Mark Ellis 2B
Matt Kemp CF
A.J. Ellis C
Tonight’s game against the Marlins could give us a sneak preview of what our revamped lineup could look like for the rest of the season and beyond. Adrian Gonzalez is expected to be in the starting lineup tonight, and he was on a charter jet alongside Josh Beckett and Nick Punto earlier this afternoon en route to Los Angeles.
Excited to get back to Cali and be a part of Dodgertown!
— Adrian Gonzalez (@adriangon28) August 25, 2012
While some have argued that the Dodgers have taken on a gigantic financial burden coupled with the loss of prospects in return for AGon,
Beckett, Punto, and Crawford, for me this deal is decidedly positive for the Dodgers. Sure, the monetary numbers are frightening and large. Josh Beckett has been disliked in Boston for awhile, and Crawford is injured and expensive. Yet the Dodgers could not contend without production from the infield corners. Unfortunately James Loney was in decline, and his time in Blue had to come to an end. Juan Uribe was a complete and total bust. So what does the new ownership do? They go out and get one of the premier first baseman in all of baseball. Those opportunities don’t come around often. The winter free agent market was to be limited anyhow. The farm system of the Dodgers is very thin with positional player prospects, but they do have pitching. In order to obtain the much needed offense in the lineup we had to sacrifice some pitching. Allen Webster and Rubby De La Rosa could be successful big leaguers in the future, but that’s not a for sure thing. There are very few prospects that end up as super stars like Matt Kemp or Clayton Kershaw. To me, Rubby was the biggest loss. I see him with the potential to be a star, but he has already blown his arm out once so who’s to say that he can stay healthy while hurling 100-mph for very long. Jerry Sands never could transcend his success in AAA-Albuquerque to the big leagues. Ivan De Jesus never had a future in the organization after he was essentially written off for lack of hustle. It’s bittersweet to see James Loney go, but perhaps he can exhume his career in Boston. As fans we should be thrilled that we have the resources to obtain these elite players now after being so shackled during the McCourt era. Even if we do not win a World Series in 2012, the owners have made sure that we have a good chance to compete in the years to come. When we are hoisting up the World Series trophy we won’t be thinking about Jerry Sands or Allen Webster.
As for tonight, Clayton Kershaw will vie for his 12th win on the season. Kershaw lost last time out against the Giants despite working 8 strong innings while striking out 10 and walking none. The Dodger offense couldn’t give him any help, and Madison Bumgarner received the win. Hopefully offense will no longer be an issue with the addition of Adrian Gonzalez to the lineup alongside Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, and Hanley Ramirez. Against Miami, Kershaw has a 3-1 record and a 2.41 in his career. He has fanned 37 Fish in 33 2/3 innings pitched, and held Miami batters to a .174 average. Carlos Lee has hit him well in the past, and he has gone deep against Kersh. The ace southpaw will also have to fend off Jose Reyes and Giancarlo Stanton who are both hitting at least .300 against him as well.
Josh Johnson will have his work cut out for him tonight as he goes to the mound at Chavez Ravine. The
right-hander has lost three games in a row, but he does fare well in Dodger Stadium. In his career, Johnson is 3-0 with a 3.46 ERA at Dodger Stadium. Overall against the Dodgers, he is 3-1 with a 4.76 ERA. Andre Ethier and Shane Victorino have successfully hit him in the past, but Matt Kemp only has a .231 batting average against him in 13 at bats and Hanley has never faced his former teammate.
Hanley Ramirez has been raking it in lately for the Dodgers. Not only has he hit three homeruns in his last five games, but he is now 7-for-17 with 7 RBIs against his former team in four games.
Tune into Prime Ticket at 6:10 pm for the first pitch, and be sure to follow Scott’s live tweets from the Vin Scully Press Box tonight! @LasordasLair
It’s a new era in Dodger Baseball. Let’s enjoy it, Dodger fans. We deserve it.