Found October 24, 2012 on isportsweb.com:
The Dodgers finished 2012 like a scene out a war movie. The disabled list grew so much you could almost envision the medical tent scene from the film “Patton” where George C. Scott visits a group of wounded soldiers and ends up slapping the one soldier who is in the hospital for mental issues. Well, no one on the Dodgers has gone mental yet but the pitching injuries (seven pitchers are still officially on the disabled list) along with some mediocre performances (starters Chris Capuano, Aaron Harang, and Josh Beckett were a combined 7-12 the final two months of 2012) may see the Dodgers overhauling their pitching staff this offseason.  So will they look in-house or out-house for help? Zack Greinke will be the most sought after free agent pitcher this winter. When Dodgers fans think of a trade with the Red Sox, most will think of the 2012 trade that brought Adrian Gonzalez and Josh Beckett out west. But it may be the less-hyped 2011 trade the Dodgers, Red Sox, and Mariners pulled off that might also pay dividends in 2013. The Dodgers parted with their number one minor league prospect at the time, outfielder Trayvon Robinson, and ended up receiving three minor leaguers from the Red Sox farm system – catcher Tom Federowicz, and pitchers Stephen Fife and Juan Rodriguez. Rodriguez is still down in Single A but Fife might get a chance this March to beat his drums for a starting slot. Fife, 26, was called up as an “emergency” starter in July and did well in his debut against the Phillies. He gave up just one run over six innings and left the game with a 2-1 lead. Unfortunately, reliever Ronald Belisario, who was lights out in June(one earned run in 12 appearances) but struggled in July(11 runs in 15 games), let it get away and the Dodgers lost 3-2.   Fife got four more starts and ended up going 0-2 with a 2.70 ERA in 2012.  He never surrendered more than two runs in any start and the Dodgers were shutout in both his losses. Fife’s opportunity will most likely hinge on what the Dodgers do in free agency. Of course, the “Holy Grail” of free agent pitchers this season is the Angels Zack Greinke (15-5, 3.48 ERA in 2012 between the Brewers and Angels). The need for a pitcher of Greinke’s caliber, and pay scale, is due, in part, to the uncertain future of starter Chad Billingsley. After the 2012 All-Star break, Billingsley looked ready to return to the “ace” form he showed in 2008(16-10, 3.14 ERA) as he ran off six wins in his six starts between July 23rd and August 19th.  He had pitched 15 scoreless innings before a poor start on August 24th ended up being the result of an inflamed elbow. Billingsley was gone for the season and the outlook for a return next spring is very questionable. If the elbow does not heal naturally, he may have to undergo Tommy John surgery which would cost him the 2013 season. Although money is not an issue,  there is doubt as to just how serious a bidder the Dodgers will be for Greinke, if you can believe the comments coming from the ownership group.  Dodgers chairman Mark Walter hinted he might be reluctant to give a pitcher the kind of paycheck an everyday player like Matt Kemp or Adrian Gonzalez gets. “Pitchers break,” Walter said. Another name popping up is James Shields.  The Tampa Bay Rays, not exactly among the big spenders, have the option to either pay him about $10 million in 2013 or buy him out for about 1/10 of that.  Shields, who will be 31 in December, went 15-10 in 2012 in spite of Tampa Bay’s poor offense. The Rays were 11th in the AL in runs scored,  ahead of only the Indians, Royals, and Mariners.  The “intangible” for Dodgers fans is that Shields grew up in Newhall, CA, about 30 miles north of Dodger Stadium. Other names coming up are Miami’s Josh Johnson (8-14, 3.81 ERA) and the White Sox Jake Peavy (11-12, 3.37 ERA). Miami is a mess and probably would love to have someone else pay Johnson the $13 million dollars he’ll command next season. Peavy’s failure to produce down the stretch (he won only two of his last 11 starts in 2012) may have the White Sox looking to avoid picking up his $22 million option for 2013. The most interesting name to crop up the last few days is the one you haven’t heard of, Shohei Otani. Otani is an 18 year old sensation in Japan who recently stated his desire to pitch here in the U.S.  Some are comparing him to last year’s Japanese import, Yu Darvish,  who sparked a bidding war last year.  Darvish went 16-9 with the Texas Rangers in 2012. 18-year old Japanese pitching sensation Shohei Otani is expected to be wooed by several Major League teams,  including the Dodgers. There is talk that the Dodgers will be dangling pitcher Josh Beckett, Chris Capuano, and Aaron Harang as trade bait in an effort to clear out some payroll. They are owed a combined $28 million next season. The closer position is something the Dodgers didn’t think they’d have to worry about entering 2012.  But 2011′s emerging star Javy Guerra (21 saves in ’11)  failed to duplicate his success in 2012 and another 2011 emerging star, set-up man and eventual closer in 2012, Kenley Jansen, has a health condition that could hamper a very promising career. Jansen, (5-3 with 25 saves in 2012) suffers from a heart problem known as atrial fibrillation,  more commonly called an irregular heartbeat. It caused him to miss portions of last season. Jansen recently underwent a procedure called an ablation. Cardiologists believe a heart goes “out of whack” due to defective tissue or muscle in the heart. An ablation is where a catheter is inserted into a sedated person, via their thigh, and doctors attempt to locate the defect. If they do, that portion of the heart is literally burnt away thereby curing the problem. Success rates have improved thru the years and are now up to about 70%.  Still, only time will tell if Jansen’s condition is healed.  If not, he may be a candidate for a pacemaker. Reliever Brandon League, 29, was acquired in mid-season from Seattle. He went 2-0 and was 6 for 6 in save opportunities as an alternative to Jansen. He becomes a free agent this winter and his solid final month of 2012 may see him looking for a longer term deal than the Dodgers are willing to offer.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Injury Roll Call: Kenley Jansen undergoes heart surgery, out for at least 3 months

Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen underwent heart surgery on Tuesday to correct an irregular heartbeat, a procedure we were all aware would occur during the offseason. Jansen’s heart problems have sidelined him for stretches during the 2011 regular season, Spring Training of 2012, and the 2012 regular season. Ken Gurnick reports that Jansen will now be out for at least three months...

Dodgers' news: Kenley Jansen, Shohei Otani, Yunel Escobar, Andres Santiago

Kenley Jansen underwent successful heart surgery on Tuesday. His recovery time will be three to four months. Hopefully, this solves Jansen's issues, as he's missed time the last two seasons with this. Barring anything unforeseen, he should be ready to go for 2013. And the Dodgers are going to need him anchoring the bullpen. Otani update Chad Moriyama has a great...

Dodgers' Jansen undergoes heart procedure

Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Kenley Jansen underwent surgery on his heart to return it to normal rhythm. The team says that during Tuesday's surgery at White Memorial Hospital in Los Angeles the abnormal tissue in Jansen's heart was identified and cauterized to stop the abnormal electrical signals sent from the area. After the nearly three-hour procedure, Jansen's heart...

Dodgers to start weekly off-season radio show

No scare tactics here: The Dodgers announced Thursday that all those hungering for some good off-season team discussion will have a new opportunity beginning on Halloween. Jorge Jarrin will begin a weekly one-hour show on flagship radio station 570-AM beginning Wednesday titled, Dodger Talk Off-Season Edition. The program is scheduled to be broadcast Wednesdays from 7 to 8 p.m...

Kemp starting rehab after left shoulder surgery

Matt Kemp's hopes for a simple surgery on his left shoulder were dashed when the Los Angeles Dodgers slugger awoke to learn things were worse than doctors had first thought. Kemp was in Arizona on Wednesday to begin rehabbing from the Oct. 5 surgery that repaired a torn labrum and damage to the rotator cuff, injuries resulting from a crash into the center field wall at Coors...

Major League Baseball Denies Report That Dodgers Could Open 2014 Season in Australia

Major League Baseball dismissed a report that the Los Angeles Dodgers could open the 2014 season in Australia. "We are not currently exploring the possibility with the Dodgers or any team to play in Australia," Pat Courtney, MLB's senior vice president of public relations, said Wednesday. Australian promoters told the Sydney Morning Herald that they...

MLB: Not exploring possibility of Sydney series

Major League Baseball dismissed a report that the Los Angeles Dodgers could open the 2014 season in Australia. ''We are not currently exploring the possibility with the Dodgers or any team to play in Australia,'' Pat Courtney, MLB's senior vice president of public relations, said Wednesday. Australian promoters told the Sydney Morning Herald they were working...

Report: Dodgers in talks to open '14 season in Australia

The Los Angeles Dodgers are discussing opening the 2014 season In Australia, according to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald. Officials from MLB, the Australian Baseball League and Destination NSW are looking into the possibility of a three-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Sydney Cricket Ground. The project has reportedly been in the works for "several...

Matt Kemp Injury: Dodgers OF Should Be Ready for 2013

(source feed provided no summary content for this entry)

Shohei Otani drafted by the Nippon Ham Fighters, he still wants to head to America

Just a quick update here on the status of Shohei Otani, who I have been following because the Dodgers are one of the rumored teams in the lead for his services. As they promised, the Nippon Ham Fighters have taken him in the first-round of today’s NPB Draft, which is risky to say the least. Has he changed his mind about Japan/America? According to him, not really. Caught Otani’s...

3 Reasons Los Angeles Dodgers Shouldn’t Fire GM Ned Colletti

The Los Angeles Dodgers have not made the playoffs since 2009, so General Manager Ned Colletti should be on the hot seat, right? via dodgerthoughts.com Absolutely not. Thanks to Colletti, the Dodgers are in a great position to win the NL West this upcoming season and for many seasons to come. Throughout his tenure in Los Angeles, the franchise has seen the best of times and the...

Carl Crawford Puts Boston Area Mansion Up For Sale

Trulia: Crawford too is now ready to officially start over in California as it is confirmed he has listed his Wellesley, Massachusetts mansion for an asking price of $2.99 million. This 7,426 square-foot estate has New England-style charm on the exterior and a contemporary, luxury design on the interior. Custom built just a year ago in 2011, the home sits on a privately gated...
MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.