Results tagged ‘ Dee Gordon ’
If baseball fans should be paying attention to anything so far this year, it’s that without a doubt, the Los Angeles Dodgers are the hottest team in baseball right now. Will they be able to keep it up and make the playoffs, or will they end up watching the postseason from home?
It’s hard to imagine a team that features Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, James Loney and Clayton Kershaw not making the playoffs, but that’s exactly what happened in 2011. Don’t worry Dodger Nation, I think 2012 is going to be a good year for you.
The biggest key to the Dodgers making the playoffs is the productivity of Matt Kemp. There is no question in my mind that Kemp deserved to with the National League MVP last year, and the fact he didn’t should only make him work that much harder to win it this year. Do I think he has a shot of hitting 50 home runs and stealing 50 bases? I think it’s possible, but highly unlikely. What I do think he could have a legitimate chance of doing, is winning the NL Triple Crown (leading the league in batting average, home runs and RBIs). Of course this will heavily depend on whether or not opposing teams are going to be willing to pitch to him down the stretch.
Ethier has turned himself into a formidable outfielder, but there’s also been questions of his health and ability to hit left-handed pitching throughout his career. If Ethier can stay healthy, and find consistency against lefties, then the Dodgers have what is arguably one of the top two 3-4 hitting combinations in all of baseball.
And how could I possibly write about the Dodgers without talking about Clayton Kershaw? Kershaw put together a remarkable 2011 season, and in return won the NL Cy Young award. The scariest part (and I mean that in the best way possible), is that he just turned 24. It’s not common that you find a starting pitcher with dominant stuff at that young of an age, so it’ll be interesting to see if he can keep it up throughout his career. Oh yeah, did I mention that he’s left handed? I can only imagine how much Dodger Nation loves the fact that he’s not eligible for free agency until the 2015 season.
There’s also several intriguing stories about the Dodgers, such as what kind of a shortstop will Dee Gordon be? Will he get on base enough to utilize his speed, or will he eventually be turned into a pinch runner? Chad Billingsley has also looked incredible in his first two starts for the Dodgers, and if he can put together a strong season, the Dodgers will almost certainly find themselves playing late in October.
I’m sure the new ownership group, which paid over two billion dollars for the team along with property near the stadium, is hoping that their investment will soon be paying dividends. All I know is that if I was a Dodger fan, I wouldn’t be making any vacation plans for October, because I might be busy watching my team make the playoffs for the first time since 2008.