November 1, 2014

Thoughts on the Trading Deadline

With the MLB trading deadline coming up on Saturday, July 31st, it’s the time of year to talk about potential moves for the Dodgers. 

Many rumors have been floated, and will continue to be floated, over the coming four days, and while the Dodgers are clearly in the market for a veteran starting pitcher with some playoff experience, I think the emergence of Kenley Jansen takes some of the pressure off of the need for another reliever.  But there’s a far more pressing need than pitching right now.

In my opinion, the real need for the Dodgers is for an outfielder (Royals outfielder Scott Podsednik is the latest rumor).  Think about it: Manny Ramirez is back on the DL and we’re unsure what he’s going to be like when he comes back.  Reed Johnson is eligible to come off the DL, but hasn’t.  In fact, we haven’t heard a peep from Torre about the status of Reed, which leads me to believe that his return to action isn’t going to come this week.  That leaves Xavier Paul and Garret Anderson as our #3 and #4 outfielders for a critical stretch against the Padres and Giants.  Having the X-Man come off the bench is fine, but GA just should not be on this club.  I don’t like this combo…I don’t like it one bit, and the situation is compounded by the Dodgers inability to get hits with runners in scoring position (for example, over the four game series with the New York Mets, the Dodgers scored just seven runs with 22 hits and were an atrocious 1 for 18 with runners in scoring position.  And this series was at home in the friendly confines of Chavez Ravine).

We’ll see what happens over the course of the coming days, but don’t be surprised to see Ned Colletti add an outfielder that can start and come off the bench and who also comes with some pop in his bat.  If that happens, GA will certainly be designated for assignment or outright released.

Sights at Camelback Ranch

Today’s sold-out Dodgers-Cubs game at Camelback Ranch was pretty darn entertaining!  Chad Billingsley went four-plus innings, Manny went deep, Reed Johnson hit his own two-run blast, Rafael Furcal stole his first base of the spring and Blake DeWitt continued to hit well, going two for three.  Director Rob Reiner (a noted Dodgers fan) was also on hand with his son, as was the great Peter Gammons.

I took in the game from the first base line with a bunch of Cubs fans who seemed to make up about 50 percent of the crowd on hand.  Here are a few pics from yours truly.  Enjoy!

Furcals steals second base.

Billingsley opens the game for the Dodgers.

Matt Kemp congratulates Manny Ramirez after his two-run home run.

Reed Johnson celebrates his two-run blast in the 7th inning.

Peter Gammons chats with Greg Maddox before the game.

Alex and I will be at the Dodgers-Padres game on enemy territory in Peoria tomorrow night, so more to come on Friday!