Seriously Joe Blanton? SERIOUSLY?

Over the last several seasons, the LA Dodgers have employed some of baseball’s greatest pitchers, and some of its worst. At one extreme, they’ve had as their ace Clayton Kershaw and other front line starters such as Zack Greinke, Josh Beckett, Hiroki Kuroda and Chad Billingsley, while at the other end of the spectrum, they’ve also handed the ball to some of the absolute worst excuses for major league pitchers, including the likes of Kevin Correia
and Joe Blanton.

Following the disappointing 2015 post season, Dodgers' management knew that the primary, secondary, and tertiary needs of the team all revolved around pitching, with major holes to fill in both the starting rotation and in the bullpen. As the start of spring training looms less than a month from now, some of those
needs have yet to be addressed, and others have now been addressed in a manner that defies belief and any measure of logic.

While the Dodgers, and rightly so, refused to pay outrageous sums of money over way too many years to acquire free agent starters such as David Price, Johnny Cueto and their own Zack Greinke, and while they also, and again righty so, have refused (as least so far) to trade the franchise’s best young players and prospects for Jose Fernandez or other young, talented, but highly suspect pitchers, they did early on make some okay but not great signings, adding Scott Kazmir and Kenta Maeda, and then trading for another outstanding prospect in Frankie Montas, though also having had second thoughts about and cutting loose their best signing, Hisashi Iwakuma.

The disaster of a bullpen has, however, not at all been properly addressed, other than with the ill-advised, ill-fated and undone trade for just what they DID NOT NEED, closer Aroldis Chapman, and the re-signing of such run-of-the-mill, unreliable, in-and-out, oft-injured names such as Chris Hatcher and Luis Avilan. They did improve the staff by

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not re-signing Juan Nicasio, letting him go away as a free agent.

But then, there is the most recent transaction, that defies all reason and logic. While there is no question that the worst pitcher ever to take the mound for the Los Angeles Dodgers was Kevin Correia (2-4, 8.03 ERA, 1.70 WHIP), there have been few others more horrid than Joe Blanton, and the team has now chosen to bring him back. In 2012, Blanton spent a few painful weeks with
the team, and while his stats were not Correia-bad (2-4, 4.99 ERA, 1.42 WHIP), he was given the ball to start some important games, and was a disaster over and over. And after the Dodgers released him, he some how found a home the next season with the Angels, where he completed one of the worst seasons in the history of major league baseball, with a 2-14 won-lost record, a 6.04 ERA and a WHIP of 1.61 over 28 appearances including 20 starts.

Blanton did not pitch in the majors the next year, 2014, but came back last year with Kansas City and then Pittsburgh, and actually pitched reasonably well out of the bullpen over a total of 76 innings. Will that continue this coming season with him, presumably, pitching in relief for the Dodgers? NO WAY. What could they be thinking?

This is another DISASTER waiting to happen. Period.

Say it ain’t so, Joe, say it ain’t so!

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