Tuesday, March 30, 2010

More Gammons Quotage

From "Six Teams To Watch" on mlb.com:

2. Dodgers

"I look at the Dodgers, think about [Rafael] Furcal leading off, [Matt] Kemp, Manny [Ramirez] and [Andre] Ethier 3-4-5, see [Clayton] Kershaw, [Chad] Billingsley and [Jonathan] Broxton and see a lot of star-quality players," says one GM.

Kemp and Ethier are exploding into superstardom, with the character to boot.

Torre says, "This will be James Loney's breakout season. It is all coming together." As Don Mattingly points out, Loney is already a very good situational hitter who's knocked in 90 runs two years in a row, "but while he's very good hitting in the gaps, there's a lot more as he learns."

Russell Martin put his weight back on, says, "I have my legs back and can drive the ball again," which means he can be a 50-doubles hitter at any time.

Even if Ramirez is somewhere between what he was in 2008 and what he was when he came back, 25-30 homers and a .900 OPS in Dodger Stadium will do just fine. He did get paid the remainder of his 2009 contract this year, but how happy he'll be knowing his 2010 salary is deferred could be an issue, although this is a contract season.

Blake is a leader and consummate professional, Blake DeWitt can hit and is improving at second, and the players are thrilled with what GM Ned Colletti got for virtually nothing in Reed Johnson, Garret Anderson, Ronnie Belliard, Brad Ausmus and the ever-undervalued Jamey Carroll to give Torre a solid veteran bench.

The issues over the long haul will be pitching depth. Kershaw, Billingsley, Hiroki Kuroda, Vincente Padilla and either Russ or Ramon Ortiz are the starters. How Kuroda and Padilla hold up will be interesting, and with Ronald Belisario unable to get into the U.S., and Hong-Chih Kuo on the DL, there will be more pressure on George Sherrill and Broxton.

In time, Chris Withrow and Josh Lindblom could come out of the Minors to help down the stretch. Withrow, two years off injury and Steve Blass-like control problems, was one of the most impressive young pitchers in Arizona.

The Dodgers are really good, and like the Rockies, the soul of the team -- Kemp, Ethier, Kershaw -- are coming into their primes. They just can't afford to have holes to fill come the Trade Deadline.

Better get ready, Mr. Loney. Gammons thinks you're about to be even more freed...


Steve Dittmore said...

What? No Nick Green love from Gammons?