I say it does. Chad Billingsley is solid and dependable, and seems to flourish in his number three role. Hiroki Kuroda, though somewhat shaky, can easily produce 180 innings a season. Randy Wolf is a nice veteran presence, and if he can have a second-half this season like he did last season he will be a conerstone for the team. Clayton Kershaw is still developing, but can shine when needed to. James McDonald has tremendous potential, but it will be a question of whether he can use it. The rotation is solid, despite many saying it lacks the dazzle of last year with Derek Lowe and Brad Penny leading the charge (even though Brad Penny did little to contribute to the team’s NL-best ERA). The bullpen is where things get shaky. Gone are the days of Takashi Saito’s fistpumps or of Joe Torre’s continuous use of Scott Proctor for no real reason. Now the Dodgers find themselves in the hands of Corey Wade, Ronald Belisario, and Ramon Troncoso. Troncoso is most likely the first to go when Jeff Weaver or Jason Schmidt get callups. Trocoso is versitile, and is acting now as the team’s long-reliever. Belisario has been nothing but spectacular, and has a bright future with this club. Corey Wade was the unsung workhorse of last season, and is now under more scrutiny than ever to perform. He throws strikes and could even be a closer in the making. Hong-Chih Kuo is fragile, making it hard to use his brilliant arm. Kuo has a killer fastball, and his left-handed delivery makes it dangerous. Guillermo Mota appears to be flourishing in the city where he became a premiere set-up man, and can spot Kuo on days off. Jonathan Broxton was shaky last season after being forced into the closer role, but now seems to be getting used to the pressure, locking down in both save situations he has entered. Will Ohman is a question mark, arriving to Camelback Ranch deep into Spring Training. He will primarily be used to face lefties. The pitching may look shaky from afar, missing pieces like Derek Lowe and Joe Beimal, but it has the potential to be better than ever. What do you think?
The Dodgers’ offense finally lived up to the hype, scoring 11 runs in their victory over the Arizona D-Backs. Orlando Hudson looked like a sure-fire All-Star, hitting a solo shot, doubling, knocking in three, and scoring twice against his former team. Casey Blake and Russell Martin both snapped out of their funks, each getting a double with Martin knocking in two runs and Blake scoring two runs. Ronald Belisario should be watched closely. He pitched 1 and 2/3rds innings, striking out three. Eric Stults looked solid, pitching a little less than six innings and allowing just one run. Stults could even overpower James McDonald to take the fifth starter role. What do you think about the game?
Welcome to the best, up-to-date source for the Boys in Blue. First off, the humiliating loss the boys suffered yesterday at the hands of rival Arizona. It was a tough game to watch, especially in the third inning when McDonald was roughed up. Casey Blake is slowly transforming into Adam Dunn (nothing but homers and strikeouts). Brad Ausmus looked good in his debut, getting two hits and an RBI. Today, the Dodgers go into the game with Eric Stults instead of Hiroki Kuroda, whose on the DL, and face Yusmero Petit, who replaces the ailing Brandon Webb (let us all breath a sigh of relief on that one). I look forward to more blogging as time goes on.