Los Angeles Dodgers Preview History
2012 Los Angeles Dodgers Preview
A tale of two halves aptly describes the 2011 Dodgers season, with the squad being 10 games under .500 before the All-Star break and then rocketing to a 25-10 finish.
Don Mattingly’s squad is hoping to build on the scorching finish with some new blood to help at the bottom of the rotation in Aaron Harang and Chris Capuano. Harang is coming off his best season since 2007 by putting up an ERA of 3.64 over 170 innings in San Diego, while Capuano looks to get back to his Milwaukee form of 2005-06.
The star of the rotation is Cy Young award-winner Clayton Kershaw, who racked up a league-leading 21 wins and 2.28 ERA. Kershaw also led the NL in strikeouts and won the gold glove for his outstanding defense from the mound. Kershaw may even have to try to top himself in 2012 to replace the production lost by Hiroki Kuroda as he was swept up by the Yankees in free agency.
The Dodgers also return Matt Kemp a year after he narrowly missed out on the NL MVP award. Kemp hit .324 and led the league in HR (39) and RBI (126) to go along with 40 stolen bases and a Gold Glove for his efforts on defense. Rounding out the L.A. offensive attack is the usual list of suspects, including James Loney and Andre Ethier, both going into their seventh season with the Dodgers.
2011 Los Angeles Dodgers MLB Preview (2010 record: 80-82, fourth place in NL West)
Heartache and disappointment are two words that described what both Dodger fans and players suffered through last year as the early season promises of a rejuvenated power attack and fail-safe bullpen faltered. New blood in the form of manager Don Mattingly give hope that the breakout seasons of Matt Kemp and Andre Either two years ago aren’t relegated to history.
In Mattingly, Los Angeles gets a first time manager, but one that has been with the Dodgers since Torre set foot in Chavez Ravine. As his newly acquired starting pitching rotation is solid— its combined ERA was sub-4.00 last year –the new coach will be in charge of making sure his team’s slumping batting average and run production doesn’t dip below 2010 levels. Besides Kemp and Either, the jettisoned Manny Ramirez has given room to newcomers Marcus Thames and Xavier Paul, two hitters who have shown promise and pop in the bat.
However, the change in the relieving corps may be the Dodger’s best bet to go back to the playoffs. Newly acquired RHP Matt Guerrier is the key to bridging the middle relief and the back-end tandem of Hong-Chih-Kuo and Jonathan Broxton. If he gets them off to a good start, it may be sunny Dodger days in Southern California.
2010 Los Angeles Dodgers MLB Preview:
The Los Angeles Dodgers have fallen just short of the National League pennant for the last two years - and perhaps the most intimidating quality of the team is that many young members are finally entering the prime of their careers. There never seems to be a lack of excitement at Dodger Stadium when the home team takes the field. Fans decked out with dreadlocked wigs go wild as future Hall of Famer Manny Ramirez saunters out to leftfield.
When Manny is on the lineup card fans never know whether to expect a routine game, some late-night heroics, or an impromptu comedy routine. But the baseball icon's supporting cast is certainly coming into its own as the team prepares to make some noise in the postseason again this year.
Even though he's just 25 years old, Matt Kemp is expected to be one of the more explosive players in the league this year, and may even reach the 30 stolen bases, 30 homeruns milestone. Another young gun, 22-year-old pitcher Clayton Kershaw is coming off a season in which he dazzled opponents, notching 185 strikeouts. If the phenom repeats that effort, he'll certainly be in the Cy Young Award conversation at the end of the season. As the young team matures, 2010 could be the year for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
2009 Los Angeles Dodgers MLB Preview:
The Los Angeles Dodgers are the team to beat in the National League in 2009. Dodgers Manager Joe Torre once again has a very talented baseball team, one that could find themselves playing deep into the postseason. In fact, the goal for the 2009 Dodgers should be well beyond making the playoffs, this Los Angeles team should be thinking World Series ring. Led by slugger Manny Ramirez and a host of other talented ballplayers, watch out for the 2009 Los Angeles Dodgers.
2008 Los Angeles Dodgers MLB Preview:
The Los Angeles Dodgers are one of the most exciting teams to watch in the NL West this season, and could be real postseason contenders. In their 2007 season, the Dodgers at one point held the best record in the National League at 54-41, but then slumped. The team knows they're capable of sustaining their play this year and should make for a lot of trouble for the rest of the National League come NLDS time this fall. Thousands will fill venerable Dodgers Stadium this season to see if the World Series might again be Dodger Blue. With legendary former Yankee manager Joe Torre at the helm, anything seems possible this year.