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
Girardi: Yankees 'taking it slow' with Carlos Beltran
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(6:15 pm ET) The Yankees are taking things slow with outfielder Carlos Beltran, and he won't be rushed into full throwing drills until he indicates he's ready, NJ.com reports.

"We're just taking it slow," manager Joe Girardi said. "He's done some throwing. We don't feel, with five weeks of games, there's really any reason to rush him. Guys do their work. But let's make sure he feels really good where he's at and we feel really good about where he's at."

Beltran had a bone spur removed from his elbow in October. He dealt with the issue throughout last season and hit just .233/.301/.402 with 15 home runs and 49 RBI in 403 at-bats. Beltran has performed light throwing drills and taken part in batting practice since reporting to camp Wednesday.


Miguel Montero trying to become workhorse with Cubs in 2015
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(6:00 pm ET) New Cubs catcher Miguel Montero played the third most games behind the plate of all catchers in 2014 and he's not asking for any extra time off heading into 2015, reports MLB.com.

"I think the results of how you're playing as a team will dictate how you feel," Montero said. "You go to the playoffs, you're never tired. Your adrenaline goes so fast. You don't have time to think about, 'Oh, I've been catching 140 games.' Your mindset is, 'Let's go.'"

Manager Joe Maddon loves what he's seen from Montero, but knows expecting 162 games out of him is just too much.

"It won't be 162," Maddon said, "but we'll talk and try to figure out a nice little program to keep him on top of his game and provide that opportunity for other guys to play, too."


Indians pitcher Trevor Bauer focused bouncing back in 2015
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(5:56 pm ET) Indians pitcher Trevor Bauer is ready to get back on the field in 2015. After posting a 5-8 record with a 4.18 ERA in 26 starts last year, Bauer is starting to throw earlier than he usually does, reports MLB.com.

"This is the first time I've finished a year in the big leagues, so I had a month extra of season," Bauer said. "So that's one less month of the offseason. I'm used to targeting about the middle of February to be ready to go in games, so when I come to spring training I'm at peak level to try to make the team. That was really tough to do this offseason, just because I couldn't start throwing until Nov. 1."

Manager Terry Francona is not worried about his pitcher's focus for the upcoming season.

"Regardless of what you tell him, I think he has his own things that drive him every time he goes out," Francona said. "There's maybe a different purpose every time, but there's something he's trying to strive for. I don't think he really picks up a ball very often without a goal. Sometimes, I know he even charts it, just because it keeps him motivated to do the things he's aiming for."


Royals' Terrance Gore: 'I know I've got work to do'
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(5:52 pm ET) Royals outfielder Terrance Gore served a key role in the team's postseason run in 2014 as a speedy pinch runner, but he's set to begin the season back in the minors to continue working on his hitting, MLB.com reports.

"They know I can do that job," Gore said. "But I have to handle the stick a little better. My bunting can improve. My hitting can improve."

Gore hit just .218/.284/.258 with 36 stolen bases in 252 at-bats with high Class A Wilmington last season. He also added 11 stolen bases while going 5 for 20 with Triple-A Omaha.

"If I could just hit .260 or .270, I'd steal 100 bases," Gore said. "I was hitting like .220 last year and still stole almost 50."

Jarrod Dyson is set to serve as the team's primary reserve outfielder.


Reds' Bryan Price singles out Nick Travieso
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(5:42 pm ET) Reds manager Bryan Price singled out the work of pitching prospect Nick Travieso before Saturday's workout, MLB.com reports.

"We get the reports, so we're looking at our players, but when you get to see these young guys perform, it leaves more of an impression than group of statistics. He's been great," Price said of Travieso. "He's a physical guy who's throwing at the bottom of the strike zone, which is very important to see guys that don't just have arm strength but bottom-of-the-strike-zone command. He's has a very, very good slider. He's a yes-sir, no-sir guy. The rest of the organization is excited about him too. It gave me even more excitement to see him personally."

Travieso wasn't completely satisfied with Saturday's live batting practice session but liked his finish.

"I think I started off trying to do a little too much," Travieso said. "I didn't have my best stuff today so I tried to compensate by throwing it harder. Tucker Barnhart behind the plate kind of calmed me down and told me to get in line with my front shoulder. After that, everything was pretty smooth."

Travieso, who was named the team's minor-league pitcher of the year in 2014, went 14-5 with a 3.04 ERA and 114:44 K:BB ratio in 142 1/3 innings with Class A Dayton last season.


Astros' Jon Singleton ready to fight off disappointing 2014 season
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(5:42 pm ET) Astros first baseman Jon Singleton is ready to put the 2014 season in his rear view mirror. Singleton hit a woeful .168 with 13 home runs and 44 RBI in 310 plate appearances in 2014.

"To be honest, I believe the only competition I have is myself," Singleton said. "I feel like I'm the only person who can prevent myself from reaching the potential I need to reach or getting out of the game what I need to get out, but if I prepare and I work and I leave it all out there, there's nothing really else to worry about."

Manager A.J. Hinch thinks Singleton is a threat to hit 30 home runs this year.

"He's done what he needs to do this offseason to come in and improve off of, not only a tremendous Minor League career, but his start to the Major League career last year, which was mixed," general manager Jeff Luhnow said. "My money's on Jon Singleton to do the things he needs to do to make this club."


Dodgers C Yasmani Grandal impressing early at camp
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(5:33 pm ET) Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal has impressed at Camp Boomer, presided over by Dodgers coach Steve "Boomer" Yeager, MLB.com reports.

"I like what I see and what I hear from him," Yeager said. "It takes time to gain the respect of the pitching staff and teammates whenever a catcher comes from somewhere else, but some of them already know him. In the old Dodger tradition, we've welcomed him with open arms. He has come in with a good attitude; you don't have to go looking for him. He's right there, ready to go to work."

Grandal was acquired this offseason as the centerpiece in the trade that sent outfielder Matt Kemp to San Diego.

"In a short time, I've already learned a lot," Grandal said. "Getting to know the guys, catching bullpens, I'm getting a feel for how they throw. Everything comes with time. Once the games start [on Wednesday], it'll definitely come a little faster. I need to get to know what guys are looking for in a catcher, what their mentality is. Some guys like you to give them a pat on the back. With others, it's a different approach."

Grandal is expected to share time behind the plate with incumbent starter A.J. Ellis this season.


Phillies backup catcher spot up for grabs
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(5:26 pm ET) The Phillies know Carlos Ruiz will be their opening day starter behind the plate. However, manager Ryne Sandberg is unclear as to who will backup Ruiz when the season begins, reports Philly.com.

"That's one of the areas in camp I think there's some competition," Sandberg said. "[I] need some game reps and game situations to really see them. I like the way that they're all going about it as a group. To get them into games and see how that goes, that will play big in that decision."

Cameron Rupp, Koyie Hill and John Hester are all vying for the position. Rupp is considered the favorite, according to the report, with the most pro experience, hitting .183 with six RBI and four runs scored in 60 plate appearances last season.

"Nothing's handed to anybody," Rupp said, "so I come out every day looking to get better, work on things that I need to improve on, and put my best foot forward."


Orioles' Matt Wieters to catch intrasquad game Sunday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(5:22 pm ET) Orioles catcher Matt Wieters will be behind the plate in a game situation for the first time since May when he starts Sunday's intrasquad game, the Baltimore Sun reports.

"This is a day I've been waiting for about nine months now," Wieters said. "It's what I enjoy doing and even though it won't be full catching and throwing and doing everything full, it's still nice to get behind the plate and be able to get work in as a catcher at least."

Wieters, who had elbow ligament reconstruction surgery last June, is scheduled to catch two innings Sunday. He won't throw at 100 percent until March 17 but will continue to work in simulatd scenarios behind the plate in order to allow him to catch five-to-seven innings when he's ready for Grapefruit League games.


Padres 2B Jedd Gyorko working on swing
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(5:06 pm ET) Padres second baseman Jedd Gyorko is working on his swing in the early stages of camp, and one area of focus is keeping his hips aligned to not be vulnerable to pitches away, MLB.com reports.

"We're making sure the hips stay in so they don't come out like they did at the beginning of last year to make sure everything is working in the right direction," Gyorko said of his work with hitting coach Mark Kotsay. "It allows me to see the ball a little longer and a little better. It will allow me to hit the ball the other way with power or just shoot it the other way, and gets me on time to pull the ball so I don't get jammed."

Gyorko played just 111 games last season due to plantar fasciitis, hitting .210/.280/.333 with 10 home runs and 51 RBI in 400 at-bats.


 
 
 
Rankings