In December, the Los Angeles Dodgers made a deal with their crosstown rival Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, picking up Howie Kendrick in exchange for left-handed pitching prospect Andrew Heaney.
The former All-Star second baseman is being added to a Dodgers team that won 94 games last season before losing to the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLDS. New team president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman has made many changes to the roster, but Kendrick believes that the team has what it takes to compete for a World Series.
“We definitely have the components to be a world championship-caliber team, and we just gotta put it all together and make sure everybody is working on the same page,” he said at Dodgers Fan Fest on Saturday.
Kendrick emphasized the importance of playing well in the postseason, where the Dodgers have struggled, falling to the Cardinals the past two seasons.
“This team has made the postseason the past three (two) years before I was here, and hopefully we can do that again, and that’s where it all starts. You gotta play good baseball in the postseason and just move forward from there.”
While Kendrick is a lifetime .292 hitter, he has also struggled in his postseason career. The former Angel is batting .186 (11-for-59) in 16 career postseason games. He has won just one postseason series in five attempts with the Angels.
He will look to change that as he makes the transition from the American League to the National League.
“Being out on the field obviously you gotta see some new pitchers, but literally you get a little taste of everybody. There’s gonna be some transition on that side of understanding who your facing, and the pitchers your facing. But the game is still the same. You just gotta see the ball and hit it.”
Kendrick will look to make that transition when he and the rest of the Dodgers report to spring training at the end of the month.
Dodgers Fanfest – Zack Greinke