Saturday, June 23, 2012

It's time for the Dodgers to move Billingsley

Friday night was the last straw.

The scenario looked like this: the Dodgers had been on a three-game losing streak after being swept in Oakland.  They jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead in Anaheim against a team they've always struggled with in Interleague play.  Things were looking up again.

Then Chad Billingsley decided to do what he does best - flush it all down the toilet.

Once again, Billingsley showed the Dodgers and the rest of the world why he'll never live up to anything close to his potential.  Then again, that's what potential is - you may have the talent, but you have yet to do anything with it.  And that's where we are now.

I've said for the last couple of years that Billingsley isn't anything more than a #3 starter at best.  Well, I was wrong... he's worse.  He belongs in the bottom part of a rotation, if in there at all.  The numbers back it up.  He's lasted past seven innings only one, and that was in his first start of the year.  Five times he hasn't even gone past five innings.

His numbers now show a 4-6 record with a 4.15 ERA and 1.40 WHIP.  That's barely better than his numbers last year (11-11, 4.21, 1.45).  In other words, there's really no reason to believe he'll ever make big improvements.
So, my solution is simple: it's time to trade Billingsley.

I don't care if people out there think he can be effective still, he's simply WAY too inconsistent to be trusted.  One game he shows signs of life, the next two he stinks.  Friday night was symbolic and scary all at the same time.  You could almost laugh at yourself when the Dodgers spotted him a five-run lead, because you've seen him collapse before.  Sure enough, he collapsed again.

Now is the time to see what they can get for him.  I know the Dodgers have been linked to a couple of Cubs' pitchers, Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza.  I'm not sure Theo Epstein has any interest in Billingsley, but he'd be worth dangling along with others in order to get a real pitcher to LA. 

With Magic and the boys in town, I know Ned Colletti will have a busy, but fun, month of July looking at trades.  He no longer has to be so restricted by the money situation, so he can make things happen.  Moving Billingsley and getting another starter has to be one of them.

Before last season, Billingsley inked a three-year, $35 million extension that lasts into 2014, and has a $14 million option for 2015.  The timing isn't very good, especially since the Dodgers showed faith in him, and instead he seems to only be getting worse.  Depending on the team he'd be moved to, I can see the Dodgers eating some of that deal.

But so what?  If that's what it takes, then go for it.  I know it's easy for me to say, but if there really is a new regime in town ready to do what it takes to win, then this is a good first step to take.  Trade Mr. Inconsistency and bring in someone fresh.  It's time to make that move.

It's time we move on from Billingsley.

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