Colletti, Dodgers committed to winning
General manager answers questions from fans online
Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti fielded fans' questions during an online chat Tuesday. Colletti discussed the status of Nomar Garciaparra, the possibility of a move for Jeff Kent and sizing up the top prospects during the first half of the season.
Ned Colletti: Thanks again for taking the time to be with us today.
eman29: Is Nomar Garciaparra going to be OK?
Colletti: As far as Nomar is concerned, we're going to wait until he arrives at the ballpark and then we will reevaluate him. Chances are that a DL might be likely, and hopefully we caught this early so that it won't be longer than two weeks.
dodgerinaz: What is a normal day like as a general manager?
Colletti: We usually arrive at the ballpark around 9:30 a.m. after a night game at home. We spend the morning going over the Minor League clubs and how they did the night before. We make contact with a few clubs that we've had conversations with in the past regarding trades. Early in the afternoon, we sit with manager Grady Little for a little while and get some of his thoughts on what transpired the day before and what today looks like and the near future looks like. We also participate in management meetings, watch batting practice and be available for any player conversations and media requests. That's a general summary.
marcmpr: When are you going to take off the Giants ring?
Colletti: The Giants ring is off.
Joshua_Burke: Now that his contract has been extended, will Jeff Kent move to first base?
Colletti: In our conversations with Jeff, we revisited the potential to change positions. As I expected all along, winning is Jeff's top priority and if the need arises that we feel it's best for the Dodgers, Jeff is open to whatever's best for the team.
rcfjunior_yahoo_com: I know it's only day two of the season, but with Torii Hunter and Alfonso Soriano probably on the trading block this season, are the Dodgers interested in acquiring another outfielder? It would seem as if they need another bat.
Colletti: While it is inappropriate to discuss another team's players, I will say that to be sure that our offense is strong enough, we'll continue to explore all our options, including the outfield.
Base_Ball_3: Who do you think is our best prospect?
Colletti: I think as a staff, we learned a lot this past Spring Training, including where our prospects are at in their development. I think it's safe to say that we do have some very good young players. No one can predict when they're going to be ready for the big leagues, or how they're going to do, or what type of careers they're going to have, short-term or long-term. We were very encouraged by the play of Joel Guzman and his transition to left field, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier, all outfielders. In the infield, James Loney and Andy LaRoche were both impressive, as was catcher Russell Martin. From a pitching standpoint, Chad Billingsley, who we had a chance to see Saturday night in Anaheim, along with Jonathan Broxton and Justin Orenduff, should all be good Major League pitchers. It's tough to pick just one of that group, but I see a range of anywhere between solid Major League players to maybe one or two that have a chance to be star big league players in time.
icedawg72: Is there a monetary restriction the ownership has set in regard to moves made near the trading deadline?
Colletti: I believe ownership is open-minded depending on the needs of the club and the standing of the club. I personally look at not only the financial side of that, but also what it's going to cost us in the form of prospects and what type of player we'd be getting back. Also, what are the chances that the player would be with us for longer than just this season. Whenever I get to that point in the season, there's going to be many factors that we'll have to measure in order to do something. As evidenced by what we did this offseason, I think ownership is committed to winning.
etennyson: What's your opinion of the Dodgers-Giants rivalry?
Colletti: I favor blue a lot more than I do black and orange.
sarahu: Hi, Mr. Colletti, welcome aboard. Why was Dioner Navarro kept on the roster instead of Russell Martin?
Colletti: At this stage in both players' development, we felt as a staff that Navarro was farther along than Martin. We're blessed in this organization to have two very good young catchers. As time moves on and as games are played and development continues, undoubtedly one will step ahead of the other. But right now, Navarro's experience from last year was a factor in our decision.
bestballer5: How has your experience differed so far here in Los Angeles as compared to San Francisco?
Colletti: The biggest difference is that the final decisions rest with me, where in the past, I was part of a group that would help arrive at a decision that was ultimately in the hands of Brian Sabean. Now it's up to me to make that decision after conferring with Kim Ng, Roy Smith and our scouting and player development people.
jimmypopper: Do you think we need a left-handed power bat off the bench?
Colletti: I think you can always use an additional power bat, whether it's on the bench or in the lineup. Power hitters are one of the rarest commodities these days and few teams have an excess. It certainly has been a consideration of ours this offseason and as we move forward through this season, it'll be a type of player that we would like to acquire. That said, it's a seller's market and there are few teams that have that type of player available. Most likely, the cost will be very high from a prospect standpoint. Part of what we need to learn this season, in the first part of the season, is which young players in our organization have the potential to become Major League power hitters. Once we quantify that, we'll have to make a tough decision whether or not we move prospects for a potential short-term gain to acquire a power hitter who may or may not be with us a year from now, vs. being patient and waiting for a player or two to develop in Las Vegas.
56b56: Can Hong-Chih Kuo be a everyday starter?
Colletti: Moving Kuo into the starting rotation was discussed this past spring. We felt after much conversation, both from the medical department and baseball department, that it'd be best to use him out of the bullpen for the short while as he continues to build up arm strength after his two surgeries. But, your question is something we have considered as recently as a week or two ago. A year from now, we'll see where we're at, but the bullpen is where he'll pitch for now.
56b56: Is your goal to have Orenduff, Scott Elbert and Billingsley in the starting rotation some day?
Colletti: As we look into the future, the possibility does exist that those three pitchers could be at the top of a Major League rotation. Between now and then, there will be many trials they will go through and a lot of development, but as you look at raw potential and what they've accomplished thus far in their Minor League careers, the possibility exists that all three could be productive big league starters.
abovedakloudz: How soon can Billingsley make it to the big leagues?
Colletti: Based upon what we saw this spring, including his performance vs. the Angels Saturday night, there's a real good chance we could see him this season. To pitch with the composure he did Saturday night in front of 40,000-plus fans, and to hold a pretty good hitting club in check most of the time, and the ability to make pitches in crucial spots of the game -- it shows us he's on the verge of being a big league starter.
spageticus: Any chance Broxton makes a return to starter?
Colletti: The chances that Broxton will return this year to the big leagues as a reliever are good. We don't have any intention of starting him right now.
mondesi43: What have you enjoyed most since becoming general manager of the Dodgers?
Colletti: I look forward every day to the challenge of the job. I would say the most impressive aspect of coming to the Dodgers has been the passion and magnitude of the Dodgers' fans. I've been coming to Los Angeles for 25 baseball seasons, and while I've always seen large crowds at Dodger Stadium, I have been swept away by their love and passion for the franchise and for the players.
mondesi43: How often do you talk to Frank McCourt?
Colletti: I talk to Frank McCourt all the time. Sometimes once a day, sometimes many times a day. Communication is key in any organization.
spouliman: How we looking for tonight? Is the game going to be a washout?
Colletti: As of right now, we're planning to play tonight. With Atlanta only making one trip into L.A. this year, we'll make every effort to play tonight and tomorrow night. We look forward to seeing you out here. Thanks for your support, as always and I look forward to talking to you in the future.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.