With all the recent emphasis on the prospective Dodgers big league roster, I thought it would be worth investing a few minutes to start laying out some names to get an idea of what the… More
Nine years ago my grown son dragged me to Phoenix for a weekend spring training visit. I’m a lifelong fan of the Dodgers, but had never done the “spring thing.” However, after one visit, I was hooked. I’ve gone every year since and feel fortunate that my son and his friends seem happy to include me at their annual gathering. The following may include details that you couldn’t care less about, but I’m including them for the benefit of those who have never been and who might be thinking of making the trip one day.
Aside from the unfortunate injury to righty swing man Tom Koehler and the ongoing roster battle in left field, there haven’t been an overwhelming number of developments to report regarding the Dodgers’ 2018 spring camp.
That is, until the troubling news about Justin Turner‘s left wrist developed on Monday evening.
First and foremost, happy 30th birthday to the best pitcher on the planet, our very own Clayton Kershaw. Even though it seems that he has been with the Dodgers for a nice long time, it doesn’t seem that he should yet be at the ripe old age of 30.
Here’s a history lesson (I will keep it very short, I promise).
Way back in the 1930s, there was an outstanding St. Louis Cardinals pitcher named Dizzy Dean. Dean was a great pitcher, racking up 120 wins, 970 strikeouts, 19 shutouts and 30 saves while averaging a ridiculous 306 innings per season from 1932 to 1936. He led the league in strikeouts four consecutive seasons. Dean won 30 games, the National League’s Most Valuable Player award and the World Series in 1934.
If you’re a regular visitor to this site and have the feeling that we talk about catching prospect Keibert Ruiz quite frequently, you would indeed be correct. At 19 years of age, the native of Venezuela earned his first trip to the Dodgers‘ big league spring camp this year, and it’s probably safe to say that he’s one of the Top 5 backstops in the entire organization.
As a whole, there are a number of factors which will determine how the starting rotation of the Dodgers stacks up to others around baseball as the 2018 campaign progresses. First and foremost, good health is critical, while overall stamina and endurance will also play key roles in the team’s prosperity. The presence of resident ace Clayton Kershaw probably warrants a Top 15 MLB ranking in itself, yet without the luxury of a true No. 2 starter, the Dodgers slide somewhere right in the middle of the Top 10, at least in the eyes of most informed fans.
So far this spring, we here at Think Blue Planning Committee have kept close tabs on all the usual suspects and intriguing story lines—Matt Kemp and the outfield, the state of the pitching rotation, and who could be this season’s big surprise. This, of course, is with good reason as fans of the Dodgers are excited to see how all these scenarios play out.
Rivalries—they’re one of the most important parts of the game. In baseball, rivalries are as real as Cody Bellinger‘s rookie home run record. They are the bat flip of all bat flips. They are the homers heard ’round the world.
They are, simply, baseball.
Just in case you’ve missed a few of our recent columns, last week Andy took a look at the potential fallout if Corey Seager wasn’t ready for the season opener, while I shed some light on the Dodgers‘ overall bench picture a few days prior. Consequently, after digging a little deeper into the positional depth, I thought today would be a good opportunity to take a glance at how the middle infielders line up from an organizational perspective.
The end of spring training is rapidly approaching. Some things are becoming a little more clear, either through cuts or the performances of the players themselves. There is still much to be determined, namely the outfield.