Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 9/10/12

The Los Angeles Dodgers were the most active team during this year's trading season, adding eight new players to their 25-man roster from July 25 to Aug. 25, and that doesn't include injured outfielder Carl Crawford, who is due $102.5 million over the next five seasons.

However, despite the new additions, and adding more than $25 million in additional payroll for this season alone, the new-look Dodgers find their playoff hopes fading.

The blockbuster trade with the Boston Red Sox, a nine-player deal that stunned the baseball world, seemingly elevated the Dodgers to a level above their competition in the National League West. Adrian Gonzalez, who came to the Dodgers along with starting pitcher Josh Beckett, Crawford and utility man Nick Punto, had a great debut at Dodger Stadium, hitting a three-run home run in his first at-bat.

After that Aug. 25 win over the Miami Marlins, the Dodgers were just two games behind the San Francisco Giants in the division. But since that day, the Dodgers have lost nine of 14 games and were 5 1/2 games out in the National League West after the weekend.

There are myriad reasons why the Dodgers aren't winning, and chief among them is the middle of the lineup hasn't produced. Gonzalez has played 15 games with the Dodgers and still has just that one home run, hitting .242 in the process. Matt Kemp has just three hits in his last 30 at-bats.

In losing two of three games to the Giants over the weekend in San Francisco, the Dodgers had just one hit in 23 at-bats with runners in scoring position. Los Angeles has scored just 25 runs in its last 10 games, producing three runs or fewer in eight of those contests.

"I'm a little bit, I don't want to say shocked. I just want to see more good at-bats," manager Don Mattingly said. "I know they're trying. I never have any problem with the effort. I know they want to get hits and all that. We have to get better with our approaches."

Shane Victorino has hit just .245 with a .314 on-base percentage in 35 games since joining the Dodgers on July 31, doing little to set the table for that slumping middle of the order. Mattingly even shifted Victorino out of the leadoff position and batted him second, trying to get him more comfortable, but it hasn't yet worked. In 12 games batting second, Victorino has hit just .217 with a .315 on-base percentage.

To make matters worse, injuries have hurt the team as well. Kemp has slumped since he crashed into the center field wall in Colorado, and the center fielder has missed the past two games due to left shoulder inflammation. Starting pitcher Chad Billingsley, who was 6-0 with a 1.80 ERA in seven starts after the All-Star break, is out for the season with a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. Even ace Clayton Kershaw wasn't immune to the injury bug, as he was scratched Sunday because of left hip inflammation.

On one hand, the moves made by the Dodgers were for the long haul. Hanley Ramirez and Beckett join Billingsley and Kershaw as players who are under team control through 2014, while Andre Ethier, Crawford, Gonzalez and Kemp are all signed through at least 2017.

But that doesn't mean the Dodgers can't still contend this year. Los Angeles was 1 1/2 games behind the Cardinals for the second wild-card spot through Sunday, and St. Louis comes to Dodger Stadium for a four-game series this week.

"These guys will hit," Mattingly said of the Dodgers. "That's not the question. It's a matter of will we do it right now?

That's the $25 million question the Dodgers have yet to answer in the affirmative.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Terry Collins addresses Mets’ gag order on player injuries

LeBron never believed he could get to Jordan’s level

Sam Mitchell reportedly candidate to join Pelicans’ coaching staff

Warriors GM indicates Steve Kerr still isn’t ready to return

Taylor Hall says it was “nice to finally see” the Edmonton Oilers eliminated

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Jets to hire female defensive backs coach

Vince Young officially inks contract with CFL team

Jason Witten: Bill Parcells is getting soft in his old age

Braves make up with fan ejected by security for interference

David Price to start for Red Sox Monday against Chicago

Magic Johnson indicates Brandon Ingram is Lakers’ only untradeable player

Kicking It: East is East, and West is West

Three Up, Three Down: Some surprises way out (NL) West

The 'Let's go to the videotape!' quiz

It’s our civic duty to stop attending Super Bowls in new stadiums

Box Score 5/25: The Cavaliers look to close out the Celtics

The 'Farewell to the Manu, the Myth, the Legend' quiz

Box Score 5/24: Craig Anderson saves the Senators

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

Box Score 5/23: Preds, Warriors move on to respective Finals

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

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!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Kicking It: East is East, and West is West

Three Up, Three Down: Some surprises way out (NL) West

The 'Let's go to the videotape!' quiz

Why the Indianapolis 500 is called 'the greatest spectacle in racing'

The 'Farewell to the Manu, the Myth, the Legend' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker