December 31, 2014
The new and (hopefully) improved Dodgers are getting ready for a new season. Andrew Friedman and company wasted no time changing the roster to fit their idea of a highly functional team. Rather than spend recklessly on new talent, the new front office have used the team’s financial clout to get rid of the dead wood without worrying about how much money they were paying players to play elsewhere. I guess that is called addition by subtraction.
Rather than heaping millions on has-beens a la Ned Colletti, the new guys seem to have a more rigorous approach to their due diligence. This year’s Dodgers will have a much better defense that should play well with the ground ball inducing pitchers they have added. Home runs will probably be less this year, although if you believe the 2015 Bill James Projections, the new guys will add quite a bit of pop.
In any case, this should be an interesting year.
Happy New Year everybody!
December 12, 2014
After a dizzying 24 hour period during the Winter Meetings, the new sheriff and his deputies have run a few favorite Dodgers out of town and welcomed some strangers to Dodgertown.
Kemp, Gordon, Haren and others including FedEx and Rojas are gone. Brandon McCarthy, Jimmy Rollins, Howie Kendrick and some young pitchers and other prospects are now on the roster.
With Joc Pedersen expected to man center field in 2015, along with Rollins at Short and Kendrick at 2nd, it is widely agreed that the Dodgers will be stronger defensively up the middle. Offensively, the departure of Kemp and Hanley Ramirez left a big hole that has not been filled completely.
While Pedersen has been eagerly awaited, I am not convinced that he is ready for major league pitching, as evidenced by his huge strikeout rate in Albuquerque and his several plate appearances with the Dodgers last September. From all I have heard, his defensive play should be fine.
Jimmy Rollins and Howie Kendrick are solid additions. According to Phillies bench coach Larry Bowa, Rollins thrives in crucial situations and will take it up a notch when playing the Giants or other big games. Kendrick has been overshadowed on the Angels by big bats like Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton, but he brings a nice batting line with him. Brandon McCarthy is a good mid-rotation pitcher that should fit nicely behind Kershaw, Grienke and Ryu.
How do you feel about the changes so far? Stay tuned, Andrew Friedman and company are not done yet.
December 3, 2014
Farhan Zaidi and Andrew Friedman have been busy identifying and obtaining second tier players to flesh out the Dodger’s depth chart. Eric Stephen has the story at his True Blue LA site.
All the new players added to the 40 man roster, except pitchers Joel Peralta and Juan Nicasio, have options remaining and can be sent to the newly rebranded Oklahoma City Dodgers.
According to Zaidi, this strategy will make it easier to obtain impact players later on, maybe even during the Winter Meetings that start this week.
In September, the Oklahoma City MiLB franchise was acquired by Mandalay Baseball, which is a joint venture between ownership of the Los Angeles Dodgers and an investor group led by Mandalay Entertainment Chairman and CEO Peter Guber, who is also a minority owner of the Dodgers.