Opinion of Kingman's Performance

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Panicking Time is Over, the Dodgers Need to Be Sellers at the Trade Deadline

It is probably time to face some reality.  This Dodger team isn’t going anywhere this season.  As much as I don’t want to believe that, reality slaps me hard across the face.  It is time to get a hold of our emotions, not panic and think straight.  I hope Ned Colletti is on the same wave length and is a General Manager that has the long term team needs in his sights.  With his job on the line, my fear is that being within striking distance of the playoffs on July 31st could spell disaster for this club with his history of moves at the trade deadline.

The team is a teaser.  They go on a little winning streak and you think, “okay, maybe now they are going to make their run.”  Hopes are heightened because the Division is so weak and there for the taking and then BOOM, two or three losses in a row occur.
In a year when a ten game winning streak could easily put this club in contention, they have failed to string more than three wins together, and they have only won three in a row twice this season.
In a year where Matt Kemp is putting up MVP type numbers, we may see him win the award as Andre Dawson did in 1987, with a last place club.   If the season were to end today, he’s within an eyelash of winning the Triple Crown.  When is the last time a player was even close to that?  It still amazes me that Kemp is being pitched to and it is unrealistic to expect him to continue on this pace.  That’s a scary thought for this club.
During Andre Dawson's MVP season with last place Chicago in 1987, he hit 49 homers and had 137 RBI, yet he was only intentionally walked 7 times.
In a year when Clayton Kershaw is second in the league in strikeouts, first in the league in strikeouts over 9 innings,  second in shutouts, and has truly proven himself as a legitimate ace, the offense is near the bottom of the N.L. in runs scored and has been shut out  seven times.  
In a year where Andre Ethier puts together an amazing 30-game hitting streak, the Dodgers are unable to capitalize on it and the go 14-16 during those 30 games.
Its a year where the Dodger bullpen has faltered miserably and spoiled numerous quality starts pitched by Kuroda (5-8, 3.07 ERA) and Kershaw.  The starting pitching has not lived up to expectations with the struggles of Chad Billingsley, Ted Lilly and Jon Garland.  Rookie Rubby De La Rosa has had his moments, but he's going through growing pains.
Its a year where the Dodger defense has stepped up and is second best in the league with the fewest errors committed and fielding percentage, trailing only Philadelphia.  Yet, with the failings of the bullpen and the hitting woes, the great defense, (something that I thought was a team weakness going into the season), has not been enough to translate into wins.
It’s a year where the injuries arrived and hurt, but let’s face it.  None of the injured players were contributing substantially this season.  Take a look at the list of players that have spent time on the D.L., none were performing well: Broxton, Kuo, Jansen, Furcal, Blake, Garland, Padilla, Thames, Uribe.  They are all trade fodder as far as I can tell.
So here we are, a 34-43 record.  9 games back of first and 4 games away from the half-way point of the season.  The club would have to play over .700 ball just to win 90 games.  Perhaps 85 or 86 games wins the division, but that would require the Dodgers to go on a 51-34 run, a very unrealistic expectation with the roster that is currently in place.
It is time to be sellers at the All Star break.  It is time for the Dodgers to see what they can stock up the farm system with as some desperate pennant contenders attempt to make pennant stretch runs. It is time for us to be the winners in a mid-season deal.  In order for that to happen I see it as crucial that some injured players return and perform well over the next several weeks, so they can be served up as trade bait.  I see those players as: Furcal, Broxton, Garland (probably won’t happen with him), Thames, and perhaps Kuo
Do the Dodgers dare trade Rafael Furcal to the San Francisco Giants who are in need of  a shortstop.  The last Dodger trade to the Giants was in 2007, Mark Sweeney for Travis Denker.  A trade of a healthy Furcal to the defending champs would certainly bring a lot more than that to the club.

Players that have performed mediocre to good that I would be willing to part with are: Hawksworth, Miles, Carroll, Loney, Kuroda, Troncoso, Guerrier. 
What could Hiroki Kuroda, with his 3.07 ERA, fetch up via trade this season?  A bunch of prospects?  His salary is certainly not a deal breaker.
Underperformers that I’d be willing to trade: Gwynn, Barajas, Navarro, Blake, Uribe, Lilly

Tony Gwynn Jr. may be coveted by some clubs at the deadline for his speed and glove.  
Untouchables to me are: Kemp, Ethier, Billingsley, Kershaw, De La Rosa, Gordon, Sands, Jansen
I realize that Ethier would bring in a lot via trade, but I am hopeful that he could remain with the club.  But with the right deal out there, who knows?  Maybe an offer that can’t be refused is out there.  What do you think?

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