Monday, February 18, 2013

30 Teams in 30 Days: Los Angeles Dodgers

Money, money, money, money....I'm thinking the Dodgers borrowed the theme song to The Apprentice considering how much money they are spending lately. Literally GM Ned Colletti probably has nearly unlimited money to spend. The Dodgers acquired many pieces last season: HanRam, Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Brandon League..though League is awful. Now, in Don Mattingly's last year under contract, he is tasked with making this all work. The Dodgers have a ton of position players, pitchers, all of which need to find their roles. So, let's take a look at the Dodgers..

Starting Lineup
LF Carl Crawford
2B Mark Ellis
CF Matt Kemp
1B Adrian Gonzalez
SS Hanley Ramirez
RF Andre Ethier
3B Luis Cruz
C   AJ Ellis

The question is who is going to lead off. Ellis led off 31 games last season, and hit over .300 when leading off an inning. Yet, Ellis just is not a leadoff type. Crawford should lead off and hopefully return to some form. Kemp - Ethier should be one of the best 3-6 lineups in the league, particularly with moving Ethier down as he gets older. Cruz and Ellis are tough to predict because they're journeymen with one good, albeit really solid, seasons. Cruz has to watch out because the Dodgers have other options: Dee Gordon, Skip Schumaker or if you really want to dig deep, Juan Uribe or Nick Punto. Ellis should watch out for Tim Federowicz who is younger and likely to produce a bit more. It's a matter of this team gelling together, but it's nearly impossible for one of them to not carry the team and be productive.

Starting Rotation
SP Clayton Kershaw
SP Zack Greinke
SP Josh Beckett
SP Hyun-Jin Ryu
SP Chad Billingsley

At least the Dodgers have a ton of rotation depth. We know who are going to be 1-2; they are two of the best in the league. No worries with Kershaw and Greinke. Beckett and Ryu are 3 & 4. Beckett should be more comfortable in the NL West and have a return to form. Ryu's contract earns him the 4 spot. 5 should be held by Billingsley if he is healthy but look at who they can turn to: Chris Capuano, Aaron Harang and Ted Lilly. I'm thinking two of them are going to be traded, but we'll see.

CL Brandon League
SU Kenley Jansen
SU Javy Guerra
SU Ronald Belisario
SU Matt Guerrier
LHS Scott Elbert
SU JP Howell

Think the pen is deep? How about Stephen Fife, Shawn Tolleson, Josh Wall, Kevin Gregg, Mark Lowe and Peter Moylan as depth? Yup. Elbert and Howell are solid lefties. Guerra, Guerrier and Belisario are solid middle relief pitchers. I do not like League (too long to explain) - Jensen's better and hopefully will be closer sooner than later. If one arm doesn't work, just move to another, right?

This Dodgers team has too much depth to not compete. I'm predicting a breakthrough to first place for the LA Dodgers....finally.

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