The Dodgers claimed Rod Barajas, the 35 year old catcher, off of waivers on Sunday. The Mets basically wanted him off of their roster and it's easy to see why. By the end of May, Rod Barajas had tallied 11 HR's but has only hit one more from June 1 to present. He has totaled a disappointing .225/.263/.414 for the year and has only thrown out 4 base runners in 27 attempts.
He is an upgrade, however. Brad Ausmus hasn't thrown out a base-stealer in 9 attempts and A.J. Ellis has thrown out 5 of 25. Ausmus is hitting .196/.275/.217 and Ellis is hitting .208/.266/.236. With Barajas entering the fold, Ausmus will stay and Ellis will go down. Barajas isn't a great hitter but he should be better than Ausmus and Ellis who really hit like the starting pitcher hitting after them. Barajas may be a boost but I don't think it is an indication that the Dodgers are still "in competition."
I still think that the Dodgers think they are in it and it will be confirmed by how long Manny Ramirez, Ted Lilly and anyone else of value stick around. The White Sox, Rays, Yankees and the Rangers could each use Manny Ramirez as their DH. Pretty much any team in contention could take a flier on Ted Lilly. If Ned hasn't placed these players on waivers, we have to believe that they believe they are in contention.
I was wrong about Manny when I said he wasn't coming back. I may not have been wrong about his delays in getting back but we saw him in a Dodgers uniform and Saturday's lineup had him hitting third and that was the first time in about a month where the Dodgers lineup didn't make me sick.
Vin Scully announced that he will return next year! That is a relief considering everything else that is going on in the organization. It is without hyperbole that I can say that the Dodgers have the best broadcaster in baseball and perhaps in all of sports. He continues to display humility, charm, wisdom and professionalism every time he broadcasts a Dodgers game.
It's also a relief that his retention will not give the job to Lyons and Collins. There may be the law of broadcast conservation going on because with Vinny being the best baseball broadcaster there is, those two couldn't come up with an original baseball thought all season. Perhaps Charlie Steiner would have stepped in but not having Lyons and Collins calling games is a victory for the Dodger fans.