Jessica Mendoza was the first female analyst in the history of Major League Baseball to call a game on ESPN, and now she’s going to be doing it full-time for Sunday Night Baseball this year. She appeared on SportsCenter early this morning to talk about the Los Angeles Dodgers, and it was great.
Mendoza has been around the Dodgers for a little bit of time early on in training camp, and she gave her thoughts on rookie shortstop Corey Seager, as well as about the team’s exploits during the offseason to improve upon where they were at the end of last year.
The following comment by Jessica Mendoza was transcribed off of SportsCenter:
“Well obviously they wanted to keep Zack Greinke, I think that was a big loss, but their biggest goal was depth. I feel like they accomplished it in the offseason. It wasn’t that they went and signed all these huge, big-named guys but they were able to create depth specifically with that starting rotation. Yes, they had Kershaw and Greinke the last few years, but big question marks after that in the rotation. Now, they go and get Scott Kazmir. This is a guy who has had a strong first half of the season the last two years and I think he continues that even longer in the NL West. They go out and get Kenta Maeda from Japan. I think he’s going to be able to add a lot. You think about Hyun-jin Ryu being able to return to this rotation and really provide some depth in that number two or third spot. So, I think this is a team that actually has even more depth than they’ve had in a long time.”
There’s really nothing to disagree with from her as far as any of this is concerned. Sure, re-signing Zack Greinke would have been absolutely massive, but they still have Clayton Kershaw, and they added Scott Kazmir and Kenta Maeda. Plus, as she mentions, you have to factor in them getting Hyun-jin Ryu back from his injury. That’s, essentially, three new pitchers.
She wasn’t done, though. When asked, “Is the future now for Corey Seager at short?”:
“Oh, absolutely. I mean, you watch this guy play. I know it was a small sample last year, but this guy, his hands, the way he swings the bat in the batter’s box. He has such a nice feel for the game for being so young. But more importantly, the maturity. This is what you hear all around Dodgers camp. This is a young guy with a ton of expectations, but he is able to handle that. He’s very mature, he’s got big bro Kyle Seager that plays for the Mariners. He knows what it takes, and the combination of those two things is what’s gonna make him great.”
That makes you giddy with glee about Seager’s chances to be successful both now and in the long-term. His swing is very smooth, very refined, and he’s able to put a charge into the baseball like few others can. As she mentions, though, his maturity at such a young age is also a welcome sign. It means no moment is too large for him.
As the Dodgers prepare for a big season in 2016, they hope that the added depth in the rotation and the arrival of Corey Seager into a full-time role will lead the team to great results. We’ll see what happens, but Jessica Mendoza is fully aboard the team’s train for the upcoming year.