Los Angeles, San Francisco vying for NL West title
By Sarah D. Morris
Monday was the non-waiver Trade Deadline, and both the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants bolstered their roster. With two games separating the teams, it should be a battle for the National League West title.
Los Angeles' pitching staff has been decimated by injuries. On Sunday, against Arizona, Bud Norris, who was acquired on June 30 from Atlanta, had to leave the game after facing only two hitters due to tightness in a lat muscle. Since the starting rotation has had so many injuries, the bullpen has been overused. It has begun to falter after the All-Star break, and to catch the Giants, the Dodgers need a good bullpen.
The Dodgers made two trades on Monday without giving up any of their top prospects. They received Rich Hill and Josh Reddick from the Athletics in return for three pitching prospects, two of whom rank in the Dodgers' Top 30 Prospects.
Although Hill is on the disabled list due to a blister on his pitching hand, he can potentially make a big impact on the team. No one knows whether or not Norris can make his next start, and with Clayton Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu on the DL, the Dodgers need a good starter. Brett Anderson might rejoin the rotation after two more rehab starts.
Reddick, 29, will replace Yasiel Puig in right field. Puig, who has been battling right hamstring problems, was sent to the Minors on Tuesday.
The Dodgers sent Mike Bolsinger to the Blue Jays for reliever Jesse Chavez. Bolsinger hasn't been impressive this season after suffering a pulled right oblique during Spring Training. Not being a flamethrower, Bolsinger needs a good feel for his pitches to be successful, and he hasn't developed it this season..
Chavez, a converted 32-year-old starter, is reunited with general manager Farhan Zaidi -- both spent four years with the A's. Though Chavez has struggled in Toronto, he should help the Dodgers as he assumes the long-reliever role.
However, many members of the media think the Dodgers didn't accomplish what they needed to go deep in the postseason -- they failed to get the impact starter most people believed they needed to repeat as NL West champions.
The Giants appear to have strengthened their roster at the Deadline as they try to win their first division championship since 2012.
Since the All-Star break, the Giants have struggled. Throughout the season, they have dealt with injuries to key players, and the injuries have been undermining the quality of play, but Joe Panik and Hunter Pence have recently returned to the lineup. On Friday, the Giants obtained infielder Edgardo Nunez from the Minnesota Twins to help to combat the shortage of infielders.
On Monday, the Giants acquired lefty Matt Moore from the Rays. Although he didn't perform well in July, he is a quality starter. Two years removed from Tommy John elbow surgery, Moore is under contract until 2019, and he is supposed to help silence left-handed dominated lineups, like the Dodgers.
San Francisco traded Andrew Susac to Milwaukee for left-handed reliever Will Smith. For parts of the past two years, Susac was the backup catcher to Buster Posey -- and Smith is a strikeout machine.
Sarah D. Morris can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.