Less Meat, More Proctology

Somewhat bad news: The Blue traded Wilson Betemit to New York for RP Scott Proctor, which is exactly what had been rumored for weeks – though nearly every report said the Dodgers had turned down a straight swap as being not enough.

Fantastically good news: Matt Kemp! James Loney! Clayton Kershaw! Andy LaRoche! Chin-Lung Hu! Tony Abreu! All remain Dodger property!

Back to the trade, I consider this ‘somewhat’ bad news because, well, Scott Proctor might not be very good, while I have advocated in this space before that Wilson Betemit is severely underrated. So since I don’t feel the need to re-state why Betemit should have gotten another chance, let’s look at Proctor – who I am pre-emptively dubbing “The Proctologist”.

Drafted originally by the Dodgers and made it as far as AAA Las Vegas (does that mean we can call him another “home-grown” player? Probably not. But I might anyway) before being shipped off to New York four years ago with Bubba Crosby for Robin Ventura. He made the bigs in 2004 and holy jebus was he bad his first two seasons: ERA’s of 5.40 and 6.04. How exactly did he keep getting chances? Somehow, last year he became one of the better relievers in the AL, putting up a 3.52 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP, all while being abused by Joe Torre to the tune of 89 appearances and 102.1 IP. He’s regressed a little, with his WHIP up to 1.51, though again – Joe Torre treats him like Ike treated Tina. So the hope has to be, leaving the AL East and Torre’s twisted manipulations can only help him.

I suppose if the bottom line is, “did this trade help the team”, then I would have to say yes. Unless Proctor’s a total disaster, he improves the pen, inasmuch as he fulfills the qualities of “Not being Houlton or Hull” and much as I liked Meat, LaRoche is a better prospect at 3B. Just a little disappointed that this was all that could be gotten for Meat, is all.

So what’s the upshot here? Proctor goes into the pen and becomes, I would assume, part of the setup mix with Joe Beimel. That’d leave the club with one too many pitchers, though, so someone’s got to go. And if there’s any justice in this world, it’s going to be the corpse of Roberto Hernandez, though it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if it’s Eric Hull instead. Delwyn Young has been called up to fill Betemit’s spot for the moment, until Proctor arrives, but I’d be surprised if he sticks, since LA already has enough problems finding outfield playing time.

No, I’ll tell you what needs to happen.

Andy LaRoche needs to come back to LA. And he needs to be given a shot to steal Nomar’s job. Because he is killing the ball in Vegas. A .599 SLG + .400 OBP for an .999 OPS? Er. Yes please.

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