Sunday, April 5, 2009

Lineup Against the Wall: Humberto's, Johnny Utah's L.A. Dodgers

Let me just start off by saying that if you use the word Dodgerball in your everyday life, feel free to get bent.

There. I feel much better. Are the Dodgers likable to non-Dodger fans? Are they? I can't really tell how I feel about them. As a kid they were great. Just flippin' stacked. Now they're just kind of obnoxious, it seems. I'm not really sure why, so please, after you've read this thoroughly researched, poignant post-jump lineup assessment, share your thoughts in the comments.

The lineup:

1) CF Matt Kemp
2) 1B James Loney
3) RF Andre Ethier
4) LF Manny Ramirez
5) SS Rafael Furcal
6) 2B Orlando Hudson
7) C Russell Martin
8) 3B Casey Blake

Three things about these hitters: 1) They're old, 2) they're slow, and 3) they can hit. Honestly, if this team can stay healthy, they'll be a threat, but I really don't think they will. Yes, there's some youth mixed in with all that experience, but I feel like the mix might be a bit much for L.A. this year. In a nutshell, I feel like the Dodgers' potential for success will depend heavily on the under-achievments of the pitching staffs in their division. That's the ticket; if they face shitty or inconsistent pitching, they can use that as a crutch for their old-ass selves, because frankly, they're not going to be hurling that well from their own mound.

1) Hiroki Kuroda
2) Randy Wolf
3) Chad Billingsley
4) Clayton Kershaw
5) James McDonald

About the best thing I can say for this staff is that they walk very few batters. They manage to get their fair share of strikeouts, but they just don't seem cohesive enough to dominate, and their rotation was an issue last year as well. How Kuroda is your opening-day starter over Billingsley is beyond me. Why you were interested in obtaining Randy Wolf is a bit of a puzzle as well. Clayton Kershaw may develop into a 15-game winner for you one day, but I doubt it'll happen this year. James McDonald was a September call-up last year, and he makes the rotation? Sounds pretty fishy to me until you consider just how young the Dodger bullpen is. They are damn young.

Throw in a couple of sucky journeymen like Guillermo Mota and, well, you're bummin'. The good news is that Hong Chi-Kuo and Jonathan Broxton are better than decent. The bad news is that that ain't gonna be enough. The Dodger sticks keep them in contention through mid-September, but second place is meant for them this year.


Cecil said...

I admit to some closet Dodger-like.