5 Questions Los Angeles Dodgers Must Answer During Spring Training
5 Questions Los Angeles Dodgers Must Answer In Spring Training
The Los Angeles Dodgers went into the 2013 Major League Baseball season surrounded by extreme hype and could not have gotten off to a worse start. By June they were in last place in the NL West when Cuban rookie Yasiel Puig was called up to the show and sparked a remarkable resurgence. They never looked back from there. At one point they won 42 of 50 games during the second half of the season, taking them from last place to a division title and a ticket to play the St. Louis Cardinals in the playoffs. Although they lost the series 4-2, they learned to muster some team chemistry; and the group of ultra-talented and highly paid stars GM Ned Colletti built looks to take that experience into the 2014 season with a chip on their collective shoulders on the way to a World Series title.
Although the Dodgers have seemingly endless financial resources and have put together a roster that has a current or former All-Star at almost every position, no team is without flaw. The Dodgers have just as many storylines that will play out in Spring Training as any other team in the league.
The NL West looks to be a very competitive division in 2014. The San Diego Padres are flying under the radar with some great young players, and the Colorado Rockies have made moves to rectify what was a tough 2013 campaign. Former Dodgers' great, Kirk Gibson, leads a talented and balanced Arizona Diamondbacks squad that will compete, and the San Francisco Giants have a spectacular pitching staff and a much improved offense that will give Los Angeles trouble all season. However, the Dodgers have the talent to shine through the rest, but they must answer these lingering questions during Spring Training. If they are able to do so, expect to see them around in October.
Timothy Downs is a fantasy sports writer at RantSports.com. You can follow him on Twitter @tidow1212.
5. Is Andre Ethier Worth Keeping?
The Dodgers are in a tough spot with Ethier. He played well in 2013, but they have a logjam in the outfield making the former All-Star expendable.
4. Who Is The Fifth Starter?
There are multiple players who could cement the fifth spot in the rotation. Chad Billingsley will put up a fight, but expect Josh Beckett to win the job barring a free-agent signing.
3. Who Is The Second Baseman?
Alexander Guerrero looks to have the best opportunity to win the job, but don't be surprised to see newly acquired former Met, Justin Turner, playing more often than not if he does well in Spring Training.
2. What To Do With Matt Kemp?
Obviously Kemp is a great player, but he has struggled with injuries and has been frustrated with ownership. The Dodgers have four solid outfielders, and Kemp would bring back the most value in a trade.
1. Where Will Yasiel Puig Bat In The Order?
Manager Don Mattingly recently hinted that the club could bat Puig in the leadoff spot, but do not bank on it. He has way too much power for such a move, and it is easier to replace on-base prowess than it is power.