NL West Predictions for 2017

With the 2017 season fast approaching and Opening Day right around the corner it is time to see how the teams are shaping up in the Dodger’s division to challenge them for a 5th consecutive title.

5th: San Diego Padres (66-96)

There is nothing to like about this roster once again in 2017 with the aftermath of them “winning the offseason” two years ago still in full effect. The club has gone and really done nothing in this year’s offseason, bringing in no one to help out their offense or defense, with the pitching looking like being the worst in the division for a 3rd consecutive year.

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Romo’s First Inning As A Dodger

For the first 9 years of his Major League career Romo was with the Giants and played there, winning 3 World Series rings in that time.

Entering the game in the top of the 6 with a 3-1 lead to protect, Sergio Romo came in to Dodger Stadium for the first time as a Dodger. His line will read;

1IP, 1H, 0BB, 0ER with 11 pitches for 8 strikes.

However this inning was slightly worrying for Dodger fans and Sergio alike.

The reason for this is simply that his sliders really weren’t sliding that far and only hung in the zone for a majority of his strikes. For Romo with this ‘slider first’ mentality he should be throwing his pitches for balls with the hopes of swings and misses.

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What Will LA do with Alex Guerrero?

Before the season began, during Spring Training, Guerrero injured his left knee and has been carrying soreness ever since which saw him start the season on the 15 day DL, a place he finds himself today.

When Alex was ready to return to the ball club the Dodgers placed him on a rehab assignment with High-A Rancho Cucamonga hitting only .269 with 7 for 26. This is about where he should be in the majors if he follows expectations but in A+ someone of major league standard should be nearing .300 if not there.

The front office in LA thought it would be beneficial for him to be promoted to AA Tulsa where he has found himself now, the only problem with this is that he is hitting 1-30 in his 8 games with 5 strikeouts. He has found himself at both 3B and LF, this hasn’t changed much for his offence however with his only hit coming 4 games ago, since then he is 0-12 with 2 K’s.

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Should Julio Urias Get the Call Up?

The 19 year old Mexico native has been in the Dodgers system for some time now after they signed him to an international free agents contact when he was just 16 and has worked his way up through the minors ever since. For Julio now he is one step away and this left hand starting pitcher has given him self every opportunity as of late with his streak of scoreless innings extending to 22 his last time out.

Rated by as their number 8 prospect before last years season and with him getting better each year, one would only imagine he will be pitching at the Chavez Ravine before too long. He has always been on a pitch count for the organisation, seldom reaching over 5 or 6 innings and never being able to push himself for the fear of injury.

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Josh Ravin Suspended for 80 Games Following PED Use

Right-handed Dodgers pitcher Josh Ravin has been found guilty of performance enhancing drugs and is suspended immediately for 80 games.

The southern California native has spent 10 years throughout baseball in all levels, getting as high as the majors for a couple of them. These have come both in the Dodgers’ organisation and the Cardinals’.

Josh has been on the 60 day DL for some time now too after his crash in a car accident in February that broke his non pitching arm. This comes as a shock to him and everyone involved however it is not the first time something weird has happened to the pitcher.

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Is There a Problem in LA’s Bullpen?

In a 25-0 drubbing during the opening series against the San Diego Padres all was going well for LA and for Dave Roberts as manager. Through this series 7 men got work out of the bullpen and all 7 only worked together to give up just 5 hits in 8 innings. This was an extremely positive sign for the club at the time with the offence and defense working well together for the perfect start to the year.

However as the club moved to San Francisco, the bullpen, offence and defense all shattered and that start seemingly meant nothing to anyone. The Dodgers gave up 26 runs through 4 games, the bullpen responsible for 12 of them. Through 4 games this means the bullpen gave up 3 a game, a recipe for not making playoffs.

Not only were there these 12 runs but the bullpen also managed to blow 2 saves in Yimi Garcia and Chris Hatcher and had 2 losses in Joe Blanton and Louis Coleman.

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Why Dave Roberts Made the Right Call

The year is 2014 and Ross Stripling is on his way back from yet another Tommy Johns surgery, the second of his career. This type of injury takes a good few months to get back from and of course Ross knows this all too well.

The young right hander, who has been trying since 2012 when he was drafted by LA in the 5th round to get to the big leagues, is now back in his minor league task, pitching for the Dodgers’ AA affiliate, the Tulsa Drillers. Ross’ first 6 outings consisted of 25 innings total, an average of just over 4 per game. This was backed up by the fact he never went past 76 pitches and not once did he reach 100 in the season, his most being 93. This brings us to the decision Dave Roberts made with Ross in Friday’s game.

The 26 year old finally has his shot in the big leagues and has a no hitter going through 7 and a third innings, it is a no brainer to leave him in right? He has a chance to throw a no hitter on his MLB debut, a feat not achieved since over 2 centuries ago, in 1893. Ross walks the first man in the 8th and his pitch count had reached 100, the first time he hit that mark since ever, his previous most had been 99 with the Chattanooga Lookouts, the then Dodgers’ AA affiliate.

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Problems with Dave Robert’s First Two Lineups


There can’t be much complaining done so far with the combined score from LA’s first two games being 18-0 over the San Diego Padres but one thing I have noticed is Dave Robert’s unorthodox placement of people in his lineup and his reasons for doing so.

Chase Utley as a leadoff man is some what surprising to me as he doesn’t have many wheels and often pulls the ball to the right side which most teams will counteract with a shift, putting his OBP down fro what it usually would be for a leadoff man. A leadoff man’s job is to get on base any way they can ad try and start something for the inning, Chase certainly doesn’t try and swing for the fences every time like a leadoff man LA had last year which is a positive and he is smart but his tendencies cant be changed.

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The 2016 LA Dodgers Starting Rotation


We’ve been through positions and the line up and now we will take you through our protected starting 5.

For Opening Day on the 4th of April at Dodgers Stadium we all know it will be Clayton Kershaw vying to get his team off to the best possible start when he takes the hill against the Padres.

However, with Clayton Kershaw being named Opening Day starter for the 6th consecutive time and of course locking down the number one spot, the remaining 4 remain a bit of mystery with the departure of Zack Greinke and additions of starters like Maeda and Scott Kazmir. The problems for LA now will be their injuries, with Brandon McCarthy, Hyun Jin Ryu being injured with his shoulder surgery and now Brett Anderson’s injury, the starting rotation mightn’t get to full strength all year.

(All stats from the 2015 season.) Continue reading

Starting Lineup for the 2016 LA Dodgers

After my previous article about who should play where in the field for LA, we now need to focus on something that Mattingly didn’t do very well last year, the lineup card, especially in the leadoff position. A few candidates pop up for the top of the lineup; from 1 to about 4 and with the departure of Jimmy Rollins last year and then the failed experiment of Joc Pederson we should see some changes for this upcoming season.

1.Carl Crawford (LF) 

Although not assured to start on April 4, Carl and his speed is the biggest asset to the top of the lineup with Joc moving down as a result of his many, many K’s in the top spot. Although last year his OBP was just over .300, he only played in 60 odd games and never got his chance to get hot with injuries plaguing what would have been an alright season for the now 33 year old. The only man to get more stolen bases in 2015 was Jimmy Rollins but seeing as he is now gone, and Corey Seager is taking his spot in shortstop it would seem the speed will have to come from Carl. Continue reading