I’ve never looked at the roster of a playoff contender and seen any tough choices to make. I’ve never had to look at a teams outfield, and figure out who should play left field because usually there’s a clear answer. Not for the 2017 Dodgers. In the postseason, managers want to put their “A-Team” on the field, the problem is, the Dodgers have quite a few combinations of a championship caliber team, but it’s the best problem to have — it’s why they’re likely to succeed in the 2017 playoffs.
When I look at the Nationals, I see Bryce Harper starting in right field. He’s one of the top-rated outfielders in the game, and he’s one of the best hitters this decade, but when I look at the Dodgers, I see Yasiel Puig starting in right field. If Puig can’t play one game, Cody Bellinger can play right, or Enrique Hernandez, or Curtis Granderson. The list goes on and on. Washington doesn’t necessarily have that luxury. In a win or lose game, Corey Seager will start at short, but if he can’t, Chris Taylor can, or even Hernandez. The Dodgers are by far the deepest team in baseball. It has been said since the start of the summer, but I don’t know if fans outside Dodger Nation are prepared for the impact it will have in the postseason. Depth is one of the best advantages in a short, high-leverage series, and the Dodgers are the best example of depth that baseball has ever seen.
I had a feeling the Dodgers would acquire Yu Darvish. I was hoping it would happen, but a part of me didn’t believe it. I know how tricky trades can be, but in the end, Darvish became a Dodger. They have the best pitcher in baseball in their rotation. They have another Rookie of the Year in their lineup, hitting home runs like nobody else ever has. The Dodgers have a third baseman capable of catching even the fiercest of line drives, and they have a manager who knows what it’s like to win a World Series after so many years without one. We have a championship team, so naturally, we traded for two other All-Star players in Darvish and Granderson, and two lights-out relievers both named Tony. Clayton Kershaw has been out of the rotation due to injury for weeks, and the Dodgers played exactly how they would’ve had he been on the mound.
How do you know a team is destined to make history? When their ace misses over a month, yet you wouldn’t know it by looking at the box score.
The Dodgers postseason roster is bound to be interesting; but, for the most part, it won’t be surprising. Kershaw will be there, barring any complications with his back. Seager and Bellinger, the rookies who play like MVPs, will be there. Taylor and Justin Turner and will be there. The team that lost to the Cubs last season will be back to win it all, and very few things have convinced me otherwise.
The Dodgers were two wins away from the World Series last October. They made it there because they were good, but guess what? This season, they’re great. The other day when I was watching the game, I saw that Logan Forsythe had moved from playing second base to playing left field. I was unaware that he could play the outfield, but the Dodgers have a habit of surprising everyone.
You’d think we’d all be used to it by now, but time and time again, this team continues to shock the world and, come October, they’ll have the chance to do it again.
(FOLLOW SARAH ON TWITTER: @SARAHMANINGER)