I have to laugh at the absurdity of this trade. I mean if you had told me last year that Shane Victorino would be a Dodger, I would have had you examined for a mental disorder. However this is the reality we are in right now, as the Dodgers pulled off another stunning trade this morning. The Dodgers announced they have traded relief pitcher Josh Lindblom, and minor league pitcher Ethan Martin to the Phillies for public enemy #1, one of the most hated men in Los Angeles outfielder Shane Victorino , in an emotional move tainted with sadness. The Dodgers will also throw in a player to be named later, or additional cash.
There are several aspects to this trade. One is the Dodgers need for a lead-off hitter, and Victorino gives them that. Shane Victorino also known as “Rat Face”, or “Rat Boy” to us Dodger fans, will take over in left field, and bat lead-off. The Dodgers have been in dire need of adding speed and a lead-off man in the lineup. Shortstop Dee Gordon has been amazing on the basepaths, but ineffective at getting on base at the top of the lineup, then he tore a ligament in his thumb.
The much maligned Victorino was in the final year of his contract and is still owed somewhere around 3.3 million dollars. The Phillies were worried about him leaving for free agency at the end of the year, and them not getting anything by way of compensation. Victorino is hitting .261 this year, with a .324 OBP, 9 home runs, and 40 RBI. He has 24 steals, in 28 attempts, and five triples in 101 games for the Phillies. Victorino is a career .277 hitter with 88 home runs, and 186 stolen bases. Victorino is 31 years old from Hawaii, and is a switch hitter. Another important aspect is the fact that he switch hits, something that gives the Dodgers more versatility at the top of their lineup. Victorino is hitting .357 at Dodger Stadium in his career. He also has three gold gloves. The Phillies have been known to have been looking for bullpen help, and Lindblom gives them a nice option in the late innings.
Josh Lindblom has been an integral part of the Dodger bullpen providing middle and set-up relief. Lindblom is 2-2 this season with a 3.02 ERA, 42 whiffs, and an 8.1 whiff per nine rate in 47.2 innings pitched. Lindblom has struggled recently, but we can’t forget how good he was in the early months of the season, and how important that was considering the bullpen was in flux at that time Newly acquired Brandon League will take Lindblom’s spot in the bullpen.
Ethan Martin is a starting pitcher for the Dodgers double-A team in Chattanooga. He has been in the minors since 2009, and was a first round draft pick in 2008. Martin is 8-6 with a 3.58 ERA, 112 whiffs, and an 8.5 whiff per nine rate in 20 starts.
A lot of Dodger fans are very upset by this move, and I don’t blame them. Although I am not as upset about this as you may think. First of all, I am bummed to lose Lindblom, but it’s not like we’re losing the house here. We can survive without Lindblom. Of course all of the stat boys will have a fit since they hate every trade, and they think that every minor leaguer is going to be a hall of famer. There were rumors that outfield prospect Alex Castellanos was the second player in the trade, but those were false, thankfully. That would have been a mistake, but it’s just Martin thrown in. The thing is, you have to give up guys to get guys. Teams aren’t just going to give us players, and we have several holes to fill. The only way to do that is through trade, and you have to trade from depth. What do the Dodgers have in depth? Plenty f right-handed pitching. What I am happy about is the Dodgers are filling holes here, and doing a good job of it. They needed a power bat at third base, someone to bat behind Matt Kemp, and Andre Ethier to provide lineup protection, and they got it. They needed a second lefty reliever in the pen, and they got it. They needed a lead-off hitter, and a left fielder, and they got him too. All they had to give up was Nathan Eovaldi, Josh Lindblom, Ethan Martin, and a couple of other low level type prospects. All in all not bad. We didn’t trade Zach Lee, we didn’t trade Chris Reed, or Allen Webster, or Alex Castellanos.
Dodger fans will have to come to terms with their hatred for that evil little man that will be batting lead-off for us from this point forward. Shane Victorino represents all that is evil and unholy in this world. He was the ultimate anti-Dodger. I hated him more than anyone. He was an integral cog of the 2008-2009 Philadelphia Soul Crushers who destroyed us in back to back NLCS appearances, and then broke up Hiroki Kuroda’s no-hitter a couple of years ago. He is shady, and will do anything to get on base. Let me ask you though, how would you feel when he is pulling those annoying antics for us? That’s the reason the Dodgers picked him up. To bother pitchers, steal bases, and set the table for the big boys. Could you live with this if it helps us win the division? Of course you could. Seriously be honest with yourself. Because no matter how much we despise that ugly little man, we can’t deny the fact that the Dodger lineup is better with him in it, and he is a considerable upgrade in left field. There is only a few hours left until the deadline, will the Dodgers make another deal?
As for Lindblom, he will pack up his belongings, and move to Philadelphia. We will never forget his efforts early in the season. Thank you Josh, and good luck in your travails in Philly. The Dodgers sit tied for first place with the Giants in the NL West with a 56-48 record, and continue to look for more Ways to improve the roster through trade. We could be in for more trades today. Buckle your safety belts Dodger fans, this could get bumpy.