2010 MLB preview: Los Angeles Dodgers
Dodger land seems to be a mess these days. The ended the 2009 regular season losing 7 of their last 11 games. The fell flat against the Philadelphia Phillies in the NLCS, and their owners are in the middle of a nasty divorce proceeding. What all that means is the Dodgers spent the off season losing more talent then they acquired. That means that they lose their designation as NL west favorites, and 2010 becomes a season full of questions.
The first question has to be which Manny Ramirez will show up in 2010: Can he regain the form he had before his 50 game suspension? Can he regain his confidence? His Bat Speed? Can he regain the part of himself that made Manny being Manny? At 38 some would say no, but the jury is out on this one. He is the weakest Dodger defender in the outfield, and the pay off for that use to be his offense; the Dodgers are going to need him to be the player he once was.
Now I have to ask if their starting rotation is strong enough. They did lose Randy Wolf and Jon Garland in free agency. They failed to find a new ace in free agency, so the job falls to 22 year old Clayton Kershaw. In 2009 he had a 2.79 ERA and 185 strike out, both of which led the team. Those stats seems to suggest that he is capable of that role, but again the jury is still out.
Finally what is the deal with Russell Martin? Frustrated with a falling production Martin add 25 lbs to his frame in the off season. Early on in Spring Training he suffered a groin injury and missed a few weeks of camp. The Dodgers are looking for him to be the man again as he has averaged 150 games played for the last three seasons, but may be concerned about his offensive production.