Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Dodgers In UTK
Jason Schmidt (0 DXL)
I'll be honest—I didn't even notice that Schmidt was going to pitch last night until I was checking out the new features of MLB At Bat* and saw "Dodgers—Schmidt." I guess I should have been reading Dodger Thoughts more closely, but yes, Jason Schmidt is back in the rotation. (Victor Rojas points out that Schmidt is the eighth-highest-paid pitcher in the game.) Schmidt pitched... passably well. His fastball is below average, coming in at 87, so his command and control are key. He mostly pitched around people, willing to give up a walk rather than a big hit. Schmidt doesn't look like he's going to help the team much, but he might help them from hurting themselves. If he can eat some innings, that's some that won't fall on Chad Billingsley or Clayton Kershaw. It won't earn what he'll be paid, but it's important.
*: The iPhone application just keeps getting better. Now all games are available for MLB.tv subscribers on the iPhone, though the standard stupid blackout restrictions apply.
Jonathan Broxton (0 DXL)
Broxton continues to struggle with a toe problem. Some are trying to make this into something about his weight, but toe injuries are just flat-out painful and tend to linger. It's more pronounced in football, where the running and cutting taxes the toe more, and because the positions players are asked to put themselves in actually can cause turf toe and other toe issues. The All-Star closer has been shaky since the toe injury cropped up, but Joe Torre keeps sending him out there, and he gets it done. He's turned into more a of Mitch Williams type for now, indicating that the toe is causing some change in his mechanics that's altering his control. Stan Conte wouldn't let Broxton out there if he could do more damage, but I'm concerned about whether the mechanics and the toe are something of a chicken/egg issue. We'll have to continue to watch this closely and I'm still relatively sure that as the Dodgers start thinking about October, they'll find a way to get Broxton some rest. I think the issues that have arisen in front of him in the pen might be why they're delaying and keeping him out there so often.