April 25, 2014

Is the Sun Setting on the Dodgers Season?

My fellow Dodger fans, I apologize for the lack of posts since the trading deadline.  Life sometimes gets in the way of things, and that’s been the case as of late.  But I’m back, and will be at the game tonight covering all the action of Ted Lilly’s first start in Dodger Blue.

Before then, I did want to address the trade deadline dealing.  Like our friends over at the Sons of Steve Garvey, I really noticed an interesting schism between the “mainstream media” that seemed to love the Dodgers recent acquisitions, and the bloggers that cover the team who did not (I also just noticed that Orel and I both share a love for the word “schism”).  Here’s my take:

Yes, Ned Colletti did continue to live up to his reputation as a dealmaker, making two three trades at or near the deadline, landing veteran outfielder Scott Podsednik, veteran lefty starter Ted Lilly, veteran infielder Ryan Theriot and veteran reliever Octavio Dotel.  See a pattern?

We know Joe Torre likes his veterans, but I’m sure he’s not excited about the quality of these moves, despite what he says publicly.  Afterall, he came from the Yankees…a team that makes big moves when they need to.  And the Dodgers (other than last night) are a team that’s had an absolutely horrific time scoring runs over the course of a six-game losing streak. 

I give Ned credit for making moves given the financial restrictions that he’s facing (the Dodgers assert there are no financial restrictions) and not sacrificing a ton in terms of the prospect department, but when I look at these moves, I just don’t think they’re collectively big enough to turn this club around.

Right now, I’m think of the Dodgers like a slow-moving freighter, slowly making their way down the NL West standings.  The effort to turn around said freighter is going to be a Herculean task requiring all hands on deck.  Do the recent additions (and the subtraction of fan favorite Blake DeWitt) help the Dodgers accomplish this?  Theoretically, yes it helps, but I fear it’s just too little, too late.  What the Dodgers desperately needed was a shot of addrenalin…ala Manny Ramirez at the trading deadline in 2008.  As I noted on my Twitter feed yesterday, the Dodgers need motivation.  Passion.  Desire.  The offense is simply listless and the position players are like zombies out there. Short of the arrival of Kenley Jansen, I just don’t see the necessary heroics for the team or its fans to rally around.

Yes, there’s still time, but winning the remaining three games against the Padres is an absolutely critical first step.  Otherwise, the sun might set on the Dodgers’ season a lot quicker than we all would like.

Photo Credit: Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2010

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.