“Dodgers Baseball-1st Place & Fragile”
The blazing hot summer weather in Southern California has been equalled by the blazing hot Los Angeles Dodgers.
A couple of 11-game winning streaks….a stretch in which they went (30-4)….and a 10 and half game lead over the rest of the National League West.
But with 2-months to go in the pennant race, all has changed, and it’s not just a thunder storm on the horizon, but possibly a tornado in the offing..
The 1-warmup pitch tweak to the back of pitching ace Clayton Kershaw, has sent shivers up the spine of everyone associated with the Dodgers.
The superb southpaw will be gone 6-weeks, dealing with a back strain. Still to be determined if this injury is linked in anyway with the herniated disc, that took him out of the rotation for 10-weeks early last season.
At (15-2) this year…(64-16) over the last 4-years…and a career mark of (141-62)…this is devastating to a pitcher so dominating.
But the Dodgers issues are more than just the ace. The rest has alot to do with it.
The 2nd guy in the rotation, Alex Wood, has been a remarkable (11-1) coming off his own arm problems a year ago. So far-so good, but so much of the season left.
Beyond that, there are red-flags around the rest of the Dodger-Blue starters.
Kenta Maeda is pitching, but his durability, especially in late season is a worry. They don’t want a repeat this year of last year, when he was gassed.
Brandon McCarthy is back on the disabled list. He always seems to have an assortment of issues. This time it is blisters. Before that a back.
Rich Hill has missed more starts than he has made since coming from the A’s in the middle of last season. Blisters, blisters, more blisters.
Hyun Jin-Ryu, once a workhorse, has never show the return to form after shoulder surgery and nearly two years in dry-dock.
Beyond that, there is no Julio Urias to wait to arrive. He is on the DL following arm surgery, despite the concerted effort to limit the pitch count and the stressful innings to the 19-year old. He broke down last month and it gone for the year following surgery.
The Dodgers have a farm system of tremendous young everyday talent, but not pitching. Everyone is asking about young plerys like flychaster Alex Verdugo…
They have Yasiel Puig still, whose career is ‘love-me-love me not’..depending on how hot he is or what mistakes he’s made.
The trading deadline is July 31st, and there are all types of veteran pitchers available. Some short term rentals, who become free agents, others with long term contracts, that will be costly.
Costly too will be what it costs the Dodgers to get a quality arm.
Do you pay high to rent, and then hope to re-sign, Texas’ Yu Darvish? Do you take on a hefty contract owed to Tigers ace Justin Verlander, no longer what he once was.
Is there a gamble deal to be made for Orioles strong arm Chris Tillman, coming off his own health issues, but at least back in the rotation.
Do you move young talent to get one of the Mets pitchers, Steven Matz?.
Does a Jhoulys Chacin rental out of San Diego pay dividends? Do you take on a mid-level journeyman like the Royals Ian Kennedy?
What is the price tag to get A’s outstanding young pitcher Sonny Gray, who is controllable for a couple of years?
The Dodgers have to do something. It does not appear Colorado nor Arizona are going to stand pat, and there’s still plenty of time to chase down LA in the West.
If the Blue stand down and don’t deal, they are going to go down.
The Dodgers may be in first place, but they are a very fragile 1st place franchise right now.