If the Dodgers want to win in the NL West, they’ll have to run a very tight pitching ship as their offense is below the fold in almost all categories (nearing rock-bottom in RBIs for instance) and not looking to improve much in the next two weeks. Much of that offensive mediocrity, however, can be credited to the fact that three of the major (would-be) run producers and scorers in the team are on the DL. Nomar Garciaparra is out with a bad calf (and the genetic disorder that prevents it from healing quicker), Andruw Jones is coming off knee surgery to repair torn cartilage, and Rafael Furcal has been battling a stiff back for almost two months now. All three are scheduled to beign rehab assignemnts with Triple A Las Vegas on Monday.

So far the Dodgers have managed to remain two and a half games behind first-place Arizona (albeit with a 37-42 record) due in part to the strong pitching from (of all people) Chan Ho Park, who’s 1-0 in three starts with a 1.20 ERA (after being in the pen to start the year) and Eric Stults (2-0, 0.60 ERA). Manager Joe Torre wants to up the ante, announcing a six-man rotation after Hiroki Kourda comes off the DL, and specifically because of Stults’ results (trying saying that three times!).

I doubt the Dodgers will be buyers in the trade market, if only because they’ve already got a bloated payroll with nothing to show for it. In fact, they’ve been having “cryptic meetings” with Derek Lowe and his agent, Scott Boras, and its their young’uns that are producing (like Andre Ethier above).

Maybe if the coerce a few more wins out of Lowe and Chad Billingsley, and if they get their superstars back from Triple A rehab stints soon enough (not to mention the eventual return of Brad Penny and Jason Schmidt – but don’t hold your breath on Schmidt), they might be able to hold on to make it interesting in the NL West.

What They Need Index

8 Responses to “What They Need: L.A. Dodgers – Call up their superstars”

  1. I keep hearing how great a manager Torre is, and that he was to make the Dodgers a better team….I’m still waiting to see the results!

  2. Let’s not blame this all on Torre. He didn’t sign Andruw Jones. He didn’t sign Juan Pierre. He didn’t sign Nomar. The problem isn’t that the Dodgers’ veterans aren’t producing. The problem is that the Dodgers signed these guys despite the fact that they are way passed their primes.

    What the Dodgers really need is Rafael Furcal to get healthy. LA was a different team with Furcal in the lineup. And before he got hurt Furcal was a leading candidate for NL MVP.

  3. Jones is only 31, I would not call that past his prime! Yeah he had a horrible 2007 and got off to a even worst start in 2008, but he’s still young.

    And I wouldn’t go as far as saying Furcal was having a MVP year after only what 130AB…Hot start but not MVP.

    I’m not placing all the blame on Torre, but I do believe he is HIGHLY OVER-RATED as a manager! And I think it has shown some this season.

  4. Nick Kapur says:

    Yeah, I agree, Doug. Torre hasn’t been quite as bad as I feared, and I see Coley’s point, but he hasn’t really helped the team all that much that I can see, and has actually hurt it in some ways. The way he benched Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier for Juan Pierre and Andruw Jones at the beginning of the year was just sickening to behold.

  5. Nick Kapur says:

    Also, Scott Proctor is now hurt. But that is actually just Joe Torre’s horrible managing from past years coming back to bite him now on a different team…

  6. Alejandro Leal says:

    Well, after last night’s victory over the Angels, I think the Dodgers are destined for great things. Talk about running a tight pitching ship on no offense! They won the no-hitter pitched AGAINST THEM!!

  7. A no-hitter, bullshit! Weaver should not have been scored an error on that play! Do you see the movement on that ball!

    Dodgers 3 hits in 2 games!

  8. Doug, as recently as a few weeks ago Rafael Furcal was still the Dodgers’ leader in RBIs and runs scored. So the Dodgers obviously miss him in a big way.

    And Andruw Jones is past his prime. Face it, he’s done. How many players do you know who have hit .200 over the course of 700 at bats and then suddenly remembered how to hit the ball?

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