It’s Not Whether You Win or Lose…

It’s how you play the game.  That’s what Spring Training is about.  Nevermind the record.  How did they do?

  • Kershaw was Kershaw
  • Wood was not Good and I can’t be ravin about Ravin.
  • Fabio Castillo pitched well, but he is 28 years old and a career minor leaguer with a 32-50 record and a 4.50 ERA.  Nothing to see here folks… move along!  Then again, this is baseball… you never know.
  • While we are talking about career minor leaguers, lefthander Edward Paredes looked interesting with 3 K’s in the 9th inning. It likely means zip.
  • Forsythe and Grandal looked like they are ready and for the record, I am predicting a breakout year for Yasmani.  P.S. He needs to still work on balls in the dirt.
  • Brett Eibner did nothing to cause his stock to dip as hit blasted a HR.
  • Chris Taylor singled, stole second and scored on a clutch SVS single.  Keep an eye on him.  He can play all over the Infield and now CF.
  • Hernandez, Taylor or Culberson – the Dodgers will keep one. This is a serious battle.
  • Yasiel Puig and Franklin Gutierrez looked to be in great shape, as did Yasmani Grandal – Good on them – they are ready. This is the first winter Grandal could just concentrate on conditioning.  As I said, I expect big things from him… and he was hitting Cleanup.  I like him there.  Maybe not every game, but I think he will get a shot.

I believe that the Dodger’s starting pitching will astound people.  I think the bullpen will again be stellar, but I think the Dodgers season will turn upon the growth of three players:

  1. Joc Pederson – He HAS to hit LH pitching better than .125 or he will be in a platoon in CF.  This is the year we find out what he is made of.  I mean, even he hits .215, it’s progress!
  2. Yasiel Puig – Will he be who he was the past two years or what he was during his rookie year?  He needs to get it together this year.
  3. Yasmani Grandal – I happen to believe that he can hit .260 with 40 HR ands 100 RBI, but can he stay healthy enough to do that?

Those three players could hit 120 HR between them – it’s possible – but they could also do a lot worse than that.  They are all young enough to grow into their roles.  This could be fun to watch.

Can Kershaw Be Even Better?

Finally, the announcers made an issue out of the fact that Clayton threw a changeup to Cabrera that he was not happy with, and later went to the bullpen to work on it, where he was seen screaming at himself.  They were talking about his intensity and how hard he works, but they should be talking about the fact that he is even throwing a changeup this early in the Spring.  Clayton is trying to develop a changeup… not just any changeup, but a killer changeup.  It looks like a fastball and the hitter misses it by 5 feet.  With his slider, curve and fastball, if he adds a Greg Maddux changeup – look out!  We may not have seen the best of Clayton Kershaw.  He is definitely headed to Cooperstown and on MLB a few days ago, they added that he is 29, just entering his prime and with a few more good years, he could be in the conversation as the GOAT!

How Can Anyone Criticize FAZ?

This is from Dodger’s Digest:

The Dodgers big-league squad doesn’t have a whole lot of holes entering Spring Training, so it’s remarkable then that after ranking #3 in 2015 and #1 in 2016, the Dodgers are still #4 in Baseball America’s Organization Talent Rankings.

How They Got Here: No other team graduated significant prospects like the Dodgers in 2016. Their class included Rookie of the Year shortstop Corey Seager and lefthander Julio Urias, last year’s top-ranked pitching prospect. And yet the Dodgers remain a top-five system, stocked with high-priced Cubans with impact tools (Yadier Alvarez and Yusniel Diaz), fourth-round pick sluggers (Cody Bellinger and Willie Calhoun) and depth from international and draft sources.

Mitchell White is listed as a sleeper with a high ceiling and the breakout candidate is none other than Walker Buehler.

Exciting times, just have to hope everything goes as planned (even though it rarely does).

The teams ahead of of them have all been or are currently being blown up while the Dodgers have won the division 4 years in a row.  They even traded three top prospects last year.   We should be grateful Andrew Friedman is in charge.  The best is yet to come.

Today’s Music

 

 

 

Posted by Mark Timmons

We started LA Dodger Talk in 2001. This site is about giving another perspective outside of the average day-to-day reporting. We don’t do game recaps or such things — lots of sites do that well. I value sabermetrics, but don’t think they are the “end-all-be-all.”. This is where you should start your day as a Dodger Fan. Welcome! We’d like to hear your voice.

This article has 18 Comments

  1. Mark, I agree; the Dodgers will be entertaining not so much that they have proven players but that they have players that are on their way to being proven and watching them grow while getting the job done adds more to just winning.

  2. THE BEST PART OF THE MAKE UP OF THIS 40 MAN ROSTER IS THE STARTING PITCHING DEPTH BARRING A “BARREL FULL OF INJURIES” THEY SHOULD BE ABLE TO TRADE SOME OF THEM FOR PROSPECTS, SECOND BASE COMES TO MIND, AND INCREASE THEIR FUTURE EFFECTIVENESS. AH THE OPTIMISM OF SPRING………..

  3. I like Taylor. I don’t know much about him other than his stats so that like could fade. I was going to accept him as the second baseman if a trade were not made. I feel some guilt knowing that if Taylor makes the 25, it means Kike’ probably won’t. But Taylor adds speed to the team and I like that. Hopefully he can defend CF as well as he does SS and 2B.

  4. Long time follower, 1st time poster. I am a big fan of your new site, for the content and for the comments, and it is my go to site for Dodger news using the links provided. This is the most interesting spring training in years for the camp battles and intrigue. Although the 25 man roster is mostly set there is some legitimate competition for the last few spots. This team is stacked with depth and will use the entire 40 man roster and the new 10 day DL to great effect throughout the season. If healthy and with a couple strategic deadline deals (or earlier to deal surplus) this team has a great shot to compete for the prize this year! Win or lose I root for my team and appreciate all you do to keep the discussion lively. BTW you have done a very nice job of posting daily topics to start things off and love the spring training photos!

  5. Anyone watching the Brewers game?

    Hill looked good, and the boys are swinging the bat well. 4-0 top of 3rd.

    1. I am watching on MLB.TV and they have an hour delay, so you just ruined it all for me. I’m taking my ball and going home! 😉

      Actually, I did not know it was delay until you spilled the beans!

  6. I’ve just seen into the future.

    All tied up at 8-8, first Belinger, then Verdugo hit dingers. Awesome.

  7. Lot to like and lot to frown on for today’s game. Hill looked awesome. The Dodgers have a legit #2. We will see (actually hear) #3 (Maeda) go tomorrow. I would hope Joe Blanton’s agent’s phone was ringing after the game. Dodger RHRP did not look good. My man Brandon Morrow did not look good at all. Hatcher did what he does best…gives up HR. Stripling got hit pretty hard. Oaks/Cash/Spitzbarth did their job, but they are not candidates to make the 25.
    .
    Turner continues to hit well with two more RBIs. SVS hit the ball well with a 2-out clutch 2 RBI single today (against RHP). His out was also hit pretty hard. Bellinger absolutely killed that ball. Rick Monday mentioned that he liked Bellinger’s approach against LHP last ST, and on cue, he crushes the pitch from a LHP. Not to be outdone, Verdugo follows with one of his own against LHP. Segedin continues to show he could be a quality RH bat if needed during the year. I think the LH bench with Ethier and Utley are solid. I think Ethier is going to show the NL how much LAD missed him last year. Even though he does not have a prayer, I do like O’Koyea Dickson. even Darnell Sweeney stroked it well today.
    .
    While two games does not a ST make, Kike’ needs to step up or he is going to find himself in OKC or on another team. Taylor running hard and staying out of a DP was a great effort. But I did not like that he assumed that Utley was going to make the bare-hand grab on a ball hit up the middle. If he backs up the play properly, the second run on that bleeder does not score. None of Kike’/Taylor/Culberson is pulling away, so the utility role is still wide open. Kike’ is going to have to outhit both Taylor and Culberson, because the latter two are superior defensive players.
    .
    We should see Joc on Monday against Jon Gray. I hope a lefty comes in after Gray because I do want to see him against LHP. I agree with Mark that the Dodger fortunes are going to be tied to both Joc and Yasiel. Joc needs to hit LHP, and Puig just needs to lay off low and away and hit consistently. They will be the offensive keys to success.
    .
    Roster decisions are not close to being made, and play during the 1st week is not critical (positive or negative), but I still love to see the Dodgers win.

  8. Looks like we have to drop Hatcher and sign Blanton….. Like I’ve been saying.
    Do I have to turn purple? Pay the man.

    1. Let’s think bigger than Joey Pancakes. I’m not opposed to his return. He had a nice season but at this point the Dodgers have 10 quality SP vying for 5 spots and I can guarantee there is going to be an unhappy camper amongst Wood, Ryu, Kazmir, Stewart and McCarthy.

      Sure Ryu might take a brief DL stint. Stewart will be a good trooper and go to AAA and wait his return. Wood may go to the pen quietly. That still leaves us with Mac and Kaz plus an abundance in the OF. Baltimore has an abundance of setup men and need in the OF. Setup men with better track records than A 36 yr old Blanton.

  9. I’ve got some personal motivation to root for O’Koyea Dickson. He is from the SF Bay Area and when he is back home during the off-season, he works out at a local batting cage where my son goes. A couple years ago, he finished up his hitting session and then struck up a conversation with my son, who was there practicing with his 13U travel team. O’Koyea was really encouraging – told my son to keep grinding and to go after his dreams. Then he left for Glendale as a non-roster invite. He had a pretty decent showing with a couple home runs that Spring but is still waiting for a big league callup. It looks like a long shot for Dickson, but I’m still rooting for him to get to the big club at some point this season.

  10. NOW I KNOW WHY OTHER TEAMS COVET BELLINGER. THE HOMER HE HIT HASNT LANDED. OMG, SORRY BUT WE NEED HIM ON THE OPENING DAY ROSTER. IMO

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