Los Angeles Dodgers: Not Your Preseason Favorite
The Dodgers did not resign Brad Penny, Derek Lowe, Joe Biemel, or Takashi Saito. They did not sign any big name pitcher, Hiroki Kuroda has only started three games, Hung Chih Kuo is on the disabled list again, and the bullpen contains Jeff Weaver, Guillermo Mota, and several young unproven players.
It also turns out that their biggest offseason signing, Manny Ramirez, is on a 50-game suspension. James Loney has only two home runs while Russell Martin has none, and he and Rafael Furcal are batting only .250.
Now let's assume you’ve been in a coma this entire season and that was the first thing you heard when you woke up. What would you think?
Would you think the Dodgers were 19 games above .500 and have a four-game lead over the Phillies and Yankees for the best record in all of baseball?
Of course you would. You liar.
The Dodgers have had great success within the struggling NL West but have also boasted a winning record against every other league they’ve played with the exception of a 1-2 record versus the AL West Angels.
Ned Colletti has built a great team for the 2009 season by never trading away his young talent. Though James Loney only has two home runs, he has over 40 RBIs and a batting average over .300. Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp are turning into dark horse MVP candidates while Casey Blake, Orlando Hudson, and Juan Pierre have been on fire this season.
Not to be outdone by an offense that has scored more runs than any other team in baseball without the help of the long ball, the Dodgers boast the second-best fielding percentage behind the Phillies and the largest run differential at +82. It is in my humble opinion that every Dodger infielder and Matt Kemp can be considered in the top three for the Gold Glove award in their respective positions.
Though the bullpen isn’t the best and needs to be addressed before the trade deadline, the Dodgers have the best team ERA and starting rotation ERA in the majors thanks in part to the great success of Randy Wolf, Chad Billingsley, and Jonathon Broxton.
ManRam will return on July 3rd and Colleti will do something to bolster the bullpen and hopefully the starting rotation by adding a staff ace from one of the teams looking to dump salary. It’s my guess that we will probably pick up Roy Oswalt or Erik Bedard. My reasoning behind this is that we have the farm system to trade and we also have the salary room.
Though Jake Peavy, Ben Sheets, and Roy Halladay would be great additions, Peavy and Halladay will only be available for an entire AAA team and Sheets is still committed to Texas, especially now that they are leading the AL West.
As long as they stay healthy, I don’t see why this Dodger team can’t win the World Series.
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