Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
Fantasy Football Today Blog
Gameday Inactives
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Scores
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
Fantasy Baseball Today Blog
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

2013 Fantasy outlooks: Los Angeles Dodgers

Senior Fantasy Writer
  •  

For all the headline-grabbing moves the Los Angeles Dodgers made beginning in July, the team still has some measure of intrigue, as there are plenty of question marks dotting the lineup.

Matt Kemp, the team's brightest star, is coming back from shoulder surgery. And it wasn't just your run-of-the-mill scope. Kemp had a torn labrum and a debridement of the rotator cuff -- injuries that were found to be far more serious than initially thought during the surgery. And Kemp may be the least of the team's worries.

The Dodgers will also be keeping their fingers crossed and hoping for vintage performances from Carl Crawford, who played just 31 games last year thanks to wrist and elbow injuries; Hanley Ramirez, whose star has fallen greatly since a three-year All-Star run ended in 2010, and Adrian Gonzalez, whose 18 home runs and .806 OPS in 2012 were the lowest since he was a rookie with the Rangers. Propping this group up are supplemental pieces Mark Ellis, Andre Ethier, Luis Cruz and A.J. Ellis. So if things go south with the assortment of superstar bats, the Dodgers will have to rely on a group of players who can be somewhat erratic with their production.

2013 Fantasy Outlooks
A.L. East N.L. East
Orioles Braves
Red Sox Marlins
Yankees Mets
Rays Phillies
Blue Jays Nationals
A.L. Central N.L. Central
White Sox Cubs
Indians Reds
Tigers Brewers
Royals Pirates
Twins Cardinals
A.L. West N.L. West
Astros Diamondbacks
Angels Rockies
Athletics Dodgers
Mariners Padres
Rangers Giants

Of course, this is the pessimistic view of things. It's well within the realm of possibility for Kemp to flirt with 40/40, Crawford to have a career resurgence after missing essentially an entire season, Ramirez to return to form back in his comfort zone of playing shortstop and Gonzalez to revert to his power-hitting old self in a glorious return to the National League West. Crawford, Gonzalez and Ramirez have the added bonus of escaping from severely dysfunctional teams (the 2012 Red Sox and Marlins) and the change of clubhouse alone could propel them to the heights of old. If they do return to form, Ethier, Cruz and the Ellises could be in for big seasons, just by being in the general vicinity of these big bats.

It's not just the collection of bats that will have question marks floating over their heads this year. The rotation features one of the game's best young pitchers in Clayton Kershaw, who missed time in September with a hip issue (which he claims is behind him and no longer a problem). Zack Greinke is a former Cy Young Award winner, but has a higher-than-you-may-realize 3.83 ERA over the last three years, and has struck out a batter per inning in just one of those last three seasons. Josh Beckett is as enigmatic as they come, producing spectacular seasons and disasters on an every-other-year basis. Hyun-Jin Ryu put up spectacular numbers in Korea and is slated to pitch in the No. 4 spot, but Korea's competition level is not the same as Japan's and he could meet some challenges in the majors.

Then again, Kershaw and Greinke are legitimate aces, Beckett can pitch at an ace level if motivated and healthy and Ryu could be a revelation, able to fool batters with his battery of unseen and mostly un-scouted pitches. And while Brandon League is slated to close for the Dodgers, don't be surprised if Kenley Jansen finds himself in the mix, as well.

There will be a lot of "yeah, but..." type arguments leading up to the start of the season for the Dodgers. But they at least have the benefit of having plenty of these question marks -- meaning that if a couple go sour, and a couple take off, they'll even out to being in a pretty good place, especially considering their bench and rotation depth.

Bounceback ... Josh Beckett, starting pitcher

2013 projected lineup
Player Name Position
1. Mark Ellis 2B
2. Carl Crawford LF
3. Matt Kemp CF
4. Adrian Gonzalez 1B
5. Hanley Ramirez SS
6. Andre Ethier RF
7. Luis Cruz 3B
8. A.J. Ellis C
Bench Nick Punto IF
Bench Skip Schumaker IF/OF
Bench Juan Uribe IF

Beckett has been written off by most of the Fantasy world after putting up a 4.65 ERA and 1.33 WHIP in 2012. His biggest transgression may have been letting his strikeout rate drop to 7.0 K/9 -- the second-lowest of his career. But hidden in those numbers is Beckett's turnaround when he left the Red Sox. In seven starts with the Dodgers, Beckett had a 2.93 ERA, sending his K/9 up to 8.0. And let's not forget Beckett had a 2.98 ERA and 1.03 WHIP in 2011, which seems to have been washed from the memories of Beckett-haters who want to leave him undrafted in most formats. If Beckett can re-capture his late-season 2012 and 2011 (and 2009, 2007, 2005 ...) magic -- a possible scenario -- he could be that cheap, late-round pitcher on which Fantasy championships are built.

Bounceback, Part II ... Carl Crawford, outfielder

Carl Crawford is only 31 years old but is talked about like he's 36. He's coming off wrist and Tommy John elbow surgery. Yet he still managed to hit .282 and steal five bases in 2012 despite only getting 117 at-bats. Heading into last season, he was a nice candidate for a breakout -- he hit a career-low .255 in his first season with the Red Sox (he had a .296 average prior). His steals plummeted, from 47 in 2010 to 18 in 2011. The Crawford of previous seasons looked like he'd never be seen again. But he now gets a fresh start in Los Angeles with a stacked lineup and much less pressure than he had in his short Boston stint. Crawford will also benefit from playing in a larger home park without the quirks of Fenway, which should get him back up to the 30 double/10 triple range. Additionally, the Dodgers seem like they're not afraid to run. The problem with their 2012 team was that they didn't have many base-stealers. Dee Gordon stole 32 bases in 87 games, Shane Victorino had 15 in his 53-game stint with the Dodgers and Tony Gwynn stole 13 in a limited role. But with Hanley Ramirez, a healthy Matt Kemp and Crawford in the lineup for 2013, the Dodgers will likely be set loose on the basepaths. And the overall philosophy should help Crawford return to his pre-Boston form.

Bounceback, Part III ... Hanley Ramirez, shortstop

2013 rotation/bullpen
Player Name Throws
1. Clayton Kershaw LHP
2. Zack Greinke RHP
3. Josh Beckett RHP
4. Hyun-Jin Ryu LHP
5. Chris Capuano LHP
ALT Aaron Harang RHP
Bullpen Breakdown
1. Brandon League RHP
2. Kenley Jansen RHP
3. Ronald Belisario RHP
4. J.P. Howell LHP
5. Matt Guerrier RHP

Heading into 2011, Ramirez had a .313 career batting average and -- discouting his 2005 debut, in which he had two at-bats for the Red Sox -- Ramirez had averaged 23 home runs, 40 doubles and 39 steals each year of his career. Sure, 2010 really started his decline (which coincided with elbow problems late in the year) but 2011 was when the bottom dropped out. Granted, Ramirez battled leg, foot and back problems early in the year, got hot right around the All-Star break and then tweaked his shoulder, which killed the rest of his season and eventually requierd surgery. In 2012, he dealt with learning a new position on the fly as he came back from the shoulder surgery. Once he got into a groove, he found himself traded to Los Angeles, where he hit .271 with 10 home runs in 251 at-bats. This season, he gets a full reset -- he's back at shortstop, he's a full year removed from the shoulder surgery and he's out of the dysfunction in Miami. Ramirez proved over five years that he could play at an All-Star level, and his injuries are mostly overlooked by the naysayers. With his stock at an all-time low heading into 2013, Ramirez should be a bargain bounceback candidate in most drafts.

Prospects Report

The Dodgers sent a lot of young talent packing via big trades last year, but still managed to retain a decent amount of farm strength. The team gave $42 million to 22-year-old Cuban outfielder Yasiel Puig, who had a .354 average and 1.076 OPS in 23 minor league games last year. While he probably won't see the majors until 2014, Puig makes for a solid keeper pick later in drafts, who may slip through some cracks without a "No. X draft pick" attached to him. ... Paco Rodriguez was the first 2012 draft pick to reach the majors last year, appearing in 11 late-season games and producing a 1.35 ERA and 1.05 WHIP. A reliever by trade, Rodriguez may be the future closer for Los Angeles, but doesn't have immediate keeper value as he looks to be a middle reliever, at best, if he sticks with the team out of spring training. ... Corey Seager was the team's top draft pick in 2012 and had a nice stint in the Pioneer League, hitting .309 with eight home runs and eight steals over 175 at-bats. He probably won't make an impact until 2015.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us on Twitter @CBSFantasyBB or Nando Di Fino at @NandoCBS . You can also send our staff an e-mail at fantasybaseball@cbsinteractive.com .

Get player news notifications, manage your team and check scores
- all updated in real time. Download the CBS Fantasy App.

  •  
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Brewers' Khris Davis to work on being a patient hitter in 2015
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(2/27/2015) Brewers outfielder Khris Davis realizes he didn't show patience at the plate last year in his first full major-league season, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

"I built a reputation in the organization of being a patient hitter," Davis said. "I felt like I wasn't a patient hitter at all last year. I was a little eager, wanting to please too much, too early. I found out I'm human."

Davis drew just 32 walks in 549 plate appearances while posting a .299 OBP in 2014, a number far away from his career .392 OBP in the minors.

"He was different last year," manager Ron Roenicke said. "Everybody goes through different phases. Guys change. (His walk total) was too low. He's a guy I think should be fairly patient. He sees pitches well. When he starts getting anxious, he becomes more aggressive and chases more. He realizes it, which is the first step. If you don't realize it and don't listen to other people when they tell you that, then you have issues. You have to have good self-awareness to be a good player. Sometimes these players don't have good self-awareness. But if they had better self-awareness they'd be a better player."

Davis is determined to fulfill the potential that caused the organization to move Ryan Braun to right field before the 2014 season and plug Davis into the regular left-field role.

"I can't thank them enough for having patience with me," Davis said. "I'm going to work it out. When you get here, you want to stay. That's the toughest part at first. I don't think this league has seen the best of me yet. I'm ready to pull that out and prove it day by day. I learned so many lessons there are too many to name."

Davis hit .244/.299/.457 with 22 home runs and 69 RBI in 501 at-bats.


Indians' Francona keeping a close eye on Giovanny Urshela
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(2/27/2015) Indians manager Terry Francona has been keeping a close eye on third-base prospect Giovanny Urshela, who was only recently cleared for a full range of activities after tweaking his knee during winter ball, MLB.com reports.

"He has a tremendous reputation of being a really good defender," Francona said. "I think I've been more wanting to watch his gait, just to make sure he's not favoring that leg. He promised us that, if he was, he'd let us know, but I also know he's a young kid in his first major-league camp."

Urshela suffered the injury on Nov. 15 and has rehabbed the injured knee at the team's spring-training facility in Goodyear, Ariz.

"He's worked really hard to get himself to where he can go through a normal spring," said Indians' director of player development Carter Hawkins. "We're very excited about the spot he's in right now, given the possible outcomes of the injury."

Urshela saw his first action at the Triple-A level in 2014, hitting .276/.331/.473 with 13 home runs and 65 RBI in 395 at-bats with Columbus.


Reds' Brennan Boesch to see time at first base this spring
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(2/27/2015) Reds manager Bryan Price indicated Friday that outfielder Brennan Boesch would see time at all three outfield spots as well as at first base as he competes for a roster spot this spring, MLB.com reports.

"We already know he's a terrific player," Price said of Boesch, who has never played first base professionally. "He kind of got banged up and lost his way a little bit, but I think he feels -- and we feel -- that he's back on top of his game, and maybe his best days are ahead of him."

Boesch said he doesn't see the battle for a reserve outfield role as a "competition."

"I only care about the competition against the pitcher, and that's really as basic as I keep it," Boesch said. "You aren't competing against other players. We're all on the same side here. We're all wearing Red jerseys. Let the chips fall where they may."

Boesch struggled in limited time with the Angels in 2014 but hit .332/.381/.636 with 25 home runs, 85 RBI and 10 stolen bases in 374 at-bats with Triple-A Salt Lake.


Dodgers' Mattingly: Turner has 'put a lot of time in and it shows'
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(2/27/2015) Dodgers infielder Justin Turner earned a nonroster invitation to the team's camp last year and ended up leading the team in batting average, and he's been working on his body like a fiend over the winter, MLB.com reports.

"Going into last year, we felt if he played every day, he'd get in trouble, and we found that out, but this year maybe he can handle more," manager Don Mattingly said Friday. "He's really been diligent about his work, been at Dodger Stadium almost daily. He's put a lot of time in and it shows."

Turner credited strength-and-conditioning coach Brandon McDaniel for his workout success.

"Brandon did everything. He's been a one-man wrecking crew," said Turner. "He and his family deserve the credit. I've been able to establish a routine and train consistently. Before I signed a year ago, I was on my own, going to 24 Hour Fitness, had to coordinate everything myself."

Turner added that he lost 18 pounds this winter through a healthier diet. Mattingly said that he intends to use the infielder at the corner-infield positions and also potentially up the middle.


Nationals' Matt Skole: 'I'm eating healthy and working hard'
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(2/27/2015) Nationals first baseman Matt Skole missed most of 2013 after undergoing Tommy John surgery and struggled at the plate in 2014 but showed up to camp in better shape and will look to rebound in 2015, MLB.com reports.

"This offseason, I had a little more time to work on my body," Skole said. "I really got after it in the weight room. I ate right. I ate healthy. I think that was probably the biggest difference for me. I'm about the same weight as I was. I just leaned out a little bit. I'm eating healthy and working hard."

Skole worked with hitting coordinator Troy Gingrich for a month after the season and learned to keep his hands up in order to hit the ball consistently after having his hands too low during his down 2014 season.

"After taking a year off, it was more difficult than I thought it would be," the left-handed-swinging Skole said. "But coming back, I turned some corners, made some strides as far as getting to know myself as a player and know the things I need to fix. I think everything I did last year was a stepping stone for this year."

Skole hit .241/.352/.399 with 14 home runs and 68 RBI in 461 at-bats with Double-A Harrisburg last season.


Report: Dodgers sign center fielder Travis Witherspoon
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(2/27/2015) The Dodgers signed center fielder Travis Witherspoon to their organization, according to a report from Baseball America

Witherspoon has previously been in the Angels and Mariners organizations. In six years of minor-league ball, Witherspoon has posted a career batting average of .252 with 68 home runs. He hit a minor-league single-season best 15 home runs in 2014 with the Mariners' Single-A affiliate High Desert Mavericks. 


Phillies' Buchanan 'working on being a complete pitcher'
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(2/27/2015) Phillies pitcher David Buchanan is "working on being a complete pitcher," manager Ryan Sandberg said, per the Philadelphia Inquirer.

The team's coaches spoke with Buchanan in the fall about command and pitch sequencing, executing bunts and thwarting would-be base-stealers, and Sandberg noted while examining the players that arrived early that the pitcher had taken the advice to heart.

"My biggest goal [this spring] is to show our front office and our coaches that I can throw the ball over the plate," Buchanan said. "That's one thing I had success with last year. I wasn't walking guys. I was throwing strikes, and that's what I'm known for. That's why I succeeded in the minor leagues; I was throwing strikes. So that's what I want to do this spring training, is continue to do that, pound the zone, force early contact and keep the ball on the ground."

Buchanan is scheduled to pitch the team's Grapefruit League opener Tuesday against the Yankees.


Giants' Bochy: Hunter Strickland 'needs to get a little smarter'
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(2/27/2015) Giants pitcher Hunter Strickland is ready to learn from his mistakes from the tail end of his 2014 season.

Starting strong once he was called up from Double-A Richmond, Strickland gave up six home runs in the postseason. Giants manager Bruce Bochy said the remedy to put Strickland back on track is simple. 

"He needs to get a little smarter," Bochy said, per MLB.com.  

Strickland will be competing for a spot in the bullpen during spring training. His fastball is a strength, though it's a matter of his command improving on the mound. 

"The failures are what make guys better, I feel like," Strickland said. "I feel like they made me better. Just being in tune with yourself and knowing who you are and what you've got to do. In this game, you're not going to make it too far if you don't have confidence. If you don't believe in yourself, who else is going to believe in you?"


Mets' Nieuwenhuis, den Dekker competing for roster spot
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(2/27/2015) Mets left-handed hitters Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Matt den Dekker will be battling for one roster spot this spring, MLB.com reports.

While Nieuwenhuis is out of options, manager Terry Collins indicated that den Dekker has responded to the team's request that he reduce his strikeouts when sent to Triple-A last season.

"We'll just see how it translates this spring into what kind of an offensive player he can be," Collins said of den Dekker. "We know he's got the defensive skills."

Collins said that whichever outfielder shows the most promise will make the initial 25-man roster.

"He plays the game right. He's fearless," Collins said of Nieuwenhuis. "But right now, we've got to get some offense from one of those two guys. Which one of those two guys is going to be able to come off the bench as a pinch-hitter? The best closers in our division are all right-handed, so the left-handed hitter off that bench is going to be a big piece."


Stephen Strasburg wants to stay with Nationals
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(2/27/2015) Though Stephen Strasburg's agent Scott Boras denied a report that he wanted to be traded in January, the right-handed pitcher said himself that he wants to remain with the Nationals and has no issues with the organization. 

"I haven't said anything like that," Strasburg said in an interview with MLB.com. "I don't feel like that. You have to accept it because that's how the system works. It's like they pick up on any little thing and they twist it. Some people want to turn it to see how many clicks they can get on the webpage."

Strasburg is set to be the ace of a deep rotation that looks to be on of the best in baseball this coming season. With the Nationals winning their second divisional title in the past three seasons, Strasburg said he's happy with the organization. 

"It's the team that drafted me. I love the players here, I love D.C. Winning cures everything, that's for sure," Strasburg said. "I'm excited to be part of the resurgence so far. It's great to see the type of players we bring in here every year. The expectations keep going up and up. Hopefully, we can do big things this year."


 
 
 
Rankings