Friday, June 27, 2008

Joe Torre All About Problem Solving

Normally when you have a starting rotation plagued by incompetence, inconsistency, and obesity, you make a move.  Perhaps a trade.  Maybe cut someone and give a reliever a chance.  Any kind of change that involves removing someone.

The Dodgers Joe Torre has different plans:  he'll be adding a 29-year old with 3 major league wins to his rotation and demoting nobody.  That's right!  A 6-man rotation in LA.  Eric Stults will join Derek Lowe, Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, Chan Ho Park, and Hiroki Kuroda when Kuroda comes off the DL next week.  

Stults pitched a masterful complete game shutout Wednesday night, but that is hardly a reason to take an arm out of the bullpen, change the routine of the rest of the rotation, and take starts away from guys like Lowe and Billingsley?  We'll see how this works out the first time Stults doesn't make it out of the 4th inning.

Stults made several spot starts in 2007, some of them good, but also pitched very poorly at times, finishing the season with an ERA of 5.82.  He very well could take hold of the 5th spot for the rest of the year, but why not send Park back to the bullpen, or Brad Penny to fat camp? Torre is acting like his hands are tied because the current rotation is just too good to remove anyone.  He's absolutely wrong.