(Photo Credit: mlb.com)
While it was natural for many fans of the Dodgers to express disappointment in the team’s loss to the Cubs in the 2016 NLCS, there are plenty of positives surrounding the club in the coming year, and once the anguish passes and the dust settles, forecasts for 2017 will be loaded with a wealth of confidence.
As far as the Cubs are concerned, there’s absolutely no question that they were more deserving to advance to the World Series against the Indians. The Chicago starting pitching rotation ran circles around the starters of the Dodgers. The Cubs had timely hitting when it counted. Their defense was stellar. And perhaps most importantly, outside of a horrific knee injury to outfielder Kyle Schwarber, the Cubs were able to stay relatively healthy over the course of the entire season.
During the time that Kyle Hendricks had his mojo working in the middle innings of Game 6 on Saturday night, it wasn’t difficult to recognize that the Dodgers were approaching the point of being deflated both mentally and physically. After all, the Dodgers placed a total of 28 players on the disabled list during the regular season and used a total of 55 players on the 25-man roster overall. They overcame a season-high eight game deficit to ultimately run away with their fourth consecutive division crown. And the rotation stood tall for the better part of two months when staff ace Clayton Kershaw was on the shelf with a back injury. At many points of the season, it was tough to imagine that the Dodgers would even make a strong showing in the playoffs.
Yet as time passes along during the offseason, the positive attitudes through Dodgertown will begin to bloom once again. The Los Angeles youth movement — players like Corey Seager, Julio Urias, Andrew Toles and a handful of others — will continue to improve and be hungrier for success as the team heads to spring training. The coaching staff will use its valuable experience from the postseason to improve and build upon the squad’s in-game plans and strategies. The ambitious front office will work through the winter trying to boost and enhance an already super-solid core.
In regards to the winter months here at TBPC, be sure to tune in frequently for all kinds of insights and opinions. The biggest topics will surround the impending free agents of the Dodgers, in addition to what will be available in the market. We’ll continue to educate readers on the farm system, and we’ll provide several thorough reports about the happenings in the Arizona Fall League and other winter leagues around the globe. And, undoubtedly, there will be at least a half-dozen articles exploring the dreaded topic of how the Dodgers plan to address the absence of a true #2 starting pitcher in the rotation.
Outside of a few off days of during the World Series, I’ll be here to post new articles during my normal writing days, and Andy will continue to share her perpetual optimism every Monday and Friday. Sometime early next week, we also have another fan giveaway in mind, so make sure to check back often.