Los Angeles Dodgers: 5 Pitchers LA Should Target If Chad Billingsley Is Done
It's clear with the Los Angeles Dodgers' new ownership—they aren't afraid to spend like the big-market team they are.
Still in the hunt for the postseason, the Dodgers have made big moves by acquiring the likes of Hanley Ramirez, Shane Victorino, Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Joe Blanton and Carl Crawford.
Magic Johnson and the Dodgers ownership may look to make more moves, as pitcher Chad Billingsley was put on the 15-day disabled list.
The Los Angeles Times recently reported that Dodgers management fears that Billingsley may be shut down for the season due to inflammation in his right elbow.
MLB rules state that players acquired after August 31 are ineligible for the postseason roster unless they replace an injured player.
Billingsley (10-9) has been stellar for the Dodgers as of late, as he has not given up more than one run in his past three starts.
As Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti looks to make some upgrades in case BIllingsley is shut down, here are five pitchers he should target that can help the boys in blue make a late run into the postseason.
1. Shawn Marcum
Recently placed on waivers, Marcum would be an interesting acquisition for the Dodgers.
Marcum, who was placed on the 60-day disabled list earlier in the season, returned on August 25 to pitch against the Pirates. He currently has a 5-4 record this season.
Pitching for the first time since June, Marcum had a solid outing as he did not allow an earned run in five innings, but two errors aided a four-run inning for the Pirates. He also struck out five in his return.
Marcum has a career record of 55-36, and has an ERA of 3.35 this season. He could be a prospective number-two or number-three pitcher in this rotation, and could be effective for the Dodgers.
It's obvious the Dodgers are in it to win it, and are still looking for help in their rotation for a late postseason push.
A veteran with three postseason starts under his belt, Marcum could certainly help them get there.
2. Mark Buehrle
Earlier last week, ESPN's Buster Olney reported on Twitter that Buehrle could be a target for the Dodgers.
The big spenders the Dodgers have become, Olney speculates that the Dodgers would be willing to take on the fat contract (four-year, $58 million) he signed this offseason.
Buehrle is a command pitcher, relying more on finesse and accuracy than velocity. He is efficient as he can keep the pitch count low by inducing a lot of ground and fly outs.
Although he has only posted a 12-12 record thus far into the season, he has been better of late, going 3-1 in his last four starts.
However, Buehrle is 33, and he starts making the most money as he enters the steep decline phase of the aging curve.
A career 173-130 pitcher, he still may have enough in the tank to help the Dodgers get to the postseason and make a run.
Six career postseason appearances, including the 2005 World Series victory with the White Sox, he certainly has the experience to help the Dodgers make a playoff push and chase his second World Series championship.
A no-hitter and a perfect game in his resume don't hurt either.
3. Roy Oswalt
As troubling as his 5.94 ERA may look, Oswalt would be a solid pickup for the Dodgers' postseason race. Adding Oswalt would be an immediate upgrade to the Dodgers' pitching staff.
We all know what Oswalt is capable of, and his resume speaks for itself. A career 163-95 pitcher, he has finished in the top 10 of Cy Young voting six times in his career.
With a team like the Dodgers, who have shown that they are all in to make a deep playoff push, why not add another veteran piece in Oswalt to bolster the rotation?
His experience may be vital for the Dodgers down the stretch as well, as he has appeared in 13 playoff games, and has a career 5-2 record in the postseason.
A move to a new ballpark may just help Oswalt, as we all know that the Rangers' ballpark is a hitter's park.
Dodger Stadium, however, is known as a pitcher's ballpark due to the surrounding air that cools quickly, becoming more dense. This allows for less home runs, and keeps the ball in the park.
4. Daisuke Matsuzaka
Buster Olney reported on his Twitter that the Red Sox placed Daisuke Matsuzaka on waivers early last week.
The Dodgers, who have already made a mega deal with the Boston Red Sox, have already taken on more than a quarter of a billion dollars in salary. With Billingsley sidelined with an ailing elbow, the Dodgers may just go after another high-priced Red Sox starter.
Matsuzaka may be the biggest gamble out of all the other pitchers listed, but may reap high rewards for a team in contention.
Injury has slowed down the Japanese pitcher since his magical 2008 season. Having Tommy John surgery last May in hopes of resurrecting his career and hitting the DL with a back strain last month, Dice-K hasn't pitched in his past two seasons.
Matsuzaka was recently pulled off the DL and made his first start last Thursday for the first time since early July.
He looked solid, going seven innings strong with one unearned run, six strikeouts and two walks.
Dice-K is 6-1 in the postseason, and if he can regain form and stay healthy, he may be worth a gamble for the Dodgers
5. Jason Vargas
With what seems like the Mariners looking to re-sign Vargas, the Dodgers may need to give up a lot to get him.
Posting a 13-9 record thus far, Vargas has a 5.69 K/9 and a K/BB of 2.47. Opponents are also batting .246 against him this season in 184.2 innings pitched.
Vargas also averages about 6 2/3 innings per start, which may be an enticing element to his game.
However, Vargas does struggle on the road, as he has given up 25 homers over 17 road starts, but only six in 11 home games.
He may be a middle-of-the-rotation or back-end pitcher whom the Dodgers should really not use a top prospect on.
Overall, Vargas is a solid pitcher whom the Dodgers could take a look at, but should not chase heavily unless desperate.
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