2014 Record: 94-68 (1st place NL West – Lost NLDS to Cardinals)
Manager: Don Mattingly, 5th season
Key Additions: SS Jimmy Rollins, 2B Howie Kendrick, C Yasmani Grandal, SP Brandon McCarthy, SP Brett Anderson, RP Joel Peralta, RP Juan Nicasio, SP/RP Mike Bolsinger
Key Losses: OF Matt Kemp, SS Hanley Ramirez, 2B Dee Gordon, SP Dan Haren, IF Miguel Rojas, RP Brian Wilson, C Drew Butera, C Tim Federowicz
Note: All projections and opinions in this article are my own and are not meant to reflect those of anyone else on this website.
Projected Opening Day Lineup:
· SS Jimmy Rollins (S)
· LF Carl Crawford (L)
· 1B Adrian Gonzalez (L)
· RF Yasiel Puig (R)
· 2B Howie Kendrick (R)
· CF Andre Ethier (L)/Joc Pederson (R)
· 3B Juan Uribe (R)
· C A.J. Ellis (R)/Yasmani Grandal (S)
Note: I say opening day lineup because I’m sure this will change as the season goes on. Expect to see Pederson batting cleanup (with Puig hitting second) he lives up to the hype he’s been getting.
Projected Starting Rotation:
· Clayton Kershaw (L)
· Zack Greinke (R)
· Hyun-Jin Ryu (L)
· Brandon McCarthy (R)
· Brett Anderson (L)
After following up a 94-win season with another quick exit in October, the Dodgers underwent one of their most controversial offseasons in franchise history. Shortly following LA’s elimination at the hands of the St. Louis Cardinals (again), Dodgers CEO Stan Kasten replaced General Manager Ned Colletti with former Rays GM Andrew Freidman. Freidman, under his new title as President of Baseball Operations, wasted no time in making his presence known. By the time he was finished, the Dodgers’ roster was barely recognizable. Gone are Matt Kemp and Hanley Ramirez, two huge cogs in the Dodgers’ offense. Gone is 2014 All Star and fan favorite Dee Gordon, who led the major leagues in stolen bases last year. Now, the Dodgers have proven veterans Jimmy Rollins and Howie Kendrick at shortstop and second base, respectively, and the stage is set for minor league phenom Joc Pederson to earn a place in the Dodgers outfield. They also have better depth at catcher and in their starting rotation. And despite all those changes, most of the Dodgers’ core players will still be wearing blue in 2015, especially the reigning NL MVP and best active pitcher in baseball, Clayton Kershaw. The question is, will this busy offseason help the Dodgers improve on a 94-win campaign? Freidman sure seems to think so.
Conclusion: The 2015 Dodgers will be a very different team than the 2014 Dodgers. They also face tough competition in NL West between the defending World Series champion Giants and the vastly improved Padres. However, I predict the Dodgers will win their third straight division title and make it back into October, where they will once again try to reach the fall classic.
Baseball is,was, and always will be the greatest game in the world
Jake Wesley is now the only writer for MLB_NL_AL.com all of these articles are ether based on facts and pieces of his opinion.