Ouch. That’s gotta hurt. The Los Angeles Dodgers placed OF Manny Ramirez on the 15-day DL on Friday because of the slugger’s right-calf strain. Ramirez, who is in his last year of the two-year deal he signed in 2009, was off to a tremendous start for the Dodgers. Through the season’s first two weeks, Manny was batting a scorching .415/.500/.659 with 2 HR and 12 RBIs. It’s a definite hit on the Dodgers’ impressive core of OFs, that also includes Matt Kemp (.333/.405/.730, 7 HR, 20 RBIs) and Andre Either (.388/.455/.714, 5 HR, 16 RBIs).
In order to fill Ramirez’s spot on the roster, the Dodgers recalled outfielder Xavier Paul from Triple-A Albuquerque. At 7-8, the Dodgers sit in third place in the NL West, trailing the division leading Padres by just two games. A big part of the Dodgers’ turn around has been there offensive production, as they now have scored 98 runs, which is 34 more runs than the Padres. The Dodgers are a very good offensive team, and with guys like Matt Kemp and Andre Either, who are both off to stellar starts, the Dodgers should continue to scoring runs with relative ease. However, the Dodgers are giving up way too many runs. So far the division leading Padres have given up just 53 runs, whereas the Dodgers have given up a staggering 93 runs in just the first 15 games. The team ERA is a mind-boggling 5.52. The staff at this point in time is underperforming considerably, and their struggles bring into question the way the Dodgers brought up both Billingsley and Kershaw.
While San Diego figures to be a .500 team at best, the Dodgers still will need their pitching to come into its own if they are to have any shot at repeating as division champs. The Giants are a pitching-heavy team, and the Rockies are always dangerous. The Dodgers pitching staff better rebound quick, because how long can Kemp and Either keep up this insane offensive showing? They’re good, but right now they’re freakishly good. I expect to see more from Billingsley, Kershaw and the rest of the staff as the season progresses.