Dodgers in Free-Fall

The Dodgers, i.e., the “Best Team Money Can Buy” as a team, are reeling, and their pitching staff is in shambles.

With today’s news that Chad Billingsley will be undergoing Tommy John surgery and will be unavailable for a minimum of one year, the depleted staff now includes guys who entered spring training as numbers eight and nine on the depth chart – Stephen Fife, who had five major league appearances to his name before this past week, and 37-year-old Ted Lilly, who has basically been injured since signing a three-year, $33 Million contract after the 2010 season, and who last pitched in a major league game May 23, 2012.

Save for Clayton Kershaw, little good can be said of the rest of the starting staff. The team saw fit to trade away veteran innings-eater Aaron Harang for a 37-year-old journeyman backup catcher who has been awful in the field and who has hit .091 since his

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arrival in LA, and the one healthy, veteran reserve, Chris Capuano, the guy who they were sure could step in if an emergency arose, managed just one start in place of the injured Zack Greinke before going on the disabled list himself.

The other two starters are $16 Million Josh Beckett, who is now 0-3 with a 4.68 ERA after his first four starts, and Hyun-Jin Ryu, who has pitched six innings per start over his first four major league appearances, giving up progressively more earned runs in each successive game, to a high of five against Baltimore.

The “Best Team Money Can Buy” is next to last among National League teams in home runs, runs scored, runs batted in, and slugging percentage, so it’s not exactly like they can get by by out hitting the opposition.

It might be time for the good people at Guggenheim to open the purse strings and go shopping for LA Dodgers‘ Roster: Take Two. What’s another one or two hundred million dollars in salaries among friends? Of course, the first move should be to rid the team of the empty uniform they have as manager.

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