Usually at the trade deadline, every team looks to get better so that they can make that special run and maybe, just maybe, catch lightening in a bottle. Me? I am becoming to develop a realization that the Dodgers problems are too complex and deep to solve with more deadline trades. Let’s consider what the Dodger’s problems might be:
- Kenley Jansen – His velocity is down… way down. If you will remember, I was against re-signing Kenley, especially to a 5-year deal, but obviously his first year under his new deal was a resounding success. This year, he is showing the usual signs of someone who is headed to surgery. Yep, there I said it! I would not be nearly as concerned with Kenley, if his velocity was not down so much. That’s the concern.
- Clayton Kershaw – It’s no secret his velocity is down. His back and hip are also a problem. What we are seeing here is what you would expect from someone who has 11 years and 2,000 innings on his arm. One would believe that surgery is also in the cards.
- Alex Wood – His velocity is also down, WAY DOWN from early last season. I don’t know if he is injured or just unable to sustain higher velocity.
- Chris Taylor strikes out way too much. He struck out 25% of the time last year and now is at 32% for 2018. That is unacceptable.
- Corey Seager is gone for the year… he’ll not be back until 2019.
- Justin Turner is not right and may not be right the rest of the year. His wrist is getting better, but he may not bee 100% until next year.
- The Dodgers can’t hit with RISP. Now, to put this into perspective, the Dodgers are 17th in MLB in hitting with RISP, but they are 7th in OB% with RISP. They are 9th in runs scored with RISP. A healthy Turner and Puig along with a big bat (Machado) could change that greatly, but it’s not a given the Puig will be back and if he is, it may be like starting over in Spring Training. He was just starting to put it all together when he went down.
I acknowledge that things can change rather quickly, but Clayton and Kenley are the most concerning. I am a “Glass Half-Full” person, but I cannot ignore all of the above problems, coupled with the bullpen issues, which could be cured rather easily with another arm (pick one of the arms we know are available). Hyun Jin Ryu threw a successful 25 pitch bullpen station on Friday and may be back by the the end of July. Julio Urias is also progressing, having thrown two simulated games in Arizona and having hit 93 MPH on the gun. He may be back in early August.
But I still am beginning to feel that it may be time to stand down! On the other hand, I also believe in miracles….
Other Dodger News
- Shea Spitzbarth was promoted to AAA and after 1.1 IP sports a 20.25 ERA – It’s bound to get better…
- Will Smith hit another Jack last night, his 17th and he sports .985 OPS. He really needs to be in AAA… or higher.
- There has been a Yadier Alvarez sighting: He pitched 0.2 innings in relief and got smoked, allowing 3 runs on 3 walks and 1 hit.