Thursday, October 22, 2009

Dodgers' hand had no ace
The decision of the Dodgers front office not to trade starting players for a front-line pitcher or two during the regular season came back to bite them on the fanny in the playoffs against the Philadelphia Phillies, who beat Los Angeles four games to one for the National League pennant.
With the likes of Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Scott Kazmir and Pedro Martinez for sale, the Dodgers could have purchased a solid arm to call their ace, but went the cheap route in signing Randy Wolf and Vicente Padilla, a throwaway from Texas who turned out to be their best pitcher down the stretch. No knock against Wolf or Padilla, who both pitched well but the collapse of Chad Billingsly, who had been designated the team's No. 1 guy at the beginning of the season and the inconsistency of the 21-year-old Clayton Kershaw, were too much for the club's bullpen which blew a tire against the Phillies after a drawn-out season of bailing out the starters.
The Dodgers winter should be just as intriguing as their just concluded summer with several issues bubbling in the trade pot on Ned Colleti's hot stove. Will ownership change hands? Will 2010 be Joe Torre's last season as manager? Will Manny Ramirez stay in left field or jump back to the American League? It would seem Kershaw is untouchable but the other members of the starting staff, including Billingsly, are all eligible for trading.
With the improvement of the Colorado Rockies and the San Francisco Giants this season, the National League West could be the league's strongest division come next April. The Dodgers will have to make important moves just to survive in their own space, let alone get a rematch with the Phillies next fall.

No comments:

Post a Comment