October 7th, 2014, it’s a day that, in the minds of Dodger fans, can feel like decades ago. It’s the day that the Dodgers lost in the NLDS to the St. Louis Cardinals. It’s also the day that Matt Kemp played his last game with Los Angeles.
So, apparently my previous declaration of the Dodgers never losing again after the first Cactus League game of the season was a little off base, as the team hasn’t won again since. I know, it’s only been three games, but still, guys, way to make me look bad.
Nine years ago, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Arizona Diamondbacks each had a dynamic young outfielder you could build a team around. They were cornerstone players with a heady mix of speed and power, poised to lead their teams in a battle for National League West supremacy for years to come.
We’ve finally made it to the last weekend without baseball. Pitchers and catchers begin reporting to their respective compounds early next week to start preparations for the upcoming season. We thought it would be fun to look at a few somewhat crazy, but still plausible things that could happen with the Dodgers this season.
Picture this—it’s Saturday, October 4th, 2014. The Dodgers are tied with the St. Louis Cardinals 2-2 heading into the bottom of the 8th, in the second game of the National League Division Series. Matt Kemp, one of the most well-known Dodgers of this century, is walking to the plate. J.P. Howell is in the dugout, well aware of the two runs he’s given up, simultaneously reducing the Dodgers lead to 0. On a 2-1 count, three pitches into Pat Neshek’s appearance in the game, Kemp launches a monster home run to deep left field, right next to the Dodgers’ bullpen.
The Dodgers held their FanFest this past Saturday, and there was the usual fun of autographs, pictures and interviews. During those interviews, some new information has come to light, especially concerning the outfield and Matt Kemp‘s situation.
While many of the media outlets covering the Dodgers were offering up their 2018 projected lineups not long after the conclusion of last year’s World Series, it’s been a while since we’ve jotted down any of our own ideas. Not much has altered as far as the position players go, but after letting our thoughts digest for most of the winter, some of our views have changed a bit since we’ve laid out any projections.
So here we still stand, Dodger fans. Heading into the middle of January, not many notable additions to the team have been made, and Matt Kemp is still on the team.
If you haven’t yet taken a moment to ponder the impending 25-man roster for the Dodgers in 2018, you may be a bit surprised when you do. Sure, there’s still plenty of time for the entire squad to change its complexion, but when considering players like Adrian Gonzalez, Brandon McCarthy, Grant Dayton and Brandon Morrow are gone, in addition to Chase Utley, Andre Ethier and Tony Watson being very unlikely to return, there’s certainly some doors open on the 25-man to a few faces who didn’t see much big league action last season.