The Dodgers On Field Management Should Be Showing As Much Urgency As The D’Backs For The 2014 MLB Opening Series!
Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): Follow @stokes_hunter21
Follow The MLB Reports On Twitter Follow @mlbreports
I started talking about something in my Power Rankings yesterday and it festered with me all day until I decided to expand on the subject a little more today.
As I was listening to XM Radio explain that Kirk Gibson was going to start Patrick Corbin and Trevor Cahill in the 1st 2 games of the MLB Season in Australia, the Dodgers have been quiet to name a starter.
I wrote a few months back, that I would like to have seen them throw Clayton Kershaw for that opener, pitch versus the San Diego Padres a week later, and to conclude with the Dodger Stadium Opener.
We all know now that Zack Greinke won’t even be making the trip due to health concerns.
I understand that one fully, but don’t sit there and tell me that the 2 time NL Cy Young Winner is now going to throw in either of the 1st 2 games.
You would think especially with Greinke not chucking, the Dodgers would make sure they throw Kershaw.
I have heard various reasons why the club may not be down for this. Kershaw has led the whole world in Innings Pitched the last few years, and you are trying to win a World Series this year.
If LA plays all the way through the end of October like planned, this would be 7+ months of putting torque on your new $215 MIL LHP.
I am for resting him at times in the season, but why not pick your spots? The 1st series is against a division opponent that may challenge you for the NL West in Arizona.
Take advantage of spoiling the Padres home opener in San Diego the following week.
The Dodgers could start the 1st 3 games 3 – 0, before anybody else in that division even puts up a win. My theory is they should bury the competition early, and then work in several veterans in to rest later in the year.
This franchise went on an incredible run in 2014, but they were 23 – 32 at one point, while the Arizona Diamondbacks held a huge commanding lead on them before collapsing.
This year the whole division has improved (except for San Diego).
The results did speak highly of how talented Los Angeles is last year, with a 42 – 8 run in the middle of the year – and 58 – 23 clip for their final 81 games, but injuries could always ravage this team quickly.
So far in camp, there are minor issues here and there, but they could have the full squad available by the time April rolls around.
Unheralded SS Hanley Ramirez was playing at an MVP caliber level for the time he was in the lineup, and it is no coincidence that when he and Greinke were placed back in the lineup – that the team took off.
May saw Zack Greinke and Ramirez both with long DL stints. The club struggled despite a steady ace like Kershaw performing at the top of his game.
The point in all of this is that the Dodgers cant and must not take anything for granted. In many ways they remind me of the 2013 Washington Nationals.
Everybody and their sister had them as the National League favorites, they were coming off a 98 win season, but they kicked off the festivities with a .500 mark all the way until the final 40 game stretch.
Nobody saw that coming, but some of it had to fall on the shoulders of the players not having enough urgency both earlier in the year, and a rash of health problems arose soon thereafter.
I would be gunning all hand on deck out of the gate. If the Dodgers can play to their ability, they could blow away the Giants, Rockies and D’Backs by the 1st part of July.
Yes the Major League Season is filled with 162 contests played, and it is more like a marathon and not a sprint, however you can certainly lose a division early in the year with a poor start.
This team only needs to look about a 40 minute drive South to see what can transpire as a League favorite, when you don’t start out the campaign well.
Start Kershaw any time you can, play your best lineup available on that day, and go for it all out to start the year.
It is quite weird the Dodgers were scheduled to play the MLB North America Opener – after already flying across the world to play the 1st 2 games in the year.
As for Greinke’s comment on the series before is injury, I agree that the players on the Dodgers team shouldn’t be happy about the schedule makers decision.
I would also love to see someone step up and say the team is going to scrap for those wins in Sydney with the same ferocity they would have if the game was on US soil.
After all, you are playing a team in the opening series that totally despises you right now.
Don’t give me this ‘we are going to hold him out for later in the year crap.’
*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com ***
For all of the Rosters, Depth Charts, State of the Unions and Salaries Posts that we do, please visit our dedicated page link here.
A big thank-you goes out to Our ‘Chief Writer‘ Hunter Stokes for preparing today’s featured article. Hunter is a Baseball Writer for MLB reports.
Hunter grew up in Lynchburg, Virginia and played baseball with Sheldon Bream (Sid Bream‘s son) at Liberty University in the NCAA.
His favorite player is Brian Wilson (how could you guess?), and he hates when people can’t think outside the box!
His favorite expression – is ‘ this At Bat is about ten seconds away from a Toe – Tag!
You can reach Hunter on Twitter Follow @stokes_hunter21
Please e-mail us at: firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions and feedback. To subscribe to our website and have the daily Reports sent directly to your inbox, click here and follow the link at the top of our homepage.Follow @mlbreports
Like us on Facebook here
Posted on March 4, 2014, in The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged 2014 Arizona Diamondbacks, chase field, clayton kershaw, dodger stadium, don mattingly, hanley ramirez, kirk gibson, los angeles dodgers, MLB opening series 2014, national league, nl west, Patrick Corbin, san diego padres, sydney australia, trevor cahill, washington nationals, yasiel puig, zack greinke. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.