Mark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles.com says the Dodgers and Marlins are engaging in trade talks involving Ricky Nolasco.
While rotation depth was supposed to be a major strength for the Dodgers this year, the team has lost Chad Billingsley and Josh Beckett to injury and has gotten little from Ted Lilly so far. The team’s rotation currently includes Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Chris Capuano and rookie Stephen Fife.
Nolasco has a 4-7 record for the Marlins, but it comes with a nice 3.68 ERA and 1.20 WHIP. With 77 K’s in 100 1/3 IP, his strikeout rate has also bounced back from last year’s decline.
The 30-year-old Nolasco is a free agent at season’s end, and the Marlins aren’t going to care to ante up and re-sign him. If he doesn’t go to the Dodgers, it’s quite possible he’ll be traded to one of their NL West rivals in the coming weeks. That gives the Dodgers extra incentive to get a deal done now.
The Marlins will likely seek young pitching in return for Nolasco. Right-handers Zach Lee and Ross Stripling and left-hander Chris Reed could be high on their list.
Josh Beckett was placed on the disabled list earlier this month with a right groin strain, but another health concern could delay his return to the Dodgers’ rotation.
According to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times, Beckett will undergo an MRI tomorrow to find the source of numbness in his fingers. It’s believed that he has been dealing with the symptoms even before his groin injury.
Beckett, 33, has a 5.19 ERA and 41/15 K/BB ratio in 43 1/3 innings over eight starts this season. Chris Capuano and Ted Lilly will continue to hold down spots in the Dodgers’ rotation for now.
Kay Adams and I talk about why that is. And check up on Stephen Strasburg and … Ted Lilly of all people.
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Maybe it was purely by accident, and maybe it didn’t help a bit — judging by his pitching line it didn’t anyway — but reader Big Leagues sends along a couple of screen captures from last night’s Dodgers-Rockies game which seems to show Ted Lilly opportunistically applying pine tar to his pitching hand after picking up a broken bat:
I mean, he’s not totally brazen about it, but he had that whole bat barrel to grab and still grabbed the part with the pine tar.
UPDATE: Yes, as many have pointed out, Lilly is a left-hander, so he’s not grabbing the pine tar with his pitching hand. Which means the only possible explanation is that, in addition to being really sly here, he’s a MASTER OF DECEPTION.