For all of you Twitter fans out there, you can get all of your Dodgers Rumors fixes live on Twitter. What that means is I have set up Twitterfeed to auto post new headlines. You can check out Dodgers Rumors on Twitter here.
Got some Around the Bases for you Dodger fans that missed the action over the weekend.
A very scary incident during Saturdays game with the D’backs starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda was hit in the head by a line drive off the bat of Rusty Ryal. Kuroda was taken off the field on a stretcher. In case you missed this live and would like to see the video, click here. The good news Kuroda is doing fine after spending the night in the hospital. He is listed as day to day and should not see any time on the disabled list. You can read a recent interview with him about the incident here.
Torre is quoted as saying he is “still confident” in Jonathon Broxton as his closer. Broxton has been struggling as of late and blew another save Saturday night.
Chad Billingsley has been cleared of his hamstring cramp and will pitch Tuesday against St. Louis.
The Dodgers took 1 out of 2 against the D’backs thanks to Randy Wolf and his excellent performance yesterday. Wolf fell a triple short of hitting for the cycle and had a marvelous day on the mound. The Dodgers may have ended their slumping ways yesterday with the 9-3 win. They have three games with the Cardinals and then four with the Cubs before heading to Colorado. Three very critical match-ups coming up for the Dodgers, so they had better get it together. The Dodgers have won six of the last fifteen games and need to turn things around rather quickly to regain their momentum heading into the final weeks of the season.
Am I the only person that sees it? Jason Giambi is the absolute answer for the Dodgers bench. We have no power whatsoever off the bench. We need a guy that has homerun threat every time he steps up to the plate. That threat is nowhere to be found on the Dodgers bench currently. I haven’t seen much talk all season about the missing power factor and I think it’s time for it to be addressed. Our bench looks pretty good don’t get me wrong, but we need that clutch homerun power presence we are so obviously missing. I think this will become more of an issue as we reach September and be much easier to add a guy like Giambi when the rosters expand.
Let me break this down a little further. Who would you rather have at the plate with runners in scoring position, down one run with runners in scoring position, Jason Giambi or Juan Castro? Exactly, it’s a no brainer and that is my point. We need a hitter that makes the pitcher think a little harder than usual before he lays one in there. Giambi would add be a veteran bat with a long history of playoff experience. Oakland is on the hook for his salary this season either way so there is no risk. It’ s quite obvious that Giambi is nearing the end and just doesn’t have much to offer anymore as an everyday player. I also understand hitting .193 is nothing to brag about, but he has some power from the left side which is exactly what the Dodgers need. I say Ned gives Giambi a shot off the bench and hey what have we got to lose if it doesn’t work out we can always release him again right?
The Dodgers have been linked to Vicente Padilla according to Kevin Baxter of the LA Times. While this isn’t much of a surprise to anyone because the Dodgers should be linked to any available pitcher on the market right now. There is no doubt the Dodgers need pitching. Here is the question, is Vicente Padilla the answer? That’s what this section of Dodgers Talk is all about. We will look at the facts and then open up the comment section for all of you Dodgers fans to hand out your opinions.
Here is what we know so far. Joe Torre was quoted recently saying “If we’re going to need a starter, we’ll get a starter,” So that means the Dodgers will get a starter because we all know they need one but thanks Joe for clearing that up.
Vicente Padilla cleared waivers in June with no takers. He was then designated for assignment on August 7th. The only teams so far to be even mentioned as interested are the Dodgers and Brewers. Earlier today Brewers GM Doug Melvin said he has no interest in John Smoltz, Mark Mulder or Padilla. Padilla is 31, and has allowed 120 hits and 42 walks in 108 innings, striking out 59 for an ERA just under 5.00. No official word if Padilla has cleared waivers in August but there is no reason to believe he won’t.
The common consensus is that Padilla and the Dodgers are a good fit. There is no doubt a change of scenery to a winning team, in a pitcher friendly ballpark would do him some good. Torre is a great coach and can bring this guy around and correct any clubhouse issues.
The bottom line is this, a move to Chavez Ravine and the National League will give Padilla a boost. This will help out his very misleading ERA as his stats are in my opinion somewhat inflated. The Dodgers need a pitcher that can pitch 7 consistent innings, while keeping the walks to a minimum and limit offenses to 3 or 4 runs. I think Padilla can be our guy and the best thing is the risk is very minimal if we wait until he clears waivers. The Rangers are putting a lot of energy into ridding themselves of Padilla currently, and he has become a cancer on and off the field for the Texas ballclub.
Kevin Baxter of the LA Times has Dodgers manager Joe Torre saying the Dodgers can add pitching, and that they are actively looking outside the organization. Well I say there is too much looking and talking going on. With the Dodgers possible August waiver targets list changing daily one would think a move will come sooner rather than later.
The positive are when Chad Billingsley and Clayton Kershaw are on their game they both look like staff aces. However they are not able to do this consistently, and because they are very young their lack of mental toughness shows at times. If they can find a way to be consistent for the remainder of the season the Dodgers will be in great shape. The problem is they have been unable to do this and leaving Dodgers management is a position where a move has to be made. Kuroda and Wolf I have little concern over as they are veterans and may not be the best pitchers in baseball, but they hand out six quality innings every start. Jason Schmidt is likely done for the season and his career is likely over as well. Eric Stults, Scot Elbert, James McDonald are simply too inexperienced to match up against playoff pitching. This leaves some huge question marks at the middle to back end of the rotation. The fifth spot in the rotation is in shambles currently and missing out of Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay is looking like a huge mistake.
There are some good available options on the pitching market. Several players that could help a young Dodgers team that is desperate for some long quality innings. However it seems all of these players are question marks themselves and no move is a guaranteed fix.
John Smoltz-He has had a rough year in Boston so far. A change of scenery back to the National League may do him some good. He would fit in exactly how Greg Maddux has done the last couple of years. He is definitely an upgrade over anything we have for the fifth rotation spot. He was recently designated for assignment by the Red Sox and will likely be released if not traded soon.
Vincente Padilla- This is a risk no doubt about it. Ned Colletti’s recent history of risky signings doesn’t look to good, and this is why the debate as to whether or not Padilla is a good fit for the Dodgers. Before being released Padilla had a 8-6 record, with an ERA of 4.92. He can pitch seven innings every outing and a move to the pitcher friendly Chavez Ravine could give him a boost.
Then you have Bronson Arroyo, Aaron Harang, Jon Garland, and Doug Davis. I personally think we should add either Smoltz or Padilla and then go after one of the above four. I am not very big on Garland as he has never been that impressive to me. Any thoughts? I will start up separate discussion articles if I get any official links with a source.