Wednesday, March 21, 2012

2012 MLB Preview #16: Los Angeles Dodgers

Greetings all... back with the debacle that is the Dodgers...


C - AJ Ellis/Matt Treanor
1B - James Loney
2B - Mark Ellis
SS - Dee Gordon
3B - Juan Uribe
LF - Juan Rivera/Jerry Sands
CF - Matt Kemp
RF - Andre Ethier

Yikes. The Dodgers went out and spent money in explicable ways this off-season like acquiring old guys with no up-side and overpaying to do so. Matt Kemp is still around, and he's a top-5 player in baseball if last year was any indication. He put up a .324/.399/.586 with 39 homers and 40 steals. That's utterly ridiculous, it's just a shame that he's the only above-average player in the entire lineup. Andre Ethier has the name recognition of a high-end player but he had 11 homers and a sub .800 OPS last year with bad defense. As for the negative? The catcher spot is a trainwreck, James Loney is what he is at this point (.750-ish OPS, low teens power from a power position, blah blah blah), Juan Uribe as the starting 3B is a joke in 2012, and Juan Rivera is ancient in left field. On the bright side? Dee Gordon could steal 60 bases. I'm trying here.

Starting Rotation

1 - Clayton Kershaw
2 - Ted Lilly
3 - Chad Billingsley
4 - Aaron Harang
5 - Chris Capuano

Kershaw is one of the best pitchers on the planet. His 2011 that featured 233 innings with a 2.28 ERA, sub-1.00 WHIP and 248 K's is just ridiculous, and there's no reason to think that'll regress too much. Pencil it in. I've always liked Lilly, and while he had a rough 1st half last year, he still finished with a sub-4.00 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and a solid 7.4 Ks per 9. The key to the staff is Billingsley, who hasn't been able to put it together for a full year since 2008, but still has a lifetime ERA under 4.00 with powerful stuff. Harang is coming off a Petco-aided bounce back year, but Dodger Stadium is a pitcher's park too, and he's still in the NL West. Capuano is a 5th starter, nothing more.


There's some controversy in the Dodgers bullpen. Javy Guerra had a stellar rookie year when he saved 21 games, posted an ERA of 2.31 and was generally good. He's the closer, right? Well, enter Kenley Jansen. His strikeout rate in 2011 was 16.1. SIXTEEN strikeouts per nine innings! That's impossible! His peripherals weren't as good as that, but he's a guy with ridiculous stuff (think Craig Kimbrel) and people want him in the closer role. Matt Guerrier is the #3 guy down there and it goes down hill from there.


77-85, 4th in NL West

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