Connect with us

Dodger Baseball

We Start Again

Today, the Dodgers face the St. Louis Cardinals in the domestic home opener.  The Dodgers will start Tyler Glasnow and the Cardinals will counter with RHSP Miles Mikolas.  Mikolas is no fan of the Dodgers, and their “checkbook baseball.”

 

I don’t think there are a lof of Midwestern farmers from Jupiter, Florida (where Mikolas is from).

Will the Dodgers be able to start again after starting and stopping in a week?  Did the LAD starting pitchers get enough innings this Spring to go 5.0 innings?  The Cardinals had 10 pitchers with 10+ innings in Spring, including all five starters not on the IL .  The Dodgers had 3.

The Cardinals will be without 3 of their top 4 outfielders (Dylan Carlson, Tommy Edman, and Lars Nootbaar) and their Ace (Sonny Gray).  The Cardinals will be starting three players 23 or younger:

  • SS – Masyn Winn (22)
  • CF – Victor Scott II (23)
  • RF – Jordan Walker (22)

but their offense is going to rely heavily on their seasoned vets:

  • C – Willson Contreras (32)
  • 1B – Paul Goldschmidt (36)
  • 3B – Nolan Arenado (33)

Four of the five in their current rotation have filed for Medicare:

  • Miles Mikolas (R) – 35
  • Zack Thompson (L) – 26
  • Lance Lynn (R) – 37
  • Steven Matz (L) – 33
  • Kyle Gibson (R) – 36

The Cardinals have read all of the scouting reports and are starting two left handers against the Dodgers.

The Dodgers will pitch Bobby Miller against Thompson on Friday; Yoshinobu Yamamoto against Lynn on Saturday; and Gavin Stone against Matz on nationally televised Sunday game, which will undoubtedly turn into the roast of Shohei Ohtani.

By the time I am writing this post, the Dodgers have not officially named their 26 man roster heading into Thursday.  Roster Resource (Fangraphs) has projected the roster as follows:

  • C – Will Smith (29 today) and his $140MM extension
  • 1B – Freddie Freeman (34)
  • 2B – Gavin Lux – (26)
  • 3B – Max Muncy – (33)
  • SS – Mookie Betts (31)
  • LF – Teoscar Hernández (31)
  • CF – James Outman (27)
  • RF – Jason Heyward (34)
  • DH – Shohei Ohtani (29)

Reserves:

  • C – Austin Barnes (34)
  • INF – Miguel Rojas (35)
  • INF/OF – Chris Taylor (33)
  • INF/OF – Kiké Hernández (32)

Rotation:

  • Tyler Glasnow (R) – (30)
  • Bobby Miller (R) – (25)
  • Yoshinobu Yamamoto (R) – (25)
  • Gavin Stone (R) – (25)
  • James Paxton (L) – (35)

Bullpen:

  • Evan Phillips (R) – (29)
  • Joe Kelly (R) – (36)
  • Ryan Brasier (R) – (36)
  • Alex Vesia (L) – (28)
  • Daniel Hudson (R) – (37)
  • Kyle Hurt (R) – (26)
  • Ryan Yarbrough (L) – (32)
  • Michael Grove (R) – (27)

There are some reporting that J. P. Feyereisen (31) will be added over either Michael Grove or Kyle Hurt.  Regardless, once Blake Treinen (36) and Brusdar Graterol (25) come off the IL, they will be added to the roster over any of the three.

The one glaring concern (IMO) is the lack of a lock down LHRP.  Another concern that has been discussed quite a bit this spring is the infield defense.  Certainly their 3 closest competitors in the NL West have a superior defense over LAD.  Some of you are not concerned about the defense.  We disagree.  I believe the defense is a concern.  I am a firm believer in run prevention.  DRS, UZR, and OAA are legit metrics, and I follow all three.  Again many of you may not agree with the metrics and consider them voodoo metrics, but MLB player personnel people do believe in them.  Good pitching and good defense can offset a solid offense, especially in a short series.

The Dodgers biggest competition in the National League is Atlanta. They are the #1 team in the power rankings and are a legit threat to win the 2024 WS.  While not a consensus, most publication predictions have the Braves winning the NL Pennant.

The biggest competition in the NL West is now Arizona (IMO).  They are not at the level of the Dodgers, but if they stay healthy all year, they will be good.  They do lack depth.

Arizona’s rotation is:

  • Zac Gallen – CY candidate
  • Jordan Montgomery
  • Merrill Kelly
  • Eduardo Rodriguez
  • Brandon Pfaadt

While E-Rod is on the IL, LHSP Tommy Henry or RHSP Ryne Nelson will fill in.  Arizona has a plus defense and a good offense that will push the envelope with their outstanding speed.  Interesting that the two new additions (Monty and E-Rod) are both LH.  You think that is a coincidence.

I don’t take much solace in that the W-L for the Snakes has been horrid in prior years.  However, this is a different Arizona team.  And they did kick the LAD behinds in the playoffs.  Gallen, Kelly, and Pfaadt shut down the LAD offense,  Now they have added two quality LHSP.

Corbin Carroll is a legit 30/30 guy, and the power will come from Christian Walker and Eugenio Suarez.  The opposition running game will be stalled with the excellence of Gabriel Moreno.

Mike Hazen has put together a good 26 man team.  Their problem is that after the 26, the talent drops off quite a bit.

San Francisco will try to stay in it the first half while waiting for Robbie Ray and Alex Cobb to join the rotation.  Again interesting to note that the two starting pitching additions, Blake Snell and Robbie Ray, are both LH.  What do you think the opposition scouting reports say about the LAD bats against LHP?

San Diego will be a thorn, with a decent top three in the rotation.  But they are just not deep enough to be a threat over the season.  Does Colorado still have a MLB team?

It is entirely possible that there will be two wild card teams coming from the NL West, and the Dodgers may have to face another NL West team in the NLDS. That has not worked well the last two years.

 

 

29 Comments
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
29 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Make mine Blue

Dodgers and Padres start the season, 0.5 games behind everyone else in the division.

Oldbear48

Not if all the other teams lose.

Oldbear48

I do agree the defense is important. I just think it is not as bad as everyone thinks it is. The season starts in earnest now. So, lets judge the defense after say 50 games. If it is horrid then, they will most likely need to make some changes. Roberts has already said that Rojas is going to get some starts against LHP. So, he might be in two games this weekend. As for the D-Backs rotation, the Dodgers are 22-2 against the pitchers who are the D-Backs starters in their careers. Kelly has never beaten LA during the regular season, 0-11. Gallen is 1-4. With this offense, I am not worried about their pitching. This is a more balanced offense and any one of the guys in the lineup can beat you with a late inning long ball. Let the games begin. I won’t get to watch the entire game; I have to pick my sis up at the RR station in Trinidad. But I will get so see some of it.

Last edited 19 days ago by Oldbear48
Bumsrap

====”Roberts has already said that Rojas is going to get some starts against LHP. ” — Hopefully at third base.

Oldbear48

Nope, at SS with Mookie moving to second. No mention of him playing third at all.

Bumsrap

I think moving Betts back and forth between short and second will degrade his defense at both positions.

Bobby

That’s beyond realistic and scares the hell out of me.

Oh well, at least we’ll have 6 months of fun before we get to the October drama again!

Make mine Blue

So what you are trying to say is Muncy is bad, no matter the effort, the desire, the amount of ground balls he takes, no matter what he wants, no matter how badly some people want to give him a chance and no matter how much the fans desire him to be a decent 3B, it ain’t going to get any better. Thank you for all your research Jeff, but I didn’t even need those stats, all I needed was my eyes to determine, Muncy Bad.

Last edited 19 days ago by Make mine Blue
Oldbear48

There is a quirk in the schedule that A. I do not particularly like, and B., I think does not benefit the Dodgers at all. The Dodgers have a four-game series with the Giants that ends on July 25th. After that series, they play exactly 15 games against teams in their own division and none of those games are against the Giants. They finish the year with 9 games against the Padres and Rockies. Six of those are against the Rocks. Which also means, that during August and the first half of September, they play 6 games against in division rivals. Other than the last two games of August, and the first two in September, all against Az on the road over Labor Day weekend, they play the A’s, 3 in Oakland, 3 against the Phils in LA, 3 against the Pirates in LA, on the road to Milwaukee for 4, 3 in St. Louis, back home for 3 with Seattle, 3 with the Rays and 3 with the Orioles before they start the Labor Day series in Arizona.

Bluto

The Cardinals payroll is 180mm

Dionysus

Totally agree about the lack of a lockdown LHRP.

Singing the Blue

There’s a great article in The Athletic today with regard to how the Dodger front office played the off season. Some excellent detail on how they got Shohei, YY and Glasnow and how it all came together.

The Glasnow deal was actually helped along by Brad Paisley.

Anyway, for those who subscribe, take a look for it, authored by Rosenthal/Ardaya.

Badger

Did you read the front page article of the LA Times about where the Ohtani investigation might be going?

Singing the Blue

Can you summarize it? I don’t get The Times.

Badger

I could, but I won’t here. I’ll just put it this way, I feel a storm coming.

Bumsrap

Oh hail

tedraymond

Very much looking forward to the start of the season and the next couple of months. I think it will take at least until the end of May for the team to settle in. With new players, position changes, and returning from injuries I’m not going to get down on the team if things start a bit rocky.

There are, though, plenty of questions going into this season…..
such as:

What effect will Mookie playing SS have on his offense?
Will Lux’s knee continue to improve and hold up for the season?
Will Muncy’s defense continue to deteriorate?
Will the Ohtani gambling situation be completely resolved?
Can the Dodger BP be successful without a dominate LHP?
Can Yamamoto make the necessary adjustments to become a dominate starter?
Can Paxton stay healthy until Buehler and Kershaw return?
Will there be a rookie starter that takes a permanent spot in the rotation?
Will the Dodgers trade for a top SS prospect who is close playing in the MLB?

It will be interesting to see how things play out. What are your concerns, if any?

It appears that the Dodgers’ division foes have loaded up with potentially strong left handed pitching to combat the Dodgers LH hitters. I think it will take more than that to prevent the Dodgers from winning the division and moving on to the WS. The Dodger depth at most positions is too deep and could be one thing the competition can’t overcome. It’s a long season.

Carry on!

Bluto

Totally a side conversation and unrelated to baseball but IF you have kids in middle school or lower (or grandkids) you have to read the new Jonathan Haidt book:

The Anxious Generation

It’s borderline essential.

Badger

Anyone watching the game?

Wayne

yes

Bobby

Glasnow looks good so far!

Bluto

Here and there. Seems to be going well.

OhioDodger

I guess the Dodgers cashed in the Mikolas check. Lit that wanker up..

Last edited 18 days ago by OhioDodger
Dionysus

When do the playoffs start?

OhioDodger

Good to see Busch starting at 1B for the Cubs. I hope he does well. But not against us. LOL
Will be interesting to see what Bellinger does. I think he tanks.

Last edited 18 days ago by OhioDodger
Duke Not Snider

Interesting point about the Giants and Dbacks adding lefty SPs to battle the Dodgers.
But I suspect these Dodgers won’t struggle that much against southpaws.
In ’23, the Dodgers hit to a solid .787 OPS against southpaws, ranking third in the NL behind the powerhouse Braves and the Padres.
And that Dodgers that team did not include Shohei, Teoscar and Lux.
Shohei’s OPS against lefties in ’23 was .897, and Teoscar, in a down year, was at .817, well below his career number of .887. (Teoscar’s history against lefties was one reason AF made signing him a priority.)
Lux has struggled a bit against lefties in the past. I assume that he, Max and Outman will get ample opportunity to show they can improve against lefties, but Roberts has options.
The lefty issue, I suspect, is one reason the Dodgers brought back Kike, who can spell Max (and is probably a better defender). More often than not, the Dodgers will have four righty bats on the bench in Kike, Taylor, Rojas and Barnes. Roberts worked the first three into the game against the Cards, and I expect that practice will continue.
Against the Cards, Roberts made a late move to insert Rojas at SS and shift Mookie to 2B. Will this become standard practice?
Rojas is known for his defense, of course, but in ’23 he was a decent hitter against lefties, with a .286 BA and .737 OPS.

Must See

More in Dodger Baseball

29
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x