Dodgers’ Mike Bolsinger dominates Padres, 2-0
The Dodgers started the season with Yasmani Grandal at catcher, Yasiel Puig in right field, Carl Crawford in left field, Juan Uribe at third base and Brandon McCarthy and Hyun-Jin Ryu in the starting rotation.
They are six regulars down, and rolling, with the second-best record in the National League and the fourth-best record in the major leagues.
Mike Bolsinger pitched the game of his life, a one-hitter over eight innings, and Joc Pederson led off the game with a home run, sparking the Dodgers to a 2-0 victory over the San Diego Padres on Saturday night at Dodger Stadium.
Uribe is on the bench, but Grandal, Puig, and Crawford all are expected to return. With McCarthy and Ryu out for the season, the Dodgers are looking to trade for starting pitching.
Bolsinger, who retired 23 of 24 batters and lowered his earned-run average to 0.71, said he was not offended. He said he would let his mom keep up with the trade rumors.
“It doesn’t bother me,” he said. “I’m going to keep pitching and keep trying to get Ws for the team. Whatever happens, happens.”
Andrew Friedman, the president of baseball operations, is scouting pitchers who might fit at the top or at the bottom of the rotation, with the most urgent need to be determined soon enough. For now, the sellers are few.
“No one’s anxious right now,” Friedman said. “Most teams feel like they’re one winning streak from being right back in it.”
In the meantime, Friedman said he has revisited off-season and spring-training discussions with teams, and he talked with rival executives when he scouted the Southeastern Conference tournament last week.
“We’re actively vetting the market, doing everything we can to augment our depth,” he said.
The Oakland Athletics have baseball’s worst record. The A’s could make left-hander Scott Kazmir available, although the Dodgers also could be interested in right-hander Jesse Chavez. The A’s and Dodgers had trade talks last off-season about Chavez, who is 1-4 with a 2.89 ERA.
The Milwaukee Brewers could deal Matt Garza or Kyle Lohse, although each has an ERA above 5.00. The Cincinnati Reds could offer ace Johnny Cueto or Mike Leake. And, as teams fall in the standings, the Dodgers could consider Mark Buerhle or R.A. Dickey of the Toronto Blue Jays, Clay Buchholz of the Boston Red Sox, Jeff Samardzija of the Chicago White Sox, and Yovani Gallardo of the Texas Rangers.
And, of course, there is grand prize Cole Hamels of the Philadelphia Phillies. The Phillies have entertained offers for Hamels for a year, but no team has been willing to trade three top prospects and assume the $22.5-million annual salary he is owed through 2018.
The Dodgers might have a surplus at third base, but Alex Guerrero, the only young player in the mix, has little trade value because he can declare free agency at the end of any season in which he is traded. The veterans at the position, Uribe and Justin Turner, would return little in trade.
The Dodgers do not intend to trade any of their three elite young players: Pederson, the rookie center fielder, triple-A shortstop Corey Seager or double-A pitcher Julio Urias.
But the ownership mandate to rebuild the farm system is paying off, so the Dodgers have a crop of other prospects available for trade, including pitchers Chris Anderson, Jose DeLeon, Grant Holmes and Zach Lee, catcher Julian Leon, and infielder Darnell Sweeney.
More important: The Dodgers plan to spend heavily on international amateurs when that market opens July 2, meaning that they will be able to trade a fair number of prospects this summer and still replenish their farm system.
“Acquiring starting pitching depth is my No. 1 priority,” Friedman said. “I would love to wake up one morning to answer a question from you guys about ‘What are we going to do with all our starting pitching depth?’
“That is a goal of mine: to have you guys ask me that question.”
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