Los Angeles Dodgers Preview – Phillies Nation

Los Angeles Dodgers Preview

Los Angeles Dodgers: (95-67, 1st place in NL West in 2009)

For the second consecutive year, the Phillies ended the Dodgers’ season by winning the National League pennant.  The series was highlighted by Jimmy Rollins’ walk-off against Jonathan Broxton, one of the league’s premier closers.  The Dodgers may not have advanced to the World Series, but they had strong combination of offense and pitching to build a very good team.

Manny Ramirez received a 50-game suspension, leading many to think that the Dodgers’ season would be in jeopardy.  However, players like Matt Kemp and Andre Eithier stepped up and led the Dodgers to the postseason.

Chad Billinsgley was not the ace he was in previous years, but the Dodgers still had one of the league’s top pitching staffs.  At just 21 years of age, Clayton Kershaw proved that he can be a dominant Major League pitcher.  In addition, the Dodgers had one of the best bullpens in all of baseball.

2010 Season

During the off-season, the Dodgers did not make any significant moves to improve their team.  After a 95-win season, did they really need to?

The Dodgers’ lineup will look exactly  the same.  Ramirez, Kemp, and Eithier make up a star-studded outfield, and will provide much of the offense.  The Dodgers are hoping catcher Russell Martin can rebound  from 2009, when he batted .250 with a .680 on-base plus slugging percentage.

At this time, the fifth spot in the rotation is undecided.  Kershaw and Billingsley will be the Dodger’s one-two punch.  If Hiroki Kuroda remains healthy for the 2010 campaign, the Dodgers could have one of the strongest rotations in baseball.

George Sherill, a former closer, will be the set-up man for Broxton.  While Sherill and Broxton are the biggest names in the ‘pen, relievers like Ramon Troncoso, Ronal Belisario, and James McDonald are ones to keep an eye on.

The Dodgers have the talent to reach the postseason once again, but can they avoid the heartbreak ending?

Prediction: 93-69



  1. Mulvi

    March 28, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    “During the off-season, the Dodgers did not make any significant moves to improve their team. After a 95-win season, did they really need to?”

    Are you high?

    The Dodgers lost their most consistent starter last year in Randy Wolf. Vicente Padilla is their opening day starter with Russ and Ramon Ortiz looking to fill their 4 and 5 spots in the rotation. They lost (the wrong choice, but still) reigning Gold Glove 2nd baseman in Orlando Hudson (sorry Jamey Carroll, the O-Dawg is better), and their 4th outfielder is Garret Anderson. Between Anderson and Ramirez the Dodgers will save a lot of money in laundry costs.

    Nobody knows which Manny will show up; is it post suspension many or the Manny that first arrived in LA? Can Kershaw be a No. 1? Which Billingsley are you going to get? They’re bullpen may be alright but with out quality starts the bullpen will get worn out and falter.

    I live just outside of LA and being a Phils Phan doesn’t make me popular out here. Trust me there is a general feeling of woe amongst Dodger fans who feel it’s going to be a long summer. Between the Rockies strong core of homegrown talent, the Giants strong rotation, the underrated young Padres, and the potentially dangerous D-Backs; don’t expect the Dodgers to cruise like they did last year. I’d be shocked if this team reaches the 90 win threshold, and in Dodger country they have even less confidence. This team lost a lot of players and did nothing to replace a lot of them.

  2. Burrgundy

    March 28, 2010 at 9:22 pm

    The management of the Dodgers will either keep or kill them.Failure to make positive moves cannot help, and losing Wolf, Hudson and Pierre will hurt. However, they do have some studs. Pitching will be the key. I think they will finish second to the Rockies, but would not bet the farm on it. The Giants have some strong arms, as well.

  3. Jacob

    March 28, 2010 at 9:30 pm

    “…but can they avoid the heartbreak ending?”

    Not if they meet the Phils again, and if they win their NLDS they will. Phillies, breaking Hollywood hearts with blue collar tenacity.

  4. WFC010

    March 28, 2010 at 11:25 pm

    Don’t let anyone make you think otherwise, but the Dodgers are still quite a formidable team, and I wouldn’t discount them from making the playoffs even with the losses. The biggest problem they have right now is all of the issues with ownership, and I think that’s exactly why no moves were made this offseason.

    The fate of the Dodgers season will largely depend on Billinsgley and Kershaw, as well as the offense putting on a solid performance.

    Of course even WITH Billinsgley and Kershaw doing well, and Manny SOMEHOW reverting closer to his “usual” form, they are still a weaker team than last year or the year before that. Should they make a 3rd straight NLCS and if it’s against the Phillies again, I wouldn’t be completely surprised to see the Dodgers sweeped.

  5. Brooks

    March 29, 2010 at 3:30 am

    I tend to agree with Mulvi just a little. Without standout seasons from Manram, Kemp & Ethier, the Dodgers might be waffling in third place this year.
    Like him or not, if Manny is healthy this year, he could leap-frog some serious records here – he is closing in on 600 hrs (547, not to say he will reach that mark this year, but darn close), almost 1800 rbi, if he gets 120 rbi, he will have over 1,900 for his career.
    Enough manram love – I think the Dodgers will come in second this year. Ahead of the Rox, second to the Gints.

  6. bfo_33

    March 29, 2010 at 5:44 am

    Kemp may be the best all around centerfielder in the game right now, and Ethier destroys right handed pitching withotu be a major liability against lefties. Kershaw has great stuff, but not yet a great pitcher. Manny looked lost towards the end of last season, but isn’t this a contract year for him? Padilla as opening day pitcher still kills me.
    They have some real talent on the team, but don’t look as good as last year, and the division has gotten better. I think they are in a battle for the wildcard with the Braves and Giants, possibly the Reds (if Dusty can actually manage the pitching staff, they could be a sleeper).

  7. Ed R.

    March 29, 2010 at 6:49 am

    The Padres are not underrated, they are awful. They have two good players. A 1st basemen and a closer. And that closer won’t matter much when they are losing every game.

    That division will belong to the Rockies who I think are possibly the most complete team in the NL and the Giants who have the pitching to make anyones day miserable. If they can get an ounce of hitting they will be dangerous. Not sold on the D-Backs at all and same with the Dodgers. Until their pitchers prove something, which thus far they have not, then it won’t matter what kind of years Manny, Kemp, Eithier and Loney have because they will have to put up 6 to 8 runs a game just to win.

  8. shipsass

    March 29, 2010 at 8:23 am

    “The Phillies have taken a 3 to 1 series lead, and they have done it to Broxton again! In Game 4! Wow, what a finish!! Jimmy Rollins…has made his mark on this series!”

    Because I can’t see “Broxton” in print without hearing Franzke in my head.

  9. Chuck

    March 29, 2010 at 8:35 am

    And I’m sure Jonathon Broxton sees Matt Stairs in HIS head.

  10. Phylan

    March 29, 2010 at 10:00 am

    Broxton had a fantastic season fairly quietly last year — 13.5 K/9 and he was a 3 WAR reliever. Sucks for him that it was capped off like it was.

  11. Paul

    March 29, 2010 at 10:26 am

    Actually, they still scare me, and they will make some moves if they need to.

    And I don’t see us beating them for a thrid time in the playoffs if it comes to that, even though the Phils are a stronger team for sure.

    I hope someone else takes care of them.

  12. WFC010

    March 29, 2010 at 11:49 am

    The Dodgers will have to make some mid-season trades if they want any chance of winning the National League. Even if the Dodgers face a different team in the NLCS, there are other teams like St. Louis positioned to take them down, and it’d take a lot for them to win.

  13. Don M

    March 29, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    Kershaw is filthy . . . with run support = wins . . . and he’d be a CY YOUNG contender right now

    Kuroda and Padilla are decent, nothing to write home about, but not a bad 3-4 (Padilla starting opening day, doesn’t make him their ACE, either)

    I think their lineup is on a downswing, which is why I’m not big on them this year..

    Manny, Russell Martin, Casey Blake, Raf Furcal.. are all on exiting their primes. .

    Kemp and Ethier are good, not great…

    Loney is solid, but nothing special

    I really think the Rockies are the team in the NL WEST..

    or if the Giants get production from Rowand, Huff, etc.. they’ll contend too.. its going to be the toughest division in baseball, in my opinion

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  15. Phylan

    March 29, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    I think it’s fair to say that both Kemp and Ethier are “great” players rather than “good” ones, but I guess it depends on your criteria.

  16. Don M

    March 29, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    Ethier is a decent hitter.. good power, little speed.. and is a below-average defender

    He took a big jump back in batting average, and a big jump UP in Strikeouts last year, as his power numbers went up

    (hit .355 in the postseason… lets see if he’s ready to take the torch from Manny)

    Matt Kemp is really, really good in my opinion.. but not yet ready to enter the MVP discussions, or carry his team to the postseason (his offseason spent with Rihanna on vacation probably didn’t make the Front Office happy) . . but he’s a young guy.. 26 years old? This could be his real breakout year . . .

    But again, he’s good. .not yet GREAT in my opinion (hit .206 in the postseason).. but Utley and Howard struggled their first times there too

  17. Phylan

    March 29, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    Fair enough. I can’t really get on anyone for struggling in the postseason. A lot of times you’re talking about 20 — 30 plate appearances or less, and simply via statistical noise you’re bound to get stretches that long where you don’t do anything. Sample size is a funny thing in baseball.

  18. Don M

    March 29, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    yea that’s true . . . I just view those two guys as SECOND TIER stars..

    Kemp SHOULD be an All-Star .. not sure about Ethier

    but neither to me is a guy that you need to pitch around at all times, ala Howard, Prince Fielder, etc… (I know those guys are the exceptions)

    They need to show consistent improvement before I consider them GREAT.. but there is no doubt that they are, at a minimum, ON THE RISE…

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    July 19, 2010 at 6:52 pm

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