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Custody Battle: Who Gets Kemp & Kershaw in the Divorce? Your 2012 Los Angeles Dodgers

Slide-matt-kemp_medium

I want 16 days a month, including at least 2 full weekends, with Papa Frank

via lockersmash.com

Apparently, the Dodgers, when they are part of a divorce proceeding between the McCourts, are the sleeper team of the NL West for 2012.

I’m not sure I really buy it, given they arguably have only 2 legit guys in their rotation (Kershaw is a lock, Billingsley is a maybe), and they are hoping Kemp & Ethier keep doin’ what they do in the lineup while still waiting for Loney to realize his potential.

Brief aside about Loney.. after coming out of the gate red hot in 2006 & 2007, he’s pretty much been a .750 OPS guy since. The Dodgers need more from him, as below you’ll see they don’t have much aside from Kemp & Ethier in their lineup.

More about the 2012 Dodgers after the jump..

As previously stated, I think Kershaw & Billingsley are the only good arms in their staff (and Billingsley is still iffy), however some people might think that Ted Lilly isn’t shabby. Those people are certainly entitled to their opinion.

I read one Dodger team preview, and it actually began a paragraph with "The Dodgers' starting pitching is one of their strengths." Same preview also used the phrase "a solid Dodger rotation." I guess solid means Cy Young winner, need a great year from, and Ted Lilly.. or in other words, Kershaw, Billingsley, maybe Lilly and then rain until Kershaw gets the ball again. As a fanboy, I’m hoping Adam Harann turns heads and makes us hate The Dusty even more for ruining him in an extra inning ballgame that will remain dateless.

In an effort of due diligence mentioning other Dodger pitchers of note, they’ve assigned the closing duties to Javy Guerra, a guy with no dominant pitches and lacks the ability to overpower hitters. That just sounds like the key ingredients if you’re baking a big loaf of suck. They also signed Todd Coffey, a move that reeks of desperation.

The Dodgers will have new ownership sometime during 2012, but regardless I think they’re a 3rd Place team assuming no fire sales or desperation "all in" moves. Depending on new ownership, and when, the Dodgers could radically become buyers or sellers, which could mean that Matt Kemp finally becomes a Red, along with either Clayton Kershaw or Chad Billingsley. When was the last time we remember the Dodgers as big buyers?

Projected Lineup:

AVG / OBP / SLG / OPS / Other (Bill James projections)

SS – Dee Gordon .270 / .301 / .320 / .621 / 42 SB

2B – Mark Ellis .255 / .314 / .369 / .683 / N/A

RF – Andre Ethier .288 / .366 / .464 / .830 / N/A

CF – Matt Kemp .293 / .362 / .516 / .878 / 32 SB

1B – James Loney .283 / .345 / .419 / .764 / N/A

LF – Juan Rivera .260 / .319 / .412 / .731 / N/A

3B – Juan Uribe .240 / .298 / .394 / .692 / N/A

C – A.J. Ellis .240 / .356 / .317 / .673 / N/A

Projected Rotation:

W – L / ERA / IP / WHIP / FIP (Bill James projections)

Clayton Kershaw 17-8 / 2.72 / 218 / 1.07 / 2.67

Chad Billingsley 9-10 / 3.67 / 174 / 1.34 / 3.56

Ted Lilly 12-11 / 3.47 / 200 / 1.14 / 4.14

Aaron Harang 7-12 / 4.50 / 176 / 1.40 / 4.24

Chris Capuano 10-11 / 4.12 / 190 / 1.32 / 4.03

Closer:

Javy Guerra 3-3 / 3.32 / 57 / 1.33 / 3.40 / 29 SV

Key additions / losses:

Lost these guys:

C Rod Barajas

3B Casey Blake

RP Jonathan Broxton

SS Jamey Carroll

SP Jon Garland

SP Hiroki Kuroda

3B Aaron Miles

SP / RP Vicente Padilla

RP Hong-Chih Kuo

Added these guys:

2B Mark Ellis

C Matt Treanor

2B Adam Kennedy

SP Chris Capuano

SS Jerry Hairston

SP Aaron Harang

RP Todd Coffey

RP John Grabow

P Brian Anderson (switched from OF)

Hitter(s) / Pitcher(s) Reds want nothing to do with:

Clayton Kershaw – The 2011 Cy Young Award Winner (although the Reds had his number only 3rd to the Rockies and Angels, respectively) is 1-1 in 5 starts historically against the Reds with a 3.34 ERA and holds us to a .211 AVG. Keep in mind that he put up a 4.60 ERA against us in 2011, so 2009 & 2010 he owned us. Let’s hope we see more 2011 vs. the Reds Kershaw, as opposed to the other 2 years.

Mark Ellis – Spending the bulk of his last 3 years in the AL West, Ellis didn’t see the Reds much.. however when he did, he OPS’d .839, well above his career mark of .728. Guys that OPS more than .100 points above their career average against us quality for Bill Hall All-Star membership, in my book.

Adam Kennedy – Sure, he’s only faced the Reds for 8 AB the last 3 years, but back in 2008 dude OPS’d 1.136 against us, granted only in 23 AB. But still.. 1.136.. Kennedy is a Bill Hall All-Star nominee by default, although he might just be a David Eckstein Scrappy Little Shit instead. Regardless, I fully expect Kennedy to own us.

James Loney – For a guy that’s averaged around a .750 OPS the last few years, a guy that OPS’d .808 against us over the last 3 years is on my radar. During 2008, he OPS’d 1.267 against us.. He faced us a whopping 15 ABs combined in 2006 & 2007, and thankfully didn’t set the world on fire, although those were his 2 best major league seasons to date. While Ethier & Kemp scare me more than Loney, Loney’s the exact type of guy that will beat us if we take him for granted.

Juan Uribe – For a guy that’s really shitty, he’s OPS’d just shy of 1.000 (.982) against the Reds over the last 3 years in 49 AB. Sickening, really. When your OPS vs. the Reds is 250 points better than your career OPS, yeah.. This guy definitely has a lot of Bill Hall blood in his veins.

Andre Ethier – Nothing like a guy that’s OPS’d .927 over the last 3 years in 86 ABs against the Reds. In 30 AB in 2008, Ethier OPS’d 1.114. Great. 2006 he OPS’d .843 in 28 ABs, although he had an off year in 2007, only OPSing .151 (this is not a typo) in 18 ABs. Let’s hope he finds his 2007 ways again vs. us in 2012. Please?

Matt Kemp – Over the last 3 years he’s only OPS’d 1.276 vs. us in 76 ABs.. no biggie. Nothing like a guy that’s gotten on base 50% of the time he’s faced us the last 3 years.. again, no biggie. I’m not going to even look earlier than 2009, b/c what’s the point? Dude’s killed us.

Hitter(s) / Pitcher(s) Reds want everything to do with:

Chad Billingsley – Since 2009, Chad’s not feared well against Cincinnati. 7.53 ERA, 3-2 in 6 starts while the Reds batted a robust .372 against him. Keep up the good work, Chad.

Chris Capuano – Even though the Reds have struck out at a high clip over the last 3 years against Chris (he’s a soft tossing lefty, I’m surprised he hasn’t completely owned us..), we’ve knocked him around for a .333 AVG over 4 starts and 5 total games earning Mr. Capuano a 1-0 record while stomaching a 6.75 ERA. Let’s see more ERA like that.

Every Dodger Catcher – They all currently suck, and that’s a great thing for the Reds especially when you combine the fact that none of them have had any remote success against Cincinnati.

Tomo Ohka All-Star(s):

Didn’t see anyone that beats the Reds that sucks something awful.

Bill Hall All-Star(s):

Mark Ellis

Adam Kennedy

Juan Uribe

Any prospects / rookies we should give a shit about this year? - as opposed to believing the prospects / rookies are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way (dougdirt style).. cue Madville.. Whitney Houston? still dead:

# = Top 20 Dodger Prospect Rank

#2 – Nathan Eovaldi (projected SP) - #70 overall

Saw action as a SP in 6 starts with an August call up. Pitched in a whopping 10 G. Will most likely start year in AAA, but depending where Dodgers need him could fit in as emergency SP or become bullpen mainstay while developing command. He needs to cut down his BB/9 and try to keep his K/9 above 6 and he should be a lock for the back of the Dodgers’ rotation for 2013.

#9 – Shawn Tolleson (projected future Closer)

Javy Guerra is the current Dodger Closer, but the job could be Tolleson’s should Guerra falter. Should surprise no one if Tolleson logs significant MLB bullpen innings in 2012. The Dodgers’ bullpen doesn’t look to be anything special, so a nothing special prospect like Tolleson should fit right in. His K/9 looks good, his BB/9 looks good, so there’s really no reason he can’t compete for a spot in a so-so bullpen, no?

#14 – Tim Federowicz (projected MLB backup Catcher)

Federowicz is a glove-first backup Catcher, currently fighting Matt Treanor to be the Dodgers’ #2 behind AJ Ellis. He’s thrown out 1/3 of would-be basestealers over the life of his career but that’s all you should expect from him as he’s a decent average no power hitter. Pictures show he could eventually have a glorious ‘stache.

#18 – Scott Van Slyke (projected backup MLB OF/1B)

Son of Andy Van Slyke. On the 40 Man Roster, so right now he’s about 6th on the Dodgers’ OF Depth behind Juan Rivera, Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, Tony Gwynn Jr, and Trent Oeltjen. Some might argue Jerry Sands is ahead of him on the depth chart. He had a good 2011 in AA, but only saw limited time in AAA during 2010. He’s been a pretty underwhelming player so far in his career, but due to how the Dodgers look on paper he’s projected to maybe see some time during 2012. Good for him.

History between teams:

Thanks Wikipedia for droppin’ some knowledge on us..

The rivalry between the Cincinnati Reds and the Los Angeles Dodgers was one of the most intense match-ups in Baseball during the 1970's and 1980's. They often competed for the NL West division title. From 1970 through 1990 they had eleven 1-2 finishes in the standings, with seven of them being within 5 1⁄2 games or fewer. Both teams also played in numerous championships during this span, combining to win 10 NL Pennants and 5 World Series titles from 1970 to 1990. Reds Manager Sparky Anderson once said, "I don't think there's a rivalry like ours in either league. The Giants are supposed to be the Dodgers' natural rivals, but I don't think the feeling is there anymore. It's not there the way it is with us and the Dodgers." The rivalry ended when division realignment moved the Reds to the NL Central. However, they did face one another in the 1995 NLDS. For those of you scoring at home, we swept the Dodgers. Suck it, LA!!

Former Reds:

RP Todd Coffey

SP Aaron Harang

SS Jerry Hairston

Summary:

The Dodgers still need more from Chad Billingsley and James Loney. You can’t think you’ll have a shot at the NL West when you can only hang your hat on Clayton Kershaw, Andre Ethier, and Matt Kemp.

Wins range 78-84, good enough for 3rd or 4th. I think they’ll go 83 – 79, good enough for 3rd.

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