|C||Russell Martin||SP 1||Vicente Padilla|
|1B||James Loney||SP 2||Clayton Kershaw|
|2B||Blake DeWitt||SP 3||Hiroki Kuroda|
|3B||Casey Blake||SP 4||Chad Billingsley|
|SS||Rafael Furcal||SP 5||Charlie Haegar|
|CF||Matt Kemp||CL||Jonathan Broxton|
|RF||Andre Ethier||RP||George Sherrill|
|IF||Jamey Carroll||RP||Ramon Troncoso|
|IF||Ronnie Belliard||RP||Eric Stults|
Additional roster information can be found at MLB Depth Charts.
|Key Additions||Key Losses|
|SP||Vicente Padilla||Resigned||2B||Orlando Hudson||Free Agency|
|F||Jamey Carroll||Free Agency||SP||Randy Wolf||Free Agency|
|IF||Ronnie Belliard||Free Agency||SP||Jon Garland||Free Agency|
Top Prospects: Chris Withrow (P), Devaris Gordon (SS), Ethan Martin (P)
The Dodgers were coming off a trip to the NLCS in 2008, and were looking to improve on that finish in 2009. The biggest story of the offseason coming into 2009 was when or if Manny Ramirez was ever going to sign with the Dodgers. He did finally on March 4th, and the Dodgers came into camp with high expectations. They also added 2B Orlando Hudson in Spring Training, and went in as the prohibitive favorite for the NL West division. They got off to a fast start, until Manny Ramirez was suspended in early May for a 2nd failed drug test. The team kind of leveled off until Ramirez returned in early July. They did put it back together though, and were able to win their division with a 95-67 record, finishing 3 games ahead of the Wild Card Rockies. They swept the NL Central champion Cardinals, but were dispatched by the Phillies in 5 games.
The team was led on offense by CF Matt Kemp (.297, 26 HR, 101 RBI, 34 SB), RF Andre Ethier (31 HR, 106 RBI), and the shortened season of Manny Ramirez (.290, 19 HR, 63 RBI). The pitching staff was somewhat of a mixed bag, although they did get some excellent performances. 2nd year pitcher Clayton Kershaw pitched well, posting a 2.79 era, but averaging barely over 5 innings pitched. SP Randy Wolf pitched excellent (11-7, 3.23 ERA), and Hiroki Kuroda (8-7, 3.76 ERA) also helped to move the Dodgers forward. Midseason acquisition Vicente Padilla made 7 solid starts, finishing 4-0 with a 3.20 ERA.
Team Outlook for 2010
The Dodgers have brought back Vicente Padilla, and will look to him to replace the production of free agent departee Randy Wolf. They will also look for OF Manny Ramirez to provide a full season of production as well. They have slotted in IF Blake Dewitt to be the starter at 2B, and will hope to get production out of their 5th starter spot from either Charlie Haegar, Russ Ortiz, or Ramon Ortiz. The lineup is stacked otherwise, and the top 4 starting pitchers are all solid as well. Someone who they are hoping to see a return to form will be C Russell Martin, after a season where he posted a .250 batting average with only 7 HR and 11 SB.
The story that seems to be dominating the headlines involving the Dodgers unfortunately, is the divorce of owner Frank McCourt. It remains to be seen what effect this will cause on the team and their spending, but it does seem odd to me that with some marquis free agents on the market, they didn’t spend for even one semi-big name. Although this can be explained by the fact that so many of their young players will be heading into arbitration in the coming seasons, and could be very costly in terms of payroll.
Fantasy Outlook for 2010
The Dodgers have probably the 2nd best fantasy outfielder in all of baseball, with CF Matt Kemp. RF Andre Ethier, LF Manny Ramirez, and SP Clayton Kershaw and Chad Billingsley are all ownable in all formats. For a deep sleeper, I like Blake Dewitt, as he could provide some value for leagues which require a MI. Hiroki Kuroda and Vicente Padilla are both starting pitchers who can also provide value in deep leagues as well.
Prediction for 2010
The Dodgers are the class of the NL West, and will compete for the NL Championship.
92-70, 1st in the NL West