The key to offsetting that characteristic of his is to surround him with good contact hitters that reach base frequently.Projected starting outfield: Ramirez, Kemp, Ethier Starting PitchingThe lingering issue for the Dodgers it that they lack a staff ace.Chad Billingsley was the pre-anointed ace, but he proved to be flat out unreliable, and that’s exactly what makes Billingsley a risky proposition going forward for the Dodgers. I love the arsenal he brings to the hill; a crisp fastball, a biting curveball, and a changeup to boot. Yet he consistently displays an inability to navigate out of difficult innings.Clayton Kershaw made his case for taking the top spot in the rotation, but he is still just 21-years-old.However, he could do what Felix Hernandez did in Seattle, and take over the pitching staff at a young age.Speaking of Felix, who is still yet to sign an extension with Mariners, the Dodgers need to be aggressive in pursuit of the young right-hander But more to come on that later in the week. …Hiroki Kuroda is locked into a contract for over $15 million next season, and I think that without the numerous injuries he suffered last season, he woulnd’t have had that blowup against the Phillies in the NLCS.Randy Wolf and Vicente Padilla are two of the 16 free agents, and it’s unlikely that they will return because of their desire for multi-year deals in which the Dodgers really don’t want to commit.Some might make the case that Wolf earned the multi-year deal by becoming the workhorse of this staff in the second half of the season, but I don’t see him maintaining that level of production next season.He is 33-years old now, which is not by any means old, but his career ERA of 4.13 indicates that his mark in ’09 (3.23) will regress closer to he mean next season, as this season marked the first time he had a sub-four in seven season.I think southpaw Scott Elbert will slide into the back of the rotation and take over the starts left vacant by Wolf.He was used out of the bullpen this season, but he showed good poise on the mound and his track record of starting in the minors’ projects well for the future.Just 23-years old and a first round pick in the 2004 draft, I like the thought of sending him to the mound every fifth day for five innings of solid contributions.The final spot in the rotation will be up for grabs, and they could resign Jon Garland to plug into the rotation. He performed very well in his time with the Dodgers this season, but the expensive option the team holds over him might the deciding factor in his departing from LA after only a handful of starts.Projected starting rotation: Kuroda, Kershaw, Billingsley, TBD, Elbert Relief Pitching Yes, Jonathan Broxton did some very bad things.No, it is not time to bail on the big guy.The guy throws 100 MPH with a 93 MPH slider, and that’s something you just can’t teach.Broxton simply falters from time to time because he loses confidence in his ability to overpower a hitter and he starts to aim his pitchers too much.
This causes him to lose control of that dominant fastball and work from behind in counts, forcing him to throw fastballs over the heart of the plate.And no matter how hard you throw, a major league hitter can drive a fastball over the plate.Besides the closer role, the bullpen was the shining star of the team until the NLCS.George Sherrill gave up an uncharacteristic home run to a left-handed hitter in Game One, and after that it seemed like the wind came out of the sails of the unit as a whole.They were unable to hold down deficits to allow the offense a chance to mount a comeback, and they gave up far too many home runs to the Phillies while doing so.Ronald Belisario and Ramon Troncoso were the hidden gems of last season, shouldering the load for most of the regular season and pitching far beyond what their arms had seen in past seasons in the minors.It will be interesting to see how their right arms bounce back from such a strenuous season, because both Cory Wade and James McDonald suffered the same fate of overworked arms in ’08 causing arm troubles in ‘09 making me very cautious in projecting more success for Troncoso and Belisario next season.Another pitcher who had arm problems in ’08 bounced back and returned to form in ’09, as Hong Chi-Kuo continued to baffle trainer Stan Conte with his ability to rebound from four different surgeries on his throwing arm.He will be back next season, and along with Sherrill and Broxton, makes for a tough late-inning tripod.But, as they showed in the NLCS, each one is vulnerable and has to work hard to shore up their deficiencies on the mound in order for this team to take things to another level.Jeff Weaver and Guillermo Mota are both free agents, and I don’t see any value in resigning either.Torre didn’t have the confidence to bring them to the NLCS, and that tells me that the likes of Eric Stults could just as easily fill that role in the bullpen. Projected bullpen: Broxton, Sherrill, Troncoso, Belisario, Kuo So is it time to blow up the DodgersI don’t think quite yet, but that is more because of a lot of limiting factors that are going to hinder the Dodgers ability to reshape the roster.There are certainly major issues that need to be addressed if Joe Torre wants to make a run at the World Series in his final season with the Dodgers, and I think that Torre’s position will drastically affect the way Colletti handles the offseason.Colletti will be hesitant to make blockbuster deals for important players on the club. He will most likely want to keep the core of the team intact so that Torre can have his best run at taking this team to the pinnacle in 2010.However, it has been nine seasons since Torre added a World Series ring to his collection, and something has to be added to put this team over the top.A slugger like Dan Uggla could really give the team some new blood and a long-term solution at a position that has been aging for years, starting with Jeff Kent and ending with Orlando Hudson.Anything short of a World Series championship will be a disappointment for Dodger fans next season, but with the addition of Uggla and one more quality starting pitcher, this team isin line to make a run at that championship in 2010. . (Adds details) BANGKOK, Jan 21 (Reuters) - Ch Karnchang CK.BK,Thailand's second-biggest building contractor, said onWednesday it would sell up to 2.5 billion baht ($72 million) ofbonds in two tranches to fund investment and businessexpansion. The three-year bonds would carry a coupon of 5.30 percentin the first two years and 5.90 percent in the third year, thecompany said in a statement. Another five-year tranche would offer 5.50 percent in thefirst two years and 6.30 percent in the remaining years, itsaid. Benchmark three-year government bonds THLB123A yielded2.24 percent in the secondary market at 0832 GMT, whenfive-year bonds THLB143A yielded 2.48 percent.
The bonds, rated "BBB" by Thailand's TRIS Rating, would beopen for subscription between Feb 3 and 5, before being issuedon Feb 6, the statement said. Proceeds from the issue, underwritten by Bank of AyudhyaBAY.BK, would also be used to repay debt, it said. Last year, Ch Karnchang sold 2 billion baht of 3-year bondswith a coupon of 5.00 percent. ($134.90 Baht) (Reporting by Arada Therdthammakun; Editing by Alan Raybould). VIENNA, Jan 21 (Reuters) - Austrian fireproof materialsmaker RHI's (RHIV.VI) new CEO expects 2009 earnings to fall farshort of last year's, and a difficult market environment untilmid-2010, Austrian newspaper Der Standard reported on Wednesday. "2009 will be difficult and the first half of 2010 as well,only then will we come out of the crisis." RHI, which supplies steel, glass and cement makers with itsfireproof materials, already warned in October that 2009earnings would be weaker and has so far declined to give aprecise outlook.
However, RHI could benefit from consolidation in the sectorand is looking at how it could finance acquisitions, Fahnemanntold the paper. ) So, Notre Dame's pass defense is bad. It is like, really, really, really bad.In fact, it is just awful. Even though the Irish spent much of the day making the nation's 106th-ranked pass offense look like the next coming of the "Greatest Show on Turf," the pass defense did get some turnovers, and ultimately did enough to bail out our offense and get that ugly Boston College monkey off of our back.