Dodger’s August Acquisitions Paying Dividends
By Scott Andes
Darwin Barney had a day on Tuesday. Didn’t see that one coming now did you? Who would have thought that Darwin Barney would be helping the Dodgers win ball games in August. I mean if you had gone to vegas and bet money that the Dodgers were going to acquire Darwin Barney and he was going to be a major factor for the Dodgers in August, people would have thought you needed to have your head examined. You would have made a lot of money though. But here we are. Welcome to the 2014 season everyone.
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Everyone cried and screamed when the Dodgers picked him up. He was the Dodgers only acquisition at the July 31st trade deadline. Darwin Barney!? Everyone yelled. What the hell? How could they not get David Price? People were out raged.
The Dodgers are smart. Ned Colletti is smart. I remember Kenny said something to me just a few days before he passed. He told me to trust Ned’s plan. Trust Ned’s plan I thought. Huh. Turns out he was right. Ned Colletti knows more than we do.
The three acquisitions the Dodgers made, Darwin Barney, Roberto Hernandez and Kevin Correia seem pretty smart now. At the time they didn’t. But what do we know? We’re not privy to all the information that the Dodger’s front office is.
People screamed for the Dodgers to pick up David Price. They had to, people said. The season relied on it. It was mandatory, or so people said. If the Dodgers didn’t get David Price then everything would be ruined. Ruined! The season would crumble. Someone would piss in your coffee, and birds would eat your genitals. They all screamed. We want Price they roared.
Well who’s laughing now? Look at the Tigers. Price certainly hasn’t helped them. At least so far. Now look at things. The Dodgers have two solid starting pitchers, and one of the best defensive second baseman in Baseball. They gave up nothing for them. They still have Julio Urias. They still have Joc Pederson. They still have Corey Seager. What a win for the Dodgers.
Hernandez and Correia have each pitched very well in their debut starts. Correia just won his first game as a Dodger while collecting two hits. People claimed they both sucked. Granted they haven’t put up great numbers over the last few years. Nobody is saying they are all-stars or anything. But for what the Dodgers gave up for them, it’s a huge get.
People forget that those guys were pitching in losing environments. Who wants to pitch in Philadelphia and Minnesota right now? It’s not fun. These guys are pumped up. They’re going from last place teams to a first place team with the best record in the National League. They’re super stoked to be out of those places. So naturally they’ll play better. Or pitch better.
Darwin Barney for the win!-Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
The Dodgers didn’t need to break the farm to acquire David Price. Especially because they still had like a 98.7 % chance of making the postseason. But people still wanted Price, and were willing to gut the farm to get him. All for a 1.3 % increase in playoff odds. No thanks.
Although to be fair, at the time it seemed like the Dodgers were in trouble. Dan Haren was stinking up a storm, and Josh Beckett had broken down. Chad Billingsley was not coming back. The Dodgers needed somebody. The Dodgers made the wise choice.
Look at it this way. The Dodgers are now 6 games up on the Giants in the NL West. They’re more than likely going to win the division. The way things are going they may end up clinching by labor day. Do you want Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, and Hyun-jin Ryu piling on the innings during those meaningless games in September? No you don’t. So the Dodgers have decided to go with a six man rotation. Hernandez and Correia are perfect to pitch those games. The Dodgers will need innings from those guys in order to rest everyone for the playoffs. It makes sense.
Then there is Darwin Barney. Who does this…..
Oh and this…….
Now that’s a great guy to have on the bench for the late innings. He’s one of the best defensive players in the National League. The Dodgers got him for a bag of peanuts and a coola-coo to be named later. Oh you don’t want him anymore Chicago? No problem, we’ll take him thank you very much.
Of course there’s always going to be the Shane Victorino’s and the Ryan Theriot’s. Not every player will work out. But man, this is working out better than anyone could have ever imagined.
Sure the Dodgers still have some problems. Chris Perez was a monumental failure. Haney is hurt, Carl Crawford looks like he’s 45 years old at the plate at times, and the Dodgers are like 0-42 when trailing after the seventh inning. Things aren’t perfect. But after another lousy April and May, the Dodgers are in a great position. The club is a season high 17 games above .500, with a six game lead in the division. This is a good club. There’s some concerns, but overall, Ned Colletti has built a good team.
I’m guilty of it too. How many times have I been frustrated and said the club stinks on twitter? But everyone was right. The odds makers, stat kids, prediction models. Whatever. They were all right. The Dodgers are probably going to win like 97 games. It’s unbelievably joyful.
Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
So let’s give Ned some credit. I still can’t believe how many people don’t like Colletti. I’m not saying every move he makes works out, but he’s built a great club. People still don’t give him enough credit. They say that Stan Kasten made the moves, or they bring up that stupid Carlos Santana trade. Or they whine about losing Rubby De La Rosa. Get over it. The Santana trade was like seven years ago. It’s over. Santana isn’t even that good anyways. Let’s give Ned a break here.
The Dodgers were smart this year not to make any major trades. They were smart not to go after David Price. They were sharp for picking up the guys they did. The Dodgers knew they didn’t need to reinvent the wheel. They just needed to add a couple of spares, and renew their AAA membership.
I don’t know if the Dodgers will win the World Series this year. There’s no guarantee that they will. But they’ll at least make the playoffs. They have a contending club for years to come. And not the crappy consolation wild card game either. I’m talking about straight into the division series. This is what we all wanted.
Stacie asked me when we can start looking at magic numbers. Soon enough. There’s another magic number of sorts. The Giant’s elimination number. That’s almost as magical as the Dodger’s magic number to clinch the division. In case you’re wondering, it’s 44 Stac. 44.
Ned has done a terrific job rebuilding and rebranding this club into a contender. Not just a contender, but the best club in the National League. It’s time to give old snake boots the credit he deserves. You done good, Ned, you done good.
Now let’s talk about that Hanley Ramirez extension…shall we?