Friday, January 28, 2011

Spring Training Games Start in about a Month

If you were to ask the average fan about the Dodgers this year you would get very little in the way of baseball for what they think. In Los Angeles all anyone talks about is "The Divorce" and for the rest of the country there's really no opinion.
They have no identity at ths point and may not be able to get one. Colletti and management will something to the effect that they're building around youth and picking up some key people to fill in holes. They'll try to make a trade here or there as long as the other team is going to pick up the salary, a la Manny Ramirez.
I look at them and there's some "nice" pitching but nothing that's going to get me too excited. There is no true ace. There's always a lot someday this guy or soon that guy will... Kershaw and Billingsley have the tools, I think, but have yet to put it together for a full season. Flashes of brilliance but no real consistency. Is Bills over being a headcase? Can Kershaw get off the seesaw? Got me. Lilly's a nice numer three but he'll end up being the one or two due to seniority or meltdown. Koroda is another good two or three if he stays healthy. We'll see. There's no definite stopper. Maybe it's Koroda but maybe not.
As for the bullpen, I don't care what anyone says, it's a mess. Kuo should be the closer. Best head for it but is one pitch away from having his elbow fall off. Broxton needs to go to therapy. (Hope he went over the winter.) He hasn't been the same since the Yankee series. Two rookies got hits off him to blow the save in that Sunday night game. He needs to go out in spring training and hit one buy per appearance. I don't care if he's five runs up or down. He needs to make every batter think that he's going to hit them. The hitters are crowding and reaching over the plate sitting Dead Red.
 The have some nice players but it's now put up or shut up. Matt Kemp needs to become the superstar that they've been telling us about for the past three years. Andre Ethier needs to be a leader and be willing to put the team on his shoulders when neccessary. Loney needs some pop. (I'm not sure how you solve that one.) Not a lot, just enough to be a threat. Fifteen to 20 dingers a year and we'd be happy. If Barajas and Navarro can hit 20 between them, they'll start scoring some runs. I'm still not totally sure who's playing left field but I'm sure Colletti knows and it will be a big surprise for us all. Jounior Gwynn...we got him FROM the Padres.
The bottom line is there's a realistic possibility that the Dodgers will be like the Padres or Pirates this year. One or two nice players and a bunch of guys. I could be wrong and I hope I am for my son's sake but I have a feeling it's going to be a long mediocre summer. If I'm way off base, let me know. I just don't see it.

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