Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Dodgers Bat Void Echoed by Angels, Padres

Jon Heyman over at SI.com says that all three SoCal teams are desperate for a power bat. However, given Ned Colletti at the helm, expect some wheeling and dealing to occur for the Dodgers:

If the Angels have the best minor-league talent, the Dodgers possess the best prospects already at the big-league level. Matt Kemp is seen as a "future star" and a "Dave Winfield clone" by two competing execs. First baseman James Loney (who's currently playing out of position and suffered a knee injury on Sunday crashing into the outfield wall) has been squeezed out by Nomar Garciaparra's two-year contract, though certainly not by Garciaparra's one home run in 247 at-bats. When I was in L.A. last week and saw Garciaparra giving batting tips to Posh Spice, I was tempted to yell, "Shouldn't she be the one giving you the tips?" but thought better of it.

Dodgers management's first idea was to fire hitting coach Eddie Murray, making it twice that Murray has been canned in-season and raising the thought that maybe it isn't only sportswriters whom he couldn't communicate with. However, that's not the whole solution. GM Ned Colletti has known that he needed power since the winter. Wonders one skeptical competitor, "Are [Jeff] Kent, Garciaparra and [Luis] Gonzalez going to be the trio to get the Dodgers to the playoffs?"

The guess here is that the Dodgers won't have to find out if those three aging veterans will have to carry the home-run load. "Colletti seems to prefer veterans," one competitor notes. Colletti's trading netted Greg Maddux and others last year, and he has plenty to offer, including infielder Tony Abreu, pitcher Chad Billingsley, minor-league pitchers Clayton Kershaw and Jon Meloan and minor-league shortstop Chin-Lung Hu.

Last year's pick up of Maddux was indeed a coup and helped the Dodgers sneak into the playoff wildcard spot. With the series of questionable pickups in this offseason, however (Schmidt, Pierre, Gonzalez, Clark), is it fair to have a whole lot of worry about Colletti's ability to find us a true offensive talent, particularly if we're forced to leverage one or more future stars?


Rob said...

"Dave Winfield clone"? Oh, horsebleep. Kemp is good, but he didn't arrive, fully formed, in the majors like Winfield did.