On the deadline day before the 40 man rosters could be used throughout Major League Baseball for the last month of Regular Season play, the Dodgers locked up the West in a major way by Acquiring Slugger, 1st Baseman Jim Thome from the Chicago White Sox and former White Sox Starter and now former Arizona Diamondback Starter, John Garland. Already with a 6 game lead over both the Rockies & Giants, the Dodgers move to acquire the Veteran 1st baseman to me is a Head scratcher considering that LA already has a young and defensively stout James Loney at first.... Loney on the year was hitting .274 with 9 homers and 75 RBI's. On the other hand Thome (Largely considered to be nothing more than an American League DH) is hitting .243 with 23 Homers and one less RBI than Loney. I can't consider the Dodgers acquiring the slugger to add more pop to the lineup to have him sit which begs the question of Why?
Why would the Dodgers feel the need to acquire such a hitter of Thome's strength. It just doesn't make much sense after you consider the week and stretch that the Giants and Rockies had of beating each other up. After taking 2 out of 3 from the Rockies last week, the Dodgers have this division mostly locked up.
On the other hand, I think the acquisition of getting a guy like John Garland to bolster a Starting Rotation that has holes after Kershaw and Billingsly was smart for Ned Colleti and the Dodgers franchise. You look up and down that Dodgers rotation now is pretty stacked with the addition of Padilla last week after picking him up from the Texas Rangers. Garland is a Southern California native and I think will really gel with the rest of his now Dodger brethren. A move for Garland who has struggled in Arizona this year that has had no shot of making the post season after just 2 years ago when they met the Rockies in the NLCS, Garland is just 8-11 with a 4.29 ERA. A move for Garland to a team that will be in the playoffs will bolster his confidence and get him into the right mindset where he could be pretty dangerous. I would have loved to see him in a Yankees uniform and be a Yankees fifth starter but beggers can't be choosers.
Thinking about it now with Jose Contreras going to the Colorado Rockies, The White Sox really are taking themselves out of the race for the playoffs which is tough after they brought in Alex Rios and Jake Peavy. It's sad considering that they also put Jermaine Dye, Paul Konerko and Octavio Dotel on waivers waiting to be picked up but the road stretch where they spent 9 days on the road and lost 8 have really fallen out of it including tonight's 4-1 loss to the Twins in Minnesota which is sad considering I had them winning the AL Central but this AL Central looks to be now a 2 team race between the Tigers and the Twins. Those Twins are still fighting tough just sitting 3 and a half games back behind Detroit. I think that even with today's loss and with the way the Tigers have performed with the big three of Verlander, Porcello and Edwin Jackson that since Pitching wins you important games down the stretch, Tigers will hold on.
To close out August and head towards September with baseball post-season day just around the corner, the races are really coming to form with teams fading (Like Chicago) or chasing (Like San Francisco) the Yankees, Dodgers, Phillies, Cards, Angels all seem to be in cruise control at this point. Good luck to those teams chasing others because this is where every game counts for those that think they still have a shot of making it to October Baseball.
Till Next Time,
I'm Nick Malone