Categorized | Mark Timmons

Magical Year?

I admit that I make some predictions with my tongue firmly planted in my cheek, however today I am deadly serious and will give you my honest assessment of how the Dodgers will do this season.

First of all, none of us can anticipate exactly what will happen, especially in regard to new ownership.  Stan Kasten could be prepared to clean house when he takes control of baseball operations or he could stay with Ned and Company until the end of the season and then assess their performance at that time.  Honestly, unless the Dodgers get off to a horrendous start, I would expect things to stay “status quo”.  However, if the Dodgers are 10 games under .500 at the end of April, I would think that he might go ahead and terminate Ned and some others.  That’s the part we don’t know.

Here’s what we know a little about – The way that this team is built, for the Dodgers to fare well in 2012, they will have to get a repeat season from Matt Kemp and “bounce-back” years from Ethier, Loney and Uribe on offense, and one from Chad Billingsley as a starting pitcher.  Is all of that too much to ask?  I don’t think so.

I believe (based upon what I have seen) that Andre Ethier is focused on a strong comeback and I believe he will finish in the TOP 5 in MVP voting.  I have lower expectations from James Loney, but if he can hit .300 or close to it, James  will drive in runs and be a big asset.  Juan Uribes’ defense will be a plus, but I have no clue what to expect from him.  He could hit .179 or .279 or anything in-between.  He is the player that I believe is most likely to be replaced before the season is over.  If he has to be released, that could precipitate a response from Kasten as well (i.e., Fire Ned).  I would be alright with David Wright at 3B if the Dodgers had to give up 2 top prospects, not 3.  Adrian Gonzalez cost the Red Sox 3 Top prospects and David Wright is no Adrian Gonzalez.

Juan Rivera looks re-vitalized and could be poised for a career year,  and Jerry Sands will hopefully be in the wings soon, if he can straighten out his head.  The bench is much maligned, but I think that Adam Kennedy will be a pinch hitter extraordinaire!

Then there’s Dee Gordon, who has to be the catalyst for this offense.  That’s a lot to ask of a young guy who is small of frame, but did you know that he is bigger than Ozzie Smith was?  Ozzie was pretty durable – I don’t see why Dee can be the same way.    Mark Ellis has to put up decent numbers in the number two spot as well.

There are lots of questions offensively (-I know some folks are concerned with Matt Kemps’ strikeouts this spring), but I say wait and see what happens when the bell rings.

Look, the wheels could fall off this wagon, and like every team, some players need to have good seasons.  If everyone tanks, like last year, then obviously the 2012 Dodger could have a sub .500 record.  On the other hand, I think the pitching is going to be a strength and I think the hitting will improve over 2011.  I also think that the Giants are way overrated and that the D-Backs could easily crash and burn.

My prediction is that the Dodgers will make the playoffs and maybe even win the division.  87 wins is my prediction, but it could be more, depending upon what the needs are and what the new management team decides to do.  This team has a ton of talent (no matter what you all say) and well go as far as their rotation takes them.  I predict a big acquisition (or three) and big years by Capuano and Harang, as well as comebacks by Loney and Ethier to go along with Kemp and Kershaw.

It would sure help if Chad Billingsley could get his act together.

NOTES:

  • Fed-Ex finished Spring Training with a .290 BA (.421 OB%) – not bad for a guy who can’t hit.
  • Nate Eovaldi got spanked in his last Spring appearence to show him that he still needs some work.
  • Congratulations to Josh Lindblom and Justin Sellers for making the team.

UPDATE:

To those of you who think the Diamondbacks are so great, look at the comparison of their lineup verses the Dodgers.  Forget “potential” and make no excuses.  Just look at the numbers:

About Mark Timmons

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

20 Responses to “Magical Year?”

  1. Mike Dixon says:

    Jesus Mark you really are a homer…good for you for having faith……My Dodger buddy’s who are hardcore fans and really know the team and baseball in general, say the Dodgers will be lucky to finish 3rd….Arizona is the most underrated team in all of baseball and the Giants have the best staff period…their offense is not that great but its on par with the Dodgers offense….the only way the Dodgers win the division is if Ethier, Rivera, Loney, Uribe, Capuano and Harang all have career years as you say….so 6 starters on our team need to have have career years in order to win…..yeak ok…

    • Jae says:

      The Dodgers don’t need 6 players to have career years, they just don’t need 6 players to tank like they did last year. Ethier, Loney, Blake, Furcal, Uribe and others all tanked. If you want to compare one side of the argument, you need to consider the other side.

  2. DodgerDude says:

    I think Arizona is the most OVERRATED team in baseball. No way they come within 10 wins of what they did last year. They are not that good.

  3. RogerCraig says:

    How is Mark a Homer? Bob Nightengale, Jon Paul Morosi, Tim Kirchen and the guys on MLB TV all say that the Dodgers could win the NL West. It’s just the fans who moan and groan because they read what the other bloggers (Mark calls them Stat Geeks) say about how bad the team is. It ain’t necessarily so. I think the team as it is (not counting any trades) can win 85-90 games and I’ve been watching this game a long time. I said the same thing last year, but the horrendous start prevented that from happening. However, we all saw what they did the second half. I can’t understand why everyone is so negative…

  4. Buck Dodgers says:

    Hmmm, does anyone recall a conversation about Kool-Aid Drinkers and just “separating the facts”, just wondering? Funny how when one side disagrees from the other side, Kool-Aid drinking and separating facts have flip-flopping definitions.

    DRomo I hope you are laughing after reading “these facts that Mark has presented”, yeah I know he will say they are just predictions to work as his cover and let himself off the hook, so I know you are LYAOROTF at these facts/predictions.

    Hey enjoy the game today. Let me state a real fact: No one knows what will happen today or this season. (I know I’m a Kool-Aid Drinker for believing this statement, lol)

  5. AnewBlueDay says:

    It would be difficult for Mark to run a Dodger fan site and pick the Dodgers for 3rd or 4th place in the N.L. West. Gee, many Dodger fans would look elsewhere.

    I did look around abit on Dodger fans sites and that is just what I am seeing. 3rd or 4th place with San Diego below the Dodgers.

    I believe the first month or two will be decided in the pitching match ups the Dodgers have. Like, a 1 to 1 game through 6 — what does the pen do?

    This present roster has so many questions on it. So enough already, let’s play today, and see just how good Kemp really is, if Clayton still has magic, if Loney can really hit the ball, if Gordon can get on base, if Uribe can stop being the present A. Jones on this team, if Coffey can really get some outs . . .

    But, what is re-assuring, is, the other teams have their questions as well.

  6. Mark_Timmons says:

    To those of you who rave about the D-Backs, look at the UPDATE in my post above. I don’t know how anyone can seriously say that Arizona has a better starting lineup. Depth? Arizona may be better.

  7. Jae says:

    Howard Cole has some interesting predictions, and he must be a “homer” too because he picks the Dodgers to win the NL West:

    http://www.baseballsavvy.com/

  8. Bobby says:

    I have to agree with Jae.

    We didn’t finish 3rd last year with guys who had avg years. We finished 3rd because lots of guys were injured and had BELOW avg years.

    Even if Kemp and Kersh don’t have quite the great years they had last year, if you add avg years from Uribe, Ethier, Loney, and Bills we’ll be that much better.

    We also had a brand new bullpen from what we started with, and those guys have the potential to really improve (or go thru some growing pains).

    But this year will come down to 2 guys. Can Ethier and Bills become the #2 hitter and #2 starter on this team? If they do, then Kemp/Ethier is the best 3/4 in the NL West and Kersh/Bills is equivalent to Lincecum/Cain. The rest of the guys need to be avg to solid (Loney/Uribe), and we’re easily a contender.

  9. Michael says:

    I’m a believer, if I wasn’t I couldn’t call myself a fanatic.
    The reasons for my optimism are:
    1. Great pitching [The Dodgers always have great pitching]
    2. Andre Ethier is primed for his best season
    3. Donnie baseball isn’t a rookie anymore
    4. Kemp and Kershaw
    5. We’ll be playing in front of crowds this year
    6. Dee Gordon
    7. James, too will be playing for his livelyhood
    8. Rivera can swing it
    9. The plethora of strong arms at the ready in the minors
    10. NO MORE FRANK

    My only negative is Uribe sucks and isn’t going hit shit

    Think Blue and be positive, “It’s time for Dodger Baseball”

  10. Joe says:

    In my humble option I would predict about 85-90 wins as the roster stands now. The lineup is more functional with Gordon’s speed and Mark Ellis a more natural 2 hole hitter than we had last year. The lineup also appears to more length this year if Kemp, Either, Rivera and Loney can produce. Not a fan of the human helicopter (Uribe) though. Not sure what to expect from the rotation outside of Kershaw but the bullpen appears to be solid.

  11. Mike Dixon says:

    Kershaw is sick….

  12. AnewBlueDay says:

    Wow! A wild card on opening night. Donnie just made a decision — Clayton has the flu-bug, but is going to “try” to answer the call a pitch.

    Now, maybe he will pitch a gem. it has been done before by pitches who were sick like that.

    But, Donnie had the opportunity to send Clayton home to bed, rest, and fluids . . . and pitch him when it passed.

    Move up either the #3 or #4 pitcher . . .

    So, we will see.

  13. Ken says:

    I wonder if Magic is sitting there wondering if Frank brought his young girl friend or just hired an escort?

  14. Mark_Timmons says:

    She loves him for his sense of humor… Not his money!

  15. DRomo says:

    Frank’s sense of humor has him laughing all the way to the bank!

    I couldn’t help but think as he sat there if he was just laughing at the year he has had. Trading out his money hungry attention seeking wife for a piece of arm candy. Forcing Selig to agree to a sale of the team on his terms. Then going from $900K in debt to a $1Billion net gain (approx.)

    Frank may have ruined the franchise & been a terrible owner, but the dude is an American success story. Strip the business down to bare bones and sell high!

    That said. Fellow Dodger fans, please lets leave Frank in the rear view. Let’s think of it as a relationship. Don’t worry about who your ex is dating now. We have a future and a promising team to build this franchise back up with. Stan Kasten is not getting enough attention. He is what makes this new ownership group exciting to me. Magic is window dressing and fun for the PR/media/casual fans to drool over. But Stan has the brains to build this franchise top to bottom the right way. With financial backing (I hope) and good baseball people this team can make it back. I believe.

    For the record I agree with Mark’s take on the season. It has promise. But it could blow up. I’m willing to be optimistic!

  16. Ladodgerdave says:

    Quick comment……

    Disturbed about magic not wearing anything Dodger…..I mean come on man, aren’t you part of the new face of the dodgers, not even a blue shirt?!?!?!?

    Disappointed

    • Ken says:

      On May 1st Magic will display a new line of Dodger clothes for Extra Extra Extra Large people and he will be the first model for the new line. Is Magic about 350 lbs with a 60″ jacket or is Frank really just a small man (pun intended). Seeing them side by side is hopefully symbolic of the Dodger’s future.

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