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Vincent Samperio, Dodgers Nation

Vincent Samperio, Dodgers Nation

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Earlier this offseason, I analyzed the Dodgers’ new middle infield of Howie Kendrick and Jimmy Rollins and compared them to last season’s tandem of Dee Gordon and Hanley Ramirez.

In addition to second base and shortstop, there will be a new starter at catcher, with Yasmani Grandal taking the helm.

Grandal, 26, was the headline piece acquired from the San Diego Padres in the Matt Kemp trade. He is coming off roughly two-and-a-half seasons as the Padres’ starting catcher but never lived up to his top prospect-potential due to injury limitations and a 50-game suspension during the 2013 season.

Despite his inconsistencies, Grandal has shown flashes of tremendous power, impressive plate discipline, and excellent pitch framing ability. He will take over for last season’s starting catcher, A.J. Ellis, whom was tendered a contract this past offseason after vast speculation that he would not be returning to the Dodgers in 2015.

Ellis, after a disappointing 2014, will resume the role of backup catcher from Drew Butera, who was dealt to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in December. He will presumably see most of his playing time against left-handed pitching or exclusively during Clayton Kershaw starts.

CONTINUE READING: How Does The Dodgers Catching Situation Rank Among The Other NL Teams?

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