A random thought regarding the Dodgers’ bullpen problems

This isn’t something I’m hearing from a source, either on the record or off. It’s pure speculation on my part. But I’m wondering if Jeff Weaver might be in a big-league uniform pretty soon. He has had four relief appearances at ABQ, two of them really good, two of them mediocre. But it dawns on me that the ONLY reason he didn’t make the team out of spring training was that there wasn’t a 40-man roster spot available. There technically still isn’t one, but one could be cleared quickly by moving Mkz to the 60-day DL (he is going to be out at least that long). It is becoming increasingly apparent that there aren’t many guys in the current crew down there in the bullpen whom Joe Torre feels he can trust in a key, late-inning situation, and last night, he all basically admitted that he doesn’t trust Hong-Chih Kuo right now in an eighth-inning setup situation, which was the exact role Kuo was supposed to have coming into the season. If nothing else, adding Weaver would bring a more veteran presence to the group. Once again, just a thought.

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  • Marcel

    And who exactly would Weaver replace on the active roster? Once Wade comes back, Elbert will go down. But who else is expendable?

    And before anyone says Troncoso, he’s pitching better than most realize.

  • Brooklyn Dodger

    As “pure speculation” goes, yours has the ring of legitimacy. I haven’t been following Weaver’s performances at ABQ, but pitching stats from that hitter’s haven are for the most part meaningless. Since he probably needs regular work at this stage of his career, and because the Dodgers already have two other lefties coming out of the pen, Scott Elbert is probably close to being sent back pretty soon. Any further moves would probably depend upon the health of Cory Wade, and his timetable for returning. At that point Troncoso or Belisario would probably be on the bubble. I’m not a huge Mota fan, but given that he is probably guaranteed $2-3 million (I forget exactly what he’s signed for), I seriously doubt he’s going anywhere, unless it involves a trade. As for Josh Lindblom, I’m guessing the Dodgers want him working regularly in the minors, with a possibility for a recall later in the year, if only to avoid starting his big league arbitration clock earlier than necessary. Also, although he’s undoubtedly a good prospect, Lindblom has no experience beyond AA, and spring training stats are notoriously unreliable.

  • Old Brooklyn Fan

    As it looks, right now, it doesn’t look like there’s anything to lose by bringing up Weaver.

  • Marcel

    Yes, there is something to lose: Troncoso’s production in the long relief role. He is far superior to Weaver.

  • Old Brooklyn Fan

    I wouldn’t disagree with you on that Marcel but I don’t think Weaver will in anyway effect Troncoso.