February 16, 2020 at 3:02 pm
The Los Angeles Dodgers stole the spotlight in the waning days of the MLB offseason when they acquired superstar outfielder Mookie Betts and veteran starting pitcher David Price in a deal with the Boston Red Sox. While they struck out on big name free agents Anthony Rendon and Gerrit Cole, and even Josh Donaldson, Zack Wheeler, and Hyun-Jin Ryu, the Dodgers made a late splash, putting themselves in position to win their first World Series since 1988. The acquisitions of Betts and Price, along with bringing Brusdar Graterol, Jimmy Nelson, Blake Trienen and Alex Wood to LA gave the Dodgers what they need to not only win their 8th straight NL West title, but a World Championship once October rolls around.
President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman worked nearly a miracle when acquiring 2018 AL MVP Mookie Betts and 2012 AL Cy Young Award winner David Price merely for Alex Verdugo and prospect Jeter Downs. Friedman, able to hold onto big name prospects who arose in trade talks such as Gavin Lux, Josiah Gray, Kiebert Ruiz, and Dustin May, also traded Kenta Maeda to the Minnesota Twins in return for flamethrowing 21 year old reliever Brusdar Graterol. Earlier in free agency, former all-star reliever Blake Trienen signed a 1-year deal with the Dodgers. Trienen, if able to return to his 2018 form when he held an ERA of 0.78, will play a big part in the LA bullpen. Also signing 1-year deals were Alex Wood, who returns to LA after being an all-star in 2017, and Jimmy Nelson. Both Wood and Nelson will use spring training as a time to contend for a spot in the starting rotation this year, as currently the only locks in the rotation are Walker Buehler and Clayton Kershaw along with recent addition David Price. With a strong top-3 in the rotation comes a battle for the remaining two spots. While Julio Urias is a favorite to be the #4, Tony Gonsolin, May, Wood, and Nelson all look to pitch their way into the rotation as well. In the bullpen, whoever doesn’t win a rotation spot will help bolster an already solid core. Brusdar Graterol, a 21-year old righty who notches 100+, enters with high expectations. With him are Pedro Baez, Joe Kelly, Adam Kolarek, and Blake Trienen. Between Baez and Kelly comes a pair of hard throwing veteran righties. Kolarek, a strong left-hander, will no longer be the 1-out guy that he has been throughout his career, as a new rule in the MLB limits pitchers to at least 3-hitters per outing. For Trienen, he looks to find his unhittable 2018 form, and be a lockdown reliever in the back end for LA. As closer for LA it’s none other than Kenley Jansen. Jansen, abiding injury in his age 32 season, finds himself in a spot to succeed, reworking his cutter and slider this offseason. Jansen will play a crucial part in the 2020 success of the Dodgers, especially once the postseason arrives.
Away from the pitching staff, reigning NL MVP Cody Bellinger and 2018 AL MVP Mookie Betts headline an outfield, and a lineup, poised to dominate the National League. Along with the big names of Bellinger and Betts, Justin Turner, Max Muncy, Corey Seager and Gavin Lux make up a star-studded infield. Partnered with Cody Bellinger in CF and Mookie Betts in RF will be the platoon of AJ Pollock and Joc Pederson in LF. With the success of Pollock against lefties and Pederson against righties, this platoon should find success towards the bottom of the LA lineup. Behind the plate, the duo of young Will Smith and Austin Barnes will lead the pitching staff. While nothing is set in stone, the Dodger lineup will most likely have RF Betts leading off, 3B Turner batting 3rd, and CF Cody Bellinger hitting cleanup. 1B/2B Max Muncy will often hit either 2nd, or 5th, and Gavin Lux at 2B will do the same if not in the 7 hole. SS Corey Seager, LF Pollock/Pederson, and C Smith/Barnes will round out the bottom of the lineup. With the ability to hit against both righties and lefties, the 2020 Los Angeles Dodgers lineup is one that will score a lot of runs, hit many homers, and win many regular season baseball games. However, their regular season success will be worthless if the lineup isn’t able to perform in October.
With the beginning of Spring Training this week, ESPN projects that the Dodgers will eclipse 100 victories and cruise their way to an 8th straight NL West division title. With Los Angeles set to host the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, there’s already plenty of excitement in the air. After adding Mookie Betts and David Price to an already star-filled team, there is more excitement. It’s no question that the 2020 Dodgers will find much success in the regular season. However, a 162-game MLB season is a marathon, not a sprint, and none of it will be worth while if the Dodgers do not win the World Series. As Spring Training begins, and Opening Day 2020 approaches (March 26), Go Dodgers!
- This discussion was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by _rexkap.
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