Weidemaier back as advance scout

Weidemaier back as advance scout

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Mark Weidemaier, special assistant to Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti, will resume duties as the club's advance scout this season.

Weidemaier, entering his 11th season with the organization, spent the first eight as advance scout and the past two as a special assignment scout primarily for the purpose of trades. He takes back the job from Dan Freed, who was hired by the New York Yankees.

"I really like the job and nobody else does," said Weidemaier. "There's more direct impact on the big league club. It's like being an extension of the Major League coaching staff. There's more action."

So, what exactly does he do?

"My goal is to provide the data for the staff to apply to the running of the game, so they can make educated decisions," said Weidemaier, who has also worked for the Angels, Yankees and Indians.

"What I want to do is, by stepping back, paint a picture of the opposition, what to expect from the next opponent. I provide a cover sheet going over the tendencies of the team and the manager. There's a page for each hitter. This is performance related, as opposed to grading the tools. This is looking at everything -- what [St. Louis manager Tony] La Russa calls 'purposeful watching.'"

Weidemaier drops in on a club for a series and must discern hot from cold. He must ferret out injury information, tendencies of the manager's running game, the way a catcher calls a game, the types of pitches used in what situation. He breaks down each player's strengths and weaknesses with an eye on current developments, not what manager Joe Torre and his staff might remember from the last time they saw the player or the club.

Weidemaier was hired by then-manager Davey Johnson and general manager Kevin Malone in 1999 to break down the opposition, and he is working for his fifth Dodgers general manager.

Weidemaier also scouts the Arizona Fall League and the Dominican Republic Winter League. He recommended this winter's signings of current Dodgers Claudio Vargas, Hector Luna, Juan Castro, Carmen Cali and Nick DeBarr.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.