Please Don’t Take My Sunshine Away…

Well, first off, the big news… 

Jason Schmidt in 2008: 

87toppsjasonschmidt.jpgAnd on the third season, he rose again… 

SchmidtOfTheDead2.jpgApologies for the crap Photoshop job.  Nonetheless, yes, folks, you heard right: as MSTI called, for the first time since June 16th, 2007, Jason Schmidt, the man who left his arm in San Francisco, will be starting a game on Monday night against the Reds.  It’s so unexpected that even Baseball Reference will have to change their information.  Look at this

SchmidtBaseballReference2.pngWhile amusing, I can’t say I blame the good people at Baseball Reference for putting in his “final game.”  I, like most of us, probably figured we wouldn’t see Schmidt back again at all, but he has clawed his way back and I tip my hat off to him for busting his tail off for the past two years trying to get back to this point.  In case you haven’t been following it, he has started 7 games this year in the minor leagues, two for the Inland Empire 66ers and the other 5 for the Albuquerque Isotopes.  During his 5 starts in Albuquerque, he went 2-0 with a 4.18 ERA and 1.30 WHIP, walking 7 and striking out 25, while having a K/9 rate of 7.  Nothing too bad, nothing too good, but at least his arm isn’t behind home plate.  That has to count for something… right? 

Either way, while I’m happy just to see him on any mound, much less the one in L.A., it’s nothing to get too excited for.  If he can be just competent, I’ll be thankful, and anything else is essentially gravy.  But it would be quite nice if he could provide a bit of stability in the 5 spot, though time will tell… 

On the other hand, let’s talk about someone who IS helping the team and in big ways: Clayton Kershaw. 

Kershaw71809.jpgIn case you missed tonight’s game, Kershaw was awfully good (again), going 7 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 1 BB, and 5 K’s, to win his 8th game of the season and his 5th straight decision overall, and now 8-5 on the year.  While it has generally been common to designate Billingsley the ace of the staff, over the past month or two, your ace has been Kershaw.  In his last 42.2 innings, which goes back to his start June 16th against Oakland, Kershaw has only given up 3 ER’s, moving his ERA from 4.13 to 2.95 after tonight.  He has been absolutely on fire lately and continues to mature and grow.  On a side note, I’d definitely like to amend the grade I gave him in my first half review to a solid A.  He’s been pitching at a very high level for a bit longer than I thought and props to him.  All the more reason to bring this up… 

According to Ken Rosenthal, he reports that Torre has made it clear that he wants Halladay, while Toronto has said that any deal would have to involve Kershaw.  Can’t say I blame Toronto for trying, but in case you weren’t convinced before as to why trading Kershaw even straight up for Roy Halladay would be a bad idea, then this should do the trick:  

Halladay 2009: 10-3, 2.85 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 17 BB, 106 K, 7.76 K/9 ratio, 151 ERA+. 

Kershaw 2009: 8-5, 2.95 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 60 BB, 104 K, 8.78 K/9 ratio, 132 ERA+ (the ERA+ isn’t counting tonight, though if my math is right, Kershaw’s ERA+ probably jumped to around 146 after tonight’s performance)…   

Is this to say that Kershaw is as good as Halladay?  No, but if you’re putting up even semi-comparable numbers to Halladay, then you should think long and hard on whether you want to deal the pitcher, especially when it will likely cost you some additional prospects.  On the other hand, if the pitcher who is doing this is barely 21 years old and still can’t grow out a beard, then the GM who would even contemplate trading Kershaw should be checked into the nearest mental institution.  Not to say that Ned is thinking that either, but the point is: while I’d love Halladay in a Dodger uniform, if the price is Kershaw, then forget it.  Trading Kershaw would be a horrendously bad idea; think Pedro trade bad.  Think MC Hammer wanting to buy another Kentucky Derby race horse bad.  He’s too good and the amount of growth he has shown in just a year in the big leagues has been phenomenal. 

So, the Dodgers finish off the series with Houston tomorrow against the corpse of Russ Ortiz.  Let’s split this thing, shall we? 

- Vin vinscully-face.jpg