MLB: New look Dodgers should see significant improvement offensively
The Los Angeles Dodgers continued their very active week by acquiring hard throwing reliever Brandon League for prospects Monday night, and then obtaining outfielder Shane Victorino from the Philadelphia Phillies for reliever Josh Lindblom and former first round pick pitcher Ethan Martin on Tuesday morning.
This comes after last week’s trade that saw the Dodgers acquire third baseman/shortstop Hanley Ramirez and lefty reliever Randy Choate from the Miami Marlins.
Now the Dodgers did not obtain starter Ryan Dempster from the Chicago Cubs like many expected as he was swooped up at the last minute by the Texas Rangers. That being said, the Dodgers stuck to their word and did not trade any of their top pitching prospects for a rental player. The Dodgers will continue searching for starting pitching in August depending on what pitchers are put through waivers and become available for trade. In the meantime they do have left handed starter Ted Lilly going through his rehab starts along with talented youngster Rubby De La Rosa, which should provide a nice boost to the rotation and pitching staff in general.
With the acquisition of Victorino, the Dodgers now have a speedy lead-off man that will allow the new look middle of the order of Matt Kemp, Andre Either and Ramirez to have more opportunities with a man or men on base. The Dodgers lineup was a huge weakness early on in the season despite the clubs early success. Sure they battled injuries to both Kemp and Either, as well as second baseman Mark Ellis, but even with all three players in the lineup there were still far to many holes. Now this lineup is strong 1-5 and if James Loney can even slightly improve that should be a big help in the 6 spot. While everyday shortstop Dee Gordon is out due to injury, Luis Cruz has provided a solid bat and should be slated to normally bat 7th, while catcher AJ Ellis is where he should be in the 8 spot. Ellis has had a nice season, but due to injuries and lack of depth he has seen himself much higher in the lineup at times earlier in the season. The 8 spot is where he should be, and he is solid there as a high OBP guy.
The NL West is turning into a fantastic race between the Dodgers, San Francisco Giants and Arizona Diamondbacks. At least on paper, it appears the Dodgers with their flurry of trades as well as recent and continued health, should be in good shape heading into the stretch run.