2003 Los Angeles Dodgers Baseball Graphs Review

Following are graphs and commentary regarding the 2003 season of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Questions or comments can be sent to me at dave@baseballgraphs.com.



NL West Standings The National League West Race

The Dodgers, led by their marvelous pitching and fielding, contended for the division title throughout the first half of the year. In fact, from June 18th through June 22nd, they were tied with the Giants for the division lead.

By July 8th, however, they were 8.5 games behind the Giants, and they never got close again. The Dodgers' defense just couldn't continue to make up for the team's offensive inadequacies, despite management's attempt to bolster the offense with acquisitions of Rickey Henderson, Jeromy Burnitz and Robin Ventura.





Comments How to Read this Graph

The Dodgers were the best pitching/fielding team of the league, by far. Only the Diamondbacks came close (reminder: these data points are adjusted for ballparks). If you move your mouse over the graphs, you can see that the Dodgers held about the same relative position at the midway point of the season. Their offense improved somewhat, but not enough to move them significantly closer to the .600 level (represented by the dotted line on the right).
Move your mouse over this graph to view the status of each team at the season's midpoint (July 1st).


Pitching and Fielding

Fielding Independent Pitching is based on the following formula: (13*HR+3*BB-2*K)/IP. Defense Efficiency Ratio is (Non-catcher putouts/Batted Balls in Play), adjusted for ballpark. Circle sizes in this graph are proportional to the percent of fieldable balls successfully converted into outs by the fielders.
The Dodgers' Pitching and Fielding
The strength of the Dodgers' pitching is represented by their position on the right side of this graph. And their fielding prowess is represented by the relative size of their circle.

The pitching, led by starters Kevin Brown and Hideo Nomo and relievers Eric Gagne and Guillermo Mota, was deep and awesome. The Dodgers' fielding was particularly strong in the middle infield, led by Cesar Izturis and Alex Cora. Both of these guys are qualified for Gold Glove awards.

How to Read this Graph


Los Angeles Dodgers Ten Game Averages
April May June July Aug Sept
OBP .314 .314 .283 .273 .318 .307
SLG .359 .372 .334 .353 .371 .409
FIP 0.23 0.26 0.41 0.76 0.43 0.67
DER .726 .752 .745 .723 .733 .714
The DER stats in this table are based on limited data; the trend between months per team is more valid than the absolute number.
The Dodgers Day-by-Day

But the Dodgers' offense stunk. They were last in the league in Runs Scored, BA, OBP, Slugging, Total Bases, what have you. As you can see in this chart, the true heights of the Dodgers' season came from phenomenal pitching. Even during their ten-game winning streak in late May, it was the pitching and fielding that led the way. In seven of those ten games, against Florida, Colorado and Milwaukee, they allowed one run or less.

The month of June was particularly horrid for the offense; the team OPS was less than .600! That offensive surge in September was primarily due to the fact that they played in Colorado and Arizona, two of the best hitter's parks in the league. This had to be disheartening to management, who traded away some young prospects to upgrade the offense.



Los Angeles Dodgers' Win Shares

Player          Team    Pos     Hit     Field   Pitch   Sum     WS	
--------	----	----	-----	-----	-----	-----	---	
E Gagne         LA      P       0.00    0.00    24.98   24.98   25	
K Brown         LA      P       0.00    0.00    19.74   19.74   20	
S Green         LA      OF      16.35   3.24    0.00    19.59   20	
P Lo Duca       LA      C       9.08    10.22   0.00    19.30   19	
H Nomo          LA      P       0.00    0.00    16.88   16.88   17	
A Beltre        LA      3B      9.59    4.93    0.00    14.52   15	
G Mota          LA      P       0.12    0.00    13.98   14.11   14	
A Cora          LA      2B      4.64    8.17    0.00    12.81   13	
P Quantrill     LA      P       0.00    0.00    11.14   11.14   11	
C Izturis       LA      SS      1.37    9.52    0.00    10.89   11	
W Alvarez       LA      P       0.00    0.00    9.67    9.67    10	
J Cabrera       LA      OF      6.02    3.14    0.00    9.16    9	
F McGriff       LA      1B      7.24    1.01    0.00    8.25    8	
D Roberts       LA      OF      4.76    3.19    0.00    7.95    8	
B Jordan        LA      OF      5.94    1.20    0.00    7.15    7	
P Shuey         LA      P       0.00    0.00    6.90    6.90    7	
K Ishii         LA      P       0.00    0.00    6.42    6.42    6	
O Perez         LA      P       0.00    0.00    5.63    5.63    6	
T Martin        LA      P       0.00    0.00    4.71    4.71    5	
D Ross          LA      C       3.18    1.27    0.00    4.45    4	
D Dreifort      LA      P       0.00    0.00    3.16    3.16    3	
J Burnitz       LA      OF      1.67    0.85    0.00    2.52    3	
E Jackson       LA      P       0.00    0.00    2.32    2.32    2	
M Kinkade       LA      OF      1.92    0.33    0.00    2.25    2	
T Hundley       LA      C       1.64    0.32    0.00    1.96    2	
S Colyer        LA      P       0.00    0.00    1.65    1.65    2	
T Brohawn       LA      P       0.29    0.00    1.04    1.33    1	
R Henderson     LA      OF      0.96    0.23    0.00    1.18    1	
R Ventura       LA      1B      0.51    0.39    0.00    0.90    1	
M Kida          LA      P       0.00    0.00    0.63    0.63    1	
L Barnes        LA      1B      0.44    0.13    0.00    0.57    1	
W Ruan          LA      OF      0.11    0.42    0.00    0.53    1	
R Coomer        LA      1B      0.15    0.36    0.00    0.51    0	
D Ward          LA      1B      0.00    0.29    0.00    0.29    0	
J Romano        LA      OF      0.00    0.28    0.00    0.28    0	
K Hill          LA      -       0.24    0.00    0.00    0.24    0	
A Ashby         LA      P       0.00    0.00    0.23    0.23    0	
C Hermansen     LA      OF      0.00    0.10    0.00    0.10    0	
J Thurston      LA      2B      0.00    0.08    0.00    0.08    0	
V Alvarez       LA      P       0.00    0.00    0.00    0.00    0	
C Chen          LA      -       0.00    0.00    0.00    0.00    0	
B Crosby        LA      OF      0.00    0.00    0.00    0.00    0	
S Mullen        LA      P       0.00    0.00    0.00    0.00    0	
R Myers         LA      P       0.00    0.00    0.00    0.00    0	

The Dodgers' Individual Players

It's been said that the Win Shares system overvalues relievers, but I don't believe that is the case with Eric Gagne. Gagne had a year for the record books: 1.20 ERA in 77 games covering 82 innings. He struck out 137 and only walked 20, allowing only two home runs. That is an incredible record, and it would not be a crime if Gagne won the Cy Young.

Shawn Green was not high among the team Win Share leaders for the first half of the year, but he had a very good second half. He basically switched positions with Paul LoDuca, who had a great first half but not so great second half. Unique among major league teams, both keystone fielders had significantly more fielding than batting Win Shares. And the "feel good" story of the year just may have been Wilson Alvarez's comback.

Burnitz, Henderson and Ventura only added five Win Shares to the team's total.

You can view all National League Win Shares data via the following links:
All Players, Top to Bottom
Players Ranked by Position
Players Fielding WS by Position