Winning a division for four straight seasons is a tall task, all you have to do is ask anyone who has ever played a sport at any competitive level. The Los Angeles Dodgers are trying to accomplish that tough achievement this season as they look to claim their first World Series crown since 1988.

Unfortunately, not everything always goes according to plan, and that’s something that the Dodgers could possibly be facing this season.

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The injuries have already started to mount up during the spring, and things are only going to get worse as the dog days of summer kick into full gear, I fear.

STARTING ROTATION

Clayton Kershaw is the only dependable member of the rotation, but even the burden of the season and expectations becomes too much for him. Kershaw finishes up with an ERA around 2.50, and that won’t be enough to carry the weight that the team has placed upon its own shoulders.

Everyone else isn’t so fortunate, though. Scott Kazmir’s velocity dip is a real thing, and he becomes quite hittable all season long as he struggles to finish with an era under four. Kenta Maeda has a tough time adjusting to Major League hitting, and he gets shelled repeatedly all season long while trying to give the team any semblance of innings.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Alex Wood never is able to reclaim his 2014 self, and he pitches more like he did with the Dodgers in the second half of 2015. While he shows glimmers here and there, that’s all they are. The fifth spot in the rotation is a hodgepodge of disaster as the team jumps from one starter to another in the hopes that one actually shows enough to take the job. No one ever does. Brett Anderson and Brandon McCarthy are welcomed back with open arms, but neither is able to help at all.

BULLPEN

While Kenley Jansen performs well, and J.P. Howell gives an adequate performance, no one else really steps up with a big time season. Joe Blanton becomes a bust of a signing, getting shellacked repeatedly like in his first go-around with the Dodgers. Louis Coleman has his moments, but his spring magic quickly fades under the bright lights of the long season.

Yimi Garcia and Pedro Baez show the flashes that they showed in 2015, but neither puts together a season that wins over the front office or the fanbase. Everyone just waits around for their best outings, but they never really materialize. Howell, as stated, pitches solidly, and helps bridge the gap to Jansen in the ninth inning as Jansen goes into free agency with a quality season.

POSITION PLAYERS

While Yasmani Grandal returns from injury to perform decently, he still doesn’t come close to his 2015 levels before that shoulder injury he suffered in August. A.J. Ellis and Austin Barnes do their best to supply some offense and defense, but the trio behind the dish just doesn’t live up to expectations.

Adrian Gonzalez still produces his steady season, so there’s no downside on his end outside of fewer games played due to the bulging disk in his neck. Howie Kendrick finally has age catch up with him as he struggles to hit .280 as a 32-year old. Chase Utley sees the gross side of age even more as he barely hits .200 and is just a mess all over the place. Kike Hernandez does give a solid performance, though, but can’t buoy the other two.

Justin Turner rebounds from his offseason knee surgery to perform well, but not great. He hits .285 with 10 home runs, and his defense is still there, but his hitting isn’t up to where it was the last two seasons. However, he’s not able to carry the middle of the offense with Gonzalez by themselves. They still produce solid numbers, but are unable to be the driving force behind the team like they have been in the past.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Corey Seager fails to live up to his lofty expectations, and he struggles at the plate. The September display he put on in 2015 was more of a mirage than a trend, and Seager finishes the season with a .250/.300/.430 line. His defense is still solid and he does smack a few home runs, but he doesn’t have the rookie season that people thought he would. Seager still wins Rookie of the Year, but only because the rest of the National League was so woeful in that regard.

Carl Crawford is far too long in tooth and Scott Van Slyke is unable to perform at a high level at the plate to offset the injury to Andre Ethier. Even though Ethier comes back sometime in late July, he doesn’t perform well because of that injury. The writing is on the wall for both Crawford and Ethier, and the team seriously considers just cutting bait with Crawford during the middle of the season to save a headache.

Even though Joc Pederson doesn’t perform as poorly as he did in 2015, he still doesn’t come close to his first half numbers. Pederson finishes the season with a .225/.350/.420 line while hitting just 15 home runs and striking out a whopping 185 times. His defense is still there, but his overall offensive production dips as some fans really do wonder if Trayce Thompson is the real answer in center field instead of Joc. On his end, Thompson has a decent season, actually hitting .255 with five home runs.

Despite not coming close to his dismal 2015 level, Yasiel Puig never is able to rekindle his 2013 or 2014 magic. Puig finishes the year batting .270 with just 12 home runs and a woeful strikeout ratio. His defense in right field is hit and miss, and fans grow weary of if he’ll ever be the player they once thought he could be.

SUMMARY

While the team has their ups and downs, they finish with 83 wins in a tough season under first-year manager Dave Roberts. He does his best to keep the team afloat throughout the myriad of injuries and slumps, but ultimately the Dodgers fall short of a fourth straight division title. They miss out on a Wild Card spot by three games, and they have to watch the San Francisco Giants win the division title out from under them. Fans riot over not being able to watch the season thanks to the lack of a television deal, and their anger with everything leads to some firings in the front office.

Dodgers Announce Official 25-Man Roster

About The Author

Justin Russo is a 30-year old sports enthusiast who dabbles in all forms of sports talk. Whether that talk revolves around the NBA, NCAA, NFL, NHL, MLB, or other leagues, he has an opinion. He works as a writer for Warriors World, and was formerly a writer and editor for ClipsNation on the SB Nation network. He also is the Editor-in-chief for But The Game Is On: The Beat.

22 Responses

  1. Michael Norris

    I totally agree this team has a ton of questions and holes.. I do think the BP will be ok, and it s the rotation that is the hug question mark here….Offense will be spotty. They need Kendrick’s solid bat back soon

    Reply
  2. Bleed Blue Forever

    That’s exactly how I see things for the Dodgers in 2016.  Third place at best.  Injuries, injuries, injuries, and disappointments run amok.  Oh, and did I mention injuries?  A pathetic team with little reliable pitching and sketchy hitting.  Sad indeed.

    Reply
  3. Bleed Blue Forever

    Michael Norris I agree Michael.  Can’t remember the last time I saw such a miserable forecast for the Dodgers.

    Reply
  4. Kirk Kelley

    You 2 schmoes really disgust me…there’s a reason you both work in fast food…if you’re truly Dodger fans why don’t ya wait and see how things turn out before chipping in your worthless 2c????

    Reply
  5. Bleed Blue Forever

    Kirk Kelley It’s about “projections” you nimrod.  There’s potential, but that’s all it is at this point.  So “truly Dodger fans” can’t read the writing on the wall?  Sure, Mr. Burger King.

    Reply
  6. Maycolita

    Why?  They aren’t good enough, that’s why.  Can’t get any more basic than that.

    Reply
  7. Maycolita

    Bleed Blue Forever 
    Surprised by Dodger injurers is like buying a car from Craigslist with “slight damage and moderate wear and tear.”  You can see the repairs coming a mile away.  I think the only ones surprised were the Dodgers FO themselves.  When you try to run a team from the front office and direct your manager how to play your team, you sometimes miss the obvious.

    Reply
  8. Maycolita

    Bleed Blue Forever Michael Norris
    The only ones not seeing this is the FO and the ones afraid to tell the FO there’s an issue here.

    Reply
  9. Michael Norris

    Kirk Kelley  Long haul trucker for 35 years moron…far from being a schmoe or a fast food worker. Been a Dodger fan over 60 years, and I am a realist. You look at this pitching staff and honestly say the starters stack up with say the Mets? You are the schmoe, and totally delusional. They have a decent offense, and how the defense will be is anybody’s guess at this point. But your starting 2nd baseman and catcher are starting the season on the DL, along with your starting LF who will be out until at least late June. Add to that, your #3 Ryu, and #4 Anderson, are still out. The help from AAA is not really ready yet. Kazmir’s velocity is a real concern. Wood is great one day, and iffy the next. You have NO CLUE what you will get from Stripling despite his great stuff….so take off your frippen blinders bud. This team has more question marks than your SAT test……

    Reply
  10. Michael Norris

    Maycolita Bleed Blue Forever Michael Norris  Pretty sure Fried Brains and Zilcho see what they have. If they are satisfied, then they are delusional. The fans are the ones being shortchanged. Yes, we have the #1 rated farm system in the majors. Great…all for it…..bodes well for the future. BUT……27 years and counting…..The fans, who foot the bill by the way, deserve to see guys who are not injury retreads or reclamation projects. Even their #1 pick in the draft had to have Tommy John. The entire organization has become a collection of MASH patients. 3 of your starters start the year on the DL…2 of your projected starting pitchers on the DL, One rookie, and retread, guy who has never pitched in the bigs, and  pitcher with the funkiest delivery since Tom Underwood……and an Ace……that is your pitching staff. Against the Giants and Mets, except for Kershaw, they are over matched…..

    Reply
  11. EnriqueVelezAguilar

    I DONT LIKE IT, BUT IF IT MEANS THAY FRIEDMAN AND ZAIDI FINALLY GET FIRED ALONG WITH THE MANAGER THEN IT WILL BE FOR THE BETER, WE NEED BASEBALL PEOPLE NOT COMPUTER NERDS, , DONT PRESSURE THE  YOUNG PLAYERS, GIVE THEM TIME TO DEVELOP , LET THIS BE A REAL BASEBALL TEAM AGAIN WITH A REAL MANAGER AND REAL BASEBALL GMS.

    Reply
  12. EnriqueVelezAguilar

    I DONT LIKE IT, BUT IF IT MEANS THAY FRIEDMAN AND ZAIDI FINALLY GET FIRED ALONG WITH THE MANAGER THEN IT WILL BE FOR THE BETER, WE NEED BASEBALL PEOPLE NOT COMPUTER NERDS, , DONT PRESSURE THE  YOUNG PLAYERS, GIVE THEM TIME TO DEVELOP , LET THIS BE A REAL BASEBALL TEAM AGAIN WITH A REAL MANAGER AND REAL BASEBALL GMS.

    Reply
  13. EGbarefoot1

    You know the same disaster scenario could be written on the G-men.  Cueto and Samardizja perform well below their potential, and Sabean is on the hot seat for their enormous contracts.  Matt Cain’s second comeback fails.  Jake Peavey finally begins to feel his age, and on and on.  The Giant’s farm system, already a weak link,  is called upon for help, and it doesn’t arrive in time to stop LA!
    We will see, thats why we play the games!

    Reply
  14. EnriqueVelezAguilar

    I DONT LIKE IT, BUT IF IT MEANS THAY FRIEDMAN AND ZAIDI FINALLY GET FIRED ALONG WITH THE MANAGER THEN IT WILL BE FOR THE BETER, WE NEED BASEBALL PEOPLE NOT COMPUTER NERDS, , DONT PRESSURE THE  YOUNG PLAYERS, GIVE THEM TIME TO DEVELOP , LET THIS BE A REAL BASEBALL TEAM AGAIN WITH A REAL MANAGER AND REAL BASEBALL GMS

    Reply
  15. Bleed Blue Forever

    Maycolita Bleed Blue Forever You’re speaking to Kirk Kelley, correct?  I agree with what you say.

    Reply
  16. Bleed Blue Forever

    Michael Norris Kirk Kelley You’re speaking to Kirk Kelley, correct?  100% agreement.  This is a train wreck waiting to happen.  Third place at best.

    Reply
  17. Bleed Blue Forever

    EGbarefoot1 That’s true, but it doesn’t change the scenario with the Dodgers.  Injuries, starting pitching, BP, DL, etc, etc.

    Reply
  18. EGbarefoot1

    Bleed Blue Forever EGbarefoot1

    I know, the injuries are  the big difference between the two teams, just hoping they stop for LA.

    Reply
  19. Bleed Blue Forever

    EGbarefoot1 Bleed Blue Forever Hope is a very thin word, especially with a Dodger roster riddled with injuries and the season hasn’t even begun.  I’m a long time Dodger fan but you’ve got to be realistic.

    Reply
  20. banzaibuckaroo

    15 runs, and a shutout by Kershaw?   Sorry Russo, but your editorial sucks.

    Reply
  21. JasonLee323

    While there are many issues that could occur and have already occurred with the roster, what these negative predictions don’t take into account is that we can get a boost from our farm system at any time in the season. E.g. Ethier goes down and Trayce Thompson comes in. If SP goes down, we can call up 1 or 2 of our AAA pitchers who might be ready this year. The organization has depth well beyond the current roster. If the Dodgers had no depth, then these concerns would be more serious as there would be no easy way to fix problems as they arise.

    Reply
  22. Bleed Blue Forever

    JasonLee323 I agree Jason.  The Dodgers have depth at minor league level and they have one of the best farm systems around.  I don’t consider my comments negative however, but rather constructive criticism.  And of course my comments came just hours before the Dodgers simply obliterated the Padres in the season opener.  Offense, defense, pitching were superior.  Nevertheless, one quality “proven” starter makes not the entire pitching staff.  I see holes and problems that most true Dodger supporters won’t vocalize.  Time will be the equalizer.  I like our youth, but until they have the exposure at this level, their performance is yet to be proven.  Pederson for example, great start but quickly became strikeout king when major league pitchers found out how to pitch to him.  Anyway, good conversation.

    Reply

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