Some months ago, I touted (much to the chagrin of others) that the Dodgers didn't have enough pieces to make it to the playoffs, let alone make a deep run. I also espoused the need for loads of new talent, as well as help with pitching and hitting, to get them anywhere positive. The new ownership and management team have done quite a bit. And, almost all of it is for the better. I worry that waiting until the deadline to make big acquisitions and/or trades was not the best timing.
As I see it, the pickup of Joe Blanton is meh, because he will be .500 at best (like his career has shown). Randy Choate wont get much below his 4.00 era that he has in his games with us. Brandon League is a lost cause. And that's just pitching. We have not gotten better in that department. And with Ted Lilly possibly not coming back with his decent stuff, or at all, we will be relying on two guys to do the heavy lifting, with one possibility (Billingsley) to pick up the slack if he feels like it. If Billingsley can stay on the pace he has since a stint on the DL, he will be something down the stretch. But, stats don't lie. His season line is average, at best. One left handed situational reliever with issues (Choate) does not a championship caliber bullpen, make. If the only other lefty, Elbert, doesn't prove to be healthy, we're in trouble.
Then there's the bats. One at a time.
James Loney is not a "bat". First baseman should have power, especially if their going to hit into an infinite amount of double plays. He is a glove, that's it.
Mark Ellis at 2B, is the man. Humble. Dependable. And doing all the right things. Stay healthy, Mark.
I see weird things happening if Dee Gordon comes back. Is it just me, or is Hanley fine right where he is? I mean, lets not jostle the infield to make room for a .220 leadoff hitter, with enough errors to make my Grandmother embarrassed. Dee needs to go back down to AAA to marinate for a while. He is not good. Hear me? He has legs. That's it. For a SS to be worth a damn, he has to have more than one tool. Let's just leave Hanley, who is a proven SS, right where he is.
The eight headed monster that is 3B will stay that way. Luis Cruz is fine enough over there, and with Hairston hurt, and Uribe getting fatter, that may be our only option. You can't put Dee there, and Herrera is anyone's guess. That position may spell trouble down the stretch, especially when Cruz starts to wane, and the pressures of the post season mount. As I see it, besides the outfield, the middle infield is the only dependable thing we've got to thank our lucky stars about.
A.J. Ellis, is as advertised, if not better. So, stay healthy, and keep calling good games.
I never thought I would see Victorino in Dodger Blue. After learning to hate him and his pesky ways, I am so glad he is on our team, and not on an opponents. He will help, big time. Score one for the Boys In Blue. Shane will do something grand. Mark my words.
Kemp will not be eligible for the batting title due to his long absence while injured. But, he should finish well above .300.
Ethier is a bit of a mystery to me. Long my favorite Dodger, he has long droughts, and forgets to do the thing he does so well, hit for power. I wonder if those days are over. However, being a solid defender, and an above average hitter will make me smile as long as he stays healthy. So, our outfield is golden.
Long story short: Only luck will allow us to beat the big offenses of the rest of the NL. By the way, our team pitching is second best in the NL. But, our offense is dead last in HR's. We don't have the pieces.