Friday, August 21, 2015
CHASE UTLEY... HUH?
The Dodgers bullpen—for lack of a better word—sucks. They rank in the bottom of virtually every pitching category in the National League. So when it came time to make a trade for a postseason run, the Boys in Blue got…a second baseman?
That’s right. The Dodgers trader two minor leaguers to acquire Chase Utley from the Phillies. Utley—who is probably stoked to get the hell out of Philadelphia—will rejoin his former teammate Jimmy Rollins and take over second base duties for an injured Howie Kendrick who is expected to be out for over a month healing an injured hamstring.
So why make the trade for Utley when pitching is currently the Dodgers Achilles heel? The six-time all-star will fill a much needed hole made by Kendrick’s absence and bring a veteran presence to the locker room. Though the 36-year old is only batting .217 this year, he’s been on a hitting tear as of late. Utley has batted over .300 in the last two weeks after returning to play from an ankle injury. If he can hold those numbers his production will be much welcome to a struggling Los Angeles team.
So yes, a middle infielder is not what LA needs, but it helps them fill an immediate hole. And after making a trade that involved three teams and 13 players at the deadline to score five pitchers—not to mention the exorbitant $269 million payroll—if the Dodgers can’t cobble together a workable bullpen, then they probably deserve to lose (probably to the Cardinals) in the postseason.
--Alexis Garcia, BYB's "Eye on MLB" Columnist
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