Talk about an active last 24 hours….
1) Travis Schlichting sent down, Charlie Haeger recalled. No surprise here, as we all knew Schlichting was gone as soon as he completed throwing four shutout innings in relief against Arizona on Wednesday. With the extra-inning games depleting the bullpen in the midst of a long stretch without a day off, you had to get a fresh arm up, and having a guy like Haeger makes sense.
Steve Dilbeck still hates it, though:
Almost sounds like they’re going to throw Haeger out there one last time to prove he cannot get it done. Somebody needs more evidence.
Haeger is a stand-up, competitive guy who would be the first to tell you he has pitched miserably. But he’s essentially a trick ball pitcher whose knuckleball hasn’t been tricky.
His time, I think, is running out.
…or maybe his rehab stint was coming to a close, and the Dodgers were forced to activate him or lose him, which is basically what Joe Torre said in that exact same article:
“We activated Haeger more out of necessity than really wanting to at this point,” Torre said. “I would feel a lot better if I was a little surer of his physical well-being, but after [Wednesday’s] game we’re kind of up against it.”
If the Dodgers were trying to “prove he cannot get it done”, wouldn’t you have just DFA’d him and brought up Jon Link? I can’t defend Haeger’s performance thus far, but if his foot injury was really a thing, he deserves a shot as the long man to see if he’s any better, especially in this time of bullpen need.
2) Josh Lindblom moves from the rotation to the bullpen. Chad is going to be thrilled, and I agree with him; Lindblom probably only has the stuff to be a mediocre starter, but he could be a solid reliever. It’s interesting what’s become of the ABQ starting rotation, though. Look what’s happened to the top five from the beginning of the year: McDonald (injured), Ely (promoted), Elbert (still there, but wild), Towers (released), and Lindblom (bullpen). There’s a few good relievers still there, but probably not a lot of help for the starting rotation unless we start getting into Seth Etherton and Tim Corcoran territory.
3) Jeff Weaver and Casey Blake move from the game to the bench. Weaver came into the game but left without throwing a pitch, thanks to a blister. Blake was scratched with back spasms. Neither seems serious.
4) James Loney moves… in exactly the same direction as always. Last winter in the Maple Street Press Dodgers Annual, I wrote that Loney’s 2009 was a season that “only a math major could love”, since he had exactly the same amount of plate appearances (651), homers (13), RBI (90), and steals (7) as he did in 2008. What’s he on pace for in 2010? 12 homers and 96 RBI. He’s like clockwork – though he does somehow already have 7 stolen bases, and I doubt he’s really going to hit his projected total of 21.
5) Manny Ramirez is moving… in completely the wrong direction. Since he returned from the disabled list on May 8, he’s hitting .188/.288/.304, with four extra base hits in almost a month. It’s starting to become worrisome. Everyone loves to yell “steroids!”, of course, but he’s also 38 years old. He’s a huge part of why the Dodger offense is struggling right now.
Tonight, Clayton Kershaw goes against Kenshin Kawakami, who’s having a pretty average season. His ERA is 4.66, his WHIP is 1.321, neither of which are great, but not terrible either. Yet his record is somehow 0-7. Prediction: he goes 6.1 innings, allowing 2 hits and a run.