The Dodgers want to reassemble the 2002 Braves

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Bringing in Mark DeRosa and John Smoltz six or seven years ago: a bold move that instantly makes you a favorite.  Bringing them in for 2010: Yawn.  According to Smoltz’s and DeRosa’s agent Keith Grunewald, however, the Dodgers are showing interest in both.

L.A. definitely needs a starter or two, but given his health, his age and his less-than-stellar 2009, a team challenging for the division can’t be in the business of counting on John Smoltz to hold down a rotation slot.  He will almost certainly break down at some point, and even if he doesn’t, he will almost certainly have stretches of ineffectiveness.  And don’t give me that “he looked good down the stretch for the Cardinals” business.  His two good starts after his release from Boston came against the anemic Nats and Padres. He was profoundly ordinary — and hit fairly hard — the rest of the way.

DeRosa remains a useful player, but according to the article, no less than twelve teams want him.  He wants a multi-year deal. L.A. has Casey Blake under contract at third, Rafael Furcal at short, and a loaded outfield.  Maybe De Rosa could play second, but he doesn’t really profile as a starter there anymore. The guy is either a full-time corner player — which the Dodgers don’t need — or a utility player — which the Dodgers don’t need to be giving multi-year contracts.    

The upshot: either of those players would be OK if they fell into the Dodgers’ lap late in the offseason for low dollars, but unless they really think that Rafael Furcal is homesick for his Atlanta days, there’s no reason for L.A. to be out in front of the market on either of them.

Steven Matz homers in back-to-back starts

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Mets starter Steven Matz helped his own cause again, belting a solo home run in the top of the third inning of Tuesday’s game against the Phillies. Matz turned on a 1-1 breaking ball from Cy Young contender Aaron Nola, breaking a scoreless tie.

Matz also homered in his previous start against the Marlins last Thursday. According to MLB Stat of the Day, he is the third Mets pitcher to homer in back-to-back starts, joining Tom Seaver (1972) and Ron Darling (1989).

Matz is the fourth full-time pitcher to hit multiple home runs this season, joining the Reds’ Michael Lorenzen (four), and the Cardinals’ John Gant and Miles Mikolas (two each). The last Mets pitcher to hit multiple home runs in a season was Noah Syndergaard, who hit three in 2016.

Along with the bat, Matz has also been dealing on the mound. As of this writing, he has held the Phillies scoreless over five innings despite walking five batters and allowing two hits.