MLB MLB Team News NL West — 03 March 2011
The Dodgers failed to live up to their expectations in 2010, finishing a disappointing fourth in the division behind the Giants, Rockies, and Padres. The Manny Ramirez show has moved on, possibly allowing some of the focus for this team to go back to playing baseball. The roster has some good pieces in place, with Clayton Kershaw and Chad Billingsley heading up the rotation. Jon Garland was added to give this rotation some much needed depth, and should eat up some solid innings for LA.

The lineup will be slightly above average, but could be a lot better if they get some improvement from James Loney.  The addition of veteran Juan Uribe at 2nd base should solidify the middle of the infield. The Dodgers have a solid rotation and some good bats in the lineup. Thanks to what appears to be a fairly open division, the Dodgers should be competitive this year, however as of right now they appear at least a step behind the Rockies and Giants.

Key Additions: Juan Uribe, Ted Lilly, Jon Garland, Tony Gwynn, Jr., Marcus Thames

Key Losses: George Sherrill, Brad Ausmus, Ryan Theriot, Scott Podsednik

Lineup:

C: Rod Barajas
1B: James Loney
2B: Juan Uribe
3B: Casey Blake
SS: Rafael Furcal
LF: Marcus Thames
CF: Matt Kemp
RF: Andre Ethier

Rotation:

1: Clayton Kershaw
2: Chad Billingsley
3: Ted Lilly
4: Hiroki Kuroda
5: Jon Garland
CL: Jonathan Broxton

Players Critical To Success:

James Loney: Loney’s numbers, with the exception of RBI’s, have been steadily regressing over the past couple of seasons. While at least he is still driving in runs, the Dodgers would love to see the power numbers from their first baseman go up a bit.

Clayton Kershaw: Kershaw has absolutely baffled hitters over the last two seasons, and continues to improve by the day. He is capable of being one of the top pitchers in the league when his stuff is on and is critical to any success the Dodgers hope to have.

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