2008 Los Angeles Dodgers Baseball Preview

The Los Angeles Dodgers (82- 80) hired Joe Torre to see if he could do what Grady Little cold not—get the Dodgers a World Championship. GM Ned Colletti sealed the deal for free agents Andruw Jones, Russel Martin and Hiroki Kuroda. With those additions, this team certainly has a chance to succeed.

Last year’s pitching staff was good but it wasn’t good enough. Brad Penny (16- 4, 3.03 ERA, 135 SO) had a fine year. Penny utilizes each of his three pitches. New man, Hiroki (12- 8, 3.56 ERA in Japan), possesses an effective fastball and a tough slider. Derek Lowe (12- 14, 3.88 ERA, 147 SO) is a sinkerballer who pays mightily when that pitch stays up. Power pitch Chad Billingsley (12- 5, 3.31 ERA, 141 SO) throws a 90- 95 mph fastball. He has a sound, biting slider and a tight curveball. Closer Takashi Saito (2- 1, 1.40 ERA, 39 SV, 78 SO) uses three effective pitches—fastball, slider and curve. He’s one of the best closers around.

Russel Martin (.293 BA, 19 HR, 87 RBI) is one of the best hitting catchers in the league. A selective hitter, he uses his time at the plate well, ably placing the ball in all fields. This infield can hit. 1B James Loney (.331 BA, 15 HR 67 RBI), 2B Jeff Kent (.302 BA, 20 HR, 79 RBI) and 3B Nomar Garciaparra (.283 BA, 7 HR, 59 RBI) offer solid offensive numbers. Garciaparra continues to have health issues. In right, Matt Kemp (.342 BA, 10 HR, 42 RBI) is a gifted all-around athlete. Newly arrived Jones (.222 BA, 26 HR, 94 RBI) had an off year at the plate in his final season with Atlanta. Look for him to pick up that average this year.

The Dodgers ably turned DPs last season but had their woes as far as errors were concerned. Jones, a 10-time Gold Glover, is a dynamic centerfielder. SS Rafael Furcal and 2B Kent are a fine double play combo, while Loney at first is sound. Behind the plate, Martin is a fine play caller and skilled backstop.

Joe Torre is “Joe Torre” and brings with him a reputation as being a player’s coach and a winner. Torre added associates Larry Bowa and Don Mattingly to the coaching staff. Things are interesting in Dodger-town.

Read more on the Dodgers other NL West division competitors like the Arizona Diamondbacks, San Diego Padres, Colorado Rockies, and San Francisco Giants.

For more info on the Dodgers check out the MLB official page for Los Angeles.


2008 MLB Preview

As usual we cover and break down all 30 of the major league baseball clubs. To read about a particular team simply click on the link of the division of where the team resides. The division pages will also give a quick thumbnail on each team and are order of finish. At anytime you can return to the main baseball preview page.

08 MLB Team Previews

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