03 July 2004

L.A. Showcase

In the past, the Los Angeles Dodgers are far less than a blip on my radar.

With that in mind, 2004 has changed that drastically. Not because I've decided that Gagne is amazing and worth following very closely (which he is).
Not because new GM and Moneyball disciple Paul DePodesta is a great hire for an up-and-coming team (also true)...and definitely not because I share the home of the Columbus Catfish, L.A.'s Class A affiliate.(although said city has something to do with it.)

The answer: Edwin Jackson. Edwin Jackson
Jackson grew up in Columbus, GA (the home office of COD Blog) and exceled at Shaw High School before being drafted by the Dodgers.
After a brief minor league career, Jackson made his major league debut in the Sunday night ESPN Game of the Week last year on his 20th birthday. His opponent: Future Hall of Famer Randy Johnson. Yikes.
So, what does the kid do? Dominates from the first pitch, outduels The Big Unit and picks up his first major league win. Oh, did I mention that he turned 20?

Consider myself (and many a baseball fan) a believer.

So, why this lament on a 20 year old?

Edwin got the call to join the big club again, against crosstown rival Anaheim and their reluctant ace, Bartolo Colon.

Prediction: A solid performance for Edwin, and a permanent spot in the rotation.
With Nomo's health concerns, I think L.A. feels the time is right to hand the ball to their top prospect and see what he can do every fifth day. Edwin never returns to AAA and finishes the season in the bigs.

Now to the real question: Will he still be in Dodger Blue?

While I feel that Edwin is being given his long-awaited shot, I can't help but think it's all a showcase for a potential suitor to help bolster L.A.'s rotation and/or lineup with talent and power.

Will DePodesta pull the trigger on a trade? Most likely.

Will Jackson's name surface? Definitely.

Will the future be sent packing for the now. Too close to call.

I can say this: The kid looks awfully good in Dodger Blue.

The ball is in your court, Mr. DePodesta. I trust you'll make the right call.

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