2011 MLB Preview: Los Angeles Dodgers

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2011 MLB Preview: Los Angeles Dodgers
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Nine innings Blog will be bringing you previews of every Major League Baseball team for the next 30 days. This is in accordance with our 30 teams in 30 days series. Today, we will give you the 2011 preview of the Los Angeles Dodgers as they try to recapture prominence in the National League West division with a somewhat new look roster and a new manager in Don Mattingly.

Mattingly comes into the majors with no real managerial experience. He was named Joe Torre’s successor after he retired at the end of the 2010 season with an 80-82 record and a fourth place finish in the West.

The Dodgers’ season was also overshadowed by the McCourt divorce trials which altered the 2010 budget and the balance of power with in the organization. They may have also effected the play of the players during the season as well.

The Dodgers also traded away OF Manny Ramirez, infielder Blake DeWitt, pitcher James McDonald and they also were hurt by the absence of catcher Russell Martin due to injury and the ups and downs of Matt Kemp who batted .249 but did hit 28 homers and batted in 89 RBI all while playing 162 of 162 games.

This offseason, the Dodgers lost a few key pieces within the team. Martin signed with the New York Yankees, Ryan Theriot was traded to St. Louis, OFs Reed Johnson (Cubs) and Scott Podsednik (Blue Jays) were also let go. But, the Dodgers did snag utility infielder Juan Uribe who is coming off a World Series run with the San Francisco Giants.

The Dodgers have the tools to make a big run this season. Clayton Kershaw and Chad Billingsley are poised for a big year in the rotation and Kemp, James Loney, and Andre Ethier are all looking for big years in the lineup.

I think the Dodgers will finish in second in the NL West, just behind San Francisco and just in front of San Diego.

Key Addition: Juan Uribe, 2B

Breakout Player: Matt Guerrier, RHP

Prediction: Second NL West

CA: Rod Barajas
1B: James Loney
2B: Juan Uribe
3B: Casey Blake

SS: Rafael Furcal
OF: Matt Kemp
OF: Andre Ethier
OF: Jay Gibbons

Pitching Rotation
SP: Clayton Kershaw
SP: Chad Billingsley
SP: Ted Lilly
SP: Hiroki Kuroda
SP: John Ely

RP: Blake Hawksworth
RP: Ramon Troncoso
RP: Ron Mahay
RP: Kenley Jansen
RP: Matt Guerrier
RP: Hong-Chih Kuo
CP: Jonathan Broxton

CA: Dioner Navarro
UTL: Marcus Thames
INF: Jamey Carroll
OF: Tony Gwynn Jr.
OF: Gabe Kapler

Top Prospects
1). Dee Gordon, SS
2). Kenley Jansen, RHP
3). Rubby De La Rosa, RHP
4). Trayvon Robinson, OF
5). Jerry Sands, OF

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