We’re getting later into the season and the trade deadline fury will be upon us sooner than we think. The pitching market is already starting to develop and as you would have thought the Dodgers will likely be major players in such potential dealing. Don’t get me wrong here, the Dodgers have the best pitching staff in baseball. I still believe they need a starter more than a reliever, but they’ll probably be ok.
Of course as you well know by now the Dodgers have a bunch of injury riddled starters that are unable to stay healthy for long periods of time. The front office still feels they have enough starting rotation depth between Brandon McCarthy, Alex Wood, Rich Hill Kenta Maeda, Hyun-jin Ryu, and Julio Urias. They also have Ross Stripling as a potential spot starter even though he’s been fantastic as a swingman in the Dodger’s fantastic bullpen.
And fantastic the Dodger’s bullpen has certainly been. They rank third in MLB in ERA and are currently in the midst of a 21.2 scoreless innings streak. The bullpen has been dominating and it stands to reason if the Dodgers rally could use another reliever.
But reportedly the Dodgers feel differently. They believe that they could use another reliever, preferably a left hander more than another starter. So the Dodgers are probably going to be shopping for another southpaw reliever for added bullpen depth.
It might actually make sense. As of right now Luis Avilan is still on the disabled list as is Grant Dayton. Right now Adam Liberatore is the only left handed hurler in the Dodger bullpen and he’s battled various injuries this season as well.
One potential target for the Dodgers is San Diego lefty Brad Hand. The 27-year old relieve is having a terrific season for the Padres. In 29.2 innings pitched he’s posted a 1.82 ERA and struck out 11.9 per nine innings pitched. Hand has limited left handed hitters to just a .133 batting average against.
Hand appeared in a MLB leading 82 games for the Padres last season and posted a 2.92 ERA in 89.1 innings pitched. He struck out 111 last year while walking 36. Hand primarily throws a heavy four-seamer, slider, and sinker. He would fit in pretty well with this current crop of Dodger relievers. Perhaps he can provide some effective eighth inning duties.
He’s signed through 2017 for the Padres and earning just 1.38 million dollars this season. Since he is a free agent next winter it seems unlikely the sad sack Padres would resign him. He’ll probably want a big payday. One would think that the Dodgers should be able to con the awful Padres into flipping him to Los Angeles. You know we have a guy named Scott Van Slyke who is super available!
It’s not like the Dodgers really need much help in this category. The Dodger bullpen is holding left handed hitters to a .245 batting average against and have posted a 3.56 ERA. They rank tied for seventh overall against left handers.
Let the trade speculations begin!