I’m not entirely sure I remember writing this on Twitter late last night/files/includes/,.css but apparently I did:
I could have sworn I just saw dodgers.com say Claudio Vargas may be the 5th starter soon. Clearly/files/includes/,.css I have alcohol poisoning.
Well/files/includes/,.css at least it was legible and without typos. And apparently it’s true:
Vargas could take over fifth-starter role
BOSTON — The Dodgers’ fifth-starter shell game has a new/old name in play: Claudio Vargas.
In his first start for Triple-A Albuquerque on Thursday night/files/includes/,.css the right-hander allowed one run on a solo home run in three innings/files/includes/,.css with four strikeouts and no walks.
Vargas was signed earlier in the week/files/includes/,.css two weeks after being cut loose by Milwaukee/files/includes/,.css where he had a 7.32 ERA in 17 relief appearances. The three innings was his longest outing of the year/files/includes/,.css an indication the Dodgers will try to stretch him out and make him a starter again.
I think the only indication here is that the rotation is in serious trouble/files/includes/,.css hurt by the injury to Chad Billingsley and the poor outings of John Ely and Carlos Monasterios – and that’s without having any idea how Vicente Padilla will do in his return today. I guess I don’t really understand why people are all that surprised Monasterios struggled last night; he’s a Rule 5 pick who’s striking out just 4.1/9. The fact that he’s been able to stick in the big leagues without completely embarrassing himself/files/includes/,.css and with some small successes/files/includes/,.css is remarkable in itself. It says far more about the Dodgers that he’s been asked to start so much than it does about him.
As for Vargas/files/includes/,.css well/files/includes/,.css why not? I actually was sad to see him go last season/files/includes/,.css mostly because the trade made no sense at all. It’s not like he’d come up until he shows he can get hitters out at AAA/files/includes/,.css so that’s at least a few more turns of the rotation.
Really/files/includes/,.css I think people are looking at the problem here in the wrong way. The issue isn’t really whether guys like Ely/files/includes/,.css Vargas/files/includes/,.css or Monasterios can pitch like All-Stars. They’re your #5 starter/files/includes/,.css and there’s plenty of teams in the bigs who have even larger issues at the back of the rotation. No/files/includes/,.css the problem is having more than one of them in the rotation at the same time. Now/files/includes/,.css part of that will be helped when Billingsley returns/files/includes/,.css hopefully as soon as his 15 days are up. But if and until Padilla proves himself… well/files/includes/,.css everyone seems to want the Dodgers to get a Cliff Lee or a Roy Oswalt. I’m not going to go through the reasons again why they’re so unlikely; we’ve been through that. But even if the Dodgers were able to get one of those guys/files/includes/,.css it likely wouldn’t be for another month. Maybe what they ought to be doing is getting a lesser veteran who wouldn’t cost as much – sort of like Jon Garland last year – right now/files/includes/,.css just to solidify things.
And no/files/includes/,.css I’m not talking about Pedro Martinez. I want someone who’s actually pitched this year. I’m talking more along the lines of (and I’m just tossing names out without really looking into salary concerns or doing a ton of research) Kevin Millwood or Jake Westbrook. They’re certainly not the piece that’ll push you to a championship/files/includes/,.css but they may be the stabilizing force in the middle of the rotation that will keep things from imploding until Billinglsey is healthy and you can work on getting a top starter.
(Although if you really want a good laugh/files/includes/,.css go read some of the jokers on the Dodger Facebook page/files/includes/,.css replying to the Vargas story. I’m not sure how some of these people managed to even turn their computer on; I particularly like the suggestion that the Dodgers should trade Vargas to Florida for Josh Johnson.)
Of course/files/includes/,.css Tony Jackson has the perfect last word on the situation:
Even when he is ready to go/files/includes/,.css well/files/includes/,.css he is still going to be Claudio Vargas.
Yep. He sure is.
Ramon Troncoso got rocked/files/includes/,.css again. Travis Schlichting was effective/files/includes/,.css again. Whether you think Troncoso’s problems are that Torre ran him into the ground/files/includes/,.css that he was never that good in the first place/files/includes/,.css or both/files/includes/,.css there’s a roster move to be made today to activate Padilla/files/includes/,.css and it makes no sense to keep Troncoso over Schlichting. I’m not saying you demote Troncoso/files/includes/,.css but at least come up with an injury to get him some time off and away from the mound.
Before any of the real reporters could approach him/files/includes/,.css a phony one did. Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp/files/includes/,.css holding his blue batting-practice bat like a microphone/files/includes/,.css immediately stuck it into Ramirez’s face and said/files/includes/,.css “How does it feel to be back in Boston?”
Ramirez gave Kemp about as much time as he was going to give anyone. After Kemp returned to the other side of the clubhouse/files/includes/,.css which was about seven feet away/files/includes/,.css he yelled at the assembled media/files/includes/,.css “Manny smells good today. If y’all get close enough/files/includes/,.css you can smell him.”
When Ramirez stepped out of the cage after taking his first allotment of hacks/files/includes/,.css he received another loud cheer. Kemp/files/includes/,.css who had followed Ramirez into the cage/files/includes/,.css who had his right back pocket hanging out of his uniform pants and who/files/includes/,.css like Ramirez/files/includes/,.css was helmetless/files/includes/,.css stopped after one swing and turned to wave an acknowledgement to the crowd/files/includes/,.css feigning as if he thought the ovation was for him.
No complaints about immaturity/files/includes/,.css old people. That’s good clean fun.
Yes/files/includes/,.css I saw that Garret Anderson hit a homer last night/files/includes/,.css and yes/files/includes/,.css it is making me reconsider the DFA-o-meter on the right sidebar/files/includes/,.css though not for the reasons you’d think. I still think he’s awful and want him to get cut/files/includes/,.css but since I don’t think the team will ever actually do it/files/includes/,.css I’m not sure I feel like updating it for the entire season.