In addition to hot stove talk and reruns of old games, MLB Network fills its offseason programming with Top Ten rankings of position players and pitchers. Most recently, it revealed its 10 best starting pitchers. Clayton Kershaw came in at number 10 on the list, and he was chosen as one the best pitchers of the last decade.
While there have been many fantastic storylines that have come in the first-half of 2018, none has captured the hearts of Dodgers fans more than the emergence of utility man extraordinaire Max Muncy. By no means am I saying his overall statistics are monumental—his home run output is very close, though—but considering where he was on the organizational ladder last winter, his ascension to becoming the Dodger’s top slugger has been colossal. It’s almost reminiscent of the under-the-radar advent of Chris Taylor in 2017, but in a much smaller span of time.
Say the words “Houston Astros” in L.A., and you’ll get a variety of responses but, more often than not, you’ll hear tales of the 2017 World Series. The cities of Houston and Los Angeles are forever connected and, until the Dodgers get a second chance, Houston will be the hero of that tale. Travel 258 miles North up I-45, however, and you’ll hear a different story.
With the Dodgers having won six of their last seven games, there’s really not much for fans to complain about these days, especially since the team is now only 3-1/2 games out of the division lead. However, when considering the overall scope of the 25-man roster, many people familiar with the club are still wondering if the team is indeed using the best available players at the big league level.
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.
When considering the few holes in the Dodgers‘ prospective 25-man roster for the upcoming season, many fans are quick to point out the needs for starting pitching, bullpen help or even some type of power bat in the middle of the lineup. However, we’ve been talking for a few months about the potential requirement for a left-handed hitting middle infielder, most specifically a body to pair with Logan Forsythe at second base.
Earlier in November, the Dodgers exercised their option to bring back second baseman Logan Forsythe for another season at $8.5 million, perhaps making evident that the team views the 30-year-old Memphis native as the main guy at the keystone moving into 2018. But there’s one potential problem with the way the roster may shape up—there’s nobody at all on the radar who bats left-handed and can play second base.
After contemplating the fallout from shortstop Corey Seager‘s most recent hamstring saga, some fans of the Dodgers couldn’t help but look far down the organizational ladder just to get an idea of the quality of middle infielders lurking in the Los Angeles system.
As the 2017 regular season progresses, a few of the Dodgers‘ top-tier prospects are beginning to emerge on center stage, with infielder Willie Calhoun possibly the hottest of the group, especially over the past four weeks.