On June 23rd I wrote this:
The Dodgers had a nice win last night, but unless they can run off about 12 in a row, it appears very unlikely they will make the playoffs. Skunks don’t shed their white stripe overnight and the Dodgers aren’t likely to suddenly become clutch overnight. As the sun sets on the Dodgers chances to get to the post season, it appears more and more likely that they will become sellers.
Well, the Dodgers didn’t win 12 in a row, but they won enough to become relevant again and get back in the race. I was at the forefront in calling for Don Mattingly’s head and the break-up of this team, not because I didn’t love the Dodgers but because I felt it was unlikely things were going to change. But, they did change and let’s hope it’s for good.
I saw Yasiel Puig this Spring and my eyes told me he was a rare talent. My brain told me he could not keep that up. The Dodgers had a reason to keep him in the minors until April 18th – that gave them another year of control. I get that. If you haven’t read the article on Puig in the latest Sports Illustrated, do it now. It’s an inside look at how Logan White was convinced he was the real deal and pushed to sign him for whatever it took. Puig has been nothing short of immortal, but I will go back to what I wrote on April 1, 2013:
I will say this: The most important player for the Dodgers in 2013 is someone not in the lineup, that being Hanley Ramirez. If Hanley can return to his MVP form, he’s a game-changer. As good a s Matt Kemp is, Hanley Ramirez can be even better. That would be staggering!
I write this, because at this juncture, Hanley Ramirez and Yasiel Puig are the two best hitters in baseball and both are on the Dodgers. Matt Kemp has not been a factor, but is showing signs of getting his mojo back.
I was in favor of trading Andre Ethier, but with injuries and the likelihood he will hit better, I think the Dodgers should keep him for now. An outfield of Kemp, Puig, Ethier, Van Slyke and Crawford gives a lot of flexibility. When Crawford comes back, someone will have to go. As much as I hate to say it, I think it has to be Jerry Hairston, Jr. He’s a bright guyand a coach in waiting. Give him a job in the organization and release him. Punto and Schumaker are good bench players.
I also feel that the Dodgers should stand pat instead of trading for a third baseman. Corey Seager is hitting .293 (second on the team) at Great Lakes and should be promoted soon to Rancho or Chattanooga. He could be ready in less than two years. Don’t deplete the farm for a stopgap 3B, unless it’s a pure salary dump. I would do Zach Lee for Aramis Ramirez, but that’s it.
In case you are wondering, I do not think Zach Lee will be much of a major league pitcher. I love Ross Stripling and even like Chris Reed better than Lee, so I would trade Lee but surely other teams see the Zach Lee I do too.
Chase Utley will cost too much, but if the Dodgers could get him for Lee and Dee Gordon, then I would do that too. I’d like Daniel Murphy at 2B for the same prospects, but that seems unlikely.
I am fine with this lineup:
- 1B – Gonzalez
- 2B – Ellis
- SS – Ramirez
- 3B – Uribe
- LF – Crawford, Van Slyke
- CF – Kemp, Ethier
- C – Ellis
That lineup, if healthy will win a lot of games.
If Nolasco can be had without giving up the farm, then so be it, but the Dodgers rotation should be fine. Don’t fix it if it’s not broke.