Come on, come one, come on. Can we do this already? This waiting has been a killer. Spring training should have started last week, or maybe last month.
It’s supposed to be the same every year, but for some reason this spring’s start seemed to take an eternity. Maybe it’s because of all the Dodgers’ new pieces or new management or simple curiosity.
What have the Dodgers wrought?
Let’s get it started, hah!
The Dodgers won 94 games last season, captured the National League West, were shoved aside in the first round of the playoffs by the Cardinals for the second consecutive season, and then all hell broke loose.
A blowtorch was taken to the front office. President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman, General Manager Farhan Zaidi, Senior VP of Baseball Operations Josh Byrnes, Director of Player Development Gabe Kapler, VP of Amateur and International Scouting David Finley, Director of Amateur Scouting Billy Gasparino, Director of Player Personnel Galen Carr, Special Assistant Pro Scouting and Player Development Jeff Pickler – all spanking new.
They got busy too, particularly Friedman and Farhan. There are 18 new Dodgers on the 40-man roster this spring. Maybe four new regulars in the daily lineup. A revamped bullpen. Now a need for an early-season closer. Two new starting pitchers.
What has the Geek Squad wrought?
So many questions. Will the power loss of Matt Kemp and Hanley Ramirez really be offset by a supposedly deeper lineup? Will an improved defense translate into an even more dominating rotation? Will the roster prove more functional? Will starters Brandon McCarthy and Brett Anderson actually stay healthy?
Say this for the Dodgers, when the pitchers and catchers report Thursday morning at Camelback Ranch, the team won’t lack for intrigue.
How will Yasmani Grandal and A.J. Ellis split time at catcher? Does Joc Pederson step up and win the centerfield job? Will Andre Ethier win a spot or be traded? What happens with Alex Guerrero? Can Carl Crawford make it through the entire season? Will the latest, greatest Cuban import show up next week? Do we get our first looks at phenoms Corey Seager and Julio Urias?
Answers, we must have answers. There’s a new emphasis on “analytics.” How does that actually translate, aside from the inevitable pocket calculator giveaway night? Will all those new faces in the bullpen mean real improvement? Does peace and harmony in the clubhouse render more victories? Are they actually going to "battle" more with each at-bat and be stronger fundamentally?
Spring training has finally arrived and now the answers can start coming forth. It’s taken just short of forever. Curiosity abounds with the Dodgers like maybe never before.
Let’s get it started, in here!