It has been about a month since contending teams began trading for players who could help them make the postseason
Some of those players have helped, while others have struggled.
Texas Rangers right-hander Ryan Dempster, acquired from the Chicago Cubs in a trade, has been one who hasn’t lived up to expectations yet.
Dempster is 1-1 with an 8.31 ERA since arriving inArlington. He has matched his season-high of eight runs allowed in two of his starts withTexas, giving up nine hits in each of those games. Dempster allowed two home runs, including a grand slam in Monday’s 8-2 loss at the New York Yankees.
“Too much is made of that,” Dempster said of switching leagues. “I know how to make pitches. When you’re facing lineups and you don’t get that break at the bottom of the lineup where you have the pitcher hitting, and you always have a hitter, every pitch is really, really valuable and it just comes down to executing one pitch at a time. Tonight, I paid for my mistakes.”
Wandy Rodriguez, picked up in a deal byPittsburghfromHouston, is also struggling. He went winless in his first three starts, allowing 20 hits and 10 earned runs in 19 innings pitched.
“I don’t know what’s going on with me — I’ve lost the last two games on only one pitch,” Rodriguez said.
On the other hand, Paul Maholm has pitched well since being traded from the Cubs toAtlanta. He earned his fourth career shutout in a 4-0 win at the New York Mets on August 10, allowing just three hits with no walks and five strikeouts while throwing a complete game.
Other starting pitchers acquired in mid-season trades include Francisco Liriano of the Chicago White Sox via Minnesota (no decision in three starts, gave up seven hits, six runs in 3.1 innings pitched of 9-7 loss to Oakland on Saturday), and Joe Blanton of the Los Angeles Dodgers from Philadelphia (11 hits, six runs in 11 innings in first two starts).
Derek Lowe, signed by the Yankees after getting released byClevelandlast week, got the save on Monday against the Rangers, allowing two hits in four innings while walking none and striking out four.
Other relievers who changed teams have had mixed results. Brett Myers, sent to the White Sox from the Astros, pitched nine scoreless innings with three holds in his first 12 appearances. Randy Choate had three holds and four combined scoreless innings pitched in his first 10 appearances for the Dodgers after a deal withMiami.
The Dodgers Brandon League (seven hits, five earned runs in his first 2.2 IP), andCincinnati’s Jonathan Broxton, viaKansas City, (five hits, four earned runs in 1.3 IP in last two outings), have struggled.
The trade winds also brought players who were expected to produce offensively. FormerBostonthird baseman Kevin Youkilis has 10 home runs and 31 RBIs in 39 games with his new club, the White Sox.
Outfielder Ichiro Suzuki, acquired by the Yankees fromSeattle, was hitting .271 with 11 RBIs. He matched a career-high with five RBIs in a 10-4 win atTorontoon Aug. 10.
“There’s always an expectation here, whether it’s fair or not, that when you get traded here you’re supposed to really come and help,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “Some guys are going to feel that heat and I don’t think it’s really bothered him.”
After a slow start following a trade from the Phillies, Dodgers outfielder Shane Victorino came through with a two-run homer in the fifth inning on Monday night atPittsburghto lead the Dodgers to a 5-4 win.
“He’s been through it — playoff runs the last three or four years, World Series,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “They just get hardened, and this is not going to overwhelm him down the stretch.”
Third baseman Hanley Ramirez also has produced for the Dodgers, driving in eight runs in his first seven games with the team and 10 more this month through Monday.
Omar Infante has been a boost to the Detroit Tigers after arriving from the Marlins. He is batting .372 in August with nine RBIs.
San Franciscoadded third baseman Marco Scutaro (Marlins) and outfielder Hunter Pence (Phillies) for the second half. Scutaro knocked in 15 runs in his first 17 games with the Giants, including seven (four on a grand slam) in a 15-0 win atSt. Louison Aug. 8.
Pence, who hit .145 with a home run and 11 RBIs in 13 games, had a three-run homer in the eighth inning of a 9-6 win overColoradoon Sunday.
The Giants scored 57 runs during a recent seven-game road trip.
“You see this lineup, and I don’t see any reason why we can’t continue doing that,” Scutaro said.
Copyright © 2012 Bob Hurst. All Rights Reserved. Distributed by Hurst Sports Media.