By Jacob Kornhauser on March 11, 2014
The Dodgers had a stellar 2013 campaign, eventually losing in the NLCS to the St. Louis Cardinals. They have one of the more stacked pitching rotations and lineups in the league and will look to improve upon their 2013 performance this season. As spring training rolls on, it will become more clear who fits where. As of right now, here are the players that seem to have the upper hand on claiming a coveted spot on the team's 25-man roster.
1. Clayton Kershaw - 16-9 with a 1.83 ERA in 2013
2. Zack Greinke - 15-4 with a 2.63 ERA in 2013
3. Hyun-Jin Ryu - 14-8 with a 3.00 ERA in 2013
4. Dan Haren - 10-14 with a 4.67 ERA in 2013
5. Paul Maholm - 10-11 with a 4.41 ERA in 2013
This rotation has the chance to be deadly. Kershaw, Greinke and Ryu at the top is one of the best trios in baseball.
Chris Perez - 5-3 with a 4.33 ERA and 25 saves in 2013
Brandon League - 6-4 with a 5.30 ERA in 2013
J.P. Howell - 4-1 with a 2.03 ERA in 2013
Paco Rodriguez - 3-4 with a 2.32 ERA in 2013
Jamey Wright - 2-2 with a 3.09 ERA in 2013
This group has a lot of potential, with former back end relievers Perez, League and Howell. Everyone needs to know their role and execute accordingly.
Wilson was a big acquisition in the offseason. Coming over after playing for the rival Giants for several seasons, Wilson really helped shore up the Dodger bullpen. He will hope to carry that with him into 2014.
Jansen has been as dependable as they come, recording 53 saves over the past two seasons with the Dodgers. With him and Wilson at the back of the bullpen, the Dodgers should be able to hold onto most late leads they have this season.
Puig burst onto the scene as a rookie a year ago and will look to improve upon that performance this season. He plays with an infectious passion and won't likely lose that anytime soon.
The veteran outfielder has found new life in the bright lights of Los Angeles. While not as speedy as he used to be, Crawford is still a threat to run and will fit nicely into the leadoff spot or No. 2 hole for the Dodgers this season.
As long as he can stay healthy, Ramirez figures to be one of the better pure hitters in baseball again. He always seems to hit for a high average but can't stay on the field for an entire season. If he can combine health and production, things will be looking up for the Dodgers in 2014.
Cleaning up for the Dodgers, Gonzalez provides raw power that the Dodgers are in need of. The top of the order gets on base quite a bit which means Gonzalez should have plenty of RBI opportunities again this season.
Another Dodger who is oft-injured, Kemp could be a big piece in L.A. if he can stay healthy. He was an MVP candidate in seasons that he stayed healthy and he can do that again. The rest of the National League better look out if he can stay on the field for an entire season.
Uribe is a veteran who still is a plus glove at the hot corner and can hold his own at the plate. He's a solid cog in the No. 6 spot in the order and can act as a bridge from the top of the order to the bottom.
He isn't flashy, but for the most part, Ellis is effective. As long as he plays solid defense and plays his role in the offense, Ellis will be just fine in this loaded Dodger offense.
Signed out of Cuba last summer, Guerrero is an intriguing major-league ready prospect. He will be competing with Dee Gordon for the starting second base job, but his stronger upside should win him the job in spring training.
OF Andre Ethier - .272 with 12 HRs and 52 RBI in 2013
MI Dee Gordon - .234 with one HR, 6 RBI, 10 SBs in 2013
C Tim Federowicz - .231 with 4 HRs and 16 RBI in 2013
SS Corey Seager - .269 with 16 HRs and 72 RBI (Triple-A) in 2013
Any team that has Ethier on their bench is in good shape and that's exactly where the Dodgers are. Seager will have to show something to make the team, but he's talented enough to play in The Show right now.
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