So no one’s happy with the pitching acquisitions the Dodgers made at the deadline, understandably:
The four pitchers the Dodgers acquired at the trade deadline have now allowed 35 runs in 34 1/3 innings. It’s been unfathomably disastrous.
— Pedro Moura (@pedromoura) August 14, 2015
Now obviously a ton of that has been due to the struggles of Jim Johnson (who quietly threw a scoreless inning last night), but the rotation was supposed to get a sudden boost, and that hasn’t happened. Already, I’m getting texts and tweets about wanting to get Mike Bolsinger back, or that the team made the wrong acquisitions. Let’s look at the prominent starters moved at the deadline:
|David Price||Blue Jays||2||15||32%||9%||23%||0.60||.156||44%||0.60||2.57||3.12|
The first thing that should jump out at you is that we’re talking about a dozen or so innings in most cases, and that’s a laughably low number to do any sort of real analysis on. You just can’t. I mean, look at Kazmir. He’s struck out fewer than Wood, walked more than Wood, allowed far more homers than Wood… and his ERA is more than three runs per nine lower. The gap between his ERA and FIP is hilarious. In samples this small, “good” and “effective” are hardly the same thing.
Leake is on the disabled list with a bad hamstring; Hamels missed a start with a sore groin and hasn’t been that great himself. Price has undeniably been a superstar, though that .156 BABIP isn’t going to persist. Latos’ low strikeout percentage is concerning, though he at least whiffed 7 in 4.2 innings last night. You’ll note that the two Dodgers have the highest grounder rate, which is not by accident.
I’m not really sure what my point is here, I guess. Maybe it’s “we can’t possibly draw conclusions based on two or three starts,” which is true. Maybe it’s “there’s no denying that Price would look great, but what if it had been Hamels?” Maybe it’s “none of this would seem troublesome if the offense or bullpen were excelling,” or “what, you’d prefer Zach Lee or Brandon Beachy making regular starts?”
But, you know, it is mid-August. It’s hard to take the long view when the Giants are only 2.5 games back, and when the surges of the Mets, Pirates, and Cubs mean that the wild card probably isn’t there as a viable backup plan if the division isn’t won. I get that there’s a time where intelligent on-paper moves take a back seat to actually winning games, today.
I get the frustration, anyway. Hasn’t worked out so far. Needs to work out soon. Doesn’t mean other, more expensive alternatives were guaranteed successes, though.