Damage Control?

Through either lack of wanting to pay the price or from having confidence in the current roster, the Arizona Diamondbacks made a choice to stand pat and not make a trade at the July 31st non-waiver trading deadline. As a result their roster will remain relatively unchanged for the remainder of the season except for player transactions surrounding the disabled list. Unfortunately for Arizona their nearest rivals in the National League Western Division standings did not take the same approach. The Los Angeles Dodgers didn’t just stick their toe into the trade waters; they made a running start and did a cannon ball into the trade pool.

The Dodgers first trade came before the trade deadline and netted them third baseman Casey Blake from the Cleveland Indians. This was a substantial upgrade from the set of platoon players Los Angeles had manning the hot corner for the first half of the season. Not only did it add a more potent bat to the lineup but it also shored up the defense that had been lacking at third base. But even with Blake’s bat the Dodgers were still rather woeful in the run production department. It was clearly obvious that they needed another hitter in the worst way.

With the trade deadline quickly approaching there was relatively no news regarding the Los Angeles Dodgers. It appeared that similarly to what the Diamondbacks found, the price was just too high. Then at seemingly the last moment the Dodgers inserted themselves into the Manny Ramirez sweepstakes and landed the veteran outfielder while having to part with just a couple of prospects.

Ramirez had his first game in a Dodgers uniform last night and had 2 hits. He followed that game up with another 2 hits in today’s game including his first home run in a Dodger’s uniform. Not only was Manny hot but he was infectious. Casey Blake had 2 hits of his own including a double and a home run. The Dodgers collected 11 hits scoring 4 runs to beat the Diamondbacks 4-2. Granted this was not Brandon Webb, Dan Haren, or Randy Johnson pitching but this does not bode well for Arizona.

Standing pat and not making a move to bring in a more disciplined hitter could very well be Arizona’s undoing. In today’s game Diamondbacks hitters struck out a total of 13 times with Stephen Drew, Chris Young, and Mark Reynolds each getting two. Arizona has 2 of the top 5 players in strike outs in Reynolds and Young. They would have 3 of the top 5 but Justin Upton has been on the disabled list since before the all-star break. The young core of the Diamondbacks still has not learned proper plate discipline and will continue to put up inconsistent numbers until they do so.

Today’s game was just a single loss to the Dodgers but you have to wonder whether the Diamondbacks have awakened a sleeping giant in the Los Angeles hitters? Hopefully this is just a minor blip on the radar and not something that will come back to haunt Arizona.

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