Friedman: Pitching depth focus for Dodgers

Friedman: Pitching depth focus for Dodgers

CHICAGO -- While the offense stagnates, the Dodgers on Wednesday were scouting Phillies starting pitcher Cole Hamels, which left plenty of questions for club president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman to answer.

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The club had Galen Carr watching Hamels, but Friedman said in a wide-ranging pregame interview with AM570 that the team is watching a number of starting pitchers in the five weeks leading up to the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline.

"Usually after the Draft, teams pick up conversations, and we've been getting a sense of what they look to do," Friedman said. "In our minds, we plan to be opportunistic. I wouldn't say it has to be one area or another, it could be an area of strength. But more starter depth, we placed a great deal of emphasis on that last offseason, and we will again this season and next offseason."

Friedman said he is "frustrated, as we all are" with the Dodgers' recent play.

"But the effort level is there, the energy is good," he said. "We believe we are a much better team than we're playing like right now. Each day we're waiting for us to break out of it and get this thing rolling. It's just a matter of consistency. We've had really high peaks, fairly low lows. We just need to reach a level of consistency and let our true talent come out, and we feel we'll be in a good position to compete long into October."

Friedman discounted the significance of the Dodgers' 6-19 record against clubs with records above .500 heading into play Wednesday.

"No question, for me, it's an anomaly," he said. "A lot of it is how we're playing at a certain time. We could have the same record if the teams were below .500. It's about playing consistently. When we compare our team to other teams, we'll take our chances. We feel we rank up there near the very top."

Friedman said he had dinner after Tuesday night's loss with Cubs manager Joe Maddon, as they did often when Friedman ran the Rays and Maddon was his manager.

"We have a great relationship, we're very good friends," he said. "We were at each other's wedding. We text a lot. He's loving Chicago, I love L.A. I wish him nothing but the best. The Cubs are in good hands. He's incredibly good, especially with helping young players come up and thrive and feel comfortable and not have to look over their shoulder. He's a really good communicator, he gets to know what motivates players, and you see them play over there with a looseness and confidence that definitely comes from Joe."

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.