Last year, a few stubborn fans who didn’t care to comprehend simple math believed it to be a season-long jinx. But only ten games into the 2017 campaign, the struggles the Dodgers have been wrestling with against left-handed pitching have become so obvious that other teams are realigning their pitching rotation when they see a series vs. Los Angeles appear on their respective schedules.
In the overwhelming number of game previews leading up to the Dodgers‘ season opener against the Padres on Monday afternoon, there were actually a few writers who referred to the San Diego squad as having the traits of a “glorified Triple-A club.” While the description certainly seemed to hold true in the first game of the series, the Padres almost appeared like a division contender in Tuesday’s affair, riding the back of southpaw Clayton Richard to a 4-0 shutout of Los Angeles.
The rest of the inning did not go quite as smoothly. Wil Myers hit to Corey Seager at short, and Corey committed his first error of the year on the throw to Adrian Gonzalez, advancing Myers to second. He then headed to third on a passed ball by Yasmani Grandal, and scored on a hit by Yangervis Solarte. Kershaw got out of the inning, and things got much better from there.
If there’s a single area of the Dodgers as a whole that we haven’t spoken much about over the winter, it’s undeniably the crew which makes up the infield. While there are tons of good things to say regarding each player, not many negative aspects exist. At the end of the day, on paper at least, this group could very easily be considered among the best in the game on both sides of the ball.
The Dodgers have done an excellent job this offseason getting the gang back together. Over the weekend, Chase Utley reportedly agreed to a one-year deal to return to the team. Even though he could find more playing time elsewhere, perhaps even a starting position, he chose to come back to LA. Sure, he’s a SoCal native at the end of his career, and maybe he just didn’t feel like starting over again. But most likely he recognized that this team has an excellent chance to win it all this year.
The Dodgers finally have their second baseman. With the addition of Logan Forsythe, the infield is finally complete. Manager Dave Roberts has says that he would like to use Forsythe as his primary leadoff batter. So what will the rest of the lineup behind him look like?
“You once thought of me
As a white knight on his steed
Now you know how happy I can be
Oh, our good time starts and ends
Without all I want to spend
But how much, baby, do we really need?”
(Photo Credit: Jon SooHoo)
With six weeks remaining before pitchers and catchers start filing into the clubhouse at Camelback Ranch, there’s certainly enough time to make a few roster upgrades heading into Cactus League play if the front office crew of the Dodgers decides to do so. But if the team brings an almost identical look from last year to the beginning of the 2017 regular season, will the club have enough firepower to win a fifth consecutive division title, and more importantly, have the strength to make a deep run into the playoffs in October?
(Photo Credit: Kevin Sousa/USA TODAY Sports)
Perhaps the Dodgers were hoping to make a trade with the Twins by now, clearing out a few spots on the 40-man roster in the process. Or maybe team representatives are waiting until the honeymoon is over, permitting time for a physical examination and allowing agents and lawyers to gather in one place to review the contract. Quite possibly, the front office could be mulling over which player to outright to the minors, creating one opening on the big league roster. Either way, at least one corresponding move will need to be made before star reliever Kenley Jansen officially signs his name to his new five-year, $80 million dollar deal.
(Photo Credit: mlb.com)
After having reached an informal agreement well over a week ago, the Los Angeles Dodgers finally announced the signing of free agent third baseman Justin Turner to a four-year contract on Friday afternoon.