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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Dodgers - DFAed Nakamura

Los Angeles Dodgers - Designated 3B Norihiro Nakamura for assignment; purchased the contract of 3B Oscar Robles from Mexico City.

The Dodgers liked what they saw from Robles during the spring and he might have even made the team if there was roster room at the time.  Nakamura has been a disaster for the Dodgers; while you can hardly call 29 at-bats a fair shot, he looked even worse than the 128/171/179 he hit, which is a pretty impressive feat.  It’s unknown at this point whether he’s willing to go to the minors or back to Japan; I don’t think there’s any chance of any team claiming Nakamura off of waivers.  Well, at least Iguchi has played well!

Dan Szymborski Posted: May 10, 2005 at 05:29 PM | 36 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Chris in Wicker Park Posted: May 10, 2005 at 05:38 PM (#1326272)
Hopefully Nori will go to Las Vegas and try to figure it out. He looks horrible at the plate, but you have to think that there's some talent there somewhere.

Maybe he can't hit because he wears the world's largest wrist bands.
   2. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: May 10, 2005 at 05:42 PM (#1326280)
Damn Honkies putting down the Asian man
   3. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 10, 2005 at 05:58 PM (#1326315)
First S amurai Jack, now this. Must be the stance.
   4. Spivey Posted: May 10, 2005 at 06:15 PM (#1326357)
Was Nakamura a good hitter in Japan? He just seems to have the bat speed of a marginal high school player. I wish I was exaggerating.
   5. CONservative governMENt Posted: May 10, 2005 at 06:28 PM (#1326392)
This seems awfully rash to me. Nakamura has had a few struggles and maybe too much was expected of him, but I fail to see what this accomplishes.

He's clearly a better defender and has more power than Robles, who would need to outhit Nakamura by an awful lot for this to make sense.

If Nakamura was the right guy for the job after 0 at bats, he's the right guy for the job after 100.
   6. Spivey Posted: May 10, 2005 at 07:04 PM (#1326483)
.200/.300/.400 would be outhitting Nakamura by a lot. I don't know anything about Robles, but I can't imagine Nakamura was ever the right guy for the job. There's no shame in admitting you were wrong and changing.
   7. Bob T Posted: May 10, 2005 at 07:29 PM (#1326535)
Speaking as someone who follows the Dodgers and has a Nori Nakamura bobblehed on his desk at work, I would say that Nori's departure is not one that I am regretting. He rarely hit the ball hard. But he could pick it pretty well at third base.

And I can tell people that I saw him play shortstop in the majors too. His last AB in LA was a dismal 163 DP to end the game against Livan Hernandez.
   8. Rodder Posted: May 10, 2005 at 07:29 PM (#1326536)
Damn Honkies

Great musical!
   9. CONservative governMENt Posted: May 10, 2005 at 07:53 PM (#1326583)
.200/.300/.400 would be outhitting Nakamura by a lot. I don't know anything about Robles, but I can't imagine Nakamura was ever the right guy for the job. There's no shame in admitting you were wrong and changing.

Well, ZIPS had Nakamura at .236/.343/.379 and if you thought he was a .722 OPS hitter before the season started, there is absolutely no reason to believe he still isn't right now.

As an example, let's use OBP and 29 PA. Here's where the binomial distribution comes in handy.

The expected # of successes is p*N. Here let's say p is .3435 (his projected OBP). N is the number of PA. So no surprise, in 29 PA, we'd expect him to reach 9.947 times.

The variance is given by p*(1-p)*N. .343*.657 is about .225 so the variance is about 6.525. To get the standard deviation we take the square root of that which is probably about 2.555. An approximation of the 95% confidence interval would be +/- 2 sd's, so lets call that 7.5. Therefore, someone with a 'true' .343 OBP in 29 PA can be expected to reach base between about 2.5 and 12.5 times. Or to put it another way, after 29 PA, you can't say that a .086 OBP is significantly different from a .431 OBP.
   10. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: May 10, 2005 at 07:57 PM (#1326594)
Well the Dodgers' mistake isn't DFAing him now, its having Nakamura make the roster out of spring training in the first place.
   11. Spivey Posted: May 10, 2005 at 07:58 PM (#1326601)
I'm not going to break out my statistics book, but I would wager there is only about a 7-10% chance he's a true .343 OBP player given how he's started. Considering his start, and the fact that he's looked flatout awful in his at-bats, I think it's more likely the ZIPS was wrong. ZIPS for players overseas isn't going to be as strong, given the amount of data it has to work with.
   12. Bob T Posted: May 10, 2005 at 08:10 PM (#1326625)
Nakamura didn't make the roster out of spring training. He started in Las Vegas, but got called up when Antonio Perez hurt himself in the opening series in San Francisco.
   13. good_ol_gil Posted: May 10, 2005 at 08:25 PM (#1326663)
Good thing the Mets didn't sign him after the 2002 offseason huh? Didn't we have the guy all but signed until he renegged?
   14. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: May 10, 2005 at 09:05 PM (#1326757)
Yup, g_o_g - he was upset that the Mets reneged on the terms of the announcement.

Here's a page detailing his performance in Japan.
In spring training he hit .295/.340/.523 in 44 AB, followed by a nice, short stint in Las Vegas (.455/.500/1.000 in 11 AAA at bats).
   15. AJMcCringleberry Posted: May 10, 2005 at 09:09 PM (#1326775)
Good thing the Mets didn't sign him after the 2002 offseason huh? Didn't we have the guy all but signed until he renegged?

I was just coming to ask if this was the same Nakamura. I'm happy with our current 3Bman.
   16. 1k5v3L Posted: May 10, 2005 at 09:46 PM (#1326864)
Any projections for this Robles kid? Is he worth picking up in NL only leagues?
   17. Don Guillote (The Cheat) Posted: May 10, 2005 at 10:41 PM (#1326987)
Rotoworld:

The Phillies reportedly want to package Placido Polanco with first basemen Ryan Howard, and the Dodgers appear to be interested.

They are still reeling over not landing Adrian Beltre in the off season and some Dodgers have said they want Polanco because he's a positive force in the locker room, along with being a better option at third than anyone they currently have. We'll see.
   18. 1k5v3L Posted: May 10, 2005 at 10:43 PM (#1326992)
Polanco plus Howard? But Howard = Choi. Maybe the Dodgers want to spin him somewhere else? I really hope Ed Wade manages to rob the LAD minor leagues, but being the idiot he is, I doubt he pulls it off.
   19. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: May 10, 2005 at 11:18 PM (#1327063)
I know that this does not have to do with Nakamura, but it does involve the Dodgers. In the last game, Tracey used Jason Grabowski to pinch hit, against Mark Mulder, for Odalis Perez. Granted, Perez was done for the night, but Grabowski is almost as inept at the plate as Perez. Jeff Weaver is a better hitter than Grabowski, and is right handed, therefore gaining a platoon advantage against the lefty Mulder. Choi was being saved in case an opputtunity to pinch hit came against a right hander at some point. I know that Weaver is a pitcher, but he was the best option to hit at that time, and Tracey needs to stop using steotypes (like pitchers can't hit) when making decisions, because often time the steortypes are untrue.
   20. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: May 10, 2005 at 11:20 PM (#1327072)
Sorry, I ment to say stereotypes, not steotypes or steortypes.
   21. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: May 10, 2005 at 11:21 PM (#1327078)
I also see no reason for Grabowski being on the roster in the first place.
   22. CFiJ Posted: May 10, 2005 at 11:49 PM (#1327194)
Was Nakamura a good hitter in Japan?

He was a fantastic hitter in Japan.
   23. 1k5v3L Posted: May 10, 2005 at 11:55 PM (#1327223)
He was big in Japan. Then again, to quote from my favorite show (south park) Americans have such big weenies and Japanese have such small weenies...
   24. akrasian Posted: May 11, 2005 at 01:36 AM (#1327773)
Nakamura had been outstanding in Japan, but had fought injuries the past two seasons. He was healthy this year, but apparently lost something in his swing over the two injured years.
   25. Dan Szymborski Posted: May 11, 2005 at 03:13 AM (#1328059)
I don't have to agree with everything ZiPS says, do I?

Nakamura looked horrible. Not slump-horrible or bad-player-horrible, but Randy-Johnson-with-glaucoma bad.
   26. Snowboy Posted: May 11, 2005 at 04:04 AM (#1328108)
Defending Nakamura with binomial distribution equations? Somewhere, a thousand scouts are smiling tonight.
   27. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: May 11, 2005 at 08:21 AM (#1328277)
I think he's a true talent .722 OPS hitter... at Coors and against the Silver Bullets.
   28. CFiJ Posted: May 11, 2005 at 08:35 AM (#1328281)
It's a shame you guys never got to see Nakamura in his prime. He was a fun player to watch.
   29. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 11, 2005 at 01:03 PM (#1328338)
When he was with the Dodgers, was he using the old unconventional swing, or the new one? Did that project ever get off the ground?
   30. Christi Chung Posted: May 11, 2005 at 05:03 PM (#1328863)
Nakamura might be done. He was a fantastic hitter back in Japan, and now he's plainly awful. I heard he was hurt last year and lost most of his power.
   31. Dolph Lungren's Super Friend Posted: May 12, 2005 at 04:16 AM (#1331415)
I'm just glad he spurned the mets a few springs ago, finally one of these things turned out right for them.
   32. WillieMays Haze Posted: May 12, 2005 at 05:19 AM (#1331467)
The Phillies reportedly want to package Placido Polanco with first basemen Ryan Howard, and the Dodgers appear to be interested.

They are still reeling over not landing Adrian Beltre in the off season and some Dodgers have said they want Polanco because he's a positive force in the locker room, along with being a better option at third than anyone they currently have. We'll see.


I've seen this a couple times the last few days but I haven't seen anything that mentions what the Dodgers might give up. Who are they going to trade to the Phils? That's what makes this sound more like a rumor than anything else.
   33. Nobody ##### with DeJesus Posted: May 12, 2005 at 05:22 AM (#1331470)
Someone in the Dugout suggested that Duaner Sanchez's name had rumored. The link he provided didn't work, however.
   34. akrasian Posted: May 12, 2005 at 05:37 AM (#1331479)
I've heard Sanchez straight up for Polanco, or <various prospects> for Polanco and Howard.

I don't buy the latter, because the Dodgers don't really have a need for Howard - besides Choi (who is tearing the cover off of the ball lately), they have several other first base prospects. Why would they trade a prospect from a position of greater need to get Howard?

Sanchez makes sense, though. The Dodgers have a bunch of solid relievers, and Gagne and Dessens will soon be coming off of the dl. Polanco isn't great, but he would be a decent rental. Sanchez isn't great - but he is 4 1/2 years from free agency, and he's decent. The Phillies are a losing team - trading an expensive utility man for an inexpensive reliever with a nice fastball makes sense.
   35. CFiJ Posted: May 12, 2005 at 06:09 AM (#1331483)
I'm just glad he spurned the mets a few springs ago, finally one of these things turned out right for them.

More likely, if he had signed with the Mets he wouldn't have gotten injured would still be a productive player today.
   36. CFiJ Posted: May 12, 2005 at 06:09 AM (#1331484)
"...and would still be a productive player..."

Damn it. I hate it when I forget whole words.

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