Fifth starter’s spot remains somewhat fluid

James McDonald is scheduled for now to be the guy again on Thursday night against the Pods. But we asked Joe Torre this morning about McDonald’s tendency to lose focus. Joe mentioned that it seems to happen a lot against the opposing team’s pitcher after McDonald has pretty much mowed through the rest of the lineup.
“The thing that was a little baffling for me was that he got (No. 8 hitter Yorvit) Torrealba out on two pitches, and then he walks to the pitcher,” Torre said of McDonald’s third-inning letdown last night. “Then he walks the leadoff hitter, and all of a sudden, you are holding on, and losing focus is the only way you can really describe it. … The different thing about this league as opposed to the American League is that you get to face the pitcher. But you have to continue to pitch. you can’t concern yourself with just throwing strikes (to the pitcher), because (when you do that), you aren’t letting it go the same way. And then, when you try to get it back, a certain panic sets in.”
As I mentioned last night, Joe does like the thought of having McDonald in the bullpen. Jeff Weaver pitched decently for ABQ last night, and Eric Milton is pitching for ABQ today after throwing six shutout innings in his previous start. And keep in mind, Milton’s contract allows him to leave and become a free agent at any time, and he told club officials when he agreed to begin the season at ABQ that he would go for about a month and see what happened.
“We have no plan yet,” Torre said. “Until we get a plan, (McDonald) will still be (the fifth starter). I have no anticipation of changing that, but if something does change, obviously, that will change. We haven’t really talked a lot about any changes right now. I think we’ll wait until Cory (Wade) comes back and see where we are, because he certainly will help our bullpen.”

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  • Marcel

    Oh, wow, Milton is EXACTLY what the rotation needs: another left hander. Only a very, very bad one.

  • Marcel

    BTW, Milton’s start today in New Orleans is BELOW sea level. That should preface any success he may have.

  • GScott

    I realize high altitudes provide less air resistance and thus balls travel further, but being below sea level isn’t going to make fly balls NOT travel. There is no reverse affect. Any success he may have should be attributed to him facing minor leaguers, not the air density.

  • grumpy3b

    hey guys…as for the debacle in Coors this weekend. 2-1 is good but obviously most of the staff that pitched had probs. Something I notices was for the night games the temp was around 45-48 degrees. I had the sense the several Dodger pitchers simply had problems getting a grip on the ball. Witness the Ox he would throw 2 or 3 that he really had no clue what went wrong with then after getting some circulation back in his fingers he had “the stuff” again.

    And that was just one example. Today Kershaw was sort of all over the place. It wasn’t as cold but a 15mph wind at game time according to the box & gameday. I know both teams played under the same conditions but it takes time to learn how to cope with different stadiums. Anyone remember some awful nights Dodgers had in Candlestone over the years? 😉

    Add the weather on top of Kershaw being shaky the past start and now this one…he just kinda sucks right now. 😉

    As for Milton…why not just go ahead and trade Kemp for Odalis Perez if they are gonna bring up Milton. Heck, sign Tommy John instead.

    I just do not feel the Dodgers have much help in ABQ pitching wise. Nice to have some older guys under glass for filling a hole in case of dire emergency but the guys there now, uhhhh, no.

  • GScott


    Rule #5: No excuses. Play like a champion.

  • GScott

    err, rule #76.

  • Dave R.

    Six scoreless for Milton tonight…not good.

  • rjthrelkeld

    Good news Grumpy3br2,

    I believe Odalis is a FA. He signed with Was over the winter and then refused to report to ST, choosing to sulk over his pittance wage. He pitched well last year and was the staff ace (for the Gnats). I don’t think he’s signed with anyone since, so Odalis can come back and p(b)itch w/o giving up Kemp and Loney. I’ll bet I made your day! He will surely ask for your username though.