Dodgers News: Sporting News Dubs Dodgers As Offseason ‘Loser’
Yes, we know that everyone loves (read: hates) offseason prognostication lists that tell you who won and who lost in the free agency battles that take place. But, at the same time, they’re written by major writers who have a wide-sweeping audience that soaks this stuff up.
Today, Sporting News released their winners and losers. And, not shockingly, the Dodgers, due to a myriad of reasons, were on the losers list.
ICYMI: Clayton Kershaw Has Some Great Pitches
From Jesse Spector at Sporting News:
Los Angeles should still be good, but it’s been a rough winter, starting with losing Greinke. Then there was the non-signing of Hisashi Iwakuma and the non-trade for Aroldis Chapman. Additions such as Scott Kazmir and Kenta Maeda are good, but at some point, you wonder if the Dodgers are aware that they have to operate with a 25-man roster, because there are too many outfielders, starting pitchers and below-average second basemen here.
Spector isn’t wrong here. It was a rough go of it for the Boys In Blue. They lost Zack Greinke outright to a division rival, they had an agreement with and then didn’t sign right-handed Hisashi Iwakuma, and then they had a trade in place for left-handed closer Aroldis Chapman before backing out. It looks bad.
He’s also not wrong in say that the team has a lot of starting pitchers and outfielders. The second baseman issue is what it is. But having too much of something isn’t really a negative. It gives you a position of power to deal from if you need to patch a hole elsewhere.
As has been mentioned on here numerous times, Kazmir and Maeda don’t have to be as good as Greinke individually. They just need to be as good as him collectively. And they can absolutely do that. They could also fall short of that. We simply don’t know.
For now, it makes sense that they’re labeled as a loser this offseason when you factor in the stuff they’ve had in place then missed out on. But that’s also why they play the games. We’ll see how it all unfolds.
[button color=”blue” size=”big” alignment=”center” rel=”follow” openin=”newwindow” url=”https://dodgersnation.com/dodgers-news-cuban-investment-continues-to-add-up/2016/01/26/”]Cuban Investment Continues To Add Up[/button]
Clayton Kershaw had a tough first 3 months to the 2015 season with 5 wins 6 losses and 5 no decisions. He could possibly have another 20+ win season in 2016 and more than help make up for greinkes loss.
Greinke had a special year. If he had that 20th win, I believe he would have been the CY winner, and 2015 would have turned from special to magical. Those kind of years are not readily replicated. Kershaw did start out relatively pedestrian last year. There were pundits who thought that the 2013 playoffs with the Cardinals had a negative psychological effect on him. He turned that around and returned to his deserved placement as the top pitcher in baseball.
The loss of Greinke was as the #2 in the rotation, but the rotation from #1 through #5 will be better in total. The last time I checked, wins from the #3, #4, and #5 count the same as #2. The loss of Greinke does not make the DBacks a better team than LAD, even though they are improved.
Other than Kershaw, while not considered spectacular, each of the pitchers are solid. But that alone will not help the team. The Dodgers need to vastly improve the hitting WRISP. They were horrible last year in that regard, and even a small improvement should add wins. This season will be dependent upon Puig, Seager, Pederson, and 2B. If they get the offense that is projected, and with different field management, WRISP should improve. I believe that the Dodgers will have to win the West to make the playoffs. The East and Central will have four of the worst teams in all of MLB (2 in each Division). The top 6 will be able to feast on Braves, Phillies, Brewers, and Reds. The Rox and Pads will be tougher opponents. Will it take 92 wins to win the West? Maybe, but I think the Dodgers do have the ability to get there. Last year the Dodgers relied on Kershaw and Greinke. In 2016, they will need the entire team.
At this point, whatever. Let all the pundits talk down about the Blue! Let them make their proclamations that we are “off-season losers”, that we are “worse than last year”. Let them keep talking. That way, when we smash all these pundits projections and win the West handily they will be eating those words. I’ve said many, many times how this rotation, though Greinke will be missed, is deeper top to bottom, and will, based on almost all projections, produce a better WAR than last years, meaning ultimately we are projected to get more wins out of our rotation this year. The bullpen? Gone are the nightmares of Johnson, Tsao and Peralta. Added is Blanton, probably Beachy as a swingman (still think this would be the best fit for Beachy going forward given his great stuff), and another year of experience for the likes of Garcia and Baez. Our bullpen was actually pretty good if you subtract the three terrible pitchers above. We will be fine. And second-base, yeah, it’ll seem tough, but with a good platoon, or the continued development of Kike or Micah Johnson putting it all together, hitting like he did in the minors, and improving his defense, we will be fine there as well. As I said, let the pundits talk, and let them eat their words when we hoist that World Series trophy at years end!