July 26, 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.

Pre-Game Thoughts with Joe Torre, Stan Conte and Mike Scioscia

All comments from Joe Torre unless otherwise noted:

On the Angels: “They are a good ball club, no question about it.  They know how to play, they’ve had success, they’re very aggressive.  And obviously you want to keep the speed guys off the base which isn’t easy ’cause they’re a lot of them in the lineup.”

On the Freeway Series: “There’s always a certain amount of energy that’s brought to the ballpark…from both cities.  I always find that the players, whatever the rivalry is….they they feed off the energy in the ballpark.  I expect it to be that way tonight.”

On Xavier Paul’s Staph Infection on his Left Leg : “He’s in the hospital, but he’s going to be fine.  Everything points to starting the recovery, but obviously it’s going to be a while before he plays baseball.”

On Xavier Paul’s Staph Infection on his Left Leg (from Director of Medical Services Stan Conte): “Xavier had a previous infection that was classified as MRSA which is a type of staph infection that is resistant to a lot of the antibiotics, so it’s difficult to treat.  It was treated successfully, he was fine for a period of time.  In Florida, he slid for that catch that he made.  He had a little, small scrape on his knee, which is not uncommon with any baseball player.  On Tuesday morning, he called us and said it was a little red.  We looked at it Tuesday morning, sent him to the doctor who cultured it, put him on an antibiotic that works effectively with MRSA.  By Wednesday after the game he had a full-blown infection – it happened that fast.  We sent him to USC Hospital, Infectious Disease.  After the game…I took him over there, put him on IV antibiotics, which is the course, and drained the skin, cleared it up of a lot of the infection.  He’s at USC and doing well.  His swelling and infection is resolving, but he’ll probably be in there a couple more days.”

On When Xavier Paul May Play Again (Stan Conte): “We won’t let him play or sweat until that skin is completely closed. I won’t really know until we see how that is and how that resolves, but it definitely could be weeks.”

On Corey Wade:“As far as roles on this club, Corey Wade, we know he’s an eighth inning guy and when Corey’s not available, we pretty much let the situation dictate who is pitching the eighth.”

On Will Ohman and Brent Leach:“Ohman’s been like a one hitter guy, and I think that’s the role we’re going to use him in for now…where we’re sitting now, the way Leach is pitching, it’s nice to have two of them where you can use one early and one late.”

On Juan Pierre: “I’ve never been around anybody who works as hard as he does, as far as the time he puts in doing what he does.”

On the Freeway Series (from Mike Scioscia):  “As far as Southern California fans, yeah, you definitely sense it walking around town.  I was walking around my house today, people were saying ‘Go get ‘em…good luck.’ They know we’re playing the Dodgers.”