Dodgers Off-Season: Puig On The Rise, Pair Of Pitchers Trending Down

Another week down in the off-season and the Dodgers have yet to make a significant move for the 2014 season. The Dodgers are being patient and have been linked to more players in recent days.

As the winter season is upon us, we take a look at what is trending up and down with Dodgers this week.

Trending Up

Yasiel Puig

The outfielder has embraced the off-season and been seen everywhere this past week. Puig is the latest celebrity Laker fan, often found enjoying the Los Angeles basketball team at their home games. The 22-year-old has also been seen giving back to the community this week, inviting children to play a pickup game at Dodger Stadium and being seen with Laker Pau Gasol visiting children in the hospital.

Today, Puig was named GQ Magazine’s Phenom of the Year in their “Men of the Year” issue. The eccentric outfielder has a feature in the latest issue and continues to see his stardom rise. It hasn’t been all fun and games with Puig, as he also posted videos on his official Instagram account of his workouts in preparation for next season.

Puig was the talk of the week with his philanthropy and growing celebrity status, but he showed that he’s gearing up for 2014.

Dee Gordon

For the second straight week, Gordon’s spot on the Dodger roster continues to be solidified with the loss of utility player Skip Schumaker to the Cincinnati Reds. Schumaker was the Dodgers’ backup infielder and outfielder last season, essentially the spot that Gordon is working for as he converts to the outfield in the Winter Leagues.

Gordon had another solid week with the Tigres de Licey, going 4-12 with two stolen bases in three games. For his entire stay, Gordon is now hitting .348 with four stolen bases in 12 games in the Dominican Winter League.

With a small list of utility players that are free agents, the speedster is all but guaranteed a spot on the Dodgers in 2014 as a primary backup.

Clayton Kershaw

The 25-year-old ace was named the National League Cy Young this past week, his second time winning the award. Kershaw beat out finalists Jose Fernandez of the Miami Marlins and Adam Wainwright of the St. Louis Cardinals to earn the honors. The left-hander led the league in ERA for the third straight season and finished the year at 16-9 with a 1.83 ERA and 232 strikeouts.

Kershaw also collected an award this week, when he received his 2013 Branch Rickey Award in Denver. The award is given in recognition of players’ exceptional community service. Kershaw is very active in the community and runs Kershaw’s Challenge, a charity founded by Kershaw with his wife, Ellen.

The Dodger starter is still expected to receive a contract extension this off-season that would keep him around for the significant future.

Trending Down

Matt Magill

The Dodger pitcher, who spent some time with the Dodgers in 2013, struggled this week in Puerto Rico. In two starts, the right-hander went 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA in 10 innings. Magill gave up nine hits and walked four batters for the Indios de Mayaguez.

The 24-year-old started six games for the Dodgers this past season and was 0-2 with a 6.51 ERA. Magill struggled with control, allowing 25 total runs, 28 walks and 27 hits in 27.2 innings.

Magill may be stuck in the minor leagues for another season as the Dodgers have plans of acquiring starting pitchers in addition to the starters already on the roster.

Shawn Tolleson

The right-handed reliever was claimed off waivers by the Texas Rangers, after a season in which he pitched in just one game for the Dodgers before missing the rest of the season due to injury. While Tolleson is heading to a team that has been successful the past few seasons, he will no longer be with the club that drafted him in 2010.

Tolleson pitched in 40 games for the Dodgers in 2011, finishing with a 4.30 ERA and 39 strikeouts in 37.2 innings. The 25-year-old was going to come into Spring Training fighting for a spot in the bullpen, but was left off the 40-man roster, and was claimed by the AL West team.

The Dodgers could miss Tolleson if  they do not bring back Brian Wilson, J.P. Howell and Carlos Marmol.


ICYMI: The Texas Rangers and Dodgers talked trade at the GM Meetings.

Vincent Samperio

Vince is currently the Associate Editor and Social Media Manager for Dodgers Nation. Hailing from San Pedro, CA and a student at Cal State Long Beach, Vince has previously written for the Daily 49er and LASF Magazine.

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