Thursday, July 30, 2009

Is Ned Colletti on a Snipe Hunt?

Let's hope Mark Loretta doesn't get a chance to make his second pitching appearance of the season.

At first the Dodgers were supposedly in the market for a starting pitcher. They haven't had a regular fifth starter all season, and critics complained that Chad Billingsley wasn't a real ace, or that Clayton Kershaw was too young to be counted on. But the Blue Jays were asking for the deed to Dodger Stadium in return for Roy Halladay, and Cleveland chose to raid the Phillies' prospect pantry instead of the Dodgers'.

Then we heard the Dodgers were in the market for a reliever. After Ronald Belisario went on the disabled list, it seems every reliever in the bullpen hit a rough stretch or two. While the return of Hong-Chih Kuo is helpful, he can't be relied upon to stay healthy.

Now, after yet another game in which the Dodgers lose while outhitting the opposition, it wouldn't be surprising to hear that the team was shopping for a bat. (Note: The speculation is entirely mine. I'm not basing it on any rumors.) Victor Martinez is supposedly available, as are a host of less desirable names (Nick Johnson, Marco Scutaro).

These shifting priorities show there's no single acquisition Ned Colletti can make that will solve all the team's problems — unless Albert Pujols learns how to pitch and demands a trade to the NL West. The breadth of the Dodgers' talent, which served them so well during the first half, is now being cited as the reason they need to make a trade.

To an extent, it's easy to see why: The starters have mostly been good for only five or six innings, and the staff lacks an experienced stopper with complete-game potential. As a result, the bullpen, while effective, has been overworked. And situational hitting has been killing the team lately, with LOBs and GIDPs piling up like bad alphabet soup.

With the team's first slump of the season coinciding with the trade deadline, Dodger fans are holding their breath. Outside help would be welcomed — if the price isn't too high. But fans and management should realize that, unlike last year's deadline acquisition of Manny Ramirez, there's no magic bullet (or snipe, if you will) that will put the team over the top. Expectations, and costs, are much higher this time around.

Loretta photo by Jon SooHoo/Dodgers


Wicks said...

Great post.....I don't want the Dodgers to over react but it is clear we need Roy. Bills is going through a slump and perhaps if we add Roy he will be able to relax. I know it may set back the farm system but how many real chances will we have to get to the WS? It's been a long time since 1988!

karina said...

Jon Heyman at Twitter:

#dodgers decline jays' request for halladay and are said to be "moving on.'' next up: o's closer sherrill

Make it that whatever you want.

Josh S. said...

I'll probably be wrong, but I still think we end with Doc by 1pm tomorrow. The Jays have already eased up on the whole Kershaw/Bills thing. One more day and they might even lower the amount of prospects they'd ask for.

Fred's Brim said...

i say we trade for Kevin. He(She) would be pretty intimidating on the mound or in the batters box.

JL said...

12:21pm: Joe McDonald of the Providence Journal sees the Dodgers in the lead for Halladay, with the Rangers in the mix and talks with Boston calming down.

Ken said...

If the Ned is offering the farm, we might get it. But I seriously don't know what the Blue Jays hope to get. They might not even trade Doc afterall.