The Dodgers continued “raiding” the Phillies roster when they obtained Philadelphia starting pitcher Joe Blanton in exchange for the proverbial “player to be named later.” Getting Blanton marks the second time this week the Dodgers took part in what has become a somewhat surprising roster dump by the Phillies. The Dodgers obtained Philadelphia outfielder Shane Victorino a few days ago.
Blanton (8-9, 4.59 ERA) fills out a Dodgers rotation that has been beset by injuries and inconsistency. Starter Ted Lilly, who started the season 5-1, has been on the DL since the end of May with shoulder inflammation. Chris Capuano was 9-2 on June 23rd but has seemingly lost it and is 1-5 in his last seven starts. And Chad Billingsley has been plagued by both inconsistency and injury. He fell to 4-9 on July 7th and ended up on the 15 day DL with elbow inflammation. Billingsley was in danger of losing his spot in the rotation if and when the Dodgers acquired another starter. But since returning from the DL on July 23rd, Billingsley is 2-0 and has given up just one run in his last 13.1 innings.
Blanton’s arrival probably means young prospect Stephen Fife will move out of the rotation. Fife, called up from Triple A on July 17th , filled in admirably as an “emergency starter.” In three starts totaling 16.2 innings, he gave up just four runs and ten hits.
As recently as June 26th, the Dodgers had the most wins in the National League ( 43). But they have gone a mediocre 13-18 since. It appears team president Stan Kasten has decided the first three months of the season were an aberration and the chances of the Dodgers returning to their early season form were slim. Okay, so maybe the acquisitions of Hanley Ramirez, Victorino, and now Blanton doesn’t make it look like Kasten is rebuilding the ’27 Yankees here. But he is sending signals this new ownership group is looking to make good on their promise to turn things around quickly.
Interesting, the last team anyone expected to be throwing away players this year was the Phillies. Just like Chevrolet, something is running deep in the land of the cheesesteak; and I don’t mean that in a good way.
Home Cooking sucks
And speaking of food, the Dodgers apparently lost their taste for home cooking. The Dodgers began the 50th anniversary of Dodger Stadium in style. Through Memorial Day, they were a terrific 21-5 at home. Since then, they have gone 8-18, including losing seven of their last nine home games to teams with a combined winning percentage of .457.