Free… Anyone Who’s Not Jason Schmidt!

schmidtvsbrewers.jpgYes, I’ve written this post before. (More than once.) No, I don’t enjoy dumping on someone who obviously worked his ass off to rehab and help the team, and who’s about to see their career end. But, come on – how long are we going to keep up this charade? If everyone’s big complaint is that 5-6 inning starts from Chad Billingsley and Clayton Kershaw are straining the bullpen, what about the guy who’s averaging just over 4 innings a start, and who hasn’t even made it out of the 4th inning in two of his four starts?

I know, “but MSTI – one of those four starts was a six inning outing in which he gave up just one hit and zero runs”, and that’s nice. But really, we’re going to look at that and think he was overpowering? Don’t forget what Chipper Jones said afterwards:

There’s just not that much difference between his changeup and his fastball right now.

Is that really engendering much confidence? There’s been about three pitchers in big league history who could win with an average fastball of 86 MPH and a changeup of 83 MPH, and Jason Schmidt’s not one of them. Here’s the most amazing stat, though: when Schmidt gets the ball in the strike zone, batters are making contact 91% of the time. When you can’t throw the ball over the plate because you know it’s going to get whacked, and you can’t get batters to chase your other stuff, how are you going to be successful? The answer is, of course, that you can’t.

Look, what this team needs from its lower-level starting pitchers right now is innings. At this point, I’d rather see our 5th starter go 8 innings allowing 4 runs than 5 shutout innings. There’s a whole lot of meaningless innings to swallow up between now and October, and we need someone who can take them. It’s not like there’s not other options; I detailed how great of an idea Charlie Haeger would be the other day, and we’ve been calling for Eric Stults – who’s only thrown a complete-game MLB shutout in each of the last two years! – all season.

The Jason Schmidt experiment needs to end. He’s not helping the team down the stretch; he’s not going to be on the playoff roster; and he’s not going to be a Dodger in 2010. So what exactly are we still doing with him?

Joe, are you listening?

Torre said that Schmidt is still scheduled to start again for the Dodgers when the fifth spot in the rotation comes up again next Monday. “He’s scheduled for Monday and we’ll go from there,” Torre said. “Last time was good. This time wasn’t as good as last time.”