The Dodgers truly had a bad year. They were projected by most to win the division, and they just had some terrible slumps to prevent them from doing that.
Their issue was pitching, like it is with most teams. They got Ted Lilly to help with their staff, and then signed him to a three year extension. It was a good move for a team that is having trouble making any moves at all with their ownership situation.
Lilly was good for LA, Having a 3.51 ERA in 12 games along with a 0.99 WHIP. So that is a deal the Dodgers do not regret. In fact, most of the rotation was pretty good for Los Angeles, with Chad Billingsly, Clayton Kershaw, Carlos Monasterios, and Hiroki Kuroda. All five pitchers had a sub-5.00 ERA, the highest being Monasterios with a 4.38.
The Dodgers bullpen wasn’t what they hoped for, with good seasons out of only Hong-Chih Kuo and Kenley Jansen. Jonathan Broxton and George Sherill, two former closers, had Earned Run Averages over 4.00, with Sherill’s over six.
So a lot of the blame for that falls on Sherill and Jeff Weaver, who had similar numbers as the long relief arm.
In the infield, James Loney was a disappointment, and is a possible non-tender candidate. He hit only .267 with 10 home runs and 88 RBIs. LA does not have a surplus on first baseman, but they may non tender him and just resign him after for less money.
Ryan Theriot did a pretty good job coming over from Chicago, hitting .270 with 20 stolen bases. Theriot may not always be an everyday player, but he certainly gets the job done. Rafael Furcal had a quietly good year, hitting .300 right on the button. He alos had an On Base Percentage of .366 and a .826 OPS.
Casey Blake probably was not as good as expected, hitting .248. But he did 17 home runs over at third base, and he is 37 now, so who knows what his future in Los Angeles is?
Rod Barajas was solid at catcher when he came over from New York, hitting .297 with five homers in LA. He filled in very well when Russel Martin went out in August with the torn laburem.
In the outfield, the Dodgers did have Manny Ramirez, but he went to the DL three times before being traded to the White Sox. So instead, they called up Xavier Paul who did pretty much nothing.
In the other outfields were Andre Eithier and Matt Kemp. Kemp had a down year batting average wise, but still hit 28 home runs. Eithier had another great season, hitting .300.
Is this Dodgers team going to look the same in March? Probably not. There are already rumors of them moving Eithier and Kemp. Kemp for being a distraction as of late, and Eithier because of the whole ownership situation. There were rumors of them trading for Daisuke Matsuzaka of Boston, but Seattle is now interested too so it will be interesting to see if they get him.
All in all, the Dodgers probably could make the playoffs next year, but they do have some work to do.
Here is this week’s league leaders in Total Bases :
1. Vernon Welss- Toronto- 47
2. Nelson Cruz-Texas- 41
2. Matt Kemp-Los Angeles- 41
4. Jose Gullien-Kansas City- 40
5. Albert Pujols-St.Louis- 39
5. Dustin Pedroia- Boston- 39
7. Alex Gonzalez-Toronto-38
7. Chase Utley-Philadelphia-38
9. Casey McGee-Milwakee-36
10. Jorge Cantu-Florida- 35