Categorized | Mark Timmons

I Am Confident The Dodgers Will Win 81 Games

I Am Confident The Dodgers Will Win 81 Games

Any disagreement so far?  OK!  I know we have some common ground already.  I’m not saying that they won’t win more, but I tend to think that 81 is something that is very plausible.  I mean, they won 80 in 2010 when

Ride Manny Ride

everything went wrong.  So, winning 81 really isn’t raising the bar much.

However, you need to consider what could happen is some players rebound, have a career year, have a superior year than last year or just play a little better.  Ken Gurnick of Dodgers .com says that Don Mattingly  predicts that Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, James Loney and closer Jonathan Broxton are mentally ready to get their games back on track; he’ll keep to a structured rest schedule for Rafael Furcal and Casey Blake, and he intends to platoon in left field (Marcus Thames and Jay Gibbons) and catcher (Rod Barajas and Dioner Navarro).

What would it be worth in wins to the Dodgers if the following things happened (I am puting in parenthesis how many games difference that each event could make):

  • If after taking “two steps back,” Matt Kemp took three steps forward and became the player he is capable of being?  (5)
  • If Andre Ethier stays healthy and played like he did the first six weeks of 2010? (5)
  • If James Loney moves up his power numbers and hits over .300? (3)
  • If Rafael Furcal is healthy all season? (4)
  • If Casey Blake could just hit 20 HR’s and bat .265? (3)
  • If Marcus Thames and Jay Gibbons could hit 30+ HR and deliver 100 RBI combined in LF? (3)
  • If Rod Barajas and Dionar Navarro could hit 20 HR and bat .270 combined while playing stellar defense?  (3)
  • If Juan Uribe could hit 20 HR, 85 RBI and bat .260 at 2B?  (3)
  • If the bullpen returned to it’s 2009 form? (12)
  • If the starters can stay healthy and each pitch 200 innings? (8)

If you add all that up, that’s 50 more games the Dodgers COULD win in 2011, but obviously, not all of that is going to happenSome of it will happen, part of some of it will happen and some of it won’t happen.  I think it’s safe to believe that a few of those things can realistically happen and the Dodgers could win up to 98 games.  That’s a lot to hope for and some good stuff has to happen in order for it to occur.  The Dodgers will win 81 games, plus a few more.  My guess is about 90 or 91… but you never know.  That’s the question, and that’s why Spring Training is a truly unique time.


Ken Gurnick of Dodgers .com says that Hong-Chih Kuo never stopped throwing over the winter.  Ummmm, OK?   When can we expect his arm to fall off?

“It’s counter-intuitive,” conceded trainer Stan Conte. “But there’s really no way to explain the guy. There’s everybody else, then there’s Kuo. We didn’t shut him down this winter because he was going so good at the end, we didn’t want to change anything, so he kept throwing about 50 or 60 percent without stopping.

“We figured once he stopped, he might not be able to start again, sort of like an old car that keeps running. The problem with an arthritic joint, you don’t feel it as much when it moves as when it doesn’t move and you try to get it going again. At least, that’s the theory.”

Dylan Hernandez of The LA Times reports that Chad Billingsley is trying to win the battle of his head and  “has the stuff of an ace but can too easily lose confidence in it, which can turn one bad inning into a bad outing, and a bad outing into a bad month. He says he’s trying to train himself not to over-think things, and to trust his stuff.”

He’s reluctant to talk about his individual goals, but insists he has several.

“I want to win 20 games,” he says. “I want to make it to the World Series. I have those goals that any pitcher has.”

Tony Jackson of ESPN/LosAngeles has an excellent summary of what a quiet spring training could mean.  He talks about the roster possilities (and there are many) and concludes with:

The landscape could change dramatically over the next six weeks, of course, but the volatility that usually accompanies spring training with the Dodgers just doesn’t appear to be there this time.

It might make for a quiet spring, but for a team that has been besieged in recent years by distractions, that could be just what the Dodgers need.

About Mark Timmons

When you see the invisible, you can do the impossible!

17 Responses to “I Am Confident The Dodgers Will Win 81 Games”

  1. Ken says:

    100 – Counting spring training!!!

    If is still the longest word in Webster’s dictionary.

  2. SpokaneBob says:

    Donnie says he is planning on the T/G platoon in left and that Rod will get the bulk of the playing time behind the plate. I wonder if those are the instructions from Ned. It seems strange to me that a Manager would make statements like that before the position players even report. I think most managers would promote an athmosphere of competition for positions that are not locks. What if Dioner hits significantly better than Rod? What if Gwynn’s offensive game returns? I just hope that we have the flexibility to field the best team posible. I just don’t like the idea of Gibbons and Thames in left field. I would rather give T-rob a chance in center. We need the best defense posible and we need some speed in the line up.

    anyway, we are at last ready to start spring training. That makes me happy.

  3. Bobby says:

    i think it’s more likely that kemp/ethier return to 2009 form, or a little better, than continue the 2010 bad years. i also think its more likely that loney has a consistent year thats more like his first half of 2010 than his 2nd half of 2010.

    however, all those are way more likely than thames/gibbons combining for 30hr, or blake hitting 270, 18hr, 75rbi, or barajas/navarro hitting 270 with 20hr.

    we need our best players (kemp/ethier/kershaw, etc) to carry us (like any team in any sport), and if that happens, we can live with either the other guys having avg years, or having a rookie learn on the job.

    i personally would rather give the job to a rookie who’s on his way up, than 2 35+ year olds who are more than likely on their way down.

    here’s to great springs from IDJ and trob!!!!

  4. RogerCraig says:

    My prediction is 91 games.

  5. Bill Russell says:

    I agree with most of the two Bobs statements from above. If Gwynn doesn’t show early signs of offensive improvement, then why not give T-rob the call and cut our loss with Gwynn. I’m also not too sure about the Platoon in LF that Donnie is planning. The team would be better served by using Gibbons and Thames off the bench. If the Dodgers plan is to go with good starting pitching and defense, then moving Kemp to RF and Ethier to LF is a must. I hope Donnie isn’t making too quick of decisions by stating his plans before camp starts.

  6. DodgerDude says:

    I think DB (Donnie Baseball) is just stating what he thinks – so far!

  7. Ken says:

    If Donnie can coach the platoon players like Stengel did in 1949 then the Dodgers have a chance in 2011.

    Yankee stats in 1949, Stengel’s first year, hopefully will look familiar to us in October.

    Position players – 15 played in 50 or more games
    13 with more than 150 PA
    8 bench players with a rating aboove 100
    Only 1 with more than 450 AB
    None with 25 or more HR
    None with 100 or more RBI
    1 with more than 100 Runs

    Last but not least – None with more than 50 Ks

  8. Corey says:

    Too early to put a number on the wins yet without seeing how everything plays out in the exhibition season. But isn’t it nice to be able to hope for the best, at least for now.

  9. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    I’m less concerned with how the Dodgers begin the season than with how they end it. Gibbons/Thames could begin the season and it could end with T.Rob/Sands/Gwynn/Paul or someone else not currently on the radar. I seriously doubt that Sands or T. Rob will open the season in LA, but if either of them (or both) are having big seasons at ALBQ., the landscape could change.

    Because Paul is out of options he could be traded or claimed off waivers. However, because Gibbons has a big league track record, and could bring back more than Paul, I wouldn’t be in the least bit surprised if he were included in a deal with Paul remaining. Stranger things have happened.

    The Dodgers will win somewhere between 0-162 games. It’s now certain that after the season I will be able to claim clairvoyance.

  10. Michael says:

    I am very optimistic for our upcoming season. The new members of the coaching staff are fabulous and I really expect Loney,Kemp and Ethier to step up their games.
    In Tony Jacksons piece is a very scary thought, Gibbons playing 1b. The guy closes his glove a full second after the ball hits it. He is in a constant state of playing hot potato and should strictly be a DH or LHB off the bench.
    The line is 82. Smart man takes the over. I’ll go with 87-93

  11. SpokaneBob says:

    A very reasonable take Brooklyn. And although I don’t like paul all that much, he is a dark horse in the competition. I hope Paul and others play so well this spring it gives Donnie a headache,

  12. Roger Dodger says:

    Gee, I just returned from the airport after two days in K.C. at meetings — and I find the playground had a spat. Some are in the corner, others are . . .

    But back to baseball.

    I have not like McCourt as the owner of the Dodgers for many reasons, but one was because of his wife and the way she presented herself to the public. Is there another team where there is a wife like her? And then the divorce and publicity.

    And the limits, it seems, that Frank had/has on spending. When he owns one of the best teams with tradition in all of baseball.

    Like right now — the Dodgers need a real catcher, and an outfielder. One of the two has to have some pop in the bat.

    As I said last week, Kemp, Ethier, Loney cannot be expected to be Manny, Dunn, and Rocket Man (who ever). They do not need the pressure to be the HR bat for 40 big ones.

  13. Albany Dean says:

    Wait, what? I was thinking, if Manny could catch, and the Beard could walk on water, then the Vgiants would only beat us off.

  14. DodgerDude says:

    Manny can catch a cold . Does that count?

    And the beard can walk on frozen water.

    So all is well

  15. Dodger Dave says:

    You mentioned hitting and pitching. What abot defense? What about base running? The Dodgers did not do a lot of little things last year that constantly got them into trouble.

  16. ray guilfoyle says:

    Olney on Dodgers camp:

    • In Los Angeles Dodgers camp: A whole bunch of position players came in earlier than required — Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, Marcus Thames, Tony Gwynn Jr., Jay Gibbons, Jamey Carroll, Rafael Furcal and James Loney, among others. The team doesn’t expect Ronald Belisario to be in camp at all.


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