• Alexander Guerrero won’t have any problem acclimating to 2B, but he will have trouble with hitting.  He will open the season in the minors.
  • Matt Kemp will be ready to play by Mid-April.
  • Chad Billingsley will return in May
  • Josh Beckett will be a pleasant surprise… at least the first half of the season.
  • Dan Haren will be solid, not spectacular – which is all the Dodgers need.  $10 mil doesn’t buy what it used to.
  • Dee Gordon will win the 2B job and hit leadoff.
  • Matt Kemp, Adrian Gonzalez and Hanley Ramirez will all finish in the TOP 10 for MVP.
  • Chone Figgins and Joc Pederson will break with the team.
  • The Dodgers are doing just what I suggested – giving Puig some time in CF.  Very smart!  He plays there today.

Opening Day Lineup (the REAL Opening Day):

  1. Gordon  2B
  2. Crawford  LF
  3. Ramirez  SS
  4. Gonzalez  1B
  5. Puig  RF
  6. Ethier  CF
  7. Uribe  3B
  8. Ellis  C
  9. Kershaw  P

Yes, it’s early and a lot could happen.  That’s why I’m sticking my neck out… so you can chop it off!

Punch-February-Mouth-Sale

  1. Badger says:

    I could live with all of that.

    But I still see Guerrero at 2b and Gordon as a sub getting many opps. And if Pederson breaks with the team, what happens to SVS? Isn’t he the backup for AGon?

  2. Watford Dodger says:

    Unbelievably I agree with just about all of that. Just watched Beckett & he looked better than Haren the night before. That is some rotation with him at 5.
    I think Figgins gets in for his versatility, experience & speed but not Joc – he goes to triple A for “Seasoning”. Remember Puig’s numbers didn’t get him in last year.
    The big call is who starts at 2nd? I’m with Mark. Guerrero needs time. Gordon gets his chance. I’ve said before that I’m not the biggest fan but I will be more than happy to be proved wrong. He looks like he’s worked very hard over the winter so good luck to him. He would give us a good option at the top of the order with CC batting in his best slot, 2nd. Then all the power to follow.
    By the way the Pen looks lights out but who doesn’t get in? Tough decisions.
    I like the look of Rosin.

  3. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Mark, are you wishing or predicting?

    Kemp ready by mid-April? Even if he is, I doubt if the Dodgers would play him. I think, and hope, that they will err on the side of caution with him. Since I don’t get any private medical reports, and because I’m not in Matt Kemp’s skin, I wouldn’t even venture a prediction as to when he’ll be back in the lineup. But the Dodgers got along without him last year, and probably feel confident that they can get by without him early in the season.

    Reports are good on Beckett, so I’ll guess that he could be a pleasant surprise. Will it last all season? Hopefully. Today will give us our first hint.

    I’m also hopeful that Haren will be solid.

    I suspect that 2B will begin as a platoon, unless the Dodgers absolutely think that Guerrero needs to open the season in ALBQ. But really, it’s too early to know how that one is going to go. As for Gordon hitting lead-off, even if he won the 2B job, I doubt if Mattingly would at this early stage want to put that kind of pressure on him.

    I hope that those guys finish in the top 10 for MVP. Very possible, I think, assuming Kemp is healthy all year.

    I could see Figgins breaking with the team, but Pederson, I think, will be sent out to begin the season, and get a call-up later in the year if a combination of his play and Dodgers needs warrant it. Besides, the Dodgers, full coffers and all, are like any other team, and would likely not want to get Pederson’s clock running until after a bit later in order to avoid him being a super-two down the line.

    The only doubts I have concerning Figgins are the numbers. The Dodgers will likely be carrying 12 pitchers, which means 5 guys on the bench. Definitely on the bench are Fedex, and the 4th outfielder. My guess is that Justin Turner breaks with the team, good chance for Gordon/Guerrero, and maybe SVS. That’s five. That could change if Guerrero opens in ALBQ., SVS doesn’t make the team, or if the Dodgers open the season with less than 12 pitchers due to days off.

    Giving Puig time in center makes sense. He wasn’t so bad when he played out there last year, so why not?

  4. Badger says:

    Gordon only has around 600 at bats in the Major Leagues. And he’s only 26 (April). He appears to be the front runner though Guerrero is currently hitting .300 and playing a decent 2b. I won’t have a problem if they decide to give Alex some time in the minors but I don’t see a reason to do that – unless Gordon pushes him there. Still have a way to go.

  5. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Just saw a replay of Gordon’s triple. That hit was the result of his new found strength. In the past that ball would have likely hung up in the air and been an easy out. Gordon is going to find himself getting more hits in the gaps on drives that in the past would have been caught.

  6. Quasimodo says:

    Gordon has some pretty serious guns he’s packing. But all the weight they’ve said he’s gained has to be in more places than his arms. Yeah I’ve only seen a couple photos to go on as even the re-run games on MLBN are blacked out. Its likely I’ll be moving from this house soon and thus am unsure of which service might be best. I saw that catch by Figgins but that’s to small of a sample to say his performance substantiates why I thought he’d do. Missing out on all the action makes it sorta difficult to say anything. Just a big party and my name ain’t on the guest list.

  7. Badger says:

    Lasorda’s Lair has an interesting interview with Colletti. He also analyzes our draft history quite succinctly.

    10 or 15 pounds of muscle can add a lot of power. It would help a guy like Gordon reach the fence with gap shots. Could be a lot of triples. I still want to see an OBP of .333+. He does that and this team is greatly improved.

    Figgins! Still don’t see a spot for him. Turner looks to be the guy.

  8. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Gordon may not have hit a screaming line drive to right center, but he got more distance than he normally would have, and the ball got out there a bit faster. Without the extra strength that ball probably hangs in the air and gets caught.

    Gordon reportedly gained 13 pounds. Not sure you that’s enough for you to notice a difference. I’m sure it’s more noticeable when he takes his shirt off.

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