Tag Archives: Matt Kemp

Dodgers stand pat at trade deadline

Dodgers Tickets Field BoxWhile several contenders made dramatic moves to increase the depth of their pitching staff the Los Angeles Dodgers largely stood pat in the non-waiver trade deadline, opting to hold on to their prospects and resist the urge to deal Joc Pederson, Corey Seager or Julio Urias. The good thing for the Dodgers is that the majority of the big moves took place in the American League, where the Detroit Tigers and Oakland Athletics made major moves to trade for David Price and Jon Lester. Over in the National League the St. Louis Cardinals moved to improve their pitching staff, trading for Justin Masterson and John Lackey—not flashy moves but trades that could impact the National League playoffs should the Cardinals qualify.

In the midst of deciding to not make a move at the trade deadline the Dodgers are in the best form of the season, winners of six consecutive games including three game sweeps of the San Francisco Giants and Atlanta Braves. Like over the weekend in San Francisco the Dodgers starting pitching was dominant in their sweep of a very good Braves team. Thursday night Clayton Kershaw was masterful on the mound again, with another complete game victory. Kershaw has now won ten consecutive decisions, lowering his ERA to a miniscule 1.71. He’s well on his way to another National League Cy Young Award, potentially his third in four seasons. The Dodgers welcome the Chicago Cubs this weekend, a team depleted by the trade of their top two starting pitchers to the Oakland Athletics on the 4th of July.

Did the Dodgers make the right move in standing pat?

lexus dugout club tickets dodgersIf Los Angeles goes on to not reach the World Series, or loses to a Tigers or Athletics team in the World Series many may point to their decision to not deal for Jon Lester or David Price. Hindsight is always 20/20 in professional sports, but the types of players the Dodgers would have had to deal to get either ace starter just weren’t worth it. The Red Sox received slugger Yoenis Cespedes for Lester while the Tigers had to deal outfielder Austin Jackson and starting pitcher Drew Smyly. Cespedes had huge value due to his reasonable contract, while Jackson and Smyly are proven major leaguers. The Dodgers decision to hold on to their prospects and resist the urge to deal for a potential rental player reflects a long-range vision for the franchise. It also likely reflects confidence in the current roster. Sure it would have been nice to pick up an extra starting pitcher, but the Dodgers top three starters are as good as any group in baseball. Postseason baseball often requires a number four starter and Josh Beckett, based on his performance this season, may be up to the task.

If Matt Kemp continues is recent production the Dodgers may very well receive the jolt of energy that a deadline trade can bring a franchise. His recent tear, specifically from a power standpoint, indicates that the former superstar may be returning to form at the right time. A productive Kemp adds another element to a Dodgers lineup that doesn’t have many holes right now.

After the short term rental Price and Lester should still be out there after the season, with Los Angeles in a financial position to sign them long-term, avoiding dealing a major prospect for them.

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Chris M.

Here Comes The Dodgers

LA Dodgers Tickets

THINK BLUE

Ten days ago the Dodgers were 9.5 games behind the red hot Giants, who had the best record in baseball. The team that many thought was a sure bet to repeat as NL West champions was struggling to keep pace with their arch-rivals from the Bay Area. Flash forward a week and a half and the Dodgers are right back into the thick of the race, just five days after ESPN Insider declared that the Giants are a near certainty to win the division, holding an 8.5 game lead just five days ago. In a five day span the Giants have lost five straight while a three game Dodgers winning streak has them within four games of the division leaders.

CK Dodgers Pitcher

CLAYTON

Wednesday night Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw threw his first career no-hitter and the 12th overall no hitter in Los Angeles Dodgers history. Kershaw struck out fifteen in a dominant effort and was just an error away from a perfect game. With the Giants losing earlier in the day Kershaw’s no hitter was an exclamation point in series sweep of the Rockies that included three strong starting pitching performances.

The three-game Dodgers winning streak has given them eight wins in their last ten games, and an important three-game home winning streak. The Dodgers remain just 18-20 at Dodger Stadium, combined with an impressive 22-14 road record.The recent win streak and strong road performance point to the Dodgers righting the ship. The Giants have burst out to a substantial lead but the recent five-game losing streak, couple with a solid run of play for the Dodgers, has come at the right time. Like last season the Dodgers seem to be making their June run.

So will the Dodgers repeat as National League West champions? Although it looked bleak less than two weeks ago there are several positive developments that point to a Dodgers repeat. Here are five reasons the Dodgers will surpass the Giants and repeat as division champions.

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Field Box

Their Home Record: Last season Los Angeles was 47-34 at home. In 2012 when they finished eight games behind the Giants for the division the Dodgers were 45-36 at home. This year they are a surprising 18-20, which includes this week’s three-game sweep of the Rockies. Chances are the Dodgers will play significantly better at home in the second half of the season, which bodes well for a division push.

Matt Kemp: The Dodgers recent strong form has coincided with the best form of the season for Matt Kemp. After missing nearly all of last season the Dodgers star outfielder seems to be rounding back into form. Over the past seven days he’s hit .417 with 2 home runs and 7 runs batted in.

Dodger Stadium Bullpen

BULLPEN

The Bullpen: Heading into the season the Dodgers bullpen was a massive strength, with Kenley Jansen coming off of a dominant first season as the closer, and Brian Wilson returning as a premier setup man.
After a tough start to the season the Dodgers bullpen is beginning to show the form that many predicted coming into the season. Adding to the recent performance of the bullpen has been the performance of Brandon League. Last season League began the year as the closer but struggled, eventually losing his closer job to Jansen. This season League has regained his form and become a strong setup man. League has an outstanding 2.27 ERA in 35 innings pitched. League, JP Howell and recently Brian Wilson have combined with Jansen to give the Dodgers the pen many expected. With League’s re-emergence the Dodgers have a strong bullpen group to compete with the Giants down the stretch.

The Return of Kershaw: After missing nearly a month and a half due to a muscle strain behind his shoulder, the Dodgers ace left-hander is back in elite form and staking a claim for another Cy Young Award. Wednesday night’s no-hitter was Kershaw as his most dominant.

That Starting Rotation: With the emergence of Josh Beckett and a healthy Clayton Kershaw the Dodgers have the deepest and best starting rotation in baseball. At the top of the rotation the Dodgers have two elite left-handers in Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu and Zack Greinke, whose 24-7 over the past two seasons. Veteran right-handers Josh Beckett and Dan Haren have solidified the back-end of the rotation, with Beckett sporting a 2.49 ERA.

All signs point to the Dodgers catching and surpassing the Giants and living up to the expectations that many pointed to early in the season. The big upcoming matchup is the late July Dodgers visit to Pac Bell Park to face the Giants. If the Dodgers are within striking distance they’ll have a prime opportunity to take over the division lead.

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BY: Chris M.

Yasiel Puig leads NL Outfielders in All Star Voting

Yasiel Puig Dodgers MVP

PUIG

After a massive jump that leaped him from fifth place to first place, Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig now leads all National League outfielders in All-Star voting. Aided by an extended Dodgers home stand Puig leapfrogged Charlie Blackmon and Giancarlo Stanton to take over the lead among outfielders for the 2014 All-Star Game, to be held July 15 at Target Field in Minneapolis. The increase in vote totals is indicative of the rising popularity of the second year outfielder, who’s improved on his outstanding rookie season with a tremendous sophomore effort. On Tuesday Puig marked the one-year anniversary of his major league debut, where he took the Dodgers and major league baseball by storm to vault Los Angeles to the National League West crown. Like a year ago the Dodgers are hoping for the same kind of resurgence as they have ground to make up in the division. The Dodgers are in second place, a full seven games behind the San Francisco Giants who currently have the top record in baseball. Los Angeles is in a tight battle with the Colorado Rockies, who feature the top overall NL vote getter, shortstop Troy Tulowitzki.

This season Puig has significantly raised his batting average, on base percentage and OPS, displaying Mike Trout like maturity at the plate. His Cuban exodus story is well documented and his evolution as a player is remarkable considering how little baseball he was able to play for two seasons while trying to leave Cuba. Last season Puig had 36 walks and 97 strikeouts in 432 plate appearances. This season, in just 242 plate appearances Puig already has 27 walks and has struck out just 44 times. Last season there was great debate about whether or not Puig was a worthy all star candidate after spending just six weeks in the big leagues. This season there is no such debate.

Dodgers Yaseil Puig

MVP?

After a defeat to the Chicago White Sox where they scored just a lone run, the Dodgers continued their offensive struggles. While Puig is putting together an MVP-caliber season the remainder of the Dodgers core, Adrian Gonzalez, Hanley Ramirez and Matt Kemp, are struggling of late. Dee Gordon, who got off to a tremendous start as the leadoff hitter, is in an extended slump. The club also is missing third baseman Juan Uribe, with Chone Figgins forced to fill in everyday at third base. AJ Ellis, who suffered an ankle sprain in the post- Josh Beckett no-hitter celebration, is also out of the lineup, with Drew Butera batting just .218 as the backup catcher.

The Dodgers have one game remaining on the current home stand before they head off on a ten game road trip that takes them to Colorado, Cincinnati and Arizona. Getting away from Dodger Stadium, where they are just 13-18 on the season, may ignite their year. Over the years Coors Field in Colorado has been a great slump buster for many Dodgers players, and the Dodgers have had their way with the Arizona Diamondbacks lately.

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BY: Chris M.

Decisions in the Dodgers Outfield

Dodger Stadium Centerfield

CENTERFIELD

Heading into the season the big story regarding the Dodgers outfield was their depth and whether or not they’d be able to find playing time for five outfielders, all talented enough to be everyday players in other places. Two months into the season and the talent is still there, unfortunately the production hasn’t been. While Yasiel Puig has continued his assault on the National League, the rest of the Dodgers outfield, particularly Matt Kemp has struggled, both offensively and defensively. Kemp’s defensive struggles in center field initiated a recent-three game benching of the former superstar.

With Matt Kemp no longer the everyday option in centerfield, the question now turns to who is the best option in center. From a sheer athletic ability standpoint the obvious answer is Yasiel Puig, who can cover the most ground. Unfortunately the talented young Cuban is still extremely raw and prone to errors. The best option on the current roster is Andre Ethier, who’s a sure handed option, but lacking in speed and range. While Ethier is dependable, he’s a far cry from the former gold glove defense that Kemp used to provide prior to his ankle injury.

LA Dodgers Outfielders

DODGERS LINEUP

So what is the ideal Dodgers outfield? Depth is a good thing to have, especially with injury. The problem is when too much depth equals too many options. For a team with postseason aspirations the Dodgers are eventually going to want to determine what their ideal outfield is. Right now, from a production standpoint that ideal outfield begins with Yasiel Puig and a whole bunch of question marks. Matt Kemp has shown flashes of his former self but is struggling offensively. Carl Crawford was an igniter in the postseason last year, but has an on base percentage under three this season. Andre Ethier is what he is, a dependable bat and reliable fielder, but not a difference-maker offensively.

The X-factor in all of this is the presence of Joc Pederson, still tearing up Triple AAA. Up until now the speculation around Pederson has been as a potential part of a blockbuster trade or as a late season call-up. Right now the Dodgers would be crazy to even consider a Pederson trade and should be pondering whether or not they should immediately call up the phenom. Pederson is dominating the Pacific Coast League as the fifth youngest position player in the league, with a .351/.454/.638 batting line. Pederson has 15 home runs and 14 steals. Since an impressive spring he hasn’t cool down at all, impressive everyone with his approach to the game and professionalism. He’s likely big league ready.

Dodger Yaseil Puig

PUIG

The Dodgers ideal outfield, right now, should start with Puig and Joc Pederson. The big question is whether or not one of them can play center field. They both have the speed to play center, but are both also a bit raw defensively with a corner outfield slot being their best position. With the remainder of the outfielders plodding along with pedestrian numbers, there’s no reason not to call up Joc Pederson. The Dodgers took off last season in early June when they called up Yasiel Puig. Pederson, if he continues the form he’s shown in AAA, could have a Puig-like impact on the Dodgers. Like Puig, his energy will make him an instant fan favorite. Like Ethier, he has the advantage of being a left-handed batter, adding additional balance to the Dodgers lineup.

LA Dodgers Outfielders

DODGERS

Of course if they call up Pederson they need to make a decision on a veteran player. Scott Van Slyke will have a role due to his right-handed power, while Kemp and his massive contract aren’t going anywhere. Ethier is a potential trade option, but it’s questionable how much value the veteran will have. Carl Crawford, due to his large contract, has no trade value. All Pederson can do it continue to force the Dodgers hand, with his play. He’d already be in the big leagues with most other organizations. The Dodgers shouldn’t allow their limited options with Crawford and Kemp to affect their decision-making. If the best option for the Dodgers is to replace Carl Crawford with Joc Pederson, the team needs to strongly consider the move, massive contract aside.

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The Return of Kershaw

Clayton Kershaw Returns

Clayton Kershaw

The Dodgers welcomed back Clayton Kershaw on Tuesday night, just at the right time. In the midst of an extended road trip that included trips to Minnesota, Miami and Washington, the Dodgers find themselves in third place in a rejuvenated NL West. After a dominating season in 2013 that included a big margin of victory in the division over the second place Diamondbacks, the Dodgers find themselves fending off an improved San Francisco Giants team.

Kershaw pitched for the first time since the Dodgers kicked off the season Down Under in Australia. The two-time Cy Young winner dominated the Diamondbacks in Sydney and after six weeks off he showed the same form he had in late March. Kershaw tossed seven shutout innings, striking out nine and walking none, throwing just 89 pitches. The best Dodgers lefty since Fernando and Koufax returned just at the right time, to jump right into a division battle with the Giants.

San Francisco is off to a hot start with record of 21-12, currently the second best record in all of baseball. The Giants have won nine of their last eleven games. Their pattern of winning in every even numbered year is taking shape again. The Dodgers are currently 2.5 games behind the Giants and a big part of that advantage can be traced back to their success versus Los Angeles. The Giants have won four of six versus the Dodgers this season, taking two of three in the two series they’ve played.

CK Dodgers Pitcher

CLAYTON

After the Dodgers wrap up in Washington they’ll return home and jump right back into the rivalry as the Dodgers host the Giants in a four-game series. They’ll get a bit of a break since the Giants have put ace Matt Cain on the DL due to a cut on his ring finger. Josh Beckett and Paul Maholm will start the opening two games, with the Dodgers aces Zack Greinke and Kershaw starting games three and four. If Los Angeles can get off to a quick start and win one or two of the first two games they’ll be in position to win the series and start to build back momentum versus San Francisco. Maholm was due to move back to the bullpen when Kershaw returned, but the sudden injury to Ryu has kept the veteran lefty in the rotation for the time being. Beckett, coming off multiple injuries, doesn’t have a victory to show for it, but has pitched well this season. He currently sports a 3.14 ERA and has given up just 20 hits in 28 innings pitched while striking out 30. His solid secondary numbers, combined with the solid seasons that Haren is putting together, bodes well for the Dodgers near-term future.

Success versus San Francisco will require the Dodgers bats wake up a bit as well. While the offense has performed in spurts this season, they’ve also struggled at times. Adrian Gonzalez, Dee Gordon, Juan Urible and Yasiel Puig are having outstanding years and have carried the Dodgers offensively. Conversely, Hanley Ramirez, Matt Kemp and Carl Crawford have largely struggled. Ramirez, arguably the Dodgers best hitter, will come around. The bigger question marks surround Kemp and Crawford and whether or not they can regain their past All-Star form.

KERSHAW DODGERS

KERSHAW

Tuesday night the offense broke through at the right time with the top five in the lineup all collecting two hits. Hanley Ramirez homered and drove in two runs, with reserve catcher Drew Butera hitting a three-run home run. A win in the series finale on Wednesday would give the Dodgers a series victory, a 6-3 road trip, and real momentum for the upcoming home stand that starts with the Giants.

For Clayton Kershaw the quest for a third Cy Young starts again. He has his work cut out for him to catch up to the top contenders, including Zack Greinke, but with a near flawless first start back from injury he’s off to a good start.

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Chris M

What to do with six outfielders?

LA Dodgers Tickets

THINK BLUE

Heading into the offseason many national experts questioned how the Dodgers, when Matt Kemp returns, would manage having four starting caliber outfielders for five positions. With Kemp healthy and showing signs of his past self, as well as the evolution of Scott Van Slyke as a difference-maker versus left-handed starters and the AAA dominance of Joc Pederson, the Dodgers now have six potential outfield choices.

Ordinarily such extreme depth is a huge positive, but is five too many? Or, with Joc Pederson is six too many?

The Dodgers have a solid balance of right-handed and left-handed hitters, ideal for such a situation. There’s also a good mix of young and old, speed and power. On paper it’s an ideal situation. Unfortunately an ideal situation doesn’t always necessarily translate to a good balance on the field. Like any professional sport, baseball is a game of feel and tempo. Players who can play every other day and still perform can be unique. So who what is the Dodgers ideal starting lineup? By most accounts the preferred starting three-some is Carl Crawford, Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig. It’s a solid mix of speed and power, the Dodgers ideal defensive arrangement. Thus far the Dodgers have done an excellent job of getting everyone playing time, with a couple of early season injuries (Puig) and a paternity leave thrown in (Crawford).

Dodgers Joc Pederson

PEDERSON

Even with a deep payroll the Dodgers will have choices to make in the near future. After a strong spring training Joc Pederson is dominating in Triple AAA will soon be ready to be an everyday major league player. Like Puig, Pederson is an all around talent who the Dodgers will want to play every day. After his big performance in the Cactus League Pederson is off to a tremendous start in Albuquerque, with a .442/.564/.884 batting line. In twelve games he has four doubles, five homers, four steals and 12 walks. Pederson, who turns 22 on Tuesday, is a local favorite having played his college baseball at USC. He’s a potential all-star, but also a major potential trade piece for a team looking to make a World Series run.

Would the Dodgers trade Pederson? A team like the Tampa Bay Rays would likely be willing to listen to a potential trade offer for David Price if it includes a player like Pederson. Price is arguably the second best left-hander in baseball (behind Clayton Kershaw) and he’d give the Dodgers an incredible starting rotation with three elite lefthanders and Zack Greinke. The Dodgers have the ability to sing a long-term deal with a player like Price, but the cost of dealing Pederson may be too much for a player like Price, especially when they could simply just sign Price in the offseason.

Yasiel Puig

PUIG

With Pederson on fire in AAA and the Dodgers batting lineup struggling of late the Dodgers may want to take a look at calling Pederson up. With the continued off-the-field distractions that Yasiel Puig provides, a spurt back in the minors could be good for Puig. This move would also give the Dodgers a real barometer of what they have in Pederson. Another potential move would be to call up Pederson as an alternative to Carl Crawford. With a massive contract the Dodgers have little flexibility with Crawford, but they also have the financial means to stash a player like Crawford on the bench. After a solid playoff season last year Crawford has struggled early on. The re-emergence of Dee Gordon has also given the Dodgers an alternative at the lead-off position. If Gordon can continue his solid play the Dodgers could very well be tempted to insert a player like Pederson in the lineup on an everyday basis.

The best move for the Dodgers may be to just hold tight and see how the season evolves. Matt Kemp has shown flashes of brilliance but his overall numbers have been inconsistent. If Pederson continues his assault on AAA pitching the Dodgers will find a spot for him in the lineup, somewhere. The ideal future lineup should consist of Puig, Pederson and a healthy Matt Kemp, but after the last couple of seasons Kemp will need to prove his ability to stay healthy.

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BY: Chris M.

The Dodgers Are Ready Is Yasiel?

LA Dodgers Tickets

THINK BLUE

Two games in and the Los Angeles Dodgers couldn’t have asked for a better start. Traveling to Australia without Zack Greinke, Carl Crawford and Matt Kemp they outpitched the division rival Diamondbacks for two games to start the season 2-0. Even though the games were played in Australia they were technically “home” games for the Diamondbacks, giving the Dodgers two key road victories versus their fierce rivals. Clayton Kershaw was solid as usual in the first game, while Hyun-Jin Ryu threw five shutout innings in the second game. The Dodgers bats woke up in game two, scoring seven runs behind solid hitting performances from Yasiel Puig, Dee Gordon, Andre Ethier and Juan Uribe. The four players combined to go 9 for 18 and drive in five runs. Upon returning home the Dodgers have the annual Freeway Series with the Angels before they kick off the regular season on Sunday night in San Diego. You can purchase Dodgers Tickets for as low as $3.00 per ticket.

Dodgers Tickets Field Box

Field Box

Just when it seems things couldn’t be better in the Dodgers camp controversy surrounding Yasiel Puig has started up again, after just two games. After a tough spring and an 0-fer in the first game in Australia, Puig went 3-5 in the second game, driving in two runs. At the plate he looked like the same player that tore up June, July and August last season. In classic Puig fashion the controversy came in the game where he registered three hits. While Puig looked locked-in at the plate he was an absolute disaster on the base paths, making two big base running errors that led to outs, one killing a potential larger Dodger scoring outburst. The second base-running error led to what was described as an intense discussion with Dodgers veteran first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. Later on, during his last at bat, Puig swung and missed at a pitch and seemed flung his bat as though injured, prompting Manager Don Mattingly to question whether or not he was actually injured. Puig’s penchant for feigning an injury after a swing and miss, combined with his wild base-running is indicative of what Yahoo! Sports has referred to as his “maddening duality”. When engaged and playing error free baseball Puig is a potential superstar with Bo Jackson type athletic ability. During his rookie season the novelty of Puig helped energize and inspire the team. This season, one where the Dodgers have major expectations, his act may be wearing a little thin.

Yasiel Puig

Puig

So what to do with Puig? At a certain point will his antics outweigh his contribution on the field? The answer is likely no, or at least a bit more nuanced than many media members would insist. If Puig is hitting, like last season, he most likely has a spot in the lineup. The added element that wasn’t present last season though is the potential return of Matt Kemp. Kemp’s season-long injury issues coincided with the arrival and success of Puig. With the Dodger start center-fielder potentially returning soon the Dodgers have a full outfield of Kemp, Puig, Andre Ethier and Carl Crawford. If Kemp returns and produces, and Ethier continues to hit like he did in spring training, Mattingly will have a choice in who he inserts in the lineup. If Puig’s production suffers he just may find himself coming off the bench a bit more than expected. Chris Michaels.

The Dodgers return to on April 4th for a three game series against the San Francisco Giants starting with their Home Opener on April 4th, Robin Thicke singing on April 5th and Kids Yasiel Puig Fathead for the Sunday 5:00pm game. You can purchase Dodgers Vs Giants Tickets today.

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Five Questions About The Dodgers In 2014

Five Dodgers Questions

Dani Kelly

After an outstanding 2013 regular season that saw them win 50 of 70 games at one point the Los Angeles Dodgers were eliminated by the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Championship series. The club’s improvement justified many of the big moves t hey made the previous season and the 2013 offseason. Heading into the 2014 season the Dodgers are once again favorites to win the NL West and potentially return to the World Series for the first time since 1988. A World Championship would justify the big money spent by the new ownership group and usher in a new era of success for one of the NL’s most famous franchises.

The Dodgers outstanding 2013 season was marked by great pitching performances by Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke, but also by a frustrating run of injuries for key producers like Hanley Ramirez and Matt Kemp. Kemp, a former National League MVP runner-up, had a frustrating season which saw him make several visits to the disabled list. The future of Kemp is just one big question mark as the Dodgers head into the 2014 season. Here’s a look at five big question marks for the Dodgers with spring training just two months away.

Four outfielders for three positions: The Dodgers have the luxury, and the potential dilemma, of four starting caliber outfielders. If Matt Kemp is healthy he’s clearly the club’s best offensive player and a potential MVP candidate. A healthy Kemp creates potential playing time issues for Andre Ethier, Yasiel Puig and Carl Crawford. Puig, the dynamic Cuban rookie, took the league by storm when he was called up in June and played a major role in the teams amazing run of form from June to August. He’s a five-tool player with the potential to hit 30 home runs and steal 30 bases. Puig is also a major fan favorite. Crawford, who the Dodgers picked up in the blockbuster 2012 trade with Boston, had a solid season coming off of injury. He’s a weapon at the top of the lineup and had a strong postseason. The odd man out may be the dependable Ethier, who didn’t put up big power numbers last season but was a consistent cog in the lineup at periods of major injury for many of the Dodgers regulars.

Matt Kemp Dodgers

Matt Kemp

Will Matt Kemp ever regain his form? The Dodgers star centerfielder had an incredibly unlucky season in 2013. Even with multiple shoulder surgeries over the past year Kemp’s bum shoulder isn’t his biggest concern. Kemp suffered a broken ankle that many have characterized as career-threatening. He underwent surgery in October and he’s unlikely to be ready for the start of spring training. The question mark around Kemp makes the presence of Ethier even more important, although the specter of Ethier playing extended minutes in center field are a bit concerning for Dodgers fans. A healthy Kemp may be the biggest factor in the Dodgers making a World Series run. His health will be closely monitored as the season kicks off.

Is there potential starting pitching help on the way? The presence of Kershaw and Greinke at the top of the rotation gives Los Angeles perhaps the best one-two combo in baseball. With Ricky Nolasco now a member of the Minnesota Twins the Dodgers have a rotation spot they need to fill. The big question is whether or not the club will utilize their deep pockets to go after Masahiro Tanaka. Tanaka, the latest star Japanese pitcher to become available, was an amazing 24-0 in the Japanese professional league last season. He’s been compared favorably to Rangers import Yu Darvish and could give the Dodgers another potential ace for their rotation. Spending the amount of money they’ll need to attract Tanaka may be out of the question for middle of the rotation starter, but the story will be an interesting one to follow over the next month as multiple teams chase Tanaka.

Is Donnie Baseball in LA to stay? Questions around the future of manager Don Mattingly persist. The former New York Yankees superstar led the club to the division title and deep playoff run last season, but the club’s management has never seemed to have full confidence in Mattingly. Many question the skipper’s in-game decision making and his management of the roster. The enhanced payroll has clearly upped the pressure in Los Angeles and the club could very well be on the market for a more high profile manager. Should the Dodgers get off to another slow start the rumors of Mattingly’s demise will likely kick up again.

Can Chad Billingsley return? Lost in the Dodgers potential interest in a high profile starting pitcher is the potential return of Chad Billingsley. Although he’s been with the club for eight seasons Billingsley is just 28 years old and has put up solid numbers over his Dodgers career. The Dodgers could get Billingsley back in May, potentially taking care of their fifth starter issue. Billingsley has won 81 games over his Dodgers career with an outstanding 3.65 ERA. Another starter to keep an eye on is Josh Beckett. The veteran righty struggled last season and is coming off of arm surgery. Beckett, one of the top postseason performers of his generation, should be available for spring training.

Due to their early start of the regular season, when they take on the Diamondbacks in Australia, the Dodgers kick off Cactus League play on February 23rd, less than two months away. By:Dani Kelly.


Dani Kelly
Senior editor at Barry’s Tickets

1020 S. Figueroa,
Los Angeles, CA
90015

Barry’s Tickets

Angels Vs Dodgers showdown this weekend

Angels Vs Dodgers

Angeles Vs Dodgers


Still with baseball’s best record almost three months into the season, the Los Angeles Dodgers show little signs of slowing down. Even with injury to shoe in All-Star and MVP candidate, outfielder Matt Kemp, the Dodgers continue to roll on with solid pitching and timely hitting, maintaining a healthy 4.5 game lead in the NL West.

This weekend the boys in blue take on their crosstown rivals, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angels Stadium. This will be the second time the Dodgers and Angels face off for the battle of L.A., in which the hopes and dreams of many So Cal baseball fans will be a preview of the potential Freeway World Series to come.

The Halos last left the Dodgers with a bitter taste in their mouth, as they took the series two games to one with an Erick Aybar home run in the 9th inning of the rubber match. The Dodgers hope to avenge themselves this Friday with Chris Capuano (having a career year) on the hill against former all-star Dan Haren for the Angels. You won’t want to miss these two hot teams battling it out in this newfound rivalry for the throne of L.A.

We still have seats to match all price ranges for the Angels Vs Dodgers.

Promtions at Angels Stadium this weekend are:
6/22 Big Bang Friday promotional night
6/23 Sunday is Kids run the bases night.

Dodgers Kemp on 15 Day DL

Matt Kemp

Matt Kemp on DL

Matt Kemp‘s consecutive games streak ended at 399 on Monday night, and worse news followed after the game, as the 2011 NL MVP runner-up was placed on the disabled list with a strained right hamstring.

It’s just Kemp’s second career trip to the DL. The first came due to a shoulder injury in April 2007.

Kemp’s absence will make Tony Gwynn Jr. the Dodgers’ primary center fielder for a couple of weeks.

Tonight the Dodgers will face the Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium. It is Orel Hershiser Bobblehead Giveaway night.