That did not take long at all. Friday: Dodgers sign Shea Hillenbrand to a minor league contract. Monday: Dodgers call up Shea Hillenbrand and send down Delwyn Young. Tuesday: The Dodgers start Shea Hillenbrand. As I said before, if it was late in the season and the Dodgers needed a home run to win a key game, Hillenbrand is probably a better guy to use than Ramon Martinez as Wilson Valdez, there mere fact that he's starting just four days after he was acquired just reinforces how bad of an idea it was to trade Wilson Betemit.
After reading Christina Kahrl's latest Transaction Analysis column, it made me a little depressed. While the other GMs in our league seem to be doing whatever it takes to stock the team up for a playoff run, be it getting undervalued guys like Morgan Ensberg and Scott Hairston, or simply making some waiver claims to increase the teams depth, our GM does next to nothing. When he finally does decide that some action is in order, he manages to make the team worse, first by swapping one of our best hitters for a middle reliever, then by swapping out a young hitter with some promise with a completely useless player. He's also managed to stock up our bench with three guys who are effectively DHs, a never used Mike Lieberthal, Kemp or Ethier, and Ramon Martinez, who I guess is expected to spell most of the infield. Aside from the Kemp/Ethier part, that seems almost completely useless unless you want to pinch hit for someone. I know that the Dodgers are hurting for depth right now, but was Hillenbrand really the right guy to get?
And really, this has been a problem for the Dodgers all season. While our rivals have been making small moves to get some players with upside (Josh Byrnes effectively swapping El Duque for Yusmiero Petit, Kevin Towers snagging Justin Germano and Will Ledezma off waivers) our GM seems to be only searching for guys that were good years ago, and were released by their teams for very good reason. So far this year, Ned has snagged Chad Moeller, Shea Hillenbrand, Mark Sweeney, and Roberto Hernandez as his minor pickups. Does anyone think these guys can do anything? Maybe Sweeney who could be a solid pinch hitter, but how much effect does a guy like that really have? Watching other teams pluck semi useful players off waivers while our GM harvests retreads from the 2002 All Star game does not inspire any confidence at all.
This is all I'm asking for. I want to see the Dodgers bring in someone that even has a remote chance of being good. Our rivals can obviously get these guys, so why can't we. Right now, the Dodgers have absolutely no reinforcements left for the offense thanks to some injury issues, but part of that blame has to be placed on Ned for not acquiring anyone more significant than Tomas Perez to help out with depth in AAA. Heck, I was entirely unphased when Mitch Jones left the team back in May, but is there anyone who wouldn't want to see him back now? Letting players go that could at least help you out a little, while picking up useless lumps in their stead has been a common thread this season, and this is why you see Shea Hillenbrand starting at third base for you tonight.