In a season filled with so many pre-season expectations, the Dodgers fell flat on their face and at one point they were 30-42 while buried in last place. However, the one constant early in the season was starter Clayton Kershaw, who should have more then eight wins, but his 1.98 ERA leads the National League.
Kershaw does have a Cy Young to his name already and after being passed over to start the All-Star Game, he looks poised to lead the Dodgers rotation into the playoffs.
According to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, Kershaw is his leader for NL Cy Young Award winner thus far:
“It’s not really clear why NL manager Bruce Bochy made a point of saying Matt Harvey would have started the All-Star Game even if it had been somewhere other than Citi Field (was he playing to the home crowd?), but Kershaw gets the slightest of nods here. Leads in WHIP at 0.91 and ERA at 1.98.”
The Dodgers rotation could get even better if Stan Kasten and Ned Colletti think Stephen Fife or Chris Capuano can’t do the job as the fifth starter. Names like Cliff Lee and Matt Garza have been mentioned, but top prospects like Joc Pederson and Zach Lee would be starting points in those deals.
While the Dodgers weren’t counting on Yasiel Puig being at the major league level this season, injuries to Carl Crawford and Matt Kemp prompted management to call up the young Cuban outfielder.
All Puig did was set the Dodgers rookie record for hits in a single month and won June Player and Rookie of the month. Puig started a debate about his inclusion in the All-Star Game and could do the same about National League Rookie of the Year.
At the start of the season, Cardinals rookie starter Shelby Miller was the early leader, but Marlins ace Jose Fernandez has thrown his name in the conversation.
However, if Puig continues his incredible play and the Dodgers make the playoffs, it’d be hard to not vote for him as the Marlins are a lock for last place in the NL East.
As the Dodgers enter the “second half” of the season in second place, if they’re able to make the playoffs, Kershaw and Puig could bring home some hardware as well.