Sure, we thought things were bad with Jason Schmidt, Randy Wolf, and Hong-Chih Kuo on the DL, but now that Derek Lowe has a strained groin, and Brad Penny has had an abdominal cramping, things could be going from bad to worse. Sure, Lowe and Penny will likely be fine. Lowe should make his next start and Penny thinks that he was just being babied, but it does make us realize that as bad as things are now, they could get worse. Sure, having Mark Hendrickson and Brett Tomko in the same rotation is pretty bad, but its entirely possible that Eric Stults and D.J. Houlton could join them at some point in the future.
The first thing that comes to mind is a trade. Who could the Dodgers go out and get. What team that is out of contention has a pitcher that is about to reach free agency. The answer is very, very disappointing. These are the starters that aren't currently on the DL, on teams that are out of the race, and will be free agents this off season.
Chan Ho Park
Do any of those names look at all appealing? When Jason Jennings, the ground ball pitcher with a ground ball rate under one is the best available player issues abound. None of these guys can even meet the "will probably be better than Mark Hendrickson" standard, and that's rather sad. Kyle Lohse has the closest thing to mediocre numbers out there, and the most ringing endorsement I could give him is that I'd take him for nothing and stash him in the long relief role in case something goes terribly wrong.
The other names that are being bandied about, such as Jon Garland and Dontrelle Willis, are equally unappealing. In this case, not only do you end up with a bad pitcher (Garland's 3.94 K/9, Willis' inability to keep the ball in the stadium while struggling to maintain a 1.5 K/BB.), but you get the joy of paying him for several seasons into the future.
The only types of pitchers out there that seem remotely appealing are highly flawed guys like Daniel Cabrera and Zach Greinke that have no guarantee at all of being good down the stretch, but they have some nice upside. Still, do the Dodgers want to be plugging a guy into their rotation down the stretch that could be a complete an utter disaster?
The starting pitcher market this deadline is complete barren, and there's no easy fixes available. Unless Ned Colletti gets mighty creative, the Dodgers would probably best be served keeping D.J. Houlton and Eric Stults in the bullpen, or maybe calling up Justin Orenduff if they are desperate. Starting pitching is the Dodgers biggest weakness right now, and there's no real way to fix it short of giving up way too many prospects. We'll just have to get better in other areas to compensate.
Some divisional rival news:
Randy Johnson is out for the season. This pretty much puts the Diamondbacks out of contention unless all of their young players progress to the mean simultaneously. Given how bad they were in the first half, it's entirely possible this will happen.
The Padres get Scott Hairston from the Diamonbacks. This does little more than add outfield depth to the Padres, but they could probably use it.