Saturday, June 29, 2013

I guess this is why the Dodgers want to trade for pitching

There's really only one way to sum up Friday night's 16-1 shellacking to the Phillies: it sucked.

End of story.

It was the worst home loss the Dodgers suffered since moving from Brooklyn, if you want to look further into it.  Chris Capuano was absolutely horrific, and the bullpen of Peter Moylan, Matt Guerrier, and Brandon League were just atrocious.

Oh, Skip Schumaker pitched a scoreless ninth.  That might be the most embarrassing stat of the night.

For those of you wondering why the Dodgers would be linked to a guy like Ricky Nolasco of the Marlins, this is it.  I wrote the other day about how the Dodgers were getting good production from the back end of their rotation during this recent six-game winning streak.  Well, you can throw that out the window after Friday.  It's hard to imagine Capuano being much worse.

Nolasco seems to be the biggest name out there so far, at least well before the trade deadline at the end of July starts sparking new names.  He's the type of guy who certainly has the potential, but is notorious for not living up to those projections.  And guess what?  He was hit around by the Padres at home before the Dodgers took the field on Friday, giving up five runs and 11 hits in five innings.  Not exactly the type of start that encourages Dodger fans.

Still, would making a move for Nolasco be worth it?  There's understandable concern that Capuano, Stephen Fife, and Ted Lilly are not the answers down the stretch.  I like the way Fife has looked lately, so perhaps he'll be fine, but I can see why management wants an upgrade to solidify the fourth and fifth rotation spots.

This season, Nolasco is 4-8 with a 3.93 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, and 83 K's in 103 1/3 innings.  Those numbers aren't bad, but he's in a rough patch right now.  He was only 1-4 in May, but with a 3.57 ERA.  In five June starts, he's fallen back at 1-2 with a 4.55 ERA.  One step forward, one step back.

Money is no object for the Dodgers anymore, so they can easily cover the remaining $6 million left on Nolasco's deal.  When it comes to players with big money owed, you can automatically link the Dodgers to them after the Red Sox trade from last year.  So that gives them an edge over teams reluctant to take on all that money.

Before Friday's game, I would have said that the Dodgers should steer clear of him.  But Capuano was so bad and so discouraging, I'm completely rethinking that stance.  I can't imagine the Dodgers would have to give up much to get him as long as they take his contract, so no major players would be on the move to Miami.  Maybe Nolasco is one of those "change of scenery" type of players where getting away can only help.  Rick Honeycutt has had success with all sorts of different pitchers, so I'd like to see what he can do with Nolasco.

As for the bullpen, I haven't seen any specific names linked to them, but that will change soon.  There's no way they can feel confident about winning anytime they give the ball to guys like League, Moylan, and Guerrier.  Ditto for Ronald Belisario.  The only ones they feel good about are Kenley Jansen, J.P. Howell, and Paco Rodriguez.  As much as Don Mattingly would like to, he can't put them in there EVERY game.

No comments: