Dodgers: Danny Duffy timeline makes trade extremely confusing
By Jerry Trotta
The Los Angeles Dodgers won the trade deadline the moment they acquired veteran ace Max Scherzer and star shortstop Trea Turner from the Washington Nationals.
While other contenders around MLB made excellent additions, the Dodgers adding two premier talents to their already-loaded roster swiftly ended the debate.
As expected, that deal is already paying dividends as the Dodgers look to catch the Giants for the division lead.
Unfortunately for Los Angeles, however, the club has yet to see any returns from its other deadline acquisition, veteran left-hander Danny Duffy.
The Dodgers made a laundry list of roster moves on Monday, with the two most significant coming in the form of transferring Duffy and Clayton Kershaw to the 60-day IL.
In other words, Duffy isn’t eligible to be activated until Sept. 15, which means he could end up being with LA for just two weeks if their season ends earlier than expected.
Danny Duffy’s delayed return sparks questions about the Dodgers’ decision to acquire him at the trade deadline.
At that point in the regular season, the Dodgers will only have 16 games left. For the sake of argument, let’s say they aren’t able to catch San Francisco in the NL West and are forced to take part in a winner-take-all Wild Card Game.
While Los Angeles is as equipped as any team in MLB to win a one-game playoff, they’ve underperformed this season and anything can happen in October. If they’re bounced that early, Duffy could end up making just two starts for the defending champs.
It’s not like the Dodgers gave up the farm to acquire Duffy, who’s 4-3 with a 2.51 ERA, 65 strikeouts and a 1.213 WHIP in 12 starts (60 innings) this year, but that doesn’t make the trade any less confounding. At the time, the starting rotation was in flux. Kershaw was on the IL and Trevor Bauer was on administrative leave and unlikely to pitch again this season anyway.
With Walker Buehler and Julio Urias as the only two healthy starters (before they acquired Scherzer), the Dodgers were asking Tony Gonsolin and David Price to pitch more innings than they’ve grown accustomed to. Not to mention, the bullpen was being overworked.
Wouldn’t it have made sense to pursue someone who was already, you know, healthy? The deal looks even worse after you remember Duffy spent over a month on the IL with the same injury (a hip flexor strain) earlier in the season. Seriously, what were the Dodgers thinking?
This could obviously change if the Dodgers make another deep run in the playoffs, and Duffy returns to play a key role in that. However, at this current point in time, this trade — even though LA didn’t make a huge investment in him — looks like a poor decision.
He’s an LA-area native. We wish we were seeing more of him. But there’s a lot to be skeptical of here.