Almost time for Dodger Baseball!
The Dodgers added Derek Lowe. Moving across leagues is sometimes problematic. However, he has big game experience and hopefully he will adjust quickly. Penny remains a question mark recovering from his injury. But if he lives up to his billing as a hard thrower with big game experience, a Lowe/Penny 1-2 punch could be great. On the other hand, if Lowe doesn't adjust to the NL fast and Penny's health is hampering him, the Dodger season could be over pretty early.
Perez has ability but certainly tailed off at the end of last season. Weaver also has ability but he sometimes gives up the occasional big inning. Hopefully, both young guys will improve this year.
It isn't clear who is going to get the fifth spot in the rotation.
Looking at what I've just typed doesn't give me a lot of confidence!
Choi at 1B - He didn't do much last year. He is certainly a big strong kid
but can he consistently hit? Compared to Green we are losing some hitting here.
Kent at 2B - An upgrade in hitting over Cora last year. But he probably isn't
as good a fielder as Cora.
Izturis at SS - The only guy left from last year's infield, great fielding and modest
Valentin at 3B - Don't think he will be putting up numbers like Beltre!
Phillips at C - Almost certainly an improvement over the hitting we didn't
get last year from the catcher's spot!
Werth at LF - Hopefully, he will recover from injury in short order and be back
to full form. One of the pleasant surprises from last year.
Drew at CF - We shall see! He has had injuries but he has ability.
Bradley at RF - Hopefully, the talented young guy will keep his head on and have
a breakout season.
As you can see, only three everyday players are back. The loss of Beltre and Green might make this team struggle for offense.
The Dodger bullpen looks good except that Gagne's injury could be trouble. Remains to be seen when he will be 100%. Brazoban as setup should be fine. Sanchez and Carrara should be fine for the 6/7th inning. The worry is that the starting pitching will flop and overwork the bullpen.
Should I be a "homer" and say Dodgers win the Division? They have a shot. Bond's injury might slow him down and thus the Giants. Arizona has upgraded from last year's team but I don't think they will jump from last to first. Colorado seems to be a perennial also ran. San Diego has lots of upside and this maybe their breakout year. I'll stick with my Dodgers to win the Division.