We are now within the one month range of pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training. As we have mentioned so many times before, the team appears to stand pat for now, which the exception of a few relief pitchers.
The Los Angeles Dodgers and the New York Yankees are historic. The Dodgers and the Yankees, who once played 15 miles from each other, have become the class of their respective leagues. Nearly 63 years after the Dodgers beat the Bronx Bombers in the 1955 World Series, the teams are embarking on different paths.
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.
Did the Dodgers win Game 1 of the World Series? Yes. Did Chris Taylor and Justin Turner homer? Yes. Clayton Kershaw pitched a gem, but quite possibly the most important part of the whole thing was the crowd. Dodger fans flocked by the thousands to Chavez Ravine on Tuesday night to witness a game that had the possibility to be one of the most historic nights in Dodger history.
Different city, same story. As the NLCS shifted from Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles to Wrigley Field in Chicago, the postseason gained a new level of intensity. This isn’t L.A., this is Chicago. This is a city that is still reeling from a World Series Championship. Chicago is a baseball town in every meaning of the word.
Despite a slow start offensively on Saturday evening, the Dodgers rallied with two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to tie the contest, and eventually went ahead to stay in the sixth en route to capturing the opener of the 2017 NLCS with a 5-2 victory over visiting Chicago.
The Dodgers have finally clinched the division, and are one win away from reaching 100 wins this season. Their PECOTA projections was 98 wins, so in that respect they have exceeded expectations. What was not expected, however, is the makeup of the roster heading into the playoffs.
Our beloved Dodgers need to look back to July.