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Five Spring Training Questions – Los Angeles Dodgers

5) With a bullpen full of closers, will they be happy in other roles?

4) Do they try to tame Yasiel Puig, or let him play?

3) How do they fix the crowded outfield?

2) Who bats leadoff?

1) What kind of expectations come with having a payroll that large?

 

5) As long as Kenley Jansen keeps the job everything will be fine. But, if he does not, everything could implode and lead to a full blown meltdown. Who would be next in line? Brian Wilson, Chris Perez or Brandon League, all of whom have closing experience. And between the three of them they account for over $24 Million in 2014 payroll.

4) Simply put, you tame him off the field, but let him be Puig on the field. Stop him from speeding in his car, but let him run with reckless abandonment on the field.

3) Your choices are – Trade someone, hope for an injury, or sit a high profile on the bench. You certainly do not want to wish injury, and I do not see Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, Carl Crawford, or Puig sitting on the bench and being happy with it. So the third choice seems to be the logical choice, which is trade one of them. My prediction, Matt Kemp becomes a Chicago Cub in a trade for Mike Olt mainly because the Dodgers do not have trust that Juan Uribe can hold the third base position down despite his newly signed 2 year $15 million dollar contract. Kemp would help the Cubs sell tickets.

2) If you objectively look at the numbers, it should be Andre Ethier. His 8 year career has him at a .288 batting average with a yearly average of 109 strikeouts and 62 walks, a respectable on base plus slugging percentage of .832 and believe it or not in 4006 total at bats he has only hit into 87 double plays. The only other option is to find a spot for Dee Gordon to play and bat him leadoff.

1) I guess the answer to this question depends on who you ask. If you are in the Dodger organization, I would expect you to say to play and ultimately win the World Series. If you ask their fans, is a playoff berth good enough? Here is the way I look at it from a baseball fan’s perspective, not a Dodgers fan. If you outspend your opponent by $50, $60, or $100 million dollars (they are out spending the Giants by over $60 million, the Diamondbacks by over $106 million, the Rockies by over $130 million and the Padres by over $135 million) then you should beat that opponent 9 out of every 10 times. They should at least win every division series in the regular season, they should never be in second place, even for a game of the regular season and theyshould have a comfortable lead by the All-Star break.  The real question may be, will the pressure of big dollars cause an even bigger explosion?