It’s only November, and already many fans of the Dodgers have been trying to put together an outfield plan for the upcoming 2018 campaign. We are guilty of it, too—over the last few weeks we have talked about where Chris Taylor fits into next year’s roster strategy, in addition to discussing how Andrew Toles returns from a severed ACL. Anything can happen over the next few months, especially with the Winter Meetings approaching; but based on what we know right now, we decided to attempt to paint a picture of what may lie ahead.
On Sunday, the Dodgers officially declined the $17.5 million contract of veteran Andre Ethier, buying him out for $2.5 million. He was the longest tenured Dodger player, playing in the big leagues for parts of 12 seasons. His last hit as a Dodger might just be the run scoring single he hit in Game 7 of the World Series.
With the official halfway point of the 2017 season now only a few weeks away, the injury report of the Dodgers is beginning to show a few signs of improvement, although a handful of the lingering ailments are of the more severe nature and are considered long term.
The Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday placed both outfielder Andrew Toles and left-handed pitcher Adam Liberatore on the 10-day disabled list, while recalling infielder/outfielder Scott Van Slyke and outfielder Brett Eibner from Triple-A Oklahoma City. Toles has been diagnosed with a torn right ACL while Liberatore is suffering from a left groin strain.
On a day when many folks close to the Dodgers await the outcome of an MRI on the right knee of Andrew Toles, it may be worth taking a quick moment to peek at the club’s outfield depth, if only at the majority of the players who appear to be major league ready.
While many would think the news of Joc Pederson and Logan Forsythe returning from the disabled list would spotlight the majority current headlines in Los Angeles, most fans of the Dodgers appear to be more intrigued by the impending moves that are necessary to create the space on the 25-man roster.
One week into the season, and fans of the Dodgers are already getting restless. The narratives from last year have carried into this one — the injuries, the inability to hit with runners in scoring position, and the troubles facing left-handed pitching. Other teams are changing their rotations to have as many left-handers as possible face the Dodgers. Rich Hill is the first starter to be placed on the DL, and Justin Turner left the game early last night with a quad strain.
They’re the team that many baseball experts have picked to be a possible breakout team in 2017 — the Colorado Rockies. The Dodgers begin a three-game set with the could-be NL West spoilers on Friday, which is also Colorado’s home opener. The Rockies are sporting the same record as the Dodgers at 3-1. They are in their first year being managed by Bud Black, who most recently was with the San Diego Padres. It’s the Dodgers’ first game at Coors Field since the infamous Andrew Toles grand slam comeback game in August of last year.
Just one week now before the Dodgers start the regular season, and we are a little closer to knowing the final 25-man roster. Dennis wrote a story yesterday about the state of the starting pitchers. That may have become a little bit more clear, with the outcome of Scott Kazmir‘s most recent outing. Manager Dave Roberts today confirmed that Kazmir will start the season on the DL, dealing with issues in his left hip.
Even though there’s plenty of time left in spring training for the landscape of the big league outfield to change, it’s still not difficult to make an educated guess regarding the outfield crew at Oklahoma City, as the Dodgers‘ surplus of young talent has now created a very crowded locker room at even the Triple-A level.