Coming off a season that included a 42-8 run and a trip to the NLCS and carrying the largest payroll in all of baseball for the 2014 season, expectations for the Los Angeles Dodgers were
However, the year has been far from ideal, with the Dodgers losing multiple players to the disabled list throughout the season, including Clayton Kershaw after his first start and A.J. Ellis on two separate occasions.
ESPN baseball analyst Buster Olney acknowledged the Dodgers have a talented roster, but said the pieces didn’t quite mesh together. Peter Gammons suggested a trade for Ben Zobrist, and there has been outside pressure for the Dodgers to trade one of their outfielders, which is a move general manager Ned Colletti said he does not support.
Though the Dodgers haven’t been publicly linked to any trade talks as the season nears the halfway mark, manager Don Mattingly told Bill Shaikin of the LA Times how the team can improve is a constant discussion:
I think you can rest assured that everybody is trying to do this the best they possibly can. That said, there are lots of things that are talked about. It’s not me who is going to go, ‘Hey, we have got to do this.’ We all talk back and forth. There are discussions that go on — not only yesterday, or a month ago, or last winter — all those things are part of wanting to put the best team out there possible and doing it the best you possibly can.”
At the end of a recent 10-game homestand, Mattingly was critical of the Dodgers, which he later explained and said it was simply how he was feeling at the time and it was not simply a media ploy.
The Dodgers responded by opening their seven-game road trip with a 4-1 record, but then lost the final two games. They returned to Dodger Stadium and took two of three from the Arizona Diamondbacks to enter Monday 6.5 games behind the San Francisco Giants in the NL West standings.
As the Dodgers continue to strive for consistency, it may have to wait until regular contributors Carl Crawford and Juan Uribe return. However, Crawford’s return may also come with turmoil as he’s already expressed frustration over the new outfield landscape.
With the trade deadline roughly six weeks away, how the Dodgers perform in the coming weeks may dictate whether they’re buyers or sellers.
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