Los Angeles Dodgers manager Joe Torre's decision to move Jonathan Broxton out of the closer role, at least temporarily, seems sound. Since July 9 Broxton has given up 10 runs in 10 innings and opposing batters have a .954 OPS in that span. In his place, up steps left-hander Hong-Chih Kuo. Kuo has been Rivera-like this year. He has a WHIP of 0.825, an ERA of 0.90 and a K/9 rate of 11.0 in 40 innings.
Kuo has a history of elbow problems so he won't often be used in back-to-back games. It is assumed that relievers Octavio Dotel or Kenley Jansen would be called on to fill the role in such situations. Jansen has pitched 7.1 career innings in the majors and struck out 11. He's yet to give up a run since coming up in mid-July. Dotel has pitched 3.1 meaningless innings since being acquired from the Pirates at the trade deadline, giving up two runs.
How does Ned Colletti keep his job? I'm not here to tell you what a great trade Neal Huntington made in getting James McDonald and Andrew Lambo from the Dodgers in exchange for Dotel--but he did make a great trade. I'm asking how a general manager can possibly give up TWO useful pieces for a guy who is slotted to be the third or fourth most-useful pitcher in his bullpen when his team is battling for third place in its division, seven or eight games out of first, and a similar long-shot for the wild card?
Seriously. Ned Colletti gave up a 25 year-old starting pitcher with a history of minor league success and a 21 year-old outfielder holding his own in AA for a 36 year-old reliever they might control next year if they mutually agree to exercise a $4.5 million option? McDonald already has more swing-and-miss potential than any Pirates starter above AA and Lambo has gotten off to a great start in Altoona.
This may go down as the best trade Neal Huntington ever made if these two young players continue develop to their respective ceilings. It should go down as the worst trade Ned Colletti's ever made regardless of how they pan out.
Add this to the litany of other moves, and again I ask, how does Ned Colletti keep his job?