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Dodgers: 3 Reasons for LA Fans to Be Optimistic About 2023

It’s easy to be gloomy. After a stunning and heartbreaking loss in the NLDS, the Dodgers haven’t done much this offseason, while the Padres and Giants have both worked hard to improve their teams. The natural pessimism of L.A. fans has been boosted by the inactivity.

But there are reasons to be optimistic, if you look for them. We know not everyone wants to be optimistic, so we understand if this article isn’t for you. But if you’re looking for reasons to smile as we head into the 2023 season, here are three things to be optimistic about.



The Young Bucks

Miguel Vargas didn’t exactly set the world on fire in his big-league cup of coffee in 2022, but the kid can hit like crazy. Vargas posted a .915 OPS in Triple-A last year, and his overall minor-league OPS is .878 despite being two to four years younger than league average at every single level. Vargas will hit in the big leagues, too, hopefully right off the bat in 2023.

Other youngsters will be around, too. James Outman might be an everyday starter for L.A.; even if not, he’ll get a lot of at-bats for the team. Bobby Miller and Gavin Stone will likely debut on the mound at some point this year, too, which will be a couple highly anticipated beginnings.

There’s a youth movement afoot in Los Angeles, and that’s awesome.

Noah Syndergaard

Can Thor regain his 100-MPH fastball to go along with his vast repertoire of offspeed pitches? That’s his stated goal, and there are plenty of reasons to think it could happen. This will be his second season since Tommy John surgery, so some natural progression should be expected. Throw in his new pitching coach, Mark Prior, who has a history of helping pitchers to be their best, and we could see Syndergaard at his best in 2023.

At his peak, Syndergaard was the kind of pitcher you used to make time to watch. His stuff, his attitude, his personality — everything about him was something you wanted to watch. If he can get that swagger (and stuff) back, Los Angeles could walk away with the steal of the offseason.

The Bounce Back

Last year, the Dodgers won 111 games in the regular season despite subpar performances from several of their star players. Chris Taylor was awful at the plate, and Max Muncy had a very slow start before turning it on later in the season.

Even some of the players who had good seasons weren’t at their best. Will Smith hit well, but it was also his worst season so far, which says a lot more about his 2019-21 seasons than his 2022. Mookie Betts set a career high in homers, but he was inconsistent and had a low OPS by his standards. Gavin Lux had his best offensive season, but he also struggled quite a bit after a neck injury late in the season.

Obviously, we can’t expect every single player to bounce back to their peak performance, but it’s not crazy to think the Dodgers’ offense could be as good as it was in 2022, when they led the majors in runs scored.

There are other reasons for optimism, too, but we’ll stick with three for now. Enough to whet your whistle and get you ready for pitchers and catchers to report to spring training in just six weeks.

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Jeff Snider

Jeff was born into a Dodgers family in Southern California and is now raising a Dodgers family of his own in Utah. He's been blogging about baseball and the Dodgers 2004 and doing it professionally since 2015. Favorite Player: Clayton Kershaw Favorite Moment: Kirk Gibson's homer will always have a place, but Kershaw homer on Opening Day 2013 might be the winner.

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11 Comments

  1. One reason to less optimistic? Not everything went right last year and the Dodgers still swept their way into the playoffs, where things went horribly wrong. Next year, pretty much absolutely everything will have to go right for the Dodgers to be successful. That’s not likely happen.

    1. Why because a Moron that can’t type said so?? ! That’s not like “to” happen?? ?

    2. RainbirdB!tch You can’t even spell, That’s not likely to Happen. Astros & Dodgers are favorites to meet. Look it up ?

  2. I’m for a youth movement, but Ryan Reynolds is center would be a significant piece. I think Friedman and Kasten should Make this deal its not going to be cheap but it will help the outfield situation for several years. Prospects Outman and Pepiot should be enough to get him.

  3. I am one of those people that is NOT optimistic. We are losing Trea Turner. The guy that hit close to 300 last year and had 100RBI’s. He was top 5 in stolen bases. We are not replacing him with anybody whose production will be similar. We lost Tyler Anderson. Kershaw is a year older. We lost a couple of great relief pitchers. The Padres, Braves, Mets, Yankees, & Astros are probably improved. I would be ecstatic if we win the west and win a world series. I just dont think 2023 will be an improvement over 2022. We shall see. If we would activate Bauer, it would at least improve the depth of our starting pitching.

  4. I’ve felt this way all along. I think a little adversity will help the chemistry. Some decent luck and they are in the WS.

  5. Couple of concerns. Chris Taylor did not have a “down” year he has always struck-out at a high rate of 35%. Fans did not notice because all eyes were on Cody Bellinger’s struggles. Dodgers added another high swing-n-miss hitter in Steven Duggar also 35% strike-out rate. Our 7,8, and 9 hitters in the playoffs were swing-n-miss, non-contact rally killers.

    1. When we had Taylor, Belli, and Gallo, it was a brutal K-fest that had me dreading it every time they came up.

  6. Just wait for the part where the Dodgers cut a top tier pitcher after he served the longest suspension in MLB history, even though he was legally exonerated.
    Cherry on top.

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