Opinion of Kingman's Performance

Saturday, July 6, 2013

The Dodgers and Their Quest for Starting Pitching

Speculation persists that the Dodgers will be searching for additional starting pitching.  Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports and the MLB Network was a visitor on the Dodger pre-game show yesterday.  He went so far as to say that “they will” get a fifth starter.

“I don’t know that there’s much question about that," said Rosenthal. "Nolasco is a very interesting case, I thought he would be traded by now...Garza’s a factor, Gallardo could be a factor, and I am convinced that there will be other pitchers that we don’t even know about that will draw interest from the Dodgers and others.”

So with that said, it appears that a deal is imminent, the real question is when it will occur and for whom?

I believe that the Dodgers should simply wait this out and stick with what they have within the organization.  Though Capuano has been struggling his last two starts, he has shown signs of his former self and he has had some good outings.  We're talking about the no. 5 spot after all.  Ross Stripling (5-1. 2.29 ERA, 51 IP , 49 SO, 6 BB), Chris Reed  (3-7, 3.51 ERA, 92 IP, 65 SO, 32 BB), and Zack Lee (7-5, 2.79 ERA, 93 IP, 85 SO, 24 BB) are performing well at Chattanooga.  Maybe a promotion from within is the way to fill the back end of the starting rotation if Capuano continues to falter.  Oh, and then there’s Stephen Fife, today’s starter against the Giants.  He currently is the no. 4 man on the staff.

Ross Stripling is excelling at AA Chattanooga.  His name is often mentioned in trade rumors (photo by Tim Evearitt/ www.thechattanoogan.com)

Fife has lowered his ERA to 2.84 and he is putting up quality start after quality start.  Something to be concerned about with Fife is workload.  Last season he threw 156 innings between Albuquerque and Los Angeles.  That was his career high and the Dodgers should be concerned about his work load once September hits and he approaches uncharted territory in his numbers of pitches thrown.  All things look real good right now, but when fatigue sets in during the final stages of the pennant drive, the  Dodgers might be in trouble if they are fully dependent on Fife as a number 4 starter.   Fife has pitched 58 innings so far this year in the minors and majors.

So with that in mind, I think it’s fairly certain that the Dodgers will be making a trade or two to bring in a quality starting pitcher before the trade deadline.  Ned Colletti's track record seems to show that he attempts to land proven vets for the stretch drive.   Though the names Gallardo, Garza and Nolasco are the prominent with the pundits, I really think the Dodgers will aim for a blockbuster type deal and a Cliff Lee type wouldn’t surprise me, provided that the Phillies fall so far out of contention that they become sellers.  Timing is everything and the further the season advances towards the trade deadline, the higher the cost of such a deal will be.  One thing the Dodgers seem to be willing to do with this ownership group is take on high salaries.

Within house, Dodger minor leaguers such Stripling, Reed,  Lee, and outfielder Joc Pederson are being discussed as trade fodder.  It might take a combination of most or all of those names to land a top tier guy that is considered to be a no.1 or 2 caliber pitcher.  Hopefully the Dodger administration doesn't strip the cupboard bare in their efforts to land a pitcher that may turn out to be a two month rental when one of those guys within the organization can fill the role in the rotation themselves.

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