Results tagged ‘ Dee Gordon ’
We are 30 Days Away from Pitchers and Catchers reporting, Almost a month before the first Spring Training Game against the White Soxs, and 78 Days until Opening Day. A lot can happen between that time and that has been proven before. This off-season the Dodgers managed to go on a spending spree to try to improve the team. Stan Kasten and Ned Colleti got together and signed the likes of Zack Greinke and Hyun Jin Ryu as well as trade for guys to help on the bench such as Skip Shoemaker. Off the field the Dodgers have been busy getting Dodger Stadium redone to not only improve fan experance but improve the Stadium for the players and modernize the 51 year old stadium as well. As we aproach the 2013 Season there are still questions that loom over the Los Angeles Dodgers. Regardless of the amount of talent and spending the Dodgers did there’s still some things that many are uncertain with. Let’s see what questions suround the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Will Zack Greinke live up to expectations in L.A?
I think this is the key question many were asking once the Dodgers signed Greinke. Yes the Dodgers did pay a lot for Greinke and we understand that but in this case Dodgers had Greinke on their list and was willing to pay whatever for him so lets clear that up. Theres going to be a lot of things expected from Grenike and with him being the #1 Pitching Free Agent there’s going to be pressure on him for a fact. To be honest I for one am not worried about Greinke at Dodger Stadium but when the Dodgers go out on the road is something that I will keep a good eye on. I think if he can stay consistent and healthy then watch out MLB.
How will Hyun Jin Ryu adjust to the Major Leagues?
Lets be real here we know International players have to adjust to the style of Major league pitching and play and Ryu is no different. After a dominant career in the KBO (Korean Baseball Organization) Hyun Jin Ryu signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers and if you look at his highlights you along with myself would be very excited to see him pitch. The one good thing about this is that no one in the Majors has seen Ryu pitch but MLB runs longer for pitchers which is something Ryu does know and is preparing for. I do believe Ryu will be a treat to watch but also is very unknown to many fans in the U.S. I think as the season progresses we will know more about him on the field.
Will Chad Billingsley, Matt Kemp, and Carl Crawford be the same coming off Injuries?
A concern with the Dodgers last season and something that hampered the team was Injuries. Chad Billingsley came off a stent on the DL when the second half of the 2012 season hit and was really pitching well until he suffered a partially torn right elbow ligament which sidelined him for the rest of the season. Matt Kemp was also bothered with injuries throughout the season and that affected his play through the season. Suffering from Hamstring injuries that sidelined him until the All-Star break and then tearing his right labrum and a frayed shoulder-blade which really affected him through the season. While Carl Crawford didn’t suit up with the Dodgers last season he also was injured and had to have Tommy John surgery which sidelined him for the season as a Red Sox. The health of those three have been closely watched since the end of the season and from the sounds of it progress is being made with Kemp and Billingsley. Kemp is swinging the bat again and working with McGwire in Arizona, Experiencing no pain while Billingsley has went fourth with is throwing program and from what is being said he’s sound confident which is also good to hear. While nothing is out on Crawford they expect him to be the Opening Day Starter at Left Field. My main concern at the moment for these guys is game speed. Yes they’ll have Spring Training to get it together but will they be at game speed and game condition once the season hits? Last thing everyone wants is for Kemp, Billingsley, and Crawford to struggle because that’s never a good thing to see. The key for their success as players is going to be Good health and confidence and If they can do that then watch out.
If Carl Crawford Isn’t Ready Who Starts at Left Field?
This was the talk at the end of last season and the answers was all over the place. In the event of Crawford not being able to play come the start of the season then who will start at his position? There were tons of players thrown into the discussion and some weren’t bad ideas while others were ehhh I don’t know. One Idea was to sign back Shane Victorino but there were two problems with that. 1) Shane wanted to be a starter and was not going to sign with the Dodgers to be a bench player once Crawford returned plus I questioned if he even wanted to be a Dodger and 2) he signed with the Red Soxs for a ridiculous amount of money so he’s officially out the picture. A few players also thrown out there was Juan Rivera which isn’t a bad idea but wasn’t the same player he was when he was traded to the Dodgers and Tony Gwynn Jr who was with the Dodgers until L.A. designated him for Assignment to Albuquerque. Yasiel Puig is a name plenty of Dodger fans put out there and while he is on the 40 man roster and has been Killing it in the Minors I question if he is indeed ready for MLB ball. He hit a major slump in winter ball but seems to be picking it back up. We have to see how he does at Spring Training to really judge if he is truly ready.
Will Luis Cruz repeat his 2012 Season
Luis Cruz was fantastic and was quite the surprise in the 2012 season. Cruz really became a popular player in Los Angeles and a key player as well earning the everyday 3rd Base spot. This season Mattingley said that the plan will be for Cruz to be starting 3rd baseman come Opening Day and why not? How the way he played Last season he should but whether he will make the same impact is a good question. Cruz will be playing with Team Mexico in the World baseball Classic so he will miss part of Spring training with the Dodgers for that. We’ve seen Juan Rivera who had a good impact on the team some what struggle the next season along with Dee Gordon and that is one thing that is in the back of some minds but with Cruz he has the work ethic to be better and help this team so it’s something to keep an eye out.
Is Andre Ethier on his way out of Los Angeles?
Andre Either has had his name in many trade rumors in the off-season and while the word is that the Dodgers are listening to offers they have not indicated that they will trade Ethier. Andre Ethier signed a 5 year $85 Million Contract extention during the season which raises eyebrows on why the Dodgers would trade him. Yes the knock has been that he can’t hit off left-handed pitchers and we all understand that but wouldn’t it be fair to wait and see how he does with Crawford AND Kemp in the outfield with him? There has been the rumor of him being traded to Seattle then signing Michael Bourn but that remains to be seen at the moment. I honestly think if Ethier struggles come the trade deadline then the Dodgers will likely look into Trading Ethier away but with his contract there isn’t many teams who will be willing to take him. I see the Dodgers holding on to Andre because as of right now it’s the right and smart thing to do.
Will The Dodger Stadium Renovations Be Done In Time?
I think this is another major question but it takes place with the stadium. If you have seen pictures of Dodger Stadium being redone or have been to the stadium then you can’t help but to worry about the Stadium being done in time for Opening Day. Stan Kasten made note that it will be ready by March 29th when the Dodgers take the field for their exhibition game against the Angels. Dodger Stadium was in need of renovations and that wasn’t a mystery at all if you visited there. After the 2012 Season the renovations start to modernize the 51 Year old Stadium but the worry is if it will be done and ready in time. It’s currently January right now and Dodger Stadium has to be ready by March for the season but in the event of it NOT being ready then there has been plans in place for the Dodgers to play at the L.A. Coliseum or Angel Stadium. I don’t believe that the Dodgers will have to play else where for their games and that the stadium will indeed be ready by March. They’ve already moved the Dodgertown Classic where USC and UCLA play at Dodger Stadium due to renovations so that’s already one event down. Yes A lot has to be done and it is a concern about getting it done in time but workers are working hard to get the upgrades done and it will be worth it.
Will Hanley Ramirez and Adrian Gonzalez Have A Better Season L.A.?
Hanley Ramirez and Adrian Gonzalez had up and down season in L.A. after they were aquired. With Adrian playing in the World baseball classic and Hanley in Winter Leagues I expect those two to improve. Another advantage is that Mark McGwire is the hitting coach and based on what he did for the Cardnials I can see him really doing what he can to help Hanley and Adrian improve. Weather it will work or or not is something we will have to wait and see. If Adrian Gonzalez can hit lights out and if Hanley can hit like his 2009 Batting Champion self then the Dodgers will really be a dangerous team hitting wise.
This week’s post is going to be something very very special. Baseball headlines shifted to the L.A./OC Area thanks to the Dodgers and Angels making big moves in the off-season. Kristen, who runs a great blog http://blithescribe.mlblogs.com/ as well as a very good friend to this blog and I have decided to come together to bring you the I-5 Bias “Hot Stove Edition”. Between the A’s winning the AL West, Giants winning the WS (Yuck!) as well as the Angels and Dodgers making huge splashes in the off season California Baseball has been something else. Kristen and I have set a side 6 questions that you may have been asking as of late and wanted answered. Well we got them right here for you so without further or due. I-5 Bias!!
1- Which of your team’s offseason moves do you think was the strongest?
Matt says: As important Pitching was this off-season I’m not going to say it was Zach Greinke or Ryu. I think the strongest was Mark McGwire as the Dodgers hitting coach. The Dodgers had issues with getting hits and runs in games and that hurt the Dodgers playoff chances. Look at what Mark did as hitting coach with the Cardinals. They were pretty much in the top ten in Runs, Batting Avg, and OPB. For a Dodger Team with Matt Kemp, Hanley Ramirez, Adrian Gonzalez, Andre Ethier, and Carl Crawford that’s going to be huge help for them.
Kristen says: I imagine everyone is expecting me to say Josh Hamilton here. Hamilton was a huge signing and should be a boon to the team, combining with Albert Pujols, Mike Trout and Mark Trumbo to make the Angels offense a formidable one indeed (at least on paper – I am very careful about how excited I allow myself to get before the teams actually take the field when, as any longtime baseball fan can tell you, anything can happen). However, I actually think the Angels strongest move was the most recent – the trade for Jason Vargas. As a player, Hamilton is definitely on another level than Vargas and will probably contribute more to the team directly. But trading for Vargas set the rest of the Angels roster in ways that will benefit the entire team and make Hamilton’s talents that much more effective. In addition to providing another reliable, workhorse arm to a starting rotation that needed exactly that, the Kendrys Morales for Vargas trade ensured that the Angels do not have to make less advantageous trades to get said arm. They no longer have to worry about trading the more versatile slugger Mark Trumbo, whose bat has the potential to be more explosive in the lineup with Hamilton. They no longer have to worry about trading Peter Bourjos, who can instead be the gold glove caliber centerfield anchor between Hamilton and Trout in what should be a truly scary Angels outfield — oh, and having Bourjos and Trout tear up the base paths together won’t hurt either.
2- What, If anything, do you think your team still needs to do?
Matt says: I still think the Dodgers need to address the Bullpen and bench. Dodgers lack a LHP out the pen. Scott Elbert is still out, Paco Rodriguez isn’t really ready for a full stent like that, and missed the chance at resigning Randy Choate. The only thing the Dodgers did for the bullpen was resign Brandon League. They have Chris Capuano and Aaron Harang out there on the trade block so maybe they trade them for Bullpen help. Bench wise I believe the Dodgers have to address getting a 4th Outfielder because lets be honest Yasnel Puig isn’t really ready quite yet. They traded for Skip Shoemaker which help but a 1st/3rd Baseman off the bench along with a 4th Outfield will really help.
Kristen says: Well, if we were asking these questions earlier in the week, I would have said that the Angels need another starting pitcher in bold, italicized, all caps, 24 point font. But, thank you Santas Jerry Dipoto and Arte Moreno, that seems to be taken care of – see previous response. Instead I’m going to enter complete fairy tale land here (Well, it is Christmas after all — might as well wish big!) and say that I think the Angels need to move Vernon Wells, even if it means eating almost all of that huge contract. Nothing against Wells himself — he has been a smiling example of good attitude, trying hard to improve at the plate and gracefully moving wherever the team asked him to, including the bench. But this acquisition just hasn’t work out, and that’s putting it mildly. I would love it if any of the, quite frankly, trade porn rumors surrounding one team or another showing interest in Wells worked out…even if the deal is for practically nothing! The Angels would seriously benefit from having the room on the 25-man roster and I think Wells himself would benefit from the chances offered by that supposed panacea, the change of scenery.
3- Now that we know what you want your team to do, what do you think they will do? Any trade/move/signing predictions?
Matt says: I think the Dodgers will end up Trading Aaron Harang or Chris Capuano along with Dee Gordon for a Left Hand Arm out the bullpen. Theres been rumors about Andre Ethier being traded but I don’t see that happening at all. As far as signings go I believe the Dodgers will look into the Market for a Outfielder or Corner position player off the bench but at the same time I think they’re done.
Kristen says: I think that, with the Vargas trade, the Angels are pretty much done. I suppose that you might hear about a smaller move here or there – one lesser known bullpen pitcher or non-top minor league prospect for another, but other than that they’re done making deals for the offseason. Although, if Jerry Dipoto chooses to see this as a challenge — because of course the Angels read my blog – and moves Vernon Wells just to spite my prediction, I certainly wouldn’t mind being wrong.
4- There has been A LOT of money being spent in LA/OC these days. A LOT OF IT! Does the Payroll of the teams or amount being spent worry you at all?
Matt says: To be honest yest it does. With the amount of money being put into the Dodgers I would hope winning comes with it. You can’t buy wins or world series and playing Yankee ball can only work when done right. I fear of the Dodgers being like the Red Soxs. All the money being spent and no playoff apperance or anything. Not only that but the fear of Contracts back loading up to where the Dodgers can’t do anything in the future but the Dodgers said they have deep pockets and a new 2 Billion dollar TV deal is coming in soon so we shall see what happens but I can’t say it doesn’t worry me or isn’t in the back of my mind. Everyone tries to play Yankee Ball but the only way that works is if you get the players that fit and generate wins.
Kristen says: Absolutely. Spending this much money should scare anyone. Every player, no matter how talented, is a risk. No one wants to see it happen but any player has the potential to age, slump, lose their swing/pitching location/etc., fail to mesh with a given team and (God forbid) get injured. And when you’ve spent outrageous sums of money acquiring that player, the end result of any such occurrence is devastating because suddenly you’re priced out of just eating that paycheck one way or another to move the player off your roster. And if this happens on several such deals? Yeah, say hello to a nice block of ever-so-much-fun-for-the-whole-team-family “rebuilding” seasons. No. Thank. You!
Here’s the thing though – I think that more and more teams are going to need to come to terms with this level of spending as we go on. Teams are wisely locking up their talent before they hit free agency with greater frequency, leaving smaller free agency pools for teams in a buying mode to fight over. Nothing against Zack Greinke — he’s one hell of a pitcher and I wish the Angels had been able to keep him – but do you really think he would have garnered this impressive a contact if the Giants, Phillies and Angels had allowed Matt Cain, Cole Hammels and Jered Weaver to hit the free agency market in 2013 as scheduled? And Greinke is just the latest example of this phenomenon. And, of course, when quality players are making those kinds of dollars you know that marquee players will command even more from their current team or on the FA market (Holy Staggering Albert Pujols Contract, Batman!!). The end result is that, while the Dodgers and Angels may seem to be leading the charge at the moment, more and more teams will be joining in that charge out of necessity over the next several seasons – as a trend this is both kind of exciting and very scary
5- The MLBN analysts seem to think that the Dodgers and Angels offseason moves are all about one upping each other. Do you think there is any truth to this? How do you feel about that?
Matt says: You know that’s an interesting question. I honestly don’t think it’s one upping at all and theres two reasons for that. 1- The Dodgers and Angels are filling needs that prevented them from making the playoffs. Thing was it just so happen the Angels signed Hamilton in the heat of the Dodgers making serious moves. 2- The Angels turned out to be the mystery team that was after Hamilton and got him just like last year with Albert Pujols and CJ Wilson So they’ve done this before. People predicted the Dodgers having money to throw at Free Agents before Off-Season. I don’t believe it’s one upping at all but It has caught the attention of the National Media so I like the westcoast attention the Baseball Media is giving.
Kristen says: To quote Annie Savoy, “Baseball may be a religion full of magic, cosmic truth, and the fundamental ontological riddles of our time, but it’s also a job.” Or, from the owners’ perspectives it’s also a business. I’m sure Arte Moreno and Magic Johnson and partners do consider things like Los Angeles/Orange County market share when they’re making decisions about advertising, overall ballpark experience and the price of parking, beer, etc. But I highly doubt that this thinking extends to personnel decisions. Competitive teams that win games and reach the Postseason make fans happy and draw them to the ballpark. In order to do that, it’s far more important to be competitive within one’s own division than with an interleague rival as I’m sure all owners and GMs involved are well aware. I can see why the timing of some of the Angels and Dodgers free agency signings lead to the comments in question on MLBN, but I think that both the signings and their timing had little to do with Freeway Series rivalry. Yes, the Angels wanted Zack Greinke and so did the Dodgers. But at least half a dozen other teams also seriously wanted Greinke. He was the best free agent starting pitcher on the market this season. Once the Dodgers signed Greinke, I’m not surprised that the Hamilton signing followed so quickly on its heels. Suddenly the Angels had a lot less pokers in the big money free agents fire and could just concentrate their efforts on Hamilton.
6- Now on to something really important – the annual LA/OC billboard war. Which team do you think will have the most/best billboards plastered all over town?
Matt says: Hahaha It was a year ago when the Angels had billboards all over LA/OC until the Dodgers got new owners. I believe it’ll be fairly even. In the OC you have Albert Pujols, Jarred Weaver, Josh Hamilton, and Mike Trout where in LA you have Matt Kemp, Zack Greinke, Clayton Kershaw, and Adrian Gonzalez. I believe the Dodgers will have them posted all over L.A. knowing Magic and his promoting of the Dodger brand and the Angels will do a lot of marking themselves as well. It’ll be interesting to see.
Kristen says: *snerk* The “billboard wars” always make me smile and laugh. I take the 605 freeway to work. Most seasons that freeway is littered with Dodgers billboards heading south and Angels billboards heading north as if both teams were making a concerted effort to convert their rival fan base. Honestly, the arrival of the billboards is one of my favorite So Cal signs of spring. Last season at the height of all of the Frank McCourt ick in L.A., the Angels rather dominated the local billboard space and, as much as I like seeing red everywhere I look, it just wasn’t nearly as much fun as when it’s a “battle.” (Yes, mine is a long and boring commute and I take my simple pleasures where I can. Why do you ask?) However, between Arte Moreno (who made his fortune in advertising and billboards, don’cha know) and Magic Johnson (who also seems to have an admirable grasp of the importance of good marketing) I am sure both that teams will being trying to convert us all once again this season – looking forward to it, in fact!
Its About that Time to fill out your Ballots!! We’re about 3 Months away from the Midsummer Classic and this year it’s being hosted in Kansas City Missouri (Royals). Yesterday the Ballots were released for the fans to Vote for the Starters in the All-Star game and many on the Ballot are well worthy while others you wonder why they’re on there. For the Dodgers the Ballot consisted of James Loney, Matt kemp, Andre Ethier, Juan Rivera, Juan Uribe, AJ Ellis, Dee Gordon, and Mark Ellis. Yeah Pretty much the Starting Line up for the Dodgers. There are others who are on the Ballot who have been there before and others who are putting up really good numbers. Now In my honest opinion its kind of early to vote right now seeing the season started a few weeks ago but It never hurts to Vote right now.
I took the liberty of voting early because Voting just once doesn’t hurt. So far my NL Picks are basiclly What I think will be the picks come the Announcements. Many people may agree many may disagree but It’s a good discusion.
1B- Joey Votto (Reds)
2B- Aaron Hill (D-Backs)
SS- Starlin Castro (Cubs)
3B- David Freese (Cardnials)
c- AJ Ellis (Dodgers)
OF- Matt Kemp (Dodgers) Andre Ethier (Dodgers) and Micheal Cuddyer (Rockies)
This isn’t final as there may be some guys who show me that they deserve to be a Starter in the All-Star game. For my AL People no need to worry I kept a close eye and so far the AL Infield is almost a Detroit Tiger dominated one with Prince Fielder, Miguel Cabrerra, and Alex Avila. If Derrick Jetter continues his play then watch for him to be a starter as well. It’s Still early so theirs enough time to vote. Remember fans you can only vote up to 25 times but take time to see who’s really worthy to go.
Dodgers starting off the season on Fire going 9-1 making it their best Start since 1988…That was the year they won the World Series. After All that the Dodgers have went through this is a start that the Dodgers and it’s fans could use. Now not to rain on parades but the last time the Dodgers had a great start was 2005 where the Dodgers jumped out of the gate at 12-2 but ended the season at 71-91 which was one of the Franchises worst records but what makes this so different is that the Dodgers have the players to do damage. I’ve heard it all from people regarding this start and while Many are excited about the 9-1 start others are skeptical stating that they’ve only played two teams that the Dodgers Should handle. I for one am Excited at the 9-1 Start but see room for improvement but what can you say?
I understand that we’re 10 games into a 162 Game season and anything can happen but rallying the wins for this Ball club won’t hurt. I will throw out one argument is the whole “Look at who the Dodgers played” or They’re suppose to be them comments. Its hard to go 9/10 In Baseball against Any Team in Baseball and the way the Dodgers Did it makes this start impressive. The Dodgers will be tested this week against on the road against the Milwaukee Brewers and get the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals (Yes I said the Nationals) at Dodgers Stadium before hitting a tough month of May. The 9-1 Start is a good build in momentum leading up to the tough games.
Why are the Dodgers on this good start. Well 10 Games in the Dodgers are playing really good Baseball. offensively the Dodgers are getting great production from Matt Kemp who has been continuing to play out of his mind and Andre Ethier is redeeming himself from a not so good 2011 Season and Juan Rivera is still that solid player to back them up but it’s not only those three stepping up to help. Mark Ellis, AJ Ellis, and YES Juan Uribe are also contributing with their bats. The Dodgers however need Dee Gordon to get on base to provide another Base Stealing threat for the Dodgers but Dee will have to have better plate discipline for that to happen. Pitching has also been pretty good. While Clayton Kershaw has yet to record a win others behind him has stepped up to help provide the wins. Chad Billingsley in two games has played like he did in his All-Star years proving to be a Solid number two. Ted Lilly in his first start back from injury and Chris Capuano has really stepped up as well. While some like the Bullpen right now Outside of Javy Guerra, Kenley Janson, and Josh Lindbloom ,who has done a great job so far, Im not yet sold on the Bullpen but so far has done a good job.
What does this start mean? Well for the Dodgers and Dodger fans it means a lot. After enduring what went down last season and the off-season with McCourt the Dodgers and the City of Los Angeles are riding a high off Momentum. Momentum that has started with Magic’s Group Purchase of the Dodgers and continuing with the Dodgers play and if the Dodgers keep this up then sky is the limit for the team. Now the Dodgers won’t sweep everyone or win every series but if the Dodgers can take 2 of 3 or 3 of 4 in most series games and the NL West then they’re in the Playoffs and add another NL West title. Los Angeles is buzzing thanks to the Boy in Blue. Something Special is happening in Los Angeles Baseball Fans.
What a memoriable Week it’s been for the Dodgers and it’s fans. After going 3-1 in San Diego the Dodgers came back home to a much hyped crowd at Dodger Stadium to play the Pittsburgh Pirates. I was able to get myself to all three games in the series and I have to say it’s truely amazing to see the Dodgers in person no matter what. Opening Day at Dodger Stadium was the Day everyone was looking forward to and in front of a packed Stadium. I couldn’t catch the festivites due to the traffic getting to Dodger Stadium but was able to see the Game where Clayton Kershaw took the mound and pitched really good game. The highlight of the game had to be Andre Ethier’s Home run to go on top and win the game ON HIS BIRTHDAY!! and the Festivites before (Even though I couldn’t catch them). The celebration of Dodgers Stadium 50th Anniversary was something very special to All Dodger fans. Those in the Stadium and those who couldn’t make it it was special. Not only was it the First game at Dodger Stadium but it was the a chance to reflect on the history of moments that has happened at Dodger Stadium and reflect on Past Dodgers and appriciate the Tradition and What being a Dodger fan is all about.
The Second night the threat of rain couldn’t stop some of those to make their way to the Stadium and see the Dodgers and even in the Cold the Boys in blue and Billingsley play couldn’t cool of the Dodgers and they rolled through Pittsburgh in this game. The Pirates looked very out matched and the Dodgers showed what they could do. Even though there was less of a crowd than Opening Day the Dodgers still played and fed off that energy. And How could I forget!! Clayton Kershaw recieved his Cy Young that night and what a epic night after having a Monster 2011 Year. The fans also got the
The Final Night once again faced a threat of rain which was a cause for another low attendance but still Didn’t Stop Dodgers from doing their thing. Los Angeles was able to hold off the Pirates and complete the sweep 3-2 Improving the Record to 6-1. Solid controbutions by the Dodgers have helped this team really step their game up and get off to a great start and even though the Pirates made it interesting late Dodgers Pitching was able to help them out in this game to hold them off completing the Sweep. With this sweep the Dodgers are off to their first 6-1 Start since 1981…..That was the year they won the World Series. Now weather it’ll have the same results is something we ALL hope for but now it’s early in the Season with the Padres coming to Los Angeles for another series with the Dodgers.
This week was something that Many Dodger fans including myself will never forget this week at all. The Dodgers are also on a roll but will they keep it up? Lets hope but after this week Dodger fans should be very excited for whats to come for the rest of the season! Keep it going Dodgers and Dodger fans keep up the support and come see your Boys in Blue
As Spring Training comes to a close and Opening Day approaches It’s time that we take a look into the Dodgers Spring Training. Filled with some good play, bad play, Bad weather, Hot weather, Ties, magical ownerships The Dodgers wrapping up Spring Training in Arizona before heading to Anaheim to play the Angels in the Freeway Series. The Dodgers went on to have a 14-13 Record in Spring Training with a few ties. Watching the games that we’re televised on TV I would have to say there were somethings that have impressed me and some that didn’t impress me but all in all Spring Training have given us a taste of whats to come. Lets go ahead and Recap Spring Training in Arizona.
Who Impressed-There were a few Players this Spring that really impressed me. One who stood out the most was Andre Ethier and Dee Gordon. Ethier who is coming off Knee Surgery and a not so good 2011 Season managed to Play this spring with many questions that appears to be answered for right now. Ethier played like the Ethier that we all know and is showing the potential for a monster season. Dee Gordon exploded into the Major League scene with his amazing speed but his issue has been hitting at the Major League Level. During Spring Training Leading off Dee has been able to hit into the Gaps and Successful bunting by taking advantage of his speed. Stealing Bases as well has been a huge success this spring as well. Clayton Kershaw and Matt Kemp have also showed how they can look to improve on their Monster Season from 2011. Any worry so far of them disapointing have not shown so far. Juan Rivera, Nathian Eovaldi, and Kenley Jansen have also pitched in with stellar showings as well which give Dodger fans something to look forward too.
Who Disapointed- While some impressed there have been a few that really disapointed me this Spring Training. Juan Uribe who had a disapointing 2011 Season had a lot to prove to people. During the Spring Uribe really have not shown that things will get better for the season. Uribe who is on the Opening Day Line up will have to produce this season. Another set of players that have disapointed me have been Chad Billingsley and Ted Lily. Billingsley who has been in the All-Star game a very good pitcher has found himself imploading in the middle of games giving up runs and beat up by batters. During the Spring it seemed like we were getting a repeat of the 2011 Season as Billingsley went through his mid game breakdowns that would hurt the team. Ted Lily also had issues with pitching last season giving up multipul home runs in games which really put the Dodgers in a bad position as well. In the Spring Ted Lily had also had the same isssue as well as getting bases stolen off of him. Lily is starting the Season on the DL due to Neck stiffness issues which sidelined him for the rest of Spring training.
One Year under Mattingley’s Belt- Last Season Don Mattingley did a pretty good job managing the team dispite off the field issues with the Franchise ownership. Keeping the teams focus on the field play good ball has been one heck of an effort by Mattingley. This season he will look to apply somethings that he learned from last season and apply it to become even better. The potential is really briht for Mattingley to become a very Good Manager. The players respect and play hard for him and the Fans love him.
Big heart Factor- I can’t count how many times this team has been down late in games and stormed back to either take the lead or tie the game. The Dodgers have showed that other teams that games aren’t over until the final out and have stormed back a few times thanks to late game heroics. This team can fight and weather they apply it to the Season. If so then they can really be something when down in games.
Storyline of Spring Training- One way or another The Dodgers Ownership situation would dominate the headlines and most of the time it wasn’t positive. This Time It was Magical. April 27th would be a day where the Los Angeles Dodgers would open another new chapter in Dodger Baseball. Magic Johnson, Stan Kasten, Mark Wither and co Were approved by MLB and Former Owner Frank McCourt as they bought the Dodgers for 2.15 Billion. The new Ownership group was a sign and start of whats to be a Bright future for Dodger Baseball and the City of Los Angeles as they look to restore the luster back into one of Baseballs most historic franchises. This is something all Dodger fans can really low towards as this is the start of a brand new and Magical Era in Not only Dodgers baseball but MLB it’s self.
For those who play Fantasy Baseball like myself looking into Spring Training and picking players who could bring you wins and a Fantasy League title can be a hard process. Well look no further than here for your Fantasy Fix here (On the Dodgers end that is). Looking at the Spring Training games and Projecting what players could help you win and theres quite a few who could put up solid numbers, Just enough to get you by. While some maybe Obvious others will really make you think. Just a heads up Im exluding Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw because those are no brainers right there.
OF Andre Ethier- I truely believe that Ethier will have a big year this year. This spring he has impressed a lot of people and can only carry over to the season (As we hope). If you’re drafting Don’t take him too early. Ethier will likely be there around the 4th and 6th round. 5th round would be best to take him. He’ll put up solid numbers if you’re loking for RBI’s, HR, and Batting AVG.
OF/1B- Juan Rivera- Last year Rivera had a solid year with the Dodgers. Second Half of the season He put up some decent numbers to help the Dodgers. People who picked him up also loved the year he had as well. This spring he struggled some what but I can see Rivera picking it up in time for the season. Juan Rivera will likely get picked up late in Drafts so there shouldn’t be a urgancy to scoop him up in a hurry. Just like Ethier you can expect Rivera to give you RBI’s, HR, and Batting AVG Stats.
SS Dee Gordon-Looking for Steals? Dee Gordon is your guy for that! Dee Gordon ,who wowed fans with his Speed stealing bases, Looking to add on to last season. During Spring training Dee improved getting on base by hitting into the gaps and successful bunts. Another guy you can pick up between the 5th and 6th round of a draft. Gordon will help with Steals in a BIG way this season and if the chance is there then get to it.
RP Kenley Jansen- Looking for a under the radar pick for the Bullpen? Kenley Jansen is your guy. Jansen who is a setup Pitcher had a monster year with the Dodgers Striking out 61 Batters in 32.2 Innings and having 0.55 ERA at the time before going down with a Irregular Heartbeat. Spring Training it looked as if he Didn’t lose a step. Likely Jansen will be a steal for you if you can’t get that pitcher you had your eye on.
CL- Javy Gurrea-Javy Guerra closed for the Dodgers last year and did wonders closing for LA. Guerra along with Jansen make a deadly 1-2 Punch in the Bullpen. You can’t go wrong picking Guerra if you don’t get Jansen. Guerra I believe will put up solid numbers for fantasy teams. Guerra will likely be there later on in the Draft so no need to rush for him.