Dodgers, Angels Each Take Hit to Starting Staff After Trade Deadline

As I wrote earlier, I was very glad that the Dodgers did not give away either Matt Kemp or any of their three top prospects for a starting pitcher, and the Angels had filled their only true need, extensive help in the bullpen, with three separate deals leading up to the deadline. But then, after the deadline passed, each team suffered an injury that could be significant as the teams march towards the playoffs.

With C.J. Wilson off the disabled list and starting today, the Angels appeared to be back to full strength with six capable starters, including a vastly improved Hector Santiago, in the bullpen for now. But then Thursday evening Tyler Skaggs had to exit in the fifth inning, with tightness in his forearm. That stiffness now, following an MRI, has been diagnosed as

a flexor tendon strain. The MRI showed no tear, and none in his ulnar collateral ligament, so Skaggs says he expects to be back pitching before the end of the season.

But, with no Skaggs for now, and into at least some part of the next several weeks they need to go out looking for an additional serviceable starter, as three Angels' starters have spent time on the DL this season, and with two full
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months to go, the team will certainly need a sixth starter again at some point.

As to the Dodgers, while they have as great a top-three combo of starters as any team, anywhere, including in Detroit, with Dan Haren’s demise and with Josh Beckett slow to return to form following his DL stint, the team’s only viable replacement or sixth starter on the roster was Paul Maholm, who has been generally pitching well of late, primarily in relief and with the occasional spot start. Well, pitching in relief last night, after Haren had

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yet another poor outing, Maholm had to leave the game after injuring his right knee while covering first. He has now been diagnosed with a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), and will certainly hit the DL himself, and it would be a major surprise if he were not done for the year.

It seems more than likely that a starter will be acquired through a waiver deal, as Haren does not have much rope left, and there is little to chose from in the minors. Former top prospect Zack Lee (6-10, 5.22) is struggling at AAA, as is every other young starter in the Albuquerque rotation. Stephen Fife. up and down with the Dodgers several times over the last couple of years and coming back from his own injury, is 2-2, but his other numbers – 7.11 ERA and 1.83 WHIP – are horrendous. They could reach down to Double-A Chattanooga where no starter has a decent won-lost record, but where 24-year-old lefty

Chris Reed (4-8) has done ok, with 113 strikeouts in 130 innings and a 3.32 ERA that ranks him second in the league among qualifiers.

Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com today listed a group of starters who he thinks could be had by any of a number of teams still looking for pitching help. Cole Hamels tops the list, but his next

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listed starter is the major leagues’ number one headhunter, former trojan brain surgeon and all-around piece-of-shit, ian kennedy, and I’d be totally pissed to see either team consider him. Of course with his history of attempting to seriously injure several Dodgers over the past couple of years, I don’t see how Ned Colletti could ever consider him, but who knows what is in the mind of Jerry Dipoto. The guy the Angels might have their eye on is the resurrected former Angels’ star, Bartolo Colon, who Heyman has further down on his list. At 41, Colon is pitching pretty well (10-8, 3.88), but the $11 million he is owed for next season could be a deal-breaker.

Ya never know when a key injury will wipe out an otherwise good plan. Just ask the Indiana Pacers.

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