Author Topic: Los Angeles Dodgers: 2015 Preview  (Read 690 times)

Dodgers DS

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Los Angeles Dodgers: 2015 Preview
« on: 12 Feb 2015 6:38:19 PM »
Nearly since the inception of DMBO, the Los Angeles Dodgers have maintained the starting rotation as the nucleus of the team, supported by what was hoped to be a decent bullpen, and accepting whatever came down the pike offensively.  Some years that has worked quite well, others...not so much.

Summary
2015 finds a different approach.  The offense should be improved over the past couple years, and the bullpen will be asked to keep the overall pitching staff from spinning out of control.  In fact it may be that the relief corps along with overall roster positional depth, are the strongest points the Dodgers have for the upcoming season.

Overall, the goal is an improved record over the past couple seasons, but with full recognition the Dodgers are still a couple years away from returning to the top of the division. 

Position Players/Summary
Position player decisions are pretty much done.  The exception is in CF where both Danny Santana (4.4 RC/27; 90 OPS+; -2 Def) and Kirk Nieuwenhaus (4.1; 94; 4) each bring pluses and minuses.  Until the seasonal projection is available for a few quick runs to serve as Spring Training, the battle to determine who starts will likely remain up in the air.  Likewise, the results of that trial could have a significant effect on the lineup, but at this point I doubt that either prospective will have the OBP to put in the leadoff slot which would have been the preferred placement.

Regardless, one will start and the other adding to the bench.  Robbie Grossman adds "insurance policy" depth.

Kevin Plawecki is being promoted from the reserve to start behind the plate, with the ageless Jose Molina backing him up and possibly late inning defensive work.  A third catcher signing for emergency call up duty from the reserve roster is a very probable move before the season starts.

Mike Napoli is intended to see the lion's share of time at 1B, backed up by Eric Chavez, David Freese, and Daniel Descalso (UI).

2B will be manned by Ben Zobrist, with youngster Robert Refsnyder as his primary back up and RH bench stick, and Descalso reprising his UI role.

3B will likely feature a platoon of Chavez and Freese, and the continued thematic UI reference for emergency duty.

Brandon Crawford starts at SS, backed by Santana, and again Descalso.

Matt Holliday is the starting LF and Carlos Beltran in RF, each backed by Nieuwenhaus, Grossman, and (likely) Refsnyder.

Assuming that neither CF is capable of being the leadoff hitter one possible lineup would look like:
1. Ben Zobrist, B (5.1 RC/27; 113 OPS+; 4 Def)
2. Carlos Beltran, B (4.9; 103; -5)
3. Matt Holliday, R (6.2; 126; -3)
4. Mike Napoli R (5.5; 117; 4)
5. Eric Chavez, L (5.3; 105; -1)/David Freese, R (4.2; 98; -5)
6. Mike Plawecki, R (4.1; 90; 0) or Nieuwenhaus, L
7. Santana, B or Plawecki, R
8. Brandon Crawford, L (4.0; 95; 4)

If someone from the bottom third can get on base with enough regularity tolead off, Zobrist would drop to 2nd and Beltran to 5th.

Pitching Staff
Starting Rotation
At the open of the season the starting rotation will be:
1. Danny Duffy, L (113 ERA+; 2.2 zWAR)
2. Jose Quintana, L (106; 3.4)
3. Chase Anderson, R (96; 1.9)
4. Tyler Lyons, L (95; 1.4)
5. Nick Tropeano, R (86; 0.7)

Bullpen
Closer-Danny Farquhar (123; 0.8)
LH Set Up/Closer-Antonio Bastardo (120; 0.6)
RH Set Up-Hector Rondon (108; 0.3)
LH Set Up/Middle-Tom Layne (106; 0.4)
RH Middle-Yoervis Medina (101; 0.2)
Spot Start/Long/Mop Up-Chad Bettis (89; 0.5)
« Last Edit: 14 Feb 2015 3:02:24 PM by Dodgers DS »