Dodgers Team News

Dodgers: The Biggest Questions Looming for LA This Spring

The Los Angeles Dodgers head into Spring Training with a few more questions than normal. Last year, the biggest question was something along the lines of “how great can this lineup be?” And the answer was one of the best in baseball history. However, this season, there are many more question marks.

As we get set for Spring Training next week, we thought it would be a good idea to look into what those biggest questions are, so fans know what to watch for as Spring Training gets going. Let’s jump right in:

1. What is the starting outfield going to look like?

This question became even more confusing on Friday when the Dodgers signed OF David Peralta to a one-year deal.

We know Mookie Betts is going to be in right field and we know Chris Taylor is going to start somewhere, but what about the third and final outfield spot?

Trayce Thompson, James Outman and (now) Peralta are likely going to be fighting for that position. And one of Jason Heyward/Bradley Zimmer/Steven Duggar will still be hoping to make an impact at some point, too. But this is something that the team will have to sort out over the next six weeks before Opening Day.

2. Can Gavin Lux handle a full load at shortstop?

Shortstop has been the biggest question for the Dodgers all offseason long. Now in February, nothing has changed. The Dodgers elected to stay quiet in the free agent market, seemingly putting their full trust in Lux as the everyday shortstop. Then, they traded for (and later extended) Miguel Rojas.

Lux is still expected to get first crack at the position, while Rojas provides some much-needed depth. But can Lux handle it? Is he good enough to be the everyday shortstop? Spring Training will give us a slightly better sense of that.

3. Can the rotation hold up?

The Dodgers’ acquisition of RHP Noah Syndergaard solidified the rotation. They have five really good starting pitchers who, when healthy, will round out one of the best rotations in baseball. However, the key word there is ‘healthy.’

Outside of Julio Urias, the Dodgers are relying on four oft-injured pitchers in Clayton Kershaw, Dustin May, Tony Gonsolin and Syndergaard. The Dodgers do have depth in the form of young guys Ryan Pepiot and Michael Grove, but they don’t want to be relying on those guys for months-long roles.

The health of the rotation will be something to keep an eye on all season long.

4. Who’s going to close games?

The Dodgers traded for Craig Kimbrel right before Opening Day last season, so maybe they have another one of those moves up their sleeve. However, that feels unlikely.

The Dodgers seem ready to enter the 2023 season with a closer-by-committee, and see who emerges as the best shutdown guy in the 9th.

Daniel Hudson, Brusdar Graterol, Evan Phillips, Yency Almonte and Alex Vesia could all make a case to close games, so it’ll be fun to see who emerges as the best candidate.

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Noah Camras

Noah is an Editor for Dodgers Nation. He graduated from USC in 2022 with a B.A. in Journalism and minor in Sports Media Studies. He's been a Dodger fan his whole life, and his all-time favorite Dodgers are Matt Kemp and Russell Martin.

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