Padilla Sign Of Dodgers Desperation

Vicente Padilla is not the answer. Doesn’t really matter what the question is. (Well, unless that question is who was the first athlete from a major sport to come down with H1N1, or Swine Flu? Then yes Padilla is your man.)

He is not the answer for the Dodgers. But he was their only real choice, and he came cheap. The Dodgers chose not to deal prospects or young stars at the deadline for a big-time arm, so then when one of their pitchers takes a fluke line drive off the head and they need a replacement, well, you get what you get.

Padilla can pitch — he was 8-6 with a 4.92 ERA in Texas and was part of a team in serious playoff contention. A team that really needs pitching depth.  The fact that they let him walk and will pay him the remaining $8 million on his deal to stay away should tell you how popular Padilla was in Texas. He has a habit of hitting batters, and his teammates were a little tired of getting plunked in return. And by a little tired, we mean ready to tar and feather him.

Padilla is an inconsistent guy on the mound — he’ll look great one game and be out by the fourth inning next outing. Basically the same as Eric Stults already with the Dodgers. Except that manager Joe Torre has a serious case of Stults-o-phobia — he flat out does not trust the guy. So in comes Padilla, but as he is only going to cost the Dodgers about $100,000, it’s not a bad risk.

There are legitimate arguments for those trying to convince themselves that Padilla will find himself and becomes an important contributor on the Dodgers. First, Padilla himself knows that if he blows this getting any kind of a deal next season will be very hard. Also, Torre has a long history of getting good production out of difficult clubhouse personalities.

Plus, the Dodgers had to do something. Anything. Their once double-digit lead in the NL West is down town 3.5 games and Colorado is hot. The Dodgers are slumping. Of course, the Dodgers went out and got a pitcher when the real problem has been the bats (James Loney, Russell Martin before last night, and Rafael Furcal have gone into hiding, and Manny hasn’t been Manny lately). Now the Dodgers have a little more pitching depth at a good price, not the worst thing in the world.

But Padilla is not the answer. He’s just what the Dodgers could get.

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