Dodgers Starters in the News

As pitchers and catchers paid by the Guggenheim Baseball Management people to perform their chores in the uniform of the best team money can buy, aka the Los Angeles Dodgers, have found their way to the desperate state of Arizona for spring training, some of those pitchers are already making news.

First, as to the politically incorrect $215 million dollar man Clayton Kershaw, he has said publicly what is sure to be on the minds of the majority of the true professionals who wear that Dodgers’ uniform: While Australia is a fine country with lots of great stuff to see, from rampaging kangaroos to the Sydney Opera House, and it would be a an excellent destination to visit, such a visit should be done during the offseason, not as the first stop of a 162-game long, long season. Traveling half-way around the world to play two games, and



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then to travel back and endure a full week of no games while trying to regain that fine edge that spring training is intended to hone, is a horrible error, designed primarily to further enrich the billionaires that own and operate major league baseball.

Next, Josh Beckett says he will be ready at the start of the season to take a regular spot in the Dodgers’ rotation. Beckett, who came to the Dodgers in the 2012 blockbuster trade that also brought Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford to the team, is 2-8 as a member of the Dodgers, appearing in all of 15 games in almost a season-and-a-half. He was 130-92

pre-Dodgers, and a healthy, 33-year-old Beckett in the number five rotation slot could be a monumental boost to the team’s 2014 aspirations.

I’ve talked quite a bit about the lack of depth in the starting rotation, with Beckett, Chad Billingsley, and Stephen Fife all questionable coming off major injuries. So questionable, in fact, that the team was said to have made a major run at signing any of a number of free agent starters for that fifth spot, at least for the beginning of the season. Losing out on Bronson Arroyo, the team did ultimately sign veteran lefty Paul Maholm.

The journeyman Maholm has taken his regular turn virtually every fifth day for almost a full decade now, and while last year’s 10-11, 4.41 did not stack up to his career best 2012 (13-11, 3.67, split between Toronto and the Cubs), he is the anthesis of the likes of Beckett when it comes to taking the ball and taking the mound. But, here is the rub: There are only five spots in the rotation
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and the first four are sort of, well, taken. So, if Beckett is healthy and secures the spot, that will make Maholm a relief pitcher for the first time in his career. Maholm’s response, according to the LA Times, was that if he pitches well, “things will work out”. That seems to mean that he expects that when he does pitch well this spring, he will receive that fifth spot he expects to earn.

Is trouble brewing? It is a law etched in stone that you NEVER can have too much pitching, but there could be a real logjam approaching, especially once Billingsley is able to return to duty. But sorting all this out is why the Dodgers are paying the empty uniform non manager don mattingly all those millions and millions of dollars to non-manage.

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