The Dodgers finally got their bat. Unfortunately, his name is not Prince Fielder, Dan Uggla, Jose Bautista, or Adam Dunn. Ladies and gentleman, meet your new left fielder, Scott Podsednik .
The Dodgers sent minor league catcher Lucas May (Triple A) and pitcher Elisaul Pimentel (low-A) in exchange for the 34 year old speed demon. Before you ask whether they really missed Juan Pierre that badly, it’s worth noting that Podsednik has had a fantastic year for the Royals. Despite the lack of name recognition for the journeyman outfielder, Ned Colletti deserves credit for casting a wide net in his search for players that can positively impact the club’s hunt for the playoffs. “Pods” is an acquisition akin to that of Casey Blake, George Sherrill, and Jamey Carroll. Ned is obviously hampered by payroll restrictions and accordingly, the price he has paid to acquire some of the aforementioned veterans has been extremely steep. Yet, they have made an immediate impact for the most part (ok, not Sherrill so much).
Pods can do the same. He’s hitting .309 on the season, with a solid OBP of .352 and an impressive 30 stolen bags on the season. He provides tremendous speed in the outfield and is a big upgrade over the likes of Xavier Paul and Garrett Anderson, who could be the odd man out now.
I like the fact that Scotty has nearly identical numbers in 2009 and 2010. It establishes a reasonable baseline of performance. He’s actually been even hotter than that for the last month. In 88 July at-bats, he’s hit at a whopping clip of .364 with a .404 OBP and .515 SLG %. I like getting hitters who are warming up, not cooling off. And frankly, I’m pretty tired of waiting around for that Manny guy. I also like the idea of seeing Furcal and Pods wreak havoc at the top of the lineup with their running ability and potential to form a mean hit-and-run combination there.
Of course, Podsednik will have to undergo a bit of an adjustment by moving to the National League. He could end up fading offensively, but his contact skills, speed, and defense will benefit the ballclub. And it’s not like we’re giving up a stud such as Carlos Santana. Lucas May is a decent hitting prospect, but is already 25 years old and a mess as a defensive catcher. The young pitcher could end up becoming something solid, but he’s not close to being one of the team’s best pitching prospects. Thus, the lack of downside in this trade is the main reason why I’m actually looking forward to the Scott Podsednik era in Los Angeles.