So since there’s not a whole lot going on in Dodger land right now in terms of improving the roster, I figured we should take a look at where the Dodgers currently stand in the NL West race heading into next season.
While I do complain about management not doing much of anything to improve the roster, and letting key components like Juan Pierre and Randy Wolf go, they are still in decent shape. The pitching is still the main concern, but the batting should be enough to give them a nice boost. With guys like Matt Kemp and James Loney anchoring this young lineup, I feel good about the hitting. But again, it all goes back to pitching.
In looking at the rest of the division, a few teams stick out to me. I think that the San Francisco Giants and Arizona Diamondbacks are the teams to beat in this division. You still have to factor in the Colorado Rockies as well in that mix. Where are the Dodgers in that mix? Quite honestly, I’m not sure. I don’t think they’re better than the Giants right now. To me, the Giants are the favorite in the division at this point in the offseason. I think the D’Backs will bounce back and have a solid year, as will the Rockies.
The Dodgers still have enough pitching to get them by. The hitting should fix some of those problems, as I can’t see this team struggling to put up runs. But, you have to remember that Pierre is gone, and that guy accounted for a lot of possible scenarios where they could put up runs. They no longer have that same type of speed on the basepaths, which is a concern. And they no longer have him to stretch the outfield, and prevent a lot of balls landing in the gaps.
If I had to pick at this point, I’d put the division like this:
And honestly folks, I think I’m being generous there. A part of me wants to put both the D’Backs and Rockies ahead of the Dodgers right now. But we’ll wait and see how the next month or so plays out before doing that.
If the pitching stays like it is, LA will likely slide down the projected divisional standings. Which would mean that there would be no playoff appearance for them next season.
The way this offseason has went, I’m starting to come to grips with the fact that this could be be a true possibility. But, let’s give this organization a little more time I guess. There’s nothing out there that makes me feel confident that they’ll make the right moves, but who knows.
Where do you see the Dodgers at this point in the offseason? You expect them to win the division again? Or are the playoffs an afterthought at this point?