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Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Shopping Binge for Pitching Continues...

The Dodgers officially signed right hand relief pitcher Matt Guerrier to a 3 year $12 million deal. Interestingly this is the longest contract given to a relief pitcher by the Dodgers since 1998 when they signed Jeff Shaw for 3 years and $15 million. Guerrier is a 32 year old who has been playing solely with the Minnesota Twins since 2004 when he debuted. Last season his record was 5-7 with a 3.17 ERA in 74 appearances. His career stats, in 393 games and 472 innings pitched with the Twins, record is 19-25, 5 saves, 3.38 ERA, and 310 Ks. He is mostly a 7th or 8th inning guy rather than a closer.

So our bullpen is beginning to be standing room only now with Broxton, Kuo, Jansen, Hawksworth, Padilla, Guerrier, Belisario, and don't forget Troncoso, Monasterios, Schlichting, Elbert, and Ely. No doubt the later half of those mentioned may be destined to wait in the wings in AAA. Belisario and Hawksworth are out of options, so trading one of them may be a possibility unless Broxton can be traded for something of value which may be doubtful. For now we have some much needed depth to the pen with the exception of a second lefty. Kuo's delicate arm may warrant a trade for another lefty. The spending binge by Colletti on pitching is obviously in response to the bullpen's meltdown of last season. After performing excellently in 2009, the bullpen plummeted to the bottom of the barrel in 2010. It was a year of memorable meltdowns including Broxton's denouement after saving the All-Star game to his remarkable implosion during the Yankees series. We won't know if Broxton's picked up the broken pieces until the start of the season. Then there was Belisario's mental breakdown. If he has battled his demons during the offseason perhaps we will get the Belisario of old who is often very effective.

The Dodgers might not have enough funds to sign Bill Hall or another left fielder. Colletti said he may just let Gibbons, Paul, Gwynn, Hoffmann, Oeltjen, and Robinson compete for platooning jobs. At least I don't see Pod's name in that bunch.

It looks like the offense, especially Kemp and Ethier, will have to step up and take the bull back by its horns so to speak. Although this pitching cast is quite capable of throwing shut-outs, we as fans can't take another season of 1-0 losses.

Stay tuned for more Dodgers news and Blue Bios!

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