. When you look at the National league there are so many teams that are bunched up in there. A lot of quality teams like Philadelphia for example, they can be pretty far out but have played all year with out Howard and Utley and Doc for a long time. There are not the type of group that will just sell because they are sitting in fifth place in the NL east. Any team can get hot and ears an lead and a margin. Its great for the game, its great for the city, its not so great when you are trying to acquire players. Your window is shorter, your opportunities are less. You don’t wish any ill will on any teams, that doesn’t do you any good. You have no control over that. You try and beat them when you are playing head to head and if you knock them out you knock them out.

Thoughts on keeping people like Kim Ng, or Logan White from leaving,Would you tell them to stay with organization – Not for a GM job, you would never stand in someones way, thats un-fair. Lateral move yes, different organization, not the same move Absouletely. Lateral move you wouldn’t do that. To get a General Managers job you can’t stand in someones way to do that.

How difficult was it to do job in previous ownership – It was difficult from time to time, we can all spend a lot of time moaning about what we don’t have, where we got shorted here. I had a chance a few years ago to get Sabathia. Two weeks before we got Manny Ramirez we had a chance to get Sabathia and Casey Blake and Jamey Carrol. You know what it didn’t work out but you can’t complain about what you don’t have or things you can’t get. Its really making the most of what you got and that team went to the LCS and the team after that went to the LCS.

Are you telling teams we are back and willing to spend? – Yes, doesn’t mean we will be reckless, that just means we will be able to do business as we see fit in the financial parameters, as long as it makes good business sense and the players are the right players. It doesn’t mean you just don’t go do something to do something. we will have opportunity to get involved with guys we really like.

John Ely – Pitched well in a tough league for pitchers. If we need a starting pitcher we would have his services to consider.

Josh Fields – Someone they have thought about.

Is releasing Juan Uribe an option if the team acquires a third baseman? – We will cross that bridge when we get to it.

Is Ted lilly is giving some input on the talks with Matt Garza and Ryan Dempster? – Guys like to talk about who they know and how well they know them.

Scott Elbert – An example about being patient. We were patient with Scott, realized he struggled with his command from time to time, he found his niche as they say, he has become the only left we have in the pen right now. He had done very well, second half of last season and this season. He has been real good for us.

Is this club as is as a world series contender – When we play at full strength we play pretty well. We have to get back to that. Will see how it goes. Once you get in to post season as history will tell you anything can happen. Doesn’t matter if you are the first team in or the last team in. Once you get in, you have a shot. We need to get out guys back.

Extending Clayton Kershaw – We will get to that when the time comes. we have 2 years plus another year of arbitration When the time is right, we will make that move. He loves being here. He is a good a person and good a competitor that you will find. He wanted to do a two year deal, we explored a long term deal, far longer than two and he wanted to do it like that.