Monday, July 4, 2011

Hiroki Kuroda increases his value

When Hiroki Kuroda shut the Angels down on Friday night (7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K), he not only beat the Dodgers' closest regional rival first time in his career, he subsequently increased his trade value.

According to a FOX Sports report, the Reds and Rockies had scouts at his June 25 start against the Angels. His line wasn't as good as Friday's performance (5 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 2 K), but it was still decent.

While the Angels' lineup is anything but Murder's Row, Kuroda still showed the ability to shutdown an American League lineup, which only increases his value on the trade market. His numbers in Interleague play are decent, despite the poor win-loss record (a worthless statistic anyway) -- 3-8, 4.33 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 7.2 K/9, 5.0 K/BB. The WHIP and K/BB should be most attractive to American League teams.

Kuroda's groundball rate has decreased from last season (1.59 to 1.23), but it's still a good rate. He's also throwing more split-fingered fastballs this season than any other in his career (14.7 percent). His fastball velocity is down a half-mile an hour, but that's to be expected from a 36-year-old starter with the mileage Kuroda has.

Kuroda is on pace to best his previous career-high in innings pitched (196 1/3 in 2010) with 206 2/3 IP. That coincides with his career-high in pitches per start -- 98.4 (career rate is 93.2). Despite his fastball velocity dropping slightly, he's shown the ability to throw more pitches and, conversely, more innings.

The Tigers are the most recent team to show interest in him.

Along with the Reds, Rockies and Tigers, the Yankees could be in the market for the stable veteran.

It's also been reported Diamondbacks' General Manager Kevin Towers likes Kuroda. The two clubs are no strangers to trades -- especially when one team is contending and the other isn't. The Dodgers almost acquired Randy Johnson in 2004 before settling on just Steve Finley. They also hooked up on the Shawn Green-for-Dioner Navarro deal (which is basically what it boiled down to) and the Jon Garland trade in 2009.

There is one big issue with trading Kuroda, though -- he has a full no-trade clause. It's been reported that he'd require some type of compensation to waive it.

The Dodgers are in last place the NL West. While that sucks, they're in last place with Kuroda. There is absolutely no sense in keeping him, if he's willing to go to a contender. The Dodgers could nab a solid prospect and a lower-level guy in return for him, despite Kuroda's unrestricted free agent status after the season.

Here's hoping GM Ned Colletti comes to his senses and realizes the only right move is for the Dodgers to trade anyone on the roster not named Matt Kemp, Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley or Rubby De La Rosa to get an infusion of good, young talent before the July 31 trade deadline (preferably a third baseman and/or catcher).

Who am I kidding? He'll probably end up trading a couple of high-level prospects for a damn middle reliever again.


The Dodgers demoted Dee Gordon back to Albuquerque today. That isn't surprising, considering he struggled since getting off to a fast start. Still, in just 22 games, he is already third on the team in stolen bases (eight, trailing Kemp and Tony Gwynn). What is surprisingly is he was demoted for one of the worst baseball players in the sport.

No, I'm not talking about Juan Castro.

I'm talking about Eugenio Velez. Otis Anderson of Bay City Ball said it best:
"If I were to design a ballplayer for the express purpose of destroying franchises and ruining managerial careers, that player would resemble - in probably all ways except looks - Eugenio Velez."

Velez is putting up nice numbers in Albuquerque (.339/.371/.463), but that isn't saying much. He is a terrible defender (at 2B, in LF, where ever a manager puts him), he's a bad baserunner and he can't hit. Pretty much everything a Major League ballplayer should be able to do, Velez cannot.

Oh yeah, he's an ex-Giant. That should tell you all you need to know. Agent Colletti is at it again.

1 comment:

  1. Unfortunately, Ned has no clue and will squander opportunity in the name of a few more meaningless wins.

    I keep hearing how the fan base would rebel if vets are dealt...are they kidding?!? Trading for some good young prospects would actually give the fan base a little hope for the future.

    It is a shame we do not have a savvy GM, but rather a one trick pony who as you suggested is probably looking for the next middle reliever to waste prospects on. Hey lets bring Doctel back!