Brandon League Arrives, But What’s Next?

July 31, 2012 at 6:39 am | Posted in Brandon League | Leave a comment

Why can’t the Dodgers ever make moves that don’t happen in the middle of the night?

What are the repercussions of trading for Brandon League, other than “I guess no one expects to see Matt Guerrier ever again?”

And what am I going to say about it in the, oh, seven minutes before my flight starts to board?

Let it be said, quickly, that while I liked both Leon Landry & Logan Bawcom, neither were irreplaceable parts. I dug Bawcom’s ability to miss bats, but the level of failure from minor league relievers is huge, and Landry hasn’t shown he can hit outside of high-offense environments; neither were even among the top-30 Dodger prospects per Baseball America entering the season, though that may have changed now since each were doing well. Each clearly had others at their position ahead of them on the depth chart, so to give them up, while disappointing because I liked both, is hardly fatal.

League, however, is… well, he’s a guy. He’s still got a great fastball, but his strikeout rate is disappointingly down to a 5.44/9, the worst it’s been since 2007, while his walks have increased (highest since 2008) and his usual ability to induce groundballs is down to 46%. He’s not bad, he’s not great, he’s just a guy – I assume I don’t have to tell you not to get too pumped over his 37 saves last year, especially when he lost that job to Tom Wilhemsen already this year – and while I don’t mind having him for two months, I also don’t see him as a huge improvement.

If anything, this makes me wonder what’s next. Is there a larger reason for Ronald Belisario‘s struggles? Is Josh Lindblom really on his way out for Shane Victorino? Is Shawn Tolleson really just going to get sent down? Either way, League isn’t the move that puts you into the playoffs, so this is just the first domino of potentially several; it may be premature to judge until we know more.. as I selfishly hope that none of it happens in the next three hours before I’m back on the ground.


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