A busier month for me than January, but I was set back a bit by illness. Fortunately, I still managed to write about Hyun Jin Ryu‘s sophomore campaign, extending Hanley Ramirez, two Spring Training position previews, started a mailbag (yes, really), and made a GIF.
With Clayton Kershaw now locked up, the only main cog left unattended to is Ramirez, who becomes a free agent after the season. And make no mistake, despite Hanley’s performance struggles in previous years and concerns about injuries, he remains an elite talent.
Without Masahiro Tanaka in the fold, and with the fifth starter role still up in the air, Hyun Jin Ryu‘s ability to be consistent as the Dodgers‘ #3 starter becomes all the more important to the quality and depth of the 2014 starting rotation. Since his performance will be key this year, Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles wondered if the team should worry that Ryu is due for a sophomore slump.
A mailbag? Yes, a mailbag.
In all our collective wisdom here at Dodgers Digest, I don’t believe any of us have ever tried a mailbag that simply answers your questions, probably because you’re all so frightening and intimidating. Fortunately, with all our powers combined, we were able to summon the courage to answer all your questions (sort of).
In the same vein as other positions done thus far, the Dodgers don’t have a ton of depth at third base. This is both because of a lack of action in the utility infielder market during the off-season and because the Dodgers have basically no minor-league depth at the position to speak of.
As for the main guys, Matt Kemp‘s value to this roster depends completely on his health. While some are actively worrying about the fact that he won’t be playing in Australia, it’s a sigh of relief for me. What he needs is to start a year confident in his health instead of constantly forcing himself to play injured and then acting surprised/angry when he aggravates something. Last off-season, he fooled me with the BS rhetoric about his shoulder being okay and that he just needed to play rust off, so I’m glad that he’s taking it slow this time around.
Yasiel Puig is ready for the season opener in Australia in this Dodgers promo, where he uses a cricket bat as a lightsaber, complete with Star Wars sound effects. Then he makes weird noises.